Unrequited: A Bucky X Steve X Sam fanfic
Word Count: 1820
Warnings: Angst, mild suicidal idealation,
Synopsis: A tale of three men who all love differently but deeply, and cannot see what is the obvious answer.
If there was anything that Steve Rogers was sure of, it was that these feelings would kill him. It would not be his frail body failing him, but the unrequited love he harbored. For, not only was it unrequited, but it was also a mortal sin in the eyes of his religion. For Steven Grant Rogers was deeply and irrevocably in love with one James Buchanan Barnes.
It all started on one of those cold and gray days. The ones where it wasn’t fun to be outside, but the school still required outdoor exercise.
It was the very kind of weather that was cold enough to give Steve an asthma attack if he so much as breathed wrong. Which was why Steve was sitting on one of the far off benches. Trying to count the seconds down until they would be allowed to go back inside. Because of where he was sitting there was no one around to bother him. It also made it the place for bullies to take their prey. It was how Steve heard the small yelps before he saw them. There were four older kids pushing around a smaller brunet boy that Steve thought might be from his class. The boy was bigger than Steve but compared to the other two, he looked as fragile as Steve. Steve didn’t even have to think about it, he was already on his feet.
“Hey.” He wheezed, limping closer to the pack of boys. “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” It did give the little boy in the center enough of a distraction that he was able to kick one of the boys in the knee. It wasn’t much, but it was at least a start.
As it turned out, it still wasn’t enough. Steve and the boy he attempted to save both wound up in the nurse’s office. Steve having had an asthma attack, along with various bruises, and the other boy had a broken nose. He’d learned that that little boy was Bucky, and Steve knew he was in trouble the second their hands touched.
He was in love. It was the kind of love that made him do incredibly stupid reckless things, like signing up to join the army a grand total of six times, before finally getting a glimmer of hope handing to him by Doctor Erskine.
Then something impossible seemed to happen. His heart, which he thought had been claimed, was stolen by one Margaret Carter. From the very first moment, when she knocked out the condescending jackass from Steve’s recruit class. His heart would just flutter, threatening to beat its way out of his tiny chest.
Steve thought it was a good sign, that maybe he could be normal. That maybe once the war was over if Peggy were to return his feelings that they could settle down together. And maybe Steve would be happy.
But then, tiny Steve became a miracle of modern medicine. The subject of an experiment that changed him into Captain America, the performing monkey. Even though all Steve wanted to do was use this new big, powerful body to fight alongside his fellow Americans.
Steve felt just as trapped and feeble in the Captain America body as he did when he was still tiny. All the government would let him do was drum up bond sales, and then they decided that he could take the show to the front lines. Maybe help out with morale.
It only made Steve feel worse and guilty. Especially since his first thought had been about the possibility of seeing Bucky again. He needed to squash those thoughts if he was going to make this thing with Peggy work. And that was what he needed.
Steve couldn’t shake the idea that something was wrong. Sure the guys weren’t exactly thrilled with the Captain, and to be quite honest neither was Steve. But he had this unsettling pit in his stomach, screaming at him that something was wrong. And then he found out that this was the 107th. Worse even, was that Bucky hadn’t made it back from a mission and these people had no intentions of saving him.
So, Steve did the only thing he could think of. He went to Peggy for help. If she hadn’t been so supportive, they wouldn’t have found themselves a day later sharing drinks and awkward glances.
Steve wasn’t sure what was worse. Having them both in front of him, and his stomach trying to fold itself into a crane. Or the fact that they couldn’t seem to get along.
Steve had this hairbrained idea that once this was all over. He and Peggy would settle down, have the perfect nuclear family, and Bucky would live next door. Steve may not be able to have Bucky the way he wanted, but he’d be damned if he lived a life without him.
Then, everything seemed to fall into place. Steve had the Howling Commandos, and he had Bucky. Together, they were able to run a series of missions that were shutting down HYDRA bases. Steve felt both useful and happy, for once in his life.
Of course, happiness could only last for so long. And Steve was staring down the end of the barrel being Margaret Carter stalking towards like Captain America on a mission.
“Steven Grant Rogers.” She snapped at him, there was no doubt in Steve’s mind that this was about her catching his sideways glances at Bucky. “Come with me.” She hissed at him, in her ever-elegant accent as she gripped his elbow hard enough that in his tiny body something would have broken.
She’d marched them off to a far tent, and Steve avoided her piercing gaze. Knowing what was coming next.
“I know you love him, Steve.” She said and Steve had the sudden urge to flee. Or explain it away.
“Well, yeah. He’s my best friend.” Steve says, dumbly. Peggy put one of her hands on her hip, tilting her head at him.
“I know you love him, Steven.” She said, and the way she said it. Steve knew, there was no arguing his way out of this one.
“Peg, I-” Steve started, but Peggy waved her hand cutting him off.
“I know, Steve. You don’t have to explain. There’s nothing wrong with it, with your feelings for him. But we both know that you can’t have us both. As much as I wouldn’t be opposed to it. I just want you to be happy, Steve.” Peggy said, taking one of Steve’s hand in her own.
“I do care about you, Peg. I’ll curb my pining after Bucky.” Steve said, rubbing his thumb against the back of Peggy’s hand. She gave him a soft smile, and some of his tension diminished.
They fell into a sort of uneasy routine, where Steve became uncomfortably aware of just how many times a day he tried to steal glances at Bucky. He needed to put on a good front, regardless of the fact that his feelings were, indeed, valid and not part of a mental illness.
Between the missions, trying to be just friends with Bucky, and wrestling his feelings for both Bucky and Peggy. Steve was busy and stressed beyond his wildest dreams. But he was able to help the bigger picture, and that was all Steve could ever ask for.
That was until they crashed into the end of the line. Steve had been so close, but all he could do was watch as Bucky slipped through his fingertips. In that moment, Steve decided that he would end this thing with the Red Skull no matter the costs.
Steve became cold, sullen, and downright angry. The Commando’s wouldn’t even try to approach him for fear that he would strike like an angered snake. Peggy was another story. She was always there trying to talk to him, and for the most part. Steve didn’t want anything to do with it. But that wasn’t Peggy’s style.
“Steve, we need to talk,” Peggy said, and all Steve could do was nod. There was no telling Margaret Carter no. She lead him to a far-off spot, where no one would be able to overhear them.
“Honey, I know it’s hard. But you have to let me help you. You can’t push me away.” She said softly, and Steve almost couldn’t breathe. But he shouldn’t be having an asthma attack now, his lungs were perfectly healthy. It wasn’t until Peggy wiped her thumb across his cheek that he realized. He was crying.
Peggy pulled him into her arms, and Steve was too stunned to do anything but melt into her. The deep rattling sobs shaking his figure as she held him, whispering promises into his hair and letting him just be weak again. Which was a feeling he hated, but with Peggy, he didn’t feel like she would think any less of him.
“Steve, we can get you through this. But you have to let me in. Let me help you with this incredibly profound sense of loss that you’re feeling.” Peggy said as Steve started to calm down. He pulled back, studying her face for a moment.
“I know, Peg. But I’m so tired.” Steve said. This was a deeper feeling of exhaustion. The kind where his body was perfectly fine, for once, but the rest of him wasn’t.
“It’s okay, Steve. I’ve got you.” Peggy said, and Steve almost believed her.
She had tried. She really did. But the thing about Steve Grant Rogers is that, even though he was sure his heart was spoken for. There was a part of it that had been stolen by one Margaret Carter. However, that part wasn’t big enough to keep him from his plan. The stubbornness that made him believe there was only one option.
“I’ve got to put her in the water.” He said the Red Skull had been dealt with. Now it was just a matter of making sure the cube could never be used again. Peggy pleaded with him, that they could make this work. That she would find a way. Which Steve knew she could, but he was finished. He’d completed his mission, that was enough. He could put this bird in the water and get to see his Bucky again.
Steve was aware of a bright, almost blinding light. Then he heard it. The game, this was all wrong. There was a woman, wearing a man’s tie. Steve had to get out of there. So he fled, into a city that looked familiar but nothing like what he was used to. Then someone was barking at him, that was at least something he was used to.
“Captain Rogers, I’m sorry to have to break this to you.” This man, a Director Fury, said. He had been frozen for seventy years, and now they needed Captain America again.