Imagine Steve owning an ice cream shop and just meeting Bucky on a hot summer day
It’s a stunning day, the first really hot one they’ve had so far this year. Steve’d woken up early – well, been woken early by the sun heating up his bedroom – and, after a beach run and fetch with Honey, a shower, and a venti iced coffee (two sugars and a pump of vanilla, because Steve runs an ice cream shop and that means he is allowed to indulge), he sits in the front booth of his shop to chalk up the sandwich board for the day.
It’s only 10:30 when they roll up to the curb outside. Steve can see them through the big front windows, can hear them too: the bike’s motor cuts through the cheery playlist Steve’d queued up an hour ago. The girl – maybe 14? – slides off the back of the bike, her pink helmet decorated with a big Punisher skull sticker. She unzips the pink leather jacket then takes off her helmet, passing it to the driver, who pulls off his too and nests hers inside his.
Steve stares as the man gets off the bike too, one long muscular leg kicking up and over the seat. He locks the helmets into the back box and nudges the girl ahead of him into Steve’s ice cream parlor.
They’re very clearly siblings. They share the same big dark eyes and wavy dark hair, plus the girl makes a point of stepping on her brother’s foot as he holds the door for her. In retaliation he shoves her head sideways as they walk up to the counter.
Steve watches. The man would be the perfect model, his features symmetrical, his mouth expressive, his eyes nothing short of smoldering. He looks at Steve, and one corner of his mouth twitches as he looks at him.
Then his sister elbows him, and he turns to glare at her. “Quit it, or I won’t buy you anything,” he threatens. “Bec, I swear, I’ll walk out of here with a huge mint chip cone and I won’t let you have any.”
She sticks her tongue out at him. “I knew you’d say that. I brought my own money.” The man narrows his eyes at her, clearly stymied, and she turns to Steve. “Can I have a large cone with a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of black licorice, please?”
As Steve gets to scooping – he doesn’t scratch his shoulder, pulling up his sleeve a little by accident and showing off the curve of his bicep which Sharon says is his best feature, okay maybe he does a little – the man messes up his sister’s hair. “You’re gross,” he tells her.
“Right,” she replies, “because the guy who likes to add gummy bears and bobas and chocolate sauce to his tangerine ice cream should be the judge of all things gross.”
Steve tries to hide his snort, because that is definitely more disgusting than any amount of chocolate and licorice, but the man catches him anyway.
“I’m being ganged up on,” he grumbles as his sister takes the cone from Steve, “I don’t even know you and you’re laughing at me!”
Steve bites his lip, trying not to laugh more, and the girl elbows her brother again. “Ask him out, Bucky,” she says, not even trying to be subtle about it.
Steve and the man – Bucky – both turn to look at her, mouths open, and she shrugs at them. “What? I’m just saying. You should.” She turns then to look at Steve. “Or you can ask him. He’ll say yes. I promise.”
“Becca!” The man grabs her, clapping a hand over her mouth and almost making her drop her ice cream. “Shut. Up.”
Snickering, she peels his hand off her face, pinkie first. “He saw you opening the other day and he’s been trying to get me to go for ice cream ever since,” she says, rushing so that she can get all the words out before he tries to muffle her again. “He’s been calling you ‘what dreams are made of’ because he can’t read your nametag which clearly says ‘Steve’.”
The man abandons his attempts to silence her, covering his red face with both hands. “Becca, you are without a doubt the worst person ever to exist,” he says.
She licks her ice cream. “Come on, the Red Skull’s got to beat me at that one.”
“Or the Mandarin,” Steve suggests.
“Arguably General Ross,” Becca continues.
At that, Bucky looks up. “Gods don’t count,” he says, and places his hand over Becca’s entire face. “You little meddler, I was going to get to it. What are you doing after this, Steve?”