summary: “For Nat’s sake, Y/N, will you pretend to be my girlfriend?” words: 1038
Bucky had heard once that if it’s meant to be, it’s going to happen. His mama lived by those words. Maybe that’s why she fought every battle with bright eyes and a smile. It’s why there was never anything she couldn’t do.
There were several times in his life when he questioned the validity of those words. When Sarah Rogers died, he wondered if it meant that he was always going to be responsible for Steve. When Steve liberated the 107th, he wondered if maybe it had always been the other way around. The words lost meaning to him when fell of that train.
When he looks at Y/N, though, with her naked body curled up against him, eyes closed and soft snores escaping her nose, he can’t help but remember them.
He wonders if she remembers anything from last night. He knows he does. He remembers every last word he said, the exact number of times she whispered his name, the expressions on her face of bliss and hurt and anger and desperation. He remembers his own matching desperation, how the only thing on his mind had been bright red hair and sea green eyes and how somehow, somewhere along the way, suddenly all he could think about was Y/N. He remembers how he did what he did to deal with his own misery, like the selfish bastard he is, but how at some point it became something else, something more.
And even now, in his fully conscious and sober state of mind, when the feeling of her skin touching his is supposed to be wrong, it isn’t. He can’t move; He doesn’t want to move, and that scares him. If it’s meant to be, it’s going to happen.
She stirs beside him, and his breath catches in his throat because he wouldn’t be caught dead staring at her at his most vulnerable, especially when he knows exactly how she’ll react waking up beside him: with a red face, mumbling “this was a mistake” and rushing out of the room as if he’s hurt her.
(And he has, he realizes.)
When she only flips over and falls back asleep, Bucky lets out a breath of air and his lungs can function properly again. He decides maybe it’s best if he goes to take a shower. He’s not sure he could handle himself being beside her when she does wake up, anyway.
They’re at a club, and it’s when Bucky’s sitting between Steve, Sam, Wanda, Sharon, and Y/N, loud music pounding in his veins, that he realizes that if anything, Y/N deserves an Oscar. She’s avoided him expertly for days, and he hasn’t done much on his own part to seek her out either. It’s little things that he’s slowly registered: that she needs space, that he’s probably going to make a bad situation even worse, that this whole dynamic is toxic. For him too, but especially for her.
But this woman, oh god. She’s sitting with the others right now, laughing and talking as if nothing’s wrong at all, and the only reason Bucky can tell that something is off is because he’s concealed his own emotions for years. It’s like someone’s flipped a switch, and Bucky’s not sure why or how, but he’s become aware of how selfish he’s been, to ask someone to leave their whole life behind just so he can deal with his own crushing self worth.
She excuses herself from the group, saying something about getting a drink and winking at Wanda, who laughs in return. He notices her empty glass, and how everyone else has barely had any to drink, and he feels his eyebrows furrow in concern.
He watches her as she sits at the bar, watches how she down a drink quicker than he’s ever downed one, watches how she orders another, then another. And he knows what she’s doing, because drinking to forget? He’s tried that so, so many times.
“Oh my god, Bucky. You’re obsessed with her.” It’s Sharon Carter who finally gets him to look away and tune back into the conversation, and he realizes that everyone’s grinning at him. So he flashes his signature smile, laughs along with the others, when really, it feels like he’s only just noticed her.
Slowly, everyone disperses to their own activity. Wanda goes to the dance floor, Steve and Sharon head out to grab something to eat, saying they’ll be back, and Sam disappears to who knows where?
Bucky stands his ground for a while, until even the bartender is giving Y/N looks of concern. Then he gets up and walks over to the bar, standing beside Y/N. She doesn’t say anything when he gently takes her glass out of her hand and sets it to the side, only looks up at him with hollow, emotionless eyes that make his own throat tighten.
“That’s enough,” he says, but he can barely get the word out of his mouth. He sends Steve a quick text, then slips his arm around Y/N’s back to help her off the bar stool and onto her feet. “Let’s get you home.”
She’s quite as he guides her outside and hails a cab for the two of them. She just stares straight ahead, emotionless, not acknowledging anything. It isn’t until they’re on their way back to the compound that she speaks.
“Bucky?” She says his name so softly he has to strain to hear her. “Why– why me?”
And all Bucky can say to that is “I’m sorry.” He wants to say he’s sorry that she’s hurting, that it’s not at all her fault, that he owes her the biggest apology in the world, but the only words that he can manage to say through his constricting throat are “I’m sorry.” Over, and over, and over.
She doesn’t cry or yell at him like she should. She just goes back to staring outside quietly, leaning her head against the window. Eventually, he sees her close her eyes, and he thinks that maybe she’s asleep, but then she opens her mouth to speak again and the words she whispers make Bucky’s heart clench and his breathing stop.
summary: “For Nat’s sake, Y/N, will you pretend to be my girlfriend?” words: 1155 warnings: brief description of nsfw content
“Let’s play a game!”
You’re drunk enough that you can’t remember who’d suggested the drinking game in the first place. Maybe it was Sam. It was probably Sam.
There’s a round of ’shit’s and ’fuck you’s as Natasha spills another carefully articulated statement of ‘Never have I ever.’ You take a shot too, even though you’re not listening at this point.
Your eyes are trained on Bucky Barnes, sitting across from you with nine empty shot glasses, more than anyone else and contrasting Steve’s nine full. He’s laughing, face flushed from intoxication and heat and lust for the gorgeous woman throwing a wink at Sam as he downs his sixth or seventh glass himself. She’s avoiding his gaze, even daring to look at you, but not sparing him a glance as she laughs with the rest of the team.
You don’t know what to think of him. He’s like a drug– you know he’s bad for you. You know that the long term effects of being around him are harmful, that he hurts you more than he makes you feel good, but oh god, you can’t get enough. And with the way he’s been acting for the past few weeks, with the are you okay’s and the arms around your waist, you can’t tell what he wants.
It’s Sam’s turn to play. His drunk eyes search the room, squinted and devious, lips pursed in drunk concentration. He sees the one remaining shot glass in front of Bucky, and he breaks out into a grin. “Never have I ever…”
He pauses, eyes catching yours. “Never have I ever kissed Y/N!”
A chorus of laughs break out. Clint is giggling, Steve’s grinning from ear to ear, and Sam keeps saying, “Drink up, old man.”
But Bucky’s not laughing. His eyebrows furrow together, flesh hand gripping the shot glass tighter than necessary, and god, he won’t even look at you, longing after Nat who is skillfully laughing along with the others. He closes his eyes for a second, and when he opens them, it’s like there’s someone else in his place. Bucky’s gone, and the man in front of you is laughing again and joking again and living again, calling Sam out for targeting specifically him because, 'man, what the hell, that’s not fair.’ Except– when he downs his shot, everyone’s too drunk to notice how his eyes stay closed a second too long. You’re drunk enough to notice just that.
“Guess you lost, Tin Can,” Tony says, breaking out into a fit of laughter.
“Sam cheated,” is all Bucky says in reply, grinning as he stands up. He stretches, yawns in a way that’s so fake you’re surprised that no one calls him out, and then claims that he’s tired and going to bed.
Then he saunters off, and you’re left staring at the spot where he was sitting and your eyes are stinging because he can’t even bare to look at you and a simple statement makes him not even want to be around you and how is he your soulmate when him and Nat are made for each other and you’re just an obstacle in between and and and–
“Your turn, Y/N.” Someone pulls on your arm, but you shrug them away.
You don’t care about this stupid game and your six empty glasses anymore, and– the irony! – you’re pulling a Bucky and lying through your teeth when you say that you’re tired. And then you’re leaving the group of laughing people and storming towards your room, where you’re going to do what you should have done months ago. You’re going to end this stupid relationship and just tell him and Nat to get together and live their happily ever after and then you’re going to leave them the fuck alone.
You’re going to go somewhere far away where Bucky won’t matter and Nat won’t matter and Sam and Steve and Tony won’t matter and nobody’s going to matter, because you deserve at least some fucking peace.
So when you open the door and barge through to the middle of your room, you’re ready for a yelling match. You’re ready to tell him to fuck off and leave you alone and that you’ve had enough and that he can move on with his fucking life because you’re going far away. You’re ready to be composed and collected and to fight your fight.
You’re not ready to find Bucky pushing you against the wall, bringing his mouth so close to your ear that his breathing sends shivers down your back.
“I’m sorry,” he says, with the same genuineness that’s been tangling the strings of your thoughts into knots you can’t figure out how to undo. "I’m sorry. You don’t deserve this.“
You don’t know what to do. It’s like all the anger just moments ago you were ready to streamline towards him was a balloon that’s deflated, and you can’t really make sense of everything that’s happening around you. "What are you–?”
He puts a finger on your lips, and your words fade into the silence of the room. “I have to do this.”
You don’t even get a chance to process his words, your mind hazy with all the alcohol you’ve consumed that night. When his lips touch yours, there’s a part of you telling you that you’re drunk, that you’re going to regret this in the morning, but it’s such a small, small part, that it’s muffled by the rest of you that’s only ever wanted this.
His mouth travels from your lips to the edge of your jaw, leaving sloppy, open mouthed kisses as footprints. It feels as if you’ve been dropped in a pool of water and your feet can’t reach the ground. When his mouth reaches your neck, you can barely stand upright.
“Help me forget her,” he croaks into the edge of your collar bone. You moan in response, the feel of his lips against your skin mixing with the whiff of whiskey sending you into euphoria. Your fingers travel down to the hem of his pants, palming him through the fabric of his boxers. “Y/N,” he gasps. “Please.”
It’s then that you start kissing him back, taking the reigns and guiding his hands up your shirt. And god, this is wrong, this is so wrong, but this is all you’ve ever wanted, and maybe, right now, it’s all you need.
You can’t remember your own name when his fingers slip into your folds, and after that all you hear is your name as he eases himself out of you, falling on to the bed with an exhausted sigh.
And as you lay there, bodies glistening with sweat, pulled flush against each other in the heat of the moment, you stare at the beautiful man who’s nuzzled against you, eyes closed, chest rising and falling softly.
For the first time in months, you let yourself cry.