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i ran, and ran, and ran, but i'm still in the shadow

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Keeping up was hard. That was one thing he surely knew from this whole ordeal.

He was getting crazy from the pressure. But, he knew that he could do this. Otherwise, why would Steve give him the shield? (Maybe Steve made a mistake—but he never made one, he was perfect, far too prefect.) Despite that, Sam practiced everyday. Running, sparring, exercising. Non-stop. (He still didn't deserve the shield.)

He was getting crazy, for sure.

Bucky was more than a perfect partner. He was understanding, always giving Sam support when he needed it. (Sam didn't deserve him too.)

Sam was trying his best. His goddamn best. He wouldn't break.

Practicing reminded him of Natasha. She would spared with Sam when they were on the run. He wanted a good form of exercising and Natasha made it more challenging to him. What he missed about her wasn't that though. Sam missed her smile, her laugh, her eyebrows of concern—apparently, not only Steve could do that, her hug, her kindness, her dry jokes, her presence. She was one of the best person that Sam had ever met.

And he never said his goodbye to her.

But, no, he wouldn't break.

When Peter came into his house, torn and tired, Sam tried his best not to cry with him. Peter was a good kid, alright? And he was only a kid. Sam was very happy when the problem was solved and he could go on with his life—it was different with the world knowing his true identity, but he was pretty glad that he didn't have to hide again.

He was a strong kid.

Sam never could be like him because, after all this time, he did break.

Sam felt like he could faint because of the lack of air in his lungs. He was trembling, trying to be as silent as he could. He couldn't risk waking up Bucky. The man already had a lot. He didn't want to add up. Or even Peter. That kid just got out of his problem.

Still, he couldn't hold the tears from falling.

Was this the fourth time or the fifth time this week? Sam couldn't remember honestly. His head was spinning and his face was hot and numb.

His hand went up, rubbing at his eyes rather frantically. The other reached out, trying to flush the toilet—he really should stop this puking at midnight habit. Both of them went down again at the sound of toilet flushing. The tears were still pouring through his face when he stood in front of the mirror. Sam broke his gaze away from the reflection when he let out a small sob. He hid his face when he felt more tears pouring out.

He couldn't do this. He couldn't. 

His knees finally gave up. When he went crashing down into the bathroom floor, he fold his knees in front of his face and buried his head deep into them, hiding tears from no one.

Except that someone was watching. Or, rather, sometwo.

When a hand touch his shoulder, Sam jerked up. His body tensed into a defensive posture. Although, his right hand went up to rub at his eyes. It was Bucky though, so Sam relaxed a little bit.

He didn't say anything when two hands reached out to him again, pushing him into Bucky's chest as he sobbed again. He felt someone else dropped slowly next to him. Not touching, but the presence was nice.

When they shifted into a more comfortable position—Sam was still being hugged by Bucky, when he felt a hand being placed at his back so carefully and moving up and down so softly, when someone hugged him too from behind, a warm and comfortable weight on his back—that kid really was an angel, when he heard murmured things that were soothing to his ears, when he felt the trembling from his back too, when he was warm—still shaking and pouring his heart out but better, Sam didn't say a thing.

He may didn't feel the gentle touches he got from the hug, the small conversation between Bucky and Peter, the way the kid hugged him again before he and Bucky took him to his bedroom, the forehead kiss when Bucky tucked him to sleep, the sad look at Peter's face when they joined him on the bed, and when a metal arm slipped into his waist, gentle and caring. All he knew was that he was warm, safe, and loved.

For now, that was enough.