dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
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Car chase? Backseat shenanigans? Backseat shenanigans DURING a car chase? It's all up to you! This week's prompt:

A story that takes place entirely inside a vehicle.



Drivers, start your engines! This prompt runs until Saturday morning!

Filaments, part 1 (Steve/Bucky)

Date: 2016-04-01 09:36 pm (UTC)
alba17: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alba17
This was supposed to be porn on Steve’s bike, which I’ve always wanted to write, but it turned into an angst fest. Thanks, Bucky. Takes place during Civil War.

The bike rumbles and shakes between his legs. The seat’s long and sleek, buttery black leather, plenty of room for two big men as they roar down the narrow streets of the old city, Steve maneuvering the twists and turns with aplomb. The insistent motion, the proximity of Steve’s body stir up long-forgotten feelings that Bucky can’t think about right now; like cobwebs, he wipes them away.

Focus.

A suddenly loud engine makes him whip his head around, but it’s nothing.

“Still okay,” he yells into Steve’s ear over the throbbing of the bike. They’re back there, somewhere; maybe even up above. He keeps his ears peeled for a helicopter.

He holds Steve’s waist just under the leather jacket and the warmth of his friend’s body is reassuring. There are memories of Steve, old and buried, the archeology of childhood, but it’s all a mishmash, and with the fake memories they tried to implant, he doesn’t know what’s real and what isn’t. Flashes of happiness, Brooklyn streets full of peddler’s chants and rotting garbage, Fourth of July fireworks seen from a rooftop, cornsilk hair and the humid embrace of narrow shoulders. Holding on to Steve, actually touching him after all this time, there’s clarity, a glimmer of something real he can hang on to, but it’s just out of reach. If he could hold still for a few minutes, capture it, examine it, escape the relentless chase—

His defenses, a well-oiled mechanism, won’t allow it. Survival’s the game. Compartmentalization, he’s a pro at it, had to be or he wouldn’t have made it this long. Years of it have rendered him hard and thickened, a carapace. Technically, he’s free, at least for now, but he still feels like he’s imprisoned, a shell that might shatter at any moment. The tiniest, least suspicious stimuli might tip him over into an abyss out of which he’ll never climb.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.


The bike speeds up as Steve revs the engine. The road rushes under the tires. He can’t go back. He can’t. He tightens his grip on Steve’s waist.

####


They’re well out of the city, about an hour into the countryside before Steve says, “I’m pulling into that rest area up ahead. Gotta piss.”

Bucky raises his head from Steve’s shoulder and peers ahead through the dusk to see a wooded pull-out. It seems like they’re safe for the time being. There are no other vehicles and the road’s been pretty quiet for awhile, sending Bucky into a kind of trance, with the rumbling of the motorcycle and the warm bulk of Steve to lean on. His arms somehow migrated around Steve’s waist and he’s draped over Steve’s back like a blanket. Steve doesn’t seem to mind.

Bucky hasn’t been able to let go like that for so long. It’s strange and unnerving and he almost doesn’t know whether to trust it, like the bottom’s bound to fall out, leaving him naked and defenseless. Still, he feels a surge of gratitude to Steve and he doesn’t let go as Steve slows down and pulls into the rest area. Bucky scans the roadway and rest area for anything suspicious. No vehicles, as he’d first observed, but plenty of bushes and underbrush, thick, dark trees for cover, but everything looks as it should, no anomalies. His tension eases a fraction.

Steve turns his head to say, “You okay?”

That’s a loaded question. Of course he’s not okay. He’s probably never going to be okay. But he knows that Steve wants to know whether there’s anything Bucky needs at the moment, can he forge ahead. Does he have a choice? No. He can soldier on through pretty much anything, so he merely nods.

“You wanna stay here or come with me?”

Bucky furrows his forehead, not getting it.

“I just—are you okay here on the bike while I—?” Steve gestures to the bushes. Rest areas in this part of Europe are bare bones, just a turn out off the road.

“I’ll stay here.” He doesn’t need to go; he feels better staying on the bike, their only mode of transport. Steve’s treating him like fragile china. Bucky wonders about that. In a way, he likes it but he wishes Steve felt more comfortable around him. On the other hand, why should he? The Winter Soldier—Bucky—tried to kill him and Steve has to know he’s completely fucked up. For that matter, he doesn’t understand why Steve’s even helping him. A wave of emotion wells up, closing his throat and he swallows it down, training his gaze on a tree trunk at the edge of the clearing.

Steve’s all he’s got. Can’t let doubts creep in. He’s not used to—feeling anything, and it’s disorienting. While Steve disappears behind a bush—thankfully his head’s still visible, if Bucky couldn’t see him at all he’d have to go over there to make sure he’s okay—he gathers himself together, wipes away those cobwebs again.

Focus.

He’s grateful to Steve for helping him out but at the same time, Steve arouses uncomfortable reactions in him. He can sense, far below the surface, feelings that once wore deep grooves in his psyche slowly coming to life, like a long dormant machine whose gears have been oiled for the first time in a decade. He doesn’t know what the feelings mean or their exact nature, but they’re there, familiar yet buried, more archeology.

When Steve heads back to the bike, within arm’s reach again, Bucky’s surprised at how relieved he is. Whether it’s because they can get back on the road or because he needs Steve physically close, he’s not sure. He just knows he feels better when they’re together. Steve catches his gaze as he approaches the bike and for a moment they just look at each other. Bucky forgot how blue Steve’s eyes are. He’d almost forgotten what he looked like altogether until—Washington.

“Hey,” Steve says, standing there, a small grin playing at his lips.

“Hey.” Bucky continues staring, can’t stop. It’s the first time he’s gotten a good look at Steve since they've been on the run. He’s the same yet different, his stance and expression displaying a comfort in his body, in his self, that he didn’t have in the war. Well, it has been seventy years. Bucky snorted, thinking about that.

“What?”

“Seventy years. You ever think about that? The war was seventy years ago.”

Steve looks away, his mouth thins. “Sure. Of course.”

Bucky looks down at his hands, suddenly feeling awkward. He’s not that comfortable with small talk. Or any talk. For so long it was better to keep quiet, speak only when spoken to, only answer direct questions, not volunteer information. His life was pared down to the essentials, whatever was needed to complete a mission, nothing more, nothing less. He doesn’t know how to just—be. What is he supposed to say in this situation? How’s he supposed to act?

“Buck. I—“ Steve stops, puts his hands in his pockets, looks down at the ground and then up again, off into the distance. Whatever he was going to say, it looks like he isn’t. “We should get going.” He climbs back on the motorcycle and Bucky’s relieved to be back to the simple act of holding Steve by the waist, not having to look him in the face. Seems like maybe they both feel awkward.

####


They make it across the border and although there are no guarantees, Bucky feels a tad more confident, a greater distance between him and prison, death or worse. And he knows what worse is. On this leg of the journey, he consciously wrapped his arms around Steve’s waist in a full-body hug, emboldened by the dark as night fell. If he can’t talk to Steve, he can at least express himself physically. Actions are easier than words.

He has a sense that he used to be different, more gregarious. The way Steve looks at him, like he’s searching for the old Bucky. But of course, that person is long gone and he can’t do anything about it. The most he can hope for is to pull together the tattered pieces that are left.

They stop at a roadside restaurant. Steve goes in to get food and bring it out because Bucky’d rather stay outside on the bike, feels safer that way. While Steve’s getting the food, baseball cap pulled down so he’s not immediately recognizable, Bucky gets off to stretch his legs.

They eat sitting beneath a tree, grilled meat and rice with a little salad. The night’s clear, which is a god-send since they’re on the bike and not in a car.

“Lots of stars tonight,” Bucky observes. They’re sitting side by side and it’s easier to talk this way.

“Yeah, it’s amazing how many you can see out of the city.”

“I used to do that on missions, look up at the stars. Not much else to do. They were always there, wherever I went. Somehow I could remember the constellations, never seemed to get wiped.” He stops abruptly, as if he’s said something he shouldn’t, as if too many words came out of his mouth. Say too much and you get yourself in trouble.

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Steve turn towards him, can sense the weight of his expectation. “We used to look at them in the war. It was so different from at home, where you couldn’t see any. We were way out in the country, no lights at all and the sky was so clear, like nothing we’d ever seen before.” Steve’s shoulder gently presses against his. When he speaks again, his voice is quieter. “Do you remember?” A pause. “It’s okay if you don’t.”

Bucky tries. He searches the shreds of his memory. It’s like poking through somebody’s trash, bits of bills, orange peels, milk cartons. Unless you can fit the pieces together exactly, nothing makes any sense. He tries to remember. Some things he only knows from Steve’s Hydra file, that Project Rebirth took place during the war and remade Steve Rogers into a super soldier, that he himself fought in the war with Steve and the Howling Commandoes. He thinks he can remember what Steve used to look like before; the old Steve is still there, in his face and eyes, the sound of his voice. But the rest is like trying to catch a cloud in your hand, wisps with no substance, flotsam and jetsam floating up on the waves.

“No, I’m sorry, I don’t.” He can’t look at Steve, stares fixedly on the ground, not wanting to see the disappointment in his face.

Steve is still for a long moment, then he takes Bucky’s hand and squeezes it. Bucky sharply inhales, shocked despite the naturalness of the gesture. Nobody’s held his hand in—he can’t remember the last time. “That’s okay,” Steve says. “It’ll come.”

Bucky starts breathing faster, he doesn’t know why. Emotions flood him. He wants to jump up, run to the motorcycle and speed away. Or no, fling open the restaurant door and give himself up, as all the patrons spring up with guns in their hands, ready to bring him down. Maybe crash into the woods, on foot, away, away. Anywhere away from Steve’s hand, his big, giant stupid hand clasping Bucky's flesh one so it’s all warm and comforting, a balm to Bucky’s battered soul.

He clenches shut his eyes, feeling like he’s about to explode. But he doesn’t let go. Stays put even though he thinks he might be shaking, even though he might shatter into pieces any second.

Re: Filaments, part 2 (Steve/Bucky)

Date: 2016-04-01 09:37 pm (UTC)
alba17: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alba17
“Buck.” An arm around his shoulder, the styrofoam food container falling to the ground. “Buck, it’s okay.” Steve’s bulk surrounds him, his scent familiar after all this time and Bucky clings to that one fact like a beacon in a storm. He knows Steve’s smell and with eyes still closed, he turns into Steve’s body, into the haven of his arms and buries his face in Steve’s neck, his nose rubbing against Steve’s skin, where it’s warm and soft, where it smells like 1942, where he’s still Bucky Barnes who never killed anybody and didn’t want to, when all he had to worry about was saving Steve Rogers’ sorry ass from a beating by some punk in an alley.

Steve’s arms tighten around him and Bucky can feel his pulse beating wildly in his neck. Shrouded by the dark, the stars above them, they could be anywhere in the world, anywhere in time. Bucky's aware of nothing but Steve’s scent, Steve’s body, the thrum of Steve’s heart. And he clings to that. Without Steve, he's got nothing. He doesn't even have himself. Steve's his lodestone, his true north, and it's a fucking miracle that they found each other again.

He heaves a deep sigh and settles deeper into Steve's embrace. If they could just stay like this forever, forget everyone else, if they'd all just leave them alone...

"It'll get better," Steve says, mouth against Bucky's hair. "I promise."

"You don't know that," Bucky murmurs. "Don't make promises you can't keep." Just shut up, Rogers, he thinks. Never knew when to shut up.

Steve takes a deep breath, his chest falling and rising. "I'm promising." He lifts Bucky's chin with a finger, forcing Bucky to look at him. Opening his eyes, Steve's face is very close, his eyes glinting in the starry night. "This is my promise to you. I will do everything in my power so you can get better." His hand moves to cup Bucky's cheek. "I mean it."

"You're the biggest sap. Just get us out of this alive." Bucky's heart is swelling, chest about to burst and he wants to look away but he can't. Steve moves even closer and Bucky suddenly knows this isn't the first time this happened. It's familiar. He leans in to welcome Steve's kiss as their mouths meet. His pulse is frantic, emotions roiling, as memories come crashing in. Steve's mouth is soft yet insistent and Bucky is completely unmoored, aware only of the play of their lips and tongues against each other, the sensual push and pull, the grab and release.

"Steve," he gasps when they break for air.

"Sorry, was that okay? I was't thinking." Steve looks concerned. "It just felt right." His face breaks into creases. "I know you probably don't remember. I shouldn't have."

Bucky bites his lip. "No, I...actually do kind of remember. Not specifics, just...a feeling." He puts a finger on Steve"s lower lip. "Your mouth. The way it feels." He attempts a smile, even though he's halfway in shock. "It helps." Knowing this, about him and Steve, it's like reclaiming a part of himself. "I didn't know until now. That whole time I forgot about," he curls his mouth ruefully, "sex. They may have given me something to suppress it. I dunno. I just never felt those things." He pauses. "Jesus Christ. For seventy years."

Steve runs his fingers over Bucky's jaw, holds it lightly. "That's a long time."

"Yeah." It's almost too much to contemplate. They're silent for a moment, embracing softly, looking at each other. Bucky can feel the filaments of connection growing back. It brings him hope that maybe Steve is right, it will be better. This is his Steve; the phrase seems apt. He can almost remember him, the way he never gave up, the way he flung himself into danger to save others-- Bucky abruptly sits up. "You rescued me. From--Hydra, a hospital or something, there was a fire and you jumped, I said I wasn't gonna leave without you--" It's suddenly all there, in his mind, the rescue and the march back to camp with the rest of the Howling Commandoes, a new gigantic Steve at their head, Bucky's head swirling at his transformation, and something else, how he felt odd and-- his mind shuts down, won't let him go any farther. "What did they do to me?"

Steve looks pained. "I don't know. Nobody ever found out. You wouldn't talk about it."

Bucky leans back into Steve's embrace, suddenly exhausted. Steve rubs his arm comfortingly. A car pulls into the parking lot, its headlight sweeping over them and it jolts Bucky back to awareness of their situation. "We should get going."

"Yeah." Neither of them moves. Steve continues to rub Bucky's arm.

"Wish we didn't have to," Bucky says.

Steve sighs heavily. "Yeah." He kisses Bucky again, deeply, and Bucky's lost again, although part of him is listening for that car, for its passengers getting out, their steps to the restaurant, the stern command that Bucky put his hands up.

They part reluctantly and Steve picks up the food containers and disposes of them, then meets Bucky by the bike. Before they get on, Bucky draws Steve into a tight hug. "Thank you," he says into Steve's ear. "You're all I've got." It hurts to say it, but he wants to. It's the truth, one of the only things he's sure about.

"I'll always be here for you, Bucky." They part and clasp each other's arms briefly before getting on the bike. As the road takes them up into the mountains, Bucky holds Steve even tighter than before.

Re: Filaments, part 2 (Steve/Bucky)

Date: 2016-04-02 06:46 pm (UTC)
starmaki: Buck (cacw)
From: [personal profile] starmaki
After I read this I wanted to push the kudos button, but it wasn't there! This was really lovely! So moody and perfect. Thanks for sharing this!

Re: Filaments, part 2 (Steve/Bucky)

Date: 2016-04-02 07:03 pm (UTC)
alba17: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alba17
You do get used to that kudos button, don't you? You don't know how relieved I am to get some positive feedback. After I posted it, I was like, was that any good at all, no idea, lol. Was it just sentimental blather? I ran out of time and wrote in a rush. I just send it to a beta, heh.

Re: Filaments, part 2 (Steve/Bucky)

Date: 2016-04-02 11:40 pm (UTC)
livrelibre: DW barcode (Default)
From: [personal profile] livrelibre
This was lovely!

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