"Come on, Bucky, spar with me!" You giggled, lifting your wrapped hands like he had taught you several months ago so you could defend yourself if something happened.
You weren't an Avenger, had no powers or super strength, which was just fine by you. But Bucky still wanted you to learn, and you had.
Your boyfriend of nearly a year rolled his eyes playfully. "Think you can take me, sweetheart?" He purred, tongue slipping out to wet his bottom lip.
Your own lips twisted into a smirk, eyes dropping for a moment to his cock before flicking back up. "Oh, I know I can take you."
He tipped his head back to laugh before stepping onto the mat. Within seconds, he darted at you with lightning speed. He stopped about a foot from you, throwing a fist out slow enough for you to dodge it.
You swung back at him, with him easily missing the hit. The two of you continued to spar playfully, Bucky occasionally letting you get a hit in.
You swung harder, nearly connecting with Bucky's jaw. He stepped back, widening his eyes comically. "You almost hit my pretty face." He jutted his lower lip out into a pout. "I thought you loved my face."
Just barely were you able to contain your laughter. "We both know it wouldn't have even left a mark, Buckaroo."
He rolled his eyes at the silly nickname. "That's hardly the point. It would have if I weren't a Super Soldier."
A snort left you. "I weep for the alternate universe where you aren't a big bad Super Soldier." You poked your tongue out at him. "Come on then, Soldier. Show me what you've got."
When you started to sweat and slow down considerably he looped his silver arm around his waist and soft tackled you to the mat.
Bucky grinned crookedly down at you, a few dark strands falling into his eyes as his hips settled between yours. "I win." He chuckled.
You raised a brow at him, wiggling your hips against his. "Doesn't feel like I lost."
"Why don't you join me in the shower, and we can both win?"
You needed no extra convincing, letting the Super Soldier drag you toward the training room showers. You both stripped quickly, standing under the warm spray of water just a moment later.
Bucky looked unfairly gorgeous, his wet hair clinging to the sides of his face and his eyelashes. With hooded eyes, you watched him lather a loofa with soap before closing the space between you.
Tenderly he brushed the loofa down your arms and across your chest, teasing the hard peaks of your nipples with the soft material.
His eyes were dark as he bent slowly to his knees, rubbing the soap up one leg and then the other before moving between your thighs where he made soft circles.
"Bucky, stop teasing." You pleaded, winding your fingers into his hair. He pushed you back against the wall of the shower, letting the water wash away the soap before he leaned in close and spread your labia open with his thumbs.
Before you could protest, he latched his mouth to your clit, sucking and making quick circles with his tongue. You would have fallen if it weren't for his large hands holding you up.
He sunk two into you, the metal ones, his flesh hand gripping your hip to keep you pinned to the wall. Yours gripped at his hair and shoulders, your breath leaving you in a rush as he hooked one leg onto his shoulder and moaned against you.
The action sent vibrations through your core, whimpers falling from your lips as you clenched around his fingers. He always could bring you to orgasm embarrassingly fast, a fact he was all too proud of.
Before you could even come down from your first orgasm, he was nudging his cock between your folds, lifting you by the thighs to force your legs around his hips.
Bucky groaned against your mouth, stealing open-mouthed kisses as he thrust into you. "So tight, baby. Always such a good girl for me."
"Yes, Sergeant." You whimpered back, making him thrust harder into you with a broken moan. "You know what that does to me." He gasped. "Minx."
Your nails scraped down his back as water cascaded down your chest, teasing the buds of your nipples as he ground his pelvis against your clit.
"Bucky...m'gonna...can I?" You tipped your head back in pleasure, his voice growling against your ear. "Do it. Cum for your Sergeant."
Your thighs clamped down hard around his hips, keeping him firmly seated within you as the walls of your pussy fluttered around his cock, milking his own orgasm from him with a drawn out moan of your name.
He stayed buried within you, grinding his hips against yours to draw out your orgasm as long as possible. When you came down completely he claimed your mouth in a slow, intense kiss, nipping your bottom lip.
"We'll have to clean you up again." He winked. By the time the two of you made it out of the shower the water had gone cold, forcing you to dry off quickly and yank on your clothes with matching dopey grins.
"Love you, Buckaroo." He snorted, lacing his fingers with yours. "Love you too, sugar." He swatted your ass with his free hand, making you squeal as he pulled you out of the showers.
You and Bucky weren’t out of the washroom five minutes before there was a knock at the door.
“Hey, Buck, there’s someone I want you to meet.” Steve glanced past Bucky’s shoulder, meeting your gaze with a smile. “You’re welcome to come, too, Y/N.”
“Stevie—” Bucky groaned, snapping his jaw shut at the look he was getting from the Captain, which brooked no room for protest. From behind, you slipped your hand in his and gave a small encouraging smile. He squeezed your hand and grumbled, but followed Steve back into the gym.
“I really think you’ll like him, Buck,” said Steve, vying for conversation and earning another grunt for his efforts. With a sigh, he pushed open the door and led the way in.
Standing in the center of the mat was a handsome man. Tall in stature, he was almost the same height as Steve, with identical colored hair. Except where Steve’s eyes were blue, the man’s were a smoldering dark green. The one feature that stood out among the rest was his prosthetic leg.
Bucky zeroed in on that; lips pulled tightly together, he offered up an empathetic smile. Surprising even Steve, he shook the man’s hand.
“Sergeant Barnes, it is a pleasure to meet you. My name is Gabriel Montgomery.”
“Agent Montgomery is a new recruit,” Steve explained.
“I know all about you, Sir, and can I say what an honor it is,” Gabriel told Bucky, his simpering tone cutting off Steve.
You opened your mouth to reprimand the novice until, out the corner of your eye, you saw Steve shake his head. He was aglow at the praise his best friend was receiving. It was then you noticed the smile alight on Bucky’s features as well. Smiling, you encouragingly rubbed Bucky’s forearm.
Three familiar male voices carried from the kitchen to where you were standing just within the archway. It brought a genuine smile to your face, watching Bucky let loose with another companion. His reverberating laughter was salve for your soul, the sound of it thick and sweet like honey. It almost made you feel a little envious, though, that Gabriel had achieved a feat within a week that took you a good two months upon meeting Bucky. Still, you were happy for your man; he deserved it.
"Captain Rogers has informed me that I might be on the field in a few weeks," Gabriel told Bucky, hoping to garner the sergeant's praise.
Bucky did not fail to deliver. "That's great, Gabe. Shows you really know what you're doin'." He nodded his approval, making the younger man beam like the glistening gelled strands atop his head.
It was clear from day one that Gabriel's interest in Bucky went beyond him being a superhero or even the Winter Soldier. From what you'd gathered, per Bucky's retelling, he'd done his thesis paper while in college on James Buchanan Barnes, the tragic war hero lost during World War II.
"Just don't get a big head, Agent," Sam joshed, joining the conversation as he scraped jelly across the four pieces of toast that popped up from the toaster. You noticed this and giggled. Like everyone else at the compound, Falcon had an insatiable appetite.
"You have nothing to worry about, Wilson," Gabriel began, the right corner of his lip ticking up with a smirk. "I'm not planning on stealing your thunder."
"That's only Thor you have to worry about," you input at long last.
"Good mornin', sweetheart. Didn't know you were there." Bucky crossed the kitchen to where you were standing in the doorway. Had been for the last five minutes. He pecked your lips with a chaste kiss, blue eyes swimming in adoration as he stared down at you. You couldn't be upset, not when he was looking at you like that.
Before you could respond, however, Steve entered the kitchen. He was wearing gray sweats and a white t-shirt that was soaked in sweat and clinging to every muscle. He grabbed a water bottle from the fridge before turning to the group congregating around the island. "Hey, Buck. You didn't meet me this morning for training." He quirked an eyebrow at his best friend.
"Oh, sorry, Steve. I thought I would train with Gabe."
You chewed on your bottom lip, frowning at the crested appearance that had fallen over Steve. Bucky didn't seem to notice.
"Yeah, pal, that...that's good." Steve nodded evenly.
"Especially since you said I would be out on the field soon." Gabriel puffed up proudly.
Steve raised an eyebrow at the other blonde man. "Actually, Agent, I said you had promise. One day, I'm certain you'll make a fine field agent." The good captain chuckled good-naturedly. "We don't take chances here. I'll say you're ready when I think you're ready. Am I understood?"
Gabriel nodded his head stiffly at that, lips pinched together. "Yes, Captain Rogers."
"Good." Steve turned his attention back to Bucky. "Hey, Buck, I was wondering..."
"Sergeant Barnes," Gabriel interjected, at the same time his beeper went off. "I'm sorry, Captain. I don't mean to interrupt, but..." Quickly he looked to Bucky for support, realizing he'd pushed too many of the Captain's buttons that morning, if the rare scowl on Steve's face was anything to go by.
"Steve, he's right," Bucky sighed, patting his friend on the shoulder in a placating manner. "I promised to bring Gabe to the shooting range. We'll be late if we don't leave now."
"Sure, Buck. Have a good time."
"That would also be my cue to go," said Sam, grabbing what remained of his breakfast.
Still biting your lip, you offered up a small smile to Steve when Bucky, Gabriel, and Sam left the room. "He's just excited, Steve."
"Yeah..." Steve nodded, smiling sadly in return. "I'm happy for him. Really." With that, the Captain gripped his water bottle and departed, leaving you in the kitchen to sulk alone. Why didn't Bucky tell you about his plans with Agent Montgomery?
"Y/N, have you seen Buck?" asked Steve.
You had just finished eating dinner in your shared quarters and wandered downstairs. It was unusually lonely without Bucky. Though, said loneliness was quickly morphing into confusion. "Um..." You furrowed your brow, deciding the truth was your best course. "Honestly, Steve? I thought he was with you..."
Steve frowned at that. "Why would you think that?"
"He said he was going out...So, I just assumed..." You couldn't finish your sentence. The look on Steve's face told you everything you needed to know. Bucky went out with Gabriel, leaving him behind. You wanted to say something to him, to console him, but your mind reached a blank. Wasn't this a good thing, Bucky meeting new people and making friends? "It's okay, Steve. I wouldn't take it personally. Gabe is new. He's..." The word 'exciting' died on your lips, as you cleared your throat, stopping yourself before you unintentionally hurt Steve. Of course, you didn't mean Steve wasn't exciting. It was merely the thrill of meeting someone new and learning about that person that breathed fresh energy into an otherwise stagnant situation. Just then, you were really glad none of those words came out of your mouth. Finally, you settled with, "Give Bucky more time, and I'm sure things will sort themselves out."
"Yeah..." The Captain's smile faltered, causing you to feel worse for thinking such thoughts about one of your closest friends. Your boyfriend's best friend as it were.
"Uh, we could watch a move until he gets back," you suggested, looping your arm around his and tugging slightly.
Shaking his head, Steve chuckled. He always thought fondly of you, and now you were being extra adorable. He was no fool, though; he knew you were doing it on purpose to make him feel better. "All right," he agreed.
As the common room was currently occupied by Clint and Tony, both of whom were being loud and obnoxious, you decided to watch the movie in Steve's room. The last either of you needed was to be harassed about Bucky's whereabouts, knowing full well Barton and Stark were the two who would.
"Meet you there in half an hour." Steve seemed heartened by your pending company, and at least you had found a remedy for your loneliness. Taking the elevator to the floor on which the room you shared with Bucky was on, you padded to the bathroom to change into your pajamas. While brushing your teeth, you glanced every few seconds at your phone. Where it sat on the edge of the counter, silently mocking you. Spatting out a mouthful of toothpaste, you reached for your phone and sent a message to Bucky. The seconds ticked by, until five minutes remained before you had to meet Steve, and still no reply.
Bucky felt his phone vibrate in his jeans pocket and, on reflex, went to pull it out immediately. Really only two people texted him, anyway.
Before his hand could pull the sleek phone from his pocket, a large hand clapped down onto his shoulder.
"Come on, let's do another shot!" Gabriel yelled cheerfully over the loud music. Bucky nodded, finally freeing the device from his pocket.
He had just started to glance down at the text when Gabe returned with the shots. Two for each of them.
"Getting tired of me already?" He joked, nodding down at the phone in Bucky's hand. He shook his head, already starting to tuck the phone back into his pocket.
"No, sorry. Course not." Gabe nudged one of the shots his way, picking up the first of his own. "Just kidding, dude. But it's not like they don't know where we're at, right? You deserve a night out. And I know I needed this, too."
Bucky felt a small flash of guilt that he may have made Gabe think he wasn't having fun, or not enjoying his company. So he left the phone in his pocket and grabbed up the shot with a crooked grin.
"You know I can't actually get drunk, right? So you're wasting your money." He laughed.
"Well, I tried texting him," you told Steve, appearing in the doorway to his bedroom. Dressed in a simple button-up top and cotton shorts, and wrapped in your favorite afghan, you waltzed inside and plopped down on the edge of the bed with a sigh. Hugging your knees to your chest, you fumbled with your phone, willing it to do something useful.
Steve raised an eyebrow at your forlorn mood. "Still think I'm overacting?"
"Bite me," you huffed. "You were the one who hired the guy."
Silence fell over the two of you, each lost to your own thoughts. You weren't really upset with Steve, nor was he at you. It was just an odd situation, and neither of you knew what to make of this new side of Bucky.
"What are we watching?" you finally asked, breaking the tension.
Steve instructed F.R.I.D.A.Y. to play the movie, and you were beyond delighted once it started, as it was one of your favorite movies of all time. How Steve knew you had no idea, but in helping him feel better, he'd done the same for you.
Flashing you one of his star-spangled smiles, he patted the spot next to him. Joining him, you relaxed against the headboard with a contented sigh, munching on the popcorn he'd supplied, along with a couple throwback sodas made with real sugar that you slurped greedily. He and Bucky were always so excited to find those drinks, it was impossible for you to nab one before the two Super Soldiers had consumed them.
For the next couple hours, you focused solely on the movie and enjoying yourself, and you hoped that, wherever he was, whatever he was doing, Bucky was enjoying himself, too...
It was almost midnight when you returned to your bedroom. Bucky still hadn't come home or replied to your text. Switching off the bedside lamp, you pulled the blankets to your chin to try and get some sleep. You stared at your phone for several more seconds, praying for it to ring or to see the indicator light. The longer you stared, the more drowsy your eyes became, giving you tunnel vision, and soon you were fast asleep...
Your phone alarm blared to life, startling you out of the fitful sleep you had fallen into. Hurriedly you slapped it into silence and groaned, rolling over to stretch in the large bed.
The sheets were cold next to you, which did more to wake you than the shrill ringing of your alarm. You frowned, scrambling out of bed in a slight panic. Your phone still showed no new messages.
Bucky had never messaged you back or, by the feel of the sheets, come home at all. Hardly taking the time to yank on a bathrobe you raced downstairs to find Steve to see if he had heard from his best friend.
Instead you found the object of your worry shuffling toward the elevator you just exited.
"Bucky!" You tried to ease the small squeak out of your voice. Clearly he was fine, no bruises or cuts to speak of and all in one piece...well, as many as he had left in anyway.
He gave you a tired smile, rubbing a hand down his face. "Sorry, doll. Got a bit caught up." He yawned wide, his feet stopping their shuffling for a moment.
The panic fled out of you, replaced with a soft concern for how tired he truly looked. "Er, well, did you have fun at least?" He hummed, bending to kiss your cheek chastely. "I did. I'm beat though, so I'm gonna get some sleep. I'll see you in a few hours."
With that he slipped into the elevator to go back to your bedroom. It wasn't an outright dismissal and he did look beat and in need of sleep, so you decided to leave it be and go wrangle yourself up some breakfast.
Steve was the only one in the kitchen when you slipped in. There was a pinched look on his face but he gave you a tight smile and gestured to the coffee pot and a plate with extra bacon, toast, eggs and some freshly cut fruit.
You had a feeling the plate wasn't for you. As you poured yourself a cup of coffee you sighed gently, "He wasn't in the mood for breakfast?"
Steve huffed a little, stabbing at his scrambled eggs with more aggression than was strictly necessary.
"He had breakfast with Gabe already. Some hole in the wall diner they just had to try." Clearly he had gotten more out of Bucky than you had, but you weren't about to make Steve feel bad about that. So you grabbed up the plate of extra food and sat beside him at the kitchen island.
"At least he had a good time though, right?" Steve sighed, the pinched look easing a little. "Yeah, yeah. You're right. Sorry."
You waved him off and looked down at your plate. "Oh, Steve, don't you know anything about making someone breakfast?"
He gave you a confused look, watching as you rearranged the plate to make a smiley face with the assorted foods. Your silly nature worked once more, earning you a laugh from the star spangled hero.
With a nudge of your shoulder into his you tucked into the breakfast that was meant to be Bucky's. At least you didn't have to make it yourself, though, which was always a plus.
"What are you doing after this?" You asked conversationally, if only to avoid any possibility of a tense silence.
Steve stiffened a little and you suppressed a wince. "Training." He shoved a whole piece of bacon into his mouth, the muscle in his jaw ticking as he chewed.
Training. Right. Which he normally did with Bucky every morning. It was practically a form of religion between the two. Their church. If, you know, churches were filled with super-soldier men that were stupidly attractive. If they were you would probably attend church more often...or at all.
"Want me to join you? I promise not to get upset by how many times you say "on your left." And, hey, you could always mix it up and surprise me by being on my right."
That earned another laugh from the Super Soldier. He finished up his plate and gave you a one armed hug. "I should be the one cheering you up." He shook his head and stood to rinse his plate off at the sink. "How about you come spar with me?"
"Alright, alright. But I don't wanna hear you cry when I bruise more than your ego with these muscles." You flexed obnoxiously.
Steve crossed his arms over his broad chest with a playful roll of his eyes. "I'll have you know back in the day I used to get beat up in alleys all the time. I think I can take it."
You snorted unintentionally. "Okay, gramps. Just stop saying back in the day. I'll feel bad for beating up a geriatric."
He pouted a little. "Hey, I might be a hundred but I don't look a day over twenty four."
You just barely held in another snort, "I mean, definitely not a day over thirty, Cap."
Steve narrowed his eyes at you. "I was gonna take it easy on you for sparring. But now? You ruined it."
You arched a brow at him, the two of you making your way out of the kitchen together. "Bring it on, dusty bones. I'll be sure to stay near my phone in case you break a hip in a tragic slip and fall on the way there. Knew I should have gotten you Life Alert for Christmas."
The diner was quiet, as it usually was on Thursday afternoons. You, Bucky and Steve had a standing "friend date" every week, where the three of you ate lunch or dinner together. Just the three of you. It had, originally, been Steve and Bucky's thing but six months into your relationship Steve invited you along. You hadn't missed a Thursday since.
It wasn't anything overly special, just a place that reminded them both of a simpler time. Their own little slice of peace and you had been happy to share it with them.
One hand was laced with Bucky's under the table, his chin tucked onto your shoulder as he read the menu in your hands. Finally you decided what you wanted and nudged him gently. "Whatcha gonna have?"
He hummed appreciatively, chewing on his bottom lip. "Bacon cheeseburger today. Loaded fries aaaaand...a chocolate shake."
Steve laughed. "That sounds good. But like we'd need to add on a few extra hours of training to work it off."
"You scared of a challenge, Rogers? Don't tell me the only battle you'll back down from is a cheeseburger."
Steve narrowed his eyes playfully. "On the contrary. I'm getting mine with extra bacon, Jerk."
"I'll get triple the bacon then, Punk."
You couldn't help but snort. "I look forward to seeing two sluggish, chubby super soldiers spar later on."
Bucky and Steve both gasped in mock horror. "I'm not chubby! Have you seen my abs?"
Steve rolled his eyes. "We both have. Honestly not that impressive, Barnes."
"I'm gonna kick the snot outta you if you keep it up. I'll kick it so hard you'll have flashbacks to being underweight and asthmatic."
The blonde super soldier crossed his arms over his broad chest, puffing it out proudly. "We'll see about that. You and me, training room tonight."
The waitress came by to drop off your drinks and take your orders. "Can't. I'm sparring with Gabe later."
Instantly the light, happy mood that had surrounded you and made you feel light deflated a little at the look on Steve's face. You felt rubbed a little raw yourself, seeing as how you and Bucky always found a pocket of time for just the two of you as well. And, guiltily, you worried that Bucky might forget it.
You and Steve shared a look but said nothing. After your orders were placed you sat in a somewhat awkward silence for a moment. Well, awkward for you and Steve. Bucky didn't seem to notice anything was amiss.
Until the next sentence left his mouth. "I think he'd like this place, Gabe."
Out of the corner of your eye you saw Steve tense and bristle at that. "No." Your eyes widened in surprise. Bucky's gaze was instantly latched onto Steve. "Well, obviously not right away. But he's a great guy. You know he lost his leg saving all those people?" He shook his head in disbelief. "It's incredible."
Trying to be a good sport and let Bucky know that you were happy for him you squeezed his hand. "Do you two talk about that? Your prosthesis?"
Bucky shrugged. "Not much. But it's nice to have someone really know how it feels."
You nodded. "I'm sure it is. We're all glad you're getting along so well." Subtly you kicked Steve's shin under the table. "Yeah, thrilled," he added.
Sadly that wasn't the end of it. Bucky kept bringing up Gabriel in some way, what he had done with his life, how interesting he was, how similar to Bucky himself, how much fun he was.
Even as the three of you ate he dominated the conversation and most of what he had to say was about Gabe. Even when you or Steve tried, gently, to steer the conversation in another direction each new topic reminded him of something Gabe said or did.
You took a delicate sip of your drink as you thought about how to gently tell Bucky you would like to talk about something else.
Steve got there before you, however. "Dammit, Buck, can't we talk about something else?"
Bucky flinched back a little, startled at the outburst. "Woah, punk. Easy. He's not gonna take your golden boy status. I'm just saying he's a good guy." His blue eyes swept to yours, looking for reassurance.
You swallowed tightly. "I'm sure he is, Bucky. Just..." You chewed your lip, trying to think of how to phrase what you wanted to say.
Bucky seemed to know where your thoughts were headed. He bent to give you a soft kiss. "I'm sorry. I guess I just got a little overzealous. I didn't mean to make you guys feel left out. I'm just happy to have another friend."
That shifted the mood, both you and Steve ducking your heads a little in shame though you hadn't been the one to really say anything.
An hour later you were back at the compound, where Bucky had walked back to your shared room. He quickly changed into his workout gear while you eyed his form appreciatively.
"My eyes are up here, sweetheart." He teased before bending to give you a slow kiss. "I'll see you later?" He purred huskily.
Your belly swooped with butterflies, a flush blossoming over your heated cheeks. "I'm counting on it, Sergeant."
He growled playfully and swatted your bum before he was out the door to train with Gabe.
After dining with Bucky and Steve, and clearing the air with Bucky about Gabriel, the issue seemed to resolve itself overnight. The "honeymoon" phase of their friendship passed. Bucky was much more attentive than he had been the last few weeks, making love to you twice.
You woke up to him kissing your back, tracing his fingers along the curve of your shoulder, wanting to touch every inch of you that he could reach. The scruff of his beard tickled as he kissed you, his eyelashes fanning your skin. You were completely flush, and he preened at his ability to get you so hot and bothered.
"Buck-eee," you whined, "if you're going to tease me, next time do so before you have to train with Steve."
"Huh?" He glanced at the clock and bashfully dipped his head below the sheets. "M'sorry, baby." Not only was he apologizing to you, it was then you felt him hard and wanting against your backside. "I could just..."
"No, Bucky," you stated in a firm voice, "you promised Steve. He's missed you." As much as you wanted him to stay and satiate your own heat, Bucky owed it to his best friend. Also, you were pretty sure the Captain would tan your hide. He had told you in confidence how much he was looking forward to this morning's sparring session with Bucky. "Now, go."
You puckered your lips in a pout, watching him disappear into the bathroom. Your heard the rushing of water and ached to join him in the shower. Oh, well, you thought. There were other ways to sate your need. You would just have to wait until Bucky left the room; otherwise, there would be no getting him downstairs in time.
Steve, you owe me, you scolded him mentally, hoping that wherever he was he could feel your wrath.
When the bathroom door opened again, Bucky stepped out in a gray t-shirt and black sweats. "Lookin' good enough to eat, Soldier." You winked at him playfully.
"Keep it up, doll," he growled in warning.
"Shoo...Leave me to my..."
You rolled over on your stomach, clinging to the edges of the mattress. Your legs kicking in the air, as you batted your eyelashes. "Yes, Sarge?"
He looked at the door and then back to you, dragging his bottom lip between his teeth. With his mind made up, he marched over to the bed and flipped you on your back with his metal arm. Sliding his flesh hand under your nightgown, he pulled your panties down to your ankles.
Given no time to protest, not that you were going to, he buried himself inside you with one swift stroke. Your mouth fell open in a silent gasp, the noise caught in your throat. You wrapped your legs around his waist and, in five minutes, both of you climaxed.
Panting heavily, even for a Super Soldier, Bucky cupped your chin with his metal hand and smirked. "Te iubesc, draga (I love you, darling)." With that, he pulled up his sweats and jogged out of the room.
Collapsing back on the bed, you basked in the afterglow of the quickie. You were content to just lie there until you heard an impatient knock on your door. You tugged your nightgown down over your thighs and called out. "Yeah? Who is it? Wilson, if that's you--"
Your witty remark died on your lips as an unfamiliar voice answered. "It's Gabriel. Bucky, are you in there?"
Brow furrowed, you reluctantly crossed the room and cracked open the door. "Bucky isn't here right now, Gabe," you told him, purposefully omitting where he was. Steve deserved the time alone with his best friend.
He seemed annoyed at that. "Do you know where he is or when he'll be back?"
"Do I look like his keeper?" You did not appreciate his tone.
"I suppose not," the blonde man returned with a sneer. "Thinking his girlfriend would know his current whereabouts is clearly asking for too much."
"You know what, Agent Montgomery, you are absolutely correct in that assumption. It is asking for too much. Because I'm not telling you where Bucky is." Admittedly, that felt good, and you were positively glowing with pride.
Glancing up and down the corridor, Gabriel walked you back inside your bedroom. He closed the door behind him and shoved your bodily against it. Although you were used to roughhousing with Bucky, this was anything but pleasant. You whimpered fearfully, eyes caught in the gleam of his dark green ones.
"He talks about you all the time," he ground out, ire clipping his tone. But it wasn't his frustration or even his words that surprised you. It was the hint of accent coming out. "It gets rather dull after a while." The rolling of his r's cemented your suspicion. "What's a pretty girl like you doing with someone like him?" He caressed the side of your face, making your skin crawl. Bile rose up sharply in your throat.
He was clever, you realized. Instead of making a scene in the hallway, where he knew there were cameras, he'd managed to make it look like you let him in your room. "Don't cry, it's quite unbecoming." He licked your cheek and chuckled cruelly in the shell your ear. "Now, tell me where the Winter Soldier is, and I won't have to hurt you."
"T-Training," you replied, hating how powerless he rendered you, "with S-Steve."
"That's a good girl." He stepped around you and walked out. Pressing your back against the door, you sank to your knees and sobbed. "Sorry, Steve."
You were still trembling, wiping tears from your face when the door opened to reveal Steve in a sweaty gray t-shirt and blue sweats. His eyebrows were drawn down in irritation, his blue eyes hard and stern as he stepped in.
"What the hell, Y/N? You weren't supposed to-"
He cut himself off when his eyes met your tear-filled ones. His anger melted away instantly as he darted over. "Hey, what happened?"
Steve tugged you into his broad chest in a tight hug. After a few moments you calmed yourself enough to speak. And you told him what had happened with Gabriel, they way he had invited himself into your room, the creepiness that radiated off him in waves, and the way he terrified you in just a few short minutes.
He hugged you tighter for a moment. "We gotta tell Bucky."
You nodded, pulling out of his hold to sigh. "I know. But I don't want Gabriel to know what's going on."
If he knew you'd told Steve, and were planning to tell Bucky...clearly the guy was off, dangerous, but it was impossible to say how dangerous. And he was in the compound snuggling up to your boyfriend, your fellow Avengers.
He nodded. "Not until we know what he's capable of." He agreed. "If he can get past Stark's background check, fool me and Bucky..." He left the sentence open ended. Gabriel could be very dangerous, indeed.
Getting Bucky alone was easier than Steve had anticipated. Easier than you had, too.
Steve found him in the hall, near Steve's own room. He pulled his arm and all but dragged him inside to speak with him, to tell him all what had transpired between you and Gabe. When he was finished speaking he was a little startled to find Bucky didn't look shocked at all. Barely even blinked.
For a second Steve considered that his best friend had been onto him already, had gleaned something fishy about the man. That was, until he spoke.
"Look, I get it that you're jealous, Stevie. But, Jesus, that's far even for you."
Steve took a step back. "You think I'm lying? Buck, come on. Why would I lie about something like that?"
Bucky winced slightly. "C'mon, Stevie, you've always been a little...you know."
Steve crossed his arms over his chest, "Clearly, I don't. So what am I?"
His best friend wouldn't quite meet his eyes. "A little...clingy. Possessive of me."
That made his jaw tick with anger. He and Bucky had always been two sides of a coin, thick as thieves. Never once had Bucky expressed such a thing. Not even when he was weak and asthmatic, Bucky having to save him time and time again.
So he had to wonder how deep Gabriel had his claws into Bucky already, if his word wasn't good enough. He was more determined than ever to prove to him that something was off about him. Still, it hurt to hear.
"Sorry, Buck. I didn't know you felt that way." He was certain he looked about as downtrodden as he felt, but he also felt it wise to give the illusion that he had given up.
"I'll leave you to it, then." With that he pulled open his door and motioned for Bucky to leave.
Even more of a surprise to him was that Bucky didn't even try to argue, to apologize. He just...walked out.
You were waiting for Steve by the time he returned, the hope that had flared in your chest at the notion that Bucky would be with him dying as soon as you saw him. Steve looked sad but angry, too, a steely determination in his gaze.
Before you could even ask what had happened, he told you exactly what had gone on. You felt a lance in your heart for Steve, knowing his best friend was essentially choosing someone else over him. Not trusting his word.
You were certain he only shared such a personal detail so you understood how much Gabriel seemed to be having an effect on Bucky. Definitely a bond that seemed to go beyond more than common interests or tragedies.
And the two of you were both so wrapped up in Bucky that it was impossible to say which, if any, of your teammates he had gotten on his side already. The more people you told or asked about Gabriel, the bigger the risk that he would find out.
You took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I think we're gonna have to hack his file. If he's got Bucky so...diluted there's a fair chance he got Stark, too. It would be smart. Seeing as he owns the building."
Steve nodded. "So how do we get to his file?"
You ducked your head a bit. "Ah, that's actually my area of expertise. But I'm gonna need your help."
He didn't hesitate. "Anything you need, just name it."
And that's how you found yourself making a plan with Steve to hack into the database of the very tower you called home. Each of you doing it just as much for Bucky as you were yourselves.
It was late by the time your plans were finalized, after one in the morning in fact. But Bucky, again, hadn't come back to your shared room. Steve looked hesitant to leave for a moment.
"Do you...want me to stay in case Gabe comes back? I know you don't like staying without Bucky."
You were tempted but shook your head. "No, I'll just make sure F.R.I.D.A.Y. keeps my door locked and barred from visitors other than Bucky."
He offered another nod. "Alright. Yell if you need anything." He gave your shoulder a squeeze before ducking out of your room to return to his own. By the time you changed and settled into bed it was 1:30, with still no sign of Bucky.
At least, you thought, you'd be getting Bucky away from Gabriel soon. Just as soon as you had proof to show him.
You woke up the next morning, eager to hack into Gabriel's file, although dreading what you might find. You didn't feel safe anymore in your own quarters, especially without Bucky. Peeking open one eye, you were not surprised to find his side of the bed empty. Did he even come to bed, you wondered.
If you didn't know any better, you would've swore he was cheating on you. But that wasn't like Bucky; it went completely against his nature. No, your boyfriend was merely exploring a newfound network of socializing--and, unfortunately, had landed directly in the hornet's nest.
A sudden rush of emotion filled you as you glanced over to the calendar. It was your one-year anniversary with Bucky. You wanted to feel excited, but you had no idea what to expect.
You knew, however, the only way was forward. Swallowing down all your hurt feelings, you climbed out of bed and started the day by pampering yourself. Drawing a bath, you soaked in the tub with your favorite scented soaps. Bubbles surrounded you, making your skin silky smooth and soft. The hot water relaxed your muscles. Leaning back, you closed your eyes and stayed like that until the water turned lukewarm.
After, you dolled yourself up with a light touch of cosmetics and picked out a dress that you knew was Bucky's favorite. Slipping into a pair of heeled boots, you exited the room feeling like a queen and took the elevator down to the commons. Sam and Natasha were there, each doing a double take when you entered the room.
Natasha whistled, as Sam strutted over toward you. You giggled when he spun you around, redness tinging your cheeks. "Mmhm. Damn, girl. To what do I owe for this vision of beauty?"
You smacked him on the chest playfully. "If you must know, you scoundrel. It's my and Bucky's one-year anniversary. Where is he?"
Natasha's brow wrinkled in thought. "I think he was saying something about going out with Gabe. But I'm sure he won't be gone long," she added, seeing your smile falter. The assassin-spy missed nothing.
You, on the other hand, were not convinced. But the day was still young, and you were desperate to give him the benefit of the doubt. Since you spent the whole morning pampering, your stomach growled in protest. Bidding goodbye to your friends, you went to the kitchen to make you a sandwich for lunch. That's where you found Tony.
The self-proclaimed playboy wasted no time in flirting with you and complimenting your outfit. "What's the occasion?" he asked, winking suggestively.
"One-year anniversary," you answered flatly, gorging yourself with food.
"Speaking of, where is Grandpa?"
You shrugged. "Nat said he left sometime ago with Gabriel."
Tony nodded evenly. "Not a bad kid. He's really moving up in the ranks, too. Did you know he scaled the K2 summit? That's how he lost his leg."
"Really?" You tried to seem interested, while deep down you just wanted to hurl your plate at Tony's bloated head. "Well, I'm going to text Bucky and see where he's at." Putting your dish in the sink, you ambled slowly out of the kitchen and dragged yourself to the elevator and back up to your room. You plopped down on the edge of the bed with a sigh. You had no intention of messaging Bucky, because you knew he wouldn't answer. Gabriel would make sure of it.
For the next couple hours, you wallowed in self-pity while mentally throwing all the insults you could think of at 'Saint Gabriel'. The man who clearly could do no wrong in the other Avengers' eyes.
Dusk descended upon you, reflecting your shadow on the door through the curtain, sinking to darkness the way your heart had gone. You savagely kicked off your boots and practically ripped the dress off you. You'd changed into a hoodie and pajama bottoms when suddenly there was a knock on your door. You stared at it wide-eyed, your heart hammering soundly, reverberating like drums in your ears. It wasn't until the person on the other side spoke that you regained some sense of composure.
"Y/N? It's me, Steve."
Blowing out a sigh of relief, you threw open the door and buried yourself in the Captain's arms. "I'm sorry...I thought you were..." You were trembling, all the hurt you'd suppressed coming back tenfold.
Rubbing soothing circles on your back, Steve held you tightly to his broad chest. "I'm so sorry, Y/N," he murmured in your ear, "I didn't think." He clenched his fists, wanting nothing more than to pummel the guy who'd instilled in you such fear. It wasn't right, and you didn't deserve it. The compound was your home, and this was your room. He was more determined than ever to find a way to eradicate Agent Montgomery.
You looked up at him, bottom lip quivering. "Have you seen Bucky? Today was supposed to be our one-year anniversary."
Steve's heart broke at that, and he squeezed you tighter. He knew he couldn't keep apologizing for Bucky, best friend or not. Bucky was the one who needed to make this right by you. Shaking his head, he sighed. "I haven't, doll." He paused a moment. "Tony isn't here, right now. We could attempt to locate Agent Montgomery's file. We don't have to, if you don't feel like it."
You pulled away from him, drying the tears on the sleeve of your hoodie. You considered his offer. But the day had taken its toll. "I'm sorry, Steve...I want him gone just as much as you do...I..." Eyes watering again, you bowed your head. You hated disappointing the one person who believed you and was on your side, whose hurt mirrored yours.
"Hey, hey," Steve cupped your chin and angled your face to look at him, "don't worry about it. There will be another opportunity." He gently swiped his thumb across your cheek, causing your breath to hitch in your throat. The roughness of his skin raised goosebumps along your arms and sent a current down your spine, tingling your toes with warmth. The neediness you'd both been feeling over the past several weeks blossomed into desperation.
You had not the strength to stop him when Steve leaned forward and captured your lips in a slow kiss, his mouth molding tenderly to yours. Threading your fingers in his hair, you tugged him down as his gripped your hips and pulled you into him.
You knew deep down it was wrong, your head all but screaming at you to stop before you did something the two of you would regret. Steve would never intentionally hurt Bucky; he'd rather die first. It was with that thought you tore yourself away. "Steve, no, we can't..."
"What the fuck!?"
It was like being drenched in ice-cold water. Your body felt it before your mind could register what was going on, as if everything had slowed to a snail's pace. Your eyes flickered up to Steve's, the guilt in his pale blue orbs palpable, before turning to the source of the angry outburst. When your eyes met his, it wasn't anger you saw...It was betrayal. And the irony of the situation crashed down upon you like hail pelting from the sky. Then suddenly, sound rushed back in your ears. Your heart ached with a pain you couldn't describe. It hurt to breathe, to force out the words you so desperately needed Bucky to hear.
"Bucky," Steve began. At the same time, you exclaimed, "I swear, it's not what you think!"
*hides behind Cap's shield*
"Go inside the room, Y/N. I need to have a word with Steve."
He leveled a glare at you and all you saw were shades of the Winter Soldier. Numbly you retreated into the room you shared with him. As the door shut in your face, you heard the distinct mechanical whir of his left arm.
On the other side, Bucky shoved Steve's back against the wall. "I'm gone for a coupla hours and you try to steal my girl? You can't stand the fact I've found a new friend, so you're gonna take what's mine?"
Steve grew angry at that, hands clenching reflexively into fists at his sides. "I didn't have to try very hard." He dodged the fist Bucky sent his way. "Bucky, you've barely talked to her in weeks." He ran a hand through his hair with a sigh. "She's been so broken, Buck. I just wanted her to smile." Steve shook his head. "You have no idea what tonight was, do you?" When Bucky stayed silent, Steve pushed him back, much gentler than Bucky had shoved him. "You wanna be mad at someone? Start with yourself for missing your anniversary."
Bucky wasn't sure what to make of that. Torn between being angry and feeling betrayed, and realizing how badly he messed up, his face crumpled. "Y-You kissed her..."
"It was a stupid thing for me to do, Buck," Steve insisted. "I didn't plan it, it just sort of happened. I have no interest in stealing your girl."
"How can I believe you, Stevie?" Bucky glanced up at the taller man, looking lost. "I trusted you."
"I trusted you, too, pal." Steve bowed his head, a heavy sigh escaping him. "Y/N trusted you...To keep her safe, to pay attention to her. You failed on both accounts. I'm done holding your hand, Buck. You're a grown man, and yet you're acting like an ass."
"I guess we're at an impasse, then."
When Steve looked at Bucky, he noticed the thin line his lips had formed and scoffed bitterly at Bucky's remark. "I don't need a lecture from you, Barnes. You may be older than me, but I outrank you. So until you fix this, you're off missions."
Bucky furrowed his brow, astonishment overtaking his features. Anger emanated from his aura in waves. He clenched his fist, the whir of his mechanical prosthetic reverberating soundly in the otherwise quiet hallway. "You can't do that."
Steve expected Bucky to hit him again, which would only justify his decision. Clearly, Bucky wasn't in his right frame of mind, and Steve had a strong suspicion of who to blame. "I just did. I need you to understand, Buck, this has nothing to do with your friendship with Gabe, but I am concerned about the influence he has on you." With that, he turned his back on his friend, tired of fighting what seemed to be a losing battle with him. For the first time, Steve truly felt like he had given up.
You raised your head when Bucky entered the room. His features were clouded over, his movements quiet and deliberate as he paced in front of you. Running a hand through his hair, he let out a disgruntled sigh. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"Tell you, what?" At this point, he could be talking about a number of things: Gabe, Steve, your anniversary...
"Do you wanna be with Steve?" he asked, still pacing back and forth.
"What?" Your voice rose an octave in alarm. "No, I--the kiss meant nothing. I swear, Bucky. I don't know why...I...I was..." Bowing your head, tears prickled your eyelids. You didn't bother to wipe them away as they spilled down your face. These past two days had been a nightmare. Your heart was breaking in two, and no one--except Steve--seemed to care. Heaving a shuddered breath, you stood up. You glanced around the room, your gaze alighting on everything but Bucky. You couldn't look at him, right now. "I can't do this anymore. I have to leave."
That stopped Bucky in his tracks. He swerved toward you, eyes pooling with tears. "We...We can fix this," he stammered. "Tell me what I need to do. Please, baby."
Shaking your head, you buried your face in your hands. The situation was worse than he knew. The fact that he didn't believe Steve when he told him about Gabriel's creepy advances. You needed your boyfriend, and he didn't seem to care. "You don't...You...Gabriel, he..."
The room was spinning. You could barely make out anything Bucky was saying, his voice sounding a million miles away. Grasping your chest through the thick material of your hoodie, you sank to your knees and curled in upon yourself. You couldn't breathe.
"Baby!" Bucky knelt in front of you, taking your hands in his. "Breathe. C'mon, sweetheart. Tell me five things you see."
"I see..." You shook your head, closing your eyes as your breathing came out in ragged pants.
"Open your eyes!" Bucky commanded, desperate to help ground you. Immediately, he had recognized the signs of panic and anxiety. When you refused, or couldn't, he tried again. "Tell me four things you hear. Baby, please, do this for me. I know I've been an asshole lately."
"I-I hear you," you sobbed. "...Me."
"That's good, really good," he encouraged, squeezing your hands to anchor you. "Two more."
"Th-the...Your arm." In his frenzy to hold and calm you, the whir was a constant. It was also the last thing you heard before he ordered you into the room. "Oh, God..." You groaned. That was it; you were having a flashback. Bucky forced you in the room the same way Gabriel had.
"One more, baby girl. You got this."
"No...No..." Threading your fingers through your hair, you gave the ends a tug. "He..." It was all coming back to you, the way he touched you and licked the tears off your cheek, in addition to the not so veiled threat. You practically threw yourself in Bucky's arms. "I'm so sorry, Bucky. Please don't leave me, need you. Don't want Steve. Don't want...Gabe, he...he made it look like I invited him. But I didn't! He forced his way in."
Bucky was silent for a long moment, the whir once more echoing in your ears as he balled his fist. "Baby, what are you saying?"
The whir, not his words, was the last thing you heard before darkness claimed you, and Bucky did the only thing he could think of. He brought you to the med-bay and phoned Steve. Because when it came down to the line, he knew who would always have his back.
Tipping the beer bottle to his lips, Steve stared at his phone out the corner of his eye. The incoming message he received from Bucky had gone to his inbox. He had no intention of going down to the med-bay. It wasn't his place to be at your side. He still firmly believed that Bucky needed to sort this out himself.
He was also weighed down by the guilt of kissing you. His best friend's girl. Bucky had a point there. He had broken his trust, a sacred bond of friendship, a line that should've never been crossed. No matter how upset he'd been. Steve's own words had come back to haunt him: He was a grown man, and it was time to start acting like it.
What would happen, if the next time Bucky befriended an actual decent guy? He had to give Bucky the space to grow and to stop clinging to the past. They were like relics of a time long gone, but that didn't mean either of them had to become outdated.
"Jesus, Bucky. What happened?" Gabriel's face was the very picture of concern. "She fainted. Just dehydration."
Gabriel breathed out a sigh. "Well, thank goodness it's not serious." He stepped closer to your unconscious form, and Bucky had to suppress the urge to curl his fingers into a fist. Gabriel leaned over you, tenderly brushing a lock of hair away from your face.
Bucky's chair scrapped back as he leapt to his feet. Gabriel startled. "You sure you're alright?"
He cursed himself inwardly, dragging a hand over his face and through his hair. "Yeah, yeah. Just...hospitals get to me, you know?"
Gabriel straightened, giving Bucky a sympathetic smile. "I know what you mean. Why don't we get some air, then? I'm sure they'll call when she wakes. And there's nothing you can do that the doctors can't, right?"
Bucky felt his stomach twist even as he nodded. He hated to leave you, but he didn't want Gabriel near you. Especially not when you were so vulnerable. Gabriel's name had been on your lips bare seconds before you collapsed.
He didn't want to find out how much worse seeing him would be for you. "Yeah. Yeah. Air would do me some good."
Gabriel slung his arm over his shoulder, walking with him out the door. "I got you, buddy." He promised.
You woke up alone in the med-bay. As soon as you realized Bucky wasn't with you it sent a sharp pang through your heart. There was no note or text on your phone from him. Nothing to indicate where he had gone. Part of you wanted to believe he'd seen reason and had gone to "take care" of Gabriel.
But the last few weeks had made it impossible to raise your hopes too high. It only served to break your heart further.
You didn't call for the nurse or doctors. They weren't needed to inform you that you'd had a panic attack. That much you could deduce yourself. And the last thing you wanted was for them to push anxiety meds on you. Not when you had a mission to complete.
Steve didn't answer the door when you knocked the first time. You felt guilty going to him, especially after what had happened, but you had no one else to turn to.
"Come on, open up!" You knocked harder. Still the door didn't open. Your forehead thumped against the wood, tears prickling at your eyes. Was he giving up on you, too?
"Bucky's gone," you choked, trying desperately to keep your voice even and calm. "I'm not giving up on him, Steve. 'Til the end of the line, remember? I feel like you've forgotten..."
You sighed against the wood. "We can still fix this. I know we can. So I'm going to break into his file. With or without you."
The door opening nearly knocked you off your feet. Steve stood on the other side. "I won't let you do it alone."
Breaking in, as it turned out, was the easy part. The hard part was finding something you could use. You growled at the screen as you read through his file. "There has to be something on this guy, Steve."
So far it had all been numerous lists of his accomplishments and charitable works. He read like the poster child for an Ivy League school. Squeaky clean.
There were several photographs linked to his file. Most just made him look even more like a hero, nearly enough to make you gag. He was clearly anything but.
You were perched into a chair to scroll through the file, Steve leaning slightly on the back. Finally, after scrolling through god knows how many folders he gripped your shoulder. "Wait wait. Go back. Can you...make it bigger?"
"Yeah, I can zoom in. What do you wanna see?"
"His lapel. There's something there." As you zoomed in on his lapel a small piece of gleaming silver focused. It was a HYDRA pin, small and decorative. Definitely not something that could be found at a thrift shop or mistaken for anything else. They didn't just hand those out to everyone.
"Son of a bitch!" You didn't have the heart to chastise Steve on his language, as you were thinking much worse. Before you could print the photo the screen went black.
"What happened? What'd you do?"
"I didn't do anything!" A single white message box appeared, with a message already displayed across it.
"I see you've discovered the truth, Captain, but you're already too late. Your soldier is mine."
The screen went black again, leaving the words to sink in for the two of you. Bile rose up your throat, the cold fingers of panic gripping at you again.
"Hey, hey.." Steve turned your chair around to face him and knelt in front of you, his eyes set on yours and new determination shining in them.
"It's not too late, okay? Bucky survived the fall, HYDRA, he can survive them again. I won't let them have him, okay? This ends today."
Steve's reassurance helped quell some of the anxiety itching at your chest and the backs of your eyes. Even if Bucky and you and Steve couldn't repair things, if you and Bucky were truly over, you couldn't let Gabe have him. He had come so far, healed so much, it was unthinkable that he could endure it a second time.
Before the panic could rise further in your chest Steve's phone went off with a text alert. He pulled it from his pocket, a slight grin pulling at his mouth. "It's not over yet."
He tucked his phone back into his pocket. "Bucky's on his way back. With Gabriel." Your heart skipped a beat at the sliver of hope. If they were coming back here you could still save him. And get Gabriel.
"So I need you to go to your room." You blinked slowly at Steve, your arms crossing over your chest. "I'm not a child, Steven. And I want to save Bucky just as much as you do."
Steve matched your stance, his arms crossed over his own broad chest. "No disrespect intended, but Gabriel is dangerous. I can't risk anything happening to you."
Part of you knew he was probably right, but you still wanted to try. What if Bucky would listen to you and not Steve? "It's my choice to make."
The Captain winced. "It's actually not." Before you could blink he'd grabbed you round the middle and tossed you over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. You glared at his ass, kicking your legs into his chest as he began moving.
"Put! Me! Down! You fuckin' meatball, I can help!"
Steve held your kicking legs still easily. "I'm not questioning your usefulness, Y/N. But I can't have you in the way of potential harm, either."
The world spun as he flopped you down onto your bed and raced back out the door. He commanded the AI to keep you locked in, under his command. You cursed him loudly, kicking at the shut door.
You could just barely hear him call back, "Language!" The door got another kick for that one before you gave up and settled into pacing instead. "FRIDAY? I want to see everything that happens with Steve and Bucky." You weren't sure which room they would be in, but the AI could easily locate them.
"Of course." She responded politely, bringing the feed up on your television. It wasn't long before the feed appeared on the screen. Steve was already in the commons area, joined shortly by Bucky and Gabriel.
Gabriel blinked back and forth between Steve and Bucky. "We're not really here to get my stuff, Gabriel." Bucky affirmed darkly. You saw Gabriel shift slightly between the two superheroes.
Bucky moved first, grabbing him around the collar and delivering a swift punch to his jaw. He used his flesh fist, his anger coursing through him. The man had nearly cost him everything.
May still have cost him everything. The rage swarmed within him, making his vision fuzzy and his heart race. He was angry at himself, for how he'd treated you and Steve, how selfish and blind he had been. His fist connected with his face again and again, the smacking sound of flesh on flesh egging him on further.
"Buck, that's enough!" Steve's voice echoed in his ears, forcing his arm to a screeching halt. Beneath him Gabriel spit out a mouthful of blood, his eye and cheek already swelling.
He could feel the clench of his own teeth, the ragged breaths tearing in and out of his chest. Gabriel let a smile stretch over his face, a laugh bubbling from his chest. It was a wet, raspy sound that only added to the haunting nature of it.
"Go ahead, Soldat," he taunted. "Finish the job. Show the Captain what kind of men we are."
Bucky felt the anger burn up behind his eyes. "I'm nothing like you."
He laughed harder. "No? What kind of man leaves his beloved alone, in a hospital bed...where anyone could get her."
Bucky's eyes flashed to Steve, panic lancing through his chest. Gabriel used the small moment of distraction to try and get away. The Super Soldier was faster than he was, though, his vibranium hand wrapping around Gabriel's prosthetic leg. He have a hard pull, a sucking sound filling the air as the leg gave way and came off.
There was a beat of silence as Bucky stared at the leg in his hand and, to his shock, down at a flesh one that had lain underneath. "You son of a bitch! It's a...fake fake leg?!" Another surge of anger rolled within him and he dove for Gabriel.
This time Steve moved quicker than he did, shoving Bucky bodily back. He delivered a hard kick to Gabriel's head, knocking him unconscious. He picked up his slumped form. "Sorry, Buck. We need him to talk." He shook his head, though part of him wanted to throw Gabriel to him to let him finish the job.
Bucky opened his mouth to argue but Steve cut him off. "Y/N is in her room, waiting for you. I suggest you don't disappoint her again."
He turned on his heel, purposely letting Gabriel's head smack against the doorframe as he raced out of the room.
Bucky stared down at the prosthetic leg still in his grip, at the light bruising over his flesh knuckles. The anger gave way to sorrow, to trepidation at what your reaction would be.
With the knowledge that Bucky was on the way a swarm of butterflies attacked your insides, batting their wings viciously. You wanted and needed to see him but, at the same time, you couldn't help but worry what the outcome would be.
Your heart was still doing somersaults in your chest when there was a soft tap of knuckles on the door. "Baby? I'm coming in." The door opened less than ten seconds later, revealing an ashamed looking Bucky.
His head was bowed, lower lip caught between his teeth. Tears burned at you eyes, a lump lobing itself into your throat. Was he about to shatter your heart again?
"Did I...Did I ruin us?" His breath hitched, his hands pushing into his pockets. "Is this it?"
You felt your own breath catch and drag, your heart both speeding up and slowing at the same time. "I don't want it to be. Do you?" He shook his head immediately, a blink sending tears rolling down his cheeks.
"No, sweetheart. I wanna fix this. I'll do anything to earn your forgiveness."
Your hands trembled. "Could you just...? I need..."
He stepped closer. "What do you need, baby?"
"Hold me?" You'd barely gotten the request out before he was across the room and tugging you into his chest, his thick arms around you.
"I'm so fuckin' sorry. M'so sorry."
"I'm sorry, too. Steve...I..." Bucky shushed you, his fingers carding through your hair. "You've got nothin' to be sorry for. I pushed you into it. Gabriel...He coulda..." He shook against you, his thoughts running rampant.
"But he didn't."
Bucky buried his nose in the curve of your throat. "I didn't protect you. I wasn't there and I should have been."
The pain and sorrow in his words jolted through you, bringing your own tears out to pour down your cheeks. "I'm so sorry, baby. So so sorry. There's no excuse for how I acted."
You shushed him gently. "We'll work it out, James, I promise. But if anything like this ever happened again--"
"It won't. I swear it." His flesh hand came up to cup your cheek, thumb sweeping at your tears. As your eyes met the air seemed to shift, your cheek leaning into his palm.
You had missed him so much, his touch, and didn't realize just how much until just now. With a surge you raised up onto tiptoe, sealing your mouth against his.
Bucky made a startled sound but recovered quickly, his hand winding into your hair desperately.
His mouth parted on a gasp and you took advantage, slipping your tongue into his mouth. He hauled you closer against him with a moan, his chest heaving against yours.
"Wait, wait, sweetheart. Shouldn't we talk?" Your lips attacked his throat, teeth grazing over his pulse point. "Talk later. Please. Don't you want me?"
The need and uncertainty in your voice lanced through his chest. "I want you. Need you." He promised, drawing you back to him with a force that matched your desperation.
Your mouths fused together once more, tearing at each other's clothes. Blindly you pushed him back against the wall. He spun you to press your back into it, his fingers trembling with urgency as he undid your jeans.
His fingers sank under the hem of your underwear, wasting no time with teasing you. Already you were soaked with want, bucking into his hand.
"Fuck, you feel so good, doll." He moaned, dropping to his knees as he yanked down the last of your clothes. There wasn't even a moment to catch your breath before one of your legs was hitched over his shoulder and his mouth attacked your soaked pussy.
His tongue licked a long stripe over your folds, your taste making him harder than he thought possible. His cock strained against his boxers, precum leaking from the tip as he devoured you.
"Oh God, James.." you whimpered, pulling roughly at his hair to force his mouth harder against you. His responding growl vibrated through you, pebbling and hardening your nipples with the sound.
His lips wrapped around your clit, his tongue circling it without mercy. With your breath hitched into your throat you threw your head back with a keening cry, legs trembling in an effort to keep upright.
His strong hands gripped your hips to help steady you, his mouth bringing you down slowly. Before he could stand again you shoved him back. His back hit the floor, confusion on his face for a split second before you tore the boxers from him and straddled his waist.
His eyes rolled back as your wetness spread over his cock. And, as you sank down on him, he gripped your thighs with a choked curse in Russian.
Your walls throbbed around him, squeezing his thick cock. The urgency didn't abate, only climbing higher and higher as you rode his cock.
Bucky's hips stuttered beneath you, his hands tracing and groping at every beautiful curve of your body. "Baby, oh my--shit. Mmm. M'not...Oh, fuck. This is gonna be embarrassingly quick if you don't..."
You laced your fingers with his, sweat glistening over you as you began to tremble once more. "Don't care. Me too. Wanna...need to feel you, James. Please."
He rolled you over without pulling out, pinning your body to the floor as he thrust into you with blinding speed. Your breath ripped out of your chest as he angled your hips, driving himself deeply into your tight pussy. At the same time he dropped his metal hand between your legs, flicking at the hot and wet bud of your clit as he pounded into you.
A silent scream wrenched your mouth open, heart pounding in your ears as he wrung your orgasm from you. Your toes curled, muscles spasming as you clenched tightly around his cock.
He moaned and whimpered your name and praises between broken sounds, his cock buried as deep as possible as he let go and emptied himself inside your still clenching body.
As you both came down he rolled over once more, cradling your body against his chest as you both caught your breath.
You knew Bucky was right, though. The two of you had more to talk about, and there was still the matter of Gabriel. What would happen with him? Were there more Hydra agents waiting in the wings, buried deeply in the walls of the tower?
Tony would be furious, no doubt, but no angrier than the rest of you as well. You imagined Steve was probably angriest with himself, for having been the one to let Gabriel in on his word.
But, for now, you pushed those thoughts to the back of your mind in favor of listening to the steady heartbeat beneath your ear, a reminder that he was alive and with you. That Gabriel hadn't gotten him, that he was safe. And that you two could mend the damage he had done, within the group, your relationship, and within yourselves.
Leaving your side wasn't easy, it never was. With there being a HYDRA agent in the vicinity, who had tried hurting you once already, made it worse. Bucky's mission this time, however; Steve.
Dragging his feet down the corridor, Bucky paused in front of Steve's door. He banged his forehead against the wall, a thud reverberating the wooden panel. "Stevie? Can...Can we talk?" He chewed on his bottom lip, stomach swooping with anxiety. In the seconds it took Steve to open the door, he'd worked himself into a frenzy, running his metal hand through his hair many times over. He was visibly less composed than he had been when he left your bedroom.
"Buck." The blonde man frowned at the brunette's disheveled appearance. A weak smile crossed Bucky's lips. "Can I..."
"Come in, jerk." A tight smile pulled at the corners of Steve's mouth. He slid his arm around Bucky's shoulder and shut the door behind them. It wasn't hard to guess what Bucky had come to say. While the sentiment was appreciated, a part of Steve didn't think he deserved it--not after kissing his best friend's girl.
"I...I don't know how to say it any other way." Bucky huffed, looking pleadingly at Steve. "I'm sorry. At first, it was...was the excitement of having a new friend, someone who understood...what it was like." He scoffed at himself, his blind foolishness. "At least I thought he did. But then it morphed into something else. He'd say things, subtle things, but they would make me question everything if I thought about 'em for too long. The shit I said about you being clingy, possessive... That was all him, planting the thought in my head."
Steve nodded in understanding, guilt slamming into him once more. Because he was the one who introduced Bucky to Gabriel. "That's how manipulation works, Buck. I'm--"
"Don't you fucking dare apologize," Bucky snapped, eyes tinged red and glistening with tears. He didn't bother to wipe away or hide them. "You couldn't have known. This...This is on me. Gabriel didn't use a mind-wipe machine or drugs or...or torture me. He..."
"Played on your insecurities," Steve murmured sadly. "Buck, don't you get it? He knew exactly what to say to trigger a response. No doubt by garnering information from the files HYDRA has on the Winter Soldier."
"What's wrong with me, Stevie?"
Unable to bear watching his best friend beat himself up, Steve, instead of kicking the ass of the bully, embraced him. Bucky trembled as sobs wracked his body, spurring Steve to hug him tighter. "There's nothing wrong with you, pal."
"I'm damaged and HYDRA exploited it for their own end game."
"But you fought back because you're stronger than what they made you," Steve reassured him. "Do you honestly think Y/N and I were going to stand by and let him destroy you?"
Bucky sniffled. "No."
"Tony fired the people in HR who hired him. He feels terrible."
"H-He did?" Bucky's chest filled with warmth. "He does?"
Steve smiled. "Stark's got your back. We all do, Buck. Now, what do you say we interrogate the son of a bitch?"
Facing Gabriel was easier than expected. All Bucky had to do was channel his anger. HYDRA had taken so much from him, and they nearly managed to do it again. This time Bucky had much more to lose. You and Steve were his world.
"Is there anyone else?" Bucky questioned Gabe. Thus far, the agent had been silent and stoic, smirking throughout the interrogation. Bucky could see clearly through the facade now. His devious, underhanded, manipulative nature radiated in waves, nearly engulfing the two Super Soldiers as soon as they had stepped into the room. Bucky wasn't entirely certain that any of them were safe, even with Agent Montgomery behind bars.
"He asked you a question," said Steve in his stern, Captain voice, his thick arms folded across his broad chest. He wore a dour expression, no longer having to pretend to like this man for Bucky's sake. What he did to you and Bucky increased his dislike by a hundredfold.
Gabriel stood in the center of the cell, hands clasped behind his back. His stance very much resembled a soldier breed for the task he'd undertaken, which didn't sit well with Bucky as flashbacks to his own days at the Winter Soldier haunted him. The agent's blonde hair never looked neater, as if permanently slicked to his head. The smirk had yet to falter on his features. "If you think I'm going to tell you anything, Captain, you're mistaken. You ought to know that's not how HYDRA works. Don't we, Sergeant Barnes? Do enlighten your friend," he finished dismissively.
"I'm not--" Bucky began.
"You can tell yourself that, Sergeant Barnes, all you want. But we both know the truth. My father also knew."
Steve raised an eyebrow, his arms dropping to his sides. "Your father...?"
The agent's smirk grew impossibly wider, mirth dancing in his eyes like toxic fumes in a vat of green acid. "I suppose you expected me to martyr myself. That's why Dr. Banner checked my mouth for a cyanide pill, is it not?" Both Super Soldiers shifted uncomfortably. "I also suppose you're expecting me to quote HYDRA--one head, two heads. Really, what does it matter? We will never go away. You can cast us out of the temple as many times as you want, but we'll never be expunged from the world completely."
"Who's your father, boy?" Bucky growled, his breathing suddenly labored.
"Hmm, you truly are a remarkable specimen, Sergeant Barnes. But you are not one of a kind. Do you honestly believe this cell can keep me contained?" As he spoke, he glanced around the cell, gauging its durability, and chuckled softly. "After you were made, perfected, my father did the same to me. He wanted me to live forever. The serum is as close to immortality as we can get, am I right?" He looked from Bucky to Steve, back to Bucky. "My name is not Gabriel Montgomery. Forgive me for my false pretense." His eyes flashed with an insincerity that made both Bucky and Steve uneasy. "You see, gentlemen, I am my father's best kept secret."
"Wh-what is your name?" asked Bucky, a sinking feeling gnawing at the pit of his stomach.
A surge of panic erupted through Bucky. Breaking into a run halfway to the bedroom, he flung open the door. Startled, you glanced up from the book you were reading and frowned. His face was paler than normal. Sliding off the bed, you met Bucky in the middle, as he circled his arms around you and pulled you into him.
"Bucky, you're scaring me. What's the matter?" For the Super Soldier to pant as heavily as he was, something had to be wrong. Running your fingers through his hair, you cradled his head to your bosom. "Bucky?"
"Gabe isn't...who he claimed," he rasped. "He..."
"Baby, I think you're having an anxiety attack. Come, sit down." Taking him by the hand, you helped Bucky on the bed and knelt in front of him, pulling off his boots to massage his feet--a grounding technique. You stroked up and down his legs, rubbing your hands over his socked feet. Your eyes locked with his, the fear deep in his blue orbs obvious. It hurt to see him like this, but since he wasn't sleeping, you had no idea what had incited his panic.
After several more minutes, Bucky exhaled with an audible sigh and gripped the edges of the mattress. "Baby, come here." He held open his arms, as you stood and curled up in his lap. The warmth of his body engulfed you, from his arms that wrapped around you, to his breath that wafted across the nape of your neck.
You waited patiently until he was ready to finish. Of course, it had to be Gabe. You hated all that he was, especially the mental anguish he continued to cause your Bucky.
"Gabe's real name is Gavril Zola."
Zola. "Oh, Bucky..." You raised your head to meet his gaze. "Is he..." You bit your lip, Bucky's face conveying everything you needed to know.
"His son," he ground out.
"What's going to happen to him?" you implored.
"Steve is talking to the team now. He said his father injected him with the serum." He ran a hand through his hair, eyes wide and unfocused. "He's gotta be as old as I am and just as strong." He snapped his head up suddenly. "We need to get you outta here. It's not safe."
"What? What about you?" Bucky had gently set you on your feet and stood. "Bucky?"
"He's done more than imply what he's capable of. I-I can't let him take you away from me, Y/N. There's a safe house..." He was rambling and pacing. "Until they've transported him somewhere else."
Before you could even think to protest, Bucky had opened the closet and pulled out a large suitcase. You couldn't believe what was happening. What started as an annoying presence, stealing time away from you and Steve, had morphed into a threat greater than you ever imagined. At this rate, Gabriel--Gavril--was still going to get his way.
"Will you come with me at least?" You didn't realize you were crying until Bucky dropped the suitcase and rushed to your side. You heaved a sob, coiling your fingers in the hem of his navy-blue Henley. "He's won, Bucky."
"No...No, that son of a bitch will not win. I swear to you, baby girl, if he thinks of laying another finger on you, he'll be joining his father in hell," Bucky spat through clenched teeth. "I'll make sure of it."
"Please, come with me," you begged him. "Don't let him take you away from me either. I need you. No one else can keep me safe like you can. Please, Bucky."
"Alright," he shushed you lovingly. "Alright," he repeated, rubbing soothing circles on your back as he held you tight. "I'll come with you. We'll go to the safe house together. Let the Avengers do what they do best."
"That's all I ask," you murmured. "Thank you, Bucky."
"Anything for you, sweetheart." He pressed you close to his side, as he packed the suitcase and loaded a barrage of weapons in a duffel bag, including a very familiar suit of black tactical gear. You stared up at Bucky questioningly. "If it's the Soldier Zola wants..." Bucky smiled grimly.
"I don't like this," you admitted.
"I know, doll," he sighed. "Neither do I."
The safe house was a sixty-minute drive from the compound, and Bucky managed to get the two of you there in half the time. You climbed off his bike and stretched lithely, before shouldering your overnight bag and following Bucky inside the building. The room you entered was dark, which was easily remedied when Bucky asked F.R.I.D.A.Y. to turn on the lights.
It was nice to be away from the compound and still have the AI. It made you feel safer. Not that you had any doubts about your super-soldier boyfriend’s abilities.
You were busy acquainting yourself with where everything was located when a sudden thud caused you to jump, a sigh of relief escaping when you realized Bucky had dropped his duffel. “I’m sorry, baby. For all of this. For getting you into this, for—”
Letting your own bag slip off your shoulder to the floor by his, you closed the gap and cupped your palms around his stubbly cheeks. “Please stop apologizing, Bucky.” You tugged him down to kiss his forehead, as he closed his eyes, savoring the feel of your lips against his hot skin. “This isn’t your fault. He got through HR. He fooled everybody, including Steve.”
“I let him get close to me,” Bucky murmured. “Too close.”
“Don’t say that.” You pulled away to study his features, finding regret, guilt, and, as much as you loathed it, distrust in his eyes. Curse Gavril for sending Bucky in a downward spiral, especially when he was making strides to take back his life. “One bad apple. That’s all he is. I don’t want you to think you can’t make new friends. Neither does Steve.”
“I understand, doll.” Bucky nodded. “It just… may take some time.”
You nodded, echoing his sentiments. “I know and I understand. We’ll get through this, Bucky. Together.”
Smiling softly, Bucky reached out and pulled you into him again. His strong, muscular arms caged you protectively. He claimed your lips and groaned when you licked his, coaxing his mouth to open with your tongue. When your tongues met, he started walking you back until the backs of your knees hit the sofa. Dragged under by the weight of his body, you fell into the cushions. He was on top of you in seconds, trailing kisses from your lips, across your jaw, and down the column of your throat.
His fingers teased the waistline of your skirt, snapping the band against your flesh. You let out a startled yelp at the sting, as Bucky grinned against your mouth. “Do I have your full attention, doll?”
Looking up at him through your lashes, you breathed, “Yes, sergeant.”
“Good,” he growled, laying claim to your lips again and again until they were puckered and swollen. Just as he slipped his hand under your shirt, his phone buzzed. “Dammit.”
“Gonna answer that, Sarge?”
Reluctantly Bucky stood, and you felt equally bereft of his absence. His usual blue eyes were tinted with dark flecks as he stared at you, while putting the phone up to his ear. “Yeah, punk?”
In a matter of seconds, the lust was gone, replaced with panic and… fear? You followed suit immediately, standing and straightening your clothes. “What the fuck! When…?” You hated not being able to hear what the Captain was saying. “We’re safe here, right? He doesn’t know about the safe house.”
There was a long pause, but you’d heard enough from Bucky to realize what was happening. You gripped his arm reflexively, as he drew you in closer. “Alright. I will.” Another pause. “I won’t, Steve. I said I won’t!” Hanging up with Steve, Bucky planted himself in front of you and gently angled your face to meet his gaze.
“What’s going on?” you whispered, not quite trusting yourself to speak.
“Gavril escaped. He…I suspected…” Bucky shook his head wearily. “He’s as old as I am and just as strong. No normal containment cell was going to hold him. Which is why he didn’t let on who he was until after the fact.”
“Does he know about the safe house?” you asked in a small voice.
“Not as far as we know.” Bucky rubbed your shoulders, generating heat to soothe your nerves.
Biting your lip, you glanced at the nondescript black bag that encased the Winter Soldier’s gear and weapons. Gavril wanted the Soldier, and you couldn’t help but feel unsettled in that you and Bucky might be playing right into his hands.
Bucky, a.k.a. ex-assassin and former Fist of HYDRA, seemed to be of the same mindset. “F.R.I.D.A.Y., please put us on lockdown mode and alert me of any heat signatures in the vicinity.”
“Yes, Sergeant Barnes.”
You were both awed and worried by the AI’s response. Never had she been so formal with Bucky. She was polite, but to go as far as to use his title…
“I’ll make us dinner,” you said quietly.
“Dinner was delicious, baby girl. Thank you.” Bucky leaned in his chair and extended his arm across the table, lacing his fingers with yours.
A smile tugged at your lips. You knew he was trying to shed some normalcy on a tough situation and you were grateful. Not only were you thankful to your boyfriend, you were glad that Stark had stocked up actual food and not just MRE’s.
When you got up to clean the dishes, Bucky was a step ahead of you. He grabbed everything and loaded the dishwasher. He was bent over, giving you a nice view of his ass—an opportunity you refused to waste. You whistled.
Bucky flashed a grin. “Minx.”
After eating supper and clearing the table, you and Bucky settled in the den to watch television. You stretched out on the sofa with your head in his lap. He had draped a blanket over you and was running his fingers through your hair.
Half an hour into the show, you hummed thoughtfully.
“What is it, doll?”
From under the blanket, you raised one shoulder in a shrug. “I was just thinking of how nice it will be to have our own place.”
Bucky was silent for several beats, and you sucked your bottom lip into your mouth, mentally berating yourself for pushing. Clearly, he thought it was too soon to be discussing long-term possibilities, even if you had been together for a year. Before you could take back the words or apologize for the wild notion, you looked up at Bucky and saw that he was beaming.
“You, me, maybe a cat, and one day…” Adoration shone in his cerulean orbs as he caressed your belly.
“Really?” You propped yourself up on your elbows, and Bucky leaned forward and tenderly kissed your forehead. Pushing your toes against the arm of the couch, you pressed further into him.
“Nothing would make me happier than to have a family with you, Y/N.” He traced a line along the side of your face with his blunt fingernail. “I’m going to take a shower. Wait up for me? And we’ll start making a baby tonight.”
You kicked off the blanket in your excitement and scampered down the hallway, earning a chuckle from Bucky. The bedroom you found was bigger than expected, occupying a queen-sized bed, wooden dresser and desk, two nightstands, and a walk-in closet.
Distantly you heard running water coming from the bathroom. Bucky wasn’t in the shower ten minutes when the lights flickered. You waited expectantly, but luckily, they didn’t go off completely.
Another five minutes passed and they flickered again. Either Bucky didn’t notice or else the fixture in the bedroom was faulty. Stepping out into the corridor, you directed your path to the bathroom. An eerie silence fell over the house, eclipsed only by the sound of your footsteps and steadily increasing heart rate.
Your scream was muffled by a large hand clamping around your mouth, another one snaking around your waist, followed by an accented voice hissing in your ear, “Do exactly as I say and I won’t make you the Soldat’s next victim.”