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Bucky was gonna kill Stark.  If he had to watch one more person pose for a photo with Steve and use it as an excuse to grab his ass... His right hand tightened around the handle of the pocketknife in his belt.  Of course, Steve being Steve he just continued to smile straight into the camera and then wish the person a very nice day, as if he hadn’t just been groped for the sixty-third time that day.  Not that Bucky had been counting.


This was all Stark’s fault anyway.  The bastard had dragged the whole team out to something he called a “Convention”.  As far as Bucky could tell it was nothing but an excuse for people to dress up and cop a feel.  Right now he just wanted to grab Steve and hide him away from all of these overly handsy people.  Not that he could blame them.  Steve did have a mighty fine ass that was nearly too tempting not to grab, but still.


Although he had the feeling that none of these people would be taking such liberties if they knew that they were in fact standing next to the actual real life Captain America.  He was almost tempted to say something, just to get a reaction.


By the time Steve had extricated himself from a particularly amorous woman dressed as Loki, Bucky’s blood was ready to boil.  An overwhelming urge to claim what was his had him reaching out as soon as Steve was close enough and pulling him bodily until they stood chest to chest.


“That’s it.  From now on you don’t take pictures without me there as a buffer.”


Steve laughed, his whole body shaking, affecting Bucky in ways it probably shouldn’t in such a public space.  “Good. My butt’s getting sore anyway, I think that little old lady left bruises when she pinched me.”


Bucky growled, deep and dangerous.  Steve’s eyebrows lifted in surprise. “Jealous, Buck?”


Bucky only pulled him in tighter and moved a metal hand to cup the base of Steve’s skull, holding him in place. “Mine.” Was all he said before crushing his lips against Steve’s in a possessive kiss.  A few flashes and clicks went off around them.  This moment would be all over the internet in a few seconds. Well, it wasn’t like anyone knew they were actually Captain America and Bucky Barnes, right?


They found the others around lunchtime.  Pepper was clutching an Iron Man plushie that Natasha had apparently won for her in a shootout game (why Bucky wasn't invited, he had no idea), much to Tony’s dismay.  Tony had a ribbon stuck to his chest plate; he’d come second the Iron Man costume competition. Talk about irony.  And Thor stood to the side, arms out wide as children clung to them, his booming laughter shaking a few of them off.

Bucky nudged Steve.

“You realise he’s gonna blow our cover, right?”

Natasha scoffed, “Please.  There are at least a dozen StrongMen Champions here, dressed as Thor and doing the exact same thing.”  She nodded to their left, and sure enough there was another Thor lifting people and crying “Another!” in a booming voice.


“Where’s Banner?”

Tony finally his sulking and looked up, “Took off.  Think this was all a little too much for the big guy to handle.  On another note, did the birdbrain ever show up?”

Natasha’s eyes hardened ever so slightly, “He was supposed to call me when he got here, said he wanted to put some finishing touches to his costume.” She pulled out her phone and dialled Clint’s number.  The Birdie Song, Clint’s personal ringtone courtesy of Tony Stark, could be heard somewhere nearby.

“I don’t see them, what did you he was co- oh holy shit, is that-” The group turned as Tony pointed to a Cap and Barnes cosplay pair making out behind them. “Coulson?”

The agent extricated himself from ‘Barnes’, and turned towards them. “Oh, hey guys.” He said with the ever-present straight face.  It seemed a lot more stern under the Cap cowl.

“The hell are you doing here, Agent Agent? And aren’t you gonna introduce us?”

“I’ve had a lot of free time since the whole SHIELD thing, and no introductions necessary.”

The ‘Barnes’ snickered and finally turned to face them. 

“Clint?” Poor Steve seemed a little traumatised by what he was seeing.  To be honest, Bucky was quite uncomfortable too, but it was worth it to see that blush spread across Steve’s face.

There was a stunned silence from the rest of the avengers.  It was broken, quite typically, by Tony.

“Wow, this is awkward. Super awkward- Ha super – ah yeah, I need to leave now and go… somewhere not awkward.” He wrapped an arm around Pepper and steered her away, muttering something about “role-play” and “missed opportunities”.


 “I still don’t understand all of this, why would anyone wanna put all this effort into making costumes and dressing up like us, like-“ Like me,Bucky didn’t say.  From the disappointed frown on Steve’s face, it was obvious he’d heard it any way.  Sometimes he wishes his best friend knew a little less about his tells.  It makes for a bad game of poker.  Also for his reputation.

“You are a hero, Buck.  I know you don’t think so, but look around.” Steve’s eyes swept the room for a moment before he gestured towards a man in a WWII military uniform, “You’re a war hero, who died in action.” He turned Bucky around by the shoulders, so he was facing a group of soldiers who were fundraising for veterans.  “You’re an injured vet who’s still serving his country in whatever way he can.” 

Next to them a little girl pulled on her mother’s cape, “Momma, I wanna be Bucky Barnes when I grow up.”  As she turned back to the cardboard cut-out of the Avengers and had her picture taken, Bucky saw that her right sleeve was pinned up to her shoulder.

Still watching the girl, he felt Steve’s lips move to his ear as he whispered “And you’re an inspiration to a lot of people, they can see what you’ve overcome, and it gives them courage to fight their own personal battles. And most of all,” Bucky turned as Steve pulled back, already missing the closeness.  He looked into those beautiful blue eyes and couldn’t doubt a word.  Those eyes were the only things that had always told him the truth. “You’re my hero, Bucky.”