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with liberty and justice for all

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They never talk about it, but they both acknowledge that Bucky has disapproved of all the people Steve dated since he woke up in the future.

It isn't like there was anything wrong with Beth the waitress or Sharon Carter or the one or two men that Steve went out with when he realized he was bisexual. They all seemed like decent folks.

Bucky just can't help but feel that no one can ever be good enough for Steve Rogers. Not because of the Captain America thing, but because Steve is the best person that Bucky knows. 

However, Bucky has been trying to at least tone down his dissatisfaction with Steve's significant others ever since a scowling Sharon bit out, "Jesus Christ, Barnes. Try to act a little less like I'm defiling your virgin daughter." Ouch.

Also, it doesn't escape him that post-Sharon Steve is reluctant to introduce his new partners. It is possible that his overprotectiveness has been ruining Steve's chances at finding love, and that is the last thing that Bucky wants. Out of everybody in the world, his best friend deserves to be happy.

Consequently, Bucky has resigned himself to the inevitability of Steve settling in any of his future relationships.


He's been on an ongoing mission with Coulson's new team to find and destroy the remnants of HYDRA for almost half a year when Natasha contacts him.

The email simply reads, "Steve's beau for the past two months."  Natasha doesn't have to include any other commentary; the fact that she deems this development important enough to inform him speaks for itself. 

Attached is a file on Matthew Murdock compiled by the Black Widow and Tony Stark. Ergo, the profile is pretty damn comprehensive. 

Matthew Murdock, blinded in a chemical accident at age 9 after pushing an old man out of the way of an incoming truck. Because that wasn't shitty enough of a thing to happen to a kid, a year later his father was killed in a mob hit. And the way the kid's luck went, he was the one to discover the body of his only guardian. Murdock was then sent to Saint Agnes Orphanage, where he stayed until he was 18. 

Despite beginning life way behind the starting line, Murdock was accepted into the prestigious Columbia Law School on scholarship. Graduating summa cum laude, he then obtained a competitive internship at prestigious law firm Landman and Zach. To general shock and disapproval, Murdock declined Landman and Zach's lucrative job offer to start his own practice in the crime-ridden Hell's Kitchen with his partner Foggy Nelson. 

The small firm, Nelson and Murdock, only opened last year but had already made headlines for taking down the kingpin of New York's criminal underground, former Los Angeles HYDRA director Wilson Fisk. Nowadays, Nelson and Murdock is getting a lot more business. Yet, they still take on more pro bono cases than any other firm in New York. 

Murdock's salary is unimpressive, and what doesn't go to his rent and living expenses goes towards donations to his old orphanage and to the American Foundation for the Blind. Also, he volunteers at a homeless shelter on the first Sunday of every month.

After Bucky finishes reading, he takes a moment to sit back heavily and just breathe. 

What the hell

Somehow, Steve has found the only person in New York who might possibly be good enough for him. And he hasn't told Bucky about him yet.

Which, considering his past treatment of Steve's girlfriends and boyfriends, makes sense. It still kind of stings though, so he calls Steve even though it isn't time for their regularly scheduled video chat yet. 

Bucky lets him ramble on for a few minutes before casually inserting a, "So, how's Murdock doing these days?" He watches with no small degree of amusement as Steve grinds to a halt.

"Oh! You know about that. How-?"

"Steve," Bucky prompts.

His friend sounds genuinely regretful. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you about Matt sooner."

Feeling magnanimous, Bucky makes a dismissive hand gesture. "Tell me about him now."

And the look in Steve's eyes...Bucky hasn't seen him light up like that since Peggy Carter. Steve is in deep with this one.

Steve doesn't actually run out of things to say about the the wonderful Matt Murdock, but at he pauses at the ten-minute mark, abashed at how long he's been rhapsodizing about his boyfriend.

"Enough about my love life," Steve grumbles. "Tell me how things are going on your side."

Graciously, Bucky lets Steve change the subject. "We're in Croatia. Skye says this is the last of the HYDRA strongholds in Europe."

"So you'll be back soon?"

"Yeah, so stay in one piece for another two weeks. Maybe your boyfriend can keep you out of trouble."

It is Steve's turn to look amused. "I'm a supersoldier, in case you've forgotten; I can take care of myself."

"You're always going to be the underdog from Brooklyn to me."

Steve is quiet for a moment before replying. "I know, Buck. Stay safe, you hear me?"

"I hear you. I'll be back in no time, soldier."

And then, because he needs to give Steve some shit about this, he adds cheekily, "After all, it's my honor-bound duty as your best friend to tell Matt all your embarrassing stories."

"Bucky!" cries Steve.

Bucky is still laughing as he signs off.