“Hey, 6B.” – chapter 17

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.

Genre: RomCom/Action

Chapter word count: 2,905

Characters: James Buchanan Barnes “Bucky”, Colin Shea, Brock Rumlow, Sam Wilson “The Falcon”, original characters

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: Bucky….always so dark, always in action. Thinking I should have written this from Colin Shea’s POV.


17.

I get out of the cab at the curb and look at the tan brick building. The Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC is bustling with cars and buzzing with people. Head down with the ball cap pulled low, hands in pockets, I casually stroll along the brick paved path, through the black metal fence, crossing between parked cars on the circular drive.

Once inside, I bypass the front desk and head straight for the elevators. I get up to the fourth floor and follow the signs until I’m at room 419. I knock on the door. Light through peephole flickers from white to black to white again. The door pops open and a huge smile welcomes me.

“Welcome to our room,” Colin says, wearing his favorite lack of shirt, swinging an arm in a grand gesture. The white towel at his waist is slipping fast, but he catches it before it slides past the V of his hips.

That was a close…Not that I would have minded.

The room is decked out in neutral colors and fancy dark woods. Everything looks as though it costs a million dollars from the tan couch to the desk with scroll designs engraved into it. Very high-end for two guys on a severe budget. I look into the bedroom and notice the bedding has been wrecked as though he’s spent a week in that bed. Nothing I hadn’t seen in his own apartment before. But this time, jealously scrapes in my gut like a lion desperate to escape.

I turn to Colin, who’s wearing that sinful grin he likes to wear after…“You slept with Sharon Carter?”

The smile fades and Colin shakes his head. “No, Buck.”

“Then why are you in the towel?”

“I was going to take a bubble bath.”

Note to Self: Colin likes bubble baths.

“And where is Sharon?”

“She left me for you.”

Uh…“What?”

Colin walks past me into the bed room, tapping on his chin in faux-deep-thought. “I think we parted ways back at the offices of S.H.I.E.L.D. We had a great time going through the archives, but when she got the call about a possible sighting of you in Boston, we parted ways.”

“And you didn’t sleep with her?”

Colin’s hand flies to his heart as if I shot him. “Buck, I’m hurt you would think that.”

I hold up one finger. “The bed is torn apart.” Another finger. “You’re wearing a towel as though you’ve just finished being with a woman…like back home.” Another finger. “Your hair is disheveled…you’re worn out…” I inhale deeply to double-check the aroma in the air around him. “You smell like roses and Carter mixed together.”

“Oh. You’re jealous.” He places a quick kiss on my lips as he passes me into the bathroom. “I like it on you.”

An irritated huff bursts from me. “That doesn’t answer any of my questions.”

“Because you’re overreacting, Buck.”

“I don’t think it’s overreacting when, for a second time in my life, a Carter has tried to break apart a relationship I have with a guy I have feelings for.”

Colin stops pacing. This prideful smirk crawls up and nests itself on his face. “You have feelings for me?”

My heart rages in my chest and my arms fly out as I growl, “That’s not even the point of this.”

Colin lifts one eyebrow. “I believe it is.”

My metal hand flies up to halt any more of Colin’s words. “I can’t even talk to you right now.”

I turn to leave the room and Colin’s hand grabs my metallic bicep, grip tight. “Buck…I’ve not been with anyone else since I started hanging out with you.”

Somewhere in my mind, I know it’s true. I also know women are his addiction. Maybe if it wasn’t with a Carter, I could look past this. Instead, I jerk away from him and stalk though the room, stopping at the door, hand on the door knob. “Did Sharon get this room for you?”

“Actually, some guy also doing research at the Library of Congress offered me the room…Tom Piper, I think. Why?”

“Because he probably wants to sleep with you, too.” Over my shoulder, I see Colin holding the towel at his waist. “Have fun, Colin.” I open the door and leave.

#

Walking around the very populated Washington DC Mall is like swimming with eels. The air is electric and tense under the humid, cloudy skies. I’m on high alert as though I’m being stalked by everyone here. Everything is too familiar, too dangerous. And if one more person says, “On your left,” as they run by, I am going to kill someone.

I don’t know why I even came back to DC. Sometimes I think I want to get caught. Have it all erased again. Forget Colin, the man…everything was easier when I couldn’t remember.

“On your left…” a man says jogging past my left in tight shorts and a tank top, brushing my arm. He’s rather built and when he glances back, I notice his shifty brown eyes glaring. His dark hair is sweat stained and askew. He’s built like a battering ram—all muscle in his arms and chest.

Though our eyes touched for just a moment, I definitely recognize Rumlow. Proof that paranoia has it merits. He keeps running, though his pace is slowing. I tug my hat down and take a sharp turn, running up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I dash around one of the grand columns near President Lincoln. A quick check over my shoulder spots Rumlow bolting up the steps, pushing the com in his ear with his fingers and talking too low for me to hear.

I remove my hat and tuck it into my jacket. My hair gets a quick finger brushing as I check around the landing below Lincoln’s feet. A group of children are passing through with a guide regaling them with Lincoln’s significance in history. A few people walk randomly as though they’re just cutting through. And then…my opening…

A woman in thick coat and sporting a Swedish accent directs a group of men and women  to squeeze together as she aims the digital camera. I saunter up to the woman and say, “Would you like me to take the picture so you can be in the shot?”

Her blue eyes twinkle. “Thank you.” She hands the camera to me and squeezes into the middle of the group. I play with the buttons on the camera until she yells at me, “The button on the top.”

Rumlow hits the landing.

“Okay, everyone, squeeze together.” I say waving my hand to the left end of the group. “Uncle Olov, move in. Your head is going to be cut off.”

The older gentleman actually moves.

Rumlow stops behind me.

“Asrid, duck your head a smidge. You’re blocking Tova’s smile.” Two of the women actually adjust their positions.

Either I’m good a name guessing…

I lift the camera and look through the viewfinder, blocking my face. Rumlow walks in front of me and I growl, “I could get the shot if someone would just move.”

“Sorry,” he utters and walks away. I snap the picture as Rumlow’s voice trails off in the distance. “I’ve lost Winter Soldier, repeat, the ghost is gone…”

After a few snaps of the camera button, I return the camera and walk off in the opposite direction, going up to the street level. I know I need to hide, and yet, I have nowhere to go.  Unless…The card given to me at See You Latte is removed from my wallet. “Sam Wilson.” The address of the VA office isn’t too far from here. This could be a trap, or it could be my sanctuary. If anything, it will be somewhere to hide until dark.

#

The building is unassuming, almost residential in nature. The streets seem clear from men with earpieces and walkies here. The sky above is filled with menacing grey clouds too thick for photographic satellites to catch any images. I hope.

I take my time walking into the building, merging with a few men who were already headed inside. The wide hallway greets me with humming fluorescent lights. Under glass, white letters on a black letter board give a listing of names and offices upstairs. Similar signage along the hall point out rec and meeting rooms.

I hear a familiar voice echoing in the stairwell at my left. I turn face the corkboard next to the letter board on my right, keeping my back to the voice as it grows in volume.

Lost dog. Free cats. Guitar Lessons. Pizza coupons—I’ll just take that for dinner. A dance announcement for the tenth. Meetings schedule. All pinned in a haphazard arrangement. As I reach out for the pizza coupon, the voice passes behind me. I tuck the paper into my pocket and glance in its direction to see the back of a man’s head. Could definitely be the Sam from the cafe.

He stops at a table and arranges some papers and pamphlets. His head turns my way. My eyes fall to the yellowing, shiny white tiles and I start walking towards the room. After ten steps or so, I lift my eyes in time to see him walk through the doors next to the table. I lean against the wall near the opening and listen as he starts a meeting.

“Welcome. Our support group will start in a moment. I’m Sam Wilson and I am here to listen and help however I can. I just have one thing to do before we start…”

Not even a blink of a moment later, Sam pokes his head out of the door, looking at me. “I didn’t think I’d ever see you. Come on in. You don’t have to talk this time, but I think the others would like to meet you.”

#

I’ve been listening to these veterans speaking for about an hour now. Sam is winding down the meeting, telling his story for my benefit—retired from active duty, decided to help out a friend, and announcing his departure soon from the VA, deciding to take on a new duty for our country.

The meeting ended with a round of applause from the attendees and promises for a farewell bash. The men and women filter out of the room, stopping to shake the hand of this man who, I still cannot say with conviction, is someone I should trust.

His dark eyes meet mine and he tilts his head towards the door. “Would you like to go upstairs to my office for a talk?”

My toes squeeze into the floor of my boot, though I know my knife is embedded in the sole. I stand and nod.

“Room 227. Let me collect these papers and I’ll be up.”

Hands in my pockets, head down, I make my way to room 227. “Sam Wilson” is engraved on a black sign by the door. I open it and step inside, shutting the door as stealthy as possible. The moment I’m inside, I drop to one knee and pull the knife from my boot. I stand unfold the blade from the handle. I slash through the air with the knife—whhsh. whhsh, whssh—completing a figure eight. With satisfaction for the heft and hold, I fold the knife away and slide it into my waistband for access.

I pace around his office, refusing to appear comfortable…weak…in any way. His walls are littered with framed degrees and commendations for his actions—in war and out. There are pictures of him with various Generals from the different branches of the military. One of him with a fatigue clad prince of the United Kingdom. A few of him with President Ellis. On the opposite wall is a large flat screen running a news feed with the sound off.

Under his window are shelves of books. On the shelves, pictures of him with Iron Man and War Machine on a helicarrier. There are a few of him with the ‘Nameless Natasha’ and Thor at some party. But what catches my eye are the pictures of Sam with Captain America.

My mission.

My Steve.

Well, maybe not anymore, but at one point def—

“Before you ask, yeah, I know Cap,” Sam says, closing his office door. He points at the picture in my hands. “That was taken a few months ago. He came and talked with the veterans about his struggles, gave them words of encouragement. You should have been here.”

I never heard him enter the room. Not good.

I set the framed image on the shelf. It takes a minute for me to want to peel my eyes away from The Man in Blue before I ask, “So…what would you like to talk about?”

“You just get straight to the point, don’t you?” Sam asks, laughing nervously. He motions to one of the two burgundy leather chairs in the corner. “Have a seat.”

“I’m good right here.”

“All right.” Sam sits in one chair. He leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees, folding his hand together. “I just had a few questions. Okay? They aren’t anything to be worried about. I just have to know…”

Nothing to be worried about? That throws up a million red flags. My fingers tense and release as quickly. I can’t divulge the presence or location of the knife and lose all surprise.

“…are you James Buchanan Barnes? The sergeant from the 107th in World War ii?”

He doesn’t play around. Just went straight for the jugular.

I shake my head like his questions aren’t anything but flies near my face.

Sam stares up at me. “I know you’re panicking right now, but I’m with…a mutual friend who wants to remain out-of-the-way for now.”

My steady soldier hands flex, though my fugitive heart thuds behind this calm exterior begging me to run. The images flow through my sight, one after another in a quick roll call of who’s who in power. I suck in a deep breath through my nostrils and ask, “Which of your friends are looking for me?”

“Honestly? All of them for one reason or another,” Sam answers. “But I’m with the only one who truly matters.”

The thud in my chest just stops. Dead. “That’s impossible. He might have known me, but I almost killed him,” I say.

“He knows that wasn’t the real you.”

I turn around and ask, “So you’re telling me you’re with…” I stop dead when I see the image on the television screen. “Is there a volume for this?”

Sam scrambles to his feet and lunges for his desk. He picks up a screen device and presses a button on the screen. The volume isn’t blaring more sharing a secret.

“As stated, Margaret Carter, Peggy to her loved ones, has passed away today at the age of ninety-five. She has been out of the public eye since retiring as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director in the mid-1990s. Suffering from Alzheimer’s, she resided at the Daniel Sousa Memorial Home where she stayed until her death. She is survived by her niece, Sharon Carter, who has been unable to be reached for a comment.

“Her doctor called the cause of her death suspicious. An autopsy has been ordered and the authorities have been brought in to investigate, calling this a poisoning. They are looking to speak with this man.” My image takes up the entire screen. “He visited Ms. Carter earlier today. This is the same man wanted in conjunction with the recent upset and destruction in Washington DC. He is thought to be in the DC area. If you see him, do not approach as he is considered armed and dangerous. Call police immediately…”

Sam and I gape at each other.

“I didn’t kill her,” I tell him. Though…maybe thoughts of it over time have creeped through my mind. “I was only asking about Steve.”

Sam nods, pressing his lips together. “I know you didn’t,” he says, pacing about his office. “But you’ve been identified and your safety…your freedom is at risk. You need to go.”

He picks up a pad of paper and pen from his desk. The pen furiously scribbles across the sheet. He rips it off and hands it to me, setting fire to the rest of the pad in a glass bowl. He places a clipboard on top of the blaze when the top half of the pad is mostly ash, the fire slowly extinguishing.

“The address is a safe house. Get there and call that number.”

“But what about Steve? Is he alive? Does he even want to see me? I need to talk to him.”

“You need to leave.” Sam picks up the black phone receiver from his desk. He punches a button on the top listing and then touches 9-9-1-1. His dark eyes are full of apologies. “Go” whispers from him so low I barely hear it. The he clears his throat and says, “Hello, yes. I’m Sam Wilson, I work at the VA Volunteer Association. I’m at the M Street location near Old Stone House Park. I ran a meeting tonight, and I think that man you’re looking for was there.” He covers the bottom part of the phone and growls, “Go. Now.” He uncovers the phone and says, “Yeah. I’ll be waiting. Fifteen minutes?”

That’s my cue to leave.


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End Notes: Thank you for reading!

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