It is a little known fact that various frightening creatures of the OMGARRRGH™ variety have a tendency to look upon one Steven Grant Rogers and think: LOVE.
This was discovered by the Avengers when they were sent in to fight off a swarm of dangerous, fanged Asgardian critters that were inadvertently let loose upon New York - Tony called ‘em Toothy Tribbles - and they all took one look at Steve and descended upon him for what would be a Demand for Pettings.
Thor was terribly amused at this. But it was quite useful to have Steve’s help in herding the Toothy Tribbles back to Asgard where they belonged.
This was not the first or the last time this would happen.
“Aw, it’s a motherfucking T-rex!!!” was Clint’s commentary when the team was sent in to deal with the Jurassic World disaster.
Alas, Steve could not keep his new dinosaur buddy as a pet. Then again, it wasn’t as if one could fit a T-rex in his Brooklyn apartment. The Motherfuckin’ T-Rex™ was glad to have Steve visit her on a semi-regular basis though.
“It’s like he’s a Disney Princess, only his critters have a lot more fangs and teeth,” was Tony’s observation.
Steve didn’t pay any attention to that, being as Thor brought him an actual baby Night Fury for a companion.
“He is perfectly house trained and I suspect that you are in need of companionship as well, my friend,” Thor said kindly.
Thor had always been wiser than anyone else gave him credit for. Having Chester around, especially after another nightmare of failing to save Bucky on that train, certainly helped.
So really, nobody should have been surprised at what happened next.
Natasha had been the one to bring in the intel that HYDRA was still around and had basically reactivated its greatest asset in order to kill their oldest and deadliest enemy.
The problem with that was that apparently after the Winter Soldier was given his marching orders, he went rogue, killed his handlers and disappeared.
It was perfectly understandable that this would make SHIELD very, very nervous.
In a perfect world, Steve Rogers would already be in a safehouse with Chester the Night Fury and Natasha and Clint would be on the lookout for one scary apparently no longer brainwashed Russian assassin.
Except that Steve, of course, wasn’t going to stand for that and thus it was that Chester pounced on him so that Steve could go outside and find a couple of trussed up HYDRA goons on his doorstep.
There was a note. It read: “Watch out for your next door neighbors, Солнышко."
Natasha went pink when she read that and refused to translate the Russian bit for Steve.
Steve resolved to learn Russian at the soonest possible opportunity.
The next time the Avengers were assembled to fight against the Mad Scientist and his Doombots of the Week™, Steve found an apparently friendly sniper watching his six who was definitely not Clint Barton.
Also, there was a soft, Russian-accented voice on what should be a secure frequency. "Careful as you go, Солнышко.”
The voice was oddly familiar.
Natasha decided that if she was going to teach Steve how to speak Russian, she was going to break out the good vodka.
She was delighted to find out that although Steve couldn’t actually get drunk from it, he loved the vodka.
Also Natasha had the gigglefits once Steve figured out what “Солнышко” actually meant.
HYDRA goons beaten up and tied down started appearing regularly on his doorstep. Along with intel pretty much detailing what happened to the Winter Soldier over the course of what was apparently several decades.
It made Steve’s blood boil. No one deserved to have their humanity stripped away like that.
Chester was happy to toast a few of the HYDRA goons before SHIELD came to pick them up.
“Not that I’m knocking this but I mean, the courting thing usually involves roses and chocolates, not… uh…. goon delivery,” was Sam Wilson’s commentary.
“Personally, I think he’s being really sweet,” was Natasha’s response.
Eventually, the Winter Soldier’s “masked, brooding presence” (thank you, Tony) became a regular fixture on their missions. He was perfectly happy to fight at Steve’s side or to cover him with what was apparently the most beautiful sniper rifle known to man, but he would always run off once the mission was done.
“Kind of like Tuxedo Mask, only he’s got a metal arm and no roses,” was Tony’s observation.
Everyone stared at him.
“I had a Sailor Moon phase, sue me,” Tony mumbled.
Steve Rogers was not an idiot. Although names were carefully redacted from the files that the Winter Soldier sent him, he knew how to put two and two together.
Chester comforted him with Night Fury purring when Steve figured it all out.
Apparently, the Soldier had him under surveillance too, because there was a packet of Steve’s favorite cookies and a bunch of red roses the next time he left his regular delivery of HYDRA goons on Steve’s doorstep. Also, there was a note:
“Why are you crying, Солнышко?”
Steve posted a note and left it on his front door, hoping for the best. It read:
“Come home, A rúnsearc.”
A few nights later, Steve came back to his apartment to find Chester curled up on the couch, with his head on the lap of one bemused Winter Soldier.
Who wasn’t wearing his mask.
There were tears in those familiar gray-blue eyes as he said, “I’m home, Солнышко.”
There were a few more things that were going to be said but Steve had his priorities in order. First, he marched on over so he could kiss the stupid out of James Buchanan Barnes. Secondly, endearments and other love words were exchanged, things that had been left unsaid for the past seventy years.
There were other things that needed to be done, since Steve was going to insist that he would come along on Bucky’s ongoing quest to eradicate HYDRA for what they’d done to him, but they’d already gotten the most important things sorted out.
Bucky was home.
Sunshine and Critters, a Winter Soldier Alternate Universe ficlet
Izaya hopped off the top of the building nearly crashing into a young woman interrupting his flight from that monster, Shizu-chan. The information broker did not have to look to see that the female was both confused and alarmed at the sudden jump and appearance of a strange looking Japanese male who was carrying a knife with him.
Izaya smirked at her and lifted the pocket knife in a mock salute. “I suggest you get out of the way if you don’t want to get hurt. A young lady such as you should not be in this dangerous part of town.” @thereluctantherosrose