- Steve – Thank you, Buck. But I can get by on my own
- Bucky – The thing is, you don't have to. I'm with you to the end of the line, pal
- ―After the funeral
Captain America: The First Avenger
Steve and Bucky grew up together as neighbours in Brooklyn, New York and became family to one another. When Steve's mother, Sarah Rogers, died tragically of Tuberculosis, Bucky attempted to persuade Steve into letting him help, canonically it is unknown if Steve took him up on his offer. Throughout their childhood Bucky was there for and stood by Steve as he got in back ally fights standing up for what was right.
Steve is at the movies after receiving his 5th 4F from the army, when a bully shouts insults about the soldiers and tells Steve that Bucky is going to die in the war. So small 5'5" Steve decides to fight him. The bully is beating Steve up pretty badly until Bucky saves the day. He finds Steve In a back ally fight he can't finish and promptly (literally) kicks the bully's butt. Bucky drapes his arm around Steve and tells him they're going "to the future." Steve and Bucky are on a double date at the Stark Expo, When Steve disappears to try to inlist again. Bucky argues with him about ditching him on his last night before shipping out. Steve tells him that he needs to help and they quickly make up. Bucky hugs him calling him a punk, to which Steve responds by calling him a jerk. Bucky leaves telling Steve, "Don't do anything stupid while I'm gone." Steve responds by asking "How can I? You're taking all the stupid with you!"
They don't see each other again until Steve goes to Europe with the USO after receiving the serum. Steve performs to an unimpressed audience of soldiers who shout at him and throw things. After he runs off the stage, he runs into Peggy who tells him that the 107th just lost a bunch of men to a POW camp. Steve freaks out because Bucky is in the 107th and he wasn't in the crowd. So Steve marches into Col. Phillips' tent and asks if Bucky's missing. Upon learning Bucky is MIA, Steve apparently finds Bucky's stash of stupid he brought with him and launches an unapproved one man mission across enemy lines to find him. Steve does find him along with the other missing men of the 107th. Steve finds Bucky lying on a table after having been experimented on. He is dazed and when Steve says, "Bucky, I thought you were dead." Bucky answers with, "I thought you were smaller."
Steve leads the two of them to the exit, but they see Zola and Red Scull who save themselves and blow up the main exit so Steve and Bucky have to take a different route. The bridge is narrow so Steve has them go one at a time with Bucky going first. Bucky makes it to the other side, then the bridge breaks. Steve shouts, "GO ON! GET OUT OF HERE!" And Bucky shouts back, "NO! NOT WITHOUT YOU!" So Steve Jumps across. They return to camp and Steve is given permission to start an Elite team to take down Hydra, they call themselves the Howling Commandos. Steve asks Bucky if he's "Willing to follow Captain America into the jaws of death?" Bucky says, "No, That little guy who was too dumb to run from a fight, I'm following him." And follows it with, "You're keeping the costume though, right?" The newly formed Howling Commandos are enjoying their time drinking and loudly singing a drinking song when Peggy walks in and Bucky gets to meet her. He doesn't seem happy about their meeting.
During their time in the army, Steve leads the Howling Comandos with Bucky as his second in command taking down Hydra bases. It is going great until they get a mission to zip line onto a moving train and take out Zola and Red Skull.
Bucky falls out of the train to his apparent death leaving a sobbing Steve clinging to the train. Steve goes to the bar where he had asked Bucky to join the howling commandos two years earlier. He learns he can no longer get drunk. Soon after Steve crashes the plane into the ocean.
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Steve is depressed. He has been out of the ice for 4 years and he still feels like he doesn't belong. His family is dead, all his friends are dead, and his best girl has dementia and has lived her life. He frequents the Smithsonian's Captain America exhibit to stare at the Bucky Barnes memorial. Things start looking up when he meets Sam Wilson, who helps him realise he's not alone. Then Nick Fury gets assassinated. Steve chases the assassin to the roof and throws his shield, but the assassin catches it with his metal arm shocking Steve before he backflips off the building. The next time Steve runs in to the assassin whom he has learned from Natasha is the Winter Soldier, they are fighting on a bridge. They engage in hand to hand combat and the Winter Soldier's muzzle falls off revealing Bucky Barnes. Steve is shocked by this revelation and disbelieving, says, "Bucky?" Bucky responds, "Who the hell is Bucky?" And walks away.
Steve discovers S.H.I.E.L.D. has been a front for Hydra and Bucky has served as their brainwashed assassin. Saving the world from Hydra's plan, Steve has one last confrontation with a newly tortured Bucky, who seemingly doesn't remember him at all. Steve frees Bucky from a fallen steel beam and tells Bucky 'I'm with you to the end of the line' as Bucky said to him more than 70 years earlier. Steve falls from the collapsing ship into the ocean, but Bucky dives in after him, pulling him ashore and leaves, having saved his old friend.
Captain America: Civil War
Steve finally finds Bucky after searching for 2 years when Bucky is framed for a terrorist attack during negotiations of the Sokovia Accords. Bucky and Steve run from authorities.
- This ship has exactly 28,476 fanworks on archiveofourown.org, meaning it is one of the most massively popular ships in the entire Marvel fandom. It also has 454 fanworks on www.fanfiction.net.
- “NO! NOT WITHOUT YOU!”
- —Bucky in CA:TFA
- “Even when I had nothing, I had Bucky”
- —Steve in CA:WS
- Bucky – I don't know if I'm worth all this, Steve
- Steve – What you did all those years wasn't you. You didn't have a choice
- ―Civil War