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In Between

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–Next Week–

Downtown // 10:15 P.M.

Bucky ran his fingers through his hair to brush it back from his eyes and looked around the upscale bar. Soft music filtered through the air as he walked up to the bar and saw Sam scrolling on his phone. Bucky had traveled the world, met countless people, and seen thousands of faces but no one like Sam. No one so effortlessly beautiful doing nothing at all.

Bucky touched his hand to Sam’s back gently to get his attention and watched the other turn to look at him.

“Hey,” Sam said happily. He’d been hopeful when he told Bucky to call if he was free next weekend. He honestly didn’t think Bucky would be free, he knew the man stayed busy. But he couldn’t deny the delight in his chest when he got that call with the typical greeting of, ‘Hey stranger’.

“Hey,” Bucky said leaning in to place a soft kiss near Sam’s lips. He preferred to keep it PG in public, classy.

Sam smiled wide at the kiss, enjoying it. “We doin’ drinks because you have to run somewhere later?” Sam wondered.

“No,” Bucky said shaking his head. “You said something less fancy than a restaurant.”

Sam looked around the bar they were currently in then looked back at Bucky. “You get points for trying but this is still way too nice man,” Sam said breaking it to him gently.

Bucky placed an order for a drink and looked back at Sam. He shrugged at missing the mark with what Sam meant but he was still spending the evening with Sam which would always be a win.

Sam observed Bucky seated beside him. His nice grey slacks, white button down shirt, and rolled up sleeves to the elbows. It was a simple look. But as Sam observed, with most things about Bucky, it seemed to be a step up from the average. He didn’t know how Bucky did it but it gave the man an air Sam couldn’t get enough of.

“Do you even own casual clothing?” Sam asked playfully.

Bucky received his drink and glanced over at him. “What?”

“Do you wear shorts and a tee sometimes? Do you own anything that isn’t a three piece suit?”

Bucky smirked. Sam had jokes, Bucky thought. Cute.

“Why? You don’t like the way I dress?” Bucky asked turning toward Sam, with faux hurt in his tone.

“No, you always look great. Just wondering if you’d have anything to wear if I wanted to go to the beach with you or something,” Sam explained.

Bucky thought about Sam’s words and nodded. The thought of going to the beach with Sam sounded nice. Bucky just couldn’t do it. Too many people and nowhere to take cover; just in case he’d need to.

“I do,” Bucky replied calmly.

Sam laughed softly. “I’d like to see your closet,” Sam said teasingly, knowing there was an ice cube’s chance in Hell that he’d ever see the inside of Bucky’s home. While Sam was enjoying the casual nature of what they had going on, he made sure to manage his expectation of what they had becoming anything more. He refrained from bringing it up lest it kill the atmosphere between them, but Sam was more than aware of the distance Bucky was holding him at.

Bucky sipped his liquor then rotated his watch on his wrist for comfort.

“How about dinner?” Bucky asked.

“What? Now?” Sam asked. “It’s kind of late.”

“No. Come to my place. I’ll cook for you,” Bucky offered as he looked into Sam’s eyes.

Eyebrows raised, Sam said, “Seriously?”

“Yeah,” he said swallowing the grin on his lips.

“When?” Sam asked completely surprised but so excited to accept the offer.

“How about next Friday night?”

“Sure,” Sam accepted.

“I’ll text you the address then,” Bucky said softly feeling his stomach twist a bit at the idea of Sam coming over to his place for the first time.

What had he gotten into? Bucky wondered.



 –Next Thursday–

Madrid, Spain // 5:00 P.M.

Bucky checked his tablet and the plans he’d laid out for the job. He double checked his time stamps and trajectories and made sure everything would line up. He gave a quick glance out the window of the empty warehouse floor he was on and waited for the targets to step into position. He let the dry winds whip over his face for a moment as he checked the time and wondered what he’d do later in the evening. He was split between going to the club or flying back home early. After a few minutes of weighing his options, and admiring the scenery in the distance, he shrugged off the decision for a later time and checked the window again.

The sale was going down and everyone was in position.

“Did you bring it?” the man asked eyeing the briefcase.

“Would I bother coming if I hadn’t?” the other replied. “But what choice did I really have when Hector had a gun to my head.”

“Not my problem. You should have stayed in your line, maybe it wouldn’t have come to this,” he said.

Bucky listened in on the conversation going on and waited for the signal. After a couple of minutes he looked south to the clock tower and saw a bright reflection of light –exactly what he’d been waiting for. He looked back down on the drop going on, as the briefcase was about to change hands and took a deep breath before he pulled the trigger. He sprayed the group of six men with multiple rounds of bullets. He tuned out the sound of screaming and quickly started tapping anyone still moving.

Then he remembered! He paused and reread the notes on the assignment – he was supposed to leave a few badly wounded but still alive. Shit.

Well damn, Bucky thought, I hope one of them makes it.

He moved out of position and broke the AK down back into its case. He stashed it back where he found it upon arriving, under a worktable on the other side of the room. He headed for the stairs and out through the back alley behind the building. The chipper barking of a small dog echoed from a distance within the sound of trunks driving nearby. He emerged back out on the bustling street. He decided to cross over a few more streets before he happened upon the afternoon foot traffic. He stood there on the sidewalk and hailed a cab. He slipped on his sunglasses; waited all of five minutes before one stopped and he slipped inside of it.

He wasn’t in the mood to go to any club. He wanted to head on home.

“Airport please,” Bucky said throwing on an accent just for the hell of it as he took off his gloves finally and checked his work burner.

He checked his account and saw the transfer had been made two minutes prior. He glanced out the window, at the blur of people and faces as they whizzed by and figured he’d be at the airport in twenty minutes and back home in six hours. 

He sat back and thought about the shower he couldn’t wait to take once he got there. He figured he could plan the dinner he’d prepare for Sam tomorrow night on the plane ride back.