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Libraries

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Darcy is in the kitchen, making tea, humming softly to herself when Steve walks in.

“Hey Darcy.”

“Heya Steve-o. How’s the Captain this fine afternoon? Tea?”

“I’m fine, thanks. Uh, I was hoping on running into you though.”

“Oh, Yeah?”

“Yeah.” He clears his throat, “You’re rather booksy. I mean, you spend a lot of time at the library, right?”

“Dude, you know I go there all the time.” She softly laughs. “Did you want a recommendation again?”

“I don’t, but I was hoping, if you wouldn’t mind..”

“Steve, whatever it is, it can’t be that bad. I mean, you’re definitely weirder than most people think you are, but I doubt there’s much you could say that would shock me.” She says with a smirk, adding sugar and milk to her tea. “Besides, I’ve been working with Bruce a lot lately. He’s not too bad; he’s sweet and moderately keeps to himself when he’s in The Zone. Hasn’t accidently gone green in forever. It’s when Tony comes in. That’s when I start to feel like a babysitter. And if I can handle them, and Jane, and tasing Thor, and Eric constantly in his briefs, and the freaking Dark Elves.. Just ask, ok? I don’t mind. You’re an angel compared to that lot.”

He nods, taking a breath and holding it in for a beat before looking back up to Darcy with small smile.

“Would you want to go to the library with Bucky? Keep him company there, help him get caught up at his own speed, until he’s comfortable with going by himself.”

“Um, yeah. Is he looking for anything specific?”

“Well, I’m not sure. When I got out of the ice, everything was so different. I mean, it’s so much easier to find things out now, but the one thing that’s the same are libraries. It helped. I think it might help Buck too.”

“Hm, makes sense.” She sips her tea, thinking back to the times she used to go with Steve.

“I’d go with him, but-“

“You think you’d both be recognized going out together like that?”

“Yeah. Also, I think he wants some time without me while he figures things out.”

Darcy nods, still thinking things over. “You alright?”

“I’m trying not to smother him. Sam thinks I am, but.. Darce, I’m still dealing with having him back. The real Bucky back. He’s doing so much better, but I know there are things I can’t help him with. Things he doesn’t want my help with.”

A silence that falls between the two. A silence of understanding, heavy with contemplation.

“Thank you, Steve.” He looks at her with knitted brow. “For trusting me with him.”

“You’ve never handled any of us with kid gloves. Never treated anyone like they were fragile and going to break at any moment. I know I needed that more than you’ll ever know. And I know he needs that now.”

“Come here, big guy,” she says, holding out her arms for a hug.

Steve moves towards her, wrapping his arms around her smaller frame, resting his head slightly on top of hers.

“And, Darce?”

Darcy hums back.

“If Bucky asks..”

“This conversation never happened?”

“Thanks. If he wants to go he’ll ask you. I just don’t want to push him anymore.”

“I know, buddy.”