Royally Yours: Part Nine
Bucky Barnes x reader
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: 1.5k
A/N: WOW OKAY LETS FORGET ABOUT MY SLIP UP YIKES
“God help us stop her,” Rebecca murmurs.
The sun sets, and the plan forms.
You had never loathed someone before, nor had a touchable force of aggression against you, but as Lady Natasha walked by you with her chin held high and a smirk on her face, you felt a bubbling sensation of disgust in your chest.
Rebecca holds onto your arm tighter when Natasha suddenly stops, and approaches you both.
“Your Highnesses,” she greets. Rebecca is the one to answer.
It was decided that neither you nor Rebecca should allow Natasha to have any idea that you both knew of her intentions. Grant had become watched, and James had been bypassed during breakfast, and every route both you and Rebecca took through the castle had become a scouting mission for any sort of eyes that cut through you with dislike.
So far, only the candle servants had given their cold shoulders to you.
“Are you enjoying your stroll?” Natasha asks sweetly.
“Very much,” Rebecca replies, raising her chin. “If you’ll excuse us, we’d like to return to it.”
You leave Natasha in the hall, and roll your eyes once she’s behind you.
“I will never understand why women always feud more than men,” you say.
“At least our quarrels are over dresses and men rather than honor and pride,” Rebecca responds.
“I don’t believe that’s any less rivalrous,” you reply.
Rebecca chuckles as your path takes you towards the gardens, and you can see where James is shooting arrow after arrow into targets placed in the field.
He’d been there for two journeys around the castle halls now, only accompanied by guards who stood watch and held his arrows for him. True to Rebecca’s word, the prince is an excellent marksman, frequently having to switch between targets as the arrows are pulled from the haystack’s center by a guard.
“I’m worried for him,” Rebecca says suddenly, stopping the walk as you both stand on the other side of a dying hedge yards from James.
“As am I,” you reply.
Rebecca glances at you, and sighs. “I want to tell him what Natasha is up to, because she is his ex-lover, but anything we do outside of the plan can ruin your reputation, especially since the kingdom only knows you two are engaged.”
“Honestly,” you mutter. “We just need to find a way to expose her before she can speak out.”
“We could always get rid of Grant,” Rebecca replies delicately. “You can make him leave court publicly.”
“How though?” you ask her. She purses her lips before her eyes widen and she smirks.
“Let’s go hunting,” Rebecca suggests. “We’ll invite Bucky and Grant and a few guards, and we’ll find a way for them to fight, and when Bucky is angry enough, he will force Grant to leave.”
“It’ll help if we have Steve,” you add. “He’s protective over Bucky, and we both know he’ll be the one to hold a fight against Grant.”
Rebecca nods. “We’ll do it today, while there’s still light.”
As you two had been talking, you’d been walking towards Prince James, who had recognized you both approaching him and now stands waiting.
“You two look thick as thieves,” he comments, and Rebecca exchanges glances with you.
“Bucky, we were wondering if we could go hunting today,” Rebecca says, and James’ eyebrows raise.
“Hunting,” he repeats. “I thought you didn’t like hunting.”
“I don’t,” Rebecca agrees, “but Steve is back for the first time in a while, and I thought it would be nice if he, you, myself, (Y/N), and Grant all went out for sport.”
Bucky glances at you, and you make yourself smile at him to deflect his suspicion.
“Alright,” he says slowly, and then turns to his guards. “Can one of you find Steve and tell him we’ll be hunting in an hour, and someone else alert the stable to prepare five horses?”
“Yes, Your Highness.” Two of the guards nod obediently and then walk off to their assignments. The prince turns back to you two.
“I hope you know how to ride, (Y/N),” Bucky says. “I don’t like to go slow.”
Your cheeks redden, and Bucky chuckles.
“I meant a horse,” he continues.
“I will try to keep up,” you reply, letting Rebecca take your hand and drag you away from Bucky.
“Good God,” she mutters. “Such a damn flirt.”
You turn as the second princess rides up to your group, smiling.
“Hello,” she greets in reply, flanking Steve. “You all looked like you were going hunting, so I thought I’d join.”
She doesn’t look for acceptance of this proposal, and you admire her strong spirit for coming uninvited.
“I hope you’re not queasy,” Bucky says to her, and she flashes him a smile.
You and Rebecca both trade looks, and then glance ahead at Grant. He’d only agreed to come because you had invited him, but the glares he issued to Prince James behind his back were becoming annoying. He was lucky both of the princes were too absorbed in their quiet conversation to see his looks.
Guards trailed after your now six horses, mumblings of their conversations barely reaching your ears as you sidled up alongside Rebecca.
“We need him to piss Bucky off soon,” Rebecca says once you’re close enough to her. Her eyes stay ahead, as do yours, focused on the movement of Grant’s head and the sway of his reins.
“I can’t initiate anything,” you reply, “or else he’ll know I’m the one that wants him gone.”
“You’ll have to submit to Bucky too,” Rebecca adds, glancing at you. “Grant’s your subject, but forcing him to leave will have to be something you begrudgingly accept to do under Bucky’s order.”
“I’m prepared to do that,” you say, pursing your lips when you thought of what Rebecca had told you of whom you thought to be your closest friend plotting against you.
“Grant,” Peggy calls from her horse, and your advisor looks over at her.
“Your Highness,” he responds, his horse breaking twigs under its hooves.
“What is your purpose here?” Peggy asks him.
Grant raises an eyebrow, appearing irritated with the princess.
“I was invited by my queen,” he replies, and Peggy nods, glancing back at you before saying:
“And do tell me, does your queen know of your plans to spoil her virtue?”
Your jaw drops and six horses come to stop instantaneously, James’ horse whirling around. Grant has become wordless, and you openly gape between him and Peggy, stunned.
Rebecca doesn’t dare whisper to you, but her lips are parted as well, eyes as wide as saucers.
“What?” Bucky demands, glaring between you and Grant.
You swallow, and look at James with a genuinely surprised expression. Spoiling virtue was far different than lying about it. You suddenly feel sick.
You start to say, but his glare cuts you off as he approaches you steadfast on his horse.
“You were going to end your virtue just to end our marriage?” he demands, knowing full and well everyone around the two of you knew the truth of the arrangement.
“No!” you all but shout. “James, he and Natasha have been planning on destroying my reputation.”
James stares at you, his gaze analytical before he glances back at Grant, who had begun to steer his horse.
“Don’t move,” Bucky glowers at him. Grant shifts on his mount.
“Bucky,” Rebecca speaks up. “It’s true. I heard them plotting in Natasha’s room a few days ago to lie about (Y/N)’s purity to attempt to annul the union.”
Bucky clenches his jaw, but he seems to believe his sister because he looks to the guards next. “Guards, arrest Grant and lock him in a cell until I’m ready to question him.”
“Wait!” Grant yells, becoming confronted with the prince’s guards. “I can explain this! (Y/N)!”
“Get him out of my sight!” James orders, and the guards yank Grant down from the saddle. You look away, at the legs of Peggy’s horse as Grant continues to battle the guards holding him.
“(Y/N)!” Grant yells at you. “(Y/N)! Just listen to me, damnit!”
You ignore him, remaining still even long after he’s out of earshot.
“How did you know?” Rebecca suddenly asks Peggy, and she gives her a small smile.
“Natasha was a childhood friend,” Peggy replies. “She believed I was wed unhappily to Steve and confided with me in her plans to ruin (Y/N). James, she wants your crown.”
James continues to stare at you, and you finally lift your gaze to meet his.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asks you, and you exhale slowly.
“If we had told you, you would have confirmed the rumors that he had already taken what he wanted from me by jailing him,” you respond.
“This is treason, (Y/N),” James says evenly.
You let out a soft breath. “I haven’t committed anything against you, James. I don’t love Grant nor have I let him into my chambers.”
Your blush in saying this aloud remains constrained, despite the eyes watching you.
“I believe her, Buck,” Steve speaks up. “You know (Y/N) doesn’t like lying to you.”
“I believe her too,” Peggy adds. “The way Natasha and Grant spoke about her virtue was like it is still there. She’s still honest.”
“I never said I don’t believe her,” Bucky snaps at them both, and then runs a hand through his hair. He straightens his back. “We’re going back to the castle. Come on.”
He takes the lead of the group again, this time alone at the front as you, Rebecca, Peggy, and Steve gradually fall into formation behind him, silent as the wind whistles through the trees and birds cry overhead.
You inhale slowly, the cold air stinging your throat, and follow the future king.
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