Bucky Barnes no longer liked to be touched in any way, neither shoulders brushing in a crowd or a tender caress. He did, once upon a time, but years of brainwashing, experimentation and torture successfully scrubbed him clean of that human desire, at least for a long while.
A year spent with his old friend, now boyfriend, had managed to change his opinion ever so slightly from when he first was re-introduced to the world. Steve had a talent expressing himself through a kiss or through any embrace for that matter. He was always gentle with Bucky, easing in slowly until their lips barely touched before pulling back slightly, waiting for James to come to him. It was infuriatingly teasing at times, when it was meant to be, but mostly it was to ensure his comfort, to ensure that the Captain wouldn’t scare him away. Bucky could see the fear in those eyes whenever he took just a moment too long to reciprocate. That’s what he needed. Touch on his terms.
Anything else was too much. An off-handed arm around his shoulder would sent Steve to the floor. He couldn’t help it. It was instinct.
There where times, however that the Winter Soldier would grow frustrated, unsure how to ask after something so basic and physical as a hug or hand on his knee. In those times, Steve didn’t know to offer. Both would just sit there in a heavy silence waiting for the other to move.
Then a kiss, just as always: on his terms.