royal au headcanon:
one night when peggy’s still up working on shield stuff, she gets a phone call from a private number.
it’s bucky, clearly out of his mind either drunk or high—she can tell by the way his speech is slurred, a little mumbled and not at all like his normal enunciation. he doesn’t even give her a chance to start their conversation off with the niceties before he’s begging her to give steve a chance, telling her all the reasons why he’d make a fantastic boyfriend in precise detail, literally fucking monologuing about what their future together might be like.
peggy’s too shocked to hang up (how did he even get her number?) before she hears it: the stumble of his voice, the vivid scenes he paints like he’s been thinking about this for far too long, the words all rushing out half unintelligible until all peggy can pick out is the swell of anguish.
and he breaks off in the middle of a sentence. goes completely silent. peggy doesn’t know what to say, just listens to him breathing on the phone. he’s clearly hurting but peggy doesn’t know how to comfort him because he’s a stranger only made familiar through steve’s words. she doesn’t really know him.
"you have to marry him," bucky tells her, "it’s the only way."
"bucky," peggy says, trying for soothing, reasonable.
"you have to," bucky says.
in the morning she gets an email. it says i’m sorry i shouldn’t have and please don’t tell him.