"We made the news again, Bucky," Steve said from the dining room table where he was scrolling through the internet. For once, he wasn't lost somewhere in Wikipedia; he had been earlier, but he'd found the SHIELD articles and decided he didn't need the reminder and closed the site for awhile.
Bucky didn't look up at him, tapping around on his tablet. "I saw," he said. He pulled out the 3D imaging on the article Steve was reading. "When don't we?"
Steve glanced around his screen to watch the video playing with the article. "They got your bad side again."
Bucky made a sour face. "It's hard to have a good side when your face is covered by a mask."
"You could always get a new look," Steve said, turning back to his laptop.
Out of the corner of his eye, Steve saw the 3D image disappear as Bucky flattened it back to the screen. "What, and pull on that horrible blue wool thing you had me wearing in the military?"
"I made you do nothing of the sort," Steve said, still scrolling through news articles about the rescue of the royal family from the British Embassy in Afghanistan.
"Did too. I happen to like what I have now. It gives more range of motion for my arm. Besides, if I started wearing that old thing, people would know that Bucky Barnes is also back from the dead and there goes my ability to go out in public without getting assaulted."
"I'm surprised your file wasn't in Hydra's stuff that got uploaded."
"They kept my records away from SHIELD," Bucky said, pulling up another image that Steve only saw a glimpse of before it disappeared. "Pierce didn't want anything where anyone could expose their best weapon. I was a better kept secret than Zola was."
"You ever Google yourself to make sure?" Steve said.
Bucky didn't answer right away, and Steve looked around his laptop to watch his friend staring silently at his tablet. Steve almost repeated his question, thinking that Bucky had perhaps not parsed being spoken to because of a distraction, but then Bucky slowly turned his head to look at Steve. The expression he had on his face was something somewhere between horror and amusement. "I know better than to do that."
"What do you mean?" Steve asked, hearing something awful in that sentence. "We'd get a lot of old news articles, sure, it'd be hard to weed through but-"
"You try Googling yourself, see what happens," Bucky said, still with that expression and now a slow way of speaking that made Steve wonder if he was laughing or ready to scream and run away.
Steve hesitated, glancing back at his laptop screen, then back to Bucky, who remained silent with that look that Steve wasn't quite sure what to make of. After a moment of internal debate, Steve steeled his nerve. "All right, I will," he said, turning his full attention back to the computer and typing in his name. Captain America brought up a lot of things, none of it looking terrible, news articles, merchandise stores, Wikipedia (naturally- Steve was convinced there was nothing you couldn't find on that damn addicting page) and a few miscellaneous sites.
"I don't see the big deal," he said.
"Did you search Captain America or Steve Rogers?" Bucky asked.
Steve looked up at him, realizing that Bucky was watching him expectantly, his tablet momentarily abandoned. "Why does it matter?"
"Captain America has mostly legit sites," Bucky explained, confirming nothing that Steve didn't already know. "Try 'Steve Rogers'. There's more variety."
Variety. Something about that sent a chill down Steve's spine. But determined to find out why Bucky looked like he wanted to cry until he laughed or laugh until he cried, he typed in his name.
Lots more news articles, Wiki came up again, more merchandising... Steve still didn't see the big deal, not until at the bottom of page one on the search, where a news article on a private blog had a very strange title that didn't sound familiar to anything Steve should be on the internet for.
Thinking maybe it was a fan essay rather than a true news article, he clicked and started reading. "This is a fictional story," he said upon realizing what he was reading. "They write fictional stories about me? Why? There's a ton of real ones to read."
By now, Bucky had completely abandoned the tablet, resting one elbow on the table and his chin on his hand, watching Steve with this perversely proud smile. "Keep reading. I've read that one, I'm in it too."
Now Steve really had to see why this person felt the need to make up things about him. He went back to reading, and quickly turned red and slack-jawed. Bucky started laughing as Steve snapped his head up to stare at his friend in horror. "Why would they ever?" he demanded.
Bucky laughed harder. "Because we are officially the subject of fangirl wet dreams," he said. "It's a creepy honor that keeps me off of Google when looking for anything related to you or I."
Steve quickly closed that tab before he read anything more of a fictional story about him snogging his best friend senseless. "People have no sense of decency," he grumbled. He had a feeling that if he'd finished that thing, with the direction it was heading, that he might have trouble looking Bucky in the eye for awhile and might just feel compelled to sleep on the couch instead of the same room.
"Let them speculate," Bucky said dismissively, going back to his tablet. "But now you see why I don't Google myself. The last thing I need is nightmares."
"If I weren't creeped out, I'd be insulted by that, Bucky," Steve said, staring at his computer, uncertain if he wanted to continue browsing the internet now knowing that things like that were out there where he might stumble across it.
"Don't worry, you're not my type," Bucky assured him."You lack certain body parts I find entertaining."
"Glad we could agree on that," Steve said. "Okay, this calls for a drink."
Bucky laughed again, still not looking up from his tablet. "Alcohol, the best remedy for horrible things that cannot be unseen."
"It would probably be more effective if I could actually get drunk, because I don't think I want to be sober after reading that."
"Now I'm insulted," Bucky said, looking up at him.
Steve paused, a bottle of German beer bought from the import store nearby still uncapped in his hand. He grabbed the bottle opening and opened it before taking a swig and then pointing at Bucky with his bottle. "And how drunk did you get after finding that?"
"I invoke the fourteenth," Bucky said.
"So in other words, very, and now I have to be jealous because I can't."
"You'll live," Bucky said. "Before you drink too much, up for a ride down to the White House? Secret Service is investigating an assassination threat on the president. We might land a job."
"I'm not letting this bottle go flat," Steve said, sitting back down. "Secret Service can keep a lid on things until I'm done with this."
Bucky laughed. "Now you know better than to Google yourself. First rule of the internet. Especially for us celebrities."
"I thought the first rule of the internet was that there's always porn of it."
"I'm not sure if that's the first or not, but think real careful about what you just said."
Steve paused, his bottle halfway to his lips. "Okay, so it still applies. Got it." He stared at his drink. "Screw it, it's not going to help." He set the bottle aside. "Let's go suit up and see if the president needs us or not."
Bucky grabbed the beer and took a drink before returning it to the table. "You got it, Captain."
"Just do me a favor," Steve said, walking back to the bedroom with Bucky on his heels. "Don't ever call me Stevie."
Bucky stopped and laughed behind him.