It was a cold winter morning. You woke up before the alarm went off as you did every morning due to a lack of sleep. You sat at the kitchen counter on a stool with a pen in your hand and a coffee by your side. Just like you did every morning. Your hair was in a low messy bun and you wore a sweater two sizes too big to keep you warm.
You opened your diary to your last entry and started on a fresh page. It wasn't a diary per se more like a journal of your thoughts. A safe haven for all the ideas and ruminations that couldn't be spoken. The thoughts you couldn't tell anyone because they wouldn't understand or quite simply wouldn't care were written into the leather-bound book. This was where your thoughts couldn't be erased or twisted. It was small freedom that you cherished.
You were never one to speak your mind. You were a timid, fragile creature with an innocence that was marred by the man you detestably called your husband. You never wanted to marry him. You didn't want to wake up in the morning with him by your side but not everything could be the way you wanted it to be. You wrote in your small diary all the things you hated about him. How much you wished he wouldn't come home to you every night. How much you hated pretending to love him. How much you wanted to run. And when you wrote his name in your grandiose cursive it didn't seem to match the tone of the subject. Your perfectly frilly handwriting, as your father would put it, didn't express the disgust that grew inside of you just at the thought of him.
"[Y/N], have you seen my phone?" You turned to see your husband, Bucky, searching for it around the living room. He was dressed for a meeting with his tie undone. He picked up the pillows on the couch to see if his phone had slipped in.
You got up looking around for it and walked over to your shared bedroom to find his phone on the dressing table. You sighed as you picked it up and stalked back to the living room to see him still looking for it. A part of you wanted to secretly throw it out the window and have him looking for it all day. Instead, you walked over to show it to him.
"It was right where you left it," You said. He smiled at you sheepishly.
"I guess I should be more aware of my surroundings," Bucky took his phone from you checking for any messages or phone calls.
"That would be ideal considering your job." You sighed earning a chuckle from Bucky. You began to fix his tie for him and Bucky gave you a small smile. Your eyes were fixated on fixing his tie and didn't notice his steel blue ones admiring your natural beauty. Your face was bare with loose hair strands shaping it. You were effortlessly beautiful. He frowned a little when he saw the dark skin under your eyes. Your insomnia was getting worse as the days went by and Bucky tried his best to help cure it. He wanted you to be healthy. To be happy. Never once did it cross his mind that he may be the root of all your troubles. Bucky didn't want to believe he caused you pain. He wanted to be your knight in shining armor, your loyal companion, your only lover. So he pushed it under the rug acting like he was all the above.
You straightened his tie and patted it down with your hand to make sure it looked good. Your hand sliding across his chiseled chest sent electricity zipping through his body. Your soft touch was all he ever needed.
"Thank you," He kissed you on the forehead as you gave him a small smile. He grabbed his coat and put it on. "I don't know how long I'll be gone so if there's a problem make sure to call Steve if you can't get to me." He told you.
"I know," you mumbled softly messing with the hem of your sweater. Bucky smiled at how cute you were. He came closer to you.
"Listen, I know it's hard for you but please try to get some sleep?" Bucky asked placing his hands on your shoulders. "I'm worried about you."
You scoffed inwardly. Did he ever once think what made it so hard for her to sleep? "I am trying," you told him exasperated.
"Have you been taking your medicine?" He asked.
"I am." You weren't.
Bucky let out a deep sigh. "I think we're going to have to make another appointment. It's clearly not working." You looked away.
"Hey," Bucky lifted your chin so you'd look at him. "It's okay. You're doing your best and we'll make it through this."
We? What did he mean by we? It was just you. You pitted against everyone else. As much as he tried to convince you that he was on your side you didn't believe it. As much as he liked to show the world the two of you were a perfect couple, you knew it was all a show. You wanted to push his hand away from you. You wanted to scream at the top of your lungs and blame him for all your problems. But the words never came and your voice hitched in your throat. Your eyes began to tear out of frustration for being inarticulate. For being so pathetic.
Bucky wiped the tears falling from your face and pulled you into his arms assuring you everything was going to be okay. You wanted to push him away but were frozen in his arms. He kissed you on the top of your head and rubbed your back as you sniffled. You hated the feeling of his hands on you. The very same hands that had the blood of hundreds, if not thousands, of people were caressing you with extreme care as if you would break if he applied even the smallest amount of force.
He gently pulled away and kissed you softly. You hated the taste of him but accepted it. He ended it and gave you an encouraging smile while cupping your face in his calloused hands.
"I'll come home as fast as I can." You nodded wishing that he wouldn't come back at all. He opened the door to leave as he grabbed his keys. You stood by the door.
"Have a good day," you said softly. He nodded giving you another quick kiss on the forehead before he left the lavish penthouse. You closed the door and trudged over to the sofa and dropped on it. You wrapped your arms around a pillow staring at the ceiling above you. You turned to your side closing your eyes to let them rest. Unfortunately, you were still awake. Your thoughts never rested and old dark memories that you wished never happened resurfaced.
Bucky held onto his wounded arm as he ran towards the park to hide. He had gotten into a scuffle with a couple of Thanos’ men and didn’t expect one of the cowards to pull a knife out on him. The trees shone under the warm spring sun creating shadows on the ground below. Bucky could hear the voices of the men close behind and ran at top speed. He could take all of them down with great ease if he had both of his arms but with one being completely useless and throbbing in pain it was highly unlikely.
He came to a stop at the end of the tree covered path which led to a small pond next to a field of wildflowers. He walked into the clear area as if something was calling him. It was a tranquil place. The water shimmered in the sunlight and had flowers growing on its edges. The sound of the water flowing and frogs croaking calmed him. The birds were flying in the air as butterflies and bumblebees flitted from one flower to another. He never knew there was a place like this in his territory. He didn't even know there was a place like this in all of New York.
There he noticed someone under a tree near the edge of the pond. He got a little closer making sure to not create any noise. He hid by the side of one of the trees to see who it was. It was you laying on your stomach on a picnic blanket quietly reading a novel under the cool shade of the tree. Your face was propped up on your hand and your legs were in the air oscillating back and forth as you lazily turned the page of your book. Right beside you was your kitten, Peaches, napping under a patch of sun, your sandals, and a small basket. You always came to the pond during the spring and summer. It was quiet and soothing, a perfect place for a bookworm like you.
Bucky could only see a side of you. Your skin and hair glowing like that of an ethereal being. He took in your figure laying down. Your back and behind in perfect view for him to see. You took a grape into your mouth while reading. You were so immersed in your reading that you had become unaware of your surroundings, not noticing him standing only a few meters away.
It was as if he had run into a peaceful paradise filled with beauty and wonder. A place where he didn’t belong. Bucky was completely mesmerized by you. You reminded him of the nymphs he used to read in storybooks as a young child. An otherworldly being created by grace and beauty. Bucky took a step closer out of impulse and stepped on a small branch underneath. He winced at his stupid move.
You whipped your head back to see him standing there looking right at you. You sat up quickly startled by his appearance. This was a secret place that you had discovered not so long ago so it goes without saying that you would be surprised when someone would show up out of the blue. No one had ever disturbed you before. Bucky caught a glimpse of your face and was captivated by your beauty. He had never seen a woman like you before. You noticed the gun in his hand and your heart dropped. You got up quickly taking your kitten in your arms as you tried to run as fast as you could.
“Wait!” Bucky reached out for you with his hand. He groaned in pain as his wounded arm throbbed by the sudden release of pressure.
You stopped in your tracks and turned around. A foolish move on your part. You saw him standing there muttering curses. You ran towards him and noticed his bloodstained shirt. A gasp left you as you covered your mouth.
“Y-you’re hurt,” You told him as if he already didn’t know it. He grumbled in response. You ran towards your picnic basket and took out two handkerchiefs and a water bottle. You weren’t thinking clearly and only thought of helping the wounded man. You had forgotten about his gun and never once did it cross your mind that he could be dangerous.
You approached him and instructed him to sit down. Bucky complied and you sat down next to him. He let go of his arm and you slowly folded his sleeve to be able to see the gash on his arm. You dampened one of the handkerchiefs with water and softly applied onto the wound. He hissed in pain and you quickly picked up the piece of cloth and gently dabbed it back cleaning the blood.
Bucky looked at you tending to his wound and was completely intrigued by you. You were diligent in your work. Your feathery touch on his arm gave him goosebumps. You treated him with care and he smiled just a little. No woman or anyone for that matter could touch him without his permission, but at the very moment, you saw he was injured you ran to his aid. Either you didn’t know who he was or didn’t seem to care. It was at that moment, Bucky realized that you were different than all the other women he had met. You were a kind and compassionate soul. He didn’t know anything about you to deduce that but he could tell by your simple actions.
After you cleaned his wound, you quickly took the other handkerchief and wrapped it around tightly as a tourniquet. Bucky chuckled quietly at your choice of a handkerchief. It had hearts and kittens all over it which certainly didn’t match his gruff features. You were slightly embarrassed by the cloth as your cheeks tinted a little red. You pouted a little at his amusement and he found it adorable. It wasn’t like you were choosing handkerchiefs for rugged men.
“Thank you,” He said kindly.
“You’re welcome,” You whispered only enough for him to hear. “Y-you should get this checked out. It could get infected.”
“I will,” He said as he got up. He held his hand out for you. You hesitated at first but took it and got up. Bucky took a closer look at you and your face brightened red. He gave you a boyish smile that would make all the girls swoon. You felt something soft twist around your legs and saw Peaches purr at you. You quickly picked him up and went to your picnic blanket picking up your things.
“Here let me help you.” He volunteered.
“No, that’s okay,” You said putting your things away.
“Anna Karenina,” Bucky read the title of your novel. “That’s quite a read.”
“Have you read it?” You stopped to ask.
“A little, I couldn’t get past the fourth chapter.” Bucky shrugged. “It got way too boring way too fast.”
You looked at him utterly shocked. “How could you say that!” You exclaimed softly. “It’s one of the greatest works of literature. Possibly the greatest of them all!” You took the book from his hand and huffed.
Bucky chuckled at your enthusiasm. “I guess you’re a fan of Tolstoy?”
“Well, not really.” You fixed your dress. “I just love this book. I’ve read it at least ten times.”
“Doesn’t it get boring after that many times?” Bucky teased.
“N-no!” You stuttered your face red from embarrassment. Bucky chuckled even more at your childish behavior. “It’s different every time.” You told him. “You learn something new about the characters, the plot, the author’s writing style.” You slid your hand across the book and sighed. “I guess you wouldn’t understand.”
“I’d like to if you’d tell me,” Bucky asked with a sultry smile. He brought his face close to yours. Your face heated for the fifth time that day at his action. You quickly turned to put your book back in your basket then got up and slipped on your sandals to leave.
“Hey, don’t leave.” The brunette stood up. “I was only joking.”
“Well, it wasn’t very funny.” You huffed as you placed your kitten in the basket.
“Okay, I’m sorry,” Bucky said. You ignored him as you picked up your picnic blanket, folded it, and held it in your hand. You began to walk away. Bucky reached out for you and grabbed you by the wrist. You turned to look at him. “I said I was sorry. Can’t you stay just a little longer?”
“Why should I?” You asked. “I don’t even know you.”
“Ahh, where are my manners?” He joked. “I’m James. James Barnes but you can call me Bucky, beautiful.” He winked.
You looked at him shocked. James Barnes. You had heard that name before. “You’re James Barnes, the mob king?” You asked fearfully.
“That I am,” Bucky grinned. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, miss.”