Summary: Unlike Steve, Bucky isn't adjusting to the 21th century at all and the constant surveillance SHIELD has put him under is starting to grit on his nerves. What he needed was a distraction and the pretty black haired office worker from down the block might just be the solution. BuckyxHarry – maybe Steve in the future. Drabbley.
"Oh my god, I am so sorry," was the only thing Bucky heard before hot liquid – coffee maybe? –spilled on his otherwise pristine white shirt. He cursed loudly because whatever it was, was scorching hot and jumped back, one hand holding the soaked garment away from his skin.
"I am so sorry," he heard again, and once he was sure he wasn't in danger of burning himself, Bucky looked up and right in to the most gorgeous green eyes he had ever seen.
The young man, because he looked too old to be a teen but too young to be more then in his early twenties, looked embarrassed beyond belief, his cheeks flushed a delicate pink. He was wearing a suit, Bucky noticed, pretty expensive and extremely form fitting. It hadn't been touched by the coffee at all. His right hand still held the empty cup that had contained the source of Bucky's great discomfort.
Bucky would have yelled at him for dirtying his shirt but deep down he knew it wasn't fair. The guy might have not noticed where he was going but Bucky too had not been concentrating to the road before him. If there were blame in this whole matter, it must be shared.
"It's ok," he replied, offering a small smile to the man, delighting in how his cheeks grew even redder than before. "I was distracted too."
"I," the man cleared his throat and held out his free hand, "I'm Harry. I work down the street and if you're not averse to it, I would like to buy you dinner to compensate for this incident."
Bucky's eyes narrowed, wondering if the guy was just been friendly or had some other motive in mind. After a second, he decided he didn't much care. Bucky was slowly being driven insane by Steve's mother hen tendencies and SHIELD's determination to crowd him with agents 24/7. He needed a distraction and this bright eyed youth might just prove to be the perfect solution.
"I have a date," Bucky tells Steve when the man asked him where he was going later that night. Harry had texted him 10 minutes earlier, inviting him to supper and desert at one of the local restaurants Bucky had passed by numerous times but has never entered. It beat having to eat with the rest of the Avengers who will just stare at him like he's an alien – which was ironic since they never seem to stare at Thor that way – so he accepted whole heartedly.
"You do?" Steve sounded incredulous, as if the idea of Bucky having a date was beyond him. Bucky didn't even bother to feel offended by his tone. Sure he wasn't as buff or classically handsome as the newly improved Steve, but he still has his charms.
"I do," he said, straightening his collar and throwing one last look at the mirror, "Now if you're excuse me, I don't want to be late."
Harry was waiting for him at the entrance of the restaurant, dressed casually in jeans and a clean t-shirt. He smiled at Bucky when he spotted him and actually gave him a peck on the cheek as greeting, confirming Bucky's suspicions that this was not just a meeting among friends. Harry smelled really good, although Bucky can't really describe it in words, so the soldier let himself enjoy the moment. They weren't really in a hurry to enter. Bucky wasn't particularly hungry and they didn't have a reservation to honor.
The inside of the restaurant was small but homey; there was two available tables near the windows so the duo made their way over. A blond waitress came to see them the moment they sat down.
"Hi," she chirped, smile a thousand watts. She probably depended on tips in order to pay her rent because in Bucky's opinion, no one would be naturally this happy to serve someone. "Welcome to Damy's, what can I get you?"
"What's good here?" Bucky asked and the waitress started to enumerate a list of dishes, which coincidently, all happened to be the restaurant's most expensive choices.
Bucky didn't know what to choose so he let Harry choose for him. The boy automatically took the spaghetti and meatballs for himself and a classic hamburger for Bucky.
He didn't mind to have someone else take control for once.
They talked a little while waiting for their food to arrive. Harry described his life as boring and predictable and Bucky gave a highly edited version of his first days in the 21th century. He told Harry he came from an Amish community and hasn't touched technology in over 20 years. Harry was beyond intrigued and Bucky tried to keep him looking at him that way without divulging information that would have SHIELD sue him or throw him in prison.
The food, when it came, was hot and well-cooked. It was delicious and Bucky ate it with gusto. Harry looked surprised at his enthusiast and laughed good-naturedly, making Bucky smile around his own mouthful of meat and lettuce. He had never felt this relaxed in ages and it felt fantastic.
But like many good things, this evening had to come to an end. Around 8.30, Harry frowned down at his watch and made his excuses to leave.
"I had someone over to watch my godson," he explained with an apologetic smile, "He can only stay until 8.45 so I better go."
"I wouldn't mind going along with you," Bucky commented because the last thing he wanted was to go home. Steve would probably be waiting for him in the living room like some creeper, wanting to hear all about Bucky's wonderful date. Bucky wouldn't have minded if talking to Steve sometimes felt like talking to his mother.
Harry looked surprised at his offer and for one moment, he looked on the verge of refusing. But finally, he shook his head and shrugged.
"You better not be a serial killer or my friends will be pissed," he said entirely with a straight face, making Bucky burst out in to peals of laughter that shook his entire body.
"Don't worry," he gasped, trying to regain his breathing, "You're too cute to kill."
Harry lived in an apartment near the restaurant; it was a turn-of-the-century red brick building with an iron gate door and so many security measures that Bucky started to wonder just who Harry really is. The young man in question must have realized his interest because he gave him an innocent smile.
"I have a big trust fund," he explained, "So I sometimes get people after me. This is just a precaution."
They walked up the 5 flight of stairs in silence – the elevator was under repair according to the doorman – and stopped in front of room 777. The door was opened via a retina scanner and a fingerprint sensitive lock. Harry had to register Bucky's presence so that the door won't close after Harry.
"This is incredible," the soldier admitted a little bit impressed because although Stark's mansion was a technology lover's wet dream, his doors were unlocked via pass cards.
"Like I said," Harry smiled, "This is a precaution."
Harry's godson's name was Teddy. He was about 5 with the most adorable set of brown eyes known to man. Despite his rather limited exposure to children, Bucky actually felt natural around the little boy and wasn't even trying to force himself to like him. He was just that likeable.
Teddy took an immediate shine to him as well, grinning at him like a loon and showing the man all his cool toys. Teddy, as Bucky soon realized, had a lot of toys. There were gaming machines, scooters, Legos, Teddy Bears, chalks, coloring books and much more. He was surprised that a child with so much material good could still be so down-to-earth.
"Anyone want something to drink?" Harry asked half-way through Finding Nemo. The soldier had never seen the movie before and was almost as entranced by the animation as Teddy. The young boy seemed delighted by his enthusiast and showed his affection by cuddling against him as the movie played. For a moment, Bucky was afraid that Harry might get antsy about his charge being so close to a virtual stranger but the man was just looking at them fondly, as if nothing pleases him more to see the both of them this way.
Bucky felt something tug at his heart and thought: "Oh…."
He ended up leaving around 10, right after Teddy was put to bed. Harry kissed him softly on the lips before closing the door and Bucky nearly floated down the steps. He knew he was acting like a teenage girl on her first date despite the fact that Bucky wasn't a girl and this was by far his first dating experience, but there was just something about Harry that made everything felt new.
When he got home, he wasn't surprised at all to see Steve still up, sitting on the settee with his legs crossed. He was watching some kind of documentary on whales on the huge TV Tony had installed in the living room and Bucky was hoping to be able to go up to his room without alerting the man but that was in vain. Steve was a super soldier after all.
"Bucky," Steve smiled at him in such a way that made him immediately guilty for trying to avoid him. That was a talent of Steve's he had even before the serum. It was how he had managed to convince Bucky to share all his toys when they were kids because the moment he had refused, Steve had pouted and Bucky had felt like such a terrible person that he couldn't give Steve what he wanted fast enough just to get him to stop looking at him like that.
"You're up late," Bucky commented nonchalantly, taking a seat with resignation when Steve just continued to stare at him expectantly, "What's up?"
"How was your date?" Steve asked instead, genuine smile on his lips. "Are you going to see her again?"
"Him actually," Bucky corrected, delighting in the flash of shock that passed through Steve's face, "Any problem with that?"
"No," Steve stuttered, his hands dancing nervously in his lap, "Not at all."
He had refused to meet Bucky's eye after that and the man wondered if it was a good thing that the questions stopped coming.
"I think my friend's a homophobe," he tells Harry apropos of nothing, the moment the man had opened the door two days later. Unlike the last time Bucky had seen him, Harry was wearing a dress shirt and black pants ensemble and looked like as if he had just came home from some fancy party. Actually, he looked a little bit like Stark; all expensive and dressed up and the soldier felt a sliver of something that made him twitch.
"And hello to you too," Harry said sarcastically as he moved aside to let Bucky inside, "And why do you say that?"
"He was clearly uncomfortable with the idea of me going on a date with a man," Bucky explained, unable to resist groping Harry's ass as he passed, making the younger man yelp in outrage. He threw smirk over his shoulder before turning in to the living room. Teddy was there playing on the rug in front of the TV, his hair slightly damp from the shower. He seemed to be concentrating hard on his Lego pieces but looked up when Bucky approached him.
"Bucky!" he exclaimed happily, arms raised demanding for a hug. Bucky complied eagerly and sat Teddy on his lap as he too took a seat on the sofa.
"What have you been up to little man?" he asked the little boy, who immediately started to babble about his day. It was ironic, Bucky thought, that the day of a five years old sounded more interesting than his own. Although he didn't know if that could be attributed to the fact that his own existence was downright pitying or that Teddy apparently have some difficulty separating fact from fiction. Because there was no way he actually got to pet a living dragon.
The narration was put to a pause when Harry came in, dressed more casually now and holding a tray of cookies and milk. Seeing food, Teddy mercilessly abandoned Bucky's lap and nearly pounced on the tray, even before Harry's hands have left the metal surface.
"Teddy," Harry chided softly, earning an innocent grin from the child.
"He really seemed to like the cookies," Bucky observed as Teddy swallowed two of them at the same time. It was incredible to see that much food disappear in such a small mouth.
"It's a family friend's secret recipe," Harry explained, "She refuses to part with it so Teddy goes a little bit crazy whenever she bakes a batch."
It was a testament of how much Teddy liked him that the boy actually agreed to let go of a cookie so that Bucky could have a taste.
Harry had been right. It was delicious.
"So what's up with your friend?" Harry asked when Teddy was occupied with yet another animation film, this one about cars. "Is that the friend you said also came from the Amish camp?"
It took Bucky a moment to realize what Harry was talking about. In his defense, he had truly expected the young man to have all but forgotten what he had said earlier in the evening. After all, even Bucky had put the thing with Steve aside as Teddy started to bombard him with jokes and anecdotes. The young boy knew surprisingly a big amount of them; some of which were even a little risqué for his age.
"Yeah, that's right," Bucky replied when he got his thoughts back in order, "Ever since I told him, he started to avoid me. And when he's in the same room at me, he would stare when he thought I wasn't looking and turn bright red when I catch him in the act."
Harry laughed a little.
"Sounds to me he has a crush."
"Steve?" Bucky echoed incredulously, "He's straight as a board. No way he has a crush on me. Besides we've known each other since birth. We'll like brothers."
"Even so," Harry threw him a small grin, eyes smoldering all of the sudden, "You have this way about you James Barnes and it makes people attracted to you despite themselves."
"Yeah," Bucky asked a little breathlessly, his right hand landing possessively on Harry's hip. The younger man made a surprised sound when Bucky pulled him closer so that he was practically straddling his lap. If it wasn't for the fact that there was a 5 years old boy also in the room with them, Bucky would have done something to relief the sexual tension building between them.
"Yeah," Harry confirmed softly before kissing him, "You are something else Bucky and if I'm not careful, I may just fall for you."
"Don't worry," Bucky responded, just as softly, "I may have already started."