“Oh my God.”
Steve and I exchange a brief glance, neither of us daring to speak as the woman open their presents.
“It’s a teddy bear.”
Sharon says slowly, pulling the small Captain America toy from the box.
“I didn’t even know you had a plushie.”
Natasha states, glancing up at me with a calm expression.
Honestly I don’t think either of us expected it to go this way..
“Valentines Day isn’t even a real holiday.”
I complain, the humidity not helping with my mood.
I didn’t mind missions, some I even enjoyed. But heat and I didn’t mix well.
“C’mon, Buck, it would surprise them and they’d love it!”
“Steve, those are trained assassins. Well, one is. One is an agent who, frankly, I don’t know what her skill set is.”
“So.. Why would they want stuffed toys? Hell, we aren’t even going to be back in time for the stupid day.”
“Just picture it, Buck.”
“I’m picturing Natasha giving me a look of confusion.”
“They would love them.”
“Fine, you know what? Fine. Find someone who will make them and we’ll give them to the girls when we get back. But don’t blame me when you find it stuffed under the bed or on the top of the closet.”
“I really do like it.”
She smiles softly, the woman sitting on my lap and the bear on hers.
“It’s a teddy bear version of you, James. I mean I wouldn’t have thought this would happen, but I really do like him.”
“Steve was right, I’ll be damned.”
“Just don’t be annoyed if he gets more attention then you.”
“You were gone over Valentines Day, James.”
She says, standing up and winking at me, the bear held close.
"I don't remember patrols being so.."
"I was going to say uneventful."
"You were thinking boring."
I laugh despite myself as Clint shakes his head, a smile on his own lips.
"You know, we make a good team."
"You'd have made a better team with Bucky."
My subtle comment seems to strike a nerve with the archer as he takes a deep breath.
"How'd he take it?"
"Fine. He said he would've rather stayed home anyways."
A silence falls between us as I stare across the rooftops, my shield clinging to my back.
Buck said he took it fine, but I can't help but think that he really would have rather been out here.
Had his mind doing something instead of just being alone at home, trapped with his thoughts.
"What are you going to do?"
I'm pulled from my own world, my eyes glancing over at Clint.
"What are you going to do? About Barnes I mean."
"What is there to do?"
I ask, clamping my hands together as I lean across the cement wall on the top of the building.
"I don't even fully understand what is going on with him. These loses of memory, are they just temporary? Are they just a side effect to what he has been going through recently?"
I let out a sigh.
"Honestly I don't even know what there is anymore that I can do to help him."
"Will he talk about it?"
"No. he's acting as if everything is fine. Even after he freaked out at headquarters he just.. played it off."
"Maybe there's nothing you can do."
Clint shrugs lightly.
"Great advice, Barton."
He says, turning and slinging his quiver over his shoulder.
((Continued In Comments))