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Rating: 3-3-3

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Thread Contributor: James BarnesGuns Drawn- Mind Fumbled.
Marvel-MCU

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#1
Bucky had been mentally preparing for this trip for what seemed like ages now. Ever since he had been rewoken he had been planning the intricacies of this rescue attempt. Though no one was certain that Steve was in danger- they knew that something must be stopping his return- and Bucky would rather be safe than sorry. So he sat at the side of the room, cleaning his machine gun while he watched the sorceror draw arcane symbols on the floor.

For the portal itself- well the brooklyn born man was uncertain what to make of it- He had been expecting something more akin to a door- less like a bubble of smoke. He had been told that they didn't know how to return him- that if they could that they would have just brought Cap back immediately- but it surprised him nonetheless to not have a clear picture of where he'd be landing.

Stretching his neck and rolling his shoulders for a moment, he nodded at the sorceror to step to the side. Bucky took a deep breath and then ran at the portal as fast as he could- dropping into a somersault at the last possible second so that he'd be a smaller target if anyone thought to shoot at the weird magic opening up beside Steve.

Rolling to his knees, Bucky braced his gun on his arm, and blinked at the sudden daylight- doing his best to become accustomed to it as quick as possible, to be prepared for a fight. Then he looked up at his friend standing there in front of him in an utterly non combative state and Bucky sighed. Standing up and holstering the gun he was carrying he moved into Steve's personal space before smacking him upside the head.

"If you aren't in danger, why haven't you made your damn way back home yet?"
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#2
“Language!”

Upon returning to Hub from what had been a much longer away mission than Steve had originally planned (he’d thought a week, maybe two. Not a month!), his first order of business had been a very long, very brutal sparring session with Tadashi. The longer than usual session only drove home how much Steve had missed the AI, his friend and companion, and in turn, how much he had missed Hub and… and Tony. His mind shifted away from considering the mess with Tony for the moment, though; he’d had revelations and made some very large (huge) realizations about how he felt about the other man, a man that wasn’t even from the same world as he was, but someone he had nonetheless developed feelings for, but right now, Steve was dealing, or rather, trying to put off dealing with what had happened during the quest. Mission.

So he had returned to his apartment in Brooklyn, or at least the Hub’s strange accurate but incomplete approximation of Brooklyn after picking up enough chinese take out to feed four normal people. Once home, he had stripped out of clothes, placing it neatly in the hamper, showered, and dressed again in clean sweats. Now, he was padding into the living room from the kitchen, bottle of water tucked neatly under one arm at the elbow, that hand holding a carton of chinese food, his ‘free’ hand holding chopsticks, shoveling noodles into his mouth that he was quite merrily chomping away at.

He was starving. That’s what happened when he went toe to toe with an AI for hours on end after an exhausting and long running mission. But this was a better feeling. The mission was complete, and he was… Not home, but close to it. Hub was the best ‘home’ he had, and while he really would prefer to be staying in the tower, closer to Tony, Steve still thought that they both could use the space. A month away might have given Tony time to think, but Steve hadn’t seen Tony since his return, not yet, and he wasn’t going to chase the man down just to find out if he had changed his mind, either.

And then there was an odd light and something smoky in front of him, and Steve blinked as a body rolled out of it. He’d never actually watched someone else come into Hub before, and it was… Wow. He’d just about fallen into the portal when he’d ‘found’ it on Coney Island. This guy… This guy was…

”Bucky?!” Even if he couldn’t see that it was his best friend that had come through what seemed to be a temporary portal, the smack on the back of his head would have told him everything he needed to know. Yep. Bucky. Steve reached out, chopsticks left in the carton, sticking out of the mess of noodles still waiting to be devoured by the super soldier, and smacked his oldest friend, giving as good as he got, ”Damn it, Bucky! Give a fella a second before ya start smacking him!” So sue him, he dropped into a slightly more ‘Brooklyn’ accent. It was Bucky! Steve’s face exploded into a grin, and he reached to pull Bucky into an awkward one armed hug (he was still holding his take out and water in the other hand!), ”It’s good ta see ya, Buck. And… I did come home. I talked to Tony, and let Clint and Sam know I was fine, just needed some more time.” And the last thing he had known was that Bucky was still in cryo…

Steve blinked, ”Is everything alright? I told Tony to come get me if he needed me. For anything. Didn’t expect people to just pop in in my living room, though. I thought maybe from Coney Island… You.. Huh. Are you sure you have the right Steve? Because there’s more than one here, Buck, and… Well… I’m pretty sure I know about all of the me’s here, but people’re coming and going all the time in this place…”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#3
Bucky had been anticipating the smack so it hardly did anything to draw his attention- if anything, he imagined that Steve hitting the armoured shoulder would hurt himself more. Bucky snorted slightly and returned the other man's hug, being cautious to keep the vibranium arm from causing pain (it would have been a challenge to hurt Steve, but Bucky was careful nonetheless.)

He grimaced at Steve's reply with a mental curse- of course Tony knew where the super soldier was- of course. Bucky groaned slightly in mild annoyance. "Yes well done Steve- the single person in your group of super buddies that will never initiate a conversation with me knew how to reach you. Sam was MIA and Clint only knew you were fine. As of two months ago. Before the planet was nearly destroyed and you didn't show up to help save it." He started to analyze the room as he spoke- it seemed to be Steve's apartment, but it never hurt to be prepared. Comparatively it often hurt to be caught unawares.

He paused mid thought to turn wide eyed to Steve. "There's more than one of you?!" That was hard to process- multiple Steves. Sure he had been told he may be going out of his universe- but he hadn't been prepared to go out of his mind. "I mean- regardless, I'm pretty confident you are- uh- 'My' Steve. The portal spell was supposed to seek you out, using my connection to you as a focus. I'd be real surprised if you weren't from the same place as me." Bucky said as he rubbed his forehead.

"What the hell have you gotten us into Rogers." Bucky commented with a slow shake of his head at the other man, vaguely aware that he had returned to standing at attention until he was told to make himself comfortable.
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#4
“Language!”

Sure, smacking Bucky's metallic shoulder stung, but that just meant that Steve didn't need to pinch himself, right? The hug was filled with relief and the warmth of one friend happy to see another. "God, it’s good to see ya, Bucky." Even if this wasn't hit Bucky, it was still good to see him.

Tony knew where steve was, and he knew where the portal was. But… "Hey, I told Sam the basics-“ Steve sighed, "Damn it." Steve's faced darkened as Bucky spoke. Steve frowned, half hoping that Bucky really was from another universe. Why wouldn’t Tony have sent for him? Oh. Oh no. Worse, what if he had, and Steve had been away on Luthien’s quest? Quietly. Steve closed his eyes, letting out a string of nearly inaudible curses as he did. "I'm sorry, Bucky. I never meant for.. For that."

More than one? “Well, uh, yes?" steve considered a moment before he crossed the room and opened the blinds to give his friend a look at the strange city Steve now thought of as home, "Our world - assuming we are from the same one - is part of the multiverse, Bucky. There are infinite amounts of other worlds, and a whole lot of those worlds have, or had, or will have, a Steve Rogers and a James Barnes. Some of those worlds, and some of those people, will be remarkably similar to ours, and others will be vastly different. I’ve met two Tony Starks since I arrived here. Neither are exactly like the Tony we know, but one is more similar than to him than the other one, but both come from different worlds, with different experiences.”

Bucky’s explanation of why he thought they belonged to the same world made a lot of sense. Magic. It was both marvelous and confusing. “Okay, well… That’s… Something.” Not great, but still good, in some ways, at least. Bucky was here, and that was very good. Steve had missed his old friend more than he tried to let anyone see. “Hey, you got yourself here. But if you want to go back home, I can show you the portal. It comes out in Coney Island.” Steve smiled, “But… Give it a day or two. This place is amazing, Bucky."

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#5
Bucky laughed and shook his head. "Yeah- Good to see you too Bud." He offered as he patted the man on the back with a long suffering smile on his face. Bucky was certainly used to Steve's behaviour- but it never failed to make Bucky want to roll his eyes.

Watching as Steve tore himself apart internally, Bucky sighed. "It's alright- We managed- Just. Maybe leave a message with someone watching over me- in the chance they wake me- if this incredibly specific situation ever happens again. Not that it will- Programming's cleared by the way." Bucky offered with a tap to his temple to make that clear. "Which means if it happens again you can leave that message directly with me."

Bucky's eyes widened for a moment before he blinked away that surprise. "And I was supposed to know that, how- exactly?" He offered with a laugh and a raised an eyebrow. "Because that is somehow not the first thing I assume on any given trip. That I'll end up in some interdimensional meeting place. Crazy that." He added, voice positively dripping in sarcasm as he crossed his arms for a moment before returning to standing at an attention.

He blew air out as he processed all of the details that Steve was providing. "So help me Steve- if you're staying here just for the confluence of Tony Starks- I may have to have you admitted to a mental hospital." Bucky mumbled, not approving of his friend's romantic choices- but not wanting him to feel too judged though. A little judged, Bucky thought Steve deserved.

"Does that mean I can't convince you to return with me?"
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#6
“Language!”

Seeing Bucky like this, smacking his arm and hugging him only drove home how much Steve had missed his friend, how much he missed everyone. After the mess with Tony, their… Their mistake, as the other man called it, Steve had withdrawn from the tower. Oh, he went to go spar with Tadashi regularly, but he went to the gym and then left, running back to his apartment here. He hadn’t seen much of the other Avengers, hadn’t seen Tony for the month before he left on the quest, and then he’d been gone a month. Now he was back, and the first person he’d gotten to see, other than Tadashi, was Bucky. And god, had he missed the guy.

Finding out that the world had nearly ended and needed him, and he’d been off on a quest to save yet another world, that was heavy. They had managed. Just. What if they hadn’t managed? Maybe he really should just go back home. Face the music. Probably go to prison. Steve sighed, “I’ll show you where the portal is, it’s in the same place here as it is on the other side, more or less. Things are unique here, it’s not quite as spread out as it is back home, Buck.” Hearing that Bucky was free of Hydra’s influence, however, earned the man another quick but tight hug, ”I’m glad to hear it, Bucky. I hated seeing you back under like that. And… I’m sorry I left you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you woke up, sorry that I was away when the world needed me, needed all of us.”

Chuckling, Steve shook his head, ”Like I said, I told Tony all of it. I gave Sam more than I gave anyone else besides Tony… I didn’t expect anyone to use magic to track me down, and I really didn’t think that someone would find this place unwittingly. But yeah, this is what we’re looking at here. Hub, the city’s called, and it’s pretty amazing here.” Steve liked it, that much was evident in his tone, which was warm and enthusiastic.

Steve looked out the window while Bucky spoke, ”No, Bucky, I’m not staying just because there’s a bunch of Tony Starks walking around. There’s only one here that I…” Steve sighed, ”It’s complicated with him. The other one… I can’t say we’re on the best of terms, to be honest. I’ve heard of another one, but I haven’t met him. It’s a little...weird...to think of how many of them, and how many of my other selves, are walking around this city.” Sure, Steve felt a little bit judged, but he stood by his feelings, he didn’t choose who he cared about, he just did. And when it came to Tony, damn it, the man was a good man, even if he could be a callous ass sometimes.

”I like it here, Buck. I can make a difference here. And I don’t have to hide. I don’t have to worry about being arrested if I go for a run, or if I stop to help someone. No one is telling me I have to ask permission to do the right thing.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#7
Bucky sighed and patted Steve on the back when he was hugged again. "It's okay Steve- Our world is strong- any one of us could go missing and we'd be okay." He gave his friend a small smile. "You do have some pretty impressive friends after all." He offered in expanded comment.

Bucky raised his eyebrow again at Steve's reply. "Right- remind me which resources you didn't use to track me down once you knew I was alive?" He offered sarcastically- knowing the answer was at the very least, quite near none. Despite that, he warmed slightly when he heard how happy Steve was- that was what mattered after all. Bucky would kill a world to make Steve happy- the man was too good to have so much bad happen to him. He still waited patiently for Steve to give him all the answers he needed to come to a decision.

He let out a small sigh afterwards. "Alright. I'm glad you like it here- and you seem to be of relatively sound mind so I guess I won't send you to and old folk's home just yet- But you know I want to be certain right? I worry." Bucky offered in what was probably the biggest understatement of his life.

Pausing once again- putting the conversation on hold for a moment- he looked at Steve quizically. "Are you not going to invite me to sit or give me something to eat?" Bucky asked with a wicked grin, nodding at Steve's box of chinese food.
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#8
“Language!”

"Way to make a fella feel special there. Buck," Steve lightened the words with his tone and a slightly rueful smile, "But I'm glad things worked out. Still sorry I wasn't there when you needed me." When Bucky mentioned his friends, Steve frowned slightly, "I do, yes. Or... I did. I'm not entirely sure where I stand with anyone back home anymore." Or the world at large, for that matter. When Bucky asked his question, Steve gave him a patient look, "That was A different sort of thing, and you know it, Bucky. You'd been held, brainwashed, hurt and used for seventy years! I'm fine. I needed time. I found a place I like, and I'm pretty sure I don't owe anyone an explanation for disappearing. I'm a fugitive, for god's sake!"

Here, at least, he didn't have to spend his life hiding from the public. He could go on quests and missions and do actual good here and in other worlds, all without worrying about whether he'd be recognized and arrested and thrown into the Raft. "I'm fine, Bucky. I'm not crazy, not even near to it." Unless you count going on a quest to the past in a different world and seeing all the possibilities of countless worlds all at the same time. That... Left a mark on you. "I know you worry, so do I, about you. Stay, Buck, see what it's like here. You'll understand if you just give it a chance."

He didn't want to go back home. He was happy here, even if things with Tony were less than great and stable, they were better than things were back home. Besides, this Tony, maybe, might possibly, be one he stood a chance with. And Steve wasn't eager to let that chance go, not if it were real.

Truth be told, Steve had forgotten about the food in his hand, and he was perfectly content to stand, so when Bucky mentioned both, Steve blinked, then grinned, shoving the carton of chinese food forward, "I'll go get the Garlic Chicken, that stuff is great, too. Sorry about that... It's been a hell of a month."

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#9
Bucky chuckled slightly. "This coming from the guy who wanted to be 'just another soldier' So much for modesty, huh punk?" His smile dissipated at his friend's rhetoric over his disappearance.

"Right- so being clear. Myself- being a fugitive- and being forced into a situation where I don't know who my friends are- if I have any- I obviously didn't need time, or anything like that. To say- adjust to my new reality. Where as you- Who is barely a fugitive- and got yourself frozen in the ocean for seventy years within a few months of our first major separation- I guess now I can understand why you thought it would be SO clear what happened." Bucky drawled, sarcasm apparent, though he added a smack to the other man's arm as punctuation. "Not. Steve- every time we're separated- the first time- you grew like two feet- the second time- we had both managed to fall out of our own time- the third time, you rebel against the damn government- Can you see why, just maybe, I'm a little paranoid about what'll happen to you if I don't catch up with you?"

Bucky sighed slightly and ruffled the other man's hair. "Let's compromise- I'll stay until I've either convinced you to come back, or you've convinced me to stay. Sound like a plan?" Bucky wasn't eager to leave the other man alone again. The two of them had hunted for each other across universes now- There was no Bucky without Steve- without the other man, it seemed a lot easier to retreat into the winter soldier. Which was scary as hell for Bucky- and even then he worried about his punk of a best friend. He knew that it would come to one of those options- Largely because he wasn't planning on leaving Steve in a different reality.

It was one thing to live in different countries- you could still visit and see each other- but it was another thing to live in different realities. Who knew how the portal worked? What if, one day, it just wasn't there anymore?

So yeah, either he convinced Steve to come back- or Bucky himself would stay.

He laughed at Steve's expression of returning to reality as Bucky was handed the chinese food. Rolling his eyes fondly, he scooped a bite into his mouth, even as he went and flopped on one end of the couch. "That sounds like a story- are you going to share or did you just want to catch a game?" He asked, brief nod at the T.V. to punctuate his statement.
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#10
“Language!”

“I wanted to be like everyone else in general. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to feel special when it comes to my friends.” The ‘rhetoric’ was Steve’s genuine feelings, and maybe he wasn’t entirely right, but he wasn’t spouting bullshit, either.

“In what universe would I not be your friend, Buck?” Steve sighed, but he stood and accepted the brunt of Bucky’s words, sarcasm and all, ”I woke up in the future. They didn’t even tell me it was the future, I had to figure out that something wasn’t right for them to finally come clean with me, and I had… No one. I thought you were dead, Bucky, the last I saw of you was… The train…” He paused to clear his throat, ”And then it was suddenly 2012 and everyone but Peg was dead and I had to come to terms with that. Alone.” Steve’s eyes, clear blue and every bit as guileless as they’d ever been met Bucky’s brown ones, ”Two months. I was awake for two months when Fury came to me to help save the world from… From aliens.” And could you believe that? Steve’s tone asked the question, ”Aliens, Bucky. Pouring out of a hole in the sky. And the group of people they asked me to fight with,” he shook his head, ”The Commandos had nothing on these people when it came to being motley, and it took a man dying to bring us together, but we managed it because a man I had thought cowardly stepped up and jumped on the grenade for the world.” He had been so damn wrong about Tony.

”So no, maybe it wasn’t clear. I didn’t want you to have to be alone while you came to terms with the changes in the world. I wanted you to know you had a friend, someone you could depend on, trust, by your side. And I’m sorry that you needed space and I didn’t see that.” Paranoid. Steve smiled, ”You remember that I had a mom, don’t you? Her name was Sarah, not James.” He spoke the words, his smile turning into a grin.

Bucky’s compromise earned a nod from Steve; it sounded fair enough. ”Alright. We’ll both try to convince the other, then.” He didn’t have a lot of hope for Bucky to convince him to return; he was happier here than he’d been in Wakanda, as beautiful and peaceful as the country was. Steve settled onto the other end of the couch, continuing to eat for a few moments as he gathered his thoughts before he finally spoke. ”This place, it’s not just our worlds that come here. It’s all worlds. Places where there are elves and magic, and places where the Avengers are just fictional stories kids read. A group of us, people that are living here, came together to help one of those other worlds overcome some villains and go through one hell of a change. It was challenging. And I learned things, a lot of things. About this place, about other worlds, and about ours and myself.” He paused, poking at the food in the carton with his chopsticks, ”There were a lot of questions that I had to ask myself.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#11
Bucky grinned and rolled his eyes slightly. "No one can replace you- and you know that. Fact of the matter is however that we can tie our shoes without you if need be Steve."

Bucky winced and rubbed the back of his neck while letting out a soft puff of air. "I didn't know whether you could forgive all of the things I did. And I was afraid that you wouldn't be able to. I know you're with me to the end of the line- but I was still afraid that your dedication to your country would come first." He explained quietly. This hadn't been his intention to get into- but now was as good a time as any to have this conversation with Steve. "And I was afraid that I would hurt you again. I nearly killed you Steve." Bucky's voice just lowered in volume as he spoke, blue eyes flicking up to meet Steve's similarly coloured ones. The memories of shooting to kill his best friend- of trying to break Steve- the ache of those would never go away.

He went to offer his own apology when Steve called him a mother- and Bucky threw his head back with a laugh. "Yeah and she did an excellent job raising you - as a tiny kid from Brooklyn. I'm sure she'd want someone watching over you considering what your idea of tactics is."

Bucky took the chopsticks and started shovelling food into his mouth- confident Steve would understand. Super Soldiers tended to have a voracious appetite. He paused when Steve stopped talking. "Yeah? Did you find any answers?" Bucky asked with quiet sincerity- he had his own questions that he had no desire to share with Steve and he wouldn't begrudge the other man the chance to keep them to himself.
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#12
“Language!”

Steve couldn't help it, Bucky's grin was contagious. The laugh, relaxed and easy, was all Steve's, though. "Well, I always had faith that your shoes would be tied. Buck. Doesn't mean I shouldn't be around to do my part when the chips are down, though."

Forgive? Steve settled onto the couch next to his oldest friend, face growing serious, "That, those things, that wasn't you. That wasn't James Barnes. That was Hydra. There was never anything to forgive you for, Bucky." Dedication to his country. "Our country. I've been dedicated enough, don't you think? I'd like to think I've earned the chance to be loyal to my best friend." When Bucky spoke of trying to kill him, steve met Bucky's eyes steadily, "You did. But you also dragged me out of the river when it came down to it, so you saved me, too."

Truth be told, there were plenty of times when steve still very much felt like that tiny kid from Brooklyn. Times when this new, strong, powerful body that Dr. Erskine and Howard stark had given him was alien, not really him at all. Still, steve couldn't argue that his mother would be happy to know that her son was being looked after. all grown up and a super soldier or not. "What she doesn't know won't hurt her."

Oh, steve understood. He was hungry, too, and he'd always known that Bucky lacked proper manners. Instead of being offended or put off steve relaxed, shrugging a response to Bucky's question, "I think I'm starting to find some, yeah." He went quiet, "I have feelings for someone. More than one someone, sort of."

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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#13
Steve may find Bucky's grin contagious- but Bucky found Steve's laugh contagious. He chuckled under his breath, as he clapped his hand on Steve's shoulder. "And I'm saying that you've done more than your fair share, and it's okay to let us pick up the slack sometimes."

Bucky sighed as Steve responded to each of his arguments- with familiar defenses. Certainly he hadn't seen the man since he went under, but Bucky had predicted the replies. He smiled sadly at Steve. "All of that doesn't change what my hands were used to do- and I won't let go of the damage I did- the people I hurt deserve more than that."

His sadness went away with his best friend's slightly petulant reply. "So help me Steve- when I die, the first thing I'm doing is reporting to Sarah all the dumb shit her punk of a son does. So regardless of whether she can see you now, I will make certain she knows if it'll get you to take better care of you."

Bucky did freeze in place when Steve admitted his feelings. Partially in shock, because Bucky had kind of thought his best friend would never get past Peggy, but largely in fear that he'd accidentally say something flippant and hurt Steve. Swallowing dryly, Bucky offered a simple smile. "I'm happy for you- if you want to talk about it, swell, if not- I've got your six no matter what."
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#14
“Language!”

More than his fair share, huh? Steve chuckled again, shaking his head. "And yet, the first vacation I've taken in..." He tipped his head to the side as he did the math, "Oh, what, 74 years? Here you are, yelling at me for not being around." The grin he gave Bucky was wide and obviously amused.

Of course Bucky knew what Steve would say in his defense; they'd known each other forever. But that didn't make any of it less true, either. "Bucky." Steve understood that his friend felt guilty, but... "I get it. I do. But as guilty as I know you feel about what Hydra made you do, forced you to do, it wasn't with your consent, and I know it wasn't you in control. You aren't at fault for any of it, Buck. I don't expect you to just not feel guilty or bad about it, but I hope that eventually you'll be able to believe it."

Steve frowned at Bucky's threat, "Yeah, well, I'm hoping that doesn't happen for a good, long while." He shook his head, ''Hey, I've been pretty good lately!"

Peggy. Yeah. that still stung a bit when Steve thought about it, but he had worked to get past the ghost of what might have been with her. Talking about who he did currently have feelings for... Well, that was a whole can of worms they hadn't really opened yet. Not that Bucky wasn't a well... Aware, but they'd never really discussed it, though. "It's... Complicated. The who of it, I mean." Tony. Bucky would only feel worse, Steve knew, because of Tony's parents. Because of Siberia...

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel-MCU

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Age:100
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Moon

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#15
Bucky snorted, patting Steve on the back in that way that's just a little too hard so as to knock his friend slightly off balance. "Yeah well maybe if people know that you're going on vacation, and not, say, freezing yourself in an ocean for 70 years." He quipped easily, not even remotely phased by his friends reply.

He sighed when Steve defended Bucky again. The way it had always been, Steve defended Bucky, Bucky protected Steve. Bucky didn't bother replying, he knew that this wasn't going to ever lie between them. Bucky would come to terms with it one day- or not, but regardless, Steve would never let Bucky beat himself up about it.

"I kind of hope not either, but-" Bucky sighed when his friend replied. "That's good to hear. I just know that you tend to beat yourself up as much as I do." He replied softly, ruffling Steve's hair affectionately.

Bucky heard the hesitation in his friend's voice and gave him a comforting smile. "It's okay Steve. You know I'll never judge you- hell if one of us ought to be judged... Pretty sure some of my stories could turn you real red real fast." Bucky offered, as one would a life preserver to someone drowning, something for Steve to hook onto that wasn't his emotional turmoil.
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Marvel-MCU

291 Posts
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Age:32
Job: Rogue Superhero
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Nyte

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#16
“Language!”

It was so very much something to expect from Bucky, the hard slap on the back like that, and yet, Steve let his body sway forward if only to earn a smile from his friend. “Well, I had originally gone back to New York in order to try to make things right with…” Steve sighed heavily, ”It doesn’t matter. I fell through a portal, and honestly, it was the best thing that had happened to me since… Since Siberia.” He looked to Bucky, ”I like it here, Buck. I just wanted a break from the world, from our reality. And here… I got so much more than that. This place… It’s good. I found a sort of peace here.”

No, this was never going to just lie between them. It would always be there, always be something that, at their core, was a part of them, their friendship. Bucky was Steve’s best friend, almost more of a brother than anything else, and he wouldn’t let the man think so low of himself. He couldn’t.

Steve chuckled at Bucky’s agreement that he didn’t want to be meeting up with Sarah Rogers anytime soon either. Good. When Bucky ruffled his hair, Steve ducked down, grinning wryly, ”Yeah, well, sometimes I need to, Bucky. Sometimes someone has to call it like it is, and I need to remember that I’m not perfect. Captain America or not, I’m still just Steve Rogers, just a kid from Brooklyn, and I can mess up just like anyone else.” he sighed, looking over at his friend, ”We all have our moments.”

Speaking of moments, Bucky had hit on one hell of one, hadn’t he? Steve leaned back against the couch, leaning his weight on the back of it. Judgment. Back when they’d been young, Steve had had to be so careful about who he looked at, how long he looked… Shifting, Steve leaned forward, hunching over his knees, ”Oh yeah, you think so?” He turned to look over at Bucky, blue eyes serious, ”It’s…” the thing was, as bad as Bucky might end up feeling when he found out, Steve had kept a secret from one friend to spare his feelings, and that had turned out horribly for everyone. This secret might be less of a harmful thing, but… Steve’s shoulders fell as he closed his eyes, turning his head back toward his lap, ”It’s Tony, Buck.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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Marvel-MCU

101 Posts
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Age:100
Job: Superhero?
Ship Status: Soviet Spouses
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Moon

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#17
Bucky smiled softly at his friend's reply- because if anyone did, Steve Rogers deserved to find peace. Bucky doubted whether he himself did... But he had no doubt about Captain America. "I'm glad Steve."

He went silent for a while- though he refused to let Steve think it was okay to beat himself up. "You've got plenty of critics already, you don't need to the worst of them." It was just simple bits Bucky was offering to the conversation, but it was still just as important in his mind.

Then Steve took a deep breath and confessed his love for Tony.

Bucky was left blinking slowly at the other man for a moment before his smile cracked once more into a grin. "And? Steve. I've known you since you were too scrawny to get in a chair without help. And I asked you not ten minutes ago if you were here because there were a number of starks. I already knew that you liked Tony." He shrugged slightly. "I mean, I'd argue that the guy isn't the best possible- he did rip off my arm. Melted my nerve endings- after the pain was through. I know I killed his parents but I think that response was a little extreme." He offered, voice thick with dry humor.

"If you were worried because he's a guy- Well there was this one guy in the army- great fella- better blowjobs."
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Marvel-MCU

291 Posts
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Age:32
Job: Rogue Superhero
Ship Status: Single
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Nyte

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#18
“Language!”

Peace had been hard won for Steve Rogers. It had taken spending 70 years enveloped in ice, waking up to the future, fighting battles for a world he didn’t even recognize anymore, killer robots and floating cities and then after all of that, fighting with his friends… Being torn between one friend and another… Peace had not come cheaply for Steve, but he supposed that anything worth having was worth sacrificing for. ”Thanks, Bucky. It’s still not easy, but it’s worth it.”

With a huff of a laugh, Steve shook his head, ”Plenty of critics? You mean the people who realize that how I reacted to the Accords was… Not right?” He still didn’t think the Accords as they were presented to him were good or right, but he understood now that his response to them hadn’t been, either. He’d been selfish, he’d been short sighted. He hadn’t trusted Tony, and he should have. Instead… No, he wasn’t dwelling on this right now. Period. ”Look Buck, I’m not saying I’m a horrible person or anything, okay? Just that I do make mistakes. I’m not perfect. And that’s okay, because I’m human, same as everybody else.”

Yes, he loved Tony. He loved more than one Tony, which was actually something of a problem…

Steve shifted, somewhat uncomfortable, when Bucky went quiet and blinked at him. It was better than how he had worried Bucky might react, but… It was Steve’s turn to blink as he looked over at his best friend, ”It’s not about how many of them there are, Buck. It’s…” Steve sighed and threw his head forward into his hands, curling his fingers into his hair tightly in frustration, “The Tony we knew, he’s not interested, Bucky. I’ve talked to him; he’s happy with Pepper, and I’m happy for him. But then I met one of the Tony’s here, and…” He shrugged, ”It’s confusing. I know how I feel about him. I’ve pretty much worked that out. But he had his own relationship with the Steve Rogers of his world, and… He died, Buck, they broke things off and then Captain America went and died against Thanos, and now Tony is here, and I’m here, and… It’s complicated, and I’m not sure even he knows how he feels about me, let alone me knowing where I stand with him.” It was a lot to drop on his friend, he knew, but Steve needed to talk to someone about this that wasn’t an AI created by Tony. ”That’s why I wasn’t sure about bringing this up to you…” Steve looked up, frowning, ”As much as you’d like to pretend you’re fine, Buck, I know you, you can’t be okay with this, not after everything that’s happened.”

Well… That was news to Steve. He’d always known the Commandos had done their own thing, and regulations be damned, but… ”It wasn’t because he’s a guy. I knew you’d accept it even if you didn’t understand it.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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