Over and over again, Pusheen Box shocks me with it’s greatness. The only thing I wish about this box was that it’d arrived closer to the beginning of December rather than the end of it, so I could have enjoyed the Christmas-specific items a little longer. Otherwise, there’s just SO MUCH CUTE in this season’s box.
I’m particularly fond of the finger-less gloves, the vinyl figure, and the tea infuser (to go perfectly with the adorable tea cup/saucer set we got in the Fall box). And I’m pretty excited to have a reason to use the gift wrapping materials. Anyone that really knows me, knows I’m a cat lady, so they won’t be even the least bit surprised to receive a present from me in this paper - lol.
Also, I’m just sneaking it into this post because it fits, but I received two of the Christmas Series 2 Pusheen Mini Plush for Christmas and while it’s unfortunate I got Stormy both times, it was probably the plush I wanted the most anyway so I’m not mad about it. It just gives me one to display and one my cat can steal without me getting mad at her for it - lol.
Tony jerked awake because of the absence. He rubbed at the ARC-reactor and briefly thought with dream-foggy brain, wow, I did get used to their presence. He didn’t expect that, but here he was, missing his boyfriends even while sleeping. He yawned, and get up to retreat to their room… only to realize he was in their room already. Only the others weren’t.
His mind finally kicked in, giving him the necessary information that Steve and Clint were both on a mission, so them being away was completely normal, nothing to worry about. Bucky, on the other hand… he should’ve been here. They fall asleep wrapped in each others’ arms. Tony’s heartbeat skyrocketed. “Friday?”, he asked quietly, out of breath in a second. The AI was not as familiar with him as Jarvis were - probably never ever will -, but she responded immediately.
“Mr. Barnes left twenty minutes ago, and is currently located in the swimming pool area.”
The answer only made Tony’s worry worse, and he basically sprinted out of the room, toward the lower level.
How did Bucky even get down there? The doors should’ve been locked and sealed. It’s not like mere doors could hold back the former Winter Soldier long, but breaking one means alerting Friday, and therefore alerting Tony, and…
Tony stopped as soon as he entered the hall. Bucky was near the open blue of the water. He wore his pajamas: comfortable Hawkeye-purple sweetpants, an Iron Man hoodie and Steve’s original dog tags around his neck. (Actually, all of his clothes were Avengers-themed. Since Bucky realized the first floor gift shop could provide any and every clothing item with the team’s merchanise, he refused to wear anything else.) He was also barefoot, frozen in his place with one foot in a puddle, and Tony’s heart sank as he realized his boyfriend was silently sobbing between muttered words.
“Hey, sweetheart”, Tony called, but got no response at all. Bucky’s posture was tense and submissive: shoulders hunched, metal arm loose next to him and flesh arm hugging his own torso. His head was so lowered that a vertebra was painfully sticked out on the nape of his neck.
Tony moved closer cautiously. “Baby, whatever it is, it’ll be all right.” He got around the other man in as big circle as the pool allowed him, and walked closer from the front. Bucky stared at the ground, blind, unblinking. Tony cursed under his breath.
Just as he expected: Bucky was trapped in one of his nightmares. Good dreams never made him sleepwalking.
That’s why Tony installed a door-locking protocol to the Tower. To avoid Bucky wandering away until he comes to his senses. “Friday, how did Bucky end up here?”
“I’m afraid Mr. Barnes overrode my protocol, boss.”
“In his sleep?”
“In his sleep”, Friday confirmed, and damn, that was impressive. Tony wasn’t sure that anyone beside Bucky and Natasha would be able to hack into his AI, and they had the advantage of knowing how Tony and Friday worked, but doing it while not really conscious? Damn.
Tony forced himself to pay attention to the present situation, since drooling over the Soldier’s hacking abilities was pointless at the moment. He couldn’t understand Bucky’s quiet Russian murmuring, since he was barely audible, but he’d recognize that tone anywhere: that was the sound of being in pain and begging for relief.
A Hydra memory, then.
Tony had to decide what to do. Doctors, including Bruce, always warned against waking up the sleepwalking person, especially if that person was an unpredictable supersoldier with a healing brain from past trauma, but letting Bucky stay in some godawful nightmare was on the edge of torture. Tony was always the man of risks, and just standing and watching his boyfriend’s suffering while not doing anything was really out of the question.
He clapped his hands three times, almost aggressively loud.
Bucky cried out and staggered backwards.
“Bucky, James, it’s okay, it’s me!”, Tony called at the same time, and was already next to Bucky, hugging him close to his chest, ignoring the fact that he could’ve been killed by a single blow if Bucky would react violently.
“Net, pozhaluysta…”, the first two word still came out in Russian, but then Bucky woke up more, and he shut up to finally assess his surroundings. His sobs were cut the moment he was awake, but his face was still wet with tears. “Tony…”
“Rise and shine, Sleeping Beauty”, Tony murmured into his ears, tightening his hold on him. “It was a dream, just a nightmare, it’s over now.”
Bucky clutched to Tony like his life depended on it, but still he moved both of them backward, floundering away from the light-reflected surface of the water. He shut his eyes close, and took some shaky breaths, trying to ground himself.
“Wasn’t just a dream”, he argued, and he sounded weak. Tony’s heart ached, but at the same time, he felt proud. It took a long time for Bucky to open up to anyone, and Tony was honoured to be among the trusted few. “Memory.”
“You don’t have to talk about it, if you don’t want.”
“I don’t want”, Bucky shrugged. “But Doc says I can’t repress everything”, he added after a brief pause. “Wet. The water. It… They used…”, he stammered with his words, and he had to start again. “Electricity. As a punishment. They locked me up in a cell where there was always water on the floor and if I misbeheaved… it just needed a little spark and… y'know I was already afraid of electricity.” He hid his face behind his metal palm. Tony hold him closer and tried to bottle up his anger toward long-dead people, to be as calm and collected and reassuring as his boyfriend needed right now. “Because of the machine. And I’d… I wanted to do anything just to avoid… God, I did so much to…”
That was the point where Tony lost it and couldn’t hold back his words. “No, baby, it’s not your fault, remember? We’re over this, it’s not your fault, all the blame is on them, you are innocent in their crime. And it won’t happen ever again, I promise, I swear, we’d never let it happen again.”
Bucky still didn’t lift his head.
“I know it’s awful, Bucky, believe me, I know.” Tony had his own share of torture and water-related trauma, and after tonight, he was quite sure he won’t even bear to shower for a few days. “But you can trust me, you can trust us. Me and Steve and Clint? We’d die before we let anyone harm you again, sweetheart.”
Bucky finally let his hand fall to his side, and instead he hid his face in Tony’s shirt. “I know”, he whispered.
They stand there for a while, hugging each other. Tony enjoyed Bucky’s warm presence in the embrace, and felt the slow process as the other’s pulse resettled into its normal, steady rhythm. The fact that he was able to offer comfort to Bucky made him felt better too, helped him to calm down as well.
“I’m sorry”, Bucky said after a good ten minutes of silence.
“You don’t have to”, Tony reassured him. “Wanna call Steve or Clint?”
“Nah, I’d rather stay with you”, Bucky confessed, and Tony couldn’t suppress a happy smile at that. Bucky lifted Tony’s hand to his mouth and gave a light kiss on it. “My one and only Mechanic.”
“And my one and only tin soldier”, Tony teased back immediately. The silly nicknames showed they were over the hardest part of the night. “And Bucky?”
“From now on, we’ll sleep with socks on. These tiles are freezing my feet.”
Bucky chuckled back a little laugh. “If you say so…”
Looking for a drink no one else knows about? Try Himitsu Tansan GoRanger!
Tansan means (Carbonated) in Japanese which makes the drink Carbonated Secret GoRanger. This was a drink released in 2011 in Japan packaged by the DyDo Drinco company. This was a lemon squash soda and included cans for each of the heroes, a group style, the logo for the team and two villains including:
YAKYUU KAMEN! (Baseball Mask)
This company has also released other Tokusatsu themed drinks.
Need something with a bit more kick? Try…
This is a Ramune (lemon-lime) flavored drink with cans celebrating the Showa Era of the Kamen Rider franchise including can designs made to look like the chest and belt of most of the main riders up to Kamen Rider Black as well as Ichigo in mid-henshin and one of the Shocker Combatmen.
Looking for a drink and only have three minutes, They’ve got you covered with…
Essentially the same thing as the Kamen Cider (Ramune) but packaged in cans celebrating Tsuburaya’s hero franchise.