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  • helloalycia
    27.05.2022 - 3 minutes ago

    a new life [two] // layla el-faouly

    summary: you need to start making changes in your new life, but you're not sure you can get used to being 'just friends' with Layla, no matter how hard you try.

    warning/s: none.

    author's note: here’s part 2 to the few people reading this haha, hope you like it!

    one / three / masterlist / wattpad

    It wasn't easy to accept that my life wasn't how I remembered it to be. In fact, it was a lot harder than I ever could have imagined.

    After my breakdown following Layla's visit, I kept to myself. It wasn't intentional, but leaving my room would only remind me of what I'd lost out on, what had changed, so it was just easier to isolate myself and wallow in self-pity. It didn't help that my boxes from almost moving out were still stacked in the corner of my bedroom, constantly reminding me of what could have been.

    At one point, I figured I should probably pack everything away since moving out was no longer my reality anymore, but it was probably a silly move since everything in there brought back bittersweet memories from my life with Layla. Photos, mementos, things she'd given me... I even found my phone, which I must have packed by accident or someone had thrown in here after I vanished. After charging it up, all I found were more painful memories of my old life. Photos of Layla and I, videos of us together at university, plans of our new place together.

    I hadn't spoken to Layla since she'd visited and I was glad she was giving me the space because I had no idea what I would have said to her. It wasn't her fault, none of it was, but I couldn't bring myself to face her when I felt how I did. Even being with my mum hurt, watching her worry about me when I should have been a grown woman with a life of my own. There was something wrong with me and I didn't know how to fix it.

    All the self-pity and isolation must have worried my mum more than she'd let on because after two weeks of it, she encouraged me to join a support group. Apparently she'd seen something about it around town when getting some groceries. It was a dedicated support group for people like me who had come back from the snap and couldn't deal with it. I didn't want to go, not at first, but after giving it a bit more thought, I knew it would be for the best. I wanted to get better and not feel so shitty, so I agreed to attend.

    So, that's how I found myself sat in a circle of strangers at my local community centre. The attendees were a mixture of people whom I hadn't met before, all different ages. The person leading it, some qualified therapist, was patient with all of us and never pressured anyone to speak if they didn't want to which was lucky for me because I wasn't inclined to air my dirty laundry to a bunch of strangers.

    Others seemed to like to speak though, and shared stories of how they were struggling to reintegrate back into society. It was comforting to know there were others like me who had missed out on so much, but it also hurt to know we were all going through it.

    Everybody was experiencing different things – missing major milestones in their families lives, grieving over lost loved ones, being confused at what they would do next. I wasn't sure I was even supposed to be here because my problems seemed so small compared to, say, the guy who had returned to find his wife had remarried in his absence. But I stayed because of my mum and because I hoped it could help me, even a little.

    "We've had a few newcomers in the past week which is great to see," Jayne, the lead therapist, was saying one session, "and I would never force anybody to speak if they don't want to, but I thought that it might be nice to have someone new share with the group."

    Everybody stayed quiet as Jayne looked around at us all, eyes flickering between everyone. It felt like I was back in a lecture hall, waiting for the lecturer to pick on someone to answer a question. Talk about déjà vu.

    "Y/N!"

    And here it goes...

    "Why don't you give it a go today?" Jayne asked gently, offering an encouraging smile.

    I uncrossed my arms awkwardly as I straightened up in my seat, suddenly feeling everyone's eyes fall to me.

    Clearing my throat, I shrugged. "Erm, I'm not– I– what do you want to know?"

    Jayne spread her hands out. "Anything you want! What have you got on your mind?"

    Chewing on the inside of my cheek nervously, I glanced around, seeing everybody staring at me. "Erm..."

    "Maybe you can start with why you decided to attend," Jayne offered, and I was glad because I genuinely had no idea where to begin.

    Nodding awkwardly, I tried to form a coherent thought. "Right... well, I came here because my mum wanted me to. She, er, she thought that it would help me to feel less shitty." Realising I swore, I looked up at Jayne apologetically. "Sorry, I didn't mean to– sorry."

    "No need to apologise, Y/N," Jayne assured me. "Why do you feel that way?"

    I gave her a questioning look. "Seriously?" She played dumb, and I'm not sure why, so I continued, "I lost five years of my life in seconds. I was supposed to move into a new apartment, start a life with my girlfriend, find a new job after graduation, but instead I'm back at home with no job, no girlfriend and no friends."

    Jayne frowned. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that."

    "Yeah, me and you both," I mumbled, resisting the urge to roll my eyes. "I just– it's not fair. Everything moved on and I'm still stuck."

    "You're not stuck," somebody in the group said, and I looked up to see a young man watching me with sympathy. I think his name was Zain, but I couldn't be sure. "It feels like that, but you're not. It's just an adjustment period."

    I shook my head at him. "It's not though, is it? I came back and my life is completely different. So are the people in it. My girlfriend isn't my girlfriend anymore. She's got a life of her own, one that doesn't include me. And my mum is basically the same. It's almost like I shouldn't have come back. It would have been easier on both of them."

    "That's not true," Jayne said with certainty.

    "Isn't it?" I asked, crossing my arms again. "All I'm doing is disrupting everything. My mum is always worried about me. My ex had to drop everything to come and see me, only for me to break down at the fact that she moved on without me. It's stupid."

    Jayne gave me a knowing look. "Do you really think that they would be better off without you? Your mother is worried because she cares about you, Y/N. Do you think that the past five years have been better for her? Better without her daughter?"

    I pressed my lips together, unsure what to say.

    "And by the sounds of it, your ex girlfriend sounds like she cares, too if she was willing to drop everything to see you," Jayne continued. "I know that it must feel like you're disrupting everything, but as Zain said, it's an adjustment period. For you and for them."

    "And how long is that gonna take?" I asked with a frown. "How long until it makes sense again? Until my life is my own again?"

    Jayne sighed, leaning back in her seat. "Well, that's down to you. Of course things aren't going to be the same as they were before the snap, but it doesn't mean everything has to stay different. You said you were looking for a job? You can still do that. You said you have no friends? Put yourself out there. Contact old school friends. Sad that your girlfriend has moved on? I'm not going to sugarcoat it, it's gonna hurt. But she still cares about you and you don't have to lose her in your life altogether."

    "You make it sound so easy," I said, swallowing hard. "It's not."

    Jayne began to smile with amusement. "Of course it's not. But all you have to do is start somewhere small. Nobody said to take it all on at once."

    I looked down at my hands, trying to understand how I could do that, where I could begin.

    "You don't have to listen to me," Jayne said, and I glanced up to see her looking my way, before she looked around at everybody. "None of you do. But starting small will do wonders."

    Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to start small. Maybe Jayne wasn't wrong.

    I tried to take Jayne's advice on board. Even if it felt stupid, I started to make a list of all the things I wanted to work on for myself so I had a starting point.

    The first thing was to make things right with Layla. Even though I knew what the outcome would be – us no longer being together anymore – it was something I needed to fix because it wasn't fair on either of us. So, after finally buying a new phone and adding Layla's number, I arranged for us to meet up at a coffee shop. Thankfully, she agreed.

    I found her sat in the corner table when I entered. She hadn't noticed me yet since she was slightly angled away from the front door, but she stood out to me instantly. A small smile appeared on my lips when I saw her, feeling that comforting warmth spread through me that I always felt whenever I was with her. She was stunning, even when she looked nervous, and I had to remind myself what I'd come here to do before my feelings got the better of me.

    Clearing my throat, I approached her from behind and earned her attention. Offering her a small smile, I paused as she stood up, looking over me with a guilty expression. When she didn't say anything, I leaned forward and hugged her, glad when she hugged me back just as tightly.

    "I'm sorry," she muttered when we pulled away, but I shook my head at her frown.

    "You don't need to be," I assured her, squeezing her arm before taking a seat at the table. She did the same and I added, "Thanks for meeting with me. I'm sorry it took so long for me to ask."

    "No, it's okay, I get it," she said quickly. "I mean, I understand why. It was a lot. I shouldn't have– you needed time. I shouldn't have come so quickly and interrupted your– it was a lot."

    She was trying so hard to say the right thing, second guessing herself with every word, and I could see the concern on her face as she constantly looked between my eyes for any sign of discomfort. If I wasn't already deeply in love with her, I would have fallen there and then.

    "I know that everything is different now," I said, trying to disguise my sadness so she wouldn't feel bad. "It's hard to believe still because it seems like I only graduated not long ago."

    She frowned but, thankfully, didn't interrupt.

    "I know that you're living your life, Layla," I said as calmly as I could, remembering all that I had practiced beforehand, "and I don't want to get in the way of that."

    "You need to know that I never stopped loving you, Y/N," she said suddenly, interrupting my train of thought. "I always will. But I... I had to move on. I couldn't wait forever."

    Though her words stung, I smiled sadly, knowing she was right. "I wouldn't have wanted you to. And it's– it's okay. I'm sorry that I ran out last time. It was too soon, but it's not now. I get it. I'm coming to terms with what this new reality looks like for me, and I know that it isn't the same anymore. And I just– you don't need to stay in it–"

    She opened her mouth to interrupt, but I shook my head before she could convince me otherwise.

    "No, Layla, it's fine," I said with understanding. "I get it. We're not together anymore and there's no need for you to–"

    "Stop it," she said authoritatively, shaking her head with a clenched jaw. "No. I'm in your life no matter what. We were friends before we dated, remember? I still care about you, Y/N. I'm here for you."

    I pressed my lips together, sighing inwardly. As much as I appreciated that sentiment, I wasn't sure I could be her friend when I was still in love with her. But I also missed her too much to push her away completely, and if she was fine being my friend, then who was I to argue it?

    "Thanks," was all I could say without giving away my true feelings.

    She exhaled with relief, a beautiful smile appearing on her lips. "Now. How are you doing? I tried to keep my distance, but I've been so worried. I just want you to be okay."

    I returned her smile, a little less enthusiastically but still there. "I appreciated the space. I've been going to a support group. Trying to sort my life out and figure out what it means for me. I guess, starting with you has helped."

    Her smile widened. "Y/N, that's great! I'm so proud of you for getting help."

    Whether it was friendly or not, her words meant the world to me, and I felt my face heat up at the compliment. Only Layla El-Faouly could have such an effect on me.

    Another month passed since I officially got demoted from girlfriend to friend with Layla, and apart from the fact that I couldn't be with the woman I loved, life was slowly starting to feel like normal. I guess that was thanks to Jayne and the support group.

    I was still attending, listening to others and even sharing my own progress in life, which included finding a temporary retail job to start making some money whilst I got my shit together. It wasn't anything special – just at a clothes store in town – but it gave me something to focus on whilst I reviewed my resumé and qualifications to apply for real jobs following graduation.

    Having a job gave me a purpose again and it was one step closer to feeling normal. Plus, I had Layla. Even though she wasn't my girlfriend anymore and I had to push my love for her aside, I still had her as a friend. She would text me like she used to, visit the house to see my mum and I, hang out with me. It was just like it was before we started dating, but of course, that was when I fell for her, so I couldn't see this going any better the second time. Still, I valued having her in my life.

    I enjoyed getting to know the older version of Layla, the one who wasn't a fresh graduate with a hope to be just like her father. I appreciated discovering her new interests whilst she still revelled in her old ones. And I especially enjoyed being with her, even if it was in a friendly setting. Though, sometimes, I'd be reminded that we were much more.

    We were going shopping together one day when I was meeting her at her apartment so we could go together. It was the first time I was seeing her place, so when she let me in and pardoned herself to finish getting ready, I took that as my chance to explore her place and get a further insight to the new Layla.

    Her place was clean and organised, just like she'd always been, save for a few corners and bookshelves which were total messes. It brought a smile to my lips, knowing she was still passionate enough to forget to put her shit away when she was working on something good. There were a few knickknacks dotted about – mementos from trips she'd been on, artefacts that she no doubt had kept from her many experiences exploring, photographs from memories I hadn't been present for. It was hard not to think about what our place used to look like, and what our new place could have looked like together.

    We were so damn close. And being here in her apartment right now was bringing everything back up. No matter how much progress I'd made in accepting my new life, my old one still haunted me.

    Trying to not let it get to me, I continued perusing her many bookshelves until I spotted a framed photograph on the end. I instantly recognised it and began to smile with disbelief, picking it up and studying it carefully.

    in the photo, the two of us were stood side by side, my arms hooked around her shoulders as hers laced around my waist. Massive grins were on our faces as the landscape of a carnival was framed behind us. It was our first date – she'd asked me to go to the carnival that was happening in the park near our university, thinking I'd love it, and she wasn't wrong because I did.

    I swallowed hard, smile fading as I remembered how perfect that day was. We stayed there for hours, playing all of the games, riding the bumper cars, eating all the food we could find. We watched the sunset together on the ferris wheel and she kissed me for the first time, right at the top, smiling with embarrassment when I accused her of planning the whole thing. It was one of the best moments of my relationship with her, of my life. I didn't think she'd keep the photo, especially not after all this time.

    "Okay, so I finally found my purse, so I'm ready to go if you're– oh."

    I looked up when Layla entered the room, her eyes drifting to the photograph in my hand. Clearing my throat, I awkwardly returned it to its spot on her bookshelf.

    "Sorry, I didn't mean to snoop," I said, hoping all the effort I'd made to be her friend hadn't immediately been thrown down the drain. "I just– I saw it and– sorry."

    "No, no, it's fine. It's–" She paused, stepping forward cautiously, eyes glancing at the photo before looking back to me. She offered me a small smile. "It was a good day. Wasn't it?"

    I hoped my surprise wasn't obvious when she said that, as I definitely didn't expect her to acknowledge it at all.

    "Yeah," I agreed slowly. "It was."

    She pursed her lips, beginning to chew on her lower one as she stood beside me to get a better view of the photo. I glanced at her profile, wishing I knew what she was thinking.

    "I hope you don't mind that I kept the photo," she said quietly, and I realised she was embarrassed, a faint pink blush dusting her cheeks. "It was just a way to keep you around when you weren't."

    Her words warmed my heart, and then it set on fire when her brown eyes met mine in a softened glance.

    "I don't mind," I said, not meaning for it to come out in a whisper.

    She swallowed thickly, lips tugging into a half smile before she looked down at her shoes. I couldn't look away from her as she ran a hand through her curls before walking away.

    "C'mon, we should go," she said, grabbing her keys from the kitchen counter. "You ready?"

    I nodded. "Yeah..."

    The weird energy between us remained when she drove us to the shopping centre, though maybe it was just me who felt it because she looked unfazed. I tried to push it to the back of my mind, not wanting my feelings for her to ruin the day and our relationship in general.

    We looked around at a few stores, buying some clothes and catching up at the same time, and it was just a great feeling to be able to spend time with her. She always made everything easier.

    "I like this for you," she was saying as we were shopping, and only when she looked my way did I realise she was talking to me. "What do you think?"

    I cursed inwardly, telling myself to stop getting distracted by her, and looked to the jacket she was holding. It was a hooded red, blue and black jacket and she seemed really excited about the idea of me getting it.

    Trying not to laugh, I quirked a brow at her. "Are you trying to make me look like a crayon or...?"

    She shoved me in the shoulder before waving her hand at me impatiently. "C'mon, don't knock it until you try it. It'll look good!"

    "Layla," I whined, but she ignored me as she was already unzipping my current jacket.

    "Try it on," she said with a stern voice and knowing look.

    I sighed dramatically and removed my jacket before putting on the one she chose. Once it was zipped up, I looked to her with narrowed eyes, feeling like a child trying on a school uniform for their mother. She let out an excited squeal as her hands clasped together and her eyes looked me up and down.

    "Yeah, this looks awesome, I was right," she said before putting her hands on my shoulders and walking me to a nearby mirror.

    "Layla–"

    "Just look," she insisted, and I looked up to see the jacket still looking very much like a crayon set.

    "I'm not so sure," I said with a raised eyebrow, turning around to get a look from behind, too. "I'm not sold."

    She unzipped it for me and then stood behind me, forcing me to stand in different angles so I could see it from all sides. Now I definitely felt like a child with their mother.

    "Okay, you're totally buying it," she said, having made up her mind. Her eyes met mine in the mirror, an amused smile on her lips as she added, "And if you don't, I'm buying it for you."

    I didn't hate the jacket, but it definitely wasn't my favourite thing. But Layla looked so excited and my insides were turning into jelly as she watched me with glowing eyes, so I caved.

    "Fine, I'll buy it," I gave in reluctantly, making her smile widen.

    She began talking about how I needed to buy more things for myself, a familiar topic between us when we'd been a couple, but I don't think she realised. I was only half-listening because I grew distracted once more, eyes studying her face as she helped me take off the jacket and put my other one on.

    Would I buy an ugly jacket just because she asked me to? It seemed so. Though I guess I knew that already. I'd do anything she asked me to.

    After buying the jacket and browsing a few more stores, we got some food from the food court and enjoyed being off our feet. Layla was talking about a trip to Egypt she had coming up for work, something about unfinished business.

    "So you lay low every time you go there because...?" I asked curiously, recalling her telling me how she had to be careful whenever she went.

    An embarrassed smile appeared on her lips. "Well... let's just say that I haven't exactly been making friends whilst being over there."

    I quirked an eyebrow. "Seriously? Is it safe?"

    I knew she dealt with illegalities in her line of work, which I didn't care about since she was doing the right thing, but it still worried me that it concerned dangerous individuals. Layla could take care of herself and she was far from careless, but it still worried me.

    "Look, it's nothing to worry about," she assured me nonchalantly, before silencing herself by taking a bite of her burger.

    "Oh, yeah, that doesn't sound suspicious," I said with a knowing look before having some fries. "Maybe I'll let my mum know what you're up to if it's nothing to worry about, huh?"

    She gave me a warning look, but a smile was threatening to break out on her face. "Don't you dare. I am an angel in Y/M/N's eyes. You're not ruining this for me."

    I tried to hold in my laughter. "Better be careful then."

    "I'm always careful."

    I maintained her gaze, smile fading slightly. "I know you are are. But still."

    Sensing that I wasn't joking anymore, her smile faded, too. "I'll be careful," she promised. "I'll even bring you something back. A souvenir."

    I pursed my lips, tilting my head towards her. "I'm not five, Layla."

    Her smile widened once more before she began to laugh, stirring a flutter of butterflies in my stomach as she always did.

    God, this was going to be hard.

    #marvel#marvel imagine#mcu#mcu imagine#may calamawy#scarlet scarab #layla el faouly x you #layla el faouly x reader #layla el faouly #moon knight imagine #moon knight
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  • xxruinaxxmcu
    27.05.2022 - 20 minutes ago

    What Lies Before us

    Book 2 of a Jack Thompson X Reader Story 

    Masterlist (book 1 and previous chapters of book 2) 

    Chapter 2

    Fortunately for Y/N, her old clothes were in Jack’s car – so she got them without telling the rest of the office where she got them from before heading to the men’s changing room to get her blood-stained shirt off. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She was still visibly shaken, but not as much as someone should have been that had just stabbed two men to death. That was her.

    She was more shaken about the thought of what could have happened if she didn’t do what she did. They would have killed the others. Eliminating witnesses. Once she had translated the document, they would have killed her, too.

    She heard the door to the changing room open.

    “How’r you holding up?”

    She turned away from the mirror towards Jack. She tried her best to muster up a genuine smile.

    “I’m good. Really.”

    Not really convinced, he came towards her to take a closer look.

    “Did they get you somewhere?”

    “No”, she shook her head, “I was quicker, it would seem.”

    “Y/N, this was my fault. You were right, the theatre-“

    “Stop right there”, she interrupted sternly, “no more of the blame game. You wanted to play it safe, and to be honest, no one would have expected that five Russian guys manage to break into the SSR. Maybe we should ask Stark for a better security system.”

    “You could have died.”

    “I most likely would have died after you guys”, she retorted quietly, smoothing out the folds of the replacement shirt, “it really was quite simple.”

    She knew that he wanted to talk back, so she simply lifted her eyebrows, staring directly into his concerned blue eyes and gave him a smile: “I said stop. It all worked out. No one died.”

    The Chief grit his teeth, rubbing the bridge of his nose. He knew she was right. It did, sort of, work out.

    “You did good.”

    “It’s almost like I’ve done it before”, she retorted cynically, hinting at the contents of the file he had initially thought belonged to Peggy.

    “Yeah. Well, I’m glad you did.”

    She tilted her head: “We’re quite the team, no? The assassin and the sharpshooter.”

    “I was no sharpshooter, I was a machine gunner. But similar enough.”

    He had hated the sound of machine guns ever since. Firing yourself was bad enough – having to constantly maintain shooting discipline, the short bursts of fire, so as to not overheat the barrel, the quick repetition that echoed in one’s entire body, the deafening sound. It was bad enough doing it – it was a million times worse receiving the fire. Often, the Japanese’s machine guns were hidden deep within the rocky landscape of Iwo, or hidden in the bushes and trees of Okinawa. They were often hardly visible. Fire would erupt from nowhere, mowing down anyone that was unfortunate enough to be in the line of fire. The sound of enemy machine guns, however, was the thing that accompanied him to this day. The loud, rapid sounds, the feeling when bullets barely missed one’s head – he had been able to feel the air being stirred up by them next to his ears.

    He remembered his Lieutenant Commander telling them that the bullets you could hear were the good bullets. It was those who you didn’t hear that you should be worried about.

    He hadn’t been wrong. But even though those bullets never breached his skin, they left scars all over.

    “You okay?”

    Y/N brought him back into the present day, back from the island. She looked at him, head tilted, and eyebrow raised.

    “Marvellous”, he replied dryly.

    She pointed to the door with her chin: “Come on, let’s head out. It shouldn’t take a lady an hour to change.”

    They walked towards the door and Jack retorted: “Maybe if she just killed two men, it should.”

    “Not in our profession, I think”, she grinned, opening the door. The atmosphere in the office was strange – the bodies had been removed, and the captive had been brought into a nice, highly-protected cell in an undisclosed location.

    The other men, Lee, Michaelson, Goldberg, as well as the other three men who had returned from the set-up, Ramirez, Wallace, McKinley and Harrow waited awkwardly for the Chief and Y/N to re-enter the room.

    Had they taken too long? Surely not.

    But Y/N eventually figured out what was going on. They didn’t know what to say to her.

    She raised a hand: “Gentlemen, we don’t have to have any discussion of what has just happened. I’m just glad no one died today.”

    She felt Agent Lee’s lingering stare on her, so she put her hands on her hips and addressed him directly: “Is there something wrong, Agent?” Her voice was dripping with sarcasm: “Don’t tell me what you saw offended you. I must apologise for not killing them with the power of motherliness.”

    “No, L/N, that’s not- what you did, it was, uhm-“

    “It was?”, she asked curiously, yet cynically. There were so many things for him to say – brutish, effective, good – it would all lead to very different statements.

    “It was good.”

    Good? Well, Y/N internally sighed, that was probably the best she could expect of someone like Lee. “Not bad for a woman who doesn’t belong here, you mean?”, she said, making him visibly uncomfortable, “Fear not, Agent Lee. I’m simply doing my job. Like all of us, I suspect.”

    “What did they want you to decode, L/N?”, Thompson asked, crossing his arms before his chest. “Must’ve been real important.”

    She nodded, glancing at the paper: “I suppose so. It would have told them what the British and Americans knew about the item that should be transported to Leningrad. It’s the communiqué that was sent to the FBI yesterday.” She pursed her lips, frowning: “And this means-“ She stopped.

    “What?”

    She looked at Thompson. “I don’t know yet.” That was a lie. But she was proficient at that. Whilst the office returned to normal business, more agents started to trickle in, she made her unfortunate, but sometimes very helpful coffee round. Heading to the Chief’s office, she placed a note below his cup.

    We were not supposed to have the communiqué. Neither the British, nor the FBI know we obtained it. Jonas does not seem to have an interest in passing it on – exclusively – to us and then send agents to kill us. Too obvious.

    Which means, we have a mole. Someone who knew that we’ve obtained it, and knows our schedule. Someone who wasn’t in the office today before 9:00 and could call in the decoy, or, if he’s smart, someone who paid someone to call it in for him, whilst he is in the office.

    She didn’t wait to see his reaction, as whoever it was could be seeing their interaction. She left as quickly as she had entered, knowing that the information would be in the most capable hands there were in all of New York.

    Lee; Ramirez; McKinley; Michaelson, Harrow; Goldberg; Peterson; Shaw; Wise; Spencer; Conte; Reed; McGregor; Owens; Simpson; Williams; Martinez; Schommer; White; Bruns.

    Those were the names of all the agents who had worked the day before and had been in the main office the day prior. Y/N’s heart wanted to suspect Lee – but her mind knew that there was nothing to mark him out from all the other names, apart from the fact that he did not like her. Something was strange, though – whoever it was, he had been in the room when she had talked to Jonas – but didn’t hear the subsequent conversation well enough to know himself what she had learnt. Otherwise, he could have informed the Russians about what the SSR, MI6 and the FBI knew.

    Her gaze wandered through the office. This didn’t quite make sense.

    What was becoming clear, though, was that the person knew that she knew it. Also, the person must have contact with another agency, as they didn’t obtain the code. That was only and exclusively received by the FBI.

    Which meant that either, this person had access to classified documents by the FBI, but wasn’t trusted enough to receive the decoded message. That wasn’t that unlikely, considering that the clearance level for these types of things was usually very high. Or, there were multiple people. SSR, FBI – people in high positions, relatively speaking, of intelligence services of the US. That was, arguably, the more realistic version.

    Meaning. There were probably multiple moles, at least one in the SSR, which had to be a person who only partially got the information regarding the contents of her phone call.

    And there was a mole inside the FBI who got a hold of the coded message, but was unable to decode it. And somehow, they figured the next course of action was to inform the Russians about this, and that prompted them to storm the SSR – arguably a less protected target than the FBI – to get it decoded, in order to figure out what it was that the three agencies knew. And, significantly, if the FBI and MI6 knew more details than they did. Otherwise, decoding it was pointless – they could have just put a gun to Jack’s or Y/N’s head and forced them to speak.

    Thank God that Peggy and Sousa showed up at Thompson’s front door, Y/N realised. If they had called into the office, or even worse, had showed up, the mole might very well have known that the SSR figured out – most likely – what item they want to steal.

    Also, it meant that all agents that were present when she had received the call were now in danger – though the two individuals who the mole would see as the best informed were, unfortunately, Thompson and herself. Naturally.

    But who the hell was only half-present yesterday?

    She ran through the events as best she could. It had been a busy workday, and it had been fairly loud in the background when she had made the call.

    Y/N stared holes in her desk, trying to re-enact the scene in all its details.

    Lee had grunted in the background. He had been annoyed that she was busy and couldn’t bring him a new cup of coffee.

    Coffee!

    Who brought the coffee that day?

    She didn’t want any, but she assumed that Jack would have had received some.

    She hoped intensely that he didn’t just learn how to operate a machine gun and how to pull of an amphibious assault in boot camp, but also to remember seemingly unnecessary details.

    She picked up random papers to make it look like she had something to report to the chief – which technically was true, but nothing that she could write down.

    “Chief, your report”, she announced before closing the door behind her. He looked tense, but also confused.

    “Don’t look confused”, she hissed between her teeth as she placed the papers onto his desk and pointed to a random line. “Who brought coffee yesterday? When I talked to Jarvis?”

    “’Cuse me?”

    “Do you remember or not?”, she shot back, “Focus!”

    He pinched the bridge of his nose and leaned back in his chair: “I think that kid…”

    “Specifics? Like, a name?”, she asked cynically.

    He stopped himself from rolling his eyes: “Christian Owens.” He raised an eyebrow: “Why?”

    “I’ll tell you all about how I came to this conclusion”, she said, turning around, “But I’m pretty certain he’s our whistle.”

    Christian Owens was an inconspicuous agent. Young, brilliant education. Graduated from Yale. He had joined the SSR some months ago – at the time, Y/N and Thompson were in L.A. with the entire Whitney Frost mess.

    The hiring decision had been made by Thompson’s deputy, McKinley. And Y/N didn’t blame him – the kid had a stellar resumé. Born to an American father and a British mother, he had spent much of his childhood in Britain.

    Before proposing to interrogate him, Y/N wanted to at least talk to Thompson about her conclusion. They felt pretty compelling to her, but she wanted a second opinion.

    ......

    The two met in Central Park during lunch break. It took a while for them to reach their designated meeting point, as they took widely different routes to get there and reassured themselves that they were not being followed.

    “Owens?”, Thompson asked confused, “What the hell brings him to the Russians?”

    Y/N ran through her train of thought, listing everything she had come up with during her mind-games at her desk.

    The more she talked, the more serious Thompson’s face grew.

    “Son of a gun”, he muttered, rubbing his chin, “I guess that’s why they recruited you to be a spy.”

    “What, did you think they purely took me from my impeccable skills of knifing people?”, she asked back sarcastically, but quickly became serious again.

    “Look, if I’m right, we might be able to use Owens to figure out what their exact plan is. He doesn’t seem to be that experienced at spying. There’s just one catch to this plan”, she paused, searching for Jack’s eyes. “Everyone in the SSR who heard our talk yesterday is a possible target. And the best possible targets are you and I.”

    Jack bit his lower lip, thinking.

    “Well, we know who they want the most. And it ain’t me, Mrs. Turning”, he stated, “If they need a codebreaker, they need you. And, probably, they need that document back. Which happens to be in your possession, too.”

    “So what you’re saying is that I’m most at risk”, she summarised, “how wonderful.”

    Jack rubbed his neck. This was all great. Not only did they have a traitor amongst them, no, Y/N was also top of the list.

    “Look, we don’t collect our agents’ apartments”, he said, “theoretically, he shouldn’t know where you live. Do you rent under your real name?”

    “Until now, I never had a reason not to”, she sighed, “I guess I should have known better.”

    He shook his head: “What should you have known better, that the Reds have infiltrated my staff?”

    She shot him a glance: “Seriously, Jack, stop it with the blame game! It’s your favourite, and it’s a dumb game!”

    “But it’s kinda true”, he shrugged half-heartedly, “But whatever.” He paused. “I don’t rent under my real name”, he pointed to the position where Manfredi’s hitman had shot him, “Not since this wonderful event.”

    Y/N winced at the memory. She had never felt such terror than in that moment – and she had seen some horrific things.

    “Anyways, here’s the plan. Two days. Two days to investigate him, then I interrogate him.”

    Y/N raised an eyebrow: “You really think that’s a good idea? You’ll club him to death.”

    “Until now, no one died when I interrogated them”, he gave back, “Besides, he can thank his friends that he’s missing out on the carrot.”

    Chief Dooley. Right. That felt like ages ago to Y/N, even though it’s been just a few months.

    “Right. Two days.”

    “You’re not going to get to stay the night in your apartment if you’re in the phone book.”

    Y/N couldn’t help but give him a grin: “You’re sure it’s just my safety that makes you say that?”

    Now, it was hard for anyone to make Jack Thompson blush. He was not easy to embarrass – he easily got uncomfortable, but embarrassed was something different. But right now, his cheeks began to redden – and unfortunately for him, this time, no dim light would help him cover it up. “I have no idea what you mean.”

    “Yes”, she nodded overly empathetic, “Because in Jack Thompson’s imagination, children are still brought to this world by the stork alone.”

    She gave him a wink and turned around: “See you in the office, Chief. I’ll meet you at 18:50 down the ally.”

    The following night, Y/N was alone in Jack’s apartment as he, supposedly, met up with a friend. She spent the time working through yearbooks she had acquired from Yale, which, incidentally, did show Owens as a student. She wrote down the names of the students in his course to call them up the next day. But what was certain was that he indeed studied there. That much was clear. It was shortly after 11 when she heard a knock kat the door. Jack only had one key, and had given it to Y/N so that she could enter on her own.

    Jack hardly waited for Y/N to open the front door, so quickly did he enter the apartment: “You’ll be knocked off your socks by what I’ve found!”

    “Well, to be honest, I’m already happy you didn’t knock down the door”, she joked dryly, “shoot.”

    “I did some digging on Owens”, he said, “I realised I knew his platoon sergeant. As far as he knows, he checks out. Spoke a lot about Yale, about growing up in Idaho, just as it says in his documents.”

    That didn’t leave Y/N speechless, so she assumed the shocking part was yet to come.

    “Well, turns out”, Jack fumbled in the folder he carried with him, “Owens had a fiancé back in 44 – apparently married the gal after the war. One Diane Chévalier.” He overemphasised her name – just to underline: French.

    “Aha”, Y/N raised an eyebrow, “And that’s somehow an earth-shaking revelation?”

    “Absolutely”, he grinned and pulled a single photo out of the file, “She came to visit him once when he was in a training camp in Tennessee. My pal took a photo of the enchanting couple.”

    He flicked the photo for her to see.

    “Oh no”, Y/N’s mouth went dry as sandpaper, “He married a bitch.”

     ......

    Y/N took the picture from Jack’s hand and took a closer look. Yeah, there was no way around it. The elegantly dressed woman next to Owens was Dottie Underwood. Or whatever she was actually called.

    “Well, we can all agree, poor Owens? Horrible taste in women”, she deadpanned. Was that the way he got introduced to communism? Through an affair?

    “You know what”, she muttered, “nothing I found indicates that Owens ever veered off into the commie section. I mean, he could be good at hiding it, but then again, it took us one day to identify him. Doesn’t seem to me he is good. Actually, he is an amateur.”

    Jack had no idea where Y/N was going with this, but he knew it was better to let her go through her thoughts without interrupting her.

    “What if she’d convinced him that if he did this one thing for her, she’d be free?”, she questioned, “Or, I don’t know, that her contract with Stalin is over or somethin’. That he did it not out of conviction, but out of… well, love.”

    “No one betrays their country for a gal”, Jack stated flat-out.

    Y/N raised her eyebrows and laughed loudly: “Jack, you have no idea. I’ve seen Nazis defect out of nothing more significant than love, I’ve seen people collaborate with them because they fell for one. People betray their country for love – or the promise of it – all the time.”

    He sat down on his sofa, facing her. “Idiots”, he grumbled into the empty pace.

    “Are they?”, Y/N sat down, too, “I have to give it to Dottie, if she did that, she is damn good at her job. I turned a few, got them to assist me to get at-risk people out of the occupied territories. It is very difficult. But nothing incentivises individuals more than the promise of love. And once they figure it out, that no matter what they do, they’ll never receive it: That is the ultimate punishment. Even those I didn’t kill… many of them died shortly after. Ran into enemy fire, or turned their own gun on themselves.” Y/N pressed her lips together: “Maybe he is a commie. Maybe he isn’t. But at least consider the possibility when you’re taking him apart in the interrogation chamber.”

    He looked up: “So you agree that I’ll interrogate him tomorrow?”

    She gave him a funny look: “Well, you are the SSR’s most experienced interrogator. And – since when does the Chief has to ask his coffee-fetcher for permission?”

    “Since I don’t want to be murdered by the coffee-fetcher in my sleep”, he retorted with a huff.

    Y/N pressed her lips together: “I’d be more worried about Underwood showing up unexpectedly. It’s like playing chess against an evil version of myself, and I hate playing chess.”

    Jack observed her quietly for a long time.

    “What?”

    “Nothing”, he clenched his teeth, “Suppose that’s why I joined the Marines. Didn’t really have to think about the moves were doing. You wake up, you’re told to take that island, next thing you know you’re climbing from the ship.”

    “I’d still wager that my survival chances were better than members of your company”, she muttered quietly, “I think amongst my type of spies, we had a mortality rate of about a third.” She huffed at the memory, but then tilted her head: “But on that note – why did you actually join the Marines? I mean, Army, Navy – Air Force? You had the academic credentials to get into any of them. Why join the Marines?”

    Something in Jack’s eyes changed – there was that boyish sparkle that he had so often when he had been younger and was about to do something very reckless.

    “Why not?”, he asked back with a grin, “We all know the story from the Belleau Woods, right? What man wouldn’t want to be part of that?”

    “Oh my God”, she muttered cynically, “don’t tell me you wanted to join the toughest possible faction of the Armed Forces only to have the bragging rights for it.”

    “Hey”, he interjected jokingly, “I didn’t know where we were headed into.”

    “Yes”, she agreed, “You’re right. It was just as likely you’d end up stationed in Britain and knitting socks.”

    “Well, maybe not that, but maybe not waiting for the assault of a burning-hot volcano island on a ship that has to fend of kamikaze pilots who’d literally die just to maybe get a hit at their enemy.”

    Y/N pressed her lips together. “I read reports from Okinawa, Jack.” He didn’t know what she meant by that, but he eyed her cautiously.

    “I read about the Japanese strategy. Horrible”, she clenched her teeth, and having looked at the ground before, she now searched for his eyes, “I read about what they did in many battles over and over. A staged surrender, only to attack the Americans who tried to take them into custody.”

    His face turned to stone, and his lips pressed into a fine line.

    “You’ll never know if those… those you shot were sincere or not”, she said quietly, “and if they were, yes, it is still a war crime on paper. But no one can fault you for doing what you did. It was a split-second decision, and it was in the middle of the night. You’ll have to learn to forgive yourself for that.”

    When he didn’t say anything, Y/N added quietly: “People expect wars to bring out heroes. But in my experiences, they simply don’t exist. No one goes to war and doesn’t make a mistake. Some shoot to quickly, others to slow. Either way, someone dies. Tell me, if you had waited, if you didn’t take the shot, and they ended up killing your buddy, your C.O., would you blame yourself any less? And if the answer is no, then you can’t go on blaming yourself. And if it’s about that stupid Navy Cross, then screw it – they literally shipped you from hell to purgatory, so for what it’s worth, you’ve done enough to be given some form of thanks. Not many had to see action on Okinawa right after Iwo Jima.”

    “I must be a hell of a dancer for you to forgive me war crimes”, he said with a thick voice, as if all the grief was re-emerging. Not even his sarcasm could mask the sorrow.

    “Jack”, she shook her head, “I’ve seen war crimes. I’ve seen it all. Mass executions, rape, deliberate shootings of unarmed civilians against a wall. Deliberate starvation of entire towns. Intent matters. You were trying to do the best you could. That doesn’t guarantee the ideal outcome. But it doesn’t change that you are a good man, Jack.”

    He rubbed his eyes with his thumb and index finger, and Y/N could have sworn it wasn’t because he was tired, but it was to wipe away the sadness. But in her experiences, it was already better to cry over it than to numb it completely. Those who buried it deep enough not to ever cry about it, those were the people with the thousand-yard-stare.

    Y/N stood up, walked over to him and sat down next to him, looking at his tired face.

    “And you don’t have to wait for me to forgive your war crimes”, she said softly, “I’ve never held them against you to start with.”

    A/N: I just realised, I started book one in 2017. For real, that seems like in a different historical period by now. Jesus, I again apologise for taking a million years to write a story. I hope I can do better in part 2, and I hope that my writing style has only improved over the years. As usual, feedback, reactions - anything - is very appreciated, and I hope you enjoy!

    Tag List 

    @pretty-girl-40

    @abysshaven

    @deathofmissjackson

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    #agent carter #marvel's agent carter #agent thompson#mcu#marvel #marvel cinematic universe #jack thompson #jack thompson imagine #agent jack thompson #jack thompson x reader #agent jack thompson x reader
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  • m4tthewmurd0ck
    27.05.2022 - 57 minutes ago

    Оружие ~ 𝐁𝐮𝐜𝐤𝐲 𝐁𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐱 (𝐅𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞) 𝐀𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫! 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫

    𝚃𝙰𝙱𝙻𝙴 𝙾𝙵 𝙲𝙾𝙽𝚃𝙴𝙽𝚃𝚂

    ~ 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐏𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐎𝐍𝐄 ~ 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐏𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐓𝐖𝐎
    #bucky barnes#sebastian stan #bucky barnes x you #bucky barnes x reader #bucky barnes x fem!reader #bucky barnes au #bucky barnes fluff #bucky barnes angst #bucky barnes fanfic #winter soldier #winter soldier x you #winter soldier x reader #winter soldier x fem!reader #winter soldier au #winter soldier fluff #winter soldier angst #winter soldier fanfic #marvel#mcu#avengers#marvel au#avengers au #bucky x you #bucky x reader #steve rogers#tony stark#natasha romanoff#yelena belova#black widow
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  • m4tthewmurd0ck
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    Оружие ~ 𝐁𝐮𝐜𝐤𝐲 𝐁𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐱 (𝐅𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐞) 𝐀𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫! 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫

    Оружие = 𝐖𝐞𝐚𝐩𝐨𝐧

    𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐏𝐓𝐄𝐑 𝐓𝐖𝐎 // 𝚌𝚕𝚒𝚌𝚔 *𝙷𝙴𝚁𝙴* 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜!

    𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚍 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚝: 𝟺.𝟽𝚔

         AFTER YOU AND BUCKY FALL ASLEEP WATCHING A MOVIE, YOU BEGIN TO SPEND A LOT MORE TIME TOGETHER. And you’re pleasantly surprised when he begins looking for you during his free time.

    The morning before Steve leaves on a mission with Clint and Tony, he comes to your floor and asks if you’ll be around for the next week or so. He knows you’re not being sent on any missions, so he has a favor to ask. You’re confused, but you let him know that you have no plans whatsoever.

    “I— I know you and Buck have gotten pretty close so I was just wondering if you could maybe… keep an eye on him? Check on him every once in a while, make sure he’s alright, that sort of thing.”

    Now you’re a little worried. “Has something happened??”

    “No, no he’s fine. It’s just this is the first mission that I’ll be going on without him. I don’t know if you, or anyone else really, has noticed but previously he and I have either been partnered on missions, or at least going on the same ones. Other than you and I, he doesn’t really hang out with anyone else. I’m just worried that with me gone, he’ll withdraw and keep to himself whenever he’s nervous or anxious.”

    Aaand now your heart is slowly breaking for Bucky. “Oh of course! I was planning on asking him to hang out tomorrow anyway,” you hope the smile on your face doesn’t give away that you’re touched that Steve trusts you enough to check up on his best friend.

    As a special treat for the boys leaving on the mission, the team has a feast, with you and Wanda having spent the better part of the afternoon in the kitchen. Dinner ends up being a 2 hour affair, and for the millionth time since Nat and Yelena saved you, you’re grateful for the family they’ve given you.

    There’s nothing but trading stories, laughing so hard there are tears, and before you know it, Steve, Clint, and Tony are getting ready to head to the quinjet. After they leave, almost everyone heads off to their separate floors. The exception being you and Loki, who go up to your rooftop garden to water all of your plants.

    There are so many, and you both love taking care of them, so it ends up being an activity that takes nearly half an hour. Once you’re in the elevators Loki turns to you just before he steps off on his floor.

    “Tell the metal armed man that if he hurts you, I won’t hesitate to crush him like a bug.” Before you can even think of a reply, he exits and turns to you, grinning as the doors shut.

    Back on your floor after showering and getting settled on the couch, you attempt to find something to watch. But after scrolling through every possible show and movie on almost all streaming platforms, nothing seems good.

    You decide maybe reading will keep you occupied, so you go to your ‘office / library’ room and grab the book that you’ve been meaning to read. You’re only able to make it through a couple of chapters before setting the book down.

    It occurs to you that since Steve is gone, Bucky will be on their floor by himself. Before you can think about it so much that your mind tells you it’s a horrible idea, you take the elevator to their floor.

    It’s only once you’re stepping off of the elevator, that you check your phone and see the time is nearly 10:30pm. When you walk in to the kitchen and don’t hear anything, you figure Bucky must already be asleep.

    Glancing at their fridge, you notice a magnetic notepad amongst the various photos and magnets. Grabbing a. pen from a nearby drawer, you leave a note for Bucky asking if he’d like to hang out tomorrow, and you let him know that if he wants to, he can come find you at any point. You sign your name and a smiley face at the bottom, and stick the notepad back on the fridge.

    Right before you’re about to get back in to the elevators, you hear a loud noise. Freezing, you wait to see if you hear it again so that you can work out what it was. About 10 seconds later, you hear it again and quickly realize that it’s Bucky.

    Quickly making your way to his room, you pause and put your ear against the door. It’s clear he’s… in pain? You slowly twist the door handle and push it open, and your heart breaks when you hear him mumbling in his sleep.

    “No, please… I’ll be good please don’t make me forget… no… no!”

    You don’t have much experience with other peoples nightmares, and you briefly wonder how you should go about waking him up. A direct approach might be best, to lessen the risk of you frightening him.

    “Buck—” you reach out and put your hand on his head, slowly running your hand through his hair. After a few seconds, he stills and the whimpering stops. You do this for a couple of minutes, then slowly stand up and take a few steps back, not wanting to disturb him.

    Without warning, he sits up, panicking.

    You rush back to him and pull him close, his head against your chest since you’re standing up and he’s just sitting in bed.

    When you first got to the compound and dealt with a lot of anxiety, Nat introduced you to something called deep pressure therapy. You haven’t needed it in a long time, and you have a feeling that Bucky hasn’t dealt with his internal problems about his past, but you figure at this point it can’t hurt.

    Slowly, you wrap your arms around him, one hand rubbing his back and the other once again gently playing with his hair as you hold him tight against you.

    “It’s okay, you’re okay Bucky,” you whisper over and over. Continuing to hold him, you loosen your grip a little so that he doesn’t feel trapped in your embrace.

    He’s no longer breathing hard and looking around in a panic, but he’s still shaking so you continue to whisper soft reassurances in his ear. “You’re okay Bucky, they can’t hurt you anymore. You’re safe in the compound, I promise.”

    After doing this for 5 minutes, you begin to pull away, thinking he’s alright now that the shaking has stopped too. But Bucky swings his legs off of the bed and pulls you close. He says something, but it’s so soft that you almost don’t hear it.

    “Please don’t go,” he whispers.

    You’re both silent as you walk around to the other side of the bed and climb in, sitting up leaning against the headboard. It’s quiet for a moment before Bucky speaks up again.

    “Can you— can you keep—”

    You realize what he’s asking, and nod, moving closer to him. You pat your lap and he moves to lay his head on it. When you begin playing with his hair, his right hand comes to rest on your thighs. He doesn’t say it out loud, but it’s because he feels like he has to reassure himself that you’re real. That you’re there wit him, and this isn’t a dream.

    “You’re safe Bucky. They won’t hurt you anymore. You’re surrounded by people who love and care about you.”

    The next time you look down at him, he’s asleep, and you can’t help but notice how peaceful he looks. Just to make sure he’s in a deeper sleep, and because you just want to stay up and make sure he’s alright, you play with his hair for another 20 minutes.

    When you finally start feeling sleepy, you carefully remove yourself rom under him and lay down next to him.

    Before you’re fully asleep, he stirs next to you. When you reach out and take his left hand in yours, whispering that you’re right there, he instantly calms down.

    Waking up the next morning, your first thought is that you can’t remember the last time you woke up feeling so well rested. You’re confused for a second, before remembering exactly what happened last night.

    Bucky is still fast asleep next to you, his arm draped over you and holding you close. You don’t want to risk waking him before he has a chance to get as much sleep as possible. You know he needs the rest, so you close your eyes and go back to sleep.

    The next time you wake up, Bucky’s the one already awake. You sigh with content, loving the way his hand feels when he runs his fingers through your hair. “How long have you been awake?” You ask sleepily. 

    “Not long.” That’s a lie. The truth is that Bucky has been awake for nearly 20 minutes. But he didn’t know that you’d already woken up and gone back to sleep for him, so he decided to lay there until you woke up. 

    You don’t want to pressure him into talking about the nightmares, you know firsthand how uncomfortable it can be to have those discussions. So when you sit up, you settle for asking him how he slept.

    A frown quickly forms on his face, but it’s replaced by a smile a few seconds later. “Better than I have in a long time. I’m sorry you had to see me like that, but thank you doll. No one has ever… Steve’s the only one who really knows about the nightmares.”

    Reaching over to take his left hand in yours, you run your fingers along the cool metal. “You don’t ever have to apologize. You’ve been through a lot, and I’m just sorry you’re still dealing with the aftermath from… all of that. No matter the time, or even if we’re on a mission and sleeping in tents or motels, or wherever, if this happens again you come wake me up okay? Or call if we’re not in the same place.”

    Bucky swears that if he died right now, he’d die the happiest man in the world. He appreciates you in this moment more than you know. Still, he feels guilty. “I don’t want to be a burden—”

    “James,” you laugh at his expression from you using his actual first name, “I promise that you could never be a burden to me. You’re one of the bravest people I know. You’re now helping to take care of the world, so let me help take care of you.”

    Something shifted after that night. 

    The next day, when you were alone on your floor you asked F.R.I.D.A.Y. to alert you of any distress on Bucky’s floor.

    When you’re back the second night in a row, Bucky seems ashamed. It took a while for you to convince him that you really meant it when you said he wasn’t a burden.

    The next morning, you ask him if it would be alright if you stayed with him until Steve returned. You admitted that you sometimes got lonely on your floor since you were one of the few that had a floor all to themselves, and when you mentioned that you slept better with him there, it made him feel a lot better about accepting.

    By the time Steve came back, nearly a week had gone by. It was the middle of the night when he arrived back at the compound, and he peeked in Bucky’s room just to make sure he was alright. He couldn’t help the grin on his face when he saw you and Bucky fast asleep in each other’s arms.

    He also noticed a difference in his best friend the next day, and when the 2 of you were alone for a moment he thanked you for being there for him.

    One night you, Steve, Bucky, Wanda, and Peter had a movie night on Steve and Bucky’s floor. After the film finished, Wanda and Peter went back to their floors. Bucky headed off to go take a shower while you and Steve remained on the couch, unable to move after all the popcorn that you’d both consumed.

    One other way you and Steve bonded, was with music. Every so often you sat with him and told him all the new music you loved. He had Spotify too and you showed him how to add songs to his library, but he still liked to write titles and artists down in a small notebook. That night, you spent half an hour playing short clips of songs, and if it sounded like something he’d enjoy, he wrote it down.

    You half-joked about making him a mixtape, but when his eyes lit up you knew right away what you were getting him for Christmas.

    Just as you’d finished, and had moved on to cleaning up the living room, you hear a loud noise coming from Bucky’s bathroom.

    You and Steve quickly rush over and see him standing in front of the mirror. It’s now broken, and he’s looking down at his right hand that has a few cuts and quite a bit of blood.

    “Come on,” you whisper, gently taking his other hand and leading him out of the room. As you pass Steve, he says he’ll get the shards cleaned up.

    You continue holding Bucky’s hand even once you’re back in the kitchen. After a minute, you give his left hand a reassuring squeeze before letting go and quickly heading to the bathroom, telling him you’ll be right back.

    Despite the pain he’s experiencing and the humiliation he feels, he finds himself wishing you hadn’t let go. But you’re back a moment later, telling him that Steve already has the counter and floor cleaned up and that he’s going to ask F.R.I.D.A.Y. to order a new mirror.

    First-aid kit in one hand and a few warm washcloths in the other, you set everything down and begin gently wiping the blood from his hand.

    “I— I can do it, you don’t have to look at… at th-this,” Bucky stutters his way through an attempted explanation. You step forward and kiss his forehead, asking if he’ll let you take care of him.

    Once you’ve wiped off all the blood, applied medicine, and wrapped his hand in gauze, you ask if he’d like to go see Dr. Cho to make sure his hand isn’t actually more injured than it seems, but he insists that he’ll be fine.

    After a few minutes of silence, it’s clear that Bucky isn’t going to speak first. “Wh—what happened?”

    “I’m doing better, I promise. But I just… I don’t know. I saw myself in the mirror and I j-just, freaked out. I know I shouldn’t have punched the mirror, I just—” He’s caught off guard when you step back, pulling him to his feet and into a hug.

    “You don’t have to hide your feelings with me, Buck, it’s okay.”

    When Steve comes back into the room, Bucky makes his way over to him and apologizes. They hug, Steve assuring Bucky that he doesn’t have to apologize.

    The 3 of you spend the rest of the night in their living room, Bucky and Steve trading stories about the 2 of them when they were younger. By the end of the night, the bathroom mirror incident was already a thing of the past.

    You could tell Bucky was still just a little upset at his actions, and when you reached for his hand just as he was going to excuse himself to go to his room where he’d probably lay in bed sulking, he was once again grateful that you were now part of his life. 

    A few weeks later on a Wednesday, you and Pietro are up on the roof for your weekly pizza night. You’re discussing possibly going with him to visit Sokovia someday. Memories are still too painful for Wanda, but he confessed to you that he has been wanting to go back for a visit. Once you offered to go with him, his face lit up with excitement as he began telling you all of the places that he’d have to show you.

    F.R.I.D.A.Y. interrupts Pietro by calling your name.

    Director Fury has requested to see you, Agent Romanoff, and Agent Belova. 

    It doesn’t escape you that the only people he wants to see, are the 3 former Black Widow’s.

    10 minutes later, you, Nat, and Yelena are in a conference room. While you wait for Fury, the 3 of you look at each other, silently agreeing that this must be something bad since no one else is allowed in the room.

    Your suspicions are confirmed when Fury finally enters the room, immediately asking F.R.I.D.A.Y. to soundproof the room and to not record the conversation. Usually all meetings were recorded for future reference if you needed to look back on something that was said. What could possibly be the reason for not recording?

    That question is soon answered when Fury begins telling you about the mission you’ll be sent on. After the first couple of sentences, you already have a bad feeling.

    You’re informed that a few former members of HYDRA (“they escaped and went into hiding before they were taken down”) and some people that used to work with Dreykov have joined together and were working on what was now known to very few, as Project Winter Widow.

    The project turned out to be exactly what it sounded like. Where Black Widows and Winter Soldiers had basically failed as 2 separate projects, resources were being pooled together to create the ultimate super soldier assassin.

    Fury assured you that none of you would be going into the field and engaging in combat, and in fact if that was asked, he wouldn’t allow that. But the people who were working on taking them down needed insight on those who had been successfully turned into Black Widows. When asked why, he said it was because there was little known information about the Red Room, whereas a lot of blanks had already been filled in about the Winter Soldier program.

    Nat picked up on another red flag when Fury stressed that this was a classified mission and not a single bit of information could be shared with anyone else on the team. You’d be getting on a plane they were sending for you to go to Russia tomorrow morning, and you’d immediately head into a meeting to give basically everything you knew / remembered about the Black Widow program.

    “Why the hell does it have to be a secret from the team, if we’re not being sent into the field?” Nat leaned back in her chair, crossing her arms and making it clear she was already uncomfortable with this.

    “We need calm and collected on this,” Fury sighed, “as I’ve said, you won’t be involved in any fighting and you’re just being asked to provide information that can only be accessed by those who were forced through the program. Until everything is over and done with, it’s to be discussed only with those working on the takedown. Once it’s finished and we’ve successfully taken down Project Winter Widow, the remaining Avengers may be told about what you’ve all been doing.” Fury says he’ll give you all some time to discuss, though you all know it’s an empty gesture. He knows that the 3 of you would do anything to stop more assassins from being created.

    Discussion begins the moment he steps out of the room. After thinking about it for a little bit, Nat now agrees that it should be kept a secret for now. She points out that the entire team is all understandably protective, and while you all love that about them, knowing they’d be dealing with the people who basically kidnapped you 3 and Bucky, you all know damn well they’d just want to insert themselves into the takedown.

    Yelena thinks it could only help to have them involved, or at the very least just involve Bucky.

    You, on the other hand, see both sides. Fury was right, they already know basically everything about the Winter Soldier program. Bringing Bucky into this might only further trigger him and erase a lot of the progress that he has made. 

    In the end, you agree with Nat, and that’s enough to get Yelena to change her opinion.

    When Fury re-enters the room, you sign contracts stating that you won’t discuss the mission with the rest of the team until it’s finished. You’re given a cover mission, and when the team asks, you’re to say that the 3 of you are helping take down a fast growing crime organization, and that it’s an all female group which is why no one else is being sent to help too.

    Nat reminds you and Yelena that you can’t discuss it at all even in Russian, because Bucky will be able to understand what you’re all saying.

    Once you exit the meeting room, you’re greeted by Tony and Steve. Yelena summarizes the mission, then says that Fury didn’t want any one else sitting in since they can’t come along anyway. 

    After they seem satisfied and head back to their floors, you all decide to head to the gym. When you point out that there’s really no need because Fury said you won’t be fighting, Nat counters your argument, saying it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    Once you’re all in the ring taking turns ‘fighting’ each other, Sam and Steve end up joining you in the gym. Neither of them says anything, but they both notice that you’re only practicing fighting moves that you’ve learned in the Red Room. They know that because it’s definitely not moves that you’ve picked up from anyone on the team.

    Bucky comes in to the gym towards the end, and notices that you seem to be a little more shaken up than usual. You don’t say it, but it’s because that bad feeling still hasn’t gone away.

    Yelena and Nat head back to their floors after an hour of training, but you remain in the gym with the boys. It’s raining out, so instead of an evening run, Sam and Steve are just on the treadmills.

    Hoping to distract yourself from that bad feeling, you ask Bucky if he’ll spar with you. He’s hesitant at first, but eventually says yes. After you land him on his back twice, you work out that he’s going easy on you.

    “James,” you put your hands on your hips, shaking your head, “going easy on me will do no good if someone pulls these moves on me whenever I’m on a mission. Come on.”

    He lands you on your back after a minute, but is quick to pull you up, asking if you’re alright multiple times. You nod, a big smile on your face as you ask him to go again.

    Surprising him with a few widow moves, you end up beating him on your own next time. Sam stops the treadmill and begins clapping obnoxiously, encouraging you to kick his ass again.

    At dinner that evening, you notice Bucky seems a little more… clingy? Than usual. You’re hesitant to use that word because you enjoy his company, but you can’t help but notice that Bucky seems to be keeping an eye on you a lot more than he normally does.

    With Loki being away on Asgard, you head up to the roof to water all the plants by yourself. You’re surprised when Bucky joins you after just a minute, asking if he can help.

    “Doll, are you alright? Is it because of the mission you guys are going on tomorrow?”

    You want to tell him, but you know that you can’t. “Sort of. I’m not sure how long we’ll be gone and Loki’s not here either so I’m just worried about having to ask someone to take care of all our plants while we’re both gone.”

    “I have a pretty good memory now,” Bucky smiles, “show me what to do”.

    You spend nearly an hour wandering around the garden, pointing out various plants and flowers, telling him which ones need daily watering, and which ones can go 2-3 days. Bucky even pulls out his phone, taking videos of you as you explain.

    That night, Nat and Yelena end up sleeping on your floor. To take your minds off of the worry that’s still lingering in the air, you all fall asleep in the living room watching funny movies.

    Around 1am, you’re woken up to the sound of a few soft beeps, then F.R.I.D.A.Y. speaking up.

    There appears to be distress coming from Captain Rogers and Sergeant Barnes’ floor.

    “Tell Steve I’m on my way,” you say, slipping off the couch and heading straight for the elevators.

    “You need me to come get you when I wake up?” You turn back around to see Nat sitting up, rubbing her eyes.

    “I’ll set an alarm and come back earlier before we have to go,” you thank her for the offer, and then head to Steve and Bucky’s floor.

    Steve greets you when you get off of the elevator, saying that Bucky woke himself up from his nightmare but his door is still locked, and he won’t let Steve in.

    “I’ll make sure he’s okay, and I’ll come get you if I need help,” you reassure Steve, who hugs you and thanks you for being there for Bucky again.

    Gently knocking on the door, you know that Bucky heard you because the room becomes silent. “Buck, can you let me in please? We don’t even have to talk about it if you don’t want to. We can just go right to sleep, I promise.”

    After a minute, you’re sure he won’t let you in. As you turn to go tell Steve, you hear the click of the door unlocking. When you step into his room, Bucky pulls you into his arms, holding you tight.

    You grab his hand and lead him to bed. When he finally gets under the covers, you walk around to the other side and climb in.

    When he pulls you close, with your head now on his chest, you begin to slowly trace shapes on his arm. Just a few minutes later, his breathing returns to normal.

    “I’m sorry doll. I just… you were there this time.”

    “I was…?”

    “M-my nightmare. They had you and it… it felt real.”

    “Who had me?”

    He’s quiet for a moment, holding you even tighter when he finally answers. “Hydra.”

    You continue laying in Bucky’s arms, whispering soft reassurance that you’re with him and that you’re okay. It takes a while, but eventually he manages to fall back asleep. As you lay there, you still can’t shake the bad feeling that seems to be getting worse.

    𝐃𝐀𝐓𝐄: ???   //   𝐓𝐈𝐌𝐄: ??? // 𝐃𝐀𝐘𝐒 𝐇𝐄𝐋𝐃 𝐇𝐎𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐆𝐄: ???

    As you move in and out of consciousness, the only thing on your mind is that you just have to hold on long enough for the team to find you.

    At least Nat and Yelena got out safe, you think to yourself.

    But then your thoughts turn to Bucky. You’ve been here, what, a month? Maybe more? And you’re beginning to lose hope. Actually, you don’t know if it’s been a month. Time really isn’t a thing for you here. 

    If you don’t make it, you’ll never get to tell Bucky how you feel. You won’t get to tell him what you came to realize the morning you left, and again on the ride over when Nat just straight up asked if you and Bucky had confessed your feelings to each other yet.

    Forcing you from your thoughts, the metal door opens, slamming against the wall and causing you to jump. You try to maintain composure, not wanting to give the men the satisfaction of seeing you so afraid.

    One of them bends down so that they’re eye level with you, but the cuffs around your ankles and the ropes around your hands keep you seated and tied to the chair. He looks at you for a moment, and when he speaks, it sends chills down your spine.

    “Привет, солдат.” ((( hello, soldier. )))

    series tags: @bxtchboy69, @graysher​, @scarlettwitch99 , @losteroops​

    bucky tags: @hallecarey1, @valkyrie418, @weirdowithnobeardo, @adoringsebstan, @seabassstanfan, @channelxt, @eliwinchester99​

    all character tags: @jaywalkingape

    if you’d like to be added to the tag list, let me know in a comment, or send something to my ask or inbox! you can specify the title, or character name if you’d like to be tagged in everything written for them :)

    #marvel#mcu #bucky barnes x you #bucky barnes #bucky barnes x reader #sebastian stan #bucky barnes x fem!reader #marvel au#mcu au #bucky barnes au #winter soldier x you #winter soldier x reader #winter soldier #winter soldier x fem!reader #bucky barnes fluff #bucky barnes angst #winter soldier fluff #winter soldier angst #bucky barnes fanfic #bucky barnes funny #winter soldier fanfic #avengers#avengers au#steve rogers#captain america#loki#wanda maximoff#scarlet witch#elizabeth olsen
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  • plasmabear
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    I can't do line art no more :I

    @plasmabear - click for better quality

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  • no-fucks-left-in-inventory
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    Everyday I imagine Loki's reaction to drinking/eating Earth things that his body can't handle and everyday it makes me smile.

    #loki#loki laufeyson#mcu#marvel #that man would die on the spot #start hacking up a fucking lung #hed sip a baja blast and b like #O.o #a fuckin#warhead #any sour candy #a fuckin monster energy drink #hed watch peter down 2 in an hour and b like i can do that #smash cut to loki being able to smell colors
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  • stephen-strange-x-everyone
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    Stephen: WONG!!!!!!! I did a bad thing!!!

    Wong: does it affect me

    Stephen: no

    Wong: then suffer in silence.

    Stephen:

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  • some-weird-queer-writer
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    New chapter of WWSHCP is up!

    Can be found on AO3 here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/34145023/chapters/98230536

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  • drunkeninsomniacwriter
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    MCU "Daredevil" Series Now In The Works

    MCU “Daredevil” Series Now In The Works

    After the abrupt end of the Netflix/Marvel shows, fans were delighted to see Matt Murdock as played by Charlie Cox make an appearance again in Spider-Man No Way Home. I mean each time I saw this in theaters, folks clapped during his cameo. That being said… I have some thoughts. While I have stuck by most of the adaptations that the MCU has dished out, others were rather meh… and pretty much…

    View On WordPress

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  • jokingmisfit
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    Loki is in fact the BEST character for,

    Genderfluid people

    Gays

    Bisexuals

    Asexuals

    Pansexuals

    Polyamorous people

    Nonbinaries

    Lesbians

    He/Hims

    She/Hers

    She/Thems

    He/Thems

    F to M trans

    M to F trans

    Depressed People

    Anxious People

    Violent People

    Tiktokers

    People with ADHD

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    Short People

    Tall People

    Millennials

    Gen Z

    Snake Lovers

    Prankers

    Norse God Lovers

    Witches

    Teachers and Learners

    Candy Eaters

    Spicy Food Lovers

    Alcoholics

    Smokers

    Youngest Siblings

    People with Abondment Issues

    People with Daddy Issues

    People with Mommy Issues

    People who act tough but are cinnamon rolls

    People who love Gold

    People who love Drama

    People with PTSD

    People who love Black

    People who love Green

    Europeans

    Those who love Reading

    Writers

    Pacifists who have a lot of Anger

    Those with Anger Issues

    Childish People

    Those who grew up Lonely

    Those still Lonely

    Aromantics

    Any other LGBTQIA+ people not listed

    Those who are Insecure

    Hot People

    Smart People

    Those having an Identity Crisis

    And So Much More!

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  • strongadoringxmal
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    Iman Vellani at the Ms Marvel Premiere (In UK) Sketch

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  • ja3hwa
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    Catch up | Bucky [17]

    Word count: 660

    Genre: Action, Smut, Fluff, Angst, lots of pain :)

    Type: Bucky x AFAB! Reader

    Warnings: Blood, Panic, Betrayal, Bucky cries, Reader gets kidnapped

    Synopsis: The Truth is out and everyone wants to know the story

    <- Previous | M.List | Next ->

    Bucky stood there in shock, a ball of saliva grew stuck in his neck. Everyone finally knew the dark past you both have been so desperately trying to hide. And now after all this time trying to keep the secrets, he couldn't do anything but stand frozen, like a deer in headlights. All eyes were on him, he felt guilt shivering through his body... Hiding something this big from his friends was not his intention but he also felt guilt for you. guilt from not being about to protect you from your past. He needed to see you, before anyone else could, Before-

    "Mr, Stark your silent alarm has gone off in sector 5 near the dorm rooms. Some unauthorized people entered the building and--s-d-sto---" Friday's voice stuttered before shutting down.

    "Friday? Friday!!" Tony spoke louder, typing on the main keypad on the large meeting table but nothing happened. Someone managed to shut down the whole A.I mainframe in the compound. The team started to worry about who and why someone would enter the compound. Who would have the gust to try and break into a stark industry building. But something clicked in Bucky, like a pin dropping in a silent room. Puzzle pieces finally coming together.

    "Y/n..." Bucky's heart dropped, his feet taking off before his mind. Running down the hallway towards the large staircase, choosing on taking the stairs as the elevator was far too slow for him. He called out your name over and over as he ran through each room and hall. Finally getting to your room he banged on the door in a panic trying to open the door but it was locked.

    "Y/n open the door, please. Y/n...OPEN THE DOOR!!" Panic surged through him, feral-ness clouding his judgement. He ran at the door, hitting it with his metal shoulder. He broke your door, seeing your normally clean room, trashed. The large bay window was shattered and scattered. Shards covered the lounge room floor and furniture. Out of anger, he threw the closest thing to him. A glass that sat on the counter. Steve came in with a huff seeing his best friend in the middle of the mess. Bucky turned to see the blonde, feeling tears fill his eyes he chokes out.

    "She gone..."

    -

    Your mind was foggy, a surge of pain on the left side of your head, most likely from being hit with a large object earlier in an effort to knock you out. A jump in the road made you notice your surroundings. You were in a van, in chains. 'great' you thought, shaking your head, trying to get your blurry vision to focus. You were alone, having only the two people in the front of the vehicle. One in the driver's seat and the other in the passenger. Shifting around you pull at your wrist, seeing the chains tighten as you move. The chains were made out of vibranium, so you couldn't melt them even if you tried.

    "Fuck..." You whisper, leaning your head against the van wall, you close your eyes trying to calm your breathing. The van came to a stop, seeing the two people in the front get out. Shuffling back, you try your best to get out of your restraints but as the back door opens and the blaring sun peaks through, you realize.....what was the point.

    "Hello my Song Bird, You finally flew back home." Mr, A smiled as two Hydra agents dragged you out of the van by the chains around your wrists and neck. He grabbed you by your chin, pulling you up to his face, you spit in his face making him let go of you. He wipes his face with a chuckle before his expression turns sour, backhanding you hard across your cheek, making you fall.

    "Pierce." You scoffed spitting blood onto the floor.

    "Take her to sector B4..." He kneels down you your level tilting his head while looking you up and down. "We have some catching up to do."

    Masterlist

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    Tag List : @calstielwinchester @boofy1998 @domainoflostsouls @koressecretidentity @ellezbby @matchat3a @fiveftofury @partyofone3413   @sebsgirl71479   @buckyismyhusbandsblog @cowboyjaehyun @deansapplepie

    #bucky imagine#bucky#bucky fic#bucky fanfic #steve x bucky #bucky barnes x reader smut #bucky x reader #bucky smut #bucky barns fanfiction #bucky barns x you #bucky barns x reader #bucky barns imagine #bucky barnes #bucky barns x y/n #sebastian x reader #Sebastian stan#mcu#marvel#mcu fanfiction
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  • bonniebirddoesgifs
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    Bonniebirddoesgifs:

    Thor Odinson (MCU) - Credit if using

    #thor odinson#marvel#mcu #marvel cinematic universe #bonniebirdgifs
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  • aingealcethlenn
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    DA Chapter 12

    Chapter 11

    Day by day, Harper got stronger. She and Bucky still spent time together every day, but it was less than before. There was a growing tension between them when they were together, but they did their best to ignore it. Of course, it didn't help that they always ended up entangled when she sparred with him. Sometimes he would just grab her around the waist and pull her in close; other times, he would let her knock him down so that she would be on top of him.

    They both knew they had feelings for each other, but Harper was adamant about not acting on those feelings. She would admit that she owed him her life, but she didn't want him to know that. That wasn't to say that she didn't enjoy his company; she loved spending time with him. He was a fantastic sparring partner, and he made her laugh more often than she thought possible. But it didn't matter how much she enjoyed his presence; she couldn't allow herself to get attached to someone.

    Harper sat alone on the sniper range. The wind blew softly against her face as she stared at the targets through the scope. Her heart beat rapidly as she took aim at one of the targets, allowing her finger to dance over the trigger. The bullet hit true each time.

    "Damn. It's like you never missed a beat," a voice behind her said. She turned and saw Bucky approaching. His hair was slightly disheveled, which usually meant that he'd been running. There was a proud grin on his face as he got closer to where Harper stood. She couldn't help but smile, especially when he looked at her like that. Like he actually cared what she was doing or thinking. She could have gotten used to that look every single day.

    "You need something?" she asked. Bucky shook his head. "Then why're you here?"

    Bucky shrugged and moved to sit in the empty chair next to her, crossing his arms over his chest. They were quiet for a moment before he spoke. "I just thought I'd check on you."

    Harper smiled again, her heart skipping a beat. "You see me all the time, Barnes," she reminded him.

    He nodded. "That may be true. But I only see you when we train weapons or spar together." Bucky paused, looking out toward the targets, "Besides, this is one of my favorite spots," he chuckled, trying to ease the rising tension. Bucky turned his attention back to Harper, smiling gently.

    She glanced up and met his gaze, returning the expression. "You want a shot?" she questioned, gesturing toward the weapon still propped on the ledge. He shook his head no, so she stood and picked the gun up, slinging it over her shoulder so she could head back to the compound.

    The two of them continued to talk while they walked back to the building. As Harper and Bucky approached the doors, Clint stepped through to meet them. "Harley! There you are. I've been looking for you," he said, walking toward her.

    "Well, you found me," she replied. "What do you need?"

    "I found them," he said flatly. "I think anyway."

    "Found who?" Bucky questioned, stepping up next to Harper.

    "The men that attacked her," Clint answered.

    Harper rolled her eyes. She had figured Clint would find them, but a part of her hoped he would fail. "Are you sure it's them?"

    Clint nodded. "Positive."

    Harper sighed. "Okay, tell me what you found," she gently demanded, leading them all inside the building.

    Clint relayed everything he knew. From where they were living to where they were currently working jobs. All of which matched up perfectly with what Harper had already discovered from digging on her own.

    "So, what's our next move?" Bucky asked.

    Harper stopped dead in her tracks, "Our? There is no 'our next move' soldier. This is something I need to do."

    "You're not going alone, Harley," Clint reminded her.

    "The only reason you are allowed to tag along, Hawk, is because they pose a threat to you too. Trust me; I'm still not thrilled over the idea," she pointed out.

    "Harley-" Bucky began.

    "No," she interrupted, "You have done more than enough for me, Barnes. This... This is something Clint and I need to finish alone." She watched as Bucky's jaw clenched, obviously not pleased with her response but unwilling to argue further. She appreciated that. Harper turned to Clint, "When are you expecting to leave?" she asked.

    "As soon as you feel ready, I guess," he shrugged.

    Harper nodded, "Then let's get packed."

    The next evening, Clint and Harper arrived at a hotel outside Cedar Falls, Iowa. Harper had to chuckle to herself when she had found out where they were headed. How cliche for them to finally close this chapter in their lives, in the exact same place it all had started.

    As the pair worked to unpack things for the task the following day, Harper looked to her brother who seemed just a little on edge. "You sure you're ready for this?" she asked, propping their quivers and bows next to the dresser.

    "It's just another job, right?" Clint replied. "Taking out the bad guys to keep my family safe?"

    Harper chuckled a bit, shaking her head. "These guys may be old, Hawk, but you saw what they can still do."

    Clint shrugged again. "If it was too easy, I'd start to question our own skills."

    Harper nodded, "Fair point."

    Clint closed up his suitcase, having only brought his bow, arrows, and a few articles of clothing. Harper, on the other hand, brought all of her favorite weapons. She pulled out two of her knives and her handgun, along with a few other items, before setting her suitcase on the floor. She took a seat at the small desk in the room and began wiping down her knives first.

    Clint sat on the edge of his bed, watching his sister work. He couldn't help but notice how calm she seemed in her movements. Clint realized that this was the first time, in their adult lives anyway, that he had ever truly seen his sister. They had been on opposing sides for so long that even when they did get along, there always seemed to be tension. But now, even though she was getting ready to kill someone, she wasn't upset or scared, or even nervous. It was almost like she was going through the motions from pure muscle memory.

    "Harley, can I ask you something?" Clint suddenly broke the silence between them.

    Harper looked over at him, giving him a curious look. "Sure."

    Clint hesitated. His hands shook slightly from nerves as he spoke. "What... What happened to us? I mean, what really happened? We used to be so close. And then..." he trailed off.

    "Is this really a conversation you want to have right now?"

    "Yes, actually. I need to know, so I know I can trust you while we’re out there,” he told her. “I mean, it can't honestly just be that stupid petty jealousy from when we were kids, right?"

    "Petty jealousy?" Harper repeated, raising a brow in confusion.

    "Yeah, Jacques overlooked you for me?" Clint questioned.

    She blinked, "You honestly think that is why we had a fallout? Because some asshole with a sword and gambling issues chose you over me to be his little bitch?" she laughed.

    "Then what? What happened between us, Harley? Why are we always fighting now?" Clint asked.

    Harper shook her head, looking back down at her weapons as she set the first knife on the desk. "Look, I'll admit, I was a little jealous when he chose you. I mean, let's be honest, I've always been better than you with weapons. He knew it, you knew it, everyone knew it. So yeah, I was jealous. But I grew up, Hawk. I got my life together, got my G.E.D., even had a couple really good jobs."

    "That doesn't answer my question," Clint pressed.

    Harper finally looked up and met his gaze. "You know, Clint, there was never a day that passed that I didn't think about my little brother. The years I was gone, never a day went by that I didn't wonder if I did the right thing by breaking my promise to mom. Always questioning if you were alive or if you were dead in a ditch somewhere."

    "Wait..." Clint trailed off, "...Mom? What promise?"

    "’You know how your father is, Harper Lee. You need to keep him safe... from everything,’" she began to recite. "’I'm trusting you to be his guardian angel. Promise me you'll always keep him safe, Harley.’"

    Clint stared at her in silence as he processed what she said. "Harley..." he trailed off, unsure if he wanted to continue.

    "Then, on my first assignment as a rookie agent, not only does the house I'm working at get robbed... but it's my brother who happens to be the one breaking in. At least I knew you were alive, though, right?" she laughed, trying to lighten the mood. Harper grabbed her other knife and began cleaning it as she continued her story. "After Buck left you behind that night, I got right back into that ‘big sister mode.’ He shot both of us that night… but I was older, stronger, I had to keep you safe. Nothing else mattered. But it was painstakingly clear that we couldn't work together."

    "But... Why?"

    "Hawk, you got hurt because you were more concerned about me than yourself." She paused, glancing at Clint. He remained silent, waiting for the rest of her story. "So, once we were healed up, I left. I left my job; I left my life because I needed to make sure that my brother stayed alive."

    "That's why you started using the symbol again. So no one actually saw us together," Clint realized.

    Harper nodded. "Yeah, pretty much," she agreed. She put away her other knife, moving on to cleaning her gun. "I knew it wasn't enough, though; staying away from you. So, I did the only logical thing I could think of. I called Fury. I told him I had a prospect for him to check out that would be a great addition to his team. Not to mention a perfect fit when he finally made his little Avengers club," she chuckled.

    "That still doesn't explain why we fight every time we see each other. If you've been protecting me all this time, why is it always a fight?" Clint asked, confused. "You ruined my wedding… You…” he groaned, “I mean, for god's sake, Harley, you shot me the last time we crossed paths. Why?"

    Harper sighed, setting the gun back on the desk. "Because," she began slowly, choosing her words carefully, "If I hadn't kept you away, I was afraid something would happen to you. I've worked for some really bad people, Hawk. If they thought I cared for you, even a little, they'd use that as leverage." She laughed a little, adding, "Except the wedding. That was personal. I knew Bird was no good for you."

    Clint rolled his eyes, "Wedding aside..." he started, "You're saying, all these years, it's just been an act?"

    "Basically," Harper shrugged. "When you started hating me for it, I was a bit hurt, but it made the act far more believable."

    "So, this whole time, I thought it was me. I thought it was my fault that you hated me. I thought I got the job on my own, and you were jealous again; I thought the reason my family was safe was because of the steps I took. And you just went along with that?"

    "What would you have wanted me to do, Hawk? Tell you the truth? Put your kids' lives in danger? Fuck that! I'd rather you hate me than have to go through the pain of losing a child," she responded angrily.

    "We could have kept them safe, Harley. We could have kept you safe," Clint argued, his voice rising slightly in frustration.

    "I was safe, Hawk," she snapped back. "And you know, you're right. If I had told you the truth, maybe you would have actually helped me when I came to you. But what's done is done. So can we just focus on moving forward? Once these two are gone, I won't need your help ever again, and your family will be safe. You can go back to hating me, and you'll never have to see me again, I promise."

    Clint shook his head, looking at his feet, unable to respond. He sighed heavily.

    "For what it's worth… I am sorry, Hawk. For everything. But I did what I had to do. I made my choice, so you didn't have to. I couldn't live with myself if I caused anything to happen to you, the kids, or even Laura," she explained.

    He glanced up at her, his face softening slightly. "It's okay, Harls," he replied. "I'm sure if the roles were reversed, I probably would have done the same thing." He paused, looking down as he continued, "The choice is yours, Harper Lee, but..." Clint took his time, searching for the right words. "Look, the kids seemed to really enjoy your visit. And..."

    "Hawk, stop," she interrupted him, causing him to lift his eyes from the ground. "I know what you're trying to get at, and I appreciate it. But, I can't be the sister I once was to you. I can't stick around, and I can't join your little team. I'm alone in this, and that's how I need to stay. It's for the best," she explained, staring him in the eyes.

    Clint looked back at her silently for a few moments before nodding, accepting the answer without arguing. "How about we agree to disagree? And we can talk about it after we're done with this job?" he suggested.

    "Sure, Hawk," she smiled.

    Harper left her weapons lying on a cloth on the desk. She bent down, dug out a pair of shorts and a t-shirt from her suitcase, and made her way to the bathroom to change. Maybe working with Clint won't be so bad. She mused as she pulled on her shorts, turning to look at her reflection in the mirror as she ran her fingers over the scars on her shoulder. Then again, I do my best work alone.

    Chapter 13 – Masterlist – Taglist

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  • triviaadnyc
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    #Marvel Cinematic Universe #Trivia @TommyFoxs this Wednesday, June 1 at 7pm. RSVP at; https://MCUTrivia060122.Eventbrite.com #MCU #MarvelStudios #WinterSoldier #Bergenfield #BergenCounty #NYCC #WinterSoldier #CaptainAmerican #StanLee #DisneyPlus #MarvelLegends #Thor #IronMan #TheHulk #BlackWidow #BlackPanther #StarLord #Groot #IAmGroot #Rocket #Hawkeye #DoctorStrange #CaptainMarvel #Spiderman #CaptainAmerica #Avengers #Endgame #AvengersEndgame #Superheroes (at New York, New York) https://www.instagram.com/p/CeEGAyRrZMZ/?igshid=NGJjMDIxMWI=

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  • lokislovingvalkyrie
    27.05.2022 - 1 hour ago

    Do ya’ll ever just fall in love with a fictional character but then they have a canonical love interest and every time you see scene between them you feel so jealous, betrayed and sad and like your heart is ripping? 

    Yeah that is me every time I come across Palmerstrange scenes and content 😂😭😂😭💔

    ...anyone else? Only me? Okay 😅

    #my post#doctor strange#stephen strange #doctor strange x reader #stephen strange x reader #doctor strange 2 #multiverse of madness #mcu imagines#mcu#marvel
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  • genderfluid-moth
    27.05.2022 - 2 hours ago

    Maybe Natasha and Mreader who’s just like…a normal dude? Like he works at bakery his aunt aunt owns and maybe he works out so he’s fit (kneading dough is hard work) but otherwise he’s just like a civilian. And he thinks his girlfriend is the coolest most badass lady in the world. He will gas her up as long as she wants. Some guy being an asshole to them in public? Reader is happy to hold Nat’s purse while she sorts him out.

    A/N:This was such a cute submission, it kinda got away from me but I hope it came out alright. Also there’s a bun joke at the end bc me and my friend were kidding around so I’m sorry in advance.

    BAKERY

    Word count: 1,473

    Intended M!Reader x Natasha

    The encounters weren’t frequent at the start. The few times the red head stopped by it was for a pastry at the early opening hours. You’d be lying if you said you weren’t intrigued by the avenger that walked through the door, but nonetheless you behaved like you did with all your customers. When you asked for a name, you can tell by the look on her face she was taken by surprise.

    After she ordered, she had seated herself in the corner. This location within the bakery being where she would normally sit when she’d stay. Usually abandoned by any other customers who would choose to enjoy their pastries in the small shop, opting to sit by the windows. The cream colored walls and the aroma of coffee that circulated were more prominent in that corner as she’d come to tell you later. The shop was a family business that you took part in for years, childhood memories from behind the counter, watching as the ingredients mixed and made whatever good you asked for that day. The familiarity of the warm tones and distant chatter had somehow put you at ease every time you walked through the doors.

    It took a long time for Natasha to warm up to you, the long breaks in between her visits weren’t helpful at that. You often busied yourself with cleaning the surrounding surfaces and counters as to avoid staring, but the lack of customers would make that difficult at times. You didn’t have much in common with the avenger, but you attempted to speak with her during the brief encounters. The time she came back with a gash on her forehead was also the time she had laughed for the first time. Some corny joke aligning with a croissant, or something close to it, you couldn’t remember anymore. The sound had left your mind blank and for a moment it seemed like you had completely lost yourself. Work became more pleasant when she decided to stop by, something which was almost impossible to imagine.

    You started noticing the subtle stares, particularly when you were working. You’d offered to make anything she liked at her request, even if you didn’t have it. It provided you with a challenge. As you worked the dough you glanced over, planning to get one of the ingredients, and caught her gaze completely transfixed on your biceps while she was sipping on her coffee. You grinned slightly, and once she’d noticed her staring she gave a shy smile and looked down at the drink in her hands. The light blush that stained her cheeks didn’t go unnoticed by you, and it put a smile on your own face.

    Her requests grew more complex as the weeks went on, and you would laser focus on whatever she asked you to make. You knew she was looking, she knew you knew, but neither of you acknowledged it. It made you grow a little bolder. The next time she came in, you made two pastries and sat with her. Opting to taste it with her, since you had taken your break and no customers were inside of course. The short woman didn’t protest your company. The two of you made this a new habit. Conversations about whatever mundane or minuscule topics came to mind. She started telling you when she would be gone for some time, and it was then you grew the courage to write your phone number on her coffee cup.

    “ Why don’t you let me know when you’re back, I’ll make sure you get the welcome you deserve.” An offhand comment you made whilst handing her the drink that sounded more suggestive than you intended.

    “ Is that an invitation?” She retorted, giving that sly smile as she looked up at you.

    “ Only if you make it.” It took you everything not to combust then. You’re intent wasn’t to come across so strongly, but as she sauntered off you thanked whatever higher being was out there that it worked. The teasing from your aunt about your new girlfriend was well worth it.

    ————————-

    When she did return, she let you know, and you held out on your promise. You treated her to a dinner that was met with bright smiles, you decided your new favorite color was green now. The candlelight illuminated her emerald eyes and you could’ve sworn they were sparkling. Not wanting the evening to end so early, the two of you wandered the streets of New York, getting lost in the crowds while the city lights hung overhead. The dress she wore complimented her figure and the color meshed well with her bright hair, she was elegant. Every time she looked up at you to meet your eyes you held her gaze. The drinks might have been having an effect on you.

    You stopped at a small mart, Natasha talking about some ice cream Tony had bought that she was dreaming about. She praised you for being “such a gentleman” for opening the door for her. The teasing continued once the two of you had left with the two flavors you opted for. The conversation was softer in tone now. It seemed intimate and you knew the moment you were in would be seared into your memory.

    “ How is it?” She asked.

    “ I can see why a billionaire would buy this, it’s good.” You chuckled.

    “ I haven’t had that flavor yet actually.”

    “ Want a taste?” Before you can mull over what you’d just said, she took the desert out of your hand. Your eyes involuntary following the movement, zeroing in on her lips as she pulled it away.

    You don’t really know what came over you, she was looking at you and then your mouth was on hers. You pulled away after a little breathless. “ You missed some” was all you mustered before she pulled you back.

    ——————————

    As your relationship progressed Natasha opened up more to you. She let you meet her family, she told you about her past, and you held nothing but admiration for the woman. You never pushed her, but you were always there for the nightmares and such. She loved you and you loved her.

    When she was home you would do your best to make sure she felt rested. Small head massages when she was stressed writing a mission report. Making sure she woke up to the smell of fresh breakfast in the mornings she stayed for. She’d return the favor with lingering touches and small kisses, using your shoulders as leverage to meet your lips. If you were working later or she’d catch you before you left you’d close the shop together.

    Whenever she got ready for an event you’d remind her of how stunning she was whilst helping with her necklace or a string. Leaving kisses along her neck which she would sigh at, no doubt leaving you late at times.

    Leading to today, your girlfriend was curled up next to you on the couch with a glass of wine in hand. Back from a long mission that lasted several weeks, the comfort of your shared apartment was a long awaited luxury she had longed for. 

    “ He was so infuriating, his stupid face was getting on my nerves.” The wine had seemingly started taking its effects on the two of you.

    “ I’m sure he deserved it, and I’m sure you set him straight. Didn’t you baby?”

    She hummed “ Yes, yes I did.” She beamed up at you, pressing a light kiss against your lips.

    “ Cmon, let’s get you in bed. I think we’ve had enough for tonight.”

    As you cleaned up the takeout and abandoned the glasses in the sink for the morning, you went back to your room to see her in your t-shirt, getting ready for bed.

    “You need to make that cinnamon bun again,” She remarked “I’ve been craving it since I left.”

    “ I’ll make it tomorrow while you’re at work and drop them off for you if you want.”

    “ That sounds great, thank you. Just don’t let Sam see, the last time you dropped them off he made an offhand comment about you getting different buns.” She rolled her eyes. You chuckled at that, discarding your shirt as you stalked up to the bed.

    “ I mean he’s not wrong.” You grinned.

    Climbing into bed you were sure there was no better place than in your girlfriend's arms. Even when they were met with a playful glare and a smack to the shoulder. As she nuzzled her head into your neck you caught the aroma of the caramel coffee beans and vanilla. Her hand grazed against your exposed skin, leaving goosebumps along your skin before encasing your hand and squeezing three times. You smiled and kissed her head, a small “I love you too” whispered before sleep encased you both.

    #natasha romanov #natasha romanoff x reader #natasha romanoff x male reader #marvel#fanfic#marvel writing#fanfic writer#mcu#natasha romanoff #natasha x male!reader #male reader #natasha x gn!reader #black widow #black widow x you #black widow x y/n #natasha x you #natasha romanoff x you #Natasha romanoff x y/n
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  • mcurant
    27.05.2022 - 2 hours ago

    So i feel like I'm not educated enough on this so please can anyone tell me if it would be okay and not considered whitewashing anymore if a HALF romani actress played Wanda Maximoff, I'm just curious honestly??

    #wanda maximoff#mcu#marvel #anti anti wanda maximoff #scarlet witch #pro wanda maximoff
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