Bucky looks up at the shout and sees Steve standing on the other side of the street. His schoolbooks are cradled in his arms, and he's got a wide grin on his thin face.
With an answering shout, Bucky runs across to his friend.
"Don't be a dope, Stevie." Scowling, Bucky pushes Steve back onto the untidy bed. "Your ma says you gotta stay in bed another couple days."
"I'm fine!" Steve insists and starts to cough again.
Bucky snorts and rolls his eyes. "Yeah, sure ya are, pal."
Bucky spins Junie in a dizzying triple twirl, pulls her back into his arms, and takes her mouth in an enthusiastic kiss. The crowd around them starts to clap and cheer and the two, laughing, take a bow. Then they start another happy romp around the dance floor.
There's a pounding on the door. When Bucky opens it, Steve stumbles in, gasping for breath and near to collapsing.
Bucky puts an arm around Steve and supports him to the couch. He gets a glass of water and shoves it into his friend's hand, watching anxiously as Steve sips the water, getting his breath back.
When he's finally got enough breath to speak, Steve looks at Bucky, a dreadful expression on his face. "The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. We're at war!"
It's late, past midnight, and it's fucking cold. The only warmth in the star-filled night is the lit cigarette in Bucky's hand.
His unit has a mission in the morning. They're more than likely outnumbered and outgunned, but that doesn't matter. They're gonna kick these Nazi bastards asses and then they all get to go home.
Bucky takes a long drag on the cigarette and huddles a little deeper into his coat. He thinks about Steve and hopes he hasn't done anything stupid.
Bucky is strapped to a table. He hurts all over, his head a mishmash of distorted thoughts and images.
Someone comes into the room. Bucky starts to repeat his name and serial number, over and over, anything to stop the coming pain.
A familiar voice says his name and as Bucky slowly opens his eyes, the room swirls dizzily around him.
There are rough hands on him, jerking Bucky up from sleep. As they drag him down the hall and into the torture chamber, he can't even struggle, his body too paralyzed from his long slumber to obey his sluggish mind.
As the control words tear through him, he convulses and screams as his soul is ripped away yet again.
The memories he's been hiding in slip away and Bucky retreats, as the Winter Soldier comes forward.
"Ready to comply."