Best Boyfriend You’ve Never Had (Bucky x Reader)- Part 3
Summary: The wedding is now in two weeks, and the Reader and Bucky do some planning on the backstory of their ‘relationship’. A mission doesn’t go as expected, and Steve suggests the reader and Bucky head for the wedding early as a well-earned break.
Characters: Bucky Barnes, Reader, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Tony Stark, Sam Wilson, Wanda Maximoff, Bruce Banner (briefly mentioned), Thor Odinson (briefly mentioned), Maria Hill (briefly mentioned), Helen Cho (briefly mentioned)
Warnings: Panic attack, slight angst, comforting, cuddling, fluff
Word Count: 3634 (holy cow!)
*not my gif, credit to the rightful owner*
You were sitting in your room, reading a book with the TV quietly playing a random show for background noise, your attention consumed by the plot unraveling in the pages under your gaze. Your fingers fiddled with the corner of the page you were reading before eagerly turning it to the next, your brow furrowed in bewilderment. You barely registered the soft rapping of knuckles on your doorframe until the sound of your name spoken in the voice you knew so well pulled you from the world of Paul Sheldon and the psychotic Annie Wilkes. Your eyes reluctantly tore their gaze from the story to the doorway, soaking in the sight of Bucky leaning relaxed against the frame, arms crossed and long dark locks tucked behind his ears. You smiled in greeting. He was dressed in a black V-neck tee with dark grey sweatpants resting low on his hips, feet clad in the fuzzy red and green striped reading socks you’d bought him for Christmas last year. He looked as comfortable as you felt in his presence.
“Hey stranger,” you spoke softly, as if afraid to break the peaceful ambience that had settled in your room at the late hour. “I think this is the first time I’ve seen you all day, where ya been?” You closed your book and set it down as you turned to face the broad-shouldered man. He shrugged.
“Had some stuff to get done, been running all around the city. But I tell ya, the only thing I could think about all day was gettin’ back and spending the evening with my best girl.” He grinned in an almost boy-like manner, like a child who was hopefully awaiting a response after asking for a second cookie. You couldn’t help the beam that spread across your face, the giddy flutter in your chest that was always expected after Bucky chose to hang out with you. You couldn’t describe the feeling that came with knowing that in that moment, he had chosen to spend time with you, and only you.
You patted the space on your bed beside you, lifting your covers as you climbed under them. The Brooklynite’s grin seemed to grow even wider as he nearly jumped into the bed with you throwing an arm around your shoulders as he pulled you close and held you tight.
You had never been someone who was very comfortable with physical contact, enjoying your personal space. In fact, you had never been too touchy-feely in any of the aspects of the topic; as an adolescent and young adult, you rarely said ‘I love you’, hardly gave hugs, barely even gave a reassuring pat of the shoulder when comforting a friend. There was no dark or tragic reason behind your aversion to it, it was just your personality. However, there had always been a small part of you that yearned for someone with whom you could be that comfortable with, someone with whom you could let down your walls and be every version of yourself without fear of being judged or scaring them off.
Bucky had been the same way for, obviously, his own valid reasons, of course, and when you’d first met him, you’d taken to each other quite well due to your mutual understanding and respect of each other’s need for personal space. However, as you grew closer and helped each other out of your shells, you slowly became that person for the other. That one with whom you could be comfortable, with whom you could laugh and hug and cry and rant about the littlest things and sit in silence for hours with just the comfort of each other’s company and touch. It felt so liberating, like the weight of never being able to let yourself go and be any version of yourself without fear of judgment was suddenly lifted, like the anvil it had seemed to you was in reality no more than a lightweight feather. Bucky was your person, and you his.
You wrapped your arms around him tightly, feeling all your stresses from the responsibilities of your life and job- two things that were essentially one and the same- slowly melt away in his presence. You let out a content breath, closing your eyes for a brief moment. Bucky reached forward and grabbed the book at the foot of your bed before returning to his prior position, turning it over to see the cover.
“Misery? What’s that about?” You chuckled softly.
“It’s a Stephen King book, s'about an author who gets in a car accident in the middle of nowhere and is pulled out of the wreckage by a woman who turns out to be his biggest fan. She takes him to her house and takes care of him, nursing him back to health, but she finds out that in his newest book, her favorite character Misery is killed off. She forces him to write her a new installment to her liking, and basically keeps him captive in her house in the middle of nowhere as he writes this new story. Chick is batshit crazy, and some other stuff goes down, but that’s the gist of it.”
Bucky let out a thoughtful hum as he flips through the pages. “Sounds pretty miserable.”
“Sure is. Looks like Mr. King chose a fitting title.” You tapped the cover of the book before resting your hand on his chest. You heard a soft thump as Bucky tossed the book back on the bed. Bucky drummed his fingers against your shoulder in an almost thoughtful rhythm.
“So, I’ve recently come to a realization…” you raised an eyebrow in intrigue at his conversation starter. “I’ll be pretending to be your date in two weeks and I don’t know anything about your family, really. I mean, I know the basics, but we’ve never really talked about it.” You furrowed your brows when you realized he was right. It had been almost six weeks since you and Bucky made your arrangement- four since Nat, Wanda and Sam had known had been made aware of it, and while you had noticed Bucky had been- if possible- even more present in your day to day life since then, you hadn’t actually taken the time to form a plan on your relationship’s backstory or educate him on important information of your family.
He, however, had been certainly outdoing himself as he practiced at being a suitable boyfriend, buying you surprise bouquets of flowers after missions and making coffee for you extra early in the mornings just the way you like it.
“Well, doll, if we’re gonna be a ‘couple’, it’s gotta look like it. We gotta get into some kinda routine if we’re ever gonna convince your family we’re dating. We gotta convince ourselves, so we don’t slip up, I mean.” Bucky had hastily explained when you’d finally questioned his sudden acts of extended chivalry. You had felt your heart drop an inch as you were suddenly snapped out of your ridiculous hoping and reminded that this was all just a ploy. He wasn’t actually interested, just a very devoted friend. That’s all this was, a con to get your family off your back. After the wedding, it would go back to how it was before, playful teasing and playing the wingman/wingwoman for each other at dingy bars on cold Saturday nights.
You nodded thoughtfully. “Oh. Right, I suppose we should figure out what our backstory is, and make sure you actually know who you’ll be spending the weekend with.” You sat up, reaching for your phone before settling back into bed, this time beside Bucky rather than against him. You went into your camera roll, clicking on the album of photos you had taken at your last family reunion a few years ago.
“Now, you know about my mom, Trish, and my dad, Bill-” you pointed to your parents in the picture on the screen. “Then my younger sister Catherine- she’s the one who’s getting married, my older brother Graham and our dog, Ace. That’s Lisa, Graham’s wife, and their kids, Jace, Aaron and Abby.” You swiped to the next photo. “That’s my uncle, Joe- my dad’s brother, and his wife, Claire. They have two twin sons who are my age, Connor and Joel. The girls in the photo are Connor and Joel’s girlfriends, Holly and Sarah, but Joel and Sarah aren’t together anymore; it’s kind of a funny story, actually…”
You woke up with your cheek squished against your hand, which was resting flat on something broad and hard. You felt your head slowly rising and lowering in even measures- more specifically, the surface on which your head rested- and you sloppily slipped your numb hand out from under your cheek and shook it out, lazily looking up to meet the sight of your best friend looking more peaceful then you’d ever seen him before. Eyes resting shut with long lashes dusting over angular cheekbones, somewhat chapped lips parted slightly to let out soft and deep breaths. You stared in wonder at the sight before you before you realized how weird this must have looked. Staring longingly at the man you were secretly in love with while he slept? How’s that for a creepy cliché?
You rested your head back down on his chest and tried to fall back asleep, but found yourself unable to get your scrambled thoughts to settle in your mind. The wedding is in two weeks. Two weeks. And you had a weeklong mission tomorrow. No, wait, that’s not right. The mission was tomorrow yesterday, so doesn’t that mean…
Your head snapped up in panic. “Shit!” You scrambled up from the bed, effectively awakening the previously peacefully sleeping man beside you. “Buck, get up, we’re gonna be late for the briefing!” You flew around your room, gathering your things and packing your bag before dashing into your closet to change into your gear. You only checked the time after you were done brushing your hair and teeth, seeing you were five minutes late for the briefing. You hurried out of your bathroom only to catch a glimpse of your best friend’s wispy locks before he disappeared out your door. You paused as you noticed your previously unmade bed sitting in the middle of the room, the covers now neatly pulled up and tucked under the pillows, a torn piece of paper sitting in the center of the mattress.
‘Test me about your family on the jet.
For an unexplained reason you felt a giddy grin spread across your cheeks, and with that, you were out the door, the note firmly in your grasp.
You and Bucky met again as you rushed to the briefing room, sharing a paniked smile before hurrying through the glass doors where the rest of the team were already sitting, Steve in the middle of a sentence.
“Sorry we’re late, we overslept, won’t happen again, Captain,” you rambled apologetically, fixing your hair into a quick ponytail as you caught your breath. Steve’s mouth was slightly agape at the sudden interruption, face stoic and unimpressed.
His expression suddenly changed to possess an amused yet contrastingly almost disapproving-father-like quality. He put a hand on his hip as he stood tall and straight, the other gripping a glossy tablet. “Both of you?” He slightly quirked his head, awaiting an answer. Natasha smirked, and you knew you wouldn’t hear the end of it the whole ride to the mission. You felt your face grow uncomfortably hot, and you knew you were probably beet red by now.
“U-uh, we-” you had no idea how to form a sentence that Sam and Tony wouldn’t overanalyze to death for sexual innuendos. Thankfully, Bucky stepped in, silver tongue saving the day once again.
“(Y/N) and I were talking last night about the wedding and fell asleep on her bed. It was pretty late, so we overslept. Sorry, pal, won’t happen again.” You nodded along with his apology, sliding into a seat and cleared your throat.
“So, what did we miss?” You blatantly ignored the pointed smirks plastered across the faces of Natasha, Sam and Wanda. The rest of the team was a little more subtle, thankfully, but you knew they were all thinking the same thing. It wasn’t easy to hide the fact that you and Bucky were going to a wedding together for two months, so after you made the mistake of spilling the beans to the three amigos, it was less than 24 hours before Sam had blabbed to the rest of the team. Well, not everything, and not everyone. He had only told Steve that Bucky was going with you to your sister’s wedding as a friend, which you’d appreciated greatly. However, Tony had overheard the conversation and then he had told Bruce and Bruce asked Nat about it who had then confirmed Sam’s version. Thor had heard from Steve during one of Tony’s post-mission parties last week, and then suddenly Maria and Helen were unsubtly inquiring about it during girls’ night with you, them, Nat and Wanda a few nights after. So, while the fact that Bucky was playing the boyfriend had managed to remain between you, Nat, Wanda and Sam, you and the dark-haired soldier had been incessantly teased by the rest of the team, namely Tony, the past month of your lives filled with raised eyebrows, not-so-subtle innuendos and Tony’s many attempts at making a couple name for you, none of which having- thankfully- caught on yet.
Steve, who had been the least difficult, took in a breath- his equivalent of “anyway…”- as he got into the briefing once more.
“Steve, what the hell was that?” You stopped the captain as the rest of the team filtered off the jet, all shaken from the mission. It wasn’t particularly difficult, just a smash and grab hostage rescue, but one thing that had not been revealed was the fact that the key target of the HYDRA group who had infiltrated a political meeting in France was none other than the daughter of Alexander Pierce. Bucky had immediately shut down, and you’d only just been able to get him back to the quinjet before his panic attack reared its head. You’d managed to calm him down, staying with him for the rest of the mission on the jet after explaining where you’d gone to the team.
It had been so long since you’d had to comfort Bucky through such an episode; this was only the second one since he’d returned from Wakanda, and in that moment you had felt a pure, blinding rage burn in your chest at Steve for having Bucky face one of the biggest demons of his past once again, though when you’d later had time to reflect, you understood that Steve would have never allowed Bucky to come along had he known all the details. But even if it wasn’t Steve’s fault, Bucky had still suffered. Seeing a piece of the man who had forced him to do such awful things, slowly tearing away piece after piece of the version of himself that Bucky had been desperately trying to hold on to through all those years, it had for a moment sent the man spiraling back to square one. For a moment. And then he had come back to you.
“Shh, Bucky, you’re okay, you’re safe, you’re here. I’m here, it’s (Y/N), I’m right here with you. You’re not alone. Pierce is dead, he’s gone, he’ll never hurt you again, Bucky please, please come back to me…” you rubbed gentle circles into the hyperventilating soldier’s back as he curled into himself, eyes squeezed shut and jaw clenched painfully tight. Strong hands tangled in long dark hair, pulling roughly as he shook his head over and over again.
“James Buchanan Barnes, listen to me,” you spoke soft but firm, gently resting a hand on his knee to ground him. You placed your other hand over one of his, still tightly gripping his head, knuckles white with strain. You rubbed your thumb over his skin. When Bucky had been taken into custody after the bombing of the UN and he had been interrogated by Zemo, you’d noticed one thing while listening. When Zemo had called him James, the somber captive had spat out that his name was Bucky, not James. In that moment, you’d realized his name was grounding for him; being able to identify that he wasn’t Sergeant James Barnes from the 107th infantry, he wasn’t the Winter Soldier, he was Bucky, best friend of Steve Rogers and the only person he wants to be. “James, do you remember your name?” You pressed.
Bucky’s chest visibly tightened, his eyes squeezing impossibly tighter, jaw now set in determination. “Bucky.”
“What’s that?” You compelled him to repeat himself, to convince himself, to ground himself.
He let out a strangled grunt as he tried to slow his breathing. “My name, is Bucky.”
“What’s your name?”
His eyes snapped open, staring into your own. You could see the determination in his icy blue orbs. “My name is Bucky Barnes.”
“You’re damn right it is.”
As you reached for Steve’s shoulder and roughly turned him to face you, you were taken aback by the pure shock in his sea-blue eyes. “I-I didn’t know. I didn’t know. They didn’t tell me, I swear, I’d have never… I didn’t know, (Y/N).” You felt guilt wash over you in waves, crashing against the walls of your chest as you pulled the super soldier into a hug.
“It’s okay, I’m sorry I yelled at you. I know you’d have never let him go along if you’d known. It’s okay. He doesn’t blame you. It’s not your fault. I was just scared.”
Steve gripped you tightly as he shook his head. “I think you should go early.” You frowned at his mumbled comment into your shoulder.
Steve straightened up, running a hand over his face as he composed himself. “I think you and Bucky should go to see your family early. He needs it, an escape from all… this. Especially now. He needs to recuperate, be in a place where there’s nothing that can threaten all the progress we’ve made.” You nodded. The wedding was in two weeks, but you new Bucky could definitely use a break, and your family wouldn’t mind you coming early.
“You can leave tomorrow if you’d like.”
“Okay, tell me again.” You were on the plane to your hometown, and your knee hadn’t stopped bouncing the whole flight. Bucky rolled his eyes.
“(Y/N), we’ve been over this so many times, I won’t forget anything.” You gave him a pointed look, asking him to humor you. He sighed.
“Your mom’s name is Trish and your dad’s name is Bill. She is a grade 2 teacher and he’s a mechanic. Your sister Catherine is two years younger than you and is getting married to a guy named Thomas. Your brother Graham is one year older than you and is married to Lisa with three kids. Your dog is named Ace, he’s a golden lab-boxer mix and is the only member I’m looking forward to meeting.” You jab his ribs with your elbow.
“I’m kidding!” He chuckles as he nurses his side.
“And us?” Bucky smoothed out his shirt and fixed an imaginary necktie before clearing his throat and taking a deep breath dramatically. You snorted at his theatricality.
“We’ve been dating for six months and two weeks; our anniversary is the 10th of March because I asked you out on my birthday after I told you that you were what I wished for.” You smiled at this. Bucky had suggested this detail. “For our six month anniversary, if anyone asks, I made you a home cooked meal of roast chicken, seasoned rice, green beans and sautéed mushrooms, your favorite meal from back home, and I bought you a bouquet of orange tiger lilies, your favorite flower.” You were still surprised when Bucky had suggested this, touched that he’d remembered you mentioning your fondness of the flowers in passing when you were telling him about your family early in your friendship. “Our relationship is obviously serious enough that I’m attending your sister’s wedding with you, but we haven’t yet talked about our future other than what we want eventually in life, so we’re just going with it at the moment. Our jobs are hectic, but we make it work, and we’re happy.”
You couldn’t help as the corners of your lips tugged upwards at his words. Even if you’d gone over this extensively during the flight and it was all just a ruse, you still felt a flutter in your chest at his words. Even if it was all pretend, even if none of those things had happened and he didn’t mean anything he was saying, you allowed yourself for a moment to believe that this was real. That Bucky was in fact in a relationship with you and you were blissfully happy. That he had eyes only for you, and he cared so deeply for you. That he maybe even loved you…
You shook yourself out of your thoughts, chastising yourself as you cleared your throat. “Yep, that sounds good. They’ll, uh… they’ll eat it right up.” Bucky’s proud smile seemed to falter for a moment as he studied your eyes before picking up brighter than ever, and he bumped your shoulder with his.
“We’re so gonna be couple goals,” he grinned. You rolled your eyes. “It will be lit,” he announced, and you groaned. You should not have shown him that modern slang website.
“Oh God, do not say that when we get there.” You put a hand over your face. This would be a long two weeks.
A/N: Sorry for the wait, this was kind of a filler chapter to fill you in on what’s happened over the time skip (because two months is a long time and the real action will all happen in the two weeks leading up to the wedding and then after). Once again, part 4 will most likely be up sometime this week. Thank you for all your support!
Tag list- Sorry if I’ve missed anyone, let me know and I’ll be sure to add you! Strikethrough means the blog couldn’t be tagged.