In Your Arms
Bucky wakes up with a scream just dying on his lips. His mouth tastes like blood and ash, and he looks down to see both his hands trembling. His skin is on fire and he feels dirty, as if soaked in the blood, grime and dirt from a mission. He draws in a ragged breath and closes his eyes, and lets out a full body flinch when the images flash
blonde hair caked with blood.
haunted baby blues with one eye swollen shut and bruises all over his face.
his own helpless screams .
He knows who it was in his dreams and he blinks to see the shut door and realizes his feet led him here subconsciously. He strains his ears, and is mildly surprised to hear an uneven and non periodic breathing. Steve is awake. He needs to see him.
He turns the handle and the door opens with a click. He steps in to see Steve sitting up on his bed, leaning against the headboard, looking directly at him. He knows. Bucky never needs to say or ask. Neither does Steve. They know and understand each other like a book read a thousand times.
They both stare at each other and Bucky takes in Steve’s presence. Steve who’s very much alive, unharmed and breathing. Steve with blankets pooling low on his waist, milky white chest exposed to the chilly night.
He is Bucky’s fucking wet dream since 1935.
'Don’t get a boner, don’t get a boner.' He repeats in his head like a mantra, and the reality as to why he’s here comes crashing on him, and his skin prickles with dread and the fear still in him from the nightmare shakes his core. Realistically, he should go now that he knows Steve is breathing.
But James Buchanan Barnes had never been realistic. Not when it came to Steven Grant Rogers.
Steve scoots towards the cool glass of the floor to ceiling window – Stark had designed it such that people inside the room could see outside perfectly, but outside people couldn’t look inside- and lifts up his covers in a silent invitation. Just like the old days. Except now it was Bucky who needed Steve. Since he moved into the Stark tower after Potomac, it's a ritual these days, and most times he finds Steve awake and up for him. Steve never makes him say it, just offers his bed and warmth. And most nights, it's Bucky who wakes up disturbed and scared from the nightmares. On some, it's Steve.
He pads up to his bed barefoot and gets under the covers, nearly passing out from the alluring body heat Steve radiated. The blonde burned like a furnace after the serum, an advantage that Bucky had unabashedly used as an excuse to cuddle with Steve in the harsh cold weather in Europe.
They both run hot, perks of being super soldiers, but cold and ice have never been their allies so they both tend to keep themselves inside the warm comfort of the covers. He settles down in the covers, and turns to face Steve who is intently staring at him with clear deep cerulean eyes and not-
Those eyes close and blood seeps down from the left one while a tear slips from the other.
He lungs forward and wraps his arms tightly around Steve, clutching him closer. Two sets of warm arms wrap around him and he ducks his head under his chin and shakes silently.
“No no no please.”, he whimpers tears falling silently downs his cheeks and onto Steve’s chest.
“Bucky you’re here. With me. With us, the avengers. You’re safe. I’m here. Shhh breathe.” , Steve’s soft voice whispered into his hair, and the rumble in his chest eased off his fear somewhat. He curls further into Steve’s body and shoves his legs between his and closes his eyes.
Which turns out to be a mistake.
The click of a laser gun powered by tesseract going off.
This is the end of the line.
He jerks back and looks into Steve’s eyes which are boring into his soul. He reaches his flesh hand pushes off the blonde bangs falling in front of his eyes, with shaking fingers and cups his cheek.
Warm skin. Alive.
“They killed you. And I…”, a tear slips down.
“I… couldn’t stop it.”, he finishes with a choked off sound. Steve pulls off his hand from where it was nestled against Bucky’s neck and uses it to gently wrap his hand around Bucky’s.
Bucky watches in silent amazement at Steve’s fingers curling around his hand which is cupping his cheek. The touch makes him lose the shakiness from the nightmare.
It’s so Steve.
“They can’t.”, he snaps his eyes into Steve’s the blue eyes that look so sure and determined.
“I’m not leaving you. They can try, but they could never take me from you. Never take this. Us.” Every word makes Bucky’s cells sing in contentment and firmly root the sense of belonging. To Steve. Always to Steve.
“They won’t.”, The words escape his lips without thought. Steve simply tucks Bucky into his chest and cradles his head. Fingers combing gently and lovingly through Bucky’s soft hair, blunt nails slightly scratching on his scalp.
“Till the end of the line, Buck.”, Steve says into his hair, lips brushing his hair in a silent caress. It makes Bucky’s heart sing in love and happiness.
He relaxes into Steve’s hold, never once pulling away or loosening his tight grip on the blonde. He rests his head against his pecs and listens to the thud of his heart that grounds him.
He closes his eyes and breathes into the scent of pine, rain and a hint of cologne, and immerses himself into it deeply.
Above him, he feels Steve’s breath even out, and with a courage he’d never have to utter those words, he spells them out on the flesh above Steve’s heart with his flesh finger.
I love you.
He sighs and closes his eyes snuggling deeply into the arms that cage him. His heart. Every breathe he inhales and exhales. His soul. His life.
He is in the limbo between sleep and being awake, when he feels lips tenderly kiss his hair and a soft whisper.
“ I love you too Buck.”