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A Softer Meme ([personal profile] asoftermeme) wrote in [community profile] bakerstreet2016-06-08 06:37 pm

Shipping Picture Prompts

the shipping picture prompt meme




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littlelionhearted: (Downcast Gaze)

[personal profile] littlelionhearted 2016-06-10 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
[Ever since Bucky's sister had told Steve the news -- MIA, presumed dead -- Steve hasn't been the same. The fire in his blue eyes is a little dimmer, and he doesn't smile as often. She tells him that it's not his fault, but they both know that Steve will blame himself anyway. For not being there, for being too small and too sick to enlist no matter how desperately he'd tried to argue with the recruiter to just give him a chance. But the length of his medical file was too damning. His asthma alone would have kept him out, but Bucky had no such frailties, and he shipped out to Afghanistan with that smile that made Steve's heart skip.

They'd gone to enlist together -- Steve's idea. He'd almost had to talk him into it, explain why he wanted them to. On bad days, he replays that conversation in his head until it makes him sick. Bucky picking him up from art class, grabbing sandwiches on the way home. Bucky had given him a half dozen reasons to let it go, and now he was gone.

Steve had never really had a lot of friends. He'd had Bucky, and that had been enough. The people that looked at him and dismissed him, well, none of them mattered. The truth was that Bucky was so bright and so warm that when he was around, Steve could hardly see anyone else. Like Peter. They'd been acquaintances before, where they probably could have been better friends if they didn't both have their own preoccupations. It wasn't until After that they'd gotten close. They both had their own After: that loss that is so essential that it changes everything.

They're something more than friends these days, but Steve doesn't quite know how to talk about it. It feels somehow... dishonest, like he's being unfaithful to Bucky's memory, stings him with guilt in ways that he can't explain. It feels wrong and it feels right, and if there wasn't someone there to hold his hand when the world felt like it was crushing the breath from his lungs, Steve didn't know what he'd do. He was so alone in the world... Bucky's sister checked in on him sometimes, but the lack of him stretches between them. Because he should be standing there, calling Steve a punk and pretending to be a gentleman to his sister and they would all laugh at the pretense.

It should have been a good day. He actually managed to line up a commission; not a huge paycheck, but anything helped, made it a little less like he was living off his student loans. But it's like everything else goes wrong, from missing his bus to being late to class, to the onset of winter chills even though it's only September, the way he's looking for a school project and finds one of his old sketchbooks, the pictures where Bucky used to model for him and he can't help the tears he sheds, or the guilt. So of course he ends up calling Peter.

He ends up waiting for him with his hands stuffed in the pockets of an oversized sweater, trying his best to look presentable in jeans and a blue-striped button down. He's slightly colorblind so without Bucky around, sometimes the things he steps out of the house in leave much to be desired in terms of style. He's not sure if the fact that he ends up running to him on days like this helps with the guilt or makes it worse, but he manages to wave, flash him a soft half-smile.]

Hey. How was your day?

[He tries to keep his shoulders strong and not look as rough as he feels. He doesn't like when people worry, even if he needs it, sometimes.]
spideyguy: (53)

[personal profile] spideyguy 2016-06-10 04:32 am (UTC)(link)
[The first time Peter met Steve they were taking a photography class together. Peter - well, he was pursuing a science degree, but for his elective credits, he wanted to do something he enjoyed, nothing too difficult. He had enough on his plate. Steve - he thinks it was probably for Steve's degree, though Peter had never actually asked. He'd done a double exposure on his project, with Gwen and the city, and Steve had been curious about how he accomplished it. They'd hit it off, as acquaintances, really, sharing a desk and exchanging simple pleasantries.

Peter broke up with Gwen less than a month after that, and while he was perhaps more withdrawn (certainly more sleep-deprived, arriving with more bruises than usual), he was still okay. They weren't exactly good enough friends for Steve to ask. And when Bucky shipped out, Peter hadn't asked Steve about the change in his demeanor, either.

When Peter lost Gwen it. There aren't words. He didn't come to class for a week, and when he did, he was completely silent, eyes misty with the constantly unshed tears. His pictures were of flowers, now, and nothing more; the flowers that adorned her grave, not that he was inclined to tell Steve, or any of his classmates, that fact.

In fact, he didn't really talk to Steve again until the day Steve came back to class after getting the news. That was the thing, loving someone who left you too soon - you could see it in other people, and Peter knew that look. It was the same one he saw in the mirror every morning, how could he not?

He'd met Bucky, once, back when everything had been okay. Waiting with Steve in the rain for his ride, because Peter had an umbrella and for some ungodly reason Steve didn't. They were perfect together, easy, and just, clearly made for each other.

So Peter broke his silence, resting a hand on Steve's arm and whispering, I'm sorry. It wasn't the tutting platitudes everybody else had likely given Steve - it was a raw, honest sentence, despite the brevity.

They started talking. They went to lunch and the way they took solace in each other just sort of...happened. It was nothing too scandalous beyond a few hugs, simple, reassuring touches but the tension - they both knew what they had, but neither was quite ready to say it aloud. Steve was right - it did feel wrong, but at the same time? Peter knew Gwen would kick his ass for even thinking something like that. She'd want him to be happy; maybe he couldn't be completely whole, maybe he never would be, but perhaps happiness was within the realm of possibility.

He's late, arriving breathless in front of Steve, glasses crooked on his face. They'd made an oath to call each other on the bad days; Peter remembered making such a promise with a friend before, but this time he was going to stick to it if it killed him.]

Long, busy. You?

[Peter can tell Steve isn't okay, but they always start like this. Pretending to be normal. He rests a hand on Steve's elbow, offering a soft smile.]

littlelionhearted: (Faraway Look)

[personal profile] littlelionhearted 2016-06-12 03:14 pm (UTC)(link)
[Steve smiles softly as Peter shows up. It's a little thin, a little strained, but there's still something comforting about the sight of him, the reminder that he's not alone, that there's someone that cares. Steve doesn't even have family, so with Bucky gone... if it weren't for Peter, he doesn't know how he'd have gotten through this. He doesn't lie to him, so when Peter flips the question about his day, he doesn't tell him it was fine, or those polite deceptions he affects with Rebecca and the rest of the world.

But still, it's easier to start with the things that aren't sobbing over his sketchbooks. They always get there eventually, but it just makes him feel so small and so helpless. The way that Bucky was so much a part of his life that it's hard to make it through the days without coming through. Everyone says that it gets better, that he needs to give it time, time heals all wounds, and other such trite advice. Steve doesn't believe it, honestly. He doesn't think that this is the sort of thing he ever heals from, not completely. Bucky was light and warmth, he was the one that encouraged him to apply to art school, that believed he could make something of himself, that he had value even if he was weak and chronically ill. And losing that isn't something that just gets better.

But Peter's here. And on good days, and even sometimes the bad ones, Peter feels like that matters. Like that makes it better. Like there might be a little piece of light, that if he holds it in his hands, he can make it grow. He knows that Bucky wouldn't want him to be miserable, to lose himself in his loss like this, but it's still hard.]

I got a commission for a few paintings. Nothing huge, but, it's good. And then I missed the bus, was late to class and everything...

[There's a self-conscious half-laugh as he looks over at Peter. It should have been a good day, but it's like everything went wrong as some kind of counter-balance, and he drags a hand against his forehead, brushing back some blonde strands from his face. One of those days. But, hey, it could have been worse. He hadn't mouthed off to the wrong person and gotten roughed up down an alley, shown up sporting bruises because he doesn't know when to keep his mouth closed. And his cough was thus far still just a cough, which was good, because he knew if he missed one more day he'd have to get all his paperwork and petition the Dean that no he really was sick and he hated it, even if it came up most semesters.]

Uh, yeah. You want to grab something?
spideyguy: (70)

[personal profile] spideyguy 2016-06-12 04:57 pm (UTC)(link)
[Finding someone that understood wasn't ever part of Peter's plan. He was more than - well, not content - but he'd never been one to go to a support group, no matter how many pamphlets Aunt May waved in front of his face. The first few months after her death were spent quietly, without Spiderman, as he went through the 'Stages of Grief', as one of the pamphlets explained to him. He'd already spent his Denial sobbing on the floor of the clocktower; a painful, raw sort of crying that left him empty past the funeral. Bargaining came and went quietly - who was left to bargain with? Depression was the easiest, lasting well through the months as he sat by her headstone.

Spiderman returned at the tail end of his depression cycle. The last one was Anger, and Peter had plenty of that. On bad days, he'd patrol for hours, well past when he should have stopped. The hits, the punches, giving or receiving, stoked something inside of him. When that wasn't enough, he'd go to the warehouse and punch the concrete until it gave, or his knuckles stopped healing.

That was the thing, having powers the way he did; everything was heightened. Not that Peter knew it, but his emotions were just as enhanced as his senses. The highs were soaring, the lows were pits of despair. Sometimes he'd stare at the paper and wonder whether or not Acceptance was a myth.

But Steve - Steve is someone Peter can focus on. Steve is someone Peter can care about. And boy - there's a lot to care about. No family, no one outside of Bucky, really - constantly sick. Not that Peter looked at him any differently; he just made sure he gave Steve his coat, or brought an umbrella, always had a spare inhaler. He'd been there, once, a long time ago; the inhaler he carries around is actually his old one.

Peter could never replace Bucky. He'd never try to. But sometimes when he looks at Steve, Peter feels like he's seeing him through Bucky's eyes, the sudden swell of affection, or worry. He really doesn't know what to do with it.

Peter rested his hand on Steve's back, thumb brushing over his shoulder, nodding at Steve's explanation. These days, even the littlest thing just. Sucked the life out of you.]

A commission? That's awesome, dude! [Celebrate the successes. Peter steadfastly doesn't draw comparisons to someone else who painted, the paintings currently hidden in the back of his closet. One loss at a time.] Yeah, let's split something.

[The bruises are the worst, because Peter has an overwhelming protective streak, and Steve apparently has the biggest mouth in Brooklyn. Not that Peter blamed him, it was kind of his night job, mouthing off to assholes. Steve's bruises didn't fade in a day, though, and therein lay the problem.]
littlelionhearted: (Out of Frame)

[personal profile] littlelionhearted 2016-06-13 09:27 am (UTC)(link)
[They talk about phases of loss, but to Steve it didn't feel like that, that clear-cut, that simple. It just felt like pain. It gave this false idea that you could move from one to another, and there was a linear progression. It was just different days that found different ways to hurt, but they all did. They all hurt, with such intensity that he'd lost track of the number of times he'd think he was having an asthma attack because of how his chest burned.

He sobbed, he struggled through the depression, kept going over that list of the things he could have changed, there had been a night he'd put his hand into the bathroom mirror because he'd been so angry, and he had a whole tear-splattered sketchbook of if onlys -- the promises they'd made of things they'd do, places they'd go... That trip to the Grand Canyon, talks about Disneyland, and driving all the way out to California and swimming in the Pacific. For Steve loss was like a rollercoaster, and it blindsided him every time.

Maybe it was being so alone, that ever since his mother died Bucky had been all he'd had, but he hadn't wanted anyone else. Even growing up, his mother worked two jobs and her shifts ran late, so he spent more time with Bucky than almost anyone else. Some days he felt numb and others he couldn't stop crying.

But Peter... Peter is here, and that's something, that's enough, really. He's not Bucky, but he makes it so Steve doesn't feel so alone, and he doesn't feel like his life is falling apart like he did before. Makes it possible to attempt those one foot in front of the other, one day at a time mantras they espouse in the book Rebecca not-so-subtly left for him.

He lets himself get caught up in Peter's excitement, and it manages to curl a smile across his full lips for a moment as he looks up at him.]
Yeah. Just a series of three for this cafe that's opening in town, but they're paying in actual money, half upfront and everything.

[You know, almost like a real artist, and not just someone that liked playing with colors, sketching Bucky's face into every blank canvas his fingers found. But there's still that sharp edge, that way that his eyes are a little red around the edges, even if he'd tried to wash his face in cold water until he looked human again.] Where do you want to go?

[Steve's too worn-thin to make a decision himself.]
spideyguy: (39)

[personal profile] spideyguy 2016-06-13 03:14 pm (UTC)(link)
[Peter worried, for Steve, but at the same time, he knew he was strong. So while Peter did everything in his power to be there, whenever and wherever Steve needed him, he never thought he'd do anything drastic. In fact, Steve was one of the reasons Peter never did anything drastic (Aunt May aside, who absolutely adored Steve, by the by). The reason Peter stopped, when his knuckles bloodied, as opposed to breaking his hand. Another loss may well kill them both.

On the good days, they'd talk about it. Gwen and Bucky. She/He liked this, we were going to go there, this was their favorite song. Bucky definitely seemed like he'd been Steve's world, no doubt about it. Peter had never had dreams so acute as Steve's - he'd never, ever been out of the city, not once in his entire life. He silently wondered what it could possibly be like, building dreams with someone only to have to write them out of the equation completely.]

That totally incredible, Steve! I'm friends with the next Andy Warhol. [Peter joked, starting them up the sidewalk, slowly.] What are you going to paint?

How about the deli? [They made new memories together, and the deli was one of them. A place they'd only ever been together, no ghosts to be found.] Best Italian subs in Brooklyn?
littlelionhearted: (Too Small for Too Big a Heart)

[personal profile] littlelionhearted 2016-06-14 10:46 pm (UTC)(link)
[Steve would never do anything drastic, it just wasn't... who he was. He knew Bucky would never forgive him, and the thought of it felt too bitter to even really contemplate. Of course, that was on the intentional level. He'd always had a streak for not stomaching those that put down others, found himself roughed up in too many back alleys, but it had definitely gotten worse since Bucky died. He was small and frail and sickly and yet he was willing to toss his body in front of almost anything given half a chance. Not that Steve even realized it, of course, he'd never do that to Peter intentionally, but it was there. Risk taking behavior, someone else might have called it.

The good days are... nice. He thinks he would have liked Gwen, if he'd had a chance to know her. He thinks Bucky would have too. On the good days, he sometimes imagines what it would have been like if it hadn't taken tragedy to bring them together. Maybe celebrating New Years together, and as much as it makes him smile, it's a fresh sort of pain, too. Steve hasn't really been far out of the city, but Bucky and him used to talk about it. They drove a couple hours upstate and went apple-picking, and one year they went all the way out to the State Fair, but usually their trips only went as far as Coney Island, but Bucky had always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, and Steve had wanted to go swimming in the ocean that wasn't always cold. So many dreams that were now just... empty.

But there's a slight offering of a smile at the joke about Andy Warhol and his blue eyes glint softly.]
It's times of day. They want them to be able to be done in sequence, morning, afternoon, evening. Outside of that, I can play with it. They said they liked my portfolio.

[Which was honestly something of a shock to Steve. You can even see Bucky's loss in his artwork, the line of before and after not even a conscious choice, just something that happened. His lines got rougher, and his colors darker. More winter, less spring.]

The uh... the deli sounds good. [He's glad for the suggestion, because some days it's hard to find his own choices, find the ability to care enough to come up with the names of one place over another.]
spideyguy: (18)

[personal profile] spideyguy 2016-06-14 11:50 pm (UTC)(link)
[The first time Steve sought out Peter while bloody had been...Peter hadn't reacted well. He'd almost had a panic attack, actually, hands shaking as he pulled Steve into a hug and made sure he was okay. Not him, too. He'd bandaged Steve's knuckles, gave him cream for his rapidly blooming black eye, and made him promise to call Peter the next time he was hurt. Because there'd be a next time - the only difference between Peter and Steve in this regard was that Steve scarred, and Peter healed.

Spiderman had also paid a visit to the alley, hours later, and confronted the gang Steve had run into. That confrontation ended a lot differently.

Peter listens to all of Steve-and-Bucky's dreams faithfully and thinks, maybe one day, he'll take Steve to the Grand Canyon. Maybe for Bucky's birthday, in his honor. He could get Steve to draw a picture of Bucky and they could bury it there, in a bottle. So he'd have gone, too.

He thinks Gwen would have liked Steve. She'd definitely have liked that Peter went out and made a friend, all on his own. He's never been good at that sort of thing. She would have been the one to get Peter to invite Steve and Bucky to dinner, probably at that Thai place she liked because 'Thai is the best conversation food, Peter, don't question it!']

I can't wait to see it. You'll do great, honest. [Peter beamed, patting Steve on the back encouragingly.] What's not to like? Your art is incredible, Steve. Way better than that crap hanging on the wall at the Met.

We can split the Italian? [Peter knew how hard even the simplest choices seemed, so suggestion was key. It was like, why did it matter? What could ever matter, when you felt so empty?]
littlelionhearted: (Default)

sorry for being so late!

[personal profile] littlelionhearted 2016-06-17 11:21 am (UTC)(link)
[It had reminded him of Bucky, almost. The way that Peter had bandaged his knuckles, pressed cream into the bruises. Bucky had always been putting him back together, trying to get him to back off, but Steve just didn't know how, and it's worse now. Before he had something to prove, but now? Now he has a still well of hurt and loss and rage that only really gets an outlet when it's a back alley and bruises and cuts that litter his skin. Sometimes it feels like the only way he knows how to smile.

It's not, of course. Sometimes he smiles when he's talking about Bucky, remembering what they'd had. Sometimes Peter does something, or says something, or the sunset is just bright enough and it teases a soft curl of his mouth from him. It doesn't shake the feeling, though.

He feels so small and the world feels too big these days, like he could just... float away on it all and like nothing matters and like he could vanish just like that. It makes Peter's words vital on days like this. And sure, he doesn't quite believe his extravagant talk, but it settles his nerves a little, reminds him to breathe. That someone believes he can do this, at least.]
Thanks. I'll-- I'll see how it works out. Maybe let you look at some of the sketches, if you want.

[He didn't share his art as much as he used to. So much of it was about Bucky so suddenly it had all become very... personal, tragic. And it was hard to look at without the tears, and that made it even more difficult to share. But Peter was slowly becoming someone Steve was comfortable with, wasn't self-conscious, didn't feel the need to pretend to be strong, because he understood.]

Yeah, that sounds good. [A faint murmur of agreement as he looks up at him.]
spideyguy: (19)

it's all good! (:

[personal profile] spideyguy 2016-06-17 04:49 pm (UTC)(link)
[Of course, of all the friends Peter has to make, he picks the punk kid from Brooklyn who wrote checks his ass shouldn't be cashing. Though Gwen would certainly like Steve, she'd also probably punch Peter. Peter knows that feeling - feeling alive, in control, in the heat of a fight - sometimes pain is the only thing that lets you know you're alive.]

I've love that, Steve. [Peter assures him gently, turning them down a side alley by means of a shortcut.] We could book a studio room at school, if you want. You work on sketches and I could develop some photos.

[They hadn't quite broken down completely in front of one another, but that day would surely come. An anniversary or birthday would arrive and one of them would be undone.]

I'll even give you my ham. [Peter ruffled Steve's hair with a gentle smile.]