It had been a good day. Up until the point when his brain decided to stop being a properly functioning brain and instead try an impression of fried and scrambled eggs.
He and Steve had gotten breakfast at a little diner that was nice and quiet, Steve made sure that Bucky got a corner seat so he could watch the room. FUBAR had laid underneath the table, his head resting heavily on Bucky's feet. Bucky had made sure to ask their waiter for a couple extra pieces of sausage that he put into a doggy bag so that he could give them to FUBAR once they were home and he was “off duty”.
Technically speaking, FUBAR was always on duty in some form or manner. His training meant that he had to be ready to help Bucky at any time. Even in the middle of the night, like after Bucky had had a bad nightmare. That didn't mean he didn't get to be a regular dog and get to enjoy regular dog things, it just meant that people would look askance at Bucky if he started to feed his service dog table scraps while they were in a restaurant.
After breakfast they'd gone on a long walk and then Bucky had spent a little while sparring with Natasha, whenever they were able to spar together it automatically became a good day in Bucky's book because sparring often lead to wrestling around on the floor and seeing who could cover the other's cheeks with more kisses. That often lead to making out on the sparring mats until Steve either joined them or shooed them off to the showers.
Then he and Sam had gone for coffee at a tiny little cafe that Sam loved. Bucky was fine with cheap bitter black coffee that resembled tar more than something that was supposed be consumed by human beings. But he had to admit that the caramel, Irish cream and white chocolate monstrosity that Sam had gotten was really nice. Especially because he got to kiss the whip cream off of Sam's upper lip and taste the coffee when he kissed Sam deeply.
Sam laughed, and moved forward for another kiss but stopped when FUBAR emerged from under the table and placed a large paw on Bucky's lap, whining and nudging him gently with his nose.
“What? Now?” Bucky asked, recognizing the trained signal that FUBAR used to alert him when he was about to have a seizure. He felt a yawning pit of icy fear open up inside his stomach at the familiar gesture from the dog.
He hated this moment so much, when he felt fine, but FUBAR was alerting him to a seizure. Sometimes he hated knowing that he was about to have a seizure even more than he hated actually having a seizure. And he really, really hated having a seizure.
He hated the loss of control and the way people would stare at him afterwards. Speaking of people, his gaze darted around the little coffee shop, body tensing when he noticed the few patrons at the counter staring at him and FUBAR. He could hear them whispering about the giant dog and how cute he was but he wanted them to go away. His head was starting to spin and he was feeling a bit nauseous and he just wanted to be left alone for the embarrassing thing he knew his body was about to go through.
“James, hey, Bucky, look at me alright?” Bucky wrenched his gaze away from the teenagers when FUBAR nudged him with a cold nose again. “Why don't we go to the bathroom, alright? You can have some privacy in there.” Sam suggested.
Bucky's gaze flicked towards the counter again, when he saw who was working the register he let out a sigh of relief.
“We can go to the employees lounge. Dylan's working today so it should be okay. They know about my seizures, they have a deaf and epileptic little sister.” Bucky said nodding towards the back of the employee who happened to glance over. Bucky raised a hand and quickly signed that he wasn't feeling well, they nodded and signed back that Bucky should go lay down.
“Alright, if you're sure.” Sam said, noticing the exchange and rising to his feet, watching closely as Bucky did the same, his hand placed behind FUBAR's shoulders for balance as he stood.
“Yeah, they try and keep the bathroom floors clean but I still don't want to do this in a bathroom. Gross.” He muttered as they walked through the door, the employees lounge was pretty cramped, but it was brightly lit and the floor was thickly carpeted. There was a couch with thick cushions, as well as a small table that was already pushed off to one side of the room, so it was small but almost in a cozy sort of way.
“You did good buddy. Such a good boy.” Bucky whispered to FUBAR as he laid himself down on the floor, the ovcharka positioned himself so that he was laying curled protectively around Bucky's head.
“You got anything other than your psychic puppy there to say what's going on?”
“Sam, he ain't psychic and you know it. It's like neurochemistry or something. I don't know my scent changes, I think. And yeah my tongue feels weird.” Bucky said sticking his tongue out of his mouth and scraping it against his teeth in an effort to dispel the weird feeling.
Recognizing one of Bucky's more familiar auras, Sam double checked that the area was clear of anything that he might hit if this turned out to be a bad seizure. Then he grabbed a cushion off the couch and moved to put it under Bucky's head, only to realize that FUBAR had already taken up the job of being a cushion for Bucky.
“Alright, you're doing great buddy. You're in a safe place.” Sam murmured when he noticed Bucky looking around confused, he startled at Sam's voice and started moving as if he was going to sit up, only to be stopped by FUBAR laying his head down on his shoulder and pinning him to the floor. “Me and FUBAR will look after you. You just relax alright. We gotcha.”
Bucky's eyes started to flutter open and closed rapidly and Sam gently rubbed a hand up and down his arm, calling his name softly. When Bucky didn't respond, Sam took this to mean that the seizure had started, so he glanced at his watch and noted the time so he could keep track of how long the seizure lasted. FUBAR had medications that they could use to help stop a seizure in a small pocket of his vest, but they were only to be used if a seizure lasted more than five minutes. After that, the medicine would have to administered and an ambulance would have to be called.
Bucky's head jerked back and his throat spasmed, making several painful sounding clicks. His right arm was practically vibrating with how hard it was shaking and every muscle seemed to be pulled tight, his back arching off the floor.
FUBAR licked Bucky's face and mouth through the whole seizure, whining softly because his handler was hurt and there wasn't any way that he could help him.
Sam knew that FUBAR hated it when Bucky had a seizure more than any of the other things that happened to him because it was the one time that the dog really couldn't do much. If Bucky was having trouble talking, FUBAR knew over fifty different hand signals. If Bucky had a panic attack or was in the middle of a flashback, FUBAR was able to help him get to a safe place and calm down. Before a seizure he could lead him somewhere safe and make sure he didn't hurt himself or others if he got confused. He could even help Bucky after a seizure, but during one, the only thing he could do was cushion Bucky's head and it seemed that in the dogs opinion this was not nearly enough to be able to help.
Sam continued to talk to Bucky gently reassuring him that he and FUBAR were there and that they would keep him safe, all while keeping careful track of the time as well as Buckys pallor and breathing.
Three minutes after the seizure started, Bucky relaxed with a long sigh and went still. Sam waited a moment, carefully watching to make sure that the seizure was over before he gently rolled Bucky into the recovery position.
Almost immediately after he'd gotten Bucky moved into what he hoped was a comfortable position Bucky's hand shot out and snagged Sam's wrist, squeezing hard enough to make him wince. FUBAR boofed, both happy to see Bucky moving and also warning him not to try and attack Sam.
Bucky's eyes flickered open briefly then slid closed, “FU-BAR?” He murmured weakly, releasing Sam's sleeve to try and clumsily wipe drool off his cheek from where FUBAR had been licking him. The move was made redundant when FUBAR licked him again, delighted to hear Bucky saying his name he wiggled a little closer and then settled down beside him with his head on Bucky's side, sighing loudly.
“Yeah, your boy's okay.” Sam said, the statement addressed to both of the figures lying on the floor. “You just had a seizure James. So just lay still for a little bit me and FUBAR will watch out for you. I'm going to check your vitals now, alright?”
"Okay pararescue pigeon." he mumbled nodding and then he relaxed with a quiet sigh, burying his face in FUBAR's fur to the point where Sam worried about whether or not he could breathe before he heard Bucky snore quietly.
At that moment, Dylan opened the door, smiling nervously.
“Is he okay?” They asked, keeping their voice soft so as not to disturb Bucky.
“Yeah, he's sleeping now. As seizures go, at least for him and the fact that it was a tonic clonic, this was pretty mild.” Sam said smiling in reassurance.
“Would you like me to call a cab?”
“Yeah, that would be great.” Dylan nodded and slipped out of the room. Sam waited until they poked their head back into the room to tell him that the cab had arrived before he even tried to wake Bucky.
“Whhhyyy?” Bucky moaned shoving his face further into FUBAR's fur.
“Because if you get up, you can go home and get some sleep in a bed that's comfortable instead of sleeping on the floor.” Sam suggested. This seemed to be the right thing to say because Bucky started struggling to his feet. He wound up having to stand braced against FUBAR waiting for a dizzy spell to pass for a couple minutes before they were able to head out to the cab. On the ride home, Bucky dozed and FUBAR sat on his lap and turned so he could pant into Sam's face.
“Gross.” Sam muttered, trying to pull away from the caucasian ovcharka, which was practically impossible with how much space he took up in the cab.
When they finally pulled up the curb Sam practically flew out of the car so he could get away from the dog's breath.
“Hey James, get up we're home.” Sam called as bent down to pay the driver.
“I know.” Bucky said, from right behind him, causing him to startle.
“Don't do that!” Sam gasped, whirling around to glare at him.
“Do what?” Bucky asked, yawning widely as he twined FUBAR's leash around his fingers.
“Never mind. It's not even worth it. Let's get you inside.” Sam grumbled, moving to open doors for the pair. Once they made it upstairs to their apartment Bucky made a beeline for the bed, not even bothering to greet Steve and Natasha who were hanging out in the kitchen, FUBAR trailing along behind him.
“Hey, is he okay?” Steve asked sotto voce.
“Yeah, he's fine, probably really tired though so let him rest. He had a seizure while we were out. Three minutes, tonic clonic, he came out of it pretty fast though and didn't lose control of his bladder either. He did get a little confused for a second there and tried to grab me but FUBAR got his attention. Hey, did you guys make cookies while we were out?” Sam asked eyeing a pile of chocolate chip cookies that were on a plate. Natasha snickered softly.
“Make cookies? Sam you know Steve can't cook to save his life, and none of you appreciate my cooking skills. That job falls to you and Bucky. We got these out of a package and we were going to sit down and watch a movie and enjoy them but now...” She glanced at the bedroom. “Now I think they can keep for little bit. We should go make sure he's doing okay.”
They all crept into the room and smiled down at Bucky and FUBAR who were twined around each other in the middle of the bed. Bucky's head was resting on FUBAR's side and FUBAR's head was resting on Bucky's side.
“Pretzels." Steve muttered, kicking his shoes off and sliding into bed next to Bucky, he pressed a gentle kiss to the top of Bucky's head before settling in behind him with an arm around his waist. “Don't know about you two, but a nap sounds great right about now.” Sam and Natasha glanced at each other and shrugged before they too slid into the giant bed.
Bucky peeked through his lashes at the group around him and smiled.
Later they would eat cookies and watch a movie together. They would argue about what pizza to get for supper, “Pineapple does not belong on pizza!” Sam would grumble for the thousandth time, and they'd fight over whose turn it was to wash the dishes “Not me!” Bucky would declare, pressing a finger to his nose, the move quickly followed by Sam and Nat. Steve would grumble and flick suds at both Nat and Sam when they wandered in but kiss Bucky gently when he asked if Steve needed a hand before shooing him back to the couch and when they all finally settled into bed again for the night, Bucky would think to himself, that it hadn't been a bad day, even if his brain had turned to fried eggs there for a little bit. He'd press his face a little deeper into FUBAR's fur and decided that it had actually been a pretty fantastic day.
But for now, he closed his eyes and let the peace and the knowledge of being surrounded by people who cared about him wash over him and lull him into sleep.