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Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 01-07-2018

Bucky had no intention of being caught in the rain- it had simply happened that he was distracted long enough to find that his path back to the place he was staying (he hesitated to call it 'his' even though it had been built from Steve's memories of the place) was quite sodden. He pulled his jacket over his head to prevent the water dripping too much into his eyes. Of course- being able to see that clearly meant that he could clearly notice Steve sitting on a bench in the pouring rain doing literally nothing to leave that position.

Bucky groaned despite himself, eyes rolling so thoroughly that his head rolled a little with it. He marched up to the idiot wasting his health and cuffed him on the back of the head. Reaching down and grabbing the idiot's arm, he hoisted him to his feet regardless of whether or not he had opinions of that. "Come on Steve. I know- I know. You're a super soldier- but that is no excuse for inviting sickness." He began lecturing as he dragged the man in to the nearest building. Thankfully it was the one he lived in, so he could force the man to change into warm clothes if nothing else. "Is this a tony thing? Because it's bad enough staying in a different reality just because you have feelings- Which if I haven't mentioned yet today- real dumb- but trying to destroy your health? Would anyone who cared about you- yes Tony included- want to see you unwell?" He grumbled, yanking the door open with perhaps a bit more force than strictly necessary. The door handle deformed slightly which Bucky grimaced at.

Pulling Steve in behind him, Bucky turned to continue his tirade before meeting the gaze of someone who was distinctly not his Steve. Bucky sighed and ducked his head, pushing his hand through his hair and loosing his grip on the other man. "I want to apologize for accosting you despite you not knowing me- In my defense you look much more like my best friend than I was really anticipating. Though I suppose Steve did mention there was more than one of him. Also in my defense- I'm sure your Bucky would lecture you too." Bucky said as his face went from apologetic to angry again as he once again whacked the other man's head. "Truly- what were you doing, other Steve? Do you at least have a good excuse for sitting in the rain? Like your water was out and you needed a shower- which is a terrible excuse- but still better than sitting there because you were having 'emotions' that you could certainly have inside where it's not damp and cold."

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-07-2018

Steve sits out in the rain, oblivious to the icy water dripping down his back. It's been days and Mr. Stark still hasn't reconfigured the portal to open so they can rescue Bucky. He wants to storm into his lab and demand that he open it right this second, but he knows that that isn't how science works and that Mr. Stark is doing his best. So instead he sits here and reminisces. It had started out happy, but had rapidly morphed into something that Steve was pointedly not referring to as a "pity party."

His not pity party, however, is forcibly interrupted by a man with a metal arm. He then begins scolding Steve and rambling on about Tony. There's something vaguely familiar about the man. Should he know this man? His bothers Steve that he can't quite place it. Like there is a part of him screaming at him that he should be able to.

Then the man meets his eye and grimaces, apologizing briefly. So he's from the other Steve's universe. That still doesn't help Steve place him, though it does explain the (probably well deserved) scolding.

"Also in my defense- I'm sure your Bucky would lecture you too."

Steve feels like he's been punched in the gut. He takes a closer look. The man is older than his Bucky and his hair is a few shades darker, he also has a freaking metal arm, but the eyes are the shade of blue and the smile is the one that has haunted Steve's memories for months.

Steve doesn't hear anything else Bucky says. "Bucky" he whispers and then all but throws himself at him, capturing him in a tight hug. Steve buries his face into Bucky's shoulder, because this Bucky is almost as tall as him. "Bucky" he mumbles again, unable to think of anything more intelligent to say. And somewhere in the back of his mind he knows that this isn't his Bucky, but he's a Bucky and right now Steve just wants to enjoy the moment of basking in the presence of a Bucky Barnes.

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 01-07-2018

Bucky froze solid for a good ten seconds before he came to terms with what was happening. Awkwardly bringing his arms up around the other man Bucky gave a brief hug- until the it became clear that this Steve was not about to let go. With a sigh, Bucky pulled him in properly and started rubbing Steve's back to try and comfort him. "Yes Steve." He confirmed when the other man remained fixated on the fact that this was in fact Bucky.

"You must be 1960's Steve- meaning you haven't gotten your Bucky back yet." He mumbled to himself, quite willing to share his body heat with the other man until he got his mind back. Bucky patted him on the back a few more times. "There There. It'll all be okay." Using the full force of his arms, Bucky pushed Steve far enough off to meet his eyes. "I'm happy to sit and talk for as long as you need Steve- but my apartment is just upstairs so let's go and get some towels and dry clothes for now- alright?"

Bucky began walking backwards towards the stairs to try and herd Steve rather than pull him along with him. This poor variant seemed quite distressed by seeing Bucky again and so Bucky figured he'd try to make it easier for him and remain facing him for the time being.

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-07-2018

Steve feels arms encircle him, pressing him tightly to a broad warm chest. Bucky's chest was never that broad and his arms were never this strong. This is a grown man, easily as old as himself before him, not the boy he had last seen. At least he has Bucky's good natured patience as he let's Steve cling to him for a little while longer.

Finally he gently pushes Steve away so they could look at each other properly. Steve's eyes drift to the shiny metal arm. This Bucky lost an arm! Did it hurt? How did he lose it? Did his Bucky also lose an arm?? Steve pulls his eyes away when Bucky starts talking.

Apartment. Dry clothes. Talking. All sounded good. Bucky backs up slowly, maintaining eye contact like he's dealing with a frightened animal who may bolt. Steve follows him easily. As if he would let Bucky out of his sight now.

They make it up the stairs and into the apartment. Once inside Steve is overcome with how uncomfortable the situation is. He doesn't know this man in front of him, not really. He should apologize for practically tackling him and leave so other Bucky can get back to his day. He doesn't need to comfort a grieving Steve Rogers who isn't actually his Steve. Especially not when his Steve is running around the hub somewhere, not even properly appreciating that his Bucky is alive and well. He just can't make his legs move.

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 01-16-2018

Bucky couldn't help but be vaguely amused but the concerned looks this Steve was giving his arm- his Steve had all but ignored it. Though admittedly he had more pressing things to focus on when the two had been reintroduced- the fact that Bucky was trying to kill him for one. The soldier held back a shrug, he'd answer questions if this cap asked- but Bucky knew that the other man was from a world where he took care of Bucky (not the other way around) and the assassin couldn't help but try and spare him the gruesome details of what may have happened to his friend.

He almost felt bad for showing up in front of this Steve- forcing the man to come face to face with what he'd lost. Hell- most people he'd met from worlds with Buckys- had a whole mess of complicated feelings regarding them. Entering his apartment, he disappeared for a moment- returning to find that Steve hadn't moved an inch- seeming ill at ease in the not quite 1940's apartment. Bucky suppressed a sigh.

He walked up to the other man and flipped a towel on to his head before handing him a neatly folded tee and sweat pants. "Come on Steve, get changed, and I'll make us something warm to drink." He offered with a clasped hand on the shoulder before heading to the kitchen- pulling off his soaked shirt as he went. Without even thinking about it, he had the kettle boiling as he did up his clean button up shirt.

There were many words that could be used to describe Bucky- but inefficient was not one of them. Before either of them had even really processed the goings on- the drinks were done and set at the coffee table where they could flop into the comfy chairs there. Bucky paused. "Shit, I didn't think to ask what you wanted- I hope this is okay." He explained awkwardly, as he realized that he had made his Steve's favourite on auto pilot.

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-17-2018

A distant part of Steve's mind notes that Bucky looks calm, if slightly amused, by all this. Steve can't imagine why. This isn't funny. Steve is torn between running out and hugging Bucky again and having a good cry on his shoulder.

Bucky returns and everything goes dark as a towel is tossed over his head. Steve pulls it off and, acting on autopilot, towels his hair. The clothes Bucky hands him are ones he's never seen before. He can only assume they are the other Steve's. He feels awkward wearing the other man's clothes, but he would have to go back out in the rain to get back to the mansion and his own clothes. He puts them on and they fit, although the shirt is a bit snug.

Bucky places a hot cup of coffee in front of him. It's his favorite. Occasionally, on days when Sargeant Duffy was at his worse, Bucky would make Steve a cup and bring it to his tent. It was an appreciated effort that warmed Steve's heart every time...but Bucky couldn't cook, couldn't even make coffee without ruining it.

"Thank you. This is...great." Steve says taking a small sip, "my Bucky's coffee always came out tasting like sludge."

Steve takes another sip...and quietly wishes he was drinking gross coffee with his Bucky, rather than great coffee with this stranger.

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 01-18-2018

Bucky sighed with a shake of his head- despite that the smile on his face showed he wasn't truly upset. "Of course- All Steve Rogers' have to be too muscular for my clothes. I can probably find a larger shirt if you'd like- I just don't know that I have a clean one." He offered with a laugh. Bucky was suddenly grateful that Steve hadn't grown too much taller than him- the assassin wasn't sure he could handle it if his best friend was not only suddenly too muscular for his clothes- but too tall for them.

The way the other man describes the coffee- Bucky can't help but be both relieved and disappointed. He liked having Steve's attention- his own Steve seemed to barely notice him half the time- and alright he was still pretty grumpy about the waking up without Steve there thing. Bucky had had a brief moment of panic when he woke where two situations popped into his head- that Hydra had found him and were waking him up to rewipe him- and that he had been left to sleep until his friend had long since passed. So to say that he wished Steve had been there for him was an understatement.

But it was still good to see this other Steve starting to recognize that he didn't actually know the man in front of him.

Sitting back with his own cup of coffee, he surreptitiously pulled on a glove that had been on the coffee table. Bucky had been avoiding hiding his arm- but he couldn't help but think that it made this other Steve uncomfortable.

"Your Bucky was younger than you, right? Not the other way around like my world? What was he like?"

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-19-2018

" this is fine. Thank you." Steve says politely. This was Bucky's shirt? That hurts. There was a time when Steve used to tease him for being such a string bean. Reminding himself that this wasn't his Bucky only helped so much.

Bucky takes a seat across from Steve, covering his hand with a glove discreetly in the process. Good to know in all universes Bucky is still polite and always thinking about others comfort. He gently prods Steve for information on his Bucky. Information, Steve is all to happy to share.

Steve's eyes light up. "Bucky's swell! Bit of a hot head, always pick fights guys twice his size because they're nothing but lousy bullies and Bucky's got no patience for that type. He's a good pal, always has my back and clever too. Far cleverer than sergeant Duffy gave him credit for."

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 01-19-2018

Bucky just about sighed in relief when Steve's eyes lit up- The sergeant had been worries that his attempt to make the man feel better would only make him feel worse. He did have to bit his lip to try and contain his snickers.

"Sounds a lot like this one scrawny guy I used to know- he'd use a garbage can lid as a shield despite barely being able to lift it. Even the day I shipped out I had to go and save him from a fight he'd started." Bucky replied, eyes bright and smile wide- if Steve couldn't figure out who he was talking about- he probably wouldn't be able to stop himself from falling over laughing.

He did take a pause to register the title. "Yeah my Steve had a Duffy too- I never had to listen to him though." He replied before grinning and pulling his dogtags from under his shirt. The dogtags weren't originals- those had long ago been melted down by Hydra- but he had someone make him a new set. It was good for first thing in the morning when he woke up and was the winter soldier- very confused about all that was happening. Reminded him that he had a name. A life.

Focusing on the here and now, he offered Steve a grin. "I guess I never officially introduced myself- Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes- formerly of the 107th."

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-20-2018

Steve stares at him for a few moment before it clicks about who Bucky is talking about.

"I only used a trash can lid one time," he grumbles good naturedly.

Bucky looks like that cat who got the cream as he hands Steve his dog tags. Steve has seen that playful smirk on his Bucky's face more times than he can count. Steve looks at the tags as sergeant Barnes formally introduces himself.

"Holy smokes. Are you serious?" Steve says, he looks up at Bucky. He can practically feel himself bursting with pride.

"Bucky always used to say that some day he was going to take Duffy's job." He laughs.

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 01-22-2018

Steve may have finally come to the realization about who Bucky was talking about- but it didn't stop the assassin trying to fight back snickers that turned into full blown laughter when the other man grumbled in reply. "My Steve didn't- I swear the kid sought out alley brawls just to use that damned lid. And then they went and gave him a fancier version and painted the flag on it." He replied, nostalgically- not just for his days as a howling commando- but also for the days when he was actually helpful to Steve.

Watching the way this other Steve reacted to Bucky's formal introduction had him grinning all over again. "I was sergeant by the time I finished my training and they shipped me out- My Steve was a little less inpressed- more jealous. But then he was still getting rejected every time he tried to join up at the time."

Drinking his coffee he listened to the second remark- before smirking in reply. "I didn't take Duffy's job- because from what I've been told he was a crotchety old man who only had any say in the training of the first super soldier. And Steve- despite not actually being a captain- was in charge of our unit so it doesn't mean too much. Sure does have a ring to it though."

Bucky offered a last offhand remark. "When I meet your Bucky, I'll make him call me Sergeant Barnes- since you say it like he never made the rank."

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-22-2018

Steve feels the strong need to defend his other self.

"The lids are useful. They're lightweight and it's better the bullies hit that than his face." He says over Bucky's laughter. Not that he's actually annoyed. In fact Bucky's laughter is the best thing he's heard since coming to the hub.

"I'm sure he was, those rejection letters stung. It took me three tries before they finally let me in," Steve says handing the dog tags back. He makes a note to himself that if he ever gets back to his world he should try to find out what happened to his dog tags.

Steve grins. Crochety old man was the perfect way to describe Duffy. The man had been a nightmare as a sergeant and Steve has sympathy for the other Steve who had the misfortune of being privately trained by him.

Steve chuckles at his remark.

"Please do. I feel like he'll need positive role models to look up to. And you're right, he never made rank. He never even made private. He was too young to sign up officially when the war started and by the time he was old enough he was already running with me and didn't bother." Steve says.

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 01-22-2018

Bucky chuckled slightly more at the other man's defence. "Trust me- I've borrowed the shield a good number of times- including one memorable fight with Stark where we kept passing it back and forth- I understand it's value. Still funny to remember the string bean who was only twice as big as the lid trying to fight with it."

He paused for a moment before adding an embarrassing addendum. "I did learn firsthand how bad an idea it is to try and use it as an average human though- first time I used it was also when I got knocked out a moving train to fall quite a distance. Or- I think anyways. Some memories are fuzzier than others."

Looping his dogtags back over his head he rolled his eyes in exasperation. "I just wanted the idiot to stay home and stay safe. Then he went and saved my life and was too good a guy to say 'told you so.' Which is almost more annoying than being told that." He offered with a fond sigh- he had lucked out getting a best friend like Steve Rogers- you were lucky if you met even one truly good person in your life, and Bucky was even more so for getting to keep said person in his life.

Bucky twisted his head slightly, thoughtful. "I'd be happy to- still weird to think of a universe where you're so much older than me though."

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-23-2018

"You fell out of a train?!" Momentary panic grips Steve and he has to remind himself that this is not his Bucky and clearly falling out of the train didn't kill this Bucky. He forces himself not to leap across the table and hug the man.

Steve smiles fondly as Bucky describes his friendship with Steve. "All Steve Rogers are idiots when were young, but I'm glad he had you watching his back. I wouldn't have survived without my Bucky watching mine."

Steve laughs. It was just as weird for him to think of a universe where Bucky was older.

"Older and much taller," Steve says smugly, "Bucky was the string bean in my world and also short. He kept assuring me that he would have a growth spurt any day though."

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 01-24-2018

Bucky rubbed the back of his neck with an awkward head duck- he realized he had maybe said something that would trigger emotions in this Steve- but the response assured him that the other Bucky didn't die from falling from a train. So he gave a small smile. "Ah-Yeah. Mission with the commandos didn't exactly go as well as planned. Steve tried to help me back in- but I was only hanging in because my arm was snagged. My arm just wasn't strong enough to hold me for that long, at that speed." Knocking his flesh fist against the metal arm he smiled sheepishly. "That's when my Steve lost me- and Hydra gave me this. My flesh arm just wasn't savable." He offered with a small shrug, hurrying on to the next topic so that this Steve didn't have to focus on the hydra part.

Bucky grinned fondly. "I'm still going to be watching over him- so long as this-" he tapped his temple. "Works, I'll be there. And he of course watches over me- when he's not just being a punk."

He grinned wolfishly at the comment. "Hey- if the kid grows anything like I did- He'll follow through with that comment. Admittedly even when I was tiny- I was nearly twice the size of Steve." Sipping at his coffee again, he added on. "Memory I got back the other day actually- first thing that he said to me in person after becoming Captain America 'I thought you were dead.' and I only managed 'I thought you were shorter.' "

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 01-25-2018

Steve feels a bit sick to his stomach. He can't imagine watching his Bucky plummet off a train while being so close but unable to catch him. The only "good" thing about his death is that when the plane exploded it knocked Steve unconscious so he never actually saw Bucky falling. He wonders if his Bucky lost an arm in the explosion too. He hopes not, he hates looking at this Bucky's arm, like a physical reminder of all that Hydra had done to him.

"Good, he needs you," Steve says seriously. He feels a pang of jealousy. He wants his Bucky, and it hurts a bit to know that a different Steve Rogers was already lucky enough to get his back. He pushes those bitter feeling down, knowing how unkind they are.

"He never knew me when I was short. He used to think I was just saying I had been shorter than him to make him feel better." Steve says fondly.

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 02-02-2018

Bucky winced slightly when he saw the expression the younger man bore. "Yeah Steve didn't take it too well either. But in the end- I fully believe Stevie would've taken that plane into the ice whether I was alive or not. Even if there were some road bumps- at least this way, the punk has a piece of his time with him- he doesn't just have friends who have gone old and gray."

Bucky smiled at the other man, agreeing unequivocally about how much the cap of his world needed his help. "He'd lose his head if I weren't there to remind him it was attached to his shoulders. Almost did a couple times. When I was getting my first memories back- I was less than pleased with him that within a few months of my supposed death, he went and got himself frozen for seventy years." He replied with a snort- he had wanted to smack Steve for that- but Bucky knew all too well that his best friend would same something about sacrificing himself for the good of others and then there would be no getting through to him.

He flashed his teeth in reply to this Steve's comment about his Bucky. "In my world, they made an exhibit about Captain America- even had a small section dedicated to a memorial of me- but they have a life size image of Steve, before and after the serum. You and your Bucky should come with me sometime- then he can see exactly how small you were beforehand." Bucky offered with a grin- remembering his own conversation with Steve about that- that both of them had gone to see it in sort of disguise.

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 02-02-2018

"I'm sure he would have." Steve agrees, "I heard the story, it would have destroyed several cities and possibly ended the war in Germany's favor if he hadn't."

Steve chuckles. It's interesting to see Bucky worked up and protective over Steve. Not that his Bucky didn't have a protective streak a mile wide, but he was like a puppy trying to protect a great Dane whenever he got protective. "I'm glad he has you here to yell at him." Steve says solemnly, hiding a smile.

"They have a whole exhibit?" Steve groans his face flushing, "Bucky will love that...but wait, you can get back and forth between your world and the hub?"

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - James Barnes - 02-20-2018

Bucky threw his head back with a laugh. "Of course you did- The question is, did you hear it from Stark- or from Steve? Because if it's Steve, I may have to smack him a couple times to remind him that he's supposed to be 'modest.' " He quipped in reply- albeit genuinely curious.

His smile grew pointed at the other man's comment. "Someone's got to. Everyone else has this image of this man who along with his strength, has an incredible strategic mind. I just see a punk in tights who did not even remotely master strategy just by being given the moniker 'Captain.' Leaders aren't generally supposed to sacrifice themselves at the first opportunity." He quipped wistfully- certain that the Steve sitting opposite him had probably done something to be worth the same admonishments.

"Oh yeah- Detailed replicas of the whole unit's uniforms too. Steve even borrowed his from the exhibit once. Though I think I shot him a number of times, so borrowed is a loose term." Bucky replied- though he rubbed his neck self consciously at the memory of targeting his best friend. "They also have copies of every single piece of Captain America memorabilia. Videos of his stage performances- his movies- as well as the few recordings of us on the front that they sent back home. It's all there. In the Smithsonian no less."

Finished his more detailed tale about the location- his one eyebrow quirked up. "Yeah. Right on Coney Island- though I've only used it long enough to confirm Steve's claims it was there. Do you not have a way back to your universe?"

RE: Meeting Mother Hen - 616 Steve Rogers - 02-21-2018

"Mr. Stark mentioned it to me when he was explaining the fact that there are multiple universes with multiple Steve Rogers. We were trying to see how similar they were," Steve says.

"Leaders do what they have to to protect their people," Steve says. It is good to know that the other Steve also seems to share his philosophy.

Bucky's grin turns sheepish with an edge of guilt. Steve desperately wants to take him by the shoulders and shake him until he realizes that nothing they made him do was his fault, but he doesn't. That isn't his Bucky, so it's not his place. Besides he's sure the other Steve has already tried it. Instead he furrows his brow in confusion, "stage performances? He did stage performances?"

Steve feels a bit like he's been punched in the gut. He didn't realize that the other Steve and Tony had a way back home. It feels like everyone has a way home except him now, and he's the one who needs it the most if he's going to save his Bucky.

"No, at least not as far as I know. Mr. Stark told me there was no way back to my universe. He wouldn't have lied to me about that, right?" Steve says.