Bucky has a lot of phobias. Really in terms of recovery he’s done fantastically well.
But he still hears a bone saw in the food processor, and the clippers at the hairdresser, and it’s better if Steve takes the laundry to a launderette rather than try to use the machine.
He doesn’t like guns, which is understandable. Doesn’t like knives or batons or dogs with sharp teeth. Doesn’t like whispering, or hushed voices.
Or German or Russian or Italian. He understands all three, but he still thinks the teenagers on a school trip are plotting against him when he hears their German accents.
He doesn’t like cold water, not that he’d go to a pool when he’s still so conscious of the changes to his body. But he doesn’t like it one bit, not to drink, not to touch, not to be held down and bathed in an icy solution until his heart slows to a stop.
And he doesn’t like electrical wires. He sees them coming out of his phone and attaching to his scalp, he sees the lead to the TV doubled over and wrapping round his shoulder with a sharp sting. Drawing blood.
Bucky doesn’t like lab coats or businessmen. In fact, he doesn’t much like men at all, but he tolerates Steve because he likes Steve. He would prefer it if Steve were not a man. He is weary of Sam, and frightened of Fury, because he remembers cars and guns and blood, he remembers killing him, the decimation of Steve’s old apartment.
He likes Natasha Romanoff, but he won’t go near Natalia Romanova, and he likes Pepper but he won’t be in a room with anyone who could ever claim to have been Iron Man.
Bucky does not like trains or snow. He won’t go past either unless he’s holding Steve’s hand, preferably both, hard enough to to cut off circulation. Or save one of them from a nasty fall.
Bucky is scared of the sound made when something is swished through the air. No matter how distant, he knows it will hit him. The ceiling fan is a repeat offender and is torn from its fittings as punishment. Steve will not be getting his deposit back. No matter.
Bucky doesn’t like rubber, the smell or the taste, and he doesn’t like chairs with arm rests. Their apartment has no such chairs, except for the couch, which is allowed since only one arm rest can be used at a time. Bucky sits mostly on the floor.
Bucky doesn’t like showers, but won’t lie down in the bath. Their bathroom is glass and linoleum, because he knows better than to go near a tiled surface.
Their apartment has no air-con, no cooker-hood and no vacuum cleaner, because none of these things are permitted. A gardener mowing the lawn in Central Park sends him running home before Steve can even turn his head.
Bucky likes small spaces, so long as they are stout enough that he cannot stand up or stretch out in them. Likes the cupboard under the kitchen sink, where Steve has placed a cushion for him. Doesn’t like the waste disposal, because it makes that horrible sound and because he hits his head on it sometimes. Doesn’t like the plumber who comes to fix the sink when he rips the waste disposal out, because the plumber is a man and he smells of damp places.
Bucky doesn’t like to take his clothes off first. He needs to see Steve in his briefs before he’ll take off his shirt, Steve’s bare toes before he’ll remove his shoes. Doesn’t like for Steve to get dressed without him. Steve lets him get up first.
Bucky won’t eat food from someone else’s hand (or fork, or chopsticks), won’t have anything placed in his mouth, even if he’s happy to hold Steve to the bed and do it for himself.
Doesn’t like his head held down or his arm taken off; the MRI scan is more trouble than it’s worth and even though Bucky doesn’t break the machine, he cries with his face tilted away from the doctors and grips Steve’s hand and tells him that he wants to.
"I’m scared of a lot of things," He confesses guiltily when Steve is forced to chuck out the iron, because the cable is just too thick and Bucky can’t sleep now that he knows it’s in the house, even though the chances of Steve whipping him with it are precisely zero. It falls into the charity box outside, clunking against the coffee machine which failed it’s sound testing.
"It’s okay," Steve tells him, and means it.
"Are you scared of anything?" Bucky wants to know.
Steve steps up close and lets Bucky fall against his chest, but doesn’t put his arms around him, because that’s Not Allowed and frightening as well. “Only one thing.”
"What is it?"
"Losing you." Steve leans to press a silent kiss to Bucky’s forehead. "And spiders."