a bucky barnes & daughter!reader au fic │fluff & angst because that’s apparently my thing now
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a/n: 1. Let me specify, this is not an incest fic! There are darker fics out there, this is not it. This is a platonic father daughter relationship bucky x reader.
2. canon? We don’t know her. (okay we kind of know her). This is an au, however what we know about the characters still applies. All of the avengers are friends, somehow Peter Parker and the reader are close in age. Everyone is still alive in this fic. Also in my head canon the avengers and the agents of shield know each other (I guess that's partly canon).
After his time as the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes never imagined he would have a family. Sure the Avengers begrudgingly took him in and gradually warmed up to him, but he wouldn’t consider them family quite like Steve does. He definitely never expected to end up here, with a teenager he loved like a daughter upstairs in her bedroom while he searched for ingredients for dinner.
They found her four years ago, when the Avengers infiltrated a rumored Hydra cell. Their first meeting was essentially a knife fight where a 13 year-old managed to disarm Bucky Barnes. It was impressive and unheard of. Bucky had to take a minute to process the bizarre situation. But he didn’t miss the fearful, traumatized, and empty look in her eyes. He knew that look all too well. Bucky and Steve quickly realized she was defending herself out of fear, previously locked in the cell they had unarmed a moment ago. They rescued her from Hydra and the Avengers took her in.
They did as much digging as they could, but this girl was a ghost. They found no other information besides her name, Y/N, her Hydra station, that she speaks multiple languages, and that Hydra stole her from an orphanage when she was 7. Apparently Hydra liked children because they were the most vulnerable, impressionable, and unassuming. Sick bastards. After being tortured in failed experiments attempting to create another soldier, they settled on brainwashing and stealth and combat training.
Throughout her time with the Avengers, she bonded the most with Bucky. She refused to let him go on the first trip back to the compound, and wouldn’t leave his side for most of the first few days there. He was the one who accompanied her to Wakanda when they asked Shuri to help unscramble her mind. He was the one who took her to therapy sessions. Of course, Stark hired the best tutors to help her readjust to regular education. She quickly befriended Peter and Shuri, who often helped her with homework when they could. Still, her bond with Bucky was unmatched. Bucky understood in a way no one else did. In an effort to give her a relatively normal life, she moved out of the compound and in with Bucky. He quickly adopted her the first chance he got.
To the world she is Y/N Barnes, a normal girl, at a normal school, with a normal life who simply moved halfway through high school. To Bucky she is Y/N Barnes, ex-hydra assassin, who will literally fight you for the tv remote, and the best thing that ever happened to him.
Bucky knows, usually where there’s food, you’re close behind. Often, as Bucky makes dinner, you both jam out to 40s music on Buck’s record player, with the occasional modern music you like thrown in there.
In Bucky’s eyes, you’re the opposite of what Hydra tried to create. A ball of kindness and sunshine and never ending conversation. You’re the only one that really gets him to talk much. So the fact that dinner is ready and you’re nowhere to be found is suspicious.
Bucky makes his way up to your room, about to knock on the door only to find it already open. It’s dark except for the fairy lights glittering on the ceiling. You’re laying on the bed with headphones in, staring blankly at the lights. You don't even have to turn to know he’s there. You knew from when he was walking up the stairs, an assassin’s habit of observation, you figure.
“Hey doll, you okay?” Buck sighed stepping into the room and coming to sit down on the bed. You like this was never good.
“Well, I know you, and you’re obviously not fine. I just finished making pasta and you aren’t downstairs talking my ear off. And I don’t think” --- Bucky pauses to tap your phone and stop the music --- “blasting AC/DC is going to do much for you when you obviously need to talk. You aren’t even a big AC/DC fan.”
You glare at him but you know deep down he’s right. “Ugh, I hate that you know me so well.” You sigh. Sitting up to get comfortable and pulling out your headphones.
“Worked for Stark.” You shrug. “Figured I’d give it a shot as a last ditch effort to run from my problems.”
“I don’t think ‘worked for Stark’ is the best starting point for anything.” Bucky smirks.
You glare trying to hide a smile, but he can see he’s already cracking your sulky facade.
“So what’s the uh, tea?”
You lightly shove his shoulder. “Please stop trying to use new slang terms Buck. It isn't a good look for you.”
“You still didn’t answer my question.” He turns so he’s facing you, resting his chin on his fist. “Shoot.”
You sigh. “I can tell you aren’t going to leave me alone until I tell you, so might as well be honest.”
Bucky chuckles. “Will neither confirm nor deny that, continue.”
You reluctantly begin. “It’s just sometimes I feel so boring and useless.” You pause. “ All the people we know have these cool powers or are really talented and I’m just...me. Peter is Spiderman and is insanely smart and Shuri is a teenage genius and an actual princess. All of the Avengers are either super powerful or super smart. And I just feel like I’m not either of those things.” All of your emotions start frantically tumbling out of you like a wave.
You slowly tear up. “And they’re all using their abilities to literally save the world, and I’m just, going to school.” You take a breath after letting all of your anxieties out for the first time.
“Hey doll, it’s alright.” Bucky pulls you into a hug. “That’s a lot to unpack Y/N/N, but first things first, you’re definitely not boring or useless.”
You’ve broken into full blown tears now.
“Hey, look at me.” You reluctantly look Bucky in the eyes. “You’re intelligent, kind, energetic, compassionate, and talented. Adopting you was the best thing that could have ever happened to me, I want you to remember that when you start to feel like this.”
You start wiping the tears off your face, taking controlled breaths to calm down from crying.
“May I remind you the first time we met, you managed to blindside me and nearly take me out with a knife. And I consider knives my thing.” Bucky chuckles.
“Is that a bruised ego I hear.” You start to feel a little better. “Cut yourself some slack, you just weren’t expecting a tiny 13 year-old.”
Bucky feigns offense. “But I was supposed to! I was the ex ‘fist of hydra’. Usually would’ve seen you coming. And I’ve got this obviously.” Bucky opens and closes his fist, the plates of his vibranium arm whirring. “Should’ve been easy to take you.”
“Yeah yeah tin man.” You laugh, playfully holding up the arm you’ve gotten so used to being around now.
You’ve calmed down now and both of you have ended up sitting cross legged on the bed, with you hugging a pillow to your chest.
“My point is Y/N your talent is stealth and combat, even if the organization that trained you was evil. You’re also smart. You may not be a genius but you’re good at school and you’re definitely street smart and great at sensing emotions.”
“You really think so?” You ask, trying to get yourself to believe it.
“I wouldn’t lie to you Y/N, you know that.”
“I mean, Sam would tell me if you did so…” you smirk back.
“You and Sam gang up on me way too much, young lady. Remember I’m legally your father.” Bucky playfully glares.
“As for you ‘just going to school’, we’ve discussed this. I didn’t want you to end up tossed from one fight to another like I was. I wanted you to have a choice. Being your dad is the first thing that made my life feel relatively normal. I didn’t want that for you and neither did everyone else. When I was your age, ‘back in the day’, I was worried about war and taking care of my family, but I still got to be a kid before that. Hydra already took your childhood away. I want you to be a kid for your last two years of high school.” Bucky ruffles your hair.
You smooth down your hair in annoyance. “I understand.” You pause. “The offer to choose to join the team after I’m done still stands though right?” You smile excitedly.
“If that’s really what you want then...I guess.”
“Yes!! Thank you thank you thank you.” You hug Buck enthusiastically.
“Yeah yeah. The team already expects you to join. They talk about it all the time.” Bucky smiles at you, a sense of pride swelling in him. “Speaking of the team, what about Nat and Agent May? They don’t have ‘powers.’ And they’re badasses .”
“You’re right.” Realization dawns on you. “I forgot, I just texted May yesterday. I have a group chat with her, Nat, and Maria, they’d probably be willing to talk about this too.”
You scroll through your phone. “Okay damn, that’s a lot of group chats Y/N.” Buck says, peering over your shoulder.
“We have a big family.” You say nonchalantly.
Something about you saying that struck Bucky to the core. He never felt like what they had was a family, but maybe he was looking at it all wrong. Just because a family is dysfunctional or different, or full of really unique individuals, who come from literally all walks of life, doesn’t mean they’re not a family. Even if it’s not the idealized dream he had of one back in the 40s. Even if he feels like a metaphorical black sheep. He treasures the fact that you feel such a connection and have grown so close to the people you’ve been surrounded with these past few years. Maybe he just doesn’t want to acknowledge that he’s also starting to feel comfortable. Comfort is dangerous.
“Wait, what’s ‘the defiers?’” Bucky looks at the list of chats.
“It just so happens it’s a groupchat of all the Avengers and Shield ladies, that you, buckaroni and cheese, are excluded from.” You lightly shove him away from your phone. “We decided to call it that since we all defy society’s standards in our own ways. We’re essentially a giant hype squad.”
“Well, I'm glad all of the strong women we know are here for you too. And that society has definitely advanced for women since the 40s.” He pats your shoulder. “I’m kinda scared of them all though to be honest,” Buck whispers, “especially Nat, don’t tell her I said that.”
“As it should be.” You laugh. “No promises.”
Your stomach rumbles loudly.
“We should head downstairs the pasta is definitely cold by now.” Bucky gets off the bed and lends you a hand to get up.
Bucky spoons some spaghetti onto your plate at the kitchen table.
“Thanks for dinner Buck.”
“I knew you liked spaghetti and you were sulking all day so I figured it would help.” He smiles. Bucky never smiled this much until Y/N arrived in his life. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
You twirl pasta onto your fork. “Whatcha thinkin?” You notice Bucky seemed ultra focused on his plate.
“I’m tryin not to be sappy, but I’m proud of you.”
“For what?” You say as you swallow the bite of pasta.
“You could have focused on all that Hydra did to you and let it ruin you. Instead, you pushed through your trauma, therapy and medical appointments and you became such a wonderful young woman.”
You sit there stunned for a moment. Bucky Barnes was tearing up in front of you.
“What happened to Bucky ‘I never cry and I’m as soft as steel’ Barnes.” You quip.
“He started taking therapy seriously once he had someone he was responsible for.” He pats your hand and starts wiping his tears.
“I’m also proud of you for being brave enough to go to public school so soon. Teenagers are jerks. Too many memories of giving ‘em a piece of my mind when Stevie got himself into fights.” Bucky smiles fondly. “Good times.”
“Yeah I don’t think they’re much better now. Though I haven’t been the target of many people. I usually keep a low profile.” You shrug.
He gives you a skeptical look.
“Okay maybe I’ve defended a few people...with my fists. And then made them not tell anyone it was me.” You grin sheepishly.
“That’s my girl.” Bucky is grinning from ear to ear. You may not be blood but he likes to think you take after him.
“Speaking of people at school, how you doing in the friends department?” Bucky asks, his brows furrowing.
“Oh, I mean I have friends. Peter, Ned, and MJ invited me to their movie night this weekend, and Shuri asked if you would let me fly over next week and ---”
“I mean outside of Peter and Shuri Y/N.” Buck retorts, a look of amused pity on his face.
“Hey, I have friends,” you scoff.
“Okay, I have acquaintances. Those people who just happen to be in class with you so you talk to them.” You say shyly, trying to stop the corners of your mouth from turning into a smile.
“That’s a good start and I’m glad you’re at least comfortable at school. But, there’s something you aren’t telling me.” Bucky stares you down.
You stare back, raising your eyebrows, determined not to let him break you with his ‘steel blue eyes’ as Sam says.
You’ve never had a good poker face though so you cave. “Ugh, fine you’re too good it’s not fair.”
Bucky is laughing now, but just as quick as he starts, reverts back to his serious face. “Spill.”
“Okay, so, maybe. There’s a boy.”
“I knew it!” He practically jumps out of the chair. “My girl is too great not to have caught some young fella’s eye.”
“What’s his name?”
“Name’s Rylee. He asked me on a drive-in date tomorrow night. I was going to ask you earlier but got a little side tracked. Can I go?”
“Of course you can go. You need to get out more.” He takes a sip of his water. “A drive-in, huh. Man’s got good taste.” He says under his breath.
“I’m going to wait to tell him the darker stuff about who I am though. I want to confirm he’s not just passing through first you know.” You take another bite of spaghetti.
“I think that’s a great idea. Gotta make sure he ain’t a womanizer first.”
You choke on your spaghetti. “I think I’ll be fine Buck.”
“I just worry about you, y’know. I know the type. I just don’t want you heartbroken,” Buck says sincerely.
“That’s because you were the type.”
“Ouch.” Bucky feigns hurt. “But exactly. Though I’d like to think I wasn’t that bad.”
You chuckle. “I’m sure Steve exaggerates your reputation a bit.”
Bucky smiles, thinking back to all the girls he went dancing with back in the day before everything fell apart.
It’s now the day of said date and Bucky is actually nervous. He was serious about being worried about you the night before. His thoughts are a torrential downpour of concern at the moment.
“Rylee. Pfft. What kind of doll dizzy name is that? Probably thinks it’s cool that he’s got a girl name and spells it weird.” Bucky’s mumbling to himself pacing the living room waiting for you to come down.
“I’ll bet all the girls think he’s some dreamboat. Y/N’s probably way too good for him.”
He wants Y/N to go out and have fun. To take a liking to a respectful guy and go steady like he had when he was young. Emphasis on respectful. But now his dad instincts are kicking in.
Bucky has his plan of intimidation in motion. He’s wearing his thinnest white tank top, even though it’s the middle of Fall and getting cooler outside.
Accentuate muscles. Check. Show off menacing arm. Check. He’s contemplating the possibility of having a soda can to crush in his hand to heighten the intimidation but his thoughts are cut off by the doorbell.
“Hey Buck, that’s Rylee. Can you get the door? I’ll be down in a minute!” You shout, finishing the last touches to your hair upstairs.
Bucky opens the door ready to put his protective dad skills to good use. However his plans fly out the window in an instant. Who stood before him was not what he was expecting.
The boy is shorter than average. Probably a little taller than 5’6”, Bucky guesses. He has wispy dirty-blond hair, the type that he obviously tried to gel down but couldn’t quite tame all the way. He has light blue eyes, emphasized by the thin frame glasses resting on his nose. He’s wearing dress slacks, dress shoes, and a respectable button down, topped by a vintage looking jacket, that Bucky is sure he must have owned at some point. Bucky feels like he’s back in the 40s again for a moment.
He looks all too familiar to Buck. Like he’s a stick who could be blown over by the wind any moment. Though he looks pretty healthy and spry, just on the thin side. His clothes, looking just a smidge too big. But what slaps Bucky in the face the most is the pure genuine kindness and righteousness dripping from him. He feels it so immediately and so strongly because he’s felt it in one person before. For a moment he’s pretty sure this generation’s Steve Rogers is standing at his doorstep.
He shakes his head snapping out of his trance, he practically hears eagles screeching in the distance.
The boy has a look of shock on his face that Buck is pretty sure mirrors his own pretty well. But before he has a chance to get a word out--
“Oh my gosh. You’re James Buchanan Barnes of the 107th. In the flesh. And with the arm. Which is so cool. Howling Commandos James Barnes. Oh my--” The kid is practically wheezing at this point.
Bucky is stunned. Most people would have realized who he was and immediately referred to him as the Winter Soldier. But not this kid. To him he’s James Barnes the war hero, the good man, Mr. America.
“It’s an honor sir.” Rylee held out his hand for Bucky to shake.
Bucky was still wondering how this boy managed to end up with a name like Rylee.
“It’s nice to meet you--” Bucky pauses.
“Oh, excuse me I didn’t introduce myself first. James Rylee Lawrence, sir. But everyone just calls me Rylee.”
‘Oh there it is.’ Bucky thinks to himself.
Stifling his laughter with a cough, he manages. “It’s nice to meet you Rylee.”
“Oh, come inside, Y/N should be down in a minute.” Bucky moves aside to let Rylee into their entryway.
Little did they both know, you were already ready, just waiting around the top of the stairs for a minute, listening to this all play out.
“I apologize for my outburst earlier. I’m just a huge history nerd. The Howling Commandos have a special place in my heart. My dad used to read me stories about you guys when I was younger. You may have been my favorite one. Possibly because my name’s also James.” He rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. “But yeah, I’ve always liked history. And books and old things.”
Bucky’s chuckling and Rylee realizes what he just said. “Not that you’re old Mr. Barnes,” he sputters out.
“Oh you’re good. I’m 106 years old. I’ve started to embrace the fact that I’m an old man.” Bucky clears his throat, trying to get back into dad mode.
“So you’ve taken an interest in my daughter?” Bucky questions.
“Yes sir I have. She’s a wonderful young lady and I’m very lucky she agreed to go out with a guy like me. She’s amazing, and I’m not exactly the most popular guy. And a lot of guys have expressed interest, just so you know.”
Bucky inwardly glows at that. ‘So she really does take after me in the charm department’ he thinks to himself. ‘And in the taste department. Damn Y/N has a crush on another Steve Rogers.’ Outwardly he just smiles.
“Good answer. I expect that your intentions are pure young man. If they’re anything less, I remind you I’m not afraid to defend my daughter.” He flexes his vibranium arm, emphasizing the mechanical whirring.
“Yes sir.” He gulps slightly but continues. “She deserves to be treated like a queen, as my mother reminds me often.”
Bucky is pleased with that answer. He notices the faint fading bruise on Rylee’s left eye. “That’s quite the shiner you got there” he mentions with a questioning tone.
“Oh.” Rylee reddens. “It’s from the first day I met Y/N actually. There’s this guy in our grade named Zack and he finds bullying the underclassmen a fun pastime. I got so fed up with him going after this poor freshman one day I decided to give him a piece of my mind. But as you can see, it’s kinda hard for me to win against a guy like that. I landed a few good punches, but after he popped one to my jaw and my eye, Y/N stepped in. She, excuse my language, gave him a swift kick in the balls and delivered a few punches that nearly broke his ribs. He didn’t mess with anyone again after that. I took the blame and took her suspension. I thought what she did was pretty badass. She made sure I was okay, we started talking more frequently, and now we’re here.” Rylee holds up a finger to pause, clearly winded, and takes a puff of his inhaler. “Sir.”
Bucky’s jaw is practically on the floor. At this point he thinks another DNA test needs to be run, because Y/N is the female version of himself. Also how come you never told him of any of this.
Speaking of. You make your way down the stairs now, happy to have given the two some bonding time. You knew Rylee was a fan of your dad, you just didn’t tell him who your dad was. You wanted him to be surprised. It worked.
You’re wearing a maroon and burnt orange, vintage looking floral patterned dress, topped with a cream cardigan. Your hair is done in light waves. You added your favorite earrings and the delicate necklace Bucky gave you for your birthday. You’d gone with some light makeup. You figured you’d dress to match the drive-in vibe.
Rylee just dressed his way all the time. He’s an old soul. You find it adorable. He’s also one of the most respectful guys you’ve ever met. You appreciated that. The other boys liked you solely because you were pretty. Rylee liked everything about you, and made it abundantly clear.
“Hey Y/N. You look beautiful.” Rylee says stunned. Watching as you move to stand next to him.
“Thank you.” You blush brightly.
Bucky could see the adoration in Rylee’s eyes for you. He was practically the heart eye emoji his daughter used in text messages. That struck him. He felt good about Rylee for you, because Bucky didn’t get the chance to spend his life with the one he adored the same way he saw evidenced in Rylee’s eyes.
“Okay, I’ve kept you here way too long. Take some photos, make some memories, have fun. Just not too much fun.” He glares at Rylee.
“Will do Buckaroo.” You’re smiling brightly as you do your handshake with him.
“Also drive safe, no alcohol, be safe, have her home by 10:45. Are we clear?”
“Yes sir, Mr. Barnes.” Rylee gives him a salute and Bucky chuckles.
You wonder if you’re dreaming. Based on his mood earlier you thought Buck would be more serious. But here he is laughing and positive. Something must have changed.
Bucky hears your conversation fading as you and Rylee make your way to the car.
“So, you didn’t think to tell me that your dad was the James Barnes?” Rylee whisper yells.
“I wanted it to be a surprise!” You quip back. “And I definitely succeeded.”
You put your arm in Rylee’s as he offers it to you. It’s a little chilly, even with your cardigan, and you shiver.
“Here you can have my jacket.” Rylee takes it off and wraps it gently around your shoulders. “I brought a blanket for later that way we won’t be cold.”
“We’ll be okay, I’ll have you to warm me up.” You flirt.
“Hey I heard that Y/N!” Bucky yells across the lawn.
“C’mon I'm 17 Dad! Love you, see you in a bit! You yell back, getting into the car as Rylee opened the door for you.
“We’ll be responsible Mr. Barnes!” Rylee yells back as they pull out of the driveway.
“You better be!”
But he wasn’t thinking about that at the moment. He was thinking about the fact that, for the first time ever, you finally called him Dad.
He’s done so many terrible things as the Winter Soldier. Ruined so many lives. Spent so much time brainwashed and fighting battles he wanted nothing to do with. But he’d do every single thing all over again if it meant ending up with you as a daughter. Hydra tried to destroy you from the inside out. But you fought back with every ounce of strength, and when you met him, Bucky stood alongside you and fought with you. And now his wonderful girl was growing into a good-hearted, strong young woman. And he gets to see it all. This unconventional family was better than any he had dreamed up when he was young. Including Sam and Steve and all of the other people he’s gotten to meet and fight alongside.
Speaking of which. He quickly punches the number in on his phone. Having everyone’s number memorized even though there’s a contact list.
“Hey Stevie. You won’t believe the kid that took Y/N on this date. No, he’s not like me you punk, he’s exactly like you. No I’m not kidding you!”
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