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#they could come back next episode and say the buck lives down the road from bobby and that would then be canon
cas-kingdom · 6 months ago
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Fix You
A/N: Written after I watched episode 1. Honestly, there’s so much potential surrounding Buck & reader (Steve’s sister) after Endgame it almost makes me want to write a full story haha. But, for now, we will stick with this, and a couple others coming soon. Enjoy!
My (crappy) gif. 
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Title: Fix You
Summary: It’s been six months. You and Bucky are living in Brooklyn. You’re trying. He’s not. The both of you need to fix what’s left before there is nothing left to fix.
Words: 4488
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“No nightmares, Bucky? Really?”
Bucky had expected the blow the moment he’d shut and locked the door to their apartment. You had been quiet the entire ten-minute walk home from the therapist’s office, always staying five steps ahead of him, hood up to block the evening drizzle and hands stuffed in your pockets. He hadn’t questioned you. He knew the session hadn’t gone very well, though it was the first you’d attended with him, and he knew you’d let it all spill the moment you were away from prying eyes. That much he hadn’t forgotten.
Shutting his eyes, he stayed as he was for a moment, hand on the door, back to you, already feeling the onset of a headache. “Can we not-”
“You have a nightmare every night, without fail. It’s why you sleep in the Goddamn living room, so you don’t wake me up!”
Bucky sighed, feeling his fists clench, and turned. You were stood in the middle of the room, arms crossed, face the picture of exasperation. “Don’t yell at me like that,” he said. Once upon a time, his eerily quiet voice and the hint of barely-there-sternness would have made you back down immediately, but you were older now, old enough to know how to withstand a fight you believed in, and if you wanted to yell, that was exactly what you were going to do.
You shook your head. You would have laughed if you didn’t feel so irritated. Your eyes followed Bucky as he shrugged out of his wet coat, tossing it onto a couch. The couch beside the blankets and pillow he’d been sleeping with on the floor.
“Like what?” you asked, hostility lacing your tone. “Like someone telling the truth? You go to therapy for help, and I come with you because she thought it might make you feel more comfortable, but obviously it’s going nowhere. Is that it? Do you not want me to go anymore? Because that’s fine, if it’ll make you-”
“Of course I want you there.” His voice was sharp, though exhausted, and he turned quickly to face you. His brows were knitted together, an anguish in his eyes. He winced at the new pulsing in his temples and reached up to rub at them.
You were silent for a moment, almost speechless in the simple fact that he had changed, and it was a confusing change, a painful change. You remembered getting him. You remembered understanding every little thing he and Steve did, because you’d studied them, tried to be like them. So many years had passed, and you knew he was different now. Obviously he was different. He’d had his brain dug out and stitched back so many times you often wondered how there were still bits of the old him left. But you were grateful there still was. Sometimes, it was just a little hard to reach that part of him.
“That therapist isn’t trying to brainwash you,” you tried, unsure as to whether those words were even acceptable. Bucky stared straight at you, frown lines creasing his forehead. “She’s doing all she can to help you. Instead, you’re not even trying.”
“Oh, for the love of-” Bucky rolled his eyes, reaching to rub irritatingly at the back of his neck. He turned, as though gathering himself. “I am trying.” His tone was harsh, but you could hear a desperation in there.
“Well, try harder! You’re not alone anymore. Neither of us are. But if we keep going like this then we will be.” You’d said the words without realising it, without knowing what they even really meant, but you had no desire to take them back.
Bucky’s anger raged as though you’d put gasoline on an already burning fire. “What does that mean?” he snapped, brown eyes flashing. “Huh?”
And, like brother like sister: “You know what it means!” you shot right back, your whole body tensing. “I don’t wanna stay here, in this stupid apartment, in stupid Brooklyn, with you, if all it’s gonna do is make my life hell!”
To his credit, Bucky blinked in obvious surprise. “You don’t wanna be here?” You turned then, hair whipping around as you stormed to your room. “Hey, I’m talking to you!” Bucky called, taking a few hurried steps forward. “Y/N!”
The door slammed. You hadn’t slammed a door on him, or anyone for that matter, in what seemed like eons. You weren’t a petulant child anymore. Not that this instance of slamming pertained to you being a child. The tears and the quiet sobs very much belonged to someone who was heartbroken, grief-stricken, and absolutely lost on what to do and where to go next.
You would have locked the door had the door had a lock. It didn’t, like your room at the Avengers’ Facility hadn’t, but you couldn’t find it in you to care anyway. You curled up into a tight ball on your bed, the sound of dogs barking and drunk boys laughing coming from outside your window. The last time you’d lived in Brooklyn, the sounds were that of young couples chatting quietly to themselves as they passed, and the jazz band playing across the road at the bar. You’d fallen asleep to those sounds. Now, they were of an age you still hadn’t totally gotten used to.
You missed the silence of home.
Bucky hadn’t blown your door off in an attempt to reprimand you just yet, so you figured he was taking a moment to himself. At least that hadn’t changed. He’d taught himself the moment you’d been born that the best way to handle the aftermath of an argument – well, it’d been temper tantrums back then – was to leave each other to cool.
Another dog barked and you opened your eyes, staring at the blank wall opposite. Four months you’d been in the apartment. The two months before had been spent between places, mostly at the empty Facility, and coming to some sort of agreement in regard to Bucky’s pardoning and citizenship. He’d wanted to live in Brooklyn and you had decided that if it would help him regain some semblance of his old life and help him navigate his new one, you would be alright. And you had, for a while, but it’d been falling apart in the past few months, and you weren’t even totally sure why. You had been happier then, at the beginning of your new life, but once the routine had started to stick, and the excitement wore off, the realisation that this was only a number in a long line of new starts hit. You’d always thought things were supposed to get better, not worse. You could still remember the week you’d moved in, so busy with the boxes and the paperwork and the adapting that a normal person’s routine was an anomaly to both of you and not something you’d even needed to think about.
“Buck, you have an appointment at five. It’s twenty minutes to five. You gotta go!”
“I’m going, I’m going! Where’s my-” You tossed him his jacket- “Thanks.”
You jumped over a cardboard box, full of stuff from your old room. “Here’s your phone.”
For a moment, Bucky looked as though he hadn’t the faintest idea what a phone was, but he saw you holding it out and reality returned as he took it from you. Shame, really.
Dealing with the move was one thing, but dealing with everything else was another. Losing Steve, losing Tony, losing Nat, Bucky’s release, the world’s recovery after the Blip… and among it all, actually living. That seemed to be the hardest part.
“Go, go, go!” you pushed at him, which was in vain. Obviously.
“God, Y/N, I’m not gonna get my head chopped off if I’m a couple minutes late!”
You knew that. You smiled. He was going to therapy, something you still couldn’t seem him ever doing despite the fact he had his first appointment in twenty minutes. You were starting a new life.
The wall you were staring at was peeling. This whole apartment was peeling. You’d had better in the 1900s.
Bucky stepped out the door, but before you could shut it on him, he stuck his metal hand out and rose a brow. “Are you trying to kick me out or something?” he asked. “What’re you up to?”
You giggled, a sound he’d missed, and tried to push the door closed. “Nothing!”
Bucky dipped his head. “Y/N-”
“Go away, Bucky!”
“Oh, I’m not leaving till you tell me what you’re doing.” He laughed when you almost succeeded in pushing him further out. “Hey!” There was a squeak as he pushed his own side of the door, grabbing you up before you could make your escape.
Tears welled in your eyes again. None of this was his fault. You weren’t saying it was yours, either, but you knew you expected too much of him. He was barely pardoned. You expected too much of yourself. You’d just lost your brother.
“I’m making dinner!” you told him around your laughter. “I’m making dinner, Bucky! Beef barley soup, like we used to eat back in the day, remember?”
Bucky rolled his eyes at your words, pressing a quick kiss to the top of your head as he relented and released you. “You’re too young to say that. Promise you won’t burn the kitchen down? This is kinda all we have.”
“Promise.”
“And… you’ll be okay here? Without me? I’ll only be gone-”
“Yep.” You flashed him a smile, and the corners of his lips curled into one of his own. “Go on and talk about stuff, Buck. I’ll be fine. And I have your number in case something does happen, which it won’t. You remember how to use it?”
He glanced at the device still in his hand and sighed a little unsurely. “I’ll work it out.”
“Bye, Buck. Let the thought of soup pull you through.”
You’d been alone for the first time since everyone’s return after the Blip that night, and though you’d tried to let the making of the soup distract you from your thoughts, you’d had a few moments of panic, many where you’d reached for your phone and frantically searched for Bucky’s number only to stop yourself for fear of interrupting him during a time you really didn’t want him to be interrupted. He needed that therapy, and you’d had hope he’d be back to more or less his pre-Winter Soldier self after some sessions. That hope was slipping, now. You’d had to rush the soup in the end, desperately trying to think back to Sam’s recipe from the Facility, but Bucky had come home, clearly tired and worn out, and had been more than happy for the steaming bowl you’d happily presented him with.
You’d never asked him about his sessions. You didn’t think it right. He had a lot of baggage, most of which he kept away from you because he understandably didn’t want you anywhere near the life he’d lived as the Winter Soldier, and you figured the apartment was a place he could relax after talking. Though his relaxing over the past four months had visibly decreased, and you hadn’t been sure why until you’d gone with him to one of his sessions.
You shut your eyes, feeling some sort of numbness overcome you. If this was what your life would be like for the rest of your days, you would quite like to go where Steve was.
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Bucky had made himself believe that he slept on the ground because it reminded him of the war, and the trenches, and the cold, hard cots they slept in. It was a familiarity he hadn’t considered, those cots. He’d go to his room and sit and stare for a while, then he’d move to the living room, and he’d sleep, and, yes, as you had said, he woke up. Every night. Without fail.
No, it wasn’t the familiarity he craved. It was the assurance that he wasn’t going to wake the sleeping girl in the room next to his. That he wouldn’t cry out and you’d come running in, only for his subconscious to see you as a threat and wrap his metal hand around your neck. Being in the living room didn’t conquer those worries, but they made them less likely.
He slumped down in the armchair and dragged a hand over his face. A car beeped its horn outside and he sighed. Brooklyn wasn’t the Brooklyn he remembered.
Maybe he shouldn’t have let you come with him. It’d been a stupid notion, thinking he had the ability to admit he was struggling even when he was alone, never mind with you in the room. But Dr. Raynor had told him that sometimes it helped to have someone you love next to you. Apparently not. Apparently, it had just made it all worse.
God, he shouldn’t have yelled. You shouldn’t have either, but he was the adult, he was supposed to be the one in charge. You were clearly hurting, and though he was too, it was his responsibility to bring it up and try to make things better. He knew Steve would be disappointed with him. He was disappointed in him.
Removing his hand from his face, he shifted and reached inside his trouser pocket, pulling out a small square of aging photograph material, the black and white ink portraying the three faces almost completely faded. He would have kept it in a frame to preserve it, stop it from tearing and its corners from creasing, but it was his own comfort blanket, that photo. It’d been taken when you were nine or ten, at a fair you’d begged him and Steve to take her to after you’d finished school. You’d found a photobooth, and, as was customary, squeezed yourselves inside and proceeded to take the best photos in the most hilarious positions you had dictated they get into, all in the space of a few seconds. You’d each kept one photo, your favourites. You had yours in the drawer of your bedside table, Steve had carried his around in an old journal. Bucky’s had been given back to him by S.H.I.E.L.D. once he’d become Bucky again. He didn’t know where they’d found it, too busy with relishing in the feeling of that grainy material against his fingers to really care.
He stared at it now, his thumb tracing the little girl. That little girl. In her school dress and French braids, a stick of cotton candy in her hand, the widest toothy grin on her face as Bucky tried to take a bite and Steve feigned a punch. A moment frozen that he would give anything to go back to.
It was only after a splash of water dripped onto the creased photograph that he realised his eyes were wet with tears. He bit the inside of his lip, bringing a hand up to hold the side of his head as he stared through clouded vision at those faces. His leg was bouncing a little. His heart was doing that thing it does when you’re trying to keep hold of your emotions. His hand was clammy against his cheek.
His chest heaved with a deep, clearing breath, and he slipped the photograph carefully back into his pocket, standing to his feet. He glanced at the blankets and pillow and bent to pick them up.
The apartment was dark. He checked the door to ensure it was locked – apparently Brooklyn had a higher crime rate now, go figure – and walked towards your room. He lifted a hand and knocked lightly twice. Hearing no response – not that he’d really expected one – and thinking you were probably asleep, he pushed the handle down and opened it slowly, poking his head in.
You didn’t turn to acknowledge him, but he could see you were awake. It was dark, but the blinds hadn’t been shut yet, and the streetlamps offered enough light for him to see the glint of your open eyes as they stared ahead. You were curled up on your side, and you didn’t move even as he let himself in, quietly shutting the door behind him. You hadn’t yelled at him to get out yet, so that was a good start.
He dropped his blankets and pillow and fit himself beside you on the double bed, his back against the headboard, legs stretched out in front of him. Silence washed over you both. Bucky folded his hands on his stomach and tried to relax, letting a breath of air out through his nose.
He’d seen your room at the Avengers’ Facility, and, letting his eyes rove this one, he felt a jab of sympathy in that particular aspect, alongside a few other things, of course. You’d both talked about moving to live in a cottage in the middle of nowhere, away from prying eyes, with a dog or two… that’d been before Bucky had realised his pardoning would come with some consequences. Really, he should have thought about that. Especially before he’d talked to you about it and caused some exciting sense of normality and optimism to worm its way into your broken heart. But he’d been eager to get you out of that building and away from the memories that had so obviously been suffocating you. He hadn’t thought. He rarely did nowadays.
He’d grown up in places like this, rooms this small. He hadn’t found much reason to complain, and though you had been raised exactly the same, he wasn’t oblivious to the fact that you’d been out of the ice longer than he’d been free of Hydra. You’d become used to the luxuries of the twenty-first century, the normality for a teenage girl to have a room that could easily fit two king-sized beds. He guessed it was a bit of a shock for you to adapt to that, and then be slung back into a two-bedroom apartment which, even without the wall separating your rooms, would still be smaller than the one you’d had back home.
Home.
He sighed. What was home anymore? For you or for him? It was all so confusing. Adjusting this, moving that, pardoning this, arguing that. You couldn’t catch a break, even from each other.
He turned and gazed down at you. He could see the dried tear marks running from your eyes, silvery in the little light from the window, and he absently rubbed gently at his own cheek.
“I’m sorry, doll,” he said finally, so quiet he wasn’t even sure it was his own voice. Any louder, it would’ve broken. He would’ve broken. He wasn’t sure if you’d answer, but he was prepared to stay where he was until you did. That was a rule Steve had lived by; if you hadn’t told him to leave, he knew you were ready to talk, it may just take a while.
“I am, too.” There. Just as quite as him. “I know you’re trying as hard as you can.”
He shook his head to himself. “No, it- you’re right. It’s not hard enough. My compliance is the condition of our life here, but my trying harder is what’s going to give us a good life. A good chance. It falls on me to do that.”
“Not all of it.”
“A hell of a lot of it. I told Steve…” He paused, shutting his eyes. “I told him…”
You glanced over your shoulder, tears clinging to your long lashes and cheeks tinted pink. “You know he made me promise to look after you, too.”
Bucky guessed, in part, that was where a big chunk of the trouble lay. He was trying to protect you, you were trying to protect him, and in that you were clashing. He’d never had to wade through a problem such as that; you had never been old enough to consider protecting him in an adult-like way. Sure, you’d once tried to smack his boss when you’d believed him to be a ‘meany-pants’ to your Bucky, but you’d been five and everyone had found it adorable. Now, your arguments – or disagreements, rather – were very much real and all too meaningful.
Instinctively, his hand went to your forehead. He brushed the hair back from your face. “I’m trying to adapt to this life for you, Y/N,” he told you. “I don’t wanna mess things up.” As if he hadn’t already. “It’s just difficult when there’s so much to adapt to.”
You frowned. You shifted over so you were lying on your other side, staring up at him with big eyes. “I don’t want you to do it for me, Buck,” you told him. “I want you to do it for you. You’ve had decades of torture and shit. Don’t worry about me. Do it for yourself. You deserve it.”
A corner of Bucky’s lip lifted a little sadly and his thumb, still on your forehead, rubbed your temple. He looked at you for a moment. It was hard not to do everything for you. He lived for you, now. What was there left? A run-down apartment in modernised Brooklyn and therapy sessions he had to either attend or find himself in prison. Prison. He’d once been the one to put people in there.
“I’ll never stop worrying about you, doll. Even when you’re old and grey, if I’m still around, I’ll always be worrying.” He smiled a little when you reached up to grasp his hand and hold it to your chest.
“You said you wanted peace,” you said softly. “But there won’t be any unless you start admitting that you’re not totally alright just yet. You don’t need to protect me from that, from who you used to be. I know who you used to be. I know you’re still finding it hard. And I’m doing my best to help you. But you’re not the Winter Soldier anymore. And… I know you know that, I know you’re trying to put him completely behind you, but you can’t do that unless you start working on these things.” Bucky looked away, not at all in denial, as you continued. “Tell Dr. Raynor you have nightmares. Tell her you have moments during the day where you stare off into space, and you forget to eat sometimes, and you ignore Sam because you don’t understand why he gave Steve’s shield away, and you haven’t called or texted anyone on that stupid phone because, really, you don’t know how to work it, and you’d rather not have one at all. She says she understands you, but she doesn’t, no one can. She can talk about soldiering and dead bodies all she wants, but you need to show her there’s more to it, and then she can help, and things will start getting better.” There was a brokenness to your voice, and he turned to look back at you, immediately noticing your teary eyes once more. You squeezed his hand. “I don’t want you to be sad anymore, Bucky. I just want you to be happy again.”
Bucky felt a knot in his throat. He slid down the headboard until he was lying next to you, his hand still in yours even as you automatically shuffled closer to him. He wasn’t too sure how to reply, but the fresh wave of tears and badly hidden sniffling spoke for themselves. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d cried. And he couldn’t remember the last time he’d held you like this. Feeling you beside him was enough to make everything melt away.
“I’m sorry. I’m doing this to us.”
You shook your head against his chest. “A lot of people are doing this to us, but not one of them is you.”
He would beg to differ, but this was a moment of peace he didn’t want to lose. “Next time, I’ll tell Dr. Raynor about the nightmares,” he told you, resting his chin on top of your head.
You smiled. The nightmares were a start. Perhaps after that, he’d talk about his harboured feelings about Sam, and then his difficulty surrounding the new world, and his trouble with technology, and then, finally, things might start to look up.
“You want me to stay?” you asked, and he immediately shook his head.
“No, I want you to come.”
There was another silence, save for the renewal of the barking outside. Bucky sighed and lifted himself up a little, glaring out the window. “Never used to be like this,” he muttered more to himself, but you were close enough to have heard it.
“I didn’t mean what I said about being here,” you told him. “In this apartment, I mean, and in Brooklyn.” Bucky lowered himself back down again. “I do wanna be here. I just… it was said in the moment. It’s the first time living in Brooklyn since Steve and I came out of the ice. Makes me think he should be here.”
He should. “I’m sorry we couldn’t get what we talked about. The house, the dog…”
“Cockapoo.”
“Yeah, whatever.”
You breathed a quiet sound of amusement. “It doesn’t matter, Bucky. At the end of the day, you’re here, I’m here, and I couldn’t ask for more. At the moment I don’t care where we are, as long as we’re happy. For now, let’s focus on us.”
Focus on us. That sounded good. That sounded right.
The first genuine smile graced his lips as he hugged you closer to him, his head resting on his metal arm. “Sounds good, doll.”
“Is it too late to go and grab something to eat?”
The change of subject caused his smile to widen, and he glanced at the watch on his arm, the only thing he would use to tell the time. It reminded him of the little pocket watch he’d kept in his pocket, passed down from his grandfather. As a baby, you had played with it for hours, mesmerised by the little black hands as they ticked and ticked.
“It’s six,” he said. “Italian?”
You nodded, moving from his embrace to sit up. You noticed the blankets and pillow on the floor and put a hand on his arm as he went to move off the bed. “Can you leave those here?” you asked, a hopeful glint in your eye. You didn’t think you’d want to sleep alone that night.
Bucky glanced at the floor. A moment of hesitation passed, and he flexed his vibranium fingers.
Every night. Without fail.
He stood to his feet, picked them up, and put them on the bed. Dr. Raynor said trusting yourself is the first step to fixing yourself.
“Come on,” he said as he headed for the door. Your eyes lit up.
“Can we get candy floss ice cream for dessert?”
He smiled. There was that little girl.
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hotchsbabygirl · 6 months ago
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Cake & Kisses
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Evan Buckley x Reader 
Warnings: nothing really 
Category: fluff with like 0.01 angst if you squint 
Word Count: 2.8k (This one kind of ran away from me oops)
Author’s Note: This is for my darling @mrs-dr-reid, when I saw it was your birthday, I had to write a little something for you. Happy birthday again! <3
----
The sun peeked through the curtains just as your alarm went off. Your boyfriend, Buck, had a habit of closing the curtains before he left for work which you didn’t mind on your days off but today, you couldn't wait to get out of bed. 
See, today was a special day. It was your birthday and Buck had been hinting all week that he had a surprise for you. 
“Babe?!” you shouted as you rolled out of bed.
Peering over the railing, you looked around for your boyfriend, but he was nowhere to be found. You picked up your phone to find a few messages, birthday wishes from your mom and your siblings before you came across a text from Buck. 
From Buck: Headed into work early, covering for Eddie. Chris came down with something so he took him to the doctors. See you at work, love you 
To Buck: Okay, love you too 
Huh. No birthday wish. It was a bit strange considering how excited he was but you didn’t think anything of it. Maybe he would tell you at work. You replied to your siblings and just as you were going to reply to your mom, she called you. You spoke with her as you got ready for work. She wished you well before letting you go. 
The drive to the station was quicker than expected. Walking in, it seemed like a normal day, you went through your routine- changing, clock in and head up for breakfast. You braced yourself, hoping that maybe there was a surprise for you but nope, just a regular old day. Hen was sitting on the couch, her legs up on the table with Chimney beside her in the same position, both of them saying good morning as you passed by. You smiled at them on your way to the kitchen, your boyfriend had his back turned to you, he was getting a cup of coffee. 
Your arms wrap around his waist, hugging him from behind. “Hey you” you smile, Buck’s hand comes down to rest on top of yours, “good morning baby. Want some coffee?” he turns, a mug in his other hand. You sigh, looking up at your boyfriend- head tilted slightly with a small smile on your face. 
“What ?” he smiles too, his expression mirroring yours. Shaking your head, you smile, “nothing. You just look cute that's all.” 
“Hm, so do you” he leans, meeting you halfway before giving you a kiss. 
“I’ll be back love, I forgot my phone in my locker” you give his hip a squeeze before unwrapping your arms from him and heading down the stairs. Once you reach the locker room, you see Eddie in there. Knocking on the wall to give him a heads up, he turns to the door. “Oh hey” he smiles and turns back to his locker. 
“Hey, how’s Chris feeling ?” 
“Chris ?” he trails off, he was unsure what you were talking about. 
“Buck said Chris wasn’t feeling well. You took him to the doctors ?” leaning against the lockers, you look at Eddie. You watch as his confusion changes into understanding. 
“Oh yeah, stomach bug he picked up at school. Carla’s at home with him” he says, he gave you another smile before stepping out of the room. 
You find your phone and sit on one of the benches. You find a few more messages from your friends from high school and such - not that you didn’t appreciate them, it was just that none of the messages were from who you really wanted one from. Regardless, you said thank you and moved on. 
Heading back up to the kitchen,  the team had made themselves comfortable at the table and they were having a conversation until they saw you. The conversation stopped, they were all looking at you. 
“Come sit, breakfast is gonna get cold” Bobby smiles, nodding towards the chair beside Buck. 
You take a seat next to your boyfriend, he smiles at you as his hand comes down and rests on your thigh. “Did I interrupt something just now?” questioning, you take a sip of coffee which you soon realized was Buck judging by the overpowering sweetness. 
“We were just talking about the latest episode, Buck said you hadn't seen it yet” Hen tells you, you hum. 
Breakfast was interrupted by the sound of blaring alarms. Everyone loaded up onto the truck, you could feel the awkwardness building by the second. From Buck leaving early this morning, to Eddie seeming confused about taking Chris to the doctors and then the dropped conversation at breakfast- something was off today. 
Nonetheless, you pushed all the awkwardness aside and did your job. There was a little kid who gotten himself stuck at the top of a tree but his father couldn't go up to get him because the branch was about to break. The entire team wasn't exactly needed, Eddie got up on the ladder and got the little boy down. 
You were sitting on the curb of the street when Buck found you. “Hey, we’re about to leave.” the displeasure evident on your face, Buck sat beside you. 
“Are you okay babe ?” 
“What day is it today ?” 
“The 5th, why ?” 
“So you know what day it is then” 
“Well yeah” Buck chuckled, “are you sure you’re alright ?” he asked once more, you hummed before getting up and leaving him at the side of the road.
--- 
The station was quiet, most of the team had left half an hour ago. Hen was on her way home to Karen and the kids, Chimney was going on a date with Maddie and Eddie was on his way home to his little boy. Your boyfriend Buck, also headed home because he was tired.
Bobby had made dinner and it didn’t seem fair for everyone to leave and have him be stuck with paperwork and dishes so you stuck around and tidied up a bit. After clearing the table and washing the dishes, as well as sticking the leftovers in the fridge, you head down to change and then go home. Seeing that it was empty, you took your sweet time changing. You were sitting on the bench, putting on your shoes when you saw Bobby coming towards you. 
“Did you clean the kitchen ?” he asks, stepping further into the locker room. 
“Yeah, I heard that you had some paperwork so it didn’t seem fair that you got stuck cleaning” you tell him. 
“Thank you,” he smiles and sits beside you, “did they all leave ?” 
“Yeah” you hum. 
Bobby nudged your shoulder with his, “Happy birthday y/n” he smiles, you look at him- shocked. “You remembered ?” “Of course, how could I not?” 
“Thanks” you give him another smile, which turns into a sigh. “What’s wrong ?”he asks you. 
“Oh, it’s nothing. Isn't Athena waiting for you at home ?” 
“She’ll be okay if I'm a few minutes late, what’s on your mind kid?”  
“It’s just that you’re the only one that remembered” you admit to him quietly. 
“Your birthday ? Surely at least Buck remembered” he looks at you. 
You shake your head, sighing. “Sorry, I feel like dumb whining about it. It’s just a birthday you know ? I mean they’ve got busy lives, it’s fine” you tell him, you were trying to reassure yourself more than you were trying to convince Bobby. 
“Hey, don’t apologize.” He gives your hand a squeeze, “why don’t you come over? You can have dinner with Athena and I” 
“Thank you, but I couldn’t do that. I can’t crash your plans like that” 
“Y/n, I assure you that you wouldn’t be crashing our plans. Plus, she’s been asking me when she’s going to see you again” he chuckles and gets up, “come on. I’ll call her and let her know that we’re coming” Bobby reaches into his pocket for his phone when you get up, you follow him outside and then the two of you head towards his house. 
The whole drive over, you couldn’t stop thinking about how they forgot your birthday. You could understand everyone else- Hen, she had Karen and her family to think about. Eddie was worried about Chris who wasn't feeling the best right now and Chimney and Maddie had a baby on the way- but Buck, that one hurt. 
Bobby waited for you outside and both headed in. He stepped in first, shouting for Athena as he walked in. “Honey! I’m home! Y/n’s with me!” he shouted, stepping further into the house. Bobby walked down the stairs first, the house was quiet and you hadn't heard Athena answer him either.  You followed him in, shutting the door when you stepped in. As you round the corner, you see the living room was empty, Bobby now by the dining room table with Athena. 
“Y/n, sweetheart!” Athena called for you as she saw you. She made her way over, arms opened for a hug. “Happy birthday!” She pulls you in for a hug, your arms wrapping around her. 
“Thank you Athena,” you give her a smile. “Hopefully, I'm not ruining any plans” She leads you towards the table, her hand now resting on your back. 
“Not at all, actually we were just waiting on you” she says, your brows furrow and head tilts in confusion. She holds your shoulders and spins you towards the kitchen where the team and their families are standing. 
“Happy birthday!” they all shout, you let out a laugh. “I cannot believe y’all” you’re smiling so much, it physically hurts your face. “Thank you, you guys are so sweet - and here I was thinking y’all forgot” 
“How could we forget your birthday?” Chimney asks as he comes over to give you a hug, Maddie following him and repeating his actions. Maddie wasn't far along but just far enough for her bump to start showing, your hand rests on her stomach for a moment, she smiles as her hand comes up to rest on yours. 
A few moments later, Hen and Karen come over, both wishing you a happy birthday as Denny and Nia give you the card they made for you. You crouch down to give them a hug, thanking them for the beautiful card they made you and promising them that it’s going to go up on the fridge when you get home.
Eddie and Chris were next, Chris wrapping his arms around your waist as he leant into your side. Your hand coming to his hair, running your fingers through it. “I thought you had the stomach bug lil man” you look down at the boy who was grinning at you. “No, dad and Buck said that so dad could pick up your birthday cake” he tells you, spilling all of his father and Buck’s secrets. “Is that so?” you ask him, looking at Eddie who was holding back a smile. “Yeah! it’s chocolate cake, I picked the flavour” he says proudly, making you smile. Chris walks off at some point while you and Eddie are talking, making his way over to Denny, Nia and Harry. 
“I know we shouldn’t have lied- are you mad ?” Eddie asks, handing you a cup of a currently unknown liquid. “I mean, kinda but not really ?” you both laugh, “happy birthday y/n” Eddie kisses your cheek before walking off. 
Finally your boyfriend makes his way over to you, slinging his arm over your shoulder. “Happy birthday baby” he smiles, kissing your temple as you lean into his side. 
“Thank you but I’m still mad at you” you huff, turning your face away from him. 
“Oh, what’s wrong ?” he asks, his thumb pushing your head back towards him. You smack his side, not hard enough to hurt him but hard enough to get his attention. “Ow! what was that for?” 
“How could you let me go all day thinking that you forgot my birthday ?!” 
“Because I had to come up with some way to keep this a secret! If I told you happy birthday, you'd realize I was up to something.” he tells you, you hum- not bothering to give his answer a reaction. You weren't actually mad, you were grateful that he took the time to plan a surprise party for you- you were grateful for the entire team, they truly were your family. 
“Don’t be mad, c’mon” he turns towards you, his hands now on your hips and your arms come up to his shoulders. “I couldn’t stay mad at you if I wanted to”  smiling at him, he leans in and kisses you. A chorus of ‘ew’ and ‘gross’ put a halt in your moment as you both look over to see the 3 boys giggling with a very confused Nia beside them. Buck laughs, sending them on their way before turning back to you.
“I hear I have chocolate cake waiting for me somewhere” 
“How’d you know that ?” he asks, obviously confused as to how you deduced the flavour of your birthday cake. 
“Christopher” 
“Ah man, that was supposed to be part of the surprise” 
“What can I say ? My charm is irresistible, he just had to tell me” you joke, Buck chuckles. Buck pulls you closer to him, his body basically pressed against yours. “Can I tell you something ?” he looks down at you- although you weren’t super short, he still towered over you, as he did everyone because he was a giant but that’s besides the point. You hum, waiting for him to tell you whatever it is he wanted to tell you.
“It was killing me not to tell you happy birthday. You have no idea how much I just wanted to pick you up and shout it” he groans and then sighs like he’s let out the biggest secret of his life. You laugh, “well I’m glad you told me anyways” you kiss his cheek, he smiles.
“Can you get me a cupcake, please ? I think they’re in the fridge” he asks, you hum. Letting go of him, you turn to the fridge. You spot your cake in the corner, blue frosting with white lettering. Finding the tray of cupcakes, you pull it out and set it in the counter before picking out one for Buck.
When you turn, Buck was gone - well it seemed like he was until you glanced down. Buck was in front of you on his knee, the black velvet box in his hand opened, a beautiful diamond ring sitting in it.
“Y/n, you make me the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I know I always tell you that I don’t believe in soulmates but with you- it’s different. You are my soulmate, the one I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with. From the first day you walked into the station with your “I’m new but I know my shit” attitude, I was into you because babe, that was so hot.” You both chuckle before he continues.
“You’re my best friend and I would do anything to show you how much I love you - literally anything. I love you and I really hope you love me as much as I love you because this is about really awkward if you don’t- will you marry me ?” he looks up at you, the hope glimmering in his eyes.
When you look at Buck, you saw your whole world, your lover, your future all wrapped up into one.
“Yes, I’ll marry you” you lean down, hands cupping his cheeks as you kiss him. He gets up before sliding the ring onto your finger. You hold your hand out, admiring the ring. 
“Oh baby, it’s beautiful” you smile at him, his arm over your shoulder again. The two of you make your way to the backyard with everyone else.
“Guys!” Buck shouts, everyone stops and looks at the two of you. “We have an announcement to make,” he says, looking at you and smiling.
“We’re getting married!” You both shout simultaneously.
Everyone’s just as shocked as you were moments ago in the kitchen. “What?!” Chimney shouts back, making you laugh. You hold your hand out, showing him the ring. “Holy shit,” he turns back, looking at everyone. “They’re getting married”
Soon enough everyone comes over to congratulate the two of you, one by one. You and Buck stood together, he was talking to Bobby and Athena, his arm still over your shoulder. You look around the backyard, everyone’s smiling and happy.
This was your happy place, these people were your family and you wouldn’t want it any other way.
---- 
taglist: @ssa-volturi @advicefromnixxxx @dralexreid @keenmarvellover @beth-winchester21 @averyhotchner @fernandaweasley2 @yikesyikesyikes95 @hotchsdarling @venusrosepetal @luke-alvez @looney-literature @caitsymichelle13​
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extasiswings · 8 months ago
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That episode left me a broken woman.  Here, have a continuation of the boxing scene.  Also on ao3.
Buck hits the bag a few more times, but it’s harder without Eddie there to keep a foot on the edge of the frame to hold it down. The bag swings wider, the punches don’t land as strongly. And Buck finally just catches the bag and holds it in place until it stops rocking, feeling...feeling…
Tired.
He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. That for all his bravado not five minutes earlier that he could punch his way to clarity or healing or justice—for the kid he was, for the man he is—he can’t even keep it up. Can’t keep going. He doesn’t want to fight—not really. He’s not even sure he wants to try. He just wants to fucking sleep, to crawl into bed with a flashlight like he’s ten years old again and pull the covers up over his head and make his own little cave. Pretend that nothing can touch him there. Hide until it feels safe to come out again.
He’s so. Fucking. Tired.
Tired of not being good enough. Tired of trying. Tired of backsliding every time he thinks he’s finally in a good place. Months of therapy and he just—
“Hey.”
Buck looks up as he steps away from the bag.
“Thought you left,” he says quietly.
Eddie shrugs and holds up his hand to show off the two wrapped protein bars he’s procured.
“Haven’t seen you eat all day. Thought you should,” he replies. He nods at the gloves on Buck’s hands. “You can take a break. The bag will still be there later...if you really want it to be.”
There’s the faintest edge of concern and disapproval in his tone, an echo of I’ve been down that road, I don’t recommend it. But it doesn’t feel like judgment. It doesn’t sting.
Buck sighs and strips off the gloves, scrubs his hands over his face as he collapses onto the bench. His eyes burn and he bites his cheek, swallows back the tidal wave of emotion threatening to drown him.
(There’s another piece to it as well—the nasty whisper that he needs to run away, that he’s too open, looks too honest, that he shouldn’t be showing it, sharing it. But thankfully, he doesn’t seem to have lost everything from months of therapy in one fell swoop, because when Eddie sits down next to him, close enough that their shoulders press together, he doesn’t shy away.)
“They asked what I expected them to do,” he confesses, leaning into that pressure, the warmth and solid muscle of Eddie’s arm. “I said things I’ve been keeping inside for years about how I’ve never been good enough for them and they asked what I expected. Like it was my fault. Like it’s still—like it’s always been my—even when I was a kid, Eddie, I was never enough, and I don’t understand why they don’t—”
Buck takes a shaky breath and lets it out. “I didn’t think it was too much to expect your parents to give a damn. I definitely didn’t think it was too much to expect them not to blame you for it when they don’t.”
“It’s not too much,” Eddie says firmly. He presses the protein bars into Buck’s hand and although he doesn’t feel at all like eating, Buck tears one open anyway.
“It’s not too much to expect your parents to love you,” he continues. “Or to expect them not to be hypocrites. It’s not too much to expect them to apologize when they’ve hurt you.”
“They’re never going to do that,” Buck interjects, bitterness clawing up his throat like bile. “They won’t use the name I want them to, and that’s not even difficult. God forbid they ever actually admit they were wrong about something.”
Eddie’s quiet for a moment. Then, he says—
“You know, I’m not a therapist—although, for the record, you should probably call yours about this—but I’m pretty sure if they don’t apologize, you don’t have to forgive them. Pretty sure you don’t have to forgive them even if they do.”
“They’re my family.” It feels trite and hollow, an argument that Buck doesn’t even feel connected to, but is somehow compelled to make anyway. An echo of the words he’s had thrown back in his face a million times over the years.
Eddie just shakes his head. “They’re people you’re related to. This place, here? Bobby and Athena, Hen and Karen, Chim and Maddie...me—me and Christopher. We’re your family. The family you made. The family you chose.”
Buck’s eyes burn again and he glances away as he clears his throat roughly.
“Is it—is it stupid that I still want them to care anyway?”
Eddie shifts, moving away in favor of curving his hand around the back of Buck’s neck, his thumb pressing gently into tense muscle and working in small circles to dig the tension out.
“I don’t think it’s ever stupid to want someone to love you.” His voice is soft—it matches the look in his eyes, a look that Buck hardly feels worthy of. “But if they never do, that doesn’t mean you aren’t still loved. That you aren’t worth loving. All it means is that they fucked up and missed out on the best opportunity of their lives. And that’s their loss. Not yours.”
Buck’s stomach squirms but it isn’t uncomfortable exactly. More like he’s being pulled in two different directions—the one that’s still a mess, spiraling down into the dark, and the one that wants to press back up into Eddie’s touch, to drown in his eyes instead of that ocean of grief. The one that wants to upend everything and risk it all, that wonders if he knocks whether Eddie will let him in just like this.
The one that wants Eddie to love him back.
The one that wants.
“Worth loving, huh?”
Eddie’s lips quirk up. “Yeah, I guess.” His tone is light and teasing, but his thumb strokes gently down Buck’s neck in a way that makes him hold back a shiver.
Buck wets his lips and glances back at the bag.
“It really doesn’t help. Does it?”
Eddie follows his gaze and shakes his head.
“For a little while,” he admits. “For a few minutes, an hour maybe—it can help you get some tension out. But at the end of the day, whether you’re fighting a bag or even another person, you’re not going to solve anything that way. Especially if you’re not even fighting the person all of those feelings are directed at. But, I know something that works a little better.”
His hand withdraws and Buck bites back a sound of protest. Eddie stands, holds out a hand to pull Buck up as well.
“Come on,” he says. “Shift’s over anyways--you’re coming home with me, and no, you don’t get to argue. Chris and I started a new puzzle last night and barely managed to get the border together. On god, I’m pretty sure it’s a lost cause without you.”
Buck’s startled into a laugh. For the first time all day, he smiles and doesn’t feel like he’s faking it.
“Okay. Let’s go.”
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rainboq · 7 months ago
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Thank you for the prompt! Here's one in return. #3 (kiss on the cheek) pricefield
You asked for a kiss on the cheek, you get an entire date and Chloe being a massive disaster. Enjoy! Apologies in advanced for my nonexistent Spanish skills. I’m going insane. It’s just Max, why the hell am I going insane? Chloe sighs as she sits in her truck, one hand on the wheel while the other hovers over the send button on her phone. Fucking Rachel and her big ideas. Just ask her out Chloe, it’ll be fine Chloe, you’ve known her since you were a little kid Chloe. 
A little traitorous part of her wished that Max had just said no so she could get the rejection over and done with. Instead, her dorky little face with it’s stupidly cute dimpled smile and earnest eyes had light up like Chloe had told her that there was going to be new episodes of Hawt Dawg Man or something. And not, you know, a date with her dumb punk ass.
Just hit the damn button Chloe so you can blow this already and tell Rachel you told her so. There’s no way someone as smart and talented as Max wants anything to do with me. She’s just doing this for old time’s sake.
Her finger taps the button and she locks the screen so she can’t stare at it and ratchet her anxiety up higher.
Ha. As if she has any control over her anxiety right now.
Her phone buzzes with Max’s reply and she takes a few deep breaths to try and steady her nerves. Her usual go to right now would be smoking, but she forgot her damn pack at home like a dumbass in her flurry of getting ready. At least I didn’t fuck up Rachel’s makeup job.
Is Max even going to like me with this much makeup on? She knew me before I ever started wearing any.
She does an impromptu drum solo on her steering wheel to try and get some of her nervous energy out, to mixed success when her eyes spot movement in the lobby of Max’s building. She turns in her seat, gets a look at her and promptly forgets to breathe. Chloe had said to dress up a bit, and Max had taken the liberty of wearing a flowing black dress with some matching leggings. It’s not nearly as showy as the things Rachel wears to parties and events, but there’s something about the way her freckled shoulders look under the straps that makes her heart squeeze. Those damn freckles, why do they have to be so cute?! Dammit, breathe, don’t be a total dweeb in front of Max because she grew up and got hot.
Fuck she is hot though.
I’m so boned.
Max spots her truck as she pushes out through the inner door and a great big dorky smile spreads across her face as she waves enthusiastically. Chloe waves back and scoots across the bench seat to throw the passenger door open. A moment later Max is climbing in, all winning and too god damn adorable smiles. “Hey Chloe!”
“Uh, hey Max! You look… hella great.”
Max’s cheeks go a bit red as she hunches her shoulders forwards, one hand rubbing the back of her neck. “I don’t know about that, but you look amazing.”
There’s no part of Chloe’s stolen blazer and worn black jeans that qualify as amazing to her, but if Max likes it she’s not about to complain. “Thanks,” Chloe tries to say as smoothly as she can muster despite the slight wobble in her tone, “You down for some food?”
“I’m hella starving.” Max replies with a cheeky grin as she shuts her door. “I’m so down for this ‘best taco truck in town’.”
Rolling up to a dumpy taco truck in her old brick with someone as gorgeous as Max suddenly has Chloe feeling like Max really deserves a better first and probably only date, but plans are plans. “Then let your noble steed be off, fair maiden!”
Max breaks out in gigglesnorts as Chloe pulls out of the parking lot. “You did not just use one of William’s lines on me!”
“I so hella did Caulfield, what’re you gonna do about it?” Chloe adds a wink, hoping it’ll cover up how obviously sweaty as hell her palms are right now.
“Oh, I’ve got something in mind.” Max says in a low tone that makes Chloe have to fight to not choke on her own spit.
Oh god, is Max actually flirting with me? I’m so not fucking ready for this. “You down to thrash a bit hippie?”
“As long as your bony elbows don’t hit me!” Max replies with a laugh and Chloe punches the radio on.
The scratchy punk from the local station starts blaring and Chloe internally breathes a sigh of relief at not having to try and deal with Max’s flirting for a moment. Oh god, I can hear Rachel laughing her ass off at me right now.
Max for her part grooves along, and Chloe has to focus to avoid going off the road because of it. God she still dances like a total dork! Fuck, it should be illegal to be this cute or something.
Thankfully they make it to the taco truck without Chloe running into anything, despite her distracted driving, and she pulls them up to the sidewalk. I just hope she likes it or this is going to be a hella lame date.
“Hungry Max?” Chloe asks as she throws her door open after shutting off the radio.
“I’m so hungry, you have no idea.” Max replies as she does the same before sheepishly admitting, “I also kinda skipped lunch.”
Chloe jumps out of her truck and jogs around the front of it as Max clambers out. “Jesus Christ Caulfield, no wonder you ended up so short.”
“What! Hey! Not all of us get to be so freakishly tall.” Max groans and sticks out her tongue.
“Yup, it’s just my burden to bear. Now what do you wanna eat?”
“I mean, you know what’s good here.” Max shrugs as she walks alongside Chloe towards the food truck. “Order for me?”
“Spicy or nah?”
“No way, never spicy.”
Chloe can’t help but laugh at the way Max shakes her head and waves her hands in the air. Yup, still a total dork. “Can do Maximo. Just wait here.”
Chloe skips ahead a few steps and shouts out, “¡Hola Alejandro!”
There’s a clattering sound inside the truck and a middle-aged man’s face appears, “¡Aha! ¡Flaca! ¿Como estas?”
“Muy bien, gracias. ¿Y tú?”
“Bein.” He says with a nod and a big smile.
“Bien, quatro numero doce con polo por favor.” Chloe says, before turning to grin at Max who looks a little stunned.
Alejandro sticks his head out to see what she’s looking at before pulling back in and grinning broadly. “¿Tu amor?”
Chloe shrugs, unable to keep the smile off of her face as she rubs the back of her head. Fuck, fuck, fuck! I forgot how to say that in Spanish. Way to go dumbass.
Alejandro, to his credit, doesn’t need it spelled out for him as he pokes his head back out and calls out to Max, “¡Hola bonita!”
Max freezes up for a moment before doing a little wave back. “H-hola.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.” Alejandro grins at her, before retreating back into the food truck to start working on the order.
Chloe pulls out her wallet from her blazer’s pocket and takes out approximately the right amount of money plus tip and drops it on the counter before jogging back to Max with a big idiot grin on her face. “And that’s the food!”
“I guess I should probably learn some Spanish if I’m going to be living large in LA, huh?” Max asks sheepishly, doing that thing she used to do when they were kids where she’d hold her arm.
“Prolly a good idea,” Chloe says as she moves to stand next to Max. “This shouldn’t take too long.”
“Maybe I should have brought a sweater, I always forget how cold it gets here when the sun goes down.”
“Here, stand next to me, the food should warm you up.” Chloe holds out her arm and Max doesn’t hesitate to tuck into her side.
A sort of silence settles in as Max hums softly to herself and chews on her lip while Chloe watches the window for the food. The pressure of Max against her feels good, great even, but it all feels so surreal. “I can’t believe we’re actually on a date.”
“Oh no?” Max giggles softly as she snakes an arm around Chloe’s waist, “What’s so unbelievable about it?”
“How about the part where you said yes?”
“When I told my parents, my dad announced that Joyce and mom owe him fifty bucks.”
“Wait, what?” Chloe somehow manages to not stammer.
“They all had a bet, our dads bet that we’d date some day.”
Chloe turns her eyes heavenwards, where the few stars visible in LA are starting to poke out as the sun sets. I guess you’re smiling on my dumb ass from up there, huh dad?
“¡Loca!” Alejandro shouts from the truck as he puts their food out.
“That’s us.” Chloe says before reluctantly pulling away from Max, “we’ll eat in the back of my truck, meet me there?”
“Sure thing.”
Chloe trots over, grabs the two trays of food. Damn, dude threw in tortilla chips gratis, I fucking owe him a bigass tip next time I come.
Max waits for her, standing next to the now open tailgate. “After you, mademoiselle.”
“You know French?” Chloe asks with a cocked eyebrow as she slides the trays into the bed before climbing up.
“I picked up a couple things from an ex.” Max shrugs as Chloe turns, offers her a hand and hauls her up into the bed.
They end up sitting together at the far end, their backs resting against the cab as Chloe divides the food between them. “Eat up, short stuff.”
“Oh my god, stop making fun of my height you beanstalk!” Max laughs as she elbows Chloe.
Chloe just cackles as she pulls out her first taco and takes her first bite. Come on Chloe, it’s Max, but it’s still a date so don’t eat like a total fucking slob.
She waits until she’s actually finished her first mouthful and swallowed before turning to Max, “How is it?”
“Oh my god I think I’m in love,” Max mutters as she finishes her first mouthful, “Legit the best taco I’ve ever had.”
“Did I tell you or did I tell you?” Chloe grins in triumph before taking another bite of her taco.
They don’t talk much as they consume their tacos, they’re too tasty. Chloe finishes first and has to resist the urge to shout her victory like they did when they were kids having stupid eating contests. Instead, she starts popping tortilla chips into her mouth and just kind of watching Max while she waits.
Damn, I’ve seen her a bunch since she moved here and I still can’t get over how damn cute she got. Like even her ‘ugly duckling’ pics from high school look great. I can’t believe I missed out on her braces years though, damn, that would have been hilarious to be around for. That or I would have gotten in a lot of fights for jackasses making fun of her, which wouldn’t have been much of a change honestly…
Max finishes her tacos and beams up at Chloe, “That was delicious! Thank you so much Chloe!”
“Hey, you deserve it, also hang on, you got some sour cream on your nose.” Chloe grabs a napkin and wipes it off, prompting a giggle from Max.
“You’re adorable.”
“You’re one to talk.”
Max laughs and steals a chip from Chloe’s basket before grinning at her as she eats it.
“What, hey! Those are my chips! You’ve got your own!”
“Yeah but yours are tastier!”
Oh my god, this old game. “What, you want me to feed them to you?”
Chloe’s heart skips a beat as Max’s cheeks flush red. “I-I mean, I wouldn’t mind…”
“Only if you feed me yours.” Chloe grins as she feels her own cheeks heating up.
“It's a deal then.”
Chloe holds up one of her chips to Max’s face, who promptly devours it before holding up one of her chips for Chloe, who returns the gesture. Before long they’re both grinning at each other like sappy idiots and swapping chips until their baskets run empty. Max makes a little disappointed noise as they run out and Chloe gathers up their baskets.
“I’ll run these back and we’ll hit the road?”
“Sure thing.” Max says, before stifling a yawn. “Man, I didn’t realize how late it’s getting already.”
“Nah, you’re just getting old, the night’s still young.”
Max jabs a finger into Chloe’s side before laughing, “You ass, don’t you know it’s rude to joke about a lady’s age?”
“I’m older than you!”
“I said a lady.” Max retorts with a smirk as they both get to their feet and hop out of the bed.
“You got me there Maximus Wrecked.”
Damn, I think this is actually going pretty well! She thinks to herself as she jogs back to the food stand and drops the baskets off on the outside counter. From inside Alejandro flashes her a double thumbs up and Chloe grins back at him before turning around to head back to her truck.
Max is already in the cab, holding herself and shivering a bit as Chloe gets in. “Definitely should have brought a sweater.”
Thinking fast, Chloe pulls off her blazer and holds it out to Max. “Here, until the heater decides to start working.”
“Thank you so much,” Max says as she puts the blazer on in a hurry, “This has been great.”
“Hey, you’re great so…”
There’s a giggle from Max before she stifles another yawn. “Dork. We should probably head back though. I had a crazy long day.”
Chloe’s heart sinks and her mind immediately starts racing for ways she fucked this up as she starts her truck up. “Oh, okay.”
“I had fun Chloe, seriously.” Max says, reaching out across the bench and laying her hand on Chloe’s forearm as she shifts the truck into gear. “We’ll have to do this again.”
Oh, okay, so I didn’t completely fuck it up. “Second date, huh?”
“Definitely,” Max smiles warmly as they pull out into the street, “Mind if I put some of my tunes on?”
“Sure, knock yourself out.”
Soft indie rock fills the cabin as Chloe drives back to Max’s place. Despite the promise of a second date, she really, really, really doesn’t want this to end. She’d hoped to go walking down the beach or something with max, maybe hit up a bar and get a little crazy.
Can’t you just be happy dumbass? You got the second date, just… take it easy. You know better than to rush Max of all fucking people.
The drive back to Max’s apartment is way too short, or maybe she’s so wrapped up in her thoughts that the usual nightmare of LA traffic barely registers. Either way, she’s sitting in front of Max’s building and wishing she was anywhere else in town with Max.
“So, uh…”
“Thank you, I had a wonderful evening,” Max says softly as she scoots across the bench seat and presses a gentle kiss into Chloe’s cheek, one hand cupping her chin.
It takes Chloe a second to remember what words are, much less how to put them together into sentences, but she does manage, eventually as she turns to look at Max. “You’re, uh, hella welcome.”
Something mischievous that ties Chloe’s guts in a knot sparkles in those brilliant blue eyes of Max as she smiles wide, “Do you hella want to come up to my apartment for some coffee?”
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hefellfordean · 8 months ago
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i thought we could maybe do with some fluff before tonight’s 9-1-1 episode so... established relationship buddie, 4 times they’re interrupted while having a moment + 1 time they aren’t!
read it on ao3
 I
“Okay, Chris is out for the count and hopefully not going to wake up for the next twelve hours,” Buck announces proudly as he returns to the living room.
Eddie snorts. “Yeah, that’s not happening, he’ll definitely be knocking on our door bright and early.”
“I can dream, can’t I?” Buck says. “Now, are we all set for movie night. Popcorn?”
“Check,” Eddie says, pointing at the large bowl on the coffee table.
“Beer?”
“Check. And there’s extra in the fridge.”
Buck grins. “Perfect. Super hot boyfriend?”
Eddie smirks and pats the space next to him on the couch. “Why don’t you come here and find out?”
“On my way,” Buck says, vaulting over the back of the sofa and landing on the cushion next to Eddie.
“Buck, for fuck’s sake, I’ve told you not to do that,” Eddie says, rolling his eyes, but nonetheless letting Buck tuck himself against his side.
Buck pouts, leaning into him. “Christopher thinks it’s cool.”
“Christopher is ten,” Eddie says pointedly. “And he’s nearly broken his Nintendo and my coffee table trying to copy you.”
“Well we wouldn’t want to risk the Nintendo,” Buck says, pressing a kiss to Eddie’s cheek when he groans. “So, movie?”
“Yeah,” Eddie says, pulling Buck tighter against him. “We need to watch Deadpool before Chimney has a conniption about yet another piece of pop culture passing you by.”
Buck snorts. “Good point.”
Eddie grabs the remote and presses play, enjoying the feeling of domesticity and – even though it’s been months since they got together – the fact that he gets to do this, to be with Buck like this. He’s never known such easy and comfortable intimacy with anyone.
They’re halfway through the movie and honestly, Eddie hasn’t been paying attention for the last twenty minutes. Not since Buck looked up at him, one hand curled around Eddie’s thigh, a teasing smirk on his face. Screw Chimney and his need for Buck to see every superhero movie in existence, there’s no way Eddie is making Buck move from where he’s now sprawled on top of him, pressing kisses to his jaw, just to keep watching Ryan Reynolds blow people up.
What does get him to move though, is a loud knocking on the front door. Eddie startles and sits up so quickly he sends Buck tumbling to the floor.
“Shit, I’m so sorry,” Eddie says as he jumps over Buck to get to the door.
“Sure, just leave me here,” Buck grumbles good-naturedly as he crawls back onto the couch.
Eddie swings the door open and sees Karen standing there, her face creased in concern.
“Karen? Is everything okay?”
She nods, smiling tightly. “Yeah, I’m sorry to bother you, but is there any chance you have Nia’s unicorn? We can’t find it and she just won’t sleep without it. I thought maybe she left it when she and Denny were here earlier.”
“Oh I’ve been there,” Eddie says, stepping aside. “Why don’t you come in and we’ll have a look.”
“Thank you,” Karen says, following Eddie into the living room. “Hey, Buck. Sorry to interrupt – wait why are you on the floor?”
“Eddie left me here,” Buck pouts and Eddie sighs.
“As you can see, I actually have two children,” he tells Karen and she laughs.
“I think we already knew that.”
Buck pouts further before his face splits into a grin and he jumps to his feet. “Anyway, Karen, what’s up?”
“I think Nia might have left her unicorn here and she won’t sleep without it,” Karen explains again. “You haven’t seen it, have you?”
“Oh,” Buck frowns. “You know, I think I might have seen it in Chris’ room. I’ll go sneak in and look.”
He bounds down the hallway and Eddie watches him go fondly. When he turns back, Karen is smiling at him.
“What?”
She shakes her head. “Nothing, it’s just… it’s really good to see you so happy.”
Eddie blushes and shrugs. “It’s all Buck.”
“I bet,” she agrees. “But he’s happier too. There were a couple of times over the last few years when Hen and I thought he wouldn’t get to be this happy – and I know he worried about that too.”
“He was,” Eddie says, thinking about how scared Buck had been after their first kiss, just desperately afraid that he’d ruined everything and lost Eddie and Christopher forever. “I think I’ve managed to convince him otherwise.”
“Found it!” Buck announces, interrupting whatever Karen was going to say.
He runs back into the room, brandishing a stuffed unicorn, nearly smacking Eddie in the face with it.
“You’re a life-saver,” Karen says, taking the unicorn off him. “I better get back. I’ll leave you to whatever it was you were doing on the floor before I got here.”
She wiggles her eyebrows suggestively and Eddie hides his blush in Buck’s shoulder. Karen leaves, waving the unicorn triumphantly as she gets into her car. Buck and Eddie wave her off and then Eddie lets Buck drag him back to the couch, arms wrapping around his middle.
“So,” Buck says. “Deadpool?”
Eddie sighs. “Yeah, Deadpool.”
 II
Eddie is about ninety percent sure that he and Buck can’t be arrested for public indecency. They’re in a side-street beside the bar where no one can see them and besides they’re only making out. Sure, his hands are definitely not above Buck’s waistline but his boyfriend is wearing sinfully tight jeans and Eddie is many things, but he’s not a saint.
“Eddie,” Buck mumbles, detaching himself just enough to be able to speak. “Want to get out of here?”
“Yes.” Eddie is agreeing before Buck has finished speaking.
Buck grins. “Good. I’d say ‘your place or mine’ but since Carla is looking after Christopher at your house…”
“Shut up and order the Uber,” Eddie complains, before dragging Buck into another kiss.
They stumble out of the alleyway and Buck winds an arm around Eddie’s waist.
“I don’t know how you expected me to order an Uber while you were distracting me that much,” Buck sniggers as he clumsily thumbs at his phone.
Eddie shrugs, leaning further into Buck. “You’re a smart guy, you would have figured it out.”
“Uh-huh,” Buck grins. “Sure.” He presses a messy kiss to Eddie’s cheek, then squints at his phone. “Trevor in a black SUV will be picking us up in ten.”
“Great,” Eddie says, then frowns, looking at the bar across the road. “Hey is that –”
“Buck, Eddie,” May calls, and then she’s stumbling across the road towards them.
Buck and Eddie both reach out to catch her when it seems like she might trip on the curb, but she keeps herself upright. From up close, Eddie can see she’s been crying, her eyes are puffy and her makeup is smudged.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Buck asks and then May is folding herself into his embrace, crying into the shirt that he embarrassingly likes to call his ‘Eddie-magnet’.
Buck looks at Eddie in bewilderment, who returns the look. He’d never been particularly good with his sisters when they were upset either.
“May, you need to take a deep breath and tell us what happened,” Eddie says using his dad-voice which makes Buck look up and smirk at him.
May nods against Buck’s shoulder and sniffs. “It’s just, I went out with some girls I went to high school with and they just kept handing me shots even though I didn’t want to drink that much.”
“Been there,” Buck mutters and May gives him a weak smile.
“Then what happened?” Eddie prompts.
“I wasn’t feeling well so I went to the bathroom and when I came back everyone was gone. The bartender said they all left to go to a club, and I couldn’t find my phone or my purse and…”
She dissolves into tears at that and Buck hugs her again, leaving Eddie to gently pet her hair.
“They sound like terrible people and even worse friends,” Buck says. “You should never leave someone behind on a night out – especially if they’ve been drinking.”
Eddie nods in agreement and May sighs. “They weren’t really friends. Just people I know and thought I could at least have a good time with. Now I can’t get home and my mom is going to kill me for getting this wasted.”
Buck immediately looks at Eddie who mentally says goodbye to all the plans he had of keeping Buck in bed with him for the next twelve hours.
“It’s okay May,” Eddie reassures her. “We’re getting an Uber, you can just come home with us and then tomorrow we’ll drive you back here to see if we can find your stuff. Is your mom expecting you home tonight?”
May shakes her head. “No, I was supposed to be staying at Lacey’s.”
“We’ll take you home tomorrow then,” Buck promises. “Your mom will be none the wiser. Besides, I’ve got a great couch, you’ll sleep like a baby.”
May smiles shakily. “Thank you, guys,” she says. “I don’t know what I’d have done without you.”
“Next time, call one of us,” Buck insists. “We’ll come and get you. Right, Eddie?”
“Definitely,” Eddie says. “You can make it up to us by picking Christopher up when he’s old enough to go out.”
May laughs. “It’s a deal.”
Buck squeezes her and then points to a black SUV. “I think that’s our ride.”
They bundle themselves into the back of the car, May between the two of them, and head home. May is half-asleep on Eddie’s shoulder by the time they get to Buck’s apartment and just about manages to kick her shoes off once she’s inside before stumbling over to the couch and collapsing onto it. She’s fast asleep by the time Buck and Eddie have taken off their own shoes and jackets and sourced a blanket for her which Buck carefully drapes over her sleeping form.
When they get up the stairs to Buck’s bedroom, Eddie pulls him into a hug.
“You’re a good big brother,” he says and Buck blushes.
“I’m not her brother,” he mumbles and Eddie presses a finger to his lips.
“You’re as good as, you know Bobby sees you as his kid,” Eddie says and Buck smiles softly. “Now come on, Buckley, if we can’t do anything fun you might as well spoon me.”
Buck grins as he changes for bed. “Don’t act like you aren’t the cuddler in this relationship, Edmundo.”
“Shut up,” Eddie says, already under the covers and waiting for Buck to join him. “And don’t call me Edmundo.”
“Sure thing, baby,” Buck says as he slides in behind him, arms wrapping around Eddie’s waist, one leg carelessly thrown over both of Eddie’s.
Eddie sighs, but can’t quite keep a smile from creeping onto his face as he curls his fingers around Buck’s. “Good night, Evan.”
“Night Eds.”
 III
Eddie had really, really been looking forward to going to lunch with Buck and Christopher and celebrating his birthday quietly. Unfortunately, the flu wiping out most of the second shift had halted those plans right in their tracks, with both him and Buck being called into work with the rest of the crew.
So not only does he have to work on his birthday, but it’s also a shift from hell, with two car accidents in the morning, followed by a man running over his neighbour with a lawnmower in the afternoon, interrupting their lunch.
When they drag themselves back to the firehouse, Eddie is half convinced he can still hear the way the guy was screaming as Chimney and Hen tried to stabilise him while Buck and Eddie pulled the machine off him. He isn’t even that hungry but he forces himself to eat some of the chili Buck plates up for him.
“You okay?” Buck asks quietly when they take their plates over to the dishwasher.
Eddie nods. “Yeah, just tired.”
Buck grabs his hand, lacing their fingers together and rubbing his thumb comfortingly over Eddie’s knuckles. “Why don’t we go take a nap then? Before the next call. You don’t have to force yourself to hang out just because it’s your birthday.”
“The others aren’t going to think I’m grumpy and anti-social if I do that?” Eddie questions, already following Buck towards the bunk room.
Buck laughs. “I mean you kind of are, but it’s okay, we all love you anyway. It’s your birthday and you’re tired, so if you want to nap, let’s nap.”
“God, I kind of really love you,” Eddie groans as they walk into the bunk room.
Buck smiles, cheeks tinged pink as they always are when Eddie says things like that. “I love you too, Eds. Sorry your birthday wasn’t what you hoped it would be.”
Eddie shrugs, unlacing his boots. “it’s alright, Buck. I knew what I was getting into when I decided to be a firefighter.”
“Still,” Buck says, patting the bed. “Let’s have that birthday nap.”
He settles back against the headboard and Eddie crawls in after him, wrapping his arms around Buck’s middle, resting his head on Buck’s chest. Buck settles a hand in Eddie’s hair, gently scratching at his scalp.
“Comfy?” Buck asks and Eddie can hear the smile in his voice.
“Uh-huh,” Eddie sighs, closing his eyes as Buck draws the covers up over him.
He’s rudely awakened what feels like far too little time later, by Chimney walking into the bunk room, loudly talking to Maddie on Facetime. Eddie sits up with a jolt, nearly smacking into Buck’s chin.
“Chimney, man, what the fuck?” Buck asks, one hand resting protectively on Eddie’s chest.
For his part, Chimney only looks partly apologetic, a smirk on his face as he eyes the two of them. “Sorry, Buckaroo, I was just trying to talk to Maddie in peace. I didn’t know you guys were in here.”
“Well now you know,” Eddie groans, leaning back into Buck.
“Yeah, sorry, Eddie,” Chimney says, more sincerely this time. “I’ll leave you guys to it.”
“Happy Birthday!” Maddie’s voice comes from Chim’s phone.
Eddie sighs. “Thanks, Maddie.”
“Out,” Buck orders and Chim grins, before backing out of the room, already laughing about what happened with Maddie.
“I’m sorry,” Buck says, kissing Eddie’s messy hair.
Eddie shrugs, turning to press his face into Buck’s chest. “It’s okay, probably for the best I don’t sleep the whole afternoon away.”
Buck nods. “Yeah, that’s true. Hey, why don’t we Facetime Christopher?”
“That’s a good idea,” Eddie says, smiling into Buck’s shirt.
“I’m known to have them occasionally,” Buck teases.
Eddie nods. “Yep, once a year.”
Buck whines, protesting but digs his phone out of his pocket to give to Eddie anyway. “You’re the worst, but at least your kid is great.”
 IV
“Oh you are so dead, Buckley,” Eddie yells, ripping his mask and gloves off and stalking through the crowd of firefighters to the ambulance where Hen is dabbing at a cut on Buck’s face.
Buck looks apologetic, but he’s also already opening his mouth to argue. “Eddie, I had to.”
“Did you?” Eddie demands. “Why exactly did you have to remove your mask and then get hit in the face by falling debris? I thought you were dead, Evan. You came out of that house barely standing with your whole face covered in blood!”
“It’s just a scratch – you know what head wounds are like! They bleed like nobody’s business,” Buck insists. “Tell him, Hen!”
Hen sighs when he turns beseeching eyes on her. “It’s not just a scratch, it’s going to need stitches,” she says, holding up a hand to hush Eddie when he lets out a triumphant ‘Hah!’. “But it’s also not that bad. He doesn’t have a concussion, and it probably won’t scar too badly either.”
Buck raises his eyebrows as if to say ‘see?’, then winces when the movement aggravates his cut. Eddie scowls at him.
“That still doesn’t make what you did alright, Evan,” he hisses. Buck looks down at the ground and Eddie grabs his face between his hands, fingers curving gently along Buck’s jaw. “You could have been killed.”
“That guy would have died, if I hadn’t given him my oxygen,” Buck says stubbornly, but his eyes are imploring Eddie to understand. “How would I have lived with myself, if I had let him die when I could have saved him?”
Eddie lets go of Buck to scrub his hands over his own face. “And how would I have lived, knowing you died, huh?”
Buck’s face crumples. “I didn’t think of it that way. I’m sorry, Eds.”
“C’mere,” Eddie relents, holding his arms out for Buck to fall into.
Buck squeezes him tightly, face pressed to Eddie’s turnout coat, almost certainly getting blood all over it, but Eddie just revels in the feeling of being able to hold Buck close, knowing he’s safe.
“If you’re going to do something that stupid again, at least let me know first,” Eddie says into Buck’s hair and he can feel his boyfriend nod.
“Yeah, I will, I promise.”
Eddie can’t help the laughter that escapes him. “You won’t, will you?”
Buck pulls away from him and shrugs, a small smile on his face. “I’ll try?”
“Good enough,” Eddie says with an eye-roll.
He presses a couple of kisses to Buck’s head, only to be interrupted by an unimpressed throat-clearing. He turns to see Hen, still standing next to them, gauze in her hand and a long-suffering look on her face.
“Not that you two aren’t incredibly cute,” she says in a tone of voice that Eddie just knows means she and Chim are going to be making fun of them for weeks. “But can I please have my patient back so we can go back to the firehouse?”
Eddie flushes. “Yes, of course. Sorry, Hen.”
She grins fondly, then turns to Buck. “For the record, Buckaroo, I agree with your man. Stop doing stupid things. Now, hold still and let me stitch you up.”
Buck sighs dramatically, then holds out a hand towards Eddie. “Stay with me while the mean paramedic fixes me?”
“There’s not enough medicine in the world to fix what’s wrong with you, Buckaroo,” Hen grumbles fondly.
Eddie laughs but reaches for Buck’s hand, gripping it tightly. “I’ve got you, baby.”
“Aw,” Hen coos at Buck, making him colour and both her and Eddie laugh again.
“I hate you both,” Buck says huffily.
Eddie shakes his head. “Nah, you don’t.”
“No,” Hen agrees. “He really doesn’t.”
 +I
“Buck, move closer,” Christopher orders and Buck does as he’s told, moving closer to the lion enclosure, the birthday-boy clinging to his back like a koala.
“They’re so lazy,” Eddie says, squinting at the big cats lounging in the shade.
Buck grins at him. “Lions sleep up to twenty hours a day, which is almost as much as you, Eds.”
Christopher giggles and Eddie sighs dramatically.
“I should have known you two would always gang up on me,” he declares and Christopher reaches out to pat his face.
“It’s okay dad, I won’t let Bucky be too mean.”
Eddie smiles at his son, whose little head is resting on Buck’s shoulder. “Thanks, buddy, I appreciate that. Now, what animal is next?”
“Hippos!” Christopher yells and Eddie grins when Buck winces at the volume that is much too close to his ear.
“You know hippopotamus means river horse in ancient Greek,” Buck says conversationally and Eddie can’t help but smile as he always does when his boyfriend randomly spouts facts.
Christopher wrinkles his nose. “They don’t look like horses at all, Bucky.”
Buck laughs. “I know superman. What can I say, the Greeks were weird dudes. You know they thought a god with a flaming carriage is what pulled the sun across the sky?”
“What?” Christopher gapes and Eddie smiles, already seeing himself having to order books about Greek mythology to appease his knowledge-hungry kid.
They reach the hippo enclosure and head into the dim half-light of the tunnel that allows visitors to see the hippos when they’re underwater. Christopher is excitedly pointing out the two that he can see lazily floating in the water, huge bodies visible through the thick glass when Eddie’s phone rings. He pulls it out of his pocket and scowls when he sees it’s his parents.
Buck glances over at him and rolls his eyes when Eddie shows him the screen.
“I thought you told them that we were going to the zoo today?” he asks and Eddie shrugs.
“They’re probably calling to check I didn’t let Chris get eaten by tigers or trampled by elephants,” he grumbles, just quietly enough that Chris can’t hear him and Buck shoots him a sympathetic look.
He reaches a hand out to stroke the back of Eddie’s neck. “Hey, don’t let them upset you. Chris is having a great time and he wanted to go here for his birthday. We can talk to them later when we’re home.”
Eddie looks up at his son, who is leaning so far over Buck’s shoulder that his face is almost pressed to the glass. He nods and steps closer to his partner and son, putting his phone back in his pocket and wrapping an arm around Buck’s waist. He rests his head next to Christopher’s on Buck’s shoulder and smiles. He’s enjoying his time with his family, everything else can wait.
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keravnous · 26 days ago
Text
- agent 14/agent steve haines; american money
It's a Thursday and it's raining. The raindrops are heavy and loud on impact, running down his windshield like tears. He's on his way to the set and he prays that it'll clear up soon.
"This show will kill you", Warren sits on his bed, sheets lazily draped over his legs. Steve can see where his pubic hair begins and his mouth waters. Warren takes a long drag from his cigarette, blows the smoke into the air.
"It fucking won't, nothing can", Steve's leaning against the door frame, coffee in hand.
"Fuck yes, it can. And it will, lurking around at Forum Drive all day and for what? Two minutes of frightening pictures that will make Karens all over LS go buck wild."
"Who's Karen?"
"Forget about it. Let me suck your dick, Haines, c'mere."
As he arrives near the recreational center and pulls into one of the lots it has indeed stopped raining. The streets are still wet but the sun's coming out again and the air is already mushy with the reblooming heat. There's a lanky man with a dog and he's yelling into his phone - the man that is, not the dog.
He knows who the guy is, even though he most likely doesn't know him, probably he doesn't even know that Steve exists. He's an associate of Franklin Clinton and the Bureau keeps a close eye on him, due to the nature of Clinton being so close with Townley and Philips.
Steve watches Lamar, leaning against the hood of his car, the remaining rain wetting his thigh through the denim.
"Man Frank, you just ain't around no more, homie. That's all I'm saying. Yeah - Yeah, sure whatever, dog - Yeah, fuck yourself too, homie."
He hangs up and stuffs his phone back into his pocket. The dog looks at him. "Man, you get the fool more than I do, Chop. Wassup with him, can you tell me? He always been that fool, but something ain't right there."
Steve knows what ain't right there. Franklin must've picked up by now, or maybe Townley told him, what they were up to that one afternoon at the warehouse. And for what he knows about Clinton and what the intel tells him, the young man probably isn't much of a big fan of government-approved interrogation techniques.
And he probably also won't like what Steve has next in stock. Warren was a little careless the last time around, tongue loosend by sweet kisses and a hand around his dick, when he spoke about a securicar delivering important IAA files soon. It won't hurt 14 but it would definitely aid Steve an awful lot, so he decided to send the boys on the road again, maybe on Tuesday.
The production team's van rolls up next to him and they swarm around him like a stock of bees buzzes around their queen and then there's sound and light checks being run and a woman applies powder to his face. Lamar Davis has not moved a single step. Their eyes meet.
"What are you idiots doing here?", he hollers. Steve wonders if he could be of use.
"We're shooting a show", he replies, while the attach a little microphone to his collar, "The Underbelly of Paradise, you surely have already seen an episode or two."
"You're that Haines-guy then?", something in Lamar's voice makes his skin crawl, his files told Steve that he too is a gangster after all, killing and robbing are some of Davis' favourites. The look he shoots him isn't much friendlier.
"In the flesh", Steve dusts of the sleeves of his polo shirt.
"Yeah, aight. Fuck you then, man. C'mon Chop, we best be leavin', homie. Imma take you back to Frank's crib", oh, there is something in Lamar's voice that Steve definitely doesn't like at all but he just smiles politely at the man, until he's around the corner and out of sight. Steve's smile drops.
"Can we hurry this up a little, people? I don't got all day!" The bees start buzzing again.
_
The raid on the Humane goes by easier than expected. They are in Warren's living room, as the news inform about the incident. Steve is just pouring himself another glass of wine and Warren looks at him.
He knows, that the other one knows. It's a cover story the IAA will buy, but not Warren. Pain shoots through his legs as he slowly makes his way towards the sofa.
Warren mouths a few words at him. Be careful. Steve nods and leans over, places a soft kiss on his shoulder.
"Learned from the best", he whispers and Warren jerks.
"What?", there's panic in his voice.
"The Rashkovsky Job? The breakout and then his research goes missing?"
Warren blinks at him in disbelief.
"So, did he let you know if he likes it in South America?"
They laugh and Steve feels light, his fingertips tingle with it.
_
Steve's on his balcony. There's a saxophonist a few meters down the road, playing some Sinatra pieces and the music wraps itself around him like a blanket. The musician's interpretation reaks of melancholy and reminds Steve of the golden days of Vinewood cinema, noir films and cigarette smoke. Musicians playing at street corners isn't something foreign in a city where everyone has dreams of being the next big national superstar, but Steve usually hates him with his guts. This one's different. It touches him and he finds himself enjoying the dark, warm tunes that float through the cool air. It will be autumn soon and Steve's glad that the heat will be gone.
Warren watches him from the inside, leaning against the kitchen counter, lips curled in a smile.
_
Steve has always hated Michael's bloated and ugly, fat face and now he even gets to point a gun at it. It feels like his birthday and christmas fall on the same day.
"They know or they think they know that I'm the one that was behind the incident."
They stare each other into the ground, guns raised. Steve's ready to fire, has been from the minute Townley walked onto the plaza for the first time.
"Put the weapons down, boys. Fun time's over!", Steve wants to sigh. This is not happening. And then they are suddendly surrounded by their own man Sanchez has sent and then fucking Merryweather's there, too. This is not fucking happening. And so he does the only thing he's always been good at.
"We all know you Agency boys are balls deep in a plot to drive up your fundings by any means necessary", he shouldn't have said that. Warren trusted him with that info, even showed him the intel. He sees something moving behind Agent ULP's eyes, it's fear. He's got him.
Suddendly there's a loud pop and then pain shooting through his left leg. "Same goddamn leg", he blurts out as hell starts to break loose around him. Sanchez blood sprays the concrete in a bright red as the bullet pierces his skull. Steve wishes it would've been Michael instead.
He runs until he can't take the pain no more, then cowers on the ground, slowly robbing behind cover, as Dave and Michael pick up the gun fight. He's bleeding heavily, red liquid rushing out of the wound and drenching his cargos. It seems like the bullet is stuck and maybe has wounded some arteries. He figures that he probably hasn't that much time left. He strips himself out of his shirt and wraps it around his leg, adding pressure on his thigh, just above the bullet wound.
He thinks about Warren. Oh dear God, don't let me die today.
_
"What did you do?", it's Warren, he's sitting at Steve's kitchen table.
"Did you let yourself in, pretty boy?"
"What happend?", he sounds furious now, gets up and his eyes bore into Steve's. He's dizzy with it, with what Warren's gaze tells him, let's him know without saying a word.
"Nothing, it's nothing."
"You got shot!"
"Yeah, the same leg."
"That's - you're-"
Steve wraps his arms around him and presses him close and Warren releases a surprised noise. "I'm still here", he says and it's more for and to himself, than for Warren but the other doesn't seem to care, burying his face in Steve's neck.
The world's a little brighter and warmer and Steve doesn't feel that threatend anymore. He has to make a phone call, but that can wait a few more minutes.
_
He has a team on the way to the plant, it will be alright. They'll be gone for good, just another casualty. He sighs, takes a deep breath and throws the script on the seat across from him.
"Are the cameras rolling? Yes? How do I look, the chin's sharp?"
Warren looks at him, eyes still a little hazy from his last orgasm and Steve turns his head and looks at him. He's so pretty and Steve's heart misses a beat.
"I-", his voice breaks and Warren blinks.
"Yeah?"
"I hate you."
Warren laughs. It's deep and dripping with amusement, running down Steve's body like hot honey. He rolls himself over, on top of Warren, who's still laughing deep in his chest, burying a hand in Steve's blond hair.
"No. No, you don't."
They look at each other and their gazes turn soft. "Sometimes I do", Steve's voice is quiet, honesty seeping through his words, "But sometimes I-, I would burn the world down to protect you."
Warren's hand caresses his neck. "My life would be so very boring without you, Haines. It nearly makes me forget that I just really want to skin you alive, sometimes."
It's not really an I love you - I love you too, but it's as close as they can get without hurting their egos. The kiss is soft and sweet and a promise.
"Hi, I'm Steve Haines. I've tracked down killers, attacked incompetence and taken down terrorist cells, and tonight -"
The gunshot rips through the night and the camera man throws himself back, lands unpleasently on his back.
"My god! The guy! What's-his-name! Fuck, shit, they shot him!", he stares down at the dead man, blood rushing out of the bullet wound in the back of his head. The impact had torn some skin and skull apart and there's a nasty opening, his brain leaks out of it. The camera man vomits out of the gondola as sirens erupt in the night.
_
Warren has his feet up on the coffee table, mindlessly zapping through the programs. It's all shallow and boring and he hopes that Steve will be home soon. Home.
His stomach does a funny little flip and Warren smiles to himself, wraps the blanket around him tighter. It smells of him, his perfume. He closes his eyes and he can practically feel Steve's hand creeping around his neck, resting on his shoulder, heavy and warm. It's always like that, when he comes in on Warren sitting on the sofa. He will lean down and place a feather light kiss on the back of his head, maybe rest his nose there for a moment, taking the other man's scent in for a few seconds, before getting up again and ranting about Norton or another colleague. A fuzzy warmth spreads in his stomach and Warren sighs. A sudden noise interrupts his daydreaming and he lazily opens an eye at the TV. It's a Weazle Broadcast.
"We interrupt our nightly program for an important message. We just recieved notice that FIB Special Agent Steve Haines has been shot on duty at the Del Pierro Pier. Agent Haines died a hero, doing what he loved, which was presenting a TV show. He helped combine the chaos of anti-terrorism and the mindlessness of network television into one highly successful career. Mr. Haines, who was not married, leaves behind his mother."
The world goes silent.
_
He's not moving. Has not in hours, maybe it's even a full day at this point. He has not eaten, has not showered, has not moved at all.
Warren feels like a dead man. The thought makes a bitter laugh splutter over his lips and then has him break out in tears immediately after.
It's a scary thought that people continue to live their lives, acknowledging that an agent passed away last night but they are now out and about, at their jobs, maybe seeing friends or family. A lover, even. They are busy living their life's while Warren's just dissolved in a matter of seconds.
It's a scary thought being ripped off of something so dear so abruptly, it's scary how it ripped a hole it Warren's chest that is now filled with a black, emotionless but equally painful void that nags, tears and claws at him.
It's a scary thought that he's alone again.
His body, his throat gives in and he's rolling on his side, screaming and tearing at the blanket, fingers grabbing at the fabric, as his knuckles turn white. He's screaming and screaming and screaming until his throat is sore and his eyes burn and the only noises that leave his mouth are little pathetic whines of exhaustion and the gasping for air. The pain in his chest takes his breath away, chokes him and makes him want to curl up, bore a knife into it, twist and turn it until it goes away. He feels like vomiting.
_
It's Sunday. It's been a little over 30 hours. Warren is tired, but everytime he tries to close his eyes he sees him, hears his laughter ring in his ears. It hurts. It hurts so much, he has hardly any words left to describe the agony he is going through.
His head hurts too, so does his throat and his stomach, with the constant throwing up and the lack of hydration. But he can't bring himself to get up, to grab a glass of water and drown some pain killers and go to bed. His legs are heavy and he just doesn't have the energy.
Warren feels like dying but he's also so painfully alive.
_
He's wide awake. He'll need to find a solution for how he's going to be able to go to work tomorrow.
But for now he's wrapping himself in Steve's blanket, the one he sleeps in when he's been over, inhaling the fading scent.
_
"Agent 14?"
His eyes are red, bloodshot and his fingers are trembling, seconds away from shaking. He had powder this morning to just make it somehow and it's slowly wearing off. He hasn't been on coke since college and it sent him on a murder high, blood pumping like a race horse only to now let him dive head-first into a killer hole.
It's been three days since Steve left his life both, quiet and eardrum-tearing loudly, and it feels like a nightmare, eternal and burning hot. He's empty inside but there's also just so much pain, it feels like he's breaking into pieces. His stomach clenches and his heartbeat is heavy, vibrates thickly in his chest and he just wants to die, too.
"Mrs. Rackham", his voice is rough, it doesn't bother to hide that Warren had been crying and screaming his lungs out every night since Steve's brain had been splattered onto the ferris wheel.
"I need to talk to you."
This is about Avon and Clifford, he's sure. His hand shakes and coffee spills on his desk. He curses under his breath and reaches for a tissue but Mrs. Rackham grabs his hand with force. They look at each other. Warren blinks.
"You are not in a good condition. I don't need explanations or lies, 14. I want to offer you my sincere condolences on your loss, Mister Jones. "
Warren takes a deep breath but he can't keep his eyes from tearing up.
"Take the week off, Agent", as he's not moving, shocked and dumbfounded, she starts to pick his jacket up, "Go now, I'll cover you up."
He gets on his feet, knees weak and body shaking, takes his jacket from her hands.
"Thank you, Phoenicia", he means it.
She looks at him. "I'm sorry", and she means it, too, "The IAA could've done some-"
"Don't."
She nods sharply and then looks at him once more, eyes piercing.
"I lost my husband in service as well, Iraq in 2004."
And then they're hugging, Warren is burrying his face into her neck and wailing like a little child.
_
It's a weird feeling and it fucks with his head as his gaze falls on the door of his apartment. He could've sworn that he heard the key turning the lock. He stares and stares and stares and it feels like his brain is readying for Steve to come through the door anytime.
He doesn't.
_
It's midnight and he had five more moments like the door-lock one earlier. He feels like he may go insane.
Warren fumbles for his phone on the nightstand and opens up Eyefind, types his thoughts into the searchbar.
At the end of his research he's left with two possibilities: it's either a stage of grief (denial they call it - dying's more fitting, Warren thinks) or the sideeffects of the coke slowly wearing off.
_
It's raining. It's like the heavens above are pissing down on him. Warren's crying while the rain relentlessly pounds on his umbrella.
He's standing a few meters away from the funeral party. Steve's mother bails her eyes out and he would like to go over to her and wrap her im his arms but he would just be a stranger to her.
There's a saxophonist in front of the cementry. He's playing Sinatra's Summer Wind, sounding sad but warm nonetheless. Steve's family probably thinks of that as a weird coincidence but Warren has spent two full nights finding the man again, who has played down at Steve's street corner all those months ago. It was difficult and time consuming, but not impossible.
There's a new wave of tears making their way out of Warren's eyes and he has to clasp a hand on his mouth to stop the painful noises from making their way into the soft air of spring. He feels like he's breaking apart, torn into two pieces.
He cries and cries and cries until the funeral party is long gone any the sun sets. The saxophonist is still playing.
_
When Warren comes home the sun's gone for some while and it's dark out. There's a light burning in his kitchen. For a moment, just a split second, it feels like Steve will swing around the corner. But he doesn't.
He walks into the kitchen to find a bouquet of white lillies sitting on the countertop. He checks the card attached to them.
Sorry about your loss.
He doesn't recognize the handwriting, it looks like it could've been written by someone who's older than Warren, male maybe, but his last Hand Writing and Letter Indentification Course was two years ago. He figures his cleaner, a nice elderly lady, had put them there. He thinks about her seeing the bouquet on the door step and carefully carrying them inside, placing them in the only vase Warren has at home. It makes him both sad and glad, glad that at least she's still around.
_
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.
14 would've liked to ask Robert Frost if he was just stupid or naive or both.
_
Two days later he's so angry at the world that he grabs the vase and throws it across the room, where it collides with the wall and breaks in a thousand little pieces.
_
The anger keeps on coming, rage that boils hot and white in his stomach, makes him lash out at colleagues and scream his lungs out, throwing things and fits like it's nothing.
He finds himself beating into walls and furniture until his knuckles bleed.
Mrs. Rackham puts him onto another break, Temporarily Suspended Until Further Notice the record reads.
_
Warren's awake, restless but exhausted, again. It's three in the morning. His head hurts, his bones hurts, his whole body feels heavy.
"I should've stopped you from going", he whispers into the night and his mind conjurs up Steve's voice, consoling him.
"No, really. I should have been more persistent. If you just would've stayed with me that night."
Steve answers him again, but it sounds washed out in Warren's ear.
Oh, please don't let me forget his voice.
_
He's not moving again. Hasn't done so in two days.
Mrs. Rackham continues to call him, but he won't pick up. He can't handle her, can't handle her sorrow and her advices. He doesn't want to hear it. She would probably also bug him about not showing up for work again and that's just something he really doesn't want to hear right now.
It's phone rings again and he picks it up to throw it against the wall with all the force he can possibly muster, so it would just shut up, but it's not Phoenicia calling this time. It's Lester.
"14? This is Crest." He doesn't sound good. Warren doesn't know what to say.
"I am, ehrm, calling to see how you're doing?" Odd. He can't bring himself to say anything back. "You know I, err, saw you didn't clock in to work for a few days? Are you doing, ehrm, well?"
"Yeah", it sounds as broken as he feels. There's an uncomfortable silence on the other end of the line for a few seconds, maybe even for a full minute. He hears Lester's inhaler.
"I, well I err heard about Haines."
It should send him into a rage, a fit, maybe even crying manically but there's just nothing. Just the casual numbness that hangs above him like thick clouds these days.
"Yeah, a shame, isn't it?"
There's coughing, then deep breaths being taken. "You're not doing too well, Crest?"
"Can we meet up, 14? I", another cough, "I know a place."
_
The sun's out and it burns in Warren's eyes, on his skin, even though he's wearing both, a jacket and sunglasses. Crest sits across from him at the table, not touching his iced coffee. So isn't Warren, he is neither thirsty nor hungry.
They are at a bean machine on Vinewood Boulevard. It's one of the stores Steve used to buy his coffee at. There should be stining pain at the thought but there's just sadness, blackness wandering through Warren's mind.
"You don't look too good", Crest says.
"You neither", Warren says and to mask the shaking of his voice he takes a sip from the coffee. It tastes like nothing, like liquid paper.
"I don't feel to good either. But you also don't, so what's the matter, 14."
Warren just shrugs. Lester looks at him, a steady and stern gaze, as if he's looking for answers in Warren's eyes, in his fucking soul.
"What are we doing here?"
"Just looking after a, err, friend."
"We're not friends, Crest."
"Associates then, maybe?", the look on his face is a little sad, offended. Warren can't bring himself to care.
"Yeah, whatever."
"Any lead, yet?"
Warren lifts his eyebrows in suprise. "A lead?"
"Yeah, you know", Crest clears his throat and leans in a little, "Who did it, you know."
Maybe Warren's mind is playing tricks on him again, but Crest looks a little concerned.
"No, none. Nothing."
Crest nods and leans back. Lester doesn't offer his help, so Warren decides that he then won't ask for it. Still confused and mouth already opened he wants to know why, as Lester's lungs throw a fit, his body cramping and being thrown forward and then back again by his dry coughs. Warren's up on his feet in a matter of seconds, his heartbeat picking up a fast rate he hasn't feeled in weeks, adrenaline rushing through his veins. He grabs Lester by his shoulders and holds him up, while he coughs coughs coughs. At the end of it there's blood on his chin.
"You're not planing on dying as well, are you?"
The look Lester shoots him, slumped in his chair with other guests on the terrace staring at them in shock, makes Warren's skin crawl.
_
He hasn't been at an attorney's office ever. It's a weird experience.
The people are nice and calm and so is Mister Allan, who has Steve's testament laying in front of him.
"So, Mister Jones, shall we get started then?"
Warren nods. It still confuses him. He wonders what Steve's mother thought, when she heard that she won't inherit everything. Warren doesn't want money, money won't replace anything.
He must've said that out loud, because Allan chuckles.
"Mister Haines hasn't left you money. No need to worry, Mister Jones."
He leaves the office with a black box tucked safely under his arm. He doesn't open it, not in the office, not on the way out in the elevator, not at home. He tucks it away in his closet, deep down where he keeps a ski puffer, that he never wears anyways.
_
He finds himself talking to Steve, or what his mind conjurs up of his memories, more often. It helps him, or so he hopes.
He misses him and the soliloquy is a good substitute, at least for now.
_
They are at a clinic just above the hills and behind the Vinewood sign, far away from the city, the air is dry and crisp nonetheless. Lester sits in a wicker chair, wrapped in a blanket and stares at the fountain in the middle the perfectly trimmed meadow. Warren sits next to him, craving a cigarette, but not lighting one. He'll have to wait a couple more minutes, until the nurse will bring Lester back into the clinic.
"Thank you for stopping by", Crest means it.
"Am I the only one?"
"No, oh no. There's, ehrm, Franklin's coming over too, once or twice a week."
He looks better, rested. Warren doesn't know who Franklin is, but he nods politely anyways.
"That's nice."
"Yeah, he's a good kid." A crook then.
"Are they treating you well up here?"
"It's fine, I- argh, fuck it. The dinner's horrible but the doctor's are good enough. Won't make a difference anyways."
"That's what they're saying then?", Warren looks into the setting sun. From up here Los Santos seems peaceful, quiet, a big, glorious and shining city. It's a hell hole full of shit, Warren knows that now, but he can't leave. Not yet.
"Yeah. No. They don't say it, but they mean it. It's in their eyes." Lester takes a sip of his water.
"Don't say that, Crest."
Lester looks at him. He doesn't say it, but the look on his face says it all. You've been through enough, I won't tell you that I'm dying soon.
"Yeah, well, it was nice seeing you. Getting better and such", Warren gets up, the wicker creaking, his phone in hand and sunglasses back on. They look at each other for a long, quiet moment and then Warren nods, turns around to leave. A surprisingly strong hand grabs his arm.
"I have a project, it's happening right now, Warren."
He stops in his tracks. From somewhere behind the fountain laughter sweeps up the hill. There's an old lady on the meadow with their grandchildren and they're playing ball. She has a bandage around her head.
"A project?", Warren doesn't turn around.
"Yeah, I'd like you to take over. You need something to do."
"I still have a job, Crest."
"That reminds you of him." It's like a kick into his guts and there's sudden rage boiling inside of him, but there's also something else. A certain calmness, that wraps itself around his shoulders like a white blanket. T feels a lot like clarity.
"That it does, yeah."
"I'll have Paige bring you the details."
"Sure. Good night, Crest."
He walks over the little path out of bark mulch, that is overgrown by trees, back to his car. He feels oddly content.
_
See, life does goes on. It's a weird thought that strikes him out of nowhere. He's afraid of forgetting everything that was, since forgetting always seemed easy. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week but who knows what will be in a year? Maybe he'll catch himself sooner or later, not thinking about Steve for a few weeks, months, years.
He's afraid of that, sincerely so.
_
The air in the bunker is cold and damp. Some of his people are moving out the old equipment. He doesn't know Crest's newest associate, it's most likely no one from the Hertz/Clifford-Incident.
I'm sorry I called him a buffoon, if I had only known back then.
He thinks of Phoenicia's concerned face and suddendly he finds himself smiling.
"Oh, he was a buffoon, you weren't wrong, Ma'am", he says to himself and hears a quiet chuckle errupting from his chest. There's sadness floading him, but it's warm and sweet and feels like an old friend.
There's no time for tears as the door of the bunker suddendly beeps loudly, informing him of a visitor arriving.
_
"So, you're getting along, then?", Crest sounds better. Warren lets go a breath, he doesn't even know he held in the first place.
"Yeah. They are quiet, but I appreciate the effort they are putting into it."
"I told you, they're are reliable."
"So you did."
There's a long pause, silence.
"Listen, Crest. I gotta go, speak to you soon."
As he hangs up, he's confronted with his lie, standing alone in his quiet living room.
_
The next time Lester invites him over, he says yes. He lives in a bigger, cleaner house now and Warren can only guess, that he was indeed involved in the robbery at the Casino his team is trying to solve right now. He'll offer them a false trace. Maybe they'll pick that one up.
"Georgina's not home, you just missed her", Lester wobbles down the stairs to the living room, crutch in hand.
"Who?"
"Georgina, he lives with her", Warren looks up, from where he is securing Lester's arm with his own hand and looks into the face of a young man. He looks younger than himself and wears expensive street style clothing.
"Who are you?"
"That's Franklin, Warren. Franklin, that's the friend I've been telling you about."
"Pleasure", Warren's voice still on the edge, while the man's handshake is firm.
"You lost your man, dog? Lest been telling me."
"I did, eight months ago."
There's something moving behind Franklin's face but he's quick to cover it up. Warren wonders: what and why.
"Shame man, I'm sorry to hear that, homie. My girl left me, too."
"He didn't leave me. He died."
Franklin looks at Lester, confused and a little reproachful, too. Then, it seems to click, as Franklin looks at him again. He now looks a little terrified, actually.
"Franklin was just leaving anways, weren't you?", Crest sits down in a beige armchair. Warren notices that he has new glasses.
"Yeah, shit. I mean of course, I was on my way out. Nice meeting you man, I hope you're, you know, doing better soon. See you around."
"Thank you", Warren recieves an awkward pat on his shoulder and then Franklin's steps distance themselves, until the front door falls shut.
_
He didn't leave me. He died.
His own words echo in his skull but they don't throw him into a manic tantrum, he's not crying, not screaming. He's oddly calm.
Is this how it feels, when one comes to terms with something, he wonders. Maybe, it is.
He died.
That he did and it must've been fucking ugly. Blood and soupy brain everywhere. Warren wishes he could've held him during these moments, when the body is slowling shutting down, when something mysterious, unknown happens to the human consciousness.
He died.
And Warren had missed him every single day since then. He leans himself against the closed bedroom door of his apartment and then makes his way to his closet.
The box is still where he has left it.
He died. He died. He died.
"I miss you, Steve", he whispers into the silence of his flat and then he smiles, it's small and sad, and he sinks onto the ground, box clutched in his hands, "Fuck, I wish you were still here."
There's silence but Warren likes to think that something of Steve's mind, his soul is still left on this earth, stayed with him. It's a nice thought, even if it's unrealistic. It's still consoling.
Steve's gone for good, but just because his body doesn't walk the dirty streets of LS anymore doesn't mean that he left Warren's life completely - he still existed, left his footprints behind. And Warren's ready, willing even, to take carefully aligned pictures of them and hang them on his wall. He's ready to look at them every day that may come and maybe he'll stop crying at some point. Or maybe he won't. He'll be fine.
It's an odd feeling. His life still feels empty, incomplete since Steve passed and so does Warren. He feels empty, shallow and sad, but it will pass and he will take the time. It doesn't mean forgetting him, quite the contrary maybe.
He flips the lid, puts it aside carefully with a quiet thump on the carpet below. He takes a look inside and bursts out laughing.
_
"Did he leave you something?", he hasn't seen her in years, since college. She used to be his flat mate.
"Yeah", he smiles to himself.
"What is it?", she looks moved and Warren would love to tell her, but he can't. He really can't. Not all of it, anyways.
"A letter."
"A letter?"
"Yeah, a fucking love letter."
"Warren! Don't say that! It's very heartwarming!"
It's been a year. He still misses him. "He wasn't the type for it, that's all."
He thinks of the envelope he keeps in his safe. It's a document, FIB header and logo, completely official.
Reference: Counter Espionage, Crimes Against National Safety, A Report By Steve Haines to be handed to Misses Phoenicia Rackham In Relation "To Agent 14", Mister Warren Jones
"Oh, was he not, you know, a little a romantic?"
"No, it must've taken a lot for him to write a love letter." It was really sweet and it went well with the attempt to put Warren in a High Security Penitentiary.
"Really?", she looks a little concerned, but she doesn't get Steve, their relationship as it was, like Warren does.
He looks up from his coffee cup and lights a cigarette. He hasn't had a smoke in a long time but at least he stopped with the cocaine.
"Yeah. Sometimes", there's a smile tugging at his lips, "Sometimes I think he would've rather seen me locked away."
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ashavahishta · 9 months ago
Text
how buddie can still win : season 4 edition
So...I’ve been thinking a LOT about the crossover, Buck Begins, etc, and how it could tie in with a Buck/Eddie relationship developing. Apparently I was thinking about it so much I kinda...wrote the episodes, albeit in a VERY basic way. Please enjoy my ramblings.
Ok so for this to work SOMETHING has to happen in 401 and 402 that gives us a hint that Buck at the very least is aware of not-so-platonic feelings between himself and Eddie. Maybe one of them is hurt and the other panics. Maybe there’s a domestic scene. Maybe another character says something or maybe there’s just a Look...but there has to be a clue (or more than one!) dropped to us, the audience, that something is building.
403: The Crossover 
Eddie and Buck are heading to Texas to help with the wildfires. Are they volunteering, were they sent there? Not sure yet. I’d love to see them take a road trip but considering this is a time sensitive emergency I’m guessing they’re just going to cut straight to them arriving in Austin. They meet up with the incident commander (not Owen) and jump into things. They run into other crews while working, including the 126 - we’ve already seen in the trailer that Buck is helping Mateo to hose down a burning car.
Buck and TK run into each other. It’s clear they recognise each other and are both shocked to see the other there.
TK (to his crew): Hey guys this is Buck, we used to -
Buck: Be friends! In high school in NYC.
(TK gives Buck a look but doesn’t say anything else) 
(Action scenes, Buddie + the 126 bond, they meet up with Owen who reminisces over Buck and TK being besties back in New York, etc)
TK and Buck have a quiet minute alone. 
TK: So I’m judging by that look on your face when I introduced you that you’re not out to your crew.
Buck: (looking embarrassed and kind of guilty): It’s not that I’m ashamed, it just...never came up.
TK: So you’ve not dated any guys in your time there? 
Buck: No. 
(segues into Buck asking TK about his love life where he talks about Carlos with a cute look on his face before they are interrupted)
(action scenes, blah blah blah)
(Back at the 126 firehouse. Eddie lounges on the truck with Marjan, talking about Christopher when his phone rings. It’s Chris. They chat, he introduces Marjan, etc.)
Christopher: Where’s Buck?
Eddie: He’s around here somewhere. *raises voice* Buck! Christopher wants to talk to you.
Buck appears from nowhere and leans over Eddie’s shoulder to talk to an excited Christopher. They’re both super happy to see each other and it’s cute AF.  The sirens go off and the crew starts jumping into action. 
Christopher: Bye Daddy, bye Buck, I love you!
Buck & Eddie: Love you too!
Marjan: You guys are so sweet.
Later, on the call, Marjan and Eddie are teamed up.
Marjan: Your kid is lucky to have two people who love him so much.
Eddie (looking shocked and confused): Oh, Buck and I aren’t…
Marjan: I know. (shrugs) I didn’t say you were. I’m just saying whatever you are it’s working out for you and your kid, he obviously adores you both.
(shot of Eddie looking contemplatively at Buck)
(Evening. A bar.)
TK, Carlos, Buck and Eddie are drinking and playing pool while the rest of the 126 sit around a booth together in the background. The boys are obviously getting along very well, with both Carlos and Eddie interested in hearing Buck and TK tell stories of their friendship in high school. TK and Buck have a great camaraderie with lots of teasing, on the verge of flirting.  Eddie is watching them with a kinda odd look on his face; Carlos is watching EDDIE with a knowing look on HIS face. Later, TK and Buck go to the bar together while Eddie and Carlos stay at the pool table.)
TK: Eddie’s cool. You guys obviously have a great team out in LA.
Buck (glancing wistfully back at the table.) Yeah, he’s the best. And his kid is like, the coolest, sweetest kid in the world.
TK: Oh no.
Buck: What?
TK: Man, you broke the first rule of queerdom! You don’t fall in love with your straight best friend! 
Buck: (spluttering, blushing) I am NOT (realises how loudly he’s talking and finishes in a furious whisper) in love with Eddie!
TK: *infuriatingly knowing look*
Carlos and Eddie’s conversation is a bit more stilted and awkward - they literally just met. But Carlos knows what’s up and gently tries to steer the conversation to dating by bringing up he and TK and how things were rocky for awhile. Maybe he mentions what it was like to come out to his parents. Lots of glances in Buck and TK’s direction from both Carlos and Eddie. Basically Carlos trying to tell Eddie that things work out even if it’s not what you expect or WHO you expect to end up with. More shots of Eddie looking thoughtfully at Buck.
Last scene of the ep is the boys saying goodbye to the 126 crew. TK and Buck have a private conversation which implies they were more than friends as teenagers. TK mentions “When you moved away -” implying that it was sudden and something bad went down around that time. Buck doesn’t want to talk about that and changes the subject. Buck says he is glad to see TK so happy with Carlos - we get the vibe that things ended amicably enough between Buck and TK. TK says he is also glad to see Buck happy but encourages him to tell Eddie how he feels because, “I could feel his eyes on us all night, maybe he’s not as straight as we thought,” *teasing nudge* Buck is left wide-eyed but hopeful.
404: The Buckleys Have Landed
Maddie tells Buck their parents are visiting bc of her pregnancy. They’re both super stressed and very much not looking forward to it. Lots of allusions to them both being treated badly by their parents in the past. Maddie basically says this will suck but we have to get through it together. Buck is not himself all episode, completely distracted, upset, stressed etc. He has heart-to-hearts with most of the crew with them all offering sympathy about shitty parents. Buck doesn’t go into much detail just makes vague comments about not being close with them.
Phillip and Margaret arrive at Chim’s apartment, pleasantries and introductions are exchanged, everything seems okay if not tense and a bit awkward. They are both pretty snobby, distant people who are good at making passive aggressive remarks about both Buck and Maddie’s lives/decisions. They unfailingly call him Evan the entire time and Buck is clearly uncomfortable with it. Buck’s anger builds throughout the scene while the parents quiz Maddie about her pregnancy, relationship with Chim, etc. Every chance they get they throw in some snide remark about Buck’s supposed failures. Maddie accidentally mentions Buck being in therapy which starts the argument with his father. He’s furious, hurt and defensive while Phillip is just cold and cutting. Buck talks a lot about how hard he tried to please his father and how he could never win. Margaret is silent. Chim and Albert sit back, stunned, until Maddie breaks it up. Buck storms out.
Firehouse - Next Day
 Buck is boxing furiously while Eddie stands by and listens to him rant. 
Buck: They didn’t want me, you know? I was an accident. My mother was older, they already had Maddie, they didn’t expect to get pregnant again. I was an afterthought and that’s how they’ve always treated me. They were never home, they were always too busy with their jobs or their rich friends or their vacations. The only time they paid attention to me was when I messed up. But I tried so damn hard, Eddie. It was just never enough for them. If I got an A, they asked why not A+. If I joined the football team, they asked why I didn’t get quarterback. All they cared about was me looking like the perfect son so they could brag about me to their stupid country club friends.
(He’s still going to town on the punching bag)
(Eddie, listening closely, looking a bit concerned with how angry Buck is)
Buck: After Maddie left it was worse. She kinda shielded me, you know? There were some problems with my dad’s job, he was losing money,  drinking more and he was just so angry all the time. I tried to stay out of his way, I never went home if I could help it, just stayed with my friends...that’s one of the reasons TK and I got so close, Owen never minded if I just hung out at their place all the time. But when I was home Dad just took EVERYTHING out on me. *punching even harder* Dad didn’t need a punching bag. He had me.
*dramatic music* *Buck looks like he’s about to split this punching bag in half* *Eddie looks both shocked and devastated*
Eddie: Whoa, Buck - stop, stop. You’re going to hurt yourself, man. *Eddie steadies the punching bag and stares at a panting, red-eyed Buck.*
Eddie: Buck, are you saying your dad - 
Buck looks away, clearly not having meant to give this away. 
Buck: Only after Maddie left. Not often, just… enough.
Eddie: Jesus christ, Buck. Does Maddie know?
Buck: No! Nobody does. It stopped when I was about 16, when I got big enough to defend myself. Why do you think I started working out in the first place?
Eddie: And you’ve never dealt with it? I’ve known you for years, Buck, I’ve never seen you this angry.
Buck: That’s because I don’t want to be like him!
*bell rings, the conversation is left unresolved*
Later: Buck’s loft
A tense Buck and sympathetic Eddie are drinking and talking about their parents. Eddie says he knows better than anyone what it feels like to never be able to please them. God knows he still struggles to shrug it off when they lecture him about Christopher. Lots of heavy talk and bonding moments. Buck talks down about himself a lot and Eddie seems bothered by it.
Buck (now very drunk) continues his big rant about how he could never live up to his parent’s expectations. 
Buck: And then I did the worst thing ever, Eddie! I started dating a guy.
Eddie: *extremely shocked*
Buck: yeah, in high school. It never bothered me, you know, the whole sexuality thing. I just like who I like, you know? He was so beautiful. When my dad found out he went ballistic. Phillip Buckley’s son couldn’t be bisexual! Just made him more sure that I was a failure.
Eddie: *silent*
Buck: Oh my god, that was the first time I came out to you, wasn’t it. Eddie, I’m sorry! I didn’t - I didn’t mean to tell you like this.
Eddie: *quiet* Why didn’t you tell me earlier?
Buck: It just never seemed like the right time, you know? It never came up because I’ve only dated girls the last couple of years but I promise I wouldn’t have hidden anything from you on purpose. And I hate that I even have to come out because everyone assumes I’m straight.  Are you mad? *very worried, very drunk*
 Eddie: God, no, Buck! I just thought you’d tell me something like that before now.
Buck: *looking desolate again* I’m sorry. I’m a mess, my dad is right.
Eddie: *intense eye contact, hand on Buck’s shoulder* Buck, he’s NOT right. You’re a good person, one of the best people I know. Definitely one of the best firefighters I know. You’re kind, and you take care of people. Your parents don’t see the best parts of you but other people do.
Buck just looks at him with his hurt-puppy eyes but doesn’t seem able to believe him.
The next day
Buck is still completely off - distracted, upset, angry, impulsive. There’s a big call - a dangerous one. Buck does something big and heroic and VERY dangerous. He’s out to prove he’s better than his father says he is, but he’s not thinking straight. The victim is saved but Buck is hurt/trapped. End of 404.
405: Buck Begins
As usual with a Begins episode, we start with Buck in a life-threatening situation. He’s still trapped where we left him at the end of 404. 
Flashback: 2012
We meet nurse!Maddie working in an ER. A much younger Buck is brought in - he looks somewhere between 18 and 20. He looks like hell - bruised all over, split lip, dirty, wincing as he’s examined and told he probably has cracked ribs. Something about his outfit indicates to us that Buck is in a Rebellious Phase. Is he in eyeliner? We can only hope.
Maddie fusses and lectures him. Fighting, again?! All she ever hears from Dad is about how much trouble he’s been in lately. Buck is rolling his eyes, hurt and angry, trying to say it was no big deal, just a stupid brawl with some idiots on his campus. 
Flash-forward: Present
The crew are arguing over how to get Buck out without injuring him further. Eddie is quiet but clearly extremely worried. Someone calls Maddie and she gets involved in the rescue as well.
Flashback: 2005
We meet a VERY young Buck and Maddie. They’re adorable. It’s dinner, with their parents being assholes as usual. Lots of shouting. Flash through a montage of this kind of stuff as they grow older. Scenes of Maddie arguing with the parents and storming out. Scenes of young!Buck all alone in a very elaborate mansion. Scenes of Buck trying to contact Maddie and getting nothing back. Scenes implying violence from Phillip to Buck. Scenes of an angry teenage Buck doing stupid shit to get his father’s attention. It’s all super upsetting.
Flash-forward: 2010
Buck is in high school. He seems happier, with lots of friends. Montage of him, playing sports, going to classes, wholesome high school stuff. At some party he catches the eye of a cute brunette boy. They dance and kiss. More montages of Buck and the pretty boy, clearly dating now.
Thanksgiving. Buck has brought the boyfriend home, but as a friend. He’s not out to his parents. Things are stiff and awkward.  Later, Phillip finds Buck and the other boy kissing in his bedroom. Lots of yelling, lots of anger. Buck takes the boy’s hand and storms out.
Later - same time period. Buck sits with his parents who inform him they’re pulling him out of school and moving from NYC to Hershey for his father’s job. Clearly Buck is being influenced in the wrong way. They didn’t like the school he went to anyway, they will find him a better one for his final year. They don’t want him having contact with That Boy anymore either. And they WILL kick him out and not pay for anything, including college, if he refuses to come with them. He’s under 18, they can do what they want. Lots of arguing but in the end Buck has no choice. Scenes of a dejected Buck saying goodbye to the boy. Up til now we didn’t know the boy’s name but at the last minute it’s revealed - of course - to be a young TK Strand.
Flash-forward: 2012 again - before the hospital
Buck is home for the holidays again, and again arguing with his parents about his future. They want him to pick a major - business, of course - and start Getting Serious about his life. Buck says he’s not ready, he likes learning lots of different things, he hasn’t decided what to do yet. He’s been thinking about taking a year off college and traveling to South America with some friends for a gap year. Phillip is, predictably, furious. There’s a nasty comment about the type of people Buck hangs out with. Definitely a homophobic remark. Buck steps up to him, ready to fight. Fade out. More clues are dropped but it’s made obvious that Buck’s visit to Maddie’s hospital is not the result of a campus brawl.
Flash-forward: Present 
The crew have finally decided how they’re going to rescue Buck, and proceed to carry out a daring and risky operation to do so. Buck is taken to hospital in a dangerous condition. Lots of focus on how upset Eddie is and how he won’t leave Buck’s side.
Flashback: 2012 
A battered Buck checks himself out of hospital with a goodbye from a disappointed Maddie. She just wants him to be happy, she says. 
Flash-forward: 2014
We’re somewhere in South America. Montage of Buck having the time of his life, serving drinks, partying, flirting with guys and girls. Somehow he runs into a team of Navy SEALs on an operation. He quizzes them about the job and seems inspired. They’re big, badass guys and Buck seems very attracted to the whole thing. One of the guys actually tells him he should sign up, it’s like living an action movie every day and he’s got the build for it, if he bulks up a little more. An admiring and contemplative Buck watches the team. 
Flash-forward: 2016
Buck is training with the SEALs. Big montage, lots of shots of army stuff, underwater training, etc etc. Buck is keeping up, but in his examinations he keeps getting told to stop thinking with his heart. Flash after flash of Buck failing written exams, simulations, psych tests etc because he can’t control his emotions. In one particularly gruelling test one of his teammates is hurt and Buck can’t hold back from helping him even though it’s against the rules. He gets told off. Buck gives a big speech about how he thought he was supposed to be here to help people and if that’s not what this is about, he’s out. Flash of Buck searching “firefighter training” on a phone/computer.
Flash-forward: Present
Hospital: The crew are all assembled in the waiting room, including Phillip and Margaret. They are worried, but can’t seem to help themselves from making the situation Buck’s fault for picking such a dangerous job and acting so recklessly. Bobby steps up to them and defends Buck’s actions, telling them how much he has grown over the years and what a good firefighter he is. Maddie also lectures them about how they have treated both her and Buck over the years. Someone (maybe Eddie) asks where the hell were they the last three times Buck nearly died? His real family were the ones who looked after him.
When Buck wakes, he has Eddie and Maddie on either side. They both tell him off for acting the big hero and nearly getting himself killed, again. Christopher finds his way into the room and shares a sweet moment with Buck while Maddie quietly excuses herself.
Eddie watches Buck and Christopher together with a soft look.
Eddie: Listen, Buck...I know your parents messed you up. After seeing how they treat you it doesn’t surprise me that you think you’re not worth much. But you are, okay? You have people who care about you. People who love you.*gestures at Christopher* people who need you to come home.
Buck *hopeful, big eyes, looking at him over Christopher’s head* People including you?
Eddie: Yeah. *takes his hand* Including me.
Buck smiles. 
*fade out*
Final scene: Phillip and Margarent visit Buck’s loft after he’s been released from hospital. He’s still pretty banged up. Parents say they are leaving, they will be back for the birth of Maddie’s child. They hope he doesn’t get himself into any more trouble.
Buck: You know I saved a life, right? I saved that person’s life. And I get to do that every day. I don’t care that I got hurt, I’m the reason that man gets to go home to his family. I know it’s not what you wanted for me, I know I was never what you wanted - god knows you tried to beat me into shape enough times. But I’m happy. I have a good job, a job that I love. I have friends, I have family who love me even when I disappoint them. And I’m proud of my life. I know you never will be but I’m done trying to impress you. It only hurts me. So when you come back for Maddie’s baby, I don’t want to see you.
*ends on Buck slamming the door in their faces and taking a deep, relieved breath. He smiles to himself and opens his phone to call Eddie*
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jeonsjiddies · a year ago
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right where you want me (m) | pjm
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summary - nothing was getting you off anymore, no matter how hard you tried. Luckily, your neighbor Jimin was happy to help.
rating- explicit 18+
word count- 3680
pairing- jimin x reader
genre- smut 
Warnings: rough sex, spanking, oral (female recieving), multiple orgasms, unprotected sex
a/n thank you so much to @sweetnspicy93​ for beta reading and helping me you’re amazing 
“Mmm.. Jimin! Fuck!” you moaned, the familiar fire burning deep in your belly.
You worked yourself closer to release, one hand pumping the vibrator in and out of your aching hole while the other circled your clit. You were teetering on the edge, so close to release, images of Jimin’s ass in his slacks from when he’d dressed up the night before flitted through your mind. You imagined your heels digging into that plump bottom, legs wrapped around his torso while he fucked you senseless. 
You could almost feel the weight of his body on yours, could almost imagine he was really there with you, if it weren’t for the buzzing noise coming from between your thighs. You tried imagining that Jimin was using the toy on you instead, but you could already feel your orgasm retreating as your fantasy dissolved and reality washed over you like a splash of cold water. You’d been so close this time… until it died away, leaving you unsatisfied. Again. 
You groan in frustration for probably the 100th night in a row. Laying in your bed with your vibrator in hand just wasn’t doing the trick. Nothing seemed to do the trick anymore. You’d tried Tinder hookups, you’d tried the detachable shower head, probably 15 different sex toys, and nothing was getting you off anymore. You were convinced your pussy was broken.
On the verge of tears, you chucked the useless toy against the wall with a thud, and it hit the floor and split open, batteries rolling in different directions.You watched them roll away and sighed, pulling your pajama shorts back up and accepting defeat. 
You weren’t sure why you even tried anymore. It was clear you’d probably never get to orgasm again. Your problem began when your new neighbor moved in next door. It was 3 and a half months ago, and one look at the man had you weak in the knees. He radiated sex appeal.  From his skin tight jeans that showcased his perfect ass to his flowing, see-through white top unbuttoned about halfway, teasing you with defined abs, to his piercing eyes and the plushest lips you’d ever seen in your life. 
Even the way he walked made arousal pool in your panties. He knew he was sexy, he had the toned body of a dancer and his movements were graceful and confident. When he’d directed his pearly white smile at you, you were a goner. That was the day that Park Jimin had ruined you.
You’d gotten to know Jimin a little better over the past few months. You both left for work at the same time and would walk to your cars together, chatting about anything and nothing at all. Sometimes he’d get up early to bring you coffee or you’d bring him some cookies you’d made. You were friendly enough, but you did try to keep a little bit of distance since being anywhere within ten feet of him had you feral and dizzy.
If Jimin noticed your obsession with him, he didn’t say anything. He just smiled at you like everything was normal and asked if you’d caught the newest episode of The Masked Singer. Jimin was kind, he was funny, he was polite, and he was devastatingly handsome. Every new fact you learned about him only made you like him more, want him more.
How many nights did you lay alone in your bed, fantasizing about Jimin and the way his hips moved? How much stamina he must have? He’d dance for hours at the local studio, you knew he could go several rounds. He had so much control over his body, you loved imagining how that would play into how well he could fuck your brains out. Pretty well, you guessed.
Just this morning, he’d offered to give you a ride to work, saying that he had a dancing class to teach nearby at a new venue. You’d agreed, not wanting to be rude, and also it was good for the environment, right? Cutting on gas emissions. That was why you wanted to get in his car. At least, that’s what you told yourself.
You immediately regretted that decision. Jimin’s car was very nice and clean, but it was small. His thick, juicy thighs were mere centimeters from your own and his hand brushed against yours whenever he had to change gears. Jimin's car smelled like him- prim and proper with a hint of his cologne. Sitting so close to him, completely enveloped in the scent of him in the small space.. you could almost imagine him leaning your seat back and having his way with you in his car. You had to rub your thighs together to get some comfort from the pooling moisture between your thighs. This was going to be a major test of your self control.
You tried to focus on the tranquil turn of the steering wheel in Jimin's hands instead. Jimin was a smooth driver, which you weren’t surprised about. It seemed like you couldn’t find a single thing he didn’t excel at. You couldn’t help but notice his eyes flicking over to you every so often though, making your cheeks turn a dark shade of pink. Jimin was paying more attention to you than the road and didn’t notice the speed bump. He didn’t slow down in time and drove right over it, jostling the whole car. His arm shot out to shield you from the impact, his hand landing right above your breast. 
Your brain seemed to short circuit, your eyes widened and you stared at Jimin’s hand. He was frozen in shock and made no attempt to remove his hold on your body. You could barely breathe, the heat from his skin soaking through your shirt had shivers racing through your spine. You were vibrating with sexual tension, losing your mind. When he finally regained his senses, he yanked his arm back, fingers accidentally grazing across your nipple. Your body jolted and heat rushed between your thighs. If you didn’t get out of his car soon you were going to attack him.
“I’m… I didn’t mean… I’m sorry.” he mumbled.
“It’s okay.” you tried to make your voice sound even, but it came out breathless. 
You thanked Jimin once you’d exited the car and politely refused his offer to pick you up after work, lying that you had plans with a friend. You’d spent all day at work horny as you’d 8ever been, tortured for eight hours with sticky thighs and an unbearable yearning between your legs, which was what brought you here, denied yet another orgasm because you just wanted Jimin between your thighs, not that stupid plastic imitation. 
Even now you couldn’t stop shivering when you thought back to how close he was, how good he smelled… you couldn’t stop yourself from imagining his sweaty body after dance class… You punched your pillow with a loud whine before you heard a heavy knock at your door. You made your way to the front door and opened it, immediately being pushed back into the wall with a pair of soft, plushy lips on yours.
You only knew it was Jimin by his smell, and the small flash you’d seen of him before he’d basically attacked you.You froze for a moment, shocked and reeling. Jimin was kissing you. The same Jimin who had consumed your thoughts and dreams for months. Those soft, pink lips were pressed against your own and it felt better than you could’ve ever imagined. You kissed him back with fervor, though you weren’t really sure what brought this on, you weren’t about to tell him no. Live out your fantasies first, ask questions later. His kisses left your lips and moved over to the shell of your ear.
“You know our bedrooms share a wall, right?” he purred, “I’ve been listening to you fuck yourself for months, calling out my name.” 
“What?” you squeaked in embarrassment, trying to cling to the minimal amount of brain function you had left while his lips worked their way down your neck, “why didn’t you say anything?”
“I was trying to get to know you, do this right. But I’m so tired of listening to you not get off.” he hissed. “None of those boys knew how to fuck you right. I’m going to help you baby.”
Quiet whimpers left your lips when he began rocking his hips into yours, his hard member grinding against your core. Jimin pulled his lips from your skin and looked into your eyes. You saw his pupils were blown with lust. His usually perfectly styled hair fell into his eyes and he shook it away, breathing just as ragged as your own. 
“Tell me to stop, and I will.” he spoke evenly, thumbs rubbing circles on your hips.
“Please don’t stop.” you whispered, swallowing nervously.
Jimin smiled, his eyes burning with desire as he backed you up towards your room, shoving you down on the bed and crawling until his body hovered over yours. His lips reattaching to your skin had your hips bucking up into his, desperate for any kind of friction. You probably should’ve been embarrassed at how desperate you seemed but you really couldn’t bring yourself to care, not when your wildest fantasies were being played out before your very eyes.
“So impatient.” Jimin tsked, hand sliding up your shirt and under your bra to grasp your breast, rolling your nipple between his thumb and forefinger.
“Jimin…” you whined.
“Tell me what you want, baby.” Jimin purred in your ear.
“Touch me.” you begged.
“I am.” he teased, rolling your hardened nipple between his fingers again.
You whined loudly, rolling your hips up to meet his. 
“Nuh uh, use your words.” he encouraged.
“Please, I want you. Your fingers, your cock, anything. I just need you inside me.” you writhed against him.
“Mmm… good girl.” he smirked, making his way down your body and leaving a trail of love bites.
His skilled mouth sucked and nipped at your skin like he was a professional. Jimin instinctively knew how to work your body, how to draw the neediest moans from your pretty lips. Your body was on fire, and he was your gasoline, fueling the blaze the closer he got to where you wanted, where you needed him. His fingers gripped the elastic of your pajama shorts, tugging them off and tossing them aside.
He peppered hot kisses along your panty-covered slit, deciding to tease you rather than give you what you wanted. Jimin wanted you begging for him, needy and desperate.Jimin wanted to get back at you. For all the sleepless nights he lay awake listening to your moans on the other side of the wall, calling to him like a siren. He relieved himself more times than he can count to just your breathy moans and was left wanting more. He intended to drive you to the point of insanity before he let you have your release. He wanted to make sure no one would ever be good enough for you again, you’d only want him. No other man would ever touch you again.
He ran his tongue along the lace of your panties, dampening the already sticky fabric. His barely there touches were making you dizzy and you whimpered, lacing your fingers through his thick, soft hair. Tears were forming at the edges of your vision, so desperate for release you hadn’t found in months, and Jimin’s touches were ghosting along your skin raising goosebumps in their wake but they weren’t enough.
Finally, he pushed your panties aside and his tongue dipped into your heat. You almost cried out in relief when you felt his muscle sliding along your walls and licking designs on your clit. Your back arched off the bed and he used one hand to hold your hips in place while he continued to drive you mad with his skillful tongue. 
He slipped a finger deep in your hole, curling it and hitting your gspot with every flick of his wrist. The way Jimin worked your body put all your Tinder dates to shame. You knew he was a sexpert upon first glance but you didn’t realize he could perform actual magic between your thighs. He added a second finger, then a third, stretching your walls. 
Jimin pumped his fingers in and out of you at the perfect rhythm, alternating the timing of his fingers with the flicks of his tongue on your sensitive bundle of nerves and you could feel yourself climbing towards your end. Your whines got louder, your cries needier. You couldn’t stop yourself from bucking your hips against Jimin’s hold.
“Oh, fu- JIMIN!”
Finally, for the first time in months, the sweet blissful, euphoria consumed your body. Jimin’s ministrations sent you over the edge, your orgasm completely consuming your being. You felt like you were ascending out of your body and soaring into the night sky while Jimin worked you through your release. Jimin did not slow down, even as you began to settle from your high.
You attempted to push him away, feeling overly sensitive from your first orgasm in three months, but Jimin was stronger than you, and soon the burning turned to pleasure again, building back up much quicker than the first, and you wriggled beneath Jimin’s hold on your hips. Mere minutes after your first orgasm, another crashed through you, just as intense as the first. Jimin finally relented, leaving a soft peck on your folds as he pulled away from your trembling body. 
His chin covered in your juices, he grinned at you, moving up to place a kiss on your lips. You could taste yourself on his tongue, and somehow that was erotic enough to create another wave of arousal to gush from your over-sensitive cunt. You moaned into Jimin’s kiss, nipping at his swollen lips. 
“Mmm.. your turn.” you smirked, reaching down and palming at his hardened member, but Jimin stopped you.
“No tonight is about you, baby. We have all the time in the world for that later. I just want to be inside you.” he purred into your ear, nibbling at the skin.
You couldn’t exactly argue with that. You reached down to pull his sweats down his thick, delicious thighs and tossed them aside. He lifted your shirt and sports bra off of you effortlessly, licking his lips at the sight of your nipples peaked and ready for attention. His tongue swiped a bold line across one, then the other, forcing shivers from your fucked out body. You quickly tugged at his boxers, simply unable to wait any longer. 
“Need you. Now.” you panted.
Jimin smirked, shimmying out of his boxers and hovering over you.
His length brushed against your folds and both of you groaned. Jimin’s cock was thick, so hard it looked painful, and dribbling precum from his pretty round tip. Jimin froze, looking like he was about to cry.
“I forgot a condom.” he nearly whimpered.
“I’ve got an IUD.” you assured him, running your fingers through his hair to get the sweaty mess out of his eyes.
“Oh thank god.” he breathed in relief, body shuddering. 
Before you could reply, Jimin was entering you, he just couldn’t hold back anymore. He started off slowly, making sure you could handle the stretch and burn. Your breathless moans of his name made it hard for Jimin to keep control, and soon he was pounding ruthlessly into your soaking cunt. Your headboard bounced against the wall but you couldn’t force yourself to care, not when Jimin felt so good buried inside you.
Jimin seemed to reach places within you that no other man had before, like he was made perfectly for you and you perfectly for him. He fit inside you so well, his cock brushing against your walls was driving you insane. You weren’t sure how he hit that lovely spot inside of you every time, but his expert thrusts hit the best angle every time. 
“Fuck, you’re so tight. So wet for me baby.” Jimin grunted as he continued to snap his hips into yours.
“Jimin!” you gasped when his teeth began to nip at your collarbones.
“That’s it baby, say my name… who fucks you this good? Who owns this pussy?” he growled, bringing one hand between your bodies to circle at your clit.
“You, Jimin!” you groaned, body bouncing with the forceful impact of Jimin’s thrusts.
“Louder!” he commanded, his hips snapping harshly while his fingers increased their speed on your nub.
“Fuck, JIMIN!” you screamed. 
“You feel better than I imagined, princess. Do you know how long I’ve wanted to wreck your pretty little pussy? I used to get off with you, you know.” he groaned while his hands found your hair and pulled so your neck was exposed for him to litter hickeys on.
“Oh god.” you moaned at the idea of Jimin alone in his bed, hand wrapped around his cock while he got off to the sound of you getting off to him.
“Mmm… it took everything I had not to come over here and make you cum all over my cock. Your sweet pussy is even tighter and wetter than I’d dreamed. Fuck, you feel so good wrapped around me.” his voice shook.
Without warning, Jimin flipped you over onto your stomach and started pounding into you from behind, reaching a whole new angle you didn’t even know existed but had your head spinning. You pushed your hips back against his to meet his every thrust. You were jolted out of your blissful state when his hand came and smacked your ass, sending electricity straight to your core.Your pussy clenched around his length and he let out a strangled groan.
“You like that, huh? Such a dirty girl. How many times did you fuck yourself without me?” he questioned innocently.
“Ummm… I’m not sure.” you confessed. “I haven’t gotten off since you moved in though.” 
“Hmmm.. then how many Tinder dates did you have instead of coming to find me?” he wondered.
“Ummm, 4?” you answered, unsure of why he was asking about your other sexual partners while he was balls deep inside you.
“Mmm… you’ve been a bad girl. You should’ve just come to me. Count.” he ordered, his palm coming down swiftly on your bottom again.
“Ah, one.” you moaned quietly, clenching around him again.
“Mmm.. you like this a little too much.” Jimin chuckled, bringing a harsher slap down on your ass, then soothing the red skin with a gentle brush of his fingers. 
“Two.” you whimpered blissfully. 
Jimin loved the way your skin turned red under his efforts, and he loved the way you tightened around him every time he delivered a spank to the soft skin of your bottom. He admired it for a moment, fingers tenderly grazing over the skin before he unexpectedly left another harsh slap on your skin. 
Your body jolted forward with the impact and you groaned low in your throat at the blissful burning on your backside.
“Three.” left your lips in a whisper as your high drew closer with Jimin’s actions.
His pace didn’t slow down while he “punished” you in the best way, and you were just on the edge of oblivion when he delivered the final slap. You screamed as your high washed over you, even more intense than the first two, and Jimin’s thrusts got sloppier as he met his own end soon after you. He worked you both through your orgasms until you were shaking and tears were falling from the corners of your eyes.  Jimin collapsed next to you, trying to steady his breathing just as you were.
“Are you okay?” he asked between his deep breaths.
“So okay.” you sighed happily, a small giggle rising from your throat. “Ugh, it feels so good to finally cum.”
“Mmm… you’re so sexy when you do.” he grinned, licking his lips suggestively.
You covered your face to hide your blush and he only laughed, crawling off the bed and going to grab a damp washcloth. He returned and knelt between your thighs, running the cloth gently along your folds to clean up the mix of your juices and his cum seeping out of your spent pussy. You whimpered at the overstimulation, and Jimin tossed the cloth into your hamper.
You reached out for him and tugged him back into bed with you, and he wrapped his arms around your frame, holding you against his chest. Your breathing was still labored but feeling Jimin’s body against your own felt more important than oxygen in that moment. He stroked your hair gently with the hand that wasn’t wrapped around you.
“I hope you realize I’m not going to let you go now.” you smiled into his chest. “There’s no way anyone is ever going to top that.”
Jimin laughed, a deep, full belly laugh and pulled you closer into his embrace, kissing the top of your head. 
“Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll fuck you whenever you want.” he grinned. “But I really would like to take you on a date sometime.”
“I’d really like that.” you blushed, looking up to meet his eyes.
Jimin bit his lip to try and hide the smile that threatened to spread on his swollen, deliciously red lips. You let yours free though, grinning up at him like a kid on Christmas. Jimin’s resolve broke and his smile spread from ear to ear.
“Where would you want to go?” he asked, idly playing with your fingers.
“Hmmm...  I don’t know. Somewhere lowkey but fun? I want to get to know you better.” you hummed thoughtfully, watching his expression.
“Okay… maybe… the amusement park? Then dinner?” he offered. “Or would you rather go to a movie? Or we could-” he began.
You giggled and pressed your finger to his plush lips.
“It doesn’t matter where we go, as long as you’re there. You’ve got me right where you want me.”
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babymelancholie1 · 11 months ago
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The Romy Files - Chapter 18
Easier to be me
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Summary: This is it - or is it?
Songs I listened to while writing: Homeward bound by Simon & Garfunkel // February Seven by The Avett Brothers
Warnings: Smut - over 18 year olds only please
Episode: Season 6 - Episode 4
Catch Up with The Romy Files here
Hello lovelies,
How are you all?
Can you believe we are finally at this point? Thank you so much for sticking with me through the last three chapters. The title for this chapter is stolen from one of the very first English FanFics I read way back in 2008. Oh gosh, how old am I? It’s no longer up unfortunately, but it was a Harry Potter x Ginny Weasley fiction by the amazing author hgfan1111 . The words stayed with me all this time and it felt right to use them for this chapter.
Cannot wait to hear from you!
Enjoy xx
——xx——xx————xx——xx——
August 2015
Steve and Lou got out of the formers truck parked right in front of the hospital. “Matter of fact I’ll be real glad when Williams gets back on his feet again, so I can drive my own damn truck.” Lou grumbled at Steve.
“Yeah, I’m sure he’ll appreciate the sentiment and the eggplant parmigiana.” Steve grinned at his friend.
“Ah well, guy goes under the knife to save his little boy, the least I can do is making sure he gets a decent meal.” Lou lifted the plastic bag on his hand up a little, “Speaking of which, you got any plans tonight?”
Steve squinted at Lou, that didn’t go where he expected it “That’s a weird segway. No I don’t.”
“Well good.” Lou smiled happily. “Renee is taking the kids to the movies, so if I figured you and me can go to RumFire have some beers have some Pu Pu’s.”
“Ok stop, stop, stop, stop.” Steve interrupted. “I know what you are trying to do. You don’t have to do that. Ok?”
“Do what? What are you..” Lou spluttered.
“You don’t have to babysit me, Lou.” Steve was irritated now, did nobody think he could be on his own for a while. “Romy is in London. It sucks. But I’m working on a plan to sort this all out, A. And B, I’m gonna be fine.”
Lou draped his arm around Steve, slapping him on his shoulder in the process.
“Brother” He pulled him closer. “There is only one way to figure out a plan and that involves you, me and that bar.”
“You gonna help me get back on the horse?”
“No!” Lou shrieked, just thinking what Renee would do to him should Steve even look at another woman on his watch. “I just thought we get over there and get good and drunk and then come up with something.”
The telltale sound of Steve’s phone had Steve digging his pockets for his cell. He looked at Lou while trying to locate his phone. “What...What did you have in mind?Hold on. McGarrett.”
Steve turned back to the car. “We are on our way.”
“No we are not” Lou stopped him.
“I’m on the way. I’ve got this.” He handed over the plastic bag to Steve. “Go make sure our boy is ok.”
“You sure?” Steve looked at the container now in his hand.
“Yeah, I’m sure. Just don’t go hogging all the credit for the eggplant Parma. Would you?”
“Guess what? You get to drive your own truck after all.” Steve had Lou’s car keys dangling from his finger. “Congratulations.” He slapped Lous shoulder and walked towards the hospital.
Lou grinned and shook his head “Lucky day!” He said sarcastically.
——xx——xx——
“Well, Jordan you are a man of many varied interests.” Gerard Hirsch was finishing up his latest caricature.
“Guess what buddy? This one is on the house today.” Steve plugged the picture of the board and handed it to the teenager. “You like that? Thanks for visiting our island.”
“Officer Kalakaua, I see you’re displaying your badge today.” Gerard tried to mask his confusion.
“Ah yeah, you know when your PO said you be here. We expected to find you sipping drinks at the pool, not this.” gesturing to his easel Kono wondered out loud.
“What can I say. Times are tough. The particulars of my parole, forbid me for participating in any art transactions.”
Steve shook his head, and what was this? He turned to point out the board behind him.
“Isn’t this technically an art transaction?” Kono asked at the same time.
“Really. You gonna write me up for selling caricatures for 30 bucks a pop.”
What the fuck! Steve could not believe it. “30 Dollars. I should. Right now. No, we got you on something much bigger. Let’s go.” He dragged Gerard on his arm out to his car. After a silly forth and back, about not knowing Crane - who was Hirsch kidding in any case? He finally came clean, he bought the painting from Crane, with the fake money he got from Moseley. A forger not realising he was paid in monopoly money - the irony was not lost on both Kono and Steve.
“My dear spotting a phoney Van Gogh is one thing, spotting a phoney Benjamin is a different skill set.” Gerard said indignantly when Kono pointed it out. “And he needed the cash. For others that was a deal breaker, but…” Steve phone rung and he stepped away for a second.
Kono pushed her hair behind her ear, she was interrupted from her next question, by Gerard pointing at her wedding band.
“I see ...someone put a ring on it.”
“Yeah beat you to it.” She pulled a face, dreading the next comment already.
“Unlucky you.” And there it was! Hirsch was lucky that Steve decided to join them in just the nick of time, before she hit him.
“What about you Commander?” Gerard turned to him.
Steve frowned, especially as Kono didn’t even bother to hide her smirk. “What about me?”
“That lovely German with the British accent, is she available again or have you sealed the deal.” Gerard asked with a grin.
Looking entirely unimpressed, Steve said “Shut up or I will seal your mouth shut.”
“Uh...have I hit a sore spot, commander?” Gerard tried to bump his shoulder.
“Let’s go.” Steve moved him forward.
“If she is available, please do give her my number. She was just delightful.” Steve did not bother to be careful, as he put Hirsch in the back of his car.
——xx——xx——
“Hey babe. Didn’t think I’d hear from you tonight. Thought you were with Lou at RumFire getting drunk.” Danny teased over the phone.
“Yeah, I’m just finishing some stuff up in the office.” Steve moved the mouse over his laptop screen.
“I thought you closed that case?”
“Yeah, we did.”
“What are you still doing there? Paperwork?” Danny scoffed.
“Just looking at some sites.”
“Please for my sanity, tell me that these are websites to book a flight.”
Silence on the line.
“Steve!”
“Geez. Yes, Daniel. I’m looking at flights.”
“Fucking Finally!”
Steve groaned.
“So when’s the next one.”
“There is a decent one in two weeks.”
“Two weeks?”
“Yeah, you’ll be back in the office and...”
“Steve, babe. Please. Don’t you think you have waited long enough.”
“It’s just two weeks and its a really good deal.”
“Steven!”
“What?”
“Stop being stingy. You are trying to make a grand romantic gesture.”
“What? Do you know how much these flights are?” His voice got really high at the figures he saw.
“Again....grand romantic gesture. Get that wallet out.”
“There is one that leaves tonight.”
“Book it now!”
——xx——xx————xx——xx——
Steve settled down in his Business Class seat not two hours later, carefully storing the lei he bought for Romy. The ticket had been eye watering. He’d just close his eyes, when his credit card bill came next month. Checking his phone for the final time, a notification made him sit up straight. The time stamp didn’t make sense. He should have received this 6 hours ago.
‘Hi Steve, it’s me. So I did something...I don’t know if it’s stupid or not, but anyway I did it. I’m on my to Hawaii.’ Steve stood up abruptly, why oh why did he listen to Danny. He is never going to listen to Danny ever again.  ‘I decided that distance is the most stupidest reason why we aren’t together...I should have said it when I was still in Hawaii, but coming back to Europe helped me decide. It grounded me somehow. Gave me the perspective I needed to see..to really see what I’m giving up. It’s silly, but I feel, that our road shouldn’t have an end like this.’ Steve grabbed his bag from the overhead storage and made his way to the plane door.
“Sir. Is everything ok? You can’t get off. The plane is about to taxi, we are finishing up boarding.” The flight attendant tried to stop him. He clamped his phone between his ear and shoulder, brandishing his badge. “I’m a police officer. I need to get off this plane.”
“Sir, we are closing the doors now.”
“I’m the commander of the Five 0 task force here in Hawaii and I’m telling you to let me off this plane now.” He almost shoved her out of his way on his race to get to the door. Phone still sitting precariously on his shoulder, his badge clearing the way for him nicely.
He burst through the gate doors, earning himself curious stares of the staff and fellow passengers alike. Leaning against the glass window panes, he pressed play on Romy’s message again. ‘Oh gosh doesn’t this sound fuckingly cheesy. But we..I owe it to us, to be cheesy just for once in our lives.’ He could hear her giggle in exasperation with herself. ‘So here it goes: I love you, Steve McGarrett. You are the love of my life. I fell in love with you, and I couldn’t even tell you when it was. Which point in the last year it was that this love began. It’s  so deeply rooted in me, I can’t imagine myself without it. You and I together, in your house, at the beach, with our friends, in bed...I’m rambling see what you do to me? Trying to get this all out, because you need to know, you need to know before I get on this plane. I know this all a bit out of nowhere, there is no pressure from my side. I’m coming home to Hawaii even if you decide that we have no future, that you don’t love me... That this was just what we set out in the beginning, some fun and no commitments. I just keep thinking about the possibilities and...’ an announcement on her side stopped her for a moment. ‘Anyway, I need to board now. I call you once I landed and am no longer a Jetlag ghost, ok?’ He put the phone away when he realised the message wasn’t over yet. ‘Steve, just because I’m ready to begin doesn’t mean you are. I’ll see you soon.’
He slid down to the floor. She was on her way back. She loved him. She wanted him. She was coming home. Tears were gathering in his eyes and he knew he was sporting a silly smile, he tried to hide it behind his hand. But he couldn’t stop it. He listened to the message again and again, before he finally made out the garbled announcement. Six hours ago her flight was pushing final boarding to Honolulu. That means she was here. She was here already? He pushed off from the floor and stalked over to the arrivals board.
LA?
LA?
LA?
There it was! Landed. Shit, shit, shit. He could not miss her.
——xx——xx——
Romy was clearing through immigration, the customs agent was scanning her passport, confirming her permanent work visa, a stamp “Welcome to Hawaii.”
Romy smiled, she was home. She pushed her way through the throngs of people at the luggage belts, Spying the first of her 4 suitcases, she readied herself to haul it off the belt.
——xx——xx——
Steve had debated off going to the gate, but dismissed the thought, what if she was off the plane already? He raced through the airport, his badge allowing him once more to skip the line at customs.
Craning his neck he discounted several people, before he finally spotted her. Her hair was in a messy knot, the short tendrils falling out after the long flight. She was in black yoga pants, a grey t-shirt with some sort of logo on it and a black cardigan. The only thing that screamed Hawaii about it, were her feet, already in flip flops. The ache, that had been his constant companion, started to lessened. Steve played with the lei in his hand, all of a sudden unsure what to do next. What if she reconsidered on her flight? He hadn’t answered her message, maybe she thought he didn’t want her. He saw her struggle with her second suitcase, she had pushed her hair out of her face, scrunching her noise in an annoyed way.
He couldn’t wait any longer and moved forward.
Stepping next to her, she still hadn’t noticed him “Do you need some help?”
“Thanks, I’m fi…” Romy turned around and the rest of the sentence was stuck in her throat. “Steve” his name not much more than a breath.
She couldn’t believe it, he was here, right next to her. Slowly Romy traced his features with her eyes, returning his piercing gaze. The world going quiet around them, his hand interlaced with hers. No words were spoken, just the two of them breathing in sync in the mayhem that is Honolulu Airport. Their moment was rudely interrupted, when someone bumped into Romy causing her to stumble forward. Steve steadied her, before pulling her close into a hug. He could feel Romy claw into his shirt holding onto his front. She was here, really here, in his arms. He doesn’t know how to get her any closer. Doesn’t know how he can ever let her go.
His hands came up to cradle her face “Hale hookipa ana” the lei that was looped around his right hand brushed against Romy’s arm softly as Steve dipped down to kiss her. It wasn’t passionate, it was soft and deep, like breathing after being underwater for too long. Slowly the pair separated, a smile on both of their faces. Steve lifted the lei over Romy’s head, “Sorry, it’s a bit…”
“Don’t be silly. I love it.”
“I love you.” Steve blurted out. Dammit this was not how he wanted to say to her for the first time.
“I love you too.” A grin stretched over Steve’s face, as Romy stood on her toes and kissed him again. It was pure passion this time, his hands sliding down her back to her bum, their tongues dancing, her hands musing his hair.
“What are you doing here?” Romy kept her arms around his neck.
“Already sick of me?” Steve smirked at her.
“Never!” She popped back on her toes and kissed his cheek.
Steve let go of her waist with one hand and pulled his boarding pass out of his back pocket. He held it out to her. Romy took it with both hands, letting the information sink. She leaned back in his embrace “You were going to come?”
“I was already on the plane when I got your message.”
Romy chuckled, she was still fingering the boarding pass. They almost missed each other. “You better delete that message. It’s the worst case of word vomit and babbling.”
“Never.” Steve kissed her forehead. “I happen to like word vomit and babbling.”
“No, you don’t.” Romy pursed her lips.
“Ok you got me, I like your babbling.”
Romy let her head rest against his chest, and took a deep breath. He was really here, she was really here.
“Come on Gorgeous. Let’s get out of here.” Steve let her go to haul her other suitcases of the belt. “What the fuck have you got in there?”
Romy leaned against the cart, watching his muscles move beneath his shirt “Shoes, Schnuffi, lots and lots of shoes.”
——xx——xx——
Settling into the passenger seat Romy watched the scenery to go by, she had missed this island and this man next to her so much.
Steve squeezed her hand before pressing a kiss to it “Ready to go home?”
Romy let out a breath “Yeah, well home…the company allows me to stay at the hotel for 4 weeks but then I need to have found a flat.”
Steve took his eyes off the road for a second, was she having him on? He pulled over and turned to face her “Ok, let’s get one thing straight. When I say home, I mean the house, my house, where you spend the last 4 months, where we fucked on almost every surface, where I can’t look at the chairs on the beach without imagining you in one of them. Our home.”
“Steve,” Romy sighed “I meant what I said, there is no pressure. I am not going anywhere, I am not leaving. Please don’t do anything, just because you think I’d leave otherwise.”
“I was sitting on a fucking plane to get to you, Romy.” Steve implored “I was going to beg you to come back, because I love you, because I was downright miserable and doing stupid things without you.” Romy closed her eyes letting his words wash over her, hearing him say these things chased away the doubts she had. Romy could imagine what he meant with stupid things, Catherine had been back, and she knew what for a hold she had on him. She took a leap of faith coming back and he was right there to catch her.
“Quite frankly” Steve slid his arm around her and moved her closer to him, Romy closed her eyes. “That house hasn’t felt like home since you left.” Placing a kiss on Romy’s forehead, her nose, one next to each eyelid, her cheeks before pulling back “Like you said, I’m ready, I’m ready to begin.”
——xx——xx————xx——xx——
“Ah dammit.” Steve pulled out his cell, Lou had texted and called him 3 times already, waiting for him in RumFire.
“You all right?” Romy stepped out of the ensuite, towel wrapped tightly around her, little droplets of water making their way from her hair down her body. Steve was lying on the bed, already back in his jeans after he made sure she showered all the airplane funk of her. Romy joined him on the bed, straddling his legs “Why don’t we go?”
“Huh?” Steve had not been listening - he’d been admiring the view.
Chuckling Romy grabbed his chin “I said why don’t we join him. My eyes are up here, Commander.”
With a growl Steve sat up, pulling Romy further down into his lap “I think that’s the worst idea you had, Romy.” He kissed her passionately.
“Well, at the moment I’m still high from the plane ride, would be nice to see him.” Romy gasped out, while Steve kissed down her neck. "Please Steve. You know how I crash after long plane rides. I need to use the high that I have now. And I fancy a Mai Tai sooo badly." Romy pouted and pulled at Steve's hair lightly.
“Don’t give me the pout, Romy.” Steve whined “You know I can’t resist the pout.” Romy pushed her bottom lip out even further.
"Argh." Steve groaned and his head fell onto her shoulder "Ok." He mumbled against her skin.
"Yes!" Romy fist bumped the air before she scrambled off her boyfriend excitedly. She did a little victory dance while rummaging in her suitcase for some clothes.
"How come that you are only back for 10 minutes, and I do everything you want?" Steve had flopped back onto the bed when Romy got off him.
"You wouldn’t have it any other way." Romy threw over her shoulder before closing the bathroom door halfway. Steve smiled, no he wouldn’t have it any other way. He could not honestly not put it words how happy he was right now and if Romy wanted to go to RumFire then they would go to RumFire.
"Hey!" he startled himself in an upright position "Why are you changing in the bathroom?"
"Really Steve? Would we go anywhere tonight, if I'd changed in front of you?" she appeared back in the door dressed now in skinny blue jeans and a bronze silk camisole
He grinned at her in a way that some might mistake for a leer "Need to make the most of it before you crash and burn, gorgeous."
"Perv." Romy laughed and moved to the make up bag she put on the dresser and took it back into the bathroom with her. Steve got up and fished a button down out of his closet, before joining her in the bathroom.
He reached around Romy to grab his aftershave, while she dabbed some concealer under her eyes. Hugging her to his front, Steve rested his chin on top of her head, watching while Romy did something to her eyebrows before swiping on a red lipstick.
——xx——xx——
The team sat outside at RumFire, at a large high table, illuminated by the thousands of string lights and candles. Steve walked over to the table with his friends. “Hey!” They shouted as they spotted him.
“I see you spread the word.” He clasped Lou’s shoulder.
Lou shrugged, “I might have mentioned it in passing.”
“Come on, Steve, we're here for you.” Chin butted in with a grin and lifting his beer bottle.
“Well, its good that you did, man. I’ve mentioned it in passing to someone too.” Steve grinned and waved to someone in the distance.
Romy tried to suppress the giggle on her face as she walked over to the table “Hey guys!”
“Look who I found lurking at Honolulu Airport.” Steve pulled Romy into his side.
The guys were shocked and started talking over each other.
“What?” “How?” “Why?”
Kono did not care about any of the three questions, as she jumped out of her seat and pulled her friend out of Steve’s arms into her own. The two women bounced together, happiness written over both their faces. Kono pressed her forehead against Romy’s giving her a Honi.
“Aloha ʻoe hoʻi, e ke kaikuahine” She whispered before letting go of her friend.
Steve watched their display grinning, before noticing that among his group of friends sat the one and only Gerard Hirsch “What’s he doing here?” He asked Lou, and then louder to Gerard “What are you doing here?”
“I came bearing gifts!”
Lou showed off his sketch “Look at that.” An amazing caricature showing him playing golf. One after another each of them showed off their caricature.
“What he drew these things?” Steve asked surprised. Romy leaned closer to Chin, marvelling at the detail in his sketch.
“These are amazing, Gerard.” Romy smiled at him.
“Thank you, Romy. I need to apologise, I didn’t know you’d be joining us tonight, so I haven’t prepared one for you. But I’ve made one for you, Commander.” Gerard handed Steve a piece of paper.
That got the others cackling, Steve’s caricature was him in full Rambo mode.
“The details amazing. You might have gotten a bit overboard on the abs.” Kono teased.
“What do you mean?” Steve looked down on the sketch again.
“I had to use my imagination.” Gerard said apologetic.
“Your imagination is pretty much spot on.” Romy slid her arm around Steve’s middle.
“Oh man!” The others groaned and laughed. “Too much information!”
“Thank you.” Steve bend down to kiss Romy, earning them more jeers from their friends.
“Cut it out, you two.” Kono threw her napkin at the couple, but the smile on her face was infectious.
Romy stuck out her tongue in retaliation “Make us.”
Waving down the waitress for them Lou said “Excuse me Miss. Would you mind getting this man a beer, and Romy what do you want?”
“The largest Mai Tai you got, please.”
They settled at the table, squeezing between Chin and Lou. Steve’s hand on the back of Romy’s chair and Romy’s finger moving up and down on his leg.
“You here for good?” He asked her softly.
“Yes.”
He was interrupted saying anything further by the waitress bringing the drinks and another platter of Pu Pu. Instead he lifted his beer for a toast “To Friends, To Family, To Love. Welcome home, Romy.”
“Here, Here!” Clinking glasses and cheering.
——xx——xx————xx——xx——
“Thank you for going tonight.” Romy squeezed Steve’s hand as he unlocked the front door.
“Anytime.” He pushed the door open letting Romy go through first. Her handbag fell to the floor with a thud and he slid his arms around her midriff from behind. His nose buried in her hair, dropping little kisses down the back of her neck. “But I’m glad we are home alone now.” Steve spun her around in his arms. Romy’s hands gliding up his chest to his shoulders. “Why Commander? Do you have plans for us tonight?”
“Mhm” Steve nodded, then he nipped at her bottom lip, eliciting a small moan.
“Why don’t you tell me?” Romy’s hands had made their way down his front and dipped underneath his shirt. His skin smooth under her fingertips. A shudder went through Steve.
“I’d rather show you.” His hands slid under her bum and lifted her.
“Steve!” Romy shrieked at the sudden movement, her hands still trapped underneath his shirt.
“I’ve got you.” He kissed her cheek, before moving towards the stairs.
“One day you are going to break your back.”
“While carrying you? Never?” Steve said in mock outrage.
Romy snorted, she knew she wasn’t skinny, but hey who was she to argue if he wanted to carry her. She buried her face in his neck, kissing, reacquainting herself with his sweet spots. She grinned into his skin, when he shuddered again.
“Stop that, or we are never going to make it up the stairs.” Steve scolded her.
“I do remember telling you about all the floor space you have down here.” Her lips still trailing his neck.
“Uhu” he shook his head. “This is happening in bed.”
“If you insist.”
Steve walked them upstairs into the bedroom, he set Romy down on the bed and stepped back, just looking at her.
“Steve?” Romy shifted backwards on the bed, she started to feel a bit self conscious under his stare. “Are you ok?”
“Yeah.” He shifted his weight from one side to another. “Just making sure this is not a dream. Usually when I get this far you disappear.”
Romy lifted her hips and shimmied out of her jeans, holding eye contact with him the entire time “Why don’t you come over her and I prove it to you that this is not a dream.”
She laid against the headboard in her silky top and highwaisted lace panties, watching him watch her.
“I love you.”
A smile spread over Romy’s face “I love you too. Now get over here!”
With the demand spoken, Steve grabbed his shirt at the back of his neck and pulled it off in one smooth motion. He stalked over to the bed, sitting at the end he pulled on Romy’s ankle, effectively sliding her towards him. He lifted himself over, caging her in. Romy’s hands explored his chest and back, her fingernails digging into his skin, she smiled, he was truly perfect. She caught his gaze, where he was hovering, hands on her waist, thumbs smoothing the skin. Romy reached for his face and tugged him closer, his hands moving underneath her body, holding her closer to him, as they kissed. Steve opened her mouth with his tongue, could feel goosebumps rising on both their skin. Her hands never still mapping his body, reconnecting with every fleck of skin and muscles. He almost could feel Romy vibrating underneath him “What do you want, Romy?”
“I...I...” the feeling of him was almost too much, to smell him to touch him “I want you.” She gasped out.
“You’ve got me.” He whispered against her lips.
“Please Steve.” Romy squirmed, her panties definitely soaking and she could feel him through his jeans, heavy against her leg.
“Tell me Romy.” His hands pulling her top over her head. Steve’s eyes blew wide, she hadn’t worn a bra. He kissed his way down her body. Paying attention to her breasts, softly palming them, kissing around them before plucking her nipples. Romy’s head fell back at his ministrations and before she knew, he was kneeling between her thighs. Nosing around the lace, pressing a kiss to her covered slit. She gasped, her back curved, her legs opening more. Steve worked her slowly this time, his hands on her hips holding her still. Making sure she felt everything, every little movement, every small lick of his tongue, or press of his finger.
“Steve...Steve...” Romy moaned. Her release so close, and it stopped. A whine stuck in her throat as she opened her eyes. Steve sat back on his haunches, his lips glistening with her essence. “You haven’t answered my question yet?”
His question? She had no idea what his question was. Her brain no longer cooperating, she said the first thing that came to her mind “Love me” she whispered. “Oh god.” Steve leaned over her, his hand stroking her cheek. He kissed her. Romy could taste herself on him, she moaned into his mouth and before she could do anything else, Steve had flipped them. She laid on top of him, his jeans rough on her skin, making her tingle even worse. Romy sat up, unbuttoning his trousers, tugging them down his legs. She settled onto his legs, palming his length through his boxers. Now it was Steve turn to moan. Romy got rid of his boxers, then she bend over and kissed the top of his dick. His hands shot to her hair, moving in the strands, while Romy kissed her way down his shaft and then up again, Steve moaned this was heaven. It was too much. He could feel tongue circling the tip, her lips engulfing him. He had to stop. “Don’t” he pulled her face up. “Not like this.” He panted out and slid Romy closer. His hands moved down to her hips, lifting her, sinking her down on him. Romy’s head fell back as he slid into her, hitting all the spots, she groaned his name. She moved her hips experimentally, trying to find their rhythm. Their eyes met “This is when you usually disappear.”
“What?” Steve lifted himself on his elbows, changing the angle for Romy.
Romy groaned at the changed angle, her hands falling to his chest for support. “In my dreams or when I would touch myself” she continued to ground her hips “right before...ah...right before I’d come. You’d disappear.”
“You thought about me, when you touched yourself?” Steve smirked, a shit eating grin on his face. Romy clenched around him, making his face go slack with want.
“Yes.”
Steve sat up, changing the angle again. He pulled Romy towards him, kissing her, their tongue intertwined, swallowing their moans. His hands moving along her rib cage, holding her to him, chest to chest.
“Fuck!” Romy moaned as he positions their legs so he could fuck into her more easier. She reached for his hair, holding on tight. He was so deep inside of her. “Yes, I would think of you. Wishing it was you kissing me, holding me, rubbing my clit just...Shit.” She let out. Steve’s hand had made it down to her clit, circling the top with just the right pressure. “Just like that.”
“You like that Gorgeous?”
Romy nodded in his neck, no words forming, just her gasps as thrust into her, hitting the right spots, and rubbing up and down her clit with just the right pressure. She was overwhelmed, the sensations taking over.
“Yeah, tha’s it…” Steve whispered into her skin, pressing kisses where he could reach her, her neck, her collarbone, her ear. He could feel her tightening around him. There was wave a of pleasure as he hit just the right spot and she was falling over the top. “Steve!” Clenching around him, her nails dug deep into his shoulders, holding on while she rode out her pleasure, gasping, shuddering around him. He was thrusting into her trying to prolong her orgasm, but he could feel it, he was close to.
“Mmm...Steve....” she whispered. He could feel her becoming pliant in his arms, his thrusts becoming softer, holding off. Romy lifted her head, kissing him, making her way down his jaw to his ear. She moaned as she adjusted her hips “Steve, fuck me.”she nipped on his earlobe, making him grip her hips tight. “You sure?” He touched her forehead with hers. Her eyes as blown wide, as his. Desire, Want, Love all swirled in them. She nodded and he did just that. Both hands on her hips as he moved her at a fast pace. Eyes never leaving each other as he hit deep within her. Romy was still clenching around him, giving him exactly what he needed. His thrusts lost their pace “Fuck, Romy...Romy” he groaned as spilled deep inside her.
Steve’s forehead fell to her shoulder panting, his hands on her legs that were still wound around his waist. A second and another one, then he lifted his head. Romy smiled at him her fingers moving patterns over his face. No words were spoken, no words were needed. He shifted them to the side, laying down on his bed.
Sharing kisses, no longer hot and sloppy but soft and careful. They shifted on the bed and Steve pulled out of her, Romy winced at the loss. Their arms around each other, holding tight, chest glued to chest, basking in each other presence.
“I missed you.” He spoke softly, his hand brushing through her hair.
“You missed me or the amazing orgasm I just gave you?” Romy teased.
“Brat.” Steve pulled at her hair. “You want to tell that the two you just had?”
“How?” Romy leaned back a bit, she didn’t think he’d notice. It hit her right as he came as well.
“What can I say, I’m tuned to you.”
“Who’s the brat now?” Romy pouted.
Steve laughed out loud, oh god he loved this woman. The way they could switch so easily from tenderness to snark to fucking each other senseless to loving again. He moved his arms and let her out of his hold “Go pee.” He swatted her bum. “I want to cuddle with you.”
Romy pressed a kiss underneath his jaw and rolled out from his arms “Aye Aye Commander” she said over her shoulder giving him a one fingered salute.
Romy peed and cleaned herself up a little, she hopped on the freezing tiles of the en-suite as she washed her hands. Looking up in the mirror, she spotted the scratches she had left on herself weeks ago among the ones that Steve had given her tonight.
“Romy? You ok?”
A last look into the mirror she walked back into the bedroom, Steve had pulled the sheets right and had moved the pillows back up. He held open the end of the sheet “Come ‘ere.”  Romy moved underneath. Cuddling close to each other, she rested her head on his, their fingers drawing patterns on each other’s bodies. His fingers found the old scratches as if they were magnetic.
“What happened?” He mumbled into her hair.
She shrugged “Everything felt just so out of control.”
Romy could feel him nod.
“You didn’t last year, didn’t you?”
“No.”
“You know why?”
Romy shrugged again “My shrink had some ideas. Didn’t care for them much.”
“What do you think.” His voice just a rumble.
“Hawaii...you...felt like I woke up and you...this was all here. It made it easier to be me. So i guess...Thank you.”
“Don’t.”
“What?”
“Thank me. It’s what you do, for the person you love. Isn’t it?” Steve reached over Romy to her bedside table, grabbing her sleep mask. He pulled it on her, kissing her softly. His arms holding her securely to him.
“Yeah.” Romy lifted her head deepening the kiss. “I love you.”
She snuggled into Steve’s chest, pulling the mask over her eyes. Sleep already tugging at her heavily, she almost missed his whispered.
“You make it easier to be me, too.”
——xx——xx————xx——xx————xx——xx——
Catch up with the Romy Files here 
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jamie-leah · a year ago
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War of Wolves (11)
Season 1 
Episode 11 - Death, Drugs, and Art 
Bucky x Reader 
Summary: You have been on the streets for the past two years, ever since your accident that left you with the ability to tell if someone is lying. You work as an informant for the white wolf and his mob but you had never met him…until you overhear a phone call that leads you to saving his life. Now he wants you to work for him. Its an offer you couldn’t refuse…right?
Word Count: 3192
Warnings: Mentions of death, Mentions of drugs, Guys acting super creepy, swearing, displays of violence maybe? 
A/N: Another part is up! I’m sorry this is so inconsistent, work is kicking my ass and I’m having too much fun with the new BF. Most of it is written so if you can’t wait any longer for a new part just yell at me! Enjoy this one Lovelies, things are starting to pick up again! :) 
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You get woken up a few hours later by a light shaking. You open your eyes to find Bucky in the dark, “hey Doll, I’m sorry to wake you, but we have to go now”. 
You nod groggily, “s’okay”. 
Bucky reaches over the sleeping kids to scoop you out of bed without disturbing them. He sets you down on your feet gently and leads you by your hand down the stairs. You start putting your shoes on when Peggy and Steve come out of the living room. 
Steve kisses Peggy, “ring me if you need anything”. She nods looking tired. 
You go over to give Peggy a hug, “thank you for having me around. Dinner was gorgeous”. 
Peggy smiles, “make sure you come back often”, she then looks at Steve and Bucky, “look after her boys”. 
“Yes ma’am”, they say in unison. 
You, Bucky, and Steve step out into the night and head to the car. You get in the back as the boys jump in the front, Bucky driving. 
Bucky lets out a big breath, so you ask, “what’s happened?”. 
Its silent for a few moments. The only sound is the car moving down the dirt road until Bucky speaks with barely contained rage, “One of my drug supply vans was raided by another mob, although I don’t know who”. 
You scrunch up your face, “surely the men transporting your van would be able to tell you?”. 
Bucky’s hands tighten on the steering wheel. Steve answers for him, “they’re all dead”. 
The car is silent for a while, until Bucky speaks low, “as soon as I find out who it is, I’ll kill them”. 
Steve speaks to Bucky, “and I agree with you, but what did I tell you about keeping a clear head if we’re gonna figure this out?”. 
Bucky raises his voice, “four of my men are dead Steve! The drugs are gone and we have no idea who did it-“. 
Steve cuts him off, “which is why we’re gonna have a meeting and figure out what to do next”. 
Bucky doesn’t speak until you get inside the house, “Steve, go get Sam and go to the office”. 
Steve nods and walks off. You go over to Bucky and take his face in your hands, “Steve’s right, you need to keep your head clear. Is there anything you need me to do?”. 
Bucky shakes his head slightly. His turns his head so that he kisses one of your palms on his face, “I need you to go to bed and get some sleep”. 
You nod, giving each other a kiss before Bucky walks in the direction of his office. You watch him go and then head to the stairs. You pause at the bottom of them, thinking. It doesn’t seem right that you go to bed to sleep while the boys stay up to sort this mess out. 
You head to the kitchen. You turn the lights on and start brewing some coffee. You then decide to cook a bunch of things for the boys. You load it all on a tray and then make your way to the office. 
You knock and enter straightaway. It doesn’t take Bucky long to protest, “I thought I told you to go to bed?”. 
You shrug as you bring the tray over, “I want to help”. 
Sam’s head shoots to you, “what was that Y/N? Did you just say you want to help?”. 
“Don’t push it Sam”, Bucky’s voice was all but a growl. 
You look at all of them, “what did I miss?”. 
Bucky mumbles, “it doesn’t matter”. 
Sam says under his breath, “I beg to differ”. 
Bucky gets up abruptly, squaring up to Sam as Sam responds in the same way. Steve gets in between the both of them, “okay children. Let’s sit back down and get a hold of ourselves”. 
They both comply reluctantly, staring daggers at each other. You roll your eyes, “will someone tell me what’s going on?”. 
Steve answers, “Sam came up with an idea that involved using you and Bucky shot it down”. 
“Damn right I did”, Bucky says folding his arms. 
Sam pipes up, “it’s the best idea we have”. 
Bucky shakes his head, “no, its not”. 
Sam laughs, “oh, that’s right! Because it’s the only idea we have”. 
Rage flows from Bucky like waves, “keep fucking talking Sam”. 
You cut in, “tell me the idea”. 
Bucky goes to protest, but you shoot him a look and he snaps his mouth closed. Sam explains, “there is a party happening at a gallery opening for Frank Black, a mob boss. Lots of different mob bosses will be there, but Bucky wasn’t invited because its pretty much all the people he’s pissed off. Word will get around what happened to Bucky’s supply and they’ll be talking about it. One of them probably even did it and might brag since it’s a room full of Bucky haters. None of us can go in because they’ll recognise us, but you, they won’t know who you are. Plus, you have your ability that can sift out the rumours from the genuine truth. No one will even question why you’re there because you’re a beautiful woman that they’ll just want to flirt with”. 
As you think it over, Bucky says, “but none of that matters because it’s not happening”. 
You ignore him, “when is it?”. 
Bucky looks at you sharply as Sam answers, “in a few days”. 
You nod, “we should at least consider it. Talk about logistics and how we would plan it-“. 
Bucky stands again, “no. This is ridiculous. Steve, please tell them”. 
Its quiet for a while. Steve sighs, “it is a good idea Buck”. 
“Oh, come on Steve!”, Bucky runs a hand through his hair, “you can’t be serious”.
Steve gives Bucky a look, “it’s a solid idea. One we would have to plan properly, but I’m not gonna rule it out, especially if Y/N wants to do it”. 
Bucky gives him a serious look, “what if it was Peggy? You would honestly let her in a room full of people who hate you? Who would do anything to get back at you? People who are dangerous and could hurt her?”. 
Steve sighs heavily, “I would hate it, just as much as you. I would probably be reacting the same way as you are now. But I would also come to realise that Peggy is her own person and that I can’t get that damn woman to do anything she doesn’t want to do…so, I would rather do it and do everything I can to protect her and make sure she’s safe instead of pushing her away and potentially make her do it on her own”. 
Bucky stares into space for a long time. You speak softly, “its not just some missing drugs, four men are dead Buck…tell me you wouldn’t go through with this idea if it was anyone other than me?”. 
Bucky’s eyes flick to yours. He searches your face but stays quiet. He can’t tell you that because he would be lying. Bucky speaks low, “this is something you want to do? And I mean something you genuinely want to do, not just because Sam put you on the spot about it?”. 
You nod, “I told you, I want to help”. 
Bucky nods slowly, “fine. I’ll consider it. If we come up with a good enough plan now that we can implement in time for the gallery opening, then I’ll do it”. 
You end up staying in the office talking over details and plans for the rest of the night and morning. Once the plan was sorted they wanted to move onto putting it into place, but you stop them, “nope. We all need a few hours sleep at least and no one is arguing with me on this. So, let’s go”. 
Sam and Steve don’t argue as they get up and leave, but Bucky stays in his chair. You go around his desk and take his hand. You pull him all the way to his bedroom where he finally starts getting ready to jump into bed for a few hours. 
You both face each other in bed on your sides. You study his face, “tell me. Tell me what you’re thinking. Don’t bottle it up from me”. 
His voice is barely above a whisper, “I’m-if anything happened to you-“. 
You cut him off as you bring your hand to his cheek. You swipe your thumb back and forth across his cheekbone, “you would be there. I have so much faith and trust in you”. 
His eye’s close at your touch, “that’s what I’m afraid of”. You give him a while to explain, “I don’t want to fail you. I don’t want to let you down”. 
You don’t miss a beat, “hey, look at me”, you wait for him to open his eyes, “the only way you’d fail me is by not giving me a say in the matter. I know that you would do anything humanly possible to keep me safe, because I feel the same about you”. 
Bucky pulls your body closer to his, “you’re amazing and I’m glad that you’re mine”. 
Preparation and planning took up most of the time in the few days before the gallery opening, which is what made the few days go by so quickly. 
You were getting ready for the night when Bucky walked in dressed in black combat boots and trousers and a black T-shirt. You had just slipped into the red dress that Bucky had got you for the party. 
You pull your hair to one side and present your back to Bucky, “can you zip me up?”. 
You can hear the smirk on his face, “now why on earth would I want to do that?”. He zips you up anyway and then leans down to kiss your exposed neck. He then looks at you in the mirror, “you look gorgeous”. 
You take a deep breath and he speaks again, “you’ve got this”. You nod as you both make your way out to the van. Sam is the one driving as Steve and Bucky get you prepped in the back. Steve gives you a tiny earbud to hear the boys talking to you in the gallery. 
Bucky is showing you pictures of certain people to look out for and then gives you tips, “let them come to you, that way your questions won’t seem like an interrogation. Float around to listen to conversations and if no one is coming over to you then insert yourself into a group of people talking, never pick someone on their own. They’ll be suspicious”. 
All too quickly, Sam pulls up not far from the gallery. He also climbs into the back as you start making your way out. Bucky says one last thing, “if you feel like things are going south or you’re getting too uncomfortable just leave. Your safety is more important than the answers”. 
You leave without another word, wanting to get this over with before you chicken out. You make your way quickly up the steps to the gallery and then enter. It hadn’t long opened, and the place was already packed. From people talking in groups to people admiring the art. 
You hear Bucky in your ear, “go have a drink Doll. Take the edge off, but not too much”. You make your way slowly to the bar and order a drink. But before you can pay for it, someone else does. 
That someone else happens to be the man of the gallery, Frank Black, “I hope you don’t mind. I can’t seem to stop myself from buying drinks for beautiful women”. He flashes you a smile. 
You return it, “well, thank you”. 
He hands you the drink, “speaking of beautiful women, I usually remember a pretty face, but I don’t know who you are”. 
You take a sip of your drink before laying on the charm, “let’s just say I’m an admirer of art”. 
His smile widens, “beautiful and mysterious. Those types of women usually end up in my bed”. 
You hide your shock of his forwardness and your sickness. Although the growl in your ear nearly broke your careful expression, “it’ll take more than a drink and a quick flirt to get me into bed Mr Black”. 
He laughs, “classy too. I’m surprised no one has snapped you up as a wife. I have other people to meet but stick around. I’d love to buy you another drink”. 
Before he walks away you give him a small smile, “maybe I will”. 
Once he’s out of sight you down your drink. You hear Bucky say begrudgingly, “you did great. You basically got approval from Frank to stay there so you can float around without worry now”. 
You walk around pretending to admire the art but actually listening to conversations. Bucky was the topic for some conversations, but most of it were people speculating. 
You stand in front of a particularly big and stunning painting when another man approaches you. He stands next to you, facing the painting, “it’s a lovely piece isn’t it?”. 
You nod, “its exquisite”. 
He leans a bit closer to you, “it’s the brush work that makes this particularly appealing to me. What about you?”. 
You tilt your head slightly, your answer an honest one, “The colours. The way they blend so well. Colours that shouldn’t work together, but they do. It’s a shame though”. 
He looks at you, “what is?”. 
You glance at him and then back at the painting, “that most people here are too busy talking about that incident to appreciate the art”. 
He nods, “ahh, do you mean what happened to the White Wolf?”. 
You face him, “that seems to be the hot topic. I mean, I would understand if people knew the truth of what happened instead of pure gossip. The truth might just be more interesting than this art”. 
He chuckles, his arm finding his way around your waist. You hear Bucky growl and complain to Steve in your ear and you forgot that they were also watching from the cameras inside the building. 
The guy leans so close to your ear that you can feel his breath, “if I got you that truth, do you think things would get more interesting?”. 
Its obvious what he was asking, and it made you extremely uncomfortable, but if he knew, you’d put up with it, “let’s see how good that truth is first shall we?”. 
He gives you a smirk as he guides you over to another man. They talk in private for a moment and you were starting to wonder if this was a bad idea until they both come over. 
The new guy studies you, “so you want to know what happened?”. 
You try to look as innocent as possible. Looking up at him through your lashes and tucking your hair behind your ear, “well, doesn’t everyone? I just can’t imagine anyone strong and brave enough to go up against the White Wolf”. 
The new guy scoffs, “that prick. He thinks he’s the boss of us all. He’s getting too rich and powerful for my liking these days”. 
The other guy chips in, “I agree. Which is why I’m glad you did what you did, put that asshole in his fucking place. I’d love to put a bullet in that fucking guys head”. 
You hear the truth in what he just said to the guy. You think he just told you who did it, but you can’t tell because you can’t isolate it from everything else he just said. 
His friend looks pissed, “dude! What the fuck. Be more careful with what you say, you just told her it was me”. 
You look at him wide eyed and in admiration, “it was you?”, you give him a flirty smile, “wow, I can’t believe you did that and got away with it”. 
His annoyed expression turns to one of hunger for you. His arm snakes around your waist, “you like that huh? Yeah it was me”, you hear the truth in it but can’t celebrate as you feel his hand on your ass, “I wouldn’t have done it if I wasn’t paid very generously by the man that really wanted it done”. 
You hear a bang in your ear and had to fight the urge to jump. You can hear Steve, “calm the fuck down Buck. You nearly scared the shit out of her”. 
You look at both of the men, “I’m assuming you won’t tell me more without a little warm up?”. 
You raise an eyebrow and they look at each other as the man with his hand around you speaks too close for comfort, “hmm, if you’re a good girl I might tell you who the guy was”. 
You hear Sam laughing in your ear as Bucky swears a string of curses. The lie from the guy is oozing out of him. You flash them a smile, “okay, well go get us some drinks and I’ll freshen up in the ladies”. 
They agree and let you go with a slap on the ass. You feel sick and just want to get out now that you have a lead. You look back to make sure they’re not watching as they make their way to the bar. 
Once you’re sure you head towards the exit. Bucky speaks in your ear, “you did great, now get out”. You weave in and out of people as casually as you can. 
You’re nearly at the door when someone steps in front of you, “well, I didn’t think I would be seeing you here, I must say”. 
You look up to see Isaac Williams from Darren’s party. You mentally curse and try to skirt around him, “I’m sorry, you must have me confused-“. 
He steps in your path again, “don’t patronise me Y/N”, he gives you a smile that feels anything but friendly, “you look beautiful tonight”. 
You don’t say anything, knots twisting in your stomach. He speaks again, “so what are you doing here?”. 
“Looking at the art”, you say bluntly. 
His smile twists slightly, hardly noticeable, “don’t be like that Y/N”. 
You start to move passed him again, “I was just leaving. I don’t feel well”. 
He grabs your arm, harder than you liked, “would you like a lift? If you feel unwell you shouldn’t be out alone”. 
You try and tug away from him, “no thank you”. 
He stares at you for a few moments as you try and pull your arm back from him, “let me go Isaac”. 
His grip tightens, “ah, so you do remember me? I’m honoured that my name has made its way into your memory”. 
“Let me go”, you say it through clenched teeth.
You hear Steve in your ear, “Buck, wait! You go in there and its all over! Buck!”. You can hear a slight struggle follow after what Steve says. 
You yank your arm harder, finally breaking away from him. You walk passed without another word as he calls after you, “I hope to see you soon Y/N”. 
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etherealwaifgoddess · a year ago
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Run To You - Chpt.5
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Summary: Bucky & Steve’s date has some unintended consequences forcing Bucky to make some hard decisions. Master list is HERE :)
Content Warnings: Attempted child abduction. Emphasis on ATTEMPTED. Becca will be fine ya’ll. 
Word Count: 5.5k
Author’s Note: Hello lovelies! Remember last chapter where I was like “oh hey enjoy this unusually large chapter”? Well, I went to write a normally sized chapter and my hand slipped. Whoops! Enjoy another giant beast chapter lovelies! And don’t hate me for the angst!! I promise this fic has a happy ending, it’s just a long road to get there. XOXO - Ash
Chapter Five
Bucky wakes to bright light streaming in his bedroom window and Becca sitting on top of him. “Wake up sleepy head!” she chirps, shoving his shoulder as hard as she can. 
“Whoa, calm it down little miss.” Bucky grumbles. 
“I’m gonna be late!” 
Bucky looks over at the alarm clock and realizes she’s right. “Shit.” 
“Bad word!!” 
“Becca!” Bucky snaps and instantly regrets it. “Quieter, bug. Please. Come on, let’s get moving.” 
Bucky hurries Becca through her morning routine, grabbing her tiny backpack and breakfast on their way out the door. Bucky knows he’s a mess, hair sloppily thrown up in a bun, sweatpants and a hoodie because he just can’t take the time to find real clothes. He doesn’t even bother to throw on his prosthetic. Becca nibbles at her string cheese and mini muffins as they hustle down the busy city sidewalks to her school, just finishing as they round the last corner. He gives her a quick hug and kiss before she runs into the building screeching hello to the teacher at the door. The teacher gives Bucky an odd look that he chalks up to him looking like a hot mess and he gives her a small wave and terse smile in return. 
It’s early yet and Bucky doesn’t have to worry about work for a few more hours so he decides to splurge and stop for coffee and a breakfast sandwich on his walk home. One treat won’t hurt and he’s still holding on to the warm feeling in his chest from last night’s date with Steve. Waiting in line a few other people give Bucky strange looks and he wonders how rough of shape he’s in. He prays there isn’t a giant rip on his clothes or something but after a discrete check he doesn’t think that’s the case. Just a weird morning then. 
The hoodie actually comes in handy once Bucky realizes he can’t carry both a sandwich and his coffee when he’s down an arm. Tucking the sandwich in his hoodie pouch, he sips the pumpkin spice latte slowly enjoying the sweet fall flavors on his way home. His phone starts chirping at him but with no free hand Bucky is forced to ignore it until he gets back to the apartment. It was going off earlier too and he figures who ever needs him so damn bad can just wait five more minutes. 
Bucky stretches out on the sofa to enjoy his breakfast, throwing on a random movie from his queue, when he finally looks at his phone. He wonders if the world is ending and he missed it somehow. Eight missed calls from Steve, two voicemails, and four texts. Two calls from Natasha, one voicemail, and two texts. Three texts from Clint. 
Natasha wants to know if he’s seen the news, if he’s okay, and what she can do to help. 
Clint also asks if he’s okay and tells him he’s an ass for not sharing the deets. 
Steve asks him repeatedly to call him, frantically apologizing in between. 
Still confused and becoming increasingly worried, Bucky brings up the news on his phone and finds his own face on the front page. The picture is from the night before, he and Steve walking back to his place with Becca on Steve’s shoulders. They look so happy that it tugs at Bucky’s heartstrings before the realization of what this means sinks in. He shoots a quick text to Natasha assuring her that he’s fine and he’ll catch up with her tonight. Clint gets two emojis in response: a thumbs up and the middle finger. Steve, he actually calls back. The blonde had sounded so worried in his voicemails. 
“Bucky, thank god.” Steve blurts out in lieu of hello. 
“Well good morning to you too.” Bucky jokes. 
“Are you okay? Is Becca okay?” 
“Yeah, Steve, we’re good. I just dropped Becca off a preschool. I don’t know what you’re worried about, it was a normal morning outside of a few funny looks. But honestly that was probably me going out looking like a hobo because I overslept.” 
“Buck…” Steve falters, “It won’t be long ‘til they figure out who you are. We can keep the press at bay here in the tower but you’re going to have some serious issues as soon as a reporter gets your name. You and Becca could come stay here for a bit or I can have a security team allocated to you both until the news dies down.” 
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down a minute. We don’t need security and I’m not dragging Becca to Manhattan just because some dudes with cameras may or may not come pester us. We’ll be okay.” 
“I’m just worried about you guys. You didn’t sign on for the shit storm that’s blowing up right now. I’m so sorry, Buck.” 
“Actually, I did.” Bucky points out, “I’m not stupid, Steve. I knew what I was signing on for the minute we started talking. It’s gonna be okay, nothing lasts forever and Becca is a resilient kid.” 
Steve is quiet for a long moment, trying to compose himself to say what he knows he needs to say. “If you need to take some time apart until this all dies down…” he chokes up and lets the sentence lie. 
“No.” Bucky’s voice is firm. “I’m not running on you again. We’re gonna deal with this together.” 
“Okay,” Steve sighs heavily in relief, “I’m going to be tied up today doing interviews. Apparently there’s no hiding the fact that I’m bisexual now. It’s funny that I’ve never tried to hide it but the news is claiming I’ve been ‘publicly outed’ by the tabloids. I’m not going to say a whole lot about you, about us. I don’t want to speak for you or anything. But if you’re okay with it, I would like to confirm that I’m in a relationship and that I care about you very much.” 
“Aww, you big sap. Yeah, of course that’s fine.” 
“Can I call you later when I have time?” 
“I’m working tonight but I’ll have a chance for a quick break around 10pm.” 
“I’ll talk to you then. If you need anything, I mean it Buck, anything, just call me. I’ll pick up on national TV if I have to.” 
Bucky rolls his eyes and hopes Steve can feel his exasperation through the phone lines. “Get going, ya punk. You have a country full of conservatives to horrify with your secret homosexual agenda.” 
Steve laughs, the first bit of happiness he’s had since waking up to the news. “Will do.” he says quickly and hangs up before his overly dramatic heart can blurt out something terribly stupid like I love you. He pushes down the tender, fledgling emotion, knowing it’s too fast but feeling the gentle flutters nonetheless. 
Natasha arrives at Bucky’s apartment a full hour early that night so he can get her caught up while making dinner for her and Becca, while Becca watches an episode of Wonder Pets in the living room. Natasha apparently watched a few interview clips of Steve’s and teases Bucky over how completely smitten they both are. It’s nice and normal, the teasing and banter over a new relationship with his best friend. It makes him think Steve really was just being overly concerned with his fears.
It’s a blessedly slow night at the ER and no one seems to recognize Bucky as he hops from one patient to the next, getting people stabilized and ready to be seen by one of the doctors on shift. When Steve calls at ten he sounds better than he had that morning. He’s exhausted from the media circus but pleased that he was able to get the story out in his own words. He asked for privacy for all their sakes but knows it won’t last long. Bucky continues to assure him that they’ll handle things as they come and to not worry. Steve can’t help but feel like it’s the calm before the storm. 
The calm only lasts until 2am. Dr. Strange pulls Bucky out of a patient room, pushing Darcy in to take his place and dragging him down the hall to the staff break room. “What the hell?” Bucky demands once the door is shut. 
Strange’s face is grim, “There are currently fifteen reporters in the lobby all asking if you’re working and if anyone has a statement they’d like to make.” 
Bucky’s stomach drops, “Fuck.” 
“Yes, fuck indeed. I’ve already made some calls and the police are on their way to clear house. We don’t expect that to last however. HR is willing to give you the rest of this week off, paid, while we sort out protocol for this sort of thing. Amanda will call you tomorrow to talk details once the board meets and decides what we can do to protect both you and our patients. We obviously can’t have reporters milling around every time you work.” 
Bucky doesn’t even know what to say. 
“If you want to go gather your things, Paul in security will escort you out the back away from the reporters.” 
“Okay,” Bucky agrees, because really what else can he do?
Darcy catches up with him as he’s packing up his locker, “They’re sending you home?” she cries, pulling him into a hug. 
Bucky nods numbly, “Rest of the week, yeah. They have to, there’s too much going on right now. It’s paid at least.”  
“Well that’s something.” Darcy concedes. “How are you getting home? It’s a madhouse out there.” 
“Paul’s gonna have me go out the back. I’ll be okay.” 
“Call me if you need me.” she insists, giving him another tight hug. 
Bucky promises he will and then follows the kindly old security guard through the maze of hospital halls and outside. 
The air is bitter cold and Bucky’s thankful for his heavy jacket as he hurries down the mostly empty streets home. Natasha is tapping away on her laptop when he arrives. She does cyber security work and swears she gets most of her work done after midnight anyway. It works out well when he needs help on his overnight shift rotations. 
“What happened?” she demands and slams the lid of her laptop down. 
Bucky shucks off his jacket and joins Natasha on the sofa. “Reporters showed up at the hospital, like a lot of them. Strange was on tonight, thank god, he’s a tough son of a bitch and he wasn’t putting up with crap from anyone. They snuck me out the back while the cops got rid of the reporters.” 
“But what about tomorrow? Is this gonna affect your job?” 
Bucky shrugs, trying to ignore the low level fear humming in his veins over that exact concern. “I honestly don’t know. HR is gonna call me tomorrow once they figure out ‘protocol’ for this. Somehow Strange got them to give me the rest of the week off with pay. I don’t even know what I’m going to do with myself for the next six days.” 
Natasha raises an eyebrow, surprised and happy for him. “I vote catching up on your Netflix queue and being a lazy ass. You never take a break, Bucky. And you of all people deserve one. Maybe go spend some more time with that gorgeous boyfriend of yours. Some kid-free time, if you know what I mean.” She wiggles her eyebrows until Bucky throws a pillow at her. She ducks easily, laughing. “I’m just saying! It’s been a long time since he-who-shall-not-be-named.” 
Bucky bristles at the mention of his ex. He should have seen Brock for the piece of shit he was, but he’d missed it at first, too wrapped up in the bliss of a new relationship. In the end, Brock’s true colors had come out and Bucky had ended things before it could become even more toxic than they already become. He sighs, pushing the ugly memories away. “It hasn’t been that long. And you’re forgetting Micah from the hospital cafe.” 
“It’s been four years since him. And Micah doesn’t count. That was a year ago and it didn’t go past a lunch date where he, and I quote, kissed you like a St. Bernard.” 
Bucky shudders at the memory. “Okay, so it’s been a while. Maybe I will go see Steve one day while Becca’s at school.” 
“That’s more like it!” Natasha cheers quietly, cautious to not disturb Becca. “So, do you want company or should I scoot and let you get some rest?” 
“I love you for offering but I just wanna crash. If I can get a few hours now I’ll be able to get back on daytime hours easier.” 
“Love you too.” Natasha leans over to hug him before packing up her stuff and heading out. 
It was a crazy day but as Bucky climbs into bed, he’s still resolved that it’s going to be okay again soon. 
Bucky is groggy when his alarm goes off at 7am but it’s better than he would have been if he hadn’t gotten any sleep. Becca is thrilled that he’s home and even more so when he tells her that he’ll be home the rest of the week. They make plans over breakfast for things they can do after she gets out of school since they have all the time in the world now. Bucky compromises with one quick park trip, which he cringes thinking about but he’ll just have to pack her inhaler and make sure she takes breaks, two trips to the library, and one night they’ll grab dinner at the neighborhood diner for their kids eat free night. 
The week flies by and Bucky gets the all clear on Thursday to return the following Sunday once the hospital is able to put additional security in place. He’s thankful they’re not just letting him go to avoid all the hassle but several nurses and doctors apparently made their opinions loud and clear that he was worth the additional security measures. Bucky is eternally grateful for his coworkers and makes plans to take in a tray of thank you brownies on his first shift back. 
A second round of good news comes in a few hours later; Steve is back early from his latest mission. They make plans for the following day, unwilling to wait any longer to see one another again. Steve will be, in theory, just hanging around the tower wrapping up some post-mission paperwork from earlier in the week so he’ll be able to take most of the day to show Bucky around the tower and spend time with him. He also offered to take them all to The Met after Becca gets out of school and Bucky said he’ll consider it. It’s a little extravagant, but something about picking her up together and going on an outing tugs at his heartstrings. It’s so perfectly domestic, like a real family would do. Bucky tries to ignore the longing he feels for something he’s never let himself consider before. 
There’s a lone reporter lingering outside his apartment when Bucky heads out to pick up Becca from school. There were a lot the first two days but their numbers dropped off drastically when they realized he really wasn’t all that interesting. “Hey man.” Bucky gives the reporter a little wave. He has to give the guy credit for determination. “Still not going to do anything interesting, sorry.” 
The reporter huffs a laugh, “Ya never know!” 
Bucky laughs in return and heads off, trying to ignore the fact that the man is following him a few steps back. He gives the guy a few more days before he gives up too. Bucky is a single parent with a full time job, he doesn’t have the time to do anything interesting. 
Rounding the corner to Becca’s school he spies the little girl talking to a man in a long beige wool coat. The man is tall and thin with greying hair and wire framed glasses. His appearance screams of wealth in a way that would make him fit right in as a parent of someone at the school, but something is off and Bucky steps up his pace. Becca hasn’t spotted him yet but he hears the man ask “Your daddy is friends with Captain America isn’t he?” 
Becca, all proud smiles, informs him, “He’s my brother, not my daddy. And Captain America is his boyfriend.” 
“Isn’t that nice. Hey, I have something you can give your brother for me, okay? Can you be a big helper? It’s right over here.” Becca looks unsure so the man smiles brightly and takes her hand, leading her down the sidewalk away from the school. A black van pulls up at the end of the block, a door swinging open and the man hurries her along. 
Bucky screams Becca’s name and breaks out into a full run. Icy fear consumes him, driving him to move faster than he ever has before. Please God no, please, don’t let them take my baby girl. 
The reporter realizes what’s going on and sprints right along with Bucky. They collide with the man and Becca at the same time. The reporter tackles the man, pinning him to the ground, leaving Bucky to grab Becca and roll to the ground shielding her in his arms. A teacher runs over with her phone out yelling “The police are on their way!” to them. 
The man writhes underneath the reporter, trying to free himself while looking panickedly at the van. The van door slides shut and then the vehicle flies off with screeching tires. Once it’s out of sight the man lays his head back on the pavement in defeat.
“Just stay put buddy.” the reporter grumbles. 
Now that Becca is safe Bucky is filled with a depth of rage he didn’t even realize he was capable of. Somebody tried to snatch his baby girl right in broad daylight. Bucky checks her over one more time before passing her off to the teacher who’s still holding on the line for 911. 
Bucky stalks over to where the reporter still has the man pinned. His movements are predatory, his voice low, practically a grow, when he demands, “Who the fuck do you think you are?” 
The reporter just stares at the man, also waiting for an answer. 
“I am one of many.”
Bucky shakes his head. God, he just wants to punch this guy in his smug face. “Fine. Who do you work for?” 
“Cut off one head and two more take its place.” 
“I’m getting real sick of riddles and I still got at least two minutes before the cops show. Last time, asshole. Who the fuck do you work for and why do you want my kid?”
“The child, or you, it matters not. Either will get us the captain. We are everywhere. We will come again, and we will succeed. Hail Hydra.” The man crunches down on something and within seconds he’s foaming at the mouth, his eyes rolling lifeless back in his head.
Bucky looks to Becca, thankful the teacher is shielding her away from what took place. Ice cold fear runs in his veins. He knew there could potentially be a risk dating Steve, but it was an abstract sort of knowledge. Up until minutes ago he’d thought the only real concern was pesky reporters. Most of which, he has to admit, are actually good people just trying to make a living. A real threat, a fucking terrorist threat, is something he’d never really put much thought into. That name too: Hydra. Everyone knows of the Nazi group who Captain America has been trying to destroy since the 40s. A threat from them is very, very real. 
The cops arrive and start dispersing the crowd that’s formed. It seems like forever until they’ve taken statements from everyone and the body is removed. Becca holds up as well as a four year old can trying to answer the police man’s questions, and Bucky fills in gaps as he can. They take his statement too and let him know they can provide a security detail if he wants. The officer looks sheepish but also recommends he call Steve because Shield and the Avengers can likely provide better security than the NYPD can. Bucky thanks the officer and agrees to call Steve as soon as possible. 
Becca is shaking so hard by the time they head home that Bucky scoops the little girl up to carry her the whole way. Two uniformed officers follow them back and do a full sweep of the apartment just to err on the side of caution. Buck appreciates the security but as he stands in his too quiet apartment he realizes he can’t do this every day. He adopted Becca to give her a better life and now he’s put her in more danger than she ever would have been in being raised by their parents. All because some small part of him still held on to the hope that there was someone out there that he could love and would love him back wholeheartedly and forever. That despite his upbringing, he could have a perfect family of his own one day. Bucky feels painfully childish that his pathetic longing for a partner had almost cost him his sister. 
Ever the responsible parent, Bucky stifles the emotions whirling in his chest and puts on a good front for Becca’s sake. She falls asleep halfway through Frozen II and Bucky doesn’t even bother trying to wake her. He knows there’s no fighting the adrenaline crash she’s feeling. His own crash will be equally brutal when it comes, but for now it’s still nowhere in sight. Bucky is too keyed up, restless and desperately trying to find a solution that keeps all of them safe and happy. He drags a cup of coffee and a blanket out onto the fire escape where he sits to watch the sun drop lower and lower among the roof tops. He’s almost finished his drink when a knock sounds on the door. 
The security detail is supposed to be vetting anyone going near his apartment so the odds are good it’s someone he knows, but it doesn’t stop him from slipping a kitchen knife into his hand on the way to the door. Peering through the peephole Bucky sees red hair, black leather, and a very pissed off Natasha. “Let me in.” she says, it sounds like a warning. 
Bucky opens the door and stands out of the way. It’s not worth arguing with Natasha when she gets like this. 
“You turned off your phone.” She comments without emotion. 
Bucky nods. “I don’t want to deal with it right now.” 
Natasha follows him as he heads to the kitchen to return the knife, seemingly pleased by his caution. “By it, you mean Steve.” 
“Amongst other things.” 
“You know I’m here for you. Whatever you need, just name it.” 
“That’s just it, I don’t know. I keep coming to the same answer and I hate it, Nat. I just… I can’t do this to Becs.” Bucky’s voice cracks on the little girl’s name and Natasha wraps her best friend into a tight hug. 
“You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.” 
“I don’t even know how to do what I want to do. I’m sure it’s not nearly as easy as movies make it out to be.”
“Let me help. You and Becca mean the world to me. Whatever it is we’ll figure it out together.” 
Bucky sighs heavily, still leaning on Natasha. “We need to disappear.” 
Natasha goes still, “Are you sure?” 
“No. Yes. I don’t know. I can’t think of any other way to keep her safe. Even if I break up with Steve, Hydra can still use us as leverage. Feelings don’t just disappear... But people can.” 
“Okay. Give me four hours.” Natasha pulls back and starts texting rapidly on a small cell phone Bucky has never seen before. 
“What the fuck, Nat.” 
“Working in cyber security has some perks.” She shrugs. 
“I don’t think it’s normally supposed to have those kinds of perks.” 
“Well, it depends on who you’re keeping secure.” Nastaha’s smile is cheshire. 
“Damn. Okay, then. What do you need me to do?” 
“Stay put. I’d say try to get some sleep but I know you won’t. Pack a duffel bag for each of you. No more than that, I mean it. Think in terms of what you absolutely can’t leave behind, this is not packing for vacation. You can buy basic stupid shit when you get where you’re going. Two outfits and whatever else you can’t leave that fits in two duffels. Got it?” 
“Okay, got it.” 
“Oh, and your phone. You won’t be needing that anymore.” 
Bucky holds the phone out but doesn’t let go. “I have all of Becs’ baby pictures on there.” 
Natasha gives him an understanding smile. “I’ll move them all to an online cloud storage site. You won’t lose a single one.” 
Bucky releases the phone. “Thanks, Nat.” 
Natasha hugs him tightly again. “Four hours. Be ready.” 
And with that Bucky is left alone in his living room in shock. He supposes he shouldn’t be all that surprised. Natasha has always been a badass. He used to joke she was really a Russian spy and their friendship was just a cover for her real identity. Bucky now wonders now how close to the truth he might have been. 
Four hours later, down to the minute, Natasha is striding through his door once again, a large envelope tucked under her arm. There’s no warm welcome or pleasantries, Natasha has her game face on and Bucky is still too rattled to try for levity. Spreading the papers out on the coffee table Natasha organizes everything quickly. “Birth certificates, immigration paperwork, social security cards, school records, medical records, a resume with work history and references, and a quick life history fact sheet for both of you.” She places a wallet from her pocket onto the table as well, flipping it open quickly to show him it’s fully filled with cards, cash, and an ID card.
Bucky scans over the documents, unable to believe she had pulled this off so quickly and how real everything looked. “Sebastian Stan?” he asks, nose wrinkling. 
Natasha nods, “Yep, you’re Romanian. You moved here with your daughter Elena when she was two months old. Your wife died in childbirth and so you brought her here to start over.” 
He spies the address on the drivers license. “Rochester? Is that where we’re actually going?” 
“No, of course not. You and your daughter have recently moved to Cape Elizabeth, Maine. That’s where you’re headed. You’ll be happy to know their local urgent care center is looking for a new triage nurse. The pay is pretty good and it’ll be enough to cover rent for the cute little apartment that you just put a down payment on.” Natasha pulls something from her pocket, it’s flesh colored and rolled up tightly. She hands it over with a simple, “Here, you’ll need this too. Don’t want that guy drawing too much attention to you.” 
Bucky stares at the silicone sleeve, realizing it’s a perfect fit for his prosthetic. The details are down to an art, from light arm hairs and tiny freckles. It’s soft enough too that as long as you don’t grasp it very hard, it’ll feel shockingly similar to his right arm. “Damn. You don’t miss a thing, do you?”
“Of course not. Who do you think you’re dealing with?” Natasha glares at him affectionately.
Bucky chuckles, of course she’s the best at this. She’s been the best at everything since the day they met. “What happens to Bucky and Becca Barnes then?” he’s afraid to ask but he needs to know.
“They got on a flight to Moscow two hours ago. There’s a few nice security officers and cab drivers who will all verify they were sighted leaving the airport about eight hours from now.” 
“That works for the rest of the world, but what happens if Steve goes looking? He has an awful lot of friends in high places.” 
“Steve isn’t going to go looking right now. And even if he did, the alibi will hold up. Trust me.” 
A tiny piece of Bucky’s heart shatters that Steve would just let him go so easily. 
Natasha recognizes the look on his face and quickly adds, “He called you non stop after the news broke. Sent you dozens of texts too. You very nearly had the full force of SHIELD and the Avengers on your doorstep if it wasn’t for Tony Stark.” 
“What happened?” 
“Tony convinced Steve that if you weren’t calling or responding that he was as good as dumped. The rumor mill always hinted their relationship was strained but Tony really is good at kicking Steve when he’s down and Tony played his cards right on this one. Steve has been holed up in his apartment all night, he’s not doing too great.” 
It kills Bucky to know he’s putting Steve through this pain, but he’s firm in his decision. He’d be more disappointed in himself but he’s too tired. Things got tough and he’s doing exactly what he’s been doing since he was a kid to protect himself: he’s running. “How do you even know all this?” Bucky asks, realizing Natasha shouldn’t have this level of detail on the goings on at the tower. 
“I hacked into the security feed at Avengers Tower. Jarivs was a handful but not more than I could handle. Tony Stark is brilliant but he’s also arrogant, and that’s his downfall.” 
“You are, without a doubt, the scariest person I’ve ever met. I’m gonna miss you.” Bucky can’t hold back the tears at the thought of leaving Natasha behind. 
“What do you mean, miss me? You went to college with Natalie Rushman, you’re even Instagram friends. You haven’t seen me in a few years but we still keep in touch regularly.” Natasha brings out yet another little black phone he’s never seen and shows him Natalie’s Instagram account. 
“How many of those little phones do you have tucked up your sleeve?” he teases.
“The world will never know.” she quips in return. “I do need to go though.” she adds in a more serious tone.
Bucky nods, he knew this was coming. He can’t get words past the lump in his throat.
“You have a train to catch in about forty minutes. That one will take you as far as Boston and there’s more tickets from there. Try and get some rest, you’ll be getting into town in Maine around eight in the morning.” 
“I’ve gone longer without sleep pulling doubles at the hospital, this won’t be nearly as bad.” 
Natasha gives him a half hearted smile, “You’re all set then.” 
Bucky pulls her in for one last hug. “I’ll message Natalie when we arrive.” 
“Mmm, yes. Sebastian would definitely snap a pic of his new hometown when he arrives. I’ve heard it’s very Insta-worthy.” Tears shine in Natasha’s eyes but they don’t fall. She swallows thickly. “Be safe.” 
“You too.” Bucky manages to croak out through the overwhelming tide of emotions. He holds her for one last heartbeat before she slips out the door like a ghost. 
Bucky goes through all the documents Natasha left behind and finds a thin red iPhone in the stack. There’s a post-it note stuck on top warning “do not activate until after you are on the second train”. So much for keeping himself occupied while he waits. In the end he spends most of the time pacing around the apartment and double checking his bags. He checks the time again, making sure he’s down to the final few minutes when he finally goes to get a sleeping Becca from her bed. She barely stirs as he carefully slides her into her warm purple jacket and slips socks and shoes on her feet. He slings her over his shoulder and collects the two duffels with his free hand. It’s a little jarring to see tan skin where he’s used to seeing shiny steel but he appreciates that Natasha thought of everything. 
He worries momentarily about the security detail outside his apartment but quickly realizes they’re distracted helping an elderly woman catch her escaped pomeranian who’s barking up a storm. It’s a good diversion, one clearly planned out. Bucky holds on tightly to Becca and all but runs down the hall to the stairwell. He doesn’t slow down until he’s two blocks away and he realizes he really did escape without being sighted. Slowing his pace to a normal New York hustle, he heads towards the train station and to their new lives.
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angelic-holland · a year ago
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TMO 15
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“The carousel never stops turning. You can’t get off.”
Summary:  You and Tom finally get to go on that date. One that isn’t a set up for a murder and one that isn’t forced. Right?
Word Count: 4.5k
Warnings: graphic depictions of murder, lots of angst, and a small bit of fluff
A/N: the final chapter!!! ahhh, thank you all for coming on this insane journey with me! an alternate ending will be posted in a few days and the epilogue will be out next week! feedback is always appreciated! 
By the time you and Tom dry off, you’re so exhausted you’re falling asleep on his shoulder as he helps you dress.
“We should find a hotel to stay at for the night,” Tom suggests, helping you into the car. 
“Can we just sleep here, Holland?” You whine, buckling your seatbelt as Tom turns the car on.
“No, because we might get killed by an ax murderer or something,” Tom murmurs, moving his hand to rest on top of yours.
“An ax murderer? Oooo, what a way to go,” you tease.
“Shhh, rest your eyes, I’ll find us a nice hotel,” Tom says and before you could respond, you find yourself drifting to sleep.
 By the time Tom pulls into a hotel parking lot, you’re fast asleep, so he carries you inside. 
For a moment, he thinks the two of you could run away together, screw Idaho, screw going back to killing people to right some wrongs in the world. 
That is, until he starts to carry you inside and as you snuggle closer into his arms, he gets a text message alert. 
When he checks his phone he sees that it’s an Amber Alert. Normally Tom ignores them, knows that eventually the police and FBI will eventually catch whoever took the kid.
But as he clicks on the picture of the child who was taken, his heart nearly falls out of his chest.
The kid looks just like Harry, a younger version of him, red curly hair and a silly smile, one that Harry would get every time they passed a puppy walking with its owner. 
He doesn’t think twice before turning around and buckling you back into the car. You stay sound asleep on the ride back to Idaho, Tom carries you into a small motel right outside the town, only two away from yours, where the young boy went missing.
He wakes you up after placing you on the stiff mattress.
“What’s up? What’s wrong?”  You ask, instinctively resting one hand on your stomach and hoping you didn’t give anything away with your movement.
“There’s an Amber Alert, this kid, James Hugh, he was abducted a block away-,”
“Stop! Tom, where are we?”
“Like fifteen minutes from home, anyway, he was abducted in a grocery store parking lot right down the road-,”
“Tom,” you say sharply, sitting up and resting a hand on his cheek, forcing him to look at you.
“What?” Tom says, finally looking you in the eye.
“This isn’t what I meant when I said I wanted you to show me you care, show me you aren’t like Jake or anyone else,” you look down, dropping your hand to his shoulder. 
“But, come on, we could find out what happened to the kid-,”
“Tom, we aren’t detectives, this isn’t an episode of Scooby Doo, we won’t capture a monster and find out he’s an ordinary man after all.”
“Y/N! Come on! Are you seriously going to sit here and not help this kid? I mean, you and I both know the police are completely useless!” Tom walks away, starting to pace as you roll your eyes.
“Tom, this isn’t, this is spur of the moment, I don’t do this, I need careful planning and-, this is work for the police, Tom. Have you ever tried chasing after a kidnapper? Someone in the midst of probably really trying to hurt a child? The risk is too high, I’m not going to do it.”
“Then I will!” Tom shouts.
Both of you freeze, your baby kicking you almost in fear. 
When you look at Tom and realize you and him have completely different priorities, it’s in that moment you realize that you and him will never work. You know what you have to do, even though your heart and baby kick at you in protest.
Tom freezes again, looking at you with those wide doe eyes that you wonder if your child would have the same big brown eyes.
“Nevermind, it’s stupid, I’m stupid,” Tom chuckles, closing his eyes as he tries to ground himself. That kid isn’t Harry, the police can handle it. This isn’t his usual business, therefore he should stay out of it.
“It’s just, I wanted something different,” you say quietly. 
“What do you want? I mean, seriously, you can’t expect me to read your mind.”
“I want you to take me out,” you say decidedly.
“On a date or with a sniper?”
The joke falls flat, but you laugh anyway, swinging your legs off the bed.
“You decide.”
***
Graham sighs as he watches the SWAT team prep, “Montgomery, let’s prep for Y/N’s apartment, Tom hasn’t been to his much since three and a half months ago. Surely, if they’re going anywhere, they’ll be heading to her place.”
“Boss, you sure we shouldn’t put resources on both places?” Montgomery asks skeptically as he tightens his bulletproof vest.
“No, we have a single SWAT team and us, we need to throw all our weight behind this, this is the day we finally catch them. I can feel it,” Graham smiles.
“It’s a beautiful day to capture serial killers,” Montgomery jokes, feeling the cold stare of Graham dead on the back of his head.
“Son, you need to stop binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.” 
***
Tom calls you when it’s getting close to eight, he’s already dressed, ready, waiting. There’s a nervous energy to him because he feels like something just isn’t right. He wants to push that feeling down, and he knows the only way to do that is to hear your voice.
“I’m finishing my hair, Holland, chill out.”
“How long does it take you to do your hair?” Tom whines slightly, bouncing on one foot.
“I know, I’m sorry I promised I’d meet you at your place but it’s just taking me longer to get ready than I thought. And I want to get there on time so I just figured you could pick me up here.”
“Course, I’ll see you at 8 then darling,” Tom smiles, eyes crinkling as he adjusts his tie in the mirror. It was the same one he wore the first time you ever worked together. As he ran his hand over the silk material he smiled at the memories the tie bubbled up from his subconscious.
***
“Go ahead Holland, put me in my place,” your voice is venomous as you buck your hips up against him, “you’re pathetic,” you spit out, hands tugging at his hair.
“Shut the fuck up,” he grunts, undoing his tie and grabbing your hands in his own, slamming them above your head.
“Make me dumbass,” you watch as he wraps the blue silk tie around your wrists, tying it expertly and he watches you stare at him in wonder. A smirk passes his lips before he presses them against your own. 
Your knee collides with the side of his groin and he groans, sitting up.
“What the fuck was that?”
“Don’t kiss me,” you get out, arms straining against the tie that held them together.
“Do you still-,”
“Fuck me Tom, just don’t fucking kiss me.”
***
“I can’t wait, see you then.”
“Bye, love you,” Tom says as he hangs up. He doesn’t even realize what he’s said until it hits him like a brick a moment later.
“Holy fuck,” he leans against his dresser, taking in what he said.
He set his phone down and wrung his hands out, they were slightly clammy as he picked up the envelope. Four tickets sat waiting, they were paper thin but it felt like he was picking up a sniper, the weight of what they were was exhausting. He checked the contents once, then twice, then a third time, just to be sure. Two plane tickets to Malibu, then two from Malibu to the Marshall Islands on a private plane. 
***
“We should run away together,” Tom says, running his hand through your hair.
“What do you mean? The cops on our tail?” You huff out a laugh, it makes his entire body vibrate from your position on top of him, head on his bare chest, one hand intertwined with his own.
“No, I just think it’d be nice, to get away from everything.”
“Everything? Like what? Jake?” You squeeze Tom’s hand and he flinches at Jake’s name.
“Jake doesn’t matter right now.”
“He has all of our assets,” you remind him. Needing him to believe this until you could get to Jake. It was a ridiculous dream of someone who somehow still didn’t understand the cruel way the world just took and took and took without a care for the half empty people she left in her wake.
“We can make more money.”
“What about Harry?”
Tom sucked in a harsh breath and your body moved with his, up as his lungs filled and down as he exhaled, “it’s been 8 years since the accident.”
“He’s your brother.”
“He’s been in a coma for 8 years.”
“Tom.”
“I’d still visit him from time to time.”
“That’ll get expensive.”
“Where would we go?”
“Where’s one place you’ve always wanted to go?”
“My history teacher in high school, she told us about how she went to the Marshall Islands for a semester in college. Said the papaya there was the best she’s ever had. She couldn’t eat papaya here anymore, it doesn’t compare.”
“So we’ll go to the Marshall Islands, have the best damn papaya in the world then,” Tom runs his hand down your back, resting on your hip and squeezing slightly.
“How’re we supposed to make money?“
“I-,”
“The only way I’ve ever made money is very, very illegal Tom. And you didn’t have any plans before your accident. Neither of us could earn an honest living.”
“Don’t tear this down before it’s a possibility. There’s a lot to plan.”
You sigh and your body feels cold against his. Your fingers once warm and interconnected with his on the cool bed sheets now gone. You try to roll off of him and he can feel your frustration. He holds onto your hips with both hands. 
You know that this is exactly what you want, for him to try to move on from Harry. To get away with you from this mess.
So why are you trying to sabotage yourself? 
“Don’t you want that? Wouldn’t you want to get away from all of this? From Jake?”
“He-,”
Tom snaps, “Jake tricked us! He manipulated us! He fucking killed the rest of the team. He made us do horrible horrible things. And he’s going to kill us too if we don’t do anything about it.”
And there was that disconnect. Between Tom’s relationship with Jake and your relationship with Jake. Between Tom’s reality and yours. Between his brain chemistry and yours. Maybe he knew that you did this willingly and for no other reason than it was fun, Jake only made sure you worked with him so you wouldn’t kill him. His subconscious willed it away. He only saw the portion of you that he wanted to, the blood that stained your glasses was a soft pink rose color on his.
***
In his other hand was a single black hollyhock flower. He wondered for a moment if he should’ve gotten you a bouquet of them. He wanted to fill the room with them, fill his heart and soul with each and every black flower he came across because they reminded him of you. But he was smart, he wasn’t going to because he knew that you hated them, just grateful he was able to find this one in time for tonight. 
Grateful that no matter what you thought you hid from him, he manages to stay a strong ahead of you. You wouldn’t expect this.
***
Tom laughs breathily as you wiggle in his arms, sending shivers down his spine as you brushed against him.
You turn to face him, he slung his arm over your waist and he loved the way you instinctively moved closer until your shoulder bumped against his.
“I wanna do something for you,” he mumbles, breath ghosting over your cheek, kissing your skin gently.
“And what’s that Holland?” You furrow your eyebrows but there’s a hint of a smile on your lips.
“Something romantic,” His foot taps at your calf and you lift your leg up and let him slide his leg between your own, he wanted to intertwine every part of his body with yours. 
“You made me pasta and you made alfredo sauce even though you prefer marinara. I think that’s pretty romantic,” your eyes are soft now and you smile as his lips brush against your own.
“That’s hardly romantic,” Tom mumbles, the words leaving his lips and he watches as you swallow them, your tongue darting out to swipe at his bottom lip.
“Okay, what type of romance are you talking about?” Your hand rests against his chest and he’s overjoyed and painfully embarrassed at the same time. Overjoyed of another piece of yourself you let touch him, you allowed to reach out and intertwine with him. Embarrassed at how fucking fast his heart was beating, almost like it wanted to leap out of his chest and into your hand. He’d tear open his chest for you and let you cradle his still beating heart in your cold hands. He’d do anything for you. The warmth of your hand seemed to spread through his core, as if you plucked a poisonous seed from him and crushed it. What he didn’t know was that as you crushed the seeds that made him who he thought he hated, you were still taking a part of him he could never get back. 
“I want to buy you roses, and I want to take you out to dinner, because let’s be honest, I overcooked that pasta.”
Your lips twitch into the slightest frown and it causes Tom’s lips to downturn as well.
“What? You can’t seriously tell me you’d rather have my pasta than a five star restaurant.”
You shake your head, your teeth easily tug your bottom lip in as you search for something to say.
“I don’t like roses.”
“Oh yeah?” Tom let’s out another laugh, it’s nervous and his lip trembles as he breathes out.
“No, they smell terrible, seriously, a lady at the mall sprayed perfume at me the other day, I smelled like fucking roses Holland, I’ve never wanted to kill someone in public and go to jail for the rest of my life for manslaughter more.”
They’re cheap words coming from a serial killer, but Tom really isn’t one to talk.
“Anything but, really. Oh! I’ve got a proposition for you, if you can find a flower that perfectly describes me, then and only then you can buy me them. But not like a dozen or whatever, just one. I can press it into glass or something.”
Tom smiles as you talked excitedly and your fingers thrum against his chest.
“What about dinner?”
“What’re trying to wine and dine me for Holland?” You ask, fingers stilling on his chest.
“I just, Jake’s gone-,”
“Right, you killed him.”
Tom grunts, nodding, “Jake’s gone and we’re free. And I guess I feel like I owe it to Harry. To do something more. Because I fucked up plenty enough as it is.”
“Hey, I’m sure, I’m positive that he would’ve understood. He would’ve known the immense and fucked up pressure you were under to pay his medical bills, hell, the pressure you were under to survive.”
“I could’ve done everything different.”
“That’s in the past.”
“But then I wouldn’t have you,” He says in the same breath as you.
“I guess I wouldn’t have you either then, so I won’t complain too much,” you hum against his lips and he smiles before kissing you.
***
Tom slips the man 100 dollars, giving him directions to your house. He’s almost the spitting image of Tom although he’s slightly older and he sells weed to high schoolers. He’s perfect for what Tom needs. 
“Okay, this is her address, take this flower, knock on her door,” Tom says, handing him the single flower. 
“Great, and I’ll get the other 100 once I’m finished?” the man asks.
Tom swallows the lump in his throat, “yes, remember, knock three times. Then tap your hand against your thigh three times.”
“Whatever you say, my dude,” the man nods, leaving Tom in the alley as he rounds the corner towards your townhouse. Tom doesn’t have it in him to wait around, walking through the brisk air to where he parked his car, driving a little further down before parking in a Starbucks parking lot. He taps his hand against his steering wheel three times, a tear falling from his eye as he presses the scar on his palm. 
***
You suck in a shaky breath as you get ready. Settling your hair high on your head into a ponytail, slipping on your gloves, instinctively tightening your kit around you, hiking your duffel bag further up your shoulder and swiping into the hotel room you took out in Jake’s name. You slip on your gloves before opening your bag and pulling out everything you needed for tonight, piecing it all together like a puzzle you got familiar with months ago, you ensured every piece was where it needed to be before you pushed open the window that faced your townhouse. You watched as Tom looked gorgeous as ever, his curls bouncing on his head, took the steps to your place two at a time. He rocked back and forth on his feet for a moment before knocking on your door, once, twice, three times. He twirled a flower in his hand as he did a breath check, which made you laugh lightly before you focused on what you were actually doing here. He taps his hand on his thigh, once, twice, three times. 
Out of everything you wanted to say to Tom in this moment, even if it was a whisper from across a street that he wouldn’t hear, you knew what you needed to say.
You watched his shoulders rise like he was saying something as the door to your townhouse slowly opened. 
“I’m sorry,” you whisper as your finger simply twitches. A tear rolls down your cheek but you ignore it because you have to. There isn’t time to process the implication of what you just did because you hear sirens and you slip out of your spot in the window. In movies everything happens in slow motion, the simple beating of a heart slows down, the pace is sluggish while the world moves at a faster pace around them. This wasn’t the case, your heart beat so loud you’re positive that’s what would get you caught. 
You shut the door calmly behind you and pull the fire alarm located next to your door before slipping off your gloves and sliding them into your kit. You join the mass of hotel guests looking confused and upset as you squeeze through the group of people moving quickly down the stairs at the implication of a fire. As you stumble out the front door you see half a dozen dark SUVs surrounding the door to your townhouse. You’re grateful you don’t have to see him like that. See what you did. You push through the crowd and slip into the side street by the hotel, each step you took echoed in your ears, your heart was rattling in your chest and it ached, you’ve never quite felt anything like it. You locked away your heart a long time ago, you shoved the drawer shut so hard the sound still echoed in the space between your brain and skull. You swallowed the key for good measure. 
You stumble over your feet, leaning against the cool brick wall and heaving as you feel your stomach leap into your throat. You throw up, with your baby kicking against your stomach, reminding you that ‘hey you just killed my dad!’ You throw up the granola bar that was the only food you ate today. You throw up until acid burns the backs of your teeth and your hand shakes as you wipe the back of your mouth. 
You walk towards your rental car, pulling the keys out and slipping into the front seat, resting your hands on the wheel, resting your sweaty forehead on them as you take a deep breath.
You need to be gone, you have maybe five minutes before the FBI team chasing you set up roadblocks, effectively trapping you like a mouse under a painful metal trap. The key turns easily in the ignition, you pull out of the small side street and set your sights on the open road of the highway as tears blur your vision.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” You slam your hand against the steering wheel before you accelerate smoothly onto the highway. You couldn’t look back, you didn’t want to, you know if you stayed even a moment longer that pesky Graham would have you in a cell before you could blink. That didn’t mean you didn’t wish you were the last thing he saw before he died. It wasn’t a sinister wish. You didn’t get off on the person you killed staring into your eyes as they died like Jake. It was a selfish wish really, you wanted him to know it was you that was protecting him from a life behind bars or a lethal injection. You wanted to say three words and watch him repeat them back to you three times before he choked out a final gasp.
***
Graham swears as he hears the backfire of a weapon and the telltale sound of a body hitting the ground. He opens the door from the inside of your apartment with his gun trained on where he heard the gunshot. A man he doesn’t recognize lay bleeding on the ground in front of him, a flower in one limp hand, face twitching in pain as life drained from his eyes quickly.
“Find her! Fucking find her!” Graham shouts, kneeling next to him. 
He checks the pulse in the man’s neck, it’s gone and he grunts out a breath of frustration.
Black SUVs surrounded the townhouse as a fire alarm was set off across the street.
“Nobody gets out of that crowd without being questioned!” Graham feels like his orders are being ignored as he watches his team scramble to contain the crowd of people exiting the hotel, thoroughly confused.
He glances up at the windows in search of where the shot could have come from. He catches the sniper in an open window, sitting precariously on the ledge. 
“We need to process everything on this guy, he’s gotta look like Holland for a reason; Jacobson and Montgomery, go, find out what room that is, process it, don’t let anyone touch anything until we’ve got crime scene techs here,” he orders, pulling out a pair of blue latex gloves and holding the flower from Tom’s hand. 
“What is this?” Reese kneels beside Graham, staring at the black flower.
“A black hollyhock,” Graham notes, staring at it as he stands up. 
“What’s it mean?”
“Don’t know, let’s bag it,” he hands it to a crime scene tech who proceeds to take pictures of the scene, the man’s body as blood pools around it.
“We have to fucking find her,” Graham spits out, knowing you were good as gone, knowing his mission would be as difficult as catching a ghost. In the instant you thought you took Tom’s life, you destroyed a part of your own, and you are going to vanish into thin air as the hole in your chest made it harder and harder for you to breathe. 
***
You drive until the car runs out of gas, you fill up at a station after wiping the tears from your eyes and using eye drops to obscure the redness of them. 
You keep your head down as you pay for enough gas to get to where you are heading, the attendant gives you a look as you tossed him a hundred dollar bill but you just roll your eyes. You pile some food and caffeine onto your bill as well, your stomach rumbling as you push open the door to the station, the bell that rings echoes in your ear as you walk past an old green station wagon. 
You squeeze your eyes shut as memories of cherry ice pops and car sickness floods your brain. 
You pull out your phone, because right now there’s only one person you can think of other than him. Tom is dead. He’s no longer your safety island, no longer your paradise.
You dial a number, unsure of why you’re calling him, but when he picks up, you’re unable to speak.
“Y/N? Is that you?” Harrison’s voice cracks and you sob, immediately covering your mouth.
“Haz?” You pause, sucking in a deep breath, “I uh, I need you, I made a big mistake.”
All of a sudden arms wrap around your middle and drag you behind the station as your phone clatters to the ground. One hand covers your mouth, the other holding down your fighting arms. You swear in about thirty seconds you’ll feel the cool metal of handcuffs around your wrists. What you see when you’re slammed against the brick wall, pain radiating through your cheek, is so much worse.
“Tom?” 
He shaved his head, but the brown eyes and scar above his eyebrow are a clear sign of who it is. Ghosts are not fucking real. So why is someone you killed hours ago pressing you against a brick wall of a gas station? 
“I won’t hurt you,” he mutters, ironically twisting your arm harder behind your back.
“How are you- you’re- Tom you’re supposed to be dead,” you gasp as he lets go of your hand, turning you to face him.
Your back digs into the brick wall and it hurts but you can only focus on Tom even as tears sting your vision.
“Decidedly not dead, I’d say we’re pretty even now,” Tom says, cupping your cheek. You lean away from his touch, still unsure if your mind decided now was a great time to play tricks on you.
“How’d you know?”
“You forgot that I know you,” Tom whispers as you lean back into his touch, opting for the warmth of his hand even if you’re scared of what he might do next. 
“Not as well as you think,” you sigh as his lips brush against your own.
“What’s that mean?” Tom asks, he’s too afraid of your answer, so instead he kisses you.
You kiss him back through blurry vision and your own fear of the next words on the tip of your tongue.
You pull back, head resting against the cool brick, “Tom?”
“We should probably get going, I don’t know if the FBI knows what your car looks like, or mine, but I got a new one and we can drive, drive as far as we need to.”
“Tom-,”
“Drive until we hit the border, maybe we can get into Canada, start fresh there-,”
“Tom! I’m- I’m pregnant.” 
***
Taglist:  @gioandreolli   @honeymoonparker @itsjusttor @averyfosterthoughts @worldoftom @angelhaz11 @rebekkah4766  @murdermornings​
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extasiswings · 8 months ago
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How we feeling clowns?  Wrecked?  Anyway, here, have an episode tag for both the crossover and Buck Begins.  Also on ao3.
Eddie’s driving nearly on autopilot, the roads familiar as they get closer and closer to El Paso. Part of him almost wishes he hadn’t taken the driving shift to get them to his childhood home, even if it made the most sense—he can feel the tension in his jaw and shoulders creeping in, curling tighter with every mile they come closer, and his fingers itch for his phone, for the commiserating sympathies of his sisters who understand what he’s likely to walk into much more than Buck or Hen. 
Technically they could have skipped the detour. Eddie hadn’t even planned on telling his parents he was coming to Texas at all—it was Christopher who let it slip, and then Eddie had been immediately put on the spot and he hadn’t been able to come up with a good way out of stopping by after his weak deflection that it wasn’t a social trip was met with well, you have to stop and eat somewhere, don’t you. 
Sophia told him to lie and say the department said no. But she’s always been much better at lying to their parents outright than he is. Adriana shrugged and said if he didn’t want to go he didn’t need to give them a reason and should just say he wouldn’t be coming. But then, that’s her tactic as well and always has been—putting her foot down to establish hard boundaries, forging her own path and bucking all expectations.  Eddie’s always fallen somewhere in the middle, which he supposes is fitting—struggling to set boundaries, often getting there only when pushed, wanting approval but lacking Sophia’s talent for gentle manipulation that usually leads people to think that whatever she wants was their idea. 
So. Here he sits. Driving to El Paso. 
“Eddie?”
He blinks and clears his throat as he registers Buck’s voice, the edge of concern that says it’s not the first time Buck has called his name. 
“Yeah?”
“I was going to ask if you could pass back the aux cord,” Buck says. “But now I think I should ask if you’re okay.”
Eddie glances over his shoulder—Hen is in the back of the truck, head pillowed against the window, dozing with her eyes closed.  He swallows. 
“It’s been awhile since I’ve seen my parents is all,” he replies. “And usually when they call it’s to talk to Christopher so...it might be uncomfortable.”
Buck’s voice drops. “Have you talked to them since the thing? Other than about this I guess.”
The Thing, also known as the huge fight they got into when Eddie decided that if he was going to keep working he couldn’t live at home for awhile and they tried to once again insist that he take Chris back to live with them. Like some terrible combination of the arguments they had before he moved to LA and after Shannon’s funeral, only even worse because Eddie had been raw enough over the decision to move in with Buck and let his abuela take care of Chris for awhile and really didn’t need to hear anyone tell him that choice made him a bad parent—
Sophia had been spitting mad when he told her and while he doesn’t know what she said in her own subsequent call to their parents, he knows that the next time they called him, the subject didn’t come up again.  Which, he supposes is as close to an apology as he’s ever likely to get.  
He probably could have used that as an excuse to not visit.  But then, that’s not really how they are.  Don’t apologize, pretend you don’t hold grudges, act like everything is fine, and repress until it feels like it is—the Diaz family way.  
Eddie sighs as he focuses on the road.
“Not really,” he replies.  “They’ve called Christopher every few weeks, but we’ve only talked directly...three times maybe since then?  Things seem to go south more quickly when we’re in person though so I guess I’m…”
“Bracing for impact,” Buck fills in quietly.  “I get that.”
“Yeah?”
Buck shrugs.  “I don’t talk about my parents,” he points out.  “Don’t talk to them either if I can avoid it because they always have a way of managing to just—anyway.  The last time I even called was after everything with Maddie and Doug.  Haven’t seen them since...since before I started with the 118 at least. So.  Yeah.  I get it.”
He hesitates, then adds, “You know I have your back, right?  You’re my best friend and you’re an amazing father.  I’m not going to let anybody get away with talking badly about you in front of me, even if they are your parents.”
Eddie glances back and manages a faint smile, some of the tension leaving his shoulders.  
“I’m glad you’re here,” he admits.  “Even if you did try to steal a fire truck in the middle of the night without me.”
Buck laughs and shoves at his shoulder.  “At least it wasn’t this truck.  Besides—you caught up before I did it anyway.”    
“Yeah, my Buck’s about to do something dangerous senses were tingling, couldn’t let that slide,” Eddie teases.
“Just give me the damn aux cord,” Buck shoots back, but he’s grinning.
And as they pass the next exit, Eddie feels like maybe things won’t be quite so bad.
***
Buck hates Eddie’s parents.  
It’s not the most charitable thing to think about someone you’ve only just officially met—he saw them at the ceremony when Eddie passed his probationary period, but he’d been on pretty strong painkillers at the time and Maddie had shuffled him back home as soon as possible—but he really does.
He hates the tense, anxious set of Eddie’s shoulders, hates the way his smile looks forced—it triggers the same fierce, protective instinct that rears its head whenever he gets between his parents and Maddie, and, well, he did promise, so—
He really doesn’t feel bad for interrupting the very first digs about how seeing Christopher over video isn’t the same as in person, but it’s nice to have the option and technology really is wonderful, Zoom calls must have been a great improvement from your army days, right son with—
“You know, it is wonderful isn’t it?  Did Eddie tell you how amazing Christopher is handling hybrid learning?  It’s really so great how his teachers have adapted, I can’t imagine he would have kept up so well anywhere else.”
Buck smiles brightly as Eddie’s mother’s lips thin.  Hen coughs and takes a long sip of lemonade.  Eddie blinks in surprise from across the table and clears his throat, grasping at the lifeline.
“Yeah, top of his class,” Eddie says.  
“He even has a reading group once a week with some of the other kids in his class that Eddie started to help them stay social.  I know a lot of the other parents appreciate it,” Buck adds, and Eddie rubs at the back of his neck.
“We definitely do,” Hen says, glancing at Eddie’s father as she clarifies, “I have a son Christopher’s age.  They used to play together all the time before all of this.”
“His therapist said kids are resilient, but I wanted to at least try and give him something normal,” Eddie replies, and his mother’s brows raise.
“Christopher is in therapy?”  There’s a note in her tone that makes Eddie tense and Buck’s hackles raise.
“I took him to see someone for a few sessions after Shannon died, mom,” Eddie says evenly.  After the tsunami, Buck fills in for himself.  “It didn’t seem like a bad idea to go back again to make sure he’s okay during a time that’s pretty unprecedented for just about everyone.” 
“Really, I think more parents should send their kids to therapy,” Buck interjects.  “If it’s a feasible option, I can’t see that it’s anything other than great parenting to make sure your kid has the best tools they can to take care of their mental health.”
God knows if he’d gone to therapy a hell of a lot sooner, he might not be struggling through sessions with Dr. Copeland now that he’s nearly thirty, but that’s not really the point.
“Well, some people feel those sorts of things are best taken care of within the family,” Eddie’s mother replies.
“With all due respect, sometimes the family’s way of handling problems just makes things worse,” Buck replies, his smile dropping briefly before he forces it back again.
“This lemonade really is delicious, Mrs. Diaz,” Hen jumps in as Eddie pushes his chair back and starts collecting empty plates.  “I would love to get the recipe before we leave.  If you don’t mind.” 
Startled, the older woman blinks.  “Oh.  Yes, of course.  I’ll write it down for you.”
Buck pushes back his own chair as Hen continues redirecting the conversation and follows Eddie into the kitchen where he finds his best friend gripping the edge of the sink.
“Hey,” he says quietly.  
Eddie looks over his shoulder and exhales heavily.  “Hey.”
“Sorry if I overstepped.”
“You didn’t,” Eddie assures.  “I’m just...exhausted.  And ready to get back on the road and home to my kid.”
He hesitates, then adds, “you know, my sisters would be impressed.  I haven’t seen someone manage our parents like that since they left.  I—thank you.”
“I meant what I said in the truck, Eddie,” Buck replies.  “You’re an amazing father and a great man and—it’s not right that anyone should pretend any different.  So.  I won’t let them.”   
Eddie glances at the hallway.  “Guess we have to go back eventually.  I didn’t quite think this escape plan through.”  
“Once more unto the breach?”  Buck offers.  The smile he gives Eddie is far different from the fake one he’s had up since they arrived, and when Eddie returns it, a spark returning to his eyes, it makes Buck’s stomach flip and his pulse race.
He tries not to think too hard about that.  They still have a long drive ahead of them—plenty of time to save it for later.    
“Yeah.  Yeah, okay.”
***
When they get home, Eddie barely manages to shower and plug in his phone to charge before falling into bed and immediately going to sleep.  When he wakes up, he finally checks his messages and sees several missed calls and texts from his sisters.
So? Sophia asks.  How was it?
<em>You were right</em>, Eddie taps out, and then waits. His phone rings a few seconds later. 
“I’ll save the I told you so in favor of asking if I should get Adriana on the line for an emergency Diaz sibling parental grievance vent session or if I’ll suffice,” Sophia greets. 
“It’s not that serious,” Eddie replies. “I’m okay—a little annoyed still, but...I’m okay.”
He’s not quite sure what compels him to add, “Buck was there. He, uh, he told them off about it a little actually. Politely, but that kind of polite...you know the one.”
“The one that’s basically go fuck yourself with a smile and/or plausible deniability?” Sophia fills in, and Eddie laughs. 
“Yeah, that.” He rubs at the back of his neck and leans back in his chair. “It was—he kept pointing out things about what a great dad I am.”
There’s something about the feeling in his gut that he can’t name. Something he wants to poke at, to explore, but that also makes him wary. Like a yellow caution light—it’s not a do not enter but it’s not risk free either—and he’s not sure whether it’s a risk he can take yet. 
Sophia is quiet for a moment. Then she says, “You are a great dad, Eddie. In spite of them. I’m glad you have other people in your life who recognize that too.  You deserve that.  You deserve to trust that you’re good at things, even if mom and dad say you aren’t.  You deserve to be happy, so...”
The silence that follows feels weighty.  
“What?”  Eddie asks.
“Is Buck—?”  Sophia cuts herself off.  “—nevermind.  Hey, the twins are calling, so I’ll call back again later, okay?  Love you.”
Is Buck what? Eddie wants to ask.  But he swallows it back.
“Love you, too,” he says instead.  “Talk to you later.”
As he hangs up and tosses his phone aside, his mind wanders back to that feeling.  Right up to the edge of warning lights and caution tape.  And Eddie wonders for a moment if he should—
There’s a knock at his door.  
“Dad?  You awake?”
“Yeah, buddy,” he calls back.  “Be right there.”
Later.  He can think about it later.  
***
Eddie figures it out at the worst possible time—in the middle of a five-alarm fire when Buck’s trapped inside and he doesn’t know if—
What do you do when you realize you might be in love with your best friend and they could die?
“We have to go back in there,” he says, before he can think of any reason why he shouldn’t.  “We can’t just leave him, we have to—”
“You’re right,” Bobby interrupts, and the other captain makes a noise of frustration.  
“Captain Nash—”
“You’re right,” Bobby repeats, holding Eddie’s gaze.  “We’re going to get him back.”
Maybe it’s stupid, four trained firefighters diving back into an active blaze in an unstable building with unclear direction, but Eddie can’t regret it when he sees the desperation on Buck’s face.  The relief.  The impending breakdown.
After, he’s assigned to take care of the victim and Buck’s carted off to the hospital to get checked, and Eddie thinks maybe that’s better.  It gives him time, at least.  Time to figure out what to say, what to do, whether he should say or do anything at all.  Part of him doesn’t know.  The rest is screaming I love him, I love him, I love him, wants to get his hands on Buck to verify for himself that he’s fine.  That he’s alive.  That he’s going to stay that way.
But when he gets back to the station, Buck’s parents are there, sitting at the table, and Eddie just—
He thinks about the look on Buck’s face earlier in the shift when he spilled everything, when he explained how he was apparently born just for parts and how he used to throw himself into bad situations because it was the only way to get their attention.
He could ignore them.  But he doesn’t.
“He saved my son, you know,” Eddie says, gripping the top of the staircase as the Buckleys look up.  And it’s probably somewhat insane to keep talking because he knows they don’t even know who he is, but he can’t help it because he just needs them to understand—  “Buck.  He wasn’t even working at the time, he was on medical leave and didn’t know if he would ever be able to be a firefighter again.  But he saved my son in the middle of a tsunami—my then eight-year-old son, and god knows I can’t imagine losing him, I think that would be the worst thing I could possibly go through, and I’m not sure I would survive it, but I didn’t have to because Buck saved him.  And probably twenty other people as well.  That’s just the kind of person he is.  The kind who saves people.”
They don’t say a word, so he keeps going.  “He could have died today.  Because he didn’t want to leave anyone behind.  Because he is a good man, even if he doesn’t ever feel like he’s good enough.  And he hasn’t said a lot about you, but he’s said enough for me to know that while he’s gotten the latter impression from you, he learned the former himself.  He built his life here himself.  So...I don’t know why you’re here, if you want to explain yourselves or just want him to forgive you because you feel guilty, but I just wanted you to know that.  That he’s a good man.  The best man that I know.  And if you’re proud of him for that, he deserves to hear it.  That’s all.”
Eddie walks away then, heart beating too fast, blood rushing in his ears.  
The best man that I know.  And I’m in love with him.
That wasn’t for their ears though.  
It thrums in his veins, the words caught in his throat as he showers, changes, waits for Buck to return to the station.  And when he does, Eddie almost—
But something stops him.  
“You have visitors,” he says instead.  And leaves Buck to it.
Buck finds him in the locker room after.
“So, my parents said they heard stories about me while they were waiting,” he says.  “When I asked them who from, they said they didn’t know, but that I saved their son in a tsunami—and trust me, that got a hell of a lot of questions.”      
Eddie is grateful for the open locker, the excuse to hide his face as he pulls out his street clothes.
“Yeah, well—just because they’re not going to appreciate you doesn’t mean that nobody else does.”
“Eddie.”
Eddie pulls back and takes a breath before looking over at Buck.  There’s a look in Buck’s eyes like he’s trying to piece Eddie together like a puzzle, to work out all the things he hasn’t said.  And Eddie suddenly feels exposed, far more than he had when Buck was sitting in his childhood dining room staring down his own parents.  
“You’re a good man,” Eddie says quietly.  “They should hear that.  And...someone should be willing to defend it.”  
Buck’s quiet for a moment.
“I have to go see Maddie,” he says finally.  “But maybe I could come by later?  And we could...talk?”
“You don’t have to ask, Buck,” Eddie replies.  “You know I—”  I always want you.  “—you’re always welcome.”
Buck watches him in silence for another long moment, then nods.  “Okay.  Okay, I’ll see you later then.”
It’s hours before there’s a knock on the door.  Hours in which Eddie burns dinner and then orders takeout because he’s too busy thinking, hours that he spends trapped in his own head, thinking through all the worst case scenarios, through every what if of how things could go wrong.
But also how they could go right.
And by the time he opens the door, he’s almost ready to just let the words trip off his tongue, but before he can, Buck says—
“Please don’t tell me I’m wrong about this.”
—and kisses him.
Eddie freezes, but before Buck can pull back, he slides a hand around the back of Buck’s neck and kisses him back with everything in him—every bit of thank god you’re alive and I was so afraid and I can’t lose you that he can muster.  By the time Buck pulls away, they’re both breathless. 
“I’m in love with you,” Buck admits.  “I’ve been—”
“Me too,” Eddie replies.  “I thought—I thought you were—”
Buck kisses him again.
“I can’t believe you told off my parents.”
“Well, you told off mine, so—”
Eddie pulls Buck through the door.
“Chris is in his room,” he says quietly.  “But...you should stay for dinner.  And…”
You should stay.  Just stay.
Buck does.  
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zen3to5 · a year ago
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J/H 5-06: Over the Hills and Far Away
This was an interesting case, the one page-one rewrite of Season 5. I really like this episode as it is, and I think it's one of the best of the fifth season - overall, and for J/H. But because of the rewrites done to "Eric's Naughty No-No," Hyde's dilemma about fidelity here would be redundant. So, I've come up with something else for him and Jackie in this timeline...
(Following production order, we assume that episode 5-05, "Ramble On," played out as we know it, without changes.)
FF.Net AO3
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SHOW TITLE   INT. FORMAN KITCHEN - NIGHT   Suppertime. RED, HYDE, and ERIC are at the kitchen table, with dinner laid out before them. KITTY, with a last tray of food, scurries over and takes her seat.   KITTY: Okay. So, is everyone ready for our big trip to the University of Wisconsin?   ERIC: Yeah, Donna and I have it all mapped out. She is going to buy a tight sweater with a big red “W” on it, and I am going to watch her wear it.   Red looks up from his meal, glares at Eric.   ERIC (cont’d): (to Red) And then we’re gonna buckle down.   KITTY: Steven, honey, are you sure you don’t want to come with us?   HYDE: No thanks, Mrs. Forman. I’m not the college type. I get my learnin’ on the street.   RED: (to Hyde) That reminds me – all the beer’s coming out of the house. All the wine, too. Anything with alcohol, I’m moving out of here tonight. So if you somehow cut yourself while we’re gone, pack it with ice and hope to God you reach the hospital in time.   HYDE: You’re thinking of what happened last New Years’ Eve, aren’t you?   RED: See there – you’ve got the smarts for college.   KITTY: (to Eric) Well, I just can’t believe my baby is all grown up and visiting college. (beat) I am so freaking old!   ERIC: And menopause makes another unwelcome appearance at the dinner table.   Kitty starts fanning herself.   The patio door opens, and DONNA enters the kitchen. Eric stands to meet her.   ERIC (cont’d): Hey, there’s my favorite co-ed. Hey, you all packed for visitors’ weekend?   DONNA: I can’t go. My dad is making me visit Marquette instead. He thinks it’s a better school ‘cause it’s private. Oh, and ‘cause it sounds French.   ERIC: Well, you know what? We’ll just go with you. I mean, if it’s a better school, then I belong there too. Right, Dad?   RED: No. State schools are cheap. That’s where you belong.   ERIC: Well, what if, like, you took out a second mortgage on the house?   Red and Hyde both laugh.   RED: Not for you, dumbass.
MAIN CREDITS   BUMPER   INT. DONNA’S BEDROOM - NIGHT   Shortly after dinner. As Eric watches, Donna packs for visitors’ weekend.   DONNA: I have a bad feeling about this weekend, Eric. Nothing good can come from us visiting different schools.   ERIC: Well, yeah, but there’s an upside. Two days apart... I mean, when we get together, it’s gonna be electric, baby. Like a thunderstorm.   DONNA: Eric, I’m serious. I mean, what if we actually end up going to different colleges and we’re apart for four years?   ERIC: Well, then, come semester break, you’d better board up your windows, ‘cause guess what? Here comes Hurricane Eric.   DONNA: Board up my windows? What are my windows? And, whatever they are, wouldn’t you want them open?   ERIC: Mmm.   Donna tries to keep packing, but Eric moves in closer.   ERIC (cont’d): Look, Donna, all I’m saying is that I think we can get through anything. I mean, we go to different schools now and we’re fine, because our love is strong. Like a big, burly bear. So zip up your tent, ‘cause guess what? This bear has claws.   DONNA: Again, wouldn’t you want my tent open?   ERIC: Mmm.   BUMPER   EXT. FORMAN KITCHEN - DAY   The next morning, pre-trip. Red and Hyde stand by the sink, sipping sodas. Eric comes in from the living room, dressed for the road with a backpack slung over his shoulders.   RED: Hold it, Son. Now, before we hit the road, we need to have a talk about that horrible thing that’s taken over your mother.   ERIC: You mean her change of life?   HYDE: I thought we were calling it the lady parts problem.   RED: It goes by many names. Now we’re dealing with a tricky enemy here. I haven’t been this frosty since Korea. And, just like a commie, it can jump out and attack you at any moment.   KITTY (v.o.): Red, honey?   HYDE: Incoming!   ERIC: Retreat!   Hyde rushes down to the basement while Eric breaks for the patio door. They clear out just as Kitty enters from the living room.   KITTY: Red, um, you know, I’ve been a tad bit moody lately. So, um, if you don’t want me to go on this trip, I’ll understand.   RED: Well, you know, honey, there’s really no need for you to go.   DONNA: I knew you didn’t want me to go! Well, I am going whether you like it or not! (Stars fanning herself) Why is it so damn hot in here? It’s like... it’s like we’re living in Hell!   She storms back out into the living room.   RED: You can say that again.   He sighs and nurses his soda.   CUT TO:   INT. FORMAN BASEMENT - DAY   A truncated gang all share the couch – Hyde, JACKIE, and FEZ. WACKY RACES plays on the TV. Jackie’s eyes, however, are on Hyde, and she sits in as coy a pose as she can.   JACKIE: So, Steven, you have the whole house to yourself this weekend.   HYDE: Yeah, but the Formans are all on edge dealing with all the menopause crap, so I’m playing it safe. We’ll have to take the party on the road. (to Fez) All set, buddy?   FEZ: Ten-four, amigo. I got the jumbo size this time.   JACKIE: (to Hyde) What is he talking about?   HYDE: Saturday night, man. We cruise around, stop by the high school, and throw eggs at the football practice.   FEZ: And then I spend most of Monday running from the football team. Their catch rate is down – I’m really building up my speed.   JACKIE: What? Steven, don’t you remember last week? You finally called me your girlfriend.   Hyde shrugs; he doesn’t get it.   JACKIE (cont’d): We’re officially a couple now.   HYDE: All right. So?   JACKIE: So, don’t you think we should spend Saturday night together?   HYDE: Hey, you can come if you want. They’ve caught us on the field a few times. We could use your high kicks.   JACKIE: I don’t want to spend our first official Saturday as a couple fighting the football team with Fez.   FEZ: Oh, Jackie, you know there is a good chance I’d be with you wherever you two went for your Saturday night.   Jackie and Hyde both turn to glare at him; he pulls back to his end of the couch as far as he can.   CUT TO:   EXT. FORMAN DRIVEWAY – DAY   Concurrent with the previous scene. Eric and Red finish packing up the Vista Cruiser as Kitty comes out from the kitchen, dressed for the trip.   KITTY: Red, honey, you know, I’m sorry about our little spat. The last thing I wanna do is ruin our trip.   RED: Oh, sweetheart, that’s okay.   He smiles, gives her a quick kiss. Kitty giggles and goes into the Vista Cruiser.   ERIC: Wow. Mom certainly cheered up.   RED: Don’t be fooled. She’s a ticking time bomb.   They start around the car when KELSO comes running through the garage, an envelope stuck onto his jacket.   KELSO: Hey, wait up!   RED: What do you want?   KELSO: The explanation’s pinned to my lapel.   Red takes the envelope off Kelso and opens the note inside.   RED: (reading) “Dear Red, Mr. Kelso and I are unable to take Michael to UW. Here’s thirty dollars so he can go with you.”   He checks the envelope; it’s empty.   RED (cont’d): (to Kelso) Where’s the thirty bucks?   KELSO: Oh, I bought this electronical football game.   He holds the game up.   RED: I swear to God, Kelso! You make Eric look like Einstein!   Eric pulls a “touched” face, puts his hand on his heart.   ERIC: Thank you, Daddy.   KELSO: (scoffs) “Thank you?” Einstein was ugly.   He and Eric move to get in the car as Red rolls his eyes.   CUT TO:   EXT. OPEN ROAD - DAY   The Vista Cruiser speeds down the highway. Red and Kitty sit up front, Eric and Kelso in back. The noise from Kelso’s football game fills the car. Kitty tugs furiously at her collar.   KITTY: Oh! It’s like a sauna in here. I wish you all didn’t have to breathe so much.   ERIC:  All right, Kelso, you heard the lady. No more breathing.   KITTY: (to Eric) No, I didn’t tell you not to breathe, I told you not to breathe as much. There’s a difference!   RED: (sighs) Eric, how far are we from the exit?   Eric glances out the window at the mile markers.   ERIC: Um... we just missed it.   RED: Dammit! You’re supposed to be following the map. What the hell are you doing back there?   Eric holds up the map – folded into a crown.   ERIC: Making you a crown, ‘cause you’re king of the road!   He pops the crown on his head, then clutches at his stomach.   ERIC (cont’d): Whoa. That last soda’s made it through. Can we pull off to use the bathroom?   KELSO: First and goal!   RED: When’s the next damn exit?   ERIC: Bit of an emergency here.   KELSO: Touchdown!   KITTY: Would you all just shut up!   She cranks the A/C and takes a few deep breaths, as the men all do their best to pretend not to be there.   CUT TO:   INT. FORMAN KITCHEN – DAY   Eggs, eggs, and more eggs! Seven full cartons of eggs cover the kitchen table. Hyde and Fez stand around the table and inspect the eggs, all grins. Jackie leans against the island, pouting.   FEZ: (to Hyde) This is going to be a good one. The new halfback, Hunter Williams, poured tomato sauce down my pants during lunch on Thursday. Well, Hunter, let’s see how you like egg yolks all over your ass.   Hyde cackles, looks over at Jackie. She looks away.   HYDE: What, first you’re not coming, now you’re giving me the silent treatment? (to Fez) Talk about your win-win.   They both laugh. Jackie starts for the door to the living room. Hyde sighs, catches her by the arm, and turns her around.   HYDE (cont’d): Come on. This’ll be fun. We’re gonna be trespassing, vandalizing school property, and sticking it to the Man. It’s everything I’ve been trying to teach you, honey.   Jackie is not amused.   HYDE (cont’d): Jackie, this is what I do on the weekends, okay?   JACKIE:  Steven, we’re a couple now. Weekends aren’t just about what you do. They’re about what we do, together. And there’s a ballroom dance class at the rec center tonight, so you get rid of those eggs and put on a clean shirt!   HYDE: Ballroom dancing? I’d have to punch myself in the head just for walking into that class. Look, I made my plans, and I told you you could tag along. Are you in or out?   Jackie glares up at him; he glares back. She pushes past him and strolls out the patio door.   Hyde sighs and sits down at the kitchen table, where Fez is still counting eggs. He holds one up and nods approvingly.   FEZ: This one is for the quarterback. What he did, I am too much of a man to say. But when this egg reaches the place it is meant to reach... oh, he will know.   He stands up straighter as Hyde puts a hand over his shades.   CUT TO:   INT. DORM HALL – DAY   The University of Wisconsin campus. Visitors’ weekend may have drawn a lot of kids and parents, but it hasn’t inspired any spirit of cleanliness; Animal House would be proud of the state this place is in. Rock music wafts through the halls for good measure.   Red, Kitty, Eric, and Kelso enter through the front door. Eric and Kelso wander off immediately while Red and Kitty assess the situation from the doorway.   RED: What the hell kind of college is this? Barefoot hippies playing frisbee, barefoot hippies singing songs to trees...   Eric and Kelso find a section of wall to lean on, a section that happens to have a poster for CPR instructions.   KELSO: Man, this place is awesome. (points to poster) Look, they even have dirty cartoons on the wall.   ERIC: Kelso, those are CPR instructions.   DONNA: Wow, I’ve done CPR a lot.   A particularly filthy-looking college student approaches Red and Kitty, offers his hand – this is TED.   TED: Hi. I’m Ted, resident advisor.   He shakes Red and Kitty’s hands in turn.   KITTY: Hi.   ERIC: Why don’t you folks have a look around, and I’ll show the boys where they’re gonna be staying.   He crosses to Eric and Kelso. Red and Kitty start looking around in the opposite direction and find students passed out on couches.   RED: I don’t know about this place.   KITTY: I’ll say. It’s the middle of November. I don’t see any Thanksgiving decorations.   Over by the wall, Ted leans in and drops his voice.   TED: Visitors’ weekend is great. We always have a big dorm party. Tons of booze, tons of chicks.   Eric and Kelso share a grin and a high-five.   ERIC: Man, this place is great! It’s too bad Donna couldn’t make it...   A BOMBSHELL BLONDE, wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around her middle, walks past them.   ERIC (cont’d): Oh, my God, would you look at that?   KELSO: We just saw college butt! On a girl!   Of course, this is the time when Red walks over.   RED: (to Ted) Hold it. Girls live here too?   TED: Yes, sir. We’re co-ed.   ERIC/KELSO: Oh, yeah!/All right!   RED: That’s it! You’re staying with us at the motel.   He starts toward the door. Eric runs after him.   ERIC: Wait! Dad, wait. Think of what a valuable experience this could be for me. I mean, this is my first step into the real world. (claps Red’s shoulder) I’m your little bird, Dad. Give me wings to fly.   Red looks at Eric’s hand on his shoulder; Eric pulls it away.   RED: Butch it up and get in the car.   Eric sighs and obeys.   Kelso has wandered over to the girls’ restroom and cracked open the door.   KELSO: Excuse me, this is your CPR coach. I’m gonna need to check your lung capacities. (over his shoulder) That means their boobs.   He stops when he sees Red, not Eric, over his shoulder. Stone-faced Red takes Kelso by the arm and pulls him away.   FADE TO BLACK   COMMERCIAL   BUMPER   INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT   The Formans’ hotel for the weekend. Red sits on the edge of the bed with a map of UW while Eric and Kelso lie on cheap cots. Kelso is back at his football game.   RED: There’s got to be at least one all-male dormitory on this campus. Ah! Here it is, right between the chapel and the school of interior design.   Kitty, ready for bed, enters from the bathroom, just slightly tense and unsteady.   KITTY: Boys, um, I realize that, uh, I may have been a little irrational today.   KELSO: A little?   KITTY: SHUT UP! (takes deep breath) So, um, maybe now is a good time for me to explain a few things to you about menopause. And, um, lucky for you, I’m a nurse, so I can use the proper terms, like epithelial lining and uterine wall.   Eric groans, flips around, and buries his head into his pillow. Kelso just keeps playing his game. Kitty takes two small bars of soap from her robe pockets.   KITTY (cont’d): Okay, so, um, now, say these soaps are my ovaries. Okay, um, about a month ago, they stopped producing...   She loses her train of thought, thanks to the noise from Kelso’s game.   KITTY (cont’d): They stopped...   The game gets louder, and she loses it again.   KITTY (cont’d): Stopped producing...   And once more.   KITTY (cont’d): Oh, that’s it!   She reaches over, snatches the game from Kelso, and tosses it out the window.   KITTY (cont’d): (to Kelso) What is wrong with you? Were you dropped on your head?   Kelso gapes up at her; he’s never seen Mrs. Forman like this.   KELSO: Yes, I was. And up until now, everyone had the good grace not to mention it!   His bottom lip quivering, he throws himself down into his pillow.   Red sighs and stands.   RED: Okay, boys. Time to leave.   ERIC: YES!   He and Kelso scramble off the cots and out the door.   BUMPER   EXT. ROAD – NIGHT   Somewhere in Point Place, the El Camino cruises the streets. Hyde is at the wheel, Fez in the passengers’ seat, a bag loaded with egg cartons in his lap. “Pump it Up” by Elvis Costello plays on the radio. Hyde wears a deep frown, Fez an impatient mug.   FEZ: We’ve circled past the school three times already. We missed the end of the JV cheerleader practice. Let’s park this mamma and do this thing!   HYDE: Whatever.   FEZ: Oh. You’re still upset about Jackie.   HYDE: What the hell’s her deal, man? Before we were together, I brought her along on a few nights like this and she was up for it. So, now that we’re an “official couple” or whatever, she doesn’t wanna have fun?   FEZ: (tsks) Oh, Hyde. Poor, poor Hyde. Cool as you are, you know nothing of women.   Hyde gives Fez a dirty look, but he persists.   FEZ (cont’d): You made plans for the weekend without even consulting her. You cannot do this with a girlfriend. That’s a big step for you two. You do not want to do something special with your lady?   HYDE: I don’t know, man. I mean, I’ve been showing her the ropes on all this stuff for a while now, and I just figured -   FEZ: Hyde, have you been trying to make Jackie a-cool? (shakes his head) She is her own woman, orphan boy. You think whatever you want to do, if you snap, she comes? That is trouble. Just you wait, Henry Higgins.   HYDE: “Henry Higgins?”   FEZ: You know, from My Fair Lady.   Hyde stares blankly, not a clue what Fez means.   FEZ (cont’d): It was the school musical this year. I was Dancer Number Three.   More blank stares.   FEZ (cont’d): You told me you went to see it, you son of a bitch!   He turns away in a huff. Hyde sighs and turns the car around.   BUMPER   INT. DORM HALL – NIGHT   Ted’s promised party. As “Wheel in the Sky” by Journey blares over the radio, college students and visiting high schoolers dance, sample the keg, and make out. Kelso has a STATUESQUE BLONDE pinned up against the wall, near the CPR poster.   KELSO: (points to poster) I see UW has a pretty good CPR program. That’s gonna be my major.   She rolls her eyes at him and walks away.   Eric walks up the hall with a STRAWBERRY BLONDE, mid-conversation.   ERIC: So, I told my girlfriend, “we can go to separate schools.” I mean, people do that all the time, right?   STRAWBERRY BLONDE: Yeah. I mean, my boyfriend goes to school in New York, and we’ve been together for three years, and we’re in love now more than ever.   ERIC: Of course you are. And I bet, when you two get together, it’s like a thunderstorm, right?   Ted walks up behind them and snakes an arm around the strawberry blonde’s waist.   TED: Hey, pretty lady.   She leans into him, and they start making out.   ERIC: (to blonde) Excuse me, hello? Didn’t you just say you had a boyfriend?   SRAWBERRY BLONDE: Yeah. But he’s not here.   She takes Ted by the hand and leads him away.   Eric, dazed, crosses over to Kelso, who is once again looking into the girls’ bathroom.   ERIC: Did you just see that? I told Donna we could go to different schools, and I was extremely wrong, and... man, if she doesn’t hate Marquette, we’re screwed.   KELSO: Who cares, Eric? There’s a bunch of these college chicks sharing a shower!   He turns back to the bathroom. Eric throws his hands up and walks away.   BUMPER   INTERCUT - INT. MARQUETTE/INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT   A row of payphones on the wall. Donna is on one of them.   DONNA: Eric? Is everything okay?   Eric, on the other end of the call, sitting by the nightstand while Red sits near the head of the bed and Kitty on the end. Kitty tries to hold in tears as she watches television.   ERIC: (into phone) Yeah, everything’s fine. I just want to see how you like Marquette. And, can I just say, if that snooty switchboard operator’s attitude is any indication of the Marquette experience, then I can only assume we’re crossing Marquette off the list right now.   DONNA: No, actually, it’s great. Okay, they have this English professor. He wears a beret and wears a corduroy jacket, but he listens to Zeppelin!   ERIC: Uh, yeah, well, UW has a vending machine, so... (beat) Donna, I love you.   DONNA: I love you too. Bye.   She hangs up, walks off.   Eric sets the phone back on the receiver just as Kitty breaks out into full-on tears.   RED: (to Eric) You gonna cry now too?   KITTY: You know who had a real family? The Waltons. We’re just three strangers sitting in a room!   She tosses her tissue aside and heads into the bathroom.   ERIC: Donna loves it there. I don’t know what to do.   RED: (to Eric) There’s nothing any of us can do. We’re all screwed. You think I like being stuck here, nursing my lunatic wife back from the brink? Hell, no. But we can’t control what happens to us. Even if, by some stroke of luck, you actually hang on to Donna, eventually she’s gonna turn into that. (points to the bathroom door) And then, a few years later, you’ll die.   ERIC: (beat) Okay, thanks for the bedtime story.   CUT TO:   INT. FORMAN BASEMENT – NIGHT   The basement is empty, the lights all out. The lock clicks, the basement door opens, and Hyde and Fez step in, hitting the lights as they enter. Fez still has his bag of eggs.   They make it halfway to the couch when Jackie comes out from Hyde’s room.   JACKIE: Hello, Steven.   Hyde and Fez both jump. Fez throws his bag up, and it lands behind him with the sound of many cracking shells.   FEZ: Ai.   Hyde looks over at Jackie.   HYDE: Jackie? Did Forman finally give you a key?   JACKIE: No.   HYDE: Then how’d you get in here?   She holds up a bobby pin and wiggles it around before placing it back in her hair. Hyde shrugs and takes a step toward her.   HYDE (cont’d): Look, Jackie, I know you wanted to spend Saturday night together, and I kind of blew you off, so... we’re not doing the egg thing, so if you wanna go -   JACKIE: No, no, Steven. Look, you are an independent man set in his ways, and you’ve never had a girlfriend before. You’ve never been shown how to obey one.   Hyde shakes his head, “are you kidding me?”   JACKIE (cont’d): But I’ve thought about it, and I think I’ve found a way we can spend Saturday night together that combines what you like and what I like.   She goes to the record player and drops the needle. “Ballroom Blitz” by Sweet comes on. Jackie smiles up at Hyde and begins dancing in place. He shrugs and nods.   HYDE:  Not bad.   JACKIE: I know, right? And...   She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a small paper bag. She tosses it to Hyde, who knows exactly what it is.   HYDE: This is my stash.   JACKIE: Yeah, I thought you’d have a better hiding place for it than an old shirt pocket.   She dances her way over to Hyde, stopping right in front of him. He looks down at her, grinning ear to ear.   HYDE: I think a special night deserves a special treat.   CUT TO:   MONTAGE. SET TO “BALLROOM BLITZ.”   A) FORMAN KICHEN - Hyde, in Kitty’s silly-looking oven mitts, mixes up a big bowl of brownie mix. Jackie, at his side, sticks her finger into the batter and gets a taste.   BALLROOM BLITZ (v.o.): It was like lightning...   B) FORMAN KITCHEN – Hyde lifts the finished tray of brownies out of the oven as Jackie watches (as best she can) over his shoulder.   BALLROOM BLITZ (v.o.): Everybody was fighting...   C) FORMAN KITCHEN – Overhead on the kitchen table as Hyde slices the brownies up.   BALLROOM BLITZ (v.o.): And the music was soothing...   D) FORMAN KITCHEN – Hyde and Jackie each have a brownie. They link arms, smile at each other, and each take a big bite.   BALLROOM BLITZ (v.o.): And they all started grooving...   E) Extreme close-up on Jackie’s eyes, then Hyde’s behind his shades, as the “special ingredient” kicks in.   F) FORMAN KITCHEN – Hyde and Jackie sit together, their heads leaned against one another, their mouths set in spacey smiles, as the walls spin around them with the effects of the brownies.   BALLROOM BLITZ (v.o.): Yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah!   G) FORMAN KITCHEN – HIGH SPEED. HAND-HELD. WIDE ANGLE. Jackie and Hyde stand before an open freezer, taking shots of whipped cream straight from the can into their mouths.   BALLROOM BLITZ (v.o.): And the man in the back...   H) FORMAN LIVING ROOM – HIGH SPEED. The couch, the coffee table, and Red’s chair are all shoved back out of the way, leaving room for Hyde and Jackie to do a wild dance all over the floor.   BALLROOM BLITZ (v.o.): ... Said “everyone attack” And it turned into a ballroom blitz!   I) FORMAN BEDROOM – HIGH SPEED. Jackie sits at Kitty’s nightstand, admiring her reflection. She has on Hyde’s sunglasses. He enters the room, surprising her. He lunges when he sees her with his shades, but she jumps up, dodges, and runs out of the room, giggling, as Hyde gives chase.   BALLROOM BLITZ (v.o.): And the girl in the corner Said “boy, I wanna warn ya...”   J) FORMAN BASEMENT – HIGH SPEED. Hyde comes charging down the stairs with Jackie slung over his shoulder. She still wears his shades. They race right past Fez, who has been standing around in the basement for this entire montage. They almost make it to Hyde’s room when he sets Jackie down. The two of them run to Fez, each grab an arm, and shoo him out the basement door. Hyde locks it behind him. He and Jackie nod and shake hands before he picks her back up and carries her to his room.   BALLROOM BLITZ (v.o.): “It’ll turn into a ballroom blitz!” Ballroom blitz! Ballroom blitz! Ballroom blitz! Ballroom blitz!   BUMPER   EXT. FORMAN KITCHEN - DAY   The next day, late afternoon. The Vista Cruiser rests in the parking lot. Red and Eric unload the car as Kitty steps out and stretches. She’s all smiles, in a wonderful mood; she’s the only one.   KITTY: What a wonderful weekend! We should go away more often!   Laughing, she heads into the house. Red, looking one step from death, turns to Eric.   RED: They’ve gotta make a pill for this.   He follows Kitty inside.   CUT TO:   INT. FORMAN KITCHEN – DAY   The place is a mess. The mixing bowl is out with the spoon inside, the decimated tray of brownies is still on the table, the whipped cream can is on the floor, and bags, boxes, cans, and pans of half-eaten snacks are everywhere.   Red and Kitty just start to take it all in when a yawning Hyde comes up from the basement in an open bathrobe and sweatpants.   RED: Steven! What the hell is all this?   Hyde freezes mid-step.   HYDE: (beat) The folly of prohibition is what it is! You take away beer, you see what happens.   Red rolls his eyes as Kitty takes another wide-eyed look around the room.   CUT TO:   EXT. FORMAN DRIVEWAY – DAY   Eric finishes unloading the Vista Cruiser. Donna comes up the driveway.   DONNA: Hi.   ERIC: Okay. I know you love Marquette, and you know what? I’ve made my peace with that. So if that means that we’re going to go to separate schools, and drift apart, and make out with guys named Ted, then that’s just the way it’s gonna have to be, because you’re gonna get menopause, and I’m gonna die, and we can’t control anything that happens to us!   DONNA: (beat) I’m not going to Marquette.   ERIC: Well, then, never mind.   They sit down on the open back of the car.   DONNA: I mean... Eric, I loved it, and when I was driving home, I was so excited to tell you about it. And then the drive took forever. And I realized that’s how far away I’d be from you all the time. And I don’t want that. So I’ll just tell my dad I want to go to UW with you.   ERIC: Donna, you have no idea how happy you just made me.   DONNA: Eric, this is gonna be great! We’re gonna be together all the time!   ERIC: Ooh. Um, you’re not gonna get all clingy, right?   DONNA: (laughing) Shut up!   ERIC: No, come on, I’m gonna be a big college man.   DONNA: Uh-huh.   ERIC: I’m gonna need my space.   They share another laugh and scoot closer together on the car.   FADE TO BLACK   CREDITS   INT. FORMAN KITCHEN – DAY   Another day. Kitty dries the dishes by the sink while Red watches her from the island. Kelso enters through the patio door, another envelope pinned to his jacket.   RED: (to Kelso) What do you want?   KELSO: Once again, the explanation is pinned to my lapel.   Red takes a note from the envelope.   RED: (reading) “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Forman, please give Michael thirty dollars for the game you threw out the window and broke. Signed, my parents.”   Kitty lets out a big laugh and retreats to the living room.   RED: (beat) Well, you made her laugh. That’s worth thirty bucks.   He pulls out some bills and drops them into Kelso’s envelope.   END.
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The only additional change we should assume for Season 5 in this timeline is that the changeover to 1978 happens in episode 5-10 [according to production order], "The Crunge."
Well, we made it into Season 5, and we're past the point where there are any major continuity issues to address. The goal of keeping the Zen story going after "Jackie Bags Hyde" and syncing back into the show's established timeline is met, and so we're done here.
...Or are we?
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Hallmark Original Series Spotlight
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When Calls the Heart 
Season 3, Episode 9 “Prayers from the Heart” 
Directed by Neill Fearnley
Written by Paul Jackson
Starring Erin Krakow, Lori Loughlin, Daniel Lissing, Jack Wagner, Pascale Hutton, Kavan Smith, Aren Buchholz, Eva Bourne, Martin Cummins, Andrea Brooks, Johanna Newmarch, Loretta Walsh, Mark Humphrey,Kristina Wagner, and Brooke Shields.
Originally premiered April 10, 2016 on the Hallmark Channel. 
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Synopsis (via hallmark channel.com): 
As the sun begins to peek above the mountains surrounding Hope Valley, Elizabeth and Charlotte are making their way back into town. An early riser, Charlotte’s convinced Elizabeth to accompany her to pick berries for their hearty country breakfast. As they enter the outskirts of town, Jack, who’s just getting back from his early morning patrol, pulls up beside them. Elizabeth invites him to join them for breakfast but the thought of another of his mother’s lard-filled meals is not part of his morning routine.
On his way back through town, Jack passes by the new infirmary. He walks in and finds Faith treating a badly wounded man. The man is Roy, Edith’s husband and one of the local settlers. He tells Jack that a mudslide struck the Silverton mine and many of the miners were injured. Jack immediately heads out and gathers as many of the men as he can for a rescue mission to the mine. As word of the tragedy spreads through town, homes begin to empty as the townsfolk start to carry out anything that may be of help. Faith hurries off to set up an extra infirmary at the school and once the supplies are loaded, the men ride off to the mine.
At the schoolhouse, Elizabeth shuffles her class outside as the women bring in supplies to treat the wounded miners. Leaving Rosemary behind as a substitute teacher, Elizabeth is going to speak to the children at the settlement about the accident. The children of Hope Valley are worried about the injured men and about the damage the flood could cause. Elizabeth assures them that their home will be fine and that constable Thornton will do his best to help all the men at the mine. 
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Meanwhile, just outside of town, Bill continues his search for Nora and Henry. As he rides down the south road he hears Nora screaming up ahead. He comes around a curve in the road and finds Henry’s car, empty and stopped at the top of a ravine. At the bottom of the ravine he finds Nora, muddy and disheveled, sitting next to the unconscious Henry Gowen. Nora yells that she can’t move Henry by herself and Bill immediately scrambles down help.
On the rain soaked trail leading into the mine, the wagon train of supplies and men finally arrives. At the entrance to the mine, injured men lie scattered. Some of the men are buried in the mud, while still others are trapped inside the mine. The men from Hope Valley immediately spring into action, treating the injured and clearing the rubble.
At the settlement, Abigail and Elizabeth arrive to deliver the dreaded news. The women gather around to hear news of the catastrophe at the mine. Edith is relieved that Roy is safe, but many of the other women are left to worry about the fate of their loved ones. Nearby Elizabeth breaks the news to the children. She does her best to explain the situation and lets them know that they are doing everything they can to rescue the men.
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When Abigail and Elizabeth return to the café later that day, they find an entire room of napping children. The Hope Valley kids never take naps for Elizabeth and she and Abigail are thoroughly impressed that Rosemary was able to pull it off. Rosemary explains that they had run out of things to do and that the children were getting “difficult.” She had no option but to bribe them by telling them if they were good and went to sleep she would bring the circus to town. While she has no plan on how she’ll fulfill the promise, the results speak for themselves. 
At the mine, the number of wounded continues to pile up. Pastor Hogan sits with a seriously wounded man, who knows that he’s about to die. Jack notices the scene and joins with Frank to comfort him. The dying man wants his son to know how proud he is of him, and Jack, who knows the man’s son Harper, promises to pass along the message. The man grasps Frank’s hand and within a few moments, he is gone. Frank takes a deep breath before covering the body and bowing his head in prayer.
At the hospital in Union City, Jack emerges to talk to Nora. Nora thanks Bill for coming to the rescue but Henry’s condition is still touch and go. Bill sits her down and asks why she left. She explains that both she and Henry wanted a new start. She is still unsure as to why Henry was in such a hurry but she knows something was wrong with him. Bill can’t stay with Nora however; the flood is rumored to have damaged the area where Lucy Benson, the daughter of Bill’s friend Carl, lives by herself.
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Night falls on the mine when all the men have finally been accounted for. Two men are dead and a couple dozen more are injured. With so many injured, moving them down the treacherous roads at night is impossible. Jack decides to wait until sunup to attempt moving the men to safety. In the meantime, he sends Jesse back to Hope Valley to tell the town to prepare for the injured first thing in the morning. As Jesse makes his way down the trail he sees a large logjam forming in the river. The swollen stream strains against the barrier, a dam made by nature that will bring unspeakable damage downstream when it finally breaks. Jesse wastes no time and spurs his horse onward. 
When Jesse arrives in town, he warns everyone that when the logjam breaks, the wave will destroy the settlement. Abigail realizes they cannot wait for the men to help evacuate. The women break off and begin preparing the town to take in even more people. When Abigail instructs Clara to prepare the café she points out that with the miners, their families, the settlers and the townsfolk, it is unlikely they will have enough food to go around. Rosemary then offers to donate the food for her reception to help feed the evacuees. Her generous act is a welcome ray of sunshine to the dismal situation.
As the sun rises at the mine, Jack, Frank and Lee prepare to move all the miners back to Hope Valley. As they finish loading the men, Jesse arrives to warn them about the logjam. Jack instructs Frank to move quickly to get the men to Hope Valley as he rides off to the settlement.
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At the settlement, pandemonium sets in with the news of the impending disaster. Abigail and Elizabeth do their best to keep order as the settlers scramble to grab their possessions and board the wagons. Sitting alone in her tent, Mrs. McCormick sits stoically, refusing to budge. She’s been a widow for 20 years and in her old age, has decided that, “If the good Lord wants to take me, that's all right by me.” Abigail tries to sympathize and tells Mrs. McCormick that she’s also a widow and still found a reason to keep living. Mrs. McCormick still refuses to budge so Abigail takes a different tone. She tells Mrs. McCormick, “You get yourself into one of those wagons right this instant or I'm gonna pick you up and toss you in there myself, rocking chair and all.” Mrs. McCormick grumbles at Abigail before trudging off into one of the wagons.
As the settlers finally prepare to leave, one of the children alerts Elizabeth that Maggie, the little girl Opal gave Brownie to, is missing. Maggie left Brownie near the pine tree by the river and has run off to find him. As Elizabeth runs to find Maggie, Jack arrives on horseback. Elizabeth tells Jack that Maggie is missing and immediately he rides off to find her. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Abigail jump onto the wagons and head off with the settlers, to Hope Valley. 
Along the river, Jack desperately searches for little Maggie. On the other side of the riverbank Jack spots the little girl and tells her to stay put while he comes over to get her. Just then the logjam begins to buckle and Jack’s horse bucks him to the ground. Jack hits his head and rolls, unconscious, into the riverbed. Maggie can only stand and watch in horror as the raging river overtakes the dam and washes Jack’s form away.
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Back in town, the wagon with the miners has finally arrived. As Abigail helps the children from the wagons, she sees Frank talking with one of the settlers and her son. She instantly knows what’s happened and runs to console the widow and her son. Meanwhile the miners and settlers get comfortable and Elizabeth realizes that Jack is nowhere to be found. Just then a rider shows up carrying Maggie, safe and sound. Elizabeth runs to her and asks if she’s seen Constable Thorton. Maggie tells Elizabeth that the water took him away. Terrified Elizabeth immediately grabs a horse and heads out to search for Jack.
Down along the river Elizabeth and the search party begin scouring the area in search of Jack. As the men shout his name, Elizabeth comes across Jack’s unconscious body, clinging to a log on the bank of the river. Frank runs to her side and checks Jack for a pulse. He’s still alive but only barely. The other men rush to the area and pull Jack’s limp body from the river.
Upstairs at the café, Faith tends to Jack’s wounds. Faith tells Elizabeth that Jack wouldn’t have lasted much longer had she not found him. But, while Jack appears to only a few bumps and bruises, his fingernails are blue, an early sign of pneumonia. As Faith heads off to tend to the wounded miners, Elizabeth stops her and tells her that she’s glad that she’s in Hope Valley. Faith fights through the emotions and tells Elizabeth that she’s here if Elizabeth needs anything. Abigail says that she, Elizabeth, and Charlotte can take turns sitting with Jack. Elizabeth calmly tells her that she will stay with him for as long as it takes. Charlotte stands behind her and softly says that that she would like to stay too. Elizabeth agrees and the two women take their place at Jack’s side.
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Back at the café, Abigail stands alone at the back digesting everything that’s happened. Frank enters and asks how Jack is doing. Terrified at his prospects, Abigail tells Frank that Jack has pneumonia. Frank assures her that a young man like Jack can recover. Overwhelmed, she tearfully tells Frank that she can’t imagine something bad happening to Jack. Frank comforts her, telling her they will take it one day at a time. They look at each other and instantly know they are thinking the same thought. Later that night they will gather the town for a prayer vigil outside the café.
In the makeshift shelter in the saloon, Mr. Jenkins, the bank manager, sees Bill Avery across the room. Jenkins goes to him and asks about Gowen’s condition after the accident. When Jack tells him that Gowen’s condition is still grave, Mr. Jenkins reveals that he is unsure if he should alert the town council about the missing money. Bill suggests that the town has suffered enough and that perhaps the matter of the missing money be left for another day. Mr. Jenkins nods and quickly moves on.
Downstairs at the café, Charlotte sits silently contemplating the situation. Abigail comes downstairs to prepare some tea to take to Elizabeth. Charlotte admits that she’s not sure who they should be more worried about, Jack or Elizabeth. Sadly, both women know how hard it is to lose a spouse and they know all too well what Elizabeth feels. Facing the death of her son, Abigail reminds Charlotte that it’s ok to cry. Fighting back tears Charlotte tells Abigail, “Crying doesn't do anyone any good.” She then takes the tea and heads back upstairs to continue her watch. 
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As the sun falls below the mountains, the townsfolk gather outside the café, candles in hand, to pray for Jack’s recovery. Charlotte stands alone, stoic, taking it all in. Her eyes scan the crowd and meet Abigail's. The solemn moment between two mothers is broken when tears begin to stream down Charlotte's face. Abigail crosses to her and they stand together, looking upward. Frank moves to the front and begins to lead the town in prayer.
Upstairs, Elizabeth looks out at the vigil below her. As everyone prays, she talks with the still unconscious Jack. She reminds him of their New Year’s resolution, “To be patient, to be kind, not to rush, but to take their time.” As she recites the words, Jack’s eyes begin to flutter and he mumbles, “not to take too much time.” He then opens his eyes and smiles at Elizabeth. Overcome with joy Elizabeth hugs and kisses him, ignoring his bruises and other injuries. She recovers herself and through the tears says, “Hi.’ Jack smiles and the two shares a soft and tender kiss. 
In the weeks after the disaster Jack fully recovers from his injuries. While Jack recuperated, Elizabeth finished her first manuscript and sent it off to half a dozen publishers. Charlotte insisted on staying in Hope Valley to prepare all of Jack’s favorite meals and many of the settlers relocated to higher ground. And Rosemary realized that a simple wedding to the man she loves was all she really needed. Without the fancy dresses or the food, everyone gathers for Lee and Rosemary’s wedding. As the bridal party prepares to head to the church, Charlotte tells Elizabeth that she’s happy that Jack has found someone who loves him as much as his mother. She only has one request of Elizabeth; that she teaches Charlotte her recipe for shepherds pie…minus the lard. 
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writingsoftheloser · 2 years ago
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5 Days
Pairing: Bucky x reader
Summary: All it took was a cabin in the woods and five days for Bucky to understand what a treasure he had in front of him.
Warnings: swearing, some angst
A/N: I wasn’t even sure whether to post this or not ‘cause it’s not that good but here it is anyway! And I’m giving you soft (and hurt, yeah, sorry) Bucky because I know we need it after Endgame. Enjoy and if you happen to like and leave feedback I’d be forever grateful!
Masterlist is in my bio, as usual.
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The strong voice of Florence drifted through the car as a soft, warm breeze filled the vehicle with spring perfumes. Y/n’s fingers were drumming on the steering wheel but she wasn't screaming the songs at the top of her lungs like she would have done any other time. In fact, she used to travel this specific road every couple of weeks but this time she wasn't alone and her companion didn't like music too loud; he wanted to enjoy the whole song, he had said.
Y/n glanced at said man in the passenger seat: he had his head reclined back and his eyes trained on the scenery passing quickly out of the window. His brown hair were slightly messed up from the breeze but his expression seemed calm for once.
She exhaled in contentment.
“You ok?” Bucky mumbled; his deep, husky voice covering the music for a second. He turned his head and his blue eyes met Y/n’s ones. She searched his relaxed features for a second: the demons of his past weren't there.
“I’m fine, we’re almost there”
A small smile graced Bucky’s face as he returned to watch the road and the woods outside and in that moment, Y/n felt extremely happy of having brought him with her.
It hadn't been an immediate thought; Bucky had already been living at the compound for a while and she had made this journey a few times during that period - but lately things hadn't been good for the ex-assassin. His demons had come up stronger than ever, messing with his head even more. He had fought the whole time, keeping away from the others and screaming at night; he had gone to the point of not sleeping at all.
Steve had been desperate, not knowing how to help his best friend.
And that’s where Y/n came in. She had seen the struggle, the pain, the guilt; she had been there once and, even if she hadn't known if it would have helped or not, she had suggested to Bucky a way to try and keep his head out of the water that threatened to drown him.
He had been exhausted and had agreed immediately.
“So,” Bucky asked quietly, “What is this place?”
Y/n was leaving the main road, taking a secondary, more dishevelled one. “It’s a place where I come when I need to clear my head.”
Trees were more dense there and the air seemed colder. The green all around them had all Bucky’s attention. “Will I have to do therapy there?” His voice was even more quiet, almost scared of the answer. Bucky knew therapy was good and it had helped him a lot but this time he just didn't feel like doing it - he just felt tired, in need to relax.
Y/n chuckled as she turned the car towards a clearing where a wooden house emerged from the vegetation. “Not at all.”
Bucky frowned, lower lip jutting out a bit in a cute expression. “What is this?” he observed the place as Y/n parked the car right in front of the house. She was silent so Bucky’s mind jumped immediately on the fact that maybe he had crossed a line. “I’m sorry,” he blurted, “I shouldn't have asked”
“Bucky, sweetie,” Y/n said with the softest voice he had ever heard, “It’s ok, you did nothing wrong. I was just parking the car and I would have answered you immediately after.” She smiled, warm and sincere, and he relaxed. “This house is mine.”
He blinked as she motioned for him to exit the car and follow her. “Yours?”
Y/n nodded. “It was my grandparents’ and when they were forced to leave they left it to me. I have so many memories here and it’s a good place if you want to unwind.” She produced a small key from her purse as she walked up to the porch and front door.
Bucky was mesmerized by the whole place; the only things he could hear were the rustling of leaves and the birds.
“Well,” Y/n reclaimed his attention. “Welcome to my special place”
He followed her inside, cleaning his boots on the doormat. The house wasn't that big, with a kitchen on the right that opened on the big living room. An island was the only table available. There were stairs, though, that presumably led to a second floor where the bedrooms were situated. He couldn't see what the other rooms on the main floor were - maybe a bathroom, though.
“It’s beautiful,” he whispered, watching as Y/n’s smile widened. A warm feeling spread through his chest and he subconsciously passed a hand over it.
“Thanks, I had to fix a few things and throw away others - like a big wood table that I burned - but, yeah” she breathlessly laughed a bit, seeming shy at revealing certain things. Her hands were slightly shaking as she fiddled with her sweatshirt. It was an almost unnoticeable movement and he wouldn't have noticed it if his senses weren't so sharp because of the serum.
He had always hated how everything felt heightened - voices, city's noises, smells, colours - but in that moment it felt more like a blessing when the only things he could hear were Y/n’s heart thumping and birds singing. He exhaled, negative thoughts leaving him bit by bit.
Y/n cleared her throat, “I'll show you around, ok?”
With heart a little bit lighter, Bucky nodded and followed the woman around the house.
The evening came sooner than they expected and after settling in, a shower and a light dinner, they sat together on the couch, watching episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Y/n’s laptop. It had been a surprise when Bucky had started laughing loudly and freely but every time Y/n could feel her stomach do funny flips, warming her from the inside out.
“I like this show,” he had admitted quietly as Y/n was loading another episode.
She turned towards him and offered a big smile, “Me too, I always watch it when I wanna keep my spirits up”
Bucky couldn't have stopped the grin from splitting his face even if he had tried with all his strength. “I think I'll start doing it too, then”
“That's an amazing idea”
There was a pause.
“I- uh- also liked that song you listened more than once on our way here” he added, fingers fiddling with each other in his lap. He was a bit nervous about telling Y/n these things but she had been so kind to him - and she was so so pretty. He couldn't help but want even a bit of her attention.
Y/n frowned a bit because she had listened to a lot of songs during their car ride. Then, a lightbulb went off in her mind and she snapped her fingers. “Shake it out?” she asked tentatively.
Bucky bit his lip, lost. She giggled, “Yeah, Buck, I think it's that one! It's one of my favourites.” Her smile was blinding and for once Bucky felt truly happy of having spoken his thoughts.
That night, when he locked himself in his room and nightmares came, Y/n woke up with him and knowing it wasn't safe to invade his space, she simply put on the song at a high volume and waited till he calmed down.
***
It was the smell of coffee and something sweet that woke Y/n up the next morning. The night before she had retreated to her room after hearing Bucky calm down and had fallen into a deep sleep almost immediately. She had been really tired, after all.
Deciding to go investigate, she got ready and left her room, gently padding to the kitchen. The sight of a humming Bucky making breakfast dressed in soft clothes made her heart soar.
It was one of the ‘good days’.
“Good morning,” he said, turning around, “I- uh-” He glanced down for a second as to gather his wits and then smiled in Y/n’s direction. “I wanted to say thank you for bringing me here and helping me last night, so-” He gestured at the coffee, pancakes and sweet things all over the table, hoping it was good enough.
Y/n grinned, “Thank you so much but you didn't have to do it, you’re my friend and I will always be there to help you.” She scratched her eye with a hand and Bucky’s heart almost melted at the sight.
Y/n sat down and started eating eagerly, making Bucky join her and feel proud of his achievement. Apparently it was enough.
***
It was the third day that Y/n approached Bucky with a new idea. She wanted to bring him on a short walk around the woods and show him the lake. Once again, she didn't know if it would help him but everything was so calming around there that she had to try.
“Hey Buck?”
He was reading a book on the sofa when Y/n approached him. His name on her tongue had started to make him feel all tingly inside and he was still trying to understand if it was a good thing or not. “Yes?” He turned and observed her.
“I was wondering if you maybe wanted to go for a walk, I wanna show you a special place.” There was hope in Y/n’s eyes and even if a small voice in his head was still telling him not to trust her, Bucky followed his heart’s whisper to go. He nodded eagerly and saw how Y/n’s whole face brightened.
He made the right choice.
It was only half an hour later that they were walking in the woods in silence and another half an hour till they reached the lake. Bucky was mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the place. The lake was of an almost surreal blue and there wasn't even a noise. Nature was basking in tranquillity there, pure and harmonious.
“Speechless?” Y/n asked, hands on her hips and a smile that tried to hide how smug she felt in that moment.
Bucky chuckled, “I am. It's truly beautiful”
“It is,” she sighed, “I used to come here with my grandparents and swim in the lake when it was warm enough.” She laughed, “You should know that this lake's water has never really been warm enough, though.”
Bucky’s expression was playful when he opened his mouth, “And you went to swim anyway, right?”
Y/n smiled, features softening as she remembered pieces of a childhood long gone. “I did because I loved it, no matter what”
Bucky nodded, letting his gaze linger on Y/n for a while before focusing back on the scenery in front of him. He had missed this kind of peace and the whole place invited him to just sit down and relax, leaving his sorrows behind.
Y/n jumped down from a rock with the intention of getting closer to the water. “C’mon” she exclaimed, turning around and extending her hand for Bucky to take.
He reached out with his left one, dark metal shining in the sun. He hesitated, watching carefully between his hand and Y/n’s one. Hers looked soft and even if he could detect small scars, it didn't look as inhuman as his.
He blinked, swallowed - but Y/n never retreated her hand, waiting for him to do his move.
It hadn't been difficult for him to touch people with his metal hand when he had first come back from Wakanda but lately something had broken even there and with his nightmares, had resurfaced also the fear of hurting people with it.
Bucky sighed, hand still extended to almost touch Y/n’s one. He avoided thinking about his nightmares and focused on Y/n’s soft smile. His heart fluttered and, with a leap of fate, he grabbed her hand.
Her smile widened and she gently pulled him along.
He had a bunch of questions he wanted to ask her but, for the moment, he just basked in the beauty of the day and the one of his companion.
Their hands never strayed too much from one another.
***
It was during the evening of their fifth day at the cabin that the dynamic between Y/n and Bucky changed.
The day had passed like any other one, with them mingling and doing activities together both in and out of the house. The evening, though, Bucky decided to gather all his courage and ask Y/n about something he had wanted to do for a while.
He stood up from the sofa he had been sat with her for the past hour and offered her his hand. He was sweating, throat almost closing when he tried to speak. He cleared it, “Would- uh- would you like to dance?”
Y/n blinked, surprised by the sudden request. Bucky had been friendly all the time, actually trying to get to know her and not only getting better mentally - but this was something different. The air was different.
Her split second of hesitation made Bucky almost retreat his hand but Y/n stopped him when she grabbed it with a newfound strength and hauled herself from the couch. She immediately fixed their position, grabbing his left hand and letting her own lean on his shoulder.
Bucky bit his lip, “There’s no music, wait.” He went and with just a small struggle, put on some soft music - something from his time. It was slow and nice.
They smiled at each other as they resumed their positions.
It was evident that Bucky had questions. He always had questions and it was the cutest thing ever. He was just looking for the right words and Y/n waited patiently for him to elaborate. It wasn't long before he opened his mouth. “Why aren't you afraid of me?”
Y/n frowned, “You've never given me a reason to be and, well, we're friends”
“We haven't spoken a lot before this journey” Bucky muttered, fixing his eyes on his bright coloured socks.
“I know,” Y/n whispered, searching Bucky’s eyes and moving her hand so that she could hold the side of his face; a small smile on her face, “But our little interactions, even the silent ones, had been important.” She paused, letting her words sink in and not sure if she should go on. In the end, she decided she wanted him to hear her. “I've seen you, Bucky. I had my own encounter with Hydra and even if I can't even imagine what you've been through, I know it's not easy. And- and it's ok not to be ok.”
Bucky was silent, not sure what to answer. “You've never shied away from my arm.” His voice was so quiet that it was almost lost on the soft notes of the song playing in the background.
It bothered him, really. That she never shied away like other people happened to do. Not even once, not even for mistake.
The imagine of Y/n smiling at him, holding his metal hand on the soft sand of the lake was etched in his memory. It was pleasant but Bucky wanted to know why.
Why someone so soft could hold onto something so hard and cold.
“Bucky,” Y/n held him in place, hands still firm on his skin but not forceful. Never forceful. “I know that when is flesh and metal it's you. And that reassures me, I don't have to be scared with you.” She almost breathed out the sentence, giving him a glimpse of her own ghosts. “That’s why I like your metal arm. It's because I know - my body knows - it's you.”
He didn't look convinced but her words were sure, firm; no sign of lies or hesitation whatsoever.
Bucky’s breathing was getting harder, nose prickling with the telltale signs of crying. His vision blurred but Y/n never stopped smiling at him. Her hand was still cradling his face, fingertips caressing his skin.
The first tear fell, landing on Y/n’s fingers; the second she couldn't see because Bucky’s lips were suddenly on hers. It was soft, barely a peck, but it contained all the pain, the care, the gratitude and it was beautiful.
Slowly separating, both of them looked stunned. Bucky couldn't understand how he could have let himself follow his feelings so much and Y/n - well, she just didn't expect it.
Bucky stepped back immediately. “I'm sorry, I'm- I shouldn't have-”
“It's fine Buck-”
He shook his head, tears streaming down his red cheeks even more, “No, no it's not- it's not ok-” He was driving himself up a wall and Y/n needed to calm him down before he fell into a panic attack.
She almost threw herself at him, grabbing his face and keeping his gaze prisoner with hers. “Bucky, what you feel, I feel too.” She could have cried at the helplessness on Bucky’s features. “I swear, James, I feel it too”
He swallowed, biting his lip, praying for the tears to stop and go back.
“You just caught me by surprise”
“I'm not worth-”
“You are,” Y/n insisted, pushing her forehead against his. “I promise you, you are worth everything”
Bucky sniffed, ready to crumble under her caring hands. “I- I don't know what to do, I'm so scared but- but you're- I like you, I like you so much and I want-”
“What do you want, Bucky?”
“You,” he whispered, “I want to be with you”
Y/n’s arms embraced his head, holding on tightly as Bucky expelled days and days of hurt and trauma through an avalanche of tears. She let him cry, never wavering in her hold on him. “You are with me, I've got you,” she whispered into the crown of his head, “You're safe with me.”
It took a while but slowly Bucky relaxed and only sniffles could be heard. His face was pressed into Y/n’s neck, having slowly drifted there from her chest.
“Let's sit on the sofa, yeah?”
Bucky just murmured his approval. He felt tired - tired more than ever.
They both made themselves comfortable on the sofa and snuggled up again.
“What happens now, doll?” Bucky murmured after a while. Y/n was now playing with his hair, trying to relax him further.
“Wow, you called me ‘doll’, that's so sweet” Y/n gushed, giggling a bit.
A wet chuckle left Bucky's mouth and it was nice to know he was starting to feel better. He needed to get rid of all the suppressed stress and he seemed to be on the right track.
“Anyway, Bucky, sweetheart, now happens whatever you want to happen” Y/n said, turning serious and keeping her hand in his hair, massaging his scalp. “You're in control, babe. And I'm here with and for you”
Bucky’s mouth parted in a small smile. He hugged Y/n tightly and hummed in satisfaction. “Ok, then”
The road to recovery is a long and difficult one but, in that moment, Bucky felt already safer. There would be time in the next days to discuss things on a deeper level.
Bucky suddenly lifted his head and pressed his mouth to Y/n’s once again: it was as sweet and as soft as their first kiss. Then, he resumed his position snuggled up to her side. Y/n laughed, keeping him as close as possible.
There were no nightmares for him that night.
***
Bucky tags: @jcalpha1
Marvel tags: @fuckthatfeeling @lokissoul @therealgraceag @fitzsimmons-is-forever
Perm. tags: @sarahp879 @strangedarkling @peches-et-lait @lilmissperfectlyimperfect @buckybarneshairpullingkink @breezy1415 @unlikelysamwinchesteronahunt @zeilenkrieg @coal000 @lonelyheart-jadedsoul
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cleo-somers · a year ago
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a house is not a home | self para
TL;DR: Cleo goes back to New Jersey to visit her old house after coping with the fact that she has to move out of the one in Greensville. She reminisces about her life there and then thinks about the recent trip to Aspen and the revelations that led her to cut contact with her mom. After driving back to Greensville, she packs everything up and gets ready to start a new life on her own.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 4TH, 2020. RUMSON, NEW JERSEY.
The house was still there. It was empty, but there. Overgrown weeds and grass covered the front lawn and made the mansion peeking through look abandoned and somber (the heavy, grey clouds overhead only made matters worse). A thought came to her head that maybe she could fix the house up once she was done with college – clean it, redecorate it, bring it back to its former glory – but the thought vanished as delicately as it came, leaving her feeling slightly melancholic and helpless. The 43 Oakes Road mansion was still as beautiful as ever, with its tall, 9-foot ceilings, the built-in gazebo, and the back porch overlooking Silver Creek. The house used to feel like home, warmth, love; as she stood on the driveway now, she realized that a part of her could still feel them, but mostly as a faraway memory she couldn’t quite reach. Instead, she felt sad, almost. Uneasy. The house wasn’t the same anymore, but then again, neither was Cleo. A lot had changed in the five years since they’d moved out, and she liked to think they’d changed for the better – that she’d changed for the better – but she couldn’t say that for sure. 
She realized that this was the first time she’d been back in New Jersey since their move to Greensville in July of 2015. Cleo had always told Sean she would bring him around and show him her old stomping grounds, but for one reason or another, she never did. Deep down she knew that a part of her didn’t want to come back, that it’d be hard to see the house, old friends, and to remember what her life had been like before everything went so cosmically wrong. She couldn’t look at the house the same way again, knowing what she knew. Knowing all the things her parents had kept from them. The only reason she was back was because of the overwhelming sorrow she’d been feeling the past few days. Shelley was selling the house in Greensville and instead of enjoying her last few days there and packing, she decided to take a road trip to Rumson by herself. There was something about having to leave that house that reminded her of the way she felt when she had to leave this one. Maybe that she knew that things would never be the same again; that her relationship with her parents had once again shifted, and not necessarily into a good thing. 
It started when Shelley suggested they all take a trip to Aspen as a family. Cleo knew it was a bad idea; she’d told her brother as much before she received a text that the flight had been booked. After the incident at the hospital a few years back where Rafa, Cleo, and Stephen found out Stephen’s real dad was not Mr. Somers himself, but a sports journalist named John Walsh, she didn’t understand why they kept trying. Nothing good ever happened when the Somers-Eatons got together, and Shelley and Rafael - as stubborn as they were to prove that they could still be amiable, even after their messy divorce - needed to understand that. Still, they insisted the trip had to happen, and so it did. 
The first few days went by surprisingly smoothly. Stephen had prepped his boyfriend, up-and-coming actor Oliver Diaz, for the most drama-filled trip of his entire life. “It’s worse than the Kardashians when they want their ratings to go up,” he’d said. Maybe, Cleo had told Stephen one night after dinner, this would be the first-ever drama-free Somers-Eaton family vacation. (Wow! What a mouthful. )  The beginning of a new era for them. Stephen and Oliver agreed that it seemed that way– that Ollie had imagined a full-on episode of the Bachelorette with hair-pulling, kicking, screaming, and punching and he’d instead gotten a Tampon commercial, at most! Happy, inexplicably joyful, unsettlingly peaceful. 
But boy, were they wrong. 
DECEMBER 24, 2019. ASPEN, COLORADO
They were having dinner Christmas Eve and Rafael asked everyone to talk about something they were looking forward to this year. He wanted Oliver to go first since he was the latest addition to the family and already Rafael’s favorite person in the room. Oliver Diaz used to be a child actor, and one of the things he was most famous for (and no, it wasn’t a CSI episode where he played a dead body, even though he did do that) was for some frozen waffle commercials. He had starred in small straight-to-TV movies that only a handful of people saw, he played an extra in a horror movie once where he had to “let the lady know someone was following her”, and - Cleo’s absolute favorite role of his - an extra in Titanic. Rafael was especially excited about the frozen waffle commercials, though. “Best. Waffles. Ever.” His first ever question to Oliver was whether he’d gotten a lifetime supply of them and whether he could “hook him up” because he hadn’t seen them in stores in a while. Unfortunately, the company went broke in 2007 and that’s when his lifetime supply of frozen waffles ran out. 
“Well,” Oliver glanced at Stephen and reached for his hand, “this past year has been the craziest in my life so far. I started out ready to quit acting, thinking I would never book a role bigger than “shirtless guy at party” or “shirtless bartender”. And then I met Stephen. He was holding auditions for the short film we’ve been working on, and my best friend Emma told me I had to go. I was late, nervous, I bombed, and Stephen gave me another chance,” he chuckled. “He swears it’s not because he thought I was hot, that it’s because he thought I had potential, and, uh… well, the rest is history.” Stephen kissed his knuckles, a tear rolling down his cheek. “Now we’ll, uh, hopefully, be moving into our own loft in New York, we adopted a dog - a chihuahua named Walnut who we’ll be picking up from the shelter as soon as we get home,” he laughed. “I’m excited to see where this year takes us,” he said. 
Stephen closed his eyes and nodded, another tear rolling down his cheek as he let out a soft laugh. Everyone awww’d as soon as Oliver was done, and Cleo could’ve sworn she saw Rafa wiping a tear from his own cheek. She felt it too. Stephen had never been in a relationship like this before– he had never opened himself up to someone as much as he had opened up to Oliver and things had worked out perfectly. They were a match made in heaven if heaven was real. 
Stephen went next. Stephen gave a very emotional speech about Oliver and said he was looking forward to working on more projects this year, to maybe branching out and directing a movie he’d been writing with his friends, and finally finishing the screenplay for the horror film he wanted to make. Listening to them talk and watching them so in love with each other made Cleo miss having someone to plan her life with. She thought about Sean and her dad must’ve noticed the sad look on her face because he rubbed her back and gave her a reassuring smile. Stephen finished with a curtsy and then told everyone that if they didn’t promote his short film on social media when it came out, he would “literally never talk to them again.”
Cleo offered to go next. 
“I… um,” she cleared her throat and let out a nervous laugh. “I’ve been thinking about my life a lot recently,” she started. “I guess mostly about the fact that I have been very privileged to grow up the way I did. I was watching Friends reruns on TV the other day and I had an epiphany.”
“Big word, Cleo,” Stephen joked, throwing a piece of bread at her head. 
“Shut up! I’m… giving a speech, asshole.” She cleared her throat and sat up a little straighter before continuing. “I realized that my entire life I have relied on you two for everything,” she said, glancing at her parents. “I don’t have to work for anything because I can just ask you guys for money and you’ll give it to me, no questions asked. I mean, just last week, I cracked the screen on my brand new iPhone while out on a jog, and I just went to the apple store and got a new one.” She shrugged, a sheepish smile on her face. “I realized I was a lot like Rachel Green in that sense– that I’m spoiled spoiled and when I get inevitably thrust into the real world, I’m going to struggle. And I know that I don’t have to– that I can just continue to live like this, but I want to learn to be more… financially independent.”
“Okay…” Rafael nodded, pensive. “What do you want us to do about it?”
“Glad you asked!” Cleo laughed. “Um, I- I’ve thought about this for a while now, and I think I want to give you guys back my credit cards, I don’t want you guys to give me as much monthly allowance as you do– maybe whatever normal parents give their kids, like $200 bucks each?” she shrugged and then let out a laugh, realizing she had no idea what normal families did. “I think I’m going to sell my car and buy something a little more affordable– I guess I don’t need a convertible, as much as I think I do.” She shrugged. “That’s it. I just want to grow up.”
Shelley looked at Rafael and let out an incredulous laugh. “Are you sure about this?”
She nodded. “I’m sure.”
“Guess your sad trips to Greece are over now, Mrs. Mamma Mia,” Stephen laughed. “Unless you pull a Donna and–”
“I think it’s great, sweetheart,” Rafa interrupted as he leaned in to kiss her forehead. “We can discuss the details tomorrow, okay?”
“I don’t think you’re going to make it,” Shelley’s voice cut through the peace in the room and they all turned to look at her, stunned. 
“Why not?” Cleo asked simply, tilting her head to a side. Her relationship with Shelley had always been very complicated – they rarely got along – but the past few months, Cleo really felt like they were getting closer. Shelley would sit down to have dinner with her sometimes, they would talk about boys, dating, their jobs… Cleo had run the idea by her mom once and she’d said it was great– she even helped her budget a little. 
“Come on, Shell–”
“Don’t ‘come on, Shell’ me, Rafael!” she scoffed,  “you of all people should know she won’t last a month with this little stunt of hers; you’re the one who handles her credit card debt. How much was it this year? Did she even offer to pay with what she’s been making from her internship? No. And you, Cleo,” she turned to her now, “what are you going to do? Get a job like everyone else? Wait tables? Work in retail? You?” Shelley laughed. “Honey, I know you, and I know that you have zero work ethic. I would never hire you at my company- ever! You’re incompetent.”
“Whoa, Shelley!” Rafael shook his head. “She– sweetie,” he turned to Cleo, placing his hand over hers while Cleo just glared at her mom. “I think this will be good for you,” he said encouragingly. “You’re strong, you–”
“Strong? Oh my god,” Shelley rolled her eyes. “Please. She dropped out of college last year because she was sad.”
“Oh, what, like you didn’t completely break down when you found out dad cheated on you!?” Cleo snapped back. 
“Cleo!” it was Rafa’s turn to be angry. “Enough!” He slammed his fist on the table and stood up. “Enough. It’s Christmas Eve for God’s fucking sake. ¿No podemos tener una pinche cena normal?” · Can’t we have one normal fucking dinner?
“Sorry, but she doesn’t get to call me weak when I’ve been the one taking care of her since you two decided to call it quits,” she said, pointing at her mom. “I’ve been with her, dad. You haven’t. You don’t know what I’ve been through, what I’ve had to endure living with her. She’s a monster!” 
“Cleo…” Stephen whispered, reaching out for her hand. “Come on.”
“No, Stephen, this isn’t fair!” she jerked her hand away from him. “I’ve had to be strong for everyone at some point – dad when he broke up with Miss Secretary, you when we found out about John fucking Walsh, and mom! Mom of all people. I had to watch you go to rehab three times because I couldn’t keep you safe, and I couldn’t protect you, and I couldn’t watch you all day long. Do you know how scary that was for me? To be away from home and worried you might be drinking? A-and then when you agreed to go to rehab or detox camp, to pretend like you were just out of town on business and not being able to show that I was upset because then I’d have to talk about it? And we don’t talk about the hard stuff. Right? You taught me that. You two did.” She glanced at her dad and shook her head. “I’m tired. I’m tired of being underestimated, o-of people thinking I can’t do any fucking thing on my own without breaking a goddamn nail.” Her chest rose and fell with rapid breaths and she shook her head again, aggressively wiping a tear off her cheek. “It’s not fair.”
“What’s not fair is for you to throw all of this in my face, Cleo,” Rafa said. “Or your mother! You know what she’s been through – you said it yourself, you were there! Be more respectful.”
Shelley cackled and shook her head. “Oh my god, Rafael, stop. This is the most protective you’ve been over me in the 30 years we’ve known each other, and please let the girl talk– she’s been bottling this up for 5 years, right?” she said from her seat “And don’t act like you’re so innocent, Cleo, you are your very own shade of fucked up– don’t think I haven’t noticed how much you’re drinking too. You try to act like you’re better than me, but you’re not. As much as you hate to admit it, we’re the same. Like mother, like daughter. Alcohol’s a good coping mechanism, isn’t it? And don’t pin this all on me, Cleo. Your dad’s little affair is what spiraled all of this.”
“Okay! Enough!” Rafael said again, glaring at both of them. “Enough you two.”
“What, when it’s your turn to be judged you decide you’ve had enough? No. Now you listen. We were fine before you went and had your little adventure with Amanda, Rafael. You’d forgiven me for what happened with John, and we had moved on. We were a good, happy family, you selfish prick.”
“Maybe I didn’t completely forgive you for fucking John Walsh.”
“And because I cheated first meant you had permission to go fuck your secretary? You could’ve at least told me about it, but how long was the affair? Five years? Six? Certainly much longer than mine with John, wouldn’t you say?” She rolled her eyes and turned to Oliver, who was finally getting the Kardashian-esque drama he’d been promised. “Oh, I’m so sorry, baby,” she said, placing her hand on his arm, “I promise we’re not like this all the time.”
Stephen shook his head and exhaled sharply as if saying ‘yes we are. ’ 
“So, again,” Shelley continued, lighting a cigarette. “Judge me for what happened with John all you want, but don’t tell me you’re better than me, Raf.”
“Might I remind you that you didn’t just cheat on me, Shelley? You didn’t just sleep with John once and move on with your life,” Rafa spoke, his voice steady, angry. “You went and had two fucking kids with the guy.”
Stephen’s fork clattered to the floor. 
Silence fell over the dinner table and Cleo felt herself lowering her head, a deep frown on her face as she tried to process what her dad had just said. Two kids. “You went ahead and had two fucking kids with the guy.” She shot a glance at Stephen, whose grip on Oliver’s hand had tightened, his eyes narrow in confusion. Cleo was too busy trying to understand what this meant (and hoping it wasn’t true) to notice the look on Shelley’s face. She was both hurt and surprised, staring wide-eyed at Rafael as he fumed, his jaw clenched. 
“How did you know?” Shelley asked finally, her voice soft, scared, almost. Rafael scoffed in response and shook his head, passing a hand through his face. 
“I didn’t,” he shrugged and let out a laugh. “I guessed.”
“You’re joking, right?” Stephen glanced between Shelley and Rafael. “You’re fucking kidding me, right?”
Rafael licked his lips and shook his head. “Well, Merry Christmas, kids,” he said before storming out of the room. 
Stephen glanced at Oliver and patted his knee. “I’m gonna go check on him if that’s okay. ”
Oliver nodded, “I’ll go up to our room, okay? Uh…” he turned to Cleo as Stephen rushed after his dad. “Are you okay?” he asked her, reaching for her hand. Cleo just smiled and shook her head. “I’ll be upstairs, alright?” and off he went. 
“So he’s not my dad,” Cleo said simply, her bottom lip quivering. 
“No,” Shelley whispered. 
“How long have you known?”
There was a long pause as Shelley took a drag from her cigarette. She supposed she’d always known, or at least had a very strong suspicion that Cleo wasn’t Rafael’s daughter. She looked nothing like Rafa when she was born, but all babies came out looking weird, so she brushed it off. Then Cleo started to grow, and the resemblance became clearer. She had his blonde hair, blue eyes – she was his daughter, through and through. 
“Since you were born, I think…”
Cleo nodded, her lips pressed together in a frown. She couldn’t make sense of the way she was feeling. Hurt for her dad, who had to go through this twice– realizing that neither of his kids was his. That had to hurt. And she was mostly hurt for herself because finding out her dad wasn’t her dad biologically was painful too. She knew that meant nothing – genetics – but it still hurt. It was still a little heartbreaking. 
“I’m sorry,” Shelley whispered, sniffing. 
“Don’t,” Cleo sobbed. “Don’t apologize, we both know you don’t mean it,” she shrugged a shoulder and let out a laugh. “And this–” she said, motioning between them– “ends right now. I don’t want anything to do with you anymore, Shelley. I’m done. As soon as I get to Greensville, I’m out and I don’t want to see you ever again.” 
Shelley sat back down on her chair and laughed. “Oh, sweetie,” she rubbed her temples. “We never got to what I was looking forward to this year, and I guess I forgot to tell you because I was busy. I’m moving,” she said, offering her a smile. “I’m moving to New York to be closer to the company, and I sold the house. You have about two weeks to leave,” she shrugged. 
“What?” Cleo raised a brow at her mom. 
Shelley laughed again, this time louder. “Oh my god, this is perfect. Yup! I’m moving. Guess your plan to be financially independent's gonna have to start effective immediately, huh?”
“How did you not tell me?”
Shelley shrugged. “Oops. But look at the bright side: you won’t have to worry about me anymore, Cleo. Hating me will be much easier with me gone.” Her smile turned into a frown and she shook her head. “I deserve it.”
“You do,” Cleo sniffed. 
“Well,” she stood up, “Good luck in your life, Cleo.”
JANUARY 4, 2020 - JANUARY 7, 2020 GREENSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
She drove back to Greensville after watching the sunset from the gazebo at her old house, the one she’d spent countless nights sitting at, wondering where her life would take her; if she’d be married by 23 and having kids of her own, if she’d be living in New York like she’d always wanted, or if she’d by the house next door to be closer to her parents. Little did she know she’d be further away from them than ever at 21, not only in distance but at heart. The only people who had been checking up on her since Aspen were Oliver and Stephen, who would facetime her every night at 10pm. They said it was because that’s when they got off work, but Cleo knew they just wanted to make sure she wasn’t drinking. 
After packing everything up at the Stratton Hill house and then taking it to a storage unit that didn’t fit even a third of her closet (Erica was kind enough to let her store the rest at her place, as long as she got to wear some of her things), Cleo drove by the house again. She parked the car across the street and made her way up the drive, to the front porch where she plopped down on the steps with a sigh. “Goodbye house…” she whispered and then began to cry.
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sugardaddysebby · 2 years ago
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King of the Clouds | Part 3
Summary: Being a guardian angel is something new to Bucky. After he meets you, being your guardian angel makes it hard not to ‘fall’ for you.
pairing: fallen angel!bucky x reader
a/n: final part :(
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A shirtless Bucky writhed in pain on the soiled ground in the middle of a forest. Raphael towered above Bucky as he watched him scream in agony. The two fresh, long, and red marks on his back healing rapidly with Raphael's powers.
It hurt Raphael to see another angel fall into darkness especially Bucky. Before being able to explain himself, Bucky was left alone in the night.
Raphael didn't give him a chance to explain himself. He truly loved you, there was no doubt about it, but Raphael mistook it as lust.
Bucky was now stripped from his wings and his title as your guardian angel. He managed to stand up, the pain fading away, as he tried to find his way back home to you.
It must have been hours before he reached the side of the road. The dark sky began to turn into a lighter color as he reached the front door.
He knocked on the door and waited for you to answer. As he waited, he prepared for your questions on his sudden disappearance, but as he recalled the previous night's events, a grin formed on his face.
You opened the door with teary eyes. After realizing Bucky had taken too long to clean up downstairs, you got out of bed and looked for him. You were heartbroken when you found the house empty.
"Hello?" You stuck your head out, looking at the front lawn. Bucky furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. He said your name.
Nothing.
He was right in front of you and you couldn't see him. You sniffed lightly and shut the door. Bucky knocked, you opened the door again this time, angrily.
"Fuck off whoever is doing that!" You yelled. Bucky sneakily slid through the space of the open door and entered the house.
Bucky tried to appear in the living room. Nothing again. He had lost his power.
No, no, no. He said. Bucky's eyes followed you as you shut the door and walked past him. He broke down in tears, screaming from pain again. Only this time it was his heart that hurt.
Raphael had made him invisible to humans, to you. That was his punishment.
Bucky followed you to your room where your roommate was sitting on the desk chair. She held her arms open for you as you sat on her lap, weeping again.
He couldn't hold you like she was holding you. He couldn't talk to you or feel you anymore.
"I'm sorry, honey." Your roommate said. "Boys are assholes. It's a good thing he left, he didn't deserve you."
Bucky told himself she was right. The evil, wicked angel he was now didn’t and couldn't deserve you. Ever.
It might have not been healthy to stick around after he fell but it was the only thing that made him feel useful. 
You had immediately been assigned to a new guardian angel when he left, that angel was left to pick up your broken pieces and patch you up again. Bucky couldn’t help but hate himself for falling. It felt like he gave up on you. 
He followed you everywhere. He was still protecting you. Your new angel had warned him to stay back but Bucky clarified that he wasn’t going to hurt you or lure you into the darkness. 
Bucky watched you move on, get a place of your own and gain new friends. Something he highly approved of. However, It still hurt when you said his name with so much hate as if it were a curse. It also hurt when you refused to say his name. Again, he deserved it.
A few years passed and you finally met a man who caught your attention. You no longer shed tears for Bucky, instead, you laughed until you cried with this new person. Bucky couldn’t help himself, he had to walk out or at least stay away from you when that guy was around. 
One day, your new beau had ordered take-out and you both binge-watched on your favorite series on the living room couch. The room was silent for a few moments as the new episode followed. 
“Can I ask you something?” He asked. 
“You just did.” He playfully rolled his eyes at you. You giggled. “Of course.” 
“What was his name?” He asked. Your smile vanished. 
Bucky stood in the corner of the room, holding his breath in, ready to listen to you speak about him for the first time in a while.
“Who?” You gave him a confused look.
“The guy before me. Your ex-boyfriend.”
“I-I don’t even think we dated... It was a long time ago.” You set the remote on the small living room table in front of you and looked at him. “Why are you asking me this?”
“I want to know who broke your heart.” He said. “Its come a long way but it’s not fully healed. I can see it in your eyes.”
He gazed into your eyes, waiting for a response from you. You couldn’t remember him, you didn’t want to remember him. But, after a few moments of silence, you said his name for the first time without hatred.
“Bucky. If that was even his real name.” You added. “He first introduced himself as James.” 
“How did he break your heart?” He asked.
“He left without saying goodbye. Just got what he wanted and left.” You felt a knot form in your throat as you tried to hold back the tears. You felt an arm wrap around you from the man sitting next to you.
“Oh, he was your first.” He realized. 
“I thought he was going to be my one and only.” You admitted. “I saw my whole future with him. But I was insane. The love I had for him was too much, he didn’t deserve it.”
“You don’t have to worry about him anymore. I’m here now.”
Bucky felt his heart shatter. 
A few years later, Bucky wandered in the forest where he had his wings ripped off by Raphael. 
It was his first time back since that night. His hair was longer, he had grown a beard, looking nothing like the young, reckless angel who begged for mercy ten years ago. He took a seat on a medium-sized log and stared at the orange and yellow leaves covering the floor he once writhed on. 
A shadow appeared on the ground, Bucky looked up to see Raphael towering over him. 
“What are you doing here?” Bucky asked. Raphael gave him a small smile and sat down next to him. 
“It’s been a long time right?” Raphael sighed. “You have been very strong. You still stayed by her side even after all these years.”
“Did you come here to ask me to stop? Because I won’t.” Bucky snapped. Raphael remained unbothered.
“No. Although, I am surprised the ring on her finger isn’t stopping you at all,” Raphael said.
“I have to make things up to her, married or not. ” He said. 
“James, I have been observing you for the last ten years and I am afraid I may have made a mistake stripping your title as a guardian angel,” Raphael said. Bucky stood up from the log and faced him. 
“What are you trying to say?” Bucky could barely hear himself think from the loud beating of his heart against his chest. Raphael smiled at him.
“Am I an angel again?” Bucky asked. Raphael stood up and walked towards him, shaking his head. 
“Being an angel wouldn’t make you as happy as if you were being a human.” Raphael smiled. 
Bucky reached under his shirt and touched his back. There were no scars. 
“But-”
“Everything that happened between the both of you is fairly recent to her. About ‘a few hours’ recent to be exact. She has no memory of her fiance and vice versa.”
“But ten years passed,” Bucky said. 
“And it was enough to prove to my superiors you truly loved her and needed to become human. Now go, run home or call an Uber. Whatever you humans do.” Raphael waved his hand at him. Bucky took off, screaming thank you over his shoulder, knowing well Raphael would be stopping by again in the future.
He ran to your new house where you were in the kitchen, busy cooking. You heard the door open and headed towards the front door. Bucky paused in the middle of the kitchen. 
You met him with a smile. 
"What took you so long?" You asked.
 Bucky's eyes welled with tears as he took you in his arms and pressed his lips against yours. He felt your arms wrapped around him and he swore it was his heaven on earth.
"I missed you. I missed you so much." He pressed kisses to your jaw and down your neck.
"Bucky, why are you acting like you were away for years?"
"Because it felt like a decade." He said. "Every moment felt like an eternity."
"One quick trip to the grocery store and you come back missing me like crazy. Guess that cuddle session last night helped a lot." You kissed his cheek, then his lips.
"Right. Cuddle session. I left the room to pick up my stuff in the living room."
"Living room? You never left the bedroom last night. I only saw your note on the door this morning that said you left to get groceries to make breakfast." You held up a small post-it note with his handwriting on it.
The magic of Raphael.
"You took forever so I started making breakfast myself. Now I am wondering... where are the groceries?" You asked. Bucky squinted his eyes briefly.
"In my car, I think." He said. 
"You think?!" You said astonished. Bucky raced to the car in the driveway and saw groceries neatly packed in the trunk of his new car. 
Bucky entered with the big brown grocery bags and set them down on the table. You walked over and reached in the bags to pull the food out. 
"Is it too soon to tell you that I am in love with you and that I want to spend the rest of my life with you?" He blurted out. You nearly dropped the dozen of eggs on the floor.
"Really?" You asked, Bucky nodded, pulling you closer u til your bodies touched. "Well Buck, glad we're on the same page."
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