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Absolute Barnes and The Great Stevie

Chapter Text

At the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, right onto the famous Las Vegas Strip, hanged onto one of it many doors a giant sign that could read:


"Do you want to regain your sense of wonder?
Do you want to feel like a child once again?
Then, the "Absolute Barnes Show" is the right place for you!

The Excalibur hosts this extravaganza, even more thrilling and more fantastic than the legend its host is named after! 
 From all over the world they have seen it and and back to all over the world they have raved about it!


Qualified as this generation's David Copperfield by all and even Houdini by some, James Barnes will memorize you with an array of spectacular tricks and illusions that haven't been seen since the golden age of magic!
You will not want to miss it!

Come one, come all!

And we promise you,

You will leave with stars in your eyes and a new belief in your heart!"

 

Right next to this famous establishment stood another famous resort, the Luxor. And on one of its own door, could be read:


"Nothing is here, nothing is there...
Where could it be?


"The Great Stevie" invites you to come and discover for yourself,
What critics have called an intimate but grand spectacle.
No flashes, no fusses,
Just one man, Steve Rogers, one stage, right here at the prestigious Luxor...
And the capacity to enthrall you with just the flick of the hand and the amazingness of all his techniques.


Come see, come quick,
The one show that you simply cannot miss!
And maybe, just maybe...
You will be able to find it!"

 

Chapter Text

Inside his penthouse, Steve Rogers was tapping his foot.


Really, really hard and really, really fast.


Which meant only one thing: he was pissed.


"Can you believe it? I mean, can you believe it? I mean I for one just can not believe it!"


From the other side of the large living-room, his best friend and notable publicist Natasha Romanov, raised her head from her trusty laptop and dared to ask: "What is it this time, Steven?"


That proved to be the zero mark on the blond's time bomb as he got up from his luxurious leather couch and began pacing around, wildy gesticulating, all the while throwing words in the air.


And that right there only meant one thing: he was doubly pissed.


"It's that stupid Barnes! Look at his schedule starting next week."


Typing here and clicking there, the red-head did as she was told and...


Huh.


"Well, would you look at that? His show are going to be on the same nights as yours!" she remarked, which made her client double his speed and double his flailing.


"Exactly! He's broken Fellow Magician Rule no.2: Never, and I mean never, go on the same night as another magician! It's like...the Golden One!" he exclaimed, stopping to throw his hands in the air, then upon his hips, looking at the ground like a giant sad little puppy.


But his best friend wouldn't be deceived by his attempt at being pitiful: "No, the Golden Rule is the one that you mister broke when you decided to choose this place as your residence, which has been Absolute Barnes' turf for over four years now. And if there is one thing that I've learned ever since I've been in your people's prestidigitatorial business is that territory is primordial over everything else. You're the one that started this stupid feud, Steve, not him."


The man in question turned his head and with hands still on his hips, he decried: "Hey, for your information, this was the only place that had the space I needed to do what I needed to do. It ain't my fault all the other venues are too big." Coming back to the subject at hand, he began to pace once again. "If he wants to play dirty, I can play dirty. We can all play....dirty."


Natasha squinted her eyes when she noticed he'd once again stopped moving. "You're still shaken about what happened last month in that particular way, hmm?" she couldn't help but ask with a slight smirk upon her lips.


Steve turned around once more, throwing his hands in the air, but in defense now: "What?! Hey! Hey, no, no I do not! I'm not shaken, at all! And especially in that particular way! No, so, so not shaken!" Darting his eyes around as to not come into contact with his best friend's and putting his hands back into his pockets, he quickly added as he nervously laughed: "And it's been a month anyway, so yeah, why in the world would I still be shaken by what happened? Which I'm not, by the way!"


...

 

...


...


"I'll be in the shower." was what Steve finally concluded, jogging his way up the stairs.


Natasha just shook her head.

 

 

She was about to go back to what she'd been doing before her client's outburst, when something struck her.

 

She stared at her best friend's retreating form, heard the beginning swift of the shower and silently smiled to herself.

 

She could play dirty too.

 

Chapter Text

One month ago...


"I still cannot believe you did this." Steve said in a hushed voice. He adjusted the opaque glasses over his eyes, careful not to bump into anything.


His companion of the night, in her high-heels and perfect makeup, smiled as she checked her ticket for the right seat lettering. "What?" she non-nonchalantly said. "We've got an off-night and we've just arrived in town. We need to see what's the big thing going around in the place that was kind enough to welcome us with opened arms and that for the next couple of years and apparently, "Absolute Barnes" is that particular big thing!" Natasha added, scooting over to her seat.


But Steve frowned, lowering the baseball cap over his head and then his entire body in his brand new seat even more than before.


His best friend noticed him doing so and elbowed him right in the ribs as she said: "Would you stop that? I keep telling you, people aren't going to think what you think they're going to think. You did not need to bring in those sunglasses and that silly hat."


Looking around nervously, Steve wasn't so convinced as he responded: "Yeah well, even if we're new in town, they're might be people of the press or people who've seen my show in here! And they're all going to think that I've broken Fellow Magician Rule #3: Never spy on a fellow magician and they're all going to give me hell for it!"


"Oh please, the only people that care about your Stupid Fellow Magician Rules are you, Fellow Stupid Magicians! All of these people are just here to have a great time and that's what exactly what me...and you, yes you! are going to have, got it?"
Steve lowered himself even more at his publicist's warning and raised eyebrow.


"Y-yes 'mam." was all that he could answer.


Natasha smiled and turned her head around. "Great, because hush now, the show's about to start!" she announced as the lights dimmed around them both.


Steve did the same, but crossing his arms on his side of things and also frowning.


Have a great time...no way was he about to have a great time, paranoid as he felt.


And his paranoia was in fact correct, just not on the right track, as unbeknownst to him, somebody had in fact recognized Steve when he'd walked in and was in fact about to give him hell for it...


It just wasn't the person or persons who he'd thought it'd be...


**********


Well, if there was one thing the poster at the door correctly said and that Steve begrudgingly admitted to himself...

 

Was that this "Absolute Barnes"  guy was in fact mesmerizing.


Every trick was grandiose, from the disappearing camel to the floating car, everything that this guy did had a sense of flair to it. With the beat of the background music and the spotlights accentuating his every moves, Steve found himself transfixed by what the man on stage was doing.


But most primarily, by the man himself.


Those long locks that floated through the air, that fan-winded loose shirt that exposed what appeared to be a regularly worked-on physique, those ripped-and-tight-as-hell blue jeans that exposed what appeared to be a great ass...

Yeah, as the poster on the door also promised, Steve's sense of wonderment was awakened alright...


Just not the kind that was associated with magic.


The man in question smiled at his crowd as he finished his latest trick (something involving birds and a flaming hula-hoop) and proudly announced:


"And now, ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to bring you a trick that, while you might think as already been done to death, hasn't in fact already been done like THIS!"


Music began once again, a drummy, Africany-kind of beat, as a woman cladded in a golden dress brought out what turned out to be...

A straight-jacket.


Steve smiled to himself. He'd seen this trick to and fro done by multiple people before. And he smiled even more as the magician onstage stepped inside what appeared to be a giant burlap sac and his fellow assistant zipped the bag over his head.


He knew what was about to happen: this Barnes guy would play with the drama to the max, he would pretend that he wasn't able to dismantle the jacket that had been strapped around his form, he would beg and plead to be let out of the sac, only to lay down after pretending to lack oxygen for being trapped in there too long. Then his assistant, another red-head like Natasha, would zip open the bag and everyone would discover that "Absolute Barnes" had somehow disappeared, for the magician to reappear at the back of the room inside the sitting crowd, like he'd teleported somehow.


Classic trick that had already been done to death, Steve told himself with a sigh, as the assistant dramatically bent over the now unmoving bag...


Undid the zip...


And Steve Rogers found himself with a lapfull of the man who'd been onstage just a second ago.


What in the...?


The long-haired man looked at him with a smirk and a spark in his eyes. "Well, well, well, just look who we've got here, everybody!" he announced to the captive crowd.


With the same flair that he'd previously done his tricks earlier, the magician quickly disrobed Steve of his sunglasses and his baseball cap, revealing his identity to the rest of the show's attendees. "It's "The Great Stevie"! He's come to steal some of my material by spying on me!" he added, now with a snarl written all over his face.


Slightly disoriented by the spotlight that had somehow fallen on him, Steve quickly recuperated by sitting straighter in his seat (which was kind of difficult since he had a grown-ass man sitting right on top of him) and responded: "Stealing your material? Oh please! If I wanted to steal your material, I'd watch one of those old 80's tapes that your mom probably gave you for your birthday and that you decided to copy for your stupid tricks!"


The man in his lap gasped and with an even more upset face, called out: "Yeah well, if my tricks are as stupid as you said, then you certainly wouldn't stoop your own abilities by trying to steal some of my crowd. But... would you look at that...you are in fact trying to steal some of my crowd! Of all the places on the Strip, the Luxor was really the best place to set up shop, really? Don't you know the Golden Fellow Magician Rule?"


Steve almost pushed the other man out of his lap as he stood up and, hands on his hips, asked: "And don't you know the rest of the Fellow Magician Rules? Like trying to forge your own way by not copying from the past?"


Having nothing else to argue with, "Absolute Barnes" and "The Great Stevie" then both went for the blows below the belt:


The name-calling.


"Usurper!"
"Flash in the pan!"


"Uncultivated!"
"Fabio-wannabee!"


"Moron!"
"Stupid head!"


This went on for a good five minutes, before Steve, with a huff, picked up his hat and sunglasses and made his way out the door, his publicist in tow, decrying that everyone and their mother would have a field day with what had just happened.


And "Absolute Barnes" stood there, slightly breathless, before turning around and smiling like nothing had just happened.


"Well then, shall we continue?" he proposed to the stunned crowd.


********


Now...


"I still cannot believe you did that. And I still cannot believe you changed your dates to go directly with his and on purpose I might add." Sam said, crossing his arms and shaking his head.


But from his corner of the bar, James Buchanan Barnes was smiling. "Hey, he was the one that started this whole thing by installing his act at the Luxor and not somewhere farrer away. I'm just doing what a good little kitty should do: defending my territory and driving potential box-office stealers out of there, even if it's in public."


"Yeah but, shouldn't this good ole' kitty of yours tell himself that maybe this guy isn't after your box-office and that the Luxor was the only place available to do the kind of act that he does?" Sam asked his best customer as he poured him another gin shooter, which James, but that his friends and family liked to call Bucky, downed in one shot as he responded:

"Oh please, there's over forty casinos and venues around here and you're telling me that the one that's directly next to mine is the only one that could receive him? As if!"

Sam squinted his eyes as he asked: "...Bucky, you do know "The Great Stevie" other than by his name, right?"


The long-haired man huffed in indignence: "Pfft, of course I know this guy other than by his name! I mean, he does...he does magic! And he's...he's taken residence right next to me! So that implies that he's trying to steal some of my spectators away from me. And that's reason enough for me to get him the hell out of my way and the hell out of my turf, even if it's by sitting right in their lap! Hot people deserve hot acts!"

...

...

...


"Did you just call Steve Rogers hot?"


Bucky gulped loudly before straightening himself up and rapidly replying: "No! No, I did not! That was the gin talking and nothing else..."


His eyes dropped right on the floor and he took out a twenty out of his pocket.

 

"Keep the change, I...I need a shower."


Sam could only shake his head as his eyes followed, who people on the Strip, hell all over the world considered on of the best illusionist out there, walk out of the bar...


And he almost jumped right out of his skin when he noticed a red-headed woman he hadn't seen before sitting right where his best customer had just been.

Chapter Text

"Hiya there!"


The woman was smiling, all shining teeth and eyes, as she extended her hand that Sam cautiously shook back.


"...Hello." he slowly replied, taken a bit aback by this new client's overly cheery attitude.

"The name's Natasha and I, my dear new friend, need your help."


Sam blinked a couple of times. "How can I be your friend if all I said to you was "hey"?" was all that he could ask, really.


The woman sitting in front of him waved one of her hands as she quickly dismissed: "Semantics, Schemantics. The important thing is that you're here and that I'm here and that we're both here to do what needs to be done."


Now Sam was very confused. "What needs to be done?" he repeated, with a raised eyebrow.


Putting both of her arms on the top of the bar and leaning forward, the red-head's smile only widened as she finally explained::


"You see, I just saw you serving drinks to one James Barnes and from the way you were talking to him, calling him by some kind of nickname and the likes, it seems that the two of you are in fact pretty close."


Sam took a moment before slowly nodding: "Well, I don't know if I'd ever consider making him my best man to my wedding, if a wedding in my future there is of course, but yeah, you can say he and I get along pretty well." He squinted his eyes as he added: "Why? What do you want to do with him?"


Interlocking her fingers together, the woman leaned forward and, as if she was about to reveal a life-changing secret, whispered to the bar-man:


"Well see, I should have told you that my full name is Natasha Romanov."


Everything suddenly clicked inside Sam's brain.


"Aah." he exclaimed, finally understanding.


"Yes, aah." the woman replied back, leaning back and nodding along with the man as he'd just made the following mental calculation:


-Natasha Romanov was Steve Roger's, aka "The Great Stevie", publicist.


-She'd been there the night that his best client liked to talk about so much. She'd been in pretty much every single piece of written press about this particular incident.


-She'd seen and heard everything then. She was sitting right next to Steve.


-She'd seen and heard everything now.


-And with the way she was smiling even wider at the moment...


That meant she only wanted one thing and one thing only:


"You need help with your dear flustered idiot of a client as much as I need help with my dear flustered idiot of a client, don't you?" was the next thing that came out of his mouth.


And Natasha gasped as she put her hand on her chest in mock-shock and responded: "My goodness! You sir are a mind reader! How in the world did you know?"


Now it was Sam to shake his head along with her as he replied: "Listen lady, you ain't the only one that's tired to have a sulking magician sitting there whining about box-office steals and..."


"...Fellow Magician Rules. Yeah, bud, I know exactly what you're talking about." Natasha completed for him.


Opening up a bottle of his best available beer, Sam cocked his head as he asked his brand new set-up buddy: "Well, then, what did you have in mind?"


The woman taking her drink grinned once more as she answered: "Well...?"


"Sam."


"Right, Sam. I'm thinking, we end this little stupid feud between that moron and that stupid-head, just like this....


And the bar-man could only join in the grinning as his now second-best client explained her plan.


It was perfect.


*******


Twenty-four hours later...


"...An-all expenses paid night over at the machines of the Excalibur? Well, I mean, I'm literally walking inside enemy territory here, but..." Steve said over his cellphone, as he walked out of the exit door of his temporary residence.


Natasha smiled from her end of the line: "Did I forget to mention that the food and the drinks are also going to be paid?"


Steve stopped dead in his tracks.

 

Free edible and drinkable stuff? His one weakness?


"R-really? You're not joshing with me here?" he dared to ask.


"Of course I'm not! You end up consuming, I end up paying! That's all there is to it!" his publicist declared with a cheer in her voice.


"Well, if you put it like that..." Steve finally acquiesced, as he stepped onto the walkway between where he'd been and his destination...


From his own residence exit door, Bucky raised an eyebrow as he listened to his favorite patron's suggestion: "Yeah, but Sam, you always end up giving me free food and free drinks whenever I come over! Why in the world would I agree to step inside enemy territory for that, when I can just do so right into the comfort of my own home?"


Sam was also grinning from his end of the line: "Did I forget to add that all the card and craps games that you'll probably be tempted to try out are going to be on me?"


That made Bucky almost drop his phone right there.

 

Cards and dice games, for free. Damn Sam Wilson for knowing his one weakness.


"You sure I'm not falling into some kind of trap and you're not going to give me the bill when morning come?" Bucky asked, wanting to be sure everything was 100% legit.


"Cross my heart, hope to die!" promised the bar-man with a solemn voice.


"Well, if you put it like that..." Bucky finally agreed, as he stepped onto the walkway between where he'd been and his destination...


And the two magicians could only become more confused and confused as the seconds ticked by...


And the walkway moved along....


And they both found themselves face-to-face for the first time in a whole month.


And, at the same time, as if they'd been in cahoots somehow, both of the phone buddies added:


"And did we also forget to mention that you weren't going to be alone?"


...Beep...

Chapter Text

...


...


...


"...so..."


The two men were standing around, arms crossed,


...


...


...


"Yep."


both stiff as a board, looking everywhere but at one another.


Tapping their foot on the ground in almost unison...


...until...


...


...


"O fiens or ashes..." came a mutter out of the corner of Bucky's mouth.


Steve's eyes darted back at who he supposed was meant to be his companion for the evening. "I'm sorry?" he couldn't help but ask.


Coughing once, Bucky finally turned around and clarified: "I said: Our friends are asses.""


That made Steve eagerly nod in response as he responded in an unbelieving tone: "Oh my god! Finally something we can both agree on! How in the world did you know I was thinking that?!"


And Bucky couldn't help but chuckle at the look on Steve's face, as if the other man had just discovered the answer to zero divided by zero right there and then...


And that made Steve laugh right back, somehow finding this whole situation highly amusing.


And, just like that, a whole month worth of tension just flew right out of the walkway, leaving the two men...


The two strangers, actually...


Standing there, looking at one another, a bit less apprehensively this time around.


Bucky tucked a strand of loose hair under his ear while looking down at the ground, took a deep breath and said:

"Look, I think we got up on the wrong foot, you and I..."


Steve looked back up, a small smile now on the corner of his lips. "You think?" was all he could ask, crossing his arms once more.


Bucky shook his head and look at the sky. Looking back down, he nodded: "Well, yeah actually, I think. And I for one, would like to formally start over. No insults, no stupid stunts..."


"No Fellow Magicians Rules..." added Steve.


That made the long-haired man the one to smirk now: "No Fellow Magicians Rules, no nothing. Just you, me, all of the cards and dice games that we can handle..."


His smile widened as he showed the other man Sam's credit card.


And Steve couldn't help but smile back even wider than before as he held up Natasha's own card right next to it.


"And all of the food and the drinks that we can consume before we call it a day."


Bucky's eyes sparkled at all of the possibilities being offered to them just now.


"Well then, with what should we start with?"


**********


Three hours later, the two men came busting out of one of the Excalibur's many doors, a plate of food in one hand and a stash of coins in the other.


"Oh man! How come no one ever told me about those cocktails weenies? They're to die for!" said Steve, his mouth still full.


The man walking next to him chuckled for what seemed like the hundredth time that evening. "I know pal, they're literally the undiscovered treasure on this whole strip!"


That made Steve smile right back, feeling happier than he'd been...


Than he'd been...


Well, ever.


He'd had just a blast back there, discovering food he hadn't tasted before, drinks he hadn't gulped before...


And being accompanied by a man he hadn't had the pleasure of really knowing before.


Bucky Barnes was a whole lot different than Steve thought he was.


He wasn't some pretentious a-hole, but a modest man that liked to project a more bombastic personality than he really had.


He wasn't some boring stupid-head, but a quite funny and intelligent man that always had a quip on the corner of his lips and a smart tint inside everything that he was saying...


And doing.


Because my god, this man was a machine when it came to actual machines. Results like that, Steve had never seen quite like it.


"H-h-how?!" was all he could ask as yet again, the slots had aligned themselves on the BAR and coins had flewn once again inside the long-haired man's hands.


Bucky had turned around and with a wistful smile, had simply responded: "My dad...he was pretty much a permanent resident around these parts. He spent all day and all night on these things, so much so that he just knew every dirty tricks that these babies contained, like when to pull the lever to get what you wanted and the such. And, he passed them all to me, before passing himself away quietly later on that evening."


This gave Steve pause. "Oh, I'm so-"


But the other man had only batted his hand away at the attempted apology. "It's okay, really. I still have many, many great memories of him and let's just say that the reason that I don't do this more often is that I don't want the bank to keep breaking over and over again..."


Steve had looked down at the ground once more as he'd chuckled, making Bucky smile right back.


And that was the moment that the other man had offered, despite being the one getting caught up in a seeminlgy bad moment, to change the mood by introducing his companion for the evening to what the blond man was now scoffing...


The best damn sausages wrapped in bacon that he'd ever eaten in all of his life.


Steve just knew he had to pay the other man back somehow, even though everything offered to the both of them for the evening was indeed free.


He was the one to offer with a smile now.


"So, since you're an absolute beast at the machines...how about I show you what I personally am good at?"


Bucky looked at the other man, completely perplexed.


"What are you personally good at?" he couldn't help but ask.


Steve frowned and tilted his head. "Buck, you do know what kind of act I'm famous for, right?'


The man in question, after a long pause....


Could only shake his head and look down at the tiled floor, a bit ashamed.


But that only reinvigorated the other man, as he took the man by the elbow and practically whisked him away...


To the second part of this magical evening.

Chapter Text

Bucky could only stare at the Luxor-owned table, mouth agape, eyes bulging as the man standing before the pair announced...


Again...


"It's a win! Two hundred bucks right there and then!"


He looked at Steve, still in shock.

 
"How did you...how did-?! He had nineteen and you had seventeen! How in the hell did you know to hit when everyone else would have stood right there and then? How did you know you'd get a four?"


Steve scoffed at that as the two walked away from the table, with even more cash in their hands than they'd had when they'd come out of the other casino. "Oh please, with the sloppy way he was shuffling his cards like that? It was obvious that a four of hearts was about to come out right after that nine of club."


They both sat down in a nearby booth and Steve, just after ordering the best scotch the entire bar had to offer, added with a smile:


"Because after all, when you spend so much time with these rectangular babies like I do..."


And out of nowhere, with just the flick of a finger and to Bucky's utter amazement, Steve's own deck of cards appeared right into his hands.


"There are other sets of secrets that you get to learn, besides one that are passed over from generations to generations." he said as he expertly shuffled them. With a sparkle in his eye, he proposed: "You wanna see a magic trick?'" 

The other man could only nod and "The Great Stevie" went to work.

"Pick a card, any card."

Taking the deck in his hands, Bucky picked out the three of diamond.

"Now, I'm going to close my eyes, turn around and all you have to do is put it back in the deck wherever you want. You can shuffle it as many times as you desire and I'm going to try and guess what you picked." instructed Steve.

The long-haired man did as he was told and, after a good six or seven times shuffling the deck together, put the cards back on the table between the two of them and proudly announced: "Okay, I'm done!" 

Steve turned around and, with squinting eyes, tried: "Hmm....I'm going to say...you picked the queen on hearts!"

Bucky shook his head. "Nope, sorry! Better luck next time!" he cried out.

Steve's previous grin turned into a frown as he disappointingly said: "Oh, poop. And here I thought I had it right! I mean, I had a big reveal and everything! I was going to get the card that had somehow gotten inside my shirt pocket, like so..."

He took out a single card and put it face side on the table, leaving Bucky absolutely stunned.

"Steve..."

"-And I was going to say: "Ahah! Read you mind!"-"

"Steve!" Bucky continued.

"-And then I'd get to do my jazzy hands, my absolute trademark! But, since you just told me I guessed the wrong card, then I guess I really can't do-"

"STEVE!!!"

The blond man blinked a couple of times, before replying: "...Yes?"

Bucky only pointed at the card laying at the table, knowing that the other man had been playing him this entire time. 

"Oh! Would you...would you look at that? It turn out that I totally DID READ YOUR MIND, AHAH!" he cried out with a grin.

And with that came "The Great Stevie" patented trademark, jazzy-hands and everything, just before the blond took back the deck and somehow, made it disappear once more.

Just like that, everything made sense to Bucky.


Steve, Steve was different than him.


His tricks were more of the simplistic side, unlike his own.


His act demanded a small venue, unlike his own.


This was why he'd set himself inside the one that Bucky was presently sitting in.


It wasn't to compete with the other man...


It was simply because no other place fitted.


And, despite being the one that had offered the truce between the two of them...


Bucky still found himself having difficulty to breathe.


Steve, with a gentle but concerned look on his face, leaned over and asked: "Bucky, 'you ok?"


And that right there broke the back of the other man's camel, as he suddenly stood up and with a gulp, responded with a hurried:


"Nothing, it's...it's nothing. I-I just need to take a bit of fresh air. Just...just hang on for a minute."


And with that, he was gone, leaving Steve with now two full glasses of the best damn scotch this bar had to offer.


*********


Oh...


Oh god.


He'd been such an ass, Bucky thought to himself as he sat down on one of the park bench that was resting just between the Luxor and the Excalibur.


Steve Rogers had never done a damn thing wrong, ever since he'd stepped into this city. He'd just gone to a show as a simple spectator, like he'd said so in the papers following their very first encounter, but that the other man had absolutely refused to believe because he'd suspected that there had to be an ulterior reason for his attendance.


And here Bucky had been, wanting all the attention and all of the box-office to himself and driving away any contenders that dared to try to get onto his throne as the magician to see around the place, without even knowing the reason...

Hell, without even trying to see who really was trying to get to said throne.

James Buchanan Barnes had never been a good old kitty, but just a scaredy cat.


This man...

This sweet, funny, smart looker of a man...


Had pretty much been nothing but nice to him from the very beginning and had only defended himself when he'd been verbally attacked...


By the complete idiot and once again complete ass that he himself had been from the very beginning.


"...I don't think you're an ass." suddenly came a voice right next to the long-haired man, making him look up.


Steve was standing there, glasses of brown liquor in hand, a small smile upon his face.


Bucky quickly moved over to the opposite side of the bench when the other went over and took a seat. He shook his head at the offered alcohol as he said:


"Thanks, but I don't deserve that." he looked down at the ground as he added with a frown: "I don't deserve any of this, actually."


Steve set the two glasses onto the pavement underneath his feet and scooting a bit closer, he whispered: "Well I for one, think you deserve all the success that you've been getting and still going to get in the future. You're not just amazing at what you do, Bucky, you're simply amazing, inside and outside, even if we've only really known one another for five hours straight."


That right there made Bucky look up at the other man. With a returning smile spreading upon his own face, he couldn't help but whisper back: "Well, I for one think you're simply amazing, inside and outside even though we've only really known one another for five hours straight and if you'll let me, maybe someday, you'll let me see just how amazing you are at what you do for more than one trick...?"


That was the signal that Steve had been waiting for and reaching over, he did the one thing he'd bee wanting to do ever since he'd set his eyes one the other man all those weeks ago:


He took Bucky's hand in his own.


"Well, as long as you don't suddenly appear right into my lap in the middle of my act and call me names, I think we can work something out." he gently whispered once more.


And Bucky, this time the one reaching over, did the one thing that he'd been wanting to do ever since he'd set his eyes on the other man all those weeks ago:


He leaned in.


"Well, as long as sitting or maybe even, laying in said lap is on the schedule besides in the middle of your act, then maybe we can indeed work something out." he whispered back, making the blond man grin back...


And...


Cap off the entire evening with a kiss that was more magical than both of their acts could ever wish to be...


And the best that the two of them had ever tasted, even more than the scotch that was busy sitting there, staring at the rising sun...


Its glass exteriors about to crack from the warmth of its glowing rays..

 

And that both Natasha and Sam would have to pay back.

Chapter Text

Six years later...


On a giant billboard just at the entrance of the city, could be read the following:


"The Strip is proud to present...


The duo that makes magic seem timeless!


Do you like your act to be an extravagant affair?


Or would you rather like something a little bit more intimate?


Well, in their brand new show, "The Great and Absolute Rogers-Barnes", you'll get both end of the spectrum, and so much more at the same time!


As Time Magazine called them: "The Prestidigitatious Newlyweds"  Steve Rogers-Barnes and James Buchanan Barnes-Rogers will give you quite the eyeful and quite the show!


Come on, come all!


You will not be disappointed!"