The Game Part 1/3
Hi guys! Here’s the story I was really excited to share! I am exploring a new way of writing that’s a little challenging for me, so please tell me what you think! Also, I am LIVING through this character holy moly. Happy Saturday!
Things to know: Time Period: 1940′s Bucky, tiny Steve, Info: Reader and Bucky have mutual friend in Steve, but Reader and Bucky don’t really know each other too well….UNTIL NOW BOOM BABY
“Oh-ho-hooooooh-my-god, oh my god, Bucky Barnes just asked me to dance.”
Your friend, Maria, had just walked over to the corner table of the bar and whispered her news to you and Steve. Well, she tried to walk, but her excitement had her practically galloping over to you. And her whispering sounding more like breathy shouting as she waved her hands in the air like she was shaking off water at a sink.
As she rambled on about how she hoped her hair and lipstick were still in place and she smoothed down her already perfect dress with her dainty hands, your eyes floated over to Bucky Barnes. He had absolutely heard Maria’s little freak out based on the way his head hung to hide his proud grin that was probably more of a smirk.
“Well, go! Don’t keep him waiting!” you shooed her away playfully.
“Alright,” Maria said, smoothing down her dress once again. The second she turned to walk away, she spun around to you again and asked, “But, do I look-”
“You look absolutely beautiful, right Steve?” you interrupted her worries.
Steve suppressed his eye roll and smiled. “Yes. Go get ‘em, Maria.”
Maria nodded nervously, her hands glued to the soft fabric on her slim figure. She pivoted and spun on the toes of her new black heels and sashayed over to her dance partner. His soft, lopsided smile was the last thing you saw before you looked down and distracted yourself with the straw in your watered down coke.
Out of the corner of your eye, you saw Steve loosen his tie that looked a little too long for his small torso. He slid his chair away from the table and stuck his hand out to you. “You wanna go dance?” he asked.
You smiled at him, but wrinkled your nose. “Nah, s’okay. I think I’m gonna go grab another soda. You want anything?” you said, pointing your thumb over your shoulder in the direction of the bar.
“Oh, come on,” he said and leaned in to you so you would hear him over the loud music. “I know we were both dragged here, but we could try to have some fun.”
He watched your features soften and your smile grow bigger than it had been all night. “You’re right, let’s go.” You took his hand and quickly kicked off your heels and left them under the table.
The band was roaring, the trumpets blared in your ears and the drums shook your core. You and Steve pretended to swing dance and laughed at your attempts that included unbalanced sugar twists, kicks, and spins.
You pulled Steve closer to you so you could shout in his ear, “We look ridiculous, but this is the most fun I’ve had all month!”
A laugh escaped him that you could hardly hear over the music. “I look ridiculous, but you look pretty good!” You read his lips before he spun you around one last time as the last chord of the song was played.
The whole dance floor spun to the platform that held up the band and applauded. The next song was a slow one, the sound of a saxophone singing the high pitches made your heart sink. You started to return to your table when Steve grabbed your hand.
“Hey, (Y/N), one more,” he said, suggesting another dance.
You nodded and placed your hand on his shoulder while he gently held your free hand. His quick surge of confidence ran away from him as he awkwardly placed his hand high on your waist and began rocking you back and forth. Your smile wasn’t as bright anymore, but Steve knew it wasn’t his fault. He didn’t miss how your eyes flickered over to Bucky and Maria.
After a verse of quiet dancing, Steve’s voice caught your attention. “You’re a good friend, (Y/N).”
You patted his shoulder. “Aw, shucks, Steve-o. You’re makin’ me blush,” you joked.
“Shut up,” he chided as he spun you around, making you giggle, catching the attention of some of the other dancers. You didn’t care though.
When you landed back facing him, he continued. “I mean it, (Y/N), there aren’t many people like you out there. Hell, you’re dancin’ around the dirty bar floor in your bare feet just so I won’t feel so short.”
You snorted and felt heat rise to your cheeks.
“Didn’t think I would notice?” Steve asked with raised eyebrows.
You shook your head, making him scoff. He rocked you back and forth as the music swelled, and when it lulled he said, “And you’re a good friend to Maria.”
“So are you, Steve,” you said, wondering where he was going with all this.
He sighed, like he was having trouble saying what he wanted to. Finally, he practically whispered to you, “I know you have feelings for Bucky, (Y/N), you don’t have to hide it from me.”
Your eyes narrowed and you shook your head. “Bucky Barnes? Steve, I hardly know the guy, I don’t like him-”
“You do. But you won’t even admit it to yourself because you know Maria has a crush on him now.” When you didn’t shoo him away, he continued. “But maybe Maria’s not the girl for him.”
“That doesn’t matter-”
“(Y/N), you know Maria, she’ll get over him and move on to somebody else in a week-”
“Don’t say that about her,” you hissed over the music.
“You know it’s true!” He didn’t try to hide how irritated he was.
The song had ended and the dancers were clapping as you yelled over them. “Just leave it alone, Steve!” you shouted and turned walked back to your table.
You slipped your shoes back on and wrung your napkin in your hands, trying to calm yourself down. Guilt began to pool in your stomach as you thought about how that wretched conversation started. You just screamed at Steve after he told you what a good friend you were.
Something thumped on the table in front of you and you looked up to see that Steve had replaced your warm coke with a fresh one.
“I’m sorry. I’m just watchin’ out for you and I poked my nose too far in your business,” he said with a sip through his straw.
“S’okay,” you said with a mock pout that quickly turned into a grin.
“Just don’t count yourself out so soon, okay?”
You sipped your soda and shook your head, making Steve roll his eyes. “Stubborn,” he mumbled, and you laughed.
By the time you and Steve finished your sodas the band was halfway through their last song of the night. You gathered your things just in time to applaud the band after the loud swing tune. Maria met you and Steve by the door and as you walked out, she gave you all the details of her night.
“He’s such a great dancer, (Y/N)!”
“I saw you guys! It looked like you were having a great time.” You smiled, genuinely happy that your friend had a nice night.
“It was such a great time. And, hey, I saw you got Steve up on the dance floor, nice goin’!” She added.
“Actually, it was Steve-o here who dragged me up there,” you giggled and cocked your brow. You linked your arm in Steve’s after he growled and patted his arm.
“Wow, Steve look at you being-”
“Oh shoot!” you interrupted her. “I left my shawl on my chair in the bar. My sister’s gonna kill me if I don’t give it back to her in the morning.”
“We can go back,” Steve shrugged.
“Nah, I’ll just go. I’ll meet you guys in a minute,” you waved and started back in the direction you came from, the bright light of the bars and convenience stores lighting your way.
When you walked through the doors of the club, only the janitor remained with the band members who were packing up their instruments. You quickly walked over to the table where you and Steve had been sitting for most of the night, but when you arrived, your sweater wasn’t there. You frantically leaned down to look under the table, hoping you had simply dropped it and not lost it.
There was nothing under the table but crumbs and a napkin, which you picked up and tossed next to the coke you had been drinking. Just as dread plagued your stomach, you heard someone say your name.
“Hey (Y/N), this is yours, isn’t it?”
You looked up to the door of the bar to see Bucky Barnes holding out your shawl. His cheeks were flushed and his chest rising and falling faster than normal. “I saw it sitting here and ran to find Steve, but he said you had already come back for it.”
You swallowed thickly and walked over to him, nodding your head. “Yeah, it’s mine. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” he said. Before you could take the sweater from him, he was hanging it on your shoulders and ushering you out the door. “Let’s get you home, huh? It’s late.”
“Oh, that’s okay, Steve and Maria are waiting for me about a block down,” you excused, propping your hair behind your ears and glancing at the sidewalk.
“I told them to go ahead, that I’d walk you home,” he cleared his throat. “Is that okay?”
You nodded quickly, which probably looked more like a neck spasm because of your nerves.
After a few silent steps, Bucky shifted his gaze from the ground to you and asked if you had a good time.
“Yeah, I did. What about you?” You returned.
“Yeah, I had a nice time. S’a good band, ya know?”
He swung his arms as he walked, but you felt yourself moseying along as stiff as a board.
“Ya know what’s funny?”
“What?” you asked, looking up at him for the first time since you left the bar.
“You and I are both such good friends with Steve, but we never see each other. We don’t spend any time together.”
You hummed in agreement.
“In fact, I think this is the first time you and I have said more than three words to each other,” he said.
You laughed and felt your shoulders relax a bit. “Yeah, I think it is.”
He chuckled, the sound deep and easy.
“I saw you two dancing out there tonight, looked like fun,” Bucky said.
“Yeah, he dragged me out there, but I had a great time,” you said fondly.
“Really?” he asked. “I thought it would have been the other way around.”
“Maria said that too,” you laughed, pointing a finger at the coincidence.
He shook his head. “I’ve never heard of Steve asking a pretty girl to dance.”
You tried to ignore the compliment, but your efforts were useless. You looked at the marquees hanging on the buildings beside you to hide your red cheeks. “We’re good friends, that’s all.”
“I know,” he nodded his head, suddenly serious. “I’ve never seen him open up to someone the way he does with you. It’s nice to see.”
When you glanced his way, you saw his bright blue eyes already on you. You hummed in agreement. “He’s a wonderful friend to me. He babies me too much, but hey-” your own laugh cut you off as you shrugged.
Bucky chuckled with you. “Well, he cares a lot about you.” You didn’t miss him lick his lips. “I feel like I know you inside and out from the way he talks about you all the time.”
“I could say the same thing about you,” you teased.
“Oh, boy.” He ran his hand through his hair. “Hopefully, you only hear the nice stories,” he said, which made you giggle.
“Don’t worry,” you reassured him. “Steve shines the brightest light on you.” You caught his lopsided grin before he turned his head away from you. Was he blushing?
As you came up to your apartment, you said to Bucky, “I’m glad Steve has you. He needs a guy friend,” you said with a crinkled nose. “Someone to keep him up to date on the Dodgers.”
That made him laugh.
He followed you up the stairs to the front door. When you reached the landing and turned to face him he said, “And I’m glad Steve has you. Someone to dance with.” He winked when you chuckled.
His eyes flickered from you to the ground and his tongue shot out to graze over his pink lips again. “Maybe I can steal you from him sometime.”
His suggestion made you stand a little straighter and a smirk played on your lips. “You’ll have to take that up with Steve.”
He shoved his hands in his pockets and pushed down until you thought the seams would rip right then. “I will,” he said with a nod.
His eyes stared into yours until you felt your cheeks turn pink at the contact. You pushed your hair behind your ear and thanked him for walking you home.
You turned around and opened the door, but before you could step inside, the urgency in his voice stopped you, like he forgot something. “Goodnight, (Y/N).”
“Goodnight, Bucky.” You smiled at him one last time, stepped inside and closed the door behind you. In the dark, you leaned against the door and took a shaky breath, afraid your legs would give out.
Steve was right. You shouldn’t have counted yourself out so early in the game.
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