As it is, when the two of you get out of this alive, that’s where you’ll end up anyway. Don’t be nervous about it. She’ll say yes. She’d say yes if you asked right now. She’d wear a God damn ring from a Cracker Jack box if it was all you had, trust me on that. She’s your forever girl.
At least those are the things I’m gonna tell you the night before you propose, nervous and pacing and wanting to practice on me. Then again, maybe I won’t live to see it. Sometimes I hope to God I won’t. When it comes right down to it I don’t know that I’ll be able to do it. I don’t know if I’ve got it in me; I don’t know if I can just stand there while you seal the deal. I’m no good at watching you walk away from me.
The God’s honest truth is that I ain’t ever gonna love again. She’s your true north. I know what that means, because you’re mine.
Steve Rogers turning up at Tony’s door in the middle of the night might be a bit out of character, but it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility. Stranger things have happened.
Steve Rogers turning up at Tony’s door with an amnesiac assassin - who may or may not have some of Tony’s personally designed hardware attached where his arm should be - well that’s just far too interesting to turn away, even if Tony is trying to avoid all things S.H.I.E.L.D these days.
Summary: You’re unwillingly engaged to the Crown Prince of another kingdom, whom you had known as a child but then lost contact with. Time, deceit, and politics brings you two back together, but it’s a dramatic stretch to the ascension of the throne.
Characters: Bucky Barnes, Grant Ward, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Pepper Pots, Peggy Carter, Bruce Banner, Lincoln Campbell, Betty Ross, Clint Barton (more to be added)
Word Count: 1.7k
A/N: heyo sorry for the long wait, but I had personal matters come up yesterday with my family, and obviously school today, but part 11 is finally here (don’t roll your eyes that’s rude). enjoy it, I had fun writing it (:
Something outside your chambers clatters against the ground, and Bucky springs back from you, turning red in the cheeks. You flush, breathing deeply as your lungs burn for oxygen, not having realized your breath had caught itself.
“Forgive me,” Bucky mutters, his previous unfriendliness returning and then leaves your room. He’s gone so quickly that you don’t even have to time to respond.
You don’t know what’s kept you awake for hours now, and as you slide a robe over your shoulders and slip out past your dozing guards, you realize you can’t pin the insomnia to a single happenstance. James. Grant. Your mother. Their contributions to your sleeplessness spun your mind too tight to even try to rest, so with nothing but yourself you venture through the castle.
Though you’d roamed here as a child, the sensation of running your fingers along the stone walls and the excitement of climbing the grand staircases in races had long since ceased, replaced by age and maturity. You smiled thinly when you remembered how calloused your palms would become when rushing through the halls, holding the walls in the dark to not trip over Steve while he held onto you.
Adventures had flourished here, Bucky and Steve acting as knights and yourself one too, countless instances of dragon hunting quests and servant terrorism coming into a full circle as you walk the halls a decade and some years older.
“Your Highness,” a maid says in surprise, exiting a chamber near to you. You glance at her, startled, and she gives you a hesitant smile. She looks familiar, but you can’t yet place her face. “What are you doing out so late?”
You decide not to shrug your shoulders and instead reply, “I was just wandering.”
The maid purses her lips. “Would like me to make you tea, or a-”
“It’s alright,” you respond.
The other woman hesitates again, and then finally decides to nod. “Good night, Your Majesty.”
“Good night,” you say as she passes you, and you recognize her instantly, “Betty.”
The woman smiles, and continues off down the hall, leaving you alone again.
Your feet take down paths your mind had forgotten, and memories drown out the sleep-robbing thoughts ricocheting around in your head. Daises had once fallen from the ceiling as you pass under a staircase, dumped there by Bucky onto you and Steve. He’d been angry, you recall, and had taken his revenge by throwing the beloved flowers you and Steve had collected without him onto the two of you. His plan had backfired, because it was a vibrant memory, dense with laughter.
Eventually, you come upon an open terrace and lean against the stone railing, inhaling the heavy air and letting the scent of oncoming rain fill your senses. Below, you can see the multiple hives of flower gardens surrounding the castle on the one side, colors unseeable because of the blotched out moon in the sky.
Thick, frothy gray clouds capture the moonlight like greedy thieves would collect jewels, and only a few stars peek out through gaps in the coverage. It’s beautiful and disappointing all at once.
“Oh! Sorry Your Highness. I’ll just-”
There’s clattering behind you, and someone has tripped on a potted rose bush near to the entrance. They mutter a curse, and you raise an eyebrow at their person.
The unfamiliar is wearing a hooded cape, hair, eyes, and nose hidden in the shadow it casts, and if the being hadn’t already apologized and tripped, you’d have thought he was in league with the clouds.
“Who are you?” you question, still suspicious. The hooded figure jerks up, and freezes, as if not expecting to be called upon, and reaches up to drag back the hood. Now him, he you recognize instantly.
Lady Natasha’s newest lover stands before you, blonde hair illuminated from behind by candlelit halls and demeanor still uncertain.
“I’m Clint, Your Majesty. I’m a knight.”
Your eyes narrow and you cross your arms over your chest. “A knight sneaking through the castle in a hood.”
Clint clears his throat awkwardly. “Well, I wasn’t sneaking, Your Majesty.”
“You’re dressed for it.”
Clint looks down at his hood, and frowns, as if realizing that his clothing was conspicuously sly for the first time. “I haven’t stolen anything.”
“Where are you off to?”
“Where have you come from?”
There’s enough light to see the suggested knight clench his jaw as he swallows. He’s impatient.
“Lady Natasha?” you ask on a sarcastic whim, not realizing your impolite intrusion of question until Clint shuffles.
“All due respect, Your Majesty-”
“Enough,” you cut him off by raising your hand, slightly embarrassed by your behavior. “I don’t care for your business unless you are a thief.”
“I’m a knight.”
You nod, and turn back around. There’s no movement, and then Clint speaks again.
“Is something troubling you, Your Majesty?”
You exhale, breath foggy, and shake your head. “Nothing to concern yourself about.”
Hesitation is evident as it is night until Clint joins your side.
“I’m here to talk to, Your Highness, if you need it. Knights are sworn to serve our royals in any way,” Clint says softly. He’s being friendly.
You look at him out of the corner of your eye. “I’m not your royalty.”
Clint clears his throat, and scratches the back of his neck as he makes himself comfortable on the railing. As comfortable as you can be leaning against stone. “Nat told me about the forced marriage,” Clint admits, and you sigh again.
“Brilliant,” you mumble. “Now how many more men that she’s bedded know?” Clint’s eyes sharpen, and you grow shameful. “I’m sorry.”
He juts out his jaw. “It’s whatever. You’re right anyways.”
You let the response hang there, and look back at the gardens. This side of the castle is angled away from the ocean, so the waves you hear pounding on the cliff face are echoes through the courtyard.
“Are you happy?” Clint suddenly asks, and you glance at him fully now. He’s looking at you, waiting for a response expectantly.
You purse your lips, unsure if you should reply to Natasha’s bed mate. Clint seems to realize this because he lets out a light chuckle.
“Natasha and I only share one thing, and that’s a bed,” the knight tells you. You frown.
“That doesn’t seem like any way to live.”
“It’s not living,” Clint replies. “It’s getting rid of boredom.”
You cough, and shudder, as Clint laughs like you two were old friends sharing an even older joke.
“Are you happy?” Clint asks again, and this time his voice is riddled with amusement.
You think for a moment. “I don’t consider happiness a state of being.”
Clint cracks a smile. “You’re going to have to speak with the education of a knight, Your Majesty, I don’t like big words and riddles.”
You suppress a smile. “Moments here make me happy, but when I’m not having those moments, I’m not.”
Clint hmphs. “Well, no disrespect Your Majesty, but no one’s ever always happy in every moment, but overall I mean.”
“Court clowns,” you disagree.
“Haven’t you heard the funniest people hide the greatest tragedies?”
You consider this as Clint adjusts himself again. He fidgets a lot, you notice.
“Our prince is kind of a royal pain,” Clint begins to say, glancing at you to make sure it’s appropriate for him to say. When you smile minusculely, he continues.
“But the kid is golden hearted. I’ve seen him do extraordinary things when it comes down to protecting people he cares about, and I hear about how he’s always trying to do the right thing.”
You exhale, ironically. Bucky could probably spit bad things about Clint all day if you provoked him to, all untrue though.
“Do you know you hurt him?” you ask softly. “He loves Natasha.”
“And I love my job,” Clint replies. “Which is why I’ve been in a different kingdom for months, only having returned the day before the celebration. Natasha was as unattached to the Prince as the flowers are to us.”
You find his analogy confusing, but Clint doesn’t seem to care.
“I don’t believe the Prince loves Natasha though,” Clint says, blinking between looking at the heavy sky and the network of flower gardens. “Infatuated maybe, but not in love.”
“Why do you say that?”
Did infatuated men destroy rooms and cry like Bucky had? You don’t think so.
“Royals are a tricky thing,” Clint murmurs, disregarding your own royalty. “The men seek lovers because they don’t care for breaking the rules, and the women play jealousy games and have hands in triangles they shouldn’t make, but in the end, there is sometimes love that is real. I see every time I walk into the throne room to the King and Queen.”
You consider this. “They do seem to love each other very much.”
Clint nods in agreement. “I’ve only been home for a few days, but I’ve seen the Prince and you. He looks at you like the King looks at the Queen.”
You can’t help but to snort. “Bucky doesn’t look at me like that.”
Clint quirks a smile and raises an eyebrow. “Have you ever seen love, Your Majesty? Because his love begins with the use of that name.”
You fall silent, and the knight beside you smiles winningly.
“Love’s a dangerous game to play for royals, Your Majesty,” Clint says, pushing himself off of the wall. “Especially when you only marry for power.”
You nod your head, because you understand. The marriage between you and Bucky only existed in the name of an alliance, but alliances only ever hold until they break, and if the one between Sokovia and Romania ever broke, it could mean both of your lives. You dismiss this fact.
“I should go back to my chambers,” you say, feeling the tug of drowsiness on your conscience.
“Good night, Your Majesty,” Clint replies.
“(Y/N),” you correct him, pausing before you reenter the hall. “You can call me (Y/N).”
Clint smiles, no hesitation and nods his head. You dismiss yourself and walk the path back to your room.
Clint’s conversation with you has calmed your thoughts and they lie dormant for now, resting as you would soon be in your bed.
Lincoln’s shoulders tense when he sees you turn the corner, and Bruce looks up, startled.
“Your Highness,” Lincoln starts to say. “We thought you’d been sleeping.”
You smile at them. “Go to bed, both of you. Sleep tonight.”
The two guards exchange unsure glances, but then slowly retreat down the hall after nodding to you in respect. You close the door to your room behind you and slide under your blankets.
the scene in the first avenger when peggy carter asks a soldier to step forward and then she fucking decks him in the face and straight up knocks him to the ground without once showing an emotion changed me as a person
Compromise where you can. But where you can’t, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye and say “no… you move”.