imagine steve and bucky escaping to the mountains. no civil war. imagine them canoeing on the lake, nothing but them and the slosh of water around their oars and their boat, the call of the loon distant and echoing. steve turning around every so often, like he still can’t believe that bucky is there, that he’s so lucky. imagine bucky pressing steve against the wall of their cabin, the setting sun shining on them. bucky kissing steve’s noises away, his metal hand gouging holes into the wood. steve laughing when he sees them, and it makes bucky laugh, too, and they kiss and laugh, young again, before stripping completely and running into the lake: bucky first, then steve.
imagine early mornings, frost still on the grass, the edges of the water glinting ice in the sunlight. both of them clad in denim jackets and cozy flannel, drinking steaming coffee with their hands intertwined on the porch railing. bucky looking over at steve and smiling, saying, “i love you,” a little forlorn like he’s making up for the seventy years he couldn’t say it. steve smiling back, setting his coffee down on the railing and cupping bucky’s jaw with his hand. saying, “i love you, too,” the warmth of his palm the warmest bucky’s felt in a long time. steve leaning in to let their noses brush, their lips, before properly kissing him and sliding his fingers into bucky’s hair. imagine steve pinning bucky to the rug on the hearth, clasping their hands together while the fire plays over them, flesh-and-metal, as they move together, unhurried, like the world is theirs.
and maybe it is: maybe time slows down for them, two lovers who could have been star-crossed but sidestepped it. maybe they deserve it, scratchy wool and the omnipresent smell of soot and smoke. imagine the sun rising and the sun setting. imagine neither of them giving a damn about ever going back, hands clasped on the wood, an entire mountain between them and who they were. there was a time when they would have moved those mountains for each other. now they don’t need to.