Devil Side-Chapter 8
Summary: Bucky POV Directly after the confrontation in the briefing room
Pairings: Bucky x Reader
Warnings: Descriptions of a panic attack, Mentions of death, Emotional affairs, Angst, general calamity and triggering content.
Word Count: 1064
A/N: You asked for it, Please Note, I will only post again on Monday. Happy reading!
Don’t hyperventilate. Keep walking, he repeats over and over in his head as he gets further away from you. There’s sweat dripping into his eyes, hot droplets rolling into his shirt making it stick uncomfortably to his skin. His body hair is standing on end like a soldier at attention as he takes long purposeful strides down the corridor to his room.
Reyna wasn’t due back from her daycare for another hour, long enough to compose himself, get the scent of your perfume out of his nostrils. Maybe long enough to forget the indifference he saw on your face like being back was no hardship for you, like the separation didn’t feel like an arm had been cut off, or your heart cut out.
He rips the bedroom door open, falling short of yanking it off its hinges and shuts it loudly behind him. Leaning against it, sucking in lungfuls of air like he had been holding his breath, he tries to calm his racing heart, currently threatening to burst out of his chest.
Panic. Complete, debilitating terror was taking over.
His vision whites out at the edges, his fingers digging painfully into his thighs, perspiration drenching him in seconds. His breathing increases rapidly. Gasping like a dying man desperately clinging to life, he does the only thing he can. He blindly stumbles in the general direction of his dresser, fumbling clumsily with the drawers while frantically searching for the only thing that could calm him, the only thing he would allow to calm him.
His fingers finally touch the soft material and he exhales, pulling the garment free, bringing it to his face, inhaling the fading scent deeply. The soft whisper of the material against his stubble pulls a sigh from him. It was the only thing he had left, a light blue sweater which had seen better days and a handful of bittersweet memories which seemed to creep up on him at the most inopportune times.
He inhales again and stumbles backwards to sit on his hastily made bed, cracking his eyes open and catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror.
Fuck. I look like death, he thinks sourly to himself, noting his pale clammy skin and the bags under his eyes with a hint of disgust. He needed to get a handle on this and quickly. If he was going to be on the same team as you, he couldn’t descend into a panicky mess every time he had an interaction with you. He needed to man up and focus on what was important.
Reyna. The light of his life, the only good thing to come out of this mess, the only person who offered him hope, who kept him grounded. She needed him, depended on him and he would gouge out his eyes with a rusty spoon before he let her down. She deserved better.
He exhales loudly, running his hand through his sweaty hair. So much had happened in the last two years, so much pain. He had fought so hard to give her a halfway normal life, to be the father she deserved but fuck was he tired. The kind of exhausted that makes you feel like you have lead in your bones, like every step had you wading through quicksand, a constant uphill battle.
He felt like Sisyphus, pushing the boulder up the hill every day only to watch it come tumbling down again. Two years he had struggled to get back up again, and it was all falling down around him. The sense of peace he had worked so hard to build for himself and his daughter was crashing down. He had nearly convinced himself that the last couple of years hadn’t happen, that it was all something his addled brain had cooked up, a terrible nightmare doused in your tears and Ivanna’s screams.
Ivanna. The familiar ball of resentment flares in his chest, the torment she had inflicted upon him as fresh as the day she died. The hell that was their relationship was over, but it remained ever present in his heart, scarring his mind beyond what he thought it could be.
She had been a fraud, a liar. She’d sucked the life right out of him and left him a shriveled husk.
Don’t think about it, he chastises himself, shaking his head from side to side, trying to dislodge the melancholy which had suddenly descended on him.
Throwing the sweater over a chair, he vowed to do the right thing and keep things professional, no matter how intensely happy he felt in your presence again. The memories of his betrayal still burned brightly in your eyes. He could see it in the way you stiffened when his fingers twitched, your entire body ready to spring if he moved wrong. The hot anger that laced your tone as you spat Ivanna’s name, demanding to not be around her. The worst was the look on your face when he mentioned Reyna, the mask of indifference had slipped for a second, and he could see the naked pain that lurked beneath the surface, the terrible longing you held.
It shattered him on the spot, regret and hate for himself had filled his very soul. He had wanted nothing more than to pull you into is arms, promise that it would all be okay, that you didn’t have to hurt anymore, but before he could act the mask had reappeared, cutting you off from him. Your walls could withstand the longest of sieges, and there was no way he was breaking them down. He didn’t know if he should even try.
That was entire different can of worms he was apprehensive about opening.
Because Bucky Barnes, fearsome Winter Soldier, master of three am diaper changes and baby feedings was still, undeniably, ass over teakettle for you.
He grits his teeth in frustration, shedding his sweaty shirt and shoes as he enters the bathroom. His pants soon follow, and he steps under the scalding spray of the shower.
Focus on what’s important, Barnes, he reminds himself. Focus on Reyna.
He repeats his daughters name in his head, over and over, salty tears mingling with water, his body relaxing as he permits himself to cry. For you, for Ivanna, and maybe, just a little, for himself and the life he was certain he could never have.