Nemesis: Retribution (4)
Summary: 10 years after the Avengers had left you for dead during a mission gone wrong, you unexpectedly re-enter their lives. Wholly unrecognizable from the person they used to know and now with a new team behind you, they ask for your help to stop a chain of syndicates who were manufacturing and peddling the super soldier serum. You were determined to say no until the chance at the vengeance you had been chasing for years was added to the offer.
Fandoms: Avengers, Marvel, MCU, The Punisher, Daredevil
Pairings: Female Reader x (Frank Castle, Billy Russo, Matt Murdock, Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Pietro Maximoff)
Warnings: EXPLICIT SMUT. SHAMELESS SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR (18+ ONLY. I WILL BLOCK YOU), voyeurism, exhibitionism, authority kink, praise kink, spanking, slight dom themes, polyamorous relationships, reverse harem, blatant disregard for canon timelines and events, angst, Punisher canon level of violence and gore, strong language, mentions of trauma, mentions of character death, fluff if you squint,
A/N: Slowing it down just a bit to move plot along. Freaking out on the reblogs and comments are encouraged and will be rewarded with cookies. Seriously though, I love hearing what you guys think and use some of it to make the next chapters better. I adore you all! Have at it!
No permission is granted to repost, steal, or translate my work. Not even a credit makes it okay. Tumblr is the only place I post my writing. If you see it anywhere else please report it.
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1:4 Apple Crumble
Steve Rogers had kindly offered for you and your team to stay at the Compound. For however long this mission would take, you were all going to start running straight at it early tomorrow. In terms of the mission, he was relieved to have your help. The sooner the serum was out of circulation the better and they truthfully did need your help. This underground world was more your scene now and you could better navigate it.
On a personal level, he was glad that you were sticking around even if it was on a contract. He would take whatever opportunity he can and make the best of it. That's how he's always been and he wasn't going to change that now.
He told himself that it was because he was the Captain that he was at your door this late after you all had agreed to part for the night. It was out of consideration that he carried with him some of his own clothes to offer you in case you needed something to change into. It was out of a need to clear the tension with you now that you were going to work as a team again that he was knocking on your door.
That was all.
You opened the door a moment later wrapped only in a short towel and with your hair still dripping wet from the shower. The smile that rose on your face was sly as you leaned on the doorframe with your arms crossed and your hip cocked to one side. He swallowed.
Maybe that wasn't all.
"What can I do for you, Cap?"
He opened his mouth, but no words came out. He was far too distracted by the little droplet that rolled down from your temple to the valley of your breasts. He shook his head and cleared his throat, forcing himself to focus only on your eyes and not the inappropriate answers that sprung to mind at your question.
"I brought you a change of clothes in case you need it," he managed to say. "And I wanted to talk to you if you're not too tired."
You opened the door wider and took the clothes from him without a word, turning into the room toward the bathroom. You casually dropped your towel to the floor and Steve choked at the sight of your bare back, a small set of black panties the only stitch you wore. The breath in his chest released only when you disappeared into the bathroom, the door cracked open offering him enticing glimpses as you moved around.
Steve hurriedly closed the door behind him and as he made his way further in, he caught sight of an open go bag beside your bed with clothes clearly visible. There was also a shirt and sweats beside it, the design he knew belonged to Pietro. He felt a little embarrassed. Of course Pietro would have already beaten him to it and that your team always came prepared. Still there was a satisfaction that bloomed in him when you stepped out clad in his shirt, the hem barely reaching mid thigh and bare feet soundlessly crossing the carpeted floor until you came to sit with him on the sofa. You tucked your legs under you and rested your head on your hand over the back of the seat.
"Gotta say I like this look, Steve," you grinned at him.
He chuckled, self-consciously rubbing at his beard and pulling at the hair at the back of his collar. The light dusting of red on his cheeks didn't go unnoticed by you.
"What? You don't like the all American apple pie look?"
You hummed and took a leisurely look at him from head to toe. Rugged and imposing as he appeared, the heat on his face intensified at your obvious appreciation and the way you swiped your tongue along your bottom lip. You were biting your lip when your eyes met his again, trying to stop yourself from laughing at how flustered he was getting and how much you were enjoying it. You've always found Steve handsome and he made apple pie look damn good, but this look on him was just so dangerously delicious.
You had a type.
"I'm more of an apple crumble kind of girl. I like the texture better," you winked. "And I don't mind a little beard burn."
"Will your team mind that I'm talking to you without one of them here?"
You raised an eyebrow and held his unsteady gaze, clearly understanding he meant more than just your professional relationship with the three men.
"It's none of my business. That's not what I came to talk to you about," he stammered, unaccustomed to how forward you were.
"What did you want to talk about then?"
"I wanted to apologize properly and thank you for agreeing to help."
You groaned and threw your whole body back on the seat, causing Steve's shirt to ride up just shy of completely flashing him. You sat back up and pinched the bridge of your nose, letting out a long breath. It was only the fact that it was Steve that you were even entertaining this conversation.
"You have nothing to apologize for, Steve," you firmly dismissed.
"I do, Nem. We all do."
"Fine. List down what you're sorry about. Let's go through it one by one or we can draw lots to make it interesting."
"Nem," he said, low and clear with warning yet imploring you to listen. "Can you take this seriously for one second?"
The ever present smirk on your face dropped as you sighed heavily and ran a hand through your hair. For the first time since he's seen you, your expression softened a fraction and a shadow of the person he used to know passed across your features.
"Listen to me, Steve. I don't blame any of you. I'm not angry at any of you. I honestly have no room for more anger even if I wanted to be."
In the beginning you were. There were days while you were getting tortured that you hated them while you pleaded to the heavens for them to rescue you. It had taken a decade and three incredible men for that inferno of fury to turn into a manageable bitterness.
"Do you know how tiring it is to be so fucking angry all the time?" you chuckled darkly. "It took a while, but I learned to prioritize what I choose to be angry about."
"Salvacion," he muttered and you nodded, your eyes staring blankly forward.
"I've carried that name for a decade, Steve. That asshole has to die by my hands."
Steve saw now how selfish he was for forcing the conversation with the purpose of earning your forgiveness. It was for easing his own guilt that he was doing it when instead he should have just been thanking you for what you did and had to endure.
"Why didn't you ever come back?"
"I tried, Steve. When I was recovered enough I tried to go back. Did you know my sister had a girlfriend?"
He shook his head, throat suddenly closing at the sight of absolute misery in your eyes. He regretted starting this conversation even more.
"Jill. She was amazing to Lily and she was like a sister to me too," you smiled a little, not in your usual sarcastic way but with a hint of gentle fondness before your expression hardened once more.
"I saw her and I just couldn't bring myself to face her. I'm the reason the love of her life is dead. I couldn't, Steve"
It started off with the fear that they might have killed Jill too. You told yourself you had to know, but truthfully you were trying desperately to find a connection to Lily. You found her visiting the graveyard, laying flowers on two stones and spending the afternoon sitting on the ground tearfully talking to the dead. The shame burned through you and from then on you made it your sole purpose to destroy the man who took Lily from you both. Until then you had no right to face her. You had no right to return to the life you once knew.
Steve noticed that you weren't crying although the look in your eyes was swimming with grief. He expected you to cry, but somehow seeing you with dry eyes only made you look more in pain. You only clenched your fists, your shoulders tense and your jaw stiff. Steve decided he would tell the others instead of having you go through this conversation again.
He would do that for you.
You woke up surprisingly refreshed the following morning, strangely lighter than you have felt in the past decade. You didn't expect for that talk with Steve to have such an impact on you. You smiled ruefully, remembering your many counseling sessions with Curtis before and that maybe you were finally seeing his point.
FRIDAY had directed you to the larger conference room for today's briefing session with the rest of the team. You were wearing another one of Steve's shirts paired with your usual cargo pants, a fact that didn't go unnoticed judging by the raised eyebrows and teasing smiles. Billy in particular was leaning in to whisper to Matt what was going on.
"You don't have to tell me. I can smell it," Matt chuckles, crinkles visible at the edges of his dark sunglasses. "His cologne is quite distinct."
You smacked Billy on the arm, but laughed with them as well before throwing a wink at Steve who proceeded to blush a deep red. As you took your seat, a cup of coffee suddenly materialized in front of you accompanied by Pietro's ever bright smile. You smiled gratefully and took a sip, eyes slightly rounding in surprise at the taste.
"You remembered how I took my coffee."
"I've forgotten nothing about you, little star."
You haven't taken your coffee that way in so long. It's been just strong plain black coffee lately, the lack of sugar and cream where you lived with the boys being a factor. It had seemed pointless to eat something sweet when there was a permanent sour taste in your mouth from life. Now though you couldn't seem to help taking one sip after another, licking your lips before going in for more.
Right now this tasted right.
You didn't notice that Billy was smiling adoringly at you and sharing a look of approval with Frank as the briefing began, happy that someone aside from him was spoiling you. You certainly didn't know that Matt was smirking because he heard your heart literally skip a beat at the sweet gesture.
It took hours for the meeting to wrap up, but there was still more to do before you could actually take action. A number of the Avengers were sent out to gather more intel while the rest would stay to make further preparations.
"I only really need to talk to Frank a bit more," Steve said as he approached your group. "Why don't we have Pietro show you guys around the Compound? There are some improvements I think you'll find interesting."
Your tour guide for the afternoon appeared beside you, taking your hand in his and bouncing on the balls of his feet in his excitement. He was just too cute that you couldn't help but let out a small smile. The effect he had on you remained it seems.
"A tour would be really helpful for me," Matt easily agreed.
"And I go wherever the pretty girl goes," Billy added, slinging his arm over your shoulders.
"Great. Surrender your weapons and you should be good to go," Steve asked with a pointed look at both you and Billy who groaned in answer.
Billy was ready with a string of complaints and counter arguments when the clang of metal on the glass conference table stunned him into silence. He watched in complete disbelief as you removed every gun and blade attached to your body, efficiently dismantling them and lining them up on the table.
"Is she?" Matt murmured, leaning closer to Billy.
"All of them?"
By the time you stepped back, there was practically a decent sized armory on the table. How and where you managed to fit all of it on your person was a mystery to them.
"You missed one," Billy said, snapping out of his daze.
He stepped in front of you and casually slipped his arm up the front of your shirt and under your sports bra. His fingers grazed unnecessarily close to your now hardened nipples and he simply winked when you raised an eyebrow at him. Billy pulled out two small throwing daggers soon after and placed them alongside your other weapons.
"Oh yeah. I keep forgetting about those," you chuckled.
"Do you always come armed to the teeth?" Bucky snapped, clearly bothered by the display.
"She doesn't want her team to carry extra ammo for her, Sergeant," Billy scowled at him, the obvious animosity surprising Bucky. When he turned back to Pietro, his expression was back to his usual playful one. "So how about that tour?"
Frank turned to Steve when you had exited the room. "You gotta teach me that trick, Cap."
"First time in 10 years I've seen her take any kind of order without a knife fight first," he said, cracking a smile and shaking his head.
It turns out that coming back was doing some good for you and this made him more comfortable around the Avengers. He wasn't about to braid them friendship bracelets but he was less inclined to pop a cap in their ass. At least for the time being.
Walking around the Compound brought back some of that wonder you felt when you first stepped in, but it recalled everything you had lost. Sensing the sudden tension in you, Billy gripped you by the waist and pulled you into his side. He kissed your temple, a silent reminder of what you had gained.
Pietro had been an absolute sweetheart, specifically describing what was in the area for Matt's benefit and pointing out the changes to you. The training area was your last stop, the place you had spent the most time in during your short stint here. There were loud sounds coming from the area and walking in you saw fresh-faced recruits in paired off sparring sessions.
Your full attention was on Pietro as he happily listed off the new features and answered questions from Matt and Billy, the latter now in businessman mode as he thought of what he could implement for Anvil. You were having an unusually pleasant time until a familiar shrill voice demanded your attention.
"Well look what the street cat dragged in. Y/N?"
You knew that voice. A decade with torture and trauma included apparently couldn't change how much her voice grated at you. The cold smirk made a reappearance on your face as you slowly turned to face her, the three men with you were instantly alarmed at the change in your demeanor.
"Kim," you nodded.
"Thought you were dead."
"Thanks. Can't say I thought about you at all though."
"I see you're still pathetically clinging to Pietro."
"What can I say? He's really cute," you said with a wink at Pietro who seemed to enjoy the compliment.
She sneered at you, her irritation rising when you weren't backing down like you used to do. She couldn't quite put her finger on what had changed about you, but you seemed rougher around the edges and far too cocky for her liking. Luckily, she still remembered a sure-fire way to take you down a few pegs.
"I'm teaching a class on hand to hand combat. How about we show them a demonstration on what a real fight looks like?"
You giggled as your smile grew, a disturbing sight that made even Kim doubt herself for a moment. You nodded your head in easy acceptance and she looked like she was pleased at herself for getting this opportunity. Before you could step forward though, you found Matt's walking stick blocking your path.
"What? It's not assault if it's provoked," you grinned at the frown on his face.
He hated it when you found loopholes, but he relented with a heavy sigh. He was too used to this. He leaned toward Pietro and told him that he should inform the Captain.
"Get some snacks too, roadrunner," Billy chuckled, delightedly watching you strip off your shirt and walking confidently towards Kim on the sparring mats.
Pietro had returned a moment later after completing his task, actually handing Billy a bag of fresh popcorn. The smile on his face froze when he caught sight of your bare skin. So far all he had seen as evidence of your torture was what was visible on your neck and face. He had stupidly brushed that fact aside, too excited to have found you again. Now the vicious marring on your beautiful skin was a cruel reminder of their failure as your team. They had failed you.
He had failed you.
Back in the conference room, the same feelings were shared by two super soldiers. They had pulled up surveillance on the training area after Pietro's message, just in time to see you take off that shirt.
Bucky felt the air leave his lungs at the horrific sight. He was alive and you had paid a heavy price for saving him. He could barely keep his eyes on you, the shame burning through him. He didn't want to imagine the amount of pain you had to endure to sustain those injuries.
"Don't you people dare look at her with pity," Frank warned. "Those scars are a testament to her strength. She's damn beautiful."
Steve agreed. He'd caught a glimpse of your scars last night and jarring as they were, your complete lack of self consciousness to them just made you more alluring. Looking back at the screen though he was concerned that you could hurt yourself. Kim was a top agent now, high enough in the ranks to be training recruits and leading missions. She had proven herself deadly in combat, but the way you were grinning was chilling in itself.
"One question before we start," you said.
"What?" Kim scoffed, flipping her braided hair over her shoulder.
"When's your next mission?"
"2 weeks. Why?" she answered, perfect brow raised in confusion.
"Just calculating your recovery time," you shrugged. "I'm nice that way."
Kim predictably charged at you then, growling and cursing at you under her breath. You smirked, standard SHIELD movements were easy to read for you. You stayed completely still and relaxed in your stance as she lunged at you with her fist. You timed your movement precisely, sidestepping at the absolute last moment. One hand grabbed at the back of her head, forcing it down to ram against your oncoming fist with a sickening crack.
Kim shrieked in pain as the blood gushed from her nose and she tried to pull away from you. You didn't let her. You pulled her down by the shoulder to bend her over before driving your knee up her midsection. She wheezed at the impact, the mat below her smattered with her blood.
Bruised ribs. Maybe slightly broken.
You unceremoniously threw her aside, letting her fall groaning on her side. You clicked your tongue, watching her struggle and turning to the class she was supposed to be teaching.
"Lesson 1, kids," you waved your hands in Kim's general direction. "Don't end up like that."
You turned to go back to your boys when the glint of metal caught your eye. You tilted your head just in time for the dagger to zip past your eye line, only thinly scratching at your cheek. Your hands reacted on instinct, reaching for the small hidden pocket along the waistband of you pants. You flicked the thin blade with deft fingers, embedding on the mat and landing it purposely close to Kim's eyes that it cut through her fake lashes.
"Nem!" Steve's unmistakable voice boomed through the speakers. You had forgotten that they had FRIDAY everywhere. "We said no weapons."
You rolled your eyes and smiled cheekily at the cameras. "It's just a nail file. I don't like keeping blood under my nails."
"You call that training?" Steve groaned rubbing his eyes and turning to Frank.
"I call that anger management," Frank said, amused at how unpredictable to handle they already found you when they've barely scratched the surface. He noticed how Bucky looked furious, his metal hand clutching a little too hard onto the table. "Don't like what you see, Sarge?"
Bucky didn't answer. He didn't tell them that he didn't like what he saw because he knew he was a major contributor in what caused it. If only he had been kinder, gentler, more honest. Maybe things would have turned out differently.
He walked down the hallways much later gripping a first aid kit in his metal hand and nervously running the other through his cropped hair. The cut on your face was barely anything, but he needed an excuse to talk to you. He was afraid you would turn him away, but he was terrified that you wouldn't. He didn't know what to say to you. He didn't know how to begin to apologize for everything he's done. His palm grew sweaty and beads were beginning to form on his brow.
He was only a few steps away from your bedroom door and he was sorely tempted to turn back around when he noticed that it was cracked open and he could hear voices from inside. He should have followed his instinct to keep his distance but a high whine that definitely came from you pushed him to peak through the small opening.
What he saw made his already thumping heartbeat grow quicker. His eyes grew wide and his throat went dry. Whatever he was expecting, it definitely wasn't this.
You. Stark naked. Grinding your mound on someone's face.
You looked absolutely glorious as you wound your hips in your chase for release; head thrown, back arched, and lips in a dreamy smile. The view he had of you, facing him and deep into your pleasure, was enough to cause his pants to tighten. He couldn't see which one of your teammates was beneath you, the bedframe blocking his view. Whoever they were, Bucky was jealous. He wanted to taste you too.
He felt that stirring of longing again now as he watched you in the throes of passion with another man. He felt it the moment you stepped back into their lives. He felt it during the 10 years they thought you were dead. And he felt it when you were still in training as a recruit every time you smiled at Pietro and Steve.
You picked up your pace and he could see muscular arms reach up to grip your waist and pull you down harder. You were panting curses, your breathing turning erratic and Bucky could see your thighs begin to shake. The sight of you coming undone has to be the most entrancing thing he's ever seen.
Movement from you and your partner pulled him from the hypnosis caused by your erotic display. His face heated up, deeply embarrassed at having watched you for so long and finding enjoyment in basically violating your privacy. He was about to leave when the man whose face you had been riding, came up to kneel behind you.
He pulled your hips back against his own, sliding his hard length easily into your dripping cunt causing you to moan so deliciously that Bucky felt a shiver run down his spine. You reached your hand up to grip the back of his head, letting him bury his own in your neck as he set a languid pace with his thrusts.
Your head rolled to the side and your eyes opened, locking directly with Bucky's. You smirked and reached down to circle your swollen bud, pressing your back further against the hard body rutting behind you and purposely putting on a show. You winked at him.
He bolted out of there.
"That wasn't very nice, honey," the low voice was thick with lust in your ear. His breathing was growing labored too, finding your heat wrapping around him overwhelming.
"I don't see you stopping, Captain."
"How can I when you're gripping me so tight?" He snapped his hips earning a sharp moan from you. "Did you like that? Torturing my best pal with me balls deep inside you?"
You sighed and closed your eyes. Apple pie Steve wouldn't have whispered such sinful things to you, but this Steve could make you cum with just filthy words alone.
"Yeah, you did. Look at you clenching and soaking my cock from having Bucky watch you. You like being bad to him, honey?"
A sudden smack to your ass had you snapping your eyes open. He chuckled into your neck, biting down hard on the juncture as he felt you gripping him even tighter.
"Answer," he growled, landing a harsher smack to your bottom.
"Yes! Yes, Captain, I did."
"Good. Will you be good for me now, honey? You caused a bit of trouble today." His thrusting was still slow, making sure you felt every ridge and vein with each stroke as he drove you into a stupor. "Will you be a good girl for your Captain now?"
He smirked against your skin, pleased at your compliance. He was reveling in the power he had over you. Frank had said that you never took orders without a fight, but here you were being so good for him. Pliable. Yielding. He was enjoying it.
He gathered your hair in one hand and pulled, your back arching beautifully and emphasizing where his cock was buried deep inside you. With each thrust his cock came out glistening with your slick. The image made him lose control, abruptly escalating his pace to rail feverishly into you.
He had you gasping and clutching at the sheets instantly, begging for him to go harder and push you over the edge. He bent over you and reached around to rub furiously at your throbbing clit.
"Cum like a good girl, honey. Cum around my cock," he commanded. "I wanna feel you fucking drown me."
You came, lights dancing in your eyes and your head empty of all thoughts aside from the pleasure that racked your body. He followed soon after with a loud grunt, the sensation of you fluttering around him too much to resist.
He fell on top of you, spent and satisfied. Your sweat and heavy breaths mingling together as you both tried to return back to the world. You liked the heavy feel of him on top of you, strangely finding comfort in the weight.
He dragged you with him when he rolled off you, spooning you and planting kisses on the back of your shoulders that had your skin tingling from his beard.
"When are you going to put him out of his misery?"
"When it stops being fun?" you chuckled.
Steve wasn't going to push the issue. He knew that it was up to you whether you forgave Bucky or not and when that would be. It would be on your own terms how things moved. Just like what happened between you two. He wasn't expecting it, but the heated argument about the injuries you inflicted on one of his best agents had somehow escalated into him spanking you and you growing wet from it.
Not that either of you were complaining.
You turned around in his arms to face him, looking up at him with a taunting smirk. "You sure your old heart can take being in a polyamorous relationship?"
He chuckled and pecked your lips before going back in for a much deeper kiss that had you swooning. When he pulled back, he was looking at you lovingly.
"I'm known for waiting too long about things like this. I lost my shot at you 10 years ago. I'm not missing out on you again."
His words were firm and genuine. He honestly thought that he would mind having to share you with several other men. He thought that he would feel jealous and possessive. Instead, he felt reassured. He knew that wherever and whenever he lacked, someone else would pick it up and he would be the same. There was a sense of relief knowing that you would always be taken cared of by people who felt the same for you as he did.
"Well then you have some making up to do for waiting so long," you said nibbling at his lower lip.
He groaned and grabbed your thigh, hitching your leg up on his hip. Your thighs and core were still sticky and slippery from both your releases. His tongue dove into your mouth and he could feel you moan against his lips as he ran the tip of his cock against your still sensitive core. Your nails dug into his back as he sunk in, fitting perfectly inside you.
"You're running with a super soldier now, honey," he said, eyes burning with want. "I can do this all day."
A/N: Some asked about Jill and Kim so here you go, lovelies. Come freak out with me in the comments and reblogs. Thank you all for the support! More coming soon.
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The Greatest Gift of All
(Inspired by^ for the people who asked :D hope it was worth the wait!)
Long before the war, before Captain America or the Winter Soldier, there was simply Bucky and Steve. At least, that's what history says. But they missed out one very important person, a girl called Y/N.
Women in those times often found themselves with little opportunity, and only two easily attainable pathways in life: wife and mother. But Y/N carved out a life for herself that defied all expectations, and it all started in Brooklyn.
She dived headlong into scuffles, usually next to Bucky in defence of Steve. Regardless of the opponent, Y/N stood by them both, and often held her own quite impressively.
Her dress style borrowed from more masculine cuts, and Y/N was never seen without her cap. A lot of people had a problem with this, but she shut them up fairly swiftly.
Everything about this girl drew Bucky in, a battle he fought with little effort. They reveled in each other, flaunting their love at every opportunity. More than a few were jealous that the rough and tumble girl got the best looking boy in town.
In a way, before even coming of age, they started an adult life together. The three of them moved into a flat. Y/N and Bucky took hard labour jobs, or anything they could get. They had little room to be picky.
Both managed to hook steady summer jobs at the local docks. They used most of their money to keep a roof over their heads, buy food, and pay for Steve's medical needs. He attended art school, and sold his work every now and then; but physically, he was in no condition to work.
The war appeared on the horizon, just as they started to pull themselves an inch above the poverty line. Y/N saw it coming, the inevitable. She treasured every second they spent together, and dreaded the day when the draft came.
A lot of the older women she worked with were disrespectful, looking down on her pre-marital relationship with Bucky. They claimed she couldn't possibly understand their grief, despite the fact Y/N had seen Bucky off at the docks that very morning.
In truth, they already planned on being married, but at the time, they simply didn't have the funds. Bucky promised, once the war ended, that ring would be on her finger.
Except, he never came home. Not properly. The person Hydra gave back to Y/N was damaged and jaded, angry at the world, angrier than she ever saw. But still, they loved each other. Though she never forgave them for stealing away his innocence, for trying to snuff out the light in his soul. A part of him would always belong to them, and she hated it.
Refusing to stay home while they risked their lives, never knowing, Y/N trained as an army nurse, working specially with the Howling Commandos unit.
Then one day, she went out to welcome them back from a mission. Every face looked devastated, but none more so than Steve. His eyes, red-raw and streaming, seemed incapable of rising from the ground. At first, the realisation didn't process, the idea simply incomprehensible. He promised.
Dugan was the one to finally break through and catch Y/N as she fell, holding her as the tears poured. Once he shook off his daze, Steve took his place, sharing in her grief.
Her world fell apart so quickly, with no warning and no mercy. Their commanders celebrated the capture of Arnim Zola, while Y/N and Steve sat, staring at an empty place at their side.
Everyone mourned Bucky, and swiftly after, began to mourn Y/N, too. The loss took a part of her...the sparkle, the happiness, the laugh that lit up her face. It all vanished. She worked hard, looked after them all, but only Steve was able to make her smile. Even then, it looked pained.
So when Steve went down with the plane, the very last shred of Y/N died with him. No tears left her eyes, no screams ripped up her throat. A cold numbness took over, freezing the woman from the inside out.
V-Day came and went. The Commandos stood and drank to their lost comrades, and Dugan silently drank another...for the loss of a bright, fiery girl who had virtually nothing to lose, and still lost everything.
She spent her days as a robot, doing nothing but going through the motions of badly imitating life. The flat was empty and quiet, yet somehow, bursting with the ghosts of her loved ones. Nightmares plagued her, terrible images of Bucky's body, forever trapped in a freezing hell, nothing but food for the birds. And Steve, his body...was it cast adrift in the ocean? Or destroyed, burnt to ash in the belly of a metal beast.
They were simple folk before the war turned them into soldiers, into weapons. Before symbols and flags stole away their names, driving them to sacrifice their lives for a greater cause.
Y/N knew their fight against Hydra was important...knew the honour behind their sacrifice. But when it's you left sitting at an empty dinner table, it's much easier to be angry and bitter.
She never married, never settled, bouncing around countries working as an army nurse. The Commandos slowly died around her, each one fading to grey as the curtain drew the show to a close. Each death, each funeral ripped open her wounds, bigger and deeper each time. Until eventually, Y/N let the blood flow freely.
Or at least, that's what would have happened. But one choice, one decision, made by a boy she thought dead in the far future, changed it all.
Bucky Barnes struggled to find himself again. His memories were mostly all returned, if a bit hazy and fragmented. He had Steve there to right any wrong recollections, and connect with on their shared experiences. But something always seemed to be missing, a piece of the jigsaw that hadn't been found.
He remembered Y/N. He remembered her clearer than anything. She was glowing like honey in the sun when Bucky closed his eyes and brought her back to mind.
Face covered in muck, hair tousled and streaked with grease from the boats, soot on the very tip of her nose and a cap perched jauntily on her head; wearing the deepest expression of concentration as she aimed a hanful of rotten fish guts at the sleezy Connell boy from Fifth, who decided his opinion on her backside mattered. The image shone crystal clear. Her laughter, rolling out from between curved lips, beautiful and full of mischief.
It never failed to make him smile. Or cry. Or sometimes, both. He missed Y/N than he thought possible for a human being.
Bucky often wondered about her life, whether she went on to marry, or maybe even have children. Was she happy? Did she bury him and move on? If they met today, would Y/N even recognise the man he was now?
More importantly, in his mind, something he both feared and longed to know: would she still love him?
Unbeknownst to Bucky, Steve saw all this. Understood, to a degree, his pain. But he and Peggy never got the chance to bond so strongly. He knew Bucky needed him, but Steve also knew he needed Y/N more.
So once his goodbyes were said, he looked one last time at Bucky, and smiled beneath his suit as he vanished into time.
The living room looked exactly the same as he remembered. Bucky's coat, slung over the back of the chair, his sketchbooks strewn around the desk. Every rip and chip. His heart swelled with nostalgia, and pain, thinking of the life they were supposed to have.
What must have been in their heads...running off to fight, so eager to throw everything away. And who was left to stare at empty beds and eat breakfast alone every morning? Y/N.
His chest constricted, hearing the keys in the door, the lock rattling three times before letting her in. His nerve faltered for the briefest second, wondering if he was ready to see her again.
"Who the hell are you?!"
Slowly, he turned, and watched as Y/N's eyes widened, all the bags in her hands falling to the floor with a crash.
"...Stevie?" The name came out as a whisper, nearly inaudible.
He grinned, laughing as tears stung his eyes. "Hey, spitfire. Long time no see."
"Steve!" She launched herself at him, arms wrapping around his neck and clinging on for dear life.
Catching her by the waist, he swung Y/N around, burying his face in her hair. They held onto one another as if they might vanish if they let go. But after a minute, Steve gently pushed her back.
"How? How are you here? What are you wearing? I don't understand, Steve, they said you died! Your plane went down in the ocean," she stammered, hand on his forearm with a grip like a vice.
"I survived. The serum kept me alive in the ice for seventy years," he said, questioning his own sanity momentarily; standing in the flat again made everything that happened seem like a distant dream.
Y/N frowned, brows knitting together. "What? Did you hit your head? Steve, this is 1945."
"I know, I came from 2023. I'm alive," he said, and saw her mentally backing away, so added, "I'm alive, and so is Bucky."
Her head snapped up, eyes immediately filling with tears. A dozen emotions whizzed through them in a second; disbelief, pain, hope. It shone clearly in her face as she stepped closer.
What did you say?" She asked, voice choked as she brought her shaking hands up to her mouth.
"Bucky's alive," he repeated softly, "and I can send you to him, in the future. But we don't have a lot of time. You need to listen to me, carefully, and do what I say."
She spluttered, struggling for words. "I, but...what about you?"
"I've made my decision," Steve said, and gently took her hands in his, "now, please, listen."
Bucky watched the machine, feeling a wave of numbness wash over his insides. Nothing was a better deal than the pain, the cruel sting of betrayal fighting to be felt. But he beat it back, unable to allow those thoughts validation.
Steve gave up so much for him, he fought for years to get him here. Steve deserved this. And no matter how wrong those words sounded in his head, he resolutely stood by them.
The seconds ticked by, noted by Bruce's countdown. A flash of guilt almost made Bucky explain what was going to happen, explain that Steve left them. Left him. But he possessed no energy to speak, they'd see in a second, when no one appeared-
Zap. A blinding flash of light.
There's someone there.
Bucky frowned, hands falling from his pockets. Did Steve change his mind? Did he...
All the thoughts in his head stopped as the figure stepped down. Too small, too lithe for it to be Steve. Bucky's heart rate quickened, something in his unconscious already registering his recognition.
The suit fell away, and if he weren't frozen in place, Bucky wouldn't have been standing. A quiver shot through him, nearly buckling his knees. Shock, fear and pure disbelief all delayed his reaction.
Y/N looked around, amazed, but turned to stone as she set eyes on him. Her face went utterly blank, a strangled sound leaving her lips.
Wearing her yard slacks, with a small bag on her shoulder, her face covered in dirt, hair streaked with grease, cap perched on-top, slanted to one side...she was everything he remembered, and his heart tried to leave his chest to go to her. To be whole again.
But fear held him back. She didn't know the things he'd done, the person he became after the train accident. What if-
"Who is she?" Sam asked, glaring as he stalked towards her, an accusation rising on his lips.
Bucky answered without hesitation, or thinking; the question had been asked countless times over the years. It always recieved the same reply. "My doll."
Sam stopped short, glancing between them, the way neither took their eyes off the other. He nodded, brows still closely knit, and backed off.
Slowly, Y/N approached, encouraged by the sound of his voice. She reached out carefully, when she got close enough. Trembling fingers brushed his cheek, and a shudder ran through her.
"My Bucky..." She said quietly, eyes roaming over his face, a small smile tugging at her lips, "...you're here, in front of me. Alive."
He swallowed dryly, heart thundering away beneath his skin. "I'm different...you don't know..."
No sooner had the words left his mouth that her eyes found the cold metal where his flesh used to be. In reaching to hold it, she'd been taken by surprise.
Gently, Y/N took the hand in her own, examing the limb with a careful gaze. Moments passed, and she met his eyes again. Bucky steeled himself for rejection, for the disgust and horror.
Her hand went back to his cheek, and he involuntairly leaned into it. The warmth seeped into his blood. She stood on her tip toes, the smile on her lips blossoming into a bright beam of sunlight. "You've always been my Bucky, and always will be. Metal appendages and all."
He fell apart and dove down to capture her lips, clutching her to him with the hunger of a starving man. She pulled herself in, hands tangling in his brown locks, and both tasted salt on the others' lips.
So filled with joy his heart could burst, Bucky revelled in the feeling of holding his girl again. Laughing through the tears, he buried his face in her neck.
Thank you, Steve, for the greatest gift of all.
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