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(never) Lost in Translation

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“Я вас любил безмолвно, безнадежно,” Bucky breathed into the cold air as he curled his fingers around the stock of his rifle and shifted his hips against the rooftop. “То робостью, то ревностью томим; Я вас любил так искренно, так нежно--” [I loved you hopelessly and mutely, Now with shyness, now with jealousy being vexed; I loved you so sincerely, so fondly--"I Loved You" by Alexander Pushkin]

“Huh?” Sam asked on the other end of the comm line.

“Just trying to stay awake, Wilson,” Bucky answered. “Maybe you can sit out here and give your mouth frostbite.”

“Give it another hour or so and I’ll warm you back up, Barnes,” Sam promised and Bucky could hear the smile in his voice, which was enough to stave off the chill for a while longer.

“Did you think I wouldn’t know who made a nest of jackets and my mom’s blanket next to my hospital bed?” Sam asked at two in the morning when Bucky slunk back into the hospital room and the mess he’d turned the two small chairs next to the bed into.

Bucky considered continuing to sulk in the shadows in silence. But it was the first time Sam was awake in nineteen hours and he was pretty fucking sick of the quiet at this point. “Sarah brought the blanket,” he said. He leaned forward to reach for Sam’s hand, curling his fingers around the bandages and splints gently.

“Yeah, but I know Sarah’s not sleeping in my room. It can’t have been so long that you felt the need to move in, man.”

“I’m not moved in ,” Bucky defended. “Just didn’t know how long it would be. And it’s fucking cold in this building.”

“Wouldn’t know.” Sam tried to shift in the bed and let out a gasp of pain.

“Yeah, you probably don’t want to move too much. Figured you could work that one out on your own, with that big ass cast around your ribs,” Bucky said. But his brow was drawn in in worry and he brought his other hand to Sam’s hip, arching it gently over the thin fabric of the gown.

Sam relaxed back into the bed as much as he could. “I hate sleeping on my back,” he said.

“Sorry, I’ll be sure they accommodate that next time your ribs are sticking out of your skin.”

“You’re being dramatic.”

“Maybe a little,” Bucky agreed. “You’re gonna have to get over it though. You need to rest.”

“I’ve been asleep for a day,” Sam said. “Come on, can’t you believe I miss you?”

Bucky barked out a laugh and shook his head. “No, I don’t believe that at all. And you can’t miss me anymore than I miss you. I’m the conscious one.”

Sam preened and then his eyes drifted shut. Bucky squeezed his hand gently and began to hum under his breath until the flickering of Sam’s eyes settled down. “Que ce soit dimanche ou lundi / Soir ou matin minuit midi /Dans l'enfer ou le paradis /Les amours aux amours ressemblent /C'était hier que je t'ai dit /Nous dormirons ensemble,” he sang softly. Sam let out a soft breath and finally fell asleep.
[ Whether it be Sunday Monday/ Evening ,morning, midnight, midday / Whether it be in hell, in paradise, /Love-affairs look like each other. /I said to you just Yesterday: /We shall sleep together. "Nous Dormions Ensemble / We'll Sleep Together" Louis Aragon]



“I told you to cover Torres on the left!” Sam shouted as he landed heavily on the rubble of the street.


“أنت تعني الكثير بالنسبة لي”
Bucky bit back. “You were in more trouble than he was. I told you to get out of the air.” [You mean so much to me]


“I’m sorry,” Sam snorted. “Are you leading this mission? Are you Captain America all of a sudden?”


“أنت تجعلني أريد أن أكون رجلاً أفضل”
Bucky muttered. “I’ve always been the one with the brain cells when Captain America’s around.” [ You make me want to be a better man.]


“For what it’s worth, guys, I’m fine,” Torres said. “Caught the bad guys. Didn’t get eaten. Alls well that ends well. Unless this is, like, foreplay or something for you two. In which case, I want to get back to the jet before you keep going.”

“Shut up, Torres,” Bucky snapped. “There’s a---thing behind you,” he added, exhausted and confused about what it was exactly that they were fighting. Torres turned around, too slowly, to stare at the limping creature of some underwater origin and Sam ripped the shield from his back to fling at the monster. With a squelch and a groan, it toppled over and the shield bounced back to Sam’s arm.


“إنك في غاية الجمال”
Bucky breathed and rubbed his human hand over his face, smearing ash and sweat until it stung his eyes. “Torres, do an aerial scan for stragglers. Wilson and I’ll survey damage down here.” [ You’re so beautiful]


“Oh, no, Wilson . You’re in trouble,” Torres laughed. He clapped Sam’s shoulder as he walked past and then shot into the sky when the area was clear enough to.

“You’re too hard on him,” Sam said as he started to kick over blocks of asphalt. “He’s a trained soldier, y’know. He’s not some helpless kid.”


Bucky snorted and kneeled down to run his metal hand through a puddle of water on the ground, watching silver ripple across the current.
“مائة قلب لن يكونوا كافيين لحمل كل حبي لك”
he said, and then, “He was never trained for those wings.” [ A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.]


“He helped build those wings. He trained with Exo-Skeletons. The wings are in perfectly capable hands.”

“Make sure clean up takes samples of the water,” Bucky said. “I think there are organisms in there,” he said as he stood up and wiped his hand on his pants.

“How hard did you just have to work, after Torres put foreplay in your head, to not say orgasms?” Sam teased, shooting an easy, if slightly bloody grin, at Bucky.


“أنت إشراقة شمسي يا حبي”
Bucky sighed and shook his head. “Let’s get home. You obviously have a concussion.” [ You are my sunshine, my love.]


“Hey, just ‘cause I’m funnier than you and know your depraved mind well enough to say something like that doesn’t make me damaged,” Sam said, jogging to catch up with Bucky.

“Does he talk?” villain-du-jour asked, appraising what was supposed to be the Winter Soldier but was really just Bucky bored out of his skull.

“If you want him to,” Torres said with a shrug. “Most people don’t.”

“See,” Sam said in Bucky’s earpiece. “I told you he’d kill this.”

And, unfortunately, Torres really was killing it. Torres seemed to be afflicted with the same dramatic streak that Steve had, in that Steve was everyone’s best-friend-ray-of-sunshine until shit got real. Or the mission required him to play some shady underworld super-assassin dealer, apparently.

“I heard he malfunctioned with Zemo,” unidentified baddie said cautiously. “I heard the programming had been washed out.”

Torres reached over to cuff Bucky against the back of the head. “Does he look deprogrammed? Do you think I’d be standing here if he was deprogrammed?”

Bucky had to fight not to let a glare slide over to Torres. He kept his eyes and his grimace set straight ahead. He’d feel better if there was a rifle in his hands.

“It’s not my fault Baron Zemo didn’t have the balls to control the Soldier. I assume that won’t be a problem for you. But, hey, I could be wrong. In which case, I’ll just take him back. Putting him on ice is easier the less time he’s out.”

“I’m glad he never decides to be such a shit with me,” Sam said. The bad guy said something else and Bucky fully tuned it out. “Hey, Barnes,” Sam said in his ear. “What’re you wearing?” he teased. Bucky’s jaw jumped. “One day, we’re gonna see how quickly I can get all that tac-gear off of you. Or maybe just the top half. The rest of you looks damn good in black.” 

Bucky bit the side of his tongue, listened to the asshole across the room talk about not being able to communicate to lapsed partners since he only spoke English, about wanting to send a message, about how many languages the Soldier knew and if he talked while breaking bones.

“Do you think we do better undressing each other on the jet or off of it. Sure, there’s turbulence, but we also have all that adrenaline pushing us on. Besides, I know you like things hard. You wouldn’t like me so much if you didn’t.”

“Soldier?” Torres said at his side. “A sample of your voice.”

I’m gonna throw my partner across that table as soon as we kick all your asses ,” he said in Russian. “ He gets pretty fucking quiet when he’s getting dicked down well. It’s actually the only time he shuts up.

The hapless moron across the room looked delighted. “What about French?”

You’d think getting him down on his knees would work better but it never has for me. He’s always gotta have the last word in edgewise. Lengthwise, as it may be. No fuckin’ hair to grab onto either. You’ve just gotta listen to him .”


Probably won’t stop in here. I’ll drag him back to our jet and do it all over again. Or let him do it to me. I’m really not picky when it comes to him. Especially not when he’s wearing the uniform he is right now. I like getting it off of him as much as I like how it looks on him .”

Damn, dude, I speak Spanish ,” Torres hissed back in Spanish. “ Spare my ears, please .”

The arms-idiot grinned like a kid on Christmas. “Yeah, that’ll do. Your money’s in here,” he said, sliding a briefcase across the floor.

“Ready?” Sam asked in the ear piece.

We never speak of it again ,” Bucky said to Torres. “ If you tell him, I’ll drop your ass in Siberia.

“Go get ‘em, tiger,” Torres said, gesturing over to the other man. Bucky went and got them, Sam coming down through a skylight and Torres taking care of the guards behind them.

“I was thinking about getting my own place down here,” Sam said. “Even if it’s just a one bedroom or something. You know, for when Buck’s here too.”

“Tu vas bouleverser les garçons,” Sarah answered. [You'll upset the boys]

“Huh?” Bucky asked, looking up from toying with a remote control airplane that had an unfortunate run-in with a tree.

“They’re still not in French classes?” Sam asked. “Isn’t Cass old enough?”

“He’s taking Spanish instead.”

“Traitor,” Sam said easily. “Ça n'a pas besoin d'être codé.” [This doesn't need to be encoded]

“Votre vie sexuelle si.” [Your sex life does]

“Ha! Bien sûr.” [Ha! As if]

“Wait, you two know French?” Bucky asked. The airplane had been thoroughly forgotten.

“Sure, it’s one of two languages offered at our high school,” Sarah said. “Sam was obsessed with learning Creole so not only did he take French, he took AP French. And scored a five on the test. Hey, aren’t you a polyglot, technically?”

“What?” Bucky asked as dawning horror unleashed a flood of embarrassment through him. And, well, a bunch of other feelings too, which would require French to say aloud, apparently. He packed those away.

“I don’t know if there are qualifications, but I speak a few languages,” Sam agreed and he finally looked over at Bucky with a smirk. “English, French. A little Spanish. The Air Force gave us Russian lessons. I picked up Arabic overseas.”

Fuck, Bucky thought. Merde. Maldita sea. Черт побери.

“He absorbs languages like a sponge,” Sarah said to Bucky. “Cass is pretty similar,” she added towards Sam. “His teacher says he’s the best in the class.”

“Of course he is,” Sam said. “He’s a Wilson.”

A timer went off and Sarah muttered lightly under her breath. “I’ve got to run and grab Cass from school. Can you stay here and get AJ off the bus?” she asked, already grabbing her purse and heading for the door.

“Bye, Sarah,” Bucky called after her before rounding on Sam as the door shut.

“Hey, you never asked,” Sam defended, leaning back against the counter. “And it never sounded like you wanted an answer when you were serenading me in French. Gotta wonder why you’ve got Russian poetry memorized though--Hey!” Sam yelped as Bucky crossed the living room to the kitchen and stood between his legs, hands on either side of his body on the counter.

“Ты должен был сказать мне раньше,” he breathed. Sam shivered against him. [You should have told me sooner]

“Pourquoi?” he asked, like he was in any way innocent. [Why?]

Bucky brushed his mouth along Sam’s neck, felt his pulse jump at the contact. “Tu sais ce que ça me fait,” he murmured. [You know what it does to me]

“Languages?” Sam asked as his hand found the small of Bucky’s back and then the rest of his spine, up to his shoulders, the seam of his metal arm, his ribs.

“You showin’ off,” Bucky corrected.

Sam hummed because he did know that. “It was more fun to watch you think you were getting away with something. You get real sweet when you think I can’t hear.”

Bucky nipped at his collarbone and Sam gasped out a breath, almost let it convince him to leave Bucky there, but eventually pushed him away. “I was serious about getting our own place. I will never emotionally recover if one of the kids walks in on me making out with you. I’m supposed to be typifying standards.”

Bucky rolled his eyes and pinched Sam’s side. “You’re an asshole.”

“Yeah, but a smart one,” Sam said with a grin. “Which is apparently your type.

And, dammit, it was.

“By the way,” he added, “Clint taught me ASL, so I know what you tell him about me too.”

Bucky groaned and threw himself back over the couch.