no, not without you
#give me this au where bucky doesn’t fall from the train and he and steve go after red skull together and sacrifice their lives side by side #thinking this is it #from the streets of brooklyn to a plane plummeting into the arctic #this is it #this is the end of the line #and bucky is grateful that at least he was able to keep his promise #steven grant rogers wakes up in the twenty-first century #but at first he doesn’t know that #he disorientedly begins to recollect the plane crash and then he sees bucky and that’s when he pauses #so this is heaven #because where else could they be? #steve’s conjecture is of course essentially wrong #but it is a new world #and it’s a world in which they will face together #not without you #never without you #i only fuckin wish man #i mean yeah the canon steve/bucky storyline in the mcu has more emotional weight because of the extremity of the hardships they’ve faced #but just let me have this happy but also sad moment okay (via acesteve)
"You should go," Bucky says quietly, "take a shoot, Stark’ll be able to pick you up, he’ll find you. I got this."
Steve doesn’t catch his meaning at first, he doesn’t understand the quiet seriousness of Bucky’s suggestion - not until he looks up, catches sight of Bucky’s bruised face out of the corner of his eye. “What? No, we-“
"Steve, I got this," Bucky motions his head towards the controls and reaches out to take them with his right arm. His left hangs awkwardly at his side.
He knows exactly what Bucky’s suggesting- that he stays behind and makes sure the plane goes down where it can’t do any damage while Steve saves himself. Every response is geared towards outrage that Bucky could think him capable of such action, but he knows if things were the other way around… so he finds himself saying, “there aren’t any shoots,” stupidly, like that makes any difference.
Bucky’s jaw is set, stubbornness written into every line of his body. “You’d survive the fall, you’d be able to hang on long enough for them to find you, you’d-“
"I’m not leaving you," Steve says, just as stubborn, just as desperate.
Bucky laughs helplessly, “I ain’t going anywhere, pal,” he says. Steve looks him over more carefully and he can see that the arm is not the only injury Bucky is nursing. He’s not come out of the fight well. “Besides, someone’s gotta crash land this tincan.”
"We could rig the controls," Steve suggests, "we could both jump. I’d cover you, we’d be okay." He knows it’s a desperate hope. He’s not even sure he could survive the fall, let alone if he could protect Bucky at the same time. But he’d try, god, he’d try.
"Steve-" the way Bucky says his name is almost a sob. "Please, you have to go!"
"No! Not without you!" He remembers Bucky saying the same thing to him, almost a lifetime ago it seems. He understands now why he’d been so angry.
The radio crackles beside them and the white ice below grows ever closer. It’s too late now anyway, and Steve’s not stupid. They’re on a collision he can’t alter. The best they can hope to do is survive the impact. If they manage that…well, he’ll worry about the rest then.
He pulls Bucky behind the shelter of the controls, covers him as best he can with the shield and braces. It doesn’t make much difference. The impact throws them both and knocks Steve out cold.
When he wakes it is dark, and so, so cold. Bucky’s still in his arms, his breathing shallow, his pulse weak.
"Bucky?" Steve’s voice catches in his throat as his fingers curl stiffly in Bucky’s jacket. His skin is pale, and Bucky’s lips are blue, and Steve knows how this ends. He could try escape from the confines of the plane, try seek out help, but he’s not leaving Bucky here alone and he knows if he takes him outside the elements will kill him long before they reach safety. "Okay, okay," Steve whispers, his tears freezing long before they threaten to fall. He pulls Bucky as close as possible, wraps his arms around him and tries to share as much body heat as he can. "We’ll be okay," he says.
"You’re a terrible liar," Bucky slurs, his eyes still closed.
"Yeah," Steve chokes, "I know."
"D’Monty let fire out gain?" He mumbles, his words faint, broken and confused. He’s gone already. He’s not even shivering anymore.
Steve presses his cheek to Bucky’s temple. “Yeah,” he says, “I’ll keep you warm. Just…try stay awake.”
"Tired," Bucky says, so faint Steve can hardly hear him over the sound of his own sluggish heartbeat.
He swallows, glad he can’t cry. He can’t feel his fingers; can only feel his face where his skin is against Bucky’s. “Then sleep,” he soothes, “I’ll take care of us.”
Bucky makes a soft sound of agreement and goes still in Steve’s arms. He lets out a small breath…and doesn’t take another.
He can pretend Bucky is just sleeping, that this is just another of those endless, freezing cold nights they’ve spent side by side in the Alps. One of a hundred nights where Bucky pressed against him, sharing Steve’s warmth as they slept under the stars. He likes the idea of that. He can even see the stars through portions of the large glass windows of the plane. There must be a billion of them out there, maybe more.
If he looks at them instead of down at Bucky he can pretend, so he does. Then he closes his eyes, and sleeps.
He wakes up. He can only have been out for a second, a minute, maybe. He’s not cold, he’s not sore, and he can hear the soft sound of a wireless playing in the background.
He jerks upright. Bucky’s no longer in his arms.
The bright morning light streams in through open windows and he knows right away something is very, very wrong.
But before he can determine what, before he can start to understand why his instincts are telling him to run, he spots Bucky in a bed across the room. He’s pale, his skirt hanging loose where his left arm should be, but there is no mistaking the rise and fall of his chest.
"Bucky?" Steve calls out, his voice catching, choked with painful hope. In the bed, Bucky stirs at the sound of Steve’s voice. He’s alive. He’s okay. He’s-
The door to the room opens and a tall man in a sweeping leather coat enters. His presence is intimidating enough without the eyepatch and Steve moves to place himself between him and Bucky.
But he doesn’t seem interesting in causing them any harm. He smiles - as much of a smile as a man like him probably ever gives - and nods his head. “Captain Rogers, Sergeant Barnes…welcome back to the land of the living.”