All I want is the story of Sam and Steve, the quiet one, the one that grows in between the saving of the world and the stretch of time they search for what’s left of the Winter Soldier, the one that learns to breathe. It’s the story of Sam teaching Steve how to play Frisbee with plastic instead of tin (we used to put pies in them first, says Steve). It’s the story of copper-colored mornings and Sam never asking Steve to slow down when they run (because sometimes he understands you have to burn the ache right out of your bones). It’s staying in on rainy days and listening to antiquated music, lazing on the sofa, and how Sam grasps Steve’s ankle when he wants to get up instead of telling him to move. It’s Sam laughing at stupid jokes, and Steve making stupider ones to see how far he’ll go. It’s Steve pretending he knows what he’s doing, when he doesn’t.
It’s dropping by to see Sam speak at group sometimes, hiding in the back, watching him lean into the crowd like he’s as much their friend as he is Steve’s. It’s in a casual reminder that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and how Steve puts the Trouble Man soundtrack on during those nights when he dreams of ice, and how he always wakes up with a murmur for someone who might be sitting close by. It’s Sam’s slow migration of dog-eared books into Steve’s apartment, where they cram in between the glasses and bowls on his shelves, haphazard and not-temporary. It’s that breathless, whirling moment of flight that Steve learns to prefer against free fall without a parachute.
It’s that time Sam accidentally drops Steve on a rooftop and lands, cursing at how heavy he is. Steve is laughing, wind-chapped red, still sprawled on his ass. The sound makes Sam’s heart trip over its own noise.
Actually, it’s not much of a story. But they get there, anyway, day by day.