Story Summary: Bucky is on a Mission: Find out about his past and try to remember the Man in Blue. His “mission” takes him to Boston where he meets the fun and flirty, Colin Shea. With Colin’s help, he might just find all the answers he’s been searching for…but he also might find love. With outside pressures, Bucky has to decide between remaining in the dark and staying with Colin or going after the man who haunts his nightmares.
Crossover: What’s Your Number? meets Captain America: Winter Soldier/The Avengers/Captain America: Civil War (more the movies and less the books or graphic novels)
Rating: R if this was a movie. MA if it was a TV show. Mature on Archive of Our Own. Not rated on Tumblr. There is some LGBTQ/slash sexual situations, though nothing erotic. It’s a simple Rated-R romcom. No porn. (Think along the lines of Wings meets Love, Darrows, kiTT.) As Cap would say: Language! Because yes, there is some language and double entendres. Not so much violence as of now.
Chapter word count: 2,056
Characters: James Buchanan Barnes “Bucky”, Colin Shea, OFC Dane, Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford’s character in Winter Soldier)
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their original creators. There is no copyright infringement intended. This is all done in fun and love for my favorite movies. Thank you for stopping by and reading.
Notes: You know, I tried my hardest to keep Bucky light and airy, but the character is so deep and dark during the Winter Soldier years. I sometimes wonder if he had never become the assassin, if he would have treated Steve sort of like the little annoying brother still.
Inspiration for this chapter:
Kill the Man in Blue. Kill him. He is my mission.
Sparks fly. Bullets zoom. I hit the red-head and she falls behind a black car. The injury isn’t fatal according to my retinal displays. I’m close to not completing this mission. More bullets. More. But before I can take her out, the Man in Blue tackles me.
Fighting with fists and weapons to the death. His death. A shield passes from him to me then it’s lost. The knife comes into play by my own hands. And we fight and battle until he renders my bionic implant useless, the metal arm dangling useless. He flips me over his shoulders, and I fly through the air and land. The first thing my eyes land on is my mask, teetering back and forth on the asphalt.
I get to my feet and face him. He stands, gawking. A blink. A breath. And then, “Bucky?”
Bucky is dead. I have a mission.
But as I stare at him, something sparks. He’s familiar. A friend maybe. Home.
I don’t know how I left the streets of DC. I’m in a lab full of screens with technical readouts. Doctors in white coats. Blue electricity zaps my arm back to life, sparks flying. A man in an expensive suit and tie is screaming at me.
“Mission Report now!”
“I knew him. The man on the bridge. Who was he?” I whisper. It’s all I can think about now. My mission. Him.
“Society is at a tipping point between order and chaos. Hydra needs to give it the freedom it deserves,” he responds, avoiding my question altogether.
“But I knew him.” My mission.
The man in the suit crosses the small room and talks to the man in the white shirt. “Wipe him and start over.” He stands his ground in the far corner and watches the horror as it unfolds. The doctor sticks a guard in my mouth and sets the machinery around my head. He flips a switch. The humming increases. A sharp zap enters my brain like a headache so intense my head is about to explode. Then I scream through the guard in my mouth though no one is bothering to listen.
“Why do you look like you died this morning, Bucky?” Dane asks, unlocking the doors to the coffee shop. “I thought for sure a day off would help you catch up on some sleep.”
Between the nightmares and Colin singing my name over and over all night, I got about an hour of sleep more than usual. I spent most of the night coming down from that dream and trying to figure out why Colin was singing my name in a rhyming game instead of some woman screaming his.
“I slept, Dane.”
“Okay. Maybe next time shave before you come to work. And cut back on the guyliner, because you look like hell.”
Dane chuckles to himself as he locks the doors. We immediately get busy with the morning chores. I start the Stark 1000-and-1 so it’s warmed up and ready to go by morning rush by flipping the switches on the machine. Admittedly, that dream comes back and I flinch as the machine hums to life.
Dane moves the milk from the walk-in refrigerator in the back room to the small refrigerators in the front. “Buck, I need you to let her in for our pastry delivery.”
Amanda from Bova Bakery stands at the door with three large pink boxes stacked in her hands. She smiles when she sees me glance her way.
I nod to Dane and let her into the store. “Would you like help with those?”
“No thanks, Bucky,” she says as she sets the stack on the counter and digs a key from the pocket of her pink apron. “But if you could get the other boxes from the car for me, I’d greatly appreciate it.”
I take the key in my hand. “Sure. I’ll be right back.”
The cold air runs up and hugs me as I step outside. I unlock the back of the van and pull out the other five boxes. Once everything is balanced in my hands, I kick the door of the bakery van shut. I walk a few steps and stop.
It feels like I have eyes on me. Usually, my instincts are dead on, but as I scour the street, I don’t see a living soul, not counting the few cars driving down the street. The rooftops are void of shadows or hints of anyone. The windows along the street are as dark and lifeless.
The mission is getting to me. It’s all this is.
Week two of See You Latte is moving along like week one. Everything is displayed to perfection and the Stark Industries machine is warmed and percolating coffee. The register is turned on and ready to accept orders and payments. The door unlocks and we start the rush towards my eleven o’clock quitting time.
“Ally, you’re going to love this neighborhood,” the blonde from last week squeals into her phone. “This coffee shop is right around the corner from that apartment. There’s a sandwich shop on the corner. And transit is just right there.”
“What would you like to order?” I ask.
A ring sitting on her third finger throws off a sharp sparkle when she waves her hand at me, more like shooing me away than anything friendly. “I have to go, Ally. Let me know when you hear about that apartment.”
She hangs up the phone in time for a squeal to shatter my eardrums. The woman turns and adds her own piercing squeals. The two blondes hug and the first one holds out her hand. “Look at the ring Eddie gave me. Isn’t it gorgeous?”
“And big. Which is saying something for Eddie,” the second woman says, nudging her elbow into her friend with a wink.
They notice my glare and all their giggles cease. The first one gives me her order with her name “Daisy” and she proceeds to order for her friend “Sheila”. They pay and move down the counter to wait for their drinks.
I label the cups and hand them over to Dane. He looks at the misnomers and smirks. “You’re an old pro at this now, Bucky.”
When I look up, I’m staring into a pair of green eyes. My whole body freezes except my gaze which hits the counter immediately. She hasn’t been here in a week. And now she’s back, turning the heat up on this game. As she prattles on about the way she wants her beverage, I enter it into the register. Then the red-head hands me the name “Laura” as though I’m dumb enough to believe it’s her real name. I scribble “Norma” on a cup and set it to the side for Dane to work his coffee magic.
She pretends not to care a thing about me as she swipes her card in the slot, paying for her beverage. I hand her the receipt and over a large smile, hoping the brim of my hat is low enough to shield my eyes with a deep shadow. The high-pitched voice I use is as fake as the smile when I say, “It’ll be ready in a minute.”
“Mocha non-fat latte for Hazy,” Dane calls out.
The red-head walks off without another glance my way. The uncomfortable stiffness of her body is barely noticeable, but I catch it. Her hands are clenched and her arms seem to be forced into moving as she walks. There’s no sway at all today, though her low-cut black dress deserves more attention than that.
“Hazelnut Americano for Norma,” Dane says, setting the second cup on the counter.
The woman doesn’t even flinch when he calls her the wrong name. She picks up the cup and offers him a heart-shaped pucker in her smile. She takes up residence at the table by the window in the far corner.
For almost an hour, she sits and drinks and plays with the device in her hand. I’ve become an invisible entity as far as she’s concerned. Her eyes don’t even touch me as she stares out of the window for most of the morning. Her lips move a few times as though she’s holding a deep, private conversation with some-unseen-one on the other side of the glass from her.
“I’m not used to ordering at a coffee place. Usually I just order a cup and add my own stuff. What do you recommend?”
I peel my attention away from the woman. The man standing before me is wearing a bright white smile with a small accentuated space between his two front teeth. His dark eyes seem honest. His hands are tucked into the pockets of his jeans and he’s rocking back and forth.
“What sort of flavors do you like? Valencia is orange. I’d recommend it in a mocha. There’s always white chocolate that would pair well with raspberry, cherry, or blueberry. Vanilla is rather plain, but still classically delicious.”
The dark-skinned man is radiant, cordially nodding with each suggestion, seeming to listen. I notice as his eyes scan over my left arm—the metal one. He stares at the appendage from bicep to fingertips as though he’s taking notes and making plans, though the serene grin and calm demeanor never leave his face.
“I’ll have one of those Valencia chocolates,” he says. “Medium.”
“Grande mocha Valencia.” I punch in the drink and ask, “Would you like whip or foam?”
The man shrugs, the grey hoodie touching his ear lobes. “Whatever you recommend.”
I punch in the more popular no-fat whip and ask his name.
“Sam,” he says.
I scribble a name and set it in the queue line of cups on the counter. His total is read and he pays with a card much like the rest. He swipes his card, and I happen to glance over to the corner. The black widow is gone from her perch. I scan the store for a red-headed ponytail, but she’s nowhere to be seen.
I can’t believe I didn’t see which direction she left in.
“I don’t mean to be rude,” Sam says, sliding his wallet into his pocket, “but how did you get that arm? We’re you in the war?”
A nod is the best verification I can give him without divulging which specific war.
“I understand how rough it is to talk about…being in combat. Seeing what we saw…Um, I’m up visiting from DC. I run a support group for veterans and am talking to the local chapter up here.” He reaches into his pocket. From it, he extracts a card and hands it to me. “I would love to talk to you, and if you need, I can be a sympathetic ear. I was there for two tours. I saw and did…a lot of things that will haunt me.”
I take the card and read his name. Sam Wilson. Below it an address in DC and a phone number. Either his real identity or he spent more for this ruse than a typical spy. Whispers of HYDRA are shoved out of my mind, though not so far that I won’t recall them.
“Thanks.” I slide the card in my pocket. “I’ll consider it.” If I want to be killed or tortured again.
Sam taps the counter with the first two fingers of his right hand. “You do that. I’m in town for a few weeks. I look forward to your call.” He takes a step towards the other end of the Stark 1000-and-1 to wait for his drink.
I smile and nod, but try to keep it on the tame side. HYDRA must be scraping the bottom of the barrel for their spies these days. This guy really doesn’t seem to understand covert. Either that, or he’s diverting my attention for a possible sneak attack.
“Are you flirting with other guys behind my back, 6B?” Colin asks, stepping up to the counter and pushing up the brim of his baseball cap. He lifts a backpack in his hand and says, “I’m ready for you whenever you want me.” He adds a playful smirk and lip lick. “After I get my coffee and cannoli, of course.”
End Notes: Thank you for reading. gifs found on giphy.com