Sam ATE him tf up!
Bucky Barnes is the best super soldier
How it was subtly emphasized in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier:
He always holds back
With the Flag Smashers and even with John Walker. We could see the difference in the last 3 episodes. Sebastian Stan did an incredible job making it clear in a subtle way.
I want to mention that famous "Stay there" scene, and how it was visible Bucky was not punching as hard as he can in the fight with John.)
This is the thing about Bucky, he isn't after the kill, he just does his part. He doesn't try to show off his skills or that he is a good guy. He doesn't try to play the victim role, either. In the scene where Zemo fake-activates the Winter Soldier in Madripoor, he just makes a point. He's obviously not even trying hard.
If he wanted those in the club dead, they would be. But his self control was wow. Sebastian acted so well, his exes said everything.
*And to be honest, even when he was TWS, he could have killed everyone, but he didn't. He could have killed all of the Avengers in Civil War is they were his mission, but they weren't. This is how Natasha survived when she met him, too. It depended on what kind of mission he had (if he wasn't allowed to be seen, then the witnesses would die too, but otherwise? He didn't bother).
2. His skills
People tend to forget how smart and good at making strategies Bucky is. He's been fighting (even though he hates fighting and never wanted to be in the army) for years before he was even captured by Hydra. And this is the reason why government still want him, after all. They can use his strategies as a leader (*cough* Thunderbolts *cough*).
In the last episodes of TFATWS, we could see how he outsmarted everyone. Karli was so terrified of him.
3. Karli Morgenthau
And talking about Karli, the phone call was interesting:
She asked him if he's not tired of fighting for the wrong side, and then told him she's fighting for something bigger than herself.
"And with all the bodies you've collected, have you ever been able to say the same?"
The first thing I wanna point out is how everyone talks about the deaths Bucky caused when he was controlled by Hydra, but everyone ignores the fact that all the Avengers killed far more, but since we consider them the good side, we just don't care.
Clint, Tony, Steve, Wanda etc. They all cause(d) far more deaths than "two dozen" (known assassinations - to quote Natasha), and neither was controlled. The double standards are something else, especially for Clint. (One of the reasons why Tony was on the other side in CW was because of his guilt, after all.)
The second point is how Bucky's answer says a lot more than we might realize at first:
"You don't think I ever fought for something bigger than myself? That's all I ever tried to do, and I failed twice."
Even as TWS, Bucky had to be convinced he is on the right side, that what they do is to save the world, to give "the world the freedom it deserves".
Even brainwashed and put to sleep all the time, he had to be lied to. Bucky as TWS was a victim too. He is not a victim only because he didn't have memories or control, but also because they lied to him and used him as a toy. That milk scene is so loud. (And I am gonna talk about it in a different post). He had no rights, no choices. He was used to being tortured.
[And I wish they explored it more. We deserved and deserve a WS film - maybe with him in Romania getting back his memories, writing in his journal etc.]
"You think your cause justifies all this death, but in the end, the nightmares won't go away. You're gonna remember all the ones you killed. Trust me. Don't do this. Don't go down this path."
Despite being on opposite sides, Bucky still said this to Karli, trying to help her, to make her see the big picture, sharing how he felt and feels.
He is on "the right side". He is a hero, and Bucky being thanked by that man for saving everyone's life was touching.
4. Baron Zemo
You can see how smart, strong, and rational Bucky is when he decides to break Zemo out of jail (his plan was amazing too), risking so much (his relationship with Wakanda people and his own freedom) to get his help for the mess. He puts the cause above his own (huge) trauma. And this makes that moment in Madripoor even more disgusting (he is treated as an object, as a toy):
Zemo: Tell us what you know about the super-soldier serum. And I give you him, along with the code words to control him, of course. He will do anything you want.
The way he keeps his composure, reacts and manages the situation... absolutely incredible!
This conversation also says a lot:
Zemo: The desire to become a superhuman cannot be separated from supremacist ideals. Anyone with that serum is inherently on that path.
Bucky: Maybe you're wrong, Zemo. The serum never corrupted Steve.
Zemo: Touché. But there has never been another Steve Rogers, has there?
Bucky positions himself below Steve, who's considered a good hero, a good person... like no other. But Steve never had to go through what Bucky did: from being kidnapped like that, to being tested o, to falling off the train, to being tortured, and used, and brainwashed for decades, and put to sleep when he was not needed and having n "keepers".
Also, interesting how all Steve wanted was to fight (for a good cause, but still)... and fighting still means violence, meanwhile Bucky never wanted to fight, not even before becoming TWS, in the army (and yet he is still great at fighting. And he is deadly, even when he holds back.). All he wanted was peace.
Despite not getting the "perfect serum", despite being brainwashed, put to sleep, and forced to fight for decades, he is still himself. He never gave in to the dark side for real. He fought in his own way. The first thing he did when he woke up was to choke the Hydra guy with a whole new arm!
Bucky is so underrated: from his intelligence and fighting skills, to how human he is. Being flawed, keeping his sassiness and charm from the 40s, but getting more mature and carrying his past on his shoulders... he's so relatable and real. And every day, he shows Zemo he is wrong.
The show he makes in his final scene with Zemo is absolutely fantastic. He doesn't just prove the point he isn't defined by the serum and Hydra (AND not even by Steve, thanks to Sam. His speech made him realize the important thing about himself: that he decides who he is, not others - even those who know him before becoming TWS- "And this might be a surprise, but it doesn't matter what Steve thought. You gotta stop looking to other people to tell you who you are." parallel to "Steve believed in you. He trusted you. He gave you that shield for a reason. That shield, that is… that is everything he stood for. That is his legacy. He gave you that shield, and you threw it away like it was nothing. [...] So maybe he was wrong about you. And if he was wrong about you, then he was wrong about me."), but also that he is superior.
When Zemo tells him that he decided to let him alive (probably so he can kill Karli) and basically calls him a killing machine: "programmed to kill", Bucky plays the role, lets Zemo talk him into killing Karli, and then Bucky watches him waiting for his own death.
The acting was incredible: the shock on Zemo's face and the amusement and somehow relief on Bucky's after he pulls the trigger and lets the bullets fall... He proved him he's THE standard of the super soldier. Because despite everything he went through, he is the best.
[Also, Bucky's line: Imagine my relief is hilarious.]
Zemo telling him to cross his name off felt like a fresh start (+ telling Nakajima the truth).
5. John Walker
John, on the other hand, is lucky Bucky is an understanding person. He gets what is like... the pressure, the environment, the loss, and even tries to help.
Bucky: Don't go down that road. Believe me, it doesn't end well.
John: I'm not like you!
Of course he is not like Bucky, because Bucky has control. He is not killing to get revenge in a cynical way.
"That serum doesn't exactly have a great track record."
John kept judging Bucky every time they spoke, somehow placing himself above this "broken" man.
"This is all really easy for you, isn't it? All that serum runnin' through your veins. Barnes, your partner needs backup in there. Do you really want his blood on your hands?"
This is so wrong on every single level, especially because Bucky didn't choose to take the serum, and he always had his friends' back. He's loyal and ready to sacrifice himself.
The "funny" part about this is John ending up taking the last super soldier serum vial. All the judgement, the disgust, the patronizing tone, just to do that. Plus, of course, to kill someone with the shield.
(John proves Zemo's point about super soldiers, and Bucky does the opposite.)
And what is it easy for Bucky anyway?
He's under government conditions (so CACW coded), he has a vibranium arm that I bet the government would try to take after he dies (HOPEFULLY WHEN HE'S 200 YEARS OLD IN HIS BED, as Sebastian wants too) if he isn't in Wakanda, he is haunted by nightmares (which also can mean he is still Hydra's TWS in another universe as we found out from Strange), and he has to learn how to live for real. He's smart, charismatic, has values and principles, and he's incredible.
We need to see his version of TWS going after everyone Hydra helped. TWS is him, a part of him, and doing that on his terms, having control over it would help him heal.
-Bucky, Ava, and Yelena don’t need redemption.
-They are not anti heroes.
-John Walker is not a victim
Thank you for coming to my Ted talk.
Pie eyed over you : Chapter 2
Mafia - Baker AU
Masterlist Series Masterlist
Pairing - Mafia!Bucky x Baker!Reader
Summary - When a new baker in town refuses to abide by his rules, Bucky has no option but to go and take care of it himself. But nothing could prepare him for what stood on the other side. Nothing could prepare him for you.
Warnings - Nothing in this one
Word count - 3.9k
a/n - And here is the second part to the Pie-eyed over you series. I am SO grateful for the love all of you have shown to the first part and I am really excited for you guys to read this. This will (hopefully) not be a very long series but I haven’t decided on how I want it to go so updates might be slow. Please bare with me.Also, let me know what you guys want to see in this story :)
He looks around once before stepping out of the car.
The area is as lively as the last time he had seen it.
Not a lot of changes in 5 days, Bucky
He can see the bakery from where his car is parked.
He didn't have a reason to be here. For some reason, he hadn't demanded the money last time he was here and he was pretty sure it won't change this time either.
But there was something about this bakery.
It's the cakes. He tells himself, but his suddenly quickening heart tells a different story.
He walks towards the bakery and sees you standing behind the counter, with a small smile on your face, which seems like your default setting, looking at the registers. And just like last time, Bucky's steps falter for a moment before he takes a deep breath as if his lungs had suddenly been deprived of air before walking again.
As he opens the door, the bells above his head jingle and notify you of a new customer.
When you look up from the register, your smile grows and turns into a slightly teasing one as you look at the man standing in front of you. You were relieved. Was it okay that you kinda hoped he would come back?
As he walked towards the counter, you spoke up, "Can I say, 'I told you so'?"
Bucky rolled his eyes but couldn't help the way his lips were turning slightly upwards. "Come on, sweets. We both know you wanted me to come back."
Your breath hitches in your throat at both the nickname and the comment. You clear your throat, willing yourself to speak, "Of course I did. It's good for business, you know." You tried to sound composed but the smile on your face gave it away.
Bucky chuckled as he took the seat beside the counter and looked at the case full of sweets in front of him. It was still the early hours of the day and there weren't a lot of people in the bakery, except for a couple sitting in the corner and a teenage girl sipping coffee while working on her laptop.
"So, what do you want today?"
You. Bucky's eyes widened as a voice from inside him replied almost instantly and he had to look up to make sure he hadn't said it out loud. What the hell was happening to him? He clears his throat and replies, "Surprise me"
You smile at him before bending to pick up a couple of brownies from the case putting them on a plate and passing them to him. "Just made them. Try and tell me how they are." There was a glint in your eyes and Bucky knew that he could never not like anything you made.
He picked up a brownie and took a bite. As it melted into his mouth, a perfectly sweet taste filling his senses, he closed his eyes and moaned.
You swallowed the lump in your throat and clenched your thighs together at his reaction. "Sweets, this is the best damn thing I've ever had."
You chuckled as red color crept up to your neck at the praise. "Glad you liked it, James."
"Liked it? I love it, sweets." He spoke before taking another bite from the brownie.
You stood there for a moment, just looking at him. There was something about him. A rough exterior, covered in dark clothes from top to bottom, but there were moments like these where you saw just how soft he was beneath all that and for some reason, you just couldn't take your eyes off the man who was eating your brownie as if a second without them would kill him.
The sound of the bells jingling at the door brought you out of your daze. You looked at him once more before walking towards the other end of the counter to the middle-aged woman who had just walked in.
When Bucky finished one of his brownies and forced himself to not instantly reach for the other one, he looked around. The bakery wasn't that large. A small, cozy place with a few decorations. Filled with the smell of freshly baked cookies and cakes, it was warm and inviting. It was so you.
Bucky's eyes landed on a shelf beside the counter and his feet brought him to it before his mind could catch up. It was a small shelf but lined with books.
The books looked old as if they had been read over and over again but well kept. Cherished. He brought his flesh hand to one of the books and slowly picked it up. To kill a mockingbird
He stared at the cover for a moment, before walking back to his seat, with the book in hand.
As he opened the book to the first chapter, the words brought him to a time long gone. An easier time.
He used to read a lot, as much as he could anyways. He liked books. They were an escape. The stories made him forget about the struggles of his own life.
But that was a habit long gone. Another thing he loved that was lost to time.
He starts reading it before he knows what he is doing and instinctively reaches for the brownie on the plate, taking a bite.
You look up from the cash drawer, eyes drifting to the man who has been occupying your thoughts more than you would like to admit.
He is engrossed in a book and his furrowed brows as he focuses on the book and the soft look in his eyes as he skims through the pages has your heart fluttering. You notice the brownies on his plate are almost gone now and trying your best as to not disturb him, you place another two on the plate and watch as he reaches into the plate without looking away from his book and takes a bite. You smile to yourself before getting back to the kitchen to prepare an order of cupcakes.
Bucky looks up as he feels eyes staring at him, only to be met by your y/e/c ones.
"Finally, and I thought you will finish the whole book in one go." You said, letting out a chuckle.
Bucky narrows his eyes. Sure, the page he was on and the feel of the chair proved that he had been there for long, but it couldn't have been that long, right? "How long has it been?"
You smile at him before tilting your head towards the little clock adorning the walls and Bucky's eyes widen. It had been 2 hours. What the hell had happened to his sense of time?
He hadn't felt this at peace in ... a very long time. He looked down at his plate which still had a small piece of a brownie left and he could swear he could still taste it in his mouth. How many had he really eaten?
Your voice brought him out of his thoughts. "So.." You kept your head on your fist and leaned on the table with a teasing smile on your face and it was becoming difficult for him to focus on the outside world. "And this is a wild guess. Like, completely random. You like reading?"
He let out a chuckle before thinking about your question. "I used to."
"What happened?" You ask with genuine curiosity. He looks at you and realizes that you're not asking just for the sake of it. You want to know. You want to know him.
"Life. Life happened." He replies, only because he can't get himself to lie to you.
"Come on, James. If we are not able to find time for the things we love, are we really living?"
He looks at you as if pondering over your words. It wasn't that easy.
"I know what you should do." You stood before taking the book away from him, dog-earing the page before sliding it back towards him. "Here, take this book with you."
When he narrowed his eyes, you continue, "Take it with you and read it. When you're done, come back and return it to me." You explain as if it was the simplest thing in the world. As if giving him one of your favorite books that you had cherished for so long wasn't a big deal at all.
Bucky shook his head. "Nope, no, sweets. I am not taking it."
"Come on. You don't leave a book in the middle if you like it. It's a crime."
"Then I'll just buy it from the bookshop. This is yours." He said before sliding the book back towards you.
"We both know you won't do that. Come on, James. Just take it."
He picked up the book and slid it into his metal hand, knowing that there was no use in arguing with you but said with a smirk. "Careful there, sweets. Or I'll think you're giving me this book because you want me to come back."
As if on cue, the bell of the entrance dings notifying you of a customer. So, you turn back to look at him for the last time before saying, "Maybe I do."
And Bucky really hopes it's true.
He comes back a week later.
And the week after that.
He comes to the bakery every week until it becomes a routine. A part of him. A part engraved in his life as if it had always been there. It's simple.
He would come to the bakery, the book you gave to him last week tugged under his arms. Sometimes he would be finished with it, other times, he would just promise to return it the next week. You didn't mind. Not till he kept showing up.
He would sit beside the counter, ordering whatever it was you recommended. When you asked him how it was, he would always reply with 'The best damn thing I've ever had.' and he could swear to god he meant it every single time.
The both of you would talk, as much as you could anyways and Bucky found that being around you was the simplest part of his whole week, and the most precious too. It was his little escape. A time when he didn't care what was happening. About the people working for him or the people behind his life, he couldn't care less. All that mattered was that he was there, in the middle of a little bakery, eating sweets and talking to the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
You didn't mind either. Somehow, every single time the bell of the entrance jingled, you silently hoped it was the same beautiful blue eyes that you just couldn't take your mind off.
The only trouble was, it is really easy to get distracted from running a bakery all alone when you have a guy like him sitting there, carefree and yet intimidating as if he owned the place. It was very distracting.
And one day, you let him know exactly that. It had been a month since he had shown up at the bakery for the first time. A book on the table and a plate of cookies, talking to you as if the rest of the world had ceased to exist.
You walked back from the cash register after handling a customer before speaking up, "You know, I have a bakery to run, James, and you are pretty much the most distracting person here." Even though your words were borderline harsh, you let him know through your teasing tone that you were just kidding. Him stopping to come to the bakery was the last thing you wanted.
"Aww, come on, sweets. We both know I am your favorite customer." He replied with a smug look on his face and you didn't know if you wanted to slap it from his face or kiss it. Definitely the latter.
"You wish, James."
As if on cue, the bell of the door jingles, and Bucky looks that way to see a young pregnant lady with a blond man standing at the door.
He looks back at you to find you grinning from ear to ear and watches as you practically run from behind the counter towards them and engulf the woman in a big hug, angling yourself so as to not hurt the evident bump.
When you do the same with the blonde man, the air surrounding Bucky suddenly thickens and he realizes he isn't going to like this man much. But it was just because he is blonde. Bucky has never liked blonde guys.
You say something to the both of them before bringing them inside towards a table near to where Bucky is sitting and helping the pregnant lady on a chair. You still have the widest grin on your face when you turn toward him.
"James, this is my best friend, Wanda, and her elder brother, Pietro." You said before pointing towards them.
"He is literally elder than me by 13 minutes." The brunette points at you accusingly as you snicker.
"Still older." The blonde replies with an accent just like his sister.
"Guys, this is James." You point toward him and Bucky watches as something flashes through Wanda's eyes and her lips turn into a teasing smirk.
"So, he is THE James Barnes." She brought her hand towards him to shake before continuing, "She has told me so much about you."
At this, Bucky turns towards you with a smirk on his face and raised brows and watches as your cheeks turn red. Just then, the oven dings and you thank heavens for the distraction, "That's my cue."
You turn back and walk towards the kitchen with hurried steps as Bucky's eyes follow your form, just like they always do. When you disappear into the kitchen and he finally takes his eyes off and turns back, he finds Wanda looking at him with narrowed eyes and a smirk as if she could read his mind.
Bucky cleared his throat, "So, how do you know y/n?"
"We met years ago when she came to visit here as a kid. Have been friends since."
Bucky shook his head but clenched his jaw when she still didn't remove her accusing stare from him.
Pietro, sensing the slight tension between them, tried breaking the silence, but Wanda cut him off, "Where have I seen you before?"
Bucky's breath hitched in his throat. You still didn't know who he was and if it was up to him, he would keep it like that for as long as he could. You looked at him as if he was human as if his hands weren't covered in blood as if you weren't scared of him and he would do everything he could to keep it that way.
"I don't know. You must be mistaken." He took a breath to calm himself down. He couldn't intimidate this woman the way he did with his people. He wouldn't give her a reason to doubt him. She clearly meant a lot to you.
As Wanda opened her mouth to speak, you came back from the kitchen, interrupting the conversation.
You looked towards Pietro before speaking, "The boxes are in the back, and please be careful this time."
Pietro brought his hand to his chest as if your words had somehow hurt him. "You hurt my feelings, y/n. When am I not careful?"
You brought your finger to your chin in mock thinking before replying, "Let me think. Off the top of my head, maybe whenever you drive your bike way past the speed limit. I swear to god, Pietro, one day, your speed will ruin all my sweets."
"Ouch, you care about your sweets more than me?" He said as if your words had physically hurt him this time.
This time, Wanda replied, "Pietro, my dear brother, even I care about her sweets more than you."
The both of you chuckled as Pietro huffed and stomped off towards the back.
You looked at James before explaining, "He does the deliveries for me, as a favor. Believe it or not, it's difficult to deliver stuff in a town you know nothing about."
Bucky lightly chuckled before replying, "Tell me about it."
He then looked at Wanda once again and saw that she was staring at him with the same glare from before, but thankfully, you didn't notice.
He knew he had to leave soon. He wouldn't give her enough time to put the pieces together. "Sweets, I should go."
"You, sure? You could stay. I am sure Wanda wouldn't mind."
"No, I know. But I will leave you to it. Bye, sweets. Bye, Wanda." He turned towards the door quickly as if he couldn't get out of there sooner.
"James, wait." You called out to him and he stopped midstep. He will never get tired of how his name sounded on your lips. "Here. You forgot this." You handed him the book he had been reading for the past week and look up at him with a smile on your face.
Yeah, he definitely didn't want you to find out.
As he walked out of the bakery, you turned back towards Wanda, the smile etched on your lips and a soft look in your eyes. "So....." Wanda started in a teasing tone.
"Don't say it. Don't say it."
"He is hot."
You rolled your eyes at her. "What would Vision think, Wan?"
"You know what I mean."
You bit your lips before looking at her. "It's nothing like that. We are friends. Or at least I hope we are."
"Yeah, because going around calling people sweets is the new thing men do."
You plopped yourself on the chair opposite to her before burying your face into your hands. "It's just a nickname that stuck."
Who were you lying to? You couldn't hide from your oldest friend the fact that every part of you knew that him calling you sweets was the best sound in the whole world. She brought her hands to yours and removed them from your face and you looked up to be met by her serious gaze. "Just be careful, y/n. Something about him just doesn't seem right."
The corridors of this building always seemed darker when he came back from the bakery. He already missed how warm and inviting it was. The book tugged under his arm the only reminder that he had been there.
He heard some voices coming from his office and as he walked closer, he recognized the voices instantly.
He opened the door to his office, only to find Steve and Sam standing in the middle of the room.
"You're finally here." Sam almost exclaimed with relief as his eyes landed on Bucky. "What, couldn't handle this place for a few hours without me, Wilson?" He looked at him teasingly.
"Shut it. Stark called, asking about you. I had to make some half-ass excuse to him. But I am pretty sure he knew I was lying. That man is too smart, I am telling you." "Don't worry about it. I'll give him a call. Will schedule a meeting with him."
Sam crossed his arms across his chest. "What, you're not even gonna tell us where you were?"
Choosing to ignore his question, Bucky walked and sat on the couch. "How's Carl? Alive?" He asked as if he couldn't care less about the answer.
"He is still in there. Breathing." Steve replied before contemplating his next words. "Buck, do you think you were maybe a little too harsh on him? A week in the dungeon filled with our enemies is not really a vacation."
"He got what he deserved, Steve. We can't go easy on them."
Sam looked at Bucky with an accusing gaze before speaking up again. "So I lie to Tony Stark and handle all the chaos in here for the whole day and you just conveniently ignore my question of where you were."
Steve gave Bucky a once-over before smirking. "Let it go, Sam. Bucky has got a lot on his hands."
Bucky narrowed his eyes at Steve before looking down, only to find crumbs of cookies still sticking to his hands.
He not-so-subtly rubbed his palms on his trousers before looking up and ushering the both of them outside the room with a lame excuse.
He placed the book he had brought with him on his table and opened it, only to find something in the middle of two pages. He opened it to find a small flower kept gently between two pages. A little pressed, but fresh, telling him that you had sneaked it in between today.
He picked up the flower, oblivious to the smile on his face when his eyes landed on a small note sticking to it. In swift handwriting, it read To my favorite customer
Bucky couldn't help the way his heartbeat quickened or how he just couldn't remove the smile from his face. But he couldn't care less.
He had no idea how much time had passed when he heard knocks on the door to his office. Tucking the flower and the note inside the book, he turned towards the door and called out for the person to enter.
When the door opened, his eyes landed on one of his men. "Walker, what do you want?"
"Sir," He said bowing his head a little to him. Bucky never really liked John Walker. He always tried to show himself to be more than what he actually was. But he got the work done and he hadn't given him a reason to not trust him.
"Sir, I checked the collections for this month and I noticed something."
Bucky nodded his head, not really paying attention to whatever he had to say.
"The new Bakery." Bucky's eyes shot up and he tried his best as to not look too interested. "That baker hasn't paid this month too, sir and we can't ignore this. She is trying to rebel. Has no idea what she is trying to go against."
Bucky didn't like where this conversation was going. "It's okay. It doesn't matter. It's just a bakery."
Walker narrowed his eyes at him. When had the most ruthless mafia boss gone so... soft? But maybe he just didn't care for some stupid baker.
"Sir, this sets a wrong example. People will try to imitate her and that is never a good sign."
Bucky was growing impatient now, This isn't how it was supposed to go. "Just let it go, Walker."
"It's okay, sir. I understand that you don't want to get your hands dirty. Please let me handle this. I promise I wouldn't disappoint."
Bucky should have ordered him to not do anything. Should have just given him some other thing to do. But he didn't want to gain suspicions. He couldn't show that he cared about anything. It would always go against him.
He knew this wasn't going to end well, but he nodded his head at Walker. There was no way in hell he would hurt you or anyone without his permission but it didn't mean he was letting Walker anywhere near you without him around.
But among all this, one question lingered in his mind.
Why did he care so much?
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Aside from Spider-Woman, every single Force Works costume is god awful.
Captain America 337
vodka on the rocks
when you find out that someone you slept with secretly took photos and videos of you during sex, you feel betrayed - but bucky won't stand by and let that happen to his best friend.
content warning: best friend!bucky x f!reader, mature themes, angst, offscreen reader x john walker, sexual harassment, pictures taken without consent, hurt/comfort, protective!bucky, physical violence, mention of blood, fluff, a kiss.
You've been on edge all night. Staring at the slowly emptying glasses of various alcoholic drinks and barely listening to the different conversations happening around you. A constant buzz of anxiousness runs under your skin, keeping you both alert and numb. Whenever your name's mentioned, you look up and nod, or pretend to softly laugh at the jokes you just about catch the punchline of, and thankfully, nobody notices how distant you are.
Nobody, of course, except for Bucky.
He's been taking mental note of it all night. Your odd behavior. You're not usually the center of attention at these get-togethers by a long shot, but you've never been a wallflower, either. Not just tonight, but all week you've been quieter, more subdued. Barely replying to his texts, giving him a half-ass excuse about being too busy with work to return his calls.
"What do you think, Buck?" John's loud voice cuts through the brunet's deep thoughts. "Is it a good time to invest?"
Bucky, having no idea what he's talking about, simply shrugs, saying nothing.
"Fuck you, dude!" Sam shoots to John bitterly, laughing nonetheless. "Just you wait and fucking watch - crypto's making a comeback, and you'll be kicking yourself in four years."
"Alright, man, I'll hold you to it," John replies, holding his hands up in surrender.
"I've lost too much to bullshit scams this year; count me out," Steve grumbles, sitting back with his beer in his lap.
"Because you chose the wrong things to invest in!" Sam exclaims, nudging his shoulder. "This is why you come to Uncle Sam, first."
While the guys continue their riveting debate, Bucky can't help but look back over at you. Though you've been distant all week, tonight is even worse. You look sad. He hasn't seen you this hurt before, and he hates the way it makes him feel. Times like this make him realize just how much he cares about you, and how he'd do anything to make you smile again.
"Come on, Y/N, dance with us!" Natasha begs you, pulling on your hand while her and Carol sway to the music in front of you.
"I'm exhausted, guys," You whine quietly, mumbling something about being hungry before standing up and slipping out of the living room.
Unable to leave you alone, Bucky jumps to his feet and follows you to the kitchen, where he finds you looking through Steve's cupboards.
"You okay?" Is all he can think of to ask.
You're surprised to see him, your eyes wide as you look over your shoulder at him. Swinging the cupboard shut, you turn to him and nod, feeling that anxiousness double. "Yeah, J, I'm good," You reply, hoping he'll believe you not knowing he won't.
Bucky walks further in, meeting you by the freezer from which you grab a bottle of vodka and a tray of small, spherical ice cubes. He watches as you grab two glasses from cupboard to the left of the fridge before you pour in some of the ice, followed by the vodka. Once you're done, you slide a glass over to him and pick up your own, taking a long sip.
"What's wrong, pigtails?" He asks you with a low tone. A tone that tells you that he's asking for the truth this time, and he won't be amused if you try and lie to his face again.
The nickname from your childhood makes your chest ache, the innocence contrasting with the deep shame you're feeling right now. If only you were a child again, and your only concern was whether or not Bucky was going to be at school that day.
Although you know it's futile, you decide to lie to his face again. "I'm fine, Jamie," You insist, unable to meet his eyes as you play with your glass. "Just a little tired. And hungry. Hangry."
"Hangry Y/N is a lot more emotive than you're being right now," He points out with furrowed brows. "And a lot whinier. You haven't complained about Steve's lack of snacks once."
"Maybe I've matured," You offer before floating away to the breakfast counter where you rest your arms.
"Don't shut me out," He says sternly, following you. "If you don't wanna talk about it, that's fine, but don't lie to me about being okay."
You look up at him, raising a brow. "We don't have to talk about it?" You ask him, surprised.
"Not if you don't want to," Bucky assures you.
After another long sip, you nod. "I'm upset," You admit, before cringing. "That's not really the right word. I'm... I just feel nervous. Anxious. Like I'm gonna die. And I hate it."
Bucky nods slowly, listening closely while studying your face. You're gradually dropping the act and finally letting him see just how truly upset you are.
With your hand on his forearm, you squeeze it tightly. You open your mouth to speak but your phone buzzes, making you suck in a sharp breath. In a panic, you rush to take it out of your pocket, relaxing only slightly when you see it's just an email from one of your coworkers. Still a little shook by the potential of what it could've been, you breathe a little heavier than usual, feeling your heart race.
"Hey, look at me," Bucky says, gently taking your arms and turning your body to face him. Concern swims in his eyes as he looks down at you. "You're okay. I'm here, and I've got you. Whatever it is, it'll be okay, and I'm gonna be here for you through it all. No matter what."
You wince, feeling the dam about to break. When your eyes meet his, you know there's no way you can lie to him again. "Jamie," You breathe out in a whisper. In this moment, you feel like you're dangling. Will he catch you?
He nods, stroking your arms and promising, "I'm here, baby. I'm here."
The pure anguish you've been feeling all week finally reaches it's limits, and you feel yourself aching to pour yourself out to him. To tell him the truth, and to beg him to help you make things okay again. "He took pictures," You say in a hushed tone just as your eyes well up with tears. Bucky's confused, to say the least, but he remains silent, letting you elaborate. "John," You utter. "I never told you this, but a couple months ago, I slept with him."
He wants to express his annoyance at that fact alone, but Bucky does well to remain calm and let you finish.
"It was just a stupid, one-time thing," You explain, shaking your head. "But he took pictures, and videos, without asking me or telling me about it." With a sigh, you lean against the counter. "He's not threatening to expose them. It just... I don't know, he's just getting some sick power rush over it."
Bucky looks down at his glass before picking it up and downing the vodka. With a wince, he slams the glass back down onto the counter. "How long? How long's he been sending you them?" He asks with a slight urgency.
"Past week," You answer, before a new wave of anxiousness washes over you. John is Bucky's friend. He's a part of your friendship group. Is it worth causing drama and fallout over him being a dick? "It's whatever. I can deal with it, he was just being annoying," You claim. "Come on. Let's go back; they'll be wondering what we're doing."
With that, you take his hand and take him back into the living room, no matter how badly you would rather beg him to drive you home. Bucky follows you silently, and you wish you could read his mind. Is he doubting you? Does he think it's no big deal? Has he already forgotten about it? is he more angry at you for sleeping with John than he is at John?
"There you guys are!" Steve exclaims, leaning his head back over the couch. "Y'been smooching in there?"
"Yep," You reply shortly, collapsing back onto the couch between Natasha and Carol. Once again, you zone out, unable to be present without remembering the crass texts from John and his smug expression.
Meanwhile, Bucky's tense. John and Sam are standing by the bar, so he goes to join them. When Sam notices his presence, he holds out a glass of whiskey to him, which Bucky silently takes.
"You alright, Buck?" John asks him with a raised brow.
It's as though time itself slows down. When Bucky looks at John, all he sees is red. "Did you really think you'd get away with it?"
The question throws John, who lets out a nervous laugh. "Uh, what?"
"Don't play dumb with me, Walker," Bucky says, clenching his hands into fists. "You think it's funny, treating her like that? Think you could get away with betraying her trust, manipulating her?"
His face falls, but John keeps up the denial act. "Honestly, Buck, what is this about?"
Sam's confused too, but he remains silent, not wanting to get in Bucky's way. Not when he's angry.
At the end of his tether, Bucky drops the glass and grabs John by the throat, pushing him back until he hits the bar. "You know what it's about, you fucking asshole," He hisses. "Do you have a death wish?"
The rest of you look over at the commotion, and you feel sick to your stomach. You stand up, but Carol grabs your hand, keeping you close to her.
"What's going on?" Steve asks, frowning as he slowly walks over.
"Get off me, Barnes! You're insane!" John yells, trying to push him off but failing.
Without a word, Bucky starts pummelling him, landing blow after blow, making you freeze. Sam is the first to rush forward and try to pull Bucky back, but to no avail. Bucky's too angry, too determined, too lit up by rage to stop. John tries to get a few hits in, but ultimately fails to land much besides a weak uppercut.
"Shit," Steve mumbles, eyes wide. John's always been a bit of a dick, and this wouldn't be the first time he's earned a punch or two, but Steve has never seen Bucky this mad at him before.
"Buck, come on," Sam says sternly, finally able to pull him back. "Whatever it is, we can talk it out."
"Fuck that," Bucky seethes, lunging forward to punch John one more time. With that, the bloodied blond falls to the ground, groaning in pain.
"Shit, man," He groans with a pained look on his face, barely able to move.
Bucky gets down to his level, lifting him up by his collar. "You're gonna delete everything you took that night, and I'll know if you don't," He warns him gravely. "And if you ever, ever go near her again, or try to contact her, I will tear you apart. You got that?"
With a shiver, John nods hurriedly. "Yeah, man, I swear. I wasn't gonna do anything with them."
Bucky drops him back to the ground with a glare, before standing back up to his feet. He then stalks over to you, takes your hand, and leads you out of the house and to his car.
Neither of you speak right away, instead allowing for the hum of the heater to fill the silence. You're grateful for the warmth, slumping down in the passenger seat while you try to process the events of the night.
"You okay?" He asks you, resting his hand on your leg.
Placing your hand on top of his, you nod. "I am. Are you?" You ask.
"I'm great, now that I know you're okay," He replies, shaking his head. "I can't fucking believe him. How did he think he could do that to you and get away with it?"
You shrug, still a little shaken. "I don't know. Maybe he genuinely didn't think what he was doing was that bad," You hypothesize. "Not that that excuses it."
"Well, he knows now," Bucky grumbles, before squeezes your leg. "If he contacts you at all, you tell me, and l'll deal with him. That fucking asshole." He rubs his face, leaning his head back against the seat. "You should've told me straight away. The second he sent you anything, you should've called me."
You wince, gently grazing your fingers over his bruised knuckles. "I was scared."
His brows furrow. "Scared that I wouldn't believe you?"
"No. I don't know," You reply, looking down at his hand on your leg. "I thought maybe I was overreacting."
"He took pictures of you during sex, without your consent," Bucky reminds you pointedly.
"I guess I was ashamed," You admit quietly. "I didn't... I didn't want you to know. That I slept with him."
Bucky takes in your words, turning to look straight ahead. "So, why did you?" He asks lowly.
Your cheeks heat up. "It... you were still dating Jean at the time. It was the night of my birthday. I just... didn't wanna spend it alone," You tell him with a small voice.
Another short silence sits between you, and you wonder what he's thinking.
"Do you remember your fourteenth birthday?" He questions you suddenly, taking you by suprise.
"Uh... when we went to Coney Island?" You ask, trying to remember.
"No, that was your thirteenth," He reminds you. "For your fourteenth, my mom got you Broadway tickets for that musical you had been wanting to-"
"Wicked!" You exclaim with a wide grin, joyful nostalgia taking over you. "I remember."
"That's the one. And you didn't ask me to come because you thought I wouldn't want to," He recounts. "Because the other guys would make fun of me. Remember that?"
"I do," You say with a soft laugh.
"And what did I do?" Bucky asks you with a smirk.
You let out a sigh, smiling. "You learnt all the lyrics to Defying Gravity and performed it at the talent show."
"Damn right I did. And I killed it," He adds arrogantly. "And nobody said a thing to me."
"'Cause they were scared of me," You claim. "They knew I'd fuck 'em up if they bullied you."
"Too long?" You repeat with a whisper, feeling tingles at his touch.
Bucky laughs heartily, nodding. "For sure," He sighs, before turning to you. "We've been best friends for too long for you to think that I wouldn't be on your side, or that I wouldn't fix this for you. I'm here to look after you," He tells you, squeezing your thigh. Slowly, he leans forward until his forehead rests against yours. The two of you feel your heartbeats calm to a normal pace, and you feel safe. Bucky's thumb begins to move, stroking your inner thigh gently while he mumbles, "We've been best friends for too long."
"Way too fucking long," He says, looking into your eyes. Without wasting any more time, he closes the gap between you and places a gentle kiss on your lips, soft and sweet, and providing you both relief. Finally. "You're my girl, and I'll always look after you," He utters against your lips. "He's never gonna hurt you again. Nobody is. I promise."
His words envelop you in warmth, and you take hold of his jacket, needing him closer. And for the first time in a while, you aren't nervous, or scared. Instead, you feel completely at peace.
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happy new year <3 thought i'd kick off '23 with some good, old-fashioned best friends to lovers, my speciality. hope you enjoyed, and i'm so excited for all the fics i have planned this year. have a good one x
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Y/N: On a scale of one to ten, how bad would it be to murder someone totally defenceless in cold blood?
Sam: Really bad, ten.
Y/N: But what if it was John Walker?
Sam: You didn’t ask for my personal answer, so the moral answer is still ten.
Y/N: Wait, what’s your personal answer?
Sam: ... two.
Tony Stark would
This comic is, as is usual for Wednesday’s comics, chosen by my Patrons. Speaking of…
Check my Patreon out if you’d like to support the comic, even a little bit helps. Or just to check out the reward tiers, there’s some neat bonus stuff and I tried to make them fun: https://www.patreon.com/waitingforthet
So ... posting this made me realize that
there is another important thing for "Captain America's essential"
Who would be worse to have as a father?
designated spider killer - 2
Bucky Barnes x f!Reader
Warnings: John Walker. vulgar language/ topics, or at least kind of??
AN: if you want to be tagged just let me know :)
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