Bucky Barnes x OFC.
Read on A03.
The humidity of the city is practically unbearable during the height of the season, evaporation impossible as beads of sweat cling to your brow and heavy sighs force labour upon your lungs. The heat triggers your insomnia and shifting through a catalogue of positions you only manage to get tangled further in the sheets, submerged into the world of reality as opposed to dream.
Your feet stick to the floor as you stand in front of the open panes of glass, landscape painted in shades of grey as you hear the gentle mummer of a song breaking through the air from the bar down the street; drunk men stumbling home to wives and mistresses as your nightgown clutches at the corners of your body like a desperate lover making you wonder how the latest news can possibly be true.
Casting your eyes skywards you watch the stars take on the form of Bucky’s lopsided scrawl, the words of the letter folded against your dresser blazing against the midnight velvet causing tears to slip between your lashes as they fill the sky.
‘We’ll have to visit again when this is all over doll, you’ll love the nightlife and the way that the moon stretches out against the horizon. It feels like you’re standing on the edge of the world when it gets dark – staring into oblivion if you head towards a certain spot. I’m pretty sure that together we could conquer even that though; you and me against the world, wasn’t that the deal? I’ll be back for you soon, sweetheart. I love you. James.’
The words were written with the intention of soothing the pain of his absence and yet their delivery had only caused your blood to run cold as another uniformed officer stood in Bucky’s place, handing over the tattered piece of stationary alongside a starch white envelope and unfamiliar cursive, “My condolences, ma’am.”
You had fallen to your knees as he walked away, tugging at your clothes as you struggled to process just what the telegram could possibly mean when it told you in the words of the Unites States military that ‘We regret to inform you that Sargent James Buchanan-Barnes of the 107th has been declared missing in action’. He couldn’t be gone; you refused to accept it. He was coming back for you. He had given his word that he would and Bucky Barnes never went back on a promise.
The official template was speaking of a man foreign to you, a soldier poised for war whom you had never had the privilege of meeting. You didn’t know Sargent Barnes – you only knew the boy who cried watching Sleeping Beauty; the teenager who spent a summer in plaster for saving his best friend from a group of thugs; the lover who made you feel like the Earth’s most precious stone; the man that assured you he would always come home. You knew Bucky, not an army rank.
Staring at the paper you considered how many next of kin had suffered the fate of such wretched words, the ambiguity of such a letter making it sound as if they were children lost to play and not men sent out on false authority to battle suicide missions. It was the uncertainty of lost futures that caused the most pain, everything you had believed to be true discarded in a few broken sentences and once again you felt like the world was falling from beneath you.
Sliding to the floor you tried to distract your mind with a list of things that needed to be done now that James was… missing. First you would have to visit his mother - explain the news that he had so feared her having to hear when he first enlisted - and then there was Steve – Steve who had gone blazing after Bucky into the line of fire as if they were still children on the playground. They had always been inseparable and a new wave of anguish ripped through you on Steve’s behalf as you realised how this could no longer be possible. You had lost a lover, his mother a son but Steve had lost the most. He had lost a brother, a best friend and his one true ally.
Right now you needed to be strong, if it wasn’t for you then for the Captain sent out overseas to join the man who would no longer be at his side. Steve may not have known it yet but he needed you and it was your duty to Bucky – to the man who you would always love – to be there for him and you’d be damned if you were letting either of them down.