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Captain America MCU Fic: Missing Yesterday

Title: Missing Yesterday
Author: dennih23
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Avengers, MCU
Character: James “Bucky” Barnes, Steve Rogers - Friendship
Rating: PG-13, a little swearing
Word Count: 1557
Summary:  Bucky wishes things were different

Beta:  Thank you winterstar95 – all mistakes belong to me

A/N: Pushing this a little, but for my Amnesia square on my Trope Bingo Card

Bucky rolled over and squeezed his eyes closed. The cool night breeze drifted through the open window. He shivered and pulled his blanket tighter. He tried, really tried to get back to sleep back he couldn’t. Dreams, or more accurately nightmares, filled his sleep.

He sat up in bed. He left the lights off and just listened. His over sensitized hearing picked up all the night sounds floating around him. One building over a party was just breaking up. He heard the last goodbyes as friends parted ways. He listened as they slammed their car doors shut and drove off. Dogs barked in the distance. The old rusty pipes in the building shuddered as someone flushed a toilet.

He continued to sit there waiting. Eventually he heard Steve enter their apartment. He wondered where the man had been all evening, returning home in the wee hours of the morning. This is what constituted their nightly routine. Steve would leave shortly after dinner and come back hours later. Neither one of them ever talked about where Steve went.

Bucky laid back down on the bed. He faced the window keeping his back to the doorway. He never bothered to close the door anymore, he knew Steve would be checking on him. He heard Steve’s footfalls as he made his way across the carpeted living room and down the hall to Bucky’s bedroom. Steve stepped inside the doorway and stood for five minutes just watching. Bucky could smell the smoke and alcohol rolling off him. Finally Steve left and headed to the end of the hallway.

Bucky listened as the other man ran the water and cleaned up. In due course Steve padded back to the bedroom. Bucky didn’t stir as Steve tossed a pillow on the floor and curled up to sleep. Bucky relaxed and drifted off to sleep. This was just one more part of their customary habit they never talked about. It seemed to be the only way either of them could sleep.

He woke to the smell of frying bacon and coffee brewing. Bucky stretched and slide out of bed. He grabbed a t-shirt and headed out to the kitchen where Steve was sitting at the table.

Bucky noticed that Steve looked sleep deprived. “Morning. I didn’t hear you come in last night. Did you have a good evening?”

Steve sipped his coffee. “Not too bad. Yourself?”

“It was quiet here. I went to bed early.”

The rest of the meal was eaten in silence. When he was done Bucky got up and started washing his dishes. Steve brought his plate over and shoulder bumped him. He laughed and threw soap bubbles at his friend. For a second things were normal, just like they had been between them years ago.

Vague memories of him and Steve flashed across his mind. They were goofing off, laughing at their practical jokes. He frowned, he wished he could remember his life. Who he was before he became an efficient killing machine. Hell he didn’t even remember much of that, just the pain and torture of the chair.

He must have zoned out. Steve tapped his shoulder, “Hey Bucky, whatcha thinking.” Steve was trying to sound casual, but Bucky picked up the stress in Steve’s voice.

He growled, “I’m fine. Just thinking asshole.” He knew his attitude was uncalled for, but he didn’t want Steve’s sympathy.

Steve held up in hands in mock surrender and headed back to his bedroom. He came back a short while later and made a beeline for the doorway. “You going to be okay today?”

Bucky just glared at him. He understood Steve’s concerns, hell he had his own, but it ate at him. “Fuck off, I’m not going to start killing off our neighbors.” He diverted his attention to the kitchen as the door clicked shut.

He wandered around the apartment trying to occupy his time. Something was off today, down deep he knew today was important for some reason, but he really didn’t know why.

He flipped on the television and tried to watch the news. The politics of today only made him angry. He tried listening to music, but most of it only hurt his ears.
He grabbed a jacket and headed out to walk the city streets.

He felt eyes on him constantly. It wasn’t the people in the streets staring at him, they passed him by and never gave him a second look. It would be so easy to …. No, that’s not who he was anymore. At least he hoped that wasn’t who he was, truthfully he didn’t know. His memories of who he was were lost somewhere back in a time long ago. He wanted to remember, but he didn’t.

He kept walking around the city. He knew they were watching him. He was never really alone. He couldn’t see them, but he knew they were there. Either Clint, Tony, or Natasha would keep a watchful eye on him. In some ways it was comforting, but mostly he just wanted to be left to himself.

Meandering the Smithsonian museum took up his afternoon. He read about who he was at one time, the person who no longer existed. He ended up here most days trying to piece his past back together. Today was no different than any other day, he just wasn’t able to find himself. Finally at eight in the evening he headed back to the apartment. Steve would be gone for the night and he could sit and sulk in the dark waiting for Steve to return.

To his surprise there was light peeking out from under the doorway and he heard laughter echoing through the door. Great, he just wanted to be by himself and Steve decided to throw a party. He was just about to turn around and leave when the door opened.

Steve stood there grinning. “About time you showed up.” Steve wrapped his arms around him and dragged him inside.

The room was decorated with balloons and streamers. A banner was hanging across the living room – “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES”. A small group of people stood in the middle of the room, turning towards him, they all raised the glasses and cheered, “Happy Birthday.”

He didn’t know what to say, or do. He just let Steve lead him over to the group where they shook his hand and offered him best wishes. Looking around he noticed they had piled brightly decorated packages on the table. There was also music he recognized playing in the background.  Someone shoved a beer in his hand and pushed him in the direction of the couch. One of the presents from the table was set in his lap.

He opened the box to find cigars, Cuban cigars. Something in his memory sparked, he liked cigars. He closed his eyes and briefly recalled sitting in some low lit haze filled dance hall smoking cigars with Steve.

Steve leaned over and whispered, “Remember that dance hall on 118th, we would sneak in there.” He was nudging him and winking. Bucky nodded, a fond look on his face. It was good to actually recall being young again even if it was only for a fleeting moment.

Clint put a plate with a piece of chocolate cake and some vanilla ice cream in front of him. He was famished, he had forgotten to eat since breakfast, and he wolfed it down quickly. Another piece was set in front of him and he gratefully ate that too.

Tony and Pepper approached with a box filled with old movies. There was Casablanca, The Philadelphia Story, The Maltese Falcon, The Grapes of Wrath, and a few more.

Sam gave him books from the same time period. Even Natasha got into the act giving him lots of music CD’s from the 1940’s. Apparently they came to the conclusion that if he was surround by old stuff he might be able to recollect some of who he was back then. He hoped they were right.

They had even managed to find board games from that era. They had a table set up and Sam, Clint, and Tony were involved in a highly competitive game of ‘Snuffy Smith’s Hootin’ Holler Bug Derby’. The challenges kept coming and finally Pepper was crowned champion.

Around one in the morning, the small gathering broke up. Bucky and Steve were both exhausted and quickly decided that clean up could wait. Bucky headed for his bedroom while Steve went to the bathroom.

Bucky flopped in his bed. He reflected on the night and quickly fell into a deep dreamless slumber. He woke hours later to Steve’s gentle snoring coming from the floor. Laying back down, he drifted off again. He knew when he woke again Steve would be gone, off to his own area of the apartment. They would continue their current routine of needing each other but never speaking about it.

They would watch out for each other as long as needed. Both men struggling each day to discover who they were. Men from the past, each fighting their own demons, thrown together to figure things out. 

Bucky hoped that one day both of them would remember who they had been before Captain America and the Winter Solider. He may not remember, but he knew he missed who they had been.

Crossposted at: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1654877


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 19th, 2014 04:33 am (UTC)
That was so lovely!! I love the evocative start, with all the wonderful detailed sounds, and then the rituals they do to stay close. I love that Bucky has some hostility over Steve's reactions sometimes - it's human and flawed and realistic. The ending of course is so lovely too.
May. 19th, 2014 09:54 am (UTC)
Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the story. This was my first attempt at writing for this fandom. I think these two have a true friendship that would be hard to tear apart.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )