A Way to You Again: Part 12
Pairings: Bucky x Reader
Word Count: 1826
Summary: Bucky and Y/N have been fairly successful at keeping their relationship hidden from the rest of the Avengers. That is… until Nat walks into the kitchen one night and finds Bucky kissing Y/N. While Y/N is relieved that their relationship is out in the open it soon becomes more complicated than she could have ever imagined.
Author’s Notes: Thanks to the lovely @melconnor2007 for the request! This chapter has a little bit of angst and fluff.
I edited this while I was like 50,000 shades of exhausted – so if there are errors please ignore them :|.
“Bucky, where are we going?” I asked breathlessly as we exited the subway station.
“Patience is a virtue, doll,” he smirked as he looked at me. I chuckled to myself as I shook my head – when Bucky set his mind to something it was next to impossible to get him to budge on it. He casually caught my hand in his and laced his metal fingers delicately between mine. “This is nice,” he sighed to himself as he gave me another smile.
“Yes – it is,” I smiled back.
We walked in silence through the Brooklyn streets until Bucky stopped in front of a Starbucks. “Here we are,” he announced as his face lit up with excitement.
“Buck… did you bring me all the way to Brooklyn to come to Starbucks? There’s literally at least three within walking distance of the tower,” I said bewildered. Bucky wasn’t a huge fan of fancy coffee drinks – I always pointed out that his inner grumpy old man came out when I ordered a Frappuccino.
He snorted at my bewildered face. “No doll – this is where I lived until I left for the war. Not the Starbucks obviously – but the building,” he answered as he motioned towards the building in front of us. “I lived right up there with my folks,” he explained as he pointed towards the second floor.
“Oh wow,” I murmured – mainly to myself. Bucky had never been much of an open book about his past. I had never pushed him, because I knew it was painful for him to remember all the things he had lost.
Bucky looked down at me and smiled. “It wasn’t much, but it was home. Steve got beat up down that alleyway, and that one, oh and over there too,” he explained as he pointed to the various areas. “Honestly, now that I think of it – Steve probably got beat up everywhere in a two-mile radius. He was such a little shit,” he chuckled to himself. “We would play on this street when we were kids,” he smiled to himself before turning to me again. He could read the lingering questions so clearly on my face. “Let’s go – I have a few more places I would like us to visit,” he whispered into my ear as he grabbed my hand once again.
I followed beside him as we walked several blocks to a nearby cemetery. Bucky seemed to know the path like the back of his hand. As we neared a small hill we parted from the paved walkway and maneuvered through the tombstones. Bucky slowed to a stop in front of a newer stone. “I had it replaced when I came back to New York,” he explained to me as he looked at the stone. “I thought I owed it to them.” As I looked at the stone I read the names of Bucky’s parents with their respective dates of birth and death.
“It’s beautiful,” I whispered as I kneeled beside the stone to wipe away a wayward leaf that had rested upon it. “The daisies?” I asked as I looked at the fresh daisies adorning the grave.
Bucky shrugged sadly. “They always reminded me of my mom. She loved flowers. I bring a new batch by weekly,” he explained as he kneeled beside me.
“They’re beautiful,” I murmured as I traced my fingers softly on the petals.
“My biggest regret is knowing that they died thinking I had died a hero,” Bucky added as he placed his hand affectionately on the stone. “It’s better they didn’t know the truth, but I feel like I failed them in so many ways.”
I placed my hand softly on Bucky’s as I watched the emotions play out on his face. “Bucky, they would have loved you regardless. It was never your fault,” I whispered as I laced my fingers between his.
A ghost of a smile pulled at the corners of his lips. “My mother would have loved you. I wish she had been alive to meet you,” he whispered softly as he looked at me – affectionately tucking my hair behind my ear.
I swallowed hard at this. “Bucky, why are you…” but he cut me off.
“You said you loved me,” he remarked as he returned his attention to the stone.
“Yes,” I whispered softly.
“And yet you know nothing about me, because I was too afraid to share my past with anyone but Steve. If you’re set on loving me – you deserve to see all of me. When I didn’t respond the other day –it wasn’t because I didn’t feel the same…” he explained as he stared intently at the stone. Before I could respond he stood up and offered me his hand. “Come on, there’s someone I want you to meet,” he said as he pulled me up beside him.
A thirty-minute cab drive later I found myself standing in front of a memory care facility with my hand secured in Bucky’s. I stared at him inquisitively but this time he did not return my gaze—instead he led me into the large brick building where we strolled up to a solid oak reception desk. The woman working at the desk looked up and, upon seeing Bucky, smiled warmly. “Good Morning, Mr. Barnes. She’s been asking for you,” she replied sweetly. Bucky nodded his head in acknowledgement as he led me from the desk down a long hallway. I followed him silently to a room at the very end of the hall.
“James, is that you?” the woman laying in the bed asked as she turned her eyes away from the television.
“It’s me, Rebecca,” he answered softly as he walked to the side of the bed and kissed the top of the woman’s head. I immediately saw the striking resemblance between the two even though one was so young and the other towards the end of her life. I watched silently at the softness that overtook Bucky’s features as he interacted with her – seemingly forgetting my presence in the room.
“And who is this?” the woman asked as she turned her head politely towards me. Before Bucky or I could respond she continued. “Y/N, I presume?” she asked with an eye-crinkling smile – the same as the one that sometimes graced Bucky’s face. I nodded my head – forgetting how to speak for a moment.
“Y/N, this is my baby sister, Rebecca,” Bucky explained as he looked at the woman affectionately.
“Tsh! I’m not so much of a baby anymore,” she added good-humoredly. “It is quite nice to meet you, Y/N. I have heard so much about you.”
“It’s nice to meet you as well,” I beamed as I neared the side of her bed.
We spent most of the day with Rebecca – talking and laughing. As is the case with most family, she had some embarrassing stories to tell about a much younger Bucky that caused him to snort and roll his eyes while dishing it back. It seemed normal – natural even. I hadn’t known about Rebecca, but I understood why. She was one of the last links that Bucky had to his old life – one of the last shreds of normalcy, and she was incredibly important to him. I couldn’t be mad at him for keeping her a secret – I understood the importance of a sister.
“You know – he thinks he’s a bad man,” Rebecca remarked after Bucky had left us alone so he could speak with her doctors. “I’ve tried to convince him for years that he isn’t, but he’s too stubborn.”
“I know – once he has his mind set on something it seems damn near impossible to convince him otherwise,” I remarked sadly. I felt the warmth of her hand over mine and looked at her.
“You’ve changed him,” she added with a smile.
“Me? How?” I asked shocked. Bucky had kept our relationship a secret from even his best friend until very recently. If Steve couldn’t tell – how could she?
“He never smiled until a few months ago. I hounded him until he finally told me about you. He talks about you constantly. Some days it’s all we would talk about. He loves you.”
“How can you tell?” I asked nervously.
“I’ve been around a long time, dear, and I’ve seen all types of love. When you see it – you just know. It’s the genuine article, but he’s too damn stubborn for his own good. He’ll never think he’s the right man for you… but I can tell by the way you look at him that you love him too. You’ll have to fight for him… you’ll have to lay yourself bare and vulnerable, but when you do you won’t regret it. Trust me,” she added with a soft squeeze of my hand and a warm smile. “Now if you’ll excuse me – I think this old woman needs to use the facilities,” she blushed as she pushed herself up from the bed and used her nearby walker to aid her as she walked out of the room.
I mulled over the things she said. Was is possible? Could we both be so stubborn that we were sacrificing our happiness in the process? Or were we both just scared? We had both suffered so much loss in our lives – could either of us risk falling in love and being left brokenhearted? “Where’s Rebecca?” Bucky’s voice floated through the room causing me to jump.
“Oh she went to the restroom. Is everything okay?” I asked noting the concern on his face.
“I’m not sure,” he muttered before disappearing back out into the hall. I sat in puzzled silence as I waited for the two to return. Suddenly I heard Rebecca’s voice from the hall.
“Where is this?! Who are you? I want to go home!” she yelled. The desperation and confusion in her voice caused me to jump from my seat and run into the hallway where I found Bucky, with the aid of a wheelchair, returning her to her room. “Who are you?” she demanded of me as she stared at me blankly.
“Stay here,” Bucky whispered as he rolled the chair back into the room – followed by several nurses.
Bucky emerged from the room several minutes later, and immediately bee-lined to me. “Are you okay?” he asked softly as he reached for my hand.
“Are you?” I answered. I could tell by his changed demeanor that he wasn’t. “The… the doctors said that the disease is progressing. Today was one of the best days she’s had in awhile… and they’re likely to get fewer and farther between,” he paused as he looked over his shoulder sadly. “Let’s go home,” he finally muttered as he wrapped his arm around me.
As we left the facility in silence I began to understand just how hard it was for Bucky to allow himself to be so vulnerable, and I decided it was time for me to do the same.
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