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In Between

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Warm in his bed, tucked in and comfortable, Bucky opened his eyes. He couldn’t remember how he made it in bed. His last memory was unpacking his suitcase and something breaking. He saw the flat screen TV in his room on. He hardly ever turned the thing on. He looked over beside him in bed and saw Sam sitting up watching TV.

“What is going on?” Bucky mumbled.

Sam sighed softly and prepared his self for the conversation they were about to have and muted the TV. They didn’t need any distractions.

Bucky looked around his room and wondered how Sam got in his house.

“Do you want to talk?” Sam asked softly.

Bucky sat up and looked over at him.

“About?” Bucky asked to lead the conversation, to see what Sam had on his mind.

“What in the world was going on with you last night for starters?”

Even Bucky still wasn’t sure. He didn’t know how to explain without telling Sam about his job.

“You can start with your behavior last night or why there’s two firearms in your suitcase at the foot of your bed,” Sam suggested for conversation starters.

Bucky felt adrenaline hit his system; he looked and noticed his suitcase was no longer sitting on top of his bed anymore. He looked over at Sam and nodded. Yeah, it was time to come clean.

“Let’s ugh…go downstairs,” Bucky suggested. “Let’s talk there.”

Bucky got out of bed and did his best to walk alone to see just how messed up he actually was. Sam kept an eye on him the entire way as they headed downstairs and went into the kitchen. Sam pulled out a chair for Bucky to sit and sat in one close by.

Sam was nervous about what Bucky was about to say but he couldn’t get over the shock of finding those two guns in Bucky’s luggage. It was startling in a way Sam had never experienced. Coupled with finding his boyfriend messed up on some kind of drug, the presence of weapons in Bucky’s home caused pure concern to pool in the pit of Sam’s stomach. Bucky took a seat and tried to organize his thoughts. He tried to think of where to start and how to explain what happened last night.

He decided to start from the very beginning. “The night I met you at the party I was just getting back in town from–,” Bucky started to explain as a loud crash sounded from somewhere on their right in the kitchen.

Bucky looked and recognized the smoke grenade as it flew in through the broken window above his kitchen sink. His weakness momentarily forgotten, Bucky felt his body begin moving before he could tell it to. He grabbed a hold of Sam’s wrist and pulled him out of the kitchen. He shielded Sam with his body as he heard other windows breaking around the house. He moved to the hallway before his living room, just under the staircase and pounded on the wall in strategic places to reveal the hidden door. He opened the door to the safe room and ushered Sam inside first. He shut the door quickly behind them and sealed it back. They could hear windows continue to shatter as footsteps fell soon after.

Bucky hurried to grab a silencer and a high powered magnum handgun from the assortment of weapons he had stashed in his safe room. He put the silencer on and gave a glance at Sam who was understandably and visibly shell shocked. With his weapon assembled, Bucky turned to his boyfriend and pulled him close. He could hear loud footsteps stomping around his home but he took the moment to embrace Sam, to let the other know he was going to handle this. He kissed Sam’s cheek and hoped it wouldn’t be for the last time.

“I’ll explain everything when I get back. Stay here. Do not come out unless I call you, ‘Samuel’. Okay?” Bucky said looking into Sam’s eyes to make sure the other understood what he was saying.

Sam only stared and nodded quickly.

Bucky moved to check his security cameras from the monitor in the room and saw the hallway outside was clear. He tried to calm his nerves and devise a plan to clear the operatives out. He settled on the wildest thing he could think of. It would be the last thing they’d expect. Bucky left out of the alternate doorway, quietly and confidently, and descended the narrow staircase down into his basement before sealing the door behind him. Barefoot in nothing but the thin pajama clothes he had on, he crossed the pitch black basement in the exact pathway he always kept clear and tried not to think of how bad all of this could go with no armor to protect his body. Sam was also here. He had to protect him. He was innocent in this. Bucky refused to let anything happen to Sam and decided to focus on that.

Bucky reemerged outside and checked his surroundings. In the hush of the morning, the neighborhood was quiet. He was surprised no police were on his doorstep inquiring about all of the fucking noise. He peeked around the side of the house and didn’t see a truck out front, which probably meant all of them had been dropped off and would be waiting for extraction once done. There was no back-up coming. Bucky cocked his gun and went hunting.

He walked around the perimeter of his home, slowly and carefully, as not to slip in the dewy grass of his yard and began shooting and targeting the hit team from outside. He shot through window after window, downing operative after operative without any return fire and minimal sound disturbance. When everything looked clear from the outside he went back inside through the backdoor in the kitchen. He saw a guy standing by his kitchen table and snuck up on him. He maneuvered the guy’s gun strap up to his neck and violently yanked back on the strap several times until the guy stopped trying to reach for him. Bucky twisted for good measure and stood up as the guy dropped to the ground. He listened closely and heard the knife as it came out of its sheath; Bucky turned on a dime and fought the next operative strike for strike until he could angle his gun at the person’s knee and take the shot. Struggling with the operative he missed the first shot but landed the second. Once they were on the ground, he shot them point blank.

Bucky sighed out loud in frustration and stared at the ceiling for a second. He was winded and weak as fuck. The toxin exposure was catching up to him big time.

He looked at the operatives on the ground and recognized Walker’s company logo on the outside of their uniforms. Bucky rolled his eyes.

“Of course,” he said softly.

He left the kitchen and stepped over body after body to go get Sam out of the safe room. He shoved aside thoughts of having to scrub blood out of his carpet once he had the bodies picked up. He didn’t have patience at the mere idea of it.

Standing out in the hallway Bucky sighed wholly and deeply. He touched his hand to the wall and wondered what on Earth would become of them when Sam came out of that room. He knew Sam had heard most of it, but once he came out he’d see Bucky in the harsh light of the truth and see the reality of who Bucky really was.

“Samuel,” Bucky said just the same. It was time he knew.

“Bucky?!” Sam said expectantly.

Bucky pounded on the wall and opened the door from the outside. He swung the door open and beheld Sam safe and sound the way he left him.

Sam looked at Bucky sweaty, covered in grass stains, disheveled and a bit out of breath. What had he done? Sam wondered terrified.

“It’s all good now, come on,” Bucky said taking Sam’s hand to bring him out of the safe room. Bucky led the way upstairs. He’d have Sam stay up in his room while he cleaned up downstairs.

Sam looked at the state of Bucky’s house completely astonished by the bleeding bodies, puddles of blood and blood splatter suddenly all over the floor. They stepped carefully over the bodies in the floor to get to the stairs when they heard a shot fire suddenly from within the house. Bucky fell to the ground and bit back a guttural yell as he grasped his leg. He was hit. He looked to see blood leaking through his pajama pant leg.

Sam had run for the stairs and hid a few steps up. He wanted to go to Bucky when he realized Bucky was down, but Bucky motioned for Sam to be quiet when they heard footsteps. Sam looked around and saw Bucky’s gun had fallen on the bottom step. Sam crept down the steps quietly. He peeked around the corner and saw one of the presumed bodies on the floor get up and move toward Bucky, most likely to finish him off.

Sam rushed down to grab Bucky’s gun and aimed. He took the shot. The guy dropped backwards without much struggle.

Upon realizing what he’d done, Sam started shaking, the gun still in hand. He pushed through his terror and moved to check on his boyfriend.

Bucky, surprised by what Sam had done, looked up and saw Sam in shock. He struggled to sit up but moved to take his gun back. He touched Sam’s hand gently and worked his finger off the trigger. Bucky flipped the safety on and put the firearm down.

He grasped Sam’s shaking hands in his own and held them tight. “It’s okay. You’re okay baby. You’re okay,” Bucky assured him as he brought Sam in close in his arms. He took in the silence around them and felt relief washed through him. They’d survived the ambush. He kissed Sam’s cheek, savoring his abilities to do so. “You saved me. You saved me baby.” Bucky smiled wide at that and Sam only nodded. “Let’s get you upstairs,” Bucky said getting back on his feet with Sam’s help.

Bucky leaned against a wall.

“Are you–you’re bleeding!” Sam said noticing Bucky’s pajamas soaked in blood.

Bucky refused to look down. “I’m gonna be okay,” Bucky assured him. “My room. I’ll be there in a minute okay?” Bucky said softly.

“Okay,” Sam said rubbing his hands together nervously before he started up the stairs.

Bucky watched Sam ascend the stairs and waited until he heard his bedroom close before he picked his gun back up and looked back at the operative Sam shot. Bucky limped over and saw the person wasn’t dead yet. Thankfully for Sam’s conscious and peace of mind he hadn’t taken a life. Bucky shook his head, flipped the safety off and shot the operative in the head.

He should have asked why they were there, but at the moment Bucky just couldn’t give a fuck about why they were sent when Walker was already dead. He cringed and gripped his leg. The shit hurt. He had to tend to his wound soon. He slowly hobbled back to the kitchen for his phone, where he left it on the table when he was about to speak with Sam. Bucky shook his head.

How quickly things change in the span of thirty minutes, he thought.

Bucky called for a local clean-up crew to take care of the mess downstairs. When they said they’d be there in half an hour Bucky agreed. He texted Val and told her to scramble any police reports or inquiries made about loud noises in his area. He told her Walker’s company retaliated and left it at that. At the moment, reasoning be damned.