Sorry I just thought of this and this is totes random but have you thought of post serum Steve in 21st c, post catfa or w.e, walking along the streets and he'll see something funny or nice and he'll turn around and point at the thing smilingly, going "hey buck remember when-," or "hey Bucky that'll look nice on you" only to see empty space and remember Bucky is not there.
ACTUALLY, YES, I HAVE THOUGHT OF THIS. Because Steve died literally a day after Bucky, so when he woke up, Bucky had died yesterday, so at first, he’d still be in the VERY EARLY stages of grieving, the stages where you wake up and just forget that the other person is gone. Like waking up and the world’s still blurry and he thinks he’s at home and any minute he’ll hear Bucky rattling around in the washroom… any minute… any… oh.
And then even after he comes to terms with it, those moments still happen for a while. He turns around with a joke half-formed on his lips but no one’s there with him. He buys something just because Bucky would have liked it. He talks to an empty apartment when he gets home—talks to Bucky—and hopes that isn’t too weird.
Steve is 10 and he meets Bucky. He’s sprawled on the ground, dusty and battered, covered in dirt and sore where the older kids pushed him down. Bucky comes to him and helps him stand up, smooths his hands over Steve’s shoulders and tells him that it’s stupid to pick fights with boys twice their size. Steve scowls at him and Bucky follows him home and never stops talking.
Steve is 12 and he likes Bucky. Likes how Bucky seems to be so sure in everything he does, the effortless way he charms people with his dimpled smile. Bucky is good with people, good with sports, good at everything he sets his mind to, and Steve likes him twice as much because he’s never left behind.
Steve is 14 and he trusts Bucky. His fever is burning high and he can’t see straight even if he tries; his body shivers and his hands tremble, but Bucky doesn’t leave his side and when he tells Steve he will stay the night until the fever breaks Steve nods gratefully, burrows closer into Bucky’s neck and believes him.
The truth is a matter of circumstance. It isn’t all things to all people, all the time.Neither am I.