I Didn’t Sign Up for This or Why Bucky Barnes is a Magnet for Itty Bitty Temperamental Justice-Fighting Fellas
Steve Rogers isn’t sure why Nick Fury rolled his eyes heavenwards or why Phil Coulson…. yeah, finding out Phil was alive was an Epic Discussion all on its own, which involved a lot of swearing, punching and a surprise makeout glomp from both Clint and Natasha.
"What? I’m Russian - we can get overwhelmed by our emotions once in a while,” Natasha said serenely.
"Huh," said Phil in atypical fashion, the red flush creeping up over his neck notwithstanding.
But back to the topic. Phil Coulson actually giggled when the name “Dr. Kenshin Himura” came up on the list of SHIELD-approved therapists to work with Bucky.
"There is absolutely no way in hell that Himura-sensei is secretly HYDRA,” Phil had said. “None.”
"And you guys are fucking evil, you know this, right?” Clint had guffawed. “Because do you have any idea what kind of epic clusterfuckery you’re gonna unleash on the world once the Winter Soldier - “
"His name is Bucky," Steve interrupted.
" - still the Winter Soldier, Rogers and I’ve read your boy’s files. Even back when he was your Sergeant he was a motherfucking badass. So, the Winter Soldier and the Hitokiri are going to get along like a house on fire and we’re all going to be doomed. Doomed, I say!”
Steve glanced at Natasha, hoping for sanity and also an explanation. "Hitokiri?"
Nat had buried her face in her hands, but only because she was getting the gigglefits as well. She did, however, try for some sanity. It was a brave attempt. “Barnes and Himura are going to get along fine. Himura’s tiny, sweet-natured, very kind hearted, hates bullies and has a temper that only wakes up when evildoers are about.” The word evildoers rolled drolly off Nat’s tongue. “Kind of reminds us of certain defrosted fossils that we know and love, except that Barnes definitely likes blondes instead of redheads.”
Steve went pink. He still stubbornly held on to the original question though. “Hitokiri?”
Nat smiled. “I’ll get you a history of Japan during the Bakumatsu. It makes for interesting reading.”
So fine, Steve ended up with the gigglefits too once he got caught up. Bucky would be in safe hands.
The Winter Soldier - because he wasn’t quite Bucky Barnes yet, though intellectually, he knew that this was his original name, before he’d been broken into the Asset - looked down at kind violet eyes and a sweet, unassuming smile.
He also noted the swords that stood on its stand behind the doctor’s desk. There were three - two katanas and one wakizashi - and all three of them seemed used and well-cared for.
"Oro?" said Dr. Himura and maybe, just maybe, the Soldier had the briefest flash of memory, because Himura did, on a superficial basis, resemble a certain tiny, blonde, blue-eyed man that the Soldier would always consider to be The Mission, the only Mission that mattered. Even if Steve Rogers wasn’t that tiny
fierce little asthmatic anymore, he still needed protecting and the Soldier was grimly determined to not fail this mission.
The doctor’s hands were callused and his handshake firm. And something in the way he moved told the Soldier that this man, for all his credentials as a healer, was not a stranger to war.
"It is good to meet you," Dr. Himura said kindly. "I will be Himura-sensei here in this place, though I am Kenshin to all my friends outside this office. Your friends have given me a name, though you have yet to claim it for your own. Do you wish to do so?”
A choice. The Soldier was so unused to the fact that he could have choices now, had the freedom to make them.
"Barnes will do for now," he said finally. "Though maybe I’d like to be…. Bucky one day, though I don’t see how that’s possible.”
"We all change and we build on those changes as we move forward. But you may yet reclaim that old self and still keep moving forward anyway. I am willing to help you try. But there is no shame in failure. You are your own self, neh?”
The Soldier found himself saying Yes. He could work with that.
Inevitably, HYDRA thought it would be a good idea to snatch their Asset back while he was in the middle of therapy with what they thought was a harmless, easily disposed-of civilian.
They soon learned that Kenshin Himura did not keep his swords for decoration. They also learned that the Hitokiri Battousai still knew how to use the paired swords of his trade and he wouldn’t hesitate to use the sharp edge, not if someone under his protection was on the line.
"Steve, baby, are you sure you didn’t have a redheaded Japanese twin brother who ended up in Meiji-era Japan somehow?"
- end -
Note: I CRACK WHAT I WANT. MWAHAHAHAHHAHA!