Chapter Eleven: There is Only One Problem with Your Face, I Can See It
"What on Earth have you done, Nicholas?!"
Nicholas J. Fury, Director of Shield, did not scare easily. He had seen more atrocities and horror in his life than nearly any other living person on the planet. But as they looked out into the harbor and watched one of the hardly finished helicarriers rising out of the bay, he felt real fear.
One reason being that he knew the helicarrier wasn't ready. They had two more years until they were close to launch. He'd almost had one of his finished helicarriers fall out of the sky with him on it, he was not eager to have it happen again. Someone else had launched the machine.
The second reason being that the 91 year old co-founder of his organization was watching the entire scene unfurl at his side. And she was none too pleased. And she was armed. And she had already proven to be bored even after shooting a Hydra mole in the ass.
"Project Insight is not ready for deployment. This is not my doing," Fury explained as Maria Hill went to the computer system by his desk and began trying to override it. Sharon immediately began speaking lowly over her comm unit with Natasha.
"Explain to me please why a project I killed twenty-five years ago as my last act as Director is currently launching into the sky?" Peggy Carter demanded angrily. She glared up at Fury and shook her head in slow disgust. "This is protection for the Earth?"
"Pierce was pushing for it. It seemed like a worthwhile investment in the event that the Avengers could not---"
"I see, so, we have the project that was the pet of a Hydra idiot rising into the sky at the moment," Peggy nodded. "Nicholas, it does not take a genius to come to the conclusion that a loaded weapon in the sky, controlled by Hydra, is not going to only shoot at the bad guys."
"Steve and Natasha are on their way, half an hour out," Sharon nodded. "Sam and Rhodey will be here in ten minutes."
"Bring Sitwell back up here," Peggy leveled Fury with an arched eyebrow. "NOW, Nicholas!"
To say that the Warriors Three were eager for a battle was probably an understatement. A combination of campfire enhanced sugar, a flask of strong meade, and a few hours of rousing storytelling by the fire had acted as a sort of lit fuse to their thirst for battle. Even Sif was exhibiting signs of impatience for violence as she adjusted her weapons and followed Jane's every movement, eyes tracking for any possible attacker that would try and hurt Thor's intended.
Hogun was perhaps the most even keeled of all the Asgardians, and he approached Bucky with a silent nod of acknowledgment.
"For your troubles," Hogun held out a dark flask to Bucky as he went over his own weaponry.
"For my what now?" Bucky furrowed his brow, taking the flask nonetheless and sniffing at it. It smelled wonderful, like the world's best whiskey.
"Your ailment," Hogun shrugged, pointing to his head in explanation. "To heal and continue the Norn's blessed work. To protect and ease the way."
"Whatever you say, pal," Bucky nodded. Hogun was easier to deal with than the big bearded one or the one who was making eyes at him, Darcy and Bruce. And the shapely tree a few paces off.
He took a swig of the nice smelling liquor and closed his eyes as the feeling of butterscotch melted on his tongue and slid down his throat. He staggered on his feet and blinked. It warmed him through and through immediately, he could feel it going from the pit of his stomach, up his spine, climbing faster and faster until he felt his whole face flush. His brain sung suddenly, a loud crescendo of a trio of voices going from dissonant to harmony. He could hear Darcy cutting through the lovely sound...she was shouting at something, or someone. Oh, she was shouting at Hogun.
"What did you give him?!? JANIE! Come and control your future people!" Darcy screamed, taking Bucky by the hands and looking up at him in concern. He looked dazed and his eyes were completely unfocused. But it wasn't that terrifying weapon of mass destruction blank that Hydra had shoved him into, he was still there, just...non-responsive. She went up on her tiptoes and put her hands on either side of his face, palms tickling from his stubble. "Bucky? Honey? Are you alright?"
Sif had rushed over to the trio, Jane in tow, and grabbed the flask away from Bucky, taking a sniff.
"Lady Darcy, do not be troubled," she shook her head, handing the flask back to Hogun. "Medicinal meade. Hogun will sip at it occasionally for his own injuries."
"Bucky isn't injured!" Darcy insisted, looking up at him while she moved his face back and forth, hoping to get a reaction. "Didn't anyone ever tell you that sharing prescriptions is bad?"
"It will do him good," Hogun promised. "When Thor accidentally dropped the hammer on my head, I had lost all of my memories."
"And your life for a few hours," Sif rolled her eyes.
"My time in Valhalla was all too brief," Hogun nodded. "Queen Frigga brewed this remedy for me herself. All will be well for your soul's match."
"What?" Darcy squinted at Hogun quickly, before looking back at Bucky. She stroked his jaw and whispered, "Come on, Bucky, you're okay, come back to me, please."
Bucky finally blinked, and the dazed look dissipated, replaced with a brilliant sparkling pale blue as he stared down at her. Strong hands were around her waist in a heartbeat, pulling her to be flush against his body.
"Hey there, gorgeous," he smiled down at her before placing a kiss on her lips. "Stevie won't mind, I've got some kisses to catch up on to be square with him."
"What?" Darcy whispered, feeling light and airy as he held her close. "Are you alright?"
"I feel fantastic," Bucky nodded. His hands crept down from her waist and suddenly he had two whole handfuls of her perfectly rounded bottom. "You feel even more fantastic."
"Oh no, you're charming as hell," Darcy whispered, her voice a combination of fear and delight.
"Fixed," Hogun nodded before scampering off back to the fire to retrieve his swords he had set in the small blaze to cleanse them in preparation for righteous battle.
"What do you mean, fixed?" Darcy yelled back at him.
Hogun pointed to his brain, tapping against it impatiently and repeated, "Fixed."
"It is temporary," Sif assured her. "If you prefer to have him broken."
"What, no---I don't, how temporary?" Darcy wondered.
"Hogun does not have to drink the draught often," Sif pursed her lips in thought. "Only every few centuries."
"Holy shit," Darcy breathed.
“There is the initial euphoria, it will only last a few days,” Sif nodded. “Hogun is very handy in battle after taking it, even if the constant giggling is a little much.”
Euphoria? Bucky could believe it. He couldn't remember feeling so good. He was hard pressed to remember the bad that had seemed to be all consuming just a few hours ago. And he was really looking forward to being handy in battle. The idea of ripping apart the people who had tried to ruin everything that was him was a very good one at the moment.
"Can I get one of those ear things?" Bucky wondered. "I'd like to talk to Stevie."
"This feels like a trap," Steve sighed as he sat next to Natasha as she piloted the quinnjet towards the Triskellion.
"Does it feel like a trap because you didn't want to leave Bucky and Darcy behind?" Natasha wondered.
"No, I never want to leave them behind again, if I can manage it," Steve huffed out defensively. "But still, it feels like the Triskellion is a distraction."
"Steve, we're fine here, if you want to go back to Darcy," Peggy announced over the comms airily.
"Peggy," Steve shook his head in bemusement. The 91 year old had been at the top of her game all day long. Of course she thought she could take down a helicarrier on her own.
"JARVIS, run the takeover codes on that hellicarrier," Tony requested.
"Certainly, Sir. Twenty-two minutes until takeover codes can be activated."
"You have takeover codes on my helicarriers, Stark?" Fury demanded.
"You have helicarriers ready and waiting to mow people down from 30,000 feet in the air?" Tony countered. Peggy snorted over the comms and Fury was silent. "Thought so."
"We need a flier to get on board that helicarrier and replace a piece of circuitry," Maria requested, finishing up the programming on the card that she had managed to get together with the intel that Sharon and Peggy had ruthlessly pulled from a whimpering Sitwell.
"I'm currently cradled in the strong arms of a Norse God," Clint announced. "We were heading back to Jane's camp."
“Clint, you can't actually fly,” Natasha rolled her eyes.
“Uhm, right now, I kind of AM,” Clint disputed.
"I got this,” Rhodey announced.
"Too slow," Sam insisted, whizzing towards the Triskellion.
"So you see, Steve, we do have this situation handled," Peggy promised. "You should go back to the camp."
"I really gotta agree there, pal. Get your ass back here."
Steve furrowed his brow. That had sounded an awful lot like the Bucky he heard in his brain all the time. Natasha gave Steve an amused look and nudged him.
"Buck?" Steve questioned.
"One of those out of this world nutjobs used some kind of crazy periscope. Says the enemy is about ten minutes away. I'm pretty sure we can handle it on our own, but it would never hurt to have Captain America here to put the fear of the Stars and Stripes into nasty ole Hydra."
Natasha turned the quinnjet immediately and pushed it to its limits as she went back to the place they had started out at. Steve had to grip onto the seat to keep from sliding to the floor.
"Is Darcy alright?" Steve wondered.
"She's better than alright, she's outta this world," Bucky relayed with a chuckle. "She's got the RV loaded with Dr. Foster's things and she and the two doc's are on it, ready to zoom off like a bat outta hell if things go south."
"Good...that's great, Buck," Steve nodded.
"Fifteen minutes," Natasha announced.
"Alright, punk. See you soon."
Bucky adjusted the shirt he had nicked from Steve's bag, wondering how in the hell Steve had managed to stuff himself into it. It felt too tight on Bucky, and Steve was just a bit bulkier than him. The kevlar vest that Darcy had forced on him also felt too tight, and Bucky realized the only thing he missed about Hydra were the perfectly crafted uniforms they had provided.
He'd have to see if Stevie could steer him in the right direction. Those stars and stripes always fit him just right.
"Hey, you still okay?" Darcy questioned him as she stood on the steps to the RV, even a few inches off the ground, she wasn't eye to eye with him, staring up at him in curiosity.
"What's it gonna take for you to stop asking me that every time you see me, Angel?" Bucky wondered.
"Uhm, maybe more than half an hour of being you know...all together?" Darcy proposed. "Like, say, next week, if you're still all together, I promise to stop asking so much."
"How's about we work out a code instead?" Bucky waggled his eyebrows at her. He leaned in and kissed her, slow and soft and enticing. "You stand there and do something cute...yeah, there it is. You're cute right now and you ain't even trying. And when you do that, I'll know you're worrying that smart little head of yours, and I'll do this."
Another kiss and Darcy gave a cross between a giggle and a sigh when he pulled away.
"And when I do that, you'll know I'm just fine," Bucky assured her.
"And Steve is supposed to be the man with a plan," Darcy laughed.
"Alright, get that cute caboose of yours in the car," Bucky told her, smacking another kiss against her forehead.
"Please be careful," Darcy whispered. "I don't...I don't want them to take you from me and Steve. Ever again."
"It'll never happen," Bucky assured her with an easy smile. He closed the door after she hopped back on and he turned back on his comm unit. "Stevie, it's alright that I've been kissing your sidecar seven ways to Sunday, isn't it?"
"What? uhm...sure, yeah, Buck," Steve laughed out of pure disbelief and amusement.
"Hey, Steve, do I get to kiss your sidecar?" Stark wondered.
"Sure, Tony, if you want to see what it's like to be in traction, you do that," Steve chuckled.
"I think that we should all be able to kiss your sidecar," Clint huffed out.
"I wouldn't complain," Natasha smirked.
Bucky focused on the sunset in the distance, and he saw armored cars rushing towards them in the night.
"Doctor Foster? Make sure you're all strapped in. If they get past us, I'll give you the go ahead to leave," Bucky nodded patting the vehicle absently before walking away to stand next to the warriors Three and Sif.
Bucky didn't have his rifle, but he was armed to the teeth with blades and guns that had been right next to the cereal in the RV. Darcy had explained that like Natasha, Pepper Potts planned for the worst case scenario, because being involved with Tony Stark usually did involve the worst case scenario. That was convenient, because being around Steve and himself, the worst was usually bound to happen.
Case in point, as they moved away from the RV towards the oncoming enemy, a small, but potent missile came rushing their way from one of the Hydra vehicles coming up on them.
Hogun tossed one of his swords, letting it fly through the air, and while it didn't knock the missile out of the sky, it did send it veering off course, landing fifty feet to the right in an empty spot.
"Uhm...that sounded bad?" Jane wondered.
"We're fine," Bucky assured her.
"Darcy is freaking out," Jane announced.
"Tell her not to worry," Bucky insisted,
"Oh, it's much too late for that, Buckaroo," Jane huffed out in annoyance, her voice wobbly as the RV took off into the night.
It was just as well. With only four fierce, but still medievally equipped warriors and himself, it was only a matter of time before the Hydra operatives started to slip through. Bucky was honestly just hoping to hold out long enough for Steve and Natasha to return. And he had been counting on the fact that Darcy was the best damned driver he had ever had the pleasure of laying eyes on.
He didn't have to worry if she had already taken off with Jane and Banner in tow. The mild-mannered Doctor Banner had assured him that if something went wrong, he and Big Green would be able to protect the ladies. And Jane had explained that she had a portal device, ready and able to send enemies into cold, unforgiving space if they got too close.
It was about containing and keeping the line until reinforcements got there. He and the Asgardians could manage that.
"INTO THE FRAY!" Volstaag hollered and Bucky found himself letting out a similar battle cry to the the Asgardians as they rushed towards the nearest stopped vehicle that was letting out a dozen hydra operatives. There were at least fifteen trucks, loaded to the brim with those that were willing to give their lives to Hydra, and more specifically to Pierce.
He took down as many as he could with his handguns, before using Volstaag as cover to reload. Hydra was returning fire, obviously not caring if they put a few bullets into Bucky, when they knew they could just rip them out and he'd heal just fine. Bucky realized that the Asgardians were doing just fine as well, they was a good reason for them to be wearing armor, he supposed, although he'd prefer to stick with black kevlar.
And when a bullet grazed Sif's bicep, it only seemed to enrage her more, and she sent at least five men flying into the cool summer air.
"Hey, Stevie? ETA?" Bucky wondered. "They brought everyone here, I think...so, you know, everyone should probably BE HERE."
"Five minutes," Natasha promised.
"Hold on, Buck," Steve said softly. "I'm coming. They're not going to get you again."
"Not me, I'm worried about, pal," Bucky assured him.
Jane rolled her eyes at the maudlin dramatics of the 1940's super soldier boyfriends and poked Darcy in her arm as the younger woman drove like a person possessed. Bruce was starting to look green, and not in the fun Hulk way.
"I told you to take the dramamine," Jane muted her comm piece and gave Bruce a knowing look.
"Makes me sleepy," Bruce shrugged, swallowing nervously as Darcy took a wicked turn that had the RV up on two wheels.
"Where are we going, anyway?" Jane wondered. "I mean, Bucky should have just let me blip the whole Hydra army into space."
"Janie, you can't just go around blipping huge amounts of bad guys into space. Eventually? Space is going to get angry and send them back!" Darcy rolled her eyes.
"Meh," Jane shrugged. "Seriously, where are we going?"
"To the other side of the field?" Darcy answered. "We're going to flank them. Don't tell the super soldiers."
Jane laughed and flipped her portal device in her hand. She'd be able to see her little prototype in action soon. Natasha had given it high marks in the field, but it wasn't the same as being able to see the success for herself.
Bruce bent in half and threw up in the trash can he had anchored by his feet.
"I'd prefer if you let me out so I can go green," he mumbled. "At least the big guy doesn't get car sick."
"Yeah, but what if, huh?" Darcy wondered.
"Hulk vomit would probably be a great Hydra deterrent," Jane nodded.
"Oh....hold on!" Darcy called out. She saw as Jane discreetly turned her comm unit back on.
In the field behind the amassed Hydra forces was a single SUV, one that Darcy recognized as being next to the armored Jeep she and Bucky had used for their not so getaway from Hydra the day prior. It definitely stood out amongst all the empty trucks it was behind. "One of these things is not like the others. Because one of these things contains a mega douche nozzle."
"Strike Team Gamma, report," Pierce demanded as he watched his forces slowly but surely get closer and closer to where the signal of the Asset's arm had been hours earlier.
"No signs of the girl."
"Dammit," Pierce huffed an angry sigh. If he could get his hands on Darcy Lewis again, he could ensure some level of compliance from his Asset. The failsafe may be gone, but the core of the programming was still there. And he knew from the surveillance of them before everything had gone to hell that the Asset had feelings beyond the programming for the girl.
If anything could get someone like Bucky Barnes in line again with Hydra's company line, it was certainly the safety of his woman.
Three things happened very suddenly. A bolt of lightning struck the middle of the field, even though the night had been very clear until that point, the force of it threw dozens of his soldiers into the air, incapacitated and useless. A Shield issue quinnjet landed just behind where the Asset and the unknown warriors were holding the line from the camp, a familiar figure in red white and blue bursting out of it and immediately rushing to the Asset's side, shield at the ready.
And the last thing, was the sight of blinking headlights behind him and an obnoxious horn honking seconds before his own stationary vehicle was slammed into from behind, the force of it sent his vehicle through the air, flying forward and over, so that he tumbled in the backseat, his head smacking unforgivingly against the roof of the car. It landed with a crunch of metal on its roof and Pierce blinked his eyes open in pain and annoyance.
Just in time to see the offensive headlights on the RV zooming towards him again. He could just make out a small woman behind the wheel, dark brunette curls and pale skin, with a determined glare on an otherwise pretty face.
"Shit," he hissed as he tried to get out of the vehicle. His struggles were all in vain as Darcy Lewis ruthlessly slammed the RV into the prone, flipped over car, the grill of her vehicle sticking into the side of his as she pressed her foot to the floor and pushed his car until it was trapped between her vehicle and one of the empty transport units.
He could feel a metal beam from the wreck of his vehicle pressing against his shoulder, slowly but surely breaking the skin and then pressing through his flesh. Eventually, the vehicle would crumple no further under Darcy's makeshift compactor, and she threw the RV in reverse, pulling the side of his car along with her. Including the metal beam that was currently attached to him.
He hands grabbed onto the metal, knowing that if it was dislodged from his body, he'd bleed out in no time. He groaned out in pain as she drove backwards on the field. It felt like an eternity, but was probably closer to thirty seconds before she stopped.
He recognized the sound of Iron Man's repulsors and he looked up, almost happy to know that Stark was there to handle things. It wasn't Iron Man or War Machine however, it was one very angry Darcy Lewis, an Iron Man guantlet on her left hand and a dangerous looking, definitely Stark modified taser in her right.
"What's up, muppet movie villain dude?" she looked over him from head to toe, her eyes lingering on the metal that had pushed all the way through his entire body. "Were you looking for me?"
Chapter Twelve: Somewhere Out There is a Tree, Tirelessly Providing Oxygen So You Can Breathe. I Think You Owe it an Apology
Bucky and Steve were fighting back to back for the first time in a very, very long time. They hadn't done something like this since Brooklyn in 1941, to be exact. Even during the war, Bucky's role had been sniper, and while he had defended and protected Steve as a Howling Commando, they had not fought back to back then. At that moment, fighting the hordes of Hydra that had come upon Jane's field, they were once again, working as a unit, although with very different results. They had barely managed to get out of that alleyway in 1941 under their own power. This time, Steve with his shield and his strength and Bucky with his shiny, powerful metal arm and wicked skills with his knives and his guns, they were rapidly thinning out the crowd of unfriendly Hydra forces.
“True shield mates!” Thor held up the hammer towards Bucky and Steve. “The lovemaking must be stupendous.”
“Oh my god, this is the best day ever,” Tony laughed over the comms. “Leave some bad guys for me, I'm like five minutes away.”
They heard the sounds of a honking horn over the sound of the fighting and both Bucky and Steve looked to the opposite side of the field, about a mile away and saw a very familiar RV. A blur of black tactical suit and red hair shot past Steve and Bucky, rushing into the fray. Natasha practically was running on top of the heads of the enemy, her only goal was getting to the RV.
“Jane?” Bucky asked through the comms. “Jane, please tell me that's not you over there!”
“Uhm...it's not me over here?” Jane came back. “Oh crap, hold on Bruce!”
The crash of the RV echoed throughout the field, causing everyone to pause for one moment as the very familiar RV honked again and smashed into the stationary vehicle. They saw the SUV flip, and the RV continue on, smashing the SUV against a transport vehicle, then slowly move back.
“Darcy,” Steve breathed, and both he and Bucky took off at a wickedly fast sprint towards the vehicles, wincing when Darcy got out of the RV, a taser in one hand and an Iron man gauntlet on the other. She was breathtaking in her righteous anger and Steve had to shake himself out of a momentary desirous haze at seeing her like that. She was in danger.
“Darcy!” Bucky yelled as he and Steve ran as fast as they possibly could to their very, very angry girl. His reaction was very different to Steve's. He knew who was back there. And he knew what Pierce was capable of. Darcy was not safe.
Darcy let the taser's charge land squarely on Pierce's gut and dropped it after the charge let loose in the man's body. She swallowed as he spasmed with pain, his hands gripping onto the large piece of metal through his left shoulder.
“Did that hurt enough?” she wondered. “Does it hurt as much as the wipes hurt Bucky?”
“Hardly,” Pierce answered, his mouth full of blood. “It takes a lot to hurt a man like my Asset.”
Darcy let the gauntlet blast a pulse of energy on Pierce's midsection. Not enough to kill, but enough to give pain. She wasn't done giving him pain yet.
“ He's not yours ,” Darcy spat out. “He's mine and Steve's.”
“ He will always be mine,” Pierce promised, wincing as she blasted him again. He spit out a mouthful of blood while reaching into his jacket pocket with surprising quickness. The gun rang out in the night just as Bucky and Steve arrived on the scene and Darcy fell to her knees, the bullet going straight through her shoulder, just as Bucky's shot had done to Jane.
Natasha had been overtaken on the run to Darcy by Bucky and Steve, but she was lightning fast as she came upon the scene, coming out of nowhere. She'd disarmed the bleeding and broken Hydra leader in a heartbeat as both Bucky and Steve let her to it, going straight for Darcy, falling to their knees beside her.
“Babydoll, are you okay?” Steve asked as he pressed his hands against her shoulder to stop the bleeding. “I need a flier over here, we need to get Darcy to a hospital!”
“I'm okay,” Darcy insisted, attempting to get up as Jane and Bruce flew out of the RV.
“No, you're not!” Bucky barked out, tears clouding his eyes as he stared down at her. It felt like he was dealing with a small, sickly Steve who would insist he was fine even if he had one foot in the grave. Perfect match, indeed. Bruce was suddenly at her side and wrapping her wound so someone could get her to a nearby hospital. “Angel, stay still, please.”
“I'm here,” Tony touched down twenty feet away, rushing towards them.
“Pierce, is he dead?” Darcy demanded.
Natasha walked towards them and gave them a nod, “He's handled.”
Darcy pushed at Steve's legs so he would stand aside so she could see for herself. Sure enough, the metal beam from Pierce's shoulder had been ripped out of his body and repositioned to his throat. Natasha had not been gentle.
“Good, you're safe now,” Darcy looked to Bucky with a small smile. Bucky let out a choked sound and he let his hand cradle her cheek gently for a brief moment before Steve pulled her up into his arms. Steve kissed her lips gently before handing her off to Tony. She held out her hands for Bucky and smiled bigger when Bucky gave her a similar light kiss against her lips. “Okay, Iron Dude. Painkillers at hospital now.”
“We'll take the quinnjet,” Natasha nodded to Steve and Bucky. She directed her next comment to Tony, “Do not leave her unattended.”
“Wasn't planning to,” Tony assured them before securing Darcy tight against him and rushing into the night sky.
“You guys go. Jane, you too,” Bruce nodded. “Big Green is going to take care of the rest of this party.”
Steve had the presence of mind to look away from the sky where he could barely make out the red and gold glint of the Iron Man suit before he grabbed Jane, pulling her into a fireman's carry and making the sprint back to the quinnjet with Bucky and Natasha by his side.
“Yeah, don't worry, we've got this!” Clint called out in bemusement. “HEY. BAD GOATEE ASGARDIAN, THAT WAS MY HYDRA AGENT TO GIVE PAIN TO!”
"How is she doing?"
"I'm sorry sir, but that information is restricted to family only," the nurse gave Bucky a small smile as he stood outside of the room Darcy had been taken to.
"I'm her husband," Bucky answered, his voice very quiet. Of course Steve would have to choose that moment to go to the bathroom, just as Darcy was getting ready to be wheeled out of the surgery that was supposed to mend her shoulder.
"I thought her husband was the one in the Captain America costume?" the doctor furrowed her brow, looking back down at the chart.
"That's me, hi, how is she doing?" Steve rushed up to stand by Bucky.
Bucky had been very, very quiet during the hour that Darcy had been in the operating room, sitting stiff and rigid next to Steve, his eyes going between the door that Darcy was behind to doing quick and efficient sweeps of the hallways. He needn't have worried. Natasha and Sam were stalking the hallways of the hospital and Tony had patched JARVIS into the security cameras. Darcy was safe as could be.
Steve didn't begrudge him the comfort that being of some kind of use in the situation gave, though. He wished he could have done something too. They'd arrived at the hospital to a hopeful looking Tony and been told Darcy would have to have surgery to mend a muscle that the bullet had done its best to destroy, but other than that she was in stable condition.
Bucky and Steve had sat side by side outside of the operating room, silent as could be. At one point, five minutes in, Steve had begun to silently cry. He was sitting next to Bucky. His Bucky. He was alive and seemed well enough for all the hell he'd been through. But his happiness couldn't feel complete until he saw Darcy safe and sound again. The joy of regaining one love with the very real idea of losing the other had Steve on the razor's edge and tears were his only opportunity to let some of the chaos whirling within him out.
Bucky had let his right hand drop from his knee and went to Steve's wrist, putting two fingers on his pulse point and slowly drawing a one inch line up and down. He had done it thousands of times before. Whenever Steve had an asthma attack when he was younger, it was Bucky's surefire remedy. The soft but insistent touch had always given Steve something to focus on as his lungs rebelled against his body.
When Steve had calmed down and run to the bathroom, Bucky took that moment to take a deep, steadying breath, feeling his own tears threaten to fall. He got up out of the chair and walked towards the door to the operating room, eager to try to steal some kind of information to soothe his fraying nerves. The doctor had come out moments later and Bucky wasted no time in asking after Darcy's state.
"She's going to be fine," the doctor nodded. "She's seriously dehydrated, malnourished, in pain and running a low grade fever, but time, rest and recuperation will do wonders for her. Also, vicodin."
Bucky wanted to make the smart ass comment that he KNEW what Darcy needed, and it wasn't vicodin. He watched as they wheeled her out of the room, passed out to the entire world, looking entirely too small and too vulnerable. Bucky started to follow, but Steve was talking with the doctor about followups and needing to stay overnight until her vitals leveled out. Bucky knew he wouldn't be allowed into her room alone.
He wasn't her husband after all.
He walked to stand next to Steve, radiating impatience when he finally realized what Steve was asking.
"She had an implant, it was...it was taken out without her consent. Is there a way we can get it replaced?" Steve wondered.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Rogers, but...you're married now," the doctor shrugged, as if that could explain everything.
"But, we're not ready," Steve shook his head in confusion.
"Matched and married women over the age of 18 are not eligible for a new implant," the doctor explained with a little annoyance. Any idiot on the planet should have known this. "You'll have to file a request with the WCHS, but I can guarantee you, if you haven't had your two children, they'll deny it."
An announcement went off and the doctor nodded at them, "That's me. Please see the nurse assigned to your room should you have any more questions."
"Thank you," Steve nodded as she walked off. He turned to Bucky and took a deep, exasperated breath. "This world is so screwed up, Buck."
"You ain't kidding," Bucky nodded. "C'mon, I want to go see our girl."
Seeing Darcy was about the only thing they could do. She was in a deep sleep, with an IV bag giving her much needed nutrients. Natasha and Sam had dropped in on their obsessive parameter runs of the hospital, two large bags of food and drink from the hospital commissary in hand. Natasha had smoothed Darcy's hair back and given her a soft smile before nodding at both Bucky and Steve.
"Cleanup at the field is complete," she reported. "Pepper's already bought the field and is ready to start filing permits for building as soon as she can."
Steve nodded. It was a good idea to make the point where Thor can come down to Earth a permanent base of some kind. Of course Pepper had been on top of things.
"Are the two of you willing to have children so soon?" Natasha asked bluntly, with no buildup to the invasive question at all.
"Jesus, your bedside manner is shit," Sam rolled his eyes.
"We---I, there's," Steve stammered looking to Bucky for some kind of assistance. Did he want to have children with Darcy? Absolutely. He couldn't wait to see her walking around with a hand on the swell of a pregnant belly that he had a hand in helping her to create.
"You haven't discussed it yet?" Natasha furrowed her brow.
"I figured when she wanted to, she'd bring it up," Steve shrugged. "She had the implant and it's her body. It's really not something we were talking about, seeing as after we got married we were...you know dealing with other stuff."
"I don't like her being vulnerable, or in pain. I'd prefer if you could sleep with her, a lot," Natasha said simply. "We won't know if Hydra still wants her or Bucky until we sort through the rubble and wait for it."
"The doctor said she wouldn't get another implant," Bucky furrowed her brow. "How can they do that?"
"They can do whatever they want," Sam replied. "They kind of control the world."
"Not all of it."
Bruce was at the door, his hand holding onto a slightly taller brunette, both with friendly smiles on their faces.
"This is Doctor Betty Ross," Bruce gestured to his companion. "And she has a solution to the problem."
"When she wakes up, we can discuss her options," Betty explained. "I've developed my own implant that we can put in, or we have a pill she could take. Both of them are way more effective than what the WCHS slaps into young girls nowadays."
"We're going to go do another check," Natasha nodded, pushing Sam to the door.
"Eat that food!" Sam ordered as he tried to stop Natasha from manhandling him and failed. "You're going to need your strength, I think."
Ten hours after her surgery, Darcy began to stir. Both of her hands grasped, and Bucky and Steve, who had not stopped watching her like a hawk except for mandatory bathroom breaks and Sam Wilson literally pushing food in their faces, had each gripped one of her hands in response.
Steve had spent the downtime telling Bucky every last detail of he and Darcy's adventure at the start of the summer. Bucky, of course, already knew the details of the actual wedding. Bucky had returned the favor and told him every excruciating detail of Darcy's time away from Steve.
"Thank you so much for keeping her safe, Buck," Steve sighed as Darcy continued to wriggle in her sleep, squeezing both of their hands.
"Just because that whiskey the alien guy gave me made my memories work again and my brain feel alright, doesn't mean that I don't know I hurt her," Bucky said softly. "But I figure the best way to say sorry for that is doing exactly as she tells me for the rest of my days."
Steve chuckled and watched as Darcy blinked swollen eyes open very very slowly. She made an impatient squeaking noise in the back of her throat, and Bucky had a straw with a glass of cool water in front of her face in a heartbeat, never once letting go of her hand.
"Thanks," she rasped out her gaze going between Steve and Bucky continuously. "Loveyou."
"I love you too, Babydoll," Steve smiled at her.
"Good, now get outta here," Darcy pulled her hands away from them, eliciting sounds of protest from them both. "Ya stink."
"You do," Natasha assured them from the door, Betty at her side. "Pepper has another RV delivered outside. There's not enough room in the shower for the both of you, but it should do while we get things sorted with Darcy."
"ppppppppeeeeeyoooouuuuu," Darcy weakly waved her good arm in front of her face. "Don't want no kisses from stinky boys."
"You're gonna get one whether you like it or not," Steve arched an eyebrow at her before rising from his seat and placing a very gentle kiss on her lips. He rolled his eyes when she started to pretend choke at the fumes coming off of him and retaliated by pressing kisses all over her face while she mimed vomiting.
Bucky smiled at their adorable antics, a comfortable golden warmth settling in his gut at the sight of them. He rose from his chair and took a deep breath, intent on getting to the RV and the shower as quickly as possible so that he could get back and just stare at them some more.
Darcy pushed at Steve's shoulder and held out her hand for Bucky as he tried to make a clean getaway.
"Hey, hey! Get back here," Darcy huffed out in annoyance. She pointed to her pouted lips and made impatient little squeaks again. “Pay the toll, Mister.”
Steve grinned and stepped aside, blatantly ignoring the way Natasha smirked and Betty's eyebrows rose as Bucky shuffled back to Darcy's side and bent down to plant a very lovely little kiss against her lips.
"Yeah, you're stinky too. Go away now," Darcy shooed them.
Bucky gave her a salute and suddenly made a quick move to the door, Natasha pulling Betty out of the way. Steve realized too late that Bucky would get to the shower first and rolled his eyes as he followed him out of the door.
"Buck, come on, wait up!"
"So..." Natasha cocked her head at Darcy curiously.
"Soooooooo?" Darcy repeated with a shrug of her shoulders that had her wincing from the pain of it. "Fuck, that hurts."
"I can help with that," Betty announced, bringing her medical bag to Darcy's bedside table. She turned to Natasha who closed the door and did a quick sweep for bugs. "Pill or implant?"
"Oh, implant, I can't even remember to eat a vegetable every day, much less take a pill," Darcy nodded. She held out her arm and looked back at Natasha while Betty prepped her.
"So," Natasha repeated.
"Soooo?" Darcy repeated, using exaggerated eyebrow movements since her shoulder was currently useless.
"SHOULDER WOUND TWINSIES!" Jane shouted as she pushed the door open, followed by a smiling Thor, who had bags upon bags heaped in his arms, along with a stack of eight pizza boxes.
Betty was holding up a small scalpel and took a deep, steadying breath as she tried to not let the abrupt arrival of Jane and Thor distract her from her work. Jane ignored any and all consequences to her noisy arrival and helped to unload Thor, putting a bag of clothing down before piling all eight pizzas on Darcy's table. She dug in another bag and came up with a handful of stuffed animals.
"Look!" she exclaimed gleefully, juggling the Avengers stuffed animals in her hands. "Thor has a little hammer. And Steve has a little shield."
"What do I have?" Natasha furrowed her brow.
"Very dangerous looking guns," Jane answered. Natasha nodded her approval and Jane smiled before piling up all the stuffed animals on Darcy's lap, then pulling a box of pizza on the bed as she squished in next to the injured girl.
"You are well, Lady Darcy?" Thor wondered as Betty injected the implant before going to work on bandaging her up.
"Oh, just getting something put back in that the bad guys tried to take out," Darcy explained.
"Birth control. Remember, God of Fertility. No babies until I say so," Jane pointed to her own upper arm. "Now Darcy can have super soldier sexy times and her wounds will heal up way faster. Too bad your stuff doesn't come with magical healing powers. Then you'd be pretty much perfect."
"I will be sure to give you no other reason to complain, my lady," Thor gave her a panty melting smile.
"hubba hubba," Darcy waggled her eyebrows again.
"HEY, mine, you have TWO of them now, you don't need mine as well," Jane waved a slice of pizza at her. "Eat this, and I'll help you shower, just like when you vomited your guts out after Thor left New Mexico and you thought you could out drink me on one buck chuck."
“You're all set,” Betty gave Darcy a small, reassuring smile. “Give it about ten hours to take effect then...go crazy.”
“Just ten hours?” Darcy asked incredulously.
“I'm that good,” Betty grinned.
"So," Natasha repeated again as Betty began putting her equipment away again. "Two of them?"
"Aye, 'tis a perfect triumvirate soul match. Very rare, but beautiful and powerful," Thor nodded, giving Darcy a proud smile. "I understand why you need to take precautions, little Darcy. Surely you would be with child in no time if you did not."
"Uhm." Darcy furrowed her brow.
"The both of them?" Betty blinked. "How...how does that work?"
"The combinations are highly enjoyable," Thor smiled. "Fandral has told many a tale of---"
"What did you mean, soul match?" Jane cut in before Thor could get into porny story telling mode.
"Soul match. As you are mine," Thor nodded. "You talked of it as an agency when I first came to you."
"And you said you didn't have that," Jane disputed.
"No, certainly not. The power of the match would diminish in being aided and abetted in such a way," Thor shook his head in amusement. "I will admit, that whoever established the original science behind your agency is brilliant to have discovered the science behind the soul match. But the Norn's are more pleased when the threads of fate can do their work and not some paltry test."
"But...how do you know you're matched then?" Natasha wondered.
"Do you not feel it with your archer, Widow? And Jane, you felt it certainly when I took you to your bed this morning," Thor nodded in fond remembrance. He turned to Darcy and nodded, "You have felt it with the Captain, and will no doubt feel it with your third. The need. The pull. The contentment when your souls are joined."
"Woah," Darcy blinked, her mouth open just wide enough for Jane to shove pizza into it. She knew what Thor was talking about. Definitely.
"So, it's normal for you, to see Darcy with both men?" Betty wondered.
"Not only normal, it is truly beautiful!" Thor insisted. "And those that would ever attempt to pull their souls apart would surely be fated for doom and destruction. The Norns do not like seeing their beautiful work pulled apart and ruined."
"Woah," Darcy repeated and Jane popped more pizza into her mouth. "Okay...I'm ready for showering now."
Chapter Thirteen: I Have Neither the Time Nor the Crayons to Explain This to You
When Bucky stepped out of the shower, Steve was digging through bags full of brand new clothing that must have been provided by Natasha and had been helpfully labeled with a yellow post it note stating There will be no complaints about the free clothing .
“Shirts are too small,” Bucky announced, gripping a towel around his waist. “All of your shirts are too small.”
“Darcy buys 'em for me, she likes 'em so I'm not complaining,” Steve shrugged, looking up and feeling the strange combination of anger and want. The want was obviously because of the sight of a wet and beautiful Bucky, fresh from a hot shower, a towel tied low on his hips. Anger, because of the sight of the metal arm. The arm had already been cemented into Steve's mind as Hydra's. It was forever tied to Bucky's pain...to Darcy's pain.
Bucky must have recognized the anger, because he looked down, crest-fallen.
“I remember everything now, thanks to whatever the Asgardians gave me,” Bucky whispered. “Everything. And I understand, Stevie, I do, if---when it comes down to it, you don't want me. I won't lie, it'll hurt and I would be sad, but I'm...the things I did, well, I wouldn't want me.”
“It wasn't you,” Steve interrupted, his voice firm.
“Still. I would understand,” Bucky shrugged. "I know I'm no good for Darcy or for you."
Steve reached for him, hands on his shoulders, one flesh and one metal and pulled him into a kiss. It was a firm, needy pull of his lips between his, conveying something he couldn't without words. Bucky leaned in when Steve pulled away, chasing for more.
“I will never not want you, and I will never stop loving you,” Steve said resolutely. “It's...just. I'll be completely honest with you, here. Because Darcy would be really angry if I wasn't. It's the arm, Buck. I---I look at it and I see, Hydra. I see all the pain. And I feel terrible about it because I could have---if I had went looking for you after you fell, if I had done the search myself instead of leaving Phillips to send out men to look for your body, I could have stopped it all.”
“Steve, no, you can't blame yourself here,” Bucky shook his head, pressing his lips against Steve's again, his touch was soothing and gentle, unlike Steve's rushed, wanting kiss. His right hand stroked Steve's jaw, but his left hand stayed solidly at his side. He went so far as to move it out of the way when Steve's hands began stroking up and down his torso.
“Buck,” Steve whispered against his lips. He grabbed Bucky's left hand and looked down. “I don't want you to hold back. It's a part of you. Then it's a part of me too.”
Steve moved his lips to Bucky's jaw, moving slowly and languidly down his neck until he nipped at the juncture of his shoulder and his neck. Bucky's breathing was uneven as Steve's persistent kisses landed on scars and finally the line where metal and flesh met. He felt Steve's hands on his hips, those long fingers curling under the towel.
“No,” Bucky whispered. “We do this right. With Darcy.”
“Alright,” Steve nodded. His smile was genuine and downright bashful. “Can't believe it.”
“Believe it, punk,” Bucky kissed his lips very briefly before pushing him away again. “Go and shower. You stink.”
“Hey kid. How are you doing?”
Darcy winced as she tried to comb through her hair, fresh from her very strategic and careful shower. She looked to see Sam standing in the doorway and smiled at him as big and bright as she could.
“You can drop the act,” Sam assured her.
“What act?” Darcy shrugged and winced. “I'm good. Pierce is dead. Hydra is well on its way to being burned to the ground. Steve is safe. Bucky is safe. Everyone I care about is safe. Life is joyous, Sammy. Spread the joy.”
“Darcy Marie Lewis-Rogers,” Sam repeated. He'd heard the full name when they had told Jane that Darcy had been taken. The astrophysicist had muttered it in angry annoyance before bursting into tears that no one could console her out of.
Darcy pulled the wide toothed comb through her wet and tangled locks and winced as her shoulder jostled again. She carefully put the comb down on the bed and looked down at the comfortable, soft black capri pants she had changed into. Natasha had provided her with a bag of clothing and toiletries that were way above her normal price threshold after Betty was done and told her to call her back in the room when she was ready to have her hair done.
Except Darcy didn't call Natasha in to have her hair done. Even though she knew Natasha could do the really cool braiding that made Darcy feel like a swiss milk maid, only sexier. Darcy was currently sitting in a hospital bed, still tired, still hurting and still just a little bit rung out and she was trying to do her own hair. Because she had to do something for herself.
“What do you want me to say?” Darcy demanded angrily. “I mean, obviously either Steve or Natasha sent you here to talk to me...”
“No, they didn't,” Sam shook his head. “Darce...I could hear what was happening over the comms.”
Darcy's eyes went wide in terror, and tears started to form.
“So...everyone---everyone heard?” she whispered.
“I'm sorry, Darce, but yeah, we did,” Sam nodded.
“It wasn't his fault, please don't think less of Bucky,” Darcy shook her head, a few tears finding their ways down her cheeks.
“I'm not worrying about Bucky right now,” Sam shook his head in mild disbelief. He had to remember who he was dealing with. In the selfless race, Darcy edged Steve out by a nose. “I'm worried about you.”
“I'm fine,” Darcy shrugged, her face more blank than he had ever seen it. Darcy's face was very...expressive on a boring day. The blankness was new and terrifying.
“Darce, come on. It's just you and me right now,” Sam said softly.
“I'm fine,” Darcy insisted. She shook her head and opened her mouth briefly before shutting it and shaking her head. “It wasn't Bucky. It wasn't him doing those things.”
“It doesn't matter who it was, it still happened,” Sam gave her a sympathetic smile. “To you.”
“Nothing happened. It stopped before anything could happen,” Darcy shook her head, the blankness going away and being replaced with that falsely bright smile that didn't belong on her face. The placid expression wasn't quite a Darcy-esque grin. “So now, it's only about the good, from here on out.”
Bucky had stopped ten or fifteen feet away from Darcy's room when he heard Darcy say his name. He had begun to walk away, not wanting to eavesdrop but lingered long enough to understand the conversation well enough. He had the benefit of hearing her voice, and not seeing her expression. He could hear the pauses. The fear. He looked down at his hands, the metal of his left covered by a black glove.
“Sammy? Do me a favor?”
“Make sure the rest of the team doesn't---that they don't punish Bucky in anyway, okay? It---it wasn't him.”
Natasha drove them back to the hotel in the RV once Darcy had been discharged from the hospital. Steve had spent the whole ride going over her prescriptions and the doctor's directions for her care. Bucky furrowed his brow, not understanding why that was necessary. If Bucky had his way, Darcy wouldn't need any of that, as she'd be hopped up on super serum side effects as soon as possible.
And he didn't mean from him.
Now that the adrenaline had worn off from their escape from Hydra and their subsequent battle against Hydra...now that the initial euphoria from having his memories returned and his psyche made suddenly whole again...now that he had time to see the aftermath, he could come to solid decisions.
He wanted them. He wanted the blissful happy ending that he knew he didn't deserve. And maybe someday he would get it, but he had penance to pay, and he would pay it in full.
“Did you finish that soup, sweetheart?” Steve asked from the front seat as he finally finished re-reading everything pertaining to Darcy's care. He turned and looked back to the table and saw that the take out container was about half way done. “Babydoll, you need to eat.”
“I had pizza and pudding cups,” Darcy insisted. “Like, five chocolate pudding cups. You can't put a whole can of soup on top of that unless you want me to spew forth like a gross, vomity geyser.”
“No, I don't want that,” Steve rolled his eyes at her. “Bucky finished his soup.”
“Bucky's a kiss ass,” Darcy shot right back. Natasha pulled the vehicle to a stop in front of their hotel and Darcy stood slowly, taking her bowl and Bucky's and racing as fast as her injuries would allow her to the door to exit. Bucky was quick to follow her and placed a gentle hand on her uninjured shoulder to stop her. Darcy did her best not to flinch and put on a bright smile, “Bucky, honey, I can open a door for myself.”
“I know you can do all sorts of things for yourself, Angel,” Bucky nodded. “But indulge me, and let me do a perimeter check before you rush out.”
“Oh, right,” Darcy nodded, stepping away from the door. Steve was next to her while Bucky and Natasha exited the vehicle and she looked up at him with a contrite expression. “I don't like hiding.”
“I know, sweetheart,” Steve nodded, pulling her into a delicate embrace. He sighed as she melted against him, her body loose and pliant. “Just think of it as not hiding, but letting Natasha and Bucky feel useful in keeping you safe.”
“Is this going to be what our lives are like now?” Darcy wondered softly. “Always looking around the corner to see if someone is going to come and grab one of us?”
“You know it might be,” Steve acknowledged. “But, if it means that I never have to go through the hell of not having you with me again, I'll do it. I'll do whatever it takes. I can't...I'm never letting you go. You're my other half.”
“Technically I'm your other third,” Darcy whispered. “Thor was saying...that the matching that we do here on good ole Midgard? It's based in real Asgardian voodoo. The three of us...we're meant to be.”
“Who'd of ever thought?” Steve smiled at her, bending at the knee so that he could kiss her lips so she wouldn't have to stretch up. He pulled away and looked right into her eyes with that warm, all encompassing love that always made everything that was wrong, right. He took a deep breath before saying gently, “Sweetheart....Darcy. Bucky and I, we're not in a rush to...to...”
“Have hot threesome sex?” Darcy finished for him.
“I'm having some issues,” Steve whispered. “When I look at Bucky...his arm. I get angry. I keep seeing that arm touching you and hearing you begging for him to stop and I know, it wasn't him, and I love him, Darcy, I do. I'm just---”
“Angry at Bucky?” Darcy shook her head in disbelief. She took in a shaky breath and her whisper was desperate, “Please don't be angry at him, it wasn't his fault. Be angry at that assface from Hydra as he rots in hell.”
“I think...I think it's. Sweetheart, I feel guilty,” Steve admitted. “And it's making me angry. At everything.”
“Stevie, cutie, why on Earth do you feel guilty?” Darcy frowned at the idea of it.
“I left you both behind. When Bucky fell from the train, I should have looked. I should have searched,” Steve admitted. “And I should have never left your side. I should have never left you out of my sight.”
“Stop it right now,” Darcy ordered. She kissed him fiercely and pulled away, “You are not to blame for what happened to Bucky. Or me. Steven Grant Rogers, if you don't believe me on this, you and I are going to have a big problem.”
Steve looked down at her in surprise. They had never argued in all of their time together, not really. Sure there had been joking play fighting and the occasional battle over which pizza place to order from, but in their short time together, there had not been one big problem.
“Don't look like a hurt puppy,” Darcy shook her head. “I love you far too much to have you beating yourself up on not being able to save the whole world all the time.”
“I know I can't save the whole world, but I should be able to save the people I love,” Steve kissed her again.
“But Steve, you did save both me and Bucky. You tore down the people who had taken us both,” Darcy insisted. “Please, for me, just believe that, okay?”
“God, I love you so much,” Steve sniffed. He nuzzled his nose in her hair and whispered, “What'd I do to deserve you?”
“You saved the world a bunch?” Darcy joked. “What time is it?”
“About five in the afternoon,” Steve murmured into her hair.
“Oh, good, that's almost ten hours,” Darcy pulled away. “We have time to track down our third, find enough food to keep us barricaded in the room for the next two days at least, and then get me all kinds of laid.”
“Seriously, babydoll, I just---I love you so much.”
Bucky found the archer dropping down from a vent shaft near a first floor exit that seemed particularly vulnerable. It came as something of a shock, since he had done a sweep of the first floor of the very secure hotel and had thought everything, for once, would be fine. To have such easily accessible vents was a worry and the archer looked smug for having gotten the drop on him.
Punch him in the face so he knows not to do that anymore .
“I was just setting some traps, so no one else could go through 'em,” the archer explained. He held out his hand and nodded. “Clint Barton.”
“No one else could go through them, but you still could?” Bucky gave him an unimpressed look, but held out his hand anyway to shake it. He remembered seeing Natalia talking softly with Clint in the hallway of the hospital. Something in the Russian's understated body language stating that the archer was important to her. “You're Natalia's?”
“ Hey man, we're like...a team. She's not my owner ,” Clint huffed out.
“It wasn't meant to be an insult,” Bucky shrugged. “Nothing wrong with being owned by the love of a good woman.”
“You would know?” Clint wondered amiably.
“I---yes,” Bucky nodded. “Yeah, I know.”
“I'm going to ask you one question, but before I do, you should know something about me. A few months ago, I had the distinct displeasure of being trapped in my own brain, my will was taken and I was forced to do a lot of shit I would have never thought about doing before,” Clint pursed his lips in remembrance of what had done at the will of Loki's scepter. “Are you ready to talk about it, yet?”
“No,” Bucky shook his head. “Whatever the Asgardian gave me, it's still making me happy. Too happy. I can't see past the joy of being whole and having everything I always wanted right at my fingertips. I know there's bad there. I feel---she deserves to be upset with me. To never want to look at my face again. Steve too...he heard her, saw what they tried to make me do to his wife.”
“I killed people that I had called friends. Tried to hurt Tasha,” Clint looked down, his face full of guilt and desolation. “My body was hijacked, I could see what I was doing, but I couldn't stop it.”
“Yeah,” Bucky nodded. “Awful.”
“Nothing I can say to you will make that go away,” Clint admitted. “But, would you have ever done what you did, if you could have controlled yourself?”
“God, no,” Bucky shook his head. “She's Steve's wife. She's...she's so good and perfect and the last thing I would ever want to do is hurt her. I would---I could never.”
“Well, that clears a lot up,” Clint nodded. “You would have never done it, if Hydra hadn't of used you and forced you. It's not your fault.”
“Still, it was my face, my hands,” Bucky looked down at his hands and felt his jaw tick at the metal of his left. “Doesn't matter that I was screaming in my head the whole time to stop. I'll never put another hand on her if it would make her feel better.”
“Oh pal, I saw her talking it over with Foster about an hour ago,” Clint gave him a chuckle. “You got another thing coming if you think she's not expecting you to put a hand or two on her.”
“What?” Bucky felt his pulse jump.
“I read lips, and Darcy was bragging to Foster about her getting her bullet wound all healed up in no time with her super soldiers,” Clint waggled his eyebrows. “So...you know, be prepared for that. And maybe know that, if you wallow in the guilt and the shame of something that wasn't your fault, imagine how that'd make her feel? Like...she was someone you didn't want.”
“She knows how much I want her,” Bucky shook his head. “It's not fair how much I want her.”
“Yeah...high match. We all know. We've seen it firsthand with her and Steve,” Clint nodded. He clapped Bucky on the shoulder. “Tasha and JARVIS and I are going to keep this place safe as anything. Don't worry. Focus on your own shit. Okay? Just...I can't take away your guilt. No one can but you, okay?”
"And really, get a good stretch in before you guys start to go at it," Clint smirked.
"Pal, I've known Darcy about a year now and if there is one thing I know about her, it's that she always gets what she wants. She wants you and you want her too so just...don't try to push her away out of guilt that doesn't belong to you," Clint advised him. "And also, I stashed lube in your room. Everywhere. Enjoy."
Chapter Fourteen: Bet Your Brain Feels as Good as New, Since You Never Use It
“How much of that candy has she eaten so far?” Bucky questioned from the couch as Darcy dug through the bags of provisions that had been waiting in their hotel room for them.
“Don't ask,” Steve shook his head as Darcy ripped into a bag of twizzlers and shoved one in her mouth. “And I'm not going to complain about her eating her body weight in sugar. Calories are calories at this point. She's lost ten pounds in the last week.”
“Stevie likes having something to hold onto,” Darcy gave Bucky a lewd little wink before sucking half the twizzler into her mouth.
“Babydoll, I'm not the only one,” Steve nudged Bucky with his elbow.
Bucky gave Darcy a once over, comparing her current appearance to the one that had been programmed in his mind. The pictures that programming had used did have her face a little fuller. Her belly had been a little rounder. She'd been his ideal woman and still very much was. Bucky from 1942 and Bucky at that moment wanted nothing more than to feel those soft pillowy curves underneath him. She had the kind of soft, full body that he had waxed poetic about during nights in the barracks, days down on the docks, or at the bar with the Howling Commandos. He and Stevie had always liked the softest of girls.
“I'm a lucky girl,” Darcy sighed, walking towards the couch her matches were sitting on, her bag of candy in hand. She sat sideways on Steve's lap, her legs across Bucky's lap and began chomping down on another piece of candy.
“Angel, I'm the lucky one,” Bucky insisted, staring down at the legs she had thrown into his lap. The soft black pants she had on were long enough to fall just below her knees, but they were loose and he knew if he put his hands on her, his fingertips could drift upwards.
His hand did touch the bandage on her calf, to the wound that should have healed up properly already, furrowing his brow as he looked to Steve expectantly.
“Did you know, that before I met Steve, I was a virgin?” Darcy blurted out before stuffing her face full of candy. She nodded her head to a blushing Steve and barely got out around her mouthful of sweets, “He defiled the crap outta me and turned me into a nymphomaniac.”
Her surprise announcement had the intended effect. Bucky's eyes nearly bugged out of his head and his mouth gaped open. Darcy quickly swallowed her candy and leaned forward, sucking his bottom lip between her own. Steve drew in a quick breath, her movement had caused her to shift against his lap in a very pleasant way, and the visual of Darcy, avidly trying to kiss Bucky out of his current state of shock was absolutely awe inspiring.
“What's the matter with this world?” Bucky rasped out when Darcy pulled her sweet, candy flavored lips away. He looked to Steve and asked very seriously, “Did you treat her right?”
“Did my best,” Steve shrugged. One of his hands was wrapped around Darcy, securing her in his lap. The other hand dropped to Bucky's thigh, his large palm placing warm pressure through the jeans Bucky had on. Steve pressed his lips to Darcy's collarbone and asked, “Did I do right by you, babydoll?”
“Don't remember,” Darcy's face had gone downright mischievous.
“Show me how you did right by her,” Bucky demanded, sounding very much like the voice that had kept Steve company since the moment Bucky had fallen. “I'll let you know if you did anything wrong or missed anything.”
Steve squeezed Bucky's thigh and took his mouth from placing lovely little kisses against Darcy's skin before turning to Bucky and leaning into him, lips wet and searching. Darcy let out a low hum of approval as their mouths met, hot and searching and hard. Steve didn't kiss her like that, his most passionate kisses for her were still tinged with a gentleness that she appreciated. And Bucky hadn't kissed her like that yet, either. Their kiss was powerful and wicked and passionate and she could feel Steve twitching against her at the feeling of it.
Bucky pulled away first and pushed at Steve's shoulders to get him to do something, to move, to do anything. Steve gave him a slow, lazy grin before standing up, securing Darcy's body to his and moving her back towards the bed.
“How're you gonna see from all the way over there?” Darcy demanded obnoxiously.
She knew that there was a reason they were doing it this way. But Bucky had to be close enough to make it effective. She giggled as Steve began to gently remove her clothing, placing wet, open mouthed kisses on every expanse of skin he revealed. Bucky had ambled over to the king sized bed, sitting on the edge of it at the head board, staring down as Steve removed her pants and panties in one fell swoop.
Before Bucky could see the ugly dark green and gray bruises in the shape of his hands on Darcy's thighs, Steve had put his own large hands over the marks, covering them completely. He knelt between her thighs and placed kisses at the the juncture of her leg and the apex of her thighs, spots that he knew would have that heat roiling in her gut.
“Help a fella out, pal,” Steve whispered, looking up to her bra. He saw the hesitation in Bucky's eyes and chose that moment to lick a line from Darcy's sweet center to the soft brown curls that framed that beautiful little piece of heaven, causing her to arch her back off the bed and then wince at the pain in her shoulder.
Bucky nodded, swallowing deeply as he went to undo her bra, gently pulling it off of her body, ever mindful of her shoulder injury. One strong little hand reached up and pulled at Bucky's hair, yanking him down to her breasts as Steve continued to lick and suck avidly at her wetness.
“So beautiful,” Bucky murmured before pressing a gentle kiss on the swell of each of her breasts. He could feel that pull for her, the want and it overrode any last drop of guilt or shame he may have felt as his lips parted and he sucked one pert nipple into his mouth. His tongue rolled around her flesh and he relished in the way she pulled at his hair in her pleasure.
“Are you ours now, babydoll?” Steve asked, grinning into her skin when he eased one finger into her opening and felt her clenching around him. “Our beautiful girl feels so wet and ready. You're ust like heaven, sweetheart.”
“You're not the dirty talker,” Bucky chuckled. He looked up at Darcy and asked, “What'd you do to him to get him to talk?”
“She likes it a lot,” Steve shrugged. "I do what she likes."
“Do you, Angel?” Bucky wondered, going to her other nipple and lavishing it with the same praise he had done for the other. She let out a long, drawn out moan, with Steve between her thighs and Bucky's hands and mouth on her breasts, she was halfway to ecstasy already. “I taught him everything he knows.”
“Prove it,” Darcy challenged, her little arched eyebrow going back down as she moaned in undiluted pleasure.
“My sweet, perfect Angel,” Bucky sighed against her skin. “You ready to have Stevie make you feel better? Don't know if he wants to stop tasting you. I would never want to stop making you moan like that.”
Steve withdrew his fingers from stroking inside of her, and held them up to Bucky. He wasted no time in turning his head and drawing the slick digits into his mouth, sucking and licking at them. He moaned at the perfect taste of her, sweet and tart and salty enough for him to crave more and more of her.
“Fucking hell, I'd never stop,” Bucky promised, looking up at her face as Steve went back to his honest work. “One day, Angel, can you just let me bury my face against you and just let me lick and suck those sweet juices out of you until you don't know your own name anymore? I want my tongue inside of you, over and over again until you're coming around me with that sweet little pussy.”
“Fuck,” Darcy whimpered as Steve took Bucky's words as a guideline, his tongue circling her entrance and driving inside of her at a steady, perfect pace. Bucky's right hand drifted down her body and his middle finger found her clit, rubbing it in smooth, steady circles. He was sucking and licking at her nipples once more and between the both of them, she was ready to fly up into the stratosphere. Steve's hands were on her thighs again, and he gave them just the right squeeze and suddenly she was bucking her hips up erratically, pressing against Bucky's hand and Steve's face as her orgasm broke over her, igniting a million little beautiful bursts of pleasure running through her.
“My babydoll,” Steve sighed, kissing along her inner thighs as she settled down. “I love you, Darcy.”
Darcy was non-verbal, but gave him a definitely satisfied sound before reaching out for him with her good hand, frowning when she realized that they were both still dressed.
“I demand nakedness,” she pouted. She looked between them and her eyes lit up. “I demand you make each other naked. Now....please.”
Steve grinned up at her before hopping off the bed. Bucky looked down at Darcy, his eyes going from the anticipatory grin on her gorgeous face down to the perfect breasts that were flushed with the effect of her beautiful and powerful little orgasm. He licked his lips when his gaze drifted lower, to where he could see the wet, glistening lips of her sex between her parted thighs. And those milky, full thighs, with the ugly bruises and the newer red marks of Steve's fingers.
“I---I like it when Steve presses his fingers there,” Darcy explained in a whisper. She had been concerned that the terror would bleed from the time in the cabin to her time with Steve, but she was relieved to realize she still loved Steve squeezing her there, leaving his gentle marks.
“No, Bucky, Honey, no,” Darcy shook her head. “There's nothing to be sorry for, nothing to forgive...but if you want to make it up to me, you can make Steve naked now, cause you know, I don't have all my faculties about me. And you know, if you kiss him a little, I won't complain.”
“My pleasure, Angel,” Bucky nodded, rising up off the bed. He gave Steve a small smile and walked towards him, his hands going for the hem of his t-shirt and lifting it up and off.
“Hit me with the truth, Bucky, what was Steve like when he was little?” Darcy wondered.
“He was a wiry little thing,” Bucky chuckled when Steve went for his shirt as well. “Just about an inch taller than you, Angel. I could put my elbow on the top of his head---”
“ You did ,” Steve corrected. “You did use me as an elbow rest, all the time, no matter where we were.”
“I remember being able to run my fingers up and down his sides,” Bucky demonstrated, a predatory smirk hinting at his lips when Steve drew in a deep, even breath at the feel of flesh and metal fingers on his skin. “And I thought his little ribs were like a xylophone.”
“Real talk here, did the serum give him a few inches on little Captain America?” Darcy wondered, licking her lips as the boys simultaneously began to unbutton each of their jeans. Bucky wore new navy blue boxer briefs that he had found on the RV earlier that day, but Steve was still blissfully commando and his sizeable, thick, uncut length hung free, jutting out proudly and flushing red in his heightened state of arousal.
“Real talk, Angel, he was always this long, hung like a damned horse for such a tiny guy,” Bucky chuckled. His right hand went down between their bodies and wrapped around Steve's length, humming in approval when Steve thrust up into his grasp. “Just wasn't so wide before.”
“Damn, I'd have liked to meet skinny Steve,” Darcy sighed. “Not that there's anything wrong with our Steve the way he is right now, but I would have enjoyed being on top when he was all elbows and knees and xylophone ribs.”
“It was a lot of fun,” Bucky promised. He leaned in and gave Steve a quick, open mouthed kiss. “Still, it's nice to be with him and not worry about breaking him.”
“We done talking about me like I'm not here?” Steve looked between his grinning little wife and his grinning, not so little Bucky and made quick work of Bucky's underwear, pushing them down to the ground.
Darcy licked her lips again. Bucky was smooth and uncut, and just as aroused as Steve. He had a lovely curve to his erect length that she knew would rub in all the right places. She held out her hands and winced again, forgetting the dumb bullet hole in her shoulder.
“My poor Babydoll,” Steve sighed, going back to the bed and kneeling between her thighs. He placed quick kisses against her pouting lips and his eyes fluttered close when she adjusted her hips and he felt the tip of his erection rub against her wet heat. “We're going to take care of you, sweetheart. You're our sweet girl.”
“Your best girl?' Darcy smiled against his mouth.
“The best girl,” Bucky whispered, watching from a few feet away from the bed with bated breath as Steve guided himself inside of Darcy, a familiar, intimate act that they were obviously well rehearsed in.
The way all the muscles in Steve's back tightened as he worked himself in slow strokes in and out of Darcy, sinking further in with each pass of his hips was fascinating and beautiful to Bucky. He could see the amazing bliss on Darcy's face as Steve finally was pressed as deep inside of her as he possibly could be, his hip bones pressing against her skin. Bucky found that he was holding his breath in anticipation as Steve withdrew from her slowly, only to drive back inside of that warm, snug heaven that he was sure was inside of Darcy.
A ripple went through Steve's muscles and Bucky furrowed his brow as Steve stopped his movements while he was deep inside of her. Bucky couldn't see Steve's face, although he could see Darcy's and she was staring up at Steve in worry, her good hand on his shoulder, squeezing and stroking to allay whatever was making Steve pause. Steve let out a choked sob and Bucky flew to the bed, his hand running down Steve's back before he took a careful seat so that he could see both of their faces.
Steve was full out crying, tears dripping down his face and onto Darcy's flushed skin. His arms gave out slowly and soon he was laying flat against Darcy's body, still mindful of her injured shoulder.
“Cutie, you okay?” Darcy whispered.
“Thought you were gone,” Steve whimpered out, shaking his head as he tried to sniff back the tears and control himself. “Lost Bucky...lost everything, and found you and then...you were gone and I would've lost everything with you.”
“You didn't, Steve, you didn't, I'm right here,” Darcy promised, running her good hand up and down his face. She gave Bucky a sympathetic look as he continued to run his right hand up and down Steve's back. “Bucky's right here too, we're okay.”
“Sorry, just was scared,” Steve said softly, kissing Darcy's cheek sweetly, the tears on his face wet and hot. He gave Bucky an earnest look. “You kept her safe for me, it means more to me than I can tell you.”
“Stevie, it's alright,” Bucky promised. He bent forward and kissed Steve's lips very gently, just as he used to when Steve was sick or suffering.
Steve turned his face back to Darcy and whispered, “You brought Bucky back to me, safe and whole. Thank you and...thank you for opening your heart to him.”
“Steve,” Bucky whispered.
“It's true, and you don't have to thank me,” Darcy nodded. She gave Bucky a smile. “It's right, and it's good and it's meant to be. The three of us.”
“You're ours,” Steve murmured, pulling up on his elbows again just barely. He was still hard and nestled deep inside of her. His possessive words had set off a deep flutter within her and his tears were long forgotten as he smiled down at her. “Our precious babydoll.”
“Sweet angel,” Bucky nodded, leaning in and kissing Darcy's shoulder. He gasped when her hand reached out for him, grasping around his length and stroking him up and down. Her grip was perfect, twisting and pulling just right. “Where'd you learn to do that?”
“I'm a quick learner and we did a lot of fun stuff before Steve stole my virginity,” Darcy giggled before letting out a pleasured gasp as Steve finally got over his small emotional break and started to work Darcy over proper.
“Stole,” Steve huffed out. “She was such a minx, Buck...”
“Still is, from what I can see,” Bucky grinned as he watched Steve thrusting into Darcy repeatedly, a blissful look on his face. She was no slouch, injuries not withstanding. He was hard and wanting and so ready to let go in her hands, even as her hips pushed up to meet each of Steve's thrusts. He pulled Darcy's hand off of him and maneuvered on the bed so that he could get his hand on those breasts that were bouncing up and down with each pass of Steve's hips.
“Babydoll, you gonna come for us? You're so close, I can feel it,” Steve murmured when her thighs tightened around his hips. “Show Bucky how good I am to you?”
“Mmmhmm,” she hummed as she floated away, feeling Bucky groping at her chest expertly, rolling her nipple between his thumb and forefinger. Steve repositioned his angle, pushing inside of her so that he'd hit that sweet spot with every thrust. Bucky managed to get his mouth on her breast and she felt overloaded with the stimulation of both of them. She let out a lovely little broken moan as her orgasm rolled over her in a gentle wave of extended pleasure.
Steve buried himself deep inside of her, his body seizing above hers as he felt her coming around him. He gave two quick pumps inside of her before letting go, filling her with his release.
“That was quick,” Bucky remarked dryly.
“He's got a quick recovery too,” Darcy promised when she had recovered her faculties, stretching underneath Steve as she felt that lovely warmth of his release inside of her as Steve slowly withdrew.
“I remember that,” Bucky nodded, he moved on the bed again his face was inches away from Steve's softening length that was still coated with Darcy's wetness. “Let me help you there, punk.”
“Ngh,” Steve got out before Bucky had his mouth around him. He felt overstimulated and pushed at Bucky's shoulders. “C'mon, jerk, 'm not ready yet.”
Bucky wound up on his ass on the bed, a sinful grin on his lips as he savored the taste of Darcy and Steve swirling on his tongue. Steve gave him a roll of his eyes and was about to open his mouth to tease him when Darcy bounced up on her knees and swung one leg over Bucky's lap, pushing on his chest so he lay flat on the bed. His eyes widened as he looked up at her, the heavenly sight of her, grinning down wickedly at him as greedy little hands stroked at his length.
“You okay?” Darcy whispered.
“Don't deserve you,” Bucky shook his head. "I want you, all of you, but I know I don't deserve you."
“You're very wrong. That's for me to decide,” Darcy gave a cute little wink to him. She wiggled atop him and he could feel her warmth and that lush wetness against him. “I told you it would be good and right. And I always keep my promises.”
“Angel, please,” Bucky felt his hips push upwards and he groaned as she sunk down on his length, guiding him inside of her. “Christ, you feel like heaven.”
She was tight and warm around him, impossibly wet between her release and Steve's. He forced his eyes to stay open to watch her, even though a small part of him wanted to just let his head fall back and focus only on the way she made him feel. She went up and down on her knees, and he let out a pleasured sound at the blissful friction he was feeling from moving in and out of her.
“She does, doesn't she?” Steve sighed, kneeling next to Darcy and placing a kiss on her neck, purposefully scratching his beard against the sensitive skin of her neck. “You look so beautiful, Babydoll.”
“He feels so good,” Darcy whispered as she continued to ride him with steady, rhythmic movements. He was pushing against her walls so perfectly, she was dripping wet and she knew it wouldn't be long before she was a boneless mass of pleasure on top of him.
“I know, sweetheart, I know,” Steve grinned lazily at her, his hands dipping between where their bodies met, swiping along her wet thighs, his fingers wet with a single swipe along their flesh. His lazy grin turned sinful as he brought his hand away and ran it down the line of her bottom, drawing a little circle against her tight rosebud. He sunk his finger inside of her, pushing easily past the little resistance her body gave.
“Jesus, punk,” Bucky groaned his hands going out to grip her waist when she clenched down around him as she stopped the movement of her hips to adjust to Steve's addition to the fun. “What're you---”
Bucky groaned as Steve added a second finger, stroking her back and forth. Bucky could feel it against his length, the movement inside of Darcy.
“Don't worry, jerk,” Steve assured him, kissing Darcy's collarbone. “I know what our girl likes and what she can take.”
“Fucking shit,” Bucky groaned as Darcy began to move again, essentially riding both him and Steve's fingers. He squeezed at Darcy's waist and managed to push words out of his useless mouth, “What do you like, Angel? You ever take all of Steve there?”
“Mmhmm,” Darcy nodded with a heavenly little smile on her face. “I like it.”
“Don't lie, babydoll,” Steve smiled against her skin.
“I love it,” Darcy shrugged. “So does Stevie.”
“Well, I knew Stevie did,” Bucky winked at her.
“I know that too,” Darcy sighed as she closed her eyes and threw her head back, no wince at all from her injury. “Wait till you meet Mr. Fun Time at home.”
“It's...it's a thing we use,” Steve blushed. “She'll...for me, she'll...”
“Fuck, do I love this girl, Stevie,” Bucky groaned, sitting up suddenly, his mouth kissing at Darcy's collarbone before turning and kissing Steve's mouth. “Thanks for finding her and not screwing it up.”
“ He never could, he's perfect,” Darcy cooed as the boys kissed again. She began grinding down on them with renewed energy and speed, her rhythm going off the rails as she rapidly approached another orgasm. Both men moved their mouths off of each other and began laving her breasts with attention. Steve's fingers were deep within her, pulling her apart just enough to make her feel so full and complete. “ Holy hell .”
She was flying apart at the seams as she pressed her body down hard against them. Bucky's mouth went lax against her breast and he began cursing a blue streak at the feel of her coming around his length, the rush of wetness against his skin, the tight grasping feel of her milking him as he twitched underneath her. Steve laughed at the sight of it, the only two people he'd ever loved, ever wanted this way finding such beautiful pleasure in each other. It was all he was ever going to want to see for the rest of his days.
“See? I told you,” Darcy pushed Bucky back on the bed before falling against his chest, bringing Steve with her as the three of them tangled around each other.
“Hmm?” Bucky managed to get out from his thick fog. He hadn't had an orgasm since 1945. It was enough to wipe him out and send him into permanent bliss.
“Told you,” Darcy repeated, kissing Steve's forehead and tangling her legs with Bucky's as they settled into a super soldier sandwich with Darcy filling on the bed. “It was good and right and perfect.”