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if you bring the water

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“Hey, Steve,” Darcy smiles as she steps through the open doorway. “He here?”

“Morning, Darce. Yeah he’s in the other room. What do you need?” Steve asks.

“Just a chair in the kitchen, a towel and an empty sink,” Darcy says, slipping her shoes off and leaving them by the door. She follows Steve into the kitchen and drops her bag on the counter top.
“What’s going on?” Bucky says, shuffling into the room.

"It's time."

"Time for what?" he asks skeptically.

"Time to cut your hair. It’s gross and you look homeless," Darcy says, setting out her scissors, comb and an assortment of small bottles.

“I like my hair,” Bucky says flatly, turning to glare at Steve.

“You have two options here. Either I can cut it or you can go to the old man down the street that cuts Steve's hair with a bowl--”

“Hey,” Steve says, frowning. “There is nothing wrong with Art at the barber shop.”

"Dude, we aren’t talking about you. We are sorting out Samson over here," Darcy says, pointing at Bucky. “Shirt off now.”

“If you wanted me naked, all you had to do was ask, sweetheart,” Bucky smirks and drags his plain grey t-shirt over his head.

The light streaming through the kitchen window reflects of the surface of his artificial arm, and just for a moment Darcy is caught up in the thought of trailing her fingers down the metal to lace their hands together. Warm flesh and cold metal. She shakes her head to clear her stray thoughts and grabs the small bottles of shampoo and conditioner.

Turning on the tap, she runs her fingers through the water while Steve and Bucky share one of those meaningful looks that are utterly unfathomable to her. Steve’s face is impassive but slowly cracks into a crooked grin. His shoulders remain tense, as if he is waiting for Bucky to say or do something that will hurt. Maybe both. Bucky rolls his shoulders back, breathes out a puff of air and nods once.

“Looks like I’m all yours,” Bucky grins sharply though it doesn’t quite meet his eyes.

“Just what I’ve always dreamed of,” Darcy says sweetly, fluttering her lashes demurely. Or what she thinks would look demure anyway. Steve snorts, leaning against the kitchen counter and picking up his tablet.

“You been dreaming about me, sweetheart? This I gotta hear,” he smirks as she pushes her sleeves up.

“You wish, Barnes,” Darcy says, pointing at the sink. Bucky follows her direction to lean over the sink, his hands curving around the edge. She lets the water run over Bucky’s head, squeezes a dollop of shampoo into the palm of her hand, and rubs her hands together.

His hair is thick and tangled as she works the shampoo in, rubbing deep into his scalp. Bucky moans; it’s vulgar and sends a spike of heat rushing out under her skin from fingertips to toes. Asshole. Darcy tugs on his hair, just the right side of too hard and the counter groans beneath Bucky’s robotic hand. Oh.

“Shit,” she whispers softly. Bucky says nothing at all. Fuck. Darcy rinses his hair and switches off the tap, dropping the towel over his head. “Okay you can sit down in the chair now.” Bucky moves to the center of the room on silent feet, despite the heavy S.H.I.E.L.D. jack boots, and sprawls out on the chair.

Water drips down over his shoulders and chest from his hair, and Darcy steps forward to rub the towel over his head before drying his shoulders. Her fingertips graze against warm skin, raised scars and metal. Cool metal fingers wrap around her wrist and Darcy freezes, breath catching in her throat.

“Darcy?” Steve says, looking up from his tablet, eyes flicking over her and Bucky, shoulders tense and that little line of worry between his eyes. Bucky’s fingers tighten around her wrist before falling away to his side.

“Hey, Steve, you promised me coffee, remember? And not the swill you and Bucky drink either,” Darcy says, wrapping the towel around Bucky’s shoulders and grabbing a small bottle of leave-in- conditioner. She loves Steve but all his constant worrying over things is making her tense.

“Darce—,” Steve says, though his eyes are on Bucky’s.

“You heard the dame, punk,” Bucky says with a jerk of his chin. The tension in the room raises the hairs on the back of Darcy’s neck and she can’t help the shiver that runs down her spine.

“Christ on a crutch. Just get the coffee, Steve. Bucky and I are fine,” she huffs, slamming the bottle down on the counter unopened. Darcy pulls at the buttons on her sweater and peels it off her shoulders; the t-shirt beneath is a soft grey, faded and threadbare with a deep V-neck, the black lace of her bra is clearly visible through the cotton. Both sets of eyes drop to her breasts and Darcy snorts. “Oh my god, you are both such assholes,” she says crossing her arms under her tits. Bucky smirks, dragging his gaze up to her eyes with seemingly Herculean effort and nods slowly at her. Forcing herself not to squirm under the heaviness of his gaze Darcy arches a brow at Steve. “Coffee.”

Steve drops his gaze away, clearing his throat and swiping his keys off the counter. “I’ll be back as soon as I can,” he mutters. He doesn’t say ‘behave’ but it’s implied. Rather heavily. The door clicks closes and Darcy sags against the table.

“I don’t know about you but I can only take some much of Steve’s mothering,” Darcy says, grabbing up the bottle of leave in conditioner and squeezing a small amount into her palm.

“He always was a worrier,” Bucky says coolly.

“So you gonna be okay with this?” Darcy asks, stepping around the back of the chair and reaching up to run her fingers through his hair.

“A beautiful dame putting her hands all over me? ‘Course m’okay with it,” Bucky says, tilting his head back to look up at her.

“Pffft, whatever, dude,” she shakes her head, massaging her fingers into his scalp. He relaxes under her hands and there is a part of her that wishes they could stay just like this, with him calm under her touch. It’s the quietest moment she has ever had with Bucky. The calmest she’s seen him since Steve and Natasha brought him back. Something she isn’t supposed to know about. Their relationship is complicated. Bucky flirts with her, and they bicker until Steve gets fed up and steps in. Or Bucky walks away when he’s satisfied he’s wound her up enough that she’s ready to grab her taser.

“You are.”

“What am I?” Darcy hums as she grabs a comb and the scissors from the counter top. She’s careful to move slowly, and Bucky shakes his head at her. Assassins and wild animals should be approached with extreme caution. She’s pretty sure it says so in the SHIELD training manual, below the bit about not touching toys, or shiny objects in the labs.


“Flattery will get you nowhere, Barnes,” Darcy says, raising the comb to his head and holding out the scissors in the palm of her hand. He takes the scissors from her, twisting and turning them between his fingers.

“Oh, I dunno about that, kitten. I think it’ll get me anywhere I want,” Bucky drawls low, spinning the scissors in a circle. Darcy’s belly flips and she swallows hard.

“Scissors, please,” she says and Bucky holds his hand up scissors across the flat of his hand. Darcy reaches for them, electricity buzzing down her arm when her fingertips graze his palm.

Darcy falls silent while she cuts Bucky’s hair. For anyone else she would chatter on but it somehow feels wrong to babble on aimlessly as tufts of damp hair fall around her feet. She steps between Bucky’s parted knees, scissors held in her mouth as she runs her fingers through his hair checking the evenness of the length. Bucky’s hands land on her hips, one warm and one cool through the layers of her leggings and t-shirt. Darcy squeaks around the scissors and Bucky chuckles darkly, tilting his head back to gaze up at her, eyes dark. His thumbs rub back and forth over her hips. Darcy opens her mouth, though she hasn’t got a clue what to say, when the door creaks open behind her back.

“M’back,” Steve says and Bucky smirks, cocking his head to the side as Steve steps into the kitchen.

“You bring those chocolate things?” Bucky asks, squeezing her hips but holding her still.

Pulling the scissors from her mouth and snipping them close to Bucky’s ear Darcy says, “Cupcakes.”

“Chocolate things,” Bucky repeats.


“Yeah, I brought cupcakes. Darce’d kill me if I didn’t,” Steve says, setting down a tray of three coffees and a pink cardboard box.

“We done?” Bucky asks as she pulls the towel away dusting off his neck and shoulders.

“No,” she says twisting out of his grip. Setting down the scissors and comb she reaches for a small tin, twists off the top and dips her fingers in for a dollop of hair product.

“What the fuck is that, Darcy?” Bucky says, grabbing her wrists before she can touch his hair again.

“Product. You put it on your hair. Unless you rather use Steve’s shoe polish,” Darcy smirks.

“Smells like flowers,” Bucky grumbles, letting go of her wrists. Darcy runs her fingers through his hair, nails scraping over his scalp.

“There all done. Bye bye nineties boy band reject and hello hottie,” Darcy beams, grabbing her handheld mirror. Bucky swipes it from her hands and look dubiously at his reflection. “Doesn’t he look better, Steve?”

“Well, I can see his ugly mug now,” Steve says, taking a sip of his coffee.

“Ass,” Darcy says, shoving Steve’s shoulder. He doesn’t budge of course, damn superheroes.

“You worried I’ll make all the panties drop instead of you in your spangly tights, punk?” Bucky says, rolling up to his feet.

“Haircut didn’t do anything about you bein’ a jerk ,” Steve says, hiding his grin behind his paper cup.

Darcy rolls her eyes, “God, you’re both such assholes.”