I’ll Be Seeing You
Characters: Bucky x reader
Summary: You lost your vision at a young age due to an infection in your brain and you’ve coped with it well. You’re a successful professor at a local university, casually making your way down the hall when your friend and college Helen Cho introduces you to Bucky. You grow close over several months of late night coffee and the occasional stay in your apartment, but Bucky doesn’t want to tell you who he really is in fear of scaring you off. What happens when a miracle procedure might give you back your sight?
Warnings: light swearing, blind!reader (for most of it), bad editing sorry
A/N: Okay before you read this, I am not blind, I do not know anyone who is blind and therefore this is my BEST ATTEMPT to write from the perspective of someone who is visually impaired. Please don’t be too hard on this.
It’s amazing just how much of someone you can see when you can’t actually see them.
Your day started out like it always did; with the sound of your alarm blaring in your ear. You reached out to tap at your phone screen, one, two, three times until you finally hit the correct place that disabled the alarm.
The wind whistled outside and you heard the patter of rain outside of your small apartment. It must be horrible weather outside, you thought to yourself. You pulled the covers of your bed off of your body and sat up, dangling your feet over the edge of the mattress.
You propped yourself out of your bed’s compound, feeling along the wall to find the door so you could walk out of your bedroom. Once you’d managed to exit your room, you traced your hand along the walls of the hallways until your fingers caught on a doorway, you turned right.
Your life had been like this for as long as you could remember. You’d lost your sight when you about three years old due to a rare brain infection that the doctors caught a few days too late. It wasn’t all too troubling to you know, you were in your late twenties and had a wonderful job working as an assistant professor at a local university.
You were happy, every piece of your life seemed to be falling into place… Except of course for love.
You’d been single for so long you almost forgot what it was like to feel someone’s tight and loving embrace or how attached you can get to the smell of someone you love.
So many people had set you up on blind dates - and so many people had made the blind date joke - that every time a friend brought up a ‘wonderful guy’ they knew, you’d shut it down instantly. The blatant truth about every man you’d gone out with on those set ups was this; no one wanted to date the blind girl.
You’d all but given up as you attended friend’s weddings and baby showers, some of them. Perhaps you weren’t cut out for that kind of life, or at least that’s what you told yourself.
As you went through the motions of making coffee that you’d all but memorized, you felt the empty space of the base of your left ring finger and sighed heavily.
You drank your coffee in silence, your mind drifting off to the possible face of whoever Mr. Right might be, not that you’d ever see it for yourself.
When you made it back to your closet in your room, you peeled off your sleep shirt, feeling the hangers that hung in your closet for the braille lettering that told you what was hung there.
‘mom’s favourite dress’
That one you remembered the texture of, it was soft and lightweight but felt beautiful on. You decided that this would be perfect.
You put it on, walking back to your front door and feeling inside the drawers to grab for a pair of flats, which you found instantly by their feel.
You slipped them on and took your keys from the hook that you felt on your right, waiting for the familiar honk of a horn signifying your ride was here. When you heard the sound, you reached forward and grasped the cool metal of the door knob, twisting it and pulling it open, making sure to grab your long cane before you walked out.
“Hey, (Y/N)!” A voice, which you recognized as your co-professor, Helen Cho said.
“Hey!” You said as you felt the padlock for the keyhole, locking it and turning to walk down your porch towards the sound of the idling car.
You felt your cane hit the car lightly, so you felt along the smooth metal surface until you found the handle, opening it and getting inside.
The smell of the mint car air freshener hit your noise rather violently when you entered, but you got used to it after a while.
“Big day today.” Helen said as you began moving.
“Why’s that?” You asked.
“I managed to convince Banner to come and give a lecture on gamma rays.”
“Are you serious?” You gasped. You knew Helen worked for some high end clientele from time to time and only really took up the co prof job because she needed to be busy, but you didn’t know she had that much pull.
“Uh huh.” She said.
“Holy hell.” You mustered, “So we don’t even have to lecture today?”
“Nope, we push everything back for tomorrow.”
“It’s like a day off.” You laughed.
“And so, gamma radiation acts as an invasive form of…”
You had been zoning back in and out of Banner’s lecture, not that it really mattered anyways. It had been about a half hour so you excused yourself, taking your cane and making your way back out into the hallway to take a small walk to stretch your legs.
You’d made it about halfway down the familiar hallway when you heard a very unfamiliar voice accompanying that of Helen Cho.
“I know it’s hard for you being here, but I figured it would be good for you to meet her, I mean you’re perfect for each other- Oh, hello, (Y/N). Bored of the lecture already?” Helen’s voice said.
“Not that Banner isn’t a wonderful public speaker,” You mused, “But gamma radiation isn’t new for me. Nothing to learn really.”
“I figured as much,” She laughed, “Oh, this is-”
“Bucky.” The voice said.
Bucky had extended his hand shake yours but Helen nudged him and nodded down at the white cane you held in your hand and he understood, his face flushing bright red.
“Okay everyone, I’m blind not stupid.” You laughed, sensing what he’d done based on an immeasurable amount of experience and the awkward silence.
“It’s nice to meet you.” You said, extending your own hand out, which he took.
His hands were warm and rough and calloused, large palms and long fingers but comfortingly so.
“And you.” He replied, something along the lines of shock in his tone, but you shrugged it away.
“Well, I’ll let you to get back to it.” You said, quickly dismissing yourself and turning to walk back down the hall when Helen stopped you.
You turned back around.
“Bucky and I were going to go out for drinks later tonight, I figured you might want to join?”
You hesitated, social outings weren’t your thing, and Helen knew that.
“Or maybe just coffee?” She rephrased.
“Sure, if you want to meet at my place around 9?”
“God, you are such a nightowl.” Helen laughed.
“Yes or no, dearest, it’s not that hard.” You chided her.
“We’ll be there.”
“Alright, I’ll see you later. Nice meeting you Bucky.”
You finished your day quickly and thanked Helen when she dropped you back off at your apartment, ignoring the ‘wear something nice’ comment she made. You knew she was saying was ‘wear something nice because Bucky is going to be there’, but you didn’t say anything about it.
You didn’t know Bucky, you weren’t looking to impress him. If he turned out to be a great guy after tonight and you saw each other again, maybe you’d consider the whole ‘looking really good’ thing, but not yet. You didn’t want to put that much effort into an appearance that you couldn’t even appreciate yourself.
You made yourself a quick dinner. An aspect of your life that seemed to shock everyone around you was how well you coped independently. You were able to do almost everything by yourself based on muscle memory, hearing, scent, and a little intuition.
By the time you politely asked siri what time it was, it was around 8:30. You decided to change into a pair of jeans and a soft knit sweater, your favourite one.
You let your hair down from its fastened bun, loose curls hitting your face softly.
A sound of a car door slamming made you slowly make your way to the front door of your flat. You instantly noted that it wasn’t the same sound of slam as Helen’s car.
A buzzer went off and you pressed the button at the door, “Who is it?” You asked.
“It’s Bucky.” The voice answered, and you remembered him by the sound.
You liked his voice a lot, it was rough and a bit patchy, but low and smooth sounding somehow.
You unlocked your door and swung it open.
“Hi.” You greeted him, stepping to the side to allow him in.
“Helen sort of bailed.” He admitted, and you noticed that his voice still came from in front of you meaning he hadn’t entered in yet.
This was another schemed date attempt on Helen’s part and you only now figured it out. You mentally cursed yourself for not being wise enough to see through it.
“I just figured I’d swing by and tell you, you probably don’t want to spend the night with a total stranger.” You heard him take a few steps back.
“Well, who said that?” You asked, as if your words came out faster than you could process.
There was something about this man that you liked quite a lot, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it. He had an aura about him that you found relaxing.
“The coffee pot is already on, I won’t be able to drink it all by myself.” You said with a smile.
“Alright.” He replied and you felt the wind brush by you as his large frame made it’s way past you.
“Make yourself at home.” You said, moving back into the kitchen once you’d closed the door, “How do you take coffee?”
“Just black would be wonderful.” He said as you waited to hear him sit down on the couch, but no such sound came, “Can I help with anything?”
“Gosh no, sit your ass down.” You laughed, and were overjoyed to hear him do the same.
“Okay, okay.” He said, his footsteps moving back to the living room where he sat on the couch.
You poured the coffee into mugs and carried them out to where Bucky was, knowing he was on the couch. You handed one to him, slightly to the side but close enough that he could reach it, then made your way over to sit beside him.
“So since it’s now just the two of us, I suppose I should get to know you.” You said.
“Suppose so.” You felt him shift uncomfortably, which made you feel like you needed to back off ever so slightly.
“Unless of course you don’t want to.” You added.
“No, it’s alright. i just don’t usual talk much about myself.” He said.
Bucky wanted to open up to you, just like he wanted to open up to anyone, but you seemed incredibly sweet based on what he’d heard from Helen, and you seemed to not know his history quite yet, so he was unsure about the whole thing.
“Well, you can ask me things and I’ll answer, and if you feel alright with it, you can answer too.” You suggested, sipping your coffee.
“That’s great.” Bucky smiled at your compromise.
For nearly two hours, Bucky asked you a multitude of questions about yourself stemming from what your favorite food was all the way to how old you were when you went blind. After a while, he told you that he wanted you to ask him a few questions, so you asked him all about his childhood and where he grew up.
Brooklyn was a great place, he explained to you, full of really great people. You loved listening to the sound of his words when you knew a smile appeared on his face, it made everything sound sweeter from his lips.
You were beginning to really like Bucky, you felt a strong bond with him that you hadn’t felt in a long while, and you were enjoying every second of time you spent with him.
“Alright, can I ask you one more thing?” You inquired as a fit of laughter bubbled back down from your chest.
“What’s your favourite colour and why?”
“Hmm,” He pondered, “Blue. It’s really calming. Plus it matches my eyes.”
You nodded your head with a laugh, “I wish I knew what colours looked like.”
What you said nearly broke Bucky’s heart, he’d answered the question so nonchalantly.
“I thought you lost sight at three.” He said.
“I did, but even before then I was completely colour blind.”
“Oh,” He said, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” You said, “I asked the question because it’s always interesting for me to hear what different people answer… I’ve always felt like I’d like blue as well.”
“Yeah?” He asked, “Why so?”
“Everyone always says it’s calming, or cool, or reminds them of the ocean. It sounds pretty.”
Bucky stared at you in amazement as a thoughtful smile played on your lips.
“Can I ask you something else?” He said.
“How do you recognize people?” He whispered.
“Most of it is by voices, or smells,” You explained, “And if I’m close with someone, I usually memorize their face.”
“Memorize their face?”
“Here, like this.” You said, setting your cup down and reaching your fingertips forward until they landed on his cheeks gently. Your one hand moved to his brow, the other down to his brush over his nose.
You noticed that he’d tensed when you’d first touched him, but seemed to relax a bit more as your moved you hands along him gingerly.
Your fingers brushed down the stubble that dotted his face, moving down to the strong jawline that lay beneath it. Your other hands moved to brush over his closed eyelids, feeling the long eyelashes under them. The thumb that rested by his jaw went to trace ever so gently along upper lip, then back along his lower. You couldn’t help but noticed the cool air pass by your thumb as he sucked in a breath at your touch.
He felt so handsome, and the conversations that you’d had over the past hour only made you more attracted to him.
“Keep your eyes closed and try to do the same to my face.” You suggested, breaking the silence.
In a moment, you felt one hand reach out and press to your cheek, a thumb tracing its way from your brow down to your nose and lips, resting on your bottom lip much like you had to him.
A sigh came from him as you pressed a small kiss to the pad of his thumb. He couldn’t quite comprehend how sweet you’d been with him, but he wasn’t going to question it not even for a second.
“You should try two hands.” You said, but Bucky looked down at the hand he wasn’t using, the ugly metal limb, and told you he could get by on just using one.
Your index finger made a trail from his chin down his throat and along his adam’s apple, which caused him to swallow rather hard. You knew the impact that you were having on him and it was something that you were proud of.
When your finger made it’s way back up to his lips, Bucky knew he was done for. You were possibly the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen and feeling your touch like this was intoxicating.
“One more question.” He whispered.
“Okay.” You said, enjoying the way his lip felt as it moved under you thumb when he spoke.
“Can I please kiss you?”
This time, you didn’t reply with words, you simply leaned in and kissed him, your lips replacing the spot where your thumb had been. You had never kissed anyone quite like that before, so full of passion. It was as if Bucky was kissing you like he hadn’t been kissed in a long time, and like he worried he might never get the chance again.
When Bucky left that night, you pecked him on the lips again quickly, and he assured you that he’d be in touch.
mjjm xHe kept to his word, calling the next day and setting up another late night coffee date. It continued this was for a good few months, each other you getting together multiple times a week to talk, or listen to music, drinking various kinds of coffee all the while. There were times when he’d even stay the night.
The dangerous part of it all was that Bucky knew he was falling in love with you, but he still didn’t know how to tell you who he was. It scared him so badly because he knew you couldn’t love someone like him. A girl like you, with a beautiful heart who brought smiles to the faces of everyone she met, would never fall in love with him.
It was on one night when he was over at your place that he noticed you seemed different. He tried to shrug it off, to get you to laugh, but you wouldn’t.
Fearing the worst, he asked you what was wrong.
“There’s this trial,” You said, “A doctor called me saying I was eligible to be apart of it. They think they can reboot the part of my brain that causes my blindness. They think they can get me to see, again.” You said, your eyes filling with tears of an emotion Bucky couldn’t recognize.
“That’s great, doll!” He said, rubbing your shoulders.
“I know it is, I’m just terrified of the whole thing.” You admitted, “I’ve lived almost my whole life like this.”
“I know, darlin’, but there’s so much out there that you’re missin’.”
“Can I ask you another question?” You said.
“Of course you can.”
“Can you wait during the procedure? They told me if there was someone I wanted with me, they could wait there and come in afterwards.”
Bucky was shocked that you’d want him there, but he agreed with his whole heart, promising he’d take you there himself.
“I want you to be the first face I see.” You said with a smile.
Bucky had never heard anything so beautiful in his life, so he leaned in to kiss you with everything he had, unable to reply with words.
“I love you.” He blurted out.
You, shocked as anything, pulled away from him. Bucky knew he’d messed up.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t-” He began but you shushed him.
“I love you too.”
“What?” He asked.
“I love you too.” You repeated.
“(Y/N).” He whispered, pressing his lips back to yours again.
As happy as he was to hear it, he knew that he needed to tell you who he was. If he was going to lose you, then he needed to put himself through it now and not when you put the pieces together yourself.
“I need to tell you something.” He said between feverish kisses.
“Alright.” You said, still keeping up with the kissing.
“I’m not who you think I am.” He said, trying to slow you down.
“What does that mean?” You said, pressing another peck to his lips.
“I’m not- I did- I’m-”
“You’re James Buchanan Barnes, the Winter Soldier?” You deadpanned and Bucky’s jaw dropped, “C’mon, did you think I didn’t know? We met through Helen who doesn’t talk about it, but works with the Avengers, you never stand to my right which means you avoid touching me with your left side, and when you talk about your childhood, it’s painstakingly obvious that you didn’t grow up in the 90′s like most people my age.”
“I didn’t until the first night you stayed over.” You told him truthfully.
You squeezed his hand when you felt him shift uncomfortably at the memory. Bucky had a terrible nightmare when he’d slept on the couch of your flat one night, and you had to sprint out of your bed to wake him.
Managing to find him, you’d shaken his shoulder gently, pleading for him to wake up until you’d felt him jolt upright.
He asked your name and you explained to him that he’d had a nightmare. You’d instantly sensed his embarrassment as he apologized for waking you, but you were having none of it.
You knew him well enough at that point to know that he was all talk when he was trying to convince you he’d fall back asleep just fine. You told him to come sleep in your room, and he stammered out what sounded like a dismissal.
Eventually, after telling him you’d hold your breath until he agreed, he caved. You walked him back to your bed, where he laid next to you and held your hand all night.
Bucky might never tell you, but he got the best sleep of his life that night.
“You knew?” He asked again.
“Yes, and none of it means a damn thing to me.”
You kissed him again with a burning passion, tongues dancing against one another as opened mouths melded together.
He’d never felt love like this in his life, and neither had you.
“I’m really scared.” You said as you sat in the gurney of the hospital a few weeks after yours and Bucky’s love confession.
“I know, doll, but it’s gonna go great. I’ll be right there when you wake up.” You felt Bucky’s stubble rub against your cheek as he pressed a kiss to it.
“That is the only thing keeping me from losing my mind.” You mustered a small laugh.
You reached forward with both hands, silently asking him to hold them. You felt his right hand grasp your left, leaving your free hand empty.
“Buck…” You whispered, and he reluctantly held your other hand in his left.
You’d assured him that you liked the arm, it was cold and solid and you loved to press your hand to it and feel the plates rotate when he moved. You saw beauty in its mechanics.
“Is it bad that I’m nervous too?” Bucky asked.
“Not really, I will be seeing your face for the first time.”
“You’re not gonna call me ugly are you?”
You burst out laughing, “I know you’re not ugly.”
“Oh yeah? How so?”
“I’ve felt your face.”
“Huh, you can tell by that?” He asked.
“Oh, yes,” You replied, “You’re far from ugly.”
A small laugh passed his lips, and you felt your heart flutter. You loved his laugh so much that it had quickly become your favourite sound on the planet, right in front of the almost unnoticeable sound of the vibranium plates in his arm shifting about late at night when he shifted in his sleep.
“Ms. (Y/L/N)?” You heard the door open and shut closed as someone entered the room.
“Yes?” You asked.
“We’re ready for you now.”
Bucky kissed your forehead as you were wheeled into the operating room, holding your one hand tightly and whispering words of comfort until he was told that he couldn’t go any further with you.
“I love you.” You said, receiving a peck on the lips.
“I love you too.” He said back, “I’ll be waiting.”
“I’ll see you after.”
“Yes, you will.”
You felt his hand slowly retreat as they wheeled you into the room and strapped you down with IVs and God knows what else. When you felt a mask go over your face and you were instructed to count downwards from ten, you enjoyed your last few seconds of darkness before you went under.
When you woke you couldn’t see a thing, which alarmed you to an extent that is completely indescribable.
“Ms. (Y/L/N), you’re up.” A woman said, “The procedure was a success.”
“Doesn’t seem like it.”
“You have a wrap covering your eyes, we needed to shield them because they’re quiet fresh at the whole seeing thing, but you can take it off whenever you’re ready.” Her sweet voice said.
“I beg your pardon?” She asked.
“There’s a man named Bucky out there, can you send him in?”
Bucky was in the room within seconds of hearing his name being called, he knew it meant you were awake and that you were ready to see him.
He was ushered into the room and saw you sitting up in the bed, clad in a hospital gown, a white bandage wrapping around your eyes.
Upon hearing the door close, you called out to him, and he was by your side in an instant.
“Hey, doll.” He said, pressing kisses to every part of your face.
“Hi, Bucky.” You said.
You let out a loud sigh and paused for a moment before instructing him to sit down on the bed in front of you.
“May I?” He asked tentatively and you knew he must be talking about the wrap.
You nodded slowly and allowed him to unravel it until it was completely gone. Your eyes were still closed, but the light that had filtered in through your eyelids made you gasp slightly.
You weren’t ready to open your eyes, not yet. A wave of panic set in and you couldn’t help but feel tears begin to fall.
“Hey, it’s okay.” Bucky said, his fingers wiping away your crying, “This is all extremely overwhelming for you.”
“I don’t think I’m ready for this.” You cried.
Bucky bit his lip and tried his best to imagine what this could possibly feel like, but he could barely comprehend. Then he remembered the first night that he was over.
“Here.” He said, reaching for your hands and placing them on his face, “Feel for now until you want to see.”
You nodded furiously, trying to keep your hands from shaking profusely as your fingers mapped out the face that you knew so well.
You felt a flesh hand reach up and trace along your cheek. Bucky had closed his eyes and done the same thing as he had before, except this time after about a minute, he added the other hand, the cool metal of his fingers brushing along your lips.
“I love you.” You whispered, a desperate cry from your mouth.
“I love you too.”
You listened to his breathing, the sound that brought you comfort in the night when he slept next to you, and willed yourself to open your eyes.
Your eyes fluttered open and an unpleasing light filtered in, but your main focus was on the face in front of you. His eyelashes were long against his cheeks as he held them closed, his jaw strong, lips plump.
A sharp cry came your mouth, your hands pulling away from his face as his eyes shot open to see you.
The intense colour of his eyes was something that took your breath away, you’d never experienced anything like it before. You decided that no matter what, that shade of blue would always be your favourite.
You began to sob, tight choking racking your chest as the overwhelming nature of seeing the man you love for the first time - and seeing much of anything at all - hit you hard.
Bucky pulled you into an embrace, holding you like his life depended on it. His heart was so full of love and care for you that he didn’t give a damn if your tears were soaking his shoulder.
Bucky held you for what felt like forever until your cries had softened. When you left, Bucky showed you every beautiful thing he could think of; fireworks, blossom trees, sunsets. He loved to see you light up when you saw something new.
He made a pact to show you every beautiful thing that the world could offer, but you assured him that the most beautiful thing you’d ever laid eyes on was him. And he’d shrug it off, but on the nights when you’d stay awake and stare at him, absorbing every little detail, you knew that it was absolutely the truth.
Bucky was amazed by you with or without your sight, because either way you loved him, either way you held him on the nights he couldn’t sleep, either way you were the one he’d run to if anything went wrong.
Either way, you were the only one who had ever taken the time to truly see him for who he was, and his heart beat for you and only you.