Bucky Barnes was usually a very patient guy. The moment he had graduated high school he had somehow gained a shitton of patience and it had served him well. But Bucky Barnes was only human and there was only so much a person could take when they had to stay up till two in the morning writing a paper for a uni course and there was someone blasting music loudly in the apartment above.
The point of the matter was, Bucky was slowly preparing to murder someone and that someone was going to be the punk that lived in the apartment above his. The human being that happened to call the apartment above Bucky's own a home had stellar timing and it was going to cost him. Whenever Bucky needed to study for a test or write an essay or work on a huge project, the asshole above would somehow miraculously know and would start blasting Madonna or other ridiculously popular pop artists of the 80's.
Bucky was reaching the point where he would get tired of that punk's shit and would give him a piece of his mind, but Natasha always kept him in line. In fact, that was what she was doing at that very moment. He had been working on a term paper for one of his courses and the shit-head above had started to blast Madonna as loudly as possible and Natasha was giving him a stern look. Bucky was not sure why Natasha protected the asshole above so strongly, but she was by now the only one keeping him from killing the guy.
"Nat, why are you defending him? Half the time the bullshit music he listens to is what keeps you awake at night," Bucky asked the redhead honestly. His best friend was a light sleeper and pretty much any sound woke her from her sleep. Bucky knew because he had been nearly murdered by her enough times to know not to ever wake up during the night. It was seriously creepy what she could do. He so much as got up from his bed in the middle of the night and she would wake up and start yelling obscenities at him because he had just woken up and just who the fuck did he think he was waking her up after she had just fallen asleep. Bucky knew better by now. He stayed in bed even if he was dying to take a piss.
Natasha, on the other hand, simply shook her head at him as she looked away from the textbook in her hands. "It's his apartment. He can do what he wants."
"He can't if he's disrupting the peace! He's disrupting my peace! I swear to God, Natasha, if I don't ace this essay I'm going to kick that punk's door down and murder him."
"You won't murder him because you're not willing to do the prison time. Plus, when have you ever flunked a class because his regretful taste in music has affected you? The answer is never. So, suck it up," the redhead said before burying her face in the textbook in her hands once again.
Bucky calmed down. . . At least for that night.
( • • • • • • )
Bucky locked himself in his room and had just sat down on his bed to start reading his notes on one of his courses when the guy above turned up his radio and Madonna literally begun to echo in the whole building. The song was then accompanied by the asshole's singing and Bucky took in a few calming breaths. To himself he muttered, "You're okay, James Buchanan Barnes. You're not a murderer. You're just going to work on one of your term papers instead."
So, Bucky took out a notebook and begun to write one of his term papers (yes, he did it by hand first because the blank page on Microsoft Word only worked to infuriate him instead of inspire him). Bucky found his pace and the words began to flow out surprisingly fluidly from his brain and into the paper. He sat that way writing for quite a while, feeling surprisingly relaxed, when Natasha walked into the room.
The sound of her suddenly bursting into laughter caught Bucky's attention and he looked up from his paper to immediately realize he had been singing along under his breath to the song by Madonna that was playing. Natasha only began to laugh more when Bucky's expression turned into one of pure horror and he looked up at the ceiling incredulously (but also almost murderously).
"THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. NOT REAL!" Bucky shouted as he shoved a laughing Natasha out of his room.
Whenever she tried to bring it up again that week, he just glared her into silence (or threw textbooks at her which she always caught because fucking reflexes).
( • • • • • • )
Bucky threw aside his textbook and notebook and ran out of his apartment, slamming the door behind him for good measure. He took the one flight of stairs that separated him from the guy he was going to murder and found the door of the asshole's apartment in under five seconds. Without care of how scary he might sound, he pounded on the punk's door with his fist as loudly as he could. "Open up! I need to talk to you!"
Over the sound of Madonna's singing, Bucky heard what sounded like things falling and a low "Shit!" followed by a loud "Fucking hell! Why the fuck does this happen to me?". Regardless of these statements, the door opened in front of Bucky a minute later. Before Bucky could even properly see the guy who had made his studying life a living hell, he offered the guy his most sarcastic charming grin and said, "If you don't turn down that music I can't promise that the next time I come up here I won't murder you. I don't care how fucking much like a virgin you are. I will fucking murder you."
The guy, which Bucky still hadn't properly seen because he was blinded by his fury, stuttered out also in anger, "You m-made me fucking ruin my painting! What the f-fuck is wrong with you? I've been working on that piece for hours you little s-shit! It's due tomorrow!"
"Well I have a fucking final tomorrow and all this fucking week you've been blasting Madonna like you need the whole world to hear her and I'm fucking tired of your shit! Some people in this apartment building go to university and have to fucking study in peace. I could have you kicked out of this fucking apartment building for all the trouble you've fucking been. For fucks sakes!"
The guy, who Bucky still had not properly observed due to his fury, paled and nervously shifted his weight from one foot to the other. "Shit. Is it really that loud? I'm sorry. My hearing is sort of shit and I forget sometimes— Listening to music just helps—"
"Just turn it down. I'm trying to study for a final I have tomorrow and thoughts of homicide are stopping me." Bucky was fuming on the inside, but his body was slowly relaxing.
"Fuck. I'm sorry. It is finals week. I just work better when I listen to music loudly. Sorry. I'll make sure to turn it down. Sorry," the guy stammered out and then muttered under his breath, "I'm gonna have to start that piece again. Fucking shit."
That's when Bucky took one good look at the guy. The guy who had made uni impossible for Bucky was a little scrawny blonde that looked like the wind could blow him away. He wore the rattiest pair of jeans Bucky had ever seen and they were stained with an array of paint splatters. The white shirt the blonde wore was not much better and Bucky swore he saw a hole in the t-shirt somewhere near the hem. In the blonde's hand was a dirty mug that had some paint brushes in it and looked like it had lost half its water in a spillage. The baby blue eyes of the blonde were rimmed with dark shadows that made him look like he hadn't slept in days.
Bucky felt bad for the dude, but he also felt bad for himself, so he said nothing. Before Bucky could decide to apologize for shouting, he turned to leave.
Just before he reached the stairs, Bucky heard a whispered, "Fucking asshole." And he guessed he sort of deserved it.
( • • • • • • )
Ever since that shouting incident with the neighbor above (whom Bucky still had no idea how he was called) the apartment building had been eerily quiet and Natasha had been giving him shit for it. Bucky had no idea why she defended that asshole so furiously, but it was getting on his nerves. She was supposed to be on his side. They were best friends and friends supported each other.
Natasha was bugging him about it again (just two weeks into the new uni semester) and Bucky found himself shouting, "Will you just shut up about it already?"
"What the fuck did you just say? I didn't just hear you asking me to shut up, did I?" she asked, standing up and striding up to him looking deadlier than he had ever seen her.
"I'm sorry, Nat. I just don't get why it bothers you so much that he isn't listening to his shitty music so loudly anymore," he said, immediately swallowing his anger because Bucky was not about to fight Natasha. Not now and not ever.
Natasha did not dignify his statement with a reply and merely locked herself in her room. Bucky thought that that meant the end of things, but it most certainly wasn't.
A week later, Bucky sat down to study and immediately shitty 80's pop started booming from upstairs. Bucky thought it was a one-time thing, the punk probably needed some inspiration or hadn't realized the music was so loud, but then it went on every single fucking day of the week.
"This is bullshit." Bucky muttered on Sunday night when he heard the asshole upstairs singing. The guy was pretty much screaming out the words, "Oh what's love got to do, got to do with it? What's love but a second hand emotion? What's love got to do, got to do with it? Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?"
Instead of acting like a rational human being, Bucky loudly pounded on one of the shitty walls in Natasha's room (she happened not to be in the apartment in that moment) and he opened her bedroom window to loudly shot, "Turn that shit down!"
"Fuck you!" Bucky heard back before the music was turned up even louder.
Bucky closed his eyes and sent a silent prayer to whoever was listening that he didn't murder the scrawny punk that lived upstairs. Bucky seriously needed to keep his record clean, but the asshole upstairs was driving him towards insanity.
Before Bucky could go up and chew up the asshole and spit him out raw, Natasha stepped into the apartment. She gave him one firm look and said, "Don't even think about it."
And Bucky listened to her because she was his best friend and he was her slave.
( • • • • • • )
A month later, Bucky found himself hearing words out of Natasha's mouth that he never thought she would have said. They seemed innocent enough in the moment they popped up, but they hadn't been innocent at all. She lay casually on the couch when she said them, a bowl of popcorn in her arms as she absently watched something on her tablet (which she had propped up on a chair so that it was at eye level with her laying form).
"I've set you up on a blind date," she said the words calmly, like it was perfectly normal for her to suddenly create dates for him.
"I don't need you to set me up on a blind date. I'm perfectly capable of finding a date on my own," Bucky said defensively, looking at her incredulously.
"I know you're more than capable of finding a date all by yourself, James. I just felt like setting you up. I promise the guy is totally cute."
"Natasha—" he was about to argue when she held up a finger to silence him.
"The date's tonight and you're not going to bail on him. The guy's pretty much a saint, it's sort of gross how nice he is, so you're going."
"Tonight? Are you insane?" he exclaimed, looking at his best friend like she had lost her mind before his very eyes.
"Yes. Now come on, I know exactly what you're going to wear," she said and pretty much dragged Bucky into his room.
Which was how Bucky ended up dressed to impress by six o'clock. He wore his best long sleeved black button up shirt, his favorite pitch black jeans and his nicer looking black combat boots. Natasha had handed him directions to the restaurant where the blind date was to take place with a parting statement that his date would be wearing a royal blue button up shirt and probably red Converse because he couldn't help himself.
Half an hour later, Bucky was in the restaurant and he still had to wait thirty minutes more because his date was supposed to arrive at seven. Bucky would murder Natasha if the guy didn't show up. For now, he would wait patiently.
He pulled out his phone and played a game while he periodically looked up to see if his date arrived. He thought he would have to wait long, but only ten minutes had gone by when he saw a guy in a royal blue shirt with red Converse stepping into the restaurant. Bucky didn't even think twice before he made a small motion with his hand which the guy immediately caught. Bucky was busy shoving his phone into his pocket when his date slid into the chair in front of him. They both looked at each other at the same time and said the same thing, "I'm going to murder Natasha."
These words were quickly followed by a: "How do you know Natasha?"
Then at the same time Bucky said, "She's my best friend," his blonde asshole neighbor said, "She's a uni friend."
Bucky let out a dry chuckle and shook his head before he met the eyes of the blonde. And, yeah, maybe Bucky had been thinking about murdering the guy for months, but he had to admit he looked cute as fuck right then. The blonde had his hair neatly combed to the side, his blue eyes were the prettiest shade of blue Bucky had seen and were framed with the longest eyelashes probably in existence and his pink lips were turned in an annoyed expression. And, yes, the blue shirt his neighbor wore brought out the blue in his eyes and made his skin look paler than it normally was, but in the best way possible and, yeah, maybe Bucky would totally be into all of that if it weren't his shitty neighbor. (And so what if he was thinking of kissing those cute pink lips? He was only human!)
"Well, I'm going to leave before you start shouting at me to turn down my music."
"Well you're being an inconsiderate shit blasting music so loudly! I have to study!" Bucky exclaimed before he could help himself.
"It can't possibly bother you that much," the blonde said dryly.
"Yes, it does. Do you have any idea how much shit I have to do for uni and your tragic choice in music keeps me from concentrating? Do you do it just to fucking spite me?" Bucky hissed, growing more agitated by the second, but trying to keep himself in check because he was in public and he was not that guy.
"And w-what if I do? What are you going to do 'bout it?" the blonde threatened, staring at Bucky challengingly.
"I'm going to tear down your fucking apartment door and shout at you until you turn the music down!"
"Then do it! I fucking dare you!" the blonde screamed before storming out of the restaurant.
( • • • • • • )