we were in screaming color
i. “don’t want no other shade of blue but you”
bucky barnes x reader; soulmate!au
summary: the rest of the world is black and white until you meet your soulmate. you and bucky barnes lived in color. that is, until you lost him. (inspired by this ask)
wc: 9k (also the longest thing i’ve written wtf??)
warning(s): swearing, light descriptions of blood, some descriptions of panic/panic attacks, and pain
main writing masterlist ☼ marvel masterlist
a/n: this will have multiple parts! i didn’t plan on this being that long, but here we are…. ty so much to the lovely anon who requested this, i had so much fun writing this and i cant wait to continue y/n and bucky’s story! also i apologize for the ts references, i saw the opportunity and ran with it hehe
(gif credit @aavengingbucky)
People say meeting your soulmate will open the mind’s eye to a world full of color. The situation was rare, finding the one soul out of a billion who’s made for you. The world is so vast and there are so many people to encounter that you’d think meeting your soulmate would be impossible. And yet at the ripe age of eighteen, you were lucky enough to have met yours.
The day James Buchanan Barnes and his little friend Steve walked into the general store your parents owned was the day that changed your life forever. You remember that day as if it were yesterday. You remember the way his boisterous laugh met your ears, pulling you from the newspaper in your hands. You remember meeting his piercing gaze from across the store and seeing the world around you burst into a plethora of beautiful colors; each color being named as you stared around in wonder. When you met the boy’s stare again, the word blue formulated in your mind and you felt yourself go weak in the knees. It was then that you decided that of all the colors you could now see, blue was your favorite of them all.
“Whatcha thinking about, sweetheart?”
You look up at your favorite pair of baby blues from where you lay on his chest and let out a heavy sigh. Eight years later and it still felt like you were seeing the color for the first time every time you looked at him. “Just thinking about how pretty your eyes are, Barnes,” you reply dreamily, readjusting yourself so you were now sitting besides him against the headboard of your bed.
He lets out a soft laugh at that and turns to you with a smile. “They’re nothing compared to yours, doll.”
Hiding your face in the crook of his neck, you let a smile fall upon your features. “Stop it…”
“You started it!” He looks down at you bashfully and playfully pokes at your sides, making you jerk.
You yelp, trying to pull away from him, but he only brings you back to him and wraps his arms around your waist. You stop moving then and settle into the comfort that his hold brings you. Your positions are now reversed as Bucky rests his head on your shoulder, slightly lying down. The two of you lay together in silence as you bask in each other’s presence. You close your eyes as you try to memorize the pattern of his breath and the feeling of his skin on yours.
Bucky gently rubs up and down your back as his fingers lightly trace your spine. He hated himself for thinking it, but he wanted to remember what it felt like to hold you like this without any other care in the world. He wanted to relive this moment for as long as he could, in case this would be the last time.
When you open your eyes, you look down and notice the way Bucky’s brow was furrowed and the worry lines on his forehead. Taking your hands that rested on his chest, you delicately grab his face and focus his gaze on you. You give him a small smile before smoothing your thumbs over his cheekbones and forehead. “Don’t go there,” you tell him softly.
“I can’t help it.” Removing his arms from around your waist, he grabs onto your wrists and grasps them tightly. “I-I can’t…” Bucky’s breathing quickens.
“Shh,” you coo. “No need to rush, Buck.”
He nods, slowly taking a deep breath. You continue to rub your thumbs across his cheeks and under his eyes in a soothing manner. He swallows harshly before speaking again. “I can’t leave Steve and Ma and my sisters. I can’t leave you. Not when I don’t know if I’ll even come back.”
“Don’t say that. Don’t you dare say that. You’re going to come back, you hear me? You’re too stubborn not to,” you argue, feeling your heart shatter as Bucky’s body shook in your arms. You knew how much it hurt him to leave. You saw it in his eyes every time the war was mentioned. He wore his uniform with pride, gloating here and there that he was going to be a sergeant. And you couldn’t be prouder. But it was behind closed doors when you saw his doubts and fears slip through.
“But in the case that I don’t-”
“No. You will. I know you will.” You shake your head in denial, trying to ignore the fact that somewhere deep down you knew he was right. Not everyone came back from the war, no matter how hard they tried. Families got torn apart, friends were separated, and soulmates were lost. You refused to think of it. You didn’t want to. Not when he was still here with you. Releasing his face from your hold, you turn away from him with a frown. “Can we not talk about it please? I don’t want to think about this. You’re still here, aren’t you? I don’t want this to be my last memory of you before you leave.”
Bucky sighs in defeat. “Ok,” he finally complies before wrapping you up in his arms once more. He rests his head atop yours and presses a kiss into your hair every now and then as you hug him just as tight, almost as if you were afraid to let go. “Hey, Y/N?” he says softly after a couple minutes of silence. He hears you hum in response and continues. “I love you.”
Looking back up at him, your eyes soften and you let a small smile grace your features. You lean up and capture his mouth with yours as your lips fall into a rhythm they’ve performed one too many times before. “I love you too, soulmate.”
While he was gone, you dreamt of him in color. You dreamt of the way his crystalline blue eyes would light up when you reunite. You dreamt of the red stains of your lipstick on his skin, as you’d kiss him over and over again. You dreamt of his military greens that he’d be wearing when he got back. Steve would make his presence known every now and then in your dreams as well, the yellow of his hair as bright as the sun. You dreamt of a glorious reunion with your soulmate and your best friend. After Steve told you he was miraculously cleared to join the army as well, your heart shattered. You were happy for him, knowing how badly he wanted to be involved. Except you couldn’t help but want to be selfish just this once. You just wanted your boys back.
The days came and went at a snail’s pace as each day stayed routinely the same. You started your mornings with your shift at the General Store. Then you’d have lunch with your mother before going to the post office to mail off yet another later to Bucky. You mailed one everyday, but you got one from him at least once every two weeks. You didn’t mind though knowing that he’s out on the field. Just being able to receive a letter from him once in a while was enough. At least you knew he was still out there. Evenings consisted of visiting the Barnes’ as you were a familiar face and some form of comfort for them. You’d talk with the girls and do Rebecca’s hair and help Winifred tuck them into bed. Then you’d have a cup of tea with Mrs. Barnes before heading back home and doing it all again the next day. It may have not been much. But at least it gave you a small sense of calm before the storm.
It started with Steve’s unbelievable transformation. You have never seen anything like it. When you received an invitation in the mail from the man himself to attend something called, “Captain America’s USO Show,” you were puzzled to say the least. Yet you went anyway, curiosity getting the better of you. Nothing could have prepared you for what you saw that night. The theatre at which the event was being held was decked out in an array of red, white, and gorgeous blues. You looked around in awe. The venue looked like something straight out of an Independence Day decoration catalog. People were ushering around you left and right as they tried to find a seat and you followed the flow. Your eyes flit across the sea of people, trying to find a vacant seat. Spotting one in the center section of the theatre four rows away from the stage, you make your way down the row and into one of the vacant seats. You smooth down your outfit as you take a seat as you continue to stare around the room. A banner for the event a little ways from where you were catches your eye. Well doesn’t he look familiar, you think to yourself as your gaze focuses even more on the so called “Captain America.”
“Excuse me, miss, is this seat taken?” a sweet voice pulls you from your thoughts.
You turn attention to the voice to see a lovely elderly woman dressed in a lovely lavender pantsuit. “Oh no,” you kindly respond, gesturing to the seat. “It’s all yours.”
She gives you a nod and a smile before taking the seat.
The two of you wait for the show to start in silence as you continue to take in the sight around you.
“So, I’m guessing you’ve met your soulmate?” the woman questions you, intrigued. You send her a look of surprise and she chuckles. “I could tell by the way you’re looking around. Most people would’ve just stared straight ahead, but your eyes are wandering all over the place!”
The two of you share a bout of laughter prior to your reply. “Yes, I have actually. I met him when I was eighteen.”
She sighs dreamily and gives you a soft smile. “You’re lucky to have met him so young. Is he with you tonight?”
The expression on your face falters at her question. “Unfortunately not. He’s somewhere out there serving the country…”
“Ah, a military man. My Harold was a military man too. He fought in the first World War as a sergeant.”
You find yourself smiling at that. “My fella’s a sergeant too.”
“Oh, what a small world!” she exclaims with a giggle. The woman turns to you and gingerly places a gloved hand atop yours that lay on your lap. “Even the war couldn’t tear us apart. It was the scarlet fever that took my love away from me…” She trails off, staring longingly into space. “A word of advice, dear. Cherish every moment you have with your soulmate, you hear me? People like us, people who find our soulmates, we go through hell just to be with them. Because once they’re gone, it’s harder to find that light the world once had when you were together.”
The woman’s words feel like a stake to your heart as you think about Bucky. Your throat goes dry and it takes everything in you not to rush out of the theatre right then and there and demand the US military for his location. You just sit there, staring at the woman beside you with teary eyes. You open your mouth to speak but are cut off by the dimming of the lights and the deep voice of the announcer.
“And now, ladies and gentlemen, Captain America!”
The red, white, and blue clad man runs on stage with an award winning smile and a wave. The crowd erupted in applause at the sight of the man and you let out a chuckle in amusement. You thought it was silly how much the people praised this man for parading as the face of America when there were men at the forefront of the battle right now. You continue to watch, eyes narrowed in suspicion as you stare at the man. Something about him struck you as awfully familiar as he spoke. Yet, you couldn’t put your finger on it. So you just sat back and watched the show. You’ll admit, you were more than slightly entertained, but the nagging in the back of your mind that you knew this Captain America occupied most of your thoughts.
The show came to an end with an extravagant finale with the Captain giving quite a “punch” to a man who was supposed to be Hitler and more war and weaponry propaganda. Which was expected, considering the times. But it still made your stomach turn nevertheless. After an applause from the crowd at the show’s end, the theatre audience began to trickle out with just a few sticking around to meet with Mr. America himself. You bid goodbye to the woman who sat next to you during the program, wishing her the best, before going to wait by the side of the stage where Captain America was shaking hands with fancily dressed men. You stand there for a few minutes before the men leave, waving enthusiastically at the Captain.
He sees you standing a few feet from the front of the stage and a gigantic grin crosses his face. He rips off the mask he’s wearing with his costume and you let out a large gasp as a hand goes to cover your mouth.
“Steven Grant Rogers!” you exclaim with such shock going through your body you can barely move.
Steve laughs and hops off the stage. He heads your way and gathers you up in his arms with a wide grin. “Y/N!” he beamed.
Your arms wrap around his muscular form as you gasp again and how easily he picks you up off the ground and spins you in a circle. When he places you back down on the floor, you pull away from him and are met with him smiling widely at you. “Wha… how?” you stutter, barely able to conjure up the words to describe what happened to him. Steve Rogers was the lanky little boy from Brooklyn no more. He was now Captain America, large, buff, and extremely charming.
“It’s a long story,” he tells you with a shake of his head. “Gosh, I’m so glad you came. I was afraid you wouldn’t get the invitation.”
“So it was you?”
“It was,” Steve responds proudly.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I wanted to keep the element of surprise.” He sends you a wink and you find yourself laughing again.
“Well, it most definitely worked.” Your eyes rake over his form once again, taking in the miracle before you. “I still don’t understand what’s going on here,” you mutter in disbelief. “But it’s so good to see you again, Steve. It’s been too long.”
“Yeah, it has. Hey, how about I take you out to dinner tonight? Let me change out of this get up and we could go to Lottie’s just for old times sake?” Steve pleads.
You agree without hesitation. This sense of normalcy would be good for you, especially with how lonely you’ve been feeling lately. Going out with Steve would be a good form of comfort and familiarity.
Sitting in the diner with Steve is a breath of fresh air. The last time you felt the least bit content was back when Bucky was here. Thinking of Bucky, the smile on your face subsides and you find yourself staring longingly out the window next to your usual booth.
Steve notices your sudden silence and could tell exactly what you were thinking from the look in your eye. “I miss him too,” he tells you softly. He reaches across the table and gently takes your hand in his, giving it a light squeeze. “Buck’s one hell of a fighter. He’ll do everything he can to get back home.”
You send him an appreciative smile. “Thanks Stevie. What about you? Care to tell me how all this happened then?”
He only smiles at your question and shakes his head. “I’d love to, Y/N/N, but I’m not sure how much I can exactly tell,” Steve tells you remorsefully. The way your lips tilt downward pulls at Steve’s heart. “But I promise once all of this is over, I’ll tell you everything. How about when Bucky gets back, so I can fill the two of you in?”
Steve walks you home just like old times. The walk to your house is mostly quiet other than your occasional teasing comments on Steve’s new bod. For the first time in months, things felt relatively normal. But it was Bucky’s absence that reminded you otherwise. When the two of you get to your front door, you give Steve one last hug before parting ways. Your walk upstairs is a sad one as you reminisce how a night like this would have looked months ago. Making your way into your room, you let out a sigh and sit at your vanity. Looking at yourself in the mirror, you almost didn’t recognize the person looking back at you. She was tired and disheveled, with her hair in disarray and a lack of powder on her face. She was nothing like the proper lady her mother raised her to be. Your eyes scan over your features once more when your gaze catches a glimpse of a familiar brown hanging from your open closet. Getting up, you walk over to your closet and pull the clothing off its hanger. You bring the jacket up to your nose and inhale its familiar scent. You wrap it around your shoulders, pretending that you’re in Bucky’s warm embrace. If you pushed yourself enough, you could almost imagine that this was a night like any other, and you were coming back home wrapped in the arms of your lover.
Something was wrong. If the lack of letters from Bucky didn’t worry you enough, the feeling in your gut that did. The letters stopped coming a few weeks ago. The worry was normal, your mother had told you. She also told you that sometimes there were mailing delays and maybe the month’s shipment hasn’t come through. You considered this for a moment, until the dream you had a few nights ago.
All your dreams start the same, with you in your rose red dress and Bucky in his military uniform in the dance hall downtown. Tommy Dorsey’s “Daybreak” is playing in the background as Bucky holds a hand out for you to take. But instead of being pulled into his familiar embrace, your dream took a different turn. As you take his hand, the scene shifts, and you find yourself in a dark and empty room. The air is cold, though you can’t feel it. The sight of your breath as you exhaled told you there was a drop in climate. You turn around, finding yourself in what looked to be a mix between a prison cell and a laboratory. Then the faint sound of his voice catches your attention. His words were incoherent, but you could recognize his voice anywhere.
You receive no response back. Looking around the room, you try to gather your senses and scan your surroundings. Where the hell were you? You hear him again, only this time, his voice is louder. More intelligible.
“Bucky?” You call out again, voice laced with a sense of urgency.
He doesn’t respond to you again and you find yourself barging out of the room and into a dark hallway. You let out a shaky breath, listening again for any sounds of his voice again. The next time you hear him shakes you to your core, making your stomach turn.
He screams. He lets out a heart wrenching scream that seems to vibrate through the hall, causing you to drop on your knees as tears begin to fall from your eyes. Pain was the only thing you could feel. He was in pain. He screams again and you let out a sob as you bring your hands to your head and cover your ears. You’re not sure how long you stay there, before the screams finally stop.
Suddenly, you’re jolting out of bed drenched in sweat. Your throat is dry and you have dried tear stains on your cheeks. You shiver as you remember the horrible dream you had. The tears well up in your eyes once more as the sound of Bucky’s screams echo through your head. It may have just been a dream, but everything about it felt completely real. From the sound of his voice, to the feeling of the cold concrete against your knees and the musty smell of the corridor. You had to figure out a way to reach him. You had to make sure Bucky was ok.
Bucky sat in the infirmary tent, still shaken from all that has happened within the span of a couple of hours. Just hours ago, he was in Hydra’s clutches. Too sudden movements from the nurses around him made him flinch and loud noises around the camp made his heart rate raise. Steve stayed with him the entire time. For moral support or for his own reassurance, Bucky wasn’t sure. But he appreciated the company. He just wished you were there with him too.
Being poked and prodded at by the scientists at the Hydra compound he was held at almost made him lose hope entirely. Grasping onto the thought of seeing your smiling face again, to be able to hold and kiss you as he pleased, was the only thing giving him the motivation to stay alive. So much so that he could’ve sworn he heard you calling his name once or twice while he was there. Bucky knew he must’ve been hallucinating, but your voice had sounded too real. He could’ve sworn you were right outside his cell. And the thought alone, scared him more than anything. There’s an unsettling tug in Bucky’s chest that ached every time he thought of you. An ache that could be resolved only by you. Bucky couldn’t stand the aching any longer. He needed to find a way to see you.
He sits up, hastily yanking the IV out of his arm and attempts to climb out of his cot when it squeaks beneath him, alerting Steve of his consciousness.
“Buck?” he questions, a bit aloof from sleep.
“I’m fine, Steve, go back to sleep,” Bucky brushes him off. He tries to get himself up on his feet once more when Steve grabs him by the elbows and steadies him at the edge of the cot.
“You’re not fine, Bucky. Get back in bed. You need to rest.”
He shakes his head with a heavy sigh, running his hands through his already disheveled hair. “I can’t. Please, Steve, I-I need to see her.”
“The nurse?” Steve questions. His blue eyes sweep through the infirmary in search of a nurse when he feels Bucky grab his hand.
“No, not the nurse. Y/N. My Y/N, I need to see her,” Bucky frantically pleads as he tries to get out of the bed once more.
Steve shakes his head with worry and pity for his friend. He knew what Bucky just went through was traumatic. And he knew that Bucky needed all the comfort and support he could get. Which is why he wasn’t surprised when he asked for you. It pained Steve’s heart that no matter what he did could cure his best friend’s want. “I’m sorry, Bucky. But Y/N’s not here.”
“No, Steve.” Bucky shakes his head, eyes constantly darting back and forth. “I need to see her. I need to know that she’s ok.”
Steve’s brow furrows at Bucky’s words. “What? Bucky, Y/N’s fine. She’s in Brooklyn, remember? Right where you left her. I even saw her before I left. She’s ok. She’s safe, I promise.”
The worry on Bucky’s face doesn’t fade. His muscles are still tense and his forehead is beaded with sweat. “Steve, please.”
Seeing the panic on Bucky’s face, Steve knew he just wasn’t going to let it go. Steve didn’t blame him. If he were in his place, he’d need reassurance that his loved ones were ok too. So Steve nods, giving Bucky’s hand a squeeze. “Ok. Ok, Buck. I’ll see what I can do.”
After what he did for the troops and being Captain America, Steve was able to pull some strings and get you on a privately escorted flight to Italy. When you got the phone call from Steve, your mind immediately went to the worst case scenario. But after some explaining from Steve, you were able to let out a breath of relief. Though you were a bit confused as to why Bucky was begging to see you, Steve promised he’d explain everything when you got there. Without any care other than the thought of your love, you threw your clothes in a suitcase and scribbled a note to your mother explaining your whereabouts.
The camp was anything but comforting. People were running around left and right and you could hardly grasp onto your surroundings. The camp was loud. There were shouts coming from all directions as you stepped off the jeep that picked you up from the airport. You must’ve looked as lost as you felt because a man in uniform sauntered up beside you with an amused smirk on his mouth.
“Are you lost, miss? A military camp isn’t exactly the place for a dame like you.” He sends you a mocking smile as he pulls a cigar out of his coat pocket.
The man offers you a cigar, which you politely decline, tightening your grip around your bag on your shoulder. With your eyes scanning across the camp, you tell him, “I’m actually looking for Sergeant Barnes of the 107th.”
“Barnes? I don’t know where he is, but I do know someone who does. Stay here.” He jogs off to one of the tents. The man comes back with a woman who dismisses him with a nod. He gives you a nod before walking off.
“Ah, you must be Miss Y/L/N,” the woman observed with a warm smile. She had a strong English accent and striking red lipstick. “I’m Agent Carter, but please call me Peggy. Steve said he’s expecting you. Come, follow me.”
As Peggy leads you through the camp, you find yourself feeling nauseous at the sight of how the men around you were damaged by the war. There were men with lost limbs and men with cuts and scars galore. Men who were sprawled out on the ground in tears, clutching pictures of their loved ones, and men who were drinking through the trauma brought upon them. The sight almost brought you to tears. You couldn’t begin to imagine what they were going through. Then you think back to Bucky and you think you’re going to be sick. Steve hadn’t told you much over the phone other than Bucky begging to see you, leaving the rest up to your imagination. You’re pulled out of your thoughts at the familiar call of your name.
Steve approaches you and Peggy with a relief filled smile which you gladly return before giving him a huge hug. When you pull away, Steve observes the pinch of your brows and the way your lips were pursed. He sees the look of worry in your eyes as he gently grabs you by the shoulders. Steve smooths a hand down your shoulder and carefully takes your bag from your hold.
“Steve-” you start with teary eyes.
“He’s here, come with me,” he tells you gently, guiding you by the arm to another tent.
You suck in a deep breath, trying to keep yourself steady as best as you can. For Bucky’s sake and Steve’s sake, of course. Though the way you clenched your fists and attempted to blink the tears from your eyes suggested otherwise. Walking into the tent was just as horrendous of a sight as the camp outside. With men sprawled everywhere, and nurses shuffling left and right, everything about it made your heart drop. As you carefully followed Steve, your eyes flit all over before finally landing on a cot at the very back end of the tent. He was sitting up with his back facing you, but you knew it was him. You’d recognize him anywhere. You don’t even register that your feet are moving quicker than Steve’s until you’re standing directly behind the man you’ve been longing to be reunited with for months. “Bucky?”
At the sound of your voice, oh your sweet angelic voice, Bucky is up faster than anyone’s seen him move in days. He almost trips over his feet as he runs over to you, his military boots loose from his undone laces. There’s no hesitation in his movements as Bucky runs over to you and tackles you in the largest hug. His arms wrap securely around your waist and he tucks his head in the crook of your neck. He inhales your familiar scent that sends a wave of calm over his entire body. Bucky feels your arms come around his neck and he pulls even closer to him, afraid that if he let go for just a second, you’d slip away from him. He was afraid that the second he let go, he would find himself alone in that cold, dark cell and back in Hydra’s hands. Burying himself further against you, he lets out a breath. “You’re ok. You’re ok…” he repeats over and over again.
“Bucky,” you sigh, voice filled with relief. You feel his hold on you tighten and you reciprocate the action, finally feeling the longing you’ve had subside at the motion. When Bucky mumbles your name into the skin of your neck, your heart stutters at the feeling of finally being able to feel him again. You pull away from him ever so slightly, just enough so you could see his face. His blue meets your y/e/c eyes and you let out a breath of relief. You were finally home. “Are you ok?” you question, cupping his face delicately in your hands. “When Steve called me on the phone, gosh Buck, I thought I lost you.”
Your voice cracks at the end of your statement and when he notices the tears that have begun to stream down your cheeks, his heart almost breaks in his chest. He grabs your wrists and leans forward, placing his forehead against yours. You let out a shaky breath and Bucky’s grip tightens. “Oh, sweetheart,” he whispers softly. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
You shake your head with a frown. “Why are you apologizing? You have nothing to be sorry for.” You softly place your lips upon his and Bucky lets out a quiet moan against your lips before you pull away. Brushing the pads of your thumbs over the apples of his cheeks, you slightly bump the tip of your nose with his, eliciting a smile from the man. “You’re here, aren’t you? You’re here and that’s all that matters to me.”
Bucky and you were so caught up in each other that you didn’t notice Steve and Peggy slip away or the nurse who changed Bucky’s sheets for some new ones. The only thing that existed was each other.
“Stay,” Bucky pleads with a sad smile. “Stay with me tonight. I know the cot isn’t the most comfortable thing to sleep on but-”
“Ok. Ok, Buck, I’ll stay. For you, I always will.” And it was true. You would stay with Bucky Barnes for as long as he pleased.
Bucky fell asleep in an instant that night. You held him in your arms as if it were any other night; as if he didn’t just come from the forefront of a raging war. You begged him to tell you what happened to him. Though him nor Steve told you directly, you knew there was something they were hiding from you. The way that Steve wouldn’t meet your eye and the vacancy behind Bucky’s eyes told you so. There was more to the reason why you were here. But Bucky requested you wait. You reluctantly complied.
When you first saw the color yellow, you automatically noticed how it filled you with joy. The yellow of the sun, the yellow of the flowers Bucky bought you on your first date, and the yellow of the overly buttered popcorn at the cinema Bucky always took you to were just a few of the things you associated the color with. And even now despite the circumstances, the pale yellow glow from the moon above filled you with joy as it shone through the half opened tent flap like a spotlight, illuminating your lover. The light accentuated Bucky’s features in a way that you would describe as heavenly. You could see every freckle and blemish and the curve of his cheekbones. But with it came the view of every cut, scar, and bruise on his skin from where he lay on your chest. Your chest tightens as your gaze lands upon the purpling bruise and dark spots that gathered under his eyes. Biting your lip, you will yourself not to cry. Just the thought of Bucky being out there fighting a war that seemed impossible to win made you want to run up to the general and beg him not to let Bucky back out there. The tiny, selfish part of you wanted to beg the general to let your Bucky come home. But you knew that wasn’t possible. Bucky would hate it if you did. He was never one to back down from a fight, always being the person who needed to see justice be served to be satisfied. You knew that dragging him from this fight wouldn’t be fair for him. But what about you? It wasn’t fair for you to be the one at home wallowing in your own pain and sadness as you wondered when (or if) he’d come home. It wasn’t fair that you had to go through it all alone. You blink away your tears, letting out silent curses as you do. Bucky was only doing what he thought was right. He always did. It’s not fair for you to get mad at him, not after all he’s done for you.
Bucky stirs in your embrace as a soft whimper leaves his lips. His brow was furrowed and his eyes were shut tight. So tight that the corners of his eyes began to crinkle. He lets out another noise of distress, pulling you from your thoughts and back to him. Your lips turn down in a frown at the sight of the man in your arms as you gently brush a strand of stray hair from his forehead. His skin is clammy at the touch and beaded with sweat. Pressing the back of your hand carefully against his forehead again, you let out a soft gasp at how hot he feels. He must be close to running a fever. You try to lay him down on the cot so you could get up and call a nurse but his grip on you only gets tighter. “Bucky,” you murmur.
He lets out a string of incoherent words and flinches.
“Bucky, honey, you’ve got to let go,” you shake him slightly, trying to get him to wake. He stirs once more, letting out another whimper of pain and you touch his shoulder a bit harder this time. “Bucky!”
He jolts up, heaving for air as his arms fall from your waist. A chill runs through his body as his mind flashes back to the horrors that were bestowed upon him not long ago as his eyes frantically dart back and forth as he tries to gather his surroundings. Bucky was heaving as he tried to catch his breath. A delicate hand on his shoulder stopped him from spiraling as you breathe out his name. “Christ,” Bucky sighs, collapsing into your arms. With his eyes squeezed shut, he winds his arms around your waist and peppers sweet kisses against your neck. “I’m here. You’re here…”
Wrapping one arm around his shoulders, you use the other to run a hand through his hair that was partly damp from sweat. You nod placing your lips on the crown of his head. “Of course you’re here, my love. You never left.”
Bucky shakes his head in a panic. “No, no. I was there. I was back there and I couldn’t-I couldn’t move.” He pulls away from you and his eyes vigilantly rake up and down your form. “I can’t go back there. I can’t.”
You swallow harshly as he continues to babble about not going back. Back where? What possible could have happened to him while he was away to make him react this way? You gently rock him back and forth as you try to subside his frantic words. “Oh, Buck,” you mumbled into his hair. “What did they do to you?”
His movements still and his gaze darts away from yours. You see his Adam’s apple bob as he swallows harshly. The bright blue of his eyes suddenly go dull at your words and for a moment you’re afraid that you might have crossed a line you should have stayed behind. Then it’s as if something in him snaps, and Bucky tells you everything. And the whole time all you could do is sit there with tears flowing down your cheeks as he tells you about the unimaginable. When he finally finishes his story, you throw yourself at him with such a force that Bucky could swear he felt his heart bump against his rib cage. Your sobs tear Bucky’s heart in two as you apologize for something that you never could’ve prevented from happening. Bucky takes this as his turn to comfort you. He wipes away your tears and kisses you everywhere his lips could touch. Each brush of his lips was enough of a reminder for both you and him that he was here with you. That despite it all, Bucky still came home. When you eventually collapse in his arms from exhaustion, Bucky silently thanks the heavens above for bringing him back to you. He couldn’t bear the thought of you having to lose him in a way worse than the war. As you nestle yourself in Bucky’s arms, the yellow glow of the moon gives itself a different meaning for the two of you, no longer emitting joy, but rather a sign of sorrow.
Since that night, you and Bucky haven’t spoken about either of your breakdowns, opting to specifically focus on his recovery in the meantime. It was a mutual agreement between the two of you-- him not wanting to discuss it any further and you keeping quiet in fear of making him even more upset than he already was whenever someone mentioned the incident. So when the rest of the Howling Commandos suggested having a celebratory night at one of the local pubs, you eagerly agreed.
It’s been awhile since the last time the two of you were able to have a somewhat normal night with one another. Perhaps it was before you even knew Bucky was drafted for the war, before either of you had any knowledge of your impending doom. To think those were the good old days… Straightening out the dress Peggy lent you, you step out of the car with Peggy giving you a bright smile at your side. “Ready for your date?” you tease.
Peggy’s cheeks gather a light pink dust on her porcelain skin as she brushes your comment off. “It isn’t a date. The whole unit is going to be there.”
“True, but come one, you totally got dressed up for Steve!” You bump her playfully with your elbow as the two of you head to the pub.
She exasperatedly rolls her eyes at you before nudging you back. “So what if I got dressed up for Steve? We’re not like you and James. He’s not my soulmate or anything.”
“So?” You let out a groan as you pulled her aside before she could entire the pub. “Just because he’s not your soulmate doesn’t mean you can’t give it a try! Look, soulmates are rare. Bucky and I got lucky enough to have met each other. But my philosophy is, if you haven’t met your soulmate yet and you think you love Steve, maybe the universe is trying to tell you that you should give it a shot.”
“Oh, I don’t know, Y/N…”
“I believe in “everything happens for a reason” Peggy.”
“Aren’t you quite the optimist,” she retorts.
“I get it from Bucky.” Hooking your arm with hers, the two of you walk into the pub. “Now, show the captain what he’s missing.” With a small smile, you give her a playful wink.
Making your way through the room, you spot the Commandos gathered around a table drinking and laughing like there’s no tomorrow. The sight makes your chest bloom with warmth as Dum Dum Dugan animatedly waves his hands around as he dramatical tells one of his infamous stories. You giggle as you and Peggy make your way to the group, exchanging greetings with the rowdy (and incredibly drunk) men. Over the course of the couple of weeks you’ve been at the camp, you’ve gained a soft spot for the P.O.W.’s Bucky bonded with. You admit, they were terrifying at first glance, but once you got to know them you enjoyed their company.
“Looking for the lover boys?” Gabe Jones smirks at the two of you. Wolf whistles and chortles erupt around the table at Gabe’s teasing.
“Oh, shush, you,” you feign anger before joining in on their laughter.
“They’re over there,” Jones replies, pointing to the back room with a grin.
You mouth a quick thank you to the man before pulling Peggy along with you to find your boys. Just as Gabe said, the two men were seated at the bar with a glass of whiskey in hand, looking as carefree as ever. Letting go of Peggy’s arm, you make your way over to Steve and Bucky and motion for her to follow. Walking up behind the two, you gingerly wrap your arms around Bucky’s shoulders and resting your chin on his shoulder. “Sorry to interrupt, Captain, but I’m here to steal your Sargeant.”
At the sound of your voice, Bucky breaks into a huge grin as his hands grasp onto your hands that rested near his chest. The tip of his nose brushes against the skin of your cheek as he turns, giving you a sweet kiss on the skin.
“He’s all yours, ma’am,” Steve cheekily replies, laughing as you pull Bucky up from his seat.
With Bucky in tow, you pass Peggy and mouth her a silent ‘Go to him!’. Her eyes darted from yours to Steve’s figure at the bar. You shoot her an encouraging nod and make your way out of the pub. The cold Italian air nips at your skin as you step outside for some fresh air. You close your eyes and dramatically take a deep breath, crinkling your nose as you turn to Bucky. His crystal gaze was already set dreamily on your form, his lips pulled into a sweet smile. “What?” you ask him.
Bucky exhales as he shakes his head. Taking a step closer to you, he holds your face in his hands as he rubs small circles into the hinge of your jawline with his thumb. “I don’t think I’ve told you how beautiful you are tonight,” he confesses with a charming grin. “I’ve never loved the color red more than when it’s on you.”
Your chin drops to your sternum as you avoid his intense stare, fiddling with your fingers and bashfully staring at your feet. “You use that line on all the ladies?”
“Only on you, my love,” he declares softly, grazing his fingertips faintly down your neck and to the sides of your ribcage.
Your knees buckle at the sensation his touch sends through your body. Goosebumps rise on the surface of your skin from his touch, rather than from the cold as he continues to move downward until his hands are resting lowly on your waist. With a tug, he smoothly brings you flush against his chest and your arms instinctively drape themselves on his shoulder. “You sap,” you whisper into the cold air. “Wait ‘till the boys hear their sergeant’s gone soft for little ‘ole me.” You lightly tap him on the nose with the tip of your finger, eliciting a chuckle from the man.
Bucky keeps you against him as he subconsciously sways the two of you underneath the Italian night sky, keeping you tucked snugly beneath his chin. “Daybreak, another new day, the mist on the meadow is drifting away…”
The softness of his voice surrounds you as he begins to sing your song, making your eyelids flutter shut. The tension in your muscles subside as you continue to sway and you let the lull of his heartbeat bring you home. As he continues to sing, you hum along as you imagine the two of you standing in the dance hall in Brooklyn.
Bucky’s grip loosens as he rounds the end of the song and he pulls back to take you in. “As the white clouds sail on through the blue, at daybreak I did dream of you…” The last words of the song linger as he gently caressed your lips with his.
You let out a sigh of relief as Bucky’s mouth meets yours. You push against him with one of your hands snaking into his hair as your heart tries to claw its way out of your chest through the all too familiar dance of your lips. His movements have you drowning in the taste of whiskey and the scent of his cologne. He was the only thing that your mind could focus on. You didn’t need alcohol to get drunk, not when you had him. His kiss was intoxicating. To taste him, feel him, and love him awakened a feeling inside of you that no words could ever describe. Bucky Barnes lit the match that set your heart ablaze. Your love for him spread like a wildfire through your entire being as you tried to convey this all through your declarations of love on his lips. And yet, even then, it wasn’t enough to put out the flames that scorched your heart. If you didn’t need to take a breath, you could’ve gone on to kiss Bucky forever, but your lungs were screaming for air so you reluctantly pulled away.
Bucky was panting heavily from the passion filled kiss you shared. Even with swollen lips, smudged lipstick and slightly mussed hair he still thought you were the most incredible thing he had ever seen. Nothing, not even the colosseum of Rome, could ever compare. The way that the stars reflected your wide and soulful gaze almost had Bucky on his knees. He doesn’t let go of your waist as he presses another quick, yet fervent kiss to your lips. “You know I love you with everything I have, right?”
“I do,” you reply without a second of hesitation.
Resting his forehead on yours, Bucky lets out a shaky breath before he continues.
You notice the tremor of his shoulders as he does so, causing you to grab his face in your hands.
“And because I love you, you know I have to do this,” he lets out slowly.
“James, what is this about?” Fear overcomes the absolute bliss you were feeling just moments ago at his words.
“Steve, the Commandos, and I-- we’re leaving again first thing tomorrow morning for the Alps. Steve has a lead on another Hydra base.”
“The Alps,” you repeat, slightly untangling yourself from his hold and crossing your arms against your chest. Tears well up in your eyes and cascade down your cheeks as you look up at Bucky whose eyes are glossed over as well.
“Y/N, I know. I know, sweetheart. I know I said last time was our last but-”
You shake your head as you wipe away your tears. “But you have to go, I know.”
“Hey, once this is all over you and I are finally gonna start that new life together. Just you and me. Ok?” He takes your hand and brings them up to his lips. “I promise.”
“That’s quite a big promise to keep James.”
“Darlin’, have I ever let you down?”
You shake your head no.
“See?” He tries to lighten the mood with a watery chuckle and a smile, but you could see the pain behind his eyes.
You return his stare, noticing the way his eyes look brighter in the moonlight because of the tears gathered at his lash line. Using your other hand to caress his cheek, you keep your gaze on his as you try to commit the beautiful blue of his eyes to memory. “Come home to me, James Buchanan Barnes. God knows what I’ll do if you don’t.”
With his hand still in yours, Bucky pulls you into him and keeps you securely in the crook of his neck. “I promise, Y/N. I’ll always find my way back to you.”
“I love you,” you sigh.
“I love you too, soulmate.”
Your eyes were burning. You could feel it through your closed eyelids from where you lay inside the small tent that you and Peggy shared. It felt like nothing you have ever felt before. The pain slowly made its way down your face, to the side of your throat, and finally stopped at your heart. Letting out a cry you fall onto the floor on your knees as you claw at your eyes.
Your cries alert Peggy who’s out of her cot and by your side in an instant. “Y/N?”
Another pained cry makes its way from your lips when suddenly the pain just stops. The aches and burning disappear just as quickly as it came. You try to open your eyes and for a moment, you’re surrounded by complete darkness. As you continue to blink away your tears and your blurred vision, your senses finally come back to you. The world is still a bit fuzzy, you’re able to see again. When your vision clears, the first thing you notice is how bleak the world looks. You scan the area of the tent as Peggy continues to fret over you. But you can’t hear a word she’s saying. The only thing your mind could process was the lack of light, no, color around you. The tent that you used to know was a deep shade of green is now a blanket of black. Your eyes darted to a tube of lipstick on the side table that you knew was the most gorgeous shade of pink only to find it reduced to a dull grey. Your body is moving faster than your mind could follow as you stumble out of the tent and outside. You look up at the sky expecting to be met by the most beautiful shade of blue that reminded you of your lover, only to be met with dullness once more. The heaviness on your chest seemed to grow as you frantically sucked in breathes of air through your mouth as if you were using a straw.
Various nurses and soldiers are rushing past you in a frenzy causing you to turn around to see what the commotion was about. Pushing through the crowd was Steve and the rest of the Commandos who looked like they had just gone through hell and back. Your eyes flit around, trying to find the comfort of your favorite shade of blue, when Steve stops right in front of you.
“Y/N…” he whimpers with his shoulders sagged and head hung in defeat.
You look to the other men for an explanation but they only dodge your gaze with a forlorn look in their eyes.
“No,” you whisper, shaking your head in disbelief. “No, no, no, no…”
Steve catches you as you let out a gut wrenching sob before falling to your knees. He holds you tight as his own sobs are muffled by his face hidden on your shoulder. “I’m sorry,” he cries over and over again as he holds your shaking form. The only thing you could cry out to him in response was the name of your lover as you clung to Steve like he was your lifeline. And in a way, he was, being the only thing you had left of Bucky Barnes.
A wave of rage and anguish washed over you at the loss of your other half as you cried in Steve’s arms until you felt absolutely numb. The world was bleak as you realized you had nothing left to live for. The light, color, and beauty of it all left with the one you loved. Until Steve told you that he was going to take down Hydra once and for all. Your anger and grief clouded your judgement as you practically forced yourself onto the mission with him. Gripping onto Steve’s shoulder as he looks at you with sadness in his eyes, you give him one last reassuring smile. Helping take out Hydra and its leader was the least you could do after all the pain they had inflicted upon you and others. If you could, you would take out every last follower of Hydra standing for taking away your other half-- your soulmate.
Closing the compass in his hand, Steve looks up at you one last time with a bittersweet smile on his face. “For Bucky?”
Letting out an exhausted laugh, you close your eyes and brace yourself for impact as you envision the smiling face of James Buchanan Barnes. “For Bucky. ‘Til the end of the line…”
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