Bucky barrels into the living room, vibrating with anger.
Instantly, Steve’s on guard. From his seat in the corner, Sam looks up from his iPad, face filled with worry.
Bucky’s outburst lulls lulls them out of their afternoon haze, as he passes his phone over to Steve.
When Steve reads the headline of the article his face pales with shock. Sam is up and next to him in an instant, reading over his shoulder.
Bucky simmers while Sam and Steve read, standing over them like a silent sentry and once they are finished, Sam plucks the phone from Steve’s grip, placing it on the coffee table.
"I think I preferred that Twitter trend from the other day,” Steve says eventually, a trace of humor slipping through the anguish, the hurt in his features.
“Damn right,” Bucky and Sam speak in unison, each kissing Steve gently on the cheek.
“I don’t know why…why they would do this.” Steve looks toward Bucky’s phone, shaking his head dejectedly.
“It doesn’t matter what they say about me. It hurts but I know it’s not true. But to lie about my mother?” Steve’s voice cracks, and Sam squeezes his hand tightly in his.
Bucky’s blue eyes light up with renewed rage. “Sarah was one of the best, kindest women I’ve ever known. To call her HYDRA?”
Sam shakes his head, still unable to believe what he’d just read. Sam was protective of the people he loves, lets face it - it’s in his nature. These writers were not only hurting his Steve, but his Bucky.
"By writing this, they are not only insinuating that you’re a racist, bigoted Nazi, but that you had a hand in what happened to Bucky.”
Bucky’s squeezing the arm of the sofa tight enough for the wood to crack, splintering. "He didn’t,” Bucky says angrily. “I know he didn’t.” Bucky looks over at Steve, and then Sam.
Sam pulls Bucky into a tight hug. “I know. We know.”
“Then why would they say it?” Steve says quietly.
“I don’t know, Steve,” Sam sighs. “But I wish they wouldn’t.”
“I miss her,” Steve says, a while later. “I wish she could see me like this.”
The three of them are snuggled up on the sofa. Steve’s in the middle, like Bucky and Sam alone can keep him safe from the world.
"Healthy?” Bucky asks.
Steve smiles, and it’s like a flash of light in their afternoon that had so quickly turned dark.