A/N: Alright this is for immathrowabrickatyou who requested a story with Bucky Barnes and the line ‘Do you..well…I mean… I could give you a massage?’ Hopefully it’s what they were looking for. Enjoy.
The man who can’t be moved, and the one time he did
You were sitting in the living room of the Tower when the Avengers roll in from their last mission with Bucky in tow, he wasn’t an Avenger yet. They had just returned from a mission in Europe preventing some sort of nuclear attack or stopping some sorta of civil war from breaking out, you couldn’t remember which. You were suppose to tag along, but they had thought it would be better idea if you stayed at the Tower and relay any information as it came in. The first few hours was spent delivering the enemy combatants location to the team, but that only lasted so long before the enemy realized they were under attack and retaliated. Then your job was done and you could relax, or try too. You never could relax when the Avengers were away on dangerous missions, always worrying about who would get back injured.
They all looked to be back in one piece, or as much as one piece as they could be after fighting. The important thing was nobody was actively bleeding on the carpet and in need of medical attention. It always felt like someone was whisked off to medical the minute the quinjet landed. It was a nice change to not have to worry about the condition of your team.
“See you’re all back safe and sound.” You state, not bothering to look up from your book.
Tony waltzes over to where you’re sitting and pretends to be wounded by your words. “I thought you’d be more excited about our safe return. Why aren’t you throwing yourself in our arms?” Tony exclaims.
“I see you’re back in one piece Tony.”
“Miss me?” he asks plopping down on the couch next to you.
You roll you eyes at him and turn the page in you book, despite the fact you hadn’t read it.
“I’m hurt.” Tony says with a pout.
“Come on Tony, leave the poor girl alone.” Steve finally pipes in, knowing that Tony was being over dramatic, as usual.
You flash the Captain a grateful smile for stepping in. Steve gives you a slight nod at the thanks and continues to watch Tony, waiting for him to cross the line. Steve noticed the look of murder that briefly crosses your face earlier and tried to defuse the situation as much as possible. He didn’t want to deal with an argument between you two.
“Don’t you have a suit to repair?” you ask.
Tony shrugs his shoulders and gets up from the couch as he grabs Bruce on his way out. Tony steers Bruce to the lab to help him add some new modification to the Iron Man suit and talk about this new invention he had floating in his head, that Tony thought would be a good idea to make. Clint and Nat had disappeared the moment they got back, probably to decompress and get ready for the next mission that would come up sooner than expected, leaving just you, Bucky, and Steve.
“Want anything?” Steve asks as he heads toward the kitchen, hungry from the mission. You shake your head no and soon you’re alone with Bucky.
You watch the Winter Soldier take the seat opposite you and notice how tense he looked. He slowly rolls his shoulders trying to relax, but finding it hard to do after such a stressful mission. regard the soldier next to you and wondered if he was truly okay with everything that’s happened to him the last couple months.
Nobody talked about Bucky’s conditions, it was as if the topic was voodoo or something. The doctors didn’t disclose any information regarding the Soldier except that he was mission ready. They never mentioned his mental health, to them it wasn’t important. They just wanted another soldier to fight their battles, who cares how he fares mentally.
You didn’t agree with the way they treated Bucky. It was as if they thought he was expendable, like the could get ten more Winter Soldiers. Just thinking about all the ways Bucky was treated made your blood boil and the sudden urge to beat something.
“Something wrong?” Bucky asks, his voice low, startling you.
“No… I’m just wondering how you’re doing.” You answer truthfully.
You watch Bucky, noticing the shift in his body at being asked directly how he was feeling. “How’s the shoulder?”
He fixes you with a look that asks how should it feel and instantly feel yourself blush. Right, lets not mention that again.
“What I meant was… um… do you… well… I mean… I could give you a massage.” You stutter, suddenly feeling stupid for asking.
Bucky stares at you, a bit puzzled as why you’d want to help him, it wasn’t like he’s done anything for you before.
“Why?” he asks confused.
“Because you look like you need some TLC.”
He gives you a confused look, right still learning idioms.
“Allow me to take care of you… please?” you plead.
He watches you for a second, looking for an ulterior motive, but finds none. You look genuinely concerned for him, something he’s not used to seeing. You give Bucky a small smile when you notice him staring and tuck a loose strand of hair behind your ear, a nervous habit you hadn’t managed to break yet.
You slowly walk over to him, waiting for him to object, when none came you started to massage his shoulders, good and bad. You wouldn’t call the metal shoulder bad, but it definitely looked like it hurt, so you made sure to be extra careful with it.
Bucky was startled by how tender and gently you were being, he wasn’t use to that. All Hydra Agents treated him like a weapon, tossing him here, pulling him there and his arm was repaired with as much care as an underpaid mechanic. Even at the Tower, he wasn’t cared for with as much love. The Shield Agents were better than Hydra and treated him like an actual person, but they were always withdrawn, only there to repair his arm and be done with him.
You took your time massaging each shoulder, you were harder on the non metal arm and felt the tension slowly leave his body before working on the other one. The Soldier was shocked when your nimble fingers touched the cool metal like many before, but unlike the others you didn’t flinch. It was as if you didn’t notice the difference.
You give Bucky a soft tap on the shoulder signalling you were done and made to get up when he suddenly grabs your hand in his.
You stare at the Winter Soldier in front of you and notice, for the first time, how lost and alone he looks. It breaks your heart, knowing he’s trying to be the man Steve remembers and the soldier Shield needs. It was as if two people were fighting for control of one body, only to end up ripping it apart.
You smile at Bucky and squeeze his hand reassuringly, hoping he knew you were here for him.
“Thank you.” he mumbles, the word foreign for his tongue, never needing to use them before.
He doesn’t let go off your hand though so you pick up your discarded book and sit next to him, the silence wrapping around you like a warm cocoon. The two of you enjoy each other company, the Winter soldier, the most deadly assassin, with the gentlest of souls, and the sad ballerina, the perfect pair.