(A/N): Still trying to get over this writer’s block you guys! So sorry for the shitty quality of my fanfics! (Also this one is hella long)
Summary: Bucky knew he had dealt damage in D.C. but he never thought he’d come face to face with that damage
Warnings: some angst, Bucky feels horrible, swearing
Bucky knew he caused damage in D.C, that’s half the reason he couldn’t go back there. He knew he killed hundreds of innocent people and injured hundreds more, he knew he had fucked up lives in the worst kind of way and that was something he could barely stand to live with. He knew he destroyed the heart of America, he knew he had caused irreparable damage and that’s why he couldn’t face the facts. He couldn’t stand to go back to D.C only to find the hearts of so many people full of hate, even if he did deserve it. He couldn’t stand the thought of having to look at the damage he caused, or having to walk past the memorial site, he couldn’t stand to see all the weeping families at gravestones, holding flowers for the ones he had killed, he simply couldn’t do it. But somehow Bucky’s past always caught up to him, even if it wasn’t in the most conventional of ways.
He’d been out on a coffee run for all the Avengers at 7 in the morning, a time no one should even have been alive at but here he was, rubbing at his eyes as he made his way into Starbucks. Surprisingly there was one or two other people already up, most likely those who worked or were those crazy morning people (a type of person Bucky did not like whatsoever) and so Bucky had to wait in a line, begrudgingly at that.
“I’ll just take one black coffee, thank you,” The voice in front of him was chipper, much to his distaste.
“Can I get a name for that?”
“Okay, I’ll have that up for you in no time,” And with that the barista turned on her heel to go and make one boring, plain cup of coffee. This (Y/N) person turned on their heel, smacking right into Bucky’s chest with a small noise of surprise.
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t even see you there-” Their voice trembles off as they look up at Bucky, no doubt recognizing him from the many articles, tv shows, and interviews he had done in the last couple of years.
“Sorry,” Bucky supplied simply, giving the smaller person a tired smile. “I shouldn’t have been standing so close,” (Y/N) nods gulping slightly.
“It’s uh- It’s totally okay,” Their eyes seemed to be trained in on his face, looking up at him with a wide, fearful gaze.
“I promise I’m not as bad as the media makes me out to be,” Bucky provided with a soft chuckle, waiting for (Y/N)’s expression to soften just a bit but alas it did not, it still held that same, scared look to it as before.
“(Y/N), I have your coffee,” The barista waves a small cup, smiling at them softly. With an air of the utmost gratefulness (Y/N) accepted the coffee and paid before nearly rushing out the door, not even excusing their rather crude behavior and that’s when it catches Bucky’s eyes, just beneath the fabric of their sweatpants is a gleam of metal; the connecting joint of a prosthetic.
Bucky had ordered and taken the coffee’s back home to the tower, thoroughly confused by (Y/N). They seemed so perfectly happy one moment and the next they had lost their entire attitude, falling timid and feeble before Bucky. For gods sake it was just some random stranger he had met in a coffee shop, not someone he needed to be dwelling on but no matter how hard he tried to focus on something else other than (Y/N)’s petrified expression he simply could not. It was burned into his head- the look of sheer fear in their eyes, the way their face had drained of all color the minute they looked at him. With a displeased little growl Bucky gnawed on the lid of his coffee cup, staring at the floor intently, as though it had all the answers.
“What’s bothering you Barnes?” Sam asks as he walks into the communal kitchen, sweat dripping from his face as he grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge.
“You’re a terrible damn liar Bucky, now what the hell is going on with you,” Bucky sighed as he chucked his cup away, folding his arms over his chest almost defensively.
“There was someone in the coffee shop today, they were super chipper until they turned and looked at me,”
“Well I’m sure your giant ass metal arm is sure to intimidate some people,”
“I know, I get it, but for some reason I just can’t get their face out of my head, the look of fear that appeared there as soon as they looked at me,”
“Maybe you remind them of someone? I’m sure there are a million logical reasons for this,”
“Yeah,” Bucky sighs as he bites his lip in thought. “I’m sure,”
Bucky didn’t sleep much that night, every time he closed his eyes he’d see that face, those eyes, that fear struck expression and surprisingly all sense of exhaustion would be wipe from his body. He tossed and turned all night, trying to sleep but eventually he found it was futile- it wasn’t going to work. With a grumble Bucky rose from his bed, stepping into the chilly air of his room to grab some clothes and his running shoes. If he wasn’t able to sleep why not work out brutally until he passed out instead? Bucky quickly got dressed, before throwing his hair up into a messy bun and running out of stark tower, into the still dark morning of New York.
The streets were already loud, people walking to and fro, taxis here and there, but Bucky loved it, it was such a stark contrast to his desolate life as the winter soldier, void of any life such as the bustle of New York.
Bucky smiled politely at an elderly woman as he made it to central park, already taking up a path to jog along. It was a little more quiet here, a little colder, but Bucky was fine with that too, he enjoyed the silent time he could run and enjoy the view- Bucky’s brows furrow as he rounds a corner, stopping when his eyes caught on a certain metal glinting in the dark of Central Park, the same glint that walked out of the coffee shop only a day prior. Perhaps if he just kept his distance, ran a safe distance away- or maybe he could change his direction of running to a whole other path? Bucky was just about to turn on his heel when the same glint shifted, along with the rest of the body attached to it.
“Are you stalking me now or something?” (Y/N) asks, huffing at a stray piece of sweaty hair. It had been obvious they’d been running, due to their leggings, tank top, and running shoes. A thin sheen of sweat covered most of the skin Bucky could see, almost shimmering against the dark of the park.
“N-No,” Bucky stuttered, feeling a bit nervous, even shy, “ I’m just running,”
“And you were in the coffee shop yesterday,”
“I was uh- I was getting drinks for my friends,” (Y/N) looks him over, their gaze still holding a bit of fear but the more Bucky talked the more that fear diminished.
“At 7 in the morning?”
“They’re early birds unfortunately,”
“And what about you?” (Y/N) asks as they take a step towards him, their prosthetic making some clicking noises as they do. “Why are you up so early?”
“Couldn’t sleep,” Bucky provided, shrugging a bit. “What about you?”
“Running’s good for the leg,” (Y/N) looked him over, scrutinizing him with squinted eyes. “What’s your name?” Bucky looked at them strangely, his head cocked to the side and his brows furrowed once again. Based on their looks from yesterday he could have sworn they knew him, or at least knew of him, no one looked at him so fearfully without reasoning.
“I thought you already knew-”
“I know who you are, everyone knows who you are, I just wanna hear it coming from you,” Bucky smiled just a bit, it was small and barely there but it had happened.
“I’m Bucky Barnes, and you are?”
“I’m (Y/N) (Y/L/N). It’s nice to officially meet you Bucky,” (Y/N) glanced him over, taking in his appearance with a small smirk. “Since I think I trust you I was wondering if you’d like to go running with me, a makeup for our last little run-in,” Bucky nodded, his smile growing a bit wider.
“I’d love to,”
“You’ll have to try to keep up, I don’t mess around Barnes,” His last name sounded fond on their tongue and it nearly made Bucky melt but before he could even dwell on it (Y/N) took off, booking it much faster than he would have imagined. With a loud exclamation of something not being fair Bucky took off after them, smiling a bit brighter than he had in a long time.
Bucky returned from the tower that day feeling more refreshed than he had in days, he had finally corrected his wrongs with (Y/N), he got a good run in, and he dared to think he was slowly on his way to making a new friend. With a giddy little smile Bucky grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge, guzzling it down rather quickly.
“And what’s got you all excited this particular morning?” Nat asks as she meanders into the kitchen, already seeking out her pre training cup of tea.
"Who said I was excited?“
"The stupid smile on your face says so. Who is it? Is it a girl? A guy?” Bucky blushed as he looked down at his water, his thumb tracing along the plastic cap. “Nat-”
“Oh my god, it is someone, tell me all about them, I wanna know,” Bucky sighs as Nat all but drags him to the kitchen table, all but forcing him into conversing.
“Nat, I literally met them yesterday, we went on a run today, nothing’s happened,"
"But you want something to happen, don’t you?"
"Nat, I’ve known them for a day, if that, I don’t know anything about them other than their name and number and-"
"They gave you their number?” Nat looks at him as she leans forward over the table, her hands clasped together in an orderly fashion.
“Bucky, they’re totally into you! You should take them out!”
“Nat, a day, I’ve known them for a day, plus I don’t think they like me all too much,"
"And why not Mr. Chiseled jaw, high cheekbones and a personality of gold?"
"The first day we met they kinda gave me this weird look- weird is the wrong word- more like terrified,”
“But how we’re they today?”
"Better, I suppose,“
"See? You two are getting somewhere, that’s great!” Bucky groaned, as he buries his face in his hands, his skin nearly beet red.
"It’s not that big of a deal Nat,“
"This is one of your first encounters with someone other than an avenger in 70 years so excuse me if I seem excited Barnes,”
“That’s it, I’m going to train,” Bucky got up with an aggravated sigh, taking another bottle with him just in case. Nat smirked as the brunette stalked away, all his tension following along with him. She’d figure out who this person was and she’d get them together with Bucky even if it was the last thing she did.
“You’re late Barnes!” (Y/N) called out as they stretched out their legs- or leg to be exact.
"Sorry,“ Bucky panted in the cold air of New York, damn near freezing his ass off in the temperature. "I woke up late,” (Y/N) looked up from their deep leg stretch, Eyeing Bucky curiously.
“Yeah,” Bucky smiled a bit, despite the cold settling into his bones. “I’m just a bit cold,” (Y/N) smiles as they stand up, stretching their arms a bit.
“Tell you what, I’ll buy you some coffee afterwards, sound good?” Bucky nodded, his chattering teeth making his jaw click loudly. (Y/N) smiled as they settled down, their legs and arms relaxed for the time being. “Try not to slip on any ice Barnes,” (Y/N) warned before taking off, leaving Bucky behind to shiver. With a soft quirk of his lips Bucky chased after, hoping the desperate run would warm up his nearly frozen fingertips.
It had been nearly 3 weeks since his first encounter with (Y/N) at that coffee shop and although the two hadn’t progressed past the running buddies stage of their friendship Bucky knew that somehow they’d advance in their “friendship”. Perhaps all they needed was a bit of coffee and some time to talk…
(Y/N) sipped calmly at their drink, making content little slurps as they happily drank the liquid and Bucky thought it was absolutely adorable. He too sipped at his drink although he couldn’t enjoy it to it’s fullest when (Y/N) sat before him, drinking their own coffee so- so- so cutely.
“So what does Bucky Barnes do when he isn’t training or going on missions with the famous Avengers?” (Y/N) asks as they set their cup down, much to Bucky’s displeasure.
“Well Bucky Barnes just so happens to really like science and art so he spends a lot of his time going to conventions and museums,” (Y/N) smiles, flushing a bit at his words.
“So you’re kinda a geek?” Bucky chuckles as he allows the warmth of his coffee to seep into his bones, warming his chilled fingers.
"Yeah, I guess you could say that. But what about you? Hm? What does (Y/N) like to do in their spare time?“ (Y/N) smiles gently as they take another sip of their drink before setting it down again.
”(Y/N) likes to read in their spare time, writing is pretty nice too but watching classic old movies is their favorite,“ Bucky smiles at this; he knew a bit about classic movies, he’d grown up watching the classics.
"You should stop by the tower sometime, I’m sure Stark has every movie in existence,"
“I also found this cool old theater on Main Street, they show old movies all the time, we should go there some time,” (Y/N) looks at Bucky as they quietly drink their coffee, their slurping noises a bit quieter than before. “There’s also a record store full of old albums, I think you’d really like it,” Bucky smiles as he leans backwards, bringing his steaming cup to his lips.
"That sounds really nice, I don’t have much to do with my life so most if the time I’m free,“
“Really? The all star Avenger doesn’t do much with his life?” Bucky chuckles, his cheeks warming just a bit.
“When the avenger isn’t training or on missions he doesn’t do much with his life, sound better?” (Y/N) hums as they nod, smirking just a bit.
“Well, when is this particular Avenger free next?”
“All this week actually,”
“Okay, how about Wednesday we can check out that record store, maybe catch a movie later on?” Bucky nods and smile, a different kind of warmth seeping in through his bones, a pleasant, soul encasing kind of warmth and goddammit Bucky loved it.
“I’d be glad to,”
Bucky couldn’t help eyeing (Y/N) with every step they took. They were checking out a number of records, flipping through each one with a fond smile upon their face. It was evident that they had put some effort into their look based on the way their outfit and hair looked which meant that they had put effort in for Bucky and damn did they look gorgeous.
“Are you going to look at the records or are you just going to keep eyeing me?” (Y/N) doesn’t even look away from their browsing as they smirk, their thumbs flipping each record carefully.
“You’re not even looking at me, how do you know-” (Y/N) turns to look at Bucky, smirking even more.
“I’m looking at you and you’re looking at me and you have been for the last 5 minutes, I even pointed out the swing records to you and you haven’t even touched them,” Bucky blushed, his chilled cheeks dusting just a bit. The two had walked here together in the freezing air of New York and not even the peppermint flavored drink in his hands could warm him up but for some reason looking at (Y/N)’s smile did.
“Sorry,” Bucky murmurs as he looks to the ground, smiling sheepishly at the stained concrete. “You just look really pretty is all,”
“I could say the same to you Barnes, you look pretty damn good without the sweatpants,” Bucky chuckled a bit, his dust only growing redder by the second. “Now look at your records you dork, the movie starts in half an hour,”
Bucky’s date with (Y/N) had gone amazingly. He bought a few records and when they were done they went to the old theater and watched countless silent movies. Bucky was pretty sure it was illegal to hop from movie to movie but with (Y/N) by his side he didn’t seem to have a care in the world. In fact, the movie hopped until midnight, well past the time their first movie ended.
“Isn’t it illegal to do that?” Bucky had asked on the way back as he stuffed his face with a handful of leftover popcorn.
“Only if you get caught,” (Y/N) sent a little wink Bucky’s way and he’d be lying if he said it didn’t melt his heart a bit. “I wouldn’t recommend eating that entire bin Barnes,” (Y/N) eyes the half eaten carton of popcorn with an air of amusement.
“How come?” Bucky asks as he deliberately shoves more popcorn in his face, just to spite (Y/N).
“You’re going to be sluggish in a few hours, wouldn’t want me to beat your time in laps today, hm?”
“Oh my god, there is no way we’re running today, it’s nearly one and-”
“And you have to be up in four and a half hours to race my ass around Central Park, so put the popcorn down Barnes,” Bucky looked at (Y/N) in shock but there was no denying the small smile on his face, a smile that no one had seen in years.
“You little shit,” Bucky muttered as he threw the carton away, listening to it hit the bottom of the trash can noisily. (Y/N) hums smugly as they march on their merry way, only stopping when Bucky lagged behind a bit.
“You comin’ or what?” (Y/N) smiles at the soldier as he takes a bit to walk up to them, smiling at them just a bit.
“You really do look beautiful,” Bucky whispered as he looked at (Y/N), the way their eyes shined under the lights of New York, or the way their smile was best light in spite of all the dazzling billboards, or perhaps the way their hair was a mess beneath their beanie but it still looked amazing anyways. And that’s when Bucky noticed their blush, it was very slight and so light he could barely see it but it was there, he had finally gotten (Y/N) to blush.
“You’re such a sap,”
“I do come from a time where that was popular,” Bucky chuckles as they begin walking again, back towards central park, where they had originally met up. “Are you gonna let me walk you home or are you just gonna demand I stay here while you waltz away?” (Y/N) smirks as they stop in the middle of the park, looking at the somewhat still city.
“I think I’m just gonna waltz away for now,” (Y/N) smiles at Bucky’s expression, a small chuckle falling from their lips as they do. “Maybe I’ll let you walk me back on the next date, hmm?” Bucky nods, stuffing his nearly purple hands into his pockets.
“I’d like that,”
“ ‘Course you would, you sap,” (Y/N) chuckles as they begin to walk away, stopping a few feet just ahead of Bucky however. “Don’t forget, four and a half hours,” Bucky laughs, rolling his eyes playfully.
“You better be buying coffee afterwards,”
“You know it Barnes,” And with that (Y/N) walked off, a little spring in their step due to their prosthetic. Bucky watched them for a bit, until he could barely see their dark beanie in the even darker light and then he turned on his heel with a smile, slowly making his way back to the warmth of Stark Tower.
“Up and at Barnes!” (Y/N) yells as the supersoldier trudges to their side, more than exhausted.
“How are you already so fucking happy?” Bucky mumbles as he rubs at his eyes, yawning softly as he does.
“I don’t need a lot of sleep unlike you Princess Aurora,” Bucky smiles just a bit, despite the exhaustion settling into his skin and bones. “I’ll buy you two coffee’s if you can catch up to me, sound good?”
“No, no that does not sound good-” But before Bucky could interject furhter (Y/N) had already taken off, nearly flying down the sidewalk as they booked it. With a loud groan Bucky followed after them, slowly and tiredly but at least he was running.
“Come on Barnes!” (Y/N) shouted over their shoulder. “Hurry up! I’m the one missing a leg and I’m still running faster than you!” Bucky huffs at a piece of his hair in annoyance, the damn strand smacking against his forehead with each spring of his step. “You and that damn hair!” Bucky focused on (Y/N) to find them walking backwards, looking at Bucky with a satisfied little smirk. “I ought to chop that mane off for you,”
“Like I trust you with scissors near my head,” Bucky called back as huffed at the piece again, just barely managing to get to sway to the right.
“Oh my god Bucky, my dead grandmother runs faster than you,” Bucky growls a bit, looking back to (Y/N) with a sort of menacing glare.
“Oh, did I offend you?” (Y/N)’s smirk only grows with each passing word. “Well in that case- hurry your old ass up, I could run faster than you with no legs at all!”
“You want me to run?”
“Yeah, that’s kinda the point here,” (Y/N) smiles nonchalantly but said smile immediately falls when the supersoldier books it towards them, running faster than he’d ever run in his life. (Y/N) squeals in surprise as they too take off rushing down the pavement in an attempt to get away from the rather menacing looking man but it was too late- Bucky snatched them up by the waist before they could even contemplate running. (Y/N) laughs and flails in Bucky’s embrace, trying to fight the man off but he was having none of that, he squeezed their waist a bit as he nuzzled an already damp forehead against their own neck (It wasn’t doing stretches with Nat, especially when he had only gotten four and a half hours of sleep). “Bucky no! that tickles!” (Y/N) screeched when the supersoldier nuzzled his scruffy face into their neck, the short whiskers tickling them more than a bit. “Put me down you fiend!” (Y/N) laughs as Bucky holds them tighter, making it impossible for escape but luckily Bucky was an understanding guy and he dropped (Y/N), immediately taking off down the path.
“Who’s the slow one now?” Bucky shouted over his shoulder as he ran as hard as his legs would take him.
“You cheater!” (Y/N) yells as they laugh from a distance, double over as they attempt to catch their breath from the brief moment of tickling. Bucky smirked as he ran around the park, only stopping once his lungs were burning and he’d most likely finished any record time of his or (Y/N)’s. With a heavy sigh Bucky dropped onto a bench, placing his cool metal hand against his burning forehead.
Bucky had to have been sitting there for ten minutes by the time (Y/N) came back, panting and sweating just as much as he was.
“You- You loser,’ They manage between gasps for air.
“I actually think I’m the winner,”
“I- hate- you,” (Y/N) pants yet again, a small smile rising to their flushed features.
“Would a few cups of coffee remedy that hate?” (Y/N) looks at him skeptically before nodding their head, gulping once again. “Do you need me to carry you to the store?” Bucky asks as he stands up, already feeling better after his ten minute break.
“Haha, you’re very funny,”
“No, I’m being serious, do you need me to carry you there? You aren’t looking to great,” Bucky notes the heavy rise and fall of their chest, the way their sweat dribbled down their face at an almost alarming pace.
“I’m fine,” (Y/N) struggles to breath, “I just haven’t ran that hard in years,”
“Why?” Bucky asks as he dares to snake one arm around their waist, the other grappling their arm to hook around his neck. (Y/N) didn’t object, something Bucky was glad for; it wouldn’t have been easy to carry them if they were struggling against his grasp and given how stubborn they were he wouldn’t be surprised if they did do something like that.
“I lost my leg 3 years back, recovery wasn’t exactly the easiest for me,” Bucky listens intently as he marches them towards the shop, only a few blocks away from the park.
“I understand,” Bucky wiggles his metal fingers against (Y/N)’s side. “Recovery wasn’t easy for me either,”
“How’d you- how’d you lose your arm? If you don’t mind me asking,” (Y/N) leans on Bucky a bit, their body using his own as a means of support.
“I lost it back during the war,” Bucky supplies, not wishing to go into too much detail about his horrible experience. “What about you?”
“My leg was crushed under a metal beam, immediately sliced it clean off,”
“Did it hurt?”
“More than anything,” Bucky bites his lip, only imagining the pain (Y/N) had gone through. Bucky had been knocked out cold when he lost his arm but (Y/N)- (Y/N) had not; they were alive and conscious through it all. “The therapy is what killed me though, I thought I was going to die trying to get my new leg to start working,” Bucky looks at their leg, at the less than par piece of metal and plastic, a piece of junk compared to some of the prosthetics today.
“I could have Tony Stark fit you for a new leg,” Bucky murmurs quietly. “If you’d like one, maybe one that moves a little better-”
“I wouldn’t want to burden any of you guys like that-”
“Nope!” Bucky chirps as he turns them a bit, directing them no longer towards the coffee shop but rather the tall tower that belonged to Tony. “He’d love to work on a new leg for you-”
“Bucky, the coffee shop is the other way-”
“Clint can make excellent coffee,”
“Bucky-” But Bucky wasn’t listening anymore, he was too busy directing (Y/N) towards the tower without it looking like he was abducting them which was a struggle given that they were now trying to break away from him.
“Plus Nat can make really good food, it’s gonna be great, I promise,” And with that Bucky pulled (Y/N) into the tower, ignoring the weird looks from all the passerby’s on the street as they surveyed the large man hauling the smaller person into the extravagant tower.
“How long have you had this leg?” Tony asks as he surveys the prosthetic, completely ignoring (Y/N)’s rather awkward facial expression. It was evident that they were uncomfortable without their leg, especially in front of someone they didn’t know, and especially in front of one of the most famous people in the world.
“3 years and you still have this piece of junk?” (Y/N) winces a bit, Tony’s tone suddenly taking them off guard. “You need an upgrade right away, I could get you one that locks into place, maybe one that attaches to the leg itself, maybe i could design you one like Bucky’s?” Tony gestures to Bucky’s arm, as though (Y/N) had never seen it.
“How long would that take?” (Y/N) asks, gnawing on their lip in thought.
“Maybe a week or so, not very long, although we would have to wire the leg to your thigh…you’d probably have a really nasty scar for the rest of your life,”
“Like me,” Bucky smiles at them gently, hoping his playful words would calm them down just a bit.
“Would it hurt?”
“Not at all, we’ve found much more humane ways of surgery since Buck’s time,” Tony smiles at them, “It would be done in an hour tops,”
“I could be there when you woke up, if you’d like me to,” Bucky adds in, hoping his offer would entice (Y/N) to make a choice.
“I’d- I’d be okay with that,” (Y/N) finally smiles, an unsure, shaky thing but it was there and that’s all that mattered.
“Good!” Tony claps his hands, visibly excited by the news. “We can start on casting your leg right now!” Bucky and (Y/N) both smile at Tony’s excitement as he scurries about the lab, collecting his needed materials.
“I can help you with therapy too,” Bucky adds as he slides up beside (Y/N), standing to them closer than he had been before. “That way it’s not as unpleasant as before,”
“I’d really like that,” (Y/N) smiles up at Bucky as Tony grabs some drill of some sort. “But you still owe me a few cups of coffee,” Bucky laughs, nodding his head in defeat.
“Fine, I’ll buy you your stupid coffee,”
“You’re the best Barnes,” (Y/N) presses a gentle kiss to the man’s cheek, sending his heart spiraling out of control, spreading a huge blush over his cheeks, and melting his heart on the spot. God- (Y/N) was going to be the death of him and oh how right he had been.
It was Tony’s third day of casting and he was starting to get a pretty good shape of (Y/N)’s natural leg, or at least what it once used to be. Working countless hours to create a fully functioning robotic leg wasn’t the most fun thing to do so Tony took up conversing with (Y/N), asking them little question here and there, getting a feel for them. Occasionally Bucky would join in but most of the time he sat beside (Y/N), holding their hand and smiling at them as they talked with Tony. Bucky didn’t know how it had started but suddenly one day he looked down to find (Y/N)’s fingers intertwined with his own, how long they’d been there he didn’t know that either but somehow throughout their little appointment with Tony the two would end up holding each others hand (most adorably as well).
“So, how’d you lose the leg?” Tony asks casually as he measures their knee and calf of their good leg, looking for proportions for the robotic leg.
“It was crushed by a metal beam,”
“Metal beam you say?”
“I was in D.C. the day those planes came down, or whatever the hell you want to call them, well they hit the ground and unfortunately I was pinned beneath one, cut my leg clean off-” (Y/N) goes on to tell their story more but Bucky wasn’t listening, his ears had stopped working after the word D.C.
Bucky now knew why (Y/N) had looked so scared the day he first met them, he was the one to take away their leg, he was the reason they were sitting here now, having a robotic leg fitted for them.
“Bucky?” Tony asks softly, placing a gloved hand on the soldier’s knee. “Are you good?” Tony’s eyes held concern for his friend given he knew all about D.C, everyone did in fact, the records were out there for anyone to see and you can bet your bottom dollar Tony was the first one to get his hands on all of shields secrets.
“In- In D.C?” Bucky’s voice quivers a bit, his raw emotion starting to take over.
“Yeah…” (Y/N) eyes him strangely, their hold on his hand tightening just a bit. “Remember those terrorist attacks three years ago?” They weren’t terrorists, it had been Bucky, Bucky was the terrorist.
“The plane crushed you?”
“Just some shrapnel from one of the ships…”
“Oh my god,” Bucky sighs shakily as tears blur at his vision.
He had always tried to avoid D.C, he didn’t want to think about it or what he had done but now there was a piece of what he did sitting right beside him, holding his hand tightly.
“Bucky, what’s wrong?” (Y/N) shifts in their seat, turning to face the quivering man. “What did I say?”
“Oh my god (Y/N), I’m so sorry, I’m so fucking sorry-” But a sudden sob cut him off, closing his throat as the tears began to roll. “I’m so fucking sorry, oh my god,”
“Bucky, what’s wrong? What are you sorry for?” But he couldn’t respond unless it was to curse himself and apologize profusely.
“I’m so sorry, It wasn’t my fault, I promise it wasn’t-” (Y/N) suddenly lurches forward, holding Bucky tightly. God- he didn’t deserve this, he didn’t deserve to hold this human being, he didn’t deserve their kindness and concern. He deserved to burn in hell for what he did, he deserved to suffer pain because he took away their ability to walk, he was the one who caused them pain and misery for three years-”
“Bucky, it’s okay, it’s okay,” (Y/N)’s soothing voice whispered to him, washing over him like a wave of comfort. “Whatever you did it’s okay,” Bucky sobs a bit as he holds (Y/N) close, nearly pulling them onto his lap with how close they suddenly were. “Can you tell me what you did? Can you tell me why you’re sorry?”
“It’s my fault,” Bucky sniffles as he attempts to reign himself in, trying to hold back all of his hatred and shame. “It’s my fault you don’t have a leg,”
“Bucky, you’re not making any sense, what are you-”
“The ships, I helped take the ships down, if it hadn’t been for me you’d still have both your legs and- and-” Bucky stops once again, biting his lip so hard that he nearly took a chunk of skin out.
“Bucky, hey, look at me-” (Y/N) nudged Bucky’s face up with their hands, forcing him to look directly into their eyes. “Whatever you did, it’s not your fault, okay? I’m not mad at you or anything, don’t feel bad, okay?” Bucky sniffles again, too ashamed to look (Y/N) in the eyes for any longer.
“You don’t have a leg because of me-”
“I don’t care that I don’t have a leg,” (Y/N) mutters, “I don’t care that you think that you’re the reason I’m missing a leg too, and neither should you,”
“No buts Bucky,”
“(Y/N), you could be out running and jumping, you could be swimming for fuck’s sake but because I’m a goddamn disgrace-” Bucky stops again, only this time it wasn’t of his own accord. There were no lumps in his throat or tears pooling down his cheeks to stop his words but rather was a pair of lips pressed against his own, silencing him softly yet firmly.
(Y/N)’s lips were soft, soft and sweet and nothing Bucky could have ever imagined and holy fuck did he love it. He could kiss their lips all day if they’d let him, he’d savor them, allow their taste to linger on his tongue for days but he didn’t deserve that, he didn’t deserve to indulge in someone so kind and great as (Y/N).
(Y/N) slowly pulls away, letting their lips slowly but surely part from Bucky’s.
“But instead I’m here with you, and that’s worth more than any of those things anyways,” (Y/N)’s lips brush against his own with each syllable, sending little shots of pleasure down his spine. “Plus, if you hadn’t taken my leg then who would buy me 3 cups of coffee, hm?” Bucky smiles, chuckling a bit. The sound was watery at best but it was sweet nonetheless.
“No one in their right state of mind,”
“You got that right,” (Y/N) smiles as they gently nuzzle Bucky’s nose. “Now no more tears, okay?” Bucky nods a bit, wiping away the last of his tears. “And no more of this shaming Bucky stuff, okay?”
“Okay,” Bucky whispers, scrunching up his nose as (Y/N) kisses it sweetly.
“And after this you’re gonna buy me my coffee, no negotiating there,” Bucky chuckles, his shame and guilt finally starting to ebb away. It was going to take a long time for Bucky to finally feel okay, to actually accept the fact that he had done this to (Y/N) and that (Y/N) was okay with it but he knew he’d get there eventually…perhaps he just needed a bit of coffee and some time to talk.
“Bucky,” (Y/N) whispers as they press a series of kisses along his shoulders, slowly but surely waking him up. “Come on Buck, it’s 5:30,” Bucky groaned as he rolled over, throwing an arm over his eyes rather dramatically.
“I’m too tired,”
“What did I wear you out last night?” There’s a smug tone to (Y/N)’s voice and they no doubt have that stupid smirk on their face like they usually do. “Were we up past your bed time old man?”
“I swear I’m gonna throw something at you if you don’t stop,” Bucky joked as he peeked at (Y/N) from under his arm, smiling at them softly.
“Hm, You’ll have to catch me first to do that,”
“Is that a challenge?”
“I do believe so Mr. Barnes,”
“I’m giving you a ten minute head start and I’m still gonna outrun your ass,” Bucky chuckles as he flips back over, snuggling into his bed. “So I suggest you quickly get dressed and get moving,”
“Loser buys coffee?”
“You bet,” Bucky smirks as (Y/N) jolts out of bed, quickly putting their running clothes on and lacing up their shoes as they stumbled out of the door. Even through the fabric of their leggings Bucky could see the little blue lights of their new prosthetic, the one Tony had given to them only a year prior. That day in the lab felt like years ago, (Y/N) was like that, they made time fly by so fast. A day with them could feel like a lifetime and nothing all at once and Bucky loved it.
“Be prepared to lose,” (Y/N) whispers as they lean down, pressing a kiss to Bucky’s forehead before booking it out the door, slamming the apartment door shut behind them. Bucky snuggles into his bed, sighing softly as the sounds of New York buzzed around him and if he listened just close enough he could nearly hear (Y/N) smacking into a wall on their way down. With a satisfied little smirk Bucky buries his face in his pillow, breathing in deeply as his body relaxed.
“I’m still gonna outrun their tiny ass,”