Fannish insanity and social justice rage, all in one helpful place! eleanor_lavish on LJ and AO3, if you're wondering why all this seems eerily familiar...
walking. Apparently walking is a thing he has to learn how to do again.
"You walk like you’re trying to kill someone, Bucky," Steve says, in what Bucky knows sounds like a supportive tone to the idiots around them, but what is, in fact, Steve Rogers’ patented Why Are You Such A Moron voice.
"People don’t talk to me when I walk like this," Bucky points out.
"They also won’t give you coffee."
And well, fine.
bedtime. The sleeping thing is rough. He thinks it’s safe to blame that on—well, life in general. He’s been frozen on and off for years, and they never kept him awake long enough to need to sleep (he thinks it’s why—well, he thinks that the sleep deprivation contributed to his programming failing). Before that, it’s been the goddamn war, and you slept when you could, where you could. And before that, there’d been the odd jobs Bucky had always worked, anything for an extra penny.
Steve, who’s always slept like a goddamn princess, doesn’t want to hear it. He throws a futon mattress on the floor (Bucky doesn’t even know what a futon is) and pointedly goes to bed. Bucky lays there, and he can feel Steve looking at him.
"Just go to sleep," Bucky snaps, night after night after fucking night.
"You’re keeping me up," Steve replies.
They go to bed at 9:30 and wake up at 7:00, like they’re actually 95 and 96.
"I didn’t want to say anything," Steve says over waffles when Bucky points it out, "but you could really use the beauty sleep, Buck."
Bucky smacks him. “Punk.”
(He gets used to it—eventually. He just requires some physical exertion before he goes to bed, and if he enlists Steve in that—well. It’s for a good cause, and Steve’s always been a sucker for those.)
eating. Steve Rogers can’t cook. Bucky doesn’t know who thought Steve could cook, but he can’t. Sarah Rogers taught Bucky all the family recipes because Steve was never going to carry on the family traditions, only shame.
The Winter Soldier didn’t eat for taste, he ate for sustenance. And it’s a weird thing, retraining himself from that. To eat and enjoy it, to consider a meal, to sit down and consume.
But there’s more available now than boiled dinners and potatoes and whatever things you could get cheap.
"Everyone eats well now," Steve says one night over Indian food. "It’s not seasonal, and you don’t have to make a bone last for a whole winter."
That’d been a bad winter—Steve’d been sick a lot, Bucky’d been working to help support both their families, and Sarah’d just started getting sick. There’d been one bone and by the time they threw it out, they’d gotten months’-worth of broth from it.
They get a lot of take out, places they have to look up, because Bucky thinks he’s been to at least some of them, but can’t remember. It’s easier, somehow, to eat it when it’s an adventure, a fixed point of shared experience instead of—well. This is good.
dating. “You clean up nice, I don’t get why you think she wouldn’t,” Steve says, rifling through his mail. The girl in 9H just flirted with Bucky, and Steve is offended on her behalf that Bucky wasn’t fumbling all over himself to get her number.
"I got a mirror," Bucky points out, because he knows he cleans up nice. He knows, even with the metal arm, he’s got enough going on that a girl will forgive that. Knows he can spin it into a sob story—hell, could just say wounded in combat, which is true. Doesn’t even need a cover—
But that’s the problem. He thinks about it all as covers, lies, how to seduce, edit his own history, get what he wants and then go. And maybe that was how it was, before the war. Maybe that’s how they’d been, but he can’t remember. And even if it was, it was a game, simple and light-hearted and nothing like being whored out for a cause.
"So?" Steve prompts, and Bucky longs for the days when he was goading Steve into dates, not the other way around.
Steve sighs, and picks up a take-out menu as Bucky locks the door of the apartment. He’s seen—they’ve come a long way. Guys who date other guys don’t have it as bad—can even marry, in New York. They even got a word for people who like both, but—thing is. There are other things Bucky’s got to get right. Like going into crowds, feeling threatened, walking like a human, having a social interaction, eating three meals a day and sleeping at night.
The whole dating thing—
"Sudanese?" Steve asks.
"Yeah," Bucky says, and then sighs when Steve hands him the phone to order, because Steve hates ordering food.
TOO MANY FEELS I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THESE FEELS, GODDAMN IT.
you know what i keep thinking about, is a fic where bucky was like, fucking somebody else in the 107th, before they got captured, before he knew steve was coming over, because he was lonely and horny and pretty sure he was going to die, and whatever, just, whatever
and that guy died, maybe, or wasn’t in the HC, or just sort of…. vanished, after steve showed up, like everyone more or less did, for bucky
but in the ensuing years either he remained alive, and told people about it, or his journal survived somehow
and so bucky barnes became… kind of an icon, for the queer community? this famous war hero, captain america’s right hand, confirmed as having fucked other men by at least one primary source
and so when bucky is relearning himself, based on like, SHIT OTHER PEOPLE SAY OR HAVE SAID, he has to discover his own sexuality through the lens of having been analyzed as part of queer theory and history classes?
OH MY GODDDDDDD
One thing I haven’t really seen discussed much yet about CATWS is the role of the Smithsonian exhibit and how it informs the theme of identity in the movie. As lots of you probably know by now, I find the presence of history (as a discipline) really cool when it appears in pop culture, so I kinda want to talk about what putting this exhibit in the movie does on a narrative level. Because museums tell stories through cultural artifacts, right? Only, cultural artifacts don’t always tell the whole story, or at least don’t tell a single story. The story they tell very much depends on how they’re curated: how they’re displayed, what they’re displayed with, how they are contextualized and commented on by the curator(s).
So while the exhibit is about Captain America, at least one of the stories that it’s telling is actually about Bucky.