Being the twin sister of Steve Rogers has its ups and downs. One: he's always getting into fights, two: his heart is too big for his own good, and three: no body takes him seriously. Except for James Buchanan Barnes. That is one hunk of a man if I've ever seen one. Bucky was always really good to Steve, staying his friend even though he's little and weak, and protecting him no matter what. And seeing him in his uniform drove me wild.
I always had to deal with Steve's fights, going off on the boys who ganged up on him. They might be jerks, but they had morals. "What is wrong with you? What did he do, huh? Call you a few names? Boo hoo. How about you man up and grow a pair." I knew it was unladylike to say things like this, but I didn't care. "If your masculinity is that fragile, you need to get that checked out." I snapped, giving a little 'hmmp' at their ashamed faces.
Bucky stood back and watched me Seth interest. "Doll, maybe you should take a breather." He said, taking Steve's crumpled form from me.
"You know, I don't always need you to stand up for me." He breathed, spitting a wad of blood onto the grass.
"Well, someone's gotta look after you when Mister Distracted is gone." I said, wiping some blood from his nose.
Bucky merely laughed. "Is that the best you got?" He teased.
"No, and if I said what I was really thinking, Mama would knock me into next week." I said, ignoring his amused look. "And Steve? Quit getting yourself beat up. Mama is gonna throw a fit." I smoothed my dress down and walked with the boys back home.
"Here," Bucky said. "Go inside, we'll be in soon." He steadied Steve as he stumbled over the doorway. Bucky closed the door and turned to me. "You did good."
"At least somebody was there. Where were you! You're supposed to be with him, James." I put my hands on my hips and glared.
"Ooh, James, now I know I'm in trouble." He grimaced. "Look, Ellie, I saw Molly and went to say hi. I thought he could deal with being alone for a minute without getting in a fight."
"Molly?" I said, my tone dripping with disapproval. "I know you're a ladies man, James, but she's bad news. And not worth Steve getting beat up." I scolded, satisfied when his face fell.
"I know." He muttered, shuffling his feet.
"The think about that next time, Buck." I said, pushing the door open.
"Yes, ma'am." He said, following behind me.
I smiled to myself when we got inside. I was probably the only person who could make him see his mistakes. The girls. "Steve?" I called out.
"In the bathroom." He said through a muffled voice. We walked in and found him in the toilet with a cloth to his nose. He waved sheepishly.
"Well, I think you did good, Champ." Bucky praised.
"James!" I screeched.
He winced at my tone and turned away. "I mean, don't do it again." He was mocking me.
"Don't mock me, young man." I scolded, getting a clean cloth the clean Steve's face. "One day, Steve, you're gonna get hit too hard. And maybe Bucky won't be there. Maybe I won't be there. Think before you go following that oversized heart of yours, okay?" I said softly, wiping his cut nose.
"Yeah, okay." He said, hugging me. "Thanks, Ellie, for being there. And standing up for me." He smiled gratefully.
"It's no problem. Now, I'm going to go get out of this horrid dress and into something better." I turned the address Bucky. "And help him." I brushed passed him as he tipped his hat at me. I walked into my room and closed the door, promptly stripping the dress and pulling on some trousers instead. I finished tucking my cream blouse in as I approached the bathroom. "Ah, much better." I said as I tucked my hands into the pockets.
"Hmm," Bucky said, tilting his head as he took me in. "I don't know. I thought you looked cute in that dress. Like a proper little lady." He teased, shouldering Steve as they laughed at me.
"Hah hah," I rolling my eyes. "I don't need your approval in what I wear. If I did, I'd be just like all those other prissy mindless girls who only care about boys." I waved their banter away.
"Prissy mindless girls? Someone is in a mood today." Steve said through the cloth.
"Well, I don't think they're prissy, or mindless." Bucky said, laying his hat on the sink.
"Of course you don't. You're one of the fools who follows them around like lost puppies." I sassed, poking my nose into the air.
"Fool? Ouch, El, I'm hurt." He mocked being insulted.
"And I am most certainly not in mood. I just think you two are troublemakers. One with fights," I featured at Steve's face. "And one with the ladies." I gestured at Bucky.
"Well, you're not wrong." He laughed. "And hey, I say we go out tonight. Have a little fun, I won't do us any harm." He said, noting my look of hesitation.
"Buck," I said, looking to Steve. "He's already gotten in a fight today."
"Okay, I'll watch him. I promise." He stood and took my hand in his. "It'll be just like old times. The three of us, killing it with the ladies and breaking hearts, as you do, Miss Ellie."
"I hardly think I kill it with the ladies." Steve snorted.
"Well, I'll kill it with them, while El breaks many hearts tonight. Steve can be our game winner. You do have a knack to win those games." He nodded at Steve and turned back to me, holding my hand gently. "Whatdya say?" His ocean blue eyes gleamed.
How could I say no? When he looked at me like that. "Fine, but only for a bit. I've got an early morning tomorrow." He flashed his pearly white teeth in triumph.
"Yes!" He pumped his fist. "Come on." He wrapped his arm around my shoulders, put his hat on my head, and pulled Steve out of the house before putting his arm around him, also. "Tonight will be great." We piled into Bucky's car and made our way to the fair. "First, a few stops for the men."
He pulled up outside of a house and honked the horn. I sighed when Millie, a polite, but ignorant girl, came running out with her friend. Molly. Great! Millie and Molly. The dynamic duo. Molly was, to say at the least, my enemy. I scooted over to allow room for the girls. "What did I saw about her?" I hissed in Bucky's ear.
"Bucky! Hey!" Molly squealed as she jumped in the car.
"Hello, Bucky." Millie said, a little more modest. "Oh, hi Ellie!" She said, smiling at me.
"Oh, hello Ellie. I don't recall you saying she was coming, Bucky." Molly said through clenched teeth.
"Well, couldn't leave her out! It's my last day in town." He flashed me his brilliant smile and winked. Rolling my eyes, I turned and looked out of the window, ignoring Molly's attempts to woo Bucky.
"So, Ellie," Molly said with distaste. "What do you think about that? It being Bucky's last day in town, and all?" She asked, twirling hair around her finger. Her voice dripped with fake sweetness.
I clenched my teeth and my fist, smiling fakely at her. "Well, he's my best friend, so not too happy, I guess."
Molly returned the fake smile turned her attention to Bucky. She knew about my childhood crush on him, and never hesitated to try and make it obvious. But she knew if she actually said anything, I'd punch her. Hard.
We arrived at the fair and Bucky told the girls to go find some cotton candy for us. "Hey, cheer up. I know you don't like her, but she insisted on coming." He smiled, knowing it would weaken my resolve. "There's that smile." He grinned when I smiled at him and ran his thumb down my chin. I shuddered under his touch. "Cold?" He asked. I blanked then nodded. Keep it together, girl! I mentally chastised myself.
He shrugged his uniform coat off and draped it on my shoulders. "Thanks." I mumbled, blushing. Steve looked around for a moment before eyeing a tent. I saw it and realized what he was thinking. "No." I said to him. He turned to me and opened his mouth the speak. "We'll talk about this later."
Steve glared at me and smiled when the girls came back with handfuls of cotton candy. One for everyone. But me. "Sorry, Ellie." Molly said. "Not enough money." She smiled before turning away, her pockets tinkling with change.
Bucky smiled apologetically and let me take a bite from his. "Thanks." I said through a mouthful. He smiled and wrapped his arm around Molly, while Millie lingered around Steve I crept up behind him and whispered in his ear. "I think she likes you."
"What? Who?" He asked, swiveling his head.
"Millie." I nodded torwards her.
"What? No way." He said, shaking his head.
"Go for it, Steve. She's nice." I patted his back and nudged him closer to her while darting to the other side of Bucky.
"Ooh, Bucky, it's a little chilly. May I have your coat, please?" He asked, batting her lashes at him, oblivious to the fact I had it.
"Sorry, doll, it's already being rented." He nodded at me and Molly glared. I smirked at her and pulled it tighter. But I didn't like how he called her doll. That nickname is reserved for people he actually liked. Which meant he liked her. My smile eventually faded away, being replaced with a frown.
When Bucky sent the girls in another trip, he nudged me with his shoulder. "Hey, Ellie. What's the matter? Not having fun?" He looked down at me, his hat crooked and his smile blazing.
I shrugged. "Not really. She's making me sick, with all that fakeness."
Bucky scoffed. "El, relax. I don't like her. Not like that, so you won't be seeing much of her when I return. And when are you going to tell him?" He whispered, looking at Steve.
"Later." I mumbled.
"He deserves to know." Bucky said, putting his arm around my shoulders.
"Don't you think I know that?" I snapped. Bucky leaned back, eyebrows raised in surprise. "Sorry, I'm sorry. I just don't think now is the right time."
"Ellie, you're going to your top secret military job tomorrow morning. Now seems like the only time. Heck, I had to find out through work. And that was only because I saw something I wasn't supposed to see."
"I know, I know. I just-he has such high hopes of one day becoming an officer, and he will be furious if he finds out I-" I was cut off by the return of the giggly girls. Molly glared at me when she saw Bucky's arm around me, but he didn't move it. We stopped at an exhibit for a flying car and watched as it failed. Horribly.
Bucky had moved his arm by then, and a man came up to me and asked if I would like to walk around with him. He also hinted that he'd like it if I would go home with him, so he could make me very happy. Bucky shoved the guy away and yelled at him. "That's no way to treat a lady. Now, get lost, before I break your nose." He steered us to another part of the crowd and scoffed.
"Wow, Bucky. That was so nice of you to do that." Molly said, squeezing his bicep.
"Yeah, yeah." He waved her off, moving to stop Steve from going after him.
Once Bucky was gone, Molly jumped on the chance to verbally attack me. "But I'm sure you would've loved that, am I right? Well, maybe not from him, but from someone else." She glanced at Bucky.
"Oh, shove it." I snapped Millie stood still, appalled at her friends behavior.
"He'll never like you, you realize that, right? I mean, you dress like a man, and frankly, you speak like one, too. Only a lonely man would seek comfort from such a hideous person." She spat. My jaw dropped.
"I think it's time for you to leave." Bucky said coldly.
Molly whirled around, eyes wide. "Wha-what? Oh, we were only playing, is girls." She rushed.
Bucky took a step closer and glared down at her. That look is potent enough to make a man quiver, and is sure scared Molly. "I said, it's time for you to leave, Molly."
"But-but..." she turned to me, her eyes wide.
"And apologize. Now!" He yelled when she stood silent.
"I'm-I'm sorry. My deepest apologies." She muttered as she scurried away. I stood stunned.
Bucky's face took on a kinder expression. "Hey, you alright?" I nodded and swallowed hard. "Don't let her get in your head, El. She's only jealous."
"Jealous? Why would she be jealous?"
"Because she's a girl. I've seen it happen before, girls fighting and saying stupid things to make each other feel bad because they're jealous." His voice was soft and comforting.
"Maybe she's right. I mean, I'm not the most ladylike. I don-"
"Let me stop you right there. Not all men want a lady in a dress, cooking hot meals for them after a long day. And you are far from hideous. You're quite beautiful, actually." I blushed and looked down, but he tapped my chin up. "I was wrong to being Molly here, she only ruined the night. I apologize, I never thought she would say something like that. And it's not true, Ellie. Do you understand me?"
"Yeah." I nodded, looking into his eyes. They showed only warmth and kindness.
"You're amazing, and I don't care that you don't wear dresses and skirts. And that sahs something." He teased. "Don't you ever think you're anything less than spectacular, okay?"
I nodded and smiled gratefully. He leaned down and kissed my cheek, his lips lingering longer than they should have. I looked over his hunched shoulder and gasped. "Where's Steve?" Bucky straightened out and whirled around.
"Steve?" He called, pushing through the crowd. "No sign of him."
I looked around and spotted a familiar tent. "I know where he went, come on." I grabbed his hand and jogged torwards the tan tent.
Once inside, Bucky scoffed. "I should've known he'd come to one of these." We waited by the entrance for Steve to emerge from one of the secluded areas. He came out and smiled at a man but froze when he saw us.
"Steven Grant Rogers, get over here." I snapped.
Bucky inhaled sharply. "Ooh, she used the full name. Sorry man, this all you." He put his hands up and backed up.
"What were you thinking! Ditching us like that!" I grabbed his shirt and dragged him outside.
"I'm not a kid, Elena, I can take care of myself." He jerked his shirt from my grip and smoothed it down.
"I know that, but you worried us. Tell us you're going to disappear next time. For all we know, you could've gotten in another fight and could he bleeding out in some-some alley!" I shouted, ignoring the looks from the people.
"Fine! Just stop yelling." He muttered, looking to Bucky for help.
"I'm with her, Steve. You aren't the best at fights, but you sure love getting in them." He came up behind me and stood close. A little too close. Not that I minded, but it was still weird.
"Steve, look. You're a good kid. Not everyone will she that though. And we don't care that you came to a military tent, that's fine. Just give us a heads up next time, okay?" I asked, my voice less harsh.
"Yeah, sorry." He muttered. "I just want to he like you guys."
"What?" Bucky and I said at the same time, looking at each other.
"Bucky is a soldier, and you're a military agent. Yeah, I know. And I'm not angry, but I don't want to be left behind." He shrugged, looking at me with teary eyes.
"Steve, you're not going to be left behind. Just because we're leaving tomorrow, doesn't mean we're not coming back." I said, pulling him in for a hug. Bucky dwarfed both of us in the group hug.
"Come on, I think we should go." He said, steering us away. We piled in the car and drove home in silence. "Well, I had fun." Bucky said, trying to lighten the mood.
"Yeah," Steve and I said at the same time, in flat tones.
"Okay, none of that creepy twin stuff." He said, stopping the car at our apartment.
"What creepy twin stuff?" We asked at the same time, with a grin.
"Not cool." Bucky said, glaring at us.
"I think it's cool." We said, our tones dark. Bucky sighed and got out of the car.
"You guys are creepy." He said.
"Thank you." We said, ending the facade with a bow. We all burst into a fit of laughter. We teased Bucky like this on a regular basis, and he hated it.
"It's bad enough you guys look alike, but when you two talk at the same time, with the same voice, it's creepy." He said, leaning against his car. Ranging in at 6 feet, he towered over me, at 5'6, but especially over Steve, who was only 5'4. The poor kid was horribly small and thin, weighing in at 95 pounds.
"Why do you think we do it?" Steve said, a giant grin on his face. "It's fun to watch your reaction."
I laughed when Bucky rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah."
"It's true. You're so squeamish about it." I teased, bumping his elbow.
He laughed and looked down at me, his blue eyes twinkling. "Steve, go inside for a minute, please. We'll be in shortly." He said, not taking his eyes off of mine.
"Uh, okay." He said, slowly moving torwards our door. Once the door clicked, Bucky grabbed my hand and pulled me close.
"Uh, Bucky? What're you doing?" I asked, slightly nervous.
"Ellie, as you know, I leave tomorrow. And there's a good chance I don't come back." His expression was serious, but his eyes showed his true emotion: excitement.
"Don't. Don't you say that." I snapped, my voice cracking.
"Ellie, it's true. Just listen, please. I don't want to leave, with the possibility of not coming back, without saying this. For a while now, I've been feeling things. Strange things. Because of you. I never imagined that I'd fall for my best friends' twin sister." He placed my hand on his chest.
My throat constricted. "What-what are you saying?" I asked, clearing my throat.
He stepped closer and put his free hand on my neck. "I'm saying, that I like you, Elena. A lot." My head was tilted up and our noses almost touched.
"Bucky, you-you go to war tomorrow." I exclaimed, stunned by his forward-ness.
"I know, and you're coming with us, with the army. I mean, you were given a military job. Under Peggy Carter. That's pretty big. We'll get to see each other." He rubbed my jaw with his thumb, trailing it to my lips. I looked up at him and saw he was being serious. He ran his finger across my lower lip and down my chin. He slowly leaned forward, waiting for me to give my approval, only, I couldn't talk. Instead, I stood on my tiptoes and pressed my lips against his.
It was a gentle kiss, a kiss that indicating that here would be many more to come. Once he pulled back, he tipped his hat, got in the car, and left. I hurried inside and locked myself in my room, ignoring Steve's questions. Did Bucky Barnes just kiss me? And say he likes me? I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was crazy. I never expected for him to even look in my direction, much less like me. I was so caught up in the memory, I didn't hear Steve slip out of the door.