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String Along With You

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Bucky wandered aimlessly around the apartment, bored to the point of tears. Clint had been gone with Natasha for ages, it seemed. Watching television didn’t appeal to him; the thought of reading made his head ache, and cleaning was the farthest thing from anything he wanted to do. Restless was the only word that came to mind as he paced from the bedroom he shared with Clint, passed the bathroom, laundry room, and office, then back to the living room. He ran his hands through his hair, tugging gently on the roots, hoping it would give his brain a bit of a jump start. Bucky hadn’t always been accustomed to having time on his hands, and he didn’t quite know how to cope with it all the time. If Clint were home, this wouldn’t have been an issue, but when left to his own devices, sometimes he freaked out.

On his seventh pass by the office, he just happened to glance in the room to see Clint’s laptop open on the desk. He paused for a moment in the doorway, staring at the open device, contemplating whether or not he should grab it. Bucky had lived with Clint for almost eight months now, and this moment was the first he had stepped into the office. Technology just wasn’t something that interested him like it did Steve. Rogers went on and on constantly about how great the internet was, and how it taught him a lot. Bucky figured that if there was something he needed to know, he’d figure it out eventually.

Bucky let his fingers clack around on the keys for a moment. He had a loose knowledge of how to use these things, Stark had at least shown him that when he first came to the tower two years ago. Tony told Bucky that it was required of him to learn how to at least Google something if he was going to live in the tower. He sat down at the desk and opened up the browser, staring at the screen with one of the most horrendous scowls, he was sure.

Bucky began drumming his fingers impatiently on the wooden surface of the desk for a moment, thinking, hoping for something, anything to come to mind. A melody randomly found its way into his head. At first, it was just an aimless tune he began to hum and drum his fingers along to; then, as if out of nowhere, it morphed into something that he recognized. It was a song, a song that he loved back in Brooklyn, nearly 70 years ago. A smile captured his face and he sighed, contented. He picked the laptop up carefully and made his way to the couch. Bucky made himself comfortable and let the nostalgia take over.

Hours passed, Bucky really didn’t know how long he had been sitting there, hunched over the laptop, smiling like a madman. He had heard songs that he literally had not heard in 70 years, some of his favorites that he couldn’t have ever remembered without hearing the melody. He felt lighter, somehow, happier than he had in months.

Bucky had always loved music; it had always been one of his greatest passions, and no one but he and Steve knew. Steve was the only person in the world who had ever heard him sing, who had ever heard him play the old, out of tune piano in… what was her name? Bucky thought to himself. He thought for a moment, Mrs. Graves! Yeah! Steve was the only person who had ever heard him play the piano in Mrs. Graves’s basement all those many, many years ago. Ma had never been able to afford a piano for him, so he’d clean Mrs. Graves’s basement, just to get to touch the ivory keys.

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Clint jogged up the stairs, keys in hand, so ready to kick his shoes off and cuddle with Bucky until they both fell asleep. He had spent the day with Natasha, his partner in crime, his very best friend. Nat had been with him through everything, and he loved her dearly, he even missed living with her most of the time – except for when she would slink into his room unannounced and totally silent, waiting for him to wake up, he didn’t miss that.

As Clint neared room number 14, his brows furrowed slightly. He could hear soft music playing from somewhere, it sounded like jazz, or maybe big band, or maybe even swing? He shoved the key into their door and opened it in one swift move. He smiled when he realized that the music had been coming from their apartment, and it was most definitely big band. He shut the door and locked it before tossing his keys into the bowl that was kept by the door for such things.

“Bucky? Baby, I’m home,” Clint said as he walked toward the living room. He stopped when he got to the threshold of the living room, having found the source of the music, and his aforementioned boyfriend. Clint simply watched Bucky for a moment; the sniper had a look of pure contentment on his face, his features were completely soft, except for the small smile that played on his lips. Bucky was relaxed into the couch cushions with his eyes closed, his dark hair pulled into a small bun at the back of his head.

The song ended and Bucky opened his eyes, immediately regretting it. He felt a deep, red, hot blush creep its way up the back of his neck to his cheeks, even to the tops of his ears. He reached out quickly and stopped the playlist from continuing. The sniped rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly and finally made eye contact with Clint. “Hey sugar.”

“Hey yourself,” Clint grinned at the blush that was now slowly fading from Bucky’s face. He made his way over to the couch and sat down beside Bucky, nuzzling up close to him. “What were you listening to?”

“Songs from over 70 years ago, nothing a young punk like you would know.” Bucky lifted his elbow from his side, letting Clint’s squirming hand through the bend of his arm. He glanced down into Clint’s eyes, a soft half smile on his face, and mirth in his eyes.

“Hey now, I can’t help the fact that I’m in love with a relic!” Clint poked Bucky’s ribs with the hand that wasn’t looped through the sniper’s arm.

Bucky jumped and laughed quietly, leaning over to press a small, chaste kiss to the side of Clint’s mouth. “Missed you,” he drawled out almost inaudibly.

“I missed you more.” Clint rested his chin in the indention that was created by the junction of metal meeting skin. Bucky scowled at him in a playful manner, as if saying that there was no way that Clint could’ve missed him more. Clint’s eyebrows shot up his forehead, and he dug his chin into the aforementioned juncture, grinning wildly, challenging Bucky to even think about disagreeing.

“You’re such a little shit, Clint.” Bucky chuckled and untangled his arm from Clint’s and replaced it around the archer’s torso, pulling him even closer than before.

“I know it,” Clint paused for a moment, “Play some more music for me?” He looked up at Bucky with hopeful eyes, batting his eyelashes while giving his best puppy dog eyes.

“You really wanna hear more of it? I didn’t figure it would fit the,” Bucky changed the tone of his voice into one that was meant to mock Clint’s voice, and as he spoke, he used air quotations with one free hand, “‘aesthetic of the best archer around, the amazing Hawkeye.’” That received a very swift punch in the thigh from Clint, who was smirking and shaking his head in mock exasperation.

“It totally fits my aesthetic, Bucky, duh.” The playfulness was dropped from Clint’s voice, “Really though, I wanna hear the music you grew up with. You’ve heard the music I like, but you’ve never really let me hear your favorites.” Clint sat up straighter, no longer leaning into Bucky’s side to show his honest sincerity for his words.

“Okay,” Bucky said simply, absolutely beaming. He leaned over and pecked Clint on the lips quickly before turning back to the computer. He ran his finger over the trackpad, waking the computer from its sleeping state. Bucky leaned forward and stared intently at the screen in front of him, scrolling through the playlist until he found a song he deemed worthy for Clint’s ears.

A quartet of trumpets sounded, and then led into a big band sound that had an absolutely killer beat to it. Clint found himself bobbing his head from side to side in time with the drums. A large smile found its way across his lips as he glanced up to meet Bucky’s gaze. “I love this!”

Bucky chuckled and nodded, tapping his foot to the beat. “It’s one of my favorites.”

“What’s it called?”

“"Jingle, Jangle, Jingle". It’s by Kay Kyser, man he could sing.”

“I definitely agree with that,” Clint said with a nod.

Once the song was over, Bucky found another, and another, and another, until he came upon a song that made him hit pause immediately. He jumped up quickly, and quite dramatically.

“Bucky, what’s wrong?” Clint was wide eyed, watching Bucky frantically shove the coffee table out of the way, over to the far wall. Bucky didn’t reply, but his next victim was the loveseat, which he pushed back, almost into the hallway. He turned around and faced Clint with a determined look in his eye. He looked around the room, as if surveying for… something? Clint hadn’t moved and was still staring wide eyed.

Finally, Bucky smiled and walked over to stand in front of a very shocked looking Clint. His smile fell into a suggestive smirk, and he lowered his eyes to make eye contact with a wide eyed Clint. He held out his flesh and blood hand to Clint, smirking like a fox, “How’s’about a dance with me, sugar?”

Clint, at this moment, could’ve died happy. He didn’t think he had heard anything sexier than that Brooklyn drawl in all his life. He quickly slid his hand into Bucky’s and let himself be pulled from the couch. “Bucky, I… I can’t dance?”

“Well, sugar, you’re dancin’ with me tonight.” Bucky grinned and let go of Clint’s hand for a moment, only to play the song, and set it on repeat. As the piano began, he walked over to Clint and took his hand once again. Bucky pulled the archer in close, guiding Clint’s arms around his neck. Bucky ran his hands slowly down Clint’s sides, stopping just on the archer’s hips.

Just as Nat King Cole’s crooning voice filled the room, mingling with the soothing piano, Bucky began to sway, ever so gently, bringing Clint with him. The archer was looking down, watching his own feet as they moved about the room, preoccupied with stepping on Bucky’s toes. Bucky noticed this and took Clint’s chin gently with his metal hand and pushed it up, causing Clint to make eye contact. Bucky smiled openly at him and leaned in to press a soft kiss to Clint’s lips.

They held fast to one another as they glided around their living room, the dim lights of the city showing through their window. They simply looked into one another’s eyes and moved in time with the music.

After the song played through once and began again, Bucky tugged Clint even closer than before, placing his face in the crook of Clint’s neck. Clint let his eyes slip shut, his head falling over to rest on Bucky’s. The archers deft hands encircled the back of Bucky’s neck, playing with the soft hairs that had fallen out of the bun. Finally, the archer ran his fingers through Bucky’s dark locks, freeing it of the hair tie so his fingers could play to his heart’s content.

The sniper’s metal arm encircled Clint completely, bringing him in for a squeeze. Bucky pressed his nose against Clint’s, trailing his flesh and bone hand slowly up Clint’s spine and back down again. Tilting his head to the side, he placed his lips on Clint’s, and cupped the back of the archer’s head. They kissed slowly and softly for the remainder of the current run of the song.

When the song began again, Bucky pulled away. In the process, he took one of Clint’s hands gently, lacing the archer’s calloused fingers with the cool metal of his left hand. He brought their joined hands between their chests, and kept his other arm almost possessively around the archer’s waist. Bucky leaned in, his lips almost touching Clint’s earlobe, and as Cole crooned once again, Bucky sang the lyrics lowly into Clint’s ear.

“I’m looking for an angel, to sing my love song to. And until the day that one comes along, I’ll sing my song to you.” Bucky paused to lick his lips, then continued, “For every little fault that you have, say I’ve got three or four. The human little faults that you have, just make me love you more.” Bucky pressed his lips against the side of Clint’s face, and pulled him even closer.

“Please don’t stop, Bucky.” Clint leaned back so he could look Bucky in the eye. He pulled his hand from around Bucky’s neck and cupped the sniper’s face, smiling softly with, dare he even say, misty eyes. No one had ever taken the time to want to dance with him, let alone sing to him.

Bucky smiled softly and leaned forward, capturing Clint’s lips in a kiss. The archer parted his lips to bracket Bucky’s bottom lip perfect. They moved together slowly, there was no hurry or rush to their movements, only love and tenderness.

They continued to dance for countless repeats of the song. Bucky’s throat was starting to give out from singing almost constantly, but he wasn’t about to stop just because it stung a little. It it made Clint happy, he was more than willing to continue on.

“Bucky,” Clint began, pulling his head away from Bucky’s shoulder so he could look the sniper in the eye, “I love you.”

“I love you, Clint.” Bucky smiled, pressing his forehead to Clint’s. Bucky then realized that he’d string along with Clint anywhere, and that Clint was the closest thing to an angel that he would ever find.