You always loved these moments with Bucky. When he’d pull out of you and collapsed next to you on the mattress, chest heaving and short of breath, but with enough strength left in his sated body to wrap his arms around your frame and pull you close to him. His fingers would stroke through your hair and you’d take this as a cue to raise your head up, have your lips meet his in a soft, tender kiss.
“I love you,” he’d whispered against your mouth, three words that took him a long time to say, but now he uttered them with ease and frequency.
“I love you,” you’d say them back immediately.
His smile would somehow make the butterflies in your stomach start fluttering again and it’d take all of your willpower to not straddle his hips and have your own way with him.
Bucky pretended you were both encased in a bubble during these hours, that the world wasn’t going to shit around you. After escaping the grip of Hydra, he had thought he found happiness in the peace, but it never compared to the heaven you brought him.
His fingers would map the veins of your hand, trace your knuckles and press softly against any birthmark he ran into. You’d close your eyes at his caresses, enjoy his touch and know that those same hands also held strength to snap you in half.
But Bucky was far from the haunted, broken man you had first known him as. He was a gentle heart that loved aplenty, suffocating him with so much emotion that he often didn’t know what to do with it. He was selfless, always looking out for others, never deeming himself good enough for that same mercy.
He was full of imperfections, in the scars that his skin bore, the angry red of them as they met his metal arm, in the way he often spoke to you, not knowing how to fully express himself. But you took him all in, you learned to love every fiber of his being, quested every inch of his body until you were sure you knew him more than you knew yourself.