Bucky was sitting on the couch watching a documentary about sharks. There was a great white shark swimming next to a very small diving cage and Bucky kind of wished that he could swim with sharks. He tilted his head to the side and made a mental note to do that someday. Then Sam walked through the living room into the kitchen and Bucky heard it.
Bucky closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Sam had been sniffling and sneezing for three days now. Bucky had asked if he needed any cold meds or cough drops or anything and Sam had frowned at him all big sad eyes and pouty lips and said he was absolutely fine thank you very much. Bucky had nodded and left him alone, but he’d been listening to him sniffle and cough for three days and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could take it.
Bucky bit his lip and turned the tv up a little, trying to block out Sam’s small noises from the kitchen. He heard Sam cough, it was a terrible sound, thick, like his chest was full of liquid that shouldn’t be there. Sam cleared his throat loudly and then coughed again. Bucky looked up at the ceiling, every fiber of his being telling him to go help Sam, even if he didn’t think he needed help.
“Oh mY GOD!” Bucky yelled, slamming the remote down onto the couch and standing up. He marched into the kitchen to find Sam staring at him, looking like a deer in head lights.
“Wha?” Sam asked, his voice thick from his stuffed sinuses.
“What? Can you hear yourself? Or are you ears full of junk too?” Bucky asked, crossing his arms over his chest and looking at Sam with his eyebrows high on his forehead.
“My ears are fine Bucky.” Sam grumbled and sniffed again. Bucky growled and stalked forward, Sam’s eyes widened as Bucky grabbed his wrist and pulled him into the living room. He pushed Sam onto the couch gently and then pointed at him.
“You stay.” He said sternly and went to his room to grab a blanket. He walked back into the living room and walked up to the couch, Sam looking up at him, his eyes wide and a little foggy. Bucky sighed and wrapped his blanket around Sam’s shoulders, jerking it this way and that to get it around him tightly.
“No. Hush. You just sit here, and I will be back.” Bucky said, his voice firm again. He walked toward the kitchen and then turned to look at Sam, he raised his finger and pointed at him again.
“Stay.” Bucky said, looking at Sam and narrowing his eyes as Sam looked at him.
“I’m stayin I’m stayin.” Sam huffed, his voice sounding all funny. Bucky nodded and went to the kitchen. He opened two cans of chicken noodle soup, poured them both in a large bowl, and heated it up. He grabbed some crackers and shoved all of it on a tray, then he rummaged in the medicine cabinet until he found a package of cold pills. He threw those on the tray too and then headed back to Sam. He set the tray down on the coffee table and then plopped back into his spot on the couch.
“Take those, and eat that.” He said, pointing at the pills and then the food. Sam looked from Bucky, to the tray, and then back to Bucky.
“Orange juice with chicken noodle soup?” Sam asked, his voice cracking as he broke into a fit of coughs. Bucky reached out and moved his hand over Sam’s back until he was breathing calmly again.
“Yeah. It’s got vitamin C in it. It helps get rid of colds. Now stop questioning me and do what I said alright?” Bucky said, taking his hand back and dropping it in his lap, his metal fingers clenching as he stared at the tv, not really seeing the sharks swimming through the water, the heat from Sam’s back still lingering on his fingertips.
“Whatever you say Buck.” Sam said, throwing the pills in his mouth and taking a drink to swallow them, then he picked up the soup and started eating. He sniffled again and Bucky reached over to the table next to the couch and grabbed the tissue box. He set it gently on the couch and pushed it over to Sam slowly, using just one finger. Sam side-eyed it, Bucky saw him smile and side-eyed Sam back. Sam took a tissue and blew his nose loudly. He tossed the dirty tissue toward the small trash can in the corner of room and missed.
“I’m not picking that up.” Bucky said, keeping his eyes on the tv. Sam made a noise that might have been a fake a laugh, but with his head full of snot it just sounded like a weird noise. Bucky snorted and shook his head.
“So, what do I do now?” Sam asked from next to him. Bucky looked over at him finally. Sam’s bowl was empty, and so was his glass of orange juice.
“Nothing. I’ll take care of that. You just sit here, and rest. Okay?” Bucky said, looking down at Sam as he picked up the empty tray. Sam nodded at him and Bucky could swear he saw him bite his lip as Bucky straightened up and took the tray to the kitchen. He cleaned everything up and then dropped himself back onto the couch.
They sat there together for a long time, both of them watching the tv, their heads tilting in unison every now and then when the camera went to a weird angle. Bucky smiled when Sam made a surprised noise as a great white jumped out of the water to grab a seal. Then he heard Sam’s teeth chattering and looked at him.
“Are you okay?” Bucky asked, concerned. Sam looked at him and clenched his jaw to stop his teeth clicking together, it just made him look uncomfortable. Bucky sighed and furrowed his brow.
“Come here.” He said, moving his arm to rest on the back of the couch. Sam gave him a doubtful look and stayed where he was.
“I’m warm, you’re cold. It’s really that simple, now please come over. Don’t make me come get you.” Bucky said, the corner of his mouth twitching as he tried not to smile at the look Sam was giving him. Bucky made a small move, like he was going to reach out and grab Sam and Sam held up his hands.
“I’m comin… you’re so bossy.” Sam grumbled, climbing across the couch slowly and then looking at Bucky like he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do next. Bucky smiled at him and then rearranged himself on the couch a bit. Then he reached out and pulled Sam down on top of him, chuckling when Sam let out a small “oof”. Bucky pulled on Sam’s blanket and made sure to get him covered.
Sam was tense on top of him, his breathing raspy. Bucky moved his hand to Sam’s back and rubbed his hand slowly up and down. He felt Sam breathe out hard but he was still tense. Bucky pressed his fingers hard between Sam’s shoulder blades.
“Relax.” He breathed, moving his fingers down Sam’s spine. He moved his hand slowly back up and let it rest between Sam’s shoulders and then finally felt Sam let go of all the tension, his muscles relaxing as he went limp on top of Bucky. Sam sighed and then moved his cheek against Bucky’s chest, getting comfortable to he could see the tv.
“Better?” Bucky asked after a few moments of silence, once Sam’s teeth had stopped clicking together. Sam hummed against him.
“Mhm. Warm.” He said, his voice nasally. Bucky smiled down at Sam and then moved his eyes back to the tv. He watched a nurse shark swim gracefully along the sea floor, swimming through fish and making them scatter. He listened to the sounds of water and watched as the tv cut to a whale shark drifting slowly throw dark waters.
“Thanks.” Sam said quietly, his jaw moving against Bucky’s chest and tickling him. Bucky looked down at him again.
“What’s that?” Bucky teased, pressing his fingers down against Sam’s spine again. Sam squirmed a little and pressed his face into Bucky’s chest.
“I said thank you.” He mumbled, louder, sounding grumpy now. Bucky snorted and smiled down at him.
“You’re welcome Mr. Grumpy-pants.” Bucky said, moving his hand up Sam’s back to rest on his neck. Sam groaned grumpily into his chest.
“You feeling any better?” Bucky asked, moving his fingers against Sam’s hair line gently, Sam shivered and nodded gently.
“Mhm. M’tired now.” Sam said, his voice sounding groggy. Bucky looked down at him and saw Sam’s eyes fluttering closed. He tried to keep them open, but they kept falling closed.
“You can go to sleep. I’m not goin anywhere.” Bucky whispered. Sam hummed in response and his eyes finally stayed closed. Bucky watched him sleep for a long time before he pressed a soft kiss to the top of Sam’s head and then turned back to the tv to see a tiger shark ripping a chunk of bait to pieces, shaking it’s body back and forth to get its food.
“I felt that.” Sam’s quiet voice said, his fingers pressing into Bucky’s ribs as he moved his arm up next to Bucky’s side. Bucky cleared his throat and felt heat run from his neck to his toes, then he felt Sam smiled against his chest and he relaxed again, smiling at the tv as Sam drifted back to sleep on his chest.