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The Life of Bucky Barnes

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Morning sleepy head,

Don’t forget what Doc told you about being more ‘open and expressive’. We talked about this last night, and I’m not going to let you forget. I know you started that Instagram account a couple weeks ago. Maybe it’s time you actually posted a photo? I’m already following you, so I hope to see something on there soon.

I’ll be home late tonight, and before you even say anything, no I won’t be jumping out of any planes. Or helicopters. Or anything that’s airborne. Anyway, I love you. I’ll see you tonight.

Steve

PS: I hope you like the bear. ;)

Bucky glanced over the plush bear he held in his other hand. What the hell was this thing supposed to be anyway? He turned it around, taking in the bright blue uniform with red trim and big red buttons, the black mask over the bear’s eyes... It looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn’t quite place where he’d seen it before. Not that that meant anything; there were still lots of things he constantly found ‘vaguely familiar’.

“What the hell did you give me, Stevie?” Bucky muttered to himself. He could swear he’d seen this thing before, but dammit if he couldn’t place it.

With a shrug, he set the bear aside and reread the note. He’d switched psychiatrists a month ago and this new doc had been making all kinds of suggestions about ‘getting out more’, not just physically, but emotionally as well. Something about you’ve been back in the world for over three years now, James. It’s time you started living in it.

Bucky grumbled at the thought. He was back in the world. He was working for SHIELD, he was in a steady healthy relationship, he was making friends... What more did she want?

With a sigh, Bucky turned over and set the note on his nightstand, then reached for his phone. Steve was right; he had started that Instagram account for a reason — if nothing else than to appease his stupid doctor. Maybe he should finally post something on it.

He swung his legs around and stood up before grabbing the bear. If he was going to do this thing, he was dragging Steve along with him. And since he couldn’t remember where he’d seen the bear before, maybe someone out there in Instagram Land could tell him.

He walked to the mirror hanging over their dresser and held the bear up with his metal hand. He quickly snapped a couple photos before turning the phone around to glance them over.

Wow. He really needed to learn how to smile. Was he always that scary looking? Man, that would explain so much.

With a huff, he turned the camera back around and, trying for at least a small smile, snapped a few more.

When he scanned the photos again, he was only mildly happier with the new set, because at least he no longer looked like he wanted to slaughter a small village.

He flopped back down on the bed, dropping the bear next to him. He pulled up the Instagram app and started to add the photo. He skipped over the stupid filters section — it was just a damned photo — only to freeze up when he got to the caption. What the hell was he supposed to say? He just wanted to know how he knew this bear.

He glanced sidelong at the bear, assessing it, trying to figure it out one more time. He shook his head and turned back to the phone.

Today, Steve offered me this weird ass teddy bear.

That was good enough. Someone out there would tell him what it was. He clicked share, then tossed his phone aside before rolling back over onto his pillow. Then he picked up the bear again, turning it over and over in his hands.

That’s when he noticed the small tag sewn onto the bottom. He grabbed hold of the tag to read what it said: Official Bucky Bear

What the —?

That’s when it hit him. Those stupid comics from the war! Bucky hated those comics.

“Dammit, Steve!” Bucky threw the bear across the room. It hit the corner of the dresser and bounced across the floor.

Steve knew Bucky hated those comics. Well, that was fine; two could play at that game. With a sly smile, Bucky got up and retrieved the bear, throwing it back onto the bed. He didn’t know when or how, but he would get Steve back for this.