Continuity: Captain America 1: The First Avenger (2011) and Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Series Notes: Any ideas that pop up about the boys in their early days will end up under this umbrella title. Skinny!Steve and Protective!Bucky for the win! ;) The entire series can be found here.
Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Spoilers: Mild spoilers for Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
Summary: Steve and Bucky enjoy a sun-filled day at Coney Island in the summer of '39.
Date Of Completion: June 9, 2014
Date Of Posting: June 16, 2014
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Marvel and Paramount do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1115
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Was all that we had.
The memories were happy
And some were sad,
But mostly we laughed
And ate Nathan’s Famous,
And rode the Cyclone
And let nothing tame us.
Coney Island Past"
Bucky’s voice was filled with satisfaction as he gazed out at the sparkling ocean. His hands were on his hips as the shrieks and laughter of people surrounded him and Steve on the beach.
“Just right for what, Goldilocks?” Steve asked with a slight smile.
“For good health.” Bucky pounded his chest.
“Well, I could certainly use that,” came the wry reply.
Bucky looked at his friend. Steve was dressed in cobalt-blue swim trunks and a light-blue T-shirt. His skinny legs were pale and his blond hair ruffled in the sea breeze.
Bucky was wearing dark-red trunks and a plain white T-shirt. He ran a hand through thick, brown hair and smiled.
“Doctors say that fresh sea air is very healthy. Swimming, too.” He gently clapped Steve on the back. “It’ll help your lungs.”
Steve looked around self-consciously. “I won’t exactly help you to attract girls.”
“We’re not here to pick up dames. We’re here for good health and exercise. C’mon, let’s go swimmin’.”
Bucky pulled his T-shirt over his head and dropped it onto his beach towel, anchored by his flip-flops. He did not say that he would stick close to Steve. With his friend’s asthma and nervous stomach, he might end up short of breath or cramped, even though they had not eaten since breakfast hours before.
Steve did not remove his shirt but willingly followed Bucky into the surf. They swam a short distance out, both of them good swimmers though they rarely got as much practice as they would have liked. Coming out to Coney Island cost money on the Sea Express train, not to mention the admission fee to the Island itself.
Bucky was happy that Steve was getting fresh air and exercise and enjoying it himself. He loved the freedom of the sea and the whole beach experience: the water, sand, and even the sound of the screeching seagulls.
“Argh!” Bucky felt the water close in around him and he pushed up to break the surface, spluttering all the way. “You sneak!” Bucky grabbed Steve’s leg and pulled him underwater.
Steve bounced back up, coughing and spluttering, and the fight was on. They splashed and laughed and chased each other, finally clinging to each other as they staggered out of the surf as if they had tied one on.
Steve’s blue eyes sparkled. “What a great day. Lots of good, fresh air…and seawater!”
“Good, fresh sea air,” Bucky said solemnly, and they burst out laughing again. “C’mon, let’s go get something to eat.”
Bucky led Steve to a stand that sold fried fish. He ordered onion rings and the cook nodded, scooping up the haddock and onions and plunking them in their respective vats. They waited under the shade of the small awning, the small vats crackling with frying fish, onions, clams, and shrimp.
A pretty girl with blond hair set in a pompadour walked up to the counter and leaned on it, smiling at Bucky. He smiled back but was resolute. No girls this time out! If he could he’d grab Steve’s hand and pull him into a kiss, but he wasn’t keen on spending a stretch at Riker’s or in Bedlam. Maybe he and Steve would check out the drag ball up in Harlem this Saturday night.
“Here you go, boys,” said the cook, handing them the red-and-white-checked paper baskets filled with steaming-hot food. Steve grabbed a few Coke bottles and opened them on the bottle opener on the stand. They found a picnic table under a yellow-and-white striped umbrella.
Steve was grateful for the umbrella. It was a hot July day and a little shade was nice. He ate his fish slowly. Fried foods could play havoc with his stomach. That was why he would only eat a few onion rings while Bucky ate the rest. He could handle the fish all right.
Bucky had put his shirt back on but he still looked magnificent. Taking a song of Coke, his brown eyes sparkled.
A day like this doesn’t come along all the time. Gotta remember it.
“After we hang out after lunch, wanna go walk around the amusement park?” Bucky asked.
“Can’t go on the rides,” Steve said with a little smile.
“I think I’ll skip ‘em, too. I want my stomach ready to nosh on a Nathan’s hot dog later.”
“Who do you think you are, the King and Queen of England?” teased Steve as he cut into his fish.
“Why, didn’t they like the Nathan’s hot dogs FDR served them at Hyde Park last month?” Bucky dipped a ring into the mustard.
“Loved ‘em.” Steve snuck one tiny onion ring onto his plate.
Bucky chuckled. “Yep, the King and Queen are just regular joes.”
“I hope so.” Steve’s smile faded. “Hitler’s really pushing things. He took the Sudentenland last September and I doubt he’ll stop there.” He pushed the fish around his basket.
Bucky took a large onion ring and bit it in half. “Even if Hitler starts something, we won’t be in it right away.”
Steve looked up. “But we will end up in it.”
“Probably.” Bucky drank his Coke and set the bottle down. “Look, Steve, we can’t do anything about Europe or what our leaders do in response. We can only live for today.” He smiled crookedly. “Maybe we’ll get lucky and the rest of 1939 will see them all rattle their sabers and goosestep down the main drag of Berlin instead of shooting each other.”
Steve felt the knot in his stomach loosen as he looked at his handsome lover. “Deal. Maybe we will get lucky.”
Bucky nodded, looking hale and hearty with tousled, sun-bleached hair and a saucy smile.
“Fresh sea air seems to agree with you, too,” Steve said with a smile.
Bucky grinned. “You bet. We’ll soak up some sun on our beach towels before we go to the park. Better use some sunscreen. Don’t wanna bake like a lobster.”
“I wonder what lobster tastes like,” Steve said dreamily as he speared a piece of fish.
Bucky leaned forward and whispered, “You’ll need a rich boyfriend to find that out.”
Steve grinned and whispered back, “No, thanks, the only boyfriend I want is you.”
“Then we’d better split the French fries at Nathan’s later so we can afford the train back.”
It was a day that Steve would always remember and hoped that someday, Bucky would remember, too.