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Thread Contributor: James Barnes (MCU-1)Mutual Not-Feelings
Marvel-MCU-1

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#1
Bucky was patrolling, mask on, shield in ready position, gun strapped to his thigh. He knew he was being ridiculous, but he didn't feel at home in this new reality and he certainly wasn't terribly comfortable being vulnerable. At the very least he wanted to learn the areas surrounding their own, so that he could be confident that Princess Shuri The Wakandans would be safe. He did owe them quite a bit, and he wanted to do as much as he could.

Bucky had been warned that he might run into duplicates of himself or others- and he had certainly seen more than one person he would have thought was Tony Stark- though he had yet to properly speak to any of them. But he still hadn't seen himself yet- or the person he both dreaded and anticipated seeing the most. Because Bucky knew that his Steve was dead- gone- no bringing him back- but the idea of seeing any Steve who might share any of his memories- or at the very least his personality- crushed Bucky all over again.

Hell, he wanted that- but he also knew that it would be like ripping the wound open again, just after it had finally started to scab up some.

But when his patrolling took him in the path of a man with a familiar suit, his breath was torn from his lungs for a moment. Bucky felt like he ought to pinch himself, to make completely certain that this man was actually there, and that his mind wasn't playing tricks on him. (Though it occurred to him that if his mind was playing tricks on him, he'd have an excellent reason to spend more time in the company of the genius Wakandan Princess.)

Forcing his eyes shut for a moment, he opened them again to confirm that this other Captain was still there. Bucky took a deep breath, squared his shoulders, and then walked up to the other hero. Offering his free hand to shake, he introduced himself. "Pleasure to meet you Captain, I'm Captain America." He started, voice as genuine as he could manage while using the name, before remembering that he had his cowl up and the other man wouldn't know him. "Otherwise known as Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes."

Bucky was proud of himself for how clearly his voice came out, and with minimal wavering. His hand betrayed his nerves slightly with the tiny amount of shaking it did.
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#2
It is a cool dark night, excellent for a brisk walk to clear his head. Bucky had been rescued. He's sleeping now after a full day under Justin's medical care. There's a lot to talk about, but now wasn't the time. Bucky needed his sleep and Steve needed to clear some of the demons from his mind first.

He hears footsteps and turns in time to see a familiar costume approach. Another version of Captain America? Steve gives a tiny sigh, he's really not in the mood to meet himself tonight.

He shakes the other man's hand as he introduces himself as Captain America...and Sargeant Barnes.

"...Bucky?" Steve asks, "what? How?"
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#3
Bucky couldn't help the way his faux smile melted at the other man's voice- because he'd recognize it if he was drugged and tortured until he barely knew his own name- this other Captain was none other than Steve Rogers. The usually (at least faux) cheerful hero suddenly found his throat dryer than the Sahara. "So you are Steve." Bucky confirmed aloud, though his voice was soft enough to be missed if one wasn't listening for it.

Saying the words out loud just made it all the more real, and he held on to his shield as a lifeline. He knew the other man had asked a question- But Bucky needed a moment to collect himself before he could make any more sounds fall from his lips.

For the start of an answer, he reached up and pulled his mask off- he was hopeful that that would be sufficient proof of his identity, though he did go a step further when he finally found his voice. "I took up the shield after Steve-" He managed, though his mouth choked on the last words. "After Steve couldn't anymore." He finished lamely, unable to force out the words that had rung in his ears since the day he had heard the news.

After Steve Rogers died.
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#4
"After Steve couldn't anymore."

Steve could read between the lines. He knew there were very few reasons that he would ever give up the sword. And the look on Bucky's face reminds him of his own in the months after he lost his own Bucky.

"I'm sorry," Steve says. And he feels like he's apologizing on behalf of the other Steve. I'm sorry for leaving you alone like this. I'm sorry for the heartbreak I've caused. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

"For what it's worth," Steve says, "I always intended for my Bucky to pick up the shield if I ever went down."
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#5
Bucky winced and tried to shrug off the apology- the words that were so close in tone to that of his friend- but missing something distinct, though Bucky couldn't tell you what. "Not your fault." Bucky replied, feeling the low notes rumbling in his chest as he distinctly did not cry. "It's not even my Steve's fault."

Bucky took a breath to recollect his thoughts when the following comment hit him like freight train. He bared his teeth slightly in an almost growl. "No. It may surprise you- but finding that out is not my idea of comforting. And this is my shield not Steve's. His blew up with him." Bucky didn't even like the idea that his Steve may have had that thought before death.

"Would it make you feel better?" He added softly as he recollected himself.
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#6
Steve didn't miss the determined 'I will not cry' tone of Bucky's voice and his heart ached for the man in front of him. He recognized the sound from his own voice in the months after losing his Bucky.

"How long ago?" Steve asks.

Steve isn't surprised by Bucky's anger. The lad always did have a bit of a temper.

"Would what make me feel better? Knowing that you carried on being Captain America after I died? Because yes, it would make me feel better." Steve says honestly.
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#7
Bucky chuckled humorously. "A couple months. Not very long after they pulled me out of cryo and proclaimed me fixed." Bucky grimaced, those few weeks having been like paradise compared to what came after. For a few precious weeks, he had been free, free of Hydra, free of the army, free of the loss he felt about his family. And he had his best friend with him. For the first time in nearly eighty years, Bucky and Steve had each other's backs. It seemed impossibly nice compared to his world now- made him wonder whether it had all been a nice dream.

But the shield on his arm never failed to prove what reality was now. The awful parts- as well as the good ones. After all, if it were not for Princess Shuri, Bucky's last memories of his best friend would be being the reason for a split between the avengers. He kept reminding himself that- that at least he had gotten some time with Steve. And that was better than none.

Bucky shook his head at the reply, having known that was the answer. "No. If your Bucky died, would it make you feel better to know that he wanted you to champion his ideals and fight in his place? Because at least for me, it doesn't. Not in the slightest."
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Marvel-616 Universe

251 Posts
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Age:27 or 99 depending on how you define "age"
Job: Soldier/Avenger
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Becky

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#8
"I'm sorry. You both deserved better than that," Steve says sympathetically. Losing Bucky once was enough. Losing him, only to gain him back for a few months before losing him a second time is horrible. Even thinking about it makes Steve want to run back to his apartment and make sure his Bucky is sleeping peacefully.

"It's different for me. My Bucky was a kid. He wasn't an adult entering a war for freedom, he was a teenager, just trying live up to the memory of his dad. Someone that young should have been in school talking to girls, not on the front lines." Steve says harshly, "I let him down. It's not like you and your Steve where you had each other's backs. I was the older one. It was my responsibility to look after him and I failed."
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Marvel-MCU-1

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#9
Bucky sighed and acknowledged the other man's apology with a nod of his head. He frowned slightly at the reply- the words he wanted to say building in his throat before he took a deep breath. Arguing wasn't going to do either of them any good- it certainly wouldn't bring Steve back.

"Either way, it's hard to hear that someone you've lost wants you to be Captain America- because for me at least, it just makes me miss the man who was Captain America. I hope for your sake that your Bucky is alive though, since you speak about him as if he were dead. " The Captain offered, gesturing slightly with his shield at the path he had been walking. "Would you like to join me on my patrol?"
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Marvel-616 Universe

251 Posts
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#10
Bucky takes a deep breath and seems to swallow down his next words. Steve wonders if his presence is helping Bucky or just making things more painful.

"No, he's alive" Steve flashes him a small smile. He still gets a thrill of saying that. Bucky is alive, and home, and safe. Sure they had a long way to go before he could be fully deemed healthy, but they were working on it and just getting him here was a major victory in Steve's opinion. "We just got him back, so it's still a little new to me." He adds.

"I'd be happy to join you, but why are you patrolling. I was under the impression that the hub is safe." Steve says.
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#11
Bucky nodded slightly- biting his lip for a brief second before offering a tiny quirk of his mouth. "I know an incredible woman who could help with deprogramming your Bucky if you'd like. She's the reason I got any time at all with my Steve. I can't thank her enough." He explained quietly, his eyes softening with the thought of the Princess who had given him back his own mind.

Bucky shrugged awkwardly, shifting his shield while he did so. "It may be- but I am a new arrival, and though the Princess is certainly capable of protecting herself, there is no harm in learning what lay around us."
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Marvel-616 Universe

251 Posts
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Age:27 or 99 depending on how you define "age"
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#12
"Really?" Steve asks hopefully, "yes please. Thank you." He wonders who this incredible woman is. Perhaps Natasha? He would like to meet another universe version of her. "She can help Justin. He's the doctor working with Bucky now. Is she here in the hub?"

"Princess?" Steve asks. Was that Bucky's petname for Natasha. He can't imagine the Natasha he knows liking it. She would probably punch her Bucky if he called her that.
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#13
Bucky smiled softly at this Steve's eagerness. It was very like every version of the man he had known- worried first with others. He ducked his head in acknowledgement. "It's no problem truly. She likes to solve things, fix them, make them better. She'd probably be overjoyed with the challenge if she hadn't already fixed me. Even then she'll probably be quite pleased to be able to prove that it wasn't a fluke." He paused before adding a reply to the question- because part of him was worried about telling anyone about Princess Shuri's whereabouts- but with a sigh he did. "Yes. She is the reason I am in the hub. The Princess created our portal."

He quirked an eyebrow at Steve's rephrasing of the word- as though it were strange for Bucky to be calling her a Princess. He supposed that if you didn't know she was one, it may sound like a- a pet name. Or something strange. "Yes. Princess Shuri of Wakanda. She does not have a doctorate- but it took her less than four months to give me my mind back. And even less time to create a stable hole in reality."
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Marvel-616 Universe

251 Posts
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#14
She sounds amazing and exactly like what his Bucky needs. "I -and I'm sure Bucky as well- would be grateful for whatever help she is willing to offer us."

"Princess if Wakanda? Is she T'Chaka's daughter?" Steve asks excitedly. He had met King T'Chaka during the war and found the man to be a wise and inspiring leader despite his young age. The fact that the young man he once knew now had adult children of his own was bittersweet and a painful reminder of how much he had missed in the ice. "How is King T'Chaka doing?"
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#15
Bucky smiled softly at the discussion of hi- the princess. Not his. Decidedly not his. But he smiled at the discussion of her nonetheless. Right until the moment when this other Steve asked how her father was doing.

Bucky's stride stuttered for a moment as he winced. His smile dissolved into what he hoped was an expression of sympathy as he stopped and patted this other Captain on the shoulder.

"King T'Chaka passed away in an attack on the united nations." He offered quietly, not quite able to meet the other man's eyes for a moment. Taking a deep breath he continued. "He was killed by a man who used my face to mask his actions. He was succeeded by his son- Prince, now King, T'challa. Though yes, Princess Shuri is King Father T'chaka's daughter."

Bucky sighed. "I am sorry to inform you of his passing. Perhaps it will not come to reality in your universe due to the differences. But it is a fresh wound still for the Wakandans. Less than a year has passed."

@becky
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Marvel-616 Universe

251 Posts
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Age:27 or 99 depending on how you define "age"
Job: Soldier/Avenger
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Becky

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#16
@AlexMoonBeam

Steve hides a smirk at the small smile that Bucky gets talking about the princess. He's seen a similar look on his own Bucky just about every time a pretty girl smiled at him. He politely doesn't call Bucky out on it.

The smile slips off his face at the news of King T'Chaka's passing.

"He's gone?"

Steve takes a deep breath a tamps down on his emotions. During patrol is not the time to lose his head. Still the grief rolls over him. He remembers King T'Chaka as a young man with hopes and plans for his kingdom. A man who talked about someday having a son. Steve allows a small part of himself to be happy. He may have passed, but hopefully he achieved all the things they had talked about during the war. And like Bucky had said there is always the hope that it won't happen to his King T'Chaka, though Steve is not very hopeful about that. Other major events, like Bucky becoming the Winter Soldier, seemed to happen in all realities and the assassination of a King is a pretty major event.

"His children; what are they like?" Steve asks. He hopes one of them at least has their father's sense of humor.
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Marvel-MCU-1

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#17
Bucky very much would have appreciated Steve not calling him on his facial expressions- if he knew that Steve had even noticed.

He winced instead at the tone that slipped into Steve's voice. "Yes." He offered in quiet confirmation. It was somewhat strange to him- Bucky's Steve had never met King T'Chaka- at least not that Bucky knew of. He could understand grief- Bucky had lost plenty- but he felt bad being the one to deliver this news. Even though this Steve wasn't even of his world. Even though he was the most unattached of all of the rescue trip, and most able to comfort someone else. It still felt wrong to tell any Steve that one of his friends had died.

Bucky's mouth wavered under the weight of the conversation, before he finally schooled it into a soft smile. "King T'challa is kind, smart, honourable- he is endlessly patient with his sister and his people. He is an incredible King. He has repaired the broken relationship that his people had with the clan they separated from, the jibari. M'baku the man ape sits on T'Challa's council, despite issuing a challenge for the throne in the past. He has offered me a place to live, even though a man using my face as a mask killed his father." Bucky cleared his throat awkwardly, hoping his words came across as the immense respect he meant, and not anything else.

"And Princess Shuri-" Bucky started before pausing, smile less strained. "Is a genius. Probably smarter than Tony Stark though I'm unaware if they've met to prove it. She is bright, and funny, and far more brave than her brother, her guards, or I, really wish she was." He explained with a quiet laugh. "She not only repaired my mind, but is the one who bridged realities to bring us to the hub. There are no words to describe how incredible and how beautiful she is."

@Becky (ps think my tag is just @moon)
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Marvel-616 Universe

251 Posts
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Age:27 or 99 depending on how you define "age"
Job: Soldier/Avenger
Ship Status: Single
Sexual Orientation:
Becky

All Accounts Posts: 280
Points: 1,969.31€
#18
@moon

Steve listens to Bucky describe King T'Chaka's children with a slight smile on his face. T'Challa sounds just like his father. T'Chaka must have been so proud of him. And Shuri also sounded amazing. She must of got her love of learning from her father although King T'Chaka focused his intelligence on politics not tech.

"They both sound incredible. King T'Chaka would be proud. I hope I get a chance to meet them next time they come to the hub," Steve says, "not that I would want to interrupt any future dates between you and Princess Shuri."
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#19
Bucky opened his mouth to inform this Steve that Shuri was currently in the hub before his jaw dropped and he went bright red. "No no no no no. Princess Shuri and I are- No." He managed to stutter, annoyed that his voice broke mid sentence. "I am her patient, and she doesn't see me that way." He managed finally, looking distinctly away from Steve in the hopes that his unsaid words would remain that way. Because as far as he was aware, it was pointedly obvious to everyone except the woman in question how he felt about her.

That she had given him back his life, his hope, been there when he needed her- and was all around incredible. How could Bucky not fall for that?

Clearing his throat he attempted to get back on topic. "I believe they're both actually in the hub right now. I know that Princess Shuri is." Bucky managed, idly rolling a bead between his fingers. "I could call her for you if you'd like. As a preliminary meeting."

@Becky ( @kel since you might be interested in stalking)
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Marvel-616 Universe

251 Posts
6 Threads
Age:27 or 99 depending on how you define "age"
Job: Soldier/Avenger
Ship Status: Single
Sexual Orientation:
Becky

All Accounts Posts: 280
Points: 1,969.31€
#20
@moon (and @kel )

Steve can't help it. He laughs at how quickly Bucky gets flustered. A nostalgic feeling tugs at him. He thinks of his own Bucky back at the apartment and how disoriented and scared he had looked before finally falling asleep. Steve desperately hopes he will have the opportunity to rib his Bucky this way again.

"Have you tried giving her the Bucky Barnes charm? I mean it never worked for my Bucky, but I assume there must be at least one universe where it works," Steve says innocently.

Bucky clears his throat, obviously still embarrassed and Steve decides to give the poor man a break.

"Yes, I would appreciate that, if she's not too busy of course. I don't want to drag her away from important business to meet me." Steve says.
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