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Pulling Me Under

Chapter Text


"You got a fetish for my love. I push you out and you come right back." - Selena Gomez (Fetish)

Bucky didn’t know her name, but she was going to make him late for the mission briefing down the hall. He’d seen her in the lab on the rare occasion he had a reason to be there, but here she was standing in front of him with papers scattered all over the hallway. He was placing the blame firmly on her; she’d come around the corner at full tilt with a stack of loose papers clutched in her arms. It wasn’t his fault she was too busy looking at her phone to see where she was going. It wasn’t his fault she’d walked right into him. Civilians.

He’d pushed down the annoyance and reached out a hand to grab her arm. She would have fallen flat on her ass otherwise. He hadn't been able to save the reports she’d been carrying, though. Those had flown up into the air and landed like confetti all around them.

“Oh, shit,” she muttered, pulling away from him and dropping to her knees to gather her precious papers. Bucky looked at his watch and then down at her. Yeah, he was going to be late.

“Here,” he said, “let me help you.”

“Uh, thanks, dude. Sorry, I didn’t see you coming.”

He bit back his response, which was to point out that she’d had her nose stuck in her phone, and instead, squatted down to help her gather up the sheets of paper. They had a list of targets and mission objectives on them. “What’s this?” he asked. Bucky thought she was one of the science nerds. She shouldn’t have the information she did. He immediately wondered if she was a mole, trying to sneak out information.

She crawled down the hall on her hands and knees, grabbing papers as she went. “Fury gave me one job to do, and I fuck it up. Don’t look at the things. They are classified things. In fact,” she said, pushing herself up to her feet, “give them to me. You aren't allowed to…”

He watched her eyes widen as she realized who she’d run into. Bucky wished he could say that he’d gotten used to the way people looked at him from the corner of their eyes or the way people in the building would avoid walking near him. He’d even caught some of the lower level employees trying to covertly take pictures of him with their cell phones in the lobby of the building. It all just made him feel like a fucking freak. Now he was going to be late for the briefing and she was going to make him feel like shit. Great.

“Well, uh, so I guess you can look at the papers after all. Because you’re, like, totally on the team and stuff and... “ She inhaled and blew her breath sharply out the corner of her mouth to lift a lock of hair off her forehead. “Jesus, I need a drink,” she muttered.

He’d come to the decision that she wasn’t a mole at all. She was too flustered to be a mole. Or she was the best actress he’d ever seen. “Are you working for Fury?”

“Uh, not fucking likely,” she said before bending over to pick up two papers at her feet.

She was a very confusing person. He scooped up the last few sheets and thrust his hand out to offer them to her. “Here,” he told her.

“Sorry, for disturbing your space like that, dude. Fury asked me to make copies and bring them to the briefing, and I was thinking that this was like an audition or something. I mean, working for Jane is cool and all, but, like, Fury can pay me way more than science can. Science doesn’t pay shit when you’re not a genius. I’m not a genius, if you couldn’t tell. Then again, science doesn't pay much even if you are a genius. So, yeah, audition and copies and then–boom–you.”

Bucky stared at her, still holding out the papers. She snatched them away and added them to her pile. “I have no idea what you just said to me,” he admitted.

“Yeah, me neither.” She looked at her phone and groaned. “Fuck, I’m late, and I don’t even know where the conference room is.”

“It’s this way,” he told her, nodding down the hall. She fell into step behind him, and he could hear her shuffling the papers to get them all turned in the right direction.

“Can you, like, feel stuff with your fingers?” she asked.

Bucky turned his head to look at her. “What?”

She lifted her hand and wiggled her fingers. “The metal ones. Can you feel stuff? Or is it just… metal?”

He stopped walking and turned to face her. No one asked him about his arm. No one. Sometimes he wished they would so it wouldn’t be such a taboo thing, so he wouldn’t have to endure nosey people taking furtive pictures of him like he didn’t know exactly what they were up to. “Yes,” he said after a moment.

“So, yes to feeling stuff or yes to just metal?”

He turned back around to keep walking. She hurried after him. “Yes to feeling stuff,” he answered.

“Huh, that’s pretty cool. They had that technology back in the forties?”

Who the fuck was this girl? She obviously knew who he was, but she sure as shit didn’t seem to care that much about how dangerous everyone made him out to be. “Guess so,” he replied, turning a corner. The room was at the end of the hall.

She was hot on his heels, and they were both five minutes late to a meeting that was to start at four o’clock on the dot. Fury was a stickler for that kind of thing. Bucky stopped at the door and put his hand on the knob. She almost bounced into his back, pulling up short a fraction of a second before walking right into him again.

He turned his head to give her a questioning look, wondering why she couldn’t keep her phone out of her face and just walk. Her eyes were wide again, but she didn't have her phone out.

“What?” she asked. “I didn’t… I mean, I was putting the papers in order. I wasn’t looking at your ass.”

Bucky furrowed his brows.

“What?” she asked again. “I wasn’t.”

Narrowing his eyes at her, he said, “Yeah, I believe you.”

“Oh. Good. Is this the place?”

“You got your papers in order?” he asked.

She flipped through the stack. “Yep, lead on Sergeant Barnes.”

He opened the door and stepped aside so she could go in. Bucky watched her make a beeline for Fury at the head of the table. She laid the stack of papers in front of him and bent down to speak to him in low tones. She looked like she was apologizing for her tardiness. He frowned and walked around the table to take the empty chair next to Steve.

As he settled into the chair, she wrapped up her conversation with Fury and hurried out of the room. The mission objectives lists, which she’d just delivered were passed around. His was crinkled from flying all over the hallway minutes before. Bucky smoothed out the sheet and turned his attention to the front of the room.

It was good she worked in the lab. Maybe they could make messes and talk out of turn in the lab. Knowing Tony Stark, that’s probably just what happened. A clusterfuck of loud music and food and equipment parts. That was where she belonged.




The mission was a waste of time. The intel they’d been given was outdated and the HYDRA cell had moved on. Most of the elite ops squad was still in eastern Poland. He and Steve had arrived back at the Avengers facility in Newark a few minutes before. They had taken the quinjet with a handful of others. Natasha and Clint had stayed behind with the larger group.

Steve was on some protein drink kick and had offered to make Bucky one as they rode the elevator down from the landing pad on the roof to the apartment they shared on the twenty-first floor. He wanted real food, not that powdered shit Steve mixed with milk and drank by the gallon, so Bucky took the elevator all the way to the lobby. He pulled his baseball cap low and shoved his hands into the pockets of his coat to hide the prosthetic and hopefully not draw any attention to himself. He wasn’t in the mood to be gawked at by anyone.

The lobby was high-ceilinged and open. The front of the building was glass that went up three stories. Odd-looking, modern light fixtures hung from above, but most of the light came from the wall of windows overlooking the street. He exited the elevator and hunched his shoulders up. His eyes scanned the area; it was a habit that was hard to break. There were maybe fifteen to twenty people milling around the doorway and seating area by the windows. The security desk was manned by a young kid who looked like his shirt was two sizes too big. He reminded Bucky of Steve, before the serum and the War.

The girl–the one who worked in the lab and had insisted she wasn’t staring at his ass–was standing by the security desk with a FedEx package. She appeared to be struggling with a roll of clear packing tape. Bucky shook his head and turned away from her. She’d just cause a scene if she saw him. That’s what girls like her did. She was too loud and too brash and too… much.

He looked outside as he approached the exit and saw a beat up white station wagon double parked right in front of the doors. His mind started assessing the situation, cataloging the dialogue around him and the way the car was sitting there, idling, waiting for a ticket from the police car that drove by every fifteen minutes. When he got to the door, he saw two black SUVs parked down the block.

“Code G in blue sector, code G in blue sector.” The robotic voice sounded from the radio the kid at the security desk was wearing. Code G was innocuous. It was just a notification that the security system was resetting itself because of a bug. It happened from time to time and would only take half a minute. The building was set up with different sectors, so the only part of the building that was vulnerable at the moment was the back entrance where the loading dock was. It had its own security guard.

Except all these little things were adding up to something that made the back of his neck prickle. He pushed open the door and looked up the street. An unmarked box truck was parked a block up. Bucky looked back at the idling station wagon. There wasn’t a driver. He had a very bad feeling.

Elite ops team in Poland, a security system bug at the loading docks, unfamiliar vehicles parked just far enough away from an out-of-place and driverless station wagon. He took one step out the door, which gave him a view of the interior of the car. A small, stubby antenna was attached to the dashboard. “Fuck,” he muttered under his breath.

Before he could turn to go back into the building, the flashing red light next to the antenna switched over to a steady green. Bucky whipped around and yelled for everyone to get down. He had just enough time to take two lurching strides into the building before the blast hit his back and propelled him further into the lobby, chunks of glass flying through the air around him. He saw the glass hit the floor, but he couldn’t hear the tinkle it made because his ears were roaring from the boom.

Crawling across the floor of the lobby on his knees and elbows, he risked a glance back at the doorway. Some of the glass in the upper window panes was still intact, but shattered and barely holding on to the frames. The glass right in front of him was gone, the thin strips of metal between the panes the only thing remaining.

Bucky reached around to the small of his back and pulled out his Beretta. It held eighteen rounds, which didn’t seem like enough when it came to a situation like this. He just hoped that someone on an upper floor received an alert that the lobby had been compromised. The loading dock around back was probably also hit, though it was more likely that the men hiding in the box truck were on their way to take it over.

He stumbled to his feet and made his way toward the security desk. The kid with the too-big shirt and oversized badge was out cold on the floor. He’d probably stood up to see what Bucky had yelled about and been thrown into the wall by the blast. The desk wasn’t the best cover, but it was the only cover he had.

“What happened?”

He glanced over his shoulder and saw the girl–the lab girl–watching him with wide blue eyes and parted lips. She had blood on her arm and glass in her hair. “Get down,” he hissed at her. When she didn’t react, he reached over and grabbed her arm, pulling her down to her knees behind the desk with him

“Was that a bomb?

“What do you fuckin’ think?” he asked. Bucky did not need a civilian to babysit during a crisis like this. All their best men were out of the country, and Steve was upstairs making a milkshake. “You get down and stay down,” he barked at her.

“Okay,” she agreed, crouching down next to him.

He could hear the sound of gunfire from the back of the building. She wasn’t registering it, probably because her ears were still messed up from the explosion and because she didn’t have enhanced hearing courtesy of Dr. Fucking Zola.

The people who had been near the window when the bomb went off and weren’t knocked out were slowly getting to their feet. “Stay down!” he told them. “On the floor!”

Some of them obeyed and others still struggled to stand. He swept his gaze over to the blown out doorway as a group of men in black tactical gear and assault rifles approached the building. One of them lifted his weapon and shot through the empty window frame, catching a middle-aged men in a suit right between the shoulder blades. The gunshot propelled the man’s body forward a couple steps before he fell on his face. Before the blood began to pool around the man, Bucky lifted his gun and aimed for the shooter. His pistol could kill just as well as their rifles, and he proved that when his shot hit the intruder right in the forehead. The hostile crumpled to the ground. Bucky was able to pick off another member of the assault team before all hell broke loose and they realized they had an unfriendly behind the security desk.

Chips of the thick wood flew as they sprayed bullets around him. Bucky grabbed the mouthy girl and curled his body around her to keep her from getting shot. She was trembling and her breathing was rapid and hot against his arm. When the gunfire died down and the men entered the building, Bucky let go of her. “You stay here and don’t move. You got it?”

Commotion from the hallway behind them took his attention from her wide eyes. It didn’t take long for him to put two and two together and realize the team that had taken the loading dock was on their way to meet up with the team in the lobby. He couldn’t take them all. He heard another gunshot just yards away, and a woman screamed in horror. They’d shot another civilian in the lobby. Where were the cops? Where was the building security team?

“Can I have that?”

He looked over at the brunette beside him. He didn’t even know her name. “What?” he asked.

“Can I have that?” she asked again, pointing at the gun strapped to his ankle. His lifted pant leg exposed it.

“No,” he snapped. “You stay here.”

Now there were gunshots in the hall behind them. They were surrounded, and he had no idea how to get lab girl to safety.

“I think I can help. Can I have the gun?”

“You don’t even known how to use one, sweetheart,” he muttered, popping his head above the desk to survey the location of the hostiles in the lobby. They’d spread out while one was attaching explosives to the elevators. Another was working on the keypad to the stairwell.

They’d been played. HYDRA had sent them off on a wild goose chase in Poland while planning to hit the headquarters for the Avengers all along. They just hadn’t counted on some of the team, like him, being back early. Not that he was doing much good right now, hiding behind a fucking desk.

“I can shoot,” she told him.

“Sure you can,” he said, taking aim at the man on the keypad. The elevators could go, but if they gained access to the stairwell, then the building would be fucked.

A commotion behind them made him second guess the shot, especially from such a distance with a handgun. If he had his rifle, then he’d pick the guy off without a thought. A door banged open and the second team from the loading docks hurried into the lobby. Bucky’s position was too exposed; the desk didn’t hid him or the girl from their eyes at that angle.

He moved to shield her from them again, when he felt a tug on his ankle. She’d unbuckled the strap holding the Glock into the holster and pulled it out before he could react.

“I can help,” she repeated to him before adding, “I think,” under her breath. “Who do I shoot?”

Bucky widened his eyes at her. “The people shootin’ at you, sweetheart.”

“Okay, fuck, you don’t have to be such an asshole about it,” she whispered.

“We got two over here,” a man called out, making his way over to where they were half-hidden behind the desk.

Bucky swung his gun up, but before he could pull the trigger, he heard a pop. The man approaching them crumpled to the floor, and that frustrating fucking girl from the lab looked from the smoking barrel of the Glock to him with wide eyes. Bucky would have felt sorry for her if they’d had the time. As it was, her shot had brought down a shitstorm on them. He picked off three men before the others reacted and started firing at them. He counted his shots. He had fourteen left. Under a hail of bullets, he pulled the trigger four more times to clear the lobby floor.

He’d been hoping that the men behind them would be slow to react and the fact that he didn’t have a bullet in the back of his head told him that his hopes had been answered. Or not. There were five men dead on the floor in the hallway. Men he had not shot.

He looked over at lab girl. Her upper teeth were pressed deep into her lower lip as she took aim at the man by the staircase. Just as he opened the door, she fired and hit him dead center in the back of the head. They had to be twenty or twenty-five yards away and she had his subcompact Glock in her hands. One of Fury’s elite ops guys would be hard pressed to do what she’d just done with a gun not made for accuracy at distances. Obviously she was responsible for the bloodbath behind them, as well.

Two men came around the bend of the hallway and took aim at her. She was so focused on making her next shot, which happened to be the man by the elevators, that she didn’t even notice. Bucky lunged forward and wrapped his left arm around her waist, pulling her back. Her finger hit the trigger and her next round lodged itself in the ceiling right before the spot where she’d been lit up with bullets.

“Holy shit,” she said, struggling to right herself in his arms. The two men who had shot at her were advancing. Without letting her go, Bucky lifted his gun and fired, hitting the man on the right. Before he could take aim at the other man, she had him lined up in her sights. The guy didn’t stand a chance. She shot him right in the center of his chest.

Suddenly, Steve’s shield flew across the room and knocked back three men approaching them from behind. Bucky looked up, never more happy to see that punk.

“The roof is compromised and they’ve gained access to the stairwell,” Steve said. “I put in a call to our backup team. They should be here in five.”

Bucky and Steve both jumped when they heard a shot. Bucky looked down at the girl, who was still wrapped up in his arm. Smoke wafted from the muzzle of her gun. “What?” she asked. “He was going to shoot Captain America. I can’t let him do that.”

The man she was referring to was limp and lifeless on the floor, a hole in his forehead. “Sweetheart, what the fuck?” Bucky said on an exhale.

The building alarm started blaring and a confused mass of people spilled out of the stairwell, screaming and crying and yelling for help.

“Give me the gun,” Steve said, reaching his open hand out to the girl.

“Let her keep it,” Bucky told Steve as he pushed himself up to his feet. “She's a good shot.”

The girl stuck her tongue out at Steve. Actually stuck her fucking tongue out and scrunched up her nose like she was eleven years old and getting her way after her dad told her she couldn't have something for her birthday. Bucky shook his head and offered her his left hand. He hadn't actually expect her to take it. It came as a bit of a shock when she slipped her hand into his without hesitation.

Pulling her up, he said, “Hide the gun in your jeans and leave the building. Go five blocks up Fifth and knock on the side door to Silky’s Bar. Tell them you're there to see Winston.”

“No, I'm staying here to help,” she told him, letting go of his hand and turning toward the staircase. The stream of people had stopped, but Bucky could hear the steady clop of heavy boots descending. The team from the roof was coming, and he could hear a helicopter outside. If they were organized, they’d have a larger team ready to come through the front within a minute.

Steve was already heading to the staircase by himself like a suicidal idiot. No surprise there. “No, you're not. I need you to get the fuck out of here or you're gonna get us both killed.”

She lifted her chin. “I saved your ass.”

“You did,” he conceded. “But I'm gonna get killed trying to save yours again. Silky’s Bar on Fifth. Side door. Ask for Winston.”

“Who is Winston?”

“No one. Doll, get the fuck out of here. Now.”

She shoved his gun in the waistband of her jeans and flipped her shirt over it. The look she shot him was dirty, like she wasn't happy he was bossing her around. Frankly, he didn't really care what she thought. Although, Bucky would have been lying if he said the way she'd tucked his gun away in her pants wasn't a little hot.

There was a commotion in the stairwell and then a series of echoing gunshots. Muttering under his breath, Bucky gave the girl one last stern look to get her on her way before jogging over to help Steve.




It took five hours to get the building under control. A team of HYDRA operatives that had come in from the roof had compromised the computer system. Bucky didn’t know exactly what that meant, but the tech nerds on the seventh floor were up in arms over it. Two of them were nursing serious concussions from being bashed in the back of the head with the grip of a rifle, and the other three were sitting in the corner, voices at a whisper.

“What’s the hold up?” Bucky asked Steve, holstering his Beretta in its spot at the small of his back.

Steve shook his head and walked out of the room to stand in front of the stairwell door. “HYDRA pulled some sensitive information off the server. They still aren’t sure what. I talked to Fury. He’s out of the country taking care of some political crisis in the UK. He pulled some strings and talked to the head of the CIA.”

“Yeah, okay,” Bucky said, motioning for Steve to get to the point.

“They think HYDRA has been operating out of Trenton for months. At first they thought it was a drug operation for the Russian mafia, but the drug packaging and distributing is just the cover. Which is probably why it never showed up on our radar.”

“And it shows up on the CIA’s? Why didn’t they pass along the info?”

Steve shrugged. “Bureaucracy. You know these agencies don’t share info.”

“Fuck that,” Bucky replied, turning away from Steve and pacing along the wall. “What’s next? Where’s this place in Trenton?”

“Buck, no. We can’t go off all half-cocked.”

Bucky laughed. “That’s rich coming from you, punk. Can’t go off all half-cocked, you tell me. Like that isn’t the story of your life.”

“We are responsible for other lives, Buck. The team in Poland is en route. They should be here in less than twenty-four hours. Natasha and Clint are headed back now and should be here soon. We need to wait until we’re fully staffed before we can go after them.”

Bucky didn’t like it. If the team was back in twenty-four hours, then it would take at least another twenty-four to come up with a game plan to go after the HYDRA base. That gave them two whole days to pack up and move locations or get out of town. It sounded like they got something of worth from the computer system, if the stench of anxiety from the tech nerds told him anything. “Gives them too much time to react,” he told Steve.

“Ain’t nothing can be done for that, Buck. We can’t take on the whole base ourselves. The CIA estimates they have over a hundred people coming and going at any one point in time, and that’s a conservative estimate.” Steve laughed under his breath and added, “Unless you want to ask that brunette to give us a hand.”

“What brunette?” Bucky asked. As soon as it was out of his mouth, he knew exactly what brunette. “Ah, fuck. Her.”

“Where’d you send her?”

“To the safe house at Silky’s.”

Steve nodded. “I’ll send someone over to check on her.”

They walked back into the large office that housed the technical support staff and the servers that ran the operation and building. The three techies huddled around the corner desk looked up at them.

“What did they get?” Steve asked them in that authoritative Captain America voice that Bucky still thought was just a little funny. Apparently, the nerds didn’t think so because they all looked close to jumping out of their skin.

“Uh, well, a few things,” a tall, balding man said. “Security camera footage around the time of the accident. Maybe twenty minutes before and five or ten minutes after the blast.”

“Okay,” Steve said. “What else?”

“And, uh, the files on a few agents, including, uh, well…” The man’s eyes shot to Bucky and then bounced back to Steve.

“Including mine,” Bucky said, his voice flat. He really should be used to it by now. It was just hard to swallow that constant, dogged harassment by those Nazi fucks that thought they knew how to run the world. They just wouldn’t stop until he was in a grave or running around being their bitch again.

“Your psych evaluation and…”

“And confirmation that I still got their shit in my fuckin’ head,” Bucky snapped. He walked out of the room, clenching his left hand into a fist and trying to restrain himself enough that he didn’t punch a hole in the wall.

“Buck,” Steve said, following him down the hall. “Just because they have it, doesn’t mean they can do anything with it. You’ve been working on getting it under control. What’s to say they’d still be able to use your triggers against you?”

“Is that a chance you wanna take, punk?”

“I know you, Buck. I know you got this under control. Who cares if they have anything on you. Ain’t like they can use it.”

The elevator door to their right opened and Fury stepped out.

“I thought you were in the UK,” Steve said.

“Was. I was on a plane fifteen minutes after I got your call because we have to deal with the shitstorm that just happened here. What the fuck went wrong with our security systems?”

“They caught the system in the loading dock going through its reset,” Bucky said. “And they blew the front of the building out, in case you didn’t fuckin’ see.”

“I saw it, Barnes. Believe me, I saw it.” Fury’s lips were flattened out in a grimace. “How’d they know about the system reset? How’d they get the car double-parked and not towed? The Newark PD drives by every fifteen fuckin’ minutes.”

“You think they have someone inside?” Steve asked.

“I don’t know,” Fury replied, “but I’m going to find out.”

Bucky flexed his left hand. He wanted to fight something or someone. They were wasting time standing around holding their dicks. It was giving HYDRA too much of a jump on them.

Fury was looking at his phone. “Who the fuck is this? Is this Lewis?” he asked them, holding his phone out toward Steve and Bucky.

The picture was grainy, like it had been taken from a video and blown up. Bucky didn’t have to give it more than a cursory glance to answer Fury’s question, though. It was lab girl, the brunette who had taken his Glock.

“She works here,” Steve said. “In the labs, I think. I don’t know her name.” He looked over at Bucky.

“I don’t fuckin’ know her name,” Bucky replied, a bit defensive. “I was trying to help her get out of here.”

“Lewis,” Fury said again. “What the fuck was she doing in the lobby? Someone is willing to pay fifty thousand bucks for positive identification. My Intel guys just found the request on the dark web. Why are they looking for the name of a lab employee?”

Bucky snorted. “Because she shot and killed at least nine of their guys.”

“What’s she doing in the lab, then? I've been having her run goddamn errands like a secretary,” Fury said. He and Steve both turned their attention to Bucky.

He threw his hands out. “I don’t fuckin’ know. I’m not in charge of hiring. I didn't even know her name.”

Steve dropped his voice and stepped over to Fury. “She’s at the safe house at Silky’s. Or at least that’s where Bucky sent her. I was about to send someone to check on her.”

“Not until I figure out if we have a leak or double agent,” Fury replied. “One of you can go check on her.”

Bucky assumed Steve would. Steve was all about saving damsels in distress. Lab girl wasn’t really a damsel in distress, but Steve had a soft spot for chocolate brown hair and red lips.

“In fact,” Fury continued, “I’ll take care of two of my problems at once. You go check on her, Barnes. And while you’re at it, why don’t you camp out there for the night. The security in this building is fucked until we can get a cleanup crew out here. They have your file, and I’m not taking the chance that they’ll fuck with your head again.”

“He’s fine,” Steve said before Bucky could even open his mouth.

“I’m sure he is, but I’m not risking my men. If he goes off, he could take out my entire elite ops team.”

“I’m good,” Bucky said through clenched teeth.

“Not up for discussion,” Fury replied. “Give me twenty-four hours and I’ll pull you out. For now, I need you out of the picture just in case.” He checked his phone screen again. “And keep that girl in there, for fuck’s sake,” Fury added. “I don’t need a lab assistant to get kidnapped and killed because of a glitch in our security system.”

Chapter Text


“Closer, no hestitation. Give me all that you have. And it’s been so long that I can’t explain.” - Portishead (Humming)

Darcy had thrown up twice. She wanted to throw up a third time, but there was nothing left in her stomach. Her mouth tasted sour, and the room the manager told her to wait in just made her claustrophobic. She forced herself to stop standing over the toilet in the tiny bathroom so she could brush her teeth with her finger and a small travel size tube of toothpaste on the vanity. Going through the motions of something so familiar brought her some measure of comfort, small as it might be.

She walked into the studio apartment that was tucked away in the back of the bar, just to the left of the side exit. When she’d arrived, still numb from what had happened at the building, her tentative knock on the side door had been greeted by a burly man with a handlebar mustache and a Harley Davidson’s shirt on that barely covered his gut. His brows had shot up when he’d seen her instead of a bum looking for a handout. She’d told him she was sent to see Winston, and he’d quickly ushered her into the small studio apartment off the bar’s greasy kitchen and shut the door.

The place wasn’t so bad, she thought. A safe house could be far worse. It had a small closet of a bathroom with a narrow shower stall that looked like it had never been used. The furniture was secondhand and worn, but not disgusting. She walked back into the living area and sat down on the hideous orange couch. There was a twin bed in the corner of the room, covered with a white sheet and a dark blue blanket–also something that looked like it had never been used. Hopefully, she wouldn’t be here long enough to sleep in the bed.

The gun was on the coffee table in front of her, deceptively quiet. She knew it still had at least one round left it in, maybe two if he’d had one in the chamber. She knew she should check, but her hand started shaking each time she reached for the damn thing. It would be good to know how much of a chance she’d have in case someone unfriendly opened the door. She wasn’t really a fan of the mustache biker dude, but she could really use some company to calm her nerves. He didn’t seem to be much for company, though. Besides, she was too afraid to venture outside the room.

She’d killed, and Darcy was ashamed to admit that she didn’t remember how many. As soon as she’d had that gun in her hands, it had all moved so fast. One thing after another until she had been acting on instinct alone, her brain no longer processing feeling, just working to determine if someone was a threat or not. It was a foreign way of thinking for someone like her who always had an internal monologue happening in her head. It was like her brain had shut off and not started again until after she'd sat down on the couch in the safe house. When her brain did kick back on, she’d lurched into the bathroom to empty the contents of her stomach. Her chest felt tight and her palms were sweaty. When would she be able to leave this tiny room? It had been hours already. One more hour and she might go crazy.

A sharp knock at the door straightened her back and made her reach for the weapon on the coffee table. She picked the gun up and pointed the barrel toward the door as it opened to reveal Bucky Barnes, AKA the Winter Soldier, AKA the hottest piece of ass since, well, his BFF Captain America. They just didn't make ‘em like that anymore. That might be because the super soldier serum was a thing of the past.

Darcy decided if he weren't such an asshole, she'd be nursing a massive crush on him. As things stood, it was just a lowkey appreciation for his beefcake body. An appreciation that wasn't much in her mind now because she had bigger things to fret over.

Lowering the gun, she said, “How many did I kill?” Her voice sounded strange.

“A few,” he replied, stepping inside and shutting the door. He looked like someone had pissed in his first coffee of the morning.

“I need to know.”

He leaned against the door and exhaled. “Why? Ain't gonna make you feel better. Thought you were a pro the way you took ‘em out. Guess not.”

“I’ve never killed anyone. I've never even shot at someone. How many?”

He stood there against the door and stared at her with those cold eyes for a long moment. Darcy wanted to squirm under the weight of his appraisal. “You did what you had to do. More people would’ve died if you hadn't done it.”

“How ma–”

“Nine,” he said, cutting her off. “Best I can tell.”

“Fuck,” she muttered, bending over to put her head between her knees so she wouldn't pass out.

He pushed off the door and walked over to the kitchenette. She heard him turn the tap on to fill a cup and prepared herself to tell him he could keep the water because she was too sick to drink. He never offered it to her, though. Darcy looked up to see him standing by the sink, his hip pressed into the edge of the counter as he drank. When he’d finished, he ran the back of his hand over his mouth and said, “Look, I'm stuck here with you for the next few hours, so I'd appreciate you putting your guilt on hold until we can go back to our lives.”

Darcy stood, putting her hands on her hips. “Well, excuse me for having a fucking conscience. I don't go around killing people everyday like some people.”

He scowled and tossed the plastic cup in the sink. “Get off your fuckin’ high horse, sweetheart. It was you or them. If that's what it is, then it ain't no decision at all. It's always gotta be them that goes. So, you're absolved of all guilt and can shut your mouth.”

She parted her lips to ask him what his problem was when she realized how careless and hurtful her comment had been. She'd heard Bruce talking about what HYDRA had made Bucky Barnes do during the decades he was their captive. He'd murdered people–innocent people–while under the control of the terrorist organization.

She felt her shoulders slump as she said, “Look, I'm sorry. What I said was shitty. I just… I don't know what to think. I'm not…”

He exhaled sharply and pushed off the counter. “Those guys wouldn't think twice about putting a bullet between your eyes. They're bad guys. Ain't no reason for you to feel guilty. They knew what they were getting into. They killed twenty-eight people who worked in that building today. Would have been more if it weren't for you.”

Darcy watched him cross the room and drop onto the couch. He stayed on the end furthest from her. If there had been another seat in the room, she suspected he would have taken it. “Are you just saying that to make me feel better?”

“Nah. It's the truth.”

She lowered herself onto the other end of the couch. “Do I have to go to the police station? I have to give a statement, right? Do you think they’ll put me in jail?”

The corners of his mouth lifted up, and he shook his head. “We handle this internally. Your name isn't on any of the reports.”

“But the security cameras probably…”

“We wiped them. Official word is that I shot all those guys.”

Darcy’s initial reaction was to protest him taking credit for saving the day. Fast on the heels of that thought was the heartfelt belief that she'd happily give up that burden any day of the week. She didn't exactly want to be known as a killer. Even if you are, her mind added.

“You okay with that?” he asked.

“Yeah. Yeah. As long as you don't get in trouble for what I did.”

“No one is in trouble. A terrorist group attacked the building you work in. Whether it was me or you who fought back, it was what needed to be done to save lives. Those were…”

“Bad guys,” she said, interrupting him. “I know. I just… I feel like… I…”

“Feels like a weight.”

“Yeah,” she agreed. “I thought I was gonna have a panic attack before you got here.”

He glanced over at her. “Don't do that.”

She sighed and let her head fall back on the couch cushion behind her. The ceiling was low. It made the room feel even smaller. His presence was oddly calming. He wasn't really a comforting guy, but there was something to be said for his competence and the way he didn't treat her like a child.

“What's your name?” he asked after a couple minutes of silence.

She laughed under her breath. “Darcy Lewis. I work in the research department with Jane Foster.”

“I know where you work. Just didn't know your name.”

“I know yours.”

He looked over at her again, his eyes cold, distant. “I'm not exactly inconspicuous with this,” he said, lifting his left arm up.

“And you were in my eighth grade history textbook.”

“Jesus,” Bucky muttered, shaking his head.

“It was a good picture. You looked debonair,” she said, trying to lighten the mood.

The look on his face told her he was two seconds from walking out the door. “You wanna get along with me then we ain't talkin’ about your eighth grade history book.”

Darcy held up her hands, palms out to him. “Okay, I got it. Am I allowed to call you Bucky?”

“It's my name.”

“James is your name.”

“Nobody calls me James. It's Bucky.”

“So, I can–”

He huffed out a breath and interrupted her with, “Yes. Yes, you can call me Bucky for the next few hours until we can get the fuck out of this room.”

“And then what do I call you?”

“Nothing. You go back to the lab, and I go back to the field.”

Darcy felt a flash of disappointment. “Oh.” Why disappointment? He was a little bit of a jerk.

They sat there on opposite ends of the couch, listening to the faucet drip. Obviously he'd not turned it off completely. She waited him out, wondering who would break first and get up to stop the rhythmic drops of water against the stainless steel basin.

After ten or fifteen minutes, she pushed herself up and filled a clean plastic cup with tap water before turning the spigot until the dripping stopped. The lukewarm water tasted metallic, but it was refreshing after her bout of sickness before he'd arrived.

“How’d you learn to shoot like that?”

She looked up to find him watching her from his spot on the couch. His gaze was steady.

Darcy walked over and bent a knee to rest it on the arm of the couch furthest from him. “I’ve been practicing.”

Bucky raised his brows. “Practicing for what?”

She shrugged. “I took a class last year. I mean, it’s not like I have muscles or super powers or ninja moves, and I was sick of feeling helpless when I get stuck in fucked up situations. I hated having to depend on someone else to save my ass. So, yeah, I took a class.”

“You don’t get that good from a class,” he replied. His eyes slid down to where her knee was pressed into the arm of the couch and then flicked back up to her face. The weight of his gaze made her want to squirm.

“Like I said, I’ve been practicing. There’s a shooting range near here that rents guns. I paid for a year’s membership and go a couple times a week to practice with different guns.” She glanced at his Glock on the coffee table.

“Why don’t you use the range in the basement?”

“Uh, well, I wasn’t invited to use it, and it’s not like I’m advertising that I have a new hobby. I sure as shit don’t want to embarrass myself in front of guys like you that are way better than me.”

Bucky let out an abrupt bark of laughter than made her jump. Her nerves were already frazzled and on edge. “Sweetheart, I don’t think you know how good you are. Can’t say I could have done much better.”

Darcy eyes widened. “Don’t make fun of me.”

“I ain’t makin’ fun. They’d put you out in the field if Fury knew you could shoot circles around half his guys.”

“I’m not that good.”

“Yeah, you are.”

Darcy scoffed and sat back down. “Uh, yay, I guess.”

He shrugged. “Why know how to shoot if you ain’t gonna carry a gun, though?”

“I didn’t actually expect to have to shoot someone. It was just supposed to make me feel better.”

“Welcome to the real world, sweetheart.”

She shot him an annoyed look and went back to picking at a loose thread on the wrist of her long-sleeved shirt. “Thanks for the advice,” she mumbled.

“You really want my advice? Get a gun for concealed carry and keep it on you. They know who you are now. They saw your face and they ain’t very forgiving.”

Darcy felt her stomach drop. “What do you mean, they know who I am?”

Bucky rubbed a hand over his face and sighed. “They got the security feed. They have a picture of you. If you’re on the hit list, then you better know how to defend yourself.”

“Oh, fuck,” she moaned, curling in on herself. “I can’t do this.”

“Sure, you can,” he said, his voice so steady and reassuring. “You’re a damn fine shot. You just need to learn how to watch your back.”

“How the fuck do I learn how to do that? I might as well just lock myself in this room. I can’t fight HYDRA.”

“You’ve already fought ‘em and you’re still here.” He paused for a moment and then said, “I’ll talk to Steve and see if he can get one of his guys to give you some lessons on evasive tactics.”

“I don’t want to know evasive tactics. I want to have my life back.”

“Sorry, sweetheart. That ain’t happening. Join the fuckin’ club.”

“Is that why you’re here? Because they saw you on the security feed, too?”

He gave her a bitter smile. “They already know all about me. I’m here because my head is still fucked up.”

“Fucked up how?”

“Fucked up like they could regain control of me.”

Darcy swallowed. “Oh.” After a long moment, she added, “Sorry, that… sucks.”

“You afraid of me?” he asked, his eyes on the Glock sitting on the table.

She thought about it for a minute before she said, “No.”

“Should be.”

“I think you saved me twice back there. It’s kinda hard to be afraid of someone who has done that.”

He didn’t respond, just angled his body away from her and settled his gaze on the floor in front of the entrance. They sat in silence like that for several minutes before Darcy sighed, folding in on herself. This was too much. She regretted even learning how to pull a trigger. It had been for just-in-case, not for real life.

“Ugh, I’m going to throw up,” she muttered.

Bucky pushed up off the couch and walked across the floor to the bathroom. He disappeared into the dark room for a moment before he came out with a powder blue towel in his hand. He held it out to her. “Go take a shower. It’ll make you feel better.”

“What if they come get us?”

“We’re here for the night, maybe longer.”

“Oh.” Why did that give her butterflies? Because you’re alone in a room with him and he’s aggressive and attractive and competent and sexy, her mind offered by way of explanation. Because she’d almost just died, and he’d saved her. Because he’d actually sounded impressed when telling her that she knew how to shoot, and not in a patronizing, condescending way.

Bucky shook the towel. “Go on.”

She took it from him, avoiding touching his hand. “Okay.” Darcy hesitated when she stood up, her gaze sliding over the Glock. “Can I take the gun with me?”

Bucky shrugged. “Sure,” he said, nodding at where it rested on the coffee table. She watched as he reached behind his back and offered his Beretta to her as well. “You want this one, too?”

“Why would I want both?”

He raised his brows. “To protect yourself.”

“From you?”

He nodded.

Darcy shook her head. “No, I’m not afraid of you. I’m afraid of them. I’d rather you keep that one.”

“Oh,” he replied. Bucky hesitated for a moment before tucking the gun back into his jeans. “You seem on edge. Thought it might be me.”

“Well, you are intimidating as fuck, but I’m not afraid you’ll shoot me in the head like those HYDRA assholes.”

She caught the small smile on his face that he tried to hide by turning away from her. Instead of digging the hole and embarrassing herself further, she clutched the towel in her hand and slipped into the bathroom.

Darcy hung her clothes on the towel bar so she could put them back on afterward and gingerly stepped into the shower. She turned the hot water up enough to fog the mirror on the vanity within a couple minutes. The only thing she really got done before she felt that panicked tightness in her chest was washing her hair. When she closed her eyes to rinse the shampoo away, she'd seen bodies. They were the bodies of the men she'd shot only a few short hours ago. Darcy wondered if they had families and if they really wanted to kill her like Bucky had said. The logical part of her brain told her that she was being ridiculous and that any of those men wouldn't have thought twice about putting a bullet in her head. Her heart said different. It felt like she had an elephant on her chest.

Darcy fumbled for the lever that controlled the water and abruptly shut it off. She nearly tripped and fell as she stepped out of the narrow shower stall. Luckily, she caught herself with a hand against the wall and stood there for a moment trying to force her chest to rise and fall with deep breaths. She couldn’t seem to pull in a fulfilling one. Her heart was pounding and her palms were itching and her vision blurred.

“Darcy. Darcy, are you okay?”

It took her longer than it should have to place the voice, considering he was the only other person in the safe house. “I'm fine,” she managed to say through labored breaths. Blindly, she reached out and clutched the blue towel in her trembling hand.

She doubled over, trying to find her breath, but her mind was racing in all different directions. She'd killed nine men and hadn't even hesitated. Hadn't even felt bad about it until after it had happened. She'd killed men that hadn't even been looking at her, like the man trying to hack into the security pad at the stairwell. She'd done that, taken his life.

“Darcy, you need to answer me or I'm coming in there.”

She shook her head and tried to raise her voice, digging her fingernails into the wall. “I'm fine. Fine.”

“Sweetheart, you do not sound fine. Open the door.”

His voice broke through that panic bouncing around inside her skull, and she managed to wrap the towel around her body. She couldn't tuck the edge of it to keep it in place with her hands shaking like they were, so she just clutched the edges together in the middle of her chest. “I'm okay,” she tried again, but her voice sounded so weak and far away.

The knob turned and for a split second she just knew that it would open to reveal a man with an assault rifle and a bullet wound in the middle of his forehead. She felt blindly on the counter behind her for the Glock.

A hand grabbed her wrist to stop her from grabbing the gun, but it felt cool and strangely unyielding. She looked down and saw the glint of flawless metal.

“You’re having a panic attack,” Bucky told her, lifting her right hand up to where her left was holding the towel closed. “Close your eyes for me.”

Darcy shook her head. “I don't want to.”

He pinched her chin between the thumb and index finger of his right hand, forcing her to look at him. His eyes were a gorgeous blue. She hadn't really noticed before. “Breathe in for me,” Bucky told her.

Darcy nodded and opened her mouth to take a shuddering breath.

“Through your nose, sweetheart. Big, deep breath.”

“Okay, okay,” she whispered, lifting her chin and pulling in air until her lungs felt like they would burst.

“Open your mouth and breath out now.”

She did as he said, never taking her eyes off his face, his slightly pouty mouth, the five o’clock shadow along his jaw, those blue eyes that didn't look so dead any longer.

“Do that again for me,” he said.

Darcy inhaled through her nose and out her mouth twice more before she realized how close he was and how he'd let go of her chin. Both his hands were on her waist, holding her in place with her ass pressed against the edge of the narrow vanity. He looked like he was ready to grab her if she passed out, and that wasn't a bad thing because she'd probably come close to it a few seconds before.

“You back with me?” Bucky asked.

Darcy nodded and pulled in another deep breath. Each one loosened the vice around her chest, though she felt light-headed. Without even thinking about what she was doing, she reached her right hand out and place it on his left shoulder. The prosthetic felt unnatural, even if it looked like a real arm underneath his jacket. Darcy dug her fingernails into the fabric and tried to ease her breathing.

“You ain't to blame, sweetheart. You did the only thing you could do to stay alive.”

She knew he was right, but when she stopped actively holding that thought in her head, she slipped back into the guilt. “I know,” she told him.

He let go of her and took a step back. Darcy tried to shift to the side and leave the tight quarters of the bathroom, but her legs felt like jello, making her reach out to grab onto something. She ended up grabbing onto Bucky when he stepped forward to put his hands on her waist again.

“Your adrenaline is leaving,” he explained. “Here, sit on the counter.”

She clutched the towel tightly against her body as he lifted her up and pushed her back into the edge of the vanity. Her feet were dangling a few inches above the floor, and his hands were still firmly at her waist. She was okay with that, though. He grounded her.

“Thank you,” she whispered before she dropped her gaze to his chest. His face was gorgeous and difficult to look at when she was riding this emotional rollercoaster. Not that his wide, muscular chest beneath the henley and the black jacket was much easier for her to remain dispassionate over.

“I've been there before,” he said softly. “Ain't no fun, right?”

Darcy laughed and let her head fall forward until her forehead was pressed against his right shoulder. She tentatively reached up to rest her right hand on the opposite one like she'd done before. “Yeah, no fun at all.”

“Gotta focus on your breath.”

She nodded, but it was just a rocking of her head against his shoulder. “I'm sorry.”

“Don’t apologize to me,” he told her.

Darcy flexed her fingers on his shoulder and felt his fingers tighten around her waist. “Why are you being so nice to me?”

“I'm not.”

“You are. You're helping me and letting me touch you.”

“Doll, I think you got that backward. You're letting me touch you.”

Darcy laughed softly under her breath before saying, “I doubt you have a problem getting women to agree.”

“Ain't got time for women,” he whispered. His voice was soft and almost sounded vulnerable.

She felt reckless, a strange combination of being numb but also emotionally raw. “That's a fucking shame,” she murmured back, lifting her chin just enough to let her lips brush over the lapel of his jacket.

His fingers were digging into the tender flesh of her waist, right where her hips flared out. It didn't hurt, though. It just made her body buzz in anticipation.

He bent his head until she could feel his warm breath against her ear. “I know you ain't hittin’ on me after the day you had.”

Darcy gave a shaky laugh and lifted her forehead off his shoulder. She let her hand on him slide down his chest as she looked up through her lashes. Even as she did it, she knew she was being crazy. She just couldn't seem to stop herself, especially when he was looking at her like that.

The muscles of his stomach jumped beneath her fingertips as she trailed her hand down further. Just before she reached his belt, he grabbed her hand and used the leverage to twist her arm behind her back. It didn't hurt, but she did gasp in shock at the sudden movement. He'd worked himself between her spread knees, and she could feel his hot breath on her face.

It wasn't until then they both realized at the exact same moment that her grip on the towel had loosened. It had fallen away from her body enough to expose her breasts, a strip of pale skin down her stomach, and the thatch of dark hair at the apex of her thighs. His left hand on her waist was the only thing keeping the towel from falling onto the vanity.

She looked up, eyes wide and ready to apologize when she saw the burning heat in his eyes. “Fuck, sweetheart, you gotta tell me to leave.”

She felt drunk and numb and excited, like she was floating on a cloud that was flying across the sky at a hundred miles an hour. “I don't want you to leave.”

His fingers around her wrist flexed as he dropped his mouth to her shoulder, brushing his lips over it to graze the tendon in her neck.

“Oh my god,” Darcy whispered, threading the fingers of her free hand through his hair. Modesty and her state of undress were the furthest things from her mind.

“Tell me to fuckin’ leave,” he said through clenched teeth before he pressed a fluttering kiss to the hollow of her throat.

“Don’t,” she said, twisting the arm that he’d pinned behind her back.

Bucky let go of her wrist immediately and said, “Don’t what?” His lips were soft as they brushed over the sensitive skin of her neck.

She slid both arms over his shoulders. “Don’t go,” Darcy replied, unable to look up and meet his gaze as she focused on the cream-colored buttons at the neckline of his henley, right below his throat. Stubble covered his skin where his neck met his jaw, and she licked her lips, thinking about how rough it would feel against her tongue.

His lips parted when she felt the warmth of his right hand cover her left breast. It forced a shaky, shuddering exhale out of her, and then a sharp inhale when he swiped the pad of his thumb across her nipple that was already painfully hard.

“Are we actually doing this?” she whispered, hooking one of her legs around his thigh and pressing her heel into the back of his leg right above the bend of his knee.

Bucky shuffled that last half step closer until she could feel the roughness of his pants and the press of his erection beneath the fabric. The vanity put her at the perfect height to allow him to ease himself right between her thighs until his cock was lined up with her. The thought that the only thing keeping him from being inside her was his pants sent a thrill through Darcy. “You wanna do this, sweetheart?”

Darcy had to admit that his use of sweetheart was kind of annoying at first. She hated pet names like that because they often came off as patronizing. Now, when he murmured it against the side of her neck, it sounded like heaven, like he actually cared. “Please,” she whispered, dragging her nails over his scalp and down his neck.

Bucky hunched over her, his left hand splayed across the middle of her back to give her support. His mouth moved slowly, but surely, across her collarbone to the valley between her breasts. Darcy hitched her legs up around his waist and let her head fall back against the mirror. The towel was long gone, covering the sink and vanity, not her body. She would have felt self-conscious, getting naked with such a hot guy, but her emotions were just fucked up enough for her not to think through possible embarrassing consequences. He was also giving her vibes that he was totally on board with them fucking on the bathroom sink of this tiny safe house.

It was a little surprising. No, it was a lot surprising. They had spoken once before today, and she'd left that encounter pretty damn sure he'd filed her away in his brain under annoying. Now, here he was, helping her lean back and arch her body so he could cup her breasts in his big, warm hand while he scattered wet, open-mouthed kisses over her chest. His cybernetic left hand was firm against her back, holding her up like he was drinking from her.

Darcy fisted one hand in his hair and clutched his shoulder with the other as he took one of her nipples into his mouth. Her sex life hadn’t exactly been exciting and busy this past year, but she’d never felt so hot for someone. She was pretty sure any foreplay beyond that moment was superfluous. With the crown of her head still resting on the mirror behind her and her eyes looking at the low ceiling, she slipped her hand off his shoulder and down his chest and stomach. Her breath hitched when her knuckles dragged across her clit as she blindly tried to touch him through his pants.

Bucky didn’t even stop the way he was tracing circles around her nipple with his tongue as he slipped the hand on her breast down to take hers and press it up against his cock. She felt him rock his hips into her palm while his teeth grazed the nipple he’d been sucking on.

“I’m ready,” she insisted, shifting her hips up.

The hand he’d used to guide hers flipped over so he could slip a finger inside her. He immediately added a second, slowly pushing them up into her before pulling them out and repeating the motion.

“Holy fuck,” Darcy muttered, lifting her head off the mirror to look down her body at him fucking her with his fingers.

“Just checking,” he murmured, looking down at where his fingers entered her. When he flicked his gaze back to her face, she was shocked by the smoldering heat in his eyes, the way his lips were swollen and wet. He looked wrecked, and it was for her. She dated nice guys who were a little nerdy and a little sweet and a little boring. She did not fuck former assassins with bangin’ bodies and dark pasts.

“Checking what?” she asked, trying not to fall apart.

One corner of his mouth lifted up in a sexy grin. “To see if you’re ready.”

“Trust me, I am fucking ready,” Darcy said, digging a heel into his ass.

He fumbled with the zipper on his pants for a little longer than was strictly necessary, and she would have started to second guess whether he really wanted to do this if it weren’t for the way his hand trembled. Shaking hands didn’t help you get your pants off.

As it turned out, he didn't bother with his pants. He just unbuttoned and unzipped them, pushing them and his boxer briefs down just enough to pull his cock out. It was thick and definitely above average. Darcy swallowed as her body clenched up in anticipation, thinking of the way he would stretch her.

He wrapped his fingers around himself and rolled his eyes up to look at her like he was questioning whether she really wanted this.

Darcy pushed back into his prosthetic hand that was still pressed into her back, holding her upright. “Fuck me,” she whispered.

His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed hard and positioned the head of his cock at her entrance. Slowly, he pushed into her, inch by inch. It made her impatient for all of him, but she wasn’t in any position to be making demands. He had her trapped between his metal arm and his cock.

When he was finally fully seated in her and she felt so overwhelmed that she wasn’t sure how to breathe, he pulled out and pushed back in. This time he entered her faster and smoother, no hesitation. She saw a flash of white as he sank his teeth into his lower lip and picked up the pace.

She felt his left hand–the one that had been holding her up–falter. Darcy gasped softly as she fell back onto the vanity a little more, pushed along by his thrusting hips. He firmed up the arm before her head hit the mirror, but it was a near thing. Tilting her head back, she closed her eyes and focused on the way he filled her up, leaving no room. Definitely bigger than any guy she’d ever slept with. If he swiped his thumb across her clit, then she’d come all over him. She wondered if he sensed that or if he was too wrapped up in his own pleasure.

When she felt a light touch on her neck, she opened her eyes and looked down her body. His right hand was lightly wrapped around her neck. She moaned as he trailed his fingertips over her sternum and down the valley between her breasts. As he passed over her stomach and abdomen, she flicked her gaze up to look at his face. Bucky was watching his hand on her like he’d never seen anything so amazing, like he hadn’t done this in forever. Which was silly because he was a hunk.

He stopped when he got to her mound, working his thumb right in there to rub up against her clit as he continued those rhythmic thrusts that were pushing her closer and closer to orgasm.

“Tell me how to make you come,” he murmured, looking up to meet her gaze. His eyes were wide and his pupils blown until she could barely see the blue of his irises.

“You’re doing it,” she said through labored breaths. “Don’t stop.”

He didn’t stop; he kept up that steady pace, the rough pad of his thumb giving delicious friction on her clit each time her body rocked back into the vanity. She couldn’t stop the sharp cry of pleasure that escaped from her throat as she came.

It was like her completion gave him permission to take what he really wanted, which was harder and faster and almost enough to make her come all over him a second time. He wrapped her up in both his arms and thrust up into her for only a few short seconds before he froze, holding himself deep inside of her. She could feel his cock jump as he came, hot breath all over her neck and wet lips pressing trembling kisses on her collarbone.

Chapter Text


“Just say you feel the way that I feel. I’m feeling sexual, so we should be sexual.” - Neiked feat. Dyo (Sexual)

He was a wreck, and it took quite the feat of willpower to stay on his feet after feeling like every ounce of energy in his body had just shot out his dick. It had been well over seventy years since he'd done that, and he had never intended it to happen in the cramped bathroom of a safe house in the back of a bar. What the fuck was he thinking?

The way she shifted her hips and the way her pussy squeezed his softening dick reminded him of exactly what he'd been thinking. He’d been thinking that she was beautiful, sitting there wrapped up in a towel and holding onto him like he was her last lifeline. Her flushed skin and the way that towel had just fallen away from her body had spelled out his demise.

Her fingers slid down his neck, making Bucky shiver. You don't even know her, he chastised himself. She was vulnerable and had just experienced a panic attack. Here he was with his cock still very much inside her like a fucking manipulative jerk who took advantage of women in distress. “I'm… sorry,” Bucky told her. He wanted to add that he'd only let himself lose control because she was too beautiful, sitting there on the vanity with the towel gaping open while she looked at him like she wanted it. A man only had so much control, right? He'd declined quite a few invitations in the past year. Fucking one of the lab assistants on a bathroom sink wasn't really in his realm of possibility earlier that day, but it sure had happened.

“Nothing to be sorry for,” she replied softly, dragging her nails across his shoulder blades. He was already getting hard again. Her soft hands moving restlessly over his upper body and the way her pussy tightened as his blood flooded back into his cock again made Bucky light-headed.

“You keep doin’ that and you're gonna get fucked again,” he told her when she glided her fingertips over his chest.

She smiled at him. “Okay.”

The glint of challenge in her eyes sent a shot of lust through him. Bucky clenched his teeth together and pulled out of her. He wasn’t sure what was crazier–fucking her in the first place or not taking her a second time when she so clearly wanted him.

Hastily, Bucky tucked himself back into his pants. As he buttoned and zipped them, he looked up to see her pulling the towel around her body, suddenly self-conscious. She wasn’t looking at him; her eyes were focused on the tile floor. He cleared his throat and said, “Finish your shower, and I’ll find you something to wear to bed.”

“Umm, okay.” He watched her slide off the vanity and tuck her hair behind her ears as she maneuvered around him. Her ass brushed up against him, and he wondered if she could feel how hard he still was. Maybe he should try again, after all. He was out of practice, and he’d barely held out long enough to make her come. Maybe he should pull off his clothes step into the stall with her, and prove he could do much better than a couple minutes up against the bathroom sink.

No, he thought. That was just his pride talking. He’d just be taking advantage of her and the situation. That didn’t stop him from hooking his index finger into the edge of the towel cutting across her back. Her grip must have been loose because the towel slipped right off into his hand as she gasped.

“Can’t take it in the shower with you,” he told Darcy, sliding his eyes down to look at the curve of her ass and the elegant dip at the small of her back. Her muscles flexed as she stepped into the stall, and he almost went right along with her. She saved him by shutting the frosted glass door and turning on the water.

Bucky stepped up to the vanity and put his hands on the edges of the sink, leaning in to look at himself in the mirror. He’d gotten carried away. More than carried away, actually. She’d just looked like a dream, and her little hands had been clinging to him. More predatory women had tried to get into his pants since he’d escaped from HYDRA a few years ago, but it had been easy to turn them down, easy to say that kind of relationship wasn’t for him any longer. His head was fucked up and his life was a mess, and he certainly didn’t deserve that kind of pleasure.

He decided to blame it on the situation–his frustration over HYDRA being so close, the adrenaline from the action in the building, the way she’d just taken his gun and taken charge, her ability to get under his skin like few people could do. The way she was so fucking trusting of you, a voice in the back of his head added.

He lifted his right hand up to push his hair back off his face and caught the scent of her in the air. It was his hand, his fingers, to be specific, the two he’d put in her. Bucky clenched his hand into a fist and brought it up to his nose, inhaling the musky scent of her arousal. He flicked his tongue out to touch the knuckle of his index finger. It was faint, barely there, but it was definitely her. Giving in to his baser instincts, he stuck his index and middle finger into his mouth and swirled his tongue around, trying to discern how good she tasted. It was too slight to give him satisfaction, just making him want to shove his face between her thighs. That wasn’t going to happen.

Fuck,” Bucky muttered under his breath. The mirror was fogged up by then, blurring his face.

He pushed himself away from the sink and walked back into the main room of the small apartment. There was a squat chest-of-drawers next to the bed. It had some clothing in it–just generic pieces that would fit most people. He pulled out a white shirt and a smaller pair of sweatpants that would still be big on her before he walked back into the bathroom.

“There’s clean clothes out here,” he told her, hooking the shirt and pants over the towel bar.

“Um, thanks,” she said. He couldn’t make out details, but her blurred form was pressed into the corner of the narrow stall.

“You okay, sweetheart?”

He heard her shaky breath. “Yeah,” she replied.

Bucky felt his jaw tighten. “Look, I’m sorry I… I’m sorry for what I did. I was out of line.”

“It’s fine. I’m fine. I mean…” She let out a heavy sigh. “It was good–great, really. Definitely got my mind off what happened. I mean, I’m not having a panic attack anymore.”

“I took advantage of you,” he stated flatly.

He heard her soft laugh. “Uh, no. You did not take advantage. I was totally on board for what happened. Trust me.”

“You were anxious and I shouldn’t have pushed–”

“You didn’t,” she interrupted. “Push, I mean. You didn’t push. Like I said, I was on board.”

Bucky shifted his weight from one foot to the other, feeling uncomfortable. This was exactly the reason he avoided women. He didn’t know what the fuck he was doing anymore. Back in nineteen forty-two he would have cracked a joke and opened the door to the stall so he could join her under the hot spray of water, put his hands all over her body, push her up against the wall, fuck her until she said his name. Now he had so much baggage hanging off him that he didn’t know if he could let go enough to just enjoy it. Her. Enjoy her. Like he’d done just a moment ago when he’d slipped up.

“Either way, I apologize for… what happened.”

“Well, apology rejected and thrown out the fucking window,” she replied in a dry voice. “Can you get out of the bathroom so I can get dressed?”

She had that bite back in her voice, and he was glad to hear it. He didn’t want to be responsible for fucking her head up because he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants. “Yeah, okay,” he finally replied, shutting the bathroom door behind him as he exited.

Bucky got a drink of water and paced the floor in front of the coffee table. Why her? After the list of women who had tried to get his attention, why a lab assistant who he’d considered slightly annoying just a few hours ago? Now he didn’t even know how to fucking act around her. Was he supposed to treat her like a girl he was seeing? Or maybe treat her like a friend, even though he didn’t really think they were that at all? He wasn’t sure he could go back to treating her like the lab girl when he’d had his cock buried to the hilt inside her.

The bathroom door opened, and she stepped out, looking just a little wary. Her hair was wet and loose around her shoulders. The white shirt he’d given her didn’t do anything to disguise her lack of a bra. She had the sweatpants balled up in her hand. Bucky felt his jaw tighten at a shot of lust that was made worse by the fact that he got the impression she’d be up to go again. For a brief second, he wondered if she was wearing panties underneath the shirt. His imagination decided she wasn’t, and his dick decided that was a good choice.

“They were too long. Like, by a foot. I didn’t want to trip over them,” she said, holding them out to him.

Bucky snatched the pants out of her hand and positioned them in front of his crotch to hide how hard he was getting just thinking about being inside her again, feeling her hands on his body, putting his hands on her. “You can take the bed.”

She looked behind her at the tiny twin bed. “Oh, okay. I could… share. With you.”

“We ain’t both fittin’ on that bed, sweetheart. Go get some sleep. I’ll keep a watch.”

“Aren’t you going to sleep?”

“Can’t. Too wired.”

She walked over and sat down on the edge of the mattress. “Do you think they’ll attack us again?”

“We know where they are, just need to go take them out.”

“Is that what’s going to happen?”

“They’re working on it. Until then, I’m here.”

“Me too?”

He walked over to the couch and dropped down into it. “Nah, sweetheart. They’ll probably come get you tomorrow. Hide you away until they can figure out exactly what happened. The building will be secure by then.”

“Do you… do you really think they’re after me?” She looked anxious.

He wanted to ease her mind, but not at the expense of lying to her. “They are right now, but we can help cool that down. HYDRA is decentralized and taking out this particular cell might take care of your issue.”

“What about your issue?”

Bucky furrowed his brows. “My issue?”

“Why you’re here. Because of your… conditioning or whatever.”

His laughter was bitter and soft as he shook his head. “Nah, my problem is a little bigger than just one cell.”

“Oh.” She looked down at the floor and then up at him. “Sorry, dude.”

His lips twisted into a pathetic smile. “I ain’t accepting that apology, sweetheart. None of it is your fault.”

She shrugged. “Just seems like it sucks.”

“It does. Go to bed.”

She frowned. “Don’t boss me around. I was starting to like you.”

“You shouldn’t. I’m an asshole.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought, but you got me thinking it’s all a front.”

“It ain’t. Go to bed.”

He watched her roll her eyes at him when she said, “You go to bed, and I’ll keep watch.” There was that familiar feeling of being annoyed with her tickling the back of his mind. He thought of going over there and pinning her to the bed and making her say his name like he was the beginning and end of everything, but he didn’t need to get wrapped up in some girl who worked with Bruce and Tony in the labs.

“Don’t make me come over there,” he warned.

Her eyes narrowed. “What are you gonna do? Take your pants all the way off this time?”

“Darcy,” he warned again. “Go. To. Fucking. Sleep.” She was taunting him, and she knew it.

His body relaxed slightly when she huffed out a frustrated breath of air and settled into the bed, throwing a blanket over her body and turning so her back was to him.

He sat there and listened to her breathing for an hour before she fell asleep. He spent another six hours sitting there listening to the even and steady breaths as she slept off all the adrenaline that had been pumping through her body since that afternoon. Most of that time was spent thinking about two things. How they were going to crush the HYDRA facility in Trenton was the first. The second was whether or not he liked her. He wasn't sure what the verdict was. She was erratic and reckless and messy and frustrating with that little attitude she'd cop with him sometimes. She was also ballsy and smart and funny with a body like a fucking coke bottle that made his dick hard from across the room.

The light above the door flashed green and a beep emitted from an unseen speaker. Someone had just scanned their iris on the security pad by the door. Bucky pulled out his gun but remained seated because it was likely Steve.

The door opened to reveal he’d been correct. Bucky nodded and slipped the gun into the holster at the small of his back. “She's sleeping,” he told Steve, who was incognito in an oversized black hoodie and jeans.

The other man glanced over at Darcy's form on the bed. “How is she?”

Bucky shrugged. “Shaken up. Worried.”

“I think we solved her problem,” Steve replied. “The Intel team fed a bogus employee file on a fake elite ops member they named Harrison to a mole we have in a HYDRA cell in Poland. They attached her picture to the file.”

“How does that help her?”

Steve smiled. “Harrison died during the invasion of the building. If they think she’s dead, they won’t be looking for her.”

Bucky could tell from the change in her breathing that she was awake. “He’s here to take you home,” Bucky called over to her.

Darcy shifted and sat up in the bed. She wrapped the blanket around herself. Bucky watched Steve’s eyes slide over her in the bed. “Miss Lewis,” Steve said, nodding in her direction, but focusing his eyes firmly on the floor. The punk had always been a little shy around pretty girls. And Miss Lewis was a pretty girl even if she got under his skin.

“Cap,” she replied, nodding back. “I didn’t know I was important enough for a fancy escort.”

“I wanted to meet the woman who took out nine HYDRA agents and saved my best friend’s ass.”

Darcy snorted. “Him? I did not save his ass. He saved mine.”

“It was mutual,” Bucky replied, feeling a little irritated for some reason. Maybe because he felt like Steve was flirting her, and that made him feel like he should punch something.

“Either way, Miss Lewis, I–we–appreciate the help.”

“Darcy,” she corrected. “Miss Lewis sounds weird. Makes me sound like I’m some stuffy debutante.”

She was definitely not stuffy. Those girls didn’t let a guy they didn’t even know fuck them on the bathroom sink. Bucky preferred girls like Darcy. She was adventurous. He narrowed his eyes and wondered if she was flirting with Steve, if Steve was more her type. She looked over at Bucky like she needed his guidance in the situation. Maybe she wasn't flirting with Steve.

“I’ll take her home,” Bucky said, pushing himself off the couch.

Steve held out a hand. “We don’t have your situation sorted out yet. We’re trying to come up with a plan of attack on their place in Trenton, and we need you safe until we can come up with a plan of attack. The data leak got worse after you left last night.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, they didn’t just get your file. They got all the files on our undercover operatives. We’re trying to extract everyone right now, but we’ve lost three people already. Most of our resources are focused on that.”

“And Trenton?” Bucky asked, trying to bite back his frustration. “If we don’t move on them, they’ll pack up and leave. Our window of opportunity is–”

“Buck, I know. I know. But we can’t go off half-cocked. You know that.” Steve turned to Darcy. “Miss Lewis–”

“Darcy,” she corrected again.

Darcy,” Steve replied. “If you want to get dressed, I’ll take you home. As a precaution, we’re going to have two men stationed outside your building. Just until this calms down.”

Her eyes cut over to Bucky before returning to Steve. “I can stay here. I mean, if that’s less work for you.”

Bucky tightened his jaw up to stop it from gaping open in shock. Was she offering to stay here with him instead of going home? Maybe he should have joined her for that shower after all.

Steve put his hands on his hips and shook his head. “You’ll be more comfortable in your own place. The two men aren’t any trouble, and we don’t really think you’re in any danger. HYDRA thinks you’re dead. They don’t even know your real name.”

“Oh, okay.” She nodded and swung her legs out of the bed.

When Steve saw her legs were bare, he turned his head away and then spun so his back was to her. Bucky wasn’t so gentlemanly; he watched her as she stood up and piled the blankets up on the bed. When he shifted his eyes over to Steve, he found his friend giving him a stern, reprimanding look. Oh, right, don’t stare at the half-naked girl. If Steve only knew he’d already seen everything and then some. He wasn’t about to confess to taking advantage of her, though.

After she’d disappeared into the bathroom to change, Steve said, “Give me the rest of the day.” He reached behind him and pulled a small radio off his belt. “I’ll call you on this when we’re ready. I promise we’ll move on them soon. We just need a few more hours.”

He didn’t like it, but he couldn’t exactly go in there himself. Without backup, they’d overwhelm him with numbers, and he’d end up right where he’d been before Steve came back into his life. “Fine,” he said, reaching out and taking the radio.

“Buck, are you sure you’re good? You seem off.”

“I’m fine, punk. I just want to do something. All this sitting around is frustrating.”

“I know,” Steve replied. “You sure about the trigger–”

“I’ll fuckin’ kill whoever says them before they can get the third word out of their mouth,” Bucky snapped, cutting Steve off.

Darcy opened the door to the bathroom and came out in the clothes she’d been in the previous day. “Umm, guess I’m ready.”

His Glock was in her hand. She gripped the barrel in her left and walked over to Bucky to offer it to him. “Thanks for letting me borrow it.”

Bucky looked at the gun and then back up at her face. Her hair was still a little damp and messy from sleeping on it after the shower. Her lips were plump, even without that bright lipstick he’d seen her wear all the time. Her eyes were dark and her gaze heavy, though. She was still worried and fucked up, but there was nothing he could do. He’d given all he had in that department. In fact, he’d probably fucked with her head more by having sex with her.

“Keep it,” he told her.

“But it’s yours.”

“Keep it just in case. You can give it back later.”

She looked down at the gun and then at him. “Okay. I’ll… see you later, then.”

See him later? Why the fuck would she want to see him later?

“Ready, Darcy?” Steve asked.

“Uh, yeah, sure, Cap.”

“Steve, not Cap,” Steve said. “I'm not in uniform.”

She shrugged. “Yeah, okay, Steve. I’m ready.”

Darcy gave him one last look before walking over to the door. Steve followed her and Bucky followed Steve, feeling frustrated that he wasn’t the one taking her home. He should be the one protecting her.

She tentatively opened the door and slipped out. When Steve moved to follow her, Bucky grabbed him by the upper arm.

Steve turned back around to look at Bucky. “What?” he asked.

Bucky opened his mouth to tell Steve to take care of her, but he couldn’t expose himself like that. Steve would read into the request. “I want to know as soon as the team is ready to move,” he said instead.

Steve nodded. “I’ll radio you.”




It took Steve fourteen hours to radio and tell Bucky that HYDRA had cleared out their base in Trenton, just like Bucky had warned they’d do. It was a perk of being a decentralized terrorist organization–picking up and moving was easy to do. It was also one of HYDRA’s biggest advantages over any government organization, including the bastardized new version of SHIELD that now employed–in a very loose sense of the term–the Avengers.

The building was secure and the all entrances were covered by armed guards now that their team from Poland was back. Fury was playing things safe until they could track down the HYDRA cell that had taken up residence in their own backyard. Bucky had been told to keep a low profile and remain in the building as much as possible to avoid any entanglement with HYDRA. After over a week of being able to do nothing beyond exercise in the gym and run laps around the track, he was ready to kill himself.

Steve was sitting beside him at the massive conference table in the largest briefing room. They'd just finished reviewing the newest intelligence. Bruce and Tony had their heads together a few yards away. Natalia looked bored as she scrolled through her phone right across from Steve. Clint was explaining the rules of darts to three computer nerds who had just given a discouraging report on tracking HYDRA.

Bucky looked up as someone came through the door and walked over to where Fury was seated at the far end of the table. It was her. Lab girl. Darcy. He hadn't seen her since the safe house, partly because he'd made sure to avoid places she might be. He tracked her as she walked across the floor. Her hair was down, and her lips were bright red. She wore a pair of black pants that hugged her ass and a white blouse. The top two buttons were undone and Bucky wondered if he would be able to see her tits if she bent over.

He didn't have to wonder long because that's exactly what happened when she stopped next to Fury’s chair and placed a stack of reports in front of him. She bent at the waist and braced a palm on the table while she used her other hand to point out a couple items on the top page.

Bucky felt his jaw unconsciously tighten. He blindly reached out and grabbed a glass half-filled with water. He just needed something to occupy his hands while he looked right down that blouse to see the way her white satin bra cupped her tits. He remembered the way she had looked that night they had fucked on the bathroom sink. His cock hardened.

As if sensing his eyes as they fucked her tits, she looked up and locked gazes with him. She seemed surprised to see him when those ruby red lips parted just slightly. She lifted the hand that had been pointing at the paper and held it up to him, palm out and fingers extended toward the ceiling in a kind of motionless wave hello. Her lips formed the word “hi”.

He clenched his teeth together. They were not in fucking grade school passing notes to each other. When he didn't return her hello, she put her hand down and turned her attention back to Fury. Bucky shook his head and tried to keep his eyes off her chest and how that fucking bra pushed her tits up and together. A little less fabric and he might be able to see her nipples. Again. Because he'd already seen them and had his mouth on them. Why the hell hadn't he pinned her to that bed and worn both of them out back when he'd had the chance? She’d been up for it; her pussy had been so wet.

Bucky glanced around the room, trying to will away his erection. His gaze caught on Tony, who was nodding at whatever Bruce was saying but looking straight down Darcy Lewis’s goddamn shirt. Fucking asshole, Bucky thought.

Everyone jumped and then Steve said, “Bucky, what the hell?”

Bucky looked down at his left hand and realized the glass he'd been holding was broken and scattered across the table. Water pooled in front of him. He'd unconsciously squeezed it just a little too tight.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, flexing the prosthetic fingers to dislodge any glass shards stuck to him.

While everyone was looking at the mess on the table, he looked up at Darcy. She was standing next to Fury’s chair now, and she locked gazes with him, her eyes wide and her lips parted. If we were alone in this room, sweetheart, he thought, I'd have you on your back on this table. Like she knew exactly what he was thinking, she sank her teeth into the corner of her lower lip. That just inflamed his desire.

Steve stood and grabbed some napkins from the coffee station on the credenza behind them. Fury said something to Darcy, dismissing her.

Bucky watched her ass as she left the room, which did nothing to alleviate his boner. Fuck her. Why did she have to come in there and mess his head up?




Three days later he saw her walking down the hall on the twenty-sixth floor. It was a restricted area where Fury’s office, the conference room, and a handful of other offices were. Steve’s office was to the right, but Bucky turned left off the elevator because he knew that ass and that long brown hair belonged to Darcy fucking Lewis. He'd gone from avoiding her to keeping an eye out. He was still too proud to go down to the labs, though. A man had to keep some dignity even when it came to a dame with a mouth made for sin.

He saw her back stiffen when she heard his footsteps behind her. She quickened her pace and he followed suit, keeping himself a few yards behind her. She turned the corner like she was going to Fury’s office, and he followed right along. Just as he rounded that same corner, he got hit in the chest with a binder of paper five inches thick.

He stumbled back a step to take stock of the situation. Darcy was standing there, hauling the binder back for a second smack. Well, she was until she saw his face, and then she winced and let her arms drop.

“Shit,” she muttered. “Why the hell are you following me, Barnes. I thought you were going to attack me or something.”

Or something, he thought. Instead of saying that, he decided on, “Attack you on the floor that requires the highest level of clearance in the building?”

She scowled at him. “It could happen. They got in through the roof before, didn't they?”

“Sweetheart, there's a fine line between caution and paranoia.”

“And what? I'm paranoid?”

He shrugged. “If the shoe fits.”

He almost recoiled from the dirty look she shot him when she said, “Fuck you. I'm stressed, and I killed nine guys two weeks ago, and Fury thinks I'm his new assistant but hasn't told Jane, who still thinks I'm working for her. And… and there you are following me around and breaking glasses in meetings and just being fucking weird around me. And when I look at you all I can think about is the fucking bathroom.”

“The bathroom was a mistake,” he said, stepping closer and lowering his voice.

“Obviously,” she said, swinging the binder into his chest again, but not as forcefully as before.

“Why are you working for Fury?”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “What kind of question is that? Like, like I'm not good enough or something?”

He wanted to throw his hands up and walk away. He'd never met a dame more frustrating than her. He could barely look at her without remembering the feel of her around his cock, and here she was giving him attitude. “It's a legitimate fuckin’ question, sweetheart.”

“Don’t you ‘sweetheart’ me. You know, I like you a lot better when you keep your mouth shut and stand there looking hot.”

He opened his mouth but didn't know how to respond to that. Finally, he said, “You're unbelievable, you know that?”

“Me? You avoided me. I was freaking the fuck out after everything that happened. I had two men in black sitting outside my apartment building and… and I'm jumping out of my skin every time my phone rings. I nearly had a panic attack on my way to work last week, thinking that some guy was following me when he was really just a regular creep who was trying to cat-call me. And you, you're like the wind. I thought you'd at least check to make sure I'm alive and not dead in a gutter somewhere. I mean, I still have your gun. I can't even hold it right because it makes me think of what I did. So I carry the fucker around by the barrel and sleep with it by my bed just in case. Don't you want it back?”

Bucky stated at her with wide eyes. All that had tumbled out of her red lips, and he wasn't even sure if she'd even taken a breath to get it all out. “Keep it, if it makes you feel safe.”

She swung the binder up with both hands and smacked him on his left arm. The impact jostled him, but just slightly. “God, you're such an asshole.”

“I'm not the one swinging a stack of paper around.” He stepped closer so he was only a half step away from her. “Look, I'm sorry about the bathroom. That shouldn't have happened. I took advantage of you while you were vulnerable, and that was shitty of me.”

Darcy widened her eyes at him. “You are so fucking clueless,” she said, her expression telling him that she was questioning his intelligence. “Of all the shit that happened that day, the least traumatizing part was us fucking on the sink.”

God, the fucking mouth on her. It annoyed the shit out of him and turned him on all at the same time. “Don't mean it should have happened.”

“Well, thank you for being such a white knight, Barnes. Women love to hear that you regret having sex with them. Really, they do,” she said, spitting the words out. “It'd just be a little more convincing if you didn't have a fucking boner when you tell me this.”

Her eyes flicked down to his crotch. He didn't need to look to know she could easily see the outline of his cock down the leg of the black pants. “Why are your eyes down there and not up here, doll?” he asked, trying to throw it back on her.

“Just because I agreed that it was a mistake doesn't mean I don’t have fond memories of your dick.”

Bucky felt a shot of heat go through him, and all he could think about was getting her alone. Reaching out, he grabbed her upper arm in his right hand.

“What the f–,” she said before he jerked her a few steps down the hall.

There was a room they used for computer equipment and backup servers, and it was empty and dark and, most importantly, private. He opened the door and pulled her inside with him. Darcy was blessedly quiet and compliant as he shut the door with a little more force than he intended and pushed her back up against it.

The room was lit only with red, green, and orange lights from the electronic equipment lining the walls and the illuminated exit sign above them. It was cooler than the hallway, almost chilly.

Bucky’s hands immediately went to her waist as he bent his head to run his mouth over her neck. He grazed his teeth over the sensitive skin just under her jawline. She smelled like citrus and wood, and that just inflamed his desire more. Too many women wore those god awful perfumes that stank of flowers and candy sweetness. Not Darcy fucking Lewis, though. She smelled like grapefruit and cedarwood.

He hitched her skirt up and dug his fingers into her thighs, testing the thickness of the black tights she had on before ripping them at the seam right down the middle. It exposed her ass to his hands, and he could feel that she had a pair of soft cotton panties on underneath. Her hands were all tangled up in his hair, and her breath was hot against the shell of his ear. Bucky took that as permission to destroy the rest of her tights and rip the panties off, too.

“Jesus, Barnes,” she whispered, lifting up one of her legs to hook around his thigh.

Grabbing her ass in both his hands, he lifted her up and pressed her shoulders into the door, wedging his hips between her thighs. Darcy wrapped her legs around his waist, shifting against him like she wanted it almost as much as he did. Almost as much. Bucky didn't think she could ever want him as much as he needed her in that moment.

He reached below her and freed his cock. She used her shoulders against the door to give her the leverage she needed to lift up just enough for him to guide the head of his cock between her lips. “Ahh, fuck,” he said through clenched teeth when he realized how soaking wet she was and how easily he slipped up into all that tight heat.

“Oh my god,” Darcy groaned, tilting her head back and gripping his hair tight in her fists. “Give it to me.”

“You. Make. Me. So. Fuckin’. Crazy,” he said, punctuating each of the words with a thrust.

She laughed, all breathy and blissed out as he kept up that frantic pace. Bucky kept his right hand on her perfect, round, delicious ass and brought the left up to pull her blouse open. Two buttons scattered across the dark room, revealing the swell of her tits. He sank his teeth into them right where they were pushed together before spearing his tongue into her cleavage.

“Fuck, yeah,” she said in an exhale. “You feel so good. Don't stop.”

“You got a mouth on you, sweetheart.”

She ran her nails down the back of his neck hard enough to leave red welts, at least for a minute. “You love it.”

This time he laughed. “I do,” Bucky agreed. “Turns me right the fuck on.” He focused his attention back on her tits as he pounded into her. If someone walked by, there was a good chance they'd correctly guess that someone was getting fucked up against the door. He couldn't seem to drum up much concern about that while she was clenching her walls around him.

He grabbed her hair with his left hand and tilted her head back so he could nip at her pulse point, feeling the rush of blood right under the skin. She made him feel like an animal. Maybe it was just that he'd been without sex too long. Maybe he just needed to get it out of his system because he didn't remember it ever being this intense, this hot.

“Come for me,” he whispered in her ear.

“Make me,” she replied, like it was a challenge.

Bucky growled and switched hands so he could hold her up with his left and use the right to pinch her clit between his thumb and forefinger.

“Oh, fuck,” she gasped when he touched her there. Her pussy clamped down on him so hard he almost came on the next stroke because she was so tight.

“Come on, sweetheart. Come for me. All over me,” he whispered against her neck, breathing in that musky, spicy smell of her perfume.

“I am. Oh, I am, I am, don't stop. Don't–”

He pushed down on her clit and let the pad of his thumb drag up along the side of it. The firm touch set her off, and she cried out so loud that he wondered if everyone on the floor could hear how hard he’d made her come. Just the thought of people knowing that he owned her pleasure made Bucky almost black out when he came. All he was aware of was the softness of her breasts as he pressed his face between them and how hot and wet she was.

He held her up against the door for a moment after he'd finished, just long enough to catch his breath and let her catch hers. When he pulled out of her, Darcy gasped and held onto his shoulders. He let her slide down the door to stand on her feet.

She pushed her tangled hair out of her face and let her hands run down his chest and abdomen before pulling away and looking down at her tights.

“Shit, you destroyed them. These were my favorite pair,” she told him. They were hanging off her legs, ripped at the crotch and ass. The seams down the insides of her thighs weren't faring well either.

“I’ll get you new ones,” he replied, tucking his cock back into his pants.

Darcy toed her shoes off and looked up at him like he was full of shit. “Do you even know where to get tights?”

“Fine,” he said, “I'll make it up to you in other ways.”

“Oh, yeah?” she asked, pulling off the remainder of the tights and balling them up in her hand.

“Yep,” he agreed. “I'm good with my mouth.” Just the thought of eating her out was making him hard again. Why hadn't he done that today? Probably because she made him fucking crazy.

“I was thinking more like teaching me evasive tactics like how to lose a tail and shit,” she said.

Bucky opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Instead, he laughed under his breath. “Sweetheart, I gotta give it to you. Everything that comes outta your mouth is a surprise.”

“So? You're gonna teach me?”

“I’ll see what I can do.” He bent down, picked her ripped panties up off the floor, and slipped them into his pocket.

“Hey,” Darcy said, putting her shoes back on. “What do you think you're doing?”

“Keeping your panties.”


“Because I want ‘em, and you can't wear ‘em anymore.”

“That'll cost you another lesson,” she said.

Bucky smiled at her. “We'll see.”

“I bet we will,” she said. “Move. I need to go to the bathroom and clean up before someone looks at me and realizes I had hot sex in the backup server room two doors down from Fury’s office.”

“Not gonna lie,” Bucky said, “that kinda turns me on that I got you all messy.” He had her caged in with his body, both his palms on the door behind her.

She reached a hand down and grabbed his half-hard cock in a firm grip. “Ditto,” she agreed.

He almost lost it right then and there. He almost threw her down on the floor so he could really get that angle that would make their toes curl. Instead, he tried to keep his head and some semblance of his dignity by stepping back and giving her space.

She opened the door and turned around to look at him over her shoulder. “Stop avoiding me.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

He watched her go out into the hall and bend over to retrieve the binder that she'd dropped when he'd pulled her into the room. Bucky caught a flash of her ass cheek right before she grabbed the paperwork off the ground. It made him flex his hands in anticipation of the next time he could get her alone.

Chapter Text


“I can take control, baby, let me know. I ain’t slowing down, baby, nice and slow. Daddy, keep it right there. Don’t fuck up the flow.” - Paloma Ford (W.E.T.)

Darcy couldn't bring herself to go to the shooting range. It used to be an outlet to keep herself focused and to let out frustration before that day, the day she'd pointed a gun at actual living humans and pulled the trigger. When she'd taken the first class, the instructor had said to never pull a gun out and point it at someone unless you were going to pull the trigger. She'd also said that you should hope to hell you never have to pull a gun out. Even though Darcy had taken the class to make sure she could protect herself, she'd never actually thought she'd have to shoot someone, much less kill nine men.

When the class had ended, Darcy had continued to go back to the range by herself because practicing her accuracy had become a bit of an obsession. She’d told herself it was a helpful obsession that might come in handy one day. In hindsight, she realized she'd never been completely on board with it since she'd hidden her twice-a-week trips to the range from everyone, including Jane. There was something taboo about guns, and she had worried Jane and the others wouldn't understand. Now, she was torn between being glad she could defend herself and regretful she’d developed a skill that could so easily take lives. All it had taken was a gentle squeeze of her index finger and a steady hand.

She wasn't sleeping very well, convinced that she'd be jarred out of sleep one night when HYDRA agents busted down her door and shot her in the head for what she'd done. When she did fall asleep, her nightmares were mostly of gunfire and bodies surrounded by pools of blood. There was that one dream the previous week that involved Barnes and sex in the shower. It was almost as traumatizing as the nightmares because she did not need to get wrapped up lusting after some guy who was probably, certainly, a little bit of a jerk and who seemed to be able to push all her buttons–good and bad–without much effort at all.

She hadn't seen him seen him since he'd pulled her into the backup server room and fucked her brains out up against the door. She had spent the past two days waiting for him to come around the corner and hike her skirt up. Just the thought of it made her pussy clench in anticipation, and that annoyed the shit out of her. He annoyed the shit out of her. He was cocky and gruff and short with her. He called her sweetheart, half the time making it sound condescending and the other half making it sound like he actually cared her like that. It was confusing. She was used to running the show with guys, preferring men who let her wear the pants and take the lead. Bucky Barnes did not fit that description, and it irritated her. It also intrigued her.

He'd been so gentle with her that night when she'd almost lost herself in the shower. His steady voice had soothed her and anchored her to reality, telling her what she'd done wasn't really her fault. They'd just gotten carried away after that, which had led to sex on the bathroom vanity and him avoiding her for almost two weeks. She’d tried to tell herself that him ghosting on her didn't hurt, but it absolutely did. It had made her feel like a piece of shit, especially when he’d watched her with those cold eyes and had told her that it had all been a mistake.

The frantic sex in the server room had been a surprise in some ways. In others, it seemed inevitable. He was friction in her life, good or bad. Other people slipped in and out with ease, but not him. She could feel him in a room, even if they weren't even near one another. As much as it bugged her, rubbed her the wrong way, she actually enjoyed having him around. His competence made her feel safe, and he always kept her on her toes. That was why she'd told him to stop avoiding her like they were teenagers who had just broken up. It felt like he was still avoiding her, though.

Fury had been asking her to run errands lately. Darcy found herself effectively, or not-so-effectively, working two jobs. One in the lab with Jane and Bruce, the second playing girl Friday for the head of the Avengers organization. Her paycheck had changed, doubled in fact, but without any conversation or acknowledgment. It kinda pissed her off that people kept her in the dark sometimes. Oh, it's just Darcy, she'll be okay with whatever. No one bothered to ask her if she wanted to babysit scientists and put together mission briefing packets for Fury. They just assumed she'd go along, and they were right. She did. God, she was a pushover sometimes.

Darcy tucked the intelligence reports into the legal folder and walked down the hall to the elevator. The good thing about working two jobs is that you have less time to sit around and think about your issues and worries. Maybe in a couple months, she'd forget about being a killer. Maybe.

The elevator dinged and the doors slid open to reveal an empty car. She almost sighed in relief because she just wasn't feeling small talk today. Darcy got in and punched the button to take her to Fury’s office. A fraction of a second before the doors closed, metal fingers curled around the edge of one and pulled them back open. Her emotions went into a tailspin of panicked fear of being attacked by some HYDRA assailant and then into anticipation curling low in her abdomen when she realized who that hand belonged to.
Bucky joined her in the elevator, facing away from her as the doors closed. The car lurched upward two floors before he pulled a key out of his pocket and jammed it into the control panel. The elevator ground to a halt while he flipped the plastic cover up on the emergency keypad and typed in an override code.

“What are you doing?” she asked, suddenly a little nervous and punchy.

“Turning off the security cameras,” he answered before pocketing the key again and turning around to look at her. He looked feral and dangerous and sexy as fuck.

Darcy swallowed. “Why? I thought you were avoiding me again.”

“I ain't avoidin’ you,” he said, crowding her into the corner of the elevator car with his big body. “I was arranging your lessons. Nelson will meet you downstairs in the gym tomorrow morning at five.”

She put her hands out and pressed her palms into his muscular chest. They'd had sex twice and she hadn't seen a lick of skin not already revealed by his shirt. Well, she’d seen his dick, but that was just briefly. Darcy felt cheated because she knew he probably had a body that would tie her tongue up. “Who is Nelson?”

“One of the squad leaders for the elite ops team.”

“I thought you were going to teach me.”

“Not a teacher,” he said, dipping his head down until she could feel his hot breath against the shell of her ear.

She wanted to grab his shirt and kiss him–another thing they had never done–or possibly stomp on his foot and push him back on his ass. There wasn't much of a middle ground when it came to Bucky Barnes. “Okay, fine. Tomorrow in the gym downstairs at an ungodly hour because you’re an asshole and make my appointments for me. Why did you have to stop the elevator to tell me? You know there are these things called phones, right, grandpa?”

She rolled her eyes over to the side to look at him. Bucky licked his lips and smiled. “I stopped the elevator to do this,” he said, dropping to his knees.

“Barnes, what–” Darcy grabbed onto his shoulders when he reached up to push her knee-length skirt up her legs. She was too proud to admit to him that she’d foregone leggings, even if it was cold as balls outside this week, because she’d been anticipating running into him. She wasn’t daring enough to go without panties, though. His fingers curled into the hips of her panties and pulled them down her legs.

“This is not happening,” she told herself more than him.

“It's happening, sweetheart,” he replied, licking his lips and flipping her pleated skirt up over his head. His metal prosthetic hand coaxed her right leg over his shoulder, opening her up to him. Her experience with oral sex from men tended to involve hesitant licks and lingering kisses on the insides of her thighs. That was not what Bucky was offering, though. He went in fast, his mouth open and his tongue working itself inside her until his nose was pressed against her clit.

Darcy moaned and let her head fall back to smack against the wall. The floor to ceiling mirror to her left told a lurid tale. Her back was arched in pleasure, and the front of her skirt lifted as he moved his head to get a better angle. She had to clutch at the railing to keep from collapsing while he sucked her clit between his lips and flicked it with his hot tongue.

“I'm… Ohmigod.” She squeezed the railing with one hand and used the other against the back of his head to push his mouth into her. She felt more than heard his growl as he speared his tongue as far inside her as he could get it. Her knees almost buckled when he slipped that tongue up to lick her clit, taking it between his lips. She couldn’t see him push two fingers up inside her, but she felt it. The muscles of her pussy contracted around them, trying to pull his index and middle finger deeper while he continued to lave her clit with his tongue.

Bucky breath was hot against her when he pulled back just enough to say, “You gonna come all over my face, sweetheart?”

“Uh huh,” Darcy agreed. Her face was flushed and hot. Her legs were barely holding her up; if his cybernetic arm and shoulder hadn't been bearing some of her weight, she suspected she’d have just collapsed into the floor.

“Come then. Give it to me.” His husky voice giving her orders like that while he finger fucked her and sucked on her clit set her off. She felt the muscles of her pussy pulse, contracting as she orgasmed.

While her brain was still stumbling to catch up to what had happened, Bucky gave her a couple licks and resettled her skirt around her thighs. Getting to his feet, he watched her with dark eyes as he licked his wet lips and then pulled her panties out of his pocket and wiped her wetness off his chin like he'd just had a great meal.

Darcy snapped a hand out to snatch her panties back. “Those are mine,” she said.

He pulled them out of her grasp and smiled. “Finders keepers.”

“Barnes, I'm serious. I like those ones.” Her argument sounded weak even to her. She just didn't have the energy to demand when she was still floating from coming so hard.

“Me, too,” he agreed, pocketing them in his jacket.

Darcy scowled and reached out to grab them out of his pocket. His hand caught her wrist and turned her palm to the side, pressing her hand against his cock instead. The fabric of his jeans did nothing to hide how big he was. Not that it was a surprise after the way he’d filled her up the two times they'd had sex.

She caressed him over the worn fabric of the faded jeans. “You got some fetish where you only wanna do this in public places?” she asked.

He twisted her wrist just enough to make her wince at the anticipation of pain, though he never followed through on making it hurt. Instead, he released her before releasing the button and zipper on his jeans. She glanced down and saw him holding his cock in his hand. It was thick and longer than any other guy she'd had the pleasure of banging. In fact, it looked like perfection. Darcy licked her lips as she went weak in the knees.

“Uh uh,” he said, grabbing her arm and keeping her on her feet. “Been thinking about this for two fuckin’ days, and I want it to go my way.”

His way? Surely his way involved her sucking him off because her mouth was watering at the prospect of him sliding between her lips.

As it turned out, his way was her up against the elevator wall with her legs wrapped around his waist and his cock pumping in and out of her so fast and hard that she wasn't sure what was up and what was down. He slammed into her and held her up against the wall with one hand on her ass while the other grabbed a fistful of her hair. Bucky jerked her head to the side and grazed the edges of his front teeth down the column of her neck while his hips rocked into her, grinding. The friction of his pubic bone on her clit combined with his mouth sucking on her throat made Darcy scream as she came. It wasn't until she'd let loose the cry that she realized someone might hear her.

Bucky pulled out until just the head of his cock was inside her, and then he flexed his hips to slide back up in there. She was sensitive from both orgasms and the friction was bordering on painful, but only in the best way. “You're killing me,” she told him, clenching her muscles around his cock.

He grunted and thrust into her again. “You don't know the half of it, sweetheart.”

Darcy pulled in a shuddering breath and the ran her nails down his bare arms, leaving faint red tracks in the flesh one, but no indication on his prosthetic. It made him grunt again and bury his face into her neck as he jerked inside her, coming hard.

He stood there, very much still inside her, as their breathing slowed. “You okay?” he asked.

“Fuck, yes, I'm okay. That's a stupid question.”

He laughed softly into the tender flesh at the hollow of her throat before letting her slide down to stand on her feet. She watched him tuck himself away and look up at her with wary eyes, like he was expecting her to hate him. The moment was fleeting before he glanced away and gathered himself.

“Five o’clock tomorrow morning in the gym. Ask for Nelson.” Bucky turned around and restarted the elevator while she tried to make herself look like she hadn't just been fucked against the wall for the second time in a week. The mirror told her that her efforts were all for naught. She looked as wrecked as she felt.

“At least give me my panties back,” she said.

“I'll buy you another pair to replace ‘em.”

“You didn't know where to buy tights. Do you know where to buy panties?”

“I think I can figure that one out, doll.”

“You're really frustrating, you know that?” she asked.

The elevator lurched upwards. “Can't be any worse than you,” he replied right before the doors slid open. He got off on the twenty-first floor and didn't even look back at her.




She was pissed at him, but she was more pissed at herself. He’d ambushed her twice and fucked her in two somewhat public locations in the office building she worked in. Afterward, he’d zipped up and went along his merry way like it was nothing. Darcy didn’t necessarily want it to be something because she was pretty sure that Bucky Barnes was a first class asshole when he wanted to be–which was probably often–but she didn’t appreciate being fucked against walls.

That is a lie, she thought as she pulled on a pair of jeans. She did appreciate being fucked against walls by him, and that was what was really eating at her–that she loved that rush of adrenaline and blind lust when he grabbed her and took charge. If it were someone else, then she’d say it was a no strings attached mutual attraction where they just scratched each other’s itches. With him? She didn’t know what the hell it was with him. An addiction, maybe? She was wet just hoping that he’d be in the basement gym with Nelson–whoever that poor guy was. If he was there, would he try to get her alone? Would he find a dark room so he could steal another pair of her panties? She was a little ashamed to admit that she hoped so.

No, Darcy thought. She was going to have some self-restraint and let him know that she wasn’t a toy to be dressed and undressed whenever he felt like rutting. Fuck him.

Nelson was a man in his mid-thirties with dark hair and a neatly trimmed beard. He had nice muscles beneath that skin-tight Under Armour shirt and was what Darcy would consider ruggedly handsome. And what she meant by ruggedly handsome was pretty fucking hot. She swallowed and tried not stare at his biceps when he waved at her from across the room. How did she end up surrounded by sexy guys with muscles?

After introducing himself, Ryan Nelson sat down with her at a small card table along the wall and went over strategies of how to escape a situation in which someone is following or chasing you. She tried to focus on what he was saying, but half her brain was elsewhere, wondering why that motherfucker Barnes was nowhere to be found.

“Using multiple stairwells is preferable, if available,” he said, pointing at the blueprint of the building he’d spread across the table. “For example, you’ve got the east stairwell here and the west stairwell here. You want to jump back and forth. If they see you go in the east one, then they’re going to radio and have someone waiting for you a floor or two down, maybe at the bottom if you’re lucky. If you get off on the next floor and use the west to travel down a couple floors, then back to the east, you have a better chance. Elevators are no good because they don’t give you options. The door opens and you don’t know what will be there, but you don’t have anywhere else to go.”

Darcy nodded at him. “Yeah, okay. I got you. Don’t be lazy and take the elevator.”

Ryan–he’d told her to call him Ryan–smiled and said, “So, wanna play a game of hide-and-seek with me?”

She raised her brows. “Hide and seek?”

“Well, maybe escape and seek. We’ll start on one of the upper floors and your job is to get back down here without getting caught.”

“I… I don’t know about that.”

He winked. “You’ll be fine. I’ll be gentle your first time.”

She thought he’d been a little flirty earlier, but now it was it pretty apparent. Darcy had mixed emotions about him. It wasn’t every day that some hot guy with muscles was throwing out the double entendres and winks, so it was nice to be considered worth the effort. Then again, he was no Bucky. Bucky was an asshole, though.

“I think I’ll take over, Nelson.”

Nelson’s gaze flicked away from her face to look over her shoulder. She didn’t even need to turn around to know he was behind her. She clenched her thighs together because he’d conditioned her to anticipate hot sex when she encountered him.

“Are you sure, sir? We were just going to run through the exercise before–”

“I’m sure,” Bucky replied, his voice clipped. He walked up and stood behind her chair. She could feel his body.

Ryan opened his mouth to protest agai, but reconsidered after what was probably a stern look from Sergeant Barnes. “Yes, sir,” he said, nodding at Bucky and standing. He gave Darcy a cursory nod of the head before leaving the room.

Darcy twisted in her chair and found him only inches away, looking delicious and dangerous. “What was that about?”

“What was what about?”

“That. I thought I wasn’t important enough for you to teach me, and then you scare off my teacher.”

His eyes narrowed, and he walked around to stand across the small table from her. “I didn’t say you weren’t important enough.”

“Fine. You said you don’t teach, but here you are trying to teach.”

“I’m here to test you.”

“Oh, you’re testing me alright,” she said. “Testing my patience. Why’d you really kick him out?”

“Didn’t like the way he was looking at you.”

Darcy rolled her eyes. “Like how? Like he wanted to ask me out on a date? Oh, how dare he?”

He shifted his weight from one foot to the other and looked at the floor before lifting his gaze back up to her face. “You wanna go out with him?” His voice was gruff as he bit the question off.

“What if I do?”

“I ain’t stoppin’ you.”

She shrugged and stood up. “You kinda are. You kicked him out before he could get to the good part.”

“You want me to radio him? Tell him to come back?” Bucky’s eyes were cold, and he looked like he was on the verge of punching something. Maybe she was playing with fire and didn’t know it. She had just wanted to get a rise out of him to level the playing field, not get some guy’s face bashed in because Bucky was staking a bogus claim that he’d never back up with anything other than frantic sex in an elevator. Not that she wanted him to back it up with an actual date or anything. He wasn’t her type–too pushy and aggressive and argumentative. She liked to call the shots in a relationship as evidenced by Ian and every other ex-boyfriend.

“Stop being a dick,” she told him. “Let’s just get this done. Where do I start?”


“That’s where I work.”

Bucky stared back at her with that blank expression. “Exactly. More realistic that way. You get from eleven to the emergency exit at the back of the building.”

“This doesn’t seem fair,” she replied. “You know where I’m starting and where I’m going.”

“And you think they won’t? They come in here, they know you’ll be headed for the exit.”

Darcy tilted her chin up. “What if I head toward your room so you can help me?”

He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. She wanted to pat herself on the back for rendering him speechless.

“Where are you at?” Darcy continued. “Twenty-one? I think you’d save me, right?”

“Thought you wanted to save yourself,” he finally said.

She shrugged. “Well, I do, but sometimes the best way to save yourself is to know where to go for help. Right?”

Bucky nodded slowly. “Right.” He stepped over to her and took her upper arm in his right hand. “But for this exercise, you’re saving yourself from me.”

Darcy wondered what he’d do if she reached down and copped a feel. There was a good chance she’d end up on her back with his weight right between her thighs. Not a bad way to start the day, even if it was still disgustingly early. Instead of testing her theory, she said, “But you’re the best. It’s not fair to make me go up against the best. I’m at level one here.”

“Thanks for strokin’ my ego, sweetheart,” he said, tapping her lightly on the ass to get her moving toward the elevator. “Let’s move.”

“You’re such a jerk,” she muttered, walking over to the elevator and taking it up to the floor where Jane’s lab was. She stood in the corner and waited for him to stop it, waited for him to pull her jeans off and make her scream his name. He didn’t; he just stood there by the panel of buttons and watched the floors tick by. They got off on eleven, and Bucky looked over at her. “You have twenty seconds before I follow you.”

“Barnes, this is ridiculous.”

He raised a brow at her. “Better move your ass, sweetheart.”

She threw her hands out to her sides and said, “Ugh! Fine!”

The east stairwell was right next to the elevator shafts. She pulled open the door and turned back to look at him. “I’m fast,” he said, watching her with his arms crossed over his chest.

That look he shot her made Darcy think getting caught might be the best way to go in this situation. Getting caught probably meant an orgasm or two in some unlikely place that she’d forever associate with him.

“I’m smarter than you, though.”

He smiled. “We’ll see.”

Darcy wiggled her fingers goodbye and ducked into the stairwell. She hurried down until she got to the door for the next floor and pulled it open. She hit the button for the elevator, hoping it was still on eleven. It only took a handful of seconds for it to arrive, empty and ready to whisk her away to the first floor and the exit.

She held her breath as it descended to nine and then eight. It stopped at seven, sliding open to reveal a very annoyed Bucky Barnes.

“Ah, fuck,” she muttered.

“Thought you were smarter than me,” he said. “Didn’t Nelson tell you not to use elevators?”

“Sure. That’s why I used one. Breaking the rules usually works. No one is expecting you to take the elevator because it’s obviously not the best choice.” Darcy stepped out into the hall with him and sighed. “Sorry. I’ll do better next time.”

“If I were HYDRA, there wouldn’t be a next time,” he said.

Darcy stepped over to stand toe-to-toe with him. She looked up at his face and smiled when he looked down at her. “This just confirms my original plan to run to you instead of the exit the next time the shit hits the fan.”

“And what if I’m not here?” he asked.

Darcy reached out to rub the back of her hand along the front of his pants. She could feel his half-hard cock right there creeping down the left leg of his pants. Flipping her hand over, she palmed him through the fabric, squeezing him just a little. There was a man down at the end of the hall behind Bucky coming towards them, and she wondered if Bucky would have had her up against the wall by now had they been alone.

Darcy licked her lips and met his heated gaze. “I am smarter than you,” she whispered.

“How so?”

She grinned and brought her hands up to push against his chest. Dropping her right foot back gave her enough leverage to push her body weight into it. He stumbled backward a step and grabbed onto the wall to keep from falling on his ass. She knew the only reason she’d been able to budge him was because he’d been too focused on the way she’d been stroking his cock.

Darcy didn’t wait to see how fast he recovered. She lurched forward and pulled open the stairwell door, practically tripping down two flights of steps before opening the door to the fifth floor and running down the hall and around the corner to the opposite stairwell. She made it to four before deciding to switch back to the east stairwell. As soon as she hit the third floor, she felt a hand graze the railing by her as she was turning the corner.

Bucky had jumped from an upper floor and caught himself on the painted railing. He pulled himself over it and followed right behind her. Suddenly, she felt her anxiety notch up and her ears start roaring with the sound of her own pumping blood. His fingertips grazed her shirt and she screamed, turning to put her back against the wall at the next landing. She remembered all those people running out of the stairwell and the sound of gunshots, the way the Glock had felt in her grip, the way it kicked back when she shot someone.

“Stop, stop. Stop. Please,” she begged, holding out a hand to Bucky and sliding down the wall to sit on the concrete landing.

His hands were in the air, palms facing her. “Fuck, I’m sorry, doll.”

She closed her eyes and tried to breath.

“Through your nose,” he reminded her. “In through your nose. Count to seven as you breathe in.”

She followed his instructions, her lungs filling up to capacity.

“Now out through your mouth.”

She exhaled and then inhaled again before she opened her eyes. He was squatting in front of her, a concerned look on his face.

“You with me now?”

Darcy nodded. “Yeah. I’m… I don’t know what happened.”

“Anxiety. Maybe a flashback.” He reached out a hand and slid it into her hair to cup the back of her head. “You’re okay. I’m… I didn’t realize, didn’t think.”

“It’s okay. I’m okay now,” she said, pressing her palms into the cool, gritty concrete under her ass.

“You should sit here for a minute. Just get your bearings again.” Bucky held out his hand for her to take. When she slipped her right hand into his left, he pulled her up and wrapped his arm around her waist. She let him guide her over to the next set of steps and push her gently down on her ass again. Her feet rested two steps below them. Bucky sat down next to her, close enough that their thighs were pressed together.

Darcy pulled in a shuddering breath and ran her hand roughly through her hair. “That was intense.”

“It can be.”

“You have them? Flashbacks?”

He nodded stiffly. “Sometimes. It gets better, though.”

She laughed; it sounded bitter. “I hope so.” Her hand was trembling when she held it up in front of their faces. “I can’t stop shaking.”

“Adrenaline,” he told her. “It’ll stop on its own.” Bucky pressed the palm of his right hand into the center of her back.

“That’s nice,” she said. “It feels… safe.” It was a stupid thing to say, but it was true.

Bucky looked over at her and then down at the stairs below them. “Sometimes feeling something touch you helps. That’s why you sat down, so you could feel the concrete pad, so it could ground you, bring you back.”

“You know too much about this.”

He gave her a humorless and tight smile. “Lot of experience.”


Shrugging, he said, “Ain’t your fault.”

They sat in silence for a couple minutes until Darcy started feeling better. His hand had slipped down and was resting on the small of her back, just above the waist of her jeans. “Sorry I didn’t play fair,” she whispered.

He gave her a genuine smile this time. “Well, you did say you were smarter than me. I’m the one who fell for it. I’m not real wild about you usin’ this tactic on HYDRA agents, though.”

“Oh, I’d just knee them in the balls.”

“Why didn’t you do that to me?”

Darcy glanced over and gave him a look that she hoped told him not to be so stupid. “Uh, I have a relationship with your dick that I do not want to jeopardize.”

Bucky tilted his head back and laughed. He looked like a real person in that moment, not some badass assassin with a metal arm and zero tolerance for bullshit. He looked like some guy she wanted to eat pizza with with on her couch before they made out and had sex on the living room floor. And then, just like that, he was back to stoic and distant. “Where you livin’?”

“Why? You gonna come over? Because, I gotta be honest, I’ve never had sex with someone so many times without seeing their body. I’m really curious.”

“What if I’m shy?” he asked.

Darcy rolled her eyes. “Keep telling those tall tales, then one day I might actually believe them.”

“You wanna see me?” he asked under his breath, his mouth close to her ear. The way his hot breath tickled the hairs at the nape of her neck made Darcy shiver.

“Uh, let me think… Yeah. It’s only fair. You’ve seen me.”

“Only once.”

“Yeah, but that once was pretty… revealing.”

He closed his eyes and made a show of licking his lips before saying, “It really was.”

Darcy flipped her left arm up to smack him in the chest. “Hey, stop imagining me naked. You’re being gross.”

He flashed his teeth when he grinned over at her. “I asked where you live to help you with escape routes from there.”

“Well, I’m currently living eight blocks away above a bakery, but Fury says if I want to make this weird boss and assistant vibe we got going on official, then I have to move in here.”

Bucky raised his brows. “Oh, yeah?”


“You takin’ the job?”

She sighed and bent down to rest her forehead on her knees. Fury had talked to her two days before, right after Bucky had fucked her brains out in the elevator. At the time, she’d been out of sorts and short a pair of panties when the other man had sprung the job opportunity on her. Darcy had asked for time to think it over, but really, she’d be crazy to say no. Making decisions and taking steps forward were scary, though. She would chase dreams all day long, but when it looked like she was going to actually catch one, she froze up. It’d been that way all her life and was probably one of the reasons her ass was still without her masters in political science. “Maybe,” she finally told Bucky, looking at the dirty step between her feet.

His hand moved up her spine and squeezed her neck while she remained folded in on herself. “Maybe?”

“Probably. Likely. Do you think I should?”

He didn’t say anything for a long moment before finally saying, “Do you want to?”

“Yes. It’s just… I fucking hate starting a new job. I always feel like an idiot.”

“Thought you were smarter than me.”

Darcy laughed and sat up. His hand dropped away from her neck, and she wished he’d put it back there, that he’d keep touching her. “I am. I just hate new jobs.”

He shrugged. “Won’t be a new job for long.”

“Yeah, you’re right.”

The stairwell door a couple flights above them opened and the sound of two men continuing their conversation echoed down to where she was sitting with Bucky. “Go on,” he told her, nodding down the steps to the door to the second floor below. “Get caught with me and I’ll give you a reputation.”

She laughed. “I might want that kind of reputation,” Darcy said before standing up and dusting off the ass of her jeans. She could feel his eyes on her as she walked down the stairs and opened the door.

“See you around, sweetheart,” he said when she turned back to give him a wave.

Chapter Text


“Whisper in my ear, I’m the only one you’re loving on. Take advantage of the moment, you’re the only one that I want. Kiss me. We’re on fire, babe.” - Alina Baraz feat Khalid (Electric)

Steve Rogers was surprisingly adept at navigating the internet and spent more time than anyone would guess browsing Amazon. Bucky used this to his advantage by playing dumb about a protein drink mix that Steve had been ordering from the company for the past three months. Steve gleefully explained how to create an account so Bucky could order whatever his heart desired.

Bucky's heart desired a pair of panties, but there was no way he was going to walk into one of those stores with the garish pink awning and look at lingerie while two women behind the counter watched him with amused eyes. No fucking way. He wanted to keep his dignity. If doing so meant angling his phone away from Steve and flipping through pictures of ladies’ panties while he pretended to watch a baseball game, then so be it.

The only problem was that looking at panties meant he imagined Darcy in them. This, inevitably, led to his cock stirring to attention in the loose sweatpants he wore in his downtime. Bucky put a pillow over his lap and continued to browse while Steve threw his hands up in the air at a home run.

There were too many options, some of which were downright silly and looked uncomfortable. After nearly thirty minutes of scrolling through what they had to offer, he went with something simple in a pack of three. They had a brand name–Calvin Klein–printed on the white waistband. The panties themselves were heather gray, cream, and black. When Bucky closed his eyes and imagined pulling down her panties, the effortless simplicity of them was what turned him on. She wasn't a frilly, lacy kind of girl anyway.

“Did you find it?” Steve asked.

“Yep,” Bucky said, adding the underwear to his cart and then searching for the damn protein powder to add in just in case Steve wondered why he was getting a small, soft package delivered. He did not need anyone to know he was buying Fury’s new assistant some panties because she'd nagged him for stealing two pairs of hers.

Bucky hadn't been able to get her out of his head since she'd freaked out on him in the stairwell. In hindsight, he'd been stupid for thinking chasing her down in a building she'd been attacked in was a good idea, but she did need to learn how to defend herself, especially if she refused to pick up a gun again. Now that was a real shame because she was a great shot.

He'd intended to stay out of her training with Nelson, but the way the man had looked at Darcy just made Bucky's blood boil. It had been two days since they'd sat on the stairs and talked. It had been three days since he'd been inside her. He closed his eyes and imagined her lying on her stomach right in the middle of his bed, wearing only that heather gray pair of panties he'd just bought. One leg bent at the knee with the sole of her foot pointed at the ceiling. He imagined the curve of her ass and the dip of her back and the way the sides of her tits would look pressed against his mattress. In his fantasy she was reading a book and didn't know he was behind her, looking his fill, until he stepped up to the foot of the bed and grabbed her ankle. He'd pull her body down closer to him, and she’d roll over so he could see her chest and the way the soft cotton covered the mound of her pussy.

“Can you believe they just hit a triple again?” Steve asked, knocking Bucky out if his fantasy.

“Huh,” Bucky replied. “That's something.”




He looked for her the next day. He actively looked for her like she was necessary to his day, like he could go ahead and chuck that section of his pride that told him he really didn't care about Darcy Lewis right out the fucking window. Unfortunately, she was nowhere in the building. The next day came and went and she was missing then as well. Bucky almost asked Fury about her, but didn't want to explain why he was chasing after the former lab assistant. Her panties arrived in the mail, and he started carrying the gray pair around in his pocket. That went on for three more days, but no sassy brunette that knew just how to wind him up was anywhere to be found.

He was sitting in the conference room listening to Steve and Clint compare notes on how to properly grill a burger while Fury flipped through a stack of intelligence. The intimidating man who managed to stare people down with one eye picked up the phone in front of him and asked for a file to be brought to in. Natalia walked through the door and sat down beside Clint. Bucky watched her roll her eyes at the disagreement over burgers. While they waited for the rest of the team to arrive, he sat there trying to come up with a way to bring up Darcy in conversation with Fury. Unfortunately, everything tipped his hand.

Bucky studied the tabletop until another body entered the room. This one smelled of grapefruit and cedarwood, and that reminded him of sex. His eyes shot up and took her in. Darcy was was in a pencil skirt and a sleeveless blouse. Very classy, very professional, and very much a fantasy come true. His nostrils flared as he pulled in a deep breath and caught her eye. Her lips parted just slightly before she looked away, giving the file in her hand to Fury. The two of them spoke for a minute before she picked up the file and walked around the opposite side of the table, handing out copies of the intelligence briefing. He’d been anxious to hear what they had on HYDRA, but now he was anxious to get out of the meeting and see her.

She carefully laid a sheet in front of each chair, some of which were unoccupied. When she finally walked around to his side of the table, she leaned between him and Steve to drop a sheet in front of each of them. Her tits brushed against his shoulder, but she didn’t say a word. She just kept moving along until each seat had a report. He watched her ass sway and the flex of her calves in those heels as she left the room. Bucky shifted in his chair and adjusted his erection. How long was this meeting supposed to last?

The clock ticked over to noon and everyone took a seat to review the newest information. Scanning the sheet, Bucky could see it wasn’t much. When Tony Stark started bitching about using paper instead of tablets, he checked his brain out of the meeting and started concocting fantasies of finding her in the lab and fucking her behind some of the equipment. It wasn’t until then that he noticed the bottom corner of his agenda was flipped up. Bucky rubbed his thumb over it to straighten the crease in the paper but ended up revealing a message.


What did that mean? Add ten more years and she’d have his birth year. He didn’t think that’s what Darcy was going for, though. It sounded more like a room number. Just the idea that she’d been thinking of it as much as he had made Bucky hard as a rock. It was difficult not to interrupt Tony’s tirade against what the billionaire considered caveman technology. Every word out of Tony’s mouth extended the amount of time Bucky had to wait until he could push that form-fitting skirt up over Darcy’s hips.

The meeting lasted for another twenty-seven minutes. Bucky didn’t even speak to anyone on the way out; he just stood up and walked out with the agenda clutched in his hand. There was a lock box just outside the door where they deposited any paper items from the meeting for later shredding. He dropped his into the slot and took the stairs down to nineteen. It was offices, most of which were empty. The door to the room number she had written was closed. Bucky turned the knob, testing the lock, before pushing it open and walking into the dim, windowless office. The overhead lights were out, but she had flipped on a floor lamp in the corner.

Darcy was leaning against the desk across from the door, her ass perched on the edge, her legs crossed at the ankles, and her palms pressed against the desktop. “Hey,” she said, looking at him like she might have actually missed him the past week.

Bucky shut the door and leaned his back against it. “Where you been?” he asked.

“Nova Scotia on a trip with Jane. Apparently, it was a really awesome observatory and we had to go.”

“What’s this little rendezvous for, sweetheart?” he asked.

She shrugged. “Just tired of letting you boss me around all the time. Figured I’d turn the tables.”

If just being in the same room as her hadn’t made him half hard already, then he’d be most of the way there at the thought of her having her way with him. “Oh, yeah?” he asked. “What are you gonna make me do?” He knew exactly what he was doing by crossing his arms over his chest. Steve told him it made people uncomfortable and made him appear closed off. Darcy didn’t seem deterred.

“Sit down,” she said, nodding at a chair in front of the desk. It was basic–just four legs, a padded seat and back, no arms.

He stood there for a few seconds, holding her gaze. She didn’t flinch or look away, and that fire in her eyes got him so hot. There was no way he was going to tell her no. Trying to suppress a grin, he walked around the chair and sat down in front of her. “I like the little outfit,” he said. “You’re makin’ me feel like you’re my teacher and I’ve been a bad boy.”

“It's not exactly my style, but I was hoping to get your attention today.”

“You got it,” he confirmed. “I smelled you before I saw you, though. Got me all worked up. That tight skirt showin’ off your ass is just icing on the cake.”

She smiled. “Smelled me?”

“Your perfume. Might associate it with really good sex.”

“Good to know.” Darcy pushed off the desk and stepped over to stand in front of him. He lifted his hands to grab her hips, but she smacked them away. He wanted to be annoyed at her, but he was way too turned on to care what she did as long as he would be allowed to touch her eventually.

He swallowed hard when she pressed her palms to his thighs and lowered herself down to her knees. His mind was buzzing with anticipation. She’d tried to do this in the elevator, but he’d been too set on fucking her against the wall, too obsessed with the way she felt around his cock. He’d also been waiting for the other shoe to drop at that point, assuming that she’d eventually end things. Women didn’t want casual sex in whatever empty room could be found, right? They wanted dates and flowers and shit he didn’t think he could muster up the ability to give. They wanted love, and he was sure that wasn’t in the cards for him, not with his life or his past. However, if she was sticking around and not demanding more, he was willing to sit back and let her do whatever she wanted to him.

Bucky watched her plump, dark pink lips as they parted. She sank her teeth into the side of her lower lip as she unbuckled his belt, taking her sweet time. “Did you lock the door?” she asked, popping the button on the pants.

“Yeah,” he replied as he licked his own lips in anticipation.

“Good,” was her only response as she unzipped the pants and hooked her fingers into the waistband of them and his underwear. “Lift up.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied, raising up just enough for her to slide the clothing down to the top of his thighs. His cock was painfully hard and jutting up toward his stomach. The tip already had a bead of wetness on it from the possibility that she was going to suck him.

Darcy flicked her tongue out and wet her lips before blowing air over his crown.

“Sweetheart, I’m going to make you pay for this,” he said, shifting his hips and trying to keep his hands at his sides. Grabbing her head and thrusting into her mouth sounded like heaven.

“What? You don’t like teasing?” she asked.

“Nope. Thought that was pretty clear. I’m into hard and fast and–” The next word got stuck in his throat because she’d leaned forward and guided his cock into her mouth with one hand wrapped tight around the base. She managed to take half of him down, her tongue pressed firmly against the vein that ran along the bottom. “Fuck,” he swore, balling his hands up into fists.

Bucky spread his legs a little more and she shifted closer, resting her right forearm on his thigh while she pumped him with that hand. Her lips were sealed up tight over his shaft, and when she pulled her head back he could see her spit glistening on his cock. Her fist followed behind to squeeze him, and then she took him in her mouth again. Each stroke allowed her to take him a little deeper until her gag reflex kicked in. The way her throat closed up on the head of his cock and the way she was moaning with her mouth stuffed full of him felt so fantastic. Bucky settled his right hand on the back of her head, urging her to keep going.

She didn't need any encouragement. He could smell how wet she was, how hot this little exercise made her. The vibrations of her satisfied moans and the glimpse he'd caught of her left hand up her skirt in combination with her hot mouth on his cock pushed him right up to the edge.

“Stop,” he said, his command sounding more like a plea.

She didn't stop. If anything, the request just made her suck him harder.

Bucky gritted his teeth. “Wanna fuck you. Stop.”

Again, she didn't stop. Bucky growled and grabbed a fistful of her glossy brown hair in his right hand. He applied just enough pressure to get her off his dick without actually hurting her. “Why did you stop me? We were getting to the best part.”

Bucky grabbed her upper arm and stood, dragging her up with him. “No, sweetheart. This is the best part.”

He pushed her back onto the desk behind her, hooking his arms around her legs and pulling until her ass was hanging off the desktop. With his hands on her knees, he ran them up her thighs, pushing the skirt up her legs as he went.

Bucky expected to find panties, but all he found was bare skin and her own wetness on the insides of her upper thighs. “Damn, you get ready for me, doll? You think about how I was gonna fuck you when you got back from your trip?”

“Took ‘em off before I came in the conference room,” she said, shifting her hips like she was impatient for his dick.

Her admission sent a shot of heat through him. She'd been parading around the office without panties on because she was looking forward to their little rendezvous a few floors down. She was his. “I've been looking forward to you all fuckin’ week, sweetheart,” Bucky said before taking himself in his hand and sliding up into her hot little body.

She lifted her hands up and slipped them beneath his shirt so she could drag her nails down his chest. Bucky grunted and snatched her wrists. He pinned them against the desk above her head with his left hand while he worked her clit with his right.

Bucky pounded into her, exhaling sharply with each thrust. It was a pleasure to listen to her moans and needy cries as she urged him on. “I'm so close. You feel so fucking good. So good. I can't even think when you're… inside me like this,” she whispered.

Her mouth was going to set him off. He pressed a little harder on her clit and laid his body on top of her so he could suck on the elegant column of her neck. “I wanna feel you come on me,” he whispered in her ear before nipping at her earlobe.

He could feel the tension in her body and the way the walls of her pussy contracted around him when she cried out and came. If they were naked, he could have suck on her tits while he finished up. It was definitely a negative when it came to them creeping around and have half-clothed sex in empty offices. Bucky really wished he could live out his little fantasy of finding her lying on his bed in just a pair of panties. Instead of ripping her shirt off and risking her getting pissed, he grabbed her hip and sped up his already rough pace.

Letting go of her wrists, he thrust twice more and came hard, his face buried in her neck. He was afraid if he continued to pin her wrists down, he’d unconsciously squeeze them too tight in his cybernetic hand. There was a fine line between the down and dirty rough sex he liked and actually hurting her. The last thing he wanted to do was bruise her flawless skin or make her think less of him. She probably already thought he was an asshole with only one redeeming quality–he could make her come.

Darcy’s voice brought him back to reality when she said, “Holy shit, that was good.”

He shivered against her as she dragged her nails up his back, bunching his shirt up as she went. “I’ve been looking for your ass all week,” he admitted.

She chuckled and hooked her leg over his hip to keep him on top of her on the desk. “That’s cute, Barnes. Did you miss me?”

“Missed this,” he agreed, reaching down and palming one of her tits.

“Ah ha, you missed sex, not me.”

“Same thing,” he said, reaching back and moving her leg so he could push himself up. While he tucked himself into his pants, she sat up and shimmied her skirt down over her hips. “Hold up,” he told her.

Darcy stopped, her fingers curled around the edge of the skirt as she pulled it down her thighs. “What?”

He reached into his pocket and pulled out the panties he’d been carrying around for a week. “I believe I owe you something.”

She watched him unfold them and hold them up for inspection. Laughing, she said, “Are you serious? You actually bought me panties?”

“Said I would. You think I don’t keep my word?”

Darcy reached for them, but he pulled them out of her grasp.

“Pull your skirt back up,” he said.

She narrowed her eyes at him. “Why?”

“Because I said so.”

“Not good enough.”

He waved the panties in the air. “You want ‘em, you gotta pull your skirt up for me.”

Darcy stared him down for half a minute. To her credit, he almost buckled and handed them over to her. Just when he thought he should give up, she shifted her hips back and forth and pulled the skirt up until he could almost see the lips of her pussy.

Bucky swallowed and tried to suppress the urge to go a second round right then and there. Instead, he dropped to his knees and curled his free hand around her right ankle, urging her to lift it. Darcy caught on and let him slide her right foot into the pair of panties. He repeated the motion with her left foot before slowly sliding them up her legs. He might have taken his time and breathed her scent in while he was dressing her, but he’d never admit it. He also didn't want to dwell on how hot his cum in her pussy made him.

Once the panties were on, he stood up and watched her pull the skirt down again. When she looked up at him, there was something unfamiliar in her eyes. He was used to seeing annoyance and frustration, playfulness and lust, even that haunted look she had when she talked about the afternoon she’d shot the men who had attacked the building. The uncertainty and tenderness on her face was something new, and it made him uncomfortable.

“Why were you in Nova Scotia?” he asked, grasping at anything to break the tension.

She sat down on the edge of the desk, scooting back until her feet dangled above the floor. “One last trip with Jane to borrow an observatory. She’s been getting some strange readings, maybe signals or transmissions. They first cropped up in New Mexico and we assumed they were related to Thor, but we’ve noticed it since then. She was trying to get a better idea of the origin, maybe help see if it’s friend or foe.”

He stepped over and sat down beside her, leaving only a couple inches between them. “I thought you were working for Fury. Did you tell him no?”

“No, I told him yes. But Jane wanted my help, and I couldn’t tell her no either. I can’t tell anyone no, apparently.”

He let her statement sit there for a few seconds before he said, “Is that why we’re doing this? Because you can't tell me no?”

Darcy snorted. “More like I don’t want to tell you no.”

Her reply made him feel a flash of heat in his chest. He shifted away from her and then closer because he didn’t know what to do with the strange sensation. It felt dangerous, like this might be more than fucking in empty offices, like she might not be as annoying as he’d pegged her to be. Like maybe he had missed her and not just the sex.

Before he could reply, she continued with, “I feel pretty shitty about Jane, though. I mean, we’re good friends, and I feel like I’ve abandoned her. She… she says it’s okay, but… I don’t know. I just feel bad about it.”

“She understand why you’re taking Fury’s offer?”

Darcy nodded. “Yeah, she’s been great. Supportive and shit. It’s me. I’m just… I’m not good at moving forward and making decisions for myself. Never have been.” She groaned and ran a hand through her dark hair. “I just… It’s hard because I don’t want to lose her.”

“I’m no good for advice on this. You need to know how to field strip a rifle, I’m your guy.”

Darcy leaned over and tapped her shoulder against his arm. “It’s okay. I don’t need advice. Getting it off my chest helped.”

“You been okay? About the attack?”

She shrugged.

“You still can’t touch the gun?”

“I can. I just can’t hold it by the grip. I’m a baby.”

“Nah, that’s normal. It’ll get better.”

Darcy sighed. “I’m moving into the building on Sunday, I think. Maybe Saturday, depending.”

“Where’d they put you?” He hoped they put her on his floor. He wondered if she’d be agreeable to him stopping by, and how that would change things if they had sex in an actual bed. What would that be like? It’d probably fuck with his head. Maybe with hers, too. What if he fell asleep with her and they woke up together? What would that be like? Dangerous, his mind said. So fucking dangerous. Approach with caution.

“Sixteen eleven,” she replied. Not his floor, but closer than she’d ever been to him. A quick elevator ride downstairs and he could be in her bed with total privacy for hours. Hours.

Thinking about spending the night with her made him uncomfortable. Bucky pushed himself to his feet and moved away from her. When he looked up she was watching him through her lashes. He couldn't place her expression. “We'll almost be neighbors,” he told her.

“You're on the twenty-first floor,” she said.

“How you know that?”

She shrugged. “Figured I should know a few things about a guy if I'm letting him in my pants. Or up my skirt, as the case may be.”

“Yeah? What else do you know about me?” Part of him didn't want to know the answer even if he'd done a nice job of keeping his voice easy and his tone light.

“Things,” she said evasively.

Bucky lifted his prosthetic and rubbed the back of his neck with the metal fingers. “I guess I don't need to ask if they are good or bad.”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because they’re all bad.”

She gave him a sad little smile. “Not all of them. I do recall blowing you a few minutes ago. Usually don't do that if all the things are bad.”

Bucky laughed softly. “You're just doin’ wonders for my self-esteem, sweetheart.” He looked up at her again and said, “I… should go.”

“Until our next furtive meeting in a conveniently empty office, Barnes,” Darcy said.

Bucky hesitated at the door, almost turning around to ask her if she needed help moving. That would be taking things a step too far away from just hot sex in random locations in the building. He pressed his lips together and turned the knob, leaving without replying.

He took the stairs to his floor. He needed to take a shower before someone noticed he smelled like sex. Bucky was only a few short yards from his door when he heard Steve call his name from over by the elevator.

“Hey, Buck. Thor is back and we were…” Steve trailed off as he approached, his nostrils flaring.

“You were what?” Bucky asked, hoping Steve would ignore whatever it was he could so obviously smell.

“Where you been?”

Bucky took a step toward the door. “Around. What are you and Thor–”

“Did you just… have sex?” Steve asked, cutting off Bucky's question and taking two steps closer.


“I know that perfume.”

Fuck, Bucky thought, backing away from Steve in hopes he wouldn't be able to place the scent. “Don't know what you're talkin’ about, punk.”

“That girl–Darcy–she wears that perfume. It's distinctive. Why do you smell like her?”

Bucky swallowed and slipped a little closer to the door. “Like I said, I don't know what you're talkin’ about. I don't smell nothin’.”

Steve furrowed his brows. “I can smell her on you.”

“I might have run into her on the way here.”

“No. That's… not it. I'm not a kid, Buck. I know what sex smells like. Are you and her…?”

Bucky pushed out a heavy sigh and said, “Ain't none of your business.”

“You seein’ her?”

“Not really. We're scratching each other's itches.”

Steve frowned at him. “She seems like a nice girl, Buck. You shouldn't be treating her like that.”

“She’s not as nice as you think.”

“She doesn't deserve to be used.”

Bucky laughed, but it was humorless. “Who says she ain't using me?”

“Is she?” Steve asked.

Bucky shook his head and placed his eye over the retina scanner next to their door. “Leave it alone, punk.”

“You shouldn't take advantage of her like that.”

“I ain't doin’ shit, Steve. She's a willing participant. We're adults.” Bucky pulled open the door. “I'm going to shower. You want to tell me how to do that, too? Maybe tell me how to wipe my ass while you're tellin’ me how to live my life?”

“I'm just sayin’ you shouldn't use her for sex. It ain't right.”

“Noted,” Bucky snapped as he entered the apartment he shared with Steve.

The other man followed him inside. “I'm just sayin’ that she's young, and she's been through a lot. You could fuck up her head if you aren't careful.”

“What makes you think she won't fuck up my head?”

“Has she?” Steve asked.

Bucky clenched his jaw and walked into the bathroom down the hall. No, she hadn't fucked up his head. He was just fine, and so was Darcy. Steve was just a prude sometimes. You'd think he'd be more open considering all those showgirls he'd fucked around with back when he was touring as the military’s darling.

Chapter Text


“I wanna let you in before I let you go. Get under my skin, you see why I’m so cold.” - Phlake (May Be)

Darcy started wondering if she was throwing off some strange, yet powerful, pheromones that attracted beefcakes who were good with guns. Ryan Nelson, the elite ops guy Bucky had sent her to for lessons, had caught her in the hallway outside the conference room to ask if she needed any more tutoring. She gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was simply being nice before she declined. She'd had more than enough of those anxiety-inducing exercises.

That was when Ryan smiled at her, flashing his perfect teeth between his perfect lips on his perfect face, and said, “Well, then can I buy you dinner tomorrow?”


“Dinner. You and me?”

She opened her mouth, but nothing came out.

He raised his brows. “Oh, I'm sorry. Are you… are you seeing someone?”

That was a complicated question with a complicated answer. Or maybe not. Maybe it was simple. She was having sex with Bucky, but he was never going to ask her on a date. That much was very clear. There were moments that she wondered if he wanted more than just a quick fuck in an empty office once or twice a week, but those moments were fleeting. Afterward, she always convinced herself that she'd imagined any emotion on his end. He’d told her from jump that he was an asshole. She didn’t really agree with that, but she also didn’t think he was looking for a serious girlfriend, and if he was, then that girl definitely wasn’t her.

“Uh, no. I'm not.”

There he went giving her that winning smile again, oozing charm like only handsome guys who know how good they look can do. “Then give me a chance, yeah? Have dinner with me.”

He was no Bucky Barnes, but no guy really compared to tall, dark, and surly. If she went on a date with Ryan, then she’d feel obligated to cut things off with Bucky. She was only a little ashamed to admit that the decision wasn’t so simple. She might actually be agreeable to continuing the completely unhealthy and exciting affair with Bucky and letting go of a possible real relationship with hottie Ryan Nelson.

“Uh, why me?”

He shifted a little closer, looking down at her. “Why not you? You’re single, and we got along well a week ago. And, honestly? You’re definitely my type.” The last few words were said under his breath, soft and just for her ears. She felt them reach down into her and stir things up between her legs.

“Oh,” she said, cursing her sudden inability to make words into sentences.

“So, what do you say? Dinner tomorrow?”

Dating a lead on the elite ops team was probably not a good idea, considering that she’d just started the job with Fury. Officially. So, it wasn’t all about Bucky when she said, “I’m sorry, but… Well, I’m going to have to pass. I just started a job with the team, and I don’t want to mix business with pleasure. You know?”

His smile dropped just a little, and she felt bad because he seemed sincere. “That’s a shame,” Ryan said.

“Yeah, sorry. I really don’t want to rock the boat. It’s a great career opportunity.” She almost rolled her eyes at herself because the amount of bullshit coming out of her dumbass mouth was astounding. Career opportunity like she was moving across the country for an executive position at an international company and not making copies for a grump. Even if that grump was the head of an elite anti-terrorism organization that deployed the Avengers. Well, yeah, maybe it was a career opportunity.

Or maybe she was just trying to find an excuse to continue to have sex with Barnes.

“Yeah, yeah. I understand. Well, maybe if you settle in and decide you want to get to know me a little better…” Ryan was standing over her by then.

“Yeah, sure,” she replied, stepping back from all the testosterone. He seemed nice enough, but she did not need to start her job off by dating a co-worker.

You are fucking a co-worker, her mind reminded her. Darcy gave Ryan an awkward thumbs up before turning around and heading in the opposite direction. She had no idea where she was going, and she ended up having to take the stairs to the floor below because there was nothing down the hall but the doorway to the staircase. She wasn’t about to backtrack to where Ryan was standing there watching her ass. He would know he’d ruffled her proverbial feathers if she did that.

She walked across the twenty-fifth floor and then took the elevator up to twenty-six again. Her desk sat in the reception area outside Fury’s office. It was a nice space with a view of the water. No one bothered her much unless they were there to meet with the bossman. She’d already scattered some toys around her desk, trying to give the bland space some personality. Fury hadn’t complained. Yet. The devious part of her wanted to see exactly how far she could take the decorations before he would put his foot down. Maybe she could bring in some of those old troll dolls she collected as a kid–the ones with the neon pink and blue hair stuck straight up in the air. Those might be tacky enough to break him.

Darcy sat down in the swivel chair behind her desk and sighed. Declining Ryan’s invitation probably had more to do with Bucky than the new job. Not that she still wouldn’t have said no thanks if Bucky weren’t in the picture; she would have just thought about it for a day or two before declining. Maybe.

Fury walked by and tossed a set of keys on her desk.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“Keys to a van. Number is on the keychain. It’s parked in sublevel four.”

Darcy raised her brows. “Not that I’m bitching, but why do I get a van?”

“You get to borrow a van to move. Tomorrow. Your place is ready early.”

“Oh. Cool.”

He took a couple steps toward his office door before turning around. “Do you have any interest in training with our sniper team, Lewis?”

If the keys to the van threw her for a loop, then the question that just came out of his mouth had thrown her out of orbit. “What?”

He walked back over to stand in front of the desk. “We wiped the security footage, but I saw what you did.”

She wanted to slide under the desk and throw up at the same time. “Sorry.”

“No,” Fury said, “not sorry. You did everyone a service. Not anyone can shoot like that. With a little training, you could be an asset to the team.” He looked at her like he was measuring her up; it made Darcy nervous. “You have any interest?”

“Honestly? I don’t think I’m your girl on that one. I can’t even hold a gun right anymore.”

He nodded. “You been to see a counselor?”


“You should.”

Darcy shook her head. “I’m fine.”

“You’re not fine if you can’t hold a gun to defend yourself.”

“I’ll just stay in the building.”

“Lewis,” Fury said, putting his palms flat on her desk and leaning in. He was intimidating when he gave her that stern look. “We did what we could, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a target. You work for me. If you know how to shoot, then it’s a damn shame to waste it. What you did had to be done. You understand that, right?”

She nodded and focused her eyes on the keyboard. “Yeah.”

“Go talk to someone. Get over it. When you’re ready, come see me. We’ll get you some training. You don’t have to go out on missions, but I need you to be able to defend yourself.”

She sighed. “Yeah, okay.”

He turned away and walked back to his office door. Before he closed it behind himself, he looked over his shoulder and said, “You bring a pet rock or a troll doll into this office, it’s going in the trash.”

Darcy smiled at him and said, “I might call your bluff, boss.”

“Try me,” Fury said before his door clicked shut.




The tiny apartment Darcy had rented when she and Jane arrived at the Avengers headquarters in Newark had been furnished. Luckily, the apartment in the Avengers building also came furnished for nomads like her. It had only taken a couple hours to dump her clothes, hangers and all, into some black trash bags and her other belongings into a few cardboard boxes she'd found leaning against the dumpster of the Italian place down the street.

She just needed to lug it all down the three flights of stairs to the black van parked at the curb. Darcy promised herself a pizza once the move was done. This was her least favorite part of constantly being on the move–the packing and unpacking, the manual labor.

She nearly jumped out of her skin when someone knocked at the door. Her eyes went to the Glock on the coffee table as her heart pounded against her ribs. She knew she should pick it up and take it with her just in case, but she couldn't bring herself to wrap her fingers around the grip.

Her visitor knocked three more times. “Open the door, sweetheart.”

She almost wept with relief when she heard Bucky's voice. Darcy stepped over the trash bags of clothes to unlock and open her door. “What are you doing here?” she asked him

Bucky was in a pair of jeans that were having difficulty containing his thighs, a white shirt, and a black puffy jacket that kept his arm out of sight. “What do you think I'm doin’ here?” he asked, stepping around her and entering her apartment. Bucky took the place in, including the bags and boxes scattered around the entrance.

“Sex?” she asked, half hopeful. It had been four days since they'd seen each other.

He raised a brow and gave her that panty-melting grin. “That all you think about, doll?”

Darcy rolled her eyes. “Hey, you're the one at my door. I never see you unless you're unzipping your pants. What's a girl to think, right?”

“I came to carry your boxes,” he replied. Bucky stepped closer and lowered his voice. “But if you really can't wait for it, then I guess I can accommodate–”

Darcy put a hand on his chest. “Nope. I can wait. I'll forego sex if you carry all my boxes.”

He scoffed. “Ain't no way I'm moving all your shit for free.”

“I'll share my pizza with you.”

He was right on top of her now, and if she'd still been afraid of him, then she'd be taking a step or three back. Instead, she looked up at him and smiled.

“Don't wanna eat pizza,” he said.

“What do you wanna eat then? Chinese? Mexican? Thai? Burgers?”


Darcy swallowed. “Me? Huh.”

“What goes first?” he asked.

“Uh. What? You mean the boxes?”

Bucky tilted his head and gave her a look that told her his patience only went so far.

“Hey, you can't come in here and insinuate you're going to eat me out and expect me to keep my cool.”

He flashed her a wide smile and stepped back. “I didn't insinuate nothing. Thought I was pretty explicit about what's gonna happen after I move your shit for you.”

“What's the catch? I get help moving and a great orgasm from the hottest guy around. My luck is not that good.”

“What goes first?” he repeated.

“Whatever, the bags of clothes,” Darcy replied. Bucky squatted down and scooped up all four bags in his arms. She would have been hard-pressed to get one down the three flights. In fact, her intention had been to roll them down the stairs and drag them out the first-floor lobby, but that was before her very own muscle had arrived.

She picked up one of the smaller boxes and started down the steps. She passed him on the second floor as he made his way back up.

He plucked the box out of her hands and sat it on the landing. She squeaked as he grabbed her by the hips, turned her around, and insistently pushed her back up the steps.

“Hey, what's your problem?”

“I'm carrying,” he said. “Division of labor. Get your ass back up there.”

“I can carry a box, Barnes.” She stumbled up the steps, clinging to the railing. His right hand was firmly on her ass, pushing her along and making all the hormones in her body go wacky.

He swatted her ass when she made it to her door. “Didn't say you couldn't. I just said I came here to do that.” He followed her back into the apartment. “Now tell me what's next.”

She jammed her fists into her hips. “The box you left on the stairs.”

He waved her response away. “I'll get it on the way back down.” Bucky grabbed a box filled with books and stacked it on top of one with her pots and pans inside.

“You’re such a pushy dick,” she called after him as he stepped out of the apartment again.

“Huh,” he called over his shoulder, “you don't seem to mind all that much, do you?”

“That's because you don't play fair with the sex.” Darcy's voice echoed down the stairwell after him. She cringed and retreated back inside her apartment. She didn't need the whole building to know about her sex life, even if it was more exciting than it had been in, well, ever. You just can't do much better than a well-endowed, smokin’ hot assassin with a metal arm and a proclivity for getting down and dirty against walls and on desks.

His insistence on helping her was a little surprising. Sure, he’d helped her with the aborted evasion training weeks ago, but that was only because he was claiming territory when he saw Ryan flirting with her. She was under no false assumptions that he actually cared. They were strictly physical. For the most part. Maybe.

Not that she was complaining about him showing up and being a dick about it. If he was going to do all the hard work, then she’d sit back on the couch and point at what boxes to take. Darcy leaned her shoulder up against the wall and waited for him to come back. He came up the steps, light on his feet with his gaze on the floor.

“You need to move any furniture?” he asked, looking up to meet her gaze when he stepped inside.

“Nope. Apartment came furnished. Just the boxes here.”

He bent over to stack three of the boxes on top of one another. Having a super soldier help you move certainly had its perks.

“You bang me. You listen to my job angst. You help me move. Better be careful or I’ll start thinking you wanna be my boyfriend.”

Bucky looked up from his crouched position by the door. His eyes were wide, and he looked like her teasing comment scared the shit out of him. She watched him shake his head and narrow his eyes. “Definitely ain’t the case, sweetheart.”

She didn’t know what she’d been expecting him to say, but his choice of words cut deeper than she’d thought they would. “What is that supposed to mean? That I’m only good enough for a quick fuck?”

Bucky pushed himself to his feet. “It means I’m not boyfriend material.”

“Because you don’t want to be,” she snapped, cringing internally at how quickly she’d just fallen into the argument like she cared, like she didn’t know all along that he wasn’t interested in a relationship. As much as she said it didn’t bother her, maybe it did.

“Because I’m fucked up, sweetheart. What? Is this not enough for you? Because I–”

Darcy cut him off before he could continue. “I didn’t say the whole wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am wasn’t good enough. Don’t put words in my mouth.”

“I didn’t put nothin’ in your mouth.”

“Well, you kinda did put your dick in my–”

You put my dick in your mouth, sweetheart. That was all you.”

Darcy shrugged. “I was tired of taking the backseat and letting you run the show.”

He put his hands on his hips. “You don’t like my show?”

Darcy groaned. “Stop putting words in my mouth. I fucking love it, and you know it. I was just looking to get some control back. You got a problem with that?”

“Fuck no,” Bucky replied. “You can do whatever you wanna do to me, doll.”

“Somehow I doubt that.”

“Look, do you… Are you not comfortable with this thing we got goin’ on?” he asked. “If you’re lookin’ for a boyfriend then I’m not–”

“I didn’t say I was looking for a boyfriend. I was making a fucking joke. Jesus, Barnes.”

He stared at her, his gaze hard and unforgiving. She shifted under the weight of it.

“I like you a lot more when your mouth is shut and you stand there looking all hot,” Darcy told him. “Get back to moving the boxes.”




He insisted on driving the van back to the headquarters where, apparently, they both lived now. It wouldn’t have irritated her that he’d just assumed he would drive if they hadn’t had the shitty little argument in her apartment less than an hour ago. After she’d told him to shut up and look pretty, he’d done just that. Beyond the gruff order to hand the keys to the van over, he hadn’t said a word to her. He’d just walked in and out of her apartment, carrying boxes out to the van like they weighed nothing. He did in minutes what would have taken her four hours and a pulled a muscle or three.

So, not only was she irritated at him for insisting on running the show, but she was irritated that it turned her on more than a little that he was there doing all her dirty work, even if he said that he didn’t want to be her boyfriend. The muscles didn’t hurt, either.

He parked the van next to a side entrance and pulled the key out of the ignition. Darcy opened her mouth and asked the question that had been bugging her for the last few minutes. “Are you sleeping with other people?”

He jerked his head over to look at her. “What??”

Darcy widened her eyes. “Just curious.”

No,” he said, dragging out the word. “Why?”

She shrugged and opened her door. Before she could slip out of the seat and down to the pavement, he grabbed her left forearm with his flesh and blood hand.

“Are you?” Bucky asked.

Darcy couldn’t stop the snort that escaped. “No way.”


“Good?” she asked. “What does that mean? I thought this was strictly physical.”

He let go of her and opened his door to get out.

Darcy walked around to the driver’s side of the car and stood there with her hands on her hips. “You got some double standard where you can fuck other people and I can’t?”

He took two long strides over to her and grabbed her shoulders, turning and pushing her back up against the side of the black van. “Shut your mouth, sweetheart. You wanna advertise what we’ve been doing to the whole fuckin’ building?”

“So, you’re ashamed?”

His face was so close. Close enough to kiss, which was something they’d never done. It hadn’t even really occurred to her until then that she’d had his dick in her mouth, but they’d never touched lips.

“You make me so fuckin’ crazy,” he hissed next to her ear. “Now you’re puttin’ words in my mouth. I got a target on my back, and I don’t wanna add one to yours, which is what would happen if people knew about us.”

“We’re fucking,” she said, trying to keep her voice at a whisper.

“That don’t mean I don’t care, sweetheart. They’d use you against me.”

It took two tries to get words to come out of her open mouth. “I already have a target on my back, remember?”

“It’s different.”

“What? Using me as a way to get to you is scarier than them coming after me because I killed a bunch of them?”

“I don’t want that–them hurting you–on my head.”

Darcy laughed softly. There was no humor in it, only frustration. “It’s all the same to me if they want to kill me for shooting them or fucking you.”

“You are pushing all my buttons, sweetheart,” his voice was a low growl. “Why don’t you take your own advice and shut your fuckin’ mouth. Just stand there and look pretty.”

Darcy snorted again, looking down at her yoga pants, oversized shirt, and hoodie. Her hair was up in a ponytail, and she didn’t have a stitch of makeup on. “Look pretty? Like this? I look like I’m going to the gym. I don’t even remember if I put on deodorant.”


“Wait, are you apologizing? Barnes, are you telling me I’m pretty so I’ll stop arguing with you?”

“I’m telling you you’re pretty so you’ll get off my fuckin’ balls. What’s your room number again?”

“Sixteen eleven.”

“Go up there and wait.”


He glanced over his shoulder at a car that passed by. “Wait for me to bring your shit up.”

“I can carry my own shit.”

“Doll, really? Can you cut me a fuckin’ break here?” He walked to the back of the van and pulled the doors open. On the top of the pile was a small box filled with some little decorations she’d taken off her bookshelf. He handed it to her and said, “Look at that. You’re carrying your shit. Now go up there and wait.”

“You’ve got an attitude problem, Barnes,” she told him, backing away with the box.

“Just with you, sweetheart. Like I said, you push my buttons.”

She gave him a sugary sweet and decidedly fake smile before turning around and making her way into the building. She took the elevator up to sixteen and unlocked the door to her new home. She’d already checked it out that morning when she'd brought over groceries.

It was a little bigger than the place she’d been at. The kitchen was outfitted with stainless steel appliances and marble countertops with dark wooden cabinets. The floor was white tile that transitioned into gleaming hardwood floors that extended through the rest of the apartment. The living room had a plush couch with two matching armchairs arranged around a very modern looking coffee table. The bedroom and en-suite bathroom were just off the living room to the right of the couch.

She sat the box down on the kitchen counter and walked through the apartment to survey her new home. Her mind was on him and why he made her feel so argumentative. Probably because she avoided guys like him. She dated guys who rolled over for her, guys who let her wear the pants and call the shots. Guys who were type B personalities through and through. He was a type A and was nothing but friction every time he was around her. She was either so hot for him that she could barely contain herself or ready to knee him in the balls for being a jerk. Hot and hotter.

The door opened, and she heard him deposit some boxes before it clicked shut again. Darcy wandered back into the living room from the bedroom and looked at the three boxes next to the kitchen island. She did not feel like unpacking. Actually, she felt like asking him to bend her over the dining table over by the window and make her come. Maybe she was sick in the head.

He opened the door again and sat the boxes down next to the first. When he looked up to catch her eye, his hair fell into his face. She lifted a hand to brush it away but stopped herself before she could touch him. Bucky watched her fingers curl into a fist as her hand dropped. His eyes flicked to the floor, and he pushed his hair back before turning around to leave again.

It took him twenty-five minutes to get everything up into her apartment. It really was nice for him to do all the heavy lifting, and he never really said she couldn’t do it. He just said he’d come to help.

When Bucky sat the last load down, he closed the door and sighed.

“Thank for the help, Barnes,” she said, standing by the island in the kitchen.

“You tryin’ to make up with me?” he asked.

“Ehh, maybe,” she admitted. “It was nice of you to do all the work.”

“I thought you didn’t want my help.”

Darcy smiled. “I’m not used to people helping me,” she admitted.

“Well, don’t take that out on me. Not my fault you’ve dated assholes.”

“No, not assholes. You’re an asshole. I just date incompetent men who don’t know how to wash their own clothes or make an omelet.”

“Ain’t doin’ much better with me, then,” he replied. “I can’t do those things, either.”

“Yeah, but we’re not dating. Remember?”

“Right,” he agreed.

She leaned against the counter and swept her eyes down his body. He’d taken off the jacket and pushed his shirt sleeves up his forearms. He looked good, like he walked right out of a fantasy.

“What?” he asked, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. When he lifted his eyes up to her face, his gaze was hot. Hot like his thoughts were going down the path hers were. They were alone in the apartment, no chance of being interrupted.

“I still haven’t seen you naked. That seems unfair,” she replied.

He lifted a brow. “You askin’ me for a striptease?”

Darcy grinned before sinking her teeth into her lower lip. “Maybe.”

He laughed softly under his breath and shifted his eyes away from her as he shook his head. “Sweetheart, you’re gonna make me lose my mind. There ain’t no in between with you.”

“I blame you for that.”

“Me?” he asked, flipping the deadbolt on the door.

“You make me a little crazy,” she said, watching him bend down to untie the long, black laces of his boots.

Bucky toed the boots off and left them in the middle of the floor in the small foyer. His socks went next, easily peeled off and left by the boots. “You don’t fuckin’ say? You’ve been irritating the shit out of me since we met.”

He lifted both arms and grabbed the back of his shirt–where the neckline was–with his right hand, pulling it up and over his head. His chest was wider than she’d thought now that it was bare. It was also smooth, with the exception of the skin around the prosthetic. The way the metal met his skin was jarring but somehow amazing and gorgeous. He didn’t look broken and cobbled together; he looked powerful. Probably because he was. His right arm was no slouch in the muscle department, either. It was just as big as the cybernetic one.

Darcy stepped away from the island and back a few steps into the living room. “When we met in the hallway or when we met in the lobby? Or when we met in the safe house?”

He took a few steps toward her, and Darcy felt her heartbeat kick into overdrive as she backed up past one of the armchairs. “When we met in the hallway.”

“I didn’t think you thought much of me at all then,” she admitted.

He undid the button on his pants with his right hand before he slid the zipper down slowly. His careful approach of her was intimidating. She felt like she was being stalked by a predator. She was also nearly vibrating out of her skin with desire because there was no way this was going to end any other way.

“I didn’t.” He pushed the pants down his hips and thighs until they pooled at his feet so he could step out of them, leaving them on the floor with his shirt. “But then you went and grabbed my gun and showed me up, and you started touching me with that little towel wrapped around your body. How the hell am I supposed to think straight when you look at me like that, like you are right now? Huh, sweetheart?”

His boxers-briefs were black and tight and completely unable to hide his massive erection that was currently testing the seams. Darcy’s back hit the wall beside the bedroom door. “Umm, I don’t know what way you’re talking about.”

“Like you want me.”

She stepped to the side and walked backward into the bedroom. “Well, I do want you. What's not to want?”

He dropped his right hand to his crotch and adjusted his cock beneath the fabric. “Gotta admit, I have this fantasy about you and me in the shower,” he said, advancing on her again.

“Well, I mean… It’s a nice shower. Might as well try it out, right?” She angled her body toward the dark door of the bathroom, backing into it and reaching out to feel for the light switch. The four bulbs above the vanity lit up when she flipped it.

“You know how much I regret not fucking you in the shower of that safe house?”

She laughed softly. “Uh, yeah, I do actually. About as much as I regret you not fucking me in the shower of the safe house.”

“I’m going to make up for that,” he said, stepping into the bathroom. She had no place to go but the shower stall. It was square with a floor to ceiling glass door. Someone had done a great job of making it very elegant and modern with a rain showerhead and mosaic tile in different shades of cream and black.

Bucky reached out and grabbed a fistful of her shirt just beneath her breasts, using it to pull her toward him. She obediently lifted her arms and let him pull it over her head. He did the same with her sports bra, stopping for just a moment to test the weight of her breasts in his palms. She gasped and grabbed his wrists when he flicked his thumbs over her nipples. The difference in texture from his flesh hand to the metal one made her clench her thighs together.

“Take your shoes off,” he whispered. Like she couldn’t follow direction fast enough, she kicked them off.

Bucky stepped up to stand toe-to-toe with her, reaching around and sliding his hands down the back of her stretchy pants and underwear to squeeze her ass. “Oh, fuck,” she muttered. Darcy was actually starting to think he might be able to make her come without even touching anything between her legs.

“I’m going to fuckin’ wreck you for running your mouth and talking all that shit today. You know that, right?”

He pushed her pants and panties down, kneeling in front of her to help her step out of them. Darcy braced her hands on his shoulders. “Umm, sooooo… I should continue to run my mouth? Because this is like a serious fucking incentive, for sure. I argue with you, and you give me really fantastic orgasms. Yes, please.”

Bucky pressed his nose into her mound and inhaled. Darcy looked down and braced herself for his tongue, but instead he pushed himself up to his feet and spun her around with his hands on her shoulders.

“Make it hot,” he said in her ear.

Darcy laughed as she stepped into the shower stall, feeling giddy. “Oh, it's already hot.”

He stepped in behind her and shut the door. “The water, sweetheart.”

“Oh, right. I totally knew that. Of course, you weren't talking about my hoo-ha.”

She leaned forward to turn on the water. Bucky sidled up behind her and pressed himself against her back. He'd lost his underwear at some point because she could feel his very hard cock rubbing up against her ass. The first few seconds of water were almost unbearably cold, but it heated up quickly. His right hand sliding over her hip and slipping between her legs certainly helped keep her warm, though.

“Hoo-ha?” he asked.

Darcy clutched his wrist as he pressed two fingers into her. “What? Don't you think that's a cute name for it?”

“Your pussy?” he asked, lips brushing over her ear. “Sure, real cute.”

She gasped when he dragged his middle finger up to rub her clit.

“You like that, sweetheart?”

“Uh huh,” she managed to grunt, digging her nails into his forearm.

Bucky turned her around and crowded her until she stepped away. Her back pressed up against the tiled wall, and he knelt in front of her. “Been thinkin’ about how you taste,” he whispered against her thigh.

With a hand on the back of her leg, he urged her to slip her left leg over his shoulder. Once she'd done as he'd silently asked, he placed open-mouthed kisses all over her pussy. His tongue darted out now and then to lick up her juices and the water catching in her pubic hair. By the time he got down to business and really started working her with his tongue, his hair was plastered to his head and neck from the flow of hot water falling down on them.

She ran her fingers through his hair, curling them into a fist and pulling at the stands when he licked her clit. Darcy cried out when he sucked it between his lips and entered her with two fingers of his left hand. Just the idea of being fucked by his weaponized metal prosthetic while he flicked his tongue back and forth on her clit made Darcy come. The orgasm took her by surprise. She'd been building up nicely to it and all of the sudden it was on her and she was crying out his name. Not his last name, either. His first. It was something she'd never really called him to his face.

He was to his feet in a flash, pinning her to the wall and lifting her up with his hands, gripping her ass. “Say it again,” he said.

She could feel his cock pressing up against her slit. “Say what?” she asked, feeling woozy and drunk off her high.

“My fuckin’ name, Darcy.” He shifted and suddenly he was all the way inside her.

“Bucky,” she replied on a sharp exhale. “Oh my god, Bucky…”

His rhythm was punishing and fast, like he was unable to restrain himself. It made Darcy feel powerful and desired and sexy, even if he'd taken every bit of her control and was pinning her body against a wall to chase down his orgasm.

“That's right, doll. Tell me who's fuckin’ you right now.”

“You are,” she responded, mindlessly. “You are, Bucky.”

“You feel so good,” he whispered against her collarbone. “So tight for me. Been thinking about this for days.”

“Me too,” she said, squeezing his shoulders.

Bucky growled and changed his angle, making her gasp in surprise. “You touch yourself when you think about me, doll?”

“Uh huh.”

“That's a good girl. You're so hot for me, so fuckin’ wet for me.” Bucky reached up and grabbed a fistful of her hair. “I bet you drive me crazy on purpose just so I'll fuck you real good like this.”

The stream of words flowing out of his mouth was edging her closer to another orgasm. Was he right? Did she argue with him just so they could have frantic sex like this? The answer wasn't so clear-cut, and Darcy couldn't hold a serious thought in her mind while he was giving her everything he had, including pinching her clit between his thumb and forefinger.

“I can feel you tensin’ up on me, sweetheart.” Bucky pressed his lips to her ear and added, “You gonna come all over my cock? Come on, let me feel you. Give it to me.”

His pleading pushed her over the edge, and she screamed his name again as she came.

“Fuck, yeah,” he growled before his rhythm faltered and he gave shallow little thrusts up into her body until he peaked. “Ah, fuck, Darcy.” Bucky pressed his head into her shoulder and tried to slow his breathing down. She wasn't doing much of a better job.

Bucky let her slide down the wall until her feet hit the tile floor of the shower stall. She felt energized and would have dropped to her knees to worship his cock if she knew how fast he could get hard again.

“You're gonna kill me, I swear,” he muttered, one hand braced against the wall behind her.

His body was gorgeous, all muscle and smooth skin. How the hell did she get wrapped up in some crazy, sex-fueled game with him? He made her feel like she was on fire in more ways than one. The sex was hotter than she'd ever experienced before, but so was everything else with him, including the arguments. And yet, she had this soft spot for him that she didn't like to think about because their relationship wasn't supposed to be like that.

“Turn around and let me wash your hair,” she told him.

He hesitated. “Why?”

“Because I said so.”

He smiled and turned around for her.

Chapter Text


“Does he touch you here like this? Let me take the friction from your lips.” - The Weeknd (What You Need)

Bucky was very fucking tempted to stay the night, especially after she’d used those perfect hands of hers to wash his hair before soaping up his body. He took full advantage of the situation and did the same for her. Now that they were clean and locked away in her apartment, he just wanted to figure out a way to stick around. Staying was bad, though. Staying meant this was something more than it was.

Darcy was leaning against the kitchen island with a pint of ice cream in her hand when he walked out of the bedroom in his zipped, but not buttoned, pants. She was in an oversized T-shirt, and he would bet good money she didn’t have a stitch on underneath.

“Want some?” she asked, tilting the pint toward him. It looked like it was strawberry. He wanted to lick it out of her mouth more than eating it off the spoon.

“What flavor and since when do apartments come with ice cream?”

“Strawberry cheesecake and since I went on a grocery run this morning because I knew I wouldn’t want to after moving my shit.” She dipped her spoon back in and offered it to him. He approached her slowly and leaned down to take the spoon his mouth. It was almost too sweet with chunks of frozen strawberries and graham crackers.

“It’s good,” he told her, licking his lips.

“Jesus, Barnes. Do you have kickstart my libido every time you do anything? Stop licking your lips like that.”

He smiled and rolled his tongue out over his bottom lip. “Like that?”

She narrowed her eyes. “You’re a menace.”

“Ever occur to you that this is happening because of you instead of me?”

Darcy licked that fucking spoon like it was the head of his cock. “What do you mean?” she asked.

“We’re doing this because I can’t stay away from you, not because you can’t stay away from me.”

“So what’s so awesome about me?” she asked, offering him another bite of ice cream. He took it and let it melt in his mouth.

“There’s just something about you.”

“What? That I’m easy and up for semi-public sex?” She took another bite of ice cream, licking the back of the spoon. He couldn’t decide if she did it to instigate him, make him so hard he’d take her again, or if she just didn’t realize her power.

“That you get me so hard sometimes I think I might bust my zipper,” he replied.

“You forgot my dazzling wit,” she said, pointing the spoon at him before taking another bite.

“I didn’t. Ain’t just your body that gets me hot.”

Darcy looked up at him through her long eyelashes and slowly pulled the spoon out of her mouth. “Are you telling me that bickering with me gets your motor running?”

He shrugged. “Maybe. It also pisses me the fuck off.”

“Oh, so should I be nicer to you? Maybe stop questioning you when you say stupid shit?” Her voice was light, and she had a smile on her face.

“Nope. Not really interested in changing you. Just sayin’ you’re difficult as hell and that makes me want to rip your clothes off.”

“Interesting,” she said, scooping up some ice cream and offering it to him. Bucky tucked his wet hair behind his ears and let her put the spoon in his mouth. Each bite tasted a little better. Just like her. Every time they ended up fucking, he wanted her that much more. He had to restrain himself from seeking her out every single damn day.

“How’s the new job?” he asked leaning against the counter and resting his forearms on it.

She mimicked his posture and sat the pint of ice cream in front of them. “Good, I think.” Darcy paused for a moment and then said, “Fury asked me if I wanted to train with the sniper team.”

Bucky wasn’t really that surprised. Fury had a knack for recognizing talent and reigning it in. “Yeah? You interested?”

Darcy laughed softly. “I don’t think so. I still can’t… with your gun. I don’t think I could put my finger on the trigger.”

He’d be lying if he said he wanted her to join the sniper team. He’d rather she be safe in the building than out in the field. Fast on the heels of that thought was one that told him he was stupid for treating her like she was his fucking girl, like she couldn’t take care of herself. She was obviously capable; he’d seen her do it. “You want to come to the shooting range with me?” Bucky asked.

She looked over at him and smiled. “I’d probably freak out. Plus, I thought we were keeping our little thing on the down-low.”

“Going shooting with me don’t mean we’re tellin’ everyone we’re fucking.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t offer to have Nelson take me.”

“Fuck Nelson. I don’t like the way he looks at you.”

Darcy laughed softly and took a bite of ice cream. “He actually asked me out yesterday.”

He felt a flash of heat light up his chest and his stomach drop to his feet. “What?”

She shrugged and ate another bite. “He caught me after a meeting and asked me out to dinner.”

Worried that he’d break his jaw by clenching it so tight, Bucky said, “And what did you say?”

She looked over at him like he was crazy. “I said no. Of course. I mean, I just started this job. Can’t go around dating one of the leads, right?”

“Right,” Bucky replied. He should be relieved, but he wasn’t. He was fucked in the head because the idea of her kissing some asshole, letting some other man touch her like he touched her, it just made him want to punch something. Preferably Nelson’s face.

She laughed again. “I mean, it’s a little messed up that I’m fucking you. You’re, like, way above Ryan.”


“Nelson. Ryan Nelson.”

“First name basis, sweetheart?”

She shrugged. “Well, that’s what he told me to call him.”

Yeah, he really wanted to punch that guy in the fucking face. Why was this pissing him off so much? They were just physical. They were quick fucks in empty offices. He’d never even kissed her. “You wanna go out with him, go out with him,” Bucky snapped, pushing himself off the counter.

Darcy turned around to face him, the pint of melting ice cream forgotten on the marble countertop. “I didn’t say I wanted to go out with him. Why are you pissed?”

“I ain’t pissed.”

“You are. You’re mad that he asked me out. I thought you weren’t interested in anything but sex.”

“I ain’t interested in anything but sex.”

“Well, then whatever Ryan wants doesn’t matter. Even if I went to dinner with him, it wouldn’t matter. You and I are just… fucking or whatever.”

“Exactly,” Bucky replied, curling his hands into fists. His brain told him she was right, but he didn’t feel like she was right. He felt like he wanted to tell every single guy in the building to back the fuck off because she belonged to him.

“Good,” she said. “So glad we cleared that up.” She had that little bit of attitude in her voice, that sass that knocked him back on his heels and made him want to spread her legs.

Bucky didn’t really think about what he was doing when he took a step toward her and grabbed her upper arm. She gasped as he spun her around and pressed the front of his body against the back of hers. With his hands on her hips, he pushed her over to the table in the breakfast nook of the kitchen.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked.

“Showing you something Ryan can’t do,” he said, fumbling with his zipper so he could jerk his pants down. Once his cock was out, he wrapped his right arm around her and slipped his hand up underneath the billowy T-shirt to touch her pussy. She was already a little slick, and she got sloppy wet after he worked her with his fingers for a minute.

“Stop teasing and fuck me,” she whispered, reaching back and grabbing a fistful of his hair.

Bucky pulled her hand off his head and bent her over the table. He used his cybernetic hand to trap both her wrists, pinning them to the wood above her head while he leaned over her body and guided his cock into her tight pussy.

“How does this feel, sweetheart?”

“You know how it fucking feels,” she said through labored breaths as he thrust up into her, rocking her body against the edge of the table.

Bucky wrapped his right arm around her again, putting his flesh hand between her legs so he could feel the way his cock disappeared inside her. “You’re so wet,” he whispered in her ear.

“Your fault,” she said, trying to pull her hands out of his grip. “Come on and touch me.”

He grinned and moved his middle finger up to her clit. “Like this?”

“Uh, huh. Oh fuck, that’s… you feel amazing.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “You take me real good, sweetheart. Like you were made for it.”

“Don’t stop,” she replied. “I’m close.”

He quickened his pace, thrusting a little harder. Each time he rocked into her, his finger brushed over her stiff little clit. It only took her a couple minutes to scream out his name–his first name–and come for him.

He followed her shortly after, the sharp and intense rush of pleasure shooting through his body like fire.

Bucky released her wrists, and she flexed them. “Did I hurt you?” he asked, lifting himself off her. He felt a little sick at just the idea he might have bruised her.

“Uh, no. I wouldn’t say that’s what you did to me. Although, I am going to be sore tomorrow.”


She pulled the T-shirt down over her ass as she lifted herself up and turned around to face him. Bucky had just tucked his softening cock back into his pants.

“Yeah, like a good sore. Like I had a lot of great sex with a guy who is definitely on the higher end of the dick size scale.”

Bucky laughed and buttoned up his pants. “I aim to please.”

“Oh, you do. Trust me. What the fuck was that about, though?”

“Just checkin’ to see if you had panties on.”

She rolled her eyes. “You knew I didn’t. Seems like it might have had something to do with you staking a claim.”

“You’re free to do whatever you want,” he insisted. So what if it was a little bit of a lie? He couldn’t afford to tell her the truth. She’d tear him apart for saying he didn’t want a relationship but still wanted her to turn every other guy down if she got asked out.

Fuck, he needed to get away from her, out of her apartment. If he didn’t, they’d end up in her bed. They’d end up wrapped around each other and kissing. He wanted tenderness, but that’s not what this was about.

“I gotta go,” he said, walking back to the pile of boxes by the door and picking his shirt up off the floor.

“You don’t wanna stick around? I was gonna order pizza.”

He shook his head and blindly reached out for his boots. Bucky didn’t even bother with his socks. “Nah, I gotta go. Thanks for the ice cream.”

“Yeah, okay,” she replied. Her voice sounded distant, tense, short.

He looked up to find her smoothing the wrinkles out of her shirt. “Sorry,” he said.

“Sorry for what?”

He didn’t exactly know for what. Instead of answering, he shook his head and reached for the doorknob. “Just… sorry.”




He was itching for some action after sitting idle in the headquarters building for too long. They'd been so close to dealing a heavy blow to HYDRA after the attack and the theft of information from the Avengers' server. They'd had a location and everything, but no backup. Now they had their team ready to go, but no location other than an apartment that their intel team had seen two known HYDRA operatives come and go from.

He and Steve had taken a small team to investigate. Bucky was always more nervous about the state of his conditioning prior to a raid than he was during one. If someone knew how to gain control of him, he or Steve would take them out, and they'd do it fast. Bucky did not fuck around with that.

As it turns out, there was no one in the rundown apartment. It was in a decaying area of town where most of the storefronts were boarded up and the stoops leading to occupied apartment buildings were littered with needles junkies used to shoot up heroin. The place was filthy, furnished with a broken down brown couch and a wobbly card table.

Bucky took up a watch by the only window while Steve flipped through the pictures and printouts on the table.

“Some of the information they pulled from our server is here, but not all of it. Seems like a satellite location, close enough to keep an eye on us, but far enough away to go unnoticed,” Steve said.

Bucky shook his head. “Didn't go unnoticed if intel picked it up.”

“Your psych eval is here,” Steve replied, holding up three sheets of paper.

The exposure made Bucky physically sick, made him feel naked and pathetic. It also made him angry that they couldn't leave him the fuck alone. It was like they just wanted to beat him down until he finally broke, even if it took decades or generations. He bit back angry words as Steve folded the sheets up.

“Shit,” Steve muttered under his breath.

Bucky glanced over at his friend. “What?”

Steve frowned and flipped over a photograph.
When Steve didn't respond, Bucky said, “What is it, punk?”

“Darcy Lewis,” Steve replied, holding up the black and white photo that had been pulled from the security footage and blown up to show her face. Bucky could see his arm and the star on it just to her left.

His stomach twisted in fear for her. “What's the writing below?” he asked, stepping over to look, his gun pointed at the floor.

In black marker below her face, it said, “Gina Harrison? Likely alias/misinfo/lie. Unreliable source of info says deceased. Not confirmed.

“I thought we had an inside guy feed them the info?”

Steve grimaced. “We did. We haven't heard from him since.”

“You think they made him? Was he supposed to be in contact?”

“No. Not unless he had information.” Steve waved the picture in the air. “This makes me think he can't contact us even if he wanted to. They may not trust him.”

“And what about her?” Bucky asked. “If they aren't buying what we're selling, then it's just a matter of time before they find her in public records. Shit, her picture is probably on file at the DMV.”

Steve pressed the button on his earpiece. “I need an address for Darcy Lewis. She works in the labs–”

“Apartment sixteen eleven in the building,” Bucky interrupted. “She moved in a couple days ago.”

“Disregard,” Steve told his earpiece, his steady gaze on Bucky. “You still sleeping with her?”

Bucky wanted to crawl under the table in shame. She was already in danger, and he was putting her in even more because he couldn't keep his dick in his pants. He also wanted to punch Steve in the nose for shooting him that judgemental look. “None of your fuckin’ business, punk.”

“If she needs to be put in protective custody, then it is my business.”

“I'll take care of it.”

Steve put his hands on his hips. “You'll just put her in more danger.”

“No one but you knows she and I are …” Bucky didn't know how to explain what he and Darcy were doing. Fucking? Having an affair? Seeing each other? Friends? None of them quite fit.

Steve stared back at Bucky, waiting for an explanation.

“No one but you knows about me and her.”

“Thank god for small favors,” Steve said. “She can shoot, right? Does she carry?”

Bucky's shook his head. “Nah, what happened in the lobby fucked her head up. Says she can't pick up a gun now.”

“Then we need to assign someone to–”

“I'll take care of it. I'll get her to carry a gun. I'll keep her safe,” Bucky said, not even thinking twice about what he was agreeing to.

Steve looked at him with wide eyes. “Do you care for her, Buck?”

Bucky looked away from Steve and focused on the floor. “Like I said, we're just scratchin’ each other's itches. I like her, though. I don't wanna see her get hurt.”

“It’s best she stays in the building until we can figure out what HYDRA does and doesn't know about her.”

Bucky agreed wholeheartedly. He'd tie her to her bed if he had to.




Darcy was on the phone when he walked into her room on the twenty-sixth floor. She had three ridiculous, naked creatures with neon hair lined up right in front of her inbox. He grimaced and pointed at them. Darcy stuck her tongue out at him before flipping him the bird for good measure. He tried to hide his grin by wiping his mouth with his hand.

While she wrapped up the conversation with what sounded like a Senator, he glanced at the open door that led to Fury’s office. It was empty, and Bucky was glad. He wanted a few minutes alone with her.

“I know you didn't come up here to talk shit on my decorations,” she said to his back.

Bucky turned around and looked at her. She really was a knockout. He wasn't sure why he never saw it before the incident in the lobby. That glossy, dark brown hair, those full lips, those perfect tits that worked with her curvy hips to give her that fuckable coke bottle body. She was wearing that perfume again. His dick wanted to know why he hadn't been to see her for two days. That was a lie. His brain wanted to know why, too.

“Sweetheart, those little monsters are not decorations.”

“They are adorable troll doll toys, and they are pissing Fury off. I think he's afraid of them.”

I'm afraid of them.”

Darcy smiled. “To what do I owe the pleasure, Barnes? I thought we can't be seen together lest the rumor mill start up and I sully your pristine rep.”

He stepped over to stand beside her desk. “Didn't say we can't be seen together. I'm just not interested in advertising that we got a little thing goin’ on.”

She raised her brows. “A little thing, huh? Is that what they called this back in the olden days?”

“What do you call it then?”

She thought for a moment, wiggling her nose in thought. ‘Friends with benefits? No strings attached relationship? Really hot sex without dinner or a sleepover?”

“Little thing,” he repeated.

“Don't sell yourself short, Barnes. I'd say it's a big thing. Definitely above average. Hits all the good spots.”

He tried not to smile, but it was difficult when she was looking at him with those wide, innocent eyes. Well, not really so innocent. “You done sexually harassin’ me?” he asked.

“Uh, no. I was just about to ask what kind of underwear you have on.”


Darcy's mouth opened, but nothing came out. It made him grin in victory.

“I came here to tell you that we're going shootin’ tomorrow,” he told her.


“You and me.”

“Look, Barnes, I don't know about that.”

He sat on the corner of her desk and looked down at her. It gave him a great view of her tits since the top two buttons of her blouse were undone. “Wasn't askin’; I was tellin’. Tomorrow at six o’clock before dinner, the range in the basement. I reserved you a lane, and we're gonna get over your issues.”

“I can't–”

“Wasn't askin’,” he repeated. “Look, HYDRA is dangerous. We have no way of knowing if they ate up that story about you being named Gina and dying in the attack. If they find out who you really are, then you need to be able to defend yourself.”

She looked up at him like she hated every word that had just come out of his mouth. “I killed–”

“Sweetheart, I know. Believe me. I know better than anyone how that guilt eats away at you.”

“How did you come to terms with it?”

“What makes you think I have?”

She shrugged. “Well, you don't have a problem fighting.”

“Because I don't have the luxury of not fightin’. If I cross my arms and refuse on principle then they'll come after me, and I'll die. I can fight, and that can save innocent people. It’s my contribution. You can shoot. You wanna contribute to the cause and help keep everyone, includin’ yourself, safe then you'll get over it.”

“You make it sound so simple.”

Bucky laughed softly. “It ain't, doll. It ain't at all. Sometimes, you just don't have a choice.”

“Do you think I'm in danger?” Her eyes were wide.

Bucky picked his words carefully. “No more than you were yesterday.”

He could hear footsteps slapping against the tile in the hallway. Bucky stood up and turned around just as Fury walked into the room.

“Barnes,” Fury said with a nod. “Is there something I need to know?”

“Nope. Just tellin’ your assistant here that it sure is a shame she won't pick up a gun again, considerin’ she's a natural.”

Darcy huffed, and Fury nodded as he said, “It is a shame. You change your mind about training, Lewis?’

“No,” she said.

“She's training with me tomorrow. Said Nelson makes her nervous,” Bucky told the other man.

“Nelson bothering you?” Fury asked.

Darcy narrowed her eyes at Bucky. He was on her shit list for sure. He'd be lucky to get laid ever again if that dirty look was any indication of her feelings toward him. “No,” she said without taking her eyes off Bucky, “Nelson is not bothering me. Barnes is just worried I'll shoot Nelson's gun instead of his.”

Fury shifted his gaze back and forth between the two of them. “I don't want to know.”

Darcy stood up and smoothed the back of her skirt out. “I'm going to get pencils in the supply closet.”

Bucky watched her ass as she walked out of the room.

“My supply closet is not for having sex in,” Fury told him.

Bucky tried to look innocent but was probably failing. “I’m aware,” he agreed before walking out of the office and turning right. The supply closet door was around the corner and a couple doors down, and he only knew it because it was labeled. He was almost fully hard by the time he pulled open the door. Just the anticipation of her was enough to get him excited.

The room was small without any windows. For a moment he wondered if she’d tricked him because the overhead lights were off, the only illumination coming from the copy machine in the corner. Bucky inhaled and took in her scent–that combination of the spicy perfume with hints of grapefruit and cedarwood mixed with the musky smell of her sex and the sugary sweetness of her breath. She’d been sucking on a hard candy when he’d walked into the office.

“Shut the door,” she said from her spot perched on a table to the right.

He did as he was told and almost came in his pants as he watched her in silhouette. She kneeled in front of him and unbuckled his belt. “You pissed at me?” he asked, running his right hand through her long hair.

“Little bit. Mostly because I’ve worn skirts and no panties for the past two days, but you’ve been in the wind.” Darcy unzipped his pants and pushed his underwear down just enough to free his cock.

“Don’t wanna overstay my welcome,” he replied, letting his head fall back against the door when she wrapped her fingers around him.

She laughed and it was husky and sexy as fuck. His entire body was buzzing for her. “Fat chance of that,” Darcy said. “My vibrator is not nearly as good as you.”

Bucky opened his mouth to ask her exactly what she did to herself when he wasn’t around, but the only thing that came out was a shuddering exhale as she guided the head of his cock into the heat of her mouth. “Darcy,” he finally whispered, cupping the back of her head.

She sucked him hard and fast, taking almost all of his cock into her mouth while her fist worked him over in a tight grip. He clenched his jaw and closed his eyes, enjoying the sensations caused by her little moans of pleasure. When he looked down, he could barely make out the way her left hand was up underneath her skirt. He wanted to flip the lights on so he could see it all–see the way she was touching herself while she sucked his cock.

The idea that she was so hot for him, thought about him fucking her when he wasn’t even in the same room as her, made him lose his hard-fought control. He’d planned on pulling her off his cock and fucking her until she said his name again, but his orgasm took him by surprise. Bucky choked back a cry of pleasure as he came in her mouth. Darcy didn’t miss a beat, swallowing the evidence and slowing her strokes until she was just gently laving the tip of his cock with her tongue and holding him in her hand in a loose grip.

“Fuck, sweetheart. I can’t move.” He was leaning back against the door still, chest rising and falling rapidly as he tried to compose himself.

She looked up at him, but he couldn’t make out much of her facial expression. He could, however, hear in her voice that she was probably grinning when she said, “I’m taking that as a compliment.”

Bucky laughed softly. “It is a compliment.” Reaching down, he grabbed her arm and helped pull her back up to her feet. Once she was standing in front of him, he reached around and hiked her skirt up so he could grab her ass and pull her into him. She hadn’t been joking when she said she wasn’t wearing panties. The knowledge that she’d been walking around the building hoping he’d bend her over a desk made his dick twitch.

Darcy slid her hands up his chest and over his shoulders. “Why are you pushing me on the gun thing?” she asked, her lips brushing over the front of his shirt.

He squeezed her ass. “Because I want you to be safe.”

“That’s sweet, Barnes. Didn’t know you cared.”

“Of course I care,” he whispered.

She pressed her forehead to his chest and sighed. “Don’t be nice to me like that,” she said.

“Why?” He didn’t know why he asked the question. He knew full well why she’d said it. Because protecting her and having sex with her was one thing, but when you added caring and tenderness it took things to another level, a level that he’d already told her he couldn’t do.

“Because,” she said simply, not elaborating.

“You’re an asset, sweetheart. You could help yourself and everyone else with your skills. That’s why I want you to get over that block in your head.”

“Anyone can shoot like that if they practice.” She still wouldn’t look up at him. He could feel the movement of her lips through his shirt.

Bucky shook his head. “No, that’s not true. You’re good, doll. Real good. Give me an hour of your time at the range. I’ll make it worth your while.”

She laughed softly and curled her fingers into the fabric of his shirt. “Oh yeah?”


She pressed her body up against his, and Bucky felt himself start to get hard again. “I need details before I make up my mind,” she said, looking up at him.

It took a significant amount of willpower not to lower his lips to hers. “What do you want?”

She shook her head. “You. Just… you.”

He felt like his heart might have stopped in his chest. “Me?”

“Sex,” she clarified. “However, wherever, with you.”

“That’s what you’ve been getting,” he replied.

“I want your phone number, then. I want to be able to call you if I want sex instead of waiting around for you to show up.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, okay. Come with me to the range tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll give you my number.”

Darcy shifted against him, turning so his erection pressed against her thigh. “What’s this? So soon?”

“Told you that you make me crazy,” he murmured.

“Mmm, can the door lock?”

Bucky fumbled behind him until he found the doorknob and pressed the little button that would secure it. “Locked.”

She grabbed his right wrist and pulled his hand off her ass, slipping it up the front of her skirt instead. “I’m so wet I can feel it on my thighs,” Darcy whispered. She was right; her pussy was almost dripping. If he could have gotten harder, then he would have.

Bucky stepped forward, forcing her to step back. There was a table where reams of paper and boxes of pens and pencils were stacked along the wall. He pushed a stack of paper to the side and maneuvered her backward until her ass was perched on the edge. Darcy reached her hand back to keep her balance and knocked a couple open boxes of pens to the floor. They scattered over the tile while she giggled.

Bucky shook his head and took hold of his cock just long enough to guide it into her. Her gasp of surprise was so satisfying. “Bucky,” she moaned, hooking one of her legs up over his hip as he leaned over her and thrust up into her hot little body.

“I love when you say my name while I’m fucking you, sweetheart.”

She braced her palms on the table behind her, knocking another box of pens down. It was followed by a ream of paper that had been teetering on the edge. “Bucky,” she said on a sharp exhalation when he dragged his teeth down her neck.

He felt surrounded by her as she filled all his senses. The scent of her skin and her perfume was overwhelming right there where her neck met her shoulder. Her pussy was tight around him while the soft skin of her thighs rubbed against his legs each time he pulled out. All those sweet moans and gasps he pulled out of her mouth were music to his ears, especially when they included his name like a prayer. Though he couldn’t see her that well in the dark, the copier display did illuminate the right side of her face enough that he could see the unbridled lust written all over it. She wasn’t lying; he did make her feel good. Bucky hoped he was the best she’d ever had, hoped no one would ever fuck her like he could. He let his tongue roll out of his mouth to lick the skin on her neck.

“Bucky, fuck. Yes. Please.”

He smiled and snapped his hips up into her fast, taking her harder as he pressed messy, wet kisses up the side of her neck and along her jawline until he got to her chin. God, he wanted to move his mouth up and take her lips, kiss her properly. He wanted to feel her tongue against his.

Instead, he moved his mouth over the tender flesh under her chin and down the front of her neck until he got to the elegant dip between her collarbones. She was urging him on with little words of encouragement while she dug her heels into his ass like she couldn’t get him deep enough inside her.

“You get much louder and Fury will hear you,” he whispered.

“Really hard to care about consequences when you make me feel like this,” she replied.

“Am I making you feel good, Darcy?”

She grabbed a fistful of his hair and tilted his head to the side so she could run her tongue up his neck until she got to the stubble growing along his jawline. “You know you are, you asshole.”

Her tongue on him spurred on his desire, pushing him to thrust into her harder and faster. He was so fucking close and her lips pressing a hot, open-mouthed kiss to his jaw was going to make him come. Frantically, he shoved his right hand between them, his left still gripping her hip, and pressed down hard on her clit.

“Oh, fuck,” Darcy groaned, tensing up around him.

“Give it to me, Darcy. Come for me now.”

“Buck… Bucky…”

He was so fucking close and barely holding onto his orgasm. He swept his thumb over her slick clit and sank his teeth into her earlobe. “I love your tight little pussy,” he said around the sensitive skin between his teeth. It set her off and she clamped down on him.

Bucky pressed his left hand over her mouth to keep her sharp cry suppressed to a choked scream. He finally let go and thrust once more, pressing deep into her so he could come.

When he returned to reality a few moments later, she was tonguing the middle finger of his cybernetic hand.

Bucky felt that flash of lust again, even after coming twice in less than twenty minutes. “You,” he growled, moving the left hand to wrap lightly around her throat. She smiled and licked her lips, not a bit of fear in her.

She was so fucking dangerous. His mind had already begun plotting the next time he could get her alone. What about tying her up to her bed to keep her safe? He really wanted to do that, even if it wasn’t necessary or advisable. He just needed her alone for a couple days so he could get her out of his system. Every time they fucked, she got under his skin just a little more, fucked up his head a little worse.

Bucky pulled out of her and helped her off the table. “Go to the bathroom and clean yourself up. Fury already thinks we’re fucking; we don’t need to confirm it for him.”

Darcy straightened her skirt and fluffed her hair. “Well, shit,” she muttered. “Do you think he’ll fire me?”

“No. He likes you too much.”

“What about the mess?” she asked, looking down at the shit all over the floor.

“I’ll take care of it. You need to get back to your desk.”

She bristled. “Don’t boss me around, Barnes.”

“You were calling me Bucky a minute ago,” he said, kicking a ream of paper out of her way.

“Yeah, well, you were giving me an orgasm a minute ago.” Darcy straightened her cardigan and pulled open the door a crack.

“Hey,” Bucky said, “remember we’re meeting at the range tomorrow at six.”

He could see her face in the light spilling in from the hallway. Darcy smiled and said, “Yeah, yeah. It’s a date.”

He would have corrected her, but she’d already shut the door on him. Bucky stood in the dark room alone and surveyed the pens and papers scattered all over the floor. He buckled his belt and then bent over to start cleaning up.

Chapter Text


“Oh, I’m not playing any games, any games tonight. So if you fucking want me, don’t fucking leave me.” - Dennis Lloyd (Snow White)

Darcy exercised her incredible ability of absolute denial most of the day. She woke up with the gun range on her mind but chose to ignore that and focus on more important things like whether she and Bucky were going to have hot sex later that night. He knew where she lived, so why didn’t he start coming by? Why couldn’t he stay the night? Why couldn’t they have sex in her bed? Why couldn’t he kiss her on the mouth after kissing her everywhere else?

She knew the answer to all of those questions, but denial was her friend and she chose to ignore the very real possibility that she was getting attached to his fine ass. Hot sex only lasted so long before you needed something else to drive interactions. She wondered how long she’d continue to hold his interest and whether he’d just stop seeking her out or if he’d come right out and say that he was looking elsewhere for his fix. Both possibilities made her stomach turn.

She wished he was more of an asshole like she’d thought he was in the beginning. Knowing that deep down he was a good guy who was trying to help her just made Darcy want him that much more. Just physical, she told herself. Sexual. That’s all it was, and all he said it could be, and he seemed to know his mind much better than she knew hers. Half the time she was able to convince herself that she really didn’t care all that much. The other half of the time she would lie in her bed and pretend that he was next to her, that they were together. Not just sexually together, but together like that. It was difficult to think of the term boyfriend as applied to Bucky Barnes. He was many things, but he seemed a bit too… much… to be a cute thing like a boyfriend.

Darcy started to get nervous as the clock ticked closer to six. She rode the elevator down to her apartment and changed into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt before she gingerly put his Glock in a canvas bag. The elevator took her and the gun down to the basement. She knew she was five minutes late, but it took all the willpower she had to squash her anxiety and get there at all.

He must have kicked everyone out because he was standing just inside the door of the empty range. Bucky pointedly looked at his watch and then back up at her.

“I know; I’m late. I’m having a major freakout right now, even though you can’t tell.”

“Sweetheart, I can tell. You’re not as good at hiding it as you think.” He walked over and slipped his right hand over the back of her neck underneath her hair. She felt him gently squeeze the tense muscles before saying, “Nothing is going to happen, and you’re not going to shoot anyone. Relax.”

He was right; getting worked up like this over something so simple was ridiculous. She used to practice shooting two or three times a week before the attack on the building. The targets were paper, not people. There wouldn’t be any blood or death, even if the gunpowder smell of the room put her on edge. She used to enjoy the scent, but now it just brought back memories she wished she didn’t have.

“Did you shut down the range for me?”

He used his hand on her neck to guide her over to one of the middle lanes. There was a bullseye target halfway down the lane and a nice, compact black Beretta on the table. “Figured you’d rather be alone.”

“That’s so fucking sweet of you, Barnes. Seriously. This girl is gonna get ideas,” she teased.

“Don’t,” he told her.

“Yeah, whatever. You’re just here for the sex.”

“I’m here to help you keep yourself safe.” He let go of her neck and put his hands on her hips, pushing her up to the table.

She resisted, but only a little bit.

When she sat the canvas bag on the table, he said, “What’s that?”

“Your Glock.”

“Sweetheart, why isn’t it holstered?”

She swallowed. “Because I can’t.”

He sighed softly, his mouth right next to her ear. “Pick up the Beretta.”

“Barnes, look, I–”

He picked up her right hand with his and laid it on the grip of the gun. “Just pick it up, sweetheart. Don’t have to shoot it or anything right now.”

Darcy curled her fingers around the rubberized grip and picked it up, laying her index finger along the side. “It’s a nice gun,” she said. It felt good in her hand, nicely balanced and comfortable.

“It’s my carry gun that I have with me every day.” He put his hands back on her hips. “You like it?”

“It feels nice.”

“You can have it.”

“Barnes, really. I can’t take your damn gun.”

He laughed softly. “You took my other one–the Glock.”

“You told me to keep it.”

“I’ll tell you to keep this one, too. I can get another from the armory. If you like it and you’ll carry it, then it’s yours.”

She looked over her shoulder at him. She knew he was close, right behind her, but it was surprising to see his face above her shoulder. “Why are you being so nice to me?”

“I think I’ve always been nice to you.”

She thought back to all those arguments and opened her mouth to point out that half the time they ended up bickering with one another. It wasn’t until then that she realized bickering didn’t mean he wasn’t nice to her. He’d saved her, talked her down from a panic attack, stopped a training exercise when she freaked out, helped her move, was offering her his personal gun, and had given her more orgasms than she could count. “Hmm,” she conceded, “you might have a point there, even if you are a little too bossy.”

“Don’t matter if I’m bossy or not; you don’t listen to me anyway.”

She smiled at him, and he very nearly rolled his eyes at her grin. “Barnes, you’re a softy. I love it.”

“Pay attention to the gun in your hand, sweetheart.”

Darcy turned her attention back to the Beretta. It was a nine millimeter and, knowing Bucky, probably loaded with a round in the chamber. “I’ll try to shoot it,” she said, grabbing the earplugs on the table and jamming them in her ears.

“Okay,” he replied, letting go of her hips and taking a couple steps back so he wouldn’t get hit by the brass as it was ejected from the gun.

She felt a little flutter of panic when he let go of her, but she pulled in a deep breath and tried to focus on the target hanging about twenty-five yards out. It wasn’t until then that she realized she should have been flattered at his faith in her. Most self-defense practice involved shooting less than fourteen yards away. He'd pushed the target further out because he knew she was capable. So, maybe he wasn’t such a macho, bossy dude after all.

The warm feeling of his respect helped her forget about the anxiety and the memories of the last time she’d aimed a gun. Carefully, she looked down the barrel and lined up the sights. Leaning forward and holding her breath, she fired. The gun kicked back, and she waited for the wave of fear or anxiety to hit her. She just felt a little detached as she looked at the paper. Her shot had gone right through the red center of the bullseye that was maybe an inch in diameter.

Taking a deep breath, Darcy brought the gun up again and leaned in. She quickly emptied the magazine into the target, counting as she went.

Bucky whistled when she put the gun back on the table. Her laser focus on the target suddenly expanded to include the rest of the room. “Sweetheart, you’re so good it’s scary.”

She looked over her shoulder as he stepped closer to her, and then she glanced back out to the target. The red bullseye was gone. All of her shots had gone through the center. It wasn’t anything new, but his approval made her stomach flip over.

“I practiced a lot,” she told him.

“You consistent? You can do this more times than not?”

Darcy shrugged. “I usually practiced at forty yards. I’m not as good, but it was… more of a challenge, I guess.”

He recalled the target and replaced it with a new one. Darcy tried not to lean back into him when his body brushed against hers. He sent it out to the end of the lane, right up against the wall built to absorb the impact of all the bullets. “Let’s see what you can do,” he said, laying another magazine on the table in front of her.

“If I can hit the bullseye, do I get your number?”

He brushed her hair back over her shoulder and used his hands on her hips to square her body up to the distant target. “Already promised you that for showing up.”

“Seems like a low price for me to pay for your elusive phone number.”

He stepped back and said, “Who said I didn’t want to give it to you anyway?”

Darcy shook her head and tried not to smile. Focusing on the bullseye, she popped the new magazine into place and brought the pistol up to shoulder height. She went through her mental checklist. Flat feet, weight distributed evenly, body square to the target, upper body leaning forward, elbows slightly bent, wrists locked, and grip tight.

She pulled in a breath, holding it while she lined the sights up, and gently pulled the trigger. The gun had a short trigger that required only a little pressure. At that distance, she couldn’t make out where her bullet had gone, but she hoped it had at least hit the paper. The target was about fifty yards out, a little further than she was used to shooting.

She wondered if he could see how accurate she was with his super soldier eyes. Instead of obsessing over it, she checked herself and emptied the rest of the magazine. Putting the gun down, she recalled the target. It came to an abrupt stop a foot in front of her face.

Bucky’s hands were on her hips again, and his mouth was brushing over the top of her ear. “Sweetheart, that’s so fuckin’ hot.”

All of her shots had landed within a three-inch circle right in the middle of the target. She laughed at his comment, even if that familiar tension was curling up in her lower abdomen. “I still got it, I guess.”

“Wish I hadn’t cleared this place out. You’d put all those guys on my team to shame.”

She pushed her ass back into his crotch. “Shut your mouth.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he whispered in her ear. “Don’t wanna piss you off if you can shoot like that.”

“Are you seriously getting turned on by my accuracy with a pistol?”

“Apparently,” he replied, “but I’m afraid to do somethin’ about it since the range door doesn’t lock, and you’ve got a pair of jeans on.”

“What? You don't wanna advertise it? We’re only telling Fury that we’re having ridiculous amounts of sex?” Darcy asked.

“He doesn’t know, just assumes.”

“Oh, that makes all the difference.”

Bucky curled his left arm around her and rested his chin on her shoulder. “Steve knows.”

She groaned. “How does he know? I thought you weren’t telling anyone because I’m your dirty little secret.”

“He smelled you on me after we had sex one afternoon.”

She felt her cheeks darken with a blush. “Jesus, Barnes. Why didn’t you tell me this? I had an entire conversation with him last week and had no idea he knew I was fucking his best friend.”

“Don’t worry about Steve.”

She rolled her eyes. “Easy for you to say. Before you know it, the entire building is going to think I’m your sex toy.”

He tightened his arm and said, “That’s not fair. Sometimes I’m pretty sure that I’m your sex toy.”

Darcy laughed and turned around. He didn’t let go of her, keeping his left arm firm against her back. “You’re the best sex toy I ever had.”

“Oh yeah? You gonna tell me about all those other ones?” he asked.

Darcy hit his chest playfully. “They’re in my nightstand drawer if you ever decided to join me in my actual bed.”

The stairwell door in the corridor banged open and Bucky released her, taking two steps back. Two sets of footsteps passed by the door, but no one entered. The moment, however, was ruined.

Bucky rubbed the back of his neck with his right hand. “I really don’t wanna say this because you out in the field is one of my fuckin’ nightmares, but you really should give Fury’s offer to train with the sniper team some thought. You’re very, very good, sweetheart.”

“How good?”

“Better than most of my men.”

Darcy chewed on her lip and thought about it. Really thought about it for the first time since Fury had brought it up days before. “I don’t want to be a killer.”

“Sometimes takin’ a life is what has to be done to save people. Ain’t like you’d be shooting at some innocent kid. Those guys are bad guys and they’d cut your throat without a second thought if you let ‘em.”

“I don’t know… I…”

“Don’t have to make a decision now. Think it over,” he told her. “Don’t even have to do it at all if you don’t want to, but if you don’t, then you need to sign up for a skills competition or somethin’. It’d be a shame to let all that talent go to waste.”

The stairwell door banged open again, and she could hear voices approaching. They got louder and then passed on by.

“What’s it like to do that, to shoot someone from so far away? I mean, you were a sniper, right?”

“Yeah,” he agreed, crossing his arms over his chest. It made him look big and intimidating. It also turned her on.

Darcy sat the pistol down and turned back to face Bucky. “Did you have to come to terms with it or was it… easy?”

He stared at her for a long moment, and she wondered if he would answer. Finally, he said, “Easy ain't the word for it, but it ain't as hard as you think. You're so removed from the action, so far that you can't even see the blood but through your scope. It starts to feel like a game.”

Darcy shook her head. “I don't want it to be that way.”

“Just sayin’ how it was for me, sweetheart. Don't mean that's how it'd be for you. It was a skill I had to offer, and it was needed. If you're on the right side, then every life you take is savin’ multiple others.”

“And how do you know you're on the right side?”

Bucky raised his brows. “You got any doubt about that? I don't.”

She nodded. “You're right. I just don't know if I could handle it.”

“Look up Sam Wilson. He’s a good person to talk to about this shit.” Bucky smiled and shook his head. “Just don't tell him I sent you or I'll never hear the end of it.”

“Isn't he the Falcon?”

Bucky nodded. “He's also a counselor for the VA and a veteran himself.”

“Does he know about us, too?”

Bucky blanched. “No. No, and he'll be the last to know. Believe me.”

When he said things like that, she wasn't sure how to take them. Did he not want people to know about her because he was ashamed, or was he just private? Did he not care about her? Sometimes she would swear they were not just friends, but good friends. Other times she didn't think he had much interest in her beyond the sex.

The stairwell door banged open again, and Bucky walked over to pick up his gun. She stepped away to give him space, but he didn't seem to mind her proximity all that much. She watched him drop the magazine out and pull another loaded one from his pocket. Using the heel of his hand, he popped it into place.

Bucky bent over and pulled a soft, leather holster from the duffle on the floor by the lane she had just used. He settled the Beretta into it and stepped over to stand in front of her. “Lift your shirt for me,” he told her.

Mesmerized by his hands and the way he moved so efficiently, she did as he'd asked, lifting until the hem was a few inches above her jeans. Bucky reached around her and pulled the waist of the jeans out right at the small of her back, hooking the holster to them. When he let go, the Beretta was nestled snugly between her back and her jeans.

“How’s that feel?”

“Okay, I think.”

He stepped back. “Draw it.”

Darcy hesitated for a moment before reaching back and slipping her hand beneath her shirt. The gun slid out of the holster easily and felt right in her hands. “It's fine,” she told him.

“Good. You keep it. Wear it every day. I don't really want you leavin’ the building while that HYDRA cell is still out there, but if you have to, then you take the gun. Got me?”

She was too wrapped up in him being so sweet and caring and protective to get her hackles up over him suggesting she not leave the building. “Okay,” she agreed, reaching back around and slipping the gun into the holster.

“Give me your phone,” he said, holding out a hand.

Darcy pulled it out of her pocket and handed it over. With just his right hand, he dialed a number. A moment later she heard the vibration of his cell in his pocket.

“My end of the bargain,” he said before handing the phone back and adding, “Don't let me keep you from dinner.” He nodded his head toward the door.

She didn't really want to leave, not when he was being so open like this. “Do you wanna come up and have dinner with me?”

Bucky had bent down to pick up the brass on the floor. He looked up at her with wide eyes. “Nah, I don't think that's a good idea.”

Darcy felt disappointment sweep through her, almost knocking her off her feet. “Oh, okay. Well…”

The stairwell door opened again.

“See you,” she told him.

“See ya, sweetheart,” Bucky said only after she'd turned her back to him.




After careful consideration, Darcy had decided that Bucky Barnes was most definitely an asshole. He was currently on a mission in upstate New York, investigating HYDRA possibly using an empty factory there as their base of operations. It had only taken Bucky, Steve, and their team a day to determine it was not HYDRA, but a nationalist organization that was developing bombs to be given to their members. Not really on the scale of what those guys usually dealt with, but Captain America was not happy with the situation and had decided to make it Avengers business.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t exactly bust into the factory with guns out or the public relations shitstorm would be monumental, so they were playing it safe and waiting out an opportunity to take over the facility. When she’d texted Bucky three days after he’d been sent out on the mission, she fully expected a response because the situation he was dealing with wasn't that dangerous. Maybe a terse response, but something to indicate that he got her message. She got nothing.

She didn’t bother saying anything on the fourth day, but she caved in after dinner on day five and sent him a sexually suggestive message about him bending her over her desk. If he wouldn’t answer her when she asked him how things were, then maybe he’d react to the basis of their entire relationship–sex. No such luck. Her phone was silent.

The next morning she ran into Ryan Nelson as he walked into the conference room. He asked about dinner again and must have hit her at just the right moment. She’d been thinking about how Barnes had basically kicked her out of the gun range, refused to eat with her, and refused to return her texts. She agreed to dinner on Saturday night with Ryan.

He seemed pleased and gave her a little smile that she was sure usually dropped panties for him. Not hers, though. She was made of stronger stuff; she was used to Bucky Barnes level shit, and Ryan couldn’t quite hang. He sure was trying, though.

On Thursday morning, she walked a message from the Pentagon into a meeting that Fury was conducting in the conference room. After she passed the note to her boss, she got the feeling of being watched and looked up to find Bucky staring at her from the far end of the table.

Her heartbeat quickened when he didn’t break eye contact. Finally, he swept his gaze down her body to where the tabletop cut off his view of her legs. It pissed Darcy off that her body reacted to him like she was conditioned to expect sex. Fuck him, and not in the good way. He’d been sweet and careful with her, given her his number, and then refused to answer her texts. She’d started to feel like he was playing games with her, especially with that impassive look in his fucking eyes over there.

“Would you like me to pass out the agenda?” she asked Fury.

“Sure,” he replied.

“Looks like there aren’t enough. Be right back.”

Fury opened his mouth, probably to tell her that there were more than enough agendas, but shut it when he saw the look in her eyes. Smart man.

She walked out into the hall and scrawled “1907” on the bottom right of the top agenda. Carefully, she folded the corner up to hide the ink and put the page on the bottom of the stack.

Darcy started at the closer end of the table, setting a paper in front of each person while Fury returned the Pentagon’s call on his cell phone. When she got around to Steve and Bucky, she smiled and said, “So, how'd the mission go, Cap?”

Steve nodded. “Good. We did some great work.”

“That sure is nice,” she replied.

Steve looked at Bucky, appearing to be uncomfortable with the situation, and then back at Darcy. “Thanks, Darcy.”

“Here you go,” Darcy replied, handing Steve a sheet. She turned to Barnes and slapped his agenda–the one with the room number–on the table in front of him. The entire group jumped at the noise. “Oops, sorry. Just so excited to have everyone back and safe,” she told the room, ignoring Bucky.

It was childish, but the way he looked like he wanted to bolt gave her such satisfaction. Darcy finished passing out the sheets and left the room.

She waited just down the hall until she heard the meeting wrap up before going downstairs to the room. It took him ten minutes to show up. Long enough that she wondered if he was actually going to flake on her. When the door did open, he slipped inside and remained by the door, watching her with wary eyes. “What’s your problem?” Bucky asked.

“What’s your problem?” she shot back. “Did you break your phone or something?”

“I don’t take my phone on missions.”

“Bullshit,” Darcy snapped. “That’s a really lame lie.”

“I keep it turned off,” he corrected.

“And you couldn’t be bothered to answer me when you got back into town?”

He shrugged. “Thought I’d see you around.”

Darcy wanted to strangle him. “Look, if you didn’t want me to have your number, then you could have just said no.”

“Sweetheart, it ain’t that. This… we can’t do this. I fucked up and took it too far.”

She widened her eyes and looked at him expectantly. “What did you fuck up? Please do tell.”

“Us. I shouldn’t have given you my number. You and me are just… we’re physical. We can’t be… talkin’. I don’t want you to get attached.”

If she’d been a little less angry with him, then she might have felt her heart cracking more than she did. As it stood, she was just pissed off that he really was playing little games with her head. “Oh, save me from myself, Bucky Barnes! Please! I’m a poor little girl who doesn’t know how to fuck and walk. Well, look, I’m fine. Fine. You’ve made it crystal clear. You and I are nothing more than sex. Got it.” She narrowed her eyes. “In fact, I have a date on Saturday night. So, you can get over yourself.”

He visibly recoiled at the low blow she had just dealt him. “A date?”

“With Ryan, someone who apparently thinks I’m good enough to go out into public with. Someone who doesn’t have to clear the whole fucking gun range to spend some time with me.”

“I never said–”

“Yeah, yeah,” she said, cutting him off. “You never said it, but you show it every time you’re around me. And I’d be cool with it if you’d be consistent, if we fucked and you left without saying a word.”

He stared at her, his face looking pretty fucking stormy. About as stormy as she felt in that moment.

“But we don’t do that, you and I. We talk. You helped me move, you touch me when we’re not having sex. You’re trying to fuck my head up, and I really don’t appreciate it.”

He took a couple steps toward her, his shoulders tensed up and his fingers curled into fists. “I thought you didn’t want to go out with Nelson because you just started the job with the team.”

“What does it matter?” she asked.

“Is that what you’re lookin’ for then? A relationship? Because if you are, then don’t put this shit on me. We agreed this thing between us–we agreed it wasn’t anything like that.”

“I didn’t say that. I never said that,” Darcy told him, poking her finger into his chest.

“Said what? That you didn’t want a boyfriend?”

“That I was looking for a relationship, and I’m not saying that now, but you’re mixing your signals, Barnes. You can’t give me your phone number and not answer when I call.”

“It was off!” he said, raising his voice.

“And when you turned it on? When did you get back? This morning?”

“Last night,” he replied, his voice back at a normal level.

“Oh,” Darcy said, laughing bitterly. “Oh, perfect. You get back last night and don’t even think to tell someone who cares about you and who texted you that you’re okay.”

“Cares about me? Sweetheart, this ain’t about caring.”

She shook her head at him. “And yet I remember so clearly when you told me that you cared about me.”

“That’s different.”

“How the fuck is that different, Barnes?”

He flexed his prosthetic hand, and for the first time, she realized she had picked a knock-down, drag-out, honest-to-god fight with the Winter Soldier. Probably not one of her better ideas. “It’s just different,” he replied, his voice barely above a whisper. “Why are you letting him take you to dinner?”

It irritated the shit out of her that he was so focused on Ryan. “Because he treats me like he'd be lucky to be seen with me.” The admission was so truthful that it hurt.

Bucky turned away from her, his hands on his hips. “You like him?”

“He's okay.”

Glancing over at her out of the corner of his eye, he said, “We should end this… this thing we have if you're going out with him.”

She wanted to ask him why he didn't want her. They were good together, or at least the sex was amazing. What little he'd shown her of himself, she liked. She wanted to know more if he'd let her. He just didn't seem to have any desire to know her. Those painful voices of self-doubt in the back of her head told her that she was boring, nothing much, and he was used to more than a former lab assistant and college dropout. Darcy sighed and sat down on the desk.


She looked up at him and tried to force a smile. He was standing there watching her, an expectant look on his face. “Can I be a total fucking girl for a second?” Darcy asked

He didn't move a muscle, but said, “Sure.”

“Why don't you want me like that?”

“Like what?”

Darcy rolled her eyes. “Don't be obtuse. You know what I'm talking about. Like I'm more than just someone to have sex with.”

“You are more than that. I'm not.”


“I'm not… capable of more, sweetheart.”

“See, I think you might be wrong there. I'm getting some seriously mixed signals from you.”

“Yeah, sorry about that. I just need you to know that what we have is physical, and that's all it can be. Maybe I got carried away and made you believe somethin’ that ain't true.”

Darcy felt like she was in the middle of a breakup talk. Her chest was tight, and she felt that burn in her sinuses that foretold tears. “I don't really want to go out to dinner with him, you know.”

“Why are you?”

“Because you made me feel like shit when you didn't answer me.”

Bucky looked defeated. “I'm sorry, sweetheart. Maybe he'll make you feel better about yourself.”

“I don't need some dude to make me feel like I'm worth something. I need you to stop making me feel like I'm worth nothing.”

Bucky opened his mouth, but nothing came out. After a long moment, he gave her a tight, humorless smile that looked more like a grimace. “I should go.”

The disappointment was overwhelming when he turned around and opened the door. Her heart pounded in her throat as he paused in the doorway, his back to her. A moment later, he stepped into the hall and shut the door behind himself, leaving her alone.

Chapter Text


“I’ve been thinking about the same things. Was I ever in your heart? There’s not many who can break me, but you really left a scar.” - Kevin Garrett (Pulling Me Under)

The heavy punching bag was on the floor, and sand was spilling from a rip in the thick fabric. Bucky had knocked it off the chain that suspended it from the ceiling in the gym after pummeling it for the past ten minutes. His left hook had busted the bag at the seam and had sent it careening across the room to smack into the concrete wall of the gym.

Flexing his right hand to prevent stiffness in his joints from slamming his fist repeatedly into the bag, he grabbed his towel off the weight rack and passed it across the back of his neck. He felt torn up inside, like some burrowing animal had crawled into his chest and destroyed all his internal organs–stomach, lungs, heart. Except, he’d experienced actual experimentation on his body in the past and this sort of torn up was different. It was a lie or an illusion. He wasn’t actually hurt, but his brain was making him think he was. Guilt over his past had always been the culprit before, but that wasn’t what was eating at him now. She was eating at him. Darcy Lewis and her smart mouth and kind eyes and tempting body.

Bucky picked the bag up and tried to hold the rip together until he could dump the entire thing into the trash can. He left the spilled sand in the floor for someone else to clean up. What he’d told her was right; he’d taken things too far and gotten himself too caught up in her and what they were doing. It had stopped being about fucking and started being more about seeing her–spending time with her–which was a major fucking problem.

A week ago she’d effortlessly demonstrated her prowess with a gun before teasing him and inviting him to have dinner with her. In that moment, all in the space of a few seconds, his mind had concocted a fantasy in which they ate dinner at her place and had sex in her bed before falling asleep. He went on to fantasize that the next morning they would wake up together, and he’d roll onto her and take her again, her hair all tangled from sleep and her eyes full of… He sighed and looked up at the ceiling of the gym. He didn’t want to think about what his fucked up head thought her eyes would be full of for him. He didn’t deserve that, especially not from her.

He hadn’t lied to her, though. His phone had been off during the mission, otherwise known as Another Steve Rogers Crusade. Bucky had wanted to call it off and hand the situation over to the FBI, but Steve had been so affronted that Americans would want to kill random innocents in the name of protecting America that there’d really been no talking him down. Bucky was used to it by now; Steve Rogers liked to pick fights, especially with bullies. He’d eagerly checked his messages on their way back to headquarters, anticipating seeing her and burying his face in her neck while they fucked on whatever desk was available. Maybe even hers.

Except her first text had asked him if he was okay and how things were going. Bucky wondered if things would have turned out differently if the text had been more along the lines of the second one–a brief glimpse into a similar fantasy she shared of him bending her over her desk. It hadn’t, though. The first thing she’d sent to his phone number, which he should have never given her in the first place, was a message asking if he was okay. He wasn’t okay, and suddenly his insistence that he didn’t feel anything for her was starting to wear thin.

Bucky thought about ignoring the first message and responding to the second with an offer to meet her in her office after hours, but even that scared the shit out of him. The way she looked at him sometimes was frightening. The way he felt when he was with her was terrifying. He felt out of control around her, so he had avoided the situation completely and went on a three-hour run. When he’d returned, he’d showered and passed out in his bed.

He hadn’t counted on seeing her in the meeting the next morning. He hadn’t counted on how angry she’d been at him for not responding. He certainly hadn’t counted on her ripping him apart and rubbing salt in the wound by telling him she was going out to dinner with Nelson. He should have known better; he was dealing with the woman who wasn’t afraid to come right back at him when he was trying to make her do things his way. He definitely should have realized that she wouldn’t just sit back and take it while he struggled to right his ship.

Bucky walked over to the door of the locker room and showers. He was alone in the gym for now, but many of the guys would show up to lift in the afternoon before dinner. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with people, especially after the painful conversation he’d had with Darcy that morning.

He made the shower cold. The sting and discomfort of the icy water on his skin was satisfying, like a deserved punishment. By the time he finished up and dressed in a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt, there was talking and laughter coming from the gym. Bucky paused in the doorway of the locker room, preparing himself to deal with the men who were out there.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m taking that girl–Darcy–out for dinner on Saturday.”

Nelson’s voice cut through the layers of raucous conversation. Bucky froze, listening for more. His mind, so used to looking for a person’s angle on how they would use others, started to concoct ideas. Ideas that involved Nelson being the mole and taking Darcy out to dinner just so he could deliver her into HYDRA’s hands. Fury already had internal affairs combing through contact logs for personnel, looking for a weak link. What if that person was Nelson?

Nelson laughed at someone’s comment and said, “Yeah, she’s a piece. She turned me down a couple times, and I gotta say that made me want her more. I’m a sucker for chicks that make me work for it, but I think I got her now.”

“You seriously trying to fuck Fury’s assistant, Nelson?” someone asked before laughing.

“Fuck yeah, I am. Have you seen her? I mean, she’s got a body made for it, for sure. Those tits and her mouth?”

Bucky could hear his blood rushing in his ears as he leaned against the cool cinder block wall for support. His hands were balled up into tight fists, and he was on the verge of walking out there and decking Nelson. No, not just punching him, but beating him until he was a bloody mess on the ground. He deserved nothing less for talking about her that way.

“She looks like she’d be down for whatever, you know? So, don’t expect me to show for our Sunday morning workout, man. I might be having a real good Saturday night.”

He heard the group of men around Nelson laugh. Bucky could feel his focus narrowing and his heart slowing. He wanted to go out there and kill Nelson. Then he would knock out every single one of the men who was laughing. Not that he had any room to talk. He’d been using Darcy for sex for weeks. But he liked her, respected her, even if he didn’t always show it. She was more than just sex.

Two men in combat gear walked into the locker room to change and jumped when they saw him standing by the door. “Sir,” they mumbled, keeping their heads down and their eyes on the floor. Some of the men were intimidated by him. Bucky didn’t discourage that because it made things easier for him, but he suspected those two guys were feeling the waves of aggression he was throwing off.

Bucky tried to focus on his breathing, pulling in air through his nose and gently blowing it out of his parted lips. He also tried not to listen to what Nelson was saying. If the man really was the weak link in their security, then beating him up wasn’t going to solve the problem. He needed to have Fury investigate the asshole, and then he could beat Nelson bloody.

Stepping out into the gym, he let his gaze sweep the room until he found Nelson by the treadmills with a group of guys. They were all still laughing like fourteen-year-old boys talking about a girl.

“I bet she gives great head,” Nelson said, his voice cutting through the laughter.

“Nelson!” Bucky barked out. “Have some respect for members of your fuckin’ team!”

Every single guy crowded around that asshole nearly jumped into the air at Bucky’s order. They immediately dispersed and moved to fiddle with free weights or adjust the tension on machinery.

Narrowing his eyes at Nelson, Bucky added, “I catch you talkin’ like that about a lady, I’ll have your fuckin’ head. Understood?”

“Yes, sir,” Nelson responded, wide-eyed and just a little nervous.

Bucky let his eyes burn into the other man for a long moment before turning to leave the gym. On his way out, he heard someone say, “Hey, Nelson. I heard somebody saw Barnes and that girl together back when she moved in here. You think they got a thing? You might be trying to fuck his girl.”

“She ain’t his girl. Said she wasn’t seeing anybody,” Nelson replied. “Maybe she fucks him, though. Not gonna lie, I’d be feeling pretty good about myself if I can pull a girl who is good enough for that pussy magnet.”

Bucky turned around to march back in there and knock Nelson’s head off his shoulders. He would have done just that if it weren’t for Steve pushing open the stairwell door and saying, “Oh, there you are. We need to debrief with our FBI contact on the last mission. I’ve been calling you.”

“Phone is off,” Bucky said through clenched teeth.

“Buck, you okay?” Steve asked.

“Fine. Let’s go before I murder one of our team members.”

Steve looked at him like he was crazy. “Why would you do that?”

“I’ll tell you on the way upstairs,” Bucky said, jamming his fingertip into the elevator button.




Steve Rogers was on another mission now. He was going to get Ryan Nelson fired for being a flagrant asshole. Steve always had a soft spot for dames, whether they showed any interest in him or not. He’d been horrified at the idea that someone under his command would talk that way about a perfectly nice young lady. Bucky felt a little judgment and side eye thrown his way when Steve had proclaimed that. He chose to ignore it. Steve, wisely, chose not to ask him about his status with Darcy Lewis.

Darcy wasn’t at her desk when he and Steve walked into Fury’s office. Bucky was disappointed but relieved. He was also irritated at himself for letting her take him on this goddamn roller coaster of emotion. After the meeting was concluded, he followed Steve out of the room and shifted his eyes over to her desk. She was up and walking out of the room very quickly. All he caught was the swing of her skirt and the back of her head. Her heels clicked down the hallway, and he pushed past Steve to follow her.

“Buck, don’t,” Steve said.

He didn’t listen, lengthening his stride to follow her down the hall. She had to know he was following her, but she kept her body ramrod straight and her head forward. She turned the corner, and by the time he rounded it as well, she was gone.

He stood there for a minute and surveyed his options. Stairwell at the end of the hall which was too far away for her to reach without running. Two open and empty offices to the right and the supply closet to the left.

He jerked open the door to the tiny supply room. She was standing in front of the copier, her arms crossed over her chest, and looking at the door like she knew he’d end up following her into the room.

“Can I come in?” he asked.

“Oh, you ask for permission now? That’s awfully nice of you.” The harshness to her voice made him flinch.

“Well?” he asked. “Can I?”

“No,” she replied in a flat voice.

Bucky felt his jaw clench down to bite back his frustration and stepped inside, closing the door behind him.

“Still not listening to me, I see.”

“Sweetheart, look, don’t go out to dinner with Nelson. He’s not a good guy.”

“You just want to keep me on your hook,” she accused.

He sighed. “That’s not what this is about.”

Darcy raised a brow and waited for him to explain.

“Fury thinks we have an internal security issue. Someone is feeding information to HYDRA. That’s how they knew about the security system resets when they attacked the building. We also have an issue with one of our deep cover agents. He might be missin’ because his affiliation was compromised by someone internal.”

“So? I thought they stole info off the server about all the undercover agents.”

“The deep cover agents weren’t stored on the server. Internal affairs is conductin’ interviews and lookin’ into personal phone and internet records.”

“So, what does that mean for me? I’m not a mole.”

“What if Nelson is?” he asked.

Darcy narrowed her eyes at him. He shifted uncomfortably as several moments of silence stretched out between them. Finally, she said in an icy voice, “Oh, I see. Why would someone go on a date with Darcy Lewis, right? Why would some beefcake military dude want me? He’s just got to be using me or trying to kill me or planning on handing me over to the enemy. It can't possibly be just because he wanted to fucking ask me out a date! Fuck you, Barnes. Fuck you.”

“Darcy, I didn’t mean it like that and you fuckin’ know it.” He stepped forward and crowded her against the back wall. She put her hands up, palms pressing into his chest to keep him at bay. He wondered if she knew that all she had to do was ask. He’d do anything for her, including leave her the fuck alone. Maybe.

“I’m allowed to have a life, you know. I’m not your fucking toy, Barnes,” she snapped at him.

Her perfume smelled so good. Her body radiated heat, and all he wanted to do was touch her again. He hadn’t touched her in over a week. “I know you’re not my toy,” he murmured.

“Well, stop treating me like one. Stop playing little games with me.”

“I want to feel you,” he whispered, skimming his hand over her hip.

She closed her eyes and exhaled a shaky breath. “We’re either something or we’re nothing, Bucky.”

The way she’d used his first name hit him like a punch in the gut. The ultimatum scared the shit out of him, though.

“Nelson is an asshole. I would never have asked him to help with your training that day if I’d known.”

She looked up at him. “You're not really an unbiased source of info. I feel like you're trying to sabotage me.”

“I ain't. If he was a good guy, and you wanted him, then I wouldn't say anything.”

Her eyes were gorgeous. So blue and clear and expressive. So intimidating. “Why isn't he a good guy?”

“I overheard him telling the guys that he was going out to dinner with you.”

Darcy pushed her palms against his chest, but he didn't give her an inch. “Oh, horror. He told people that he has a date with me.”

Bucky didn't want to repeat what was said, but he also didn't want Nelson to have a chance of laying a finger on Darcy. “He was crude, sweetheart. Implied he was gonna have sex with you, talked about you like you were just a warm body.”

She narrowed her eyes at him and tapped her fingertips against his chest. “Says the man who has been fucking me in empty offices when he gets the urge.”

“It’s different.”

“Is it really?”

“I respect you. He don't. I'd never brag about what you and I do.”

She snorted. “Yeah, you just keep it a secret.”

“To protect you.”

“Lame excuse, dude. Try again.”

Bucky was starting to feel desperate. “Please, sweetheart. Don't go out with that asshole.”

“Barnes, you can't expect me to hang around. The more time I spend with you, the more I like you, and that's going to fuck up our little thing here.”

He sighed and looked down into her upturned face. “Don’t let him take you far. Don't let him get you alone.” Bucky slipped his hand around her hip to the small of her back. His gun was nestled there in the waistband of her pants. “And take this with you.”

“I feel like you're my mom and you're giving the talk before prom. Do you want to tell me to use a condom, too?”

Bucky wanted to throw up at the thought of another man touching her. “No sex.”

She smiled and shook her head. “You are just like my mom. Despite what you may think, present company excluded, I don't screw around on the first date. Usually takes a couple to get in my pants.”

He took a step back from her, and it took all the willpower in him to manage it. “If he touches you, I'll kill him.”

“Jesus, Barnes.”

“I'm serious.”

“If it bothers you so much, then why don't you take his place?” she asked.

He'd thought about it more than once. He'd thought about it a lot, actually. Each time he envisioned Darcy having a great time out with him and then amazing sex in her bed. After that, he drew a blank, unsure what came next and sure she would inevitably be disappointed with him and what he had to offer her, which was pretty much what he'd already given her–sex, and a lot of it.

“Be careful, sweetheart.”

“Fuck you,” she replied before he backed out of the room and shut the door.




He couldn't sleep. He'd tried almost everything, but every time he closed his eyes he just thought of Nelson's disgusting hands on Darcy's body. He hated to admit it, but he knew why he was having such a difficult time with it. He had a bad case of jealousy, even though they had both said over and over that their time together was nothing more than sex. If it was just sex, then he shouldn’t be so torn up over it.

Bucky sat up in bed and pulled open his nightstand drawer where he kept his ammo. He took out two boxes of nine-millimeter hollow points and pulled a shirt over his head. It was after one in the morning, and he felt desperate and reckless. He didn’t really care that giving her two boxes of bullets to go with the gun was a thin excuse for going to see her.

What if she went on that date tomorrow? What if Nelson charmed her? What if she confirmed that their sex-only relationship was over because she wanted to be serious with Nelson? It had been over a week since they’d had sex. What if he never got to touch her again? Shoeless, his head filled with tumultuous thoughts of losing her, he rode the elevator down to the sixteenth floor and knocked on her door. It took several knocks and almost two full minutes before she pulled open the door, a panicked look on her face.

“What happened?” she asked, eyes wide and scared. Her hair was down and messy, like she’d been tossing and turning in her bed. She had on a long shirt with a pair of big, red lips on the front of it, which seemed so fitting considering he thought about her lips more often than not. Her legs were bare and her toes were painted bright red.

He almost felt bad for waking her, but seeing her silenced the warring factions of his brain that made him feel confused about her and what he wanted. “Nothing happened,” he said. “Wanted you to have these.” Awkwardly, he thrust the boxes toward her.

Darcy looked down at them in his hand and then back up at his face. “What are you doing?” she asked.

“No clue, sweetheart. Let me come in.”


He shifted his weight from one foot to the other and glanced down the hall in both directions. “Because I wanted to see you.”

“At one-thirty in the morning?”

Bucky held her gaze until she sighed and opened the door further. Stepping aside, she let him come in and shut the door behind him. He sat the boxes of ammo on the edge of the marble island before turning around to look at her.

She looked tired and unhappy. It made him feel like shit that he’d had any part in making her that way. “What do you want, Bucky?” she asked him, her arms hanging limply at her sides.

“I don’t know,” he said. It was the honest truth, and he hoped she could hear that in his voice.

“Why did you come here? Do you know why you did that?”

“I miss…”

“What?” she prompted him when he trailed off. “Sex? Me?”

“Both. You.”

“Well, here I am. How can you miss me?” she said, holding out her arms with annoyance in her voice.

Bucky took two strides forward and wrapped his arms around her, lifting her up and walking them back to the door. He pressed her up against the wall just to the left of it while she wrapped her legs around his waist. For a brief moment, he was afraid maybe he’d gone too far, maybe she didn’t want this any longer. The way her hands clutched at his shoulders dispelled those fears.

Her lips were so close and looked so soft. They had never kissed. He’d thought about it on a couple occasions when they’d been in the heat of things, but it seemed like a line that couldn’t be crossed if they were just fucking. Kissing was too intimate. He’d already gone and fucked everything else up, he might as well break that unspoken rule, too.

“Can I kiss you?” he murmured, lifting his chin and brushing his upper lip over her lower one.

“Yes,” she whispered back. “Fuck, yes.

She seemed so sure, and he wondered why they’d been dancing around it for so long. Tentatively, he lightly grazed his mouth over hers. She parted her lips and huffed out a little breath of air that spoke of frustration and desire, two things he was all-too-familiar with when it came to her.

Bucky tilted his head to the side and pressed his lips firmly against hers, thinking that she felt so much better than he'd imagined. Darcy whimpered and opened her mouth to lick his lips. Bucky opened for her. Suddenly the world was gone, and it was just the two of them, wrapped around each other, mouth to mouth.

He slipped his tongue along hers, tasting her. She trembled in his arms and tried to use her fingers wrapped up in his hair to pull him closer. He couldn't possibly get any closer.

“Take me to bed,” she whispered into his mouth when they both pulled back to breathe. “Please.”

“Whatever you want, sweetheart.” It felt so good to just give in and let her have whatever she wanted, mostly because he wanted the same things.

They kissed again, licking into each other's mouths before he pulled her away from the wall and slowly walked into her bedroom while she hung from his body, legs around his waist and arms around his neck.

Bucky dropped her on the mattress, and she bounced into the center of it when she landed. He looked down at where her nightshirt had flipped up and saw the pair of gray panties he'd given her. The sight fanned the flames of his desire. She was wearing something he’d given her. She was his.

“Been thinkin’ about us in this bed a lot,” he admitted as he shucked his pants and pulled the shirt over his head.

“Me too,” she said, eyes wide as she stared at his body. “Like every night I think of us in this bed.”

Her admission made a warmth bloom in his chest and spread down to his stomach. She watched him as he crawled up the mattress to kneel between her legs.

Darcy propped herself up on her elbows and let him pull her panties down her legs. “You think of me when you wear these?” he asked.

“You know I do,” she shot back. He caught her ankles in his hands and turned her legs out to rest along the outsides of his thighs. He also pulled her in closer so he could work his hips between her legs.

Bucky slipped his hand under her shirt and hitched it up over her stomach and then over her tits. While she struggled to lift up and pull the damn thing over her head, he leaned over her and sucked one of her nipples into his mouth. The bed was a definite plus. The bed and the privacy and the locked door meant he could get her naked and touch her wherever he wanted. There was something to be said for quick and dirty against a wall, but the intimacy of being lost in her with no interruptions was like heaven.

Darcy’s soft little gasps of pleasure incited him, made him want to wreck her. He wanted her to know that no one could make her feel like he could, especially not Ryan fucking Nelson and his disrespectful mouth. Bucky licked down the slope of her left breast and up the right until he could gently run his teeth over the distended nipple he found there.

Her hands were pulling his hair, but not so hard it hurt. She was so turned on that he could smell the light, musky scent of her arousal, and it took a feat of willpower to press a dozen or so lingering, open-mouthed kisses to her chest and neck before sliding down her body. Her stomach muscles jumped when he kissed her there on his way further down to her pussy. He found the thatch of hair at the top of her slit was glistening with her wetness, and her pussy lips were slick with arousal.

Bucky tentatively lapped at her opening with his tongue before diving in with abandon and pressing his face fully between her legs. Suddenly, he was in her world as she filled his senses. The soft skin of her inner thighs covered his ears. With his eyes closed, he could feel each little shift of her hips, could taste the sweetness that slicked up her pussy so she was ready for him. He was sure it would never get old. He’d always want her like this, all needy with her labored breath and clutching hands and wet sex.

“I need you,” she whispered, pulling at his hair.

“Not until you come,” he said before sucking her clit into his mouth and letting the edges of his upper teeth slide across it.

One of her heels came up to dig sharply into his back, but he didn’t mind. It was just a reminder of how much she wanted him, how crazy he made her. “Bucky, please.”

“Darcy,” he teased, lifting his head to look up her body. “Come.” He could see her looking down at him from between her tits, her mouth open and her lips swollen. He wanted to kiss her mouth again, wanted to feel their bodies pressed up against one another, nothing between them. Before that, however, he wanted her to come on his tongue.

“I need you inside me.”

He grinned up at her and moved his left hand off her leg so he could slide the middle finger of it inside her. There was something about the way his cybernetic hand looked against her pussy that got him hard as a rock. She seemed to share the feeling because her back arched and the walls of her pussy clamped down on his finger. Gently, he added his index finger and worked them in and out of her.

She threw her head back and pressed the crown of it into the mattress as her back arched again. The way her tits were sticking out with those pebbled nipples made him want to put his mouth all over them. Maybe he just wanted to put his mouth all over her in general.

Instead of doing that, he parted his lips and licked her pussy again, dragging his tongue along where his fingers pressed into her opening before tonguing her clit again.

He listened closely to her gasps and sighs and moans, trying to figure out what built her up and tightened her muscles, what would send her down that path to falling apart in his hands. She was so easy to read, and he wondered if they were just that good together or if she was just that responsive. He wanted to believe it was both of them together, that it wouldn’t be like this if it weren’t him touching her.

Her nails bit into the back of his neck, and Bucky knew he had her. Curling his fingers up and putting a little bit more pressure on her clit sent her spiraling off into an orgasm he could feel. The way her walls pulsed against his fingers made him look forward to feeling them around his cock. Darcy was gasping for breath like she’d run a marathon.

“Inside me,” she told him between breaths. “Now.”

Bucky wiped her wetness off his mouth and chin by turning his head to the side and lifting his right arm up to rub it away. He wondered if she’d still want to kiss him when he probably tasted like her pussy. It was quickly becoming one of his favorite flavors, but he wasn’t sure if she’d feel the same.

He moved up to brace his arms on either side of her head. She was gorgeous from this angle, her dark hair spread like a halo around her head, her curves uncovered for his eyes. He locked gazes with her and rolled his tongue out to taste her arousal as it dried on his lower lip.

Darcy’s eyes were dark with desire, and she lifted up just enough to grab the back of his head, pulling him down into a filthy kiss. Bucky dropped to his forearms and nestled his hips into the cradle of her thighs. Her skin was impossibly velvety and warm. The way the softness of her body yielded to the hardness of his nearly took his breath away.

He’d never felt this level of intimacy with someone before. If someone asked her, Bucky suspected she’d say she didn’t know him all that well. She did, though. The only person alive who knew him better, was closer to him, was Steve. This was so dangerous and so wrong, but he couldn’t stop because it felt so good.

She ran her hands down his back, tilting her head back so she could kiss him harder. He felt her hook a leg over one of his hips while she shifted hers beneath him. “You feel so good,” she said when he broke the kiss to take a breath.

Bucky let his left arm hold him up while he explored her curves with his right hand, tracing the dip of her waist and the flare of her hip, the lush fullness of her tits and the elegant line of her neck. It all felt like a surreal dream to have her naked and underneath him, clutching at him and trying to pull him closer, kissing him like she wanted to crawl inside him. He'd never been kissed like that. He'd kissed plenty of dames, some of them more daring than others, but not a single one of them could hold a candle to Darcy Lewis and the way she ripped the breath right out of his lungs when they touched lips.

He shifted his hips, settling the shaft of his cock right up against her slit, the head of his cock pressing against her nub. Darcy whimpered and dragged her nails over his shoulder blades and down his back. “Bucky, stop teasing me,” she said, lifting her hips up as much as his body would allow. “Come on.”

“I'm taking my time,” he told her, sliding his right hand into her hair and leaning in to kiss her again.

Before he could press his lips on her mouth, she said, “Thought you liked it fast and rough. “

“Little variety can't hurt,” he replied, kissing her softly. She cupped a hand at the back of his head and deepened the kiss.

“Slow and tender this time around?” she asked, her lips brushing over his as she formed the words.

“You got a problem with that?”

She laughed softly. “No way. I love it. But I’m going to combust if you don't get inside me.”

He reached between them and pushed his cock down, letting it slide up inside her. She felt like heaven–a hot, wet, glove surrounding him, squeezing him tight when he tried to pull out. It was like her body needed him to fill her up and didn't want to let him go. Her little gasp when he pressed into her just scrambled his brain to hell. “Fuck, doll. You were ready for me, huh?”

“I'm always ready for you. I live in a perpetual state of arousal because you're a damn menace with all this catching me in hallways and empty rooms.” She moaned when he snapped his hips into her on a more aggressive thrust.

Her tits shifted up and down as he kept up the deliberate, slow pace. He watched them and concentrated on the way she felt when he thrust back inside her, all the way to the hilt. “I want you to ride me,” Bucky said, wrapping his arms around her and rolling them until he was on his back. His cock was still fully seated in her.

Darcy pressed her palms against his chest and pushed herself up. The way her pussy clenched around him when she flexed the muscles of her abdomen and thighs to kneel over him made Bucky want to weep. It was perfect. She was perfect. She looked like a fucking goddess, legs spread and kneeling over his hips with his cock buried inside her.

“Fuck, Darcy. Look at you.”

She covered one of her tits with a hand while the other palm stayed pressed against his stomach for balance. “What about me?”

“You look like my favorite fucking fantasy, sweetheart. I'm trying to memorize the way you look right now so I have material for jerking off later.”

She laughed and rocked her hips. The walls of her pussy squeezed him. “Or you could just come do this for real. With me. In this bed.”

She rolled her hips and bounced on him. Bucky just watched the weight of her tits as they swayed with each movement. When she moved the hand off her breast to glide it over her stomach and then down to her abdomen, his breath caught in his throat. She slowly circled her clit with her middle finger while she worked his cock.

The view was fucking fantastic, but he missed the contact, the skin-on-skin heat that she made him feel. Bucky pulled her down atop him and rolled until she was on her back and he could control the pace. The position also let him feel her tits against his chest and her smooth legs wrapped around his hips. He kissed her, tangling their tongues together while he quickened his pace, chasing down that white-hot pleasure he only found when he was deep inside her.

He was so close, and she was all his now that his cock filled her pussy and his tongue swept through her mouth. Her little hands were restless and all over him like she couldn't get enough. Bucky barely had the willpower to slow his pace and shove a hand between their naked bodies to work her over, make her come on him. It was a close thing. He jerked inside of her, spilling himself only a moment before she clutched at him and cried out his name like a prayer.

He knew he was probably crushing her, but Bucky could barely move. Her gentle hands were skimming over the skin of his back and shoulders, and it felt wonderful. For a brief moment, he blanked out his brain and just enjoyed the way her body felt against his. It didn't take long for reality to come crashing back in when she brushed his hair back from his forehead and said, “Are you okay?”

No. He wasn't. She made him feel too many confusing emotions, emotions he didn't want to be part of this once-simple relationship.

“I… I'm sorry. This… I shouldn't have done this.”

“Done what? Had amazing sex with me?” she asked.

Bucky rolled off her and sat up, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed. “Kissed you like that.” He felt that weight of guilt and anxiety in the bottom of his stomach.

She sat up, tucking her legs underneath her. Bucky watched her from over his shoulder. “Why? I wanted it. I want you.”

“No, you don't. You want to fuck,” he corrected.

“No, I meant what I said. I want you.” Darcy tucked her wild hair behind her ears.

“I can't… You shouldn't want that. I can't give that.”

“You just did.”

Bucky was feeling trapped and backed into a corner. It wasn't supposed to go this way. He wasn't supposed to feel this way, this desperate for her. The overwhelming need to reach out and pull her close scared the shit out of him.

He stood up and walked over to where his clothes were lying on the floor by the bed. Hastily, he pulled his pants on.

“Bucky,” she said, crawling on her knees to the foot of the bed.

“Don't, sweetheart. I can't do this. It's too much. It ain't for me.”

When he looked up at her face, the look of pain almost knocked him on his ass. “Why did you come here and do this to me, then?”

“I don't know,” he admitted.

“You're using me,” she accused.

He felt sick to his stomach because she was right. He used her to feel something or to not feel something. He used her to pretend like he could have a real relationship just for a minute. “I'm sorry,” he said again, pulling the shirt over his head.

“If you walk out that door, don't you dare try to touch me ever again,” Darcy said, steel behind the pain in her voice. There were unshed tears glistening in her eyes.

He bit back a request for forgiveness, dropped his gaze to the floor, and practically ran out of her apartment.

Chapter Text


“Wasn’t I enough? Didn’t I amount to you? I don’t blame you for the love that I lost to you.” - Anne Marie (Peak)

She’d been avoiding his phone calls. He’d called twice the day before, and her phone was ringing again right now. Darcy sighed and finally accepted the call before pressing her cell phone to her ear.


“Hey, Darcy! It’s Ryan.”

She forced a smile and rested her forehead on the top of her desk. “Hi, Ryan.”

The morning after Bucky had successfully broken her heart without her even knowing she cared that much about him, she’d called Ryan and canceled their date with a lame excuse about working late. It wasn’t exactly a lie. She had stayed late that night because she hadn't wanted to go home to a bed with unwashed, rumpled sheets that smelled likely Bucky Barnes.

The bigger reason she canceled was that she was emotionally raw and didn’t really want anyone touching her, even if it was a simple brush of the hand or fingertips on her back. Ryan seemed like a touchy kind of guy, too. To be fair, she’d considered going out to dinner with him–even sleeping with him–just to get Bucky out of her head. That fleeting thought was very short-lived, especially when you considered that a little voice in the back of her head wondered if Bucky’s warning about a HYDRA mole held any weight. She didn’t really think that mole was Ryan Nelson, but she wasn’t positive either.

“So, when are we going to dinner? I left you a couple messages yesterday.”

Darcy sighed and said, “Umm, I don’t know.”

“Come on, Darcy. You can’t be that busy. It’s been over a week since you canceled on me.”

“Look, Ryan, I don’t think… I mean, I appreciate the offer and all, but I’m just… I don’t think I’m ready to date right now.”

“Excuse me?” There was a sharpness to his voice that made her cringe and told her that he wasn’t going to drop this so easily.

“I thought about it and… Well, I think I’m gonna have to pass.”

“You said yes a couple weeks ago.” His voice sounded accusatory and just a little angry. It stirred up irritation in her.

“I’m allowed to change my mind, Ryan.”


“Why am I allowed to change my mind?”

“Why did you?”

She sat up and tilted her head back to look at the ceiling. “Look, I don’t owe you or anyone else an explanation. People are allowed to change their minds.” People are allowed to decide they want more than just sex, she added mentally.

“Is it Barnes?” he asked.

Darcy was so thrown off by the question that her mouth opened and closed several times before she was able to say, “What are you talking about?”

“Some of the guys were saying you and him might have a thing. I mean, I thought something was going on, too. I even asked him about it when he had me train you, but he denied it. Never really believed him, though.”

“No, there’s nothing between us,” she replied. Except regret, fucked up emotions, and a lot of sex. “And if you thought there was, why the hell did you ask me out?”

He laughed and it has that condescending tone to it like he was laughing at her. “Competition, I guess. Just wanted to see if I could get it.”

If she hadn’t felt sick to her stomach already, she certainly felt that way now. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Don’t act like you’re all innocent. People talk. Someone saw Barnes leaving your place last week.”

Now she felt like she should just go throw up. Was she the laughing stock of the building? Did everyone think she was just Bucky Barnes’ little sex toy? How fucking stupid could she be? “You know what, Ryan? Fuck you. Date canceled forever. Don’t call me again. Turns out that you can’t get it.” Darcy disconnected and sat her phone down on the desk. She wanted to throw the damn thing across the room but didn’t want to explain the dent in the wall to Fury. Her hands were shaking with anger and embarrassment.

Fury walked into the room and nodded at her. His step faltered when he saw the look on her face. Darcy wasn’t sure if she looked devastated or supremely pissed, but it stopped Nick Fury in his tracks. “What?” he asked her.

“You men,” she told him. “What do you have to say for your gender?”

Fury raised his eyebrows. “Well… nothing. We’re all pieces of shit.”

Darcy’s short bark of laughter reverberated in the quiet room. “Correct answer,” she said, congratulating him.

“Do I need to fire someone?”

It was tempting to tell him to fire Nelson. He’d never fire Bucky, but he might fire Ryan Nelson. Especially since she was on Fury’s nice list now that she’d gotten rid of the troll dolls and baked him white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies. “No,” she finally said after a moment of consideration.

He nodded again in acknowledgment and strode across the room to his office door.

“Hey,” she said.

Fury turned around to look at her.

“Does your offer for the sniper team still stand?”

“Of course.”

“Okay. I’ll do it. When and where?”

The corner of his mouth turned up in what might almost be considered a smile. “I’ll have Guthrie contact you.”

“Thanks, boss.”

“Just don’t shoot any of my men that piss you off. That’s a lot of paperwork.”




She'd managed to avoid him–or maybe he'd avoided her–for going on two weeks. It wasn't like she'd gone out of her way, but she'd avoided walking the halls alone, going in the supply room, and the twenty-first floor in general. Apparently, he and Steve had spent the past five days running around a two hundred mile radius, checking out various potential HYDRA locations.

They were due to debrief with Fury in his office at two o’clock. Darcy was planning on taking a late lunch so she wasn't around when they showed. Her plan went to hell when Fury called them in early because of a change to his afternoon schedule. She got two minutes notice before Captain America and the Winter Soldier strode through the door like two walking, talking wet dreams.

She wanted to slide down in her chair and hide underneath her desk, but Bucky had already seen her. She had to retain some dignity. Darcy cast what she hoped was a chilly glance in his direction before picking up the phone and dialing Jane's cell.

For a moment it looked like Bucky was going to say something to her, but he shut his mouth when he saw she was on the phone. Steve pressed a firm hand into Bucky's shoulder, pushing him into Fury’s office. Both men shot her a parting glance. Bucky looked like he had something to say. Steve looked like he felt sorry for her. Well, fuck them both. She didn't want to hear anything Barnes had to say, and Rogers could take his sympathy and shove it up his tight ass.

“Helloooooo? Darcy is that you?” Darcy jumped when she registered Jane's voice on her phone. She'd thought it would go to voicemail. Lunchtime was a prime time for science.

“Hey, yes I'm here. You're saving me from Barnes and his brooding stare.”

“I thought you said that meeting was at two.”

“It got changed, and I couldn't escape fast enough.”

“Did he say anything to you?” Jane asked.

Darcy snorted. “No, he just smoldered, and then Cap pushed him into Fury’s office.

“Darce, don't let him pull you back in. You deserve better than that. He was jerking you around. Thor said–”

“Bitch, you did not tell Thor about this,” Darcy snapped, interrupting her friend.

“No,” Jane replied. “No. I was just going to say that Thor said Barnes was acting mopey. He knows he lost the best thing he ever had, and I hope he suffers.”

“Janey-poo, that's so sweet. Fuck him, right?”

“Well, not literally,” Jane said.

“Yeah, not literally. Although, I sure do miss the sex. I mean, I was in the sex desert and then he came along and it was like a big buffet of all my favs.”

“Not worth the head games.”

Darcy nodded. “Exactly. Right. This is why you're my friend. You keep me on the straight and narrow. Barnes equals head games. Got it.”

“Are we still on for dinner on Friday?”

“What is happening in my world? I'm saying no to sex with the hottest guy in town, possibly in the northern hemisphere, and you're remembering our dinner plans? Whaaaaat…”

“Thor is the hottest guy in both hemispheres,” Jane said in a matter-of-fact voice. “And I miss you so my phone reminds me about dinner with you every eight hours.”

“Thor doesn't count. He's an alien.”

“He's got all the working parts of–”

“Nope! Gotta go. Don't rub it in that you're getting some. That's rude.”

Jane laughed and told her friend goodbye. Darcy hung up and sighed. Watching the clock, she tried to guess when they'd wrap things up. Each minute that passed she told herself that she'd get up and leave. Finally, she couldn't sit still any longer and went to hide in an unused office down the hall. Sitting behind the empty desk reminded her of those times she waited for Bucky to meet her. She sat there and watched the clock. Ten minutes, twenty, twenty-five. Surely they had to be done by now.

Darcy finally stood and slipped out the door, feeling like an idiot for going so far out of her way to hide from him like a coward. She turned the corner and stopped in her tracks when she saw Steve step out of her door down the hall. He turned toward the elevator, not even noticing her a few yards away. Bucky was right behind, but it was too much to ask for him not to notice her. Like he’d caught her scent, Bucky turned his head to look right at her.

Sighing, she crossed her arms and waited him out, not moving any closer.

“Buck,” Steve said when he noticed his friend staring her down. “Come on. Let's go.”

“Give me a minute.”

“Buck,” Steve said again, a warning in his voice. “Do you really think that's a go–”

“A minute, punk.” Bucky's voice was tense.

“No, you can't have a minute,” she said from where she stood.

Steve grabbed Bucky's upper arm and tried to steer him toward the elevator.

Bucky threw his friend's arm off and strode over to where she stood a few yards away. “Sweetheart, I'm–”

“Sorry?” she asked, interrupting him. “Are you sorry?”

“Yes.” He wouldn't really meet her eyes. His gaze kept bouncing from the wall behind her to the floor to the fire extinguisher on the wall to the floor again.

“Take your apology and shove it, Barnes.”

He sighed. “I deserve that.”

“Yeah, you do,” she agreed. “Now leave me alone.”

“They're working out of Philly. They have a base there, and they know your name.”


“HYDRA. I want you to be careful with yourself, sweetheart.”

“How do they know my name?”

“Ain’t hard to figure it out. Our inside guy is missin’, probably dead. He was the one who fed them the lie about the fake name and you dying in the attack.”

“Fuck,” she muttered.

“Tell me you'll be careful,” he said.

Darcy frowned. “What do you care?”

“You know I fuckin’ care,” he whispered harshly as he stepped closer to her.

“Huh,” she said, “could have fooled me.”

“Darcy,” he said, taking one more step toward her.

She backed up a step to keep the space between them. What he'd just told her was scary as fuck, but she could only deal with one thing at a time. Right now that thing was him. “You left.”

He opened his mouth, but nothing came out.

“Look, I've got your gun with me, I never get out of this building, and I'm training with the sniper team on Friday afternoon. I'll be fine. Take me off your list of shit to worry about.”

“Sweetheart, I'm always gonna worry about you. Ain't nothin’ changing that.”

“Stop it,” she said. “Stop saying shit like that. It's not fair. Just go. Leave me alone.”

He almost looked hurt when he finally turned his back on her and walked down the hallway toward Steve. Cap looked like he was well and truly disappointed with Bucky Barnes. Good. Maybe he'd give Bucky hell.




Guthrie was an impossibly tall, broad man in his early fifties with a beard down to the middle of his chest and a shaved head. His biceps were probably bigger than her head, and he was surprisingly soft-spoken. Fury had put him in charge of training the sniper team, most of whom had been with the organization since the SHIELD days. Fury inspired loyalty, and many of them had returned to the fold after the incident in DC.

The training was done over an hour west of Newark, just outside of a small town. Practicing indoors wouldn’t work for the type of shooting they were doing, so they were at a private, outdoor range surrounded by a wooded area. The dirt road that took you up to the flat, open land surrounded by mounds of earth was at least two miles long. She’d borrowed a car instead of riding with the team because she was meeting Jane for dinner after finishing up at the range.

Darcy had been nervous, but John Guthrie was easy-going and helpful. She’d never had the opportunity to hold, much less shoot, a rifle. He’d spent thirty minutes teaching her how one worked and how to field strip it before she’d even taken a shot. There were five other men there practicing. She’d been afraid it would be a bit of a boys’ club and they wouldn’t take her seriously. That was not the case, and she suspected it was due in large part to Guthrie’s example.

As it turned out, accuracy with a rifle was far easier to obtain than with a pistol. Guthrie insisted that it wasn't just the gun, but her–that she was a natural with her steady hands and poise. Darcy was so flustered by the honest approval and support of all the men out there with her that she didn't know what to do other than blush and try to hit the target that was just over four hundred yards away. It looked like a tiny dot without her scope, but lying on her stomach and looking through the eyepiece she could see the multicolored rings of the bullseye.

“Remember you need to compensate for the wind and the trajectory. Keep that trigger held back until you see where your round hit,” Guthrie told her. He was lying on his stomach next to her with a scope on a small tripod so he could see where her shots were landing. She'd already shown him that she could be accurate at two hundred and three hundred yards, but four hundred seemed like a stretch, even if the five men lined up behind them all told her that four hundred would be a piece of cake for her if she was pulling off three without a problem.

“Okay, okay,” Darcy told her instructor, flexing her hands before putting them on the rifle.

“Guth will have you hitting marks at a thousand yards in no time, Lewis,” one of the men behind her said.

She huffed out a breath of laughter. “Yeah, we'll see.” She took her time aiming, and then pulled the trigger on the bottom of her exhale. Even though the metal bullseye was four football fields away, the bullet she'd just fired hit it with a clang almost immediately. She could see the new chip in the yellow paint, just right of center. Maybe three inches from where she'd been aiming.

“Very good, Lewis,” Guthrie told her before pulling back from his scope. “The wind knocked you off course a little.” He glanced at his phone. “Southwest at ten miles an hour. You need to compensate and aim a couple inches off the mark.”

“How do you know?”

“Practice,” he replied. “Right, boys?”

“Yep,” two of the guys behind her agreed.

“You’ll be sick of looking through that scope in a month,” another guy told her.

Darcy didn't think she could ever be sick of this. It got her mind off the sorry state of her nonexistent love life, gave her purpose, allowed her to feel competent and helpful. Shooting at a person? She wasn't too sure about that yet, but target practice was making her feel good about herself in a way she hadn't for the past few weeks after all the drama with her and Bucky.

Bucky was heavy on her mind today. She wouldn't even be here, breathing in the dry dust of the range while lying on her stomach and proving she could hold her own with the big boys, if it weren't for his encouragement and help. Even if she couldn't stand to look at him any longer, she still owed that asshole a debt of gratitude for all he'd done for her since the attack on the building. She just wished they could be friends. Scratch that, she wished they could be more than friends. Much more. Bucky, however, had made it painfully clear that he was only interested in sex, and if sex wasn't involved then he'd just treat her like a little sister he had to worry about. It annoyed her more than a little.

She turned her focus back to the rifle and emptied the thirty round magazine into the bullseye. She did much better once she got a feel for how the shifting wind impacted the trajectory of her bullets. No need for math equations and quick computations in her head; she could feel where the bullet should go. It felt natural.

At three thirty the team packed up their rifles and gear to leave. Darcy tried to give Guthrie back the matte black, expensive rifle he'd handed her that morning, but he refused the case that held it. “It's yours, Lewis,” he told her. “Just don't forget it next week when we’re out here training again.”

Darcy smiled at him and nodded eagerly. “Got it.”

“You heading back?” Guthrie asked.

“In a few. Do you mind if I hang out here for a bit longer? Maybe get more comfortable with the rifle? I'm meeting a friend for dinner, but not for another two hours.”

“Lewis, you’re already comfortable with that gun, but you're welcome to stay out here.”

He'd packed up and the team drove off shortly before four, leaving her alone. The range was almost eerie now that she was by herself. The only sound she could hear was the chirping of birds hiding in the trees that ringed the field. She was standing atop a man-made mound of earth that gave her a good view of the landscape around her, including the road leading up to the range.

She tried to shake Bucky out of her head by practicing a few shots at two hundred yards. It was ridiculously easy for her to hit the mark, and Darcy wondered if it was the gun or her. She wasn't really that good, was she?

Bucky's gun against the small of her back was a frequent reminder of him and all those mixed emotions that came along with such a complicated man. She probably should have never slept with him. She certainly shouldn't have kissed him and let him take her to bed that night. Nothing had ever fucked her head up quite so much. Here was this guy who was all about keeping things steamy hot and physical only, and he was kissing her like he was desperate for her to want him back. The way he'd touched her that night, the way he’d looked at her… It was all just a little bit too close for comfort. It just made her heart a squishy mess that longed for his touch again.

Just before five, she shoved the unused rounds of ammo in her duffle bag as she prepared to leave. The faint noise of vehicles on the dirt roadway drew her attention to it. She watched with a sour stomach and a nervous mind as a Jeep and a black Tahoe wound their way through the thin cover of branches along the road. They pulled up and parked a few yards from her car.

Darcy watched three men climb out of the Tahoe and two men emerge from the Jeep. None of them were familiar. She swallowed the panic in her throat, flexing her fingers on the partially loaded rifle in her hands.

One of the men looked up and noticed her watching them from the mound of dirt. He gave her a friendly wave. “Hey there! We’re not interrupting, are we?”

She shook her head and called down to him. “No. Just packing up.” They were between her and her car. While they looked friendly enough, Darcy didn't feel like she should be taking any chances.

“We're FBI. Are you with Fury’s team?” he asked, putting his hands on his hips and tilting his head back. The sun was setting later and later every day, but the sky was already getting dim and what was an unseasonably warm late-winter day was turning colder.

“I didn't know FBI used this range,” she replied, ignoring his question and surveying her options. She couldn't make it to the car without going through them.

He shrugged. “FBI, CIA, whatever. It's convenient for our field office in the city. Better than going upstate.” Darcy watched the man give her a little wave before he said, “Well, we'll leave you alone. You have a good day.”

None of the five men seemed all that interested in her as they moved away from the vehicles with their bags and rifles cases. It calmed her anxiety, but just barely. She did have a clear path to her car now.

Not bothering to do the right thing and unload the rifle, she flipped the safety to the on position and stowed it away in the black plastic case. She did this with haste, while still trying not to look like she was rushing. Out of the corner of her eyes, Darcy watched the five men as they sat their gear down a few yards away and talked amongst themselves.

“Have a good evening!” called out the man who had spoken when they arrived. He was tall with lean muscles and a look about him that said he'd been in his share of fights when he was younger.

“You too,” Darcy said, trying to reel in the unreasoning panic taking over her brain. Something is wrong here, her gut said. Something isn't right. These men aren't right. Get out, get out.

She almost fell as she hurried down the crumbling hillside with her duffle and gun case in hand. They were behind her and she could feel goosebumps rise up on the back of her neck as she neared her car. She was maybe five steps from the trunk when she heard the bolt being pulled back on a rifle. In that fraction of a second, two warring thoughts flashed through her mind. Logical Darcy said that they were there to practice and were obviously just preparing to shoot at a target. Her gut told a different story, one that said she was about to get a bullet in the back of her head.

Darcy made a split second decision to listen to her gut. She dropped the bag and the gun case and dove toward the car. The bullet meant for her whizzed by, inches from her head before it thudded into a tree trunk.

Crawling the rest of the way to the shelter of the car on her elbows and knees, she took refuge on the passenger side. Her car keys were lying in the dirt beside the duffle bag. She had enough time to curse herself for dropping the keys just far enough out of reach before all hell broke loose. The first gunshot was still echoing when a volley of more started up, tearing holes the size of small fists into the side of her car. The two tires on their side were hit and hissed out air before deflating completely. So, even if she could get the keys, she wouldn't be able to go far.

As she crouched down and pressed herself up against the car, she remembered Bucky's gun stowed away in the waistband of her jeans. No one was coming for her, and if she didn't fight back then she'd die. She could hear Bucky's voice in her head, telling her if it was a choice between her going or them going then it would always have to be them. He was right. She pulled out the gun and flexed her hand on the grip.

During a brief pause in the gunfire, she popped up over the hood and aimed in their general direction. Two of the men were approaching the car at a run, the closest only twenty yards away now. She didn't even think as she aimed the pistol and pulled the trigger. The man on the right dropped to the ground, a bullet in his chest. She tried to aim at the second man, but the three guys on the mound of earth were shooting at her again.

She ducked back behind the car and dropped to her stomach to look underneath. His feet veered off to the left so he could circle around. Darcy pressed her back against the wheels and waited him out. When he finally came around the car, she put a bullet in his head from four yards away. The rifle he'd been holding was beckoning her as a fresh volley of shots were fired into her poor little rental Camry.

The blood pooling on the dusty ground around his head caught her attention, and Darcy watched the thick, viscous puddle grow in size. Her stomach turned, but she swallowed the emotion to focus on the three men who still seemed very intent on ending her life. She crawled over to the body on her hands and knees and grabbed the rifle. It caught on his lifeless arm for a panicked moment before she was able to shake it free.

Her mind went into auto pilot. Magazine in, round chambered, aim, and pull the trigger. The fading echo of gunshots was all she could hear, and even that was faint. Darcy braced herself and popped up to rest her arms and the rifle on the trunk of the car. Her brain translated what her eyes saw quickly, and she aimed at the man who had the barrel of his gun pointed at her. Her shot hit him in the forehead and sent blood and gore flying toward the others. One more shot and she’d taken out the fourth gunman.

Darcy cast her panicked gaze around her, searching for the fifth man, the one who had spoken to her. He'd been up on the hill before, but now he was gone. Turning around when she heard the gritty sound of dry earth beneath a boot, she struggled to swing the rifle around with her. His boot connected against her temple with a viciousness she'd never experienced.

Oh no, her brain screamed silently. Oh no, he has you. Her hands weren't working properly, and he'd already kicked the rifle out of her grasp. She squeezed her eyes shut, ready for the pop of his gun that would end her life. Instead, all she heard was the man's cruel laughter.

“You little fucking bitch,” he said, running the back of his hand over his mouth. “We've been looking for you, Darcy Lewis.”

Darcy rolled onto her side and struggled to right herself. Her head was throbbing. “Don't kill me,” she managed to say.

“You know, that was the mission since you've become a thorn in our side, but I think now I'll just take you back with me. Maybe we can pull some useful information out of your pretty little head.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“Because this world is fucked. Because it needs a strong hand to guide it, not these weak-willed, handholding do-gooders who think they can fix the system.”

Darcy winced at the tenderness when she pressed a hand against her throbbing temple. “What if you're on the wrong side?” she asked.

“I was on the wrong side–your side–and now I know the truth. People are cattle that need to be led. HYDRA can lead them.” His eyes were terrifying because he believed every word coming out of his mouth like it was gospel.

“Wait, you were with us?” Oh how quickly she was willing to say us like she'd always been working with the Avengers.

“Who do you think gave them the information for the attack on that pathetic building?”

Suddenly all the pieces fell into place. “You're the missing undercover guy.”

His smile was feral and ugly as he stepped forward. Darcy flinched and curled in on herself as she prepared for a blow that never came. “You killed good soldiers,” he said, stepping back again.

The cold dirt beneath the palms of her hands was rough. She closed her eyes and said, “Those weren't good men. They killed innocent people. I saw one of them shoot a hostage as they entered the building. They shot an unarmed man in the back of the head.”

“For the greater good,” he snapped back.

When Darcy opened her eyes she saw Bucky's Beretta lying underneath the car, hidden from crazy dude's eyes by the tire. “Bullshit,” Darcy replied, trying to put some steel and conviction behind her words. “You're bullies and cowards and hateful little men. You're just scared.”

He slung the rifle in his hand over his shoulder and pulled back a foot to kick her again. Darcy lunged for the Beretta and swung it up. She didn't even aim, just pulled the trigger and hoped for the best. The bullet hit him right in the middle of his chest. He stumbled back a step before collapsing on the ground. Darcy watched in horror as he pulled in a handful of wet, shuddering breaths while his lungs filled with blood and collapsed.

She stood up and gingerly kicked the rifle away from him right before he took his final breath. When she tried to take a step, she stumbled to her knees as her left ankle gave out. Her numb brain seemed to remember the pain of twisting it when she dived for the shelter of the car, but the adrenaline must have masked the pain until just now.

Clutching the Beretta in her right hand, she pulled her cell out of the back pocket of her jeans. The screen had a jagged crack down the middle of it and the service icon at the top had an X next to it. No service. She tried to dial out anyway, but couldn't get the phone to ring. She sent panicked texts to Bucky, Jane, and Fury in that order. Why was Bucky the first person on her list? Because even after everything that had happened, she knew he'd come running if she asked. Maybe he'd never actually love her or even take her out on a date, but Darcy knew there was something there between them. Something more than just physical.

The texts didn't send. Not a single one. She pushed herself up and tried to walk down the road to find service, but each step caused her to stumble in pain. Finally, Darcy crawled back to the body of the last man she'd killed to search his pockets for the keys to the Jeep or Tahoe. No such luck. She was getting ready to crawl up the hillside and search the other men when she smelled gasoline. The front two tires of the Tahoe were shot out as was the windshield. The Jeep had one busted tire and a puddle of gasoline below where one of the stray shots had ruptured the gas tank.

She exhaled a heavy sigh and sat down next to the Camry. Her texts were still trying to send. Still no service. She wondered if Bucky would find her first or if HYDRA would come looking before he even realized she was in trouble.

Darcy looked over at their former undercover agent turned HYDRA fanboy. There was blood trickling out of the corner of his mouth. She wrapped her arms around her stomach, holding herself tightly as the sobs took over. At first, they were loud, retching sobs that shook her body. Within a minute they were silent, but no less painful with hot tears streaming down her face.

Her phone still hadn't sent the texts.

Chapter Text


“But girl when you touch me back, I get my sense back.” - Citizen Cope (Holdin’ On)

Bucky felt the vibration of his phone against his thigh. Instead of pulling it out of his pocket and reading a text about another briefing or disappointment on the hunt for HYDRA, he focused his attention on the back of the box. He was shit at cooking, and more often than not he and Steve ended up eating their meals in the cafeteria on the second floor. Today he wasn't in the mood to suffer the company of others, so he'd resorted to a family size tray of frozen lasagna that looked more like a brick than actual food.

The preparation instructions on the back told him it would take upwards of an hour to heat it in the oven. He opened the box and followed the directions. After he’d stowed the tray away in the oven, he thought about his phone, wishing the message was from Darcy and hoping it wasn't all at the same time. He hadn't deleted her two messages from almost three weeks ago. They sat in his inbox like a ticking time bomb or a reminder of what he wouldn't allow himself to have. He had never replied, but he did pull them up on his screen every single day, his thumbs hovering over the keyboard that appeared. Each time he decided it wasn’t worth it, that it would be wrong.

He missed her more than he thought he would. Memories of her were everywhere–the lobby, the elevator, several empty offices, the supply closet around the corner from Fury’s office, the range in the basement, the stairwell, even the gym. It took considerable effort to avoid seeing her in the halls, but he’d had years of experience avoiding people. He even avoided Steve on the occasional bad day. Being alone just felt better sometimes.

What if the message was from her? What if? Would he respond? Ever since they’d confirmed HYDRA knew her name and that she was still alive, he’d had nightmares of her dying. Actually, the nightmares were more of her being killed, messily and in front of him. He’d always wake up in a cold sweat with his heart galloping in his chest and his stomach in knots. Steve had even come in to check on him last night, asking what the nightmare had been about. Bucky had lied and told his friend that he’d remembered some of the medical procedures done on him in Siberia. Steve wasn’t exactly approving of his little obsession with Darcy Lewis, and he didn’t want to admit that he’d cried out in his sleep because they’d shot her–execution-style, no less–in the dream.

He wasn’t sure what he regretted more–taking her to bed and kissing her like he was desperate for something he wouldn't say, or leaving right afterward. Perhaps both, equally. Sometimes when he was alone, he’d find himself fantasizing about what things could be like if he were someone else, someone who wasn’t incomplete and damaged. She was included in those fantasies. No, not just included. Those fantasies were solely about her and a future with her, he admitted to himself. He would never say that out loud, though. Steve had already made him feel bad enough for using her for his own pleasure. Bucky’d had to bite his tongue to not tell Steve that he’d given Darcy plenty of pleasure right back. What he’d had with her, though, it was too important to talk about like that.

He sighed and pulled his phone out of his pocket. He knew what he'd end up doing. It was the daily ritual in which he opened her text messages and let himself think about replying. He didn't bother to check the notification along the top of his phone, which was why when he looked at his short list of texts he was shocked to find her name in bold with a new message.

Darcy: help. hydra at range

His stomach dropped to his feet, and he moved toward the door before he even registered what he was doing. Panic welled up and started closing off his throat. Bucky threw the door open and dialed Steve. Just as soon as he stepped into the hallway the elevator doors opened to reveal his friend, who looked almost as panicked as Bucky felt.

“They have her,” he told Steve.

“Jane called Thor. Fury called me. Did she text you?”

Bucky's swept past Steve and jammed his hand into the stairwell door. “Yeah, we gotta go.”

Steve followed without question while Bucky tried to call Darcy's phone again and again as they rushed up the seven flights of stairs to the rooftop landing pad. Bucky stumbled out onto the deck and shoved his phone in his pocket.

A maintenance worker was already fueling the quinjet while Steve barked orders into the phone. Bucky opened the door to the jet and reached back to pull Steve into the aircraft. He didn't need to because Steve was right behind him.

“Guthrie left her there not too long ago. No sign of trouble. They must have been watching her.”

Bucky was enraged, and all he could imagine was her lifeless body lying in the dirt, riddled with bullet holes. His future just gunned down. No, not his future. His fantasy. My girl, he thought. The idea was ridiculous. Darcy Lewis wasn't anyone's girl, much less his. “Why the fuck did they leave her there alone?” he asked Steve.

Steve dropped down into the pilot's seat. “They didn't know. She said she was meeting a friend for dinner.”

“Who? Nelson?” If that motherfucker had sold her out to HYDRA...

“Jane, Thor’s girl. The astrophysicist.”

Bucky's right hand was shaking, and he couldn't seem to stop it. This was like his worst nightmare, and he felt responsible because he was the one who’d encouraged her to train with the sniper team. He was the reason she might be dead or captured. He tried not to think of her in some HYDRA cage. He'd tear every single agent they had apart to find her if that was the case.

It only took a handful of minutes to get to the range. Bucky opened the bay door and hung out the opening, surveying the situation. One man down on one of the mounds of earth they trained from, one face down halfway up the hill, and another a few yards from a shot up Camry. The Tahoe and Jeep were riddled with bullets too, but they had taken fewer rounds. Dead men, but no Darcy. She had to be responsible for the damage. It gave him the briefest flicker of hope.

Steve swung the jet around to land, and Bucky finally was able to see behind the Camry where there were two other bodies surrounded by pools of blood. Not her, though. Her dark hair and pale face were right next to the car, using it for shelter. When Steve brought the jet lower, she shielded her face from the dust it kicked up, and he'd never felt such relief.

Bucky jumped out of the back of the jet, rolling as he hit the ground hard. When he came out of the roll, he felt the ground shake as Thor landed a few yards away. Bucky didn't stop, just ran straight for her. When he got closer, he realized she was struggling to stand. Her face was tear-streaked, and she was holding out her hand to him. His relief at finding her alive was tempered by his guilt that he should have been there for her.

“Sweetheart,” he said, sliding to his knees right next to her. He took Darcy's face in his hands. “Are you hurt?”

She sniffed and grabbed onto his wrists, holding onto him tight with her little fingers. “My ankle hurts, and that asshole kicked me in the head.”

There was a cut at her temple that was dripping blood down the side of her face. He hadn't even noticed it when he'd seen her. The relief had been too great. “Anything else, sweetheart?”

She shook her head. “I just… I just wanna go home. I… I was so scared.”

“Did you do all this?”

Her eyes were wide as she glanced at the body closest to them. “I had to.”

“Oh, sweetheart, I know you did. You did amazin’. I couldn't have done better.” Bucky tried to force a smile, but his heart was in this throat.

She flashed him a genuine smile, though, saying, “Yes, you could have. Don't lie to make me feel better.”

“I ain't lyin’. You're my little badass.”

She laughed and slipped her arms around his neck. Bucky wrapped his around her and lifted her up to her feet, not letting her put weight on her ankle that she was favoring. “I'm so glad to see you, Barnes.”

“Not as glad as I am to see you,” he replied, pulling her up against him with his cybernetic arm and brushing her hair away from her beautiful face with the fingertips of his flesh hand.

Her eyes were wide and looking at nothing but him. After almost losing her, he did the only thing that he could to convince her that he was so sorry for everything. He slipped his hand to the back of her head and brushed his lips over hers.

Darcy clutched onto him, her fingers gripping his shirt as she sighed and tilted her chin up to deepen the kiss. He groaned and rolled his tongue out to tentatively touch hers. It was like coming home. The way she tasted and felt was so familiar, so comforting. He wondered how he ever thought he could, or should, give that up.

The sound of a throat clearing behind him made Bucky pull away and turn around, letting her lean against him as they faced Steve and Thor.

“Miss Lewis, are you okay?”

“Darcy,” she corrected him like she’d done weeks ago when they’d first met. “And my ankle is hurt.”

“She might have a concussion. We need to get her to medical,” Bucky added.

“Do you know if any of the agents escaped?”

She shook her head. “I only saw five. I think… I think I shot them all.”

“You did.” Steve shook his head and smiled at her. “Darcy, you are very impressive.”

“Yeah, well. They fucked with me,” she said.

Thor took a few quick steps over to them and pulled her into a bear hug. Bucky had to bite his tongue to keep from protesting and pulling her away.

“Darcy, I am very pleased you are well. Jane and I feared for your safety after your missive to her. I came as soon as I could, but I see you have dealt with these foes with commendable efficiency.” Thor slapped her back in congratulations a little too hard for Bucky’s liking. He would have intervened if Darcy hadn’t laughed and hugged the guy back. She patted his shoulder and made a joke about tasing him, which caused Thor to let loose a full laugh and hug her tighter.

“Buck,” Steve said, trying to get his attention. When Bucky looked over at his friend, Steve smiled and said, “I didn't know you and her had a thing like that.”

“Like what?”

“Whatever you two have, it ain’t just physical.”

Bucky swallowed the lump in his throat and turned away from Darcy and Thor. “Yeah, well, I didn’t realize either.” He hit Steve's shoulder and said, “Stop lookin’ at me like that and go get the jet ready. She needs to see a doctor.”




Bucky was standing outside the exam room, his arms crossed over his chest. Darcy was inside the room seeing a doctor and undergoing testing for a possible concussion. It was taking every bit of his control to remain outside the closed door.

“Darcy was right,” Steve said, walking up to stand beside Bucky. “We identified Lucas Janssen. He was the one who kicked her in the head.”

Bucky wished the guy was still alive so he could kill him again. Slowly. Painfully. “How the fuck did that happen? How did HYDRA turn him? Was it…”

“Like you?” Steve asked. He shook his head. “No. It looks like Janssen was in full control when he turned on us. We were able to locate where he’s been staying by the GPS tracking in their vehicles. I swept the place with our guys and let the intel team finish up. They found his journals. HYDRA turned him the good old fashioned way.”

“Which is?”

Steve gave a bitter smile. “Telling him that they knew what was best and treating him like he was important to them.”

“I wish I could kill him myself for touching her,” Bucky said, turning away from Steve and pacing down the hall a few yards before returning.

Steve watched him for a moment before saying, “I thought you and her were just physical.”

Bucky shook his head and gave a harsh, uncomfortable laugh. “It was never just physical, not even the first time. I was just lyin’ to myself and her.”

Steve nodded at the exam room’s closed door. “You should ask her out on a date.”

“She ain’t going out with me after all the shit I put her through, punk.”

“Shouldn’t assume that, Buck. She seemed pretty happy to see you back there.” Steve smiled. “Besides, if you ain’t gonna ask her out, what are you standing here for?”

“I’m here to make sure she gets back to her apartment safely, and to make sure she gets whatever she needs.”

“Pretty broad purpose you got there,” Steve said. “Whatever she needs, huh?”

“Get your mind outta the gutter, punk. She almost died this evening.”

Steve held up his hands and backed away. “I won’t wait up for you.”

“Ah, fuck,” Bucky muttered under his breath.

“What?” Steve asked, eyes wide.

“Lasagna. I left a tray of fuckin’ lasagna in our oven.”

His friend had the nerve to double over in laughter. When Steve finally stood back up, he said, “I better go make sure our place ain’t on fire.”

Bucky watched him go before turning his attention back to the closed door. He wondered what was going on in there. She’d been inside for almost two hours. He’d almost turned the doorknob and checked on her more than once. He hoped she’d still want to talk to him when she came out. She’d spent most of the ride back to headquarters in a state of shock, staring off into the distance and telling Steve about Lucas Janssen, their missing deep cover agent. They’d thought he was dead, discovered by HYDRA and executed. He definitely was dead, but by Darcy’s hand, not HYDRA’s. Fury was probably pissed that even after all those psych evaluations and all that careful selection, his agent had been turned.

He jerked to attention when the door opened and a nurse showed Darcy out of the exam room. “I can have someone walk you to your room, Darcy,” the nurse said. “We have a security guard on…” The woman trailed off when she saw Bucky standing in the hall.

Darcy looked at him and said, “I have a security guard,” to the nurse. She had a piece of gauze taped to her temple where the cut was, and her ankle was wrapped up in an elastic bandage. She was using crutches to walk.

He put a hand on the small of her back as she slowly moved past him, swinging the crutches in front of her before taking another step.

“You didn’t have to wait for me,” she said.

“What did the doc say?”

“That I have a sprained ankle.”


“No. Just a cut on my head. They said I’m lucky.”

Bucky wrapped his fingers around her arm, his touch gentle, but firm. “Pick up your crutches so I can carry you.”

“I’m fine, Barnes. My ankle is just a little tender.” She tried to pull away, but he wouldn’t let her go. Not ever again.

“I ain’t takin’ no for an answer, sweetheart.”

“Don’t try to bully me right now. I’ve had a bad day.”

Bucky stepped in front of her and steadied her before taking her crutches and moving both over to her left hand. Gently, he bent his knees and swept her up in his arms, the left behind her back and the right curled beneath her knees. She laughed softly and held the crutches out so they wouldn’t get in his way.

“You taking me back to your room?” she asked.

“Sweetheart, you don’t wanna go to my room. I left a tray of lasagna in the oven when I got your text. The place probably smells like hell.”

“Oh.” She laid her head on his shoulder and sighed.

“You want company tonight?” he asked her, stepping into the elevator.

He felt her nod against his chest. “If it’s you,” she whispered.

“That’s what I had in mind,” he said.

She closed her eyes as he walked her down the hallway and unlocked her door. The apartment was almost the same as when he'd been there before. Most of the boxes were still stacked up next to the door.

Bucky moved a couple aside with his foot. “Were you gonna move in or not?” he asked.

“It's been a rough month,” she replied, not opening her eyes.

“Did I play a part in that?” He didn't know why he was asking. He knew the answer already.

She opened her eyes and looked up into his face. “Yeah. A big part.”

“I’m very sorry, sweetheart.” Bucky made his way into her bedroom and carefully laid her out the bed before taking the crutches and leaning them up against the nightstand. “What can I get you? Dinner?”

She smiled at him. “Are offering to make me dinner?”

“Don't think you wanna eat anything I make, but I'll try.” He swallowed the fear crawling up his throat. “For you.”

“Why are you being so nice to me?” she asked, pushing herself up to a sitting position.

He looked away from her wary eyes. “Been thinkin’ about you a lot lately. Today, it gave me some perspective.”

“Could have fooled me. I thought you didn't think of me at all anymore.”

“I haven't stopped since that day in the lobby when you took my gun.”

She frowned. “You do a good job of hiding it.”

“I spent a long time hiding weakness. Ain't something you want many people to see. They could use it against you.”

“What does that mean? That I'm your weakness?”

He couldn't look her in the face. “What do you want to eat?”

She didn't answer immediately. Finally, she said, “Nothing. I just want some water.”

He walked out of her bedroom so he could fill a glass with cold water from the tap. He wanted to touch her, to kiss her and hold her so he could know she was safe, but things between them were still so brittle. When he returned, she was sitting right where he'd left her. He offered the glass of water, and her fingers grazed his as she took it.

“Thanks,” Darcy said, taking two huge drinks that drained half the glass.

“What else can I get you, sweetheart?”

“There's something I want really bad, but I don't know if you'll give it to me.”

“Anything you want.”

She sat the glass on the nightstand. “You to stay.” The look on her face was so serious, like she was putting herself out there. Bucky felt relief wash through him because she'd taken that leap for him. Even after everything that had happened to her today, she was the one cutting him some slack.

“Sweetheart, you want me, you got me. Still don't know why you want me, though.”

She looked suspicious. “After all this, after you disappearing on me, it's that easy? Just… yes?”

“I told you, I got some perspective today.” He sat down on the edge of the bed. “And it ain't like I haven't been missin’ you, thinkin’ about you.”

“Oh, yeah? Me or the sex?”

“That ain't a fair question. Truthfully? Both. Plus, who am I gonna argue with if you ain’t around pushin’ my buttons?”

“Are you telling me you miss me because I argue with you? You miss the arguments?” she asked, lifting her brows in disbelief.

“I miss everything about you, sweetheart. Even that smart mouth that gets my blood boiling when you start tellin’ me off.” He paused and looked her in the eyes. “You miss me? Just a little?”

“I missed you a lot, Barnes.”

“I… I’m sorry for everything I put you through, Darcy. You know that, right?”

“I do now. Can we go to bed?”

“Better keep your hands to yourself, since you got a busted ankle and a hurt head.”

“Don’t be dramatic. I twisted my ankle and have a cut on my head that didn't even need stitches. Get in bed.” Darcy scooted over and leaned back until her head was settled into the pillows.

He smiled down at her. She was so beautiful she took his breath away, even with those circles under her eyes and the bandage covering her temple. “You're pretty bossy,” he told her.

“You like it. Don't act like it doesn't get you hot.”

Bucky chuckled. “Little bit, maybe.”

“Lotta bit, definitely. I seem to remember almost every single argument leading to fantastic sex, which, I'll have you know, bodes really well for our…” She trailed off like she realized too late where that sentence was going.

He knew exactly what she was going to say. “For our relationship?” he asked. “Is that what you were gonna say?”

She pressed her face into the pillow before looking up at him again. “Is that what this is? Is that what you want?”

“I want what you want.”

Darcy rolled her eyes. “That's such a bullshit answer. I want you naked. How about that?”

Bucky's stood and stripped off his clothes. A sharp inhale when he dropped his boxer-briefs to the floor betrayed her nonchalance. “How about you? You wanna be naked?” he asked her.

“What do you want?”

He laughed softly under his breath. “Yeah, I want that.” With more tenderness than he realized he possessed, Bucky undressed her, taking special care with her injured ankle.

When he pulled her panties down her legs, he wanted to spread her thighs and have a taste of her sweetness. It had been too long since he'd been surrounded by her scent. He stood there at the foot of the bed and looked down at the creamy skin and gentle curves of her body. She was all his, and he wasn't quite sure where to start.

Darcy raised a hand and reached out to him. “Come to bed,” she whispered.

He crawled up next to her and laid down so they were facing each other. Bucky ran his fingers through her long hair and said, “Would you let me take you out to dinner?”

“Like a real date?” she asked him with a smile.


She balled up a hand and punched him lightly in the shoulder. “Are you serious right now? I have to get shot at and almost killed to get you to ask me out?”

“You did say I was an asshole, or a jerk, on multiple occasions.”

She was silent for a few moments as they lay there on their sides, facing each other in the bed. “I’ll only go out with you if you’re not doing this because you’re jealous or feel sorry for me.”

He reached out and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her closer until her breasts were pressed up against his chest. She was so soft, and she still had that intoxicating perfume she always used to wear clinging to her skin. “Do I got a reason to be jealous?”

“No. Ryan Nelson is a first class douche. I considered getting him fired.”

Bucky chuckled and ran his fingertips up her spine. “You and me both, sweetheart. I think Steve is gonna do him in for you, though.”

“Why is Steve involved?”

“I told him what Nelson said about you. Steve doesn't like disrespectful men.”

“Aren't you turn-of-the-century guys just the most chivalrous assholes ever?” Darcy said.

“I ain't very chivalrous, or I wouldn't have been hikin’ up your skirt every time you walked past me.”

She laughed under her breath. “I don't know. I wouldn't discount the importance of sexual pleasure when it comes to chivalry.”

He shook his head and pressed his forehead to hers. “So, about that date... I ain’t jealous if you ain’t looking.”

“And feeling sorry for me?” she asked.

“I definitely don’t feel sorry for you. Might be a little intimidated by you, actually.”

She rolled her eyes. “That’s real funny, Bucky.”

“Hey, I am. You just took out five HYDRA agents, one of which was one of our best undercover operatives. You’re also naked in bed, tellin’ me you’re gonna get some jerk fired. I feel like I better watch myself.”

“You better,” she agreed. They both fell into silence, and she buried her face in his neck. He could feel the steady rise and fall of her body as she breathed, and he’d never known anything more comforting. “Hey, I’m… I’m sorry I messed up our little physical-only thing,” she whispered against his skin. “I mean, I know you didn’t ask for me to catch feelings and all. I guess I thought I could…”

“Don’t apologize, sweetheart. You weren’t the one who fucked that up. I’m the one who did that.” He stroked the back of her head with his metal fingertips. “You never answered me.”

“About what?” she asked, pulling back.

“Will you let me take you out to dinner?”

Darcy pulled back and smiled. “Of course.”

He leaned in and kissed her lips. The touch was tentative and sweet for a brief moment before it dropped down into something more desperate as he remembered how good she felt. The way she nipped at his lower lip when he turned his head to take a breath made Bucky growl and roll her over onto her back.

“I don't wanna hurt your ankle,” he whispered against her lips while he rocked his hips into the cradle of her thighs.

Darcy dragged her nails down his back. She lifted up her hips and said, “That's a lame excuse if I ever heard one. My ankle typically doesn't play a huge role when you're on top.”

Bucky put a hand between them and positioned himself at her entrance. “Stop bustin’ my balls, sweetheart.”

“I'm not busting–” The rest of her sentence was abruptly cut off with a sharp gasp when he slid his cock into her. She felt just like he remembered–tight and perfect–even if all she gave him was sass with that tempting mouth of hers. He pulled out and thrust back in, grabbing her knee and folding her good leg up to press against her stomach and chest. The position let him go deeper and made her curse at him, but only in the best way.

“What did you say, sweetheart?” he asked her in what he hoped was an innocent voice.

She arched her back and the movement clenched her pussy around him. Now he was having trouble forming words. “God, you feel so good. Why were we fighting this?” she asked.

Bucky let her leg relax and leaned in to cover her body with his, running his tongue over her stiff nipples. “Because I'm a fuckin’ idiot,” he told her. He wanted to devour her until all he could see, taste, feel, hear, and smell was her.

She used a hand fisted in his hair to guide his head up from her chest so she could kiss him, leading with her tongue. He could kiss her all day long. They could have been doing this for weeks if he’d just given into the madness earlier. It really was madness. After decades of mindlessly taking orders as the Winter Soldier, followed by years of trying to keep himself disciplined enough to live in the world after escaping HYDRA, falling for her felt like letting go and giving up all that hard-fought control of his life.

Bucky let her lead the kiss, let her take his mouth with her tongue. She moaned when he started kissing her back. Her body was so responsive to him, arching up into his, her nipples pebbled and her sex wet with arousal.

She felt like home, like where he wanted to be. He didn’t realize he was such a sap when it came to her. Today had been a wakeup call for sure, and he wasn’t about to sit back and let her slip away because he was scared of what would happen if he gave her power over him. It wasn’t like he didn’t trust her; he did.

“Please don’t leave,” she whispered in his ear when he slipped his hands under her back and rocked into her. The pleading in her voice made his heart break.

“I won’t, sweetheart. I promise,” he whispered back before kissing her with gentle, pliant lips.

Her breath hitched each time he thrust into her, her body tense and needy, clutching him closer. “I love the way you feel,” she murmured, looking up into his face with those gorgeous eyes, looking at him like she cared.

Bucky’s chest felt tight as he gave little shallow thrusts up into her body. She grazed her fingertips lightly over his jawline before lifting her head to kiss him again. He was out of control, holding her against him, rocking into her body, desperate for her to accept him. How did it get to this point so quickly?

He'd intended to take her home and get her whatever she needed. He'd intended to make her feel good, too, help her forget about what she'd just gone through. Right now it felt like it was him who was taking what he needed. He felt vulnerable, but for the first time in a very long time, that didn't feel so scary, not if it was with her.

With his left arm still underneath her, holding her against him, he maneuvered the right between their bodies, brushing a light touch over the swollen bundle of nerves nestled right at the top of her slit. Darcy gasped and clung to him, kissing him with fervor.

He let the motion of his hips rock his hand over her until she fell apart in his arms, calling out his name and a stream of nearly incoherent words that told him he was amazing, the best thing ever, someone she couldn't live without. The sweet, begging quality to her voice sent him over the edge, and he came deep inside her.

Bucky tried to hold himself up off her, finally rolling over onto his back next to her. He missed the skin-on-skin contact immediately, but it wasn't like he could touch her every day, all day. He wasn't good with those moments after the sex, with carrying through and being there for her. He needed to get better, though. If he wanted to keep her, he'd have to learn.

They both lay there on their backs, side-by-side with their shoulders touching. He needed her closer, so Bucky disregarded the voice in his head that told him to maintain distance for safety. Instead, he slipped an arm under her shoulders and pulled her closer. The way she smiled and settled into the side of his body, conforming herself to his contours, made his chest burn and his heart beat just a little harder.

“Can I stay?” he whispered into her hair after she’d settled her head into the crook of his shoulder.’

Darcy ran a fingertip across his chest. “Do you really have to ask that? You could have stayed from the very beginning.”

“What’s the beginning?”

She looked up at him and smiled. “Honestly? Probably before you even knew my name.”

“Sweetheart,” he said with a grin, “did you have a crush on me?”

“Uh, I thought my ridiculous inability to keep my mouth shut gave me away a long time ago. I do seem to remember you catching me checking out your ass even before the HYDRA attack.”

“I didn’t think you were serious. In fact, I thought you were a little scared of me,” Bucky admitted.

“Intimidated, maybe. That didn’t last long, though.”

“Yeah,” he agreed, “it didn’t. You argue with me too much to be intimidated by me.”

“What happened that night in the bathroom?” she asked.

“In the safehouse?”

She nodded against his chest.

“Shit, I don’t know, sweetheart. I just… wanted you, and I hadn’t… I hadn’t in a long time. Thought it was what you needed, or what I needed.”

“What do you mean, you hadn’t in a long time?”

Bucky sighed and looked up at the ceiling. He hadn’t really meant to say so much. It was just her, though. He could tell her anything. “Hadn’t had sex.”

“Oh. Really? You?”

Her obvious shock made him laugh softly under his breath. “Yeah, me. You think I go around looking for women to–”

“No,” she interrupted. “No, I just… just assumed you… Well, I assumed you…” She laughed as well and finally said, “You’re the best sex I’ve ever had, and I just assumed you had a lot of practice.”

“Well, I wasn’t no blushing virgin when we met,” he said, “but doing what I did for all those years–-working for HYDRA-–that don’t exactly leave you much room for getting a girl naked.”

“Hmm.” She trailed the tip of her index finger down his breastbone.

“So, best sex you ever had, huh?”

She balled her fist up and lightly punched him in the stomach. “Maybe.”

“Likewise, sweetheart. Thought it was just me.”

“Wait a minute, Barnes. What was that? I’m the best sex you’ve ever had?”

She sounded even more shocked. “By a pretty large margin, sweetheart.”

Darcy opened her mouth to respond, but a yawn came out instead.

He chuckled and ran the fingertips of the hand at her back all the way up her spine to where her neck curved into her head. “Sleep. You had a long day.”

“Don’t boss me around,” she said half-heartedly.

“I couldn’t if I wanted to.”

She tilted her face up to catch his gaze with hers. “Are you going to sneak out if I fall asleep?”

“Not a fuckin’ chance. My place smells like burnt food.” He lifted his chin up to press a kiss to her forehead. “Besides, I wanna wake up right here tomorrow morning.”

She smiled with warmth in her eyes that stole the breath from his lungs. “Good,” she whispered.

Chapter Text


“And it’s hard enough, keeping my head above the ground because your touch, your touch, your touch is pulling me under.” - Kevin Garrett (Pulling Me Under)

Darcy held her breath as she looked through the scope. She was positioned on top of an office building almost five blocks away from HYDRA’s current hideout in Connecticut. There were two other members of the sniper teams on other buildings a few blocks north. She had a great view of the loading dock of the unused warehouse. She also had a great view of a jerk who was aiming a gun at her boyfriend's head.

She exhaled and pulled the trigger. It took a fraction of a second for the bullet to reach its target. The man crumpled to the ground. She looked through the scope to make sure she'd hit her mark. HYDRA thug with a gun was out of commission. The radio he’d been holding to alert HYDRA was lying in a puddle by his hand.

Her earpiece crackled to life. “Sweetheart, was that you?”

Darcy smiled at the sound of Bucky's voice. “Of course. I'm not letting some asshole try to shoot my man.”

Bucky laughed softly. “I owe you one when we get home.”

“Oh yeah? What do you owe me, Barnes? Do I get to pick my reward?”

“I was thinkin’ I'd do that thing with my tongue you like. You know, the one where I use that purple toy you keep in the nightstand.”

“This is an open channel,” Steve said. “Can you two tone it down? Or better yet, knock it off?”

“Hey, I kinda wanna hear about the purple thing with the tongue,” Clint said over the radio. “Always looking for ideas to spice things up in the bedroom.”

“Wait, is the purple thing that vibrator with the ridges we saw in the back room of that record shop?” Natalia asked. “I was thinking of getting one. Does it work?”

“Does it ever,” Darcy replied, only slightly embarrassed.

“We are not discussing sex toys while a mission is in progress. Focus, please,” Steve told everyone.

“My tongue ain't a sex toy,” Bucky replied.

Darcy laughed. “Well, it kinda feels that way sometimes.”

“Lewis!” Steve snapped in his Captain America voice. “No more talk of tongues.”

“Steve needs some pointers,” Clint said. “He's feeling left out.”

“I know how to use my tongue,” Steve said.

“But do you use the purple thing?” Nat asked him.

“I don't need the purple thing.”

“Wooo, Cap, so feisty tonight,” Darcy chimed in, making Bucky laugh.




They wrapped up the mission and landed the quinjet on the rooftop pad right before sunrise. Fury was waiting for them to debrief in the conference room before they could go their separate ways. While Darcy was talking to Nat, Bucky disappeared, returning a couple minutes into the debriefing. He normally took these meetings seriously, so she wasn't sure why he had run off and walked in late.

She glanced over at him in the seat next to her, a questioning look on her face. He just grinned and turned his eyes back to the front of the room. “What are you smiling about,” she murmured under her breath as she leaned into his personal space.

Bucky leaned back in his chair and threw his left arm over the back of hers so he could rub her neck. He didn’t answer her question, though. It made anticipation and desire curl up low in her abdomen. He was definitely up to something, and that almost always meant that she could expect an orgasm before they managed to get back to her place.

Her place was actually more like their place at this point. They’d been seeing each other for almost a year, and he’d pretty much moved into her apartment. She couldn’t even remember the last time he’d slept at Steve’s place. Sharing a place didn’t preclude them from pulling each other into empty offices or bathroom stalls when the mood struck. There had been one particularly memorable evening early on in their relationship when Bucky had caught her working late and fucked her on the desk outside Fury’s office with the door to the hallway open. They’d gone from furtive and secretive about their little trysts to being very willing to show their affection. That didn’t mean that she wanted to get caught banging on a desk by Fury or anyone else, though.

The meeting wrapped up, and Bucky turned her chair around to face him. “Did I thank you for taking out that HYDRA agent for me?” he asked softly. She swept her gaze over his beard–which he’d grown out recently–to the tactical vest that was unzipped to reveal a skin-tight Under Armour shirt beneath. Sometimes when she looked at him, she couldn’t believe that he wanted her. She’d stopped questioning it, though. Bucky was always very willing to show her in great detail why he wanted her.

“I don’t believe you actually thanked me. You just told everyone you were going to make me come.”

His eyes looked almost predatory when he licked his lips and said, “That ain’t news. I always make you come.”

She laughed softly. “You do.”

The room was almost empty, and Darcy had an idea of where this was going. He was delaying, trying to keep her from leaving. To toy with him, she stood up. Bucky’s curled his cybernetic arm around her waist and pulled her into his lap. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“Home, so you can make me come,” she told him, shifting on his lap to make herself more comfortable. His cock was already hard and pressed down the leg of his cargo pants. She could feel it against the back of her thigh.

“Hey! I don’t want either of your naked asses on my conference table!” Fury yelled over his shoulder. He was the last person out the door, leaving Bucky and Darcy alone.

“Yes, sir,” Bucky replied.

“Gotcha, boss!” Darcy added.

Once they were alone, Bucky tilted his chin up and pulled her into a kiss with his hand on the back of her head. She slipped her tongue along his, tasting the wintergreen gum he sometimes chewed while he was out on missions. As the kiss devolved into a messy battle of lips and tongues, he let his hands roam restlessly over the curves and dips of her body.

“Don’t start something you can’t finish,” she whispered into his open mouth when he tried to nip at her lip.

“Oh, I’ll finish it,” he said, working a hand between her thighs.

Darcy shifted on his lap, but she wasn’t sure if she was trying to make it easier or harder for him to gain access to her sex. Really, she was probably just so worked up that she couldn’t sit still. “Fury said no naked asses on his conference table.”

“I ain’t even gonna take your pants off, sweetheart,” he whispered in her ear.

Darcy shifted again and shoved her hand into one of his pants pockets. Nothing. She twisted at her waist and checked the other. Nothing there either. “What did you go get?”

Bucky looked up at her with not-so-innocent eyes. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

She rolled her eyes and checked the larger pocket that went down the outside of his thigh. Nothing. “Ugh, you have too many pockets in these pants.”

His lips twitched up into a grin. “You gonna strip search me?”

“If I have to. What are you up to?”

She twisted again and tried to work her hand into the second pocket on his left leg. Bucky grabbed her wrist and stood up, taking her with him in the process. He rarely demonstrated his strength, usually going out of the way to avoid using it to his advantage. When he did use it on her, she always lost her breath, because it was just so unbelievable that he had all that power hiding under his skin. This time was no exception. He manhandled her right to her feet, turning her until she faced the table.

He pushed up behind her and pressed her palms flat against the dark wood of the conference table. “Keep your hands here,” Bucky whispered in her ear.

Darcy pushed her ass back into his crotch and said, “Or what? You gonna spank me, Barnes?”

He released her right hand and moved his hand back to grab her ass. “Maybe I will. Don’t tempt me.” The way his hot breath curled around her ear in the chilly conference room made Darcy feel like she was in heat. “You gonna be a good girl and keep your hands on the table?” he asked.

She smiled to herself and said, “Maybe. Depends on what you’ve got in mind.”

“Why do I put up with your attitude?” he murmured, letting go of her other hand, trusting that she’d keep both of them where they were. He’d put her hands just far enough out that she was slightly bent over the table. The edge of it hit her across the thighs, just a few inches below the apex.

“Thought my attitude turned you on,” she teased.

“Oh, yeah,” he said, reaching around her and flipping open the button on her cargo pants. “That’s why I put up with you.”

“And you love me,” she teased.

“I do,” he agreed, kissing her earlobe before taking it between his lips. “I do love you.” His voice was soft. It was something he’d just recently started saying, and he wasn't completely comfortable with it yet. She’d told him how she felt months ago, but Bucky couldn’t seem to get his tongue to form those words then. Instead, he’d showed her in other ways how he felt. Last month she’d walked through the door just like every other day. He’d been sitting on the couch, looking like he had terrible news. The terrible news was that he loved her. She’d laughed at him until he’d laughed at himself and how much he’d built those words up to be intimidating and scary. They were just words, and she’d known how he felt all along.

“I love you, too, you sneaky bastard. What’s in your pocket?” she said, looking over her shoulder. He took the opportunity to kiss her lips while he unzipped her pants. When he pulled back, catching her lower lip between his teeth, she wiggled her ass back into him. He pulled away. “I know you pushed me off your lap because I was about to find you out,” she accused.

Bucky chuckled and fished something out of that pocket she had been about to explore, but he wouldn’t let her see it. Instead, he slipped his hand inside her undone pants and underneath her panties. Her breath hitched when the rough pads of his right hand brushed over her clit and spread her lips.

“Oh, fuck. Bucky…” she muttered when she felt him press something inside her. She knew immediately it wasn’t his finger. It was just a little too wide in the middle. “What is that?”

“Apparently, it’s unnecessary,” he said with his lips against the shell of her ear. “You’re already soaking wet for me. You know how much I love when you’re ready for me like that, don't you, sweetheart?”

“Uh huh,” she said, dropping her head and closing her eyes.

“I got half a mind to just pull your pants down and fuck you right here.”

“Yes,” she agreed, lost in the feeling of his index finger, teasing her.

“Yes, you wanna get fucked?”

“Yes, Bucky. Yes.”

“Maybe, if you keep your hands right there.”

She opened her mouth to respond, only realizing that she’d completely forgotten about that little thing he’d slipped up into her a few moments ago. Well, she’d forgotten about it until he flipped some switch and the damn thing lit her up as it started vibrating. Her locked elbows gave in and so did her knees as she tried to squeeze her thighs together and turn away from his hand. His touch was suddenly overwhelming.

His left hand reached around and moved her hands back to where he’d put them a few moments ago. He used his hips to pin her against the edge of the table. She couldn't stop a strangled cry as he pushed the pad of his index finger down on her clit and kicked the vibration up a notch.

“How's that feel, sweetheart?” Bucky murmured in her ear. “Think I can make you come with your pants still on?”

“Uh huh,” she agreed, squeezing her eyes shut.

“You're so fuckin’ wet. When we get home, I'm gonna eat you so good.”

“Oh god,” she muttered, overwhelmed at the sensations--his voice low in her ear, his fingers working her clit, that little vibrator setting her on fire.

“Say my name, sweetheart.”

“Bucky. Bucky…” When he got her worked up like this he could ask her for anything and she'd acquiesce without fail. He knew his power, but he never asked for much beyond his name or for her to tell him what she wanted, what she needed. That was usually the same thing: him.

He used the remote for the toy to increase the speed again. It was almost too much, almost painful, especially when he rolled her clit between his thumb and forefinger like he would one of her nipples.

“Bucky! Oh, fuck…”

He gentled his touch, gathering her juices and using them to slick up her nub. He rubbed up one side of it and down the other. Her focus narrowed to the throbbing, aching spot right between her legs. Two more passes of his finger over her clit sent her careening over that cliff. She tried and failed to choke back her breathy cry of pleasure.

He gave her less than five seconds to recover before he jerked the vibrator out and pulled her pants down just enough to slide his cock up inside her from behind. It was a difficult angle for him. With the height difference, he had to bend his knees to enter her. She didn't have much time to consider that because he was going hard and fast.

“Keep your hands on the table while I fuck you,” he growled in her ear. His left hand came up to wrap around her neck, his thumb under one side of her jaw and his index finger under the other. The metal was cool to the touch. She wondered if she was a little sick to enjoy when he got a little aggressive like this, when he held her down with that cybernetic hand. None of it, not even the loose grip he had on her neck, scared her because she knew he'd never hurt her.

She needed to keep her hands on the table if she wanted to stay on her feet. It was the only thing besides his hand on her neck giving her stability.

“I love the way you feel, sweetheart. You take my cock so good,” he whispered as he pressed an open-mouthed kiss to the tender skin behind her ear. She gasped when he moved his right hand off her hip and slipped it back down to her pussy. “You gonna come again for me, Darcy?”

His dirty mouth always went a long ways toward getting her off. She moaned as he rocked into her, pushing the front of her thighs up against the edge of the conference table. His rhythm was faltering because he was close. So was she, and so soon after the first. He definitely had amazing instincts for what flooded her panties. Darcy nodded, unable to speak.

Bucky’s metal hand moved up to grip her chin so he could slide the index finger between her lips. She sucked on the metallic digit, twirling her tongue around it. He was working her clit, going up and down the sides like he knew she loved. His cock filled her up each time he thrust into her.

“You gonna come all over me, sweetheart? Get my cock all wet? Come on, Darcy. Give it to me. I'm so fuckin’ close. Gonna fill you up, sweetheart. Is that what you want? You want me to come inside--”

His torrent of dirty talk threw her head first into a violent orgasm that ripped a feral cry from her throat. His thrusts became shallow as her pussy clamped down on him, trying to pull him deeper.

“Ah, fuck. Darcy,” he grunted before he came so hard she could feel his cock jump inside her.

She tried to slow her breathing as she leaned more fully on the tabletop, resting her forearms on the surface. “Holy, fuck,” she muttered.

Bucky had draped himself over her but wasn't giving her much of his weight. “I know I said I'd do the thing with my to tongue and the purple toy, but I hope plan B was good.”

“Plan B was better than plan A. Plan B was top notch.”

He slipped himself out of her and tucked his cock back in his pants. By the time Darcy pushed herself up to a standing position, he was recovered enough to use his hands on her hips to turn her to face him. She looked down and watched him tenderly pull her pants back up and fasten them.

“Let me see the toy,” she said.

Bucky grinned and pulled the little egg-shaped vibrator out of his pocket. It had a silicon cord attached to one end so you could pull it out easily. Before she could take it from his hand, he slipped it into his mouth and rolled his tongue over it. “Mmm, tastes like you,” he said when he pulled it out.

“You’re so bad,” she said, laughing.

He dropped the toy into her open palm and produced the remote that went along with it. A press of the button turned the vibrator on, and Darcy watched it move across her hand.

“This is dangerous,” Darcy told him.

“I know,” Bucky agreed, bending down to kiss her neck. “What do you say we see if I can make you come during a meeting?”

Darcy’s eyes widened. “No way. You and your super soldier buddy have excellent hearing, and I do not need Captain America to know you've got a vibe in my panties.”

Bucky turned the toy off and pocketed it again. “Point taken. I'll just have to take you out to dinner and try it. Maybe get you all hot for me so I can have you for dessert.”

“You know, it's really cute that you still think you gotta try to get me all wet for you.” Darcy laid the pad of her index finger on his chest and dragged it down to his stomach. “Wet is my default setting when you walk in the room.”

Bucky laughed and placed a hand on hers, pressing her palm against his chest. “I hope you know how much I love you, sweetheart.”

“I might have some idea,” she told him. “Wanna take me home and make up for all the sex we missed out on for the past week while on that mission?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Bucky agreed. “Lead the way.”