Sharon watched, a small smile creeping to her face as Sadie went back over to James, tailing wagging happily at the attention. As the coffee brewed, Sharon watched as Sadie plopped down next to James, her head resting against his thigh, tailing wagging happily. “She really likes you,” Sharon noted, eyes rolling fondly at her dog. “She won’t stay still for less than five seconds for me.”
When the coffee was done, the blonde took the mugs and across from him on the floor, her back against the aged black leather chair that she loved. “French vanilla,” Sharon explained as she gently passed him the mug. She sat back and sipped at her own, watching his expression for any reaction to the coffee, curious if he would like it. “I can make black coffee if you don’t like that.”
"No", he said, finally looking up from the dog. "This is good". He smiles and takes another sip, enjoying the taste as it travels down his throat. With his free hand he continues to pet Sadie, hitting what must have been her spot behind her ear. His smile only grows as the dog wrenches her head so she can lick his hand in appreciation.
He clears his throat after a few minutes and turns his attention back to Sharon. He owed her a little bit of an explanation, one that wasn’t being yelled at her in a hallway at least. “I’m just having a hard time I guess. Adjusting or whatever. I mean, Steve had to adjust to a completely new era, but I have to adjust to myself. And it’s frustrating. For me and everyone else. I see the way Steve looks at me, like he’s waiting for his friend to come back and the disappointment he feels when he’s just not there… Not in the way he wants”.
Steve doesn’t try to interject this time, though. He listens in silence, because it’s all he can do right now; he’s glad Bucky has finally decided to talk, and so he gives him his full attention. He doesn’t move when Bucky pulls away from him, nor when he drinks again – though Steve is momentarily surprised, that was one more bottle than what he was aware of – but he knows, understands, that while they both know this isn’t a good solution, it’s the best he has right now, and if he feels like he needs it, Steve isn’t going to take it away.
He does, however, lean forward a little bit once Bucky is done drinking; there’s a part of him that just wants to wrap him up into his arms, as if he could physically wrap him in warmth and safety, and make all of this go away – but he is not capable of that, and he doubts an attempt would be welcome, anyway, so instead he just says, in the softest voice he possesses, “Swann Street Northwest; the fifth of August, James Buchanan Barnes.” Of course, he knows those were just examples, and Bucky doesn’t need the reminders right now, but that’s not the point Steve is trying to convey anyway, and he hopes that Bucky really is listening to him right now, enough to understand that. “I don’t mind repeating it a million times, if you need me to. I’m not going to judge you for it, I’m not going to get exasperated, or disappointed, or any of that. You just have to ask.” He still searches for Bucky’s gaze relentlessly, but if the other doesn’t look up, he’ll just leave it be. “We can get through this,” he says, and there is more conviction in his voice than ever before – that’s how much Bucky’s trust means to him, that’s how much difference it makes that the other simply decided to share. “I know you can get by on your own,” Steve murmurs, and his lips quirk into the smallest of smiles as he quotes back something Bucky lifted his spirits with decades ago – he may not even remember it, but Steve will never forget how warm it made him feel. “But the thing is, you don’t have to.” He doesn’t finish; they both know the last sentence by heart.
James listens to Steve talk without a hint of a scowl, without his mind shutting down in defense and his body reflecting just that. This time he pulls his lips into a tight frown, an attempt to keep the tears welling up behind his eyes from escaping. The simple reminders to the questions he had asked had been enough to pull out the emotions he’d been masking with alcohol, but when he hears his friend speak such familiar yet so foreign words he completely loses it. His whole body slumps forward, his forehead practically resting on his knees.
"I wanna get through this", he mutters, lips brushing up against the fabric of his dirty jeans. "I don’t know if I can. I’m not strong enough to fight this. And even if I was how long can I keep fighting my own head before just giving up… giving in". He begins to rock back and forth slightly, his hands reaching up into his disheveled hair, cradling his head as if it were some fragile thing. A thing that was likely to break at any moment and everything inside would truly be lost forever.
"You idiot." she shakes her head. "You should recognize it by now, you end up here every week."
" Intensive care?" He smiles faintly as he speaks, the warmth in it in stark contrast to how he looks. "What did I do this time?"
" Cause you’re my friend, Natalia… I want you there. "
She smiled down at him while he spoke. Closing her eyes, she nudged her nose against his and moaned softly, enjoying their moment together and hoping it wouldn’t end. She loved him too much to watch him walk out on her again. But it still didn’t bring the question up: it had been so easy to walk out on her, not even two years later he was engaged to another woman.
"Don’t leave me again," she mumbled, hand grabbing onto his own that was pressed against her cheek. She kissed his hand again, and laced their fingers together. "I can’t do that again."
"I can’t either", he muttered. "I can’t leave you. I can’t walk away from the only good thing in my life again. I pushed you away, manipulated you, made you the object of all that hate I was holding onto". He shook his head and swallowed hard as he started to think to some of those moments.
"I love you, Natalia… And there’s only one thing I want to do with my life now. Make up for what I did to you".
some more random starters from various sources (once again, from spotify playlists, random commentary, tv shows, books, movies, and my brain).
- ❝You know Paris is beautiful at this time of year.❞
- ❝Someone needs to learn how to take a hint.❞
- ❝I tripped and fell on some rocks. Nothing more. Honestly you’re imaging things.❞
- ❝Yeah, his teeny tiny swimmers are determined little guys aren’t they?❞
- ❝How can I eloquently tell you to shut the hell up?❞
- ❝You know you’re supposed to mix it, right?❞
- ❝Alcohol is bad for you. So are drugs. And sex.❞
- ❝What’s dead should stay dead.❞
- ❝You need to stop this. You’re making a fool of yourself.❞
- ❝I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with him/her.❞
- ❝I think I’m the one that has to float tonight. Fuck.❞
- ❝Come back to bed.❞
- ❝They look just like you.❞
- ❝It’s handcrafted by the finest artisans in the land, why in the world are you so surprised at the amount?❞
- ❝You’re not even my real mother.❞
- ❝You’re not even my real father.❞
- ❝You are a piece of me, that I wished I didn’t need! But I need you anyway.❞
- ❝Our love is just one huge clusterfuck, but I could care less.❞
- ❝Did it ever enter your mind that perhaps I wanted this?❞
- ❝It takes two to tango so both of you deserve the blame.❞
- ❝I just want to sleep, you know? I want to sleep and never wake up.❞
- ❝What’s the dream and what’s reality?❞
- ❝We were two foolish children who thought we were in love.❞
- ❝Do you honestly think that this is going to end happily?❞
- ❝She told me you were doing research — You know there’s no point, right?❞
- ❝Why do you insist on prying into the past?❞
- ❝Shame on all of us for not having stopped it.❞
- ❝I got lost in the sounds.❞
- ❝Stop it. You’re being rude.❞
- ❝I suppose it’s better than nothing. But it could be better. Without a doubt.❞
- ❝You always have your head in the skies when it should be here.❞
- ❝I made a mistake, why do you insist on reminding me?❞
- ❝If you love me, then why did you leave?❞
- ❝If you’re going to play the game, at least learn to play it well.❞
- ❝Look at you. You’re absolutely filthy.❞
- ❝You’ve never done this before, have you?❞
- ❝You’re bleeding.❞
- ❝I once stood at the edge of a cliff and thought about jumping.❞
- ❝I hate it.❞
- ❝You look like a grumpy cat.❞
- ❝Don’t tell me you don’t want to at least dip your feet into the water!❞
- ❝Just let it go already, Jesus.❞
- ❝I have a surprise for you.❞
- ❝You make love as you eat.❞
- ❝I don’t want anything to spoil it.❞
- ❝Can the heart truly turn black?❞
- ❝You have no reason to be suspicious.❞
“ You can’t be mad if I
say ‘sorry’, right?
Cause uh… S o r r y . ”