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Phantom Pain *On Hold*

Chapter Text

When The Avengers entered the briefing room there was already someone there. She was young, stunning and made the hair on the back of Bucky’s neck stand up.

 

He was trained to look for details, to see past the obvious and look for potential threats and weaknesses. His eyes roamed over you, taking in everything. At first glance, you seemed like a little rich girl who thought too much of herself and nothing more but simmering below the surface was so much more.

 

Your expensive high heels were well worn on the soles, but not so much they needed replaced. Your clothes were all tailor fitted except the cashmere cardigan wrapped around you. You were rich yes, but not spoilt. You wore your favorite shoes often and favored comfort over fashion.

 

The way you held yourself oozed confidence, from your casual leaned back position in the chair to your legs crossed at the ankle. But you weren’t posing or flashing yourself off. You weren’t the most conventionally attractive woman in the world, though not ugly by any stretch of the imagination. You sat in a way that let people see as much or as little of you as they chose, indicating that you didn’t care either way. Confident but not egotistical.

 

“I think you’re in the wrong room.” Bucky said, forgoing a polite greeting.

 

“No, I’m not.” You responded, almost dismissively.

 

“Miss King, you’re the heir to King Inc, the global tech company?” Sam asked and Bucky frowned.

 

He hadn’t heard of you or the company but judging by the reactions of everyone in the room he was the only one in the dark.

 

Tony chose that moment to sweep into the room and you smirked at him.

 

“Mr Snark.” You said with faux politeness.

 

“Well if it isn’t my favorite hot mess.” He said back with equal fervor.

 

You grinned and stood up, hugging him.

 

“So why have you summoned me?” You asked him.

 

“That was me, I asked you to come.” Bruce said, rushing into the room.

 

Your expression softened as you embraced the scientist warmly and to Bucky’s surprise, the normally nervous and timid man embraced you back.

 

His mind immediately spun through the possibilities. Were you a relative? You didn’t look like one but that didn’t rule it out.

 

“We have a security issue, as in security we need to get through. We need access to Hydra files but we don’t want them to know that we know what they are up to. We need a quiet way inside their system, without them noticing we were ever there.” Bruce explained, getting straight to the point.

“So you want me to break through Hydra’s cyber system?” You asked with what Bucky swore was relief.

 

Well, that piqued his curiosity.

 

“If you don’t mind?” Bruce asked.

 

“She’d be happy to.” Tony cut in and you raised a brow at him.

 

Everybody waited impatiently while you and Stark had a mini stare off.

 

“What am I missing here? How is, no offense, a socialite going to help us break into Hydra?” Sam asked.

 

“None taken, and as well as being a pampered little princess I happen to be an excellent hacker. The best in fact.” You grinned.

 

“Debatable.” Tony coughed.

 

“How many times have I hacked your systems Snark? Twelve?”

 

“Thirteen I believe.” Friday interjected.

 

“Miss King is extremely talented, if anyone can get in it’s her.” Bruce added.

 

“So you’ll do it.” Natasha said and it wasn’t a question.

 

“I have some spare time, why not? Friday, you going to help me out with this?”You asked.

 

“Of course Miss King, it will be a pleasure to work with you again.”The AI responded.

 

“You’re only saying that because I’ve been inside you.”You said with a wicked smirk.

 

“Yet you still haven’t bought me dinner.”Friday sarked back.

 

“Ohhh, Minx.”You sassed back.

 

“Hey, no, stop flirting with my AI, and Friday stop flirting back!” Tony admonished.

 

“I’m going to need a lot more information about what I’m looking for.” You informed them, waving off Tony’s protests.

 

“I’ll show you what you need shall I?” Tony said and gesturing to the door.

 

“I’ll do it.” Bruce said quickly, standing up.

 

“It was nice to meet you all, seriously, I’m a big fan of The Avengers. Except for Iron Man, that guy is overrated.”You said, waving at them as you left.

 

“Says the B-List Kardashian.” Tony retorted, raising his voice so you could hear him as you walked away.

 

“Weak, you’re losing your edge Snark.” You called back.

 

The Avengers immediately launched into Tony with a verbal interrogation about who you were, how Bruce and Tony knew you and whether you could be trusted.

 

“A hacker?e Really? I can barely switch my computer on, that’s why I just leave it in sleep mode.” You said to Bruce as he led you away.

 

“Sorry, we had to tell them something. It wasn’t a complete lie though, you can bypass all their security. And Stark’s.” He said with an apologetic shrug.

 

“Perks of being The Phantom Brucey. Perks of being dead.”

 

 

Chapter Text

“Perks of being The Phantom Brucey. Perks of being dead.”

 

Eighteen Months Ago

 

 

He had just put his hand on the car door handle when someone came up behind him.

 

“Dr Banner?”

 

“Oh, uh hello. Can I help you?” He said, turning round to look at you with a nervous and suspicious frown.

 

“I’m Miss King, my father is Alexander King of King inc.” You said, offering your hand.

 

“I know your father, he’s a very smart man.”Bruce said, trying to find a compliment.

 

“Not as smart as you Dr Banner, I believe you are the worlds leading expert in Gamma Radiation?”

 

“I’m something of an expert but I’m very busy with other things and I’m already working with Stark Industries.”He said politely.

 

“I’m not trying to recruit you, well not for my father’s company. I need your help. The company is building something, something big and my father and my uncle have been acting weird for months now. Can you just look at these? Please?” You said, pulling a bunch of papers out of your bag and handing them to Bruce.

 

He pulled his glasses out of his shirt pocket and put them on, flicking through the papers. His expression got paler and paler until he looked up at you, horrified.

 

“These readings are...”

 

“Bad?”You supplied.

 

“Ionizing Radiation, Electromagnetic Radiation and Gamma Radiation readings are all off the charts. Where did you get these?” He asked.

 

“I knew something wasn’t right but I couldn’t find a reason to get into that section the facility so I bribed one of the techs to take a radiation detector inside, hidden in his suit. Yesterday he quit the company and moved to Japan... Apparently. I can’t get a hold of him.” You explained.

 

“Alright, you did the right thing bringing this to me. Where is this facility?” He asked.

 

You looked uncomfortable and scared.

 

“The facility is in Upstate New York. I stole an ID card from one of the scientists on the project and I can get you in the building. But the security systems are all biometric.” You told him.

 

“We can find a way in, don’t worry about that. You’ve done more than enough Miss King.”

 

“You can’t though, you can’t just break in. If my uncle finds out...”

 

“Your uncle is?”

 

“Secretary Of State. Thaddeus Ross.”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Explain to me again why we’re sneaking in, with the help of a civilian?” Tony asked as they trudged through the woods surrounding the King Facility.

 

“Ross is up to something and if we kick down the doors he’ll know we know about it. And find a way to use the accords to make us pay for it.” Bruce explained, again.

 

“Hey.”

 

“Jesus Christ, what are you some kind of horror movie killer?” Tony asked, jumping at your sudden appearance.

 

“If I was, would I tell you?” You retorted.

 

“Nice to see you again Princess.” Tony said, smirking at you.

 

“You two know each other?” Bruce asked.

 

“We’ve met at various functions and parties. Princess is the new me according to the press.” Tony smirked.

 

You rolled your eyes. You were the only child of a multi-billionaire, set to inherit the company one day if you could dispense of your partying ways and the press liked to call you the Millennial Tony Stark.

 

“Can we just go? I want to get this over with.” You told them.

 

You led them to a side entrance, past Scully, the security guard who always fell asleep at his post after eating. You’d personally delivered a box of doughnuts to him twenty minutes prior. You held your finger up to your lips to indicate silence to the two men and Tony rolled his eyes at you.

 

“I know how to be stealthy princess.”He whispered.

 

“Really? I thought you always liked to make an entrance.” You whispered back and Bruce smirked at the little exchange.

 

“Touche.”

 

Tony did something with his phone and the red lights on the security camera’s flickered off. The entrance door looked like nothing more than a normal door but you knew better. You placed your palm on a seemingly random brick on the wall which lit up and another section of the wall opened to reveal a retinal scan.

 

Once you were done you pulled your hand back opened the door.

 

“We’ve got it from here Miss King, you should leave.” Bruce warned you and you nodded, passing him the pilfered access card.

 

“The code is 269212. Good luck.” You told them.

 

Bruce nodded and Tony mock saluted you as they slipped through the door, closing it behind them. You counted to ten and opened it again, following them.

 

You had to know what your father was doing, you couldn’t just let them go without you so you silently followed them through the suspiciously empty halls.

 

Where the hell was everyone? Maybe it was just luck that the facility was empty, maybe it was sign that this was going to go well.

 

You peered around the corner to watch Tony swipe the card through the door the west wing of the facility and darted out to stop it closing behind them. You popped your head through the door and slipped through, ducking behind a pillar before they could spot you. You followed them through the room, hiding behind pillars or filing cabinets so they didn’t turn around and see you.

 

The room was huge, and strangely warm. You wiped the rapidly forming sweat off your brow as you ducked out of your current hiding place to get a better look at the large metal circular chamber in the dead centre of them room.

 

The two superhero’s were huddled over a computer screen ans discussing something agitatedly but you couldn’t hear what. You had to get closer.

 

You tiptoed as close as you dared, ducking behind a desk to listen in. What you heard made your blood run cold.

 

“When that bomb goes off, and it’s going off Tony, the radiation is going to settle over New York and most of the state.” Bruce said.

 

“The reading are rising by the second, we shouldn’t even be in here. We’re going to need anti radiation injections asap.”

 

“We’ve got minutes, not hours before this thing goes critical. The chamber is designed to contain the radiation, but the outer locks been broken. The only way to seal it is from the inside.”Bruce said heavily.

 

“I know what you’re thinking and no, this thing is Gamma radiated. We don’t know that the hulk can survive it or what it would do to you both if he did.”Tony snapped.

 

“One of us has to do it and I at least have a chance to survive. Millions will die if I don’t.” Bruce argued.

 

Tony opened his mouth to argue back when the two mens attention was drawn by the chamber door slamming closed and the lock clicking loudly. They rushed over to look through the small window on the door to see you stood inside.

 

“Princess what the hell are you doing? Open this door right now, you’ll die in there.”

 

“My family built this, it has to be me.” You choked out.

 

The air was thick and there was no oxygen to be had. The glowing center of the chamber was so hot you were already drenched in sweat and your skin was quickly turning bright red. You were being cooked.

 

“Miss King if you don’t come out you’re going to die, the radiation will burn you up.” Bruce said through the glass.

 

“I have to do this, I brought you here to help, not to die.” You gasped.

 

Your skin was beginning to blister in front of your eyes and the pain was excruciating.

 

“Radiation levels rapidly rising!” Tony called to Bruce.

 

“Listen to me, we can still save you if you open the door.”

 

“It’s too late.” Tony said, just as your screams started.

 

“Listen to me, listen ok. You’re saving a lot of people, I’ll make sure they know you did that and your father will for this.”Bruce swore, raising his voice so you could hear him.

 

The light was blinding him and he had to back away from the chamber. Your scream were bone chilling and Tony and Bruce felt sick.

 

The pain was like nothing you had ever experienced and all you could do was scream as smoke started curling off of your skin. The last thing you saw was your right hand vaporizing.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Present Day

 

“You’re not dead.” Bruce admonished.

 

“I kinda am Bruce.” You rebutted as he led you into his lab and forced you to sit down.

 

He pulled something out of a drawer and came over to you and you saw it was a stethoscope. He put the eartips in your ears and held the cold metal bud to your chest.

 

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

 

“Your heart is beating, you’re alive.” He said kindly.

 

“Yeah, but I died. I literally burned alive, I was vaporized. And now I can walk through walls, I can disappear. I’m a ghost. I’m dead.”

 

“You aren’t dead.”

 

“Am so.”

 

“No, you’re changed. The radiation changed you on a molecular level, we’ve discussed this.”He argued.

 

“Have I started ageing again? Or am I still frozen the way I was when I died?” You asked him.

 

He sighed and pulled his glasses off, shooting an annoyed look at you.

 

“Do we have to have this argument every time?” He asked.

 

“Fine, we’ll agree to disagree. Gimme the information I need to kick Hydra’s ass.” You said.

 

“Sneak in quietly and steal information...”

 

“Same thing.”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Romanov.” Bucky said, getting Natasha’s attention before she left the room.

 

“Google her. Everything about her life is on Wikipedia. You don’t need me to do any digging to find out for you” She said, smirking at him and walking away.

 

“What about her secrets? Like the fact that she’s a world class hacker?” Bucky asked, catching up to the redhead.

 

“I’ll let you know when I find out more.” Natasha said begrudgingly.

 

“So you're suspicious of her as well?”

 

“I’m suspicious of everybody.”

 

So was he. He was extremely suspicious of you though, something about you just didn’t sit right with him and he was determined to find out why.

 

Chapter Text

You had mere minutes to make this plan work.

Racing invisibly through the halls you brought up the mental map of the facility map you had studied only hours before, making sure to avoid bumping into anything and giving yourself away. Nobody could see you but if you knocked over something or ran into someone, it would give you away.

 

Sweat poured off you in buckets, going invisible took up a lot of energy but you could do this if you did it fast. You reached the door you were searching for and phased through it and slipped inside. You paused and strained your ears for any sounds, making sure you were alone in the room. You crept through the room, eyes peeled for the right cabinet.

 

Your skin was burning and you dropped the invisibility, saving your energy for when you left.

 

You found what you needed and quickly rifled through the files, silently thanking Hydra for being paranoid enough to keep a paper copy of all their files. You slipped out your phone and took pictures of everything, regardless of what it was. Tony could sift through it.

 

Names, dates and awful pictures caught your eye and you swallowed thickly, trying not to focus on it. Voices drifted down the hallway and you picked up the pace, changing to video camera and rapidly flicking through all the files. You could freeze frame each page later, and by you, you meant Friday.

 

Someone jostled the door-handle and you slammed the cabinet closed and slipped your phone under the material of your suit. You let your body deteriorate again and the tendrils of odourless smoke you left behind dissipated as an agent opened the door. They didn’t even flinch as you walked straight past them and through the door.

 

You ran back through the hallways, holding onto the invisibility and didn’t drop it until you were at least a mile away from the facility and walking up the ramp of the shielded quinjet.

 

“Twenty-three minutes and seventeen seconds. You owe me a bottle of Macallan select reserve.” Tony crowed victoriously.

 

You didn’t have the chance to respond before the floor of the quinjet was rushing towards you and everything went dark.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

You dragged your eyes open and winced at the bright lights that assaulted your poor innocent eyeballs. Your mouth felt like it had been stuffed with cotton wool balls and your skin felt like you’d fallen asleep on the beach at high noon.

 

“Oh my god.”

 

You turned your head to the side to see who had spoken and saw Tony stood at the door watching you in shock and awe, dropping the beaker he was holding and ignoring it as it smashed against the ground.

 

“You’re awake.” He said, slowly.

 

“Oh, is that why my eyes are open?” You croaked.

 

He stumbled over to your bedside and looked down at you reverently.

 

“You’re really awake. I thought... we thought...”

 

“Why are you being so weird?” You said, coughing to clear the scratchy feeling in your throat.

 

“Princess, you were in a coma.”

 

“What?” You demanded, well wheezed pathetically.

 

“You’ve been asleep for three years.”

 

You tried to sit up in a panic, when Tony started chuckling loudly at the look on your face.

 

“Oh you fucker.” You rasped.

 

“Like I’d keep you in my lab for three years, I’d pull the plug as soon as I could.” He joked, ducking to avoid the pillow you threw at him.

 

“I hate you.” You grumbled.

 

“Nobody hates me, I’m adored the world over. You were only out for three hours by the way.” He said, lapsing back into laughter as you pouted at the pillow you’d thrown and made grabby hands until he handed it back.

 

“Everybody hates you, you just pretend otherwise so you don’t shatter that impressively huge ego.”You retorted.

 

“You think I’m impressive?”

 

“Fuck off Snark.”

 

“Fine, I won’t help you remove your IV drip, you can HEY STOP THAT!” He shrieked at you in the middle of sentence as you pulled the IV out.

 

“What did she do?” Bruce’s worried voice preceded him as he hurried through the door.

 

“You’re the worst patient ever.” Tony reprimanded you.

 

You started flatly at Bruce and motioned between yourself and Tony.

 

“You’re right, he’s a worse patient.” Bruce agreed, checking your vitals.

 

“Rude. I’m leaving now, you two are ganging up on me again.” Tony muttered as he stalked away, though you noticed him quickly check your vitals himself before he did.

 

“What’s up doc?” You asked Bruce as the Iron Man flounced away in a huff.

 

“Same as usual. You over exerted yourself. You were dehydrated so we put you on an IV but since that clearly didn’t last, go drink some water. You’re nearly back to your baseline health.” Bruce said, shaking his head at you fondly.

 

“Did Snark get the pictures off my phone?” You asked as you sat up and stretched, Bruce hovering over you.

 

“He did. Friday is combing though them and converting them into computer files for the team.” He said, patting you on the knee proudly.

 

“I owe you one Friday.” You said.

 

“You owe me several dozen.” She pointed out.

 

“Petty doesn’t suit you darlin.” You retorted.

 

“It looks like you got everything we needed though, as well as a little extra. It would have been a perfect mission if you didn’t pass out again.” Bruce said snarkily.

 

“Oh good, I can go home before anyone wonders where I was. I’m running out of excuses, I don’t know if I can pull off another ‘rehab’ cover.” You said in relief.

 

“You might want to shower and change first.” He said, motioning to the Phantom suit you were still wearing.

 

“Good idea... Friday wanna let me into Tony’s room? I bet he has the fanciest shower.”

 

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Bucky had spent far too many hours researching you, flipping through article after article about your drunken adventures and ‘sexcapades’. You were a party animal according to the tabloids, always hitting up clubs and throwing extravagant parties. There was also mention of a few stints in rehab and numerous different flings mentioned.

Surprisingly there were very few photo's of these ‘incidents’. Most likely you were buying off the tabloids to keep the embarrassing pictures out of the articles. Over all, he wasn’t impressed by you at all.

According to Bruce, you were basically a prodigy and if Banner thought that, it must be true. The fact that you were so reckless and stupid when you were so gifted annoyed Bucky. You were brat, and you needed someone in your life to set you on the straight and narrow. But that wasn’t his problem.

His eyes narrowed as you waltzed into the common room, your hair messily piled on your head and your feet bare.

“Making yourself at home?” He asked you.

You glanced up at him nonchalantly.

“Yup.” You said, popping the p at the end as you opened the fridge and perused it’s contents, pulling out a bottle of water and guzzling it.

“Aren’t you supposed to be busy hacking Hydra?” He asked you.

“Been there, done that.” You said smugly.

“You’re done?” He blinked owlishly at you.

“You did hear the bit where I’m the best in the world, right? Oh my bad, age has probably affected your hearing.” You said, smirking cheekily at him.

He stood up and stalked over to you where you were leaning against the counter-top and pressing the cold water bottle to your neck.

A small drop of condensation dribbled off the glass bottle and into the hollow of your throat and his eyes tracked it as it rolled down your chest and disappeared into the valley between your breasts.

“You’re insolent and egotistical Devchushka. That attitude might amuse Stark but it doesn’t amuse me.” He growled at you.

“Oh.” You said, looking chastised and biting your lip.

“Well, It’s a mighty good thing that I’m not trying to amuse you then Starikashka.” You teased in a seductive purr, winking at him and strutting away.

Yes, somebody definitely needed to put you in your place.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“West? Are you here?” You called as you unlocked the front door to your apartment.

Silence was the only answer and you breathed a sigh of relief as you shrugged your coat off and flung it over the back of an armchair.

There was a small chirping meow at your feet and you smiled.

“Hello Frank, did West feed you?” You asked the bulky cat.

Frankenstein, or Frank as you called him wasn’t technically your cat. He was just some ass-hole stray cat who followed you home one night and refused to leave until you fed him. He would disappear for days, sometimes weeks and reappear at will.

You padded over to the kitchen with the infernal cat twisting around your ankles. You noted the dry cleaning hung over a kitchen stool and the foil covered lasagne dish on the counter. Apparently West had stopped by earlier and left food for you.

He was your fathers butler/assistant and had practically raised you so when you moved out of the family home, he didn’t take it well. He came by nearly every day and continued to look after you.

Your phone vibrated in your coat and you skidded across the floor back over to it to read the text.

Snark: You still owe me that bottle of Scotch, just because you swooned into my arms it doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten that you took more than 20 minutes to get the files. Also, we need another favour.

Snark: If you do this one, I’ll give your suit an upgrade. Be here tomorrow at lunch.

Snark: Bring my scotch.

You scoffed. You knew helping them out would backfire, this was why you had avoided them for so long. You couldn’t afford to have anyone know you were The Phantom and The Avengers were likely to figure it out sooner rather than later.

Still... If they were asking for your help, it was probably important.

“What do you think Frank? Self preservation or desire to do good, which one’s gonna win out?” You asked.

A tail swish was his helpful response.

“Well you’re a cat, of course you’d advocate self preservation.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Hey Bucknasty, what do you think?” Sam called.

Bucky looked up and frowned, trying to figure out what Sam was talking about.

“Sam wants to ask Princess out, I think he should go for it.” Tony said gleefully.

“Why?” Sam asked suspiciously.

“She’ll eat you alive and leave your mangled corpse on the lawn for your feathered brethren to pick at.” Natasha explained with a smirk.

“How do you know that?” Bucky asked.

“She’s a maneater and a womanizer, think a pre Pepper Tony Stark with boobs...” Sam said, looking excited.

“She’s an infamous heartbreaker.” Natasha clarified.

Tony and Bruce exchanged a subtle look of amusement. Once upon a time, they’d believed those rumours as well. Now they knew you, they knew how untrue it all was. But your reputation was carefully cultivated so they didn’t correct anyone.

“I’m sure she’s not like that really, she seems sweet.” Steve interjected, chivalry demanding he defend your honour even though he didn’t know you.

“Well, one way to find out.” Sam announced.

“Tomorrow will be fun.” Tony said.

Bucky resisted the urge to storm away. For some reason he hated the idea of Sam asking you out. Maybe because despite their bickering he actually considered The Falcon a friend and didn't want to see you get your claws into him.

For someone he’d only met twice, you’d gotten under his skin. He was determined to take you down a few pegs and in the process, keep you from dating his friend.

The fact that he couldn’t stop the image of a droplet of water rolling between your breasts from replaying over and over in his mind didn’t factor into it at all.

Chapter Text

You were going to murder Tony. You were going to phase your hand inside his chest and squeeze his organs or you were going to phase inside an Iron Suit and then beat the hell out of him with his own creation. How the hell did he not see this coming?

 

Technically it was Bruce who brought you in but it would be a cold day in hell before you were ever angry at Bruce for anything. It wasn’t Banners fault that you were in this position.

 

“You said you wanted to be subtle, not have Hydra know you knew about that facility.” You argued weakly.

 

“That was before you hacked their files in less than a day without them knowing you had ever been there. If we can get you inside the facility, into the actual system then you could hack Hydra in it’s entirety.” The Black Widow explained, looking at you like she was disappointed she had to explain it at all.

 

"As annoying as she is, as her self appointed cool older brother..."

 

"Sleazy drunk uncle."

 

"... I have to object." Tony said, flipping you off behind Steve's back when you interrupted.

 

"She'll stay aboard the jet with Banner until we've cleared the facility. She'll be perfectly safe.”

 

"Captain, Cap, Cappy. I'm a civilian, not an Avenger or even Avenger affiliated." You said, trying to smile charmingly though the nerves.

 

"I know I'm asking a lot Miss King but if you can hack their network, you can help us locate the other facilities. It's the strongest chance we've had in a long time to wipe Hydra off the map for good." Steve appealed.

 

You couldn't fault his logic, the only problem was he didn't have all the facts. You weren't a hacker, you couldn't help and you either had to admit that or...

 

"Nope. I'm sorry Captain but Hydra isn't my problem and I'm not risking my ass to help you with your vendetta. You're the hero's, find a way to deal with your own problems."

 

You were met with judgemental silence.

 

"I know you're scared but I can tell you're a good person, you already helped us once. I personally swear I won't let anything happen to you." Steve vowed.

 

This guy did not give in easily.

 

"Please." He said, looking at you with the biggest, bluest puppy dog eyes you had ever seen and you felt your heart melt under his gaze.

 

You couldn't hack Hydra, which meant that this mission would be for no reason. They'd blow their upper hand on a fantasy. You shot a pleading look at Tony and he glanced at the ceiling and shot you a wink. He thought he and Friday could do it, and you would get the credit. You didn't like the idea of that but it would keep your cover intact.

 

“Alright, I’ll do it.” You said.

“Thank you.” Steve said, sounding relieved and a tiny bit proud of you.

 

You had to stop yourself preening at having made Captain America proud and reminded yourself you were lying to him.

 

“Don’t worry, I’ll personally make sure you’re safe. Consider The Falcon you’re own personal bodyguard.” Sam said, winking at you.

 

“She just agreed, don’t scare her off again.” Bucky sniped from the corner.

 

“Alright, Princess come with me, we’ll go over the plan. Wheels up in a couple hours?” Tony said, slinging his arm around your shoulders and guiding you from the room.

 

You were uncharacteristically quiet as he escorted you away. As soon as you were out of eye and earshot of the teams you punched him on the shoulder. Hard.

 

“Ok, ow.” He deapanned, trying to hide how much it had hurt.

 

“What the fuck Snark? Why? Why would you do this to me? Are you trying to sabotage me?” You hissed, pulling back your arm to punch him again.

 

“Stop trying to beat me up you psychopath, I’ll be doing all the heavy lifting while you get the credit. You should be kissing my ass.” He said, ducking away from you.

 

“Oh I’ll do something with your ass alright.” You vowed.

 

Tony arched his brow at you and you realised how wrong that had sounded.

 

“Don’t.” You warned.

 

He closed his mouth before you saw the wicked glint in his eyes.

 

“My safeword is Casper.” My quipped.

 

“That’s it!”

 

Bruce rounded the corner to the sounds of scuffling and muffled swearing. You had Tony in a headlock and his hand was smooshed into your face, pushing it away. Bruce didn’t even flinch, just stepped carefully over the two of you and kept walking.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

The sounds of distant gunshots had your heart racing and your skin crawling.

 

“Are you sure I shouldn’t you know, pop in and help out?” You asked Bruce.

 

He looked up from the tablet he was studying and frowned at you.

 

“They can handle it, they’re going to be fine. Try not to think about it, play Cwazy Cupcakes or something.” Bruce suggested.

 

“I’m not allowed, West banned me after I fell down the stairs while playing it.” You admitted and Bruce looked half disappointed and half amused.

 

You sighed and kicked your feet up, clasping your hands behind your head.

 

“You could go in and help but you would blow your cover and probably only end up distracting them and making it more difficult. You’re best to stay here and wait it out with me.” Bruce soothed, noting the nervous jig of your foot,

 

“Fine, but if Tony gets hurt and I miss it I’m going to be furious.” You grumbled.

 

“Turn the comms on and listen if it makes you feel better.” Bruce offered.

 

“Am I allowed to do that?” You asked.

 

“No, you aren’t.” Bruce grinned.

 

“Ooooh, naughty. I like it.” You said, rubbing your hand together in glee until you realised you didn’t have any idea how to turn them on and listen in.

 

Bruce chuckled and shook his head at you fondly before turning them on for you and you blew him a kiss.

 

“We have a small group of them congregating in the south corner of the building and we can’t get close.” You heard someone, you thought it was Hawkeye say.

 

“Oh, Tony blast the roof while Falcon blasts the outer door. That’ll distract them while Vision phases through the wall and lets Widow and Winter Soldier in through the inner door at the end of the south corridor.” You suggested.

 

“You’re not supposed to be on this line, why are you here?” Sam asked bewilderedly.

 

“You get used to her doing that.” Tony informed casually.

 

“Miss King, you shouldn’t be on the Comms. It’s a good plan though.” Steve said and you positively glowed.

 

“Does that mean I can stay?” You asked hopefully.

 

“No, go away. Nobody likes you.” Tony said childishly before it went silent and you gathered he’d cut you out.

 

“Little bitch.” You huffed.

 

Bruce chuckled and rolled his eyes at you, passing the tablet over to you.

 

“I read it, it’s a good plan. Business isn’t my thing but I think Tony will approve.” He told you.

 

You closed the business plans you’d asked him to read and smirked. You knew Tony was going to love it, it was dramatic as hell.

 

The sound of twin explosions drifted over and you guessed they had used your idea.

 

 

“That was the last of them.” Natasha said as she finished off the last agent in the south side of the building.

 

“Facility is clear, time to bring our expert in.” Steve decided.

 

“I’ll go get our little hacker.” Sam offered.

 

“I’ve got her.” Bucky snapped through the comms, stomping towards the quinjet.

 

Like hell was he letting Sam fetch you, he wasn’t letting you be left alone with Sam at all. Even if it meant he had to suffer your presence himself.

 

You and Bruce looked up at him as he came up the ramp.

 

“We’re ready for you, move.” He ordered and you rolled your eyes and stood up, leisurely stretching your arms above your head.

 

“Wish me luck?” You asked Banner jokingly.

 

Bruce saw right through you and offered a comforting smile.

 

“You’ll be great, I’ll be waiting here.” Bruce said calmly.

 

You walked past Bucky and his arm shot out and blocked your path.

 

“Stay beside me at all times, don’t make any noise and if I tell you to do something, you do it without question. Understand?” He said briskly.

 

“Yes Sargent.” You replied.

 

His eyes narrowed at your slightly sarcastic response but you seemed nervous so he allowed it. You weren’t familiar with this sort of thing so you’d probably stick to him like a baby duckling and do as you were told.

 

You resisted the urge to crack several jokes as he led you through the familiar hallways. He said don’t make noise so you bit down on your tongue and for once in your life, behaved. There was a scuffling sound behind you and you turned around, swearing loudly at what you saw.

 

There was an injured but very not dead Hydra agent at the end of the corridor with a gun pointed right at you. Everything slowed down as he pulled the trigger and you froze. You could become tangible and the bullet would pass through you but Bucky was right behind you. You closed your eyes and braced for the impact but it never came. There was a heat at your back and the sound of metal hitting metal and you opened your eyes to see Bucky’s metal arm curled around you, blocking the bullet. His flesh arm came up over your shoulder, gun in hand and he shot the rouge agent down.

 

His arms were around you, ensconcing you but not actually touching you and for a brief second you felt strangely safe. You turned your head to look up at him, your eyes still wide from your near intimate experience with a bullet.

 

“Thank you.” You said emphatically.

 

Bucky’s heart swelled and his chest puffed out proudly at the gratitude. Something felt oddly right about protecting you and his arms lingered in their position around you.

 

You released the breath you hadn’t realised you’d been holding and reached out to flick the metal of his wrist.

 

“That thing comes in handy, pun intended.” You said, your voice only slightly wavering.

 

He scoffed and stepped away from you, eyes darting around to check there were no more of them.

 

“Buck, we heard gunshots? Is everything ok?” Steve’s worried voice asked in his ear.

 

“We missed one of the bastards, I took care of him. Package is secure. Bringing her to you now.” He replied.

 

“Package? Well, I’ve been called worse I suppose.” You said, only slightly insulted.

 

“Stay in front of me, I doubt there are more but we need to proceed with caution.” Bucky instructed you.

 

“Somehow, I’m not really worried, despite nearly just being shot.” You admitted.

 

Bucky was about to reprimand you for not taking it seriously but then he realised that you trusted him to protect you. You felt safe with him. His chest warmed all over again and he proudly led you to the server room where the team was.

 

“Package delivery.” You announced as you walked in, The Winter Soldier nearly pressed to your back.

 

“Miss King, how fast can you get to work? It won’t take long for Hydra to realise this base has been hit so we need to move as quickly as we can.” The Captain said, all business.

 

“I’m on it.” You said, wandering over to the main computer console and sitting down, trying to look like you knew what you were doing.

 

You felt several pairs of eyes on your back and turned around to glare at them.

 

“I need space to work my magic folks, how about you all go and make sure there are no more Nazi bastards lurking about?” You suggested.

 

“I’ll stay with her. Unlike all of you, I might be of some use.” Tony said coming to stand beside you and you nodded your agreement.

 

“Alright, we’ll do another sweep. Get to work you two.” Steve instructed.

 

“Aye Aye Captain.” You said diligently, saluting him.

 

Bucky threw you a strange look as he left the room. As soon as they were gone you turned and looked helplessly at Tony.

 

“Move.” He scoffed and you jumped out of the seat, letting him and Friday do their thing.

 

“If you can do this why was I even brought in?” You asked him.

 

“Too risky, can’t guarantee I can do it. When you apparently hacked Hydra so quickly and efficiently Cap decided the reward outweighed the risk.” Tony explained.

 

The pieces snapped together in your head and you glared at him.

 

“They wouldn’t let you come in so you threw me to the wolves without even knowing if you can do this? You played me!” You hissed.

 

“You can punch me later, right now daddy has work to do.” He said smugly.

 

“Never, ever refer to yourself as daddy again and you bet your ass I will be punching you later.” You said, wrinkling your nose.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“So Miss King is The Phantom?”

 

Bruce nearly fell off his seat in surprise.

 

“What? Who?” He stammered.

 

Natasha smirked at him from where she was casually standing on the quinjet ramp, it hadn’t taken her long to figure it out. His reaction was the last confirmation she needed.

 

“So Secretary Ross’s niece is in open defence of The Accords and you and Stark are helping her? What I can’t figure out is why?"

 

"We sort of killed her." Bruce admitted, there was no point in pretending any more.

 

"She looks good for a dead woman." Natasha's eyebrows raised almost comically high.

 

Bruce sighed and launched into an explanation about how you became the Phantom.

 

"So she followed you in and sacrificed her life? But it didn't kill her?"

 

"No, though she argues that point constantly." He said wearily.

 

“I would as well.” Natasha admitted.

 

She could see your reasoning. You had been burned alive and came back as a Phantom, it was a reasonable claim to say you were dead.

 

“Who else knows?” Bruce asked.

 

“Just me, I doubt anyone else will figure it out. You can’t keep bringing her in though, she knows nothing about computers and it’s glaringly obvious.”Natasha pointed out with a hint of amusement.

 

“So you wont say anything?” Bruce checked.

“I won’t tell anyone that Stark is a hypocrite and is helping Ross’s very own niece break the accords, but I will make Stark pay for it.” Natasha confirmed.

 

“As long as she doesn’t get caught in the crossfire.” Bruce said protectively.

 

“She won’t, she’s going to help me.” Natasha said cryptically.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Bucky carefully checked the corridor before walking down it, his mind whirling. You had been dragged onto this mission, practically kicking and screaming. He hadn't judged you too harshly for it, you were only a civilian after all. But despite your initial fear, you had recovered very quickly from almost being shot. It was strange. He decided you were hiding your feelings behind your snarky facade, you were probably internally freaking out.

 

His feet automatically led him back towards the server room. You probably needed reassurance that you were safe.

 

“I don’t know, I think the wings are sexy.”

 

He heard your voice, saccharine sweet before he rounded the corner and saw you leaning against the wall, Sam leaning next to you looking smug.

 

“Aren’t you supposed to be doing something?” Bucky snapped at you.

 

“I’m running a program, Starks checking it over since he knows what to look for.” You said dismissively, turning away from the glaring super soldier.

 

“I was just telling Miss King here about a fundraiser I have to attend on Saturday night.” Sam said, shooting Bucky a victorious look.

 

“Oh were you indeed?” Bucky snarled, stomping forwards and yanking you away from Sam by the elbow and ignoring your indignant squawking, pushing you back into the server room.

 

“Your dating life can wait, there are much more important things going on right now.” he snapped coldly at you.

 

“I can’t go anyway, I have to make an appearance at an auction on behalf of my family. Speaking of, do you have plans that night Sargent?”

 

Bucky faltered.

 

“What?” He barked out, perplexed. Did you just reject Sam and ask him on a date in the same sentence?

 

“Well I could probably use a security detail, just in case Hydra figure out I helped you guys.” You explained, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

 

“Get back to hacking Mic Domniţă.” He huffed, slamming the server room door closed in your face.

 

He rolled his eyes at the idea of having to follow you about all night. Bossing you around, keeping an eye on you.... The corners of his lips twitched upwards.

 

“What are you smirking at?” Sam asked suspiciously.

 

“Your failure to get a date.” Bucky lied.

 

Sam night not have a date, but he sure as hell did and he knew you were going to be spitting mad about it.

 

 

Chapter Text

You felt the air from the force of the hit you’d only just barely dodged out of the way of and narrowed your eyes at your opponent. If he wanted to play dirty....

 

You dove for him, becoming intangible at the last second and phasing right through his body, twisted round to kick him in the back as your body became solid again and he went down, hitting the ground with a satisfying ‘thump’.

 

“Yes!” You crowed victoriously, throwing your hands into the air.

 

He kicked his leg out and swept yours from under you, sending you ass first onto the mats beside him.

 

“Wait until your opponent is taken care of before you celebrate.” He berated you, standing up and offering you his hand.

 

“This is why you’re the teacher and I’m the mere student.” You joked, accepting his help to stand up, rubbing your bruised butt as you stood.

 

“You’re getting much better, using your intangibility that way was inspired. Most people don’t expect their opponents to phase through them. You need to work on it more.” He instructed and praised at the same time.

 

“Whatever you say, I bow to your superior experience.” You said without a trace of sarcasm.

 

“What time is it?” He asked.

 

“12.30.”

 

“I have to go, I have a meeting with a client at 3.” He informed you, tossing a bottle of water behind him in your general direction.

 

“I’ll get out of your hair then, same time tomorrow?” You checked.

 

“Make it an hour earlier, I want to step your training up.”

 

“You got it, see you later Murdock.”

 

Eleven Months Ago

 

The only thing worse than being thrown into a dumpster was bouncing of the side of a dumpster and landing in a puddle. You swore loudly and concentrated on becoming intangible before the shooter you’d been chasing could shoot you.

 

“What the hell? What are you?” He demanded as the bullet passed straight through you.

 

“I’m The Phantom you sack of sh.... you have got to be kidding me.” You trailed off, watching the red clad figure advance behind the shooter and promptly knock him out.

 

“I chased him all the way across town and you just jump in at the last second? Rude.” You said, standing up and glaring at the newcomer.

 

“Is this the man who shot an off duty cop in Manhattan?” The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen asked you.

“Yeah, that’s him.” You grumbled.

 

“You did well, trailing him this far and making sure he didn’t get away. But you’re not a fighter. Just because you have abilities, it doesn’t mean you have to do this.” He said, gesturing at the unconscious man on the ground.

 

“Well it’s this or haunting an old Victorian mansion.” You quipped.

 

“I suggest you stick to wandering around graveyards before you end up in one for real. You’ll get killed if you keep this up.” He retorted.

 

You sighed and prepared to defend yourself but you only glanced away for half a second and when you looked back, he was gone.

 

“Oh great, now I know how Commissioner Gordon felt.”

 

Ten Months Ago

 

You nodded in impressed approval as The Devil kicked off of a wall and spun out to kick his opponent in the face.

 

“Nice.” You muttered under your breath and flinched when he turned and looked straight at you.

 

“If you’re going to follow me you could at least try and keep quiet.” He admonished.

 

You sheepishly stepped out of the shadows.

 

“I know this looks bad, but I’m not stalking you.” You defended yourself.

 

“You’ve been watching me every time I’ve come out for the last week.” He rebutted.

 

“I definitely am stalking you, you’re right. But you’re the only other Vigilante I’ve spoke to and I thought maybe I could learn something from watching you.” You admitted.

 

“This isn’t the kind of thing where you take on an apprentice. Go home, go back to your life before you get in too deep and can’t get out.” He advised.

 

“And if I can’t? If I’m already in too deep?” You asked, resisting the urge to break into song.

 

“Then nothing I do or say can help you.”He said wearily.

 

“Not true. You could teach me to kick a dude in the head so hard his teeth fly out in slow motion.” You suggested.

 

“It wasn’t in slow motion.”

 

“Agree to disagree.” You argued, dropping down the fire escape to approach him but when you hit the ground he was gone, along with the guy he’d knocked out.

 

“Of for the love of... YOU’RE NOT BATMAN!”

 

Nine And A Half Months Ago

“Did you hear I stopped a gas station robbery last night? That means I have potential right?” You asked falling into step beside him as he stalked along a roof.

 

“It means you stopped a gas station robbery. You’ve stopped a lot of petty crimes and one major Bank heist. You also managed to get shot and leave blood behind at the scene, I had to steal the sample before anybody figured out who you were... Miss King.” He responded.

 

You sighed and pushed your hood back, pulling off the black mask.

 

“You protected me? That means you like me...” You smirked.

 

“It means I didn't want you outed, consider it a professional courtesy.” He corrected.

 

You stopped in your tracks and grinned widely.

 

“Professional courtesy? You’re accepting me.” You said happily.

 

“Why are you doing this?” He demanded, spinning round to face you.

 

“Because my job application for House of Horrors was rejected.” You answered.

 

He just stood in front of you, intimidating you until you broke. It didn’t take long.

 

“The first time I came down from my Ivory Tower and tried to do good, this happened. I became this thing. I really thought I was about to die, for good. And I wasn’t scared because I knew I was doing the right thing. But I came back and there has to be a reason for that. Even if there isn’t, even if it’s a coincidence... I don’t want to sit in my penthouse and do nothing when I could be doing something.” You admitted.

 

You must have said the right thing because he nodded at you.

 

“I’ll see you tomorrow night. Same time, same place.” He conceded and vaulted off the roof.

 

“So dramatic.”

 

Present Day

 

“Before you go, Foggy asked me to give this to you.” Matt said, passing you a large manilla envelope.

 

You opened it and pulled out the pile of documents.

 

“It’s all here?” You asked excitedly.

 

“Every one, all under a shell accounts we set up with the funds. Congratulations, you now own 2% of the shares of King Inc.” Matt told you.

 

“Phase One is underway.” You smirked.

 

“Be careful. If anyone figures out what you’re doing before all the pieces are in place, you could lose everything.” He warned.

 

“Nobody is ever going to suspect me Matt, I’m a borderline alcoholic party animal who is sleeping her way up and down the eastern seaboard on a weekly basis. They’ll never see me coming.” You scoffed.

 

“Do you ever get tired of the masks you have to put on?” He asked.

 

“Mother always told me that the more people underestimated me, the more power I had. Wearing a few masks is a small price to pay for the kind of power I have now.” You told him, handing him back the envelope for safekeeping.

 

“Well then, Long live the Queen.” He smirked.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

As soon as you opened the door of your penthouse, the smell of home cooking wafted out.

 

“West?” You called, practically running into the kitchen.

 

The older gentleman was stood over a simmering pot at the stove, smiling warmly at you.

 

“Welcome home Miss.”He said in his baritone voice.

 

“Whatcha cooking?” You asked, hopping onto the counter and peering into the pot.

 

West glared at you and you wiggled your eyebrows at him. He once told you if you wanted to park your buttocks on the kitchen counter then you should do so in your own kitchen. You took great pleasure in taunting him now, knowing he couldn’t say anything.

 

“Beef stroganoff.” He said, offering you a spoon.

 

“Hmm, lovely. Needs a touch more rosemary.” You told him.

 

“There’s no rosemary in stroganoff.” He responded drily.

 

“Well there’s the problem.”

 

“Miss, the last time you cooked you thought cling film could be substituted for tinfoil and served me a melted plastic wrapped, raw chicken breast.” He sarked.

 

“And you haven’t let me cook since.” You pouted.

 

“It’s for the good of mankind, I assure you.” He said seriously.

 

You rolled your eyes and hopped off the counter.

 

“I need to get ready, I’ve got to go to that charity auction tonight. Are you staying for dinner?” You asked.

 

“I’m afraid not, your father has guests tonight and I must attend to him.” West said regretfully.

 

You tried not to look disappointed but he had known you your whole life and saw through you.

 

“As you know, Sunday’s are my day off. I thought I might drive to that apple orchard outside the city tomorrow, would you care to accompany me?” He said with a twinkle in his eye.

 

“It’s a date!” You said happily, kissing him on the cheek.

 

“I will pick you up at two pm sharp.”

 

“See you then Westy.” You called as you headed towards your room.

 

A few hours later, you were ready for your mandatory family obligated appearance at the auction.

 

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” You yelled, hopping on one leg towards the door as you pulled your shoe on.

 

The incessant knocking wasn’t stopping and you yanked the door open before your regular driver bored a hole in it. Only it wasn’t your driver.

 

“What the hell are you doing here?”You demanded, sticking your head out of the door to look down the hallway.

 

“I’m here to protect you.”

 

“I was joking!” You yelped.

 

“Oh I know, but you had a point. Now get your ass downstairs.” Bucky Barnes informed you.

You spluttered indignantly.

 

“Now.” He ordered and you made a strangled noise in the back of your throat, grabbed your clutch bag and slammed the door, storming away.

 

You didn’t see his smirk or the way his eyes lit up when you obeyed him. He followed after you, reaching past you to punch the elevator button before you could.

 

“Are you really going to accompany me all night? If you wanted to spend time with me, you could have just asked.” You pointed out.

 

“We don’t know that Hydra agent didn’t identify you and send out a message before I shot him. it’s unlikely but we can’t take the risk.” Bucky said, sounding bored.

 

“So you’re really here to protect me?”

 

“That right Mic Domniţă. You aren’t leaving my sight for the rest of the night, and you had better do as I say when I say it.” He ordered as he followed you into the elevator.

 

Tonight was going to be awful you thought to yourself.

 

Tonight was going to be fun Bucky though to himself.

Chapter Text

“How did you even know where I lived? How did you get in the building?” You demanded in the elevator ride down.

 

He just raised an impassive eyebrow at you. You huffed and turned away from him. You were sulking and you didn’t care if he knew it.

 

Bucky found your petulant attitude amusing in a ‘I can’t wait to make her regret it’ kind of way.

 

“I’m using my Saturday night off to look after you, instead of planning our attack on the Hydra bases we uncovered. Show some gratitude.” he reprimanded you.

 

You were about to roll your eyes at him but he had a point and he was giving you a warning glare.

 

“Thank you, for protecting me. You didn't have to do this, I really do appreciate it.” You said truthfully.

 

You weren't in need of protecting but he didn’t know that, so the fact he was here was actually kind of sweet.

 

“So the event is at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I have to make an appearance on behalf of the King family and buy something. The proceeds are going to inner city art programs, something none of the snobs there tonight actually care about.” You said, rolling your eyes.

 

“You’re one of those snobs. Or do you care about the art programs?” Bucky pointed out as he led you across the lobby.

 

“Yeah, I care. Creativity is something that exists outside of the social hierarchy. Art, Music, Literature... it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, we are all equals when faced with that kind of beauty.” You informed him.

 

He opened the car door for you, looking at you with a hint of wonderment.

 

“Never took you for an art lover Mic Domniţă.”

 

“You’ve met me all of three times. How well do you really think you know me? And why do you keep calling me that?” You asked, slipping into the car as gracefully as you could.

 

He closed the door and walked around to the drivers side and got in before he answered.

 

“It means little Princess in Romanian.” He informed you as he started the car and pulled out of the private parking lot.

 

“That’s not even close to what I thought it meant.” You smirked.

 

“What did you think it meant?”

 

“Something sexier.”

 

His eyes were a shade darker as he looked over at you and pinned you in place with his gaze.

 

“Micuța Prințesă care crede că este o regină, totuși vrea să fie sedusă.” He growled and you shifted in your seat.

“If you’re going to insult me, can you do it in a language I’ll understand?” You snapped.

 

“You’re an immature brat who’s used to getting her own way. This might come as a shock to you, but I don’t have to do what you tell me.” He responded, turning his eyes back to the road.

 

You exhaled loudly and pulled out your phone, rapidly texting.

 

“What are you doing?” He demanded, if you were texting Tony you’d find out he wasn’t actually here to protect you.

 

He knew for a fact that Tony had jammed the signal around the base so Hydra had no way of possibly knowing you’d been there and you weren’t in any danger.

 

“I’m texting my regular driver to let him know I was kidnapped by a grumpy sarcastic assassin. Otherwise he’ll be waiting all night to pick me up.” You informed him.

 

“Former Assassin.” He corrected.

 

“My mistake.”

 

“Take this.” Bucky instructed, pulling a small case out of his pocket and passing it to you.

 

“A comm unit? Why do I need this?”

 

“Just put it in.” He ordered.

 

“Why?”You pushed.

 

He sighed and snatched it off of you and took it out of the case as he rolled to a stop at a red light. His metal hand held you still by the back of the neck and he brushed your hair back to put the comm in. To his pleasant surprise you didn’t struggle against him, just glared at him like an angry kitten. His fingers lightly grazed the top of your spine as he pulled his hand away and your eyelashes fluttered closed.

 

“Do you want me, an Avenger to escort you in on my arm? Won’t that raise some questions from your uncle?” Bucky asked.

 

“Who, what?” You asked, confused by the question.

 

“Secretary Ross, your uncle.” He reminded you, amused and happy at your reaction to his touch.

 

“So you’re going to guard me from a distance?”You asked, frowning.

 

“I don’t need to be next to you to keep you safe, and remember that just because you can’t see me it doesn’t mean I can’t see you.” He told you and for some reason, the thought of him watching you made you shiver and not in an unpleasant way.

 

He pulled up and parked down the street from the museum.

 

“Stay.” He ordered as he got out, somehow making it sound soft and not like he was instructing a dog.

 

The door on your side swung open and his hand entered your eyeline. You placed your hand in his and let him help you from the car.

 

“You’ll be fine, just act normal. There’s nothing to worry about, but if I tell you to do something then you do it. No matter how strange it seems, you do it without question.” He said, keeping a hold of your hand and staring you down.

 

“Ok, no questions. I’ll do what you say.” You agreed and were rewarded with him brushing his thumb across your knuckles before he dropped your hand.

 

“If anyone raises your suspicions or makes you feel uncomfortable, drop the word ‘Winter’ into the conversation and I’ll know you need me.” He instructed.

 

“Winter? The safeword is Winter?” You smirked.

 

“The safeword is Winter.” He confirmed, seriously.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

As soon as you entered the museum, the vultures descended and as the recently widowed Ms Gillies babbled on about the renovations to her townhouse you resited the urge to ask her if she had any Winter plans. The thought of Bucky descending upon the insipid woman and shooting her had you grinning and kept you going until you could politely excuse yourself.

 

You grabbed a champagne flute from a passing waiter but before you could drink it, Bucky was talking in your ear.

 

“Don’t drink that. Could easily be poisoned.” He said.

 

“Well what the hell am I supposed to drink?” You whispered.

 

“Not my problem.” He told you.

 

“Where are you?” You asked, looking around for his hard to miss figure.

 

“Stop looking for me, you look like an idiot.”

 

“How are you doing that?” You whisper wailed, annoyed.

 

“I’m the greatest assassin in history.” He said simply, no trace of arrogance or smugness.

 

“Greatest hide and seek player in history you mean.” You quipped.

 

“That too.”

 

“Queenie! What are you doing here? Did someone tell you about the open bar?” Someone called.

 

“Oh no. Winter! Winter! Winter!” You hissed, turning around with a fake smile.

 

“Chuck, you realise this is an art museum right? Should you be here? Aren’t you allergic to culture?”

 

Chuck Lauderdale chuckled loudly at your jab and you had to stop yourself physically recoiling as he placed a kiss on your cheek.

 

“As sharp as ever Queenie. I’m here for the same reason as you I assume. The parentals didn’t want to come and needed someone to represent them.”

 

“Speaking of your parents, do they still have that vacation home in the Alps? The Winter cabin?” You asked.

 

“The safeword is not so I can save you from annoying conversations. Grow up.” Bucky sniped at you in your ear.

 

“The Alps? How last decade, no our Winter home is in Greenland.” Chuck said haughtily.

 

“Mr Lauderdale? We have an urgent call for you at the front desk.” A museum attendant said as he hurried over.

 

“Ah, excuse me Queenie.” Chuck said, shoving his empty glass into your hands and sauntering away.

 

“Did you do that?” You asked auspiciously as you dropped Chuck’s glass and your untouched champagne on a passing waiters tray.

 

Bucky hummed non-committally at you and your melted a little at his thoughtful rescue.

 

“Unlike some people, I respect the use of the safeword. Don’t abuse it again.” He said.

 

You very nearly swooned.

 

“Ladies and Gentelmen, the auction is beginning. If you will all follow me.” Someone announced and you followed the crowd, accepting your bidding paddle at the door.

 

You kept an eye out for Bucky as you moved but to your dismay you could not see anyone who resembled him even a little bit.

 

You planned to bid on the first item that came up, pay an outrageous amount for it and then escape the boring event but as soon as you attempted to raise your paddle to bid on the weird looking Egyptian vase Bucky spoke again.

 

“Don’t. You don’t want that.” He said.

 

“Does me not bidding on it ensure my safety in any way?” You said quietly.

 

“It doesn’t matter, you agreed to do as I say no matter what.” He informed you and you sighed and kept your paddle down.

 

“Good girl.” He praised as the Vase was sold to Ms Gillies for 90 thousand.

 

You were forced to sit through four more long auctions, nearly falling asleep at the monontony of it before the Auctioneer announced the next item and Bucky spoke to you again.

 

“Bid on it.” He ordered.

 

You raised your paddle straight away.

 

“We have 60 thousand from Miss King. Do I hear 70?” The auctioneer called.

 

You saw Chuck Lauderdale raise his paddle and rolled your eyes. He didn't even like art, he just liked annoying you.

 

“Why this one?” You whispered.

 

“Because I want that one.” He retorted.

 

“80?” The auctioneer asked and you riased your paddle.

 

“Does this make me your sugar mama?” You whispered behind the paddle to Bucky and he snorted.

 

“70 years of military backpay Domniţă, I can afford it on my own.” He informed you.

 

“Let’s speed it up, I bid 500 thousand.” You called loudly.

 

“Nice try, but I still want it.” Bucky told you.

 

“Why do you want it?” You asked.

 

“I don’t. Steve will like it, just don’t tell him how much it cost.”

 

“Sold! For half a million dollars to Miss King.” The auctioneer called.

 

You breathed a sigh of relief and stood up, politely smiling and escaping from the room. A few official signatures and arrangments for delivery later and you were free.

 

“Where are you?” You asked Bucky as you walked through the museum.

 

“Close.”

 

There was literally nobody around you and you were unnerved.

 

“Where?” You asked.

 

“You don’t need to know.” He said.

 

“But I want to.” You pouted.

 

“Stop pouting.” He instructed and you rolled your eyes.

 

“Don’t roll your eyes at me Domniţă.”

 

You wanted him to step out of whatever shadowy corner he was hiding in and you knew exactly how to make him do it. You smiled misheciously to yourself and ran up the stairs, heading down an empty corridor and through an unmarked door.

 

“What are you doing?” Bucky asked suspiciously.

You didn’t answer him as you wandered onto the secret balcony. Gathering your dress in your hands you stepped onto the ledge of the balcony and looked down. You teetered precariously in your heels and a few short seconds passed before you felt a metal hand clasp your calf and you were pulled backwards.

 

You yelped as you fell and were subsequently caught in Bucky’s arms. He was holding you bridal style and you could feel his hard chest rising and falling as he furiously glared down at you.

 

“What the hell are you doing?” He demanded.

 

“Getting your attention.” You explained.

 

“You might be used to acting out to get attention but that doesn’t work with me. Try that again and I will punish you for it.” His chest vibrated as he growled angrily and set you on your feet.

 

“Punish me?” You asked amusedly.

 

“Maybe you’d learn some manners if someone had ever put you over their lap and spanked you instead of letting you get away with your brattiness.” He snapped.

 

“You volunteering to spank me Sargent?”

 

His reaction was instantaneous and visceral and for a brief second you thought he was really about to do it but then his phone started ringing. He answered without breaking eye contact with you.

 

“Steve?” He answered.

 

“What?” Buck asked, turning away from you.

 

“I got it, yeah. Ok, be careful.” He said, hanging up.

 

“Was he checking to make sure you’re behaving WHOA!” You yelped as Bucky pushed you into the wall firmly and glared at you.

 

“King Inc, they have an unregistered building in Brooklyn.” He snarled.

 

“Yeah, I think so. It’s a test facility, not technically part of the company.” You stammered, confused.

 

“And you just didn't realise it was on the list of Hydra facilities you gave us?”

 

“What?”

 

“The team are doing recon on it right now. Care to explain why your father just walked in?”He asked.

 

Your stomach dropped and the world started spinning. Bucky frowned at you in concern. You were either a very good actress or...

 

“You didn’t know your father was Hydra?”

Chapter Text

The Avengers had set up base in a warehouse across the street from the one your father owned so they could do recon on the base. Sam and Steve were the only one’s there when you arrived. You followed Bucky up the stairs and he had half a second to thrown an apologetic look at Steve before you barrelled into the room behind him.

 

“Is he in there? Right now?” You demanded.

 

“What is she doing here?” Steve asked Bucky.

 

“I was with her when you called, she wanted to come with me. It’s her father Steve, I couldn’t leave her.” Bucky explained quietly.

 

“Why were you two together?” Sam asked suspiciously.

 

“Is my father Hydra? Do you have any proof of that?” You asked quietly but firmly, making all three men turn to you and pay attention.

 

“This was one of the bases on the list you provided for us. Less than an hour ago, your father walked right up to the front door unobstructed.” Steve told you.

 

“It’s a manufacturing warehouse for the company but because everything is experimental it’s not technically a part of the main company.” You informed them.

 

“What do they manufacture?” Sam asked and you paused before you answered.

 

“Weapons.”

 

“How many times have you been inside the warehouse?” Bucky asked.

 

“A few dozen.”

 

“And you never noticed anything was off about the place?” Steve asked derisively but Bucky held up a hand to him and continued addressing you.

 

“What kind of weapons, would you recognise any of them if you saw them again?”

 

“Maybe, I guess. Very few of them ever made it to market I assumed most of them went to the government contracts.” You admitted.

 

You were internally berating yourself. You had spent nearly two years looking around the company for anything out of the ordinary and had missed this. The warehouse wasn’t at all off limits to you, you had been in it multiple times and so you had disregarded it as suspicious. You had been so very fucking stupid, you had been as dumb as you pretended you were to everyone else.

 

“Miss King, how exactly did you not see this facility on the list you provided for us?” Steve asked you.

 

“I don’t know, I wasn’t looking.” You defended.

 

“You hacked the bases and didn’t notice that one of the ones you were hacking belonged to your father? How exactly does that happen?” Sam asked you.

 

“Back off Sam.” Bucky said lowly, the warning clear in his tone but you didn’t register it.

 

The only thing you could focus on was that your father was Hydra and now you were being accused of the same thing.

 

“Because I didn’t hack them, I’m not a hacker. I don’t know a damn thing about computers.” You snapped.

 

“What? You lied?” Sam asked.

 

“Then how exactly did you get those files?” Steve demanded, standing up.

 

“She didn't, I did.” Tony said from the doorway.

 

You whirled around to look at him and he took one look at the broken expression on your face and pushed Bruce into the room.

 

“Come with me.” Bruce told you firmly and kindly.

 

“She’s going nowhere until we know she isn't Hydra.” Steve barked out.

 

The kind and brave Captain was gone and you saw a hint of what his enemies must see. The man standing before you now was like a golden avenging angel, terrifying and beautiful in equal measure. It was the metal arm that wrapped around your arm and pulled you away from the Captain that stopped you quivering in fear and anger.

 

“I’m NOT Hydra!” You hissed.

 

“She’s not, she’s just someone who owed me a favour. She came in because I asked her to.” Tony told him, standing in front of you and blocking you from Steve’s sight.

 

“You did what?” Steve demanded, furiously.

 

Bucky pushed you towards Bruce and as the scientist pulled you from the room you looked back at The Winter Soldier gratefully but despite his protectiveness of you, his eyes were cold and distant.

 

“Are you alright?” Bruce asked, sitting you down on a rickety chair in the next room.

 

“No.” You said bluntly and honestly.

 

Bruce looked uncomfortable as he tried to think of a way to comfort you, settling for wrapping an arm around your shoulders.

 

Your mind whirled around it all and you found that while you were horrified, you were not surprised. Anger burned in your veins and you knew you couldn't do nothing.

“Could you get me some water?” You asked Bruce and he jumped up to go and find you a bottle of water.

 

As soon as he left the room you took a deep breath and stood up, letting your body become intangible and dropping through the floor.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“What the hell is she doing?” Sam hissed.

 

Steve and Tony paused in their arguing to look at what had Sam so riled up and saw you outside, walking across the road towards the warehouse. Bruce dropped the water bottle in his hand.

 

“Domniţă what are you doing?” Bucky demanded through the comm you still had in, ignoring the confused looks from the rest of the team.

 

“You might want to turn your side of the comm off.” You warned as you walked right up to the gate.

 

“Who are you?” The guard asked you suspiciously.

 

“Are you kidding me? I’m your boss’s daughter. Let me in, I know my fathers here.” You said with as much haughtiness as you could muster, which as it turned out was a lot.

 

The guard muttered something into a walkie and as soon as he got a response he paled and waved you through the gate.

 

You strode through them and towards the warehouse. Someone opened the door for you and you ignored them, looking for your father.

 

“Sweetheart, what are you doing here?” You father called from somewhere above you.

 

You looked up and saw him leaning against the iron railing of the second level, someone you didn’t know stood beside him. You made a beeline for the stairs and ran up them as fast as you could.

 

“Daddy, I missed you.” You whined, pouting as you approached.

 

“It’s late and I’m working. Why on earth did you decide now that it was so important to come and find me?” Your father asked impatiently.

 

Your eyes watered and you gave him a pathetic look, like a kicked puppy.

 

“Have you been drinking?” He asked wearily and you nodded sadly.

 

He sighed and held his arm out, pulling you into a terse hug.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m just very busy. I have a big deal going on, perhaps I can find some time for you next week? Maybe dinner?”He suggested as you subtly slipped the comm unit you had pulled out of your ear into his pocket.

 

“You always say that and it never happens. You placate me with these plans and then cancel at the last minute. If you don’t want to spend time with me then be a fucking adult about it and just tell me.” You snapped angrily, turning on your heel and storming away.

 

You ignored his outraged shouting for you to come back and ran out, flipping him off for good measure.

 

As soon as you were out of the door your father turned to the man he was with with a sigh.

 

“I apologise for my daughters outburst, I’m sure you are aware she has some issues. I trust the new weapons are up to your standards?”

 

“They are, we would like to make the new armour piercing bullets standard issue. I trust the cost will not be an issue Mr King?”

 

“Not at all, I can funnel enough funds from the company to cover it. Hail Hydra.”

 

“Hail Hydra.”

 

Across the street, through the Comm unit, the Avengers heard the whole exchange. Bucky clenched his fists in anger at your father but he couldn’t help but admire the way you had played the man, walking right into a Hydra base unobstructed and placing a bug that gave them the evidence they needed. It had taken you less than five minutes.

 

“As soon as the rest of the team arrive, we move in.” Steve ordered.

 

They had confirmation it was a Hydra base and that Mr King was a major player in the organization. It lined up with what Stark had hacked from the Hydra base. Take out the King and they took out Hydra’s main weapons supplier.

 

You stormed back into the room and before anyone could say a thing you held up your hand to silence them.

 

“I need paper and pen, I can draw up an approximation of the inside of the warehouse and give you my security codes.” You said coldly.

 

“Give her what she needs.” Steve instructed.

 

You sat down at a desk and got to work. A few moments after you started you felt someone move to stand behind you and put their hand on your shoulder and squeeze comfortingly. You were expecting Bruce or even Tony, not Bucky.

 

“I’m sorry we were so suspicious of you. But you were lying to us.” He said.

 

“Well, we’re even.” You snapped, shrugging his hand off.

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“You think I didn't notice your friends reactions to you being with me tonight? You weren’t protecting me at all, you lied.” You said icily, turning away from him to concentrate on scribbling up the floorplans.

 

He was stood so close to you that when he chuckled you felt the vibrations of it in his chest.

 

“Alright, we’re even. You lied but if you hadn’t we wouldn’t have met. I lied but if I hadn’t we would never have spent the evening together.”

 

“In case you hadn’t noticed, the evening ended in a spectacularly bad fashion.” You said without looking at him.

 

“Domniţă look at me.” He ordered.

You flung the pen on the desk and turned in your chair to look up at him. His jaw was clenched and his eyes were burning into you.

 

“I know your whole life has just blown up in your face and instead of falling apart, you’re her helping us dismantle it even further. I’m proud of you.” He told you.

 

“Proud of me? What the hell makes you think I care about your opinion of me?” You hissed, standing up.

 

He didn’t flinch or move away so you ended up pressed against him. You couldn’t sit back down and give him the satisfaction of you backing down so you lifted your chin and met his gaze.

 

“Is picking a fight with me going to make you feel better?” He asked.

 

“No.” You admitted.

 

“Then sit down, finish drawing up the floor plans and accept that someone admires what you are doing.”He insisted, pushing you back into the seat.

 

You were close to spiralling emotionally so you did exactly what he told you, concentrating on nothing except the plans and the fact that he had your back.

 

As soon as you were finished you flung the plans at Steve and stormed away.

 

“Where are you going Princess?” Tony asked you, hurrying down the corridor after you.

 

“To do what I do best, get blackout drunk.” You growled.

 

“Sure you are... Going to hit up your regular haunts?” He asked.

 

“None of your business.” You snapped.

 

“Like that’s ever stopped me from getting involved before.” He snorted.

 

“And look where that got me! You dragged me into this, because your ego couldn’t accept that The Avengers wouldn’t let you hack Hydra. And now I’m paying the price. God, do you ever get tired of other people paying the price for your mistakes?” You shouted, blinking back tears.

 

Tony’s eyes went cold and you immediatley regretted what you’d said.

 

“Tony I’m sorry. I am. I didn’t mean that, I’m just... I’m sorry.” You babbled, wiping away a few stray tears.

 

“You’re right. I dragged you into this, even though you emphatically told me you wanted nothing to do with The Avengers. But it wouldn’t have mattered how you found out or when, your father was still going to be Hydra.” He told you.

 

“I know, and I’m an idiot for not having figured it out sooner.” You sniffled.

 

“Bruce and I had the same information you did an we didn’t see it either. Don’t be too hard on yourself for not knowing, or how you reacted when you did.” He said and you knew it was his way of forgiving you for your harsh words.

“Just go and arrest him ok. Please.” You pleaded.

 

“We will, he won’t get away. I’ve called Happy to come and get you, he’s taking you to the Compound. We need to keep you out of the way, safe. Hydra are going to figure out you were involved in this.” He said apologetically.

 

“We both know I’m not getting in the car with Happy.”You told him.

 

“I know Princess. But I have your suit in the trunk. Not that I’m condoning you joining in this fight at all.” He told you wearily, with a twinkle of mischief in his eyes.

 

“I can’t be there as a daughter to take my father down but The Phantom sure as hell can.”

Chapter Text

The once quiet warehouse district was now a veritable battleground. Explosions were going off left and right and bullets rained down like hellfire as the Avengers ploughed through the base. You paid no mind to any of it, walking calmly through the chaos, unseen and untouched.

 

You had a very specific target in mind.

 

You turned your head to watch Mjolnir sail past you without breaking your stride, chuckling deeply as it smashed through the wall.

 

Above you, Iron man and The Vision launched a coordinated aerial attack and The Falcon swooped down, picking off agents with calculated precision and ease.

 

Three arrows passed through you in rapid succession, hitting three different agents fatally and the infamous shield of Captain America hurtled past you, affording you an epic view of the deadly weapon.

 

A swarm of red mist blocked your path and you paused curiously in front of it, reaching out to run your fingers through it. Nothing happened and you shrugged and continued on, walking unhindered through the Scarlet Witch’s blast of power.

 

The God Of Lies, Loki cocked his head and watched curiously. So he could see you. You held a finger up to your face, the universal signal for shh and he grinned maliciously and turned his back.

 

The wall you were walking towards suddenly exploded outwards, firing cement in all directions as a green blur landed on the ground in front of you.

 

“Hey Big Guy.” You greeted, keeping your invisibility intact as you politely walked around him.

 

The Hulk grinned toothily in your general direction before pushing off from the ground and leaping away.

 

You strolled into the warehouse, determined to find your prey. You might not have known your father was Hydra but you did know he was a smart man, he always had back up plans and fail-safes. You walked through the heart of the warehouse, to the basement level where the explosives were held and your suspicions were proven correct.

 

You scoffed and pulled your glove off, pushing your thumb to the scanner hooked up to the computer and typing in your code, cancelling the imminent detonation.

 

“Nice Job Princess.” Tony congratulated you as he flew between the rafters and landed next to you.

 

“Second time I’ve saved your ass from being blown up.” You remarked.

 

“You have an unhealthy obsession with my ass.” He quipped as he lowered the mask of the Iron Suit and winked at you.

 

You scoffed and flipped him off.

 

“Get going, I’ll make sure nobody can reset the detonation.” He instructed you.

 

You would have stayed and bantered for a few more moments but you had to move fast if you wanted to find your father.

Several levels above you, he and his retinue of Hydra guards had already been cornered by The Black Widow and The Winter Soldier.

 

“It’s over King, put your hands up.” Natasha ordered, pointing her gun at him.

 

The Winter Soldier stood beside her, his eyes blazing with a cold fury and his own gun steadily aimed at the man.

 

Alexander King chuckled.

 

“Over? Oh it’s far from over, it’s only just begun.” He warned as he walked away, trusting the agents flocking him to keep the two Avengers busy while he escaped.

 

Only that’s not how it went down because as he walked away, a dark figure phased through the wall in front of him and without any hesitation kicked him in the kidneys and then the head, before spinning around to kick him in the throat and he went down to the ground hard.

 

 

 

If Natasha and Bucky were shocked they didn’t pause long enough to show it, rolling with the sudden turn of events and taking down the Hyrda agents with precise lethality while The Phantom stalked over to Alexander King and brought her boot down onto his skull with a vicious crunch.

 

“Thanks for the assist.” Natasha nodded, smirking at you.

 

You wordlessly gave her a two finger salute and dropped through the floor.

 

You paused, just for a split second to catch your breath. It’s not every day a girl beats the crap out of her Nazi sympathizer father and you were feeling the emotional backlash of your violently cathartic actions. You shook off the inner turmoil and took a deep breath, walking along the gangplank quickly just as a large dark figure vaulted down from the level above to land in front of you.

 

Bucky Barnes straightened up and glared at you.

 

“He wasn’t yours to take down.” He snarled.

 

You couldn’t risk talking so you shrugged at him.

 

“You’re in defiance of the Accords and there’s a warrant out for your arrest so why risk coming in here just to take down Alexander King? Who is he to you?” He demanded roughly.

 

You let the burning feeling take over again and walked towards him without slowing down and his eyes widened minutely as he figured out you were about to walk right through him. He swung out of the way and blindly grabbed at your form.

 

You ignored him, you were a ghost, he couldn’t touch you. Except his metal hand firmly grasped your arm and yanked you towards him.

 

You stared dumbly at his hand grabbing your corporeal form and blinked.

 

“How the hell are you doing that?” You asked in fear and wonder.

 

Thankfully your mask must have muffled your voice enough that he hadn’t recognised it. However he figured he quite literally had the upper hand and released your arm to snatch your mask off and you only just managed to dodge out of the way.

 

Bucky could absolutely not figure out your identity, to many people knew already. You were rapidly losing control over so much of your life, this was one of the last things you had left.

 

You dropped the intangibility since it was useless against him for some reason and your arm shot up to block his.

 

“Don’t.” You snarled, making your voice as deep and rough as you could.

 

“King was mine. He hurt someone I care about, you had no right and I want to know why you think you did.” He growled back at you, kicking your legs out from under you.

 

You kept a hold of his arm as you fell, rolling as you dropped so he ended up under you. It took you a few seconds to register what he had said.

 

He cared about you?

 

His metal hand splayed across your stomach and he lifted you off him with nothing more than the strength of one arm and tossed you aside, rolling to his feet smoothly so he was stood over you and placing his boot on your ribs, holding you in place.

 

You panicked and went intangible again and his foot passed right through you as you dropped through the metal grating onto the level below. You glanced up through the grating at his annoyed face and the shine of his metal arm caught your eye.

 

Not just any metal... Vibranium.

 

You chuckled loudly as you realised you could avoid him so long as you avoided the arm and waved sarcastically before you went invisible.

 

You forgot you were dealing with The Greatest Assasian/Hide And Seek Player in history. He couldn’t see you but he could hear your footsteps and he gave chase. You swore under your breath and broke into a run, dodging through the wreckage and rubble of the warehouse with him hot on your heels.

 

“Steve!” You heard him yell and there was a whistling sound in the air behind you. Your eyes widened as you realised what it was but it was too late and turned your head in time to see Bucky effortlessly toss the Shield through the air towards you.

 

You didn’t stand a chance, you had no time to dodge it and it slammed into your ribs, sending you careening into a pile of rubble. You groaned loudly and wheezed as you tried to breathe, unable to defend yourself and Bucky advanced and grabbed you by the throat and hoisted you in the air.

 

You clasped your hand around his wrist as he started peeling your mask off.

 

“Please. Don’t.” You begged.

 

Your voice was unobstructed by the thick black material and you knew by the look of shock on his face he’d finally realised who you were.

 

 

Bucky Barnes knew the identity of The Phantom Of New York City.

 

“Domniţă.” He whispered, releasing you.

 

You all but collapsed, you were pretty sure the shield had broken at least one of your ribs and he caught you without thinking. He looked stricken as he realised he had hurt you. He gently lowered you to the ground cradled in his arms and reached up to gently prise your mask off. You didn’t stop him this time.

 

He tossed it aside and tenderly brushed his hand across your cheek.

 

“I’m sorry.” He said, so gently.

 

The fight was over, Hydra was defeated, for now. All that was left was the rubble and blood splatters and the dust that was settling and you couldn’t help but think it was a perfect metaphor for your life. All that was left holding you steady was Bucky Barnes and so maybe it was the adrenaline, or the shock or heartbreak that made you ask him for something to anchor you and chase the pain away.

 

“Kiss me.” You whispered almost inaudibly.

 

He would have given you anything you asked for in that moment and didn't hesitate to tilt your head towards his and lean down to capture your lips with his as he cradled you in his arms amongst the wreckage of your life and the shattered remains of your family.

 

Chapter Text

“Bucky?”

 

Bucky broke away from you when Steve called for him.

 

“You have to get out of here, can you walk?” He asked gently.

 

“I can limp.” You joked weakly, disappointed he had pulled away.

 

Bucky didn’t seem to appreciate the joke and stood up, lifting you in his arms and carrying you away from the warehouse.

 

“What are you doing?” You asked.

 

“Getting you away from here.”

 

“What about Steve?”

 

“I’ll tell him I was pursuing The Phantom.” He decided.

 

He carried you into the warehouse they had been using as a temporary base.

 

“Do you have your clothes?” He asked.

 

You nodded. He clenched his jaw before he asked his next question.

 

“Tony and Bruce know?”

 

“Yes.” You admitted.

 

“I’ll send one of them to you, where are your clothes?”

 

He looked a little ticked off when you told him that they were with Happy.

 

“Stay here, don’t move.” He instructed and stormed away.

 

He got as far as the door of the abandoned room and paused, looking like he was struggling internally.

 

“Why did you ask me to kiss you?” He whispered.

 

“I needed it.” It was the only answer you had and he exhaled loudly and left without looking back.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Your ribs were bruised, not broken according to Bruce who had come to find you, bringing your clothes with him. He helped you change back into them, being far more of a gentleman about it than Tony would have.

 

“You’re lucky, he must have held back with the throw. I’ve seen people killed by the Shield.” Bruce informed you.

 

“Bruce, is my dad in custody now?” You asked.

“We got him, thanks to The Phantom. He’s been taken in just now.” Bruce answered.

 

You stood up and hobbled to the door.

 

“Where are you going?” Bruce demanded.

 

“To say goodbye.”

 

Bruce sighed and came over to help you outside where you stood on the curbside and watched agents milling about, until you saw him.

 

Your father was cuffed and being escorted by Natasha and Bucky towards an unmarked van. He was upright and walking, but badly bruised and you felt a jolt of satisfaction at the sight. It was nothing compared to the satisfaction when he looked up and you saw the shock in his eyes when he noticed you.

 

He saw you standing there, with Bruce, uncuffed and straight away he knew. You’d been a part of this. He actually had the gall to look betrayed for a second before he glared at you venomously as they shoved him into the van and slammed the door closed. He maintained eye contact with you until the very last second.

 

“What is she doing here? I though she left?” You heard Steve demand.

 

“I wanted to see it. I wanted to see him.” You said loudly, fixing the Captain with a hard look.

 

“You need to go, you can’t be here. Stark is letting you stay at the compound for your protection, I’ll have someone take you.” Steve said and if it was anyone else you would have said they snapped it.

 

“I’m done here anyway.” You sighed.

 

“I’ll take her.” Bucky said and it was not an offer or a suggestion, it was a statement.

 

He walked towards you, taking your arm from Bruce before Steve even had the chance to object. You sunk into his side, trying to look drained and tired instead of in pain. Bucky led you over to a car and put you in the passenger seat, like he had earlier that evening before everything went so wrong.

 

You heard him having a hushed conversation with The Captain before he got in the drivers side and started the engine, pulling away from the aftermath of the chaos. It was silent for a few moments after that until he went over a speedbump and the jostling made you wince.

 

“I’m sorry. I though The Phantom was tied to your father and Hydra somehow, it never occurred to me it was you.” He said softly.

 

“That’s because you made the same mistake as everybody else. You underestimated me.” You said simply.

 

The way the light of the oncoming traffic hit him you could almost believe he looked sheepish.

 

“So you’re not a spoilt princess, you’re a vigilante.”He said with no small amount of sass as he smirked at you.

 

“Yes, I’m a vigilante. And for the record I really did get those files from Hydra, I just bypassed the computer and walked into the base itself.” You informed him.

 

“So why let me think you were....” He trailed off.

 

“A silly little girl who was in over her head?” You finished for him and he half shrugged and nodded.

 

“I never. You saw what you wanted to see and decided that was it. I just didn’t try to change your mind” You said.

 

“That’s unfair. I’m a good judge of character but everything I knew about you pointed to you just being a normal girl, a rich one with a drinking and attitude problem. But I also thought you were incredibly smart, witty and brave.” He defended.

 

“The world sees a girl and it assigns her a worth without ever asking her what she wants. I let the word judge my worth, let people see what they expected and played along. It’s not my fault nobody considered that I might want more and am quite capable of taking it.”

 

“So what is it you want?” He said, looking over at you.

 

“I want to be exactly who I am. Someone who knows the difference between right and wrong, somebody who can take care of herself and others. I am a spoilt little rich girl though, I know that. I hate auctions, I like drinking champagne, I love wearing high heels, teasing Tony is my favourite pastime and half the stuff in the tabloids about me is true. Everything you know about me is right, but it’s not all I am.” You said and he silently considered your words.

 

“Are you just a former assassin with a metal arm? Are you only a man out of time? Is that all that defines you as a person?” You asked.

 

“No.”

 

“Nobody’s one dimensional.” You said, wincing as you tried to adjust.

 

“Just stay still, it’s a bit of a drive.” He said firmly.

 

The drugs Bruce had given you combined with the emotional crash was making it harder and harder to keep your eyes open and you gave up the fight, knowing you were for the moment, as safe as you ever had been. It felt like only five minuted later when the car pulled to a stop.

 

“We’re here.” Bucky informed you as he opened the door and woke you from your fitful dozing.

 

The painkiller Bruce had given you had kicked in and it was easier to get out the car than it had been to get in, though you still appreciated Bucky’s help. He looked like he was going to insist on carrying you for a moment before he thought better of it and just picked you up without asking. If he was expecting you to object he was in for a pleasant surprise.

 

He hummed in approval as you leant your head on his shoulder and wrapped your arms around his neck.

 

“Friday, does Tony have a specific room set aside for Miss King?” He asked as he carried you inside.

 

“He does not, would you like me to allocate one for her Sargent Barnes?” Friday asked.

 

“No, I’ll put her in the empty one next to mine.” He decided.

 

He cradles you as close as he could without hurting you further and took you into the vacant room, holding you easily in one arm while he opened the door. You helped by staying awake, barely.

 

He very carefully and gently placed you onto the bed after pulling back the covers and tapped your ankle and looked at you. You blinked in confusion and he huffed out a laugh.

 

“Do you want to sleep with your shoes on?” He teased and you shook your head, attempting to sit up.

 

He pushed you back down before you could move more than a couple of inches.

 

“I was looking for permission doll, where I come from it’s good manners to get permission before undressing someone, even if it’s just their shoes.”

 

“Ok.” You mumbled and he figured that was the best he was going to get and pulled your shoes off, tucking the duvet around you.

 

He had a lot of questions but you weren’t in any state to answer them so he went with the one thing that was weighing on his mind the most.

 

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have kissed you. You weren’t in your right mind.” He whispered.

 

“You don’t have to apologise for giving me something good when all I had left was the bad and the pain.” You whispered back.

 

His eyes met yours and you were pulled in by the depth of emotion and heat in them.

 

“Goodnight Domniţă.” He said, and leaned in to press a chaste kiss to your forehead.

 

Your eyelashes fluttered at the gentle intimacy of the sensation and didn’t open again.

 

He smiled wistfully as your breathing evened out and you fell asleep straight away. Leaving the room and closing the door was harder than he expected and he sighed softly as he saw the two shadowy figured waiting for him in the hall.

 

“You have some explaining to do man.” Sam griped.

 

“What’s going on Buck?” Steve asked, concern written all over his face.

 

Lying to Steve wasn’t something he relished in but you deserved a little time to adjust and tell Steve the truth about you being The Phantom yourself so he prepared himself to cover for you.

 

“She’s just an innocent girl who found out her father was Hydra and helped us take him down, I figured she deserved a friend.” He said, shrugging like it was no big deal.

 

“A friend? Uh huh, you pilfered my date.” Sam chuckled good naturedly.

 

“Buck we don’t know that she had nothing to do with her fathers dealings, she said herself that she had been in the base multiple times.” Steve argued.

 

“You’re not honestly suggesting she might be Hydra?” Bucky asked, aghast.

 

“No, of course not. But we can’t rule it out completely. We know next to nothing about her, and we have to be careful.” Steve warned.

 

“She’s not Hydra.” Bucky said resolutely.

 

“I never thought I’d say this but I agree with Bucky. Yes she lied to us but only because Tony asked her to. The way she reacted when she found out about her dad, that can’t be faked.” Sam said.

 

“Maybe not, but there’s something off about her. I don’t trust her.” Steve argued.

 

Damn Steve and his instincts Bucky thought to himself.

 

“We can talk about it in the morning. It’s been a long night.” Bucky said, walking towards his own door.

 

“You alright Buck? I’m sorry that Vigilante got away.” Steve called.

 

“I’m not worried about it Steve, I’ll get The Phantom sooner or later.”

Chapter Text

You were awoken by a soft tapping at the door and you managed to get up, groaning all the way and hunched over.

 

“Tis some visitor, tapping at my chamber door.” You called loudly.

 

You swung the door open to see Bruce, stood with a tray and a concerned expression.

 

“’Tis the Hulk and nothing more.” You said and he grinned at you and came in.

 

“I brought you some breakfast and some drugs that will speed along the healing process. I really should have had you in for an X-Ray last night but I thought you needed the rest more.” He said.

 

“Don’t worry about it Bruce, I’ve had worse.” You assured him and followed him to the sitting area part of the room/suite you’d been put in.

 

“Yes, I remember. I still haven’t quite recovered from that incident.” He remarked.

 

For the sake of your ribs you stifled a laugh as you remembered the incident he was referring to.

 

Friday, have Tony look over the statistics from the latest remodel, why are the light off in here?” Bruce asked the AI.

 

They were too bright.” You whispered and he jumped slightly.

 

He followed the sound of your voice and found you sprawled across a table.

 

What’s wrong?” He asked, slipping on something wet and nearly falling over.

 

He glanced down and saw that the liquid was too dark to be water. He looked at you in worry and panic and you grinned sheepishly.

 

I might have got a little bit shot.”

 

“Your face was amazing.” You sniggered, wincing when it jostled your ribs.

 

“You were bleeding everywhere, all over my equipment.” He grumbled.

 

“Sorry.” You said sweetly, accepting the tea he passed you.

 

You were generally more of a coffee drinker but between Bruce and West, you’d learned to appreciate Early Grey tea.

 

“So, Barnes?” Bruce began timidly.

 

“Yeah, he knows about The Phantom.” You said, sighing wistfully as you remembered the moment he’d pulled your mask off and the kiss that followed.

 

“About that... He’s not the only one. Natasha figured it out.” Bruce told you and you paused with the cup halfway to your lips and gave him a helpless look.

 

“God dammit.” You swore.

 

“I’m sorry. This is all my fault, I was the one who called you in, not Tony.” Bruce said regretfully.

 

“It’s not your fault Bruce. I could have said no but I didn’t. I wanted to help but I wanted to stay hidden as well and maybe I can’t have both.”

 

“It’s one thing for a Vigilant to come forward and sign the Accords it’s another entirely for Ross’s niece to do it, especially since the reason she has abilities in the first place is because of a weapon he was building.” Bruce said reasonably.

 

“Well, it’s not possible to keep it secret for much longer. Bucky’s probably already told The Captain.” You pointed out.

 

“Actually he hasn’t but speaking of that, how did Bucky hot you with the Shield and catch you? Why didn’t you ghost away?” Bruce reprimanded you.

 

“Oh! I forgot to mention... turns out Vibranium is like my Kryptonite.”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

In your entire life, never once had West missed a call from you. He always answered, even at 4.30am. This was the sixth time you had called in the last five minutes and he still hadn’t picked up.

 

“Friday, can you trace a phone with just the number?” You asked.

 

“Miss King, the number you’re trying to call is currently located in the compound.”

 

“What?”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“You brought my butler in for questioning?” You yelled at Steve as you burst into the meeting room.

 

Thankfully, Tony saw you storming towards The Captain and grabbed you around the waist.

 

“Don’t punch Cap, I know you and you’ll immediatley regret it.” Tony warned, letting you go when you hissed in pain.

 

“We brought your fathers butler in to answer some questions.” Steve said calmly.

 

“West doesn’t know anything about Hydra, at all. He wouldn’t.” You snarled furiously at him.

 

“All due respect Miss King, you didn’t know your own father was Hydra, your judgement can’t exactly be trusted.” Steve pointed out.

 

“My judgement? You didn’t know the government agency you worked for was Hydra, why should I trust yours?”

 

“She’s got you there Cap.” Tony sniggered.

 

“Calm down. Everyone with connections to Alexander King is being interviewed and Albert West has been his butler and confidant for over thirty years.” Steve told you.

 

“Which is longer than I’ve been alive. I’ve known West my entire life, and I’m a hell of a lot closer to him than I am to my father. He is not Hydra. He’s a good man and he’s my friend. You had absolutely no right to drag him in here without telling me. Does he even have a lawyer with him?”

 

“If he’s innocent, why would he need one?” Steve rebutted.

 

“To make sure he’s being treated fairly, it’s not only the guilty who need legal counsel you moronic son of a bitch. Did they forget to unfreeze your braincells when they thawed you out?” You snapped.

 

“That’s enough.”

 

You and Steve whirled round to look at Bucky who was the one who had spoken.

 

“Steve, you should have warned her. Domniţă, show some respect.” Bucky told the two of you and you and Steve glared at each other.

 

“Captain, West is important to me. He’s my closest friend in the world, he’s family. More so than any of my blood and I am 100% certain he isn’t Hydra. However I understand that you don’t know me so my word means very little, I just need to know that you will treat him fairly.” You said.

 

“We’re just talking to him about what he knows about your fathers business. Even if he’s not Hydra, he may still have valuable information.” Steve explained.

 

“Can I see him?” You asked.

 

“I’m sorry but no. Not until we are certain he isn’t guilty.”

 

“Come on Cap, I’ll take her down myself and Friday will monitor the conversation.” Tony bartered on your behalf.

 

Steve sighed and dropped his shoulder.

 

“Five minutes.” He agreed and you immediatley turned and hurried out of the room, only turning back when Bucky glared at you.

 

“Thank you Captain Rogers.”

 

“I’ll take you.” Bucky said.

 

“I’ve got her freezer burn.” Tony cut in, stepping between you and Bucky and throwing his arm around your shoulders.

 

“What’s going on with you and the one armed wonder?” Tony asked as soon as you were out of earshot of the meeting room.

 

“None of your business Snark.”

 

“My compound, my prodigy, my business.” He retorted.

 

“I am not your prodigy.” You scoffed.

“Who said I was talking about you? Maybe I’m mentoring Barnes to greatness.”

 

The mental image was too funny not to giggle and Tony looked smug.

 

“There’s the smile that’s sold a million newspapers.”

 

“I hate you.” You huffed.

 

He knocked on a door and after a moment it swung open to reveal Natasha Romanov and Wanda Maximoff. You would have been intimidated and impressed but you could see West behind them and they moved out of the way as you flung yourself into the room.

 

“West!”

 

He stood up and you briefly noted he wasn’t cuffed to the table at least as he caught you.

 

“Miss, I’m glad you’re ok. I’m so sorry about your father.” He said softly and you could hear the guilt that was weighing him down.

 

“It’s not your fault, I didn’t see it either.” You comforted him.

 

He pulled back and checked you over.

 

“Are they treating you fairly?” He demanded, his expression hard and you just knew if you said no he’d take on The Avengers to right the perceived wrong.

 

“West, they didn’t bring me in. I already knew about dad. I helped them bring him in.” You admitted.

 

West looked taken aback for a moment before he positively glowed with pride.

 

“I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been, I know you love your father despite the fact he has never earned it. I’m proud of you Queenie.” He said.

 

The use of the nickname spoke volumes. It was something your mother used to call you and him using it now was his way of telling you she would have been proud as well.

 

“Just tell them anything you know about my fathers associates. You might know something helpful even if you don’t realise it.” You said.

 

“Of course Miss, whatever you think is best.” He said seriously.

 

“West, my fathers going to prison. You don’t have to call me Miss, you don’t work for him anymore.”

 

“You’ll always be my little Miss, why do you think I stuck with that man for so long?” He asked like you should have known that.

 

You had always wondered why somebody as kind and caring as West worked for a man like Alexander King but you thought maybe your father had once been a better man, before your mother died. It never occurred to you that West stayed with the family for your sake and your eyes stung as you realised the depths of the loyalty in the man stood in front of you.

You wrapped your arms around him again.

 

“You’re my family West, always.”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“What are you doing in here?” You asked the man in what was now your room.

 

There were boxes and suitcases everywhere and you realized that it was your stuff from your apartment. Tony must have had somebody go and collect it for you.

 

“Your cat’s an asshole.” The man said, turning around.

 

You realised it was Clint Barton, Hawkeye. His ridiculously impressive arms were covered in scratches.

 

“Frankenstein? You tried to pick him up?” You asked fearfully.

 

“You called your cat Frankenstein?” He snorted in amusement.

 

“Well, he’s Frankenstein’s monster but I call him Frank and he’s not my cat. He’s just some temperamental, violent freak who followed me home.” You admitted.

 

“He’ll fit right in here then.” Clint said.

 

“Thanks for getting him.” You said gratefully, as the cat in question came bounding over to you and made a strange screaming meowing sound to let you know he wasn’t happy.

 

“Don’t thank me, Nat told me to get your things. Don’t know what you did to make her like you but she’s quite taken with you.” He informed you, throwing himself onto an armchair.

 

“I’ve said all of two sentences to her.” You said in confusion.

 

“Yeah, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know everything she needs to know about you. Trust me, she likes you.” Clint said, smirking at you.

 

“Huh, maybe I let of some kind of pheromone that makes former Soviet assassins decide to stalk me.” You mused.

 

“Winter soldier giving you trouble?”

 

“Nothing I can’t handle.” You grinned.

 

“What happened to your ribs?” Clint asked out of the blue.

 

“Had a little to much to drink and tripped into the bathtub.” You said sheepishly.

 

“You’re a damn good liar, I’m impressed.” He said, his smirk getting wider.

 

You sighed and rolled your eyes, throwing your arms into the air in exasperation.

 

“Fine. I guess I can’t keep this a secret anymore.” You grouched, walking over to the couch and throwing yourself onto it.

 

Clint raised his eyebrows as you did, because rather than walk around the boxes you walked through them.

 

“You’re The Phantom?”

 

“Yeah, don’t tell anyone.” You mumbled into the couch cushions.

Chapter Text

“Miss King, I thought you would want to know that Secretary Ross just entered the compound.” Friday alerted you.

 

“Showtime.” You said with a savage smirk.

 

“Stark, Rogers. You arrested my brother in law?” Ross asked, anger dripping off him.

 

“He was dealing weapons under the table, to Hydra. We have irrefutable evidence.” Tony said, a little smugly.

 

“And you didn’t inform me of this before you did anything?”

 

“We were given the go ahead to hit the Hydra bases we uncovered, Mr King owned one of those bases and was on site when we launched our attack.”

 

“Uncle Thaddy?” You called, skidding around the corner.

 

“What are you doing here?” He demanded.

 

“Uncle Thaddy, they arrested my dad. He was working with Hydra.” You said, your eyes shining and a helpless, broken expression on your face.

 

Even Steve felt bad for you apparently because he instinctively moved closer to you.

 

“Captain, why is my niece in Avengers custody?” Ross snarled.

 

“What if Hydra come after me? Who’ll protect me? I can’t fight Nazi’s!” You protested.

 

Tony stuffed his fist into his mouth to stop from laughing at the affronted look on your face, like you were offended at the very idea of having to fight Hydra on your own.

 

“You had better show me this irrefutable evidence right now.” Ross dictated.

 

It hadn’t escaped anyone’s notice that your uncle had yet to speak directly to you as you moved to stand in front of him, with wide innocent eyes and a trembling bottom lip.

 

“I helped them, I dropped a bug in Daddy’s pocket. I had to Uncle Thaddy, I thought it would prove he was innocent but he wasn’t. He really was Hydra.” You said, a tear rolling down your cheek.

 

“Everything will be fine, I’ll handle this.” Your uncle said, patting you on the shoulder awkwardly.

 

“Please do, if everybody finds out then what’s going to happen to the company? We made weapons for Hydra Uncle Thaddy, what will people think of us? Will I lose the penthouse?” You wailed.

 

Ross barely contained his eye roll and thankfully didn’t see Tony’s shoulders shake violently at your bratty display.

 

“Please, just go get a glass of water and calm down. I’ll handle everything.” He said, dismissing you and stepping past you to continue onwards.

 

Tony silently high fived you.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Your phone rang in your pocket and you gave up your quest for Frank and answered it.

 

“Hello?”

 

“Your uncle just transferred all of his shares of King Inc to you.” Matt said without preamble.

 

“Well the Secretary of State can’t have shares in a company that was making weapons for Hydra.” You said, not even trying to contain your victory smirk.

 

“The board have called an Emergency meeting, you need to get to the company now. Foggy and I will meet you there.” He said.

 

“On my way.” You said, hanging up.

 

“You manipulated Ross into cutting ties with the company, well played. How were you sure he would transfer his shares to you?” Natasha asked any you looked around until you spotted her leaning against a window on the other side of the room.

 

“Because I’m his naive, easily manipulated flesh and blood.” You said with a shrug.

 

She gave you an appraising look and nodded in approval.

 

“Wanda and I agree that West is not Hydra. He’s helping us identify possible Hydra operatives who your father spent time with, and making soup with Wanda and Vision.” She informed you and you breathed a sigh of relief.

 

“And your cat is currently terrorizing Cap.” She added and you snorted.

 

“Well far be it from me to interfere with Frank’s decisions.” You decided.

 

“So you’ve managed to turn this mess with your father to your advantage then?” She noted.

 

“King Inc was always going to be mine, all my father did was move up the timeline.” You informed her.

 

“Why do you want it?” She asked.

 

“Why do I want a multi billion dollar company that has the funds and resources to help thousands if not millions of people? King inc wasn’t a tech company when it started, my mother was a biomedical scientist and King Inc was supposed to research, market and sell medication to the masses at affordable prices.” You told her.

 

“So you want to fufill your mothers vision for the company?”

 

“Not exactly...”

 

“Tell me about it on the way, I’ll drive you.” She told you.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Move.” Steve commanded.

 

Frank yawned lazily and twisted around to lie on his back.

 

“What are you doing?” Sam asked as he came in the room.

 

“He won’t move.” Steve said unamusedly.

 

Frank made a yowling sound like he was taunting Steve and Sam guffawed when he saw where Frank was.

 

“Sorry Cap, I think that’s his Shield now.” Sam said, laughing at the put out expression on Steve’s face.

 

“Everytime I try to move him he attacks me.” Steve said, showing Sam the already healing scratches covering his hands and forearms.

 

Frank swished his tail at Steve.

 

“I was annoyed at having a cat living here but I think I’ll allow it. Frank can stay.” Tony said through the speakers.

 

“Seriously Steve, you’re a super soldier. Just pick the cat up.” Sam told him.

 

Steve slowly approached the cat and straight away Frank hissed, his hair standing on end, making a screaming yowling sound.

 

“Don’t mess with Captain Kittymurica’s Shield.” Sam wheezed, bent over laughing.

 

“Where’s Bucky? He can use the metal arm.” Steve asked, stomping away.

 

He heard voices in the kitchen and headed in that direction, Sam trailing behind him.

 

“The trick young man is to always add smaller pinches. You can add more but you can’t take it away.” West instructed kindly.

 

“I understand, I build up the ingredients over time rather than add them all at once.” Vision affirmed.

 

“Precisely.” West confirmed, beaming proudly as Vision added a small pinch of herbs to the bubbling pot on the stove.

 

“What’s going on?” Steve asked.

 

“Ah, Captain Rogers. Your team mates here are allowing me to assist them in cooking for you all.” West explained.

 

“We’re making soup and homemade bread.” Wanda said as she kneaded dough on the countertop.

 

“Mr West is quite an accomplished chef, I have already learned so much.” Vision added.

 

Steve looked absolutely lost by the turn of events.

“Wanda? A word.” He said, gesturing to the hallway.

 

“West, could you take over?” She asked, wiping her hands on a tea towel.

 

“Of course my dear.”

 

“Why is he not in an interview room?” Steve asked her once she joined him in the hallway.

 

“Natasha and I agree that he isn’t Hydra and Tony and Bruce said we could let him out to wander around the compound.” She informed him.

 

“And nobody though to tell me?” he asked.

 

“I thought you knew.” You said, shrugging apologetically.

 

“It’s alright, it’s not your fault. Tony should have told me.” He assured her.

 

“Captain Rogers, Mr Stark asked me to inform you that he’s allowed Mr West free reign of the compound.” Friday interjected and Wanda bit her tongue to stop the amused giggle.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“You don’t look happy.” Natasha noted.

 

She was waiting in the underground parking lot for you.

 

“The board just ordered me to take a step back and distance myself from the company.” You snapped angrily as you stormed over to Natasha’s convertible.

 

“So not what you were expecting then?” She said drily as you hopped into the car.

 

“My fathers shares are divided amongst the pre-existing board members in the event that he is unable to take responsibility for the company. I don’t inherit them unless he dies.” You said, fuming.

 

“So what’s your plan now?”

 

“I played along, cried a bit and thanked them all for being so helpful and loyal. My uncle owned 10% of the shares, I got 10% when I turned 21 and I have 2% under shell corporations. I need my fathers 39% to have a majority. So I guess the plan is I kill my father?” You rattled off.

 

“Good plan. Think you could so it?” Natasha asked.

 

“Yes.”

 

She raised an eyebrow at you and you smirked.

 

“Well, actually I think I can manipulate my Uncle into doing it for me.”

Chapter Text

“Uncle Thaddy, the board are worried. Isn’t there some way we can keep people from finding out that daddy’s Hydra?” You begged.

 

“With all due respect, you can’t keep this wrapped up just because your niece doesn’t want to lose her inheritance.” Natasha said.

 

You threw her a dirty look.

 

“Miss Romanov this does not concern you, this is a family matter.” Ross snapped.

 

“King inc makes weapons for the government as well, even The Avengers have used the automatic machine guns made by the company. It is my business and I don’t think we can cover this up.” Natasha retorted calmly.

 

“Why do people have to know? Can’t we say that daddy’s taking a sabbath or something?” You whined petulantly.

 

“Sabbatical, the word you’re looking for is sabbatical. And sooner or later people will wonder why Alexander King has disappeared.” Natasha informed you coldly.

 

“Let them wonder, it’s better than them knowing we’re related to a traitor. My Uncle is a highly respected member of parliament...”

 

“There’s no parliament in the US.”

 

“... and he can’t have people knowing about this and I’m... well I’m innocent! I don’t want people thinking I’m not! I’ll tell people Daddy is sick or he had an accident of had to get surgery, we can hire an actor to play him.” You shrieked.

 

Ross looked thoughtful under his wincing at your sheer volume.

 

“As you said Miss Romanoff, we all have ties to Alexander King and it will reflect badly on us all. It would be best for everybody if nobody were to find out about this.” Ross said.

 

“Do you have an idea Uncle Thaddy?” You asked hopefully.

 

“I do, let me take care of it. You just go back to... whatever it is you do and let me handle it.” He ordered, turning away and dismissing you.

 

Natasha shot you a discreet wink.

 

“Think he’ll take the bait?” She asked once you were back in the car.

 

“He’s never had an original thought, he grabs on for dear life to other people’s wise ideas and convinces himself he came up with it. He’ll take the bait.” You assured her.

 

“You don’t think much of your family do you Koroleva?”

 

“You’ve met my father and my uncle? Are you impressed?” You rebutted.

 

“Not with them.”

 

“Speaking of my father, can you do me one more favour?”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

There was no awkward getting to know each other stage with Natasha, it went from only having spoken once to being friends. She appreciated your penchant for manipulation and you appreciated her... everything. Mostly her access to secure government buildings and her willingness to exploit that on your behalf.

 

“You look awful.” You said, smirking gleefully at your father.

 

He smirked back across the metal table at you and twisted his hands in the cuffs attaching him to it.

 

“My sweet daughter, I admit, I didn’t think you would be the one to betray me.” He said conversationally, as if you were talking about something nice like the weather.

 

“It’s always the one’s you least expect.” You told him.

 

“Your whole life, I thought you were a bitter disappointment and you finally manage to impress me, by turning on me.”

 

“I’ve always found that impressing people I don’t respect at all is just not important to me.” You retorted calmly.

 

“Perhaps if you had shown me this side of you sooner, we would have been closer.” He chuckled in amusement.

 

“Perhaps if you weren’t evil I would have actually tried to be closer to you.”

 

“You don’t believe this nonsense about me being Hydra do you? You’re being manipulated by Tony Stark and The Avengers.” He insisted casually, leaning back with a smug expression.

 

They are, we would like to make the new armour piercing bullets standard issue. I trust the cost will not be an issue Mr King?”

 

Not at all, I can funnel enough funds from the company to cover it. Hail Hydra.”

 

The recording echoed through the room clearly and you resited the urge to wave at Natasha through the one sided glass as your father sat forward with a snarl.

 

“What did you do?” He hissed.

 

“Slipped a bug into your pocket, gave The Avengers all my security codes, cancelled the detonation you set.” You listed off.

 

“You little bitch. You thought that if you helped them you could have the company, is that it? You don’t get my shares unless I’m dead. I’ll change my will, I’ll order the board not to let you near the company ever again, you’ll lose everything!”

 

“You’re not going to be able to speak to the board, you’re not going to be able to speak to anybody. You’re going to spend the rest of your life in a tiny, damp, dark cell. I’d say I’ll visit but I am a King, my word means nothing.” You said, standing up.

 

“You haven’t won, you are in over your head. I will ruin you for this!” He called after you as you opened the door.

 

Natasha was waiting for you in the hallway and she grinned savagely at your father through the door.

 

“The King is dead, Long live the Queen.” She said and shut the door on him.

 

“Miss King, we need you to come with us.” Two guards said and you shot Natasha a confused look.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Back when he was young, before the war he’d have called the way he was acting now ‘Doll-Dizzy’. But no matter what he did, he couldn’t get you out of his mind. Your laughter would echo in his head every few moments, or the way your hips moved when you waked would play in his mind.

 

He gave in to it and let himself remember the way you’d teased him when he threatened to spank you, and if Steve hadn’t called at that precise moment...

 

His heart hammered in his chest when he thought about the look of sheer desperation and longing on your face when you’d asked him to kiss you and they way you’d held on to him when he did. You’d tasted like heaven and your soft lips had moved in perfect synchronicity with his.

 

But it wasn’t real, it had been a crutch. Something you needed in the moment, you’d said so yourself. You didn’t want him, no matter how much you flirted with him. Flirting was just something you did with everyone, even the way you teased Stark was flirtatious.

 

He’d been warned that you were a heartbreaker and he knew this was going to end badly but he couldn’t help himself.

 

“What are you doing?” Sam asked loudly from the doorway of your bedroom.

 

“Making sure she feels at home.” Bucky didn’t look up from his task while he answered.

 

“You hoping she decides to stick around Barnes?” Sam teased.

 

Bucky looked Sam in the eye.

 

“Yes.”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Princess, are you alright?” Tony demanded, bursting into the interrogation room.

 

You raised your head off your cuffed hands on the table and shot him a dirty look.

 

“They know I’m The Phantom. I’ve been arrested for breaking the Accords.” You snarled.

 

“No, you haven’t. They have no proof. I can fix this, Romanoff is working on it.” He assured you with a false sense of bravado.

 

“Actually, this is going exactly as I planned.” Natasha said as she opened the door and walked into the room.

 

As Tony turned around to look at her you phased your hands through the cuffs and reached over to snap them onto his wrists.

 

“Sorry Stark, you brought this on yourself.” Natasha told him as he struggled with the cuffs.

 

“Alright ladies, if you wanted to have me tied...”

 

“Don’t finish that sentence.” You warned.

 

“Consider this practice for what happens if anyone figures out that you broke the Accords you forced on us.” Natasha said coldly.

 

“I don’t really have a reason for doing this.” You said brightly, snapping a photo of Tony’s furious expression.

 

“Alright, very funny. You do realise I can get out of these right?” He said cockily.

 

“Good luck, there’s not a single piece of tech in this room so you’ll have to break out the old fashioned way. Should only take you a few hours.” Natasha informed him.

 

“Oh, there’s one piece of tech. The speakers.” You said evilly as Natasha pressed a button on a device she pulled from her pocket.

 

Agadoo doo doo push pineapple shake the tree” Blared through the room, almost masking Tony’s enraged yelling as you and Natasha closed the door and left him alone.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“You! You can stay. Your man West can cook and your cat has been nearly made Cap cry at least three times already today.” Sam Wilson said as soon as you walked into the common room.

 

“So you only want me for my connections?” You asked him, holding your hands up to your heart dramatically like he’d wounded you.

 

He snorted in amusement.

 

“Please, that ship has sailed. As in you and Barnes sailed away on that ship.” Sam said, grinning to show there was no hard feelings.

 

You shifted uncomfortably. Yes, Bucky had kissed you after you had asked him to, yes it had been absolutely breathtaking but...

 

“I don’t date. There’s nothing between me and Bucky.” You said with a tone of finality.

 

“You might want to go to your room and tell him that...”

 

You shot an alarmed look at Sam and hurried away to see what he was talking about, his laughter following you. You burst dramatically into your temporary room and did a double, nay a triple take. The first shocking thing was that the furniture had been replaced with your own from your penthouse, Bucky currently putting your books onto your bookshelves. The second shocking thing was Frank, who was perched on Bucky’s shoulder and purring.

 

“Uhhhh” You said intelligently.

 

“Where have you been all day?” Bucky asked, looking a little annoyed.

 

“I went to King Inc and apparently fell through a portal to an alternate dimension where I live here now and my cat isn’t a violent lil asshole.” You answered.

 

“You have bruised ribs, Hydra might actually be after you for real this time. You can’t just leave without telling me.” He said, dropping Frank onto your couch and walking towards you.

 

“Let’s get something straight half metal jacket, I can do whatever the hell I want.” You snapped.

 

“Yes, you can. But I can worry about you.” He snapped back.

 

His fingers brushed the bottom of your shirt and he paused, standing there waiting for something. You figured it was permission and nodded. He lifted your shirt up, exposing your ribs.

 

They were still bruised but not badly, Bruce’s painkillers and healing medications had been working wonders all day. You bit down on a smile as you realised how worried he had been about you.

 

“Why is all my stuff here? I’m not staying.” You said softly.

 

“I’ll move it back when you leave, I just thought you might be more comfortable with your own stuff here.”He explained, his fingers still brushing experimentally over your ribs.

 

You damn near swooned and he mistook it for you being in pain because he snatched his hand back.

 

“We need to talk about some things.” He said.

 

“Yeah, we do.” You agreed.

 

“How did you become The Phantom?” He asked.

 

“I’m sorry I made you kiss me.” You said at the exact same time.

 

You both paused and looked at each other awkwardly. He could have brushed over your admission, he could have apologised, he could have agreed or disagreed or done a million other things. What he decided to do was lean in until his lips were a breath away from yours.

 

“You didn’t make me do anything.” He whispered hoarsely.

 

Your breaths were shallow as you closed your eyes and waited for him to press his lips against yours but it didn’t happen. He stepped back and you opened your eyes, a red tinge of embarrassment spreading across your skin. His eyes hungrily drank in the sight of the blush and he smirked cockily at you.

 

“It was just a kiss Domniţă, there’s no need to make a big deal out of it.”

 

But it was a big deal to him, and your reaction made him sure that you thought so as well. Which meant he could get you to ask him again. Because he wasn’t going to kiss you unless you asked. He’d flirt, he’d woo you and seduce you but he wouldn’t touch you until you begged him to.

Chapter Text

It was really hard to concentrate on what you were saying when Bucky Barnes was sat in your armchair gazing intently at you as you told him the full story of how you had become The Phantom.

 

“You locked yourself in the chamber? You didn’t consider letting one of the two superhero’s handle it?” He growled.

 

“I asked them to come, I couldn’t get them killed for trying to help me and I couldn’t let innocent people die because of something my family built.” You said reasonably.

 

Bucky’s mind turned over all the facts and he realised that yet again, everything he thought he knew about you was all wrong. You weren’t a spoilt brat like he’d assumed, you weren’t a badass vigilante like he’d thought. You were a ridiculously brave person who’d sacrificed your life to save others and when you’d ended up with extraordinary abilities you hadn’t hesitated to constantly throw yourself into dangerous situations because you didn’t want to waste those gifts.

 

“Oh no. You’re Steve.” He groaned.

 

“I’m who now?” You asked, extremely offended.

 

“You’re all bravery and no brains.” He said, throwing his head back in frustration.

 

Frank used the new angle to sniff curiously at Bucky’s hair and you narrowed your eyes at the furball of deception.

 

“You need to tell Steve everything.” Bucky insisted, reaching up to scratch between Franks ears.

 

“I’m not telling Captain Asshat anything. Five of The Avengers already know I’m The Phantom, that’s more than enough.” You said.

 

“Five?”

 

“Besides you, Tony and Bruce, Natasha figured it out and I just gave up and told Clint.” You admitted.

 

Frank chirped happily as Bucky scratched a particularly good spot and you lost it.

 

“How are you doing that?” You demanded, standing up and stomping over to check Frank for telltale signs of having been replaced by a robot cat or something to explain his behaviour.

 

Bucky sat up and smirked at you and you realised you’d placed yourself directly between his knees.

 

“I’m good with cats. And you do need to tell Steve, he’s got you all wrong. We all did.”

 

“My being The Phantom or how I got that way changes nothing, I’m still me.” You insisted.

 

Bucky stood up abruptly and for a brief second you were pressed together before you took a step back quickly and he followed. He backed you up all the way over to the couch and the backs of your knees hit the sofa and you sat down, bouncing on the cushion a little.

 

“The fact it changes nothing in your mind is why it changes everything.” He said cryptically.

 

You battled with the blush trying to paint your features as he hooked a finger under your chin and tilted your head so you were looking up his perfect body to meet his intense gaze.

 

“I won’t tell him until you’re ready but you have to tell him sooner or later.” Bucky said and released you and took a step back.

 

You released a breath you hadn’t even known you were holding in as he left the room, the door closing with a depressing finality behind him. Frank yowled in displeasure and you shakily drew your legs under yourself and silently agreed with the disappointed cat.

 

Bucky leaned against your door for a second in the hallway to centre himself. The way you’d sat there, so plaint and soft in front of him and looked up at him with those wide eyes filled with trust was too much for him and he’d needed to escape before the last drop of blood rushed from his head. If he’d left it even a second longer you’d have definitely noticed the tightness in his jeans.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Oooh, soup. Does that mean there’s bread?” You asked as you pottered into the kitchen.

 

Wanda smiled up at you warmly as you started sniffing around her where she was taking the loaf out of the oven.

 

“There is, Mr West taught me how to make it.” She preened.

 

“West makes the best bread.” You said excitedly.

 

“I know we have met but I don’t know if you remember, it has been an eventful few days,” She said nervously and you grinned brightly at her.

 

“I remember, who could forget you?” You joked and she smiled but the nervous look in her eye gave her away.

 

“That’s a good thing, trust me. West thinks so as well, he doesn’t give up his bread recipe for just anyone.” You assured her and the way her eyes lit up was breathtaking.

 

She cut into the loaf with a small, happy grin on her face.

 

“Will you be joining us for dinner?” She asked hopefully.

 

“I’m starving. Can I help with anything?” You asked.

 

“No!” She exclaimed in a hurry and immediately looked bashful at her outburst as she bit her lip and tried not to laugh.

 

“West told stories about my kitchen adventures didn’t he?” You asked and she nodded as passed you a heavily buttered slice of fresh bread.

 

It was still warm and the butter had melted into it, it looked and smelt heavenly and was a very effective distraction. You made obscene sounds as you bit into it and Wanda giggled at you.

 

“Well what have we here?” Someone said from right behind you and you turned your head and looked up. And up again.

Loki was smirking down at you with a mischievous twinkle in his eye and you gulped down your mouthful of bread and bit into the slice again shamelessly.

 

“You must be Miss King.” Loki purred, looking you up and down flirtatiously.

 

“Loki! Leave her alone.” Wanda chastised and you raised an amused brow.

 

When Loki had joined The Avengers it had been a global topic, some people were on his side and some weren’t. You had figured The Avengers wouldn’t have let him join if they didn’t trust him.

 

“I’m just introducing myself.” He defended innocently.

 

“Really? That’s just an introduction? What happens if you actually try to flirt, spontaneous ovary combustion?” You joked.

 

“Would you like to find out?” He asked.

 

“Kinda.” You admitted and he looked slightly taken aback at your answer before his smile widened.

 

“I do love a woman who is so... transparent.” He said heavily.

 

Six, six Avengers who knew who you were. Though you weren’t entirely shocked by this one, he had seen right through your invisibility at the warehouse.

 

“PRINCESS!” Tony’s outraged voice thundered through the compound.

 

“Uh, you haven’t seen me.” You said and disappeared.

 

“What’s going......... on?” Wanda asked, turning to you and frowning when you weren’t there.

 

Loki hadn’t taken his eyes off you and looked amused as Tony stormed into the kitchen.

 

“Where is she?” Tony demanded.

 

“Where is who?” Loki asked coolly.

 

“Princess. Her and Romanoff locked me in a cell and tortured me all afternoon. Being tied up by two beautiful women is supposed to be much more fun that it was.”

 

“I haven’t seen her, I think Natasha’s in the armoury though.”Wanda said helpfully.

 

“Yeah, cause I’m going to confront Nat.” Tony scoffed.

 

“You aren’t as afraid of Miss King as you are of Miss Romanoff?” Loki asked casually.

 

“One is a deadly assassin and the other is a Park Avenue Princess.” Tony pointed out.

 

“Are you really not afraid of me Snark?” You whispered in Tony’s ear.

 

He jumped so high he almost hit the ceiling.

 

“Tony? Are you alright?” Wand asked in concern.

“What? Fine.” He squeaked out.

 

“For the record, my hand is literally inside your chest right now. Shall we find out if Tony Stark has a heart after all?” You said quietly.

 

“I’ve got to go!” Tony exclaimed and bolted.

 

Loki chuckled and Wanda looked perplexed.

 

“What was wrong with him?” She asked.

 

“No idea.” You said and reappeared.

 

Wanda was startled by your sudden reappearance and gaped at you. You winked at her and bit into the piece of bread you’d stolen while invisible.

 

“Are you The Phantom?” She asked.

 

“Yeah, but it’s a huge secret so you can’t tell anybody.” You sniggered.

 

That made Seven.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

When Wanda had asked if you were joining them for dinner you hadn’t realised she meant everybody. You sat back in your chair and watched in amusement as The Avengers all drifted into the room. Vision kept glancing at you and you grinned at him. And that was Eight.

 

“Yes, I can walk through walls as well.” You confirmed.

 

Wanda had already asked you if she could please tell Vision and could you explain that just because you didn’t need to use a door, it was still polite to use one.

 

“Fascinating. Would it be rude of me to ask you for a demonstration at some point?” He asked politely.

 

“Not at all, we can compare after dinner if you want?” You offered.

 

You were actually curious, you hadn’t met anyone who could do anything similar to you before. You wondered what would happen if you and Vision tried to phase through each other at the same time.

 

“I would like that.” He said, smiling happily over at Wanda who shot the two of you a thumbs up as two tall figures came into the kitchen.

 

“Your highness! I am Thor, King of Asgard.” The large Blonde god exclaimed, grabbing your hand with surprising gentleness and bestowing a kiss upon it.

 

“She’s not royalty you buffoon.” Loki said in exasperation.

 

“Shhhhh, yes I am.” You insisted, fluttering your eyelashes at Thor.

 

“Do forgive my brother, This is Loki, Prince of Asgard.” Thor said.

 

“Oh we’ve met.” Loki smirked.

 

“Yes, we have. He said hello and now I’m pregnant.” You told Thor in mock seriousness.

 

“Loki!” Thor looked aghast.

 

“She’s jesting with you brother.” Loki said, rolling his eyes at Thor and draping himself on the seat next to yours.

 

Thor looked between you and Loki suspiciously.

 

“You are friends?” He asked.

 

“Yeah.” You said casually.

 

Loki turned his head to look at you without changing his bored expression at all.

 

“Friends. Yes, we are. Happy now Thor?” Loki asked.

 

“I am!” Thor boomed.

 

“Ow.” You said under your breath, leaning away from the exuberant blonde giant.

 

“You get used to it.” Loki assured you.

 

“You highness, might my brother and I sit by you?” Thor asked politely.

 

“Yes, you may your Majesty.” you said, pushing the chair on your other side out for him.

 

Natasha and Clint wandered in, whispering about something to each other and from the furtive glances that Clint kept shooting at you, you guessed you were somehow involved.

 

Steve, Bucky and Sam walked in behind them and you gaped. Once again, Frank was perched on Bucky’s shoulder. Steve kept glancing warily at the content cat that was looking around the room with disdain.

 

“Frank, you lucky little bastard.” You whispered, forgetting that most of the people in the room had super hearing.

 

“You wanna sit on my shoulders Domniţă?” Bucky asked with an infuriating smirk as he sat down directly across from you.

 

Steve managed to choke on air and Sam sniggered at the three of you. Loki decided to drape his arm across the back of your chair and Bucky glared at his hand. Frank leapt off Bucky’s shoulder onto the table and sat on Steve’s empty plate. You wondered if you should high five the cat or would that be too childish.

 

“Miss King.” Steve said in a strained voice.

 

“Yes Captain?” You said sweetly.

 

“Could you move your cat?” He asked.

 

“Frank, move.” You ordered.

 

As you expected, nothing happened.

 

“Sorry, I tried.” You said, shrugging.

 

“He’s a menace. He’s violent and stubborn.” Steve insisted.

 

“He’s an independent cat who shows his love in subtle ways.” You protested.

 

“He’s rather cute.” Thor said, reaching over to pick Frank up by the scruff of the neck and quickly dropping him when the cat yowled loudly and swiped at Thor’s arm. The cat scampered onto your lap and glared at the God of Thunder.

 

“Very violent.” Thor agreed, nodding at Steve.

 

“Well you’d probably scratch someone if they tried to pick you up by the scruff of the neck.” You defended.

 

“That is true. My apologies Brother Frank, it was shameful of me to try and pick such a fierce warrior like yourself in such an undignified way.” Thor said solemnly to Frank, who was ignoring him in favour of licking his paw.

 

“I like him. He reminds me of someone.” Clint said, ducking unsuccessfully out of the way of Natasha’s cuff to the back of his head.

 

Someone kicked your foot and you glanced across the table at Bucky who was looking at you.

 

“What?” You mouthed silently.

 

He shrugged nonchalontley and kicked your foot again. You narrowed your eyes and tried to kick him back but he caught your foot between his own and smirked. You wished you could ghost individual body parts but if you tried to free yourself that way you’d end up falling through the chair. It had taken you a long time and an embarrassing number of incidents to figure out how to phase without falling through the floor.

 

You settled for turning to Loki and ignoring Bucky.

 

“Alright, the party is here. We can begin now.” Tony called loudly as he waltzed into the room, Bruce tagging along behind him.

 

As soon as Tony sat down at the head of the tableseveral phone’s went off in unison and Steve, Natasha and Tony checked all their ringing phones. Steve read his message and stood up, glaring down at you.

 

“Whatever it was, I didn’t do it.” You instinctevally said, holding your hands up in surrender.

 

“Steve.” Natasha warned lowly.

 

“Princess, Bruce, come with me.” Tony said, getting up and dragging you away from the table urgently.

 

“What the hell? What’s going on?” You demanded, shrugging your arm out of Tony’s grip.

 

“Alexander King just escaped from government custody.” Steve snapped.

 

“What?” You gasped.

 

“It says you visited him this afternoon, hours before he escaped.” Steve said coldly.

 

“Cap, back down. I was with her.” Natasha said.

 

“Were you in the room with her the whole time?” Steve asked.

 

“It doesn’t matter, she didn’t do it. She wouldn’t.” Tony snapped.

 

“How sure are you of that really?” Steve asked him.

 

“As sure as you were that Barnes didn’t bomb the UN.” Tony snapped, standing in front of you protectively.

 

“Cap, she did not do it. Take my word for it, I trust her.” Bruce said, standing up and coming to stand beside Tony.

 

“She turns up out of nowhere, leads us to Hydra, helps us arrest her father and the next day visits him just before he breaks out of a secure government facility. Why am I the only one who thinks this is a little suspicious?”

 

You didn’t say a word to defend yourself, you couldn’t. You couldn’t even think straight. You barely even registered Bucky standing up and trying to calm Steve down.

 

“How has she got everyone here falling for her innocent act? She’s lying and I’m the only one who seems to be able to see it. She has to have helped King break out, it’s the only explanation.”

 

“He’s right.” You sighed.

 

“So you admit it? You helped him.” Steve confirmed.

 

“No. I hate him, I wouldn’t help him even if he wasn’t Hydra.” You snarled.

 

“He’s your father, you expect me to buy that his lack of attention is enough for you to turn on him?”

 

“No he...”

 

“He what? What possible excuse can you come up with that would make me believe for a second that you are on our side?” Steve asked.

 

“Just let me...”

 

“Let you lie more? There’s something going on with you and there has been since you walked in here and I want to know what it is.”

 

“Oh for fuck sake.” You snapped and walked through Tony and Bruce, as in right through them.

 

“I’m The Phantom and I hate my father because he killed me. He built a bomb that blew me up and turned me into a ghost and I’ve been trying to bring him down for all the things he’s done. I knew he was corrupt but I didn’t know he was Hydra. And I’m not a computer hacker. Well done, you caught me out.” You yelled.

 

“You’re The Phantom of New York City?” Steve breathed out in shock.

 

“Yes!” Bruce, Tony, Natasha, Clint, Wanda, Vision Loki and Bucky all said in unison.

 

“Oh. I’m a huge fan of your work.” Steve said.

 

“Huh?”

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you let me be unkind to The Phantom.”

 

Steve was pacing across the kitchen.

 

“I can’t believe you knew who she was and didn’t tell me.” He huffed at everyone.

 

You grinned in bemusement at the random turn of events. It was so befuddling and amusing that you almost weren’t even stressed about your father having escaped. Almost.

 

“Steve, think we’re focusing on the wrong issue here?” Sam asked.

 

“Hey, don’t be rude to Captain America.” You snapped, your shoulders shaking dangerously with contained mirth.

 

Steve went a little pink and Bucky rolled his eyes.

 

“I told you to tell him.” Bucky said to you, inadvertently drawing attention to himself.

 

“Ninety years of friendship Buck, and you didn’t tell me!”

 

“Is Cap really fangirling? Have I had too much to drink? Did I have a stroke? Is this really happening?” Tony whispered like he was afraid to break the moment.

 

“He’s been obsessed with The Phantom since she tied those three muggers to a lampost and walked the old lady home.” Sam informed Tony.

 

“I’m not obsessed!” Steve insisted.

 

“She’s a vigilante with manners Sam, they should be giving her a medal, not hunting her down.” Sam mocked, doing a startlingly good impression of Steve.

 

“And that was before he found out she was Ross’s niece.” Clint pointed out.

 

Steve’s head snapped around to look at you and he looked at you reverently.

 

“You are defying the Accord’s even though your Uncle is in charge of them.” Steve stated, pride and admiration shining in his tone.

 

“Yeah well, he blew me up. I owe him nothing.” You said with a shrug.

 

“About that... Your father and uncle blew you up?” Clint backtracked.

 

“I’ve got this one. Princess here figured out something strange was going down at the company and did a little snooping, once she found out they were using Gamma Radiation she tracked Banner down and asked him for help. She snuck me and Brucey into the facility where we found the radiation bomb about to blow. Radiation fallout would have killed millions and the containment chamber could only be closed from the inside. Bruce and I were arguing about who got the do the heroic sacrifice and she snuck past us and locked the containment chamber herself. Then she died horrifically and became Casper the not so friendly ghost.” Tony summed up.

 

“What happened to the bomb?” Natasha asked after everyone gaped for a moment.

 

“They never found out I was there and the project was classified a failure and shut down.” You said.

 

“I have to ask...” Sam began and you looked at him and gestured for him to continue.

 

“When you said you died, do you mean you’re actually dead? Are you a real ghost?”

 

“She’s not dead, her heart beats, she has brainwaves.” Bruce said emphatically before you had a chance to answer.

 

“I can just turn invisible, walk through walls and am biologically frozen the way I was when I died.” You said, rolling your eyes.

 

“Frozen?”

 

“I’m not ageing.” You clarified.

 

“So everybody knows everything now. Cool. Yeah, awesome.” You said.

 

“Want to focus on something else? Like your father?” Tony offered.

 

“Now we know it wasn’t Miss King, I mean The Phantom, who did help him escape we need to figure out who did.”

 

“Well first of all, you can call me by my name, or one of my thousand nicknames since for some reason nobody ever uses my actual name.” You quipped.

 

“Second of all, how did you break out?” You asked Tony.

 

“I have a question.” Clint said, raising his hand.

 

“The Widow and Phantom teamed up to incarcerate me. It was not as much fun as it sounds.” Tony explained.

 

“Agadoo doo doo.” You sang under your breath and Tony glared at you.

 

“I wasn’t under lock down, after I managed to pick the lock on the door I just walked out.” He said, flipping you off.

 

“What about Ross? We’re all in agreement that he’s a slimy bastard and we don’t trust him.” Clint put out there.

 

“I don’t think so. Uncle Thaddy is set to lose a lot if anyone finds out about my dad, he wouldn’t risk his reputation like that.” You said.

 

“Alright, here’s the plan. Natasha, Bucky, Loki, Wanda, Clint, you five interview everyone in the building and look for anyone that seems suspicious. Tony, look into everyone who works there. Everyone else with me, we’ll look for physical evidence.” Steve said, slipping into Captain mode before turning to you with an excited look.

 

“Phantom... can you snoop around? People say all sorts of things when they think nobody is listening.” The Captain asked hopefully.

 

You didn’t really want to get tied up with The Avengers like this, it wouldn’t be to difficult for anyone to put the pieces together if The Phantom started working with The Avengers the same day you moved into the compound but... Steve looked so hopeful and he was giving you the puppy dog eyes.

 

“Aye aye Captain.”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Anything to report, Phantom?” Steve asked through the comms.

 

“Beth from the third floor is cheating on Craig in human resources with Kyle from the cafeteria.” You offered.

 

“Beth is such a hoe.” Clint said.

 

“Alright, anything else?” Steve asked.

 

“I stole a Mars Bar from the vending machine if anyone’s hungry?” You suggested.

 

“I’ll have one.”

 

“Get me a snickers.”

 

“Do they have m&m’s?”

 

“Can you get me a can of coke?”

 

“Guys, we’re not engaging in petty theft. Does anyone have any mission related news?” Steve reprimanded.

 

There was only silence over the comms until Steve sighed heavily.

 

“I’m running out of energy, I need to find a place to unghost for a bit.” You admitted.

 

You had been holding the invisibility non stop for over thirty minutes straight which was a record for you and it was taking it’s toll.

 

“There’s a place on the fourth floor, I’ll make sure it’s clear.” Bucky told you.

 

“Alright Phantom, take a beat. We’ll keep looking.”

 

You wearily made your way to the fourth floor and saw Bucky standing outside a door. You whistled lowly to him and he opened the door and you followed him inside the maintenance closet. As soon as you reappeared your fatigue kicked in and you stumbled. He hurriedly caught you around the waist and held you up. Your head lolled against his shoulder and he frowned at the heat radiating off you.

 

“Domniţă, are you alright?” He asked, placing a hand against your temple to check your temperature.

 

“You’re burning up.” He said worriedly.

 

“Happens when I stay intangible for too long.” You muttered weakly.

 

“What can I do?” He asked briskly.

 

“I just need to rest for a minute.” You said, stiffling a yawn.

 

He jostled you for a second and the next thing you knew, he was sat on the floor with you cradled in his lap.

 

“Can I take a cat nap?” You asked hopefully, nuzzling into his chest without thinking about it.

 

“Ten minutes, I’ll watch over you.”He vowed, his fingers absent-mindedly toying with your hair.

 

That was all you needed to hear and you drifted off. He couldn’t help but notice how perfectly you fit against him as your breathing evened out. You didn’t even hesitate to trust him to keep you safe, you didn’t even think about flinching away when he held you. The door opened abruptly and Tony found himself staring down the barrel of a gun.

 

“Disturbing as that is Barnes, you have something on your lap.” Tony sniggered.

 

“Snark, go away or I’ll punch you in the kneecap.” You threatened.

 

“You look awful princess. How long did you ghost for?” Tony demanded.

 

“Half an hour.”

 

“She was burning up and nearly passed out.” Bucky informed him.

 

Tony looked ticked off and Bucky glanced down at your sheepish expression.

 

“Everytime I use my powers I... I burn. The way I did when I died, it’s like dying all over again.” You admitted sheepishly to Bucky.”

 

Bucky looked horrified.

 

“You let her do this?” He said, glaring at Tony.

 

“No, of course not. But she doesn’t listen to anybody.” Tony scoffed.

 

“Because I’m a grown woman who can make her own choices, now go away, you’re interrupting naptime.” You said, shooing him away and yawning.

 

You closed your eyes again and heard the shutter sound of the camera on Tony’s phone.

 

“Snark, I’ll murder you in your sleep.” You muttered.

 

“I’ll help.” Bucky offered.

 

“It’s a date.” You said, before promptly passing out.

 

“Is she ok? Really?” Bucky asked.

 

Tony tilted his head to check you were actually asleep before he answered.

 

“At the risk of sounding like I care, be careful with her.” Tony warned.

 

“I’m not going to do anything to hurt her.” Bucky assured him.

 

“That’s sweet but not what I meant. Princess might not be what the tabloids say she is but there’s truth in the rumours. She doesn’t date, doesn’t fall in love and she absolutely will eat you alive and spit out your bones.” Tony said.

 

“There’s nothing going on Stark and I don’t plan on falling in love with her.” Bucky lied.

 

“Nobody ever plans it, it just happens.”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Well I found absolutely nothing of use.” You told Clint as you sat down in the back of the quinjet.

 

“Me either, sorry.” He said apologetically.

 

“What about you?” You asked.

 

“I just said I didn’t.” Clint chuckled.

 

“I was asking him.” You said, gesturing to Loki.

 

“Um, there’s nobody there.” Clint pointed out.

 

You gasped loudly and Loki smirked.

 

“Oh no, can you see other ghosts? Is there one here right now?” Clint asked, looking around nervously.

 

Loki reappeared and Clint breathed a sigh of relief.

 

“Wait, you can see him when he does that?” Clint asked, turning round in his chair fully to look at the two of you.

 

“Tell nobody about this and you will be the only person who remains safe from the havoc.” You offered.

 

Clint looked between you and Loki and your matching evil smirks.

 

“Deal.”

Chapter Text

“Ok, today's training is easy. We’re playing a game, Find the phantom.” Steve said simply, grinning in excitement.

 

“No using Friday to find her for you.” He added before Tony could finish opening his mouth.

 

“So we’re playing Hide and Seek? With a literal invisible woman?” Clint checked.

 

“Ten points for anyone who successfully finds her, twenty if you manage to touch her, fifty if you capture her.” Steve said.

 

“If anyone manages to capture me I’ll buy them dinner.” You chuckled derisively.

 

They all looked around warily, trying to figure out where your voice had come from.

 

“Alright, one your marks... get set... go!” Steve called and everyone scattered, looking for you.

 

You stifled a giggle and walked through the wall. As soon as you were clear you ran for Tony’s workshop, and phased straight inside an Iron Suit. It was only after you were inside your brain caught up to the fact you’d ran straight past somebody.

 

“How did you beat me up here?” You demanded, popping your head out of the suit.

 

“It wasn’t that hard to figure out where you were going to hide, you love winding Tony up.” Bucky said, smirking at you.

 

“Fine, take me in.” You sighed, phasing out of the suit and surrendering.

 

“No need Domniţă, if nobody else finds you I still win by thirty points.” He said, winking consiprationally at you.

 

“You need to touch me to get the full thirty.” You pointed out.

 

Bucky leaned in until there was less than a centimetre between your bodies. He ran his hand along the bare skin of your arm, not touching but so close he made all the little hairs stand up.

 

“Nobody else touches you, am I clear?” He said lowly.

 

You nodded slowly, like you were in a trance.

 

“Good girl.” he whispered and pressed a kiss to the top of your head.

 

You closed your eyes and savoured the sensation, opening them to find him gone. You sighed wistfully and stepped back inside the suit, determined to keep your word and not let anyone else get a hold of you.

 

Three Hours Later

 

“Miss King, Captain Rogers asked me to inform you that they give up.”

 

“Where the hell were you?” Sam demanded when you strolled into the common room.

 

You laughed out loud.

 

“I haven’t even been invisible or intangible for the three hours. I was taking a nap.” You told them.

 

“WHERE? We looked everywhere.” Steve insisted.

 

“I was in one of the Iron Suits. They’re surprisingly comfortable.” You laughed, cackling at the put out and betrayed expression on Tony’s face.

 

“You were in my suit? My suit? Really? My suit?” He wailed.

 

“Did anyone find you?” Steve asked.

 

“Friday?” You said smugly, grinning at Bucky.

 

“Sargent Barnes found and touched The Phantom, earning thirty points.” She informed everyone.

 

There were a chorus of cheers and boos that you ignored as Bucky winked at you from across the room.

 

“Uh, I have to go take care of work stuff. Excuse me.” You stammered, practically running out of the room in your haste to escape.

 

When Bucky had winked at you, your stomach had done a little somersault and you didn’t like that. Physical attraction was fine, it was good and when it came to Bucky Barnes, it was expected. You’d known he was gorgeous from the second you’d seen his picture and meeting him in person had only made you salivate that much more.

 

Yes, Bucky Barnes was as sexy as sin but he was also charming, caring, sweet, protective, thoughtful and funny. Your body’s response to him was no longer limited to arousal, it was emotional longing.

 

“Are you alright? I could feel your panic.” Wanda said, rushing down the corridor after you.

 

“Oh, no you aren’t.” She said, answering her own question.

 

“No, I’m not.” You agreed flatly.

 

“Why are you so angry? What’s happened?” She asked, concern flooding her features.

 

You were angry, you were practically shaking with rage. Anger at your father, and at yourself. You took a deep breath to calm yourself and tried to explain it to her.

 

“When I was four I jumped off a wall in the swingpark and cut my knee open. It was barely a scratch but my dad carried me all the way home, singing ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ to distract me from the pain.” You said, smiling wistfully.

 

“Your father did that?” She asked, smiling at the thought for a brief second before she remembered what a bastard Alexander King was.

 

“Yeah. When I was seven he taught me how to ride a horse because like all little girls, I wanted a pony. He insisted that if I had one, I had to learn to look after it properly because it was a living thing and not a toy. He made me muck horse stalls every day.” You laughed.

 

“That sounds awful.”

 

“It was. And it was one of the best lessons I ever learned. That Christmas I came downstairs on Christmas morning and found my mothers corpse under the tree. Burglary gone wrong. They caught the guy, he’s in jail. But my dad shut down after that. After the funeral I don’t think we were ever even in the same room alone.”

 

Wanda realised where you were going with the trip down memory lane.

 

“This isn’t just about his escape is it?” She asked softly.

 

“Losing the love of his life changed him, it destroyed him. And because he was so broken, he destroyed so many other lives. Love is dangerous and stupid and I consider it my moral obligation to never fall in love. I’m not good at caring about people and it’s his fault and it’s just one more thing he’s done to piss me off.” You said.

 

“Is there someone you wish you could care for?” She asked.

 

You hesitated before you nodded and thankfully she didn’t press you for a name.

 

“I had a brother, a twin. His name was Pietro and when he died it was like a piece of me died as well. I feel that pain every day and I carry it with me everywhere I go. It was difficult, learning to be a person on my own when I was always one of two but I manage, with help.”

 

“Wanda I’m sorry.” You said, moving over and tentatively offering her a hug which she accepted.

 

“Your fathers pain doesn’t excuse the things he’s done. Loss does not give anyone a pass to be evil or hurtful and love is not a weapon.” She said softly, burying her head in your shoulder.

 

You wished you believed her.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

It took Tony 0.2 seconds to realise you were in a bad mood. It took him 0.3 seconds to figure out the best way to snap you out of it.

 

“Are you sure you wanna do this princess?” Tony challenged, ignoring Steve who walked into the lab with a look of trepadition.

 

You and Tony were stood in the middle of the lab, facing off against one another.

 

“I’m just her type, an egocentric, superhero billionaire with daddy issues. Bonus, I’m the younger model. Less mileage on me.” You said, waving at the befuddled Captain.

 

“False. I’m older but you’re sluttier.” Tony accused.

 

“Stark!” Steve snapped, glaring furiously at Tony.

 

“Cap you called her a manipulative snake yesterday.” Tony pointed out, waving Steve off.

 

“Not gonna lie, I’m a little bit turned on by that.” You said, winking at Steve who went the brightest shade of red you’d ever seen on a human being.

 

“There she is, Pepper! You would leave Tony for me right?” You asked her as she strode in.

 

“I can have the divorce papers drawn up within the hour if you’re offering.” Pepper said without missing a beat.

 

Tony made an undignified squeak and you double fist pumped the air.

 

“Pay up Snark!”

 

“What did you lose?” Pepper asked.

 

“The red custom lambo.” He grumbled.

 

“I’m gonna have it repainted.... blue.” You purred.

 

“You monster!”

 

“You have nobody but yourself to blame, you made a bet with the Betmaster.”

 

“The what?” Steve asked, bemused.

 

“That’s it, I’m taking your stupid title away. I challenge you to.... A bet war!” Tony said dramatically.

 

You gasped loudly and sat up to give him your full attention.

 

“I’m in. For the title.” You said

 

“Rules. We will take it in turns to offer up a bet. If you refuse or fail to complete your bet within one hour, you lose.” Tony decided and held out his hand.

 

“Agreed, let the games begin.” You said, shaking his hand.

 

“What just happened?” Steve whispered to Pepper.

 

“It just became a very long day.” She said in resigned exasperation. 

 

Chapter Text

“I bet you can’t piss Bruce off WITHOUT triggering The Hulk.”Tony challenged when he won the coin toss.

 

“Bruce, Tony dared me to phase through the Shield and I broke my arm!” You screamed loudly.

 

“WHAT?”

 

“Oh no, I see a hint of green. Run!”

 

You and Tony scampered as quickly as you could.

 

“I bet you can’t get Cap to swear.” You said while you hid in an abandoned meeting room.

 

“Oh please.” Tony said, strolling out of the room.

 

You invisibly followed him as he walked up to Cap.

 

“Cap, I bet princess she couldn’t get you to swear so watch your language.” Tony lied, twisting the truth on it’s head.

 

“Fuck off Tony.” Steve said without hesitating.

 

“I knew you’d take her side you gullible old man.”

 

“Damnit Steve!” You said, reappearing and making the Captain jump.

 

Tony clapped his hands loudly in excitement.

 

“I bet you won’t take the Falcons Wings out for a spin.” He shouted.

 

“No, bad idea.” Steve said.

 

“If I don’t, I lose.” You retorted.

 

“I’ll steal them for you.” Steve said immediately.

 

Ten minutes later when you crashed through a window you were too proud of yourself to care. Much.

 

“I bet you won’t help me stop the bleeding.” You groaned, holding up your bleeding elbow.

 

Tony grimaced as he picked you up and carried you back to the lab.

 

Halfway through being stitched up, Sam stormed into the lab.

 

“What the hell? You can’t just steal a mans wings, not cool! I hope that hurts. Actually that does look like it hurts, are you ok?” He said, his anger giving way to genuine concern.

 

“Tony made me do it.” You pouted, giving Sam your best puppy dog eyes.

 

“Don’t blame me for the fact you don’t have a backbone. Though you do have an elbow bone, I can see it.” Tony said, retching a bit.

“Puppy dog eyes don’t work on me. I’m immune after being exposed to Cap’s.” Sam informed you.

 

You added a deep frown to your expression and looked down in shame.

 

“I’m sorry Sam, I won’t do it again.”

 

“It’s ok, it was Tony’s idea. If you want to try flying I’ll take you next time.” Sam said, patting you on the shoulder.

 

Tony snorted and shook his head.

 

“Ok Princess, you’re all stitched up. I bet you won’t sneak up on Romanoff.” He said and Sam looked afraid for you.

 

“Damn you Snark. Damn you to hell.” You snapped, getting up and storming away.

 

“I’ll keep the first aid kit ready.” Tony shouted after you gleefully.

 

He said you had to sneak up on Natasha, he didn’t say you had to be successful. You went invisible and stomped your way down the hall loudly.

 

“Will you stop doing that.” Bucky snapped from inside a room as you passed.

 

“Doing what?” You asked innocently.

 

“Using your powers for mundane things. It’s hurting you so why are you doing it?” He said, sounding annoyed and walking towards you, reaching out with the Vibranium arm to grab at your invisible arm.

 

“Ow!” You hissed and dropped the invisibility.

 

“What happened to your arm?” He asked with narrowed eyes.

 

“I flew through a window?”

 

“You’re a fucking idiot.” He snapped and you recoiled in shock.

 

“Beg your pardon.” You asked.

 

“I haven’t even known you for a week and I’ve spent most of it worried about you, can you make it a little easier on me and stop putting yourself in unnecessary danger?” He asked, pulling back the bandage to check the stitches.

 

“I didn’t ask you to worry about me and your feeling aren’t my responsibility. I don’t have to change who I am just because you walked into my life and asked me to.” You told him, yanking your arm out of his grip.

 

His expression softened and he looked guilty.

 

“You’re right. I’m sorry. I don’t want to change you, I happen to like you the way you are. I’m just sick of seeing you in pain.” He said softly.

 

“Then stop watching.” You snapped, going invisible again and leaving before he could stop you.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Why are you not hurt? Did you fail?” Tony asked when you walked back into the lab and threw yourself onto a chair.

 

“Friday my love?” You said.

 

“She succeeded.” Friday informed him.

 

“Again, how are you not hurt?”Tony asked in disbelief.

 

“I may have made a deal with the devil.” You hinted.

 

“Why do I feel like that deal is going to bite me on the ass?” Tony asked.

 

“Because you are a genius?” You said, grinning evilly at him.

 

“Alright princess, your turn.”

 

“Time to end this Snark. I bet you... won’t open up emotionally to one of your team members other than Bruce.” You said dramatically and Tony gaped at you.

 

“Oh that’s cold.” He said.

 

“You’ve got an hour.” You told him, confident you were about to win.

 

“Hey princess, you’ve been on missions. That makes you a defacto member of the team.”

 

“Really? Me? You’re going to open up to me?” You laughed.

 

“You’re basically a younger, less intelligent, less attractive version of me.” He said.

 

“Great start.” You scoffed.

 

“And you’re braver and better than I ever was. You were a superhero long before you stepped into that radiation chamber kid and you and Parker are two of the best people I know. I lie awake at night hoping I don’t let either of you down. I made a mistake with the Accords, I thought we needed accountability but I was projecting my own fears onto the team. When we fix my mistake, I want you to join the Avengers.” He said.

 

You didn’t know how to respond or what to say and just stared at him. He waved a hand in front of your face.

 

“Ok, want me to pour you a drink and we can forget this moment ever happened?” He asked.

 

“Oh God yes.” You said in a rush.

 

He chuckled and wandered off to pull a bottle of scotch and two glasses from a desk drawer and poured it, handing a glass to you.

 

“Tony, if you ever repeat this to anyone I’ll phase your intestines out of your body and strangle you with them. I know people joke that I’m a young, millennial Tony Stark but the truth is I kinda wanna be you when I grow up.” You admitted, throwing back the scotch with a grimace.

 

“Well, just to tank you for that glowing endorsement, I’m going to do you a huge favour. I bet you won’t make out with someone in this building, in front of Barnes.” he said, smirking at you.

 

“What the hell Snark?!”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

You had raged, you had freaked out, you had paced and now you only had six minutes left to kiss somebody in front of Bucky. Bucky, who was currently watching a movie with Sam, Steve, Loki, Thor, Wanda and Vision while Frank reclined on his lap.

 

You took a deep breath and walked into the room, waving at everyone who looked over at you. Wanda smiled brightly and patted the seat next to her and you shook your head minutely. You could feel Bucky’s eyes on you but you couldn’t meet them.

 

You had chosen Loki, figuring he was your best option. He was the God of Mischief after all. You wandered over and sat on the arm of the chair he was sitting in. He didn’t seem to mind and shifted his body to give you more room.

 

“I need something from you.” You whispered and he looked down at you with interest.

 

“Go on...” He said lowly, his voice dripping with intrigue.

 

Your breathing was shallow and rapid, your palms were sweating and your heart was hammering in your chest.

 

“I need you to...” You swallowed the lump in your throat and tried to get the words out.

 

“To what?” He asked, smirking at you.

 

You fidgeted in your seat and wiped your clammy hands on your knees. You made the mistake of looking at Bucky, of meeting his concerned gaze and something snapped into place in your mind.

 

Loki knows, he will play along.” Wanda said inside your mind.

 

You took a deep breath and relaxed your shoulders, turning to Loki with a confident smile.

 

“I need you to stop teasing me with all your flirting and just kiss me already.”You announced.

 

“With pleasure.”

 

The pale god leaned down and captured your lips with his, and even though you were kissing a literal god and a devastatingly handsome one at that, all you could feel was guilt as you heard Frank’s howl of displeasure as Bucky stood up and stormed away. Loki pulled away from you with a smirk.

 

“I believe you have won the bet, now run along little princess, before you lose something more important.” He said.

You didn’t hesitate to take his advice and ran after Bucky.

 

“Bucky wait.” You called as you followed him down the corridor.

 

“How many of The Avengers are you planning on making your way through?” Bucky snarled at you, turning around so quickly he nearly knocked you over.

 

“I’m not. That’s not what that was. I had to kiss him, it was part of the bet.” You insisted.

 

“The bet? Your bet with Stark meant so much to you that you were willing to...”

 

“To what? It was only a kiss, you were one who said a kiss wasn’t that big a deal.” You snapped.

 

“That doesn’t mean you’re allowed to kiss anyone else.” Bucky snapped.

 

“Allowed? This might surprise you Barnes, but you don’t own me.”

 

Bucky’s metal arm closed around your throat and you found yourself pressed against the wall, squeaking in surprise.

 

“But I do want to own you Domniţă, I have since we met. You crawled under my skin and I can’t get you out and even if your mind rebels against it, you know you feel the same way. You are mine and I am yours.” He growled.

 

You body was limp in his hold even though he wasn’t actually putting any pressure on your throat.

 

“Tell me to let go and I will, I’ll release you and walk away. But if you don’t, it means you accept that you’re mine now.” He said.

 

Two choices, push him away or pull him closer. Your whole body was thrumming with anticipation and your blood was thundering through your veins as you realised this felt right. As terrifying as it was to be held in place by him, no matter how angry he was you knew he wouldn’t hurt you. All you had to do was make one little choice and he would take care of the rest.

 

You must have taken to long to answer because his eyes suddenly filled with regret and shame and he abruptly released you.

 

“I’m sorry.” He whispered, backing away and holding his arms out at his side.

 

He was about to leave and that snapped you out of your daze and you made the choice.

 

“Kiss me.”

 

His eyes widened for a brief second and then your back hit the wall again and his body was pressed so tightly against you that were pinned in place as his fingers tangled in your hair. His lips crashed into yours and he wasn’t just kissing you, he was devouring you, he was claiming you and without a shred of doubt, you submitted.

Chapter Text

Your back slammed into Bucky’s bedroom door as he blindly opened it, his mouth still attached to yours. Only his unwavering hold on you kept you from falling through the door and you didn’t worry about it for a second.

 

The moment you’d asked him to kiss you, you had surrendered everything to him and you followed his lead, placing yourself in his hands completely. He slammed the door closed behind the two of you and if you’d though he was being passionate before, it was nothing compared to how he was now you were alone.

 

His hand ran up your sides almost calmly before he pulled back to look at you.

 

“This is your last chance to stop me, because if you don’t I won’t be able to stop myself.” He said, his voice strained.

 

“Don’t stop, god please don’t stop.” You begged.

 

His eyes were nearly black, his pupils were so blown with lust as he grabbed a hold of your top and ripped it down the middle, pushing his body into yours again and kissing you.

 

He gripped your thighs and lifted you off the ground, wrapping your legs around his waist as he kissed you with wild abandon. It was harsh and desperate and beautiful, the way his lips moved against yours and his teeth nipped at your bottom lip. He ground his hips into you and you gasped loudly, scrabbling for something to hold onto.

 

“Don’t.” He growled.

 

You didn’t know what he was ordering but he made it clear when he pulled your arms around his neck again. He bypassed the clasp of your bra, opting to pull it down, freeing your breasts as he spun around, pushing you down onto the mattress and wasting no time in burying his face in your cleavage.

 

His stubble scratched at the sensitive flesh as he licked, suck and gently bit at you, leaving his marks all over you. His teeth grazed over your nipple as he sucked the sensitive bud into his mouth, running his tongue around it. You could feel his smirk against your skin as you whimpered and arched your back.

 

He sat up to pull his own shirt off and gathered you into his lap, pressing your bare torso’s together. His lips attacked your neck, sucking bruises into the sensitive skin and the sensation was so overwhelmingly good you barely registered the way his hands manoeuvred you out of your jeans until you were left in nothing but your lace panties.

 

“I’m going to fuck you until you forget every name but mine.” He warned, tossing you back onto the bed and watching with an appreciative gaze as your breasts bounced on impact.

 

“First sweetheart, you need to help me get the image of you kissing someone else out of my head by doing something else with that pretty little mouth.” He told you.

 

You were immediately flooded with shame and guilt.

 

“I’m sorry Bucky.”

 

“Don’t tell me your sorry, show me.” He ordered, undoing his belt and gesturing for you to come over.

 

“Whatever you want Sargent.” You said obediently, crawling back across the bed to him.

 

You heard his sharp intake of breath and glanced up his face, worried you’d displeased him somehow.

 

“Don’t you dare call me anything else unless you’re coming.” He told you, tangling his metal fingers in your hair and wrapping it around his fist.

 

“What do I call you when I’m coming?”

 

“Whatever the fuck you want as long as it’s my name and nothing else. Now I didn’t mean for you to use that mouth to talk Domniţă, I want you to wrap those lips around my cock.”

 

His words sent a jolt of electrifying lust straight to your core and you felt the thin material of your underwear become even more uncomfortably wet. He used his free hand to pop open the button on his jeans and you realized he had forgone any form of underwear himself as he pulled his cock free from the restricting material.

 

“Oh fuck.” You whimpered.

 

He smirked down at you as your eyes took in his impressive cock. He was long but not so much you were worried about him hurting you, his girth was what made your eyes go wide. He was going to tear you in half and you knew you were going to love every second of it and thank him for the experience afterwards.

 

You tentatively let your tongue dart out and lick the swollen tip, your eyelashes fluttering at the salty taste of precum and a moan escaped you. He groaned in satisfaction at the short contact and you did what he had ordered you to do and wrapped your lips around him, stretching your jaw as wide open as you could to slide your mouth down his shaft, swirling your tongue around his head as you did. You took him in as much as you could, pausing when he hit the back of your throat.

 

“Good girl, such a good girl.” He praised breathlessly, his eyes transfixed on you as you hollowed your cheeks around him and sucked as you pulled back.

 

You bobbed your head along his length, sucking until your cheeks hurt and your jaw burned. He let you lead the pace until he figured out your limits and started moving his hips in tandem with your ministrations. His fist tightened his grip on your hair and you found yourself unable to move your head at all as his hips snapped forward.

 

Your scalp stung as he started picking up the pace, fucking your mouth and all you could do was keep sucking while you tried to breathe through your nose as he repeatedly slammed into the back of your throat. He never went further down your throat than you could handle and never pulled your hair harder than you would have liked as he used your mouth for his own pleasure.

 

The salty taste of him grew more pronounced and it was the only warning you had that he was close to the edge before his abs clenched and he threw his head back with a guttural moan and he was coming down your throat. You choked around him as you swallowed as much as you could and your eyes watered as you struggled to breathe.

 

He pulled out and pulled you into his arms, holding you close to him as he tenderly kissed the stray tears away.

 

“You did so well my little Domniţă, so fucking well.” He whispered before he pushed his lips onto yours, uncaring about his own taste in your mouth as his tongue massaged yours.

 

You glowed from the praise and kissed him back fiercely, wrapping your arms around his neck and holding him as tightly as you could. He refused to break the kiss as he lowered you both onto the mattress and his lips travelled down your body, kissing you everywhere he could, lapping up the taste of your skin and leaving you a quivering mess.

 

His hands carefully pulled your panties down your legs and despite your expectations about him being a tease he prised your thighs apart and buried his face in your cunt like it was the only place in the world he wanted to be.

 

His tongue worked between your lips in a frenzied, almost desperate pace and he didn’t ease you into the process at all before his fingers spread your pussy lips apart and he locked his eyes with yours and used his mouth to explore every inch of you.

 

You fought against the urge to close your eyes and throw your head back in ecstasy, not wanting to break his gaze as he pushed his tongue against your throbbing clit. It was so intense, so divine that you tugged at his hair as your hips thrust upwards of their own accord. He hummed in approval and your moans reached a new impressive frequency as the pleasure built inside you. You were milliseconds away from falling over the edge when he pulled away from you and you keened louldy at the loss.

 

“You’ll come on my cock and only when I say, or we’re done here. Understand?” He said firmly.

 

“Yes Sargent.” You agreed quickly as he pulled his jeans the rest of the way off and reached over to his bedside drawer, pulling a condom from it.

 

That was what made you realize he was already hard again, his cock resting against the muscled of his stomach. Your eyes wandered up his insanely impressive body, pausing at the pink scar tissue of his shoulder where flesh met metal. Your eyes flicked over to his face and you saw him looking at the scar tissue himself, bitter distaste in his expression.

 

Your stomach clenched painfully at it and you sat up, wrapping your arms around his waist and inadvertently pressing his cock between your breasts.

 

“Bucky Barnes you are literally the single most beautiful man I have seen in my life.” You said passionately, with absolute resolve in your statement. It was so emphatic he was taken aback.

 

He cradled your face in his hands and leaned down to kiss you softly.

 

“I told you only to call me Sargent.” He whispered, smirking cockily at the immediate chagrined expression on your face.

 

“Ooops?” You offered up and he chuckled darkly and held the condom wrapper out to you.

 

“Are you on birth control?” He asked and you nodded.

 

“Are you clean?” He checked and you nodded again.

“Do you want me to wear a condom anyway?” He offered.

 

You bit your lip nervously, a faint blush tingeing your cheeks.

 

“What?” He asked curiously.

 

“I want to feel you come inside me.” You admitted.

 

Your confession made his hips jerk forward, his cock sliding between your tits and you leaned your head back, affording him an excellent view. He groaned and flicked the condom onto the floor carelessly.

 

“Lie down.” He ordered.

 

You complied straight away, leaning back onto the pillows and leaving him knelt between your thighs. He wrapped his fist around himself and leant forward ever so slightly, teasing your folds with the head.

 

That was the moment it really hit you, you were about to be fucked by The Winter Soldier, by Bucky Barnes. You wanted his cock inside you more than you’d ever wanted anything in your life but you were also afraid because you knew that this changed things. You were already attached to him, already in too deep emotionally.

 

He dragged his cock through your wetness, sliding over your clit and you sighed deeply in contentment at the feeling. He watched you carefully as he lined himself up at your entrance and ever so slowly, pushed the tip inside you.

 

It took every ounce of self-control not for you to come there and then and you moaned loudly, your nails digging into his shoulders. He slowly forced his thick shaft inside you, your tight walls fluttering around his cock as inch by inch he claimed you. He gave a deep grunt of satisfaction as he bottomed out, fully sheathed inside your hot, wet cunt.

 

The burn from having someone so big inside you was almost excruciating but it was also somehow the best sensation you had ever felt. He was so deep inside you, deeper than anybody else had ever been and it made you feel complete. Your eyes searched his desperately, wordlessly begging and he leaned down to hover above you, caging your body with his.

 

Both of your chests were heaving, your bodies glistening with sweat as he pulled his hips back and thrust back inside you. You couldn’t have contained your moans even if you wanted to and he kissed you, drinking each one of them down as he leisurely moved inside you.

 

He experimentally rolled his hips upwards, gyrating so he pushed against your clit on his next thrust and you responded by clutching at his back, your nails running across his skin. He picked up the pace so gradually that there was no clear marker of when he went from gently thrusting into you to slamming his hips into yours but it happened.

 

His cock dragged across every tender spot inside you, fucking so deeply inside you with every violent thrust. You moaned and whimpered and screamed underneath him, your eyes rolling back inside your skull as he screwed you into the mattress. Your nails clawed across his back, leaving red lines and thin rivulets of blood. The smell of sex permeated the air and the sound of his skin slapping into yours was so loud It could be heard even through the loud sounds escaping from your throat.

He kept shifting his angle every time you were nearly overwhelmed by the pleasure and he brought you to the brink of orgasm so many times that your eyes were tearing up.

 

“Please Sargent, I need to cum, please.” You begged.

 

“Tell me you are mine, promise me and I’ll allow you to cum.” He grunted.

 

“I’m yours, only your, always yours I swear.” You screamed.

 

“The cum for me Mele Domniţă.” He ordered.

 

Your body instantly obeyed him, and having been denied your orgasm so many times the force of the pleasure that roared through your veins was like a tidal wave, spurred on by the unrelenting snap of his hips and the twitching of his cock as it responded to the convulsion of your cunt around him. You screamed until your throat was raw and the sounds of his groans mingled with yours as he painted the inside of your pussy with his warm cum.

 

The white static in your ears finally dimmed as your body came back down from your high and he barely held his body up over yours, his head buried in the crook of your neck as he muttered something into your skin through his panting.

 

“Mine.” He had said.

 

“Yours.” You agreed.

Chapter Text

The water of the bath was warm and soothing but it was the heat from his chest where you were lazily curled that was soothing your body the most. Your mind was numb and all you could register was the way Bucky’s metal fingers moved through the water, you were transfixed by the way they dipped in and out of the bath as he trickled water over your skin.

 

“Did I hurt you?” He asked, pressing his lips into the damp skin of your shoulder.

 

“Quite the opposite.” You laughed softly.

 

“I wasn’t too rough? I held back but I don’t know that I held back enough.” He said regretfully.

 

You turned in the water to look at him and he loosened his hold so you could move but didn’t let you go.

 

“Bucky, you didn’t hurt me. At all. It was perfect.”

 

“Domniţă...” He sighed.

 

“What?” You asked, frowning at his tone.

 

“Look.” He said, gesturing to your body.

 

Your eyebrows raised in surprise as you saw the reason for his guilt. Little bruises were scattered across your cleavage. There were fingerprint bruises on both your hips and the tops of your thighs. You looked like you’d been thoroughly and roughly fucked, which is exactly what happened.

 

“Not bad for a hundred year old old man Sarge.” You snickered.

 

He gave you a look that was equal parts disbelief and disapproval but his attention drifted to the water droplets trickling down your skin. He reached out and caught a drop that was rolling down your collarbone with his finger and you closed your eyes and your head lolled backwards at the gentle touch. You felt his lips ghost over your exposed throat and sighed blissfully.

 

“I won’t break.” You murmured.

 

He pulled you back against his chest and you sighed dreamily and relaxed into him. Aside from the distant achey bruised feeling between your legs, you felt perfect. You were practically boneless and limp. You’d never felt calmer or safer than you did in that moment and you wished it could last forever.

 

But it couldn’t. The sex had been incredible and you’d stayed so long after it, allowing him to run you a bath and hold you but it was time to go. If you stayed any loner you were crossing a line that you didn’t want to even approach.

 

“What’s wrong?” He asked, picking up on the change in your mood.

 

“Just wondering how I’m going to manage the walk back to my room when my legs still feel like jelly.” You joked.

 

You’d been subtly hinting that you weren’t staying but Bucky took it the wrong way.

 

“You think I’m going to kick you out? Domniţă I want you to stay.” He told you.

“Bucky I can fuck you but I can’t sleep with you. Sleeping together is for couples and we aren’t a couple.”

 

“SO when you said you were mine you didn’t mean it?” He said bitterly and pushed you forwards so he could get out the bath.

 

The water spilled down his lower half and he thankfully wrapped a towel around his waist before you got any more distracted. Though his chest was still bare...

 

“I’m yours when we’re in bed together but outside of that I don’t belong to anybody.” You said, hiding your face from him so he couldn’t see your shame.

 

You felt like you’d deceived him, even though you hadn’t done it on purpose. Your lust clouded mind just hadn’t been clearer with your intentions.

 

“Fine, I won’t hold you to what you said when you weren’t clear headed.” He said and you briefly wondered if he could read your mind.

 

“Thankyou.” You said.

 

“But I meant what I said. I want you to be mine.” He continued, holding out his hand to help you out of the bath.

 

You chewed your lip as you looked at his outstretched hand.

 

“I can do it myself.” You said.

 

He heard what you were saying loud and clear because he turned around and walked out of the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.

 

You blinked back your tears and got out of the bath slowly, wrapping a towel around your body. You remembered that your clothes were torn.

 

“Bucky? You ripped my clothes, I need to borrow a shirt?” You said, poking your head out of the door.

 

“You wanna wear my clothes? Isn’t that a little too intimate?” He asked sarcastically.

 

“Fine. I’ll walk back to my room naked.” You snapped and a red Henley hit you in the face.

 

You slammed the door closed and shrugged the towel off, pulling the top on and melting a little at his scent that was now wrapped around you.

 

“Can we talk about this?” You asked as you opened the door.

 

He turned round to look at you with blazing anger in his eyes but as soon as he saw you standing there in his shirt he visibly softened.

 

“What do you want from me?” He implored.

 

It was an excellent question.

 

“I want to be your friend, I want to give myself to you as much as I’m capable.” You said.

 

“So I can have you, but not fully.”

 

“You can have me but I can’t be your girl. I don’t want a relationship, not a romantic one.” You told him.

 

“So let me see if I’ve got this. You’ll be my friend, you’ll fuck me but you won’t ever sleep in my bed. What else is off limits?” He said, sitting down on the bed dejectedly.

 

“I... maybe we shouldn’t talk about this. Maybe we should admit that we made a mistake.” You said.

 

“No!” He said, his head snapping up to look at you.

 

“Tell me what you want. Just tell me.” He insisted.

 

“You can have my body, whenever, however, wherever you want it but not my heart. No romance, no casual affection, no dates, no sleepovers.” You said, using your business tone to get through the situation.

 

He thought about it for a moment.

 

“Fine. I’ll agree to your terms if you agree to mine.” He decided.

 

“Go on?”

 

“You don’t kiss, flirt with or fuck anybody else.” He said simply.

 

“Why would I want to?” You muttered under your breath and he chuckled, you’d forgotten about super hearing again.

 

“Deal.” You said and help out your hand to shake on it officially.

 

He stood up and walked over to you, ignoring your hand and pulling you into a spine tingling kiss.

 

“No casual affection.” You said in a daze.

 

“Nothing casual about that.” He growled.

 

“No, ok. You’re right. Ok, well... goodnight.” You said, backing away from him.

 

“Goodnight Domniţă.”

 

You fled. You turned on your heel and literally fled. You didn’t stop until you were in your own room, pushing the door closed behind yourself.

 

You had just had the best sex of your life with the most amazing man you’d ever met. You should have been ecstatic, elated, you should have been jumping up and down for joy. Instead, as soon as your door closed you slid down the wall and rested your head on your knees as sobs wracked your body.

 

You could get up and knock on his door. You could tell him that you were all in, that you wanted to be his in every way. His eyes would probably light up and he would pull you into his embrace. You could sleep in his bed, wrapped in his warmth, safe and happy. You could wake up to his kiss and a lazy, content smile. You yearned for it so badly that you stood up and opened your door.

 

But then you remembered something.

 

 

Alex, you don’t have to cook every morning.” Your mother laughed as she came into the kitchen, tickling your sides and kissing your cheeks as soon as she saw you.

 

For the two most beautiful women in the world, it’s a pleasure.” He said, turning away from the stove to smile fondly at you both.

 

Queenie, your father is a sap.” Your mother told you, smiling fondly back at him despite her words.

 

I’m a man in love. I have an amazing wife and a perfect daughter and all I have to offer them in return is pancakes.” He said.

 

The happiness you could have if you walked back to Bucky’s room would be spectacular, but it would only be temporary. And when it was gone, it would leave you cold and empty. Love would be your undoing, it would break you. You closed the door.

 

 

You could not and would never let yourself love Bucky Barnes.

 

But before you crawled into your own tragically empty and cold bed, you chose to not change out of his shirt, letting his scent linger around you the way you’d refused to let him do.

Chapter Text

Bucky tried but he couldn’t sleep. For once it wasn’t the torturous memories of his past that were haunting him into insomnia, it was the exquisite memory of you. You’d lain right here on these sheets and moulded your body around his and he could still smell you on the pillow. His mind flitted between two very prominent images of you.

 

In one, you were underneath him, panting and whimpering and taking his cock so well.

 

In the other you were telling him that your body was all he could have from you.

 

He changed the sheets but it didn’t help. He could still imagine you lying on your side of the bed, except you would never claim a side of the bed.

 

You’d left your shredded clothes behind when you’d run away from him and as he picked them up he decided he was all in, even if you weren’t. He play your game, he’d obey your rules and he’d take all he could get from you. It was better than nothing at all. But there were loopholes and he was going to exploit them.

 

As soon as the sun peeked over the horizon he gave up the idea of sleep and got up, slipping out of the compound and driving away to get what he needed for the first part of his plan.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

There was an incessant knocking at your door and even though you pulled the pillow over your head and tried to drown it out, whoever it was wouldn’t stop. You screamed into the pillow in frustration and violently kicked the duvet onto the floor as you got up and stomped over to the door.

 

“WHAT?” You asked, yanking the door open.

 

“Your cat snuck into my room and tried to suffocate me in my sleep.” Clint grouched.

 

“Ok.”

 

“Good morning Miss.” West said, looking thoroughly unimpressed.

 

“And I found your butler in the kitchen.” Clint added.

 

“Coffee and breakfast.” West stated and you noticed he had a tray in his hands, and Clint was weighed down with a bouquet.

 

You opened the door and let them in with a quizzical look.

 

“Mr Barton chivalrously offered to assist me in carrying your delivery to you. I also brought your mail, the Times newspaper and the company reports that everyone thinks you do not read.” He said, setting the tray down on the coffee table.

 

“West, you don’t have to make me breakfast anymore. That being said, if it makes you happy, you do you boo.” You said, eagerly grabbing the coffee and a slice of toast.

 

“Don’t you want to know who sent you flowers?” Clint asked.

 

“Not rearry.” You mumbled with your mouth full.

 

Clint and West shared an amused look and West brandished the newspaper at you.

 

“As Alexander King is a criminal, I no longer work for him. I’ve been hired by somebody else.” West informed you and your stomach twisted uncomfortably.

 

“Oh. Is this a goodbye breakfast?” You asked nonchalantly, making your pain behind indifference.

 

“I’ve been hired by Sergeant Barnes. I’ve been given a most generous salary and room here in the compound.” West said.

 

“I wonder why.” Clint said meaningfully, eyeing the red Henley you were wearing.

 

“Bucky stole you? What? Why?” You screeched.

 

Was this his way of getting back at you for last night? You’d hurt him so he wanted to hurt you.

 

“I apologise for the confusion Miss. Sergeant Barnes negotiated my salary, on your behalf.” West clarified with a twinkle in his eyes.

 

“What?”

 

“He came to me first thing this morning and told me that you wanted me to stay with you but you didn’t want to ask, that you didn’t want me to feel like I had to. So he asked on your behalf.” West informed you.

 

“Also, he sent you flowers.” Clint said, reading the card that had been tucked into the bouquet.

 

“He’s a friend?” You offered.

 

“So he wasn’t the one who gave you all those hickies?” Clint sniggered.

 

You blushed and coughed uncomfortably, pulling the bottom of the Henley down to cover your thighs. You’d forgotten about the state you were in and were rapidly becoming more embarrassed by the second.

 

“I’m going to... go.” You said.

 

“This is your room Miss.”

 

“Clint is going to go and I’m going to go shower and dress.” You amended.

 

“Very well, shall I find a vase for your flowers?” West asked.

 

“I’ll do it! I’ll put them in the common room, lots of sunlight in there!” Clint said in a rush, hurrying away with them.

 

“There’s sunlight in here. Clint there’s sunlight in here!” You yelled but it was too late, he was gone.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

You tucked your phone between your shoulder and cheek as you shuffled through the files you’d been delivered in the office room you’d commandeered.

“Matt, the board want to take the weapons designs that my father made for Hydra and continue to manufacture them as part of the government contracts. I can’t let that happen.” You said.

 

“You only own 22% of the shares, even if you convince the board to make you the new CEO there’s nothing you can do.” Foggy said down the speakerphone.

 

“Challenge accepted.” You said smugly.

 

“Oh no. What are you going to do?” Foggy groaned.

 

“Nothing illegal.” You assured him.

 

“King...” Matt warned.

 

“It’s only a little illegal. It’ll be fine, oh gotta go. Byeeee.” You said as you spotted Bucky leaning against a wall and watching you.

 

You hung up the phone and narrowed your eyes at him.

 

“I hear you spoke with West... and you sent me flowers.” You said.

 

“As your friend, I helped you out so you didn’t lose someone you care about.” He said with a cocky smirk.

 

“Fine. It was a friendship move. What about the flowers?” You asked.

 

“You didn’t say anything about gifts.” He said with a shrug.

 

“Fine, new rule. No gifts.” You said, sighing.

 

He came over and stood behind you, so close you could feel the heat radiating from him.

 

“What are you doing?” You asked suspiciously.

 

“You can’t change the rules as you please Domniţă, we had an agreement.” he said lowly.

 

“I said no romance. Gifts can be romantic.” You argued.

 

He scoffed.

 

“I bought a half a million dollar painting for Steve and I’m not trying to date him.” He pointed out.

 

“That’s not what the internet thinks.” You said.

 

“What?”

 

“Stucky is life.” You smirked.

 

“Stop trying to change the subject.” He ordered.

 

“Fine, you can get me gifts. I actually like the flowers.” You begrudgingly admitted.

 

“I know you did.” He said cocklily, placing a hand on your hip and pulling you towards him.

 

He was all confidence and swagger as he ducked his head down to brush his lips over yours. Despite all your bravado, you melted at his touch. He made a low growl of approval at the way you surrendered into the kiss, parting your lips for him.

 

“Ahem.”

 

You pulled away to look sheepsihly at the figure stood sat the door, grinning lasciviously at you both. Sam wiggled his eyebrows at Bucky.

 

“Bucknasty is finally getting some!” He crowed happily.

 

“Wilson, get the hell out of here.” Bucky growled, flexing his metal arm in warning.

 

“No can do, Cap sent me to get you for training in the gym.” Sam said, winking at you.

 

“That’s fine. If you’ll excuse me Sergeant, I have business to attend to.” You said, pushing him out of the room as best you could.

 

He went willingly, giving you a dark look that let you know you were going to pay for it later.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Princess, can you check the new room is soundproof.” Tony asked as soon as you walked into the lab.

 

“This is why you asked me up here?” You groaned, walking into the empty glass room.

 

“That and I wanna know if you got the D, but you’re walking funny so I assume yes.” Tony said, sniggering at you.

 

The doors whooshed closed and whatever insult you spat at him, he didn’t hear. He shot you a thumbs up to show you it worked. You rolled your eyes and waited for him to open the doors but he just grinned at you and made a big show of settling back in his chair.

 

You sighed and ghosted through the glass, or tried to. What actually happened was you walked straight into the glass, bouncing off of it painfully and landing on your ass on the floor.

Tony held on to his desk and howled with laughter, though you couldn’t actually hear it. You frowned in annoyance and confusion and stood up, reaching out to try and faze your hand through the glass. Nothing happened.

 

“SNARK! WHAT THE HELL?”

 

He sauntered over to the door and pressed a button that filtered his voice into the glass cage.

 

“Miniscule vibranium flakes in the glass. And the floor. And the ceiling. Welcom to your perfect prison princess.” He said victoriously.

 

“Why?” You demanded.

 

“Oh, I think you know why.” He said with an evil chuckle.

 

“No! Snark don’t you dare!” You yelled.

 

“I’ll let you out, in 8 or 9 hours.” He said and let go off the intercom.

 

He watched you bang your hands against the glass and mouth threats at him for a few moments before he wandered away, whistling jovially.

 

Six Hours, 20 minutes and 4 seconds Later

 

“Tony, have you seen... Miss King?” Steve trailed off when he saw your prone form lying on the floor in what looked like a glass cell.

 

“She’s on a timeout.” Tony said without looking up from the circuit board he was working on.

 

“Why is she on the floor?” Steve asked with concern.

 

“She’s given up on life.” Tony chuckled.

 

“Why?” Steve said suspiciously.

 

Tony got up and pressed the intercom button for the cell.

 

Never gonna give you, never gonna let you down.”

 

“Tony let her out of there right now.” Steve ordered.

 

Your head lifted when you heard Steve’s voice and you scramble over to the door and looked pleadingly at him.

 

“In a couple more hours.” Tony said.

 

“Let her out right now or I’ll go and get Pepper.” Steve threatened.

 

“Come on Cap, she started it.” Tony whined.

 

“And I’m finishing it. Let her out.”

 

Tony sighed and opened the doors. You fell out and flung your self at Steve’s legs.

 

“Thankyou Captain! It was horrible in there!” You wailed.

 

“Are you alright?” Steve asked kindly as he helped you to your feet.

 

“I’ll be ok, I can get through this.” You sniffled dramatically.

 

“Well I came to find you because I though you both should know, Frank managed to get inside your Buggati Stark.” Steve said.

 

“What? What did he do?” Tony demanded.

 

What Frank had done was absolutely decimate the inside of the custom sports car. He hadn’t just clawed the Italian leather of the seats to shreds, he’d pulled the stuffing out of the seats, scratched the hell out of the polished dash, chewed through the steering wheel and someone manages to pull wires out of the stereo system.

 

“Boss, is this a good time to tell you that Mr Frankenstein has also peed on three of the Iron Suits and is currently marking a fourth?” Friday asked.

 

Tony looked so mad you thought steam was going to come out of his ears.

 

“Run.” Steve whispered to you and grabbed your hand, pulling you away.

 

Tony’s shouts of rage followed you as the two of you giggled and fled.

 

“What are you two doing?” Natasha asked as you ran past her.

 

“Nothing.” You both said in unison.

 

“Hmm. Well I was looking for you Koroleva. We have a slight problem.” She said, passing you a tablet.

 

“Wait what?” You shrieked, grabbing the tablet.

 

“I’m going to kill him.” You muttered darkly.

 

“Kill who?” Steve asked.

 

“Uncle Thaddeus.”

 

You showed the tablet to Steve.

 

“But this isn’t true.” He said.

 

“No, it isn’t.”

 

“What’s going on?” He asked, looking between you and Natasha.

 

“We might have planted the idea in Ross’s head. Before Alexander King escaped.” Natasha explained.

 

You shook your head in exasperation.

 

“Well at least I look good in black.” You said.

 

“Better get your best mourning face on Koroleva, this is going to be all over the headlines tomorrow morning.” Natasha informed you.

 

Your father might be alive and well and on the run, but in the eyes of the world he was officially dead. Which meant he would be harder to find, but it also made you the majority shareholder of the Company.

Chapter Text

The assorted newspapers with their headlines announcing your fathers ‘death’ lay abandoned on your coffee table. Your attention was fully devoted to the black box that had been delivered with them.

 

The expensive paper crinkles as you pulled to black silk and lace lingerie out and studied it. The card lay on top of the box, the words teasing and mocking you.

 

Is it a gift if I’m replacing what I destroyed?

 

JBB

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Bucky closed his bedroom door and noticed the discarded dress flung over the back of a chair straight away. He walked into the bedroom and raised an eyebrow. You were wearing nothing except the black panties he’s gifted to you. You weren’t posing overtly sexually, more casually lounging on top of his sheets and that was somehow sexier.

 

“What are you doing Domniţă?”

 

“Waiting for you?”

 

“What if Steve had come in my room with me?”

 

“Then he would have spluttered, covered his eyes and ran back out.” You said, smirking wickedly.

 

“But he would have still seen what’s mine.” He growled.

 

“I thought you’d be happier about this, I’m wearing what you bought me and nothing else after all.” You said, sitting up on your knees and bowing your head demurely.

 

His eyes roamed hungrily over your body.

 

“You’re pushing the limits of my patience with you.” He said flatly.

 

“Lie on your stomach over the edge of the bed, legs spread.” He ordered, his tone leaving no room for argument and before your mind caught up, your body was already scrambling to obey.

 

“What are you doing?” You asked.

 

“Do you remember the safeword?” He asked and you frowned before you remembered the auction.

 

“Winter.” You whispered.

 

“That’s the only word you’re allowed to say. I don’t want to hear a single other noise coming out of your mouth, understood?”

 

You nodded.

 

“I told you that this was what you needed. I’m sick of you being a brat so this is what is going to happen when you act out from now on.” He told you and yanked your underwear down your legs, exposing you fully.

 

You knew what he was about to do but it was still a shock when his hand came down on your ass, and you bit your lip to stop from yelping. The noise was worse than the sting, at least at first. It took a few seconds for the burn on your cheeks to really kick in.

 

He was absolutely relentless, there was no trace of sweet caring Bucky. The man pinning you down on the mattress and smacking your ass until tears burned your eyes and it felt like your skin was on fire was somebody else entirely. You silently counted in your head and after the tenth slap he paused.

 

You breathed a sigh of relief and waited for his next instruction but it never came. His hands massaged the aching skin for a brief tender moment before his flesh hand slid down to your mound. He spread your pussy lips apart and chuckled, though it sounded far from amused.

 

“You’re soaking wet Domniţă, absolutely dripping for me.”

 

You were smart enough not to respond, but he was right. You were wetter than you could ever remember being before and aching, having to physically restrain yourself from pushing yourself onto his hand to seek out some kind of friction. You heard a rustling sound and wondered what he was doing.

 

“You aren’t supposed to enjoy your punishment quite so much. You won’t enjoy this.” He warned.

 

You felt the head of his cock line up with your entrance before he slammed himself into you. You were wet enough for him to do it but it still hurt and you bit your lip until you tasted blood. He pulled out almost all the way before slamming into you again without any preamble.

 

It only took two more thrusts before the pain gave way to pleasure. He slammed into you over and over, filling you up and slamming into you until you saw stars. His pace was so fast and hard it was inhuman and it took every single ounce of strength you had in you to not scream your pleasure for the whole compound to hear. Then he spoke and your blood ran cold.

 

“If you cum, I swear to god this is the last time you’ll ever have me inside you.” He vowed.

 

The pleasure was building inside you and it was so close to overwhelming you but as difficult as it was, you made your body hold off. You wouldn’t risk calling his bluff. His gripped your hips tightly and slammed into you one last time, his cock twitching inside you as he came.

 

You let out a silent sob of frustration as he withdrew, leaving you achingly empty.

 

He had just came, he was satisfied but the sight of your red ass cheeks and his seed dripping out of your swollen pussy was so filthy and visceral he found his blood still burning with lust.

 

“It doesn’t feel good does it? Having somebody use your body for their own pleasure without giving a damn about how you feel?” He hissed.

 

Your eyes burned with tears for a very different reason and you desperately waited for him to tell you that you could move.

 

“Get up.” He ordered and you stood up on shaky legs.

 

“Get out. I’m done with you for now.” He said dismissively.

 

Your face burned in shame and you walked away, grabbing your dress off the chair but he yanked it out of your hands.

 

“You didn’t seem to give a damn about who saw you earlier so you don’t need this.” He said.

 

“You want me to walk back to my room naked?” You asked derisively.

 

“If you don’t want to do it, you only have to say one word.” He reminded you.

 

You felt his cum trickling down your leg and held your chin up and straightened your shoulders. If this was what he wanted, it was what you would do. After the way you’d refused to give him more than sex, you would do whatever he told you. The humiliation was nothing compared to way you’d hurt him.

 

But...

 

“I don’t really want anyone else to see me. I like you being the only one who can see me like this.” You admitted.

 

He smirked and opened his arms and pulled you into his embrace.

 

“Good girl.” He praised and you realised you’d been played.

 

“You were trying to teach me a lesson?” You asked, shocked.

 

“Yes, I was.” He confirmed, lifting you by the back of the thighs and wrapping your legs around his waist.

 

Your bare pussy rubbed against the rough material of his shirt and you whimpered.

 

“I’m proud of you.” He whispered against your lips before he pulled you into a passionate kiss.

 

It was so passionate it felt like more than lust, it felt like... No. You wouldn’t let your mind wander down that path. He kept his hands on your thighs as he hovered above the bed.

 

“Lie back.” he ordered.

 

You let your shoulder blades hit the mattress, your legs around him where he stood at the bottom of the bed.

 

“I can’t believe you played me.” You pouted.

 

“I played a character until you gave me what I wanted without me ever asking for it... you can’t be mad at me for that.” He said, pulling his shirt off.

 

“Oh my God.” You muttered as he pulled his jeans off.

 

“Up.” He commanded and you sat up, letting him pull you into his arms so you were no longer on the bed.

 

He held your body up easily as he dove straight for your mouth, showing you wordlessly how happy he was that you had learned your lesson. You closed your eyes and moaned as he pulled you your body closer to his and flexed his abdominal muscled which were now pressed against your clit. You gyrated your hips against the hard muscles and he bit down gently on bottom lip.

 

“Hold onto my shoulders, tightly. And Domniţă, this time you can make as much noise as you like.” He said, gripping the bottom of your thighs and jostling your body until his rapidly hardening cock was between your legs.

 

You did as he said he moved his hips, dragging himself through your wetness. He didn’t break the kiss, opting instead to push his tongue inside your mouth at the same time he pushed his cock inside you. As big as he was, you were so wet from being spanked and fucked by him already that he slid easily inside you.

 

You both groaned together at the feeling and he held you up, using his super strength to keep you in place while his hips snapped forward. He could tell from your sharp intake of breath and the fluttering of your cunt around him when he dragged across your G-spot and adjusted his angle so his head rubbed across it on every thrust. It took almost no time at all for your orgasm to built, you were already wound so tightly and ready to snap.

 

“I’m gonna...” You gasped.

 

“I’ve got you, let go Domniţă. Cum for me, that’s an order.” He said and you your hands squeezed his shoulders and you moaned loudly, your head falling back.

 

You whimpered his name over and over again, like a desperate prayer as you fell apart. He kept moving thorough out it, his pace never wavering, his cock pushing in and out of your pulsating pussy over and over and over until you couldn’t stand it anymore.

 

He gently put you down on the bed and pulled out of you, hand wrapping around his cock and shooting hot spurts of his cum across your belly and breasts.

 

You arched your back and allowed him to paint your body with his cum as he groaned your name before he collapsed on his side next to you.

 

You were breathless and your brain was muddled as he grabbed the back of your head and pulled your face towards his for a deep kiss. His lips were soft and they didn’t help your mind clear any so when he abruptly released you and got up, you just blinked stupidly at him until he came back with a damp washcloth.

 

“Was that too much?” He asked, looking into your eyes for the truth.

 

“No.” You said and shook your head.

 

He gently and tenderly wiped your stomach and breasts clean with the warm cloth and you sighed happily. Every patch of clean skin was gently kissed and he carefully pulled your legs apart and leaned the insides of your thighs while you smiled dopeily at him and made a noise of content.

 

It turned to discontent when he got up to discard of the wash cloth and he chuckled at your antics, coming back over and gently settling you dress onto the bed next to you.

 

“You can leave when you’re ready.” He said, hiding the sadness in his eyes by ducking his head and letting his hair cover his face.

 

It was like being doused with cold water, a shocking re-emergence into the real world. This wasn’t real, this warm little bubble of safety and pleasure. It was just a beautiful illusion. You weren’t his, you never could be and this, what you were doing wasn’t fair to him. To either of you.

 

But the way he kissed you, the way his hands would grip you, they way his eyes watched you while you would cum for him... it was too good to give up. He was an adult, he had agreed to this so you should trust that he knew what he was getting into.

 

But the longer you stayed afterwards, the more you blurred the lines and that would hurt you both. So you sat up pulled your dress on, kissed him on the cheek and left without a word.

 

You went back to your room, every step feeling like a mile. You sat on your bed and looked at the wall, the only thing between the both of you.

 

You could just phase straight through it if you wanted. It wasn’t even an obstacle. He was right there, right on the other side of the plaster. You put your hand on the wall and swallowed thickly, wishing you were strong enough, brave enough to do it.

 

On the other side of the wall, Bucky stood with his hand on the wall, wishing he were brave enough to tell you he was falling hard for you.

 

 

Chapter Text

“You ready to do this?”

 

“Please, I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.” You scoffed.

 

“Oh, are you going to dramatically throw yourself onto the coffin and sob?”Clint asked.

 

“While screaming ‘It should have been me!’” You confirmed and Clint high fived you.

 

“A man is dead, show some respect you two.” Tony reprimanded with a smirk.

 

“Alright, Bucky and Nat are in the church. Wanda’s across the street with Loki. The rest of us are here in case you need us.” Steve informed you.

 

“You really think he’s going to dramatically show up at his own funeral?” You asked.

 

“You would and I’m assuming you got that gene from someone.” Steve said.

 

“That’s fair.”You agreed.

 

“Ok, West is coming around in the car now. An agent’s driving but just remember, he’s just the chauffeur so don’t draw attention to him. Good luck.”

 

“How do I look?” You asked as you slipped out of the van, turning around with your best heartbroken expression, letting your eyes well up.

 

“Very sad, now go away before we have to physically restrain Cap from hugging you.” Clint snickered.

 

To be fair, Steve did look like he was seconds away from trying to comfort you and you laughed, sliding into the sleek black car that pulled up alongside you.

 

“Hey West.” You greeted as you got into the back seat and rolling your eyes as he pulled your seatbealt across your torso.

 

Good morning Miss. Are you ready for today?” He asked, looking at you with a hint of worry and concern.

 

“I’m fine, I’ve got this.” You assured him.

 

“Oh look, we’re here. It’s almost as if the seatbelt was a waste of time...” You said.

 

There were flocks of reporters and photographers but they were held back as the actual church was cordoned off. They went into a frenzy when you stepped out of the car but at this point in your life, they were basically white noise.

 

Most of it was white noise to you, being led into the church, shaking hands and thanking people for coming. You used the mourning excuse to be as curt and blunt as possible.

 

“Matt, Foggy. Thank you for coming.”You said genuinely.

 

“Miss King, on behalf of Nelson and Murdock we are so sorry for your loss.” Foggy said.

 

“You are Nelson on Murdock. You’re offering condolences on your own behalf.” You snorted.

 

“Mourning.” Matt coughed into his hand and you put on a sombre expression.

 

“Thankyou, for coming and being here for me.” You said.

 

You noticed a dark haired woman a few rows behind you that you were almost certain was Natasha but you weren’t 100% sure about it.

 

Foggy and Matt took their seats by you, West on your otherside. They were effectively blocking anyone else from being able to bother you as the funeral started.

 

When they carried the coffin down the aisle you sobbed loudly and buried your face in West’s shoulder. The priest stood at the pew and you struggled to keep it together as he began.

 

“Alexander King was a great man.”

 

“He’s a dick.” You muttered under your breath.

 

“Stop it.” West whispered.

 

You tuned out most of the sermon, choosing instead to subtly look around and try to spot Bucky until Matt elbowed you in the side.

 

“Ow, what?” You hissed.

 

“You’re supposed to say a few words.” He told you.

 

“Oh. Right.” You said, getting up and pathetically stumbling over to the alter.

 

You looked every inch the grieving daughter and in a way, it wasn’t an act. Standing up there, alone, it hit you. The coffin was empty but this really was your fathers funeral.

 

Something caught your eye in the rafters and you saw the familiar glint of metal. Bucky was letting you know you weren’t alone, that he was right there. You smiled softly, sadly and spoke.

 

“I wish I could speak to my father one last time. There’s so much I would ask him, so much I would say. I need his advice, the same way I did when I was a child and I couldn’t understand why some of the other kids didn’t like me. He sat me down and told me that my worth wasn’t measured by somebody else’s opinion, that who I was was only up to me. I wish I could go back to that moment, I wish I could speak to him again.”

 

Your father wasn’t really dead, he was still out there. But the man who’d made you pancakes and sang you songs as a child was gone, he had been for a long time. You allowed yourself to feel what you’d spent years suppressing.

 

“I miss him.” You said softly, your voice echoing through the pews and every person there could hear the heartbreak in your voice.

 

“He was my dad and I loved him but he’s gone and nothing can change that.” You said, blinking back tears.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

After the service, you were waiting in a side room, trying to calm down before you had to go back out there.

 

“Come with me.” Bucky whispered from behind you and you slipped back into the shadows with him.

 

“Do you want to do the condolence line?” He asked.

 

“Absolutely not.”

 

Go through this wall, there’s a small cemetery that’s not visible from the street.” He instructed.

 

“Aren’t you... well are you coming as well?” You asked.

 

He looked mildly surprised you’d asked but when he saw the real sadness in your eyes he nodded.

 

“I uh, can’t phase you through the wall.” You pointed out and he didn’t even grace you with a response, just a derisive look.

 

You went through the wall, coming out in a small enclosed cemetery like he’d said. You wrapped your arms around yourself and waited for him to join you.

 

“Are you cold?” He asked and you jumped.

 

“Don’t.Sneak.Up.On.People.In.Graveyards.” You admonished him, punctuating every word with a soft slap to his chest.

 

“Said the ghost.” He smirked.

 

“Ghosts can get scared you know. And, yes. I’m a little cold.” You admitted.

 

He inhaled sharply but before you could ask him what was wrong he stood behind you and wrapped his arms around you. You leaned back into him and ignored the jackhammering of your heart and the traitorous little butterflies throwing a rave in your stomach.

 

“He was nice once. My dad.” You said quietly.

 

“He’s not anymore.” Bucky stated and you huffed out a laugh.

 

“Why did he change?” He asked you.

 

“He really loved my mom. She was this really genuinely good person. That’s what sucked the most about her death you know? If the guy who killed her had knocked on the door and told her he was desperate for money, she’d have helped him. But he didn’t, he broke into our home and stabbed her when she discovered him. It broke my dad, he just gave up on the entire concept of goodness after that. He loved her too much.”

 

“Don’t do that.” He growled.

 

“Don’t do what?” You asked.

“Don’t try to justify what he’s done. I know you loved him, deep down you always will but he doesn’t get a free pass on being a bastard just because he used to be a good guy. Lots of people lose the ones they love, they don’t join evil nazi organizations.”

 

“That’s not what I was saying. I didn’t say it justified anything but that's what happened. Some people handle grief well, my father wasn’t one of them.” You protested.

 

“And you wouldn’t be either, would you? That’s what you’re afraid of.” He guessed, accurately.

 

“Don’t try and pinpoint the source of my reluctance to love, you can’t change me. Just don’t even try.” You snapped.

 

“Because God forbid, I want you to be happy.” He snapped back.

 

“You don’t want me to be happy, you want me to be yours.”

 

“If you could be happy or be mine but not both, I’d want you to be happy.” He said.

 

“Stop being charming when I’m trying to be mad at you!” You pouted, touched by the sentiment of his sentence.

 

He abruptly chuckled at you and pulled you back to him, kissing the pout off your face.

 

You’d said no casual affection and yet here you were, cuddling and making out with him. But you were in pain and every second he was with you, the pain got a little more bearable. He’d said he’d rather you be happy than be his, and you were hurting him because you couldn’t give him up.

 

“Want to stay here with me until everyone is gone?” He asked softly.

 

He could be happy or be yours, but not both.

 

“Yes, please.” You said.

 

You knew you couldn’t keep doing this, you should end it before it got any worse but you were selfish. You needed him.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

A couple of hours after the funeral, you got out of the Uber a couple of blocks away from your destination and walked the rest of the way. As soon as you entered the gardens waves of nostalgia crashed over you, memories of your parents walking hand in hand with you and having family picnics under the large trees. You put your hands in your pockets and walked over to the bench you’d sat on so many times before, next to the figure who was already sitting there.

 

“I’m glad you got my invitation.”

 

“You said you wanted to speak to me, and this is the place I brought you to when I told you that nobody else could define your worth. How was my funeral?” He asked.

 

Steve had said that you would dramatically show up at your own funeral but he was wrong. You’d definitely want to watch it though. So during your eulogy, you’d dropped clues telling your father to meet you here.

 

“Dreadfully boring. Why did you come? How do you know this isn’t a trap?”You said casually.

 

“I know you. You would never ruin the sanctity of this place. So what did you bring me here for? What advice does my daughter need from me?” He asked viciously.

 

“You were the best man I knew. You loved me, you loved us and you were kind. Now you’re a monster and it was all because your heart got broken. I want to know if you would change it, if you could. Would you go back and never fall in love? Was the pain worth the time you spent together?” You asked him.

 

“That’s why you brought me here? To ask about love?”

 

“Who else can a girl ask if not her father?”

 

“Very well. No, it wasn’t worth it. Love, caring, empathy. They’re all just pitstops on the road to misery. Nothing in the world hurts like a broken heart, you’ll find that out one day.” He told you.

 

It hurt, knowing he would rather have never met her and never had you. That you weren’t enough to stop his heart from hardening.

 

“I’ll never know the pain of a broken heart daddy, because I would rather carve it out of my chest than give somebody the chance to break it.” You said coldly.

 

“Oh the fact that you’re here, asking me this means it’s already too late.” He chuckled.

 

You clenched your jaw and glared at him. He was wrong, he was so wrong. You didn’t love Bucky, not even close. He was barely a friend, it was just sex and nothing more.

 

“Why Hydra? I don’t care how heartbroken you were, how does someone go from being so good to being a Nazi?” You snapped.

 

“Hydra’s was a dying organization. Captain America and his friends have nearly squashed them into the ground. Investing in failing companies, taking over and making them great again is what I do. The truth is I don’t care about Hydra or their objectives, but they have connections and power. Power is all that matters.” He said.

 

“If you don’t care about Hydra, turn on them.” You said, jumping on the opportunity.

 

“Tell us everything, who and where they are. Cut a deal with Uncle Thaddy, information for leniency. You could come home!” You said desperately.

 

“What’s that old saying? Home is where the heart is? I don’t have a home.”

 

“And give up my power? No. You know me, you know I won’t backtrack.” He said resolutely.

 

You sighed sadly.

 

“I do know you. But you don’t know me. You already ruined the sanctity of this place for me daddy.” You said, just as the gunshots behind you began.

 

“I brought backup, just in case you brought The Avengers.” He said.

 

“It’s not The Avengers you should be worried about.” You said, pulling a gun from it’s holster underneath your coat.

 

Bucky, who was coming to give you backup heard the gunshot before he saw you. You were stood alone, looking away from him.

 

“Where is he?” Bucky barked.

 

“Gone. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t pull the trigger.” You whispered, looking in the direction your father had ran.

 

Bucky swore and started to give chase when he fully realised what you’d said.

 

You couldn’t pull the trigger.

 

But he’d heard a gunshot.

 

He turned and looked at you. Your eyes were glazed over and your hands were clutching your abdomen.

 

“No.” He breathed out, surging forwards and grabbing you.

 

“I need backup, he shot her, she’s hit.” He shouted into the comms.

 

“Bucky.” You said softly.

 

“I’m here, it’s ok Domniţă.” he assured you, pulling your hands away from the wound so he could see it.

 

He pressed down on it, trying to stem the blood flow.

 

“Bucky.” You said again, weakly but with urgency.

 

“What is it sweetheart?” He asked gently, his free hand cradling your cheek.

 

“I phased when he fired. The bullet’s Vibranium.”

Chapter Text

“Barnes, give the princess True Love’s kiss and wake her up, we haven’t got all day.”

“nrrreaargh.” You murmured and forced your eyes open.

“What’s up doc?” You croaked, crinkling your eyes at the bright lights.

“She’s alive!” Tony said dramatically, or as dramatically as he could considering how exhausted he looked.

“Nice to see you Miss King, though I’d appreciate it more if every time I saw you, you weren’t shot.” Dr Helen Cho said seriously.

“Dr Cho, but you didn’t leave your number. How else was I going to see you again?” You asked, grinning dopily at her.

“You’ll be glad to know I got the bullet out and got you into the cradle. You’ll be bruised and tender for a week or so while it heals but you’ll live.” She said professionally, ignoring your drugged attempts at flirting.

“Bruce… Bruce!” You whispered (you thought you were whispering).

He pulled away from where he was talking with Dr Cho and Tony at the end of your bed and came over to you.

“Did you keep the bullet? It was made of vilranium, Vibrabium.”

“Vibranium, we know.” Bruce said.

“That’s bad right? Oh, Bye Doctor Cho!” You yelled, making Bruce jump back in shock.

She nodded politely to you at the door and you tried to wave to her, frowning when your hand wouldn’t move. You turned to look at it and realised you had two hands on your left side. No, that was someone else’s hand. Someone was holding your hand. Your eyes travelled along the limp, over the shoulder and to the blue grey eyes that were gazing at you with worry.

“Bucky! Bruce look, Bucky’s here!” You shouted giddily and even Bucky cracked a smile at your reaction.

“Uh yeah, Prince Charming hasn’t left your side since you were shot.” Tony interjected.

“Nooooo. Why?” You asked him.

“I needed to make sure you were alright.” Bucky said.

“M’fine. Twas only a little bullet wound.” You said, squeezing his hand comfortingly.

“How are you feeling?” Bruce asked you.

“Good, happy. Tired.” You decided.

“That will be the pain meds, they should wear off in a couple of hours.” Tony said.

“Sleep it off Domniţă.” Bucky suggested and you happily prepared to comply.

You tried to tell him to go get some rest himself, that you were fine and you’d see him later. What you actually said was…

“Don’t be here when I wake up, I’ll be happier if you’re not.”

Bucky felt a sharp sting in his chest at your words and as your eyes fluttered closed he dropped your hand and left, stopping at the door to check you really were alright.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tony was working in his lab when you wandered past a couple of hours later. You were checking your exposed stomach as you walked, wonderment on your face.

“Are you still high?” Tony called and you looked up at the sound of his voice and wandered over to him.

“No, just groggy.” You said.

“So, can we talk about the Vibranium bullet we dug out of your abdomen a few hours ago?” he asked, looking pissed.

“I hesitated, I couldn’t pull the trigger. He’s my father… The next thing I knew he’d pulled a gun of his own and shot me. I phased just in time, expecting the bullet to go right through me and when it didn’t, I realised it was Vibranium.” You said.

“You were lucky, an inch to the left and you’d be dead. “Tony said, worry bleeding through the faux indifference in his tone.

“I’m not so sure it’s luck, he wasn’t trying to kill me. It was a warning. “You said.  

Tony’s jaw ticked and you glared at you.

“He shot you and you’re defending him?” He demanded.  

“I’m just saying, he’s been manufacturing guns for two decades and he’s an excellent shot. If I’m alive, it’s because he wanted me to survive.” You told him.

“Let’s just say you’re right and he wasn’t trying to murder you in cold blood, he still shot you in the stomach. Your father pointed a gun at you and pulled the trigger.” Tony said exasperatedly.

“I know that, I was there!” You snapped.

“Which he wouldn’t have been able to do if you’d shot him first. Face it, you care about him still and he doesn’t give a damn about you.”

“Tony, that’s enough.” You warned.

“No, it’s not enough. I’m nowhere near done. He doesn’t love you princess, he never did. You think your mom dying changed him, but it just revealed who he really was. He probably killed her as well and deep down, you’ve already thought of that.”

“How dare you! He loved her, he loved us both.”

“Yeah, then why did the company stray from the path your mother put it on when she died?”

“Because he didn’t want to help people anymore, she helped people and she was still murdered under the tree on Christmas morning! He didn’t think the world deserved any help, any goodness.” You spat bitterly.

“Stop empathising with him! “Tony yelled.

“I can’t!”

“You’re afraid to love anyone in case your heart gets broken because you think you’ll end up like him but guess what? He already broke your heart; you’re already becoming him. Keep justifying his actions and one day it’ll be you The Avengers are hunting down.”

You reeled in shock at the harshness of the words and before you could even think about what you were doing, you were stumbling away, stifling your sobs.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

You haphazardly shoved clothes into a suitcase, fighting back tears as you did. If Tony wanted you gone, you would go. You should never have come here in the first place; you should have known it wouldn’t work out.

You were a vigilante; sure, you could work with other if you needed to, but you weren’t used to being part of a team.

“What are you doing?”

You whirled around to see Bucky stood just inside your door looking at you with alarm.

“I’m packing. It’s time for me to leave.” You said, turning away from him and shoving the rest of your clothes inside the case.

“No. You’ve just been shot!” He growled.

“And thanks to Doctor Cho I’m fine, just a little tender.” You pointed out, zipping the case closed.

“Don’t, don’t do this.” He ordered or pleaded.

“Barnes, I don’t live here. I’m not an Avenger, I work alone. And I can take care of myself.” You insisted, pulling the suitcase behind you as you headed for the door.

Bucky didn’t move out of your way, but you hadn’t really expected him to.

“Whatever you think your reasons are for running away, they’re wrong. You’re better off here, safer here.” He said.

“Safer with you?”

“Why is it really so terrible to imagine it? Why would you rather run away from me than admit that you might be safe, happy even with me?” He demanded.

You dropped the handle of the suitcase and approached him.

“I can’t do that. Please, please stop pushing it.” You begged.

“Look me in the eyes and tell me truthfully that you don’t want it, that it’s more than fear holding you back.”

You sighed and met his eyes, letting him trap you in his gaze. You wanted to tell him that you didn’t care for him, that you didn’t yearn for him, that you didn’t want to throw yourself into his arms and never let go. But you couldn’t, it was too big a lie.

So you did what you did best and manipulated the truth.

“I can’t, because yeah, deep down I want more than this. More than just fucking. But it’s too much too fast James. I’ve always pushed that part of myself aside and now I can’t and it’s because of you. So I need space, I need to breathe. I’m overwhelmed by you.”

He tangled his fingers in your hair and pulled you forward to press a soft kiss to your temple.

“I know you don’t feel the way I do, but I though you might respect me too much to manipulate me like that.” He murmured.

He stepped back and to the side, clearing a space for you to leave the room.

You picked up the handle of your suitcase and ignoring the throbbing pain in your abdomen, pulled it to the door.

“Goodbye Domniţă.” He whispered behind you.

Tony’s words were haunting you. Your father had already broken your heart and you were already closed off.

But you weren’t anything like Alexander King. You hadn’t pulled the trigger.

You abruptly dropped the suitcase and let it clatter to the floor. Bucky panicked, thinking you were hurt and he grabbed a hold of you.

“I’ll stay, I’ll stay here where it’s safe. On one condition.” You said.

He sighed and prepared himself, knowing you were going to push him away.

“Don’t leave me alone tonight.” You begged softly.

He couldn’t have looked more shocked if you had slapped him.

“What are you saying?” He asked in trepidation.

“I want to renegotiate the terms of our agreement.” You said.

“You’re allowing sleeping in the same bed?” He asked softly, masking the pain in his eyes.

“No. I… I want it all. Bucky I need you, I don’t know why or how it happened but I need you and the thing that would really break my heart would be walking out of this room. I would understand if you said no though and I would deserve it.”

“Domniţă?”

“Yes?”

“Let’s go to bed.”

Chapter Text

“Let’s go to bed.” He said.

Before you had the chance to respond you were hoisted into his arms gently and he carried you bridal style into the bedroom. His eyes were shining and he was smiling down at you so softly that you felt your heart literally melt under his gaze.

He gently set you down on the edge of the bed and pecked you on the lips before he stood up. He made it halfway to the door before he turned around and came back, kissing you again. He finally pulled himself away and went to fetch your suitcase.

His behaviour wasn’t dissimilar to that of an excited child and you smiled fondly at him.

“Pyjama’s, what ones do you want?” he asked, unzipping your suitcase and picking up piles of your clothes and shoving them in drawers.

You huffed out an amused laugh. He had somehow gone from a 6ft tall terrifying, deadly, sexy as hell former assassin to an excitable puppy and it was beyond adorable. You were about to say something when you remembered what was tucked at the bottom of your suitcase and watched in embarrassed horror as he picked it up and looked at you.

“You were planning on stealing my shirt?” he asked, holding the Red Henley he’d lent you that first night up with wry amusement.

“It smells like you.” You mumbled awkwardly.

Bucky smiled happily as he realised that even when running away, you’d needed to take a part of him with you.

“I know you’re scared, I know you’re taking a huge chance here. We barely know each other and you’re trusting me in a way you haven’t trusted anyone before. I won’t push you. We can take it slow.” He promised.

“Pretty sure that ship has sailed.” You laughed.

“There is more than one way to be intimate with someone.” He said.

I know and I'm gonna try, I promise”. You vowed.

“I believe you. Would it helped if we laid down some ground rules, I know you feel better if things are structured?” He offered.  

You frowned at him, it wasn’t surprising that he had noticed that about you so much as that you’d never really thought about it before.

“It’s not that I like thing structured it’s just I have so much I need to keep under control, I can’t ever slip up, not even for a second. Structure helps me maintain that control.” You said.

“I know Domniţă, it’s why you like giving up all control when you’re with me.” He said, chuckling lowly.

He wasn’t wrong and you proved it by leaning your head back, offering you lips to him. He took what you were offering and kissed you so thoroughly that you were breathless in seconds. And then you tried to shift and ended up yelping.

“Are you alright?” he asked, cupping your cheek and shooting you a look of deep concern.

“The Cradle works literal miracles but I’m still slightly wounded. Just a tad.” You explained, gently rubbing your abdomen.

“Stop that.” Bucky admonished, pulling your hand away and when you pouted he gently pecked your protruding bottom lip.

“We need to talk about this.” He said, gesturing to your stomach.

“What about it?” You muttered bitterly.

“You didn’t fail by not shooting him sweetheart, you didn’t screw up.” He said gently.

“But I did. I keep holding onto the version of my father in my head, the one from before my mother died. But maybe that man was never even real, maybe he was, either way he’s not real anymore. He shot me Bucky, whether he meant to kill me or not, he shot me. And it was a Vibranium bullet. He known who I am, he’s known all along.”

“I don’t know how he became the way he did but Domniţă, it doesn’t matter. He’s twisted and he’s not your family. Tony and Bruce defied the accords for you, for months, kept you secret from the whole team and stood by your side. They’re your family. The Avengers will stand with you, if you let us. I’m pretty sure Steve will legally adopt you if you ask him.” He chuckled.

“Does that mean I can call Steve Daddy?” You asked innocently.

“I meant as a sister.” He growled, his eyes darkening.

“Though… If you want to call him Daddy so we can watch him choke on his own tongue, you have my permission.” He added as an afterthought.

“Challenge accepted. But I hear you, I do. As a wise man once said ‘Family don’t end with blood’.” You quoted.

Bucky puzzled over it for a moment.

“Obama?” he asked.

“Dean Winchester.” You corrected.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bucky was breathing evenly beside you, moonlight glinting off his beautiful face that was for once free of stress. He looked so untouched by darkness and pain like this, innocent and peaceful in a way you’d never seen before. You gently brushed a lock of hair off his face, careful not to wake him and pressed a featherlight kiss to his cheek before you silently slipped out of the bed.

Frank looked up from where he was coiled around Bucky’s metal arm and blinked curiously at you, unwinding himself and jumping onto the floor to pad after you to the living room.

Bucky and Tony’s words were tumbling around your mind, the echo of a gunshot echoing in your memory over and over again.

Your father, real or not was gone. Alexander King was just another villain for The Phantom to take down.

Bucky was right about Bruce and Tony. They had taken you in, protected you and stood by you. Matt Murdock had saved you from being exposed by your own mistakes and taught you how to be the best hero you could be, given you legal advice as well as fight training. You had a family and it wasn’t your blood.

But it wasn’t just Matt, Bruce and Tony who had helped you. You had other allies.

From almost the beginning there had been someone behind the scenes, pushing the rumours of your drunken and antics and incompetence. Someone helping you build the image of a stupid girl, easily manipulated and in need of guidance.

You dialled the number and waited as the phone rang.

“Hello?” She said sleepily.

“It’s me.” You said softly.

“It’s 1am, what’s wrong?” She said, suddenly alert and you heard Frank Castle in the background telling her to put it on loudspeaker, Frank the cat twisted round your ankles and mewled at his namesake's baritone voice.

“Sorry to wake you, you need your sleep after all. Tomorrow is a big day for us.” You said slyly.

“Why, what’s going down?” She asked.

“Tomorrow is the day you and I take down the Secretary of State Karen. And then we’re going to kill a King.”

Chapter Text

Your father knew you were The Phantom, but you couldn’t be sure if your Uncle knew. What you were certain of was that even if Thaddeus Ross knew, he didn’t know you knew you’d been outed. You still had the upper hand and you were going to use it.

 

“Secretary Ross will see you now. “His assistant told you.

 

You grinned at her and teetered down the hall after her, walking into your uncle’s office when she waved you in.

 

“Uncle Thaddy.” You greeted happily.

 

“Where have you been? You disappeared during the funeral, didn’t even stay for the condolences or to thank anyone for coming.” He admonished straight away, not even saying hello.

 

“I was so afraid I was going to slip up and say something that gave us away.” You said with a chastised expression.

 

“Well I suppose that was wise.” He admitted.

 

“I went to Daddy’s Brooklyn office, to make sure there was nothing Hydra related there.” You told him.

 

“He has a Brooklyn office?” Ross snapped.

 

“Uh huh, I thought you knew that? Well I found all these reports and things about a project you and he were working on and I thought nothing of it until I saw something about Gamma Radiation and I remembered Dr Banner talking about Gamma Radiation and The Hulk, he’s always rambling on to me even though I don’t understand anything about it. He’s funny like that, I think he’s talking to himself you know. I don’t think he knows I’m even there. Maybe he’s talking to The Hulk? Can The Hulk hear him?” You rambled.

 

“The reports? What about these reports? What did they say?” Your Uncle demanded worriedly.

 

“Oh, those? Uh that you and he were building something but the project shut down after an accident that almost resulted in… what was it? Hang on.” You said, pulling a file out of your bag.

 

“Catastrophic loss of civilian life, though had the experiment wielded more promising results the reward would have surpassed the risks.” You read aloud.

 

“Damnit Alexander, I wasn’t supposed to be tied back to that. He was supposed to destroy all the records of it. Listen to me, I need you to find every single shred of paper, every computer file and bring it to me.” Ross ordered you, snatching the file out of your hands.

 

“Ok… Anything you need uncle Thaddy. What was the Project Called?” You asked.

 

He clenched his jaw and looked you over before he answered.

 

“Project Hulk.” He said and you gasped.

 

“You were trying to hurt The Hulk? Why? He’s a hero isn’t he? Or isn’t he? Is there something I should know?” You asked, leaning in.

 

“Bruce banner is a menace, but no. Project Hulk was designed to try and recreate the Hulk. The Hulk is important, do you understand me? But your father shut the project down. Probably because Hydra asked him to. You’re not Hydra though sweetheart, you’re better than him. How would you like to help your Uncle change the world?” He asked.

 

You almost rolled your eyes at his blatant attempt to manipulate you.

 

“But what about the risks? Will we be hurting people? Is this even legal?” You asked nervously.

 

“The law doesn’t matter anymore, not when something this important is on the line. I’ve spent years trying to unlock the secrets behind The Hulk, I won’t let the law hold me back. I’m secretary of state, I’ll make sure you have everything you need, and are protected. You just let me handle everything. What do you say sweetheart?” he asked.

 

“Of course. I trust you, after all, we’re family.” You said.

 

You winked at your own reflection in the office window, the hidden camera on your cardigan picking it up.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“Miss King.” Matt greeted you as you walked into the foyer of King Inc.

 

“Matt, Foggy. Are you ready for this?” You asked, shaking off your nerves.

 

“We’re ready. How did your ‘morning meeting’ go?” Foggy asked with a conspiratorial smirk.

 

“My Uncle was very forthcoming.” You told him as the three of you entered the elevator and you hit the button for the top floor.

                                                                                       

“Oh look at this, The Avengers just called an emergency press conference.” Foggy said, looking at his phone.

 

“Wonder what that’s about?” Matt said with a smirk.

 

“I wouldn’t know. I don’t watch the news.” You said, holding back your own smirk as the elevator doors whooshed open.

 

Your lawyers flanked you as you walked into the board room and smiled at the six board members.

 

“Gentlemen, lady.” You greeted.

 

“Miss King. It’s a pleasure to see you again.” They said and you shook everyone’s hands.

 

“Especially after the last time we were here.” Mr. Chambers, the COO and temporary Chairman of the board said apologetically.

 

“It’s fine, I know we would have been in trouble if anybody had found out about daddy being tied to Hydra. I had to take a step back.” You said.

 

“Well at least Alexander did us all the courtesy of dying before his misdeeds came to light Mrs. Coatridge tittered.

 

You glared at the vile woman who was the only female on the board.

 

“Of course, we are still very sorry for your loss.” She added.

 

“Thank you.” You said, nodding at her.

 

“Shall we get on with business then?” Chambers suggested.

 

“Of course. As you know I have all Daddy’s shares now and well, I don’t really know how to be involved with the company but I don’t want to do anything wrong. Maybe if you all helped me? Just tell me what to say and what to do to keep the company image intact and I’ll do it. I’m going to need your guidance in this, all of you.” You said, innocently looking around at them all.

 

They thought you were too stupid to notice the eager and greedy glint in their eyes.

 

“Of course my dear, we are all here for you. But King Inc is a family company and it was always intended that you would take up your fathers mantle one day. People like you Miss King, they trust you. You’re a sweet girl, pretty and not at all threatening. That’s a compliment, trust me. The point is, you are the face of this company now and you can take us to the next level.” Chambers said, grasping your hand and squeezing it.

 

You resisted the very strong urge to yank your hand away and smash it into his face.

 

“The face of the company?” You asked.

 

“The CEO. People will respond well to a weapons manufacturer that’s run by a young, attractive red blooded American woman.” Mr. Winston, a man on the left side of the table cut in.

 

“I’m not…” You started to say.

 

“What he means is you’re going to be our spokesperson, the face people think of when they think of the company. Think of this as a modelling contact dear.” Chambers told you.

 

“But isn’t CEO a really big deal?” You asked.

 

“Not really, you won’t be doing any of the work don’t worry about that. We’ll handle the business; all you have to do is sign your name where we tell you.” Coatridge said.

 

You looked overwhelmed for a moment before you pulled yourself together, taking a deep breath and nodding.

 

“As long as my lawyers clear it.” You said.

 

“We’ve already checked over all the contracts, gone through them with a fine tooth comb. Everything is in order.” Foggy leaned in to assure you.

 

You shook nervously as you signed a small mountain of paperwork, shooting fleeting glances at Chambers for reassurance. When you were done they all stood up to shake your hand again.

 

“Congratulations Miss King.” Chambers said jovially.

 

“Yes, congratulations Miss King. You are now the CEO and Chairman of the board of King Inc until you retire.” Matt congratulated.

 

“Or a majority of the shareholders vote to replace me.” You smirked.

 

“I don’t see that happening. You’re going to carry us into a new era of the company. Myself and the other board members have some wonderful ideas for King Inc.” Chambers said.

 

“Oh I’m sure you do!” You said with a grin.

 

“But I don’t give a damn about ideas and I certainly don’t respect a single one of you enough to listen to your opinions.” You added, dropping the grin and the act.

 

You stood tall and faced them down, the mask you had worn for years finally off.

 

“My father funneled money from this company into Hydra. Everyone on this board either knew about it and allowed it to happen or they let it happen right under their noses. No matter which you spin it, none of you are people I want running a company, let alone my company.” You said, curling your lip in disgust as you looked them all in the eye, one by one.

 

“Being made the CEO doesn’t make this your company.” Mrs. Coatridge said haughtily.

 

“No, being the sole majority shareholder does.” You said smugly.

 

“Between your father 39% and your 10% you own 49%, not a majority.”

 

“Very true. But then there’s also the 10% Secretary Thaddeus Ross signed over to me, which gives me a 59% majority.” You informed them.

 

“We still own the other 41%, you don’t have a significant enough majority to push us out and we can and will be a thorn in your side. I’m sorry Miss King, this was an adorable little power grab but you just don’t have what it takes to pull it off.” Mr. Chambers said condescendingly.

 

“Mr. Murdock, Mr. Nelson, you’ve read the company charters and contracts. Please read section 12 A Subsection B pertaining to forced reimbursement of shares in the Company Interest contracts.” You said, maintaining eye contact with Mr. Chambers.

 

“If a collective of 60% or more of the shareholders vote in favor, shares of the company can be bought back at the price paid at time of acquisition.” Foggy said, his professional demeanor close to cracking but he held his grin back.

 

“Over 60%... You appear to have come up short Miss King.” Chambers chuckled and the board all joined in.

 

You held your cocky grin and held out your hand to Matt who handed you a familiar manila envelope.

 

“2% of shares in the company, purchased on Miss King’s behalf by my law team. That makes 61% percent of the shares collectively forcing you out of this company as allowed by a contract every single one of you signed.” Matt said.

 

Every single member of the board’s jaws dropped.

 

“Checkmate.” You purred.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

The second you walked into the press conference, the reporters surged from their seats and began yelling at you. Bruce held out a hand to help you onto the podium.

 

“Sorry I’m late everybody, had a business meeting to attend.” You joked.

 

“Miss king, Miss King! Have you heard whether Secretary Ross has been arrested?”

 

“Why did you take him down?”

 

“Is it true your father was Hydra?”

 

“Have you been working with The Avengers?”

 

You held your hands up to silence them.

 

“Secretary Ross has been brought in for questioning according to my sources. I didn’t take him down, Karen Page did, I just assisted her. My father was Hydra yes and I have been offering my assistance to The Avengers ever since I found out about Project Hulk.” You rattled off with ease.

 

“Miss King, what’s going to happen to King Inc?”

 

“King Inc no longer exists.” You announced.

 

That really riled the vultures up and you could no longer distinguish individual questions through the yelling.

“An hour ago, I was voted CEO and Chairman of the board and as I also hold a significant majority of the shares, soon to be over 94% of them in fact… I’ve made some changes to the company. I’d be happy to tell you about it just as soon as you all sit down and listen politely.” You offered.

 

One by one they all settled into their seats and Tony stifled a laugh from behind you. You turned to wink at him but caught Bucky’s eye instead. He was staring at you with awe and heat and you grinned at him. The corner of his lip twitched, and he winked slyly at you. You felt a little warm when you turned back to face the crowd.

 

“The prime objectives of the new company will be to use our resources and research to advance medical treatments for all, selling all medicines and treatments at little more than labour cost.” You announced and flashbulbs went off wildly.

 

“Secondly… We are entering into a Partnership with Stark Industries and the Maria Stark foundation. King Inc. is now Hercules LLC, a non-profit charity dedicated to helping those who’s lives have been affected by Hydra. We’ll offer medical treatments, re-homing services, protection and legal aid to anyone and everyone in the world who has suffered at the hands of Hydra.

 

“Miss King, how will the company still turn profits?” A reporter yelled.

 

“We won’t. We’ll make enough to pay our staff and cover our overhead. I’m not in the game to remain a billionaire, in fact… I’m investing my entire personal fortune into this.” You said.

 

“Why?”

 

“Because I want to help the world, not hurt it. My father has left me a terrible legacy, one I am going to tear down, piece by piece. Speaking of which, that’s all I have time for.” You told them and turned to Bruce.

 

“You ready Big guy?” You asked, grinning excitedly.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Your high heels crunched across the gravel as you gazed in victorious satisfaction at the large mansion you had grown up in. This was your father's Castle, your childhood home. The ground quaked beneath you and a large shadow fell across you blocking out the sun. Your lips curled up into a vicious mark.

 

“Hulk... Smash.” You told him.

 

The incredible Hulk sailed over you and crashed through the roof you threw back your head and laughed with cathartic glee.

 

Chapter Text

“Ok, we’re hitting the Hydra Base in approximately 4 hours. Then you should be good to go.” Steve said.

 

“Thanks Daddy.” You purred.

 

“You’re welcome Baby doll.” Steve said without missing a beat, winking at you and walking out of the room.

 

Bucky choked on his water, Tony sat down on the nearest chair with a thump, staring after Steve with wide eyes, Clint opened and closed his mouth like a goldfish, Sam looked proud enough to burst even Natasha raised an eyebrow. Only Banner seemed to find it amusing surprisingly.

 

“What did you do?” Bucky asked with narrowed eyes.

 

You blinked innocently as him and shrugged, looking as perplexed as he did. West came into the room, talking on the phone as he did.

 

“No comment. Yes, you can quote that we have no quote. Thank you, yes. Goodbye.” He said, hanging up the phone and looking slightly frazzled.

 

“Miss, I am a butler, I can’t handle the press calling asking for an interview.” He said.

 

“Well stop answering the calls West, it’s not your job and you do enough already.” You told him.

 

“Someone has to do it, for now it seems to have fallen to me. Now, what kind of sandwiches would you all like me to pack for you for your mission?” He asked, looking around the room.

 

“Ok everyone, we’re gearing up to hit the Hydra base in approximately 4 hours, Phantom you should be clear to move after that.” Steve said as he strode into the room.

 

“Uh, yeah. You just said that… and other things I’ll never be able to unhear.” Tony replied.

 

Bucky’s head snapped round to look at you as he figured it out and you laughed loudly and ran away, phasing through the wall.

 

“Thanks Loki.” You shouted as you ran past him.

You hurtled around the corner and dashed down the adjoining corridor. Someone yanked open a door as you ran past and there was a metal arm wrapped around your waist, dragging you into the empty office.

 

You looked up at Bucky in shock and looked around in confusion.

 

“Oh my god. Did you jump of the window and scale the side of the building so you could catch me?” You asked, realising it was the only way he could have pulled it off.

 

His smirk was all the answer you needed, and you laughed at the mental image as he pulled you into a kiss

 

“I love being able to do this.” He breathed against your lips.

 

“We’re supposed to be getting debriefed, we don’t have time for this.” You muttered back weakly, no fight in your voice at all.

 

“I know but let’s just stay here for a second.” He asked and you smiled at him and wordlessly obliged.

 

It ended up being more than a moment and neither of you pulled away from the embrace until the owner of the unoccupied office returned and the two pulled away and left, you apologising and Bucky glaring at them as if daring them to say something.

 

He wordlessly grabbed your hand and held onto it as the two of you made your way back to the debriefing and if he kept a hold of it through the whole meeting, you were too happy to care about the teasing of the other team members.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Miss King, Boss and Captain Rogers want to let you know they have begun their assault. You’re up.” Friday said in your ear.

 

“Got it. Operation Regicide is a go.” You said and turned to the computer, pressing the button that tony had very helpfully stuck ‘press this one’ note to.

 

Voices chattered over the line as Tony’s program hacked the security channel and you listened diligently as the soldier unwittingly enacted your careful plan.

 

“Sure this is gonna work?” Frank Castle asked from the corner of the abandoned warehouse where you had both set up shop.

 

“Of course it is, it’s my plan and I might not be a genius but I am a damn good manipulator.” You answered, smirking at him.

“Don’t I know it.” He grumbled.

 

“Are you still mad I made you like me?” You snorted.

 

“I tolerate you because you have your uses.” He told you dryly.

 

“Your wife likes me…” You taunted.

 

He looked up from the dozens of guns he was checking and flipped you off and you laughed.

 

“Package is en-route.” Someone said over the channel.

 

You pulled your mask over your face and pulled your hood up.

 

“We’re up. You know what to do.” You said to him and he gave you a bored two fingered salute and stood up.

 

You walked over to the sleek matte black motorbike, or as you called it… The Phantom Mobile and swung your leg over it, straddling the beast and slipping the black helmet on.

 

“Hey kid?” Frank called and you looked over your shoulder at him.

 

“You did good you know that? Nobody’s going to remember your father, when they think of the King name, they’ll think of you and all the good you do.” He said, nodding at you.

 

You welled up a little, you weren’t ashamed to admit it.

 

“Thanks Frank.” You said and started the engine.

 

The Phantom Mobile roared as you sped out of the warehouse and down the alley, slipping seamlessly into the traffic on the main road.

 

You couldn’t see your target, but you didn’t need to.

 

“Princess, the tracker on the package is active. It’s three blocks east.” A voice said in your helmet.

 

“Thanks TADASHI.” You said to the AI operating out of the helmet.

 

Tony had stolen the helmet from your bike without you noticing and made some upgrades, fitting it with one of his AI’s. It was one of the sweetest things he’d ever done for you and you knew it was his way of looking after you when you were out in the field. He let you know he was going to upgrade your Phantom suit with it as soon as this mission was over as well.

 

You blended in easily with the New York traffic as you followed the packages planned route. Your helmet and coat hid the Phantom Suit and you looked like any other biker. It took almost twenty minutes before anything happened.

 

“Phantom, I’ve got eyes on potential action. Package is about to go down a side street that is empty except for two unmarked black vans.” Frank said, automatically being transmitted through the helmet by Tadashi.

 

“On it.” You said back and made a sharp left turn, cutting down an alleyway and coming out just as the package turned the corner onto the side street Frank had eyed.

 

You heard the screeching of tires and the gunshots that followed and hit the brakes, skidding to a stop at the entrance of the side street. You dismounted the bike and pulled off the helmet at the same time, becoming intangible as the first volley of bullets hit you.

 

They passed straight through you as you strode towards the retinue of Hyrda Agents converging on the package. Vibranium was expensive, you had been betting on them not being standard issue and you had been right.

 

Several agents ran for you and you smirked as they desperately tried to land a blow, becoming more and more frustrated when they passed through you. Soon you were surrounded by them.

 

“Time for a little punishment.” You said and machine gun fire rained down on you all, ripping through the flesh of the Agents and creating a could of blood splatters in the air surrounding you.

 

When it was done, you stood unharmed in the centre of a pile of corpses and waved at Frank on the roof of one of the buildings. Two agents had used the slaughter as a distraction to blow open the back of the unmarked Van that had been carrying your package and they shot the guard inside and dragged a cuffed Secretary Ross out of the van.

 

You rushed over, becoming tangible again as you reached them, pulling out two blades from under your coat as you stood between them, slicing them both across the throat and turning around, stabbing them both in the chest simultaneously for good measure.

The Hydra Van opened and Alexander King calmly stepped out. He smirked at you and raised his gun.

 

“Hello Brother…Goodbye Phantom.” He said and fired.

 

The Vibranium bullet never hit you as the supposedly dead guard who had been in the back of the van moved to stand behind you and brought his arm up in front of you, catching the bullet. He pulled his helmet off with his other hand to reveal Bucky Barnes.

 

Alexander snarled and the doors of several of the building along the side of the street banged open as Hydra Agents poured out. Frank immediately fired on them and you grinned viciously.

 

“You two take them. I’ve got King.” You told Bucky.

 

As soon as you stepped away from Bucky, your father fired again but you had been ready for him and dove to the side, rolling out of the path of the bullet and flinging a knife at him. It hit him straight in the wrist and he dropped the gun with a shout of pain.

 

You sprung to your feet and strode towards him, kicking the gun out of the way as you did. He glared at you and tried to swing a punch at you but his hand went through you. You hit him back, becoming tangible again as your fist connected with his jaw and he fell into the side of the van.

 

“You had one shot, you missed and you don’t get another.” You snarled.

 

His eyes went wide and he looked you up and down in shock.

 

“Queenie.” He breathed.

 

You frowned at his surprise and pulled your mask down.

 

“No…” he breathed out.

 

“You knew, you shot me with a Vibranium Bullet so don’t play dumb!” You hissed.

 

“I didn’t keep those bullets for you.” He said.

 

Pieces started to fall into place in your mind. You had never actually found any documents about Project Hulk in your fathers non-existent Brooklyn office, it had been a ploy to get your uncle to confess. You knew that of your father had covered his tracks he wouldn’t want your uncle talking to anyone about the Project. That’s how you had known he would come after Ross when he was being moved and The Avengers were otherwise occupied.

 

But Project Hulk had wielded results, you were proof of that. And your father had Vibranium bullets so he knew it was successful but he had shut it down anyway, probably handing the research over to Hydra. But if he hadn’t known you were the Phantom then…

 

“There another Phantom.” You said, your mind spinning.

 

“There is, and I’ve been prepared for them to come after me. Vibranium is expensive but not unobtainable.” He said, pulling a long knife from his belt and swinging it at your chest, aiming right for the heart.

 

You leaned back but you knew you weren’t going to make it; you had been too distracted by the revelation and in slow motion you watched the Vibranium blade descend towards your chest.

 

“GHOST!” Frank yelled from behind you and when the tip of the blade was a millimetre away from you, a bullet phased through your chest and hit your father.

 

He was knocked back by it and as blood blossomed across his shirt, you snatched the knife from his hand and threw it to Bucky who was looking incredibly relived that you had phased in time and Frank hadn’t ended up shooting you. You were glad he had taken the risk; you might have survived the bullet, but you wouldn’t have survived the knife. You nodded gratefully to Frank and turned back to your father.

 

Blood trickled from the corner of his mouth as he fell to his knees and gasped. His strength left him and he collapsed, the death rattle of his final breaths tearing from his lungs. You calmly knelt beside him on the ground and though he didn’t deserve it, you took his hand.

 

“I’m here.” You whispered.

 

He tried to say something, but you couldn’t hear him. With a sigh, you leant down and let Alexander King whisper his dying words in your ear.

 

What he said made your blood turn to ice in your veins.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

Bucky carefully made his way over the destroyed rubble of the former King mansion with ease as he searched the destruction for you. When you had disappeared after he had killed your father, he had deduced you might come here, and a sliver of moonlight revealed he was right.

 

You were knelt on the ground under a tree of what used to be the back garden, next to a pile of dirt.

 

“Are you alright?” He asked softly as he approached you.

 

“My father is dead.” You whispered, your words drifting through the night to his ears.

 

“You had to do it; you know that don’t you?” He asked.

 

You didn’t answer, didn’t flinch, didn’t acknowledge him in any way. He came to stand behind you and his breath caught in his chest.

 

The pile of dirt wasn’t left over from The Hulks smash party, it was a freshy undug grave. A shovel was grasped tightly in your hands as you started blankly at the decomposed skeleton in the grave.

 

“No Bucky, Alexander King has been dead for over eighteen years.”

Chapter Text

Blood trickled from the corner of his mouth as he fell to his knees and gasped. His strength left him and he collapsed, the death rattle of his final breaths tearing from his lungs. You calmly knelt beside him on the ground and though he didn’t deserve it, you took his hand.

 

“I’m here.” You whispered.

 

He tried to say something, but you couldn’t hear him. With a sigh, you leant down and let Alexander King whisper his dying words in your ear.

 

“I’m not Alexander King, your father is buried under the oak tree.”

 

The two King corpses lay side by side on tables next to one another. One that had been dead for less than 24 hours and one that had been dead for nearly two decades.

 

“DNA analysis is done.” Bruce told you and you looked up from the tables to stare blankly at him.

 

“We compared the DNA samples to yours. This one shares no traits at all with you. It doesn’t have any DNA traits at all as far as we can tell.” He said, gesturing to the fresh corpse.

 

“This one… this is your biological father.” He said with a heavy sigh standing by the skeletal remains.

 

“But that IS Alexander King. It looks exactly like him and if they don’t share DNA does  rule out evil twin?” Clint said from behind you where he and The Avengers were gathered.

 

“We discovered something. His cells have been tampered with, there’s dozens of enhancements and alterations to his genetic code. We theorised that someone, most likely Hydra went to a lot of effort to make whoever this is look like Alexander King. We can’t be sure until we study the body further.” Tony said.

 

Everyone kept shooting furtive, concerned glances at you as you remained silent and stone faced throughout the exchange.

 

“Jesus Christ.” Steve said, rubbing his hand over his jaw as he considered the implications of what this meant.

 

“So anybody could be an imposter?” Sam asked.

 

“Unlikely. It was a miracle this man survived this, it’s likely he was the first one to survive. This kind of science takes a lot of failed experimentation.” Bruce informed them.

 

“Why King?” Steve asked.

 

“He was smart, powerful, rich and his brother in law was at the time, a United States General.” Tony said.

 

You turned around and without looking at anybody, left the room. You made it as far as the corridor before Bucky caught up with you and grabbed your elbow. You stopped and looked at him.

 

Whatever he’s been about to say died in his throat when he looked into your eyes and he knew he couldn’t fix this. Regretfully he let go of you and let you walk away. He didn’t want to but he knew if he didn’t, he’d only push you away further. You needed your space and he needed to give it to you.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

You didn’t return to the compound that night or the next day and The Avengers would have been worried if it wasn’t for the news that kept trickling in.

 

THE PHANTOM BUSTS DRUG DEAL AT DOCKS

Over Three Million Dollard worth of cocaine recovered at scene.

 

PHANTOM BOTCHES ATTEMPTED SHOOTING OF CLUB OWNER

The Owner Lux was about to be gunned down by business rival when The Phantom appeared and saved Mr Ellis and apprehended the shooter.

 

PHANTOM BREAKS UP GANG FIGHT

Members of two rival gangs were in a gun battle when The Phantom showed up and took down all the gang members before leaving the scene for the police and personally taking one man who had suffered a near fatal gunshot wound to the hospital.

 

“She’s had a busy 24 hours, she needs to slow down.” Steve noted with worry as he read the latest article.

“There’s been no new reports for a couple of hours, maybe she’s taking a nap?” Sam suggested hopefully.

 

“Or not.” Natasha said, showing them a live tweet about Miss King currently meeting with employees of The Hercules Foundation to reassure them of their job stability.  

 

The pattern continued for the next four days. You would take down a string of criminals, take business meeting and meet with investors, rest, rise and repeat. You never went back to the compound and West was growing more and more concerned.

 

Even Frank the cat was growing despondent until he disappeared from the grounds altogether. West assured Bucky that it was normal for Frank to do that.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

You sat down on the chair, keeping yourself hidden in the shadows as you waited. You weren’t kept waiting long. You heard the heavy tump of footsteps before someone unlocked the door and came inside. They walked past you and put a paper bag down on the desk and you heard the distinctive clink of a bottle.

 

“It’s rude to break in and wait around for someone to come home. Not to mention creepy.” She said without turning around.

 

You didn’t answer, just stood up and dropped a file and a bag of cash on the desk.

 

“I don’t take walk ins. Next time make an appointment.” She sassed and you looked her over.

 

Jessica Jones was pretty much what you had expected and any other time in your life you’d have appreciated her dry remarks and cold sass. You flipped the file open and two photo’s of the two King corpse were exposed as well as a pile of papers, the Hydra logo prominent on some of them.

 

It was enough to pique her curiosity and she leaned over to leaf through them, her expression getting more and more shocked as she did. She unzipped the duffle bag and picked up a wad of bills.

 

“Alright, what the hell. Daredevil trusts you so I’ll take the case.” She said and you nodded to her and tuned to leave.

 

“I’ll have to read through these but straight away I’m telling you, I want to speak to the daughter. She demolished the company within days of the apparently fake Alexander King dying. Seems suspicious.” She said.

 

“She had nothing to do with it.” You said lowly.

 

“Still wanna talk to her, have a look at the company files.” Jessica responded.

 

“I can get you whatever you need but I’m telling you Miss King had nothing to do with this.” You told her, turning around again.

 

“How can you be sure?”

 

You wordlessly pulled your mask off and raised an eyebrow at her.

 

“Alright.” She said, shrugging and turning back to the file.

 

You almost smirked as you pulled the mask on and left. As you walked the three block back to where you’d parked your bike the skin on the back of your neck prickled and you felt like someone was watching you. You ghosted, going invisible instead of just sticking to the shadows but the feeling didn’t dissipate.

 

You made it back to your bike and started the engine, peeling out of the parking space and racing away.

 

Ten minutes later you made it to your destination and bypassing the security system you parked the bike under an alcove where it was hidden from sight. You tugged a glove off with your teeth and put your hand on the scanner at the front door and slipped inside, leaving the door unlocked.

 

Only two people could track where you were when you were invisible and only one of those would bother.

 

“An abandoned church? Really?” Bucky asked as he slipped through the door after you.

 

“Condemned a few years ago. When I realised I needed somewhere private for my Vigilante related stuff I bought it under a shell corporation, it can’t be traced back to me at all.” You said as you took off all the individual pieces of your suit until you were in a tank top and leggings.

 

“So you’ve been hiding here all week rather than coming home?” He asked.

 

“There a bed in the attic.” You said with a shrug.

 

“An empty bed.” He pointed out softly.

 

You pretended to ignore him and the painful throb of your heart and went to the living room are you’d set up and poured yourself a glass of whisky. Frank meowed loudly from the rafters and leaped down onto the floor to run over to Bucky and rub himself against the Winter Soldiers shin.

 

“Want one?” You asked, holding the bottle out in offering.

 

“No. Does it help with the pain?” He asked, motioning angrily to the new and healing bruises and cuts covering your arms and shoulders.

 

“Can’t ghost all the time, sometimes you gotta fight.” You explained.

 

“Ever thought about asking for backup?”

 

“Don’t need it.”

 

“Maybe, maybe not. Doesn’t hurt to know someone is there for you.” He said.

 

“We’re not talking about fighting anymore are we?” You asked with a weary sigh.

 

He sat down next to you and you fought the urge to lean closer to him and the warmth and comfort he offered.

 

“When my memories started to come back, I ran to the other side of the world, away from the person who could have helped me, who would have been there for me. I know that sometimes you need to work things out on your own, that’s why I let you go. But it helps when you let the people you care about in, let them help. Trust me, I know from experience.” He said.

 

You chewed your lip and nodded once, curtly to show you’d hear him but when you didn’t respond beyond that he sighed.

 

“It’s doesn’t have to be me Domniţă, but it has to be someone. I’m not the only one who cares about you, you have friends. Let someone, anyone be there for you.” He instructed and stood up.

 

He leaned over to place a soft kiss to your forehead and you closed your eyes to hide the tears welling up in them as he walked away.

 

“He wasn’t the same person after my mother died. I said it, over and over again and not once did I realise how true it was. My father rotted in an unmarked grave for 18 years and I had no idea. I accepted the imposter without question.” You said, tearing up and getting annoyed at yourself for it.

 

“You were a child, one who was mourning her mother. How could you have seen it? The disguise was flawless.” He argued.

 

“He was my father. I should have known.” You snapped standing up and storming away.

 

“He played the part well. Nobody else figured it out and they were adults so stop beating yourself up about it.”

 

“I CAN’T!” you yelled.

 

“I can’t Bucky. He was my dad and I believed he hated me. I desecrated his memory and let his killer go unpunished for decades.” You said, pleading with him to understand.

 

“You know now. We’ll figure out what happened, we’ll make it right.” He assured, pulling you into his chest and wrapping his arms around you.

 

“How? How do I solve a murder that happened 18 years ago? Do I even want to? How do I make this right and be a hero and run a company and keep my secrets and be with you all at the same time?” You asked breathlessly, overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all.

 

“With help.” He said.

 

“It’s too much. It’s too much pressure and too much pain and I don’t think I can handle it.” You admitted.

 

“Let me help you.” He pleaded.

 

“How? How can you make any of this better?”

 

He looked down at you in contemplation.

 

“We start with the man in prison for your mothers murder, he might know more. As for the company, you need a Pepper Potts, someone to help you. Next time you’re a press conference, we’ll have Loki disguise himself as The Phantom and publicly be seen so nobody ever thinks about connecting you to the Vigilante. And accept that I have no expectations of you, you don’t have to do anything except be with me, it’s not a task or a chore.” He said and you gazed up at him in awe and wonder.

“And Domniţă you don’t have to be a hero, you already are one, on the battlefield and in the boardroom.” He added.

 

You were speechless and overwhelmed by his mini speech, his confidence in you and his desire to help. So you stretched up and pressed your lips to his.

 

He accepted the kiss eagerly, holding onto you tightly kissing you back with equal fervour. His metal hand slid up your back and grasped the back of your neck as he nipped your bottom lip and sliding his tongue into your mouth when you gasped.

 

“Did you say there was a bed?” He murmured, pulling back a fraction.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Do you want to use it?” He smirked.

 

“I don’t just want it, I need it. I need you Bucky, please.” You whispered, begging him to pull you out of your own head and give you pleasure and safety in the way only he could.

 

His pupils expanded as he drank in the meaning behind what you were saying.

 

“Do you trust me?” He asked.

 

“Irrevocably.” You said without hesitating.

 

“Turn around.” He ordered and you did.

 

He stepped away for a moment and quickly returned. He brushed his fingers across your shoulders and down your arms, clasping your wrist in his grip before he pulled them behind your back. He waited for a moment to see if you were going to object and when you didn’t, he pushed your wrists together and expertly bound them together with a soft piece of material.

 

“What’s the safeword?” he checked.

 

“Winter.”

 

“Good girl.”

Chapter Text

 

As soon as Bucky bound your wrists, you felt some of the tension release from your shoulders. Being bound by him made the other, real life, social bonds feel looser and less constricting. He gripped your hip and made you turn around to face him.

 

“It means everything to me that you trust me like this.” He said, putting his finger under your chin and tilting your head so you could see the honesty shining in his eyes.

 

“I trust you with all of me.” You said breathily.

 

He filed that information away for later and traced his fingers across your throat, brushing your hair back and leaning down to kiss the soft skin of your neck. His lips ghosted over your thundering pulse point and then he was stepping away from you.

 

He circled you like a hunter circling its prey, his eyes devouring you. Your skin started to feel uncomfortably warm under his contemplating gaze. He could do whatever he wanted with you, you were tied up and compliant and the more he took his time to consider it, the more your mind clouded with lust.

 

“I don’t think we need these.” He said, snapping the waist band of your leggings against your hip.

 

He walked away, settling himself down on a chair and watching you while you stood there, waiting for instruction.

 

“So take them off.” He ordered.

 

Your frown turned into a glare as you tried to work out how you were going to manage it. After some wriggling and stretching that he watched with hungry eyes and a lavicous smirk, you managed to push them down and stepped out of them.

                                                                                                                   

“Well done.” He praised, motioning for you to go over to him.

 

As soon as you were within reach he hooked his hand around the back of your thigh and pulled it over his thigh before doing the same with the other leg so you were straddling him on the chair. He hummed in appreciation as he gently, teasingly ran his fingers up your thighs.

 

The anticipation was almost unbearable as he made his carefully calculated touches, driving you further into the pit of desire opening inside you and the softest of whimpers escaped you. He stopped touching for a moment and you were worried you’d done something wrong but he was just pulling something from his pocket.

 

He flicked the switchblade open and your eyes widened. If anyone else had pulled a knife when you were tied up, undressed and on their lap you wouldn’t have reacted well but this was Bucky. He was so trustworthy, so caring that you only felt excitement. As soon as he read that on your face he pressed the tip of the blade against the soft skin of your cleavage, between your breasts. The steadily growing ached between your legs grew more pronounced.

 

He drew patterns on your skin with easy precision, never even coming close to cutting you before you figured out why he’d pulled a knife in the first place. He cut through the material of your tank top, slicing it down the middle. The cool air felt like heaven on your warm skin but it was nothing compared to the feeling of him running his metal hand across your stomach.

 

“So beautiful.” He murmured under his breath as his eyes roamed across your exposed skin.

 

He cut through the straps of your tank top and bra and tugged the material off you impatiently and all you were wearing was a thin pair of panties and the strip of material that was binding your wrists. Being so bare, so exposed while he was fully clothed was a rush and your heart beat wildly at how vulnerable you were. At the same time, you knew you had never been safer.

 

He slammed the knife down into the arm of the chair and stood up, holding onto you and you were hoisted into the air and thrown over his shoulder as he strode towards the stairs. His hand groped your ass as he carried you into the attic/bedroom. You were tossed onto the bed with care.

 

“Stay there.” He instructed.

 

You did as you were told, watching as he wandered around the room, lighting the candles you had set up due to lack of lights in the attic. You tugged at the bindings on your wrists, not because you wanted free but because you had to, you couldn’t help it. The more you struggled, the more they dug into your skin and your wrists stung. Bucky noticed what you were doing and looked at you in concern.

 

“Is there something you want to say?” He asked genuinely, waiting to see if you wanted to use the safe word.

 

“No sarge.” You shook your head.

 

“Then stop fucking struggling.” He said, rolling his eyes at you.

 

He crawled onto the bed towards you, moving like a dangerous predator and you lay back on your bound arms and let him move along your body. He started at the inside of your thighs and worked his way up, conducting a thorough exploration of your body with his mouth. He kissed, licked, sucked and bit every part of but the parts you needed him the most and by the time he ran his tongue along your collarbone you were a whimpering mess underneath him and your panties were so soaked it was uncomftarble.

 

“Are you feeling needy Domniţă?” He chuckled.

 

“What’s the right answer here?” You asked and he threw back his head and laughed at you.

 

“Try the truth sweetheart.” He suggested.

 

“I want whatever you are going to give.” You said honestly.

 

You were in desperate need of being touched but if he wanted to leave you tied up here all night without satisfaction then you’d trust that he knew best.

 

“God, you’re such a good girl.” He said, pushing your head to the side and latching onto your throat.

 

He peppered kisses along your throat and the edge of your jaw until he found your lips and when he kissed you it wasn’t teasingly, it was passionate and dominating and messy. His hand moved between your thighs, firmly rubbing you through your panties for a few seconds before he pulled his hand away and looked at you if daring you to complain.

 

When you didn’t, just bit your lip and looked at him with wide eyes he smirked and moved to pull the practically ruined panties down your legs. He knelt between your splayed thighs and teasingly ran his fingers along your slit, barley touching you more than enough to collect your wetness onto his fingers. With a wicked glint in his eyes he pinned you with his gaze and brought his fingers to his mouth and sucked them, tasting you with a low moan.

 

His hands shot and grabbed your hips, flipping you over onto your front and you yelped at the suddenness of it.

 

“It’s ok.” He assured, rubbing the small of your back soothingly.

 

You felt his weight leave the bed and from the sounds you guessed he was undressing. You were disappointed to not be able to see him but at the same time, you were excited. You were unaware of where he was, what he was doing or what was going to happen next.

 

You felt him move back onto the bed behind you and your breath hitched as his hands grabbed your ass, squeezing it. You were lying flat on your stomach, your hand behind your back so there was nothing you could do except moan loudly as you felt his cock side down your slit, gathering your wetness so he could push head of his cock inside your aching cunt. Almost straight away he pulled it back out and you whimpered into the sheets as he repeated the motion.

 

Having him fuck just the tip of his cock inside you was nothing short of torture, you could feel the emptiness inside you as your body screamed out to be filled by him and you bit your lip so hard you tasted blood.

 

“Please!” You yelled, reaching your breaking point.

 

It was what he had been waiting for apparently because he immediately slammed his full length inside you and you screamed your pleasure, the sound echoing off the stone walls. He massaged your ass as he waited a few seconds for you to adjust before he drew himself out of you halfway and began a pattern of shallow but satisfying thrusts.

 

Your whole world narrowed down to nothing more than the feel of him inside you, the rough touch of his hands, one cold one warm, the smell of his skin, the sounds of your moans mingling with his grunts and the burn of your wrists.

 

Bucky Barnes chased out all the pain and darkness plaguing your mind and replaced it with pleasure and warmth and that alone was enough to push you further along to the peak of your pleasure.

 

“Do you want to cum?” He asked you breathlessly.

 

You nodded frantically, to lost to find the words to say it and he pulled out of you. Before you could complain he was desperately tugging at the bindings and your wrist were free. He flipped you over again and pushed you into the pillows.

 

You had maybe a split second to admire him, the hard planes of his body glistening with a thin sheen of sweat before he was inside you again, pushing inside you with one hard thrust as he grabbed your wrists and wrapped them around his neck.

 

“Touch me.” He commanded as he snapped his hips into yours.

 

You blindly obeyed, your hands moving of their own accord along his back to trace the solid expanse of muscle as he thoroughly fucked you into the mattress until your eyes were rolling back in your head and you were screaming.

 

You had never cum so hard in your life as sheer pleasure invading your mind, taking over all of your senses. You nails dug into his skin and he groaned loudly and followed you into the blissful oblivion, groaning into your neck as your pussy spasmed around his pulsating cock, pulling every last drop of cum from him until his was lying on top of you panting.

 

You were so spent from the way he’d fucked you that you could barely move. All the stress of the last week that had been tormenting you was chased from your mind as you lay there in a daze, unaware of him moving around and taking care of you until you reached out for him and couldn’t find him.

 

“I’m here.” He assured, laying down next to you and pulling a blanket over you.

 

“Rest now Domniţă.” He told you and the last thing you remembered was him pulling you into his arms before you drifted of into the first dreamless sleep you’d had in days.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

You’d slept for a few hours, judging by the melted wax of the candles and it took you a few seconds to figure out why you were awake as you blinked at the dying embers of the candles. Bucky was pressed to your back, spooning you and his hand was stroking along your hip as he kissed the space between your shoulder and neck.

 

“Are you awake now?” He asked.

 

“Yes.” You whispered breathily.

 

He firmly grasped your knee and pulled it back so it was slung over his legs, opening you up for him to press the head of his cock experimentally at your entrance. You moaned and turned your head, seeking his lips out with your own. He obliged you, capturing you in his kiss as he moved his hips and pushed his cock inside you. He swallowed your moans and fed you his own as he gently moved, more rutting against you than thrusting. You reached behind you to tangle your fingers in his hair and his own hand slipped across your hip and down, his fingers finding the apex of your thighs and pressing against your clit.

 

He kept his hand still, letting the rocking of your body as you pushed yourself onto his cock provide the friction as you slowly fucked yourself on him. He moved his hips in tandem with yours, kissing you sweetly all the while. The warm sleepy intimacy of it was almost ethereal and when he felt your walls begin to flutter around him, he knew you were close.

 

He moved inside you as you came, holding off on his own release until he was satisfied you were spent. He kissed you like you were the last breath of fresh air in the world, refusing to let you go as you writhed against him. When your breathing finally evened out you pulled your lips away from his and stroked his cheek tenderly.

 

“Come for me?” You begged softly, whispering the plea.

 

His heart stuttered at the way you held onto him as he stopped fighting his release and through the white hot pleasure surging through him, he was constantly aware of your tender touch.

 

With both of you satisfied and basing in the afterglow, tangled in each other’s arms, you both drifted back to sleep.

Chapter Text

You were dangerously close to being late for work as you hurriedly rushed down the stairs, your hair still slightly damp as you hurriedly buttoned your blouse.

 

Bucky had found the gym equipment you had set up where the pews had been in the original church and was making use of it. You blindly wandered towards the makeshift kitchen you’d set up, eyes transfixed on the way his abs were clenching and contacting as he did one armed pull ups on the metal bars.

 

Thoughts of lateness were brushed aside as you reached for the coffee pot, your fingers brushing across the hot coffee cup you had assumed was his but you didn’t take your coffee the same way and judging by the colour of the coffee, this was yours. It was such a tiny little act, almost insignificant in the grand scheme of things but the easy domesticity and thoughtfulness of it made your heart pitter pat in your chest.

 

You picked it up and smiled over at him, seeing that you were looking he winked and picked up the pace, showing off.

 

The sound of your laughter drifted over to him and the sight of you standing there, barefoot and bathed in golden light as you smiled brightly and held the coffee he’d made for you filled his chest with warmth. For so long his life had been about fighting, seventy years of conflict, pain, torture, redemption and loss. And now there was you, a woman he thought was beautiful inside and out who’d fought through your own issues just to give him a chance and you were smiling at him.

 

“I’m going to be late.” You said, but you weren’t moving.

 

“I’ll get my stuff so you can lock up your secret base behind us. Eat something, I’ll shower.” He said, dropping easily to the floor.

 

“You can lock up. You’re already in the system, you have the same clearance here as you do at the compound.” You told him.

 

He looked at you in surprise.

 

“Stark set this place up? Do we all have access?” He asked.

 

“He did, and no. It was just Bruce and Snark until a few days ago when I asked him to add you into the security system matrix or whatever it’s called.” You laughed.

 

“I can’t believe you ever fooled us into thinking you were a hacker.” He laughed, trying to get a handle on the growing emotions flowing through him at the knowledge you’d accepted him into your life so thoroughly.

 

“I’m a good liar. You should maybe, if you wanted that is, you could move some stuff here. Weapons and things I mean. It’s a good base and you might need to use it at some point.” You stammered nervously.

 

It was the straw that broke the camels back for Bucky. He strutted towards you like a man on a mission and you barely had time to put your coffee down safely before he descended on you, sweeping you into his arms and kissing you like his life depended on it. Ignoring the fact he was sweaty and you were freshly showered you threw your arms around him and kissed him back with as much passion as he was showing.

 

“I’m really really going to be late.” You said but instead of pulling away, you tightened your grip on him.

 

“Then you should go.” He said, not moving at all.

 

“Hmm.” You agreed.

 

Your phone started ringing obnoxiously and your groaned, headbutting his shoulder gently and he chuckled and pulled it out of your pocket and handed it to you.

 

“Yes Matt?” You answered drily.

 

“Your penthouse sold for the asking price, do you want me to straight ahead and transfer those funds into the Hercules Foundation?” He said without preamble.

 

“It’s been on the market for like five days, how did it sell…. Oh. Snark. Hold off on that for now.” You instructed.

 

“Ok, I also have the contracts for the new science division drawn up for you to look over and Foggy wants to go over the terminations of the government contracts with you.” He said.

 

“I’m on my way into the office, send Foggy over.” You sighed.

 

“I’ll tell him to bring a lot of coffee with him.” Matt remarked and hung up on you.

 

“Sounds like you’ve got your hands full.” Bucky noted.

 

“Yeah… I really do. Who knew dismantling a company and rebuilding it as a charity foundation would be so difficult?” You joked.

 

“You did, but you did it anyway. You knew it would be difficult and you decided to take it on without hesitating and you invested your personal fortune into it.” He said, not even trying to hide the admiration in his voice.

 

You blushed and started searching for your shoes that you knew were somewhere around. Bucky coughed to get your attention and held them out to you. You grinned and kissed him on the cheek as you grabbed them and slipped them on.

 

“Have a good day at work Domniţă.” He told you, chuckling as you tried to get out of the door while Frank, who’d jumped down from the rafters bit at your heels.

 

“I’ll see you at home tonight, take this asshole back to the compound with you?” You asked and he nodded at you.

 

You finally made your escape and ran for the car that was parked in an old shed, reminding yourself with every step that Foggy was heading towards your office and you couldn’t turn around.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As soon as you stepped out of the elevator you knew something was wrong. Foggy had unsurprisingly beaten you there and was stood in front of your office door, whispering into his phone, stress and concern pouring off of him.

 

“She’s here, gotta go.” He whispered and hung up the phone.

 

“Good morning!” He greeted you, a little too loud and a little too cheerfully.

 

“What’s wrong?” You asked suspiciously.

 

“What? Nothing. Just need to go over these contracts with you.” He said.

 

You narrowed your eyes at him and shook your head at his odd behaviour, reaching past him to open your office door. He pushed your hand away quickly and stood in front of the handle, blocking it.

 

“Foggy.” You warned.

 

“Let’s go get breakfast? Have you had any? Lets get a second breakfast, you know, like Hobbits? A business breakfast.” He rambled, sweating nervously.

 

You lost your patience and gently but firmly pushed past him and into your office. You gasped at the sight as soon as you did. The office was exactly as you had left it. Almost.

 

Along the wall, behind your desk there was a message.

 

KILLER. Written in what you hoped was red paint, above large picture of you. You saw that your eyes had been scratched out and the same red paint had been used to draw a line across your throat.

 

“It was here when I arrived. I called Matt, he’s on his way.” Foggy said apologetically.

 

“Tell him not to come.” You whispered.

 

Bile rose up your throat and you felt light headed. Someone had been in here, bypassing the first class security system and leaving a clear threat for you. You felt violated and though you were more than capable of taking care of yourself, there were the first stirrings of fear in your gut.

 

You didn’t want Bucky to find out about this, or any of The Avengers to be honest but especially Bucky. You knew with absolute certainty that he would worry, he would act over-protective and probably hunt down whoever had done this and dispose of them. You didn’t want to put him through this. You didn’t want him to feel the way you did right now.

 

But if you didn’t tell Bucky and he found out, he’d feel betrayed. And he’d want to be able to help you with this, you knew that. Besides, there was nobody you trusted more. So you did the smart thing and you called him.

 

One hour and forty minutes later one of the admins stepped out of the elevator with a pile of papers she needed you to look over and frowned.

 

“Miss King? Is everything alright?” She asked.

 

You and Foggy looked up from where you were working in the reception area of your office.

 

“Everything’s fine. I just have some decorators in my office at the moment.” You lied easily, holding out your hands for the papers.

 

As soon as the elevator doors closed with the admin inside again Bucky stepped out of your office with a stony expression.

 

“It’s not paint.” He said and you gulped.

 

“Blood?” You asked, knowing what the answer would be and he nodded.

 

“Do you have any idea who might have a grudge against you?” He asked, clenching his jaw.

 

“Plenty of people.” You said coldly.

 

“No, they have grudges against your father not you.” Foggy corrected.

 

“Well, he’s dead and I’m not.” You pointed out.

 

“Fear not Princess, whoever the scum was who did this we shall find and destroy them for you.” Thor boomed from the office.

 

“Thanks Thor.” You called.

 

Thor had tagged along when Bucky had asked Loki to come. Whoever it was had snuck into a highly secure building unseen and entered a locked office without leaving a trace. The God Of Mischief was someone that Bucky wanted working this with him.

 

The elevator dinged again and Bucky sighed and stepped back into the office.

 

“Miss King, The Washington Post are calling again, so is The New Yorker.” The front desk secretary said, the poor woman looking frazzled.

 

“Just, tell them… I don’t know, tell them I’ll call them back tomorrow to arrange something. Tell anyone who calls the same thing and make a note and email me.” You said, sighing heavily.

 

“Yes Miss King.” She said and scampered back into the elevator.

 

“You need an assistant.” Foggy remarked as Bucky came back out of the office.

 

Bucky had said the same thing last night. You needed your own Pepper Potts.

 

“That’s it, all other business is being pushed back until I can find an assistant. Or three.” You remarked, thinking about just how much work you had to get through.

 

“Princess! If you require assistance I know of someone who can help you!” Thor yelled, practically bounding out of the office.

 

“You? You know someone?” You asked in befuddlement.

 

“A dear friend of mine who is experienced in assisting other with such matters and she recently told me she wants to move back to New York now that Jane has a new job in Germany. She is most trustworthy.” Thor assured.

 

“Sure, what the hell. She’s hired.” You shrugged throwing your hands up in exasperation.  

 

“As your lawyer I advise that you should probably get her name and do an Interview.” Foggy said nervously, unable to take his eyes off of Thor.

 

“It’s fine, I trust Thor.” You said.

 

“A horrible decision.” Loki called from inside the office.

 

Thor smiled brightly and took your hand in his much larger one.

 

“I believe you and Lady Darcy will get along, she is a woman of the same calibre as yourself.” Thor assured.

 

“So she’s a manipulative, sassy genius? I love her already.” You decided.

 

“I can find no signs of magical tampering.” Loki announced, joining the rest of you in the reception.

 

“I combed through the security footage, there was nothing out of the ordinary. There was no signs of a break in on the office door or windows.” Bucky told you, looking put out and more than a little furious.

 

“So whoever it was just walked through the wall?” You asked, sighing heavily.

 

“It would appear so.” Loki said, looking at you curiously.

 

“I need to talk to you.” You said to Bucky and he nodded, looking around for somewhere other than the office to take you.

 

“Come on.” You said, stomping into the office.

 

You were not going to be chased out of your own space by whoever it was.

 

“What is it?” He asked, closing the door behind him.

 

You didn’t answer right away, too busy staring at the mutilated picture of yourself until Bucky stood in front of it with a growl of anger.

 

“My fa… Alexander King… the fake… I’m just going to refer to him as The Imposter. The Imposter didn’t know I was the Phantom Bucky. He was surprised by it. I think there’s another Phantom and I think they were hunting him and now that he’s dead, they’ve moved onto me.” You admitted.

 

“Another Phantom?”

 

“Yes. I don’t think I was the first person to go into that Chamber.” You said.

 

He pulled something from under his shirt and handed it to you. It was the same Vibranium Knife that The Imposter had tried to kill you with.

 

“You don’t go anywhere without this.” Bucky instructed as you tentatively took it from him.

 

You reluctantly nodded.

 

“There’s something else, something I have to tell you.” Bucky said.

 

“God, what now?” You asked in trepidation.

 

He smirked and yanked you forward, into his chest.

 

“I made us dinner reservations for tonight. That is, if you’ll agree to go on a date with me Domniţă?”

 

You smiled up at him as he tried to mask the nervous look in his eyes behind a charming grin.

 

“Bucky… every reason I had for closing myself off turned out to be fake. My whole life has been one big conspiracy. It’s all secrets and lies. Except you. You’re the only thing that’s safe and the only things that’s certain.” You told him, reaching up onto your tiptoes to kiss him.

 

“Is that a yes?” He checked.

“That’s an absolutely, of course, I would love nothing more.” You promised.

Chapter Text

If Bucky Barnes ever got tired of being an Avenger, he would make a great fashion guru you decided as you unzipped the garment bag that had been messengered to you. The knee length dress was in your usual style and a shade of navy blue that worked perfectly with your skin tone. As beautiful as it was, you were more interested in what was in the box that had been delivered with it.

 

Twenty minutes later you stepped out of the lobby of the building to see him waiting by a sleek, modern but modest car. His eyes lit up when he saw you and he looked you up and down, admiring the way the dress clung to your shape.

 

“You wore it.” He said in approval as he came over to offer you his arm.

 

“Obviously. Why did you send it if you didn’t think I was going to wear it?” You laughed.

 

“I wanted you to have an option of something other than your work clothes. It was a suggestion, not a demand.” He explained, opening the car door for you and helping you inside.

 

“Are you wearing the rest of it?” He leaned down to whisper in your ear.

 

You smirked at him and deliberately exposed your thigh as you slid your legs into the car, flashing him an excellent view of the stockings and suspenders under the dress. His eyes went dark and he looked at you much the same way you imagined the wolf looked at little red riding hood before it tried to devour her.

 

The difference between you and little red was that you knew the pleasure in submitting to the wolf.

 

Bucky shook his head to clear his mind and closed the passenger door and hurried around to the driver’s side, sliding into the car and starting the engine.

 

“Do I have to wear an earpiece tonight?” You joked.

 

“Maybe next time.” He joked back as he manoeuvred the car into the traffic.

 

“So, what did Tony say about the blood?” You asked.

 

“It wasn’t human. Can we discuss this tomorrow?” He asked, pleading with his eyes and you nodded.

 

“Ok. What have I missed at the compound?” You asked, deftly changing the subject.

 

“West has more or less adopted Vision and Wanda, Frank threw up a hairball in a pair of Tony’s shoes and Sam got to close to one of Banners experiments and singed his eyebrows off.” He told you, looking especially pleased about the last one.

 

“Poor Sam.” You said, frowning.

 

“The idiot stuck his face right up to it, and they’ll grow back.” Bucky snorted.

 

His eyes kept darting towards your thighs and you felt a giddy excitement and having discovered one of Bucky’s kinks. You smoothly crossed your legs, letting the dress ride up and reveal the top of your stockings.

 

“Domniţă…” He warned.

 

“Yes Sarge?” You asked innocently.

 

“I’m driving.” He growled.

 

“So keep your eyes on the road.” You suggested sweetly, ‘accidentally’ pulling the dress up an inch higher.

 

“You know that I care about you, don’t you?” he asked.

 

“I know.” You said softly, knowing how true it was.

 

“Good, because tonight when I get you home, I’m going to fuck you like I don’t.” He vowed, seamlessly sliding into the valet parking space outside the restaurant.

 

He got out of the car and waved off the valet who was hurrying to open your door so he could do it himself. As he helped you out of the car he yanked you closer.

 

“And you’re going to be wearing that lingerie and heels when I do.” He growled in your ear.

 

Your legs were shaky as he escorted you into the restaurant and you were visibly flushed.

 

“Are you alright sweetheart?” He asked in faux concerns, a distinctive mischievous glint in his eyes.

 

“Fine. Perfectly fine.” You snapped at him and the bastard laughed at you.

 

“Sure you are.” He said, wrapping his arm around your waist as a waiter led you to a table and it was only then you looked around.

 

It was a nice place but not overly fancy. It was the sort of place that took pride in their food but didn’t serve obnoxiously over priced tiny portions. It was well lit but cosy and the table you were seated at was in a private corner.

 

The waiter tried to pull out a chair for you but it was the one with the back to the wall and you knew that Bucky would want that one so you sat in the other and stifled a laugh as the waiter tried to save face by holding the chair out for Bucky instead.

 

“Would you like to see the wine menu?” The waiter asked.

 

Bucky shook his head and ordered your favourite drink for you and water for himself.

 

“You’ve either been stalking me or you asked West what I drank.” You noted aloud and he wisely didn’t answer.

 

“So, take a lot of dames here?” You asked casually as you perused the menu.

 

“No.” he answered flatly, raising an eyebrow at you over his own menu.

 

“Sounds fake but ok.” You said and he glared at you.

 

You jumped as something brushed your ankle and he smirked as he read the menu. Two could play at that game you decided and striking quickly, before he could stop you, you crossed your legs under the table, grazing the sharp point of your heel along his calf as you did. You heard his breath audibly hitch and smiled victoriously.

 

“Do you know what you want to eat?” You asked him, pretending there wasn’t an intense game of footsie going on under the table.

 

“Yes. I do.” He answered, not taking his eyes of off you as the waiter returned with your drinks.

 

“Are you ready to order or would you like a few more moments?” The waiter asked.

 

“He can order for me.” You said, passing your menu over.

 

Bucky accepted the unspoken challenge and ratted off the perfect order, substituting the ingredients you didn’t like for the ones you did and adding an extra side.

 

“So, you are stalking me.” You deduced.

 

“I pay attention. Training. I notice little details, like what things you have in your kitchen cupboards. I can’t switch it off.” He said.

 

You knew what he wasn’t saying. That everything Hydra had done to him and put in his head affected him in even the smallest of ways and changed the way he saw the world.

 

“Look at you, taking all that dangerous training and putting it to good use every damn day. I don’t think anybody would have blamed you if you disappeared forever, retiring to a calm and peaceful life but you didn’t. Every time someone needs you, you march right back into the fight.” You said, admiration pouring from your words.

 

“I am what I am, I can’t change it, I can’t fight it.” He said regretfully.

 

“If that were true you’d be the bad guy but you’re not. You’re a hero. Hydra made you into something and you did fight it, you became something else entirely.” You told him; your tone almost harsh as you tried to make him hear what you were saying.

 

He looked taken aback and he was. He knew what he was and he knew that while he wanted you, he probably didn’t deserve you, but he hoped in time he could change that. Judging from the way you were looking at him, you didn’t quite agree. You were looking at him the way people usually looked at Steve, like he was heroic and brave, deserving of admiration.

 

It was like you were looking right through him and seeing the man he wanted to be, not the man he saw himself as. It was the same way you’d looked at him the first time you saw his scars. Seeing that look in your eyes made his chest swell with pride and he almost believed he could be that man. You were the smartest person he knew and if you thought that highly of him then it must be true.

 

He was so lost in the moment, so transfixed by you that he almost didn’t react in time but his instincts kicked in and one moment he was across the table from you and the next he was diving for you, colliding with your body and sending you both sprawling to the floor.

 

You looked across the room in shock at the bullet embedded in the wall and knew, from the angle of it that if Bucky hadn’t have tackled you then that bullet would have been imbedded in your skull instead.

 

“Stay down. Have you got your knife?” He asked and you nodded.

 

He looked up at the now broken window and quickly calculated the best course of action. He dragged you to your feet and quickly pushed you into a corner, out of sight of the window.

 

“Stay here.” He said, pulling out a gun.

 

“You’re not going out there alone!” You snapped.

 

“You’re Miss King, not The Phantom. Stay here.” He ordered.

 

“No!” You protested.

 

He growled lowly at you and you were pressed into the wall as he kissed you, his teeth clashing against yours.

 

“Stay. Here.” You commanded and then he was gone.

 

You made a low noise of frustration and looked around the restaurant.

 

“You, is there a walk-in freezer in the back?” You snapped at a waiter and he nodded.

 

“Alright, everybody calmly and quickly make their way to the freezer and lock yourselves in and call the police. Stay low.” You called loudly.

 

“NOW!” You yelled and they all hurriedly obeyed.

 

You stayed in the dining room. If whoever had shot at you got past Bucky and came for you, they would be more likely to avoid hurting anyone else if they didn’t have to through them to get to you. You pulled your phone out of your clutch bag after crawling across the floor to it and sent a text to Tony and Steve, telling them what had happened.

 

You were frantic with worry at Bucky and angry that he had forced you to stay behind. It wasn’t as if you were a civilian, you were The Phantom.

 

Which made you wonder about something. Picking up a discarded steak knife you peered out of the window to check the coast was clear before digging the bullet out of the wall. It was a normal bullet, meaning whoever had just tried to kill you didn’t know who you were.

 

You hoped it was just a normal assassination, a weird thought to have. But it was most likely the other Phantom, the one who had threatened you only earlier that day.

 

A gunshot echoed not too far in the distance and you jumped as your heart started thundering in your chest. You had just decided that you weren’t going to sit around and wait for Bucky to handle it when someone phased right through the wall in front of you.

 

You gaped in shock at the tall, hooded figure as they raided their right arms and aimed their gun at you. You instinctively tried to go intangible, but it didn’t work and you internally swore as you remembered the Vibranium knife strapped to your thigh. You dove to the side, sliding behind an over turned table, narrowly avoiding the shot.

 

“Whoever you are, there’s something you should know….” You called.

 

You didn’t wait another second, knowing people never expected an attack mid conversation and stood up, flinging the knife at your attacker. It hit them in the shoulder and you leapt over the table as they grunted in pain, running for them you ducked under their right arm and grabbed it, holding it away from you as you brought your knee up and slammed it into their ribs.

 

They made a pained noise and headbutted you. You responded by wrapping your arm around their right one and twisted and yanked at the same time, hearing the satisfying pop as you dislocated their shoulder.

 

“Take that Casper the unfriendly ghost.” You hissed, stamping your heel into their foot and twisting your body while keeping hold off them and throwing them over your shoulder and onto the ground.

 

Bucky burst through the door of the restaurant in time to see you stamp your foot down on the blade still embedded in the other phantoms shoulder, driving it further in.

 

“Next time, don’t bother leaving me behind.” You told him smugly.

 

“Next time we’re attacked, I’m hiding behind you doll.” He remarked.

 

The other Phantom made a noise of disgust at the flirting and Bucky raised his gun to shoot them but they rolled out of the way, accidentally knocking the knife free in the process. You dove for them but they phased straight through the floor, dropping out of sight. You were about to follow when Bucky shouted your name and you looked at him.

 

“You have an advantage, don’t give It up.” He said.

 

“So I let them go??”

 

“You’ll be alone and unarmed. Pick your battles. They’ll be back and we’ll be ready next time.” He said placatingly coming over to you.

He reached out and grasped your chin, tilting your head back and as the adrenaline wore off your cheek started throbbing where you’d been headbutted.

 

“That’s going to bruise.” He informed you.

 

“You should see the other guy.” You quipped and he shook his head fondly at you.

 

He leaned in to kiss you, but you pulled back.

 

“You shouldn’t have made me stay behind.” You told him.

 

His eyes were heavy with emotion and regret.

 

“I know but I was scared. You were almost shot and I panicked. All I could think about was making sure you were safe and if you had come with me I would have been distracted. I didn’t ask you to stay because I thought you were incapable but because I knew if you were there, I would be.” He explained.

 

You visibly softened at his reasoning, touched by his admission.

 

“Ok.” You whispered.

 

“Does that mean I’m forgiven?” He asked and you nodded.

 

“Then can I kiss you now?”

 

“I wish you would.” You said and wrapped your arms around him as he kissed you tenderly, savouring you.

 

“Did you guys call me here because you wrecked a restaurant with your sexcapades?” Tony demanded from behind you as he arrived, clad in the Iron Suit.

 

You and Bucky flipped him off simultaneously without breaking the kiss and Tony laughed.

 

“The Other Phantom attacked.” You informed him, pulling away.

 

“And she kicked his ass and he fled with his tail between his legs.” Bucky said proudly.

 

“Oh, there are a bunch pf people locked in the freezer.” You remembered as you heard the police sirens.

 

“Quick, lets get our stories straight. Miss King was attacked by an old adversary of her father and Barnes acted as her bodyguard?” Tony checked.

 

“That works.” Bucky sighed.

 

“No, I was attacked while on a date with Bucky.” You decided.

 

“You’re one secret I don’t want to keep.” You told Bucky.

 

He smiled softly at you and you smiled back. Tony made a gagging sound and you ignored him as Steve came in, looking around at the damage.

 

“Are you both ok?” He asked straight away.

 

“We’re perfect.” Bucky said.

 

“They’re in lurrrrrrrve.” Tony teased.

 

“Want to leave Steve and Iron Ass to deal with the clean-up and run away?” You whispered.

 

“Absolutely.” He agreed.

 

“Hey no! Get your asses back here!” Tony yelled as Bucky grabbed your hand and the two of you bolted.

 

He kept a hold of your hand as the two of you fled and when he heard you laughing, he looked back at you, his smile bright and wide as he led you back to the car.

 

That was the moment it fully hit you.

 

You were falling in love with Bucky Barnes.

Chapter Text

Love… It was an almost foreign concept. You loved West, and in your own way you loved Bruce and Tony. But romantic love was something you had spent your whole life running from, yet you had run headfirst into it with Bucky.

 

He could tell that something was bothering you as he drove and he didn’t think it was you coming to terms with being almost assassinated.

 

“What’s wrong?” He asked.

 

“Nothing, I’m ok.” You assured, shooting him a reassuring smile.

 

“Come on Domniţă, you can destroy an enemy while wearing high heels and a dress but you can’t tell me what’s on your mind?”

 

“Am I not allowed to have private thoughts?” You snapped.

 

He looked completely taken aback at your tone, so much so he did a double take. You bit down on your tongue, ashamed of your outburst but you didn’t know how to apologise without explaining why it had happened. He swerved suddenly, pulling down a side street and turning into an empty parking lot.

 

“You don’t have to tell me a damn thing Domniţă, but I’m allowed to ask. I’m allowed to care.”

 

“I know. I’m sorry.” You whispered, turning away in shame.

 

He turned the engine off but left the key in the ignition and unbuckled his seatbelt.

 

“What are you doing?” You asked him suspiciously.

 

“I’m not letting our first date end with you almost getting shot” He explained.

 

He turned the headlights on and messed with the radio for a second until he found a slow song and you snorted at the irony of the song he landed on.

 

“Don’t you like this song? I don’t think I know it.” He asked in concern.

 

“It’s actually kind of perfect.” You admitted with a sad smile.

 

He nodded and got out of the car, coming around to your door and opening it. He held out his hand to you.

 

“Miss King, would you do me the honour of dancing with me?” He asked with a jokingly pompous tone but you could see the very real nervousness in his eyes.

 

Swallowing your own nerves down you took his hand and let him gently pull you from the car and walk you around to the front of it. He took your left hand and placed it on his shoulder and took your right hand in his. He gently started to sway with you to the music but when the chorus kicked in and he heard the lyrics, he froze.

 

“I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me”

 

“You said this song was perfect?” He asked, almost breathlessly.

 

“I did.” You said timidly, too afraid to look up at him.

 

He gently pulled you closer and wrapped his free arm around your waist and you could feel the thundering of his heart beating in his chest. You rested your head against his shoulder and let him lead you in a slow dance around the parking lot. It was so tender, so intimately raw and that was terrifying. He didn’t say anything when you trembled or when your silent tears soaked through his shirt, he just tightened his hold on your and kissed the top of your head.

 

You wanted to know what love was, and this was him showing you.

 

Tony landed on a nearby rooftop, having tracked the two of you after you fled the scene of the crime so he could drag you back. What he saw was so beautifully sweet that he couldn’t bring himself to interrupt it, though he’d never admit it.

 

“Steve, I found them. They’re uh, busy?” Tony said, letting Caps mind fill in the blanks as he flew away.

 

He turned his head for one last look at you and Bucky, illuminated by the headlights as you danced in the parking lot, the music echoing around the empty space,

 

“Good for you princess.” He whispered.

Chapter Text

When you and Bucky walked back into the compound, hand in hand and smiling softly at one another you had every intention on going to the nearest bedroom and locking yourselves inside. Instead you were accosted by Tony who literally wriggled between you to separate you and dragged you into his lab, forcing Bucky to follow you.

 

“We need a debrief from you two.” Steve said apologetically.

 

“Ugh. Fine.” You sighed.

 

Bucky smiled at you and took your hand.

 

“This other Phantom….” Bucky started.

 

“The Vengeful Spirit you might say.” Tony interrupted.

 

“I’m going to go with Poltergeist because so far this Phantom is little more than a nuisance.”  You cut in.

 

“Mine is better.” Tony argued.

 

“Mine is less of a mouthful. Title of your sex tape.” You rebutted.

 

“The Poltergeist doesn’t know you’re The Phantom which gives us an edge.” Bucky continued, cutting over your and Tony’s squabbling.

 

“It means his next attack on you will likely fail because even though you kicked his ass, he’s still going to underestimate you.” Tony said.

 

“And he won’t be expecting any of us to know exactly what a Phantom is capable of.” Bucky added.

 

“So what exactly is a Phantom capable of and what are it’s weaknesses?” Steve asked you.

 

“Well Vibranium obviously. It’s immutable, it can’t be changed so it can’t be made intangible. A Phantom trying to phase Vibranium answers the old riddle; what happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force? Vibranium is the immovable object and it wins.” You said.

 

“So A Phantom can be hurt by a Vibranium weapon and if we get Vibranium on or into them, they can’t ghost.” Tony summed up.

 

“He’ll also most likely have the same weaknesses as you, whenever he ghosts it expends a lot of energy and he can’t keep it up forever.” Bucky said.

 

“And don’t forget Loki. Loki can see us, The Poltergeist won’t know that. Which makes him our secret weapon and our best chance at taking him down. Give him the knife.” You told them.

 

“Alright. You don’t go anywhere alone without me, Bucky or Loki as an escort for the time being. We all have Vibranium weapons so we’re the three that have the best chance of protecting you.” Steve decided.

 

“Do I really need to be babysat? That works alright when I’m Miss King but what about when I’m The Phantom, out there on the streets? I can’t take an Avenger out vigilanteing with me, and he doesn’t know I’m the Phantom. If he does approach me, it won’t be to attack me, it’ll most likely be out of curiosity.” You pointed out.

 

“She’s right. She can look after herself. She decimated him, without using any of her abilities. She can take him if he tries to fight her.” Bucky argued in your defence.

 

You smiled lovingly at him, preening under the praise and he smiled back at you.

 

“Ugh, you’re making me feel nauseous.” Tony complained.

 

“Title of Pepper’s Sex Tape!” You crowed.

 

“Can everybody please just behave?” Steve asked in exasperation.

 

You and Tony’s shared a look, you both knew it had to be done.

 

“Title of your Sex Tape!” You said to Steve in unison.

 

“What is wrong with you two?” Steve asked in exasperation.

 

“Alphabetically or chronologically?” Clint quipped.

 

“I’m perfectly innocent, or I was before I met Snark. He’s rubbing off on me.” You joked.

 

“Title of your Sex Tape?” Steve asked before anyone else could say at and you beamed at him proudly.

 

“Princess, I’m updating the security protocols again. See if you can sneak in and out of the building without alerting Friday.” Tony suggested.

 

“Again? We’ve been through this Snark. Friday’s good…”

 

“Amazing.” Friday interrupted.

 

“Amazing, but she just can’t see me if I’m invisible.” You sighed.

 

“That was before we figured out you had a real weakness.” Tony argued.

 

“What you gonna do, line the building with Vibranium. How much did that little box cost?” You asked.

 

“A few million.” Tony mumbled.

 

“A FEW MILLION?! YOU SPENT A FEW MILLION TO RICKROLL ME?” You shrieked.

 

Tony looked shifty but before he could respond, Natasha poked her head into the room.

 

“Guys, we have something. 22 year old male just checked into Brooklyn Medical Centre with a dislocated shoulder.” She said.

 

The four of you sprang into action, or rather you sprang into action and the three of them turned to glare at you.

 

“How does you going help exactly? You don’t deliver yourself to your enemy.” Tony said, bopping you on the nose, pulling his hand away when you snapped your teeth at his fingers.  

 

“Take Loki. Have him go in, invisible. The first time Loki did that to me, I didn’t know. If the guy acknowledges Loki at all, he’s our Poltergeist.” You suggested.

 

“I’ll take Loki and Nat.” Bucky said.

 

You pouted slightly and tried to hide it but he saw it and chuckled, kissing you on the lips on his way out of the door.

 

“Wait up for me Domniţă, our date isn’t finished.” He said suggestively.

 

Steve glared at Bucky and you laughed.

 

“Surprise, Bucky’s not a virgin.” You said, wiggling your eyebrows at him.

 

“Title of my sextape.” you added as an afterthought.

 

Tony sniggered and wandered across the room and you frowned after him.

 

“Hey Cap?” You whispered.

 

“What?” He whispered back, looking at you curiously.

 

“Did Tony seem like he was acting weird when I brought up the Vibranium cell?” You asked him.

 

“Do you think he had another reason for building it?” Steve asked, frowning.

 

“Maybe… Maybe not. It’s probably nothing.” You said, shrugging it off and wandering out of the room after Bucky.

 

“Tony…”

 

“What’s happenin Captain?” Tony asked without looking up from his screen where he was looking over the security system

 

“Why did you build the cell?”

 

“Just in case.” Tony said nonchalantly.

 

“In case of what?” Steve pressed.

 

“Trust me Cap, you’re better off not knowing.” Tony said, turning his back on Steve.

 

“Tony.” Steve warned.

 

Tony looked up from the tablet but didn’t turn around.

 

“I don’t want her to know, she can’t know. Bruce and I decided it was best.” Tony said heavily.

 

“The last time you and Bruce kept a secret, you created Ultron.” Steve pointed out.

 

“This isn’t like that. We’re protecting her from the truth.” Tony insisted.

 

“The last time someone on this team kept a secret to protect someone’s feeling, it didn’t go so well.” Steve said guiltily.

 

Tony sighed and slammed down the tablet, almost cracking it.

 

“This doesn’t leave this room, do you understand me?” Tony said.

 

“I’m not agreeing to that. Tell me what you’re hiding and then I’ll decide if it needs to be kept a secret.” Steve demanded.

 

“You don’t get it. Princess is volatile, always has been. Some of those tabloid rumours have an ounce of truth in them. Too much bad news and she’ll cut and run, and she’s already had a lot.” Tony argued.

 

“Tony!” Steve snapped.

 

“Alright… Alright fine.” Tony said.

 

Unseen by the two men you leaned in closer, desperate to know what Tony and apparently Bruce had been hiding.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“The kid wasn’t our guy, ghost.” Natasha said as her, Bucky and Loki came in.

 

Bucky looked around the common room for you and when he didn’t see you turned and headed for you room instead.

 

You weren’t in there so he checked his room but you weren’t there either. He was about to ask Friday to locate you when he saw a slip of paper on his pillow. Somehow he knew what it was going to say before he picked it up.

 

His heart seized in his chest as he unfolded it slowly. He reminded himself he’d been expecting this, expecting you to freak out and that he could find you and calm you down. He had known how closed off you were going in. He could fix this, no matter what that piece of paper said.

 

Only, when he read it he realised he couldn’t. He couldn’t fix this.

 

James,

I want to lie to you right now and break your heart because it would be kinder than the truth. I wish I could just tell you that I don’t want to do this anymore but even if I did, you would know it was a lie. Somehow you would just know.

 

So here’s the truth. I’m falling for you and it is terrifying, but in the best way. It’s the kind of fear that lets you know that you’re alive and take it from a dead girl, that’s important. Thank you for taking a chance on me and making me take a chance on you. If you hadn’t, I’d still be so lost. Closing my heart off kept me safe for so long but it also just caused more pain. Then you came along and absolutely demolished those walls.

 

If you’ve taught me anything its that the fear of losing someone you love shouldn’t stop you from loving them. So, with that in mind… I have something to tell you. If you want to hear it, meet me on the roof.

 

Yours (Forever yours) Domniţă xxx

 

There was nothing to fix.

 

The letter fluttered to the floor and he was out of the room before it landed. He rushed to the roof, ignoring the elevator and taking the stairs three at a time. He burst through the doors onto the roof and looked around frantically for you.

 

You were sat casually on a ledge, gazing up at the stars. When you heard the commotion, you stood up and looked over at him nervously.

 

“I take it you want to hear it?” You said apprehensively.

 

“Say it.” He ordered, strutting over to you.

 

“James Buchanan Barnes… I love you.”

 

He grabbed you almost violently as he crashed into you.

 

“I love you too.” He declared and picked you up, his lips colliding with yours an instant later.

 

Your heart soared as he spun you around, kissing you breathless.

 

You loved him and deep down you had known it for days now. You were tired of running from love but you were glad you had for so long because it led you here, to him.

 

And life was too short to waste such an epic love……

 

“Tony!” Steve snapped.

 

“Alright… Alright fine.” Tony said.

 

Unseen by the two men you leaned in closer, desperate to know what Tony and apparently Bruce had been hiding.

 

“It’s not a cage. It’s a bomb containment unit. Ever since Princess came out of the chamber, her cells have remained volatile. She absorbed the full force of a nuclear bomb. The radiation changed her genetic make up but that explosion? It’s INSIDE her. If she blows, we need a way to contain her. It’s unlikely, she’s gone so long without anything happening but Bruce and I are constantly monitoring her, just incase. I don’t want her to know because I don’t want her living with an axe dangling over her head.”

 

“Are you saying…”

 

“She’s volatile Cap, literally. One day, she could blow up. She’ll die, for real this time and if we don’t contain the explosion, she’ll take us with her. If she blows, the radiation that’s harmlessly sitting inside her cells will be released.”

 

Steve sat down heavily.

 

“She’s a walking nuclear bomb.”

Chapter Text

A few moments ago you and Bucky had declared your love for one another. Now Bucky was standing several metres away from you on the roof with the most devastated look on his face you’d ever seen. Your heart was breaking at the sight of it.

 

“What do you mean you might just die?? That’s not possible, you can’t just…. Blow up!” He snapped.

 

You’d had to tell him. Tony and Bruce had only had good intentions when they kept it from you, you knew that but it just wasn’t something that could be kept a secret. You couldn’t keep it from Bucky, not when there was a very real chance it would come to pass. He needed to be prepared for it.

 

“I don’t know the science. The explosion that killed me, the one where I burned to ash, it’s IN me. My body was changed by the radiation and I’m containing it for now but one day… I might not be able to anymore. I’ll die again, without a nifty comeback this time.” You tried to explain.

 

He turned away and paced, running his fingers through his hair before he stopped dead and you saw the backs of shoulders shaking.

 

“Did you only tell me you loved me because you thought you might die?” He asked, turning to you with a cold expression and blazing eyes.

 

“Yes.” You whispered.

 

“Did you even mean it?” He choked out.

 

You had never imagined you would hear his voice like this, so filled with aching and desperation. His eyes were shining with unshed tears and if you’d ever doubted that Bucky Barnes loved you then this would have squashed any lingering qualms. The man before you was a man about to break apart if you said the wrong thing. You were holding his heart in the palm of your hand and you had the power to crush it or treasure it.

 

“Did you mean it?” He asked again, pushing for an answer.

 

“I think I fell in love with you at the auction when you faked a phone call to get Chuck Lauderdale away from me.” You admitted.

 

“You think? So you don’t actually know if you love me?” He said, rocking back on his heels like you’d struck him.

 

“I knew I loved you when I asked you to kiss me after you unmasked me, I knew deep down that your kiss was the only thing in the world that was able to hold me together. I knew I loved you when the thought of kissing somebody else felt wrong, when kissing them in front of you felt like a betrayal. I knew I loved you when you were inside me for the first time. I knew I loved you when I went back to my room and cried and couldn’t bring myself to take your shirt off. I knew I loved you when you asked West to come and work for me. I’ve known I love you every day and I’ve been falling deeper and deeper and I don’t care if I die, I care if I die without you knowing just how fucking much I love you.”

 

Throughout your speech he’d been moving closer and closer until he was right in front of you and when you were finished and you sucked in a breath he took your face in his hands and leaned forward to press his lips to yours.

 

The way he kissed you was so tender that it was like it the first time he’d kissed you. It was so desperate that it was like it was the last time he would kiss you. The way he pressed your bodies together it was like it was the only time he’d get to kiss you.

 

“You aren’t going to die. After everything we’ve been through to get here you aren’t fucking dying, do you understand? You’re going to stay alive and let me love you damn it.” He pulled back to say.

 

A huff of unexpected laughter escaped you and you shook your head at him.

 

“I can’t promise that. If Bruce can’t guarantee it then I can’t. Banner and Stark are the smartest men I know and they’re so worried I’m going to die that they couldn’t bring themselves to tell me the truth.” You said sadly.

 

“I know you Domniţă, I know what you’re capable of. If death comes for you, you’ll probably just slap an injunction on him and sue the scythe and cloak off him.” Bucky said wryly.

 

You threw back your head and laughed at the mental image and his whole face lit up at the joy radiating off you.

 

“I love you.” He said breathlessly and the laughter died in your throat until you were just smiling up at him.

 

“And I love you.” You responded, with as much affection as you could muster, which as it turned out, was a lot.

 

 

 

 

He refused to believe that you would die on him, his mind just took that concept and threw it away. After everything he had been through, he knew that the world could really be that cruel, that it could let him find love and then rip it away from him. But he also knew you and he truly believed that you were strong enough to just simply will yourself into not dying.

 

There was nobody in the world as stubborn as you, as clever as you, as sly as you. Death didn’t stand a chance.

 

He’d told you that he was going to fuck you like he didn’t care about you tonight but he couldn’t comprehend doing that. Not right now. Maybe tomorrow. Tonight, right now, right this second he was going to fuck you in a way he hadn’t done before. He was going to make love to you.

 

He kissed you with a frenzied edge of desperation as he slowly backed you into the door of the roof. You jerked at the sound of metal screeching and looked down to where his hand had bent the metal off the door handle back, locking the two of you on the roof. When you looked back up at him your pupils were blown wide and the look you gave him was all lust. He smirked and kissed you again hungrily and it was a messy, bruising affair that made his heart beat almost painfully in his chest.

 

He shrugged his jacket off and dropped it on the ground, kicking it flat before picking you up and laying you down on it gently. He did all this without breaking the kiss, unaware of just how sexy you’d found it. He carefully leaned against you, settling between your thighs. If anyone ever asked Bucky where his favourite place in the world was, he’d happily and unashamedly tell them that it was between your legs.

 

Your fingers slipped under his shirt and traced the planes of his abdomen and he sighed happily into your mouth. He loved having you tied down, compliant and trusting but right now he wanted you to touch him as desperately as he was touching you and as his hands ran up your thighs, slipping under your dress, your hands travelled over his stomach and towards his chest.

 

His breath hitched and he nipped your lip when you lightly dragged your fingernails over his nipples and he felt your smirk. He drew back the strap of the suspenders you’d obliged him by wearing and snapped them against your skin, chuckling when you jumped underneath him.

 

He unwillingly pulled back from the kiss when he felt you pushing his shirt up and let you pull it off him, helping you by lifting his arms up and as soon as it was clear of his body he captured your lips with his again and let you run your hands over his chest.

 

Your touch was making him feel almost dizzy and when you pulled your lips from his and kissed along his collarbone he was helpless to stop you. He closed his eyes and lost himself in the sensation of your soft lips and warm mouth until you made your way to the scarred flesh of his shoulder. He jerked away instinctively, not wanting your perfect mouth to touch something so ugly.

 

To his utter shock you huffed angrily at him.

 

“Listen to me Barnes, I love you. Every part of you is perfect to me because it’s you. If you think this part of you is anything less than perfect to me because it’s scars and metal then you’re an idiot.” You snapped.

 

As hard as he had tried, he had never quite managed to look at his shoulder with anything less than disgust but if you saw it differently then he couldn’t and wouldn’t try to stop you. He knew you weren’t going to push the issue any further when your lips resumed their gentle kisses, moving down his chest and with a trembling hand, he tangled his fingers in your hair and gently guided you back to the marred flesh of his shoulder.

 

His heart was stuttering away at a ridiculously fast pace like a trapped hummingbird as you locked eyes with him and deliberately pressed the tenderest of kisses to the thick pink scarring. His breath whooshed out of his lungs almost painfully and the tension drained from his body as you lovingly explored the part of himself he hated the most.

 

Love and affection were evident in every kiss, every gentle press of your lips and the heat of your skin felt like it was searing his very soul. His flesh hand cradled the back of your head as you slid your hand down to intertwine your fingers with his and brought his metal hand up to press your lips to it.

 

“If you didn’t have this… you couldn’t touch me when I’m untouchable. It’s like somewhere along the line, the universe saw that we belonged together and made sure that when we found each other, you could catch me. It knew I would run and it knew you would stop me.” You told him.

 

He tilted your head back and kissed you again and it felt like coming home. Right here, with you was where he belonged. He pushed you back to the ground with his body with renewed vigour and you responded eagerly, accepting him into your arms.

 

“I’m glad you caught me.” You whispered as he slid your dress up over your hips.

 

“I hope you know that I’m keeping you.” He warned and the way you smiled at him said it all.

 

You knew, you wanted it as much as he did.

 

You always took the pain with pleasure, letting them mingle together and he loved that about you but right now all he wanted you to feel was pleasure as he reached down and pushed your panties to the side so he could slide a metal finger into your wet heat. Your eyes fluttered closed and you whined sweetly. You were so wet, responding so eagerly to his touch that he added a second finger and watched the bliss on your face as he slowly fucked them in and out of you.

 

He curled his fingers in a come-hither motion and your back arched off the ground.

 

“Buckyyy.” You moaned loudly, your hand clasping his wrist tightly as you tried to move away from the over powering pleasure.

 

He repeated the movement, massaging your g-spot with his fingers as your spine bowed almost painfully.

 

“Let go for me Domniţă?” He asked and with a series of beautiful whimpers you did.

 

He moved his fingers relentlessly inside you, coaxing every last drop of pleasure from your body as you writhed underneath him and chanted his name like a prayer. When you were spent and too sensitive to take any more he pulled his fingers from you and licked them clean while you watched in a daze.

 

You raised your hips for him when he pulled your underwear off with care, sliding them down your legs and kissing every bit of exposed skin as he did.

 

“Bucky?” You asked softly and his eyes snapped up to yours straight away.

 

“I’m sorry I ever hurt you by not admitting how I felt.” You whispered.

 

“It’s alright. It’s ok sweetheart, it wasn’t your fault. You got there, we got there.” He assured, leaning over you to kiss the guilty expression off your face.

 

You whimpered softly when his clothed hardness pressed against your bare pussy and he pulled away, thinking you were still too sensitive but when your hands grappled with his belt he chuckled and sat on his knees to let you pull it open. You sat up as best you could and impatiently popped the button on his pants, pulling the zipper down carefully.

 

When his cock sprung free from its confinement you made a low noise in the back of your throat and put your hands on the ground behind you so you could push yourself forwards. Looking up at him you slowly licked at the precum that was sliding down his shaft, gathering it up on your tongue.

 

It was so filthily erotic that it took all his willpower to stay still and not push you onto the ground and fuck you until you screamed his name again. He clenched his fist around his shaft and slid the swollen head of his cock into your open mouth and groaned as you swirled your tongue around it before you closed your lips around him and gently sucked.

 

“Fuck.” He groaned unintentionally, watching transfixed as you took as much of him in your mouth as you could, until he hit the back of your throat and your lips brushed his fingers.

 

He let go of his cock and wrapped his fingers around in your hair. He didn’t need to use his grip to guide your movements, you hollowed your cheeks and bobbed your head, sucking him off perfectly without any guidance whatsoever. He breathed heavily, his chest heaving as he watched you until he felt his balls tighten and he yanked you off of him. You released him with a loud pop and pouted.

 

“Just… just lie down sweetheart.” He begged, closing his eyes before he gave into your pleading eyes and let you finish him with your mouth.

 

He felt you settle down and opened his eyes to see you sprawled beneath him with your legs spread wide open.

 

“Good girl.” He praised.

 

He leaned in and slid his erection along your slit, rubbing his head over your clit and you both moaned together at the sensation.

 

“Please Bucky? I need you.” You begged sweetly.

 

Unable to deny you he used his hand to guide himself into you, letting go and settling above you as soon as his tip pushed inside. He watched all the different subtle changes in your expression as he sheathed himself fully inside your soft, wet, gloriously tight heat.

 

Love and lust surged through him equal measure, overpowering in their intensity as one of your arms wrapped around him and your hand traced along his spine while he waited for you to adjust to his size. When your other hand slid down to grab his ass he smiled fondly and moved, grinding himself against you. He slowly withdrew and sensually pushed himself back inside you, enjoying your soft needy moans as he did.

 

He moved faster with every thrust, just a fraction until he had a pleasurable pace. With every gentle rock of his hips you moved in tandem with him, meeting him thrust for thrust. The beauty of you and the sanctity of the moment made the whole experience take on an almost ethereal serenity for him as you gazed into his eyes, not trying to hide the love that shone from them.

 

He knew he wasn’t going to last and he could tell you weren’t either. Your walls were fluttering around his cock the way they did when you were close and he pulled your arms down from where they were wrapped around him and laced his fingers with yours as his body rested against yours. You wrapped your legs tightly around him and moaned loudly as he fucked deeper into you with the new angle you’d provided.

 

“James….” You whispered breathily.

 

He pushed his lips onto yours and with a herculean effort held his own orgasm back until he felt your spine bow underneath him and you moaned loudly into his mouth. He couldn’t have stopped himself from cumming then if he’d tried as your walls spasmed powerfully around him and his cock throbbed almost painfully as he shot spurts of cum inside you.

 

You came together in a long, drawn out haze of pleasure, wrapped around one another.

 

“I love you Domniţă.” He whispered into your ear as the spine bowing, toe curling, mind fogging orgasm you’d experienced together died down.

 

What it left in its wake was a warmth and contentment and the deep satisfaction and happiness in his soul when you turned your head to look at him and whisper back.

 

“I love you James.”

 

Your phone was in your bag where you’d left it and so the blinking of your phone that signalled a text went unnoticed.

 

Snark: You forgot there were cameras on the roof.

 

Snark: Title of your sex tape.

 

Snark: Literally.

Chapter Text

Getting out of bed without waking up the master assassin spooning you was easier said than done. Ghosting would have been your first option but there was a metal arm wrapped around your waist, holding you close to his body without a millimetre between you.

 

“Cuddly bastard.” You huffed under your breath as you tried to wiggle out of his hold.

 

There was a huff of air on your shoulder where his head was tucked and you froze. If you didn’t know any better you’d say he had just laughed at you.

 

“You’re awake!” You accused.

 

“No I’m not.” He whispered.

 

You had to be at work soon, you couldn’t dawdle but… god, he was adorable.

 

“You’re 100 years old Barnes, how are you this cute?” You grumbled, burrowing back under the covers and twisting around so you were facing him.

 

He let you turn and then wrapped his arm around you again. During your wiggling you came up with a plan to get out of the bed, or rather he gave you an idea. You hitched your leg over his waist, pressing the part of him that was most definitely awake against your clothed heat.

 

“I’m still asleep.” He protested, weakly.

 

“Hmmm, shame.” You said, kissing his throat.

 

You ran your tongue over his pulse point and it jumped under your touch.  His whole body was taut as he tried to control himself and you smirked, pushing him onto his back and straddling him.

 

“Are you awake yet?” You whispered as you lightly gyrated your hips, running your panty clad slit along the hard length of the cock concealed underneath his boxers.

 

“You don’t play fair woman.” He growled.

 

“HE LIVES!” You laughed joyfully and his lips twitched into a grin as he opened his eyes.

 

“I hate you.” He said, his eyes saying the opposite.

 

You raised your eyebrow at him and smirked, smoothly moving your hips back and forth over him. He clenched his jaw and you saw him grab a hold of the sheets, trying not to give into you. With a wicked grin you reached down to pull his boxer briefs down enough to free his cock from them and his eyes got impossibly dark as he watched you.

 

“Feeling pleased with yourself Domniţă?” he asked darkly.

 

You nodded your head as you ground down on him, his shaft rubbing against your clit, even through your panties. His hands gripped your hips and you squeaked in surprise. He smirked cockily and forcibly dragged your hips along his length, pushing his own hips upwards. You didn’t even care that you’d lost control of the situation (as if you’d ever really had it) because it felt so good and you threw your head back, letting his drive your hips at a much faster pace than you’d have managed on your own. Somehow you managed to concentrate enough to pull your shirt, well his shirt that you were wearing off and flung it onto the floor. His eyes were glued to your breasts as you ran your hands over them and moaned loudly at the pleasure he was causing with the friction. It was wonderful but it wasn’t enough, you needed to hear him say it. You needed him to tell you…

 

“I love you.” He said, loudly, emphatically, honestly.

 

You came instantly, whimpering his name as your orgasm washed over you. His cock twitched and pulsed under you as he came with you, ejaculating onto his abdomen and chest.

 

“I love you too.” You hazily whispered as you collapsed against him.

 

He wrapped his arms around you and you felt him press his lips to the top of your head.

 

“Well we should get up and shower.” He sighed.

 

“Together?” You asked hopefully, tilting your head to look at him with puppy dog eyes.

 

“Together.”

 

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

After you and Bucky got dirty in the shower before eventually helping each other get clean, you were definitely late. You ran into the kitchen, unwilling to leave without at least getting coffee. As soon as you walked into the kitchen West handed you a steaming cup of the liquid lifeblood and you grinned.

 

“I love you.” You said happily.

 

“I would say I love you as well Miss but I know you were talking to the coffee.” West deadpanned, handing you a newspaper.

 

“I love you almost as much as I love coffee.” You assured him.

 

“And yet, you still keep things from me.” He said unhappily and you frowned.

 

Unfortunately, there was a long list of secrets to which he could be referring and you didn’t know what to say without knowing which one he was talking about. His eyes pointedly looked at the newspaper he’d handed you and you glanced down at it. The headline was about your attempted assassination the night before.

 

“It wasn’t a big deal?” You tried hopefully.

 

“Really?” He asked dryly, snatching the paper from you.

 

“The shooter who as of yet has been unidentified, fired a bullet at Miss King through the window of the restaurant. Bystanders say that it narrowly missed Miss King and would have hit her if her date for the evening, Sergeant James Barnes of The Avengers, hadn’t pushed her out of the way.” West read aloud.

 

“Ok, so it was a little bit of a deal.” You admitted.

 

“Why didn’t you tell me?” He asked.

 

“Truthfully?” You sighed.

 

“That would be preferable, yes.” He sassed.

 

“I got distracted. I… well I had other things on my mind.” You admitted guiltily.

 

It hadn’t even occurred to you to tell West about it what with the news of your impeding death and the stuff that happened with Bucky.

 

“What happened to the little girl who would tell me everything?” He said wistfully.

 

“She grew up West, and she can’t tell you everything anymore. Some things just need to be kept a secret. That’s life.” You said sadly.

 

“I understand you not wanting to tell me you were The Phantom, yes I know, I’ve known all along…” He said when you choked on your coffee.

 

“But you are in danger. You are in love. Keeping your secrets means you can’t tell me the important things and that is unacceptable. I know you think you are protecting me but that is my job, I am supposed to protect you.” He continued, ignoring your shock.

 

“West… I…”

 

“Of course, I am your employee and you don’t have to tell me anything.” He added as an afterthought, his tone making clear how painful that thought was to him.

 

“I need to call the office and tell them I’ll be late. There’s somewhere we need to go.” You told him and he looked at you thoughtfully.

 

“Very well, I shall bring the car around.”

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

After you’d insisted on stopping to buy flowers, West figured out where you were taking him. You both carried your usual bouquets, red and black dahlias. You tried not to think about your protection detail that had followed in a separate car but it did bring you some comfort, knowing Bucky was close behind. But this was about you and West.

 

And your mother.

 

“Hi mom.” You whispered, gently placing the flowers on her grave.

 

West gave you a moment before he placed his own bouquet down with care, brushing a tender hand across the gravestone as he did.

 

“What do you remember about that day?” You asked him, staring straight ahead.

 

He sighed softly as he remembered the events of that Christmas.

 

“I heard your screams. At first I thought they were screams of excitement, but I quickly heard the terror in your voice. I ran upstairs and found you there, clutching her. I grabbed you and pulled you away but you wouldn’t let go of her hand. I knew she was dead, there was so much blood and well… she was gone. But you didn’t understand that yet and you struggled against me so much as I carried you into the kitchen. That was when your father came inside and took control of the situation.” He said, grief prominent in his voice, even after all these years.

 

“He came inside? He wasn’t upstairs?” You asked, frowning.

 

“No, I remember because I assumed he had been seeing to the pony you had been so excited about and I thought, well she won’t care about it anymore. It was an errant thought, but a heart breaking one.” West told you.

 

“West… That wasn’t my father. That wasn’t Alexander King. My father died that day and I don’t mean metaphorically. That man, was coming inside from burying my fathers body in the garden.” You said.

 

West said nothing and you turned around to face him. He was thunderstruck and you could see the wheels turning in his mind as he tried to comprehend what you had just said.

 

“Hydra found a way to replace him with an identical imposter and in our grief, none of us noticed. The Imposter took over the company, he turned into a Hydra organization. And with my uncle, he built Project Hulk. I asked Dr Banner and Mr Stark for help when I found out about it and during our investigation, I got trapped inside the chamber. I died West, for a little while. I came back as The Phantom and when I fought The Imposter, he told me where my real father was buried.”

 

“But…”

 

“Take your time, it took me a while to wrap my head around it all as well.” You told him, linking your arm through his.

 

“Oh my girl, my poor brave girl.” He whispered, squeezing your arm.

 

“If I’m brave, it’s because you raised me that way.” You told him shakily, your eyes damp.

 

He leaned his head to the side and rested it against yours.

 

“You are everything your mother would have wanted you to be, and more.” He said.

 

“I hope so.” You whispered softly.

 

You stood like that for a long time before he apologetically pulled away.

 

“Might I have a minute alone to compose myself Miss?” He asked stoically and you nodded.

 

“Of course.”

 

He nodded his thanks and slowly walked away, towards the car as he thought over all he had learned. You looked around the seemingly empty cemetery for Bucky and when he saw you searching he stepped out from behind a tree and made his way towards you.

 

“Are you alright?” He asked worriedly as he came to stand next to you and you didn’t answer.

 

He stood behind you and wrapped his arms around your waist, caging you against his body.

 

“I told West about how I became The Phantom…” You said.

 

“How did he take it?”

 

“About as well as could be expected. But… well we know how I became The Phantom. How did The Poltergeist become what he is?” You asked.

 

“Your fa… The Imposter made him.”

 

“And then the Poltergeist turned on him, tried to kill him. And now he’s trying to kill me.”

 

“You said it was a painful experience. That it still hurts. The Poltergeist is angry and he wants revenge.” Bucky said, like it was that simple.

 

“But why does he want revenge against me?” You asked.

 

“Because you’re the only one left. But he’s not going to get near you.” Bucky said.

 

“Bucky… I think I know who he is. I know who The Poltergeist is.” You said softly.

 

“What?” Bucky said in shock, letting go of you and turning you around.

 

“I figured it out when I was talking to West. The door on the chamber was open, it was broken, right after when we were there. That wasn’t a coincidence.”

 

“Tell me his name, tell me who he is.” Bucky demanded, looking ready to hunt the guy down.

 

He pulled out his phone and dialled Steve, looking at you frantically when you didn’t give him a name.

 

“What’s wrong?” He asked, noticing how shaky you were.

 

“He wants revenge against me, because it was me. I’m the one who killed him.”

 

The answer had been right there all along, in the very first conversation you had ever had with Bruce Banner.

 

“Dr Banner?”

 

“Oh, uh hello. Can I help you?” He said, turning round to look at you with a nervous and suspicious frown.

 

“I’m Miss King, my father is Alexander King of King Inc.” You said, offering your hand.

 

“I know your father, he’s a very smart man.” Bruce said, trying to find a compliment.

 

“Not as smart as you Dr Banner, I believe you are the worlds leading expert in Gamma Radiation?”

 

“I’m something of an expert but I’m very busy with other things and I’m already working with Stark Industries. “He said politely.

 

“I’m not trying to recruit you, well not for my father’s company. I need your help. The company is building something, something big and my father and my uncle have been acting weird for months now. Can you just look at these? Please?” You said, pulling a bunch of papers out of your bag and handing them to Bruce.

 

He pulled his glasses out of his shirt pocket and put them on, flicking through the papers. His expression got paler and paler until he looked up at you, horrified.

 

“These readings are...”

 

“Bad? “You supplied.

 

“Ionizing Radiation, Electromagnetic Radiation and Gamma Radiation readings are all off the charts. Where did you get these?” He asked.

 

“I knew something wasn’t right but I couldn’t find a reason to get into that section the facility so I bribed one of the techs to take a radiation detector inside, hidden in his suit. Yesterday he quit the company and moved to Japan... Apparently. I can’t get a hold of him.” You explained.

 

You had sent him to his death. You had created The Poltergeist.

Chapter Text

“Explain it to me again?” Tony asked, rubbing his temples.

 

“The tech Tony, the one who took the reading that I gave to Bruce. He went missing straight after that, gone without a trace! The chamber door was broken when we broke in. Both of those incidents happened within 24 hours of each other. That’s not a coincidence!” You repeated for the umpteenth time.

 

“Maybe it is a coincidence. We have no evidence that this is our guy.” Tony insisted.

 

You turned to Bruce with a helpless look.

 

“The Poltergeist did specifically label her a killer though Tony. If he took the reading at her behest and was caught, he might blame her for what happened.” Bruce pointed out.

 

“It still doesn’t help us in any way, we’ve been looking for this guy for months. If he’s alive and the Poltergeist, we’re no closer to finding him.” Tony said.

 

You sighed and threw your head onto your arms on the table.

 

“Though… We have been searching for evidence of his death. Not where he might be hiding if he’s alive. I’ll have Friday check for surviving relatives, old girlfriends… that sort of thing.” Tony added and you sat up excitedly.

 

“Really?”

 

“Yeah Princess, but don’t get your hopes up. I still think it’s a bit of a stretch.” Tony warned, getting up and going to look at his computer.

 

“How have you been aside from all this?” Bruce asked kindly.

 

“Fine, I guess? Haven’t felt like I’m about to blow up if that’s what you’re asking.” You scoffed.

He froze nervously and you smirked.

 

“Yeah, I found out. It’s ok Bruce, really. I get why you didn’t tell me.” You assured.

 

“Really?” He asked suspiciously.

 

“Yes. If you’d have told me this a month ago… I’d have done something stupid like pick an unwinnable fight and gone down swinging.” You laughed lightly.

 

“What changed?”

 

“Everything. My life turned out to be a lie. My father wasn’t my father, and I’m not the same person either. I’m just more worried about The Poltergeist. Do you think he knows that he’s a ticking time bomb?” You wondered.

 

“I’m not sure.”

 

“If he doesn’t, maybe this doesn’t have to end badly.” You mused.

 

“You think you can talk him down?” Bruce deduced easily.

 

“I made him do a favour for me, and he got murdered for it. In a really horrific way. I can understand that he hates me for it Bruce, I hate myself.  But I didn’t mean for him to get hurt and maybe if I explain that, he’ll listen. He hasn’t hurt anybody else; he only went after me and The Imposter. Maybe he’s not a villain.” You said.

 

“There’s a thin line between Justice and Revenge. You of all people have a chance of reminding him of that, when we find him. But then we have to explain to him that he might still die anyway. You have to prepare him, and yourself for that.” Bruce said gently.

 

“I’m not going to die Bruce. Even if something in my cells changes, you’ll fix it.”

 

“I wish I had as much faith as you did.” He said, smiling softly.

 

You squeezed Bruce on the shoulder and left the lab, stopping in your tracks when you saw Bucky leaning against the wall in the corridor. As soon as he saw you, he held out his hand.

 

“Come here.” He whispered, pulling you into a nearby closet.

 

“This is how you’re going to cheer me up?” You laughed, very much on board with the idea.

 

“You have to be quiet for me Domniţă, think you can manage that?” He teased.

 

“No.” You admitted, and he raised an eyebrow at you.

 

You wanted this, him. If you had to bite down on your own tongue to get it then so be it.

 

“Yes sergeant.” You whispered breathily.

 

“First things first, give me your panties.” He ordered and you hastily obeyed, turning your back to him and bending over to pull them down, pressing your ass against him while he chuckled lowly at your brazenness.

 

He held his hand out and you handed them over.

 

“Good girl.” He praised, shoving them into his pocket and popping the button on his pants open.

 

“On your knees.” He said and you sunk to your knees like he had asked, already feeling your wetness gather between your thighs at the mere thought of sucking him off in an unlocked closet.

 

 

He must have felt the same because he was already hard and he wrapped his metal hand in your hair, twisting it into a make shift ponytail and dragged your face up to his cock. You parted your lips slightly for his as he rubbed the head of his cock against them. He pushed against your lips and you opened your mouth wider for him, letting him slide into your mouth.

 

“You won’t be able to use your safe word, so tap out if it’s too much.” He instructed.

 

You gagged slightly as he hit the back of your throat and you had to open your mouth as wide as you could to accommodate his girth. He hissed as your lips met the base of his shaft and you squirmed, choking on him. He waited for a few long seconds, enjoying the way your throat spasmed around him before he pulled you off of him. You coughed and spluttered, gasping for breath while he admired the way his cock shone with your saliva. He glanced down at you in concern, stroking your face gently and waiting for some kind of signal as to whether you wanted to continue. You gave it by slowly licking his tip, gazing up at him with wide eyes. He smirked at you and nodded his assent for you to continue. You sucked the head into your mouth, swirling your tongue around the tip.

 

“Suck it.” He ordered and you hollowed your cheeks to suck as best you could while he used his grip on your hair to guide you.

 

He pulled your head up and down on his cock until he was almost on the edge of cumming before he pulled you off of him with a lewd pop and pulled you to your feet, kissing you thoroughly and picking you up. He wrapped your legs around his waist and held you up with one hand under your ass while the other slipped between your thighs, seeking out your pussy and finding it ready for him.

 

“You’re absolutely soaking wet…” He groaned.

 

You really were, you were so slick that his fingers slid easily inside you without any warning and you moaned loudly at the sudden intrusion. You desperately struggled and tried to stay quiet while he chuckled at your attempts to muffle your sounds while he thrust his fingers into your rapidly, rubbing the heel of his palm against your clit. The slick wetness was all but gushing out of you and he worked your body to the brink of orgasm.

 

“You better not make a fucking sound for the next part.” He warned, pulling his hand out of your dripping cunt a millisecond before you came.

 

You bit down on your lip to stop the displeased whine that you nearly let out. He pushed your back into the wall and pushed his lips against yours to silence you as he fisted his cock and directed it to your aching heat, penetrating you easily because of the ample wetness he’d caused. You clutched at his shoulders and moaned into his mouth as he pushed his cock into you halfway before pulling back and beginning a series of short. Shallow thrusts.

 

It felt good, better than good but it wasn’t enough to push you over the edge and he knew it. He knew you wouldn’t dare talk and disobey an order and the way he had you pinned against the wall limited how much you could move. You nipped cheekily at his bottom lip, trying to pull a reaction out of him but he just nipped you back, harder. You dug your heels into his ass, trying to push him forward but he completely ignored you. You threaded your fingers through his hair, tugging at it and he grunted. It was a reaction but not the one you wanted. Your cunt was positively aching at this point, the lack of his cock actually causing you pain.

 

You pulled your lips from his and kissed along his jaw, scratching your nails along his scalp as you did. He allowed you to do it, curious as to what your next move would be. You gently kissed your way along his neck, teasingly licking at the sensitive spot just below his ear.

 

His hands on your ass tightened their grip and you knew you were on the right path. Carefully you adjusted your grip on his hair so that when you closed your mouth around his pulse point and gently bit down you could simultaneously tug harshly at his locks. It had the desired effect and he thrust forward into you full force, finally giving your pussy what it so desperately needed.

 

“Fuck. Harder.” He groaned.

 

You gave him what he wanted, biting down on his neck and tugging almost violently at his hair as he snapped his hips back, fucking into you the way you’d been silently begging for him to do. You bit down as hard as you dared before licking and sucking the hurt away, knowing you were leaving a mark on him and thoroughly enjoying that fact. Not as much as he was enjoying it if the way he was pounding into you and groaning your name was any indication. Your whole body felt insanely warm, like a fire was burning under your skin and you used your bite on his skin to muffle your own sounds.

 

It was probably a moot point by now because the way he was slamming into you must surely have been causing a ruckus but neither of you cared. You felt his hips stutter and he thrusts grew sloppy around the same time your walls began to tense around him and he moved his flesh hand from under you to brush against your clit, flicking his thumb across it in time with his thrusts. You held on as long as you could, waiting until you felt his cock twitch inside you before you tangled your hands in his hair and pulled har, biting down harshly at the same time. If he hadn’t had bit down on his lip he would have come shouting instead of moaning into your shoulder and your own release was triggered.

 

As you came down from your high you gently kissed the bruised bitemarks on his neck.

 

“I love you.” You whispered into his ear and he tightened his hold on you.

 

“Te iubesc Domnita.” He murmered, nuzzling his face into your shoulder. 

 

”What’s wrong?” You whispered.

 

You weren’t complaing about the impornmto session in the closet but you were worried there was a reason for it.

 

”Nothing at all.” He assured, unconvingly.

 

”Bucky...”

 

”I just needed to feel you. That’s all.” He said.

 

You didn’t believe him but you didn’t want to push, at least not in a closet.

 

”Ok.” You said, gently running your fingers through his hair.

 

He eventually moved, pulling out of you and chuckling as you winced at the sudden trickle of cum running down your leg.

 

”Don’t suppose I can have my panties back now?” You asked hopefully.

 

”If I give them back, you’ll owe me.” He warned.

 

”Deal.” You agreed and he pulled them back on, also pulling out a handkerchief and cleaning you up before he pulled your underwear back up your thighs and made sure you were presentable.

 

When the two of you stepped out of the closet, it was painfully obvious what you had been doing.

 

“Steve asked me to tell you to meet him in the gym.” Bucky informed you as he took your hand and walked down the corridor with you.

 

“Oh no. Why?” You asked nervously, not liking the look on Bucky’s face one bit.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

“We have the opportunity to learn to fight against our enemy before we have to go up against them. You can give us an insight as to how someone with your abilities is going to utilise them.” Steve explained.

 

“So, you want me to spar with you?”

 

“All of us.”

 

“At the same time?” You yelped.

 

“No, one on one.” He chuckled.

 

“Oh… ok. I guess? I can handle that. I think?” You asked nervously.

 

“Natasha’s up first.” Steve informed you.

 

“Oh fuck.”