When Bucky does finally get introduced to Tony, like “This is Tony Stark, Howard’s kid”, and he goes all sad and quiet, looks at the ground and admits that he killed his parents, I want Tony to just nonchalantly start listing off all of the things that Stark Industries weapons are responsible for, look him in the eye and tell him “we all make mistakes when there’s someone else calling the shots.”
Okay, or how about this:
Tony helping Steve find Bucky in whatever way Steve will let him. Not necessarily flying around in the suit, but with computers and Jarvis and resources and shit. He never lets Steve give up or beat himself up because they can totally find Bucky no probs it’ll happen eventually. He reminds Steve that Bucky won’t be Bucky and that it’ll take years to help him and Bucky will probably never fully recover (and Steve gets that but it’s not a good enough reason to stop looking.)
Eventually, with everyone working together, they find Bucky Barnes. And after a while (perhaps a long while) he wants to meet this guy who thought the only way to get out of a hostage situation in the desert was to build a fucking suit of armor. And it goes exactly as described above.
Until later that night when Steve finds Tony alone on the roof drinking. Because Tony has had all of S.H.E.I.L.D’s info since he did science magic on the helicarrier. And in the course of perusing the absolute wealth of information he was able to steal, Tony found a tiny little file hidden within the much larger file dedicated to Howard Stark. It was a kill confirmation by some guy called The Winter Soldier.
So Tony closed the files and never opened them again,refused to think of them until Steve came to his door in the middle of the night begging for his help to find former Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes, The Winter Soldier. And because because Steve is just so fucking sincere about everything (please Tony, he’d do it for me. I owe it to him. Even when I had nothing, I had Bucky) Tony agrees. He agrees for a lot of reasons, not all of them altruistic, but near the top of the list is the fact that everyone makes mistakes when there’s some shadowy someone pulling the strings. Tony didn’t get his second third fourth chance at doing the right thing just to go around passing judgement.
That doesn’t make it any easier.
It’s fucking cold out, but Steve pushes his scarf down from his mouth so he can talk to Dottie, the dark-haired girl from his class. He sucks in a breath as they step out the door, the blast of cold stinging on his cheeks and stabbing him in the lungs.
Dottie waves as she heads off, and Steve waves back as he turns in the opposite direction.
Immediately he does a double-take, because there’s Bucky, leaning against the nearest lamppost. He’s huddled down into the upturned collar of his jacket, but Steve could never mistake those dark eyes.
"Pull your scarf up. It’s fucking cold out," Bucky says by way of greeting. Automatically, Steve does as he’s told, hurrying to shove his hand back into his pocket. Bucky pushes off the lamppost and falls into step beside him. "So? Have a good time?"
It’s not that Bucky’s never asked this before; not that he’s never met Steve at the end of his class before. It’s just that he’s never done it when it’s this cold, not when he gets off work a full hour before Steve’s class ends and they both know it’s not worth catching pneumonia just to meet Steve on his walk, not when they live together.
"I—yeah, it was good," Steve says. He’s been going back and forth about It for two months, It being his final project which is a watercolor of Bucky as he yawns over a cup of coffee. Two months, and Steve still hasn’t decided if he should tell Bucky about It.
"That girl was cute," Bucky comments.
Steve side-eyes him. He’s never had good luck with girls, not when he’s shorter than most of them. “Yeah,” he says, because what else can he really say, and Dottie is cute. She’s the smiley type of girl, with a round face and pretty black curls, and she and Steve sit next to each other in class.
"You should see if she’ll have dinner with you," Bucky says. He’s looking at the ground about four feet in front of them, but. That’s probably just because he’s still got his chin tucked into his jacket. It’s fucking cold out.
"I—probably won’t," Steve replies, but it’s not because he thinks she won’t say yes, because honestly he kind of thinks she will.
Bucky glances over at him, something in the curve of his eyebrows that makes Steve cut him off. “I, um. I’ve been meaning to tell you. The professor is putting on, like, a mini gallery show for our final projects. You. You should come.”
"Of course I’ll come," Bucky grins.
"I mean. Because. I mean. My final project—I, well, it’s a portrait. Of you."
They stop to wait for the light. Bucky turns to look at him, just smiling. “Great choice, Stevie,” he says. “My pretty mug? You’ll ace it, no question.”
Steve wants to say obviously and what else would I ever draw and this isn’t art it’s a love letter but the light changes and Bucky steps off the curb and Steve has to jog a little to catch up.
When they get home Steve doesn’t say much, just stands in the hall and kicks off his shoes. He hangs his jacket and scarf and thinks about the couch, ready to just close his eyes for a few minutes.
But when he turns from the closet, Bucky’s still standing there, looking at him with this sort of half-speculative, half-hesitant look on his face.
"Can we talk about this?" he asks.
"About what?" Steve replies, because there’s no way in hell he’s going to betray the fact that suddenly he’s sweating.
Bucky waves a hand around. “This,” he says, like that’s an explanation. Steve just raises his eyebrows. “The portrait. The sketchbooks. The—fuck, Steve, the way you’re fucking looking at me right now.”
"That’s—I—" is all Steve can think to say, because he’s panicking. He takes a breath in, trying to think, but nothing’s coming up, so he just. Stops.
There’s a long moment where Bucky just looks at him, arms crossed over his chest, shaking his head. “You’re the worst,” he finally mutters.
"I," Steve says, and, "oh." He ducks his head and heads for the living room.
Or, tries to. Bucky grabs his arm and yanks him back. “Steve, you fucking idiot,” he growls, and crowds Steve back against the wall. He grabs onto the hair at the base of Steve’s skull and tips his head up and back so that he barely has to lean down to kiss him.
It’s not like any of the few girls Steve’s kissed, not gentle, not even close. Bucky’s stubble drags at Steve’s, and he bites Steve’s lip hard before licking into his mouth. Everything about it is Bucky claiming Steve like territory, and Steve knows it, and he thrums with that. He’s stunned, but only for a second, and then he reaches up, grips Bucky’s shoulders, and uses that and the leverage of the wall at his back to get both legs up and around Bucky’s waist.
"God," Bucky mumbles. "God."
Steve sucks in a breath. “Yeah.”
steve: *hands a piece of paper to bucky* read it
bucky: read what? it’s just ‘james buchanan barnes’ written about a hundred times
steve: no it’s a list of all the things i want to do
steve: i call it my…
bucky: dont say it steve DONT SAY IT
steve: … buckytlist
30 day OTP challenge - 1. holding hands
I wanted to try this for a while. I’m going to ignore the ‘30 day’ part, but I’ll try my best to do it in the right order.