I think I love you. No, that’s not right. I know I love you. I want to say it was when we first met, write this up like those romance movies you show me but it isn’t. It’s so much more powerful than that.
That’s the first note Sam reads and it’s pawing at his heart, he knows it’s an invasion of privacy but these letters were addressed to him.
I’m always scared. Which I find darkly funny since it feels like I’m a personalized fear for everyone who takes a look at me. I’m too scared to ask if you’re scared too, if you are then Sam, you wear bravery so convincingly I sometimes forget the world made us differently.
He should stop. Place the letters back inside the box but they’re permanently glued to his fingers and the words have carved themselves in his memory. No harm is done if he acts like he hadn’t saw anything.
When Steve left, I thought you would too. The blip seems like a distant memory now but I’m grateful you were there even if you did have too much fun for you own good, considering the circumstances. I wanted to thank you, for looking after Steve all those years. I didn’t because I realized that’s just the type of man you are. He was right, when he told me you were worth everything.
Sam smiles, unsure if he’s even allowed too but the first words are still itching in his memory, ‘I know I love you,’ Bucky wrote and no continuous words will distract him from that.
I want to ask about Riley. About Sarah, about your mother and father but I find myself rolling my tongue back. I’m not worthy to know, to understand the motivation behind this all, what name gives you the adrenaline rush to finish a mission. I want to know, maybe I need to.
“You are,” Sam mumbles to himself, knees hurting from the weight he’s putting on them as he sits on the wooden floorboards. It hurts. To think Bucky had been silently withholding himself all this time. He could’ve spoken up, knows Sam would listen and pay close detail to every word but what would he even say? Words are never enough for him.
I reckon I should tell you what I’m afraid of. I’m frightened that hydra will capture me again, toture me, disregard me as the piece of metal I am but most of all I’m scared they’ll wipe my memory clean because Sam, my dear, I don’t want to forget you. That is the worst type of torture.
A tear falls onto the page, smudges over the cursive writing, melts its way down over the words till landing on the last one and even the handwriting itself is wobbly, as though Bucky was held captive from his own feelings. He was, is.
Hoping that you love me is asking for too much, I don’t think I deserve that type of passion yet, maybe I never will. But I feel I’m strong enough to feel it and God, Sam. I do. I do feel it everyday as I look at you. I love, I love, I love.
His brain leaving all sensible thinking behind as he picks himself up from the ground, paper still attached to his hands, curling up into a wrinkled state from the force of Sam’s fingers, the words are too heavy for Sam to hold the paper lightly.
“Sam?” A gentle voice, heavy with shame as delicate blue eyes look into guilty brown ones.
“Bucky, I didn’t-“
Its too late.
The eyes opposite him are shards of glass being cut by sight alone as Bucky’s sight lingers on the paper held in Sam’s hands, he feels as though a part of him has been ripped, that the words left unspoken were snatched from his lips and he’s muted to the surroundings around them.
Did you read it all? Bucky wants to ask, knows well enough that the look in Sam’s eyes can only give him an answer he isn’t ready to hear.
I’m sorry, Sam wants to say. Feels it wrong because what is he sorry for? These words are a truth better out than in and he knows now, knows what lingering glances and unspoken promises mean now.
And as though old papers and sharp looks mean nothing, they stand in silence, learning nothing because it is the silence that brought them here after all.