Steve Rogers met you at the age of twelve, around the same time that he met James Buchanan Barnes; as such he could rarely think of the latter without thinking of the former, especially since it was his newfound best friend that led him to you.
In perhaps the worst way possible.
He had struggled to highest reachable branch of the same tree that Bucky had clambered up to with ease, but as the two of them sat there, he’d never felt more exhilarated. Never before had he the chance to see such a view of the park, the greenery, the water in the distance; for once, despite his rather scarce height and weight, he felt like the king of the world.
“Hey, look at this!” Bucky whistled, tugging a small apple from a stem. “We’ve got lunch here, Steve. Well — we would have, if there was anything on it.” As an alternative he tossed it down, aiming at a lovey-dovey couple walking the trail below; it found its target, ineffectually bumping the man’s shoulder, and though he looked up irritably, the two boys were shielded by the thick bundle of branches and leaves.
It wasn’t the sort of activity that an honest boy like Steve would appreciate with gusto, but in the whirl of a new actual real-life friend, he was willing to compromise for one afternoon; they tossed downwards aimlessly and guessed who was walking beneath by the energy of their curses. Most were strangers, but Steve recognized a couple — the grocer Samson, the younger Golightly brother from the theater, Miss Lovett from school — and was glad that he was so well-concealed, lest his good reputation be ruined. Though truth be told, it was too harmless to stop being fun.
He heard light footsteps beneath him — so light they were nearly imperceptible — and he took aim and dropped the last of the apples he had within reach. And though he was expecting the surprise cursing of some young person out with a dog or crotchety old figure he was surprised to hear the yowl of a very young woman: “Hey! That was on purpose! What the hell do you think you’re doing?!”
Bucky’s face dropped to cold terror immediately upon recognition of such a voice, and he scrambled to his feet, the branch trembling under his weight. “We have to go, now,” he hissed, looking about for an emergency exit.
“What?” Steve wondered if he’d made some grisly mistake, targeting some violent mobster with a high-pitched and feminine voice. “Who is it?”
“It’s a girl from school…” Bucky had seen you in action before, the way you would swat off bullies as if they were mere pests. “Haven’t you met her? She’s taller than you! She’ll throttle you if she sees you!”
The branches beneath them started to shake, and with horror Steve realized that you were coming up after them. To meet your fury in such a narrow space! The nightmarish vision of his anemic body tumbling down in a fatal fall towards the soft dirt at the force of your push startled him into action, and he went back down the tree with the agility of a gymnast.
You reached their branch mere seconds after they had fled it, and when he was in the safety of the undergrowth he glanced up to look at you, if only out of morbid curiosity; he saw that impossibly long body of yours, the eyes of a lynx looking down searchingly with fury. And though you hadn’t seen him, he knew… He knew —
It would probably be for the best if he treated you with extra special care from now on.