“Oh my god,” you whispered, slapping Bucky’s arm repeatedly. You were lucky, he thought, to be on his right side and not the left. “Do you see it?”
The spoon paused, halfway to his mouth as he looked around, a confused expression on his face. Liquid dripping like an hourglass, he stuffed it into his mouth before his eyes followed your gaze, seeing a golden labrador leading her blind owner across the street.
“Do you mean the dog?” He asked, watching your face as it lit up, completely enraptured by something so mundane and simple.
“Of course I mean the dog, you jackass.”
Bucky chuckled at you, watching as you reached around to grab your drink while never taking your eyes off the animal. He moved the cup so you could wrap your fingers around it and smiled softly as you sighed, the dog and her owner disappearing from sight.
You turned toward him, “Can we get a dog?”
Bucky, lost in the complete happiness on your face, sighed out, “No.”
“No? Why the hell not?”
“Darlin’, we’re never home. Who would take care of it?”
“I would,” you said, crossing your arms and pouting like you weren’t a grown woman, “I can quit my job and we can just get a bunch of dogs.”
Bucky laughed softly at you, scrunching his nose at the glare sent his way, “How about we try something smaller first? We can do a fish.”
“It’s a no from me,” you said, getting up to throw your trash away. You returned to the table, leaning heavily against his side as he returned to the soup, “We really can’t get a dog?”
Bucky sighed, helpless and in love, “I’ll think about it.”
You dabbed the blood on his forehead, wincing is it streaked and stained his skin red instead of disappearing. He, too, winced from the slight sting of antiseptic. Eyes slightly burning, you shook your head softly to stop the onslaught of emotions.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, ashamed of losing control and getting hurt. He was hurt a lot these days, but not enough to require clean up. It made him ache, to see you this worried about him.
Grasping his chin in your hand, you moved his face side to side lovingly, “As long as you come home to me, in one piece, I don’t care what you do. You have to know that.”
You pressed a kiss to his forehead, letting him pull you further between his widespread legs and wrap his arms around you. You looked beautiful like this, lost in concentration and your thoughts, his heartbreaking and mending all at once as he fell more in love with you.
He looked up, chin resting on your sternum as you dabbed more ointment on. He didn’t really need it, not with the serum, but he appreciated the thought anyway.
The car swerved as you gasped loudly, Bucky automatically looking around for an unseen threat. He cataloged cars, people, innocent bystanders and how to take them out before he heard you giggle. The music turned up as he turned to you, watching you fiddle with the dial.
“What the hell was that for?” He asked, worried and suddenly anxious.
You laughed lightly, turning up the music more, only to yell over it, “This is my favorite song!”
He was a sucker, he knew it the moment he looked in your eyes. It was unfair, really, how much weight you had over him and his emotions. He was terrified and upset before, but now, watching you sing, he was filled with so much adoration he felt like he could burst with it.
“I wanna wake up, where your love is! Sing with me, baby,” you said, turning it down when you saw the look on his face, “Are you okay?”
Bucky cleared his throat, looking back toward the road, “I’m fine.”
“Why aren’t you singing then?”
“I don’t know the song, sweetheart.”
“What song do you want to sing then?” You asked, picking up his phone and scrolling through the playlist he made for you.
He thought about it for a moment or two, “I like that song about the way the person turns.”
You laughed loudly, clutching your stomach before finally calming down, “You mean the Wombats?”
“Sure, yeah, whatever. It’s a good road trip song.”
You side eyed him, “Are we going on a road trip?”
“Well,” he checked the clock and scratched his chin, “We could, if you want to.”
You thought about it for a moment, “Can we get snacks?”
Bucky scoffed, turning left and towards the nearest gas station, “Of course, how do people road trip without snacks?”
“Beats me, big guy, beats me.”
You came out of the bedroom, your anger dulled to a slow simmer as you watched him, his head in his hands as the implications of what he said minutes ago hit him. Both of you rarely fought, but when it did happen, it was thunderous and terrifying. Neither one of you were made to back down, always at the front of the metaphorical mob.
Tonight, though, he had crossed a line. Bucky, when not using his brute strength, was a quiet observer, and he never hesitated to throw dirty little secrets back in your face like it was nothing. Little jabs here and there were fine, but stabbing below the belt was unnecessary.
It wasn’t worth dwelling on, not when you knew he didn’t mean it, but the fall out would be worse if you didn’t address it. Besides, you needed to make something clear. You didn’t deserve that.
You sighed, “I know you’re hurt, and I know you’re angry. I understand that things have happened to you that no one else could even begin to fathom, but listen to me when I tell you this. If you ever, ever, speak to me like that again, I will leave you. And I will not come back.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, wiping his face, “I love you.”
“I know. Don’t do it again.”
It was another monthly team dinner, an event insisted by Steve after everything to further team bonding, when it happened. You were eating, chatting with Natasha about something mundane and pointless when Bucky got your attention, looking nervous, yet excited.
“I never understood,” he began, licking his lips and squinting at a spot just passed your head, “why they say things like ‘I fell in love’ or in general, ‘fall in love’, because I look at you, and I fall in love every day.”
He stands up, smiling at your confused face before he drops to one knee, a hushed silence falling across the kitchen and living room. Pulling out a small box, he opens it slowly, showing the small and simple band inside.
“Every minute, of every day, I look at you and I know that you’re the one for me. There’s no other way around it. You’re under my skin, and you’re the only one I’d ever want there. Even when we aren’t doing anything, when you clean me up, when you sing at the top of your lungs, when we fight, and you inevitably wipe the floor with my ass, I love you just as much. If not more.” Bucky chuckles slightly, watching the tears gather in your eyes and they, too, gather in his. “It’s my job, baby, to want you like it’s the last thing I’ll ever do. I could never love anyone as much as I love you, and I want to do that for the rest of my life. So, will you marry me?”
“Yeah,” you croak, nodding, “Yeah, Buck, I’ll marry you.”
Tony claps as Steve falls in line, hollering in glee. The rest of the Avengers let you have your moment, watching with happiness and hope in their eyes as you both kiss, tender and sweet. They offer congratulations, reminiscent of the days when you both started dating, stories going back and forth as Tony broke out the booze, turning this night into a celebration.
Bucky watched as you blushed, showing Wanda the simplistic band on your finger. He’d been through the trenches of hell, time and time again, only to come out on top. It didn’t matter how many people he had fought before, or how much time he had lost. Love, he decided then, was triumphant.
“Remember all those years ago, when I asked you to marry me?” He asked, looking over at you. He watched you nod, humming and smiling slightly, “Do you remember what I said?”
“You said a lot that night, Buck. Which part do you mean?”
“The part where I told you I’d never love anyone else,” he whispered, your eyes softened as you nodded in understanding, already knowing what he was going to say.
“I think I lied that night, sweetheart.”
You looked at your child in his arms, watching him rock her softly, cooing into her hair. You had promised him the same thing in bed that night, but you knew you both were lying, saving that for when this day came.
“I know, baby,” you whispered, smiling at him and your little girl.
He cleared his throat slightly, careful not to wake her, “Thank you. I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but thank you. You’re wondrous.”
“You deserve all the good things,” you said, holding your arms out as he walked towards you, placing your child in your arms and sliding up behind you to hold you both. “That just happens to include us, too.”