Threat assessment follows close on its heels because Bucky’s a goddamn professional.
Military, definitely. Male, built like a goddamn mountain. Bucky stares helplessly because shoulders that broad should be illegal. It’s the face that really fucks him up though. Hair as silver as the star on his chest, swept back from a face that’s all hard angles and deep lines. There’s a beard too, covering a jaw that looks strong enough to sit on, and its white is peppered with bits of dark blond, which should look ridiculous but doesn’t.
“You seem to know my name,” Bucky says, plastering on a charming smile. “Only polite to return the favor.”
“If you’re banking on politeness, you might be in the wrong business, son.”
Jesus, Mary, and motherfucking Joseph. This is how wet dreams and porn clips should start, not a goddamn interrogation.
In their time on Earth, they had lived through countless events that people believed heralded the end of the world. Wars that spanned decades and continents, terrible diseases, natural disasters that wiped away whole cities in an instant-none of those were new. But the Eternals had always faced them together, as a family. No matter what they encountered, Sersi always had utter faith that they would make it through, with Ajak leading them and Ikaris protecting her.
But now they were shattered, Ajak and Gilgamesh gone, and though Sersi knew it was her duty to lead them through this newest crisis, she felt so terribly alone.
What is wrong with me? I don’t go for the sad boy villain, yet somehow this ship? It intrigues me… and this fic is both hot and manages to encapsulates what’s so captivating about a love that’s 7000 years old.
“This will go ever so much easier on both of us if you treated me like I had eyes in my head and a brain,” she said, interrupting him without regret. She wanted, more than anything, to wipe that fearful look off of his face. “I promise, I’m not trying to trap you or to blue-card you. In fact, I’d like us to come to some sort of arrangement where Steve is concerned.”
There is no time. No time to process, no time to grieve. Steve pushes the horror, the guilt, down into the pit of his stomach, a lead weight that would crush him if he allowed it.
The noise from the array distorts, changing in frequency as the light flares up, painfully bright. Steve turns away, shielding his eyes, and sees the Borg on the walkway before him move stiffly, its head still bowed.
It slowly rises, lifting its head. The red laser sighted by its right eye strobes across Steve’s face as it turns towards him.
It was human, once. It’s eyes a shade of blue that Steve hasn’t seen in half a lifetime.
“Why would you do that for a man you don’t know?” Bucky asks.
Steve raises one slow eyebrow at him, then the other, till his expression turns from skepticism to disbelief. His forefinger and thumb reach into his shirt’s front pocket and draw out a wrinkled dollar bill.
Steve looks him in the eye when he says, very patiently, “For money, Bucky.”
“Yeah,” Steve agrees under his breath. He’s embarrassed, Bucky can tell. “I just— I mean, technically, I could just go ahead and kiss the next person who happens to ask and get it over with, but…it’s not what I want. Not really.”
“Too bad,” Bucky says, “and here I was, trying to gather enough courage to offer myself up.”
Bucky freezes. He had meant the comment as a joke, at least mostly, and he had been convinced that Steve would interpret it as such, like he always does. Instead, when Bucky looks up to meet with Steve’s gaze, Steve is staring at him with eyes wide in shock, and Bucky feels his throat run dry.
His voice is thick. “God, Buck. God, I’ve missed you.”
Bucky hangs stiff in his arms, but Steve’s warmth seeps into his body, so cold for so long. He doesn’t know what to do, how to handle this, but there is something – a fragment of who he was – that says that he can never be as safe as he is right here, right now.
He unbends. Muscle by muscle, bone by bone, allows himself to lean into Steve. This man touches him without fear, seems to want nothing more than to care for him.
It can’t be so bad to let him, for a little while.
“This,” Stark spits as he thrusts a dog-eared sheaf of papers onto the coffee table, “is the biggest steaming pile of horse shit I’ve ever seen. Bad science, is what it is – wrong, so wrong, it’s so off the mark it makes Columbus look like he hit the bullseye – who published this? Was it even peer-reviewed because seriously I –”
“Can it, Tony,” Barton sighs from his perch on the back of the sofa across the common room. “You’re just sore because you’re bottom of the pile.”
Barnes suspects Barton already regrets bringing the article to Stark’s obsessive attention. He catches a glimpse of the title on the top-most page: Superhero showdown: Comparison of strengths and weaknesses amongst The Avengers . It wouldn’t pay to look too interested and encourage Stark, but he’s definitely curious and he’s not sorry when Steve stretches across him and snags the paper to read it for himself.