2019-09-03 - Another Happy Hospital Awakening


Steve wakes up to Bucky and May, both so pleased to see him alive — and to glare at the bedridden super-soldier. But: Steve does get tortilla soup instead of pudding in the near-future.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Sep 3 01:57:21 2019
Location: Triskelion - Medical Bay

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Theme Song




The medbay of the Triskelion is a quiet place. To the east and west walls, many rooms, wide enough to house two or to employ emergency care as needed for arrivals. One room houses a blond man, wide of shoulder, reclined back on a semi-elevated gurney. He's had the oxygen cannula removed for a day now and is steadily breathing on his own, courtesy of the super-serum coursing through his veins.

AIM's sonic weaponry did its due justice. Steve had arrived unconscious, with blood staining the inside of his ears and fluid in his lungs. Through the efforts of one Doctor Simmons on the field of conflict, he's not dead — true gratitude goes to her, holding up the spangled shield before his body.

A wince and a hard blink. Blearily, Steve looks around the white-washed room, clean and spartan but for some sitting chairs and a couch. He's still got light bruising around both eyes and a small cough; the latter shows with a quiet huff, and probably gives away his conscious state if nothing else does. A shift beneath the sheet folded to his waist and beneath the sterile shirt keeping him warm. He's still got an IV in his arm, dripping steadily with low-grade sedative…for a super-soldier.

Bucky might as well have a cartoon thundercloud over his head, darting lightning and rumbling with miniature thunder. He's in a SHIELD polo and jeans, to all appearances just a casual agent, save for the hair and the arm. His arms are folded across his chest, and he's just looking at Steve.

Steve knows that look oh so well. Steven, you done fucked up.

And standing on the opposite side of the bed from Bucky is a much smaller figure, though not with arms crossed despite really wanting to mimic the dark-haired man's posture. Wearing dark jeans and a dark long-sleeved henley mostly concealing the bulk of bandages on both shoulder blades, she stands there silently and waits.

Barnes has more than earned first dibs.

Another slow blink and May gets noticed first. Steve squints at her. Recognition comes alongside a mild if confused smile.

"Agent May, how're you? What… Where's Simmons? 'n London? Where're the dogs?" Jeriah's cybernetic dogs, the Captain means. Another few blinks and he glances over to see Bucky now. There's a big smile for him, wide enough for dimples to show, suffused with relief.

"Buck, hey — 'm fine, 's'all good. Just stung a little. Reminded me of storming that one HYDRA facility near Resia Pass. 'member that?" It's Rogers-ese for 'simply a flesh wound, my good man'. There was less blood on display this time, after all. Most of the damage was internal anyways.

The fractional droop of those lids is enough to alert Steve to danger incoming. As is the gusty, patient sigh from the cyborg. "Steve, you are in the hospital," he says, cutting each syllable off with the precision of a hibachi chef. "Nothing that ends with you in the hospital is either fun or good. You had internal bleeding…."

Oh oh oh, welcome to the flipside of marriage, Mr. Steven Barnes. "I do remember…." And is not happy to do so, by his looks. Not in the least.

This isn't her party, not yet. So May continues to stand there quietly. Besides, standing still doesn't pull on the stitches in her back. She'll speak up when Steve thinks to ask about Jemma. And then, he'll get the FULL weight of her disapproval.

After all, the entire mission was a wash, and having Kelmore deal with the intel was only part of the mistakes made. It's left her only one option, and she hates it already.

"Eh…" His wrist free of bandaging lifts and falls to the sheets again, a failed attempt at a dismissive hand-wave. Bucky continues getting the woozy half-smile. "Dealt with worse. Used to cough up blood sometimes. 'sides, whatever they put in th'IV's reeeeally nice," Steve tells his visitors, peering at the line leading away from his forearm over the silvery bars of the gurney-railings and up to its transparent bag.

It's also more than enough cushion to make him slow on the draw as far as any judgmental glowers aimed at him.

"Steve," Buck's voice shivers, and he looks down. "You can't do this shit to me anymore. Please. You gotta…." He trails off, shoulders slumping. Steve has always been like this. He knew it, when he yielded his heart into the keeping of a rickety teenager who never had sense enough to stay down. The Soldier rubs at his forehead. He shouldn't be giving the Captain a personal dressing down, not when they're in a professional contest, so he simply says, "Nevermind."

May takes that to mean that Barnes is done with anything he has to say. It's her turn, and she's not going to be kind. "Four TAC team members returned with moderate to severe injuries, including Kilmore. Simmons is in the next room over. She hasn't woken up yet. We're lucky there were no casualties."

Now, she's not assigning blame. If this fiasco is anyone's fault, it's hers and hers alone. But she's not above making someone feel about three inches tall to get a point across.

Bucky gets another bemused blink — what's all the sadness? He's alive in the gurney, with the stupid gown on and his feet too hot under too many layerings of sheets. Steve gets to kicking the blanketing from his feet as best he can, his frown a thing of distracted effort, like a toddler struggling to move an object too big.

May's report has him glancing over. The frown remains, deepens. "That's too many agents down. They were prepared for us… For me, for me 'n Simmons 'n you, Agent May." Groggily, he wipes at his temple using the outside bend of his wrist and glances at Bucky. "A mole, Buck — could it be a mole?"

That is an excellent way to distract Barnes. His head comes up with a nearly audible snap. "You think it was a leak, and not just some kind of detection?" he asks. Steve won't get it. Steve has never gotten it - never will. "Why would you say that?"

May looks at Bucky for an intense moment. "Primary suspicion is on the consultant, London. I already plan to deal with this. But, if he turns out to be clean, we still to figure out why these AIM bastards always seem ready for us."

She starts to lift her hands as if moving to cross her arms, but stops rather quickly and switches the gesture to just folding her hands together in front of herself.

"See? S'not just me." Steve leans his head back against the pillow again, as if the conversation alone was sapping him of energy. A lazy blink and he leaves his eyes half-lidded, staring at the wall beside the light switch near the room's entrance.

"Dunno 'bout London… Run 'im through the wringer, see what dirt comes out of him. 'bout AIM being prepared…maybe just a matter of being more prepared 'n them. Now that we know they've got those…sonic blasters, not just regular ammo, better get R&D on it. I can talk to Tony too," he adds, voice gone quiet in an upswing of the sedative's pull on his focus.

"That sounds like a leak," Buck agrees, gruffly. Not in the least happy about it. "If it's that guy, I'm personally gonna turn his face into chunky salsa."

But he hitches his chair closer and settles down - all the better to take his husband's hand in both of his, hold it firmly. Not looking at May the while, as if he doesn't look at her, she won't see what he's doing.

May has no interest in interrupting something private between the two men. Once Barnes settles into his chair, she turns to step toward the door. "I'm going to take care of this right now. Barnes, your husband will not be cleared to leave Medical for at least another day or two." That's so the injured man doesn't get any particularly Steve ideas and try to leave before he's cleared.

"Chunky salsa…" That's apparently funny enough in his drug-haze to make the Captain chuckle, which in turn sets him to coughing as it exacerbates sore upper lungs. It's not a long coughing spate, but surely twinges old worries stemming from long nights in an age where nebulizers didn't exist.

May's drifting towards the door earns her a limp-wristed wave hardly above the surface of the sheets with his free hand. After all, he's busy with his other hand trying to intertwine fingers with Barnes' fingers, and doing a ridiculously poor job of it. "I'll see you in 24 hours," he replies, grinning crookedly at the agent. Of course only 24 hours — nobody keeps this Steve down…not even Steve.

"Yes, ma'am," he says, simply.

And once May has stepped out….Buck simply flops forward and buries his face in Steve's shoulder. The shoulders, flesh and metal, start to shake. He's not laughing. Not in the least.

Steve glances over the second he feels the weight of his husband's face land on his arm. There are a few impact bruises there still fading out, but he barely notices them under the influence of the drip's clear liquid.

"Buck…? Hey, come on, 'm here," he says, lifting his head from the pillow. He pats the brown hair as if Bucky were a pet to be soothed. "Got a thicker skull 'n that. Come on, this isn't as bad as the knife wound."

Oh man, Steve, you had to bring up the near-fatal throat slash back in '44.

His cool is completely gone. Buck looks up with red-rimmed eyes. Yes, this is on the monitors at the nurse's station - the former Winter Soldier completely losing it.

He cuffs his eyes with his human hand, sniffs, and it's suddenly like they're twelve again, besieged on the playground. "Jesus, Steve, you gotta think, now. If you die…..I couldn't handle it."

At the nurse's station, May turns off the monitor and looks at the indignant medic there. "You'll live for five minutes. Sit back down."

It's the sniffling which hits home. Steve's hand lingers on the man's dark hair and he sighs, pulling his lips flat in a transparent display of rue.

"Look…'s'not like I went in like an idiot. Somebody got off a lucky shot, Buck. I can't…look, 'm here, right? I can't stop riding my bike because I dumped it once. It'd've been worse without me, the mission. You heard Agent May: we gotta figure out how they're getting the one-up on us." Looking into those red-rimmed eyes, their irises made paler for it, he brings the Soldier's knuckles up to his lips and kisses them before letting their entwined hands fall to his chest.

HE pulls himself back together - Buck carries a hankie, being a child of the twenties, like Steve. He swabs at his face impatiently, straightens, but doesn't release his grip on the bigger soldier's hand. "I just…..this is the first time since we got married you got hurt this bad," he says, in a near-whisper. "I….Christ, I nearly lost it when they told me. You gotta take me next time."

"Aw, Buck… Can't be in your back pocket twenty-four seven, «chroi-croga». 'm sorry I worried you." Those big true-blue eyes are earnest now, silently pleading for the bone-deep worry he sees on display to lessen and evaporate like mist in the sun. "I know — I know, 'm reckless, but not this time. Sheer bad luck."

Bucky's hand gets a good squeeze, though not nearly as strong as its usual firmness. "'m not leaving you. End o' th'line's a long time yet. You wanna come along next time, I'll vouch for it. Or is it when the next guy hits me, you get to turn his face into chunky salsa?" More husky laughing then a cough or two. Oh, chunky salsa.

Then there's that spark of impish laughter, finally rekindling. "You like that idea, huh?" he says, sitting up. "I know. I just….you gotta be more careful. That's all, sweetheart. Besides, you owe me more sex. We still haven't gotten through Belgium."

…..what on earth is he talking about?

"I'll be more careful, you mother hen," the Captain mumbles back, though his brows draw together at the allusion to Belgium. "Buck, we're…and the door's open, you…"

Aw, Steve blushes very quickly when he's all doped up on drugs and transparent as the day is long. "How'd the hell did you get to Belgium from chunky salsa? The salsa makes me think of Mexican food. D'you know what? They won't let me have anything like Mexican food. It's all soft stuff…and pudding. I don't want more pudding," he complains — honestly, petulantly, complains.

"You're lucky I don't feed you on tapioca for weeks, when we get home," Buck grouses. He hasn't shifted his chair - still holding Steve's hand. "I could make you tortilla soup, though, that stuff is really good."

Abruptly he blushes. "Uh, I just thought…." Assuming what he was doing was thinking. It probably shouldn't be dignified by that name.

The Captain's nose wrinkles at the threat of tapioca. Ew. The tip of his tongue even shows for a second before he shakes his head against the pillow, an awkward motion that proves to be him more itching at the back of his skull. Now there's some epic pillow-hair going on.

And now there are TWO blushing super-soldiers in the room! Thank god May turned off the monitors. Steve's lashes nearly touch his cheeks as he looks down at their hands, still clasped and warm to the touch. "How 'bout we start with some tortilla soup? Could sneak it in to me? I mean…still stuck here for at least a day more." Now Steve tries for That Look, the sad blue puppy dog eyes made brighter by the light bruising around them. "Could do this for me?"

"I'll just bring it," Bucky says. BEcause the idea of the Winter Soldier as a househusband should blow enough minds to break down a good bit of resistance, right? "They can suck it up. I mean, not literally. Metaphorically. Not the soup…" Yeah, coherence is fading in the rearview mirror.

Oh yes, the Sad Steve Face win the day again. Even drugged up and looking like he got hit by a truck, the blond can manage a completely self-satisfied grin. He gives his husband's hand another mollifying squeeze. Now comes the lazy, tired drooping of lids, as if it were stealing over him again, the frustrating exhaustion that comes of recovery itself.

"Knew you'd be able to help a poor, bedridden soldier out," he murmurs, one dimple faintly showing. "'m tired of being bedridden though…" His voice drops off more yet into something nearly a whisper. Struggling to remain awake and indulge in more private time with Bucky, he winces and rolls his shoulders, as if he'd shrug off the effects of the IV drip.

Five minutes are up. May turns the monitor back on, likely to reveal the more-composed men, and walks toward the room where Jemma is ensconced.

Bucky leans over, rests his hand on Steve's forehead, an absurdly maternal gesture. "Sleep, Stevie," he says, gently. "I'll be right here." Good luck prying him away from his husband's bedside - if there were more room, he'd be dozing on Steve's feet like a dog.

"Okay…guess I can…" The Captain can be seen to deflate like a balloon back into the gurney's bedding. "…but 'm not gonna stay…no longer'n…" Even the most mulish man can't withstand the need to rest. Light lashes flutter shut and he lets out a long sigh, his head leaning into the touch of a familiar palm on his forehead.

The sounds of him breathing steadily fill the room again alongside the steadfast beeps marking his heart-rate. If Bucky can fall asleep to that, no nurse will be removing him from the room.

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