Steve thinks it’s incredibly possible that his coffee pot is haunted.
No. Scratch that.
Steve knows his coffee pot is haunted.
It refuses to brew a cup of coffee that isn’t primordial sludge and this morning he’d been woken up by it screaming. So yeah, he’s definitely dealing with a haunted kitchen appliance.
“Why don’t you just get rid of the thing and get a new one?” Sam asks, apparently not knowing the offense he’s causing with the very idea.
The coffee pot shrieks and wiggles ominously across Steve’s counter, it’s cord rattling threateningly and the primordial ick bubbling from the top.
Steve pats the top of it soothingly, says “Shhh, he doesn’t mean it,” and then to Sam, “I can’t get rid of it. It’s been a perfectly good coffee pot all these years.”
Steve is also, possibly, a teensy tiny bit attached to his stuff. Sam likes to call him a hoarder, which is ridiculous and incredibly untrue.
He frowns at the ooze stuck to his hand and shakes it out, trying to get it off.
“Okay man, okay. You need to call someone about that shit though, because I think the goo is spreading.”
Shit, it is.
There comes a point where Steve can go absolutely no longer without his morning cup of coffee and he has to admit defeat, apologize to his coffee pot and go find the nearest coffee shop.
It’s when he’s halfway through his triple shot, almond milk, caramel mocha with no whip that he finds it on the bulletin board.
‘Need a witch’s services?’ is written across the top of a piece of printer paper in large letters, followed by ‘Call Brooklyn’s Best Bitches for all your witchy needs! We provide spells, amulets, potions, mild jinxes, exorcisms, stitch witchery, recipes to capture a lovers attentions (NO LOVE SPELLS!) and can even take care of your plants! Enquire today for all your magical needs.’
Steve juggles his coffee into one hand, digs through his bag to find his phone and takes a picture of the flyer so that he can call later..
He forgets about it entirely until three days later when the coffee pot has started lashing it’s cord back and forth like a disgruntled cat and making a shrieking noise anytime he tries to enter his kitchen.
The primordial goo is definitely spreading more.
“You’ve reached Natasha.” A voice says when Steve dials the number.
“Uh, I was trying to reach Brooklyn’s Best Bitches?”
“Oh, right, this is us. What can we do for ya today Steve?” Natasha asks and Steve bites back his instinct to insist he hasn’t given her his name. She’s a witch, of course she knows weird things.
“I think I’ve got a haunting?”
“Know. I know I’ve got a haunting. There’s uh, primordial goo involved.”
“Sounds pretty bad,” The voice is suspiciously chipper for the problem Steve’s having and Steve can hear the scratch of a pen and what sounds like gum being chewed, “We’ll set you up with an appointment with our specialist. 4 o’clock sound good? Of course it sounds good. You’ll see us then.”
The line goes dead and Steve blinks a few times, feeling a bit like he’s just been run over.
At 4 on the dot Steve swings his door open expecting to see something incredibly different than what he gets.
He can’t lie and say what he’d been expecting wasn’t the stereotype of an old withered lady, or maybe even a particularly gothy barely out of her teens girl. He had not expected tall, muscled and fucking gorgeous.
Steve does not want to hoard him like the biggest, best pile of shiny things he’s ever seen.
Steve definitely wants to hoard him like the biggest, best pile of shiny things he’s ever seen.
“I’m here about the haunting?” The man says when Steve has been silent and staring for what is possibly an incredibly awkward amount of time.
“Oh! Right! Yeah, of course, come in. It’s in the kitchen. Don’t worry about the hissing too much, I don’t think it’ll actually attack or anything.” Steve says, leading the man into his apartment and straight to the kitchen.
The coffee pot makes a bubbling noise that Steve’s started to take as an equivalent to growling and shakes back and forth viciously.
“Hey, be nice to our guest. He’s here to fix you.” Steve tells it and receives a sort of deflated gurgle in response.
“You talk to it?” Tall, dark, and shiny asks.
“What else am I supposed to do with it? It’s not exactly brewing a good cup of coffee these days.” Steve says, gesturing to the ooze currently bubbling up and out of the top to coat Steve’s kitchen counter.
The man looks a little like he doesn’t know quite how to respond to that, “I’m Bucky by the way.” He says instead, poking at the ooze, very delicately sniffing it, then dabbing the tip of his finger against his tongue. Steve’s a little grossed out, but also weirdly enamored.
“It’s great to meet you Bucky,” Steve says, feeling the warmth of the name like a physical thing.
“Your coffee pot is definitely possessed.”
“Yeah, I kinda figured as much.”
“You know it’d cost less to just get a new one than it will for me to exorcise whatever’s in it right?” Bucky asks, sounding genuinely concerned, like maybe he thinks Steve in fact, doesn’t know that.
With Sam or anyone else, Steve would say what he always does, which is that Mr Coffee is a perfectly good coffee pot who has loyally produced coffee for Steve for all these years and that he can’t. Sam doesn’t make Steve feel the irrational urge to curl around a perfect strange and happily blow smoke out his nose.
“I know. I just can’t.” Steve says a little lamely. “Dragon,” Steve adds, gesturing toward himself, and then gesturing towards the coffee pot and the rest of the kitchen, “Dragon’s stuff.”
Bucky makes a sort of ‘ahhhh’ noise, nodding a little. “Magic makes us weird,” He says, lips curving into the sort of smile that would make Steve’s tail practically wag if he was shifted right then. “I’ve got what feels like half a greenhouse full of plants I found half dead and possibly, but definitely didn’t steal. Because that’d be illegal.”
“I’m sure you’d get hard time for plant theft.” Steve jokes, hopping onto the counter opposite the one currently turning into a swamp of primordial goo.
“Exactly, and I’m too pretty for prison.” Bucky jokes back, even though it’s probably true, “I should really get started on this though. You can hang around if you want, or go do whatever. It might take awhile.” He adds, sounding somewhat apologetic.
“I’ll stick around if that’s okay. I’ve never seen an exorcism before.”
“Perfect. Just don’t cross any chalk lines or accidentally fall into portals.” And then, before Steve can question any of that, he’s shrugging out of his jacket to reveal one very nicely muscled arm and one metal arm before turning away from Steve and getting to work.
Steve spends at least a few moments stuck on the arm. The shiny, metal, clearly magically crafted, covered in more runes than Steve could even begin to identify, beautiful arm.
What follows is a lot of chalk drawings, a lot of what sounds like some sort of Latin that Steve absolutely doesn’t understand, at least 5 different portals that Steve tries not to look into too closely, and a solid 15 minutes of screeching from Steve’s coffee pot.
When it’s over though, Steve’s kitchen is free of goo and his coffee pot is brewing what looks like a non sludge filled pot of coffee.
Bucky fixed it. Steve’s so happy he could kiss the guy.
He doesn’t. But the point remains, he could.
Instead, Steve pulls down two mugs and says “You should stay for a reward cup of coffee.”
Bucky’s smile is the sort that looks like a warm, toasty place for Steve to curl up in when he says “You know what? I should. I deserve it.”
Three hours, two pots of coffee, and six only half paid attention to episodes of Friends later, Steve is resisting the urge to drag Bucky Barnes back into his apartment.
It’s a ridiculous feeling to have about someone he’s known all of a few hours, but if there’s one thing a dragon is good at identifying it’s a goddamn treasure.
“Friday.” Bucky says, leaning against Steve’s door frame and looking down at him with an expression that Steve’s hoping is actually what one could call soft and it isn’t just Steve’s imagination playing tricks on him.
“What about Friday?”
“That’s when you’re going to be out on a date with me.”
“What are you, psychic now?”
“Nope, I just know you’re gonna say yes.”
“Hmmm, I might have to think about that one first.” Steve says, lying and probably lying very badly.
“Mmhmm, sure you do.” Bucky says, grinning like he somehow finds Steve incredibly entertaining. “I’ll pick you up at 6, Rogers.”
“It’s a date.”