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Part of the Furniture

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He found it hard to see most of them, even when they were in the room, even when they were right there. The Avengers, the team, Steve's family, had proven in little ways, in not attacking or threatening or pushing, that they were safe. Good people Steve called them. And Bucky believed it. And sometimes he thought it of them too, occasionally feeling a sucking pull of belonging. And there were times, like now, when he barely saw them. Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanov and Clint Barton. Some of the most dangerous people in the world. And to Bucky they were like furniture. 


Not superfluous, never unimportant or without impact. He was never unaware of their presence in a room or their changing moods and how that changed his. No. Furniture, to him, had been a luxury he could rarely afford, even before... before


It was comfort. Extra things in a room that replaced some of the empty air and loneliness. Unthreatening, tangible somethings that made him a little less alone, less adrift and lost. Less scared. 


To sit beside Steve - stevestevesteve - almost on top of him, thighs pressed close together like one continuous person stretching across the space of two. To be surrounded by plush, comfortable furniture and to be absorbed by one of the movies on his List. (There was a List. He didn't write it but it was his and Steve had one too so it was okay).  Bucky was slowly, tentatively growing accustomed to this way of living, unsure but willing to try. Which was so, so different. But... nice. 


And, at moments like this, he hesitated. No one knew now, when he had thoughts. The days when he had to say them were now over, he'd been told gently. His thoughts were his own, and if he wanted them to, they could stay that way. No one would know he'd had a thought at all if he didn't act on it; if he decided to not move and not speak no one had to know. But... it was only him and Steve and the furniture. Steve wouldn't mind, would like it. Bucky knew the exact smile Steve would wear.  Proudly. Like a badge of honour. Because Steve - the soldier, the war hero - could be silly like that.


And furniture couldn't judge, couldn't stop him, couldn't hurt him. So, on a deep breath, Bucky shifted in the smallest, shyest, stop-me-now-and-I'll-go-it's-fine-I'm-sorry movements until he was leaning against Steve, on Steve. And he didn't need to see Steve's smile because he knew, and Steve wrapped an arm around him, encasing him in warmth and powerfully protective skin and bone and muscle and dragged him deeper into himself until all around Bucky was Steve and comfort.


And the Tony-armchair smiled at the Nat-and-Bruce-love seat and a chuckle came from the Clint-beanbag, but Bucky was absorbed by The Hobbit playing on the wall-sized screen in front of them all and didn't notice. 


Contentment curled around the room quietly, securely, like a particular Captain around the love of his life. And it was nice.