733 words, Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Steve Rogers had been eying a 35mm Kodak in the store window for months. He’d never said anything about it though, because he knew times were tough and there was NO WAY he could scrape up 17 whole dollars for it.
But Steve didn’t need to say anything because Bucky saw every lingering gaze each time they walked passed that window and he swore to himself that he’d get it for him no matter how he had to do it.
Over the next few months, Bucky worked tons of overtime at the factory and any other odd job he could find. Didn’t matter what it was. If he didn’t know how to do it, he’d learn. Any sort of car repair, any and all house/apartment fixes, shoe shining.
He even pawned a few things he probably wouldn’t miss too much.
As Steve’s birthday neared, Bucky had finally scraped and saved enough to buy the camera, and even had enough left over to buy a couple new paint brushes and a new pad of paper.
“What’s this Buck?” Steve said tentatively, eyeing the package on the table in their kitchen on the morning of July 4, 1941.
“Thought we didn’t have the money for any birthday presents this year.” Steve questioned with an arched brow.
“Just open it.” Bucky coaxed, with a soft but eager smile. He held the paper and brushes behind his back to reveal after the camera.
Steve eyed him suspiciously for a moment more before stepping up to the table and examining the brown paper wrapped cube.
He carefully pulled on the tape holding the paper flaps one by one until the paper fell open, revealing the boxed camera inside.
Steve immediately froze. His mouth slowly dropped open as he blinked and stared at it.
It couldn’t possibly be… maybe it’s just the box and there’s something else inside it.
“W-,” Steve’s voice was hoarse so he cleared his throat and began again. “What’s inside?” He whispered, with a tentative look back up at Bucky, who was gazing at him expectantly.
“Open it up and see.” Bucky said with a laugh.
Steve’s nimble fingers slipped under the top flap and lifted slowly, like he was scared something was gonna come out and bite him.
As he saw that it truly was the camera sitting in the box, he felt tears prickling at his eyes.
There’s no way…
“Buck…” Started Steve, but his throat was too tight to speak further, so he just looked up at him with glistening eyes.
“Happy birthday Stevie.” Bucky said as he placed the pad of paper and two brushes on the table as well.
Steve threw his small frame against Bucky’s in the tightest hug he could manage. As he stumbled back a couple steps, Bucky wrapped his arms around Steve and held onto him.
“How?” Steves small voice was muffled against Bucky’s chest.
“Don’t worry about it.” Was all Bucky said.
Steve would press more about it later, but right now he was too eager to try it out.
After finally letting go, Steve immediately went to the table to position the film inside the camera, pushing aside the paper and brushes for later in his excitement.
He’d apparently been researching everything about this camera long before now and was already well aware of how it worked.
He scrambled out the door, down the stairs and skidded to a stop outside their apartment building dragging Bucky behind him all the way.
Steve walked out and stood several feet away from Bucky and brought the camera up to look through the view finder at him.
“Come on Stevie.. what are you doin with that thing? You don’t need no pictures of me.” He grumbled.
Steve ignored him and continued fiddling with the knobs and switches until he had it where he wanted it and looked up eagerly at Bucky.
Bucky sighed and let his arms drop by his sides in defeat.
“Fine… so whaddya want me to do.” Bucky conceded.
“Just stand there and stay still.” Steve answered as he looked through the view finder and squared up his shot.
“That’s it? I feel like an idiot.” Bucky flatly uttered.
“Well that’s a coincidence, cause you look like an idiot too.” Steve teased, as he snapped the picture.