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comment_fic 1070: Marvel movies

Title: more heaven than a heart could hold
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: pre-Cap 1 to post-Cap 2. Talk of health issues, war issues, torture, violence, death
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 1290
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, a heart so big, God wouldn't let it live...



Bucky knew that Steve was gonna die young. He was just too big for his body, always determined to do the right thing, even if his body was failing around him, and Bucky did his best, he and Ma and Steve’s ma and Steve’s neighbors when they were younger, they did the best they could, and Stevie almost died a thousand times, and Bucky never prayed for much because he knew there were others in the world who needed more – but he prayed for Steve.

He left Ma and the girls and Steve behind in New York, and he went to war. He still prayed for Steve, for Becca and Livy and Jules, for Ma. He prayed that Steve didn’t get in any real bad fights, that his cough stayed away, that he found and kept work. He prayed that Steve’s body would catch up to his soul.

In the camp and on the table, he prayed that Ma and the girls wouldn’t cry too hard, and that Steve wouldn’t blame himself.

.

Captain America doesn’t get sick. He heals quickly and doesn’t scar. He can walk without getting tired, take stairs four at a time, jump entire floors. His heart doesn’t skip, his lungs don’t falter, his hands don’t shake.

The only things that haven’t changed are his voice and his eyes.

.

“Bucky,” Steve says when they can finally rest, when they’re back at camp, after Bucky’s been seen by the medics and lied through his teeth, “Bucky, can you look at me?”

Steve was always too big for his body. That’s why he needed Bucky, so that Bucky could help shoulder the load. But now everyone sees what Bucky always saw, and if everybody sees, then what does he need Bucky for?

“Bucky, I thought you were dead,” Steve says again.

Steve hasn’t cried since the night after his ma’s funeral, when they’d put the couch cushions on the floor and Bucky curled around him, held him warm and tight. But there are tears in his voice; Bucky can hear them. So he looks at Steve, bigger than him now, and so goddamned perfect, his soul finally reflected in his skin. He looks his fill, and Steve lets him, silent tears pouring down his face.

“You look good, Stevie,” he finally says. He reaches out, grabs Steve’s hand, wraps his fingers around that wrist, feels Steve’s pulse, strong and sure and steady.

.

Bucky knew that Steve was gonna die young. But he was damn sure gonna make it so that Steve died after him because Steve was good, so fuckin’ good. Before every mission, he wrote letters home, telling Ma and the girls that he loved them and to take care of each other.

The last letter he writes, he tells Becca, Now, I don’t know if Stevie’ll make it long, after I’m gone. If he does, help him, Becca. And tell him it wasn’t his fault, no matter what he says. Just because the whole world finally sees what I always did, it don’t mean Steve believes it. I know how I died, and it’s the same way I lived. But Steve, the stupid punk, I know he’ll blame himself. If he makes it, tell him it was worth it.

.

Over seventy years in the future, Steve Rogers will say, “… Bucky?”

The fist of Hydra will ask, “Who the hell is Bucky?”

The asset will say, “But I knew him.”

The Winter Soldier will say, “You’re my mission.”

And what remains of Bucky Barnes will drag Captain America onto the bank of the Potomac, ensure he breathes, and walk away.

.

Steve Rogers was always going to die young. But he wakes up and wakes up and wakes up. He wakes up and Bucky’s alive somewhere out there, and Ma used to tell Steve his heart was too big for his body, that he needed to let his body catch up, and his heart broke one, twice, three times, all because of Bucky Barnes.

“When do we start?” Sam asks while Steve looks at the file.

“We just did,” Steve says.

.

There is a ghost in the world, a ghost seeking two things: those who broke and reformed the ghost to suit their whims, and the man the ghost was when it lived.

The ghost dreams of being young, of laughing sisters and a kind mother, of a little boy. The ghost can almost see the boy when awake, can almost whisper the boy’s name. The ghost yearns to see the little boy again.

But the ghost remembers saying, Oh, you’re just too big for your body, and praying that the little boy had the strength to fight until Death ran away.

The ghost knows the little boy must have died young. The ghost also knows that it is being hunted and that it must not ever be caught.

.

“This isn’t the end of the line,” Steve Rogers tells a ghost.

“I can’t go back,” the ghost says.

“Then let me come with you,” Steve Rogers begs. There’s a bloodstained shield on his back, two guns he’s used holstered on his hips, a team out scouring the town for survivors. The ghost shouldn’t be here but had to make sure Steve Rogers was safe.

Back before, the ghost always made sure Steve Rogers was safe.

“Your team,” the ghost says. “Your mission.”

Please,” Steve Rogers says. There are tears in his voice, on his face. “I thought you were dead.”

The ghost sighs heavily and reaches for Steve’s hand. “You look good, Stevie,” he says.

Steve laughs through the tears, wrapping his fingers around Bucky’s wrist, feeling his pulse strong and sure and steady.

.

Bucky doesn’t pray anymore. Steve does, sometimes.

Steve knows that he should’ve died young, but he didn’t. Bucky has seen what his death would do to Steve, but he will still die first. Because Steve is so good, and Bucky never has been.

“Any word on the supersoldiers?” Clint asks Tony, so Tony asks Jarvis, “J?”

“Not yet, sir,” Jarvis answers.

“Maybe we should just let them be,” Sam tells Natasha.

Natasha says, “I wish we could. But we’re not the only ones looking, and we’re the only ones who actually care about the men inside the weapons.”

.

Sometimes, Bucky dreams about the boys they were. He dreams about his Ma and Becca’s laugh, Livy’s smile, the way Jules danced. He wakes up thinking he’s back with Zola, or in the ice, or strapped to the chair.

He wakes up panicking silently (because he learned not to panic loudly) and Steve’s there, with that voice that no serum could take.

In this new world, there isn’t much that Bucky knows. But he looks into Stevie’s eyes and he knows, I’m gonna die for you.

There’s no one to write a letter to, not now, but if he could, Bucky would write, Please take care of him, after, because I know he’ll blame himself. But if Steve Rogers gets to breathe even a minute more after I’m gone, then it was worth it.

In this broken world, there isn’t much Steve is sure of, anymore. But he watches Bucky check the perimeter, and he’s sure that he will tear everything apart to keep Bucky safe and healthy and alive. Bucky looks back and Steve smiles at him, and Steve thinks, I should have died young.

He should’ve. But he didn’t. And he’s got someone to fight for, someone to bleed and burn and break for, and the world has done enough to Bucky Barnes. Steve doesn’t pray that often anymore, but when he does, he tells God, Don’t let them find us. Don’t let them hurt him. You know what’ll happen if they do.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Mar. 29th, 2015 11:03 am (UTC)
*nods* Yep, they complete each other and keep each other alive. There's so much *care* in their hearts for each other. *tissues* :*) <3<3
tigriswolf
Mar. 29th, 2015 04:53 pm (UTC)

Thank you so much!
monicawoe
Mar. 30th, 2015 12:00 am (UTC)
wonderful read!
tigriswolf
Mar. 30th, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC)

Thank you!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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