He remembers being scared. Not during the scuffle, not with Stevie by his side instead of fighting someone all by himself in God-knew-which back alley, and confident of his own strength the way only a teenager could be.
But later, when Eddie had explained what’d happened, when he’d told them what they said about him—why they had jumped him—God, had he been scared. His hands had felt cold and clammy as he’d unavoidably looked down at Steve and seen the similarities, seen the same small, delicate frame and the full, pink lips Eddie had. And as he’d tried to breathe around the lump in his throat, Bucky had been scared.
They’d fought, him and Steve; the tension and fear stealing his words and making him say things he didn’t mean. And then they’d made amends, because they may be a pair of stubborn punks, but they just didn’t know how to stay mad at each other.
Bucky remembers how badly he’d wanted to tell Steve, then. With them sitting across each other just like they’re now, only bone-tired and raw from all the yelling. He remembers the bruise forming on Steve’s cheek and the way he’d swept his bangs off his forehead, remembers the tears in Steve’s eyes, welling up but not falling, and how his own eyes stung with fear and worry.
He remembers the words getting stuck in his throat, and how Steve had looked at him like he knew them, looked at him with hopeful eyes that maybe, maybe, had been just as terrified as Bucky’s of speaking up.
The moment lasts but a few seconds, and then Steve’s laughing and pulling Bucky back to the present.
A snippet from my story for the Not Without You Anthology <3
Just a little over 2 days to back this project and get your copy, guys! :D