Bucky's eyes shot open as he screamed. Sweat had gathered on his body and his heart was racing. He sat on the floor for a few minutes, as he caught his breath and tried to forget his nightmare.
Alpine mewled as he walked toward Bucky. He leapt into Bucky's lap and Bucky's fingers found themselves in Alpine's soft fur. Alpine began purring as Bucky pet him.
"Thanks buddy." Bucky breathed. "It was a bad one."
Alpine nuzzled closer to him. Bucky's breath was evening out and his eyes darted toward the random soccer game on the TV.
He just needed to ground himself back in reality, but, boy, was it hard. He clutched Alpine a bit tighter and nuzzled his face in the soft white fur.
Alpine was happy to calm his owner and purred a bit more, the vibrations soothing Bucky a bit.
After sitting there for a little while, Alpine wiggled out of Bucky's grasp and padded toward the door. He meowed and pawed at the door, waiting for Bucky.
"You're right." Bucky said as he slipped a blue Henley over his head. "The early morning air should help."
After tugging on some shorts, socks, and a hoodie, he grabbed his keys and pulled on his shoes. Bucky grabbed Alpine's service vest and strapped it on to his little companion.
Gently picking up Alpine, he set him inside his hoodie. The cat's fluffy head poked out from Bucky's hoodie and meowed to signal he was ready.
Pressing a kiss to his trusty pet, Bucky closed his door and began to walk down the apartment hallway. Birds softly chirped in the distance, and the brisk air cooled Bucky's body and mind.
Walking around the park, Bucky pet and cooed at Alpine, trying to show him how beautiful the sunrise was on this particular morning.
The white furball was only interested in snuggling up to Bucky, which was probably what Bucky needed most at the moment anyway. The sun rose slowly, causing pink to paint the sky.
They sat on the park bench watching it for a while.
"Do you know what I need right now?" Bucky asked turning toward his friend.
"That's right. Coffee."
It was Saturday, the worst day of the week--grocery day. You groaned as you heaved yourself out of bed and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. Maybe you could just skip today and go next week.
You nodded as you stumbled into the kitchen toward the fridge. Upon further inspection, you closed your fridge. Right, you skipped last week.
Finally, submitting to defeat, you decided to look decent to go out in public.
About an hour later you were ready to go out into the world. Cracking your door open, you looked for any people. Good, the coast was clear.
As you locked your door, a voice boomed across your driveway.
"Mornin' neighbor!" Charles greeted with a wave. "It's a fine morning, isn't it?"
You took a deep breath and plastered on a smile. "Yup."
Then you practically ran to your car and strapped yourself in. Turning the car on, you were about to pull out before you saw Charles running up to you.
Slowly sinking into your seat, you tried not to notice him at your window. He tapped on your window, and you begrudgingly rolled it down.
His perfect caramel hair looked extremely soft, and you resisted the urge to touch it. He flashed you a smile before speaking.
"I've just realized you haven't had the pleasure of having dinner with a handsome Blackwood, and you haven't seen the inside of my home. So, I--"
"Can't." You blurted quickly. "Sorry, I, uh, have plans. Uh, yup big plans."
He chuckled and smiled at you. "No worries. Tomorrow it is then. See you tomorrow at 5."
Before you could reject him, he had already begun to walk away, whistling a happy tune. No, no, no. He was handsome sure, but you hadn't eaten dinner with someone in five years.
Pulling out of your driveway, you decided just to focus on the task at hand, which was getting sustenance so you wouldn't die.
The coffee shop was warm and inviting, the atmosphere giving Bucky a nice sense of calm. He walked up to the counter and a peppy barista stepped up.
She was acting way to happy than any normal human should in Bucky's opinion, but what did he really know about happiness anyway.
"Welcome to Mint's Cafe! What can I get you?" She asked with a smile.
"Can I have a regular black coffee?"
She typed it in and giggled. "Ooh, living dangerously! Anything else?"
Bucky shifted his weight to his left side and quickly scanned the rows of pastries. "Can I also get a blueberry muffin?"
"Of course, you can! Can I get name for that?"
Bucky paid her and after he got his things, he and Alpine took a seat at one of the corner windows. He smiled when he read his name, it had a smiley face drawn by it and it was spelled right.
Last time when he went to Starbucks, the guy wrote his name as Boochie, and to make things worse, the guy gave him salt instead of sugar. That was the last he'd go to Starbucks.
Alpine nudged him, bringing him back to the present. He broke off a small piece of his muffin and gave it to Alpine. The cat meowed in thanks and nibbled at it.
Bucky slowly sipped his coffee and watched the people around mingle with each other. A few kids passed by with balloons and he smiled at them.
They smiled back and ran off, their balloons trailing behind them like capes.
The small feline looked at his owner with wide eyes. Bucky fiddled with his gloves as he took a deep breath.
"I want a balloon."
They exited the coffee shop and walked toward the little old lady selling balloons. The vibrant colors stirred up a childlike feeling inside his chest that he hadn't felt in a long time.
The woman smiled at him as he neared her.
"Hello young man, may I interest you in a balloon?" She asked sweetly.
Bucky thumbed through a few balloons, a soft grin working its way onto his face. "Yes, please. I need a little something to keep my spirits up."
The woman nodded. "What one would you like dear?"
He thought for a moment before grabbing a bright pink balloon. "This one."
"A very pretty color."
Bucky gave her some money before smiling fondly at the balloon. "It is. I got my sister one just like it when I was younger. This balloon seems to bring back some nice memories."
"A perfect time to make new memories."
Bucky nodded. "I agree."
Your cart was squeaking as you pushed it down the aisle.
Why did it seem that every time you picked out a cart it was the one that squeaked or had that one oddball wheel that didn't want to follow directions?
You told yourself you would only get the essentials to thrive, which is why you had about four boxes of cookies in your cart and at least seven bags of chocolate.
You were hoping to squeeze about three weeks' worth of essentials into that cart.
Tossing some fruit into your cart, you made your way to get some milk. There were more people than you anticipated in that direction, but you decided to power through it.
That was where you went wrong. Mark had spotted you and decided to stroll toward you. You quickly prayed that the floor would swallow you up, but no such luck.
"Wow, Y/n. it seems we meet again." He chuckled. "Lucky for you, your boyfriend isn't here."
You rolled your eyes. "Can you just please leave me alone?"
A smirk etched its way onto Mark's face. "I just need you to work with me here, sweetheart. I work for this nice organization that would love to have you there. You're special."
You were starting to get a little scared as he edged closer. You were doomed.
"Just let me take you there. I'll take care of you, I promise." He was mere inches away from your face now.
Before he could grab you, a hissing noise made you both quickly turn your heads. A fluffy white cat with a service vest was hissing louder as it edged toward Mark.
Your eyes darted toward the name of the owner stitched onto the cat's vest-- James "Bucky" Barnes.
You could see a pink balloon in a distant aisle coming toward you, and you felt a weird sense of peace. Maybe you weren't doomed after all.