“Little princess is all tucked up,” Bucky hears as soon as he opens the door, drained and disappointed and smelling of perfume. “No toys broken, no bones either, only one of us ate soap and sadly it wasn’t short stuff.”
He snorts out a laugh, kicking his fancy shoes off to lie beside Clint’s purple sneakers. He should keep em on, should offer to drive him home, but they both know he’s gonna end up crashing on the sofa anyhow.
“Why’m I sensing a ‘but’?”
“Cos mine’s just that good,” Clint says. “It has an aura.”
Bucky walks into the living room, pulling off his tie, but his hand freezes when he sees Clint’s face.
“What the fuck happened?”
See, people (Steve) had said he was crazy to be hiring on Tasha’s weird veteran roommate as a babysitter. People (mostly Steve) said they weren’t sure he could be trusted, said - painfully honest - that maybe, with what he’d been through, with what he’d seen -
People, in Bucky’s opinion, were hypocrites who should shut their damned mouths.
So he doesn’t worry for a second when he sees the red skin around Clint’s eye that promises bruises, the crusted blood above his eyebrow. Bucky’s little bit had loved him as soon as she set eyes on him and Clint had handed over his heart in return; Bucky is sure as hell that Clint would rather die than let anything happen to her.
“There was an Incident,” Clint says.
“Before or after you ate some soap?”
Clint looks thoughtful. “Kinda concurrent. The soap was for the pop-up pirate.”
“What,” Bucky says, and Clint looks sheepish.
“Don’t knock it, the thing got *air*.”
“You’re a fuckin’ idiot,” Bucky mutters. He walks over to Clint, brushes his fingers gently over the skin around his eye, looking at it like a concerned parent for all of the second it takes for Clint’s pupil to widen further in the dim lamp light. For the second it takes to register their closeness, to remember that his little bit’s not the only one to lose their fuckin’ heart to this asshole. Bucky swallows, hard, and Clint licks his lips.
“Gonna kiss it better?” He says.