–One Year Later–
1st Arrondissement, Paris, France // 5:34 P.M.
Walking hand in hand with Sam through the halls of the Louvre, Bucky was living vicariously through Sam who was losing his shit with every consecutive room they entered. Never mind his boyfriend had been beside his self ever since Bucky told him he would be taking him to Paris last month. Upon their arrival Sam was like a child at an amusement park. They ate Parisian cuisine, enjoyed wines and cheeses they couldn’t pronounce and when they grew tired they retired to the apartment Bucky had rented for their month long stay in the City of Lights.
Bucky had been to Paris countless times but he guessed the rumors were true. The city just hit differently when you were in love. He had no other way to explain it.
While seeing Sam’s happiness at being abroad was amazing on its own. For Bucky, nothing compared to seeing Sam’s tear when he saw the iconic pyramid within the courtyard of the Louvre. He’d turned to Bucky in tears. He’d hugged Bucky, kissed him senseless and thanked him. Bucky wasn’t even sure if Sam was still in his body when they walked into the museum. The other seemed a bit stunned as they walked past the ancient statues and worked their way floor by floor through the ages of artwork on the walls.
When they drew closer to a certain room Bucky clutched the knapsack on his shoulder a bit tighter.
“Babe,” Bucky said nodding toward the room the museum guard had told him to go to. He took Sam’s hand and led the way into the quaint little room devoid of any others. Sam’s jaw dropped as he beheld the Rembrandt etchings on the wall, example after example of the master’s skills and technique. Bucky fell back and gave his boyfriend time to geek out over the artwork and took a look around.
It was twenty minutes before Sam found his way back to Bucky’s side.
“What do you think?” Bucky asked wanting to know.
“It’s incredible,” Sam said looking around blown away. “All of this is still too incredible to believe. I can’t believe I’m standing here.”
“It’s only day three. We’re here for a month babe. You can come here every day and admire them,” Bucky said sincerely.
Sam looked at Bucky astonished at the suggestion like it had never crossed his mind to do just that.
Bucky took Sam’s hand and led the way to one of the sitting benches in the middle of the room. Sam sat down as Bucky took the knapsack off. He grabbed what he needed out of the bag and handed it to Sam.
Sam looked at Bucky wondering what was in the white gift box.
“For you,” Bucky said simply.
Sam shook his head. “You’ve given me enough. I’m sitting in the Louvre, no more gifts,” Sam said sternly handing it back.
Bucky smirked. He pulled the top off of the white gift box and took out the black velvet, clamshell box within. He took Sam’s hand and placed the clamshell box within the palm of his hand.
“Open it babe,” Bucky insisted. “Please.”
Sam shook his head and pulled the top back to open the clamshell. Within the box was a gold plated, handgun silencer, similar to the model Bucky had at his home. Sam picked up the silencer and rotated it. Then a certain detail caught his eye. There on the barrel of the instrument, Samuel had been engraved in a fine cursive script.
“You’re giving me a gun?!” Sam asked excitedly.
Bucky chuckled. “No.”
Sam looked up at Bucky for an explanation. “Then what is this?”
Bucky had prided his self on being completely honest with Sam over the past two years of their relationship but his surprise had required he keep things hush-hush until this very moment. He was more than ready to share the news he’d been safeguarding. He’d been waiting for the right moment to tell Sam and planned the trip to do just that.
“That was the silencer I fastened to my handgun that morning we were ambushed at my place,” Bucky explained.
Sam remembered the morning but it honestly felt like a lifetime ago after all they’d been through since then. “Thank you baby…but why are you giving me this?”
“We saved each other with that silencer. Without it we wouldn’t still be alive but it also represents something else important,” Bucky said taking Sam’s hand in his own. He licked his lips and prepared his self. “I’m putting my gun down babe. I’m going to be become an Eagle.”
Sam felt his heart twist. He didn’t want Bucky giving up what he did because he was worried about his safety. "Don’t do that for me Buck," Sam pressed. He knew Bucky enjoyed what he did despite its difficulties at times.
Bucky shook his head and tucked the silencer into Sam’s palm for safe keeping where he wanted it to stay. "I'm doing it for me…because I know what I want now. I know what I want my life to be." He looked into Sam's beautiful brown eyes by the light of the setting sun as it fell in through the windows.
Bucky had straddled the fence for far too long. He was just thankful he was picking a world to be in before the decision had been made for him. Things that had seemed so hazy in the beginning had become so clear over the past two years. Bucky had no clue what the future held but he looked forward to facing it with Sam safely by his side.