This is a five-hour-long plane ride, we’re sitting together and you’re deathly afraid of flying.
The man sitting on Bucky’s side is very attractive. Now, this is Bucky’s very first time sitting in first class (he got bumped from a previous flight and got an upgrade because of it), so he doesn’t necessarily know the rules, but it probably should’ve occurred to him that the seat would also come with a view. It never occurred to him that the beautiful people would be in first, but he also never stopped to look around, given that he always had to hustle back to coach carrying a roll-aboard carry-on that is always a little too overstuffed to fit in the overhead compartment, but which he tries to shove in anyway.
In first class there are beautiful men and the flight attendant shoved his bag in for him.
What a life.
Bucky wonders whether he should make conversation, but decides against it when he really looks at the guy. Sure, he’s practically from the pages of <i>Sports Illustrated</i>, but he also looks nervous — chewing on his lip, balling his hands into fists then releasing them. It’s probably best that Bucky just focuses on which of the many movie options available to him he should watch during the flight. It’s a long one, about five hours, so he’ll probably be able to fit in two movies if he doesn’t fall asleep. (Bucky doesn’t plan on falling asleep, since this is probably the one time in his life that he will enjoy the luxuries of first class and he doesn’t want to miss a moment.)
But Bucky is surprised when the guy turns to him. “Hi,” he says.
“Hi,” Bucky responds. The man’s teeth are so straight and white that he looks like he could’ve stepped right out of a Crest commercial.
“How are you?” the man asks, sounding a little forced. Bucky glances down; the man is holding onto the armrest so hard that his knuckles are turning white.
“I’m great,” Bucky responds, a little squeakier than intended. “You?”
“I’ve been better,” he says, frowning. He turns forward again. “Do you think I could get some water?” he asks, not like he’s asking Bucky to get it for him, but like he’s genuinely confused as to whether he can get some water.
“I’m sure you can,” Bucky says. Seeing that this guy is probably not really used to flying like this (not that Bucky is, either), Bucky undoes his seatbelt and stands up. A flight attendant notices him immediately, and Bucky gives her a little wave.
“What’re you…” the man says, then folds into himself a little when the flight attendant arrives. “Hi,” he says.
“Hi there,” she says, giving the man a bright smile, then one to Bucky. “Can I help you with something?”
“My seat mate and I would like some water, if you don’t mind,” Bucky says with the biggest smile he can muster. He thinks it’d probably be less awkward for the guy if he asks for some, too.
“Of course, it’ll be just a second,” she says, heading back to that secretive area where flight attendants make magic happen.
“Thank you,” the man says.
“No sweat,” Bucky responds. “I’m Bucky, by the way.”
“You nervous about flying?” Bucky asks.
Steve nods. “It’s been a while, and the last plane I was in crashed.”
“What?” Bucky asks, though it sounds a lot more like, “Whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuht?”
The man gives a kind of sheepish, sad smile. “I’m a little nervous about flying again after that.”
Bucky wants Steve to be lying.
He desperately wants Steve to be lying.
He can totally tell that Steve is <i>not lying</i>.
“Fuck,” Bucky says, flopping back into his seat. “You gonna be okay?”
“Do I have a choice?” Steve asks just as the flight attendant reappears.
“Here are your waters,” she says, gingerly handing one to Steve, which he then passes to Bucky. She gives Steve the second plastic glass and he takes an immediate, grateful sip. “Can I do anything else for you two?” she asks.
“Steve?” Bucky asks. Steve shakes his head. “No, I think we’re fine. Thank you.”
She nods, then looks down at Steve. She takes a quick glance from side to side, then leans in and says, very quietly, “And thank you for your service, sir.”
“Thank you,” Steve says quietly, mustering up a smile before taking another small sip.
She grins, then heads back to the flight attendant area.
“You a vet?” Bucky asks, feeling like kind of an ass for not noticing. He takes a sip of water and looks up at Steve.
Steve nods. “Yeah,” he says. Then before Bucky can think of something to say in response he adds, “I’m Captain America.”
Bucky spits the water out all over his pants.
“Excuse me,” Steve says, raising an arm to get the flight attendant’s attention. “I think we’re going to need a napkin.”
As Bucky wipes down his pants he thinks to himself that he should’ve asked for a seat in coach. He’s never had an American legend sit next to him in coach.
“Thanks for taking my mind off of things,” Steve says with a smile, a real, dazzling smile, as he takes the wet, crumpled napkin from Bucky’s hand.
And Bucky knows now that he wouldn’t move to coach for the world.