2019-05-05 - FUBAR and SNAFU Approved


Inasmuch as goldfish can approve of an engagement!

Log Info:

Storyteller: N/A
Date: 05/05/2019
Location: 58 Water Street - Apt 602, Brooklyn, NYC

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Theme Song



For once…

…it’s entirely possible…

…that Steve Rogers has accomplished something under the Soldier’s radar. It’s possible, just like the roll of a dice, that he’s managed to keep his cool around the man for the last week or so. Maybe he seemed a bit more distant now and then, caught staring at a spot of spackling on the wall or ceiling in deep thought, and maybe once or twice he might have appeared to try and divert attention away from something, but always with a more interesting foray instead.

Tonight, there’s quiet music playing in the apartment. It’s one of the favored stations of Internet radio, one dedicated to a novelty called electro-swing that appears to have caught Bucky’s fancy. It’s not up too loud. The place is clean upon visual inspection after entry and the fish tank recently cleaned. FUBAR bumps off the glass as he usually does, concerned with seeing if his reflection is real or not. SNAFU’s lipping at the graveled bottom.

Steve is seated at the table with his sketchbook. He has his jaw rested on his palm, elbow on the table, and he’s idly sketching out what appears to be an outlandish cartoon of the goldfish themselves. Their balloon-like eyes seem set to explode in gape-mouthed surprise at empty space on the white paper. He’s wearing a fine dress-shirt in a pastel-blue, sure to compliment his eyes at the very least, and a pair of black dress-pants. His hair’s been tamed (but not too much gel) and he glances up at the analogue clock on the wall with a frown. His charcoal pencil taptaps marks on the paper as he then considers his cartoons once more.

He must be waiting for something — or someone!


Whomever he’s waiting for, what he gets is one Bucky Barnes, dressed in a Cyclones cap and plain t-shirt and jeans and Chucks, towing the market cart behind him. One of those wire-grid things, filled with the week’s groceries. Buck generally does the marketing, among other things. Cyborg house-husband ahoy.

“Hey, sweetheart,” he says, amiably, as he shoulders in, heading for the kitchen. He doesn’t ask Steve to come help him put the groceries away. They’re all in a set of identical blue reusable sacks; Buck has a positive allergy to disposable things. He takes off his hat, hangs it on a hook on the wall by the door. Steve’s dress makes him pause, blink. “We don’t have guests comin’ I forgot about, do we?” he asks, worriedly. “I can change real quick.”


The charcoal pencil almost flies across the table when he hears the scuffing of the door opening. The chair he sits in cranks across the floor with an audible scoot as Steve rises to his feet, setting aside the sketchbook and drawing utensil. Bucky doesn’t ask, but it doesn’t mean the Captain doesn’t offer assistance.

“No! No, no,” and Steve clears his throat as he reaches into one of the bags to help start putting away the gathered goods of this week’s trip. Milk, eggs, bread, everything a growing super-soldier needs. “No guests are showing up. You didn’t forget anything.” He favors the Soldier with a bright smile almost…a little nervous around the edges.


See, the thing about Steven Rogers keeping things from Bucky Barnes is that he has a huge bank of trust built up. Namely, that Steve *can’t* keep things from him or lie to save his life. So it actually isn’t hard to fool him. He’s sensitive to Steve’s moods, but there’s that deliberate care to give Steve space and privacy. That they’re lovers who live together doesn’t mean that they have to be in each others’ pockets 24/7….and Buck has his dark moments, where he dens up in his own bedroom and is quiet. Sometimes all he can do with the nightmares is let them come and let them go.

He doesn’t miss the nervousness now, and gives Steve a puzzled look. “Okay, good. I figured BLTs would be good - they had a sale on bacon, and I actually got some early tomatoes from the grow frame up top in the fridge. Sound all right?” A glance takes in the state of the apartment, and the puzzled look deepens into one of those frowns. “You cleaned up. Thanks. I coulda done it…” But he leaves it there, as he puts stuff into the pantry.


“BLTs sound great.” Steve disappears into the fridge but for the round of his upper back as he stoops to shove perishables away into its depths. They’re not quite squirrels, these two, but the blessing of a big fridge is one not taken for granted. He appears again, hand resting on the door’s top, and glances back towards the living room as if he’d just realized he had done such a thorough job cleaning.

“Oh. Well…nah, I… I had a lot of excess energy. Had to do something. Couldn’t sit still.” He gives Bucky a crooked smile — as best he can, given he dimples more easily than anything else. “Need any help?” he asks after he closes the door, realizing he was letting cold out by the drift of it about his ankles. No dress shoes, but instead slippers as a proper clash of appearance.


“I get like that, sometimes,” he admits. Satisfied he’s arranged the pantry properly, he looks to Steve again, smiles. “Nah, it’s good. You hungry now, or wanna wait a little?” That he’ll cook - that he also takes for granted. “Wanna go to the pictures tomorrow, maybe?” The energy around Steve….it’s off. That isn’t Steve being amorous, per se….and for a wonder, his brain didn’t immediately go there, either. Later, maybe - something leisurely. Or else he’ll just end up napping, head on that big shoulder.


“The pictures? Sure.” Steve’s not hard of hearing, but what he does seem to be is distracted. He takes up the empty grocery bags and puts them away, having to brush past Bucky in the process. “What’re you thinking of seeing? And yeah, food sounds good.”

A beat. “Or…I mean, you hungry? I could wait if you’re not hungry.” He pauses by the pantry, looking at the other man in an odd expectancy. “Are you hungry?” His eyes shut for a second as if he’s remonstrating himself for the repetition of question. Then, smiling, he drops his chin and…almost scuffs at the kitchen floor. It’s instead a shuffling in place with hands in his pockets before he looks up again.

“Oh! Oh, you like this song, lemme go turn it up. It’s better to cook with some nice rhythm going on.”

There the Captain goes, off to the living room, to turn up the music indeed.

It might not even be a song Bucky knows.


Something is wrong. It’s started to filter through to him. He pauses a beat, then sets down the plate he just took out of the cabinet to go follow Steve. Softly, but not silently.

“Steve, what’s going on? You’re acting weird.” It’s not Christmas, it’s not either of their birthdays, nothing explains this behavior. Is that actually his Steve? There’s a tension coming into his posture, that cat-like wariness. “…..did you wanna dance? You can just say so, we can.”


The remote for the speakers is tossed off to one side as Steve blows a hard sigh. He turns to face Bucky now and swallows - hard. The music’s still not too loud; it’s as if he forgot what he was going to do, like walking from one room to another into confusion.

“I, um… I…” His hands move before his chest in a disjointed circling as he looks to one side. “I…taught the goldfish a new trick.” He nods towards the tank. “I mean…I tried to, but… The…the problem is that the hoop is too small. Just remembered that I forgot to…to take it out.”

An odd light has entered his eyes now and there’s a blush high on his cheeks. “Mind grabbing it for me…?”


He knows that funny, nose-wrinkled squint that says louder than any words - Steve, WTF is wrong with you? There’s a swift glance to the fish. They seem fine - no one’s floating belly up or stuck to the side of the tank or flying around the room. “That’s quick,” Buck says, eyes still mostly on Steve.

Then he pads over to the tank to inspect it. “Yeah, you gotta start out with your fingers just kind of in a curve to get ‘em used to it.” Not an iota of suspicion, as he reaches in to get what might be floating there.


Strung to a small floating ball is a small round circlet. In the slant of water refraction, it might not seem as what it is until the object leaves the water itself. It’s a golden ring, plain and glimmering, and yet not plain at all. Inside in small engraved text: “To the end of the line - SGR”.

A quiet thump behind Bucky will be the Captain dropping to one knee. His is a tremulous expression, as full of life as a loose power line on the fritz, almost shivering briefly as his throat bobbles.

“If you’ll marry me, James Buchanan Barnes, I’ll be happier than those goldfish,” he says, low and earnest to be painful.


Buck’s got it out of the tank before he realizes what it is, other than a floaty. “Oh, Steve, they aren’t bettas, you don’t need to give ‘em toys to kee-” His voice trails off, as his brows knit in puzzlement. He turns it over in his hands, and his expression clears into understanding, then softens into shock. The line of his mouth goes soft, tremulous.

Then he rounds on the Captain, and simply goes down on his own knees. Face to face, now - he lifts up the ring, and slips it on to the ring finger of his right hand. “Of course, Steven,” he says, as if there’d never been any doubt. “I’ve always been yours. You know that.” Whereupon he leans in, putting his arms around the big blond, and kisses him wholeheartedly.

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