“You’ll be okay, Steve,” he promised. Steve didn’t answer, couldn’t with the tube down his throat. His fingers twitched a bit in Bucky’s grasp, though, twitched and tightened, and Bucky smiled. He rubbed his metal palm over the back of Steve’s hand. “The serum’s working. It’s working.” He kept thinking that, over and over again like a chant. A mantra and a prayer and a hope. A promise. “It’s taking care of you, so you’ll be just fine. You’ll be fine, sweetheart. You’re gonna get better, open those baby blue eyes, darling, and then we’ll go back home. You got that? I’m right here, and I’m waitin’.” He leaned down and kissed Steve’s fingers, squeezing himself as tightly as he dared. “I’m waitin’ right here.”
And he settled in to do just that.