Loving Sam was easy. Probably the easiest thing Bucky has ever had to do. Telling Sam that he loves him, however, is a completely different story.
He knows that Sam loves him, that’s not the hard part. The hard part is actually saying it.
Bucky has been pretty shy when it comes to his relationship with Sam. Expressing his feelings are just not Bucky’s forte.
Bucky just wants Sam to know how much he loves him is all.
Bucky and Sam are playing Mario kart and Bucky is winning by a long shot. Sam has been making snide comments all day and it’s really funny to see how much of a sore loser Sam can be sometimes.
“Man, you’re such a cheater,” Sam accuses.
Bucky laughs. “How am I a cheater?”
“You just are,” Sam says while trying to knock the controller out of Bucky’s hand.
Bucky laughs some more and kicks Sam’s leg. “Who’s the cheater now?”
“Still you,” Sam grabs Bucky’s foot and yanks him closer.
Bucky yelps and drops the controller. “What the hell, Wilson?” Bucky kicks Sam in the leg again.
Sam then uses the opportunity to get on top of Bucky and tries to pin Bucky down. Bucky raises an eyebrow.
“Do you wanna go, Wilson?”
“Yeah, I do, Barnes.”
The game of Mario kart is quickly forgotten as Sam and Bucky engage in a wrestling match of sorts. Bucky forces himself on top of Sam and almost has him pinned down until Sam decides to play dirty by tickling Bucky’s sides As Bucky squirms away and laughs, Sam rolls them over and finally pins Bucky’s arms down before straddling Bucky’s body with his legs. He looks down at Bucky with a smirk. “I am victorious.”
“You are such a cheater, Sam. You know I could push you off if I wanted to, right?” Bucky says with a smile.
“But you won’t,” Sam smiles back.
Then, they just stay in that position, staring into each other’s eyes. Bucky could just say it, right now, in this moment. ’I love you.’ That’s all it takes.
Bucky is about to open his mouth to speak before Sam gets off of him and stands up.
“I’m hungry, wanna go get something to eat?” Sam asks while holding a hand out to help Bucky up.
Bucky grabs Sam’s hand and hauls himself up. Those three little words burning on his tongue as he smiles at Sam and nods. “Yeah, I’m starving.”
Bucky gasps awake, hair drenched with sweat and his body slightly shaking. A nightmare, of course, Bucky gets them quite often. He doesn’t dream often, but when he does, he mostly dreams about his time at Hydra. Those are the majority of his nightmares. Being in cryo, being wiped, having to murder all the innocent people that he has over the years, there’s no shortage of it. He never has nightmares about Sam though, thank god. If he was forced to see Sam die in his dreams, he’d never want to sleep again.
Bucky is just about to get up and take a shower when Sam rolls over and wraps his arm around Bucky’s waist. Without opening his eyes, Sam asks, “Are you okay? Was it a nightmare?”
Bucky nods before he realizes Sam can’t see him. “Um, yeah. A nightmare. But I’m honestly fine now. I was just going to get in the shower.”
Sam hums and his arm tightens around Bucky’s waist before he opens his eyes. “Wanna talk about it?”
Bucky quickly shakes his head. “No. No, the thought of voicing it makes me wanna throw up.”
Sam nods. “Okay.”
“Maybe another time. When it’s not so fresh.”
Sam smiles a little and kisses his forehead. “No problem.”
Bucky smiles back. Sam never pressures Bucky to do or say anything, instead choosing to wait until Bucky is ready to talk about it himself.
Bucky gently places his right hand onto Sam’s cheek in a caress before leaning in and giving him a kiss on the lips that Sam definitely reciprocates.
This is it. Bucky’s going to say it. He knows right now is the right time. Lying in bed, surrounded by someone he loves with every fiber of his being.
“I-” Bucky starts. He licks his lips then sucks his bottom lip into his mouth.
“You what?” Sam questions.
’Say it Bucky!’
“I’m going to go take a shower now,” Bucky says instead. He gets up and strips his sticky clothes off, laughing at the whistle that Sam gives him, before going into the bathroom and closing the door. He turns the hot water on and when it’s warm enough, he steps into the shower. Bucky sighs and lays his head on the cold tile wall of the shower and closing his eyes.
He chickened out. Again.
Bucky and Sam trek into the house, both sighing as they close the door behind them. It has been, quite possibly, the most tiring day of their lives. If waking up at the ass crack of dawn wasn’t enough, fighting off a whole race of aliens sure as hell was.
“What a day,” Bucky mutters. He’s so bone tired that he can’t even lift his feet off the floor to walk, instead, resorting to shuffling his feet.
Sam grunts in response before dropping his shield on the kitchen table. “I could sleep for about 20 years.”
“Definitely,” Bucky replies with a yawn. He rubs his eyes and sighs again. “Okay, I’m going to take a quick shower then go to bed. Are you coming?”
“Yeah, just gonna get a little bite to eat,” Sam replies while moving deeper into the kitchen.
“Okay, love you.”
Sam stops in his tracks and turns around to face Bucky.
And that’s when Bucky knew he fucked up.
Bucky puts his hand over his mouth and shuts his eyes. ’Fuck!’ Bucky thinks. He didn’t mean to say that. Of course, Bucky’s been working his way up to saying it, tried to plan it so that it would fit the moment just right. But this, this was an actual disaster.
Bucky’s eyes are still squeezed shut, too scared to open them and see Sam’s face. He hears Sam walk over to him, but still, he keeps his eyes closed.
“Bucky?” Sam starts, gently grabbing Bucky’s arm. “Wanna open your eyes for me?”
Bucky shakes his head, still way too mortified.
“Hey, it’s okay. I have actually known you loved me for a while now. If that makes you feel better.”
Bucky finally opens his eyes and removes his hand from his mouth. “How is that supposed to make me feel better?”
Sam shrugs. “Would it be better if I said I loved you back?” he asks, lips quirking up into a smile.
Bucky is silent for a while, before letting out a deep breath of relief. Sam loves him back. Holy shit, how did he get so lucky?
Bucky smiles back. “Actually yeah, it would be better.”
“Good. I mean granted, it is hard to love you sometimes,” Sam jokes.
Bucky rolls his eyes. “God I hate you.”
“You actually don’t hate me, you love me,” Sam states while moving closer to Bucky so that they’re standing face to face.
“I regret telling you now,” Bucky feigns annoyance.
Sam places a loud, wet kiss on Bucky’s cheek. “Oh well, no take-backsies.”