The Number Three
Word Count: 1,784
Request: A bucky imagine where Bucky is ready to start his life over agin in this new world. When he gets to his new apartment he meets his neighbors, the reader. The reader lives just across the hall from him and loves antics and old stuff. She doesn’t know who he is, and she wouldn’t care anyway.
Author’s Note: So my reason for my unprecedented absence is that no one in my family decided to tell me that we were changing internet thingy’s which meant the internet got turned off on Tuesday and we haven’t got the new one yet. Thankfully I’m house sitting for my sister from today till Monday, so hopefully we’ll go back to getting updates regularly. Again, I’m very sorry to those that have had to wait longer for their requests just bear with me! Also, I just want to say I’m French so my English is a tad bit rubbish, I moved to England last year so I think I’m getting the hang of it but I still worry. So if I’m using a word wrong, please do tell me it so I can improve myself!
You’d never really favoured the number three, it wasn’t until a year ago when the number became more significant than the amount of sugar you’d have in your coffee. Now the number of three equated to the number of times you met James Buchanan Barnes before you fell in love with him, this is not including the many time you’d say hello when passing him in the hallway. Now that you were dating, people often asked you how it all started, and in reply you always answer back with the number three.
The first time you met him was when you were walking up to get to your apartment, he lived the floor below you but this was your first time seeing him, leading you to believe he was just moving in. This was made more obvious by the three boxes which he had placed beside him.
Your introduction to him was very off putting to say the least; he was kicking at the already battered door to his apartment, mumbling obscenities under his breath. It was when he positioned himself to go break the door down that you made him aware of your presence.
“You don’t want to do that,” you said, moving away from the staircase you’d been standing on for the past five minutes. He had watched you with an intense stare as you began to unlock his door using a bobby pin you’d taken out from your hair, it had made you feel very awkward and caused you to fumble quite a lot when trying to rush the process. “If you were to break down the door you’d be more susceptible to break ns, and they happen more than you’d probably like to think.”
The only reason you were trying to explain why you were helping him was so that you could fill the silence, he’d just been staring at you, analysing every movement you made and gauging whether you were friend or foe.
Eventually there was a clicking sound which signalled that you’d managed to unlock the door, he didn’t look pleased though. In fact, as far as you were aware by that point, you thought he was one of those people with a permanent frown on their faces. “Your welcome,” you sassed bravely, crossing your arms in front of your body.
What surprised you most about your first encounter was that he seemed to make this sound that was somewhere between a laugh and a scoff. Nowadays you’d learned to appreciate his laugh, it was nice to hear and (as cliché as it sounds) his laugh was pretty much music to your ears. But this sound, it made rage boil in your belly. “You’re telling me that I should be concerned about people trying to break into my apartment, as you break into my apartment.”
He made a good point, now you know that. But back then, well, to you in that moment anything he said was wrong because he was being rude. “Oh, that,” you shrugged your shoulders, “I doubt you have anything of interest to me. And the only reason I know how to do that is because I once got really into spy movies. Nothing to do with a criminal background.” You were oversharing, you know that, but he made you both nervous and angry which just didn’t sit well with you. If you were to describe yourself, you’d use the word wimp, you were a pacifist and absolutely hated confrontation, so to get through moments like these you just talked. Talking was your weapon. “Though I have stolen something before,” he raised an eyebrow at your confession, though now you think back to it, he was probably confused why you were telling him all of this. “When I was about five I stole a crème egg from a shop, I’ve never been back since.”
You finally managed to reign in your words, stopping yourself from sharing any more personal details to this stranger. A moment had passed where he was just blinking at you, then he proceeded to fill the silence with a ‘right’, turning away to go to the boxes. You asked if he needed help carrying the boxes into his apartment but he lifted all three as though they weighed nothing, making you think they were just filled with feathers. “Nope,” he mumbled to your question, entering his apartment and slamming the door on your face.
The second time you met him was a little nicer. You’d been walking up those same stairs, only this time you were the one carrying too many boxes, and you didn’t have that man’s super soldier powers to help you. Or at least, not until he went to move down the same staircase you were trying (And failing) to walk up. Being ever the hero, he took all of the boxes off of you and helped you carry them to your room, even though you were repeatedly telling him that you didn’t need his help.
He helped you carry the boxes into your apartment which brought you a great deal of anxiety as you never invited anyone into your apartment, let alone men. It was what you liked to call an ‘organised mess’, and everything inside of it was an antique. The bed, the chairs, the TV (which you often wanted to replace, but couldn’t because of your emotional attachment, you loved the darn thing no matter how many times it decided to break on you).
Once he’d placed the boxes down you hadn’t expected him to stick around and analyse everything in your room, particularly your vintage Captain America card set. “Those were hard to find,” you spoke up, once more feeling discomfort thanks to the silence, “not as hard to find as all these first edition books. Though they were a deal, even if most of them aren’t popular, most of these first editions were the only ones sold because the stories weren’t popular enough. But that makes them more special, and unique. I just like antiques, a lot, if you can’t tell.” You inhaled a deep breath of air, realising you had yet to even breathe. “Sorry, I’m babbling, ignore me.”
Bucky finally looked up, “no,” he spoke up, “I think it’s extraordinary.”
His words made your heart do flips, no one has ever called your collection extraordinary. Foolish sometimes, a waste of money quite often, but never extraordinary. You blushed, you couldn’t help it, but you didn’t want him to notice and so you moved to explain different items. It started out with just the Captain America memorabilia but then you moved onto other things. He ended up staying throughout the entire might, listening intensely to everything you had to say about every item, as though they had some significance to him.
It was then when you began to realise that he was different to most men, that he had a remarkable past that you couldn’t fully understand.
The third and final time when you encountered him changed your view of him completely, you’d already decided from the second encounter that he wasn’t an angry, rage-fuelled moron. But it was this third encounter that made you realise that he was actually a white knight, quite a charming one.
It was because of the ruffians that you had warned Bucky about the first time you’d met him, they’d stormed into your apartment and demanded that you give them whatever antiques you had which would give them the most money. You refused of course, these antiques were your life, and they’d literally have to pry them from your cold dead hands as far as you were concerned. So they attacked you, you screamed, and thankfully Bucky heard.
He came storming upstairs, and though you were happy to see him there, you were shocked by his appearance. You’d apparently caught him at a bad time as he was only wearing pants, revealing his chiselled chest and, more importantly, his metal arm.
Bucky dealt with the miscreants easily, pulling them away from you and beating them into a pulp. Lucky for them, they had enough intelligence to realise this was a losing battle and so they ran off in a flurry. Your hero yelled more threatening words at them, making sure they knew never to comeback as you were protected.
Once they were gone he kneeled down on the floor beside you, “are you okay?” You could only blink at him; the situation was still a little too difficult for you to comprehend. Your eyes fell down to his arm and this made him aware of his nakedness. “I should go.” He said, rushing to get up and leave but before he could do that your hand shot out, touching the metal arm. It was cold.
“Please don’t go,” the words rushed out of your lips before your thoughts could even catch them, “you just saved me from those bastards, and you like antiques. I don’t care about your arm, if you want to tell me, feel free. But I don’t care about that.” This seemed to settle his nerves and he once again returned, touching your words a little too intimately, not that you minded by that point.
Because it was by that point that you realised you liked him, a lot. And you didn’t care if you’d only had three encounters; you planned from that day forth to have many more encounters.