Thank you for your lovely comments, darlings!!! I hope you like what I did with your prompts!! Enjoy!!! <3
Warning: Hot make-outs, smutty mentions, cute Bughead galore and just me fawning over the bae that is Cole Sprouse.
“We have to go.” Kiss
“Hmm, in a second.” Kiss
“One day – kiss –
we’ll get caught – kiss – and they’ll
definitely expel us.” HardKiss.
“Oh, I’d love to see you, Betty Cooper – kiss – getting expelled over a steamy
make out.” Bite.
Betty just let a breathless laugh, alternating the
angle of her head and dropped her arms to his shoulders, crossing them by the
wrists behind his head. Jughead’s smile grew more in delight against her lips
and he dove in again, pecking her lips hard. They were in one of the dusty
storage rooms of their high school, the smallest one and the one with no
windows, exploring this new-found feeling of being in love and being a couple,
mist old broken chairs and random school supplies. Betty was perched up on an
unused desk that lay against the wall, dressed for her cheerleading practice in
her usual white and yellow t-shirt and dark blue shorts, while her boyfriend
was standing deliciously between her gorgeous legs, school bag, denim jacket
and beanie abandoned somewhere on the floor, kissing her like there was no
tomorrow for God knows how long now.
That was basically they daily routine. Ever since the
two of them overcame their irrational fears of rejection and possible
heartbreak and talked with each other about that kiss that held all of
Jughead’s suppressed emotions all those years, they couldn’t overlook their
mutual feeling of desiring to be together. Three weeks had passed since that
day and, despite of the new challenges they were faced with every day,
regarding their unconventional families and the amorality that seemed to emerge
every once in a while of the core of their small town, the two teens were basking
in the afterglow of their romance with affectionate gestures and heated make
outs. The only cloud shading their Romeo and Juliet fairytale was that
everything was being done in shadows, like a good, concealed secret.
They wanted to tell people; and they would do it. They
weren’t afraid or ashamed, both emotions equally unfair to the
wonderful union that it was them. They just wanted to do it in their own terms,
without excited friends or controlling parents getting in their way, without having
to explain themselves or put labels and boundaries in something that came and
kept growing natural to them. So, janitor’s closets and storage rooms it was.
It’s amazing, really. Castiel has blown him off, lied to him, stolen from him, and broken his god damn heart too many times to count today. But when Dagon raises her hand at him for what Dean thinks must be the last time, it’s still the worst he’s felt all week.
“No!” he screams, before all the breath is punched out of him at once. A golden glow takes over Castiel’s eyes, one that he hasn’t seen before.
He forgets to flinch when Castiel offers to fix his arm. He exposes the most vulnerable parts of himself, again, he never learns, and allows Castiel’s hand on him. His fingers hesitate over the folds of his sleeve, pressing more insistently when Dean doesn’t move away. He hates that he’s being cautious. No, he’s grateful for it. No, he -
The familiar cold pulse of grace taking root steals his breath away.
“Are you ok?” he asks. Fragile and weak, like it always is with them.
The golden glow has left, but Castiel is still different somehow. He doesn’t slouch; he holds himself with all the confidence of someone that thinks themselves blameless. He’s seen that look at least once before, back when Castiel still liked to lie and go behind their backs for ultimately selfless reasons.
And he still asks Dean to trust him.
He would. He’s spent his day tracking phones and fixing trucks. It might hurt like a bitch, but this is all he has.
“Don’t,” he begs. A plea, a prayer.
Castiel drops his fingers to Dean’s head, and he doesn’t hesitate at all.
In 1837, the 28-year-old Abraham Lincoln arrived in Springfield, Illinois, to found a law practice. Almost immediately, he struck up a friendship with a 23-year-old shopkeeper named Joshua Speed. There may have been an element of calculation to this friendship, since Joshua’s father was a prominent judge, but the two clearly hit it off. Lincoln rented an apartment with Speed, where the two slept in the same bed. Sources from the time, including the two men themselves, describe them as inseparable.
Lincoln and Speed were close enough to still raise eyebrows today. Speed’s father died in 1840, and shortly afterwards, Joshua announced plans to return to the family plantation in Kentucky. The news seems to have stricken Lincoln. On January 1, 1841, he broke off his engagement with Mary Todd and made plans to follow Speed to Kentucky.
Speed left without him, but Lincoln followed a few months later, in July. In 1926, writer Carl Sandburg published a biography of Lincoln in which he described the relationship between the two men as having, “a streak of lavender, and spots soft as May violets.” Eventually, Joshua Speed would marry a woman named Fanny Henning. The marriage lasted 40 years, until Joshua’s death in 1882, and produced no children.
From 1862 to 1863, President Lincoln was accompanied by a bodyguard from the Pennsylvania Bucktail Brigade named Captain David Derickson. Unlike Joshua Speed, Derickson was a prodigious father, marrying twice and siring ten children. Like Speed, however, Derickson became a close friend of the president and also shared his bed while Mary Todd was away from Washington. According to an 1895 regimental history written by one of Derickson’s fellow officers:
“Captain Derickson, in particular, advanced so far in the President’s confidence and esteem that, in Mrs. Lincoln’s absence, he frequently spent the night at his cottage, sleeping in the same bed with him, and — it is said — making use of His Excellency’s night-shirt!”
Another source, the well-connected wife of Lincoln’s naval adjundant, wrote in her diary: “Tish says, ‘there is a Bucktail Soldier here devoted to the President, drives with him, & when Mrs L. is not home, sleeps with him.’ What stuff!”
Derickson’s association with Lincoln ended with his promotion and transfer in 1863.
Y/N and Peter run into each other late one night.
Words: 1,000 on the dot
Paring/Characters: PeterParkerxStark!Reader, Mentions of the other avengers
Warning: Mentions of partial nudity? Awkward Peetie?
Author’s Note: So, I have a lot more written for this one, but I’ve never written Peter before so I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested. Let me know I guess and I can keep this one going for a little.
“Toothbrush!” You exclaimed to yourself and immediately clamped a hand over your mouth. You almost slipped on the wood floor in your fuzzy socks as you hushed your packing revelation. Everyone else was asleep and you’d never hear the end of it if you woke them up, especially with the early morning coming.
Description: In the midst of your loneliness due to Taehyung’s absence, you decide that you need a distraction, which somehow manifests itself as going over to his apartment and stealing a t-shirt or two… or three…
Anonymous Requested: Being in a relationship with Taehyung, and stealing all of his t-shirts while he’s busy with bts’ latest comeback + smut
You watched with a prominent downward quirk of your lips as
Taehyung ran around the apartment, quickly stuffing clothes into a duffel bag
as he scurried in every direction to gather his things before he had to head
off to the dorms. It was time for a comeback, and all of the members agreed
that it would be much easier on everyone to just stay at the dorms together
during the busy hype of the first couple of weeks. This cut down the annoyances
of people showing up to schedules at different times, or getting caught in
traffic, so you completely understood the point of it… You just wished it
didn’t mean having to stay back at your apartment all alone.
At this point in your relationship with Taehyung, you
probably should have been used to the notion of him having to leave for a few
weeks, or sometimes even a few months, every once in a while… but just because
you were used to it, didn’t mean you had to like it.
You fell back against the mattress, your mind heavy with
thoughts, and you weren’t exactly trying your hardest to mask the disdain you
had for him leaving, so it wasn’t surprising when you felt the slight sink of
someone taking the spot next to you on the bed. You opened your eyes, a concerned
looking Taehyung coming into view.
“Please don’t pout. You know I don’t want to leave.” He
reached forward, lightly pinching at your bottom lip that was sticking out.
As well as written poetry, it is important to look at spoken word, or slam poetry, because it allows trans authors to convey their poetry in an even more tangible way. Having an audience present works to reify the ideals of community and solidarity. Underlining unity is powerful, both within the trans community and for the purpose of coalition building, moving toward support that goes beyond the art world.
In the introduction to the Transgender Studies Reader,
“(De)Subjugated Knowledges,” Susan Stryker discusses the language of
gender and the ways in which material determinism permeates Western
culture. She states, “The relationship between bodily sex, gender role,
and subjective gender identity are imagined to be strictly,
mechanically, mimetic – a real thing and its reflections” (Stryker 9).
Transgender studies challenges this idea, focusing on social
construction through language and cultural narratives.
three of these poems interact with this idea of sex, gender roles, and
gender as it is experienced being lumped together. Such a fabrication
leads to the assumption of other individuals’ gender identities, as the
person doing the assuming attempts to make sense of an expression that
does not fit their binary philosophy.
“How to Love Your Body in 10 Easy Steps” by Ollie Schminkey
It is immediately clear in the first few lines that this poem grapples with mental health, as Schminkey’s first step involves unhealthy eating habits: “eating less will make you feel as if you have control.” They also talk about binding in unhealthy ways in order to “trick yourself into feeling complete.” Without societal acceptance and the supposed stability of the gender binary, the search for control of the self and self-image can manifest in potentially dangerous ways.
Schminkey describes the impact of rejection, “Man, woman, whatever./You are the whatever.” Outside of the binary, people are essentially dehumanized and labeled deviant. This creates a hostile environment where dysphoria may take its root. The poem continues, “Do not call it what it is/do not call it transgender/do not say dysphoria/just say depression, no qualifier” (Schminkey). Calling it dysphoria is to recognize a problem stemming from
society and normative standards of gender expression, beauty, and so on. With this poem, however, Schminkey calls attention both to the condition of dysphoria and to its silencing.
“Ritual” by Muggs Fogarty
Fogarty talks about material determinism extensively in this poem. “What parts of you are heavy with fluid?/which direction do your shirt buttons button?/where do your glands swell?” These lines refer to the ways society writes gender on bodies without asking, only concerned with fitting physical appearance into socially constructed category. They use repetition to signify the numerous instances they have been asked for their name assigned at birth, as if the listener hears their poetry and continues to ask, looking for “gender lies,” some trace of inauthentic expression (Fogarty).
When referring to binding their breasts, Fogarty declares, “I was so afraid others would notice their absence, especially if they had never noticed mine.” This makes more powerful the message the poet is delivering, that bodies are more valued than the minds, expressions, and identities that they hold. Especially in reference to the commodification and objectification of women,this poem is relevant to trans studies in its critique of society’s attention to the presence or absence of certain anatomical characteristics in determining gender judgments.
“A Letter to the Girl I Used to Be” by Ethan Smith
In this poem, Smith reconciles the memory of himself and his dreams growing up with the reality of his current life and the ways in which those dreams have shifted. He begins by addressing his former self – using his name given at birth. This serves as a way to separate himself wholly from the person he was before transitioning. He speaks of memories told to him by his father which he does not remember, but moves on to discuss family, which complicates the narrative of the poem. As he describes beginning hormone therapy, Smith expresses, “I thought about your children, how I wanted them too.” His desire for children is separate from his gender expression, yet the way that bodies are looked upon by society produces a dissonance, dysphoria. In order for his body to fit within norms for his experienced gender, he no longer retains the ability to produce life, something that had been precious to him. In saying this, Smith removes trans bodies from a pathologized and objectified space and focuses on a future oriented one, where trans-identified people express the desire for new families of their own. He validates that struggle and represents narratives different from the fight for recognition in one’s current family, which is usually the only family related issue discussed in such a context.
At the end of the poem, after telling of his former struggles with mental health – “In therapy you said you wouldn’t make it to twenty-one. You were right” – and coming to terms with his gender expression, Smith provides an optimistic viewpoint. He affirms there was and still is a place for the memory of himself growing up, ending with “P.S. I never hated you” (Smith).
bath time - sherlock bathing rosie for the first time
The first time Sherlock gives Rosie a bath it’s after a rather disastrous supper. John gets stuck at work late, and Sherlock feeds Rosie in his absence, but by the end of it there are mashed up peas all over her, smothered on her face, down her shirt, stuck in her hair, so Sherlock knows he has to give her a bath. He runs the water, plops her down into it, and she immediately begins to splash, splash, splash, getting water eeeeverywhere and giggling madly. Sherlock ends up absolutely soaked, soap suds in his hair, and Rosie thinks it’s the funniest thing, so Sherlock scoops up more soap and makes himself a bubble beard, and Rosie laughs so hard she almost falls over in the tub. She reaches up to smush her hands into Sherlock’s soapy beard, delighted when her fingers find his cheeks. He can’t help laughing with her, and then he hears more laughter behind him, and he turns to find John standing in the doorway, leaning against the frame, watching them with the fondest look on his face. Sherlock’s cheeks turn a bit pink, and John just walks into the loo and sinks down to the floor next to him to help him finish washing Rosie up.
Steve x Reader Summary: Soulmate AU in which Steve overestimates the powers of the super soldier serum and comes to a startling realization
Prompt: You can choose to take the pain of your soulmate away (from this post)
Word Count: 2163 Warnings: none
Soulmates were a thing of the past.
Although it had been common throughout the early 1900s to be born with the small cursive words on your wrist, after the second world war more and more children were born without them. Many blamed it on the plethora of chemical and nuclear weapons, others on the traumatizing pain it had caused throughout the war, but nobody knew for sure why they had disappeared.
That’s why it had been such a big deal when you’d been born with a mark. Your grandparents, old enough to have their own, were ecstatic. Your parents, on the other hand, had urged you to keep it hidden away from the public. It was unusual in their day and age and they feared the attention it might bring.
So for much of your childhood you listened intently to your grandfather’s stories of soulmates in his time, eyes wide and a large grin plastered on your face despite having to keep your own mark a secret.
However, the excitement soon disappeared as you grew older.
Grandma explained that during the war the only way to know if your soulmate was alive and well was to feel for their pain. When your soulmate was hurt a numbness would spread across your own body, alerting you and allowing you to choose whether or not to take that pain away. When you failed to feel that numbness even through your teenage years, you knew what it meant. You might have been lucky to be born with a soulmate, but you sure as hell weren’t lucky enough to meet them.
The supersoldier serum pumping through Steve’s veins did many things. He could run faster, think harder, jump higher and most important of all, he could heal quicker. It was a significant advantage he had over the rest of the Avengers. Even with a bullet in his side Steve would push forwards, the pain all but forgotten and his enhanced body already racing to repair itself.
What Steve didn’t realize was that his pain wasn’t just being forgotten – it was being taken away.
On the other side of Manhattan, another person was willingly taking the pain as their own. Every bullet wound, every slash of a knife she felt so he wouldn’t. She wouldn’t let him. He was her soulmate and after believing he was gone for so many years, she would do anything to protect him.
So Steve continued on fighting, completely unaware that the girl he’d thought was left in the past was in fact alive and well only a few kilometers away.
days. That’s how long your family was visiting. You had to endure 3
long days because Yoongi was a master at teasing and you had no self-control.
Genre: !Yoongi! + smutsmutsmutsmut + fluff (rated m of course)
Word count: 9.6k+
A/N : Surprise again? Idk how I ended up writing this fic but yes. 9k+ of Yoongi smut. I’m just going to leave this here and disappear. I hope you like it!!!!!!
When Yoongi woke up, it wasn’t because he wanted to. He
would have gladly remained resting in the land of dreams where he was
comfortable and warm until nature called if it wasn’t for the other side of the
bed being completely empty of your usual figure.
Actually, he would have remained resting even if your side
of the bed was cold because here you were, standing above him, shaking his arm
violently and calling his name which was slowly but surely enough increasing in
pitch until he was certain he was going mad. He would’ve exchanged a cold bed over
this any day.
Yoongi groaned into the pillow and tried to shake you off
because it was too early and too loud to hear your voice at this ungodly hour
of the day but you were persistent and soon enough you were shrieking so loudly
that he couldn’t possibly endure or even ignore you any longer
“In the nicest way possible” Yoongi croaked, cracking one
eye open to glare at you, his lips pursing together tightly in a very well shot scowl, “Can you fuck off?”
This wasn’t quite what you had envisioned for your life. The laundry basket was heavy and balanced just on your hip and you gripped the tiny hand of your 6 year old daughter tightly with your other hand. You had only been living here for a week and a half, and the one thing you hadn’t quite taken into account was managing the four flights of stairs with a clean load of laundry fresh from the first floor dryers.
The place was cheap enough for you to afford the two bedroom unit in a safe part of town and still be able to afford certain things like food and electricity on your income. Nari’s dance lessons came out of the support you received from your ex. You swore to yourself that no matter how tough things got, you would let her stay in the class she loved so much.
“Nari, stop jumping up the stairs, just walk normally.” You could feel your palm getting sweaty and you wanted to switch sides, but the girl was selective in her hearing. If you didn’t use your ‘mom voice’, she usually just did what she wanted.
Columbine High School’s Mascot - before and after the shooting
Earlier version of the Columbine High School rebel mascot on a t-shirt before April 20th 1999.
And today. Note the conspicuous absence of a gun in the modern image. Interestingly, Eric Harris chose to go by the nickname “REB” or “Rebel” while attending Columbine.
NEW YORK, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ - It’s been almost five years since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students, a teacher and themselves in what remains the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. Today’s kids claim that most of the time no one at Columbine even thinks about “Columbine.” They say they’re just like high-schoolers everywhere. But more than 60 interviews with students and members of the community reveal a school that dwells simultaneously in its past and its present, reports General Editor Susannah Meadows 3 issue of Newsweek.
Last week Klebold and Harris showed up again. On Wednesday police released a 15-minute video sowing the boys taking target practice in the woods six weeks before they opened fire at Columbine. Tom Mauser, who lost his 15-year-old son, Daniel, says, “It’s just too bad that it comes out in bits and painful pieces like this, rather than all at once.” But the video was only the latest reminder. In the wake of last year’s Oscar-winning documentary “Bowling for Columbine,” a new film, “Elephant,” depicts a massacre just like Columbine’s in unrelenting detail.
“People keep saying, ‘Well, now are you back to normal?’ But there’s never going to be normality here,” says principal Frank DeAngelis. Since the shooting-era students left a year and a half ago, the school’s taken its greatest steps toward recovery. Though tourists still peek in while school’s in session, there’s more giggling in the halls now. “For the three years after the tragedy, it was a very different place. It was too quiet,” says counselor Susan Peters.
One indication that the school is reaching a new normal is that bullying is back. A student was recently suspended for writing a note to a friend about wanting to get rid of Jeremy Lodwig, the lone boy on the color guard. Why would someone write that? “I’m different,” says the 15-year-old sophomore with bright orange hair glued into little spikes. “I have more girlfriends than I do guys.” Heidi Cortez, who was a sophomore when everyone hiding under the library tables around her was killed, says, “Did we not learn anything?”
Because many kids - and armchair psychiatrists - think peer abuse may have contributed to Klebold and Harris’s rage, some students are strangely sensitive for teenagers. “You want to be like, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe she does her hair that way, she’s such a loser!’ [But] you try and hold yourself back. You never know if you’re going to be the one person to break them,” says freshman Jaimie Hebditch, a “watergirl” for the JV football team.
Students whose older siblings survived the massacre are the most vigilant. Ty Werges, a sophomore on the soccer team, tells how he came upon some kids slamming shut the locker of a student who’s mentally impaired: “I was like, ‘Why are you doing that? Do you feel cool now?’ They were shocked because out of nowhere someone sticking up for another kid is kind of weird,” says Werges.
But the bulling stopped. Columbine’s counselors (four out of five of whom spoke to Newsweek) argue that the massacre wasn’t caused by bullying and that kids will always beat up on other kids. For them the return of such behavior is actually something of a relief. “oh, it’s a girl fight. Something normal,” counselor Ken Holden says he hears colleagues say.
The real legacy of the massacre lies in what’s missing. The Columbine mascot, a 1776 Revolutionary “Rebel” soldier, no longer carries a gun. The bare vinyl floors of the school are striking to anyone who remembers that all the carpet was ripped out after the mess of that day. The library, which was above the cafeteria and where most of the shootings occurred, has been removed and rebuilt in a different part of the school; now students eat their lunch in a sun-filled atrium that fills the space where the library used to be. The names of those who were lost are now inscribed on the memorial in the new library.
What’s most surprising about Columbine is that, despite the ghosts of the past, all kinds of students - flag-twirlers, cheerleaders, self-described dorks, drummers, soccer players, choral singers - say they love coming to school here. “We take such a pride in our school,” says Danny Beyer, a senior in the choir whose older sister, Lauren, survived 4/20. “Even though we might not be the best, but because this is our school.”
Summary: It’s been 7 years since you walked away from the love of your life.
Warnings: angst, mentions of cheating, bullying
You watched the little girl with brown hair and blue eyes play with the children around her. 7 years old was her age. 7 years ago was the last time you saw the love of your life. 7 years ago you caught your fiance cheating on you. 7 years ago you were about to tell him he was going to be a father.
But all of that is in the past now. You were happy and so was your baby girl Isabelle Rebecca L/N-Barnes.
As promised – not Kansas City OTRA, but very much inspired by it. I’ve had this as a WIP since April or so, so it’s nice to have it out. That said: I’M NERVOUS AS ALL GET OUT cause they kind of… are… there’s a crude topic in this. They’re just having a go at each other, though. ACK *flips tables* Enjoy, everybody, I’m gonna hide now. x
It’s the last song when security finds you and escorts you
from your seat and through the crowd. You’re a little disappointed that you
don’t get to see the show finish, but knots of excitement are twisting in your
belly as you are herded past barricades where no one else is allowed to go.
Music and fireworks, almost obnoxiously loud, are muffled backstage, and you
hear voices, familiar by this point and one more so than the rest, saying
earnest goodnights and wishes of love and safe returns home to the crowd that
so worships them. Preparation to tear down and packup equipment has already
started around you, and you pause in the wings, shaking your head when security
tries to usher you to move.
He’ll be there. He’ll find you.
Sure enough, he’s all legs and hair when he appears at last,
leaping over a thick wire before it can catch his boot and twist his ankle.
He’s got a towel in his hand, but it’s useless on his long, wet, curly hair.
He’s all but drenched from head to toe, with most of his grey t-shirt stained
with sweat and clinging to his body, and while the heat is mainly to blame for
that, the water he’d been spitting and throwing hadn’t helped (although, it had
probably cooled him off).
He’s tanner than you remember him being last, but that’s
what months of outdoor shows and sightseeing on off days will do to him. The
muscles on his slick arms look just a little bigger and more defined, too, and
even the most casual twist or bend of his heavily tattooed left arm makes ink
practically jump every time.
His eyes, though, are most striking, and they’re only for
you as he continues his beeline in your direction.
“You’re soaked, love,” he teases you through a cheeky grin
and popping dimples with a voice like honey and sandpaper.
You won’t give him the satisfaction of acknowledging his
“Some twat kept spitting water at me the whole night,” you
inform him, opening your arms for him.
Harry grins wider – a cocky, satisfied grin. “Yeah?” His
hand slides possessively around your waist for the first time in ages and you
fold your hands behing his neck. “Tell me his name an’ I’ll get him.”
He’d had so many names over the years (many years, far too many years). The Fist of Hydra. James. The American. The Asset. Jerk. The Winter Soldier.
Once, he had even been Bucky.
He still is, according to Steve. Steve who has lived too long, and has his own string of names trailing in his wake. Captain America. Steven Grant Rogers. Stevie. Star Spangled Man with a Plan. Punk.
Steve is still Steve, he may even be Stevie. He’s not Captain America anymore, not since the Winter Soldier appeared at his window, metals fingers pressed to the bullet wound in his stomach, scratching at the glass to be let in, like some kind of stray animal.
Steve, Stevie, still had no sense of preservation. He should have closed the blinds and left the thing that had tried to kill him months ago bleed out on the fire escape. But no, he wrenched open the window and dragged the assassin into his home (for fuck’s sake Stevie).
The Winter Soldier had bled all over the bedsheets, and as far as anyone was concerned died there, leaving a ghost.
The ghost of James Buchanan Barnes.
Steven Grant Rogers, Stevie, Dumb Punk, gave up his shield. He had picked it up to save Bucky once, and put it down to the same ends.
They didn’t so much live as warily co-exist in the apartment, on the corner of a street both familiar and strange. They had lived there before, Steve told him, but the building got torn down and they built a new one. Best thing for it, Bucky had said. The old one was a death trap. His mouth did that sometimes, opened up and words spilled out, unexpected and sweet and bitter. Like a head full of firecrackers, memories popping and snapping and if too many went off at once it made him flinch. Made him shiver and tuck himself into the smallest. darkest corner of the apartment, like a stray animal.
So Steve filled the refridgerator with the kind of things the ghost used to eat. Filled the shelves with books that the ghost used to read. The apartment was never silent, a radio in the kitchen, the volume turned low, played big band and swing and jazz, things the ghost used to dance to.
Steve was always so damn stubborn.
Baby steps, the therapist said. Small victories.
He’s killed presidents, and now he’s supposed to feel pride when he walks downstairs to get the mail. He’s brought down governments in a single night but barely manages three stops on the subway.
But it’s worth it, worth all of it and more to see the way Steve lights up when he comes back upstairs with the mail and announces the mission suffered zero casualties. When Steve’s hand wraps around his on the crowded subway and squeezes.
So he walks down to the corner store for milk when they run out, and eats at least once a day, and all the other little things that keep the furrow in Steve’s brow from running too deep.
And he doesn’t punch through the metal side of the dumpster when it starts rustling.
He had managed to pick up orange juice from the store. Not the nearest one just across the street from the apartment, but a bodega two blocks away. When he walked past the dumpster down the nearby alley (old habits die hard and he’s more likely to enter Steve’s apartment by the roof than the doors on the ground floor) it rustled at him and let out a pathetic whine.
Bucky had lifted the lid and found the cat.
The thing was not much more than a scrap of fur and fleas. He had no idea what colour it was, its coat dingy grey and matted. It still had a mouth on it, giving him a half-hearted hiss as he pulled it out of the garbage by the scruff.
The Ghost stared at the cat, and the cat stared back. Then bit his finger.
He offered it a metal fingertip and it bit that too, not even slightly dissuaded by the way it’s teeth skidded over the metal plates.
For the first time in seventy years, Bucky smiled.
The bodega stocked catfood, though Bucky had no idea if the cat preferred the wet stuff in cans or the dried kibble in boxes, so he bought both, the cat safely zipped up in his jacket, it’s flat little head poking out. It’s oversized ears swivelled back and forth as Bucky held out a can of chicken chunks in gravy in one hand and salmon pieces in aspic in the other and told the cat to make up it’s damn mind.
“Mrrr,” the cat said finally, which Bucky chose to interpret as ‘both’.
He pays for the items and walks back out onto the street. The cat makes itself comfortable, borrowing down into his jacket and going to sleep. It’s needle-like claws prick at his thin shirt, digging in whenever he turns too sharply or moves any faster than a walking pace. Since Bucky doesn’t want to be completely perforated he walks slowly down the street rather than take to the rooftops, and anyway he has a bag of catfood.
Steve didn’t look up from his spot on the couch when Bucky slipped through the apartment door and kicks off his shoes, though Bucky would bet good money that he’d spent the whole of Bucky’s absence at the window, quietly worrying.
“Hey Buck,” Steve muttered with a forced nonchalance that fools no one. “You get lost?”
“Mowr,” the cat answered.
Steve’s head snaps up, “What-”
“I founds it in the trash,” Bucky blurted out. “It’s greasy and cranky and smells like crap but…” he falters at the complicated run of expressions that passed over Steve’s features. “You seem okay with taking in strays,” Bucky finished weakly.
Steve frowned silently, and Bucky tensed up, one hand curled protectively around the lump of fur under his jacket. Something in Bucky’s expression seemed to settle him though, and he dropped the book he was reading on the coffee table.
“We’re gonna need more stuff,” Steve announced and pulled out his phone.
He wasn’t Captain America anymore, but that didn’t mean Steve couldn’t get things done when he put his mind to it. Twenty minutes later a harassed looking SHIELD agent dropped off several boxes of random crap that were supposedly essential for cat ownership.
Bucky couldn’t understand the need for a litter tray and unscented, clump-forming, biodegradable whatever-the-fuck to go in the tray (cat’s went outside, right?), or the twine-wrapped wooden kitty adventure playground thing. The collar, okay, fair enough. The shampoo and the flea drops, fuck yeah.
Steve read the instructions on the bottle carefully and gave the cat a wary look. “You’ve got the vibranium arm, you can hold it.”
They covered the bathroom floor with towels, and Bucky placed the cat carefully in the bath, where it gave him an unimpressed look and sat down to wash itself.
The disdain might have been more effective if the cat didn’t stop every time it licked itself to twitch and flap it’s tongue.
Bucky poured a little shampoo into his hands and coated his fingers before rubbing them into the cats matted fur. It gave him a curious ‘Prrrp’, but didn’t freak out until Steve turned on the showerhead, checking the water temperature on the inside of his elbow.
The cat hissed and yowled and bit Bucky’s metal thumb, sending half the tub water onto the floor in its thrashing. Bucky pressed his hand between the cats shoulders and it flattened itself on the bottom of the tub while Bucky rinsed off the soap. Underneath all the grime was silky black fur with white paws and chest and a splodge of white on his nose.
Bucky wrapped the cat up in one of the towels until it was a damp and squirming burrito, it’s nose poking out of one end. Bucky cradled it in his arms, murmuring softly as he carries the cat out to the living room and sits down on the couch. The cat bites his wrist half-heartedly, teeth skidding over metal plates. Steve watched silently from the doorway as Bucky carefully dried the cats fur, working through the tangles with his fingers until it curled up in his lap and falls asleep.
Bucky glanced up when Steve sat carefully on the couch beside him, silently waiting for permission before reaching over to stroke the cats still-damp fur.
Bucky thinks of his first night back, when the Winter Soldier bled to death on Steve’s white linens. It had taken days to heal, the bastardised version of superserum that crawled through his veins forcing out the bullets and knitting flesh and skin back together.
Steve had carried him, bridal style, to the bathroom and placed him in the tub. It hadn’t mattered, ghosts couldn’t feel the washcloth passing over bruises and scar tissue. Ghosts didn’t lean into the touch of hands in their hair, carefully rinsing away shampoo. Ghosts didn’t sigh at conditioner being massaged into their scalps, large, gentle fingers teasing out the knots and tangles.
Ghosts didn’t fall asleep on the couch, wrapped in towels and blankets, half listening as their failed mission made endless phone calls in a hushed voice, pulling apart the pieces of his life and putting them back together again with a ghost shaped hole in the middle. In the heart.
The cat purred in it’s sleep, it’s claws flexing rhythmically, leaving pinholes in Buckys jeans.
Piece by piece, everything falls into place
“He needs a name,” Steve murmured.
The cats head was pillowed in the palm of Bucky’s metal hand, fingers curled loosely around it’s fragile skull. It had one paw wrapped around Bucky’s wrist, holding him in place. As if he could even consider leaving.
Such a fragile little thing, and yet it trusted him. Trusted him to keep it safe and warm and alive.
Bucky glanced at Steve. “He?”
It’s not the thing he wants to say. There aren’t words in any language for that. There isn’t time enough in their artificially extended lives to explain it all.
“I got a, uh, eyeful when he was thrashing around in the tub,” Steve mumbles. “Definitely he.”
Ghosts don’t have names. They have identities - The Weeping Woman, The Headless Horseman, The Winter Soldier. Not names.
Bucky isn’t a ghost’s name.
Bucky shrugs, feigning nonchalance. Steve knows him too well to fall for it. “You pick.”
Steve takes a long moment to consider the cat. Bucky watches him from the corner of his eye. The lines of Steve’s face, the curve of his jaw. Things that ice and time and mind-wipes couldn’t erase.”
“He’s your cat, you choose,” Steve says finally.
Bucky huffs. “I’m bad at names. You’re the one who came up with Bucky. You pick.”
Steve lights up, and for a moment Bucky can’t look at him. It’s like staring into the sun.
“You remember that?”
Bucky bristles under Steve’s look of surprise. “Yeah. ‘Course I remember.”
Steve turns his face to Bucky’s neck and has to take a deep, shuddering breath.
Bucky waits for Steve to pull himself together, Steve’s breath, hot and damp against his skin raising goosebumps.
Really, it’s frankly embarrassing. A former spy and a decorated military tactician, and neither of them had figured it out yet.
You don’t go against your commanding officer and damn well walk into enemy territory in a stage costume for a friend. Seeing an old friend doesn’t break seventy years of Hydra programming.
You don’t hand over your shield to a guy dressed like a bird for a friend.
“Tom?” Bucky asks.
Steve snorts, still hiding in the collar of Bucky’s shirt. “That’s not very creative,” he mumbles.
Bucky shifts and turns to Steve, pressing his lips to the top of Steve’s head.
Steve’s head snaps up, and he meets Bucky’s eyes. “What?”
The corner of Bucky’s mouth ticks up. “I went out to get orange juice.”
Steve coughs out a laugh. “Seriously?”
Bucky gives him a mock glare. “You gotta problem with that?”
Steve shakes his head, his eyes bright.
“You want to keep him?” Bucky asks softly.
“Yeah,” Steve nods.
“You want to keep me?” Bucky murmurs.
Steve frowns. “You’re not a thing, Buck. How many times do I gotta explain-”
Bucky leans forward and kisses him, soft and brief. Steve falls into a shocked silence.
“I mean…” Bucky whispers against Steve’s soft, warm lips. “Do you want to keep me?”
For a second, a heartbeat, Bucky thinks that he’s made a terrible mistake. Steve lets out a soft breath and kisses him back.
“Yes,” he chants between sweet presses of lips. “Yes. Yes.”