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: 1,490
Characters: James Buchanan Barnes “Bucky”, Colin Shea, Nick Fury, Peggy Carter (Agent Carter/Margaret)
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: This chapter was on one of my writing/typing rolls where I just keep going until I realize my chapter is 5,000 words long, continuing from the previous chapter. Same inspirations… Bucky at the museum, Peggy, and Steve.
Colin is typing on his phone as we leave the small theatre. I pull the hat low in case other eyes are still searching for the rogue former HYDRA operative. Colin and I retrace our steps through the Howling Commandos displays, pausing to read newspaper articles and stare at the images while the prerecorded voice tells us nothing of importance to my mission.
We turn the corner and at the same voice begins a new story. “Best friends since childhood, Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers were inseparable on both schoolyard and battlefield. Barnes is the only Howling Commando to give his life in service to his country.”
The new me meets the old me as I stare at an enlarged newspaper image of myself on a sheet of glass. I listen to the recording a few times before moving to one of the other displays where a movie of Steve and I play. His arm goes around my neck, he’s laughing. I laugh, and nudge him with my elbow. The voice explains how we grew up in Brooklyn together, two poor kids versus the world.
“Geez, Buck. He even smiles like you…moves like you…laughs like you. If you weren’t wearing that hat, and I didn’t know any better, I would say he is you.” Colin laughs and I try to add a few of my own as awkward as they are.
“Heredity is an amazing thing,” I say and wander to the next display.
This one talks of my demise. A mission went wrong in the Alps and I plummeted to my death. Mourned by Steve and the other Commandos, my body was never recovered and a makeshift ceremony was held in memorial.
“I’m sorry, Buck,” Colin says behind me, resting a hand on my shoulder.
I shrug my metallic shoulder, the one with his hand resting on it. “It was a long time ago. History.” A long forgotten one.
His hand massages my shoulder, his arm draped around me, as we walk through the rest of the exhibit. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much more to it than Captain America’s time with The Avengers and the Battle in New York as well as the Battle in Sokovia.
We leave the museum in peace. No tails and no eyes as we go. That I’ve been able to determine. Colin starts listing off places we could eat that’s close. When I show no preferential treatment to anything, he starts listing places we could go to back in Boston.
“We’ll eat here. Your choice.” I need to make sure we don’t have any followers before we leave town. I wouldn’t put it past Rumlow to be hanging close.
“Hope you like seafood,” he says as we cross the street.
Both of us walk, hands shoved into jacket pockets, heads down. It’s almost like a covert mission where I have a partner—one I actually like this time. Colin tosses a few side glances, but doesn’t say much other than the informational directions “left here” and “just one more block.”
I enjoy the moment of peace as I try to move past the events of my former life. Steve probably put me out of his mind the moment he thought I died. And now that he knows I am alive…I tried to kill him, my mission. But we can never have what once was. Too much has changed. I don’t even know why I bothered to start this.
“Here we are, Buck.” Colin and I walk up to the glass doors of the restaurant. He grabs the handle and pulls it open for me. I step inside, him just behind me, and we’re greeted by a host. He grabs two menus and walks us to a booth near the window.
It’s too exposed and open. I glance around and spot a private table in the corner near the aquarium. “I’d like something a little more private. How about that one?”
The host immediately responds, “But that table is for lovers.” His eyes walk all over me then take a saunter over Colin. Colin flings his arm around my shoulders and grins. I narrow my eyes and silently dare the man to make an argument. Then he says, “You’re right. It’s not my place to judge. This way.”
He lays the menus on the table as I sit in the chair with my back to the wall. Colin sits across from me and shakes the rolled up napkin until the silverware clinks and clangs against the dark wood table top. The napkin slides into his lap and he orders two beers before the host can turn and wander away.
“I hope you don’t mind me ordering a beer for you, Buck.”
I shake my head in response and scan over the menu. Colin flips page after page then slowly makes his way back to the front. Our waitress sets two beer bottles and two glasses on the table.
As she does, Colin starts spouting off his order. “We’ll have crab Rangoon to start, then I would like the fish and chips, please.”
The girl scrambles to get her pad and pen from the pocket of her apron. Once they’re free, she scribbles like mad to get the order written down before the options swim from her memory. The blue pen stills, held in place, perfectly perpendicular to the pad. Her eyebrows lift and she asks, “Are you ready?”
“Fish and chips.”
Colin huffs. “Change my order to the fried clams.” His gaze meets me from across the table. “I thought we could trade bites,” he explains with a shrug.
The waitress squeals. “You guys are so cute. I’ll go put this in.” She smiles at us and skips off, leaving me to really stare at Colin.
Guilt walks up and shakes me, adding a few painful slaps here and there. I take a few deep breaths. How can I be with him when I still have this “Steve in Blue” thing on my mind?
“Colin, about that kiss…”
His tongue darts out and gives his lips a quick glaze before he presses them together. He nods as though he knows exactly what I’m going to say before I even know what I’m going to say.
“…I shouldn’t have…”
“That’s not where I thought you were going to take this topic.” He straightens his silverware on the table. “I understand.”
He does? “What do you understand?”
Colin rolls his eyes, head completing a dramatic circle, and his hands flies out with flair. He leans into the table, towards me. “I’m not a complete idiot. Like I said, I’m good at finding out information. Dear old Dad may not have taught me anything about sports, but he did teach me a lot about reading people.”
Note to self.
“I thought it was odd that the only mail you get is addressed to Resident. You have no working knowledge of the internet or any websites, yet you are acclimated to computers, screens, phones. If Steve Rogers can come out of a deep freeze and look like a million bucks, why couldn’t that happen twice?” Colin takes a deep breath and says, “You are James Barnes’ twin, because you are James Buchanan Barnes. Bucky.”
“Colin…” My pulse is raging in my ears. I can’t let him endanger himself by learning the truth. “I’m not him. I work at a coffee place. I live in a tiny apartment.”
“Stop being someone else and be yourself, Buck.” Reminiscent of a stray dog wandering the street looking for attention from any soul, his eyes plead with me. “I can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy. It’s up to you as to what I become.”
A man walks solo through the restaurant. He’s wearing a black hoodie, black jeans. He keeps his head down, eyes low, as the host leads the way. The man turns his head glances my way as he passes. Scars burst from his left eye like beams from the sun, streaking up his forehead and down his cheek. I won’t forget that scar. The same one from earlier. It’s like he was purposefully handing me a memo stating “I’m following you.”
I watch as the man sits at a table alone. He picks up the menu nose-level, hiding the lower half of his face. He shoves the host away and his cheeks start to move like he’s talking into an invisible com to someone. His one good eye flits towards me, noticing Colin as well.
The man from the museum killed my one chance at pulling off the perfect lie. “I’ll tell you everything, Colin.” One quick check and I see the man leaning on a hand, looking at the menu pressed flat on the table, face hidden. “But not here.”
Colin turns his head and brushes his jaw against his shoulder, glancing in the direction of the man. He turns back to me and nods. “Understandable.”
End Notes: Thank you for reading, this first draft/only draft.