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Christine Everheart for Vanity Fair; 5 April 2020

 

Christine Everheart: Back when the first episode aired, did you ever think you’d make it to where you are now?

 

Clint Barton: With three seasons and our fourth to air in August? Of course not. We hoped, sure, but I never thought in a million years we’d be here.

 

Natasha Romanoff: to be fair, in 2008 when we first started working together in community theatre we never thought we’d have a TV show based off of us as superheroes either.

 

Tony Stark: Yet here we are.

 

Christine Everheart: Indeed. Crazy, isn’t it? Steve, how do you feel about this season's chances against Hydra’s new season, set to air only a week after yours? Have you spoken to your rival, Bucky Barnes, about your two upcoming seasons?

 

Steve Rogers: I feel The Avengers have a lot to give with this season. We see new characters, new relationships and dynamics explored. I believe that the fans of this show are going to love the changes we’ve made and the new ideas we bring to the table, something I believe Hydra fans haven’t been able to say since the first season.

 

Tony Stark: *laughs*

 

Steve Rogers: As for speaking to Barnes about our upcoming seasons of our respective shows, some words have been exchanged.

 

Christine Everheart: Do you want to elaborate on those words exchanged?

 

Steve Rogers: No, I do not.

 

Christine Everheart: Okay. Let’s talk about your new co-star, Peter Parker.

 

The day Peter Parker joined the cast of the Avengers was a day that set Steve Rogers down a path of truth, suffering and ultimately, love. 

 

The love only really came at the end. And the truth. Steve mainly remembers a lot of suffering.

 

He had rocked up to the set of his very own SHIELD TV show, The Avengers, with a smile on his face and a coffee in his hand. It was a nice day. The sun was evident of the fact the weather was turning into the summer, the Los Angeles glow making it even brighter. There was a general buzz of excitement on set for the day, setting the atmosphere for the fourth and what was set to be, the best season of the show so far.

 

He felt good about the next season. The ‘Original Six’, as what the fans had dubbed them, had gotten together the night before to talk about their discussions with their producers. Steve was excited to continue to explore his character’s mental health and was even more excited to continue to work with fellow actor, Sam Wilson, who would be becoming a regular this season instead of a guest star like last season.

 

Natasha and Clint had discussed the potential for exploration of their character’s past in espionage and being partners, and Thor and Bruce were looking forward to developing Thor’s character ties with his brother, Loki, and Bruce’s relationship with Betty Ross. 

 

However, it seemed that Tony’s character arc would be more at the forefront of the show than the others. With the addition of Peter Parker to the cast, who Steve hadn’t met yet, it brought out Tony’s character’s history with his father and his paternal thoughts and feelings. Steve couldn’t wait to see it play out on screen.

 

The number one thing that Steve couldn’t wait for was Bucky Barnes face when he read the amazing reviews and tweets that were sure to flood his feed once the season premiered in late August. 

 

Until then, Steve would need to embrace the filming and brave his rivalry with Barnes.

 

@avvenggers

Pics of Steve R and Bucky B from a few years ago in full costume yelling at each other at SHIELD’s starbucks,,, these pics always manage to make me swoon 

 

@hawkgod

Their rivalry is what keeps me alive and in full Asset and Cap costume too? Boi send me straight to hell for the things I’m feeling rn

 

@nattieandsammie

Does anyone actually know why they hate each other? Maybe it's just a SHIELD set up to generate more press… maybe i’m in denial b/c does anyone else think they’d make a cute/hot couple…?

 

Steve was about to take the last few gulps of his coffee before the first table read of the season when the travel mug was plucked straight from his hand.

 

Steve made a noise of surprise and protest, reaching out for the mug only for it to be taken further away from him. His eyes landed on the culprit, and his reaction of a tense jaw, straight shoulders, and clenched fists would almost be comical if it wasn’t for the pure anger and hatred radiating from him as he locked eyes with Bucky Barnes.

 

With a glare that would kill most men but unfortunately not Bucky, Steve growled. “What the fuck, Barnes?”

 

Bucky shrugged, his lips twitching into a smirk Steve dreamed about punching off his face, as he leant on the building wall that Steve had been relaxing on. “Morning, Rogers.”

 

Steve growled again and went to grab his coffee back, only for Bucky to bring it to his mouth and drink the last of it. Steve watched, his jaw tensing further, as Bucky wiped his mouth off with the sleeve of his bomber jacket.

 

Objectively, Steve knew Bucky Barnes was an attractive man. Even not being bisexual, Steve would be well aware of the man’s chiselled features, pink, soft lips, clear and electrifying blue eyes. Bucky’s body also didn’t escape anyone’s notice and the combined combination of a devilishly handsome face and sculptured body, Bucky represented the epitome of the classic Hollywood look.

 

It could be argued that Steve did too. With blue eyes and blonde hair, and a shoulder to waist ratio that had killed before, Steve was another classic, American Hollywood star.

 

Many suspected that the infamous rivalry between the two stemmed from that. That their good looks and charming personalities created tension for the best roles and most attention from the media. 

 

That wasn’t the case though. They’re rivalry had started when their two shows had started filming at the same time. Steve was kind of new to the Hollywood scene, having only done small guest appearances here and there because his focus had been mainly on live theatre. Bucky had been the supporting actor in many blockbuster films and so when Steve turned up to his first day of filming The Avengers, only to find a cocky, narcissistic and rude Bucky Barnes on his first day of filming the spy and war thriller drama TV series Hydra, well let’s just say the two immediately clashed heads.

 

Since then they haven’t been able to see eye to eye on much apart from the horrible coffee that SHIELD provides its employees on set. And that was a lucky day. 

 

The internal and external pressure of The Avengers and Hydra competing for SHIELD’s number one TV show hasn’t helped the matter either. What started as ambiguous digs at each other in the media and to others in the industry has led to a full-blown war.

 

Everyone who is anyone in the business knows that Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes do not get along. At all.

 

The smirk twisting Bucky’s face as he watched Steve’s anger grow only furthers the twisting of Steve’s gut. God, he hates this man.

 

“Sorry, Rogers,” Bucky drawls, kicking one foot up to rest on the wall, crossing his arms. The relaxed position against the wall only furthered Steve's agitation. Does Barnes think that every moment is a photoshoot or something? “Didn’t get a chance to get my morning coffee this morning. Lucky we like it the same way, hey?”

 

Steve rolled his eyes, snatching the travel mug from Bucky’s lax grip. “Don’t you have minions or something to do that for you?”

 

“They’re called fans, pal. And I don’t exploit them.”

 

Steve scoffed. “You wouldn’t know a fan if you saw one, Barnes.”

 

It was a lie and Steve knew that Bucky knew that he knew. Bucky was one of the most popular celebrities currently, rivalled by the cast of The Avengers and the classics. Bucky had fans following him everywhere, both in-person and online. He had a massive social media following and it was a rare occurrence if he wasn’t mentioned at least weekly in the tabloids.

 

Bucky smirked and kicked himself off the wall. God, Steve hated that smirk. “Table read today?”

 

“None of your fucking business,” Steve spat, turning around to go into the office building where they’d be having their first table read. “When’s yours?”

 

“None of your fucking business,” Barnes mocked from behind him. “Heard you were getting some new cast members. Don’t you think you’ve got enough big-headed and untalented people in that crew of yours?”

 

Steve pressed the elevator button and was relieved when the doors opened immediately. “Is that the reason why you haven’t had any new cast members for the past two seasons, Barnes?”

 

Bucky scowled before walking out of the elevator, now on the correct floor. “Have fun at your little get together. I’m not looking forward to the new season.”

 

Steve flipped Bucky off as he walked away, the other actor heading to the left to what Steve assumed was Hydra’s first table read as well. Despite their shows being structured differently, The Avengers episodes were 20 minutes without ads and Hydra’s was 40 minutes, they usually ran on the same schedule.

 

Same plot, same hours, same time of year. For four years. Bucky filmed a few weeks longer than Steve due to the fact Hydra sometimes went overseas, so Steve never got to film The Avengers without Bucky’s smirk somewhere in the building. It aggravated him to no end.

 

Steve slipped into the small crew kitchen a few doors down from the large office space they’d be meeting in today. He dumped his travel mug harshly in the sink and grabbed the cloth and soap to scrub the Bucky germs off angrily.

 

“Woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, Rogers?”

 

Steve jumped and turned around to find Natasha leaning against the door he had just come through, arms crossed over her black leather jacket. She was growing her hair out a little longer for this season, so it was brushing her shoulders at the moment.

 

At his angry sigh, she arched one perfect eyebrow at him, her green eyes assessing.

 

Steve turned back around to continue his scrubbing, imagining it was Bucky’s smirk he was wiping off his face. “Barnes.”

 

Natasha made a noise of understanding and she jumped up onto the bench next to the sink. “And what did the handsome devil do today that’s put you in such a bad mood?”

 

Steve flushed but ignored Natasha’s description, focusing on his travel mug. “Besides just being a general dick and asshole? He had the last of my coffee.”

 

Natasha clicked her tongue at him, shaking her head and said condescendingly, “That’s what you get for having the same coffee order.”

 

“That’s what he said!” Steve exploded, chucking the cloth into the sink and rounding on Natasha, face red with anger. “He called us all untalented and big-headed-”

 

“Well, he’s right about Tony.”

 

“-and was asking about the new cast members.”

 

“That’s not unusual for Barnes.” Natasha arched an eyebrow at him again.

 

“Yeah,” Steve pouted. “But you should have heard his voice. All mocking and sarcastic and-”

 

“Talking about Barnes again, Steve?” Steve turned around to see Sam and Tony rolling their eyes at him, Sam walking into the kitchen and clapping Steve on the shoulder. “Maybe if you two just fucked that would get it out of your systems.”

 

Steve spluttered, absolutely mortified, as Tony cackled from the doorway. 

 

“That’s what I was thinking, Sammie boy. Maybe you should ditch Steve and hang out with me more.”

 

Sam’s eyes widened a little in horror, back towards Tony so only Steve and Natasha could see his panic. Steve smirked.

 

“Don’t you have that kid to look after now?” Sam said, schooling his face back into neutrality as he turned back to Tony.

 

Tony huffed and opened his mouth but whatever response he had on the tip of his tongue was interrupted by someone coming barreling into the room.

 

It was a kid, probably a few years past twenty. Steve recognised him as Peter Parker as he straightened himself, a blinding smile overcoming his face as he looked around the room. He was wearing slim-fitting jeans with a grey Avengers t-shirt underneath a black blazer. 

 

“Talking about me?” He ran a nervous hand through his mop of brown curls.

 

“Jesus, kid,” Tony said, shaking his head. “Do you have super hearing or something?”

 

“No,” Peter grinned cheekily. “But my character does!”

 

“It’s called method acting,” Natasha said, still sitting on the kitchen bench next to Steve. Peter’s eyes widened as she talked. “You wouldn’t know because you can’t act for shit.”

 

Sam and Steve laughed. Peter stared at Natasha in horror as Tony sniffed, pulling out sunglasses from his own blazer’s pocket and slipping them on his face. “Get fucked, Romanoff.”

 

Peter gasped as Sam and Steve laughed harder.

 

Natasha jumped off the kitchen bench and graciously stalked towards Tony who was squinting at her behind purple-tinted glass. “Happily. Is Pepper around?”

 

Tony’s jaw dropped as Natasha brushed past him and walked out the door. “I knew it!” He called, following her out. “I knew you were sleeping with my wife!”

 

Sam shook his head and followed them out, Steve following but stopping in front of Peter who was looking at the door with wide eyes. Once he noticed Steve standing there, those wide eyes turned to Steve, Peter’s cheeks tinting pink.

 

“Peter, right?” Steve stuck his hand out for Peter to shake.

 

Peter nodded his head and Steve’s hand enthusiastically. “Yes, yes. I’m Peter. Parker. Peter Parker. That’s my name.”

 

Steve watched amused as Peter blushed further. “It’s very nice to meet you, Peter. I’m Steve.”

 

“I know,” Peter blurted, then seemed horrified at himself.

 

Steve laughed. Normally he didn’t like it when people got flustered around him because of his fame and the show. He wasn’t meant for the big lights, but Peter being flustered was adorable. “Fan of the show?”

 

Peter’s shoulders relaxed a little when Steve didn’t point out the stars in his eyes. They walked out of the kitchen together, towards the conference room, talking. “Hell yeah. My favourite show, honestly. I watch it with my aunt all the time.”

 

Steve grinned. He loved when people expressed love for the art he created, and especially because he loved the show very much too. “That’s awesome. Where you from?”

 

“Queens.” Peter grinned, opening the door into the conference room.

 

Steve clapped him on the shoulder and squeezed, following Peter into the room. “Brooklyn.”

 

Steve forgot all about his crappy encounter with Bucky as he greeted all the rest of the cast and crew that was there that day. Steve gave Phill Coulson, the head writer, and Maria Hill, the show’s producer, a hug. He introduced himself to the Maximoff twins, Wanda and Pietro, who would be playing this seasons 'villains’, even though Phill and his team planned for them to turn to the Avengers side near the end of the season.

 

He relaxed back with his friends, his family, practically, as they read through the first episode's script. They brainstormed ideas and talked about the timeline, joking and catching up. Steve watched happily as Peter slowly relaxed into the atmosphere, sitting next to Tony and hanging off his every word.

 

They would work together well, Steve thought, watching as Peter told a story and Tony laughed. He was excited about Tony’s character development, and especially that he got to work with someone new and refreshing. Tony had thought about retiring at the end of last season, before his and Pepper’s wedding, but ultimately decided to stay on. He loved the show too much but vowed he’d probably leave once Pepper fell pregnant so she could continue to work after the baby.

 

Steve's mood was high in the clouds as he walked out, ready to head to the gym to finish his day before having dinner with his ma, but completely plummeted to six feet under the ground when he saw Fury standing at the end of the hall. With Alexander Pierce.

 

Nick Fury was the executive producer of The Avengers. He was a stoic, hard man, but ultimately kind. He had a clear vision for the show when it first was in planning and development but had opened his eyes, well his one eye not hidden by an eye patch, to the cast having more creative control over their characters since.

 

Steve liked the guy. He was sarcastic and clever. He wasn’t afraid about what he put on TV. The show had covered dozens of controversial but important topics, and he was one hundred per cent supportive with Steve developing his character’s mental illness issues. He always made sure that all the actors felt safe and supported, and made sure when they did touch sensitive topics, it was done well and correctly, but also didn’t take from the feel of the show.

 

Alexander Pierce, however, Steve loathed. He was the executive producer for Hydra and Steve thought he was secretly a Nazi. The guy creeped him out. He had a polite facade but he always spoke down to everyone around him. He never did anything towards the women in the workplace that Steve knew of, but he always would watch the women with his sleazy eyes.

 

He always wore crisp and pressed suits, every day. Whilst Tony did the same, the way they wore and walked around in them was completely different. They both oozed money but Peirce abused that money to gain power. Steve hated him. He had no idea how Bucky worked with him.

 

“Fury,” Steve nodded, stopping in front of them. Steve was the last one out of the conference room so everyone else had already gone, leaving him alone.

 

“Steve,” Fury nodded back. “How’d it go?”

 

Steve cut his eyes to Peirce, who was watching Steve closely, then back to Fury. “Really well. We’re going to smash Hydra out of the ballpark this season.”

 

Peirce chuckled, Steve’s fist-clenching involuntarily at the sound. “That’s what you say every season, Rogers.”

 

Steve plastered on his press smile which was too big and too fake. “And it’s true every season, isn’t it?”

 

Peirce eyed him critically for a moment before Fury cleared his throat. “We need to talk to you, Steve,” Fury gestured to his office, the door shut. “Do you have a minute?”

 

Steve’s eyebrows scrunched together in confusion as he followed Fury and Peirce into the office. Confusion cleared to anger when he saw who was sitting in a chair in front of Fury’s desk.

 

“Barnes,” Steve said curtly, sitting down into the chair next to the other actor.

 

“Rogers,” Bucky turned his head to the side, his signature smirk placed on his lips.

 

Steve realised that the aggressive scrubbing on his travel mug this morning did nothing to quell his need to scrub that smirk off that damn face.

 

“Gentlemen,” Fury said, rounding the desk and sitting in his chair. He watched Peirce sit on the edge of the desk with a squinted eye, obviously unhappy but he didn’t say anything, turning back to Steve and Bucky. “I hope we aren’t keeping you from anything important.”

 

Bucky sighed and leant forward in the chair, resting his elbows on his knees. “Listen, if this is about what I said to those reporters last week about poor old Stevie here, then honestly, I don’t care.”

 

Steve's shoulders straightened and he turned his body towards Bucky. “Oh, what did you say, Buck? That I’m frosty as Cap in the ice and that my dick isn’t as big as I claim it to be?”

 

The smirk was back on Bucky’s face as he turned around to face Steve fully, his eyebrows raised. “Well, it’s true, ain’t it?”

 

Steve growled. “I’ve never said anything about my dick to you, you-”

 

“Enough,” Fury barked. Steve and Bucky turned back to face him, Steve with steam coming out of his ears and Bucky’s smirk even larger than before. “No, this isn’t about Roger’s dick or your smart ass comments, Barnes. It’s about charity.”

 

Both Bucky and Steve visibly deflated, their anger loosening at Fury’s words. They both slumped back in their seats, silent, ready for Fury to continue.

 

“Thank you,” Fury said, pulling some papers out from his desk drawer. “SHIELD has been having some recent discussions and we think it would be great if SHIELD did a special at the end of June. We want to involve actors from both Avengers and Hydra, as the two biggest shows, who will each have a charity.”

 

Peirce jumped in then, much to Fury’s annoyance. “We haven’t hashed out everything yet but there will be skits and games with the actors, with people donating online and through call.”

 

Steve’s heart warmed a little at the idea. Two biggest shows coming together on television to raise money for various charities. Sounds fucking brilliant. The only problem was Hydra. 

 

“That sounds great, Nick,” Steve said, purposely not addressing Peirce because he’s petty like that. “But why are Bucky and I here?”

 

“Well, we need two hosts, don’t we?” 

 

There was a moment of calm as the words floated in the air before both Bucky and Steve shot up in their seats, yelling.

 

“What the fu-”

 

“No way, are you seriously-”

 

“I mean it’s a great idea but him-”

 

“We ain’t gonna raise money with his ugly mug-”

 

“Oh, fuck off, Barnes!” 

 

“Nah, you fuck off, Rogers!”

 

“Sit down, now.” Peirce snapped.

 

Out of principle, Steve stayed standing until Fury rolled his eye and gestured for Steve to sit down.

 

“Now, as I was saying,” Fury continued like he hadn’t been yelled at. “We need two hosts and you two have been chosen because you’re probably the two most popular actors from SHIELD. And the fact you’d be hosting together, after your history, will bring even more attraction.”

 

Steve sighed. More attraction and media coverage means more people donating to charities and damn Sarah Rogers for raising such a gold-hearted son.

 

“Fine,” Steve sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “What do we need to do?”

 

“Promotional videos and such,” Peirce said. “The usual. It will be live, so we’ll need rehearsals for sound and lighting in the weeks leading up to it. We’ll have someone write the script for you-”

 

“No,” Steve interrupted. “We can write it.”

 

“Excuse me?” Peirce said a little sharply.

 

Steve ignored the sharp look from Bucky and focused on Peirce and Fury. “I’d prefer if Bucky and I wrote it so it’s not so stiff, and with such good charities, I’d feel better if I was writing what I was saying.”

 

Bucky sighed next to him. “Great. More time with your ugly mug.”

 

“It’s for charity.” Steve huffed.

 

Bucky’s jaw twitched but he didn’t dispute.

 

Fury nodded, writing something down. “Alright, Rogers. That can be arranged. We’re still planning but once I have a schedule and a list of charities etcetera I’ll get it to you two. How about we schedule a meeting next week to go over everything? What’s both of your filming schedules like?”

 

They figured out the four of them, plus others would have a meeting later that week after a full day of filming for both Bucky and Steve. Steve already knew it wouldn’t be great. Both he and Bucky got even more snappy when they were tired.

 

Steve nodded to Fury and Peirce and walked out of the office, Bucky following. They walked to the car park silently together for once.

 

Steve stopped at his bike and noticed that Bucky’s car wasn’t parked in its usual spot. Huh, he must not have noticed this morning. Another point of dispute between the two of them was the car park. Their reserved spots for the filming season were right next to each other.

 

Bucky noticed Steve looking at the empty car spot and scoffed. “Some asshole parked in my spot this morning. That’s why I stole your coffee.”

 

Steve huffed and rolled his eyes. “It was probably our new kid. And he’s not an asshole.”

 

Bucky’s lips twitched. “Well, he’s an Avenger now, right? Avengers are always assholes.”

 

Steve shook his head and he didn’t bother to fight the small frown on his face. “This is going to be a horrible experience, isn’t it?”

 

Bucky grinned and for some weird reason, Steve’s heart started to beat faster. “It’s for charity,” he said, mocking Steve from earlier.

 

“Fuck off, Barnes.” Steve flipped him off and put his helmet on.

 

“Have a good night, Stevie!” Bucky yelled over the noise of Steve turning on his bike. The nice message was undercut by Bucky flipping him off with both hands. 

 

Steve spent the entire drive back to his apartment with a stone in his stomach. 

 

@avengersrmyboys

Anyone else just lie awake at night thinking about how fUCKING GOOD AVENGERS IS?! Like seriously, can tv get any better at this point? Attractive and talented cast with diverse backgrounds and history, great chemistry and great plots??? Jokes that don’t resort to stereotypes but are well thought out and just fucking hilarious??? 1/?

 

@avengersrmyboys

They tackle serious issues in a way that’s respectful but they also make jokes but never at the expense of the issue? Like they literally had a whole episode devoted to Cap’s PTSD from the war but the running joke in the episode was Falcon kept finding pizza slices everywhere only to find out it was Hawkeye eating in the vents??? Genius! 2/?

 

@avengersrmyboys

Also never mind the fact that these characters are dEVELOPED to a tee like they’re literally based off their actors (and with the same names- how cool is that!!). Actor Steve Rogers did grow up with little money with a single mom in Brooklyn, scrappy and picking fights and so did character Steve Rogers, just in the depression! 3/?

 

@avengersrmyboys

they interweave moments and info from the actors lives with fiction so well that it creates a fully fleshed character living and breathing before our eyes. And they have the same names, how fun must that be on set! 4/?

 

@avengersrmyboys

Although come to think of it Nat could be a Russian spy just like her character and none of us would be the wiser but thanks for coming to my ted talk about why The Avengers is the best show on tv 5/5

 

@ASSet

I mean hydra is pretty good too

 

@avengersrmybous

Hydra only rivals avengers because of Bucky’s ass

 

@ASSet

I don’t disagree

 

Sarah Rogers is fed up with Steve’s bullshit but Steve’s on a roll and doesn’t shut up. 

 

“-and that smirk, Ma, fucking hell that smirk. It just makes me think of puppies being covered in petrol and shut in a box only for the box to be on fire and falling off a cliff. If I have to see him smirk at me one more time-“

 

“-I’ll punch it off his face.” Sarah finishes with her son, who pouts at her. She rolls her eyes back. 

 

“Sorry, honey, but every time we talk you always rant about Bucky’s smirk for at least five minutes.”

 

Steve cut the carrot a little more aggressively than what was needed. His mother snorted through the phone. 

 

One bad thing about living in LA meant that his mother was still in Brooklyn. Twice a week they’d video chat on their phones, cooking the same meal in their respective kitchen and sit down to eat together. It wasn’t quite the real thing but it managed to soothe most of the homesickness ache Steve always carried around. 

 

“I think it’s important I remind you how much I loathe the guy because last time you visited you couldn’t keep your hands off him.”

 

Sarah pointed the knife accusingly at him. “Hey! I’m sorry that he’s just as polite and charming as he is handsome.”

 

“Ma!” Steve yelled, mortified. 

 

“He’s really sweet, baby.” Steve made a noise of protest but Sarah battled on. “Anyways, what did he do today’s that put a stick up your ass?”

 

“Him being him is the stick up my ass,” Steve mumbled, finishing one carrot and moving to the next before his face flushed and he groaned. 

 

Sarah cackled. 

 

“Don’t,” Steve warned. “Don’t you dare.”

 

Sarah smiles sweetly at her son. “I would never.”

 

Steve’s lips twitched into a smile before he forced them into a frown. “Fury and SHEILD have set up this special live TV thing for charity-“ Sarah made a noise of interest, loving it when Steve did charity work. “-and he and Pierce, God, I hate that man, have asked Bucky and me to be the hosts.”

 

Sarah raises her eyebrows at him. “And that’s bad why?”

 

“Seriously?” Steve asked, shocked. “Why wouldn’t it be bad? I have to spend extra time with him now, Ma. We gotta write the script and do promotional stuff and then rehearsals, not to mention the actual thing-“

 

“Steven Grant Rogers.” Sarah snapped and Steve felt his spine straighten involuntarily. 

 

“Yes, Ma?” Steve grimaced. 

 

“Are you honestly complaining about being allowed to help people in need?”

 

“Ma-“

 

“Don’t ma me, mister.” Sarah dumped her cut up carrots in the salad bowl and started mixing angrily. “You’ve worked your ass off to get to this job because it’s your passion but it also gives you the opportunity, power and money to make a difference. Can you imagine telling your sixteen-year-old self that you’re complaining about doing a good thing, the right thing, in your community because you have to spend a little more time with Bucky Barnes?”

 

Steve was silent, his ears flushing in embarrassment and shame. 

 

“I don’t mean to hurt you, Steve.” His mom said softly, picking up her phone and bringing it closer to her face. “I understand how frustrating Bucky can be for you and I’m guessing you’re not going to have fun with this whole process, but think of the people you’re going to help.”

 

“You’re right, Ma,” Steve said, grabbing his phone from where it was resting against his fruit bowl and bringing it up to eye level.

 

Sarah sniffed but she was grinning. “I always am. What charities is this thing supporting?”

 

@hyyyydra

Can’t wait for the next season of Hydra- hoping they’ll explore more of Red Skulls backstory!

 

@stevierogers

Hydra has great writing, cinematography and is very gripping but it's still a show made by Nazi’s

 

@tonystank

Yep literally the entire cast of hydra are nazi’s or nazi sympathisers i want to remove their access to their twitter accounts my god

 

@stevierogers

True true true true but bucky barnes isn’t a nazi

 

@tonystank

How do we know that? He never speaks much about politics etc. :(

 

The week between gaining the terrible news and the first meeting for SHIELD’s charity special didn’t have anything happen out of the ordinary. Steve filmed the first episode of Avengers, as did Bucky with Hydra, and they squabbled and yelled at each other across the property.

 

They did get in one twitter fight but it was tame compared to their usual fights. It was Steve retweeting Bucky’s picture of his coffee with the captain of a smiley face that he aggressively responded with ‘you breaking into my house now to steal my coffee?” to which Bucky replied ‘you wish :)’ and Steve replied with ‘I’d rather be hit by a bus then see you in my apartment’.

 

So, yeah. Normal week.

 

It was actually a pretty good week at work. The Maximoff’s and Peter blended so well into the routine and scenes it was like they were there from the very start. Steve came in on his day off even to watch Tony and Peter shooting scenes together. They had great chemistry and Steve was laughing so hard he had to retreat elsewhere.

 

He even almost forgot about the meeting but then Bucky reminded him in the morning as they got out of their car and motorbike, respectively. 

 

“Excited for this evening?” Bucky asked, taking a sip of his coffee.

 

Steve put his helmet in the bike’s compartment and strode ahead of Bucky. “I never agreed to go on a date with you, Barnes. This is getting out of hand.”

 

Bucky hit him on the back of the head lightly as he caught up with Steve. “Fucking hilarious, dipshit. As if you wouldn’t want to tap this. No, the meeting to hash out the plan for the charity thing we have to do.”

 

“Is that today?”

 

“Jesus Christ, yes. I thought you’d be all happy to be doing charity shit.”

 

Steve huffed and rolled his eyes but he didn’t say anything.

 

“Well, I’ll see you then, punk.” Bucky tipped his coffee towards Steve, smirking. “Until then, have fun with your playgroup.”

 

Steve flipped him off and the sound of Bucky’s laughter haunted him until he had to focus on the filming of a scene an hour later.

 

Whilst Steve does walk into the conference room with a stone in his gut, his heart was a little light.

 

He would be lying if he said that he didn’t want to do this. His ma was right, sixteen-year-old Steve Rogers would be shitting his pants for this opportunity. The need to help people and do the right thing was ingrained in Steve’s DNA and he felt a little guilty he had forgotten that.

 

But to be fair, he would be working with Bucky Barnes for the next three months and that was a whole different scenario that Steve had to yet to process or think about.

 

Fury and Peirce were sitting at the end of the table, heads bent in a discussion. Steve spotted SHIELD’s CEO, PR manager and other important people Steve knew generally but could only force himself to have a small talk for five minutes maximum with.

 

The only real familiar face is Bucky, lounging in an office chair at the end of the long conference room table, making the intern who’s sitting by the window howl in laughter. Steve resigned himself to sitting across from Bucky and sat down.

 

“What’s so funny?”

 

Bucky didn’t miss a beat and smirked. “Your ugly mug.”

 

Steve hummed and eyed the poor intern who was watching the exchange with a smile on his face. “Sorry, kid. You shouldn’t have to be subjected to this asshole.”

 

Bucky pouted. “Captain America gotta save the day, huh?”

 

“Better than being a Nazi sniper, dickhead.”

 

“I’m a better shot, fuc-”

 

“Thank you, everyone, for coming,” Pierce said, standing up with a too-wide smile on his face. Steve might have to rearrange his list of people he’d most like to punch. Donald Trump in first place, Peirce in second, and Bucky bumped down to third. “Let’s start, shall we?”

 

The meeting was pretty standard, as far as meetings go. Everyone around the table spoke about their role and their estimated timelines, what they’d need from others etcetera. Surprisingly, Steve and Bucky didn’t fight.

 

Well, verbally.

 

Steve at one point shifted in his seat and accidentally knocked Bucky’s toe, who then started a violent footsie game under the table. Steve was sure he’d have bruises on his shin when he got home because Bucky could kick, jeez. What did they teach him in that Nazi show?

 

They gave Steve and Bucky a rough timeline that was subject to change but it looked like they would need to start writing next week and promotion stuff would start to pick up in a few weeks too.

 

Yay.

 

Steve made sure to shake everyone's hands and wish them a goodnight, Bucky following behind him and doing the same. If people noticed that Steve’s smile became a little forced and his handshake a little tight once he noticed Bucky doing it, well they didn't say anything.

 

It also meant that they would be leaving the room at the same time and walking to their respective vehicles.

 

“How was filming today?” Bucky asked, running a hand through his short hair. “Anything exciting happen?”

 

“Oh, just a few great scenes that are better than anything you and those Hydra goons have produced.”

 

Bucky huffed and pushed the elevator button. “Notice how you said few?”

 

Steve rolled his eyes.

 

“Oh come on, Stevie.” Bucky ignored the way Steve’s jaw clenched at the nickname. “You know, deep down, that Hydra is a much better show than your twenty minutes of fools being foolish.”

 

Steve let out a bark of laughter, stepping into the elevator. “Fools being foolish?”

 

Bucky jabbed the ground floor button aggressively. “You serious? Your most recent season finale had these weird space elves invading the planet that was interrupted constantly with texts from Stark who was on the oil rig trying to save Pepper’s life. Completely lost the momentum of the battle scenes.”

 

Steve bristled and they both stepped out of the elevator. “Our show is a comedy, Barnes. Sorry if it doesn’t match your season finale of The Asset invading a US naval base and killing everyone on it before blowing it up.”

 

Bucky turned towards him, his smirk stretching his lips. “You watch the show, Rogers?”

 

Steve flushed, embarrassed he had been caught but that didn’t stop the anger from filling his chest. “You just fucking admitted you watched our season finale too!”

 

Bucky patted him on the cheek condescendingly, which Steve squatted away with a growl. “You gotta watch your enemy to know how to beat them.”

 

“So you admit we’re competition?” Steve raised his eyebrows, crossing his arms to stop himself from punching Bucky’s eyes out.

 

Bucky opened his car door and paused, smirking at Steve. “You wish, Stevie.”

 

Steve growled and took a step forward, ready to continue the fight, but Bucky’s smirk only grew and he slipped into his car, shutting the door quickly. As he started his engine, Steve flipped him off, glaring as Bucky reversed out of the car park. He could hear Bucky’s laughter as he drove away.

 

Fucking hell. This was going to suck big time.

 

@babybarnes

I’d like everyone to take this moment to watch this gif on repeat of one Bucky Barnes reversing in a sports car that one time he did a rom-com… jesus wept

 

@fuckmebarnes

Wow way to expose my kink for Bucky putting his hand on the passenger headrest and looking backwards as he reverses. Surely I’m not the only one who would die if they were in that car

 

@babybarnes

I would die just seeing it in person. Can you imagine?! 

 

Steve got an email on his lunch break the Monday after. It was from Fury with a more final schedule. It also contained a list of all the SHIELD actors that would be involved and asked them all to nominate a charity for approval within forty-eight hours.

 

Hosts: Bucky Barnes (Hydra) and Steve Rogers (The Avengers)

 

Special Guests:

Tony Stark (The Avengers)

Natasha Romanoff (The Avengers)

Clint Barton (The Avengers)

Bruce Banner (The Avengers)

Thor Odinson (The Avengers)

Peter Parker (The Avengers)

Sam Wilson (The Avengers)

Wanda and Pietro Maximoff (The Avengers)

Carol Danvers (The Avengers)

Brock Rumlow (Hydra)

Jack Rollins (Hydra)

Jasper Sitwell (Hydra)

Arnim Zola (Hydra)

Johann Schmidt (Hydra)

 

Steve was happy to see that a lot of his Avengers co-stars were on the list. Only a few were missing, like Pepper Potts and Rhodey, but they all knew that they would appear less this season. 

 

Steve wasn’t happy at the Hydra actors they picked, but he also wouldn’t have been happy with anyone from that show. He wondered what charities they’d pick. They wouldn’t get approval for anything Nazi-related, he was sure Fury wouldn’t let that pass at all.

 

Then Steve thought about what charity he should support. Jeez, how was he meant to pick just one? Steve supported many charities, donating frequently, helping out. He was even an ambassador for a few. He’d need to think about it for a little bit, but he was glad that everyone got to pick a charity which maximizes the number of people they’d help. And he knew for sure that all of his Avengers peers would donate to their charities, and probably everyone else's too.

 

He would be.

 

If they weren’t Nazi related.  

 

A few days later, Steve got the list of charities they’d be supporting. He had decided to support a mental health charity that was doing really good work with youth and those in disadvantaged situations. He felt it was fitting with Cap’s recent story arcs and was really needed at the moment.

 

Tony was supporting a charity that worked against climate change by recycling and pushing renewable energy, Clint was supporting a charity for those who are hard of hearing or sight, Natasha a charity supporting sexual assault victims and Sam a charity for war vets. 

 

Steve was happy with Peter’s choice of supporting homeless shelters, and Bruce’s and Thor’s scientific advancement and domestic violence respectively. Wanda nominated a charity that helps orphans and disadvantaged youths, and Pietro a charity for food security. Carol nominated one that helps refugees. 

 

Steve was completely shocked at the charities that the Hydra cast had chosen. They were great and ranged from supporting indigenous communities to those impacted by natural disasters. However, Steve went into work the next day and heard a rumour that none of them had bothered to nominate charities, leaving the decision to Pierce and Fury. Steve suspected that Fury had everything to do with the charities chosen.

 

Steve was not surprised that Bucky had nominated a charity that supported the LGBT+ community. Bucky could be an asshole, a mean, sarcastic and narcissistic asshole but he was never a bad person.

 

It took a few talks from Nat and Sam to help him realise this. Just because they didn’t get along didn’t mean that Bucky was a horrible person who deserved to die. Yes, he did deserve to get punched sometimes, but Steve could understand that Bucky had had his own struggles as an out gay actor and would take the opportunity to support a wonderful charity.

 

Hell, Steve knew for a fact that the link to the charity's website was in all of Bucky’s social media bios. 

 

The day after Fury’s email was sent out with the list of charities and schedule, he was relaxing in his art studio after a long day of stunt work when his phone buzzed.

 

He put down the paintbrush, abandoning the portrait of Natasha as Black Widow he had been working on, and picked up his phone. It was a notification from Twitter, informing him he had a new private message.

 

Steve only kept notifications on for dm on Twitter for a few select people, not wanting his phone to blow up every second at the hundreds of messages he gets a day. He reads the majority of them when he can, but he didn’t want to give his phone a heart attack.

 

He left the art studio as he opened his phone and opened Twitter. He didn’t like the outside world mixing with his art studio and he was glad he did when he saw it was a private message from none other than Bucky Barnes.

 

He rested his forehead against his apartment's hallway wall and took a deep breath before opening it.

 

Bucky Barnes: hey punk what’s your phone number? 

 

Steve gripped his phone a little tighter and sat down on a stool at his kitchen bench.

 

Steve Rogers: is this usually how you pick up guys because i’m gonna be honest with you buck, it needs a little work

 

Bucky Barnes: fuck off i know you’d sleep with me if you could. i need your number so i can call and text you

 

Steve Rogers: why?

 

Bucky Barnes: oh jeez you really are an idiot. for the charity special, steve. remember? 

 

Steve Rogers: oh

 

Bucky Barnes: well?

 

Steve hesitated for a second and then sent Bucky his phone number.

 

His phone buzzed a few seconds later with a text. 

 

Unknown Number: see stevie, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

 

Steve Rogers: fuck off 

 

Steve added a poop emoji to the end of Bucky’s contact name because he was childish.

 

Bucky Barnes: you free sometime tomorrow to have a chat or are you busy doing whatever it is you do for fun? 

 

Steve Rogers: i’ll be free around ten am after my morning session at the gym, jerk 

 

Bucky Barnes: aw, trying to keep up with me at the gym? 

 

Steve Rogers: nah, just getting ready to punch you in the face

 

Bucky Barnes: but that's my moneymaker 

 

Steve Rogers: i’m going to ignore you from now on until you call me tomorrow 

 

Bucky Barnes: i’m sure I’ll live

 

Bucky does call him at ten am the next day and Steve sits on the couch letting his phone ring for a few seconds so Bucky doesn’t think he was waiting for the call for the past ten minutes like the loser he is.

 

“Hiya, Stevie.”

 

Steve groans and falls back into the couch. “Kill me now.”

 

He can hear the pout in Bucky’s voice as he speaks. “But then we can’t do the special and who will help those people?”

 

“What did you want to chat about?” Steve pinched the bridge of his nose.

 

“The schedule,” Bucy said. “I don’t know what you do in your merry land of fun and bullshit over there, but with this added onto my schedule, I’m going to be busy. So I’d like for us to plan or have set times on when we do things.”

 

Steve bristled. “Sorry that your Nazi propaganda is very demanding.”

 

There was a beat of silence and Steve thought he had somehow overstepped a line but Bucky spoke. “Shut the fuck up, Rogers. You don’t know shit. Are you free every day for an hour or so after wrap?”

 

By the time Bucky and Steve hung up the phone ten minutes later, Steve realised that he would only have one day a week off from Bucky Barnes. In between the promotional things they needed to shoot and the actual writing of the script, Sunday would be his one rest from Bucky. 

 

Awesome.

 

Monday came along and everyone on set that day could tell that Steve wasn’t in a good mood.

 

“Who put the stick up your ass?” Nat asked, taking a swing from her water bottle whilst they waited for the set to reset after a stunt scene.

 

“I believe that Barnes fellow,” Thor said, wiping his forehead with a towel.

 

Steve growled but didn’t say anything.

 

Peter was sitting in his chair, watching the exchange with a small smile. The kid had been in a few days a week over the past couple of weeks so his star struckness had begun to waiver off. “What did he do this time?”

 

“What didn’t he do?”

 

Steve glared at Sam who only shrugged his shoulders grinning. “I’m spending time with him each day after wrap now, because of the special.”

 

Steve was disappointed by the lack of sympathetic eyes cast his way.

 

Tony appeared out of nowhere with his hands on Peter’s shoulders. He bent down to whisper to Peter but purposefully spoke normally so everyone could hear. “In case you haven’t picked up yet, that’s code for Barnes and Rogers fucking.”

 

A blush rose to Peter’s cheek but he laughed along with everyone else as Steve threw his water bottle at Tony. Peter caught it, laughing harder as Steve spluttered, mortified at his friends teasing.

 

“What-no-Peter-why-Tony!”

 

Tony took Steve’s water bottle from Peter’s hands and threw it back at Steve, shrugging. “Sorry, Rogers. I’m not blind. That man has a nice ass.”

 

Steve’s eyes widened in horror. “He does not!”

 

Everyone rolled their eyes. Steve flushed even more.

 

“Pepper!” Tony called out to his wife who was speaking to Phil by the buffet table, She looked over at him with her eyebrows raised. “You think Barnes has a nice ass, don’t you?”

 

Pepper nodded without hesitation, Phil watching with amused eyes. “Yes, yes he does.”

 

“See!” Tony turned back around to Steve with a triumphant smirk on his face. “My wife thinks another man has a nice ass!”

 

There was a beat of silence where everyone watched Tony process what he just said. He titled his head to the side, squinting before he sniffed and spun around. “Pep!”

 

Peter was laughing. “God, he’s ridiculous.”

 

“So is Barnes,” Steve grumbled, to which everyone groaned and ignored him.

 

Transcript of an interview between Sharon Carter and James Corden on The Late Late Show with James Corden; 27 April 2020

 

James Corden: Now, I know we’re here to talk about your upcoming movie but I have to take this opportunity to ask.

 

Sharon Carter: *laughs* Okay.

 

James Corden: Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes. You’ve worked with both separately, got anything to tell us?

 

Sharon Carter: Everyone is always digging around for information with those two, what is it?

 

James Corden: Their American charm.

 

Sharon Carter: Hmm, yes, that must be it. Well, they’re both amazing people. Funny, talented, caring. I think they clash so much because Bucky’s a stubborn asshole and Steve doesn’t know when to back down from a fight. I’d actually think they’d be really good friends but they’ve forced themselves into this situation where they only ever squabble.

 

James Corden: Why do you think they’d be friends?

 

Sharon Carter: Well, they’re both assholes *laughs*. They both have similar values and ideas, though they don’t see that. They’d both kill for the people they love, they have the same sense of humour and the same hobbies. But I don’t see them getting their heads out of their asses anytime soon.

 

James Corden: Because Bucky is a stubborn asshole and Steve doesn’t know when to back down from a fight?

 

Sharon Carter: Exactly, now you’re getting it!

 

As soon as Steve walked into the small conference room Fury had put aside for them, he knew it was going to be a long week.

 

Bucky was sitting at the table, phone in one hand and a fork in the other. He was scrolling through social media and eating a bowl of pasta at the same time, lounging in the chair like he owned the place. He didn’t look up from his phone when Steve walked in.

 

“Where’d you get the pasta?”

 

Bucky shovelled another forkful in his mouth, forcing Steve to wait for his reply. “Made it at home, idiot. What did you think?”

 

Steve didn’t bother answering but sat down opposite Bucky, taking out his laptop and phone. Bucky was technically right. Steve was an idiot. In his rush to get to work this morning he hadn’t thought about what he would be eating after wrap. His stomach was twisting with hunger, now that he thought about it.

 

Steve quickly pulled up Uber Eats and ordered some Chinese take out for himself to be delivered at the front desk. By the time he was done, Bucky was finishing up his pasta.

 

“So,” 

 

“So,” Bucky smirked. “Have a good day at work?”

 

Steve rolled his eyes and opened his email to check the plan for the special. Bucky scoffed as Steve sent the list to the printer.

 

“Fine,” Bucky snapped. “You don’t want to be civil during our time together. I can do that too.”

 

“Was that you trying to be civil?” Steve asked, getting up from his chair and getting the paper from the printer.

 

“What did you want me to do?” Bucky asked his voice tense. “Buy you a bouquet of flowers and have a candlelight dinner ready for you?”

 

Steve hummed, placing the timeline in front of Bucky who snatched it off the table. “That is how you pick up guys, Barnes. Knew if I kept you around a little longer you’d learn a thing or two.”

 

Bucky scoffed. “Right, because that worked out so well with Peggy fucking Carter.”

 

Steve’s jaw tensed. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

 

Bucky rolled his eyes. “What’s our plan here then, Rogers?”

 

They spent the hour they had planned reading over the timeline of the two-hour special. Steve and Bucky would need to write the transitions, introductions and conclusions of scenes and skits. They’d also been asked to brainstorm questions to ask actors and representatives from the charities.

 

All the scripts for the skits and scenes other actors would be doing were being written by real professionals, but SHIELD seemed okay with Bucky and Steve taking over the other things. Both of them had a history in scriptwriting, and it wasn’t that difficult of a task in the first place.

 

They had a lot to do. Especially because they only really spent half of the hour actually doing any work, the other half was spent bickering and yelling at each other.

 

Steve left the conference room with a headache and bruises on his palm made by his fingernails because he was clenching his fists the entire time. 

 

Sam called him just as Steve opened his apartment door.

 

“How’d it go man?’

 

“It was fucking awful,” Steve groaned, chucking his keys on the kitchen bench before flopping down on the couch. “We spent half the time just yelling at each other.”

 

“About?”

 

“We hadn’t even started and he brought up Peggy-” Steve could hear Sam wince. Whilst Sam wasn’t there for the whole ordeal, he had seen it online and was subjected to Steve being a mess when they had met. “-and then he argued over everything I said. I suggested something and he’d nick pick at it until there was nothing left but how dare I do the same to him.”

 

“Sounds horrible.”

 

“It was, Sam,” Steve didn’t care that he was whining. “And when my Chinese food arrived he kept stealing food from me like I just hadn’t seen him finish a bowl of pasta right before.”

 

“Aw, not the Chinese food.”

 

Steve was pretty sure Sam was mocking him now but he kept going. “He just infuriates me, you know? The way he sits in the chair, his stupid voice and god, that smirk.”

 

“That smirk.” Sam agreed, mockingly. “Let me guess, you want to punch it off his face.”

 

“So badly,” Steve pouted.

 

“Maybe one day, huh?”

 

“Hopefully.”

 

“Is that all that happened?” 

 

“He pushed me over in the car park,” Steve sighed. “He’s the worst.”

 

Sam laughed. “I know, man, I know. You just gotta power through it, okay?”

 

Steve nodded even though Sam couldn’t see him. “Did you have dinner with Riley?”

 

And as Sam talked about his childhood best friend, Steve sunk into the couch like an anchor was resting on his chest. An anchor with Bucky’s face on it. If this was one hour, how was he meant to do this until the end of June?

 

@BuckyBarnes

Here’s a video I took of @SteveRogers falling flat on his face today in the car park

 

@SteveRogers

You pushed me, you jerk!

 

@BuckyBarnes

Pics or it didn’t happen :) 

 

@SteveRogers

Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t met you and I’ve come to the conclusion my life would have been great

 

@BuckyBarnes

You think about me, Stevie?

 

@SteveRogers

*middle finger emoji*

 

 

Barnes is being annoying and Steve is seconds away from storming out of here, getting on a plane and flying to Brooklyn so his ma could make him his favourite beef and potato stew to make him feel better.

 

“Why would you even think that's a good idea?”

 

“Because it is, Bucky!”

 

“Holy crap, you Avengers with your fucking huge egos-”

 

“No need to be so hard on yourself, Buck-”

 

“-don’t know the difference between a good idea and a stupid idea-”

 

“-I’m sure there’s some talent over where you film whatever it is your film-”

 

“-if it punched you in the head, you’re so unbelievably insufferable-”

 

“I’m insufferable?! You’re-”

 

“Gentlemen!” Fury’s voice rang out through the conference room.

 

Bucky and Steve stopped yelling, their fists by their sides as they breathed heavily, glaring at each other across the table.

 

“I have been getting complaints about the noise from this room for the past four weeks from the poor interns,” Fury said. “I’m not above changing the hosts of this show if you two can’t get your act together. It’s only the middle of May, we have time.”

 

Bucky and Steve didn’t say anything.

 

Fury sighed. “What’s the problem, Rogers?”

 

Steve scowled and pointed at Bucky. “This idiot here-”

 

“Real mature, Steve.”

 

“-doesn’t want to order Thai for dinner.”

 

Fury stared at them blankly for a second before Bucky exploded.

 

“Why would I want to eat Thai for dinner, Steve? I had it last night!”

 

“Because it’s good, Bucky!”

 

“So?”

 

“So, we’re ordering it for dinner tonight!”

 

“Again I ask, why would I want to do that?”

 

“Enough,” Fury barked. “Order Italian instead. The draft you sent me yesterday was good, so whoever is doing the writing, well done.”

 

“Thank you,” Steve and Bucky said at the same time and then shot each other glares.

 

Fury sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Well, let’s just say I’m grateful you’re arguing over takeout instead of important things like Donald Trump’s wall.”

 

“Well, Bucky works with a bunch of Nazi’s so who knows-”

 

“Shut the fuck up, Rogers!” Bucky shouted, rounding the desk. “Say that to my face again, I swear to God-”

 

Fury put his hand on Bucky’s chest, stopping him from walking any further. “I’m calling it a night. Go home, now. Take a breather and come back on Monday with a fucking smile on your face or I will send Pierce after you two.”

 

Bucky’s jaw twitched but he didn’t say anything. Steve scowled.

 

“Unbelievable,” Fury muttered. 

 

Steve grabbed his laptop and his papers forcefully, shoving them into his laptop bag. Bucky did the same. The air was thick with tension.

 

Steve did feel like he somehow overstepped a line in whatever this thing was between them. Whenever Steve mentioned Nazi’s around Bucky, he’d get fired up much more quickly. Steve felt a little guilty, but what else was he supposed to say?

 

Bucky did work with a bunch on Nazi’s. Steve had overheard conversations between Brock Rumlow and Jack Rollins in the bathroom, and just looking at Johann Schmit’s Twitter gave you a clear indication of his political beliefs.

 

Steve didn’t know much about Bucky’s personal beliefs or political ideas. Bucky rarely spoke about politics or the news, but granted, they never did speak. They just argued.

 

The actor part of Steve understood that being famous with political beliefs could ruin your career. You could end up with more enemies with friends and Steve knew that wasn’t the best way to live. He understood why a lot of people kept quiet about things.

 

But the other half of Steve, the activist and political side of Steve, was frustrated by this. These people have power, they have influence, they have money, and they decided to follow politics that ruin peoples lives? That does nothing to benefit anyone apart from themselves? It made him boil with rage at the mere thought of it.

 

Steve didn’t understand how Bucky let himself be associated with these people. Steve doesn’t get a Nazi vibe from Bucky if he is being honest. Bucky just chooses very few times to stand up for his beliefs or make a stance. 

 

Bucky and Steve don’t say a thing to each other as they walk out. Bucky slams his car door a little aggressively and Steve follows him out of the car park, gripping his bike handles too tightly.

 

Steve woke up the next morning and got a message from Natasha.

 

Natasha Romanoff: ha ha ha :)

 

With the message was five photos of Steve and Bucky. The other day they had done their first photoshoot together and the pictures Natasha must have gotten from Fury were of Steve and Bucky, red face, yelling at each other. The last one had Bucky smirking as he pushed Steve in the face.

 

Steve went on his morning jog. He tries to outrun the pent up anger and frustration from the night before and Nat’s photos, and he’s mostly successful. He walks back into his apartment with his shoulders a little looser.

 

He turns on the coffee machine and as he starts to get some toast and eggs out, he turns on the TV in the lounge room. From his position in the kitchen, he can see the TV.

 

A morning breakfast show is on and they’re giving updates on the weather. He lets it become background noise as he puts his toast in the toaster and turns on the stove to cook his eggs.

 

“Thanks, Justine,” the news anchor says. “For the update on the weather.”

 

“Now, Jim,” The other news anchor turns towards her college. “SHIELD has released some news this morning that is very exciting.”

 

Steve’s head shoots up to focus more on the TV, letting the eggs cook in the pan.

 

“Well, I’m very excited, Anita. What do you have to tell us?”

 

A picture of Bucky and Steve from the same photoshoot as the ones Nat’s sent him popped up on one half of the screen, the news anchor, Anita, taking up the other half as she speaks into the camera. This photo was probably the most civilised photo out of all the ones they took, with Steve and Bucky smiling at the camera, hands in the pockets of their jumpers.

 

“That’s right ladies and gents, we are finally, finally, getting more Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes content,” Anita gushes, making Steve wince and completely forget about the eggs. “SHIELD has started promotion for a TV charity special that will be aired live on the 26th of June, but who cares about that!”

 

Steve’s mouth dropped a little as Anita continued.

 

“SHIELD's very own Hydra and Avenger’s superstars will be hosting the special. Together! Yes, yes, that means more bickering and fighting and beautiful faces to look at for a whole two hours. Can I get a hell yes from everyone?”

 

Steve felt ten times the anger from last night rise up from his stomach to his brain as Jim shouted an enthusiastic ‘hell yeah!’. He didn’t even register that his eggs were burning as Anita continued to talk about Steve and Bucky, gushing about their histories and showing their recent Twitter fights.

 

“I’ll give you a fucking Twitter fight,” Steve growled, turning off the stove and grabbing his phone.

 

He unlocked it and opened Twitter with anger shaking his hands.

 

@SteveRogers

Hey, @gmorning71, how about you talk about the charities and their brilliant work instead of gushing about @BuckyBarnes and I like a creepy stalker? 

 

Steve hit send and watched with a smile as the retweets, likes and comments started flooding in. It didn’t take long for him to get a few text messages.

 

Natasha Romanoff: I can figure out how to break into their studio in under two minutes if you want to do anything :)

 

Sam Wilson: Oh man, your poor agent. Oh, well, 71 deserved it!

 

Tony Stark: Get them, Cap!

 

Peter Parker: damn, you snapped.

 

Steve was preparing to get a phone call from his agent, with Anita still talking about them in the background, when he got the notification. Bucky had replied and retweeted his tweet.

 

@BuckyBarnes

For once I actually agree with @SteveRogers. @gmorning71 need to wake the fuck up and realise that not everything is about the latest Hollywood gossip. Amazing people are doing amazing work with these charities and @SHIELD are doing their part to support them

 

Steve felt a rush of something overcome him as he read Bucky’s words. Shock maybe, that Bucky was agreeing with him in such a public manner. Respect that he was breaking his silence and taking a stance. Or maybe awe and manic glee as he watched Anita’s eyes cast around the studio as she continued to speak about Bucky and Steve.

 

Well, Steve had to reply, didn’t he?

 

@SteveRogers

Here’s a list of the charities we are supporting on the 26th. I encourage everyone to read and educate themselves and please donate if you can. I will try my best to match the largest donation made to every charity. @BuckyBarnes and I, no matter our differences, do not tolerate shit reporting and complete ignorance. Especially when you associate us with it.

 

@BuckyBarnes

Well said, @SteveRogers, well said. I will also match the largest donations made to each charity and I encourage everyone to tune in and learn about these amazing people. If this weird truce between Stevie and I somehow gains more attention then these incredible and hardworking charities, I will come after you with a vengeance, Asset style :)

 

@SteveRogers

And Captain America will be there to back him up and watch his six. Have a good day everyone, and please consider donating! 

 

A few seconds later his phone blew up with messages, ranging from his mother, Thor and even Fury. But he only opened one message before he returned to making his breakfast.

 

Bucky Barnes: notice how i put a smiley face after my threat so it didn’t seem so threatening? 

 

Steve Rogers: very classy, buck, but i’m one hundred per cent sure that the assholes at channel 71 are still shitting their pants. That eyeliner you wear is honestly terrifying 

 

Bucky Barnes: hmm, yes, and paired with a shield that would decapitate them from a mile away, why wouldn’t they be shitting their pants? 

 

Steve only realised that they didn’t fight over text or Twitter when he got out of the shower an hour later. In fact, they agreed and fought against someone else together. They even bantered, not fought, over text.

 

Steve felt something loose in his chest at the thought that maybe he and Bucky will stop fighting constantly, but then he’s horrified and confused on why that thought makes him feel lighter. He decided not to think about it ever again and instead see how Bucky greets him on Monday after their first Saturday not filming promotion in four weeks.

 

Surprisingly when Bucky gets out of his car Monday morning to see Steve leaning against the wall with two coffees in his hand, he doesn’t smirk, scowl or immediately start yelling.

 

Instead, he squints at Steve standing there as he walks over to stand in front of Steve, his hands in his bomber jacket pockets. “Morning, Steve.”

 

Steve’s lips twitch. “Morning, Bucky.”

 

Bucky smirked, but it was different from his other smirk. His other smirk twisted his lips more, made his face sharper and angrier. It gave the impression to people that Bucky was arrogant and cocky, knew exactly what you were thinking and feeling and enjoyed it.

 

This smirk was softer, lighter. It was more of an amused twitch to Bucky’s lips than anything else. Steve had never seen this expression on Bucky’s face and the thought popped into his head that he liked this expression and wanted to see it more often before he angrily pushed those thoughts aside internally.

 

This amused smirk was paired with Bucky raising his eyebrows, looking at the two coffee cups in Steve’s hands. “Don’t you think that a little too much coffee for you, punk?”

 

Steve huffed, mainly to hide the uncomfortable realisation that punk was said almost playfully, with no menace or hurt behind it. “Well, jerk,” Steve drawled. He felt a zing of satisfaction as Bucky’s smirk grew into an amused smile. “I got you a coffee. Heard there was a crash on the highway on your normal route and I figured you wouldn’t be able to stop and grab your usual morning shot.”

 

Bucky took the coffee cup from Steve’s hand gratefully, bringing it up to his mouth to take a sip. Steve blushed, watching Bucky’s lips as he let out a low moan of appreciation. Bucky’s eyes opened and the corner of his mouth twitched at Steve’s red face, but he didn’t mention it.

 

“That’s awfully nice of you, Stevie. Thanks a lot.”

 

Steve bit his lip, flustered as he lamely tried to defend himself. “Well, uh, I did it so you wouldn’t steal my coffee again.”

 

Bucky nodded his head in understanding and said sarcastically, “Oh, of course, of course.”

 

They walked into the filming lot together, silent, and took sips of their coffees. When they came to the spot where Bucky headed left and Steve headed right, Bucky held up his coffee. “Truce until you manage to piss me off for being a punk?”

 

Steve clinked his coffee against Bucky’s, smiling. “Truce until you manage to piss me off for being a jerk.”

 

Bucky laughed and winked at Steve before turning around and heading to his set. Steve watched him go with a small smile on his face, the world a little brighter, a skip to his step as he turned around to head to his own set. 

 

He felt everyone’s eyes on him the entire day, including the cast and all the crew. Nat mentioned that he seemed happier than last week but Steve shrugged it off, refusing to acknowledge that it was because of Bucky. He didn’t have the time nor the energy for a revelation of that degree. 

 

The good mood even continued for the rest of the week.

 

He and Bucky continued to argue with each other, but something had shifted since the Twitter fight against Channel 71. They weren’t fighting, per se, but poking fun at each other, bantering and bickering like… friends would.

 

Of course, there were times where they worked each other up but then one of them would crack a joke that would break the tension and everything would return to their weird normal.

 

Yeah, it was definitely weird. Weird that he and Bucky weren’t threatening to punch each other, weird that they walked into work together laughing, weird that they managed to do a lot of productive work together. The weirdest thing was perhaps that Bucky’s smirk started to grow on Steve.

 

Nope. The weirdest part of this new normal was that Steve liked it. Bucky was a pretty funny guy. He showed Steve that he was kind when he gave him his coffee after Steve had split his, showed Steve that he was compassionate when they found an intern crying in the kitchen after Peirce had held them. He poked fun at Steve, but in an affectionate way.

 

And Steve enjoyed the company and enjoyed finding more about Bucky. He enjoyed when Bucky would laugh or when Bucky would smile at him. He looked forward to working with Bucky after filming, such a stark contrast to his hatred for it only a few weeks ago.

 

It was that week’s Friday, after wrap when Steve found himself in another conference room for the second week of interviews with the actors. They’d done the majority of The Avengers cast last week and were finishing with Tony and Peter today before interviewing the Hydra cast for the rest of next week. Steve wasn’t looking forward to it.

 

The mic guys hooked Steve up as Bucky chatted with Peter. Tony stepped up beside Steve and pinched his ear.

 

“Ow, Tony!”

 

“Get over it, Cap,” Tony hissed, looking over to Bucky and Peter laughing. “What’s wrong with Barnes?”

 

Steve’s eyebrows scrunched together as he assessed Bucky. “Nothing, Tony.”

 

Tony rolled his eyes. “You two aren’t fighting, you’re even flirting-“

 

“What?! No!”

 

“-and it’s getting on my nerves.”

 

Steve rolled his eyes. “You saw Twitter. We’ve kind of… come to a truce. I think.”

 

Tony’s mouth dropped open a little. “A truce?”

 

Steve shrugged. “I mean, yeah-“

 

“That doesn’t excuse the fact he’s talking and laughing with Peter.”

 

There was a beat of silence where Steve processed the fact that Tony wasn’t freaked out about the fact that Steve and Bucky weren’t fighting, but the fact that Peter and Bucky we’re getting along well. 

 

Steve held in his laughter only because he could see that there was real panic in his friend's eyes. “Tony-“

 

“Look!” Tony hissed, pointing to Bucky who squeezed Peter’s shoulder, who blushed and looked down at his feet. “Look at that!”

 

“Are you worried that Peter’s gonna ditch you for Bucky?”

 

Tony sniffed and looked to the left of Steve’s face. “Yes.”

 

“Oh my god, Tony,” Steve shook his head, exasperated with his friend. “You and Peter have this father-son thing going on, right?”

 

Tony blinked and shifted on his feet, uncomfortable. “Yes.”

 

Steve squeezed Tony’s shoulder. “You’ve got nothing to worry about.”

 

“How do you know that?” Tony pouted.

 

Steve stepped behind Tony and placed his hands on the side of his friend's face, moving him to look at Peter and Bucky. They watched as Bucky said something that made Peter blush and start to giggle.

 

“Because Peter has a crush on Bucky, Tony. He’s not gonna ditch you cause you aren’t being a good mentor.” Steve felt Tony freeze in shock before relaxing a little. “He’s gonna ditch you cause he’s in love with Bucky.”

 

Tony started to splutter, apparently flustered that his kid was in love with someone, and turned around to push Steve in the shoulder. “Well, you would know, wouldn’t you?”

 

Steve started to sputter in protest before Fury clapped his hands together and gained everyone's attention to get started on the interview.

 

Steve and Bucky sat down in their seats across from Peter and Tony and waited patiently as the camera crew got everything ready. Steve’s shoulder was brushing Bucky's and it only made Steve blush harder. Tony winked at him so Steve stuck his tongue out like the adult he was.

 

“Hey,” Bucky whispered, bumping his shoulder against Steve which was not helping Steve in any way, shape or form. “What’s up?”

 

Steve turned his head slightly to see that Bucky’s eyes were searching Steve’s face critically. Almost as if he was searching for what was wrong, what had Steve so flustered and awkward. Steve’s heart panged at the fact that Bucky had even noticed, let alone seemed to care. Had they progressed to the stage in their relationship in which they could find each other’s tells now? That was a scary thought for Steve to have.

 

“I’m okay,” Steve nodded at Bucky who only tilted his head slightly in question, obviously not believing Steve. Steve squeezed Bucky’s knee, which made him blush a little redder. “Really, I’m all good.”

 

Bucky nodded his head and bumped his shoulder with Steve’s again before turning back towards Tony and Peter who were in a deep discussion. 

 

The interview goes really well. Bucky and Steve are nice to each other and Peter and Tony have great chemistry. There was a point where Bucky asked Peter a question and Steve watched amused as the kid blushed, Tony frozen in horror as he watched.

 

Tony and Peter left once the interview had finished and Steve and Bucky went to follow only for Fury to stop them. It came to Steve’s attention once again that Pierce had very little to do with this whole again. He felt, again, angry that Bucky associated himself with these people. Steve suspected that he had been given glimpses of the real Bucky Barnes in the past week and was pretty confident that that guy wouldn’t like Pierce, let alone work with him.

 

“Just before you two go, I need to have a chat with you in my office.” 

 

Bucky and Steve glanced at each other quickly before following Fury to his office. They sat in the same seats as they had those few weeks ago, but they weren’t yelling at each other. Steve’s heart felt warm at the thought, then he felt weirded out that he felt that in the first place.

 

“Now, tomorrow you have your live interview with The Breakfast Show,” Fury said, giving Bucky and Steve a hard look with his one eye. “Will there be any problems with that?”

 

“Problems?” Bucky asked, his lips twitching.

 

“I don’t know if you two are aware,” Fury huffed. “But you don’t exactly have a squeaky clean history with putting up with each other. Since that fight with Channel 71, there hasn’t been much fighting, but I need to make it clear to you that you must be on your best behaviour tomorrow morning.”

 

Steve smiled innocently. “Fury, you know I’m always on my best behaviour.”

 

Bucky snorted and Steve slapped him playfully on the chest. Fury watched the whole exchange unimpressed.

 

Bucky sobered up. “I’ll promise to behave if Steve does.”

 

“Well, I promise to behave if Bucky does.”

 

Fury sighed. “I work with children. You two are children.”

 

Bucky and Steve grinned. Fury dismissed them and as Bucky walked towards the elevator, Steve paused at Fury’s door. “I think it will be okay, Nick.” Steve glanced at Bucky who was whistling as he waited for the elevator. “Bucky… Bucky isn’t so bad.”

 

Fury’s lips twitched. “I’m glad you think that, Rogers. Have a good night.”

 

“You too.”

 

Steve walked down to Bucky and the elevator, which dinged right on cue, and they stepped through the open doors.

 

“Gossiping about me?” Bucky smirked, pressing the ground floor.

 

“Yep,” Steve put his hands in his leather jacket pockets and grinned. “Talking about your ugly mug and your loud mouth and-”

 

“Okay, okay, okay,” Bucky laughed, pushing Steve on the shoulder.

 

They walked out of the building and to the car park pushing each other, ducking out of the way and laughing. Steve rested on his motorcycle, a little out of breath, as Bucky leant against his car.

 

“Well, I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow, Stevie.”

 

Steve tilted his head to the side, cataloguing Bucky’s frown and arms across his chest. “Not a morning person?”

 

Bucky barked a laugh. “Fuck mornings. They’re the worst thing invented. No one should be awake before nine am, at the earliest.

 

Steve laughed and this time it was Bucky cataloguing Steve. “Oh god, you’re a morning person?”

 

“Yep,” Steve puffed out his chest, proud. “I go for a long run every morning.”

 

“Every morning.”

 

Steve nodded and Bucky groaned. “Oh, that’s horrible. Are you okay? Are you mentally unstable?”

 

“No,” Steve huffed. “I just look after my body.”

 

“So do I, dipshit,” Bucky remarked. “But I don’t wake up at some ungodly hour to torture myself. My body needs its sleep.”

 

“Beauty sleep.” Steve corrected.

 

“Hell yeah,” Bucky agreed. 

 

Steve smirked. “I just thought of the best prank idea. I’m going to sneak into your bedroom and wake you up with one of those horns at six am.”

 

“There are so many things wrong with that,” Bucky grimaced and rolled his eyes. “One, you don’t tell someone you’re going to prank what the prank is. Two, how the fuck do you know where I live, Rogers? And how the fuck do you know where my bedroom is? And three, that wouldn’t wake me up.”

 

“Oh?” Steve said, blushing. “What would wake you up?”

 

“Morning blowjob.” Bucky shrugged.

 

Steve choked on his own spit at the bluntness of the statement, flushing a ridiculous shade of red. Bucky watched, his mouth open in laughter as Steve tried to recover. 

 

“God,” Bucky said, wiping tears from his eyes as he calmed down. “I should have been making more sexual jokes these past few years. That was hilarious.”

 

Steve had no other response than, “Jerk.”

 

“Punk.”

 

Steve shook his head, exasperated. Bucky started to get in his car as Steve put on his helmet.

 

“No Twitter fights, tonight, alright?” Bucky called out over the roar of his car and Steve’s bike. “We don’t need those vultures asking about your tendency to pick fights tomorrow morning.”

 

“Then don’t tweet videos of me falling in the car park!”

 

Bucky laughed and reversed out of his car park. Steve made sure Bucky could see Steve flipping him off in his rearview mirror as he drove off.

 

Steve was hit with the sudden realisation that he and Bucky were definitely friends now. And what a weird thought that was.

 

@BuckyBarnes

@SteveRogers I said no twitter fights

 

@SteveRogers

I haven’t done anything!

 

@BuckyBarnes

Yet, but you wanted to

 

@SteveRogers

You are unbelievable 

 

@BuckyBarnes

Punk

 

@SteveRogers

Jerk 

 

@capattack

Does this count as a Twitter fight @BuckyBarnes?

 

@BuckyBarnes

No 

 

When Steve walked into the filming studio of The Breakfast Show and saw Bucky, he started to laugh.

 

Bucky was leaning against the wall, a large blue hoodie on and grey sweatpants tucked into ugg boots. His eyes were closed, mouth opened a little as he breathed. And his hair. Steve cracked up again as he got closer just looking at Bucky’s hair. Nothing like his usual artfully style, but an extreme case of bed hair. 

 

As Steve stepped in front of Bucky, he jerked awake, startled by Steve’s loud laughter. Not many people are paying them any mind in the studio, all on a mission for their jobs. Bucky looked around, blinking confusedly before his gaze focused on Steve.

 

He huffs and lets his head rest against the wall again, watching grumpily as Steve starts to laugh again.

 

“Alright, alright,” Bucky croaks, not amused. “Shut up. Everyone understands. Bucky Barnes does not look good in the morning.”

 

Steve laughs again, clutching his chest as his sides start to hurt. Bucky’s lips start to twitch and he tries to forcefully stop them. 

 

“Sorry, Buck,” Steve wheezes, wiping tears from his eyes. “When you said you weren’t a morning person, this is much more than what I expected.”

 

Bucky rolled his eyes before closing them again. Steve watched his face, the way the studio lights cast across his cheekbones and lips.

 

“I haven’t had my coffee yet,” Bucky sighed. “I’m dying.”

 

Steve hummed. “That sounds about right.”

 

Bucky cracked an eye open to see Steve’s sarcastically sympathetic face. He huffed again and closed his eyes. 

 

“Come on, Buck,” Steve patted Bucky on the shoulder, who swatted his hand away. “Let’s get to hair and makeup. They’re gonna need to spend a lot of time on you this morning.”

 

Steve laughed as he walked off to where he was told hair and makeup would be, hearing Bucky growl behind him.

 

“Suck my dick, Rogers!” Bucky yelled.

 

“No, thank you!” Steve threw over his shoulder.

 

Hair and makeup worked out well. Steve finished earlier than Bucky and went on a mission for the kitchen and found the coffee machine. He brewed himself and Bucky large mugs and ignored the fluttery feeling in his chest when Bucky grinned at him widely when Steve gave him the mug. 

 

They’re on around seven am, so they have to sit through a bit of the show beforehand. They bicker good naturally as the sounds guys set up their mics and an assistant comes in to speak to them.

 

“Here is the list of questions you’ll be asked,” he hands the piece of paper to Steve, but Bucky snatches it out of his hands before Steve can get a good look at it. “And I’d like to remind you that this is live. No swearing, don’t stray from the answers and uh-” he paused, looking at Bucky and Steve who were looking at him innocently. “-no fighting.”

 

“Why, I would never,” Bucky placed a hand on his heart and slipped his other hand around Steve’s waist, pulling him into his side. Steve made a noise of protest and wiggled in Bucky’s grasp. “Stevie and I are old pals.”

 

“Olds pals my ass, Barnes,” Steve grumbled, much to the annoyance of the assistant who sighed, shook his head and let them be.

 

Bucky laughed and squeezed Steve’s waist, who squawked again and pushed Bucky away from him.

 

Bucky looked at Steve with wide eyes. “Steve, are you ticklish?”

 

“No,” Steve said, fixing the sleeves of the button-down shirt the costume department had given him. “I’m not.”

 

“Oh my god, you are!” Bucky laughed.

 

Steve pointed at Bucky, trying to appear menacing but the small smile gracing his lips as he watched Bucky laugh undermined his intentions. “Shut the fuck up, Barnes.”

 

“Or what?”

 

“I’ll make you.”

 

Bucky laughed again, his nose crinkling adorably, and soon enough Steve joined him. That’s how the assistant found them a few moments later to bring them to the studio because they were on in ten minutes.

 

“And stick around folks!” Allie said enthusiastically from the anchor's desk to the camera. “You won’t want to miss the interview with Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes after the break.”

 

She and her colleague, Jamila, smiled patiently at the camera and everyone waited until someone yelled out they had successfully gone to the commercial break.

 

“Notice how they said my name first?” Steve whispered to Bucky.

 

“You little shit,” Bucky hissed, reaching to give Steve a noogie but Steve ducked out of the way, laughing.

 

The assistant came bustling up to them, gesturing for them to sit down on a blue couch. They sat where directed, but got up as Jamilia and Allie came over. 

 

“I’m Allie,” Allie said, sticking her hand out to shake their hands. “It’s very nice to meet you.”

 

“Steve Rogers. It’s great to be here.”

 

After the four of them had introduced themselves, they sat back down. The assistant quickly talked them through the interview, the dos and don’ts. After he had left, Jamilia grinned at them.

 

“Should we be worried?” She asked, fixing her bright pink blazer that was a stark contrast to her dark skin. 

 

Bucky nudged Steve with his elbow. “Nah, we’ve had a stern talking to that this interview must go swimmingly.”

 

“If Bucky can keep his mouth shut,” Steve rolled his eyes.

 

His lips twitched as Jamilia and Allie shared an uneasy glance, waiting for Bucky’s reaction. Bucky pinched Steve’s side, who jumped, laughing. Allie and Jamilia’s tension visibly eased as someone called out they had ten seconds to air.

 

They all quickly got comfortable, planting smiles on their faces. Steve missed the five-second countdown because he was distracted by the fact that his smile wasn’t fake. He hated doing press, always felt like he was faking, but this smile wasn’t fake. Why?

 

“Welcome back, everyone,” Jamilia said into the camera, flicking a dreadlock over her shoulder. “Thanks for sticking around!”

 

“Why wouldn’t they?” Allie cut in, enthusiastic as she read from the prompter next to the camera blinking red at them. “It’s Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes.”

 

The crew, along with Allie and Jamilia, clapped as Steve watched in the monitors as the camera's focused on Bucky and Steve. Bucky nudged Steve in the side slightly, knowing that Steve’s smile had turned a bit smug when they said his name first again. 

 

“Well, it’s great to be here,” Bucky said, winking at the reporters. 

 

They laughed before Jamilia leant forward. “Is it? One question before we get to talking about the TV special, but are you happy to be here with Steve Rogers? You two don’t exactly have a friendly history.”

 

Steve bristled a little bit as he and Bucky laughed. They had said they’d be asking minimal questions about Steve and Bucky and focusing more on the actual charities. It didn’t mean that Steve didn’t like it any less. He liked Allie and Jamilia, and he’d much rather be here than on Channel 71.

 

“Ah,” Bucky was saying. “Us working together has definitely had its challenges, but it’s turning around, I think. We’re both pretty passionate and excited about the work and not even Steve being a stubborn asshole can change that.”

 

Steve winced as he watched the assistant wave his hands frantically behind the cameras out of the corner of his eyes. By Bucky’s smile, he knew exactly what he was doing.

 

“And you, Steve?” Allie asked. “You’ve Tweeted that you’d rather be hit by a bus than see Bucky in your apartment, so how has working with him been?”

 

Steve chuckled. “Well, sometimes it feels like I’m being hit by a bus, but I won’t lie. It’s been fun.”

 

“Aw, Stevie,” Bucky cooed, resting his head on Steve’s shoulder. “That’s so nice of you to say.”

 

Steve made a noise of protest and used his hand to push Bucky’s face away. “I can say a lot of not nice things if you want.”

 

Jamila laughed. “I think it’s best if you save that for Twitter.”

 

“Bucky, your work with the LGBT+ community is commendable. Can you tell us more about the charity you’ll be supporting on the 26th?”

 

As Bucky relaxed into the couch and pressed himself up against Steve, talking passionately about the charity and what it means to him, Steve felt something settle in him, despite the waves of nausea caused by butterflies in his stomach. He was enjoying this interview because of Bucky. He had been having good days recently because of Bucky

 

Steve and Bucky poked fun at each other during the rest of the interview but they mainly focused on the charities and the work they were doing. He could tell that it wasn’t what Allie, Jamila and the rest of those in the studio were expecting. Steve was sure they had expected yelling, profanities and one of them storming off in a fit of rage.

 

Instead, they laughed and bumped shoulders and spoke about social justice, not their rivalry or what they hated about it each other. It was nice, but Steve was dreading opening up Twitter afterwards. No doubt a lot of people would be talking about them.

 

The interview finished without a hitch and they spoke to Jamilia and Allie briefly whilst another reporter did another segment. Steve and Bucky went back to their dressing room, removing the makeup and their mics. They took turns in the bathroom getting changed back into their own clothes and when Bucky came out with his hoodie, sweatpants and uggs, Steve lost it again. Bucky flipped him off. 

 

“So, what’re your plans for the rest of the day?” Bucky asked, checking his phone as they walked out of the building towards their cars.

 

“I’m actually having lunch with Sam and Nat,” Steve said. “You?”

 

“Oh,” Bucky looked up from his phone with a large smile on his face. God, Steve thought, he’s really pretty when he smiles. “One of my sisters is actually in town. We’re grabbing lunch too.”

 

“Sisters?” Steve asked, surprised.

 

“Yeah,” Bucky’s smile didn’t waver. “I’ve got three younger sisters. Becca is actually my twin sister. She’s been in London for the past few weeks but she’s stopping over here before her flight back home to New York.”

 

Steve found it hard to breathe as they continued walking. He’d just learnt more about Bucky in a sentence than he had in the past four years. Four sisters? A twin?

 

“New York?”

 

“Yep, Brooklyn born and raised.”

 

Steve stopped walking abruptly, watching Bucky look up from his phone in confusion. Steve was in shock.

 

“Brooklyn?” He asked, quietly. “Me too.”

 

Bucky laughed, shaking his head. “Yeah, Steve. I know.”

 

Steve was breathing funny. “How?”

 

“Captain America?” Bucky was looking at him weirdly. “Your character is based on you. You both grew up in Brooklyn.”

 

“How-how did I not know you grew up in Brooklyn?”

 

Bucky shifted on his feet, looking around the underground car park before settling his eyes back on Steve. “How could you? We’ve only ever argued since we first met.”

 

“Oh,” Steve said, rubbing the back of his neck. “Right.”

 

Bucky’s eyebrows scrunched together in confusion and he opened his mouth to say something but Steve interrupted before he could. “Twin sister, huh? Being teenagers would have been fun.”

 

Bucky looked at him weirdly but continued to walk with Steve to their cars, taking the subject change gracefully. Steve didn’t understand why he was so freaked out by this conversation.

 

“Yeah, Becca was a real pain in the ass, but I love her.”

 

Steve said goodbye to Bucky, wishing him to have a good lunch with his sister and then got in his own car, driving to Nat’s house for lunch. It was bad, but he kind of blanked out as he drove. Driving became automatic as Steve’s mind narrowed it’s vision to Buckybuckybucky.

 

They’d known each other for four years. Steve has spent four years, using time, energy and effort with his interactions with the other actor. But Bucky was right. All they had done was argue for those four years. In-person, over Twitter and Instagram, through their own press and interviews. They had never sat down and had a conversation about their families, their childhoods, their dreams and hopes.

 

But ever since the Channel 71 debacle, and the week that followed not filled with nasty arguing, Steve had come to respect Bucky. And now they had something more than their coffee order in common. They grew up in Brooklyn. They shared a home.

 

Steve didn’t realise he was knocking on Natasha’s door until she opened it and greeted him with a sly smile, “Hello, Steve Rogers.”

 

Steve blinked, coming back to himself. He looked at Nat in confusion. “Hello, Natasha Romanoff?”

 

She grinned at him, showing all her teeth, and stepped aside so he could walk in. He followed the familiar route to her open living space to find Sam already sitting at the dining table, a beer in his hand.

 

Steve automatically went over to give him a hug and sat down opposite him, thanking Nat for the beer she handed him. She sat down next to Sam, kicking her bare feet up to rest on the seat next to Steve.

 

“Lunch should be ready soon,” Nat said, taking a sip of her own beer.

 

Steve nodded but continued to stare at his beer bottle. He heard Sam shift in his seat.

 

“We watched the interview,” Sam said. “How do you think it went?”

 

“Did you know that Bucky grew up in Brooklyn?” Steve blurted, whipping his head up to find Sam and Nat looking at him, surprised, but concerned.

 

“No,” Nat said slowly, putting her beer down on the table. “No, I didn’t.”

 

“Yeah,” Steve said absently, rubbing his thumb over the corner of the beer label. “With his ma and dad. And his four sisters. Four. One of them is his twin.”

 

Steve looked up to see Sam and Nat looking at him critically. Sam spoke first.

 

“Interesting. How do you know this?”

 

“Bucky told me,” Steve shrugged. “We were walking back to our cars and he asked me what I had planned for the rest of the day. I told him I was having lunch with you two and he told me about going to lunch with Becca.”

 

“Becca?”

 

“His twin sister.”

 

Natasha hummed and leant forward, placing her hand on his to stop his fidgeting. “And why is this freaking you out, Steve?”

 

Steve didn’t even bother denying that he was freaking out about this. He wasn’t being subtle and even if he was, these two people knew him well enough to figure it out. However, Nat’s question made him pause. Why was he freaking out about these small details? He didn’t freak out when he found out that Sam had another white best friend, he didn’t freak out when he caught Nat and Clint making out in the car park one time. 

 

“Cause it’s Bucky,” Steve found himself saying. He wasn’t sure where he was going with this but his mouth didn’t stop moving and his brain didn’t stop thinking. “We share a home. He has four sisters. Can you imagine the kind of stories he has? The type of childhood he had? His family must be so big and Christmas so loud.

 

“That’s crazy. I’ve known this guy since I’ve moved out here. I would have hated to admit it a few weeks ago but Bucky is as constant in my life as Tony’s glasses or Thor picking me up as he hugs me. And I didn’t know these things about him. There’s more to him apparently, then what he was giving me.”

 

Sam nodded. “You kind of knew there was more to Bucky than being an arrogant, cocky, asshole but now there’s evidence that he’s a person.”

 

“Yes,” Steve nodded. “Yes. On a surface level, I knew there had to be more to him than what he gave him, but he never spoke out about anything. There are dozens of people in this industry I have never met but I can tell you more about them than I can tell you about Bucky. But since the Channel 71 thing, I don’t know. I’ve gained a newfound respect for him?”

 

“That’s not a weird thing,” Natasha said. “You’re the kind of guy who sees something and if it doesn’t sit right with you, you’ll scream yourself hoarse and punch until you’re bleeding, no matter the consequences. You probably draw yourself to people with the same mindset. Bucky never showed that until Channel 71.”

 

Steve let Natasha and Sam’s words wash over him slowly, allowing his heart and his brain to process these new thoughts and feelings. They were right. He had never thought about Bucky past a surface level, and whenever he did it was always directed by anger. He never considered what made Bucky as a person, why he acted the way he does.

 

He still doesn’t really know, but now there’s an opportunity to find out. 

 

Steve’s a bulldozer who doesn’t back down from a fight, crushing everything in his path because it’s right. Bucky has never spoken publicly about much more than his sexuality and his support for the LGBT+ community. He’s never mentioned Brooklyn, he’s never mentioned Becca. Not to Steve personally and definitely not to the press.

 

Bucky’s private with his life, his personal thoughts. Steve just never noticed. And yes, Bucky was being an arrogant jerk the first few months of their relationship and he still is an arrogant jerk, but a funny, arrogant jerk who pokes fun at Steve. Their relationship had developed from enemies to frenemies in the four years since they had known each other, and all Steve needed to know about Bucky was that he was more than the arrogant jerk front he put on for frenemies to turn into friends.

 

Steve took a swing of his beer, chuckling. “Who knew that I could, and wanted to be, friends with Bucky Barnes, hey?”

 

Sam and Natasha shared a quick glance and took sips from their drinks. Steve placed his bottle back down on the table, looking at his friends slowly.

 

“What?” He asked, looking between them. Sam had a guilty look on, but Nat was smirking. “What was that look for?”

 

Nat went to open her mouth but Sam turned towards her quickly, placing a hand on her shoulder. “Nat,” he hissed. “He’s just realised they can be friends, we do not want to overwhelm him.”

 

Steve’s face only scrunched more in confusion as Nat and Sam seemed to have a conversation with their eyes before Sam’s widen comically and Nat opened her mouth.

 

“You’ve had a crush on Barnes since the second season,” she said, her lips twitching. “I’ve known it since you came over for dinner one night and we spent the entire night talking about Bucky. I told Sam last year when you did the same thing to him.”

 

Steve flushed, his entire body stiffening as his heart started to beat erratically. “What?” he spluttered. “A crush? On Bucky? Barnes? A crush? On Bucky Barnes?”

 

Natasha nodded as Sam shook his head, looking at Steve sympathetically.

 

“For what it’s worth, Steve,” he said, “We think he has a crush on you too.”

 

Steve stood up abruptly, his chair screeching against the floor. He was in shock, a ringing in his ears as his brain played his best friend's words on reply.

 

“You think I have a crush on Bucky?” he asked, quietly, his fingertips resting on the table as he leant forward. “And you think he has a crush on me too?”

 

Natasha smirked and shrugged. “It’s pretty obvious.”

 

It’s obvious?!” Steve shrieked.

 

Natasha was laughing but Sam stood up and gently pushed Steve back into his seat. “It’s not obvious,” he shot Nat a look. “We’ve just talked about this a lot since I joined the show and you know Natasha, she’s another breed of human.”

 

“You’ve talked about Bucky and me?” Steve asked, shifting in his seat.

 

Nat shrugged. “We care about you and we knew this would come up eventually. Either you two would realise your feelings on your own or we’d have to tell you. And we just did.”

 

“Hold on, hold on,” Steve said, pointing his finger at Nat. “Realise my feelings? I don’t even have these feelings. I’ve never thought about Bucky that way.”

 

Both Sam and Nat raised their eyebrows, unimpressed.

 

“Seriously,” Steve defended himself. “I’m telling you right now I have never noticed how pretty Bucky is, or how he has a nice laugh, or how he somehow ruins and makes my day at the same time and- oh my god.”

 

Sam was smiling and Nat was laughing as he slumped back into his chair, his hand coming up to rub at his forehead.

 

“Do I have a crush on Bucky Barnes?”

 

“Yes,” Sam and Nat said at the same time.

 

Whatever defence Steve tried to make was interrupted by Nat’s doorbell ringing.

 

“That would be lunch,” she jumped from the chair. “Sam, honey bear, could you please help me?”

 

Sam smiled and stood from his chair. “Of course, sugarplum.”

 

Steve didn’t fail to notice the cheap tactic at leaving him alone with his thoughts, but he appreciated it nonetheless. He had a lot of thoughts and he needed to be alone for whatever conclusion he would inevitably come to. 

 

Bucky Barnes.

 

A crush.

 

It was unheard of. It was crazy and insane and totally ludicrous. Ridiculous. They haven’t seen eye to eye for 99% of their knowing each other, haven’t exchanged nice words or sentiments. They fought where the world has seen it, made unnecessary and rude digs at each other in the media.

 

Bucky has been driving Steve up the walls since he moved to LA. Every day at SHIELD has been haunted by Bucky Barnes. He makes Steve’s skin crawl, his blood boil, his brain rage. He’s been fantasising about punching Bucky’s smirk off his face for the past four years.

 

But.

 

But in the past week, Steve’s developed a respect for Bucky. They’ve come to this weird truce where they still argue and bicker, poke fun at each other and test boundaries, pressing buttons until one of them snaps. But there’s no menace behind it. No ill intentions, no nastiness and edge to their words. They’re having fun.

 

And is it really that ridiculous that Steve has developed feelings for Bucky? They’ve known each other for a while. He wasn’t lying to Nat and Sam, Bucky has been a constant in Steve’s life. Moving to LA away from his ma and his home, away from his live theatre in New York, to come to the other side of the country with five of his best friends and a promise from a big company to make a TV on them. It was a big change in his life and Steve’s had to deal with his growing fame ever since then.

 

He’s questioned his morals, he’s questioned his passions, he’s questioned if the people who want to be his friend now actually want to be his friend or be friends with Captain America. Bucky, however, hasn’t treated Steve any differently as both of their shows gained attention respectively.

 

Yes, he’s been rude and nasty and a general asshole. An asshole who’s been kind to Steve in his own way, an asshole who’s actually pretty funny and witty, who can hold his own with Steve. An asshole who is devastatingly handsome and pretty, who’s laugh is light and loud.

 

He’s an intelligent, handsome, funny, charming, compassionate, hard-working asshole and Steve thinks that it might not be so bad if he does have feelings for Bucky.

 

Yeah, Steve thinks. I don’t know yet, but I’ve only seen a little of the real Bucky. Maybe I do have feelings for him, and would that be so bad?

 

Steve doesn’t mention Bucky or the possibility of his feelings again for the rest of lunch so neither does Sam or Nat. When he hugs them goodbye, Sam holds him a little tighter and he can feel Nat’s smirk against his shoulder.

 

He goes home and decides to draw instead of stew in his feelings because he’s a master procrastinator.

 

He wonders why he isn’t completely shocked when his sketchbook starts to fill with drawings of Bucky.

 

TUMBLR: Cap’s flashbacks are hiding something from us and here’s my theory, by user pegmecarter

 

It’s pretty obvious at this point that Steve Rogers/Captain America’s flashbacks throughout all three seasons, and probably the fourth, of The Avengers, are hiding something from us. There are so many small examples, including a still burning cigarette in an ashtray nearly off-screen, that direct the audience to think there’s more to Cap’s story then they initially have us to believe. 

 

Actor Steve Rogers even said in a fan q&a that “there’s so much more to tell about Cap’s life before the serum and I look forward to exploring it…”

 

I have a simple theory about Cap’s pre-serum life. Cap was in love with someone before Peggy Carter and that someone was a man. 

 

I KNOW I KNOW IT'S KINDA CRAZY BUT BEAR WITH ME ON THIS ONE IT'S DEFINITELY A DOOZY. 

 

The most obvious example or clear allusion to this is the iconic sketchbook scene between characters Cap and Agent Carter. Cap’s just proven his worth by saving the 107th Regiment, which we actually didn’t see in action but I’ll come back to that, and he’s in Agent Carter’s tent. They’re talking about Cap’s need to always jump into a fight and prove himself which correlates with Cap’s actual storyline in the present of the show. Cap’s drawing Carter as he speaks and when he’s finished the rough sketch, Carter snatches the sketchbook out of his hand. 

 

Cap jumps up and tries to grab it out of her hand but she twists away and starts to flick through the pages. You can see on her face that she’s amazed by his talent but that amazement starts to change into confusion and surprise as she continues to look at previous sketches he’s done. 

 

She looks at him with question but he just grabs the book from her hand and snaps it shut. End of flashback and we go back to the present storyline. 

 

Now- some will see this as a stretch but couple it with all the little hints left in flashbacks to before he met Carter (e.g a jacket hanging on a chair that’s way too big for Cap in his apartment, whistling from someone who isn’t Cap, the shadow of an umbrella over Cap at his ma’s grave even though Cap’s not holding an umbrella etc.), I believe that the sketchbook is filled with drawings of Steve’s first love. 

 

Perhaps unrequited love with his roommate? Or reciprocated love with a childhood best friend? 

 

Avengers is a very smart show and they wouldn’t leave hints like this if they aren’t going to follow it up. I think they’re waiting and not showing us this mysterious man's face or giving us his name because he’ll somehow pop up in the future and there will be major drama (perhaps in the fifth season?!)

 

It also begs the question, was this man in the 107th? It certainly makes sense why Cap…

 

When Steve went back to work on Monday he thought he’d be feeling heavy under the weight of his revelation. Instead, he felt lighter.

 

The sun was shining bright, his heart was light and Bucky was smiling at him. 

 

They had both wrapped for the day and we’re having food in the kitchen before they had to start filming the Hydra interviews. 

 

Bucky stole a chip from Steve’s plate who retaliated and stole one off of his.

 

“Hey!” Bucky pointed his fork at Steve, glaring at him mockingly. “No stealing, it’s bad.”

 

“You stole from me first!”

 

Bucky gasped. “America, nay, the world, needs to hear this. Cities will collapse, there will be rioting in the streets, the screams of children will fill the night air. Captain America condones stealing!”

 

Steve laughed, watching as Bucky’s eyes crinkled at the corners. They both continued to eat.

 

“How was Becca?” Steve asked, cataloguing the fact that he felt butterflies in his stomach at the possibility of learning more about Bucky. 

 

Bucky’s smile grew. “She’s good, she’s really good.”

 

And then they spent the rest of their break between filming with Bucky telling Steve everything about his sisters. 

 

He learnt that Becca is younger than Bucky by one minute and Bucky holds it over her head any chance he can get. She was in London for the past few weeks before starting her new job as an engineer. Bucky showed a selfie of them together, and they look extremely alike. Same eyes, facial features, smiles. Her and Bucky have an obsession with Disney movies and it’s the only music they can listen to together or they’ll fight.

 

He tells Steve a story from when they were fourteen and Becca went on her first date with a guy to see a movie. Bucky followed them for the entire date and sat up at the back of the cinema, throwing popcorn at them anytime they got a little handsy. Becca had yelled at Bucky and didn’t speak to him for an entire week until Bucky sang Under The Sea in the school cafeteria, Becca’s favourite Disney song, in apology.

 

Steve learns about the third Barnes child, Bree, who’s twenty-four and just finishing her degree in secondary education. She’s a total science buff and she and Bucky spent hours pouring over space when they were kids. For her twelfth birthday, at age seventeen, Bucky made a night light that projected constellations on her roof. She still has it in her apartment now and her roommates have been bugging him to make them one too.

 

The fourth Barnes child just graduated high school last year and is a little bit lost. Bridget barely got the grades to pass high school and she isn’t sure if she wants to go to college. The rest of her family are being patient with her and allowing her to figure out her own path but Bucky spoke to his ma last week and she and George are considering putting her on a plane and sending her out to Bucky for something new. 

 

Bucky secretly thinks Bridget should follow her passion for drawing but he doesn’t want to push that onto her. He tells the story of Bridget losing her first tooth that has Steve in stitches. 

 

The fifth and final Barnes is sixteen. Blair is extremely athletic and Bucky said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Barnes’ were heading to the Olympics soon to follow her. She’s in her high school’s track, softball and volleyball teams and she is a sub for the local basketball team if they need her. Bucky showed a picture of Blair in her room two years ago, neck heavy with all her medals and arms full of trophies.

 

They call each other B1 and B2 and have each other saved like that in their phones to piss their siblings off because they’re the better B’s. 

 

Bucky was telling a story of when Blair accidentally hit Bridget in the nose with her bat when Pierce stormed into the room.

 

“Well, isn’t this cute,” he said coldly, Bucky’s face falling as they turned to find Pierce standing in the door looking at both of them with distaste. “Rivals sitting down over a meal together. It would be even better if said rivals turned up to their interview on time.”

 

Steve looked at his watch and saw that yes, he and Bucky were fifteen minutes late. He stood up and glared at Pierce. “Sorry, time got away from us. The same studio as last week?”

 

Pierce’s jaw twitched and his cold eyes moved between them. “Yes, and hurry up.”

 

He let the door close behind him. Steve put his plate in the kitchen dishwasher, along with Bucky’s. “Jesus fucking Christ, I want to knock that son of a bitch out every time I see him.”

 

He expected a remark from Bucky but he was greeted with silence. He frowned and closed the dishwasher, turning around to find Bucky opening the door and waiting for Steve.

 

“Buck?” He asked.

 

Bucky blinked at him and then seemed to come back to himself. “Yeah? We better hurry otherwise Pierce will pop a vein.”

 

Steve followed Bucky to the studio silently. Bucky’s mood had changed so quickly when Pierce came into the room. One minute he’s laughing about his sister breaking his other sister's nose and now his shoulders are drawn closer to his ears and his face blank.

 

When they walked into the studio they found that everything had been set up and Brock Rumlow was sitting in a chair. 

 

Steve immediately felt his defences rise as he locked eyes with Rumlow. To put it simply, Rumlow was the scum of the earth. He was a big guy, arguably attractive, but with a sneer that always seemed to be twisting his face. He was an asshole, and not the kind of asshole Bucky and Steve were. An asshole who’s racist, misogynistic and thinks he’s better than everyone else for some reason.

 

Steve hates his guts.

 

He thinks again how Bucky can stand to work for him. How does the Bucky who sings Disney songs and star gazes with his sisters tolerate Rumlow’s bullshit behaviour?

 

“Ah,” Rumlow drawls, his creepy eyes looking Bucky and Steve up and down. “Do gay people not wear watches or something? Lost your ability to read time cause you’re too busy sucking dick?”

 

Steve’s mouth dropped open a little in shock and he clenched his fists. He went to open his mouth to yell at Rumlow but was shocked when Bucky kept walking to the mic guy to get ready. His anger was temporarily squashed as Bucky ignored Rumlow and gestured for Steve to hurry up.

 

“Buck?” He questioned, stepping up to stand beside Bucky. 

 

Bucky’s jaw was clenched. “Let’s just get this over with, okay, Steve?”

 

A stone settled in Steve’s gut as he got a mic attached to his shirt. Pierce was on his phone and said nothing of Rumlow’s comments. Steve suddenly wished Fury was here because he would not let this slide. 

 

As Steve and Bucky sat down in their seats opposite Rumlow, the cameras guys filtered around the room to adjust everything. 

 

Rumlow groaned and rolled his eyes when Steve glared at him. “Why’d you have to be the host, Rogers?” He asked, manspreading. “Why couldn’t they have picked that hot chick, Romanoff?

 

Steve bristled and sat forward but Bucky squeezed his knee harshly. Steve swung his head around to see Bucky staring at him, lips pressed into a thin line.

 

Rumlow laughed, not catching the mini silent war between Bucky and Steve. “Why would they, I guess. She’s got no talent. The only reason she’s made it big is that she’s got a pretty face and nice tits.”

 

Steve shot up in his chair, anger rolling off him in waves. “What the fuck did you just say?”

 

Rumlow raised his eyebrows at Steve, smug. “You heard what I said.”

 

“Yes,” Steve hissed, his breathing hard as his hands shook by his sides. “But I want you to say it again and then I’ll punch you so hard that-”

 

“Steve,” Bucky hissed, standing up and putting a hand on Steve’s chest which was heaving. “Sit down.”

 

Steve didn’t move but glared daggers at Rumlow, absolutely shocked that he could say something like that. Steve expected it from Rumlow but in a room full of people, including his executive producer, never mind one of Nat’s closest friends? How was Pierce allowing this behaviour? How was Bucky?

 

Steve,” Bucky warned again and forcibly pushed Steve into his chair. “Sit down. Now. Let’s just get this over with, okay?”

 

Steve bit his tongue so he wouldn’t say anything because Bucky obviously didn’t want him to. He had no idea why though.

 

Rumlow was smirking at them and watched with a keen gaze as Bucky sat down and fixed his shirt. “Wow, Barnes. This is the most you talked, like ever.” His gaze landed on Steve and he raised his eyebrows again. “Is he this demanding in the bedroom?”

 

Steve growled and went to leap forward but Bucky blocked him with his arm. Rumlow laughed as Bucky pushed Steve back into the chair. Steve was sure his face was bright red with steam coming out of his ears but he didn’t care. He was angry.

 

“Pierce,” Bucky called over his shoulder. “Can we please get started?”

 

The interview wasn’t much better. Steve, because he was a good actor, put on a pretty convincing face that he wasn’t planning Rumlow’s murder right then and there. Rumlow stumbled through the first question about his chosen charity and it was obvious that he hadn’t actually picked it.

 

Pierce sighed and pulled out a bunch of cards from his pocket with Fury’s neat block writing on it. He gave them to Rumlow who basically read off of them for the rest of the interview.

 

After the camera guy called cut, Steve shot up from his chair so fast it tumbled over behind him. He ripped his mic off as gently as he could so he wouldn’t cause any damage and stormed out of the room without looking back.

 

Bucky didn’t follow him out to the car park so Steve left without saying goodbye to him. If he did wait for Bucky he probably would have yelled too much and ruined whatever friendship they had created. He needed time to cool off.

 

He did manage to cool off. After breaking two punching bags.

 

Bucky texted him just as he was about to get into bed.

 

Bucky Barnes: you okay?

 

Steve Rogers: really?

 

Bucky Barnes: spit it out, rogers

 

Steve Rogers: how the fuck do you not react to that? He made fun of our sexualities, objectified nat and disregarded her talent and then undermined you. And you did nothing but stop me from punching him. Why?

 

Bucky Barnes: it’s complicated.

 

Steve Rogers: it’s complicated? I think it’s pretty simple. He’s an asshole who doesn’t deserve what he has and actually deserves for me to punch him in the face

 

Steve blew out an angry breath as he watched the three dots appear signalling that Bucky was typing. They disappeared for a few seconds then reappeared again. His phone buzzed with a message.

 

Bucky Barnes: I call him out for his comments and behaviour when we’re in private. Please believe me that I don’t condone it. I just don’t speak up when Pierce is around.

 

Steve Rogers: I believe you. I think you’re too good of a person for you to actually like the jackass. Why not when Pierce is around?

 

The dots disappeared and reappeared a few times before a message came through.

 

Bucky Barnes: because Pierce is Pierce. 

 

Steve didn’t respond.

 

He didn’t know how to respond. A part of him didn’t care or like Bucky's explanation. So fucking what if Pierce was there? That doesn’t mean that Rumlow can get away with that kind of behaviour. No one should. And they definitely shouldn’t be receiving millions for it either.

 

But another part of Steve cared too much about Bucky to completely dismiss this. Steve felt like he was getting to know the real Bucky Barnes and that Bucky Barnes obviously hated Rumlow. But he was afraid of Pierce. Steve acknowledged that Bucky wasn’t giving him the whole story, but at least he had acknowledged his feelings towards Rumlow’s behaviour.

 

It wasn’t enough. Steve needed to know more, but obviously, Bucky didn’t want to tell him yet. He would respect that for the moment, but if he heard Rumlow or any other Hydra goons say something, he wasn’t going to let Bucky hold him back again without a reasonable explanation.

 

When Steve turned up the next morning at SHIELD, Bucky was waiting for him with a cup of coffee. They didn’t acknowledge it, but Steve knew Bucky was apologising. 

 

After wrap that day they interviewed Jack Rollins and Jasper Sitwell. Neither of them said anything disgusting outright, but they were both sleazy and slimy enough that Steve broke another punching bag afterwards.

 

He made his knuckles bleed the next day after interviewing Arnim Zola and Johann Schmidt. 

 

Bucky didn’t speak out because Pierce was always in the room, but Steve picked up on his anger nonetheless. Bucky’s hands would shake and he’d press his lips together when he didn’t agree with something. He’d clench his jaw and his eyes would narrow when he was angry.

 

It was progress that Bucky was visible with his anger and disgust. Even Sitwell picked up on it. Steve appreciated it.

 

Bucky even stormed out with Steve after Zola and Schmidt’s interview.

 

@SHIELD

Here’s a picture of @SteveRogers and @BuckyBarnes during tech rehearsal of @SHIELD4charity. Only one week to go! Follow the link in our bio to donate.

 

*image attached: a photo of actors Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes on a set, smiling at a camera with large screens behind them playing footage of an orphanage. You can see crew standing in front of them, and a man watching them through a monitor*

 

@BuckyBarnes

Here’s another picture of @SteveRogers behind the scenes of @SHIELD4charity. Consider donating today!

 

*image attached: a photo of actor Steve Rogers standing still with a makeup crew applying makeup. His face is caught mid sneeze, eyes open only slightly, chin tucked back, mouth wide open*

 

@SteveRogers

In retaliation to @BuckyBarnes recent tweet, here’s a picture of Bucky without his morning coffee before we were first called to set. A reminder to donate: no amount is too big or too small!

 

*image attached: actor Bucky Barnes with an extreme case of bed head sitting in an office chair, head back, eyes closed and mouth open. He’s wearing a press hoodie from his most recent movie with coffee stains all over*

 

The weeks after the terrible interviews with the Hydra actors flew pretty quickly for Steve. In between filming The Avengers, he had an audition for a movie and a red carpet premiere for another movie he filmed on Avengers offseason.

 

Steve didn’t even have enough time to think about his possible feelings for Bucky; he was that busy. 

 

Not to mention the hours he spends with Bucky on the TV special. They rehearse the skit they’ve been given and go through hours of tech rehearsals. They film more promotional videos and start hyping up the event on social media. 

 

They fall back into the easy friendship they had before Rumlow. Steve’s still concerned but he figured it would be best if he approached Bucky after the 26th. If they stay friends after the show.

 

The day before the show Steve’s a little nervous. Bucky notices because of course he notices.

 

“Stevie,” he says, as they have their coffee before their workday starts. They’ve started to have their coffees together before going in in the mornings. Steve really likes it. “You okay?”

 

Steve takes a big gulp of his too-hot coffee to avoid the question. Bucky rolls his eyes.

 

“Are you nervous about tomorrow night?”

 

Steve shrugged, knowing he couldn’t avoid it. “I think so.”

 

Bucky lips twitched and he rested his shoulder against Steve’s. They were leaning against Bucky’s car in the car park because it was now summer, they were both wearing short sleeve shirts. Steve’s skin tingled where it met Bucky’s.

 

“Why are you nervous?”

 

Steve avoided Bucky’s eyes. “Because I want it to go well and there are so many things that we can’t account for. It’s live television, Bucky. Who knows if Rumlow will say something racist and I’ll have to jump him?”

 

Bucky laughed and pressed himself against Steve more. Bucky looked unfairly good. He was wearing black sunglasses, a blue shirt that hugged his body beautifully and dark jeans that made his ass look great as he got out of the car.

 

“Are you an actor, Steve?”

 

Steve rolled his eyes. “Yes, yes, I am an actor, Bucky. Why else would I be in the car park with you before I go and film my TV show?”

 

“Maybe, you’re just a crazy fan who stalks me,” Bucky smirked. “I’m just confirming you’re an actor, Steve, because an actor is meant to be able to act. Something goes wrong on live television? Act like it didn’t.”

 

Steve huffed, feeling his nerves settle a little. “You’re right. I’m really good at improv.”

 

“Don’t get too ahead of yourself, Rogers.” Bucky laughed.

 

Steve joined in and finished his coffee. As they walked out of the car park and to their respective shows, Bucky bumped his shoulder against Steve’s.

 

“Maybe if it will help you calm down, you could come over to my place tonight?” Bucky asked. Steve’s eyes widened and he snapped his head to look at Bucky, who laughed. “To go over the script and everything. I’ll even cook dinner.”

 

Steve didn’t even hesitate. “Okay.”

 

“Okay,” Bucky agreed. “After wrap?”

 

“After wrap.” Steve agreed.

 

Bucky squeezed his shoulder and went off in his usual direction to Hydra and Steve watched him go, butterflies returning to his stomach. He was having dinner with Bucky tonight. At Bucky’s place. After wrap.

 

Nat noticed that he seemed weird, getting caught in his head and staying there between shots. She raised an eyebrow at him but he only shrugged and blushed. She obviously thought it wasn’t that big of a deal because he was still present and committed to filming so she didn’t outright speak to him. Steve could still feel her eyes on him.

 

Internally, he was kind of panicking. This was a big step in their friendship. They’re going to see each other outside of work. Even if it is for work, it’s completely voluntary. Of course, Steve’s brain now decides he should think back to his lunch with Sam and Nat a month ago. 

 

Feelings for Bucky. Right. That bombshell.

 

Steve isn’t completely sure yet. His life has been too hectic to really sit down and process the thought, and if he’s being honest with himself, even if Steve had time, he wouldn’t sit down and process it anyway. It feels too big and Steve’s a coward.

 

And he really likes where he and Bucky have ended up. He actually likes Bucky as a person. He’s awesome, and their friendship is awesome. Steve doesn't want to stuff that up by realising his feelings and then maybe acting on it. It’s taken four years for him and Bucky to get to a point where they don’t hate each other and he doesn’t want to ruin that.

 

With that resolve, he waits for Bucky in the car park after wrap, leaning on his bike. One of them usually only has to wait ten minutes or so in the kitchen when they’re doing promotional things for the special, but tonight they’re doing final rehearsals with the other actors and he and Bucky aren’t needed. 

 

Steve has to wait twenty minutes and when Bucky walks to the car park, he doesn’t notice Steve until Steve places a hand on Bucky’s shoulder.

 

Bucky looked up from the ground, startled. “Wh-oh. Steve.”

 

Steve gave him a small smile and squeezed his shoulder. “Hey, Buck. You okay?”

 

Bucky stepped back and ran a shaking hand through his hair. “Y-yeah. I’m fine. Ready to go?”

 

Steve didn’t believe him for one second but he knew that if Bucky wanted to talk about what had him like this, then he would rather do it in the safety of his own home. So, Steve smiled and nodded. 

 

“Lead the way, Buck.”

 

Bucky nodded and got into his car, Steve onto his motorcycle. He followed Bucky for the thirty or so minutes it took to get to his house. 

 

Steve was shocked when they turned up to Bucky’s house. Bucky was grinning at him as he got out of the car.

 

“You live in the same estate as Nat,” Steve said slowly, eyes wide as he took in his surroundings. “You’re literally three streets away from her.”

 

“I know,” Bucky smirked, patting Steve on the cheek. “We go for a run together every Sunday morning and get breakfast.”

 

What?!” Steve spluttered as Bucky locked his car and opened his front door.

 

The estate in which Nat and Bucky lived, Steve was going to need a moment to process that, wasn’t what you fully expect from an estate in LA filled with Hollywood actors. The houses are on the larger side, sleek and modern with lots of windows and cool appliances, but they aren’t crazy luxurious and excessive like a lot of houses around there.

 

Steve actually really likes the estate. They have a main street that’s filled with cute cafes and shops, and a park with a lake and a nice running track. He had considered following Nat here when they first moved from New York but decided to go with an apartment which he eventually upgraded to the penthouse of the same building when the checks started coming in. He hadn’t felt like he was in the stage of his life where he could own a house.

 

Bucky apparently was, and it looked great on him. Steve closed the large black door behind him and followed Bucky down a small hallway with a door off to the side that must lead to the garage. At the end of the hallway, it opened up to a large living area.

 

To the left, there was a staircase leading up, and to the right, another hallway with two doors near the end closed. The living room was to the left too, a large plush grey couch facing the TV which was built into a large bookcase which surrounded it. The bookcase was so big there was a ladder on a railing. Pink and blue cushions dotted the couch and there was a large, white fluffy rug underneath the glass coffee table that Steve wanted to stand bear feet in.

 

Behind the couch was an open space to walk between the couch and the kitchen island. The kitchen looked beautiful with marble benchtops, chrome cabinets and a coffee machine that sparkled under the lights. 

 

What caught Steve’s attention however was the wall straight ahead that was mainly glass folding doors, allowing them to look into Bucky’s backyard. There was a roof over a large tiled area, a dark wood dining table taking centre stage. Behind the titled area to the left was a medium-sized patch of grass, and the right was taken up by a pool. 

 

Bucky walked in and toed off his shoes at the kitchen island, dropping his keys, wallet and phone onto the bench. Steve did the same.

 

“Wow, Buck,” he said, brushing his hand along the marble. “You have a really beautiful home.”

 

“Thanks,” Bucky blushed, turning towards the fridge. “I would have gone for something smaller but there’s just enough space to fit the girls and my parents, so it works out well.”

 

Steve grinned thinking about Bucky finding a home across the country that could fit his immediate family. His heart warmed at the thought. 

 

“Beer?” Bucky asked from behind the fridge door.

 

“Uh, sure, if you’re having one.”

 

Bucky stuck his head out the fridge and shook his head at Steve, his cheeks pink. “No, I’m, uh, actually three years sober.”

 

Steve’s mouth fell open in shock.”Three years sober?”

 

“Yeah,” Bucky looked down at the ground, suddenly shy. “I was kind of getting too wild at parties and doing stupid things so I thought it would be best to just cut myself out of that lifestyle, you know?”

 

“Yeah, yeah,” Steve said, in shock. Now that he thinks about it, he does remember Bucky trending on Twitter a few years ago for doing something stupid whilst at an A-lister party. “That’s amazing, Bucky. You should be really proud of yourself.”

 

“Thanks, Stevie,” Bucky’s lips twitched but Steve didn’t get the full smile because he started to get things out of the fridge. “I can make us this mocktail thing that Blair’s really into at the moment. She sent me the recipe and was bugging me to try it. It’s actually not half bad.”

 

“That sounds great.”

 

Bucky got out the ingredients and after some insisting from Steve, Steve made a pitcher of the drink whilst Bucky got started on the food. When Steve took a sip of the mocktail, which consisted of ginger beer, pomegranate juice, orange juice and lime juice, he was pleasantly surprised by the onslaught of flavours.

 

“Good, huh?”

 

Steve didn’t respond but took a few more big gulps.

 

As Bucky filtered around the kitchen cutting vegetables and cooking chicken for a honey chicken stir fry, Steve realised it would be best if he stepped out of the kitchen unless he wanted Bucky to stab him, Asset style.

 

“Can I check out your bookcase?” Steve asked, eyeing the full to the brim wall opposite the kitchen.

 

Bucky didn’t look up from the carrot but nodded his head, distracted.

 

Steve padded over to the bookcase, glad to find that the white rug was as fluffy as he thought it would be under his feet. His gaze followed the spines of Bucky’s book collection, making comments out loud here and there to hear Bucky’s laughter carry out throughout the room.

 

He had a mix of classics and young adult, sci-fi and adventure. Steve spotted an original copy of the Harry Potter series and a whole section on different acting methods that looked well used. Every now and then the books were broken up by pictures.

 

There was a selfie of Bucky and Becca at Coney Island, one of Bucky in full Peter Pan costume with his parents in his high school theatre. There were multiple pictures of Bucky holding the three of his youngest sisters when they were first born, another of all five Barnes’ at Becca and Bucky’s high school graduation. Steve was amused that all five had the same shade of hair and dimples in their chins when they smiled. 

 

Steve had moved onto the other side of the TV and found much the same. In one picture frame that was between a bunch of space books and battered Disney books, there were multiple pictures in the frame, cut up to make a collage. Steve was surprised to find a picture of Bucky and Natasha on a hike from last year.

 

Steve would be having serious talks with his supposed best friend tomorrow about her relationship with Steve’s former rival.

 

Steve crouched down to his knees in front of the TV to look at the DVD’s Bucky had neatly stacked in rows. To no surprises, there was a large collection of Disney movies and to his utter delight, a DVD of each of Bucky’s movies.

 

“Stop laughing!” Steve could see that Bucky was waving around a knife in the reflection of the TV. “Ma buys a copy of all my movies for everyone in the family, including me.”

 

“Aw,” Steve’s heart melted. “That’s so sweet of her, Buck.” He paused. “Does she get you to sign them too?”

 

At Bucky’s silence, Steve cracked up. He loved the thought of Bucky getting a large box in the mail filled with DVDs of his own movies, only to sit down and sign all of them before sending them back to his mother. The fact that they were DVDs in the first place set him off again. His laughter died in his throat, however, when his eyes caught on a familiar shade of purple.

 

He scrunched his eyes up in confusion as he knelt down a little more to see a cardboard box jammed in with the rest of the DVD’s, the box you get with a box set of DVDs or books. The box was crumpled at the sides, the purple cover peeling off in the corner. Steve bent down further to confirm what his eyes were seeing.

 

Yes. A purple piece of cardboard with The Avengers silver A logo smack bang in the middle.

 

Steve had to wiggle the box a little, with shaking hands, to get it out between all the other DVD’s that were stacked tightly around it but with a little huff, he managed to pull the box free.

 

He was right. In his hands, he was holding a battered, obviously loved box set of The Avengers. 

 

“-And you think you’re really funny,” Bucky was saying as Steve’s finger gently sweep over the wrinkles and cracks in the cardboard box. “-but I only buy DVDs of things that are important to me. There’s something about it being tangible, you know and I-”

 

Steve turned the box around to see the DVD’s packed tightly into it and turned it around to read the labels.

 

The Avengers: Season One

 

The Avengers: Season Two

 

The Avengers: Season Three

 

Steve pulled out the second season’s DVD and looked at the front cover to find his face, and his friend’s faces, staring back at him. He noted that at the bottom it said limited edition in The Avengers font, detailing behind the scenes footage, as well as bloopers, that were included. 

 

He opened the DVD, heart beating rapidly, and was shocked to see that there was no actual disk inside. Making sure that Bucky couldn't see, he leant forward and pressed the on button for the DVD player before pressing the open button.

 

The disk holder slid out and nestled in its correct spot was the DVD for the second season for The Avengers. He plucked it out gently and turned it over in amazement. He put the case for the second season on the ground and picked up the box set.

 

He stood up and turned around to face Bucky whose back was facing Steve, concentrating on the stove as he rambled about his cousin Matt and how he sold one of his signed copies of Bucky’s movie for extra cash and how devastated Winifred was. 

 

“Buck,” Steve said, surprised that his voice was strong. Bucky turned his head around to look at Steve with a smile that froze once he saw what was in Steve’s hand. “Why do you have a limited edition box set of the first three seasons of The Avengers?”

 

Bucky’s eyes widened slightly as he turned around fully, gripping the plastic utensil tightly. He gulped. “You’re my competition for SHIELD’s top show.”

 

Steve raised his eyebrows, holding the box a little higher. “Why does it look like this box is going to fall apart then? And why would you buy the limited edition box set when you can watch the show live on TV or stream it on Netflix?”

 

Bucky closed his eyes and seemed to make a few measured breaths before they flew open wide. “Because it’s my favourite show and I’m secretly the biggest fan!” He blurted, then looked horrified at what he said.

 

Steve’s brain didn’t compute. “I’m sorry, what?

 

Bucky sighed and placed the utensil down on the island, turning off the stove and rubbing his forehead as he walked around the kitchen island to stand behind the couch. “You heard what I said.”

 

“Yes,” Steve said, not taking his eyes off of Bucky. “But I don’t quite understand. Avengers is your favourite show?”

 

“Of all time,” Bucky confirmed, biting his lip before releasing it to continue to talk. “I’ve loved the show since the first episode and I watch it nearly every single day. I’m kinda obsessed with it? Like it’s so fucking good I can’t get enough of it. You’re all so talented and it’s shot so beautifully and Coulson and his team do such a good job writing it. It’s so funny. I quote it all the damn time-”

 

“Holy shit-”

 

“-and all my sisters are obsessed with it too. The last time we were all together we stayed up for an entire night and just binged the shit out of it. I may even have a few fan shirts in my wardrobe and I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a pyjama shirt with your face on it. Wait, did I mention that Cap’s my favourite character because he is-”

 

“Bucky!” Steve said loudly, gaining Bucky attention who has slowly started to stare above Steve’s head as he rambled about his apparent obsession with Avengers. 

 

Steve placed the disk and the box set on the coffee table lightly to not cause any damage and held his head in his hands. “I’m sorry. I’m just going to need a moment to process all of this.”

 

Bucky remained silent, biting his lip nervously as Steve took a few measured breaths.

 

Holy fucking shit.

 

Steve knew that Bucky had watched the show. He’s made snide remarks about scenes and Steve’s acting in the past to rile Steve up but he’s always claimed it was research about the competition.

 

Steve does that too. He watches Hydra's weekly episode. Objectively, it’s a good show but Steve can never get Rumlow’s disgusting remarks out of his head or Pierce’s cold face out of his head whenever he watches it.

 

However, Bucky has a limited edition copy of the first three seasons’ of Steve’s show. He’s just admitted he loves the show and obsessively watches it, even with his sisters.

 

To say that Steve is shocked is the understatement of the century. He never ever would have imagined that he’d find this information out about Bucky. He never thought that if Bucky really meant all the comments he made in the past about the show not being serious or any good. 

 

And weirdly, but not really weird if you thought about it, Steve was flattered. Bucky, Bucky Barnes, loved his show. His favourite character is Steve’s character and he has a pyjama shirt with Steve’s face on it.

 

Steve blushed and removed his hands from his face, looking at Bucky nervously.

 

“Cap’s your favourite character?” Steve asked, quietly.

 

Bucky nodded, looking at Steve with wide eyes.

 

“You have a shirt with my face on it?”

 

Bucky flushed and looked down at the couch, shrugging. “Becca gave it to me last year as a joke but it’s really comfy!”

 

Oh my god.

 

“Don’t laugh!” Bucky squeaked, rounding the couch to push Steve in the shoulder who fell down, laughing so hard his chest heaved. “This isn’t a laughing matter, Steve Rogers.”

 

“Yes, it is!” Steve wiped tears from his eyes and once he saw Bucky pouting at him, he laughed again. “I can’t believe this. You’ve been criticising the show for years.”

 

Bucky’s pout furthered as he sat down on the rug opposite Steve, crossing his legs. “I know,” he whined. “But lucky I’m such a good actor otherwise I wouldn’t have pulled it off.”

 

Steve grinned and shook his head. “And your sisters?”

 

“They’ve loved it since the first episode too,” he smiled fondly, playing with the rug. “Bridge and Blair are constantly asking me for the scoop on the new season. Every morning I get a text asking for me to find out things.”

 

Steve’s grin brightened as he thought over some of the conversations he and Bucky have had in the past. He realised Bucky always asked what they were filming that day, or what was happening on set. Steve always thought it was so Bucky could insult him but he was trying to get information for his sisters.

 

“Fucking hell.”

 

“Language!” Bucky said, referencing one of the most popular jokes from the show.

 

There was a beat before the two of them exploded into laughter that filled the house. Bucky fell forward into Steve’s arms who fell back onto the rug, Bucky laughing on top of him. Bucky rolled over to lay next to Steve as their laughter died down.

 

“I understood that reference,” Steve said.

 

Bucky giggled, pushing his face into Steve’s shoulder that was shaking with laughter.

 

Steve smiled at the ceiling, feeling warmth settle into his bones. Bucky was resting his head on Steve’s shoulder, his arm thrown across Steve’s stomach as he continued to giggle quietly. Steve felt safe with Bucky pressed up against him. His insides felt syrupy and his eyes sparkled and he felt happy.

 

“I’m so confused,” Steve whispered.

 

Bucky hummed.

 

Steve knew that his next question would ruin the happy bubble they had created on Bucky’s very fluffy white rug, but his skin itched with the need to know the answer. “How do you deal with the people you work with?”

 

Bucky froze but didn’t remove himself from next to Steve.

 

“I don’t understand it, Buck,” Steve was saying quietly, his eyes tracing the ceiling. “You obviously aren’t the asshole I thought you were. I mean, you are an asshole-” Bucky huffed and pinched Steve’s side. “-but you aren’t an asshole like them. How do you do it? Why do you do it?”

 

“Because it’s my job, Steve,” Bucky murmured. “I’m there to do my job so that’s what I do.”

 

Steve huffed, not satisfied. He turned his head to face Bucky, who removed his own face from Steve’s shoulder. They were looking at each other, cheeks resting on the rug. Steve could feel Bucky’s breath on his face and he distantly thought that if the circumstances were different, he’d kiss Bucky.

 

“Seriously? Go on, tell me you don’t hate them. Tell me you enjoy working with a bunch of racist, homophobic misogynistic assholes.”

 

Bucky frowned. “I’m not going to say that, because it isn’t true.”

 

“Then why are you still there? They don’t treat you right, Buck. I can see how Pierce and the others treat you and it’s not okay.”

 

Bucky sat up abruptly, bringing his knees up so he could rest his head between them. Steve watched as Bucky’s back moved as he breathed.

 

“You don't think I know that, Steve?” Bucky snapped. “I hate Rumlow and Zola and Pierce and the whole lot of them. I have no friends at work and the only time I enjoy myself is when I’m shooting a scene by myself. I hate my job,” Bucky’s voice cracked. Steve made a noise of sympathy and sat up next to Bucky, wrapping an arm around his back in comfort. “The environment is toxic.”

 

Steve’s heart broke. “Why are you there then, Bucky? Why did you take the show in the first place?”

 

Bucky huffed and rolled his eyes, setting his chin on his knee and staring at the couch. “I had never had the lead before in any of my movies so you can imagine how excited I was when my agent told me I got the lead in a TV show. When I arrived and first met the rest of the cast, I was nervous and excited. I wanted to fit in badly so they wouldn’t fire me.

 

Ever since I came out a few years before auditions and callbacks dropped because I was gay. I badly needed something so I didn’t have to move back to Brooklyn, a failure. Then I rock up to Hydra and they’re a bunch of assholes. I needed to fit in so I wouldn’t get fired and I joined in on their jokes.

 

At that point, they were just assholes, not the disgusting horrible assholes they are today. And then you turned up for The Avengers and the others acted like dicks to you, so I did too so they wouldn’t be dicks to me and kick me off the show. Then you and I fell into this rivalry thing and Hydra became popular. I got stuck there.

 

I learnt to bite my tongue around Pierce after Sitwell said something bluntly homophobic to my face and I punched him. Pierce took me into his office and I thought he was going to apologise to me, but he gave this long speech about being a part of the team and not playing politics in Hollywood. He-he basically threatened my career, made it pretty clear if I did something he didn’t like he’d write me off the show and make it even more difficult for me to get a job.”

 

Bucky,” Steve said, pressing his cheek to Bucky’s shoulder.

 

“So I stayed. I tried to pick up as many jobs as I could outside of Hydra, just as a backup. My family worries but Becca is the really only one who knows how much I hate it.” Bucky huffed and turned his head to face Steve. Steve could see the tears that had formed in Bucky’s eyes glisten underneath the light. 

 

“I’m so jealous of you, Steve,” he whispered and it looked like it hurt for him to say the words out loud. “You’re all a big family. Nat tells me so many stories and I look at how happy you are. You welcome all the new actors with open arms and you don’t leave out a single member of the crew. You have fun, and you produce such good quality TV.”

 

Steve squeezed Bucky’s shoulder, at a loss for words.

 

“Sorry,” Bucky sniffed, smiling at Steve a little watery. “I brought down the mood real quick.”

 

“Don’t apologise, Buck,” Steve said immediately, rubbing circles over Bucky’s skin with his thumb. “Please don’t apologise. I’m so happy that you’ve told me all this. Thank you for trusting me.”

 

Bucky smirked. “I mean, you’re Captain America, right? How could I not trust you?”

 

Bucky giggled again, probably overcome with the emotional stress of the past few minutes. As Steve watched him close his eyes and press his lips together to stop the laughter, Steve was hit with a thought.

 

“You should join The Avengers!”

 

Bucky’s eyes flew open wide and he gaped at Steve for a second before he rolled his eyes. “Funny joke, Steve. For your information, I’ve already taken the test on SHIELD’s website and have the certificate up in my bedroom back in Brooklyn.”

 

Steve filed that information away for later to use against Bucky and focused on the moment. “No, no, no. You’re such a talented actor, Buck. You should be working on something you’re passionate and proud of. You should be in a working environment that you can really thrive in.”

 

Bucky squinted at him. “So, what? I magically just leave Hydra for The Avengers? You don’t have that kind of control, Stevie.”

 

Steve thought for a moment before he gasped. “But I do have some creative control over my character!”

 

“So, I become the next Captain America?”

 

Steve playfully pushed Bucky on the shoulder who laughed. “No, you jerk. You could audition for CBF.”

 

“CBF?” Bucky asked, curious now that he could learn something new about his favourite show. 

 

“Childhood Best Friend,” Steve confirmed. “We’ve always thought that we’d bring someone from Cap’s past to the future and we’ve created a Childhood Best Friend-”

 

“-that you always hint in flashbacks!” Bucky said excitedly, turning around and gripping Steve’s forearms. “Bree sends me so many posts and theories about it, she’s such a big believer that you guys are gonna bring it up in season five.”

 

Steve smirked and shrugged, “Well that was the plan.”

 

“Oh my god,” Bucky gasped, gripping Steve’s arms even tighter.

 

“I’ll talk to Fury and Coulson about it,” Steve said, patting Bucky’s hands. “No promises but I’m sure I can at least get you in for an audition.”

 

“You’re the best, Stevie!” Bucky nearly shouted, springing forward to wrap his arms around Steve’s neck and engulfing him in a tight hug.

 

Steve laughed, hands suddenly full of Bucky as he wrapped them around him. He smiled into Bucky’s hair, filled with warmth and softness and hope.

 

His insides feel like mush for the rest of the night. As Bucky finishes the cooking, they talk through all their favourite moments of The Avengers. They laugh and giggle at the jokes and Steve is hit with a fresh wave of absolute adoration and love for the work he’s produced.

 

Seeing Bucky, someone who’s publicly declared he hates the show, with wide eyes, twinkling with love and absolute glee, reminds Steve why he loves his job. He creates art for others to enjoy and find solace in.

 

They had dinner and traded stories of previous films/plays they had done which quickly turned into swapping stories reminiscing about growing up in Brooklyn. Bucky told stories from his high school days, discovering himself to be gay and coming out to his ginormous family. Steve was right, he had many crazy stories about Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Steve divulged stories about Sarah Rogers and growing up with a poor, single mother. He expressed his passion for drawing and painting, how Sarah supported him one hundred and ten per cent for his entire life. How Steve wasn’t afraid to come out to her as bisexual when he was fifteen but was still shocked when she embraced him and told him that she had a feeling all along. Steve spoke about struggles with his health and growing up with frequent visits to the hospital as a regular thing.

 

Steve felt like he showed Bucky all of himself and Bucky did so in return. 

 

After dinner they found themselves pushing Bucky’s coffee table out of the way and sitting on the rug because Steve just couldn’t get enough. They read through the script and rehearsed jokes that didn’t quite land like they wanted to.

 

They both gave encouragement and tweaks to each other when necessary and Steve found himself loving how passionate Bucky was for it. Such a stark contrast to the beginning of April.

 

They ended up with Steve leaning against the couch, cross-legged, with Bucky’s head in Steve lap, their respective scripts in their hands. 

 

It was when Bucky said a joke and laughed, his eyes crinkling at the corners and looking up at Steve with a large smile that Steve realised he was in love with Bucky.

 

One hundred per cent, head over heels, deeply, irreversibly and hopelessly in love with Bucky Barnes. 

 

Steve didn’t say his realisation out loud but he was sure Bucky could hear how fast his heart was beating, could feel how sweaty Steve’s hands were as he rubbed circles into Bucky’s arm. Or maybe it was in his eyes, the shock and joy and excitement shining through. Maybe Steve’s love was in the air, syrupy sweet and suffocating, tangible, almost like he could reach out, grab it, and shove it in Bucky’s face. 

 

Steve left Bucky’s house with a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek that didn’t fail to make both of them blush under the stars. Steve struggled to breathe as he drove back home and was glad that he didn’t need to face Bucky again until lunch tomorrow.

 

Who knew that finding out Bucky was secretly in love with his TV show would make Steve fully realise his feelings?

 

BARNES SIBLING FAMILY CHAT

 

b1isbetterthanb2: anyone else crazy excited to see our big bro and number one hottie from the depression together tonight?!

 

breecheese: fuck yeah I am. You think they’ll both faint in pure anger and frustration? i’m placing bets that buck will punch steve in the dick before halfway through

 

londonbridge: we all know that bucky would prefer to be doing much, much worse things to steve’s dick

 

beccawcaw: wouldn’t we all?

 

sniperfromanotherviper: i hate you all and you will never, ever get to meet Steve. EVER

 

breecheese: i thought you hated him? 

 

londonbridge: why hasn’t he responded???

 

breecheese: WE THOUGHT YOU HATED HIM

 

b1isbetterthanb2: DID YOU TWO FINALLY SPEAK?! DO YOU HAVE HIS NUMBER?! CAN I PLEASE HAVE HIS NUMBER?!

 

beccawcaw: guys chill they probably only hate fucked or something 

 

sniperfromanotherviper: OMG THIS IS WHY I MOVED ACROSS COUNTRY

 

breecheese: to fuck steve rogers??

 

The next morning, after Steve’s run, he sent a message to the Avenger’s cast group chat.

 

CAPTAIN BORING: Avengers Assemble in five mins

 

Birdbrain v1: oh no

 

New kid: wait what’s happening???

 

After taking a few swings from his water bottle and getting comfortable on his couch, Steve pressed the video chat button. He only had to wait a few seconds before faces started to pop up.

 

There was general confusion as everyone said hello in greeting and tried to figure out why they had been assembled when Steve raised a hand and cleared his throat, gaining those who had turned up’s attention.

 

“Thank you all for coming,” Steve said in his best Cap voice to try and calm some of the panic he was feeling. Last night had suddenly hit him halfway through his run and he had nearly tripped and fallen into a fountain. He figured urgent backup was required. “I have some highly classified information to share with you all.”

 

“Is this part of the show?” Peter whispered as Steve watched Sam and Nat exchange a Look. “Are we being filmed right now?’

 

“No,” Steve said and cleared his throat. “I uh, I’m kind of panicking at the moment and need some backup. I went over to Bucky’s house last night-”

 

Carol and Clint whistled.

 

“-and I came to the realisation that I’m actually in love with Bucky.”

 

Steve expected some shouting and swearing at his declaration but the shouting and swearing he was suddenly confronted with was not the kind he thought he’d received.

 

“Fuck yes, I knew it!”

 

“You owe me twenty bucks, Barton!”

 

“I’m only new and I knew this already.”

 

“Congratulations, son of Sarah!”

 

“Bout fucking time.”

 

“Wait, what?!” Steve sputtered.

 

Nat raised an unimpressed eyebrow. “I told you it was obvious.”

 

“Oh my god,” Steve said in horror. “How long have you guys known?”

 

“For a while,” Tony shrugged and took a large gulp of some disgusting green smoothie. “At the start, it was a real hatred but you guys have been denying your feelings for a while now.”

 

Steve shook his head. “Bucky doesn’t know.”

 

“Oh,” Peter peered at Steve. “Are you going to tell him?”

 

“I don’t know, Queens. I don’t want to ruin this friendship we’ve created.”

 

Everyone rolled their eyes.

 

“What?” Steve asked, pouting.

 

“Friend,” Thor said loudly. “May I ask a question?”

 

Steve’s eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. “Sure thing, bud.”

 

“How did you and Barnes become friends in the first place after years of battle?”

 

Sam cut in before Steve could even think of a reply. “Because you two opened up to each other. You stopped your fighting and opened up your lives, thoughts, feelings, to each other and you found you’re actually a good match.”

 

Thor grinned in agreement.

 

“Maybe that’s what you need to do with these new feelings too, Steve,” Wanda said, Pietro nodding beside her.

 

“When did you guys start ganging up on me?” Steve grumbled.

 

“Around ten years ago when you ditched rehearsal because you got distracted by a bookstore.” Bruce shrugged.

 

“And we’ve been recruiting the new kids ever since,” Nat smirked.

 

“Seriously,” Sam said. “If you’re in love with Bucky you should tell him.”

 

“Maybe not tonight,” Tony advised. “Better to keep the love declarations until after you have to be on live TV.”

 

Steve was never really good at taking advice. Especially from Tony. 

 

He rocked up to SHIELD at lunchtime and was immediately ushered into wardrobe. Sam brought in some lunch he had picked up and they ate that together as a stylist fussed about their makeup and hair, some of the other Avengers joining them too.

 

They only mentioned Steve’s feelings for Bucky once to make sure he was okay but they could read Steve well enough by now to realise that he wasn’t dwelling on them in case he suddenly blurted it to everyone, including Bucky.

 

It was bad enough he told the entire Avengers cast before he told Bucky.

 

After having makeup and wardrobe done, Steve walked into the filming studio to see that Pierce was talking to Bucky.

 

Steve’s initial anger at Pierce was held back momentarily at seeing Bucky. He had obviously turned up before Steve because he was ready already.

 

They had put him in a form-fitting white t-shirt tucked into even more form-fitting dark jeans. Over the top of his white t-shirt was a light blue blazer that made his eyes pop. Steve suddenly felt very hot and flustered in his grey button-down shirt and leather jacket combo. 

 

It only intensified when Bucky caught his eyes, an immediate smile taking over his face and loosening some of the tension on his face.

 

Steve walked over to them and pressed his arm against Bucky’s to show some support against Pierce who looked at Steve coldly.

 

“Rogers.”

 

“Pierce,” Steve said sweetly before turning to Bucky. “I’m pretty sure that Hank said we needed to go over something with him. Can I steal you for a moment?”

 

Pierce’s smile tightened when Bucky didn’t hesitate and followed Steve away into the throng of people setting up cameras and lights.

 

“Phew,” Bucky sagged into Steve’s side, who slipped an arm around his shoulders to keep him upright. “Fuck, I hate that guy.”

 

Steve stopped walking and pulled Bucky into a quick hug, his heart fluttering, and then stepped back. Bucky was grinning at him, his eyes sweeping over Steve before he whistled.

 

“You clean up good, punk.”

 

“Looking sharp yourself, jerk,” Steve blushed. 

 

Bucky’s grin grew and he was about to say something but Fury walked up and interrupted him.

 

“Glad to see that you both are still functioning at the end of all this,” Fury smirked. “Only a few hours left. We’re about to start a full rehearsal once someone finds Rumlow, you two ready?”

 

Both Steve and Bucky assured Fury they were ready and headed to their starting positions, right of where all cameras were pointing. They were in darkness but when signalled they would walk out to the centre of the stage in front of the large TV screen.

 

“Rumlow probably forgot to turn up,” Bucky whispered to him. “He once forgot to turn up to an awards show where he won the best actor award.”

 

Steve made a noise of protest in the back of his throat. “Best actor? For what?”

 

“Exactly,” Bucky said. “Fuck, Stevie. You really get me.”

 

It was said as a joke but Steve felt his insides turn to mush again at Bucky’s words.

 

It was a miracle that he actually made it through the full rehearsal. It actually went off without any major hitches. Some of the Hydra goons fucked up some lines or where in the wrong spots but they were quickly ramified.

 

Steve and Bucky got to rehearse everything and Steve was eternally grateful they went over everything again last night. It really helped him to settle his nerves.

 

After the rehearsal was done, The Avengers cast and Bucky snuck off to another studio and had pizza. Steve was delighted that his friends welcomed Bucky with open arms but weren’t afraid to bicker and fight with him good-naturedly.

 

Steve came to a resolve that he would fight tooth and nail for Bucky to get the part of Cap’s CBF. Even if the reasoning was a little selfish because they had planned for Cap and CBF to be in a relationship before the war and that meant he might get to kiss Bucky, Steve could see how happy Bucky was with The Avengers. And that was the most important thing.

 

Eventually, they were called back to the studio when it hit the twenty-minute mark. The sound guys double-checked the mics pinned to their shirts were working and everyone else bustled around, getting into position. 

 

They were standing in their starting spot, in the dark where the lights couldn’t reach them when Steve bumped Bucky on the shoulder.

 

“You’d make a great Avenger, Buck,” Steve whispered, just in case Pierce suddenly appeared out of nowhere. “And I believe that wholeheartedly.”

 

“Thanks, Stevie,” Bucky’s hand brushed against his before Bucky tangled their fingers together, squeezing Steve’s hand before pulling back. “That really means a lot coming from you.”

 

And it was the simple gesture of holding hands for all of five seconds, coupled with Steve’s lingering warmth from their dinner with all his friends, and Bucky words that had Steve’s throat clogged up with the words he so badly had to say.

 

“Buck, I need to tell you something,” he said breathlessly.

 

“One minute till we’re live!” someone yelled. “Final positions now!”

 

“Yeah, Steve?” Bucky whispered, turning around to face Steve fully.

 

Steve’s heart was beating so hard he could feel and hear it in his head, but he felt the familiar stubbornness set into his bones. He was going to do it, no matter what. He took a breath in and let it out slowly. Bucky tugged on his hand.

 

“I’m in love with you, Bucky.”

 

There was a moment of complete silence between them, filled with someone yelling out they had thirty seconds left. 

 

Then Bucky surged forward, his hands coming to cup Steve’s jaw, and smashed his lips against Steve’s in a blindingly electric kiss. Steve made a noise of surprise, his arms flailing around them before it clicked that Bucky was kissing him and he surged forward too, wrapped his arms around Bucky’s waist and pulled him right up against his body.

 

It was energetic and a little rushed and messy but it was Bucky and Steve had never felt the pure desire, satisfaction and heat pumping through his veins before. Bucky had such soft lips but they pressed hard against Steve’s mouth. 

 

Distantly, Steve heard someone yell the fifteen-second mark and he pulled back abruptly.

 

“Oh my god,” Steve squeaked, arms still around Bucky’s waist.

 

Bucky grinned cheekily and pulled back quickly, fixing his blazer. “Sorry. Talk in the commercial break?”

 

Steve could only nod. 

 

“Ten seconds!”

 

Bucky stepped closer and wiped Steve’s lips with his thumb. “You might want to fix your hair.”

 

Steve’s eyes widened as someone started to count down from five and he frantically ran a hand through his hair to try and fix it, not even noticing that Bucky had slipped one hand through it during the kiss.

 

Bucky watched as the camera guy counted down from five with his fingers and then stepped forward to walk on stage as rehearsed, tugging Steve’s hand when Steve didn’t move.

 

Steve was blinded by the lights, mind fuzzy and freaking the fuck out as Bucky greeted the viewers, reading the script they had read a thousand times off the prompter next to the camera.

 

Steve quickly found himself in his actor’s skin, pushing all thoughts and feelings to the back of his mind as he spoke his lines and joked with Bucky. He couldn’t help that his eyes caught on Bucky’s red lips for a moment though.

 

“So,” Bucky was saying, his hands collapsed in front of him, a big smile on his face. “Let’s meet the founder and owner of Natasha Romanoff’s nominated charity, Yelena Belova.”

 

Steve and Bucky froze for a moment, smiling at the camera until someone gave them the signal they had successfully transferred over to the pre-recorded interview with Yelena Belova.

 

Bucky turned to Steve and pushed him in the chest. “Stop freaking out, punk.”

 

Steve blushed and ran his hands through his hair, watching himself on a monitor to try and fix it to what it was before. “Do you think they can tell I’m freaking out?”

 

“No,” Bucky assured him, smirking. “I can only tell because I can feel you literally shaking next to me.”

 

Steve’s eyes widened. “Why aren’t you freaking out?” he asked, and then leant down to whisper in Bucky’s ear, “I just confessed I’m in love with you and we kissed right before going on live television.”

 

Bucky sighed happily (?) as Steve pulled back, turning to face the cameras again. Bucky did the same but bumped his shoulder with Steve’s. “I know. You think I could forget that? You’ve got nothing to worry about Steve.”

 

“Wait,” Steve said, turning to Bucky with wide eyes. “Does that mean-”

 

“It’s coming back to us in ten!” Someone called and then Steve was forced to turn back to the cameras with a large smile on his face, as the guy counted down with his fingers.

 

Steve was forced to push his internal panic deep deep down as he and Bucky spoke about Yelena and her sexual assault victim charity, and then joke a few times before introducing Nat for her ironic monologue about working in any job as a female that was both funny and highlighted the extreme prejudice and abuse women experienced daily.

 

Fury had obviously won the battle with Pierce to get it on.

 

As the cameras focused on Natasha off to the left, Steve went to turn around to talk to Bucky but was bombarded by the stand-by hairstylist who started to frantically brush a comb through Steve’s hair.

 

“Don’t play with it on stage!” she hissed to Steve.

 

Steve helplessly looked to Bucky and knew that they wouldn’t be able to talk until the first commercial break. 

 

After Nat’s performance, Steve and Bucky detailed how and why to donate.

 

“After the commercial break, Sam Wilson and war veteran, Mollie Marystill. See you soon folks!”

 

Bucky and Steve smiled at the moving camera on a track that moved away from their faces, zooming out to get a full shot of the studio.

 

Count Guy, which Steve had dubbed him, signalled they had cut to a commercial break.

 

Steve’s shoulders sagged and turned towards Bucky, reaching up to grab his shoulder but Fury stepped up to them, forcing Steve to drop his hand.

 

“Here are the figures so far,” Fury was saying, shoving cards with numbers on them. “Donations have already reached…”

 

And Steve’s commercial break was taken up by Fury updating them on changes to the script due to unprecedented donations and blah blah blah. Steve prayed that it would all be on the cards or the promoter because he blanked out when Bucky licked his lips. 

 

Steve must have pissed off the gods in this life or a past life because he could not find a single moment to talk to Bucky for the entire show. Each commercial break was taken up with stylists fixing their hair, Fury or Pierce updating them on donations, or even at one point a small fire on stage.

 

Steve was buzzing. He was a live wire connected to a bunch of fireworks that were about to explode. He was a fly trapped in a jar, a leaf in a storm hanging on by a single thread to the branch, each gust of wind, or smile from Bucky in his case, so much closer to pushing him off the edge.

 

He could still feel Bucky in his arms and Bucky’s lips on his and he had the knowledge that Bucky had kissed him after Steve had declared his love for him. 

 

Steve was freaking the fuck out and he couldn’t act on it because he was on live television and disrupting a charity special to ask Bucky if he’s in love with him wouldn’t be good.

 

Steve bit his tongue, forcibly relaxed his shoulders and prayed to the gods that kept screwing him over that he didn’t look like a crazy man on TV. Twitter and his friends would never let him live it down. 

 

After the show finished, Steve and Bucky were whisked away to get changed. Steve was stopped multiple times by his friends and the crew congratulating him on a job well done. Fury followed him to the dressing room with a full update on the money raised. Whilst Steve was very happy at the large number, all he wanted to do was get the fuck out of there and jump Bucky in the car park if he was lucky enough. 

 

After getting changed back into his own clothes, Steve opened his phone as he hung around the dressing rooms, hoping Bucky would come out of one. He had multiple text messages.

 

Sarah Rogers: you did such a good job, baby. i’m really proud of you. also any chance you and bucky were, ahem, snogging, before you went on?

 

Natasha Romanoff: you fucking told him, didn’t you? god, you’re both so stupid i don’t know how i put up with it

 

Dum Dum Dugan: *image attached* me and the boys watching your ugly mug and barnes’ pretty face! good job cap

 

Sharon Carter: tell the team they did an amazing job :)) and maybe you did okay too haha

 

There were more from colleges from Steve’s theatre days and other movies but he scrolled down to the first message, freezing before opening it.

 

Bucky Barnes: wait for me in the car park 

 

Steve let out a shaky breath and closed his phone, deciding to check and respond to messages and Twitter later. For now, he had to wait for Bucky in the car park.

 

It was cold as Steve leaned against the hood of Bucky’s car, pulling the leather jacket he had brought from home tighter around himself. He didn’t understand why they made him change into a different leather jacket but he had long since learned to not mess with the wardrobe people.

 

A crew member that works on The Avengers walked past and Steve wished her goodnight, making sure to watch her all the way to her car in case some creep tried to jump her. That’s why Steve didn’t notice Bucky had arrived until Bucky placed a hand on Steve’s knee.

 

“Fuck!” Steve jumped, turning around and swinging a hand only for Bucky to laugh and jump out of the way. Steve felt his heart rate slow for a second as he realised he wasn’t in danger, but then it picked up again as he realised Bucky was finally here. 

 

“Wow, Rogers,” Bucky laughed, stepping closer and putting his jacket on the hood of the car next to Steve. “You alright?”

 

Steve rolled his eyes and crossed his arms across his chest. “You scared me. I was making sure Jess got to her car safely.”

 

Bucky’s expression softened and he took a step closer, placing his hands on Steve’s forearms and moving them until Steve’s arms were wrapped around Bucky’s waist, not much different from earlier. Steve moved his legs a little so Bucky could stand between them.

 

“I’m pretty sure Jess could kill anyone who tried to jump her,” Bucky whispered, eyes soft under the car park lights.

 

“Yeah,” Steve whispered, slightly distracted by all of Bucky pressing up against him.

 

He gulped as Bucky moved his hands to cup the back of Steve’s neck.

 

“Now,” Bucky smirked. “I think you were telling me something before we had to go on live national TV?”

 

Steve shuffled and squeezed Bucky a little bit closer. “I think you already know what I said. What I want to know is what you were going to say in response.”

 

Bucky’s eyes crinkled at the corners before he closed them, leaning forward the few inches between them to place a slow, lingering kiss on Steve’s lips. Steve was going to die here, in a car park in LA, sitting on a car hood. Cause of death: Bucky’s lips.

 

Bucky pulled back first, Steve gasping like a fish out of water, trying to heave oxygen into his poor lungs. He was glad Bucky wasn’t unaffected either. Steve could feel Bucky panting.

 

“I’m in love with you, too,” Bucky whispered.

 

Steve’s eyes snapped up from where they were looking at Bucky’s lips to see Bucky’s soft, blue eyes already looking at him.

 

“What?”

 

“I love you, Stevie.” Bucky laughed and kissed Steve on the nose.

 

Steve wrinkled his nose but his face was being split open by his grin. “You love me?” Steve asked, and when Bucky nodded he surged forward to capture Bucky’s lips in a life-ending kiss. “I love you, too,” he said against Bucky’s lips.

 

Bucky laughed again and rested his forehead on Steve’s shoulder, burrowing his head into Steve’s neck. He placed a featherlight kiss on Steve’s skin, making Steve shiver and squeeze Bucky’s waist tighter.

 

“Come back to my place,” Steve said into the night air.

 

“What about the bus?” Bucky pulled back, his signature smirk on his face.

 

“I retracted all statements about buses,” Steve said loudly in the air, Bucky giggling in his arms. “I think I’d rather be hit by a bus than see you not in my apartment.”

 

“Cause I’m such a catch?” Bucky smirked.

 

Steve didn’t feel any anger, frustration or hatred boil in his blood and overcome him as he looked at the smirk on Bucky’s face. It used to annoy him to no end, the twitch of Bucky’s lips that screamed cockiness and arrogance, that highlighted that Bucky knew that Steve was fighting hard to not punch it off his face.

 

Instead of punching it off Bucky’s face, Steve kissed Bucky so hard it fell off and Bucky was left gaping at Steve. 

 

As Steve led Bucky to his apartment on his motorcycle, Bucky driving behind him, he knew they would have time to talk about this revelation and what it means for them. 

 

For now, Steve just looked forward to kissing the smirk off Bucky’s face for a very long time.

 

Christine Everheart for Vanity Fair; 14 January 2021

 

Nearly seven months after SHIELD4charity in late June and a week after the fourth season finale of Hydra and The Avengers, actor Bucky Barnes has dropped three major bombshells on Twitter this morning. The Tweets are embedded below:

 

@BuckyBarnes

Good morning world :) I’ve got some news to share with you and more information will be coming out in the next few days, so keep your eyes open!

 

@BuckyBarnes

First: the fourth season of Hydra will be my last season with the show. I’ve enjoyed the work I’ve created and I want to express my never-ending gratitude to the fans of the show, but I’ve been feeling for a long time now I could be doing bigger and better things elsewhere

 

@BuckyBarnes

Second: I will be a recurring guest star on the fifth season of @SHIELD’s The Avengers. My character, Bucky Barnes, is an amputee war veteran with amnesia. I’m super excited to be joining the cast of this, regretfully, wonderful and wacky show. More news soon!

 

@BuckyBarnes

And finally: world, I’d like you to meet my boyfriend of seven months, @SteveRogers. @SteveRogers, meet world 

 

*image attached: a photo of actor Steve Rogers lying on a large grey couch, wearing a black hoodie with the words ‘hey, that’s my ASSet’. He’s smiling at the camera, hand outstretched for the person taking the picture*

 

@SteveRogers

Hi, world!! Glad to finally meet you. You might know me as Captain America from the frankly awesome show The Avengers, but I’m also in love with @BuckyBarnes even though he’s a jerk

 

*image attached: a selfie of actors Steve and Bucky sitting shirtless in a pool. Bucky is smiling at the camera and Steve is kissing his cheek*

 

@BuckyBarnes

Punk