|The Pen is Mightier! (penismightier) wrote in chaotic_library,|
@ 2015-04-02 01:56:00
|Entry tags:||bucky barnes, marvel, pg-13, short story, steve rogers, y-500themes, yuuo, yuuo: marvel|
[Bucky Barnes; PG-13] Align The Compass With The Crosshairs
Character/Series: Bucky Barnes; Marvel Cinematic Universe
Notes: Written for theme "Fire and storm." Could be seen as background for Back To Where We Lasted, but also stands alone just fine.
Title: Align The Compass With The Crosshairs
Word Count: 1881
Summary: Life had turned pear-shaped on him somewhere along the way.
Life had turned pear-shaped on him somewhere along the way.
Being drafted and sent to the frontlines in Europe was far removed from his life plans, and came with a lot of self-change as it was, then Hydra came along, and the ... well, yeah. Zola. That was as far as he let his mind focus on that one.
But then there was Steve. Steve was no longer little Steve, he was now annoyingly big Steve, and now- just as annoyingly -Bucky's commanding officer. Better him than just about anyone else though, to be honest. There was still Colonel Phillips, but Steve was good at telling him- in polite Steve speak he could never get into trouble for -to fold his protests to what the Howling Commandos did into three corners and shove it up his ass.
Bucky had to hold in laughter every time he heard it.
But there was a looming problem that Bucky saw a good solution to, but it meant taking that concept of 'self-change' and carrying it to an extreme that involved basically turning his moral compass a hundred and eighty degrees without it starting to point south instead of north.
Between missions, Steve liked to float his way away from the others and doodle all manner of weird things in his sketchbook, although Bucky had noticed that the 'weird things' had turned into 'how many angles can we draw Peggy's face from without feeling like a lovesick teenager?' He had elected not to comment on it so far.
They were a good couple days' travel from their next target, and they were resting for the night between there and the last. Bucky decided that looming problem he was seeing coming on like a freight train needed to be addressed before they got too far into planning how to hit the next place, and that meant he had to make like the ghost Steve managed to be and float away next to him without the others really noticing too much.
"Hey, mind if I interrupt your portrait of a pretty lady?" Bucky asked, voice quiet, as he sat down next to Steve.
Steve turned red, adjusting how he held his sketchbook to hide his current piece against his chest. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Shit, Steve, you're a terrible liar," Bucky said. "And even if you weren't, you can't lie to me. When're you gonna ask her out?"
Looking surrendered to the discussion- Steve and Bucky took turns out stubborning each other, and it was usually obvious right away who was going to win, and Steve was not winning this one -Steve closed his sketchbook and set it down in front of him. "She said she wanted to go dancing after the war. I'll ask then."
"Yeah, I remember her saying that," Bucky said, his ego still feeling wounded. "But you know, she gave an unspoken invitation. Don't make her have to give an engraved one."
Steve made a face that used to be accompanied by a whine when they were much younger. Steve had outgrown the whining, but not the face. "I won't," he said. "You'll have to kick me in the pants when the time comes, though. I'm no good at talking to women."
Bucky rolled his eyes, tilting his head back in exaggerated to exasperation. "Steve, stop thinking of Peggy as just a woman that you want to ask out and think of her as a person you're interested in spending more time with. This isn't like the dates I would make for you, you already know her, she's already shown interest. Just approach her like you would anyone else."
The look Steve gave him was a touch beyond aggravated. "You're the one that tried to teach me how to ask women on dates, that is not how you taught me."
Bucky returned that glare with an level look. "Steve. Approaching strange women is a lot different from approaching one you've already made a connection with. My previous lessons don't apply here. And don't you dare listen to Howard, he's even worse than I am."
"I don't," Steve said. "Peggy untaught me anything he tried to very quickly."
That made Bucky laugh. "She doesn't approve of him?"
The way Steve shook his head made Bucky laugh even harder. Once Bucky had quieted a bit, Steve looked at his sketchbook. "So was Peggy all you came over here to harass me about, or were you just yearning for my company?"
"It can't be both?" Bucky gave him a shit-eating grin, then shrugged. "I got something on my mind yeah, but even if I didn't, I'd rather sit with you than the others. Although you should join us more often. Shooting the shit is just as good a way to destress as sitting alone with your drawings."
"What'd you have on your mind?" Steve said, ignoring Bucky's attempt at dodging his own subject.
Bucky glanced back towards the others. "Morita nearly took a shot to the ass this last place."
"He did." He was studying Bucky with that patient look that he had perfected since they were kids that annoyed Bucky to no end. He was waiting for Bucky to stop stalling.
"Steve, they can notify each other of what we're doing faster than we can get to them. They're already starting to set up front line defenses that we didn't encounter in the first couple. We need to change our tactic of 'break down the doors, shoot anyone who moves wrong, and blow the place up before Schmidt can catch up to piss on the flames.'"
Steve rested his elbows on the table. "I know. They're gonna start seeing us coming before we can see them."
"Exactly. And you're going to be their favorite and easiest target to hit. You wear the Star Spangled Banner, you don't exactly blend in." Bucky raised his eyebrows in a pointed fashion, inviting Steve to try to argue when they both knew he couldn't.
Steve made that not-whining face again. "I like the uniform. But, okay, you're right, it's pretty low on stealth. What're you suggesting?"
Bucky hesitated. If he said his idea, he was committing himself to it, and while he'd put a lot of thought into it, that didn't mean he liked it. "We need a sniper. Someone who can scout the area ahead of the others, and then keep an eye on the area that everyone's wandering into. Pick off guards that we're not seeing."
Something in Steve's expression said that he knew exactly who Bucky was going to be volunteering for the ugly duty, and it made Bucky insides squirm a bit. "That's a good idea, yeah," he agreed, speaking a bit slower than strictly necessary, Bucky thought. "You got any suggestions for who?"
Bucky wasn't sure if he was grateful or not that the dumb punk was forcing him to spit it out on his own. "Me."
Steve's expression didn't change, and Bucky's insides weren't appreciating it. "Bucky, you're a pacifist."
"Used to be," Bucky said. "And a realistic one, I knew fighting wasn't always avoidable. But I'm a soldier now. I don't get the luxury of it. And I'm having to keep an eye on you when you run around the woods with a big red, white, and blue target painted on you."
Steve looked torn on what part of Bucky's statement to address first, the serious part, or Bucky's wisecrack about the uniform. "There's a difference between being a soldier and being a sniper."
"Yeah, I know," Bucky said. "I'd be lookin' them in the eye. But damnit, Steve, you're gonna get yourself killed if someone's not watching out for you. Just because you're all big and strong now doesn't change that." He ground his teeth together. "Sorry. It's not my favorite idea, but it's a good one." Before Steve could get out more than a facial protest, Bucky shoved his finger in Steve's face. "And don't you dare deny that."
Steve gave that finger a very pointed look that promised death if it didn't get out of his face. When Bucky lowered it, Steve sighed. "I won't. But why can't one of the others do it?"
"Because it's my idea," Bucky said. "I'm not going to wish this job on someone else if I'm not willing to do it."
"And you don't trust anyone else to watch my back as much as you do." He said that as something between a question and a statement of a matter of fact.
"Should I?" Bucky demanded, feeling a bit waspish. He knew that his time as Hydra's POW had shortened his temper somewhat, especially in matters involving Hydra and how he and the others were going to set fire to every one of their many heads, and he was torn between wanting to apologize for taking that out on Steve, and wanting to challenge anyone who said he didn't have the right to that short fuse.
If Bucky's aggressive reply had bothered Steve, he didn't show it. He understood. He was the only one that knew all of what happened. Bucky hadn't even reported everything to Phillips. If Steve had passed it along as necessary intel, he hadn't told Bucky about it, and it'd appreciate it if it stayed that way.
"No, I suppose not." Steve looked back at his sketchpad for a few long moments, then looked back at Bucky. "Are you sure about this? We'll put in for a good sniper rifle right away if you are."
Bucky had to take in a deep breath to kill the last of the unhappy feeling in his stomach over the idea. "I'm sure. I can fire off the first shots, you guys can storm the castle. I'll be hiding and out of reach, I'll be fine. And I can make sure you and the others are, too."
"And just how much of that concern is for the others?" Steve asked.
Bucky shot him a sour look. "Don't think you're my sweetheart or anything," he said. "But, okay, yeah. It's mostly you I'm concerned about. It's not Captain America I'm following around, remember? You're still that little guy from Brooklyn, and as long as you're still too dumb to run away from a fight, you still need the other kid from Brooklyn to watch your back for you."
Steve put a hand on Bucky's shoulder, squeezing it in an affectionate gesture. "All right. I'll talk to Colonel Phillips in the morning, get one requisitioned." Then he gave Bucky a stern look that managed to be pleading all at once. "If this turns out to be too hard, tell me. We'll figure out a different plan without you losing face with the guys."
"I know," Bucky said. "But it won't." Whatever it took to protect Steve. It was illogical, but it was like Steve had become the only thing standing between Bucky and Hydra when he helped him out of that lab. Until they could get back to the world where things made sense and Hydra was gone, Bucky was going to hold onto that safety as tight as he could.
If that meant sacrificing his moral code, so be it.