This was supposed to be routine. Routine. Routine. Routine.
You repeated the thought like a mantra, attempting to ignore the sore parts of your body as another cough wheezes past your lips. Smoke, dust, and ash all inhaled and promptly coughed out, sucked in, until you manage to wiggle a hand free from its confines and cover your mouth.
It takes a couple seconds before you can somewhat breathe again, at least without another coughing fit. Shifting your body makes some of the small pieces of rubble shift and drop down, another thing of dust lifted up but you’re able to ignore it well enough. Pulling your other hand free from the fallen debris and sucking in a sharp breath, it had to have been broken, there was no way that it wasn’t.
With your only useable hand you shift uncomfortably to one side, shimming your hand from the side to pat down your torso, feeling the lump beneath and after rummaging in the dark you finally pull out the communicator. Flipping the switch on, the broken screen lights up the collapsed debris you’re trapped in. Flicks of dust and ash filtering through the air, stirred up by the explosion and your presence.
Static from the communicator nearly makes you jump, an agonized groan as the static continues before finally reaching a signal.
“Hello!? Anyone there, respond!”
Pressing down on the button you take a breath, ignoring the urge to cough.
“I’m here.” Your voice is a lot softer than you would like, but after letting go of the button brief static fills the small space again, and you lift your head up to take a glance at the ruins you were trapped in. A small space you were fortunate enough to be in, but large piles of concrete and wood surrounded you, threatening to fall at the smallest movement. Behind you a sharp piece of concrete jutted against our spine painfully, the sticky feeling when you shifted let you know it pierced skin and you were likely bleeding. But it offered slight support for your to rest your head back on.
“[Name]! Is that you?”
“What’s your position?”
You glanced around the small confined space, there wasn’t anything distinguishable to make out, and the blast you were sure had been big enough to knock you from your original location.
“I don’t know, sir. The explosion collapsed everything.”
Silence greeted you, and you wondered briefly if this small spot was going to be your grave. If they were going to find you, you hoped you would be in an easy location but.. You could feel your palms get slick with sweat, the small space was stuffy, and it made your heart hammer.
There’s no oxygen flow.
You kept yourself from hyperventilating but you could feel the steady increase of your heart, it pounded against your rib cage like you wished to pound on the debris to get yourself out. But you didn’t know how far down you were, and how much was above you, the last thing you wanted to do was die slowly with part of your body crushed.
“What was your last position?”
“South-” You could feel your lips tremble, and you tried to reign in your emotions. You had been taught better, and like liquid steel you filled your veins up with it, calmed your beating heart and closed your eyes. Picturing another place, a beach, a comfy bed. “Southeast of barracks. Near the tower.”
Thousands of thoughts threatened to consume you and throw you into a panic and you tried to focus on meditating, on slowing your breathing to keep yourself from using what little oxygen you were sure you had in this makeshift coffin.
Your heart jumps, and your fingers tremble when you press onto the communication device.
“Bucky?” Oh thank God. He was alive, he had survived the explosion. “I mean, uh, Sergeant.” You corrected, thankful that he wasn’t here to see the blush you could feel crawl itself up your neck and flush your cheeks.
“Are you alright?” His voice is quiet, almost nervous and you furrow your eyebrows and open your eyes, as if that’ll help you picture his face better.
“Besides being trapped in what could become my coffin, I’m fine.” You breathe out a shaky laugh and let go of the communication button, squeezing your eyes closed.
“Don’t joke about that.” His voice is serious and your stomach drops with guilt. You hadn’t meant to upset him, but joking in scary situations had always made you feel better.
“S-Sorry, sir.” You stammer your reply, chest squeezing and churning feeling of guilt. You really should just focus on clearing your thoughts and keeping your heart from racing, and talking to him didn’t help either of those things, for many reasons.
“You didn’t answer, soldier.”
Oh! Right, the question.
“F-Fine for the most part,” You licked your lips. “My right hand is broken, and there’s concrete against my back, it’s wet so I assume blood, but I can feel my toes.” You swallowed down a nervous laugh.
There’s a large sigh of relief through the communication device and you open your eyes and look down at it.
“I thought I had lost you.”
Your heart hammers against your ribcage once more, and you inwardly curse at him, why did he have to sound like that?
“I saw the explosion hit,” Silence follows for a moment. “You were the closest, others are injured but I couldn’t help but-” It falls silent and you look down, wondering if the communication device had loss signal or just died on you. Damn thing could never hold a charge properly.
“I was scared,” Scared? “We’ve been uncovering the rest of soldiers, some have.. Some didn’t make it. Others are injured or in critical condition but there was no word from you. I thought.. I thought-” There’s a shuddering sigh and you don’t know what to say, chewing on the inside of your lip as you stared up against the darkness. “It’s been several hours since the explosion with no word, they were ready to rule you off as KIA.”
Hours? KIA? You can feel your stomach clench and you squeeze your eyes shut, pressing down on the communication device so it keeps you from hearing his reply. Instead, he can hear your shuddering breath and sniff before you release the button. They had almost ruled you out and this would have been your coffin for sure, calling against the communication device until it died and either the debris crushed you, or you suffocated.
“I wasn’t just scared.. I was terrified. How could I lose you?”
What in God’s name was he saying? Confessing, what was going on? Was this some joke done by your comrades since they knew of your feelings for the sergeant? If it was, you would be sure to wring each of their necks so they would wish the explosion had killed them-
If it hadn’t already.
You swallowed thickly. The small space of your enclosed coffin was starting to feel warm, sweat beginning to beat against your forehead and you didn’t want to say anything about it. You were running on limited time, and you didn’t want them to know, didn’t want to worry anyone into recklessness.
“I’m here, sorry.” You suck in another breath and try to hold it.
“Are you alright?” You wonder if he’s going to repeat that, but you know it’s a stupid question because you would if the situation was reversed. In fact you’d probably be a blubbering mess on the other side of it, trying to remain cool headed in the face of the person you had fallen in love with nearly dying. Perhaps it was a good thing your feelings weren’t requited, you don’t know how well you’d handle this situation if he cared about you, like you did him.
“Fine, sir. It’s just getting stuffy.”
The line was silent, and you cursed, you hadn’t said the right thing.
“Are you running out of oxygen?”
You didn’t want to answer, squeezed your eyes shut and hoped maybe he would change the subject.
“Soldier, answer me.”
You let go of the button and immediately on the other line before he lets go of it, you can hear shouting. Commands to hurry up the search project, distant shouting.
“[Name], I need you-” His voice cuts off and you can hear him curse, and imagine him running his hand through his hair like he usually did when frustrated. “Stay with me okay? I can’t lose you.”
“Careful, sir, tell a girl that and she’ll get the wrong idea.” You joke, hoping to lighten the mood slightly, less the situation send you into an actual panic.
“What if I want you to?”
Your heart jumps, and you can feel the heat crawl back up to your face.
“Goddamnit [Name].” There’s shuffling around, another shout, another command but he hasn’t taken his finger off the button. “We’re a week away from going home and you manage to get yourself in this situation.”
You press the button and laugh softly.
“I’m always looking to spice things up.”
There’s a small but pained chuckle in response.
“Yeah, but how about you wait to spice things up after I ask you out?”
You freeze, not like you could have moved anyway, the steady thumping of your heart and you struggle to keep yourself from breathing shallow.
“D-Don’t make jokes like that.” You don’t even have the will to play it off as a joke, to continue to pretend you don’t have feelings for him so things didn’t get awkward.
“I’m not joking.”
You’re floundering for words, pressing down on the button to speak but your mouth opens and closes. Finally letting go of the button and staring up into the dark, heart hammering in your chest. Had the oxygen made you hear what you wanted? It was a nice way to go but a little heartbreaking if that was the case..
“I’m here!” You jerk, a stabbing pain against your back from the movement and dust kicks up and you cough once.
“Sir-I,” You struggle for the words again and swallowing is dry and painful. “What are you- I mean- if so.. How-”
“Slow down,” You immediately snap your mouth shut and close your eyes, remembering that you need to breathe deeply and attempt to calm your racing heart and the nervous butterflies that are making you feel sick.
“I.. From the first moment I saw you.”
Oh how terribly cliche he was, and how terrible you were for letting that fluster you even more.
“You were stubborn, strong, determined. No matter what, you didn’t let anyone or anything get to you. Even when I was purposely hard on you to try to break that.”
“I knew it!” You nearly shouted, turning into a half cough and wheeze that has you cringing. “You sonofabitch.”
There’s muffled laughter on the other side and it eases the tightness in your chest, but only produces more nervous butterflies.
“It wasn’t hard to see how you felt. Purposely teasing you was fun.”
“The security checks while you were changing, or in the shower weren’t exactly random.”
His laugh is full blown now, and though you’re so embarrassed and sure that your face is every shade of red that existed, enough blood rushing up to make your head spin. You couldn’t help the smile that broke across your face.
“Wait- does that mean?”
“More than likely, yes.”
“Why did you move me from the barracks I was in?”
“One of the guys confessed to having feelings for you..” There was a sheepish tilt to his voice, but no remorse or guilt to be heard.
“So you moved me away?”
“Yes, I didn’t want him hitting on you.”
“Were you jealous?”
You hadn’t expected that response and felt yourself stunned into silence. Sure, you knew exactly who he was talking about, the guy hadn’t been subtle about his advances. You had attempted to be polite, and it had been failing miserably for you that day you had planned to confront him and set him straight. Instead, you got orders you were switching barracks and thus, switching routine up and after that you barely saw him and your problem was effortlessly, but confusingly, solved.
“How could I not be?” There’s a nervous laughter from him, and you’re silent. “You’re beautiful, more so than any porcelain doll.”
Your stomach is rolling with butterflies and you’re blushing so bad you’re on the verge of tears, and maybe you’re a little scared, nervous for sure. You hadn’t expected any of this to happen, and maybe you really were hallucinating.
“This spunky woman comes in, prettier than anything I’ve ever seen and manages to kick ass and take names while she’s at it. I thought you would give me the most trouble, and I was right.”
“Sorry?” It sounds more of a question than you had meant it to be.
“It’s not exactly easy to keep how I felt hidden around you, but it was a good kind of trouble.”
“I should have told you sooner.”
The two of you had been on friendly enough terms, you went out with your other comrades and Bucky would tag along. You would playfully hit on him and he returned the favor, you had never thought it was anything serious, that he would ever return the feelings you had developed for him. You were content to keep it to yourself, the last thing you wanted was to be transferred to someone else because you couldn’t keep composure. But if he had found it, did he know? For how long? Did he not transfer you because he felt the same? You had considered him a good friend, and you had hoped he felt the same, and you thought you had done a good job of keeping it strictly professional on missions such as these. Never letting your thoughts stray, drilling your instincts rather than what your heart and head wanted you to do when danger rose.
You shifted uncomfortably, the air was hot, and it was getting difficult to breathe and honestly you were getting scared. More so than you were before, unable to contain the rapid drum of your heart any longer, from his confession and from your situation. It felt like fog to think, and you had been so caught up with nervous excitement you hadn’t realized the state you were in. The sweat dripping down the side of your neck, the shallow breathing, it was all drowning out the excitement of his confession and placing you back to reality.
“[Name]?” There’s an urgent concern and you press down on the button, allowing your head to fall back.
“It’s hot.” You murmur, too tired to lift your voice any higher and there’s panic through the device which is only hot against your stomach.
“[Name], stay with me. You’ve survived longer than this in situations.” It was a lie, and you both knew it. You had been unconscious under the rubble for an unspecified amount of time if what he said earlier was any indication. They had been ready to say you were KIA and give up, how many hours ago was that? It had to be a lot, but your hazy memory couldn’t place the exact number.
Just a lot.
“Can we..” You lick your dry lips, and your tongue feels foreign in your own mouth. “Can we.. stop talking about the past? I could.. I could be dead in a matter of hours and I don’t.. I don’t really want to think about what could have been.” You let go of the button and he’s about to speak but you aren’t finished. “I.. I don’t know.. But can I be selfish?”
“Whatever you want, doll.”
There are tears burning against your eyes, and it’s not from blushing.
“Make me up a future.”
“A future?” His voice is shaking, there’s concern and you know you should be worried too, but you can’t bring yourself to feel it.
“Mhm.” Is the most you can muster at the moment.
“How about a future with me? We’ll get you out of there, and I’ll ask you to marry me.”
That brings a small laugh from you.
“Aren’t you skipping the dating phase?”
“What if I only want to spend the rest of my life with you? We’ve already been through enough.”
“Okay..” You smile against the tears dripping down your face. “Make me up a future with you.”
“We’ll get you out of there, we’ll get married. I’ll get down on one knee and propose to you, can you forgive me for not having a ring at the moment?”
“I guess.” You chuckle at the same time he does.
“Thank you, doll. I’ll make it up to you, I’ll buy you the prettiest ring it’ll make your dead ancestors roll in their grave out of jealousy. Then we can go search for a house, I know you said you wanted a quiet one, away from the noisy city - maybe something with a large yard. Maybe something by a lake?”
“We’ll get a dog, like you always talk about getting once you’re out of the military. A big ol’ dog to run around our large yard, we’ll stay up and watch the stars and movies. I’ll make you breakfast in bed everyday if you want me to.”
His voice is like a lullaby, the fuzzy warm feeling in your chest is only making you even more tired. You want to sleep, and the nagging voice telling you to keep awake is only growing more and more faint.
“[Name]?” There’s his frantic voice, and it takes too much energy to push down on the button for the device, and everything else in you to respond.
“M’ere.” Is all you manage, his voice growing faint and you can hear shouting but there’s a fuzzy silence in your head and sleep sounds so wonderful. A nice nap before you continue this silly conversation with your hallucinations.
Yes, that sounds nice.
You drift in darkness, floating through time and space. Like a slow decent down a calm river, slowly being taken away by the waves and it’s so soothing. If this was death, then it wasn’t so bad, you could get used to it. But there’s something rough digging into your back and shoulder, a violent shake of your little tube.
Something is up against your face, and you toss your head one way, attempting to remove the uncomfortable sensation but the rush of cold air has you peeling your eyes open and squinting against the light. The oxygen mask pressed to your face as others rush around beside you, and you can see his face hovering over yours, wide blue eyes filled with worry.
“Am I in heaven?” You manage to mumble, some energy returning to you, and the smile that breaks across his face makes the still butterflies in your stomach flutter.
“Not yet, doll. You can’t go where I can’t follow you.”
It’s painful, your entire body aches. There’s a rough makeshift cast on your broken hand as they lug you up to your feet, attempting to keep you awake while another comrade keeps the oxygen mask to your face. You shoot them a sour look and they roll their eyes, and you can faintly hear ‘just be happy you’re alive’.
“[Name],” You turn your attention back over to Bucky and your heart leaps into your chest when you see him down on one knee. The hallucinating thoughts and conversations had been real, and the blush manages to creep back up onto your face, much to his amusement. “Will you marry me?”
The grin is through tears, and they allow you to remove the oxygen mask so you can say yes properly, and before you know it you’re swept up into his arms. Lips pressed heavily against yours and the oxygen you had is knocked out of you, the flush burning against your face.
“Hey, hey! Goddamnit Barnes! We just got her breathing, try not to take it all away again!” He pulls back and is met with a harsh smack against his head from the grumpy field medic who places both hands on her hips and looks at your two grinning faces.
“Alright fuckin’ lovebirds, put the oxygen mask back on her. She’ll need it until she’s back where I can examine her lungs properly.” You begin to whine but Bucky has already moved the oxygen mask back into place, and before you can call him a traitor, he’s already scooped you up into his arms. The medic rolls her eyes but a soft smile graces her face.
Happy Birthday to one of the loveliest nicest and the most creative people I’ve met on this fandom. I hope your day was filled with happiness and cake and that you simply had the best birthday ever @jacquelineshyde
nina: Happy Birthday to my prankster counterpart. I don’t usually get got, but this girl got me good. A lot. She kept me on my toes every day we were on set. Ruby is one of a kind. She has a heart of gold that touches your soul. If you’re lucky enough to know her, you know that she’s not just a pretty face. Beyond her insanely beautiful exterior she is incredibly kind, funny, passionate, talented, intelligent, fun, sweet, and quick witted. Happy Birthday woman! Sending you love, Becky aka Neenz. 🤓❤💩👻😃🎂⭐️🤗 @rubyrose
Happy 24th birthday to the beautiful, strong, amazing Bonnie Bennett ❤ such a powerful witch, wish you all the best for a wonderful friend.
Thank to the beautiful Kat Graham who brought her character to life
~credit to the edit makers:)