I got really wrapped up in Captain America: Civil War. I saw it twice in two days and just okay, I'm totally engrossed in the whole thing. So this is my first time dipping my toes into the Marvel fandom in terms of writing. I'm always a little nervous putting my work out there in new fandoms but I really enjoyed this one. It's short and sweet and I imagine this taking place in the space between the post-credit scene at the end of Civil War before Bucky goes back into cryo in Wakanda.
So, go easy on me guys, this is my first time ever writing Steve and Bucky, and my first time writing out of the wrestling fandom in years, but I really love how it came out. It's not supposed to be long or anything, just a quick blip, a little flash of conversation before Bucky's gone again.
Bucky's mouth worked like he was chewing. Crunching down the words too big to come out of his mouth.
"I'm not good," he murmured, chewing the corner of his lip, "Not gonna be good. Not now, maybe ever."
He stopped and Steve watched his throat move, swallowing again and again. Forcing the words down, down, down, burying them with the other tragedies in his gut.
"Leave. Please. Don't wait for me anymore, Steve," Bucky whispered, shaking his head, "I'm not worth it."
Steve sighed, "You know I can't do that..."
"Always been so damn stubborn," Bucky snorted, "never goddamn listen. Just listen to me, for once."
"I always listened to you Buck," Steve said, "I just ignored you when you started talking dumb and that's what you're doing now. Talking real dumb like you think that'll work. Like I didn't spend years looking for you, like I wouldn't move mountains for you. Like I wouldn't go to heaven and hell or Asgard or wherever for you."
Bucky lifted his head, squinting, "I don't even know what the hell an Asgard is."
"It's a real place, I promise," Steve said and cracked a fraction of a smile, "I know a guy from there."
He wanted to smile, he really did. It was funny, worth a chuckle at least but his heart didn't feel it. He hadn't had a reason to smile in 70 years, and even Steve standing in front of him, big now and doofy as he was, making stupid jokes couldn't pull joy from the dark dungeon HYDRA had buried it in. He couldn't smile, he didn't know how anymore.
"Go home, Steve," Bucky's voice scraped up his throat like his muscles were trying to keep the words down, "you'll be better off."
"I am home, Buck," Steve insisted, "Wherever you are is home."
Bucky clenched his flesh fist, wishing for the first time for the metal one. He could use it to knock Steve around the head, and maybe put some sense in that thick skull.
He sounded miserable. Broken and empty. His eyes were the color of the sky before a storm, cloudy blue and damn near gray as they locked onto Steve's. Steve took two steps forward, his hand outstretched with those long, thin fingers reaching for Bucky's face. Bucky didn't flinch, didn't cringe, just sat still and silent as the grave as Steve brushed away a strand of hair that had gotten stuck in the coarser hair of the stubble on his cheek. He could feel the warmth of Steve's hand, lingering too long near his cheek before he pulled away and stepped back.
Steve's eyes dropped to his shoes, shuffling softly. Suddenly, he wasn't Captain America, he wasn't big, strong Steve. He was little, sick, fragile Steve. It was 1933 and he was 15 and bleeding from his lips because he'd gotten into another needless fight that Bucky dragged him out of. He was five-foot-nothing and 80 pounds soaking wet, with hair so blond it shined like the sun. Bucky's chest hurt; that was his Steve, the sweet little guy who stood up for everyone no matter how many times he got punched.
Any Steve was his Steve, if he was being honest, but that one; the little one who had to get shot full of pure adrenaline if he got too excited or sick and his lungs stopped working right. The one who was always cold because he had the flu three times that winter in '31. The one who he'd gladly break into his house and sit on the lumpy couch after making him breakfast just so he'd eat something after his ma died. That was his Steve, that was the Steve he saw now.
Bucky scratched at his shoulder, where the remainder of the metal met flesh. "You always do that. You always make me remember."
Steve looked up, his eyes red-rimmed and miserable. "It's what I'm here for, pal. To make you remember. To bring you home."
"I don't have one of those anymore, don't you see? No one but you wants me anywhere near any other humans. I'm dangerous, I'm a killer, I can't be trusted," Bucky yelled, frustration getting the better of him. The words he'd swallowed came flying out, "I'm not good enough for that! You might forgive me, but no one else does. Hell, I don't forgive myself. Puppet or not, do you know how much blood is on my hands?"
"You only got one of those, Buck," Steve said before he even thought about it. Instinct told him to joke, to make his best friend feel better.
Bucky sneered, "Stop playing around! I'm being serious goddammit," He dug his fingers into his eyes, "let it go, Steve. Please. I'm begging you."
"I can't. Don't you get that? No matter how many times you tell me to stop, tell me to leave it be I can't. I'm not wired like that and you know it. You've known it since we were kids. I can't just let something go that I believe in. I love you Buck and I'm not gonna leave until you understand that." Steve whispered.
Bucky stiffened like he'd been shocked. Sitting ramrod straight he stared at Steve with wide, tortured eyes.
"Why," he said, shaking his head.
"Because I always have, because you're all I got left," Steve said, "because underneath it all you're still you. You're still my Bucky. Till the end of the line, remember?"
Bucky's mouth quirked upward ever so slightly, "Yeah, till the end of the line."
"It's my turn to wait," Steve said, "you waited for me to realize that for years. Even when I was stubborn and dumb and wouldn't ask for help. You waited. Please, Buck, just let me do the same for you. For once."
"You saved my life more times than I can count and you still think you need to repay me?" Bucky asked.
"Same goes for you. I'm not doing this out of debt, you dummy. I'm doing it because I love you and I need you back. Maybe I'm a selfish old man for it, but you're all I got. I need you."
Bucky closed his eyes and dropped his head; feeling off balance without the weight of his metal arm, "Just let me sleep a while, will ya? Let me get my head straight, if I can. I don't know what they can do here, but they look a hell of a lot more advanced than HYDRA ever was."
"Whatever you need," Steve said.
Bucky chuckled then, a sad, foreign sound, "All this time I thought I was looking out for you. Maybe it was always the other way around."
"You did your fair share of protecting me," Steve said and smiled, "just a few times."
There was a ghost of his old smile on his lips when Bucky lifted his head again. If anyone had the keys to that damn dungeon it had to be Steve.
"Just a few? Sure pal, whatever you say," Bucky huffed, but maybe it was almost a laugh, "I love you, you dumb punk. Now let me go to sleep, okay? At least it'll be you I see when I wake up this time."
Steve stepped closer, just inches away. He leaned in and pressed a light, chaste kiss to Bucky's forehead. Bucky sighed and gripped him with his flesh arm, pulling him closer. He breathed in the scent that was just so damn Steve it hurt. He needed that before he froze again. Needed that smell, needed that touch, skin on skin and Steve's kiss on his head. He needed it all, to fill himself with the good waiting for him. To sleep knowing he would wake to someone who cared—someone who loved all of him—someone who fought for him. He had life waiting for him this time, not nightmares and horror and blood.
He reached for Steve's face, pressing his fingers against his smooth cheek. He left them there for a while before gently wrapping those fingers around the back of Steve's neck and pulling his face down. Bucky lifted his head and reached for Steve's mouth with his own. Steve went stiff a second, but melted for it almost immediately. Bucky kissed him, ferocious but sweet with more than 70 years of desire to do just this. To feel what he tried to push away and what he desperately missed. Steve met him breath for breath and move for move, not some little guy who'd never been kissed.
Bucky pulled away first, because if he hadn't he would have kissed Steve forever. Kissed the air out of his lungs just to give it back with the air from his own. Sharing, constant back and forth like they'd always done.
"Let them put me under," Bucky whispered.
"Okay," Steve said then kissed him again, short and gentle, "I'll be waiting."