The Notebook

I just wanted to see Steve do normal things like eat pizza and accidently read 50 Shades of Grey. So,.. this happened which is full of angst, feels and happy stuff.

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4. The one in which Bucky and Steve complete a list

 

Get Bucky back

Since Steve had first saw Bucky on that bridge he knew that he had to get him back, he had to save him from whatever HYDRA had done to him. When he was put on trial Steve’s hopes had dwindled to nearly nothing. But he has Bucky back and that is the main thing, it is the best thing.

They go back to the Avengers tower because Bucky will be surrounded by multiple people if anything goes wrong, plus Bruce wants to take a look at him, whatever that means. Steve is in two minds whether or not to move back to the tower, but then he would leave Sam unless he can convince him to follow. He probably would.

He ignores Jarvis who greets them and he ignores the others because he has Bucky back and he can’t get over it yet. And then they all sit down and everything is silent. That is when the tranquil façade breaks.

The first thing that Bucky says to Steve is not what he was expecting, “I think I prefer your army uniform,”

“Bucky…?”

Then he just punches Steve right in the face. Steve had forgotten that Bucky had a mean left hook.

“I WAS DEAD FOR LIKE A DAY. A DAY STEVE AND YOU GO NOSE DIVE YOURSELF INTO THE ARCTIC!”

“Uh…” Steve doesn’t know what to say.

“YOU FUCKING STUPID PUNK I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! Were you just like ‘my impulse control fell outta the train with Bucky’ and thought that crashing the plane and not giving your coordinates was a good idea?! You’ve really outdone yourself this time. AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THE ALIENS! Steve ten days out of the ice and you didn’t think that taking a vacation and learning about the 21st century was a good idea?”

The Avengers stand there bewildered as Bucky rips Steve a new one and continues to do so until he tires himself out. Steve takes a deep breath and they think that he will rip Bucky a new one in retaliation but he doesn’t.

“Bucky…” He whispers and the two men hug again, but this is a bear hug. This a hug that they are very familiar with but haven’t had since they were little.

“It’s me alright you stupid punk and don’t get your blubber all over me,” But he’s crying just as much as Steve is.

And the Avengers just stand there, they knew something of a reunion would happen but they didn’t expect this to happen.

For a while things are good, and Steve and Bucky retreat to get to know each other all over again. But not everything is good. Bucky has trouble remembering things sometimes and there are times when he can’t remember anything. Bruce says that this is normal, Bucky had been brainwashed for many years so it would take some time before he would be alright. But Steve knows that Bucky doesn’t trust himself, he knows it in the way that Bucky would be hesitant to go out on his own, or embrace his new found freedom. He is stuck to Steve like a limpet because he knows that when he is with Steve he is safe. He would always be safe with Steve.

“Bucky what do you remember?” Steve asks. It’s one of those days where Bucky has a confused, dazed look in his eyes and he doesn’t recognise him. It’s just like the look Peggy nearly always has when he goes to see her. But he can fix this one.

“Nothing…” Bucky replies, “Who are you?” and his voice sounds so small and sad that Steve just wants to hug him until he remembers again.

“Hm…” Steve ponders and goes to his wardrobe. He takes out his Captain America uniform and puts it on, “When you see me wearing this suit does it prompt any memories? I wore this when I met you in the army and on the bridge.”

“Nothing.”

Steve then put on his army uniform, dusty from all of those years, “What about this? You even exaggerated and said that I looked spiffing in it. Any memories?”

“No, sorry I don’t know who you are.”

There’s a sad atmosphere of failure in the room and Steve can tell that Bucky is trying to force himself to remember, straining himself but it just wasn’t working.

Steve goes back to his wardrobe and undresses, thinking on what else he could do to jog his friend’s memory. As he thinks he can hear footsteps behind him.

“Bucky…?” Steve can feel a hand on his back, tugging his white t-shirt up his back, “Bucky. Bucky what’s wrong?”

“Strip.” It’s a command, a weird one but one nevertheless.

“What, Bucky?”

“Strip.” And with a blush on his cheeks Steve does as he is told. He stands there shirtless in front of his best friend. Bucky’s hand searches his chest and rests above his heart.

“Do you remember anything?” Steve knows that Bucky find some sort of peace in his heartbeat. The pounding noises of his heart is audible and Steve only hopes that this does the trick. “May I feel yours too?  You can say no if you don’t want to.” But Bucky nods and Steve finds his heartbeat too. They stand there for a while, hands on each other’s chests before Bucky’s hands envelop Steve and they are hugging again.

“I’m sorry Steve.” He’s sorry because he doesn’t know how he could ever forget his best friend.

He forgets who he is sometimes and doesn’t respond to his name. But he doesn’t know why. There are memories of everything they’ve done together. He remembers his time as the Winter Soldier when he doesn’t want to, he remembers the length HYDRA had went to torture him into submission, and he remembered the war and fighting alongside Steve in honour. ‘To the future. Together’ on his lips as a mantra to Steve. He remembers further back when Steve was small and often ill or getting beat up. Bucky remembers their conversations when Steve would come home and Bucky would have to get the names of the bullies from Steve and convince him by saying, ‘Don’t worry Steve I’m with you. We can fight together and beat them, it’s okay.”

“It’s okay.” Steve was saying it now and it dragged him away from his memories. Steve could sense that he was remembering, the haunted look in his eyes was too horrific to guess otherwise. “It’s okay Bucky,” he’s crooning and rubbing his back, “All of them are in the past. You’re home now and I’m with you until the end of the line.”

“Thanks Steve.”

“Welcome home Buck.”

Because Steve was home to Bucky, he practically always had been.

But the good days outweigh the bad ones and there are plenty of times when the Avengers don’t understand their dynamic. Steve is better now, he’s nearly always smiling and happy. That’s a brilliant thing.

“How are my fellow super freaks doing this morning?” Steve all but chippers as he bounds into the kitchen, much more energetic than the early hour calls for. You wouldn’t have guessed that he had only had three hours sleep that night either.

The others seated around the table aren’t quite so awake yet, Steve is pretty sure that Tony is asleep in his coffee (he probably hadn’t slept at all) and Natasha glares at him scarily. A very sleep ruffled Bucky is grumpily eating his cereal with one arm.

Still, Steve grabs a bowl and gets his own breakfast before plopping on the stool next to his best friend. His cheery demeanour earns him a stink eye from him, but the sleepy Bucky is just too adorable for Steve to even be intimidated. But he needs Bucky awake so he prods him with his spoon now and again.

“Jab me one more time and I’ll bite your hand off,” Bucky growls, the spoon and Steve’s fingers now trapped in his hold. Steve smirks. On the other side of the table Tony groans and awakes once more while Clint goes over to the toaster to try and convince it to make toast. A fun fact was that Tony had modified it to have a nearly there conscience and the toaster wasn’t happy with being demanded of. So far Tony hadn’t fixed it and probably never would.

“It’s such a waste of a good hand though,” Steve is playful this morning, “So skilled and capable,”

“Well right now I only have one arm and therefore one hand so you’ll have to deal.” It was true, Bucky had left the robotic arm in his bedroom this morning and the stump was the only thing present. Plus because of Steve, Bucky couldn’t eat his breakfast properly. “Can you press pause on being an asshole for a second?” Bucky asked him with a sleepy smile, he just wanted to eat his breakfast and he wasn’t even mentally prepared for Steve’s games.

“I dunno. Can you hold your breath for half an hour?” Steve retaliated and raised an eyebrow. Steve then laughed and went on to eat his cereal. An annoyed Bucky was an alive Bucky and some times that was hard to find.

The Avengers sure didn’t understand their dynamic. “Stop flirting,” Bruce commented as he refilled Tony’s coffee and made himself one too.

But the pair don’t think that they were flirting. Not at all.

 

GET A LIFE          

Bucky I already have one

Get a better one then

That was weak and you know it

Get a life Stevie

How did you even find this

I’ll never tell.

And don’t call me Stevie.

He doesn’t even know what this one means but he rolls with it, nor does he know how Bucky found the notebook since it’s always tucked into one of Steve’s pockets.

Bucky begs him to go to an animal shelter. Steve doesn’t know why. He rolls with it though because a happy Bucky on a good day is a magnificent thing to witness. So they go to an animal shelter and Steve is very clear on one thing.

“We are not getting a pet,”

Bucky just wanders off and Steve knows, he knows that what he said wouldn’t work. Because if Bucky is anything he is stubborn and still getting him back for diving into the Arctic. He finds his friend some twenty minutes later surrounded by dogs. Bucky is flat on his back and dogs of every kind are on his chest licking at his chin or wagging their tails in happiness.

Bucky gives him this look. Steve knows it is The Look. It is a reflection of a puppies stare, all pleading and if there could there would be literal hearts in his eyes. He is holding a blonde puppy like the Lion King – and yes they had seen that and cried at Mufasa’s death thank you Disney -  with only three legs who has a lolling tongue and a stare equal to Bucky’s.

Steve knows. He knows right then that they have a new addition. They have a dog.

They name him Buddy and once Tony sees the littlest Avenger he makes it his mission to make him a metal leg. Bucky and Buddy spend hours together where Bucky is so happy because they both share metal limbs.

In retaliation Steve dresses Buddy in a Captain America coat one day. Bucky only has two things to say to that:

“Why does he look like you?”

“Because it’s cold outside!”

“Yeah but I think he’d rather be cold than ugly.” They both know that it’s made in jest – what they later discover to be called banter – and Bucky would always say that he is the better looking one anyway.

Buddy is a very welcome addition. He sleeps in Steve’s room and Bucky joins them often enough that they get another bed put in the room just for him. They knew that it is the best thing for them, since they are the only ones strong enough to hold each other down when they have nightmares. But with Buddy, the nightmares seem to be calmer. Many nights are spent with Buddy clasped tightly in one of their arms or with his body curled nearly impossibly on one of their backs or knees.

The only one who loves their dog more than them is Sam. When he first sees the dog they run towards each other like someone from a Disney film. Besides that he spends every waking moment with Buddy teaching him tricks or walking him somewhere. Sometimes, Buddy spends more time with Sam than either of them. That’s okay though.

Steve doesn’t know how getting a dog qualifies as ‘getting a life’ but Bucky thinks so. That’s all that really matters.

*

The list is left for a while as the notebook is used for other reasons. He fills up pages and pages of pictures of Bucky. He never shows them to Bucky of course but whenever someone else asks him what he’s drawing he replies “Bucky,” and the Avengers don’t tell anyone. Well they don’t tell Bucky. There’s Bucky puffing out smoke from a cigarette. There’s Bucky asleep in a mound of blankets. Bucky in his pristine uniform looking cocky as hell. Bucky fresh from imprisonment, torture, battle and forced march in World War Two managing to look extremely badass. Bucky dancing with a girl, motion rendered perfectly but the drawing is faithful down to every last detail while the girl is barely a smudge on the page. Close ups of hands and eyes and smiles. However, when someone asks him about these drawings he is completely oblivious and rambles on about the stories behind each one. The Avengers, minus Bucky, listen to him as Steve says, “Oh yeah, that was the night before Bucky shipped out, he dragged me to the Stark Expo and I met Dr. Erskine,” or, “Bucky used to work at the docks but sometimes he picked up shifts at the garage to pay for my medicines, he said that he actually liked it better than the docks,” and, “First chance we had at a wash in weeks, we had to drag Falsworth out of that river,” and finally, “Bucky told me that when he woke up as the Winter Soldier he was really clumsy, so when HYDRA was given him orders he was just flailing and falling everywhere while swearing in Russian at them to help him.”

The Avengers continually wonder if Steve’s messing with them or if he’s just that oblivious. But no: Steve is a hundred percent sincere. He has missed his own crush.

Eventually – to save Tony from bursting – Nat sits Steve down to gently break the news to him. Steve denies it for half of the discussion and sits in silence for the other half. He has missed his own crush. He knows it now but somehow that makes it even more terrifying.

He can’t let Bucky find the notebook again. He has to be sneakier.

*

 

Watch the Captain America films

He can’t tell Bucky that he’s in love with him. He’s just coming to turns with it himself. He has a new notebook, one only dedicated to the list. The one filled with the pictures of Bucky is hid away somewhere Bucky will never find it.

It’s when Bucky demands a movie marathon that Steve obliges him but panics. If they sit too close he’ll crack. It’s a good thing that Buddy can be a warm barrier in between them.

Anyway… to the films.

Over the years there have been films made about his story. This is a little disturbing but Bucky is adamant that they have to watch them. Before even watching them they know that they are all going to be bad in some way.

1946: Captain America

Bucky Barnes is being beaten up by two larger men in a studio backlot that’s doing its best impression of a dingy back-alley somewhere in Brooklyn. “Hey,” he says, out of breath, his fists up in front of his face. “Why don’t you pick on... on...”

“Someone your own size!”  Steve Rogers finishes the sentence for him, appearing as if out of nowhere. He picks up both of the taller guys by the backs of their collars and throws them out of the alley. There are some sound effects that indicate that they’ve probably landed on a garbage can and a pile of glass bottles. Steve stands at ease, which looks an awful lot like a normal guy standing to attention.

“Aw, Steve,” Bucky says, panting slightly, once the sound effects have stopped. “I had ‘em, you know I had ‘em.”

“I hear ya, kid,” Steve says. He wipes his brow. It glistens attractively under the streetlamps.

“Oh c’mon,” Bucky says throwing a handful of popcorn at the screen, “That was the over way around!”

“Pick on someone your own size? God where did they get their information? I would never say that in a million years.” Steve says and slaps Bucky for wasting the popcorn, toffee popcorn in his favourite damnit.

“Steve!” the screen splits, and Peggy is at the other end of the radio, rather than anyone with any expertise at flying planes. “Steve, you can’t leave me now!” She’s wearing a showgirl outfit, and around her the other girls are getting changed and chewing gum. They are about to perform for the troops.

“Do me a favour, Peggy,” Steve says. “You’ll keep dancing for me, won’t ya?”

“Peggy was never a sex symbol in tights, she’s better than that! That’s highly sexist,”

“Steve we can’t all be feminists like you,” Bucky is joking and they both know it, “Besides Peggy is hotter in this film.”

“Are you blind?”

 

1974: Heartbreak on the Western Front

He turns his back to her, gazing off into the distance. “Don’t try to talk me out of it,” he says without emotion. “I have to do it. But... this may be the last time we see each other.”

“Don’t say that,” Peggy cries.

“Whatever you say, sweetheart, it won’t make a difference.”

“Steve,” Peggy whispers, “I’m pregnant. You’re going to be a father.”

Shocked, Captain America falls to his knees, his face a mask of anguish. He presses his face against her belly, which is covered by her high-waisted, bell-bottomed uniform trousers.

“I can’t lose you,” he says.

“You won’t,” she promises. She drags a hand through his shaggy blond hair. “We’ll always be together. No matter what.”

Bucky remains in the background with a frown on his face.

“I was in that twice,” Bucky muttered, “The first time you were hitting on me, when I was sixteen by the looks of it, and the second when I appear like a jealous background idiot.”

“That’s better than the world now thinking that I have a love child out there somewhere,”

They continue to crunch their popcorn loudly.

“You’re very predictable,” Natasha says.

“What?” Steve says.

“Nothing,” Natasha replies. “Just something I read on the internet.”

 

1989: The Captain’s Song

“Mel Gibson!” Steve splutters and nearly throws the laptop across the room.

Natasha laughs as his expression of disgust.

“I don’t remember us being catholic Steve, do you?” Bucky questions.

1995: The Fight for Justice

There’s a black and white battle field where a robotic dinosaur rampages across the screen.

“I didn’t think that Starks invention would actually work,” Steve ponders from off screen.

“Steven we’re fighting Nazis not dinosaurs, get a grip.” Bucky replies as the two stride confidently into the battle field.

“That actually happened.” Bucky is nonchalant.

“What?” Barton says, “You couldn’t have fought a dinosaur in World War Two,”

“Sure we did,” Bucky says absently, “It was Bavaria. That was when Stark got real inventive with his methods, Steve?”

Steve just nods, he knows the others won’t believe them.

“My father built a fucking dinosaur!” Tony pops his head into the living room, disbelief written on his face. He is gone within seconds muttering about finding the blue prints.

2011: Captain America: The First Avenger.

“Captain America in the house,” Captain America announces as he strolls into the SHIELD briefing room, which is a small, dark bunker filled with computer screens and high-tech equipment, even though it’s 1944. He lowers his aviator sunglasses at the nearest woman and smirks at her. “Hi, Peggy. How’s my best girl doin’?”

Peggy Carter rolls her eyes. Her short curls bounce around her face. “Save it, Steve. I told you, I’m not interested.”

But as she leaves, her heels loudly clicking on the floor, she gives him an appreciative glance. He is a handsome man, after all. Captain America turns slightly to watch her exit the room.

“Rogers, can we please get back to the mission?” the general drawls, and the Captain looks back to the computer screen taking up the entirety of the wall.

Mission: Stop the Red Skull, it reads.

“Let’s get to work then gentlemen,” Captain America mutters, seeming not at all bothered by the need for urgency.

“Finally,” The general murmurs and is met by a glare from the Captain.

“I have no words for that,” Steve says, “I just…”

“Channing Tatum is over-rated anyway,” Bucky pats Steve’s shoulder in apology for the monstrosity on screen.

“I don’t know Steve,” Natasha grins, “You are pretty hot in this film.”

She gets the bowl of popcorn over her head. The rest of the afternoon is spent with her chasing Bucky around who pleads that he’s sorry and for Steve to save him. Steve just collapses into laughter, clutching his stomach as it aches.

He’s not much help to Bucky then.

But that ends their movie marathon. They’re all terrible anyway.

After their binge watching afternoon they go to the Smithsonian. They go in disguises and obviously they are very good disguises, cap and glasses for Steve and a beanie and hoodie for Bucky. Although there is a problem for Bucky; his hair doesn’t fit in the damn beanie. It’s that long now that he forgoes the beanie and tries, and fails, to hide his mane into the hood.

“You should get it cut,” Steve mumbles,

In response to that Bucky checks that no one is around and then proceeds to majestically flick his hair in Steve’s direction. Steve is only jealous because he’s always stuck with the military style. They wander around both consumed in their heads. This is the first time that Bucky has been here and so Steve lets him, since his first time wasn’t given the same courteously due to the large fan groups that had been generated by his mere appearance. Steve remembered that he insisted that Bucky would get an exhibit, even offering half of his property – his images, his belongings. If he didn’t get to have Bucky in person then an exhibit wall would have to do. Others would enjoy his story too.

But for Bucky he had never been to the Smithsonian, surrounded by the past so readily. He’s having a somewhat off day and his identity is blurry. But he doesn’t tell Steve that is the reason he wanted to watch the films.

A girl recognises him. Bucky doesn’t know it at first but he can’t avoid her stare after a while. “You should tie you hair back,” the little girl dressed in pink says to him. He stares down at her, silent, but she continues undeterred. “Mommy says that we need to have our hair tied back or we’ll trip over things because we can’t see. She makes me wear these –“ She displays her wrist, which is encircled by a rainbow of different hair bands and gestures to her own head which is held back, “ –Because mine keep falling out. You can’t fight evil if you can’t see. I want to be a police officer when I’m older so that’s kinda needed. Are you a…”

She trails off, her eyes steadily getting bigger. They dart to the large digital image of James Buchanan Barnes, then back to his face. Bucky’s eyes dart too, over the exits and the crowd, and to Steve somewhere in the corner – attempting to weave his way round three children without being noticed himself. The little girl has a smile on her face now, an improbable grin that keeps growing.

“You’re a hero…” she whispers, “I knew it.”

Bucky blinks down at her, thrown off by her words. He’s killed a hell of a lot of people but this girl sees him as a hero. Wow.

The girl reins in her wide grin and scans the crowd, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell. People can’t handle the truth. But I can.” She turns her shining eyes back to him. Slowly, very slowly, Bucky reaches out – his eyes blinded by Winter Soldier memories. His voice creaks out of him, rusty and strangled, “Can I have a hair tie?”

Without taking his eyes off him, the girl rolls a red one out of the rainbow and hands it over.

Bucky’s hair is controlled and he knows who firmly who is again.

He has the little girl to thank for that.

 

Learn how to social media

That doesn’t even make sense

You get what I mean Bucky

But kid’s everywhere look up to you, you have to have perfect grammar and shit

They’re never going to look up to you with that language. AND WHO MADE YOU THE GRAMMAR NAZI!!

Calm down old man you’ll give yourself a heart attack.

I’ll give you a heart attack

Well it’s a good thing that Steve hid the other notebook because this one was so easily compromised.

But back to the topic at hand.

Natasha is the one that’s all up to date with social media and she’s practically the only one that uses it nearly obsessively in her spare time. It doesn’t look like she does but she always comes up with some new gossip from one site or another. One day she decides to try and take a vine of the team. This is a harder task than most because getting all of the Avengers in one room is a rare thing. However, the one night that they all came together are their game nights. It is on one such night where she gets a video of Clint and Sam screaming because they can’t freaking beat Steve at Mario Kart.

“YOU WERE FROZEN WHEN VIDEO GAMES WERE MADE.” Clint all but screams as he is rammed off the road by Steve, that asshole.

“STOP SAYING YOU’RE ON MY LEFT I CAN SEE YOU PASSING OLD MAN,” Sam joins in. Steve just sits there with a wolfish grin on his lips and the controller held loosely in his grip.

“Don’t pop a hip Steve, we need you to be able to walk away from these losers,” Bucky leans over Steve’s shoulders and jabs Sam who glares at him.

Steve looks at Bucky and it is just audible when he says, “I’m sitting down, that’s not strenuous at all Buck.”

“Punk…”

The video goes viral within hours. The public coo over Avengers domesticity and how good Steve is at Mario Kart.

It’s what prompts Steve and Bucky to learn more about the wonders of social media. Natasha is their teacher for this one and she starts with Instagram. The first time Steve posts a selfie, Bucky cockeyed in the background, the site crashes. Oops.

They find that taking pictures instantly whenever they want is really great and technology is actually wonderful. They love it.

There’s dumb selfies of them all over DC, of a picture of Steve’s ass that is tagged #captainassmerica, and picture after picture of them walking through war memorials, laying flowers on every grave they pass. Nearly all of their photos have them smiling or laughing.

Then one day they make a video of them running past Sam on a morning run, and each time they pass him they scream ON YOUR LEFT. Sam is clearly see jumping in shock and then running faster to catch the smirking pranksters. It goes viral and everyone is making videos of scaring people with the same phrase. In retaliation Sam sneaks up to Steve during dinner and yells in his ear. Steve jumps four feet in the air, chicken and carrots flying with him. They are in his hair as he decks Sam and Bucky is laughing so hard while recording it.

During winter Bucky quietly pounces on Steve and sticks his metal arm up his t-shirt with that very phrase on his lips.

Thor is standing next to Tony on one outing and realizes that is he is on Tony’s left. So he proudly announces it because Thor loves Midgardian jokes.

On another run, Sam sweeps past in the air wearing the Falcon costume “On your left bitches!” he screams and Steve and Bucky stop dead and look to the sky in anguish because what have they started.

Clint takes pleasure in dropping from air vents and on occasions he signs it to Steve who smirks in response.

Natasha takes Clint’s attempt to heart. It’s the only reason for it as she drops from the ceiling of their room yelling “ON YOUR LEFT!” Bucky and Steve have never jumped as high as that before. From then on they decide that Natasha is the queen of pranks and she must never be pranked ever again.

There’s so many photos out there that it’s tough to pick their favourite. But if they had to pick just one it would be the photo with Steve, Bucky and Sam all holding boxes of Girl Scout cookies. There’s such a story behind that:

On the walk back to the tower after a morning run they see a sign about Girl Scout cookies. “Oh, I remember those, they stopped selling them when butter and sugar got rationed.” Steve says and then they just have to buy some. But when they get to the table full of star struck seven year olds there are all kinds of varieties and they become star struck themselves.

“What do you mean they still sell Chocolate Mints?” Bucky exclaims,

“They’re called Thin Mints now,” Sam utters from his place slightly back from the very excited pair.

“Unacceptable. We’ll take forty boxes,” Steve is taking none of it and they go back to the tower with nearly every box that the girls have. Steve tries to ration the cookies but Bucky is too clever and keeps his secret stashes all around their apartment in the tower. This is because it’s easier for him to gorge himself on thin mints whenever he wants to, and Steve can’t say anything about it. Steve keeps wondering why Bucky has chocolate stuck in grooves of his metal hand when there aren’t any cookies missing from the boxes in the fridge and the pantry, and he slowly realises what’s going on. He searches everywhere but for the life of him he can’t find Bucky’s stash.

They are found, however, when Clint decides to venture further into the air vents in the tower and Steve hears him shout down, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE ALL THESE THIN MINTS DOING UP HERE. YOU HAVE BEEN HOLING OUT ON ME HOW COULD YOU?” This is followed by the sound of someone with an obvious metal appendage flying into the vents at top speed and Barton screaming in the most undignified ever as he comes face to face with the Winter Soldier who has been deprived of his thin mints.

Sam would deny having such a stash himself but when he goes back on his own he overhears the girl scouts talking about the Avengers. “Nah, Falcon is the coolest one, he can fly! With wings! Tony Stark can’t do that, neither can Cap.” Sam buys every box they have and lugs them, all two hundred of them, back to the Tower. He shares half of them with the others because Clint and Natasha loves thin mints and would claw your hand off if you didn’t share, but the other half is all for him.

He nearly cries when Buddy worms his way into one of the boxes somehow.

Yeah that photo is a reminder of just how crazy all of them are.

Then it’s Twitter next:

Bucky Barnes @official_sergeant

I’m the official jar opener in the tower because everyone else is utterly useless.

 

Steve Rogers @captainass

I just realised that one of my tactics is basically jumping into my opponents arms   :/

 

Steve Rogers @captainass

Need to dodge a bullet? Sure, just let me perform a couple of backflips first.

 

Bucky Barnes @official_sergeant

Forget someone’s birthday? Convenient amnesia

Don’t want to deal with your problems? Convenient amnesia

 

Steve Rogers @captainass

What do you mean someone ripped a door off and tried to fix it with duct tape #wasn’tme

 

Bucky Barnes @official_sergeant

NOTE TO SELF; BIRDS ARE ATTRACTED TO SHINY THINGS, ESPECIALLY A METAL ARM

 

Buck Barnes @official_sergeant

There’s plenty of me to go around [detaches arm]  

 

They had the hang of this social media thing. The public in fact, finds them very funny and adorable. They are more than happy that the happy moments of their lives are spread for the world to see – Bucky likes it because he won’t be remembered as the Winter Soldier but as Bucky Barnes because of social media.

The Internet can now see the many adventures that they get up to:

Steve and Bucky have a thumb war which Bucky obviously won because he didn’t cheat.

Buddy asleep on Steve’s chest while a sketchbook rests partially open on Steve’s face.

All the times that Steve rickrolled Bucky and all the times Bucky rickrolled Steve.

Their pillow fights.

Bucky teaching Steve how to waltz properly.

Their food fights with both of them covered head to toe in flour and cookie dough.

Their snuggle sessions.

Them playing twister.

Steve showing Bucky Candy Crush and Farmville.

It’s all there for everyone, and themselves, to see and remember. Used happily by Steve when Bucky has an off-day and by Bucky when Steve feels sad.

 

Tell Bucky that I love him

Steve has dreamed of fulfilling this task for so long that he couldn’t even pinpoint when officially he fell in love with him. Maybe he had always been in love with, he didn’t quite know.

He’s had so many ideas on how to do it and on when to do it. The most common thought would be this:

Bucky makes Steve way more reckless than he normally is – like 1000 times more reckless, because you know everything's more fun when you have someone either doing it with you or telling you that it’s a stupid idea. Bucky tells him nearly every day, “It’s a terrible idea, Steve, oh my god, if you try to jump out of one more plane I will end you, did you hear me I will end you.”

He wouldn’t ever hear the end of that one.

So, because the Avengers were the Avengers, they would make bets on who could get Steve to do the most ridiculous thing. Clint would be the one to realise that to get Steve to do something stupid would be to get Bucky to say how terrible an idea it was and to not do it.

Steve wouldn’t even know that there was any other intention behind the sudden need to do reckless acts.

“Hey, Rogers,” Clint would say, “Have you ever tried to jump out of the tower? I mean you have jumped out of buildings before but you haven’t tried with this one.”

“Can’t say that I have,” Steve would say, already anticipating what Bucky would say, what his face would look like.

“You’re not going to try it,” Bucky would say, looming ominously close to him with his arms crossed.

“I bet you’d survive it, or make it to the next building over.” Clint would goad and they would both watch as Bucky’s face would turn darker shades of seriousness.

“Don’t even think about it…” Bucky would try to convince him but it wouldn’t work.

“There’s only one way to find out,” Steve would nod along, “I have to jump off of the roof.”

He would be quite serious and go to the roof and be prepared to jump and then Bucky would explode and go off into a tyrant. Steve would probably do the thing, be alright and the pair would hug in their relief. He would then confess his love and everything would be alright. Or he wouldn’t even have to do the thing and just shut Bucky up mid-way through a rant in the best way he knew how.

But that was a dream and Steve hadn’t confessed yet. But he would. Eventually.

In reality the time when Steve tells Bucky that he loves him it is totally unplanned and unscheduled.

One morning Steve goes to have a shower, like he always does, but instead of the warm spray he is well used to he is met with an icy blast. The pipes must have broken or malfunctioned or something. It doesn’t matter. It takes exactly two seconds of cold to remind Steve of the ice, of the sudden impact, of pain and the realization of death, of losing everything he had in moments, in a blink, in a blast…

He’s in shock. He’s shivering. Naked. Numb.

When Bucky comes back to their suite, he doesn’t call out for Steve because it’s early and he should still be asleep. Should be is the key word there. Bucky knew from coming in early with lipstick stains on his collar and drink still surrounding his brain back in the day that Steve likes a lie in when he can.

He doesn’t expect to hear the sobbing. Steve must be having a nightmare again. He doesn’t hesitate, and bare foot and sleep deprived but sweaty, he rushes to his friend’s side. Steve had never been a crier and it was only in sleep, when he was most vulnerable, that he allowed himself to cry. But this is not a nightmare. Steve is very much awake and amongst a shaking pile of blankets. There must be at least ten of them and Steve is all tangled up in them, captured in them so tightly it must have been hard to breathe.

After peeling back the blankets Bucky finally sees Steve and he’s looking at him, face shiny and sad. The sight of Bucky just makes him cry harder. That is not what Bucky wants, “B-uck, I-I-I wanted to be-“ he pulls in a deep, heavy breath “Wanted it to be ov-er before you…” and then he descends into crying again, the hitches in his breath alerting Bucky that a panic attack is close. So very close.

He’s surprised, honestly, to find Steve naked under his cocoon but he doesn’t stop when he tries to get amongst the blankets with his best friend. Steve stiffens and they both know that it’s from shame, but Bucky is warm from his run, sleepy and tired yet comforting. Steve has always been tactile, so Bucky goes with it, pressing close, not bothering that he is sweaty and that probably doesn’t feel nice against skin. “Where are you Steve?” He asks, trying to be gentle because he knows that Steve isn’t with him right now. He’s scared for both of them, especially Steve.

“C-cold,” Steve chatters, his breathing just a little bit calmer.

“Just like old times then, huh? Me keeping your skinning ass warm in Brooklyn.” Bucky smiles at the memory and moves to cup the back of Steve’s neck. They are so close, their breaths combined. Bucky and Steve. “But where are we right now?”

“Avenger Tower. With you.”

“That’s right, do you know what we are going to do tomorrow?”

“Work?” Because there was always something to fight and somewhere to defend.

Bucky laughs and makes sure it is soft, not humiliating, “Well first I’m going to tell the team and SHIELD to go fuck themselves. But then we’re going to go to that park, the one that Sam always walks Buddy at? That’s your favourite, isn’t it?”

Steve nods.

“It’ll just be the two of us. You’ll take your sketchbook and draw the landscape like the art nerd you are and I’ll take a book of something, maybe read that series you’re always going on about, and about every five minutes some nervous little kid is going to come up and ask for a picture and a hug from you. You’ll tear up every single time.”

“Will not.”

“Shush, you big sap, I’m trying to talk here. The sun will be out and you’ll be able to feel it on your skin, all nice and warm. Sound all right to you?”

“Yeah,” Steve says and clears his throat, “Yeah.” They are so close now. They are one person instead of two.

“Do you want me to go change, I can’t imagine you want a sweaty Bucky,”

Steve laughs then and the cocoon shakes again, but this time it’s good. “God, I love you,” then he freezes. Steve notices what he said, and a second later so does Bucky.

“Steven,” Bucky knows that he hates it when he calls him that, “Why do you think I jumped out of a train for you,” and he knows he didn’t exactly jump but the sentiment still stands, “I’ve been in love with you for as long as I could know what love was.”

Steve’s feelings just roll off of Bucky’s tongue and he relaxes. His best friend loved him. Just as much as he loved him.

Bucky stays that morning. They spend the day in bed, just existing together.

As love declarations go theirs is simple and all that Steve didn’t expect. But that’s a good thing.

Then the next day they go to the park and they act like any other couple would. They hold hands and sway their combined arms as they walk. They kiss while lying on a park bench.

Most of all they appear in their own little world. They are. Everyone around them gawks but they don’t notice. Because they are together and the worlds seem to align. Finally. 

 

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