You know how much I love your writing. :) I just saw the list of prompts you posted and was hoping you'd please do 'Meet Me' with Bucky?
Meet Me: My character is meeting yours either for the first time or just causally.
You hear him before you see him.
It’s the sound of pounding boots against the pavement, the lumbering shuffle of a man whose bones are tired but whose body knows he cannot give up just yet. You’ve watched him trawl the city for corners to sleep in, for places where he can be invisible.
He never stays anywhere for more than a handful of hours.
You know this because you’ve been tracking him. Ever since he pulled Steve Rogers from the river, following a rather spectacular battle between the two old friends, you’ve been waiting.
He would know your face, that was a given. He knew everyone who had been part of his programme at HYDRA. You hoped, briefly, that he wouldn’t try to kill you. You’d been trying to implant into his damaged psyche that you were one of the good people, that you could help him free himself.
Another pounding of feet brings you out of your reverie, and you press your gun a little closer to your body. Like a predator, you stand and you wait for the world to come to a standstill.
Bucky stumbles into the room, clutching at his chest. He wheezes uncontrollably, breath escaping him, lungs unable to expand fast enough to drag oxygen into his system. You allow him his moment to breathe. He’ll need strength when you make yourself known.
‘I didn’t know you were a late night jogger, Barnes,’ you say clearly, in English, stepping out from the shadows.
His body freezes at the sound of your voice. It takes him a moment to pull himself up to full height, but when he does, you can’t help but notice the softness of him. He’s gaunt, having rapidly lost weight from lack of food, with plum coloured circles dropping from his eyes.
‘Te rog nu-mi face rău,’ he pleads softly, dropping to his knees and holding up his arms as though you have the place surrounded. His palms are quivering.
After a moment, you put the gun away, louder than usual in order to catch his attention. Then, with a few steps forward, you hold out a hand to him.
‘We don’t have a lot of time, but I’m here to help you,’ you explain gently, wanting to smile when he visibly relaxes with you.
‘I’m not going back.’
‘I know. And I’m not sending you back.’
‘Then what are you doing?’ he murmurs, suddenly getting a little confidence back, ‘I know who you are. You’re with HYDRA.’
You had planned ahead for such accusations. Rifling through your coat pocket, you withdraw a badge you’ve held in safe keeping since the moment you stepped into the HYDRA base. You hold it out to Bucky, who stares at it suspiciously.
‘I’m an Agent with SHIELD, Bucky, i have been for the last two years. I’m the world’s formative expert on the Winter Soldier programme. I stole information from HYDRA right under their noses and now- I’m here to help you.’
In the corner of the room sits a small suitcase. It was filled with a change of clothes, some non-perishable food, a plane ticket and around three hundred thousand dollars in cash.
‘In this is everything you need. I’ve set you up with a safe house in Bucharest- you stay there until I can figure things out. I’ll be there in two weeks, just to watch over you.’
‘And do what?’
‘Well, for one, make sure they don’t turn you back,’ you say, allowing yourself to press a hand to Bucky’s human shoulder. He flinches at the contact. After a moment’s thought, you remove the gun from your waist and hand it to him.
‘Come on. Car’s waiting.’
You start to walk, leading the way out of the small garage, when the broken chords of his small voice stop you.
‘Why are you helping me?’
With a soft sigh, you turn to look at him. In the pale light of the garage, he seems so small and helpless. You want nothing more than to hide him from the world.
‘Because you need a friend,’ you reply quietly, ‘And someday I might need you.’