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  1. Rec 33

    Tags
    Summary

    If there are ears everywhere, that means it's somebody's job to listen.

    I hate my job.

    Series
    Language:
    English
    Words:
    831
    Chapters:
    1/1
    Comments:
    67
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    292
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    33
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    6 Feb 2016

    Bookmarker's Notes

    The drawer opens. Shit, please no. A soft metallic jingle. Dog tags on a chain. It’s a sound I know well.

    I log it as a keychain rattling in his pocket.

  2. Rec 51

    Tags
    Summary

    Steve breathes a sigh of relief. Instead of giving in to his impulse to shout invective, to demand to know why Bucky broke camp without telling anyone, why he keeps doing that, Steve says: “Who you talking to, Buck?”

    Bucky pats something on the ground and shifts his leg.

    Language:
    English
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    4 Feb 2016

    Bookmarker's Notes

    Bucky scrambles to his feet like wolves are after him, and then stops, shaking his head, saying it all: what can you do? He looks down at the skull. Steve has an unsurprising fancy that the skull is looking back, at one of them or both, the shadows at play in its empty sockets creating an illusion of hangdog mournfulness. Bucky picks it up and takes it to the fireplace in the wall. With care and reverence, he digs a little pit, sets the skull into it, scoops a mound of dirt up around it, and scatters a handful of dead leaves over the whole thing. He crouches there for a long parcel of moments, thinking thoughts Steve can't begin to fathom. Steve used to be able to guess, an almost telepathic connection bred from infinite hours in one another's company, but the war has changed something about both of them, and Steve can't seem to find Bucky's wavelength anymore.

    Bucky stands abruptly and heads for the door, such as it is. Steve trails after. In the little valley, Bucky stops, looking up through autumn leaves to the electric sky, squinting.

    “I don't think we can die,” Bucky says, without inflection.

    Steve feels momentarily ill. “Nothing's that tough.”

    “Well,” Bucky says, striding off with false cheer, “Only one way to find out.”

  3. Rec *

    Tags
    Summary

    Steve's known Bucky his whole life.

    Language:
    English
    Words:
    15,268
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    1/1
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    1 Feb 2016

    Bookmarker's Notes

    Steve stands there awkwardly, completely unsure of how to deal with any of this.

    Finally, Bucky looks up, and Steve realizes with a jolt that he looks absolutely furious. “If you ever do anything like that again,” Bucky says, quiet and deadly calm, “I am leaving. You will never see me again.”

    Steve's injured stomach turns to ice. “What?”

    Bucky doesn't stop staring at him. “I would rather leave here and not come back than watch you die for me,” he says. “Do you understand that?”

    “Bucky, I—”

    “No.” Bucky's expression falters for a second, old fear bleeding into his eyes. “No, Steve. If having me around means you're always gonna take a bullet for me, no thought of your own safety, I'm gone. I can't—I can't live with that, you understand me? I can't.”

  4. Rec *

    Tags
    Summary

    If somebody had told Steve he and Bucky would end up raising Bucky's clone as their son, he'd probably have- wait, no, he wouldn't have done anything, because nobody would ever have said that.

    And yet. Here they are.

    Language:
    English
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    3/3
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    30 Jan 2016

    Bookmarker's Notes

    “Alexei,” he corrects. “Do you know who named me? A medical tech who got tired of calling me by a serial number. You think I don’t remember, but I do.” He takes a deep, shaking breath, biting into his bottom lip so hard Steve is afraid it’s going to start bleeding, but he keeps talking before Steve has a chance to move. “It’s not that hard to guess why they cloned you,” he says to Bucky, finally going quiet, “I’ve never had a cold. I’ve never not known that if I hurt myself I’d heal faster than normal- as fast as you. So tell me why Tony Stark hates you, because I’m going to find out.”

    There's a long, long pause. The air in the kitchen takes on a kind of expectant heaviness as Bucky stares up at Alex, looking into the younger version of his own face as though he's seeing it for the first time all over again. Steve is still reeling when Bucky inhales, a slow, deep sniper's breath, ready to pull the trigger on the exhale.

    “I killed his parents,” Bucky kicks himself back from the table so hard one of the legs groans in protest at the impact.

    Alex opens his mouth, then closes it again, eyes wide. "I- what are you-"

    "I cut the brakes on their car and made sure they drove over a cliff. I checked the wreckage, after.” Steve hasn’t seen him cry in years, but there’s a glimmer of something in his eyes, a shard of the expression Steve used to catch him with sometimes, curled into himself on the roof in the morning after a bad night. "He hates me less than he should."

    Alex makes a noise not unlike a sob, looking down at Bucky from his newly-gained height, eyes wide enough to be almost panicked. "Why didn't you tell me-"

    "I’m not sorry for wanting to spare you knowing that’s what you were made for.” Bucky doesn't move, jaw clenched as he looks back. “There’s a reason all this isn’t on the internet like the rest of it.”

    Steve wants so badly to jump into this fight, but there’s nothing he can say to soften the blow. If anything, he’s been complicit in his assumption that there’d be more time, more recovery, more distance from what Bucky was made to do, but there isn’t. It was naive to think Alex needed it; Steve and Bucky are the ones who’ve never quite stopped trying to make sense of the past.

    Alex stands stock still, breathing short and shallow, face falling just before he catches himself, blinking furiously. “Did you- did you want to?”

    “I needed to complete the mission,” Bucky says, staring up at him. “You don't - I can’t explain what it’s like, not to know you can want.”

  5. Rec *

    Tags
    Summary

    Steve doesn’t like bullies, on principle. It's less about justice, or decency, or righteous indignation; more about the look in the eyes of the people getting stepped on, the people getting trampled, the people getting lost.

    So it cuts all the deeper, when Steve recognizes strength, precision, endurance, capacity: sees the pieces of himself not born but made, reflected in this body, this person, this weapon: the Winter Soldier.

    It slices through Steve’s soul when he returns the Soldier's gaze, and reads the only thing that lives in the deadness that pervades behind those irises in the night.

    It’s not You can’t beat me.

    It’s more You can’t stop them.

     

    For the prompt: The AU where Steve Rogers sees the best in everyone, and it is that quality that brings him back the person he loves most in the world; where Steve reaches out to help the Winter Soldier on principle, but when the muzzle-mask comes off, he finds Bucky Barnes.

    Language:
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    Bookmarks:
    616

    27 Jan 2016

    Bookmarker's Notes

    “I take mine black,” Steve says as he pours fresh brew into the cups and carries them to the table. “Friend of mine used to, so that’s what I’ve always known, but,” Steve shakes his head, tries to bury the image of perfect lips and long lashes and utter bliss on reddened cheeks as Bucky would cradle the coffee like a blessing, like a lifeline—Steve buries the image down deep, where it belongs. The Soldier deserves his attention, deserves his help for more than penance, for more than making up the inches, the space Steve couldn’t reach, couldn’t grasp, couldn’t save the only thing, the only person who could ever have meant the whole world.