I wish tumblr hadn't gotten rid of replies and that I could figure out how to get them back on mobile because your tags on your last post made me laugh ridiculously. Hands up for the seasonal depression! At least there's imagining our favorite characters doing hilarious things.
*bangs fists on table* HIJINKS! HIJINKS!
Here be hijinks:
This time Clint spotted him, and he knew it was because Buc– Barnes wanted him to. (You couldn’t call a grown man Bucky without his express permission, and that had pretty expressly not been granted.)
He made his way over to the other sniper’s position as the action shifted to more the kind of thing the pencil pushers handled. Barnes was packed up and ready to vanish, but obviously waited for him. “Barton,” he said, sitting on his rifle case.
“Nice shootin’,” Clint said.
“Not too shabby, yourself,” Barnes said.
“Comin’ from you that means somethin’,” Clint said.
Barnes looked confused a moment, then laughed. “From the Winter Soldier?”
“Naw,” Clint said, “from Bucky Barnes! You don’t figure a freakshow of a kid like me, in the Army the day I was plausibly legal straight off a literal circus sideshow sharpshooting act, didn’t fuckin’ idolize the US Army’s first Special Forces sniper?”
Barnes made a funny face, and rocked from one foot to the other, shoulders curled in a little. “I ain’t that famous,” he said.
“To nerds, you are,” Clint said, “and I was a fuckin’ nerd.” He looked over his shoulder. “You know I never told anybody this but my prize possession for a big chunk of later in my childhood than I like to admit was a Bucky Bear doll.”
Barnes frowned. “A what?”
It dawned slowly on Clint that Barnes’s cultural knowledge came largely from recent in-depth perusal of the Internet, and Bucky Bears were very much a phenomenon of a certain era, and may not have been well-represented in Barnes’s research. “Oh holy shit,” he said, “have you not– do you not know about Bucky Bear?”
“No,” Barnes said slowly, and went for a– Clint’s reflexes had him reacting before he realized that duh, the guy was going for his fucking phone. Of course he had a smartphone, literally everyone in the world besides Clint did. They blinked at one another, and Barnes cracked a rueful half-smile. “You been in a long time,” he said, and pulled his phone the rest of the way out.
Clint swallowed, throat dry. He usually had that shit a little more under control. Maybe he wasn’t quite as sanguine about this guy as he’d thought. “Not as long as you,” he said.
“Fair point,” Barnes said. He unlocked the phone’s screen. “Bucky… bear like the animal, or was this some kind of freaky–”
“Bare,” Clint said. “Ew! No! Bear like the animal. I was a kid, Jesus.”
Barnes shrugged, and typed it in. “Bucky… Bear. What the fuck is that?”
“They were, I dunno, everybody had ‘em,” Clint said.
Barnes poked at the screen, then turned the phone sideways, and screwed up his face. “Bucky– they’re not named– why are they called that?”
“Hit the Webipedia link,” Clint said, “I bet it explains.”
Barnes did so. “Why the fuck,” he said. “Why would they name a toy after me? Wait who the fuck– what is that thing?”
“Ohhhh,” Clint said. “You didn’t– weren’t the comic books out when you were, y’know, alive?”
“Comic books?” Barnes raised his head and fixed Clint with a look. “About– who the fuck is the twink in tights? Who the fuck wears tights and a mask to a warzone?” His voice had risen to an unexpectedly high pitch. “What the fuck!”
“Natasha didn’t tell ya, huh,” Clint said, utterly delighted.
“Nobody told me!” Bucky scrolled furiously. “How the fuck did I– how did I not know this?”
“It’s a marvel,” Clint said. “I thought you had friends.”
“Hang on,” Bucky said, “this– I mean, it’s fucking awful, but it’s too late for me to be mad. Hang on, you’re going to record a reaction video with me.”
“A what?” Clint had done tons of selfies, he was good at them, so he recognized the posture as Bucky opened the camera app and held out his arm.
“So this guy,” Bucky said. “This guy. He says to me, you know, I used to be a big Bucky Barnes fan, I had a Bucky Bear doll when I was a kid. Right? This seems reasonable to all of you, right?”
“Well,” Clint said, utterly unselfconscious on camera because why the fuck not, the Winter Soldier was recording a video with him. “Right. What kid didn’t have a Bucky Bear doll?”
“Right?” Barnes said. “Only I don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about.”
“So I say to him,” Clint said, catching on and talking to the camera, “I say you know, a Bucky Bear. Like… didn’t anybody tell you about Bucky Bears?”
“No!” Barnes said. “Nobody fucking told me about Bucky Bears! So I’m like what the fuck. So I looked it up, just now, and– how did nobody fucking tell me about this? How did I not know that they– so I fucking died, right, in a fucking war, and they decided to use my name and slap it on some kind of gay porn wet-dream twink, which– I mean, I’m flattered, but– tights! They put him in tights!”
“All the best people went through a tights phase,” Clint said sincerely.
Barnes paused his diatribe and glanced over at him. “I think I gotta look you up in more depth,” he said. “I ain’t seen no tights.”
“Oh,” Clint said, “it’s– it was brief.”
“Circus sideshow act, you said?” Barnes looked sort of sly.
“Well,” Clint said. “I mean, yes.”
“There were definitely tights in that,” Barnes said. “I gotta find pictures.” He looked straight into the camera. “I can say this with reasonable confidence– okay, as reasonable as anyone with as many lobotomy scars as I got can say– I never ever had to wear tights. None of my uniforms– and not even for fun. Steve, now, Steve wore tights. But I never fuckin’ did, okay. I never wore tights. Maybe I’ll go find some now, because now I’m curious, but I promise you, I definitely did not wear tights to a fuckin’ war. Okay? So what the fuck, guys?”
“They’re easier to draw,” Clint said, a little meditatively.
“They’re– for the comic books, it’s easier to draw just– nude models, basically, and then you put some lines on, and whammo you got a guy in tights, instead of having to put in reasonably convincing folds and stuff for bulkier clothing.” Clint shrugged.
“We got ourselves a comic books scholar here,” Bucky said. “I’m glad, because otherwise I woulda just thought everyone lost their minds. But a bear! Why a bear!”
“Oh,” Clint said, “that was from the TV show.”
There was a moment’s dead silence, and then Barnes turned his head slightly. “TV show,” he said.
“Saturday morning cartoons,” Clint tried. There was no response. “Fuck! Really? You don’t know about that?”
“I don’t know about that,” Barnes said.
“Aw fuck,” Clint said. “They made the comics into a TV show and you were a bear!”
“I was a bear,” Barnes repeated to the camera. “I was a fuckin’ bear. Why?”
“I don’t know why!” Clint said. “I just– I watched it, okay? I had a real shitty childhood and I was basically raised by the TV and the Justice Friends were the only actual example I ever had of rightness and good in my tiny world, okay? And I loved Bucky Bear. Christ, this is worse than the time my ex-wife made me try therapy.”
“Was anybody else an animal?” Barnes asked, grimacing.
“No,” Clint said, a little sullen, though he was putting it on and knew that showed. “Just you. You were… everyone else was a kid, and you were Steve’s toy bear.”
“I could talk, though,” Barnes said.
“Hm? Oh, no,” Clint said, “you didn’t talk, you were a toy. You– mostly Steve just carried you around, and lost you and had to go find you and stuff. You were kind of, I think in his imagination you were real but as far as the actual reality of the show, you were just a stuffed animal.”
Barnes stared at him, then turned back to the camera. “That’s fucked-up,” he said. “That’s fucked-up.”