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Sweet like Cinnamon

Chapter Text

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. 

 

Flashback


 

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.” 

Chapter Text

You stood still after hearing what he said. He said it with pride and no shame at all. He wasn't afraid of blowing his cover, not like you could've done anything anyway. You stood astonished. What did he have to be proud of? Killing people? Trapping them in gambling and addiction? Using women for dirty deeds? You knew what he did for a living just like every other citizen who had a moderate following of the news. He was a dangerous man. The purest form of evil. 

But when he reached out for your hand and took it in his, it was gentle and warm. His composure was easygoing and a little flirtatious. He was like every other man in their early twenties. Mature with a boyish charm. He didn't come off to be a killer and a very small part of you did want to stay. You shook off the feeling realizing that this could just be a facade. Men like him were crafty. 

"Hello," Bucky waved his hand in front of your face. You blinked out of your train of thought. "Are you still there?" He asked amused. 

"S-sorry," You said embarrassed. "I got lost in thought." 

Bucky smirked. "Don't worry doll, you don't have to be afraid of me." 

Your face grew red at his term of endearment. "I never said I was and don't call me that." 

"Then what should I call you?" 

"Nothing. You don't have to call me anything." 

"You're no fun, babe." 

Your face brightened red to the max and you furrowed eyebrows at him giving him an angry look. Was he doing this on purpose? 

Bucky chortled. "Okay, okay. I won't call you anything, Ms. Nothing."

You rolled your eyes at his stupid joke and Bucky thought your sassy behavior was the cutest thing on earth. You pulled your arm from him and he let go frowning a little. 

"So what's your real name?" He asked. 

"What's it to you?" 

"It's just common courtesy. I told you mine shouldn't you tell me yours?"

Now the mob king was trying to teach you manners. Who would've thought? 

"I really should be going." You tried to change the topic.

"No need to run, doll. I don't bite." He bit his tongue when it slipped. It just fits you so well.  "Sorry." 

You softly giggled as you shake your head at his expression, a sweet melody to his ears. "It's alright." Bucky smiled bashfully. You heard footsteps and shouts coming from the other side of the woods. He quickly pulled you behind the tree. Your heart was racing and your breathing elevated. Bucky kept you close to him. His arm was wrapped securely around your waist pushing you flush against his body. One of your hands was holding your basket while the other was placed on his chest. 

You couldn't tell if you were frazzled because of the sudden closeness of your bodies or the imminent threat of danger. You looked up at Bucky. His face was turned peeking by the side of the tree giving you a closeup of his tantalizing sharp jaw. His blue eyes were hard different than before. 

"James," you whispered. 

He snapped his head to look at you. Your eyes filled with worry. "Don't worry." He gave you a charming smirk. "I won't let them hurt you." Your heart flipped at his word and you hated it. The brunette really knew how to charm a girl.

The noise got louder and louder and your heart rate increased as they did. You peeked by the tree just a little to see if something was there but were startled by your kitten. 

"Peaches, stay quiet!" you whispered to him. 

Bucky chuckled slightly despite the tense situation. The sounds of walking came closer to the two of you. Bucky motioned you to stay quiet by placing his finger in front of his mouth. He let go of you and suddenly you didn't feel so safe anymore as he walked out from behind the tree. He took the gun he had left on the ground and prepared for what was to come. His plan was to shoot whoever it was long distance without even giving them a chance to react. 

Bucky prepared himself with his finger over the trigger. This was a common sport for him and he could even bluff that he was the best at it. Two men came out from the same place he had. One of them put his hands up. 

"Woah boss, it's just us," Sam said with Steve by his side. 

Bucky relaxed as he dropped his hand to his side. "Dammit Wilson. What took you so long?" He said relieved it was his own men. 

"Sorry, we ran into Thanos' men." Bucky raised a brow. "Don't worry we took 'em out." 

"You helped him?" Bucky asked Steve.

"I threw a punch or two but macho man Sam did all the real work." He replied, placing a hand on Sam's shoulder. Steve really wasn't much of a fighter but knew how to defend himself if push came to shove. 

Sam laughed. "They'll think twice before messing with us again." 

"A dynamic duo." Bucky joked. He turned towards the tree. "You can come out now." 

The other two men looked at him puzzled when there was no reply. Bucky walked to the tree to see you were gone. 

"Was someone here?" Steve asked. 

"Yeah," Bucky frowned. "There was a girl. A really sweet girl." 

"She the one that gave you that bandage?" Sam asked with a hint of teasing, pointing to his arm.

"She was." Bucky sighed. "She helped me." 

"She must've left while you were talking to us," Steve suggested. 

"Must have," Bucky told them. He didn't mind that you left it would be the safest option but he did regret that your meeting was cut so abruptly. "I didn't get her name though." 

"Sorry about that boss," Sam said. "She has good taste though. Kittens look good on you." 

Bucky chuckled slightly. "Yeah, she's really cute." Steve raised a brow at Bucky's words a bit intrigued by the effect you had on him. 

Bucky noticed a book on the ground and went to pick it up. It was your novel. He smiled as he dusted the dirt off the cover. "Anna Karenina," he mumbled softly to himself. He opened the book to the first page to see a small note written. 

 

"To my dearest daughter, [Y/N]. May your love of reading and joyful imagination never reach its' end." 

 

Bucky smiled as he brushes his finger over your ink-written name. So that was your name. "[Y/N]," he whispered to himself. A beautiful name for an equally beautiful woman. 


You tossed and turned in your bed restlessly trying to fall asleep. You couldn't find a comfortable position and started to become frustrated. You laid on your back with a sigh looking to see the digital clock on the other side of the bed reading "11:45 P.M.". You groaned a little at your incompetence. 

Bucky wasn't home yet and to be honest you didn't really worry because you knew that no matter what happened he will come home. Even if he had to cross the hottest desert or climb the tallest mountain he'd come back home to you. Even if he was broken, battered, and bloody he'd come home to you. He made a vow to you and he took it rather seriously. His endurance and determination were at its peak when it came to you. Everything he did was for you. All of it was for you. 

But you didn't want anything he had. You wanted nothing to do with the man. You wanted to be free. Free of him. Free of the society he had placed you in. Free of the expectations you had to uphold as the wife of a "highly esteemed" man. But how could you do that? How could you break away from him? You tried running before only to be caught and Bucky's anger at that moment was unparalleled. You never wanted to see him like that again so you remained by his side like a good, obedient, little housewife. 

You heard a noise coming from the outside your bedroom and broke out of your train of thought.  You quietly got out of your bed and went to the door of your bedroom. You took the bat you kept behind the door and walked out into the hallway. You braced yourself with the bat as you entered the living room ready to swing whoever thought it was a good idea to break into your house. 

It was dark with only a faint light coming from the kitchen. You walked closer to the kitchen and the dark figure turned around with a cake in his hand. The flames of the candle revealed it to be Bucky. You dropped your hands to your side and look at him confused. Bucky chuckled at you. 

"Since when did you get that bat?" He asked. 

"Since you started sneaking into your own home." You said leaning the bat against the counter. "You scared me." 

"Sorry," he said with another chuckle. "I can't believe how strong my wife has become." 

You simply rolled your eyes at him. "What's this?" You asked. 

"Don't you know?" He asked. "It's your birthday today." He reminded you. "Well, actually in five minutes." 

You had forgotten about your birthday. There were other things on your mind that you didn't seem to really care. This would be your first birthday after marrying Bucky and you didn't want to celebrate it. Nothing good has happened to you in the past year so why celebrate?

You gave him a sheepish smile. "Ahh, I forgot. Thank you." You said sweetly which earned you a smile from Bucky. You leaned forward to blow out the candles but Bucky pulled the cake away. 

"Not yet!" Bucky said. "It's only 11:58. You have to do it at twelve." He sounded like a child. 

"It's only two minutes." You told him.

"It's bad luck," Bucky told you. "At least that's what mom says." 

"Fine." 

As soon as it turned twelve, Bucky began to sing "Happy Birthday" to you as you blow out the candles and make a wish.

He placed the cake on the counter and cut it with a knife. He took a piece and placed it in front of your lips. You ate the cake and he smiled. 

"What did you wish for?" 

"That I wouldn't have to hear you sing again." 

"Ouch, doll," Bucky whined. "Guess it won't come true since you told me." 

"Good thing I didn't actually wish for that then." You said turning on a dim light. He chortled as he reached for a gift bag on the counter. 

"A small gift for you." He said. 

You looked at him. Anything small from him wasn't actually small. You took out a blue velvet jewelry box from the bag with a paper folded on top of it. You opened the note that he had written and read it. 

"To my beloved wife, [Y/N]. 

Wishing you a day filled with happiness and a lifetime filled with joy."

You smiled at him and then opened it to reveal a beautiful golden locket in the shape of a heart. 

"Do you like it?" Bucky questioned. 

"I do." You told him. "I love it."

  Bucky beamed at your words. "I'm glad. I spent all day looking for the perfect gift. Steve almost went insane." 

You chuckled at his words. "Not a good partner when it comes to shopping, huh?" 

"You could say that," Bucky commented. "Here let me put it on." 

He took the locket out and you turned around lifting your hair for him to have easy access to your neck. He gently placed the necklace around you and locked it in place. You turned around and he admired how perfect it looked around your neck, draping perfectly over your collarbones. 

He wrapped his arms around you bring you closer to him. You could smell the scent of cigarettes and alcohol on him. "It looks beautiful on you." 

"Thank you." You whispered again.

He leaned in to kiss you. The taste of cake on your tongue made it so much sweeter than usual for him. The rotten taste of alcohol and smoke infected your tastebuds. You could feel bile coming up your throat as you kissed him with false passion. He gently pushed you against the wall and your legs wrapped around his waist instinctively. He groaned mildly at the closeness of your core against him. 

Almost a year had gone by and you still drove him crazy. Bucky knew no matter how many years went by he'd never get tired of you. His love for you would never run dry. His obsession for you would never run cold. His cold hands found their place underneath your thighs and sent waves of electricity through you. You moaned sweetly into his mouth and he couldn't help but gasp by what he could elicit from you. You loathed the way your body reacted to him. It betrayed you every time. It accepted him as your lover as if you wanted what he had to offer. He parted slightly and looked at you with his pupils full blown. A mixture of desire and affection residing in them. His soft plump lips were parted ready to take more of you. 

"I love you." He whispered to you. 

You brought yourself closer to him your lips lingering over his. They were so close yet so far. He could feel the phantom of your lips touching his and it drove him insane. You looked at him as you caressed his bearded face with your hand. You didn't want to say it. You hated saying it. You hated lying even if you were lying to a demon. But you complied and told him what he wanted to hear, just like the good little housewife you were. 

"I love you more." 

Chapter Text

"So you're telling me we gotta find a chick that we don't know anything about in a city of over ten million people to return a book?" Scott asked incredulously. 

"It's what the big guy wants." Sam sighed dealing cards to the men around the table. 

"Why would he wanna do that?" Pietro asked. "It's just a book. Who cares?" 

"Listen, I don't know what's going on in the boss' head but I've got a hunch," Sam said as he finished dealing the cards. 

"And that is?" Clint questioned picking up his cards. 

"He's gotta thing for her." 

"He's gotta whole room full of girls waiting for him. What's she got that they don't?" Scott asked.

"Not that kinda thing, dumbass." Sam looked annoyed. "I'm talking about something deeper. Something that your peabrain wouldn't understand." 

"Mind enlightening us, Wilson?" Clint asked taking a whiff of his cigar. 

Sam brought himself closer to the table not wanting anyone to hear. The other men leaned in to hear him. 

"He's not looking for a one night stand," Sam told them. "This is serious, man. The boss is in love with this girl." 

The three of the men began to laugh raucously. Their boss in love? It was too good to be true. The man never looked at the same woman twice. Every day there was a different woman clinging to his arm and a different one under him every night. If their boss really was in love, if James Barnes, the most notorious and heartless man in all of New York was in love, then they might as well believe pigs could fly. 

"Nice one, Sammy." Pietro wiped the tears from his eyes. 

"I'm being serious, you idiots." He hissed. 

"There's no way that man's in love, Sam." Clint laughed. "I don't even think he knows what that word means." 

"You know what laugh all you want," Sam said. "But I'm telling the truth. You weren't there when we found him. He looked like some lovey dovey Romeo from a romcom. It was freaky, man." 

"I don't know," Scott said. "I just don't see it. Unless this girl's Angelina Jolie I'm not buying it." 

"Seriously? Angelina?" Clint snorted. "Jennifer Anniston is way hotter than her." 

"That's not what Brad thought," Pietro said showing his cards. "A full house, my friends." 

"Every damn time, Maximoff." Scott bellowed. "What the hell!" Pietro only snickered while collecting their bets. 

Steve entered the smoke-filled room and was greeted by the men at the table. 

"Hello Mr. Lawyer, did ol' Romeo tell you anything about his mysterious Juliet that we need to waste our time searching for?" Scott joked. 

"No, not really," Steve said taking a seat. "But I know one thing." 

"What's that?" 

"Keep talking and there'll be a bullet in your head," Steve said. "Deal me." He told Sam. 

"Boss is pretty serious about this, huh?" Clint asked.

"He is." Steve sighed. 

"I really wanna meet this girl," Pietro said. "I wanna see what's so special about her." 

"For once Maximoff, I actually agree with you," Scott added. 

"I appreciate that Scotty, wanna go on a date next week?" The younger man joked. Scott grimaced. 

"She's put some type of spell on him," Steve said. "I was talking to him about the next election and he wasn't even listening. He was reading a book." 

"Reading?" They said in unison. 

"Yeah, reading," Steve said looking at his cards. "Y'all ever heard of it?" 

"Very funny, Harvard man." Sam sassed. "We know how to read."  Steve chuckled at his statement. 

Steve Rogers wasn't really like his co-workers. He was well-educated and attended Harvard after high school. It was mother's blood, sweat, and tears that had gotten him so far and he was forever indebted to her for the sacrifices she had made for him. After returning to New York with a degree from Harvard Law, Bucky asked the blonde to be his consigliere. As his closest friend since birth, there was no way Steve could deny his offer. Steve knew the law forwards and backward and every direction one could think of. He was an amazing lawyer and had a talent for winning. He knew what the judge wanted to hear and he knew how to get his client out of trouble no matter how deep it was. The man was absolutely brilliant and Bucky owed him a lot for all the times he saved him out of court. 

But even after working with a crime organization for the past five years, Steve knew his limits and never committed an evil deed. He never tortured a man to get information. He never got into territorial fights. He never used women for his pleasure just to throw them aside when he was done. He treated them all with care and respect, even the ones at the club that liked to drape their arms over him and whisper sweet words into his ear. The others would jeer Steve by calling him a prude and having a stiff neck but he brushed it off without a care. He made a promise to his mother that no matter what would happen he wouldn't cross the line that his father did. He wouldn't let the evil that consumed his father and destroy their family take him as well. That he would always be a good man. It was the least he could do for her, after all, she had done for him. So he kept his work in the mob strictly business but it goes without saying that Steve had become numb to the crimes the others had committed and deep down he knew that even if he didn't do it himself it was just as horrible. 

"What's he reading?" Scott asked. 

"Anna Karenina." 


 

"You're still not ready?" Bucky said putting his watch on as he entered your shared room. 

You sighed sprawled out on the bed. "I don't feel like going." You said lazily. 

"Oh come on. It won't be so bad." 

You gave him a knowing look and he read your thoughts. Yes, it will. All the parties we go to are horrible. 

"Okay, maybe they do suck." Bucky agreed. "But I can't go alone. What am I gonna tell everyone?" 

"I died. Tell them I died under unusual circumstances so I couldn't make it." 

"I'm not going to say that." Bucky chuckled sitting on the bed next to you. "Why must you always be so difficult?" He asked hovering over you leaning on one arm that was by your side. 

You groan and turn away from him a little. "I just don't feel like going, Bucky. I don't want to be around people." 

"But you've been cooped up in here all week," Bucky complained. "You have to go out, [Y/N]. It's not healthy." 

"Not true, I went to the farmer's market yesterday." 

"That's not what I mean. You need to be around people." Bucky told you. "People you can talk to." 

"I talked with Sam yesterday since you told him to take me there." You made another excuse. 

"[Y/N]," Bucky groaned. "What am I gonna do with you?" 

"Leave me here." You pleaded. 

"Not happening, princess." Bucky got up walking to your closet. "We are going to that party if its the last thing I do." You rolled your eyes. 

He opened your closet to reveal hundreds of designer dresses that were ordered by color. He rolled his eyes in amusement. You were such a neat freak. He picked out a random dress. It didn't really matter they all looked good on you. 

"Alright, put this on." He said throwing it on the bed. 

"I am not wearing that." You said defiantly. 

"And why not?" Bucky said peeved. 

"Two reasons." You said putting up two fingers. "One, that's Marchesa Spring Collection 2018, it' s 2019." Bucky rolled his eyes. "Two, nobody wears chiffon in the winter. It's against the laws of fashion." 

Bucky deeply exhaled as he approached you on the bed. He locked you in place with both of his hands placed on the bed by your face. "What do I have to do to make you put that dress on?" 

"Nothing because I'm not going." You said looking up at him unphased. 

"And what are you going to do here?" 

"I'll come up with something." 

"And you're just gonna let me go all alone?" 

"Never said you had to leave." 

"Really?" Bucky grinned mischievously. "So what do you plan on doing with me if we stay?" 

"You always know how to make our time together worthwhile." 

"Are you implying something, Mrs. Barnes?" He asked with a wicked smile. "Do you have something on your mind?" He asked as he brought himself closer to you. You could feel the tension in his pants. You cursed yourself inwardly. This wasn't the direction you were trying to go into. You were still sore from the night before. 

"Oh my, would you look at the time," you said pushing him away slightly. "I really should get ready. Don't want to be late." You started walking towards the bathroom. Bucky sat down on the bed frowning just a little

The couple walked into the extravagant ballroom. You wrapped your arms around Bucky's as the other guests came to greet you two. You put on your best show for Bucky's sake, smiling at everyone and laughing at their flavorless jokes. You didn't talk much since the topics of the conversation weren't very interesting to you. It was all politics and business. Everyone wanted a chance to speak with Bucky and you really didn't get all the hype.

You sat by Bucky at the table with your head resting on his shoulder and hand intertwined in his as he talked to government officials about the next election. Every now and then, he'd kiss you on the head and ask if you were all right. It made all the old women go crazy, praising Bucky for being such a thoughtful and sweet husband. You scoffed inwardly while Bucky was relishing in praise. You didn’t understand how he could find it all so satisfying. It wasn’t real. It was all a show that you had scripted and rehearsed time and time again until it was perfect. No one could tell what you really felt. No one could see the pain he put you through or the sacrifices you made for a man you didn’t even love. Yet he acted as if it was all real as if he really was a perfect husband as if he really did love you. 

Not being able to take any more of the droll topic at hand, you excused yourself and went to check your makeup in the bathroom. Afterward, you decided to get a drink at the bar hoping it would help you get through such a dull event. You asked the bartender for your favorite drink and sat down on the stool with a sigh. 

“Seems like I’m not the only one bored.” A suave voice came from your left. You turned to look to see a handsome man with gorgeous red hair next to you taking a sip from his drink. 

“I suppose so. I’d rather be at home with a book.” 

“I guess I’m in luck. I’ve found myself a fellow bookworm.” He joked.

You giggled a little. “You like books?” 

“I do.” He said smiling at you. “There’s just something about a good book that just gets me all giddy inside. Nothing compares to that feeling.” 

“I agree with you.” You said taking another sip of your drink. “They’re like a temporary getaway from all the things that trouble you. They take you to places you could never really go.” You said playing with the drink in your hand.

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” He quoted, 

“A fan of Hemingway?” You asked.

“Who isn’t?” You laughed and he couldn’t help but chuckle as well. 

“My name’s Matt. What’s yours?” He asked. 

“I’m [Y/N]. Nice to meet you, Matt.” 

The two of you started a conversation about your favorite novels and authors. From Hemingway to Austen and Wuthering Heights to Slaughterhouse Five, you talked about every book under the sun. Did Pip really love Estella or love what she represented? Was the end in Catcher in the Rye meaningful or completely pointless? You enjoyed your time with Matt and for the first time in a long time, you were actually happy. 

Bucky noticed you speaking to the man at the bar so freely and he balled his fists as he gritted his teeth. Anger and jealousy rushed through his veins when he saw you laugh at the man’s joke so freely. He walked over to the two of you and your joyful expression faltered when you saw the look on his face. 

“Bucky,” You said quietly. 

“[Y/N], where have you been?” He asked through gritted teeth. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you.” 

“I was just getting a drink and then I met Matt.” You told him. 

“Mr. Barnes, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Matt greeted with his hand out. 

Bucky ignored him as he looked to you. His anger was clearly written on his face. He took you by the wrist and pulled you off the chair next to him. 

“Come on, we’re leaving.” He groaned as he pulled you outside the ballroom leaving Matt completely confused. 

"Bucky let go of my hand." You tried to pry from him with no success. His grip on your wrist was bone crushing. "You're hurting me." 

"And how about how much you hurt me?" He said slamming you against the wall roughly. "You know how much I hate it when I see you with other men? When I see them ogling you like that? And you? You just let them." He seethed. 

"It wasn't like that." You tried to explain. "We were just talking." 

"Cut the bullshit." He hissed. "I saw you laughing at his jokes. I saw the way your eyes were looking at him." 

"It wasn't like that all." You whimpered in fear. Your eyes beginning to sting. "You've got the wrong idea-" 

"Don't fucking lie to me." He hissed. "You like it don't you? You like it when other men give you attention. You like it when I get angry, don't you? You love being a little whore when your husband's right there watching you?" 

You shook your head "no" with the tears falling from your eyes. "I don't like it at all." 

Your current state had no effect on Bucky as he pulled you roughly behind him.

"W-where are we going?" You asked trying to wipe your tears before anyone showed up. 

"Home," he grunted. "Gonna teach you who you belong to." 


"Where could it be?" You whispered to yourself as you searched the field of wildflowers for your novel. You knew it had to be here. It was the last place you read it. You looked everywhere but it wasn't there. You huffed as you sat down by the pond. That book was special to you since it was given to you by your father on your birthday. There were sweet memories connected to that book and you needed it back. If only that stupid mob king didn't have to come and disturb you. 

"Looking for this?" A voice asked from behind. You whipped your head back to see Bucky shaking your book in his hand. 

You stood up shocked. "How did you find that?" You asked as he walked up to you. 

"You dropped it the last time we met." He stood in front of you with a smile. "You left without a goodbye. That wasn't very nice." He playfully pouted.

Your face heated at his words as he handed you the book. "Uh, I'm sorry." You said embarrassed. There was a short somewhat awkward silence between the two of you. "Well guess I'll be going then. Thank you, Mr. Barnes." 

"You're welcome, [Y/N]." 

"H-how do you know my name?" You asked amazed. 

Bucky looked at you amused by your reaction. "It's written in your book." 

"Oh yeah."  you had forgotten about that. "Well, it was nice seeing you again." You said turning to leave. 

"I read it." 

"Hmm?" 

"I thought about what you said," Bucky told you. "So I read it again." 

You turned back towards him intrigued. "You read it? All 800 pages of it?" 

"I did." He smirked. "Too hard for you to believe?" 

"No, I didn't mean to insult. I was just saying that it's a pretty long book." You said sheepishly. 

"I had three days to finish it." Bucky shrugged. "I came here every day to check if you were here looking for it."

"Ahh, thank you." You smiled. "I had forgotten about it until today." 

"Too busy thinking about me?" Bucky teased. 

"N-no!" You exclaimed with heat rushing to your face. You clutched the book your chest.

Bucky laughed. "I'm just teasing, doll." 

You sigh at his pet name but let it go. He walked towards the pond and sits near it. You look at him confused and walk to him. 

"Come, sit." He asks sweetly. You hesitate at first not wanting to spend more time with him than you already had but something inside tugs you down to sit with him. 

Bucky sat on the grass in a lounging position leaning on one of his elbows. One of his legs was out towards the water while the other was slightly bent towards his body. You sat next to him with your legs folded under you. You straighten your dress so it covered your knees in front of you with the novel in your lap. 

"I don't get it," Bucky told you. 

"Don't get what?" You asked turning your head to look at him. 

"Anna," he looked out to the pond. "She gave up everything for Vronsky and she still wasn't happy. What was the point then?"  

"You're right but at first she was. From the first moment she met him, Anna knew there was something different about him." You turned to look at him. 

"Okay, so he was hot. Big deal." Bucky shrugged.

"I guess, but before Vronsky, Anna had never loved to that extent. He ignited a flame in her that had been dead for so long. He gave her a reason to live again." Bucky raised a brow at you intrigued. "But she didn't know how to handle it and it spiraled out of control. What at first seemed to be a sweet and passionate love turned into something dark. Maybe if Anna wasn't so self-centered she would've realized that Vronsky truly did love her and it wouldn't have led to her demise." 

"Just goes to show that love isn't as pure and wholesome as everyone says it is," Bucky said scornfully. 

"You're right. It isn't." You agreed. Bucky was caught off guard by what you said. He had expected you to disagree. You smiled at his confused state. "That's what I love about this novel, it shows the good and bad of everything. Family. Marriage. Society. Love isn't good. It makes people think irrationally. It causes them to be possessive and end up hurting the people they say they love." You look out at the water shimmering the sun and smile. "But at the same time, love gives you hope. A hope that you won't be sad forever, that you won't be alone. That someday you'll meet the one that was made for you. Who knows maybe your love story will end up like Anna and Vronsky, broken and tragic. Or it could be something more. It could be something beautiful and transcendent." 

Bucky looked at you with admiration. Your form was shining in the spring sun as you looked out towards the pond. You looked so heavenly and pure. Just like your thoughts and words. Bucky felt an urgency in his chest and all he wanted to do was pull you on top of him to feel your heartbeat against his. He wanted to wrap his arms around your waist locking you in place. He wanted to feel the cool breeze sweeping by him while kissing you softly not knowing which one was giving him goosebumps. But what he wanted most was the hope that you had. He wanted to protect it, preserve it, and keep it for himself. And if he couldn’t have it then he could at least have you. 

Bucky chuckled quietly at your words. You turned to him with a red face. "Sorry," you say playing with your hands in your lap. "I know it's a bit cheesy."  

Bucky sits up to look at you and smiles. "No, it's not. It's a good thing to have hope."  You look up at him slightly. "I hope someday you find the one you'll love." He wished with warm blue eyes. 

You couldn't tell what was happening inside of you when he said it. It made your heart race and palms sweaty. It was a feeling beyond compare. There was also something inside telling you to run, that you've been here too long, that you needed to stay away from this man. It made sense why but you just couldn't bring yourself to do it. 

You smile at him and something inside of Bucky ignites.

"I hope you do, too." 

Chapter Text

"If you don't shut the hell up, Lang, I'm putting a bullet in your head." Bucky sneered at the man in the front seat of the car. 

Scott sank in his seat quietly not wanting to peeve his boss'. Clint snickered at Scott while driving. 

"How long until we get there?" Steve asked. 

"New York traffic is a merciless leviathan. Who knows at this point."

"Why didn't you take 6th instead?" Bucky questioned. 

"Uhh. It slipped out of my mind. Sorry, boss." He said sheepishly. 

Bucky groaned in reply. Were all the men under him this incompetent? He looked out the window to see a farmer's market across the street and noticed a certain someone who had been on his mind lately. Without a second thought, he got out of the car and into the steady traffic. 

"Buck, where are you going!?" Steve asked confused. 

Bucky ran through the traffic leaving the men in utter confusion. He reached the farmer's market to see you standing in front of a stall of apples in deep thought. He smiled wondering what could possibly be going on in that pretty, little mind of yours. 

"[Y/N]!" He exclaimed and you looked up to see him coming towards you. 

"Oh God," you mumbled quickly paying the vendor and walking away pretending you didn't hear him. Bucky noticed and chuckled to himself as he ran behind you calling your name. He swerved by customers and vendors. He ducked under crates of fruits carried by men but you were always two steps ahead. Who would've thought you were so fast? He took a shortcut by jumping over one of the stalls surprising the people there. He ran quickly then turned to stop right in front of you. You jumped back a little shocked by his interception and looked back to see how he got to you. 

"Mr. Barnes, fancy seeing you here." You greeted. 

"I could say the same for you." He replied grinning. "Is it me or are you always trying to run away from me?" He asked. 

"I wasn't!" You lied. "I just didn't see you." 

"You were looking right at me." 

"I'm nearsighted. I couldn't tell it was you." 

"I called your name." He asked bemused. 

"I-" you didn't have an excuse for that. 

"You're a very bad liar, my friend." He said leaning against the post of a stall. 

"We aren't friends." You mumbled walking past him. He followed right behind you. 

"Well, we're certainly not strangers. So what does that make us?" He said stopping you again. 

"Nothing and if anything we're just acquaintances. Nothing more. Nothing less." You said turning around him again. "Although I would really like to be a no one." You said walking past him. 

You found the plums and Bucky found you. "Why are you always so cold towards me, doll? You're always tryna get away." He complained as you began to pick out plums. 

You looked up to him annoyed. "Well, Mr. Barnes it may be because you're line of work isn't the most reputable source of income." Bucky admired your straightforward attitude.

"You shouldn't judge a book by its cover, doll."

"Not if the title gives away the entire story." You replied quickly. 

Bucky smirked at your sharpness and paid the vendor for your plums. "Keep the change." He said. 

"I can pay by myself." You stated. 

"I can't let a girl pay when I'm right here," Bucky said taking a plum from your bag and biting it. "Wouldn't be much of a gentleman if I did." 

You rolled your eyes at his words. "Mr. Barnes,"

"Please, call me Bucky." He said smoothly.

"Mr. Barnes," you emphasized. Bucky pouted. "I only helped you that day because you were hurt should I have known you were this clingy I would've left you there." 

"Ouch, doll, that really hurts." He said playfully tugging on his chest. 

"Please do me a favor and leave me alone? Just forget about me." You asked. Bucky sighed and came closer to you. You put your guard up unsure of what his next move would be. 

"That's a little hard for me to do when you're the only thing I think about day and night." He tucked a loose strand of hair behind your ear, the touch of his fingers against your skin gave you goosebumps. Your face was brighter than the strawberries in your bag. He smirked. "You only know me by what everyone else says but that doesn't mean you really know me. So why don't you give me a chance and find out what I'm really like? I promise I'm not as bad as everyone puts me out to be." He said with sincere eyes. 

Bucky took your hand in his and kissed the back of it. You gulped speechless by how close he was to you and the feel of his lips on your skin. His serene blue eyes bore into you and took in every minute detail of your face. You stumbled in your words while trying not to swoon over how handsome he was. James Barnes was smoother than metal and sweet like cinnamon. He lit a saccharine fire in your soul that you had never felt before. 

  "[Y/N],"  A voice came from behind. You pulled your hand out of Bucky's as you turned to see a young man with brown hair dressed in casual clothes. "There you are. I was waiting for you at the Clock Tower. Where have you been?" 

You walked up to him. "Sorry Tony, I got distracted." 

"That's typical. Look." He said waving a bag in your hand. "Here's your daily fix of peaches and I got you another bag so you wouldn't drag me all the way here again." 

"Tony there are at least twenty peaches in each of these. How in the world am I going to finish this?" 

Tony snorted. "Are you kidding me? I've seen you eat ten of these in an hour." 

"No, I haven't!" 

"Yes, you have. You're addicted." Tony noticed Bucky behind you. 

"Mr. Barnes," Tony said confused. 

"Mr. Stark." Bucky nodded with his hands in his pockets. 

"Mr. Stark is my father. I'm Tony." He hated it when people called him that. "Didn't think you'd be out grocery shopping." 

Bucky shrugged. "I just bumped into a friend." He smiled. 

Tony looked at you. "You guys are friends?" 

"No." 

"Yes."  The two of you said simultaneously. 

You glared at Bucky who in turn smirked at you mischievously. Tony looked at both of you confused. 

 "Shouldn't you be cooped up in a lab somewhere?" Bucky asked. 

"Usually I am, but [Y/N] always drags me out to go shopping with her." Tony smiled at you. "She thinks I don't get enough Vitamin D." 

Bucky felt a streak of jealousy at how easily your name rolled off of Tony's tongue. He didn't like it one bit. 

"Buck! What was that all about?" Steve exclaimed from behind as he approached with Clint behind him. "What was so important that you had to run into traffic like that?" 

Bucky exhaled somewhat annoyed by their presence. Steve looked over to see you and Tony standing there and a light bulb went off in his head. You must be the one. 

“Well, I think you’re very busy so we should leave, right [Y/N]?” Tony asked. 

“Right, let’s go.” You said quickly. You handed Clint the bag of plums. “This belongs to you.” You told him. Clint took it rather confused and a scowl formed on Bucky’s face. 

Tony took the bag in your hand as you walked away and whispered something into your ear that made you elbow him in the side. Bucky glared at the two a million thoughts coursing through his mind. 

“Is that her?” Steve asked. 

Bucky snapped his head to look at the blonde. “Yeah,” he mumbled. 

“Ain’t that Howard Stark’s kid?” Clint asked. 

“It is. The sole heir to Stark Industries.” Steve affirmed. 

“Barton,”

“Yeah, boss?” Clint asked taking a bite from a plum. 

“I want you to keep an eye on that guy,” he looked back at the two. Steve raised a brow at him. “Don’t let him out of your sight.” 

-

“So you wanna tell me when you decided to be a part of the mafia?” Tony asked walking beside you. 

“I’m not in the mafia,” you told him. 

“Then explain to me how you happen to know him?”

“Well, you seem to know him pretty well.” You pointed out. 

“I’ve only met him because of my dad.” He told you. “Doesn’t mean I know him nor do I want to and I think you should stay away from him too.” He stood in front of you. “Listen [Y/N], that guy’s not someone to play around with. He’s whole lotta trouble.” 

“I know he is. I’m trying to stay away but he keeps on popping up everywhere I go.” You tell him. 

“How did you meet him in the first place?”

“Uh, I uh helped him.” 

“Helped him?” Tony looked at you. “Do what? Rob a bank?” 

“No, I was at the park. You know the place where I always like to read.” You told him. “And he showed up hurt so I helped him.” 

“Why in the world would you help that guy? He’s a criminal!” Tony exclaimed.

“Well at the time I didn’t know he was. Okay?”

“Still! You can’t just go around helping everyone, [Y/N], it’s dangerous.” Tony scolded you. “Just because they’re hurt doesn’t mean they’re the holiest people on the planet.” 

“So you’re telling me not to help others in need?” 

“That’s not what I meant, Mother Teresa.” Tony sighed placing his hand on your shoulder. “What I’m trying to say is that you have to be careful out there. Just because you think about the best for others doesn’t mean they have the same in mind for you.” 

“I know that, Tony.” You said annoyed. “I’m not a baby. I know how to take care of myself. And I’m trying to stay away from him.” 

“You think he’s got a tracker on you or something?” Tony joked. 

“That’s not funny, Tony.” You groaned walking away. 

“Okay maybe not.” He said coming behind you quickly. “Look, [Y/N], I don’t want to be domineering. Your free to make your decisions but promise me you’ll stay safe from now on? For me?” 

You nodded with a smile. “Of course I will.” You assured. “Plus I’m not afraid of that silly mobster. I’ve got my very own Superman to save me.” You giggled at him as you wrapped your arms around him. Tony chuckled completely flustered by your gesture. 

“I guess you do.” 

You let go and walked on the edge of the low stone fence that lined the small park the two of you were entering since it was a shortcut to your house. You tried to balance yourself on it and Tony would laugh when your feet would get twisted. It was a warm spring day just like any other but best of all it was cherry blossom season. A cool breeze swept through the park causing the blossoms to fall off the trees. It was like it was raining a soft pink. 

“Hey [Y/N], can I tell you something?” Tony asked softly. 

“Yeah go ahead.” You told him. 

“Ok well, you have to get down from there then.” He chuckled as he helped you down. 

“What’s up?” You asked with curiosity. 

“There’s been something I’ve been wanting to tell you for a while now and, um, it just feels like the right time now.” He said somewhat nervous. Which he didn’t really get. Tony Stark, the epitome of confidence, was never nervous but you had a way of doing things to him that no one else could do. 

“Okaaay,” 

“Um well, you see.” He scratched his head. “It’s just that.” He tried to let the words out but it turned into a jumbled mess. “You see I and You and well there’s something going on and I don’t know how to explain it but...” 

You looked at him completely confused. “What are you talking about?” 

“I uh just.” He groaned internally and gave up. “I was reading this book on helium and I just couldn’t put it down.” 

You groaned at his words. “I hate you and you’re stupid science jokes, Tony.” You walked away from him your sundress flowing behind you and your ponytail bouncing with every step. 

“Hey! Come on! Don’t say that.” He said running behind you. “You love me and my jokes!” 

You shook your head with a chuckle. If only he knew how right he was. 


Bucky woke up early the next morning from an urgent call concerning certain shipments that were arriving that very day. His initial plan was to spend a lazy day with you but duty calls and he had no other option. He prepared to leave and was almost out the bedroom door until he looked over to see you actually sleeping for the first time in a week and grinned. You were resting with nothing on but a pair of lace panties and your limbs tangled in the sheets. Bucky came over to your side and covered you with the duvet to keep you warm. He kissed the side of your head and decided not to wake you up before leaving. 

"Alright Peaches, can you take care of [Y/N] for me while I'm gone?" He asked the ginger cat standing in front of the door. The chubby cat only meows in reply. 

Your eyes peeked through the pillows around eleven-thirty. Bucky was long gone and the apartment had a dead silence floating through it. You rubbed your eyes to see the time clearly and were shocked at how late it was. That was the problem with dark, gloomy winter days. Without the sun to tell you what time it was, you begin to forget that time even existed and spend your days in a droll routine. You sit up only to feel a sharp pain down below which made you hiss as you slowly returned to your prior state.

 " Not getting out of here anytime soon." You thought. The ache in your abdomen brought back memories of the night before and you could feel goosebumps at the thought of him on top of you. He was relentless and punishing, not caring if you had reached your limit. If Bucky wasn't done with you, neither were you and unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your mood) he could go on for hours without a break. It made you wonder how anyone could have such high stamina. 

There was a burning sensation on your thighs and you could feel the ghost of his lips on every inch of your body claiming you as his. You could still feel the stretch of when he filled you so perfectly and hear his filthy words as he thrust into you at full force. It didn't matter to him what you wanted so he never asked. He took you whichever way he wanted to. On your back, your stomach, in the air. Whatever way he deemed fit. He was dominating and ruthless with a deep lust that only you could quell. What you hated the most was how your body would accept him so easily and how the deepest, darkest parts of you enjoyed him being so rough. 

You groaned in bed and decided to get up. Pain or no pain you were bored of sitting in bed. You groaned as you stood up and walked over your dresser to look for a big comfy sweater. You found one of Bucky's hoodies and slipped it on covering the bruises your sweet husband had left on your hips and the love bites he had marked your entire body with to remind you who you belonged to. You walked over to your bathroom to clean yourself up and proceeded with your day. 

It did hurt to walk but you were slowly growing accustomed to it. You weren't very hungry and decided to skip breakfast or lunch. You decided to do a little cleaning to keep you occupied although there wasn't anything to clean. To say you were a neat freak would be an understatement. You loved to clean and in a weird way it calmed your nerves. You loved to keep things organized and neat. Bucky didn't really understand why you had to rearrange everything when it was fine just where it was. He found it slightly annoying, but if there was one thing he had learned in his short time as a married man, it was to never question a woman in the matters of her home unless you had a death wish. So he just let you do your thing and complained a little when he couldn't find his belongings because you had to put them in a fancy new jar for absolutely no reason at all. Bucky did find it amusing when you would get angry at him for not putting things where they belonged and you had a good feeling he did it on purpose. 

You opened up an already tidy closet and reached for a box on the top shelf. You forgot what you had put up there and decided to check it out. You grabbed the box and knew instantly what it was. It was a medium-sized box decorated with flowers. You walked into your living room and sat on the couch to open the vibrant box to reveal various keepsakes and photos that you had collected over the years. You had forgotten you still had them. There were Christmas photos and some of you as a child with your parents Some were taken with your friends during your early teenage years and you cringed at how embarrassing you looked at the time. 

You found a couple of photos with Tony in them and they brought a smile to your face. There was one from your birthday and instead of feeding you cake he smashed it on your face. You began to giggle remembering how much fun that was. You found another with the two of you at the beach. He was pulling you into the water with a huge wave coming towards you. You were afraid of being in so deep and expressed it quite clearly in the picture. Then there was Tony with his arm around your waist and a mischievous smile on his face as he looked onto the wave with a daring and exciting expression. "Classic Tony," you thought to yourself. He was always a bit of a daredevil. Always testing his limits and for some reason, he had to drag you along with him. He always tried to push you out of your comfort zone but never to the point that you couldn't handle it. You didn't have to say a word because he would already know. He always knew what was good for you and he knew exactly what you were thinking as if he could read your mind. No one could ever understand you the way Tony did. No one could ever take his place in your heart. 

Underneath the photos was a CD cover with the title written in Tony's awful handwriting: 

"Tony Stark's Mind-Blowing Playlist:

For Someone Who Thinks One Direction Are Actually Good a.k.a. [Y/N]." 

 

You rolled your eyes and walked over to your laptop to pop the CD in. There was a list inside the cover with the songs in the CD. It wasn't much of a surprise there was a lot of Led Zeppelin and ACDC. There were a few artists you didn't know about but the quality of the music remained constant. You laid on the couch listening quietly thinking about all the good memories you had created with Tony. You remembered when he used to pull you to dance with him. You'd get embarrassed and tried prying away from him only to have him pull you back into him until you were laughing at how stupid the two of you looked. You could never remember spending a bad day with him. The last song had ended and you reached over to turn it off. Suddenly you heard Tony's voice and your heart sank. 

"Hey [Y/N], Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with the CD. I just wanted to tell you something, something I just couldn't man up to tell you in person." He said. 

"Well um, uh," Tony chuckled in embarrassment. You had missed the sound of his laughter. "Yikes…..this is bad." He said ruefully. He took a deep breath. "Uhh ok, how about we start over?" He asked. "It's pretty funny, isn't it? You always call me a daredevil, a man without fear, and yet I just can't tell you the one thing I've been wanting to say for so long." 

Your heart began to race and something inside of you began to arise. 

"I don't know why I can't say it when you're with me. Maybe it's because I'm a coward or maybe it's because you're like the sun and the only thing I wanna do then is bask in your warm presence. There's not a thing about you I'd wanna change. Everything you are and everything you do is perfect in my eyes." 

You cover your face with your hands not wanting to hear anymore. 

"What I'm really trying to say is, [Y/N]. Is that… well. As stuffy ol' Mr. Darcy would put it," he alluded. "You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you, [Y/N]." 

Your heart hitched in your throat as your eyes began to sting uncontrollably. 

"I know." He chuckled awkwardly. "I know. It's a bit strong, isn't it? I mean does Tony even know what love is?" He asked you. "Maybe I don't really understand what love is. I mean I'm only twenty-two. What could I possibly know? But I know one thing. What I feel for you is far deeper than anything I've felt before. Sometimes it feels like love isn't a deep enough word to express how I feel. Cause there's nothing in this world that compares to you. Nothing comes close to even half of you." 

You began to cry at his sweet words. "Oh Tony," you mumbled. 

"And I know that as long as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar marks the passage of time, I will love you. I'll love you if I never see you again and I'll love you even if I see you next Tuesday." 

You could picture the smile on his face. "That's Lemony Snicket, you know." He said trying to show off. Of course, you knew. You chuckled shaking your head with teary eyes. You were the one who read it to him. 

"I could spend the rest of this CD and countless more telling you just how much I love you but it wouldn't really matter unless you love me too. I'm willing to bet that you do?" He asked. You nodded your head in agreement with your tears glistening your face. "And if you do I'm ready to give you every joy this world has to offer. Every happiness that I can attain would belong to you. I want to spend every moment with you. I want to listen to you read all of your dreadfully cheesy romance novels and even let my ears bleed while listening to One Direction. As long as I get to spend every waking moment with you. It'd be worth it all. I love you [Y/N], from the first moment we met and until my dying breath. I love you [Y/N], I'll always love you."

You began to sob as you dropped to the ground completely shaken by his message. If only you weren't so foolish. If only you listened maybe Tony would have still been here. He would have still been there to tease you to no avail and fight all the bullies that came your way. Maybe if he was still here you'd get to listen to his spiels on quantum physics and the expanding universe that made you fall asleep every single time. You'd get to see that pretty smile of his and twinkling brown eyes speaking so passionately about the things he loved. 

It was all your fault and you would never forgive yourself for what you did to your best friend. You cried for him. Saying you were sorry repeatedly and that you loved him more than he could ever love you. You wished he was here so you could tell him just how you felt. You wanted to cup his face in your hands and tell him that he was your universe and just as the universe expanded into unknown dimensions so did your love. You wanted to be pulled into his arms and smell the strong scent of coffee on him. It was in his arms that you felt safe and protected. It was where you felt wanted and loved. Home was right there in his arms. 

You cried for hours to no avail. Tony's confession to you had sparked an avalanche of emotion that you had kept at bay for so long. You harbored it for a whole year and one simple and sweet message was all that was needed to let it all go. The pain you felt in your chest was unbearable. It was everlasting and unrelenting. It was more than guilt it was deep sorrow. The anguish one received when losing a loved one. 

Bucky came home to you and was startled and worried about your current state. You were on the floor with nothing on but his hoodie and were a sobbing mess. He tried to console but you flinched at his touch and pushed him away the minute he got closer. Bucky was truly worried for you and wondered what had brought this upon you. You finally let him hold you and he kept on asking what was wrong but you shook your head not saying a word as the tears rolled down your face. He rubbed your back and kissed your head assuring you that everything was going to be okay while rocking you back and forth. But you knew it wasn't. Nothing would ever be okay. As long as Tony wasn't there nothing mattered. 

After what felt like hours and many tears later, you dozed off in Bucky's arms. He picked you up bridal style with your head laid on his chest as he took you to bed. After tucking you in, he sat down on the bed next to you with his dress shirt drenched with your tears not wanting to leave you alone. You slept peacefully and your steady breathing calmed the brunette but didn't phase the guilt inside of him. He shouldn't have left you alone and been so rough with you the night before. After all you were like a porcelain doll, delicately crafted and gentle to the touch. He needed to make it up to you somehow. Maybe he'd spend the whole day with you tomorrow. He could take you to that bookstore on 12th Street you loved so much. Whatever you wanted to do it didn't matter to him.

He leaned over to kiss your forehead before leaving you alone. He walked into the living room and noticed the pictures left on the coffee table. He took a closer look and his jaw clenched at the pictures of Tony and you as he flipped through them. Was this the reason you were crying? Was it for him? Even after all this time, you were still pining over him? Bucky's anger began to rage as he picked up the pictures and ripped them into a million pieces before throwing them out. Bucky was absolutely pissed and hit the wall with the side of his fist. He sat down and noticed a small black leather-bound book sitting carelessly on the coffee table. He picked up the book and raised a brow since he had never seen it before. He opened it to the first page to reveal your name and he realized it must have been your journal. A part of him wanted to put it back since it was personal because even if he was your husband your privacy should be respected. The devil on his other shoulder urged him to turn the page for who knows what you could've written in there. He fell for the temptation and turned the page to reveal what you had thought was hidden so well. 

Chapter Text

“[Y/N], what’s today’s date? May...?” An elderly man asked you as he was writing.

“It's the twelfth, sir.” You told him sweeping the floor of the bookstore you worked at.  

“Ah, yes.” He chuckled to himself. “This ancient mind of mine is losing its’ memory.”

“Oh don’t say that.” You smiled as you came up to him.

“It is. I’m getting too old to run this bookstore. If you weren’t here I would’ve been out of business a while ago.” You looked down at your feet sheepishly not really knowing what to say. “Alright,” the old man said signing his name on the paper. “I’m off to the bank to deposit this check and run a few errands. Do you think you can close the bookshop for me?”

The bookstore you worked at was on the corner of 5th street. It was an old bookstore run by a sweet old man named Mr. Davis. The interior was decorated with antique furnishings and a spiral staircase that led to the second floor of books. It was a small and cozy shop and you enjoyed working there even if a lot of people didn’t drop in. To you it was like heaven. You could find any and every book you could possibly think of. It was the greatest place on earth.

“Of course!” You told him. “You can count on me.” You said excitedly.

“It’s that youthful excitement that I miss the most.” He chuckled as he took his hat from the rack. “Well, I'll be off then.” He told you as he walked towards the door.

The door opened before he could reach for it and revealed the specter that had been haunting you for the past two weeks. You ducked down behind the counter when you saw Bucky standing there a little wet due to it drizzling outside. You groaned. What was he doing here?

“Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to barge in unexpectedly,” Bucky said to the old man. “Are you closing?”

“Oh it’s quite alright,” Mr. Davis replied. “I’m just going to run a few errands but my employee will be here to help.” He looked over to see that you were gone. “That’s funny she was right here a minute ago. [Y/N], where are you?”

You peeked from the counter, to see a confused Mr. Davis and an amused Bucky. You got up slowly.

“What were you doing behind there?” He asked.

You laughed sheepishly. “Oh, I was just…” You picked up the broom next to you. “Cleaning.”

“Very well then.” He said. “Please help this young man if he needs anything.” You nodded. “Well if you'll excuse me now I shall be going now.” Mr. Davis left the bookstore leaving you and Bucky to your own devices.

“I didn’t know you worked here.” He told you.

You scoffed inwardly. He definitely knew.  

“I do.” You said curtly. “What are you doing here?”

“Well, I’m here to buy a book.” He told you with a matter of fact tone.

“Are you really now?" You asked dubiously.

"Listen doll, the reason we meet all the time is purely coincidence." He told you.

"For some reason, I don't believe you." You said.

"I'm being honest," he chuckled. "I'm here to get a book for my sister. She's coming back from school and I want to give her a welcome home present."

He spoke the truth. His sweet little sister, Becca, was coming home from boarding school and he wanted to get her a book since she had a love for reading. Bucky also found out that you worked at this bookstore. So why not kill two birds with one stone?

"You have a sister?"

"Yes, I do. Mobsters have families too, you know." He joked. "We put family before anything."

"Yeah, I've seen The Godfather I know." You said. "Well, I guess I'll leave you to your search. If you need anything just ask."

"Actually the problem is I don't know what book to get." He said scratching the back of his neck sheepishly. "I only know she likes romance novels. So if you could direct me to the best romance novel, bookkeeper, I would greatly appreciate it."

"Follow me." You sighed as you walked up to the spiral staircase and he followed close behind.

"Is there a certain type of book she likes?" You asked. "YA romance? Poems? Classic?"

"I don't know," Bucky said not wanting to get technical. "What's your favorite?"

You turned to look at him and gave him a lopsided smile. "I-uh- well I like them all."

"That doesn't really help a lot." He joked. "You can't like every book." You grunted. 

"I like most."

"What's your absolute favorite book? One that's above all the rest."

"It's Anna Karenina."

"Second to that one." He said as you reached the top. You walked towards the shelves filled with romance novels.

"Umm, I don't know. There's too many." You began to think. You walked up to a shelf. "How about Wuthering Heights?" You picked out the book and handed it to him. "Or Pride and Prejudice. Oo Jane Eyre is really good, so is Outlander." You stack the books in his arms not noticing that it was getting too tall. Nevertheless, Bucky didn't complain because of how cute you looked flitting around to every book knowing the exact spot it was located. "Of course Gone With The Wind and The Princess Bride. How could I forget The Notebook!?" You exclaimed.

"That's a movie." He stated under the stack of books.

You gave him a sigh. "It was a book before it became a movie." You looked over at him and saw him holding a stack of books up to his forehead. "Oh, I'm sorry." You said embarrassed taking some of the books from him and placing them on a stool nearby.

"It's fine," Bucky said placing them on top of your small stack. "You know, doll, I only asked for one book and you gave me twenty." He said motioning to the books in a teasing tone.

"Sorry, I got carried away." You laughed nervously.

"Well, which one of these is the best?" He asked.

"Hmmm," you thought and a light bulb lit in your head. "Actually, there's one that's better than all of these." You walked to the next aisle and he followed you. You picked out the book and handed it to him.

"Gatsby, ol' sport." He said looking at the cover.

"I'm guessing you've read it?" You asked.

"I have. It's boring." He deadpanned.

"How could you say that?" You said offended. "The Great Gatsby is one of the best novels in American Literature. The amount of symbolism and thematic depth is just remarkable."

"Jeez doll, do you have a lecture for every novel?" He teased.

You pouted. "No," you said. "I just like to discuss them."

"Seems to me like you have a liking to tragic love stories." He concluded leaning against the shelf.

He was right. You had never thought of that before."I don't know. There's just something about them that makes it more enjoyable. Maybe I just really love being angsty all the time."

Bucky chuckled as he leaned closer to you. "Okay, so what's your reasoning for this novel?" Why is this one so good?" Bucky enjoyed when you spoke about your favorite novels. He loved to see the excitement written on your face and the glimmering passion in your eyes.

You gave him a lopsided smile knowing he was teasing you. "Well, I love this one because of the heavy use of symbolism, everything has another meaning, but most of all I love Fitzgerald's prose. It's absolutely beautiful. It's not extravagant or too flowery, it's straight to the point but evokes a strong feeling and sends a deep message." You flipped through the pages looking for an example. "Like this one right here." You began to read with Bucky right next to you.

"He knew that when he kissed this girl and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God."

Bucky took in everything about you. You're loosely braided hair and soft (s/c) skin. The delicate movements of your soft plump lips and the sweet melody that was your voice. He was completely lost in you, falling deeper into all that was you. All Bucky wanted to do at that moment was kiss you. He wanted to know how your lips tasted, an impending question since the very first moment he met you.

" So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star."

You looked up ever so slightly to see him listening intently. You could feel the tension in the air and couldn't help but be drawn to Bucky. You looked into his misty blue eyes that were admiring your every flaw as if they were your perfections. He drew closer to you with his lips painstakingly close to yours. The store was completely quiet and the only thing that calmed your racing heart was the rain hitting the roof above you.

At that moment, you felt like Daisy Buchanan for only Gatsby looked at her the way all women wanted to be looked at by their lovers. His arms slowly snaked around your waist as yours landed on his forearms. Bucky didn't make a move, even if it was killing him inside to do so. He didn't want to push you into something you didn't want. This was your decision. You quoted the last part perfectly from memory.

"Then he kissed her. At his lips’ touch, she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete."

Bucky took it as a spoken word and planted his lips against yours into a soft kiss. It was as if he was finally relieved of an irritating pain. As if he had been traveling restlessly through the desert to finally find his oasis. You tasted so good, better than he had ever imagined. You were so perfect and he just wanted you all to himself. He deepened the kiss and your fingers found their way to the back of his head, weaving into his short brown locks.

He was absolutely breathtaking and one hell of a kisser. You couldn't think of anything but him. The shop was gone, the books were gone, and every functioning part of your brain became hazy by his tender touch. You didn't know what brought this upon you maybe it was just a spur of the moment or something you had been trying to repress ever since you met him. You didn't know and at this point didn't care. All that mattered to you was taking all of him in as he tilted your head to deepen the kiss even more. Your heart leaped at the feeling of his hands on your hips growing tighter and your fingers pulled on his hair just a little out of excitement.

Every horribly cheesy fanfiction of "good girl falls in love with bad boy" that you used to read when you were twelve came to mind, but you wanted to believe he was more than just a youthful romance. You wanted him to be your Gatsby, your Vronsky, your Noah, and it was somewhat embarrassing. You didn't know much about him, certainly not enough to say he was your lover or soulmate but there was a voice inside your head saying he was more than just an acquaintance. Maybe you didn't need to know, Anna never asked Vronsky to submit an application she just knew it from the inside. There was a rekindling fire in Anna's soul when she met him and it was all she needed to know he was the one. Just like Anna, you felt a frenzy of emotions inside of you. It felt as if you were on fire with his body impossibly close to yours and even if you kissed him with all your force you wanted more and had the feeling he did too.

There was an inkling of guilt inside the pit of your heart as you kissed Bucky with fervent passion. It felt like you had betrayed yourself. You had betrayed Tony. You loved Tony, you knew you did and even if he didn't say anything you knew the feeling was mutual. It was never a question when it came to him it was always a fact. You knew if Tony saw you at this very moment kissing Bucky it would shatter his heart into a million pieces. The amount of guilt was inexplicable but ephemeral. The minute Bucky smoothly slipped his tongue into your mouth all of your attention reverted back to him.

You pulled him into you to make the kiss deeper if that was even possible, and Bucky placed his hands against the shelf so he wouldn't fall on you. He smiled in the kiss because of your enthusiasm. He finally broke apart softly panting for air and was only a few centimeters from you. You opened your eyes to look into his and he quietly chuckled making your heart leap. He picked up the novel you had dropped onto the floor during the kiss and smiled.

"I guess I'll be buying this then." You nodded reddened beyond compare.

The bell of the bookstore jingled and you walked over to the overhead balcony to see who it was.

"Hey boss, are you ready?" Sam asked.

"Yeah, I am." He told the man as he walked down the staircase with you right behind him.

Bucky bought the book and right before leaving gave you another sweet kiss over the counter. Sam smirked as he opened the door.

"I'll see you around then, huh?" Bucky asked with shimmering blue eyes. You nodded as he walked away. He waved goodbye with a bright smile and you copied him sheepishly.

Outside, Sam chuckled. "Guessing my plan worked?"

"For once it did." Bucky laughed with inexplicable happiness.

Inside, you sat quietly behind the counter still ruffled by the kiss. You banged your head on the counter hard and groaned.

"Oh [Y/N], you're really in it now."


 

May 12, 2017

There are some matters in this world that you really can't understand. Some things remain a mystery and others are just beyond our understanding. We look for answers but never find them. Every time I meet James Barnes, I end up with more questions than I have answers for. His charming smile and stupid jokes pull me into a whirlwind only to come out dizzy and weak in the knees.

I can't tell if this is love or just a burning desire for I have loved before but this is a completely different affair. I've never experienced it. The thrill. The rush. The more of him I see leaves me wanting everything he has to offer. I feel like it's more than just a craving, it's something I need. Even if I've only kissed him once, it felt like it was more than just an attraction and a part of me wants to believe that it is love. A love stronger than every earthly force. A passionate love that I've only read in novels.

I'm in uncharted territory. Lost in a place where I secretly don't want to be found. I don't understand myself. Even though everyone tells me to stand my guard and my mind warns me to stay away, my heart betrays me and yearns for more of him. I try to fight it. I try my best to stand firm in my convictions. Yet it's all done in vain. The instant I feel his tender touch on my skin I melt like iron when it touches a molten flame. The very conscious that warned me to abstain from him morphs into another and all of my thoughts, all of my virtues, everything I've ever known are thrown out the window the minute I'm under his affectionate gaze.

James Barnes is an enigma. One that I may never find an answer to and maybe there doesn't need to be one. Not everything needs an answer or at least not right away. Even if he is as lethal as people say he is, I can't help yearning for his lips against mine. Even if he is a poison created to kill me, I can't help but feel safe in his arms. I need him, as much as I'd hate to admit it, and as I fall into this abyss of all that is James Barnes, I can't help but feel an inexplicable ecstasy.

X

Bucky closed the journal as a wave of regret washed over him. How could he have doubted you? What kind of husband was he for thinking his wife would love another man behind his back? He put the journal back cursing himself for treading into your privacy.

Bucky sighed as he got up and walked back to the bedroom and laid down next to you. He pulled you in closer to him and placed a kiss on your forehead right before dozing off to sleep. He slept with ease in his heart and an undoubted belief. You were his, he was yours, and there was nothing in this universe that could ever tear you two apart.

Chapter Text

"Oh come on Stevie, why can't you tell me?" Becca whined.

"Because Becky, I don't know anything about it." Steve sighed putting his papers down.

"Don't call me, Becky!" The brunette pouted. "I hate it when everyone calls me that."

"Why? It's so cute." Steve teased.

Becca blushed at his statement. She always did have a bit of a crush on the blonde. "Because it makes me feel like a little kid and I'm not a little kid!"

"Well, you're the youngest in the family." Steve chuckled placing his hand on her shoulder.

"It's annoying." Becca shimmied his hand off of her. "Everyone treats me like a baby. I'm going to turn seventeen next month for crying out loud."

"There's no fun in growing up, Becky. Trust me on that." Steve advised.

"Let me decide on that and how about you tell me what's going on with my brother?"

Steve deeply exhaled thinking he had successfully evaded the prior topic. The Barnes really were a persistent bunch. "I don't know anything."

"Oh come on, Bucky tells you everything." She said not believing him. "He's your best friend."

"He's also my boss now." Steve pointed out. "So there are some matters he doesn't discuss with me."

"That may be true but I know you know something." She pointed at him. "Even if Buck didn't tell you anything, which I highly doubt he did, I know for a fact that you have some type of idea of what's going on."

Steve shook his head with a chuckle. "Why don't you just go ask him?"

"Because he's busy and I know he won't tell me." Becca sighed. "He's gonna kick me out of his office again."

"That never stopped you before."

"No it hasn't," Becca said. "I thought you'd be easier to talk to, but it turns out you're no help."

"Sorry for being so imcompetent." Steve joked.

Becca sighed. "Well, I guess I'll go bother Bucky then." She stood up to walk away but looked at Steve once more. "Can you answer just one question, Steve?"

Steve nodded in response.

"Is he really...ya know?" She asked with a grin plastered on her face. "Is he really in love?" She whispered to him.

Steve chuckled at her childish behavior. "I guess it's safe to say that he is." He whispered in return.
Becca's grin grew to the corners of her eyes as she jumped in excitement. She skipped out of the library towards Bucky's office.

The thought of her big brother being in love was one Becca didn't really believe could come true. Nevertheless, it didn't mean she wasn't open to it. She loved her brother and wanted him to have all the happiness the world could offer.

When Becca first arrived home, she noticed Bucky acting differently than before. He was more cheerful than usual always sporting a far off look on his face. She had caught him smiling to himself more than once and even asked him what was so funny when he'd chuckle for no reason. He would just brush it off saying it was something she wouldn't understand which Becca took slightly as an insult.

It wasn't until she saw the kitten clad handkerchief in his pocket did she know that this was something more than him being weird. Becca knew her brother wouldn't carry such a cute piece of cloth let alone a plain handkerchief and quickly concluded that it must have belonged to a girl. Then it all started to make sense. The daydreams. The lovey dovey smiles. The glimmer in his eyes. They were all symptoms of a common case of falling in love. She just couldn't believe it and wondered for days about the girl that had captured her brother's heart. What was she like? Did she like to read? Was she smart? Did she like ABBA? Of course, she had to. Every good being on earth loved ABBA. Becca was determined to meet her not just out of curiosity but also out of the prospect of finally having an older sister. Something she had always wanted and would've gladly traded her brother for if the opportunity was given.

Becca knocked on the door of Bucky's office and opened it a little when she heard a reply.

"Can I come in?" She asked.

Bucky gave her a smile. "Of course."

Becca walked inside closing the door behind her and stalked to Bucky's desk with an air of confidence. Bucky was sitting at his desk with a bundle of papers in his hand.

"So I've been doing some sleuthing," Becca told him with her arms crossed behind her back. "And I have come to some conclusions."

"Okay," Bucky replied unsure of what she was up to.

"Now I just need to interrogate you." She said with a smile.

"Oh really? So why do you need to interrogate me, Miss Detective?"

"Uh, uh, uh, I'm asking the questions around here and you're answering them." Bucky rolled his eyes at her playfully. "Now do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"

Bucky puts his hand up. "I promise."

Becca grins and Bucky realizes that he may have made a big mistake.

"Who is it?"

"Who is what?"

"Who is your girlfriend?"

Bucky snorted. "I don't have a girlfriend."

"Liar! You promised to tell the truth!" She exclaimed.

Bucky chuckled. "I am telling the truth."

"Oh yeah, then explain this!" Becca pulled out a handkerchief from her pocket. "There's no way this belongs to you!"

Bucky playful expression dropped as he quickly reached over to snatch the piece of cloth from her. "How did you get that?" He asked.

Becca pulled back with a mischievous grin. "None of your business."

Bucky turned around the desk and tried to take it from her again but Becca was nimble and jumped back quickly before he could grab it.

"Come on, Buck, just tell me who your girlfriend is." She taunted him by waving the handkerchief in her hand. "And I'll give it back."

"She's not my girlfriend and even if she was I wouldn't tell you anything about her." He groaned.

Becca frowned slightly. "Why not?"

"Because you're annoying." Bucky deadpanned. "Now give it back!" He reached for it again only to have Becca run to the other side of the room.

"So why isn't she yet?" She asked him. "Too much of a coward to ask her?"

"Me? A coward?" Bucky guffawed. "Do you know who I am?"

Becca rolled her eyes not believing him.

"I'm just taking it slow, is all." He tried to explain. "She's not the easiest girl to charm."

"Or you're just not good at it." She deadpanned.

"I am!" He defended then sighed. "She's just different, Becky. I've never met a girl as amazing as her before. Besides you and mom, that is." He explained. "She's just so sweet and so fun to be around. She loves to read books, just like you do." He pointed at her while pacing in the room. "And when she talks about them she just looks so damn beautiful. There's so much passion and excitement on her face that I can't help but feel it too and I don't even like books like that."

Becca listened curiously as her brother becomes more animated in his speech.

"She's got this air to her, ya know?" He told Becca. "You can't help but be happy around her. And her smile? It lights up the entire world." He said waving his arms out. "And when she laughs? Oh my God, I could die right there and then." He dramatically groaned. "She's amazing, Becky and I don't wanna rush it because what if I mess up? What if I do something stupid and lose her forever?"

"God, you really are in love." She said disgustedly. "And it's the icky sticky kind."

"Shut up," Bucky chuckled shaking his head.

"Well, you have to make a move eventually." She told him. "You shouldn't drag it out too long."

"I kinda already did." Bucky scratched the back of his head. "We kinda kissed the other day." He smiled like a little boy.

"Really?" Becca exclaimed patting him on the back. "I'm so proud of you, Bucky! You're not a loser after all."

Bucky glared at her. "Thanks, I guess."

"So when do I get to meet her?"

"Never."

"What!? Why not?"

"Three reasons." Bucky put up his fingers. "You're annoying. You're embarrassing. You're going to ruin all my hard work." He took the handkerchief from her hand.

"You're so mean!" She whined. "I can help you if you'll let me!"

"I'm doing fine on my own. Thanks for the offer though." Bucky said returning to his chair.

"You're the worst." Becca pouted as she plopped herself on a chair. Bucky only smirked in reply. "You know I'll find out sooner or later so why not tell me who she is?"

"Because I want to keep you in suspense plus you're a loudmouth. You're gonna blab the whole thing to mom in a split second."

"I take it back, you are a loser." Bucky rolled his eyes. "You know what? I'm taking this as a challenge." Becca stated and Bucky raised a brow. "I'm gonna find out who she is by myself!"

Bucky chuckled at her enthusiasm. "You do that then, Miss Detective."

Becca smirked while going to the door. "Don't you worry Romeo I'm gonna find your Juliet and then I'm gonna embarrass you to the depths of hell!" She pointed at him defiantly.

"See you later, Becca," Bucky said slightly amused by her actions. Why was his sister so damn cute?


"[Y/N], can you hand me that pipette over there?" Your father, Bruce, pointed at the glass pipettes right next to you while focusing on his work. You handed it to him without paying attention.

Bruce looked at the flask in his hand confused "This is a flask, not a pipette. " He told you. When no reply came he turned to see you deep in thought while sitting on a stool at the workbench with your chin resting on your hand. He chuckled as he walked up to you.

"[Y/N]?” You jumped when you noticed him standing next to you.

“Dad, I didn’t see you there.” You looked startled.

Bruce chortled at his daydreamer of a daughter. “A penny for your thoughts?” He asked.

“Hmm?”

“You’ve been pretty quiet lately.” He pointed out. “Thought I’d ask what’s going on in that imaginative mind of yours.”

“Ahhh, It’s nothing.” You said with a breathy laugh. Bruce raised his brow at you. “What?” You asked.

“I can tell when my daughter is troubled by something,” Bruce said leaning on the bench and crossing his arms. “So how about we make this easy and you just tell me?”

“It’s nothing, dad.” You brushed it off. “Really, it’s stupid.”

“Is it a boy?” He deadpanned.

“N-no!” You stammered. “Not every problem a girl has is because of a boy. Seriously, have you never been around women?”

“Only one, never really needed to be around anymore after her.” Bruce shrugged as you rolled your eyes. “But something tells me this has something to do with a boy. Maybe it’s my fatherly instinct?”

“Well, your instinct is out of whack because it’s not.” You lied.

“Is it Tony?” He asked again.

You groaned. “No, it’s not. Tony isn’t a boy. He’s just Tony.”

“So there is a boy?” Bruce asked pointing at you while enjoying your frustration.

“No! There isn’t!” You exclaimed as you banged your head on the workbench with another groan. “I give up.”

Bruce patted the back of your head. “Hey kiddo, just relax. I was just kidding, you know that. Just tell me what’s bothering you and I’ll try to help, okay? You can trust your old man.”

You lift your head to look at your father giving you a lopsided smile. His black hair was graying on the sides with his glasses resting lazily on his nose allowing you to see his tired chocolate brown eyes. You frowned a bit forgetting that just as you were getting older so was he. You let out a sigh.

“Have you ever made a decision that felt right at the time but instantly regretted it?” You asked him.

"Well, there was this one time I added water to hydrochloric acid just to see what would happen. That was a bad decision." He shook his head. "Never did that again."

“Not really helping, dad.” You deadpanned.

"Okay, okay." Bruce chuckled. "We've all made hasty decisions before sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't. If you start to regret what you've done the best you can do is forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes. Nobody's perfect so you shouldn't be so hard on yourself."

"But what if your decision has put you in a hard spot and now have no way out? Like you have to pick between two things but you can't?"

"What did you do that's causing so much trouble?" Bruce asked with worry.

"Oh, it's not me." You lied. "It's, uh, it's for a plot." You blurted out.

"A plot?" He asked dubiously.

"Yeah, a plot for a story I'm writing." You said with a nervous laugh.

"You're writing a story?" He asked with the same tone.

"Yeah, it's stupid I know." You looked away.

"No, no. I never said that." He told you. "So what's this plot?" He asked with an all knowing smile.

"Um, it's kinda corny." You told him as he sat down on the stool next to you.

"Consider my interest piqued. Please do go on." Bruce asked.

"Uhm, well it's kinda like a romance." You stammered. "Um, so there's this girl, the heroine, and um, she's in love with her best friend but she doesn't say anything to protect her friendship."

"Right," Bruce nodded.

"Yeah, so along comes this other guy. Who's kinda like Danny from "Grease" but worse."

"And now she has to pick between both of them and doesn't know which one because she's madly in love with both of them," Bruce stated.

"How did you know that?"

"It's been done before like a million times, [Y/N]." He said with a chuckle. "It's a bit of a cliche plot."

"Well, it's just for practice. I'm just practicing my writing."

"No need to be on the offense." He chuckled. "So is that your predicament? You don't know which one she should pick?"

"Right," you said.

"Wouldn't the correct answer be to follow your heart?" He said resting the side of his face on his hand.

"It would but what if your heart wants both?" You asked.

"Then I suppose it matters on what else you want in life," Bruce told you.

"What do you mean?"

"Think about it, the best friend," Bruce explained. "He's something you already know everything about him. They aren't any surprises to him. Then there's Danny. He's the unknown. He seems dangerous at first but maybe he's harmless when you give him a chance. So I guess it all depends on what you really want in life. Do you want to live the rest of your days in a habitual cycle or do you want something new and refreshing?"

"I don't really know." You mumbled.

"Well, there's no rush. Just play it out and see what happens." He said standing up. "Just take a leap of faith."

"Doctor Banner!" Tony said walking into the lab with a quizzical look on his face. "I need your help with this. I'm doing the calculation right but the numbers are coming out all wrong."

"Let's see those numbers, then."

Tony handed him his tablet to review his work. The brunette saw you sitting at your father's work bench ruminating on your father's advice. He smiled to himself.

"Wandering eyes only lead to mischief," Bruce smirked at the young man.

"Hmm? My eyes are only on you, my friend." He smoothly said.

"Then maybe it's your mind that's wandering?" Bruce asked. "Because you've put the numbers from the wrong data set in here."

"Ahh, how stupid of me." Tony let out a breathy laugh. "What a dumb mistake."

"Was it really a mistake or just an excuse?" Tony was a genius and Bruce knew that he would never make such a silly mistake. He didn't even need to write down a calculation he could do it all in his head.

"What?" He asked astonished.

"I may be old but I'm not blind, Mr. Stark." He smiled at the genius.

"I never said you were, sir."

Bruce patted him on the shoulder. "If you're going to make a move I suggest you do it quickly. Seems to me like Danny is one step ahead of you." He smirked as he walked out of the lab.

Tony looked at him confused. "Who's Danny?"


You yawned as you poured pancake batter into the pan. You woke up early in the morning completely starving due to a lack of eating the day before and had a deep craving for pancakes. So you got up at seven in the morning on a Saturday to make some because why not.

You knew Bucky was going to complain when he would reach over in bed and not find you there but that never stopped you before. On Saturdays, Bucky enjoyed staying in bed longer than usual not necessarily in an explicit way but more of a cute, fluffy way. He just liked to pull you over to his side and nuzzle his face in the crook of your neck peppering kisses over it while lazily whispering silly nothings into your ear. Although you tried your best to not to give in you couldn't help but smile at some of the things he'd say. He had a way with his words as expected from a businessman.

It was quiet with nothing but the sound of sizzling from the pan. You flip the pancake and wondered if you wanted eggs to go with it not noticing someone walking towards you from behind. You felt two strong arms wrap around your waist and jumped when you felt a bearded face nuzzling your shoulder.

You whipped your head back to see Bucky. "God, you scared me. I didn't think you'd be here." You said relieved it was him.

Bucky chuckled. "Who else would it be?"

"No one, I just thought you'd be asleep." You took out the pancake and poured in another one.

"That's kinda hard when you're not there." He complained.

"Sorry, I was hungry." You shrugged. "And I like to eat more than I like you."

Bucky chuckled lazily with his chin on your shoulder. "You're so mean to me, doll."

"Someone's got to bully the mob king." You deadpanned. "Might as well be me."

"Valid point there." He smirked. Silence refilled the room as you made your pancakes with Bucky still holding on to you. Then Bucky came up with a plan and began kissing your neck while his hands began to wander.

"Bucky," he hummed in response. "What are you doing?" You asked knowing very well what he was doing.

"I'm not doing anything." He mumbled against your skin as his cold hands found their way under your hoodie. You shivered at his frozen touch as his hands traveled up your bare body. You tried your best to ignore him and focus on your pancake but the minute he began to suckle on the sweet spot of your neck it became hard to do so. You bit your lip as his hands began to massage your breasts making you gasp.

"Bucky," you whispered.

"Shhh baby," he whispered into your ear his hot breath tickling you. "Gonna make you feel good." He said in a gravelly voice as he returned to his ministrations. You whimpered as he began to suck on your neck harder to create a mark as you carded your fingers through his messy brown locks. Your body was pressed hard against his and you could feel his arousal as it brought on your own. One of his hands traveled down to your panties and his thumb hooked under it while he tugged on your nipple with the other.

"Bucky," you moaned sweetly.

"Yeah, baby girl?" He asked.

"The pancake is burning." You deadpanned.

Bucky stopped his work and looked at you from the side. "Way to kill the mood, doll."

"Safety first, my dearest." You joked as you pulled away from him to flip your pancake to see it completely charred. "Look what you did to my pancake." You complained.

"That was all you." He blamed while you discarded it.

"Me?" You asked incredulously. "You're the one who was distracting me."

"But were you complaining?" He smirked as he came in for a kiss.

"No, not right now." You pushed him away slightly and he frowned. "You're making me pancakes now." You said putting the spatula in his hand.

"I don't even know how to make pancakes," Bucky complained.

"It's not that hard." You stated. "You pour it in, flip it around, and wait till it's golden brown. Not black. Golden brown."

Bucky rolled his eyes as he stood in front of the pan. "I'm gonna burn this building down."

"What kind of mob king are you if you can't even make pancakes for your wife?" You questioned as you sat at the table checking your phone.

The doorbell rang and the two of you looked at each other wondering who could be here at this time. No one really ever came to visit and certainly not this early in the morning. The guys never came unannounced due to Bucky being very strict about his privacy, maybe Steve but even that was rare.

Bucky walked to the door with you in tow as he looked through the hole.

"Who is it? Is it Steve?" You asked.

"There's nobody there," Bucky said as he began to open the door.

"Wait a second!" You dashed towards your room. "I need to put some pants on."

Bucky rolled his eyes in amusement as he took out the gun he kept in the entrance closet much to your chagrin. He kept it to his side as he opened the door and looked outside.

"SURPRISE!" A girl screamed with balloons in her hand and Bucky's guard fell down.

"What the hell, Becky!" Bucky exclaimed. "You scared the shit out of me."

"Language." You slapped his arm as you walked up to the door.

"Little ol' me scared the infamous Bucky Barnes?" Becca teased. You chuckled as Bucky rolled his eyes. "Happy Belated Birthday, [Y/N]!" She tackled you with a hug and her balloons squeezing through the doorway and into Bucky's face.

"Oh thank you!" You smiled returning the hug. "You didn't have to come all this way."

"Of course I did" Becca pulled apart from you. "I wouldn't be a very good sister if I didn't."

You giggled at her expression. Becca was so sweet.

"I wanted to make it back earlier, but I had exams and-"

"It's fine, Becca," you smiled. "It's the thought that counts."

"How come you never remember my birthday?" Bucky asked.

"Because nobody cares about your birthday." She deadpanned. She furrowed her brows. "What's that smell?"

"Oh my God, the pancakes." You exclaimed as you dashed to the kitchen and turned the oven off. The pancake was burnt to a crisp as you quickly discarded it.

"What happened here?" Rebecca questioned her brother.

"Bucky was trying to make me pancakes." You said putting the pan in the sink and turning on the water.

"You went into the kitchen?" Becca asked her brother. "You know that's against the law, right?"

"I tried to tell her but she wouldn't listen."

"I didn't think you'd screw up this bad." You sighed. "You get an "F" in the husband department."

"An "F" because of a measly pancake?" Bucky asked as Becca giggled.

"I'll reconsider if you take us out to eat." You stated.

"Good idea!" Becca said.

"You're not coming with us," Bucky said.

"She is coming with us." You defended.

"Fine, but you're paying for yourself."

"Like hell I am! I'm a poor college student be a little considerate here!" Becca exclaimed.

"Quit being so difficult Bucky and let's go." You scolded. "I'm starving."

"Me too," Becca stated as she pushes him towards the door.

"Why are the women of this house so pushy?" He groaned.

The three of you found a nice place to eat breakfast and took the time to catch up with Becca. Most of it was just her babbling all of the crazy adventures she had at college and the two of you listening.

"So…" Becca started.

"So?" Bucky asked holding his coffee mug in his hands.

"I was talking to mom the other day..." Becca played with her eggs. "And…"

"And?" You asked.

"She was wondering. I mean both of us were wondering…um…"

"Just spit it out already," Bucky said.

"We were wondering when you two are going to have a baby?" Becca blurted out. Bucky choked on his coffee as your face grew incredibly red.

Bucky coughed a little. "I don't really think we're ready for that yet." There was no way he was going to be a father yet. No way in hell. Just the idea of it terrified him.

You nodded in agreement. "Yeah, there's a lot of stuff going on with Bucky's work and it's just not a good time." You nervously laughed.

"You really think mom's gonna take that for an answer?" She asked Bucky.

"She's gonna have to. There's no way I'm gonna be a dad yet." Bucky said.

"You shouldn't be so selfish. What if [Y/N] wants a baby?"

Bucky looked over at you and your cheeks flared like never before. You had never really talked about children and wanted to keep it that way. "Noooo," you said shaking your head furiously. "Seriously, I don't know the first thing about being a mom."

"Well, there you have it. Tell Ma no kids anytime soon."

"Maybe you should tell her yourself," Becca advised.

"Yeah, so she could rip my head off." Bucky took a sip of his coffee. "Good idea."

Becca shook her head. "You really are a coward, big brother," Bucky grumbled and you chuckled quietly.

The rest of the breakfast went rather well and you felt your mood lighten up by Becca's surprise visit. She was cheerful and exhilarating something you needed during the droll winter. After you were all done you walked outside with Becca while Bucky paid the bill inside.

"Let me take this call real quick," Becca informed.

"Sure." You said as she answered it.

You looked leaned against the wall of the restaurant and observed people walking on the street. Some were running through the crowds late for work while others were just taking a stroll while listening to music. No matter what time of day it was the streets of New York were always crowded. Even in a crowd you couldn't help but notice a familiar face in the crowd.

"Tony," you whispered to yourself.

He was busy on his phone not noticing his surroundings. Your heart dropped at the sight of him as you weave your way into the crowd without a second thought. You pushed your way against the wave and some gave you looks while others sneered, but you didn't care. You reached out for him.

"Tony!" You shouted with excitement as you turned him around by the shoulder. You stood back downtrodden realizing it wasn't him.

"Yes?" The man asked confused.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were a friend." You apologized as he walked away.

You stood there embarrassed by what you had just done. You looked up to see the building in front of you with the words "Stark Industries" blaring in large, bright letters as if it were taunting you.

"[Y/N], what was that all about?" Bucky asked as he walked up to you with Becca behind him. "Why did you run off like that?"

"I-I'm sorry." You stammered. "I don't know what happened to me." You said worried about what he would say.

"Hey, it's okay," Bucky said putting his hand over your shoulders. "Let's just go home, huh?"

You nodded and Becca smiled at you sheepishly. The three of you walked to the car. You had a strange feeling growing inside and looked behind once again to see Tony standing there giving you a lopsided smile. He simply nodded not saying a word but you already knew what he wanted to say. One look into his chocolate brown eyes was all you needed to know what he wanted to say.

Chapter Text

"Quit it, Tony!" You hissed. "You're gonna get me in trouble."

"Come on, [Y/N]," Tony said playing with the antique decorations in the bookstore. "The old geezer's not even here."

"Don't call him that." You said offensively. “He’s a really nice man.

"Okay, mom."

You picked up a box of new books waiting to be shelved and walk towards the aisle.

"I really can't understand how you work in a place like this. It just screams the dark ages." He nagged. "I mean look at this thing." He pointed to an old-style radio in the corner. “This belongs in 1876.”

"I don't know maybe someone who can live without technology for more than three seconds could." You shaded.

"Excuse you, but I can spend days without my tech."

You gave him an all-knowing look.

"Okay, maybe one day?"

"More like one hour." You deadpanned walking in front of him. "And I'm saying that to be nice."

Tony shrugged. He had no reason to deny your statement. "What do you even do in your spare time here?"

"I don't know Tony. It's a bookshop." You pretending to think as you placed the box on the ground. "What do you think I do?"

"You read books?" He asked playfully. You giggled at his statement. "I don't know how you can read so much, [Y/N], I fall asleep after reading a paragraph of anything."

You shook your head slightly as he leaned against the shelf to get a closer look at you. "I don't know." You shrugged. "They just make me feel safe." You took a couple of books out of the box and placed them on the shelf. "They're like friends."

"Friends?"

"Yeah, books are people's friends. They're always there for you. They don't make demands or complain. They just support you." You smiled placing the book on the shelf.

Tony smiled. "And what about me?"

You turned to him and smiled. "You're better than all of them, Tony."

Tony chuckled. "You're cute, [Y/N], you know that?"

Your cheeks tinted a light pink as you took out more books and walked over to another shelf. Tony followed right behind you and stood by the shelf as you rearranged everything. He didn't say a word just admired you while you were working.

"What?" You chuckled not being able to ignore him any longer.

"Nothing. It's just nothing." He said with a shrug.

"You're such a weirdo, Tony." You shook your head as you went back to the box.

"But I'm your weirdo." He said with a smug grin. You blushed like crazy at his words.

Tony started to panic. "Sorry, I didn't mean it like that." He tried to cover up.

You smiled. "It's fine. I don't mind you being my weirdo."

Tony gave you his signature smile with his cheeks tinted very light pink. "Hey, [Y/N], I was wondering…"

"Yeah?" You said walking to another shelf.

"I have to attend a gala that dad is hosting and mom wants me to bring someone so I was wondering if you could come with me?" He asked sheepishly.

"I don't really like large social gatherings." You said hesitantly.

"I know. I'm not dying to go either."

You raised a brow. "You, the party animal doesn't want to go to a party?"

"It's not really a party. It's a boring gala where all of my dad's stuffy friends are coming and I have to pretend that I actually like them." Tony sighed.

"I don’t know. Why not Pepper?"

"No, she’s not as fun as you." He told you.

"You just love to make me suffer, don't you?" You said walking back to the front counter.

"Well, you are my best friend. We have to do everything together. We laugh together, we cry together, and we're going to be bored out of our minds together." He said following you.

"If I knew this earlier I'd never take up the offer."

"Too late you're stuck with me now." He smiled leaning on the counter next to you. "Come on can't you do this for me?" He asked with puppy dog eyes.

You sighed looking away not being able to resist him. "Fine." You mumbled.

Tony's eyes lit up at your approval. "Really?" He asked with joy. "Okay, it's this Friday. Don't worry about anything, alright? I'll get you a dress and everything."

"You don't have to do that."

"No, I want to." He said excitedly. "I'll pick you up around six?" He asked.

"Okay." You smiled at his enthusiasm.

Thanks, [Y/N], you're the greatest!"

"Anything for a friend." You gave him a warm smile.

Tony leaned over and gave you an unexpected kiss on the cheek then rushed to the door. "I'll see you then, alright?"

You nodded with your cheeks a bright red Tony smirked at your flustered state with unparalleled pride of what he could do to you as he walked out the door.


“She still hasn’t forgotten him, has she?” Becca asked her brother standing in front of him in the living room while he was sitting on the couch. After coming home, you had decided to take a nap.

Bucky looks up to her knowing exactly what she was talking about. “Hmm?”

“[Y/N].” She explained. “She still thinks about her friend, Tony, doesn’t she?”

A bad taste forms in his mouth just at the mention of his name but remains composed. “It’s not that at all.” He brushed her off.

“Didn’t you see where she was?” She asked. “She was right in front of his building.” Bucky looked out the window trying not let Becca’s words get to him. His sister sighs and tells him in a whisper. “She still loves him, doesn’t she?”

Bucky whips his head to look at Becca. He keeps his calm composure but one look into his eyes was enough for Becca to know she was treading on dangerous waters. “No, she doesn’t,” Bucky says calmly. “I know her, Becky. She’s my wife and I’d never doubt her on anything, not even for a second. I love her and I know she loves me. No matter what happens that won’t change.”

Becca sits in front of him on the ottoman and Bucky leans over resting his elbows on his legs looking down at the ground beneath him. He lets out a sigh.

“She’s just going through a hard time right now.” Bucky opened up. “She’s not like her old self. She’s not as cheerful as before and I don’t know what it is. But I do know that no matter what happens I’m gonna stay right here beside her. I’m gonna help her get through this.”

He looks up at Becca. Her heart breaks at the sight of his watery eyes. She remained silent and completely speechless for she had never seen him like this before. Her brother was the bravest and strongest man she knew.

“Because I don’t know what I’d do if she’s not here with me, Becky. I can’t live without her.” He confessed letting out a single tear.

Becca quickly wipes it away. “Hey, don’t worry.” She smiles with her eyes beginning to sting. “It’s gonna be alright. You know why? Because you’re a knight in shining armor. A one of a kind Superman.” She smiled and he chuckled quietly. She pulled him into a hug. “Everything is gonna be okay, Buck.” She said rubbing his back. “Don’t you worry everything’s gonna be okay.”


You walked out of the bookstore bidding Mr. Davis a goodbye before leaving. You put your headphones in to listen to some music as you walked. You approached the corner of the street and bumped into a girl who was completely immersed in her book. She dropped the book when she bumped into you.

"Sorry," you both said simultaneously. You picked up the book to hand it to her.

"That's a good book." You complimented. "The Great Gatsby is one of my favorites."

"Thanks!" She beamed. "My brother got it for me so I thought I'd give it a try. I like it so far.”

“And it only gets better.” You told her. The two of you began to discuss the book as you walked towards the park. Fellow bookworms were your weakness and this girl just happened to agree on everything you did and it made the meeting all the more worthwhile.

“I’m sorry I never caught your name.” You told her.

“Oh it’s-”

“Becky! How many times have I told you not run off like that?” A familiar voice came from behind and you huffed. No matter where you went he just had to show up, didn’t he? You turned to look at Bucky running up to you and Becca.

“Sorry, I was getting bored of waiting.”

“Doesn’t mean you disappear.” He scolded. “You scared the shit out of me.” You gave him a look.

“Language, big brother.” She playfully chided.

“[Y/N], I didn’t know it was you.” Bucky beamed.

“It is me,” You remarked.

“We always end up bumping into each other, don’t we?” Bucky asked.

“I guess we do. Unfortunately.” You mumbled the end.

A light bulb lit in Becca’s head. “You two know each other?” Becca asked making eyes at Bucky.

“A little,” You replied while Bucky glared at her motioning her to cut it out with his hand. You turned to look at him and he gave you a bright smile.

“Do you two know each other?” You asked him.

“Yeah, Becky’s my baby sister.” He replied.

“I’m not a baby,” She huffed.

“You are to me, shorty.” He chuckled as Becca pouted. You smiled at her apologetically.

Becca’s mouth twisted into a wicked grin. “So you must be the girl Bucky talks so much about. Has he asked you out on a date yet?” She asked devilishly. “I know he’s been dying to.”

“H-huh?” You asked flustered.

“Shut it, Becca,” Bucky spoke through gritted teeth.

“I guess he hasn’t then?” She looked over at him. “What are you waiting for?”

“Shut up before I make you.” Bucky hissed.

“I’d like to see you try.” She challenged.

Bucky took one step forward and Becca ran as quick as she could. He mumbled something indignant under his breath. Bucky turned when he heard you giggling quietly at his irritated state and he gave you a small smile.

"I wanna apologize for my sister." Bucky smiled sheepishly. "She says the weirdest things."

"No it’s okay, she's sweet." You assured still embarrassed by the whole exchange.

"Are you headed somewhere?"

"Yeah, I was going home but then I bumped into Becca." You told him. "I really should go now."

"Let me take you home."

"Oh no, that's okay." You reassured. The last thing you needed was for him to find out where you lived. "It's not too far from here I can walk."

"Then let me walk you." He insisted.

"I don't want to be a bother." You said clutching onto your bag.

"You could never bother me, doll." He flashed you a smile. "Besides it's getting dark and it's not safe for a pretty girl like you to walk home alone."

You sighed fighting the blush creeping on your cheeks. You knew he wasn't going to give up so easily. "Very well then." You began to walk with him right beside you.

The sun was beginning to set which marked the time for the lamp posts above to light up. As if on cue, fireflies began to glow in the grass and the sounds of cicadas filled the air.

"It's nice isn't it?" Bucky asked digging his hands into his pockets.

"It is." You smiled looking down towards your feet as you were walking "I love nighttime in the summer."

"Let me guess?" Bucky suggested. "It's a good setting for reading books."

You laughed. "Of course it is. Maybe even the best." You said pretending to think.

"Wouldn't rainy days be better?" He questioned.

"Ah, you have a point there." You grinned shaking your finger at him.

“Read any new books lately?” He asked.

“No, not really,” You sighed. “I’ve been a bit busy.”

“That’s a shame,” Bucky told you. “I like it when you tell me about the books you read.”

“That’s new.” You smiled to yourself. “Not many people like it when I discuss the books I read. My dad does but he always falls asleep.” He laughs a little.

“I love it,” Bucky stated blatantly. “You dig so deep to find out the true meaning of a story and your ideas are so unique and interesting. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to listen.”

You mumbled a thank you trying to contain your flustered state.

“Not to mention you look beautiful when you talk about the things you love.” He said hesitantly with just a small hint of nervousness.

“You’re really good at flattering people aren’t you?” You question with a breathy laugh.

“What do you mean?” He asked puzzled.

“I’m not as beautiful as you put me out to be.” You belittle yourself. “There are a million girls out there that are way prettier than me.”

Bucky stood in front of you to stop you from walking. “I don’t think that at all.” He said defiantly looking you straight in the eye. His expression softened and gave you a small smile admiring your features. You could only see him due to the dim light coming from the lamppost above and prayed that he couldn’t see how red your cheeks were becoming. He brought his hand to your cheek and caressed it with his thumb. You wanted to push away but were frozen by his delicate touch.

“You’re far more beautiful than any girl I’ve ever met.” He said in a hushed tone. “Not just on the outside but the inside and that makes you better than all the rest. You’re beautiful [Y/N], never doubt that.”

Your heart leaped at his statement. He leaned into you just close enough for you to feel his nose touching yours and hot breath against your lips. You close your eyes instinctively and the next thing you feel is his lips softly against yours. You hated to admit it but you missed the feeling of his lips against yours. The simple contact of your lips had you soar to great heights as if you were on cloud nine. He wrapped his arms around and pulled you closer to him. Suddenly, you broke the kiss and Bucky gave you a quizzical look.

“I’m-I’m sorry.” You stuttered shaking your head lightly. “I just can’t do this.” You pulled yourself from his embrace. Bucky didn’t know what to say. “I-I have to go.” You said quickly walking away hoping he wouldn’t follow you.

Fortunately, he didn’t but Bucky stood there long after you disappeared wondering what he had done wrong. He thought you wanted it just as much as he did and it felt like that at first. So why would you pull away so abruptly? Bucky huffed before walking away still ruminating on the subject. Didn’t you feel the same thing he was feeling when he was around you? He knew you did. He could see it in your face and feel it in his heart. So what was it that always made you push him away?

Chapter Text

You cheered quietly to yourself for accomplishing another task in your game. You finally got the picnic set Goldie had asked for and it made you so happy that the dog could finally get to eat lunch with her friends. Yes, you were twenty-four years old. Yes, you were married to the most notorious and well-respected man in the city. Yes, you were playing Animal Crossing on your phone in a room filled with government officials and wealthy merchants who could see everything on your screen with just a simple glance in your direction. No, you didn't care.

You were sitting at your table minding your own business as you did at every droll event your beloved husband dragged you to. Bucky was God knows where but you weren't worried about him at the moment. You didn't enjoy socializing with the other guests at parties because they were so toxic. Always gossiping about matters that didn't relate to them and degrading each other all while pretending to be caring.

"You're having a lot of fun by yourself." You look up to see Steve standing by your table with a smile. His hair was longer than usual and he had grown a beard. You had to admit he looked handsome.

"I have to keep myself busy somehow." You returned the smile.

"Where's Buck?" He asked sitting down.

"Somewhere," you said returning your attention to your phone.

"He's pretty popular isn't he?" Steve asked.

"He is." You replied still looking at your phone. "Makes me wonder why he married a loser like me."

Steve chuckled. "How about us losers keep each other company then?" He asked resting his face on his hand.

You close your phone and look at him. "I'm a married woman, Mr. Rogers and I don't think my husband would really appreciate that." You said sporting a grin.

"Don't worry, doll," Steve said. "He's the one who sent me here."

"Oh really now?"

"He texted me asking me to keep you entertained."

"How considerate of him." You said with a hint of sass in your voice.

"Something tells me you don't want me here." He joked.

"No, that's not true." You stated. "You know, Steve, there's something different about you but I just can't put my finger on it." You said trying to think.

Steve laughed then let you guess what it was. He opened his mouth to say something but was stopped by you.

"Wait don't tell me." You paused him. "You got a haircut."

"Not even close, [Y/N], more like the complete opposite. I look like a caveman."

You chuckled. "I'm just joking with you, Stevie. So what's the reason for the big change? Is there a girl you're trying to impress?"

Steve laughs. "There is." He said. "Her name is Justice and she's the fairest of them all." You groan at his joke. "Not good?" He asks.

"Maybe your worst one yet."

"Ouch doll, am I not funny?" He jokingly asked.

"Do you really want me to answer that?" You asked. "I don't want to break your heart, Stevie."

"Bucky was right," Steve stated. "You're mean."

"What do you mean by that?"

"Nothing, he told me you have a sassy streak and I just didn't believe him," Steve said sheepishly. "You're always so sweet and bubbly, ya know?"

Your cheeks tint a light pink. "Oh really, what else does he say about me?"

"Nothing!" He assured. "I mean he never says anything bad about you." You roll your eyes at him not believing him. "He loves you, [Y/N], you know that." You look away not wanting to reply and Steve took it as you being bashful. He chuckles at you.

"You two having fun?" Bucky asked as he walked to the two of you.

"The most fun on earth," Steve told him. Bucky looked at you for confirmation.

"By fun, you mean having my ears bleed by Steve’s horrible puns then yes, we're having a blast." You said shaking your hands.

Bucky chuckled. "I told ya to entertain her not bore her. Can't you do anything right, punk?" He joked.

"Hey, it's not my fault your girl is so hard to please." He defended himself.

Bucky looked towards you. "C' mon [Y/N], let's go dance."

"I don't know, Bucky." You said hesitantly. "I like it here."

Bucky huffed. "I've got the prettiest wife in the whole room and I can't even show her off? That's no fun." He put his hand out for you with a charming smile.

"He’s got a point,” Steve added.

You sigh as you take Bucky’s hand to get up. He wraps one arm around your waist and gives you a chaste kiss on the cheek. “Let’s go have some fun, darling.” You nodded with a chuckle as he walked you over to the dance floor. He looked back at Steve. “And you. Keep your eyes to yourself.” He said jokingly.

“I’ll try my best,” Steve assured.

As you came to the dance floor Bucky turned you towards him taking your hand in his and began to sway to the music. “Sorry, I didn’t think Steve would bore you.”

“He didn’t,” You admitted. “He just has his own way of having fun.”

“And that is?” He asked.

“Like a sweet, boyish type of fun.”

“That doesn’t even make sense.”

“It does to me.”

Bucky chuckled. “And what about me? What kind of fun am I?”

“The bad kind.” You deadpanned. Bucky playfully pouted at you. “The addicting kind. Like you can’t get enough of it.” You continued while swaying in his arms. “It’s not really good for you but you go crazy without it.”

Bucky smirked at you. “Doesn’t sound that bad to me.”

“Maybe it is.” You told him. “Maybe it isn’t. I’m still trying to figure that out.”

“Mind if I help then?” Bucky asked leaning closer to you. He kisses you in the middle of the dance floor without shame or worry. In all honesty, he liked it, he enjoyed it. He loved the envious eyes of others staring as he showed off just who you belonged to. It was at these moments, Bucky was the proudest man on earth.

Unlike Bucky, you weren’t about getting attention. You wanted to stay hidden and unknown but to be with someone as social as him it was hard to do so. Although kissing him in public made you embarrassed with a million thoughts racing through your mind about what everyone else was thinking, you couldn’t stop yourself. You couldn’t break from him, even if you told yourself you didn’t need him. He was addicting and you knew in the deepest parts of your heart that you could never have enough of him. You hated the way he’d spark this inside you every time he touched you. He was absolutely horrible. A hideous beast who took whatever he desired without regard for others. Yet after it was all done, you’d sit alone to ponder for hours on one question.

Why did he always taste so sweet?


“Bored?” Tony asked you with a smirk leaning against the bar with a drink in his hand.

“Very bored.” You bluntly stated earning a chuckle from him. “But I guess I can make it through the night if I’m with you.” You tell him flirtatiously poking him in the arm with your index finger.

Tony nearly chokes on his drink at your uncommon behavior. You were never one to flirt so openly that was more his thing. “Are you flirting with me, Miss Banner?” He asked mischievously.

"Maybe." You giggle.

"Feeling bold tonight, aren't we?"

"I think it's this dress. It's beautiful, isn't it?" You said giving him a twirl.

"Are you wearing Givenchy?" Tony asked with an all-knowing smile. "Whoever gave it to you has a remarkable taste." He took a sip of his drink.

You give him a giggle. "He does." You replied coming closer to him. "Although I'm a little perturbed on how he knew my exact size without even asking. Just a bit weird." You teased.

"Maybe he has an eye for detail?" Tony suggested sneakily wrapping an arm around your waist and pulling you to his chest.

"Or maybe his eyes aren't where they're supposed to be." You told him straightening his tie.

Tony chuckles. "Not my fault you're so beautiful. I just can't resist." He gives you a golden smile and you’re about to melt in his arms. You return the smile completely entranced by him. Your heart was pounding and you were feeling a little dizzy. You wanted to kiss him but were afraid to. You didn’t want to jump the gun. Tony moved in just a little closer dying to kiss you and he was about to if a voice didn’t call for him.

“If you two are done gazing into each others’ eyes, can I steal this guy?” You both turned to see Rhodey coming towards you.

Tony looks at him annoyed. “What do you need me for?”

“I don’t. Your old man does. There’s someone important he wants you to meet.” Tony groans.

“Just go, Tony.” You tell him not wanting his father to get angry. Howard wasn’t a patient man.

“Are you trying to get rid of me?” Tony asked playfully.

“Yes, now go.” You chuckled pushing him towards Rhodey.

“Alright but meet me right over by the balcony in five minutes.” He told you. “There’s something I have to tell you. It’s important.”

You nodded. Rhodey gave you a smile as he pulled him away. “Don’t worry, I’ll give him back soon.” He teased. You blushed at his words. You finish your drink and walk over to the balcony to wait for him.

You heard footsteps and thought it was Tony. Instead, you turned to see Bucky standing there.

"What are you doing here?" You asked slightly annoyed.

Bucky was invited to the gala and only came after Steve constantly nagged him to. He wasn’t expecting you to be there especially not with Tony. The minute he caught you standing there in Tony’s arms everything started to make sense and to say the brunette was jealous would be an understatement.

"I could ask you the same," Bucky said leaning against the wall. "With him of all people."

"I can be with whoever I want." You told him. "It doesn't concern you." You turn to leave.

"You just feel guilty don't you?" Bucky asked.

You whip your head back. "What?"

"You feel bad for him. He likes you and you don't wanna break his heart." He approaches you and you try not to be intimidated. "But you don't really love him. You're just playing with yourself. It's all out of pity, anyone can see it. I know what you really want." He pulls you closer to him by the waist so that your face is just centimeters away from him. "What you want is me." He said confidently in a low voice that could make the ice melt. "You know you do and I know it too.”

“You’re deluded.” You spit at him with your heart pounding.

Bucky smugly chuckles. “Am I now?” He smirks. “Doll, I know there’s a spot in that pretty little heart of yours and it’s all mine. So why don’t you stop fighting it?”

“I’m not fighting anything and I’ve never wanted you from the start.” You said boldly. “Why can’t you understand? I don’t want anything to do with you.”

Bucky’s anger begins to rise but he remains calm not wanting to be harsh with you. “Then why aren’t you fighting to get away from me. You like it here in my arms. Don’t you?” Your face begins to grow red. “You love the way I touch you. You love it when I kiss you. Don’t tell me you don’t.” Your heart begins to pound harder as he brings himself closer to you. You try to break from his grasp but his arm is too tight around you. “But then you think about him.” He spat with a hint of green in his eyes. “Start thinking about how you “love” him and feel guilty. But you don’t really love him. You love me, sweetheart. There’s no one else in here but me.” He said pointing to your heart.

“You’re crazy!” You shake your head denying him. You try to push him with your hands but it was no use.

“Yeah, I’m crazy.” He said dangerously low and needy, holding you tighter to the point where it hurt. “I’m crazy about you. You drive me fucking insane. Nobody makes me feel the way you do. I’m so in love with you, all of you. Everything I need is you.” He said cupping your face with his hand. You try to flinch from his touch. “Why don’t you stop fighting yourself and let me in? Cause if you do I promise I’ll give you everything you’ve ever wanted. You just gotta ask and it’s yours.”

“I don’t want anything from you!” You exclaim as you break from his grasp. “I don’t love you and I never will.” You stated and blood rushes through Bucky’s veins. “I love Tony and it’s not out of guilt. I truly do because he’s a good person. Everything you are. Everything you have comes from destroying others. You’re a horrible man. You kill people. You take everything from them.” You said pointedly. “So why would I want to be with you? Even if you gave me everything this world had to offer, I’d never love you.” You turn to leave only to be pulled back by Bucky and slammed against the wall.

“Let go of me!” You said fuming while trying to break from his iron grip on your wrist.

“I tried playing nice with you.” He spoke with his words dripping with venom. “I tried giving you a chance, but you’re so stubborn. I want you and when I want something I always get it. Stop trying to run cause you’re not gonna get anywhere. You belong to me.” You shook your head in denial as his free hand finds its place on your hip and you squirm at his touch. Bucky dips his face into your shoulder and begins kissing you slowly up your neck You try to pull away from him. “You’re mine.” He says in a gravelly voice as his free hand begins to slowly slide up and down your curves. “You’re mine and only mine.”

“Stop, please.” You whimper with teary eyes as he reaches your jawline. “Please let me go.”

“That’s not gonna happen, princess.” He whispered into your ear. “I’m gonna give you just what you want and then you’re gonna come running back for more.” You close your eyes denying what he was trying to tell you. Everything started to become agonizingly slow around you.

“Get the fuck off of her!” Tony shouts as he pulls Bucky off and punches him square in the face. Bucky growls as he comes for Tony and slugs him right in the jaw. Tony pushes him back against the wall hard by the collar of his coat and punches him again. “Who the hell do you think you are touching her like that? You dirty mobster.” He jeered at him. He pulls his arm back to punch him again only to be stopped by you holding his arm. Tony looks back at you.

“Tony, stop.” You said with tears. “Please. Can we just go?” You asked him with a shaky voice.

Tony nods with a deep sigh. He lets go of Bucky with a sharp glare and takes you by the hand to leave. Bucky stood there spitting out the blood in his mouth giving the two of you a death stare. He wasn’t finished with you yet.

You follow through the ballroom and out through the hallway. He’s walking so fast that you can’t keep up with your heels. “Tony slow down.” You ask quietly. Tony abruptly stops and turns to look at you.

“I told you to stay away from him, [Y/N].” He said with a hint of harshness in his voice.

“You don’t think I was trying to?” You asked him. “He found me and I tried to get away-I-I really did.” You tried to tell him but began to cry instead. Tony’s heart dropped as he pulled you into his arms.

“No, no, it’s not your fault.” He said rubbing your back and kissing the top of your head. “It’s mine. I shouldn’t have left you. It’s all my fault. I’m sorry.” He said.

You look up at him sniffling. “He didn’t hurt you, did he?” Tony asked. You shook your head “no”.

There was a small cut near his lip and you felt horrible about it. “But he hurt you.” You mumbled.
“This.” He said pointing to his face. “Nah this is nothing. How can I be your Superman if I can’t even handle a little punch?” He gave you a lopsided smile as he wiped your tears away.

“Come on, let’s go home.” You nodded as he took you by the hand.

Tony took you to his apartment. You sat on the couch as he took his tie off and went to get a drink and offered you one. When you didn’t reply he came to check on you.

“Hey, you alright?” He asked.

“Hmm? Oh, I’m fine.” You quickly assured fidgeting with your hands. Tony knew you were lying. You were completely shaken by the whole ordeal but you didn’t want to worry him.

“How about we lighten up the mood?” Tony walked over to his bookshelf and began scanning to find something to read. “Let’s see how about…” Tony said picking something out of a book. “A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.” You scrunch your nose at his suggestion and he chuckled. “Okay, guess not. Uhh…” Most of his books were either science or math-related and he was trying to make you feel better not bore you. “How about Pride & Prejudice?” He asked and then looked at the book confused. Where in the world did he get this from?

“Is that mine?” You asked. Tony shrugged as he opened it to reveal your name.

“It is,” He said. “I don’t know how it got here but how about it? It’s the best I got.”

You nodded with a smile and he sat down next to you. You curled up next to him wrapping your arms around his and resting your head on his shoulder. You felt so protected next to him. All of your fears were washed away and you began to feel more relaxed. He planted a kiss on your head from the side that made you smile. He opened the book and began to read.

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in search of a wife.” He read to you.

Truth be told, this wasn’t how Tony had expected his night to go. He was thinking he’d ask you to dance and whisk you away somewhere alone to confess his undying love to you but nothing ever goes the way you want it to. Your steady breathing and quiet chuckles when Elizabeth would say something snarky was enough for him. There was something more fulfilling and heartfelt about reading to you in the comfort of his home that he couldn’t find anywhere else. So he read and read until the both of you dozed off on the couch. You were right next to Tony sleeping against his arm as his head was resting on the back of the couch with his mouth wide open. Just two friends having a rad sleepover.

Chapter Text

Days had gone by and you hadn't seen or heard from Bucky. You certainly weren't complaining but were still worried. What you had told him that night was true. You didn't want anything to do with him and only wanted to stay as far away from him as possible. But even then he was still in the corners of your mind. What he had told you never really left you and every night, every moment you were alone his ghostly touch and words would come to haunt you. He had claimed you as his and you feared what he had meant by that. Every word he had spoken would play in your head like a broken record. Did he really mean it when he said he loved you? How could he say it so easily? You'd hate to admit it but your heart did flutter at his words and even if he was harsh you were strangely attracted to him. Your heart wanted to accept him but your conscience stopped you, telling you that this wasn't the right type of love. Your intuition was stronger than your heart and concluded that it was just an infatuation. A dangerous obsession that could only lead to an equally dangerous outcome. You knew that the dead silence from him was a foreboding omen for what was yet to come.

Even so, you tried to forget about him by keeping yourself busy and decided to take extra precaution by taking a small leave from your job at the bookstore. So you spent your days at home reading and playing with Peaches or at your father's lab helping with different experiments and trying to decipher his cryptic lab reports. Obviously, you started spending more time with Tony than before as you would see him all day at work. Sometimes he tried to stay longer than usual to spend time with you by coming up with bizarre excuses or questions for Bruce. He'd sneak glances your way while talking to Bruce and made sure to brush his hand against yours every time he walked by. If he was feeling bold, he'd give you a chaste peck on the cheek or lips when Bruce wasn't looking which made you silently scold him and red in the face. They were silly and childish antics that made you feel like a lovesick teenage girl and you loved every single minute of it.

The two of you were teetering on the line between friends and lovers. Both knew there was more to your relationship than just friends but were too afraid to take the initiative. You couldn't really remember when you had fallen for Tony. Maybe it was when he told off the girl at the playground that kept on bullying you when you were seven or when he helped you with your endless math homework in high school. Or maybe it was from the very first day you met him and it just grew until you could understand what that feeling was.

The two of you may have tried to keep your love escapades a secret but they were never able to sneak by your father's vigilant eyes. He knew the two of you were bound to end up together someday, but a small part of him didn’t want it to be true. He didn’t want to believe that his little girl was all grown up. For his own amusement, he pretended not to notice what the two of you were doing to see how long you'd drag this out and to what extent. To say he wasn't at least mildly grossed out by your cheesy romance would be an understatement. Nevertheless, he decided to let you enjoy your youthful love only hoping that no sinful line would be crossed because if it were he would definitely rip Tony's head off.

"Jarvis, is Dr. Banner in his lab?" Tony asked his AI.

"No, sir he's currently out. Would you like me to call him?"

"No, no that's fine," Tony said. "Where's [Y/N]?"

"She's in the lab, sir." Tony jumped out of his chair and went to the door of his lab only to be stopped by Jarvis.

"Shall I inform Miss Banner that you're coming to visit?"

"No, I'm making it a surprise," Tony smirked as he walked out. "Listen, if dad calls tell him I'm busy."

"I already do that, sir."

Tony peeked by the glass door of Bruce's lab to see if said man was actually gone before quietly entering it. He tiptoed his way towards you near the workbench from behind and covered your eyes with his hands.

"Guess who?" He asked with a smile.

"Um" You guessed dramatically. "Happy?"

Tony dropped his hands from your face and you turned your head to look at him. He feigned a scowl while glaring at you. "Not funny." He deadpanned.

You laughed at his expression as you got up and Tony joined you. "It was just a joke." You said.

"Not a really good one."

"What're you doing here?" You asked.

"You don't want me here?" He asked as he brought you close.

"I never said that." You said fixing the collar of his shirt. "Aren't you busy with work?"

"I'm never too busy for you." He cooed.

You chuckle as you pull away from him. "Your smooth, Tony, real smooth." You walked over to the computer to check on the data transfer with him right behind you.

"What's this for?"

"I don't know, dad told me to look over it while he's gone."

"Then what're you gonna do if something goes wrong?"

"I was planning on asking a certain genius to help me." You gave him an all-knowing smile.

"What if this certain genius charged a fee?"

"I guess I'll have to pay them even if I'm kinda broke right now." You chuckled.

"I think he's flexible with his payment methods." Tony pulled you towards him by the hand and into his arms.

"Tony, stop." You reprimanded trying not to smile as he gave you a kiss on the cheek. He was leaning against the workbench with you in his arms. "My dad will be back any minute besides I don't need your help right now."

"Consider it payment in advance." He said as he started lining your jaw with kisses that made you giggle.

"Don't you have work to do?" You reminded him. "I don't think you're dad's going to appreciate you missing another deadline."

"Don't worry about it." He murmured as his lips connected to yours to stop you from talking.

It was sweet and blissful but too short for your liking as he pulled away not even a minute later. He remained close to you with a small smile on his face and satisfaction for finally getting a small taste of the one thing he had been thirsting so long for. You pushed the stray strands of his hair out of his face. He loved the feeling of your fingers in his hair. He chuckled quietly, a sweet melody to your ears, as he reacted to your touch. Your tender touch was all he'd ever need. Passion and excitement were bubbling inside both of you and you couldn't contain it. All you could think of was Tony. All you could see were the galaxies hidden in his hazel eyes. His loving embrace was an unspoken oath to be your sanctuary for the rest of his days. All you wanted was to remain there in his arms, frozen in time for eternity.

You knew deep in your heart that this was love, this was what made life so divine. It wasn't a shallow infatuation, it was a long-lasting and persistent affection for every single thing that made up the man in your arms. His flaws and perfections, the good and the bad, you were ready to bathe it all in your never-ending love for him.

"[Y/N]," he said in a hushed tone bringing a change to the mood. "There's something I've been wanting to say to you forever," he confessed with a hint of guilt in his voice, "It's that I-." He struggled to say it, but you knew what it was.

You simply smiled at him, rubbing your thumb right under his cheekbone. "It's okay, Tony." You assured. "I know what it is. I know that it's real and I feel it too. You don't have to rush it. Say it when you're ready. We have all the time in the world." Tony gave you a tender smile, one filled with gratitude and admiration. No one understood him the way you did. You read him like an open book and memorized every line as if it were a prayer.

He pulled in closer to you, the length of your hair shielding him from the world and reminding him that you were his green light shining on the dock, beckoning for him, pulling him deeper until he was completely blinded by you. No matter what storm would come his way he wouldn't lose sight of his glowing light, he'd never abandon his one dream and when he felt his needy lips pressed against your sweet ones in a searing kiss, he felt as if he had truly surpassed himself.


You warily moved your knight one space ahead but looked up at Steve before placing it on the board. He looked at you trying to hide a smile by your decision. You put the knight back where it was.

“Why did you do that?” He asked feigning ignorance.

“You were making weird faces and I just couldn’t take the chance.”

“I was not making a face.”

“Yes, you were I saw the smile you were trying to hide when I was going to put it there.” You said. “You really thought you got me.”

“That’s just what you think. I wasn’t doing anything.” Steve chuckled.

“Uh-huh, I know you’ve already read every move I could possibly make and found a way to counteract it.” You stated. “You’re amazing at this game.”

Steve smiled sheepishly. “No, I’m just average.”

“For once Steve, just take my compliment as it is?”

“I will when it’s true.”

You shook your head in defeat. “Well, I’m beaten.” You said. “I have no idea what to do.”

Steve and you were enjoying a peaceful game of chess with a cup of tea on the side. Well, at least one of you was enjoying it. Tensions were beginning to rise between the families of New York and skirmishes around the city were slowly becoming more common and out of control than before. With Bucky having the largest territory in the tri-state area it meant he spent most of his days absent from home and a highly targeted man. When he did come home he was either completely exhausted or with cuts and bruises all over him for you patch up. He refused to go to Dr. Cho for aid saying that you had a healing touch that would make him all better. Bucky didn’t really care if anything happened to him it was you he was worried for and stationed men around your shared penthouse as surveillance and even sent Steve to keep you company if he was too far away from you. The only man Bucky trusted you with was Steve. He was his only true confidante in the matter of the business.

You were worried for Bucky as much as you tried to deny it. Your feelings about it all was conflicting just like everything else about him. You wanted him to crash and burn, you wanted everything he had to be destroyed as payback, but when he came home with bruised knuckles and gashes on his body your voice would hitch and tears swell. You didn’t know where it all came from, you really didn’t. Was it real or just all a ruse? You wished you could remain steadfast in your actions when it came to him, but it was just so difficult at times. It really made you think during the lonely hours of the night did you really hate Bucky? Or was it just your stubbornness that kept you from truly giving yourself to him? But why would you love him? After all that he had done, why would you want to be his lover? The more you thought about the subject the more conflicted and frustrated you’d become. You never found an answer and decided that you were not going to ponder on it anymore. Why did it matter anyway? It wasn’t like you could get up and leave if you didn’t love him. You were stuck there and weren’t getting out anytime soon.

“Don’t give up that easily,” Steve said. “There’s still a lot of moves you can make.”

“I only have five pieces while you have almost all of yours.” You deadpanned.

“That doesn’t matter,” Steve told you. “The tables can turn if you make all the right moves.”

You looked at him doubtfully. “Highly doubt that.”

“I can see ten different ways you can stump me,” Steve said.

You sigh as you look at the board trying to figure out the ten different ways you could win, but didn’t see anything. You picked up your pawn and Steve hummed which made you put it back. Instead, you decided to pick up your bishop and move it all the way to his side of the board making Steve smile and raised his brows at the same time.

“Stop that.” You told him.

“Stop what?”

“Making the weird faces. It’s giving me anxiety.”

“What do you mean?” He asked with a chuckle.

“Don’t play stupid with me.” You playfully jabbed. “You smile every time I’m about to make a move because you know it’s gonna help you.”

“You wouldn’t know that until you’d make the move, now would you?” He questioned with a hint of sass.

“You’re out to make me lose, Rogers.”

“That would make sense since we are opponents,” Steve said. "Come on, [Y/N], just make a move. What happens happens."

You sigh deeply as you move a piece to a random spot. Steve places his piece near another and grins.

"Checkmate."

"What!?" You exclaimed. "How?" Steve chuckled at your amazement. You groan. "I hate this game."

"Oh come on, doll, don't be so hard on yourself." Steve sympathized still amused. You look up at him with a glare. "How about another game?"

"Let me wallow in my defeat, Steve. I am never playing this game again." You assured.

"You're not that bad." He consoled you. “You made a good move when you moved your rook over here,” Steve said pointing to it. “I didn’t know what to do.”

You giggle and Steve smiles at you. "I learned that one from Tony" you caught yourself and your playful expression faded. "He’d always make that move." You mumbled. Steve began to feel guilty and looked away speechless. "Sorry." You whispered as you picked up the empty teacups to take them to the kitchen.

An awkward silence filled the air as Steve sat quietly at the table with you in the kitchen. He knew everything about your relationship with Tony and what Bucky had done to destroy it, but just like everyone else, he pushed it under the rug, pretending like it never happened. He knew that your relationship with Bucky was flawed. Even if it looked perfect at first it quickly spiraled into something toxic and forced. You’d always show everyone that you were happy, but Steve knew it was all a play. Even if you covered your face in makeup to hide the bags under your eyes and tear-stained cheeks or plastered a beaming smile on your face, your eyes told another story. When Steve would look into your eyes, he could see you were broken, hopeless, desperate for help. He wished he had helped you at the start. He wished he wasn’t such a coward and stopped the madness before it even started. Steve wondered what would have happened if he did take a step, he’d dreamed of what you’d be like if he did the right thing. Maybe he’d get to see that sparkle in your eyes when you’d talk about books. Maybe he’d get to hear a real laugh, one filled with pure joy and not suppressed by those around you. Steve still wanted to save you because he could see a trace of that old you in your tired eyes. But how?

Steve got up and walked over to the kitchen to somehow lighten the mood. The sole reason for him being there was to make sure you were comfortable and safe which was what he was going to make sure he did. He entered the kitchen to see you standing there in front of the refrigerator with the door open looking inside for what to make for dinner. He leaned against the doorway to admire you from afar.

“Is there something you want to eat?” You ask him.

“I’m down for anything you make, doll.” He said. “It all tastes good.”

You smiled. “How about pasta then? I haven’t made that in a while.”

Steve nodded in agreement. “Here let me help you.” He said rolling up his sleeves.

“Oh no, it’s okay, I got it.” You assured.

“Don’t worry, doll, I won’t burn down the house like Buck. My ma taught me how to cook.” He chuckled.

You agreed and handed him some onions to cut as you went to go get the pasta from the pantry.

“Read any new books?” He asked as you came back with a box.

“No, not really.” You sigh taking out a pot to fill water with. “I don’t really feel like reading anymore.”

“You? Bookworm of the century?” Steve joked. “Doesn’t want to read anymore? You’re playing with me, aren’t you?”

You chuckled. “No, I’m not. It’s just,” you paused a little with a sense of regret. “They aren’t as appealing as before.” You confessed walking towards the stove.

“How so?” He asked with a raised brow.

“They’re all just stories, something pulled out of someone’s imagination. They’re not real and they never will be.” You said turning on the stove. “So why read them? Why fill your head with fantasies of things that could never happen in real life?”

“But there’s nothing wrong with dreaming about it.” He replied with a tender tone.

“It gives false hope.” You said scornfully. “It’s all just a delusion. That’s why I’ve given up on them.”

"You shouldn't give up, [Y/N]," Steve said looking you in the eye. For some reason, you felt he was talking about something more than just books. "Even if you don't have anything you still have hope and sometimes that’s all you need. Promise me you won’t lose hope?"

You chuckled quietly. "Alright, Princess Leia, I'll believe in hope."

Steve grinned. "Personally, I think I'm more of a Luke Skywalker figure," Steve suggested. "A master Jedi who fights the dark side." He says as he pretends to fight with a lightsaber.

"You're such a geek." You deadpanned with a chuckle while putting the pasta in the pot.

"Stop it, doll. You're making me cry." Steve says with his eyes stinging and tears forming from the onion he was cutting.

You laughed at his expression. It was bright and bubbly, a real, hearty laugh. The corners of his mouth curled into a smile by the joyful air that resonated from you. For a second, he was jealous of what Bucky had. He wished he had it too. A warm home filled with the smell of spices and herbs and the sounds of radiant laughter. A beautiful wife he could love and cherish for the rest of his life.


“These are from today,” Clint said as he placed a tan envelope on Bucky’s desk.

Bucky picked up the envelope and opened it to reveal photos of you and Tony. One was of you two walking on the streets of the city hands intertwined laughing, another of you getting ice cream in the park. The last one, probably the most infuriating, was Tony sneaking a kiss with you under the cherry blossoms. Bucky’s jaw tightened at the last picture and his grip on the picture was firm.

Ever since that night, Bucky’s anger didn't quell nor did his obsession. It grew wildly and more jealous than ever before. He was irritated and far deadlier than before, showing no mercy in anything he did. Clint was getting tired of following around the couple. He didn’t understand why Bucky couldn’t just move on, but he’d never say anything unless he wanted to get his head cut off. Everyone was cautious around him making sure to not push any buttons that would make him turn on them. It was like a minefield around him.

“Clint.”

“Yeah, boss?”

“I want you to stop following them around,” Bucky said and Clint was internally relieved. “Instead I want you to call Pierce for me. Tell him I wanna talk to him.”

“Got it, boss,” Clint said leaving.

“What do you need him for?” Steve asked him from his seat in front of the desk.

“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Steve looked at him motioning him to explain.

“I’m going to sell him the territory on Bronx River.”

“What?” Steve asked incredulously. “You can’t do that. You know that’s where traffic’s heaviest. It’s the easiest way to get goods in.”

“I don’t care.”

“What do you mean?” Steve got out of his chair. “How much could that pimp possibly give you for it?”

“It’s not what he can give me.” Bucky sighed rather calm despite Steve’s reaction. “It’s what he can do for me.”

Steve raised a brow at him. “What’s that?”

“Kill one Tony Stark.”

“Are you out of your fucking mind?” Steve hollered. “Why are you gonna kill the Stark? He’s not some low life thug, Buck. This is old money we’re talking about. Old money with a lot of publicity. If you get caught, even I can’t get you out of that one.”

“I don’t care. I want him dead.” Bucky said getting up and lighting another cigarette.

“Why, because he’s with that girl?” Buck looked at him from the side him. “Honestly, Buck, I didn’t say anything before but this is getting out of control. You’re throwing away everything you’ve worked so hard for, for this girl.”

“I don’t care about it any of it. I’ll let it all burn to the ground.” Bucky snapped at him. “I don’t want any of it. I only want her and if I can’t have her then no one can.” He headed towards the door.

“Don’t do this, Buck,” Steve warned from behind. “It’s only gonna go down from here.”

Bucky turned his head to look at him. “Don’t get in my fucking way, Steve. It’ll only get worse for you.” Bucky warned before leaving.

Steve sighed as the man left shaking his head. He turned to the desk and picked up the picture of you walking with Tony. He felt pity for the boy. His eyes flitted towards you and your brilliant smile. What was it about you that had Bucky completely captivated? What love spell did you cast on him that had bewitched him, heart and soul?

Chapter Text

"You've done a lot of work since your old man," Pierce stated sitting in Bucky’s office. "He'd be proud of you."

Bucky doesn't react and remains on topic. "You interested or not?"

"I am interested. Very interested." Pierce said lighting a cigar. "Thing is, I don't see why you wanna sell it so bad. That's the best damn spot in the city for our kind of business and I know you wouldn't give it away so easily."

Bucky gives him a smug smile. "You're smarter than you look." Pierce huffs quietly but remains calm. "You see I'm selling the territory to you, not for the money. Cause let's be honest here, I've got more right now than you'd have in a lifetime." One of Bucky’s men laughs. "No, I don't want your money. I need you to do a job for me." He tells the older man.

"Which is?"

"I need you to kill the Stark," Bucky said with venom dripping from his tongue.

"What? Howard Stark?" Pierce asked astonished.

"No, Stark Jr. I want him dead." Bucky stated callously.

"What he do to you?"

"Nothing that concerns you. Can you do it or not?"

"I don't know. That's big old money if I get caught-"

"Then I guess you've been wasting my time." Bucky snarled. "Barton, get him outta here."

"No, wait." Pierce stopped him. "I'll do it." He confirmed. "I know the perfect man for the job. He works under me. Goes by the name, Bullseye. He's never missed a shot. I'll get him to do it."

"Alright then," Bucky said with a huff of his cigarette. "If you get the job done you'll get everything along the Bronx River."

"It's a deal then," Pierce affirms as he stands up. Bucky follows suit and they shake hands closing the deal. Pierce turns to leave only to be called back by Bucky.

"Remember Pierce, I want him dead."


"Did you give it to her, yet?" Happy asked him.

"Not yet," Tony said checking something on his phone leaning on the car outside. "I'm worried."

"About?"

"What if she hates it?" Tony thinks. "What if she doesn't like the way I said it?"

"I don't know you sounded pretty romantic." Happy told him.

"You listened to it?" Tony asked shocked and somewhat embarrassed.

"Just a little." Happy smiled playfully. "You're like the sun and all I wanna do-"

"Shut up," Tony said putting his hand over Happy's mouth.

Happy pushed it away with a grin. "Shouldn't have left it out in the open then. How was I supposed to know it was a confession? I thought it was just a regular CD."

Tony backs off and huffs. "I can't believe you listened to it. She's gonna hate it." He said, banging his head against the car.

"Hey, don't worry about it." Happy tried to calm him by putting a hand on his shoulder. "This is [Y/N] we're talking about. How many embarrassing acts have you done in front of her before?"

Tony looks over at Happy with an expressionless face.

"Did she leave you then? No, and I highly doubt she's gonna now. She's in too deep, bro."

"You really think so, Hap?"

"I know so." Happy assured and Tony grinned to himself. "Besides I was starting to fall for you the way you were talking on there. You have bewitched me body and soul and I love-" Happy teased.

"That's it, I'm gonna kill you right here and now," Tony said pulling Happy into a chokehold.

"Let go of me, you jerk." Happy wheezed.

"Why are trying to kill, Happy?" You asked walking up to them on the sidewalk. Tony lets go of the other boy.

"You're late, Miss Banner," he pointed at you.

"Sorry, I got stuck in one of Dad's spiels."

"Ahh, the dreadful yet enlightening lectures of Dr. Banner." He says leaning against the car. "What was it this time? The ever-expanding universe? The wonders of electron repulsion?"

You chuckle. "Both wrong, it was the central dogma of biology."

"A classic." He said with a grin.

"You're such a nerd," Happy scoffs playfully. "What do you even find in him?" Tony glares at him and you laugh.

"I don't know." You shrug. "He's kind of cute." Tony gives you a smile.

"I don't see it." Happy deadpanned.

"Hey Hap, I think I forgot my passport upstairs can you get it for me?"

"What do I look like? Your slave?" Happy asked sassily.

"Please?" He asked making a face denoting there was another meaning behind it.

Happy rolled his eyes. "Fine." Tony threw his keys over to him and Happy caught them, leaving the two of you alone.

"Did you get everything you need?" You asked.

"I did," Tony said. "I don't want to go. This is gonna be the worst time of my life."

"It's only two weeks," You reminded him.

"Still, it just feels like it's going to be forever," Tony said

Tony was being sent on a business trip to Berlin. He didn't really want to go because he hated everything that had to do with business deals and would much rather spend his time in the lab. But as the heir to the company, Howard believed it was time for Tony to finally step up and get a feel of what was to come in his future.

"Besides spending two weeks without you is gonna be torture." You giggled at his exasperated stated. "It's gonna feel like a thousand years."

"You're so dramatic." You roll your eyes playfully pushing him away.

"Oh, before I forget," Tony says he takes out a CD from his pocket and hands it to you. You read the title. "So you won't forget me while I'm gone."

"Seriously?" You questioned and Tony chuckles. "There's nothing wrong with liking One Direction."

"Everything is wrong about it." He replied. You pouted and playfully nudged his shoulder.

"If this is death metal I'm going to kill you." You threatened.

"Don't worry it's not," Tony assured. "But make sure you listen till the very end and then tell me what you think about it, alright?"

You chuckle. "Alright, I will."

"Well then, I guess this is it," Tony says with a sigh. "Farewell, my dearest [Y/N], the memory of your radiant beauty and tender words will be my comfort in this journey." He spoke dramatically.

"Godspeed, my sweetest Mr. Stark." You chuckle. "May you come home swiftly and in good spirits."

He wraps his arms around your waist pulling you into him with your head hanging back in laughter.

"I'm gonna miss you," Tony said tucking a strand of hair behind your ear.

"So will I," You tell him with your hands resting on his chest. "So come back as fast as you can."

"Don't worry, I'm running back to your arms the minute I close the deal." A blush creeps on your cheeks as you giggle quietly.

You pull him into a sweet kiss which he happily complies to. Your fingers carded into his soft brown locks and he loved the feeling of it. He was madly in love with you. There wasn't a single part of you he'd want to change, it was all good in his eyes. He didn't want to let go, afraid that he'd lose you if he did. Nothing compared to your embrace. It was his safe haven, the only place where he found peace and comfort. The affection that he yearned for as a child he found in your arms. He loved you and that was never going to change.

You pull apart, both trying to catch a breath. Tony kisses you softly and smiles in it. You part once again with your forehead against his.

"I don't get paid enough for this," Happy groaned. "Let's go, Romeo, we've got a plane to catch."

You both turn to Happy and laughed at how grossed out he was.

"It's my plane it goes when I get there," Tony said.

"Yeah, but your old man wants you there by the evening and I'm trying to keep my job." Happy stated annoyed. "Help a guy out and stop smooching your girl so we can get there on time?"

"You're just jealous." You tease earning a chuckle from Tony.

"Yeah and I'm gonna cry myself to sleep for being so lonely." He jokes as he opens the door to the car. "Shall we go now?"

"Jeez, Hap, when did you get so pushy?" Tony complained. He noticed a figure in the corner of his eye.

"[Y/N], get down!" He pulls you behind him and to the ground.

The next thing you heard where gunshots being fired in your direction and saw Tony being shot multiple times in the chest. He begins to fall, but you quickly catch him before he hits the ground. Your mind rushes into a state of frenzy as you try to comprehend what was happening. Blood began to seep through his plain t-shirt as he looks at you stunned.

"Tony!" You cry not knowing how to stop the bleeding. You lift his head bringing him closer to you. "Happy!" You turn to see him frantically calling the ambulance.

"[Y/N]," you hear a faint whisper and whip your head towards him.

"Yeah, I'm here, Tony. Just stay with me, okay?" You tell him desperately as he takes your hand in his, you give it a firm squeeze. "We're getting help so stay with me. It's gonna be okay, Tony, just stay with me."


You notice the screen of your phone light up and reach for it on the table to check what it is. Much to your chagrin, it was just a pointless notification for an app you never used. You sighed looking at the time on your phone reading "10:39 PM". You hadn't received any word from Bucky and it was starting to make you anxious.

"Worried about Buck?" Steve piped up, noticing your antsy behavior.

"A little," you said laying your head on the arm of the sofa chair.

After dinner, the two decided to watch a movie in the living room waiting for Bucky to arrive.

"He usually sends a message when he's going to be late." You sigh.

"Don't worry, doll." Steve consoles you. "He's probably just stuck somewhere. He's just hard at work."

"It's wrong though." You say bringing your knees closer to your body. "What he does is wrong."

Steve looks at his hands avoiding your eyes. "It is wrong." He agreed in a hushed tone.

"Then why do you do it?" You asked him with a sudden burst of boldness. "Why do you help him?" Steve looks up at you silently with guilt clearly written on his face. "His work ruins the lives of thousands of people and you just let him get away with it. It's not fair." You say with an inkling of contempt. "No matter how much you twist it, Steve, you're just as bad as him." You blurt out without thinking.

"I know," Steve whispers softly looking down. "I know helping Buck is wrong and even if I don't do what he does. I'm just as guilty for helping him get away with it." Steve looks up to you forcefully keeping his tears at bay. There was a sharp pain in your chest and you regret what you said. "But what could I do?" He asked. "I couldn't say no. He's my best friend and even when I had no one I had him. I just wanted to repay him for what he did for me, but I got stuck with no way out. I never thought he'd change so much. I never thought it would end up like this. And I'm sorry, [Y/N], I'm sorry for everything."

You shake your head in denial. "No, Steve, it's not your fault."

"It is." He affirmed. "Maybe I could've saved Buck, all those years ago. Maybe if I did something you wouldn't be here suffering. I chose to ignore it all." Your eyes started to sting while sitting in front of him. Steve hid his bearded face in his hands completely ashamed. "I'm not a good man, [Y/N]." His voice was muffled by his hands. "I'm not a good man."

You gently pull his hands from his face allowing you to see his gleaming blue eyes. "But you can still change." You say earnestly. "You can still be a good person if you try. Nothing is ever written in stone. Everyone deserves a second chance and even if no one else believes in you, I will. You'll be a good man in my eyes no matter what anyone says." You give him an endearing smile as you squeeze his hands gently as an assurance.

Steve looked at you with awe. Even if you were troubled with your own worries, even after all that had happened, you were still kind to others. You were still loving and accepting. He wished he could tell you just how much he appreciated you, but the words just wouldn't come out. All he could do was smile in return and show his gratitude in the twinkling of his eyes. For you, that was more than enough.


You sat down next to Happy in front of Tony's room in the emergency ward as doctors rushed in and out trying to save him. You could hear Maria hysterically crying in Howard's arms inside at the sight of their little boy.

You sat there listening to her cry and couldn't stop your own. You hid your face in your hands with Tony's blood all over your clothes.

"[Y/N]," you hear your father's worried voice coming from down the hallway of the emergency room.

"Dad," you get up from your chair and run into his arms. He wraps his arms around you, firm yet gentle, caressing the back of your head with his hand and whispering comforting words to you. Your face was hidden in his chest as you hold on to his lab coat with a tight grip, sobbing into his shirt.

"They said he's not going to make it." You cry as you look at him. "The bullets hit him in the lungs and heart and there's no way to save him." Bruce wipes your tears away with his own forming. "I don't know what I'll do without him, dad." You say crying into his chest. "I can't live without, him."

Bruce wanted to say something. He wanted to assure you that everything was going to be alright. But how could he lie to you like that?

“He wants to see you.” You heard a voice from your side. You pick up your head from your father’s chest to see Maria, red and puffy-eyed. "He wants to see you before he goes."

You nod with tears falling as you walk towards the room. You feel Howard’s hand on your shoulder and you turn to see him as you had never seen him before. He gives you a nod which meant more than just a simple gesture. You walk in shaking and your heart rips in two at the sight of Tony laying there on the bed, bandaged with tubes hooked up to his arms. You wipe away your tears as you approach him and sit by his side on the bed.

“Tony,” You whisper to him and he opens his eyes to look at you. He gives you a weak smile despite the pain. You return the smile with your eyes stinging.

“[Y/N]” He faintly whispers as he cups your face with his hand. “I’m sorry.”

You shake your head. “There’s nothing to be sorry about.”

"I'm not afraid of dying." He whispered. "But I don't want to go just yet. There's so much that I want to do, so much I want to do with you." Your tears begin to fall again. "There's so much I want to say. I love you, [Y/N]. I love you so much."

"I love you too." You say sweetly. "More than you could ever imagine."

"I wanted to say it so many more times. I wish I could say it forever. I wanted to show you just how much I love you. I don't want to leave you, [Y/N]. Not yet, not when I have so much to give you. I love you." He whispered in desperation with his own tears falling. You didn't say anything and cried in the palm of his hand, holding it in place with your own.

"I love you, Tony." You kiss his hand.

Tony smiles weakly. "Promise me that you'll always stay happy, that you'll never change? I don't want you to cry for me. I want you to be happy forever. I want you to have every good thing in life. Promise me you'll do that? Promise me you'll always keep a pretty smile on your face?" You nod with a sweet smile, one that he loved more than anything.

"I promise," you say, leaning closer to him and give him one last kiss. You bring your hand to his face and rub it with your thumb, giving him a bright smile and he returns it while nuzzling his face in your hand.

This was all he wanted in life. To stay in your arms forever, to share his every joy with you. He wanted to spend his entire life with you even when his hair was gray and skin wrinkly. He wanted to spend his every waking moment telling you how much he loved you. Tony wished he had just a little bit more time with you, but he knew time had run out. He could feel everything slowing down and getting quiet, but he was at ease. He wasn't afraid. Your sweet smile promised him that it was going to be okay. You were the last thing he saw before it all faded away and he fell asleep with eternal happiness.

You lay your head on the side of the bed right next to Tony crying uncontrollably. It felt as if your entire world had fallen down and the ground beneath you had slipped away. What heinous crime did you commit to receive such torturous punishment?

Outside, by the corner of the hallway, Sam stands inconspicuously observing your friends and family mourning their loss. He sees you come out of the room shaking your head sideways and Maria quickly hugging you. Sam leaves taking out his phone and taps a recent call.

"Yeah boss," Sam speaks into the phone. "Looks like Pierce stuck by his word. The road's clear."

Chapter Text

If anyone were to ask seven-year-old Bucky Barnes what he wanted to be when he grew up, his first wish would be to become an ace pilot, the best in the world.

All Bucky ever wanted to do was fly. He wanted to rise to great heights and see everything the world had in store for him. He wanted to go on grand adventures and save the damsel in distress. He wanted to be lauded as the hero that saved the city from the clutches of evil and spent his childhood hours reenacting the fantasies he had created.

His second wish would be to become a great man just like his father. There wasn’t a man on earth that was as noble as him. He was a jack of all trades, a master storyteller, a good husband, and loving father. It was his father’s bedtime stories of valiant soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy and of chivalrous knights saving the beautiful maiden that inspired Bucky. He was the one who assured Bucky that someday he would be a strong man. That he had what it’d take to become a great hero. Bucky believed everything his father told him for his father was never wrong.

But Bucky was doomed from the start. The minute he was born into the world his life had already been planned for him. He was set on a path of destruction from his first breath. Bucky didn't know what his father really did for a living and had always thought he was just a businessman of sorts. So he spent his days troubling his mother and playing with Steve. He was innocent without a care for anything in the world just like every other child his age. Until he ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time.

"You hit it over the fence again, Buck." Steve groaned. "You're such a showoff."

"I'm not!" Bucky defended. "It just happened."

"Yeah, yeah, well you're getting the ball this time." Steve pointed at him.

Bucky groaned. "Fine, I'll go get it." He said jumping over the fence and running to find it.

He ran over to the old broken down car to see if the ball had rolled underneath. He smiled when he found it and reached under to grab it. Once he retrieved the ball he began to run towards Steve until he heard voices nearby. Bucky ran towards it and hid by the old shed, unable to contain his curiosity.. He peered at the edge to see his Steve's father and his own with a man he had never seen before.

"Please! I'm begging you." The man pleaded. "Just give me another chance! I promise I'll get you back your money. Please."

"You've been saying that for the past six months and all you've been doing is wasting away at the bar." Steve's father snarled at the man picking him up by the collar. "You think you're just gonna get away with that?" He shouted. "You think we're just gonna let you play around with us like that?"

Bucky's heart began to race and felt goosebumps on his skin. He had never seen him like that before. He looked to his father standing there with an unfamiliar cold expression on his face.

"Now now, Rogers." His father calmed his friend with a pat on the shoulder. "That’s not how you treat a good man.”

He helped the man up, dusting the dirt off of him. "Mr. Miles here is a trusted member and we only treat members with respect." Bucky smiled at his father. Of course, he'd help a man in trouble.

George's face twisted into a scowl. "Now where's my money, Mr. Miles?" He asked dangerously low.

"I promise I'll get it back to you soon." The man pleaded still shaking. "Just give me a week."

George hung his head back as he laughed raucously at the man. Bucky was a little put off by his father's behavior.

"You're gonna get me fifty-thousand in a week?" George said with a smirk. He turned to his friend. "Ya hear this guy? He's gonna get it back to me in a week." He mocked as he turned to the man approaching him. "And how are ya gonna do that?" He asked.

"I'll work for it." The man said. "I promise."

"Liar!" He said punching the man square in the face and Bucky jumps back a little. Miles fell to the ground only to be picked up swiftly by the collar. "You're gonna go kiss up to that Odinson aren't ya?"

The man tried to pry from his grasp. "No! I'd never."

"Don't play with me!" He shouted. "My men saw you the other day in his territory! You've been sneaking in their all this time telling him all about us."

"No, you've got it all wrong!"

"You calling me a liar?" He snapped back and the man cowered in fear along with Bucky. "I hate liars! But you know what I hate the most?" He asked as he threw the man back to the ground roughly.

"A traitor. I put my trust in you and you took it for granted." He said putting his hand out and was handed a gun. "You really thought you could fool me? You really thought you could go against the family and I'd let you get away with it?" The man shook his head. "You got that damn straight and now you're gonna pay for all the trouble you've been causing me." He loaded the gun and pointed it at the man.

"Please don't!" The man begged. "Please, I'm begging you."

Without even a second thought, he shot the man three times. Bucky closed his eyes tight and covered his ears in his hands to stop the ringing in his ears. He ran as fast as he could to his house not paying any heed to what Steve was saying. He ran up the stairs towards his room and ignoring his mother's calls from behind. Bucky quickly shut the door to his room and ran into his closet to hide.

Every part of his body was trembling. He brought his knees close to his body and started to cry. He had never seen anything so terrifying in his life. Scenes of the poor man bruised and bloody begging for mercy then his father killing him would flash before his eyes as he hid his face in his knees. That wasn't his father. There was no way that was him. His father was a hero, a good man. He'd never do anything so horrific as killing a man.

The door to his closet opened and Bucky looked up to see his mother extremely worried for him.

"Bucky, is everything alright?" She asked him sweetly.

Bucky didn't say a word as he jumped into his mother's arms beginning to sob into her blouse. She rubbed his back and try to get out of him what had happened but he didn't say anything. He was completely in shock.

"What's wrong?" His father entered his room to see his son crying. He crouched down to their level.

"I don't know," His mother said worriedly. "He just came rushing inside and was hiding in his closet." Bucky didn't look at his father as he hid his face in his mother's arms. "He's shaking like he's seen a ghost or something." She said on the verge of crying.

"Hey kiddo, what happened?" His father said in a tender tone as he reached out for Bucky. Bucky flinched at his touch and the man looked at him puzzled. Bucky didn't want his father to touch him with the same hands he used to kill that man. He was completely disgusted by him.

After that day, Bucky never saw his father as a hero. He never asked him to tell him stories or play ball with him, making sure to never get in his way. Bucky never told anyone what happened that and harbored it inside, using it as a drive to further him in his own goals. He vowed he'd never become like his father, that he'd study hard and work even harder to reach his dreams. He was going to get out of that hell hole. He was going to be the good man his father could never be.

"Where have you been?" His father asked, sitting in a chair reading the newspaper as Bucky walked in.

"I was out." He stated simply.

"Out where?"

"Just out." He huffed as he walked towards the grand staircase of their home.

George lets out a sigh. "Barton told me you missed your shooting lesson."

Bucky stops at the end of the staircase. "I already told you, dad, I don't wanna learn how to shoot."

"Why not?" George asked him indignantly.

"Because it's not something I want to do." Bucky groaned.

"Oh, really and what is it that you want to do?"

"I want to be a pilot," Bucky stated.

"A pilot?" George guffawed. "You're still dreaming about that? Get your head out of the clouds, Buck."

"It's not a dream. I'm gonna make it happen. It's my life and I'm gonna do what I want." Bucky spat at him.

"No it's nor. This is your life." George bellowed pointing down. "This is in your blood. You've got a family to protect and there’s no way in hell you’re gonna turn your back on the family. Cause family’s all you’ve got.”

“I never wanted to be in this family,” Bucky spoke defiantly. “I hate this family. You’re just a crook! All of you are just a bunch of thugs!" He pointed at his father.

George’s blood boiled and slugged Bucky in the jaw. The boy fell to the ground from the impact of the punch. He wiped away the blood coming from his upper lip.

“What are you doing?” His mother scolded George.

“Didn’t you just hear what he said?” George hollered at her. “You’ve spoiled him like crazy and now he thinks he can just spit out whatever’s on his mind.”

“He’s just a boy.” She sympathized.

“He’s not your little boy anymore, Winnie. He's almost sixteen." He replies. “He’s a man now. He needs to learn some respect and how to get up when he falls." The older man looks over to Bucky with sharp eyes. "Get up."

Bucky doesn't listen, only looking to the side as he sat on the floor.

A vein in George's head snaps as he roughly grabbed Bucky by the collar of his shirt. "I said get up!" He snarled at the boy.

"Let go of him." His mother pleaded, grabbing her husband's arm. He roughly shakes her off of him and anger rushes through Bucky veins seeing the way his mother was treated. The boy began to try to fight out of his father's grip but was only slammed back into the wall.

"Now you listen to me and you listen to me straight." George sneered at Bucky. "No son of mine is gonna be a sissy pilot. You were born into this family for a reason. You're the next in line and if you don't straighten up right now, I'll do it for ya." He brought the boy closer to him. "You want that to happen?" Bucky shakes his head 'no' with tears brimming at the edges of his eyes.

"I thought so. Now when I say you're gonna go ask Barton to teach you how to shoot. You're gonna go and if I hear even one complaint from the man, mark my words boy no one's gonna be worse than me. You got that?" Bucky nods in compliance. "I wanna hear words, boy!" He shouted at him.

"I will." Bucky croaked in fear despite the burning fire in his eyes.

George's expression changes almost instantly as he gently lets go of Bucky. He pats down the wrinkles on Bucky's shirt with a smile. "Good, I know you'll make me proud."

Just as his father instructed him the night before, Bucky began practicing his shooting. In no time at all, he had mastered the technique with great accuracy and precision. When Bucky turned sixteen, George believed it was time for him to be an official member of their work.

"This is it, son." George looked at him with a smile. "Today's the day you show us what you're really worth. That you've got what it takes to be a real part of the family." He handed him a gun and Bucky looked at him puzzled.

"Bring him in," George ordered one of his men.

Bucky swallowed hard, realizing what was going to happen. His heart dropped at the sight of the man cuffed with a burlap sack over his hand. He wanted to run but was locked in place with his heart speeding. He couldn't do this. He wasn't going to kill this man. Bucky shook his head in denial and turned to leave only to see his father looking down at him.

One look into the man's eyes was enough for him to know that if he ran it wouldn't end well for him. Bucky turns around looking at the man who was pleading for his life.

"Shoot him, Bucky," George commanded. Bucky stood still his entire body shaking. "Shoot him." He ordered again and Bucky lifts his arm aiming it at the man but doesn't make another move. "Shoot him!" He shouted.

Bucky quickly pressed the trigger of the gun with eyes shut tight. The sound of bullets being fired resonated throughout the room as Bucky repeatedly fired the gun until there were no bullets left. He opened his eyes slightly to see the man, sitting on the chair limp with blood seeping through his clothes where he had shot him. Bucky gulped as he dropped the gun taking a step back, completely shaken.

He felt a pat on his shoulder and turned quickly to see his father standing there with a wicked grin.

"I'm proud of you, son." He said. "I knew you could do it."

Bucky looked to the ground ashamed as the others came around him, congratulating him on his accomplishment.

That night, Bucky sat at the edge of his bed with nothing but the moonlight peeking through the curtains as his light. He was bent over with his face in his palms crying about what he had done.

"Bucky?" He looked up to see Becca standing at the door rubbing her eyes, awakened by his muffled sobs. "Are you okay?"

"Becky," he said clearing his voice. "You should go back to bed. It's late."

"You're crying." She said entering the room.

"I'm fine." He lied. "Just go back to bed."

"No, you're not." She stood in front of him wiping his wet face. "Why are you crying?"

"I'm sorry." He mustered up.

Becca looked at him confused. "Sorry for what?"

Bucky dips his head into her shoulder, instantly dampening her cotton nightshirt with his tears. "I'm sorry." He cried repeatedly into her shoulder. "I can't be your hero anymore."

Becca pulls him back and wipes his tears. "You'll always be my Superman, Buck. No matter what happens." She hugged him and he buried his face in her shoulder, holding her tight in his arms. Becca didn't know what Bucky had done but it didn't matter. He'd always be her hero.

Bucky never believed what she said. He chose a path with no return and no matter what he did it would never erase the red in his ledger. What happened that night never left him. Slowly, one by one, Bucky disposed of all of his hopes and dreams, realizing that was all they could ever be.

He began to work for his father, taking on different jobs to learn how the business worked. After a certain point, he grew callous to the desperate pleas of debtors before killing them. The killing had become secondhand for him, after all, it was in his blood.

Despite his father's satisfaction, Bucky was empty on the inside. He had lost his humanity. Sometimes if he had the time, he'd go to an airshow to look at planes and remember the dreams he had as a kid. He wished he could return to that time. When he was just a fool, an ignorant child occupied by adventurous fantasies. He wanted it more than anything and thought he'd leave when the time was right. He'd just run away from it all.

But the time never came and instead, he found himself falling deeper into it. When his father had passed, Bucky was left with a decision to make. Abandon it all or stay with his family. He chose to stay because no matter how much he hated his father, the old man was right. Family was all he had. Darkness began to consume his soul and he started to become cold-hearted and ruthless just like his father. It was then Bucky knew all hope was lost.

Until he took a wrong turn and ended up in a place where he didn’t belong. He met a girl far more beautiful than he had ever seen before. She had twinkling eyes that never witnessed any wrongdoing and gentle hands that would never commit a dirty deed. The attraction was far more powerful than anything he had felt before. Not just for her appearance but what she represented. Bucky knew this wasn't a spontaneous meeting it was destined to happen. Their connection was far deeper than it seemed. She was his second chance and this time he wasn’t going to let it slip out of his hand.


"What's with, Steve?" Bucky asked sitting on a kitchen chair while you were patching him up. "He was all teary-eyed."

"We were watching 'Marley and Me'." You lied. "You know how he gets when it's about dogs."

"Why would you put him through that?" Bucky chuckled.

"He picked it." You retorted, examining the wound on his arm. "I warned him not to." You took out an alcohol wipe to disinfect his wound. He hissed at the first contact of the wipe and you winced for him. You return to clean his wound while Bucky remained silent.

"Really bad day?" You asked putting the wipe to the side and picking out an ointment.

"Not as bad as most," Bucky said with a deep sigh.

"I wonder what a really bad day looks like then."

"Trust me, doll." Bucky chuckled. "You don't want to."

Bucky never liked telling you about his work. He wanted to keep you separate from it all, but coming home looking like he was hit by a truck wasn't helping.

You wrap a bandage around his arm and tape it. "There, all done." You say with a small smile.

You stand in front of him and he wraps his arms around your waist. Your hands instinctively wrapped around his neck.

"Thank you, Dr. Barnes," Bucky said with a smile.

You chuckle quietly and look at him, fingers playing with the ends of his locks. You could see the frustration embedded in the lines on his forehead and exhaustion in his lazy smile. It had become a norm for the past few days, but there was something off about today than all the rest.

"What's wrong?" You asked.

Bucky looked down, shaking his head. "Nothing, I'm just tired." He said pulling you down into his lap. He nuzzled his bearded face into the crook of your neck, tickling you.

"How about we go to bed?" You asked. You were a bit confused from his quiet and unusual behavior.

"No, not yet," Bucky said resting his head on your shoulder. "I just wanna stay like this. If that's okay?" He asked softly. You nodded against him.

It felt a little awkward straddling his hips on the kitchen chair but ignored it. You were far more worried about him. You switched between playing with his hair and stroking it in gentle patterns with nothing but the silence to listen to.

As much as you hate to admit it, you missed him. You missed the way his arms felt around you and the systematic beating of his heart against yours. The pungent smell of alcohol and cigarettes that came off of him felt like home.

"Bucky?" You asked. He hummed in response. "What happened?"

He lets out a sigh, leaving his place in your shoulder to look up at you. He was hesitant to speak at first but answered.

"Today's the day my dad passed." He whispered. You looked at him sympathetically with a hint of curiosity. He had never spoken of his father before.

"I'm sorry." You whispered, feeling bad you asked.

Bucky chuckled softly. "There's nothing to be sorry about, doll. He got what he deserved." Bucky spat scornfully.

"You shouldn't say that Buck, he's your father." You said.

Bucky scoffed at your statement. "Some father he was." You frown a little at his jeer.

"You never met him, [Y/N], you don't know how horrible he was." You listened to him quietly. "He took everything from me. All of my hopes and dreams he ripped them apart, burned them until there was nothing left and put me in a place I never wanted to be. Forcing me to do things I never wanted to do. He destroyed everything that made me and molded me into what he wanted."

Bucky looked at you with eyes filled with hatred yet somewhat broken. "He took and took from me until there was nothing left. Until I was empty on the inside." You felt a pang of remorse and guilt for your ill thoughts against him. At the end of the day, Bucky was human too and he experienced hardships the same way you did.

"I was dead until I met you." He said earnestly. "I don't know what it was but you made me feel alive and you still do to this day." You cupped Bucky's cheek with your hand, wiping away a tear.

"I don't know what I'd do without you, [Y/N]." He said hugging you tightly, returning to his spot on your shoulder. You wrap your arms around his neck.

"I love you," he said, his hot breath on your shoulder. "I love you so much."

"I love you, too." You said, kissing the side of his head. You didn't know if you meant it or not, but you wanted him to believe that you did.

Bucky looked up at you with a sincere smile which you returned. "Sorry, I killed the mood." He said sheepishly.

"It's alright." You said, pushing errant strands of his hair behind his ears. "Not every moment in life has to be happy and it's good to let out things that have been bothering you."

"Alright, doll, what do you wanna do now?" He asked.

You look at the clock to check the time. "Well, it's one in the morning and I'd like to go to sleep."

"Really?" Bucky asked bored. "You don't wanna do something more exciting and productive?" He gave you a wiggle of his brows and you knew instantly what he was alluding to.

"You really think this is going to let you do anything fun?" You asked, poking the fresh stitches on his torso.

Bucky winced in slight pain. "Ow, ow, okay, to bed it is." He said getting up with you still in his arms.

"I can walk by myself, Buck." You reminded, not wanting his stitches to reopen.

"Not a chance, doll," Bucky replied with a chuckle carrying you in the same position. "I'm gonna keep you in my arms all night. I've missed you so damn much."

You mumbled incoherently with a red-face as he turned the lights off and entered the hallway.

"Babe, is it me or are you gaining a little?" Bucky asked jokingly. "Must be all those pancakes." He chuckled.

You pinch his arm just below his wound and he quietly hissed in pain. "I take it back, I hate you." You deadpanned as he turned into your shared room.

"Doll, why are you always so mean to me?" Bucky whined and you couldn't help but giggle a little.

Chapter Text

Three months had passed since Tony's death yet it felt like it was just yesterday when you had bid him goodbye with bright smiles and tight hugs. Life wasn't the same without Tony, the world had lost its color and you started to lose interest in the things you once enjoyed. Everything you did, everywhere you went reminded you of him.

No one really knew why anyone was after Tony's life since he never had any enemies. Your first thought was that it had to have been Bucky. You knew he was the only one who could've organized an operation like this and had a good reason to do so but remained quiet since you didn't have any solid evidence it was him. If it really was Bucky who had killed Tony, you would never forgive yourself. After all, it was your fault he had gotten tangled up in all of this.

Condolences were sent by the thousands as the world mourned his death. Howard didn't rest until the killer was found and the NYPD was in a frenzy as they frantically searched every nook and cranny under the billionaire's pressing order. You couldn't rest knowing that the man who had taken Tony from you was still out there and all you could think of was Bucky. No matter how hard you tried it was to no avail. It wasn't until the police found out the perpetrator, a certain Alexander Pierce who once belonged to the upper crust of New York but lost it all by gambling it all away, that you felt at peace.

Howard did recall having a spat with the man years ago but didn't understand how that could've led him to kill his only son. When the police came to question the man, he was found dead in his office with the same gun that was used on Tony. An autopsy confirmed that Pierce allegedly killed himself on the same day Tony was shot. It was all rather strange to everyone and it felt like even the police knew more than they were letting on. Nevertheless, you took it as truth because all of the clues leading to him, but you were never fully convinced by it all.

After his death, you spent your days at home, sitting by the window wishing Tony was still there. You'd think about the life you wanted to have with him and how it would've been if he was still there. Truth be told, you wanted to spend the rest of your life with him and never did you think he would leave you so quickly.

He made you feel special. No one could make you smile as much as him. No one could make you laugh until you couldn't breathe as well as him. No one could make you feel safe even when everything around you was falling apart and the sense of danger looming over you was getting closer as the days went by. No one could ever compare to Tony. He was one in a million. A diamond in the rough.

You were withdrawn from everyone and only exchanged small talk with your father. You lost your appetite to eat, read, and everything else. None of it seemed to matter without him. You only ate by Bruce forcibly pestering you to. He made you go outside with him to free your mind. Bruce knew a broken heart takes time to mend but if he could help just a little then he would do just that. If it wasn't for your father, you probably wouldn't have made it this far. He was the anchor in your storm, the only thing keeping you afloat.

Three months had passed and the seasons shifted from summer to autumn. It was the beginning of autumn so it was still warm outside and you decided to go to your secret place one more time before the cold weather rolled in. You sat underneath the tree by the pond reading a book with Peaches in your lap. You stroked his patched fur mindlessly with your thoughts elsewhere.

The sound of careful footsteps grew gradually louder and at first, you thought it was just a squirrel. As it came up to you, you realized it wasn't a squirrel, but a person and you had a good feeling you knew who it was. You look up hesitantly to see the devil in the flesh looking down at you with an unsuitable sweet smile.

"I thought you'd be here." He said.

You stood up swiftly, your book and Peaches in your hand. "What are you doing here?" You sneered.

"I was taking a stroll in the park and ended up here." He said. "How have ya been, doll? Haven't seen you in a while."

"And I'd like to keep it that way." You snapped at him and turned to leave.

He caught you gently by the wrist, you look back at him. "Come on, doll, what's with the cold shoulder?"

You yanked your hand from his grasp. "Oh really, did you already forget what happened that night?"

Bucky took a deep sigh. "I didn't." He said. "And I've been wanting to say sorry for so long but didn't know how." You raise a brow at him. "I shouldn't have let my anger get the best of me. I'm sorry, [Y/N]."

"Apology denied." You deadpanned. "So stay away from me if you know what's good for you." You stated firmly. He inched closer to you until your face was only centimeters away from his.

"But what if what's good for me is you?" He asked like a lovesick teenager.

Your heart leaped at his words and your face was beet red. Crap, you forgot how good he was with his words.

"Come on sweetheart, I'm just asking for a little forgiveness. I don't want anything." His voice was sickeningly sweet and his blue eyes glimmered in the light. "I just wanna be friends again."

You push him away gently, completely flustered. "Well, I don't so leave me alone." You turned and walked away with a huff.

Bucky chuckled at your stubbornness as you left. You were cute when you were all pouty like that. He shook his down towards the ground. He was onto you and would slowly creep his way back into your life. You were just a tough shell to crack, but one he'd crack soon enough. Besides, he always loved a little challenge.


You could hear Bucky’s frustrated yet hushed voice in the other room while sleeping. You wanted to check on him but were heavy with sleep that you couldn’t fight to get up. Bucky came into the room, moving around quietly in the dark, making sure not to wake you up. He sat down next you, shaking you gently.

“[Y/N],” he whispered.

You open your eyes to look up at him, rubbing them. “Is everything alright?” You asked.

“Yeah, everything’s okay. I have to go.”

“Now?” You asked looking over at the digital clock indicating that it was four in the morning.

“Yeah, something came up.” You frowned a bit propping yourself up on one arm. “I just wanted to tell you before I left.” He smiled and leaned in to give you a soft kiss. His phone started to ring and Bucky stood up. “I gotta go. I’ll see you later.” He said turning around to leave.

You caught him by the hand and he turns to look at you. “Stay safe.” You whispered in a sleepy voice. He nods with a grin then plants a kiss on your forehead. He leaves and you drop back down onto your bed, only falling back to sleep until you hear the click and lock of the door behind him.

You woke up much later to a sick feeling in your stomach and the feel of acid coming up your throat. You jump out of your bed to run towards your bathroom and made it to the toilet just in time to vomit your guts out. You flush the toilet as you turn to the sink to wash out your mouth. You tried to figure out why you threw up so early in the morning, maybe you had the flu? There was a small, faint thought in the back of your head, but you quickly shook it off. There was no way it was that you thought to yourself as you peeled your clothes off to take a shower.

After a very simple breakfast, you decided to go out to get some fresh air and drop by the farmer’s market. Winter was slowly coming to its end and you were glad spring was just around the corner. You walk out of your penthouse, locking the door then turn only to jump back in fright.

“Goodness, Steve.” You said a deep breath. “You almost gave me a heart attack.”

“Sorry, doll.” Steve said with a chuckle. “I was just coming to check up on ya. You going somewhere?”

“Just out to get some fruit.”

“Shouldn’t you be staying at home?” He asked.

“I’m sick of sitting inside.” You deadpanned. “I am going to go insane.”

Steve laughs at your expression. “I’ll come with you.”

“No, that’s okay.” You said. “I don’t want to bother you. You must be busy.”

“Not really, doll.” Steve shrugged his shoulders. “Besides it’s not safe if you go out alone.”

You deeply exhale. “I know. It’s just sometimes I want to go outside without an army surrounding me like I’m the first lady, you know?”

“I understand,” Steve said. “But Buck’s gonna kill me if he finds out you went alone.”

“And it’s all about keeping him happy, isn’t it?” You said with a teasing tone.

“Tell you what,” Steve said with a charming smile. “How about I come with you not as your bodyguard but as a friend?”

You shake your head as you walked next to him towards the elevator. “You’re already my friend, Stevie, you know that.”

Steve looked down, digging his hands in his pockets and sporting a shy smile with pink dusting his cheeks.

“But I’ll take your offer.” You said, pressing the elevator button with a chuckle.

The two of you went downstairs towards Steve's car, a sleek black Audi. You looked out the window with your thoughts elsewhere not noticing Steve's jitters just by you sitting next to him.

"Something wrong, doll?" He asked and you turned towards him.

"Oh no," you chuckled sheepishly. "I just got lost in thought."

"Always daydreaming." Steve teased as parked in front of the market.

You mumbled something indignant under your breath making him chuckle. He swore you were the cutest thing on earth. The two of you got out and headed towards the market.

You perused the stalls, heading towards the ones you usually went to, with Steve right next to you. You stopped at one with peaches since they were your favorite.

"Jeez doll, how many are you gonna get?" He chuckled.

"I only got ten," you defended.

"That's a lot!" Steve said.

"No, it's not besides they're healthy for you." You pointed out.

"They're okay," Steve said nonchalantly.

"Don't like 'em thick, Stevie?" You grinned suggestively.

Steve's cheeks tinted a light red. "Doll!" He exclaimed a bit shocked hearing it from you. You gave him a laugh. "I-I never said that. I like them in all sizes." He said quietly.

"Don't say it like that, Stevo, makes you sound like a pervert."

"You're the one who asked." He defended as you paid the vendor.

"I'm just joking with you." You smiled. "It's what friends do." Steve shook his head in mock annoyance.

You walked past him and he followed behind you like a lost dog. Steve enjoyed spending time with you, he always did, but there was something more intimate about this moment. Even if it was something as simple as grocery shopping. He hated shopping, but with you it was bearable. It felt like he was meant to be there. Often times he'd catch himself staring at you while you were picking out different fruits and vegetables. He took in your figure, the way your loose braid rested on your shoulder or how deliciously plump your lips looked when you bite them while thinking. The way your bracelets dangled loosely on your wrists and the how you handled everything with tender hands.

It was when he looked at your hands did he remember what he was doing was wrong. The gorgeous diamond ring wrapped perfectly around your finger was a taunting reminder that he was yearning for something he couldn't have. You were married and to his best friend at that. The man who considered him a brother.

Steve couldn't do that Bucky. Even if he knew the complications of your marriage, he couldn't hurt Bucky in that way. It would only make it worse not just for him but for you and he only wanted the best for you. Every time he had even a remote thought of you he'd shake his head shutting it out. He couldn't do it. He wouldn't do it. He'd tell himself repeatedly. It was a sin. He wasn't going to let his desires get the best of him, but sometimes it was just so difficult.

"Steve, it's okay." You said. "I can carry it."

"Well, I don't like it," Steve said. "It's wrong if you carry everything and I'm empty-handed."

You rolled your eyes. "Ever the gentleman." Steve chuckled at your remark as he took the bags from your hand.

"Ready to go?"

"Yeah," you nodded walking towards the parking lot. "Actually wait, I forgot to get some plums. Bucky really likes them." You turned around quickly. "I'll be right back."

Steve smiled at you. "You're cute. You take such good care of Buck."

You blushed at his statement. "Shut up." You mumbled.

After getting the plums, you headed towards home talking to Steve about random topics.

"Hey, Steve, is it okay if we stop by the pharmacy real quick? I just need to get something." You asked playing with your hands.

"Sure, doll," Steve said heading towards the nearest one.

You walked inside the store with Steve waiting in the car. You searched through the aisles until you found a box of pregnancy tests. Truth be told, you did feel a little embarrassed walking up to the cashier with it, but mustered up the courage somehow.

Steve took you home and followed behind you towards your penthouse with groceries in his hand. After a lot of quarreling, he finally let you hold some of the bags. You unlock the door, laughing to one of Steve's horrible jokes to find Bucky already at home by the presence of his shoes at the front. You quickly chuck the bag in your hand into the closet near the door just in case he popped out of nowhere.

You walked towards the counter to place the bags on top of it then start to take them out. Bucky comes through the hallway with nothing but shorts on and a towel hung lazily around his neck as he dried his hair with one side.

"You're home," he said with a smile. "I was wondering where you went." He approached you giving you a kiss on the cheek.

"We just went to the farmer's market." You said.

"Here Buck, catch!" Steve said chucking a plum at Bucky.

Bucky caught the plum just as it was about to hit him in the face. "What the hell, Stevie!" He hissed and you chuckled quietly.

"Just making sure your reflexes are working." Steve shrugged.

Bucky took a bite of the plum annoyed.

"When did you get back?" You asked.

"About an hour ago," Bucky told you. "Did ya miss me?" He asked, pulling you closer to him by the waist.

"No, I didn't." You said, earning a snort from Steve. Bucky playfully pouted at you. "I had Stevie to keep me company since you ditch me every time." You said poking him in the chest.

"Sorry, about that doll," Bucky said apologetically.

"Everything all right down at the dock?" Steve asked.

"Better than before," Bucky answered. "But it's quiet."

Steve gave him a raised brow. "What do you mean?"

Bucky shrugged leaning against the counter. "I don't know. It's just quiet all of a sudden. No one's talking and it makes me feel like something's gonna happen."

You sighed quietly and Steve noticed. "Don't worry, doll. Everything's gonna be alright." He said with an assuring smile.

"Sorry, we didn't mean to talk to about it in front of you." Bucky apologized.

"It's not that." You said. "I can see how tired you are, the both of you and I just want it to end."

"It will soon, baby," Bucky assured pulling you into him. He wrapped his arms around you and your hands rested on his chest. "Maybe when it’s all over I'll take you somewhere? Anywhere you want." He offered.

You nodded with a soft smile. "That would be nice."

Steve looked away, a sliver of green in his eyes. "What about me?" Steve asked in a teasing tone.

"I'm shipping you to Antarctica." Bucky deadpanned and you laughed in response.

"What?" Steve whined. "I hate the cold!"

"Take a jacket with you, Stevie." You told him still in Bucky's arms.

He rolled his eyes. "I hate both of you. Always bullying me."

"Yeah, we love you too, punk." Bucky chuckled.

Steve checked the time on his phone. "I gotta go."

"So soon?" You asked.

Steve's cheeks tinted a light pink at your question. "Yeah, ma's not feeling very well lately. I gotta go check on her."

You nodded. "Tell Aunt Sarah I said hi," Bucky told him as the blonde walked towards the door.

"Maybe you should come over and say it," Steve suggested. "She always complains about how you don't come to visit." He said.

"I'll come over soon," Bucky said. "I miss her too."

"Sometimes, I think she likes you more than me," Steve said as he went out the door. "See ya guys." He said as he shut the door behind him.

"You hungry?" You asked Bucky, which he nodded to like a child. You chuckled as you walked towards the kitchen with him in tow.

After dinner, you slipped into the bathroom to take the test that had been racking your brain for the past couple of hours. You read the instructions to the test and took it. Your heart was racing at an ungodly speed and the minute you saw it was marked as positive your heart dropped. In a frenzy, you took another test and when it came out with the same result you sat on the seat of the toilet blankly staring at it. Your hands were shaking and vision began to blur at the blue plus sign staring back at you taunting you.

You couldn't be pregnant. You didn't know the first thing about being a mother since you never had one of your own, nor were you ready to become one so quickly. You were still getting used to being married and so was Bucky. He made it clear he didn't want to have any kids yet. What were you going to tell him?

In all honesty, you didn't want that kind of life with Bucky. Under difficult circumstances, you were trapped into marrying him and you wanted to keep it just the two of you. Children would just complicate your problems and you'd never want to have a child with a man who had such a bloody history. You didn't want the innocent creature to be ruined by him. You didn't want it to grow up in a world filled with corruption and deceit.

You got up wiping your tears and hid the test in the back of a drawer below the sink. You got out of the bathroom and decided to get ready for bed. You changed into your night suit which was just one of Bucky's long sleeve t-shirts sitting in a basket of clean clothes you were too lazy to put away.

You looked at yourself in the mirror and noticed that you had gained a little weight. You placed your hands over your bare stomach, rubbing it slowly. It was weird, your body felt weird. The thought of having a tiny, fragile creature depending on you to nurture it was hard to grasp, not to mention terrifying. Your every step from this moment forward wouldn't just affect you but the little one inside you. You didn't know how to feel about that, but you did know that you were not going to be rash about your decision, every step was going to be taken with extreme care.

You wipe your tears again as you head towards the living room to find Bucky lazily watching something. He looked over to see you come in and pulled you into his lap making you straddle his hips. He placed his cold hands on your bare thighs making you shiver a little.

"Everything alright, doll?" He asked, noticing your mood was a bit off.

"I'm alright." You replied. "Bucky, I-I need to tell you something."

"Yeah?" He said making small circles on your thighs with his fingers.

"It's just um, well, uh." You stammered. Bucky looked at you amused. "You see I just wanted to say that, um." He raised a brow and you sighed. "I've missed you." You gave up.

Bucky chuckled. "So did I, doll." He gave you a chaste kiss on the lips. "All I thought about was you while I was gone." He gave you another kiss, this time longer as pulled you flush against him. Your arms found their way around his neck. "That pretty smile of yours and the way your hair always smells like strawberries. I was going crazy without you." He said as he lined kisses against your jaw.

Frustration bubbled out of you making you tear up once again. You sniffled as your tears fell down. Bucky stopped his ministrations and cupped your face in worry.

"Baby, what's wrong?" He asked. You simply shook your head. "Come on you can tell me."

How could you tell him if you didn't know what it was yourself? Was it heartbreak? Was it worry? Was it guilt?

"I'm scared." You said between your sobs.

"Scared of what?" He asked, confused.

"I don't know. I just am." You said as he pulled you into him. You buried your face into the crook of his neck as he rubbed your back in soothing patterns.

"Everything's gonna be okay, doll." He assured. "I won't let anything happen to you, I promise."

You sat in his arms sniffling as he whispered sweet endearments into your ear. How could he say so easily he would protect you? After all, he had done to hurt you how could he say it with such confidence? You didn't understand him. Was it all a play or did he not know?

You wanted to run but remained in his strong arms. Deep in your heart, you had a strange sense of security that he really would protect you no matter what storm would come your way.

Chapter Text

"Congratulations, Mrs. Barnes, you are indeed pregnant-two months exactly." Dr. Cho gave you a smile as she walked into the room with a clipboard in hand.

You gave her a sheepish smile despite your inwards screaming at the confirmation. "Thank you." You replied.

"Have any ideas on how to surprise, papa bear?" She asked.

You chuckled at her nickname. "No, not yet. I still can't wrap my head around the fact." You told her. "I don't know if I'm ready."

"I know it's a lot of responsibility, but motherhood is a beautiful experience." She stated. "There are a lot of programs that help in preparation for young mothers. I'll get you a list."

You play with your hands. "The thing is, I'm not sure if I really want that yet. I don't think I want to start a family yet."

"There's still the option of an abortion," Helen informed and you look up at her. "I know it's a hard decision, but you should do what you think is right. I can give you all the information you need to make a decision."

You nodded. "Thank you."

You left the doctor's office and began walking in the direction of your home that wasn't that far off. You sighed as you buried yourself deeper in your knitted scarf protecting you from the cold air. You were mindlessly walking, completely indulged in your own thoughts to not notice anything around you. You snapped out of your thoughts when a gruff looking man bumped into your shoulder.

"Oh, I'm sorry." You apologized. He gave you a simple nod as he walked away. You began to walk again and for some reason, it felt like you were being followed. You turned back again to see nothing out of the ordinary. You walked away shaking your head, it must have been a trick of the mind.

You entered the penthouse and closed the door behind you. You sat down on the sofa and placed the pamphlets and papers Dr. Cho had given you onto the coffee table. Letting out a sigh, you browsed through some of the pamphlets.

You needed to tell someone, someone that wasn't Bucky. You needed someone to confide in, but who? Maybe your father? No, he'd just worry, he was always worried for you. But you had no one besides him. Maybe Steve? You thought about it for a minute as your finger hovered over his contact on your phone and tapped it impulsively. You shouldn't be doing this you scold yourself as you listen to the phone dialing.

"Hey doll," Steve greeted in a drowsy voice.

"Hi Steve," you said nervously. "Are you sleeping? I can call you later if-"

"No, it's fine, doll." Steve interrupted. "Gotta wake up sooner or later."

You chuckled, bringing your legs up onto the sofa. "What have you been doing all night? You realize it's two in the afternoon, right?"

"You know, doll...bachelor things." He said turning over on his back.

"I don't want to know what means." You told him earning a chuckle from his side. "Do I need to call your mom, Stevie?"

"No, please anything but that!" He pleaded playfully. You laughed softly and it was a sweet melody to his ears. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing, I just came from the doctor's." You informed him.

"Everything all right?" He asked.

"Yeah," you said quietly. Steve knew instantly there was something more. He was a sharp man.

"If something happened, doll, you know you can tell me, right?"

"No, it's not like that besides I don't want to bother you."

"You'd never bother me and we're friends aren't we?" He replied immediately. "I wouldn't really be a great friend if I can't even listen to what you have to say." You smiled to yourself quietly. "Whatever it is, doll, just lay it on me. I'm a big boy. I can handle it."

You let out a sigh. "Alright, I'll tell you but promise me you won't tell Bucky?" You asked.

Steve swallowed, thinking about the severity of the issue for such a condition. Nevertheless, he complied without hesitation. "I promise."

There was a short pause as you calm yourself down. "I-I'm pregnant." You quickly said for the first time. You could hear the creaking of Steve's bed as he sat up, shocked by your words, awaiting his response.

Steve didn't really know what to feel. He was happy for you but at the same had an ache in his heart. It was a bittersweet feeling. "That's not a bad thing, is it?" He asked.

"I don't know." You confessed. "I-I don't know if I'm ready for a baby and I know Bucky isn't."

"Doll, I know it's hard. Actually, I don't know because I'm not a woman but I know that whatever your decision is it will be the right one."

"But I don't know what I want." You said, tears brimming at the edge of your eyes. "Having a baby is terrifying to me, but at the same time, I don't want to let it go. I don't know what to do, Steve." You begin to cry and Steve's heart breaks at the sound. "What if I keep it, but Bucky doesn't want it?" You asked. "Or what if he does, but I become a horrible mother? I don't know what to do. I'm scared, Steve, I'm scared I'll make the wrong decision."

Steve listens to your quiet sobs not knowing what to say. "Hey?" He said softly. "Everything's gonna be alright, okay? I know Buck and I know he loves you." Steve's voice strained at the end. "He'll understand, but you have to tell him, [Y/N]."

You wiped your tears and sniffled a little. "He deserves to know," Steve said. "And if it all falls out just remember I'm here for you, alright?" He assured. "No matter what happens you can depend on me to be by your side cause that's what friends do." He said with a small smile. "There's nothing to be afraid of, [Y/N]. You're not alone, I'm right here with you."

His words struck a chord in your heart and you found ease and comfort in them. It reminded you of Tony, he was always by your side.

You nodded. "Thanks, Steve." You whispered. "I'm glad I called you."

Steve smiled and his chest felt warm. "It's alright sweetheart, you can call me anytime." He assured.

Your face blushed a deep red and Steve caught his mistake.

"S-sorry." He replied. "I didn't mean it like that."

"No, it's okay!" You reassured. There was a short pause and all you could hear was the steady intake of his breath, it was calming in an obscure way.

"Steve?" You broke the silence.

"Yeah, doll?"

"Can you come over?" You asked. "I don't want to be alone right now."

"Of course, doll," Steve said getting up. "I'll be there in a minute."

"I'm counting down the seconds, Rogers." You teased.

"Wait, doll! I'm not even out of my house yet."

"Tik-tok, tik-tok," you chimed.

"Damn pants," Steve muttered. You heard him bump into something loudly. He groaned in pain and you chuckled as you ended the call.

You tidied up the room until you hear the doorbell ring. You raised a brow. How did he get here so fast? You walked over and open the door.

"You know Steve I was just joking about the time."

You look up to see the gruff man from before looking down at you. You felt something hard lightly pushed against your stomach. Before you could even register what it was you felt a sharp pain and the feeling of your skin being pierced through.

You step back slightly by the impact of the shot and press your hand against the scorching pain to see blood all over your fingers. He shot you again making you drop to the ground with your phone falling a few feet from you. The pain was excruciating and your body started to grow numb.

You kept your hand on your stomach, praying that it was alright, but you knew it was gone.

The man came over with a snicker as he crouched down before you. He gave you a sinister smile while you laid there with your blood seeping through your shirt and onto the carpet.

"My, my." The man said. "Thought you'd be dead by now. Most go out instantly when I shoot 'em there. But what should I expect from the mob king's wife?" He pushes a strand of your hair behind your ear. "You honestly don't look that strong."

"Who are you?" You croaked. You shudder involuntarily as your systems began to shut down one by one.

"Just a guy who's tryna get some payback is all. You still got a little life in you, huh? But you won't last long. I'll get to go home today and brag to my kids about how I killed the mob king's queen. Ain't that something?"

"It's a shame really," he said gently tracing the side of your face with his gun. "You've got a pretty face. Haven't seen a beauty like you in a while." He smirked as you shake your head to get his gun off of you. "Some guys just have all the luck, don't they? Guys like him who get whatever they want and take whatever they want." He said harshly as you laid there limp. "Like seriously, what did you find in him?"

You weren't really listening to anything he was saying since you were trying your best to stay conscious. Just until Steve could get there or anyone for that matter. You thought about your father. How his birthday was coming up and that he'd spend it all alone if you didn't make it. You thought about Steve, wishing he'd show up soon and save you like the chivalrous knight he was.

You thought about Bucky, and you thought about him the longest. Your heart was aching for him and you knew it wasn't from the pain of your fatal wounds. You wanted to see his smiling face and have him whisper sweet and trivial words into your ear. All Bucky had ever done was love you and you wished you could see him one last time to apologize for hating him. You wanted to hear his voice one last time. You didn't want to die until you did. You didn't want to die until you told him you really did love him.

You heard your phone ringing a few feet away and try your best to reach for it with your bloodied hand. The man let out a sinister laugh as you struggled. Your body felt like a dead weight as you tried to drag yourself towards it with all your might. You see Bucky's contact icon as your phone buzzed. Just as you were about to take it, the man took it from you.

"Want me to answer it?" He asked wickedly as he answered the call. He brought the phone to his ear. "Hey, Peter Quill here. How's it going?" He greeted. He pulled the phone away from his ear because of how loud it was. "I think he's angry." He told you.

He brought the phone back to his ear. "Yeah, yeah, don't worry I didn't fuck your pretty little princess although I did consider it at first. Damn man, where'd you find a chick like her?"

"You wanna talk to him?" He asked you as he brought the phone to your ear.

"[Y/N]?" Bucky asked in a frantic and terrified state.

"Bucky…" you whimpered with a tear falling down the side of your face.

"Don't worry, doll. I'm coming." Bucky assured. "Stay with me alright, baby? I'm coming for you."

You nodded slightly as you said his name again.

"Yeah baby, I'm here." He choked up.

"Aww isn't that sweet?" Quill cooed. "He really loves you, huh?" He brought the phone back to his ear. "Hey man, this is touching and all but I got a job to finish." He said preparing his gun.

You couldn't stay awake any longer and found yourself slipping away as the world became gradually darker. Everything had gone black and all you could hear were Quill's last words.

"Yeah, yeah, don't worry I'll take real good care of your girl for ya."


"Hey, Tony?" You asked walking next to him on the way home from school.

"Yeah?" He asked balancing himself on the stone fence on the way to your house.

"Have you ever thought about the future?" You asked.

"Do you know who my dad is?" Tony asked. "He never shuts up about the future. Flyings cars and whatnot."

Your twelve-year-old self groaned. "Not like that you moron," you deadpanned. "I mean like your 'future' future. Like what you'll do when you get older, who you'll marry. That kinda stuff."

"Oh," Tony said. "You mean the realistic and boring kind."

"It's not boring!" You exclaimed. "It's important! You can't live with your dad forever."

"I'd rather eat a toad than live with my dad forever," Tony stated with dread. "I don't know I've never really thought about that kind of stuff." He shrugged. "I'll probably end up working for my dad and well I've always thought I'd end up marrying you." He mumbled towards the end with a red face.

You gaped at him slightly then closed your mouth, completely flushed by his statement. It made your heart flutter and stomach twist in knots. You wouldn't mind marrying Tony, you thought to yourself.

"But what if I find someone better than you?" You asked. "Then what're you gonna do?"

"Please," Tony snorted. "As if there's anyone cooler on this earth than me." You rolled your eyes at him as he jumped off the fence. "But if you did I'd kill the guy you like and make you marry me instead."

"Tony, that's creepy." You deadpanned.

"Well, don't do it then." Tony shrugged playfully. "You'll break my heart." He clutched his chest dramatically. You pushed him off balance with a chuckle.

The two of you walked side by side through the park as the sun was beginning to set. This was your favorite part of the day, it was your special time with Tony.

"Tony have you ever thought about dying?" You asked.

"Geez, [Y/N], what are you reading? Plato?" Tony asked. "What's with all the philosophical talk?"

"It's just been on my mind lately." You shrugged. "I guess it's because we're growing and I still don't know what I want. I mean we start high school in a year!"

"Mom says children shouldn't think about death. It'll come to them sooner than it's supposed to." Tony stated.

"Yeah, dad says that too." You replied. "But I just worry a bit sometimes. Like what if I go before I've even done anything? What if I leave before I go to college or write my first book? Or before I even get my first kiss?"

"Well, if you wanna check off the kiss I'm right here," Tony said with a wiggle of his brows.

"Tony, I'm being serious."

Tony let out a sigh. "Okay, okay." He said stopping in his path. "I've thought about it too. Once or twice but I try not to because if all I ever do is worry about dying I'll miss out on the things that are worth living." He said earnestly while taking your hands in his. "And I feel like as long as I live my life with the people I care about it wouldn't matter if I had to go. As long as I get to tell them I love them and spend my happiest moments with them I think I'll be alright."

You smiled with a nod. Tony really was a genius. "I guess you're right." You said. "Thanks for always listening to me."

"It's what friends are for," Tony said with a chuckle, pulling you along with him by the hand.

It was quiet with only the rhythmic thumping of your heart calming you as you held Tony's hand.

"Hey [Y/N]?" You looked towards Tony. "Would you stay with me until the very end? Until I die?"

You stopped in your path to think that one through. You'd never want him to die.

"I wouldn't," you said. Tony frowned a little, trying not to show his disappointment. "Because I don't think I'd be able to live if you left me. I'd make sure to die one day before you did just so I wouldn't have to see you leave."

"That's kinda selfish, don't ya think?" Tony asked.

"It is, but it's what I want." You smiled. "A life without you is like a thousand years without rain."

"Selena Gomez, [Y/N]? Really? You couldn't have picked a better song? Am I mediocre music to you?" Tony asked, teasing you.

"It was stuck in my head, okay!" You defended.

You leaned over and gave him a chaste kiss on the lips before skipping away. Tony's face went completely red.

"You just stole my first kiss!" He exclaimed as he followed behind you. "Give it back!"

"And how am I going to do that?" You huffed in annoyance.

"I don't know," Tony said. "I want it back! I was saving that for Megan Fox!"

"Seriously?" You turned to look at him incredulously. "She's way out of your league."

"How would you know?" Tony asked.

"She's too pretty for you."

"Oh yeah? And if what if said you were prettier than her?"

You blushed a deep red and Tony laughed at your reaction. You joined in, giggling softly.

You wouldn't mind marrying Tony. You weren't afraid of dying as long as he was there by your side.

Chapter Text

Quill hung up the phone and threw it somewhere behind his back as he returned his attention to you.

"Alright, princess, I'll make this as easy for you as possible," Quill stated. He looked down to notice you were unconscious and tsked. "You clocked out on me. That's not very nice." He frowned. "But you're still breathing." He let out a chuckle. "Just give it up princess, nobody's coming to save you."

Suddenly, Quill was knocked to the ground with his gun falling out of his hand. Steve pulled Quill up to him by the collar harshly.

"What did you do to her?" He barked at him.

"Well, if it isn't the mob king's loyal dog." Quill snickered. "Tryna play hero today, Mr. Lawyer? You do realize you're not gonna win the damsel in the end right?"

"Stop talking shit or I'll blast your head off with your own gun." Steve spat at him with fire coursing through his veins as he punched him in the face.

Quill let out a raucous laugh as he pushed Steve off of him. "Now, now aren't you a bit out of character? You're really gonna trade in your esteemed title as the righteous lawyer for a mob man just for some girl?" He asked, knowing he was pushing all the right buttons and Steve slammed him against the wall.

"Woah, someone's getting a little angry." He smirks. "But is that really my fault? I've been following her for a couple of days and I've seen the way you've been looking at her. Tsk, tsk, Mr. Lawyer, falling for a married woman and your best friend's at that. If I've noticed do you think he did too? Do you think he knows you've been eyeing up his lady when he's turned the other way? I'd love to see what he'd do if he did."

"Shut up!" He bellowed as he punched him with all his might.

Peter fell to the ground with a sadistic laugh. "Getting angry at yourself but pouring it all on me."

Steve pulled him up again. "You, bastard why the hell did you do that to her? Why did you drag her into it?" He growled at him. "You know the rules business stays strictly business but nobody touches the family."

"Yeah, did you think about that when that bastard blew off my parents' heads even when they did nothing wrong?" Quill pushed him off, slugging him in the jaw hard.

Steve gets back up and gives him a hit in the gut. "I don't care about your sorry sob story. You've messed with the wrong girl and even if you get out of this one there's no way in hell he's gonna let you getaway. He'll find you and he'll destroy everything you have left." He snarled as picked up the man's gun. "Tell daddy-in-law, he's playing with the wrong gang. The Brooklyn mob's tougher than the rest."

Quill chuckled. "How am I gonna do that when you're about to blast my head off?"

"I'm not gonna do that," Steve said. "I'll leave that to the big guy. He's gonna want to talk to you." Steve shot him in the leg. Quill groaned in pain and Steve shot him again just for good measure.

He threw the gun aside and ran towards you, swiftly scooping you up in his arms. He ran outside into the hallway towards the elevator with your blood trailing behind him. Everything around him grew numb and his only wish was that you'd make it to the hospital.

You were slipping in and out of conscience and could feel yourself moving. Your eyes opened halfway with your vision blurred, but just enough to tell it was Steve holding you.

"Steve," you said weakly and it broke his heart. How did it come to this? You were completely fine just a minute ago.

"Yeah, it's me." He whispered softly. "Don't worry, doll, I'm here. We're gonna make it out of here, okay? Just stay with me."

As soon as he reached the end of the hallway, Bucky popped out from the staircase doorway.

"Steve!" He shouted as he approached them. He took you into his arms, unable to bear what Quill had done to you.

Steve didn't want to let you go. Deep down he didn't trust Bucky. It was his fault you this happened to you.

"She's not gonna last much longer we gotta get her to the hospital," Steve informed. "She's already lost so much blood."

Bucky nodded firmly. "Barton, Sam, you know what to do."

The two men nodded, rushing towards your penthouse as Steve and Bucky ran downstairs to get to the car.

Bucky's thoughts were muddled and his heartbeat in hyperdrive. With you limp in his arms and your blood slowly staining his white dress shirt, Bucky was in complete fear. Fear that he might lose you. The great mob king had been broken to the point of no repair.


"Hi," a little boy said standing in front of you. You were sitting on a bench in the park when he was approaching you. His hands were behind his back hiding something.

"Hi," you said with a soft smile.

"These are for you," he said, revealing a bouquet of white tulips.

"Oh," you said as he handed them to you. "These are beautiful. Thank you." You gave him a cheery smile.

You noticed a paper sticking out of the bouquet and turned it over to read the word "sorry" paired with a sad face. Your brows furrowed at the message and look over to ask the boy but he had left. You looked around to see if you could find him but found someone else.

Bucky waved at you with a smile. Suddenly, you had a bad taste in your mouth. You gave him a sweet smile as you got up and walked towards him. Bucky's heart was leaping out of his chest. You stopped next to a trash can and threw the bouquet out with a slam then walked away defiantly. Bucky groaned at his failed attempt. This was going to be harder than he had expected.

You walked at top speed, completely fuming and not realizing Bucky was hot on your trail. This was the third day in a row that you had received a gift from him.

On the first day, he sent a fruit basket to your house with chocolate-dipped strawberries. On the second, he "bumped" into you and slipped a gift card to your favorite bookstore with an apology into your bag sneakily. You did the same to the two gifts like with the flowers you disposed of not even a minute ago.

To say Bucky was getting frustrated and slightly hopeless would be an understatement. He was getting tired of your antics but remained steadfast in his fight for your acceptance. He spent three months patiently waiting for the tensions to calm so he could make his move and he certainly wasn't going to give up yet. He was a man after your heart and was determined on making it all his.

"What was that about?" He asked from behind. You didn't reply and kept on walking. Bucky grunted quietly but was akin to your stubbornness. He liked it actually, you were much different than all the other girls that dropped themselves in front of him. For once, he was the one chasing someone.

"Doll, are you ignoring me?" He asked with a smile.

You remained silent, walking at top speed. Bucky chuckled a little and sidestepped you to stop you from walking. You stopped then tried to walk around him only to be blocked by him again. You turn the other way and he steps in front of you before you can leave. You huffed and Bucky smiled mischievously.

"What do I have to do to make you leave me alone?" You asked, completely exhausted.

"Forgive me?" Bucky asked sweetly.

"Yeah, that's not happening." You deadpanned.

"Oh come on, lady, make up with your boyfriend already." A bystander chimed in. "He's asking so nicely."

You looked away completely red while crossing your arms and Bucky chuckled at your expense. You groan as you walk past him again.

"Come on, [Y/N], please just give me a chance?" He asked, almost begging.

"And why should I?" You snapped at him. "After everything that's happened, why should I be your friend? I can't trust you."

"I told you it was a mistake. I didn't mean to do it. I let my anger get the best of me."

"It doesn't change the fact that you still did it." You stated firmly. "That night, you hurt me."

Bucky felt a sharp pang in the chest. "And that's why I'm here right now." His tone shifted from playful to serious. "I know what I did was wrong and I want to make up for it. I want to make things alright because you're more than just any other person. You’re special to me." He said. Your heart skipped a beat at that one.

"Come on, doll, all I'm asking for is another chance." He pleaded.

You didn't reply to him nor did you look at him as he stood in front of you. Despite your stoic appearance, your heart was melting by the way he looked at you, like a puppy who had just been scolded. You huffed as you walked away from him. Bucky let out a sigh and scratched the back of his neck in defeat.

You stop abruptly and turn around to look at him. His eyes were a smoldering blue and gazed at you so lovingly that it made your knees melt. You sighed. You were going to regret this but couldn't help yourself.

"You know there's a new ice cream shop down the road from here." You informed him pointing towards the sidewalk. "I've been wanting to go there but I don't want to go alone."

Bucky grinned to the crinkles of his eyes and laughed heartily. "Are you asking me out on a date?" He suggested with a smug grin.

"I change my mind, I'll go alone." You deadpanned as you walked away from him.

"No, doll! Wait!" Bucky called as he followed behind you. You chuckled quietly to yourself. "I was just kidding!"


Bucky paced the hallway of the hospital with a million thoughts coursing through his mind. How could he have let this happen after he promised to keep you safe? If you didn't make it out of there, he'd lose everything that mattered to him. His money, estates, territory, and every other possession didn't matter if he had lost you.

You were his comfort and joy. The shining light in his dark storm of life. He didn't have a future if you weren't in it and if you died in that operating room, he would just kill himself right there and then. Life didn't have meaning if you weren't in it.

Bucky stopped pacing and leaned against the wall as Steve sat on the chair with your blood on his shirt and mind racked with a thousand worries. Becca was sitting next to him, just as shaken as them, she prayed that you'd make it out alive. She couldn't imagine what would happen to her brother if you didn't.

Bruce ran down the hallway calling Bucky's name. Bucky stood straight as your father came down the hall, he swallowed unprepared to face him. Steve and Becca looked up to see him.

"How did this happen?" Bruce asked in complete shock and anger.

Bucky didn't answer but looked away ashamed. He couldn't look at Bruce in the eye after all that had happened.

Bruce's frustration doubled when he received no answer. "I asked you a question." He fumed. "I'm asking you how the hell did this happen?"

“It was a mistake. I made a mistake." Bucky said like a child.

"A mistake?" Bruce asked incredulously. "You made a mistake and my daughter had to pay the price." Bucky looked down in guilt. "Didn't you promise me that you'd keep her safe no matter what happened? That you’d lay down your own life to protect her. Then why the hell are you out here without a scratch and she's in there hanging by a thread?"

Bucky looked at Bruce completely speechless. He did make that promise and he broke it due to his own carelessness.

"I knew something like this would happen. I can't believe I gave in to what she said about you. Trusting you with her life was the worst decision I have ever made." Bruce spat at him.

"Dr. Banner," Becca stood up. "I know you're worried. We all are, but fighting isn't going to help anyone and do you think [Y/N] would want us to?" She said putting her hand on his arm.

Bruce sighed with a nod and went to sit down on a chair. Becca came up to her brother who was leaning sideways against the wall. She took his free hand in hers and gave it an assuring squeeze. He looked over to her with glossy eyes and the pain she felt for him was unbearable.

"It's gonna be okay, Buck." She whispered. "She's gonna be fine. She's strong." Bucky nodded, only hoping she was right.

The doctor came out of the room and everyone looked at her, impatiently waiting for the answer. Bruce and Steve stood up while Bucky's grip on Becca's hand became tighter than before.

"We were able to save the mother but, I'm sorry, the baby couldn't make it." She said sympathetically.

Bucky's veins went cold and skin pale white. "The baby?" He asked in quiet shock.

"Yes, she was two months pregnant." The doctor informed him. "We tried our best to save it, but she had arrived too late."

Bucky's heart dropped at the news. True, he wasn't ready to be a father just yet, but that didn't mean he had never thought of it.

"The patient is conscious and you're all welcome to see her." The doctor informed.

"You should go first," Bruce told Bucky. "She needs to see you most."

Bucky nodded and he'd be lying if he said he wasn't afraid to see you. He opened the door with shaky hands and walked in. You were sitting on the bed that was slightly propped up with your head towards the window, looking out in a daze.

“Doll…” He whispered as he sat down at the edge of the bed. You looked over at him with tears glistening your face and he couldn’t stop his own from coming.

“Bucky,” You croaked placing your hand on his cheek.

He felt at ease by your touch. He was so glad that it wasn't all a dream. You were alive and with him.

"You really scared me there," Bucky whispered with a small smile.

"I'm sorry." You cried.

"There's nothing to be sorry about." Bucky shook his head. "I'm the one who should be sorry. I was careless. I shouldn't have left you all alone and I'm so glad you're alive because I don't know what I'd do if-" his head dropped as he began to quietly sob to himself.

You got up slightly despite the sharp pain rising from your abdomen to pick his face up with both your weak hands. You wiped away his tears, giving him a tender smile.

"But I'm alright," You asked. "I'm here with you right now and that's all that matters."

Bucky doesn't say a word, but instead leans into you and gives you a gentle yet passionate kiss. Kissing him on that hospital bed made you feel like the luckiest person in the world. Feeling his lips against yours was like heaven on earth. You parted slightly and Bucky plants another kiss on your nose before gently picking you up and cradling you in his arms. There was a sharp pain in your stomach at first but you didn't seem to care, you wanted to be in his arms.

You played with the fingers of his free hand with your head laid against his chest. Bucky laid his head gently against yours while watching you do so. There was a comfortable silence settled between the two of you.

"Bucky," you said and he hummed in response. "I guess the doctor already told you about the…" your words trailed off not being able to finish your sentence.

"Yeah, she did." He whispered tenderly with his body becoming tense.

"I was going to tell you, but I was scared of what you'd think." You told him, beginning to cry. "So I hesitated and now it's gone. I couldn't save our baby." You sobbed into your hands.

"Doll, it's not your fault," Bucky whispered against your head. Bucky didn't really know how to console you or how to even deal with the aching pain he felt inside for his unborn child. All he could do was hold you in his arms and wipe away your tears and he'd do just that if that's what you wanted.

"I'm sorry." You sobbed loudly. "I'm sorry, I couldn't protect our baby. I'm so useless."

"Don't say that you're not useless. You did your best and sometimes that's all we can do. I'm not angry at you so you don't need to apologize for something you had no control over."

Bucky took your hand in his, rubbing his thumb over your knuckles. "I know you're hurting and the pain's not going to go away for a long time, but please don't blame yourself when you did nothing wrong. Don't bring yourself down when I'm the one who messed up."

"Bucky, it's not-"

"It is and I'm gonna make it up to you. I promise I will. But I want you to know I'm here for you every step of the way and I'm not going to leave anytime soon."

You gazed into his gentle eyes and a feeling beyond compare bubbled inside of you. "Bucky, I love you." You said earnestly. It wasn't to make him feel better. This time you meant it, every word.

Bucky gave you a lopsided smile while wiping your tears away. "I love you too, you don't even know how much I love you."

You chuckled quietly. "You're always so dramatic."

Bucky smiled as he held your hand in his. "You want me to call the others?" You nodded and Bucky placed you back on the bed to get up and let them in.

Bruce walked in with Becca behind him. "Hey kiddo, how are you feeling?" He asked holding your hand in his.

"I'm okay." You said, giving him a weak smile.

Becca jumped on the other side of the bed and hugged you tight. "I'm so glad you're okay." She sobbed.

"Becca," you winced in pain. "I'm glad too but it hurts."

"Right, I'm sorry." She said, pulling back but still crying.

"Becca, stop crying or you're gonna make me start crying." You said.

"I'm sorry, I can't help myself." She said wiping her tears.

Bucky stood by Steve with his arms crossed. He was thankful to still have you but knew that the path ahead was going to be difficult and trying. His jaw clenched and blood began to boil as he walked out the door with Steve right behind him.

"Where are you going?" Steve asked.

"I've got unfinished business," Bucky stated.

"Then I'm coming with you." Steve walked with him only to be stopped by Bucky.

"No, I want you to stay here," Bucky ordered. “With [Y/N]."

"But-."

"You're the only one I trust, Steve. You and no one else." He stated. "That's why I need you here with them."

Steve nodded in agreement, much to his chagrin.

"I've already doubled up the security, but if there's a problem you call me first."

"I know, Buck."

"Alright, I'm leaving," Bucky said turning to leave.

"Buck," Steve called after him. Bucky turned to look at his friend. "Give that bastard hell."

With a simple nod, Bucky was gone.

Chapter Text

Bucky knew who Peter Quill was. The son-in-law of the mafia head, Thanos, the second biggest mob man after Bucky, but his wealth nor his territory was as large and abundant as the latter. The two families had been in more than just a few skirmishes but instigated bloody wars within the city that were only quelled by a mutual agreement. The treaties never lasted making clashes between the two groups a norm.

They were enemies for as long as Bucky could remember, dating back to even before he was born. Thanos was hungry and jealous of how Bucky had tripled his business in such a short time. He wanted it for himself but didn't know how to obtain it.

Bucky had no weaknesses. He was meticulous in his work and kept strong connections with government officials to keep his legal matters straight. There was nothing anyone could do to make him fall. That was until you were painted into the picture. You were his Achilles' heel and everyone had quickly learned that in order to make the mob king fall they had to take away his queen.

Bucky got out of his car and entered the warehouse at the edge of the dock.

"He's all ready for ya boss," Sam informed.

Quill sat tied to a chair in the middle of the dimly lit room. The upper part of his body was drenched from being dunked in water. He had a busted lip and a bruise on one side of his face.

"Sorry, for making you wait," Bucky said as he took off his watch. He rolled up his sleeves to above his elbows, approaching the man.

Bucky swung at the man and hit him straight in the nose with enough force to break or badly damage it. Quill hissed in pain with his head hung back. Bucky pulled him forward forcibly by the hair.

"Now I'm gonna ask some questions and you're gonna answer them. You got that?" Bucky asked. Quill nodded his mind in a haze from all the pain.

"Who the hell sent you to my house?"

Peter snickered. "You know who sent me."

"I want a clear answer," Bucky growled, slapping him across the face.

"It was Thanos."

"And why would he send you? Did he want you dead? Not treating his daughter right?

"I treat her just right but you better start paying attention to yours." He smirked weakly.

"What do you mean by that?" Bucky's hand balled into a fist with his knuckles white.

"Just saying. Lotta guys got an eye on her. After all, she's one helluva dame."

Bucky punched the man and Peter only laughed. "Call her that again and I'll blast your head off right here and now."

"You're saying that as if you're not gonna do it later," Peter stated.

"True, I am gonna kill you to let that old man know that he's messed with the wrong guy one too many times. If it's a war he wants. It's a war he'll get." Bucky snarled. "But it won't be fun if I kill you right away. No, I'm gonna make you feel the torture. The torture I went through when I heard my girl crying for me to save her. The torment you put her through I'm gonna make it ten times worse for you." He sneered.

Bucky stood back and places his hands into his pockets. "So this little bird told me you gotta cute little family thing going on." Peter's heart dropped and his facial expression had quickly shifted to fear.

"You got a pretty wife," Bucky said showing him a picture of a woman. "What's her name again?"

Peter didn't answer him and Bucky punched him hard. "I asked a question and I want an answer." He spat.

"Gamora." Peter croaked, trying to clear his head from the impact of the punch. "Her name's Gamora.”

“That’s right. She’s real pretty. Not as pretty as mine but beggars can’t be choosers, am I right?” Bucky smirked, as he leaned against one of the tables. “And if I do recall you’ve got a little girl? What’s her name again Barton?”

“Think it was Clara, boss.”

Peter sat straight despite the pain shooting from his abdomen and his head throbbing. “Stay away from her!” He barked.

“My, my, that got your attention.” Bucky snickered. “You love your little girl, don’t ya?” Bucky walked up to Peter, then began circling around him. “Clara, huh? That’s a pretty name. You know if I had a little girl I’d name her something real cute. I’d probably spoil her like crazy, the same way I spoil her mama because she’d be my world the same way her mama is.” Bucky stood in front of Peter with a smile. “I think you get what I mean being a family man and all.”

“Listen whatever you do just don’t touch them.” Peter pleaded, his pride long gone. “Do whatever you want with me, but don’t touch them, please.”

Bucky chuckled sadistically. “I didn’t do anything to them. I just sent them a care package is all.” He said. “Heard ya knocked up your girl and she’s got a baby on the way so I thought I'd get her a little gift.” Peter looked up in shock. Bucky smirked. “You didn’t know? Sorry to spoil it for ya man.”

“You sick bastard!” Peter growled, trying to get out of his chair. “What the hell did they ever do to you!?”

“And what did my wife do to you?” Bucky bellowed harshly as he slugged him in the jaw. A sound of cracking resonated throughout the warehouse. He took Peter’s face in his hand and the other man groaned in pain. “You took away her happiness and left her broken and afraid. You took away my baby and I'm just gonna do to you what you did to me."

Peter whimpered as Bucky jerked his face downwards. Bucky stood back and Peter growled.

"How could you?" He murmured. "You'll pay for this!" He barked with whatever strength he had left.

"Don't worry," Bucky smirked. "You'll see 'em soon enough."


"You're late, Mr. Barnes." You said, not looking up from your novel as he approached you in your typical reading spot.

Bucky chuckled as he sat down next to you. "Were you expecting me?"

"Not at all, I just know you come to pester me at this time."

"You could've just said yes to make me feel special."

"I'm not one to flatter much."

Bucky sighed. "What are you reading?"

You lift up the book to reveal the title, "Antigone".

"You just love to read ancient books, don't you?"

"Classics, Mr. Barnes, they're known as classics."

Bucky rolled his eyes with a huff. "Call me Bucky, doll, Mr. Barnes was my dad."

You didn't reply as you turned the page, too immersed in your book to even know what he was saying.

Bucky hung his head back in frustration and boredom then came up with a clever idea.

"Doll, look!" He exclaimed. You looked up to see nothing and he took the opportunity to take your book.

"Hey! Give it back." You reached for the book only for Bucky to raise it high above his own height.

"Uh-uh," he said while keeping the book away from you. "You weren't listening to me." He said having too much fun playing keep away with you.

"You were probably saying something stupid so I chose to ignore it." You leaped forward to grab the book from his hand but he quickly pulls it back.

You groaned in defeat as you stood there not wanting to play this game anymore.

Bucky chuckled. "Alright doll, I'll give it back but only under one condition." You raise a brow at him. 'Stop calling me Mr. Barnes. My name is Bucky."

Your lips curled into a smile. "Okay Bucky, does that sound better?"

Bucky nodded with a face-splitting grin as he handed you the book.

"Thank you, Bucky." You gave him a sweet smile.

He loved the way you said his name. A clever idea for payback came to your mind as he was relishing in your sweet words.

"Oh my God!" You exclaimed pointing behind Bucky. He turned to see what it was and you pushed him into the pond that he was conveniently standing next to.

You laughed in your triumph until you realized Bucky didn't come up. You came to the edge of the water. What if he didn't know how to swim?

"Bucky?" You asked, kneeled down in front of the water. "Come on stop playing with me." You sighed, growing a little worried for him. You leaned closer to the edge of the water to get a better look inside.

Suddenly, a hand splashed out of the water and yanked you right in. You yelped at first contact with the slightly chilly waters. Your head came out of the water and Bucky laughs from his stomach at how scared you were and you pouted at him. You splashed water in his direction to make shut him up.

"What was that for?" You asked.

"You're the one who pushed me in first. It's called karma, babe." He gave you a striking smile.

You rolled your eyes. "That was just mean. I thought you had drowned."

"Aww, were you worried for me?" He teased. "Were you gonna save me like the little mermaid?"

You muttered something under your breath as you got out of the water. If you got sick because of this, boy, was he going to get it.

"I was just joking with you, doll." He got out of the water behind you.

"Hate to break it to you but your sense of humor is horrible." You said squeezing the water out of your hair.

"So is yours."

Bucky bit his lip as his eyes took in your figure shown perfectly by how your drenched clothes were clinging to your body. It was as if one of his dreams were coming true.

You didn't seem to notice with your own eyes wandering over him. His now soaked white dress shirt stuck to his body, giving you full access to the defining lines of his abs and bulging muscles. His chest was chiseled to perfection. You dare not look any lower, knowing full well that his wet trousers would only show you something you didn't want to open up your imagination to.

You quickly walked towards the tree to pick up your things then turned to leave only to be blocked by Bucky looking at you with a hidden desire in his eyes. Your heart started to race as he took small steps towards making you walk backward until your back hit the tree.

His hands were placed on the tree, caging you in. Bucky brought himself closer to you without saying a word until you could feel his hot breath brushing against your lips. He was so close yet so far and took his time which was killing you on the inside. You wanted his torturous punishment to end. You wanted to feel his lips against yours.

"Bucky," you whisper, calling him towards you.

He pressed his wet body against you while cupping your cheek with his hand and brushing it with his thumb. He finally leaned in and placed his lips against yours in a tender yet passionate kiss.

Your hands run up his chest, making electricity zip through his body, and wrap around his neck to pull him closer. You'd hate to admit it but you missed the way he kissed you, needy and passionate as if he was going to die without you.

His hands found their place just above your hips as he slyly stuck his tongue into your mouth. Your fingers carded their way through his brown locks and he loved the feeling of your hands on him.

Was this right? You asked yourself. It had only been three months since Tony's death, so was it right for you to be doing this so shortly after? Tony wanted you to move on, but it seemed a little too early to do so. Maybe you were just starved for affection that only a lover could give you. Maybe you just missed the way Tony kissed and held you.

But this wasn't anything like Tony. He was always gentle, passionate for sure, but there was a tenderness and warmth to his embrace. Bucky was wild and desperate, you could even say belligerent as he ravished your mouth. It ignited something in your soul that you didn't know existed, taking you to higher dimensions of desire and making you want everything he had to offer.

You pulled away slightly, trying to catch a breath and wanting to say something.

You looked at him sheepishly. "I'm sorry, but I'm not ready for this." You said hesitantly, worried he'd get angry like before.

Bucky nodded with a smile and his next words make your heart swell.

"Then I'll be waiting right here until you are."


“I wanted to thank you for saving me.” You told Steve.

He shook his head with a chuckle. “What’s with the formality, doll? I would’ve done it for you a million times.”

You smiled at him as he sat down at the edge of your bed. “I’m just glad that you’re okay.” He said.

“Where’s Bucky?”

“He had to go do something,” Steve said, shifting uncomfortably.

There was something off about Steve and you realized that whatever Bucky was doing, it was wrong. You knew of his anger better than anyone. Whether it was towards you or another, you knew the consequences of it were usually lethal.

“It has something to do with that man?” You asked. “Doesn’t it?”

“Doll, I’d rather not talk about this. You need to rest and-”

“I’m well enough to know what he’s doing.” You said sternly.

“It does,” Steve confessed with a huff.

“Is he…” You asked. “Is he going to kill him?”

Steve looked over at you and one look into his eye was enough for an answer. “You know Buck, [Y/N]. You know the way he works.”

You look down into your lap with a frown. “This isn’t the way.”

“Then what do you think is right?” Steve asked. “Going to court and going through all of that mess?”

“It’s better than killing a man and throwing him into the river.” You stated. “That man has children.”

“And he took yours’ away from you so why are you defending him?” Steve asked, mildly shocked. “He’d tried to kill you.”

“But I’m not dead and even if I was he shouldn’t be killed like this. It’s murder” You told Steve. “You’re a lawyer. You know this better than I do.”

“Some things can’t work with the law and this is one of them and let’s just leave it at that,” Steve stated. You looked at him dubiously. “I don’t wanna talk about this anymore, doll.”

“I can’t believe you’d side with him.” You jabbed at him.

“Aren’t you doing the same?” Steve snapped back. “You stay by his side even after all that’s happened. Buck’s the reason you had two bullets inside of you. It’s all his fault.”

You couldn't believe what Steve was saying. He knew your situation better than anyone.

“You know I can’t just leave.”

“Are you sure about that or do you just not want to?”

You stared at him, speechless then looked away.

“Just face it, [Y/N], you want to be with him.”

“I do want to be with him.” You confessed. “I know what he does is wrong and I hate it more than anything but even then I don’t know why I love him. I just do. No matter what he does, I can’t help but love him.” You begin to tear up. “It’s something you wouldn’t understand.”

“No, I don’t understand.” Steve shook his head in denial. “I don’t understand how you can love him after all he’s done. After what he did to Tony and how he forced you to marry him, I just don’t understand how you could love him after all of that.”

“[Y/N], the love he has for you and the way he shows it is wrong. It’s not the right kind of love.” Steve told you with a gentle voice, hoping you’d understand. “That’s not the type of love you should want.”

“I hate seeing you with him. It makes me angry because I remember what he did to you. It kills me to know that you're stuck with him when there are people out there who can you love you so much more and love you the right way.”

"What do you mean by that?"

"What?"

"That there are people out there who love me? What does that mean?" You asked him in serious curiosity.

Steve looked away from you. "It's nothing, [Y/N]."

“Steve.” Your voice was firm yet gentle, pushing him to tell you what he had wanted to say for so long.

“I-” Steve was at a loss of words. “I'm talking about me, [Y/N]. I'm talking about how I love you.” He whispered.

You remained quiet, deep inside you always knew that Steve's feelings for you were stronger than he liked to show. You just didn't want to believe it.

“I love you and seeing you with him when you’re clearly hurting,” Steve said. “It kills me every time. ”

“Steve, you shouldn't.” You whispered, not looking at him. "This is wrong."

“I know it is and I tried to stop myself. I really did, but I couldn’t…” Steve said. “I couldn’t stop myself from loving you.”

You shake your head not wanting to hear anymore.

"[Y/N], I'm not asking you to love me back. I'm not asking you for anything. I just want to help you. Help you get out of this." He said, taking your hand in his.

It felt different when he touched you. His hand was soft with a comforting warmth emanating from it, nothing like Bucky's cold and callous ones.

"Whatever it is that you want, I'll do just that," Steve said earnestly.

You looked into his eyes, never realizing how beautiful they looked in the dull light coming from the window, shining with tender affection.

"I-" you stammered pulling your hand from his. "I want you to leave."

Steve swallowed hard at your response and something inside of him was torn into a million pieces. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to stay by your side forever, but it was what you wanted.

He nodded and stood up without a question. You looked down towards your hands, thinking about the way his hand kept yours warm. Steve didn't turn back to look at you or even say goodbye before he left. The click of the door behind him dropped a heavy weight of loneliness and despair upon you and you began to sob silently to yourself.

You knew Steve would never really leave you for he would always be somewhere in your thoughts.

You knew he'd never let you go for he had taken a piece of your heart with him.

Chapter Text

You sat on the bed with your back against the headboard writing something in your journal. It had been a month since you were discharged from the hospital and moved to a different penthouse with Bucky. Life had returned to it’s routine besides Bucky becoming increasingly protective of you since that day. The tensions in the city had only worsened since the day you were attacked by Quill as Thanos had decided to retaliate after what Bucky had done to his daughter and her family. 

It didn’t take long for you to find out what Bucky had done to Gamora and her children. It was all over the news, an unexpected bomb blast in the suburbs of New York that just so happened to be the home of Thanos’ daughter. The guilt you felt for the little girl was beyond compare. 

-

“But why the girl?” You shouted at Bucky. “Why would you take away her life? She was just a child.” 

“He took away our baby! I wanted to teach them a lesson.” Bucky shouted back. 

“So you take away the life of an innocent child?” You asked. “How could you be so heartless?” 

“I did what was right.” 

“No, you did what you thought was right.” You said pointedly. “That’s what you always do. It’s always about you.” 

“How could you say that? After all that I’ve done for you.” 

“What have you done for me?” You asked incredulously. “You took away my baby! It was all because of you!” 

Bucky slammed you against the wall forcefully knowing your wound had not been fully healed. You winced in pain, afraid of what he would do. 

“Watch your mouth!” Bucky hissed. “After all I’ve fucking done for you. After how much I’ve loved you. You’re gonna say that I’m the one that hurt you?” His grip on your wrist grows tighter. 

“Say it again.” He snarled. “I wanna hear you say it again. Tell me that I killed our baby. Tell me that I’m the one that got you hurt.” 

You shake your head, not wanting to feed his anger. Bucky’s head dips down into your neck and he begins to pepper kisses on your neck and jawline. 

“That’s what I thought.” He said. “You know that I do everything for you, baby. You know how much I love you. No one’s gonna love you the way I do.” His hot breath tickled your ear. 

His hand crept its way under your shirt and you tried to pry him away only for your hand to be forcefully pushed away. You eyes shut tight as you whimpered at his touch. You weren’t ready for this yet and needed time to recuperate. Bucky’s lips found your sweet spot and he bit down harshly as his cold hand found your clothed breast. 

“Bucky please.” You sniffled. “Please stop.” 

Bucky realized he was hurting you and snapped out of it. He let go of you quickly and stood back. You knew he regretted what he had done but you didn’t care. You didn’t want to sympathize with him. Bucky gritted his teeth in anger and guilt as he left the room with a slam of the door. You sank to the ground bursting into tears, repeatedly saying you were sorry for what had happened. 

-

“Doll, you’re still not ready?” Bucky came into your room and you closed your journal to place it on the side table. 

“Sorry, I lost track of the time.” You smiled sheepishly as you got up. 

“You feeling okay?” Bucky asked. “You can stay home if you’re not feeling it.” 

“I’m fine.” You said, going to pick out a dress to wear. “When’s Stevie’s flight, again?” 

“It’s at three.” Bucky reminded you, sitting on the bed with his phone. “We have to go now if we want to beat the traffic.” 

Steve was leaving and it broke your heart when Bucky told you he was. After he confessed he loved you, Steve stopped talking to you except for small talk about your health. He had grown distant from you and you really did miss his company. He was the one sweet thing left in your life and you couldn’t bear to let it go. When you had told him to leave you didn’t think he would take it so seriously. 

“Alright, let’s go.” You told him, standing in front of him. “Do I look okay?”

“Amazing as usual.” He smiled, pulling you down into his lap. You chuckled. “Maybe we should just skip the farewell altogether and just stay here?” 

“You’re gonna let your best friend leave forever without saying goodbye?” 

“I think he’d understand. I am a busy man, he knows that.” Bucky said while trailing sweet kisses up your neck. “I’ll send him a really sweet text message.” 

You shake your head. “You are incorrigible.” 

“Babe, I don’t even know what that means.” Bucky stopped to look at you. “Speak English, will ya?” 

“It means unable to manage, or incapable of being corrected or changed.” Bucky pouted at you. “You need to start reading more books, Mr. Barnes.” 

“Can’t they make me fall asleep.” He quickly replied, pulling you closer to him and tight against his body making you feel his want. “Maybe you can read to me instead?” 

“I have a feeling we’ll end up doing something more than just reading, so no.” You shimmied out of his arms, pulling him up with you. “Let’s go.”

“Ugh, I’m getting too old for this.” He groaned. 

“You’re twenty-five!” You laughed leading him out of the room. 

-

“Baby, please just look at me?” Bucky asked, crouched down in front of you. 

You didn’t respond to him by action nor by words. You didn’t want to speak to him. 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Bucky said. “Baby, please just give me another chance?” 

“And why should I?” You snapped at him. 

“Because I didn’t mean to do it. I let my anger get the best of me.” He said with pleading blue eyes. He took your hands in his rubbing your knuckles in a circular motion.

You looked away from him unable to stop your heart from melting from the way he was looking at you. 

“Don’t you dare give into him, [Y/N].” You warned yourself internally. “It’s the same old excuses. He isn’t going to change.” 

“I promise I’ll make it up to you.” He said in earnest with the sweetest voice you had ever heard. “Give me one chance to make it alright?” 

You sighed and looked down at his hands in yours. “Okay,” You mumbled in defeat.

Bucky stood up and brought you with him, taking you into his arms in a tight hug. He nuzzled his face against your hair in relief. 

“I’m sorry. You know I never wanna hurt you, right?” He whispered against your hair. “I just...I don’t know what happened to me. I love you so damn much. I can’t lose you, baby. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” He whispered. 

You wanted to believe he meant it. You really did, but you knew the time would come when he’d do it again. It always did. He wasn’t good for you and yet you couldn’t find it in yourself to leave. He was right. No one was going to love you the way he did. 

-

"Anything I can do to make you stay?"

Steve chuckled standing in front of the airport with Bucky and you. 

"Sorry Buck, I gotta go," Steve replied. "It's for mom." 

You knew that was a partial lie and that half of the problem was you. 

"California's a long ways away," Bucky stated. 

 "I know, but it's what's best for her health. The weather is way better and the air is fresh. She needs my help to adjust." 

"I understand. It's just gonna get a little boring around here." 

"Rude." You said offensively. 

"Not because of you, doll." Bucky tried to clear up. 

Steve smiled at the two. You were finally out of the hospital and he was relieved that you were returning to your old self. He'd be lying if he said he wouldn't miss your snarky replies. 

"If you need anything, I'm just a call away," Bucky told him. 

"Thanks, Buck, but I'll be fine. Besides I don't wanna bother you."  

"You wouldn't. Consider it a favor." Bucky replied. "If it wasn't for you, Stevie, I could've lost [Y/N]." He placed an arm around your shoulders. 

"You're being sappy again." You teased him. 

Steve chuckled. "It was nothing, Buck, really. I'd do anything for her." 

He looked at you with a gentle smile making you look away unable to meet his eye. You knew there was more to his words than it seemed. It made your heart ache to let him go. 

"I'm gonna miss ya, punk," Bucky said, coming in for a hug. 

"Yeah, yeah me too, ya jerk," Steve said, giving him a pat on the back. 

They parted and you came up to Steve with a lopsided smile. You reached up and gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek. 

"I'm gonna miss you, Stevie." You said truthfully. "Now I'm gonna have no one to play Chess with." 

Steve chuckled. "There's always Buck." 

"He's worse than me." 

"I'm not that bad, doll," Bucky whined. 

"You are." You deadpanned as you turned back to Steve. "Thank you for everything. I owe you a lot." 

There was so much you wanted to say to Steve, but the time wasn't right nor was the place. What Steve told you that day at the hospital never left you. It was sketched into your brain and returned time after time. Maybe if the circumstances were different, she would have given him a chance. He was a good man. No matter what anyone said about him, to you he'd always be a good man. You just wished you could tell him what he wanted to hear. 

One look into your eyes was enough for him to read your thoughts and feelings. He knew that there was a place in your heart for him, though it may be small, it was there and for him that was more than enough.

Bucky's jaw ticked just a little at the sight of you two. Quill's words came to him but quickly shook it off. Steve wasn't that kind of man, he knew that. 

The speaker overhead announced the time for Steve's flight and he took his bag in his hand. 

"Well, I guess this is it," Steve said with a smile. "Don't do anything stupid while I'm gone." He directed towards Bucky. 

"How can I when you're taking all the stupid with you," Bucky replied and you chuckled. 

"You two just love bullying me, don't you. I'm glad I'm leaving now." Steve said walking away. 

"Have a good flight, Stevie."  You wished. 

"Yeah and get a girlfriend while you're over there?" Bucky said. 

"Yeah, we'll see," Steve said with a chuckle. "See ya, guys." He bid them farewell. 

Bucky and you waited until he disappeared into crowds to leave. The two of you walked hand in hand towards your car. 

"I'm gonna miss that punk," Bucky stated as he unlocked the Cadillac. 

"So will I." You replied as you got in. 

"Mind if we make a detour on the way back?" Bucky asked. "There's something I wanna show you." 

You raised a brow. "What is it?" 

Bucky smiled. "It's a surprise." 


Your sneezes echoed throughout your empty house as you sat curled up in a blanket with hot tea by your side. Just as you had thought you came down with a cold the same night you came home completely wet. That stupid Bucky and his stupid pranks, but then again you did instigate it. It was nature’s way of payback for your mischievous deeds. 

The doorbell rang and you groaned not wanting to get up. You decided to ignore it hoping it was just a wandering salesman. The doorbell rang again and you mutter indignantly as you get up from the couch to see who it was. You opened the door to reveal a smiling Bucky. Honestly, when was he not smiling? 

"Hey doll, you look horrible." He chuckled. 

"Gee, I wonder whose fault that is?" You asked pointedly. 

Bucky shrugged as if he didn't know. 

"What are you doing here?" You asked. 

"Came to check up on ya. I’ve been missing you." 

Your cheeks tinted light pink. "How do you know where I live?" 

"Doll, I dropped you off the other day, don't you remember?" He asked. "You were complaining about it being cold." 

"Right," you said. 

"Well are you gonna let me in or am I just gonna stand out here all day?" 

What you wanted to do was slam the door in his face but that was mean even if he did get you sick. You opened the door motioning him to come inside. 

"Just so you know, my dad won't really appreciate a mob man in his house." 

"Don't worry I'll sneak out from the back besides I parked my car across the street." 

"Yes, a Ferrari in a middle-class neighborhood doesn't stick out at all." You sassed him as you closed the door. 

"Okay, next time I'll park three blocks away would that make you feel better?" 

"You not coming at all would make it even better." 

"I know you like me around, doll. You don't need to hide it." He smirked as he leaned into you. 

Your face lit up as you quickly turned around walking towards the kitchen. 

"W-would you like a drink or something?" 

"No, I'm fine. Thanks though." He said looking around your house. He walked up to the pictures hanging on a wall and smiled. Most of them were of you at different stages of your life. 

"Is this you?" Bucky asked pointing at the picture of a baby. 

"Yeah," you said sheepishly. 

"You look so cute. Look at your cheeks they're so big." He chuckled. 

"No, I don't. I look weird." 

"Leave that to the eye of the beholder." 

Bucky browsed the pictures until he found a picture of Tony and you. Bucky's jaw tightened and his mood dropped at the sight of him. The picture was of Tony giving you a piggyback ride with your arms around his neck possibly around the age of twelve. The two of you seemed to be having fun and Bucky couldn't stand it. You looked at Bucky warily, trying to figure out what he was thinking. 

"It seems like you two were pretty close " Bucky noted in a collected manner.

"Yeah, he was my best friend." You said with a nostalgic smile. "I've known him forever. He was always there for me no matter what." 

Bucky's hands balled into fists in his pockets and his composure was tense as jealousy washed over him. He knew it would take time for you to heal after Tony, but it pissed him off that you were still pining over him. He knew Tony was the reason you kept on pushing him away and weren't ready to accept him. 

Why couldn't you just forget about him? Why couldn't you just let Tony go? He was right there to give you everything Tony could and more. What did Tony have that he didn't? 

He had it all wealth, power, and everything one could ask for. He was ready to give it all to you but learned that material things weren't what you wanted. What you wanted was something with emotional value and Bucky knew he was on the right path. He had a place in your heart and the kiss they shared a few days ago was a sign of it. He just needed to be patient. In due time, you would be his and only his. 

He turned towards you, his body completely relaxed and the green in his eyes returning to its original blue. You looked towards him and he knew you were hurting on the inside. He didn't feel bad for what he had done. He didn't care that he took away something special from you. You didn't need it anyway. All you needed was him. 

He gave you a sympathetic look, unabashed of his actions. "I'm sorry for your loss." He said without an inkling of guilt. 

He was good, too good at the art of deceit and you fell for it just as he had expected. 

You sniffled quietly unable to hold back your tears. 

"I'm sorry." You said, wiping them away only to make way for more. 

Bucky pulled you into his arms which you never expected to happen and it made your heart jump just a little.

"It's okay." He whispered sickeningly sweet. "These things take time. Just know I'm here for you, alright?" 

You nodded with your face against his chest. You didn't know why, but you found comfort in his touch and at peace in his arms. Bucky made you feel the same way you felt in Tony's arms. He made you feel like everything was going to be alright.


“Okay, close your eyes,” Bucky said, driving in an unknown area. 

“Why?” You asked. 

“Just do it, please?” He asked. 

You closed your eyes and wondered what his surprise could’ve been. “Can I open them now?” 

“Doll, it hasn’t even been a minute yet.” 

You groaned in impatience and Bucky chuckled. The car came to a halt and Bucky got out of the car. He opened the door to your side of the car and took your hand in his as he led you outside. 

“Don’t open your eyes until I say so.” 

“Oh come on, Buck, what could possibly-”

“Ok now,” He interrupted and you opened your eyes instantly to reveal a gorgeous brick mansion that left you agape. 

"Do you like it?" Bucky asked in anticipation. 

"It's lovely." You said, a bit puzzled. "But I don't understand." 

Bucky smile reaches his eyes as he takes your hands in his. "This is our new home." 

"Bucky I-" 

"I know it's out of the blue but I wanted to keep it a secret," Bucky said. "A lot has happened in the past month and even though I can't wipe away what happened I can make it so that our future is better. I want to start all over again on a fresh new slate and this house is it. The city has too many bad memories tied to it and it's time to let them all go. I feel like it's time to move forward. If you're ready that is?" 

You nodded with a smile. Bucky led you towards the grand estate. 

"Come on, there's so much I have to show you," Bucky said with bubbling excitement. He led you inside to an already beautifully furnished foyer with a grand staircase leading to the second floor. One by one he took you through each room and you couldn't help but giggle at his apparent excitement. 

"Remember how you used to complain about the old kitchen being so small?" Bucky asked. "Well, now you've got the biggest kitchen in all of New York!" He extended his arms out and you laughed. 

He pulled you along with him outside towards the patio. "I know how much you love to garden so I made sure to get a house with enough space for one."

You walked down the steps of the patio to see trees of every fruit and flowers of every kind planted, creating a beautiful array of colors. 

"Here catch." He said as he threw a peach towards you that he had picked off of a tree. "Now you don't even have to go to the farmer's market you've got it all here." 

You chuckled. "Did you make sure to get a plum tree?" 

"That's the first thing I asked for." He smiled as he led you back inside. 

"There's one last room that I want to show you. I think you'll love it the most." 

"I don't know if that's possible." 

"Oh, it is." He said as you stopped in front of a two doored room. 

He opened the doors simultaneously to reveal a lavish two-story library complete with a fireplace in the center and a spiral staircase that led to the second floor. Sunlight entered through the large windows on the side and you were left in awe of the place. The ceiling was painted in Fresco style as if you were looking at the sky with winged cherubs fluttering about. The walls and shelves were designed in ornate carvings that gave it a royal look. 

But what had captivated you the most was the number of books in the room. They were innumerable and it could take one's entire life to read all of the books that were there. You had never seen such a beautiful library in your life and to have one of your own as grand as this one was a dream you had never believed to come true. To think that someone would go to such an extent for you was unfathomable.  

"Do you like it?" Bucky asked, slightly nervous. 

You turned to him, your eyes brimming with tears as you nodded. 

"Then why are you crying?" He asked in worry. 

"I just can’t believe you’d do all of this for me.” 

Bucky shook his head, taking your face in his hands. “Everything I do is for you. Your happiness is my happiness.” 

“But I haven’t done anything to deserve any of this.” You replied. 

Bucky’s hands come down to wrap around your body to bring you closer to him. “You’ve given me hope. You've given me a reason to live again.” He said, tucking a strand of hair behind your ear. “This -all of this- is just a small portion of all that you deserve. There’s so much I want to give you. So much I want to do to show how much you mean to me. ” 

You shake your head with a small smile. “I think being here in your arms is enough of an assurance for me.” 

Bucky blushes just a little and chuckles softly. “I love you, [Y/N].” 

“I love you, too.” You smiled, pulling him into a searing kiss. 

Bucky was right. Maybe it was time to let go of the past in all its entirety. All of the tears and suffering, hatred and shame, it was time to leave it all behind and step into a new dimension of recovery and happiness. It was the start of something new and you were ready to welcome it with open arms. 

Chapter Text

You stood in front of the full-length mirror in the corner of your room after taking a shower, examining yourself, pointing out all of your imperfections.

Your tank top was pulled up so you could see the reflection of your stomach. Your eyes were fixated on the two scars left behind by your bullet wounds. They had become a haunting and indelible reminder of what happened that day, of what you had lost. Every time your fingers brushed over your scarred skin, every time you took a shower or even caught a glimpse of them while changing clothes brought back memories you were trying so hard to bury.

They were humiliating and degrading. You hated them. You hated the way they made your body look. You were wrongfully disgusted with yourself.

"Babe, what are you doing?" Bucky asked, standing at the doorway.

"Nothing." You said pulling your tank top down.

Bucky noticed you were upset, he could tell in an instant when something was wrong. He was your husband after all.

"You're lying." He teased as he approached you.

"It's nothing, Buck." You gave him a kiss on the cheek with a smile as you began to walk away.

He catches you by the arm. "I know you're lying." He said, this time seriously. "What's bothering you?"

You didn't reply to him and only look away not wanting to meet his inquisitive eyes. He presses his free hand to your scars making you look at him.

"Is it because of this?"

You nodded. “I hate them.” You confessed. “They remind me of how pathetic I am.”

He shook his head. "They remind me just how strong you are. That you’re stronger than what was trying to hurt you. "

You bite the inside of your lip trying to keep your tears at bay. "I was only able to protect myself how does that make me strong?” You asked and Bucky sighed. He didn’t know how many times he had to tell you it wasn’t your fault. “I’m weak. I’m pathetic.” You began to cry and he gives you a tight hug.

“It reminds me of just how ugly I am.” You mumbled into his chest.

Bucky parted from you a little and wipes your tears. “You’re not weak and you’re not ugly.” He affirmed and you shake your head in denial. “I don’t know where these thoughts are coming from, but hear me when I say you’re perfect just the way you are.” He said, taking your face into his hands. “Your strengths and weaknesses are equal in my eyes. Doll, sometimes I wish you’d see yourself the way I do.” He smiled sweetly before he takes your lips captive in a fervid kiss.

You fall back onto the bed with a gentle thud as Bucky kisses you with fervent passion. A wave of emotion hits you and you begin to cry into it. Bucky breaks away to kiss your tears away.

“You’re so beautiful, baby, you know that?” He said with a smile, wiping a fresh set of tears away. “Remember the day we first met? In the park?” You gave him a slight nod. “You looked so damn pretty in that cute little dress of yours. So perfect like an absolute angel.” He gave you a sweet kiss on the forehead, taking your hand into his. “The minute I saw you I fell in love with you. You were just that damn beautiful.” He chuckled. “And I knew you were just as beautiful on the inside as you were on the outside. I didn’t even talk to you yet but I just knew it. You don’t even have to try, you’re effortlessly beautiful. Never forget that, alright?”

He dipped his head in for another kiss and your hands carded into his long brown locks. The mixed scent of alcohol and cologne was thick on him and you loved it more than anything. You loved the way his heartbeat rapidly against your own and the feel of his hand underneath your thigh pulling you closer to his throbbing core. He was so perfect in himself, your affectionate and gorgeous husband.

He pulls apart and begins to line kisses against your jaw whispering a litany of praises your way.

"You're so perfect." He said in between kisses. "So gorgeous. There's no one in this world as beautiful as you." His lips travel down your neck and find your sweet spot to linger there making you gasp in pleasure. "I'm the luckiest guy in the world to have you. God, I love you so much."

He pulls up your tank top and you cover your scars with your hand. He pulls it away gently and brushes his fingers across them, admiring them.

"So damn pretty." He whispered before giving it a kiss. "My perfectly beautiful wife."

"Bucky," you whimpered. He picks up his head to look at you. Your face completely flushed with want. "I need you." You said, holding onto his shirt.

Bucky gulped at the sight of you, swollen red lips with your hair splayed on your pillow making you look like an angel. You had him feeling like a teenager again as if this was his first time.

"Baby, I don't wanna hurt you." He said taking your cheek into his hand.

"You won't hurt me." You shake your head. "Please? I need you." You begged desperately, pulling him closer to you. "I want you." You whispered into his ear, your hot breath tickling him and sending chills down his spine.

Bucky gulped at your needy behavior. Words of lust and desire were spewing out of your pretty little mouth and he loved it. His gorgeous, innocent wife being so needy for him was making him go absolutely insane, fueling his ego to extreme levels. He hesitated at first but smiled with a nod as he planted his lips against yours passionately. How could he say no when you asked so nicely?


It was the dreaded inventory day at the bookstore and it was at that moment you regretted returning to work at the shop. You were sick of being bored out of your mind at home and decided to return to work, but God did you hate inventory day.

You loved books for a fact but to count them all down and replace old with new that wasn't something you necessarily enjoyed. Fortunately, Bucky had come to your rescue and entertained you as you worked. For once you actually wanted to have him around or finally admitted that you did like his company.

“So you wanted to be a pilot as a kid?” You asked in shock as you shelved books. He stood next to you with a stack of books in his arms that were waiting to be shelved.

“Yeah,” Bucky replied sheepishly. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

You shrugged. “I just can’t see you as a pilot. You look more like a cop.”

“That may just be the meanest thing you've said about me yet," Bucky stated. "A cop, doll? That's low."

You chuckled as you shelved another book. "Sorry, it's just what I think. You liked airplanes and stuff?" You asked, taking some books from him.

"Yeah, I used to make model airplanes all the time as a kid."

You snorted. "And you call me a nerd."

Bucky poked you in the side and you giggled.

"Why didn't you become one then?" You asked, taking the last book from him.

Bucky's shoulders dropped at your question not knowing how to answer it.

"My dad didn't like it." He confessed, shifting uncomfortably. "He thought it was stupid and that I should keep my feet on the ground where I belong."

You frowned in regret. "I'm sorry I didn't mean to-"

"No, it's fine." He gave you a small smile. "He was right. It was just a stupid dream after all."

"No, it isn't." You said taking his hand in yours. "Your dreams and aspiration have worth. It doesn't matter what anyone says about them. They're what drive you to become the best you can be. You should never give up on what you love."

Bucky stood still, wishing someone would've told him that when he was younger. Before he had thrown it all away. He didn't have any dreams left. He was stripped bare of them a long time ago. All he had left was a small sliver hope that something would come to make him feel again and it did in the form of you. You gave his hand a soft squeeze then let go to walk towards the front with him right behind you.

"Okay, Bucky Barnes, trivia question of the day." You smiled as you came up to an old globe. "If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?"

Bucky chuckled and shrugged. "I don't know."

"Boooo, that's such a boring answer." You mocked as you spun the globe. "How about…Brazil?" You asked pointing at the country. "Or...Morocco? Ooh, I've heard Romania is really pretty."

Bucky chuckled at your cute behavior. "You know what doll? I'll go wherever you want to." You stopped your ministrations to blush for him. "Wherever you'd go, I'll be right behind you. So where do you wanna go?"

You look at him stuck in a thought, gazing into his gorgeous blue eyes. "I don't want to go anywhere." You said intertwining your fingers with his. "I’m happy right here with you."

You got on your tiptoes to give him a chaste peck on the lips and his heart fluttered by the action. He gave you a cheeky smile as you returned to your bookkeeping.

"Since when did you get so flirty?" Bucky asked with a chuckle.

"I have my moments." You smiled at him.

Bucky sat down in a nearby chair and pulled you on top of him as you walked by.

"Bucky!" You exclaimed, completely flustered as he wrapped his arms around you, holding you tight against him. Your back was pressed against his front making your face turning the deepest hue of red.

"Can you read to me, doll?" He asked.

You giggled softly as you looked at the copy of Catch-22 in your hands. You sat back in his arms and he rested his chin on your shoulder to get a view of the book. Opening to the first page you began to read:

"It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain, he fell madly in love with him."


You sat on the seat of the toilet with a shaky sigh, holding a stick in your hand. You had missed your period and decided to take a test. Everything was going to be alright, you told yourself as you got up. You walked out of the bathroom and looked at Becca, who was impatiently waiting for the result.

"Well?"

You let out a serious sigh and she frowns just a little in fear that it was negative. You then give her a smile showing her the result.

She squealed and jumped for joy then pulled you into a hug. "Congrats, I'm so happy for you!!"

You laughed at her excitement and couldn't help your own from bubbling out of you.

"When are you gonna tell him?"

"I don't know." You wondered with a smile. "How do I even say it?"

"You could surprise him with something cute!" She suggested.

"Bucky hates surprises unless he's the one giving them."

"He's so complicated." Becca huffed then began to giggle. "Whatever you do, make it quick! It won't be long until he finds out this is getting bigger." She said poking your stomach.

"Hello there, Baby Bucky, I'm your Aunt Becca and I'm gonna spoil you rotten!" She spoke to your belly. You hang your head back in laughter as you hear the door open and the footsteps of burly men. 

You looked at Becca and bite your lip in anticipation. Becca smiles mischievously before motioning you to go tell him. You run out of the room and down the stairs to see Bucky standing there with Clint and Sam. He gives you a wide smile.

"Hey doll," he said as you jumped off the stairs midway. He quickly caught you in his arms.

Your legs wrapped around his torso as you slammed your lips against his in a searing kiss. He took a few steps back from the impact of the jump. Clint and Sam turned away in slight embarrassment at what was happening.

You part from him with a smile and he grins with confusion as he puts you down.

"Damn doll, what was that all about?"

You didn't have the words to express your joy and shouted the first one that came to mind.

"Baby!" You exclaimed.

The corners of Bucky's lips extend to his ears as he touches your stomach. "You mean?"

You nodded with glossy eyes. He picks you up and twirls you around with your laughter resonating throughout the foyer. Sam and Clint smile at the sight of you two as Becca giggles on the steps.

Bucky places you down on the ground and gives you a big kiss. "I'm gonna be a daddy." He smiled.

"Yeah," you nodded, looking at him lovingly while tucking a strand of his hair behind his ear. "And I'm gonna be a mommy."

"Congrats, boss," Sam said, patting him on the shoulder with a smile. "You too, [Y/N]."

Bucky wraps his arm around your shoulder bringing you close to him and your hand finds its place on his chest.

"If it's a boy you could name him after yours truly." Clint jokes.

"Yeah, that's not gonna happen." Bucky deadpanned.

"Come on, boss!" Clint exclaimed. "I'm your main man!"

"Why the hell would anyone wanna name their kid Clint? What if someone forgot the "n" that'd be horrible." Sam pointed out.

"Screw you, Wilson," Barton replied and Sam retorted with another snarky comment.

"Guys, chill out," Becca said, trying to calm them down.

The two of them started quarreling, but Bucky didn’t care, his joy was inexplicable and unable to be tainted. He nuzzles his face in your hair and whispers a thank you in to your ear making you giggle. You turn towards him nuzzling your nose with his before giving him another kiss.

"God, get a room you two!"

Chapter Text

"Um, a little to the left." You motioned with your hand. "Keep on going. Okay, stop." 

The men placed the changing table down with a huff, trying to catch their breath. You bit your lip not liking where the table was placed. 

"Actually I think it looks better over there." You said pointing to the other side of the nursery. 

"[Y/N]." Scott said in disbelief. 

"What?" You asked. 

"We literally just hauled it from that side to here," Clint stated.

"I know, but I wanted to see how it looked on this side and I'm not feeling it. So back over there it is." 

"You're killing us, Mrs. Barnes." Scott groaned, stretching his back. 

You were six months into your pregnancy and decided now was the right time to prepare the nursery. Much to your delight, you were having a baby girl. Bucky was absolutely ecstatic when the doctor informed you that it was a girl. There wasn't a night that went by where he didn't talk to your swollen tummy, promising your precious daughter-to-be all the things the world could offer. 

Bucky loved the sight of you. Swollen and big with his baby, a stark reminder of who you belonged to. Every single time he'd say anything pertaining to your big belly, your cheeks would blush like crazy and you'd swat him away playfully telling him he was being creepy. 

Everyone was very supportive in regards to the baby. If Bucky couldn't make it to an appointment your dad would take you. He was extremely excited to become a grandfather. Becca and you went shopping for hours finding cute outfits and toys for the baby. You had already picked out the furniture for the room and all that had to be done was to decorate the room. 

That was what the four mobsters were hired to do, but they were giving you more of a migraine than a helping hand. 

"Yeah well, I'm not having a party either." You deadpanned, supporting your back with a hand. 

"Hey, [Y/N], the crib's ready where do you want it?" Sam asked. 

"I have no idea." You replied earning you a chuckle from him. 

"Please make sure you figure it out before you make us move it," Scott begged.

“Scott, what did Hope ever find in you?” You asked in annoyance. 

“I’m actually really good at magic tricks.” 

You roll your eyes in amusement. These were Bucky's top men, the cream of the crop. The best of all the hundreds underneath him and yet they couldn't even handle a little weightlifting. Was the Brooklyn mob really as tough as they made themselves to be? 

"How's it going?" Bucky asked, taking a break from his work to check up on you. 

"It seems that your strongest men have been worn out by moving some furniture around." 

"In our defense, we've been moving it around for the past hour," Clint said. 

"Can't you guys do anything right?" Bucky asked. 

"Don't look at us, we're just moving stuff around. She's the brains behind the operation." Scott pointed at you. 

Bucky looked to you in amusement. "I just can't figure out where to put everything. I like the changing table on the side against the wall, but then the crib would be next to the window. I don't want it next to one there could be a draft." 

"How about putting the crib on this side of the room next to the closet?" Bucky asked pointing to the other side of the room. 

You sighed. "You have no sense of interior design, Buck." You deadpanned. 

Bucky pouted at you while the guys tried to contain their laughter.  

"You know who we need?" Sam said. "We need Steve. He's good at this kind of stuff." 

You tensed up at the mention of his name. You did your best to keep your memories of him buried, but Steve never did leave you. He was a million miles away, but his hearty laughs and baby blues were always in the back of your head. Was he happy wherever he was? 

"Yeah, wonder what that punk is doing right now," Clint said. 

"Probably bathing in the California sun picking up girls. Lucky jerk." Scott suggested. 

You looked down wishing they would drop the topic of Steve altogether. Suddenly you feel a kick from inside of you. "Oof," you groaned placing a hand on your stomach. 

The five mobsters froze in fear of what that meant. 

"You okay, doll?" Bucky asked, putting his hands on your stomach. 

"Yeah, your princess just has a really mean kick." You said, earning a chuckle from him. 

“A real Brooklyn baby.” Bucky chuckled, smoothing his hands over your belly.

“You know what I’m thinking the crib would look better where the changing table was.” You said. “We’ll put the changing table near the window.” 

“You heard the lady,” Bucky commanded the men. “Get to work. I'm not paying for you to sit around." 

"Shouldn't you be helping us?" Scott asked his boss defiantly. "This is for your kid after all." 

"You know Lang, I should've kicked your ass a long time ago." Bucky deadpanned. 

"Language." You gave him an annoyed look. 

"Yeah boss, we've got sensitive ears in the room," Pietro said, pointing to your stomach.

"Right, sorry." He apologized to you. 

"You know I think Scott is right. You should help them." 

"But doll..." Bucky whined a little. 

"Don't “doll” me." You placed your hands on your hip. "Stop being so lazy." 

Bucky rolled his eyes as his men snicker at your words. Nobody pushes the mob king around all except for his very pregnant wife. 

"Fine." He grunted. “Move over, Lang. Lemme show you what a real man can do.”


  You were cuddled in bed watching a tv show when Bucky sent you a text.

 

Hey, what's up?

 

Nothing much. You? 

 

Same here. 

 

Before you could send a reply he sent another text. 

 

I miss you. 💗

 

Your face turns different shades of red as you type out a reply with a smile. 

 

I miss you too 💞  

When do you get back again?

 

Can't live without me, can you doll? 😏  

 

I just forgot how stupid your face looks. 

 

You love my stupid face, I know you do. 

 

Your pride will be your downfall.

 

You didn't deny it though.

 

There was a short pause as Bucky waited for your reply. 

 

I guess I kinda do. You look cute sometimes. 🤔😘

 

It was his turn to blush. Bucky chuckled as he writes out another message. 

 

Feeling bold now aren't we, Miss Banner? 

 

Don't you have very important top-secret work to do?

Trying to get rid of me? 

 

No, I just don't want to be a distraction. 

 

You're always distracting me. I haven't thought about anything but you since I left. 

 

You swallowed deeply. Bucky Barnes had a way with words and you were falling hard for him, faster than you'd like to. 

 

Then you better get back soon. I don't want my lovesick Romeo to get hurt while thinking about me.

Bucky chuckled at the nickname you gave him. 

 

And what if I said I'm already here? 

Look outside your window. 

 

You got out of bed and walked towards your window to see Bucky in front of your house. He gives you a wave and you smile like a madman as you run to him outside. 

It was cold outside-freezing actually, but you didn't care as you jumped into his arms giving him a tight hug. You let go crossing your arms to keep you warm. He gives you a smile enough to warm up your chills. 

"Surprised?" He asked. 

"Very surprised!" You chuckled. "I thought you were coming next week or something." 

"I got my work done a little early." He said. 

"A little early or did you just dump it all on your lawyer friend?" 

"Okay, maybe that." He chuckled. 

Bucky noticed you shivering in nothing but a hoodie and pajama pants. He opened his coat with his hands in his pockets, welcoming you into his embrace. You hurried into him and wrapped your arms around his torso as he covered you with his oversized coat protecting you from the winter cold. 

The two of you chuckled together, the heat of his body was keeping you warm.

"So how was it?" 

"Hmm?" 

"The trip. How was your trip?" 

"Dreadfully boring." He deadpanned. "Lot of quarreling. It's a pain to listen to." 

"I thought you said you weren't listening." You gave him a playful smile. "You said you were thinking about me the entire time." 

"I was." He assured. 

"Liar." You joked with him. 

"I'm not lying." He grinned. "You're always in the back of my head playing over and over again like a broken record. Doll, there's not a minute that passes by when I'm not thinking about you." 

"You're romantic to a fault," you told him. "I don't know if I can handle it." 

Bucky laughs at your remark. "Want me to take it down a notch?" 

"No, I like the attention." You giggled. 

He shakes his head in amusement as you take note of his features. The plumpness of his slightly chapped lips, the slight bags under his eyes from being overworked, and his steel-blue eyes beckoning you to come closer to him. He was such a gorgeous man. 

Bucky notices you staring. "What?" He asked puzzled. 

You snap out of your thoughts and smile sheepishly. "It's nothing." You replied. 

Just as he's about to reply something soft and white begins to fall from the sky. You look up to see snowflakes falling from the dark night sky above you. 

"It's the first snowfall of winter." You said with a smile. 

Bucky gazed at you in awe. Your cheeks and nose were red from the cold, but that didn't stop your smiles or giggles as you looked at the snow in awe. Snowflakes decorated your hair giving you an ethereal air. To have you there in his arms made Bucky feel like the luckiest man in the world. 

"Bucky?" 

Bucky broke out of his thoughts and gives you a smile. 

"You alright?" You asked. 

"[Y/N]," he said in a hushed tone as if he didn't want anyone to hear. "I love you." 

Your heart dropped a little at his confession. You knew he'd say it soon enough. It was bound to happen so why were you shocked? 

Bucky felt stupid for dropping it on you. He should've waited. But how long was he going to wait? He couldn't keep it in any longer. He had to tell you what he had been harboring for so long. 

"Bucky-" 

"I know you're not ready." He said. "It's okay I can wait, but I just had to tell you. I wanted to be honest with myself." 

You nodded in gratitude then gave him a soft kiss that slowly became more passionate. The snow fell gently on you like a scene from an over the top cheesy romance film. You knew as the days went by that you were indeed falling for Bucky. He was irresistible. His words, his actions, and the way he kissed you as if his life depended on it made you want more of him. Yet there was something inside you pulling you away from him. Your conscience warned you to get away, but you couldn't leave. You didn't want to leave so you ignored it. A decision you'd come to regret later on in your life. 

You parted with his forehead pressed against yours. You give him a giggle making him smile in tandem. 

"You wanna come inside?" 

"What about your dad?" 

"He's not here. He's at a science expo for the weekend." Bucky looks at you unsure. "We can finish Catch-22 if you'd like?" 

"Okay, you got me there doll, let's go." He agreed. 

"Nice to know there's a book you actually like." 

"I only like it because I get to hear your pretty voice." He said as you pulled him inside by the hand. 

You chuckled with a blush. Yeah, you really did miss him. 


 

"Stay calm, doll! Everything is gonna be fine!" Bucky assured. 

"You're the one that needs to calm down." You replied slightly annoyed. 

"But the baby." He said, frustrated. 

"She's fine, Buck." You sighed, sitting on the couch. 

"But-" 

"Bucky, stay quiet. You're making a big fuss out of nothing." His mother spoke up. "She's already in pain as it is and you're just making it worse." 

"Sorry, doll." He said, taking your hand in his. 

You give him a smile. "It's alright." 

"You're taking this like a champ." He gave you a kiss on the temple. "You're so strong." 

Your contractions had started a day ago but weren’t allowed to be admitted into the hospital for it not being spread out enough. The pain was excruciating but nothing you couldn’t handle. Bucky remained by your side through it all, trying to help as much as possible and even when you assured him you were alright, he didn’t believe you. 

“You remind me of your father. You're just as fidgety as he was when I had you.” His mother said as she gave him a kiss on the top of his head. “He would’ve been so proud of you.” 

Bucky looks over to you trying not to show his disgust for being compared to his father. You gave his hand a squeeze telling him to just let it go. He gives you a nod and kisses the back of your hand that’s in his. Bucky wasn’t going to let anything ruin his mood, not when his baby girl was almost here. 

After nine long months, she was finally coming. To say Bucky was excited would be an understatement, he was over the top ecstatic but just a little afraid. What if he really did turn out like his father? 

You groaned in pain as another wave hit you and Bucky got up. 

“That’s it, we’re going to the hospital.” He said, picking you up in his arms. 

“Bucky put me down! They’re just gonna send us back.” You hissed in pain. 

“Not if I put a gun to their head.” He replied, clearly annoyed by it all. 

“Bucky!” You protested which he completely ignored. You groaned in frustration. You didn’t know what was worse, the unimaginable pain from your baby girl or her hard-headed father. 

Becca rolled her eyes at her brother’s obstinance as she picked up the bag sitting on the coffee table. 

-

“Alright, Buck, you gotta go in there,” Becca told her brother. 

“Me?” He asked, pointing to himself. 

“Yes, you, moron.” She deadpanned. 

“Shouldn’t I be waiting out here?” 

“Yeah, if this was 1934.” She said. “Stop being a coward and get in there, she needs you.” 

Bucky glares at his mouthy sister trying not to show his fear of going inside. He really didn’t know what to expect there. 

“It’s not as bad as you think it is.” Bruce chuckled, patting him on the shoulder. “Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss it.” 

Bucky gives him a nod as he walks in. He wasn’t afraid. The mob king was not afraid of seeing a baby pop out of his wife. No, he had seen way worse than this. 

Or so he thought until he entered the room to see you looking like you had been hit by a truck with doctors and nurses hovering around you checking all sorts of tests. Bucky wanted to leave but knew it was too late when the door shut behind him. 

“Come on Buck, be the man you are.” He thought to himself as he approached you. 

“You okay, baby?” He asked taking your hand in his. 

“Do I look okay?”  

He chuckled at his stupid question. If you had the power to sass him then you were alright. Bucky remained by your side as the procedure started. He could’ve sworn the bones in his hand would have snapped by the way you were holding it. He sat next to you wiping away the sweat on your forehead while whispering words of encouragement into your ear. 

Who the hell was he kidding? He was afraid. To see you in so much pain was tearing him apart and he wanted it all to end. It took three hours, the reward at the end was unparalleled. 

It was when the nurse handed you a small, fragile, red baby taking its first breaths in the world as cries for her mother did Bucky realize just how beautiful the world really was. Despite the evils he had seen and done, he learned the world wasn’t hopeless. It wasn’t void of love. Love was right there in your arms in the form of a sweet bundle of joy. 

So moved by it all, he started crying and you quickly wiped his tears away with your own falling. He kissed you all over your tired face saying thank you after each one. 

“Hey there, sweetheart.” He whispered to the baby cradled in his arms while walking around the private hospital suite. “Aren’t you the most beautiful thing on earth? Yes, you are. Just as pretty as your mama.”  

You chuckled, sitting on your bed looking at the two have their moment. 

“I promise, I’m gonna keep you safe and happy for the rest of your life. Whatever you want it’s yours. God, am I gonna spoil you.” 

He came to sit next to you on the edge of the bed. “You know we never picked a name.” You reminded him.

“Maybe because someone was being so indecisive.” He teased. 

You rolled your eyes at him. “Alright, papa bear, do you have a name in mind?” 

“I don’t know, I still really like Bella.” He smiled. “But I want whatever you want, doll.” 

“And what if I said I wanted Bella too?” 

“Then Bella it is.” He grinned. 

“Princess Bella Barnes,” You said, caressing her cheek with your finger. “Has a nice ring to it.”

-

You turned to your side noticing Bucky still hadn’t returned from feeding Bella. You lazily kick off the blankets to see what they were up to. 

"Everything alright?" You asked, walking into the room to see Bucky standing next to the crib. 

"Yeah, I was just watching her sleep," Bucky said with a smile. "She's so pretty." 

You smiled lazily as you hugged him from behind. 

"[Y/N], what if.." He asked with his words laced in worry. “What if I’m not a good father?” 

You kissed his shoulder blade. "You're going to do just fine, Buck. You're doing great so far." 

Bucky chuckled quietly. "It's only been two weeks." 

"That doesn't change anything." You said as he turns to bring you into a hug. You lay your head against his chest, listening to the rhythmic beating of his heart. The two of you stood there for what felt like an eternity gazing at your little bundle of joy. She really was the prettiest thing you had ever seen. 

Chapter Text

“Bella! What have you done?” Bucky asked in horror. 

His three-year-old was standing in the living room with paint all over her clothes and the biggest smile on her face. Next to her was the masterpiece she had painted onto the wall. 

“I painted a picture!” She exclaimed, completely unaware of her father’s apparent annoyance. Clint and Sam snorted at the look on both of her faces. 

Bucky gulped in fear of what you would do to him when you’d come home to see what happened to the wall. He was supposed to be taking care of Bella while you were out with Becca which seemed like a fairly simple task. Oh, how wrong he was. 

When you warned Bucky that Bella was a handful he brushed it off as you scaring him, but you were right. She had him on his feet all day making sure she didn’t break any of your priceless decorations and making a mess out of everything. Bucky really did wonder where her energy came from. 

“You’re dead, boss,” Sam said between his laughs. 

Bucky whips his head to glare at him. 

“Yeah, [Y/N], gonna kill you when she gets home.” Clint wiped the tears from his eyes. 

“Stay quiet.” He jeered, wanting to say far stronger words. He crouched down to the girl’s level. “Bella darling, I thought I told you to keep the paint on the paper.” 

“I did.” She told him. “But the paper was too small.” 

“Then why didn’t you ask for another one? Why did you start to paint on the wall?” He asked, growing just a little frustrated. 

“Cause daddy was busy with Uncle Clint and Uncle Sam.” She explained. “I didn’t want to bother you.” 

Bucky looked at the painting then rubbed his face with his hand. How was he going to fix this?  “Just face it, Buck, you’re screwed.” He thought to himself. 

Bella noticed her father’s frustration. “You don’t like it?” 

Bucky looked at the toddler frowning at him. What he should have done was put her in time out like her mother would have, but he couldn’t do that. Not when she was looking at him with puffy pink cheeks and her lips in a pout. Her small hands looked as if they were dipped in paint as did her clothes. Even her brown locks had speckles of paint in it and he wondered how in the world did she get it there. 

Bucky chuckled with a shake of his head. “No, I love it.” He told her, a smile formed on her face. “It’s a really pretty hippo.” 

“It’s a narwhal.” She corrected him. 

“Oh,” He said, “Well I like it either way. Come here, princess.” He beckoned her to come into his arms. 

She ran into his arms and gave her a hug not caring that her paint would get all over him. He peppered her face with kisses making her giggle. 

"Stop it, daddy!” She exclaimed. “You’re so itchy.” 

 He obeyed and pushed the free strands of her hair to the side. “There’s just one problem. I don’t think mommy’s gonna like it.” He said with a disappointed look.

“She will!” Bella said. “Mommy says my art is so pretty that I’m gonna be the next Mikey Angel.” 

Bucky’s head hangs back in laughter. “That’s Michelangelo, sweetheart.” 

“That’s what I said!” 

“She’s not wrong,” Clint stated. “I can see it. Bella’s got a future in the arts.” 

“So what are you gonna do about this?” Sam asked. 

“I guess I’m just gonna have to tell her what happened,” Bucky said, standing up with Bella in his arms. He felt shivers traveling down his spine at the thought of your reaction.

“Or you can hide it,” Clint suggested. 

Bucky raised a brow at him. “How am I gonna do that.” 

“Like this,” Clint said, moving the table that was next to the couch in front of the painting. “Ta-da! She’ll never even notice.” 

“Clint, you’re joking right?” Sam asked. “I can see it right there.” He pointed towards the top of the wall that wasn’t covered by the table. 

“Okay here,” Clint said, putting a vase of flowers on top of the table. “Satisfied?” 

“Very.” 

“You’re both morons.” Bucky deadpanned, making Bella giggle. “She’s gonna find out the second she gets home.” 

“It’s only temporary, boss,” Clint replied. “She’ll be too tired when she gets back and won’t notice it. Just paint over it the next day.” 

Bucky sighed in exasperation. “Alright fine.” He walked past the two. “I’m going to give Bella a bath and I want you two out of here, ya hear?” 

“Got it, boss,” Sam replied. “See ya, princess”

“Bye, Uncle Sam! Bye, Uncle Clint!” She waved to them as her father walked up the stairs.

After giving Bella a bath, Bucky plopped on top of the couch too exhausted to do anything, but watch Bella play with her dolls. He dozed off and Bella decided to join him by laying on top of him. 

You came home to find the two knocked out on the couch and smiled. You quickly took a picture before waking Bucky up.

"Bucky," you whispered, shaking him gently. 

He opened his eyes a little to see you standing in front of him. He rubbed his eyes as you took Bella off of him. 

"Doll, when did you get back?" 

"Just now. Come on, let's get you to bed, old man." You teased, taking his hand with Bella in your arms. 

Bucky yawned as he got off the couch and followed behind you towards the stairs. 

"I'm guessing you noticed?" He said halfway up the steps. 

"Yeah, I did.” You chuckled. “You really thought you could hide something from me?” 


 

Beams of dull grey sunlight streamed into the room at the crack of dawn. You sighed wishing the sun could have waited just a little longer. You were strangely exhausted and your mind in a haze as it was awakening itself. You pulled your duvet closer to your body and that was when you realized that you weren't wearing anything. An arm was draped across your waist with its' hand dangerously close to the end of your lower back. Your eyes opened wide and the first thing you saw was a very naked Bucky sleeping peacefully next to you. Your cheeks flared at the sight of him and all of your memories from the night before flooded your mind. 

You didn't know how it happened. Maybe you got drunk off of hot cocoa? Maybe you just let go of yourself the minute he started kissing you? The latter was probably the right answer, but not the one you were willing to admit to. All you could remember was reading and cuddling with him in bed then the next thing you knew Yossarian and his army friends were on the ground with your clothes following shortly after. Bucky was hovering on top whispering sweet and filthy words into your ear that sent shivers down your spine just remembering them again. 

 

“You're so gorgeous. So perfect in every way.” 

 

“Damn, baby, is this all for me? You're so wet down here.” 

 

“So tight, baby girl, fuck you're so good.”

 

“Yeah, that's it. Say my name again, doll. Want the whole damn neighborhood to hear you.”

 

 

“You're mine, baby, you're all mine. You like it when I say that don't you sweetheart? Don't have to hide it 'cause I can feel it.”

 

 

“You take me so well, it's like you were made for me. So damn perfect and all mine.”

 

You cover your face with your hands in embarrassment at the thought of it all, but you weren't really embarrassed. You enjoyed every second of it. The feel of his hips against the back of your legs in a rhythmic pattern and love marks he left all over your body made you wanting more even after you were all worn it. He was good, too good, knowing just the right places to tease you and hitting all the right spots. 

You felt guilty for two reasons. The first being that you had played with your father's trust by sneaking a man into your home while he wasn't there and doing the unimaginable with him. The second being that shortly after not being able to return Bucky's feelings you slept with him without a second thought. 

You felt horrible for he had so earnestly confessed to you and you just froze in fear at how to respond. Ever since your reunion, all Bucky had ever done was appreciate you, not even sparing a second to compliment you in some way. You could see it in his eyes, he wasn't fooling around with you. He meant every word in its honest definition. Which only made you feel worse.

You lower your hands to look at Bucky again, who was thankfully still asleep. You inch closer to him with a smile of admiration as you gazed at him with an unknown affection. He was so peaceful, catching up on much-needed sleep and without a worry in the world. As if he had nowhere to be but here with you. You push his free strands of hair out of his face with a gentle smile before giving him a soft peck on the lips. 

You slowly turn not wanting to wake him up and get out of your bed to find some clothes only to be pulled back by his hand. You yelped in surprise as Bucky pulled you into bed hovering over you with a sleepy smile. The thin sheet was hanging off the just below his waist, ready to fall off entirely if he moved even an inch. Your face turned completely red when you realized you were naked underneath him giving him a perfect view of your chest. You cover yourself awkwardly and Bucky chuckled at you. 

“No need to hide, doll. I’ve already seen everything.” 

You stared at him completely flustered and speechless. He lowers his head down dangerously close to your ear making you feel something near your thighs that you didn’t want to feel. You scolded yourself inwardly. "Resist the devil and he shall flee, [Y/N]. Resist, resist!"

“And I gotta say you’ve really been holding out on me.” 

You slap his chest and Bucky roars in laughter. 

“I thought you were asleep.” You huffed. 

“I was but you keep moving around.” He complained. “I’m a light sleeper.” 

You rolled your eyes moving to the side to get out of bed with Bucky pulling you back and turning so you were on top of him. “What’s the rush?”

“We should get up.” 

“It’s a Saturday and it’s eight in the morning,” Bucky said wrapping his arms around you so you wouldn't run away. “We can stay just a little longer.” 

Bucky gives you a sweet kiss. “Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” You smiled.

Bucky chuckles, flipping you over and dipping his head into the crook of your neck. “Doll, I could never have enough of you.” 

His body was taut against yours and you let out a deep sigh to calm your nerves. You didn’t want to do this right now, but the minute he started sucking on your sweet spot your opinion started to sway. Your fingers weaved into his air and your back arched just a little when he bit down on your pulse.

Your phone began to ring making you snap out of it and quickly divert your attention to it. 

“Ignore it,” Bucky states while kissing down your neck and towards your chest. 

“It might be important.” You replied as you reached over to grab it. You look at your phone to see the words “dad” written on them. You gulped thinking why he would call you at this time. “It’s my dad.” You told Bucky, making him groan as he got off of you. You smile at him apologetically as you answer the call. 

“Hey, dad.” You said in a sleepy tone. 

“Hey kiddo, you doing okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. I was just sleeping.” Bucky chuckles at you and you pinch his arm as if it was going to hurt. 

“Sorry about waking you up. I just wanted to tell you I’m coming home today.” 

“You’ll be what?” You exclaimed sitting up. “I thought you were coming tomorrow.” Bucky quickly sat up at your words. 

“I didn’t feel like staying another day and decided to dip.” He told you. “Why, is that a problem?” 

“N-no! It’s your house, come whenever you want.”

“Something tells me you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing.” 

You groaned. “Yeah, it’s called being awake at eight on a Saturday morning.” 

Bruce chuckles at you. “Alright, I’ll see you in five minutes, kiddo.” 

Your heart drops at the new bit of information, but try to remain calm. “Yeah, see you then.” You hang up on him and look towards Bucky. “You have to leave now! My dad’s coming in five minutes and if he sees you he’s gonna kill me.” 

Bucky doesn’t say a word as he quickly jumps off the bed giving you a full view of his everything and you blush like crazy at the sight of him. He was the modern-era Adonis. You quickly get off pulling out clothes to wear from your drawers. 

“Shit, I can’t find my shirt.” Bucky cursed. 

“It’s right here” You threw it at him from the other side of the room. You quickly run down the stairs with Bucky right behind you, zipping up his pants. You grab his coat and give it to him when you hear a car park in front of your house. 

“Hurry!” You pull him towards the kitchen door in the back. Bucky chuckles at your frantic state. 

You open the door and he quickly gets out while putting his coat on. He turns to give you a kiss. 

"I'll see you later then?" He asked sweetly. 

"I'll call you." You replied. 

He gives you another kiss, this time deeper and more passionate. You push him away quickly. 

"Okay, leave already!" You whispered. 

"One more kiss, baby, you taste so good." He kisses you again and you smile into it. You hear the front door unlocking and push him away yet again. 

"Kiss me later, just leave already!" You hissed. 

"Babe, we're gonna do a lot more than just kiss." He gives you a wink making you shut the door in his face with a pout.

Bruce enters the kitchen with a smile.

"Hey, guess what I've got?" He asked coming into the kitchen. "Donuts!" You gave him a smile and a cheer. 

"What were you doing at the door?" Bruce asked with a smirk. 

You knew that smile. "I was looking for Peaches. I couldn't find him." 

"He's sitting on the couch." Bruce pointed back towards the living room. 

"Oh," you laughed nervously. "I must've missed him. I'm gonna go wash up real quick." You said running towards the stairs to avoid any more questions. 

Bruce shakes his head in amusement. His daughter was intelligent, she had his genes after all. She was careful, but not careful enough. It didn't take long for Bruce to realize that there was someone over. What else would explain the large footprints in the snow in the backyard, the whispers he heard as he entered his home, and the freshly made hickey on your neck that you had failed to notice? 


"Mommy, is daddy gonna be okay?" Bella asked in worry. 

You give her a chuckle while taking out some rubbing alcohol. "He's gonna be just fine." You assured. 

"But he's bleeding!" She whined. 

"Don't worry, sweetheart," Bucky said. "Your daddy's a strong man. Ouch." He winced when you started to clean his wound. 

"He's like Superman, just not as cool." You told her and Bucky gave you a glare. 

"I think he's cooler than Superman!" Bella exclaimed. 

Bucky chuckles at her. "You really think that?" 

"I know that!" She affirmed. Bucky takes Bella in his arms starts giving her kisses while holding her in a tight bear hug. Her giggles bring a smile onto your face. 

"Would you stop moving? I'm trying to work here." You said, placing your hands on your hips. 

"Sorry, Doctor Barnes," Bucky said sitting straight with Bella on his lap. You return to tending to his wound and Bella looks at your work intently. She was a rather curious child. 

"Daddy, why do you always come home hurt?" 

Your hands stop working on Bucky, looking at him for what he might say. 

“You wouldn’t understand right now. I’ll tell you when you’re older.” Bucky said fixing her brown locks.

"But why when I’m older? Why not now? It’s not fair.” She pouted.

"You ask a lot of questions, princess," Bucky said with a tired chuckle. 

"Mommy says it's good to ask questions. It's how you get smarter." 

"That's true," Bucky said, bopping her nose with his finger. "But there's just some questions that can't be answered and some that don't need to be." 

Bella pouted at her father unsatisfied with his answer. She hated not knowing everything and the grown-ups always kept secrets from her. 

"Come on, sweetheart, don't look at me like that." Bucky chuckled, giving her a kiss on the forehead. 

"Bella, why don't you go get ready for bed and daddy will read you a book?" You suggested. 

The little girl's eyes lit up as she ran towards her room. 

"She's growing up too fast," 

"Well, that is expected. She won't be six forever." 

"What's wrong?" 

"It's nothing." You brush it off and walk towards the counter. He takes you by the forearm and looks into your eyes trying to figure out what was wrong. He knew you were angry, most likely at him. 

"There is something wrong." 

"It's nothing you need to worry about." 

"I have a good feeling it is." 

"Bucky," you said exasperated. 

"[Y/N]," he stated seriously. "Tell me what's bothering you." 

"You." You thought, but you couldn't say that. You didn't want to have this conversation with him, but you knew he wouldn't stop pestering you about it. 

"It's just that I don't know how long you're going to go on with this." 

"With what?" 

"Lying to Bella." You said. 

"I'm not lying to her." He stated. 

"Hiding things from her is just as bad as lying. You're making her believe something that’s not true.” You told him. “How long are you going to do this, Buck? One day she's going to find out and she's going to be hurt beyond compare." 

"So what the hell do you want me to do?" Bucky stood up, annoyed. "You want me to tell her who I am and what I do? You want my daughter to hate me? To be afraid of me?" 

"No, Buck." You shake your head in denial. "You know that's not what I want. I want Bella to love you and see you as a good man. All I'm saying is that maybe it's time to let go of some of the things you keep so near and dear to your heart." 

Bucky knew what you were asking of him. He knew he couldn't fulfill this wish of yours. 

"I can't." Bucky shook his head. "I can't do that." 

"It's not that you can't." You point at him. "It's that you won't." 

"I can't just get up and leave. I can’t just throw it all away.” 

"What's more important, your damn money or your daughter?" 

"You know it's Bella. It's always been just you and her." He said softly, trying to take you in his arms. 

You push his hands away. "Then why can't you see that all we need is you? Not the money or the big houses. It's just you. She's growing up and you're never even here to see all the things she can do." 

“Let’s just be honest here, you don’t want to give it up because of your pride.” Your finger poked into his chest. “It’s all about how everyone sees you and what everyone thinks about you. It’s all a show for you, making everyone believe that everything is perfect when it’s not. Bella, me, and everyone else you don’t really love us. We’re all just a part of your game.” 

“Baby, don’t-” Bucky tried to counteract. 

“No, just stop.” You cut him off. “I know what you're going to say and I don’t want to hear it. It’s all just a bunch of lies! All you’ve ever done is lie to me. From the beginning until now, all you’ve ever done is lie to me. You’re nothing but a damn liar!” 

Bucky takes you by the wrist, his anger spiked at what you called him. “If I’m nothing but a liar and if I’ve never loved you then why the hell would I ever do any of this for you?” He shouted, motioning towards the room and you look away from him. “If all I’ve ever done is hurt you why do you stay? If I’m just as horrible as you say I am and all you’ve ever done is hate me then why the hell did you marry me?” 

Your whipped your head towards him with a mix of shock and anger. Your eyes spoke volumes that couldn’t be said by your voice. He knew why she married him. He knew the terms and conditions of their relationship. How could he just pretend that their marriage was just like any other one? Bucky knew he said something he shouldn’t have and there was just a sliver of guilt for saying it, but he dared not to show it. 

You swallowed your anger, tired of it all. "Don't you have somewhere to be?" 

Bucky stared at you with anger coursing through his veins, but this time he didn't say anything. He didn't have anything to say. 

You didn't quiver under his intense stare, your eyes glared sharply into his own. You knew you crossed a line and he was pissed, but so were you. Bucky stood silent and somewhat amazed. He'd never seen you like this before. Standing tall with a burning fire in your eyes, but even with all your strength, you couldn't contain the tears brimming at the edge of your eyes. You yanked your hand from his grip and pushed passed him towards your room. 

All Bucky could do was stand and look at your form disappearing up the steps. His jaw tightened as he slid his fingers through his hair in frustration. He hit the first aid kit sitting on the counter with great force making it slam against wall loudly. He slammed the side of his fist against the granite-top counter unable to control his anger. 

He knew you were right and maybe that's what made him so angry. He loved his family and would sacrifice anything for them, but that was one thing he couldn’t give up. He couldn’t let go of his title as the mob king. It wasn’t about the money. He had more than enough money to live a luxurious life. It was about the title, the power that came with it and the pride in knowing he was on top of the world. 

He was a man driven by pride and he couldn’t bear to even think about leaving his position for it to be taken by someone else. Even if the future of his family was at stake, he couldn’t let it go, he didn’t want to let go. It made Bucky realize that his love wasn’t unconditional. It was severely flawed and he knew that his present choices would ruin his future. But no one ever said you needed to believe what you know. 

Bucky let out a deep exhale before running up the stairs to his daughter’s room. Bella ran from the door towards her bed and jumped into it right before Bucky popped his head through the door. 

"Alright, where's that book?" Bucky asked with a smile. 

She handed him a novel as he sat next to her on the bed. 

"A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Carnivorous Carnival." Bucky looks at her confused. "Does your mom know your reading this?" 

Bella gave him a nod paired with a smile. "She reads it to me every night. Mommy said she used to read it all the time when she was little." 

"Of course she did." Bucky chuckled as he opened to the page that had been bookmarked. "Alright. Chapter six." Bucky started, getting comfortable. The little girl wrapped her small arms around her father's larger one and rested her head against him. 

Just like the Baudelaires, Bella was a bright child and maybe that was the reason for her strong attraction to their adventures. She had an inquisitive nature and loved to learn the mechanisms behind each and every operation conducted in the world. Yet there was one stark difference between the Baudelaire children and Miss Bella. She was blessed with a mother and father and yet it seemed like she had lost them at times. 

Bella knew at her young age that her mommy and daddy weren't always as happy as they showed themselves to be. They didn't always love each other and fought just like children do. She knew that sometimes her daddy made her mommy cry just like the boys that pulled her hair in school did. 

Bella realized that sometimes her daddy wasn't the valiant knight, but rather the evil king that would hurt the poor princess in her storybooks. It was at those times, Bella wished she knew nothing at all. She wanted to believe that her mama and papa always loved each other just as much as they loved her. She wished she didn't know the truth at all. 

She nuzzled into Bucky's arm, starting to get sleepy and all she could hear was her father's gentle voice reading to her. 

"But the sad truth is that the truth is sad, and that what you want does not matter. A series of unfortunate events can happen to anyone, no matter what they want."

Chapter Text

Steve walked in the shade of the trees rustling in the light summer breeze, just him and his thoughts. He should have been at the engagement party that was going on a little far off, but he preferred to be alone. He got used to it after being alone for seven years and had grown to like it. It felt odd to be back in New York, he felt out of place after being gone for so long and yet it felt as if he had never left. His heart and soul was always here in this city. 

 

The blonde heard squeaking from the tree above him and looked to see a little girl sitting in it. She was wearing what seemed to be a very expensive light yellow dress, her brown hair in perfect curls, and her knees and elbows dirty from the dirt. A party guest who had lost her way. 

 

"Hey, what are you doing up there?" He asked her. 

 

"I'm trying to find the Pixie Dust Tree." She informed him. 

 

"The what?" 

 

"You know like in Tinker Bell." She alluded. "It's where fairies get their power." 

 

"Fairies?" He asked, bemused. 

 

"Yeah, I wanna see them. Do you believe in fairies?" She asked. 

 

"Not really, I've never seen one." 

 

"You don't have to see everything to believe it. That's what you call faith." 

 

Steve was surprised by her reply. She was just a little girl yet the wisdom in her words were beyond her years. 

 

He chuckles in reply, charmed by the girl's behavior. "I guess you're right." He smiles at the girl above. "What's your name?" 

 

"My mom says not to tell strangers my name. I shouldn't even be talking to you, mister." 

 

"Your mom's right, she's a smart lady." 

 

"My dad says that too. He says she's the smartest chick he's ever met." 

 

Steve chuckles again. "Alright, kid, how'd you get up in that tree?" He asked. 

 

"I don't know. How did you think I got here?" She replied with a sassy attitude. 

 

"I'm guessing you climbed it." He replied with a chuckle and she gives him a nod. "I didn't know a girl could climb a tree so tall. That's more of a boy thing." 

 

"Daddy says a girl can do anything a boy can do, but better." 

 

"Your dad sounds like a traitor to me," Steve replied, placing his hands on his hips. 

 

"Nuh-uh! My dad's the greatest guy in the world!" She replied with an angry pout. 

 

"Alright, alright," Steve replied, putting his hands up in defeat. "Let's not get hostile here." 

 

She looks away with a huff, her curls bouncing by the turning of her head. Steve smiles at the little girl. She looked like a fairy herself. 

 

"So what are you going to do when you find one of those fairies?" 

 

"Maybe I'll catch it." She thought to herself. "And ask for a wish and then let it go." 

 

"What would you wish for?" 

 

"Sorry, can't tell you." She shook her head in denial. "If you tell someone your wish, it will never come true." 

 

"Did your mom tell you that too?" He asked in which she replied with a nod. "Do you plan on staying up there forever or are you going to come down?" 

 

The little girl looks down at him with flushed cheeks. "I will! When I feel like it." 

 

"You don't know how to, do you?" He asked in amusement. 

 

"I-I do!" She affirmed, holding onto the branch. Steve raised a brow at her in disbelief. She frowned just a little. "Okay, I don't." She muttered in shame. 

 

 "Do you want me to help?" He asked. 

 

"No, you're a stranger. I can't ask a stranger for help." 

 

Steve shakes his head with a chuckle. "Still don't trust me, do ya?" She shook her head furiously making his shoulders drop as he pretended to be sad. "Come on, kid, I won't do anything to you. I promise." 

 

"I don't know, Mister." She mumbled. 

 

"Do you want me to take you down from there or your mom?" He asked. 

 

The little girl sat on the branch, thinking for a while and came to an obvious conclusion. "Okay, Mister, I'll let you help me." 

 

"Alright, just jump off and I'll catch you." 

 

The little girl shook her head a little. "I'm scared." 

 

"There's nothing to be scared of," Steve assured. "I'm right here. I won't let you fall."

 

"You promise?" 

 

"I promise with a cherry on top." He opened his arms for her. She hesitated at first then jumped off the branch right into Steve's arms. 

 

"Gotcha!" He exclaimed and the girl giggled in reply. He put her down and smiled. 

 

"Thank you, Mister!" 

 

"No problem."

 

"Bella!" A voice came from the distance.

 

Steve knew that voice. How could he ever forget it? It was the same gentle voice that lulled him to sleep and calmed him in tense situations. The panacea for all his troubles. He never thought he'd get to hear it so clear and crisp again. He wasn't ready for it just yet. 

 

The little girl ran towards the voice while Steve stood completely frozen, panicking on what to do. You walked out of the leafy path, wearing a yellow dress that matched the little girl's. The patches of sunlight from above gave your figure a transcendent glow. 

 

"Bella, what have you done to yourself?" You asked surprised. 

 

You weren't really surprised, things like this were bound to happen with her. You dusted the dirt off of her with a sigh. 

 

"What's Aunt Becky going to do when she sees you all dirty on such a special day?" 

 

"I'm sorry, Mommy. I was just looking for fairies." She apologized with a small frown. 

 

You chuckled at her while fixing her hair. "Did you find any?" 

 

"No, not yet." She replied crestfallen. 

 

"Where were you looking?" 

 

"Up in a tree." 

 

"A tree?" You exclaimed. "Since when did you learn how to climb a tree?" 

 

"Daddy taught me." 

 

You rolled your eyes with a deep sigh. "Of course he did." You mumbled to yourself. "You can look for fairies but no more climbing trees, okay? It's dangerous, you could fall." 

 

"I didn't fall, that Mister saved me." She pointed towards Steve. 

 

You turned your head to where she was pointing to see Steve standing there. Your mouth went slack with your heart beating fast. You knew Steve was returning to attend Becca's engagement party, but you didn't want to see him just yet. 

 

"Hey doll," he waved sheepishly. "Long time no see." 

 

You stood up to look at him, your dress flowing gently in the summer breeze and hair shining in the sunlight. You gave him a tender smile that brightened your already glowing complexion. 

 

He had forgotten just how beautiful you were. His memories of you fell short to your physical form. The moment Steve caught a glimpse of you, he realized he never left New York at all. His thoughts were wherever you were. 

 

"Welcome back, Steve." 


 

"Earth to Bucky." You called, waving your hand in front of his face. 

 

Bucky snapped out of his trance. "Hmm?" 

 

"Nice to know you're still with me." You chuckled. "Weren't you listening to anything I was saying?" 

 

Bucky smiled with a quiet chuckle, propping his face with his hand. "Sorry, doll. I got lost in thought." 

 

"What were you thinking about?" You asked with a raised brow. 

 

"Just how pretty you look today." He said leaning towards you on the cafe table. 

 

You blushed while looking down at the hot cocoa in your hands. "You really know how to flatter a girl, don't you, James?" 

 

"Only you." He smiled making you chuckle. "And I think I'm doing a great job at it." 

 

"You're rather confident in yourself." You rested your chin on your hand. 

 

"Confidence is the key to success." He noted while taking a sip of his coffee. 

 

"And what are you trying to find success in?" 

 

"Winning your heart, princess." 

 

You look away with a breathy laugh. "I think it's working." 

 

Bucky chuckles as a notification rings on his phone. He takes a glance at it but ignores it. 

 

"So how's your dad doing?" 

 

"Oh, he's fine." 

 

"Do you think he knows that I spent the night?" 

 

"Well not you specifically, but I think he knows someone was at home. He keeps on hinting at things and I just pretend I don't know what he's talking about it." 

 

Bucky chuckles. "Sorry doll. I didn't mean to put you on his radar." 

 

"No, it's fine. He's my dad. I'm always on his radar." 

 

Bucky's phone goes off again and you could see the annoyance written on his face. 

 

"If it's important, you can take it. I don't mind." You said. 

 

"It's not." He turned it over. 

 

"Boss, I've been looking for you," Sam said, walking up to your table.

 

Bucky turned with a glare. "I thought I told you I didn't want to be bothered today." 

 

"It's urgent," Sam said seriously.

 

Bucky motioned him to his ear and listened to what Sam had to say. You looked away awkwardly, not really knowing what to do. 

 

"How the hell did you let that happen?" Bucky asked, clearly irritated. 

 

"I didn't expect Odinson to make such a bold move." 

 

"I want you to go to the warehouse in Queens and take Barton with you," Bucky ordered. "I'll meet you there." 

 

Sam nodded as he turned to leave. 

 

"And Sam," He stated coldly. "Next time you'll think twice before disturbing me." 

 

The man nodded as he left and you could feel shivers crawl down your spine. Bucky turns towards you with an apologetic smile. 

 

"Sorry doll, I didn't mean for that to happen." He said, his tone changed from cold to warm. 

 

"No, it's alright." You smiled sheepishly. "I guess we'll have to cut our date short?" 

 

"I'm sorry." He apologized. "Let me give you a ride home." 

 

"Oh no, it's fine." You assured.

 

"Just let me?" He asked. "I want to make sure you get home safe." 

 

"Alright then." You smiled, getting your bag. 

 

The two of you left the cafe and Bucky drove you home in his sleek black Jaguar. You seriously wondered just how many cars this man had. The drive home was peaceful, but your insides were a jumbled mess as you began to worry about what was going to happen. 

 

"Doll?" 

 

You snapped out of your thoughts to look at Bucky. 

 

"We're here." 

 

"Oh, I didn't notice. I'll see you later." You were about to open the door then turned back towards him. "You're going to be okay, right?" 

 

Bucky smiled. "Yeah, I'll be fine. Don't worry about it, doll." 

 

"Bucky," you took his free hand in yours. "Promise me you'll be safe?" 

 

Bucky nods with a smile. "I promise." 

 

He leaned over to give you a kiss. The taste of bitter coffee on his tongue sharply contrasted with the sweet hot chocolate on your own. You part from him with a smile and open the door. 

 

"I'll see you later." You waved to him. 

 

"See you too, doll." He said before driving away. 

 

You walked inside and the minute the door closed behind you there was an acute sense of fear rising within you. 

 

"Hey kiddo, everything alright?" Bruce asked, sitting on the couch.

 

You gave him a smile. "Yeah, everything's fine. I'm just gonna go take a nap." You ran upstairs towards your room to avoid any questions. 

 

You entered your room dropping your bag somewhere on the ground before falling onto your bed. You let out a deep sigh as your anxiety was soaring to great heights. 

 

You buried your head underneath the pillows of your bed, whispering words of comfort to yourself. 

 

It's going to be fine, he's going to be okay. 

 

Nothing's going to happen, he promised. 

 

You admitted you were afraid. Afraid that something horrible would happen to Bucky and you'd lose him the same way you lost Tony. You couldn't bear to lose someone else. 

 

Even if you didn't know what the problem was or the severity of it, you knew deep inside it would only have a deadly outcome. In all honesty, you didn't care if it did. As long as Bucky was back in your arms, safe and warm, you didn't care what would happen. You didn't care if the rest of the world would crash and burn as long as you could hear his sweet voice whispering how wonderful you were again. It was selfish, but you didn't care. How many times did you give for it all to be taken away? 

 

You did your best to calm down, but it was no use. No matter what you did your thoughts always returned to him. Whether you were reading or cleaning or doing anything at all you couldn't help but worry for Bucky. The night was especially torturous as you flipped from side to side praying he was alright. It came to the point where you were about to hit your head against the wall to knock yourself out, but stopped yourself for your dad would have thought you were crazy if you did.

 

Slowly but surely the next day came. Your father had left for work leaving you alone with Peaches. You sat near your living room window, brushing your fingers through Peaches' fur who was napping in your lap. Your phone was right next to you waiting patiently for any message from him. 

 

You let out a deep sigh and Peaches meows in your lap. 

 

"Good afternoon, Peaches, had a good nap?" You chuckled picking him up to look at you. 

 

He meowed in reply. "No, I'm fine. He said he'd come back so there's nothing to worry about. I know he will." You told the cat but it was more for yourself than him. 

 

"You'd never leave me, right?" You asked him. 

 

The cat shimmies its way out of your hands and jumps off the couch, flaunting itself as it walked away with an arrogant air. You frowned at him. Maybe you should've gotten a dog instead. 

 

At the moment you hear a car park in front of the house and you turn to see that it was Bucky. You smile at the sight of it and run towards the door opening it without hesitation. Bucky was walking towards you with a smile. He had a busted lip and a bandage on his hand but besides that he was fine and you thanked the heavens for that. 

 

You ran into Bucky's arms, squeezing him tight. "I'm so glad you're okay." You said with relief. 

 

"I told you I'd be okay." He chuckled. 

 

"I know but I started to worry and-" your voice cracked as you began to cry. "I thought I was going to lose you." 

 

Bucky cups your cheeks with his hands and wipes away your tears with his thumbs. 

 

"Doll, you'd never lose me." He said softly. "I'll always come back to you. No matter what." 

 

You hugged Bucky tightly with your head resting on his shoulder. You felt at ease in his arms. 

 

"Bucky," you whispered against him and he hummed in response. "I love you." 

 

He couldn't stop his lips from curling into a smile with you in his arms. It was a cheerful smile with an underlying malicious intent. Bucky knew he had you in the palm of his hand now. You were now completely his and there was no force on earth that could take you from him. 

 

After so long he had finally received what he wanted and the bliss from it was inexplicable. He remembered the words of his mother. "Good things come to those who wait" and oh, how true that was. 

 

Bucky kissed the side of your head while rubbing your back. With an unabashed smile, he told you what you wanted to hear.

 

"I love you more." 


"It's good to be back," Steve said. "It's been a while." 

 

"It's been more than just a while." You chuckled and Steve fell in love with your laugh all over again. 

 

"I guess it has." He said, burying his hands into his pockets. 

 

"Mommy, do you know Mr. Stranger?" Bella asked, tugging on your hand. 

 

You gave her a smile. "Sweetie, he's not a stranger. He's your Uncle Steve and Daddy's best friend." 

 

Bella furrowed her brows in confusion. "That's not him. He's supposed to be skinny and short." 

 

Steve laughs heartily. "That was me when I was a kid." He crouched down to her level. "I'm glad to know we're not strangers after all. It's very nice to meet you, Miss Bella." He offered his hand in a shake. 

 

Bella shakes his hand with a smile. "It's nice to meet you too, Uncle Steve!" 

 

Steve stood back up and gave you a smile. "Seems like Buck and you have been busy." 

 

"Ahh, yeah I guess we have." You replied sheepishly. 

 

"Got any others running around or…?" 

 

"No, no just one." You assured. "I don't know if I can handle more than one." 

 

"What are you doing out here anyway?" You asked him. "You do realize the party is over there?" 

 

Steve chuckled. "I know where the party is. I just wanted to be alone." 

 

"Since when did you become the loner type?" 

 

"Mommy, is it okay if I play over there?" Bella pointed towards a small patch of wildflowers nearby. 

 

"Alright, just don't wander off too far." You told her. She nodded running off. 

 

"She looks like Bucky," Steve noted. "But she acts like you." 

 

"Everyone says that, but I think she's a mix of both of us. She has his sense of adventure not to mention his stubbornness." 

 

You began to walk in the direction of the wildflowers with Steve by your side enjoying the summer day. 

 

"I didn't know you were back." You broke the silence between you. 

 

"I couldn't miss Becky's engagement. She'd kill me." 

 

You chuckled. "That's true. When did you come?" 

 

"Like two days ago." 

 

"Why didn't you tell us?" You asked.

 

"I just didn't want to be a bother." He shrugged. 

 

"What's with the formality? You know you'll never be a bother to us." You turned to him with a frown. "I'm guessing you didn't even tell Bucky when you were coming, did you? 

 

"Well, I -uh- no." He replied. 

 

"He's not going to like that." You said. "He's gonna  pound you and I'm going to let him." 

 

"You're still as mean as ever." 

 

"Only to you, Stevie." You teased, earning a chuckle from him. 

 

"Where's Bucky anyway?" 

 

"He's out there somewhere. We were both looking for Bella. She has a habit of running off. Poor guy's probably still looking for her." 

 

"You're not even gonna tell him you found her?" He asked bemused. 

 

"It's good to keep him busy." You stated, making Steve chuckle again. You really did miss hearing his voice. 

 

"You look good, doll." He complimented. 

 

You blushed in reply and he quickly tried to explain. "I mean that you look good in health, like happy." You didn't know how to reply to that and in turn, gave him a smile. 

 

"Bucky's treating you alright?" He asked. 

 

You nodded with a smile. "He treats me just fine." You replied in a slight hesitation. 

 

"Doll, did you find Bella?" A voice came from behind. 

 

You turned around to see Bucky walking up to you. 

 

"Steve! You punk!" He exclaimed. "When the hell did you get here?" 

 

"Nice to see you too, jerk." He walked up to Bucky to give him a hug. 

 

"Man, have I missed you." 

 

"Missed ya too, Buck," Steve replied. 

 

"You shaved the beard, that was the one good thing about you," Bucky said. 

 

"Ma kept on nagging me about shaving it, so I did it."  

 

"Did you find Bella?" Bucky asked you. 

 

"Yeah, she's over there playing." You pointed towards the small field. 

 

"And you didn't tell me?" Bucky asked. "I've been running around the entire party." 

 

"You need the exercise." 

 

Bucky rolled his eyes at you. "You're the worst." He replied and you stick out your tongue at him. Bucky chuckled as he pulled you into his side and gives you a kiss on the cheek. 

 

"So how long are you going to be around?" Bucky asked Steve. 

 

"Actually, I'm moving back. My old boss was begging me to come back and I just caved in." 

 

"You know Stevie, I'm really close to kicking your ass for not telling me anything, but Becky doesn't want a fight at her party." 

 

"And for that, I am eternally grateful." He replied. 

 

"Daddy, look what I found!" Bella exclaimed, running up to the three with a caterpillar in her hand. 

 

"That is so cool!" Bucky said, crouching down to her level. 

 

"Eww, Bella, let go of that thing." You grimaced at the bug. 

 

"Can I keep it?" She said. "I wanna see it turn into a butterfly." 

 

"No, it's disgusting." You replied. 

 

"Come on, doll." Steve chuckled. "It's just a caterpillar." 

 

"It's ugly." You deadpanned. 

 

"It's beautiful!" Bella counteracted. "Daddy, can I keep it?" 

 

"Of course, princess." He said, picking her up. 

 

"Mommy, look at the colors." 

 

"No, I'm okay." You looked away. 

 

"Oh stop being such a scaredy-cat." Bucky rolled his eyes while pulling Bella's hand with the caterpillar towards you. 

 

You jumped back just a little making the pair laugh. "Bucky, I'm going to kill you." You glared at him. 

 

Bucky chuckled. "Bella, did you meet Uncle Steve?" 

 

"I did, he's really cool." Steve chuckled at her. "Except he doesn't believe in fairies." 

 

"Well, that's a shame." Bucky shook his head. 

 

"You believe in fairies, Buck?" Steve asked, amused. 

 

"I do." He grinned, pulling you to him. "I've got two right here." 

 

You rolled your eyes while Bella giggled in his arms. "You're unbearable."  

 

"And yet you still love me," Bucky stated. 

 

"Unfortunately I do." You replied with a chuckle and Steve's heart breaks just a little. 

 

Steve smiled at you all. "You did it, Buck." He said and Bucky looks over to him. "You got what you wanted." 

 

Bucky gave him a lopsided smile, bringing you close to him with Bella resting her head on his shoulder. "I guess I did." 

 

You smiled at Bucky but felt sympathy for Steve. You could sense the brokenness in his words. He was aching and the guilt within you was beyond compare. 

 

"I'm happy for you." He smiled. "You deserve it." 

 

"Thanks, Stevie," Bucky replied. "You can have it too." 

 

Steve chuckled with his cheeks tinting a light pink. "Maybe someday." 

 

"Boss, Becky's looking for you everywhere. She's not happy." Clint ran up to them. "Hey, Steve. Good to see ya!" 

 

"You too." Steve smiled. 

 

"Hey Steve, come over sometime so we can catch up," Bucky suggested, turning to leave. 

 

"Sure, just give me a call whenever you're free." 

 

Bucky gives him a nod. "Bye Uncle Steve!" Bella waved to him and he returned the gesture.

 

"See ya later, Stevie." You chuckled. "Maybe we can play chess when you come over?" 

 

"I'd love too." He smiled with a twinkle in his eyes. 

 

The small family walked towards the party. You face twisted into a grimace as Bella brought the caterpillar in her hand closer to you making Bucky laugh. Steve gazed at your cute family wishing for something he couldn't have. His eyes lingered at how perfect your hand looked intertwined with Bucky's, wishing he was the one to hold it.  

Chapter Text

“Doll, are you done yet?” Bucky asked from the bottom of the stairs, hoping his voice would reach you. “The party’s gonna be over by the time we get there.” 

 

He rolled his eyes when he didn’t get a reply as he puts on his favorite watch, a Rolex you had gotten him for his birthday a year ago. Bucky was about to run up the steps until his daughter called him. 

 

“Daddy! Watch out.” Bella exclaimed with a Nerf gun in hand, running towards him. He raises a brow as a styrofoam dart hits him on the chest. Realizing what was happening he falls at the feet of the steps with a dramatic groan. 

 

“No!” He wailed. “I’ve been shot!” 

 

Steve comes out from his hiding spot and gives him an evil smirk. He puts his gun straight up and blows away the imaginary smoke from the muzzle of his Nerf gun. “That was easy as pie.” 

 

“No! Daddy, speak to me!” Bella said, shaking him. 

 

“Tell mommy I love her.” He whispered, before turning his head to the side pretending he was dead.

 

“You won’t get away with that!” Bella said, taking the gun into her little hands. 

 

“I already did, princess.” Steve grinned. “What’re you gonna do about it?” 

 

“This!” She said shooting him with all the darts in her gun. 

 

Steve took each hit with a dramatic groan and fell to the floor. “Oh, you’ve got me!” He clutched his chest. “But this isn’t the end.” He pointed at her, before dropping his head against the floor with a thud. 

 

You walk down the steps in confusion from the scene in front of you. “What happened here?” 

 

“Mommy! You missed all the action!” Bella informed you. “Uncle Steve killed Daddy so I killed him.” 

 

“Oh my God, poor Uncle Steve.” You shake your head earning a chuckle from Steve as he got up. 

 

“Hey, what about me?” Bucky turned to look at you. 

 

“It was nice knowing you.” You shrugged, trying to put an earring on. 

 

“You’re horrible.” Bucky deadpanned and you stuck at your tongue out at him. “Nice to know you’ve decided to come downstairs.”

 

“I was getting ready.” You said, putting your other earring on. “There’s a lot more to it than just wearing a suit.” 

 

“I’m going to stop this argument right here because I know I’m going to lose,” Bucky stated. 

 

You give him a smile. “You’re such a smart boy.” You praised him, turning towards Steve. “Are you sure you can take care of Bella? I can always just stay at home.”

 

You were invited to the mayor’s birthday party and Bella’s usual babysitter had to cancel due to personal reasons. Steve had come to drop off some papers for Bucky when you got the call and had volunteered to babysit her for the night. 

 

“Nah, doll, I think I can handle it,” Steve said, ruffling Bella’s hair. “How much trouble can she be?” 

 

“A lot.” You assured.

 

“If Stevie thinks he can do it then why not let him?” Bucky asked, wrapping an arm around your waist. 

 

“I’m trying to be considerate here unlike you.” You replied. 

 

“C’mon, baby, he’ll be fine,” Bucky assured. “Now let’s go, we’re gonna get late.” 

 

“Daddy, why do you keep calling mommy a baby?” Bella asked. “She’s not a baby.” 

 

“Uhh,” Bucky looked at her dumbfounded, making you chuckle. 

 

“Well, Daddy?” You asked with a grin. 

 

Steve chuckles while picking her up. “It’s complicated, Bella, you wouldn’t understand.” She pouted at his answer. 

 

“Alright, Bella, promise me you’ll be good?” You asked her, taking her hand in yours.

 

“I will Mommy, I promise.” You smile giving her hand a kiss. 

 

“See you later, princess,” Bucky said, giving her a kiss on the cheek. 

 

“Aren’t you guys getting late?” Steve asked, shooing them out. “Leave, already.” 

 

“I can’t believe I’m getting kicked out of my own house,” Bucky said, pulling you out the door behind him. 

 

“We’ve got a very fun night planned and you’re wasting our time,” Steve said, making Bella chuckle. 

 

“Alright, have fun you two.” You wished. “Bedtime is eight!” 

 

“Nine?” Bella asked. 

 

“Eight! Sharp!” You stated. 

 

“She’s no fun,” Steve said. 

 

“I heard that Stevie.” 


 

"Daaaaaad," you groaned while walking in the hallway of the Grand Hotel towards the ballroom. 

 

"What? I didn't say anything wrong." Bruce chuckled with you clinging to his arm. 

 

"Well first off, stop referring to him as the 'mob king'." 

 

"If that's what he is, I don't see why I can't." Bruce shrugged. 

 

"He has a name. You can call him James or Bucky."

 

"I think I'll stick to James. I'm an authoritative figure here and I'm trying to scare the boy." 

 

"Daddy, please be nice. For me?" You pleaded, stopping him in his path. 

 

Bruce chuckles at your frustration with a shake of his head. "You really like this boy, don't you sweetheart?" 

 

A blush creeps onto your cheeks and you give him a small smile. "I do. He's really nice and sweet. He's not as bad as people put him out to be. If you give him the chance I know he'll prove himself." 

 

Bruce looked into your (e/c) eyes unable to stop a smile from coming on to his face. He loved you and he only wanted the best, but he couldn't understand how a mob man was what you wanted. No matter what anyone said about Bucky, his lifestyle was wrong and the last thing Bruce wanted was for you to be in such a dangerous environment. With just one look into your eyes, he knew this more than just a temporary attraction, you were in love with the man and he feared that more than anything. Nevertheless, he was your father and all he ever wanted was the best for you. If this was what you wanted he could give it a try. 

 

"Alright," Bruce sighed. "I will be as civil as possible." 

 

You give him a kiss on the cheek with a smile. "Thank you." 

 

"Shall we go now? The mob king awaits our presence."

 

"Dad!" 

 

-

 

"Calm down, Buck," Steve said. 

 

"I don't know what you're talking about, Stevie, I'm perfectly calm," Bucky replied confidently but his composure stated otherwise. The drink in his hand was shaking just a little. 

 

"Doesn't seem like it." Steve chuckled and Bucky grunted in response. "Come on, it's just your girlfriend's dad. There's nothing to be afraid about, just act normal." 

 

"What if I mess up?" He asked. "He's the smartest guy in the world. What if I say something extremely stupid?" 

 

"You won't," Steve assured taking a sip of his drink. "Just don't be an idiot." 

 

"Thanks, Captain Obvious, I didn't know that." 

 

"You're welcome Sailor Sarcasm." Steve chuckled at his own reply with Bucky groaning into his glass. 

 

"This is the reason why you're still single." Bucky jabbed at him. 

 

"Really? You just had to go there didn't you?" Steve pouted then looked over Bucky's shoulder to see Bruce and you entering the room. He quickly tapped Bucky on the shoulder. "Father-in-law at 6 o'clock." 

 

Bucky turned to see you then quickly turned back. "Dammit, I can't do this." He cursed. 

 

"Yes, you can." Steve pumped him up. "You got this in the bag, man." 

 

"Yeah, you're right," Bucky said standing tall. "I got this." He fixed his suit and swiped his hand through his hair. "How do I look?" 

 

"Great," Steve smiled. "What are you wearing?" 

 

"Armani," Bucky smirked as he turned towards your direction. 

 

"Aren't you classy?" Steve chuckled. "You better introduce me when you're done or I will come to embarrass you." 

 

"Do that and see what happens." Bucky chuckled while walking towards you. 

 

Bucky finds Bruce and you standing near the door of the ballroom. He lets out a deep sigh and fixes his tie before walking up to you. 

 

"Sweetheart, I'm so glad you could make it." He flashed his most perfect smile. 

 

You smiled at him, letting go of your father's arm to give him a hug. Bucky gives you a kiss on the cheek.

 

"Dr. Banner, it's so nice to finally meet you." Bucky extends his hand. 

 

Bruce takes his hand in a shake. "As am I, James." He gives him a smile. 

 

"Dr. Banner," a man came from the side. "I didn't know you'd be here." 

 

"Charles Xavier!" Bruce exclaimed. "It's been a long time, my friend." He gave the man a hug. 

 

"Is this little [Y/N]?" Charles asked. 

 

Bruce chuckled. "It is. Although she's not very little anymore." You gave the man a wave unsure of who he was. 

 

"You probably don't remember me, but I used to work with your father when you were young," Charles informed. "You were this tall." He said, putting his hand to his knee. "And used to cling to your dad's leg. You didn't let him work at all." He chuckled. 

 

Bucky looked over to you with a chuckle. "Is that true?" 

 

"I do remember not letting him work." You replied with a sheepish smile. "I used to color all over his lab reports." 

 

"I think I cried when you did that." Bruce teased. 

 

"Oh stop." You rolled your eyes.

 

“I just remembered,” Charles said. “I read your latest work on anti-electron collisions and I have some questions.” 

 

“Humor me, Charles.” Bruce chuckled. The two scientists began a rousing discussion about electrons and positrons and things that just made your head spin.

 

"Wanna skip the lecture and get a drink?" Bucky whispered into your ear. You nodded with a giggle leaving the scientists alone. Bucky ordered two drinks at the bar while sneaking glances your way. You were wearing a dress he bought you. It was a perfect fit and accented your curves in just the right places. 

 

His lips curled into a pompous grin knowing that you belonged to him. Having you right by his side in a room full of meticulous eyes etched his pride in just the right way. You were his and he was going to make sure everyone knew that.  

 

"You know doll, you look amazing." Bucky complimented. "Chanel is such a good look on you." 

 

"I guess I have one Bucky Barnes to thank for that." 

 

He pulls you closer to him, bringing his lips to your ear. "I wonder how amazing it would look on my floor." He whispered with a mischievous grin. 

 

You give him a sultry smile contrasting with the red blush scattered on your cheeks. You bite your lip seductively just so he could see what he was missing out on, tugging him closer to you by his tie. 

 

"And I'd love to have you take it off of me." You whisper into his ear. Your hot breath tickling his ear and voice laced with desire. 

 

The tips of Bucky's ear turn bright red as electricity zips through every part of his body. He remains calm, trying his best to conceal the frantic state you had put him in. 

 

Bucky chuckles, his voice deep and eyes filling with desire. "Baby, are you blatantly flirting with me in a room of thousands of people? That's so unlike you." 

 

You smile, fixing his tie with your fingers lingering on his chest longer than they should be. "I don't know I think it's the dress." You smile. 

 

He wraps an arm around your waist pushing you up against him. "Then maybe I should buy dresses for you more often.” 

 

“Am I disturbing you guys?” Steve asks walking up to the two of you. 

 

“Steve,” Bucky smiled. “I want you to meet, [Y/N].” 

 

“Hi, it’s so nice to meet you.” You said, extending your hand to shake his. "Bucky's told me a lot about you." 

 

Steve shakes your hand. "Hopefully, not everything." He said with a golden smile. 

 

“Just the really embarrassing stuff.” Bucky pointed out. 

 

“Aww come on, Buck!” Steve frowned. 

 

“He’s just joking,” You laughed, holding onto his arm. 

 

“Doubt it,” Steve groaned.

 

“Okay, maybe just one or two stories.” You confessed. 

 

“I guess I’m gonna have to get back at him.” Steve proposed with a sinister smile. “I’ve got a book full of stories that Buck doesn’t want you to know.” 

 

“I do enjoy books,” You chuckled. 

 

“Well, this one isn’t published and is completely off-limits,” Bucky stated. 

 

“Come on, Buck, scared [Y/N]’ll think you’re a loser?” 

 

“Oh, I already know that.” You replied. “That’s old news.”  Steve chuckled and Bucky pouted. “Don’t worry, I still love you.” You gave Bucky a kiss on the cheek making him chuckle quietly. He held you close to him, looking into your eyes with his own filled with affection and admiration.

 

A small smile formed on Steve’s face at the sight of the couple. He was happy for Bucky, he knew of the hardships he faced, and how he wasn’t able to escape the way he had. Bucky was a good man on the inside, Steve knew this, but it wasn’t enough to quell the guilt rising from the pit of his stomach and traveling up his throat. A bad taste formed in his mouth, sour and bitter. Steve was ashamed for knowing a truth that would never come to light. You were in the dark, blinded by the man you loved with all your heart. He looked at Bucky, smiling at you, whispering sweet words into your ear that made you blush. He looked at him with contempt and disgust, astounded by the lengths he had gone to claim you and how shameless he was for killing Tony. Steve’s insides were screaming to tell you what he did, to stop all of it before it got worse, but he couldn’t. One look at you, standing there in a blissful state of being, he knew he couldn’t ruin that. He couldn’t let that pretty smile fade. 

 

Steve hoped that it’d always be like this. He prayed you’d never learn the truth and stay stuck in your dark paradise. 


 

You look around the room filled with people to the corners looking for Bucky who had disappeared into a crowd of politicians. 

 

“[Y/N], is that you?” You turn to see Maria standing behind you with a tender smile on her face.

 

You smile at her. It had been so long since you met her, ever since Tony had passed. “Maria, it’s been so long.” You gave her a hug and she still smelled like cherry blossoms. You part to get a good look at her. Her hair was still blonde with errant strands of white here and there with wrinkles formed on her once-perfect skin.

 

“It has,” She smiled. “My just look at you.” She pushed you back just a little to take a look at your dress. “You look so beautiful.” 

 

“Not as beautiful as you, of course.” You complimented. 

 

“Oh stop,” she chuckled. “There’s no need to flatter an old lady like me.” 

 

“No need to flatter if it’s true.” You countered, making her chuckle.

 

“I heard you had settled down with a nice young man." 

 

"Oh, yes." you smiled sheepishly. "He's around here somewhere."

 

“Oh my,” Maria brought her hand to her cheek. “Time just flies by, doesn’t it?” You nodded with a smile. “I’m so proud of you, [Y/N]. You don’t know how proud I am of you. After everything with Tony, I always worried about you, but seeing you happy makes me so relieved.” She said sweetly. 

 

Your heart drops at the mention of Tony’s name. You had buried that name a long time ago, trying to keep the ache that came from it far from you as possible. But just one mention of his name had you reeling into the past. 

 

“There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t remember him.” She said, her eyes glossing over. “His silly jokes and cheeky laughs. They’re always in the back of my head.” 

 

There’s a lump in your throat that’s stopping you from talking or consoling her. You’re ridden with guilt and unable to look at her. It was all your fault that her son was gone.

 

“I’m sorry, I get all teary-eyed so fast.” She lets out a quiet chuckle. 

 

“No, it’s fine.” You gave her a small smile. “I miss him too, I always think about how things would be if he was still here. Tony's not someone you can just forget. He's special in that way." 

 

"Darling, I've been looking everywhere for you," Bucky said, wrapping an arm around your waist. You groaned internally, wishing he wasn't. 

 

"Maria, this is my husband, James." You introduced with a smile, uncomfortable on the inside.

 

"It's nice to meet you," he said, with a smile and offering his hand. 

 

She shook his hand with a warm smile. "It's my pleasure. You two make such a lovely couple." She complimented and you want to scream at the top of your lungs. 

 

"Thank you," Bucky replied. "Although I think it's only lovely because of [Y/N]." He looked over at you with a smile. 

 

"You're too much at times." You shake your head. 

 

"I'm sorry if I like to compliment my wife," Bucky said with a chuckle. 

 

"It's a good thing, [Y/N] so just let him." Maria winked, unaware of who she was siding with. 

 

You smiled with a nod. It was the only thing you were able to do. 

 

"It thinks it's time we go now," Bucky told you. "Bella's probably driving Steve up a wall. 

 

"You're right." You replied, wanting to escape. "It's getting late. It was nice meeting you again, Maria." 

 

"The same here." She said with a gentle smile. "Don't be a stranger now, okay? You're a part of our family." 

 

You gave her a simple nod, trying your best not to break in front of her. It was so damn hard to keep it all together. You say your final goodbyes and Bucky leads you out towards the car. The mayor's mountain house or mansion was absolutely gorgeous but the ride home was going to be painstakingly long. 

 

The minute you took a seat in the car, a sense of relief washed over you, but it didn't stop the increasing guilt from bubbling within you. What happened to Tony wasn't your fault, but marrying the man who killed him tore you apart completely. To see Maria again still mourning the loss of her only son only increased your guilt tenfold. You were disgusted by yourself and how you tried to bury it all. How you tried to deny the cold hard facts and tried to create a happy, functional family that was only built on the blood of another. 

 

"What's wrong?" Bucky asked, noticing your tense state. 

 

“It’s nothing,” You sighed, looking out the window of the car. 

 

“Baby,” He whispered, reaching over to take your hand. You pull back and place your hands in your lap. Bucky was mildly offended by the gesture and looked at you completely confused. “Why can’t you tell me what’s wrong? What did I do this time?” 

 

You didn’t respond only making him even more frustrated. Your mind was racked with a million thoughts and a heavyweight of guilt and shame. You wanted to break down right there but remained composed. 

 

“[Y/N],” Bucky said firmly, forcibly taking your hand in his. “What’s wrong, baby? You know you can tell me anything.” 

 

You shake your head. No, you couldn’t. You couldn’t tell him everything. You couldn’t tell him about the unresolved feelings and thoughts you had buried seven feet under for so many years. The things that made your heart ache weren’t the things he wanted to know anything about. They weren’t the things he wanted to hear. 

 

“It’s nothing you need to worry about, Buck.” You said. 

 

“And why shouldn’t I?” He asked, his once tender voice bordering irritation. “Shouldn’t I worry if my wife’s upset? All I wanna do is help.” 

 

“It’s nothing, Buck.” 

 

Bucky huffed, keeping his eyes on the road ahead. “I just don’t get you, [Y/N].” he said. “Some days you’re fine and other days you mope around all teary-eyed and then when I ask you what’s wrong you push me away. I’m fucking sick of it. How am I gonna help you if I don’t know what the problem is?” 

 

“You’re the problem,” You dropped on him. 

 

“What the hell did I do?” he asked indignantly. 

 

You shake your head, tears brimming at your eyes. You weren’t going to cry, it was useless. “I just don’t know how you do it.” 

 

“Do what?” He asked. You take a breath looking out the window trying to keep your tears at bay. Bucky pulled on your hand, making you look at him. “What did I do?” 

 

You squirm out of his touch with a sigh. You didn’t want to go down this path. You knew exactly where it was going to lead, but you had no other option. It was the path you chose. 

 

“How you can talk to her so easily.” You said, looking away. “As if you didn’t kill her son.” 

 

Bucky grunted with a fire rising from within him. “That’s what you’re crying about?” He asked indifferently. “After all this fucking time, you’re still stuck on him? Why can’t you forget him?” 

 

“How could I forget him?” You asked, boldly. “I’ll never forget him after what you did to him and seeing you there, standing in front of her acting like a saint, pretending you weren’t the one that took her boy away from her when he did nothing wrong. It’s disgusting.” You spat. “You’re disgusting.” 

 

“And you aren’t?” He asked. “Standing in front of her acting like none of it had anything to do with you. You’re not an angel either, [Y/N].” Bucky hissed. “You’re a damn whore, loving a dead man that isn’t your husband!” 

 

A dead man you took from me!” You shouted at him, tears falling from your eyes. “I loved Tony and you took him from me! What the hell did he ever do to you? Why the hell did you kill him when he was so young with so much ahead of him?" You sobbed. 

 

“Because he took you from me!” He shouted, hitting the wheel with his palm. “You were mine and he took you away!” 

 

You looked at him incredulously. “I was never yours.” You stated firmly. “I chose to be with him. I chose him over you.” Bucky snapped his head towards you with fury in his eyes. “I loved Tony and I still do and there’s nothing in this damn world that’ll ever change that! I’d never love you, you’re nothing but a monster!” 

 

Bucky remains silent, his foot pressed on the race pedal to increase the speed of the car. You look at him through glossy eyes, completely puzzled. He doesn’t slow down, only increasing until the speedometer begins to read above eighty. The faint light of two headlights shines in your direction a few miles away. 

 

“What the hell are you doing?” You asked, completely terrified. 

 

“You love your damn Tony so much then why don’t you go meet him?” Bucky sneered, his face twisted in a snarl. “Who knows, maybe I’ll go to hell for killing the bitch? You’d like that wouldn’t you?” He asked, his foot pressed hard against the gas pedal. 

 

The two headlights formed into a truck coming in your direction in the opposing lane and Bucky swerves towards it. Your heart drops in fear at the sight of the truck. Your blood runs cold and mind black as the lights blind your eyes. The only thing you could think of was your little girl and how you didn’t want her to be alone. It’s only until the truck driver honks his horn in a frantic state that you take action. Quickly, you take hold of the wheel and use all of your might to turn the wheel towards you. The truck barely misses the car and you could hear the car swiping against the truck on Bucky’s side. The truck passes by as the car is still speeding down the street. You sit back with a deep sigh, stuck in frenzied exhaustion after what just happened. 

 

Bucky stopped the car, his jaw clenched with dark eyes filled with anger. Your heart is beating wildly as he gets out of the car. He slams the door on his side and walks over to yours, opening the door. You look at him with apparent fear in your eyes of what he would do. 

 

“Get out,” He growled lowly. You stay still, too scared to move. He pulls you out forcefully by the wrist. 

 

“Let go of me!” You shouted as he opened the back door of the car. He throws you inside, twisting your wrist roughly making you yelp in pain. You fall onto the back seat of the car, looking up at Bucky. 

 

His expression was dark, his eyes cold as his hands went down to the buckle of his belt. 

 

“Bucky, please.” You whispered. 

 

He takes your face into his hand, bringing it to him. “Don’t tell me what to do, bitch.” He snarled at you, throwing you back onto the cold leather of the car. “Gonna teach you who you belong to. Gonna remind you who your husband is. That you’re my fucking whore and nobody else’s." 

Chapter Text

“He will come for me and then we will be gone, and you will be helpless for all your hunting, because Westley and I are joined by the bonds of love and you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds, and you cannot break that, not with a thousand swords.” 

 

Steve read to Bella while sitting on top of the bed with her snuggled in between her light pink cotton duvet and plush pillows. They were reading The Princess Bride together until a pressing thought came to Bella’s ingenious mind. 

 

“Uncle Steve,” 

 

“Hmm?” He stopped reading to answer. 

 

Bella looked up at him, with her favorite teddy wrapped in her arm. “I’m scared.” She mumbled.

 

Steve gave her a quizzical look. “Of what?” 

 

The little girl fidgeted in her bed to sit up. She remained silent, looking down into her lap. 

 

“Bella,” Steve said softly. “What are you scared of?” 

 

“I’m scared about Mommy and Daddy.” 

 

Steve smiled. “Don’t worry they’ll be home soon.” 

 

She shakes her head. “That’s not what I mean.” Steve furrows his brow. “I’m scared they might not love each other anymore.” 

 

“What makes you say that?” He closes the book. 

 

“They always fight.” She told him and Steve felt a pang in his chest. “They don’t know I know but I know.” 

 

Steve takes Bella and sits her in his lap. “It’s gonna be alright, Bell,” Steve assured. “Sometimes grown-ups get into fights too, the same way kids do.” 

 

“But why my Mommy and Daddy?” She asked. “I don’t like it when they fight.” 

 

Steve struggled to find the right words and how to explain such a complex situation to a child who shouldn’t have to know anything about. “Nobody likes to fight, sweetheart, but sometimes people get angry even with the people they love. Sometimes it’s because they do something we don’t like or makes us upset, but they always make up in the end.” 

 

“But sometimes Daddy makes Mommy cry.” Steve’s heart breaks at her words. “Sometimes she sits in her room and cries for a long time.” Tears start to form in her eyes as she sits up in his lap, looking towards him. “I don’t like it when Mommy cries, it makes me wanna cry.” Steve quickly wraps her in his arms as her tears slowly start to drop onto his shoulder. “I want Mommy to always be happy.” She murmurs against his shoulder. 

 

“Me too, sweetheart,” Steve says, rubbing her back, trying to fight his own tears from forming. 

 

“What if Daddy and Mommy hate each other and then leave?” She asks in a panic. “I don’t want them to leave. I want Mommy and Daddy to always love each other. I want them to stay with me forever. Uncle Steve, I don’t want them to go away.” She cried. 

 

Steve wiped her tears away, making sure they wouldn’t fall too far. “They won’t do that.” He assured. “They love you, I know they do, and they’d never leave you, not in a million years. Everything is gonna be fine, okay?” He said, with a soft smile as she sniffled. Steve brought her back into a hug, his strong and warm arms reminded Bella of her daddy.  

 

“You promise?” She asked.

 

“I promise,” He said, rubbing her back. “They love you very much and nothing’s going to change that.” 

 

She nuzzles her face into his neck, drifting off into sleep. Steve sits there until he knows she’s asleep. He places her on the bed, tucking her in the blankets then gently pushes the free strands of hair from her face. He places a kiss on her forehead and stayed a little longer looking, admiring, thinking what wouldn’t he do to have a precious little girl like her. 


 

"I hope you're enjoying yourself." Bucky walks up to Bruce who was standing near the glass walls with the view of the city in front of him and a little far off from the rest of the crowd. 

 

Becca had dragged you away to meet her friends leaving Bruce alone and truth be told, he wasn't all too excited to have his fated conversation with the mob king. 

 

"I am," he replied, politely. "You sure do know a lot of people." 

 

"Not really me," Bucky explained. "Most of them are my mother's guests. I think she invited half of New York." 

 

"Just half?" Bruce asked, earning him a chuckle from the young man. 

 

The two men stood together in complete silence while the rest of the room engaged in playful banter and heated debates. In all honesty, neither of them wanted to talk to the other. The reason for Bucky being he felt absolutely awkward about how to go about conversing with his girlfriend's parent. He never had to worry about it before, making it all very new for him. Not to mention he was trying to impress. Bruce, on the other hand, found nothing appealing in befriending a mob man and wasn't afraid of showing his blatant distaste towards the man. 

 

“I guess I'll approach the elephant in the room." Bruce breaks the silence and Bucky wishes he wouldn't. "The truth of the matter is,” Bruce said, “I don’t trust you and I don't like you with my daughter.” 

 

Bucky looks down into his cup, dismayed and a bit annoyed. He knew it was going to be like this. 

 

“The life you lead isn’t the life I want for her,” Bruce said. “I don’t want her to be stuck in gang wars and whatever the hell it is that you do. I don't want her going to sleep at night fearing she's going to be dead in the morning. I want her to be happy and safe.” 

 

“I will keep her happy,” Bucky said earnestly. “And I’ll protect her with my own life.” 

 

Bruce remained silent, but his facial expression was enough to say he wasn’t fully convinced. Words were easy to come by and he knew men like him were good with their words. 

 

“I love her, every part of her, and there’s nothing in this world that will change that,” Bucky told him. “Before her, I didn’t really have much to live for. Even with all that I have, it wasn’t what I wanted and I didn’t know what was missing until I met [Y/N].” 

 

"I'll give her every joy this world has to offer and I'll give up my own life to save her." He said, firmly and Bruce could see the fire in his eyes. "I'm not saying this for you to like me or impress you. Cause whether you like it or not, I love her and I know she loves me, and as long as I'm with her I'll promise to give her only the best." 

 

An uncomfortable silence settles between the two men and Bucky feels like an idiot for what he said. What did he mean by 'whether you like it or not'? Was he threatening your father? That was not the path he was trying to go on. God, did he feel like an idiot and was close to jumping off the balcony if it wasn't for Bruce's quiet chuckling. 

 

Bucky looked at the older man with a raised brow completely confused. "You know I never expected the mob king to be such a romantic." Bruce chuckled. "Sorry, I'm not allowed to call you that, [Y/N]'s going to kill me." 

 

"What about me?" You asked walking up to the two. 

 

"It's nothing," Bruce replies. You hook your arms around your father's and give him a smile. 

 

"Well, what do you think about him?" You asked Bruce. Bucky was still dumbfounded by it all. 

 

Bruce looks at you with a smile and turns to Bucky, who gulps in embarrassment. Bruce smirks while looking back at you. 

 

"He's not so bad."


 

Steve descended down the staircase in deep thought until he hears the door open and sees you walk in. You look up at him, perfect as usual with a warm smile on your face, but there’s something off about you and he knows something must have happened. 

 

“You’re back,” he smiles as comes down towards you. “Where’s Buck?” 

 

“He got a call and had to leave,” you informed. “Was everything alright with Bella?” 

 

“She was great. You don’t give her enough credit.” 

 

“I guess she just really likes you. Ever consider giving up law to babysit?” 

 

“After the great night I had I might just do that,” Steve said. “Not as stressful and way less paperwork.” 

 

You chuckle and it all seems so forced to him. “Do you want coffee or something?” 

 

“Sure,” he nodded, following you to the kitchen. He shouldn’t have been drinking coffee so late at night, but he needed a reason to stay. Just long enough for him to know what was wrong. 

 

You start up the coffee machine and Steve notices how you’re only using your left hand to reach for the mugs and take out the creamer. You make small talk with him and he only replies in curt sentences, too busy watching your every move. It’s only until the loose right sleeve of your dress rides up your arm does he realize what happened. The skin around your wrist was puffy and light purple. 

 

“Doll, what happened to your hand?” He asked, worried. You quickly pull the sleeve of your dress over it. 

 

“It’s nothing,” You replied. “I was just being careless and got myself hurt.” 

 

“Let me see it,”

 

“It’s fine, Steve, really.” You assured, but he refused to listen. He took your hand and held it gently in his as he pulls up the sleeve of your dress to reveal a purple swelling on your wrist. You look away ashamed by it as Steve brushes his fingers over it.

 

“Did Bucky do this?” He asked and you remained silent. “[Y/N],” He stated firmly. “Did that bastard do this to you?" He asked, his voice laced in anger. 

 

You turned to him, looking into his pleading blue eyes and gave him an embarrassed and hesitant nod. You started to cry and Steve quickly took you into his arms. Your eyes were pressed against the soft cotton of his sweater now soaking with your tears and muffling your quiet sobs.

 

“Where else did he hurt you?” He asked, but you didn’t reply, too ashamed and disgusted by the feeling in the lower half of your body.  “Doll,” He lifted your face up by the chin. “What did he do to you?” You bite the inside of your lip and turn away from him. You couldn’t say it, but he figured it all out. 

 

Not that. Anything but that. Steve didn't want to believe it. He didn't want to believe Bucky would do that, he’d never degrade you to such a level. He’d never take you against your will or so he had thought. Steve’s blood begins to boil in his veins. 

 

"Come on, we're leaving." He said, taking you by your normal hand. “You and Bella are coming with me.” 

 

"No, Steve, I can't." You stated. 

 

"What do you mean you can't?" Steve turned shocked by your words. "There's nothing left for you here." 

 

"I just can't." You said. "I can't do that Bella. I can't break her heart like that." 

 

"I know  he's her dad and she loves him, but she can't live in a house like this." Steve tried to persuade you. "If he hurt you today, what's to say he won’t hurt her tomorrow?" 

 

"He won't." You shake your head. "I know he won't. He'd never hurt her." 

 

Steve huffs in irritation. "I don't believe you. He will do it and how long are you going to let him do what he wants?" He asked. "How long are you gonna live your life like this?" 

 

"As long as I have to for Bella. I'll do it all for her." You said, making his heart swell. A mother's love was something he could never understand, but something he knew all too well. 

 

"Doll, it doesn't have to be like this," Steve said in a tender tone, cupping your face in his soft hands. "If you give me the chance I promise I'll keep you happy. I'll take you wherever you wanna go. Bella and you, I'll take care of the both of you, but you just gotta let me in. You gotta let me help you." 

 

"I can't," you reiterate. "Don't you know why I told you to leave?" You asked. "I wanted you to get out of all this. I wanted you to live a good life and be the good man you wanted to be. So why would you come back?" 

 

"Because I couldn't forget you." He said, wiping the tears from your eyes. "There wasn't a day that went by where I didn't think about you. It killed me knowing that I left you here all alone to suffer." Steve's eyes gloss over and his voice hitches in his throat. "I'm not a good man and I don't care if I'm not, because what matters the most to me is you." 

 

You shake your head in denial, not wanting to hear another word. You knew what he was going to say and it was wrong. No matter what anyone did to you, it was wrong.

 

"I love you, [Y/N]," he tucks a strand of hair behind your ear. "I love you more than anything and seeing you suffer like this breaks my heart and I can't take it anymore. I can't let him do this to you anymore."

 

"But what makes you think we'll get away?" You asked, doubtfully. "He's going to find us and when he does he's going to take you from me, the same way he took Tony," you said, clutching onto his shirt. "And I can't let that happen. I can't make the same mistake again. I can't lose you the same way I lost him. I just can't." You sobbed into his chest and Steve's arms around you tighten. 

 

You felt safe in his arms as if nothing in the world could ever hurt you again. He was like a chivalrous knight, sworn to protect you. Your very own Westley promising to love you for all the days of his life. But there was still an over looming sense of danger, a foreboding omen warning you of the threat that was yet to come. 

 

"You'll never lose me," Steve assured, kissing the top of your head. "Not now, not ever. I'm here now and there's nothing in this world that'll take me from you. I'm not gonna let that son of a bitch hurt you anymore." He lifts your head, wiping the tears from your face. "I'm gonna get you out of this, I promise."  

 

You let Steve comfort you by caressing your hair and whispering into your ear, but his words only reached your ears and nothing else. You knew with everything inside of you, Bucky wasn't going to let you go, and if anything were to come in between the two of you he'd make sure to take care of it permanently. 

 

You let Steve tell you all the things he wanted to say, but they didn't touch your heart. You weren't going to let him in, you weren't going to put him in such a vulnerable position. Steve only meant the best for you, and you knew his love was pure and unconditional, but you couldn't risk it. You couldn't risk losing him too. You were determined to protect him and if that meant to spend the rest of your life with Bucky then so be it. 

 

You hear the front door open and part from Steve, much to his chagrin. You turn towards the kitchen sink, fixing yourself before Bucky came in. Steve picks up his forgotten cup and takes a sip of lukewarm coffee just as Bucky enters the kitchen. 

 

"Steve," Bucky looked at him perplexed. "You're still here?" 

 

"Yeah," he chuckled. "I thought I'd stay until you got back." 

 

"Right," he replied. Bucky looks over to find you cleaning up the counter quietly. "Well, if you're here might as well have a drink with me." He smiled, grabbing two glasses and a bottle of Scotch.  

 

"Not tonight, Buck. I have work in the morning." 

 

"C'mon man, one drink won't kill ya." He urged making Steve cave in. 

 

"Fine," he caves in taking a seat on a stool near the kitchen island. 

 

Bucky hands him a drink and sits next to him. You walk past the two and Bucky catches you by the hand, pulling you back gently. He looks up at you, his eyes different than before, warm but sharp. 

 

“You okay?” He asked. You swallowed and nodded with a small smile. He pressed his lips against the back of your hand, making sure Steve could see then lets you go. 

 

“Goodnight,” you wished both of them before leaving the room. 

 

Steve sat with Bucky for another hour or so talking about the flow of business and politics, but his mind was elsewhere. He was disturbed with a sickening odium rising from within him towards the man he once called his best friend. Steve observed Bucky, guiltless and indifferent, with a shining wedding band on the fourth finger of his left hand that he didn’t deserve. He didn’t deserve you, he didn’t deserve Bella, he didn’t deserve any of the luxuries he had. He deserved to be destroyed and humiliated, to have all that he had stripped from him, and it took everything in Steve to not slug him right there and then. Steve’s grip on his knee tightened at the repulsive sight of the mob king which Bucky noticed but decided to ignore.

 

“I guess it’s time I go,” Steve said, standing up. “I’ve got appointments in the morning.” 

 

Bucky nods in agreement and walks with him to the door. Steve opens the door and walks out. 

 

“See ya later, Buck.” He said nonchalantly.

 

“See ya, Stevie.” He replied, digging his hands into the pockets of his pants. 

 

Steve begins to walk away until Bucky calls him back. 

 

“Steve,” Bucky states firmly, making the man turn and look at him. “You know I trust you.” 

 

Steve swallows, his eyes meeting the mob king’s cold ones, but he doesn’t waver and gives him an equally stern stare. Steve smiles with a quiet chuckle. 

 

“I know, Buck, I know you do.” 

Chapter Text

All my friends tell me I should move on, 

I’m lying in the ocean, singing your song.

Loving you forever can’t be wrong, 

Even though you’re not here, won't move on.


The sounds of loud thuds and dangling metal chains being jostled by punches resonated throughout the old gym. Bucky played with the punching bag in front of him with precision and power. He was all alone during the ungodly hours of the night with only the squeaking of his sneakers against the hardwood floor and the gentle pitter-patter of rain on the roof above cheering him to go on. 

 

He didn't quit, even with the beads of sweat forming on his forehead and low grunts that escaped his lips with every punch. His thoughts were muddled by the recent sequence of events with the same words repeating in his head. 

 

"I've never loved you." 

 

"You're nothing but a monster." 

 

His punches grew harder with the repetition of your voice in his head. His arms were growing tired, his knuckles becoming sore, but he let on restlessly like the rain falling above him. 

 

Bucky was angry to have fully loved when it was never returned. He wanted to believe he was just angry and nothing else, but the truth is, he was hurt beyond compare. He felt betrayed and broken. 

 

"You're nothing but a monster." 

 

He heard your voice with another following shortly after. 

 

"You're father would've been so proud of you." 

 

He slammed the bag harder. 

 

"You're gonna be a hero one day, son. You've got what it takes." 

 

That was a lie. A lie he had been fed for so many years. What did his father know about being a hero? All he knew was how to lie and cheat, swindle and kill, and he taught his son the same exact thing. 

 

How to be a liar, how to cheat others, and how to kill without feeling. But James Barnes was nothing like his father or so he had wanted to believe. 

 

"You're just like your father." 

 

His mother's voice echoed in his ears. He shook his head in denial. 

 

"When I grow up I wanna be just like my dad!" 

 

"You're my son and this is in your blood. This is what you were meant to do." 

 

"One day, Buck, you're gonna thank me for this, because all of this is for you. My firstborn. The heir to my success. So I'm gonna teach you all you need to know, so you'll be just like your old man." 

 

"I'm nothing like you!" He shouted, hitting the bag harder as thunder clapped through the storm. He gritted his teeth as his movements sped up in a fit of frenzied anger. 

 

"I'll never be anything like you!" He affirmed, hitting the bag with so much force that it popped off the hook and fell a few feet away. 

 

Bucky panted for air as he dropped to the ground, his knees hitting the floor hard. He looked down at his calloused hands, red from being tightly balled in fists for so long. His knuckles were stinging as blood began to seep through the pure white bandages wrapped around his hands. 

 

His hands shook as he looked down at them in disgust and glossy eyes. These were the hands that killed thousands. The same hands he held his baby girl in when she was born. The hands he used to hurt the woman he loved. Hot and heavy tears started to fall from his eyes onto his bloody hands. The grown man wept silently to himself, all alone with only the dim light above and the sound of hard rain as his companions. 

 

He was his father. As much as he hated to admit it, he had become everything he didn't want to be. He was just like his father. A chip off the old block. 

 


 

“Okay, Bella, now remember not to walk too fast when you go out there.” You reminded your daughter while pinning down the flower clips in her hair. 

 

“I know, Mommy.” 

 

“And make sure not to use all the flowers in the beginning. You need to leave some for the end.” 

 

“I know that too.” 

 

“And don’t forget-”

 

“Mommy! I know what I’m doing. We practiced, remember?” She huffed as the two of you were waiting in the back room of the church with the rest of the wedding party. 

 

You give her a roll of the eyes and an amused chuckle. “I just want to make sure you don’t forget.” You said fixing her shoulder-length brown curls. 

 

“I’m not stupid,” She mumbled. 

 

You laugh at her statement. “No, you are not.” You confirmed. "You're the smartest little girl I've ever met and I'm so glad to be your mommy." You said, tickling her stomach and making her laugh. 

 

Bella was extremely excited. Her favorite (and only) Auntie was getting married and she had the important job of being the lead flower girl. Just like her Aunt Becky she had to make sure everything was perfect. 

 

Becky was getting married, much to everyone's surprise and delight, well , almost everyone's delight. Bucky didn't really like the idea of his baby sister getting married because she was just that, his baby sister. No older brother liked the idea of some punk being married to their sister, but it was bound to happen one day and he was truly happy for her. Although he didn’t like to show it. 

 

Becca was marrying a brilliant young man, the heir to a wealthy insurance firm centralized in Manhattan, a suitable match for a bright actuary such as herself. She was head over heels in love with him, but Bucky didn’t see the appeal. The groom was a tall and lanky redhead by the name of Connor who looked like the kid that everyone bullied in high school who ended up being your boss. Connor was a total geek and the first time he met Bucky was rather terrifying for him, considering the brunette was taller than him with a body built to perfection. Bucky had a kick out of it and found it rather amusing. He wanted Connor to be intimidated, he wanted him to know just what he was getting into, and that the mob king’s baby sister wasn’t any other girl he could play with like a doll. 

 

"Is everyone ready?" Becca's best friend and maid of honor, Candy, asked. "Showtime's in fifteen minutes!" 

 

Bucky stood by the mother and daughter fixing his bowtie that had somehow come undone. You looked up at him as he huffed in annoyance. 

 

You stood up in front of him. "Here let me help." You said, taking it and tied into a bow. 

 

His hair was cut short for the wedding because of Becca’s constant nagging about not wanting her brother looking like a fugitive on her wedding day. You didn’t mind the short hair, it suited him well. It just threw you off at times since it hadn’t been so short for so long, ever since your own wedding. 

 

Bella was completely shocked by the haircut and ran through the house screaming how a stranger had infiltrated your home. She almost gave you a heart attack by doing so. She didn’t believe it was her daddy until he listed her favorite My Little Ponies’ in decreasing order because only her daddy would know that. 

 

"There," you gave him a small smile.

 

"Thank you," he said quietly as if he didn't want you to hear it  

 

He turned towards Bella. "Daddy, do you like my dress?" 

 

She asked, twirling around to make the champagne pink tulle skirt of her dress fanning out into a circle. 

 

"You look absolutely beautiful!" Bucky exclaimed, making her giggle. 

 

"Just as pretty as Princess Aurora?" She asked. 

 

"Way prettier than her," Bucky assured. A smile crept on your lips as he picked her up. "Come on, let's go before Aunt Becky throws a tantrum."

 

You walk with them quietly, observing just how happy the two of them are. The happiness you couldn't share with them. 

 

Ever since that night, Bucky didn't speak or touch you. He kept his distance and spent his time busy with work. He came home after you had fallen asleep and left before you would wake up. On the days he did stay home he spent his time with Bella and it was only then, did he talk to you. It was just a show, so she wouldn't worry and you were perfectly fine with that, but it didn't stop the dull ache in your heart. 

 

You take a seat next Bucky's mother in the front row of the church reserved especially for family members. 

 

The organ begins to play Canon in D as the doors at the back of the church open. Two by two, the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle in elegant dresses and perfectly fitted tuxedos. 

 

Bella walks down with another flower girl, throwing the soft pink rose petals exactly how she had practiced. She walked passed you and you gave her a thumbs up which she replied to with a beaming smile. 

 

The song transitions into The Wedding March , and everyone stands as the bride walks in. Becca looks absolutely beautiful in her white dress. Her arm was hooked around her brother's and their mother couldn't help but cry at the sight of them. You looked at Bucky with a sincere smile knowing just how much it meant to him. You were there when Becca asked him to walk her down the aisle and it had left him speechless. He felt honored to do something so sacred and imperative for his sister. 

 

The siblings arrive at the altar and Becca gives Connor a beaming smile to express her wedding jitters. Bucky lifts the veil and pulls it back then proceeds to kiss her forehead before giving her a sincere smile. She mouths a "thank you" and the gleam in his eyes are enough for her to know his response. 

 

"Anything for you, Becky."  

 

Bucky gives Becca to Connor with a smile and leaves the altar to take his seat next to you. The ceremony proceeds in an orthodox manner. 

 

“You okay?” You whispered to Bucky. He turned his head and nodded with a small smile which for some reason made your heart warm. 

 

You motioned Bella towards so she wouldn’t grow tired from standing and she took a seat in her father’s lap with her head against his chest. You listened to the rest of the ceremony with your mind wandering off to your own wedding, eight years ago. Just like Becca’s, it was extravagant, exuding Bucky’s wealth from the flowers to the dress and everything in between, it was absolutely perfect. But you didn’t pay any attention to it, too burdened by your own worries and regrets. 

 

At that time, none of it mattered to you. You presented yourself to be happy but on the inside, you were broken and crying. Your wedding day was a day you hated to remember, it was the day your life took a turn for the worst and your only wish was that Becca’s happiness on her special day would remain for eternity, that she would never have to go through what you did. 

 

Your entire relationship with Bucky was built on deceit and facades, and even though the two of you were falling apart at that very moment. You were good at showing others you were perfectly fine. 

 

“Congratulations, James,” Scott Summers, a wealthy shipping magnate, wished Bucky while shaking his hand. 

 

“James?”  Bucky asked. “Whatever happened to Bucky?” 

 

Scott gives him a hearty laugh. “I wasn’t sure if you still went by that. Didn’t want to embarrass you.” 

 

“Trust me, Scotty, standing next to you is embarrassing enough.” Bucky joked. “Where have you been all these years?”

 

“Where have I been? Where have you been?” 

 

“I’ve always been right here,” Bucky chuckled. 

 

“Scott hates the city, that’s why he made us move to the other side of the world.” A redhead popped up from behind him. 

 

“Wait a second,” Bucky asked in shock and then pointed at Scott. “You married her,” Bucky asked, making Scott chuckle in reply.

 

“I have a name you know.” She stated, standing next to her husband. 

 

“I know Jeanie,” he smiled at her mischievously. 

 

“Haven’t heard that name in a long time and I’d like to keep it that way. Thank you very much.” 

 

“You’re still as snarky as ever.” 

 

“Tell me about it,” Scott replied and Jean nudged his shoulder playfully. “So where’s yours?” 

 

“She’s around here somewhere,” Bucky said, looking around for you. He finds you standing with a group of women nearby and calls for you. You walk up to the group and Bucky instantly wraps his arms around your waist. 

 

“[Y/N], I’d like you to meet two of my friends from high school.” He said in a cheerful tone. 

 

“Hi, I’m Scott,” he shakes your hand. 

 

“Jean,” the redhead shakes your hand with a smile. 

 

“It’s nice to meet you, I’m [Y/N].” 

 

“So you’re the girl that managed to tie Bucky down,” Scott smirked and Bucky rolls his eyes in annoyance. “How in the world did you do that?” 

 

You smiled sheepishly at her question. “I was trying to mind my own business and he wouldn’t leave me alone, but I’m glad he didn’t.” You gave them your best smile. “I don’t know where I’d be without him.” 

 

Bucky smiles softly at your words, but they didn’t reach his heart. 

 

“That’s so sweet,” Jean replied. “You two make such a lovely couple.” 

 

“I swear it’s all, [Y/N].” Bucky chuckles, giving you a kiss against the temple. 

 

“Yeah, no shit Sherlock,” Scott replied, making the group laugh.

 

-

 

"Becky looks so happy," Steve tells you with a smile. 

 

"It is her special day," You replied. "Every girl should be happy on her wedding day." 

 

"As always, doll, you're right." 

 

You chuckle at him and he smiles in return. "You doing okay?" He asked. 

 

"I'm doing fine, Stevie," You nodded. "You don't have to worry about me." 

 

"I worry even more when you say that." Steve shook his head. "Are you really telling me the truth?" 

 

"I am," you affirmed. 

 

"And Buck?" 

 

"He doesn't talk to me," You confessed. "Not since that day." 

 

Steve raises a brow at that but doesn't bother to question it. "You know if you're lying I'd find out?" 

 

"And you know that I'd never lie to you." You replied swiftly. You take his hand into yours. "Steve, I know you only want the best for me, but what you want is something I can't give you." 

 

Steve was at a loss of words, but his heart cracked at your words. 

 

"I can't do it," you shake your head. "I can't give you what you want. I have a daughter and I can't do that to her. No matter what way you look at it, it's still wrong." 

 

"Doll, I don't wanna do anything you don't want me to," he said, his hand squeezing yours tightly. "But please don't push me away. Please don't tell me to leave again," he pleaded. 

 

You were about to speak when Bucky walked up to the two of you. Steve lets go of your hand at the sight of him, but it was far too late for Bucky's sharp eyes. 

 

Bucky remains indifferent as he looks towards you. "Doll, Becky needs your help with something." 

 

You nodded, walking away with Bucky right behind you. He gives Steve a stern glare, a subtle warning to remember his limits before he turns his back on his friend completely. 

 

Steve remains in his spot, huffing in annoyance as he switched his drink for another from the waiter walking by. He keeps to himself, pondering on what he was doing by desiring a married woman. It didn't take a rocket scientist to tell it was wrong, but that wasn't going to stop him. He would remain steadfast in his actions even if it meant the loss of his closest friend. He'd give it all up for you. No matter how many threats Bucky would give him, he had no control over him.  He would wait for you, as long as you needed him to, and the minute you wanted him he'd welcome you with open arms.

 


 

Bucky dropped his mildly wet gym bag at the foot of the stairs then took off his wet windbreaker and threw it carelessly onto the railing of the staircase as he ran up towards his room. 

 

The door to his room is opened a little just enough for the light in the hallway to enter in. He opens the door gently and walks in to see you sleeping soundly with Bella wrapped in your arms, her head nestled against your chest. She was probably here because of the storm, she was afraid of thunder.

 

Bucky walked over to his side of the bed and kicked off his sneakers before falling back onto the bed gently. He turned to his side towards his wife and daughter to see them sleeping peacefully, without a worry or care. 

 

That was all Bucky wanted for them, a peaceful and carefree life. One filled with every joy and happiness that the world could give. But how could they have it when they were with him? He wasn't good for them, he knew that, but that didn't stop him from loving them. He loved them so much, unconditionally and obsessively. If they were to leave, he didn't know what he'd do. 

 

Your arm was draped around Bella with your hand resting gently on the bed. He brought his hand close to yours, wanting to hold it and feel your soft skin against his. Bringing his hand next to yours, he stopped himself, looking at the stark contrast in your hands. His was bloodied, scarred, stained with sin, while yours was spotless and clean with a nurturing touch. He drew back, embarrassed by his appearance. Your tender and gentle hands were never meant to be in his calloused and hard ones. He turned over to the other side and quietly drifted into sleep.

 

The next morning was quiet as you tidied up the room by making the bed. You were fixing the pillows when Bucky walked out of the adjoined master bath putting his watch on. Bucky stood by the dressing table putting on his favorite cologne before he left for work. You walked over to put something away in the drawer and you noticed his bruised and scabbed knuckles. 

 

"What happened to your hands?" You asked. The first question you asked him for a long time. 

 

"It's nothing," he replied curtly fixing his tie. 

 

"It is something," you said, taking his hand in yours. "Here let me get-" 

 

"I told you I'm fine." He stated brusquely, yanking his hand from yours and leaving the room in a rush. 

 

You stood there silently and for some reason hurt by his cold behavior towards you. You didn't know why you felt this way. 

 

Wasn't it good that he distanced himself?

 

Isn't this what you wanted? 

 

If it was then why did it feel so horrible? Why did you miss the way his lips felt against your own and the sound of his buoyant laughter? 

 

You wanted to believe you hated him after all he had done, but you were lying to yourself. You lied to him when you said you didn't love him. You did love him; more than you had wanted to and deeper than you once thought. 

 

You sat at the edge of the bed, the plush duvet sinking underneath your weight, looking down at your hands with your thumb brushing over your knuckles. 

 

It was sick and twisted, pathetic and foolish, but you didn’t care. Even after all that had happened, even after he had crossed the line so many times, you loved him, and you knew nothing good was going to come out of it. Steve was right. There was nothing left for you here and you wished you could just run away with him, but it wasn’t easy. You knew deep down that no matter where you went, or who you were with, you’d still love Bucky first. No one would take his place.

 

You were frustrated and confused without an idea on what to do. You covered your face with your hands sinking to the floor at your bedside, cursing yourself for being like this. Why was it so easy for you to forgive him? He just had to call your name once and you’d run into his arms without hesitation. Why were you like this? Why did you love him so much, knowing it wasn’t good for you? 

 

James Barnes was an addictive enigma, cool like ice and sweet like cinnamon, and you were stuck on him with no sign of ever letting go. 


And there’s no remedy for memory

Your face is like a melody, it won’t leave my head

Your soul is haunting me and telling me

That everything is fine, but I wish I was dead.

 


 

“Odinson may be brash, but he isn’t stupid,” Bucky spoke on the phone, sitting at his desk in the study of his beachfront mansion. 

 

The wedding was over and Bucky had decided to visit the Hamptons for a week or so as a small vacation before the summer ended. It wasn’t much of a vacation for him per se as he was burdened with work from home, but for you and Bella. He knew just how much the two of you loved the seaside. 

 

He leaned back in his chair in a figure four position with his phone resting between his ear and shoulder while perusing through the papers of the deal that had been offered by the Odinson Brothers. 

 

“Those brothers know what they’re doing, Barton. Especially the black-haired one.” Bucky chuckled at Clint’s comment on the line. “Yeah, the weaselly guy. Don’t call him that when we make the deal. I’m actually tryna play nice with ‘em.” 

 

Clint asks about his return and Bucky nods. “Yeah, I’ll be back in a week so have all the fun you want.” He swivels his chair around towards the glass doors giving a perfect view of the backyard- the  beach  - to see mother and daughter playing in the water. 

 

One of the doors were opened to let in the sea breeze and allowing him to hear Bella’s jubilant giggles. He smiles at the sight of her running along the seashore with her hair in two braided pigtails and sand sticking to her legs and arms. His eyes wandered over to you close behind her in a white dress that was just above your knees and hair in a loose braid. You tucked a strand of hair behind your ear as you watched Bella play in the water with a graceful smile on your lips.

 

Bucky gazed in awe at the sight of you, standing in the clouded, summer sun like an ethereal being. A strong wave came towards the shore and Bella ran towards you, afraid of getting caught in it. She clung to your legs as the cool waters crashed against you making you laugh with your head hung back and arms around her. A smile crept onto Bucky’s lips at the sight of the two of you and couldn’t help but chuckle at the sound of your own hearty laughs.

 

His beautiful wife and precious little girl. His world and his future. 

 

Bucky snaps out of his thoughts at the sound of Clint’s “hello’s” on the phone and turns around. “Yeah, I’m still here Clint.” 

 

-

 

“I think it’s time to go inside now.” You told Bella. 

 

“Already?” She whined. 

 

You chuckled at her disappointment. “We’ve been out here all day.”

 

“It feels like only a minute!" She said. 

 

"Time flies by when you're having fun," You said, "but we have to leave. It's going to get cold soon and I don't want you to get sick." 

 

Bella pouts. "Can we come tomorrow?" 

 

"Of course," you replied making her smile as she ran up to you. She grabbed your hand as she skipped beside you towards the house. 

 

"Maybe Daddy can play with us tomorrow." She suggested. 

 

"Maybe, if he's not busy." 

 

"Why does Daddy always work? I think he needs to have more fun!" She said making you chuckle. 

 

"Why don't you tell him that?" You said. "He might listen to you." 

 

"I will," she said running up the steps of the deck and opening the door to get inside. 

 

"No, not yet!" You called her back. "You've got sand all over you and I don't want it in the house." 

 

You reach over for the hose and wash the lower half of her body and your own feet before grabbing the towel you left on the patio chair and wrapped her in it tight, making her chuckle. Picking her up, you walked inside and were at the foot of the steps when Bucky walked out of the study. 

 

"Had fun?" He asked. 

 

"Mhmm," Bella nodded in your arms. "We made a sandcastle and played in the water. You should come with us next time!" 

 

"I have a lot of work to do, Sweetheart." Bella frowned at him. 

 

"Don't you know, Bella? Daddy's boring." You joked with a smile, making Bella chuckle. "He doesn't know how to have fun." Bucky rolled his eyes at your teasing. 

 

"I can teach him!" She volunteered. 

 

"Then I guess I can't say no," he replied. "It's a date then?" 

 

"It is and you better not be late!" Bella exclaimed, pointing at him. 

 

"I won't," he chuckles as you ran up the steps with Bella. 


You turn the page of your novel, swinging slowly on the porch swing while listening to the ocean waves crashing against the shore. You had put Bella to bed and were feeling a bit bored so had decided to read a book outside. The sun had set leaving only the porch light as your means to read by. You were snuggled in a warm blanket to protect you from the cool sea breeze sweeping by. 

 

“What are you reading?” Bucky asked, walking out of the door. The sleeves of his sweater scrunched up to his elbows with his hands in his pocket. 

 

You lift up your book and he chuckles in a whisper. “ Anna Karenina ? How am I not surprised?” 

 

You smile sheepishly. “It’s my favorite, you know that.” 

 

“I know,” He walked up towards you. “Eight hundred pages of complete torture. You just hate yourself, don’t you?” 

 

You pouted at him. “You were just created to hate all of my favorite books, weren’t you?” 

 

Bucky laughed, standing in front of you. “Doll, you love every book.” 

 

“Not true, I hate Metamorphosis .” 

 

“Let me guess?” He thought, “Probably has something to do with the main character being a huge bug.” 

 

“I hate bugs, okay? Besides, it’s droll.” You replied, moving to the side allowing him to sit. 

 

“Right and the only exciting books are the ones that have to do with fated lovers destined to be together only to suffer in tragedy.” He said, sitting down. “As if that’s not an overused trope.” 

 

“It’s the way the trope is presented that matters.” You informed him. “It’s all about the journey before they meet their tragic end, that’s what makes it good.” 

 

“You’re weird,” He said, making you roll your eyes. “I still don’t know why you love such depressing stories.” 

 

“I like angst, deal with it,” You deadpanned, making him chuckle. Bucky sits back with his arm draped over the top of the swing, oscillating back and forth slowly. 

 

“Baby,” his voice was hushed, and you knew by his tone he was going to say something you didn’t want to hear. “There’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you,” His lips become dry and his brain goes into panic mode. “About that night.” 

 

“It’s in the past, Buck,” You said, not looking at him. “It happened, it’s gone, and I don’t want to go back to it.” 

 

Bucky remains silent feeling embarrassed and ashamed. There were so many things he wanted to say, but he froze, forgetting it all. You inch closer to him and snuggle into his side returning to your reading. 

 

He gently rests his head against yours, swinging gently in tandem with the ocean waves with only one thing on his mind. He really didn’t deserve you. 

 

All my friends ask me why I stay strong

Tell ‘em when you find true love, it lives on

That’s why I stay here. 

Chapter Text

Gentle fingers turned the page of a novel in a swift motion to not stop the train of words passing by in your head. The ocean breeze nipped at your bare legs as the sweltering summer sun bestowed its’ final radiant rays before the summer season came to an end. 

 

You brought your legs close to your body, tucking them underneath the shelter of baby blue colored dress. You sat back in beach chair placed conveniently in front of an ocean view which you paid hardly any attention to as your nose was quite literally stuck in a book. You rested your head against the soft cotton towel hanging off the back of the chair and placed Anna Karenina on top of your thighs. 

 

In the near distance, the sound of Bella’s bubbly giggles and playful shrieks along with Bucky’s childish roars and hearty laughs brought a satisfying peace to your soul as the two were finally spending some time together. 

 

“There’s nothing to be afraid of sweetheart, it’s just water,” Bucky told the girl latching onto his legs. 

 

“But what if a shark comes?” 

 

Bucky chuckles at her imagination. “There aren’t any sharks around here, I can promise you that.” 

 

“Oh yeah, how do you know?” 

 

“I just do.”

 

“That’s not a good answer, you need evidence and data,” she informed him, “which you don’t have, so your hypothesis is invalid.”

 

“Woah, woah, woah, where’d you learn such big words from?”

 

“Grandpa taught me,” she smiled, hanging off his legs. “I want to be a scientist just like him.” 

 

“Yeah?” Bucky asks, pushing her sandy hair behind her ear. “You’ll be great at it.” 

 

“What did you want to be when you were little?” She asked, pulling him along to walk with her. 

 

“Me?” he asks and she nods. “I wanted to be an airplane pilot.” 

 

“Why didn’t you?” she asked, kicking her feet into the sand. 

 

Bucky looks at the way her little fingers were wrapped around his hand, reminding him of the way he used to hold his own father’s hand.

 

“My dad didn’t want me to.”

 

“Why not?” 

 

“He thought it was silly.” 

 

“I don’t think it’s silly,” she shakes her at him, “I think it’s cool!”

 

Bucky chuckles at her enthusiasm. “Thanks, kiddo,” 

 

“Why don’t you do it now?”

 

“I’m a little too old now.”

 

“You’re not that old.”

 

“How old do you think I am?”

 

“I don’t know, twenty-five?”

 

“Twenty-five?” he repeats in amusement, “I wish!”

 

“Daddy, do you think being a scientist is silly?” 

 

“Of course not, baby,” he said, crouching down to her level. “You can be whatever you wanna be, it doesn’t matter to me. I’ll always be proud of you, no matter what you become or what you do.” 

 

He gives her a kiss on the forehead as a symbol of his promise to her. Bella giggles at her father.

 

“I think you should still be a pilot that would be so cool!”

 

Bucky shakes his head with a smile. “I’ve got better things to do now. I wanted to be a pilot a long time ago, but now all I wanna do is keep you and mommy happy. That’s all that matters to me.” 

 

Bella hugs her father with a smile on her face. “I love you, daddy.” 

 

Bucky’s heart swells at her words, so gentle and innocent. The purest form of love one could ever ask for. He smiles to himself, his big arms encasing her, protecting her from all the evils of the world. He thinks about a single good thing he did in his life to have such a sweet angel like her in his arms. A gift given to him by an angel herself. 

 

“I love you too, sweetheart,” Bucky replies, “More than you can ever imagine.” 

 

Bella lets go of him and gives him a kiss on the cheek making him chuckle in response. 

 

“Wanna go see what Mama’s doing?” He asked her and she nods in reply. 

 

Bella ran over to your chair calling you as the sand shifted beneath her toes. 

 

“Mommy!”

 

You look up to her with a smile, “Hey, having fun?” 

 

She nods in excitement then begins pulling on your hand. “Come on, let’s go play in the water!”

 

You resist her pulling by pulling back gently. “I don’t really want to, sweetheart, I want to sit here and read.” 

 

“But you always read!” she huffed. 

 

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing,” you chuckled. 

 

“It is at the beach!” she retorted, pulling you harder. 

 

“Bella,” you groaned. 

 

“Daddy, make Mommy understand!” You roll your eyes at her persistent behavior.

 

“C’mon doll, let’s have some fun,” Bucky said pulling you off the chair and picking you up. He dashes towards the water with you in his arms making you drop your book somewhere behind you. 

 

“James Barnes put me down right now!” you yell at him. 

 

“Not a chance!” he chuckles along with his three feet tall partner in crime beside him, giggling away at her mother’s misery.

 

Bucky throws you into the water and you yelp at first contact with the chilly Atlantic waves. 

 

“Mommy’s all wet! Mommy’s all wet!” Bella sings in a childish tune, dancing at the shoreline as you glare at the two of them. 

 

You try your best to stay angry at them, but it all goes to vain the second your lips curl into a big smile and begin to laugh. 

 

The sweet sound of your laughter calls the two of them to you, beckoning them to run into the waters, into the unknown, like a siren calling her prey. 

 

Bucky splashes water towards you with his hand as he runs up to you and you do the same in his direction. He laughs raucously as he picks up Bella lifting her high up into the air, her figure shining in the setting sun. She feels like she’s on top of the world, stuck in a blissful and transcendent moment which would become a memory that she’ll never forget.

 

The ocean waves crashed below her as seagulls called high above her, higher than she could ever reach. The mixture of her mother and father’s laughter along with her own created a nostalgic melody, one that she'd remember for years to come. 

 

Bella wishes it could be like this forever, basking under rays of sheer joy given by the setting sun. But just as the seasons change when their time had come so did her happiness. 

 

Bella learned later on that her happiness was only found in her memories. 

 

Places she wished she could go back to. 

 

People she wished she could meet again. 

 


 

 

"Do you think she'd like pink or purple?" 

 

"I don't know, doll, just pick any. It doesn't matter." Bucky said exasperated. 

 

The mob king was a powerful man, no force in the entire city of New York could overcome him. He was ruthless and revered, no sensible man would want to cross paths with him. He was a force to be reckoned with him. A six-foot force with bulging muscles and unmatched skill in combat and tact to be precise. And yet one Christmas shopping trip with his sweet, bubbly, and a bit snarky girlfriend had him exhausted beyond compare.

 

"Bucky!" You huffed in annoyance. 

 

"What?" 

 

"She's your mom. How do you not know?" 

 

"I know," he retorted, standing next to you, "and that's why I'm saying it doesn't matter." 

 

You huff at him again. "You're the worst shopping partner ever," you groaned. 

 

Bucky chuckles leaning against the clothing rack. "Well, you signed me up for the job now deal with it." 

 

"It's your job," you replied. 

 

"How is this my job?" 

 

"Boyfriends are supposed to go shopping with their girlfriends. It's a law," you joked. 

 

"In case you didn't know, I'm a bit of a lawbreaker." 

 

You glare at him before letting out a sigh. "I'm trying to make her like me." 

 

"She likes you," Bucky chuckles. 

 

"I don't think so," you shake your head, "she was looking at me weird at the party." 

 

"She was just checking if you were good for her only son," Bucky replied, "but trust me, babe, she really likes you. She just not outright about it." 

 

"I wish she was," you sighed. "I'm going crazy over here if you didn't notice." 

 

"That's normal for you," he teased and you hit him on the arm. He chuckles at your sad attempt of a punch that made you smile. "Actually I think she'll like the purple better." He picked out. 

 

"Why didn't you just tell me that in the first place?" 

 

"I like teasing you." 

 

"You're horrible," you chided. 

 

"It's my job as a boyfriend. It's a law." You rolled your eyes at him before pulling him down by his jacket to kiss him on the lips. It was short and sweet. 

 

"How dare you?" He asked in mock offense. 

 

You chuckle before giving him another one and then walk over to get in line at the register. 

 

"This is it right?" Bucky asked in the prospect of being set free. The bags in his hand swayed back and forth as he walked. "No more shopping after this?" 

 

"There's just one more place to go," you replied. 

 

"Doll," he groaned, "you promised." 

 

"You'll be fine," you waved off his disappointment. 

 

"You know this is worse than torture," he stated, standing in the line with you. "We've been here since ten and it's four now. That's six hours of my life I'll never get back."

 

You rolled your eyes at him as the middle-aged woman behind you chuckled. 

 

"Six hours you'd probably use to watch stupid football replays," you remarked. 

 

"Woah, football is not stupid," he said, offended. "Don't even go there." 

 

"It's just a bunch of brutes trying to break each other's neck." 

 

"It's a game of strategy," he retorted.

 

"It's barbaric," you deadpanned making him frown.

 

"You two are so cute," the woman behind you complimented. 

 

You blushed and Bucky smiled at her. "Thanks." 

 

"Aren't you lucky?" She asked you. "Having a husband willing to go shopping with you. Mine never comes with me." 

 

Your cheeks heat up even more and even Bucky's cheeks tint a light pink. "Oh, we're not married," you replied. "He's my boyfriend." You laugh nervously. 

 

"Oh?" She asked and look over to Bucky. "Then what are you waiting for?" 

 

Bucky gives her a sheepish chuckle. "Uh, I don't know. The right time I suppose." 

 

"There's no time like the present," she winked at him before you walked over to the register. 

 

You brushed it off as a sweet compliment from a stranger, but Bucky took it as a call to action. The truth of the matter was, he had already started to think about it. Asking you to marry him, to spend the rest of your life with him. 

 

At first, he thought he was being crazy, but he knew you were the only one he wanted to be with forever. He was done with searching, his heart was sold to you and he had a no return policy. Being the strong-willed man he was, he even went out and bought a ring completely by impulse. One that he knew you would love. A stunning white diamond ring with a price that would make your jaw drop. 

 

The ring was elegant and dainty just like the woman it was for, but not shy in boasting its’ wealth. He kept it in a blue velvet box hidden deep in the back of his drawer, waiting patiently for the perfect time. A moment like none other, something special, but the problem was every moment with you was perfect in his eyes. He was ready to get down on one knee every time you giggled in his direction. He was determined to do it now, maybe even sooner than he had initially planned. 

 


 

“Sometimes she did not know what she feared, what she desired. Whether she feared or desired what had been or what would be, and precisely what she desired, she did not know.” 

 

You were cuddled between the comforter of your bed reading from where you left off earlier that day before you were thrown into the ocean. You were in deep between your pillows and comforter with only your head coloring the white pillow case and your arms holding the book up in front of you. 

 

Bucky walks in after tucking Bella into bed and chuckles to himself at the sight of you. He walks over to his side of the bed and gets in, the mattress dipping underneath his weight. 

 

“Bella alright?”

 

“She’s out like a light,” Bucky says, checking his messages he had ignored the entire day. “I read a page of Madeline and she completely knocked out.” 

 

“I guess she had too much fun today,” you chuckled from underneath the covers.

 

“You can never have too much fun,” Bucky countered, typing something. 

 

“I guess,” you murmured, returning to your reading. 

 

The room was silent as the two of you did your own thing. Bucky places his phone on the side table and turns to find you deep in your book, the look on your face was serious and intrigued as if this was the first time you were reading the book. 

 

“Having fun there?” He chuckles and you hum in response. 

 

Bucky turns over so he was laying on his stomach, he reaches over to you and wraps an arm around your stomach while nuzzling his face in the curve of your neck. 

 

“Baby,” he whines against your neck. You simply hum again. “Pay attention to me.” 

 

“Not now, Buck.” 

 

“Why not?” he whined and you rolled your eyes with a sigh. 

 

“I’m busy,” you replied. 

 

He groaned against your skin making a small smile break your serious streak. 

 

"What's in that damn book that so interesting?" Bucky asked. "I honestly don't see it." 

 

"Seems to me like those pretty eyes of yours are getting old," you can feel him smile against your neck, "should get that checked out soon." 

 

"My eyes are fine," he retorted, "you're just weird." 

 

"Well after spending so much time with you that's what happens," 

 

"Doll," he grumbles, "you're so mean." 

 

"I am, now shush," you replied curtly. 

 

Bucky huffs, keeping his position with his itchy beard nuzzled into your neck. You feel a sly grin grace his lips and you know he’s not up to any good. He kisses the curve of your neck, but you ignore it. He was playing a game with you, one he's played too many times, to see how long you could ignore him until it became too much. He slowly kisses up your neck making each kiss last longer than the one before. Your fingers hold the book tight in your hands with your eyes focused on the words. Although you appear to be firm in your fight, you’re melting on the inside as you read the same line about Anna’s soul doubling at the thought of Vronsky and Karenin. 

 

Bucky knows you’re close to your breaking point, but he was never one to be magnanimous. He cranes his neck just a bit to capture your earlobe between his pearl white teeth and nibble on it. A shiver crawls up your spine and you let out a deep disgruntled sigh. He smiles at the effect he was having on your reading. 

 

He lets go of your ear much to your distaste and tucks his lips behind your ear with his nose nestled in your soft locks. 

 

“Bucky,” you whisper, your guard faltering. 

 

“Yeah baby?” he whispers behind your ear. His hot breath sending shivers down your neck. 

 

“I’m trying to read here,” you replied in one last effort to fight back. 

 

He turns over so he’s hovering over you. “You’re incorrigible.” he groaned with a contrasting smile. 

 

You chuckle at him. “Your vocabulary is exquisite, Mr. Barnes.” 

 

“Thank you, I get it from my brilliant wife,” you chuckle with your book against your chest, “she’s quite verbose. It’s amazing really, I never understand a word she’s saying.” 

 

“Then it must be rather difficult to talk to her,” you replied. 

 

“Not as much as one would think,” he said, his form lowering itself towards you. He cups the side of your face in his hand. “One look into her eyes and I feel like I know everything she has to say.” 

 

Bucky dips his head until his lips meet yours in a tender kiss. You push the book off of yourself and it falls on the ground with a gentle thud. Your arms wrap around his neck and your taken a bit off guard, realizing his long locks were gone. You missed weaving your fingers into them, but don’t hesitate to card them into his shorter ones. Bucky falls deeper into you and slips his tongue into your mouth and you let a small whimper as his hands travel down your sides. 

 

"Bucky wait," you pull him back gently with your hands against his chest. Your face denoting a mixture of fear and embarrassment. "I-I can't," you shake your head with panic rising within you. "Not yet, I don't think I'm ready." 

 

You look up at him with pleading eyes, hoping he would understand, that he wouldn't get angry at you. 

 

Bucky cups your cheek in his hand. "It's fine, doll," he replied, brushing the pad of his thumb against your cheek. "There's nothing to worry about." 

 

He gives you a reassuring smile which you replied to with a small grateful one. He gives you a sweet peck on the forehead before turning over to his side and pulling you along with him. 

 

You rested your head on the curve on his arm with the side of your face pressed against his side. It's quiet besides the sound of his steady breathing working in tandem with your own. 

 

"Bucky?" 

 

"Hmm?" 

 

Your fingers travel to his hand resting on his chest, intertwining themselves with his. 

 

"I wanted to say thank you." 

 

"About?" 

 

"About spending the day with Bella. She was really missing you." 

 

"There's nothing to thank me for, doll, it's what I'm supposed to do," Bucky replied with a chuckle. "Besides I was missing her too, both of you." 

 

He can feel your smile against his side and his own lips curl upwards as well. It all feels so perfect. You and him cuddling in bed after a hectic day with Bella. Your legs could still feel the waves crashing against them and the smell of the beach wasn't too far away. It's peaceful and how you've always wanted it to be. Just you, him, and your little girl.

 

 But you knew it couldn't be like this forever, you were going to leave in two days and you knew the minute you stepped foot back into that city your life would fall back into its daily routine. That was something you feared, something you didn't want. And you couldn't help but feel a strange sense of danger for what was yet to come. 

 

"Buck," you call him again. 

 

"Yeah babe?" he yawned his body rumbling against your face.

 

"I keep getting this bad feeling." 

 

"About what?" 

 

"I don't know. I just have it." You lifted your head gently against him to look at him. "Like something is going to happen." 

 

"What's going to happen?" 

 

You exhaled deeply, returning your eyes to your woven hands. "I don't know, but I feel like it's something bad." 

 

Bucky remains quiet, his brows in a furrow as he contemplates on your words. He knew you had this strange sixth sense where you could tell something was wrong. Sometimes he would wonder how you were able to do it. Maybe you were an otherworldly being? That would explain a lot of his questions about you. 

 

"Don't worry about it doll," he replied, "everything's going to be fine." 

 

You mumble something against his chest in disbelief. He turns over so he's looking at you. 

 

"Hey, don't worry about it, alright?" Bucky said, cupping your face in his hands. "We came here to have a good time so just forget about it. Promise me you'll have a good time?" 

 

You nodded with a small smile.  He pulls you deep into his arms and rubs your back. "Everything is going to be okay, baby," he gives you a soft kiss on the forehead. "It's only a feeling and even if it is more than that, we'll get through it. We always have and we always will," Bucky said with surety. "It's gonna be okay, baby. We're gonna be just fine." 

 

Bucky keeps on whispering little things against you until he falls asleep. The sound of his heart thumping against your ears is calming in a sense, but not enough to quell the uneasiness in you. You let it go not wanting it to ruin the last few days of your vacation. You kiss him on the chest before falling asleep in his arms with a strange sensation churning inside the pit of your stomach. You didn't know if it was something you feared or something you desired. 

Chapter Text

“Okay, what’s all this about?” 

 

Sam pulled a chair up to the booth of the diner. He sat on the chair backwards with his arms resting on top of the back of the chair. 

 

Bucky had called for an impromptu meeting at a local diner in Brooklyn and told Steve, Clint, and Sam, that it was a life or death situation. Bucky slammed an opened blue velvet box displaying a shining diamond ring onto the table towards the man. 

 

“Boss, I’m really flattered,” Sam chuckled, batting his eyelashes, “but I already got a girl.” 

 

“It’s not for you, idiot,” Bucky hissed, “This is for Y/N.” 

 

“Well, it’s really pretty,” Clint complimented. “You sure that huge diamond is gonna fit on her tiny little finger?” 

 

“And how the hell do you know so much about her fingers?” Bucky asked, pointedly. 

 

“I don’t,” Clint replied, putting his hands up in surrender. “I’m just assuming.” 

 

“Well don’t.” 

 

“Buck, is this the reason why you called us here?” Steve asked from across the table. “To show us a ring?”

 

“You got better things to do, Stevie?” 

 

“No, but you said this was a life or death situation.” He reminded. 

 

“That’s because it is.”

 

“I’m not getting it,” Sam shook his head. 

 

Bucy groaned in agitation. “This isn’t just a random ring. I’m gonna propose to her with this ring.” 

 

The three men gaped at Bucky with their jaws dropped down to the table. 

 

“Why are you all looking at me like that?”  

 

“You sure about this?” Sam asked. 

 

“Of course I’m sure.”

 

“When did you even buy it?” Steve questioned. 

 

“A couple of weeks ago.” 

 

“And you’ve just been carrying it around with you?” Steve asked, incredulously. 

 

“Yeah and what about it?” Bucky asked, growing increasingly annoyed. 

 

“You’re gonna ask her to marry you?” Clint asked, still trying to process the whole thing. 

 

“Didn’t I just say that?” 

 

“Buck, are you sure?” Steve asked. “I mean marriage is a big deal and you’re still kinda young.” 

 

“I am sure,” Bucky stated. “I’m done looking around. I know it’s a serious thing and who cares if I’m only twenty-three? I know what I want and it’s her. She’s it. She’s the one for me.” 

 

“Aww,” Clint cooed, “Ain’t that cute. The mob king’s in love.” 

 

Bucky kicks Clint in the shin and the blonde man yelps in pain. “I was just joking,” he winced.

 

“This isn’t a joking matter,” Bucky grunted. “I’ve been running up a wall over here.” 

 

“Because?” 

 

“Because I don’t know how to break it to her,” he said in a hushed voice, his cheeks displaying an unrecognizable pink blush.   

 

The mob king was blushing, though small, he was blushing which was something the three never thought they would see.

 

“So you want our help in planning the proposal?” Sam asked.

 

“That would be nice,” Bucky stated. 

 

“I’m thinking a lot of fireworks,” Clint blurted out, “Tons and tons of fireworks.” 

 

“No, no, no,” Bucky shook his head, “That’s too flashy. Y/N hates flashy.” 

 

Clint and Sam gave Bucky different ideas on what to do which were either outrageous or downright stupid. Steve chuckled at the three, quietly observing the excitement in Bucky’s eyes. His friend was happy and in love, and for that reason Steve was happy. After all, he had been through he deserved it, but it didn’t quell the uneasiness in Steve’s stomach. 

 

Although Bucky’s love may have been pure and passionate, his actions in obtaining yours was twisted and corrupt. Steve knew that in due time Bucky’s well-kept secret would be revealed and the only thing he could think about what that would do to you. Despite the discomfort within him, Steve kept a casual facade by offering silly suggestions just to peeve the brunette. His only wish was that you wouldn’t find out, but as a lawyer, he knew that the truth always had a way of making itself known.

 


 

 

"Mama?" 

 

"Yeah sweetheart," you said, mindlessly scrolling through one of your social media accounts. 

 

Bella came over and sat next to you on the couch in the living room. She sat sideways with her feet tucked underneath her body and her small hands pressed onto your thigh. 

 

"When is Daddy coming home?" 

 

"Soon," you replied looking over to her.

 

"But when is soon?" Bella whined with a frown. 

 

You let out a sigh and tuck a strand of your impatient daughter's hair behind her ear. 

 

"I don't know, baby, but he'll be back in a while." 

 

Bella let out an unsatisfied huff. "I want him back now." 

 

"Me too, sweetie," you said, pulling her into your lap. You frowned, realizing she was getting too big to sit in your lap as her legs were draped over your legs. You brush your fingers through her brown locks as she nuzzles her face against your chest. 

 

"Why is Daddy always so busy?" she mumbles against you. 

 

"He just has a lot of work to do," you said. 

 

"Why does he always have a lot of work to do? What does Daddy do?" she asked. 

 

You sighed while looking into her soft blue eyes. 

 

"He's a businessman," you replied, only telling her half the truth. 

 

You didn't want to lie to her and you knew that hiding the truth will only make it hurt more in the end. But what could you do? You didn't have the heart, or one too big, to see her hate her father. You only wanted her to see Bucky as a good man and if that meant lying to her, so be it. 

 

"A businessman?" she asked and you nodded. "Like the ones who sit in long, boring meetings?" 

 

"Just like that," you chuckled. "Sometimes the meetings get really long because people like to fight with each other." 

 

"Poor Daddy," Bella shook her head in sympathy. 

 

"Poor Daddy, indeed." you laughed. "You want to watch a movie?” 

 

Bella shook her head. “No, I want to read the new book I got from the library at school. Can you read it to me?” 

 

“You want to read a book instead of watching a movie?” You asked in glee. “You really are my daughter,” you exclaimed, making her giggle. She quickly got out of your lap and left the room to go get the book. 

 

A notification rings on your phone and you check your phone to see a text from Bucky. 

 

Hey, babe gonna be late today. Sorry :(

 

It’s alright, Bella misses you tho

 

Don’t you miss me too? 

 

Not at all

 

You’re horrible. 

 

:P

 

Give Bella a big kiss from me.

 

Don’t I get a kiss too?

 

You don’t deserve it. 

 

Meanie 😭

 

:P

 

Stay safe okay?

 

I’ll be fine, don’t worry. 

 

You let out a deep exhale with doubt filling you rather than assurance. Bella runs back into the room with her book and a smile. You lock your phone and make a grabbing motion at her with your hands. 

 

“Alright let’s see that book!” you exclaimed as she jumped onto the sofa and crawled into your lap again. 

 

“Ooo, Matilda!” you fawned, “I haven’t read this in a long time,” you stated as Bella got comfortable in your arms. You opened the novel to the first page. 

 

“It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers,” you started. “ Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think he or she is wonderful.” 

 

-

 

You tucked yourself deeper into the floral comforter of the bed with a deep sigh. Bella was tucked in next to you, cuddled into your side, with her gentle breathing calming your stiff nerves. For some reason, you didn’t want her to sleep in her room tonight, even if it was just down the hall. It was just the two of you in your lavish and grand home. It was cozy in its’ own way and after living in it for so many years you had grown comfortable and confident about living alone in such a big house. 

 

But tonight was different, there was a peculiar eeriness settled within the niches of the house. Maybe it was the changing of the seasons? The security systems were on and this certainly wasn’t the first time Bucky had come home late, but you couldn’t shake off the anxiety (paranoia) you were feeling and made Bella stay with you for the night. Your heart was at ease knowing she was by your side. 

 

It was past midnight with the hands of the clock reaching for the two, and you were worried stiff. There wasn’t an inkling of fatigue in you nor a hint of drowsiness in your eyes. Bucky told you not to worry, but that only made you worry even more. And although you didn’t know what the problem was, you knew it was something bad. 

 

Bucky never spoke of his work with you, he didn’t deem it important. He wanted to keep you away from it all, but you knew a few things, from the news or talks he had with Clint in the study. You knew it had something to do with a man by the surname of Odinson, one of the leaders of the five families of New York. You also knew that if it had anything to do with another family, it wasn’t going to be pretty. 

 

You wipe your finger across your phone again with a sigh, hoping for some kind of message from him. A message came in the form of the sound of the main door being opened breaking the deathly silence floating about in the house. You jump out of bed without a second thought and run towards the first floor. You run down the stairs with your heart speeding then suddenly stop halfway through at the sight of him. 

 

He gave you a sheepish smile, standing in front of the door as if he had been hit by a truck on the way home. His clothes were disheveled, his hair was a mess, and every visible part of his body was littered with bruises and cuts. He had a light bruise on his cheekbone and a horrible wound on the side of his forehead. His knuckles were scraped and bloodied and his pretty blue eyes were tired, denoting they had seen far worse than you could imagine. There were specks of blood staining his shirt and you knew that someone didn't go home tonight.

 

But all that mattered to you was him coming home. Even if he was broken and battered, he was home and you’d patch him up as many times as he needed you to. 

 

Hot and heavy tears started to form at the edges of your eyes and streak the soft skin of your face as you walk to him. Bucky gulps, knowing he crossed the line this time. He played it too close to the edge and could've lost it all. You could've lost him. 

 

"Baby," you whispered, cupping his cheek with your hand. He looks away unable to meet your eye. "What happened to you?" 


 

"[Y/N], I think that's enough ornaments for one branch," Bruce chuckled. 

 

You look at him and then to the tree to see five glitter ornaments hanging off a single branch. You chuckle sheepishly while taking them off. 

 

"I didn't notice," you replied amused by yourself. 

 

"Always daydreaming," Bruce shakes his head as he takes out a box of lights. 

 

"I wasn't daydreaming. I was thinking," you informed. 

 

"Same thing." 

 

"It is so not." 

 

"What were you thinking about?" 

 

"It's nothing special," you replied, hanging the ornaments on different branches.

 

You could feel his eyes burn through the back of your sweater and you turn to look back at him. 

 

"What?" You asked. "I'm telling the truth." 

 

Bruce sighed. "You're a very bad liar, y'know." 

 

You pouted at the tree. "Well, I'm not lying right now." 

 

"Let me guess, it has something to do with that Bucky boy?" he suggests as takes out the ball of Christmas lights. He groans to himself. How did they always end up like this when he put them away so nicely? 

 

Your cheeks are a bright red, possibly brighter than the red ornament in your hand. "T-that's not true," you replied. How did he always know everything? 

 

"You're not fooling anyone." 

 

You huffed and turned to see him working (struggling) on untangling the lights. 

 

"Everything alright between you two?" 

 

"Yeah, we're fine," you replied with a sigh. "He's just been acting a little weird lately." 

 

"How so?" 

 

"He's always busy." 

 

"He's the mob king. What do you expect?" 

 

"Dad," you warned. 

 

"Sorry," he chuckles. 

 

"It's not just that. He's been really secretive lately," you frown, "It's like he's trying to avoid me." 

 

"That may not be such a bad thing," Bruce mumbled to himself. 

 

"Huh?" 

 

"Damn lights," he cursed. 

 

You smile at him struggling with the lights and getting himself tangled in them just like he did last year. 

 

What if he doesn't like me anymore?" You asked, looking down at your feet insecurely. 

 

"Doubt it," he snorts, "the kid's so in love with you, to the point that it's sickening." 

 

"Dad," you muttered with flushed cheeks. 

 

"Am I lying though? The kid makes me wanna gag." 

 

"Why are you always so mean to him?" you asked. 

 

"I don't know, maybe it has something to do with him being my daughter's boyfriend?" 

 

"Can't you at least pretend to like him?" 

 

"I'm trying to, sweetheart, trust me on that." 

 

"You're not trying hard enough," you teased. 

 

"It's not my fault. He doesn't even get my jokes," Bruce exclaimed in between strings of lights. "He has no sense of humor." 

 

"He has a sense of humor," you defended. "Your jokes are just horrible science jokes that nobody gets.” 

 

“Tony used to get them,” Bruce said and your shoulders dropped at the mention of his name. 

 

Bruce noticed the change in your expression and cursed himself for letting it slip. “Sorry,” he apologized.

 

“No, it’s okay,” you gave him a small smile.

 

"Sweetheart, I keep getting this feeling that you're trying so hard to erase Tony and that's not how should it be," he said.

 

"That's not true, I still think about him at times and some days I miss him so much," you whisper and Bruce feels a pang in his chest as he drops the lights in his hands and walks over to you. "But he wanted me to be happy and I promised him that no matter what happened I wouldn't cry for him. He said he wanted me to stay happy and I feel like I find that happiness in Bucky." 

 

“But at the same time, I feel horrible for getting over him so quickly. I'm so confused right now,” you confessed. “I love Bucky, I really do, but I still love Tony. And I feel so guilty because I can’t love Bucky as freely as he loves me.” 

 

“Sweetheart, I know that you’re going through a hard time right now and honestly, I don’t know how to help. But I want you to know there’s nothing wrong with how your feeling,” he says, cupping your face in his hands. “And even if I can’t give the best advice I want you to know that I’m here with you, alright? Every step of the way.” 

 

You nodded in reply before giving him a hug. Bruce returns the hug and places a kiss on top of your head. “Love you, kiddo.” 

 

“Love you too, Dad,” you murmured against his chest. 

 

You didn’t know what to make of your conflicted feelings regarding the men you had fallen so deeply in love with. The guilt writhing within you was split between the two. Guilt for moving on so quickly after Tony’s death and guilt for telling Bucky you loved him when you were still pining over another. 

 

Never once did it occur to you that there could have been a connection between the two instances. You never questioned how Bucky had reappeared so conveniently after Tony’s death. As you were transitioning from a state of mourning and utter despair into a sweet and passionate romance, not once did it dawn on you that maybe Bucky had something to do with Tony’s murder. 

 

Looking back from the future, you always wondered what could have happened if you did realize there was something wrong. You always wondered what could have been if you stopped yourself before it was too late. 

 


 

"There that should make it better," you whispered, tying the thread of the small line of stitches on his torso. 

 

You spent the last two hours fixing your husband, piecing him back together until he was good as new. Or at least somewhat presentable. 

 

"Thanks, sweetheart," he mumbled, wishing he didn't have to come home looking the way he did. He didn’t want to come home to see you cry for him. He only wanted you to welcome him with open arms and gentle smiles.  

 

You stand up, stretching your back from being hunched over for so long. You stood straight as he sat on the kitchen counter. “It was nothing, Humpty Dumpty,” you teased with a lopsided smile earning a chuckle from him. 

 

Your mediocre attempt to lighten the mood only dampens it with the help of his scarred and bandaged body displayed for you. You bite your lip at the sight of him, fighting the urge to cry. 

 

"Baby," he whispers, pulling you into him, “please don’t cry. You know I hate it when you cry." 

 

“Bucky,” you said, holding a fresh set of tears at bay. 

 

Bucky gulps at the sight of you wearing his shirt and a pair of fluffy pajama pants with your hair lazily tied into a low bun. Bare-faced and natural. There were no fancy dresses or designer shoes, and yet, you were still the most beautiful girl he had ever laid eyes on. His beautiful wife with her angelic aura and healing touch. 

 

Bucky ponders on how he could’ve lost you tonight, how his baby girl could have woken up to see her mama a crying mess because he didn’t come home. How he would never get to read bedtime stories to her or how he would never get to see his girls again. Just the fact that you were up all night worried about his safety was eating him up on the inside. 

 

You didn’t deserve it. You shouldn’t have to worry that every goodbye could have been the last. It wasn’t fair to you or Bella. All he wanted was to see his girls happy, but he didn’t seem to understand that their happiness was tied to him and not the gifts this world could offer. 

 

“Bucky,” you call him again and the look in his eye is fearful of what you were going to say. He knew what it was, but he didn’t want to hear it. 

 

“Just let it all go,” you sniffled, “please,” you cupped his cheek. He looked into your pleading eyes for only a second before hiding his face in your hand. 

 

“Please just let it all go,” you repeated. “Why do you keep holding on to it? It’s not worth it.” 

 

He looks up to see your cheeks stained with tears. You’re a mess and it’s all because of him. It’s all his fault. Maybe he should listen to you. Maybe he should give it all up. 

 

“Baby, please,” you pleaded. “It doesn’t matter to me if we're rich or poor,” you cried, “as long as you’re with me, I’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.” 

 

A big part of him wanted to say it. He wanted to give you the assurance you were asking for, but he couldn’t. He was in too deep and it was so hard to let it all go. He couldn’t abandon what his forefathers had built, even if it was built on unholy ground. It was the prime inheritance of his family and he couldn’t let it all burn. Because in the end family was all he had. That was what his father had taught him. What he drilled into the inner wall of his skull. And even if he detested that man with every inch of his soul, in the end, he was just like him, stubborn to a fault. 

 

“Is all of that really more important than what you have now?” you asked, growing peeved by his silence. “Is it really more important than your little girl?” Bucky shakes his head like a child. “If you can't do it for me then do it for her. Give it all up,” you urge him, “just let it all go to hell.” 

 

Bucky wiped the tears from your eyes and takes your hands into his. “Doll, I wanna let it all go. I really do, but just give me some time to figure it all out,” you shake your head in denial, knowing it wasn’t going to be like that at all. 

 

“Please, baby, just give me some time,” he pulls on your hands towards him, “And then I’ll take you away from here. I’ll take you wherever you wanna go and we’ll be happy. Just you, me, and Bella. Isn’t that what you want? Cause all I want is what you want.” 

 

“You promise?” you asked, looking into his blue eyes for confirmation. 

 

He pulls you into his arms and the side of your face rests against his bare chest. “I promise,” he says, his chest humming against your ear as he spoke. Bucky kisses your hair and rubs your back with his hand. “I promise I’ll be a better man.” 

 

You close your eyes against him, exhausted yet hopeful that he would abide by his promise. But you knew that promises were always easy to make, but always hard to keep. 

Chapter Text

You stared at the stick in your hand blankly. You didn't know what to think of it. This was not something you had planned and certainly not something you were prepared for. 

 

You looked down at the blue plus sign staring back at you tauntingly, scolding you for being so careless. 

 

Another baby. A new addition to the Barnes family. A fine competitor for all the affection Bella was given. 

 

Anxiety was the first thing you felt. Another baby. Another little person to take care of. You didn't know if you were ready for that. It was already hard taking care of one. How much harder would it be to take care of two simultaneously? Not to mention the fact of what your child's future would have in store. 

 

You didn't think it through when having Bella. You were broken at that time. So torn by the loss of your first child, you were desperate for another chance and when it came you couldn't let it go. 

 

It was different at that time. A fresh start with Bucky and those first few years were so good, but like all things it faded away. It slowly lost its' power as life went on. So caught up in the beauty and perfection of the things surrounding you, you had forgotten that the man who had given them to you was far from perfect and pure. 

 

The fights were still there. The anger was still there. The pain he had inflicted upon you was still there. But you did your best to maintain it, bury it all for the sake of your family. All for your little girl. Although Bucky gave you the hope of becoming a better man, you knew that his promises never had a long lasting effect. But you could still hope.  

 

Although you tried to keep Bella's life as normal as it could be, it was far from it. She didn't know that the fancy cars she went to school in were bulletproof or that she was a highly-targeted and protected individual at her young age. Bella didn't know that the parents of her peers would warn their children to be careful around her or the fact that all of the teachers were intimidated just by having her in their class. Bucky and you had kept these things and many more hidden from her, but the time would come when she would piece it all together, and that was a day you weren't ready for. 

 

You sighed deeply, brushing your finger over the test when you heard a knock at the door.

 

"Doll, you okay in there?" Bucky asked. "You've been in there for a while." 

 

"Yeah, I'm fine," you said, quickly getting off the closed seat of the toilet. You threw the stick in the back of a drawer underneath a stack of washcloths. After washing your hands, you stuck on a face mask before opening the door to see him standing at the frame of your adjoined bathroom. 

 

"Something wrong?" you asked. 

 

"Is it Halloween yet? Cause you look terrifying." 

 

"Boo!" you howled, pretending to be a ghost.

 

"Don't go into Bella's room she might get scared."

 

"Oh be quiet," you rolled your eyes while pushing past him as he chuckled. 

 

"You're telling me you spent an hour in the bathroom to stick a mask on?" 

 

"It's called self care, my dearly beloved husband," you replied, sitting on the bed, "This is only step three." 

 

"Goodness, how many steps are there?" 

 

"Depends on my mood." 

 

"As all things in this house." 

 

"Are you implying something?" you looked up from your phone. 

 

"Nothing," he shrugged, not in the mood to be admonished by his wife. "I'm just saying." 

 

"There's nothing wrong with taking care of yourself." 

 

Bucky flopped onto the bed, forcibly placing his head on your lap. 

 

"There isn't," he agreed, "and I'm glad you do it. I don't want people to think I'm married to an old lady." 

 

"But I have to walk around with a thirty-two year old man looking like he's fifty," you deadpanned. "My God, Bucky what's with your face?" 

 

Bucky knitted his brows in offense. "What's wrong with my face?" 

 

"You've got wrinkles on your forehead," you said brushing your finger against them, "Bags under your eye and oh my gosh is that a white hair?" you joked, pulling on a strand of hair. 

 

"Doll," he swatted you away, making you chuckle. 

 

"You're the one who looks like a fright," you stated and he grumbled in reply. "Maybe I should get you a mask too," you suggested. 

 

No way am I putting that thing on my face," he replied. 

 

"There's nothing wrong with it. Guys do it all the time," you noted. "Stevie does it." 

 

"Stevie is a guy. I'm a man," Bucky countered. "There's a difference between the two." 

 

"Just let me give you the ones that go underneath your eyes," you offered, "We gotta do something about these bags." 

 

"Doll, I don't care. As long as you look pretty, I'm fine." 

 

"Well I do care." 

 

"You're insatiable." 

 

"Man, you're really killing it with these vocab words," you chuckled as did he. 

 

"C'mon?" you asked once more, "Do it for me?" 

 

Bucky nods with a lazy smile. "Fine, anything for my old lady." 

 

You giggle while swiping your fingers through his soft auburn locks. "If we're old now, what are we going to be when we're gray and wrinkly?" 

 

"I don't even think I'm gonna live that long," he said cynically making you frown a little.

 

"You shouldn't say things like that," you told him. 

 

Bucky shrugs against your thighs. "You never know what could happen," he said, wishing he didn't tell you. He turns away from your downward gaze and towards your stomach. 

 

"You're going to live a long life," you assured as if you had control over that. "You're going to live a long and happy life." You stated firmly, brushing your fingers through his hair in a soothing manner.

 

Bucky looks up at you from the side of his eyes, his piercing blue eyes gazing at your mask clad face. Bucky smiles to himself and kisses your stomach. You tense at the contact of his lips against you. 

 

"I love you so much," he whispered against your stomach. He didn't know who he was saying it to. 

 

You gave him a lopsided smile while continuing to run your fingers through his hair. "Love you too, handsome." 

 

A peaceful silence sank into the room but failed to calm the unrest whirling within you. Your thoughts were pressed with anxiety and fear, confusion and distress. 

 

What were you going to do? You weren't ready for another baby. Your family wasn't as normal as you'd like to believe it was. Bella was never a wrong decision. She was perfect with her bubbly giggles and twinkling blue eyes. But placing her in a world as corrupt as yours was wrong, a mistake on your part. She didn't deserve it and you didn't know if you could do that to another. 

 

It was a pity. The moments in life that were meant to bring happiness only brought pain and sorrow to you. It brought you to a place of conflicted feelings and split decisions. Where a good outcome was scarce.

 

You let out a deep sigh releasing a little of your pent up frustration. Looking down at the man laying on your lap, his eyes were closed basking in your tender touch as you twirl your fingers in his hair freely but avoiding the healing wound on the corner of his forehead. 

 

Your husband with his stupid jokes and cute chuckles. What would he want? You thought to yourself while gazing at him. He should know you thought to yourself. He deserved to know. Despite the fear building up inside you decided to tell him. 

 

"Bucky." 

 

"Hmm?" he asked lazily against you. 

 

You pause for a moment not knowing how to say it. You didn't want it to come out the wrong way. You decided to just drop it on him and whatever happens, happens. 

 

"I-um," you started, "well I have something to say and don't freak out but-um." 

 

"You okay?" he asked looking up at you. Your face shining a bright red as if you've never been pregnant before. 

 

"Yeah, I'm fine," you said taking off your long forgotten mask. 

 

"I forgot you looked like that," Bucky jokes. 

 

You chuckle while nudging him off of you. "I hate you.”

 

“So what was it that you wanted to tell me?” 

 

“Oh yeah, that, um, well you see,” you started. 

 

A notification went off on Bucky’s phone stopping you. He takes the phone and checks a message from Clint. His brows furrow in frustration as he lets out a sigh. 

 

“Something wrong?” you asked. 

 

“It’s nothing,” Bucky said getting up. “I gotta go.” 

 

“Now?” you asked, “It’s almost midnight.”

 

“I know but I gotta.” 

 

“You don’t have to,” you replied, wishing he wouldn’t. 

 

“Doll, please let me go?” Bucky asked. “I’ll be fine, don’t worry.” 

 

“It’s when you tell me not to I worry the most,” you replied with a scowl, “Buck, it’s not worth it.” 

 

“Baby, I already told you didn’t I?” he asked with a sigh. “I’m gonna make it better but just give me some time.” 

 

“Why do I get this feeling you won’t?” 

 

Bucky remains silent, unable to answer your question. It was hard for him. He was stuck bad and it was going to take time for him to let go. But you wanted everything right away and he couldn’t do that. Why couldn’t you just understand where he was coming from? 

 

“I will,” he assured, “I made a promise and I’m going to keep it. Just trust me on this?” 

 

You nodded, wanting to give him a chance. “Okay,” you whispered. 

 

He grins and places a gentle kiss on your lips making you smile with him. You follow him downstairs and give him his coat so he wouldn’t be cold. 

 

“You gonna be okay?” he asked, putting it on. 

 

“I’ll be fine just come home in one piece this time?” 

 

“I’ll make sure of it,” he chuckled. “Love you sweetheart,” he said before giving you another kiss. 

 

He opens the door to leave and you call him back. 

 

“Bucky?” 

 

“Yeah?” 

 

“Come home soon alright? There’s something important I have to tell you.” 


 

"Doll," Bucky whined, following you around like a lost dog. "Please stop ignoring me." 

 

You refused to look at him as you walked down the aisle brimming with books. Your ponytail bouncing in tandem with your steps as you looked around for certain books. 

 

Bucky sidestepped you to block your path. He gave you his best grin hoping it would make you forgive him. You roll your eyes at his pathetic attempt to make up for ignoring you for literally a week. 

 

He really had the nerve to show his face after so long and if you knew how to punch you would've punched him by now. You rolled your eyes and walked around him. 

 

"Doll!" Bucky exclaimed. 

 

"Shhh!" a woman in the next aisle hissed. 

 

"Sorry," Bucky whispered as he followed you around to the next aisle. 

 

You scanned through the books looking for the one you needed. "Baby," Bucky whined behind you making you groan lowly. "What do I have to do to make you like me again?"

 

From the sound of his voice you could tell he felt guilty, but that wasn't enough to let him slide. 

 

"I'm sorry," you said. "Do I know you?" 

 

"Stop playing with me Y/N," Bucky warned while leaning against the shelf with his arms crossed. 

 

"Who said anything about playing?" you asked quietly, "I don't think I've ever met you before," you said before sharply turning from him with your high ponytail bouncing in the air. 

 

"This isn't fair." Bucky said, breaking the silence of the library. 

 

"Be quiet will ya?" a kid asked. "I'm trying to read here." 

 

Bucky glares at the kid before following you up the steps to the second floor. 

 

"Baby, give me another chance." 

 

"Have you ever been in a library before?" you asked him, growing increasingly annoyed by his blatant disregard for the number one rule when in a library. STAY QUIET. 

 

"No, because I'm not a nerd like you," he joked, but you weren't laughing. You only turned away and walked towards the shelves of book you were looking for. 

 

Okay, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that." 

 

You remain silent picking out a novel from a shelf. "If you don't talk to me I will scream at the top of my lungs." 

 

You gave him a look that said: You don't have the guts.

 

He replied with one that said: You really think I won't? 

 

You roll your eyes and turn back to the book in your hand. Bucky takes in a deep breath before belting out your name. 

 

"Y/N!!!!" he shouted and you quickly slammed your hand against his mouth with a red face. 

 

He grinned wickedly against your hand while you gave him a scowl for doing the worst thing imaginable in such a holy place. 

 

"What's with you?" you hissed. 

 

He pulls your hand away from his mouth. "Forgive me?" he asked in a whisper. 

 

"And why should I?" you asked. "You've been ignoring for me a week." 

 

"I was busy," he murmured.

 

"What were you doing that you couldn't even reply to a simple text?" 

 

Bucky bit his lip. He couldn't tell you exactly what he was doing since what he was doing had something to do with you. 

 

"I saw your text I just forgot to reply," he replied then slapped himself mentally for saying that. He was such an idiot at times. 

 

The scowl on your face grew even more deadly than before and Bucky was actually afraid.

 

"I'm dumping you," you stated firmly before walking away from him. 

 

"No, baby, wait," he pleaded, "Anything but that." 

 

You walked down the aisle completely ignoring his whispered pleas and scrambled state. You smirk devilishly at the sound of his desperate cries. You weren't exactly an angel either. 

 

"You're gonna dump me right before Christmas?"

 

You stop and turn with a firm look in your eyes. "Fine I'll dump you the day after but don't even think about talking to me ever again." 

 

"Please let me make it up to you?" Bucky asked with his hands folded in front of you. "Please?" 

 

You couldn't dump him. Not when he spent an entire week preparing for his proposal. He wrote an endearing monologue that was basically a piece of his heart, if not all of it. Not to mention he spent way too much money on decorations. Of course no price compared to you, but he didn't want all of his hard work to go to waste. 

 

Unable to bear his dramatic behavior and the sickeningly cute pout on his face you caved in with a sigh. 

 

"Okay, I forgive you," you said, wishing you were stronger when it came to him. 

 

Bucky's grin grew to the tips of his ears. In a quick motion, he cups your face and slams his lips onto yours. Your back hits the back of the shelf with a soft thud from the impact. He tasted like winter, a cool and sweet minty flavor that had you melting.

 

You part from him with a toothy smile and light blush gracing your soft cheeks. Bucky keeps you close to him. You weren't the only one missing him for a week. 

 

"They're going to kick us out for being inappropriate," you told him which made him smirk. 

 

"I wouldn't really mind that," he said, leaning in for another kiss. 

 

"Hate to break it to you, but some of us like coming to the library," you push him away gently. 

 

Bucky smirks while cupping the side of your face with his fingers resting underneath your ear. 

 

"Then I'll make one just for you so you don't have to keep coming to this crappy one." 

 

You chuckle as you wrap your arms around his neck pulling him closer to you. 

 

"I'll hold you to that, Mr. Barnes," you smile, your breath dancing across his lips. "It better have every book in the world." 

 

Bucky chuckles. "Anything for you, Mrs. Barnes," he said smoothly before kissing you. Your cheeks burned a bright red not only from partaking in a blatantly public display of affection but because of the name he gave you. 

 

Mrs. Barnes .

 

A single thought came to mind, but you pushed it away. It couldn't be that. Anything but that. 


 

You peeked from underneath the covers you were buried in and reached for your phone. You squinted at the bright light of the screen finding out it was two in the morning. You place your phone back on the table and snuggle deeper into the blankets. Bucky still wasn't home and although you were worried, your desire to sleep was greater. 

 

Your mind frolics back to dreams of a better place. One where you didn't need to worry about the safety of your children. A place where you didn't have to fear that your husband wouldn't come home. A perfect paradise that was free and wild, warm and endearing. 

 

You could hear the quiet shuffling of feet against the floor and the sound of pants being thrown on the other side of the room. The left side of the bed dips under Bucky's weight as he pulls the covers over his half-naked body.

 

He reaches over and catches you with his arm to pull you into him. You smile lazily as he nuzzled his face into your hair, taking a whiff of your floral shampoo. It felt complete. His hot breath against your neck and the steady beat of his heart against your back. It felt perfect for a moment in time. 

 

Maybe heaven wasn't a far away place in your dreams. Maybe it was right there in his arms. A tainted paradise, but one not void of warmth and affection. 

 

You turn around and dig your face into the crevice of his neck with your legs entangling with his. His thick, muscular arms were wrapped around you sweetly. Gentle with a promise to protect. 

 

He smelled of pine and death. Something you had grown accustomed to by now. One would say it wasn't something you should be used to, let alone accept. But after so many years did it really matter? 

 

Taken from a place of light and life and brought to the underworld where darkness reigned with unbound power and death was a commonality, you had grown to accept it. Grown to love all of him. He pressed a kiss against your head before bringing you closer to his cold, hardened form allowing you to keep him warm. 

 

He was the Hades to your Persephone. 

He was the king of the underworld and you were his dazzling queen. 

Chapter Text

“It’s because of me, isn’t it?” Bucky asked with disappointment written on his face. “It’s because I’m not a good father.” 

 

It’s not that at all,” you denied while folding the pile of clothes laid on the bed. “I already told you that.” 

 

“Then why don’t you want to keep the baby?” he asked for what felt like the hundredth time. He couldn’t understand why you didn’t want it. He shifted on top of the bed causing the stack of folded clothes to tumble to the side. 

 

You huffed in annoyance. “Because I’m not ready for one,” you repeated. “We didn’t even plan this.” 

 

“What’s there to plan?” he asked incredulously. “We didn’t plan for Bella. How is this any different?” 

 

“That was then and this is now.". 

 

“And what’s so different about now?” 

 

You threw the shirt in your hand back onto the pile with frustration. “Everything is different. Two kids is a lot of work, Buck, and I don’t think I can handle it.” 

 

Bucky stood up and placed his hands on your shoulders. “Baby, I know it’s hard, but we’ll make it work. We’re in this together.” 

 

You look at him in disbelief before shaking him off and turn away from him. “You say that now, but when the time comes you’ll be gone,” you said with a tang of venom in your words. 

 

Bucky takes a step back in confusion. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” his voice rose with his brows knitted together. 

 

“Exactly what you think it does,” you replied. “In the end, it always ends up being me taking care of Bella while you’re off doing God knows what.” 

 

“That’s not true,” he countered. 

 

“It is true,” you said, your words harsher than intended. “You’re never around for her. It’s always about your damn job and it’s not fair to her. She needs you just as much as she needs me.” 

 

Bucky grunts in exasperation. “It’s always the same fucking thing with you,” he said pointedly. “It’s always about what I do.” 

 

“Because it’s tearing us apart,” you said, your shoulders drooping. You were so tired of it all. “Can’t you see it?” 

 

“The life we live isn’t solid. There’s no telling what can happen tomorrow or ten years from now or even in a few hours. There’s no stability and it’s dangerous,” you said, letting all the worries kept deep within flow out. “There isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not worried about Bella. You and I both know just how risky it is for her just to be out there. And even if we try to give her a normal childhood, it doesn’t change the fact that it isn’t. It doesn’t change the fact that there’s someone at every corner just waiting to hurt her because she’s your daughter.” 

 

Bucky looks away from your teary gaze. “It’s not fair to her and I can’t do that to another one. I’m not strong enough.” 

 

“So it is because of me,” he whispered. You could hear the pain in his voice and it hurts to see him like this. You wished there was a better way of saying it. 

 

“Bucky,” you called him, but he doesn’t look your way only fueling your anxiety. “I’m just trying to do what’s right for us.” 

 

Bucky shakes his head as he turns to you. “This isn’t the way, Y/N,” he says firmly, but his eyes are soft. Broken. Ashamed. “This isn’t what I want.” 

 

You stood straight in front of him. Your gaze was unwavering and your expression resolute. You were done catering to his every whim. “This is what I want,” you stated. “And there’s nothing you can do to change my opinion.” 

 

Bucky glowered in irritation as he swallows your words with distaste. Without saying a word he turns to exit the room, leaving you all alone with an overbearing sense of guilt. 


“Did you have fun?”

 

“Every minute with you is always fun,” you replied, wiggling your brows. 

 

Bucky nudged you gently with his arm that had yours wrapped around them. You giggle at his bashful roll of the eyes before giving him a kiss on his cold cheek. 

 

You were on the way home from a lovely dinner date. Instead of taking the car home, Bucky decided to take you on a walk. At first, you were unsure about the idea considering your outfit, consisting of a knee-length dress and overcoat, wasn’t necessarily winter-appropriate attire. 

 

You changed your mind the minute you started to walk, realizing that it was rather enjoyable. Even if the cold New York air was gnawing at your legs there was something tender and intimate, romantic even, about walking in a dimly lit park. 

 

You walked alongside Bucky, your footsteps in step with his. Your arms were wrapped around his own with your head resting against his shoulder. The bare branches wisped in the air above rustling the delicate layer of snow settled on them to fall to the ground. The empty sound of frigid air created an uncanny serenity, one that wasn’t common in your bustling city. 

 

The path diverged onto a woodland trail dimly lit by a canopy of luminous meteor lights hanging off the overarching branches of the trees lighting it. You looked up at the lights in wonder. You never remembered them being here before and you knew this park like the back of your hand. Christmas was two weeks ago which only added to your confusion for the decorated trail. 

 

“Something wrong?” Bucky asked, sensing your uneasiness.

 

“No,” you replied. “Where are we?” 

 

“The park,” he replied. 

 

“I know that, but I don’t remember this place.” 

 

“Really?” Bucky asked. “Don’t you live here?” 

 

You pinch him and he chuckles at his own joke. 

 

“You’ll see soon enough.” 

 

“You have something planned don’t you?” 

 

“I’m not going to say anything,” he shakes his head as he keeps on walking with you in tow. 

 

Your heart was giddy with anticipation and the goosebumps forming on your arms were from more than just the cold weather. 

 

You gasp in realization. "I know where we're going.” 

 

"Yeah?" he chuckled. "Where?" 

 

"You know exactly where," you replied with a smile. "My favorite spot in the city. The place we first met." 

 

"That was an unusual first meeting." 

 

You giggle against him. "Tell me about it, but then again nothing is normal when it comes to you." 

 

Bucky rolls his eyes as the two of you reach the end of the path. You let go of Bucky's arm and pause at the mesmerizing scene before you. It was the same place, but all so different at the same time. Completely transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland. Lights hung from the tree where you spent summer days under reading passages of unrequited lovers and fearless rogues. The ground was covered in an untouched blanket of pure-white, smooth and unblemished, shining underneath the gentle beams coming from the trees. 

 

You walked down the paved path with bloody red rose petals guiding your every step. Floating lanterns glided along the cold waters of the pond with their reflections dancing beneath them making you remember the time you pushed Bucky into the water. You giggled at the memory before turning to him. He stood behind you with his lips curled into a lopsided, anxious smile.  

 

"Bucky, this is amazing," you replied breathlessly at the display before you. "Did you do this?" 

 

"I did," he replied, coming closer. "I did it for you." 

 

"I-," your words falter as you are left in awe of it all. "I love it. It’s amazing,” you said, wishing for better words. “But why?" 

 

Bucky chuckles while taking your gloved hands in his. His eyes twinkling in the moonlight with a luminescent smile gracing his features. 

 

"Because for the first time I've found what I can truly love — I found you. You are my sympathy — my better self — my good angel," he confesses, the heat from his breath warming his lips. "I'm bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you are good, gifted, lovely. A fervent, solemn passion is conceived in my heart and it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life. My existence is wrapped around you for you have kindled a pure, sparkling flame within me, one that I never thought I could have again." 

 

Heat rises to your cheeks making you burn up despite the prickly cold weather. Your thoughts were stuck in a daze and all you could think of was kissing the hell out of him. 

 

Bucky chuckles to himself, his cheeks brighter than the lights around you and heart hammering against his chest. He gets down on one knee and your heart drops instantly. Your mouth parts slightly and eyes filled with astonishment. Your legs start to feel like mush, ready to give away if he uttered even a single word. Why were you so scared?

 

"Y/N," he starts and something inside of you wished he would stop.

 

"I've thought about this deeply and I've realized that this is what I want. I want you to be the first person I look at every morning and the only one I kiss goodnight." he holds your hands tighter in his. "Because the first time I saw these hands, I couldn't imagine not holding them. And all I want to do is hold them forever." 

 

"I promise to love you forever. To let all my happiness be yours and all your sadness be mine. I'll give you the whole world as long as you'll give me your heart," he requests. 

 

His hand reaches into his pocket and takes out a blue ring box. He lifts the top, revealing the dazzling diamond ring he had been hiding for so long. Your eyes grow wide at the size of it and left in complete shock by everything he had done to make this absolutely perfect. He did it all for you. 

 

"Y/N, will you marry me?" he asks in the serenity of the place you first met him, making you recall a bittersweet memory. 

 

You looked down at him, standing on one knee holding the blue velvet box with a gorgeous ring nestled in between the satin cushion, representing his promise to keep you happy for the rest of your life. To love you for all eternity. He gazed at you lovingly, waiting patiently for an answer with a hope that it was what he wanted to hear. 

 

You couldn’t say no to that face. His eyes were bathing in admiration for you with a pretty smile gracing his handsome features, waiting in anticipation for your inevitable answer. You couldn’t do that to him, you couldn’t break his heart like that. Even if you weren’t ready, you couldn’t hurt him in such a way. And after all, he had done for you, couldn’t you do this one thing for him?

 

Swallowing down the panic and confusion, your lips twisted into a bashful smile with tears brimming at the edges of your eyes. Where they came from, you didn’t know. 

 

You nodded quietly and Bucky’s face lights up in delight, brighter than all the lights that decorated the park.

 

“Yes,” you said, nodding with tears streaming down your face, “I will marry you.” You said, a chuckle coloring your words. 

 

You give him your hand and he gently takes it in his and slips the ring onto your fourth finger with shaky fingers. You quietly giggle at how nervous he is. He stands up and quickly pulls you into a searing kiss, knocking the wind out of you. 

 

He tastes sweet like Christmas goodies with a twinge of something bitter like alcohol. It was always that way with him. Sweet and bitter. Two sharply contrasting flavors that had you breathless and wanting more. You wrap your hand around his neck, the cool metal of your ring sending a chill down his spine. 

 

There's nothing else in the world he has wanted more than this. To have you in his arms with an assurance that you'd never leave. Bucky feels excitement bursting within him just at the idea of having this forever. He parts gently but keeps you close as the two of you pant for air. 

 

He presses his forehead against you and kisses you again making you chuckle. 

 

"You got that first part from Jane Eyre, didn't you?" 

 

Bucky laughs heartily with his head hung back. "How'd you know?" 

 

"I've read it at least thirty times. I know it forwards and backward." you grinned with amusement. 

 

 "I meant it though. Every single word." 

 

"I know you did cause I could feel it. You are extraordinarily amazing and I love you." 

 

Bucky chuckles with a bashful smile. "Not as much as I love you,' he whispers, his warm breath mingling as he held you close. 

 

You look down from his gaze, realizing that maybe it was true. Maybe he loved you far more than you could ever love him. 

 

"And I'll love you till the end of this earth," he avows before pressing his lips against yours in another kiss. 

 

His words floated in your thoughts. Till the end of this earth. For the rest of their lives. What would forever be like with Bucky by your side?


  “Daddy, let’s go,” Bella whined, pulling Bucky out of the house by the hand. He followed behind her while texting with one hand. “We’re gonna be late!” 

 

“It’s seven-thirty,” Bucky replied. “School starts at eight.” 

 

“I like to be early.” 

 

“You’re the first kid I ever met that liked to go to school,” he chuckled as he stepped out the door. 

 

“School is fun!” she exclaimed. 

 

“Goodness, my daughter has a bad case of the nerd,” he teased. 

 

Bella huffed with a pout. “Mrs. Garcia says learning is good!” 

 

Bucky chuckles at her expense. “I’m just playing with you, princess.” 

 

“Bella, you forgot your lunchbox,” you approached the two in front of the door with her Barbie lunch box in hand. 

 

She takes it with a smile. “Thank you, Mommy.” 

 

“No problem, sweetheart,” you said, giving her a kiss on the head. “Have a good day at school.” 

 

“I will,” she said running off to the car leaving Bucky and you alone. 

 

The air was tense and awkward as it had been for the past few days since your decision. Bucky refused to speak with you after the decision and you didn’t push him to nor did you feel bad about it. You were done running after him every time he was disappointed with you and decided it was best to give him his space. Maybe the gears of his brain would start to turn by themselves and understand your perspective on it all.

 

“Have a good day,” you said, leaning against the doorframe. 

 

He gives a nod while looking at you with those pretty blue eyes of his. Ones you had grown to love so much. 

 

Bucky remained silent as he stood in front of you. He still loved you. Nothing would ever change that, but your decision was tearing him apart. It filled him with insecurity and shame. His eyes traveled down to your stomach showing no sign of a baby but it was there and all he wanted to do was kiss it. To whisper a thousand promises and affections to it, but what was the point?

 

“Come on, Daddy!” Bella shouted out the window breaking him from his trance. 

 

He gives you a small smile before giving you a peck on the lips. It was different than every other morning. Void of even an inkling of affection as if it was a passionless duty rather than a tender goodbye. 

 

“I’ll see you later,” he said flatly and you nodded in affirmation as he jogged towards the car. 

 

You closed the door the minute they left and leaned back against the door with your deep sigh echoing through the empty house. You trudge through the foyer towards the library deciding to peel off some stress with a captivating book. 

 

You pull out a random book from a random shelf and take a seat on a cushioned chair in front of the fireplace. You cracked open the book, a collection of short stories, to the first page and began to read. You sat with your feet tucked underneath you and the book resting on the armchair. 

 

At first, your attention was solely dedicated to Kate Chopin’s The Storm, but after a good two paragraphs, your thoughts began to wander. You groaned at the book. It was no use. You needed a better way to get your mind off of things and one came to mind in the form of a certain blonde. 

 

You shake your head in denial. No, it shouldn’t be him. You knew of his feelings and inviting him over, potentially including him in your problems, was wrong and selfish. You shouldn’t play with his feelings especially when all he ever did was respect your every wish. But you needed him, maybe now more than ever before. You needed someone to confide in and it always ended up being him, even when you didn’t want it to be. 

 

You cursed yourself for tapping his call icon but did nothing as the dial tone rang. You bit your lip as anxiety rushed through your veins. He picked up the call and you wished it went to voicemail. 

 

You were horrible for doing this. It was so wrong, but you couldn't stop yourself. You let out a quick sigh before smiling. 

 

"Hey, Steve, how's it going?" 

Chapter Text

Steve knew he shouldn't have come. He shouldn't have swiped right the instant his phone lit up or run down the stairs because the elevator was taking too long. 

 

Steve knew you wanted him over for more than just a simple game of chess. Something must have happened, something with Bucky, and you needed him to take your mind off of it. He knew there wasn't anything good for him here. He knew the minute you started to get along with Bucky you'd leave him in the dust. But even then he couldn't help himself. 

 

His heart was bound by a chain in your hand and even the smallest tug had him running.

 

Steve picks up his white bishop and hovers it over three spaces next to your rook. He looks up at you smiling and returned to his original spot. 

 

"Why did you do that?" you asked innocently. 

 

"You're making weird faces," he replied. 

 

"Oh, how the tables have turned," you chuckled. "This is some weird reverse deja vu." 

 

"I guess so," Steve chuckled. "Since when did you get so good at this game?" 

 

"Since I decided I was going to crush you." 

 

"Well, you're doing great so far," Steve replied, motioning to the pieces you had taken from him. "You've been playing with Buck or something?" 

 

"Nah, he's more of a checkers guy," you said propping your chin on one hand. 

 

"How uncivilized," Steve replies in a snooty tone making you chuckle. 

 

"Tell me about it," you said.

 

"How's everything going?" 

 

"It's going," you replied. He noticed the sadness in your tone. 

 

“Is everything alright?”

 

“It is,” you replied. “Do you want more tea?” you asked, getting up to avoid his calculating gaze. 

 

“I’m fine,” Steve said with a frown, knowing that you were trying to avoid the topic.

 

“Oh come on,” you urged. “Just one more cup?” 

 

“Alright,” he chuckles. “If you insist.” 

 

You smile as you take his cup and walk over to the teapot. Suddenly, a harsh clap of thunder roared above and startled you. The cup in your hand fell onto the floor and shattered into a million pieces. 

 

“You okay?” Steve said, getting up.

 

“Yeah, it’s fine,” you chuckle sheepishly. “The thunder just scared me.”

 

“The forecast said something about a thunderstorm today,” Steve mentioned as he walked towards you. 

 

“Oh, I hope it isn’t too bad,” you replied, foolishly picking up the larger pieces with your hand. “Bella hates the thunder-shit!” you hissed when a sharp piece of glass cut into the palm of your hand. You drop the pieces of glass back onto the floor while examining your wound, now pooling with blood. 

 

“Doll, are you okay?” Steve asked as he crouched down beside you. 

 

“Yeah,” you winced. “I’m fine. Just being an idiot.” 

 

“You’re bleeding like crazy,” he panicked. 

 

“It’s okay, Steve,” you tried to calm him down. “I’ll be fine.”

 

“Not with all that blood,” Steve pulled you up with him. “Come on, let’s get this cleaned up.” 

 

You gave him a small smile as he pulled you out of the library. “There’s a first aid kit in the bathroom,” you informed as he led you on, scolding you for being so stupid. 

 

“Jeez, doll, what made you think picking up glass with your bare hands was a good idea?” he asked like a mother, pulling the kit out from under the sink.

 

“I don’t know,” you replied, sitting on the bathroom counter. “I’m only functioning on one brain cell today, Stevie, cut me some slack.” 

 

Steve chuckles. “Just one of those days, huh?”

 

You chuckled then hissed as he dabs it with rubbing alcohol. “Give a girl a warning, will you?” 

 

“Sorry,” he smiled wickedly, indignant of his action. “I’m not a doctor, doll, I’m a lawyer.” 

 

“Thank God you aren’t,” you said. “You’d probably end up killing people.” 

 

“I’m trying to help you here and all I get is a sassy mouth.” 

 

“That’s the best you’re gonna get, Steve Rogers,” you smirk. 

 

He smiles softly as he tends to your hand with extreme delicacy. Just the feel of your hand in his had him weak in the knees and dizzy in the head. 

 

When did it come to this? When did he become so starved for your affection? Why did he fall in love with something that he knew he couldn’t have? He didn’t know the answers to his questions and maybe he’d never find them, but at that moment in time, it didn’t seem to matter. 

 

All he could he feel was your tender hand in his and your warm gaze upon him as he patched you up. It was a shame, he thought to himself. That those that had something so special would treat it without care. He wished he could get the chance Bucky had. Never would he let a tear fall from your eye or a scratch mark your delicate skin. If only you gave him the chance he’d show you just how much he loved you. 

 

You observed the way he worked on your wound with gentle care. His soft fingers brushing against your own. Goosebumps started to line your skin and a shiver went down your spine as he worshipped your hand with his own. His hands were so different from Bucky’s hands. Warm and soft with a promise to protect, to love, and to care. And although Bucky’s hands gave that same promise it was conditional. Only for when you listened to him and didn’t retaliate. His cold, calloused hands gave a bitter nostalgia of dark moments. But not Steve’s. All they reminded you of were challenging games of chess along with warm cups of tea. They only brought happiness and you wondered what it would be like if your hands could stay with his forever. 

 

“There, doll,” he said, tightly wrapping the bandage around your hand. Steve looks up to find you looking up at him and he stills as if it was an order from your eyes. “All done,” he whispers. 

 

He doesn’t dare to move as he stands in between your parted legs. He finds himself falling towards you with his hands planted firmly on the bathroom counter. He had forgotten his manners as if his brain had short-circuited the minute his eyes met yours. You had engrossed him, body and mind, as closed the gap between you. He was treading on dangerous waters with you calling his name.  

 

“Steve,” you whispered, your hand coming to cup his cheek which sent impulses of electricity zipping through him. You rub your thumb across his cheekbone and he lets out a small sigh. 

 

“Y/N,” he whispered, his lips impossibly close to yours, his hot breath tickling your lips in urgency to come to him. 

 

You gently place your lips against his and at first, he can’t believe what’s happening. He should have pushed you away and you shouldn’t have kissed him. But in the emptiness of your home that was void of speculating eyes, who was to stop you? 

 

There was still a bit of dignity left inside of you and just as quickly as you kissed him you parted. Your face was flushed with embarrassment and guilt. You pushed him away gently and his eyes denoted confusion, but quickly shifted to guilt from what had just happened. 

 

“I’m sorry,” you replied. “I shouldn’t have called you here. I’m so sorry,” you began to tear up before running out of the bathroom and towards the kitchen. You opened the sliding doors roughly and walked out into the storm.


 

“I can’t believe this is really happening!” 

 

“Becca, you’ve said that for the sixth time today,” you chuckled with a shake of the head. 

 

It didn’t take long for the secret of your engagement to come out. Bucky was bursting at the seams to tell everyone. He had never been so happy in his life until that moment. His eyes were twinkling with excitement and his smile reached the tips of his ears as friends and families congratulated the two with one or two making a joking comment of how his life was over now. 

 

Bucky didn’t believe that to be true. It was as if his life was just starting. A new life with you. Never had he felt so alive than when you were in his arms. 

 

Becca was just as excited as her brother. She knew his life wasn’t easy and how their father had pushed him into a place he didn’t want to be. She saw him change from a fun-loving, cheerful boy to a cold-hearted, dead man. To see the old Bucky coming back brought tears to her eyes and calming ease to her heart. All she wanted was for him to be happy.

 

“I know,” Becca said pulling on your arm that was intertwined with hers. “It’s just…eeeee!!!” she squealed making you laugh harder. 

 

The two of you decided to spend a day on the cobblestone streets of SoHo casually window shopping to come up with some ideas for the wedding. You thought it was a bit too early to do any shopping, but Becca insisted that you go with her. And when Becca wanted to do something the world had to follow. So there you were, heads tucked in warm beanies and bodies wrapped in overcoats as the two of you walked with your arms locked with each other. 

 

“Okay, enough squealing,” you said. “When can we go home?” 

 

“Go home?” Becca asked incredulously. “We haven’t even bought anything!”

 

“You said we were window shopping.”

 

“Yeah,” she agreed. “But you can’t leave without buying something. That’s just wrong!”

 

“Becca it’s twenty degrees out here,” you whined. “I’m going to die.” 

 

“Then let’s get into one of those shops,” she pulled on your arm, but you pulled her back. 

 

“I don’t want to go in there,” you said feeling lazy. “I really don’t feel like shopping today.” 

 

“Y/N, you’re worse than Bucky,” Becca groaned. “This is for the wedding!”

 

You chuckled at her. “We have a lot of time before the wedding. I’ve only been engaged for two weeks.” 

 

“I know, but still!” Becca said. “Everyone already knows you’re getting married! It’s the talk of the city! So you have to be extra prepared!” 

 

“We’ll be fine,” you groaned exasperatedly. She gave you her best puppy dog face while tugging on your arm. You turned away from her, but her aura was enough to make you give in. “Okay fine,” you huffed, “but first let’s go get a coffee. I’m going to need it.” 

 

“To the coffee shop!” she pointed down the sidewalk before pulling you along with her. 

 

After getting a large cup of coffee, you walked out of the small cafe with a wide smile and your hands warm from the heat of the cup. Becca’s phone began to ring and she asked you to hold her coffee while she rummaged through her bag to find it. 

 

“Mind if I take this real quick?” she asked. “It’s my boss.”

 

“Not at all,” you said, handing her coffee back. You sat down at one of the outdoor tables as she stood by the wall taking the call. 

 

You quietly enjoyed your coffee, letting it warm your insides delightfully. Suddenly, an elderly woman approached you, she was well-kept, but from the look in her eyes she was wallowing in despair. 

 

“You’re that woman, aren’t you?” she questioned.

 

“Excuse me?” you asked, not understanding what she was talking about. 

 

“You’re marrying him, aren’t you?” she questioned, her voice was firm. 

 

You didn’t know how to respond to her and decided to leave. Pushing past her, you walked away in a hurry towards Becca forgetting your coffee on the table. 

 

“Don’t run from me girl,” she catches your arm and you turn towards her trying to pull her off. Her grip was surprisingly tight for an old lady.

 

“Let go of me!” you shouted, trying to twist your way out of her grasp. 

 

“You’re marrying that bastard, James Barnes, aren’t you?” she snarled, and you freeze at the sound of his name.

 

“How could you?” she wailed as she shook you violently. “How could you marry a man like him? That cheat! That murderer!” 

 

You cowered underneath the woman’s bellows but did your best to pry yourself out of her grasp. “Please let go of me!” Your heart was pumping fast and mind in a frenzy. You didn’t know what to do. 

 

Thankfully, Becca noticed what was happening and came to pry you away from her. 

 

“Y/N, are you okay?” she asked worriedly. All you could do was shake your head with your eyes fixated on the woman unraveling before you. What in the world happened to her. 

 

“Mom?” a middle-aged woman came running towards the confusion. “What are you doing?” she asked shocked.

 

“She’s the one!” the woman shouted holding onto her daughter and pointing to you. You gulp feeling a strange sense of guilt even if you didn’t know what was happening. Bella stood in front of you, protecting you from there stares. "She's marrying him! She's marrying him, Sara! That bastard that took your father from me," the woman wailed. 

 

Your heart dropped at her words and you freeze at her accusation. Did Bucky really do something to her?

 

People began to stop to find out what was happening and some security guards came to inspect the problem.

 

"Mom, you don't know what you're talking about," Sara said in an effort to hush her mother. "Come on, we're leaving," she said pulling her along. 

 

“I know it’s her. I know it is,” she sobbed. “That demon took him away from me. When he did nothing wrong.” 

 

“Mom, that’s enough,” Sara stated firmly, “People are watching.” The elderly woman began sobbing to herself quietly as her daughter led her away.

 

"Sorry, Miss, but your mother just attacked that woman," an officer spoke. "We can't just let you leave." 

 

"Please, Officer," Sara asked. "My mother is old and she doesn't know what she’s talking about. She must have forgotten her medicine."

 

"I'm sorry, Miss, I can't do that." 

 

"Please just let them go," you asked. "I don't want anything. I'm alright, so please just let them be." 

 

"Are you sure?" the officer asked and you nodded. "If you say so." he shrugs in confusion. He turns towards the crowd and shoos them away. "Alright, there's nothing to see here!" 

 

"Thank you," Sara said, holding onto her mother. You simply nod wishing you could do more.

 

"Come on, Y/N" Becca pulled on your arm. "Let's get out of here. 

 

"Yeah,” you nodded still looking at the two with confusion and pity.

 

——

 

“Bucky, I already told you,” you sighed, sitting on the couch of his penthouse. “I’m fine.”

 

“Doll, you were attacked,” he said, crouching in front of you with worry written on his face “Who was that woman?” 

 

“I don’t know,” you shake your head. “Just some old lady that must have forgotten to take her meds. Can we just forget about it?”

 

“Baby...” he said unsatisfied. 

 

You lift his hands wrapped in yours and bring them to your lips for a kiss. “I’m fine. She didn’t do me any harm.” 

 

"What did she even say?" he asked. 

 

"Just crazy stuff," you replied, vaguely. 

 

Bucky’s lips form into a scowl. “She deserves to be in a mental hospital.”

 

“You shouldn’t say things like that,” you admonished. “You don’t know what she’s going through.”

 

“Y/N, you’re not serious, are you?” he asked incredulously. “She literally attacked you.” 

 

“I know, but still,” you sighed. “I just felt really bad for her. She was broken and sad. You could see it on her face. Something horrible happened to her.” 

 

He stood up with a huff. “I don’t get you sometimes,” he asks, puzzled. “You’re too nice to everyone, even to those that hurt you.” 

 

“She didn’t hurt me,” you retorted. “Do you see any bruises or scratches?” Bucky rolls his eyes. “I just don’t believe that anger and hatred is the best way to approach every situation. Besides if I wasn’t nice, you would’ve bled out in the park a while ago.” 

 

He snorted with a smirk. “Are you comparing me to a crazy old lady?” he asked, looking down at you. 

 

“Possibly,” you shrugged and he groans playfully. Bucky turns towards the door. 

 

“Where are you going?” 

 

“Out,” he replied curtly. “I’ll be back.”

 

“No,” you said, catching his hand. “Please just stay with me?” you asked as he turned to look at you. “I don’t want to be alone.” 

 

Bucky smiles and nods. He comes to sit down on the couch and you snuggle into his side with your head resting on his shoulder. 

 

“Wanna watch a movie?” Bucky asked. 

 

You nodded and he fired up Netflix to pick a movie. He picks out a random chick flick and gets comfortable. He kisses the side of your head making you smile. “Love you,” he whispers against your hair. 

 

“Love you, too,” you replied with a smile. You watched the movie, but your thoughts were still stuck on the woman. Her sobs were ringing in your ears and the desperate look in her eyes was etched into your brain. Your thoughts were heavy with a thousand questions and fears, but all you could do at the time was to watch the movie with Bucky. At least you knew he couldn’t hurt her if he stayed with you. 


 

You ran out onto the deck, the chilly air making goosebumps form on top of your goosebumps. You stood underneath the protection of the roof with your head resting against the main post, quietly listening to the pitter-patter of raindrops above. A storm was brewing and it only added to your anxiety. 

 

What were you doing? How were you going to explain this to Steve? That you didn’t mean it. That you got carried away. But did you really? Was it really an accident or something you’ve always wanted? 

 

You shake your head in denial. This wasn’t what you wanted. You had a family and you couldn’t risk it. But why did your lips crave for more of his? And why did your heart flutter shamelessly the minute he held your hand? 

 

“Stop this, Y/N,” you scolded yourself, wiping away tears of conviction. 

 

You never should have called him and brought him into such a vulnerable position. You decided you were going to tell him to leave and turned to do so only to find him already standing behind you. Your shoulders fall as your left breathless at the sight of him. 

 

He pushed the hair back from your face that was warm and steaming and you didn’t flinch. His eyes were wandering over your lips that were red and moist like pomegranate seeds and you begged him for more than just his steady gaze. Before you could even say a word, his lips were on yours. This time he didn’t ask or wait. One taste of your lips had him rampant for more and you didn’t fight back. Instead, you melted into his strong, warm arms.  

 

He abruptly lets go of you, his senses finally coming to him. “I-I should leave,” he whispers in guilt and turns quickly, leaving you abandoned to the cold. 

 

“No,” you denied, catching his hand with your bandaged one. “Don’t leave,” you whispered, tears bubbling at the corners of your eyes. “Please,” you pleaded and his heart was torn in two. “Please don’t leave me again.” 

 

He comes back to you and takes you in his arms once again as if that was where you were always meant to be. As if that was what he was always meant to do. You had forgotten the crashing torrents against the roof and the roar of the elements as he enveloped you with a generous abundance of passion, one void of guile and trickery. It penetrated into the deepest parts of your soul, releasing unknown depths of equal passion. 

 

Steve was left breathless by it all. It all seemed too perfect like one of his many dreams. And even when he was out of air he couldn’t find it in himself to part from you. Your mouth was a fountain of delight and when he possessed it, they seemed to swoon together at the borderland of life’s mystery. 

 

He knew he wasn't a good man. Steve knew he had his fair share of serious flaws, but none of it seemed to matter. If losing the title of a good man meant that he could have you even for a sliver of time then so be it. So he stood there boldly taking the lips of a married woman captive in a steaming hot kiss and forgetting about the man that trusted him. You wrapped your arms around his neck, your fingers carding into his blonde locks as every fiber of your being submitted to him. It all felt so perfect for a wrinkle in time. It all felt absolutely splendid. 

Chapter Text

"Doll, I can't find the candles," Steve said, looking through the cabinet. 

 

"Maybe because they're in the drawer like I said they were," you replied slowly in a sarcastic tone. 

 

"Oh right," Steve chuckles sheepishly, "for some reason I thought you said cabinet." 

 

"You're getting old, Stevie," you teased, placing purple frosted cupcakes on golden trays. 

 

"You're not getting any younger yourself, doll," Steve joked, opening the drawer to find the candles. 

 

You gasped at him in mock offense. "How dare you say that! I'm telling your mom, Stevie." 

 

"Tattle-tale," he called, taking out the candles from the box. "Okay, where do I put 'em." 

 

"Wherever they look good," you replied making sure your cupcakes looked perfect. 

 

"That's not very helpful." 

 

"Wherever you think they will look good." 

 

"I don't wanna mess it up," he said warily, "don't want the birthday girl to get angry at me." 

 

It was Bella's birthday. She had been counting down the days till her birthday and made outrageous requests to Bucky for what she wanted. It would be her first birthday in which she invited her friends from school and she wanted to be the coolest kid in class for having the best party. 

 

Bucky being the loving father he was simply said: "Whatever you want Princess it's yours, you just gotta point."  

 

And that's the story of how your backyard had turned into a Tangled paradise being that Rapunzel was her favorite princess. You admonished Bucky, saying he was spoiling her by doing so, but he shrugged it off. If his baby girl wanted something she sure as hell was going to get it. 

 

“Stevie it’s not that big of a deal. Just put it anywhere.” 

 

“I don’t know,” he whined. 

 

You huffed, taking the number “7” candle in his hand and placing it in the center of the cake. 

 

“There,” you said, placing your hands on your hips. “Now how hard was that?” 

 

“Very hard,” he joked. 

 

“You’re the worst,” you chuckled. 

“Okay and the others?” 

 

“Do I have to do everything myself? You said exasperated. 

 

You take half of the candles and place them evenly space throughout the cake while Steve sneaks a cupcake from behind. 

 

“Those are for the kids, Stevie,” you scolded, not even looking at him. 

 

“Damn, how’d you know?” he asked, shoving the cupcake into his mouth anyway. 

 

“I’ve got eyes on the back of my head.” 

 

He chuckles. “I can’t find ‘em.” 

 

You turn towards him to find purple frosting smudged on the upper corner of his lip. “You got a little something there,” you laughed, wiping it away with your thumb. Steve takes your wrist and pulls you into him with his arm snaking around your wasting. Your face heats up and heart flutters against him. 

 

“Steve,” you whispered, calling him closer. You cup his face in your hands pulling him closer to you and he doesn’t retaliate. 

 

Your back hits the counter behind you as Steve passionately kisses you. His lips sweet like buttercream and his caress gentle as he held you breathless and captivated. 

 

There's an urgency in the back of your head reminding you of the party in the backyard. You push Steve away gently, keeping him only a few inches apart. His hot breath mingling with yours while panting for air. 

 

An extraordinary amount of guilt writhes within you as you stand alone in the house with Steve. Kissing a man who wasn't your husband. Wanting him when Bucky was right outside. Your guilt was valid, you were the one to start this. You told him to stay that day. Kissed him until you were dazed and dizzy. Then he left when the storm was gone before Bucky came home, and you acted as nothing had ever happened.

 

Ever since that day you wanted nothing but him. Your every thought ran off to him. His soft blue eyes and gentle hands. Those red plump lips against yours and those muscular arms pressing your body against his. And that was wrong. 

 

"Steve," you said in a hushed tone, flushed with lips aching for more. "W-we can't do this. We have to stop this," you said, your hands placed on his chest. 

 

Steve frowns with swollen lips. He swallows what you said and understands. He wished he didn't. 

 

"I'm sorry," you apologized. "I'm really sorry, but I can't do this," you confessed. "I can't play with your feelings like this." 

 

Steve remains silent. He doesn't want to stop. He didn't want to lose you to Bucky again. Not when he knew he could keep you happier than him. 

 

"I love you, Steve," you said, cupping his cheek. He falls further into it, relishing in your touch.

 

His heart was on fire, swelling with affection for you. Getting to hear those words for the first time felt so bittersweet. Maybe your love for him was small. Maybe you just said it to make him feel better. Or maybe you really meant it. You really did love him but stuck between a rock and a hard place. Whatever it's denotation was, it didn't matter to him. You said it and for him, that was more than enough. 

 

"But I can't do this," you said, making his heart fall. "I have a family. No matter how broken it is, it's my family and I can't leave them." 

 

"I understand, doll," he spoke up, his voice faltering as he speaks. "I just wish it was different. That I was the one that met you first." He smiles a little and you saw the pain hidden behind it. "Maybe it could be that way in another lifetime?"

 

You brush your thumb against his cheek and he closes his eyes doing his best to keep it all in. Keeping his emotions at bay just so he could cherish your delicate against his skin. The two stood there hidden. 

 

"You're too good for this world," you told him. "I don't deserve you." 

 

Steve shakes his head. "You deserve so much more. So much more than anything this world can give." 

 

He lifts your chin and steals one last kiss. A remembrance of what could have been if the circumstances were different. Perhaps, in another lifetime he'd get his chance with you.

You part from him sadly and pick up the plate of cupcakes just as Bucky pops his head in through the sliding door. 

 

“Babe, these kids are going ballistic out here,” Bucky smiled, clearly enjoying his time. “Are you done yet?” 

 

“Yeah,” you nodded. “Stevie had some trouble with the candles.” 

 

“You had one job, man,” Bucky shook his head. 

 

“I just don’t wanna offend any birthday girls, is that so bad?” he said, picking up the cake and walking behind you. 

 

“Here let me take that,” Bucky took the plate from you. 

 

“I got it, Buck,” you assured as he practically snatched it from you. 

 

“I can’t let my pretty wife carry this oh so heavy plate of cupcakes all by herself.” 

You rolled your eyes with a chuckle, but it only hurts on the inside. Bucky walks out of the kitchen with you behind him and his cheerful expression falters slightly. He couldn’t help but notice how flushed your face was or the way Steve just so happened to have a trace of lipstick on his lips. 

 

The festivities continue as Bella jumps around all smiles and giggles as everyone showers her with cheers on her special day.

 

Bucky wraps an arm around your shoulder while watching the kids play. He presses a kiss to your temple allowing a small smile to grace your lips. Everyone was happy and you wanted to be just like them. You wanted to enjoy your little girl’s day, but you couldn’t. 

 

Not when you had a thousand worries racking your brain and the conflicted feelings of your decision eating you up on the inside. Or the dreadful guilt in admitting to loving a man who wasn’t your husband sucking the life out of you. 

 

You were miserable, completely torn between sinful desires and fatal decisions that could change the entire course of not only your life but the ones you loved. It was all tearing you apart, little by little, piece by piece. All you wanted to do was run away from it all. You wanted to return to the shore, to the place where all your worries had disappeared for a moment in time. 

 

You turn in towards Bucky, resting your head against his chest with that bad feeling returning.

 

“You okay, baby?” 

 

You nodded against him. “Yeah, just a little tired.” 

 

“You wanna go inside?”

 

You shake your head against him with a smile. “No, I don’t want to miss out on any of the fun.” 

 

Bucky smiles, rubbing your arm with his hand. He gives you another kiss on the top of your head. 

 

“Love you,” 

 

You didn't reply. You couldn't reply. Not when you told another the very same thing. You nuzzle your face deeper into his chest taking in the scent of his cologne. Gucci Guilty.


You walked along the bookshelves in the study of the Barnes Manor. Bucky’s mother had invited you over for dinner and the minute Bucky parked in front of the colonial-style mansion you gaped at the sight it.

 

“You grew up here?” you asked. 

 

“Doll, for the fifth time, yes I did.” he chuckled. 

 

“This place is bigger than the White House!” 

“I don’t think so,” he shook his head. 

 

“I do,” you retorted. “Jeez, Buck, I knew you were rich but not this rich.” 

 

“Well, now you do and someday it’ll all belong to you.”

 

You smiled sheepishly. “Well, I don’t know about that.” 

 

“As the soon-to-be wife of the heir to the Barnes fortune, I think it will,” he said with a smile. “What’s mine is yours, sweetheart.” 

 

“And what if I said all I want is you?” you asked, snuggling against his arm as you walked towards the door. 

 

“Keep on sweet-talking me and we’re getting back in that car and heading home.” 

 

“I’m not necessarily against that,” you chuckled, knowing full well what he meant. 

 

You brushed your fingers against the coarse hardcovers of novels and anthologies. Books on historical eras and the maths and sciences. You found a particular interest in an anthology on English Literature during the Victorian Era. The book was thick and stuck tight between the others. You pulled on it with a bit of force and it slipped out with ease, pulling along the book next to it to fall to the ground. 

 

You sighed as you crouched down to pick up the book. You find something sticking out of the pages and place the book in your hand on the floor to open it. You flip open the book to the page and what you find made your skin turn pale and your chest tighten. Never did you think you would find this here. 

 

They were pictures of you. Of you and Tony. You dropped to your knees at the sight of the snapshots. One with your hands intertwined with his, another with you getting ice cream. The last with you hiding under the shade of pink petals, stealing a kiss underneath the cherry blossom tree. 

 

Your hands quivered as your fingers brushed against Tony’s form. You shivered as a cold chill ran down your spine. These pictures were taken in hiding and hidden so someone wouldn’t find out. Why did Bucky have these pictures? And then it struck you almost immediately and your hand came to your mouth. 

 

No, it couldn’t be that. Please, anything but that. You prayed it wasn’t what came to mind. That he didn’t do what your imaginative brain came up with. Your eyes start to burn but you try your best to hold it back, not wanting anyone to know. 

 

“Doll?” Bucky’s voice called from the hallway. You quickly scrambled around, shoving the pictures back into the back and getting up. He pops his head in through the doorframe. “There you are,” he smiled and you returned it sheepishly. “What are you doing?” 

 

“Oh, nothing, just checking out the books.” 

 

“Of course,” he chuckled. “What else could you be doing?”

 

“You know me,” you let out a nervous laugh. He’s standing casually and for a second you think that maybe he didn’t do it. It’s all just a coincidence. A strange coincidence. 

 

He takes you by the hand and pulls you along. “Come on, dinner’s ready.”

 

You follow behind him with the book in your hand. “Mind if I borrow this?” 

 

Bucky looks at the book and chuckles. “No one reads them anyway,” he smiled, having forgotten what was in that book. 

 

You smiled small as he led you out, feeling a bit lightheaded. You wanted answers, but you knew it wasn’t the right time nor was it the right place. You’d get your answers soon enough. You just hoped it was something you wanted to hear.


You sat the edge of the bed while braiding your hair lazily. The party was a success and it was finally over. Weeks of preparation had paid off leaving you with a very content daughter and a pile of crumpled and torn gift wrap in the living room. 

 

Your nimble fingers twisted your hair in a pattern as your eyes were stuck on the carpet completely lost in thought. 

 

“Y/N,” Bucky called you back to earth and you turned towards him on the other side. 

 

“Hmm?”

 

“You okay?” 

 

You nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

 

“Tired?” he asked. 

 

“Extremely.” 

 

He chuckled, but you could tell something was off. “It’s finally over, huh? Who would’ve thought one birthday party could cause so much chaos?”

 

“It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if you didn’t go overboard as you do with everything.” 

 

“I just wanted Bella to be happy.” 

 

“And she is, you’re great at party planning,” you complimented and he chuckled. 

 

“Doll?”

 

You look at him while tying the end of your braid. Bucky’s expression turned serious, but his eyes denote a sort of fear. 

 

“What were you and Steve talking about inside?” 

 

You tense at his question, but don’t show it. “Just about the party,” you replied nonchalantly, throwing your loose braid behind you. 

 

“Why do I get this feeling you’re lying to me?” he asked, turning towards you completely. 

 

You swallow before answering. “What are you trying to say?”

 

“I felt this tense air when I came in, something happened and you’re not telling me.” 

 

“Nothing happened,” you said, harsher than you would have liked to. “We were perfectly fine.” 

 

Bucky shakes his head with a sad chuckle. “I know when you’re lying to me, Y/N. So why don’t you just tell me what he said to you?” 

 

“And why can’t you understand that he said nothing,’ you said stubbornly. “What’s with you all of a sudden?” 

 

“I don’t trust him,” he said flatly. “I don’t like it when he’s with you.” 

 

“Bucky, he’s your best friend,” you replied. 

 

“He was,” he snapped back. “I don’t trust him anymore. I’ve seen the way he looks at you multiple times and I don’t like it at all. Don’t tell me you haven’t.”

 

“You’re wrong,” you stated. Even if he was right, you weren’t going to give in to him. 

 

“I don’t think I am,” he shook his head, growing irritated. “I know he came over last week and I know something happened between the two of you today. I could see it on your faces. I’m not fucking blind, Y/N.” 

 

“Are you trying to imply something?” you asked, wrongfully offended. 

 

“I didn’t say anything,” he stood up, looking at you with honest blue eyes. He doesn’t want you to get angry but he knows that’s what’s going to happen. “I just wanna know if he’s bothering you.”

 

“He’s not bothering me,” you stated sharply, “He’s my friend and if anything, I’m happier with him than I am with you.” 

 

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Bucky asked, his anger spiking at your words.

 

“Exactly what I said,” you snapped back. “He listens to me when you don’t. He’s there for me when you aren’t!” Bucky growls lowly at what you said as his fists tighten at your words. 

 

“Is it because of him?” he barked, his temper at its’ peak. “Is he the reason why you don’t want the baby?” 

 

You remained silent. Yeah, you did make a mistake with Steve, but you didn’t go to such an extent. You still had a bit of dignity left inside of you, but Bucky washed it all away with a single question.

 

“Is that really what you think of me?” you asked, your voice cracking and weeks old tears finally falling. 

 

Bucky knew he made a mistake the minute he saw a tear fall. How many times did he promise himself he wouldn’t cause another tear? And how many times did he break those very same promises? “Baby, wait,” he said, walking up to you. Realizing he said something wrong. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that,” he panicked quickly taking your hand in his. You shake your head and yanked your hand out of his. You darted out the room and ran down the stairs towards the one room you felt safe in. 

 

You ran into the library. The one he built for you with an eye for detail and with every inkling of adoration in him. It was his monument to you. A symbol of his love floating in the painted angels above and dedication written in each of the books he picked himself knowing you’d loved them. You stand with your back against the door, tears falling onto the mahogany wood floor. 

 

His love may have been tainted. It could have been possessive and wild. But he never did what you did to him. Forgetting all the wrongs he had committed, you were stuck on the one that you had done. 

 

“Baby,” he stood against the door, his hand on the locked knob. His forehead rested against the door. He sniffled and you could hear the dry ache in his throat. “Please open the door? Please let me in?” he begged, “I didn’t mean it. I made a mistake. I got worried, worried that I’d lose you. Please forgive me?” he asked, and it was as if you could hear the tears falling from his eyes. “I won’t say anything about it again. You can do whatever you’d like. I won’t ever come in your way. Just please let me in? Please let me make it alright?” 

 

You shake your head. You weren’t going to open the door. He can hear you walk away from the door and his heart rips in two. You walk over to the desk and opened the drawer to pull out your journal. You sat in the cushioned chair and you did the one thing you always did when he hurt you. When nothing made sense at all. You wrote. 

Chapter Text

Bella could have been seven for only two weeks, but she could feel the change in being a year older. For one thing, she didn’t have to grab a stool to brush her teeth in the morning or reach for something on the counter. She was taller now which was good. Cause now she could crush her rascal of a deskmate, Jeremy, for being equivalent to the scum of the earth. 

 

Bella also noticed some things that she may have overlooked when she was six or maybe just never realized until it got serious. She noticed the dead silence that floated in the house and how the warmth of her once cozy home was replaced with icy glares and frigid forms. 

 

She noticed how her parents didn’t really talk to each other. Their fake smiles and forced laughs. Daddy spent his days out of the house longer than usual and mama didn’t really seem to care like she once did. He didn’t pull her into a dance while she was making dinner or force a million peppered kisses onto her face. He stayed away and so did she. And it made Bella’s greatest fear come to light. Maybe, just maybe , her parents didn’t love each other anymore. 

 

Peeking through the door of the study, watching them fighting with no fear of her seeing, she realized that it was true. They didn’t love each other anymore. She doesn’t know what to do. Whether to run upstairs and hide in her room or stay right where she was. 

 

She didn’t understand what they were talking about. Something about a baby. Mommy didn’t want it but daddy did. Why wouldn’t she want a baby? Weren’t babies good things? Didn’t they make people happy? 

 

Bella’s stomach feels weird and her chest heavy, wishing they’d stop. She’s never seen them so angry before, especially her dad. His chest heaving and his brows knitted in anger, spewing out bad words towards her mother that she’d never thought he’d say. If he loved her, he wouldn’t do that. He grabs her mama by the wrist, tight, and yanked her close to him. 

 

She tells him to let go. That he’s hurting her, but he doesn’t listen. The little girl sees her cowering under him in fear of what he might do and tears starting to fall from her eyes. And that’s something Bella never wanted to see. She never wanted to see her mommy cry especially because of her daddy. 

 

"Daddy," Bella choked out, tears bubbling at the edges of her eyes and staining the soft pink of her cheeks. 

 

Bucky's heart drops when he sees his little girl. This wasn't how he wanted her to see him. But how long could he hide who he really was? 

 

"Baby," you said, wiping your own tears and running towards her. You wrap her in your arms, muffling the sound of her strained voice. 

 

"Mommy," she mumbled against your shoulder, her grip on your shirt tight. "Tell Daddy to stop," she cries," he's scaring me." 

 

Bucky's heart falls into the deepest pit by her words. His head feels light while the rest of his body is heavy with shame and guilt. He feels a sickening odium in the back of his throat. Strong, acidic bile coming up in disgust at himself. 

 

Never did he want to hear those words leaving his little girl's lips. Never did he want her to look up at him with fear. The way he looked at his own father. 

 

What was wrong with him? Why did this happen every time? He wanted to be good. Good enough for his girls. It's what he strived for but fell short every time. 

 

He froze in place, lost in a thought of his own past and how a pattern was being created. No, he couldn't let this happen. He couldn't let his angel go through what he did. 

 

You scoop Bella up into your arms and stand up. "Shh, baby," you cooed, rubbing her back. "It's gonna be fine. We're leaving now," you decided right there and then. 

 

Bucky comes to his senses at your words. He watches you leave the room and follows right behind you.  

 

“What are you doing?” Bucky asked, grabbing hold of your arm.  

 

You break from his grasp with Bella in your arms. “Something I should’ve done a long time ago,” you shouted at him. “I’m leaving.” 

 

“You can’t leave,” he barked back. “I won’t let you.” Bella buried her face into the side of her mother’s neck, squirming under her father’s bellows. “You can’t take my little girl from me!” his anger spiking, but with a strange sense of fear rising within him. 

 

“Stay the fuck away from my daughter,” you threatened him and it hurt so fucking much when you said it. Your daughter? What about his?  

 

“Stay away from me and my daughter.” You turned on your heel, grabbing the set of keys on the table by the door you opened the door to leave only to have Bucky slam it shut. 

 

The look you gave him was sharp and firm, ordering him to let go. The one he had was equal to yours but wavering ever so slightly. Baby, please. He pleads with his eyes, but not this time. You were sick of it. The repeated cycle of forgiveness and repentance, of abuse and pain. 

 

Your knees were shaking despite your strong and pointed words. For a full nine years of marriage, you had never gone against him. Listened to his every wish. Forgiven him over and over for things that no one in their right mind would have. You didn’t know what you were doing, but it seemed like the right thing to do and you were going to go through with it. 

 

“Move,” you stated firmly. 

 

“No.”

 

“Don’t play around with me. Let go of the door.” 

 

“I’m not going to let you leave,” he said again, and you could’ve sworn his voice shaking a bit. “You’re not leaving. I won’t let you.” 

 

"I'm going to leave," you said with firm eyes and a tone dipped in venom. "And there's nothing you can do about it." 

 

"If you leave then I'll-" 

 

"Then you'll what?" You asked him. "You'll kill me? Is that what you'll do?" 

 

Bucky swallows deep, his arm on the door going limp. Don't say that. Not when Bella's right there in your arms. 

 

You swing the door wide open and step into the crisp air of autumn. He wants to run after you. Hang onto your legs to slow you down and beg at your feet for another chance. He'd cry and beg until he had nothing left in him. But he remains standing at the door, watching his world walk out of his life. Maybe this was good. Maybe they'd be happier without him.

 

You unlocked the car and put Bella inside and gave her a kiss and a tight squeeze of assurance. Closing the door, you walked over to the driver side not even giving Bucky a single glance.  

 

Bella looked out the window of the car to find her father standing in front of the door. Alone and empty. She sunk into her seat, hiding from his desolate gaze.

 

She didn’t know what to feel. Confused? Scared? Sad? It was as if the ground had slipped from underneath her feet and she was falling into a deep, dark hole. Nothing made sense to her. 

 

She didn’t want her daddy to be alone, but she didn’t want to stay with him, just not right now. 

 

She didn’t know if she should cry or not when her mom pulled out of the driveway but she did shed a single tear of having to leave. She wiped it away quickly, hoping you didn’t catch it. 

 

As the moving line of the fence of their house ended, marking the finite departure from home, she remembered that one line from her mama’s favorite book.

 

The old, battered thing that had the edges of its pages folded as bookmarks and certain quotes underline in different colors. She remembers the faded text of the first page of the first chapter from the one time she tried to read it. She never really understood the first line, but now, being seven , she may have had an idea of what it meant. 

 

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”


“You’re gonna spend the rest of your life with her,” Bruce hollered in the background, “you can live one day without her!” 

 

“Dad!” you hissed at him, covering the bottom of the phone. 

 

“What? I’m just speaking the truth,” he retorted, flipping the page of the paper from his seat in the recliner. 

 

You groaned at him. “Sorry, Bucky, Dad’s acting like a baby again,” Bucky says something that makes you chuckle. 

 

“What did he say about me?” Bruce asked. 

 

“He said nothing,” you replied. 

 

“I know he did,” Bruce approached you in the kitchen. “Listen, punk, just because you’re marrying my daughter doesn’t mean I’m obligated to like you,” he says from behind you. 

 

Bucky says something on the phone that makes you smile. You turn to him, “Bucky says he loves you too dad.”

 

Bruce’s eye twitches at the name. “Excuse me while I go clean my ears out with bleach,” Bruce leaves with a groan. 

 

You chuckle at your father retreating. “Yeah, he’s gone,” you tell Bucky. 

 

“Damn, I miss him already,” Bucky chuckles. “I think I’m growing on him.”

 

“He likes you,” you assure him. “He just doesn’t like to show it.”

 

“You sure you can’t come?” Bucky asked. “I honestly don’t wanna go alone.” 

 

“As much as I’d love to, Buck,” you said turning so your back hit the counter to lean against it. “I have some errands to run.”

 

“Like what?” 

 

“Um, uh, well, girl things y’know,” you lied. “Wedding things that you don’t need to know about right now.” 

 

“Mmm, I think I have some ideas,” Bucky replies. You could hear the coy grin plastered on his face. “Just make sure it’s red and lacy.”

 

“Bucky!” you scolded him with a blush creeping on your face. Bucky roars in laughter and you hold the phone away from your ear. 

 

“I’m just joking with you, doll,” Bucky said. “I guess I’ll let you work then.”

 

“That’d be nice,” you replied. “I’ll talk to you later.” 

 

“Love you, baby,” he cooed. 

 

You hesitate at first then smile. “Love you too.” Bucky ends the call and you sigh deeply. Placing your phone on the counter, you reach for the book that you borrowed opening it to find the pictures and a half-torn page from a notebook with an address scribbled in a hurry. 

 

Jeanette Pierce

243 Juniper St. 

Bronx, NY 10460

 

After days of tossing and turning in bed and being stuck in a daze of a million what-ifs, you decided it was time to do something. You hid the photos from Bucky, stared at them with glossed eyes. Your fingers brushing over Tony’s eternal form. Deep down you knew Bucky had something to do with Tony’s death. But just because you know something, doesn’t mean you’d want to believe it. You wanted it all to be a lie. Just one big horrible joke. But for some reason, you knew it wasn’t. 

 

You knew you couldn’t hide it from Bucky for too long. You had to confront him about the pictures, but you needed some more proof. Proof that it really was him because if it weren’t how horrible would he feel that you accused him of killing a past lover? That you were still in love with Tony when you were marrying him? 

 

With a simple trip to public records, you received information about the one man who was actually tied to Tony’s death. Alexander Pierce. The man who shot himself right after he allegedly killed Tony. It never made any sense then and still didn’t now. 

 

Slipping the book into your bag, you put on your boots and coat before leaving home to do your own bit of sleuthing. If anyone had answers to why Alexander Pierce killed a man it would’ve been his wife, Jeanette, and that was exactly where you were headed. 

 

It took a quick trip on the subway to get to her middle-class neighborhood. The trees were bare with crystals hanging off. Dirt-ridden snow lined the curbs matching the dull grey of the sky above. You walked down the sidewalk towards an old fenced house on the corner. The paint was chipping and they still had the Christmas lights up even if it was well into February. The lawn was decorated with toddler toys, a tricycle, a playhouse, and a sled. You stepped onto the squeaky porch and rang the doorbell. 

 

The door opened revealing a middle-aged woman holding a baby on her hip. Her face was tired and clearly not in the mood to be disturbed. You were taken aback at the sight of her. She was the same woman from that day. She must have not noticed you. 

 

“Yes?” 

 

“Hi, my name is Celia, I’m-”

 

“How many times do I have to tell you Mormons to leave me alone?” she grunted. 

 

“Uh, no,” you tried to explain, “I’m not a Mormon.” She raises a brow and you continue. “I’m looking for a Jeanette Pierce and from what I know she lives here.” 

 

The woman examines you closely. “What’s she to you?” 

 

“Uh, no one really. I just wanted to ask her some questions.” 

 

“Listen, I’m not gonna let you meet her if she doesn’t even know you.” 

 

“And who are you to her?” you questioned boldly. 

 

The woman huffed in irritation, putting the little girl in her arms down. “I’m her daughter and her primary caregiver and if I don’t want you to see her then there’s nothing you can do about it.” She goes to shut the door in your face until you push against it. 

“Please?” you asked. “I really have to meet her.” 

 

“If you don’t leave, I’ll call the police.” 

 

“Please, I’m begging you,” you asked on the verge of tears. The woman stands backs when she sees your glossy eyes. “I’m in a bind and I need some answers,” you tried to explain. “She’s the only one who can answer my questions.” 

 

“She can’t,” the woman shook her head. 

 

“What?”

 

“She can’t,” she repeated. “My mother has Alzheimer’s. Sometimes she doesn’t even remember me. Whatever you want to ask her, she probably won’t remember. I’m sorry.” 

 

“Then maybe you can help?” you asked. “I wanted to talk to her about her husband Alexander Pierce.” 

 

“How do you know him?” she snarled, disgust hidden when she referred to him. 

 

You swallowed deeply, but it wasn’t enough to quell the dry ache in your throat. “He killed my best friend,” you said, tears starting to fall from your eyes. The woman’s shoulders drop quickly realizing who you were talking about. “Please, I don’t want anything. I just want some answers. For my own sanity.”  

 

The woman nods silently. “Come inside.” 

 

You quickly wipe the tears from your eyes and walk inside. Toys were scattered over the cluttered living room as brightly colored cartoons frolicked on the TV screen with two toddlers having their eyes glued to it. You followed the woman into the kitchen and she set up a coffee machine. 

 

“Do you want some coffee?” 

 

“No, I’m fine, thank you,” you said taking a seat at the kitchen table. The woman comes to sit down in front of you with a mug in her hand. 

 

“Ask away,” she motioned with her hand. 

 

“I only have one question,” you told her. “Why did he kill him?” The tone of your voice was broken and desperate. 

 

She exhales deeply before speaking. “When I was a kid, I always thought my dad was a good guy. Then he started making the wrong decisions and working with the wrong crowd. We were living a perfectly fine life in the good side of town then he dragged us down here and we couldn’t leave ever since.” She confessed, her dry hands wrapped tight around her mug. You listened intently, pitying the woman. “When I was old enough I moved out and decided to make a better life for myself. Away from the mob and away from him. I wanted mom to come with me, but she wouldn’t. She loved him, even after all the torment he put us through.” 

 

“When he killed himself, she was completely devastated,” she informed. “She didn’t understand why he would do such a thing. None of us did.”

 

“I guess it was because he felt guilty for killing the guy, your friend,” she said ashamed. You look down from her gaze. “But my mother didn’t believe that. She said he’d never kill himself. That he killed the boy because someone told him to.” 

 

Your heart skipped a beat. “Who told him?” 

 

“It’s crazy,” she told you. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

 

“But who was it?” you asked, leaning over the table.

 

The woman sits back in her seat. “The mob king, James Barnes.” Your heart falls and your skin turns pale. Your head feeling light with the threat of keeling over right there. She shook her head with a crooked smile on her face. “Now you tell me, why the hell would a hotshot like James Barnes want anything to do with my second-class gangster of a father? Wouldn’t he have just killed him himself?”

 

Not if he wanted to get the girl.  

 

You pull your shaking hands from the table and hide them in your lap. “You’re right that doesn’t make any sense.” You grab your bag and hang it over your shoulder. “Thank you for your time,” you said. “You really helped, but I have to go now.”

 

The woman nods and walks you to the front door. You were halfway out the door when she calls you back. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

 

You look at the woman, tired, burdened with her own problems, but still kind underneath all the stress. Her tone was genuine. A nod with a small smile was all you could have mustered up before leaving. 

 

You turn at the bend and walk down the street. Cars zip by in. The sound of water splashing underneath them. Children goofed around on the way home from school while walking past and you didn’t even notice. Your eyes are glued to the pavement. 

 

Your thoughts were stuck in a whirlwind. Without a sense of direction, you walked on not paying any heed to your surroundings. You walk into an alleyway, your back hitting the brick wall still stuck in a daze. You slowly drop to the ground and pull your knees close to your body. Your forehead rested against the rough texture of your jeans, hiding your face from the world. There’s a soft sniffle at first. Then a tear, then another, until your jeans are dampened by them. The sniffles grew into quiet sobs then gradually into full-on cries. The cold was nipping at your bones and tips of your toes and fingers grew numb, but it didn’t bother you. 

 

You whispered how sorry you were, how foolish you were. You stayed in that cold alleyway for what felt like an eternity with only two things running through your mind. 

 

“Y/N, that guy’s not someone you want to play around with. He’s whole lotta trouble.”

 

“You’re mine and only mine.”


Bruce scratched the back of his head, his feet dragging against the floor towards the door. Fifty-seven years old and he still slept on his work like some college student only to be pulled out of the dream world of science by the frantic ringing of his doorbell. This better not be some stupid prank, he thought to himself. 

 

He opens the door with a drawl. “Yeah, yeah, I hear you-” he pauses when he sees his daughter holding his sleeping granddaughter in her arms. He furrows his brows in confusion. “Y/N, what are you doing here?” 

 

“I need a place to stay,” you said, “Is it okay if we spend the night?”

 

Bruce didn’t know why you had to ask. This was your house. Where you were born and raised. You could come and go as you pleased. But what he didn’t understand even more was what you were doing out at this time of the night alone with Bella. Then he realizes it probably has something to do with that bastard son-in-law of his. Even after so many years, he still didn’t trust him. 

 

“Sweetheart, of course, you can,” he said, taking Bella from your arms and letting you in. 

 

“Thanks,” you smiled gratefully and he hates the formality. 

 

“For letting my own daughter into her house?” he asked, earning a chuckle from her. “Let me put Bella upstairs and you go make yourself some coffee or something.” You nodded and headed towards the kitchen while he walked upstairs. 

 

After tucking Bella into your old bed, Bruce went downstairs to the kitchen to find you standing by the brewing coffee machine, deep in thought. 

 

“Y/N,” he called and you looked up at him with a small smile. 

 

“You must’ve been sleeping,” you said with a sheepish smile. “I’m sorry.” 

 

Bruce shakes his head. “I’m fine, kiddo, but something tells me you’re not,” you look down from him, hiding from his inquisitive gaze. “What happened?” he asked. “What are you doing out at this time of night with Bella? Where’s Bucky?”

 

Your eyes start to burn as hot and heavy tears start to fall at the mention of Bucky’s name.

 

“Sweetheart,” Bruce walked to you in a hurry and quickly wiped the tears from your eyes. His heartbeat steadily increasing and his anxiety skyrocketing. “What happened?” he asked. “What did he do to you? Did...did he hurt you?” Bruce asked his greatest fear of all. 

 

“I’m sorry,” you sniffled, unable to stop the tears. “I shouldn’t have come. I shouldn’t burden you with my problems.” 

 

Bruce wiped away a fresh set of tears from your face with a frown on his own. “If you can’t come to me for help then what good am I? Y/N you're my utmost responsibility. I don’t care if you’re a mature adult. I don’t care if you’re a mother. You’re my little girl first and whenever you need help I’ll be there. I’m right here with you. Never think twice before coming to me.”

 

You nodded looking down, your face still in his hands. His old heart aches at the sight of you sobbing uncontrollably. He can only imagine what horrible things you’ve had to put up with by living with Bucky. But what hurts the most is that you never came to him for help. It made him feel like a failure of a father. All the awards and achievements he received, declaring his outstanding success, didn’t have any meaning if his little girl came home to him broken and crying. 

 

“Just tell me what’s wrong,” he urges. “Then we’ll figure it out together.” 

 

“I’m pregnant,” you managed to let out in between sobs. You told him everything. About how Bucky wanted the baby and you didn’t. About Steve and what Bucky accused you of. About the shitshow that was that very day. 

 

“He says he’s going to change,” you tell him. “That he’s going to be a better man and leave the mob, but I know he won’t,” you shake your head. “He’s in it too deep and he’s gonna end up killing himself in it.” your sobs grew louder. “He’s gonna take Bella down the same road and I just can’t let that happen to another one. She already has to suffer and I can’t let that happen again.” 

 

Your face is pressed against Bruce’s nightshirt now soaked in your tears. “I’ve made a mistake,” you sobbed against him, “I’ve made a big mistake. I-I didn't want to leave him, but I didn't know what else to do," you whispered with an overwhelming sense of guilt. "I don't know what to do." 

 

"You did what you thought was right," he said. "You did what was right for you and your daughter," he lifted your chin to look up at him. "You did nothing wrong and hear me when I say you're not going back. You're going to stay here. You're not going back." He shakes his head. "I don't care if that bastard rips the whole damn city apart. You're not leaving. You're staying right here." 

 

He holds you tight, the same way he did when you thought the monsters under your bed were coming to get you. Strong and firm, all the while being gentle and loving, safe and warm.

 

Why didn't you come to him first? He was your father. The only one on this earth that would love you unconditionally and purely. He'd accept you when no one else will. 

 

You wished you came to him first, all those years ago. You wished you told him all the things that the mob man did to you. How you were robbed and tricked and trapped. You wish you told him everything before it became a nasty and twisted mess. Maybe life would be a lot different. Maybe that day would've been a whole lot brighter. 

Chapter Text

Hi! This is mina aka lovemeter!

Soooo, uh, firstly sorry for bringing your hopes up for a new chapter 😅. I wish ao3 had a better way of sending notifications out but this is the only way I can do it so here we are. Secondly, I'm sorry for the complete radio silence and for not updating in ten years. Writing this note right now makes me think I'm being excessive, but idc I just wanted to tell you all that this story is alive and will be finished but not as soon as you may be hoping it to be. Because I've been thinking (which is very rare tbh) and I've decided I'm going on a temporary hiatus for this story. [insert welcome back to me screaming vine].

The reason being that I'm going through a rough time right now. I'm sick and my mental health isn't in the best place atm. Not to mention I have projects and exams since finals week is around the corner and I NEED to focus on that.  Because of this, I will be going on a hiatus for the next 2-3 weeks for this story. I have portions of my other fics written and I might update if I finish them but this one will most likely not be updated until around the third week of December (?). 

I'm really sorry for pulling this on everyone cause I know how excited everyone is for the ending and we're so close! Truth is I could write it but I don't have the inspo or desire to. And when that happens the result is usually less than satisfactory. I want this story to go out with a big wham (i can't think of the right word). I don't want it to be rushed and superficial. I'm trying to pull on some heartstrings and need the time to come up with the right words.  I want it to be a good ending worthy of its readers :)) 

I forgot to mention that I have a tumblr now @lovemeterwrites and if you wanna hmu...thats cool...😎

I will be back during winter break and will update this first when I do! Love you all very much and as always thank you for the support! Have a wonderful day/night and holiday season!