It look like Snafu’s going to put his arm around Eugene’s shoulder but then Eugene catches him mid arm-deployment. Snafu just laughs and is like ‘what? totally normal arm movement right here. I wasn’t gonna do shit. laugh it off, Snafu.’ and Eugene just looks really confused for a second like 'was he about to put his arm around me?’
A standalone object, no matter how well designed, has limited potential for new weirdness. A connected object, one that is a node in a network that interacts in some way with other nodes, can give birth to a hundred unique relationships that it never could do while unconnected. Out of this tangle of possible links come myriad new niches for innovations and interactions.
Hey guys! I am so excited to share some of my new fics with you guys! WHOO! This is for @decemberftw who requested a fic based on the song I Wanna Be Yours by the Arctic Monkeys I hope you like it! This is the first time I’ve done anything someone has requested, so I hope it lives up to what you wanted. :) Thanks for being a wonderful follower! <3 Happy Sunday!!
Warnings: wittle bit of angst, fluff, sarcastic reader in a funny way, language like kind of not really
Today was the third Friday of the month. That could only mean one thing.
“MOVIE NIGHT WITH MAH BOYEEEEEEEZ!” You howled as you ran through the kitchen and crash landed on the couch, just missing Steve who was already lounging on the cushions.
“(Y/N), please, I’m begging you to stop talking like that.” Steve groaned.
“Steve, if you’re gonna call yourself my friend then you have to deal with every side of me, including the 90′s rapper side that makes the occasional appearance.”
He chuckled and shook his head while he handed you the remote to pick tonight’s movie. You glanced down at the clock and furrowed your brows.
“Hey, where’s Buck? It’s nine on the dot, he should be here.”
“He didn’t text you? He’s not coming,” Steve said cautiously.
“Not coming?” Your finger froze on the button it was about to push. “What do you mean he’s not coming? It’s our movie night.”
“Well, he’s with a girl, (Y/N), it is Friday night.” His defense made you snarl, but you took a deep breath to try and calm yourself.
“Okay, I’m gonna ignore that last statement and pretend you didn’t just disrespect our movie night.”
Steve snorted at you. You rocked in your seat to face him, tucking your feet under you and strangling a pillow in your lap. “Which girl is it now? Dot?”
“No. Uh, he said her name was…”
“Oh is it, umm, what’s her freaking name…” you snapped your fingers in the air until you remembered the blonde who only seemed to be able to access about 12% of her brain. “Kelly?”
“Uh-uh,” he declined.
“The one who lives down on Ferry St.?”
“The one who works with Sharon?” You asked.
“That’s Kelly,” Steve chuckled.
“Jesus, I can’t keep ‘em all straight,” you shouted, completely exasperated and throwing yourself down on the couch.
“I think this is a new one anyway. He didn’t say much about her.”
“He never does.” You grumbled as you picked the first movie that popped up on the screen.
Before the opening credits ended you texted Bucky.
How dare you skip out on movie night.
You placed the phone on the coffee table and made yourself comfy as you watched the set up of the action movie you’d seen a couple times before.
A few minutes later your phone lit up with the most unflattering picture of Bucky, meaning he had texted you back. You sat up so quickly, the couch creaked. Steve spotted Bucky’s face on the screen before you could yank it out of his sight.
“(Y/N), he’s on a date, leave him alone.”
“Uh, I highly doubt it’s a traditional date, Steve,” you mumbled as you unlocked your phone and read the message.
I know, I’m sorry. I could bring her over and we could all watch something?
You growled aloud and shot him back a text.
Absolutely not. No randos at movie night.
You tossed your phone on the couch next to you and tried to focus on the movie. A message lit the screen again and you looked down without unlocking it.
You’re a piece of work, (Y/N).
You sighed and burritoed yourself in a blanket, watching the explosions and gunfire on the television.
“What did he say?” Steve asked you once the violent scene had quieted down.
“He apologized,” you grumbled.
Steve sighed. “It’s harder than you thought it would be isn’t it?”
The confused look you gave him made it clear he would have to elaborate.
“To live with us and hide how you feel.”
You shouldn’t be surprised that Steve knew about your feelings for Bucky. Steve and you had been friends for years and he knew you so well, it was like he always knew what was inside your head.
“I just- he shouldn’t be hooking up with all these girls, ya know? It’s not good for him.” You practically whispered.
Steve threw his arm around you. “He’ll figure that out.”
You sighed into his touch and leaned on his shoulder. The rest of the movie went by quietly until you both picked up and went to bed.
The next day you went to the gym to blow off some steam and by the time you got back, Bucky was finally out of bed and making some coffee. He was standing in the kitchen, his long hair pulled into a messy bun, black tank top clinging to his chest and shoulders above thin, grey sweatpants. He was a sight to behold if you weren’t so angry with him for bailing on you and Steve the night before.
“Good morning,” he said sleepily, sensing your presence as he focused on pouring his drink.
“Morning,” you answered quietly as you squeezed by his large body to grab a plum from the bowl on the other side of the counter. You bit into it as silence hung in the air.
Bucky finally cleared his throat. “How was the movie night?”
“Great,” you shortly declared as you reached to the top cupboard for a glass. Bucky’s eyes fell to your waist as your workout tank rose off your hips and your pale skin peeked out for a moment. You closed the cupboard with a slam and asked, “How was your night?”
“Fine,” he said, side stepping out of your way as you filled the glass with water.
“So you’ll be moving on rather quickly then.”
He sputtered and coughed as he choked on his sip of coffee. “What?”
“If your night was only fine, I’m sure you dumped her this morning and you’ll be moving on to someone new tonight, right?” you spat before taking a sip of your water, grabbing a napkin for your plum and heading out of the kitchen.
“Hey! You can’t just say something like that and then walk away,” he said, grabbing your elbow and spinning you around.
“Well, it’s true, isn’t it?”
“That-that’s none of your business,” he stammered. When you scoffed, it sent him over the edge. “Is this all because I missed your stupid movie night?” he shouted.
“Well, that was quite the cherry on top, Buck! Since when are your hookups more important than me and Steve?”
“They’re not just hookups, (Y/N)! What kind of a guy do you think I am?” He yelled, ripping his fingers through his long hair.
“I don’t even know anymore! All the sudden you’re going through girls faster than you go through freaking underwear! What the hell happened to you? What are you trying to make up for?”
He pressed his lips together and refused to answer you. You shook your head and put your glass and plum down on the counter with a bang and stalked out of the room.
“(Y/N)!” he called after you.
You spun around in the doorway. “What, Buck? What do you want?”
“I wanna be yours.” It was soft like a prayer, but you were sure you heard it.
His words pulled at you, made your hands fall to your sides from their strong position on your hips, your jaw relaxed from its clenched position, the air pulled right from your lungs. But your heart soared as he continued.
“I really care about you, (Y/N). I try to be everything that you need- I try to give you everything you deserve, but I know I’m-Jesus you’re way out of my league and I know that, but I just- I don’t know.” The words flew out of his mouth like they were on fire. When he ran out of steam he sighed and stared at his bare feet on the kitchen floor.
“Bucky-” you started but he interrupted you.
“Ju-just forget it, okay?” He mumbled like a kicked puppy. With his head down, he crossed in front of you and got out of the kitchen as fast as he could before you could stop him.
The next day you laid out on your bed waiting for the sign from F.R.I.D.A.Y., but it never came.
Later that night you asked her, “F.R.I.D.A.Y., do you remember the plan?”
“Yes, Miss (Y/L/N). But Mr. Barnes hasn’t left his room today.”
“He hasn’t?” you knew an AI couldn’t lie, but you were amazed at her answer. Maybe something else was bothering him or he was busy with paperwork from missions, he always let that stiff pile up. Surely he wasn’t that upset about what happened between you two in the kitchen yesterday.
You waited for her signal for hours before you finally let yourself fall asleep. He would have to come out sometime, you thought.
F.R.I.D.A.Y.’s voice startled you when she woke you up in the middle of the night. “Miss (Y/L/N), Mr. Barnes is in the kitchen.”
You rolled over and sat up too quickly, your head reeling from your sudden movement. You grumbled, “What time is it?” and though you weren’t really expecting an answer, the AI announced that it was 3AM.
Throwing a sweatshirt over your head you asked F.R.I.D.A.Y. to follow through with her part of the plan. “This better freaking work,” you mumbled in a sleepy fog.
The elevator doors opened and butterflies flooded your stomach when you heard the slow guitar strums coming from the speakers in the kitchen. You sneaked down the hall and peeked your head around the door frame and you couldn’t help but giggle at what you saw.
Bucky was frantically running around the joined kitchen and living room, pressing just about every button on every remote to try and turn the loud music off.
You swallowed your fear and a little bit of your pride and stepped into the dim light in front of the refrigerator. You took a deep breath and started to sing softly to the song and you ignored the heat running through your system when Bucky froze in his pace and stared at you.
“I wanna be your vacuum cleaner, breathing in your dust. I wanna be your Ford Cortina. I will never rust. If you like-”
Your soft singing was cut off by Bucky’s chuckles. “You wanna be my what? My vacuum cleaner?”
“God, Bucky, shut up! Listen!” you shouted, holding a finger up to the speaker as the song rolled on and the most important lyrics were about to be sung. You let the record sing for you because your voice was stolen by your nerves.
“You call the shots, babe. I just wanna be yours. Secrets I have held in my heart are harder to hide than I thought.”
Bucky’s smirk fell as he listened to the lyrics booming from the speakers. When he practically ran toward you, you involuntarily took a step back and ran into the cabinets.
“Maybe I just wanna be yours, I wanna be yours, I wanna be yours,” it sang.
As the music swelled Bucky’s hands cupped your jaw and pulled your lips to his. You fervently kissed him back and when he was sure you weren’t going to run away, his hands fell to your waist and his arms wrapped tightly around your body, pulling you closer to him.
The four words repeated over and over as he wrapped himself around you and you hid from the world in his long, thick limbs. Every breath was in sync as you ran your fingers through his hair and he fisted the back of your sweatshirt in his rough hands.
The song ended seemingly as soon as it began and you pulled away from Bucky, his face still only inches from yours.
“So, you had to wake the whole team up just so you could tell me you liked me back?” He said with a smirk.
“That’s your fault for eating dinner at three in the morning.”
“I was hungry,” he said, playfully pinching the skin on your back. “And where the heck did you find this song?”
“Youtube,” you said, as if it was obvious. “Do you get it? The song’s called I Wanna Be Yours and that’s what you said to me? Do you get it? I spent a lot of time on this, Buck, please acknowledge-”
“Yes, I get it,” he groaned before stopping your sarcastic rambling with another kiss. You laughed against his lips and thanked Youtube for introducing you to the Arctic Monkeys.
Jack didn’t remember when it started- he was too young back then, far too young to remember it. He could assume it was when his mother was whisked away in the night, her light fading suddenly. He could assume it started then, but he couldn’t remember.
He knew that at some point his father picked up a bottle and never put it down, but he didn’t remember the instant that it all started. Maybe, deep down, he did, but he’d pushed it away. He didn’t need to remember it. He didn’t need to remember the father he used to have- the family he used to have. It was long gone, and it was easier to pretend he’d never had it in the first place
He remembered the money getting tighter when his father was fired after too many half drunk or hungover work days of lacking productivity. He remembered not knowing what to do. He remembered watching his father’s eyes grow sunken in. He remembered watching his cheekbones protrude against his skin, skin that had grown a layer of sweat that never faded, skin that became red and flushed and never returned to normal. Jack pretended not to see it. That was easiest.
He did remember the day he became a newsie. He was determined to help. The little money he earned he was able to control- he made sure it went towards food and clothes and fresh water and rent. He was little, he knew. Too little for this to be his job, but he took it. He’d do whatever he could to keep his small, small family together. He’d do whatever it took to save his father from himself.
For a while, his father seemed to get better. The drinking lessened, even if it never disappeared completely and he still had bad nights, but his father started working again. Odd jobs- nothing stable, but it was work and it brought in money and most of it, most of it, went to healthy things- not die hard habits. Jack was happy- but he tried not to be too happy because he’d heard the stories from the other newsies he saw. A lot of them had been in the same boat as him, once. Part of Jack was mad at himself for being thankful. He shouldn’t be happy that anyone had been through what he was going through, but the smaller part of him was happy to have people understand him. People he could talk to. The newsies- they started to quickly become like a second family to him.
An older one of the boys took Jack under his wing. The boy- Jack wasn’t sure he could really be considered a boy, he might’ve only been seventeen, but he acted way past his age- had been where Jack had. The boy- the man- told Jack about his father. The older boy’s father had been a drinker, too, he’d explained. His old man and drank himself stupid night after night till, eventually, it killed him. The older boy said it had been hard- but not as hard as it should’ve been. He said he hadn’t known his dad in years. His dad wasn’t his dad anymore when he lost him. Jack wondered if the same thing would happen to him, but he didn’t vocalize the fear. He was certain the older boy had seen his fright anyway because the boy had said to him, “I mighta lost my dad, but I think I found somethin’ that makes up for it. You don’t gotta worry.”
At the time, Jack hadn’t understood what that meant.
After a couple of years of working as a newsie to help what he could and his father finally seeming to get back on his feet, everything had seemed good again, or good enough, at least. His mother was gone, but his memories of her had faded into ghosts anyway, the pain from it was only a phantom. His father seemed to begin to feel the same way. At least, Jack had thought.
He didn’t remember the day well because, at the beginning, it had seemed like any other day. He woke up with the morning sun and ran with the other boys to the distribution center to sell papers, his father waving goodbye behind him and then getting dressed to go search for his own odd job of the day. It was just a day- a day just like any other that blurred into the days before- but not the day after.
What Jack did remember was coming home that night to an empty house, and, while he was somewhat confused, he didn’t question it. Sometimes his father’s odd jobs kept him out late. Jack figured that was the case- it happened sometimes. His father’s absence didn’t mean anything. It wasn’t a bad sign- it wasn’t an omen-
But it was.
He woke up in the morning when the sun came peering into his window. He rose from his blankets and cozy bed, the heat that had held him securely disappearing as he pulled himself from it. A faint feeling of uneasiness grew in his stomach as he ate a jam covered piece of bread, ghosting around the house and looking for signs of his father, but there weren’t any. The door was as locked as he’d left it, the pillows still in place on the couch, no jacket or hat on the stand by the door, no smells of dirt or oil or work any different than what had come in with him after Jack’s own work the day prior. Everything was in order- so why did something feel so off?
Still, he left the house and made his way to the distribution center, joining the growing group of boys with relative ease. He looked around the crowd for that familiar face- that older boy that was reminded so much of a younger version of himself in Jack- but he couldn’t find him. He watched as all the newsies heads swiveled to the board as the headline was put up.
Drunken Man Struck By Car, Dead By Morning.
Jack’s heart stopped beating for an instant. A drunken man- a drunken man could be any man. Surely… surely it wasn’t…
But he bought his papers and the picture on the front spelled it all out in a way that he could never deny. That was his father- his father that had been getting better. This shouldn’t have happened- it wasn’t supposed to happen- they were getting better- he was getting better- this shouldn’t have happened-
Jack didn’t remember when he had started crying, just that when the older boy found him, crumpled up on the curb, he was. The boy hadn’t said anything, he’d just wrapped his arms around Jack’s shoulders and squeezed him tightly. He’d let Jack shift and cry into his chest in the middle of the city sidewalk, not caring who was looking or judging.
Eventually, Jack’s sobs had softened and dried and the older boy helped him stand. He’d suggested they go somewhere private, and Jack had accepted the offer. He picked his papers up off the ground and moved them into his bag wordlessly, the older boy watching. Jack noticed the older boy didn’t have a stack of his own. He didn’t mention it.
The older boy took Jack’s wrist in his hand and lead him to a building that Jack recognized as the lodging house. He lead Jack to the side of the building and up the fire escape. There were two crates resting on the rooftop. The older boy walked ahead of Jack and sat on one of the crates, then silently patted the other one.
“I recognize that look on your face,” the older boy said. “I had the same one, once.”
Jack didn’t say anything as he sat on the crate. He looked over to the older boy and followed his line of vision out to the city scape stretching out before them.
“It’s beautiful, ain’t it?” The boy said, and Jack nodded. “I always come up here when I’m stuck up in my head. Helps me clear out my thoughts.”
There was a brief second of quiet, filled only with the far off seeming sounds of the city and Jack’s sniffles.
“Everythin’ looks so small from up here, doesn’t it?”
Jack nodded again. The older boy was silent for a moment.
“Let me tell ya somethin’, Jack. I used ta be just like youse once. I used ta feel like everythin’ that happened was my fault. Don’t deny that that’s how ya feel, alright? It’s okay to feel that way. But it ain’t true. There’s nothin’ that can be done to change the past. You gotta know that. Can you know that?”
Jack wasn’t sure he understood, but he nodded anyway. The older boy smiled.
“After you know that, you gotta believe it. I ain’t gonna ask you to right now. I hope you do some day, though. Let me tell ya somethin’. Them boys down there, they’s mine, the same way youse mine. I don’t ask ya to understand that, but it’s true. Ya lost somethin’ today, Jack. It hurts, don’t it?”
Jack nodded once more, tears stinging at the corners of his eyes again.
“It’s supposed to. But, trust me, it won’t forever. You’ll find somethin’ that makes it stop hurtin’ so bad. For me, that thing was you.”
Jack felt out of breath.
“I’m gettin’ too old to stay at the lodging house. My birthday is in two days. I’ll be too old to stay here then. When I leave, I want you to take my bed. You got that?”
“I.. I have a house ‘a my own. My father’s house.” Jack mumbled out through sniffles.
“Just know it’s open if you need it, alright? Two days.”
Jack nodded, but he didn’t understand.
Three days later, Jack was evicted. His home was seized out from under him- a last asset taken to try to pay off his father’s hospital bills. Jack didn’t understand why they’d charge him when they’d failed to save him.
When he made his way to the lodging house, he found a bed empty and already payed for with a weeks worth of reservation for “Jack Kelley.” He laughed lightly at the misspelling, but didn’t say anything about it. He never saw the older boy again.
The work distracted him from the pain at first. It was easy to forget about his father’s drunken death when he was making up headlines and holding out his small hands to catch coins from pitying ladies and handsome businessmen.
The pain of his father’s departure still flared up sometimes late at night when he laid in his bed at the lodging house. He was lonely, but he was alive. That was all he could ask for. That was all anyone could ask for. He went up to the rooftop to clear his head, silently wishing every time that the older boy would be waiting up there, ready to soothe him. He never was. He had nightmares. He was haunted by what if’s and what could’ve been’s.
What if his mother was alive? What if he’d been able to save his father? What if that car hadn’t been speeding? What if his father hadn’t been drunk? What if he’d never picked up that godforsaken bottle in the first place?
When he got caught up in his head like that he tried to remember the older boys words. Nothing could be done to change the past. He’d promised to know that, but he couldn’t get himself to believe it.
He didn’t remember when he filled the void- he just knew that at some point he did. The empty, hollow hole his father’s death had left in his chest was filled at some point by the boys in the lodging house. Boys that reminded him so much of a younger version of himself. Boys with bruises and scars and haunted eyes so much like he had had once.
Jack didn’t remember when he’d filled the void- but he could assumed it had something to do with the poor kids he saw starving on the streets and how much he wanted to save them- how much he wanted to save them. He’d filled it with the kid with glasses that was too kind for his own good, with the naive child that had a thing for gambling more than he should, with the flirt, with the tiny boy with the twisted leg, with the boy with a nature too high and mighty for a newsie and his sweet kid brother. He filled the void with love for brothers, none of them by blood, but just as important.
Jack did remember what the older boy had said to him once, that, he might’ve lost his dad, but he found something that made up for it. Jack hadn’t understood then, but he thought he understood now.