three little birds [bucky barnes]
anonymous requested: Can you do 44 and 45 from the prompt list with Bucky? I love your blog and it’s totally okay if you can’t! 💖
tagging: @mattymattymerduck, @avengerofyourheart, @wakandasoldier, @darlingbuchanan, @bemystucky, @idorkish, @iwillbeinmynest, @aubzylynn, @angryschnauzer, @almondbuttercup (and just for fun) @bovaria, @buckyywiththegoodhair, @beccaanne814-blog
warnings: mentions of torture, some angst, pining, fluff
additional notes: so i don’t know about you guys, but shark tale was a huge part of my childhood, and i love that movie to death. gender-neutral reader. the prompts are taken from this list.
44. “I don’t know why I’m crying.”
45. “I had a nightmare about you and I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”
you can listen to the end song here. it is titled “three little birds” by bob marley and is featured in shark tale.
Despite joining the Avengers five years ago, you were still a deep sleeper. You had yet to master the “get up and go” technique of jolting awake at the slightest sounds of danger. It often took several alarms and a friendly but authoritative shake from Steve to get you out of bed in the morning, especially for early training sessions. And once your day was over, you would retreat to your room and were lucky to even shower before you passed out.
That evening, after dinner, you hung out with Bucky in the media room for a brief movie marathon. Tonight’s pick had been animated films; you had chosen Robin Hood, and Bucky had chosen Shark Tale. “The fish look cool,” he’d said defensively when you laughed at his decision. You had spent most of your time half-draped across Bucky’s lap, his arm around your shoulder while you curled up against him, feeling the thrum of his heart beneath your cheek. His chest was a good pillow, you decided, as firm as it was with muscle. As the first movie began, you had remarked teasingly about how Robin Hood had been your childhood cartoon crush. Bucky had made comments once in a while, too: quips about how odd it was for you to find the anthropomorphic fox attractive and, when Shark Tale began, “Why does the fish sound like that Smith guy you like so much?” You had laughed and shushed him while you fought back uncontrollable giggles.
Afterward, the two of you had retreated to your rooms, with yours on the floor below Bucky’s. He’d ridden the elevator down with you and insisted on walking you to your door, ensuring you were safe and sound. You had hugged him goodnight, he had kissed your forehead fondly, and you had burst into a fit of giddy laughter as soon as you shut the door behind him. You had been friends with Bucky for three years, but lately both of you had been acting bolder than usual, making more suggestive comments and subtle gestures that implied there was something else between you two other than friendship. It wasn’t all physical either; in fact, the emotional connection between you two was infinite times stronger than the physical one. And you wanted that: you wanted to have more with Bucky, but neither of you would make the first move. Steve had elected to stay out of the predicament, but when you came to him with your feelings, he had insisted that you give each other time to warm up to each other even more, to take it slow and give Bucky time to feel absolutely comfortable around you. It was a sluggish process, but with the amount of time you were spending together, it was completely worth it.
One quick, lukewarm shower later and you were in bed, sleeping soundly. You’d been asleep for three hours when you felt a hand on your shoulder, shaking you gently. Someone was calling out your name. You opened your eyes at four in the morning to see Bucky bent over you.
“Hey,” you greeted him tiredly, slowly sitting up. You recognized the look on his face: the owlish, panicked look that made his eyes look more stormy gray than their usual piercing blue. “What’s up, Buck, what’s going on?”
There was a silent plea in his gaze. You scooted over, giving him room to sit beside you. He did, and immediately wrapped his arms around you, pulling you practically into his lap. He was breathing hard; you could feel his heart beating a mile a minute in his chest. His T-shirt was damp with sweat. It wasn’t like you hadn’t hugged Bucky before, but this embrace was different. It was desperate, charged with more emotion than any contact you’d ever had with him. “Bucky?” you murmured into his neck, tentatively hugging him back.
“I had a nightmare about you,” he replied, his voice breaking as he spoke. You felt him swallow before he added almost inaudibly, “I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”
You closed your eyes, letting his explanation soak in. You knew how terrible his nightmares were, filled with broken memories and torture from Hydra—but you had never been a part of them. You comforted him from time to time—when Steve wasn’t there—but never had Bucky told you about what he’d seen, what he’d felt, whom he’d lost in his dreams. You figured he hadn’t wanted to burden you with whatever twisted vision his mind generated. It hurt to know you could cause him so much panic, even if it was indirectly. You knew that, right after waking, Bucky had trouble telling dreams from reality, so you decided to reassure him. “I’m right here, Buck,” you said softly. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. I promise. I’m real.”
Bucky laughed, but it was harsh and came out more as a grunt. You heard him sniffle, and he loosened his grip on you enough for you to pull back and look at him. His eyes were wet. He sniffed loudly again and smiled bitterly. “I don’t know why I’m crying,” he admitted, his eyes staring unfocused at the wall behind your head before fixating on you. He brought one hand to your cheek, and it wasn’t until he wiped a tear away from your skin that you realized you were crying, too. “I don’t wanna lose you,” he breathed, his eyes beseeching yours. “I can’t lose you, doll. Never.”
Your mouth fell open at his confession. He hadn’t strictly said “the words,” but you felt the sentiment all the same. You saw it conveyed in his eyes, in the way he beheld you like you were the answer to all his problems, in the way he framed your cheek with his metal palm, in the way his hand rested protectively on your hip. “You’re not going to,” you promised, leaning forward until your foreheads were touching. He hung his head, closing his eyes, while you watched him take deep breaths, his lips slightly parted. “Not me. Not ever.”
The right side of his mouth hooked upward into a lopsided grin, the one that sent warmth blooming from your chest and outward, the one that never ceased to make you smile back—which you did, right before he lifted his chin to press his lips against yours.
The kiss was soft and slow, and so were your caresses, as you rubbed Bucky’s back in slow circles, hoping to relieve some of the tension in his muscles. Gradually, he grew lax against you, his hands falling to grasp your waist and tug you even closer to him. He hummed into your mouth as your tongue met his in languid strokes, and you clutched at the back of his shoulders for dear life. He tipped your head back to deepen the kiss for just a moment, drawing a surprised gasp out of you, before he ended it, slowly pulling away from you. You tried not to stare at his lips, but all you could think about was how nice they had felt against yours, and how desperately you wanted to feel them again.
“Can I stay here, doll?” he intoned, his fingers slipping beneath the hem of your sleepshirt and dancing across the small of your back. “Please?”
You nodded, smiling up at him earnestly. “Always, Buck, always.”
He grinned again and lowered you to the mattress on your back, moving to lie down facing you. His arms encircled your waist on instinct, while his legs tangled with yours. On impulse, your own arms wrapped around his shoulders, fingers combing through his long brown tresses at a lackadaisical pace. It felt natural to lie with him nestled against you like this: his head resting near the scoop of your neck, his breaths coming in warm puffs against your skin, your hands in his hair, quietly existing in the close company of each other. You got comfortable against your pillow and started humming, improvising the rhythm as you went. After a few seconds of humming, you decided to sing.
“Don’t worry,” you crooned, “about a thing… ’Cause every little thing is gonna be alright.”
Bucky chuckled, and you paused, glancing down at him. “Keep going, doll,” he mumbled, nuzzling his face further into your neck, his stubble tickling your skin. “You sound cute.”
You beamed, carding your fingers idly through his hair. “Rise up this mornin’,” you continued, “smiled with the risin’ sun… Three little birds pitch by my doorstep…” Bucky dropped his hand to your bare hip where your shirt had ridden up, thumb-rubbing your skin as sleep began to overtake him. You kissed his forehead, feeling him go limp against you with a deep, breathy sigh of contentment. “Singin’ sweet songs of melodies pure and true… Sayin’, ‘This is my message to you’…”