In which Bucky Barnes is Death himself and fell in love with Steve Rogers after letting him live as a child.
After deciding to grow up at the sick boy’s side he now tries to keep him alive, even going to war as one James Buchanan Barnes he chose to be so many years ago.
The story is nearly the same:
Because when a Winter Soldier loves, his mission changes from killing to protecting. (But what if Death forgets to be Bucky Barnes?)
He watched as the boy - Steve - looked at him, not through him, right at him. The blue of the child’s eyes was on him for a moment, accepting.
Come on. Steve seemed to tell him. I know who you are. I’m ready.
For a reason unknown, he waved his hand at the boy, then turned his back on the child, leaving him and his mother behind.
It was the first time Death let someone live.
The second time came sooner than expected. There was blood on the boy’s lips, on his knuckles. He was beautiful, beaten and standing up. A punch to his left cheek, his ribs - a nearly satisfying crunch of breaking bones - and the boy went down as if gravity was too much on him. Steve, he remembered the name, didn’t stand up. His head rolled around in the dirt, eyes wide and alternating between lifeless and strongly willed. The winner panicked and ran out of the back alley, running past him. He ignored the other child. Death would find him sooner or later, or maybe one of his reapers, who knew.
Steve was lying on the cold, hard ground. Their eyes found each other, the boy’s vision breaking. Steve reached out with a bloody hand, taunting him to come nearer. He gripped the hand and moved the child upright.
“I had him on the ropes.” The boy grinned a red, toothy smile.
He stepped back and vanished without a word. Death let him live again.
(Do you want to read this? Yes? No?)