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"Poison" - MCU, Marvel, Bucky Barnes (2020)



He was cresting double-digits. A tenth glass of bourbon sat cupped in his right hand, his hazy gaze drifting across a room full of survivors.โฃ


Strange, Danvers, Scott and Hope. Banner, nursing the only drink he'd imbibe that night, Clint, Wanda, Sam. Even Peter was there, nervously necking lemonades like they were going out of fashion. Occasionally, T'Challa and Shuri would visit. Sometimes, Thor would bring otherworldly ales. Parties, more akin to gatherings, intended to help the remainder of them bond, move on, stay social in the face of trauma. They'd be light affairs, chattering and laughing, a few drinks before early nights and pressing commitments pulled people away. Yet increasingly, Barnes found himself at the bottom of a tumbler.โฃ


He'd neck glass after glass of the golden liquid, until his skin buzzed with warmth and his eyes glazed over. It had become something of a habit, a heinous coping mechanism after losing Steve Rogers ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ. He'd watched as his best friend had vanished into the void with little more than a parting squeeze... Only to return ancient and dying. It seemed, no matter what occurred, Barnes and Rogers could never co-exist. Despite it all, every razed memory and ill-fated fist-fight, every impossible resurrection and terrifying near-miss, their lives would never intertwine again. Not since the bygone days of a shabby one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, had Bucky felt Steveโ€™s hand in his.โฃ


So, he drank. He drank and drank, until perfect heroes gave him pitying glances and disapproving sighs. Until the floor swirled underneath him like the cold water of the Potomac, until the echoes of his past drowned under the din of his own sluggish breathing. Then, and only then, he'd stumble home, feet scuffing the pavement, eyes drifting down every back-alley in search of his absent partner. Each wobbling step, each hand grazed on bricks, searched for the remnants of a ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ promise; ๐™„''๐™ข ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช '๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ก ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™š.

Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2020:

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