Summary: Bucky is having a bad day. The reader tries to cheer him up.
“Come on, Bucky! Smile!” I begged.
Nothing. No response. He just continued to stare out the window at the snow falling outside. Far below us, on the streets of New York, people rush from shop to shop, shopping for the holidays. Christmas was less than a month away, after all.
Shifting my weight, I tried to catch a glimpse of Bucky’s face. His eyes stared blankly ahead, not seeing anything. I sighed.
I couldn’t tell what was going through his head but I had a pretty good idea of what it could be. Christmas had been hard the past couple of years for Bucky. He had celebrated it with Steve and I, but there was something in his eyes, like he expected it to all disappear. He had teared up a little bit when he unwrapped his presents from us, though Steve and I pretended not to notice. He had been shy about the presents he had for us, but they were perfect – a stack of letters for each of us, containing his fondest memories of us. I didn’t bother hiding my tears when I realized what he had given me and neither did Steve. We had ended up in a group hug, which Bucky was very apprehensive about. He had held me so carefully with his metal arm, cautious of his strength.
This Christmas, I was determined that Bucky be in a good mood. He may have lost a lot and suffered through terrible pain in his life, but everything was different now. He had a family again, in me and Steve. He had a home and a bed where he could rest at night without being afraid of what would come for him if he let his guard down for a while. The realization of how lucky we were to have Bucky in our lives at all made a lump appear in my throat.
I cleared my throat and scooted closer to him, pressing my side against his. I felt him tense, but ignored it.
“You know,” I started, keeping my voice low. “When we first brought you here? Steve was so ecstatic just to have you safe in the same room as him, I don’t think he would have cared if you went turned back into the Winter Soldier, as long as you were with him.” I took a deep breath. “It scared the living daylights out of me. Steve and I have been close ever since he saved me from Hydra. I didn’t want to lose him.”
I felt more than saw Bucky turn his head to look down at me, but I ignored this too and kept talking.
“I had heard stories of what you were like before. From Steve, of course. It seemed like you were all we talked about. So when I met you, I thought I knew what to expect. Boy, was I wrong!” I laughed and peeked at his face, catching the small smile on his face. A moment later, I turned serious again. “You were so…broken. It nearly broke my heart to see you that way and I watched it almost kill Steve, thinking he couldn’t help you.”
Bucky was looking out the window again, but I could tell he was thinking about my words. I smiled slightly and reached out a hand to touch his arm. He turned to look at me.
“Look at how far you’ve come, Bucky. You grow stronger every day. I’m so proud of you. I know Steve is proud of you. After everything you’ve gone through…I don’t think I’ll ever get over how amazing you are.”
I was getting choked up again, but I kept going, wanting Bucky to realize how much I meant what I said.
“I will always be your family, Bucky. Steve will always be your best friend. We will never give up on you, no matter what happens. Because we believe in you.”
He didn’t say a word, but he smiled and pulled me closer, tucking me under his arm. We sat and watched the snow drift past the window, content to just sit and know we had each other.
Author’s Note: This is for @ursulaismymiddlename, because she’s having a bad day. I’ve always admired your writing from afar and I think you’re great.