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i once believed love would be black and white (but it's golden)

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green is the colour of grass, they say.

blue, the colour of the sea.

but to james the world is in black and white, for true love he’s never seen.

***

so many cities he’s been to, so many towns he’s seen, but it's all in black and white. he’s never known anything else, really, so why did it still hurt?

so many lovers he’s come across, pointing at colors he’s never perceived, exclaiming, their voices filled with mirth.

oh how yellow the sun is! how blue the water, how red the rose! all the hows and hows and hows that bucky will never know.

i’d like a bouquet of dahlia, he’d once heard someone say, it’s pink, the first color i’d ever seen, the color of her dress, they said.

bucky was happy. content. but sometimes he felt empty, like all the colours he’d never seen had left a gaping hole in his chest, waiting to be filled by someone whose love would paint him golden.

he just wants to see a rainbow, a burst of paint, fresh like the fruit he’d eaten that morning.

oranges, we call them, said the man bucky had brought them from, but to him it was black and white.

it was always black and white.

***

he used to think that he’d see it with steve when they first kissed under the mango tree. he thought that when he opened his eyes, he’d finally, finally, be able to see the world in color, be able to see the world that his ma had always told him stories about.

but steve was not meant for bucky, and neither was bucky meant for steve.

no, steve was meant for tony, an annoyingly talkative man who promised to give steve everything he deserved and more. not that bucky thought it would be hard for tony anyway, he was filthy rich. but bucky knew that money didn’t matter to steve. steve loved tony for who he was, and bucky was happy for him.

***

then he thought that maybe natalia would be the one.

natalia, natasha, with her razor sharp smirk and her uncanny ability to know everything that was going on in bucky’s head, he thought that she would be the one.

he thought that with her he’d finally be able to see the red in her hair that everyone marvelled about, the green in her eyes that left people tongue tied. not that bucky needed to see in color to be tongue-tied around her.

she was like a force of nature, harsh and headstrong, but somehow calm at the same time. he loved her and probably always will, but it could never work out between them. not when natasha was in love with someone else.

she’d broken down one night and confessed to him, and while it hurt, he knew that he was going to be okay. he was glad that she’d trusted him enough to tell him so they could break things off with no hard feelings.

natasha deserved to be happy.

***

and then there was sam.

sam with his gap-toothed smile and long, long eyelashes.

sam with his warm heart and voice so sweet it made bucky's heart ache a litle.

sam, who bucky was devastatingly, terrifically, head over heels in love with.

sam, who always called bucky an idiot (with a certain tone of fondness these days, bucky had realized), sam, who bucky would burn the world for.

when sam first kissed him, bucky thought he was going to die. it was warm and cold at the same time, electric but calming, and bucky could feel colours he’d never seen before bloom at the back of his eyes.

he once believed love would be black and white, but it was golden, like daylight.

love was golden and colorful all at once.

like sam, who was sunlight personified.

***