Foto bij Chapter 1.1 || Apartment 6-B

Sometimes, Steve really regrets living in an apartment building. This is one of those occasions. And it is not that he hates the neighbors, not entirely. He doesn't mind noise, he'll water neighbors' plants when they are out of town and takes care of their pets if they want him to.
      Steve can only take so much, especially from neighbors he hasn't even met yet. And he can't take Colin Matthews. Not today. He might have been able to live with it on another day, just not after unpacking what felt like hundreds of boxes and working out how to assemble IKEA furniture with Thor ("I may be from Sweden, but that does not mean that I can assemble IKEA furniture, Steven... no, you need to use the smaller wooden planks... Yeah, those."). He was already running on fumes by the time the sun started setting while there were and still are ten boxes or so left to unpack, so now, roughly eight hours later, even the fumes have burnt up. But his upstairs neighbor won't shut up and Steve is not going to listen to him rant about Star Wars anymore. It's four AM, for crying out loud.
      Getting to the actual floor is somewhat tricky, as Steve a) doesn't want to wake Thor, who is asleep on the couch and b) there are a lot of boxes in the way. Most of those are unpacked, but tossed to the side somewhere and he'll send them all crashing down if he walks into them. However tired he was when he gave up on unpacking boxes for the day, he should have at least put the empty boxes in a corner somewhere, where he can't run into them. In avoiding the boxes, he steps onto a runaway screwdriver, pointy end first. The curse he has to suppress very nearly makes its way past Steve's mouth, even though Steve cursing might not wake Thor up, he'd rather be safe than sorry. Steve has no clue how Thor can sleep through the upstairs neighbor's yelling, but whatever magic it is, he wants a part of that. Sleep sounds really, really good right now.
      Admittedly, Steve isn't going to look all that impressive in a pair of paint splattered pajama shorts and an old, faded 'The Beatles' T-shirt but he doesn't need to be impressive, he needs to get his neighbor to be quiet for the rest of the night. He leaves his door open on a crack, which might not be the best idea with the kind of neighborhood he lives in. But hey, if he lived in a nicer hood, he would need to pay double the rent for an apartment half this size. So if Steve has to pretend not to notice that the neighbor's kid sneaks out in the middle of the night, or that the gun his landlord keeps in his closet, isn't actually legal? He won't mind.

Steve isn't the only tenant who decided that arguing at four AM is firmly on the 'NO' list. The other tenant isn't so much knocking on the guy's door as knocking it in, the door creaking uncomfortably with each rap. But that's not what has Steve pausing in the hallway, an amused smile on his lips.
      The cause of that? A familiar metal gleam off of a metal arm ("It's a Vibranium-Titanium alloy Steve!Don't call it metal!" Tony would say, in that fake hurt tone of his).Colin Matthews comes out of the apartment, almost knocking the door straight into Bucky's face when he does so. Impossibly, Colin looks even more disheveled than Steve does: his thickly rimmed glasses are dangling haphazardly from thetop of his nose, his hair looks like it's been through a storm and he is wearing what Steve hopes are the most tattered clothes in his closet.
      "What?!" Colin snaps. No one is in a good mood on a Sunday morning, apparently. Bucky inches a little closer, using the door as a support.
      "Listen to me, you fucking asshole," Bucky snaps right back. "I don't care who you are talking to. You need to either shut the hell up or tone it down. It's four a-fucking-m and the rest of us need sleep." People always seem to think that Bucky was the one to rile Steve up, that Bucky started the fights and Steve helped finish them. Nothing could be more wrong. Bucky definitely picked up on Steve's desire to start fights and stubborn asshole-ness during the years but it has always been Steve who pulled the first punch. Steve wipes the smile off his face before he joins Bucky at the door, figuring that bright smiles and the 'it's four AM, shut the fuck up' message don't really fit together. When Colin opens his mouth to speak again, Bucky continues, voice a low growl:
      "Don't even bother. You're going to stop that argument or go outside to talk. Either way's fine with me. If you don't, I'll stop it for you."Bucky's voice reminds Steve of their old drill sergeant. It only makes Colin more stubborn: he pushes the glasses back up his nose briskly, then steps closer to Bucky. They are standing almost chest to chest, Bucky comically tall compared to Colin and a lot more muscular. Like a high school kid picking on a middle grader. Or for that matter young Steve versus anyone. Steve wouldn't have backed off either. Not a chance. "Hey there, Steve."
      "Buck," Steve acknowledges slowly, then gestures to Colin. "Any luck?"
      "Not a clue. You gonna listen?" Even while he is speaking, Bucky's eyes don't wander away from Colin, who looks about ready to wet himself. If Steve hadn't been so used to Bucky's buff appearance, if he were in Colin's spot right now... he would be, too.
      "Why the hell should I listen to you?" Colin barks, dropping his phone into the nearest pocket. "If I wanna argue about Star Trek then I fucking will. No matter the hour." There is a certain slur to his voice, but Steve has to admire the fight in this kid. Like a lapdog, biting and barking at everything bigger and vaguely terrifying.
      The border between bravery and stupidity is thin. Colin crosses it without thinking. Unfortunately, he doesn't really fight a lot or maybe it is just that he doesn't care right now, because the way he throws punches leaves a messy hole for someone to turn the punch into an attack. Bucky has no desire to fight, he just steps aside. Steve... well, he isn't in a very tranquil mood. He cuts in and intercepts Colin's fist midair, using the momentum to turn him around and twist the arm around his back, a bit too forcefully. When he pushes forward, Colin slams face-first into the wall and actually leaves a small dent.
      "Listen, or I'll arrest you for attempted assault." He keeps his tone calm and smooth but threatening. He turns to Bucky, who has this vague smug smile on his face. "Unless you really wanna press charges?"
      "Alright, alright. Got it. Just let me go." Steve lets Colin go and Colin scrambles away from them back into his apartment, though not before flipping both of them off. Oh yeah, this guy is definitely like young Steve. Bucky just laughs.
      "You know, I could have dealt with him," he says amusedly. "Had him on the ropes." Steve rolls his eyes. He's used that line countless of times. Knows it by heart, and Bucky knows exactly which tone he used to use. Which, Steve figures, is why it sounds exactly like that now.God, it's annoying when someone uses it against him.
      "I know you did," he replies. "I used to too." Which isn't true for all of the times; some days, he really could have used that bit of help. If he hadn't had Bucky for half of those fights, they would have ended a lot worse.
      "Except you used to have a broken nose or bloody knuckles when you said that," Bucky says, fondly. "Or worse. You were a menace, Rogers." Steve laughs, slow and steady. The kind of laugh that only Bucky pulls out.
      "I'm insulted. I still am a menace," he replies as they make their way back to the stairwell. "I just do a better job of hiding it."

Reacties (1)

  • Arcturus

    working out how to assemble IKEA furniture with Thor ("I may be from Sweden, but that does not mean that I can assemble IKEA furniture, Steven... no, you need to use the smaller wooden planks... Yeah, those.")
    I died of laughter hahah, genius. Great job you did here, I LOVE IT. It's written brilliantly and I can't wait to read more.

    3 jaar geleden

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