From the very first mention of this mission, Bucky hadn’t liked it. It probably hadn’t helped that Fury had called during a particularly intimate moment between him and Steve. Nothing like summons from Fury to kill a boner.
Steve was miffed by the interruption too, Bucky could hear it in his tone of voice when they both faced Fury in his office. Seeing as Bucky had been giving him a blow job when they got the call, Bucky took great pleasure knowing exactly why Captain America was acting so irritably.
“Does the name Hayden Sampson mean anything to either of you?” Fury said before they were even fully in the office.
Bucky froze momentarily before swallowing and nodding. “Yes sir, it does.”
Fury sat back in his desk and folded his hands together. “Do tell, Sargent.”
Steve looked at him concernedly, but Bucky ignored him when he replied, “About twenty years ago, I killed a Mariam and a Oliver Sampson. I suspect they would be his relatives. Probably not parents, or Hydra would have had me take him out too.”
Fury nodding, appearing deep in thought. “Well, that explains a lot.”
He leaned forward and fixed them with a look to make sure they paid attention. “During your trial and after you were cleared of all charges, Sampson lead a very impassioned group of followers trying to make sure you either rotted behind bars or were put to death. When you were released, he lead riots and continued to make hell for us. Once you disappeared off the grid for a bit, he quieted down, but when recent events,” Fury looked between Bucky and Steve then the small amount of space between them, “got out to the public, Sampson started making noise again. He tried to kidnap one of our local agents to gain information about Barnes. We haven’t figured out yet how Sampson even knew how he was S.H.I.E.L.D. We need you to go in and try to reason with him, and if he won’t cooperate, take him out.”
Both Bucky and Steve saluted, Steve a bit more sarcastically than Bucky, and they exited the room.
Once they got in the elevator, Steve groaned and leaned against the wall. “We got called in at the crack of dawn to deal with some low life that doesn’t understand mind control and memory wipes. Perfect, just real fucking perfect.”
Bucky smirked as he leaned against the opposite wall. “Feeling a little frustrated there, Stevie boy?” he drawled.
“Oh shut up,” Steve snapped, glaring at Bucky.
“I could just blow you here,” Bucky offered, taking a step forward. Just as Steve drew in a sharp breath, the elevator stopped and the doors opened. A few people were waiting outside and trickled in, making Bucky back up into the wall once again.
He tried not to chuckle when he heard Steve curse under his breath, making the other occupants of the elevator look at him, shocked. Bucky’s smirked just widened as Steve’s level of annoyance at getting out of bed today grew.
His own good mood dropped when they got to the aircraft hangar and a cold wind went right through Bucky’s shirt. Even since Hydra, he hadn’t been comfortable in the cold. It brought up bad memories and made it hard for him to focus.
“Tell you what,” Bucky said as he and Steve walked to the quinjet that would take them to Sampson’s location, “when we get back, hot shower, hot chocolate, and hot sex. Deal?”
Steve grinned. “Works for me, jerk.”
“Then let’s get going, punk. I got a date to get back to.”
It was a shit show as soon as they touched down. They had planned on making their way to Sampson’s location, try to talk things out, and if nothing worked, move in and take him out, as per orders. But as soon as they landed, their pilot, who had been silent the whole trip, opened the quinjet door and turned to point two guns at both Steve and Bucky.
Bucky, in the process of standing up, froze as even more men streamed into the quinjet and pointed multiple kinds of guns at them, from rifles to pistols. Steve slowly raised his hands and looked over at Bucky to have him do the same.
Do we fight? Bucky tried to ask without saying anything, his eyes going between the guns pointed at Steve and Steve himself.
“Try anything and we’ll shoot you first, Winter Soldier,” a voice came from the crowd of men as Steve gave a minute shake of his head. A man that matched the picture of Hayden Sampson pushed his way to the front, lifting his rifle to point straight at Bucky’s head.
Well that’s something, Bucky thought, morbidly optimistic. At least Steve might get out of this alive.
“Keep your hands up. Either of you twitches and the Asset gets a hole in the head.”
A few men came forward and stripped them of their weapons. Well, most of them. They took the obvious ones on Bucky but he still had a few tucked away. He didn’t have any time to use them, though, because his arms were yanked behind his back and secured in thick metal cuffs.
As he was dragged outside into the cold air outside, Bucky tried to stay in the present. To not think about other cuffs that he had been forced into for transportation and other cold places and other people that were gonna hurt him…
“Buck,” he heard from his right.
His eyes focused on Steve, who was also cuffed and being dragged along between four men.
“Stay with me, Buck. You promised-” Steve got out before one of the men punched him across the face.
Bucky immediately surged forward but stopped cold when a searing pain went through his calf. Looking around, he saw Sampson lower his rifle, smirking.
“Uh-uh-uhhh, Soldier. Can’t have you hurt my men.”
Scowling, Bucky looked back at Steve and saw him glowering at Sampson as he wiped the blood off his chin with his shoulder. He looked at Bucky and his jaw clenched as he took in the blood dripping down his leg. When he met Bucky’s eyes again, Bucky could tell that he was ready to kill someone.
It was sort of heartwarming in a strange sort of way.
“Come on,” Sampson said, gesturing for his men to move.
The leg wound almost made Bucky fall when he first put his weight on it. But he had been trained to keep going through pain, to push through until the job was done, and right now his job was to make sure that Steve got out of this alive. If he had to go through some pain to make that happen, so be it.
They walked for about a mile until they reached a building that seemed to scream “Enemy Bunker.” Did bad guys have no taste these days? Bucky turned to commiserate with Steve, only to get a elbow to the face for his trouble.
“Don’t look at him, Soldier. He’s too good to lower himself with filth like you,” Sampson said from the front of the group.
Bucky heard Steve take a deep breath to start ranting, but shook his head, trying to get Steve to shut up before he got started. The more that Steve stayed quiet, the better chance he had of getting out of this. Bucky had to make sure that the attention stayed on him.
“Oh, but he was so fun to defile, you know-” a hit to the back of the head stopped his goading. Bucky stumbled a few steps before his head stopped spinning.
“Leave him alone!” he heard Steve yell from off to the side as he shook his head to clear it and straightened up.
“It’s fine, Stevie. I can handle this,” Bucky comforted, not looking at him.
Steve growled but said nothing else.
Sampson lead them into the building, down a few hallways until they reached a room with just three chairs and a table. It looked like a normal interrogation room except two of the three chairs had been reinforced and equipped with strong looking restraints.
Bucky put up a little bit of a struggle as they tried to strap him into the chair. He didn’t want to be in it, it was too similar to a different chair, he couldn’t separate them, he was going to lose everything again…
“Bucky,” he heard.
There was a crack of flesh hitting flesh and a grunt and that more than anything brought Bucky back to the present.
Steve was glaring at Sampson as he shook out his hand and walked around the table, towards Bucky.
“I never wanted to hurt you, Captain, but you seem adamant about the fact that this monster is someone else. Do you truly know who this man is?” Sampson asked, gesturing towards Bucky who sneered at him.
“He’s worth at least twenty of you,” Steve answered, locking eyes with Bucky from across the table.
The setup of the room was weird, Bucky realized. The two chairs that he and Steve were sitting on were on opposite sides of the table, facing one another, while the other chair was off to the side. He just couldn’t figure out why.
Sampson put his rifle on the table, seeming to flaunt the fact that neither Steve nor Bucky could break their bonds. Bucky strained against the metal, but even his bionic arm couldn’t make them budge. He could tell that Steve was trying to do the same, but he didn’t seem to be having any luck either.
“Oh really now? This man killed my aunt and uncle, along with dozens of other people over the years. He killed one of the presidents of the United States and the parents of your friend, Tony Stark. How can you stand him? How have you not killed him yet?”
Steve looked at Bucky and smiled a small, personal smile. “Cause he followed a little kid from Brooklyn that wouldn’t run from a fight.”
“This man is a murderer. He must have corrupted your mind and twisted your thinking to make you think that he was anything else.”
“Apart from me,” Bucky drawled, “the only person in this room that has a messed up mind is you.”
Sampson started forward to strike Bucky but stopped abruptly and instead, he smiled. Both Steve and Bucky tensed. That smile promised that much worse things were yet to come.
“That may be, Winter Soldier, but by the end of today, there will only be one.”
With that, he left the room.
Immediately, Steve began to writhe in his chair, trying to break free. Bucky didn’t even try.
“Steve, there’s no point. There was a mole in S.H.E.I.L.D., they probably know just how much strength each of us has and made these just for us. Steve, STEVE!” Bucky shouted, trying to get his attention.
“What?!” Steve yelled back. “If I don’t do something, he’s gonna kill you, Buck!”
Bucky sighed. “I know, Stevie. But I’m telling you, there’s no point.”
“Fuck that,” Steve snarled, throwing himself from side to side, but the chair didn’t move an inch. They must have welded the chairs to the floor.
“You gotta listen to me, Stevie, once they’re done with me, you gotta get the hell outta here, you hear me? You gotta make it. I don’t think they’ll kill you, they just want me, so if they let you go, you run and you don’t come back, you hear me?”
“NO!” Steve shouted. “You promised me years ago, Buck. Til the end of the line. You promised.”
Bucky looked at Steve and felt his heart fall apart. “Looks like I’m gonna have to break that promise, Stevie.”
The heartbreak on Steve’s face almost made Bucky break completely.
“That was truly moving, Winter Soldier. Very stirring performance,” Sampson said as he came back into the room.
He was holding a six shot pistol. “This is a family heirloom that I inherited after my uncle died. I have dreamed about using it on you since the day I found out you killed him.”
Steve began to struggle even harder in his chair, never taking his eyes off of Bucky. Sampson whipped Steve across the face with the gun, stunning him momentarily.
“Let’s play a little game,” Sampson said in the silence that followed. “In honor of the Winter Soldier, the game we’re going to play is called Russian Roulette. In case you don’t know what that is, it is when there is only one bullet in this gun,” he waved it for emphasis, “and I pull the trigger until we find it. I’ll even throw in a prize. If you aren’t dead by the fifth shot, I’ll let Captain America go before I kill you. If not…” he trailed off. “Well, I’m sure that he can get blood out of his uniform anyway.”
And with that he put the gun to Bucky’s head and pulled the trigger.
Steve looked like he was seconds away from passing out. He wasn’t trying to get free anymore, just leaning forward as much as he could, getting as close as he could to Bucky.
Their eyes locked as Sampson pulled the trigger a second time.
Steve’s eyes filled with tears and one slipped down his cheek.
“Buck,” he said in a broken whisper.
“I know, Stevie. I love you so much,” Bucky replied, feeling tears well up in his own eyes.
“I love you too, you jerk,” Steve whispered, straining to get closer to Bucky.
“Look away, Stevie, I don’t wanna make you have any more nightmares. Not ‘cause of me.”
Steve was shaking his head before Bucky had even finished his sentence. “With you til the end of the line, remember? I’m not backing out now just cause it’s coming sooner than I wanted.”
Bucky chuckled to cover up a sob. “Guess it’s one way of showing you love a guy, dying for him twice.”
Steve smiled at him sadly through his tears. “You didn’t die last time, Buck.”
This time Bucky did let out a sob. “Don’t think that we’re gonna be that lucky this time, punk.”
Sampson cocked the gun another time and both Steve and Bucky blurted out, “I love you!” as he pulled the trigger.
Bucky let out a suddering breath as Steve started shouting at Sampson about how he wouldn’t leave, he wasn’t leaving, but men came and dragged him out the door and Bucky got one last glimpse of Steve looking over his shoulder at him before the door closed and it was just him and Sampson in the room.
Sampson raised the gun again.
“What, not gonna ask if I got any last words?” Bucky growled, suddenly so angry that he could scream. He had a date with Steve. He had made a promise to him back before World War II had even started that he would always be there for him. And now this bastard was going to make him break those promises and lose the life that he could have had with Steve.
“You don’t deserve last words, monster,” Sampson said.
And pulled the trigger.
Both of them were so busy staring at the gun in shock that they didn’t know another person slip into the room until they spoke.
“Funny thing, I saw this really nice, really old gun lying around with only one shot of ammo in it. I figured that someone must have forgot to take it out and that I should to protect everyone’s safety. Seems like I was right, huh?” Clint Barton said, tossing a single bullet into the air and catching it again.
“Hawkins, I don’t know what you think you doing but-”
“See, that’s the thing, Hayden,” Clint said, catching the bullet one more time and staring at him. “My name isn’t Calvin Hawkins, thank god. It’s Hawkeye. I’m an Avenger. And that’s one of my friends you have at gunpoint, useless as the gun is. So I’d appreciate it if you would put it down.”
Sampson tried to make a run for it. It was a cute attempt. Hawkeye downed him in a moment. Didn’t kill him, just knocked him out. He seemed to know that this particular killing should be for Bucky.
“Here,” he said, taking out a key and unlocking Bucky’s arms and legs.
“Where’s Steve?” Bucky demanded, rolling out the joints to make sure nothing was overly damaged. He stood and hissed when the leg that Sampson had shot earlier came in contact with the floor.
Clint shook his head. “Don’t know. They let him go. Doubt he’ll stay gone though.”
Bucky rolled his eyes and nodded. “Well, we might as well finish up here before he does anything really stupid.”
He took the bullet from Clint and picked the gun up from where it had fallen when Sampson had been knocked out. He turned Sampson onto his back and shook him until his eyes opened.
“I’m sorry about your aunt and uncle, but you hurt Steve. Also,” Bucky finished, cocking the pistol, “Steve may be America’s golden boy, but he sure as hell ain’t an angel. You should see him when he comes.”
“Let’s go find Steve,” Bucky said, standing and throwing the gun to the side.
They got to the hallway and start towards the exit. Unfortunately, Sampson’s men had heard the gunshot and come to help carry away the body. At least he and Barton caught them by surprise, because Bucky wasn’t in the best shape right now. Even so, Barton took down more men than Bucky did and Bucky leaned against the wall before pushing himself forward.
“We gotta find Steve,” he grunted, limping along.
Just before they got to the front door, they were set upon by another group of men, a bigger number this time. Bucky tried to hold his own, but one of them stomped on his injured leg and another snuck up behind him and had him in a choke hold before he could recover from the sudden burst of pain.
He tried to call out to Barton but he couldn’t get any air and Clint was fighting off six men all at once anyway, so what would he have been able to do?
Bucky’s vision was starting to fade at the edges when a familiar whirring sound filtered into his consciousness. The man holding Bucky grunted as Steve’s shield hit him full in the face and then Steve was among the fight, taking out men faster than Bucky could focus on. He took a few punches, but when the last body dropped, looked mostly unscathed.
“Bucky,” he moaned, running to where Bucky had slid down the wall and gathering him in his arms.
Gripping his arms tightly, Bucky drank in the feel of Steve against him. He thought he’d never be able to do this again.
He didn’t realize he was crying until he tried to talk. “Knew you wouldn’t listen. Knew you would come back.”
Steve leaned back far enough to look at Bucky’s face. “Course I would. Even if I was just coming back for your body, I was always gonna come back for you.”
Bucky shifted and jarred his injured leg. Hissing through the pain, he muttered, “Punk.”
Steve brushed a kiss against Bucky’s forehead. “Jerk.”
“I’ve got Nat on the comms, she says she’ll be here in a minute with the quinjet and that it would be better if we got out of here as fast as possible. You okay for moving, Barnes?”
“I got him,” Steve said and scooped Bucky up bridal style to carry him outside.
“My hero,” Bucky said dryly, throwing an arm over Steve’s shoulder.
Nat touched down in front of them and Steve settled Bucky into one of the seats, careful with his leg.
“Let’s go home,” Bucky said wearily. “I have a date to get ready for,” he finished with a smile at Steve, who grinned back. The whole ride back, Steve and Bucky didn’t take their eyes off each other for a second. The look between them showed the love they felt for the other, the knowledge that they had lived to fight another day, and the acknowledgement that the hot sex that they were going to have once Bucky was patched up was going to be steaming.