sometimes he gets LOST in the autonomy that is his body. his reflection, it is something he hasn’t seen for the better part of a century. hydra had DEPRIVED him of everything ;; every right && privilege, every small decency - revoked. a GHOST does not possess a reflection. james barnes forgot he even had one. his eyes drift, and he finds himself lost in the maze of VICIOUS, bubbled scars crisscrossed across his chest && shoulders. he avoids mirrors often because of this tendency to wander. the longer he stands there - unnaturally stiff && silent, staring at this body that is apparently his - the dimmer his eyes become, until the thing he is staring at doesn’t even feel like a reflection, but some kind of cruel exhibit. he does not know that CREATURE in the glass cage, but he looks distressingly empty.
SALVATION comes in the form of intimacy, compassion. steven rogers is a MERCY he does not deserve, but one he can not resist.
the SIGNIFICANCE of his gesture - its meaning - is not lost on the soldier. a kiss pressed to this MARRED body of his, as if he is made of something porcelain. he knows better though - knows he must taste like ash && blood ;; must stink like DEATH and metal ;; must feel cold && hard. —but still, he appreciates his selflessness ;; his unwavering kindness. a soft kiss pressed to the remains of the metal WEAPON their enemy fastened to this body. it isn’t a piece of james barnes. it belongs entirely to THE WINTER SOLDIER. the majority of it is gone now, consumed by a plasma blast that missed his heart by mere inches. the red star - the RUSSIANS stamp - destroyed, but the shoulder still remains, metal fused to bone, nested deep inside of him ;; not unlike hydra’s influence. it is a cruel and ugly reminder of his many missing pieces.
but steve, always the HERO, finds him before he can truly lose himself, pulling him back from the brink of DESPAIR. barnes breathes out slowly, closes his eyes and leans back slightly, seeking the warmth, silently asking for just a little more. it goes UNSPOKEN between them, his tongue thick and throat tight, but he prays steve understands. understands the words which live inside his beating heart…
He’s goadingher; she k n o w s it, that smile slick across his face, braced and prepared to block any swing she takes at him. Could’ve flushed red, but she’s already panting, collarbones slick with sweat, turning the staff over in her hand when everything else narrows.
So she’d done it: couldn’t STAND the way he worked under her skin, knew more about all of this than she did, spoke with an impossible challenging p a t i e n c e . Made her falter and flustered until she couldn’t take it, yanked him forward with a puzzled ferocity that landed on the smart curve of his m o u t h .
She’s intentional: at not remembering what it’d felt like … but she can’t forget his gaping grin the second she’d pulled away. Like he’d caught her, papers scattered with some embarrassing secret, training school scrawl across the back of a childhood love letter.
More ammunition for the way she wants to take him to the G R O U N D … yet another way his control leaves her reeling. Because of course she needs more training on the larger weaponry, too big for her grasp…the same ones that fit so frustratingly easily into h i s .
Now, he watches her with amusement, the way she scowls, trying to perfect every technicality and hold her breath when he – shifts her hips, presses into her b a c k . Teases things like t h a t to get inside her head – and she doesn’t want to admit it’s working, but the bruises all along her legs say otherwise.
But he’s missing that raw venom, the trained killer that doesn’t flinch, and it takes another forty-five seconds before she lands a solid swing and sends him skidding to the ground.
Turns her back to him ( a petty insult laced with smugness ) when she moves back to her starting point.