Steven Grant Rogers realised he was head over heels, deeply, irreversibly, completely and utterly in love with James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes their second year into being partnered together in the New York ambulance force.
In hindsight, he probably fell in love with Bucky on their first shift together. With the way the man was confident in his abilities, faced the job without fear, showed compassion for all of their patients and fell into sync with Steve so well, there was no way he could not have fall in love with Bucky.
Not to mention the man's devastating good looks. In the time Steve had known him, he had cut his hair from its shoulder-length locks to curls and fluff that sat on top of his beautiful head. Steve wanted to run his hands through it even after a 12-hour shift with child vomit and sweat mixed into it, it always looked so fluffy and perfect. His hair cut accentuated his strong jawline, which had changed over the two years from stubble to none, back to stubble. Steve wanted to feel that stubble on his neck, and many other places.
Pink, kissable and soft lips, high cheekbones, cute nose, long eyelashes. Steve’s first thought when their boss had introduced them was along the lines of ‘holy fucking shit I’m going to kill so many people because all I’ll be able to focus on is this mans’ face’ which was closely followed by ‘holy fucking shit look at those arms, look at those shoulders, look at those thighs, look at those eyes, sweet baby Jesus I’m fucked’ .
And Bucky’s eyes. Steve always rolled his eyes at the notion that eyes were ‘gateways to the soul’. Well, up until he met Bucky. Steve felt like he could peer right into and study Bucky’s soul through his crystal clear, steel blue eyes. He learnt so much through Bucky’s eyes. The man's determination, the man's vanity, his protectiveness, his compassion and empathy, his intelligence.
If Steve didn’t already know that he was bisexual, Bucky 100% confirmed it.
The devastating realisation that came with Steve’s new knowledge of his heart was the fact that he and Bucky were firmly in the best friend category. They hadn’t dated, hadn’t kissed, yet Steve was still in love with him. They’d been partners for two years, facing long shifts full of medical emergencies, good and bad people, sad and happy endings. They’d gotten drunk together after horrendous weeks of bad luck, timing and work. Had celebrated when they successfully saved a life.
Sam Wilson, Steve’s other best friend, had given him one long hard look after Steve’s first week with Bucky and shook his head. “I’m not prepared for what’s about to happen, am I?”
Steve didn’t understand what Sam meant then, but two years later? Boy, did he.
Steve had called Sam after the fateful shift when Steve realised his problem of being in love with his best friend.
“Hey, Steve. What’s up?”
“I’m in love with Bucky.”
Steve heard Sam snort over the phone as he dropped his keys onto the kitchen bench, slipping off his shoes and undoing the first few buttons of his stinky paramedic uniform. “You’re only just realising this?”
Sam laughed. “Sorry, man. I’ve known you’ve been in love with Bucky since I watched Fury introduce you two before your first shift. You should have seen your face, Steve. I wish I had gotten a photo.”
Steve blushed, very thankful that Sam hadn't gotten a photo. “Not helping, Sam.”
“Right,” sounds of rustling came from Sam’s end and Steve realised it was late at night, meaning Sam was probably in bed. He felt a stab of guilt before his need for a friend overcame it and he didn’t mention the late hour to Sam. Sam didn’t either. “So, you’re in love with Bucky?”
“Yes.” Steve groaned, falling onto his couch, resting his back against the armrest and kicking his feet up.
“And what made you realise this now?”
Steve tilted his head back dramatically, letting out a long sigh. “It was near the end of our shift tonight. We got an alert we had been dispatched to a guy who was having sex, heard a crack and then his penis started bleeding-” Steve continued through Sam’s wheeze and laughter. He and Bucky had felt the same way when Bucky first read it off the monitor in the ambulance. “-and after we’d gotten through our laughter we started to talk about medical possibilities and our plan of action. Bucky was talking about it being a haemorrhage and needing to apply pressure and I just couldn’t keep my laughter in. He turned to me all scandalised and playfully hit me in the arm, his eyes twinkling and gasped ‘Stevie, this is serious! A man’s penis is bleeding during sex!’ and that’s when I realised I’m in love with my best friend.”
There was a brief pause where all Steve could hear was Sam wheezing out laughter before he tried to collect himself, obviously thought about Steve’s story and then started laughing again. Steve’s lips twitched as he listened despite the pout he wanted to display caused by his friend’s lack of sympathy and concern over his predicament.
“I’m sorry,” Sam collected himself, letting out a huff. “Firstly, I’m your best friend. He’s classified as your future husband. Secondly-” Sam raised his voice over Steve’s protests. “You realised you were in love with Bucky when he was joking about a man’s penis bleeding during sex?”
“Rogers, you have it bad.”
Steve sat up straighter, fisting his free hand into his hair. “You don’t think I know that, Sam?” He snapped. “I literally couldn’t look at him for the rest of our shift because I was worried I’d blurt it out over a patient going into cardiac arrest or something.”
There was a pause that Steve filled with a sigh as he fell back onto the couch. “Sorry, Sam. I’m kinda freaking out.”
“It’s okay, Steve,” Sam said. “I thought that this would happen sooner or later. I’m prepared.”
Steve groaned. “Please don’t tell me you think I should tell Bucky how I feel.”
“You should tell Bucky how you feel!”
Steve groaned, closing his eyes. “No, Sam.”
“Why not, Steve? What’s the worst that could happen? He doesn’t love you back?”
“Exactly!” Steve emphasised. “Then it will be awkward at work and we’ll fall out of sync and I can’t imagine doing my shifts with anyone but Bucky and then he’ll quit because he hates me and then he’ll stop replying to my texts and then I’ll never see him again.”
Steve could feel Sam rolling his eyes. “And the best-case scenario?”
“It’s not awkward and we still get to be friends.”
Sam made a weird noise of disagreement. “Ah, no. The best-case scenario is that he returns your feelings, you go on heaps of dates and become boyfriends, have the best sex of your life and get married.”
Steve was silent, his heart hammering at the mere thought .
“Do you want that, Steve?”
“Of course I want that!” Steve protested. “But he doesn’t feel the same way.”
“You’ll never know until you try.”
“Ugh,” Steve groaned. “I’m done talking to you about Bucky because you won’t let me wallow in my self-pity and you’re attempting to convince me to face my feelings . Gross.”
Sam huffed. “Fine, don’t take my advice. Not like I’ve never been right before.” A beat. “What happened with the bleeding penis guy?”
Steve pouted. “A closer ambulance got assigned so we never went. Got dispatched to a broken leg instead.”
Steve shifted awkwardly in front of his floor length mirror the next day.
He had a relaxing morning purposely ignoring his revelation about his feelings. He went for a run, had a big breakfast, watched some Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Did his laundry, cleaned the kitchen, talked to Nat, organised lunch with Tony the following week, all before ten am. Anything to avoid Bucky.
Unfortunately, he eventually had to get changed into his uniform again before his shift started in an hour. He buttoned the last button of his shirt and ran a hand through his hair, looking at himself sadly.
Steve was self-aware enough to know he was attractive. He had been told that his blue eyes, blond hair and general body had a way of attracting men, women and others. His ex-girlfriend, Peggy, had relentlessly told him how he was 'an a bsolute stud in uniform, Steve’ . The navy blue of the fitted pants and shirt did wonders for the muscles he had painstakingly acquired. And he had heard enough from Nat, one of his oldest friends who worked for the CIA now, that his smiles could both stop and start hearts.
And last week he had managed to charm an old Abuela who they feared was having a heart attack by holding her hands and focusing all her attention on his smile and charm. Bucky had rolled his eyes from the front seat but was glad that Francisca’s fear had been somewhat settled as they made the trip to the hospital. They’d even been invited back to Francisca’s for dinner and ‘something else, boys. If you’re up for it’ .
Steve was uncomfortable because he was about to spend 14 hours with the man he was in love with, who didn’t know that Steve was in love with him, in a small enclosed and high-stress place. The group chat with Sam and Nat had been going off all morning with bets on how long it would take for Steve to spill the beans.
Steve was ashamed to admit that he didn’t make it through their entire shift.
He arrived at the base with enough time to get ready for his shift, Bucky walking into the kitchen to dispose of his takeaway coffee cup.
Steve’s eyes widened, his heart hammering in his chest. He quickly dumped his own coffee mug into the sink and opened the fridge, sticking his head into the cold hair to cool his flushed skin and give him some time to collect his thoughts before having to face Bucky. “Morning, Buck.”
He heard Bucky’s uniform shift next to him as he thoughtfully placed Steve’s now clean mug in the cabinets above the sink. Steve didn’t expect Bucky to place his hand on Steve’s lower back, but he did. “Whatcha doing?”
“Uh-just-I-” Steve stammered because holy shit Bucky was touching him, which wasn’t a weird occurrence because Bucky was a very tactile person but still , if he moved his hand just a little lower and under Steve’s pants, he’d be touching Steve’s ass and wasn’t that a thought? “I’m just checking out the fridge.”
Bucky hummed and started to rub circles on Steve’s back with his thumb. “Fascinating. Anything you’re checking out in particular?”
Steve blushed. “Sam said something about leaving a curry here for his lunch and I wanted to steal it.”
It wasn’t exactly a lie. It had just happened a few months ago. Bucky didn’t need to know that.
“That’s very nice of you,” Bucky patted him once, twice, on the back before stepping back to walk out of the staff kitchen. “Come on, Rogers. Let’s get that sexy ass out of here and save some lives.”
Steve stayed in the fridge until it started beeping at him to recover from Bucky’s words. He wanted to call Sam and yell at his friend and ask how he was meant to determine if Bucky felt the same way about him through Bucky’s casual and normal flirting. He was a natural-born flirt and used the charm on everyone, even Steve. How was Steve meant to distinguish between casual flirting and real flirting?
And Bucky mentioned Steve’s ass at least a few times on a shift.
Steve found Bucky out the front of their ambulance with the keys hanging from his hand, a smirk on his face. “Find Wilson’s curry?
Steve blushed and looked anywhere other than Bucky. Practically, the man didn’t look any different than at the start of yesterday’s shift. His hair was artfully styled and Steve knew it would stay that way until the second half on their shift when Bucky would start to grow tired and he’d run his hands through it, messing it up. His uniform was pressed and fitted well on his body, the dark navy highlighting his dark features and clear skin.
But he just seemed brighter to Steve. His smile was brighter, his eyes lighter. His presence was warmer and calming and just so Bucky that Steve’s heart ached with love.
Right. Bucky probably looked brighter because Steve was in love with him.
Crazy what love did to you.
“No, but I’ll just break into his apartment and steal some from his own fridge.”
Bucky raised his eyebrows, his smirk growing. “Would his CIA girlfriend enjoy that?”
Steve shrugged. “Well, she’ll never find out.”
Bucky rolled his eyes and pushed himself off the ambulance, coming closer to Steve. “Never mind the fact you’ve just told me of your plan to break into their apartment in a room full of security cameras.”
Steve grinned. “I never said I was smart.”
Bucky huffed and stopped walking, holding out the hand with the keys. “No, you’re just the dumbass who I got stuck with as a partner. Are you driving today or me?”
They played their mandatory game of rock paper and scissors to decide who would drive. Bucky won, so Steve walked around to the passenger side of the vehicle and climbed in. He tried to ignore the syrupy feeling in his body in favour of paying attention to Bucky as he informed Steve about his breakfast with his twin sister, Becca. Steve couldn’t help but be distracted about the way the sun hit the side of Bucky’s face, creating the effect of a halo.
Steve sighed internally.
If he could just keep a cap on his mouth, he was more than content to let his stomach swirl whenever Bucky looked at him. He was lucky to have Bucky in his life, period. He didn’t want to jeopardise the friendship they had. Steve didn’t think he could continue to live without Bucky. It wouldn’t be right and he wouldn’t be happy.
Bucky’s story was cut halfway off as their monitor beeped and they were off to their first case of the day, a twenty-six-year-old female who had tripped and fallen, cracking her skull open.
Steve finished reading out the information dispatch had given them, before checking out of his window for cars before giving Bucky the go-ahead as they sped through an intersection. Bucky turned on the lights and sirens, hands gripping the wheel tightly as he made his way through New York traffic.
They started their usual routine of medical possibilities, listing the things they needed to check, the drugs they might need. They worried about where on the head the crack was and if the woman had a spinal injury. It was commonplace for paramedics to talk the situation through to the best of their knowledge before getting to the scene to try and prepare themselves for it. Of course, there had been times where Bucky and Steve had run every possible scenario they could on the way to a case and it ended up being so left of the field they were still confused a few days later.
“Okay,” Bucky said, honking at a white car in front of them that wasn’t moving out of the way. “Patient’s name?”
Steve smiled. This was a game they had invented within the first month of working together. After running through the possibilities and their plan of action, they’d diffuse the tension with a game of guessing the patient's name. They would use the information they had to make the best-educated guess they could.
It was fun and stupid, but it relaxed their shoulders and made them laugh. It settled their nerves and cleared their minds, which was very important in their line of work.
Neither of them, in their entire two years, had ever guessed a patient's name correctly. It always was a little let down when they said their name and neither of them had gotten right.
However, Steve enjoyed the face Bucky made when he got it incorrect. His nose would scrunch up adorably as he tried to hide his disappointment in front of the patient. Sometimes he would make a noise in the back of his throat that had Steve grinning into his medical bag. Bucky never wanted to hurt the patient's feelings but he couldn’t hide the fact to Steve that he was let down.
“Hmm,” Steve hummed, gripping the handlebar above the door as Bucky weaved through traffic. “Twenty-six-year-old female that tripped who’s possibly still drunk from the night before. On a Thursday. I’m going to go with Chelsea.”
Bucky titled his head to the side in consideration. “Nah, I’m going to go with Jessica.”
“Game on, Barnes.”
It turned out her name was Kellie and she was still drunk from the night before. Sober girls night turned into a drink-as-much-as-you-can-in-the-shortest-amount-of-time girls night.
Next was who Steve deemed was Jack and Bucky deemed was Bob but was actually a sixty-four-year-old John who was experiencing a stroke. Then a forty-five Jenny (Steve thought Nicole, Bucky thought Karen) with lower back pain, a fourteen-year-old Jamilah (Steve- Ayesha, Bucky- Saanvi) with a migraine, and a thirty-year-old Abraham (Steve- David, Bucky- Yosef) who had dislocated his shoulder.
They decided to go to a cafe for their lunch break. They evaluated their morning, discussed their cases and the interesting people they had met, before moving onto less stressful and work-related things.
Steve felt himself relax into Bucky presences, the simmering feeling of love still under his skin but not prominent in his thoughts. It was a buzz, a gentle nudge every now and then saying ‘hey, you love this man’ to which Steve would reply ‘yeah fuck off I’m trying to enjoy his company’ .
He was looking forward to telling Nat and Sam that he hadn’t spilt the beans, but Steve should have known that his complacency with his feelings wouldn’t last the entire shift.
“Alright,” Steve said, sitting forward in his seat to get closer to the monitor which was beeping at them. He started to read the words flowing in as he talked. “Fifth call after lunch. You ready, Buck?”
Instead of answering his question, Bucky shot him a look before focusing on the GPS which would guide them to where they needed to go. “Why do you count the calls we go to?”
“Gotta beat Sam’s personal best, that’s why. He and Riley get so damn smug, it’s actually annoying.”
Bucky rolled his eyes. “You two are children. Tell me what’s happening.”
Steve poked his tongue out at Bucky who laughed. “Okay, we have a seventy-four-year-old male who is experiencing chest pain. His husband called 911 as soon as the patient started complaining about the pain. He has a known history with cardiovascular disease.”
Bucky nodded, flipping on the lights and sirens.
“With a known history like that he could be having a heart attack.”
Bucky nodded and turned a corner. “Definitely. We’ll need to check his heart rate and blood pressure.”
“I’ll ask the husband about the past history and see if the patient is on any medication. Try and piece the story together,” Steve said, putting on clean gloves. “You do the standard procedure for heart attacks and rule out chest infections and other possibilities. We’ll go from there.”
Bucky nodded, but there was a tilt to his lips that Steve couldn’t decipher. “What?”
“Nothing,” Bucky shrugged, eyes on the road. “I just like it when you take charge.”
Steve stared for a moment, eyes wide as a blush crept over his face. He cleared his throat awkwardly. “Patient’s name?”
“Well, seventy-four-year-old male and we’re going into the fancy part of Brooklyn so I say James.”
Steve smirked. “This could be your future, Buck. Seventy-four, in a lavish apartment with your husband named Henry.”
Bucky laughed. “Henry, hey?” Bucky manoeuvred the ambulance out the front of a grand brownstone. Just before he opened the door, he smirked at Steve. “Not going to guess for Steve?”
Bucky laughed outside the ambulance as he opened the side door, Steve rooted in his chair by sheer shock, desire and love. He was blushing the entire way to where James and Henry’s door was.
“Hello!” An older man with grey, short hair answered the door. He was wearing a light grey polo shirt and dark blue pants. Steve noticed his hands were shaking. “Please come in, my husband is down the hall in our bedroom.”
Steve and Bucky greeted him as they stepped through the door, following the husband down the hallway.
“What is your name, sir?” Bucky asked.
“James,” the man replied, turning his head to give the paramedics a quick smile.
Bucky spun his head around, eyes wide and his mouth open. He pointed quickly at James but Steve shook his head. Bucky has said the patient's name would be James, not the patient's husband.
Bucky quickly shot him an unimpressed look before facing James. “Nice to meet you, James. I’m Bucky and my partner's name is Steve.”
They came to the end of the hallway into a spacious bedroom. There was floor to ceiling windows on one wall facing a nice courtyard, with sheer curtains allowing the early night moonlight to filter into the room. The carpets were plush, and so was the bed. Big with a beautiful wooden bed frame.
The man lying on the bed wasn’t looking too good. He was sitting, resting his back on the headboard, his shirt unbuttoned to expose his chest. His face’s wrinkles were more pronounced than Steve thought would be normal for the man, no doubt pain and fear deepening them.
Bucky went straight to the man, kneeling at his side and starting to grab out the heart rate monitor and what he affectionately called his ‘hug machine’ to kids who needed to get their blood pressure taken.
Steve turned his attention onto James who was looking at Bucky and his husband worriedly. “James,” Steve asked quietly, setting down his bag and grabbing his notepad and pen. “Could I please ask a few questions about your husband's medical history and the events of today?”
James nodded but didn’t take his eyes off Bucky who was quickly putting the ECG on his husband's chest.
“Can you talk me through today first?”
Before James could respond, Bucky’s head spun around and looked at Steve with a wide grin. “His name is Henry, Steve!”
Steve's eyes widened. What were the chances that they had both correctly guessed names today, just not for the correct people? Bucky had guessed James for the patient, but it turns out the husband's name was James. And Steve had guessed Henry was the husband, but the patient was Henry.
Steve tried to hide his smile at Bucky but he failed. Bucky’s smile grew in return before turning back to Henry on the bed.
Steve turned back to James to see him looking at Steve weirdly.
“Sorry,” Steve apologised, lessening the smile on his face. “Bucky and I play a game where we try and guess the patient's name. He had guessed James for Henry, and I had guessed Henry for you. Turns out it was the wrong way around.”
Steve was glad that he put a smile on James' worried face. His eyes flickered between Bucky talking to Henry by the bed to Steve and back. Steve shifted on his feet, the red of his cheeks betraying him.
James only hummed in consideration before he told Bucky and Steve about the day, Henry jumping in with sarcastic and witty one-liners. Steve and Bucky were grinning the entire time as the couple bickered, but eventually, they managed to get enough information out of the two husbands that Bucky and Steve felt confident it wasn’t a heart attack, just a bad chest infection.
Henry insisted that he could walk to the front door so Bucky and James helped him. Steve went ahead and got the stretcher out of the ambulance and got it ready for Henry to get on. As Bucky and Steve strapped Henry in and loaded him into the ambulance, James quickly ducked into the brownstone and grabbed their phones and wallets.
Bucky closed the ambulance doors behind Steve who sat in the back with Henry to his right in the stretcher, Jame’s sitting in a chair at his husband’s head, his back to Bucky in the driver's seat.
Henry and James told the paramedics about their work and now their retirement as Steve readied Henry’s arm for a drip. He administered the correct dosage of pain medications to lessen Henry’s pain then sat back in his chair, calmer now that there wasn’t much more they could do in the ambulance apart from distracting the patient.
“And how long have you been together?” Steve asked.
Henry rolled his eyes, somehow knowing that his husband’s smile was growing behind him. “Well, Henry here was born in 1946 and I was born in 1945. Childhood best friends. I’ve always known that I loved Henry like I shouldn’t have in those times. We got together, at what, sixteen, Hen?”
Henry was smiling now as he moved the hand not connected to the drip up by his head, letting James take it and squeeze. “Yep, sixteen kissing in my bedroom when my parents were at work. We moved in together when my parents died which meant we could do whatever we pleased.”
“As long as we kept quiet!” James said, Bucky throwing his head back in laughter at the driver's seat.
Henry chuckled. “We’ve been together since then. Got married a few years ago with our close family and friends.”
“Best day of your life?” Steve asked, curious.
“Nah,” Henry shook his head much to Steve’s surprise. “Just another day with the love of my life. We didn’t need the law or some old farts to tell us our love wasn’t valid. I’ve known since I was six that James would be in my life and heart forever. Just a piece of paper.”
“And the cake?” Bucky asked from the front.
Henry laughed as James laughed enthusiastically. “Delicious cake our daughter made.”
Steve smiled at them, watching as Henry turned slightly in the stretcher to look at his husband. Steve could feel the love between the men, almost as if it was tangible, filling the back of the ambulance. A warm blanket over Steve. God, he wanted that with Bucky.
“Steve,” James said quietly, looking from his husband to meet Steve’s eyes. Steve sat forward a little, sucked into James vortex. “When you love someone, don’t let go. Whatever your brain says, whatever your gut says, whatever the world tells you, listen to your heart. Have you ever been in love with someone so much it hurts?”
Steve nodded and tried desperately for his eyes not to reach Bucky's.
“That’s good pain. Embrace it with everything you have and never let it go. Never let him go, you hear me?”
Steve nodded again, his eyes a little wet from the seriousness of the emotions and the emotions clogging his throat. Almost involuntary his eyes flickered to Bucky, his breath catching in his chest when he made eye contact with Bucky. Steve hadn't even noticed that they had arrived at the hospital and Bucky had parked, turning around to look at Steve now with love on his face.
Steve let out a soft gasp as Bucky gave him a small, tentative smile before turning and opening his door. Steve’s eyes shot to Henry and James who was looking at him with matching smirks and raised eyebrows. They dropped their suggestive faces when Bucky opened the back doors.
Steve’s body went into autopilot as he helped Bucky unload Henry and pack their supplies that would need cleaning. Bucky pushed Henry into the hospital as Steve helped James out of the ambulance.
James grasped Steve’s shoulder as Steve asked him a question. “How did you know?”
“Those smiles,” James said as they followed his husband and Bucky through the sliding doors. “You don’t exchange smiles like those unless you’re in love.”
“We aren’t,” Steve protested. “Well, I am. Bucky’s not-”
James scoffed and clapped Steve on the back. “Right. When pigs fly, son.”
Steve watched in shock as James stepped up to Henry’s side, their hands automatically reaching for each other.
Steve made it through a guy high on ice (a guessed Sebastian and Chris, but an actual Anthony) and a little girl with an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting (Odette and Helena but disappointingly an Edyta) before he lost his cool.
Edyta had taken an immediate liking to Bucky, Steve didn’t blame her, so they decided to keep her happy, Steve would drive to the hospital and Bucky would sit in the back with Edyta and her dad. As Steve drove, he could feel his universe collapsing around him, suffocating him until his only thought was: I need to tell Bucky.
It was probably due to the lingering feeling of James and Henry, the old happy couple who now Steve realised he wanted to be him and Bucky in the future. Sam was right, Steve wanted Bucky to be his future husband and he wanted it desperately. Screw friendship, if the way Bucky was looking at him before with soft eyes and a small gentle smile were what Steve thought it was, then Bucky wanted to grow old with him too.
Of course, it helped that Steve could hear and feel Bucky’s charm oozing out of him from the back of the ambulance as he tried to keep Edyta calm. He was giggling with her, playing games and asking questions. His voice was light and lyrical. Steve couldn't stop himself from glancing in the rearview mirror whenever it was safe to do so, giving him the perfect view of Bucky’s blinding smile.
Steve also couldn't stop the blush on his cheeks whenever Bucky caught him looking and his smile widened.
Steve felt both syrupy and smooching with his love for Bucky but tight and nauseous at the mere thought about what he was going to do. The small voice in the back of his brain told him it was a) stupid to tell Bucky how he felt and b) stupid to do it before their shift ended because what if Bucky didn’t return his feelings and they had to endure another hour of their shift awkwardly.
But Steve had never listened to that small voice in the back of his brain. It was annoying, logical and smart and Steve was known for jumping headfirst into things with no regard for his well being. Sarah Rogers feared he would jump on a grenade to save other people and Steve had never denied he wouldn't.
After they had said goodbye to Edyta and wished her well and were ready to head out again, Steve hesitantly followed Bucky to the driver's door. Bucky held out his hand to open the door then noticed Steve’s presence before turning around with a raised eyebrow.
“You okay there, Stevie? You wanna drive?”
“I-Buck-” Steve swallowed as Bucky’s face softened, giving him a small smile. Steve felt braver with that smile so he pushed the panic and fear to the depths of his stomach and just went all in. “Do you remember the things that James and Henry said?”
Bucky lent back against the ambulance, crossing his arms across his chest. “The stuff about breaking into a museum in the sixties?”
Steve chuckled nervously, rubbing the back of his neck. “Ah, no. The stuff about love and never letting that one person go?”
“Yeah, Stevie. I do.” Bucky said softly.
“Well, Bucky Barnes,” Steve said, taking a step closer to the love of his life. Bucky’s smile grew as he stood from the ambulance letting his arms drop to his sides. “It got me thinking about you.”
“About me?” Bucky asked with the widest smile Steve had ever seen across his beautiful face.
“Yes, because I’m in love with you.” Steve grinned as Bucky’s eyes widened slightly. “I’ve loved you since the moment Fury introduced you and I only realised yesterday when you were joking about a broken bleeding penis but God, Bucky Barnes, I am so in love with you my heart and body ache and I’m going to take James and Henry’s advice and never let you go if that’s okay with you.”
“More than okay with me,” Bucky whispered, surging forward and grabbing the sides of Steve’s face in his hands, smashing their lips together in what was the most intense kiss of Steve’s life.
He froze for a moment, purely shocked at Bucky’s reaction before he melted, wrapping his arms around Bucky’s waist, stepping forward until Bucky’s back pressed against the ambulance door. Steve felt electricity thrumming through his veins, his wild heart beating erratically in his chest. He felt alive and he felt safe and he felt so loved as Bucky kissed him with vigour.
It was intense and arousing and exhilarating and everything he imagined kissing Bucky would be. One of Bucky’s hands travelled from his jaw to his hair, threading his fingers through the short blond strands before pulling quickly. Steve gasped and Bucky grinned, licking into Steve’s mouth.
Distantly, through his pounding thoughts of bucky bucky bucky , Steve could hear another ambulance pulling up so he reluctantly pulled back, breathing hard, his hands on Bucky’s waist, eyes searching Bucky’s. They panted for a moment before their smiles grew and then they were laughing. Steve’s head fell forward until it rested on Bucky’s shaking shoulder, his hands resting on Steve’s shoulder and in his hair.
Bucky kissed the side of his head. “Wow.”
Steve hummed and pulled back, smiling at Bucky. “Yeah.”
Bucky bit his lip, Steve’s eye-catching the movement. “I’m in love with you, Steve Rogers. I need you to know that.”
Steve felt his soul leave his body at that moment, pushed out into the world by his pure joy and elation at Bucky’s words. He lent in again, brushing his lips across Bucky's delicately. “I love you, too.”
Bucky giggled and Steve’s heart soared. Bucky rested his head back against the ambulance, pulling Steve closer. He regarded Steve with a smirk. “As much as I want to continue making out with you in front of a hospital in our disgusting uniforms against our ambulance, we still have an hour left of our shift.”
Steve pressed a quick kiss to Bucky’s forehead because he could now. “Okay. How do you feel about making out after our shift in my apartment naked? ”
Bucky laughed, pushing Steve away from him so he could open the driver's door. “Hard bargain. What about we go back to your apartment after our shift, we have a shower together, I ask if you wanna be my boyfriend then after you obviously say yes we fall asleep in your bed?”
Steve pouted, his heart thumping widely and his mind screaming at Bucky’s words. “No making out?”
Bucky shrugged and hauled himself into the driver’s seat. “It’s our one day a week off tomorrow, Stevie. Plenty of time for making out then.”
Bucky laughed as he closed the driver’s door on Steve’s grinning face. Steve couldn’t deny doing a little happy dance out of Bucky’s view on the other side of the ambulance, elated and overjoyed and happy and so in love.
As they sped to a call from a best friend of a sixteen-year-old kid in Brooklyn who’d broken his hand punching a bully in an alleyway, Bucky asked the all-important question.