All Tony wants is a selfie with Bucky. He really doesn’t think it’s too much to ask. He has selfies with everyone else on the team. Natasha is glaring in hers; Thor looks supremely confused; Clint’s making a goofy face; Bruce is in the middle of a long-suffering sigh; Fury is giving a briefing, unaware he’s even in the picture; Steve is actually asleep on the couch in his. Tony had a lot of fun mocking how old Steve is in the caption for that one. But Bucky has flatly refused multiple times and Tony doesn’t want to do the sneak attack on him. Because Tony is a good person and acknowledges that Bucky has been through enough breaches on his autonomy. And because Bucky is an ex-assassin with a super-strength cybernetic arm.
But mostly because Tony is a good person.
Bucky has seen other people take selfies, with and without Tony. He knows they’re not harmful. And he can’t possibly think they’re any stupider than Natasha does, and even she submitted. But Bucky is the last holdout. Tony thinks it has something to do with getting his picture taken. Maybe he thinks the camera will steal his soul. Wait, no, cameras were already invented back in his heyday.
The only real comfort Tony has is that Bucky refuses to take selfies with anyone else, as well, and won’t let anyone take his picture. No group photos, none of just Bucky—no pictures. He’s like some kind of very expensive prima donna.
“It’s for your ID badge,” Agent Hill is explaining. She’s actually smiling in the selfie with Tony and for that Tony decides she’s a good person. “We need a photo.”
“Can’t you use the photo in my file?” Bucky asks. Tony can’t hold back the snort. The picture in Bucky’s file is from 1943, in his uniform. Bucky glares at Tony and Tony realizes the selfie with Bucky is probably never going to happen if he doesn’t butter him up.
“It’s a very nice picture,” Tony says.
“I thought you guys used like…fingerprints and—and your eyeball scanner thing to ID people. Why do you need a picture?” Bucky’s eyes are actually darting around the room. Tony has never seen someone so nervous for a standard-issue photo ID badge.
“The guards just need everyone to have a photo ID.” Hill sounds apologetic, but she’s still wielding the camera. So Bucky allows her to direct him in front of the backdrop; he looks where she tells him to look, but his jaw is clenched and it looks a lot like a mug shot. It is, sadly, not the worst ID photo Tony’s ever seen.
“So, how about a selfie?” Tony suggests. “Iron Man and his new sidekick, Iron Arm.”
“I’m not going by Iron Arm,” Bucky mutters. He’s already leaving the room.
“But you didn’t refuse the selfie!” Tony points out to his retreating back. He gets no response. “Okay, we’ll do it later.”
So Tony is understandably miffed (he is not upset and he does not pout, no matter what Pepper says) when he spies with his little eye Steve and Bucky taking a selfie on the balcony. A series of selfies, actually. Bucky smiles in the first one, sticks his tongue out in the second, gives Steve a noogie in the third, and smiles again for the fourth. Steve, for his part, is pulling equally ridiculous faces in each photo.
“What’s going on?” Tony asks in a very normal and rational voice that isn’t raised and doesn’t squeak.
“Clint showed me a photo booth on the phone camera!” Steve says excitedly. Tony has no idea what he’s talking about.
“A photo booth on the phone camera?” He echoes.
“You have to get it from the phone store first,” Bucky adds helpfully.
“The phone store?”
“Well, the store on your phone. Where you got me Angry Birds.” Steve hadn’t asked for games, but Tony thinks everyone needs games on their phone. Steve doesn’t play any of them. Most of the time he doesn’t even know where his phone is. The GPS in it is more to find the phone itself than to ever locate Steve.
“Oh, a photo booth app.” Tony is torn between mocking the way these two seemingly-twenty-somethings talk like they are ninety and demanding more information. “But, uh, Bucky.” Tony keeps his voice polite and is not accusatory at all. “You hate getting your picture taken.”
“I do,” he confirms.
“So…” Tony gestures at the phone.
“Steve asked me to.”
This is, apparently, a perfect explanation. Bucky says it completely off-hand and offers no other elaboration.
“We took pictures like this before the war, once,” Steve says. “Coney Island had a booth. We spent a whole day there.”
“We took the pictures before Steve threw up.” Bucky is actually smirking and Tony’s not sure he’s ever seen this playful side before. He likes it. He thinks he could go far with it.
“Do you still have the pictures?” Tony asks. Steve shrugs.
“I was dead for seventy years,” he points out. “If they’re not in the Smithsonian, I don’t know where they’d be.”
And Tony can’t even be mad, really, that they wanted to recreate a happy part of their very painful shared history. He sighs internally.
“So you’ll only take selfies with Steve?” Tony asks long-sufferingly. Bucky nods and Tony sighs out loud this time, very dramatically.
“I’ll never get over this,” he informs Bucky. Bucky looks unperturbed.
Three days later, Steve sees something on the kitchen counter. When he picks it up, he realizes it’s the old photo strip—black and white, worn with age, and sealed into some kind of plastic protector. When he shows Bucky, they spend close to an hour deciding where to display it, and then Bucky sighs.
“Now I have to take a selfie with Tony to thank him,” he pouts.
“Can’t you thank him some other way?” Steve blurts out. Maybe he likes being the only person Bucky will take pictures with. He’ll never admit it, though he can tell from Bucky’s cocked eyebrow that Bucky’s already got him pegged.
“How about if you’re in it, too?” Bucky suggests. “And he only gets the one.” Steve thinks that’s okay, and Tony, miraculously, doesn’t even put up a fight about it.
But he never stops calling Bucky the Iron Arm.