i love every single one of you bastards

Life On Mars - Part Two - Bucky Barnes x OC

Summary: There are three rules I’ve made up whilst enduring this zombie apocalypse: 1) Keep moving, if you stay in one place than the bastards will get you in no time. 2) Food, water, and weapons are more important than anything else. Including your dignity. 3) Don’t grow attached to people. And because of him I broke every single rule.

part one - part two - part three - part four

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Have you ever heard the sound of a gunshot? You never get use to it. It’s amazing to think that something that was invented so late into humanity’s development has the ability to switch on the most primeval of instincts. I suppose it all has something to do with the loud sound.

I can quite easily remember the first time that I heard a gunshot. I’d lived a pretty privileged life up until that point, before the apocalypse came; and by privileged I mean a two story house where a meal was always put on the table at 6 O’clock every afternoon. I had a mum that worked as a car sales woman and a father that worked with television. Our neighbourhood was okay, we didn’t live in the slums or anything like that. We didn’t talk to our neighbours and they didn’t talk to us, excluding halloween when some of them would bring their kids to our house for the festive candy.

I wonder if they’re all okay. Perhaps they’re still out there, perhaps they’d been lucky enough to find a safety zone and were surviving there with their kids. Would the children even be aware of what was happening? Or are they completely oblivious, continuing with their childish behaviour, running about, screaming, being kids?

As I was saying, the first time I heard a gunshot, was also the day that I first learnt of the zombies. I’d been sat in my room and had remained there for the most part of my day.

I hadn’t realised how much I loved my bedroom until I no longer had it. If I were to describe it that day I would now describe it as the perfect concept for how I would like to live my life now.

It was raining outside, I could hear the thousands of droplets making contact with the glass of my window and I could also hear the sounds of cars passing through puddles outside. The humans in those cars wanted to return to warmth, to comfort, to home. Home. I had found that in the decent sized bedroom. I was sat at my desk whilst the dog laid on top of my feet, sometimes looking up at me whenever she saw or heard the movements of my wrist bounding against my desk, recording the latest story idea I’d had into my moleskine. My senses were relaxed, my brain was at peace, my words were being shared. On my windowsill belonged four small plants. My nails were painted, my nails were there (unlike how they became after the apocalypse, chipped and dirty). Beside me my phone played my favourite melodies though it had to pause every couple of minutes as my friends sent me messages. It was daytime but the sun’s rays had become blocked by the grey clouds that passengers the rain water; this means the lighting that slips in through the transparent glass is duller, softer, it does not burn my skin, it does not illuminate my flaws, it welcomes me to the afternoon. I was not too warm, nor too cold. On me I was wearing leggings that beared no unnecessary holes and a baggy jumper that had yet to play victim to my dogs white fur. I looked around my room, everything was in it’s place, including myself. The air felt clear and plentiful, I swayed about on my chair. I was alive.

And that serenity, that perfect moment, came to an end in a matter of seconds thanks to a mighty roar.

It was a crime against the still of that April afternoon - a noise that heralded death and destruction. It broke the air in stark contrast to the pitter-patter of the rain. The calm of my bedroom almost seemed insulting when I realised the havoc occurring outside my home.

My reaction back then had been to jump underneath the bed and hold onto my dog for dear life. As I’ve said before, I am naturally a flight over fight person and I felt this same instinct be triggered at the sudden gunshot which had interrupted my struggle with the undead bastard that had been clinging to my legs.

Said infected dropped to the ground, but that only gave me a small flourish of relief as I soon noticed the other ones quickening their pace, charging towards me and towards whoever had shot the other one. I was hardly given any time to realise what was going on when I heard the sound of the gun go off three more times, the bullets that followed the thunderous noise ricocheted until they made contact with each one of their heads.

And then the street fell silent, or I think it did, to me the harrowing sound of those four gunshots were still echoing, the bullets not only left death in their path, but also an irritating ringing sound.

The first sound I properly heard after the sickening show was the scrubbing of fabric against gravel as the person behind me knelt onto the ground and began reloading their gun. This had me scrambling to my feet with the panic still coursing through my veins.

Trust no one.

The words reverberated in my mind and they caused me to shrink back from the person as they made themselves known, standing out into the broad daylight.

Then I finally saw him. He was a man that looked close to my age, and he was reloading the rifle in his hands. He was tall and broad, he looked extremely strong with a chiselled face and blue eyes, so bright a shade I could tell from this far away. His messy light brown locks had fallen into his eyes but he pushed the greasy tendrils aside as his gaze finally locked onto me. He had dressed much like I had despite the summer heat, being sure to cover his skin with a long-sleeved shirt that I believe was supposed to be maroon, black jeans, and heavy combat boots. All of it was covered in blood, dirt and sweat, but I didn’t judge him much on his appearance as I knew that i probably looked as tattered as he did.

“Do you always run out into the middle of the infected like that?” He asked. His voice was low, smooth like honey and I couldn’t help but feel a wash of joy come over me as this was the first voice I’d heard in months.

“I-I- No, of course not,” I said, surprised by my own nervousness. “I was trying to sneak around them but I messed up- thank you for that by the way.” I remember feeling a little sorry for the stranger. I wondered if I was also the first human he’d had contact with for a while and, if so, I felt bad that he was being greeted by a jittery girl full of nerves mixed with adrenaline. I stopped feeling like this the moment he held the rifle up in his hands, pointing it right at my head.

“Haven’t you learned by now that we can’t afford to mess up? Unless you have a death wish.”

I ignored his question, which I believe was probably rhetorical anyway. There were much more important things that I had to deal with in that moment, like the fact that he was holding a gun to my head. I snapped at him, glaring his way rather than eyeing the gun. “What the hell are you doing, are you trying to intimidate me or something?”

The mans chapped lips that were surrounded by stubble pulled back into a faint smirk. “Is it working?” In response my eyes only narrowed further but he didn’t seem to care at all, instead he looked me once over up and down and nodded towards my arm, “humour me, will you?”

I shook my head at the stranger. I understood what he wanted and I also understood why, but I in no way agreed with his method of getting what he wanted from me.

I held out both of my arms, allowing him to inspect my smooth skin that remained free from any bites. The stranger still didn’t seemed pleased so I twirled for him, letting him inspect my body in one quick swoop to make certain that I hadn’t been bitten anywhere. When I returned to my original pose, with my hands on my hips, the man finally lowered his rifle and swung it over onto his back where it could join the rather full looking backpack he had on his body. And then he was walking away from me, turning around on his heel to walk off from me and I stared at him in wonderment.

“H-Hey!” I called after him and pushed myself forward, first fumbling to get my gun off the floor and then settling into a jog so that I’d be able to catch up with him, “where are you going?”

“Would you be quiet?” He snapped, turning to send me a quick look that I reckon probably held the power to make an undead bastard cower in a matter of seconds. If you were to look up ‘death glare’ I have no doubt that you’ll find an image of that exact face in place of the definition. “I wouldn’t be surprised if those guys had friends that are still around here.”

Though I didn’t much appreciate the attitude that he was giving me, I realised that he was probably right and so I lowered my voice but I didn’t cease in my running after him. I wanted to make some sort of snarky comment about how if he’d slow down then I wouldn’t have to yell but I was trying to get onto his good side (if there was such a thing) and so I resisted that urge.

His taller figure was making his stride longer and swifter but I still endured the struggle to keep up, and he eventually caught onto the fact that I was doing so. “And why are you following me?” He asked, “I saved your life because I was feeling nice today but usually I’d kill any stragglers with the infected and take their things. Don’t make me change my mind now.”

“B-But- that was insane!” I said, completely ignoring the threat he’d slipped into his words. Maybe I’m too trusting of people, but then again, maybe my faith in other humans was the reason I had managed to survive so long. I didn’t have to trust Steve but I still chose to and it ended up being the best decision I’d made during this damned apocalypse. “You shot each one of them in the head! You know-”

“No.” he said suddenly, rounding on his heel to stare at me. “I know what you’re going to say and no.”

I hated the way he was making me feel. With the way he was staring down at me with a scorning gaze, he had me feeling like a child that had done something very naughty. It had me folding my arms over my chest as I came to a halt in front of him, as well as puffing out my cheeks. “And what was I going to say to you exactly?”

The man grimaced, his eyes going to look over my shoulder, as though he was trying to seek out any infected before settling back on me. “You were going to ask me if I wanted to join together,” he answered in a mocking tone, “stick as a duo and make it through the infected as a team but I work alone. It’s better that way.”

“You know,” I sighed, dropping my hands down to my side, “I’ve heard that far too often and it’s turned people against people, instead of the better option of them joining forces to clear out the infected.”

“In case you haven’t noticed, the infected aren’t going anywhere.” The man replies grimly, his hand clenching tighter around the gun, and in that moment it became quite obvious that that weapon was his only comfort in this world. “There’s no cure, no way to minimize them. We’re in hell, Doll. Killing other people is the only way we can survive now.”

Was I wrong to be a little insulted that he made it out like I was just passing through this dead planet without taking in all the disasters surrounding me? Because I had noticed, hell, sometimes I noticed too much. I noticed it all. The walking corpses. The dark side of humanity that never tired of showing itself off. The hopelessness that’s always there after each wasted bullet is shot. I noticed it all and that’s why I continue to fight it by being hopeful. I don’t have the cure, I can’t conjure up food or ammunition, I’m a terrible shot, but I’m hopeful. And that’s how I plan to continue making my way through this hellscape.

“Is that what you think?” I ask, more out of curiosity than to feed my agenda.

He was quick to defend his views, proving to me that this really was his outlook on the planet; back then I thought this was rather saddening but now I realise that he was safe with that view. “When everyone is out to steal from one another then, yeah, it’s what I think,” he said, “let’s say you come with me - what’s to say I won’t kill you? What’s to say I won’t kill you right now?”

His example (or threat, I couldn’t really tell) had me holding my head a bit higher, a bit firmer. “If you wanted me as dead as much as you say, you would have already shot me in the head.”

The man’s stare hardened once more and then he turned away from me again to walk off, “I work alone, Doll.”

“Oh come on!” I groaned loudly, releasing an aggravated huff as I threw my hands up into the air. I wasn’t giving up though. I was too hopeful. Always hopeful. “I could use your help and you could use mine.”

He snorted at that, I know him finding me overpowered by an undead wasn’t the greatest presentation of my skills but there was no reason for him to be behaving so rudely towards me. “I’m not listening.”

“You can be my brawn, and I’ll be your brains.”

A short laugh erupted from his lips but he still didn’t stop walking, “that’s a little insulting, are you sure you don’t want me to kill you?”

“No, no, just listen!” I said, starting to get a sense of deja vu as I jogged to catch up with his once more, this time moving to stand in front of him so that I was able to block his path and stop him from going any further. “I’m stealthy. I admit, what happened just now wasn’t my best move, but there were four of those undead bastards on my ass and I didn’t want to die. But I can find us food, weapons, supplies. I can sneak into the small places you can’t get to and ration anything I find with you so long as you keep up your impressive headshot skills and help me.”

The offer must have interested the man because he took in a deep breath and sighed, almost in defeat. “Help you with what?”

“Help me find my b- my friend,” I explained.

“Sorry to say, Doll, but they’re probably dead.” He almost laughed as he said those words, though it wasn’t death that he found amusing, it was my naivety.

I frowned in response, quick to defend both myself and Steve from this man’s doubts. “There’s no way. He was a part of SHIELD. He’s trained and he’s smart and he’s got a unique set of super skills, I doubt he’s dead. There are a few quarantine zones that I heard the recruits all relocated to. I need to go there.”

“The zones are all wiped clean,” he replied, shaking his head at me because I was still trying to argue against him. “I would know - I’ve been there. I was in SHIELD too, kind of.”

“Well that explains your accuracy,” I mused, knowing full well thanks to the information Steve shared with me that SHIELD didn’t really take in normal people. A thought suddenly popped into my head and my face lit up, “wait, maybe you’ve heard of my friend! Steve Rogers?”

Recognition instantly flashed across his face and then something else appears and it’s gone just as quickly as it appeared. “Steve Rogers? Yeah, I’ve heard of him, we were old friends- wait a second. Are you Arria?”

The mention of my name caught my attention and I looked at him, interested. “Y-Yeah- why?” And then it seemed to hit me as I stared up at him, squinting past the sun. I knew him, not personally. But I knew him. “Bucky Barnes?”

It was no wonder that I hadn’t been able to identify him at first. Steve had shown me pictures of Bucky before but in those pictures he seemed like a completely different person, a much happier person. Even though it had been a black and white picture, he’d given it colour just with his smile. He’d also had shorter hair, and the dark circles under his eyes (a gift every human gets when trying to survive an apocalypse) were invisible.

Even if I hadn’t had the image, this Bucky was nothing like the man Steve had told me about. The Bucky I’d heard about hated unnecessary killing and was a pretty positive person. The Bucky that stood in front of me was cold-blooded, cold-hearted and had the eyes of a stone cold killer.

His names had slipped from my lips in an astonished whisper as I looked him up and down, trying to match his features to the man I saw in that photograph, still trying to accept that this was the man Steve Rogers loved dearly. It seemed weird imagining them as a pair, Steve Rogers was a golden retriever and this man was a wolf that had been starved and beaten. The wolf, the man, Bucky, nodded slowly as he raked his hand through his dirty hair.

“Wow,” I released a heavy breath of air, “well, it’s nice to see a kind-of-familiar face around here - even if you did try to kill me.”

Bucky looked at me sheepishly, the corner of his lip lifting up ever so slightly. “Sorry, it’s survival instinct. But if it’s any consolation, I’ll take you up on your offer if you help me.”

I couldn’t help the wide smile that appeared on my face, stretching my skin in an almost painful way that probably made me look a little bit insane. “Of course, anything.”

“There’s a zone south of here,” Bucky explained, “the guys in the army talked about it a lot but it wasn’t a thing then. They were still building it when the first few bombings happened but they said it was supposed to be some sort of utopia for the uninfected. Any survivors would be there - maybe even Steve. He had plans of finding you and taking you there, y’know? I don’t know what happened to him though. After the bombs dropped and the infected made their way in, everyone sort of got mixed up and lost - but you can come with me. It might be worth checking out and it’s probably your best bet right now.”

The smile on my face widened even though, despite Bucky agreeing to let me join his side, he looked like he was already regretting every word he’d said. He may have wanted my help but I suppose he still preferred working on his own.

“Sounds good to me,” I said, trying to distract him, “so we have a deal?” I held out my hand towards him and he looked at it, taking a short moment to weigh the options up in his head. At long last he sighed and nodded, reaching out to clasp his rough and calloused hand with mine.

“We have a deal,” he repeated, but when I went to pull away he squeezed his hand tighter around mine and continued speaking. “But let’s set up some ground rules first. We don’t talk much about our past lives, you stay to yourself and I stay to myself. That way we’ll get through this faster and, incase one of us dies, we won’t feel too sorry about the poor sucker, deal?” I nodded, resisting the urge to gulp as he finally let me go. “Oh, and don’t slow me down, try to keep up.”

Relief suddenly flooded me and I don’t know why but I sincerely trusted Bucky, even though he was nothing like the guy Steve had told me about. Maybe I still have faith that that hero is somewhere in him? Time must have changed him and for all I knew he was a cold-blooded killer, yet his words seemed promising and he knew Steve so all of a sudden I placed my trust in this man that must be as lost as I was. Maybe that was another mistake.

But, for now, I was quickening my pace and lagging behind him with adrenaline pumping through my veins as promising days looked ahead in my hopeful mind.

“So what now?” I asked.

Bucky glanced around the street, still on high alert for any infected that might have been lingering around, he then gestured to a small side street. “We get the hell out of here,” he said, “and fast.”

If you want to be tagged in the next few parts (there should be like thirty more) let me know and I’ll put you on a list.

An itemized list of things I love about Alexander Hamilton [the song].
  • The frankly Pavlovian joy I now get from the opening beats and strings, given how many times I’ve listened to this soundtrack all the way through. 
  • Bastard orphan [*snap*] son of a whore [*snap*] and a scotsman [*snap*].
  • “Don’t forget from whence you came!” [Because honestly, it’s a crime that whence has fallen out of modern parlance, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is doing God’s work in bringing it back.]
  • “WHAT’S YOUR NAME MAN?!” / Alexander Hamilton.
  • The aching beauty of the first few seconds of Philippa Soo’s voice.
  • The way the chorus chimes in behind Washington and sing “Alex, you’ve gotta fend for yourself!”
  • Basically, any time the chorus acts as Hamilton’s conscience.
  • “There would have been nothing left to do / for someone less astute / he would have been dead or destitute / without a cent of restitution.”
  • I mean damn? That lyrical dexterity?
  • “In New York you can be a new man! IN NEW YORK YOU CAN BE A NEW MAN! IN NEW YOU CAN BE A NEW MAAAAAN! IN NEW YOOooOoOoORK - ” “ - Just you WAAaaAaAIT!”
  • The gunshot that blasts just as Aaron Burr sings “And me? I’m the damn fool that *shot* him.”
  • Basically, this is the greatest opening track to grace any record in the history of ever, and nothing will ever beat it, and all future albums should just start at track 2 from now on as a sign of respect.

Can we please end this bullshit of attacking a person for not knowing every single fact of everything ever, like you do because you’re some kind of all-knowing God.