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Tiny flying aliens with glow in the dark asses (or, Bucky Barnes discovers fireflies)

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Steve Rogers sleeps like the dead.

Curled up with his shield as a pillow, he can pass out anywhere and if Steve didn’t have an ass Bucky routinely uses for a pillow, it would seriously piss him off. Sleeping is fine and all, Bucky’s an enthusiastic advocate for the recommended eight hours every night, but not at the expense of Bucky’s life.

Steve Rogers sleeps like the dead and if he’s not actually dead, Bucky is gonna kill him.

“Steve. Steve. SteveRogersSteve God Damn Rogers,” he whisper screams and Captain Sleepy Pants barely stirs.

They were only supposed to stop for a few hours rest, because Steve just had to have a nap. Captain America needed a nap and probably a juice box, and now Bucky’s going to die.

This is the end, Bucky thinks grimly. What a way to go.

Bending slowly, Bucky keeps his eyes on the flying, flickering threat surrounding him, feeling along the ground for a rock or a stick or something heavy to throw.

He comes up empty.

So he slips off his boot and chucks it at Steve's stupid face.

The boot hits him in the head and Steve jolts upright. Twisting around, he sees Bucky standing a few feet away, missing a shoe and looking positively furious.

“Oh my god, what?” Steve grumbles. “What the hell do you possibly need in the middle of the god damn night?”

Bucky doesn’t move a muscle, hissing through clenched teeth.

“Steve. I. Am. Surrounded. Wake your spangly ass up and help me.”

At the unexpected request, Steve startles into action, snatching up his shield and rubbing sleep crusties from his eyes. He starts forward and trips over a tree branch and Bucky pinches the bridge of his nose.

Steve rights himself and spins in a circle, looking for all the world like a soft, fluffy, confused puppy.

“I don’t see anything? What am I looking for?”

Bucky holds up a panicked hand to stop Steve blundering around like a buffalo. “God dammit, be careful! They might swarm!”

Arms spread wide, anticipating a fight, Steve waits.

And waits.


Hands dropping to his hips, he gives Bucky that patented Captain America is disappointed look. “What are you doing?” he asks suspiciously. “Are you that annoyed that I wanted to stop?”

“Not everything is about you Steve. This is a serious issue and I’m saving your stupid reckless ass, like always!”

“Oh, okay. Cool. Thanks. From what?”

Bucky gestures wildly to the dark night around him. “From what? From – from whatever the hell this is!”

Steve stares blankly. “I’m gonna need more information.”

“This is all your fault,” Bucky whisper accuses, pointing his finger angrily at Steve. “I wanted to go home but no. Captain God Damn America needs a fucking nap, now here we are, surrounded by I don’t know, aliens or whatever these are, and you’re just standing there with your stupid perfect hair all messed up and I don’t even understand why the hell I still put up with you, it’s not like you’re that good looking Rogers, I mean your ass is perfection, but still, I’m starting to think it’s not worth it because you obviously have no sense of self-preservation, because we are very clearly under attack right now and you’re just standing there like a giant sleepy dumbass!”

Bucky’s out of breath at the end of his diatribe. He glares at Steve.

Steve looks at the flickering lights around them and realization slowly comes. With his giant bear paw of a hand, he reaches to gently scoop up one of the lights and Bucky nearly faints.

“Buck,” he says, clearly holding back a laugh. “Look. It’s a firefly. A lightning bug. See?”

Stepping closer, Steve opens his palm and Bucky sees a small bug crawling around. It buzzes it’s wings and flashes a bright light.

It flashes a bright light.

From it’s ass.

It flashes a bright light from it’s ass.

It has an ass light.

What the sweet hell?

“What the sweet hell?” Bucky breathes. He reaches a tentative finger into Steve’s palm and pokes the little bug. It flaps its wings irritably and takes off.

Steve is grinning at him. Acting like it’s no big deal that Bucky was nearly potentially murdered by tiny flying aliens with glow in the dark asses.

“They’re just insects,” Steve says.

“You’re just an insect.”

“Whatever,” Steve yawns. He walks back to their packs and collapses.

Bucky spins in a slow circle, watching the world flicker around him. He spends the rest of the night catching lightning bugs, wrapping them in his palm, watching the light bounce off his silver fingers. Excitement every time he sees them sitting there, tiny bursts of light like a happy little hello. Finally, something that makes the ridiculous metal arm look less shitty.

He catches lightning bugs until they start to disappear. Pink lines glow on the eastern horizon and the bugs wander away to sleep for the day. Bucky decides to follow.

He flops on the ground beside Steve and shoves his butt against him.

“Hmmm,” Steve mumbles sleepily.

“Snuggle me,” Bucky orders and Steve throws an obliging arm around him.

“We gotta get up in a few minutes,” he says into the mess of Bucky’s hair tickling his face.

“No. I’m tired now.”

Steve pinches his arm. “Why’d you stay up all night playing with bugs then?”

Steve,” Bucky says sternly, “Their asses light up. Like I’m gonna ignore one of nature’s coolest fucking miracles for sleep. I’m not a communist.”

“What does that even mean?” Steve wonders.

“I wish I were a lightning bug,” Bucky replies sleepily. “Be so cool if my ass lit up.”

“We’ll talk to Tony when we get back,” Steve answers, already drifting back to sleep.

“Bitchin,” Bucky says.