Anonymous asked: Imagine Bucky, during his recovery process, remembering that Steve needs an inhaler (but not remembering that he doesn't anymore) so he carries one around just in case and Steve finds out and excuse me while I throw myself into the sun.
logically, bucky knows that steve doesn’t need an inhaler anymore. he knows that steve can run circles around sam and never once pause to catch his breath, that he can spar with natasha without breaking a sweat, that he can bench press several motorcycles if he wanted to. he knows all that. but his therapist (one of sam’s buddies from the VA and probably the most patient person he’s ever met) told him to embrace the aspects of his past that make him happy, that make him feel like bucky barnes again. so he does. he sews a little pocket into his suit so he can take the inhaler with him when they go on missions, just in case something happens
something does happen, of course, but not what bucky expects
in the aftermath of another long battle filled with gunshots and danger and lasers (fucking lasers, what is his life), bucky is on pedestrian patrol. which basically translates to ‘don’t let these idiots do anything to endanger themselves,’ a surprisingly difficult job since you’d think that people would have the common sense to stay away from life-threatening falling debris (they did not)
bucky’s trying (and failing, bystanders are the worst) to keep the people from milling around any precarious looking wreckage, when he hears the familiar wheeze of someone struggling to get air into their lungs. he glances around, locates where the harsh breathing is coming from (a kid, no more than 10 or 11) and abandons pedestrian patrol, walking quickly over to the pile of rubble the kid is leaning against
bucky scrambles to unzip the little pocket that houses the inhaler and walks up to the kid cautiously, holding out his hands to show that he’s there to help. the kid just looks at him with wide eyes, so bucky comes closer until the inhaler is pressed to her lips and one of his hands is rubbing her back gently. he talks to her while her breathing steadies, just little things like how much he loves her shirt (“i’m a big black widow fan too”) and how she’s such a brave warrior (“thor would be proud”) and how she should always carry her inhaler with her (“there’s nothing weak in taking care of yourself, ok? now promise me you’ll always have one with you”). the kid, whose name bucky learns is actually lucy, is quiet for most of it, giggling a little every now and then, but mostly concentrating on breathing slow and deep, just like bucky says
in total it only takes about fifteen minutes for lucy to come down from the asthma attack, but when bucky gets up from where he’s been kneeling beside her he sees forty pairs of eyes (and about that many cameras), staring at them, including his teammates. he turns his back on them for the time being, giving lucy a hand up and helping her get all the dust off of her clothes, then takes her to her mother, who was being treated for minor injuries when her daughter ran off. bucky accepts her thanks and gives her his personal mailing address so that he and lucy can send each other letters. they part with a hug and a fist bump
when bucky sees steve back in the tower that night after everyone’s showered and changed into clothes that don’t smell like lasers (lasers for fuck’s sake), steve raises an eyebrow and mouths “inhaler?” at him from across the noisy dining room. bucky just shakes his head and smiles slightly, making a mental note to stock up on inhalers the next time he makes a grocery run