mycaffeinebox requested: Steve’s first sad 4th post freezing, then first happy one with Bucky (:
A lot of cities ask if Captain America would be the Grand Marshall of their 4th of July parade.
He’s nearly tempted to accept Gambier, Ohio’s invitation, since they’re the only small town that even tries making a bid against New York, Chicago and LA. But even a ten minute parade in Gambier is in the least bit enticing.
He visits Peggy on July 2nd, gives her a peck on the cheek and tells her he’ll be back in a few days.
The plane ride to Arizona is uneventful. One little girl spots him, asks if he’ll pick her up so she can kiss his cheek. He checks with her parents—yes, they say, of course—and does so. She says, “Happy 4th of July, Captain!” in a squeaky, energetic voice after she kisses him, patting his head with a chubby hand. Her smiles as he puts her down.
Her parents get it all on camera, and it ends up trending in an hour.
Steve, however, doesn’t see it. Instead, he ignores the notifications on his phone and double checks that he has all his equipment before he heads in.
The Grand Canyon is beautiful and vast. His guide is a nice young girl, who he ditches as soon as he can. He’s not like most people—he can withstand a lot, and has a Stark-patented tracking device with him, in case something does happen.
He camps out in a strong SHIELD-grade strength tent and watches at the sky turn from dusk to night. He can’t hear any fireworks here, just the sounds of desert animals hurrying through the sand. He gets the bottles of beer out from his backpack. He only packed three: one for him, one for Peggy, and the other for a ghost. He opens his up, and sets the two other unopened bottles next to him in the sand, next to the fire that he built.
He raises the beer up to the sky. “Happy birthday,” he says quietly to himself, before he drains the whole thing down.
And he doesn’t feel a thing.
Steve wakes-up with Bucky’s warm breath on his neck.
He glances at the clock, then back down to the man next to him, and decides that it’s his birthday—he can shut his eyes again.
When he wakes up a second time, it’s because Bucky is sitting up, wiping his sleepy eyes with his metal hand. “Morning,” Steve says, with a little smile.
Bucky blinks a few times at Steve, then smiles back. “Hey birthday boy,” he says. He flaps back onto the bed and snuggles up close. “Did I wake you up?”
“Mmm,” Steve hums, reaching up and smoothing Bucky’s bedhead down. “Not really.”
Bucky leans down and gives Steve a warm kiss, lingering and sweet. “Sorry,” he says. “For wakin’ the birthday boy up.” He smiles, a bit wicked. “Anythin’ I can do to make it up to you?”
“I can think of a couple things,” Steve responds, trailing a finger down Bucky’s flesh arm.
“Hope you’re thinkin’ of breakfast in bed, because that’s what I was thinkin’.”
“Provided by Jarvis?”
“‘Course,” Bucky says. “You think I’m cookin’?”
“No,” Steve says, pulling Bucky down for another quick kiss. “Wouldn’t dare.”
Bucky smiles, Steve smiles back, and it’s absolutely everything.