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Bucky sees Steve looking at himself in the window at the recruitment station and all he can think is ‘too big.’

Steve’s heart is too big for his body, or maybe that’s his stubbornness, the same way his clothes are too big for his small frame.

Steve argues with him about how important it is to go off to battle, to become a big gun in this big war, and all Bucky can see are Steve’s big eyes, his big nose, and his big mouth, and Bucky’s breath catches and fuck, he is going to miss Steve when he gets on that boat tomorrow to head off into that shit show in Europe.

**

When Bucky wakes up on Zola’s table, hearing Steve shouting his name, all he can think of is 'too big.’

Steve’s the same big eyes, big nose, and big mouth, but now they are surrounded by big filled out cheeks on top of a big (huge) body.

**

And now Steve has a big name, and big responsibilities, and he talks to big shots in Washington.

But underneath Steve still has the same heart, and the same stubbornness, which are both still too big for his body.

**

The gap between their hands is too much.

Bucky knows he is going to fall.

**

Sometimes when the asset wakes up, before he remembers that he is an it, a weapon, he feels like he should remember something big. But then a hand slaps across his face and a muzzle goes around his head and a voice tells him he has big work to do.

**

The man on the bridge is not the biggest man the asset has ever fought, but he is strong. As strong as the weapon. But the man does not fight to kill, he fights to defend. So the weapon will win.

The man says a word. 'Bucky.’ The asset knows it’s a name.

The asset is knocked down. He rolls, angry. He should have seen the threat coming.

The man still stands there, stopped, a big, point-blank target.

But he can’t move. There is something big holding his arms down. It feels like when the asset first wakes up.

**

The man - 'Your name is James Buchanan Barnes. You’re my friend’ - Rogers - Steven Grant - the man is heavy, water-logged. For once the asset feels weak, as if the man is too big a burden to carry. But the asset has a mission. The man is his mission - 'You’re my friend.’ No mission is too big for the asset. The asset drags the man’s body onto the shore. The man - Rogers - Steve - 'I’m with you, pal’ - takes a shallow breath. The asset - James Buchanan Barnes - Bucky - breathes with him.