Steve finds Bucky in some back alley, smoking a menthol and wearing a Starbucks apron, and he knows it’s Bucky, but Bucky--the guy just snorts, throws down his cigarette and says, "Dude, you are dressed like my grandpa, you want to comment on my apron?"
That shouldn't be what starts it, but it is. They fall into a pattern where they bicker and Steve tries to make Bucky remember, and maybe stalks him a little bit if various SHIELD agents, Natasha, Pepper, and two very kind NYPD officers are to be believed. Steve begins to question his own sanity, after that, but it doesn’t matter, not really, because it just means he falls in love all over again, falls for this Bucky, in this time.
It means Steve can’t help but press him against that same back alley door weeks later and kiss him the way he always wanted, the way he grew up wanting, the way he hasn’t been able to stop wanting the last few weeks. Steve kisses him like finally getting what he wants, and he kisses him like saying goodbye, like the chance he never had to let his best friend go. Steve kisses him like he matters, because he does. And if Bucky doesn’t have to carry the weight of the last 70 plus years, then Steve will take it, Steve will hold it all on his own shoulders, he’s been given the super strength, he might as well put it to good use. And if this is the only time, if he’s going to have to keep pining for this thing he’s wanted since he knew what want was, well, god, he’s going to make it fucking count. Steve kisses Bucky like he’s jumping off a cliff, like going off to war. Steve kisses Bucky like it has to count for all the years he’s missed and all the years he’s probably not going to get, and Bucky laughs, bright and open and dangerous against his mouth and says, “About fucking time, Rogers.”
And Steve thinks: You don't know the half of it.