ok so upon rewatching cap2 i noticed that steve rogers goes and sees sam wilson at the VA during the day and they have the “are you happy?” scene with steve staring at sam like he’s the fucking sun then it cuts to nick fury car scene and then steve’s coming home at night.
steve spent all that time doing what? i’ll bet it’s sam wilson feel free to disagree but ur absolutely wrong and sam took one look at steve’s awkward hands-in-my-pockets routine and sincere eyes and said “…my lunch starts in 10”
Sam Wilson who went to fight for his country and joined one of the fucking most dangerous branches and went on the craziest missions and escaped with his life by the skin of his teeth over and over again and yeah, he was saving people and he loved that, has always loved helping people, but he also loves the whistle of air passing over his wings and the swoop of adrenaline as he dodges missiles and bullets.
Sam Wilson who watched his best friend get shot out of the sky.
Sam Wilson who came home but still isn’t quite certain he did, not completely, not in the ways that really count. Sam who now spends his time talking to other vets who know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night, shaking and crying and so goddamn certain that they’re back there that they can almost taste the sand in the back of their throat, smell the blood and dust and heat like tar. Sam who thinks he sees Riley one day at the mall and has to go hide in the toilet until his lungs no longer feel like they’re collapsing.
Sam Wilson who has a huge, sprawling family, who is constantly getting invited to holidays and parties and weekend get togethers just for the hell of it. Who goes and spends the whole time playing with his nieces and nephews and ignoring the concerned questions of aunts and grandmothers and second cousins. Who learned to bake at his momma’s knee and just can’t shake the instinct to care for people by feeding them.
Sam who sees a superhero out jogging and all he can think is how terribly alone he seems.
Sam Wilson who recognizes Steve’s PTSD when everyone else was content to just ignore it and hope it went away because Steve is Captain America except when he’s really just another soldier who has seen too much death and too little life. Sam who does more to help Steve in two conversations than SHIELD has done in two years.
Sam Wilson who brings Steve Rogers and the Black fucking Widow into his home because there was never any question of whether or not he would. Sam who hands over his records like an application because yeah he got out for a good reason and yeah Captain America might need him but Steve Rogers needs him more and really, at the end of it all, he’s goddamn selfish. He’s selfish because he has missed the feeling of speed blurring the world around him, of weightlessness during a dive, of free-fall and flight, of danger and battle and the absolute freedom of the sky more than anything else in the world and being able to help Captain America and the Black Widow and the whole goddamn world is just a big fucking bonus to getting his wings back.
He still feeds them breakfast though.
Sam Wilson who is way out of his depth when a man with a fucking metal arm rips the fucking steering wheel right out of his fucking hands.
Sam Wilson who did not sign up for this except he did and even if he isn’t sure how to deal with a brainwashed formerly-dead best friend he still recognizes the look in Steve’s eyes and knows he has to keep following this man because someone has to make sure Steve Rogers makes it out of this alive and it sure as shit ain’t going to be Steve Rogers. Who exchanges a look with the Black Widow and is both terrified and comforted to know that she also knows this.
Sam Wilson who almost dies and almost dies but then doesn’t. Who got his wings back for a short, glorious time before being grounded again but knowing that this time, nothing is going to keep him there. Who decides to follow Steve Roger’s on his hopeless hunt for a ghost because the look in Steve’s eye is one he’s seen in the mirror too many times to count and someone needs to look after that white boy before he does something stupid. Or maybe he just needs someone to do something stupid with him.
After New York—after he’s signed back up, now he’s back in the fight, now that he’s an Avenger—they take his phone back, swap it for something new. Not secure enough, apparently, not a phone for an active agent. The replacement is a Starkphone, sleek and glossy, more locked down. There are security protocols he has to follow. No public wi-fi. Two-point thumbprint and ID code to unlock the screen. Phone on the table for every meeting, and face-down at all times.
He doesn’t bother getting a personal phone. Who would he call?
defrosted popsicle steve rogers learns how to text, and I actually finished a fic for the first time in six weeks, party hats all round