“No.” He answers quickly and simply. What else does he have to say? It’s the truth, after all - and he has no reason to lie to Steve. “Neither are you.” The statement is even, an observation of the bleedingly obvious.
There is an edge of provocation to his voice - it’s subtle, but evident that his intentions are to push at Steve, test him out, see just how much he’s willing to take before he finally snaps. It’s a self- deprecating act, motivated by a carefully shaped self-hatred that accompanied a growing self- awareness. Steve was sitting here for his friend, Bucky, waiting for Bucky to appear, hoping and praying. And what remained in the shell of Bucky wasn’t the man who had fallen in Europe, but an abomination, a monstrous creation that now inhabited the mutilated body that had once belonged to Bucky Barnes.
And while Bucky still lived in there, he was corrupted, his mind and soul poisoned by the horrors his own hands had created. And Bucky didn’t know how long it would take Steve to realize this, but he knew that when he did, it would only be a matter of time before he left, hopeless and disgusted.
”I'm not him.” He spoke harshly, his voice cold and crisp. “So stop staring at me like I am.”
“What do you know about the way I looked at him?”, he’s aware of the way Bucky keeps trying to push him away as far as he could. Push him to the point of kicking him out, but…What he didn’t understand was that Steve wasn’t waiting for Bucky to ‘come back’ or suddenly remember everything from the past and feel the way he had before all of this, no. All Steve wanted to do and was trying to do was to help. He wanted to help his friend through this, and while Bucky was convinced that he was not the man Steve had grown up with, he had to see and realize that Steve wasn’t the same, either.
They both had changed and…the world had, too. Steve was being selfish with Bucky, he can’t deny that. Every day he keeps him here, by his side, he does it for himself, too. Because he needs him and couldn’t handle losing him again.
“I never asked you to be anyone but who you want to be and who you think you are.”, it’s not easy. Most of the time Steve doesn’t even know what to call his old pall. Call him Bucky when it is so obvious that he doesn’t want to be that? Call him The Winter Soldier, even though they had more or less successfully closed that chapter? ——James? But he would end up calling him Bucky anyway, so…there was no point in wondering about that now.
”You smell a little homeless. Take a shower and maybe I’ll join you, the beards gotta stay until I’m through with you.”
After being hesitant at first Tony was stepping forward towards Steve despite the slightly off putting smell. He rested his hands against his hips and let them lightly tap.
"I told you I’d be fine. I’m fine. Did you manage to, you know-“
He slowly shook his head before cubing Tony’s cheek and looking him right in the eyes. He couldn’t help it. This was the man who fought emotion as if they were a disease and yet had told him, Steve Rogers, that he loved him, and what had Steve done? Left.
”No. I didn’t…”
But he was back now. He was back and ready to talk. The last months didn’t bring him any closer to Bucky, but he learned something about himself: That he needed Tony in his life. That, and that he loved this giant baby, too.
“Don’t make me wait too long, though.”
He slowly pulled out of the grip, playfully pinching Tony’s cheek before taking his jacket off and walking towards ‘their’ bedroom and to the bathroom in their bedroom, taking all his clothes off and washing of the dirt from the last days. — on a hunt, you couldn’t stop at a random motel just to take a shower, and he honestly didn’t want Tony to shower with him while the water running down his body was still freaking brown. That couldn’t be healthy.
" there are six and i’m more than happy to . i used to watch the originals with my parents - i think i was five when the first one was released .”
his palm holds open the door for steven , waiting for him to pass through so that he may follow .
Steve eyed Bruce suspicious before he smiled at him and nodded quickly and walking out of the office and through the door Bruce was holding for him. Six movies. All at once. —How long would it take for them to watch all of them? ——Maybe tonight’s mission would have to wait.
He had a date. ——Not a date date. But a date…with Star Wars. Yes. He had it coming, right? A date with a movie. What else?
“Are we going now or… Are we going to stop by the mansion first? I’m worried I might reak a little from my walk earlier.”
He’s halfway through soldering a new plate onto his right gauntlet when he answers the call, phone pressed to his ear and tucked into his shoulder. Natasha has never wasted words when one or two will suffice, and he nearly burns his hand clean in half.
Mission’s over. Steve’s in the hospital.
There’s several things wrong with this, a list he rattles for himself as he snatches the torch from the air and cuts power, shouting commands to JARVIS that trip and tumble into each other as he pounds towards that door like his next breath of clean oxygen is waiting on the other wise. The first, is that Steve, out of all the Avengers and their brazen disregard for ordinary post-op medical procedure, is the most infamous in his staunch insistence when he says he’s fine. Tony’s seen him walk off bullets in his chest, and broken bones and spinal contusions with the same excuse, waving off paramedics and offers from even his fellow teammates of concern. It’s always pissed Tony off to no end; they tend to revolve around each other in a self-perpetuating cycle of hypocrisy.
The second, he counts off, as he jams the closest vehicle in the garage into ignition and peels out of the underground entrance as it’s still opening, is that short of an alien invasion, Natasha has no reason to call him. Not unless it was serious and not unless it was because she thought it pertinent for him to be there. So either Steve’s lying on his death bed or in some debilitating coma or god knows what else because it’s becoming harder to focus when the only thing he can think is the third, that the last time they spoke Tony had a sneer on his face and oh god, not even hell would be punishment enough for the likes of him if his parting words with Captain America ( but importantly with Steve; stupid, ridiculous, stubborn as hell and the one constant he’s allowed to be certain of anymore ) were insults he’d spat out in sheer pettiness, over some insignificant, trivial argument.
Room number 3508, down the corridor, to the left. In through the door, footsteps like a march to an execution and face as pale as if he’d just been condemned to one, he moves from the doorway to the side of the bed on autopilot. Steve’s ghostly pale, swathed in white sheets and bandages along the side of his head and an arm in a sling and the goddamn beeping of the heart monitor in the background running counterpoint to his own hammering pulse is the only sign that he’s still alive. Still breathing. Still here
❝ Steve. Steve, you goddamn idiot. ❞
He sucks in a ragged imitation of a breath, a tremor travelling the length of his hand and shaking at his fingertips as he lays a hand at the side of the mattress, right beside the IV line snaking it’s way down the bed.
❝ You goddamn stupid moron. I swear, you better you better be fine. You better wake the hell up tomorrow and be fine because I swear to god, I am not afraid to kick the ass of a ninety year old. ❞
❝ I know you won’t, you can’t, you physically can’t but you are not allowed to go to your grave mad at me, y’hear? I don’t god, the last thing I said to you … No. Nope. You’re going to be fine. That’s it. End of conversation. Good talk. ❞
Maybe Natasha should have made a point of Steve not being about to die when letting Tony know that his teammate and friend was in the hospital, really. Sometimes she could be very heartless. He had asked her to call Tony for him before the morphium ( or whatever it was that numbed the pain and his brain ) had kicked in and he’d fallen asleep. Mumbling out a low ‘Tony?’.
He remember the moment the spear had gone through his abdomen, and how he’d been covered in blood. There had been blood everywhere… His shield was gone, ripped out of his arm, breaking said arm in the process and…so much blood. But he remember covering for Natasha. Maybe he shouldn’t have jumped between her and that stupid spear but he certainly didn’t regret it. — She already had one reason to not wear a bikini, right? No need to add a second bruise to the list.
And thanks to Steve’s sacrifice, they had been able to finish the mission and Natasha snapped the guy’s head with her thighs. — At least that’s what she told him while the paramedics put him in the ambulance and through the way to the hospital.
He remembers thinking that the last thing he had done was arguing with Tony about his shield, too. Remembers how mad he’d been at himself because if he’d die now… If he’d die, their last conversation would’ve been about a stupid shield and Tony being a prik to him because Steve was in a bad mood. —He should have known that this wasn’t going to end well. Should have listened to his guts screaming at him to stay at home and skip this one out…
He woke up to the noise of someone talking — threatening him. Of Tony threatening him. He tried to turn on his side or sit up, but the pain shot right through his whole body, making him groan and press his eyes shut tighter, before he looked up only to see a wreck above himself and…He hated it.
Was that a tear he could see in the corner of Tony’s eyes, or was his own vision blurry because of the few tears he didn’t had any control over while trying to change his position and the pain that came with that ridiculous action.
”H——Hey… What… what are you doing here?” he was no-where near fine, he knew that. The fact that he was still in pain proved yet again that if he wouldn’t have jumped in, Natasha wouldn’t have survived this. He, on the other hand, would and had survived it. He’d just need to…rest.
he makes his way to the office door as he begins to formulate a plan in his head for where he could take steve for the next few hours that they would be together . " anywhere you’ve seen around the city that you’d like to go to ? i know the multiplex is planning to run through the star wars series .”
”I still haven’t watched these movies.”, he hummed, still wondering what the connection between the star wars movies and the star trek movies might be while following bruce out of the office. Of course he took another bite from his own beagle before doing so, but that wasn’t the point now.
”Are you sure you have time to watch these with me? I know that there are three or four movies and… —You sure?”
atonement is not something that he searches for often , rarely apologizing or saying thank you when someone has done him a service but , in this instance , he can make an exception for this man .
progress; it’s the first thing that comes to his mind when Bruce calls him by his name and… This? This is way better than the icy look Steve has been getting for the last five minutes of misunderstanding.
”In that case, I can’t argue, can I?”
a small smile was tugging at the corner of his lips before he stood up, too, smoothing down his shirt before he nodded, waiting for Bruce to lead the way.
bruce nodded , biting his own tongue harshly as he stood from behind his desk .
" let me make this better — let me take you out for the rest of the afternoon . "
He looked up, still sitting but head tilted up and a confused look on his features. It’s not every day Bruce puts work aside and offers to do something with Steve…Most of the time, they both fail at matching their schedules, but… Saying no isn’t an option. Especially because he feels like it’d come over wrong.
”Are you sure…? I mean… You don’t haveto if you are busy, really.”, but I would love it, goes unsaid.
Steve’s text made Natasha wince, but she ended up laughing, which, she figured, was a win for him. Still, the redhead sent in her typical threat-like text, with a little smiley at the end.
[ тeхт: Sтeveɴ ] you’re so lucky you’re not standing in front of me right now ;)
They had their own code, clearly, and Natasha was sure Steve would understand.
There wasn’t much more to understand but the fact that Natasha must have at least smiled about that message, otherwise she wouldn’t have written him anything.
Sam was surprisingly enough not at home, but it made sense, seeing how he had another life than just hanging out with Steve and Natasha.
He made his way to the theater, taking his time and driving around the blog a few times just because he was too early and because he could.
When he did finally get off his bike and waited in front of the building, he was still early, but he could handle using the five minutes he had to look through his phone and play around with a few setting. ( He wasn’t dressed fancy, even though he had considered it just to tease Natasha. A pair of dark blue jeans siting tight but not too fight and his grey sweater plus his brown leather jacket. )
It’s unclear why exactly Steve’s in such a mood because despite his protests to the contrary, he’s a lot snippier than usual. And Tony isn’t certain whether it’s because of his co-dependency with the shield and some psychological reaction going on there but he has better and more efficient ways to waste his time than playing sarcastic footsie with Captain America today.
❝ Let me think about that… ❞
In the tone of someone who has no intention of following through with that declaration whatsoever, he dredges up a lackadaisical inhale of air and reaches nothing save for the bladed edges of a plasticine smirk. It’s the same dismissal he gives only to reporters and paparazzi personally considered the scum of the earth and he should feel mildly guilty for using it on Steve but he doesn’t. The regret he’ll save for later, when Steve is being less of an ass himself.
❝ No. ❞
Fingers tucking into silken pockets, face wiped blank, he shrugs.
❝ I don’t think I will. It’s down in the workshop. Get it yourself. You still have access for the rest of today. Now if this is all you wanted, I’ve got things to do. See you later, Captain. ❞
He spits the word like an insult, strung into something despicable, spins on his heel and disappears back down the corridor he’d came.
The look on Steve’s own features isn’t much better, either. It’s the no expression face he makes when he is too angry but too proud to show his anger. So instead of saying or doing anything, he just stares at Tony and waits for him to finish and leave.
He hates this. Hates how in one moment it feels like Tony is the only one who’s willingly help Steve shoulder the weight on him, but in the next they are back to square one, venomous sarcasm and hidden insults but… He’s used to it by now. Used to both. Enough to not think anything about it, let alone put any value to it.
He did eventually go down ti Stark’s workshop, not bothering with whatever he accidentally shouldered or bumped his knee against ( carefull to not break anything, though, just creating some chaos ) on his way to his shield and back, before he put his suit on and left the building. Because, after all? He was really late, and Captain America coming late to a mission was not acceptable.
”Of course not! You are my friend. ——Why would I…?”
“I was talking about Batman. I’m sorry, I had no idea you would assume I’m talking about you, Bruce, but… Why would I call you selfish? You are one of the most generous people I’ve met in this century!”
Tony closed his eyes at the small brush of lips, his cheeks coloring slightly in embarrassment for how he had treated this Steve. “There were moments where I used to want you to be him,” he admitted with a tiny frown. “Where is was easier to pretend I was a kid again hanging out with him, rather than having to face the reality of the situation.”
Turning his head into the gentle touch, he opened his eyes slowly and met Steve’s. “Truth be told, I thought this was all a dream— a fantasy fabricated from my own desires.” He paused, drawing away in thought and explanation.
”This universe is so young, a-and inspiring, it … it was refreshing.” Wringing his hands, he turns and gives Steve a sad look. “But I knew you weren’t him; my Steve is stubborn and battle worn and it … it’s angering sometimes to see what he’s become, but you …”
Trailing off, he finds one of Steve’s hands and gives him a soft smile, kissing the back of it. “You are sad and young and have so much to look forward to and I … I knew from the moment you offered me clothes and blushed that I was done.” Holding the hand close to his chest, he sighed. “I won’t lie and say that I’ve been completely happy, I don’t think anyone would be after getting ripped away from everything they know—” Tony settles Steve with an understanding look. “—But I will tell you that you made it better. You’re making me better, despite how corny it sounds.”
It’s not perfect. Actually, it’s as far away from perfection as possible, and yet it’s the best thing Tony could say because it’s the truth. —And because this is about them. About a posible future as…more than roommates and friends.
A soft sigh fell from the man’s lips before he tilted his head down, one of his hands still resting on Tony’s face before he nodded. “It’s not corny at all…”
Well, okay. Maybe it is a little bit corny but screw it. They deserved a moment like this, too. After everything they’ve been through… Steve might not be as broken and as destroyed as the Steve from Tony’s own universe, but… he’s been better, too. And the fact that Tony knows this and still wants him makes him believe that maybe, there might be a chance for the past to… be easier to handle and live with.
“If we do this, I can’t promise to be selfish with you, Tony. “
" if i wanted to be insulted , i would look at the tabloids that know little to nothing about me . i don’t look to my friends to do it . “
" i understand you wanting to find him alone but i know this city and it’s ilk . i can help you , if you don’t want me to , say so . but don’t call me selfish and narcissistic , not in my own office .”
Steve is fun to hang out with; she enjoys teasing him and the banter that’s between them, but after what they’ve been through, she knows that it’s more than that. She’d do almost anything for him — as she would with any of her friends — and he trusts her. Honestly, that means more than anything else; she knows she can go to him, if she needs to, and that he’ll help.
”You could start a new trend. ‘Bullet hole chic,’ or something. But we’ll get them to deliver, then, and spend some time figuring out how to assemble them.”
“Bullet hole chic, huh? Do I have to credit you in case I call my new collection that?”, he’s laughing, convinced that this was indeed a brilliant joke before he playfully nudged her side and finally got on the passenger’s side of her car, buckling up like the good soldier he is before turning to face her.
"I should get one of these couches that you can turn into a bed, shouldn’t I? —— Or turn one of the empty rooms in a guest room. If I… When I find Bucky, I’d rather have him living with me and…this is a quite good opportunity to get a guest room ready, right?”
“I mean, I don’t know that his computer is quite that good but it’s definitely better than the nothing we’ve got now. It’s not his fault. Hydra was buried down deep. I’d read most of SHIELD’s database and I didn’t see it. Fury didn’t see it. The best infiltrators always hide in plain sight.”
“I can be tired and fine.”
”I know it’s not his fault but… I don’t know, ‘tasha. I thought we are a team. Clint wasn’t around, but I’m sure he would have helped us if he’d been here, but Tony… ——Nevermind.”.
”And I’m not saying that you should. I’m saying… keep your expectations realistic. I don’t want you to get disappointed.”
”That’s… actually not a bad theory. Stark Industries would actually be a pretty good headquarters.”
“Thanks, Natasha, but… I’m fine.”
“Of course it would. No one would be able to hack their way through Tony’s computer, even though… I’m wondering how Tony didn’t know about this whole Hydra thing. He was keeping tabs on SHIELD, wasn’t he?”, guess almost dying yet again changed his priorities, too.
and when i first saw it i was like “aww Nat jumping into steve’s lap that’s so cute she’s like AHH STEVE SAVE ME” and then i was thinking ‘well she probably realized he’s way stronger than she is and could help shield her if they crashed’
but then i kept watching it and i noticed how she immediately pulls him forward
and first i thought it was the momentum of her jump but you can clearly see in the gif how she gets settled (quickly) THEN pulls him close to her
and then i realized
that is a bullet hole.
Nat somehow knew EXACTLY where Steve was gonna get shot at, jumped up into his seat, and saved him
" i didn’t mean files , i meant informants . those in the criminal underworld who will know what is going on ; this city is not like brooklyn , it’s dangerous and if you go out there without solid know- ledge , you’ll be swallowed . “
”——I appreciate your concern, really, I do. But I came here to find my friend and this is the closest I’ve come to finding him in the last weeks…”
”I’ve heard enough rumours to know that I’m on the right way… I’ve fought off a dozen of SHIELD Agents, highly trained and dangerous with one arm, I think I can handle a few criminals.”
❝ Is this your version of a super soldier mood swing? ❞
The accusation is abrupt and stinging with faux concern, sarcasm artfully executed with a furrow between his brow that deepens the lines of his face and raws central focus to the mocking look in his eyes. He releases the arms folded across his chest, and abandons the attempt at placating Steve. In this mood, no amount of reason or logic is likely to sway either of them from being convinced the other is being the more idiotic one.
Tony purses his lips, leans forwards with his head tilted at an angle that throws his scrunched features into sharp relief, irritation spilling over into juvenile pettiness now.
❝ Are you having super enhanced mood swings? Because wow, I didn’t know there were any bad side-effects to the serum but I guess they didn’t think of everything. ❞
An incredulous snort; jerk, really?
❝ What, Captain America never learned not to leave his stuff lying around? ❞
He doesn’t know what it is, really, but…He knows that it is not just one thing setting his mood off like this Several little reasons adding up to a pile and his missing shield had been the final drop — Well. No. Actually, the way Tony was acting after being confronted with having to stop taking Steve’s shield without permission is the final drop.
”My mood is not swinging anywhere, Tony. I am as annoyed as I was in the beginning an before this conversation. Your argument makes no sense.”
What a nice way to wish each other a good day before a mission that might as well be Steve’s last, right? They had a way of being nice to each other in situation like these, mostly because they were too stubborn to be the first to give in, even though life would be so much easier if one of them would eventually give in and stop acting like a giant baby.
“Guess he was too busy saving the nation. ——Are you going to bring me my shield now or not?”
the food had picked up returns back to the napkin .
his hands cleared of crumbs by a single brush on his pants . he hadn’t expect the captain to like him but he hadn’t expect to be insulted so openly by him .
‘ i’m fine . thank you for asking . ’
Steve could not know that the man in front of him was the man wearing the mask, and, really. He couldn’t be blamed for this, could he? He could sense that Bruce wasn’t as satisfied with the answer as he should have, but to not risk saying something to ruin his mood even more, he took another bite from his beagle.
“I won’t be at the mansion tonight, ——just so you know and don’t worry. I’ve heard a bunch of men talking about the ‘new ghost’ and… Yeah.”
In the matter of second between tense silence and reproach, his brain scatters in fifty different directions and he tracks the threads of several observations at once: 1 ) Steve’s shirt is way too tight for him but that’s nothing particularly out of the ordinary in fact Tony thinks it must be more out of habit than vanity, 2 ) Steve’s irritated, perhaps even verging on angry, he can tell from point no. 3 ) the muscle clenching and unclenching in the angle of his jaw.
❝ It’s down in the workshop because apparently you can’t look after it yourself without losing it every five minutes. I haven’t touched your precious shield. ❞
For once, being the more mature one feels like a victory, brows curved in bewilderment at the hostility carved into Steve’s body language and the stubborn pinch of his mouth. Tony cocks his head, arms folding slowly across his chest, drawing out every second with deliberate spite.
❝ Despite what you all might think, I do have a job that comes with certain responsibilities. I’m busy. If you’re late, perhaps you should’ve tried asking me nicely in the morning instead of leaving it to the last minute and biting my head off in the process. ❞
Maybe under other circumstances, Steve might have been able to admit that Natasha and Clint had, in fact, more than just one solid reason to make fun of these two and call them an old married couple. But right now, he’s too busy glaring at Tony and trying to understand how his shield ended up in Tony’s workshop, if Tony didn’t bring it there himself…
——Or did he bring it to Tony’s workshop…?
No. No, he’d certainly remember that.
”I am not biting your head off, Tony. And I know that most of the time while you pretend to do work, you are playing and testing games. So keep that guilt tripping for someone else.”, he’s still half-glaring at the other one before finally uncrossing his arms and running a hand through his still messy hair. Steve Rogers too late for a mission, who’d have guessed that’d ever happen? But then again… He didn’t want to go to begin with. Not without his team ( Tony. ).
That might aswell explain why he was still standing here, rather than getting his shield and changing in his suit. Glaring at Tony is more fun. “And I’m sure the main reason I keep losing my shield is because a certain jerk can’t leave it there, where I put it.”
It had been silent for exactly one hour and twenty seven minutes. He didn’t want to be paying such close attention, but he couldn’t help it. Memories were returning, but the programming that held his mind together still turned like clockwork, working away even though it had been months since the careful construction that was “The Winter Soldier” had begun to crack.
Now - what even was left now? The ghost of a man named Bucky Barnes, who the soldier could not recall meeting, and the frayed wirings of a programmed machine that hadn’t been given any commands. He was nothing now, an obsolete item, ready to be discarded. He had no purpose, not in this world, not anymore.
For three minutes and twelve seconds, Steve had been staring at him. Bucky hadn’t turned his head - his gaze stayed in the same place, staring just a few inches above the television screen, aware of every movement of Steve’s fingers, every time the lights flickered, every slight breeze - everything. If he stayed aware, if he stayed in the moment, then sometimes, everything was a bit less overwhelming.
Steve’s pulse elevated. Bucky felt the slight change in temperature, noticed the elevated colour in Steve’s cheeks -
It wasn’t a question.
He lowered his gaze, looking back down at the tip of his pencil and the notebook. Was he really agitated? It surely is not what Steve would have called it himself, but he won’t argue. Especially not hearing the punctuation in Bucky’s statement. It’s not a question. It is, in fact, a statement.
Looking down had been a natural reaction to being caught staring, but he lifted his gaze up again, slowly leaning against the backrest of the couch, taking in the whole image. It was so wrong… And yet, it felt better and more right than any other moment in this apartment had.
”And you aren’t really watching the movie… are you?”
Even though it’s a question, Steve can’t help it but turn it into one. He doesn’t want to push it — push Bucky too far.
lucky that lucius had warned him that steve had been approaching his office ; he had little time to switch into a suit and file himself behind his desk . smile present and correct as the blonde opens his door . ’ thank you , captain , i appreciate it . i wouldn’t have had an excuse to take lunch if not for you . ‘
“Steve. —— Please just call me…Steve.”
Chances are high that he will never get Bruce to drop the title but…He shruggs it off. This is not the time for this talk. Not again.
He walked to the other’s desk, putting the back down on a free spot before smiling and sitting down.
”I haven’t eaten yet, either, so it’s perfect, and I’m sure your files are not going to run away for ten minutes.”
She ducks her head, unsure how to explain. HYDRA had altered her, but how much of what had emerged was simply her own characteristics amplified? Her abilities had be used for their purposes and her mind altered over and over again too keep her under control. She couldn’t trust herself anymore.
And Steph… Well, there was no doubt that she had changed tooit was obviousbut she was still the as kind and brave as she always had been. It had become apparent to her that she might be better off without Bucky. The startling inadequacy of her memory, the ptsd and nightmares aside, her training could still pose a threat to anyone around her. She didn’t think she could handle that sort of guilt at this exact momentespecially if it was Steph that she ended up hurting.
"I’m not sure that’s a good idea."
Stephanie wasn’t having an easy time fitting in, either. Most of the time, before she had met the ‘winter soldier’ and before the most recent events had happened, all she had been doing was throwing herself from one reckless mission to the other, simply because she didn’t have a reason to be careful.
Simply because she had nothing and no one to come home to. No one who cared about her well being or held a seemingly neverending speech about how she must have lost her mind for doing the things she did. ——Simply because she didn’t have Bucky in her life, living like SHIELD’s weapon herself, too…
But now things are different. Everything is different. Bucky is back and she…she needs Steph! No matter whether she says it or not, and Stephanie would be there for her best friend, even if it’d be the last thing she would do. Her apartment was small. Every night, she could hear Bucky. Hear her going through nightmares and all she wanted to do was go to the livingroom and hold her. — Tell her that it was over now…
“I don’t mean that you have to share the bed with me. ——I’m… — I mean…The couch…It’s not comfortable and I… Maybe we should, you know, go out to buy something more comfortable to sleep on. You can…you can have your own room, Bucky. This is your place as much as it is mine.”, she feels so, so small again. Small and broken and bruised, but this time she needs Bucky to see it, she is not trying to hide it, hoping that it might… triger something.
It’s been two weeks since Bucky moved in, if one could call this whole act that. Things weren’t going as smoothly as Steve would have liked them to, but at least he’s here now. Not alone or surrounded by a bunch of Agents watching him non-stop.
He was back at home. Back with Steve, and truth be told, even though the whole process of getting Bucky back was slow-going, Steve felt more alive than he had since he had woken up in this new…world. He had a purpose. A mission. Something and someone that mattered and meant the world to him.
Steve didn’t realize that he was starring again. They had just eaten for dinner and now were in the living room, the TV was one, but neither of them was watching it; well. Steve wasn’t watching it. He had been drawing some small drafts and little things just for the sake of it before he had ended up with his gaze locked on Bucky’s profile, the new bruises, the wrinkles and the hair… —— Bucky had aged, but not… too much. Nothing anyone who didn’t pay too close attention to would realize, but as someone who had practiced drawing with drawing a certain jerk’s face, Steve realized it…