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: 2,370
Characters: James Buchanan Barnes “Bucky”, Colin Shea, Dane, Ally Darling, Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Natasha Romanov, Peggy Carter, Sharon Carter (though the last two are only in mention)
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: Almost there on finishing the typing…one chapter and an epilogue…because I feel it needed an epilogue.
Peaceful nights. Calm days. Research on my past and my mission, The Man in Blue.
The past few weeks have been full of those moments. We’ve been on the case day and night. Researching the Man in Blue, though, has practically fallen by the way side as all of our leads have been stagnant. These days, we’re more concerned with the new neighbor in 2C and the man in 4D then anything else.
Though it’s not been a total loss. I’ve found this Zen in Colin that I’ve never had with anyone before—not that I can remember, anyway. Every day has been stress free, full of laughs and flirtatious moments. Even work has been reduced to fun times, horrible names, and…again, Colin.
A smile graces my morning expression as I wake up in his bed, seeing him sitting by the bed on the floor, covered in files and papers. He’s staring off into space, wearing this blissful catlike grin. I can’t help the sigh of content that leaves me as I watch him. Colin is contagious.
He shifts his gaze to me. “Morning, Buck…how about I fix you some breakfast in bed?”
Damn. He’s got this sly smile as his eyes are trained on my lips. Then he licks his lips like he’s about to devour me. And I would so let him.
Instead, I prop myself up on one elbow, leaning over him, and say, “I’d love it, but I have work.” I plant a kiss on him and slide out of bed, freezing the moment my feet hit the floor.
“Okay. What time are you off?”
“Noon today.” I grab my shirt from the end of the couch and slide it on, not bothering to button it. “But after that, I have a three-day weekend.”
Colin slides both hands behind his head and stares at me. “Any plans for those three days?”
“Yeah…some guy I know is taking me on a trip. It’s supposed to be for something we’re working on together, so all business.”
“I’m sure that guy can find some way to make sure you get some sort of pleasure out of your time away,” he teases.
I lift an eyebrow at him, trying to keep the stupid grin off of my face. “Is that what he really has planned? I feel like I’m the prey now. I’m not sure I should go away now.”
Colin snorts. “Too bad. I hear he was going to make it a time to remember.”
I’m positive he could.
I pad over to his side of the bed and lean down. “See you for coffee at ten,” I say and peck his lips. Then I walk across the room and up the steps, turning at the door. “Don’t be late.”
The content smile snakes its way across his face again as he nestles into the bed. Internally, I smile like a fool in love—which I just might be a fool in love—and shut the door behind me, turning the knob slowly so no noise emits. Then I sneak into my apartment and get ready for another day as a glorified coffee peddler.
“Grande white mocha, with foam no whip,” says the blonde as she digs through her purse. “And the name is Ally.”
I scribble “Alley” on the cup and hand it to Dane just as the woman pulls out her card to pay. She swipes it through and the five dollar purchase was declined. Her wide blue eyes meet mine and this innocent smile spreads across her face.
“Sorry. Let me find my other card.” Her hand dives back into the large blue bag and fishes around a few moments. “Ah hah!” she screams when she pulls out a twenty-dollar bill. “I’m between jobs,” she adds, handing me the bill. “Fingers crossed my old boss, Carol, didn’t badmouth me and I get a call back from Roger about that marketing job.”
I hand her the change and say, “Good luck.”
She utters a quick thanks and moves down the line. Just in time for Colin. Except no Colin. I check the time on the register screen. Ten o’clock. He’s late. I look through the windows at the pedestrians on the street. No sign or hint of the man who has quickly become the most important man in my life.
While I don’t see my current mission, I see a current job that needs to be complete. “Dane, I’m going to collect the mugs from the tables outside.”
“Okay, Bucky. I have this covered.” Dane lifts the cup he just filled and says, “Grande white mocha for Alley?”
The blonde reaches over the counter and accepts her cup. Just as I step outside, I hear her complain, “My name is A-L-L-Y…not like an alley way.”
I smirk to myself and get busy stacking the cups and adjusting the umbrellas. Someone out of the corner of my eye catches my attention. The red-head whose name fluctuates more than the chasing lights on a theater marquee. She’s across the street, wearing a tight black body suit that hugs all of her curves like a second skin. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail and sways back and forth as her finger angrily jabs into the chest of a man in sunglasses, then furiously points in the direction of See You Latte.
I can’t hear over the traffic driving past on the four lane road between us, but my soldier training screams that she’s talking about me, specifically. My whole body tenses and readies to act in a moment. My fists clench around the ends of the towel in my hands and pull it tight to use as a weapon. I feel the compartment in my boot with my toe, knowing my knife is waiting there to be used.
The man looks in this direction—I swear our eyes meet briefly—before his jaw clenches. Then he says something back and points to a file in his hand. He’s in a tight black shirt and black pants…which wouldn’t be so odd, except his left sleeve has either been rolled up past the elbow, or it’s been left intentionally short and he’s sporting some sort of glove on his hand.
The man shakes his head and glances one more time. It’s as he turns to storm off that I notice he has a quiver of arrows strapped to his back.
The nameless woman turns at the time she yells and motions him away. She stops cold. Her stance is wide, arms tense as though she’s about to bolt forward and crash into me, taking both of us through the window behind me. And I’m ready for her…
But she doesn’t make a move. She stares at me, eyes narrowing in threat.
I return the glare. Though I know it’s virtually impossible from this distance, we are definitely in a pre-war stare down. Her jaw tenses, and yet she still doesn’t move. Not until a delivery truck passes on the road between us and she disappears from the street.
The surrounding buildings seem empty, the rooftops barren. The shadows touching the ground and climbing the walls tell me she’s no long here.
I’ve been compromised. Colin may have been compromised. That’s why he isn’t here mooching his free coffee and pastry.
I tuck the towel into my back pocket and collect the stacks of cups, balancing them in my hands as I carry them inside. Dane takes one stack from me when I step behind the counter. We both carry them to the dishwasher in the back. The towel goes from my pocket to the counter. I remove my apron and take my name tag from it before handing it to Dane.
“Sorry, but I have to quit.” Before there is another incident like that flipped bus on the side streets of DC. Except this time, Colin is in the mix.
Dane checks his watch. “It’s not even ten thirty.”
“I know, but this is a more permanent sort of quit. Minus the two weeks’ notice. I…” I shrug, willing a valid excuse to surface in my brain. “I found out this morning that my…father is dying. I need to go back home and care for him.”
“Bucky, you don’t have to quit,” Dane says, his head shaking in sadness. “I could let you take some time…”
“Thanks, but they aren’t sure how much longer he has. Could be a week, could be a month. I just know I want to be there for him.”
I nod and say the first name—outside of Colin—that pops into my mind. “Steve.” The name accompanies a twinge of guilt in my gut and a breath of relief for pulling off a lie.
“The Stark three-oh-two will be happy. You made crappy coffee anyway,” he laughs, staring at the green apron in his hands. “I can’t promise to save your job, but if you come back to Boston and need a place to work, don’t hesitate.”
“Thanks, Dane.” I can’t even bear to stare into those sad brown eyes. “I’ll…see you latte.”
Dane laughs again, tossing the apron on the counter. He goes out front and I sneak out of the back into the alley. My surroundings get a quick check and I jog down to where alley meets alley, taking a long yet very guarded route back home.
The path I take is fairly lifeless. A few store owners readying for deliveries, but nothing dangerous or out of the ordinary. It leads me to the corner of my street, where I have to step into sunshine. I wait until a small crowd has accumulated on the corner before taking my hair out of the holder and blending in with laborers and business persons alike. The light changes to a walking stick-man and I cross in the group. I catch a hint of the man from earlier crossing in the opposite direction…from the exact direction of my apartment.
When I step on the curb, I glance back, making sure he didn’t notice me. Once he’s gone and I’m in the clear, I bolt for my building. Thud-thud-thud…I barely touch the steps of my building with my feet, and yet it sounds like a million soldiers running up them I barrel into the man from 4D just inside the door to the building.
He says, “Watch the fuck out!”
“I’m not the one kissing my dog on the lips in the doorway,” I say without stopping.
More noise as though soldiers are running up the stairs, though I’m the only one in the stairwell. By the time I’m on six, I’m breathless. My heart pounds in my ears and my pulse rages. I lift my fist and knock on the door of 6A. No answer.
“Colin?” I ask the A on the door. “Are you in there?”
Still no answer. I make a fist and pound into the door.
“Come on, Colin! Open up!”
Fear eats every last nerve I have. I unlock my door and go over to the side table next to my bed. The key for Colin’s apartment isn’t there. Papers from the files Colin has amassed lift in this hide-and-seek but with every leaf out of the way, I’m still keyless. I fall to my hands and knees and look under my bed. Dust bunnies and my brown boots. Under the table is too dark, so I slide my hand in the three-inch tall space. I shift my fingers around in the dust, sliding my hand back and forth, but no key.
“I like the way you present yourself, Buck.”
I sit upright on my knees and toss a glance at the man over my shoulder. Yep, it’s definitely Colin. Leaning on my door jamb. Wearing blue camouflage boxer-briefs. And nothing else. I don’t know if I should love that flirtatious entendre or if I should scream at him for scaring the ever-loving hell out of me.
“Why didn’t you answer me?” I ask getting to my feet. I take a few long strides, going up the stairs and wrap my arms around him. The hug is desperate, needy, and oh so thankful. “And why didn’t you come for your coffee?”
One of Colin’s arms goes around my shoulders, the other going around me. His hand slides down my back and rests on my butt. He squeezes it and exhales with a soft groan.
I push him back and growl, “That doesn’t make up for giving me a heart attack this morning. Do you understand the danger you’re in just by associating with me?”
Colin’s smirk eats up the left side of his face. “You’re going to want to take it back once I tell you my news.” He pushes me into my apartment, shutting the door once we’re all the way inside. I take the four steps down backwards, his hand still on my chest as he follows going forward.
“What’s the news?” I ask, taking his wrist in my metal hand.
His playful blue eyes tag one of my eyes then the other. He licks his top lip and says, “I found her.”
“Her who? Peggy?”
Colin nods. “Peggy Carter. I’ve been on the phone all morning with her niece, Sharon. Thanks to my wits and charm, she has agreed to allow us visitation with her aunt…on the grounds that we don’t upset her…that and I said we’re James and Collins from Harvard doing a research paper on World War II and the women who made a stand for our country.”
His hands go out from his sides. I can’t tell if he’s asking for a hug or if he’s announcing a big finish as though he’s a grand magician.
Doesn’t matter. I hug him close and utter “thank you” into his neck before placing a kiss there. Though I can’t say for sure the thank you was for Colin’s job well done or if it’s just me thanking someone out there for his safety.
We’re another step closer to finding the Man in Blue.
At this point, though, I’m not sure I want to find him.
End Notes: Thank you for reading!