Every good thing must come to an end. Empires would crumble in the sands of time, the flame of passion would sputter and die, and secrets would always, always , come to the light. Bucky had been a fool to think otherwise. To think that what they had, their stolen moments, their snatches of passion, would remain theirs . That they would be safe.
I destroy everything I touch.
Looking at Tony, the love of his life, the owner of his heart, the remainder of his soul , it was all he could do not to fall to his knees. To cry and beg and plead. To rage , at the injustice, the unfairness of it all. His heart ached with every beat, stumbled in his chest at the sight before him. Tied to the chair long since knocked over, bloodied, scarred, and hurting, Tony remained defiant. Strong. His beautiful flame, still burning bright. Like a star. His star.
He wanted to howl, to claw, to raze it all to the ground just to see him free. Pure fury burned through Bucky’s veins, lit every inch of him on fire until he was shaking with it, teeth gritted and eyes burning.
I’ll kill you all .
“Tony Stark,” Pierce crooned, “The King’s own son, right here in my clutches.” He crouched over Tony, dragging a finger over his bleeding face in a mocking parody of a gentle caress, eyes burning with a feverish need. A need to see the world bleeding and broken. (My world) “How the mighty have fallen.” He was smug, the bastard, eyes glinting, lips smirking as he gazed down at the man. This was everything he wanted, and Bucky should have known.
I should’ve said no to you.
I should have pushed you away, never have let you get close.
But I did, and I love you, and now we’re here and I don’t know what to do, Tony, please, please, tell me what to do. Tell me how to fix this, to get us out of here.
Bucky’s hands shook as he stood, guarding the door. He forced himself to ignore his lover’s screams as Pierce interrogated him, sinking into him like claws, digging out flinches and slicing his heart into shreds. Instead, he slipped into his own warm, safe memories of those stolen moments with Tony. When they could pretend that there wasn’t a war ravaging the lands and tearing them apart. When they could pretend they belonged together, that they could ever be happy.
When they could pretend that they weren’t fighting for opposite sides.
That they could have a life together.
Tony, all sleepy, satisfied smiles in the afterglow as he lay wrapped around him, every point of contact shooting such delicious warmth through Bucky’s skin, sending his heart thundering.
Tony’s gentle touches, each sending pleasure sparking along his very being, lighting a flame deep within him he’d never been able to extinguish.
The I love you’s, some murmured, some into skin, some into the darkness of the night, some sworn like promises. Each treasured, each hoarded.
Each careful press of lips to wounds, to scars.
Each scream of pain was replaced with his screams of pleasure, when Bucky would bring him to the edge before sending him tumbling over, trusting and beautiful.
Each slap of skin on skin drowned out by the sounds of his pants as they moved as one, as warm and gorgeous as the body beneath him, bodied connecting with each thrust, becoming one in every way.
He remembered pressing kisses to the fluttering of his throat, feeling his heart race, remembered the thrill because he had done that, he had reduced him to this quivering, moaning bundle of pleasure.
He remembered his own heart thumping in time, synchronising, becoming one , joined, forever entwined through the love between them.
There was no one without the other.
Time passed, stretching and morphing into an eternity, each second a tattoo, a temp to his agony. A countdown until his final breath.
His heart ached, thundered, resisted; threatened to break through his chest and fall at his feet, finally silent in a symbol of his grief.
I’m going to be sick.
“Barnes.” The snap of his name echoed like a crack of Pierce’s whip in the small cell, pulling him viciously from his mind. “He’s not going to give us anything. Finish this, and dump him.” Pierce scowled, fury etched upon his face, evident in the tension of his body.
“Kill him, sire?”
His voice was surprisingly even; flat. Dead.
He was numb now, numb to the pain, mind drowning in the tiny gasps and moans spilling from Tony’s mouth (so pretty, so red).
“The King refuses to pay a ransom, and he refuses to give us any information, so yes. End this.”
Bucky swallowed, mind racing. Could he smuggle him out? If Pierce left him to it, he could. It would be too easy to throw him over his shoulder and march out, send Tony running. “Yes, sire,” he choked, drawing his sword.
His eyes flickered to Pierce, his leader, his owner , who simply flicked a hand in impatience. “Well? Get on with it, or you shall be next.”
No no no no no.
No, don’t make me do this, please, please don’t make me do this.
His eyes moved to meet Tony’s, his pain open to see. Tony had always been able to read him, had teased him that his eyes were always so expressive, that they gave away his thoughts more than his face ever did so long as you knew where to look.
It’s okay. Tony’s eyes were wide, filled with pain and regret, but resigned, accepting. It’s okay , they told him, I love you, it’ll be okay. Everything will be just fine.
No. No, it won’t, he wanted to sob. He wanted to pull Tony to his chest and hold him tight, never let him go. Nothing will ever be fine again.
A slight tug of his lips. Maybe. But I forgive you, James. I forgive you and I love you. Come now, make it quick.
Bucky blinked away his tears as he stepped closer, each footfall an echoing damnation.
He knelt, knee warmed by his blood, and cried. Silent tears traced his cheeks, salty and warm, as he turned his back to Pierce.
He cried and swore as he lifted his sword, raging on the inside, but there was nothing he could do because Pierce was right there and he’d kill him if he didn’t do this, and he couldn’t die because he was needed. His information was vital to the King and his spies, would be what ended this war.
Would be what ended Pierce.
Sleep easy, Love, he wanted to whisper. Rest now, and know that I love you. Know that you shall be avenged and I will meet you again, in the next life.
His eyes must have said it all because Tony smiled. “I love you,” he mouthed, tears gathering in his eyes and falling freely, splattering on the cold, cruel, blood-stained floor. “Everything’s going to be fine.”
Bucky’s entire body shook, each fibre of his being resisting as he brought the sword, the sword Tony had made him, had made with love and gifted him with a shy, warm smile that had damn near stopped Bucky’s heart, down in a deathly arc, severing his other half from the world.
He nearly screamed from the agony .
Nearly broke at how Tony’s fingers, broken and bent, twitched as his eyes went dull, chest ceasing in its ragged, pained movement as he breathed his last, as his heart stopped beating. As his beautiful mind ceased creating.
It felt like Bucky’s heart stopped with his; damn near burst in his chest, shattering into thousands of tiny pieces.
His soul broke, he felt it break irreversibly, and he knew.
He knew that nothing was going to stop him joining his other as soon as this was all finished.
As soon as Pierced burned in Hell, he was going to cease to exist, right alongside Tony.
Tugging his sword free from his Love’s skin and bone, he swore it. Swore it upon everything he had ever loved.
Love, I’m coming.
You shan’t be alone for long, my heart.
I love you.