This Is Love: Part Four
Summary: Being Bucky’s PA wasn’t easy and you respond to his grumpy attitude with your own. The two of you have never gotten on, forced to stay working with him because your Uncle Tony insists you have a job.
Word count: 2418
A/N: this is the last tiny bit of douche Bucky, I am very sorry he’s nice after this
You’ve never felt happier in your job than you do now, curled up with Steel, chatting casually with Wanda and not worrying about what nasty things Bucky might say to you next time you see him. You haven’t told anyone about what happened after your date for fear that you might jinx it but you haven’t seen him since so you have no idea if the good mood he was in has lasted.
‘Ooh you know what we need to do soon?’ Wanda asks, shaking your arm excitedly. 'We have to go on a shopping trip. You, me and Nat’. You nod at her, definitely in need of an escape having not had a day off since you started this job.
'And meeeee’ you hear Sam squeal from the kitchen and laugh as he charges over to you. Your laugh is silenced when he slips and falls to the floor with a loud bang. He’s sat on the floor looking absolutely baffled and all three of you are stunned to silence. You’re the first to break it with a whooping laugh, clutching your sides and gasping for air, Wanda soon joins in and Sam, trying his hardest not to, finally smiles and pulls himself up. You wipe the tears from your eyes and giggle at the memory of Sam’s face.
'Ok I’ve got to tell the others’ you say, still laughing. As you skip away you hear Sam yell after you telling you not to breathe a word of it to anyone but you ignore him and run of to the labs where at least two of the team, Bruce and Tony, will definitely be.
The automatic doors slide open and you dance in, not phased when you see not only Tony but also Steve and Bucky who all look like they’ve been in quite a heated argument. You smile at each of them and when your eyes land on Bucky the smile wavers, taken slightly aback by his cold stare. In an attempt to lighten the mood you jump onto Tony’s work surface, throw your hands behind you and leaning on them as a support you let your head fall backwards, your hair spilling onto the desk still laughing as you had been the whole way here. You look around again to already see some of the tension alleviated, all three of their faces softened and smiling. You begin your story with a giggle and a deep breath before you launch into it.
'Oh my god’ you say, already needing to pause for another giggle, 'the funniest thing just happened. Ok so Wanda said we need to go on a shopping trip soon and then all of a sudden Sam just bursts in and runs up to us. And then’ you gasp for air and continue, 'and then he slips over and lands right on his bum’ at this you squeal with laughter and collapse, physically wheezing and hitting the table with your hand. The three men listening to your story are all smiling and Tony joins in with your laughter. When you calm down you look around again. 'So what’re you guys talking about?’
'How you had a date that you didn’t tell me about. Seriously I’m your uncle it’s my job to know this’ Tony says in a mock offended tone. You shrug and smile sheepishly.
'Chill out he was a total fuckface, literally one of the worst humans walking. And if your that well vest in my love life Nat says she knows a guy she can set me up with’ you say casually, your mind drifting back to the picture Nat showed you on her phone of the guy, Mathew you think his name was and smile to yourself.
'Really?’ you turn to look at Bucky, his face twisted with bitterness as he spits the question in disgust.
'Mhmm’ you hum in confirmation, determined not to let him get to you. At this he laughs harshly and mockingly and you brace yourself for his next words.
'Let’s hope he’s not as bad as the last one then I might not have to listen to your problems and pretend to care’. Your eyes widen and the smile falls from your face to be replaced by a grimace. You knew his kindness towards you couldn’t last long. You hop down from the surface and glare at him with your hands on your hips.
'Are you fucking kidding me?’ you shout and ignoring Steve mumble something about language you continue. 'If I remember correctly I was fucking comforting you cause of a dumb nightmare! What are you like five? Who the fuck still has nightmares at 100?’ You know it’s a low blow but you just want to hurt him as much as he has you. He gets to his feet, towering above you with that familiar deadly inside look in his eyes. You flinch and take a step back holding a finger up as a warning not to step any closer. You’re still nursing your bruised chest and don’t want another set of purple blotches to try and cover. 'Stay the fuck away from me James’ you growl and watch as his stare wavers exposing a hint of hurt and regret. He turns and strides out, walking so quickly that he has to stop and wait for the automatic doors to slide open. You watch him go, the glare still fixed on your face and are about to leave to go to the common area back to Wanda and Sam when Steve puts a hand on your shoulder.
’(Y/N) he’s not a bad guy I promise’ Steve attempts to reason with you and defend his friend. You shrug his arm off and interrupt him before he can continue to waste his breath.
'Steve stop. Don’t make excuses for nasty people. You can’t put flowers in an asshole and call it a vase’ you snap before turning and following in Bucky’s foot steps.
When you walk into the common area the room is filled with laughter. A laughter which soon dies as Sam and Wanda take in your glum expression. Both sigh and Wanda, in an attempt to lift your spirits grabs her phone and hits shuffle on her 'when (Y/N)’s depressed’ playlist, the music that fills the room instantly making you smile. The three of you start dancing wildly to the song, your back to the door so you don’t see or hear Bucky enter and stand in the doorway, the corners of his mouth twitching upwards almost involuntarily. His small smile soon falls away however when you bend over, pressing your bum into Sam’s crotch and swinging your hips in circles, and it turns into an almost deadly jealous glare at Sam when he rests one hand on your lower back and lifts the other into the air in a fist pump. Both of you are fully aware that the two of you are just friends and this is obviously just banter but Bucky is not and, taken over by envy, he struts calculatingly up to Sam who has his back to him. He taps Sam on the shoulder and when he turns around, brings a metal fist up to collide with his jaw sending him flying maybe two or three metres backwards. Bucky’s chest is heaving with anger and you run to Sam’s side, holding his head in your hands as he blinks up at you, bewildered.
'What the hell is wrong with you?’ you yell at Bucky who’s attention now turns to you. He looks confused at your tone which is infused with a white hot rage.
'He was all over you (Y/N)! What’d you think I was gonna stand by and let him harass you like that?’
'He wasn’t harassing me James we were dancing! Jesus!’ Your attention turns back to Sam who moans in pain. 'Hey look at me’ you order. 'Can you stand?’ When he nods you get him to his feet. 'We’re gonna take you to the hospital wing ok?’ He nods again, holding his hand to his jaw and wincing at the slight pressure. Throwing a last glare at a still confused Bucky you help him to the lift and then into a free bed in the wing. When he’s settled you look down at him sympathetically. 'I’m gonna kill him’ you say decidedly. Sam shakes his head.
'No you’re not. He’s just jealous’ he says and you’re reminded of the last time you heard him say that before your date.
'I don’t understand why would he be jealous? We’re like sworn enemies’.
'I think’ Sam begins and then winces again before continuing. 'I think he really likes you. Like really, really likes you’.
'He’s got a funny way of showing it. If that’s how he treats people he likes god knows how he treats people he actually doesn’t like’.
'He’s afraid. I’ve seen this before, veterans who are too scared to get close to their loved ones in case they leave them when they learn about all the things they’ve done. He doesn’t want you to get too close cause he doesn’t want you knowing about his past’.
'I already know about his past, what’s he got to be afraid of?’ you question in slight disbelief.
'Ok then maybe he’s afraid of himself. Maybe he’s pictured you and him together and seen himself waking up from a nightmare only to find his hand round your throat or HYDRA taking you and hurting you as some kind of bargaining chip. I think’ he pauses and beckons you to come closer, 'I think he might be in love with you’. At this you bark out a short laugh right in his ear and he winces.
'Sorry’ you whisper. 'How can you even come to that conclusion? How can he be in love with me and yet treat me like he does?’
'To protect you’ he states simply. 'He’s sacrificing his own happiness with you for your safety’. He says this like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. With the way he words it you almost believe him and he looks up at you, smiling in the knowledge that he’s given you something to think about.
'I don’t believe you’ you say quietly, still slightly in shock.
'Yes you do’ Sam says from his bed. You step outside the clammy room and rest your back against the wall, sinking down until your bum hits the floor. Pulling your knees up under your chin you bury you face in your hands and allow the thoughts in your mind to run free. What if Bucky really was in love with you? And could you really take that chance? Could you honestly confront him, put your heart on the line only for it to turn out that Sam had been wrong? You didn’t think you could. If it backfired you could loose your job and worse still your dignity. It was hell working with him anyway, it would be even worse after a conversation like that. You decide to clear your clouded mind and getting to your feet you head off back to the common area, thinking that if you heard Bucky say one nasty thing to you you could put Sam’s idea down to concussion. When you push the doors open and walk in Bucky has his head in his hands and Wanda is resting one hand on his shoulder. Both look up upon your enter and you swallow slowly the words 'he’s in love with you’ swimming around in your mind.
'You broke his jaw’ you say staring hardly at Bucky.
'I’m sorry’ he says quietly and you curse him in your mind for not being his usually bitchy self.
'It’s not me you should be apologising to’. You’re clutching at straws now to make him say what you keep expecting him too.
'You’re right. I’ll go down there later and apologise’. You wince slightly at his deep blue eyes now filled with sorrow and his calm yet upset tone. God dammit just say something dickish, you think. 'I’m sorry?’ You hear Bucky question and your eyes snap up to him. You’d said that out loud. Shit, you think, your heart racing and you squeeze your eyes shut to compose yourself.
'Urgh’ you moan walking over to the kitchen counter. 'Doesn’t even matter’. You wrench the door of the fridge open and grab the large tub of ice cream you had put aside for a day like today. Sinking down in one of the couches you pry the lid off and all your attention turns the the delicious treat waiting for you. You’re barely one spoonful in when the headache caused by your relentlessly conflicting emotions gets too much for you to handle. You set the tub down next to you and once again hang your head into your hands. You can’t help but let the few tears brimming in your eyes escape and Bucky, upon catching these gets up to come and sit with you, taking your hands away from your face and holding them in his own. He looks into your eyes and you feel like he’s penetrated your soul, unable to hold eye contact for too long because of the sheer intensity of his stare.
'I’m sorry’ he repeats and you have to fight to suppress the loud sob threatening to erupt from your throat.
'The fuck kinda drugs has Wanda put you on?’ You say, trying to cover your emotional state.
'She just.. knocked a bit of sense into me that’s all’ he says smilingly and throwing a thankful glance at Wanda. 'Forgive me?’ he asks, giving you a lopsided grin.
'Sure’ you say, a bit in shock from just those two words. You offer him your hand as a signal of peace and he takes it in his own, shaking it and when he releases it he smiles again. 'Friends?’ you say as a last test of Sam’s theory and to make sure you were on the same page. If he did see you in the way Sam said he did he would say something surely?
'Friends’ he repeats, smiling almost sadly. You nod, knowing now that Sam was wrong. Bucky wasn’t in love with you, that much was clear and you smiled in the knowledge that your job would be made a hell of a lot easier now you were friends even if you couldn’t be anything more.