Summary: The entire team is woken up when Bucky and Y/N are arguing loudly in the middle of the night. The story behind the screaming goes much deeper than any of them would have thought.
Bucky x Reader. HURT/COMFORT, FLUFF (not super fluffy though). Word count: 2.3 k.
TW: yelling, bruising, mentions of violence, holes being punched in walls
A/N: I’m not sure how I feel about this one. It’s a little darker than I usually write. Inspired in part by the song “Hate Me” by Blue October. I hope you enjoy it though!
“Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you.” - Blue October
“I said, GET OUT!” Bucky’s deep voice echoed down the hall as he shouted. It was late and he was probably waking up the rest of the team, but that was the last thought running through his mind. Y/N stood in front of him with tears in her eyes. “NO! BUCKY! Just listen to me! I just need you to listen to me! C’mon! BUCKY, PLEASE!” He was drenched in sweat and breathing rapidly, as if he had just finished a marathon. He went to open the door, but she took a step to her left, putting herself between him and the door. Bucky clenched his jaw with frustration. He bent over, gently picked up Y/N, and put her over his shoulder. “Don’t you dare. PUT ME BACK DOWN!” she hollered as he proceeded to carry her out of his room. He set her down in the hallway and stormed back into his room, slamming the door behind him. Y/N growled in angst as she heard the click of the lock. She stood in front of his door and yelled “THIS ISN’T OVER BUCKY! YOU CAN’T AVOID ME FOREVER!”
Y/N walked over to the lounge. She didn’t want to go back to her room. She really only used that room to store her stuff—she always spent the night in Bucky’s room. There was no way she’d be able to fall asleep in that bed. Plus, from the lounge, she would be able to hear Bucky’s door open when he eventually came out of his room. She plopped down on the couch and started sobbing. She heard footsteps coming from down the hall—two sets. One was too light to be Bucky, and the other person was dragging their feet, which Bucky never did.
Y/N peeked over the back of the couch to see Natasha and Tony walking into the lounge. “Go away. I’m fine,” said Y/N through quiet sobs. Nat sat down on the couch next to her while Tony pulled over a chair. Nat wrapped her arms around Y/N in a comforting hug, and Tony asked “What’s going on, kid?” She and Tony had always had a very father-daughter type of relationship. She was the youngest member of the team, and not battle-hardened like the rest of them. Y/N worked as their public relations coordinator and never went out on missions, so she technically wasn’t even an Avenger, but everyone loved her so much they treated her the same as they treated each other. She had viewed Tony as a father-figure ever since he hired her, and he was very protective of her. “Nothing. Don’t worry about it,” she replied.
Nat placed her hand under Y/N’s chin and guided her face up so Y/N was looking at her and Tony. Nat smiled and said “It’s okay girl, you can tell us. Maybe we can help.” Y/N wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “Yeah, ok, it’s—it’s—“ she struggled to get the words out. Tony got up and draped a blanket over her. All she was wearing were some little booty-short pajama bottoms and a spaghetti-strap cami, and was clearly getting cold. She looked up and said “Thanks. It’s just that Bucky and I are having some problems.” Tony leaned in and said “Uh, kid—we kinda figured out that much by the yelling. C’mon now, what happened?” Y/N sighed. “So Buck’s nightmares are still something we’re working through and some nights are better than others. Tonight was not a good night. He was tensing up and making these awful little screaming noises. Usually, I can just wake him up and talk him down and everything’s ok but tonight—“ she stopped speaking when Nat reached behind her to turn on a lamp. Nat and Tony both noticed that there were bits of plaster in Y/N’s hair and a softball-sized bruise developing on her arm.
Tony’s eyes widened as he asked, “Did he do that?!” Y/N sniffled and said “Yeah, but it was an accident. He was asleep and—“ Tony stood up before she could explain any further. “I’M GONNA KILL THAT GUY!” Tony shouted with conviction. “Whoa! Hold on here. Everybody just calm down for a second,” Nat said in an attempt to diffuse the situation. Tony ran over to Bucky’s door and pounded on it as hard as he could. “BARNES! GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE OR I SWEAR TO GOD I’LL BREAK THIS FUCKING DOOR DOWN!” Y/N tried to get up to go stop him, but Nat wouldn’t let her go. Natasha knew that letting a civilian put herself between Iron Man and a super soldier wouldn’t end well for anybody. “PISS OFF, TONY! JUST GO BACK TO BED!” yelled Bucky from the other side of the door. Tony tapped on his watch, triggering it to transform into a glove like the hand of his suit. Tony shot a repulsor beam at the door, causing it to fly off the hinges and into the room.
Tony walked in the room to see Bucky sitting on the bed rocking back and forth, staring at a fist-sized hole in the wall. Bucky had clearly been crying, but Tony was so angry that he didn’t even pay attention. “BARNES! WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU DONE?!” hollered Tony. When Bucky didn’t turn to look at him, Tony back-handed Bucky across the face, but Bucky didn’t react outside of a small wince. Tony bent down and got right up in Bucky’s face, and sternly said “C’mon Barnes, stand up. Fight. If you don’t, I’m just gonna keep on wailing on you because nobody treats Y/N like that.” From the lounge, Y/N screamed “Please don’t hurt him, it’s not his fault!” Tony shot another beam in Bucky’s direction, which Bucky deflected with his metal arm, causing it to hit the window. The sound of the breaking glass caught the attention of everyone on the team, and one by one they started wandering out of their rooms.
While everyone else lingered in the hallway outside of their doors, Steve came running down the hallway to see what was going on. Steve always had a tendency to be the peacekeeper when there was conflict amongst members of the team, and he had a strong hunch he would have to intervene. Steve put himself between Tony and Bucky and asserted “Everybody. Lounge. Now.” As Bucky and Tony worked their way over to the lounge, where Y/N remained crying in Nat’s arms, Steve turned to the rest of the team. “Go back to bed folks,” he instructed them, “we don’t want to make things any worse than they already are by pulling more people into it. Everything’s gonna be fine so just go get some sleep.” They all went back into their rooms, and Steve walked out to the lounge.
In the lounge, everyone found a place on the furniture while Steve stood at the front of the room, arms crossed. “Does somebody wanna tell me what’s going on here?” he asked, in what Nat had always referred to as his “dad voice.” Nat looked up and replied “Steve, I’m not so sure anybody in this room knows the whole story.” Tony stiffened in his seat like a dog getting ready to attack. He stared directly at Bucky while he spoke, explaining that “We know enough. We know that there was some kind of fight between Y/N and Bucky, and that there’s a hole in the wall and a bruise on her arm, courtesy of Barnes.” Bucky sat in his chair with his elbows on his knees, and his hands covering his face. His words were muffled when he said “I know, I’m a piece of shit. Don’t worry—I’ll be gone in the morning.”
Y/N was still crying—she had always been one of those people who, once they start crying, have a difficult time stopping. Nat was rubbing small circles on her back in an attempt to comfort her, but it wasn’t helping. Steve turned to Y/N and gently asked, “Can I hear your side of the story, Y/N?” She looked up and took a deep breath, trying to find some composure and began speaking, quietly at first but louder as she was able to collect herself a little bit more. “Okay, here’s what actually happened—Bucky was having a nightmare. His nightmares are still pretty frequent, but we’re working on it. Usually, when he has a bad one, I’ll wake him up an we’ll talk about it for a while until he can calm down and go back to sleep. What happened tonight was that when I tried to wake him up, he smacked my arm and it knocked me off the bed. He was still asleep when it happened—the dream must have been vivid enough to cause him to lash out physically, even though he wasn’t awake. He woke up when I hit the floor. He was so upset that he hit me that he punched a hole in the wall. I’ve been trying to tell him that it wasn’t his fault that he hit me, and we just need to find another way to deal with the nightmares, but he’s convinced that I can’t ever be safe around him, which is totally not true. I never feel safer than when I’m with Buck, but I can’t convince him otherwise. Maybe you can, Steve. Please—I don’t wanna lose him.”
Steve nodded, and asked “So what was all this nonsense between Bucky and Tony that woke up the entire floor?” “Tony saw my bruise and I think he assumed that Bucky did it intentionally and he kinda just lost it. I think he was trying to protect me, but he didn’t have the whole story yet. I don’t need to be protected from Bucky, and he didn’t do anything wrong. He was asleep—it’s not his fault.” “Is she right?” Steve asked Tony. Tony sighed and said “I may have overreacted a bit, but I’m not apologizing.”
Bucky sat up and looked at Tony. “I don’t deserve an apology. I definitely don’t. Just like how I don’t deserve a place on this team or a room in this tower or friends, and I sure as HELL don’t deserve Y/N, and she deserves better than me. Seriously, you should all hate me right now. It’s what’s best for everyone. That’s why I should go.” Steve turned to Nat and Tony. “Thanks guys, but I’ll take it from here. Go back to bed.” The two of them went back to their rooms and Steve took a seat on an ottoman. Y/N reached out and grabbed Bucky’s wrist. He could have easily pulled it away, but he wanted to treasure the warmth of her soft hand one last time before he left, since he had no plans to return. “Bucky,” she began softly, “I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now, but it’s important that you know this wasn’t your fault and I’m not mad at you. That wasn’t the real you. That was a dream. I know that the real you would NEVER hurt me. I know that the real you would take a bullet before you let any harm come my way, and I know that you are not bringing harm my way.” She paused, and Steve took the opportunity to speak up. “Bucky, this is something that can be worked on. The two of you can find a way to get through this. I know you can. You’re not the bad guy here, Bucky. You just need a little help, and that’s okay. You say that you’re not deserving of all of this, but you are. You might not feel like it right now, but you really are.” Y/N gripped Bucky’s wrist a little tighter and said “We just have to sort this out together, Buck. You and I can do anything if we’re together. We just need to try something different with the dreams. Maybe from now on, if you’re having a nightmare I’ll just scoot over and wait until you wake up on your own, and then we can talk it out. That way you don’t have to worry about hurting me. We can move your stuff into my room until your window gets fixed, along with the hole in the wall. Hell, maybe we can fix them ourselves and make a day out of it. I love you Bucky, with all of my heart, and I don’t want to lose you because you’re blaming yourself for something that isn’t your fault.”
Bucky pulled his wrist out of Y/N’s grip and grabbed her hand, softly intertwining his fingers with hers. “I love you too, Y/N. It just kills me that I hurt you. I just want you to be safe and happy, not hurting because I smacked you off of a bed. I’m so sorry.” Y/N smiled and leaned in close to him. “Buck, as long as I’m with you I know I’ll be safe, and you make me happier than anything in the world. Tonight was just a hurdle—we can still finish the race. C’mon, let’s go get some sleep.” He nodded affirmatively with a shy smile and kissed the back of her hand. She stood up and Bucky followed as she walked toward her room, still holding his hand. “Thanks Steve!” she said with a giggle as they exited the lounge.
They stopped by Bucky’s room just long enough to cover up the broken window with a sheet, and then moved up the hall to Y/N’s room. As they passed Tony’s door, they could hear him shout, “Glad things are okay, but you’re paying for that window, the hole in the wall, and for the door too!” The two of them laughed while they made their way into Y/N’s room. They crawled into her bed and spent the night sleeping peacefully in each other’s arms, both knowing that they were exactly where they should be—together.
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