You sat on the leather couch, wrapped to your chin in blankets. Snow fell gently to the ground outside, and the moon shone brightly on the crisp winter night. It was late, too late for anyone else in the compound to be awake; yet there you were.
You had some cheesy Christmas movie playing on the big screen in front of you, but you weren’t really paying attention. Your mind was elsewhere.
The mission had been hard. What was supposed to be a simple recon gig turned into a full-blown firefight in the blink of an eye. You, Sam, and Wanda had felt pretty confident in yourselves on the ride to the mission site, but the ride back was eerily quiet. Sam had a broken arm and a concussion; Wanda took a bullet to the leg. You remembered how angry she was at herself as you held her leg, shielding her from the barrage of bullets.
“I cannot believe I got shot, why didn’t I just move the bullet?!” She had yelled, her eyes wide with shock and anger.
You kept pressure on her leg. You knew how scared she was, and that saying anything would just make it worse.
You didn’t get off as easy as the others, unfortunately. A Hydra grunt had sucker punched you in the ribs, cracking two and leaving you with a massive purple bruise. You caught two bullets in your left shoulder and your right hip while you shielded Wanda. Another accident she beat herself up for. You had promised her that it wasn’t her fault, and it really wasn’t.
Even though the three of you were seriously roughed up, and the mission had gone ass-backward, nothing was more painful than when you saw Bucky. He was standing on the edge of the helipad, like he always did when you came back from a mission. You remembered that he was holding a lovely bouquet of your favorite flowers, as a big smile sat on his handsome face. You hated seeing that beautiful smile fall when he saw you, bandaged messily and full of bullets, eyelids hanging low with exhaustion from blood loss. He had dropped the flowers and appeared next to you in a blink, asking questions a mile a minute. He had carried you to the med bay, and you remembered the feeling of his tears dropping onto your face. You hated that you were too weak to wipe them away.
Now, five days later and full of pain medicine, you sat in the common room, watching a plot-less Christmas movie by yourself. Bucky had insisted that he joined you, but he hadn’t slept since you got back, and the bags under his eyes were getting too dark. Even as you sat on the couch, the muted beating of remnants of pain flowing through you, you knew he was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. He was such a stubborn man, especially when it came to you. He wouldn’t sleep until you were there with him, fully healed and happy.
You sighed deeply and grabbed your phone. The thought of him lying awake all night made your heart hurt in the way only he could make it hurt. You texted him, asking him to join you. He responded almost instantly, and you could hear the sound of his door opening and closing.
You smiled as you heard his footsteps advance towards you. For a master assassin, he walked like a bear in the woods. Soon enough, his figure appeared in the doorway, and a caring smile rose to his lips as he looked at you.
“Hey, doll.” He said.
His voice held a raspy quality, and you hoped that he had managed at least an hour of sleep.
“Hi.” You replied, as he gingerly joined you on the couch, making sure not to disturb any of your injuries.
“You doin’ okay?” He asked, as he pressed a gentle kiss to your temple.
“I’ve got a lot of pain meds going on, so you bet.” You grinned, reaching up and stroking his stubbly chin.
He looked at you for a long moment, concern written all over his face. Suddenly, his beautiful eyes filled with tears, which he attempted to blink away. You wrapped your arms around his neck and gently pulled him into your chest. He instinctively wrapped his arms around your waist, careful not to disturb your injured ribs. You pressed a kiss to the top of his head.
“I’m okay, my love,” You cooed, as he quietly cried into your sweater, “I’m here with you. I’m not leaving. I’m not dying.”
He had been through too much for any person to handle. His heart was so fragile, and you knew that whenever you went on a mission, he would pace around the compound like a dog waiting for its owner. He had lost too much, and you needed him to know that he could never lose you.
“I love you so much, James. You know that, right?” You asked, as he slowly sat up. You wiped the stray tears from his face.
“I do,” He sniffled, composing himself, “I really do.”
You gave him a kind smile. Slowly, you held out both of your hands.
“I’m here with you, James. I want you to press down on my hands so you know for sure.”
This was an exercise that you both did after one of you had a particularly rough mission. It was meant to ground both of you, and it was especially effective whenever Bucky had a panic attack. It helped him to know for sure that you were there, and that this was real, not another Hydra scam.
He placed both his hands on yours and began to gently press down.
“You’re here. You’re okay,” He said, just above a whisper, “You love me.”
“I am, and I do.” You replied, as you held his hands in yours.
“I love you, too.” He lifted your hands to his mouth, kissing both of them gently.
You moved your hands from his lips to cradle his face, and pulled him towards you, planting a slow, tender kiss to his lips. You pulled away after a few moments, and looked at him with loving eyes.
“You are my treasure, James.” You said, and you felt your heart swell with all the love you had for him.
His bright eyes crinkled at the corners as he smiled, and he pulled you back in for another kiss.
“And you’re mine, [y/n].” He replied after you had parted.
And you knew it was true.