Actions

Work Header

The Winter Avenger

Chapter Text

“Avengers Assemble!” Steve yelled through the earpieces Tony had provided the team with as the alarm blares through the tower. Attuma was making a play for Europe, first stop Berlin. 

We’re undercover in Paris. We’ll meet you there.  

Natasha responded first with a text. Her and Clint were currently out on Shield business but Steve knew he needed the whole team. 

“Captain, Banner and I will portal in. We will see you on the battle field!”

 Thor’s voice echoes from the earpiece. Thor and Bruce were currently off world in Asgard, trying to reach an agreement with Odin about Thor’s work on Earth. By the time Steve reached the Jet Tony, Sam, and Bucky are already strapped in and ready to go. Tony was busy making some adjustments to Bucky’s arm which hummed with electricity, Sam was in the pilot’s chair ready for lift off. 

“The others are meeting us there. Take us to Berlin, Sam.” The Jet buzzed to life and they were off. “Buck? You ok?” His friend scowled as his fingers moved without his consent. Tony kept glancing up to make sure the ex-assassin wasn’t about to slit his throat, he didn’t look very comfortable at being so close to the Winter Soldier.

“Stupid arm malfunction. Iron Bot hasn’t had time to build a new one yet. Might take that Wakandan kid up on her offer.” Bucky hissed in pain as his arm sparked. “Shit!” 

Sam and Tony were suddenly pointing weapons at Bucky. Steve was quick to shield him. “Buck?”

“M’fine. Just shocked me. Jesus. You’d think I was an ex assassin with that reaction…” He rolled his eyes. The others were still on edge around him but the lowered their weapons. They fell into an uneasy silence whilst Tony finished work on the arm. Steve sighed but turned his attention to Attuma’s file, his on flight entertainment. Eventually, they were flying over Europe.

“Coming into Berlin now Cap.” Sam hollered from the cockpit. Steve nodded and launch into his briefing for the battle. Sam would be in charge of clearing civilians, Bucky and Hawkeye were up top for snipers, Tony and Thor were in the water fighting Atlanteans, leaving Natasha and Steve to take on Attuma. Bruce was staying back unless Hulk was needed. Steve was hoping they could avoid it. 

The battle was long and tiring, Attuma was relentless but it was nothing they couldn’t handle. Eventually the hulk managed to knock him down once and for all leaving the Atlanteans without a leader. With Attuma captured the Avengers started to help clear up the city. Sam and Tony were flying people to safety, Natasha called for damage control before her and Clint started their flight back to Paris. Thor was in charge of bringing down the Hulk. That left Steve and Bucky on debris duty until damage control got there. 

“Captain?” A small child’s tugged at his sleeve, tears rolling down his face. “Mutter?” Steve looked down in confusion… German was not his strong point. Where was Natasha when you needed her?

“You adopted a kid there Cap?” Tony said over the radio with a laugh. 

“Shut up Tony… I think he’s lost. Anyone know any German?” Everyone answered negatively, except Bucky. 

Bucky landed next to him almost silently as Sam dropped him off. He took the child’s hand and the two of the spoke for a few minutes in German before Bucky translated a description of a woman over the radio. Tony responded saying he’d seen a lady matching the description a block away. Bucky nodded and whispered something else to the boy. A few seconds later he scooped the child up and carried him away. Tony and Sam were hovering nearby by staring in shock.

“Since when was Barnes so good with kids?” Tony asked. 

“Didn’t he try to kill us this time last year?” Sam responded. “I specifically remember falling off a building in DC….”

“I practically raised my sister in the 30s dumbass. Stevie tell em” Bucky answered over the radio and Steve grinned smugly at his friend’s shocked expressions. They never quite saw passed The Winter Soldier to the protective nerd that was Bucky, no matter how much Steve told them. “Found Alick’s mother. She says thank you. Especially to the one with the wings for saving her husband.”

“My name is Falcon!” Sam whined. “Why does no one ever recognise me?” 

 


The journey back to New York was a quiet one. Tony had switched out with Sam who was now curled up at the back of the jet asleep. Tony was muttering to Jarvis as he flew the jet which gave Steve and Bucky some time to themselves. Bucky leant against Steve’s shoulder sleepily and Steve let his fingers trace patterns lazily on Bucky’s thigh. 

“Mmm… tickles….” Bucky muttered as he pressed his face into the crook of Steve’s neck. 

“Sorry…” Steve whispered as he kissed Bucky’s hair causing Bucky to hum in contentment. 

“No… I like it…” He murmured. 

Steve chuckled quietly. Bucky became very affectionate when he was tired, something that the other Avengers very rarely saw. They were so used to the Winter Soldier Assassin character that Bucky played for missions and the press. The Winter Soldier programming was gone but the skillset remained and as much as Steve hated it, it was very efficient on a mission and it stopped the media asking so many questions when they were deathly terrified of what Bucky might do. 

Around Steve though, Bucky was like a teddy bear. He wasn’t the same charming young Soldier that Steve fell in love with in 1939 but then again Steve wasn’t the same punk who got beat up in an alley. The war had changed them both. Steve thanked God every morning that they’d been given another chance in this strange new world. It’s been two years since Steve woke up from the ice and he was still getting used to it but at least now he had Bucky. 

“Steve?” Tony called from the cockpit, Steve did not like the worry in his friends voice.

“What’s wrong Stark?” Steve called back. He gently pushed Bucky onto his own seat so he could go have a look at what was bothering Tony.

“Mmm.. No… Stevie. Stay!” Bucky gripped his hand as he went to move. 

“We’re getting funny readings from an old Hydra base up in Canada. Similar to the Sceptre Loki was using in New York. Shall we go check it out?” Tony continued, ignoring Steve’s abnormally clingy boyfriend.

Steve was torn. On one hand, Bucky and a warm bed waiting in New York. On the other hand, Hydra and the chance to bring in the Sceptre. Steve groaned. He hated his moral compass sometimes, he knew he was gonna say yes but god damn it he just wanted some rest. He ran his hands through his hair and sighed.

“Yeah. Change course. We’re going to Canada.” He said sadly, cuddles and a movie would have to wait til another day. 

“But Stevie!” Bucky whined. “I don’t wanna!” 

“Steve?” Sam grumbled from the back of the jet.

“Yes Sam?” 

“The fuck have you done to the Winter Soldier?” Sam stretched and pulled the Falcon jetpack back on as he went to look the readings on Tony’s screen. 

“Name’s Bucky… Bird man.” Bucky muttered giving Sam his death glare which haunted the dreams of so many men and women.

“Falcon! Steve! Tell him my superhero name is Falcon. I did not chase his dumbass around Europe with you to get called Bird Man!” Sam yelled in despair.

“Ok ok, but only because Barton was Bird Man first!” Steve replied with a wink as he dodged the Falcon feathers that flew in his direction.

“You’re a shit Steve Rogers….” Sam muttered under his breath.

“Hey Sam.” Steve replied with a smirk. Sam glanced up at him with distrust. “On your left!” 

Steve barely had time to lift his shield before Sam flew at him.


“Jarvis. What are we looking at here?” Tony was flying around the perimeter of what looked be an old cottage. Nothing particularly threatening.

“It appears to be a small abandoned cottage. No signs of life.” Jarvis showed him a schematic of building.

“All our intel says this is a hydra base, Jarvis what’s going on?” Tony was frustrated. They’d only just finished kicking Attuma’s ass in Berlin and they hadn’t even made it home before the jet’s scanners went into red alert. 

“I’m afraid I can’t see sir. If there is more they’ve blocked my scanners.” Tony sighed. 

“Falcon. You and Cap do a sweep of the building. There’s no life signs showing, but be careful in there” He hoped this would be a quick mission. In and out, no battle, get the sceptre if they’re lucky and back in time for dinner. He did a quick spin to avoid Sam as he dove down to meet Steve on the ground. 

“You sure you don’t want me on air support Tony?” Sam responded as his wings folded into the jet pack. 

“No. You’re the best guy tech guy on the team, except for me of course, I need you in there in case we find any hydra gear worth knowing about.” Sam gave him a nod and Tony saw Red Wing fly in the base before the two soldiers. 

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this Stark” The Winter Soldiers voice echoed in his ear. After downing a really crap instant coffee Barnes was back in action. It was honestly terrifying to see him turn from soft kitten to killing machine over one cup of coffee. “How do you know you’re not sending the Captain into an ambush? Why are you taking point on this again?” Tony rolled his eyes. It had been Steve’s idea that they share leadership duties. Apparently it was good training incase Steve ever got taken out on a mission. Cap’s killer boyfriend was not impressed. 

“That’s why I need you outside on surveillance so we don’t get completely surrounded by bad guys. You go in on Cap’s signal. No signal, no bad guys. We go home and sleep until next month.”

“Buck. I got this. Stop worrying. Tony. Sam found a generator that seems to be powering some kind of force field. We’re trying to disable it and then we’re going into the basement.” Steve’s voice cracked through the speakers. Something was messing with the signal.

“Basement. Jarvis scanned for underground anomalies, maybe a blank spot where you expect readings.” Tony hovered for a moment whilst Jarvis completed his scans. He spotted a glint of metal shining in the woods were Barnes was located. 

“Already done Sir. My scans show that this entire forest is sitting on top of a vast underground warren. I can’t be certain though. Scanning for blank spots is not accurate data Sir.” Tony nodded. He had no knowing how many people might be inside.

“Steve. I don’t know what to do. We’re flying blind here!” The familiar swell of anxiety hit him. He closed his eyes. Not here, not now…. 

“Trust the plan Iron Man, trust your team. We got this. Generators down. We’re going in!” 

“Sir. My scans are now telling me there are more than 50 life signs showing in the warrens. There is no sign of the Sceptre. I might suggest we’ve been tricked.” Tony swore. Fucking Hydra, they just wouldn’t stay dead. 

“Falcon, Cap get out of there! It’s a trap!” He yelled but it was too late. Sam and Steve’s radios went static. Barnes screamed for Steve but there was no response. Tony was only just able to fly down to him in time to restrain him. 

“Stand down Barnes. We can’t go in without back up. We’ll get killed.” Tony held him back and radioed for shield back up; hoping Thor or Widow would get the alarm. 

“Steve… “ Bucky whispered and crumpled in his arms. 

 


“Tony?” Sam tried calling out as their radios went static. “Iron Man. You hear us?” Nothing. They were alone. The radios had cut off just after they’d made their way down the secret stair case. The last thing they’d heard was Tony yelling at them but the message was broken and cut off half way through. 

“It’s no use Sam. We’re on our own. Be careful, something doesn’t feel right.” Steve looked around at the dingy underground tunnels they’d found themselves in, Red Wing was up ahead lighting up the tunnels but there wasn’t much to see. 

Like Steve, Sam was not comfortable with the turn this mission had taken. They’d been separated from the rest of the team and they had bad intel but the floor had closed above their heads so they were stuck down here until they found a way out. They both agreed that they might as well explore the tunnels, see what they could find. Sam gripped the throwing knives that had been tucked onto his belt, there wasn’t much space for his wings down here but he could used them in a pinch. He sighed and followed Steve through the tunnels.

“I should have been up top with Tony. I can’t do much underground. Barnes would have been better off with you.” He muttered through the silence. Steve glanced over his shoulder with a frown. 

“Bucky was exhausted from Berlin. Once the coffee wears off he’s gonna crash again. You slept on the plane so you have a better chance of staying alert. Plus, Bucky’s a sniper and an assassin. I needed a soldier.” Steve responded as he turned back to the tunnels. Sam smiled a little, Captain America trusted him. This was why he’d gotten back in, he could have been at home in DC right now with a cup of cocoa and a good book, but his dumb ass hadn’t even hesitated when Captain America turned up on his doorstep and asked for his help. 

“Thanks Cap. Bet your boy’s pulling his hair out up top though.” He grinned and Steve managed a strained laugh.

“Hope not, I like his hair. Tony’s smart enough to call in the others if we need it. I hope.” Sam hoped Steve was right. It was Tony’s first time leading a mission and he was known to not ask for help when he needed it. After all he did give out his address to a terrorist instead of calling for back up when the Mandarin had been attacking New York. Then again, Steve had turned to him instead of calling the Avengers when Hydra tried to launch Project Insight and Steve was being hunted by the Winter Soldier. 

A flash of light came from up ahead as Red Wing went into defence mode. No life signs Tony said… In and out mission Tony said…. Back in time for dinner. Sam was starting to really hate today, first Attuma and now this. Steve flung is shield at the wall which bounced round the corner and Sam heard the sound of men falling but it wasn’t enough, five more soldiers quickly rounded the corner at them firing hell down on them. Sam quickly brought is wings to cover him and Steve from the bullets then Steve made a dash for his shield. Red Wing was shooting back at the Hydra agents but the small drone didn’t have the same accuracy as Barnes or Hawkeye of the field. Sam’s training kicked in quickly, dodging bullets and hitting the agents swiftly with the knives. A quick stab to the gut and slice to the throat and they were falling. Once enough of them were down Sam was able to steal a machine gun of a body. 

His muscles were aching and tired as he fought back to back with Steve who was practically dancing with his shield, the sound of metal rang as he blocked the bullet then threw his oversized frisbee to knock the shooters down. 

“Motherfucker! “ Sam cursed loudly as a bullet dug deep into his leg. He stumbled but his wings managed to keep him standing. 

“Sam!” Steve swung round knocking the shooter down. His blue eyes were filled with worry. “You ok soldier?”

“I’m fine Cap… Bullet never hurt anyone” He said with a forced laugh. He prayed to God that Tony and Barnes were looking for them because they weren’t gonna hold out much longer. The Hydra Agents were just non-stop.

Chapter Text

 

The time it took for the quinjets to arrive was living hell for Bucky, and he’d been a mind wiped assassin for Hydra for 70 years. Tony was busy tinkering with his suit to try and by pass whatever was blocking their radios to Falcon and Steve but it wasn’t very successful. Bucky had managed to convince Stark to at least go into the cottage as they knew the Hydra agents were all down in the tunnels with Steve and Sam. Luckily for Tony, whatever trapdoor the others had gone down was now shut and so Bucky couldn’t follow them even if he wanted to, and he wanted to. So they were stuck waiting for backup watching the red dots on Tony’s scanner surround the two blue ones. Bucky noted that the number of red dots were falling rapidly and he felt a swell of pride. Steve had come a long way since the back alleys in Brooklyn and Bucky was grateful that Sam was down there to stop him from doing anything too stupid. He hoped. Sam had a habit of following Steve without question, Bucky followed but he at least tried to rein in some of Steve’s stupider ideas.  A loud crash shattered the windows and both Bucky and Stark ducked to avoid the glass. They ran outside to see what had caused the noise. Thor was standing in a burnt patch of grass. Bucky wanted to kiss the blond God he was so happy to see him.

“Iron Man, Winter Solder. I heard your call for back up. What’s wrong? Has Attuma escaped?” Thor said with a lazy swing of his hammer.

“Cap’s down. Him and falcon are trapped and surrounded by hydra agents. I can’t get the comms back up and the hydra tech is almost unhackable. I don’t know what to do Thor…” Tony’s voice sounded broken as he admitted defeat. “I can’t get to them Thor.”

Thor knelt down next to the trap door where Sam and Steve had disappeared through and place his hand on the ground. “What have you tried so far Tony?” Thor asked. 

“We tried blasting it open but that barely scratched the surface. We tried hacking the generator and computer but it’s gone into lock down. Whatever Sam did is irreversible without the proper access codes.” Tony ticked off each attempted on his hands.

“I even tried digging through the ground but there’s a metal base underneath the cottage.” Bucky mumbled. 

“Metal doesn’t mix well with electricity.” Thor pondered out loud. Tony grinned at the suggestion.

“Everybody off the floor!” He yelled and the team all scrambled to stand on the chairs and tables in the cottage. “Thor! Give it everything you’ve got, we are going to fry the circuits. Damn it why didn’t I think of that?!” Tony berated himself. 

“You cannot think of everything Tony. No man is capable of that. Even the King of Asgard struggled when he first led an army into battle” Thor put a comforting hand on Tony’s shoulder then spun his hammer around fast.

Bucky felt the static in the air as his hair stuck to his face. He tried to blow it away but it was no use. He knew he should have brought a hair tie with him, he always had this problem when Thor was around. Sparks started flying around the hammer and Bucky shielded his eyes as a bolt of lightning crashed through the roof and hit the floor. The mechanism sparked and the generator blew in the corner. Thor let out a roar of triumph as he bent down to pry to door open. With the electric fried the door swung open easily. 

“Yes Thor!” Tony cheered and hugged the taller man. 

Bucky didn’t have time to enjoy the moment. Steve was down there getting beaten to a pulp. He jumped off the chair he had perched on straight into the tunnels below. The sound of fighting echoed in the warren. Bucky sprinted as fast as he could towards the sound of gunshots.

“Sam!” He heard Steve yell painfully. 

“I’m fine Cap… Bullet never hurt anyone” Sam laughed weakly in response. Bucky cursed under his breath. Wilson had been hit.

“Tony! Get your ass down here!” He yelled back towards the trap door as he flung Hydra agents out of the way, flipping his knife skilfully into their necks. He got to Sam just as he fell to the ground, catching him in his arms.


The sound of machinery bleeping pulled Sam back to consciousness, voices were echoing from above him. There was a deep dull pain shooting in his left thigh and his muscles felt tired like he trying to walk through quicksand. 

“How’s he doing doctor?” A voice that sounded like Stark’s spoke quietly over the hum of the machines. 

“I’ve managed to remove the bullet” A female voice he didn’t recognise “but we’re still rebuilding the tissue structure.” The what?! Who was this miracle doctor. 

Sam took a deep breath and let his eyes flutter open. The room fell silent as he blinked against the bright light. A small woman in a white lab coat was looking down at him in concern. He glance down at his leg which was surrounded by some strange tech that was shooting lasers at the bullet wound. 

“Ok… what movie have I stepped into? Is is Star Trek? Please say this is Star Trek…” Sam mumbled. His words were slurred from whatever drugs they had him on. The girl laughed and Tony gave him a pat on the shoulder.

“No movie Sam, meet Doctor Helen Cho. The Avengers medical specialist. She runs a surgery in Seoul but she’s on call for any Avenger casualties.” Tony turned back to his StarkPad and Sam turned his attention the where the bullet hole was quickly healing with the help of the tech. 

“So. Korea huh? Pretty long way to travel.” Sam muttered as Cho monitored the progress. 

“Not your average commute, no. Try not getting shot next time?” She gave him a mischievous smile. “or maybe Tony should hire a vet nearer to home. All I ever do if fix the Avengers bird types.”

“Hey! At least I’m not named after a spider, those things are gross.” Sam shot back. He hadn’t even chosen the name Falcon. It had come with the suit. 

“Don’t let Natasha hear you say that.” Sam swallowed. Cho was right, Natasha could be damn terrifying when she was mad. 

“Don’t let Natasha hear what?” Sam flinched as the red-head appeared at the doorway. How did she manage to do that? She was like a ghost! She was smirking as she leaned on the doorway, on hand on her hip. “Good to see you’re awake. You lost a lot of blood Falcon.” 

Sam wondered how long he’d been out for. He was pretty certain that Nat and Clint had been on some undercover mission in Paris before Attuma had attacked Berlin. Everyone did seem pretty worried about him so it must have been some time, the last thing he remembered was Cap asking him if he was alright. He vaguely remembered someone catching him as he fell over but he couldn’t remember who. 

“All done. Good as new Sam. Try to be more careful next time.” Cho called out and Sam gave his toes an experimental wiggle. He certainly didn’t feel like he’d been shot, the woman was a miracle worker. 

“Thanks doctor. Hopefully we won’t be seeing you too soon.” Sam shook her hand and she rolled her eyes. 

“Hopefully. Although you could invite me to a famous Tony Stark party once in while. It would make a change from peeling your bleeding bodies off the sidewalk.”

Sam grinned sheepishly. “Consider it done. Hey Nat, weren’t you supposed to be in Paris?”

“We finished that mission weeks ago. Tony didn’t believe me when I said I only needed a couple of days to get the information. We’ve been on holiday for two weeks instead. Couldn’t stay away when we heard you’d been hurt though.” Natasha extended her hand and pulled him off the gurney. Sam couldn’t believe he could put pressure on his injured leg. He’d be back in the field as soon as a mission came in. 

“Me and Cap were stuck in the tunnels. How’d we get out?” He asked as they walked through the tower’s corridors together. He heard music from the games room and the sound of someone singing. It must be the Avengers weekly Guitar Hero tournament. 

“Thor managed to fry the circuits and James pulled you out.” Natasha replied. James? As in James Barnes aka the winter soldier ask Cap’s creepy ex assassin boyfriend has saved him? Over Steve? He had been injured sure but there was no way Barnes would put him first. Was there? Natasha must have sensed his confusion. “Barnes is a member of this team. We can trust him.”

“I know. I think. I helped Cap track him down remember? I just thought he would have helped Steve first.” Sam didn’t exactly trust Bucky but he trusted Steve and Steve had an obscene amount of trust in Bucky. Sam wondered if it ever occurred to Steve that the Winter Soldier was only one bad mission away from Bucky Barnes. 


Steve was pacing nervously in the communal sitting area of the Avengers Tower and quite honestly it was giving Bucky a headache. It didn’t help that Thor and Barton were trying to bring the roof down next door with that ridiculous noise they called music. The songs themselves weren’t too bad but the Avengers attempts to perform the songs on plastic instruments left something to be desired. They were all worried about Sam, it was the first time since Bucky had joined the Avengers that Doctor Cho had been called. Apparently Barton had had a few near misses in the past, even Steve had required her assistance after DC but Bucky hadn’t exactly been in the right frame of mind back then. Bucky was sprawled out on the sofa with a blanket pulled over his head to block out the sound of Steve’s incessant footsteps. 

“James?” Romanoff called and Bucky groaned, pulling the blanket tighter over his head. He just wanted to be left alone. He would have gone back to his room but Steve wanted to wait for news on the Falcon. “James Buchanan Barnes, look at me!” She spoke in Russian and Bucky growled a curse back. 

“Hey, Buck. Come on.” Steve’s voice was closer and Bucky felt Steve’s hand rest on his knee. The nervous energy that had been emanating from his boyfriend had faded away and that could only mean one thing.

“Sam?” Bucky struggled to escape his blanket fort but eventually managed to tug free. Steve was looking up at him with an amused expression. His deep blue eyes sparkled playfully.

“Afraid not, just me…You know… Your boyfriend.” Bucky scowled and pushed Steve off. 

“Shut up punk, you know what I meant.” Bucky shot back and he heard Sam’s familiar laugh came from the door way where he was stood with Natasha. Bucky turned to face him with a smile.

“Umm… Hi. Thanks again for saving me, Barnes.” Bucky rolled his eyes at Sam’s awkwardness. He’d never quite gotten passed the fact Bucky, no, The Winter Soldier, had actively tried to kill him during his time with Hydra. 

“My name is Bucky. Figured if anyone was gonna have a chance to kill you it should be me right?” Bucky joked but everyone just stared at him. Apparently it was still too soon to make those types of jokes. 

“You see, I really want to believe that you’re joking. You are joking right? Steve he’s joking right?” Sam asked, a little flustered and Bucky sniggered under his breath. He wondered when the other Avengers were gonna start trusting him. Steve caught his eye mischievously and intertwined their fingers. 

“I don’t know Sam. You were the one that said he wasn’t the type of guy you save. I’d be pretty mad at you too.” Steve played along and Bucky noticed Natasha was trying to hide a smile.

“Aww come on! That was one time! I helped you find him didn’t I?” Sam stared at them incredulously. Bucky almost felt bad, but they’d realised how easy it was to wind Sam up and it was one of those small pleasures in life. 

“Relax Sam. They are teasing you.” Natasha placed her hand on Sam’s arm. It took the soldier a moment to process her words.

“Mother F… Goddamnit! I expected this from him! But you too Barnes -” Sam pointed at Steve accusingly. 

“Bucky” He interjected. 

“- Suit up. Training room, Now!” Sam stormed off leaving the three Avengers giggling. Bucky’s whole body was sore and tired from their back to back missions but it was rare that someone other than Steve or Natasha volunteered to train with him. So he hauled his ass of the sofa so he could go and get his gear.

“Two on Two?” Natasha suggested with a flick of her hair. Steve grinned and nodded in agreement.

“We’ll see you down there.” Steve pulled Bucky out of the room towards their bedroom.

Chapter Text

Tony wasn’t quite sure what had happened. 

This time last week the Winter Soldier stalked the corridors of the Avengers Tower. Cap had always insisted that Bucky was always in control behind the mask but the other Avengers weren’t so sure. Then Barnes had rescued that kid in Berlin and they’d seen a peak of the man Steve was always telling them about. The Winter Soldier that had appeared on the quinjet was almost unrecognisable as he curled around Steve like a sleepy kitten and joked around with Sam. He’d been skittish and panicky once they realised Cap and Falcon were trapped. It was unusual to see Barnes so shaken on a mission. Since Sam had woken up from the cradle, Barnes was a changed person. 

“Has anyone seen Redwing?” Sam called through the corridors as he ran passed Tony’s lab. Jarvis pulled up a scan of the Tower in front of Tony. He rolled his eyes as he noted where Redwing had ended up. It looked like Barnes was enjoying his new favourite pastime of hide Sam’s stuff. 

“Check with Winter, Sam” He called over the Tower’s comms device.

“Fuck off Stark. Ruin all the fun.” Bucky hissed ominously. 

Tony heard the vents creaking above him. He glanced upwards and checked the scans again. Yup that was definitely Barnes. “At least I haven’t told him your location Soldier.” Tony ducked as a knife came flying from the ceiling and hit the centre of his monitor. “You’re paying for that Barnes.”

He heard a ghostly laugh over the comms system. Apparently Bucky Barnes had a sense of humour. Tony ordered a few replacement parts using his phone and decided to go join Steve in the TV room. Steve was in the middle of a Netflix binge, he’d just discovered Sherlock and was completely hooked. Tony thought it was a little predictable but Pepper enjoyed it so he’d watched every episode so far and it was always fun to watch Rogers try and work out the stories. He stopped when he walked into the room. Cap and Bucky were curled up on the sofa together, Bucky was snoring gently against Steve’s chest whilst the TV played in the background.

“How?” He stuttered and glanced back into the corridor where he’d just come from. 

“Tony. What’s up?” Steve smiled at him whilst running his hands through his kitten assassins' hair.

“Hmm… nothing. Just wasn’t expecting to see Barnes here.” Tony scratched his head. 

“Barnes where’s Redwing?!” Sam came crashing into the room almost knocking Tony flying. In an instant Bucky had Sam pressed up against the wall with a knife to his throat. A deathly silence fell over the room. 

“Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus” The former assassin whispered in Sam’s ear and then dropped the knife. It clanged to the floor and everyone stared at Bucky. Sam started giggling first and before long they were all rolling on the floor laughing. 

“He quoted Harry Potter!” Tony laughed as he held his stomach. 

After while they were interrupted as Clint entered the room. “I thought you were looking for this?” He muttered from the doorway, holding Red Wing in his hands. He was looked perplexed as he took in the scene in front of him. “Like… I’ve been in that vent for ages. Did no one think to tell me the prank was off?”

Tony and Sam both looked up at Clint with tears in their eyes. 

It took a moment to remembered what he was talking about. “It was you!” They yelled in unison which just set the super soldiers off again. After they’d finally calmed down they explained how the three of them had set up the elaborate prank and swapped Clint and Bucky’s comms devices to trick Jarvis. They’d planned to keep Sam and Tony in the dark for hours until Bucky had fallen asleep and Sam had startled him from his nap. 

Tony honestly couldn’t believe it. One moment he’d been housing Captain America and The Winter Soldier and the next moment he had two trolls messing with everyone. He was happy they were both starting to relax and enjoy the new century but he really missed the peace and quiet.


It was movie night in Avengers Tower. Natasha had swiped the loveseat to herself and Clint was sat by her feet. He was currently in the middle of restringing his bow and Natasha found it almost mesmerising to watch him work. She glanced around the room to assess the situation. It was a habit she’d never been able to break. Tony was busy arguing with Rhodey about which was the best film to watch. Sam was flying that damn machine around the room, mostly in close proximity to the Soldier who was scowling at him from Steve’s lap. Thor was sat on one of the big bean bags Skyping Jane and Darcy who were in Peru conducting research on some space thing that Natasha didn’t understand and Bruce was busy preparing the snacks with Pepper in the kitchen. There were no immediate threats to safety and everyone seemed happy. 

“Is this bothering you?” Sam teased as Redwing buzzed in Bucky’s ear and the former assassins hair doubled in size with the static energy.

“No.” Bucky replied calmly but Natasha could see they way his jaw was tense. Steve raised his eyebrow at Sam but said nothing.

“How about this?” The drone emitted a high pitched whistle and both super soldiers clasped their hands over their ears.

“Knock it off Sam.” Steve grumbled. “Enhanced hearing remember?” 

“Oops. Sorry Cap.” The drone whizzed back to Sam and landed in his lap.

“You know a week ago you wouldn’t have dared to do that.” Natasha broke the awkward silence that had fallen. 

It was true. It had only been just over a week since Berlin and the small child that had allowed the Avengers to see through the Soldier’s mask. Since then Bucky had been less inclined to hide behind the mask and he was more at ease around the tower. Natasha had always known that Barnes was nothing to be feared but even she had been surprised by the sudden change of character of both Steve and Bucky. Nobody had suspected that Captain America was just as much an act as The Winter Soldier. 

“What do you mean?” Sam asked. He looked confused. 

They fallen very quickly into the habit of teasing each other mercilessly. Apparently Bucky had taken it personally when Steve had found himself a new best friend and Sam was defensive over that position. They were constantly trying to one up each other. 

“Last week you could barely thank him for saving your life.” Clint muttered from the floor , not looking up from his bow.

“You were terrified he would turn back into the Soldier.” Natasha added. Bucky smirked smugly at Sam who’d blushed and was now hiding behind his drone.

“I was just showing respect.” He stammered. “He did try to kill me you know.”

“If I had tried to kill you then you would be dead.” Bucky muttered. “I just wanted you out of the way.”

“You tried to kill Cap and he’s alive.” Tony quipped.

“He broke the programming.” Bucky smiled dopily at Steve.

“Nothing like a tragic love story to break 70 years of Hydra programming.” Natasha rolled her eyes and everyone laugh. Steve and Bucky just stared happily into each others eyes. 

Tony and Rhodey finally agreed to watch The Princess Bride and lights went dark. Clint finally dropped his bow and snuggled onto the loveseat with Natasha as the film began. Finally everyone in the tower was at ease with one another. There were no masks or acts. Just one big happy family and Natasha was ok with that.