You were an average agent, capable, and hard-working — the whole package wrapped with a little bit of sass and a quiet demeanor. Never did you questioned your orders, out loud that is. You carried them accordingly, which is why director Fury thought it best to" transfer" you to the avenger's compound. The promotion came with a vague congratulations and a measle handshake along with rules and specifics for this "mission." In theory, you were inconspicuously babysitting the group, while vouching for them and coming up with good if not plausible justifications for any or every disaster that knocked on the door.
Sure the job at first wasn't all that glamorous. Just like the first day of school. It was more like starting over, getting to know them, their likes, dislikes, and preferences while managing everyone's appearances on the media and in front of Shield. After the initial awkwardness of three months, you had settled nicely. You were provided with a room within the compound, free access to mostly everything, and the opportunity to train and work with Earth's mightiest heroes. Then he came.
James Buchanan Barnes came from back from his journey of discovering himself. Everyone knew his history, and most were sympathetic and empathetic towards the old soldier. Of course, Tony still held a minor grudge for the obvious reasons, but he managed to tolerate his presence for a certain amount of time.
You weren't on the menu of social life. Therefore, most of your relationship with everyone was a bit superficial still. This was also extended to the newly added super-soldier. Nobody judged you for being quiet around most of them, getting flustered by Tony's charm, being intimidated by the widow, feeling mocked by Clint and only getting huffs and nods from Bruce. The Captain was more forthcoming and tried to establish conversations by pointing out some minor things in your form and giving you advice on them. This only served to embarrass you further, no reason needed; he was a cinnamon roll but intimidating nonetheless.
At some point, most of them started questioning your fighting attitude and were beginning to think you were more of a glorified secretary instead of an actual agent. You got spooked easy, even though you didn't make a sound when it happened, and you were intimidated easily, despite the fire you harbored inside. You kept your sass and sarcastic comments to your self, only responding in your mind to every and all advances. If they only knew. The supposed issue became a wager, and all of them tried to get a soldierly reaction out of you. Most attempts failed until one night you went to the kitchen for a midnight snack. The lights were mostly off except for the counters top one, which illuminated the way to the fridge. You knew most agents were either asleep or on missions, so the whole compound should be empty. Plus nobody, that you knew of, ever came for a midnight snack. You were about to open the fridge door when a hand touched your shoulder. Your eyes widened, breath hitched and stopped altogether. You reacted, grabbing your assailants hand, going under their arm and pushing their face unto the fridge. Lights switched on instantly, and some members close by rushed to see what the noise was all about.
There he was...face planted hard against the cold stainless steel fridge. His hair fell on his face and obstructed the awed and smug expressions of his teammates. The fire within left as soon as it manifested and you let him go apologizing immediately and retiring to your room. You didn't chance a glance towards his face or the others. The embarrassment was too much that you walked away so fast and swiftly, Tony didn't have the chance to congratulate you when you were already out of sight. Guess who won the bet.
"Damn" Falcon commented while grinning smugly towards Bucky's way, which in turn looked like the Winter Soldier all over.
Hair draped over his face and eyes emotionless, he had been caught unprepared, and in all truth, it scared him he didn't react. "Shut up, Wilson," he grunted and left the kitchen.
After that encounter, no one questioned your status as an agent or your reflexes for that matter. Everyone started opening more to you and seeing as you could pull your weight, they started inviting you along for more hardcore missions and training sessions. Soon you learned the team dynamics, their codes, what the tone of voice meant and which phrase was sarcastic.
A year passed, and you were in the closed circle. You were more open and expressed yourself without the fear of being called out or something. Everything was finally going out smoothly. You even befriended Bucky, who turned out to be a fantastic friend.
Your friendship, though, had a very rocky start.
After your little midnight encounter, he took it upon himself to kill you with his glances multiple times. His body language around you was always tense, making the air feel awkward, and the way he addressed made you feel like dirt sometimes. Sparring always ended in unnecessary rage from his part; you didn't even finish the match when he would leave the gym probably cursing in Russian. You were left dumbfounded and questioning your actions most of the times. Steve would always find you at night sitting on the roof hugging your knees close to your chest, always in shorts and a simple shirt despite the biting cold. He would come with a blanket, sitting beside you and assuring you his best friend's behavior wasn't your fault.
"He's just adjusting to people in general, and sometimes it tends to be a bit harder." Steve would reason with a warm smile.
"I understand, Mr. Rogers." you would always respond with a smile of your own.
One very late night, you were on your way to the roof after another episode with Barnes, when you caught him sitting outside on the grass. It was a peculiar and private sight, and you felt the need to leave the man alone. But something akin to guilt ate at you, and you went down to the kitchen. After Bucky felt at ease, he entered through the kitchen scrunching his brows in confusion at the lights on and the sweet, warm smell in the air. He approached the island counter with assassin stealth only to see you in front of the stove stirring something in a small pot.
"When I was a little kid, and I was feeling sad," your voice startled him, yet he remained hidden in the shadows. "My mama would make this recipe" you lightly chuckled as if remembering such nights and your face light up in warmness; you looked cozy.
You started serving two mugs, and he felt the need to escape but was equally curious to see where you were headed. "I hope you like it, she learned it from my grandmama. Fussy old lady, but she was a quiet and kind woman." he could've sworn a silent tear rolled down your cheek.
You placed the mug on the island counter and looked at him. He was hidden in the shadows, and yet you saw him. Bucky came out of the darkness and into the dimly lit counter, he grabbed a stool and sat down all the while looking at you very serious. You smiled at him and nodded as he sips from the mug suspiciously, eyes still on you. When the liquid hit his taste buds, his eyes lighted up.
"Its peanut butter with milk," you replied and started walking away giving him some privacy.
"Your grandmother..." you stopped abruptly at the mention, your shoulders tensed a bit in the darkness of the hall "Can you tell me about her?" the plea sounded so innocent you couldn't help but comply.
You turned slowly, your eyes focused on his icy blue ones. He needed to focus on something other than his thoughts. You offered a shy chuckled and sat down on a table near his stool.
"She was a strong woman, fearless and yet so small and fragile. You would look at her, and you would never think she was so brave. I remember this one time..." you told him many stories and made him chuckle and smile with you, he did notice some tears slipping but never commented on it or interrupted you. You were so alive, so open and expressive; it made him forget his nightly woes.