The Dreams that Haunt us
Summary: You usually have nightmares after missions, but this one is worse than usual. Luckily, someone’s there to help you out.
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader
Word Count: 1621 Words
Warning: Fluff, a bit of angst, nightmares, illness, very very slight gore, like it’s not even there
Notes: I wrote this in, like, an hour, so forgive me if there’s mistakes, I didn’t edit it. I also didn’t get to elaborate or create a good title, sorry!
You sit up with a jolt, chest heaving with distress and terror. You’re sweating, beads of water dripping down your forehead. Your heart is racing, thumping rapidly within your ribcage. You glance cautiously around the dark room, eyes flicking and analysing every shadow and corner. Nothing seems to be replicated from your nightmare, so you take a deep breath, trying to control your breathing, taking in lungfuls of the cool air. Tears are still forming in the ducts of your eyes, leaking out in a most shameful way, especially for an Avenger like you. You can taste the saltiness on your lips, quickly swiping a hand over your lids.
You have nightmares after every mission, often haunted by the people you kill. You’ve gotten used to it, managing to snap out of it before the dream gets too serious. But this time, it was the worst it’s ever been. It felt so…real, it felt like you were in true danger, like you really were surrounded by viciousness. Yes, you were probably in danger every day of your life, but these nightmares took those fears and multiplied it by a hundred, creating a vividly terrifying sequence. You bite your lip, wincing as you recount your subconscious events.
Remembering that somebody else is in the bed, you look over to Bucky. Just a mere look at him makes you smile a little, heart rate slowing just a bit. His long, brown hair is fanned over the pillow, his gentle face turned towards you. You resist the urge to kiss his soft, pink lips, because then he’ll wake up, and you don’t want to disturb him. He used to have nightmares every single night, when he first came to the Tower. Once you two got together though, the amount of nightmares he had were reduced considerably, and instead, you were the one who got them more frequently. You liked to think that you helped him feel loved again, settling his subconscious in a haze of affectionate touches, kind kisses.
Suddenly, a sudden, sharp pain in your head brings you out of your thoughts. You flinch instinctively, bringing your hand up to your scalp to hold your head. Everything seems painful all of a sudden. You’ve gotten an illness recently, and it’s stubbornly not going away. Your panicked state emphasises the dryness in your throat, the cold shivering of your body and the constant, dull, throbbing pain in your mind. As well as the coughing and the feeling of being tired all the time. Reluctantly, you shift to swing your legs over the edge of the bed, trembling still. Your feet come in contact with the strangely freezing ground. Giving a hoarse, aching cough, your breath caught up, you shakily stand up. Your legs wobble underneath you, feeling unstable as you press a quivering hand against the bed. Agonisingly slowly, you make your way over to the bathroom, shuddering from the seemingly cold atmosphere. You feel like you could drop to the floor at any moment, swaying slightly. Your mind is so occupied with images and pain that you’re barely concentrating on walking. Finally, after what your mind imagines to be an hour, you stumble through the bathroom door, clutching the sink to gain stability. You don’t even look at the mirror, to see your wrecked face, streaked with perspiration and tears. Fumbling for a towel, you douse it in water, not even sure if it’s hot or cold. You rub it on your face, not able to keep in the coughs that escape your mouth. The towel doesn’t do much to give you any relief, but you’re able to rid your face of the liquid. Giving it one final rub, you throw the towel onto the rack. Your lungs feel like they’ve been drained of any oxygen, and you’re struggling to breathe. Closing your eyes, you focus purely on remaining calm, forcing your ill state into another area for a while.
Darkness, you can’t see anything. You can’t move, body stiff no matter how hard you try to shift them. You open your mouth to call for help, but no sound comes out. You try call for Bucky, but you can’t. Suddenly, you see a gleaming gun pointed straight at you, the barrel coated in thick, dark red blood. A resounding bang echoes through the…
Gasping, you snap open your eyes, stumbling back a little. Shaking, you struggle to forget the terrifying scene from your dreams. Red still stains your thoughts darkly, still but forever violent. It had felt like you were useless-whatever you did, nobody would come save you. You were alone. It was one of your greatest fears, being alone, stuck, and not being able to do anything about it. You can’t stop the tears from rolling down your cheeks again, coughing more roughly this time, it won’t halt unless you try your hardest. Your hand lands on a cough lozenge packet, ripping it open and sucking on them, the citrus taste filling your mouth instantly. Gradually, it subsides a little, but you’re still tormented by that terror, feeling like you couldn’t go back to sleep if that was what you would dream of. You’re scared to go back to bed, you don’t want to witness your worst fear again.
You don’t know how long you’re sitting there on the closed toilet seat, head dropped into your hands and hair hanging over your face in straggly locks. But then you feel touches to your knees, and, quivering, you look up. Your mouth drops a little at the sight of Bucky kneeling front of you, his hands around your legs kindly. His expression is screwed up with worry, stormy blue grey eyes wide with fret. His hair is mussed and tousled, the way you normally like it, but you’re too distressed at this moment to really notice it.
“Doll, what happened?” He asks softly, running his fingers over your bare skin.
You give a sharp cough, sucking in air as one of his hands move up to rest on your back. Tears blur your vision, forming quickly.
“I…I had…I had a nightmare…and I can’t stop…coughing and I…I feel so sick…” You rasp out, giving a small sob. “It…It was worse than…than any other nightmare I’ve…I’ve ever had…”
“Oh, sweetheart…” He breathes, metal hand brushing away the hair that sticks to your face.
He stands up and gently pulls you up from your seated position. He tugs you into an embrace and you go into it immediately, feeling safe and warm in his hug. His tall, broad figure makes you feel secure, but not trapped, like you’re being protected, but not imprisoned. You press your face into his chest, arms winding around his waist, keeping him close. You can’t help but break once you’re latched onto him, crying into his shirt, mixed with a few coughs that make your lungs feel like they’re on fire. He presses his mouth to your hair, pressing kisses over your scalp.
“Shh, I’m here darling, I’m right here, baby…I love you so much…It’s alright beautiful, we’ll get through this…it wasn’t real, it was just a nightmare…” He murmurs sweetly, warm breath tickling your skin lightly.
You relax considerably at his soothing words, collapsing against his strong structure, held onto tightly and carefully, like you’re a precious jewel. Pulling away only a bit, he takes a glass from next to the sink and fills it with cold water. Turning off the tap, he presses it to your mouth, tipping it slightly so the liquid flows down your throat. Water has never tasted so good to you, flooding your sore throat, relieving it of the dryness. Once you finish drinking it, he sets it down on the counter and pulls you back into the hug. He rubs circles over your back, giving it an occasional pat. His bionic hand moves up through your hair, weaving itself between your silky locks. The cool fingers scratch your head delicately, releasing some tension off your posture. It feels like a massage, the merest touch automatically loosening the knots in your muscles. You stay there for a while, arms wrapped around your love. Standing in the dimly lit bathroom, the horrible images steadily leave your subconscious, now alone with Bucky, and Bucky only.
“I…I think I can…I think I can try sleep now…” You whisper, the words muffled a little. You feel Bucky’s flesh hand touch your chin, bringing your face up to look him directly in the eyes. You could get lost in those eyes, they’re like a vast ocean that is filled with emotion but comfort as well.
“Are you sure?” He whispers back, leaning forward. You stand up on tip toe to meet his kiss, your chapped lips pressing against his smooth ones. It’s such a gentle kiss, just what you need right now-caring, kind and just relaxing.
You nod and he gives you a small smile. Before you can say anything, he hoists you up in a bridal style hold. You give a weak cry of protest, but you’re too tired to do anything about it. Pecking you on the lips again, he carries you out to the bed, where he puts you carefully down on the sheets. He climbs in beside you, arm wrapping around your hip and pulling you towards him so you lay chest to chest. As soon as he does this, you feel your eyes drift close, head buried in the clean pillows. He plants one more kiss on your forehead.
“Goodnight, doll.” He says softly.
“Goodnight…Bucky…” You trail off, dropping off into a calm sleep. With Bucky right next to you, keeping you safe even in your dreams, you don’t face any fears that night.