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Hey, Steve!

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Hey, Steve.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

I'm sorry if I scared you with the previous note, it wasn't my goal; I just couldn't think of how to start a conversation with you.

I'm sorry.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

I guess you still feel weird about the notes. I truly apologize, I don't mean to scare or bother you. However, it's the only way I'm brave enough to talk to you.

Changing the subject, that painting of yours at the art exhibition is stunning. You've got an amazing talent.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

I just realized I don't know much about you. It's quite embarrasing, keeping in mind the notes I'm sending. But, if I may, I'd like to change that.

Here's my first attempt: what is your favorite movie?

(I still haven't figured out how to get your answer, but I'll come up with something)

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

Before we start, I'd like to say it was a very clever idea that thing of pinning your answer on your door the same way I pin the notes haha.

Now, I would've never thought you were such an Audrey Hepburn fan, not to mention your favorite movie is Roman Holiday. It's actually pretty fascinating (just like you).

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

Got a little distracted and forgot today's question, but here it comes. I just hope you don't mind getting two notes on the same day. ;)

Second attempt: I know besides art, you adore reading. So, what is your favorite book?

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

A little bird told me you blushed a bit when you read the last two notes.

Wish I could've been there to see it. ;)

Among other stuff, I get it. I can't either choose a favorite book so, well... let's pretend I didn't ask that.

Today's question: if you got to be a superhero, who would you be?

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

Are you okay? Why haven't I seen you lately?

I know I could just knock on your door and ask, instead of leaving a note; but, what's the fun in that?

I hope you answer soon.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve:

Natasha told me you're feeling sick. She's delivering this note, and I attach something I hope you like. ;)

I also wait for you to get well soon; I miss seeing that smile of yours everyday in the hallway.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve:

Nat informed to me you liked my present. I'm glad you're feeling better by now, or at least well enough to brighten the halls with your presence.

I'm afraid I can't see that, though. I need to leave the city for a few days because of some family business.

PS: The notes won't stop coming, in case you were wondering. ;)

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

It's quite comforting to know you await my notes everyday. It kinda pushes me to keep doing it.

And yes, Natasha is the one who's pinning down the notes on your door on my behalf (I guess you can tell by the sudden change in the calligraphy, haha). It was the first idea that crossed my mind when I found out I had to leave for a couple days.

—The Winter Soldier.

PS: Don't even try to ask Natasha who I am; I made her promise she wouldn't tell a soul. ;)

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Hey, Steve;

You have no idea of how much I want to be in New York right now. Once the city charms you, it's impossible to get her out your mind. I keep wondering: how can anyone not love New York?

D.C. itself is not that bad, but that je-ne-sais-quoi of New York's is missing here. (so are you, which is not better at all).

So, how's school going?

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

This thing of not going to your dorm room and leaving the notes myself is rather unpleasant. I must admit doing it has become part of my daily routine. Just like I assume it has become part of your routine getting my notes.

Natasha told me you're a bit mad at her because she refuses to reveal who I am.

Please, don't.

If you want to get mad at someone, it should be me. At the end of it all, I was the one who made her promise not to tell you anything. If you're gonna blame it on somebody, blame it on me.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

I heard there's a guy named Tony who's messing with you.

Who the hell is he?

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

I'm completely and utterly outraged.

I return a week later and what is the first thing I see?

You.

With a purple eye, bruises on your skin and slightly limping.

Don't even try to deny it was that Tony guy.

And he's gonna pay for it.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

Did you see that Tony guy?

That purple eye and those bruises look rather good on him.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve:

Are you really mad at me for punching Tony?

Okay, maybe it was a little bit reckless, but that asshole deserved it.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Steeeeeeeeeeve.

Ouch, I get that you're upset at me but, why do you take it out so aggressively on the notes?

I'm sorry I hit Tony. I know it was wrong and I'm sorry.

I just couldn't stand there doing nothing and while he was beating you up.

For, as far as I understand, I don't think you like being punched, do you?

—The Winter Soldier.

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... Steve?

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve

Where did you go?

NYU feels void and sad without you.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve:

Natasha told me about your mother. I'm so sorry, pal. I know how much she meant to you.

Anyway, if you need to talk, I'm here.

You don't have to do it all on your own. I'm with you 'till the end of the line.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve:

Are you okay? Is everything alright?

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

I know not a word I say will make me truly understand how you're feeling. I know it's impossible to fully understand your pain.

But I stand tall on what I said before. You don't have to do this all by yourself. Both Sam and Natasha are there for you.
I'm here for you.

I'm aware of the fact that you have never seen me (I've tried to avoid it as much as I can, to be honest); but if giving the notes a face will make you feel something different from pain, then so be it. I'll do it for you.

But you gotta stop pushing people away. You are not alone.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Winter Soldier;

I have no clue of who you are (since neither Natasha or your are going to tell me and I can't figure out why), but I think this is none of your business. I also can't believe Sam knows you and hasn't said a word about it. Thank you for your concern, but I don't know you, you don't know me and there are things I don't want to talk about.

No, I'm not okay. That's all you need to know.

I'm sick of this twisted game of yours where apparently everyone knows who you are but me.

So, if you're not gonna reveal your identity, don't even bother on keep sending notes.

—Steve.

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Hey, Steve.

You're acting like a child.

I'm worried because I care about you, that's all.

Are you really that eager to find out who I am?

Do you wanna know why do I hide behind these words?
Fine.

I hide behind these words because I'm not wht you expect.
Because I know that if you find out, you'll be disappointed. You'll drift away from me.
I'm not exactly someone you'd like to meet, and things are better off like this.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey Soldier,

Are you serious?

You know what? I'm done. Drop the notes and just go away.

—Steve.

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Hey, Steve.

You hurt me.

But, if that's what you want, then that I'll do. The important matter here is that you feel good, and if you're gonna be okay without me, then so be it.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Steve.

Don't get too excited, it's Nat.

You are an actual idiot.

—Natasha.

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Hey, Steve.

Don't get excited, buddy. It's Sam.

You were very rude. And an idiot.

—Sam.

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Aye, don't you guys have something to do?

It's your fault anyway for not telling me who sends the notes.

—Steve.

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Hey, Steve.

He's totally right. You're acting like a child and being a goddamn asshole.

—Sam y Nat.

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He?

The person who sends the notes is a guy?

—Steve.

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Hey, Steve.

Shit.

—Sam.

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Bucky looked at Natasha, with desperation running through his veins and continued turning around inside the tight space inside the bathroom they were in.
He ran his fingers through his hair, in a gesture of clear anxiety. His eyes were each time more and more blurry from the tears that had started running down his cheeks, and he felt angry at himself for not being able to avoid breaking like that.

A male student walked into the bathroom, and it took one second for him to realize he was interrupting and Natasha's voice telling him to leave, before he walked out embarrassed.

Sam lay his wide eyed gaze between Bucky, Natasha, and the ground.

A few seconds went by, until the guy with the blue eyes calmed down enough to talk without a lump in his throat trying to drown him.

"Does he know?" his voice was hoarse, as he was trying too hard not to cry again.

The redhead glanced at Sam, and after exchanging looks, she spoke. "No. He doesn't exactly know."

"What is that suppossed to mean?" hissed Bucky.

A bell rang, and the noise of the steps growing in the hallway reminded them they had each one classes to attend, but they couldn't have cared less at that moment. This was way more important.

The dark-skinned sighed. "He knows The Winter Soldier is a guy, but that's all. It's my fault; I let it slip on a note and he made the conection, I guess. Nor Nat or I have hinted anything, and we won't as long as that is what you want."

"Yes. The notes are over. Steve's sick of it, and so am I. It's over", Bucky grumbled, shaking his head and pulling his hair.

Next, he walked out the door, leaving Sam and Natasha feeling guiltier than they had ever felt.

"We truly screwed this up, didn't we?" Sam asked.

"Yep, we really fucked it up this time."

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Bucky left the bathroom in a rush. He was angry, hurt and a little bit disappointed. He was walking down the halls, his head down making his long brown locks fall all over his face and thus hiding his red and tearful eyes and cheeks. A pinching pain on his metal arm was starting to crawl upon him, but he decided not to care about it. It wasn't something new.
His footsteps echoed in the empty corridor while he headed to his locker to grab his books and get to class in time.

He turned left, but suddenly he felt someone's body crashing against him.

That person's books fell to the ground, and Bucky cursed himself for being so stupid at the time he kneeled and started to pick them up. He didn't even bothered to look who he had ran into.

When he stood to hand in the books, his heart stopped beating for a few seconds while his face went pale.

Steve was standing in front on him; his blue piercing eyes lay on him as he waited for Bucky to give back his things to him. There was confusion, shame and a slight bit of rage in his gaze, although Bucky didn't notice this last one. He handed him his belongins and walked past his side without a word.

"Are you okay?", the blond's voice rang down the aisle.

The brown-haired man froze, some feet away from Steve, but he didn't move.

"No", he whispered low enough just for himself to listen. Or at least that's what he thought. He cleared his throat. "Excuse me. I wasn't looking where I was going. I'm sorry."

Steve shrugged, but Buck couldn't see him. "It's alright. It was my fault for not watching my steps."

Bucky lowered his gaze and kept on walking. His pace was slow, relaxed, as if he was just a boy whose legs were taking to nowhere in particular.

"What's your name?" Steve was getting closer, almost ready to run just to catch up with Bucky down the hallway.

"Bucky. Bucky Barnes."

Luckily, the brunet found the classroom he needed, so he got in nervously, whilst Steve stood outside with his eyes lay upon the blue-eyed guy, with painful memories flooding into the back of his mind.

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Hey Nat,

What happenned to The Winter Soldier?

Is he okay?

—Steve.

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You're kidding, right?

Don't tell me you're missing his notes now.

—The Winter Soldier. (Nah, it's Natasha.)

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Uh, well, I just think it feels weird not getting the notes like I used to before. I actually liked them, you know? They were kinda... cute.

—Steve.

PS: why are we even talking through the notes, though? we're friends, we're suppossed to text each other. You pinning down a note on my door gives me hope and then disappoints me when I realize it's just you.

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This gotta be a joke.

Get your shit together, man! You pushed him away and now you want him back? What's wrong with you?

—Nat.

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Okay, I get it. I confess; I liked his notes. Like, a lot. I actually loved them.
Are you happy now?

—Steve.

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If you're looking for me to go and ask him to send you notes again, you better get your head out of the clouds. And don't even think, not for one second, that I'm gonna tell you who he was. Stop prying, just let it be.

—Nat.

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Hey Soldier,

Since Romanoff refused to tell me your identity (and I miss your notes like hell), now I'm gonna write you.

—Steve.

PS: I'm leaving the note on Romanoff's door for I assume since you apparently know each other very well, you probably visit her dorm rather often.

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Natasha and Bucky were laughing as they approached the redhead's dorm; a cup of steaming coffee on each of their hands.

It was Friday, and they had just gotten out of class a bit earlier than usual, so they had decided to go walk around the city as they chatted. They were very close friends; Natasha had always supported Bucky (even after the accident), and although Bucky had learned not to be very nosey about her past, he had been there whenever she needed him to be. Both were glad they didn't have to be on their own.

When the wooden door popped into their sight, the first noticeable thing was the tiny piece of paper stuck on top of the door. Natasha and Bucky exchanged confused looks, and drew nearer before she grabbed the note.

She gave it a quick glance prior to hand it to Bucky. "It's for you."

Wondering about what could possibly be, his hands accepted the note. A strange feeling was coming to him, and the first thing he did when Natasha opened the door was to sit at the edge of the bed; with fear and anxiety filling his chest.

Natasha sat beside him, and after taking the coffee away from his hands and placing it upon the bedside table, she held his metal hand. It was cold, but he squeezed hers as he read the note out loud.

"Hey Soldier,

Are you still mad at me?

I'm sorry.

—Steve."

Natasha rolled her eyes. "Damn, Steve."

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Natasha

Online.

Sam Wilson has sent you a picture. 13:21.

Sam: I'm laughing my ass off this and I don't know why. 13:21.

Seen 13:22.

Natasha is typing...

Seen 13:22.

Natasha is typing...

Natasha: IS IT BUCKY? 13:23

Sam is typing...

Sam: Are you joking, right? 13:24

Seen 13:24.

Natasha is typing...

Natasha: It's Steve. I borrowed Nat's phone to call Sharon. 13:25.

Seen 13:25.

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Hey, Bucky

Why didn't you just tell me?

—Steve.

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Hey, Bucky.

I know you read the last note.

Stop ignoring me.

—Steve.

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Hey, Steve;

You weren't supposed to find out. And as far as I recall, you told me to cut the notes shit. Stop whining.

—The Winter Soldier.

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Hey, Bucky.

Okay, I'm sorry.

I may have been a piece of shit.

Are you happy now?

—Steve.

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"No.

—The Winter Soldier."

 

Bucky stood up there for more time than he had expected. Being in front of that door now only felt strange; even if he had been in that same position many more times than he could count. But now it was just a door.

His head fell, and his legs had started to move, taking him away from there when he heard that voice on his back.

"Bucky, please." Steve pleaded, regret clearly filtering through his voice. The door was open, and he was peering from inside the dorm room.

Barnes stopped, his heart racing. His face was visible, since he had tied up his hair in a half bun, but Steve could only see his back.

A few seconds went by, the air filled with tension. Both people were desperate to say something: to shatter the unbearable silence growing between them.

"Who the hell is Bucky?" the brunet huffed. The trace of a smirk trying to rise on his face.

Steve stepped forward in confusion, but before he could even say a word, Bucky ran away.

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Hey, Steve.

Drop it. This is what you wanted. Now face the consequences.

—Natasha.

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Steve was sitting upon the couch at Sam's apartment. Wilson was gone, but Rogers used his spare key to let himself in. Sam pressed on Steve to crash at his place whenever he wanted, and by that moment, Steve was done ignoring the offer. Two weeks had passed by from that encounter outside his dorm, and he could only look at Bucky's note again and again as if it was going to fade away. The sunlight lit up the place through the window.

"No."

He was astonished. He couldn't believe it was Bucky. He was out of his mind. He couldn't believe he was so stupid he fucked everything up, couldn't believe Natasha and Sam had known the whole time and never told him anything.

And most of all, he could not believe Bucky, Bucky Barnes wrote notes to him. That Bucky truly cared about him.

After the accident, Steve had resigned all. And now he couldn't believe Bucky even remembered him enough to do what he did.

But there he was. Sending Steve notes everyday, bringing a smile to his lips and making his heart pump with every written word.

Even when Tony hit Steve, Bucky punched that douchbag back. Even when his mother died, he had insisted to help Steve. And what did he do? Got upset at Bucky.

Steve never thought Bucky would go back to him.

Every single moment prior to the accident was crystal clear inside the blond's mind. The memory of the first time they met was fresh at the lane, and came to Steve like a wrecking ball. Bucky stepped in while some bullies whacked a very little and sort of weak Steven Rogers in a disgusting alley behind the restaurant Steve and his mom used to dinner every friday. He had defended him, without knowing him, and stayed with him since then; always backing him up in every fight.
Steve remembered the promise they had made when they were just two ten-year-old kids, and that even after Bucky's memory was lost, he had kept.

"I'm with you 'till the end of the line."

But afterwards, everything changed.

People muttered things.

Two years gone, and when he returned, Bucky wasn't the same. Now he was dark, lonely, and had a metal arm, replacing the one he had lost in the crash. Didn't remember a thing of his life, not even Steve.

Rogers recalled that one time he had tried to speak to Bucky, and the aforementioned had glanced at him indiferently before leaving in silence. He didn't even recongnized him.

And now, he was looking through the window up to New York's grey and cloudy sky, while he doomed himself for tearing things apart, for pushing Bucky away in the stupid excuse of protecting him (God, what the hell was he thinking?) when he was just trying to go back to him. Hatred filled his veins, as he blamed himself for being a selfish fool.
The sound of the rain knocking roughly on the window frame brought him back to reality. His phone rang.

Incoming call.
Sharon Carter

Declining the call, proceded to silence the phone.

Steve was desperate for a sign to point him in what direction to go. For gosh's sake, including Natasha wasn't talking to him.
He jumped off the couch, walking round in circles by the apartment. His mind was a hurricane, a living mess full of unspoken words and broken apologies. Took the keys to his motorcycle, put on his leather jacket and left the flat eagerly. A quiet name on his lips whispering above the noise, shushing the rumors.

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Bucky lay down the couch at his flat's living room. His attention fully focused on a history book, in an effort to remember some of the things he had forgotten years ago. A blue blanket coating him and his left arm bugging him.

"I guess it's about to rain", he murmured quietly, peering the big window in front of him. Big grey clouds dimmed the New York sky, a thunder roared the distance and it didn't took long before the strong and heavy raindrops started knocking the glass, at the same time the temperature lowered and the bug in his arm became a throbbing pain.
Bucky growled and stood up his feet. He loved New York, but it's weather wasn't exactly the love of his life. Every damn time it started freezing or a storm was coming, his metal arm started to annoy him. Which, in said city, was pretty often.

Bucky walked to his room to get a sweater to shelter him from the cold. He was lucky he didn't hold back while buying sweaters. Grabbed a grey one, a favourite of his and put it on. Returned to the living room, and he had just sat when the doorbell rang, irritating him. He hadn't ordered pizza, nor was he expecting any guests. As a matter of fact, no one but Natasha knew his adress.

Who might it be? It was pouring outside, the weather was no way appropiate to hang out.

With nothing to loose and totally off guard, Bucky approached the door and opened it just enough to spy without taking the door lock.
He regretted immediatly.

Standing like a ghost, shaking from the rain was that blue-eyed blond who had broken his heart. Or at the very least, what remained of it.

Closing the door to remove the lock, and opening it again, he looked at Steve rolling his eyes and taking a deep breath.

"Are you insane?" he spitted.

Steve lifted his head at the sound of Bucky's annoyed voice and fixed his eyes on his. Raindrops falling down his face from his hair, but it didn't matter.

"I'm sorry." It was the only thing that came out of his lips.

"How did you get my adress?" the brown-haired said, ignoring the words.

"Um, Natasha gave it to me" Steve's voice was confusing, and he scratched the back of his neck in a gesture of embarrassment.

Bucky swore on the redhead, making a mental note to himself about talking to her later.

"What do you want, Steve?"

The aforementioned surprised a little by the languishment tone on Bucky's words, but shook his head and let himself talk.

"May I come in?" he looked over Buck's shoulder, inside the apartment.

After a second of considering it, the metal arm guy nodded. Stepped aside for Steve to get in and closed the door behind him.

Steve observed every detail in the apartment, trying to memorize as much as possible. He gave a look to the messy sofa and the book on top of the blanket, and he smiled.

"New reading?" he asked, turning around to see Bucky, but he had disappeared. Right before Steve started to worry, Bucky came out of another room (probably his bedroom) with some clothes on his hands.

"Here, I guess these will fit you. That's the bathroom" he pointed out to a white door to the left.

He sat once again on the sofa, getting comfortable under the blanket but placing the book on the coffee table. He ran his fingers through his long hair, and put in on a half bun when Steve came out the bathroom wearing his clothes.

"Thank you."

Bucky nodded, downplaying. "What do you want, Steve?" he repeated. His voice was quiet, yet exhausted.

It was the moment.

Steve sat down next to Bucky, more embarrased than he wanted to admit. "Start speaking, you punk" he thought to himself.
But nothing was able to come out his mouth. It was like if all of the sudden everything he had rehearsed was wiped out his mind. Bucky gave him a bemused gaze, anxiety growing on him.

"Is there anything you'd like to say to me?" Barnes cleared his throat.

"Do you-" Steve began, but his phone vibrated on his pocket. Bucky's eyes scrutinized him carefully.

He frowned, taking the phone out.

Incoming call
Sharon Carter.

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Steve held is breath whilst he looked at Bucky with an apologie on his blue eyes. Bucky was staring at him, with an inquisitive expresion on his face, while Rogers debated between picking up the phone or doing what he actually had gone to do.

He finally made a choice.

Steve jumped off the sofa, still under Bucky's eyes following him and walked away just enough to answer the phone.

"Hi, honey," he whispered, his voice so low for Bucky not to listen. He did, though.

"Hey, Steve! Where are you?" Steve's heart clenched at the time the words came out of her.

"I'm visiting a friend. Is everything okay?"

"Oh, nothing. I just wanted to know where you are. I miss you," the blond turned around and found a pair of cold ocean-blue eyes surveying him from the couch, framed by some brown locks of hair falling upon Bucky's (beautiful) face.

"Me too" he reciprocated, but Sharon had already hung up. Steve sighed and ran his fingers through his own hair.

Walking back to the living room, he sat again facing Bucky, who snorted. "Did your girlfriend thought you got lost?" he mocked, an obvious spark of annoyance on his soft-raspy voice.

Steve shrugged.

No words came out of them for a while.

They just remained silent, staring at each other like it was the last time. Maybe it was.

The sound of the rain knocking the window; the smooth, sultry perfume on the air; the brown tufts framing, almost covering up Bucky's blue eyes.

Tic. Toc.

Every second that went by, marked by the clock's beat, was everlasting.

All of the sudden, Steve realized why he was in that very place, at that very moment.

Do it, do it now he voiced to himself.

Tension grew in the atmosphere as the seconds ran out, and Bucky had started to cringe. He wished he hadn't open the goddamn door. If he hadn't, he would've spared himself from that terribly awkward moment.

"I'm sorry," words finally slipped out of Steve's lips.

Only two words. But two words that meant the most in the world; two words that were not enough for everything that happened; but also two words that, no matter how simple they were, could either wreck someone apart or heal them. Two words the brunette never thought would come up in a point like this.

Bucky's eyes searched for Steve's, but he had lowered his head, a clear gesture of defeat.

Barnes was aware Steve was just about to break, if he hadn't already. He fixed his eyes on him. Tried to memorize every single detail, his gorgeous, soft-like-silk golden hair, the muscles of his body, the way he shrunk. A part of him wanted to drop everything, wanted to hug him, guarantee all was gonna be fine, that they would be fine, but the other side of himself wanted to runaway and never see Steve again, wanted to punch him for breaking his heart, for being such a dick.

Thunders echoed in the background, and Rogers at last rose his gaze, connecting it with the cold, stormy eyes peering at his steadily still from the couch.

Steve witnessed Bucky divert his look fleetingly down and rightwards, as if he remembered something.

Indeed, he did.

In the middle of his inward battle about what to do next, a flashback came to Buck. He suddenly remembered that one time when he and Steve were sitting by the lake in Central Park. Bucky reminisced the way he had put his arm around Steve, who was by then a skinny small boy comparing to what he was now. It was a few days prior to the accident. The memory of the promise they had made upon their hearts, true to each other, hit him like a tidal wave. "I'm with you 'till the end of the line." Bucky reminded the times he had saved Steve from the bullies that never seemed to get tired of picking up at him, he reminisced the times where he would comfort him about the social inequalities the world offered, recalled the times he would heal Steve's injuries after a fight he was too dumb not to runaway from.

Bucky reminisced that smile of Steve's everytime he read the notes he sent him (he was always peeking from somewhere), they way his face lit up after reading every message Bucky wrote him.

But, he also remembered the pain. He remembered they way he pushed him away, so awfully rude and pissed. Sharon's face sneaked into his mind, as well as the way Steve had acted when he found out who Bucky was. Most of all, the could actually feel the pain he felt when Steve broke his heart.

And so, he made his choice.

Screw this.

Bucky got up, leaving the sofa behind him. The hassle on his left arm growing, the storm raging outside, his heart skipping. He put to an end the distance between them, cupped his hands around Steve's face and before he realized, Bucky kissed him.