The Dance of These Things
Summary: Dawn and Bucky go to a gala.
Warnings: Some cursing. Moderate alcohol use. A broken wrist? Mostly fluff
Word Count: 5.4k oops
A/N: Next part of my Snapshots series involving Bucky Barnes and OFC Dawn. I can’t for the life of me write a whole multi-chaptered story, so this will be a series of one shots in no particular order that may or may not develop into something coherent over time. You can also read on AO3 if you want. Thank you!
“Tell me again why we’re here?” Bucky grumbled as they walked through the parking lot. Dawn shot him a look.
“Because Sam is our friend and he asked us to come,” she said, rolling her eyes.
“He’s your friend. Not mine,” he said, sounding much like a petulant child.
“He spent like two years of his life looking for you under every leaf and pebble he could find. ‘Not friends’ my ass. I actually think that might even qualify as bestie material,” she teased. Bucky tossed a scowl at her.
“As what material?” he asked. “You know what, no. I don’t care. He only went looking for me because Steve needed help. That doesn’t make us friends.”
“Right, because that makes sense. You’re only friends when he’s not asking you to go to a gala in commemoration of saving the universe,” Dawn drawled. Bucky huffed.
“Yeah, not exactly the place for someone like me,” he muttered. That made Dawn pause. She looked at him as they walked, and it hit her, way later than it should have. She should have known better. Bucky felt like he had no right to be there. All of the extra grumpiness made sense, suddenly, and she could see it then in the furrow of his brow, the clench of his jaw. He wasn’t mad, or pouting about having to go to some fancy party. He was nervous. Maybe a little scared.
“Hey,” she said, grabbing his wrist and planting her feet. She stumbled just a little in her heels as Bucky’s momentum kept him going for a couple steps. She felt him stiffen up at her touch, but she ignored it. He’d gotten better about contact, after that night she cut his hair, but it still wasn’t exactly easy for him. One step at a time.
He heaved a heavy sigh as she tugged him to a halt, and he looked over her head, exasperation in his face. “Look at me,” she said. He acquiesced after a stubborn moment.
“What?” he snipped. She stared at him. There were a million cliché things she wanted to wax poetic about, but she found herself at a loss. If she said any of it, she knew it would just work him up even more. Calling him a hero would probably send him into hysterics.
“I don’t know,” she said dumbly. She chewed at her lip briefly, forgetting for a moment that she was wearing lipstick. It claimed to be smudge proof. She was, apparently, going to test the claim whether she meant to or not. She sighed and fixed him with what she hoped was a meaningful look. “I get it, okay? My track record isn’t all that pretty either. It’s just one night. Just a few hours. People are here to celebrate being alive and throw obnoxious amounts of money at foundations. You know, if nothing else, we can just sit at the losers table together, and you can watch me get drunk,” she said, offering a sly little grin and a squeeze to his wrist.
Bucky looked at Dawn for a moment, didn’t say anything, his jaw still working overtime with his stress. But a certain softness worked its way into the edges of his eyes as he took her in, and it made a certain little shiver run up her spine. She felt almost exposed under his gaze. A tiny little grin made its way onto his face, and he gently slipped his wrist out of her grip to carry on walking.
“Well, don’t get too drunk. I’m not carrying you through the parking lot if you can’t walk straight,” he said over his shoulder.
He was tense as they walked up to the entrance of the building, people loitering outside, one or two of them staring from the sidelines. Dawn couldn’t be sure if Bucky noticed, but he paid it no mind regardless. She managed to weasel her way in front of him, giving the name to the bouncer at the door. They found Sam not five minutes after going in, and a wide smile spread over Sam’s face when he spotted them.
Dawn let out a low whistle as Sam flounced up to them, giving him an exaggerated once over. “Look at you, Wilson, Jesus,” she exclaimed. “You’re gonna piss a lot of married men off tonight, looking like you do.”
“Please,” he scoffed, giving her a hug and a light kiss on the cheek in greeting before holding her at arms length to get a good look at her. “Have you seen yourself? I think I just fell in love with you a little,” he said. Then, genuinely, “Dawn, you look beautiful.”
“If you two are just going to fawn over each other all night, I’m going home right now,” Bucky drawled. Sam smiled upon seeing Bucky.
“Look at you, man. A haircut, no tactical gear. If it wasn’t for the staring thing, I never would have thought it was you. Didn’t even think you owned a suit,” Sam said by way of greeting.
“I didn’t,” Bucky said flatly. Dawn tried to hide her smile. She had all but dragged Bucky, kicking and screaming, to the suit store a few days prior, when he was still adamantly refusing to to go the gala. Sam chuckled and smacked him on the shoulder.
“You look good, Buck. I’m glad to see you came,” Sam said.
“I can change your mind, real quick,” Bucky said. Despite the grouchiness, there was still a little lilt of jest in his voice, and Dawn was going to count that as a success. Not a minute later, someone else was calling for Sam’s attention, and they parted ways with promises to catch up later. Dawn spun on her heel to face Bucky.
“I think it’s time for a drink,” she chirped. Bucky gestured toward the bar.
“Agreed. Lead the way,” he said, a tight smile on his face.
To his credit, Bucky was doing just fine, making small talk with those who approached him, whether it be by Sam’s introduction, a familiar face, or the occasional stranger.
The pair had actually ended up getting separated after a little while, though Dawn made certain to keep him in her sights. A trio of old men had apparently decided to adopt Bucky while Dawn was just a little caught up letting some rich older lady talk her ear off about the donation she was making. Which was fine. The woman could flaunt her money all she wanted for all Dawn cared, so long as she was doing something useful with it.
But alas, that conversation came to an end when the woman suddenly saw someone she knew across the way and promptly forgot about Dawn, gliding across the room as she hollered and waved. Dawn blinked a few times before looking briefly over toward where Bucky sat, to find him already looking at her. She rose a brow at him in question. He gave a little grin and a nod, and she smiled brightly before wandering off back toward the bar for another drink.
She ordered one for herself, and another for Bucky with every intention of meeting back up with him and his old men soon, and leaned patiently against the bar top as she waited. There was a man standing near her- nondescript, a little sweaty- sipping on a beer. She didn’t pay him much mind as she waited, simply offering a polite grin when they briefly locked eyes.
“Hey,” the man said, giving her a weird grin as he pointed at her. “I think I know you.” Dawn immediately had a bad feeling about it.
“I think you don’t,” she responded, clipped, but trying to remain at least a little polite.
“No, I see it now. I definitely know you,” he said, scooting a tad closer. “Can you guess how?” Dawn took half a step away.
“I don’t really do guessing games,” she said, haunches quickly rising.
“You’re an assassin. You kill people,” the man said, and she caught the look in his eye. He was either very drunk, or way too excited to talk about things she didn’t want to talk about. Seemed like a little bit of both.
“That’s a bold accusation to put on someone who potentially kills people,” Dawn said, eyes flitting around for a possible escape.
“It’s true. You’re the Serval, I know it. I saw you in the S.H.I.E.L.D. files when they were leaked,” the man continued, Dawn’s attitude going right over his head. She gave him an incredulous smile.
“Oh, you’re one of those deep diving types, huh? Must’ve dug pretty far into those, the Serval wasn’t very high up in the ranks,” she said, giving the bartender a light thanks as she dropped the drinks off.
“I can prove it. The Serval’s got the brand of the Handler, right on the back of her neck,” the man said, eyes darting to the back of Dawn’s head. At the mention of the Handler, Dawn was suddenly in full fight or flight mode. She was just trying to have a nice night.
“You sound a little obsessed there, buddy,” she said, voice flat. “I wouldn’t test that theory if I were you. Excuse me,” she said, making to pick the drinks up and escape the situation. His hand was wrapped around her wrist, then, strikingly quick for a drunk man. It took every ounce of willpower Dawn had not to drop him right then and there.
“Let me go,” she said, surprising herself at how calm she sounded.
“Come on, just let me see it,” he said, other hand moving toward the back of her head. Dawn was a hairs breadth away from kicking the mans knee out when a familiar whir of metal was swiftly followed by the hand it belonged to. Bucky had the mans floating arm caught in his left fist, twisting the wrist sharply and painfully down and out of Dawn’s face. It happened so quickly, so subtly, no one around them even seemed to notice.
“This ain’t a game you want to play, man,” Bucky growled at the man who’s face was contorted in pain. “You’re gonna leave, and hope neither of us finds you later. You know, especially with her being a potential assassin and all.”
With that, Bucky released the mans arm, and the pair watched him crumple before stumbling off in a hurry, tail between his legs. Dawn didn’t bother questioning how he heard the exchange. They’d been through it before. He heard it all, so he said.
“Were you a drama major in your past life? Because that was pretty dramatic,” Dawn teased, hiding what definitely felt like a stiff smile behind her glass as she took a hefty swallow. Bucky looked her over quickly, assessing her body language for unease.
“A little theatrics can go a long way,” he said when he seemed satisfied that Dawn was mostly fine. “You think it scared him?”
“Maybe a little. That, or the broken wrist,” she shrugged, picking up the drink she’d gotten for him. “Got you a refill,” she said. He huffed a breath of laughter and took the glass.
“You went through all that trouble just for me? You’re a peach,” he teased.
“What can I say, I’m a hell of a date. I know how to treat ‘em,” she shrugged.
“I’m sure you do, Donnie,” he said. They fell into an amicable silence after that, but before either one could decide to start talking again, the crowds attention was drawn to the head of the hall, where the presenters of the gala were starting some big speech.
It really was a nice speech, all things considered. Well spoken, hopeful. Bittersweet, but overall optimistic about the world trying to get back on track. As galas went, full of rich, slightly sheltered people who didn’t really understand that things were still going to be rough for a long time, Dawn supposed it could have been a worse crowd. They had hope that things could be good, given the right resources. It made sense that Sam was so eager for them to go.
Sam had reappeared out of seemingly nowhere not long after the speech had ended, and the music had started back up.
“Dawn, you mind if I steal you from your date for a little while? I’m dying to dance with someone under sixty,” he requested, earning a giggle from Dawn.
“Is that what you’ve been doing this whole time? Wooing all the old ladies?” she asked.
“I’ve been drowning in Chanel Number Five for like an hour. Please, I need a break,” he whined, coaxing a proper laugh out of her. She turned to Bucky, then, the silent question on her face.
“Go ahead. I’ve got a conversation to get back to,” Bucky said, gesturing toward the table of old men he’d been talking to previously.
So Sam offered Dawn his arm and led her out onto the dance floor. They fell into form easily, and began moving with the music.
“So Bucky made some friends, huh?” Sam asked, raising a brow in amusement. Dawn smiled.
“Yeah. A bunch of old men, naturally. They’re probably just swapping war stories or something, I don’t know. Whatever old men talk about,” she said.
“Of course he’d fall in with them, cranky old bastard,” Sam said, rolling his eyes. “At least nobody’s giving him any trouble.” Dawn shrugged a shoulder.
“He’s already broken a wrist tonight, I think he’s filled his quota for the time being,” she said.
“He what?” Sam baulked. Dawn laughed lightly.
“Don’t worry, it was very subtle. We’re staying out of trouble, I swear.”
“No, no. You aren’t getting out of this so easily. Why the hell is Bucky stealth breaking people’s wrists?” Sam prodded.
“The guy had it coming, honestly. He grabbed me. Trust me, I would’ve made a bigger scene if Bucky hadn’t stepped in,” she said.
“You two are going to be the death of me, I swear to God. Can’t stay out of trouble for one damn night, can you?” he said, giving her a little spin.
“Gala’s can’t stop a couple of wild animals, Wilson,” Dawn winked.
“And yet here you are, schmoozing with the best of ‘em,” he said, shaking his head fondly.
“I mean, I look sort of nice tonight. Might as well play the part, you know?” she said, earning a chuckle. They bantered easily for a bit before falling into quiet and letting the music guide them.
“You know,” Sam started after a few stanzas. “I don’t think Bucky’s danced since the forties. Steve said he used to go dancing all the time,” he said, pointed. Dawn snorted.
“What, you think he’d go for that now? No way. It was enough work just to get him to come here,” she retorted.
“You should ask him to dance. Since, apparently, he can deny you nothing,” Sam said, still with the stupid pointed look. Dawn was willfully ignoring it.
“I think he’d sooner rip his other arm off. You know how he is about touching,” she said.
“I don’t know about that. I don’t think you’re seeing what I’m seeing, Donnie,” Sam said.
“Oh? And what’s that?” she prodded.
“Right now, I see Sir Grumpalot sitting over there looking like a kicked puppy because someone else is dancing with his girl. Seriously, the dude is straight up pouting.” Dawn shot him a glare.
“I’m not his- he always looks like a kicked puppy, that’s just his face.” Sam smiled at her, a soft, warm thing. She felt small under it.
“To you, maybe. That man is an immovable object when he wants to be. Unless it comes to you. Then, sad little puppy, always ready to please.” She huffed at him as the song ended, and reached up to pat his cheek.
“Alright, Samwise, keep telling yourself that. I’m not nearly drunk enough for this conversation. Thanks for the dance. Back to the cougars with you,” she said, removing herself from his grip.
“Dawn, baby, don’t do this to me!” he crowed. She shot him a wide smile as she backed away.
“Sorry, sweetheart. You know my heart burns for you. But I think I’ve got a puppy I need to get back to,” she called.
Bucky was scowling at her once she arrived back at the table he sat at with his three old men. “Was Sam calling me a puppy?” he asked, throwing a glare in Sam’s direction.
“You heard that?” she asked, taking a seat next to him. He slid a glass across the table toward her, a refill of her drink. She smiled in thanks.
“I heard you say it. Which means he said it,” Bucky said, clearly grumpy.
“Don’t worry, Buck, you’re not a puppy,” she said, poking her foot into his shin under the table. “You’re a big, bad wolf, huffing and puffing as much as you do,” she said.
“I hope you don’t ever get into comedy. It’s really not your calling,” Bucky grumbled, and Dawn let out a bright peal of laughter.
And then, apparently, Dawn was dancing with one of Bucky’s three old men, because her feet weren’t killing her enough already. She could run around all day and night on missions, but on those, she typically had boots. A few hours gallivanting around in high heels, though? That was definitely another story.
By the time Dawn had managed to slip away from the dance floor, Bucky was looking spacey, tired, and ready to leave. He’d been a good sport over the course of the evening, and broke a drunk guys wrist for her. He’d earned the relief of leaving the gala.
They slipped out into the refreshing night air, after Dawn’s insistence that they at least say goodbye to Sam, and Dawn felt the relief instantly. She’d been riled up all evening, trying to be social and gracious. It was nice to breathe and let the tension go. But with her relief, the pain in her feet and ankles became her main focus. Heels were a curse to womankind, she decided. And Bucky was already a good few yards away.
“You always walk that fast, or are you just that sick of me?” she called out, irrationally grumpy at the pain in her feet. Bucky stopped and turned, looking just a little surprised that she was so far behind. He watched her for a moment as she tried to pick up the pace, and she scowled when she saw the amusement written all over his face.
“You look like a baby deer,” he teased.
“Oh, I’m sorry. You try wearing heels for hours at a time, see how you do,” she said, embarrassed as she hobbled up to him.
“Hey, you’re the one who wanted to wear them,” he said, raising his hands in defense.
“I’ve got a knife under this dress, somewhere. Don’t make me use it,” she grumbled.
“You brought a knife?” he asked, surprised. She scoffed.
“Oh, like you don’t have at least ten stuffed in your slacks,” she retorted.
“That’s fair,” he said, then looked back down at her in consideration. “Alright. Come on,” he said, stepping into her space.
“What-“ Dawn was cut off by a yelp as she was suddenly airborne, and she found herself scrambling for a good grip around his neck. Bucky hiked her up higher and started walking, carrying her bridal style through the lot like it was nothing. Dawn took a moment to gather herself again before speaking.
“I thought you said you weren’t going to carry me through the parking lot,” she said quietly, amused. She was also trying not to think about how warm he was, and if she was talking, that helped to distract her.
“That was if you were drunk. Which I’m pretty sure you’re not,” he said, giving her a suspicious glance. She smiled.
“Nah. I can hold my liquor. Maybe even drink you under the table,” she said.
“Right. We are never testing that theory.”
“Don’t underestimate me.”
“I’m not. You’d die.”
She let Bucky drive her car, not trusting her feet to cooperate with the pedals. It was a long, quiet drive back to Bucky’s apartment. They’d spent the drive sort of winding down from the evening, and Dawn was about to bid him goodnight upon parking, but Bucky beat her to it.
“You’ve been drinking. I can’t, in good conscience, let you drive home,” he said flatly. She rose a brow at him, unable to help the grin.
“I thought you said I wasn’t drunk,” she said. He didn’t look at her as he pocketed her keys and started walking.
“Three drinks? Maybe four? Yeah, you’re not driving,” he tossed over his shoulder. “Don’t know where your keys went, anyway.” Dawn smiled softly at his back and followed. She liked when fragments of his boyish nature of years past shone through all the grey he surrounded himself with. It was nice.
He let her borrow some clothes, let her use his shower, and she eventually emerged, clean and warm and comfy. She dropped herself onto the couch and let out a relieved sigh, leaning her head back and shutting her eyes with a grin.
“Feel better?” Bucky asked from the kitchen around a mouthful of food. His stomach had growled angrily the entire drive home. Dawn had tried to get him to eat at the gala, but he just wouldn’t. He moved back into the front room and placed a plated sandwich in Dawn’s lap. She was, admittedly, also very hungry.
“You have no idea,” she said, tucking into the offered sandwich. She watched TV while Bucky took his own shower. It was a familiar routine after sharing many a hotel room. They existed pretty easily around each other, for the most part. It was comfortable. Something safe, easy.
“Did you have to use all the hot water?” he griped without venom upon exiting the bathroom and flopping onto the couch.
“You should have thought of that before you met me. Long, hot showers are kind of my favorite thing,” she said, shoving at his shoulder.
“Right, because I definitely could have predicted some ex assassin, hot water leech was going to prance her way into my apartment one day just for the amenities,” he shot back. She could practically hear him rolling his eyes at her.
“Constant vigilance, Sarge. You can never be too ready,” she said, curling into her corner of the couch as Bucky started flipping through the channels. Dawn’s mind wandered as she stared at the television. The air between them was easy, comfortable. Quiet and content. She found herself continuously looping back to Sam’s words at the gala, couldn’t quite seem to get them out of her head. Bucky liked to dance, once upon a time. She could imagine it, the bright smile on his face as he twirled a pretty girl around the room, the innocence of it all.
“Sam said you haven’t danced since the forties,” she blurted before she could stop herself. She could see him turn his head toward her in her peripheral vision, but he said nothing. “Well. I guess Steve said it, really. Steve told Sam, Sam told me,” she rambled, picking at the borrowed sweatpants.
“Well. It’s a little hard to get some dancing in between brainwashing, bouncing from fight to fight. Turning to dust,” Bucky said, slowly, clearly trying to figure out her reasoning.
“You could’ve tonight. At the gala,” she said, chancing a quick glance at him. He was giving her a look, something carefully neutral and just a little suspicious.
“Don’t be so sure about that,” he said.
“You could’ve,” she repeated. “I’m sure anyone would’ve danced with you.”
“Not really my scene these days, Donnie,” he said. She chewed on her lip, ignoring the feeling of her heart hammering in her chest.
“What about here?” she asked.
“What about it?”
Dawn gestured around them. “Is this more your scene?” He furrowed his brows at her. Her stomach dropped into her feet.
“This is my living room?” he said, clearly confused. She was going to fucking throw up.
“Dance with me, Bucky,” she said. Maybe she would just die, dissolve into the couch and cease to be.
“What?” he asked, almost a whisper. She squared her shoulders and turned to him.
“Dance with me,” she said. He just kind of sat there for a moment, looking bewildered and caught off guard. It took him a minute to find his words again.
“I haven’t danced since ‘43,” he said, sounding a little breathless. She nodded slowly.
“Yes. We’ve been over this. It’ll be fine,” she said, standing up and crossing the room toward his stereo.
“I’m not any good,“ he argued weakly.
“Who cares? No one’s watching and I won’t know any better,” she said, hooking up her phone and pulling up a proper playlist. She pressed the play button and put the phone down before drifting back to Bucky as the grainy, old music started playing. She quickly muted the television and outstretched her hands expectantly. She made a grabby motion when he still just stared up at her.
“Come on. Just a few songs. It’ll be fun,” she said. He pressed his lips together and sighed heavily, not being overly helpful as he took her hands and let her pull him up. She pulled him away from the couch and they stared at each other for a moment. Bucky’s brows were furrowed, but she couldn’t tell what he was feeling. She could barely hear the music over the blood rushing in her ears.
He still didn’t say anything. Just hesitantly tapped her arm up, looking resigned, a silent order to place her hand on his shoulder. His left hand fell lightly onto her waist, and his right gently scooped up her other hand to hold up in the air. She gave him an encouraging smile, and then they we’re moving.
She let him lead, and it was a shy thing at first, stiff. “See? It’s not so bad,” she said. He huffed a tense breath of laughter.
“This is stupid,” he said. She clicked her tongue.
“No, this is nice,” she argued, giving his shoulder a gentle pinch. She moved with him as easily as he would let her, but he was still uncertain, almost awkward. She found it endearing. It took some time for Bucky to warm up to the idea.
Dawn could almost pinpoint the moment he got comfortable. He tugged her hand, twisted her out for a little spin, and pulled her back into him. She giggled as he spun her, almost losing her footing on the return. His left hand landed on the small of her back when she bumped back into him, and they were suddenly much closer. She could feel the heat radiating off of him, the coolness of his metal hand against her spine. She looked back up at him, and she caught a glimpse of that boyish charm he once probably wore so easily.
“I guess it’s not so bad,” he muttered as they continued swaying to the music.
“And you think you’re not any good,” she tutted. They moved around in a little circle for a while. Then, Bucky got brave and started putting some foot work into it. Dawn’s heart was absolutely soaring, and she could tell Bucky was legitimately having a good time, if the softness in his features was anything to go by.
“You looked beautiful, tonight,” Bucky said out of the blue, quiet, like he didn’t want to break the little bubble they found themselves in. “I should have said it before.” Dawn bit her lip against the shy smile threatening to rise. She could only manage a whispered thanks as she felt her cheeks heat up.
“You know. Baby deer ankles and all,” he teased, earning a scandalized gasp out of Dawn. She went to smack him in the arm, but instead, he stopped the motion by gripping her hand tighter and pulling her even closer, flush against his body. Any and all fight Dawn had in her left in a rush. “I’m kidding, Doll,” he said, the words rumbling against her chest. Dawn couldn’t find any words to say, so she rested her head against his chest instead, opting to feel his warmth and let the music guide them.
They danced around the apartment for more than the promised few songs, swaying and spinning and stepping. Dawn only stepped on his toes a few times. And Bucky seemed happy. The tension he usually held in his shoulders was nonexistent, and everything about him just seemed soft and sweet, and Dawn was almost jealous of all the girls he must have taken dancing back in his day, jealous that they got to see that side of him so freely. And she was sad for Bucky, that he’d been through so much, had no choice but to shut himself down. But at that moment in time, the pair of them floating around his apartment, things were good. Everything was okay. There was no mission. No nightmare. No Handler. No greater goal. Just Dawn and Bucky. Just music. Just a little bit of peace.
The song was nearing its end. The crescendo came, the last big chorus, and Bucky spun Dawn around once more before catching her against his chest. He smoothly transferred his weight, held her snug as he got a steady hold of her and dipped her with all the grace in the world. She found herself giggling at the feeling, and then he pulled her back up. He pulled her back up, and she was proud of not messing it up for all of a second before her mind blanked entirely.
They were close. Very close. Both of his hands were pressed into her spine, one warm, one cold, steadying her frame. Her hands landed on either side of his neck. Their noses brushed. They were so close. Dawn felt his breath against her lips, a quick, surprised little puff, and she almost could have sworn her heart stopped beating, that she would die right then and there. Hair had landed in her face with the momentum, and she couldn’t see much of anything, but she felt it all.
Her breath hitched and she froze as Bucky’s nose just brushed her cheek, an almost mindless nuzzle against her skin. She could feel the heat of his lips so, so close to hers. She would barely have to move an inch to meet them. She was pretty sure she was dead.
But, almost as soon as it had happened, it was over. Bucky took a step back, releasing Dawn completely.
“It’s, um,” he cleared his throat, looked somewhere over her shoulder. “It’s late. I’m sure you’re tired. You should get some sleep,” he said. It took Dawn an embarrassingly long moment to collect herself.
“Oh. Right, um. Yeah. It was a long day, wasn’t it,” she said, hoping she didn’t sound as spaced out as she felt. She moved on stiff legs to grab her phone and shut the music off. Bucky was standing awkwardly off to the side, arms crossed tight over his chest.
“You can take the bed,” he said with a stiff gesture, voice rough. She nodded dumbly and pulled her lips between her teeth before shuffling down the short hallway. She was about to shut the door behind her, hand on the doorknob for a moment. She swung it back open a little.
“Bucky?” she called out hesitantly.
“Yeah?” his voice echoed, quick and a little shrill. Her words got stuck. She cleared her throat.
“Thank you. For coming. I had a nice night. I hope you did, too,” she called out, awkward, unable to keep the uncertainty out of her voice. She didn’t get a response for a minute, and she was about to shut the door.
“Yeah. I did. Goodnight, Donnie.”
Neither one of them knew it, but they both spent a long time staring at the ceiling that night, too wired, too deep in thoughts of What the hell is going on to fall asleep. And when they did, their sleep was as turbulent as whatever it was that they were trying not to feel.