1940!Bucky X War Nurse!Reader
Warnings: Language, Blood, War, angst, ALL OF THE FLUFF
Summary: In a game of cat and mouse, both Bucky Barnes and YN YLN find love and attraction coming easy in a time that was anything but.
AN: To be added to the tag list send me a message! Also feedback, reblogs and likes encourage me to write better and faster!
May 10th, 1942
It had been a long week for Y/N. Many more injuries and illnesses had found themselves at her station, and she was able to cure both with her expertise and powers, but it left her tired and in need of a reprieve. Not only was she busy with her job, but during her downtime, it seemed wherever she looked one James Barnes would be there.
He’d be at the bar she showed up to write back to Florence (Felix had eaten one of her flower bouquets she got from a boy she had met a week or so ago), and maybe drink enough she could drain out the sounds of gunfire a few miles away. He had been at the same sand-bag station when they moved their camp closer to enemy territory— he was shirtless and she had stared hard and long enough where Victoria sent a sharp elbow to her ribs. She’d squeak in response and shovel more dirt into more sandbags, but she wouldn’t see the way Bucky had shot up at her noise and searched for her only to send a squinty smile to her back. He had also reopened his stitches on more than one occasion and had only come in when Y/N was working. He’d sit on her bed, and make up some excuse that was anything but the truth (he snuck into training and pushed himself too hard not only for his benefit, but to rip the stitches open). He would then roll his eyes when you told him it would scar, and he’d shoot back something along the lines of ‘it’s just a way I’ll be able to remember you when we go home’.
He’d tell you stories of his home in Brooklyn when you injected him once again with a local anesthetic in order to distract himself. He’d talk about his siblings and about the time they all piled on his bike and he drove them to a lake a few miles out of town, and how he would throw them all in one by one before following them in and making a splash large enough to spray them all. He’d talk about his adventures with Steve Rogers, his best friend, and how he almost always had a ‘Steve Kit’- that held instant chicken soup, medicine, and an inhaler since the smaller man was almost always sick. He’d talk about his friends’ unrelenting courage that often ended both of them up either bloodied or being scolded by Steve’s mother, Sarah. He’d talk about the time where he taught Steve how to swing dance by letting the smaller man step on his toes and follow his lead.
“You dance?” She stopped pulling the thread, and the way her eyes sparkled made his heart skip in his chest. She had developed a nick for making his heart dance, and he was almost sure she knew he was doing— his neck and ears would turn red whenever she looked at him, and he was more often than not shirtless around her leaving little cover for the blush.
“I do, and in my most humble opinion I’m one of the best around.” He smirked, and she sat up straighter and almost eagerly.
“You seem pretty confident in yourself, Tough Guy.” She smiled and hooked his skin for one final stitch. Her lashes fanned over her cheeks, and it took all of him to not brush the back of his knuckle on her face.
“Oh, I am. They don’t call me Dancing Shoes for nothin’ Doll.”
“I’m almost one hundred percent sure nobody has ever called anyone ‘Dancing Shoes’ in the whole world, Barnes.” She shot back, raising both eyebrows as she tied the last stitch off and placed one hand fully over his wound. She looked up at him, and she was delighted to find the blush that had spread over his cheeks once more.
“There are two billion people on this planet, Darling. Never say never.” He tried to ignore the warmth spreading through his body at her touch,. It was one of the best feelings he had ever had the pleasure of feeling, and once he had one taste, he was the hungriest man on Earth.
“I’m saying never, Sarge.” She pulled away, making sure his wound had not healed fully in the few seconds that she had worked her magic. When she found it still open but less irritated, she wrapped his wound in gauze and stood up. “Now, get out of my hospital.”
May 11th, 1942 (morning)
Y/N’s long week had finally come to an end, and she found herself strolling across the camp to a missile crater that had filled with water from rain where the girls had decided to spend the warm and sunny day. She was in no rush, and the bag in her hand swung as she moved her arms leisurely. It was a rare day where nobody had come back from a mission injured, and since there was almost nothing to do for the nurses, they had all been giving a day of leave.
She rounded a corner of a decimated building only to see a group of men sitting, smoking, laughing and cleaning their guns with the utmost care and consideration. She stopped, her breath caught in her throat when she saw Bucky in a long-sleeved olive sweatshirt that fit him just right, leaning against a stump and cleaning the muzzle of his pistol (“I’d name her after you, but I still don’t know your name, Doll.” “You’re smart, you’ll figure it out.”) with a Q-tip. The dog tags dangling around his neck acted like a spotlight in the sun and made her vision hone in on him.
“Hey Barnes, isn’t that your girl?” Someone shouted, and when he looked up at his fellow soldier with furrowed brows, her heart almost stopped. When he followed the direction which his friend was pointing his entire face lit up when he saw her standing by the corner. He dropped his gun in the mud at his feet at his haste to get to her, and when his squad whistled and howled he turned around and flipped them off before flicking the cigarette dangling from his lips in their general direction.
By the time he was about twenty feet away from her, she rolled around the corner and out of sight, pressing her back into the wall. She wasn’t hidden well enough, because Bucky could still see her shoulder that was exposed by the tank top she wore. He strolled up to the corner, and without even looking at her, he pressed his back against the adjacent corner and sighed.
“Whatcha doin’, Dollface?” He said, resting his head against the wall, and smirking when he heard her clear her throat nervously. The chase was good, but the way she so obviously liked him the same way he liked her made it so much better.
“Do you want the answer I want to give you, or the truth.” The smirk she was wearing bled into the way she asked him the question.
“Give me the answer you want to give me.” He smiled he could feel the way his squad was watching him, but the sky was so blue and she was so close that he didn’t even care to notice them elbowing each other at his wide grin. His hand drifted around the corner of the building and blindly found her hand, lacing his fingers through hers and relishing in the way she squeaked in surprise. Her fingers gripped his tightly, and the way her touch traveled up his arm, down his spine and straight to his groin didn’t go unnoticed by anyone.
“I wanted to make sure you weren’t doin’ anything dumb and splitting your stitches. I’m getting tired of seeing your ugly mug around my hospital.” She joked, and she had to take a huge breath when he laughed loudly because she suddenly found her brain short of oxygen.
“Can I have the real answer, now?” He asked, the remnants of his boisterous laugh echoing around the pair.
“Nope, you chose one and you only get one.” She squeezed his hand twice, and he mimicked her action. He wanted so badly to pull her around the corner and kiss the sass from her lips, tasting her wit on his own tongue. However, there was something endearing about the way they conversed now, on adjacent corners, not seeing each other, and holding hands while the hot sun beat down on them.
“Can you at least tell me what’s in the bag?”
“A swimsuit, a towel and some wine I managed to get from the bar by my unparalleled flirting skills.” He groaned, and she found herself on cloud nine at the noise that rumbled from his throat. She would have also prided herself on the way his cargo pants were suddenly tighter at the thought of her drunk and half naked.
There was a lull in their conversation. It wasn’t awkward, and it wasn’t tense but Y/N and Bucky found themselves finding peace with each other. The sun kissed their faces, and the mud under their shoes cushioned their feet as they stood there for minutes on end. She would squeeze his hand every so often, reminding Bucky that she was there and he would trace patterns on the back of her hand. At first, it was shapes- he would draw the tie Steve wore to his first sock hop, and then he would draw the flowers his little sister Rebecca would pick for his mom when she was sick. He would draw the shape of the car which his dad had taught him to drive. Then, when he ran out of shapes, he would spell out names. He’d spell Steve’s, then he would spell Rebecca’s, and then his little brothers, and his moms, and his dad, and then he would draw Sarah’s name, and then he would spell his own full name. But when he went to spell her name there was nothing he could write.
He heard a hum from around the corner and she squeezed his hand, urging him to continue but when he didn’t, she opened her eyes and squinted at the sudden brightness of the afternoon sun.
“Why’d you stop, Sarge?” Her voice was quiet and a little slow from relaxation.
“Why won’t you tell me your name?”
“Where’s the fun in that, Barnes?” She hummed, her smirk suddenly completely gone. She didn’t know why she wouldn’t tell him her name. She was tired of not hearing her name on his lips, and she was tired of not having him in her life in that way. Sure, there was an element of anticipation with it, but she was tired.
“What fun are we talking about Darling?” He asked. The way he said darling made a shiver run through her body and suddenly she realized it was because hearing him call her every pet name under the sun was absolutely and completely thrilling.
He felt her lift his hand up, and he adjusted so his arm wouldn’t bend at an awkward angle. Then, he felt something plush and soft run over his knuckles, making him jump and almost look around the corner to see what she was doing. The feeling was warm, and as if his body knew a secret his mind didn’t know it heat up to a temperature he almost deemed uncomfortable. She let go of his hand soon after, and as he was pulling his hand back to inspect what had happened, he heard her as if she was whispering in his ear.
“The chase, Seargent. The chase is the fun I’m talking about.”
When Bucky looked at his hand, her signature dark red lip print was over his knuckles, smeared slightly, but there nonetheless.
“Doll?” His voice was shaky, and it cracked slightly at the end as he found himself unable to tear his gaze away from the mark you had left on his right hand. When only silence greeted him, he steeled himself to turn the corner and coming face to face with absolutely nothing but your footprints in the mud trailing in the other direction.
May 11th, 1942 (afternoon)
She arrived at the Crater half an hour late much to the other nurses’ displeasure. They all voiced their unhappiness as Y/N disappeared behind a thicket of bushes to change into her suit. When she had reappeared to face her group, their complaints were cut off by whistles and hoots of surprise and appreciation. Y/N rolled her eyes and shrugged off the girls’ friendly compliments of her body before grabbing her towel from the bag she brought and laid it out in a particularly sunny spot. Sure, the 107th infantry could technically be ‘camping’, but between battle, and hiding in tents, and spending free time sleeping or bathing, very little sun had graced the nurses’ skin. The girls, chattering about the five bottles of wine she had snagged from the bar had failed to notice the blush that had found a home on Y/N’s skin until Victoria had stolen a glance and seen the red that tainted her skin.
“Hey, Canuck, you burnt or somethin’?” Victoria said after gulping down a generous mouthful of wine. Y/N froze when she heard her friends voice and she stopped straightening her towel only for a second before she started again and the red deepened in color.
“No, Vick. That’s a blush.” One of the older ladies, Patty said from her place near the water’s edge. She was being taught by Dolores how to do a cartwheel, and Y/N let out a vengeful laugh as Patty failed to stay straight and cartwheeled straight into the water.
“Who’s got you blushin’ like that, Y/N?” Victoria smirked, knowing full well who it was who had that effect on her friend. The other girls, not forgetting their wine, all flocked around Y/N looking on with eager eyes. Patty had heard the question Victoria proposed after she had resurfaced from the water and while leaning her arms on the edge of the Crater, answered for the young girl.
“It’s that young Sergeant that’s got her panties in a twist huh?” All Y/N wanted to do was shove Patty back in the water at that moment but the exclamations coming from the girls inhibited her from doing so.
“That meal of a man who keeps tearing his stitches just to see you?” Dolores squealed, leaning against you and chugging from the wine bottle. Y/N glowered at her friends playfully before snatching the bottle of red and drinking her own share. Maybe if she drank enough of the color red, she would manage to swallow the red on her cheeks.
“You guys are so embarrassing oh my God!” Y/N cried, flopping down on the towel under her and throwing her arms over her eyes dramatically. The rest of the girls laughed, and she felt a poke on her stomach and looked to see Rose smirking devilishly at her.
“What’s his name?” Her silky voice made your cheeks heat up once more and she cursed her natural bodily functions for everything they were worth.
“James.” She mumbled, hoping that if she only said his first name, her friends would leave her alone.
“We can’t hear you!” Both Patty and Rose sing-songed, tasering her sides so Y/N would sit up and face them.
“Oh my God— His name is James Barnes, but apparently he just goes by Bucky!” She exclaimed, faking her anger and failing to hide her bashful smile.
“So, you’re on a first name basis, now huh?”
“No! They’re on nickname basis! I’ve heard him call her ‘Doll’, and ‘Darling’ before!” Victoria squealed. You smacked her bare arm for her not-so-sudden betrayal of your secret love life.
“Actually,” suddenly, Y/N was very quiet, and she managed to avoid eye contact by picking at the loose thread of her towel. “I haven’t told him my name yet.”
There was a beat of silence before the entire Nursing group broke out in screams and curses. Y/N only watched their over-dramatic reactions with a shy smile until they all once again settled around her.
“You have to be joking,” Patty began. “If I was either your age, or he was giving me the time of day or both, I would have already ridden that man into the sunset and back!”
The peels of loud laughter tore almost violently throughout the group of ladies. There were screams of ‘Patty your husband!’ And ‘Patty you have children!’ To which she replied; ‘How do you think they happened in the first place?!’
The laughter of the fleeting conversation continued throughout the night, only amplified by the water and wine and good company. Y/N was grateful— sure, she was in a war and she had men die under her touch, but if she weren’t here where else would she have been? She would have been home with Florence and Felix and Florence’s new flower-giving beau being lonely and sad. Don’t get her wrong, she missed Florence and Felix terribly— enough to bring tears to her eyes— but the friends and adoration she had found overseas were almost that from a storybook. And as the girls all lay on each other with bellies full of wine and the stars shining brightly in the sky, the gunshots echoing in the distance seemed farther than ever.
Taglist: @jamesbarnesbestgirl / @theblueinyour-eyes / @stuckinthestarrysky / @snazzysickly /
@classy-sassy-enjolrassy / @superwholock02 / @sebastixnstxn / @dyanna-corona / @buckysothiccbarnes / @the-lachrymose-one / @shanominom / @impalatobakerstreet / @charles11700 / @danielabetancourth