You know what I want to talk about? I want to talk about Bucky, about the pre-war days, about what an absolute nightmare it must have been to love Steve back then.
Because let’s face it, Steve was ridiculously sickly and didn’t give a fuck about that.
I mean, just imagine yourself in Bucky’s position. Seriously, do it.
You’re born right at the end of the worst war in man’s memory, possibly history. Miraculously enough your father returns and your young childhood is possibly almost idyllic, living with your parents in an era characterized by abundance and optimism.
You start school and it’s good, you have friends and you like learning things. Then one day there is this little shrimp of a fella getting pushed around by some of the boys in your class and you decide to intervene, because damn, it looks like the fella is going to break if you so much as breathe on him. Your classmates aren’t good at taking a no, though, so you take a swing of your own. Of course you do, you can’t let them kill the little shrimp.
You take out the boys because they are more bark rhan bite, but to your surprise the little fella helps you out. He’s pathetic, obviously, but he just keeps getting up and going at it again and again.
Once the boys are chased away, you turn to say that he doesn’t need to thank you, but you stop when you see the little fella glare at you. I had ‘em on the ropes he says through his broken nose and sounds petulant.
You can’t help it. You laugh. The little fella looks hurt and you hurry to explain that Yeah, of course you did and you can’t stop grinning at this amazing, surprising, insane little person. I’m Bucky you say and offer your hand.
Steve. Steve Rogers says the little guy as he shakes your hand and you’re in love.
So after that, you and Steve become inseperable. Of course you are, because Steve is like a very skinny Zorro. That part worries you a lot, actually, ever since you saw Steve have an asthma attack for the first time. You know that Steve’s father is dead and that his mother is a nurse, so she can probably help, but you still want to be of help too. Steve is your best friend and you don’t want to see him hurt.
So you start trying to protect Steve - you fight his battles for him, you keep him away from things that can trigger any of his illnesses, you always ask if he’s okay.
You do this until Steve yells at you to stop treating him like a baby. You have a huge fallout about it and don’t talk for a week, until you show up at Steve’s door and take him to Coney Island and ride the Cyclone with him. He throws up and laughs.
Then the Depression hits and everything goes to hell. You are one of the lucky ones - your father still has a job - but all the optimism and abundance you grew up with is gone. It’s tougher, it’s rougher, but it’s okay. You still have Steve by your side and that’s all that matters.
As you grow up, you start getting worried again. The bullies Steve fights are getting bigger and stronger, but Steve is still the same little guy he’s always been. You remember your only big argument and device a new strategy: you step in when Steve is beat and quickly take care of the bullies for him and don’t act like it’s a big deal. You train yourself to not show your concern and worry as you help Steve to his feet, and in time you get really good at it.
You also get real good at fighting dirty and taking out multiple fellas quickly.
Girls start to become insteresting as well. (Boys too, but you don’t talk about that.) They still have nothing on Steve, but it’s fun to take girls out. Especially when Steve comes with. You honestly don’t understand how they are not throwing themselves at Steve while at the same time you’re guiltily glad that Steve is still yours alone. (You want him to always be.)
Then Steve’s mother dies. It takes a while to convince him, but eventually you and Steve move in together in a miniscule apartment of your own. It’s cheap, which is the important thing, because you need the money for Steve’s medicine and art classes. The neighbourhood might not be the best but you don’t care.
You work as much as you can manage to provide for the both of you. Steve is doing his part, of course, but you know that he might get sick at any time and you need to have enough saved away to manage when that happens. You still don’t mind - you are living with Steve, the two of you have your own place, you have a job. It’s good, it’s real good.
Can you imagine that? Can you imagine that being your life? Can you imagine meeting someone before you’re even a decade old and just knowing that yes, that is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, that one? Can you imagine your life being so entangled with that person that you can’t imagine it without them? Can you imagine loving someone this much?
I’m sorry, I don’t even know if this is meta or fic or headcanon. I just had to write it out because it was tearing me apart. Now if you excuse me, I need to go and bawl my eyes out.
Bucky Barnes is the best.
(gif sources: 1 alielie & 2-3 wintersoldierrs & 4-5 thecaptainrogers & 6-7 ?? & 8 mishasminions)