au where their lives aren’t constantly plauged by pain and they’re free to be ridiculous young adults in love that stare at each other fondly.
inspired by this song.
OH MY GOD THE AMOUNT OF FEELS THIS IS GIVING ME DOES NOT BEAR THINKING ABOUT. >.>;; *_____________*
Hmmm right so: once upon the mid-80s two boys are born like two days apart in Brooklyn. And their mothers are old friends from like, I don’t know, maybe they’ve been friends since THEY were children or maybe they’ve been besties since college or maybe their friendship just grew out of being neighbors who were pregnant at the same time, being the only two people on the block who really understood why it was necessary that the corner store start stocking like, limited edition brands of Fanta and weird candy bars, or how fucking awful city summers could be. But whatever, they’re born at the tail end of August, Steve first and Bucky after, and the first air they breathe outside of the hospital doors is the same sick-sweet sweltering humidity for both of them, screaming their heads off in a parking lot two days apart in unwitting imitation of each other.
And as kids, right, as little kids, they get along depending on the day of the week and whether or not Bucky’s willing to share his toys, whether or not Steve’s willing to watch the rest of the neighborhood run around in a mid-July shower from a busted fire hydrant without telling anyone. Sometimes they get along famously and sometimes they fight, vicious little five-year-old scraps that leave Steve with skinned knees and Bucky with skinned elbows and both of them with exaggerated pouts as they stand with their backs to each other, waiting to tell the story to their mothers, who never side with either one of them but always laugh and offer popsicles and make it seem like maybe that no-good-rotten-poopy-head from down the street isn’t really so bad after all.
And then they start school, and it would be stupid to keep fighting with each other when there are so many people who are WORSE than either one of them, big kids who pick on littler kids and rich kids who pick on poorer kids and always someone waiting to deliver a pinch to Steve’s as-yet underdeveloped arms or stick Bucky’s scrappy little head in the toilet. And even if that wasn’t happening there would still be so MANY people to deal with, the size of PS 124 proving to be nearly overwhelming, so they band together the way you do, when the world expands without warning and you’ve got someone with you who’s in the same boat. After awhile the teachers joke about it, and the neighborhood jokes about it, and god knows their mothers never stop joking about it—nobody ever sees Bucky without Steve, and nobody ever sees Steve without Bucky.
Then they get older, hit puberty, hit high school. Things get weird after that.
Because…because it’s just them, right, they’re best friends, they’ve always been best friends, only one morning Steve wakes up and he tries to tell himself he doesn’t remember what he was dreaming about but he does, oh, fuck, he totally does, and he cannot be dreaming about that because Bucky is Bucky and that…that was not the kind of dream he should be having about Bucky, and he’s afraid Bucky’s going to know but when he gets to the bus stop Bucky’s quiet, sniffling in the mid-December chill and rubbing his hands together and trying to finish his math homework with a pen because that’s what he grabbed on the way out of the house, so Steve just throws an arm around his shoulders and pretends he’s not thinking about it and gives him the answer to question five. And then Steve has the growth spurt, and Bucky starts having some dreams of his own, only he’s not like Steve with the ability to push things down and deal with them later and he finds himself staring at Steve’s shoulders in English class and thinking horribly inappropriate thoughts and not realizing his name’s been called like ten times until Steve shakes him and is like “Bucky? You alright?” and it’s the end of the period and Bucky’s just had a sex fantasy in school, about his best friend, that’s GREAT.
Except that as it turns out it is great, because high school becomes summer jobs becomes college, and Bucky’s at NYU and Steve’s at Columbia and they get this tiny terrifying shitty apartment together because it’s the best they can afford and it’s cheaper than the on-campus housing and neither one of them is willing to stay with their mothers, god love them, but they’re also not willing to go weeks without seeing each other so it’s the best plan. And half of their time that first year is spent complaining bitterly about the heating and/or the lack of air conditioning and learning things no one should no about rat traps and panicking about missing their rent and having their moms find out since they co-signed the lease and drinking really terrible beer…
….but some of their time, some of it is spent exploring the shit they’ve figured out since Bucky ran a hand through his hair once, twice, three times, bit his lip, bit his thumbnail, said, “Steve, buddy, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you,” and Steve kissed him up against their awful ugly creaking door before he even got halfway through it, this fumbling-stupid 18 year old declaration of puppy love that never was, because Steve and Bucky have already been puppies, right, in the grand scheme of things, they’ve chased each other’s tails through their neighborhood and danced under the same fire hydrant, they’ve walked the same halls and done the same math problems, they’ve breathed the same sick-sweet sweltering air outside of the same hospital two days apart, and this shit is just growing up.