9 - BIRTHDAY GIRL

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Today was not a good day for Laura, especially since today, she would be an year older

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Today was not a good day for Laura, especially since today, she would be an year older. Yes, it was her birthday. When she had been in HYDRA, it had been the only day where she could have some time to herself. The only day she had allowed herself to be normal but then HYDRA took that from her by forcing her to kill that traitorous ex-agent, thereby ruining her birthday forever.

Even if she was a grown woman, celebrating herself growing up had served as a great distraction from her former job. But since she had been on the run for nearly six months with the world's deadliest assassin, even the smallest of celebrations would not be possible.

That's how Laura's birthday would be spent; lamenting over her stupid decisions in the past and present and thinking about how lonely she was and how empty she felt, just like the vastness of the sea. Yup, Laura Blake was asking herself philosophical questions on the day she should have been enjoying herself.

She hadn't stepped out of the room at all. Even though she had been the one to wake up the earliest because she had to scout for danger, today she had purposely stayed in bed, not wanting to see the outside world at all. But when she heard noises outside, of the small TV being switched on and hearing Bucky Barnes watch 'Friends', Laura forced herself to get up from her bed and slowly walk to the door.

She quietly opened it and stepped outside, only to hear the familiar voices of Monica and Chandler and Joey ringing in her ears.

"Hey Bucky, do you mind reducing the volume a little, please?" Laura stated as she walked towards the couch. Bucky twisted around and looked at her in surprise.

"You're up late," He noted. "Are you sick?"

"I'm not sick," Laura immediately replied. "I just didn't feel getting out of bed, especially today."

"What do you mean 'especially today' ?" Bucky questioned.

"Oh nothing," Laura frowned as she sat on the couch. In a low voice, she said, "It's just my birthday."

"Uh what?" Bucky looked at her in surprise. "Really? It's your birthday?"

"Yup," Laura nodded, looking at the tv screen.

Bucky mumbled a quiet 'happy birthday' to her to which replied with a small smile. Then she turned to look at the screen and all conversations ceased between them. They were just watching 'Friends' like two normal people who weren't on the run. But Laura had a strange feeling that Bucky wanted to say something. The look on his face said so.

And her words came true just seconds later because Bucky turned his attention away from the screen and towards Laura. "Why don't you act like it's your birthday? I don't understand; I thought it's supposed to be a happy occasion."

"Well, if we weren't on the run," a sarcastic tone made its way to Laura's voice. "I'd be enjoying myself and having cake and watching movies."

But then in a normal voice, she continued, "My birthday was the one day I'd stay away from anything HYDRA. It was just me, trying to enjoy myself, trying to forget the kind of stuff I was doing. Hell, it was me trying to find someone to date, to love me. But relationships in this line of work," she said with half a smile. "They don't exist. And plus we're on the run.Its not like I can just go out and celebrate."

"Oh," Bucky simply said, which made Laura almost look at him in disbelief. Bucky was a good person and she knew for sure, this was something he would be thinking about. That's the kind of personality he had, or at least must have had in the 40s, being concerned for people.

Laura didn't want him to be concerned for her. He was a good man destroyed by HYDRA and she had played a part in it, even though she had tried to help him escape.

He didn't deserve to be called a monster while she, in some twisted way, was one.

***
At some point in the day, Laura had gone off to sleep but it wasn't a pleasant one. The dream she had ruined it completely; anything related to her parents did it for her. Dreaming about her old birthday celebrations didn't do anything good for her and her present state of mind.

When she finally woke up, she was covered in sweat and when she touched her hand to her eyes, they were wet, an indication she had been crying. Great. She must look terrible if she already didn't.

Laura sighed before she got up. Using the blanket as a temporary towel, she wiped her face before she got out of bed. Dressed in her usual outfit of a t-shirt and jeans, she walked out of the room only to find the apartment completely empty. She immediately tensed up and called out Bucky's name. "Bucky? Where are you?"

She peeked through the door to his room only to find it completely empty. "What the hell?"

Now Laura was worried. Where the hell did Bucky go? Did he just vanish or was he taken by HYDRA? She was about to grab her gun when the door to the apartment suddenly opened. She twisted around and almost screamed but stopped when she realised that it was Bucky.

"Jesus Christ, Bucky," Laura placed a hand over her heart. "Where the hell did you go off to? You nearly gave me heart attack."

"I'm sorry," He apologised. It was then Laura noticed he was holding a small plastic bag in his hand with a small box visible in it. "But I got you this."

"What's that?" Laura squinted her eyes to look at the bag but she was unable to recognise it.

Was it her imagination or did Bucky look embarrassed? She could only watch with surprise as Bucky quietly stepped towards her, sidestepping the couch. When he stood in front of her, he held out the bag to her.

"It's cake for you," Bucky told her. "And before you say anything, it's your birthday and you deserve something like that. You've done so much for me; this is the least I could do."

Laura was speechless. With slightly trembling hands, she took hold of the bag. She opened her mouth to say thanks but closed it because she didn't have the words. It was silly; what came to her mind next but a part of her had always wanted to do it.

She reached on her tip toes and pressed a kiss to Bucky's cheek, letting them stay there for a few seconds. With a soft smile on her face, Laura pulled away.

"Thank you," Her voice was low and barely above a whisper. She didn't dare look at Bucky, feeling embarrassed at what she had done. But Bucky heard her clearly.

If only he could form words after that kiss, he would have thanked her.

***
Uhh I'm so sorry about not updating this; but I'm finally getting back into the groove of it. There's only two more chapters left in this part and I'm excited for everyone to read them. I absolutely love writing about Laura and Bucky; they're so cute and helpful with each other; I love this kind of relationship

I hope you liked this chapter! Let me know what you thought of this in the comments below!

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