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improv (Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes)

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Scene: bed still warm, windowsill half-hanging by a single nail – needs repair, Steve notes. He enters, his shoes scuffed, limping a little – from the (not-so-little) ankle wound they had to cauterize last week – as he leans against the threshold watching Bucky and the lopsided smile on his face.

Bucky is guilty of falling too hard, too fast. Steve knows it. But it doesn’t make this any easier. He clears his throat, wiping the fog of what he liked to call his ‘Tyler Perry disguise frames,’ as he watches Bucky tackle another mid-fielder on a barely functioning Play Station 4, earning the second yellow card from the referee in the first 13 minutes of the game; definitely a new record.

“Get your ass back in the game!” he can hear the coach faintly yelling from the speakers. Out of all the boys Steve could have fallen for, his damn heart picks the most aggressive one. He knows how ruthlessly Bucky sifts through his string of girls (and probably, Steve half-heartedly hopes, boys), leaving a parade of heartbreak in his wake.

The half-time horn blares. Bucky rises from the couch, lifting the controller triumphantly in his hands, exclaiming, “And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you crush!”

“You’re right,” Steve snorts. “That is exactly how you get permanently disqualified from a videogame.”

Bucky rolls his eyes, mumbling a clever remark. But Steve, he doesn’t catch it, too distracted by a text from Nat, You’re in love with him because he’s the only one who gives you attention.

:(( You don’t understand. He's special, Steve types his reply, quickly stuffing his phone in his pocket when Bucky gets up to stretch.

“Why are you grinning like an idiot?” Bucky asks, yawning. "Hello? Earth to Steve?"

“Nah, it’s nothing.” Steve tries not to smile when his phone pings, Please, we’re all special in a non special-ish way.

“It’s not nothing,” Bucky grins, and Steve is almost scared Bucky knows about this not-so-little crush. Scared but excited.

He sees me, Steve sends the text without looking, keeping his eyes on Bucky's. Gosh, has his lips always been this luscious?

His phone pings, again. He can feel Nat scoff, Does he really?

Steve grins, rolling his eyes, about to insert rainbow emojis and purple hearts when Bucky asks, “Is it a girl?”

His heart sinks a little – but he doesn’t say anything.

Not to Bucky. Not to Nat.

Pressing the delete button, Steve knows the answer: No, he doesn’t. Bucky doesn’t see him. Not yet, at least