Steve spent his days chasing a shadow. As Natasha had told him, the Winter Soldier was a ghost and even without his handlers he knew how to stay hidden. But every time Steve or Sam found him, they delighted to see more expression in his face. Every time there was a sense of recognition and sometimes even regret behind those old grey eyes. They had learnt that like Steve Bucky had been frozen but unlike Steve, he had been woken sporadically to kill people then frozen again. It was a cursed existence. It was also why he had mostly been staying close to the equator. So the first time Steve was able to talk to his best friend, he was sat in an outdoor café in Casablanca, Morocco.
Sweat streamed down his face as he sat watching the apartment over the road. A SHIELD informant had reported to Steve that a man matching the description of the Winter Soldier was living in the third floor apartment that Steve was watching. If he approached Bucky too quickly then he would be spooked and run again. He needed to show he was open for his best friend to approach. The curtains were pulled open and a face appeared, Bucky. Steve could pinpoint the exact moment he was spotted by the ex-soldier. The only response was Bucky’s eyes widening before he disappeared back into the apartment. Steve prayed he hadn’t been too impulsive as he tried to mop up the sweat running down the back of his neck. “Why are you here?” a familiar but raspy voice whispered from behind him. Even without trying Bucky was still stealthy.
“I want to talk,” Steve smiled softly, pulling out the chair across from him.
“Can you tell me about James Buchanan Barnes?” Bucky questioned, almost timidly and Steve responded with a beaming smile.
“I most certainly can.”