Bucky’s face here will forever be the worst thing in the world. He’s looking at Steve and he’s so proud of him but there’s also this look in his eyes that says "he doesn’t need me anymore, why would Captain America ever need Bucky Barnes" and it’s all over his face. But when you pay attention to Bucky in the crowd you can see him looking around and taking it all in, taking in the fact that people finally see Steve the way he has always seen him and I CANT TAKE IT ITS DISGUSTING HOW MUCH HE LOVES STEVE AND HAS ALWAYS APPRECIATED HIM AND NOW THE WORLD LOVES HIM AND HE’S OVERWHELMED BUT HE’S ALSO SO SO HAPPY OH MY GODDDDDD
i enjoy agony.
even if you don’t ship it it’s still agony
Or, alternatively, you know. Bucky totally starts the cheer for Captain America, because that’s what friends do — but then, the cheering takes on a life of its own, doesn’t it? And Bucky Barnes looks around, and see how his mouth tightens even more in the picture on the left side, middle row, when he realizes that is what it felt like for Steve all those times people were applauding him for rescuing his shrimpy little buddy who couldn’t save himself, right? This is what it feels like to be the sidekick in the corner of the frame while the hero gets the attention, and they’ve been walking, right? All night, thirty-five miles in the dark along dirt roads and forests after the escape, strenuous even if Bucky hadn’t been strapped to a table and left to die. Who is the one who is tired and dirty and ready to fall down off his feet and being held up only by willpower and refusal to embarrass himself? And who is the one standing there easy and breathing comfortable in his warm leather jacket, and —
What’s the line Bucky says to Steve in the bar? “I’m invisible. I’m turning into you. It’s a horrible dream.”
This is the moment when Bucky first gets an idea that it’s going to be a horrible dream and that he isn’t a good enough person to just be happy for Steve. Everybody else in the crowd is happy. Why can’t he be, too? Was he always like this? Or is this something HYDRA did to him?
Bucky doesn’t know which is more frightening.