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Snivel War (Bucky Barnes, MCU)


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Summery: Bucky comes down with a twentieth-century bug, which is just Tony’s luck, seeing as he’s the only one around to make sure the guy doesn’t go comatose before Steve gets back. Oh, and apparently sneezing isn’t the safest if you happen to have a giant metal arm that’s attuned to your reflexes.

I really wanted to write an MCU fic because all Marvel’s boys are so delicious, but I think it would be cruel to have any Infinity War spoilers. So, this is set after Civil War if the movie had ended differently and everyone had put away their testosterone and talked it out. You don’t really have to have seen the movie, that’s just my explanation for why Cap and Bucky are staying at Stark Tower (maybe Tony volunteered to try to fix up Bucky’s noodle with his tech and money and such). I honestly just love stories where someone is forced into a caretaker role and then bonding happens. I think Tony and Bucky as roomies would be very awkward and tense around each other but try to get along for Steve. Then, of coarse, all I want on top of that is sneezes because that’s really what we’re all here for so yeah… 😊


Tony’s had a very productive day. Definity productive enough to justify a very unproductive night, starting with some good scotch, which, by the way, he’s willing to share. God, he never ceases to amaze himself; his generosity knowns no bounds. He really can’t emphasize it enough, this is good scotch. Maybe even good enough to loosen up the Manchurian Candidate.

“Want a drink?” he asks the dark figure looming over the opposite side of the bar as he pours his own liberally on the rocks. Bucky thinks for a moment and nods. Not much of a talker that one. Tony’s already maintained an ongoing one-sided conversation with varying levels of enthusiasm, more or less talking to himself as he worked with Bucky to reverse Hydra’s conditioning. It was almost like having an emo Jarvis to ramble to again, aside from the total lack of understanding of references as universal as “these are not the droids you're looking for”.

“Thank you, Tony,” Bucky clears his throat gruffly and gingerly accepts the glass Tony offers him with his bionic hand, “for everything.”

“No problem, RoboCop. You and Capsickle are welcome to stay in the tower as long as you want, even after we knock that fourth directive out of you. Pepper thinks the place is too big anyway.” Pepper also thinks that Bucky makes Steve finally feel at home, not just in Stark Tower, but in the 20th century. Tony can’t help but begrudgingly agree; otherwise Cap’s World War II collectible would be back on ice instead of in his kitchen. Steve deserves a piece of his past that moves at his speed. Besides, the poor guy hasn’t been too much trouble so far.

“Hey, ya alright there?” Tony does his best to keep the edge off his voice, noticing with more concern for himself than his companion that the other man’s eyes have taken an unfocused distant look.

“I...I-HAshuh!! Hep’exSHH!” Bucky shudders, his hand shattering Tony’s custom-made crystal tumbler as it tenses reflexively. Tony is caught between mourning the wasted scotch and ogling Hydra’s outdated but apparently acutely reactive tech. “Oh shit, shit I’m sorry!” Barnes attempts to the sweep up the nearby shards before so much as sniffling. “It’s been so long since I…hadta…heh…” he hastily scrubs at his nose with his flesh hand while his metal one twitches worryingly.

“It’s alright, big guy,” Tony, not being a fan of germs or broken bones, takes a few steps back, “just keep it to yourself-” Bucky pinches his nose and nods. “and watch the arm.” The appendage obediently drops against Bucky’s side, but whips around to clock its owner in the jaw as he launches forward with a barely contained “t’shhUHH!

“Jesus!” Tony exclaims, sliding a plie of napkins across the bar after Bucky gives a deep snuffle, triggering a few chesty coughs. The makeshift tissues flutter to the floor. Bucky blinks down at them blearily but makes no move to pick them up. What feels like a very long silence follows as, eventually, the soldier wordlessly sets about doing a terrible job of sopping up about half the puddle of scotch that’s dribbled around his feet with the napkin. Only when he turns and pads heavily towards the door does Tony ask, “What are you doing?” His dissocialized house guest sniffs and clears his throat again before turning.

“I’m going to head to bed.” He replies with the air of someone who has just remembered he’s sharing the room with another person.

“Should I call Steve?” The Captain is on a covert mission, but he’ll re-enter the grid for Bucky. Tony doesn’t really know what he’s looking at here. Mama Bear Rogers is, for once, whole-heartedly welcome in the tower.

“No.” Bucky meets Tony’s eyes, managing clarity the billionaire only now realizes has been absent all day.

“You coming down with something, Barnes?” Tony asks in all seriousness. Bacteria has been evolving faster than antibiotics while the Winter Soldier was sitting pretty in cryostasis, and here Bucky is smack in the middle of NYC in late November. Who knows how he’d stand up to a modern bug strong enough to break through the defenses of his off-brand super soldier serum.

“M’fine.” Bucky leaves without another word, as if the conversation is over, which it is not, considering the coughing Tony hears down the hall. Well, this should be fun.

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I could just picture the glass shattering. In a strange way, that helped picture the scene even better. Augh you write Bucky and Tony so well!!

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THIS IS GREAT I'm so down for this (especially after watching Infinity War for a second time I could use some fluff)

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Ok so I'm absolutely ADORING this ??? Please continue (Civil War was my favorite MCU movie and Bucky is my all-time favorite character)

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Ok here's the second part!


“Sir, you instructed me to alert you when Sargent Barnes’s condition changed.”

“About time. Shaggy finally up and around?” Tony honestly expected to be interrupted sooner; he’s had time to buff out the dents of nearly three bashed in battle suits and even draw up some drafts for possible improvements.

“Not exactly. He’s still in the same location, but his body temperature has risen 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the last half hour.” Tony’s eyes widen, then turn to the ceiling to glare at Friday and whatever cruel, capricious God might be up there. Brief indulgence in self-pity complete, Tony spins on his heels and strides toward the Mark 47. This can be treated like any other technical problem, he reminds himself, pushing the fear that he’s probably already been exposed to a goddamn mutated super-plague to the back of his mind.

“What are we up against, a case of the sniffles?” He’s Irion Man. He’s fought alien and robot armies; he can handle Mr. Chip-on-his-super-soldier-shoulder with a fever. 

“Sargent Barnes’s readings are inconclusive. His temperature and heart rate are elevated, and he is beginning to exhibit symptoms of minor dehydration.”

“I’m on it.” The empty Mark 47 shell leaves Tony in the relative quarantine of his workshop, heading to the nearest kitchenette to grab a water bottle. Tony finds himself humming inanely, feeling a little ridiculous. Despite the practicality of staying the hell away from patient zero, Tony hadn’t ever expected to use his system of being two places at once to fluff pillows a few rooms away.

“Room service!” Tony calls, not bothering to knock (this is his house after all). Expecting Bucky to be standing aggravatedly at attention or to go through the now regular routine of silently materializing behind him, Tony instead walks in on a cocoon of blankets. He stares, dumbfounded by the realization that Bucky meant “head to bed” literally. “You’re showing your age, old-timer.” Tony scolds, daring to step closer to the upsettingly still bundle. “I didn’t know super seniors hit the hay before 8:00. You want me to swap out this water for some prune juice?” The comforter shows no indication of life other than the mop of mussed hair that’s been visible all along. Beginning to worry that the man’s unconsciousness is beyond an uncharacteristically deep sleep, Tony reaches out and shakes the area that should be Bucky’s chest or shoulder.

The Winter Soldier’s arm tears a hole through the down comforter, popping out of the blanket cocoon like a goddamn alien ripping through a chest cavity. Without a spare second to even brace for impact, the Mark 47 slams against the opposite wall. Tony’s view, now angled up from the floor, flickers continuously. “What the hell Barnes?! Quiet breaking everything! This is why I don’t share my toys with-” Tony stops mid rant as Bucky’s face finally emerges. Between the bursts of static, Tony catches sight of his expression. He looks completely and utterly lost, his eyes locked on his own arm. Slowly, the fingers of the prostatic curl and spread in an experimental roll. Bucky’s eyes widen in unmistakable fear, his body flailing to clumsily kick away the blankets, but before his panic can escalate, he succumbs to a fit of sneezes as sudden and violent as his awakening.

Hep’SHHUUH!! EXXshheh!! He…hehh-EXXshuh!!” He blinks hazily, shaking his head as if to clear it, then rocks forward with a final “HexsSHU!” before suppressing the beginnings of a racking bout of coughing. Tony knows he’ll probably regret it later, but for now his gut is telling him to get to Bucky in person as fast as he can. He doubts Steve’s old war buddy will respond well to a robot during appears to a lapse in short term memory, and Tony can’t handle Barnes having a full-fledged panic attack on top of whatever the hell is already wrong with him. Shutting off the 47, Tony runs to the 9th floor guest room, not stopping until he reaches the shut door and hears hacking on the other side. God, he wishes he could at least wear a mask. Given Bucky’s history with mad scientists, that might be worse than using a suit. Tony takes one last lungful of clean air before barreling into the bedroom. Once again listening to his instincts over his better judgment, Tony chooses to make physical contact and thumps Bucky on the back.

“Take it easy Buck,” he says as calmly as he can manage. “Buck” has always been Steve’s name for the guy, one spoken with a tone of fondness that brings to mind the way someone else would say “hon” or “babe”, but Tony’s really doing his best to calm Barnes down and not end up on the floor with the 47. To Tony’s pleasant surprise, the words act as quickly as effectively as a tranquilizer dart. Though he continues to cough, Tony feels Barnes’s muscles relax between the spasms as he slouches against the headboard to catch his breath.

“Stevie?” he mutters feverishly once he finally shakes the cough for the time being. “Steve, what’s going- Oh no! You gotta get outta here! M’ sick!” Before he can get a word in edgewise, Tony finds himself being bundled toward the door by a surprisingly gentle and alarmingly unsteady version of Bucky whose ragging fever seems to have come with a prominent Brooklyn accent.

“I’m not-”

“I know, I know. Listen just this once, please! Your asthma, Steve! You know you’ll c-catch….heh-Hep’SHHeww!” Apparently caught off guard, Bucky contorts his shivering form as far away from Tony as he possibly can, burying his face in the hem of his T-shirt. Thrown off balance, Tony’s reflexes and support are the only thing that keep the man upright, but he doesn’t seem to notice. “Ya see!? I’m already sneezin’ all over ya! I’m sorry Stevie, you know they sneak up on me! That’s why you’ve gotta stay clear!” Bucky keeps the shirt over his face and looks down at Tony with worried, pleading eyes. He wishes he could stay the hell away and make everybody happy, but the guy’s burning so hot he’s delusional. Tony tries to steer the both of them back to the bed, but Bucky is twice his size and tall enough to be nearly impossible to support in the first place.

“I’m not Stevie, big guy. How about we get you horizontal again and talk it over?”

“Steve, please, take care of yourself! I’ll get better on my own,” Tony seriously doubts that. “The last thing you need is another…another…” Bucky turns away as his breath begins to hitch, shielding his face like he’s bracing for a grenade. Tony takes full advantage and gives a decisive shove that sends him stumbling into the bed before he shudders with a muffled “tchEUUHHh!

“Okay, fine, I’m keeping my distance.” Tony holds up his hands and steps back toward the empty Mark 47. “But you’re lying down. And,” he bends and retrieves the water bottle his poor suit failed to deliver, “drinking this.” He throws it over to thud beside Bucky on the bed. The man nods, apparently satisfied or too exhausted to argue, and shakily makes his way under the abandoned blankets.

“Alright. I’ll be back to toss you some meds.” Tony heads for the doorway but turns at a meek “Steve?”

Bucky clears his throat. “Could you lend me your handkerchief? I can’t find…um…” Shuffling under the blankets accompanies the soldier’s embarrassed sniffles.

“I’ll do you one better. One box of Kleenex coming up.” Tony smiles and lets the door click softly behind him. “Friday,” he addresses the hallway, “work on figuring out how many doses of aspirin Sneezy needs to get past his metabolism, and keep an eye on that fever.”

“Calculating.” She chimes helpfully.

“Hang on, first make a call.” Tony’s seen enough to know reinforcements are needed.




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YESSS!!!  I love love LOVE this!!  And after watching Infinity War twice (and crying, both times, at the same blasted part) I need some fluff! 

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I absolutely love this. Its just so UGHHH :boom: Please keep up the great work!

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is funny, and upbeat, and has good spellings, and I LOOOOVE the pun in the title. :laugh: Excellent job!

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Love it! Bucky has always been my fav. Also love Tony’s awkward but seemingly sincere and concerned caretaking. Very in character for him. 

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  • 1 month later...

Aww thanks everyone!! I've decided I need to finish all my stories and I just wanted to take a little pole before continuing! Who should Tony call for help? Everyone in the MCU is just so great and I can't decide! Should Steve take over for fluff or do we want things to go further down hill?

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  • 2 weeks later...

@fickle_tickleI would love to see how much of a mess Bucky can get before finally being saved by Steve...:wink1:so I’d go for option number 2!

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