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In Between

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In my head there's only you now,
This world falls on me.
In this world there's real and make believe,
And this seems real to me.”

Let Me Go by 3 Doors Down


 

Downtown // 8:30 P.M.

The moon filtered light down through the clouds onto the empty downtown alleyway. The nightlife was carrying on as the clubs in the area were playing their respective music, adding to the cacophony of the evening’s constant buzz. Screams rang out as bodies suddenly poured out the back door of the nightclub. Yells of terror and fright as a fire in the kitchen had spread quickly through the club. The sprinkler system kicked on but people fled the confined space of the building for the safety of the outdoors.

Quietly, and patiently waiting atop the building looking down on the alleyway, Bucky kept his eye in his sniper scope as he waited for his target. Checking face after face, he waited for the one he was looking for.

“Come on you bastard, I don’t have all night,” Bucky said under his breath as he continued to wait.

He watched as a group of men soon exited the club through the backdoor for the lone car parked just in the shadow of the building.

Bucky lined up his shot and pulled the trigger. He tagged the target’s shoulder and observed the rest of the men around the guy. They all huddled closer to the man Bucky just shot rather than any of them rushing to the vehicle. He’d tagged his guy from the start. Bucky quickly cocked the next bullet and took the finishing shot. He observed the target go down as the men looked around fearful. Bucky moved back from his position and quickly broke down the sniper rifle and the rest of the equipment. He packed everything back into its case and exited the rooftop.

He descended the stairs to the seventh floor and found the cleaning closet where he left the rifle for pick up in two hours. He headed to the elevator and pressed send on the anonymous money transfer to have the weapon picked up and destroyed. Bucky unzipped his hoodie and popped in some ear buds to blend in as the elevator reached the ground floor of the apartment building. He walked out through the lobby and out onto the street.

Bucky put on some music and walked the twelve blocks east to reach his hotel. He zipped up his hoodie and pulled out his ear buds when he reached the upscale downtown hotel he decided to stay in for the week. Since he took a job in the city where he lived, he stuck to his usual routine of having a buffer location to prepare for work. Bucky entered the lobby, doing his best to look as if he’d just left a gym and went straight up to his hotel room without a second glance from the security guards.

He slipped into his hotel room and leaned against the door. A sigh escaped his parted lips as he allowed the adrenaline in his veins to begin to bleed away. He needed a moment to come down after every job he did. He checked the clock and saw there was just enough time to do that as well as get ready for dinner.

He walked through his luxury suite and stripped out of his disguise of casual clothing before heading for the shower. He stopped to check his cell, which he’d left in the room and saw he had a text from an hour ago.

We still on for tonight?

A smile curled Bucky’s lips as he texted back: Absolutely.

He stepped into the large, glorious shower in the bathroom and took a moment to calm his self down before he turned the water on lukewarm and spaced out for a minute or two. He washed his hair and hoped he’d packed the black button down shirt to wear that evening. He went to his suitcase and was happy to find the black button down he’d been thinking about. He left the tie in the suitcase and decided on leave the top two buttons of his shirt undone instead. He dried off, changed quick and put on some cologne before he shut his singular suitcase and stashed it away in the closet. He’d be back either tonight or tomorrow for the bag when he checked out.

Bucky stood in the bathroom mirror and combed his hair back neatly. He styled a few of the short strands but ultimately left his hair to do what it wanted. He shut off the lights and walked out of his room with his suit jacket over his arm. Face in his phone, he worked on ordering a ride to the restaurant while on the elevator alone. The app said it would take a couple of minutes so he settled on waiting down in the cigar bar until it arrived.

 


Downtown // 10:45 P.M.

Standing out in front of the restaurant Bucky fixed his jacket. He buttoned two of the jacket buttons before entering the restaurant and giving the host a name.

“Right this way, sir,” the man said showing Bucky the way to his table. Bucky followed the man through the glorious dining room, complete with several crystal chandeliers and marbled floors and hoped he wasn’t early.

“Here you are sir,” the host said gesturing to the table nestled away in the back for privacy.

Bucky looked at the other seated at the table and smiled warmly.

“Thank you,” Bucky told the host before the man dismissed his self and returned to the front of the restaurant.

Bucky took his seat at the table for two and unbuttoned his jacket buttons.

“For a moment, I actually thought I’d be early and beat you here doll,” Bucky said looking into those handsome brown eyes.

Sam leaned forward in his seat and smirked. “Not a chance,” he said looking at Bucky happily.

“How long have you been waiting?” Bucky asked hoping he hadn’t kept Sam waiting long.

“I sat down maybe five minutes ago,” Sam said looking around. “Really though Buck? We could have gone somewhere…a bit less fancy.”

Sam had grown used to the man’s taste in the finer things in the six months he’d gotten to know Bucky, but sometimes Sam wanted things to be less formal when they went out. Tonight was their sixth date and every date before had been at restaurants just as nice as the one they sat in.

Bucky shook his head softly as he looked into Sam’s eyes. It had been a month since their last date. Bucky had to travel for work so these evenings between them were special. They had not missed a single meet up with each other whenever Bucky texted that he was back in town.

“I don’t get to see you often,” Bucky said sincerely. “Let me spoil you.”

Sam swallowed the smile on his lips and sipped his water. He’d forgotten how hot Bucky could make him with the things he’d say from time to time.

“So what’s been going on?” Bucky asked. He couldn’t wait to hear about what Sam had been up to since he’d last seen him.

Sam informed Bucky about how his classes were going and how his middle school students were doing. Last time they’d met, it had been the start of the school year so the students were still adjusting. Bucky enjoyed hearing about the different groups of students Sam would get to teach as a Language Arts teacher. After Sam filled him in, Bucky crafted a bland cover story of how business meetings were like any others but being back felt good.

Bucky reached across the table and touched Sam’s hand as they ate their food and thought about how they met at a mutual friend’s dinner party six months prior. Bucky could remember it all so clearly. He’d walked in late to his old friend’s party only to know absolutely no one else in attendance. He milled about for ten minutes contemplating leaving early until he caught a glimpse of Sam from across the room talking to a few people. It was then Bucky was convinced he had to talk with the most handsome man in attendance. Others had tried to get Sam’s attention that evening as well but Bucky won out in the end as Sam had seemed just as taken with him.

He remembered asking Sam out to dinner and Sam accepting. In no time, they were on date six with no sign of cooling off any time soon.

As they neared the end of their meal, Sam grinned at Bucky, admiring his clean shave and cute eyes.

“I’m happy you have some free time while you’re in town to have dinner with me,” Sam said softly.

“Of course I’d make time to see you,” Bucky said gazing back at him. He still didn’t know what that feeling was that Sam stirred in his chest when they looked at one another like this. “What do you have planned for the rest of the evening?”

Sam shrugged gently. “Still waiting for something to come up,” Sam replied.

“So you’re free?”

“I’m free.”

Bucky bit his bottom lip just a bit then looked around. “I might have an idea you may like,” he offered.

“What might that be?” Sam asked smiling softly.

Bucky lowered his voice. “How about we go back to your place and see where we go from there?”

Sam gave Bucky a look and thought about it.

“Only if you promise I get to take that suit off of you at some point,” Sam said leaning forward over their table.

Bucky leaned forward as well. “You can do more than that if you want,” Bucky replied looking at Sam’s lips before he looked up into his eyes.

The lust in Sam’s eyes deepened a bit with Bucky’s words. This was the part of meeting up with Bucky that Sam enjoyed the most, the heavy flirtation and anticipation for what was to come. Sam had never met anyone that made him hope for more.

 

 


Sam grasped at Bucky’s arms after he slipped his black button down off his shoulders. Sam kissed at Bucky’s shoulder and sighed as they made out on Sam’s bed. Sam grasped his fingers in Bucky’s hair as Bucky rubbed his clothed erection down against Sam’s. He kept at it driving Sam wild until Sam couldn’t take it anymore and reached down to undo Bucky’s belt and pants.

It’s been a month, Sam thought, I’m not waiting on this anymore.

Bucky let Sam do as he pleased undressing him. Once nude Bucky placed kiss after kiss against Sam’s smooth brown skin as he slipped Sam’s briefs down off his hips and past his thighs.

“Buck, anything, anything, just please,” Sam said maddened beyond reason, wanting Bucky to get on with it.

Bucky smirked darkly at Sam’s words and proceeded to show the man a good time.

 

 

Just before the sun rose the next morning Bucky got an alert on his wrist watch. He checked it and saw check out at the hotel was in five hours. He needed to get back and collect his things from his room.

He looked beside him at Sam sleeping peacefully, curled up. The stillness and peace around them was one of the beautiful things about what he had going with Sam. He sat up and brushed his lips against Sam’s shoulder to wake him just a little bit.

“I have to get going. I have a flight to catch this afternoon,” Bucky whispered into Sam’s skin.

Sam sighed a bit but woke up just enough to pull Bucky close. He pressed a sleepy, soft goodbye kiss onto Bucky’s lips then opened his eyes. Bucky just wanted to curl up and stay with him.

“Call me if you’re back in town next weekend,” Sam whispered.

“I will do just that,” Bucky promised as he kissed Sam’s cheek in parting as Sam laid back down to continue resting.

Bucky got up to find his clothes and got dressed before leaving and locking Sam’s front door behind him. He ordered a ride to his hotel and was thankful one was close by. He got in and gave the hotel address. As the car pulled off from Sam’s sleepy neighborhood Bucky thought about how nice it always was to have these rare, but normal evenings with Sam in between the hustle and bustle of his job. It made taking time off sweeter than it had been before he met Sam.

Yeah Sam had no clue what Bucky really did as an occupation…but Bucky figured that was probably best for both of them.

Chapter Text

–Next Week–

Downtown // 10:15 P.M.

Bucky ran his fingers through his hair to brush it back from his eyes and looked around the upscale bar. Soft music filtered through the air as he walked up to the bar and saw Sam scrolling on his phone. Bucky had traveled the world, met countless people, and seen thousands of faces but no one like Sam. No one so effortlessly beautiful doing nothing at all.

Bucky touched his hand to Sam’s back gently to get his attention and watched the other turn to look at him.

“Hey,” Sam said happily. He’d been hopeful when he told Bucky to call if he was free next weekend. He honestly didn’t think Bucky would be free, he knew the man stayed busy. But he couldn’t deny the delight in his chest when he got that call with the typical greeting of, ‘Hey stranger’.

“Hey,” Bucky said leaning in to place a soft kiss near Sam’s lips. He preferred to keep it PG in public, classy.

Sam smiled wide at the kiss, enjoying it. “We doin’ drinks because you have to run somewhere later?” Sam wondered.

“No,” Bucky said shaking his head. “You said something less fancy than a restaurant.”

Sam looked around the bar they were currently in then looked back at Bucky. “You get points for trying but this is still way too nice man,” Sam said breaking it to him gently.

Bucky placed an order for a drink and looked back at Sam. He shrugged at missing the mark with what Sam meant but he was still spending the evening with Sam which would always be a win.

Sam observed Bucky seated beside him. His nice grey slacks, white button down shirt, and rolled up sleeves to the elbows. It was a simple look. But as Sam observed, with most things about Bucky, it seemed to be a step up from the average. He didn’t know how Bucky did it but it gave the man an air Sam couldn’t get enough of.

“Do you even own casual clothing?” Sam asked playfully.

Bucky received his drink and glanced over at him. “What?”

“Do you wear shorts and a tee sometimes? Do you own anything that isn’t a three piece suit?”

Bucky smirked. Sam had jokes, Bucky thought. Cute.

“Why? You don’t like the way I dress?” Bucky asked turning toward Sam, with faux hurt in his tone.

“No, you always look great. Just wondering if you’d have anything to wear if I wanted to go to the beach with you or something,” Sam explained.

Bucky thought about Sam’s words and nodded. The thought of going to the beach with Sam sounded nice. Bucky just couldn’t do it. Too many people and nowhere to take cover; just in case he’d need to.

“I do,” Bucky replied calmly.

Sam laughed softly. “I’d like to see your closet,” Sam said teasingly, knowing there was an ice cube’s chance in Hell that he’d ever see the inside of Bucky’s home. While Sam was enjoying the casual nature of what they had going on, he made sure to manage his expectation of what they had becoming anything more. He refrained from bringing it up lest it kill the atmosphere between them, but Sam was more than aware of the distance Bucky was holding him at.

Bucky sipped his liquor then rotated his watch on his wrist for comfort.

“How about dinner?” Bucky asked.

“What? Now?” Sam asked. “It’s kind of late.”

“No. Come to my place. I’ll cook for you,” Bucky offered as he looked into Sam’s eyes.

Eyebrows raised, Sam said, “Seriously?”

“Yeah,” he said swallowing the grin on his lips.

“When?” Sam asked completely surprised but so excited to accept the offer.

“How about next Friday night?”

“Sure,” Sam accepted.

“I’ll text you the address then,” Bucky said softly feeling his stomach twist a bit at the idea of Sam coming over to his place for the first time.

What had he gotten into? Bucky wondered.

 

 


 –Next Thursday–

Madrid, Spain // 5:00 P.M.

Bucky checked his tablet and the plans he’d laid out for the job. He double checked his time stamps and trajectories and made sure everything would line up. He gave a quick glance out the window of the empty warehouse floor he was on and waited for the targets to step into position. He let the dry winds whip over his face for a moment as he checked the time and wondered what he’d do later in the evening. He was split between going to the club or flying back home early. After a few minutes of weighing his options, and admiring the scenery in the distance, he shrugged off the decision for a later time and checked the window again.

The sale was going down and everyone was in position.

“Did you bring it?” the man asked eyeing the briefcase.

“Would I bother coming if I hadn’t?” the other replied. “But what choice did I really have when Hector had a gun to my head.”

“Not my problem. You should have stayed in your line, maybe it wouldn’t have come to this,” he said.

Bucky listened in on the conversation going on and waited for the signal. After a couple of minutes he looked south to the clock tower and saw a bright reflection of light –exactly what he’d been waiting for. He looked back down on the drop going on, as the briefcase was about to change hands and took a deep breath before he pulled the trigger. He sprayed the group of six men with multiple rounds of bullets. He tuned out the sound of screaming and quickly started tapping anyone still moving.

Then he remembered! He paused and reread the notes on the assignment – he was supposed to leave a few badly wounded but still alive. Shit.

Well damn, Bucky thought, I hope one of them makes it.

He moved out of position and broke the AK down back into its case. He stashed it back where he found it upon arriving, under a worktable on the other side of the room. He headed for the stairs and out through the back alley behind the building. The chipper barking of a small dog echoed from a distance within the sound of trunks driving nearby. He emerged back out on the bustling street. He decided to cross over a few more streets before he happened upon the afternoon foot traffic. He stood there on the sidewalk and hailed a cab. He slipped on his sunglasses; waited all of five minutes before one stopped and he slipped inside of it.

He wasn’t in the mood to go to any club. He wanted to head on home.

“Airport please,” Bucky said throwing on an accent just for the hell of it as he took off his gloves finally and checked his work burner.

He checked his account and saw the transfer had been made two minutes prior. He glanced out the window, at the blur of people and faces as they whizzed by and figured he’d be at the airport in twenty minutes and back home in six hours. 

He sat back and thought about the shower he couldn’t wait to take once he got there. He figured he could plan the dinner he’d prepare for Sam tomorrow night on the plane ride back.

Chapter Text

Sam stood on the doorstep of a very nice, suburban home. Sam didn’t want to judge but Bucky definitely lived on the rich side of town. The neighborhood was known for its CEOs and professional athletic residents. Sam just hoped Bucky opened the door before some random ass neighbor questioned him as to why he in the area.

He knocked again and the door opened. Bucky greeted him warmly, in a pair of black sweatpants and tight grey T-shirt. Bucky only smiled.

“You’re hilarious,” Sam deadpanned. Sam was dressed nicely in slacks and a button down.

Bucky welcomed Sam in. “I can always go change,” Bucky offered.

“No, it’s fine,” Sam said looking around the house. He handed Bucky the bottle of wine he brought to go with dinner and observed the tiled floors and spacious rooms to the left and right of the door. No pictures or anything on the walls but the décor was nice and balanced, not too little, not too much. There were accent colors in each room but overall a deep brown and cool tan were the leading colors of the home’s palette.

“Would you like a tour?” Bucky asked softly, unsure of having anyone else in his space. No one ever came over. He was so used to being alone any time he returned to this house. It was his sanctuary to decompress and relax from the stress his job caused him from time to time. But now, with Sam here, Bucky was painfully aware of just how empty his home of nine years actually was.

“Maybe later,” Sam said unsure of what to do in Bucky’s space.

“Okay,” Bucky said softly. He reached for Sam’s hand and held it as he led the way to his living room where he’d planned to have dinner with Sam. Bucky was certain Sam would say it was too much, again, but Bucky didn’t have any chill when it came to trying to impress the man. Bucky just didn’t have it. 

Sam followed Bucky quietly and felt his jaw drop when he saw the candle lit living room. He looked at Bucky and couldn’t believe the other had gone through the trouble of lighting that many candles. It was then Sam realized the lights were off everywhere in the house except the entryway. His entire walk through the house had been lit by soft candle light. It was a fire hazard–no doubt–but it was the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for Sam.  

“Bucky you really didn’t have to, oh my goodness,” Sam said walking into the living room as Bucky held his hand still and brought him over to the couch to sit.

Sam took a seat and couldn’t believe it. Wine glasses sat on the coffee table along with white taper candles in crystal holders.

Bucky set the wine bottle down on the coffee table before he leaned down and kissed Sam’s lips.

“Yes, I did,” he whispered. He stood up straight again and grabbed the wine bottle. “I’m going to go open the wine and bring the food. Just wait here.”

Sam watched Bucky walk to the kitchen and felt his nerves well up inside. There was something he wanted to bring up tonight but Sam wasn’t sure if he should. He’d given it a lot of thought over the week while waiting for that evening to arrive. He’d gone back and forth on whether to bring it up but looking around at all of the effort Bucky had put into their evening he felt a little bit better bringing it up.

Bucky brought out the open wine bottle and Sam moved to fill their glasses as Bucky returned for their dinner plates. With the glasses full, Bucky returned with two plates of food and silverware. Sam happily took his plate.

Bucky took a seat on the couch and set his plate on the coffee table. It was very different from all of their other dinner dates together but he hoped Sam appreciated his effort to listen and take into consideration his wants. They drank their wine and ate the seafood paella Bucky prepared and talked. The atmosphere was relaxed and chill. It was peaceful and it was just the two of them.

As they finished their second helpings and the wine bottle hand been emptied, Sam knew it was now or never to bring it up. He looked into Bucky’s eyes and wondered if he was about to ruin all of this between them by asking too many questions.

“Ugh Bucky,” Sam said softly.

“Yeah?”

“I really like you. I haven’t liked someone this much in years if I’m being honest with myself. I know we haven’t seen each other often but I enjoy every moment I spend with you,” Sam explained looking at him.

“I like you too Sam,” Bucky said worried about where this was going.

“C-can we be exclusive? Just you and me?” Sam asked wondering if he was asking for too much. How could he expect someone that travels so frequently to date him exclusively. In simpler terms, they’d be entering a long distance relationship of sorts. Sam knew he was asking a lot.“B-because you make me so happy and it’s wonderful being with you. You’re amazing Buck.”

Bucky stared at Sam. He was beside his self. He couldn’t believe Sam wanted to date him.

Sam wanted to date him. Holy shit.

When the realization hit, Bucky knew he should say no. It wasn’t safe for Bucky to have ties and it damn sure wasn’t safe for Sam to be tied to Bucky in case he slipped up. He knew he should turn Sam down…but…he couldn’t.

Bucky thought of all the things he’d given up because of his job. The life he longed for, the lover or partner to come home to; a future to live for; things he’d told his self in the beginning he could live without. But year after year of the same old, same old, Bucky had begun to grow resentful of the compromise.  

He gazed into Sam’s pretty brown eyes and felt his will crack looking into them. He knew he was lying to Sam. That Sam only knew a fraction of who he truly was but Bucky was completely taken with Sam and everything about the humble, middle school teacher that loved his students and wanted to make a difference in the shitty world they lived in. He knew he should have ended what they had three months ago, but he couldn’t fight his desire or want to get closer to the other man.

“Yes,” Bucky said softly as he held Sam’s gaze.

Sam leaned in and kissed his lips softly. A hot press of lips against his own, Bucky closed his eyes and delighted in another taste of Sam.

Sam touched Bucky’s neck to pull him closer in their kiss. His heart beat hard in his chest at Bucky’s answer. Bucky wanted to date him too and Sam was elated.  

When their kiss broke, Sam licked his lips and took a deep breath. He leaned his forehead against Bucky’s and clasped his hand around Bucky’s prosthetic wrist.

“Do you think-,” Sam closed his eyes to clear his mind and start again. “Do you want to, tonight?”

That wasn’t a question in Bucky’s mind. Of course he wanted Sam. Bucky pulled Sam into another kiss and heard the other moan so sweetly.

Fuck he makes me so hot, Bucky thought trying to remember how to get up to his own room. He pulled back from Sam and saw the look of lust in his eyes. Bucky got up slowly and took their dinner plates to the kitchen with their wine glasses. He left everything in the sink and figured he’d take care of all of that in the morning or whenever. He walked back into the living room and started blowing out the candles. Sam got up to help and met Bucky out in the hallway. They blew out the candles along the way as they made their way to the stairs.

Bucky shut off the lights in the entryway. Cast in darkness Bucky kissed Sam’s cheek softly before leading him up the stairs through the dark to his bedroom.

 

In his room, Bucky took in the fact Sam was the first to enter this room besides him. He turned on the ambient lamps around the room from the switch and shut the door behind them. Sam clung close to Bucky and earned a smile from Bucky at how cute he was being.

Their surroundings were new but this was a dance they knew all too well in each other’s arms. Sam looked into Bucky’s eyes and felt taken by the fact they were now with each other. It was just the two of them. The detail was small but it did something for Sam knowing the kisses and hands touching him were promised for him and only him now. That he could feel comfortable giving in emotionally and physically with Bucky now that they’d moved into the start of a serious relationship. It made Sam nervous but Bucky inspired confidence and reassurance in him like no one else.

“Sam?”

“Huh?” Sam hadn’t heard a thing the other had said.

“May I?” Bucky asked trailing his fingers down and over the zipper of Sam’s slacks.

“Yes,” Sam said feeling his heart pound in his chest.

Bucky helped Sam out of his button down, his slack and briefs before he invited Sam to get up on his King sized bed. Bucky bit his lip and shook his head at the sight of Sam sitting nude on his bed. The ambient light of the room gave Sam’s skin a soft golden glow.

I could get used to seeing that, Bucky thought as he pulled his shirt off and tossed it aside.

Sam watched Bucky shed his sweatpants and was surprised that he hadn’t been wearing anything underneath them.

“So you just knew where tonight was going huh?” Sam asked as Bucky crawled up on the bed with him.

Bucky placed a kiss on Sam’s stomach before he looked up at him. “I had a pretty good feeling,” Bucky whispered before he moved back to brush his lips down past Sam’s belly button, past his patch of curls. Bucky picked Sam’s dick up into his flesh hand and stroked him a bit in a loose fist; Sam was well on the way to being fully erect. Bucky pressed his lips to Sam’s dick and sighed. The heat of Sam’s flesh against his lips, his scent was intoxicating. Bucky closed his eyes and took Sam into his mouth without another thought.

Sam felt his body tremble with Bucky’s lips wrapped around him. He brushed his fingers into Bucky’s hair to push it out of the way to get a look at what the other was doing. Bucky glanced up, right then with those piercing blue eyes and Sam moaned as he gripped at Bucky’s hair.

“Bucky…baby, yes, fuck yessss,” Sam groaned as he felt Bucky false swallowed around his tip.

Sam laid back down on the bed, closed his eyes and draped his arm over his eyes. He was in for quite a night.

 

Bucky sat atop Sam’s lap and kissed his lips as he gave his body time to accept Sam within him. Sam ran his hands over his back and grasped his ass as Sam did his best to be patient and gave Bucky time to get comfortable enough to move. 

He kissed against Sam’s neck and moaned. Goodness he’d only wanted to have sex with Sam all day, every day if he could figure out a way to pay his bills while doing it. It just made no sense how good his skin felt against Sam’s, he wanted this always.

Chapter Text

–Some Days Later–

Sam sat outside at his favorite restaurant in his neighborhood with his sister for lunch. They’d ordered their food and were catching each other up on details of their lives. Being teachers they leaned on each other for support when they needed help and when their jobs were just getting to be too much. They tried to meet regularly to have lunch or go shopping on the weekends.

“So how are things with that sugar daddy of yours?” Sarah asked jokingly.

Sam shook his head. “That’s absolutely not what’s going on,” Sam refuted.

“He texts you when he’s in town, takes you out to expensive restaurants any time he’s in town and then you give him some, every single time yall meet up. How is that not what’s going on?”

“Shut up Sarah,” Sam said mostly exasperated at his sister for pointing on the oddness of his early dates with Bucky. If he hadn’t had such a wonderful night with Bucky last Friday, Sam would feel some kind of way about what his sister pointed out. However that was not the case and things had changed between the two of them and nothing could dampen Sam’s happiness about that. “We’re together now.”

“Are you serious?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said looking over at her as their food arrived. “We made things official last Friday.”

Sarah took a few bites of her food and thought a little bit about the information her brother had shared with her.

“What? No opinion? No, ‘congrats Sammy I’m so happy for your new relationship’?”

Sarah wasn’t sure why but something wasn’t sitting right with her. She’d met Bucky briefly when she ran into him and Sam while they were downtown going to the theater for a show one afternoon. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but there was something about the man she wasn’t convinced about.

“I don’t know about him Sammy,” she stated again.

Sam sighed. “You never like anyone I date though. What makes him any different?”

“A fine ass, white man with his shit together is either a drug lord or an arms dealer.”

“Just those two?”

“You know what the hell I mean! He’s some type of bad or criminal. Money and swag like that don’t come from ivy leagues,” she pressed. “I’m telling you Sam.”

Sam shook his head and couldn’t see Bucky dealing in anything nefarious. Granted the man talked a really good game, that didn’t mean he was a gangster.

“If some shit pops off while you’re with him don’t come crying to me,” she said sipping her coffee.

“You won’t bail me out of jail?” Sam joked.

“Nah, if you wanna let some good dick lead you to a life of crime, by all means gon head then, I’m not gonna stop you or help you after this point,” she said looking at him.

Sam smiled wide and shook his head.

“I love you sis,” he said softly reading a text from Bucky that the other was thinking of him.

 


 6th Arrondissement, Paris, France // 7:00 P.M.

Bucky put his phone away after texting Sam and sat down to have an evening coffee. He acknowledged Valkyrie at the outdoor table of the little Parisian café they picked for their meeting.

“Good to see you in one piece,” she said not looking up from her phone.

“You too,” he said coolly looking around through the dark lenses of his sunglasses as the sun began setting around them.

“It’s not hard to dodge bullets when you’re the eye in the sky Buck,” she reminded him.

“Talk to me,” he said, asking about any assignments with open contracts and anything that was specifically sent to him.

“You’ve got a contract with notes. Clean and discreet,” she said having memorized the file so she wouldn’t have to open it in public and risk being traced or them getting pinged out in the open.

“The money right this time?” he asked casually looking around and keeping his senses open to their surroundings. It was just the two of them sitting outside except for one table a couple of feet away on the other side of the patio.

“Always about the paper huh?”

He looked over at her with his sunglasses on at 7pm at night. “Aren’t you?” he asked her.

“True,” she confessed. “Money’s there. Three mill. But this one won’t be easy though. I looked into this guy, Walker; he’s got people all over.”

“That’s why we’re working together right?”

“I’m just your eyes for intel Bucky,” she reminded him.

“How much to hire you as a second gun?” he asked. “Get you off the sidelines and back in the game?” At one point Val had been notorious for her skills and high hit count but for some reason, no one knew why, she pulled out of field work and became an ‘eye in the sky’ or Eagle as they were called in the business.

“You couldn’t afford me,” she said putting her phone away to look at Bucky.

Bucky kept that in mind and looked around the area. “Talk to me about this guy.”

Val filled him in on the target using their code for public settings and explained most of what the file had on the guy.

“It’ll be tough but it looks like you’ll have an opening next month if you plan this right. It’s a small window but for you I’m sure it’ll be more than enough time.”

Bucky considered her words and figured it would be more than enough time to come up with a plan and backup courses of action just in case.

When they wrapped their discussion with business, Bucky felt the need to talk to someone about what was on his mind. He didn’t have close friends but Val was the closest thing to a friend one could have in his line of work.

“Do you date Val?” Bucky asked softly thinking of Sam, wondering what the other was up to at the moment.

Val eyed him carefully, trying to assess why Bucky was asking her such a question. Paranoia in the business came standard. You didn’t stand a chance of surviving if you didn’t have a healthy dose of skepticism when talking to anyone once you got in the business. Getting personal with colleagues in their line of work was taboo. There were details everyone kept secret for safety and security reasons.

Bucky knew he and Val trusted each other but that trust only went so far.

“I do hookups. I don’t date,” she said pointedly as if the idea of dating was beneath her. She’d learned that lesson the hard way. She vowed she’d never make that mistake again. “Dating is dangerous in this line of work.”

She eyed Bucky, gauging his reaction to her words.

“It is,” he agreed.

“Having feelings or attachments often doesn’t end well for anyone in this business,” she said off handedly. “Leads to a bullet in either your head…or theirs, eventually.”

Bucky felt a chill run down his spine. He was thankful he had on sunglasses and Val couldn’t see his eyes, or the worry he had to conceal in his expression. He hoped against hope he wasn’t putting Sam in harm’s way by being with him.

Chapter Text

–A Month Later –

Upstate New York, U.S. // 3:00 P.M.

“Lunch was really good,” Bucky said softly as he walked with Sam in the park after they ate at a restaurant Sam had chosen.

“I’m surprised to hear that. I didn’t think you’d eat anything that didn’t have at least three courses,” Sam said joking lightly with him.

Bucky squint his eyes at Sam. “Is that what you think of me? A stuck up snob?”

Sam wrapped his arm around Bucky’s and leaned against him. “Oh no babe, I don’t think you’re a snob. You’re a little bougie but not a snob,” Sam clarified.

“‘A little bougie’,” Bucky said considering Sam’s words.

“You might be a lotta bougie,” Sam said smiling wide when Bucky looked at him again. “But that’s just how you are and I like you just the same.”

“Yeah?” Bucky asked.

“Yeah,” Sam said assuring him as he looked into his eyes. “Thank you for coming with me to the art museum as well.”

“No problem, I enjoyed it,” Bucky said as they walked down near the fountain in the center of the park.

“I took my students last month on a field trip to a different show they had and I really wanted to return to that printmaking exhibition. Just didn’t think I’d make it back to see it,” Sam explained.

Bucky smiled on the inside that he’d been able to do something special like that with Sam.

“All of the work was amazing,” Bucky added.

“Wasn’t it?! Just phenomenal the level of skill required to achieve that detail,” Sam said as he gushed about the artwork they’d seen on display.

He glanced at Bucky and felt comfortable enough in the moment to speak freely between the two of them.

“I always wanted to go to the Louvre and see their collection of Rembrandt etchings,” Sam admitted softly. “Maybe one day…we could go together.”

It was a dream Sam had had since he was a kid. He’d never shared it with anyone. Sam wasn’t much of an artist but he was a reader. He’d fallen in love with the illustrated pages of old books. Once he learned how they were made he became enamored with the process and techniques of printmaking.

Bucky considered Sam’s words and thought about how many times he’d been to Paris just this year. He realized he’d never set foot in the Louvre or anywhere near it for that matter. He bit his tongue on agreeing with Sam about seeing it together one day. As amazing as it sounded to see that work with Sam and experience his joy at seeing it, Bucky couldn’t bring his self to give Sam false hope about something he knew Sam wanted dearly.

Sam took note of Bucky’s silence after his statement and laughed softly.

“I know I’m moving kind of fast talking about traveling internationally together and whatnot,” Sam said stopping them in their tracks to look at Bucky. “But it can’t hurt to talk about the future right?”

Sam wanted to take things slowly with Bucky; he wanted what they had to last. However he wanted Bucky to know, he could see his self with him for the long term.  

Bucky searched Sam’s eyes and felt that certain feeling coming back into his chest. He wanted nothing more than to dream of a future with Sam. Nevertheless Bucky knew every day in his line of work was not guaranteed, so he wouldn’t utter a promise to Sam but he could talk about that future.

Even if they may never see it together.

“You’re right, doesn’t hurt at all,” Bucky said softly as they began to walk again. “Would you only want to see that printmaking collection? Nothing else?”

Sam swooned at the thought. “Oh no, there’s tons of things I’d want to see there,” Sam said before he started talking about all of the different artworks he’d love to see as Bucky happily listened.

 

 


–Next Week –

Manhattan, New York, U.S. // 5:00 P.M.

Bucky loaded bullet after bullet into his backup clips as he watched Val from across the room as she strapped on her bulletproof vest in preparation for taking down his target. Bucky felt a bit of pride in being able to convince Val to help him gun it. He got up and strapped on his holsters as the movie they’d been watching to kill time continued to play; forgotten in the background as they prepared.

It was a tense evening for more reasons than one. They’d been planning for a month for this assignment only for the target to end up in Bucky’s city at the last minute! That took adjustments but nothing either of them couldn’t handle. Val caught a flight within the last two hours and made it just in time. It didn’t help that Bucky had other things on his mind as well.  

Val checked her watch and saw they needed to leave immediately.

“Let’s go. If we leave now we can get there with five minutes to get into position,” she said slipping on a black jacket.

"Let's make this quick shall we? I have a dinner date tonight," Bucky said picking up the sniper rifle case off of the bed. Val rented a vehicle so he could use his own weapon on the job.  

Val just looked over at him. "What?” she asked in confusion.

“I have a date,” Bucky said simply not seeing the problem.

“Who the hell are you anymore?" Val wondered, hoping to high Heaven whatever Bucky was talking about wouldn’t get in the way of the job.

 

They arrived three minutes before the target and ungracefully got in position. Bucky cringed at how unorganized he felt in the moment but decided to roll with it. He ran over the plan in his mind again to make sure he knew what to do and looked to Val crouched with him in the stairwell landing on the ninth floor.

Val watched her phone closely. Silence rang through the stairwell as they waited. Val watched and waited and began to countdown with her fingers. At one, Bucky checked the security camera and saw the target leaving the office.

“Now,” Bucky whispered.

Val cut power to the elevator as Bucky watched the group of men walk down the hall to the elevator’s at the other end of the hall where they’d be pinned.

Just before they arrived at the elevator, with the element of surprise on their side, Bucky and Val stepped out of the stairwell, a hallway’s distance away from the target and opened fire.

Gunfire rang out loudly. Dust and plaster from the walls being shredded, kicked up into the air clouding their line of sight down the hallway. Val gave cover fire as Bucky switched to his sniper and lined up for the shot at Walker. But he couldn’t see him.

Halt,” Bucky said in his comms to Val so she could hear him.

She ceased fire and allowed the dust to thin a bit. It took only seconds for them to realize there was no one at the other end of the hall. No bodies, no blood, nothing.

“What the fuck?” Val said astonished.

The next second the group of men reappeared raining bullets back at them from the other end of the hall.

FUCK!” They cried rushing back into the stairwell.

“What the fuck?!” Bucky cried as he cringed. He’d just barely caught a bullet in his vest near his left side. Two inches further to the left, it would have missed the plate and he would have taken it right below his rib cage.

“I told you this wouldn’t be easy,” she said opening the duffle bag they prepared as Plan B. She handed Bucky a bulletproof helmet to protect his head and shield his face from cameras.

What the hell is wrong with the elevator?!” They heard from out in the hall.

I DON’T CARE GET IT WORKING NOW!!!” They heard soon after.

“How much longer do we have with the elevator?” Bucky asked as he drafted a quick text to Sam from his watch to tell him they’ll have to push their date back an hour and that things ran late at work.

“Two minutes maybe,” Val said slipping on her helmet and cocking her rifle. “You’re texting?!!! Right now!? Seriously!?

“Letting him know I’m going to be late,” Bucky said as he sent the text. He slipped on his helmet and reloaded his gun.

He was pissed now. He was going to be late for dinner.

They headed back into the hall and heard, “HEADS UP!

Val opened fired as they slowly pushed up the hallway toward the elevator. Walker’s henchmen were shooting around corners but Bucky was picking them off one by one as they inched closer. The elevator dinged and lit up as two henchmen ushered Walker into the elevator and shielded him as three others continued firing at them. Bucky tried to shoot through one of the henchmen but only succeeded in shooting the man in what was probably a bulletproof vest.

Angry that Walker was going to get away, Bucky landed a head shot on one of the remaining men as Val took out the other two.

“Dammit!” Bucky cried underneath his helmet. The elevator doors had shut! Walker had gotten away.

“We need to leave. Now!” Val said running back up the hall toward the stairwell to get the duffle and back up to the roof so they could hop over to the next building. Bucky followed close behind her. Troubled that nothing in his plan had worked out.

 

Upon arriving back in the hotel room, for his own sanity, Bucky pushed aside his anger at the fact he missed his target and rushed to undress and pack away his gear. Val changed out of her lightweight tactical gear and took off her bulletproof vest.

“Bucky.”

He didn’t want to talk about it.

“Bucky.” Val was trying to get his attention.

“What Val!? WHAT!? I know I missed him. I know! That’s my problem. I’ll deal with it. But I have somewhere to be right now,” Bucky snapped.

He was angry at his self but he didn’t have the time to talk about what went wrong or if they could even remedy the situation. He wanted to run, wanted to forget the problem, leave it behind, if only for the next couple of hours.  

Val cocked her head to the side and threw her things back into her suitcase and zipped it closed.

“Whenever you snap out of playing house or whatever the fuck it is you’re doing, and get your head back in the game, you know where to find me,” she said heading out.

When the door to the hotel room closed behind her, Bucky rested his hands on his hips and sighed. He shook his head and ran his fingers through his hair frustrated.

It had been twenty years. He had never missed a target. 

Chapter Text

Bucky arrived home just in time to cook before Sam could arrive. He hurried to get dinner started and hoped Sam would running late or something. He was still upset his plan had failed but he did his best to put it out of his mind for the sake of his evening. He reminded his self he couldn’t change anything about the situation now. He felt guilt pang in his stomach at the way he’d spoken to Val. He would apologize but he needed tonight. He needed the evening with his boyfriend.

The doorbell rang twenty minutes later. Bucky hurried to answer the door and told Sam to come in and lock the door behind him.

“Everything okay babe?” Sam asked as Bucky rushed away to the kitchen.

Sam shut the door and locked it as Bucky instructed and followed the path Bucky took to find his boyfriend rushing about the kitchen grabbing plates and glasses. Sam had never seen the other so frazzled and disorganized, if that’s what Sam could call the scene before him.

Bucky rushed to plate the food and Sam walked up behind him slowly. Bucky jumped and tensed all over when he felt Sam behind him. He forced his self to relax when he felt Sam hug him back against his chest. Sam placed a kiss at his temple and Bucky took a deep breath.

“Is everything okay?” Sam asked softly. “You seem stressed.”

Bucky leaned back against Sam and closed his eyes for a second to find some type of calm.

“Let’s get dinner on the table and we can talk about this over food,” Bucky said getting back to what he was doing before Sam injected some much needed peace into his stream of consciousness.

Sam lent a hand and carried the dinner plates into the dining room where they’d eat while Bucky opened the wine and brought the glasses. They sat and ate while Sam patiently waited for Bucky to start explaining what had him so jittery earlier.

Bucky meant what he said to Val, he honestly didn’t want to talk about it. But he could sense Sam was concerned and wanted to know what was up. Bucky thought about how to phrase the setback earlier in terms of the cover story he’d been telling Sam and sighed.

“I-ugh, made a mistake today at work. Kind of a big mistake,” Bucky explained only shallowly thinking of the implications of his failure. “I don’t know how it’s going to work out.”

Sam listened and nodded. “I tell my students all the time, ‘there’s always a way to fix it’,” Sam assured him.

Bucky considered that but knew he’d have no choice but to figure it out in the end. “How was your day?”

“What else? Kids being kids,” Sam said from across the nice hardwood dining room table. They hadn’t sat on either end but along the sides so the distance wouldn’t be too great between them. “There was a food fight in the cafeteria so a few of us teachers had to supervise while the students cleaned up.”

Bucky chuckled and imagined that.

“You laugh but it was just horrible. They really choose spaghetti day, spaghetti day of all days to pull this shit! The faculty was SO out done,” Sam said recalling his afternoon.

Bucky gripped his sides and fell to laughter. Sam let him laugh it out and hoped it lightened Bucky’s mood just a bit. Bucky wiped the tear from his eye and sipped his wine to clear his throat. When he calmed down he realized he felt a little better. Yeah he still had to figure out a way to complete his assignment but the wine was good and Sam’s company was even better.

Can this just be my life all the time? Bucky wondered.

 

Once he’d gotten the dishes cleaned, he just wanted to take Sam to bed. 

Bucky looked at Sam leaning against the kitchen counter and eyed him. His quiet yet reserved stance, still dressed in his casual work attire of a light blue button down and black slacks. Bucky noticed the undone buttons at his collar, the visible bit of his chest under his shirt. If given the privilege Bucky knew exactly want he’d give Sam tonight, what he’d indulge in with him.

“You have to go?” Bucky asked coming back to his reasonable mind.

“I’ve got class in the morning. It’s a school night,” Sam said softly standing up straight.

He walked over to Bucky and placed a soft kiss on his cheek.

“Yeah,” Bucky said feeling a bit disappointed Sam couldn’t stay.

Sam looked at Bucky and pulled the other a bit closer. He knew Bucky hadn’t told him the full story of what he’d gone through at work or what really had him down, and Sam knew he had work in the morning but he could tell his boyfriend needed his company tonight. Bucky wanted him close but stopped short of asking that much. Sam smiled on the inside at having learned that much about the man who was always a bit hard to read.  

He looked into blue eyes and saw the plea right there at the surface.

“Ask me to stay,” Sam whispered knowing full well what he was doing.

“You’ve got work tomorrow Sam,” Bucky said shaking his head. He was all for Sam being his own indulgence but he didn’t want to start complicating Sam’s life. “I can’t do that baby, shouldn’t do that.”

Sam placed a kiss on Bucky’s lips and gripped his hip a bit. He pulled back and bit his bottom lip. “I’m asking you to,” Sam said softly.

Bucky looked into his eyes and couldn’t fight the pull. Whatever it was Sam did to him, Bucky was powerless against it.

“Stay the night with me?” he asked wrapping his prosthetic arm around Sam’s back, staring into his warm brown eyes.

Sam nodded before he kissed Bucky again.

 


Placing kiss after kiss down Sam’s back as they stood upstairs in his bathroom shower, Bucky wanted to forget anything that had nothing to do with making Sam moan and tremble. Sam grasped for something, anything to grab onto as Bucky got on his knees behind him in the shower. Sam could feel his hands ball into fists slowly as he felt Bucky place kiss after kiss against his ass. Sam felt his skin shiver as he felt Bucky glide his prosthetic hand up his thigh in a caress.

“Oh Buck. Oh my god,” Sam sighed as he shut his eyes and hoped his legs wouldn’t give out on him.

When Bucky spread his cheeks Sam rested his forehead against the cool slate stone of the shower wall as he felt Bucky’s tongue touch him. The warm, indescribable feeling pushed pleasure through Sam’s veins as Bucky griped his hands at his thighs and pressed his tongue deeper.

“Bucky baby, please,” Sam pleaded as Bucky kissed Sam deeply there. Sam opened his foot stance and reached down to stroke his erection as Bucky made his toes curl. “Yeah baby, yeah. Oh my god.”

 

Sam looked up into Bucky’s eyes as the other made love to him slowly under the covers in his bed. He grasped at Bucky’s back and gripped his thighs tighter around Bucky’s waist before Bucky kissed him deeply. Sam was in ecstasy. Nothing could touch these moments with Bucky; Sam was sure of it. Nothing. With Bucky’s full weight against him, pinning him to the bed as he thrust, pressed, and stroked against that spot that made breathing so difficult, Sam was once again in want of nothing else but to stay in Bucky’s arms.

Bucky brushed his fingers up the inside of Sam’s thighs and listened to the other moan desperately.

“Bucky baby,” Sam whined. “Harder, please. Please baby. I can take it, please.”

Bucky was taking it slow, drawing it out, and it was so good it hurt. He grasped at Sam’s thigh and hip as he tried to hold on a while longer. Warm skin, the gorgeous expression on Sam’s face and the moans falling from his lips made it difficult. He wanted nothing more than to make it last, to stretch their moment into forever but Sam felt incredible. He was incredible.

“You are everything,” Bucky whispered into Sam’s skin as they continued climbing higher and higher together.

 

 

After they’d gone another round, Sam went to sleep to get a few hours before he had to get up for work. Bucky stayed up thinking about a number of things but mostly how his evening had gone, divorced of the mistake made earlier in the day. He’d been adamant about making his dinner date and being with Sam, how he got exactly what he wanted. Tonight was pretty close to perfect but Val’s words were so loud in the back of his mind, ‘leads to a bullet in either your head or theirs eventually’.

He glanced over at Sam sleeping beside him and thought about just how normal Sam was. Sam had family and friends he kept up with regularly. Bucky was quite sure his family was under the impression he was dead. It had been that long since he’d spoken to any of them. It was for their protection. You don’t kill people for money and return home for the holidays. But Sam’s normal was what Bucky liked so much about him. Sam was in no way tied to his world of espionage and killing and that made him precious. That made Sam a liability if anyone else found that out.

The mere idea of it worried Bucky to no end.

 

 

Chapter Text

  –The Next Morning–

Bucky woke up and wondered what in the world was up with his alarm. He reached for his phone and realized it wasn’t on his night stand. Why wasn’t it there? He didn’t go to bed alone last night he realized. He looked over and saw the bed beside him empty.  

Where did Sam go? He wondered as he got up to go looking. Sam wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye no matter how early it was.

Bucky pulled on some boxers and hurried downstairs as he worried Sam would find one of his guns if he was still in the house. He rushed downstairs and found Sam in his kitchen wearing his sweats and cooking breakfast. The sight stopped Bucky dead in his tracks. Never mind that Sam had work and was still here but the picture of Sam cooking first thing in the morning in his kitchen, waking up to the sight of Sam wearing his clothes and looking nothing short of comfortable in Bucky’s space did something to Bucky’s heart. In that moment, suddenly, as wonderful as the sight before him was, everything became real.

What they had and what their relationship would one day lead to was right before Bucky’s eyes to witness, plain as day. This would be his life if he chose it, Sam standing there, always there for Bucky to wake up to; to come home to. Together they could make his house a true home; Sam by his side. Bucky felt his heart ache at just how close that desire was to being his reality.

But Bucky took a step back. He understood that was nothing but wishful thinking. The scene before him wouldn’t even exist if he hadn’t spun lie after lie and strung along a good man.

This wasn’t his life.

It couldn’t be his life. 

Sam looked back over his shoulder and noticed Bucky was up.  

“Breakfast will be ready in a moment,” Sam said softly with a smile.

“Thought you had work babe?” Bucky asked walking into the kitchen.

“I called in. I got up maybe two hours too late to make it back in time, so I just called in,” Sam explained as he shrugged. He hardly ever called out so he didn’t feel bad missing a day. “The alarm on your phone went off while it was down here.”

Bucky started looking for his forgotten phone again as it started to ring and found it on the kitchen counter. It was Val. He picked up the call and walked out of the room.

“Val, I’m sorry about yesterday. I was upset but I know I was out of line,” Bucky said quickly to clear the air between them. He’d had a setback missing his target, the last thing he needed was to lose his Eagle while trying to figure out how to make the kill.  

“Are you done?” she said finally after a moment’s pause.

“Aren’t you upset at me about yesterday?”

“We don’t have time for grudges. I don’t get paid unless you kill Walker. Another opportunity just opened up. Get here in an hour. I’m downtown. Same hotel, same room.”

Bucky considered Sam in front of him and felt conflicted.

“Give me two hours,” Bucky said hanging up with her. He didn’t want to hear her protest about him delaying their meet up.

He sat to have breakfast with Sam in the kitchen and couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a good home cooked breakfast. He told Sam as much and made the other smile warmly.

Bucky saw his phone light up with a message from Val. She was probably cussing him out via text. Bucky cleared his throat and steadied his self for what he was about to say. 

“Babe,” Bucky said feeling his throat constrict on him. “Something’s come up at work.”

“Is it about the mistake you made?”

Bucky nodded his head. “Yeah, it is,” he said as he felt his stomach tighten as he said the next thing.  “I’m going to have to go away for a while.” 

That worried Sam. “What’s ‘a while’ Buck?” Sam asked concerned.

“Two months maybe three, I’m not sure yet,” Bucky said putting his skills to use to sell the lie. He needed a way to pump the breaks on what they had but he was pressed for time and couldn’t figure out a way to do that without coming off to Sam as if he wanted to end things.

Even though ending this is exactly what I should do, Bucky thought.

Sam felt the news hit him in the heart. Had they gone that long without seeing each? Sam wondered.

“I hope everything works out and you come back sooner than that,” Sam said saddened.

He reached across the table to touch Bucky’s prosthetic hand and held it in his own. He just really didn’t look forward to not seeing Bucky for so long.

“You know what to do when you get back right?” Sam asked.

He couldn’t help it, Bucky gazed lovingly into his eyes. If only I could always come back to you, Bucky thought. Come back to this moment over and over.

“Give you a call of course.” Bucky said softly. “I know.”

 

Bucky saw Sam off and rushed back upstairs to pack a bag and meet up with Val. He pushed away thoughts about how he’d delayed leaving for an assignment to have breakfast. Fucking breakfast. He wouldn’t even recognize his self if that had happened three months ago. He gripped the edge of his desk trying to resolve his self to focus on his job and nothing else. He threw the remaining items he’d need into his suitcase and shut it. He left his house and locked everything down behind him.

Bucky showed up at the hotel downtown where they’d prepared and setup yesterday. He let his self into the room and saw Val sitting on the bed in the suite. Her curly hair swept up in a messy bun, laptop in her lap while junk food wrappers surrounded her on the bed. She stared at him.

“What?” he asked wheeling in his suitcase to setup on a nearby coffee table.

“Are you back in this?” she asked.

“Yes,” he answered rolling his eyes.

“Properly?” she asked raising an eyebrow, wanting to know.

“Yes,” he said stone faced. He’d told Sam not to expect him for a while. Bucky had no one to run back to or look forward to seeing now. He only had the job as his sole focus. He was definitely back in it despite how that fact left him feeling hollow and sad.

“Good because you’re in for some fresh hell. Mess this up and you might as well just tell them you can’t do it and take the L. I think you’ve got a chance at another shot. The window to pick up intel on whether or not that’s true…opens in four hours.”

“Four hours?!” Bucky exclaimed appalled.

“It was seven when I called you earlier,” she simply. “Take it or leave it.”

Bucky sighed roughly and got prepared for an intel gathering session.

Chapter Text

–A Month and Half Later–

Vancouver, BC, Canada // 11:00 A.M.

“Okay Bucky, we’ve planned and bided our time. This is the last shot you’ll get for years at Walker. Better make it count,” Val said over comms as Bucky slinked his way into the private jet hanger.

Val was right. He’d done nothing but plan and run simulations on those plans since they got word that Walker was planning to leave the country for an unknown destination. The only clean opening they could find was on the private jet before take-off.

Bucky hurried to the security booth and incapacitated the guard.

“I’m in,” Bucky told Val as he picked up the set of binoculars on the guard’s desk. He checked his line of sight on the jet and couldn’t get a clear look at the inside of the plane. “You were right Val.”

“No line of sight?”

“No line of sight,” Bucky repeated feeling defeated. “I don’t want to get that close. There’s no telling what could happen in here.”

“I know Buck. But there’s no other way,” Val said softly. “I’ve got Walker arriving at the air field in less than ten minutes. You need to get on that plane now.”

Bucky sighed deeply and hoped nothing went wrong.

He left the guard underneath the desk and hurried over to the plane sitting in the middle of the hanger.

Bucky slipped in between the attendants prepping the plane and stowed away in a closet near the boarding door. He stayed still and silent and hoped none of the attendants opened the closet. Five minutes later Bucky felt the jet jerk forward.

Getting the plane out of the hanger and on the tarmac for takeoff, Bucky figured.

“How’s everything?” Val asked.

“Fine,” Bucky said as softly as he could manage. His voice covered by the roar of the engines.  

When the plane came to a stop, Bucky stabilized his self by placing his hand on the wall and hoped Walker just showed up already so he got get on with this hit.

He heard muffled talking at a distance, that soon grew louder as the sound of the engine became deafening. He heard four sets of footsteps. Three sets went to the back of the plane and one set went to the front of the plane.

Bucky waited and gave it another minute. He didn’t want the plane to take off, he had to be quick about this. He pulled out his gun and made sure he had a full clip. The sound of the engine was still very loud, so the door to the jet had to still be open. He figured if he was fast enough he could kill the three in the back, forget the pilot if the person didn’t emerge from the cockpit then exit the plane.

Bucky emerged quietly from the closet and shut it behind his self. He peeked at the back of the plane and saw Walker sitting, facing him and another man facing away from him. Bucky took a deep breath and stepped out of the shadow. He aimed and shot both seated men in the head as another henchman stepped out from the bathroom at the back of the plane with a gun. The other man fired his weapon as Bucky shot him twice in the chest. A weird smoke filled the plane and Bucky hurried backward, down the steps and off the plane as fast as he could.

“Val there’s some kind of smoke. One of Walker’s goons shot a dart or something at me,” Bucky said watching the smoke filter out of the open door of the plane.

“HEY!” Bucky heard as he turned immediately and saw another henchman walk up and shoot two shots at Bucky’s chest.

Bucky cringed at the impact of the rounds to his bulletproof vest and quickly shot the man’s knee out before he shot him in the chest.

“Bucky?!” Val said repeatedly. She’d been calling him for a while.

“Yeah?” he said taking deep breaths. He looked at the smoke and backed away from the plane. He didn’t want to breathe in any of those vapors.

“That smoke is some kind of toxin,” Val said taking readings from within the plane’s internal system. “You didn’t inhale it did you?”

“I don’t think so,” Bucky said tiredly walking back to the hanger. He rubbed at his chest and winced. He needed to get his vest off, he was certain he’d be bruised from the impact of the rounds that hit him. “Why? Will I die if I do?”

“I don’t know yet. It’s structured like a neurotoxin but I’d need more time to study it to tell you more,” she said looking over the structure at a quick glance.

“I don’t want to die Val, come on,” Bucky said tiredly as he got back in his rental car.

She read his vitals through his watch and saw no elevated changes in his physiology except for his heart rate being elevated higher than usual. But she figured that was from shooting people minutes ago.

“Come back and I’ll take a look at you, but from base vitals you’re fine,” she said softly.

“Alright,” Bucky said staring his car and heading back.

He was happy to have gotten Walker finally but getting close was just not the business and Bucky never liked having to do it. The possible toxin exposure he was facing was a prime example.  

When he got back to the hotel he rushed to Val to get a check for exposure. She told him to relax and to calm down. For twenty minutes Bucky stressed that he’d been exposed only for Val to give him a clean bill of health.

Bucky breathed a sigh of relief and decided he would take that bit of good news and go home for the first time in a month in a half. On the plane ride home, he decided he’d give Sam a call. His brush with the toxin on the plane weakened Bucky’s resolve to stay away from Sam and to allow their relationship to fade away. Part of his panic in being exposed was the thought that something would happen and he’d never see Sam again. He’d never get to tell him the how he really felt about him. For all the reasoning Bucky had done, in favor of putting space between them, he didn’t care anymore.

He missed Sam.

 


Arriving back home was always a big sigh of relief. While Bucky never really let his guard down, being back in his home where he knew where his defenses were and strategically had the upper hand, he could rest a little easier within those four wall. He hefted his suitcase upstairs to his bedroom and looked at his bed. He thought of the last time he’d slept there and couldn’t forget that night with Sam in his arms.

As angry as he’d been at his self for delaying his departure for that breakfast with Sam, Bucky had found his self comparing every breakfast since to that meal. It really had been worth the two hour delay.

He sighed out loud and began unpacking his suitcase. He grabbed shirt after shirt and tossed it in his clothes hamper. He picked up his bulletproof vest and remembered the rounds it had protected him from. He made a note to examine the guard plate and stitching within the vest later on as he heard something metallic clink somewhere on the vest. Bucky checked to see what it was when he heard something shatter at his feet.

Bucky looked down and saw a small, bullet sized glass vial broken on the floor in his room. He backed away quickly. He recognized the smoke from Walker’s private jet. Bucky did his best to vacate the room, but the acrid, choking taste at the back of his throat told him he had inhaled the neurotoxin.

 He thought quick and grabbed for his phone. He hoped he had some time before anything happened to him so Val could tell him what to do.

“Yeah,” she answered.

“Val! Val I’ve been exposed. The toxin, a bullet got lodged in my vest, it shattered in my home. What do I do?” he rushed to fill her in.

Val sat up straight at her home desk setup and pulled up the analysis she’d run on the toxin from the private jet’s internal detectors. She cursed at not having access to Bucky’s watch at the moment to check in on his vitals but hoped he hadn’t inhaled too much.

“Give me a sec Buck, hang in there. I’m looking up the details now,” she said looking over the components of the toxin.

 Bucky noticed the room starting to turn. “My motor functions are slowing Val,” he complained. “What if I can’t protect myyyysseefff.” His speech had begun to slur.

She looked at everything and felt relief enter her heart. It didn’t appear fatal.

“You’ll be okay buddy. You’ll be a lotta loopy but drink something cold and relax. You’re not going to die,” she said smiling happily. The man was a mess sometimes but he was a good guy. She didn’t want him to die.

“Are youosuur?” Bucky asked leaning against the wall. His whole body felt way too heavy.

“I’m 65% sure,” she said.

65% ?!” Bucky yelled into his phone at her.

“Lie down and relax. Just sleep it off. It’s probably a fancy, sleep tranquilizer,” Val said calmly. “I’ll call to check on you in the morning.

She hung up the phone and hoped to high heaven Bucky made it through the night. She wasn’t exactly sure where he lived, so in the event he didn’t answer in the morning, finding him would be difficult.

Bucky hung up his phone and threw it on his bed. His head started pounding intensely as the walls pulsed and his legs seemed to weaken. In and out, Bucky stumbled down the stairs as safely as he could to get to his kitchen. He needed some water. Water would help. He eyed the refrigerator across the room and saw the wide expanse of floor in front of him. With nothing to hold on to, it seemed like a perilous task. Bucky steeled his self and attempted the several steps toward the refrigerator after he pushed off from the wall holding him up. Bucky made it four steps in front of him before he blacked out and collapsed in the floor of his kitchen all alone. 

 

A doorbell rang and brought Bucky out of the fog. He opened his eyes and sat up. He looked around and didn’t understand what was going on. He got on his feet but still felt foggy. His memory was hazy and he was unsure of everything. He couldn’t remember when he got home, let alone why he was lying in the middle of the floor in his kitchen.

The doorbell rang again. Bucky moved to answer it. Walking over to the door felt like it was taking an eternity. He opened the door and saw Sam standing there.

How did Sam know he was back? Bucky didn’t remember calling him at all.

Bucky thought about the timing and tried to clear his mind. His defensive reasoning kicked in. He felt his heart suddenly sink within his chest at the realization. Of course. It was all too perfect. All of it had been, Bucky thought as he realized that Sam was there to kill him.

How had he not realized it sooner? Bucky wondered. There was no way things could be that perfect for someone like him.

Bucky resigned to the reality. He could handle this. He was lucid enough to do it. He just needed to get to one of his stashed handguns on the bookshelf. He’d play it cool and invite Sam in then he’d go get it.

Sam stared at Bucky wondering what was up. He smiled casually. “Are you going to invite me in babe?” Sam asked.

“Ugh, yeah, come on in,” Bucky said feeling his heart constrict at Sam calling him ‘babe’ despite what Sam was here to do.

Sam stepped into Bucky’s house and took his jacket off and wondered what was going on as he watched Bucky looking around paranoid as he went over to the bookshelf in his sitting room off to the right of the front door.

Bucky stood in front of his bookshelf and felt his mind twist. He couldn’t remember. He couldn’t remember which book on his bookshelf had the gun in it. Was it the blue one? No the red one. It had to be the red one, Bucky thought quickly trying to jog his own memory.

“Are you okay Buck?” Sam asked walking up to Bucky.

“BACK UP!” Bucky yelled turning around to face Sam.

Sam raised his hands to show him he wasn’t a threat.

“Did you take something Bucky? Huh? Is that what this is? Tell me, I’ll call the paramedics for you,” Sam said hoping that wasn’t the case.

Bucky squinted his eyes at Sam, suspicious of why the man was trying to get him to trust him.

“Why are you here?” Bucky asked. “Why do you even care about me?”

Sam stood up straight and looked into Bucky’s eyes taken aback.

“What’s with the attitude?” Sam asked confused.

“Answer the fuckin’ question,” Bucky snapped, backing up.

“You texted me that you were back. I came over to see you. Figured my boyfriend would want to see me after a month and a half apart,” Sam explained wholly pissed with him. “As far as caring about you, right now I have no fucking idea,” Sam said through his teeth.

“You have no clue who I am,” Bucky said as he almost started crying. His emotions were all over the board suddenly and he couldn’t control any of them or what came out of his mouth.

Sam sensed the shift in the conversation and his worry spiked for Bucky that something was seriously wrong. Sam stepped closer to him and hoped the other wouldn’t push him away again.

“What do you mean Buck?” Sam asked to keep him talking.

Bucky looked into Sam’s eyes as tears began falling down his cheeks.

“You are so wonderful Sam. So wonderful, and good," Bucky confessed shaking his head. "I don’t deserve you. I don’t deserve any of this with you.”

Sam felt his heart rate spike with worry as he rushed to Bucky and took him into his arms. Bucky’s skin was on fire. Sam checked his forehead and sure enough he was running a fever. Sam picked Bucky up into his arms and hurried him upstairs to the only bathroom he knew in the house. He set Bucky down on the floor of the shower, directly under the spray and turned the water on to its coldest setting. Bucky had been looking at Sam but he soon closed his eyes as he passed out.

Sam rushed to him and knelt at Bucky’s side, despite the cold water against his skin, and tried to keep Bucky awake.

“Bucky! Bucky!” Sam said tapping him on the cheek repeatedly. “Stay awake baby! Keep your eyes open for me okay?!”

Bucky opened his eyes just slightly and looked into Sam’s. He was sure he was going to die; he’d been close to death a few times so he knew the feeling well. This wasn’t such a bad way to go, he figured, looking into those eyes. Once again, he was just sad that Sam would never know how he really felt.

“I was so in love with you…but I didn’t want to believe it,” Bucky whispered before he closed his eyes.

Chapter Text

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.

Chapter Text

When Bucky managed to get back upstairs Sam eyed him wearily from where he sat on his bed.

“I killed someone Buck,” Sam said softly staring at the floor. The guilt had had its time to well up inside of him so much Sam had begun shedding tears. “They were going to kill you but…I…killed them instead.”

Bucky shook his head, feeling terrible he’d put Sam in the position to have to save him. He should have double tapped everyone on his way back to the safe room before getting Sam out. But he’d been so preoccupied with checking on Sam in the moment. But he couldn’t change that now. What was done was done.

Bucky felt his leg begin to numb and did his best to get his self into his bathroom before he lost any more blood.

“No. You shot them in the collar babe,” Bucky said hobbling to his bathroom to deal with his leg.

Sam got up to follow him and watched Bucky throw himself down on the closed toilet seat and reach underneath his sink to grab a first aid kit. He watched Bucky rip a hole into his pajama pants and begin cleaning and stitching his leg up. The bullet went clean through him but Bucky had lost a decent amount of blood.

Sam didn’t understand. “What?” Sam asked confused, snapping out of it after Bucky finished sewing up both sides of his wound.

Bucky sat back exhausted. Hands shaking, heart pounding, he hated having to stitch his self up. He hadn’t been shot in years. He did not miss this shit at all. The ibuprofen was downstairs in the kitchen – but he wasn’t moving to get it.

“You didn’t kill anyone. You only shot the guy in the chest,” Bucky said resting his head back against the wall with his eyes closed. He soon opened them and turned to look at Sam’s face as he said the next thing, “You didn’t kill anyone. …I killed him…because that’s my job.”

Sam stared at Bucky wide eyed.

 

"Assassin? You mean like John Wick?" Sam asked trying to get an understanding of what Bucky had told him as he grasped the edge of the sink for balance. It was all so much at once and it seemed to have no end.

"No one is like John. He’s in a class all his own, but yeah, we run in the same circles from time to time," Bucky said sitting forward trying to give his leg some time to clot before he tried walking on it again.  

“He’s real?!” Sam exclaimed.

"Of course the man is real. Saw him strangle someone with a belt once! It was ridiculous," Bucky said still astonished by the memory.

Sam took in Bucky’s words and let the realization hit him. “Do you…kill people…with belts?” Sam asked hesitantly.

“What?” Bucky asked a bit confused. Then he realized what Sam was asking. “No. My specialty is guns; I prefer not to get close. But my hand to hand combat is highly regarded.”

“So all those business trips away…you were killing people?”

“You make me sound like a mass murder,” Bucky said softly, immediately swallowing the laughter he felt inside. The look on Sam’s face was absolutely troubled. He sighed instead. “I have rules. I have standards about who I will and won’t kill.”

“Like?” Sam asked wondering if that even made a difference.

“No kids, ever,” Bucky said.

“Women?”

“Not often but occasionally. Usually only special cases,” Bucky admitted owning his actions.

“Who do you kill most often?”

“I know the title alludes to political leaders but I usually stick to war lords, arms dealers, drug runners and lately violent extremist groups.”

Sam nodded and started to stare off into space.

“Sam,” Bucky said trying to get his attention.

“Yeah,” Sam said looking back at Bucky bloodied and exhausted. His sister’s words were coming back to him in that moment and Sam just couldn’t believe it.

“I know I lied to you about what I do but I never once, lied about how I feel about you,” Bucky said reaching for Sam’s hand.

Sam stared at Bucky’s hand lying there on the sink then looked into his eyes.

“I-I…need time…to process all of this,” Sam said backing away.

Bucky closed his hand into a fist and brought his hand back to his lap.

“Yeah,” Bucky said sadly. “Yeah. I understand.”

He listened to Sam walk out of the bathroom and then heard his front door close soon after. Bucky leaned his head back against the wall and sighed. What other outcome had he expected when he should have never gotten so involved in the first place? he thought.

Chapter Text

–3 Weeks Later–

Copenhagen, Denmark // 8:00 A.M.

“That’s another clean kill,” Val said over the comms as she watched over the operation.

“Thanks once again Val for having my back,” Bucky said softly as he swiftly packed up his things.

Bucky felt his mood dip back to where it usually was when he didn’t have a job to keep him occupied. It had been three weeks since the ordeal at his place with Sam. He hadn’t heard from Sam since. Part of Bucky was worried that someone was out there that knew where he lived and what he did for a living but most of him just missed Sam.

“No problem my guy. We’ll be in touch,” Val said signing off and dropping all links and communication between them.

Bucky called in a pick-up for his weapon and left his position to get to the airport.

He napped lightly on the flight not wanting to think of anything about what he’d do when he got home. He was saddened that coming home didn’t have the same excitement it used to but Bucky resolved that to being his own fault. He’d made a comfortable home of sorts in his relationship with Sam and now that they weren’t talking or were possibly over, Bucky was at a loss on how to deal with it.

When he touched down at the airport at home, he reached for his phone out of habit. He wanted to text Sam that he was back. He sighed and checked his phone anyways since he had to order a ride home. He actually had a text from Sam from three hours ago.

He felt his heart stir with hope until he read the text message.

We should take a break. – Sam, 1:38 P.M.

Bucky grasped his phone and looked to the sky. Had his heart ever felt this tight? Why did this hurt when he knew it was coming. He moved to have a seat at an empty gate terminal and placed his head in his hands. He’d deny it even to his self but Bucky took a moment to feel the sorrow move through him; to feel his tears leak from his eyes. 

He couldn’t even stop to consider what ‘a break’ even meant. Just the thought of Sam wanting to put distance between them made Bucky’s heart woefully ache.

 

 


 –2 Months Later–

Bucky sat quietly in the park, listening to children play and families spending time while the weather held up for a few more hours. He looked into the distance and appreciated the dark thunder clouds rolling in from the east and the grey skies overhead. It would rain soon, he thought, should get inside.

“Do you wear sunglasses everywhere?” Val asked taking a seat beside him on the park bench.

He glanced over at her and only stared before looking back out at the sky.

“What brings you here?” he asked.

“You haven’t answered one of my calls in two months. Got worried. Had to come see about you,” she said softly with a touch of humor. However she noticed it wasn’t reaching him. “What’s going on Buck? This isn’t like you.”

Bucky hung his head low and sighed under his breath. He hadn’t wanted to eat. He didn’t want to sleep. He damn sure didn’t want to work. What did any of it mean now, he wondered.

Val stared at Bucky’s face and noticed tears falling from underneath his sunglasses. She’d never seen him cry.

“You can tell me in confidence,” Val said softly. Bucky was really worrying her.

Bucky sucked back tears and tried to hold it together. “I realized it too late,” he admitted.

“Realized what?”

Bucky felt his throat constrict. “That I loved him,” he said staring at the sky. “I lied and lied and he saw me for what I was and…he left me…as he should have.”

Val tried to understand what Bucky meant. “How about you start from the beginning huh?” she suggested.

They sat on the park bench for an hour as the skies continued to darken and thunder rolled all around them. Bucky explained how he’d concealed his job and what he did for a living. He explained how he’d fallen in love along the way, fighting it at every step rather than appreciating it, savoring it. Val listened and wiped a few tears of her own.

“But he’s okay right?” she asked. “He survived the attack from Walker’s operatives right?”

“Yeah,” Bucky answered staring at the ground. “Three weeks later he texts me saying ‘we should take a break’.”

“So there’s hope,” Val said hopefully interjecting.

Bucky shook his head. “That was two months ago. He’s moved on. I know it.”

Val reached over and grasped gently at Bucky’s leg. “As long as you’re both alive, there’s hope,” she insisted.

Bucky continued looking at the grass. Val considered all that Bucky had told her and sighed. Guess there’s room for me to open up as well, she thought.

“I was married once,” she said softly.

Bucky looked over at her. They weren’t very old. When had Val been married? He thought puzzled.

“He was such a goofball. Loving, so sweet and everything I could ask for,” she said smiling, thinking of his face. “He was…the best. The type of person normal people looked up to. He was…a good man.” She felt herself choking on her words.

“What happened?” Bucky asked.

She looked over at him and sat up straight to move her hair out of the way. She felt with her fingers for the scar and parted her hair on either side of the old scar where no hair would grow anymore.

Bucky removed his sunglasses to look at what Val was trying to show him. With tear-reddened eyes, he saw a healed over, four inch gash on the left side of Val’s scalp. He moved back to look at her as she looked into his eyes and let her hair fall back down, covering her scar again.  

“I was nine years in the business and another assassin tried to take me out while I was on my way to dinner to meet him. I barely had time to turn around,” she recalled as tears flowed from her eyes. “I woke up in the hospital two days later…a widow. The bullet grazed me and struck him in the chest. I was unconscious…,” the rest came out as a whisper, “I didn’t even get to say goodbye.”

Bucky felt his throat tighten immensely at hearing what Val had gone through. He reached for her hand and held it in his own. Thunder cracked loudly all around them.

“That’s when you stepped back and became an Eagle?” Bucky asked piecing her story together.

She only nodded her head.

“Now it makes sense.” Bucky realized. Not just why Val was so reluctant to gun again but also her outlook on relationships while in the business.

“Said all that to say this,” she said looking at him. “Your guy is still alive. Be thankful for that. If you get the chance to make it right, apologize to him properly. We chose this life Bucky, they didn’t. Understand that and respect it.”

Bucky nodded his head in understanding. He hoped one day he would be able to apologize to Sam. Maybe that way they both could have decent closure and properly move on.

Chapter Text

–Days Later–

Bucky hadn’t gotten back into the swing of work or taking on assignments. He still wanted to rest and be at home where he was comfortable. He walked around his house; the windows that had been damaged had been replaced. Carpets had been scrubbed and professionally cleaned. It was as if the incident had never happened. Bucky was on his sofa on a Saturday afternoon reading when his phone chimed beside him. He glanced at it convinced it was Val reaching out with an assignment he may like. He returned his attention back to the passage he was reading and continued where he left off. Five minutes later when he reached the end of the chapter he grabbed his phone to check the message.

It was a text from Sam. Bucky stared at the name on the screen and wondered if he even wanted to open it. He unlocked his cell and opened the text.

Are you home? – Sam, 4:03 P.M.

Bucky considered what that could mean after two months of neither of them speaking. Was it time? Had the end for them finally arrived?

Bucky was never one for texting back and forth with Sam. He rang Sam’s number and waited.

“Hello?” Sam answered softly.

Damn, how he’d missed that voice.

He went with his usual greeting. “Hey stranger,” Bucky said softly. It hurt his heart to imagine he may never get to say those words like that again if things ended between them.

“Hey,” Sam said sitting on his own couch at home. “What are you up to?”

“Reading at home,” Bucky answered. “You?”

“Thinking,” Sam said softly staring off into the distance.

“About?”

“Us,” Sam admitted feeling his emotions twist. He didn’t know what he wanted which made all of the thinking he’d been doing lately so exhausting.  

“Are you busy this evening? Would you…want to meet up for drinks? Dinner?” he asked hopefully.

Sam remained quiet.

Bucky looked to the ground and cast aside his pride as he shut the book he was reading and focused on their conversation in that moment.

“I miss you Sam,” he confessed. “I want to see you.”

Sam thought about Bucky’s admission and about everything he’d been thinking about over the past two months. He considered his feelings as well as his concerns, what he’d been through and the whole event that caused him to pull back so hard from Bucky in the first place.  

“Our usual spot? The bar?” Sam offered.

Bucky felt relief wash over him at the suggestion. He smiled wide but tamped down on the sound of eagerness in his voice.

“8 P.M.?” Bucky suggested.

“Sure,” Sam said softly.

“See you then,” Bucky said.

“Yeah. See you then,” Sam said before hanging up.

Sam looked out the window in his living room and shook his head. He laid back down on his couch where he’d been thinking for the past couple of hours and wondered if he’d made the right choice to meet up with Bucky.

 

 


 Downtown // 8:07 P.M.

When Bucky walked into the bar Sam couldn’t help but see the man differently. Never mind that they hadn’t seen each other in over two months, things were going to be different. Sam saw the handsome face and smile he’d grown so accustomed to seeing; two things that had meant happiness for him for so long. However Sam also heard residual gunfire, remembered the weight of Bucky’s gun in his hand, the sight of Bucky sewing up his bloody thigh in his bathroom like it was nothing. All of those things now came to mind when he thought of Bucky. The same hands that touched Sam with such tenderness and care had taken a number of lives. Sam had taken a lot of time to try and reconcile all of that. He wasn’t sure if he’d succeeded.

Bucky took a seat beside him. Things felt realer somehow. Sam sipped his drink and glanced over at Bucky.

“How’s work been?” Sam asked with a penetrative look.

Bucky eyed him. With the veil lifted, Bucky realized they’d shed the quality of dreaminess he’d grown used to with Sam. He used to enjoy spinning events of his assassin exploits into tales about his mundane corporate life. But those days were far in the past now.

“Haven’t taken an assignment in two months,” Bucky stated frankly. “Haven’t really been in the right headspace, I’ve been…on a break of sorts.” He placed an order for three shots of dark liquor with the bartender and looked back at Sam.

Sam bit his tongue at asking why that was. He knew exactly why Bucky had been off work for two months.

“What about you? What have you been up to?” Bucky asked looking at Sam, appreciating him in small glances. He’d missed him a lot. Now that he was near Sam again, Bucky wasn’t at all certain he wanted closure. Part of him wanted Sam back. The bartender brought him his drink and he thanked the man. He sipped his liquor and hoped the drink eased his nerves.

After asking for a break Sam had tried all manner of things to forget Bucky. He went on dates, did some pot, threw his self into his work but to no avail he still missed the suave asshole who specifically bought a pair of sweatpants to wear on a dinner date just to fuck with him.

“I tried new things, went out a bit. Dated a bit,” Sam said glancing over at Bucky to see his reaction to that.

Bucky controlled his response. He didn’t like the idea of Sam seeing other people but what say did he have in the matter? They were technically on a break.

“Huh,” Bucky said softly. “Met anyone worthwhile?”

Sam looked into Bucky’s eyes and saw the other’s silent plea to not have a positive answer to his question. The man’s an open book all of a sudden, Sam realized with a smile on the inside. Sam tilted his head to the side but answered just the same, “No. No one worthwhile.”

Bucky looked away and felt elated. While the conversation they were having felt like pulling teeth, he didn’t want it to end any time soon. He’d missed talking with Sam. He missed being near him.

Then he remembered Val’s advice.

He turned to Sam and set his expression to stern.

“Sam. I’m sorry for lying to you about what I do. I’m sorry I put you in harm’s way by not being forthright with you. I was wrong,” Bucky apologized. Even if things ended between them, he could now feel a bit better knowing he’d been able to apologize properly for his misdeeds.

Sam took Bucky’s apology to heart and nodded. That was long overdue, he realized. But something else had been nagging at Sam for months now as well. He had to know.

“You still didn’t explain what was going on that night I came over? Were you on something?” Sam asked pressing the matter.

Bucky shook his head. “No. I was exposed to some kind of short acting neurotoxin. The dart was caught on my vest and shattered in my room before you came over,” Bucky said having remembered what led up to those events days later. Bucky also came to appreciate he wouldn’t be alive without Sam. “I didn’t get to thank you. You saved me twice. I wouldn’t be sitting here without you,” Bucky said looking into his eyes. “…Thank you Sam.”

Sam nodded and smiled softly that he did save Bucky’s ass a few times that evening. As shot as his nerves had been after that night, it had all been quite a rush. Sam smirked when he thought about something else Bucky said that evening.

“You said you never lied about how you felt about me?” Sam questioned him as he turned to him.

Bucky grew serious. “Never Sam,” he said honestly looking over at him.

“Before you passed out in the shower, you said ‘you were in love with me but you didn’t want to believe it’,” Sam recalled for him.

Bucky remembered that but he wasn’t sure if he’d said it out loud. He looked around then took a strong sip of his liquor before he looked back at Sam. He’d survived severe gunshot wounds and losing an arm, he hoped he’d be able to survive Sam not wanting him after he said what he was about to say.

“I didn’t want to believe it,” Bucky confessed. “Trust me; I tried to talk myself out of those feelings over and over. Countless times really, but somehow….I still fell for you.”

Sam looked into Bucky’s eyes and felt his heart respond to Bucky’s words. Despite everything he knew about Bucky and what he did, his heart still reacted like it did that day they walked in the park together.

Sam touched Bucky’s flesh hand where it rested on the bar and laced his fingers with his own. Bucky observed Sam’s quiet gesture and looked back at his handsome face.

“Maybe…I’ve fallen for you too…killer,” Sam said swallowing a smile.

Bucky grinned beautifully. He moved to pull Sam in close for a quick kiss on the lips but Sam halted him with a finger to the lips.

“You lied to me,” Sam said softly.

Bucky sat back and looked at Sam. “I did,” he said feeling guilt crawl around on his insides.

“Repeatedly Bucky.”

“Again Sam, I apologi–,” Bucky started to say before Sam stopped him mid apology.

“If we do this again I want nothing but honesty from you. Good or bad, tragic or risky, you keep it one hundred with me,” Sam said looking into his eyes. “Got it?”

Bucky looked into Sam’s eyes and thought about Val mentioning how loved ones don’t chose the life. He was certain Sam wasn’t choosing, but that statement in the face of what he knew Bucky’s life was about was probably as close as Sam could get to it.

“Got it,” Bucky said softly not taking his promise lightly.

Sam leaned over and kissed Bucky’s lips warmly as he caressed his fingers against the nape of Bucky’s neck. He pulled back from their kiss and looked into Bucky’s soft blue eyes. He hoped against hope that he wasn’t making the wrong decision. That Bucky could earn his trust back. 

“Wanna get out of here?” Sam asked.

“You know I do,” Bucky said getting up and throwing a few bills down to cover their drinks and the tip.

They walked out of the bar hand in hand. Bucky looked over at Sam and felt his heart swell. There were still logistics he had to think through to make all of this work between them, but that was work Bucky was more than willing to undertake. They walked down the street looking for a cozy restaurant to grab a bite to eat, just talk and catch up.

Both looked forward to their first honest date.

Chapter Text

–Nine Months Later–

Bucky sat at the desk in his office and reworked the plans he’d drafted for his assignment in Moscow. He was scheduled to leave in the morning but he wanted to do last checks and make sure everything was in order.

He heard a soft knock on the door and looked up to see Sam wearing his black silk robe which Bucky kept in the bathroom. Bucky smirked and waved him in. Sam crossed the carpeted study, feeling the soft rug under his feet as he went to Bucky. Bucky swiveled away from his desk and admired his black silk on Sam and how lovely it looked against his skin. The robe fell halfway down his thighs and Bucky had to curb his thoughts. Those could wait until he went to bed in a bit. Sam slipped into Bucky’s lap and ran his fingers through Bucky’s hair at the back of his head.

“How’s it going?” Sam whispered.

Sam had come over after work to have dinner with Bucky since he would be leaving to Moscow in the morning for a week.

“Pretty good. Got everything I need,” Bucky said showing Sam the plans for his assignment as he smelled the distinct scent of soap on Sam’s skin.

Sam looked over the plans and pieced together Bucky’s code to understand what it was he was looking at.

In the beginning, when he and Bucky had started over and were working on being honest with one another and keeping each other in the loop, Sam had been uncomfortable. He’d told Bucky as much and why he’d been uncomfortable about some things. However over time Sam had found his self growing used to the terms and some of the equipment after watching Bucky prepare for multiple assignments. Really it had happened right before his own eyes and soon Sam understood the difference in firearms, clips, capacity and how to select a gun for distance, stealth and impact. He’d even given a suggestion or two which his boyfriend had used to his advantage.

“You don’t want to order an Uzi?” Sam asked looking at Bucky.

“What for?”

Sam pointed to his order list. Bucky tended to run lean on ammunitions and it forced him to switch to hand to hand combat more often than not. Sam figured if Bucky could plan with more bullets from the start, he’d be less likely to have to get close and Sam could worry less about Bucky not coming home from a job.

“Just in case, baby,” Sam whispered softly as he kissed at Bucky’s forehead. Bucky looked over the list and added up the rounds. He had enough bullets but he’d talked to Sam about having more than he needed, just in case.

Bucky leaned over and wrote in an additional Uzi. He put his pen down and turned to look up into Sam’s eyes. “Just in case,” he whispered.

Sam brushed his finger down the ridge of Bucky’s nose softly before he pressed his lips to his. Bucky stroked his tongue against Sam’s and felt Sam’s skin warm under the thin fabric of the robe. He moved his hand lower and slipped it under the silky fabric. Bucky stared into Sam’s eyes wanting to watch his man melt at his touch. He brushed his fingers against Sam dick and watched Sam bite his bottom lip as he sighed. When he took Sam into his fist, Sam closed his eyes and gasped as he grasped his fingers tight in his hair. The tugging of the strands warmed Bucky’s lower stomach with their sharp sensations.

Sam would be lying if he said he hadn’t wanted something like this to unfold when he decided to go looking for Bucky wearing the man’s robe but now he just wished they were upstairs.

“Bed?” Sam suggested as he felt Bucky robbing him of breath and coherent thought with each stroke of his fist.

Bucky kissed at Sam’s neck and loved that his skin was beginning to heat the more he got worked up. “How about I just fuck you up against my desk?” Bucky whispered softly against the shell of his ear.

Sam felt a chill run along his skin at that suggestion. Any longer and Bucky would certainly do it. Sam pulled away from Bucky slowly. His hand fell away from where it had been touching him and Sam felt his body yearn for his touch again. He fixed the robe and backed away. He gave Bucky a look and walked out of the office.

Bucky shook his head to his self and felt his heart burn brighter for Sam. He flicked off his desk lamp and got up to leave his office. He shut the door upon leaving. He walked the hall of his home in darkness and headed for the stairs. As he moved to ascend the stairs he felt something under his foot. He stopped to pick it up into his hand and remembered the feel of the fabric. It was the robe Sam had been wearing. Bucky carried it upstairs and saw a light flickering underneath his bedroom door.

He walked in to find a few candles lit around the room, giving the room a soft but pleasant glow. Bucky dropped the robe in his hand as he looked at his boyfriend resting back on his bed as beauty incarnate, lust in his eyes and erect.

“I’m not going to be getting much sleep before my flight am I?” Bucky asked stripping out his shirt before he stepped out of his pajama bottoms. He stroked his dick a few times to hasten his erection to hardening.

“If you’re lucky, no,” Sam said softly sitting up as Bucky got on the bed with him and leaned down to kiss his lips. Sam ran his hands all over Bucky chest and maneuvered him to lie down. Bucky smiled when he realized Sam got him on his back.

“You think you’re so slick,” Bucky whispered as he felt Sam’s lips touch his skin, there and there, lower and lower under he could feel the press of Sam’s lips against his inner thigh.

Sam pressed a kiss on his dick and Bucky thought his heart would go into overdrive. It didn’t matter how many times they made love, Sam using his mouth on him in any way, shape or form was always devastating.

“Baby,” Bucky breathed brushing his hand down to touch Sam’s cheek. Sam stayed focus on his task and pressed the tip of his tongue gently into the slit at head of the blushing dick before him. “Dear god, so fuckin –,” Bucky choked out as he felt his body tense.

When Sam picked Bucky up into his fist and sucked on his tip, gently, deliberately it drove Bucky wild as he felt his body heat steadily wanting those gorgeous lips to take more of him in. Bucky shut his eyes and hoped this wasn’t an attempt on his life. He was almost certain Sam would succeed if he kept it up any longer.

Later when Sam had given Bucky a slow, but wonderful orgasm, he got up and placed kisses against his boyfriend’s stomach. He glanced up to take in the sight before him of a man as dangerous as Bucky, now winded and trembling just from Sam using his mouth. It was a power trip Sam relished in as he took comfort in the fact this power was his alone. Sam felt lust bloom anew in his lower stomach and wanted to continue. They did only have the evening together. 

“What would you like?” Sam whispered as he arose from between Bucky’s legs and sat astride the man’s lap.

“Whatever you want,” Bucky whispered as he sat up and kissed at Sam’s neck, ran his hands over Sam’s stomach and thighs.

That was something Sam just never got enough. The attention and thoughtfulness Bucky lavished on him outside of bed was only surpassed by what he gave between the sheets. Sam ran his fingers through Bucky’s hair and sighed.

“I love you,” Sam whispered. “Love you so much.”

Bucky raised his head from kissing at Sam’s neck and looked up into Sam’s eyes. He brushed his flesh fingers against Sam’s ass and felt everything still for that moment. It wasn’t the first time Sam had said those words to him, far from it, but Bucky made sure to never take any time Sam did for granted. He hugged Sam close in his arms and held on.

“I love you too Sam,” he breathed against his chest.

Sam smiled to his self and hugged Bucky back. “Don’t get all sentimental on me now,” he said reminding Bucky they were in the middle of something at the moment.

Bucky gave Sam a look as he released him from his arms. “You’re the one that said it,” Bucky pointed out.

“I was in the moment. I didn’t know that it tugged on your heartstrings like that,” Sam countered. Though he did in fact know his boyfriend had a soft spot for when he uttered those three little words.

Bucky wasn’t the least bit convinced. “Oh you didn’t know did you?” he said wrestling Sam down against the bed before he laid down on top of him and kissed his lips. Sam smiled in their kiss and chuckled. Bucky smiled too.

“Thought you were gonna let me have whatever I wanted?” Sam asked wondering.

Bucky shook his head and kissed at Sam’s jaw and neck as he lifted Sam’s thigh up on his hip.

“Maybe later. Let me hold you for a bit,” Bucky asked softly. “Please?”

And that melted Sam’s heart. He reached for the lube and condom on the night stand, set them close by for Bucky before relaxing back on the bed.

“Fine with me,” Sam said softly with a smile.

 

Resting beside Bucky in bed Sam smoothed his hand over Bucky’s lower stomach and felt his fingers against the various scrapes and scars that adorned Bucky’s body. It was something Sam liked to do instead of cuddling, he’d touch Bucky all over until he found a scar or new bruise and Bucky would tell a story.

Bucky rested with his eyes closed, not sleeping but feeling where Sam’s fingers were on his skin. Sam brushed his fingers over a small instance of scar tissue on Bucky’s left hip and continued to touch.

“Tell me about this one,” Sam whispered curled up close at Bucky’s side.

Bucky thought about it for a moment. “It’s either one of two things. I can’t remember which. I was either running from the mob in Italy or I caught a piece of shrapnel from a bomb in Belarus,” Bucky said thinking about both moments. They’d happened three years apart but he was certain both events left him with a wound in that area.

“You really have led a wild life,” Sam whispered softly.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Bucky said turning to look over at him.

Any other evening he would be sleeping in preparation for his assignment but he knew he could sleep on the ten hour flight to Europe. This right here, staring into his love’s eyes, he wouldn’t get this moment again. Tired, achy, fucked out, but so loved he felt covered in it from head to toe? No, there was nowhere else Bucky could get that feeling but right there next to Sam. He planned to savor every second in his presence.

Chapter Text

–One Year Later–

1st Arrondissement, Paris, France // 5:34 P.M.

Walking hand in hand with Sam through the halls of the Louvre, Bucky was living vicariously through Sam who was losing his shit with every consecutive room they entered. Never mind his boyfriend had been beside his self ever since Bucky told him he would be taking him to Paris last month. Upon their arrival Sam was like a child at an amusement park. They ate Parisian cuisine, enjoyed wines and cheeses they couldn’t pronounce and when they grew tired they retired to the apartment Bucky had rented for their month long stay in the City of Lights.

Bucky had been to Paris countless times but he guessed the rumors were true. The city just hit differently when you were in love. He had no other way to explain it.

While seeing Sam’s happiness at being abroad was amazing on its own. For Bucky, nothing compared to seeing Sam’s tear when he saw the iconic pyramid within the courtyard of the Louvre. He’d turned to Bucky in tears. He’d hugged Bucky, kissed him senseless and thanked him. Bucky wasn’t even sure if Sam was still in his body when they walked into the museum. The other seemed a bit stunned as they walked past the ancient statues and worked their way floor by floor through the ages of artwork on the walls.

When they drew closer to a certain room Bucky clutched the knapsack on his shoulder a bit tighter.

“Babe,” Bucky said nodding toward the room the museum guard had told him to go to. He took Sam’s hand and led the way into the quaint little room devoid of any others. Sam’s jaw dropped as he beheld the Rembrandt etchings on the wall, example after example of the master’s skills and technique. Bucky fell back and gave his boyfriend time to geek out over the artwork and took a look around.

It was twenty minutes before Sam found his way back to Bucky’s side.

“What do you think?” Bucky asked wanting to know.

“It’s incredible,” Sam said looking around blown away. “All of this is still too incredible to believe. I can’t believe I’m standing here.”

“It’s only day three. We’re here for a month babe. You can come here every day and admire them,” Bucky said sincerely.

Sam looked at Bucky astonished at the suggestion like it had never crossed his mind to do just that.

Bucky took Sam’s hand and led the way to one of the sitting benches in the middle of the room. Sam sat down as Bucky took the knapsack off. He grabbed what he needed out of the bag and handed it to Sam.

Sam looked at Bucky wondering what was in the white gift box.

“For you,” Bucky said simply.

Sam shook his head. “You’ve given me enough. I’m sitting in the Louvre, no more gifts,” Sam said sternly handing it back.

Bucky smirked. He pulled the top off of the white gift box and took out the black velvet, clamshell box within. He took Sam’s hand and placed the clamshell box within the palm of his hand.

“Open it babe,” Bucky insisted. “Please.”

Sam shook his head and pulled the top back to open the clamshell. Within the box was a gold plated, handgun silencer, similar to the model Bucky had at his home. Sam picked up the silencer and rotated it. Then a certain detail caught his eye. There on the barrel of the instrument, Samuel had been engraved in a fine cursive script.

“You’re giving me a gun?!” Sam asked excitedly.

Bucky chuckled. “No.”

Sam looked up at Bucky for an explanation. “Then what is this?”

Bucky had prided his self on being completely honest with Sam over the past two years of their relationship but his surprise had required he keep things hush-hush until this very moment. He was more than ready to share the news he’d been safeguarding. He’d been waiting for the right moment to tell Sam and planned the trip to do just that.

“That was the silencer I fastened to my handgun that morning we were ambushed at my place,” Bucky explained.

Sam remembered the morning but it honestly felt like a lifetime ago after all they’d been through since then. “Thank you baby…but why are you giving me this?”

“We saved each other with that silencer. Without it we wouldn’t still be alive but it also represents something else important,” Bucky said taking Sam’s hand in his own. He licked his lips and prepared his self. “I’m putting my gun down babe. I’m going to be become an Eagle.”

Sam felt his heart twist. He didn’t want Bucky giving up what he did because he was worried about his safety. "Don’t do that for me Buck," Sam pressed. He knew Bucky enjoyed what he did despite its difficulties at times.

Bucky shook his head and tucked the silencer into Sam’s palm for safe keeping where he wanted it to stay. "I'm doing it for me…because I know what I want now. I know what I want my life to be." He looked into Sam's beautiful brown eyes by the light of the setting sun as it fell in through the windows.

Bucky had straddled the fence for far too long. He was just thankful he was picking a world to be in before the decision had been made for him. Things that had seemed so hazy in the beginning had become so clear over the past two years. Bucky had no clue what the future held but he looked forward to facing it with Sam safely by his side.

 

THE END