Chasing Promises (6/6)
Title: Chasing Promises
Pairing: Bucky x Reader
Rating: General Audiences
Word count: 942
Spoilers: spoilers for Captain America: Civil War
Here we are. Last chapter. It got a little wordy, but managed to stay under 1000. Thank you so much for staying with me on this, for encouraging and flailing and reblogging and liking and commenting (and crying). A huge thank you to @awaitingjudgementx for inspiring this story with her request, I hope I’ve fulfilled it to your content and that the myth elements are sufficiently prominent. I will go back to my WIPs after this, but I hope you’ll tag along on those, too!
Tag list found under the cut at the end of the chapter.
Time is a bitch. Time is eternal. Time drags on, every day a pain to get through.
Life without Bucky is… unsatisfying, unnerving. You followed the events in Leipzig and beyond as you slowly worked your way back home. It was hard to find info about what really happened after the fight in Leipzig. Sources talk of an additional scuffle in Siberia, but the credibility is questionable at best. Captain America is missing, Bucky is missing, the Avengers are in shambles. The only thing keeping you going is the fact that if something truly bad had happened to Bucky, the newspapers would be all over it. Imprisonment? First page news. Demise? First page news. They thrive on misfortune, and Bucky is nothing if not a victim of it.
It’s spring when you return, but you hardly notice, like you are not noticed. Sun warms your skin, but never quite manages to feel as warm as the heat radiating from Bucky during the last nights in Romania. You’re back where you started, back in your hometown, and it’s as if you never left. Those who knew you barely even reflect when they realize you’ve been absent, readily accept your explanation of having done some travelling. It grates on your nerves, the flippancy so unfamiliar.
Summer comes, and you stay inside, create a little makeshift kingdom for yourself with bits and pieces of your journey; a mattress on the floor, notebooks that remain unused, pomegranate seeds staining your lips red. Of course you’re afraid. They found you once, what’s stopping them from finding you again? Worry gnaws at you, every sudden sound sending you into a tizzy. You push your mattress up against a wall, sleep with your back pressed up against it, but it does little to make up for the man you miss.
The first chill of fall is in the air when you notice a shadow following you on your way home, a man in a cap and dark tinted glasses. If they want you, if they’ve found you, does that mean they have Bucky, too? You hate the way you feel yourself resigning to the idea of recapture, but if it brings him back to you, maybe it could be worth it?
The man almost seems surprised when you calmly approach him, ready to surrender.
“You’re following me. I think we both know why.”
It’s not quite relief that colours his expression, but something close to it. He’s carrying a small paper bag, handing it to you.
“He said you’d understand.”
Peeking inside, you can feel your stomach flip, your pulse speeding. Four plums and the ripest pomegranate you’ve ever seen. Bucky.
“Where is he?” you demand, clutching the bag to your chest. “What have you done to him.”
“We’re not HYDRA,” he assures you, taking off the sunglasses. He is familiar, but it will take you another hour to realize who he is. “Barnes is safe, he asked us to find you. Like he promised.”
You don’t need to think twice about your decision. It takes you fifteen minutes to pack, another fifteen to make the necessary calls to tie up your life while your new acquaintance drives you off to the monstrosity of a plane that will take you to Bucky. It was never a life you led here, not quite.
When you finally see him again, it’s enough to bring you to your knees. He’s been hidden well, him and his friends, but the sight of him in the cryo unit echoes like a bad dream. For a second you think you’ve been duped, that this is a trap and he’s been tossed back into his worst nightmare. You’re inconsolable, scratching at the glass surface that holds him suspended between life and death, your heart breaking even more when you notice his left arm, reduced to a stump. You have to be pulled away, a cup of strong aromatic tea coaxed into you before you can calm down enough to hear them explain.
He did it of his own free will, until they could figure out a way to disable the programming. They’re close, they promise, and he will be thrilled to see you’ve returned when they can wake him up to start treatments.
It’s another month before it happens, and you haven’t left his side. Maybe it’s not back to back but it’s a mattress close to him, and the knowledge that you will wake up and he will be there. Yours is the first face he sees, eyes brimming with tears and lips smeared with pomegranate juice as you pull your lips into a shaky smile.
“You’re back,” he rasps, his voice hoarse from the frozen sleep.
“So are you,” you whisper, caressing his cheek and shuddering at the lingering chill.
“I told you, I’d be back for you.”
You launch yourself at him, nearly toppling him as you latch onto him, molding your body to his. His right arm comes up to snake around your waist, pressing you to him. It’s been too long. His white shirt stains from the juice on your lips, and you furrow your brow when you look up at him. So pale, lips several shades lighter than the beautiful pink they should be. Without hesitation you bring your lips to his, brushing against him, staining his lips with what remains, marking him as yours as much as he has claimed you for his.
“Please, don’t leave me again,” you murmur against his lips when you break away for air.
“Not if I can help it. I promise.”