Actions

Work Header

Coyote Run

Chapter Text

It’s raining when she saves them. Of course, they don’t know it is until they’re outside the Raft. Water streams down her face and hair as she moves across the black steel surface with urgency. The air itself is damp with the brine mugginess of the Atlantic that swirls all around them.

Steve and Bucky are stunned because somehow she’s sifted through a thousand guards and locked doors and managed to rescue them in the deep of the night all by herself.

“The others?” Steve asks as his breath puffs white in the cold, cold air.

“They’re fine,” she replies curtly as she strides towards the helicopter. She claimed she’d “borrowed” it from a friend in Prague.

“How do you know?” Steve presses because he’s worried for them. Wanda. Sam. Clint. Scott. He can’t leave them here to rot.

“They made deals,” she shrugs. Steve frowns.

“We didn’t get deals.”

“Would you have taken one?”

“No.”

“They weren’t going to give you or Bucky a deal,” she explains meaningfully.

She glances at Bucky and he looks away – the heat of her expression is too much for him.

Steve is still standing there like a dumb idiot.

She rolls her eyes, the brief curve of her lip creating a dimple. “Why do you think I’m here, Steve?”

No deals. No deals. It would be the Raft for them and nothing else.

Understanding finally unfolds across Steve’s face. He offers her an grateful smile.

“C’mere,” he motions with his hands and she goes to him.

He touches her forehead where the wound is still red and ugly –the stitches blatant against her skin. Vision had nearly killed her when he’d sent a car hurtling in her direction at the airport in Leipzig. Steve had been beside himself. Everything had stopped as he lunged for her and lifted her to him, cradling the broken bones in her wrist and holding her together. The thinnest stream of blood from her nose. Nearly delicate.

Before Bucky could help, the police had come and with them – the army trucks and all the chaotic rest. Steve had been dragged away from her roaring absolute hell.

Bucky hadn’t heard Steve curse like that since 1944 Germany.

In the end, it had ended up being a blessing since she was able to slip from the hospital where they had treated her. She’d been pumped with enough serum from her days as a Hydra assassin to heal within a week.

“Don’t be so sad, baby,” she teases. “I just saved your ass.”

He laughs at that and picks her up in the air. He kisses her hard.

Bucky stays quiet – he watches their lips move together beneath all that rain as the sea roars at their feet.

**

“What’s the plan?” Steve asks her.

After she lands the helicopter at some strange airport in some strange city, another mysterious contact picks them up and drops them off in Lansing, Michigan. She hotwires a car and Steve doesn’t even blink an eye.

“I have a house in Colorado,” she says. “Middle of nowhere. Insane security. Bought it, in case, something like this happened.”

“Becoming an International criminal?” Steve mutters – sounding a little pained.

She turns to both of them and Bucky realizes how tired she looks. There is a deep strain beneath the muscles of her skin. The cuts and bruises on her face more prominent than before. She needs rest but, he won’t say it out loud.

She doesn’t want that from him.

“Look,” she says pointedly. “Stark is not going to look for us and he’s going to make it very very difficult for Ross to find us. He told me he’d keep our scent off the trail – “

“Tony knows – “ Steve sputters before she interrupts him.

“Of course, he does! He got me out of the hospital.”

Steve collapses back against his seat – a little stunned.  Bucky guesses he’s about to start stewing in his own guilt for the next thousand miles.

“The plan is to lay low,” she says – ignoring him. “We stay at the house. We don’t make our presence obvious.” She glances briefly at Bucky. “Bucky and I know all about how to stay invisible. We’ve been bred to do it so, this will be a walk in the park.”

“And you think hiding out in America will be fine?” Steve presses.

“Yes,” she smiles as if this is all entirely entertaining for her. “Ross will think we are headed to the ends of the Earth and Tony is going to keep him in that mindset. He’s paying off people who look exactly like us to hang out in Bolivia, Sydney, Thailand, etc.”

Steve nods mutely.

She slaps her hands together. “Awesome.”

As she starts the car, she pauses before turning back to them again. “By the way, you should both grow beards.”

***

They bed down in a camp site area on the way to Colorado. There are primitive metal grills and a little water tap that is coated in moss. It’s rural and empty and Bucky wonders how the hell she knew this place existed to begin with.

“We could have just done a motel,” Bucky gripes as he tries to cook six sad little hot dogs on a grill. He makes a face as he pokes at the decades old black gristle.

She rolls her eyes, blows her hair out of her eyes. “There were tents in the back of the car. Thought it be better than possibly getting caught on a motel camera. Three extremely good looking people in the middle of bum fuck nowhere are going to draw attention.”

“Maybe, they’ll think we’re swingers,” Steve teases – visibly proud of his own joke.

She turns to him – slightly aghast. “They’ll definitely think we’re swings and when the fuck did you turn into such a lech, old man.”

Steve grins and Bucky turns back to the grill. His own awkwardness is stifling. He’s never seen Steve like this. He’s never seen her like this.

Blessedly, there are also three packs of beers in the back of the car. They drink them in addition to the hot dogs that Bucky manages to burn. Steve can’t get drunk but, it almost seems like he is as he sneaks his nose beneath the curtain of her hair and whispers something in her ear.

He’s affectionate when it just seems to be the three of them and that surprises Bucky a bit. Then again, Bucky didn’t really see Steve with tons of girls back in the day. During the war, the two of them certainly fucked around. The most Bucky saw of Steve was him with his pants around his ankles rutting into some bar maid in a bedroom above a bar in Paris. There had also been that Swedish dame in Italy.

Steve would blush and avoid Bucky’s questions afterward. It was as if he had thought he had done something wrong which, was entirely laughable since Bucky was bedding down five times as many girls.

Steve just kept things close to the vest.

Here, now, he seems perfectly fine with holding her to him and kissing her cheek or nipping her neck like he could suck her down right here in front of Bucky.

It’s alarming.

It’s so alarming that he half-wonders if it’s because Steve is somehow aware of exactly what they did together during their time with Hydra. Bucky knows that Steve knows that they were partners on missions but, he doesn’t know if Steve knows that they were partners in other things.

Christ. Bucky is in it. He’s fucking in it.

Perhaps, these public displays of affections are some subtle way of Steve displaying his dominance over her – his right to her.

You had her then. I have her now, pal.

No. No. Steve isn’t like that.

Steve would tell him if he knew.

Right?

Bucky bites vigorously into another hot dog as he watches Steve’s fingers trail over her thigh. Bucky looks down at his feet, watches a fly climb the tip of his muddy boot.

He wonders why he cares this much.

**

In the middle of the night, Bucky wakes up ready to burst. He climbs awkwardly out of his tiny little tent and finds a tree to piss against. On the way back, he notices the flap of Steve’s and her tent unzipped and billowing in the breeze.

It’s probably nothing. It’s nothing. Maybe, Steve got too hot since he has the body temperature of a volcanic radiator or maybe she left to go pee or –

He strides toward the tent and opens it up.

Shit.

It’s empty and Bucky begins to imagine Ross and all his goons dragging them off into the deep, dark woods. Or maybe a grizzly bear or that real big dude in the hockey mask or god forbid Hydra.

His steps stutter in one direction and then the next, his pulse fluttering with urgency. He takes a deep breath, closes his eyes and listens to the tremulous quiet of the forest. He doesn’t have to wait for long because he hears Steve groan, long and low, and in mere seconds Bucky is racing across the campground with his gun in his hands.

He comes to a clearing surrounded by sharp, dark pines. The silver of moonlight bathing the meadow iridescent. There are a bunch of picnic tables and on top of one is oh fuck

Bucky tucks his gun away and steadies himself against the nearest pine. His racing heart beating at its peak.

They’ve got an unzipped sleeping bag spread across a picnic table. She’s flat on her back – drenched in the moon and very, very naked. Steve is half-hidden between her drawn up knees. His big hands are gripping her hips. The broad expanse of his shoulders against the backs of her thighs.

Bucky can hear the sounds Steve’s mouth makes and his muffled, contented declarations. Dirty. Loving. The same kind of noises Steve makes during a rough shoulder rub when he’s wound too tight from a fight. Bucky watches her grind her lower body against Steve’s mouth – a shameless shove that he knows all too well.

Her magnificent breast rise and fall as her breath quickens.

“Steve. Steve.” She fumbles at his head, hitches long fingers into his hair.

He moves up her body with a controlled strength. He kisses her for a long time as she goes for his jeans. He turns his face a little to the side and pants – tries to find her mouth in between desperate kisses.

She yanks Steve’s jeans down around his thighs revealing his bare ass in the moonlight – pale and vulnerable. She gets his zip up half off before getting impatient – leaving him with only one strong arm exposed. They fit well together – beautifully well as she reaches down low between them and Steve is grunting.

She lets out a small, hurt whimper when Steve presses forward. Her eyes shut as it tips back and Bucky remembers – oh he remembers all about being inside her in the coldest rooms imaginable. He remembers plunging into her during stake outs and undercover ops and his mouth cupping her pussy in the dark.

“Do it harder,” she’d whisper into his ear. “Harder, soldat.”

He’d do it until it hurt – hurt them both. The two of them both waiting to die.

**

In the morning, Steve and she are handsy and affectionate over the small fire Bucky creates. They eat cold hot dogs and Steve kisses her open-mouthed when he thinks Bucky isn’t looking.

Bucky drinks enough watery instant coffee to kill a horse and demands that he get to drive.

**

They stop at a McDonalds outside of Denver. With his hat pulled down over his nose, Bucky orders at the window and they eat in the car. Steve leaves the two of them to go stretch his legs.

“Three days,” she says softly.

Bucky flashes a sideways glance at her, his brows knitting together. “Three days?”

“You haven’t spoken to me in three days,” she explains. “You haven’t even looked at me in five.”

He’s looked at her. He’s looked at her, alright. Just when she wasn’t looking at him.

It’s an obvious dance: avoidance mixed with acute awareness. Bucky didn’t expect that she’d actually bring it up.

He clenches his jaw, stretching his metal fingers over the wheel. The AC is blasting the both of them and his profile is burning beneath the onslaught of the sun through his window.

“Yeah, well,” he takes a long sip from his Dr. Pepper. “I didn’t realize I was doing it.”

Yes he did.

“Why do you hate me, Buck?” she asks softly with her eyes wide and big.

“I don’t hate you,” he replies because it’s the truth.

She laughs because he knows she doesn’t believe him. She reaches out for him and he flinches. He doesn’t meant to but, the tension between them has grown so intense that it shocks him when she breaks her hand through it.

She gets to him. That’s it.

Without even making an effort – just by existing – she gets right under his skin and into his brain and gnaws her pretty little teeth through all the soft parts. She accesses the pieces of him that he so desperately would like to ignore – the jealous parts, the parts that care deeply about her, the animalistic part of himself that thinks keeping her away from him is the dumbest idea he could ever have.

In the time after DC, he had come to remember absolutely everything about her. She had painted herself into his life –into his time with Hydra – with broad, bright strokes of paint. She was there – inside him – at the base of his brain and at the base of the soldier’s.

She was in his memories even more so than Steve had been which really, truly makes him resent her.

And it’s not her fault. It isn’t.

She falls back against her leather seat – the squeak of sweaty flesh and the thrum of the air conditioning the only sounds in the car.

When Steve hauls the door open, they both jump. Startled.

**

The house is a log cabin far, far outside Denver. The wood is light and bright – practically orange in the afternoon sun. It’s nestled in a valley– away from busy roads or prying eyes or really any human life at all.

“I was totally inspired by Stephen King’s Misery when I bought this place,” she proudly announces as they step into the front hall. “It doesn’t look like much but, it’s decked out with the best tech and security there is. Stark set me up.”

Steve smiles indulgently at her and Bucky finds it necessary to sulk.

Steve doesn’t miss it.

As she walks back to the kitchen to check supplies, Steve forces him into the next bedroom.

“What’s your problem, Buck?” he asks low and deadly. “You’ve been a total jack ass the entire trip here.”

“I’m not being a jack ass!”

“You are,” Steve snaps. “You’re being a total fucking asshole. She came to save us. She risked everything so, please be fucking grateful.

But, Bucky can’t be grateful for someone that kills him with kindness. Sweet words and sweet tongue and those eyes that blink like an owl and manage to peer deep down beneath his skin. He can’t be happy when he knows her in the most intimate ways. What really gets him going is the fact that Steve is desperately protecting her from him when, truly, it should be the other way around. He should be her lover – her protector – her boyfriend – her husband – her everything.

Timing had really fucked them. After DC, he had escaped with his memories of her hazy and muddled. The last wipe they did before he had tried to kill Steve had really torn his brain apart. She had escaped later – as soon as Hydra fell. Steve had broken her out of her prison because he had been searching for him. He had pressed her for information about a Bucky Barnes - a man she only knew as Soldat.

Then - he has also fallen in love with her and she with him. Tale as old as time, he supposes.

By the time, they had found him in Bucharest she was already consumed by Steven Grant Rogers. Bucky couldn’t blame her. Steve was better than him in every way imaginable.

For a moment, he had wondered if he should have made an effort – maybe flirted a little bit

“You’re a pretty girl, baby but, I’m prettier,“ he’d tease if he really wanted to hook back into his 40’s era James Buchanan Barnes.

He couldn’t though. He was too god damn morose to do anything but, brood.

He didn’t deserve her.

“Buck,” Steve says – eyes softening as he watches Bucky slump against the wall.

“Does this have to do with your past together?” he urges. “Did some memory come back or something because I know you guys did a bunch of unsavory things but, it’s not like I’m here to judge you.”

Unsavory things. If he meant the soldier rage-fucking Steve’s now-girlfriend in every motel, hotel, and mountain cave in Europe than he’d be right. But, Steve doesn’t know that. Steve’s probably visualizing beheadings and assassinations and poisoned meals for dignitaries.

“No,” Bucky replies. “I’m just – my head is really going crazy and everything has been a lot.”

Steve claps him hard on the shoulder. “Then go rest, pal. We’ll both be here when you wake up.”

It’s nice of him. Steve is genuinely worried and that kills Bucky a little bit.

If only he knew.

He heads up to one of the bedrooms before he catches her eye in the kitchen. She smiles sadly at him before turning back to the sink.

She did fucking save them. She saved him. She’d been saving him a million fucking times for decades.

**

Oslo, 1996

Really, he should be angry.

The stupidity of what she has done.

“You shouldn’t have come back for me,” he grits out, the pain in his side nearly unbearable.

“You were shot,” she says plainly. “I would not leave you here.”

“They’ll see it as a weakness,” he snaps – trying to reassemble the bandage that is partially slipping off his bloodied abdomen. “You have doomed yourself. They cannot know that we – “

“That we what?” she asks, eyebrows rising in surprise. Muddled amusement in her voice. “That we fuck? They probably know that already, moya dorogoy.”

He gives her an exasperated look as she shoos his hands away. “I am not talking about the – the sex.”

Her eyes briefly slide up to meet his, tongue caught between her teeth. “Would you like me to say it then?”

No. No he certainly would not. They cannot feel these things. It is dangerous. It is not appropriate for them.

Fucking is one thing. But, love

He shuts his eyes as she unwinds the cloth from his side. She sucks in a breath but, her fingers are gentle. She leans forward and his face grows damp and warm from her close breath.

“I know you hate my stitching but, it has to be done.”

He coughs – nods in agreement before turning his head. He’s grateful she didn’t speak it – didn’t say what is so unfortunately obvious between the two of them.

Feeling it is enough.

**

Bucky wakes suddenly – his heart hammering beneath his ribs.

He shifts restlessly on the feather bed, listens to the wind whistling at the window. A spiderweb is illuminated in pale relief against the pane – against the night.

The rest of the house is quiet. He must have slept through dinner.

When he falls into restless sleep again, he dreams fevered dreams.

He sees Steve open and bleeding – screaming for him. She’s above him and stitching patterns in his stomach. He moves closer and notices cursed Russian words interspersed between the lines of thread.

Желание. Семнадцать. Ржавый. Рассвет. Печь. Девять. Добросердечный. Возвращение на родину. Один. Товарный вагон

When she smiles, her teeth are gone. There is only blood.

**

The wind smells like apples and wild grasses and old wooden crates. The mountains are high and clustered – the air cool. It’s high noon and the sky is cloudless. This kind of blue does not exist and yet it is here and above them – the very color of bluebonnets. Almost purple.

It brings a sting of wistfulness. He has only truly known the deepest parts of dungeons and laboratories. Even when he had escaped, he had gone to ramshackle apartments where he curled in on himself on thin, old mattresses. He only left his warm, safe space for food.

He does not like being bare and open in the world.

But, here is different.

Bucky leans against the door frame as he watches Steve sit outside with her.

Steve is humming quietly as he sketches on a notepad. The melody is something familiar - nostalgic. He’d heard it once in a bar somewhere deep in Brussels. It makes him think of cheap whiskey and too many cigarettes and Dugan howling with laughter.

Steve’s legs are tangled with hers, his large booted feet between her ankles. She’s knocking her knees against his and when he looks up, he catches her gaze and smiles.

She tilts her head to the side and sees Bucky. Her smile falters and she turns back to Steve who’s gone back to sketching. The brush of graphite on smooth paper the only sound for miles.

It’s been a week and Bucky and her are at war.

Well, not war. More a silent duel in which one is waiting for the other to take aim and blow this safe house to kingdom come.

**

Oslo, 1996

They’re forced to go over a peak in order to get to the next Hydra station. It’s cold but, clear. Winter in full bloom.

He knows that she’s carefully watching every step he takes. He manages to barely stumble on the way down.

But, she knows him too well.

When they reach the bottom, she pulls apart his vest to check for swelling and redness and finds that he has bled through his undershirt. He’s been bleeding for hours.

She stares at him with something akin to revulsion. Real anger that would send any man cowering.

“I would like you to think about what would happen if you died,” she says as she busies herself with changing his bandages. “I need you.”

The soldier sways a bit, his hand wrapped around the trunk of a pale birch. “I will protect you,” he says. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“Good,” she says. “Because I will die with them if you leave me there alone. I will die and that is certain.”

He feels sick. He knows that she means it. She will either let them kill her or she’ll do it herself.

The soldier blinks momentarily – unable to wade through the heavy emotions that have now coiled around him like a python.

His life had once been simple: The mission. Kill. Don’t get killed. Mission report.

Her gaze is penetrating – hovering over his brow and it is impossibly hard. He touches her face and she softens…a bit.

“You’re quite good at that?” he muses.

“At what?”

“Making me admit things I don’t care to.”

She grins. “I’m very sneaky.”

She fixes his stitches and he bites his tongue through the whole ordeal.

Afterward, he thanks her by kissing her softly – a leisurely kiss that neither of them is used to. Their sex is usually sloppy and needy, pressed up against walls and stained tiles or quick and dirty behind the next motel.

With the world tasting like snow, he lifts her chin and presses his mouth to hers. Sweet, lazy and a little unsure.

**

It’s after dusk when Bucky walks into the kitchen and notices Steve is nowhere to be found. She’s leaning against the counter, her hair messily pulled away from her face. A pot of water boiling.

“He went to the market in town,” she tells him before he can even ask.

“That safe?”

“Safe as houses,” she shrugs. “He has an animal growing on his face. No one will notice him.”

Bucky self-consciously rubs his own jaw – his beard is thick as Steve’s. His hair is longer too and he’s now had to keep most of it up in a bun.

She leans forward to add salt to the pot and he catches the slip of pale pink panties underneath her loose shorts. He snorts and she turns around to look at him.

“What?”

“I just – I didn’t figure you for the pink kind of girl.”

Her eyebrows hit the top of her forehead. “Wow,” she replies sarcastically. “First of all, you’re a perv. Second of all, Hydra wasn’t big on letting me wear anything that wasn’t black, leather, or camouflage.”

He scoffs because doesn’t have an answer to that. He rests against the counter, folding his arms over his chest. They haven’t been alone since the car in the McDonalds parking lot.

But, that didn’t really count.

Truthfully, they hadn’t been alone since the safe house in Germany before the fight at the airport.

**

Somewhere in Schkeuditz, Germany

Bucky’s head is pounding. The injury he sustained from the helicopter crash has left him with a raging migraine.

Steve and Sam are calling every contact they have and he can hear their voices through the door: a panicked, stern, rapid hum of conversation that is needling his brain.

A soft knock and then the door slips open. She stands there, arms crossed protectively over her chest. A brutal bruise is forming across her cheek from when she went head to head with the panther guy back in Berlin.

She was protecting him. She had been protecting him as the soldier.

“Hi,” she mumbles.

“Hey,” he offers – his own voice hoarse.

It’s an awkward moment. The two of them trying not to stare at the other.

He’s looking down at his feet when he hears her sob. He doesn’t have time to think until she’s collapsing into his arms. He’s startled, the weight of her warm and new.

But, the smell. The smell of her is so fucking familiar.

Rose. Rose. The crush of rose.

“I looked for you,” she whispers urgently.

“I’m sorry,” he replies dumbly.

“They said you were dead. The guards that were left said you were dead,” she weeps. “I didn’t know and then Steve saved me and it took me so long to put it together!” And now she’s really crying on his chest and he’s holding her to him and it feels strange.

They don’t have time for this. The world had gone belly up with the four of them getting arrested, him turning into the soldier again.

Before he can reply, she pushes him violently away.

“And you had actually left?” she hisses. “You left me there!”

“I didn’t remember!” he utters defensively. “They wiped me before I got out.”

“You told me you’d never leave me alone that you – that you would stay there with me.”

He runs a shaky hand through his hair. The pain is nearly unbearable. He pinches the top of his nose as he exhales deeply.

“I’m sorry,” he says again. “I didn’t remember you. Honest to god, I didn’t remember.”

She smirks – lips receding and making her oddly ugly in the brief gold light from the bedside lamp. “I know when you lie, Soldat. You’re much worse at it now.”

“I don’t know what –“

She gets right up to him. Her mouth close to his.

“You did start to remember. Two years, Bucky. Two fucking years and I know you remembered me. But, you didn’t come back. You didn’t try.”

Her voice breaks off and she turns away from him.

Helplessly, he curls his hands into fists. He has no excuse for that.

He was scared. He was alone. He didn’t know the first place to start.

It had been the soldier that had kept her at the forefront of his mind.

Somewhere – deep down – the soldier had been raging inside him. He had been angry for months – desperately clawing at him, telling him to look for her. Return to her. Save her. Find her. She is yours and you are hers and there is no in between.

“Detka…” he begins but, is interrupted as Steve comes charging into the room.

He looks between them but, doesn’t catch the tension or the evidence of the fight. When Bucky glances at her, she’s smiling brilliantly at Steve. Her tears gone, she’s turned her head a certain way so, he can’t catch the evidence. A toothpaste commercial in real time. He almost laughs because she was always the consummate actress.

She always got the undercover jobs.

“Clint has Wanda,” Steve tells them. “Sam’s got his guy coming in. We’re meeting them at the airport in an hour.”

Steve pauses before looking more closely at her.

“You alright?”

She nods and move farther away from Bucky and towards him.

He sighs, “It’s going to be okay sweetheart.”

He tugs her to him and presses his lips to hers.

Bucky’s stomach drops.

He didn’t know…he didn’t realize.

Inside him, the soldier howls.

**

“So,” he begins as the edge of the counter digs into his back. “You and Steve?”

She sighs, pushing her hair out of her eyes and turning to him.

“You really want to start that?”

“Just curious.”

“I think there’s some bitterness there if I were to bet on it.”

“Bet away. I’m not mad.”

She rolls her eyes and that really digs into his chest.

“Steve was there for me,” she says. “He was there when I had absolutely no one in the entire world left.” She glances pointedly at him. “I didn’t know if you were dead or alive – “

“Hey,” he interrupts her. “Look you don’t owe me anything. I didn’t come back for you and it wasn’t like our relationship was all that healthy. We were prisoners and we were kind of forced together.”

Her eyes widen and her mouth parts. Her lower lip trembles and he realizes he’s said the worst thing possible. She turns back to the stove – shutting him out.

“Shit,” he mutters. “I didn’t mean that. I mean he – the soldier -  missed you. He wanted you. I could feel him – begging me – “

“You two are the same fucking person, Bucky!” She whirls around and shoves him hard. “And thank you so much for confirming the fact that you knew exactly who I was after you escaped and you still refused to come for me. For all you knew, I could have still been being tortured or stuck in the fucking cryo chamber, you bastard.”

He grabs her shoulders and pushes her back against the counter, his finger searing into her biceps. Her gaze is wounded – broken.

“I didn’t mean that,” he says again – truly realizing the cruelty of his words. “I’m so – so mixed up right now. I didn’t mean that.”

“Shut up,” she says, the words punching out of her mouth.

As she looks up at him, a memory hits him straight in the face.

Italy in 1999 and they had been tasked to kill a mob boss in Tuscany. They had snuck kisses in between gunning down their targets. She had ignored orders and bought him a gelato because he had wondered what it had tasted like. He had licked amarena cherry from her mouth as she laughed and his stomach had fluttered. She had shown him happiness then – the only piece of happiness he had ever, to his knowledge at the time, known.

Before he knows what he’s doing, he’s hauling her up against the far wall of the kitchen with his mouth closing over hers. His hands drop to her waist, fisting at the fabric of her tank top, pulling her to him, dancing over her hips as he pushes his tongue through her lips.

He’s enfolding her with his size, his frame pressed against hers with his fingers on her skin. For a moment, she’s still – stunned but, then her hands are roaming, raking over his chest and snaking around his neck and into his hair. She pulls his bun from the hair band and it brushes his shoulders. She tips her head, kissing him back and it’s all teeth and lips and tongue colliding desperately.

It’s clumsy. It’s awkward. It’s like they are learning each other again.

She whimpers into his mouth and he’s already hard against her stomach as his hips jut into hers, fingers dipping into the top of her shorts and just above her ass – tugging at that pink underwear. He groans as she leans further into him.

He had tried to forget her. He really had and he had been so wrong for it.

Here with her in his arms and her pretty pink tongue lapping at the roof of his mouth, it becomes so easy to forget Steve and all the reasons they are here in the first place.

She had been missing from him – that had been it. Bucky had felt empty and she had been the piece he had needed.

And God he wants her, he wants her so badly it aches in the depths of him. He is sated by her opening beneath him. The soldier croons – sings – hums in appreciation.

His ears catch tires rolling on gravel. She pushes him off of her, a string of saliva caught between them and she rubs at her mouth.

“Steve,” she says. “Steve.”

She fixes her hair and brushes past him without a second glance.

All that strength that he prides himself on suddenly crashes to the floor like a thick empty tumbler. It rolls around before settling someplace that he can’t get back.

He’s so fucked.