Tough Love

*I Started Writing This Before Civil War Came Out*

After finding Bucky in an abandoned warehouse with his arm stuck in a machine, Sam and Steve take him to Tony to get his arm fixed up. Almost immediately, the realize that fixing Bucky is going to be harder than they expected. He doesn't know who he is, can't do anything for himself, and barely talks. He see's Steve as his handler, which isn't how Steve wants to be seen.
Bucky slowly learns to trust Steve, talking more, and, eventually, he learns to love.

~OR~

Bucky is super fucked up and Steve just wants what's best for him.
(Cover art belongs to its owners, and cover made on the Moldiv app)

*Battle of the Fandoms Comics Entry*

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11. Chapter Ten

Bucky's POV

When Steve had shown me my bed, I didn't know what to do. Normally I was supposed to strip down and lay on top of it at the order of my handler, but Steve never told me to do that. Instead, he had me lay in it and then didn't crawl in with me.

When I had to use my I.V., Steve didn't just jab it into the most prominent vein in my wrist, he either carefully put the needle in the crook of my arm, or let me put it in myself.

Steve lets me take showers to get clean, as many as I want, not just spraying me down with a hose to get all the blood and dirt off of me.

Steve let me eat, not just survive off of I.V.'s. He and Sam started me off on simple soups like chicken broth and tomato before moving on to things like chicken noodle and then eventually heavier things like vegetable and meat soups.

I'd tried an apple a while ago, but I threw it up almost immediately, and Steve didn't get mad. He didn't punish me. He even let me try it again a few days later and things went better.

When Tony accidentally whipped me, and I accidentally hurt Steve, Steve was very understanding. He didn't punish me for choking him, or for locking myself in the bathroom, or for anything else I might've done to wrong him. Steve is nice. He's a nice handler.

Natasha has visited twice. The first time she pulled my hair back and spoke to me in Russian, the second time we talked, or she talked, about her experience in the Red Room. The Red Room sounded familiar, and I told her that, and she went on to explain it in more detail for me.

Natasha told Steve, and then Steve had explained it to me, that SHEILD knows about me but not my exact location, and it was her job to be the messenger between us and the government. She said that she'll be keeping them updated on my recovery and that my extraction was not necessary, which made me grateful. Natasha was nice. She was a friend.

Tony was a friend too. He had visited a few times to make sure Steve and I were okay, and he told me that, if it was okay with me, he'd make me a new arm. One that was lighter and had more sensors in it so it would feel more like 'the real thing,' as he put it. He took the measurements he needed and said that it might take a while, but he'd do his best to get it done quickly. I told him thank you.

Steve, even though he was my handler, was my favorite friend. He was nice and kind and understanding. Steve wasn't afraid of me, even when I wake up screaming. He'd come into my room and comfort me, up until he invited me to sleep in his room, which I did. It had taken me a few nights to build up the courage to, but one night when I was too afraid of my nightmares to sleep, I went to Steve's room.

I entered his room silently, trying hard to not wake him up. I was on edge about waking him up since previous handlers had reacted negatively to that.

As I sat on the floor, resting my back against the wall and my right hand on the gun that was tucked into my sweatpants, I thought about Steve.

I wondered if he'd take me into bed, like my other handlers had, and prove his love to me. I hoped that he would, but I wasn't going to ask to go to the bed, that wasn't my place.

Past handlers had only waited a matter of days before showing their love for me, and none had waited longer than a week. The fact that I'd been with Steve for about two weeks now started to worry me, and bad thoughts invaded my mind. Ones about how he must find me unattractive, or how he really doesn't love me.

It took until Steve moved in his sleep for my thoughts the change.

I thought about how Steve was the nicest handler that I could remember ever having. He seemed to care for me a great deal more than the others ever did and he spends a lot more time with me than the others ever would.

This was also the longest consecutive time I've ever spent with one of my handlers, which made me happy. I liked spending time with Steve.

With that thought in my mind, I fell asleep.

~~~

I woke up to a sound. It was just some mumbling, but there was something off about it. It sounded sad, scared.

As I got up, a noticed a blanket over my shoulders and vaguely remembered Steve putting it around me. That was nice of him. He takes good care of me.

When I saw tears on Steve's face and him shivering, I knew I had to do something. I would take whatever punishment he would give me for waking him up, but I didn't like seeing him like this; like he was in pain.

"Steve," I said loudly, nearing him. He didn't react to my word. "Steve!" I shouted. He opened his eyes, looking up at me. "Are you okay?" I asked and he nodded as he sat up.

"Yeah," he said, running a hand through his hair, "It was just a nightmare."

My eyebrows ferried together in confusion. "You have nightmares too?"

He nodded. "Yeah, not as often as I used too, though."

I hesitated before speaking, unsure if I would get in trouble for asking what I said next; What he always asked me after I had a nightmare. "Do you want to talk about it?"

He smiled. "If you're willing to listen."

I was always willing to listen. "I am."

He started talking about this girl named Peggy, and him kissing her goodbye. For some reason, pictured her with brown doe eyes and brown wavy hair. It was a fairly clear picture I had formed in my head and I wasn't sure why.

He talked about getting onto the plane and how there was this glowing blue cube that was all powerful and deadly. I thought I remembered seeing weapons that shot blue bullets that caused people to dissolve or explode, but I wasn't sure where that thought came from.

When he finished talking, it seemed like he wanted to add something else, but he kept it back, and I respected that. It wasn't my place to push him for information; this wasn't an interrogation.

I felt bad that it was Hydra that had hurt him, that it was Hydra that had caused him to much pain. I knew that Steve was an enemy of Hydra, and part of him told me to kill him for that, but the majority of myself told me that I needed to protect him, that I needed to keep him safe. He was my handler after all, even if he wasn't Hydra. And I knew that if Hydra attacked Steve again, I would protect him with my life.

"I think I remember Shmidt," I whispered. "I think I remember watching him rip off his face, but it was really a mask and his actual face was red and he didn't have a nose." I also thought I remembered asking Steve if he had one of those but I held that back.

"That happened," he said, smiling. "Do you remember anything else that happened at that time?"

I closed my eyes and thought deeply, images flashed of orange fire and myself walking on a pillar that had fallen over, Steve waiting for me to cross and when I did, the pillar fell. When I was free to run, to be safe, I didn't take the chance. "There was fire," I said. "Everything was on fire. And you were there. I had the chance to leave, but I wouldn't leave you."

Steve's smile widened. "No, you wouldn't."

"Why didn't I leave you?" I asked, confused. "Why couldn't I leave? I remember that it felt like it wasn't even an option." Steve stayed quiet, and I closed my eyes again, thinking back.

I remembered helping him when he was sick and watching over him at all points in our lives. Then it clicked; it all made sense. I took care of him, I kept him safe and he took care of me too. "Were you my handler back then too?" I asked and Steve's face fell.

He took a breath like he was going to say something, but then he let it out and shook his head. I swear I could see that start of tears in his eyes, but before I could get a good look, Steve started blinking his eyes quickly and turned his face away.

He didn't say anything else and neither did I.

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