“I’m going…$10 on handguns, but only if he uses them both at the same time.”
“No way,” Clint argues. “He’s a long range guy, right? The rifle, or nothing.”
Tony shrugs. “ It’s your money to lose. The course isn’t that big.”
“You’re both wrong,” says Natasha, dropping down onto the bench next to Clint. “He’s incredible at close range. I vote knives and throwing stars.” She leans over the railing a little bit, head tilted toward the dark spot that’s Bucky’s back, moving purposefully across the gym floor toward the weapons rack.
“I can’t believe you’re betting on this,” Steve sighs. He’s standing next the railing, attempting casual while white-knuckling the metal bar running the length of the observation box.
“You’re kidding right?” Tony snaps closed his phone and stretches, hands toward the ceiling. “We’ve been waiting for this all week. All month. The whole last year.”
“If he breaks Thor’s record, we’re going to throw a pizza party.” The look Steve gives Clint is withering.
“You ready, Buck? Simulation’s set to start in ten seconds,” Steve calls, and on the floor, Bucky finishes twisting his hair out of his face and gives the thumbs up.
A red light flashes from all corners, counting down, and Bucky turns back to the weapons rack. “Moment of truth, kids,” Tony says. The light flips to green, and the sound of drones fills the room.
The last ‘enemy’ drops to the ground, a buzzer blares, and in its echo the gym descends into a ringing silence.
In the center of the floor, Bucky’s chest is heaving, hair ripped loose of its bun and covering his bent face; from his hands, two long blades are tipped gently toward his feet, gleaming under the high overhead lights.
The ground is littered with the smoking debris of fried electronics, wire strewn in a predictable circle with Bucky at the center, a hurricane at rest.
Up in the box, Tony, Clint, and Natasha are carefully not looking at each other. Steve has squeezed a perfect impression of his hands into the railing.
“Um,” Tony starts. “Did he?”
“Has anyone else ever?”
“Wow,” Clint breathes. There is a collective nodding among the group.
Below them, Bucky lifts his head in their direction, shakes the hair out of his face, and grins.