Steve smells like fresh clothes and soap. Bucky's noticed before, he's sure he has--positive even--but just now, as he inhales, the scent overwhelms his senses. Even on the crowded train and its cacophony of aromas, the clean smell of the man sitting next to him is all Bucky can focus on.
He remembers that smell. He remembers France, and the cramped room that the owner of the hotel had given the two of them. How the guy apologized in broken English that it was only one room, only one bed, but he didn't have anything else. And then they'd discovered it was the owner's own room he was giving up as his wife collected her nightclothes and offered to launder their uniforms. Or how, with a shy smile, she pressed pretty decorative soaps into their hands as she pointed at her nose, nodding.
Bucky's almost afraid to ask if the memory is real.
He's not sure he wants to find out that they never had that room in France where they'd stood facing one another over the wash basin, undershirts tossed to the corner, and running a washcloth over each other's chests, touching more often than cleaning. That they didn't spend hours on that one bed, learning the touch and taste of each others skin while bombs fell in the distance.
"Rene and Mathilde, right?" He lets the back of his fingers rub along the outside of Steve's thigh, subtly tracing the hem of Steve's jeans. It’s nothing overt. Bucky's not leaning over and burying his nose in the crook of Steve's neck and inhaling--much as he'd like to. Steve's head turns slightly and Bucky can see the twitch of a smile.
"They felt so bad -- un seul lit." Steve hooks two of Bucky's fingers with his own. "We made do."
"We did," Bucky says, pressing a quick kiss onto Steve's shoulder and breathing in deep.