I'm Sorry - reigningqueenofwords - Marvel [Archive of Our Own] (2024)

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Worse Chapter Text Chapter 2: A Few Months Chapter Text Chapter 3: Exact Copy Chapter Text Chapter 4: Dada Chapter Text Chapter 5: Marshmallows Chapter Text Chapter 6: Honesty Chapter Text Chapter 7: Heart to Heart Chapter Text Chapter 8: Time Flies Chapter Text Chapter 9: Regrets Chapter Text Chapter 10: Trust Chapter Text Chapter 11: Making It Worse Chapter Text Chapter 12: Coloring Chapter Text Chapter 13: Welcome Back Chapter Text Chapter 14: Cuddles Chapter Text Chapter 15: Hopefully Chapter Text Chapter 16: I'm Fine Chapter Text Chapter 17: Nothing Chapter Text Chapter 18: Us Chapter Text Chapter 19: Iron Man Chapter Text Chapter 20: Girl Time Chapter Text Chapter 21: Nachos Chapter Text Chapter 22: You're Here! Chapter Text Chapter 23: So Sweet Chapter Text Chapter 24: Eventually Chapter Text Chapter 25: Barnes?! Chapter Text Chapter 26: Pedialyte Chapter Text Chapter 27: Go! Chapter Text Chapter 28: Soup Chapter Text Chapter 29: Almost Chapter Text Chapter 30: Cooking with Parker Chapter Text Chapter 31: Haunting Chapter Text Chapter 32: Answers Chapter Text Chapter 33: Not So Sweet Dreams Chapter Text Chapter 34: Not to Me Chapter Text Chapter 35: Wonderful Chapter Text Chapter 36: Let's Do It Chapter Text Chapter 37: Smoothies Chapter Text Chapter 38: You're Okay... Chapter Text Chapter 39: So Tiny! Chapter Text Chapter 40: Tiny Fingers Chapter Text Chapter 41: David's Nap Spot Chapter Text Chapter 42: Nice Butt Chapter Text Chapter 43: Clingy Chapter Text Chapter 44: All Day Chapter Text Chapter 45: More Kisses Chapter Text

Chapter 1: Worse

Chapter Text

Your heart dropped when the door to your cabin opened and it wasn’t Steve standing there. You feared the worst. There stood Bucky, Steve’s best friend, and someone you’d come to call your own, as well. “I’m sorry, doll.”

Your eyes filled with tears. “He didn’t make it?” Your chest literally hurt.

“Worse.” It was killing him to have to stand there and tell you this. Others had offered, but he felt he should be the one to tell you. “He never came back after going to put the stones back in their right times.” He explained. “I-I think he stayed back on purpose.”

“Peggy.” You breathed.

Bucky watched the light leave your eyes, knowing he was witnessing your heart shattering. Walking over to you, he pulled you to him as you broke down. “Let’s get you home.” He said softly.

“Why?” You asked. “I was there because of Steve. “I’m not an Avenger, what’s the point?”

“You’re family.” He said simply. “You can bunk on my floor.” He lifted you as he felt your legs give out and held you as you shook. He never thought he could hate his best friend.

That’s exactly what was happening right at that moment. Should he try to look him up? If he stayed back, he’d be in this time somewhere out there. Deciding against it, he moved to sit with you on the couch.

You didn't know how long you stayed there crying, but soon it was dark and Bucky had packed your bag that you had brought. After being with Steve for years he had left you for someone he’d never actually even dated. What did that say about you, or your relationship? The first chance he got, he left.

“Let’s go, doll. I got you.” Bucky helped you up. “You can rest on the way home.”

You nodded numbly and just followed him. You could no longer feel yourself focusing as time passed. You stared out the window for the entire drive, not saying anything. It felt like an eternity passed between leaving the cabin you had been in, and getting back to the compound. In reality, it was maybe 6 hours.

No one crowded you but all the group was waiting for your return. While the majority were sad and hurt, they felt the anger at Steve for you. You didn’t deserve this, and felt like he had led you on.

Sam came over to hug you. “We’re here for you, sugar.” He promised gently. “Whatever you need.”

“For this to be some sick prank or maybe a nightmare?” Hell, at that point you would have taken being snapped away.

He gave you a sad smile. “I wish it was.” He rubbed your back.

Letting out a sigh, you shrugged. “I think I’m just gonna hop in the shower and try to get some sleep.”

“I told her she could stay on my floor.” Bucky told them. He doubted you would want to walk back into the room you had shared with Steve. Not with all those memories. He’d talk to the others about getting you a new room set up.

You nodded and glanced at Sam. “Can you get me my toiletries bag?” You asked. “Top shelf in the bathroom closet.” When you’d been moved to the cabin, you’d been given a bag with whatever they tossed in it. Your ‘good’ stuff had been here.

“Of course.” Sam nodded, knowing where. “I’ll meet you guys on your floor.” He told Bucky as he jogged off.

Bucky put his arm around your shoulders to led you to his area. You kept your head down as you got to his spare room. “I’m sorry I won’t be the best company.” You told him.

“Hey, you probably know better than anyone that I’m not either.” He said lightly. “I get moody and all that.” He shrugged. “Hell, if you need company in the middle of the night, you can come wake me up.” He promised.

“I’ll probably take you up on that. I’m tired but not sleepy.” You sighed. Honestly, you didn’t think you’d be sleeping well any time soon. “Maybe we can find some movie to watch?” You asked, also not wanting to be alone.

“Course. I’ll find something cheesy.” He promised, hearing the elevator. “I’ll go do that and make you a snack while Sam keeps you company.” He kissed the top of your head before walking away.

“One toiletry bag.” Sam handed it to you. “Need anything else? I make a mean sandwich.” He gave you a smile, hoping to be a bit helpful.

You gave him a sad smile in return. “Maybe in a little bit. We’re gonna watch a movie after. Join us?”

“Sure.” He agreed. “I can do that.” He watched you head to the bathroom before going to find Bucky. He leaned against the counter as the man cut up some apples. “I’m joining you for a movie if that’s cool.” He told him. “Offered to make her a sandwich, too, but I can’t see her taking me up on that.” They were all worried about how you’d be reacting to this over the next few days and weeks.

Bucky nodded. “The more company the better, probably. I’m hoping she eats some of these.” He put the slices in a bowl. “Ya know, I honestly thought about hunting his ass down. If we’re right, and he stayed back on purpose...he’s around somewhere. And, if I know him, he’s still close by.”

Sam nodded. “If you kick his ass, please let me be a part of it.” He got an angry look on his face. “I don’t care if his ass is old or whatever. This was f*cked up.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “He’s had his dick moments, but this? This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen him do.”

Bucky chuckled dryly. “Same here. I don’t know who he is anymore after this.”

Sam huffed. “I mean who leaves a perfectly good relationship? That girls amazing and he ditched her for some rando.” He shook his head. “Who in the hells leaves after what? 6 years? 7? Then again, with him not proposing or anything maybe we should have guessed something was up with him.” He was obviously pissed. “She deserved better.” He stated the obvious.

“Thanks, Sam.” You said from the entryway. “I know he was your friend but thank you for understanding my side.” You sniffled. Your wet hair was pulled into a loose ponytail at the nape of your neck. “So, Bucky, did you think of a movie?” You asked softly.

Bucky looked over as he heard his door open, expecting you. Instead he saw Sam. You and Bucky had been watching movies on Fridays since you’d come back, even after being moved into your own room. Sam joined once in a while, too. “You seen Y/N?” Sam asked. “Was gonna ask if she wanted some takeout for tonight’s movie.”

“No…” Bucky shook his head. “She was supposed to be here like ten minutes ago.”

“Hmm. Should I go check in?” He asked. “See if she’s alright? I thought she was doing better, but it could be a bad day?”

“Yeah, lemme know?” Bucky asked. “If she’s not in her room, check with Banner. Sometimes she just hangs out with him. She likes the peace.”

“Will do.” He assured and went to find you, checking your room. When he found the door still closed, he gave a soft knock. “Sugar?” He tried.

“She is out on her balcony, sir.” Came FRIDAY’s voice.

“Can I go join her?” He didn’t know if you gave anyone access.

After a moment, he heard the door unlock. “You may.

He went in and went outside with you. “Just me.” Though he figured you knew that. “Went to watch a movie with you guys and Bucky said you were supposed to be there 10 minutes ago.” He said softly. “Bad day?”

You swallowed, looking down at your hands. “I’m pregnant, Sam.” You said softly. “I took a test last week, had an appointment today. I’m about 16 weeks along.”

He blinked. “sh*t.” He said softly. “I’m so sorry.” He took your hands. “We’re here for you, no matter what.” He couldn’t even begin to imagine how you were feeling. You’d been back less than 3 weeks, which meant he doubted you had even finally processed what Steve did. Now you’d have a tiny reminder of what was gone.

You sniffled. “Thank you. I’m glad I have you guys.” You leaned against him. “I’m terrified.”

He held you. “I bet you are.” He whispered. “Everything went okay at the doctors? One of us coulda gone with you.” He rubbed your back. “You didn’t have to go alone.”

“I’ll be a single mom. Might as well get used to doing things alone.”

He frowned and pulled back. “Hey, now. You’re not alone. What am I?” He said playfully.

“A busy Avenger?” You countered, raising your eyebrow at him.

He sighed. “I know it’s a rough promise to make, but I would like to be here for you. I know any of us would. You’re family, and the new peanut will be, too.” He knew Wanda and Pepper would instantly be excited, too. He’d never seen banner with a kid, so that’d be interesting. “That’ll be the safest kid on the planet next to Morgan.”

You shrugged and looked down again. “Until you guys get tired.” You would have a lot of trouble believing anyone would stick around now.

Sam didn’t know how to convince you that he’d stay, but he’d do his best. All he could do was take it day by day. “Well, if we’re not away on a mission, I’d like to go with you to your appointments, okay?” The thought of you going alone bothered him.

You chewed on your lip. “Okay, only if you want.” You agreed. “Just tell me if you change your mind?” You asked.

“I will but it won’t happen. You got me excited already.” He smiled. “When do you find out what you’re having?” He hoped to keep your mood up.

“In a month, I think.” You nodded. “Something like that.” You shrugged. “I kinda just got my next appointment made without paying too much attention. Cards in my purse.” You admitted. “I’ll let you know.”

He nodded at that. “I’ll make sure I can be there.” He promised. “Now, you wanna go watch that movie, or have FRIDAY let him know we’re skipping tonight?”

You played with your shirt. “Think Bucky will be mad if I don’t go? I don’t want to hurt his feelings.” That was the last thing that you wanted. You’d go out of your way to make sure you didn’t hurt any of them.

“Nah.” He gave your hand a squeeze. “He’s not like that. We’ll just have FRIDAY tell him you want a quiet night, okay? Have you had dinner?”

You shook your head. “I had some crackers earlier.” Then again, you weren’t show how much earlier that actually was.

Sam shook his head. “Nope, that’s not enough.” He got up, tugging you with him. “How about you go relax and I’ll get us some take out. You craving anything? Chinese? Thai? Pizza? Subs? Burgers?”

“Oh, there’s this burger place that has the best curly fries.” You found yourself getting excited about it. “Maybe that? Do they deliver?”

He grinned. “If not, I’ll go get it. Want extra fries?”

You nodded. “Please. So I don’t steal yours.” You blushed lightly. “I’ll go see if they deliver, okay?”

“Sure. I’ll grab us drinks. I’ll make sure to get you your favorite. I hid them from Clint.” He looked proud at that, even more so when you smiled up at him. “And I’ll let FRIDAY know to let Bucky know we’ll see him next week.”

“Thank you, Sam.” You smiled again and pulled out your phone to call the place up.

Sam watched you for a minute before heading into the hall. He hoped that he could help you through all the healing that you had to do.

Chapter 2: A Few Months

Chapter Text

As he had expected, everyone was excited for the newest addition to the compound, but understood when you just had those bad days. They were to be expected, of course. You were 21 weeks when Sam went with you to find out if you were having a boy or a girl. You had never seen him so excited about anything. Even when his wings would get a tune up. Wanda, Bruce, and Bucky voted girl. Clint, Laura, Scott, and Pepper voted boy. Parker couldn’t decide. You texted him to check in a couple times a week and he changed his mind a couple times a day. It was cute. Although you wished that you had a way to tell Thor and Carol. You missed them both.

“A girl would be cute. I’d do tea parties and all that stuff. But a boy would be too, I could show the little man how to be a strapping fella.” He said as he waited with you. Of course the other mothers would look over now and then- it wasn’t like anyone expected The Falcon to be there. “I think either would be great, because they have you as a mom.”

You smiled at him. “You’re so excited. Thank you.” You told him. “Your optimism has been helpful through all this.”

“I’m glad. I really am excited. Babies are cute.” He shrugged. “I’ll be their favorite and we can prank Barnes.” You chuckled, making him happy. He tried his best to make you smile and laugh. He was there for the good and bad.

When you got called back, he helped you on the table. He held your hand as the tech put the gel on your stomach, and his eyes were on the screen, eager to get to see the baby. You watched him for a moment before looking at the tech.

“Everything’s looking good for you mama. And baby.” They smiled. “Do we want to find out what we’re having today?” They asked as they took pictures of various body parts.

“Please.” You and Sam said together.

“Great.” They smiled. “Any guesses?” They asked as they looked.

You chuckled. “I have no idea.” You smiled.

Sam was beaming. “I’ll go with girl, why not?” He gave your hand a squeeze.

“Well, looks like you’re having a little boy.” They smiled. “Healthy. I’ll take pictures.”

The others were waiting for the two of you to get home, and had to wait a little longer because he treated you to lunch.

Bucky was bouncing as you returned. “Tell me first.” He begged. “Please?”

You laughed. “How about I tell you all at once?” You suggested.

Sam stood off to the side, grinning as you told them. He was beyond excited, and could tell the others were, too. “Tell me. Did Sam cry when he saw them on screen?” Clint smirked.

While he teared up, you didn’t tell his secret. “I did.” You chuckled. “Especially at his little feet.”

“How cute.” Clint smiled.

“His?!” Bucky yelled. “You’re having a boy?!” He was very excited.

Laughing, you nodded. “I am. I’m having a little boy, and no I don’t know what I’m naming him just yet. I have a few ideas, though.”

“James. We all know.” Bucky nodded.

“Clint has a better ring to it.” Clint shook his head.

Soon the guys were playfully bickering over who’s name would be best. “And what if she wants a male version of Wanda?” Wanda chimed in, making you laugh.

“We’ll call him Wand.” You giggled. You felt hopeful at the moment.

Bruce laughed, shaking his head. He kept quiet, honestly just enjoying seeing everyone so happy. Part of him was a little worried about his size, but he had time.

Sam was at the store, getting you a quick snack of grapes and ice cream. He headed towards the front when something caught his eye. He smirked and grabbed it before checking out. He had become the one you went to when it was late and you were having a craving. He didn’t mind at all, and felt happy that you had opened yourself up to him a bit. You were currently about 30 weeks pregnant, and he hoped that you were seeing he really would be there for you.

He walked into your area a bit later. “I got a surprise.” He sang.

You looked over at him after muting the tv. “How are you so awake at 1 am?” You teased.

“I got a sugar rush from the candy bar I snagged on my way out. Close your eyes.” He held his hand behind his back. “Please?” He playfully pouted as you raised an eyebrow. Finally, you did. He placed the Falcon plushie he had found into your hand.

Opening your eyes, you melted. “It’s so cute!” You teared up. “I love it!” You hugged it to you. “Thank you.” You got up to hug him, as well.

He hugged you gently. “Now I’ll always be there with you even if I’m on a mission or long day doing paperwork.” He chuckled.

“That’s so cute. And I’ll put him in the baby’s room when I don’t need him because you’re here.” You smiled.

“You still gotta name him, sweetheart.” He teased. “You’re due in like two and a half months. That’s not a lot of time.”

You pouted. “That’s plenty of time, thank you.” You poked him. “Let’s get some ice cream and I’ll tell you some of my names.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He smiled, widening his eyes when he felt the kick against his middle. Up until then, he’d been the only onenotto have felt him. “Was that him?!” He gasped. “Finally?!” He had been trying to feel him.

“He’s been getting stronger.” You giggled as your son rolled in your stomach.

He knelt. “He sure is. Hi, buddy! Does this mean you like me?” He had his hands in your stomach. “Or you gonna go back to avoiding me?”

You watched him fondly as he spoke to him. It was beyond heartwarming. “I’m sure you’ll feel him more as time goes on.”

“I hope so. I want him to like me.” He said almost sadly as he stood back up.

“He’ll love you.” You gave his arm a squeeze. “Now, ice cream, baby names, and maybe some tv until we nod off?”

He nodded. “Sounds perfect.” He had been spending the night in your room for some time now. Bucky joked that the two of you were a couple but neither saw it.

Bucky quickly got you some tea as you whined. “Maybe this will help?” He hoped. “Or do you need anything else?” He asked. “I can see if Banner has anything.”

You shook your head. “If you could make me dilate faster that’d be great.” You told him.

“Sorry doll, not magic.” He said sincerely. “And I don’t think he can, either.”

You nodded. “I’m hoping he’ll come by the morning.” You sniffled. “This sucks, Bucky.” You told him honestly. And Sam was currently relaxing because they got back from a mission hours before you went into labor. He’d taken his share of hits and needed the rest.

“I know.” He ran a hand through your hair. “Well, I don’t know. But I’m here. I was hoping the little guy would come easily.” He sat with you. “Want me to try to rub your back? Isn’t that supposed to help or somethin’?”

“Maybe.” He helped you sit up better. The warmth of his hand did end up helping your lower back pain. “I wish we would have thought of this an hour ago.” You muttered, letting your head fall forward.

“My brain is slow.” He chuckled. “I’m glad I’m being useful.” He smiled. “Hopefully he comes soon and then we can all see how cute he is. And you can finally tell us his name.”

You smiled as you closed your eyes. “Hopefully you all like it.” You mused. “Sam says it’s a good name.”

“He’d like anything you’d pick.” He chuckled. Everyone saw how Sam looked at you. He knew he didn’t want to pressure you though. He blinked when you leaned back against him and hummed when he saw you asleep. He hoped that you got at least some rest before getting further into your labor. He held you and played on his phone quietly. He didn’t mind being there one bit. Hearing the door a bit later, he looked over to see Sam. “Hey.” He said softly, smirking when he got a glare in return. Sam wished he had been the one to come hold you.

“Hey.” Sam crossed his arms. “How’s she doing?”

“Her back was hurting so I rubbed it until she fell asleep.” Bucky nodded. “She’s been asleep about twenty minutes.”

“Mm.” He nodded. “Hopefully by morning…” He said softly, going to sit down.

“She’ll be happy to know you look more rested.” Bucky smiled. “She mentioned you like the little guy’s name.”

“I do. A lot.” Sam admitted. “I was surprised she told me and not you guys.”

“I’m not.” Bucky chuckled.

“Why?” Sam asked. He stared at his friend. “You’re all her family, too.”

Bucky shook his head. “I think you’re a bit more special to her.” He said easily. “When’s the last time you slept in your own room?”

Sam thought about it. “A few months…” He shrugged, thinking nothing of it. “You’re here a lot, too.”

“Not like you, man.” Bucky grinned. “It’s okay. I approve.” He told him. “I trust you with them.” He looked at him seriously. “I know you won’t leave for someone else.” His voice was soft. “You know I’d tell you to back off if I felt otherwise.”

Sam looked down at you and nodded. “I’d never leave her. Them.” He added, seeing your son pretty much as his, even if he’d never tell you that. He didn’t want to risk scaring you.

“I can tell you care.” Bucky smiled. “We all can.”

He sighed. “I love her and Owen a lot.”

Bucky bit his lip to stop himself from smiling so big. Feeing you shift, he looked towards you. “Doll?”

“Hurts.” You mumbled, sitting up. “So much.” You whined, gripping his leg.

Bucky felt your grip and knew they had to get you going.

Chapter 3: Exact Copy

Chapter Text

Everyone stood when Sam came out. He had told them when Owen was born without slipping the name quite yet. Now that he was out here a second time, he gave them a sad look. “She’s a bit down. Hoping you guys can cheer her up now that you can visit.” He shoved his hands in his pockets.

Clint furrowed his brows. “What’s wrong?” Sure, Laura had been tired after having the kids, but never really ‘down’.

Bruce sat up, worried. “Is everything medically okay?” He asked.

“Physically she’s fine...I mean for just giving birth.” He sighed. “He looks like him.”

Bucky sagged, having been worried about that. “M’sure an exact copy, huh?” He asked, earning a nod from Sam. “Hopefully we can cheer her up.” Him and Wanda went in first. “Hey there. How’s our nephew?” He asked, his heart aching when he saw the pain in your eyes.

“He’s perfect. Just...a mini Steve.” You choked out. It was hitting you all over that he’d left you after so long. It felt so fresh again, like you hadn’t felt hopeful over the last few months, or like you could feel healed. Your heart felt crushed all over again. You barely felt Wanda take Owen before covering your face and crying. While you had hoped to one day have a family with Steve, that hope had waned in the five years since the snap. The joke was on you. You got part of the family, but the father didn’t even want you. He left for someone else who wasn’t even from your time. He had to travel back and he still chose her. Someone who he had never held at night. Someone who he never took out on romantic dates. No, he chose someone who was clearly so much better. You wondered if he had already proposed to her in his time. Did he want a family with her?

Bucky sat next to you and pulled you close, rethinking his choice to not hunt down his former best friend. He felt your body shake with sobs, similar to those that first day that he had told you the news. He looked at Wanda who was gently rocking the newborn.

She gave him a sad smile, knowing they’d all be there for you once more. Her eyes went back to Owen, who shifted slightly before starting to cry. “Oh, honey.” She rocked him.

You sniffled and tried to pull yourself together to try and feed him. “Come here, baby boy.” You breathed, taking him. “I’m here.”

“How about we go get something for you to eat?” Wanda offered.

“Okay.” You nodded, knowing you had to keep your strength. “And more water if you can?” You asked. “Extra ice?”

She nodded, coming over to give you a side hug. “Of course.” She agreed. “Want me to send Sam back in?”

You nodded. “Sorry you didn’t get to spend more time with him.” You said softly.

“Don’t be. You guys live with us. We’ll get lots of time with the little guy.” She assured you.

“Thank you.” You smiled gratefully. At least you and Owen had them.

Shuffling out of your room, you paused to see Sam sleeping on the couch. Next to him was the playpen, and in it was your two month old son. You smiled slightly and crouched so you could eye Owen. You looked back at Sam and watched him. You teared up as you realized how much he had done for the both of you, and how much you’d come to love him. From the very beginning he’d been there, through the good and bad. He loved Owen, you could see it. You had pictures of Sam baby wearing Owen on the days where the infant just didn’t want to be put down. They were your favorite.

When you sniffled, Sam shifted. He slowly cracked an eye, looking at you sleepily. “What’s wrong?” He asked, worried.

You shook your head. “Nothing.” You wiped your eyes. “Want me to make you some coffee?”

“Not ‘til you tell me what’s on your mind.” He shifted to be eye level with you. “You wouldn’t be all teary eyed and sniffing if something wasn’t up.”

You shrugged and looked down. “Was just feeling bad about your back and all. Maybe you can stay with me?” You suggested.

He smiled softly. “I am staying with you.” He pointed out. “I’m here more than my own place.”

“But maybe not on the couch?” You focused your eyes on the couch material. “You can use my bed, too?”

He raised his eyebrows. “Yeah? You’re cool with that?” He didn’t want you feeling like youhadto do that.

Licking your lips, you nodded. “Yeah, I am.”

He nodded slowly. “Okay. We’ll do that tonight?” He sat up, rolling his shoulders. He was trying to hide that he was looking forward to that.

You smiled shyly. “Can’t wait.” You wanted to tell him your feelings but you were terrified. Baby steps was all you could do. “How about you go take a hot shower and relax? I got the little guy.”

“Okay. I’ll bring back a snack when I come back.” He stood and squeezed your shoulder. “Any requests?”

“Maybe some almonds if we have?” You stared back at Owen. He stretched in his sleep, making you smile softly. “If not, some fruit?”

“You got it.” He smiled, in a good mood now that he got to sleep next to you that night. He made his way to what was technically his area, but that he rarely used.

He was on his way back to you an hour later when he was alerted to a mission. “Ugh.” He sighed. He rushed to see you before he would get his gear.

You looked over when he came in, feeding Owen. “I’m sorry. I have to head out.” He sighed. “I don’t want to leave you or the little man, but I’ll try and text okay?” He promised, crouching next to you. He could see the fear in your eyes. “Iwillcome home.”

You nodded. “Please. We both want you to.” You said softly. “We love having you here.”

“I love being here.” He responded easily. Leaning over, he kissed your forehead. “Movie when I get home?”

“I’ll have it set up.” You smiled, watching him say goodbye to Owen. A moment later, he was walking out the door to get geared up and go save part of the world again.

You watched Owen sleep, hoping to hear from FRIDAY that your family was back soon. They had only been gone four days, but it felt like so much longer. You watched the city as you decided to walk around for a moment, hoping to grow closer with Sam once he returned. Despite your fear, you told yourself that he had shown how much he cared for the two of you. Pulling out your phone, you looked at your background. A picture of Sam with Owen sleeping on his chest, and he was looking at the infant with pure love. It warmed your heart every time. You trusted Sam with everything.

Taking a deep breath, you texted him.I miss you.Hopefully he would see it soon.

It surprised you when he responded.I miss you more.

“Miss. It appears they are on their way back to the compound.” FRIDAY announced.

Grinning, you went to gently scoop up Owen to go meet them. He snuggled to you easily and you hoped the tiny baby would help brighten any moods that weren’t the best. You had no idea how the mission went.

You waited behind the glass as you watched everyone saunter out of the aircraft. Everyone seemed to be without any major injuries. Seeing Sam, you smiled. Him and Bucky were shoving at each other, so you knew things were alright. You rushed to the doors and held up Owen as he wiggled slightly. “Welcome home!”

He beamed. “There’s my favorite people.”

“Rude.” Bucky huffed as he kissed your head. “Hi, doll. Hi, buddy.” He gently tapped Owen’s foot. “Hope you were good for your mom.”

You giggled. “His routine stayed the same, thankfully. Are you guys alright?” You looked over your family before your eyes stayed in Sam. “You can hold him after a shower.” You chuckled as it was clear he wanted to cuddle Owen.

“Gonna run and do that shower then.” He grinned and jogged off. He had missed getting to hold the little boy.

Bucky shook his head. “Man missed you guys.” He told you. “A lot.”

You smiled shyly. “We missed him, too.” You said as Wanda came over to fawn over Owen. “I’m glad you’re all home and safe now.”

“His little booties.” She coo’d making Bucky chuckle. “I call baby cuddles at dinner!”

Bucky nodded in agreement. “I want some eventually, too.” He playfully whined. “Maybe we can all watch a movie tonight and I can cuddle him?”

“Deal.” You smiled, loving that they all loved Owen so much. “Now go relax. You deserve it. I’ll make dinner about 5.” You gave them each a side hug. “Clint, why don’t you have Laura and the kids come for the night?”

“I might. Hopefully she’ll agree.” He nodded. “I’ll throw in Owen if you don’t mind.” He chuckled. “She loves babies.”

You chuckled. “I don’t mind at all.”

“Great.” He smiled. “See you guys then.” He went his own way.

Bruce gave you a smile, rubbing his large thumb over Owen’s head. “He helps keep the other guy happy.” He told you softly. While, yes, they worked together, he was always worried. Something about the infant helped both him, and the Hulk, remain calm.

Laura said she would drive up the next day, and they would stay for two days. You had also texted Pepper to check in with her, and sent your love to her and Morgan. That meant you only had to cook for everyone else. Sam currently had dibs on Owen and cuddled him as you began cooking. “I feel bad that I’m not helping.” He stated.

You looked at him and smiled. “You’re keeping him very happy. That’s helping.” You assured him. “And I’ll steal a shower later… while you watch him.”

“Alright.” He rubbed his back and watched you. “So...how much did you miss me?” He gave you a playful smirk.

Blushing, you looked back at the food. “A lot.” You admitted. “How much did you miss us?”

“Well, you and Owen were probably on my mind ninety percent of the time.” He grinned. “The other part was fighting with Barnes and the mission.”

“Why were you fighting?” You asked, concerned. “Do I need to put you each in time out?” You teased.

Sam chuckled, knowing it was majority of Bucky telling him to go for it with you. “Playful bickering is all.” He explained. “Told him he needs to get laid.” He chuckled. “I wasn’t wrong.”

You giggled at that. “Does he, though?” You glanced at him.

“Yeah! That can fix any bad mood.” He laughed softly. “He might be an old man, but he’s still human.” He noted.

You shook your head. “You’re adorable.” You told him, putting some things together. “Maybe the two of you can go out to a bar or something one night.” You suggested. “Have a guys night with Scott and Clint.” You doubted that Bruce would want to join in.

“Yeah, maybe.” He agreed, looking down at Owen. “I’d rather spend my nights with you guys, though.”

“That’s why you go out for an hour or two, and then come home. You do a lot for me and Owen, on top of saving the world. You deserve some time to relax and enjoy yourself.” You said lovingly.

“I am a good wingman.” He nodded after a moment. “Clint and I can do that.” He noted. “Sure the boys would like a night out.” Not like he had plans to hook up with anyone. That was definitely not in his radar.

“And Scott is a good cheer leader. I’m sure some women would flock to that. Might help Bucky out.” You didn’t really want to ask if Sam would be into participating in finding someone. You didn’t think you could handle that if he did want someone that night.

“Yeah with all of us, Barnes has to findsomeonehe likes enough.” He shrugged. “Won’t have to worry about the rest of us, so it won’t be a handful of guys looking for someone.”

You smiled a bit to yourself while your back was to him. That was nice to hear.

Chapter 4: Dada

Chapter Text

Dinner had been enjoyable, and you were happy your family was home. Sam had pouted when it was Wanda’s turn to cuddle Owen, which you thought was adorable. However, halfway through dinner, you had to feed him. After that Sam went back to holding him, even though you said he could hang out in his little chair. “He might have forgotten me in those four days.” Sam argued cutely, making Wanda and Bucky smirk at each other. “Gotta make sure I stay his favorite.”

“No one will steal that title from you, buddy.” Bucky chuckled. “Can we do that movie tomorrow night, doll?” He asked. “Thinking about crashing earlier.” And he knew Sam wanted some time with you.

You nodded. “Of course. Laura and the kids will be here, too. So maybe I’ll run out and get some snacks.”

“I’ll help when you do that.” Wanda smiled, standing to turn in as well. “We can get some Starbucks while we’re out.”

“Perfect.” You beamed. “Thank you.” You stood, giving everyone a hug goodnight. “Sleep well. You all deserve it.” You smiled as they all said goodnight to Owen, too. He was beyond loved. “If you want to go relax in my room with him, I’ll clean all this up before my shower.” You told Sam.

“Or we can leave these and turn in early? I’ll help you in the morning.” He promised. “Come on.” He held out his free hand for you.

You looked at the dishes before taking his hand. “Okay.” You agreed shyly. He led you back to your room, which was really his now, too. He gently laid down Owen in his crib so he could get changed for bed. “I’ll go change in the bathroom.” You told him softly.

“If that’s what makes you comfortable.” He nodded. After the birth of Owen, which he was honored to be there for, he hoped you’d be comfortable around him in all aspects. But he never pushed. He would let you go at your own pace.

You nodded and shyly went to get ready for bed. It didn’t take you too long, both of you doing your separate routines. You brushed out your hair as you sat on the side of the bed. You looked up as Sam joined you and he sat by you, offering his hand. Blushing, you set your brush down and took it. This was the first time that you’d shared a bed in any way since before hiding in that cabin.

He smiled softly. “I was so excited to come home knowing that I got to spend time in here with you.” He patted the bed with his free hand. “Even if we’re just relaxing.”

You smiled at him. “I was excited too. Though, I might be a bit nervous.” You admitted.

“Why? It’s just me.” He gave your hand a squeeze.

You shrugged. “I don’t want to mess up...or I don’t know...turn you off in anyway…” You looked down. You surprised yourself by saying that out loud. “I’m afraid to lose you.”

He watched you for a moment. “You won’t lose me. I’m not going anywhere.” Sam’s voice was soft. He knew this fear came from what Steve did, and wouldn’t hold that against you. “I know you’re scared, but I promise I’ll do what I can to show you this is where I wanna be.”

You looked at him. “I really do trust you.” You said honestly. “Especially with Owen.” You added, as he was the most important part of your life.

“I’m glad.” He stared at you. “Because I love that little guy so damn much.”

You smiled widely. “He loves you.” You said happily.

“I’m glad.” He reached up to cup your cheek. “I think his mama is pretty damn great, too.” His thumb brushed your skin gently.

You warmed. “I think you’re great. So great.” You put your hand over his.

Sam’s heart was racing but he leaned in anyway. He’d wanted to kiss you for some time now, and hoped that you didn’t push you away.

You gasped softly but moved in before either of you changed your mind. You closed your eyes, your heart hammering in your chest.

Sam smiled as you shared a sweet kiss. He pulled back just a bit. “This okay?” He asked softly. When you nodded his face lit up. “Great.” He muttered before kissing you again. The both of you sharing a few more pecks before getting under the covers, automatically snuggling together. He wrapped his arms around you as you buried yourself in his chest. “Night, sweetheart.” He whispered.

Sam grinned as he stepped off the plan to see you with Owen on your hip. The nearly toddler squealed when he saw his daddy. Crouching, you set him down to go to Sam. He had started walking just the day before. Sam beamed as he ran into his arms. “My big boy!” He lifted him up, feeling very proud. “Oh, you’re getting too big!” He hugged him as he went to greet you. “Hey, babe.”

“Welcome home.” You pecked his lips. “We missed you. I had a sad baby missing his daddy at bedtime.” You rubbed Owen’s back as he had his head on Sam’s shoulder.

“Awe, buddy.” He kissed his head. “I’m home now.”

“We’re chopped meat.” Bucky told Clint as they passed.

You chuckled. “I’m sure once he’s gotten his cuddles he’ll want to play with his uncles.”

“We’ll be ready!” Clint smiled. “You know where to find us.” He said before everyone made their ways to their areas.

“I can’t believe he’s waking!” Sam pouted as he sat on the couch with Owen. “He’s growing up too fast!” He loved getting to help raise him, but he felt like he had binked and he went from holding a newborn to an almost toddler. Soon he’d be talking fully. Letting out a sigh, he looked over at you. “Make him stay small?”

You giggled. “I would if I could.” You moved to cuddle with him, running your hand through Owen’s hair. “But I love watching him learn new things. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, so I’m very happy.”

“Yeah?” He smiled. “You’re a great mom. I’m happy you allowed me to help with that.” He complimented you. “It’s been amazing. Even those nights where he just won’t go to sleep and gets cranky.” That happened just the week before. It had not been a fun night for anyone.

You kissed his chest. “You’re so helpful. I’m glad I have you. We have you.” You loved Sam so much, and were thankful you got to sleep next to him every night. “Family day tomorrow?”

“Please.” He smiled. “Maybe the park and lunch?” He suggested. “Then maybe see if someone wants to watch him tomorrow night so I can take my girl on a date?”

You beamed. “I’d really like that.” You kissed his jaw. “I love our dates.” Sam really loved to spoil you with his time and love. “I like getting alone time with you, too.” You flirted.

He grinned. “Oh, do you?” He teased. “I love our alone time.” He agreed. “I am looking forward to some tonight.” You giggled when he wiggled his eyebrows. “I need to show you how much I missed you.” He kissed the top of your head, chuckling when Owen patted his cheek. “Don’t worry, little man. We’ll get our bedtime in.” That was something he only missed when away on missions. No matter how tired he was from the day, he got bedtime in with his little man.

You were building blocks with Owen while Sam got a juice box for him. You loved getting time with him, and he giggled up a storm when he made his little tower fall, brightening your day. He clapped and got a block when Sam walking in, holding it out. “Dada!” He wiggled.

Sam beamed and crouched. “Yay buddy!” He chuckled emotionally. “I’m your daddy.” He nodded, holding out his hand for a high five. Bucky had taught Owen, and Owen loved giving out high fives. Almost as much as he loved hugs. Owen squealed and gave one back, lifting his arms up.

You smiled as you watched but found yourself biting your cheek. It was making you very emotional, and making your old fears bubble up. If you lost Sam, so would Owen. And of course you always knew it, but having him now be vocal shoved it in your face. Would Sam leave one day too? It was taking a lot of self control to not panic.

Owen snuggled to Sam, drinking from his juice box. Neither him nor Sam noticed you staying somewhat quiet for the rest of the evening. When it came time for bedtime, you told Sam you wanted to take a walk for a few, then when you got back you wanted to curl up and watch a movie. In reality, you planned to go talk to Bucky. You hoped he wasn’t busy.

Bucky happily opened the door when he was alerted you were visiting. When he saw your face, his smile fell. “What’s wrong?” He let you in, shutting the door once you were inside.

You hugged yourself. “I’m getting worried about being left alone again.” You told him. “Owen called Sam ‘dada’ today. And it was so damn cute. It was just a huge slap in the face that if I lose Sam...Owen will, too.” You teared up. “I’m torn. I feel like an ass because I don’t think Sam is anything like Steve, but hell, I didn’t think Steve was like that, either!” It hurt to say all this out loud.

Bucky nodded in understanding. “It feels scary.” He said softly. “You’re not an ass. I know Sam understands the scars Steve left you emotionally.” He assured you. “And I know that he thinks the world of you. When you were sleeping on me before you had Owen, he said he’d never leave the two of you. That he loved you both. And that was with just him being there as a good friend.” Your eyebrows went up, as you didn’t know that. “He’d give up being the Falcon before ever leaving you guys.” He said seriously. “You know I wouldn’t let him get involved if I didn’t think he’d be there for you and my nephew.”

Hearing that he thought Sam would rather give up being the Falcon than leave the two of you really hit you. He loved what he did. You sniffled and leaned into Bucky. “I know he’s a good man. I just worry…” You sighed.

Rubbing your back, he hoped that this helped. “Talk to him, doll.” He urged you. “I’m sure he can show you better than I can that he loves you.”

You nodded. “Thank you, Bucky.” You gave him a squeeze. “I’m gonna start heading back. Either Sam is keeping Owen up because he’s doing silly voices, or he’s actually got him to sleep.”

“Good luck.” He kissed your head and smiled. He knew the two of you would get past this. “And I’d like some Owen time soon. Maybe take him to the park or somethin’.”

“He’d love some time with his Uncle Bucky.” You smiled. “Just let me know when.

Sam was sitting on the couch when you got back and looked over when the door opened. “You okay, sweetheart?” He asked, getting up.

You nodded. “There was just something I wanted to talk to you about…” You started. “Nothing bad, really! I promise.” You quickly added, not wanting him to think you were breaking up with him or anything.

“Well that’s good.” He chuckled and held your hands in his. “Talk to me, sweetheart.” He said gently.

Licking your lips, you sighed. “I went to talk to Bucky because hearing Owen call you dada kinda made me panic. I think part of me will always be afraid to lose you like...that.” You looked down, feeling bad. “But it was like a slap to the face that if I lose you, so does Owen. And that scares me. I don’t think youwould, I’m not saying that.” You felt like you were rambling. “I don’t think you’re anything like him, but I didn’t think he was like that either.” You huffed slightly, upset with yourself.

He gently kissed your forehead. “Thank you for telling me.” The tone of his voice was calming, which helped you a lot.

You looked up at him, your eyes watery. “You aren’t mad?”

“No.” He said with a smile. “How can I be mad for you being honest?” He kissed your nose. “I’m sorry you’re worried, though.” Wrapping his arms around you, he held you close. “I can only tell you how much I love you and Owen.” Pulling away, he smiled at you. “Wait here.”

You nodded and watched him go, happy that you didn’t upset him. You were curious, however, what he had up his sleeve.

He jogged back in and looked shy as he held out his palm to you, showing a box. “I’ve had this for a few months, and planned on trying to plan something perfect.” He told you. “But it feels right to ask you now. Will you marry me?”

“Sam!” You widened your eyes, tearing up all over again. “You want to marry me?” You asked, clearly surprised.

He chuckled. “Who else would I want to be Mrs. Falcon?” He asked playfully. “That’s the biggest job of all.” He chuckled.

Pulling him to you, you kissed him lovingly. “Of course I’ll marry you, Sam!” You giggled.

He grinned. “Hell, yes. I love you.” He kissed all over your face. He lifted you and spun you slightly, very excited. “I’m so happy.”

“I love you, too.” You beamed. “I can’t wait to be your wife.” You managed. “Never, in a million years, would I have guessed you’d propose.”

“I had to make sure you’re stuck with me.” He teased. “But, really. I love you and Owen so much, I just was excited when I thought about marrying you. I couldn’t justnotbe your husband.” He told you. “I get to wake up next to you every morning, and I love that. Well, except when I’m stuck waking up next to Barnes on missions.” He joked, making you laugh. “I also want us to have the awesomest wedding ever.” That’s what you deserved. The best.

You cupped his cheek and pecked his lips again. “You’re perfect, ya know that?” You said. “And, I know we’ve never really talked about it…” You started, butterflies in your stomach. “Do we want more kids one day?”

He grinned. “Only if it’s alright with you.” Of course he’d want more kids with you! “If you’re done after Owen, then I’m more than okay with that, too.”

You smiled. “I’m okay with planning for more. You’re an amazing dad.” Which was an understatement. “I’m really looking forward to seeing where our life takes us.”

“Same here, sugar.” He held you close, loving that he finally put a ring on your finger. “How about we go get some of those cookies you made, watch a movie, and then go celebrate?” He suggested.

“Or we can skip the movie and cookies and get straight to celebrating?” You bit your lip.

“Yeah. Let’s do your idea.” He kissed you. Surprising you, he lifted your bridal style. “Your idea is much better.”

“They tend to be.” You teased, kissing his jaw. “You make me so happy.” He’d help you heal so much since you’d come back. “I’m glad I came here instead of going off on my own.”

“Me, too. I wouldn’t have the best woman on the planet or our amazing son.” He said proudly. “Or any of our future kids. Life would be boring and lonely.”

You really believed him. It was amazing to feel loved by this man. And now you got to plan a wedding! Once in your room, he gently set you down. “Thank you for being you.” You said before pulling his shirt over his head.

He beamed and gave you a tender kiss. “Thank you, babe.”

Chapter 5: Marshmallows

Chapter Text

You and Sam decided to focus on getting married, then expanding your family, and possibly buying a house. Owen was now two and a half, and the wedding was in three months. You were worried a mission would mess that up, but they all promised to make sure that didn’t happen. Pretty much everything had been planned, just the details left.

Owen was with Wanda for a few hours, giving you and Sam time together. “Is it bad I can’t decide if I want to nap, watch a movie, or what?” You chuckled.

“Nope.” He said easily. “I suggest napping though.” Owen kept them on their toes. “Come on, let’s get some sleep.” He tugged you towards your shared bedroom.

You didn’t know how tired you were until you fell asleep seconds after laying down. Sam had figured, Owen had been tiring everyone out lately. Not that he would ever complain, and he looked forward to doing it at least once more. He couldn’t wait until you both started trying. Once the two of you were back from your honeymoon, he would ask if you had a time you’d like to try for. He watched you sleep for a moment before falling asleep himself.

Bucky was going between doors, trying to be there for you and Sam. And keep Owen semi amused while Sam got him ready. Kidhatedhis suit.

Bucky had been honored when you asked him to walk you down the aisle. It’d be the best thing he’d ever done. He couldn’t wait to see the pictures that would come from today. Wanda was your maid of honor, of course. Owen was your ring bearer, Morgan was the flower girl, and Clint was Sam’s best man. Everyone was thrilled to be a part of it.

You called out to Bucky once you were ready and Wanda helped you into your shoes. You were so excited to start your life as Mrs.

Bucky got himself ready to walk you before stepping in. “Whoa, doll. You look beautiful.” He complimented you. “You’re gonna take Sam’s breath away.”

“Thanks.” You beamed up at him. “You look nice in a suit.” It was very rare to see any of them all dressed up. “You should wear it more often.” You chuckled.

“What, just lounging around the compound?” He laughed.

“Yes. A change of scenery.” Wanda smiled. She looped her arm with yours. “Now, let’s get them married!”

Owen watched you and Sam share your vows and pouted. “Mama cry.” He told his Uncle. He sniffed, feeling upset that you were crying.

Bucky crouched, lifted him up. “It’s okay, buddy. She’s really happy.” He whispered.

“Happy cry?” He asked.

“Yeah.” He smiled and nodded.

“Okay.” He snuggled to him and played with his suit lapel. If Bucky said it was okay, than it was okay. He clapped when everyone else clapped, smiling. “Yay!” He said as you and Sam looked at him. He wiggled down to run to you, putting his arms out to be lifted.

You lifted him with ease and smiled. “Hi baby!” You kissed his cheek. “You look so handsome.” You told him. “Wanna go have some fun and have some cake?”

“Cake!” He clapped. “Yummy!” He grinned, currently a lot more excited for the rest of the day.

Sam laughed. “Yeah, little man. Cake.” He grinned, taking your hand and leading you back down the isle.

You and Sam had opted for a simple honeymoon, choosing the French countryside for a week of relaxing. It was quiet. You loved quiet time with your man. . It wasn’t something you got very often with your toddler. You were currently lounging around in one of Sam’s shirts while he was in a pair of lounge pants. “Hey, babe?” He glanced at you, hand on your leg. Your legs were stretched out over his lap as you watched a movie.

“Hmm?” You glanced over at him.

“Was wondering if you had a time frame of when you’d like to try for our next little one?” He asked a bit hopeful.

You smiled and paused the movie. “I mean we just really said after the wedding.”You pointed out, shifting to get more comfortable. “So, that can be any time. Did you have a time in mind?”

He shrugged. “As soon as you want is my timeline.” Hell, he would have tried right before the wedding if he could have now that he thought of it. “I’m just waiting for your green light.” He grinned.

“Then get over here, Mr. Wilson.” You grinned right back.

He smiled widely. “I’d be happy to, Mrs. Wilson.” Sam moved to lean over you, taking the remote and setting it on the coffee table. “I don’t plan on letting you rest much now.” He smirked.

“Oh, whatever will I do?” You giggled as he kissed your neck.

“Me. Over and over again.” He chuckled. “Here. In the shower. In the kitchen. On the floor.” He nipped at you.

“Outside when it’s dark?” You asked. That wasn’t something you’d ever tried, but really wanted to. Something you’d only ever shared with him.

He nodded. “If that what my wife wants, that’s what she’s gonna get.”

“You’re the best.” You beamed.

You walked excitedly to give your husband lunch during their weekly meeting. You had planned how to tell him how the honeymoon seemed to work for your plans. Owen was currently napping, and you had the baby monitor. They weren’t that far, so you felt okay that you could get back to him easily.

Sam brightened when you walked in. “Hi, wifey.” He got up to greet you.

“All I get is a ‘hey, man’.” He ‘pouted’ jokingly.

You giggled. “I’m special.” You handed your husband his lunch box. “I still love you, Bucky.” You teased.

“Right, our movie nights went to dust when this guy came into it.” Bucky chuckled. “I mean, I do get time with Owen. So, I guess I can forgive you.” He grinned.

“You better.” You smiled sweetly and sat next to Sam. “I can’t stay too long, because Owen’s napping, but I wanted to visit and talk to Sam.”

“Oh, should I follow the others and get something at the vending machine?” Bucky smirked and stood. “Because I don’t wanna be here for you ‘talking’, do I?”

“It’s up to you.” Sam chuckled.

Bucky put his hands up. “I’m goin’. I’m goin’.” He chuckled before heading out.

You shook your head and smiled at Sam. “I have some good news and bad news.” You told him as he opened his lunch box. “Which would you like first?”

“Hmm. Bad?” He smiled as he ate his favorite chips automatically. He didn’t think it would be anything too bad, or you wouldn’t look happy.

“I ate the last of our frozen pie.” You said solemnly. “I’m sorry.”

He stopped chewing and raised an eyebrow at you. “I fail to see how that’s ‘bad news’.” He chuckled. “Not like we can’t get more.”

“Oh. I thought you might be more upset.” You smiled. “Good news…” You pulled out a wrapped little box and handed it to him. “I brought you a present.”

“Sweet.” He immediately opened it, loving surprises. “Really?!” He looked at you, reminding you of Ollie the previous Christmas when he was given his little battery powered Jeep.

You smiled brightly and nodded. “Yes!” You hugged him as he pulled you close. “We got our wish!”

“Hell, yeah!” He squeezed you. “I’m so happy.” He honestly didn’t expect it so soon. “Married about a month and already on our way to our second kid!”

You giggled, thrilled that he was happy. “Your enthusiasm means everything.” You told him before you heard noise on the baby monitor. “That’s my cue to hurry back to our son.”

“Say hi for me. We’ll plan how to tell the family soon!” He grinned. “Text me what you want for dinner and I’ll make sure to get it.”

“Thanks, handsome.” You winked. “I love you.” You kissed his cheek before heading back to Owen, looking forward to seeing him with a little brother or sister. He was so full of energy most of the time, but also shy with new people. It would be very interesting.

The two of you decided to hold off a bit until you announced the baby. Not because you weren’t excited, but because you weren’t sure how to. With Owen things had been very different. You’d been torn between a broken heart and trying to be happy about it. While you loved your son, it had taken adjusting after he was born to truly start healing. With this baby, they had been planned. The excitement and hope was there from day one.

That left you at 15 weeks pregnant, starting to show a bit, and raiding the cupboards. “I know there’s marshmallows in here somewhere.” You mumbled. “Where the hell did they go?” You groaned.

“Looking for something, doll?” Came Bucky’s amused voice.

You huffed. “I thought there were marshmallows in here.” You sighed. “Guess they’re gone.” He raised an eyebrow at you, amused. “What? I want marshmallows.”

He chuckled. “Anything else I can find for you?” He asked, leaning against the counter. “Of is itjustthe marshmallows you want?”

“I’ll probably just make popcorn.” And put cinnamon and sugar on it.

“Sounds good. Can I share?” He asked casually. “I’ll make us a drink, too.”

You smiled and nodded. “Make it a root beer float and we have a deal.”

He nodded. “I can do that.” He kissed your head and went to get the ice cream. “Surprised you’re up. You love sleep.”

You nodded. “Was tossing and turning.” You shrugged. “Didn’t wanna keep Sam up. And marshmallows were calling my name.”

“I get a sweet tooth sometimes.” He nodded. “I hid some gummy worms in my room last time Clint stayed over. Or he would have eaten them.”

“I need to do that.” You worked on the popcorn. “Then I won’t have to come raid the communal kitchen. Just ours.” You chuckled.

He grinned and watched you as he did the soda. “Whipped cream?” He asked before screwing the cap on the bottle.

“Please. I’m never going to sleep now.” You giggled. “It’s gonna be a very late night. It’s already after midnight.”

“Welcome to my life.” He laughed. “I’m always going to bed at some random hour.” He told you as he finished things up. “TV Land reruns while we snack?”

“Perfect.” You followed him, happy you had company. “I hope I Love Lucy is on. That’s always a favorite.”

“I think one should be on.” He nodded.

It was nearly two by the time you crawled back into bed, hoping forsomesleep. You snuggled to your husband and tried your best. You’d read that some women seemed to get insomnia while pregnant, and you were not looking forward to that if it was the case. You loved sleep so much. And had an active little boy.

Sam automatically wrapped his arms around you, making you feel sleepy. Soon your eyes were drooping.

When you woke the next morning, you saw toast and eggs on your beside table. Smiling, you sat up and stretched.

“Mr. Wilson should be back from his run, soon.” FRIDAY told you. “Mr. Owen is with Miss Maximoff.”

“Great. Thank you.” You smiled. Getting your food, you made your way to your balcony to eat.

Sam joined you a while later when you were almost done. He was freshly showered as he sat by you. “Hi, baby.” He smiled. “How’d you sleep?”

You smiled back at him. “Really well once I actually got to sleep. I think it was nearly two by the time I got into bed.”

He pouted slightly. “Hopefully was just a one night thing.” He pulled you into his lap. “When can we tell the family? I think Barnes is suspicious.” He kissed your shoulder.

“I think so, too. I was pouting over not having marshmallows last night. So over dinner?” You held his hand.

“Works for me. I’ll also have to go get you some marshmallows now.” He chuckled. “Mini, regular, or jumbo?” His hand rested on your lower stomach. “And I hope they let me feel them sooner than Owen did.”

You leaned against him. “Any of them, honestly.” You told him. “And me, too. I loved seeing you light up the first time you felt him.”

“It’s a special moment I hold close to me.” He smiled. “And I will for this little one, as well.” Fatherhood just felt right to him. Like that’s what he was supposed to be doing. “Just over a couple months and we find out if we’re having another little boy, or our first girl.”

You looked up and kissed his jaw. “I know the guys will place bets.” You traced lines on his chest. “It’ll be great.”

“Mr. Barnes is requesting you, Mrs. Wilson.” FRIDAY let you know.

“He is in the communal kitchen.” She added.

“I guess I’ll see you after?” You kissed his cheek. “Maybe take Owen to the park this afternoon?”

“Sounds great.” He squeezed your hip. “Love you.” He never got tired of reminding you. It was basically his job and he loved it. He watched you gather your plates and head back inside to go see what Bucky wanted.

Chapter 6: Honesty

Chapter Text

Bucky grinned as he saw you and immediately placed at least three bags of marshmallows in your hold. “Now you won’t have to stand in here in the middle of the night and pout because we’re out. You can now snack while in the comfort of your own area.” He told you happily.

You squealed. “Thank you! Oh you even got the colored ones!” You gushed. “This is great. Now Sam doesn’t have to go out to get them.” You moved the bags to one arm to hug him with the other.

“Happy to help.” He smiled, always enjoying being there for you. “I also got you more tea just cause I knew you were low.” He went on. “Now, I need to go shower because I went for a jog, then did some shopping, and came home.” He laughed.

“Yes, go.” You playfully shoved his arm. “Thank you again!” You turned and went to head back to your room to show Sam how sweet Bucky was to get you your marshmallows while on his jog. “He brought me a surprise!” You said excitedly. “Three bags of marshmallows, one colored one, and some tea.”

“Wow, he was on top of it.” Sam chuckled. “You’re so cute when you’re excited.” He watched you put them down and open one of the bags. “What did you end up snacking on since you didn’t have them last night?” He asked as you popped a marshmallow in your mouth.

You munched happily. “Cinnamon sugar popcorn and root beer floats that Bucky made.” You told him. “With whipped cream. We watched I Love Lucy reruns.” You grinned.

“Sounds like I missed out.” He laughed. “I’m glad you had some company, though.”

“It was nice.” You smiled. “Now how are we announcing tonight?” You were excited to tell everyone about the baby. “Maybe make a game out of it?” You mused. “Or we can get a cake after we’re done at the park?” Everyone in the compound liked cake, afterall.

He thought as he ate a couple marshmallows himself. “Maybe a cake and then we can make a fun game when we find out what we’re having?” He suggested. “Maybe plan a scavenger hunt? Make it a team type deal. And the team that figures it out gets something?”

“I like the way you think.” You smiled. “We’ll start planning that then.” You looked up a website to start ordering a cake as well. “And maybe tonight or tomorrow we can start making a list of names we like?” You asked while you ordered it. “Then when we know what we’re having we can narrow it down, and maybe… save the list for another baby?”

He beamed as he looked at you. “You make me so damn happy.” He hadn’t been expecting you to mention another baby, not so soon, but he loved it. “I will keep that list for as many kids as you want.”

“Perfect.” You kissed his cheek. “Love you.”

Owen snuggled against your lap as Sam brought the cake into the dining room. He’d been extra cuddly lately, and you were loving it. “Look, buddy, cake.” You told him.

“Cake!” He got excited.

“What’re we celebrating?” Bruce smiled.

“You’ll see.” You chuckled.

Sam took it out of the box and set it out to display. He winked at you as the others leaned over to read it. “I knew it!” Bucky grinned.

Wanda clapped excitedly. “New baby!” She rushed over to hug you and Owen. “I can’t wait!” She chuckled as Owen giggled. He instantly hugged her arm. “Are you excited to be a big brother?”

He nodded, not really knowing what he was nodding to. “Me and mama.” He went back to hugging you. You ran your fingers through his hair, making him smile. “Daddy.” He pointed to Sam giggling.

Sam grinned and waved at him. Hearing Owen learn new words always brightened his day. “When are you due?” Clint asked as Sam started serving the cake.

“I’m about 15 weeks now. So…” You counted the months. “In about 6 months.” You smiled. “Around Christmas. So, that should be fun.”

“Best gift already.” Sam beamed.

Wanda paused. “You got pregnant on your honeymoon?”

You blushed. “Most likely.” You nodded. “We had planned for them either way. When he proposed, actually.”

“You know how weird it is that this is casual conversation?” Clint mused, making you raise an eyebrow at him. “We’re basically talking about you guys screwing like it’s nothing.”

“Can you blame us?” Sam chuckled, laughing when Bucky threw a napkin at him. “Won’t be the last time, either.” He said proudly.

You giggled and shrugged when they looked at you. You happily helped Owen take some messy bites of cake. “Oh, hot chocolate would be great with this.”

“I’ll make some up.” Bucky jumped up. “Marshmallows?” He asked, pausing at the door. “I left a small bag in the kitchen.”

“Yes, please!” You smiled. “Extra marshmallows? And whipped cream?”

“Yes, ma’am.” He nodded, waving at Owen as he passed. Owen waved back, cake on his hand.

“Is that yummy?” You asked Owen. He nodded and licked some icing off his hand, making you laugh.

Sam watched Bucky go before taking out his phone to take a picture of you and Owen. He loved getting pictures of the two of you together, and had his fair share. He changed his Lock Screen often. It was a huge help on missions.

Bucky soon came back and brought over your mug. “And a little cup of chocolate milk for my little buddy.” He handed it to Owen who took it happily. “Looks like someone’s gonna need a bath soon.” He laughed as Owen grinned at him. “Yeah, buddy, you. Maybe I can do it?” He looked at you. “Let you and Sam relax a bit?”

“Sure. I won’t turn that down.” You sipped your drink. “And I’m sure Owen wouldn’t mind time with you, either.”

“Thanks.” Bucky smiled, looking forward to it.

Bucky felt the need to do what he could, so he was always checking in. He’d grab you whatever snacks you needed, and even made you lunch a few times. He didn’t want you tiring yourself out so he was always offering. And if you couldn’t sleep, he would watch late night tv with you. This way Sam could sleep at night, get up with Owen, and you could sleep in.

Bucky watched you rub your arms one day. “Oh, I’ll run and get you a blanket.” He jumped up. “I’ll get one of the extra soft ones.”

“Thanks, Bucky.” You smiled and snuggled to the pillow next to you.

Sam watched you and then eyed Bucky. He watched him rush off before putting his arm around you. “I can turn down the AC?” He offered. “Don’t need you freezing.”

You shook your head. “I’ll warm up with the blanket.” You told him. “I kinda like when it’s cold and you bury yourself in blankets. And I get to cuddle you.” You smiled at him. “And tomorrow we find out what we’re having, so I’m wanting more cuddles because I’m excited and emotional.”

“I got you.” Sam grinned and pulled you close. “I think we’ll get another little boy.”

“Yeah?” You smiled. “Owen will be happy with either I think.” You shifted to wrap your arm around his waist.

“I’m hoping.” Sam nodded. “I know he’ll feel it when we can’t give him all the attention.” He sighed. “But thankfully he has a big family who loves him.”

“Thankfully.” You agreed.

Bucky jogged back in and instantly covered you. “There you go, doll.” He smiled, going back to his own seat. He went back to watching the movie on the screen. He felt good helping when he could.

Sam felt your breathing even out and looked down to see you had fallen asleep. He gently kissed your head and looked at Bucky. He felt he needed to say something, but couldn’t figure out how.

Bucky felt eyes on him and looked over. “Things okay?” He blinked, wondering what was going on. “Did you want me to pause it so you can move her?”

Sam rubbed his jaw. “I just wanted to talk with you.” He started honestly. “About Y/N.”

Bucky turned and gave him his full attention. “What’s going on?” He muted the tv.

Sam sighed. “I don’t know how to say it...but can you back off a bit?” He said bluntly. “I’m her husband, man. You don’t gotta be rushing off to be a knight in shining armor every time she’s cravin’ somethin’. I’m capable of doing that, too.”

Bucky stared at him. “Wait, what?” This seemed out of the blue. “I’m not trying to be a knight in shining armor.” He told him.

“Seems that way.” Sam stated. “And I’m having a bit of an issue with it.” He wanted to be honest with him. Bucky was his team mate and friend, which made it feel that much worse.

Bucky shook his head. “I just want to help and be there for her.” He said simply. “She’s like my little sister, Sam.” He added. “Always has been. Which is why I want to be there for her always.” It was the truth. “And I couldn’t keep her from getting hurt from someone who was supposed to be my best friend. I never would have guessed he’d do that. If I would have had any idea…” He swallowed. “Maybe she wouldn’t have gotten hurt.” He shrugged, looking more towards you. “Or as hurt.” He sighed. “So I’m sorry if I want to help her through this.”

Sam looked at you, as well. He had no idea Bucky seemed to feel almost guilty over what happened. He wondered if you knew that. Letting out a sigh, he understood it better now. “Sorry, man.” His tone was sincere. “Didn’t ever think you’d feel like that.”

“She also wasn’t the only one he left.” Bucky said sadly. “I lost my best friend and I wish I could remember the good in him, but after this I think the image I have of him will always be tainted.” This wasn’t something that was really brought up anymore. “Then I see Owen looking more and more like him, and I can’t help but hate him. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you two are together. Hell, I think you two work better then they ever did.” He said easily. “But it’s left its mark.”

He nodded. “I’m glad you got her to come back.” He told him. “I really hate to think how different things would be if she hadn’t agreed.”

Bucky shrugged, staring at you. He felt you wouldn’t be here if so. “Me, too.”

“I really am sorry. I didn’t mean to come off like a dick.” Sam said gently.

He shook his head. “I get it. I’d probably be the same way.” He assured. “I’ll head out though, give you two time to rest.” He stood. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

Sam licked his lips before speaking up. “How about you suggest a movie night tomorrow night? I’ll do bath time and bedtime with Owen. You guys can watch a movie like old times. Maybe order some nachos. That’s her thing right now.”

“Sure.” Bucky agreed. He was glad that Sam seemed to understand, and that he was able to get that off his chest finally. “Night, man.” He waved.

“Night.” He waved back before Bucky walked out.

Chapter 7: Heart to Heart

Chapter Text

The next morning, you were up early, excited. Your excitement fueled your energy. You got some laundry done, showered, got dressed, and even did your makeup.

“Mama!” Owen bounced when you came to get him.

“There’s my handsome little guy.” You grinned. He lifted his arms, blue eyes bright as he was happy to see you. You lifted him up, kissing his cheek. One day you’d no longer be able to carry him, and would cherish it while you could.

“Daddy?” He asked. “Buba?” He asked afterwards, looking for Bucky as well. “Lick?” He added, looking for Clint. The first time he called him that, you had all lost it. You knew Nat would have adored the little boy, more so with that. It made you a bit sad to remember but you loved your friend so you thought of her often. You’d tell the kids about her, and Tony, when they were older. They were heroes.

“Let’s go find them.” You tickled his side. “FRIDAY? Is anyone awake?” You asked, bouncing him in your hip gently.

“Mr. Barnes is out.” She stated, listing it off. “Miss Maximoff is making tea.” She went on. “Mr. Wilson is training with Mr. Barton.”

“Let’s go say hi to Wanda and meet daddy before his shower.” You told Owen, going to find your friend. “Then we find out if you’re having a brother or sister today!”

“Yay!” He clapped because you looked happy. “Happy.” He giggled.

“I’m very happy.” You smiled.

Wanda instantly brightened when she saw you come in. “Morning.” She went to kiss Owen’s head.

“Wawa.” Owen hugged her hand. “Hi.” He smiled up at her.

“I can’t wait to get some play time with you.” She tickled him. She was the one watching him while you were at your appointment.

“Yay!” He said excitedly. “Buba?”

“I think Bucky is out for the day.” She kissed his head. “But we can color!” She suggested. “Or paint?” He loved getting crafty.

He nodded quickly. “Yeah!”

You beamed. “I’m excited for today.” You told her. “Sam thinks we’re having another boy.” You added.

“That’ll be cute.” She said supportively. “Either way it’ll be cute, though.” She chuckled. “How many kids do you plan on?”

“This one, and at least one more. He said he’ll have as many as I’d like. I always wanted to be a mom, so a bigger family seems right? But you guys also have a dangerous job. So, three might be the best number. I guess only time will tell.”

She squeezed your arm. “You deserve this happiness.” Watching you with Sam and Owen was heartwarming to her. “If you want a big family, have a big family.”

“Thanks.” You smiled widely. “Not gonna lie, I kinda want the next two close in age? Like I know that’s completely insane, but I just do?” You laughed.

“If your body can handle it. We’ll be here to help.” She giggled. “We all know Sam would jump to make it happen.”

“True.” You smiled, loving that he was a family man. Watching him be a father was the best.

Wanda got comfortable with Owen on the floor mat she had on her area. You watched them for a bit before going to find Sam. While you had planned to bring Owen to see him, he’d been distracted by Wanda and playing. You didn’t want to disrupt in case he got sad you were leaving. That was never fun. Walking in, Sam and Clint were just finishing up.

“Hey, beautiful.” Sam grinned. “You look absolutely gorgeous.” He loved how you were showing more now. “Little man with Bucky?” He chuckled.

“Wanda.” You kissed his cheek.

“Sweet.” Clint nodded. “I’ll shower and go keep em company.” He waved before heading to the showers, looking forward to spending time with them. He planned to head to see his own family that night.

Sam pulled you close. “Care for a sweaty kiss?” He grinned as you playfully pushed against him. “I’ll make sure to take a quick one before we go see our baby!” He said excitedly. “And I was thinking of taking a family trip this weekend? Maybe the three of us can maybe go camping?” He asked hopefully.

“I am sorry, Mr. Wilson, but there is a mission.” FRIDAY spoke up.

“You’re joking.” He sighed. “Please say you now joke.”

“I do not, Mr. Wilson.” FRIDAY replied.

He groaned. “I don’t want to.” He sagged. “Is it an all hands on deck, or will they be okay without me?” All he wanted to do was to go take a shower, and go with you to the appointment to see what the two of you were having. “Or can I fly out to meet them later?”

“I’ll check.” She replied quickly. “It would be best if you attended.”

You cupped his cheek and gave him a small smile. “I can always call and reschedule? I mean, it technically is an emergency. We can go when you get back.” You promised.

He pouted. “Are you sure?”

Pecking his lips, you nodded. “I’m sure. There’s no way in hell I’m finding out what we’re having without their daddy.” You hugged him. “Just come home safe to us.”

“Thank you.” He kissed your forehead. “Is anyone staying back, FRIDAY?” Would you be alone, or would you have company?

A moment passed. “I cannot contact Mr. Barnes. If I cannot, then he will be.”

You raised your eyebrows. “I hope everything is okay.” You worried about him. “I’ll text you if he turns up.”

“Please do. I’ll meet you in the take off area to say bye?” He turned and jogged off. While this was life, he didn’t like how his Avenger life interrupted married life. Or fatherhood. Owen was getting to the age where he would understand that Daddy had to leave sometimes, and would sometimes come home hurt.

Watching him go, you decided to talk to him about maybe building a house on part of the property. This way you were close to your family, but it was a tad more ‘normal’ for the kids. You weren’t sure how the others would feel about that but knew it was probably best for the kids. Turning, you went to get Owen.

Owen waved as everyone left on the quinjet. “Bye!” He yelled, which was bittersweet. You knew bedtime would not be easy that night. On top of that, no one knew where Bucky was. You were worried about it and really hoped he came home soon. Letting out a sigh, you carried Owen back inside to call about your appointment- that was in just under two hours. You hoped they were nice about changing it. If they wanted to charge you a fee for canceling, that was fine.

Thankfully they were sweet about it and told you to call and they’d make sure to get you in. Once that was over with, you went to put on a Disney movie in the playroom for Owen while the two of you played with blocks.

It was near dinner time when FRIDAY told you Bucky was back. You were cooking while Owen was sitting on the counter playing with his dinosaurs. “Can you ask him to come in here? If he can?” You asked, hoping that he would come eat dinner with the two of you.

“Hey, doll.” He greeted you. “Where are the others?” He went to give Owen a high five.

“Mission. FRIDAY tried to reach you.” You looked at him. “Everything okay?” This wasn’t like him. You couldn’t think of a single time he had been unreachable.

“sh*t.” He mumbled before turning on his phone. “I didn’t even think there’d be a mission.” He told you, feeling like crap. “Doll…” He groaned, looking at you. “I’m sorry. I’m guessing it’s a bigger one if they all went?”

You nodded. “I was worried about you…” You still were. “How about you play dinosaurs with Owen, then we’ll all sit down and eat. After he’s in bed we can get some time in, okay?”

“Alright.” He said softly, feeling guilty his teammates were fighting alone. Sighing, he went back to paying attention to Owen. “Hey, buddy.”

“Buba.” Owen smiled up at him, handing him a Dino. “Rawr!” He giggled.

Bucky smiled a bit at that. “Rawr.” He said back. “Love you, buddy.” He tapped his nose. “Wanna go play outback while your mom cooks?”

He nodded and lifted his arms. “Weeeee!” He wrapped his arms around Bucky’s neck once he was lifted. “Bye, mommy!” He waved using the dinosaur.

You smiled at him. “Have fun with Uncle Bucky.” You blew him a kiss.

After you got Owen to sleep, you grabbed the monitor and went to go sit with Bucky. You grabbed a blanket and curled up on the couch he had. “Talk to me, Bucky.” You said softly, sipping your water. “I’m worried about you.”

“I didn’t mean to worry you.” He began. “I just needed a day to myself.” He leaned back in a chair. “That’s all. It happens now and then.”

“Buck, I’ve known you for years now. As in, over a decade. In all those years, I’ve yet to have you completely be unreachable. Even when you want to be alone.” You countered.

He looked down at his hands and stayed quiet for a bit. “I went to mine and Steve’s old neighborhood.” It was obvious he hurt. “Just walked around for hours.” He shrugged. “I was just trying to remember the good days.” His voice broke a bit. “Trying to get some of the good memories back, ya know?” He looked at you. “I’m sorry.”

Getting up, you went to hug him. “You don’t have to be sorry. Just, next time let us know you’re turning your phone off?” You asked. “You wanna talk about some of the good memories you thought of?” Sure, talking about Steve was a sore spot, but you wanted to help Bucky however you could.

He shook his head. “I don’t want to put you in a rough spot. It helped a bit seeing the different memories. But it hurt all over again to know he left.” He winced. “Sorry.” Here he was all but pouting, and you had been hurt so much worse.

“Were you kinda hoping to see him?” You asked, getting comfortable again. Steve talked fondly about the old neighborhood. If he’d gone back, you saw him staying in the place he loved. “If you would even have an idea of what he’d look like.”

“Not really. But I had something in mind if I happened to run into him.” He admitted. “It’s crossed my mind a lot over the past few years.” He explained. “The Steve of my memories and the Steve that left are different guys.” Very different guys. “Ya know I almost looked his ass up?”

“Really? After it happened?” You asked. He’d never even hinted at that.

He nodded. “Yeah, then again after Owen was born.” He clenched his jaw. “Wanted to give him a mouthful.” Remembering how you looked after Owen was born fueled that anger again. “When I thought about it the first night you were back, Sam wanted to go with me. He was fuming.”

You listened intently, never knowing all of this. No one said a word, and probably because they didn’t want to upset you. “Has...has Sam always loved me, Bucky?” You asked softly, curious.

Bucky wasn’t expecting that and looked at you. “Yeah. I believe he has.” He nodded. “If he really realized it, I don’t know. At least not fully.” He shrugged. “I know he probably didn’t let himself think about it because he knew it wasn’t his place.” Sam wasn’t like that. “He was just happy having you around.” He looked away. “We all were. That’s why we were so pissed at Steve.” He ran a hand through his hair. “You gave him so many years, and were great to him.” He shook his head. “Every holiday or special occasion we were ready for a damn proposal.” One that clearly was never gonna come. “Thought you’d two settle down and all that.”

You wiped your cheek. “I really wanted that, too.” You admitted. “I wanted a family with him, but it faded after the snap a bit. Things were different. When I found out I was pregnant I thought ‘jokes on me’. I got part of the family, but the father didn’t want me. What I wish I knew… was why be with me so long if he never saw more?”

Bucky shook his head. “I wish I knew what he was thinking.” Unless he hunted him down to ask, there was no way to know. He stayed quiet after a moment and just stared at his hands. He didn’t want to voice how alone he felt sometimes since his supposed best friend left. You surprised him by getting up and standing behind him to play with his hair. He leaned into your touch and closed his eyes. “Thanks, doll.” He whispered. You always knew how to help him relax.

You smiled and made sure he felt at least a little better so he could maybe rest. “French toast for breakfast?” You offered.

“Sounds yummy.” He agreed. “That’s something that Owen says.” He chuckled. “God I love that kid.” He grinned. “I’m excited about this one, too.” Turning, he poked your bump. “I’m officially requesting cuddles first after the parents.” He smiled up at you, making him look something like little kid...with facial hair.

“Deal.” You giggled, kissing his head. “You’re an amazing Uncle.” You gave his shoulder a squeeze. “How about tomorrow you guys build a fort and play in the common room while I get some housework done?”

“But you shouldn’t be cleaning.” He pouted. . “You should be relaxing.”

“Bucky, I’m pregnant, not sick or dying.” You teased. “And it’s not heavy stuff. Mostly picking up his playroom, his room, and things like vacuuming.” You assured him.

“Okay.” He agreed. “Can I ask you something? Or tell you something I guess.”

You nodded. “Of course you can.”

He sighed. “Sam felt I was kind of coming on too strong with you and helping out too much. We talked it out and he understood why I do that. But I wanted to make sure that you didn’t feel uncomfortable and to please tell me if I ever do something you don’t want me to.” He said quickly, in one breath.

“I don’t think you were. Or are.” You shrugged. “We’ve always been close- the entire team and me. So I didn’t think anything of it.” Sam was bothered? “When was this?”

“Yesterday.” He looked worried. “I just feel the need to help you and my future niece or nephew. You’re family.” It meant a lot to him to be able to do whatever he could.

You shook your head. “Don’t worry. I’ve never felt anything but good about all that.” You smiled. “I’m glad that we have you, and that any other kids we have will have you, too.” You wondered why Sam hadn’t mentioned it to you. You’d ask him when he got back. “How about you go take a hot shower and relax?” You suggested.

He nodded. “Thanks. I feel better talking to you about it.” He stood and hugged you. “Feel free to let me know if you can’t sleep.” He gave you a gentle squeeze. “I’m sure there’s some I Love Lucy on.”

You grinned. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

Chapter 8: Time Flies

Chapter Text

A week later, and your family was home. Owen was extremely excited to see his daddy, as always. He’d been missing him, asking for him constantly. “DADDY!” Owen ran to him once he could. “Daddy!” He all but jumped onto Sam.

Sam lifted him up high. “There’s my son.” He grinned. “I missed you and your mom so much.” He held him close.

Owen hugged his neck and smiled. “Mommy.” He pointed to where you were standing. Sam beamed and winked at you when you smiled. Heading towards where you were, he couldn’t wait to curl up and relax with you that night. “Mommy!” Owen giggled once the two of them were closer.

“You found daddy!” You tickled his middle. “Welcome home, handsome.” You kissed his cheek. “I’m making roast for dinner to welcome home my family.”

“You’re perfect.” He eyed you lovingly. “And glowing.” He put his free hand on your bump. “How’s our little one been treating you?”

“Good.” You smiled. “Still wake up a little in the middle of the night.” You laced your fingers with this to head inside. “I’ll call to make a new ultrasound appointment in the morning, too.”

“Perfect.” He kissed your hand. “Can’t wait. How was our little man this week?” He smiled as Owen’s little fist gripped the back of his shirt.

“Definitely missed you.” You nodded. You glanced at Owen. “He slept in our room a couple nights. He tried wearing one of your shirts to bed, but clearly that didn’t work.” You chuckled.

“Awe.” Sam kissed Owen’s head. “I’m here now.” It was bittersweet to hear how much Owen missed him. On the one hand, knowing his son loved him so much...but knowing the little boy was upset when he was gone hurt.

Owen didn’t let go once while Sam walked to your shared area. “I’ll show you some pictures later of him and Bucky playing in a fort the other day.” You smiled. “Owen loved it. I was thinking about getting him a little play house.”

“He likes adventure so I think that’ll be a smash hit.” He agreed. “Barnes doing okay?” He asked, getting comfortable with Owen on the floor.

You nodded. “He is now. I’ll tell you about it later.” You promised, sitting in a chair. “He came back around dinner that night and we sat and had a chat later on.” You explained. “Right now let’s just play with Owen.” The little boy nodded when he heard the word ‘play’.

Sam was happy to do that, easily switching into dad mode. It was natural to him. He looked forward to when it was more than just Owen.

Sam came into your room after showering, smiling when you looked up at him. “There’s my beautiful wife.” He had been looking forward to getting to hold you again all week long.

“There’s my handsome husband.” You flirted back.

He wiggled his eyebrows before going to get in bed next to you. “I’ll probably sleep so hard tonight.” He chuckled, having missed him. “So, tell me about Barnes.”

“He took some personal time.” You explained. “He was kind of emotional after.” You went on. “Apparently...he went to walk around his old neighborhood. Trying to get some good memories to come back.” You told him. “He didn’t mean to not be unavailable.” At least the days since had gotten better for Bucky it seemed. “He felt bad about it.”

Sam nodded. “Man.” He sighed. “I never thought that’s what he was doing.” He admitted. “I can’t even remember him ever going there. At least he’s never mentioned it.”

You got more comfortable. “He told me he thought about looking him up a couple times.” You rubbed his arm. “Thought about telling him stuff.”

“Yeah, he mentioned that.” He pulled you close. “I’m glad he was okay.” At least it wasn’t something really bad. Turning his head, he yawned, making you chuckle. “I’m hoping no missions for a bit.” He chuckled. “This is where I wanna be.”

“I’m hoping too.” You hugged him tightly. “I like having you right here, too. Now get some sleep. You need it.”

“Daddy!” You heard Owen yell and chuckled.

You went to get up. “I’ll go get him to come snuggle for a bit.”

San closed his eyes and managed to be half asleep when he felt Owen cuddled to him. Automatically, he put his arm over him. Smiling, you grabbed your phone to snap a picture before crawling back into bed yourself. This was how life was supposed to be.

Pacing your room, you groaned. You were in labor, and not loving it. Who would?! While you were happy you’d be finally holding your second little boy, you weren’t happy about the contractions. “sh*t this burns.” You whined. Clint had taken Owen to spend some time with his family, and would text you pictures now and then. They helped but now you just were focusing on breathing.

Sam came rushing back in. “Found the heating pad! Wanda had it from when she pulled a muscle a couple weeks ago.”

“Great. Thank you.” You went to stand by a plug. “Let’s hope he comes as quick as his brother once I start pushing.”

San smiled. “I’m so damn excited.” He winced when you winced. “Sorry baby.” He held the heating pad to your back. “I understand if you decide you don’t want the next one close in age like you said you did.” There was no way he would push you.

You shot him a half glare. “I still do.” You leaned against him. “I’ll just whine when having them, too.”

“Whatever you want, beautiful.” He smiled. “Bucky is like a wind up toy out there.” He chuckled, trying to distract you.

“He called dibs on cuddles.” You breathed. “Like, before we knew what we’re having.”

“Well, that man deserves them.” He chuckled. “It’ll be cool to see him with both boys.”

“A perfect addition to the family.” You closed your eyes. “Oh. I think he’s coming? Maybe? Another false alarm?” You gripped his arm. “Nope. Not a false alarm.”

“Baby time!” He said excitedly and helped you over to the bed. “I’m here.” He kissed your forehead.

Bucky looked hopeful when Sam came out. “He here?”

Sam chuckled and nodded. “Yeah, man. She’s nursing him and then you can visit. I came out to call Clint.”

Bucky grinned, going to hug him. “Congrats!” He was excited to help with another nephew. “I bet he’s cute as sh*t, huh?”

“The cutest, man.” Sam beamed. “I never thought I’d get this, ya know? Now I got two boys, and she wants another.” He looked emotional. “We were talking about getting a house built on part of the compound’s land. And the idea of really feeling like we have that normal kinda life? It just… hits me. She’s my wife. They’re my kids.” He said proudly.

Bucky clapped him on the back and squeezed his shoulder. “You deserve it.” He smiled.

Sam hugged him. “Thanks for being there for us.” Having most of the team there meant so much. He hadn’t seen Thor since he’d gone off with Quill and the others, but hoped he’d see him again one day. Parker was focused on school, so maybe you could invite him over one day to catch up. Have him and May over for dinner.

“Of course, man.” Bucky chuckled. “Can I go see my new nephew now?” He asked. “While you call Barton?”

He laughed and nodded. “Go on.” He motioned to the door, shaking his head as Bucky rushed in.

Bucky melted when he saw the newborn. “Oh.” He whispered, grinning. “How’re you feeling?” He asked you softly.

You shrugged tiredly. “So happy he’s here. I don’t mind the soreness. I am exhausted though.” You chuckled lightly. “Wanna hold him? He just finished eating.”

“Please." The small boy barely fit in the crook of his arm. “Oh, you’re a mini Sam, aren’t ya?” He coo’d at him. “Look just like your daddy.” He kissed his beanie covered head. “You’re already so loved, little guy.”

You watched him with a soft smile on your face. “Let’s see you say that when we have two in diapers.” You teased.

“No issue.” He promised. “When do you plan for the next?” He wondered.

“We plan to start trying when he’s four or five months old. I just have this urge to have them super close.” You blushed.

He smirked at you. “That’s cute.” He looked back down. “It’ll keep us all on our toes.”

“Thanks.” You smiled. “For being here for everything.” He’d been as rock to lean on.

“Always.” He smiled at you. “And you picked a perfect name. David is a cute name.”

“Glad you like it.” You snuggled to your pillow. “Do you mind if I get some shut eye?”

“Course. Rest well.” He sat down with David. Getting comfortable, he held David close. “I got him.” He told him before glancing over to see you asleep.

Time seemed to fly by after David was home. Having two young boys kept you in your toes, and you’d never been happier. When David was 7 months old, and of course Sam was on a mission… you got the next positive pregnancy test. You quickly took a picture of it and sent it to Sam.Can’t wait for baby Wilson #3!!!

Sam was quick to respond.Baby!!!!! 😍😍😍You giggled at that, picturing his face.

Hearing David fuss, you went to get him to send Sam a picture once you’d calmed him down. You often sent them over to cheer him up.

“Mommy!” Owen ran to you from his room. “Davy sad?”

“He might be hungry.” You ran a hand through his hair. “That’s all. You were the same way. Let me get him calm and we’ll take a picture for Daddy.”

“Okay.” He followed you happily. “I miss Daddy.” He noted. “Will he come home soon?”

“Hopefully.” You said softly. “Then I’m sure he will want Owen cuddles.”

Owen clapped. “I do good cuddles!” He looked so proud. “Right, mommy?”

“The best cuddles, ever.” You beamed. “I’m sure David will love them, too.” You said as you got comfortable on the couch to feed your youngest. Owen sat by your legs and played with one of his drawing toys. He loved art and crafting.

You smiled as you saw him and rubbed David’s back as you fed. “Movie later?” Owen asked without looking away from his drawing.

“We can do that.” You assured. “Maybe we can order pizza for dinner and you can pick a movie.”

“Yay.” He smiled. “So happy.”

Sam smiled when he got a picture of the three of you, his mind wandering to the future. He loved that baby number three was on their way. Now to not slip up and tell the others until you wanted to announce it. That would be damn hard. He couldn’t take the excitement sometimes. Hopefully the two of you wouldn’t wait long to tell them. The 15 weeks you waited with David was hard but worth it. He quickly texted you back that he loved you and slipped his phone away.

Crawling into bed that night, you put your hand on Sam’s pillow and hoped he came home soon. You didn’t like sleeping alone but knew he loved what he did. One day there wouldn’t be any more missions, and you hoped that was him retiring and nothing bad. You closed your eyes, excited for his return whenever that may be.

Chapter 9: Regrets

Chapter Text

David was in his highchair while Owen was in his booster and you made yourself some toast when FRIDAY spoke up. “There is someone here to see you, Mrs. Wilson.”

You furrowed your brows. Your family were off on the mission, so you couldn’t think of anyone else that would be there. “Who is it?” You asked, putting your toast on a plate to butter.

“I am unsure if my system is recognizing this individual correctly.” She said.

That worried you. Despite Tony no longer around, FRIDAY did not have issues. “What do you mean?” You asked, confused. “Can you ask them who they are?”

“They are claiming to be Captain Rogers.” She spoke. “His clearance was never taken away.”

You dropped the butter knife you were holding. “Are you saying there’s some old guy here claiming to be Steve?” You asked, your heart racing as you pulled your phone out of your pocket.

“No, Mrs. Wilson. He is not elderly.” She stated. “I will pull up the camera feed.” The nearest screen lit up. The image of Steve standing there, made your breath catch. “sh*t.” You muttered.

“sh*t.” Owen giggled hysterically as you stared at Steve looking around.

You rubbed your face and quickly found your phone. You began texting Sam quickly.Um. I don’t know what to do. Are you free?

“Hello?” Steve’s voice made you jump.

You turned to the entryway and stared at him. “Is it really you?” You managed, trying not to let your voice crack. You never in a million years would have imagined seeing him again.

He nodded, giving you a sad smile. “It’s me, doll.”

“Don’t call me that.” You clenched your jaw.

“Mommy. More milk?” Owen waved his sippy at you.

Steve finally looked from you to the young boy. “Mommy?” He breathed, eyes then going to the infant.

You sighed, going to get it. “Yeah, mommy.” You kissed the top of his head. “Do you want chocolate this time?” You asked, earning an excited nod. “You got it, buddy.” You looked at David who was mashing his bananas in his little hands. Focusing on your babies helped fight the stress you were feeling.

Owen looked at Steve as he stared at him. Your son offered a bright smile. “Hi.” He waved. He couldn’t tell there was an awkwardness in the air. He just knew it was a new person. “I’m Owen.”

Steve’s mouth felt dry. “Hi, Owen. I’m Steve.” He said softly. “Is that your brother?” He asked.

You bit your cheek, knowing he was asking Owen instead of asking you for information. You focused on getting Owen his milk while listening. “Yeah. That’s David!” He said excitedly. “He’s a baby.”

“He is.” Steve nodded, slowly coming over. He desperately wanted to ask Owen who his dad was. “How old is Owen?” He asked you.

“He’s four.” You told him, screwing the cap on his little sippy. “Here you go.” You walked over, putting it in front of him. “After breakfast we’ll go hang out in the playroom until nap time, okay?”

Owen nodded. “Can Steve play?” He loved making friends so it was no surprise he asked.

You licked your lips. “I’m sure Steve has other things to do, baby. He should go back home. To his own family.” You said in a soft voice but it stung Steve with guilt.

Steve shoved his hands in his pockets. “Actually, this is my home. I’m back for good.” He told you, not missing how you tensed up at that.

You fought hard to keep it together. “What do you mean you’re back for good?” You looked at him.

“Captain America is back.” He told you. “Are the others on a mission?”

Swallowing, you nodded. “Yeah.” You told him, pulling up your texts again.Text me ASAP, please.You sent Sam. “I’m guessing they’re busy.”

Steve nodded. “I figured. FRIDAY told me only you were here. I was happy to know you were doing okay enough to still be here.” He took a deep breath. “I’m so sorry.”

Now that Owen’s attention was back on his breakfast, you went to work on yours. You needed to eat at least something. “I almost didn’t come back.” You told him honestly. “Bucky’s why I did.” You shrugged, taking a bite of your toast.

He watched you. “I’m glad he was there for you.” He hung his head. “I regret leaving.”

You focused on your phone screen, typing out another message.Not to worry you but please call or text soon.You suddenly wished that Sam was home, and that you weren’t stuck alone dealing with this. Pulling up Bucky’s text, you hoped maybe he’d see it.Have Sam text me, please.You sighed as you sent it. “I don’t know what you want me to say, Steve.” You said bluntly. “I don’t know what you expect from me.” You shook your head. “You left, with no warning. After years. I’m married with two kids.” There was no way you’d tell him about the baby before your family. “I’m sorry that it didn’t work out with Peggy. That doesn’t mean you get to choose to come back and think everything will go back to normal. As far as I’m concerned, I accepted I’d never see or talk to you again.” Honestly, you were wishing that’s how things would have gone.

He swallowed back tears, knowing he deserved this. “I made the worst mistake possible. I know that. It was a quick decision and I’m sorry.” He eyed David and then Owen again. “Who...who are you married to?” He feared the answer.

It was very hard not to roll your eyes at him- it was pretty obvious. “I married Sam.” You couldn’t help but smile slightly when talking about your husband. Your eyes went to your boys. “He’s the best father.”

Steve nodded slowly. “I couldn’t help but notice Owen.”

“Me!” Owen smiled. “I’m Owen.” He wiggled.

You chuckled. “Yeah, that’s you.” You smiled at him. “Finish your breakfast.” You pointed. “And I’ll clean up your brother. We’ll talk when they nap.” You told Steve.

“Alright.” He nodded. “Can I help with anything?”

“No, thanks.” You said simply.

Steve nodded and sat down, watching you with a broken look. He felt awful. He watched as you wiped down David, lifting from his high chair after. Owen hopped down when you pulled his chair out for him before tugging on Steve’s hand. “Come play! Daddy got me a cool playhouse. Come see.”

Steve smiled and nodded. “Sure, pal. If it’s alright with your mom.”

“Please, mommy?” Owen gave you a look that honestly reminded you of Steve.

“Sure.” You caved. “But no fighting at nap time, deal?”

“Yeah! Promise!” He smiled and tugged Steve to the play area. “See?” He pointed to the little playhouse. He ran into it, then back out holding a Falcon stuffy that was nearly as tall as him. “Uncle Bucky got me this!” He bounced.

“Wow.” Steve smiled widely. “That’s super cool.” He crouched.

You sat with David nearby on the floor to play with some of his toys. Snapping a picture of him, you sent it to Sam.Sam. Steve’s here. Please text me.

Sam finally got your texts that night, his stomach in knots with each one. “We gotta get back.” He told the others. “Sleep on the damn plane.”

Bucky was quick to respond, gathering his things. “What happened? She told me to tell you to text her? Is it the boys?”

“Steve’s back.” He said seriously. “Her texts were basically her freaking out for me to text her.” He was texting you they would be home by morning.

“What?” Bucky paled.

Wanda and Clint looked at each other. “f*ck.” Clint mumbled. “Yeah, let’s go.” They all rushed to get their stuff together. None of them would have expected that.

Both boys were in bed when Sam texted you. You felt a bit of relief that they were on their way home. Pulling out some ice cream, you wondered if Bucky had finished the peanut butter again. Steve was still lurking and you knew you needed something sweet to get you through it. And you’d have to scold Bucky if he had eaten it and didn’t replace it. Putting the ice cream on the counter, you went to get a bowl, the peanut butter, and a spoon. “Oh, marshmallows.” You smiled as you saw them near the peanut butter. “Again?” You muttered to yourself.

Steve was quick, a bit too quick, to come and help you get them down. “Here.” He handed them to you.

“Oh, uh, thanks?” You looked down and began making your dish. “Want any?” You offered.

He shook his head. “I’m fine.” He leaned against the counter, raising an eyebrow as you dumped a bunch of marshmallows on the top. “Hear from them yet?”

Chewing on your lip, you nodded. “Yeah, they’ll be home by morning.”

He nodded, knowing he’d be getting an earful from the guys. “So, we can talk now?” He asked, hopeful.

“You have until I am done...this.” You held up your bowl.

He stammered a bit. “Did...did I leave you pregnant?” He started with the obvious question.

“Leading with the question that really shouldn’t need answering.” You pointed out. “Owen really doesn’t look like me, and he looks nothing like Sam.”

He had figured. “I’m sorry.” He felt like he’d be sick. “Did you know? When I didn’t come back?”

You were eating a bite and shook your head. “No. Found out like two weeks after I came back.” You said honestly. “Icing on the cake. I love Owen but he was a reminder that you left.” You said honestly. “He has your same personality.” Setting your bowl down, you moved to sit on the counter. “And he’s clearly your clone.”

“I’m sorry.” He repeated. “I’m so sorry.” His voice cracked. “I never would have left if I knew…”

“Stop.” You said simply. “Just. Stop.” You had your bowl on your lap and you were pushing around the ice cream with a spoon. “We were together for like, what? 7 years? And I was so easily pushed aside. So don’t with that sh*t. I wasn’t what, or who, you wanted.” You shook your head. “You would’ve stayed and what? Resented me? Resented him? You’re only back because it didn’t work out like you wanted.” You snapped, clearly angry.

He looked at you tearfully. “I know I don’t deserve anything.” That was very obvious. “But I’m here. And I want to try.”

You took a bite of ice cream to keep yourself from yelling at him. You took a few deep breaths. “There’s nothing you could possibly help with.” Your boys were taken care of, and you had no desires to even be near Steve.

“I want to show you how sorry I am.” He tried.

“You can’t!” You told him. “There’s no ‘I’m sorry’ for going back in time to leave your girlfriend for some woman you had the hots for decades ago.” You hopped off the counter. “And then coming back years later? Why? Why the hell would you think coming back would work well? Did you think I’d welcome you with open arms?”

He wiped his cheeks. “No, of course not. I just hoped for a chance.” He told you.

It wasn’t missed that he couldn’t even answer why. “Well, all I can say is...and I’m not usually the one to swear...but…’good f*cking luck with the team’.” You set the bowl down. “This is nothing compared to when you see them. Especially Bucky and Sam.”

Steve hung his head. “I missed you so much.” He said quietly. “I missed you every day. Every night I regretted my decision.” He told you. He was being completely honest.

“And, every day I wondered what the hell I did wrong.” You countered. “And then I gave birth to a small version of you. I broke down the first time Owen called Sam ‘daddy’ because the first thing I thought of was being left again, because clearly I’m so easy to leave behind. I’m lucky that he’s spent every day showing me otherwise.”

“You didn’t do anything.” He tried. “It wasn’t you. I was an idiot. I wish I could’ve come sooner but it didn’t work out that way.” He was crying at a steady pace. “I’m glad Sam has been here for you, I really am.”

“Yeah, you’re an idiot.” You agreed. “And I’m going to bed. I’ve had a long day, David gets up about 7, and Owen is up by 8.” You just hoped to hell you got some sleep. “I don’t know where we go from here and I really am done now.” You set your sink in the bowl. “I’m sure FRIDAY can help you get to the guest room.” You were doing your best to remain calm as you walked out, heading towards your room. The second you could be alone, you let yourself breakdown. Your chest hurt, and you just wanted your husband home.

Steve watched you go, feeling frozen in place. He didn’t know how to feel. He was heartbroken but knew he deserved it. His son didn’t know who he was, and he felt like you hated him. From how you spoke, so did everyone else- including his once best friend. “You’re a damn, idiot.” He told himself. He gave up a chance with you. A chance to have a family. Now Sam lived that life and he had no right to be mad at anyone. And you were right- you’d been together for a long time. He’d never even thought about getting married or having a family. Looking back, he realized he should have. He blindly strung you along while he fought as a superhero. He thought by going back that it was better. He was so wrong. He regretted it more than anything.

Chapter 10: Trust

Chapter Text

You hadn’t slept well at all, and by the time you heard David waking up, your eyes were burning. Between crying and lack of sleep, it was not a good morning. You went to get David before heading to the kitchen. Was the team back yet?

“Mr. Wilson has advised you to stay away from the landing dock. He has asked Captain Rogers to meet the team there and they just landed.” FRIDAY answered before you asked. Sometimes you wondered if she could read minds.

“Thank you.” You held David close, hoping Sam came to console you soon.

Bucky and Sam stood outside the quinjet. The second Steve entered the landing area, he knew he was in for it. Bucky’s jaw was clenched, and if looks could kill- Sam’s would be killing him.

“First question. What the f*ck are you doing here?” Sam seethed. Bucky moved but Sam held his hand up.

“I made a mistake. I wanted to come back sooner and it didn’t work.” He told them honestly.

Wanda shook her head. “Shoulda stayed gone.”

“You’re no longer welcome here.” Sam stated simply. “This isn’t your home. This isn’t your team.” He shrugged. “I can’t see why you’d think we’d be okay with you just showing up. What? Were you hoping she moped around all this time after the sh*t you pulled?” He scoffed.

Steve cleared his throat. “No. I wasn’t hoping for that.” He sighed.

“Whatever. You talk to this asshole. I’m going to see my nephews.” Bucky snapped.

Steve reached out as he passed. “Buck, please.”

He pulled away from him. “Don’t.” He shot him a look. “Get lost. I’m the one who had to tell her you blew her off. I’m the one who held her while she broke down. I’m the one who got her to agree to even come back. Truth be told, I don’t think you would have found her at all if I didn’t get her to. And then I woulda hunted you down like I wanted to.” He threatened, making it clear what a bad place you were in when he told you.

Steve’s chest clenched. “I tried to come back sooner.” He told him. “I really did.”

“It wouldn’t have changed the fact that you’re a selfish dick.” Bucky nearly spat. “You have no reason to be here anymore. You think we’ll fight on the same team as you? Good luck with that.” He walked off, honestly wanting to make sure that you were okay.

Steve looked down at his feet. He heard Clint and Wanda leave him and Sam be. Having Clint not even say anything was hard. “Why?” Sam asked. “Why would you even leave her in the first place?”

Steve looked at him. “It was a quick decision. One that was based off of temporary feelings. I was tired of fighting and so I went back to an easier time.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I regretted it every night.”

“I knew you never deserved her.” Sam shook his head. “Seven years and you don’t propose or take any steps in the relationship? I should’ve known.” He scoffed. “I’m gonna go check onmywife and kids.”

Steve clenched his fists to try and stop them from shaking. “I want to be there for Owen.” He told him seriously. “He’s my son.”

Sam stared at him. “Maybe biologically, but that’s it. I’m the one who got told first about her being pregnant. I was the one by her side for all her appointments. I’m the one who held her hand while she had him. I was there for all his firsts. I’m the one who was there for his teething, for when he wasn’t feeling good, all that. You were off having a damn pity party because you didn’t think about anything but yourself.”

“I know that.” Steve stated. “But I can be there for themnow. Make up for my mistakes.” He insisted. “I’m back for good. As Steve, and as Cap. I haven’t seen Scott or Peter. Are they gonna be this way, too?”

“Scott is a full time dad to Cassie. They come for holidays. Parker is focused on school. Y/N told him to back off being a hero a bit, be a kid.” He shrugged. “No ones going to look at you as a leader anymore. None of us. I can guarantee that.” How this was gonna ever work, he had no idea. He looked over to see you at the door and smiled softly. He completely ignored Steve and went to you. “Hi, baby.” He said softly.

You wrapped your arms around him and buried your face in his neck. “I’m so glad you’re home.” You sighed. “This is a nightmare.” You mumbled. “This isn’t how I wanted to start this pregnancy. I’m scared the stress isn’t good for the baby.”

Steve’s breath caught in his throat, wondering if you both forgot he could hear pretty well. He stared out over the property, knowing that if he ever hoped for things to be semi-okay, he would really need to work. The amount of relationships he had to fix was worrisome. The most important one was with Owen, and to do that, he needed to be able for you to trust him. He turned when he heard you laugh to see Owen hanging into Sam. He had only just met the boy but he felt the love for him grow instantly. He had to be there in his life.

You felt better with your family home, and hoped that Steve realized that this wasn’t his home anymore.

Bucky stayed up that night, on high alert. He kept checking on his nephews and would make sure you and Sam were resting. As long as Steve left you alone. The blonde so far had stayed in his area. The coming days would be interesting.

He wanted to personally lock out Steve and let him figure it out. Let him go play house with someone for all he cared. Around midnight, he finally settled in one of the lounge areas. He felt it safe enough to relax for a bit. He’d go check on the boys again shortly. He was falling asleep when he heard shuffling. “Nope.” He said. “Not talking to you.” He didn’t even open his eyes. He sighed as he heard Steve come in and sit down. Clearly he wasn’t listening.

“Come on, Buck.” He tried.

“Go f*ck yourself.”

Steve sighed. “I’m sorry, Bucky. I am. Please let me in.” He pleaded. “I want to make things right.”

“I mourned our friendship years ago.” Bucky shrugged. “You left, for whatever reason. Our friendship couldn’t have meant anything if you could do that. And she clearly meant nothing to you. You hurt her, or my nephews, I’ll kill ya.”

Steve sucked in a breath, staring at him. “I promise I won’t.” He said sincerely. “I really promise that I’m sorry and that I’ll do everything to earn trust back.” He just had to figure out where to start. “I want to be here for you guys, for her, and all three kids. Not just Owen.”

Bucky finally opened his eyes. “Three kids?” He sat up, fighting back a grin. “Three?”

Steve blinked. “Oh, no. I didn’t...I thought everyone knew.” He admitted. “She mentioned it to him earlier.” He looked sad. “That she didn’t need this stress so early in the pregnancy.” He explained. “And it scares her.”

“More of the reason to leave, right?” Bucky leaned back. He was very excited to know he’d be having another nephew, or possibly a niece, to look after.

“More of a reason to stay and help.” Steve stated. “David is still really young. Don’t you think another set of hands would be for the best?”

Bucky shook his head. “This kid was planned, meaning she knew that she had enough help. She’s a damn good mom. I see them having more, and she’ll be a killer mom to them, too.”

Steve didn’t doubt that you were a great mom. “I could tell she is by watching her with the boys.” He said fondly. “I want to help.” He repeated. “As much as I can.”

“You always were a stubborn ass.” Bucky sighed. “That hasn’t changed.”

Steve gave him a small smile. “I really am. I want to apologize and fix everything. Including you and me.” He licked his lips. “I want my best friend back.”

He raised an eyebrow at him. “Then go find Peggy.”

Steve gave him his best kicked puppy look. “Buck…” He breathed. “Let me try. Please. That’s all I’m asking.”

Bucky stared at him. “Do you know how alone I felt? That the only person who knew exactly what I went through, left?” He asked. “To feel like the person who was supposed to be your best friend couldn’t give you a warning?”

Steve sagged. “I can’t say I’m sorry enough. It wasn’t something I thought about. I just made a quick decision.” He told him. “I was tired of fighting.”

“You had a life here. Outside of fighting. You had a family. You had a woman who loved you, who stuck by you. You had a best friend. You had sh*t besides fighting. But that’s all that mattered? How’s that supposed to make this better? We mattered so little that we didn’t even register to you.” What was Steve not getting? “How long until you regretted it? Hm? After you’d already gotten married? After you’d already had the family?”

Steve teared up and looked at his hands. “Bucky…”

Bucky shook his head. “How do you plan on fixing this then? Apologizing and hoping we’ll forget?” He asked, honestly wondering. “Hoping we’ll look past what happened?”

“No, I’m hoping to be helpful. Help with Owen and David and his future sibling. Help the team. Be here for you and the team.” He explained. “I will earn your trust back.” Even if it took years. “I’ll show you.”

Hearing the door, Bucky looked over. “You okay, doll?”

“Was hoping you’d whip up one of your milkshakes and watch some I Love Lucy with me. But you’re busy.” You gave him a soft smile.

“I’m really not.” Bucky stood instantly. “Extra ice cream?” He smiled and went to you. “Oh, I was thinking about putting some toasted marshmallows on top?” He suggested, not missing how your face lit up for that.

“You have the best ideas.” You linked your arm with his and followed him to the kitchenette. “I bet the boys will love when you take them camping in the backyard.”

“I can’t wait.” He beamed. “I want to teach them everything I can.” He started to pull everything out. “Strawberry or vanilla? Seems someone ate the chocolate.” He smirked at you.

“I did.” You chuckled. “Last night.” You looked away. “Strawberry please.” You said happily, pushing down how you felt about Steve being there again. “And I was gonna see if Wanda wanted to go shopping tomorrow, and Clint’s headed home. So can you and Sam maybe help Owen go through his toys? Make a pile to keep, then some to throw away, then a box to donate?”

“You got it, doll.” He smiled. “David staying with us, or hanging out with you?”

You hummed. “Sam will most likely want him to stay so he gets more time.” You told him. “He’ll want all the little guy cuddles. Want us to grab lunch on the way home after?

“Sure.” He agreed. “Subs? Or maybe that new Chinese take out Clint brought that one time.” He suggested. “Whatever sounds good to you.” He almost slipped and said whatever you were craving. He didn’t want Steve finding out to ruin how you told them. You always got so excited to tell the family updates on pregnancies.

Steve sat there for a bit before heading back inside. He could hear the tv and fought with himself. He debated going to join the two of you. Looking into the common room you were in with Bucky, he swallowed as he heard you laugh at Ricky Ricardo. He wanted desperately to be there with you.

Feeling eyes on you, you slowly turned to see Steve, your smile faltering. Steve swallowed and offered a sad smile. As you turned back to the screen, he sagged.sh*t.He thought to himself. He sniffled and shuffled down the hallway, letting himself cry a bit. It was going to be an emotional time. There was literally no way around that. He could only hope for the best and put in the work. He was determined.

Bucky glanced over his shoulder, but no one was there. Brushing it off, he went back to the show. You moved closer to him and he was happy to offer his company. Hopefully after this you could get some sleep.

Chapter 11: Making It Worse

Chapter Text

Sam went to check on Owen first thing in the morning and frowned when he saw Steve asleep on the floor right outside Owen’s room. Furrowing his brows, he went and nudged his leg with his foot.

Steve cracked his eyes open and blinked. “Oh.” He groaned. “Morning?”

“Yeah. Morning.” Sam huffed. “I’m trying to check on my son so if you could move.” He said bluntly.

“Can I help with morning routine?” He asked instantly. “Whatever you need.” He got up.

Sam stared at him. “I guess.” He shrugged. Shaking his head, he made his way into Owen’s room, chuckling at how the little boy had shoved his blankets off, and was now covered with his pillow, snuggling his Falcon stuff.

Steve leaned in the doorway, smiling. He was thankful he came back when Owen was still so young, and not much later in his son’s life.

Sam lifted Owen who sleepily snuggled to him. Owen gasped when he opened his eyes and saw Steve. “Hi!” He smiled.

Steve brightened immediately. “Hi, buddy.” He was glad that Owen seemed happy that he was there, at least. “Sleep okay?”

Owen nodded. “Did you sleepover?” He wiggled out of Sam’s hold and went up to Steve.

He crouched, nodding. “Technically, I did.” He told him. “I gotta get a room set up again, but I’ll be living here. I lived here before you were born.”

He gasped. “You did?” He was in awe. “Can I see your room?” He bounced on his feet. “Do you have cool toys?!”

Steve laughed. “I don’t have many cool toys, no. But I’ll show you.” He wondered if Owen would like to see his shield one day. “Once I get things set up. Okay?”

“Okay!” He smiled. “We go have breakfast?” Owen looked over at Sam. “Can we have waffles?”

“We sure can.” Sam smiled at him. “We have to get you dressed first though.” He pointed out. “And your mom is going out with Aunt Wanda today. So it’ll just be me, you, Uncle Bucky, and David.”

“And him?” Owen grabbed Steve’s hand. “Can you stay and play?!”

Sam licked his lips. It was hard holding back because of Owen.

“I’d love to.” Steve couldn’t help but agree. “You can show me your favorite toys.”

Owen cheered and hugged his arm, instantly attached to him. “Alright, buddy, let’s get you dressed.” He told him, heading to Owen’s little dresser. You and him had decided to announce the baby over breakfast, so he tried to find a really cute outfit for him.

Once Owen was dressed, he tugged on Steve’s hand towards the kitchen. “Uncle Bucky makes the yummiest waffles.” He said excitedly. “He puts whipped cream on them!”

“That sounds yummy.” Steve smiled. “Your Uncle Bucky is a good cook.” It had been too long since he had Bucky’s cooking, or yours.

You were feeding David when the men walked in. “Oh. Hi.” You said calmly.

“Hi, mommy!” Owen smiled as Sam went to give your head a kiss. “Steve’s gonna play with me today!” He said excitedly. “He’s gonna live here.” He hugged Steve’s leg. “I’m gonna show him all my toys!”

Steve was smiling as you looked at him. You then looked at Sam who you knew was hiding his true emotions. “You do have some cool toys.” You told Owen as David yelled for another bite. “Sorry, sorry.” You quickly gave him some pears.

David giggled and clapped as he munched. He waved at his brother happily before focusing on his pears again.

Bucky joined with Wanda a bit later, eyeing how Owen was talking Steve’s ear off. While they all knew how friendly Owen was, they were still very wary. If Steve did stay, they knew that one day Owen would notice how much alike that they looked. No one ever really thought that conversation would happen. Or should.

Once you were done feeding David, you cleaned his face and hands off. “Alright, before I go shower and get dressed…” You smiled at Sam, ignoring Steve looking at you. “We have some good news.”

Sam beamed and looked at Bucky, then Wanda. “We’re expecting!” He was over the moon. “She’s only about two months along, but still. We didn’t wanna make you guys wait again.” He laughed.

“Yeah, that was mean.” Wanda teased. “Making us wait until she was 15 weeks.” It wasn’t that far off, but she was enjoying the happiness in the room.

Owen tugged on Sam’s shirt. “What’s that?” He looked up at him innocently.

“It means you’re getting another little brother or maybe a little sister.” He told him. “We’ll know in about three months or so.” And he couldn’t wait.

Owen made a face that let you know he was thinking. “I only get one? I want both!”

You giggled at that. “Only one at a time, sweetie. Sorry.” You loved that he was so excited. While neither you or Sam had discussed having another after this one, you had a feeling you knew that this wasn’t your last pregnancy. “Do you want a brother or a sister this time?”

“Uh…” He looked at David as he thought. “A sister?” He said it as a question. “Yeah. A sister.” He nodded. “Please?”

You smiled. “It’s a mystery until we find out.” You moved to kiss his cheek. “Now, mommy needs to go shower. If you’re really good for Daddy and Uncle Bucky, they’ll tell me and I’ll bring you something home.”

He gasped. “I’ll be really good!” He promised. “I help with David!” He bounced on his chair.

“Good.” You ran your hand through his hair before heading out to shower.

After you’d showered, pulled on a sundress, and did your makeup, you went to find Wanda. “Ready for some fun?” You giggled as you spotted her. “A girl’s morning? Starbucks and some shopping.” You smiled. “Oh, and Peter’s birthday is next month, so I think I wanna get that.” You noted.

“Oh good idea.” She nodded. “Plan ahead.” She smiled. “And a gift for your eldest I assume?” She chuckled as she got up.

“And one for Sam.” You joked, making her laugh harder. “Alright, let’s go find the boys to tell them we’re heading out.”

She followed you happily, excited to get a goodbye hug from Owen. He honestly gave the best hugs. “Maybe one of these times we can invite Cassie and Hope, and Scott can come hang out here.”

“I would love that. Scott would have a blast here.” You smiled. “Him and Peter are the ultimate fanboys.” You giggled.

Steve’s head instantly whipped up when he heard your giggle travel to where he sat with Owen. Owen was currently showing him his dinosaurs, making each of them rawr.

“Owen, come say bye to mommy.” Sam said from where he was cuddling David. He then beamed at you as you came in. “You look gorgeous, as always...but I’m not gonna lie. I can’t wait until you start showing.” He flirted. “I always love when you start getting that bump.”

You blushed. “Always, we’re only on baby 3, Sam.” You chuckled.

“And I’ve loved it the past two times.” He pecked your cheek. “My wife is smokin’ hot. And beautiful.” He kissed your nose. “And needs to go do her shopping before I keep her home.”

“Exactly.” You patted his arm and kissed David’s head. “Bye, handsome.” You went over and crouched to kiss Owen’s head. “Bye, my other handsome.” You kissed his t-rex when he held it up for you.

Owen smiled up at you when you did. “Bye mommy!” When you walked away he gasped. “Wait!! You didn’t say bye to Steve.” He pouted. “That’s not nice.” He pointed out.

You looked at Steve. “Bye, Steve.” You said softly.

“Bye, d-“ he cut himself off. He blushed slightly as he searched your eyes, hoping to see anything besides hatred. You quickly looked away, and he felt the air shift. He swallowed and picked up a Dino to focus on. He heard you say goodbye once more before leaving.

Wanda gave your arm a squeeze as the two of you made your way to the front door. “How are you feeling?” She asked once you were alone. “This can’t be easy.”

“It’s a lot.” You sighed. “Never did I think this would happen.” You told her honestly. “I had just texted Sam the day before about the baby. So I was still so happy about that. Then FRIDAY told me there was someone asking for me. I was so confused. Scott never comes by unannounced, Peter only comes for dinner sometimes, and Carol never announces herself to FRIDAY.” You explained. “Then when she showed he was here, I freaked out. And then he was right there.” It was still hitting you. “I don’t want him here.”

“We don’t either so I can only imagine how hard it is.” She said softly. “I only wish we were there for you when he showed up.” It might have made it a tiny bit easier. “Has he said why he left? Or why he’s back?”

“He left based off a quick decision and he’s back because he missed me.” You huffed. “That he regrets leaving and he tried to leave sooner but couldn’t.” It sounded like a generic excuse to you. “I feel there’s more, but I know he won’t say. I wasted tears on him, and I’m finally really happy. Just for him to be like ‘my bad’?!”

She nodded. “It’s amazing that he thinks it would’ve been fine to just show up. Did he think you would accept him with open arms?” She scoffed. “Bucky wanted to hit him as soon as he saw him.”

You smiled softly. “Yeah, I figured.” You sighed. “And now he wants to be there for Owen and am I supposed to say no?”

“I would.” She shrugged. “He gave up all rights when he left, in my opinion.” That was something she would commit to. “He was selfish, and didn’t care about anyone else. Maybe Peggy saw that and he’s back because she didn’t want him…”

“I hadn’t thought of that.” You mused.

“Can always find out. Google knows everything.” She grinned. “I’m sure it’s history somewhere now.” Wanda wanted answers. This entire thing felt so wrong to her.

You chewed on your lip. “I dunno…” You thought for a moment. “I’d hate to find something out that makes this worse.”

“What could make this worse?” She asked. She asked.

You shrugged. “If she left him and that’s why he’s back. Or if they got married, I don’t think I’m ready if there’s a picture out there.” You sighed, opening the car door. “I mean, I’m happy in my life. I’m still so in love with Sam and our family. I just don’t think I could handle putting salt on the whole Steve wound thing that was just reopened. You can look, though.”

She nodded. “I understand your worry.” She got in with you. “I will keep quiet about my findings.” She promised. Making it worse was the last thing she wanted to do.

Chapter 12: Coloring

Chapter Text

Owen went back to playing with Steve after you had left. He never left his side, even for a moment. Steve didn’t mind a bit, eagerly playing with any toy that was handed to him. “Do you have a favorite color?” Steve asked, happy to learn about him.

Owen nodded. “I like blue! But I change.” He shrugged. “Do you?” He looked up at him brightly.

He chuckled. “Blue is a good color.” Be agreed. “But I think my favorite is Y/F/C.”

Owen smiled. “Like mommy!” He wiggled. “I draw her pictures all the time in that color! Can I show you?” He asked, hopeful. “I love coloring!”

“I’d love to see.” Steve got up with him and followed when he ran off. He ignored the looks Bucky and Sam were giving him. He was thrilled Owen liked him. Hopefully one day Owen would know who he really was.

Owen pulled out his box of colorings and drawings to show him. “See?” He pulled out his latest. “Me, mommy, Daddy, David, Uncle Bucky, Uncle Bruce, Aunt Wanda, Uncle Clint!”

Steve smiled as he saw it. “Wow, this is really nice, Owen.” He looked it over. “Could you draw me something for my room?”

Owen gasped as that was his favorite thing to do. “Yes!” He clapped. “Let’s go ask Daddy for my crayons!” He handed Steve the box of drawings to carry.

Steve happily carried the box and felt pride when Owen took his hand. Looking down, he never wanted to forget this moment. Owen looked up at him and smiled, eyes bright blue. “I love to draw, too.” He told the little boy. “Can I draw with you?”

“Yes! Can you draw me something for my room?” He asked. “Pretty please?” He batted his eyelashes at him.

“I’ll draw anything you want me to.” Steve smiled. “Any requests?”

Owen thought. “Are you a superhero like daddy?” He wondered. “And everyone else?” You were the only non-super hero that Owen knew.

Steve chewed on his cheek. “I am.” He nodded.

“Can you draw me and you? And you in your super hero clothes? I have everyone else but I want one with you!” He said excitedly. “I have a costume like Daddy’s from Halloween.”

Steve beamed. “Sure. I’ll draw us together. Your dad is pretty cool.” He agreed. “I’ve known him a long time.”

“He’s the best!” Owen said happily.

Sam sighed under his breath when he saw them walk in. “Hey buddy.” He chuckled as Owen ran over to him. “What’s up?”

“Steve said he’d color with me.” He told him happily. “And he’s a superhero, too! He’s gonna color me a picture for my room.” He smiled. “Can we have the crayons?” He rocked on his feet. “Please?”

Sam looked at Bucky before nodding. “Sure. I’ll go get them.” He gave Bucky a sleeping David. “Make mommy a picture, too?” He suggested.

Owen nodded quickly. “I will!” He agreed. “After I make one for Steve for his room.” He went to sit at his little table.

Bucky eyed Steve as he sat next to him on the floor. Feeling David shift, he glanced at him. He woke up a bit and Bucky went to get his snack.

Steve focused on looking at Owen’s other drawings. Seeing one of what looked to be Tony’s helmet had him emotional. He touched it gently and smiled sadly. “That’s Iron Man. Mommy tells me bedtime stories about him.” Owen told him.

Steve looked at him. “He was a good guy. I was friends with him…” He gave him a sad smile. “He was funny.”

Sam came and put the crayons down, along with some paper. He handed them to Owen only. “Here ya go, buddy.”

“Thanks daddy!” He handed some to Steve, happy to share. He didn’t feel they were close enough to compare drawings and moved his chair closer to the super soldier. “We share.”

Steve smiled at him and took a few colors to start. It was a simple activity, but felt mean

Owen focused on drawing as well, only looking up when he was done. He was excited to show Steve his picture. It was titled in his best handwriting ‘best friends.’ As well as he could spell it, that was. It was a bit sloppy, as he was still learning, but it was the thought that counted.

Steve glanced up when he was about halfway done. “You done?” He beamed. “Can I see it?”

Owen nodded and handed it to him almost shyly. “I hope you like it!” He told him, watching Steve closely.

Steve smiled widely as he saw it, tracing the little stick figures. “This is the best ever.” He wanted to hug him, but didn’t want to push it. “Thank you. I’m going to frame it for my room.” He smiled at him. “You can help me pick out where to hang it.”

Owen looked proud. “Yay! Are you done?”

“Almost.” Steve promised. “How about you draw your mom a picture and I’ll finish up?” He tapped a blank piece of paper. “I’m sure she’d love to come home to a picture from you.” Part of him imagined what it would be like to have it be him and Owen you were coming home to. He let his mind wander to that and his heart clenched as he pictured you and him with a larger family. Clearly you wanted that. “Are you excited to have another brother or sister?” He asked, curious.

Owen nodded. “Uh huh. I like to play with David so I get another friend.” He grinned. “I want lots of friends!”

Sam couldn’t help but chuckle. “We’ll see how many friends your mom wants to give you, buddy.” He smiled.

“I’ll ask nicely.” Owen promised.

Steve smiled and looked at Bucky who was staring him down. He wanted to include him in conversation now that it seemed safe to do so with Owen. “Seeing anyone, Buck?” He asked him.

Bucky shook his head. “Nope.” He tickled David. “Happy with these little guys.” He chuckled as David giggled. “Gone out with the guys a couple times, but that’s more of a friends thing. Not looking for someone.”

Sam chuckled. “No matter how much we try.” He nudged his friend. “Clint’s married, I got Y/N/N, Scott’s got Hope…”

Bucky smirked. “I’m a complicated guy. Don’t need to bring baggage on some poor person.” He countered. “I’m good helping you with your small army.” He teased Sam.

“We appreciate it.” Sam said with a grin. “Especially when they’re newborns.” He chuckled. “You’re the best Buba.” He chuckled. “And, I’m hoping David calls Clint “Lick” like Owen did.”

Bucky laughed. “Me too. I’ll secretly teach him.” He loved how Owen had pronounced their names as he learned. “Aunt Wawa. Uncle Lick. Uncle Buce.” He laughed.

Sam grinned. “That was the best.” He nodded. “Man, big green Bruce holding a baby.”

“He was so worried, poor guy.” Bucky laughed.

Owen snuggled closer to Steve’s arm as he colored. He was content just listening to them talk.

Steve finished his drawing soon after and carefully handed it to Owen. He drew them together, Steve holding him up with one arm so it looked like Owen was sitting on his shoulder. “So cool!” He grinned, getting up with the picture. “Look, Daddy!” He showed Sam.

Sam eyed it. “Been a while since I’ve seen your drawings.” He commented.

“Speaking of, where’d all my stuff go?” He raised an eyebrow.

“We had movers move it.” Bucky said. “Made sure it was clear in a day.” He told him, moving to lay on his back, letting David lay in him. “Wasn’t needed, why keep it?”

Steve nodded and looked back down at Owen’s drawings. “I’ll have to get my shield soon.” He noted. “And guess I gotta get some clothes.”

He was met with silence. Only David’s soft babbling filled the gap. It would take a long time for him to feel anything close to welcomed.

Pulling back into the house, you hoped that things went okay. Wanda carried in the food for lunch while you carried some gifts for your boys. You loved surprising them now and then. “Lucy, we’re home!” You called with a laugh as you walked in the front door.

Sam’s laughter could immediately be heard. A moment later he came out carrying David. “Excellent impression. Now let’s see if Barnes can do it better.”

You giggled and immediately put down your things to get baby cuddled. Kissing Sam softly, you held David close. “The small bag is your present, but you can’t have it until tonight.”

“Oh.” He wiggled his eyebrows.

Wanda laughed. “I will go set up the food.” She was hoping that your mood continued to remain in this high.

Bucky came in, Steve and Owen right behind him. Going to the bags, he held up the small one. “Should I do bedtime with the boys right?” He smirked, wiggling the shiny bag. “I know what kinda things come in these bags.”

“Since you’re offering.” Sam smirked back. “You know I won’t turn down extra time with my woman.”

“Just get me a mug that says ‘best Uncle’ okay?” Bucky laughed.

Owen ran over to you and lifted his arms, giggling when you picked him up. “I was really good!” He said excitedly. “I colored with Steve.”

You smiled at him. “Did you? What did you color?” You ran a hand through his hair. You planned to get him a kids easel for Christmas that year, to encourage his creativity.

“I colored a picture for his room! And a picture for you!” He smiled proudly. “Wanna see it?”

“After we eat lunch.” You kissed his cheek. “Aunt Wanda and I made sure to get a yummy lunch.”

“Okay!” He wiggled from your grip and went to grab Steve’s hand. “You sit with me?” He hopped up and down.

“Did you give him coffee?!” Wanda asked. “This is wound up for him.”

Sam shook his head. “Been excited since he woke up.” He told her. “Barely stopped moving except to draw. Means he should crash for his nap not long after lunch. If he takes one.” It was about fifty-fifty on him taking one lately.

You nodded. “Hopefully.” You smiled at him but saw how attached he was to his new friend. It was slightly worrying to you. “Has anyone seen Bruce yet?” You wondered. If you hadn’t seen him for a few days, you liked to check on him.

Everyone shook their head. “He’s probably in his lab, or reading on his balcony.” Sam told you. “Hell, I don’t even know if he knows Steve is back.”

“He lives with you and you don’t bother with him?” Steve asked.

“He likes his space. We let him have it, and I check on him every few days. Sometimes it’ll be months between him keeping to himself, other times it’s just days. I’ve been there. So I don’t push.” You told him. Not like he had any place to speak.

“The lab.” FRIDAY answered Sam.

You sighed. “Can you ask if I can bring him something to eat?” You didn’t want him not

“He stated he is alright.” She responded. “He will visit for dinner.”

“Thank you.” You hoped that this lifted soon. The boys loved him, especially Owen. The fact that his Uncle Bruce was big and green was the coolest thing ever to the little boy. It helped Bruce a lot, since he was worried about scaring his nephews. “Maybe after we can make Uncle Bruce a picture?” You suggested to Owen. “You can draw him playing? He always likes that.”

He nodded. “Since I have my crayons out already!”

Chapter 13: Welcome Back

Chapter Text

Bruce froze when he saw Steve. He’d been so holed up that he had no idea he was there. He’d even avoided helping missions when in these moods. Blinking, he wondered if he was seeing things. “Uh…”

“It’s me.” Steve nodded. “I’m back, for good.” He told him. He was currently using Bucky’s laptop to work on catching up on what he had missed. ed.

“How?” Bruce shook his head. “Never mind. Welcome back.” He shrugged. Trying to figure out how wasn’t on his to do list.

Steve stared at him. “You’re the first person to say that to me.”

Bruce eyed him and shrugged again. “While I’m not the happiest at what you did, it’s not my place either.” He told him easily. “If you leave again, though, that’s it.”

“I won’t.” Steve nodded his thanks. “I’m sticking around for good. I missed you guys, and I have a son to get to know.”

Bruce nodded. “He’s a great kid. Why’d you come back? No judgment, was it not what you expected?” He moved to sit down, getting comfortable. He was curious what Steve had to say.

Steve sighed. “No, not what I thought.” He shook his head. “I regretted it not too long after.”

“We all thought you would have married her and had a family.” Bruce told him. “It was obvious you wanted that if you left.” There was no judgement to his voice, just honesty. “Being back in that time, have all that. You didn’t want it here.”

“The fight got to me.” Steve said sadly. “I thought going back would take away the burden. Instead I added burdens to everyone. I’ve lost the woman I loved. She’s married and has babies. My son included.” His voice broke. “Everyone hates me.”

Bruce nodded. “Well, I don’t exactly ‘hate’ you.” He pointed out. “And, honestly, it didn’t seem like you wanted any of that with Y/N. Part of me expected you to break up when you didn’t propose around year three. Didn’t seem like you.” Steve seemed like the kind to propose in under a couple years if things were going well.

“I took our relationship for granted.” Steve nodded. “Tookherfor granted.” He looked devastated. “I regret it so much.” He let his head hang back for a moment. “I don’t know what I expected to come back to- but a kid? Her married to Sam with a kid, and another on the way? That...that was not it.” Not even close.

“There were some touch and go moments there the first few weeks.” He told him. “I had FRIDAY keep me updated on her bad days. In case I needed to get my lab set up in any way.” He paused. “She’s pregnant?” Bruce grinned.

“Yeah, sorry I keep ruining the surprise.” Steve looked around. “And Bucky mentioned she was in a rough spot. Like I almost didn't come back to being able to see her.”

Bruce nodded. “Super rough.” He sighed. “It’s gotten better. There was a rough patch for about a week after Owen was born, but we all did our best to help. Especially Sam.”

He licked his lips. “When… when did they get together?”

“He was about two months? They got engaged a month or two after he turned a year old, and got married a few months before he turned 3.” Bruce explained.

Steve nodded sadly, wishing desperately that you weren’t married to Sam. Then maybe he would have had a small chance. But he had a feeling that chance would have been smaller than Scott as Ant-Man.

Bruce knew that Steve deeply felt his mistake, as it was written all over his face. He wasn’t hiding it well. “Can I ask- did you marry her? Try to be happy there in case you couldn’t get back?”

Steve managed to look ashamed. Licking his lips, he stared at his hands.

“Oh…” Bruce said softly. He had his answer then. “Did you at least say goodbye to her?”

Steve nodded. “I told her I couldn’t do it anymore.”

Bruce felt Steve didn’t know what he wanted in any situation but he didn’t voice that. There was no point. It was as if Steve just wasn’t happy with himself, and took that as things around him weren’t what he wanted. He feared he’d leave again if things got hard once more. “Just...be careful okay?” That’s all he could ask of him at the moment. “Do you plan to go back to being Captain America?”

Steve nodded. “Yeah. I want to help in anyway I can.” He sighed. “I gotta get my shield. I have it in a safe place. I gotta go get some shopping done, too. Get some clothes and such.”

“Actually, talk to Pepper. She was in charge of telling the movers what to do with your stuff. I think she only donated some. Can’t hurt to see if she kept anything by chance.” He provided.

“Oh. Thanks.” Steve smiled, hopeful that not everything was gone. There were things in there that meant a lot to him. He doubted that any of the pictures of the two of you were saved. He wondered if FRIDAY saved any on her drive. He’d wait until he was alone to ask. “Tell me more about Owen? I’ve spent some time with him, but I don’t really know much about when he was smaller.”

“He was a bit shyer when he was smaller. But once he was able to talk a bit more, he warmed up to everyone rather easily.” Bruce smiled. “He’s a pretty happy kid overall. Not gonna say he’s perfect. He’s thrown tantrums, and he’s a...funkid when he’s tired.” He chuckled.

Steve smiled. “I’m happy he likes to draw and color.” It was something he felt they could bond over. “He made me a picture for my room.” He told him, but didn’t mention the picture you’d left on the fridge for Bruce. This way he didn’t ruin that surprise, too.

“Oh, he’s warmed up to you?” He smiled. “Usually takes a few visits with him.” While friendly, he had been told about strangers. “We’re all looking forward to when he starts school to hear him talk about making friends.”

“I’m glad I’ll be part of that.” Steve nodded. “I’m afraid she’ll take him away from me. I know I deserve that but I already love him with all my heart.” If he truly got to help parent Owen, that would mean a lot to him. “Do you think if I can prove I’m staying, she’d let me be there?”

Bruce thought for a moment. “I can’t say. She thought she knew you for 7 years, and then you were gone. I don’t think she’ll ever get over the worry you’ll walk out again.”

Steve nodded as he took a shaky breath. “I had a feeling you’d say that.” At least Bruce was being honest with him about all of this. While not looking like he wanted to Hulk smash him. He was at least grateful for that. “And I can’t think of any way to help get any type of trust.”

“Only time, I think.” Bruce stated. “Everyone is protective over the boys so I am sure they will let you know that if you leave again, they’d probably make sure you couldn’t come back.” His tone was light.

“Bucky nearly hit me when he saw me.” He admitted. “And told me if I hurt her or the boys, he’ll kill me.” Having his best friend say that to him had been hard. “Never thought I’d have him want me dead again.” Even if before it technically wasn’t ‘him’.

“I can believe it.” He said gently. “Bucky loves those boys more than himself.” They all loved the boys. “He looked like an excited kid when she announced what she was having each time. You’ll see that this time around, too. I think he’s secretly hoping she has at least one girl, though.” He chuckled.

Steve smiled. He always knew Bucky would be great with kids. He just had hoped that they would all be his he’d be bonding with, though. At this rate, he felt that Owen would be the only one he would have. “D-do you think they’ll have more?” He felt he knew the answer, but couldn’t help but ask.

Bruce thought for a moment before nodding. “Probably.” He said honestly. “They’re both naturals when it comes to parenting. And she said she’s always wanted to be a mom. I’m guessing that’s what makes her really really happy.” He went on. “And I think Owen helped Sam realize he wanted to be a dad.”

Steve sighed at that, hating himself more and more. He could see how happy being a mom made you, and how in love with Sam you were. Had he not left, and seen it all sooner, that would have been him. He highly doubted he’d ever get that chance. . And that was all on him.

Bruce watched him, knowing this was hard. There was no way to help, either. He could only hope for the best.

Owen hugged his falcon plushie but was unable to fall asleep. He whined a bit, trying to get comfortable. “FWIDAY?” He asked.

“Yes, young Mr. Owen? Would you like a song?”

Owen hummed. “Is anyone wake?” He asked. He was sitting up, hoping for cuddles.

“Mr. Rogers is.”

“Can you show me how to get there?” He asked, hopeful. You’d put in rope lights when he started walking, and you were worried about him in the dark. They were hooked up to FRIDAY not long after.

“Of course.” She said. She slowly lit up the way once he made it to the hall.

“Tanks!” He said happily, carrying his Falcon with him. He moved quickly towards Steve’s room, opening the door once he got there. “Hi!”

Steve looked up from his tablet. “Hey, buddy. Whatcha doing?” He smiled. “Want me to tuck you back in?” He offered, setting his tablet down on the nightstand.

Owen walked up to his bed. “Can I lay with you?” He rocked back and forth on his little feet.

Steve was surprised but nodded. “Come on.” He reached down to lift him up. “There ya go."

Owen smiled and moved to his side. “We cuddle and you tell me a story?” He asked, yawning a bit. “Please?”

Steve held him close. “You got it.” He said softly, beginning to tell him a story of him and Bucky. Back in the day, before all the fighting and war.

Owen listened as intently as he could. He loved the story but his eyes fell closed rather quickly. Soon he was cuddled against Steve, hugging his Falcon, and sleeping. Steve smiled softly and shifted to turn out the light. He was over the moon that he had come to him for snuggles. Pulling up the blankets, he got comfortable himself. This was the best thing in his life… and he nearly missed it. He stayed up as long as he could to just enjoy the moment, but he fell asleep eventually.

Chapter 14: Cuddles

Chapter Text

You yawned as you woke and put on your robe before going to check in on your babies. Owen’s room was first, and it took you a moment to realize he wasn’t in bed. “Owen?” You rushed to his playroom to see if he was there. Your breathing instantly picked up as you feared the worst. The next place you went was David’s room. It didn’t even occur to you to ask FRIDAY where your son was. David was awake and sitting up in his bed, playing with a squish toy. He grinned when he saw you, bouncing slightly.

“Hi baby.” You lifted him. “Owen?” You thought you’d ask. Maybe he’d come in to see him, but how the hell was your 7 month old supposed to answer that?

David babbled and squished your cheek as he wiggled. He was perky, and happy to be in your arms.

You went to check Bucky’s room next. Knocking, you didn’t have to wait long for him to answer. “Have you seen Owen? He’s not in his room.” You told him

He furrowed his brows. “No…” he shook his head. “I was in the training are. FRIDAY, where’s Owen?!” He instantly panicked with you.

“Currently in Mr. Rogers room. They are both still asleep.” She informed. “Shall I wake them?” She offered.

“Why would he be in Steve’s room?” You wondered out loud.

“Young Mr. Wilson could not sleep so he asked me who was awake. I guided him to Mr. Rogers room and they fell asleep.” She answered.

Bucky looked at you to gauge your reaction. He could tell that you were torn. While you were thankful that he was safe, you weren’t sure how you felt about Steve and Owen getting close. Bucky gently pulled you into a hug, knowing you needed one. David patted his cheek, making him smile. “How about I get this one to the kitchen for breakfast and you get Owen?”

“Okay. Thank you.” You handed him David who instantly played with his Uncles hair. He squealed with laughter when Bucky shook his head, making his hair brush David’s face. “I love that sound.” You chuckled before going to find Steve’s room.

Steve immediately panicked when he woke, feeling Owen slipping from his hold. He blinked as he reached out to him. He was afraid he’d fall off the bed or something.

You stared at him when he looked at you, holding a sleepy Owen. “Sorry I woke you.” You whispered. “I came to get Owen.” You pointed out. You had hoped to just get him out without issue. Without really having to say much to your ex.

Steve nodded. “It’s okay.” He cleared his throat. “I didn’t take him from his room or anything.” He felt the need to defend himself. “He came in asking for a story. So I told him about me and Buck back in the day.”

Owen nodded against you, yawning as he woke more. “Hi. mommy.”

You squeezed him. “Hi, baby. Did you have fun with Steve?” You were sure you knew the answer. You asked as you carried him out to get some breakfast.

“Yeah! He’s warm.” He giggled. “And nice.” He went on. “He’s my new friend.” He did his best to pronounce his r’s. “I like him!”

“That’s good.” You managed and kissed his head.

“There’s my favorite Owen!” Bucky smiled as you both walked in. David was already in his seat with a banana and some oatmeal.

Owen smiled and waved. “Hi! Steve told me you and him are best friends!” He wiggled down to go hug him. “He tolded me stories!”

Bucky lifted him, unsure how to feel. “Yeah? What kinda stories?” He asked as you went to make breakfast.

Owen played with his hair like David did. “Like how you were a hero to Steve!” He smiled. “And how you always called him a punk.”

You glanced at Bucky and you could tell that touched an old nerve of memories. “French toast?” You offered. “And while I make that you can take Owen to get Sam up?”

“That’s perfect, doll.” Bucky nodded. “Thanks.” He carried Owen.

Owen talked on happily. He was excited to tell Bucky all about the stories that Steve told him. “I wanna do sleep over with him again!” He said at the end.

Bucky gave him a smile. “Yeah? Do I get one soon, too?”

He gasped. “Yes!” He hugged Bucky’s neck. “Can we make a fort?!” He grinned. “And invite Uncle Bruce?”

Bucky laughed. “We sure can.” He agreed. “Oh, maybe we can camp out back again?” He suggested, Owen’s happiness lifting the uneasy feeling he had felt.

“Yes!!” He cheered. “So excited.” He wiggled.

Bucky laughed and let him down once they were by your room so he could go wake Sam. He watched him climb on the bed and laughed as he jumped on Sam’s back.

“Daddy!” He poked him. “Mommy’s making French toast!” He told him

Sam groaned. “Alright buddy.” He started to roll over, making Owen move. “Someone’s perky this morning.” He noted as he sat up, chuckling at Owen’s expression.

“I had a sleep over with Steve!” Owen announced. “He tolded me stories about Uncle Bucky!”

Sam looked at Bucky who gave a nod. “That’s nice, did you have fun?” Sam asked Owen. He hadn’t been expecting that. He slipped out of bed and lifted Owen up.

“So fun! I wanna do it again.” He snuggled to him. “And Uncle Bucky wants a sleepover, too. I asked if Uncle Bruce can come.” He said happily. “And we can make a fort!!!”

Bucky grinned at that. “I look forward to it, little man.” He said happily.

Sam led them out as Owen talked about his plans. When he spotted Steve coming down for breakfast, he desperately wanted to tell him to back off from Owen. It wasn’t his place to get all buddy buddy with the little boy that he saw as his son. He’d likely have a talk with him later.

Steve hung up Owen’s drawing carefully on his wall by his kitchenette. He’d like frame it when he had a chance to get to the store. He was currently organizing the basic stuff in his room until Pepper got back to him with the key to storage. He’d been pleasantly surprised that everything had been put into a storage shed on the back of the lot. Including his clothes. He thanked Pepper graciously.

“Got a minute?” Sam’s voice startled him a bit.

Turning, he saw Sam leaning on a doorframe. “What’s up?” ?”

“I heard about your sleepover.” Sam stated. He had just snuck away while you rested with the boys for their nap. “Owen told us about it.” He went on. “About you tellin’ him stories about you and Barnes.”

Steve nodded. “Yeah, he came by when he couldn’t sleep. I was happy to help with that.” He smiled.

Sam searched his face for a moment. “I’m going to need you to back off.” He said bluntly. “Now. He’s my son, and I don’t need you hurting him one day when you get bored, or when you get tired of being here again.”

Steve’s smile fell. “I’m here to stay.” He defended. “He’s my son, too.” He pointed out. “I have a right to get to know him, and be there for him. How’s him having another person to care for him a bad thing? Had I known she was pregnant, I never would have left.”

“I don’t really care about your argument. It wasn’t a request.” Sam stated. “You let your rights go when you left.” There was no way Steve actually thought he could just walk in and play dad. “You didn’t want her. Why would have he changed anything?”

“It’s not that I didn’t want her.” Steve felt he was repeating himself but he would if he had to. “I regret leaving, Sam. I promise I do. I know I have zero chance of it being okay between me and her. But I have a right to be there for Owen.” He urged. “Honestly, even if he can only see me as an uncle or something. I’m not asking for him to be told who I really am, especially right now.”

Sam scoffed. “I don’t even like you being his friend.” He told him. “I’m only letting you stay because I have a feeling Y/N/N would feel bad if we made you leave.”

Steve clenched his jaw. “ Letting me stay?” He crossed his arms over his chest. “This is my home, too.” Though his heart did a little flutter that you might actually want him to stay.

“Yeah. Letting you. I would have put your ass in the ice again if I could’ve.” Sam threatened. “I know Barnes feels the same way.”

Steve shook his head. “Don’t make your hatred of me stop Owen from having another family figure in his life.” That’s what was important. “How would you feel if you were being told you couldn’t be close to him, or David?”

“I don’t know. I don’t have the same douche mind you do.” Sam shrugged. “I’d never abandon my girl or my family for an idea of a perfect life.” He used air quotes when talking. “Life isn’t always gonna be easy, or go the way you want.” He stepped closer. “You of all people, I’d thought would understand. But guess I don’t even know you at all. None of us do. And neither will Owen.” He poked his chest. “You’re basically a stranger to all of us.”

Steve was getting upset and pushed Sam out of his space. “I don’t answer to you. If Y/N allows me to, that’s all I want.” He glared. “Now get out of my room.”

Sam glared right back. “Good luck with that. You think we hate you?” He chuckled.

“You’ve made that pretty clear.” He shot back.

“Wait until she tells you how she really feels.” Sam said proudly. “She’s still processing, but I know she’s not happy that you just decided to show up.” He knew you very well. “Believe me, I know my wife.” He enjoyed rubbing it in that the two of you were married. You hadn’t deserved the pain Steve put you through, and would spend his entire life making sure you were treated right.

“I said leave!” Steve snapped. He clenched his jaw, wanting nothing more than to take his anger out on Sam. Even if most of that anger was at himself. himself.

“Or what?” Sam pressured. “This ain’t your house.” He countered.

“No, it’s not. It’s not yours, either.” Steve stated. He told himself you’d be more mad at him if he fought with Sam. “This is, however, my area. Don’t you have anything better to do?”

“My wife and my kids are resting so nope. Not really.” He said.

Steve rubbed over his face with a sigh. He just wanted to be left alone, and it was clear that he wasn’t getting that. “What do you want?” He groaned, his shoulders sagging.

“Say you’ll stay away from Owen.” His tone was indifferent at this point. “Say you’ll stay away from my son.”

Steve stared at him. “No.” That was not something he would agree to. Ever.

“Mrs. Wilson is asking for you, Mr. Wilson.” FRIDAY told him.

Steve sighed in relief when that finally made Sam go. He quickly grabbed his stuff and decided to walk to the store to get his mind off things. Hopefully things would start looking up soon.

Sam easily calmed himself by the time he got to you. “You called, beautiful?” He smiled.

“Was hoping for cuddles?” You made grabby hands at him.

“Always down for that.” He kicked off his shoes and went to hold you. Pulling you close, he kissed your temple.

You instantly cuddled to him and relaxed. “Love you.” You said happily.

“Love you more.” He rubbed your side and closed his eyes. “Let’s get that nap.” He said softly, looking forward to this nap with you.

Bucky took it upon himself to help with the boys since you and Sam needed the rest. He currently was playing with David just a bit before Owen woke. He figured he’d get them a snack and put on a movie.

David smiled as his brother came over sleepily. He handed him a block. He had some mega blocks that were easy for him to grip, and that were still fun enough for Owen, too.

Owen rubbed his eyes as he woke up more. “Hi.” He told David and Bucky. He smiled, moving to sit down next to Bucky.

“Hi, pal. Sleep well?” He fixed his hair a bit. “Want a snack?”

Owen nodded. “And juice?” He asked, hopeful. “Apple juice?” Apple juice was his favorite, but orange was a close second.

“You got it. Watch your brother.” Bucky stood. He watched them for a bit before going to the snack area he kept. He frowned when he suddenly heard both boys crying. Putting everything down, he rushed back to them.

Owen was sniffling and hiccuping and David just looked started. The younger instantly reached for Bucky for comfort. Bucky crouched to pull him close. “What happened, buddy?”

Owen was so upset, he couldn’t answer. “He asked for Mr. Rogers company but I informed him he is out.” FRIDAY provided.

Bucky was surprised at that. “It’s okay. I’m here. Want me to get Uncle Bruce? Or Aunt Wanda?” He offered.

Owen shook his head, sniffling. “Steve!” He pouted. He was enjoying having a new friend to play with. To him, it was like a really cool new toy or something. How could he leave and not take him? He sniffed, burying his face in Bucky’s shoulder.

Bucky consoled him, softly humming. He rubbed his back, hoping to get him to calm down. “Want to come with me to get that snack and your juice?”

Owen nodded and hung onto him. “Please?” He asked.

“Course. Alright, come on, David.” He moved to scoop him up with his other arm. “Then we’ll watch a movie.” Bucky stood up with both boys. “Any requests?”

“Nemo?” He asked, smiling as David smiled at him. He loved animals, and loved them even more when they were talking animals.

“Nemo sounds great.” He smiled. “Oh, how about I get you a little bowl of Goldfish to snack on while we watch it?”

“Goldfish!” He nodded. He seemed to perk up ever so slightly at the idea. a. “When Steve come back?” He asked, eager to see him.

“Not sure, pal. I’m sorry.” He said softly. “I’m sure you’ll know when.” He was getting really worried about how attached Owen was getting to Steve. He didn’t want you or Sam to worry about it too. Chewing on his lip, he decided he’d push aside for his once best friend...and try to spend time with him. “Let us know when he does, FRIDAY?” He asked.

“Of course, Mr. Barnes.”

Chapter 15: Hopefully

Chapter Text

Steve unpacked his bags from the store, smiling as he heard little feet running up his hall followed by heavy footsteps. Glancing over his shoulder, he lit up when he saw Owen.

“I missed you!” Owen lifted his arms. “You left! Without me!” He pouted but was excited to see him so it didn’t last too long. “But you’re back!” He hugged him once Steve lifted him up.

Steve warmed. “Oh, buddy. I’m sorry. I didn’t think you’d want to come!” He told him, omitting the fight he had with Sam. “I did get you something, though.” He chuckled as Owen perked up. “Here.” He pulled out a little Captain America shield pillow.

Owen gasped and hugged it immediately. “Thank you.” He said excitedly. “It’s so soft.”

Steve smiled proudly and gently kissed his head, finally spotting Bucky leaned in the entryway. “Hey, Buck.” He greeted him.

“Hey. Did I get a gift too?” He asked. He was trying his best to make this not feel forced.

Steve rose his eyebrows but chuckled. “Unless you want some frames or art supplies, no.” He set Owen on the counter. “Maybe next time.”

Owen hugged his pillow tight. “We play now?” He asked, hopeful. “In my playroom?”

Steve nodded. “We can.” He said excitedly. “Can I get my stuff put away first? Just gotta get my stuff to my room. I got a frame for the picture you made me. See?” He showed him. “Then you can help me pick where to hang it up, deal?”

“Deal!” Owen loved helping. He wiggled before turning to Bucky to show him his pillow better. “Look! It’s so soft.” He grinned.

Bucky stepped forward and gently rubbed it. “It is soft.” He agreed. “I bet your Falcon stuffy could use it as a pillow.”

Owen gasped. “Good idea!” He agreed. “He’ll like that.” He couldn’t wait to show you and Sam.

Steve gathered his bags and offered to carry Owen on his free arm. Owen let himself be carried, holding his pillow tight. “That pillow matches my shield.” Steve told him.

“Like in the picture you gave me?” He asked. “Can I see it?”

“I don’t have it right now. I’ll try to get it tomorrow, okay?” He offered.

Owen nodded. “Okay. We do a sleepover tonight?”

“What about me and Uncle Bruce?” Bucky asked. “Thought it was my turn next.” He chuckled.

Owen looked back at him. “Oh!” He had forgotten. “We do that!” He nodded. “I’m excited.”

Bucky laughed and nodded. “Me too.” He walked with them to Steve’s area.

Owen sat patiently while Steve unpacked and watched as Steve put his drawing in a frame. “Alright, Owen. Where should I put my very first drawing?” Steve grinned.

Owen hummed, looking at the blank walls. He pointed to a spot near the door. “There!” He declared cutely.

“Mr. Barnes, Mrs. Wilson is ordering dinner, and is asking if you have any requests.”

Bucky tapped his fingers against his leg. “Maybe tacos?” He couldn’t remember the last time they’d had those. “Or nachos. Something in that area.”

Steve nodded as that sounded good. That’s something he had missed while gone, as well. The food. Especially your cooking, but takeout was very different back in the day.

“Is that okay, Owen?” Bucky asked. Usually FRIDAY would double check.

“I like nachos. Just the cheese! And meat. And sour cream!” He noted, pointing his little finger at Bucky. “Not those little black things. They’re icky.”

Bucky chuckled. “Black olives?” He asked.

Owen nodded and scrunched his nose. “I don’t like them either, pal.” Steve laughed. “They don’t have much flavor.” He noted, starting to hang up the picture. “You should try it with lettuce, though. Or tomatoes at least. Both are really good.”

Owen looked like he wasn’t sure about that idea. “...Are they, Uncle Bucky?” He asked, sounding quite skeptical.

Bucky nodded. “I think so. Lettuce is a little boring but with other things it’s good.” He shrugged. “How about we ask to get some on the side, and you can try a bite with it before putting it on top?”

Owen hummed. “Okay. I guess.” He agreed. “I’ll try it. But I’m not eating it if it’s icky!”

“Deal.” Bucky grinned.

“Does he have any allergies?” Steve suddenly asked. He didn’t want to risk offering him something he couldn’t have.

Bucky knew why he was worried. “No. No signs of anything like that yet.” He assured him. “We haven’t given him anything like shellfish yet, either.” He knew that was a common allergy.

“And he hasn’t got sick?” He asked.

“Normal kid stuff.” He shrugged. “Nothing major, really.”

“Good.” Steve would have hated to pass his bad genes along. So far it seemed that wasn’t happening.

Owen huffed when no one was moving. “We go play now?” He asked, getting impatient. “Pleeeeease.”

“We can.” Steve laughed and lifted him. “Let’s go.”

Come dinner time, Bucky and Steve came out with Owen together. You handed them both plates, making eye contact with Bucky. He gave you a small smile as he felt Owen tug on his shirt. “Can I sit between you and Steve?”

Bucky nodded. “That works for me.” He ruffled his hair. “And he said he’ll try either lettuce or tomato on a bite of his.” He told you. “But he won’t eat any more after that if it’s icky.” He chuckled.

You grinned. “Hopefully he likes it.” You got him his food together. “What made you wanna try?” You asked as he climbed into his booster seat. You were curious. It wasn’t that he was a picky eater, but he wasn’t big on most vegetables, or trying them.

“Steve!” He said proudly. “He said!” He wiggled. “He said they’re good. And he doesn’t like black olives, either.” He grinned at the blonde.

Steve beamed and sat by him. “Hopefully you like it.”

You hummed and set his plate down. “Hopefully.” You looked up at Wanda came in. “Hey.”

“Hi.” She smiled and went to serve herself, eyeing Steve and Owen for a moment. “How was your day, Owen?”

“Fun. I played all day! I got a new squishy!” He informed her. “It’s a pillow for my Falcon stuffy!” He went on excitedly. “It’s Steve’s shield.”

“That’s nice.” Wanda smiled at him. Not what she was expecting, either. “I bet your Falcon will like that.”

Steve grinned proudly. “I’m hoping to finish setting up my room soon. Maybe I’ll get a few things so he can hang out in there.”

“I’ll help.” Bucky nodded. “Since I know what he likes.”

“Thanks, Buck.” Steve ate. He was feeling hopeful that Bucky was coming around to him being back.

You also had the same thought as Steve but you definitely weren’t feeling hopeful about it. Was Bucky already forgiving him? That easily?

“Mm. Tomato!” Owen suddenly spoke. “Yummy.” He smiled up at Steve.

Steve beamed at him. “Told ya.” He chuckled. “Want me to help put them on the rest of your nachos?” He offered.

Owen nodded. “Please.” He said cutely.

Sam wrapped his arm around you once you were both seated and didn’t hide that he was glaring at Steve. You kissed his shoulder after a few minutes, thankful for him. David was happily eating something mushy. You were looking forward to bath time after dinner, as you usually bathed them together. It was easier at the moment, and they both enjoyed it.

“Alright, Owen. Bath time.” You told him as Sam wiped off David’s hands a little bit.

“But mommyyyyy. I want to play with Uncle Bucky!” He crossed his arms over his chest. “I don’t wanna bath!” He pouted.

You raised an eyebrow at him. “Owen Micheal Y/L/N.” You said sternly. “Either you get a bath and play with Uncle Bucky after, or you go right to bed after your bath.”

Owen pouted and nodded sadly, not wanting to get in trouble. Sighing, he slid out of his seat to follow you. Steve watched, it hitting him that Owen had your last name, and not his. He stopped what he was doing and just stared at something blank while he let that sink in. He honestly hadn’t thought of it one way or the other, but let himself hope that Owen was a Rogers. He swallowed and left the room without another word.

Bucky glanced over and wondered what caused Steve to leave. He took David as Sam lifted Owen. “I’ll get their towels if you guys wanna start running the water?” You offered.

“Yes, ma’am.” Sam winked at you. You chuckled before kissing his cheek.

“Thank you.” You smiled and went to do just that. Hopefully Owen’s attitude would chill out once he’d started to play in the bath.

Bucky built a fort for Owen once he was out of the bath. It wasn’t long before he fell asleep. “We’ll have to start the sleepover earlier next time.” He told himself. Maybe start it as a little cookout out back or something. He’d run that idea by you.

He lifted Owen before going to tuck him in. He chuckled how once Owen was asleep, he was out. It would take a bit to wake him up. It helped when David would cry in the beginning. He was slightly envious of the small boy, wishing he could sleep that well. He couldn’t remember when he slept that deep. Bruce offered to help him sleep, but that idea just rubbed him weird. Not that Bruce offered, he was thankful for his friendship, but not being in control. That didn’t sit right with him. He could only train and hope for the best. His nightmares hadn’t been as bad the past few years, and he felt that was from being around the boys.

He hung out with Owen for a while before doing his rounds with checking on you and David.

You looked over when you heard footsteps and smiled. “You just missed him. He just nodded off maybe a minute ago.” You told him softly.

“Awe.” Bucky chuckled quietly. “Owen’s out too.” He smiled. “He was out pretty quickly. Did some rounds, then came to check on you guys.”

“Thanks.” You smiled. “Glad we have you.” You said honestly. “The boys love you, and I know this next baby will, too.” You hoped by showing how much you loved having him there, that he’d stick around. Even with Steve being back. Your worst fear was him leaving too. He was family.

“What’s on your mind, doll?” He noted your facial expression.

“You’d never leave us right?” You whispered.

He stepped in further, crouching next to you. “Hey, where’d that come from. I haven’t heard you worry about that in years.” He said worriedly.

You bit your lip and shrugged. “I just worry. I know you missed Steve. At least, the old Steve.” You didn’t want to accuse him of anything. “And now he’s back.” You added.

Bucky rose his eyebrows and nodded. “I did, yeah. But that doesn’t change anything.” He promised, worried about what this was doing to your mindset. “I’m right here. You guys are stuck with me.” He smiled. “I’m only with Steve if Owen is with him.” He tapped your hand.

Steve had his hands shoved his in pockets as he wandered around, trying to sort his thoughts. Hearing your voice, he furrowed his brows.

You nodded slowly. “I wouldn’t be mad…”

“No, but you’d hurt. And I don’t plan on hurting you. Ever.” Bucky promised. “You and the boys mean everything to me and a friendship I’m never going to get back isn’t going to change that.” He urged you. “I’m here, I’m Uncle Bucky, and that’s the best thing ever.”

Steve blinked, not knowing how to take the conversation.

“I promise that I’m only doing it for Owen.” Bucky finished.

You smiled sadly. “I’m sorry. I know you wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone.” That wasn’t who he was. “But I’d understand wanting that relationship with him back. There’s a past there.”

“I haven’t forgiven him for what happened, doll. And I’m more worried about how this is effecting you to be worried about myself.” He promised. “You know I love you and the boys. You’re family.”

Steve hung his head as he realized Bucky wasn’t coming around to him at all. He had misread and hoped too hard. Swallowing, he willed himself to move, but felt frozen in place. “We love you, too.” He heard you, and could tell you were emotional. His best friend had a higher place in your heart than he did. He didn’t blame either of you. “I’m sorry I’m being so weird tonight. It’s just...Owen is so attached to him. And that scares me.”

“Scares me, too.” Bucky told you. “That’s why I felt that if I was there, it would help.” He explained. “I know that you don’t want to spend time with him, but maybe this way I can give you updates. If I feel I see a change, I’ll tell you honestly. If I have any concerns, I’ll tell you that too, okay?” This way, you had someone you trusted to tell you if they felt Steve was telling the truth.

You nodded. “I appreciate it, but we didn’t see this coming before.” You pointed out. “How can you know if he changed, if you don’t know what to look for?”

Bucky gave you a sad smile. “I hope I can tell.” He ran a hand through your hair. “Hopefully he has changed. Hopefully it all works out.” He smiled. “Now, let me see that smile. I don’t want you worried.”

You couldn’t help but smile at him. “Thanks, Bucky.”

He gently kissed your forehead. “Anything for you.” He said gently. “I’ll let you get him into his crib and go cuddle up with Sam. I know that’s what you wanna do.” He chuckled.

You nodded. “I’m a bit sleepy.” You admitted. “Night.” You smiled as he stood up.

“Night.” He winked and walked out quietly. He froze when he saw Steve.

Steve stared at him a moment, searching his eyes. How did he say he knew Bucky wasn’t trying to really be his friend again?

Bucky stared right back, not knowing how long he had been standing there. “Uh. Owen is asleep.” He said quietly. “Already tucked him in. Figured I’d have another sleepover with him another time. Didn’t even get to ask Bruce to come play.”

Steve nodded. “Okay.” He looked down the hall before shuffling away. He doubted he’d be sleeping any time soon, so he figured he would just wander the halls. He knew he wasn’t welcome here and any hope he had of Bucky forgiving him diminished. Even with Bucky saying ‘hopefully’. He felt that he had said that simply to comfort you. He didn’t know what to do. There was no way in hell that he was leaving, but it seemed the only one who wanted him there...didn’t even know who he really was. Would Owen hate him when he one day found out what the truth was? Without the clear resemblance he doubted he’d even believe the truth.

He found himself walking outside and just sat in the grass, not caring about the dark. Letting out a breath, he stared up at the sky.

Chapter 16: I'm Fine

Chapter Text

After you’d gotten David in his crib, you made your way to your room. You undid your robe and crawled into bed. Sam pulled you close, rubbing your arm once you were against his chest. “Want me to help you sleep?” He flirted.

You giggled softly. “Like I could say no.” You smiled. “I’m sure we could both benefit from some sleep.” You laughed as he rolled you to your back.

“Very beneficial.” He agreed. “Very good stress relief.” He said confidently.

You smirked and kissed him lovingly, feeling better already. He always knew how to make you feel better.

Steve sat outside for a good twenty minutes before going back to wandering the halls. He assumed that everyone would be asleep by now. His steps were light as he went floor by floor. Maybe Owen would have woken and he could tell him a story again. Or at the very least check on him to make sure he was still tucked in.

He made his way to your area, having to pass your room first to get to the boys. As he neared your door, he was surprised to hear you. “Sam!” He blushed at the sound of you clearly sleeping with him. He rubbed the back of his neck and swallowed. It had been a very long time since he’d heard you like that, and it was hard that it was with someone else. He felt that today really wasn’t his day. Honestly, he felt a bit sick to his stomach. He heard another one of your sounds and picked up his pace. Just to get to Owen’s room.

He carefully opened the door and peeked in. He smiled when he could see the shield stuffie from the soft glow of his night light. He was glad that he liked it. He really hoped he could be there for him. But now, he expected Bucky to play bodyguard the entire time. Part of him was thankful Bucky would play pretend around the boys, giving him a small taste of them being friends again. He could relish in that at least. Sighing, he slipped back out, preparing himself to head past your room.

When he did, your laughter cut him like a knife. He blinked away tears, mind going to old memories for a few moments. Though, he was quickly brought back to reality with another one of your giggles. The reality of what he had done was finally really hitting him. He sniffled and felt his chest tighten, knowing his anxiety was taking over. Leaning on a wall, he focused on his breathing. “Shall I ask someone to come assist?” FRIDAY asked.

“N-No. Please.” He managed, closing his eyes. Who the hell would care? They’d probably be happy. Leaning his hands on his knees, he screwed his eyes shut. He felt himself space out as he focused on his breath, breaking in a sweat. He would have to work on getting over you, because there was no hope what-so-ever. He felt that thought would literally kill him at this point as he covered his mouth to let out a choked sob. His chest ached, from anxiety and heartache.

He didn’t hear anyone come close to him but he jumped slightly when he felt a hand on his back. He knew instantly it was Bruce and let out a shaky breath. The hand was much too large to be anyone else. “Come on.” He heard Bruce. “Let’s get you to the lab.”

“Deep breaths, pal.” He heard Bucky say. “Come on.” He felt both men prop him up to lead him away.

Steve shook his head, desperately wanting to tell Bucky to not bother but his throat was on fire. No words were coming out.

Bruce managed to help get him to breath once he gave him water. “There you go.” He kept his voice soft, not wanting to make it worse.

Steve wiped his eyes, hands still shaking. “T-Thanks.” He managed, keeping his eyes on the floor. “You don’t have to be here, Bucky.” He said quietly, clearing his throat when it cracked. “I know you’d rather not be.”

Bucky blinked. “Oh.” He looked down. “FRIDAY alerted me and I wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“I’m fine.” Steve said quickly, though he knew it was obvious he wasn’t. There was no way either would believe that.

“Is there something we can help with?” Bruce asked. “Want to talk about what brought this on?”

“It was a few things.” Steve shrugged, wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. Not like he wanted to blurt out he heard you having sex with your husband.

Bruce nodded. “I’m sure being back is hard.” He said sympathetically. “It’ll take some getting used to.”

“Yeah.” Steve agreed. “I think Owen is the only one who is actually happy I’m back. Which is okay.” It was just hard. “Everyone else wishes I didn’t come back.”

Bucky knew then that he had heard the conversation with you. That explained the look on Steve’s face when he saw Bucky.

“I don’t wish that.” Bruce promised. “Like I said, I’m not happy with what happened, but it’s not my place.” He smiled softly when Steve looked at him.

“Thanks.” Steve played with his fingers.

Bucky watched on, not sure what to do. He’d been there- in Steve’s shoes. Where the world hated him. And where it felt like you were being crushed. “Same here.” He said gently, surprising himself. Steve’s head whipped up and he stared at Bucky. “I mean obviously, I’m not happy. But…” He shrugged. “I...don’t hate you…” You leaned against the wall.

“You don’t?” Steve asked. “You wanted to hit me when you saw me.”

“Still do sometimes.” Bucky admitted. “That won’t change overnight.”

Steve nodded. “I understand.” He sighed. “I think reality just really hit me. What I did. What I’ve done.” He looked down at his hands. “What I lost.” He added sadly. “A future I can’t have.”

Bucky winced internally, feeling a bit bad. “Because you were going to check on Owen?” He was close to Owen’s room, after all.

Steve nodded. “Yeah. Heard Y/N laughing.” He blushed, swallowing.

Bruce and Bucky shared a look. “You heard her lau— oooooh.” Bruce figured it out.

Steve blushed even more, the sadness taking over his face further. “Yeah.” He sighed.

Bucky nodded after a moment. “That would be hard.” That wasn’t something he had experience with.

“I deserve the ache.” Steve said quietly. “I did this to myself.” He shrugged. “And I want to be here for Owen and his siblings. So I’ll have to learn to live with it.” What else could he do?

“I’m sure the boys and future babies will appreciate it.” Bucky nodded, unsure if he was helping. “One more person to play with and look up to.”

“He probably won’t ever know he was supposed to be a Rogers.” Steve blinked back tears again. “Hearing that he doesn’t even have my last name…” He took a deep breath, willing his anxiety to go down. He couldn’t live with this feeling constantly.

Bruce looked at Bucky, both men wearing looks of worry. Neither knew how to approach this. Had he expected you to not move on? Bucky felt it was obvious as to why you didn’t give Owen his last name. He also felt you were completely right for it, and figured one day Sam would adopt Owen, and he’s be Owen Wilson.

Steve guessed what they were thinking and chuckled weakly. “Yeah, I know.” He licked his lips. “I just wish I had the chance to be a dad.”

“Well, I’m sure they’ll allow you to be there for Owen.” Bruce tried.

“Maybe Y/N but Sam already told me to back off.” Steve tugged at his hair. “He all but threatened me.” He told them. “He wants to throw me out but won’t because he’s sure Y/N wouldn’t like that. For whatever reason.”

Bucky nodded, not surprised at Sam’s reaction. “I know Y/N will feel bad if she doesn’t allow you to spend time with Owen.”

“Which is why I’m sure she’s fine with you playing bodyguard to Owen.” Steve looked at him. “I know I’m not allowed alone with him.”

“Yet.” Bruce noted. “Give her time. She feels she can’t really trust you, and you can’t blame her. Let her go at her own pace.”

Steve nodded. “I am.” He said honestly. “I’ll take anything I can get.” He sipped his water.

“Good. I think that’ll help.” Bucky leaned against a chair. “Especially with her being pregnant. There’s no telling what’ll make her upset.” It wasn’t that you were super emotional, but you had your moments.

“I’ll try not to piss her off.” Steve nodded. “I’m sure it won’t be the last time around her when she’s pregnant.” He’d just have to accept it. “I should get to my area.” He stood. “Thank you.” He brushed off his shirt and shuffled towards the door. Hopefully he would get some sleep.

Bucky nodded his thanks to Bruce before following the blonde. He’d walk with him back to his room to make sure he got there.

Steve didn’t say much as they went down to his room. He kept his hands shoved in his pockets. He opened his door once he got there and glanced at Bucky. “Night.” He said softly.

“Night, pal.” Bucky told him. “I’m usually up before the boys if you want, I can start helping you bring in your old furniture?” He offered. “So we don’t have to hire anyone.”

Steve thought about it for a moment. “Sure.” He agreed. “I should have the key tomorrow. I’m gonna go get my shield, too.”

“I’ve been wondering where the hell you stashed it.”

Steve smiled a bit at that. “Safe place.” He chuckled. “Then I can show Owen what his stuffie matches.” He looked forward to it.

Bucky nodded. “I’m sure he’ll have a blast.” He knew Owen pretty well, after all. “He has a bow and arrow set for when he’s a little bigger, too, from Clint.”

“That will be fun.” Steve chuckled. “I look forward to seeing him grow up.”

“Yeah. You better stick around.” Bucky said seriously. If he was going to try for Steve, he needed the blonde to prove himself. He wasn’t gonna trust him over night, especially with his nephew.

“I already promised I would.” Steve nodded. “But I can’t say don’t worry because I know you will.” He said lightly. “You’ve always been that way.”

“Yep.” Bucky chuckled slightly. “Doubt that’ll ever change. Especially once they hit school.” Owen was quickly approaching that age. “I’ll fight anyone.” He said excitedly. “And I know that’ll be fun when it comes time for Owen to have parties and the moms are bringing them.”

“You never know. You might like one of those moms.” Steve shrugged. It wasn’t a far fetched thought to him.

“Eh. I’ve kinda accepted my role.” Bucky ran a hand through his hair. “Not really interested. Some and the guys went out one night when Owen was really young. Wound up playing pool.”

Steve nodded. “Whatever makes you happy, Buck.” He knew there was no changing his mind.

Bucky patted his shoulder. “Thanks. I’ll see you in the mornin.” He gave him a small wave before turning to walk away.

Steve watched him go, feeling a sliver of hope that things would be somewhat okay. Sighing, he made his way inside.

Chapter 17: Nothing

Chapter Text

“Mr. Barnes asked me to inform you that he and Mr. Rogers will be a bit late to breakfast. They are rearranging furniture.” FRIDAY told you while you cracked some eggs the next morning. You paused for a moment, surprised at that. You didn’t even know Steve had any furniture. Maybe there was basic stuff laying around. It wasn’t any of your concern anyway.

“Ask Bucky if he wants me to save him some?” You replied.

“He said, yes please. Mr. Rogers as well.” She stated.

“Alright.” You agreed, despite not really wanting to. However, you didn’t want to be rude, either. Owen was observant, and that was not something you wanted him to learn.

Steve came in once breakfast was nearly over. “Want to see something, Owen?” He smiled.

“Yes!” He went to get down.

“Sit back down.” Sam told him. “You gotta finish your breakfast.” He pointed to Owen’s plate.

Owen instantly pouted and sat down with a huff.

Steve fought a sigh. “I’ll be in the hallway whenever you’re done.” Steve promised Owen. “No rush.” He smiled. “Need to eat to grow big and strong.”

“Like Daddy! Ohhhh or Uncle Bruce!” He went wide eyed. Bruce was the strongest person he knew.

“Exactly.” Steve beamed. “I’m sure they eat a lot of veggies and fruit.” He encouraged him.

Owen wiggled and worked on finishing his plate. “Done!” He announced. “Can I go with Steve now, daddy?”

Sam reluctantly nodded. “Alright. Go on.” He smiled. “Love you, too.” He chuckled when Owen came over to give him a hug. He kissed his head before the little boy ran off, hand reaching out for Steve’s. He let out a sigh, lifting his mug up to finish his coffee. Hearing David giggle, he smiled and looked over at him.

David let out a babble and squealed at him. He clapped happily.

You smiled, knowing David adored his father. “I’m loving being a boy mom, but wouldn’t mind seeing the Avenger men melt for a little girl.” You chuckled.

Sam grinned. “I wouldn’t mind either.” He said easily. “Maybe take a family day today? Take the boys to the park, and get some dinner?” He asked, hopeful. He also wanted to talk to you about him retiring from the Avengers.

You nodded. “The outdoors will be good. Owen will tire himself out and David likes pulling the grass.” You smiled. “At least he learned his lesson about putting it in his mouth.” You remember the disgust on your son’s face. He had not enjoyed that.

He laughed, nodding. “Very true.” He agreed. “Want me to do bath time or breakfast clean up?”

“I got breakfast clean up.” Wanda spoke up with a smile.

“I’ll help.” Bucky promised as he strolled in. “You guys enjoy bath time. Thanks for saving me breakfast, doll.” He grinned. “Smells great, as always.”

You nodded. “No problem. Everything okay?” You didn’t want to press why he was alone and not with Owen and Steve. Did they have a fight or something?

“Yeah.” Bucky smiled, grabbing his plate. He leaned against the wall as he ate. “Steve will come eat in a minute. He’s showing Owen his shield.” He explained. “He promised him he would.”

You nodded slowly. “Oh. Okay.” You stood and got David’s bib off. “Hi, handsome.” You smiled, wiping some food off his mouth with part of the bib.

He giggled and patted your hand. He started kicking excitedly when you started to move his tray off, knowing he was about to be picked up. You giggled and lifted him once he was free, rubbing his back. “Let’s get you cleaned up. Maybe you don’t need a full bath. Just some wipes.” You tapped his nose.

“We might remain dry.” Sam chuckled. “Can’t wait to bring them to the beach.”

“So much sand.” Bucky laughed. “I’ll have to find something to cover my arm.”

Wanda nodded. “I will see if I can find anything.” She knew how much Bucky would like to play with the boys without worrying.

“Thank you.” Bucky winked at her before rinsing his plate. A moment later they all heard Owen crying, causing them all to freeze before rushing out.

Owen ran straight into Sam’s legs. Sam lifted him and instantly glared at Steve. “What’d you do?” He snapped, holding Owen protectively.

Steve held his hands up. “Nothing.”

Bucky stood between Steve and Sam, holding his hands up also. “What happened?” His voice was firm.

“I don’t know. One minute he’s fine, the next he’s freaking out.”

“There was a really scary bug!” Owen sniffed. “In the hall!” He told them. “It was so fast!” He buried his face in Sam’s neck.

Steve looked behind him to see if he could spot it. Had Owen pointed it out, he would have killed it for him. He figured it was gone by now and looked back at Owen. “Next time can you point to it, Buddy? So I can take care of it?”

Owen peeked at him. “You can do that?” He asked, wiping his nose.

Steve nodded. “I can.” He smiled. “Any time.” He promised.

“Okay.” He said thankfully. “Oh! He showed me his shield!” He looked at Sam. He perked up a bit at that. “It’s so shiny!” He looked at Bucky next. “Like your arm!” He pointed. “He let me touch it.”

You glanced at Steve who looked proud. “I told him when he’s bigger he can try to pick it up.” He had his hands on his hips. “He wants to see my suit next, but I need Bruce to fix it a bit.” He admitted. “Maybe have it dry cleaned.”

Bucky nodded. “I’ll show you where we get our patch ups. I usually fix my own.” He explained. “It’s just easier.”

“You can sew now?” Steve asked.

Bucky warmed. “Uh. Yeah.” He shrugged. “More so because I wanted to be the only one to touch my stuff.” He told him easily. “It’s not that hard once you’re used to it.”

Steve looked impressed and nodded. “Nice.” He smiled.

Bucky grinned. “Thanks. I’m gonna help Wanda clean up and you can eat your breakfast.” He motioned behind him.

“And we’re gonna clean these guys up and get them ready for an afternoon at the park later. So, coloring for a bit before lunch?” You asked Owen, trying to distract him from the bug thing.

He nodded excitedly. “Yeah!” He reached for you, making you chuckle. You took him with one arm while Sam worked on taking David.

David chewed on Sam’s shirt happily once he was in his arms. “Think someone’s teething again.” Sam chuckled. “I foresee sleepless nights for me.” You went to open your mouth. “You are getting some sleep. You’re pregnant, and you lose sleep some nights as it is. I got the rough ones with him.” He told you, an amused look on his face. “I know the drill, sugar.” He kissed your cheek.

Steve looked away, feeling that ache again. His face went blank as he followed Bucky and Wanda. The last thing he needed was another breakdown, especially in front of Owen and you. He didn’t want to embarrass himself and make Owen wary of him. He felt that he was making progress with him.

Wanda watched Steve, sensing his distress. However, she wasn’t sure it was her place to say something. Besides, did she even want to? His distress wasn’t really a concern. He probably deserved it, she thought to herself. “Any plans today, Bucky?” She asked. “Was thinking of seeing if Bruce wanted to hang out.”

Bucky cleared the table. “Not much, no. We pretty much finished moving Steve’s stuff.” He shrugged a shoulder.

“They’re bringing the boys out.” Steve said, keeping his eyes on his plate.

Wanda looked at him and nodded. “That’ll be fun for them.” Both both loved getting to go to the park. “Just them?” She asked.

He shrugged. “I guess.” He hadn’t asked.

“Maybe hang out with Bruce and train then?” Bucky asked, not wanting to ruin your family date. “Training room was updated like a year ago. So I can show you that.”

“Cool.” Steve nodded. He was curious to see how it had been updated. “Need to get back to training anyway.”

Wanda figured this was as good of time as any to be curious. “Did you get married?” She hadn’t googled it. It had been very hard not to, though. “Have kids?” She asked a split second later.

Steve swallowed, sitting back in his chair. He noticed Bucky looked at him as well. No one was moving, and knew they wouldn’t until he answered them. “Yeah. We did.” Hell, technically...he still was.

Bucky hung his head instantly. “Dammit Steve.” He groaned. “How long were you married?” He wondered.

He licked his lips. “Just over a year.” He looked at his hands. “I tried to be the trophy husband. Couldn’t.” He told them, pushing his food around a bit. “Told her I was leaving.”

Wanda stared at him. “So that was a yes to having kids, too?” Here he was saying he wanted to be there for Owen, did he abandon his kids? The thought pissed her off, making her clench her jaw.

“No.” He shook his head. “She wanted some, but I couldn’t commit to that.” He didn’t feel hungry anymore. “I always wanted to come back.”

Wanda rolled her eyes heavily. “I think you use women.” She said honestly. “No sugar coating that.”

Bucky couldn’t help but agree, feeling he had left Peggy high and dry like he had done to you. At least you had Sam now, and he didn’t have to worry about Steve trying to get you back.

Steve looked down. “I don’t mean to.” He told them, knowing that they all viewed him so differently now.

“What would it take for you to leave?” Wanda asked, curious if anything would. She put the dishes back down, leaning against the table, arms crossed.

“What? Are you gonna try to make me?” He raised an eyebrow at her. “Sam’s already told me he wants me out.”

“I just don’t see your value here.” Her voice wasn’t harsh but it was clearly honest. “We’ve been fine without you. She’s been happy. And taken care of.” She motioned around. “Bucky may be your friend but you’re no longer his number one.” You’d basically taken that spot. Bucky saw you like a sister, and he’d probably protect you against anyone.

“You’re not telling me anything new.” Steve said sternly. It was obvious he really didn’t want to hear this again. “What, do you want me to pack up and leave or something? I’m pretty sure having another Avenger back is a good thing. And Owen likes having me around.”

“For now.” Wanda shrugged. “He’s four.” She pointed out. “He’s going to probably find out who you are eventually, and how’s he going to feel knowing you left his mom?”

“Wanda…” Bucky said gently.

She glanced at him. “I’m not going to baby him. Don’t you think this should get talked about now? Before Owen grows up?” She asked him. “He’s gonna start school in less than a year. We’ve done really well keeping him from hearing anything about our family. But parents at his school will talk, and his classmates will hear that. And they will say something to him. I want to protect my nephew.”

Bucky nodded and looked back down. Nothing she was saying was a lie.

Chapter 18: Us

Chapter Text

“I’m all for telling him who I am. He can decide to hate me if he wants.” Steve’s voice cracked. “But I still want to help and protect him. David and the new baby too.”

“They deserve better.” Wanda stared at him. “Who are you to help raise Sam’s kids?” Her voice was steady, not holding much emotion. It was hard to hold back, but she was managing. “I’ve never questioned letting Bruce around those kids.” She pointed out. Bruce was big and green. And technically dangerous, but she never worried about him with the kids.

“What do you want?” Steve looked at her. “I’m not leaving.” There was no way in hell that was close to happening.

“He’s trying.” Bucky tried again.

“Why are you defending him?” Wanda looked at him. “You were nearly as heart broken as she was. You hid it well, but we all knew you were depressed.”

Bucky flinched slightly, not enjoying being called out like that. He’d been trying so hard to hide it from you, not wanting it to get worse.

“You went missing one day.” She added. “Even FRIDAY couldn’t reach you.” She looked sad for a moment. “I could feel how broken you were. So the fact you’re defending him is a bit sad.” He glanced at her and saw the sadness in her eyes. “We all care about you, but especially her. You’re the one who convinced her to come back.” She said in a softer voice. “You saved her.” She reminded him. “Which means you saved him, too.”

Steve swallowed, soaking in the information that he had practically broken two people at once. And nearly pushed you so far. Maybe he could start by trying to do something nice? But what could he do that wouldn’t be taken as him trying to ‘win’ you back? Sam would probably do something to him if anything appeared like he was flirting.

Bucky felt the heartache of when Steve left wash over him, knowing it was Wanda trying to remind him of what he went through. “Stop.” He said achingly. “Please.” He looked at her.

“I just don’t get why you’re defending him. So quickly.” She told him, getting up. “It’s like you’re trying to forget all the pain he caused because your once best friend is back. That you’d rather go back to it being you and him.” She crossed her arms. “He was okay leaving you, Bucky. Remember that. You don’t think he’d do it again? Years from now, maybe, but it’ll hurt all over.” That was the last thing that she wanted. “Please, don’t let your walls down too fast.” She put her hand on his arm.

Bucky’s eyes burned as he stared at her. She had gathered all his insecurities regarding his friendship with Steve and laid them out in the open.

“You’ll always have us. You won’t be alone. Whether you meet someone or don’t.” She promised. “Me, Sam, Y/N, the kids, Bruce, Parker, Scott…” She squeezed his arm gently. “You don’t need an ex-friend using you to get to the woman he left.” A woman he would never have again.

Bucky fought with himself. He really thought he was doing good by keeping his walls up around Steve. He was trying his best. “How about you get in touch with Scott and Hope. I’ll call May and Peter. Do a nice dinner this weekend. I’ll call Strange, too.” He wanted to get away from the topic of Steve.

She nodded. “Sounds nice.” She gave him a small smile. “You go. I’ll finish up here.” She could tell he needed a minute. “You can make lunch.” She added playfully.

“Deal.” He gently kissed her head. “Thanks.” He knew she was just looking out for him. He made his way out of the kitchen, knowing Steve would likely follow. He shoved his hands in his pockets. He managed to get to his area alone and he shakily sat on his couch, letting his hands cover his face. He hadn’t expected such an emotional morning.

“Was that necessary?” Steve asked once Bucky was out of ear shot. “At all?!”

“Yes.” Wanda said as she wiped down the counters. “It was.” She sighed. “I don’t want them getting hurt again. I’m not telling him to never forgive you. I’m telling him to be smart about it. You didn’t see what I did.”

Steve set his jaw. “But reminding him? While I’m right here? That’s not fair!” He glared.

“I’ll show you why it’s not fair for you to come waltzing back in.” She put her hands on each side of his head.

Steve flinched and blinked, finding himself in your area. His heart clenched as he instantly heard your sobs. Looking around, he saw Bucky holding you. Your hair was wet, but Bucky didn’t seem to care.

“I’ve been back a week and I barely sleep. When I do, I keep reliving him leaving.” You told him as Wanda stepped into view.

She held out a mug for you. “Tea.”

“Thanks.” You took it, eyes puffy but empty. The light in your eyes was no longer there. He’d never seen you look like this. “I just want this to stop. I’d take have been snapped away over this!”

He felt like he would be sick when the room spun to a different scene.

Bucky was punching the bags as hard as he could, not caring if he was bleeding from his knuckles. He screamed in the empty room, the sound echoing. His shoulders were moving with how he breathed when he finally stopped for a moment.

“Mr. Barnes. I was set to remind you that Mr. Wilson and you are to make dinner.” FRIDAY provided.

“Thanks.” He mumbled, hands shaking as he leaned against the bag. “I hate this.” He mumbled. “I hate him.”

Steve went to reach for Bucky before the room spun again. You were curled up against Bucky, very pregnant, and Wanda was painting your toenails.

“Thanks. I like the purple.” You smiled weakly.

“Nails always help when you’re down.” She smiled.

“Then you’ll have to do mine sometime.” Bucky grinned, trying to make you laugh. It had been a rough day, and he didn’t want that to lead to a worse night. “Cheesy movie and a sleep over tonight, doll?” He offered you.

“With Chinese food?” Your lip wobbled in the way that everyone knew you were on the edge of crying. It broke Steve’s heart.

Bucky swallowed and nodded.

The next scene he was confronted with was Wanda holding Owen while you broke down after he was born. You were crying into Sam’s chest. “He looks so much like him. How could he leave?” You asked. “After so long!” All those questions were bubbling back up. “Was I just not good enough?!” Sam was rocking you. “He never even wanted a family. Obviously.” Your body shook. “Did he string me along because he just didn’t want to be alone?”

Sam kissed your head. “He didn’t deserve you. He was insecure with himself.” He said gently. “His loss. Not yours.”

“I try to tell myself that, but something must have been wrong with me. I wasn’t good enough. Everyone else will leave, too. Bucky, Wanda, everyone. Even you. You’ll get tired of me!” You hicupped. “And one day Owen will find out what Steve did. And he’ll wonder what I did to make him leave.”

Steve couldn’t believe how badly you were blaming yourself. He had to swallow as he felt he was going to throw up. He leaned his hands on his knees, trying to focus on his breathing. The birth of your son and you were having a rough time. He did that to you. He stumbled as the scene changed.

Bucky rocked Owen at a few months old. “I’ll protect you, buddy. From everyone bad. Including your old man.” He mumbled to him. “He’s lucky I haven’t hunted his old ass down. I’m not stupid. He’s around here somewhere.” He leaned against the nearest wall. “He’s just lucky I don’t have enough guts to upset your ma.” He rubbed over his head. “She’s been through enough. At least Sam’s stepping up. It’s about damn time they got together.” Bucky smiled. “He loves you so much. We all do. You’ll never know anything besides love.” He promised. “I can’t wait to spoil you.” He chuckled. “I always knew I’d help raise Steve’s kids. Just thought different circ*mstances.” He sighed. “Never mind that. You rest.” He tucked him into his chest. He moved to get comfortable in a chair, Owen sleeping on his chest.

Next was watching Owen run to an excited looking Sam. He’d seen the pain, now he was seeing the healing. He saw how much Sam looked at you and Owen with pure love. It made him wonder how he could have shown you better. You hugged Sam close, kissing him softly. Steve tried to look away but he couldn’t. “Daddy!” He heard Owen giggle. Steve felt horrible. Owen should be calling him that.

He didn’t think he could take much more when it was you holding Owen against you, and a newborn David in your other arm. Sam had his arm around your shoulders, beaming with pride. “We’re going to have more, right?” You asked him, smiling.

“You know I ain’t gonna say no.” Sam chuckled. “Surprised you’re asking me after this one just came out.” He teased. “I know you said you wanted them close, but I thought you’d be rethinking that.”

You shook your head. “Not at all.” You went back to looking at David before looking at Owen. “Happy your brother’s here?”

Owen nodded. “Yeah.” He looked at him. “He’s little.” He poked his brother’s nose. “And squishy.” He tilted his head, making him look extra cute.

Steve felt his chest on fire and coughed, not wanting to see anymore. He was pulled back into reality as Wanda lowered her hands. He instantly felt himself cry and he let his head hang. It felt like he was punched in the chest. By the Hulk. He wanted to beg Wanda to leave him alone but his throat felt closed once more.

Wanda didn’t like seeing Steve like that, but she felt he needed to see the truth. It was the only way he’d know.

“Would you like me to alert Dr. Banner and Mr. Barnes, sir?” FRIDAY asked.

She gave him a moment to speak, but he didn’t. So she did. “Please.” She knew Steve probably hated her right then, but she hoped that this would be a turning point for him. That after this, he had a better understanding.

Soon, Bruce was there with a comforting hand. Wanda wasn’t sure if Bucky would come. If he did, he’d probably be livid with her. “What happened?” Bruce asked.

“I showed him what he needed to see.” She said softly.

Bruce looked a bit surprised at that but nodded. He carefully got a bottle of water and helped him drink it as best he could.

By the time Bucky showed, Steve was breathing a bit better. He was sitting down at the table, leaning against it. “He okay?” Bucky asked Bruce and Wanda. “What happened?”

Wanda looked at him. “I showed him some things.” She explained. “Things he needed to see.”

“sh*t.” Bucky looked at Steve. He didn’t need the details.

“I...I’m gonna go to my room.” Steve let out breathlessly. “Try to relax and think things over.” He told them, getting up slowly. He rubbed his forehead, not looking anyone in the eye as he left them. He just couldn’t. How could he look you in the eyes now?! He didn’t even want to see you, feeling he’d cry or something. He’s already felt the team’s feelings were warranted, but more so now. Once he was in his room, he laid down and hugged a pillow.

Chapter 19: Iron Man

Chapter Text

Bucky looked at Wanda, disappointed. “It was for the best.” Wanda told him. “I wanted him to understand. To learn. So he can do, and be better. Sure, he could have tried without seeing that… but I think he’s the type of person who needs to see .”

“Well, it’s done either way. Hopefully it has a positive outcome.” Bruce nodded. “I don’t think we’ll be seeing him the rest of the day.”

“Probably not.” Bucky agreed. “Let’s not tell Y/N so it doesn’t ruin her day out.” He ran a hand through his hair.

Bruce nodded in agreement. “Good idea.” He agreed easily. “I’ll keep an ear out for FRIDAY if he needs me.”

“Same here.” Bucky nodded. “I’ll make sure he eats later.” He promised. There was no telling how this would effect him in the long run. He was thankful that Wanda didn’t make him just leave without a word or something. That would have sucked. And he doubted he could have forgiven her for that, either. It wouldn't have been fair. He went back to his room to change to train. He hoped he felt better after that. Hitting a few bags usually helped.

Steve left his room for a bit once he knew you had left with the boys. He didn’t want to risk running into you or Owen. He was sure the little boy would pick up on his down mood.

He found himself in the kitchen, pulling out Wanda’s box of tea to maybe make her one. He needed to talk to her. He held the mug close once it was done and went to her area. “FRIDAY can you let Wanda know I’m on my way?” He forced himself to speak up a bit, as he felt very mellow at the moment. He cleared his throat. “Please.”

“She said she will meet you out back.” FRIDAY told him.

Steve nodded and went that way instead. Hopefully this talk went better than their talk that morning. He spotted her sitting when he got there and held out the mug. “Made you some of your tea.”

She looked surprised. “Wow.” She took it. “Thanks.” She sipped it. “Not gonna lie, I was surprised when FRIDAY said that you were looking for me.”

“Yeah. Just wanted to say thanks.” He looked down at his shoes. “I needed that.”

“You’re not mad?” She asked. That was slightly surprising. “Bucky isn’t exactly ‘mad’, but he’s not happy with me, either.” She told him as he sat down.

“Sounds like Bucky.” He nodded. “I’m not mad. I needed it.” He repeated. “Even if I didn’t like it.” How could he like it? “Everyone kept telling me about it, and I thought I understood, but I really didn’t get it.”

“Well...that’s good. That’s what the goal was.” She nodded. “I felt you needed to see to understand.”

“Sucked, but yeah.” He shrugged. “I don’t know how I can look her in the face now. Did you choose what to show me, or just let things flow?”

“Flow.” She said honestly. “I let it flow to what you needed. In a way you influenced what you saw. What would get to you the most.”

He winced. “Oh.” He didn’t know that’s how it worked. “Guess my gut knew it.”

She sipped her tea. “Mm. Not bad. I remember when you first made it and left the leaves in.” She teased him, letting him know that while upset, she did remember the good.

He grinned a bit at that. “Almost did it again.” He admitted. “But I caught myself.”

“Glad you remembered.” She chuckled.

“Everyone’s lucky to have you as their friend.” He said after a moment. “I already knew that… but seeing how much you were there for them.” He looked at his hands. “I knew you and Y/N had always been close, but you really helped Bucky, too.” He sounded thankful. “Seeing him… them… like that…” He balled his hands in fists so they wouldn’t shake. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.”

“I’m hoping that means you’ll never hurt them again.” She said softly. “Because you’ll know what it’ll do to them...and to Owen.”

“Yeah, I never plan on leaving.” He said, hoping his tone showed how firm he was about it. “As much as I want him to know who I really am, even if he never does I wanna be there for him.” Being in his life as anything was better than not being in it.

“Good. I see how much he already likes you.” She noted. “He’s very attached.”

“I know it worries everyone. That’s why Buck’s been hanging with me.” He explained. “Being Owen’s bodyguard.”

“I’m sure he missed you. Even if he doesn’t admit it.” She assured. “He won’t let himself.”

Steve nodded, letting that thought settle over him. It was hard. He wasn’t sure how to act in front of anyone now. It was a learning curve.

Wanda finished her tea and sat there with him, not minding the silence.

After the park, Owen asked if they could have pizza, which you agreed. He stayed close to Sam as he went with him to get it. He was greatly enjoying the time with his parents. “You think you can be in charge of the napkins?” Sam smiled at him. “Make sure they all make it to the table?”

Owen nodded seriously. “I can do that!” He nodded, taking the napkins as Sam handed them over. He focused on not messing them up. He liked getting to do things to help.

The woman helping them get their order, eyed Sam. “Your son is adorable.” She smiled. “How old is he?”

“How old are you buddy?” Sam smiled down at him.

Owen gasped and held up his hand at her. “Four!” He said excitedly. “My brother is a baby.”

“How sweet.” She smiled down at him. “Where’s your brother?”

“With mommy!” He pointed behind him. “We went to the park.”

She looked behind him and smiled as she spotted you. “Wow you’re an attractive family.” She told Sam. “What can I get for you today?”

“Thanks.” He chuckled. “Just a medium deluxe and a personal pan, cheese.” He knew they would probably take a couple slices home, and you’d be the one snacking on it.

“You got it.” She imputed it, handing him a number once he paid. “Your number will be called in about fifteen.” She told him.

“Thank you!” Owen bounced on his feet.

“Sure thing, little buddy.” She smiled at him, looking at Sam’s hand for a ring. “Oh.” She blushed. “Was just going to ask if you and your girl were in a closed relationship.” She told him.

He raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, very closed.” His tone wasn’t angry, he knew this came with who he was.

“Shame. Your wife is hot.” She shrugged. “It’ll be out shortly.” She smiled and waved at Owen. “Bye, handsome.” She chuckled as Owen waved back.

Sam blinked before leading Owen back to you. That wasn’t what he had expected. “Mommy, what’s hot?” Owen asked as he put the napkins down.

“Like when your food is hot?” You asked. “When you have to blow on it before you take a bite?” You raised an eyebrow at him.

“Why would I bite you?!”

You tilted your head. “What do you mean?” You ran a hand through his hair. “I’m confused.” You chuckled.

“The lady said you’re hot.”

You looked at Sam who nodded, causing you to blush. “Really?” You asked, surprised.

Sam nodded. “Asked if our marriage was closed. I said yeah, you know, thinking the usual fan.” He explained. “She said it was a shame...because you’re hot.” He smirked.

You grew warmer, not used to this. “That’s nice.” You weren’t sure how to react to that information. “Wanda will be amused.”

“Everyone will.” He chuckled. “She’s not wrong.” He told you as he helped Owen into his seat.

You giggled. “Maybe I should pick up our order when it’s called.” You tickled David as he sat in your lap.

“You should.” Sam grinned. “I can stay here with our boys.”

You shook your head. “I’ll be a mess.” You smiled. It wasn’t like you were used to having people find you attractive.

“A very cute mess.” Sam winked. He grinned when you blushed further. “Now lemme hold our other boy.” He reached for David.

David reached back and kicked excitedly. You kissed his head before handing him over. He wiggled as Sam got him on his lap. “He loves his daddy so much.” You grinned.

“Daddy’s the best!” Owen smiled. “Can I be him for Halloween again?”

“If you want.” Sam beamed. “Like I’d ever say no to that. What should David be?” He asked.

Owen thought for a moment. “Uncle Bucky?” He suggested. “Or Iron Man?”

You melted, momentarily getting emotional. “I think that would be great.” You told him. “Let’s not tell anyone so it can be a surprise, okay?”

Owen nodded quickly. “Okay.”

“Fifteen!” The woman said loudly.

“That’s us.” Sam grinned. He watched you get up to get the pizzas and chuckled.

The woman looked nervous. “Sorry, if it seemed I came onto your honey.” She slid over the pizza.

You smiled and chuckled. “It’s okay. Honestly, I’m used to it. He gets hit on a lot.” You shrugged. “And he explained it.”

She smiled. “Okay, good.” She laughed a bit nervously. “Enjoy your pizza.”

“Thanks.” You said as you took them back to the table. Owen looked just as excited as Sam did for the food to arrive. “Hungry, buddy?” You asked David, getting his food out of the diaper bag.

David clapped and wiggled in Sam’s lap. You handed him a little puff for him to start off with. He munched on it happily, waving at Owen. owen waved back, blowing on his own little pizza. “Yummy!” He said once he took a bite. He had sauce on the sides of his mouth, making you chuckle.

Sam let everyone start eating before mentioning retiring. “So, I was thinking…” He started. “With our growing family, I’d like to step back from the Avengers.”

You looked instantly surprised. “Really?” You set down your slice of pizza, thinking back to what Bucky told you. “You’d willingly give up being the Falcon?”

“I am.” He said confidently. “I plan to. Finally get our house built, be a full time dad. I want to announce it at Christmas. You’re due in January, so I’ll still be helping until December.” He had it planned in his head. “We can start finding someone to start planning the blueprints to our house, aim for it to start getting built in the spring. Then we can be all moved in hopefully by the time Owen starts school.”

You smiled widely. “Wow, you’ve really thought about this.” You loved how much he focused on your little family. “The boys would love that.” You agreed. “I guess we need to decide how many kids we want so we know how many bedrooms we need.”

“Let’s do it.” He agreed. “After this one, how many more would my beautiful wife like?”

You looked around as you thought. “I know at least one more but I’m not sure if you have a limit?” You didn’t want to say more than he wanted.

“I can promise you, I have no limit.” He said easily. “I’ll have as many babies as my wife wants.”

You giggled. “I love you.” You said happily, sipping your water. “Well, the boys can always share a room for now, right?” You noted. “We’ll need our own room, then we’ll say two more for when they want their own, and then how about two more? If we have enough for all four rooms, fine. If not, the last can be a spare room.” You went on, taking a bite of your pizza. “We can keep your gear in our room, too. Maybe make a walk in closet and put it on the back wall. Like on display?” You loved him being the Falcon, and didn’t want him to think you wanted to forget about that. “Unless you want it on display in the main part of the house?”

“I didn’t really think of a display but I’m down for that.” He grinned. “It would be a cool thing to have up. Maybe the wings up on a wall? Above a fireplace?” He was picturing it, making you giggle. “Maybe do their playroom in superheroes?”

You nodded. “I’m sure they’ll love that.” You put some more puffs near David for him. “Maybe a little dress up area? With a mix of Avenger costumes, some of the usual kids dress up stuff, and things like that? Encourage them to be creative.”

Sam loved your mind and nodded. “Absolutely.” He was beaming. “I can’t wait to see them grow up, but I love them being little.” He kissed David’s head before taking another bite of pizza. “Hell, we have enough we can dress them all up as tiny Avengers for Halloween.” He laughed.

You grinned. “So many pictures.” You looked over at Owen who didn’t seem to care about anything that was being said. He looked up from his pizza and smiled. You knew that he’d be getting a bath that night.

“Can I get a Cap’n America suit?” He asked you.

That took you by surprise. Balancing your hatred of Steve with your wanting to raise Owen a certain way was very hard. Owen looked at Sam when you didn’t answer. He wiped his little mouth off with the bag of his hand. “We’ll see what we can find.” Sam told him.

“Yay!” Owen smiled. “Thanks, Daddy! You’re the best.”

Sam fist bumped him across the table before giving you a reassuring smile. It would all be okay, and Owen would grow up just fine. “See, I’m the best.” He smirked playfully, hoping to make you laugh.

Your mouth twitched into a smile. You loved spending time with your little family, but you knew Owen had instantly attached himself to Steve and you wished he hadn’t. It scared you. What would happen when he was older and found out the truth? Would he be mad at you? What if he ‘left’ to be with Steve? Would he treat Sam differently? Your stomach dropped at the thought.

Sam reached over and took your hand. “Babe?” He asked softly. “You okay?”

“I’m fine.” You said quickly. You didn’t want to say anything in front of Owen. “Just looking forward to cuddling later.”

Sam smiled and nodded. “Same here.” He gave your hand a squeeze. “Enjoy your pizza.” He chuckled as you brightened a little.

You were grateful for his charm and took a few bites of your slice.

Chapter 20: Girl Time

Chapter Text

Sam carried a sleepy Owen in, while you carried David. “I’ll get him in his crib.” You smiled. “And you can get him a bath.”

“Deal.” He winked at you. “Movie after they’re both in bed?”

“As long as we have some popsicles in our freezer.” You chuckled. “The blue ones.”

“I’ll hunt em down if we don’t.” He promised. “Anything else you’re craving?”

“If you happen to see any lemons or limes.” You shrugged. “That’s about it right now.”

“Got it.” He smiled and blew a kiss before going to get the bath started. He’d always do his best to make sure that you had what you were craving. The thought of doing this all over down the line had him excited.

You were leaning down to put David in his crib, smiling. “You’ll be such a good big brother.” You said softly. “Such a happy baby.” You rubbed his middle. He stretched a bit, melting you. “We love you.” You told him. “So much.” You felt emotional. You wiped your eyes as you felt a few tears fall. Sighing, you watched him for a moment before heading out to find Wanda.

It took you a moment to find her but you were able to have her meet you in her lounge area. “Hey.” She smiled. “You okay? I can tell you’ve been crying.”

“David’s cute. I cried.” You shrugged.

“Ah. Like the time you cried at the stuffed animal Bucky brought for Owen?” She grinned. “Just one of those nights.” You nodded. “How was your family day?”

“It was nice. Sam thought he got hit on by our pizza person but she clarified and thought it was me who was ‘hot’.” You blushed. “And Owen heard. He asked me what hot meant. I told him when you have to blow on something before you bite it… it’s because it’s hot. I had no idea what he was talking about. So he asked why he would bite me.”

Wanda blinked before busting out in giggles. “That’s adorable!” She held a hand to her chest. “Plus true.” She loved the things that Owen blurted out at times. “I’m glad you guys had a good time. Your other half with Owen?”

“Bath time was needed after all that sauce.” You smiled. “He’s still very messy. But we both have leftovers. And after Owen’s in bed he’s gonna check to see if we have blue popsicles for me. And lemon or limes.”

“So, you’ve moved on from craving pure sugar to pure sour?” She asked, amused. “You craved sugar with both boys. Wonder if that means we’re getting an Avenger girl.” She clapped.

You hummed. “That’s a good point. Sam will probably turn into a puddle if that happens.” You chuckled. “We were talking about kids while eating dinner. I asked if he had a limit on how many he wants. He said ‘whatever his wife wants’. So it’s basically up to me to say when we’re done. He made a joke about having enough to dress them all up as Avengers.” You smiled sadly. “Owen asked to be the Falcon again for Halloween. We asked him what David should be. He said ‘Uncle Bucky...or Iron Man’. It was so sweet.” You teared up. “I miss them.” You had told Owen not to tell them, but you just couldn’t hold that back. It was too sweet.

Wanda instantly felt the same way and scooted over to give you a hug. “Me, too.” She sighed. “They’d love the boys so much.”

You sniffled and nodded. “With their whole hearts.” You sighed, leaning into her. “It sucks so much that they did so much for the world and had to die like that. It’s not fair.”

She squeezed you. “Time has passed but it still feels fresh.” She doubted that it would ever stop hurting them. “At least they can live on in the stories we tell the kids.”

“Owen already loves them.” You agreed. “Sometimes that’s what he asks for at night. Just anything about ‘Uncle Iron Man’. He knows his name was Tony, but he just insists on calling him that.”

“Owen is so adorable.” She sighed with a smile. “You and Sam are great parents, so he’s gonna grow up being a good kid.”

“Thanks.” You smiled. “We’re lucky to have you guys too. The best family.” You and the boys were lucky to have them. “Girls day soon?”

“Please. I need it.” She giggled. “I’m sure you do, too!”

You nodded. “Very soon.” You smiled, letting the silence take over.

Wanda did her best to let calmness wash over you. She didn’t know if she should tell you what happened earlier, but decided to be honest. “I did something to Steve this morning.” She said softly.

You widened your eyes. “Something like?” You turned to look at her, honestly having no idea what she could possibly mean.

Licking her lips, she sighed. “I made him see what he needed to see.”

You thought for a moment. “Oh, you showed him your memories?” You asked. “What did he see?”

“All the bad days.” She explained. “And when you started to heal.” She went on. “I didn’t choose what he saw, though. It kinda just flowed.”

“How’d he react?” You asked. You weren’t really sure how to feel. Good, probably. You were nervous.

“He had a panic attack.” She admitted. “But after he calmed down, he found me to thank me.” Hopefully that would make you feel a bit better. “He brought me tea and we sat out back together.”

Through your relationship, you had helped Steve with his anxiety when it came and went. So you knew how it had to have hit him. “I bet that was hard.” You mused.

“For him? Had to be.” She agreed. “I think he needed it.” She would stand by that. “I think he’s the type that has to have a solid idea. You guys hurting was some abstract idea. He couldn’t really see it, and I was worried that would make it easier for him to leave again.” She explained her thought process. “He’s dead set on not leaving. Unless you explicitly asked, I think.” If you asked him to, he might fight it at first, but then she felt he would.

“As much as I want to, I don’t think I would for Owen.” You admitted. “I’d feel guilty.”

“You shouldn’t but I understand.” She knew you were caring. “You have a big heart.”

You chewed on your lip. “Thank you.” You sometimes wished you didn’t. It would make hating Steve easier. “I just want to keep moving forward.”

“Good idea.” She smiled. “There’s a new baby coming! And the boys are happy and healthy. Let’s focus on that.”

You automatically smiled. “That’s true. I was just thinking how good of a big brother David will be.”

You told her. “I even said it when I got him down in his crib.” He was still so little, so it was still a bit weird to think of him as a ‘big’ brother, even if he’d be over a year by the time the baby was born.

“He will.” She agreed. “You and Sam are so good.” She felt the boys had excellent parents.

“Thanks.” You smiled. “How are you?” You didn’t want her to think you only cared about yourself, even though she clearly didn’t. It’s just how you were.

“I’m okay.” She smiled. “Enjoying being Aunt Wanda.” That was the best part of life lately.

“Not in the dating world?” You smiled. You teased.

Wanda laughed and shook her head. “No, not in the dating world. Oh, but we are having Hope, Scott, May, Cassie, and Parker over for dinner this weekend.”

You grinned. “Company!” You were excited to see them, and find out how Parker was doing in school. At this point, he would be nearing the end of his senior year of college or something. You missed him. Everyone really. “I really hope we see Carol and Thor soon. Even Quill and the others.” You said playfully.

Maybe Wanda would surprise you and see if she could contact them. She would sure as hell try. Was the communication area Nat used to use still working? She’d ask Bruce for help. Now that plan was in motion. “It’ll be a fun weekend.” She smiled. “Owen will love seeing them, since he rarely gets to.”

“He likes Peter even though he doesn’t remember much. Just our stories.” You nodded. “He’ll ask him to web instantly.”

“How cute.” She smiled. “Thor and Quill will love him.” Quill himself was a big kid. “Although I have a feeling someone will have to fill Thor in on everything that’s happened recently.”

“I’m sure FRIDAY can help.” You smiled. “And so will Bucky.” They got along pretty well.

“I can picture the reunion.” She smiled. “It’ll be fun and emotional.”

“Mrs. Wilson, Mr. Wilson is ready for your movie.” FRIDAY alerted you.

“See you later.” Wanda smiled and stood to help you up. “We’ll plan that girl’s day.”

“Yay.” You hugged her before going your separate ways. Finding your husband, you wrapped your arms around him. “Hi, honey.” You said excitedly. “Was just getting some time in with Wanda. Guess who is coming for dinner this weekend?”

“Who?” He thought out loud. “Oh...Pepper maybe?” He wondered.

You shook your head, but made a note to invite her and Morgan. “Hope, Scott, Cassie, Parker, and May!”

“Oh, that’s cool.” He grinned. “I bet you’re looking forward to that, huh?”

You nodded. “I’ve missed them!” You playfully pouted. “Parker is so close to graduating, then I’m gonna be all worried over him being Super-Man full time again.” You pouted. “What if he gets hurt?” You would hate that.

“Awe, baby. He’s a grown boy now.” He rubbed your arm. “Man, really.” He chuckled at the face you made.

“No, I don’t accept that.” You looked at him adorably. “He’s a little boy still. And should be playing video games and playing.”

Sam smirked and kissed your forehead. “You are so cute.” He chuckled. “Now let’s get you that popsicle and start our movie.”

You nodded, happy with that. “Let’s.”

Chapter 21: Nachos

Chapter Text

Steve felt bad that he was avoiding everyone over the next couple of days. At least, the most he could. He didn’t want Owen to be upset so he often checked on him when it was Bucky or Wanda with him. The little boy told him about him asking for a Captain America costume, as well. He melted and promised he’d help him find one. Including a shield.

Currently, he was making a snack for Owen, peeling some oranges and putting peanut butter on apples. He heard your footsteps come in and fought to not freeze. He hadn’t seen you since that morning, and wasn’t sure how to act. “I-I’m just making a quick snack for Owen. I’ll be out in a few.” He told you quickly.

“Alright.” You nodded. You got you a juice from the fridge, feeling the tension. Did he know Wanda told you what happened?

“sh*t.” He cursed softly as he nicked his finger, obviously nervous. He quickly went to rinse it off. He hoped it didn’t need stitches or anything. He watched to see if it would heal quickly or not.

Hearing him, you looked over. “You okay?”

“Yeah, forgot how sharp those peeling knives are.” He chuckled. “I’ll be fine.” He moved to wrap it in a napkin. Once you were gone he’d look at it again. He didn’t pay mind to it as he threw what he had just peeled and focused on another apple.

“I can finish making his snack. You should really deal with that.” You pointed to his finger.

He blushed. “Uh, yeah. Okay. C-Can you tell Owen I’ll be back?” He didn’t want Owen to worry.

“Yeah.” You said simply. “I’ll let him know.” You went to finish Owen’s snack, forgetting your juice. You took it once you finished. “Is he in the playroom with Bucky?”

“Yeah. Wanda should be there now in a few, too.” He explained. “I’ll go see Bruce real quick.” He let you go first. Sighing, he made his way towards Bruce. Leave it to him to get nervous and hurt himself. “Hey.” He greeted him when he saw the scientist.

“Hey, Steve. What’s up?” He smiled.

He groaned, holding up his hand. “Cut my finger. It’s not healing as fast as usual so…” He shrugged.

“Deep then.” Bruce came over, eyeing it out of the napkin. “Did you stab your self?” He chuckled. “You’re usually really careful with knives.”

“Well...Y/N walked in and I froze.” He admitted. “I was making Owen a snack and this happened.” He sighed. “I can’t even look at her.” He said as Bruce cleaned his finger.

“It’ll take a while.” Bruce nodded, putting a specific type of bandage on. “You more than slipped. That should have been a nick to you.”

Steve groaned. “I’m an idiot.” He shook his head.

“No, human though.” Bruce shrugged a bit. “You’ll be fine.”

“Maybe.” Steve shrugged. “All I can do is try.”

Owen looked over when you walked in. “Hi, mommy!”

“Hi, baby. Steve sent me to bring you a snack.” You smiled. “He’ll be back in soon, okay? He just had to go get a bandaid.”

“Oh no! What happen?” He pouted. “He okay?!”

You set his snacks down. “He’ll be okay. He just got cut while making your snack. It happens.”

He nodded, instantly worried. “Can I draw him a picture to make him feel better?”

You nodded. “I’ll go get your colors set up.” You ran a hand through his hair. “Is Aunt Wanda going to color?”

“Yeah!” He grinned. “She colors good!”

You smiled. “I’ll put out extra paper.” You hoped that it wasn’t too serious, or Owen would be upset. That wouldn’t go well for anyone. “Want me to see if Daddy can bring David in here to play after?”

He nodded. “Yeah! David!” He agreed easily. “Can we have nachos for dinner again?” He asked.

“I think we can do that.” You ruffled his hair. “That does sound really yummy.” You smiled. “And maybe I’ll find a yummy dessert to get, too.”

“Yay!” Owen smiled. “Thank you!” He did a little wiggle, making you and Wanda chuckle.

You kissed his head before going to get his colors and paper down from the shelf. You knew a day would come when he wasn’t so easily amused, and just wanted to cherish these moments while you could. “Here you go.” You set everything down. “I’ll go get Daddy and David.”

He waved and began drawing almost instantly. He wanted to make his picture as nice as he could to help Steve feel better.

Steve’s head hung as he walked back to Owen’s playroom, instantly moving out of the way when you came down the hall. “Owen’s coloring right now.” You told him. “Is your hand okay? I don’t want him to worry if it’s really bad.” You asked.

“It’ll take a little while to heal, but no stitches.” He shrugged. “The bandaid covers it.” He held it up, the material blending to his skin color. “So he shouldn’t worry too much.”

“Good.” You shrugged, noting he really wouldn’t look you in the eye. “I’ll let you get to him. Nachos for dinner, by the way.”

He nodded. “I can start helping to make dinner if you want...I don’t want to tire you out.” He figured being pregnant with two very young kids would be tiring.

You chuckled and shrugged. “Take out.” You told him. “I do cook most nights, but we do order out a lot, too.”

“Okay.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, let me know what I can do.” He offered. “Even if it’s something simple.” He’d do what he could to make things easier on you.

“I’ll let you know.” You told him. With that, you continued on to get Sam and David.

Steve watched you go before going to the playroom. “Hey, buddy.” He went to sit at the table with Owen and Wanda.

“Steve! You okay?” He pouted. “Mommy said you got a cut.”

Steve nodded, showing him the bandage. “It was a little accident.” He said simply. “I’ll be okay. Accidents happen.”

Owen peered at the bandage. “Okay.” He got out of his little chair and moved to hug him. “Mommy says hugs help!” He said happily.

“She’s right. I’m feeling better already.” Steve smiled. “Your mom is smart.”

Owen nodded and looked up at him, deciding to stay on his lap while we went back to coloring. He pulled over his picture happily. “What are you drawing, Aunt Wanda?”

“I’m drawing a garden.” She smiled at him. “Thought your mom would like it.”

Owen nodded quickly. “She will.” He said with complete certainty.

Steve smiled and watched him color, enjoying this quality time. He wondered if you’d be alright with him being there for David and the new baby too. It wasn’t his place so he’d take rejection if you gave it. He had always loved kids, so being able to help would be great. He didn’t know how to ask. Maybe he would just go with the flow? He internally nodded to that. Hearing David, he looked over to see you and Sam come in, David on your hip. He smiled when the little one looked at him and gave a wave. “Hey there.” Steve waved back.

“David!” Owen smiled. “Hi!” He showed him his picture so far. “See?”

David clapped and babbled a little, reaching for his brother. You chuckled. “Let Owen finish his drawing. Let’s go play with your toys.” You settled on a softer mat with him. He grabbed a stuffy you handed to him excitedly. He was easily entertained and bounced. You kissed the top of his head gently. He wiggled a bit, pulling himself as he crawled. “Sam! He’s crawling!” You grinned over at your husband.

Sam was playing with a random toy and looked over. He grinned and crouched. “You go, buddy!”

Wanda clapped excitedly, watching. She wasn’t there when Owen started crawling, so she was extra excited. “Mobile baby!”

David squealed at the attention and eventually let himself fall so he was laying on his tummy. Steve watched, his heart clenching that he never saw Owen at this stage. He missed the biggest milestones. It was something he could never get back. He glanced down at Owen’s drawing to center himself. At least there would be other moments. He nearly flinched when he felt a small hand on his ankle but thankfully he was still as David had rolled over and was giggling near his leg. He kicked his little legs, his other little fist in his mouth. Steve melted and smiled at him. Reaching down, he tickled his belly.

David giggles instantly filled the room, bringing a smile to everyone’s faces. He was a very happy baby. David grabbed onto Steve’s thumb happily. “David’s happy!” Owen laughed.

Steve smiled. “He sure is.” He agreed. “Very cute, too.”

“You...you can hold him. He likes that.” You bit your lip, criticizing yourself for being so nice. You didn’t want to deprive the boys of attention. That’s what you’d remind yourself of.

“T-Thanks.” Steve said softly. He easily lifted David with one hand, smiling as he tucked himself into his bicep. “Comfy?” He asked. He patted Steve’s chest, giggling. Steve smiled, easily getting used to holding both boys. It felt right.

Wanda glanced at you and Sam to see your reaction. You had a neutral expression on your face. Sam was focusing on Owen. She went back to coloring. There was no how to manual for any of this. Everyone stayed quiet for sometime, just Owen talking. “I finished!” He announced. . “Here!” He smiled, showing Steve.

Steve smiled widely. “I love it. Can I hang this one up, too?” He’d put them all over his wall happily.

Owen nodded. “Yeah!” He said proudly. “I help!”

“Great.” Steve smiled. “Looking forward to David coloring with you one day?” He asked.

“Mhmm. And build blocks.” Owen smiled. “He’ll be so fun!|

David smiled since his brother was happy. He leaned against Steve happily.

Wanda smiled at them before handing you her page. “For you!” She grinned. “I thought you’d like something, too.”

“Awe, Wanda.” You giggled. “Thank you.” You looked at it. “Such a pretty garden.”

Sam looked over your shoulder. “Hey, you did that with crayons? That’s awesome.” He complimented her. “I didn’t know you could draw.”

“Just a hobby.” She smiled. “I used to do it when I was getting used to my powers.” She explained.

“You’re great.” You smiled at her. “I’ll hang this up on our fridge.”

“Thanks.” She chuckled. “I like coloring with him.” She fist bumped Owen when he held out a fist. “So cute.”

Owen giggled at her. He loved his Aunt Wanda.

You were a bit sleepy and you leaned against Sam to rest. You were more tired this pregnancy. You didn’t feel Sam carry you back to bed once you fell asleep. He tucked you in and kissed your forehead. He watched you, thinking you were the most beautiful woman in the world. You pulled his pillow close, making him chuckle. He’d wake you up when dinner got there.

He went back to the playroom, hoping David would want to go with him. He’d been clinging to Steve and Owen. He strolled back in and sat by Wanda. “Hi, Daddy.” Owen smiled from where he was playing dinosaurs with Steve and Owen.

“Hi, buddy.” Sam smiled. “Having fun?” He laughed as his dinosaur rawred at him playfully.

Owen nodded quickly. “The funnest!” He told him. “Steve is being the t-rex.”

Steve chuckled. “Not very good.” He shrugged. “Fun.” He waved it at David. David squealed and grabbed at it. He chuckled and smiled as Owen joined back. “I hope they stay this way.” He said to Sam.

“Yeah, we do too.” He agreed. “Especially as we have more kids.”

Steve swallowed and nodded. He had nothing he could say to that. He focused on play time. Hopefully by the time this baby was born, things got a tad easier.

Chapter 22: You're Here!

Chapter Text

That weekend, you were practically buzzing. May had texted that her and Parker were on their way- neither of whom knew that Steve was back. Wanda was also excited to surprise you. She had managed to reach both Carol and Thor (and of course the others). It had taken some work and some dumb luck. They were due any minute. It was very hard not to say anything. You had the boys out back, and Steve was playing with Owen with a little soccer ball he had. You’d see them show up, as you were close to where they would land.

When they arrived, there was many gasps of surprises. Owen stared in awe as Thor stepped out, having only been told about the man, but could guess who he was. He ran to you and tugged on your shirt. “They’re here!” He squealed as he saw Rocket and the others come out.

You stared in shock. “You’re here!”

Thor beamed as he saw your family, eyes landing on Steve. As he stepped forward, Carol landed with ease just in front of him. A second later her fist came into contact with Steve’s jaw.

You quickly brought Owen close, covering his eyes in hopes he didn’t see, or hear, the crack of Carol’s fist.

“Damn!” Rocket winced. “Don’t piss her off.” He told Groot. “Lucky she didn’t blast him.” He noted.

Sam couldn’t help but smirk. “I’ll take him inside. You, uh, go greet our friends.” He scooped up Owen.

You nodded and smiled when Thor lifted you into a hug.

Carol stared down at Steve who was clearly wincing. “Get up so I can do it again.” She crossed her arms. Her jaw was clenched, and her eyes were all but shooting daggers at him.

You sighed. “Carol.” You went to offer her a hug as well. “Uh, let him go get some ice and we can catch up.” You tried. “There’s a lot to talk about.” David was still on your hip and he reached for her.

She smiled instantly, not looking the least bit terrifying. “Oh, hi!” She took David and cuddled him. “Aren’t you cute?” She tickled his belly. Steve groaned and got up, heading inside. “What’s your name?”

“That’s David.” You rubbed his arm. “Let’s go catch up inside. Come on, guys.” You called out to Rocket and the others. “I’ll get us all something to drink.”

“We have missed quite a bit.” Thor noted. He looked forward to being caught up.

Once inside, Owen ran up to you, putting his arms up. “Why’d she hit Steve?” Owen asked, clearly having seen.

You chewed on your lip. “They had a small fight many years ago.” You tried. “She’s not going to hit him again, okay?” You glanced at her, and she gave a small nod to him. Everyone was staring at the little boy. “Now, you can play with them later, but for now can Daddy take you to the playroom? And you can make them all a picture?”

“Okay.” He nodded. “Will Steve be okay?” He asked sweetly.

“Yeah, he’s tough.” You assured him before kissing the top of his head.

He nodded before letting Sam lead him to his playroom. The whole way he asked questions about everyone who had showed up.

Carol babbled with David, bouncing him as Peter ran in, Morgan giggling on his back. “Carol!” He squeaked. “David! You’re getting so big.” You texted him pictures now and then, but it was different than seeing him in person. “Where’s Owen?”

“Drawing us all pictures.” You smiled and gave them both a hug.

Rocket and Quill smirked at each other as they could literally see Parker drooling over Carol. It was amusing.

Carol smiled at Parker. “Long time no see.” She greeted him.

He nodded. “Y-yeah.”

You chuckled and motioned for everyone to follow you to the dining room. “What would everyone like to drink?”

“Water. It is the most refreshing.” Drax nodded.

Once everyone told you what they wanted, you asked Parker to help you carry them all. “How’s school been?” You asked as you went to the kitchen.

He smiled. “Really well. I’m finishing soon. I’m hoping to come help the IT department this summer.” He told you. “Thank you for pushing me to really finish school. I love being Spider-Man and helping people, but I’ve really liked college, too.” He helped you set down the drinks. “I didn’t give you a proper hug!” He smiled.

You were happy to hear he had enjoyed college. “I’m glad you’re doing great. We’re definitely throwing you a party when you finish, okay?” You squeezed him. “I’m so proud of you.”

“Thanks.” He smiled widely. “Are you doing okay? I should check in more often.” He looked guilty. “Especially with the boys getting bigger. I can babysit!” He offered. It was adorable.

“Any time you want to come over, please do. Owen would love to have you draw Spider-Man with him.” You grinned. “We plan to get them all the costumes to dress up, so of course he’ll have Spider-Man!”

“I’d love to!” He bounced.

Everyone looked over when you came back in a few minutes later. “So, who was the kid?” Rocket asked. “Little blonde one.”

“That’s Owen.” You started.

“Mm.” Rocket nodded. “And he’s your kid?” He assumed.

“Yes.” You swallowed. “And Steve is his biological father. Owen doesn’t know.” You went on. “Sam is his daddy, David’s father, and we’re expecting another.”

Rocket nodded. “Cool.”

“I am Groot.”

“Yeah, that Steve.” Rocket responded. “What other Steve would it be?” He asked sarcastically. “So when did the dirtbag come back?” He asked you.

“Not quite a month ago.” You explained. It took you a moment to catch everyone up. Finally, you were up to them showing up. “So. Yup.” Your voice was soft.

Carol shrugged, not feeling bad for punching him. She felt he deserved it. “You have super cute kids.” She smiled. “Bet they keep it fun around here.”

You smiled and nodded. “We love it.” You agreed. “David just started crawling, actually.” You chuckled.

“Yay!” Carol smiled at David who was having fun playing with her hair.

“Motherhood suits you.” Thor smiled at you. “You have a glow about you.”

“True story.” Quill agreed. “You’re a milf.”

You laughed. “Thanks, guys.” You shook your head at Quill’s remark. “Oh, and Hope, Cassie, and Scott are coming over, too.” You had forgotten to mention that.

“I am Groot.”

“Remember he can be normal sized too.” Rocket told him. “He’s not always tiny.”

David looked up at Groot, kicking. You were glad he didn’t seem startled by him. Your kids would grow up around the most diverse family ever. Gamora had remained quiet, but looked at David with a small smile. He giggled and waved at her.

“Whoa little man, she’s taken.” Quill joked. “He’s a mini Sam ain’t he?” He chuckled. “Ladies man.”

“He’s 7 months old, Quill.” You teased. “He just likes attention.”

“And you’re already having the next, seems Sam likes attention, too.” He laughed.

Carol smirked at you. “I think having them close is super cute.” She told you honestly. “They’ll be best friends.”

“Hoping.” You giggled. “Thank you guys for coming.” You’d missed them all a lot, and hoped it wasn’t years before you saw them again.

“We’ll get some food going in the yard and have a nice afternoon.” Bucky told everyone. “We have plenty of room for whoever wants to stay over.”

“Sweet.” Quill smiled. “I’m sure we could hang for a bit.” He agreed.

“I am Groot.”

Rocket chuckled. “He asked what kinda music you got.”

“Anything and everything.” Bucky promised. Hearing the door bell, he chuckled as you perked up. “I’ll go get the door while you hang out with these guys.”

You smiled and went to sit with everyone. “I’ve been hoping you all were doing okay. Parker I text a few times a week at least. Texting you guys isn’t possible.”

“Unfortunately.” Carol nodded. She made a face at David, setting him off into a fit of giggles.

Parker stared from where he sat. He couldn’t help it.

You smiled instantly when more of your friends came in. “Hi!” You got up to hug each of them.

Scott hugged you. “We’ve missed you.” He grinned as Cassie hugged you next. “Okay, where’s the other kid? I see David. Where’s my buddy? I brought him something.”

You smiled. “In the play room. He’ll be happy to see you.” You motioned with his head, laughing as he rushed off.

Hope grinned at you. “So happy to see you.” She gave your arm a squeeze. “How’re you?”

“Excited that everyone’s here.” You smiled. “It’s been too long since we’ve all been together. We’re only missing May.”

“She should be here soon!” Parker provided, blushing when Carol looked at him. “Sorry, I have good hearing.” He muttered, looking back to you.

“It’s okay.” You smiled. “I’m just happy she can come.” You understood she was busy.

“A full party then.” Hope smiled.

You nodded. “Once Owen is done coloring everyone a picture they’ll be back out.” You were thrilled about the party, only briefly wondering if Steve would join. However, you doubted that he would after Carol decked him. He’d probably stay in his area until everyone was gone. You shrugged internally and went to mingle.

Owen ran out, holding a stack of papers close to his chest, Sam and Scott not far behind him. He carefully picked out a paper for each of his friends. Finally, he reached you and climbed up on your lap. “For baby.” He handed you the folded paper and poked your belly.

You melted. “Thank you, handsome.” You kissed his nose. “That’s so sweet.” You opened it to look at it.

“Baby?” Scott asked, grinning.

“Oh yeah. One on the way.” You smiled at him. “I thought Sam would have mentioned it.” You chuckled as Sam came over to put his arm around your shoulders. “I’m about two months along.”

Scott cheered. “Yay, new baby.” He was excited for you. “Christmas will be extra fun now, especially with David’s birthday so close to Christmas.”

You nodded. “It will be.” You agreed. “We haven’t decided when the next one will be, though. I think I want to wait to see how we handle these three, though.” You chuckled. “Owen will be starting school, so that will help a bit, honestly.”

“Lots of energy.” Quill laughed. “And diapers.” He made a face. “Between a newborn and David.”

“Not that bad.” Sam shrugged. “They’re worth it either way.” He smiled, taking David as he reached for him. “Yeah, you know it, buddy.”

“You’re so sweet with them.” Hope smiled. “How many more were you thinking?” She was curious.

“One more for now.” You smiled. “We’ll go from there.”

“I’ll be around to help baby sit!” Parker offered. “And I can tag along when it comes to Halloween.” He added.

You smiled at that. “He wants to be Falcon again this year. Owen, why don’t you tell them who you want David to be?” You asked him softly, knowing that they’d all feel a bit emotional over it, as well.

Owen grinned. “Uncle Bucky or Iron Man!” He said proudly.

Everyone got a soft look in their eye. “Little dude is cute.” Rocket chuckled. “Pulls on those heart strings.” He smiled at Owen. “What’s your favorite Iron Man story, kid?” He assumed that’s how he knew who Tony was.

“When he saved the world!” Owen said instantly. He was very excited to talk about him. “Mommy and Daddy tell me all about him! And Nat!”

Bucky got a little emotional at that. He doubted that it would ever stop hurting completely. “He likes drawing Tony’s helmet.” He added. “It’s really cute.”

“How sweet.” Carol said softly. “I’m glad that they’re living on that way.”

“Always. We’ll tell all our kids.” You smiled. “We’re actually setting them up a little dress up area...with all the costumes.”

Parker smiled, always loving seeing Owen dress up so he was excited to see David as well. “I bet they’ll love that. Do you think you’ll have another boy?”

You made a so so motion with your hand. “This pregnancy has been different but doesn’t really mean anything. Maybe.” You giggled. “Wanda thinks it means it’s a girl. I was really into marshmallows when pregnant with the boys. This time I’m really into sour.”

“Sour candy is the best.” Quill nodded. “I got some on the ship you can try!”

“Thanks.” You smiled widely. “I look forward to it.” The idea of a new candy was mouth watering.

Everyone loved catching up with each other, and you felt so homey with them around. You leaned into Sam, giving his leg a squeeze. He automatically kissed your head. David patted your hand, giggling. He kept himself entertained. However, when he started fussing, you sat up. “Guess someone’s hungry.” Sam chuckled, handing him over.

Owen made himself busy and climbed off you, going to sit by Rocket and Groot. “Hi.” He smiled at Groot. “Are you a tree?” He asked excitedly, like it was the coolest thing ever.

“I am Groot.” He said, holding out his hand and growing a small flower. Owen squealed and clapped at that. “I am Groot.”

Rocket chuckled before translating. “He said you can take the flower. It won’t hurt him.” He told him.

“Thanks!” Owen still gently picked it and held it close.

Rocket smiled, not usually liking kids but he was always up for Owen. “Gotta say. I’m impressed. Don’t think most kids would do well with a talking tree or me.” He admitted.

“Owen loves everyone.” Sam said proudly. “And we do live with a big green man. Who will be out for dinner. He’s in the lab at the moment.”

“Oh yay. Bruce.” Scott smiled, enjoying his company.

Owen was still in awe of Groot. “Can Groot come play in my playroom?” He asked you.

“Sure.” You smiled. Rocket nodding that he’d come along. “Just be careful.” FRIDAY would also let you know often how they were doing. “Have fun.”

Owen led the way excitedly. “Yay!”

“Hey, behave.” Quill told Rocket.

Chapter 23: So Sweet

Chapter Text

Finally, everyone was there and Bucky started cooking outback. Steve had tried to stay away, but had missed his friends. He hoped he could talk with some of them. And hopefully not get punched again. “Hey, guys.” He cleared his throat.

Scott waved a bit nervously, Parker doing the same. They had both held high respect for Steve before everything so it was hard. Peter glanced at you. You didn’t really react but he knew this was difficult for you. He gave you a small smile.

You smiled back reassuringly. “How has everyone been?” Steve asked awkwardly. His jaw was already a bit bruised.

“I’m almost done college.” Parker spoke up.

“That’s great.” Steve said instantly. “I’m sure you’re doing awesome stuff.” He grinned.

“He’s going to start doing work for the compound after finishing.” Carol added. “We were talking about that before.”

Parker brightened and nodded proudly. “And I offered to babysit.” He added.

“The boys would enjoy that I’m sure.” Steve tentatively sat down. A bit away from Carol. “Speaking of, where’d Owen run off to?”

“He’s with Groot and Rocket.” Quill told him. “He seemed to like Groot a lot.” Which was an understatement.

Steve smiled. “That’s nice. How are you guys doing?” He was trying to push back the tension that was clearly lingering.

Gamora just stared at him as Quill started telling stories of their adventures. She honestly wanted to do the same thing that Carol had. While you and her didn’t talk much, she thought you were super nice and despised Steve after what had happened. And it was a very disrespectful and vile thing to do her in mind. She was not a fan of abandonment. Or disloyalty.

Steve felt the glare but stayed focused on Quill’s stories. That’s all he could do. Scott took over the conversation once Quill was done. He was updating Steve on how life had been for him.

Owen eventually came out, hanging onto Groot. However, when he saw how Steve was bruised, he hopped down and rushed to him. “Steve!” He gasped, climbing on his lap. “You got a boo boo!” He looked at his jaw worriedly.

Steve made sure he didn’t fall off. “I’m okay, buddy.” He promised. “It’ll heal in no time.”

He pouted and hugged him the best he could. “This help?”

“It sure does.” Steve rubbed his back. “Thank you.” He said softly, Owen’s presence helping him a great deal.

Everyone tried not to stare. “Owen has such a big heart.” Hope smiled. “So sweet.”

Steve smiled proudly at that but just to himself. He knew you did a great job of raising him. That was all you and Sam.

Owen stayed close to him while Bucky finished up cooking. He didn’t like that Steve was hurt. It bothered him.

Steve didn’t mind at all, both of them eating together once they had their plates.

Your friends were taking turns with David, even after he nodded off. Even Gamora held him for a bit. Owen began falling asleep right before dessert. He yawned and reached for you. “Mommy.”

You stood and gently took him from Steve. “Nap time.” You kissed his head as he waved to everyone. He put his head on your shoulder as you carried him from the room. You were happy he got a long with everyone as you tucked him in. He instantly cuddled his Falcon stuffy. Pulling out your phone, you snapped a picture and sent it to Sam. “So precious.” You sniffed. Letting out a breath, you wiped your eyes and went back to the others.

Sam grinned when he saw you, knowing exactly what happened. “Come here, babe.” He kissed your cheek. You sat on his lap, his arms around you.

Steve silently helped Bucky hand out dessert. He could still barely look at you. He hadn’t made eye contact in ages. And doubt he would for some time. He set down your plate next to Sam. Just as quickly, he walked away.

Bucky understood his predicament and just chose not to say anything. Currently, the conversation was Thor explaining some dish back home. Part of Steve wished he could go there and hide, but Asgard was gone, and he refused to leave. Owen and helping with David was all he thought about now. And him leaving for any amount of time would prove that he wasn’t trust worthy. He was even worried about not being at every that Owen was at when you guys weren’t out.

Hearing the doorbell, you raised an eyebrow. “Are we missing anyone?” You looked around. “FRIDAY, who is it?”

A moment later she replied. “They are asking for Mr. Rogers. They are claiming they are his great- granddaughter.”

Steve dropped the plate he was holding, cursing.

“You’re f*cking kidding.” Bucky mumbled. “Go answer the door.” He snapped at Steve, holding back some other choice words for him.

Steve stumbled as he rushed out, ignoring Rocket’s comment on how the plot thickened. He could only imagine what you were thinking. Opening the door, he calmed himself. “Can I help you?”

“I’m Jessica. Your great-granddaughter.” She said seriously. When it looked like he didn’t believe her, she went on. “Great-grandma Peggy had my grandpa in 1953, him and my grandma had my mom in 1974, and her and my dad had me in 1992.” She explained. “I remember seeing you at great-grandmas funeral, but I never knew who you were. Until I had my son a few years ago. Mom finally told me where I could probably find you. She didn’t want me to, though. Said you were a deadbeat who took off.”

Steve stared at her, soaking all that in. “Wow.” He breathed.

“Yep.” She shrugged. “So here I am. I wanted you to know what happened, hence why I just showed up out of no where. I guess you had zero clue how you left great-grandma.” She sighed. “I figured you should know you have family out there.”

Hearing movement, Steve looked behind him to see Bucky. “Looks like you got a bad habit.” He shook his head. “I was this close to wanting a friendship with you again.” He held up his fingers. “Done.” He hissed, feeling bad now for Peggy as well.

Jessica crossed her arms and looked up at Steve. “Bad habit, huh?” She raised an eyebrow. “You leave other kids or something?!”

Steve swallowed. “When I left here, to go back...I didn’t know my then girlfriend was pregnant.” He ran a hand over his face. “He’s four.”

She looked completely unimpressed. “Wow! And I defended you to my own mother! I told her maybe you weren’t a deadbeat who took off. Now I have to tell her you did it to some other poor woman?” She scoffed. “Your son is only a year older than your great-great grandson.” She shook her head. “I thought maybe you would be cool. Never mind.” She held up her hands.

Bucky came over, ignoring Steve. “Look, I don’t know if you know who I am. I’m Bucky. Used to be this assholes best friend.” He told her. “If you or your family need anything, you can just let me know. Okay?”

She relaxed a bit and nodded. “Course I know who you are. Once I found out about this one.” She motioned to Steve. “I did my research.” She shrugged. “I appreciate it.” She offered a sad smile before looking at Steve. “I hope your then girlfriend found someone to help mend the broken pieces you left just like great-grandma.” She glared. “Was it you?” She looked at Bucky. “Because you seem nice.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “Nah, she’s like a sister to me. I did help when I could, though. She married Sam- the Falcon.”

She nodded. “The wings guy.” She said to herself, sighing. “Is she around? I mean, did she stay here at this mansion place?” She motioned around.

“Yeah.” He nodded. “She’s here. Can’t see them really wanting to leave the compound.”

“Yeah, makes sense.” She put her hands on her hips. “Is it weird to ask if I can meet her?” She noted Steve opened his mouth. “I’m not asking you, I’m asking this nice, probably doesn’t leave women pregnant while he time travels, guy.” She motioned to Bucky.

Bucky chewed on his lip for a second. “I’ll ask her.” He gave her a small smile before heading back to the other room. “Hey, doll?” He called you over. “She knows about Owen, and she’s pissed as all hell at Steve. Wants to meet you.”

You rubbed at the hem of your shirt. “Me? Does she seem nice? I don’t know if I could handle not nice.” You were still soaking in that Steve left Peggy in the same condition he left you.

“She seems nice.” He rubbed your arm. “You don’t have to meet her if you don’t want to.”

“As long as you’re there.” You figured she’d dealt with a lot as is. You gave Sam a reassuring smile before following Bucky back. Your hand gripped his arm, as you were nervous. Seeing her standing there was hard to process. Steve had never told you that he’s been married to Peggy, or that there was even a chance they had a kid.

She gave you a soft look. “Hi.” She said simply. “I’m sure me being here doesn’t feel too great. I didn’t know.” She shot another glare at Steve and you could tell she felt just as angry. “I’m sorry.” She said once she looked at you.

“There was no way for you to know.” You reassured her.

She nodded, sighing. “Still. If there’s anything I can do, even though I don’t think there’s much I can do. Let me know.” She pulled out a card from her clutch. “I’ll fly over.” She said easily as she handed it to you. “I have connections everywhere across the pond.” She said easily. “And...our boys are about the same age. So if you ever just need to talk mom to mom.”

You took the card. “Thank you.” You smiled nervously. “That’s kind of you. I’m sorry that this probably didn’t go how you expected.” Probably far from it.

She shook her head. “No. Not exactly. Now I have to go explain to my mother how she was right. That’s never fun.” She smiled. “I wish you the absolute best, okay? You and your son. And that Falcon boy.” She chuckled. “Enjoy the rest of your night.”

“You too.” You looked at her, having not expected her to be so nice. Though, you knew she held her head high as she turned to Steve.

“Well, least I can say I’ve met you.” She rolled her eyes. “Such a lovely meeting.” She stepped back. “Bye.” She waved to you and Bucky. With that, she turned and left.

Bucky gently rubbed your back. “Need a minute?” He continued to ignore Steve despite knowing he was probably panicking again. He doubted he’d be able to say anything without yelling at him. “Want me to get Sam?”

You nodded. “If you could.” You went to sit on a bench by the entrance, sighing. You leaned your elbows on your knees, staring at her card. This was bringing up old wounds and you hated it. Closing your eyes, you heard the door finally shut.

Sam joined you quickly, instantly holding you when you nuzzled into him. “I’m here, baby.” He felt you shake as you sniffled. You gripped the back of his shirt, not wanting him to let go.

Bucky stared at Steve down the hall a bit, both men able to hear your soft crying. He looked as Sam lifted you, carrying you towards your shared room. “I’m going to go attend to the guests.” Bucky told Steve, not looking at him. He felt sick to his stomach.

“Everything okay?” Quill asked, more serious than usual.

“Not really.” Bucky said honestly. “I’m sorry we have to cut this short, but you’re all free to stay?” He assured them. “We have plenty of room.”

“We can stay.” Quill nodded.

“I can.” Carol agreed. “For at least a few days.” She felt she was needed.

Parker nodded. “I’ll stay. Maybe I can help with the boys.” He volunteered. “I’ll run home and get some clothes, and then come back.”

“We’ll come by tomorrow to visit?” Scott offered. “I’ll bring her some of the candies, too.”

“Thanks, guys.” Bucky said gratefully. Letting out a sigh, he ran a hand through his hair. “I’m gonna get all this cleaned up.” He motioned to the table.

Everyone quickly stood to help. Between them, it didn’t take long for clean up. Parker left with the others to get stuff from home. May promised to send over a little something. Bucky showed the rest to the spare areas. He hadn’t seen Steve since, and figured he was hiding somewhere. David had been put in his crib by Wanda when they started cleaning up. Bucky wished he could kick Steve out. That wasn’t his place, however.

Chapter 24: Eventually

Chapter Text

You finally drifted off that evening and Sam stayed with you for the longest time. He went to check on the boys and ran into Bucky halfway. “I’m gonna kill him.” Sam sighed. “And I’m gonna get damn creative with it.”

Bucky nodded, leaning back against a wall. “I’ll help.” He shook his head. “I wasn’t a humongous fan of Peggy but poor her.” He rubbed his face. “Poor Y/N for not knowing there was a chance of them having kids. I feel sick for them.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “And now he’s got a great-great grandson. Who is just a year younger than Owen.”

“This is all sorts of f*cked up.” Sam groaned. “I feel for them, too. I doubt that’s what she expected when she knocked on our door.”

“You could see the disappointment.” Bucky nodded. “I’m sure she wanted an explanation of why he left but there wasn’t one. I told her we’re here for her.”

“Good.” Sam sighed. “Y/N’s tearing my heart strings. She said she wouldn’t blame me if I left too.” He admitted quietly. “It’s like all her fears came back in an instant. I thought that she was over them, but I guess they were there somewhere deep.”

Bucky sagged. “sh*t. I was worried that would happen.” While he was thankful you had the boys to focus on, it wouldn’t make things less painful for you. “I didn’t tell the others what happened. I didn’t know if you’d want them to know.”

Sam nodded. “Thanks. I’ll tell them tomorrow maybe.” He wanted to focus on you for the time being. “I really don’t want him to see Owen anymore.” It would be too easy for Steve to hurt him. “But I don't want to risk hurting him because he’s so damn attached.”

“He’d forget right? Eventually.” Bucky sighed. “He’s really young.”

“I’m backing down as the Falcon.” He told him. “I planned to announce it at Christmas. Keeping him around means one more person on missions.” He hated seeing it that way, but that’s a big part of why he wasn’t telling Steve to get out right that moment. One more person to keep his family alive.

Bucky bit his lip. “But…” He shook his head. “Yeah that’s probably for the best.” He switched what he was going to say. He got where Sam was coming from. “I enjoyed having you as my partner.” He gave him a sad smile. “I can see why you’re stepping down, though. I probably would, too.”

“Thanks, man. You’ve really helped.” Sam gave him a quick hug. “I know it wasn’t easy losing your best friend either.” He felt for him, as well. “I’m here if you need to talk or anything.”

“Thanks.” He squeezed him. “I’ll make sure I continue helping. On and off missions.” He promised. “You guys are family.”

Sam smiled. “I’m gonna head back. Let me know if you need anything.” He patted his arm.

Bucky nodded and went back to wandering the halls. He doubted that he would be getting any sleep that night. He was feeling a bit down but didn’t want to put that on anyone. Especially you and Sam. He didn’t know how long he walked back and forth. Before he knew it, the sun was coming up. He sighed and went to start breakfast for their guests. Hopefully today went okay. Maybe he’d suggest a trip to the zoo.

Gamora and Groot came in first, both early people. “I am Groot.” He greeted.

“Morning.” Bucky greeted them.

“You look like crap.” Gamora said gently. “I take it you didn’t get sleep?”

He snorted. “Not a wink. Everyone on your team like eggs?” He wanted to check. “We also have waffles, bagels, things like that.”

“They eat literally everything.” She made herself useful and helped make coffee. “Especially Rocket.”

“That’s good.” He chuckled. “Hope you slept well?” He figured a conversation would help distract himself.

“Yes, it was very nice. These rooms are huge.” She looked at Groot. “And the beds are so soft.”

Groot took a cup that she offered, just enjoying the warmth of it. “I am Groot.” He said happily.

Bucky grinned at him. “How do you feel about being Owen’s current favorite?” He liked Groot even if there was the language barrier. He wondered if there was a way to be able to understand him.

He nodded. “I am Groot.”

“Says he’s sweet.” Gamora provided.

“Yeah, he is.” Bucky agreed.

“Seems attached to Steve. Unfortunately.” She noted. “Very much so. She said that he doesn’t know he’s his father. Maybe he does? Kids can be observant.” She hadn’t been around them much, but that had been her experience.

“He’s very...into people’s feelings so maybe.” Bucky agreed. “I don’t think he could pin point it exactly, but maybe he feels a bond of some kind.”

“Shame. I would have thought he got the sweetness from Steve too since I liked him at one point. But that changed my mind.” She sipped her coffee. “That’s clearly all Y/N and Sam.”

Bucky looked at her. “Yeah they’re both really nice.” He enjoyed how she just spoke her mind. It was refreshing. “I hope that Owen stays that way as he gets older.”

“I’m sure he will.” Gamora nodded. “None of you seem like major assholes.” She grinned. “He’s got some good role models. We’ll just keep Quill away from him.” She laughed.

He nodded in agreement. “We do.” He laughed. “Morning, doll.” He greeted you as you came in with David on your hip.

“Hi.” You said softly, waving to Gamora and Groot. The tree happily gave you a small flower, hoping to help your mood. “Thank you.” You gave him a small smile. You sat by Gamora and yawned. You hadn’t slept well the night before.

David giggled and squished your cheeks. “Mommy!” Owen came running in. “Can we have those rainbow pancakes for breakfast? With the whipped cream and sprinkles?”

Bucky looked over. “I can make them for you, buddy.” He offered. “You can even help if you want.” He added.

He sighed. “I wanted mommy to make them.” He told him. “Please?” He looked up at you.

You couldn’t help but smile. “I think I can do that. Let Uncle Bucky finish making his breakfast, okay? And for Daddy to come so he can feed David some pears or something.”

He nodded. “Okay! I can wait.” He went to greet Groot and Gamora. “Hi.” He smiled. “Uncle Bruce is green, too. I like that.” He told Gamora. “I wish I could be green.”

Gamora automatically smiled. “Thanks. What’s your favorite color?”

He thought for a moment. “I like blue, but I also like red. Oh, and white!”

She thought of the combination and nodded. “Those are nice.” She offered.

“Mommy’s favorite color is Y/F/C. I like that, too. But not as much.” He shrugged.

You smiled as you heard him, glancing at Bucky. At least Owen was distracted and not picking up on your mood. You were doing your best. It shouldn’t be effecting you as much as it was! You’d moved on. You no longer loved Steve. Why did it hurt so much all these years later? You felt guilty, worried Sam would leave you because this was such a mess. And you wouldn’t have blamed him, either. He deserved someone who didn’t feel so bad. Who didn’t have this issue hanging over their head.

Groot gently placed a hand on your back, feeling your emotions. “I am Groot.” He said softly.

You felt you basically understood him and smiled sadly up at him. “Thanks, Groot.” His personality was very calming.

Bucky finished up the food for the crew before making Gamora and Groot a plate. “Where’s Sam?” He asked, sitting down.

“Showering. He should be in any minute.” You’d told him to take a longer one because of your tossing and turning. This way he got some time to relax.

“Cool.” He sipped on his coffee, forgoing eating. “Lemme have my nephew so you can get your breakfast.”

“Thank you.” You handed over David who attached himself to Bucky. “He loves his Uncle Bucky.”

David chewed on his shirt happily. Bucky kissed the top of his head. “I love him, too.” He smiled.

“Who you love? Me right?” Sam smirked as he strolled in. “I am lovable. And handsome.”

“Yep. Was talking about you.” Bucky said sarcastically.

You smiled at the exchange, getting up to start on Owen’s pancake request. It was an easy enough thing to do, thankfully. It kept your kid occupied.

“You love Uncle Bucky too, daddy?” Owen didn’t understand sarcasm yet. You giggled at that.

“Of course, buddy.” Sam chuckled. “He’s like a brother.”

“Like me and David?” He asked. “We’re brothers.”

“Pretty much.” Sam nodded. That seemed to appease him. “So, what should I feed our little guy for breakfast?” He came over to kiss your shoulder.

“Maybe some mushy bananas?” You asked. “And maybe I’ll rip him up a pancake to try? Make him a smaller one? Owen asked for rainbow pancakes.” You explained.

Sam nodded. “Perfect.” He gave your hip a small squeeze before going to get a banana to mash up for David. “Want me to mush it up just enough and let him have a ball with it?” He smiled.

“Please.” You nodded. “He loves squishing things.” You smiled softly at him.

“I am Groot.”

“Yes, but he won’t break things with his squishes like you, Groot.” Gamora laughed softly. “He’s a baby.” She added.

“I am Groot.” He nodded.

Bucky smiled at Groot, happy David also didn’t seem scared of him. “Can you put him in his high chair?” Sam asked as he peeled the banana.

Bucky nodded and clicked him in easily. David laughed and kicked, knowing he was about to get something to eat. “Kid likes food.” Bucky laughed.

“Just like Sam.” You said fondly. “It’s a good thing we’ll never have to worry about a grocery bill. Two boys, Sam, Bucky…” You teased. “Morning, Peter.” You smiled as he shuffled in.

“Hi, Y/N.” He yawned and rubbed his face. “Hi guys.” He waved to Owen and David. “Morning.” He greeted Gamora, Bucky, Sam, and Groot.

“Have a seat. I’m making rainbow pancakes.” You told him.

“Sweet.” He said instantly, back straightening when Carol came in, Quill and Rocket behind her. “Morning.” He waved.

“Hey, kid.” Quill ruffled his hair as he passed. “Morning, mom.” He greeted you playfully.

You gave him a smile. “Morning. Sleep okay?”

“Beds are awesome. Drax isn’t going to wake up all day.” Rocket laughed. “He’s gonna be so confused when he gets up. It’s gonna be great.” He used Owen’s stool that was nearby to make his plate. “Thanks for the food.” He grinned. “We don’t get homemade much.”

“Anytime.” You told him. “We all like to take turns cooking.” You explained. “Bucky made breakfast, but Owen requested I make rainbow pancakes, so I am.”

“With whipped cream and sprinkles!” The little boy added excitedly.

“Rainbow pancakes?” Rocket looked over. “Can I try one?” He was curious. “If the kids thinks they’re good…”

You chuckled. “This is why I’m making a big batch. Plus some mornings Bruce is really hungry. Like, football team hungry.” You joked.

“Drax.” Quill laughed. “He’s like that.”

“You’re like that.” Gamora smirked at him. “I’ve had to hide snacks.”

“I am Groot.”

“Not from you.” She smiled at Groot. “Never from you.” She chuckled.

“Favorites!” Rocket shook his head, going to sit with Owen. “Hey, kid.” He gave him a high five.

Owen returned it happily. “Hi! Wanna play after breakfast?” He asked, hopeful. “We can play in my playhouse again! Or outback with my soccer ball.”

Rocket nodded. “Sure. I like ball.” He agreed, chuckling as Owen got excited.

David squealed loudly and mashed bananas into his seat. One of his little hands went into his mouth with some on it.

Quill laughed and watched him. “Cute, kid.” He shook his head as some banana got into his hair. “Mess kid.”

“Bath time after.” Sam laughed. “Which is usually what happens after he eats.”

Carol smiled. “That’s cute.” She chuckled as he squealed when he got a ripped up pancake. “I’ll have to try one of the famous pancakes.” She looked at you, hoping that all this positivity was helping. She wanted to pummel Steve all over again yesterday. Taking a deep breath, she watched Owen climb up onto a chair as Sam got him a plate, giving him a little extra whipped cream. She chuckled as Owen all but dove in.

“Thank you, mommy!” He grinned, whipped cream on his face. “So good.”

“You’re welcome.” You kissed his head before continuing to make a platter of them. If there were any leftovers, you knew they wouldn’t last more than a day.

“Do you want coffee?” Parker asked Carol. “I can get you coffee.”

Carol grinned. “Sure. Some sugar and milk please.” She nodded. “Thank you.”

He nodded and rushed to do that. Sam smirked and shook his head, getting you a cup of milk. He thought Parker was funny, and quite obvious sometimes. It was sweet, and he hoped he stayed that way.

Chapter 25: Barnes?!

Chapter Text

Once breakfast was done and things were cleared, Owen went to play while you went to do bath time. No one had seen Steve, and no one really wanted to- even if they hadn’t been told what had happened. It was bound to happen when Owen would ask but it hadn’t happened yet. Thankfully Rocket and Groot were keeping him occupied.

Bucky went to the gym area when he was no longer needed, knowing he had to keep up his training now. If anything, he had to make sure he was even stronger. He refused to rely on Steve. If he was there helping, fine, but he was no longer the leader. No one would ever see him as that again. He spent a few hours hitting bags and lifting. Finally, his hair was dripping with sweat and his muscles ached. He sighed as he trudged to the gym showers, not wanting to make the trip up to his room. He looked forward to the hot water. He’d shower before going to get started on lunch. Even if it was early, he could keep it warm. He wanted that to focus on, and hopefully Owen would let you relax. He had tunnel vision as he tried not to think about anything else.

Steve figured it was safe enough to head to the training room mid-morning. He was feeling sick just about constantly so he felt he could train to be useful. Maybe get some stress out. He warmed up at the bags. Letting out a sigh, he started working out. He barely heard the showers but didn’t think anything of it. It didn’t register.

Bucky walked out, drying his hair with a hand towel. Seeing Steve, he blinked. He knew he didn’t see him so he stayed watching him. Should he just walk out? Yell at him?

Steve blinked when he heard Bucky let out a breath. He turned around quickly. “Buck…”

Bucky’s throat was a bit tight so he could only stare back. It felt like he was frozen in place.

“Please don’t hate me.” Steve tried. “Please.” He begged. “I’ll do anything to make it up to you.” He dared to take a step forward. “To all of you. I had no idea that anything like this would happen.”

Bucky clenched his jaw, hating that his mouth wasn’t working. How could he begin to make any of this right?

“I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. Or leave anyone to raise a baby alone.” He continued. “Ever. That’s not me. Had I known Y/N was pregnant, I would have stayed.” He tried. “Then Peggy wouldn’t have had to raise our son alone, because he wouldn’t have existed. Or if I had known Peggy was pregnant, I...I wouldn’t have come back.”

“Then how about you find a way back to Peggy before she has him?” Bucky asked coldly. “I’m sure it’s possible.” He crossed his arms over his chest.

“I’m not leaving Owen.” Steve breathed. “I’m staying.”

Bucky shook his head, looking away. Taking a deep breath, he made his way towards the door.

“Buck!” Steve sighed. “Come on! I made mistakes.”

Bucky turned around and got in his face. “Mistakes? That’s no mistake.” He hissed. “I really don’t know what you want from me, because like I said, I’m done.” He glared. “Y/N was lucky to have all of us. I can only hope Peggy had support, too, and wasn’t a completely single mother.”

Steve stayed looking at him. “I’ve apologized. I’m trying to make it better!” He insisted. “I know what I did. All I can do is make what I do better.” He carefully placed a hand on Bucky’s shoulder. “That includes being a good friend to you.” His voice was soft.

Bucky wanted to pummel him. “The only thing you can do is be a good team member on missions. That’s it.” He pulled back. “Get us all home.” He shrugged. “Besides that? You’re honestly nothing to me. A coworker.” There was nothing Steve could do to change that. He could see that it hurt Steve to hear that but that wasn’t Bucky’s problem. Like he had told him, he had been so close to being his friend again.

Steve felt his eyes burn. “Okay…” He managed, heart breaking.

Bucky gave him one last look before leaving. He planned to go see how Owen was, and then check on you.

Owen loved having his new friends over for the next few days. He was constantly playing and it was a blast. He was currently having a snack with Carol while Bucky cleared up the playroom.

Carol stood quickly when she suddenly saw Bucky collapse. “Barnes?!” She patted his cheek. “FRIDAY, can you get Bruce to meet me in medbay?” She lifted him easily. “Come on, Owen.” She tried to sound calm.

“What’s happening?!” Owen was scared, his eyes watering. “Uncle Bucky!” He sniffled.

“Bruce will be ready, ma’am.” FRIDAY replied. “I have also alerted Mr. Wilson to meet you.” She added, and Carol figured that was to get Owen.

Sam met them by the lab, instantly picking up Owen. “He just fainted?” He asked Carol as she laid him on the bed Bruce had. “No warnings?”

She sighed. “One minute he was helping clean up, the next he’s out.” In all honesty, she didn’t know what could cause that with him.

Bruce began his scans. “Oh.” He noted something had popped up instantly. “Dehydrated.” He continued. “And really worn out.” He sighed. “Hasn’t slept.” He noted.

“Can you fix him?” Owen sniffled. He was clinging to Sam, his eyes never leaving Bucky. “Uncle Bucky, wake up!”

Carol rubbed his back, feeling for the little guy.

“He will be okay.” Bruce told them softly. “Just a good rest and some fluids.” He promised. “I’ll keep you all updated.

Sam nodded. “Thanks, Bruce.” He sighed. “How about we go make him a card?” He looked at Owen. “I’m sure that he’d like that for when he gets up.”

Owen nodded, still worried. “Yeah.” He sniffed. “Can I hug him first?”

Sam nodded and set him down on the bed. He watched as Owen moved to hug him, resting his head on Bucky’s chest. When you found out what happened, you’d be worried sick.

“Love you.” Owen said sadly. “Wake up soon.” He moved, reaching for Sam. He was sad as he held onto him. Even after missions he had never dealt with anything like this.

“Let me know if I can help.” Carol told Bruce before walking behind Sam. “Can I color with you?” She asked Owen, wanting to help keep him distracted.

Owen nodded. “Yeah.” He said softly. “I’d like that.”

Sam gently set him down on the floor in the playroom. “I’m going to go talk to your mom.” He kissed the top of his head. “Maybe make her something after, too?” You’d need it.

“Okay.” He agreed, moving to snuggle with Carol. He always did that when he was a bit sad. He’d grown fond of her. The others ended up leaving after a couple days, but she stayed. She was cool and funny to Owen. He thought it was fun that she fought bad guys, too. He’d asked you for a Captain America toy.

Carol smiled at him, coloring randomly as he worked on a card. She hoped Bucky woke up okay. How bad were things with him if he was passing out? She tried to remember if she saw him eating at any time. He hadn’t been. Had he even been sleeping? She shook her head, knowing he probably was burning out way before this. Once he was awake, she would go check on him.

You teared up when Sam told you what happened. “How could I not notice?” You sighed. You cared so much for your family, but it seemed you were too into your head.

“None of us did, sugar. You know how he hides stuff well.” He rubbed your side. “He’ll be okay. He’s tough.”

You shook your head. “We’ll make sure he doesn’t over do it.” You leaned into him. David was currently napping, thankfully. “Get take out, whatever it takes.” You added. “Maybe you can take him out for a night? Maybe for drinks? See if Bruce wants to go.”

He nodded. “That sounds good. I know he bottles sh*t up.” He rubbed your back. “We’ll help him through it.”

You sniffled. “I can’t lose him.” You wrapped your arms around him.

Sam held you close. “I know we can’t.” His voice was soft. “Owen is with Carol, how about we cuddle for a few?” That usually helped you relax a bit.

You nodded. “Alright.” You’d never turn that down. You hoped Bucky would wake soon. Getting comfortable with Sam, you closed your eyes.

Chapter 26: Pedialyte

Chapter Text

When Bucky woke, it was night. He blinked, not remembering when he came to the lab. Licking his lips, he looked around. “Hey.” He said when he saw Bruce on the other side of the room. “What happened?” He asked softly.

“You collapsed in the playroom.” He explained. “Dehydration, lack of nutrients and sleep.” He made his way towards him. “Carol carried you in.”

He blinked. “Oh.” He sat up slowly. “Well I feel better now. Can I go? Did they already make dinner? sh*t, it was my turn for bath time.” He sagged. “sh*t.”

Bruce put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s nearly midnight. Everyone’s asleep.” He told him.

He groaned, rubbing his face. “sh*t. Why aren’t you asleep?”

“I will probably in an hour.” He glanced at the time. “I was checking your vitals.” He said it like it was nothing. “Checking the IV.”

Bucky sighed and tugged at his hair. “Sorry.”

Bruce shook his head. “I’m glad you’re better.” He smiled. “Wanna talk about what’s going on? Because tomorrow Owen is going to be clinging to you.” He told him.

“Oh no, he saw?” Bucky winced.

“Yeah, you went down while he was snacking. He was really upset.” He explained. “Asked you to wake up.”

Bucky sighed. “Poor guy.” He felt bad. “I don’t know what happened.” He said honestly.

“I spoke to Carol. She said she feels she hasn’t seen you eat often.” Bruce looked at him. “And I’m guessing you aren’t sleeping? But I know you’ve been training.”

Bucky sighed. “It’s probably what they call a bad coping strategy.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Never thought I’d collapse, though.” Who would think of that?

“I didn’t think it was possible.” Bruce agreed. “So I know it’s bad. You can’t take care of the others without taking care of yourself.” His tone was light. “I’ve been there.” He sat leaned against the bed. “I know what he did messed with everyone, but mostly you and Y/N.” He stated. “You’re allowed to mourn too, Bucky. “ He reminded him.

Bucky looked away at that. Now he was more worried about you and Owen. He knew you’d worry. “I’ll work on it.” He told him.

“Please.” Bruce nodded. “We all care about you and your health.” They were a family.

Bucky sighed. “I will. I do feel better now.” He nodded.

“Good. Please eat breakfast in the morning.” Bruce smiled. “A decent breakfast.”

“Yes, sir.” Bucky cracked a smile. “I’m sorry I worried everyone.” He’d apologize to you tomorrow.

“No apologies necessary.” Bruce assured. “Now why don’t you go get a snack and go relax?”

“Thanks again.” Bucky nodded and let him detach his stuff before slowly making his way out. His mind went over the last thing he remembered before waking up. He couldn’t help but feel the abandonment creep in again, something he’d tried to avoid this whole time. Taking a deep breath, he leaned on the kitchen counter once in there. He slowly ate the apple he picked up, hating that he couldn’t control himself better. He wished that he could be numb to Steve. He wish it didn’t hurt. “Ugh.” He hung his head. He hated this.

Once he finished his apple, he trudged back to his room. He kept telling himself to do better. He had to do better for you and the boys. That was his focus. And being okay enough for missions. He laid on his bed once he got there, hoping to rest.

The next morning, Owen grinned and rushed to Bucky when he saw him in the kitchen getting coffee. “You’re awake!”

Bucky lifted him with ease. “Hi, buddy. Yeah I just needed to sleep a little bit.” He hugged him. “I’m sorry I scared you.”

Owen snuggled to him. “You can nap with me.” He said sweetly. “You can even use my extra soft pillow.”

“Thank you. I’d love that.” He smiled. “Playtime after breakfast?”

He nodded. “Me and Aunt Carol made you a card!” He smiled. “It’s really colorful.”

“I can’t wait to see it.” He smiled and set him on the counter. He ‘oof’d’ when he felt someone hug him from behind. He smiled when he felt it was you. “Morning, doll.” He put his hand over yours.

“Don’t ever scare me like that again, Mister.” You sniffed. “I was so worried something was really wrong.”

He turned around and hugged you. “I’m sorry.” He kissed your head. “I didn’t mean to. I promise I’ll take better care of myself.”

“We’re going to start doing spa days.” You stated. “And tonight, you, Sam, Clint, and Bruce are going out.”

“Out?” He raised an eyebrow.

You nodded. “Guys night.”

“But…” He started.

You raised an eyebrow. “But what?”

He shrugged. “I can be more helpful here.” He said easily.

“You need to relax. Me, Wanda, and Carol are more than capable of taking care of Owen and David.”

Bucky pouted his best pout. “But, doll…” When you pouted right back, he caved. “Fine.” He sighed.

“Thank you.” You patted his chest. “It’s just a couple hours.” You kissed his cheek. “I think it’ll be good for you.” You gave him a smile. “You look after everyone, let us look after you.”

“Fine. One night.” He gave you a small smile. “As long as you promise to text if you need us.”

“I promise.” You smiled. At least now you knew he would agree to go relax.

Owen clung to Bucky as you took over breakfast. He hadn’t slept well.. Bucky rubbed his back and made sure he had his full attention. All Owen cared about was that his Uncle was awake and okay. He stayed that way until bedtime. When Bucky tried to tuck him in, Owen nearly cried, wanting Bucky to sleep over in his room. Bucky promised to curl up with him until he fell asleep. However, with how Owen curled up on him, there was no way he was getting out. He just let it happen, knowing Owen needed his rest. It really drilled the fact into him that he needed to do better at taking care of himself. He had to be a better example for him. And seeing Owen so upset and worried killed him.

He closed his eyes and just rested for a bit.

Steve couldn’t sleep, having heard what happened with Bucky. He hadn’t seen him since that night in the gym, either. He felt incredibly guilty knowing he didn’t help at all with how Bucky might’ve been feeling. If anything, he probably made it worse. Just like he did most nights, he wandered the halls to check on Owen.

He popped his head in and smiled a bit at the sight. It was bittersweet to see Bucky with Owen. He knew his best friend was more of a father figure than Steve would ever be allowed to be. And he was thankful he got to see them together.

Bucky heard him step in and glanced over, blinking the sleep from his eyes. “Oh.” He said quietly. He was stuck. “Hi.”

“Hey.” Steve replied. “Sorry if I woke you.” He said softly. “Looks like he’s comfy.” He motioned to Owen.

“Yeah. Had a death grip on me.” He said a bit amused. “There’s no way I’m getting out before he gets up in the morning.”

Steve chuckled. “Need water or something?” He offered, not giving up on their once very stong friendship.

Bucky shrugged a shoulder. “Yeah, maybe one of Owen’s pedialyte bottles? I need to keep the fluids up or something.” He asked.

Steve nodded. “Yeah. I’ll be right back.” He promised, going to find a bottle and maybe a snack. Hopefully this was a nice baby step towards better. He really hoped.

Bucky nodded his thanks when he returned. He maneuvered himself to be able to sip it without shifting Owen too much. He made a face as he wasn’t fond of the taste. Setting it off to the side, he wondered how the boys drank that. “Gross.” He mumbled.

He couldn’t help but chuckle. “Want me to get you something else?”

He shook his head. “Gross probably means it’s helping.” ” He made a face.

“True.” Steve leaned against the wall. .

Bucky wasn’t sure what else Steve wanted. Would he stand there for a while? They had nothing to talk about.

Thankfully, Steve felt the shift and nodded. “I’ll be up for a while so if you need anything, FRIDAY can tell me.” He pushed off against the wall.

“...thanks.” Bucky said quietly. He watched as Steve left before closing his eyes again. He’d barely started to drift off before FRIDAY woke him up.

“Sir, there is an urgent mission.”

“f*ck.” He mumbled, carefully trying to move Owen. He gave Owen his Falcon stuffy to cuddle in hopes of keeping him asleep. He sighed in relief when it seemed to work. He jogged out to go suit up. Hopefully this was a quick one.

You hugged yourself as you watched Sam get ready. “Please be careful.” You followed him out. You were wide awake now, despite being deep asleep when FRIDAY alerted the team. “We love you and want you home.” You cupped his cheek when he looked at you, your eyes watery. “Please.”

He cupped your face in return and pecked your lips. “I will, sugar. I love you.” He said softly. “You, and our three kids, will have me safe, and home.” He promised.

You let out a breath and nodded. You stayed close as he went to the take off room. When you saw Bucky, you made a noise. “Bucky! You can’t go!” You pouted.“You haven’t rested enough!” You tried.

Bucky’s chest ached at that. “I’ll come back, doll. And when I do, I’m gonna order all seasons of I Love Lucy and all the sour gummies I can. And we will hang out and watch it while getting a sugar rush. Deal?” He rubbed your arms as he came over. “I gotta make sure Sam stays safe out there.” He reminded you softly.

You glanced behind him at Steve and didn’t know how to feel about him going. You hugged Bucky quickly. “Be safe.” You sniffed.

He kissed your head and ran off.

“I’ll keep 'em safe.” Steve told you from afar. He had his shield on his back. It was his first mission in years. He really hoped he kept his promise. He’d do his best. All you did was nod, eyes on the Quinjet.

Chapter 27: Go!

Chapter Text

Bucky hi fived Sam as they made their way out of the warehouse. “Disabled and ready to go home.” Sam grinned. “I’ll text her when we pack up our stuff.” Both men were pushed to the ground by surprise.

Sam looked up, ready to tear into Steve for tackling them. But the blonde held up his hands. “We missed one.” He said softly, standing on the board that Bucky and Sam would have done a moment ago. He was breathing heavily. “Get back to the quinjet. Wanda will be ready for it to take off.” He knew if he moved, the entire building would go down with how powerful the thing was under his foot. “Go!”

Sam and Bucky looked at each other quickly. “W-We can figure it out.” Bucky said. He’d never left someone on a mission, and wouldn’t start now.

“I’ll figure it out. You both need to go.” Steve said firmly. “We don’t have time. Go!” He ordered them. “I’ll be okay with the shield but I can’t protect you both.” He assured, even though he knew there was a chance he wouldn’t be okay. But it was a risk he had to take.

“You’re sure?” Sam asked. He was feeling slightly panicked.

“Go.” He repeated.

Bucky tugged Sam to go first, watching his back as they ran. They spotted Wanda, watching them. Sam and Bucky barely landed on the quinjet before they heard the blast. Both men whipped around, but it was Bruce running towards it. “sh*t.” Bucky breathed. He followed Bruce, Sam, Wanda, and Clint doing the same. They rushed as fast as they could. They had no idea what shape they would find Steve in.

Bruce began pulling debris off. Sam ducked as a large piece went flying past him. They all quickly moved pieces that they could. This was not how they pictured this going. “Steve?” Bruce asked, hoping he was conscious.

Everyone was met with silence, making them take off debris quicker. Soon, Sam pulled on his shield and Bucky was quick to lift the large rock with Bruce off of Steve. They all feared the worst.

Bucky moved to make sure he was breathing and sighed in relief when he could find Steve’s pulse. “Light but there.” He told them. “Can we move him?”

Bruce nodded and carefully lifted him away from the wreckage. He winced at how limp he was. He carried him slowly out as Clint did a quick sweep of everything. Once back on the Quinjet, he watched Bruce set him down. “Owen is going to freak.”

Sam gently set down Steve’s shield. “Big time.” He sighed. “We would’ve walked onto that trigger.” He looked at Bucky. “And be dead.”

Bucky swallowed and nodded. “We missed it.” He rubbed his face. He’d been pissed and wanted Steve gone- not nearly dead! He’d never wish for that.

Wanda hugged herself as she watched Bruce try to figure out Steve’s injuries. They had to tell you he was hanging on for his life because he saved Sam and Bucky.

“Doesn’t look great.” Bruce admitted. “I’m gonna need one of you to help me. My hands are too big.” He glanced at the others.

Bucky stepped up instantly. “Whatever you need.” He swallowed. “Just tell me what to do.”

You were excited when FRIDAY alerted you that they were on their way home, but your stomach dropped when she said there was a possible fatal injury. “W-What? Who?” You teared up. The boys were thankfully napping at the moment.

“Captain Rogers, Mrs. Wilson.”

You let out a shaky breath. You never expected Steve to be the one hurt. He never got hurt so badly before. You were thankful Parker had come by to help with the boys before the team left. You didn’t want Owen seeing Steve in any bad state. You were scared to see him yourself! Your heart hurt no matter what you told yourself.

Parker was informed about the injury and stayed with a movie on with the boys while you waited in the landing dock. You rushed to Sam the second you saw him.

He hugged you quickly. “Everyone else is okay.” He assured. “Barely any scratches.” He told you as you watched Bruce and Clint wheel out Steve.

“What happened?!” You gasped. “In all those years, he’s never looked at bad.”

Sam swallowed. “Bucky and I missed a trigger for an explosion. He pushed us out of the way and stepped on it so it wouldn’t go off on us.” He explained. “We were celebrating finishing up in the warehouse, thinking we were done completely.”

You could tell he felt bad and hugged him again. “sh*t.” You breathed. You buried your face in his chest, thankful that he was there, safe. However, you hadn’t wanted Steve to be so hurt. You weren’t that cruel!

He rubbed your back. “Bruce says it doesn’t look good.” He told you softly. “Him and Bucky did what they could on the Quinjet.”

You sniffled and nodded. “We'll wait it out then?” You looked up at him.

He nodded. “Bruce is hoping the serum will help his organs to not shut down.” He winced. “And that his bones will heal alright. I think he’s gonna get him into some kind of cast or something.”

You wiped your eyes. “He literally stopped the blast with his whole body?” You asked. “There was nothing else to do?”

“We wanted to figure it out but he made us go. I know he knew now. That he knew I wouldn’t make it.” Sam looked away. “If we had stepped on that...you would have been getting very different news.” You would have lost both a husband, and someone who was like a brother.The boys would have lost a father, and an uncle. You wouldn’t have been able to handle it. The thought made you sick to your stomach. “I’ll clean up and go say hi to the boys. What do you want to do?” He wanted you to feel comfortable.

It took you a moment. “Family time? Parker’s still here, too.” You added. “We can all watch something?”

“Perfect.” He kissed your forehead.

Bucky came over as Sam jogged out and squeezed you. “I’ll probably stay with Bruce to see if I can help anymore.” He kissed the top of your head. “If anything changes, I’ll text you. This way if you’re with the boys FRIDAY doesn’t freak them out or something. Maybe just tell Owen that Steve isn’t feeling good?” The last thing he wanted was for his 4 year old nephew to see that side of their lives yet.

“Good idea.” You poked his chest. “You need to stop scaring me. I can’t lose you either.” You said sadly. “Please keep me updated.” You hugged him. “I’m glad you’re safe.”

He hugged you gently. “I’m sorry, doll.” He sounded incredibly guilty. “I’ll help out with the boys later.”

“Don’t worry.” You kissed his arm. “I know Owen will want some cuddles before bed.” He’d been missing them, and worried. You glanced to where Bruce had taken Steve. “Is it really bad?”

Bucky nodded, not wanting to lie to you. “If he makes it through the night, it’ll be a bit of a surprise. But he’s tough.” He blinked. He ran a hand through his hair. “It’ll be awhile before he’s up and walking around, let alone in the field.”

You nodded slowly. Never did you think Steve would be the one to come so close to death. You’d never actually pictured any of them coming home like that , but you wouldn’t have guessed it would have been him.

Bucky kissed your forehead. “I’ll text you.” He promised.

You nodded, slowly going back to the playroom. You schooled your features so that Owen couldn’t guess that something went so very wrong. Thankfully, Parker was doing a good job of distracting him while David crawled around. You gave Parker a small smile when he looked over. “Thank you.” You sat down and lifted David.

“They’re home?” Owen smiled. “Daddy’s home?!” He got excited.

You nodded. “He’s cleaning up right now.” You smiled. “He’s going to come watch movies with us.” You ran a hand through his hair. “Family time.”

“And everybody else?” He asked excitedly.

“Steve isn’t feeling good. He’s sick, so he’s resting. Uncle Bucky and Uncle Bruce are looking after him.”

He instantly pouted. “Oh no!” He stopped what he was doing. “Like a cold?” He sounded worried. “Will a hug and a card help?”

“A card will.” You nodded. “But you won’t be able to hug him for a while until it passes, okay?” You hoped you didn’t have to deliver bad news to your son that Steve was gone. He was too young for that, and so far he hadn’t had to deal with loss like that.

He nodded sadly. “Okay.” He hugged you.

You hugged back instantly, looking at Parker sadly. You rubbed Owen's back.

Bucky secured the printed cast that Bruce managed to make with his machines. It had been a few hours since they got home and he found himself glancing at Steve’s vitals every few seconds. He probably wouldn’t stop until she saw an improvement.

He stayed there for the remainder of the day and night, falling asleep on an empty bed nearby.

They didn’t see improvement for a few days and Bucky felt he didn’t want to lose hope. Owen was getting antsy, not understanding why Steve was still “sick”. He had never really seen anyone last days with a cold.

Bruce remained optimistic. “I’m hoping it just clicks one day in his body.” He told you as you brought Bucky a late dinner one night. “That he just wakes up.”

You nodded. “That would be nice.” The past few days had brought you insight that you didn’t really want Steve gone. You just wanted that lingering feeling of betrayal and hurt gone. It was something you’d work on.

Bucky ate slowly, fighting with the same thoughts. Steve had risked his life without a second thought. He’d made sure him and Sam were far enough. It was taking over his mind. That was the selfless Steve he had grown up with. Bucky had assumed that was gone, that he’d become completely selfish. He kind of hated that it took something like this to prove him wrong. Letting out a sigh, he let his head hang back. He mentally begged for Steve to wake up. Or some improvement in his vitals.

Unfortunately the day didn’t come until a few weeks after the mission. Owen was convinced something was wrong and was constantly fussy at that point. Bucky was the first alerted that Steve had woken up coughing but the blonde hadn’t quite said anything yet. He rushed back to the medbay, having just gotten out of the shower.

Steve was in and out, blinking before falling asleep once more. “He is responding well.” Bruce told Bucky. “His body is doing what it needs to.”

Bucky let out a breath of relief. “Good.” He sat by Steve’s bed and let out another breath. “You’re gonna pull through.” He told the blonde. “Owen’s been asking about you.” He eyed his breathing. “You’re going to be on kid duty for ages, pal.” He said lightly, feeling better that he was going to make it. Hopefully this would help Steve some.

Steve groaned when he finally was able to stay awake long enough to look around. His whole body was sore as hell. He couldn’t even reach to rub at his eyes.

“Hey.” Bucky stood, taking the glass of water from Bruce. “You’re okay.” He said gently when Steve looked at him in panic. “You’ve been knocked out for a bit from the explosion. And, uh, the stuff falling on you.” He helped him drink a sip of water.

Steve let out a cough as he did, closing his eyes in pain. “Y-Y...you’re…” It took him a while. “You’re okay? S-Sam?” He asked, worried.

“Everyone else is okay. You’re the only one who got hurt.” Bucky explained. “Pretty much everything was crushed.” He winced. “You’ve been out for like three weeks.”

Steve looked at him in surprise at that. “Oh.” He tried to move and cursed. “Ow.” He groaned.

Bruce was quickly doing things to help administer what he had to help him.

Steve looked at Bucky once he could breathe without it hurting. “Why didn’t you leave me there?” He breathed. That’s honestly what he was expecting to happen.

“We don’t leave team members behind.” Bucky said instantly. “You saved our lives, pal.” He shrugged. “You made sure we came home.” He gently put a hand on his shoulder. “You’re why Owen didn’t lose his dad and uncle.”

Steve swallowed, thankful he was successful in getting them back. Right before he lifted his foot, he had accepted his fate. He had mentally said goodbye to everyone. The last thing he saw in his mind was you and the boys. He thought Sam would be coming back to tell you that he was dead. He briefly felt that it would’ve been better for it to happen that way. It seemed that he was wanted gone anyways. “You should’ve left me.” He said quietly.

Bucky shook his head. “Nope.” He said easily.

Bruce came up. “We’re going to move you more upright and start seeing how your body reacts. Then we’ll see if we can take your casts off.” He gave Steve a small smile. “You’ll need to take it easy either way.”

Steve nodded and went through the motions that Bruce asked of him. His mind was trying to catch up.

Chapter 28: Soup

Chapter Text

You didn’t know what to expect when FRIDAY told you Steve was awake. But you sure didn’t think you’d cry in relief. Thankfully you were alone. You blinked, wiping your cheeks. “Can he eat solid food?” You asked, figuring you could make something if he could. It was the least you could do.

“Not yet, according to Dr. Banner.” She stated. “Soup for now.”

You quickly went to start your soup after that. While you prepared it, you figured you could tell Owen soon. Maybe he could help bring him something in a day or so.

When you had a steaming bowl of soup an hour or so later, Sam stayed with the boys while you went to deliver. Stopping at the lad door, you took a deep breath before stepping in. “Hi.”

Steve glanced over as Bucky worked on removing the casts from his legs. “Hey.” He said softly. You were glowing and his heart warmed. You had a bump now, and the dress you wore made it more obvious.

“I brought you some soup.” You held up the tray slightly.

He smiled weakly. “Thanks.”

“I’ll feed it to him, doll.” Bucky assured you. “Okay?”

You nodded and stepped in to set it down. You looked at Steve, seeing how weak he looked. “How’re you feeling? Dumb question.” You said nervously. You looked away at that.

“S’okay.” He said softly. “I’m hurting but...that’s expected.” He looked at you. “How’re you? And the boys. And the baby…” He felt just as nervous. Did you find out what you were having while he was out? Were you that far along?

You rubbed your bump, sitting down. “Owen’s been asking about you. We told him you’re sick.” You explained. “Baby’s good.”

He nodded. “That’s good...hopefully I’ll get to tell Owen soon that I’m fine. For now I’m just here.” He couldn’t move much. “Not going anywhere.”

“You sound sad at that.” You noted.

“Well, yeah.” He sighed. “I’m stuck on one spot. Have you ever known me to just be still?”

You nodded. “Yeah. I’m sure Owen will be happy to keep you company.” You decided to help him eat so it wouldn’t get cold. “He’s getting very pouty and annoyed.”

He felt himself warm as you fed him. “I’m sorry, I’m sure that wasn’t easy.” He said after he swallowed. “I’ll make it up to him.”

“He’ll be excited no matter what.” You shrugged. “He’s made you about twenty cards.” You smiled. “One is even supposed to be your shield.”

He smiled a bit at that. “That’s cute.” He glanced down.

“See? You would’ve missed out on that.” Bucky told him. “And so much more.”

Steve sighed sadly. “I know. That’s not how I meant it.” He assured the two of you before you gave him another bite. Once he swallowed, he went on. “I just wanted to make sure that they got home.” He shrugged. “I didn’t care at what expense as long as that expense was me and only me.” He said quietly. It made the most sense to him.

You gave him a soft look. “Thank you for bringing everyone home.” You said gently. “And I am glad you’re okay.” You admitted. “I was worried when I saw them carry you out.” You blinked as you teared up. “Freakin’ hormones.” You mumbled. “So annoying.”

He gave you a smile. “It’s okay. Thanks.” He nodded. “But, I lived.” He hoped that helped you a bit.

“I’m glad.” You said honestly, giving him another bite. “You know I would never wish harm.” You told him. “I’m not like that.”

“I know.” He wanted to squeeze your hand but couldn’t feel it much. He let out a sigh, hoping this went by quickly. He’s never felt like this.

You finished up with feeding him the soup. “I’ll keep the leftovers for you.” You promised. “I’ll have them let me know when you can eat solids.”

“Thank you, Y/N.” He knew you didn’t have to do that. You had other things to do, like spend time with the boys and the others.

“You’re welcome. I’ll bring by Owen later? Or do you think we should wait a couple days?” You looked at Bruce.

Bruce thought for a moment. “We could always say he got really weak with a cold. I’ll tell him it was a weird form or something simple.” He shrugged.

“He probably won’t ask hard questions.” You agreed. “He’ll just be happy that he can see you.”

“He might want cuddles.” Bucky noted.

“That’s okay.” Steve said quickly. “I’m sure it’ll be fine for him to lay with me, right, Bruce?”

Bruce nodded. “He’s strong but he won’t break anything. Or re-break.” He assured.

You nodded. “I’ll bring him by.” You stood with the bowl. “Probably in an hour or two.”

“Can’t wait. Can I see David, too?” He asked. He was hopeful, knowing that him being so young, he’d likely have grown a bit in the few weeks he was out.

You smiled. “Yeah. I’ll bring him, too.” You nodded before heading out.

Owen held your hand excitedly as you carried David. “We get to see Steve!” He bounced. “I’m so excited!”

You smiled. “He’s still a little tired so don’t worry if he falls asleep.” You warned him. “But he’s looking forward to seeing you and your cards.”

“Yay!” He held the stack close to him. He gasped when he saw Steve. He had to hold himself back from running to him. “Steve!”

Steve smiled at him. “Hey, buddy. I’ve missed you.” He felt emotional.

“I missed you more.” He approached carefully. “Mommy and daddy said you’ve been sick.” He said sadly.

Steve nodded. “Yeah, I had to rest for a long time.” Bucky had helped him sit up to look less sick for Owen. You sat by him on one side and Bucky on the other. Bucky lifted Owen so he could be close to Steve. “But I’m getting better now.”

“I know. You slept forever!” Owen huffed. “Every night!” He made a face. “I asked FRIDAY!”

Steve looked surprised. “You did?” He looked at you and Bucky who also looked shocked. “When?”

He shrugged. “At night.” He said easily. “I can’t sleep until I knew you were okay!” He told him. “I was scared.” He pouted.

Steve teared up a little. “That’s nice of you, Owen. I’m glad you were looking after me.” He said softly. “That’s sweet.”

Owen carefully handed him his cards. “For you.”

You held David close to Steve and he automatically cuddled to his arm. His cheek was smooshed against his bicep.

Steve smiled at them, kissing both their heads with a small wince. It was worth the pain to have them close. He’d deal with it after. He started looking at the cards the best that he could. His hands were shaky but he tried. He loved each of them.

“I’ll help him hang them up.” Bucky promised Owen. “And when they’re up, we can show you.”

“Okay.” Owen smiled proudly, cuddling to Steve carefully. “I stay with you?” He asked, hopeful.

Steve shook his head. “After I’m done visiting with you I’m gonna take a nap.”

“Oh.” Owen pouted but nodded. “Okay. I visit after?” He asked. “I help you feel better.”

“Thanks. I do feel better seeing you.” Steve smiled. “It helps a lot.”

Owen beamed. “I’ll be back when you’re rested.” He promised. “Wanna watch a movie later?” That's something they did when he was sick.

Steve nodded. “We can try. I can’t promise I won’t fall asleep.” He didn’t want Owen getting upset if that happened. “What should we watch?”

“Cartoons.” He said instantly. “I’ll bring my blankie.” He smiled. “And my favorite stuffies.”

Steve smiled. “Thank you.” He appreciated Owen’s thoughtfulness. “I’m glad you visited.”

David made a noise and sucked on his shirt. “He’s teething.” You chuckled.

Steve smiled down at him. “I bet that’s fun.” He gently rubbed his leg. “He sore a lot?”

You nodded. “Yeah. Especially when he wakes up.” You hated seeing your babies uncomfortable.

“Awe, poor little man.” Steve smiled as David looked up at him. “Hopefully the tooth pops through soon.”

You smiled softly. “Hopefully. We’ll let you rest.” You gently took David who whined a bit. “How about we go decide what to make for dinner.” You glanced at Owen, who looked up at Bucky.

Bucky smiled and lifted him as he got off Steve’s bed. “How about nuggets and mashed potatoes?” He suggested. “We have those dinosaur nuggets.”

Owen nodded. “Okay.” He could agree to that.

“Easy.” You smiled. “Rest well.” You told Steve before taking Owen’s hand again to let him sleep. You took the boys out, and Bucky stayed.

Steve looked at Bucky. “Did you know Owen asked FRIDAY to see me?” He was curious.

“Not at all.” He replied. “I didn’t even know he knew how to do that.” He shrugged. “Usually he will just ask where someone is.”

Steve smiled to himself at that. He thought it was sweet. Hopefully now that he was awake, he would be out of the lab quickly. He missed his bed.

“Want me to do a sponge bath?” Bucky asked as if it was nothing.

“You’d do that?” He blinked.

“Yeah.” Bucky shrugged. “I’ll make sure the waters warm. I’m sure you don’t feel...clean.” How could he at this point?

Steve nodded. “Okay. Thanks.” He said shyly. “Maybe that’ll help me rest, too.”

Bucky smiled and went to get the supplies. Bruce went to develop the next part of healing for Steve, not knowing if he might need crutches or anything. He’d probably have to do very weak workouts for a while, too.

Bucky came back and did his best to help clean him, even finding some dry shampoo powder for his hair. This would probably help him feel a bit better, too. Bucky knew that if the roles were reversed, he’d want to feel cleaner.

Steve let out a breath when he was in new clothes. It had been hard to dress but he felt more comfortable. “This is so much better.” He told them.

Bucky patted his arm gently. “Good.” He gave him a comforting smile.

Steve hadn’t been at the end of one of those smiles in ages, so it felt good. It made him feel hopeful for moving forward. “Thanks, Buck.” He said gratefully. “You gonna watch the movie with us later?”

“Yeah, I’m up for that.” Bucky nodded. “I’m sure Owen would like that, too.”

Steve smiled and got a bit sleepy. “Thanks again.” He closed his eyes. It didn’t take long for his breathing to even out.

Bucky gently squeezed his arm before deciding to shower before the movie. He had a lot to think about.

Chapter 29: Almost

Chapter Text

Sam gently set David down for his nap. “So he asked FRIDAY?” He looked at you, talking about Owen. “To check on Steve?”

You nodded. “He was worried.” You explained. “He slept better knowing Steve was asleep.” You shrugged. “He never mentioned it to me, or Bucky.”

Sam nodded, not really knowing how to feel about all of it. He sighed and looked over at David for a moment. He knew Steve saved his life, he really did, but he wasn’t…thrilled. He was grateful, of course, but that didn’t mean he liked his son getting so close to Steve. The blonde didn’t deserve that.

You knew what he was thinking but didn’t want to make it worse. Instead, you wrapped your arms around him from the back, your bump against his back.

He rubbed your arm gently. “Wanna try to go on a date tomorrow?”

“Yes.” You automatically agreed. You were grinning. “I’d love that.”

“Good.” He smiled. “I’ll plan it out.” He turned around and leaned down to kiss your bump. “I love you, your brothers, and your mom, kiddo.” He said gently. “I can’t wait to meet you.” He rubbed your bump gently, smiling up at you. “Almost time to see if we’re adding a prince or princess.” He stood up, keeping his hand where it was. “I can’t wait.”

“I can’t either.” You kissed him gently, gripping his shirt. “Watching you with our kids…” You sighed happily. “I’ll never get tired of it.”

“Good. It’s never going to change.” He promised. “Whether we have one more or five more.”

You beamed. “You’re the best family man.” You cupped his cheek. “I got so lucky with you.”

He smiled softly. “Nah. I’m the lucky one.” He pecked your lips. He was nothing without you and the boys. “Now let’s go relax while they nap.”

“I need to go through the playroom and work on donating some stuff.” You reminded him. “You know I like to every few months.”

“Why not just leave them? David will use what Owen’s playing with soon enough, and this baby can play with the toys David likes. Right?” He pointed out.

You nodded. “Yeah, I suppose. I just want David to get fun toys, too? Maybe…” You mused. “How about closer to his birthday I go through to donate a few at least. Because he’s going to get toys. Plus...Christmas.”

“Alright.” He chuckled. “Sure, babe.” He agreed. “Does that mean we can go relax now, though?”

“For now.” You smiled. You pecked his lips, you took his hand and led him out. You always loved relaxing. You needed to make time to relax more. Your body was growing a human, and your had a lot of help. However, it was hard to not do everything. You wanted to help everyone at all times. It was just who you were. “I think I’d like to do another family dinner when we tell everyone what we’re having.”

“Easy.” He kissed your cheek. “Any special requests?” He’d make it happen.

You thought for a minute. “I think I kinda wanna have Parker help? Teach him some stuff. I know he has May, but I wanna help him out, too. Ya know? So I’ll text him and see if there’s something he’d like to learn.”

He chuckled, finding it adorable that you literally turn into mom mode for everyone. “If that’s what will make you happiest.”

“It will.” You smiled. The two of you got comfortable on the couch.

Bucky set up his room, deciding that was the most comfortable spot for Steve to watch the movie. He had asked Bruce if he could move him over during the day. He had told him that was fine, and to just alert him if anything went wrong. Bucky also set up some toys he kept in there for Owen and just in case David came too. He wanted things to go smoothly.

He rubbed the back of his neck when he realized how hard he was trying. Letting out a sigh, he sat at the end of his bed. He didn’t know how to separate his anger towards Steve before the mission and the guilt he felt now. And he doubted anyone could give him the answers. On top of that, he didn’t want you to feel like he was betraying you again. Nodding, he went to find you. He wanted to see how you were feeling.

He strolled into where you were with Sam, looking sheepish. “Hey, doll. Can we take a walk?”

“I’m kinda busy now, but later?” Sam joked.

Bucky couldn’t help but chuckle at that. He shook his head, grateful for Sam’s sense of humor.

You stood after you kissed Sam’s cheek. “I’ll be back.” You smiled softly.

He winked at you and watched you go out. You linked your arm with Bucky’s knowing he was deep in thought. “What’s up?” You said gently after a few moments.

He shrugged. “Just checking in with you. See how you’re feeling about Steve being awake specifically.” He glanced at you.

You thought about your answer for a moment. “I’m glad he’s awake if that’s what you mean.” You shrugged. “I didn’t want him to die.”

He nodded. “Yeah.” He agreed.

“How’re you feeling?” You asked gently. “I can hear you thinking.”

“I feel bad, I guess.” He admitted. “I just jumped at helping him without a second thought.” He told you. “Like the old times.”

You nodded. “That’s your second nature, practically.” Everyone knew that.

“But I genuinely feel bad that I’m helping. I don’t want you to think I’m on anyone’s side.” He said softly. “I don’t want to hurt you or make you feel like I’m betraying you.” He sounded guilty about it.

“Oh, Bucky.” You gave him a small smile. “You aren’t.” You stopped to give him a hug. “I promise.”

He swallowed. “It’s not that I’m forgiving him or anything…” He felt like he needed to make sure you knew that. “I’m fighting with myself. Part of me still hates him for what happened. Now part of me also feels guilty. He nearly died.”

You nodded. “I understand. I’m feeling the same way.” You gave him a sad smile. “You guys came home because of him.” You swallowed. “Just thinking of losing either you or Sam makes me sick.” A shiver ran down your spine.

He nodded. “I know.” He kissed your head. “I don’t want you losing us, either.” He said softly. “Sam told me about him stepping back, too. I didn’t know what to feel at first, but I’m glad now.” He sighed. “And I trust Steve now, a bit more at least.” Not completely, but there was some trust there. “I just don’t want you to ever be mad or hate me.” He rambled the last bit.

“I could never ever hate you!” You turned to hug him.

He looked down. “I wouldn’t be able to handle it.” He said honestly. “So, just let me know if you get uncomfortable with me helping him?”

“I’m not going to be uncomfortable. He nearly sacrificed himself to make sure you two came home.” You assured him. “I’m worried about the same thing, so don’t worry about talking it out with me.” You’d always be there for him, even if he just wanted to sit in silence.

He let out a breath. “Thank you.” He felt so much better knowing you weren’t upset with him. “I’ll let you get back to your husband.” He smiled. “Let you two relax for a bit.”

You gave his arm a squeeze. “Just come find me anytime you need to talk.” You wanted to remind him that you were always there for him. “And we’re having another family dinner when we announce what we’re having. I’m gonna ask Parker to help me cook.” Hopefully this would give him something to look forward to.

“He’ll love that.” Bucky assured. “That nerd.” He smiled fondly. “Just tell me when, and I’ll be there.” He grinned, looking forward to finding out if he was getting another nephew, or his first niece. He couldn’t wait to hold the newborn. “Alright, I’ll see you for the movie. We’re doing it in my room. Bruce and I are gonna get Steve set up in there, and I got some toys for the boys.”

You nodded. “I’ll let you know when they wake up from their naps.” You promised.

Sam looked over when you came back in. “Everything okay?”

You nodded. “Yeah. Thankfully.” You gently sat in his lap. “He just needed to talk.”

He rubbed your leg gently. “As long as everything’s cool.” He kissed your jaw gently, traveling down your neck. “But let’s not talk about Barnes right now…” He nipped at you.

“Oh, fine by me.” You giggled. “FRIDAY, please lock the door just in case?”

“On it, Mrs. Wilson.” She replied. A second later, you heard the door click locked. Sam grinned up at you, loving that you were wearing a dress. You’d started wearing them more when you realized how much he loved them.

“I have such a hot wife.” He sighed happily. “She’s such a babe.” He licked his lips as you blushed. “So sweet. In more ways than one.” He winked. He chuckled as you buried your face in his neck. “Don’t get shy on me, now.” He kissed your shoulder. “Pretty sure you weren’t shy when this happened.” He teased you, rubbing your bump.

“I did none of the work that day, I’m sure.” You mumbled against him. “Pretty sure you took care of me.” You kissed his neck.

“Glad I did my job.” He smirked when you looked at him. He pecked your lips and helped you get more comfortable on his lap. He rested his hands on your thighs, smiling into the kiss as you wrapped your arms around his neck. “We have about ten minutes before someone wakes up.” He chuckled. “I’ll make up for it being a quickie tonight.”

“You better.” You teased, enjoying any time you got with him.

You had just fixed your dress when you were alerted that Owen was up. You ran a hand through your hair before going to get him ready for the movie. David would be up shortly, as well.

A while later you brought them both to Bucky’s room, smiling as you saw Steve sitting up in his bed. “You made it.”

Owen carefully got onto the bed and handed Steve a couple of his stuffies. “You can use my shield.” He smiled. “It helps me.”

Steve smiled widely. “Thanks, Owen. I promise to give it back when I feel better.” He looked at you, ready for you to set David down. He reached out shakily with a frown. “Did you get hurt?” He squinted at your neck.

You blushed and swallowed. “No…”

It took him a moment to realize, and when he did, he blushed as well. He quickly looked away, not knowing how to respond. He carefully squeezed one of the stuffies on his lap, chest clenching. He doubted this feeling would ever go away. He had never seen any kind of love bite or hickey on you before. Hell, he thought you didn’t like them. He had tried once, and you quickly shut it down. Clearly things had changed. He was upset at himself as he felt insecurity creep in. Which was ridiculous, as there was nothing between the two of you anymore.

You bit your lip and set down David, watching him carefully as he climbed onto Steve. He settled in between Steve and Owen, tucking himself into Steve’s side. He had one of his teething rings in his mouth.

“That’s better, yeah?” Steve smiled at David. He internally sighed in relief when Bucky returned with snacks and juice for Owen. “So, what’re we watching?”

Bucky set Owen’s bowl down so that it wouldn’t spill everywhere. “Finding Dory.” He smiled as Owen clapped. “One of his favorites.”

“I’m excited to see it.” Steve nodded, hoping he could make it through. “If I nod off, I’m sorry, okay?”

Owen looked up at him and nodded. “Okay.” He smiled. “I’ll stay right here.” He promised.

Steve smiled widely and nodded at Bucky to start the movie. He was too scared to look at you, fearing you could see right through him. So he focused on the tv.

“Let me know when you want some more soup, okay?” You asked him as Bucky grabbed the remote. “I made enough for a couple days.”

“I’m a little nauseated at the moment, but maybe later?” Steve swallowed and glanced at you quickly. “It was really good.” He looked down again. “I appreciate it.” You didn’t have to make him anything. He didn’t deserve it and didn’t want you to feel like you owed him anything. Looking back to the movie, he tried to focus on that.

You felt weird in your chest so you waved to Bucky as he watched you and left the boys be. Letting out a sigh in the hall, you decided to get some cleaning done. It would help your mind stay distracted. And you’d be productive at the same time.

Chapter 30: Cooking with Parker

Chapter Text

Before you knew it, you were in the kitchen with Parker, making a nice family dinner. “Do I get a hint?” He asked, hoping to find out what you were having before dinner.

“Sorry, Peter.” You giggled. “Sam would let me have it. Bucky, too.” You smiled. “I’m so happy you’re here, though.” He had been very excited that you wanted him to help make the family dinner.

He continued helping you prepare. “I’m happy I’m here. I love spending time here!” He chuckled. “Especially now that David is so close to walking.”

“I can’t believe it.” You smiled. “He’ll be running after Owen in no time.” You chuckled. “Or Sam will go to leave the room and he won’t like that.”

He laughed. “It’s a fun age.” He smiled. “He’s always looked like Sam, but it’s getting more and more obvious he takes after him.”

You nodded. “He laughs at everything which I find adorable.” You said as you worked on another part of dinner. “The other day I stuck my tongue out at him and he giggled for a good five minutes.”

“Awe.” He melted. “I love his giggles.” He grinned. “I’m excited to be around a newborn, too!” He thought they were so cuddly.

“You’re going to be such a great mentor to them.” You encouraged. “We’re all lucky to have you.”

He looked over. “Thanks. I’m lucky, too.” He smiled. “So, the boys excited for Halloween next week?”

You nodded. “Owen is pretty excited. He loves dressing up. I’m excited for the pictures of him and David.” Owen was being Falcon, and David was being Iron Man. You cried a little when you got the outfits. Pepper would be bringing Morgan trick or treating with you, so you’d texted her a picture of David trying it on. It was a nice moment you shared with her. “Are you gonna dress up?” You asked Parker.

“Maybe.” He nodded. “I have a few old costumes. Or I might dress as Spider-Man and be able to walk around.” He shrugged. “It’s not like anyone sees me hang out with you guys, so I don’t think people would figure it out.”

You nodded. “I think it’ll be fun for you either way.” You poured some drinks. “You wanna sleep over that night?”

He smiled. “Sure. That would be cool.” He nodded. “I think Owen would love that, too.”

You set the table carefully as things were done. “I think he would.”

Wanda joined you both, bouncing David. She helped set up the center piece, just enjoying hearing you and Parker bond. Things had thankfully been peaceful since the mission that nearly killed Steve. “I can help finish with Parker while you go get ready?” She offered, knowing you had bought a cute outfit.

“Sure, thanks.” You smiled. “I’ll be right back.”

Parker felt confident he could keep things warm while you went. He hoped that things came out okay, as he hadn’t cooked much before. He didn’t want to ruin your special day!

“Things will be okay, Peter.” Wanda smiled.

Sam met you in the hall, showing off Owen’s nice clothes. He matched David perfectly, you noticed. “Our boys are ready.” He said proudly.

“I’m going to get ready myself.” You kissed his cheek.

“Can’t wait to see.” He grinned, then sighed. “Bruce should be in soon, and I guess Barnes is having issues getting Steve out of bed.” He told you, quietly. “He’s doing a lot better, but I dunno.” He shrugged.

You instantly worried. “Oh, no. I’ll see what I can do.” You waved to them before going to Steve’s area. You didn’t know if he wasn’t feeling good or he just didn’t want to go to the dinner. You hoped that things were okay as you made your way to where he had been staying. You stopped near his entry way when you heard him sniffle.

“I don’t want to talk about it, Buck. I’ll be there.” He sounded sad.

“You’re gonna talk about it because something has been off with you.” He countered. “Is it your nightmares?” He asked. “You can’t lie to me.” It didn’t ever work well. “What’s going on?”

You bit your lip harshly, not knowing if to listen.

Steve sniffled again. “I guess, a bit. Not nightmares. Every night I sleep, I dream of all this before I f*cked up.” He let out a breath. “I’m not lying. Every night. I know it’s some awful way of punishment.” His voice broke. “Not a single night is anything but before I made the biggest mistake of my life.”

Bucky made a small noise. “Oh. I wasn’t expecting that.” He said honestly.

“Because I know I deserve it and I’m being selfish by complainin’ bout it.” He mumbled. “So why bother people with it? It’s my own fault.”

“Yeah, I get it. But you’re getting a bit depressed, pal.” Bucky said softly. “I don’t blame ya, if it’s every night.” That was probably making it worse. “What are the dreams about?”

“Just before. Our dates. Our nights. Everything. Our fights, even.” He explained. “I wake up reaching over to a cold bed.” He huffed. “I’m such an idiot.” Which was an understatement to him. “Then I have to wake up and remember my dreams are all I have and I have to accept it all over.”

Bucky stayed quiet for a while. “Maybe talking about it? About why you left?” He suggested. “You weren’t moving forward in your relationship, Steve. It felt like you were with her to have someone.” He said firmly. “I know the snap was hard on everyone, but she was your number one and you didn’t treat her that way.” He pointed out. “No family or hints that you wanted that after 7 years. Not even a promise ring.”

“I know that.” He said sadly. “The truth is I didn’t feel good enough.” He sighed. “I failed before the snap. She mourned everyone. Of course she did. And it was my fault. You were gone because of me. Because I didn’t do more!” He choked out. “And I was gonna propose so she could be stuck with a failure?” He let his head hang back. “I wanted to...so much. For years, but she deserved more, and now that she has it, it’s hard.” He hit his pillow a bit.

“Then why think Peggy deserved you?” Bucky asked.

“Because I never failed in her eyes.” He said simply. “I wasn’t a failure yet. Now I’m the biggest one of them all.” He explained.

Bucky sighed heavily. “Oh…”

“Now I have to go to a dinner where the love of my life announces the gender of a new baby with not just any guy. A guy that used to be my friend.” He sounded tired. “And I’m here whining about it.” He sighed. “I’m pathetic.”

Bucky whipped his head up as he heard a step outside. He motioned to Steve to hold on as he walked out.

Your eyes were filled with tears as you met Bucky’s gaze. You felt frozen.

“Buck?” Steve asked from his room.

“No one here, pal.” Bucky said as he looked at you. “I’ll give you a few minutes and come back, okay. Just take a few deep breaths.”

You looked at him gratefully as you hugged yourself. You had zero idea how to feel. You never expected to hear him say that. This entire time you thought something had been wrong with you. Nothing else had crossed your mind, because you being the issue was the only thing that made sense. You quickly went to your room but found yourself stopping at the closest lounge and sitting. You stared at your hands, trying to wrap your head around what you’d heard. That whole time, it was him who didn’t feel good enough for you ? It didn’t make sense to you. He was the one who saved people. You didn’t do anything close to that.

Bucky got ready in his room, tying up his hair. He was feeling conflicted as well. He didn’t know Steve felt so insecure in the relationship with you. Maybe he could have helped if he hadn’t gotten snapped away. But then he felt guilty as he thought that. The whole situation was a mess- and you’d heard. Would you tell Sam? He didn’t know if you would have told him if he hadn’t heard you. How would you react around Steve? Would this make things weird? Would it bring up anything? “sh*t.” He breathed. He looked at himself in the mirror and groaned. Shaking his head, he went back to get Steve.

He luckily found him getting ready as well. “Hey, Buck.”

“Hey, pal. Feeling better?” He patted him on the back. Hopefully talking about it had helped.

Steve shrugged. “Glad someone knows.” There wasn’t much else to say. “Do you think… Wanda could help?” He swallowed.

“Help how?” Bucky asked gently. “...erase things?” Did Steve want his memory erased?

“I don’t know. Can she make me accept things? Force me to be okay with everything?” He shrugged.

Bucky rubbed his jaw as he thought. “I mean, maybe. I don’t know her full capabilities.” He said honestly. “All I can say is ask.” He didn’t fully agree with it, but he knew where he was coming from.

Steve nodded. “Worth a try. I’m tired of feeling like this.” He sighed. “Not like anything’s going to change so I don’t know why my mind doesn’t get that.” He shrugged. “But I’m willing to try if it helps even a little.”

“I’ll be there if you need me to.” He promised. “Now let’s go enjoy dinner. Y/N had Parker help.”

Steve forced a smile and nodded. He walked with Bucky towards where everyone was. He waved a bit to everyone who had arrived and carefully lifted Owen when he tugged his pant leg. “Hi, buddy.” He smiled.

“Hi.” Owen smiled. “I sit with you?” He asked sweetly.

“Of course.” Steve ran a hand through his hair.

Owen reached up and did the same to Steve’s, giggling as he did so. “Your hair matches mine.” He told him, excitedly.

“They do.” Steve smiled. “I think that’s why we get along so well.” He had let his hair grow out a bit again since the accident. He kinda liked the beard.

“Yeah!” Owen agreed, leaning into him.

Parker helped pass out everyone’s plate. “I hope it came out okay.” He said shyly.

“I’m sure it did.” Wanda smiled.

“Mommy!” You had finally come in and Owen waved at you. “So pretty!” He gushed.

You looked nervous but waved at him. “Thanks, baby.” You smiled. “You look handsome.”

He wiggled. “I match David!” He said proudly.

“You do. I love it.” You smiled, Sam pulling out the chair for you to sit.

“You okay?” He kissed your cheek.

You nodded. “Yeah, I’ll be okay.” You promised. “We can talk later.”

He nodded, too excited to announce the gender.

Once everyone started eating, everyone was sure to compliment you and Parker. Parker beamed when May told him how well he did, which you found adorable. You were so proud and happy for him. “We can do more holiday stuff too, whenever you want.” You promised him. “Maybe you can help make the cupcakes for David’s birthday? I could just buy them, but I really want to make them.”

“Baking is scary but I’m up for it.” He smiled wide. “I’d love to help for his birthday!” He loved the kids.

“Before we start planning his first birthday, can we get told if we’re getting another nephew or a niece?” Bucky playfully pouted, making you laugh.

Sam grinned. “We made a fun thing out of it. You guys ready to do it?” He asked, eager for them all to know.

“Duh!” Wanda smiled.

Chapter 31: Haunting

Chapter Text

Sam was quick to pass out what you had planned. They would even be finding out the baby’s name, as well. “Oh, here.” He set a box of tissues on the table. He was excited for everyone to see. Everyone got a block of a letter of the name you decided in each of their gift boxes. Wanda pulled out a black ‘N’ and raised an eyebrow at you, but it started to click when she saw the other letters. She instantly teared up. “It’s a puzzle!” Parker smiled, looking excited.

Wanda sat hers down in the middle of the table, everyone following. Owen looked excited as he tried to read it. Finally, he looked at Steve. “I can’t read.” He huffed.

Steve smiled and kissed his head softly. “I’ll let your mom tell you.”

“It reads Natasha.” You said softly, grabbing a tissue.

“You’re gonna have a baby sister.” Sam added. He kissed your shoulder. “And her name is Natasha.” He explained.

Owen nodded, gasping suddenly. “Like Aunt Nat?” He smiled. “Is she gonna be a superhero, too?”

“Maybe.” You smiled.

Owen wiggled then noticed everyone was either crying or about to. He automatically reached up to wipe Steve’s eyes. “Why sad?”

Steve rubbed his back. “We all miss your Aunt Nat very much.” He said gently. “But we’re so excited for your sister.” Nat and Tony would have loved the kids, so having her honored like that was fitting.

Owen accepted that answer and went back to eating his plate. Wanda and May came over to hug you excitedly. “You were right.” You chuckled as you hugged Wanda.

“That makes me so happy.” She smiled, hugging Sam as well. “She’s going to be so cute! I can’t wait to get her some stuff.”

“We have to go shopping, too.” You smiled.

Bucky looked at Steve, wondering how he was taking this. Especially after the talk they had not that long ago. Steve was focused on Owen, however. He hoped he didn’t bottle it up again. Getting up, he went to hug you, as well. “I’m so excited.” He smiled. “A niece!” He lifted you slightly.

You giggled and hugged him back. “I know she will have you boys wrapped around her little finger by the time she comes.” You kissed his cheek.

“She’s going to be such a doll.” He sighed happily. “What’s her middle name?”

Sam grinned. “I helped.”

Clint snorted. “No sh*t.” He teased. “That’s how you get the baby.”

“Oh, so that’s how it works.” Bucky hummed. “Thanks for letting us know.”

Clint snorted and coughed as he choked on his drink a bit, making everyone laugh. You shook your head, loving that your group could still joke around after everything. “Her middle name is Evelyn.”

“Awe.” Wanda coo’d.

Owen was still attached to Steve and looked up at him suddenly. “You and Aunt Nat were friends?” He asked. “Can you tell me stories, too?” He loved those stories.

“Sure. Yeah, we were good friends.” He smiled fondly. “She was great. How about I tell you some for bedtime?” He offered.

He nodded. “Please.” He chewed a bite. “Then why are you Steve? Not Uncle Steve?” He furrowed his brows. “Like Uncle Clint, Uncle Bucky, Uncle Parker…” He then turned a bit sad. “Or you don’t wanna be called that?” He pouted. “Why wouldn’t you wanna be my Uncle Steve? And David’s? And Natashas?” His eyes filled with tears.

Steve’s heart clenched for multiple reasons. How the hell was he supposed to answer that? “I’d love to be your Uncle Steve.” He managed. “That’s up to your mom and dad, though, and we're gonna be okay with what they choose, alright?”

Owen sniffled and rubbed at his eyes. “Okay.” He said sadly. He looked at you, hopeful. “Can he be my Uncle Steve?”

You looked at Sam, knowing your answer right away. You couldn’t say no to Owen. Especially when he had no idea what was going on, and looked that hurt. Sam gave you a small nod, thinking about the same. “Yeah, baby. He can.” You told him.

Owen cheered, mood instantly boosting as he hugged Steve’s neck. “Yay!” He was excited. “You’re my Uncle Steve!”

“Happy to be, buddy.” Steve hugged him, smiling a bit sadly, feeling everyone’s eyes on him. It was better than nothing, and he’d take it. It meant he was seen as being Owen’s family. He loved Owen and David. He’d love little Natasha, too. And he’d tell them all about the woman who she was named after. He glanced up at you gratefully. You gave him a small smile in return.

Everyone ate pretty happily after that. The letters were picked up to be put up in her nursery. You were sure it’d fill up fast now that everyone knew. You, Wanda, May, Hope, and Cassie planned another girl’s day to get some shopping done. Everyone not at the compound had been sent home with leftovers. That left you, Sam, the boys, Steve, Wanda, Bruce, and Bucky. You were happy everything went well. You were doing bath time while Sam and Bucky worked on cleaning up the kitchen. Bruce, Wanda, and Steve were cleaning up the dining room.

“Hey, Wanda?” Steve asked.

“Hm?” She glanced at him as she wiped down part of the table.

“Can you manipulate memories or feelings permanently?” He asked softly, not minding that Bruce was there. He doubted that Bruce would say anything about this.

She stopped what she was doing and looked at him. “Forever, you mean?” When he nodded, she thought about it. “Yeah, I can do that. Why?” She had a feeling she knew why, but wanted to make sure he’d thought something like this through.

He looked down for a moment. “I just want to be okay with things.” He admitted. “I want to just be supportive and do what I can. Just try to get my friends back.”

“What feelings exactly do you want to go away?” She asked. “Or do you want memories erased?” She had to have an exact idea what he wanted from her.

“Do you suggest one or the other?” He asked. “I just know that right now I can barely look at her.” He admitted. “I just can’t accept things, and I need to.”

She nodded. “There’s a few different ways I think.” She took a breath. “I could, of course, make you forget your relationship with her. But you’d forget that Owen is yours…” She began. “Or I could suppress your feelings towards her, and that would be that.” She shrugged. “But doing that would bring the possibility that you may never be able to feel when you have feelings for someone again.” She explained. “There’s no way to know. I’ve never tried anything like it before. It may just take your emotions away, even if I’m not trying to.”

“Like all of them?” He asked.

“Possible. I wouldn’t want to promise it couldn’t happen.” She said gently. “Anger, joy, all of them.”

He looked down. “I don’t think that’s good then?” He shook his head. “I don’t want to risk all my emotions. And then have that effect Owen. Well, any of the kids, really.” He decided. “I want them to know I love them.”

Wanda gave him a small smile. “Good choice. Maybe you can try maybe meditating or something to help with your emotions?” She suggested.

“I can try. Not to complain but I really hating feeling this way.” He sighed. “Thanks for talking with me.” He smiled a bit. “And being honest about what could happen. You could have just said no, or just did it and not warned me.”

She nodded. “Of course. I don’t wish ill on you.” She shrugged. “I’m not that cruel.” She went back to cleaning the table. “I’ll have FRIDAY transfer over my meditation playlist to your drive if you want.” She offered.

Steve nodded. “I’d like that. I can try.” He felt a bit better knowing it might help. He was willing to try anything.

“Have you thought of talking to her?” Wanda asked. “It might help get it off your chest.”

“I can barely look at her without wanting to cry or pass out.” He said softly. “And it wouldn’t be fair to put what I’m feeling in her.”

Wanda nodded, briefly wondering how you would react. What else was he feeling? “Mind if I ask if you still love her?” She wasn’t much for holding back when she wanted answers.

Bruce was trying really hard to stay invisible. This didn’t include him.

Steve sighed. “I think you know the answer to that.”

She gave him a soft look. “Yeah.” She looked back at the wash cloth. “Without thinking about anything else, I know that would be hard.” She sympathized.

“I don’t think it’ll ever go away.” He said honestly. “Which was what led me to my question.” He explained. “It’s literally haunting my dreams.”

She looked a bit worried at that. “Every night?” That didn’t seem good. All he could do was nod. “What are the dreams?”

He ran a hand through his hair. “Time before. Our dates, stuff like that. The bad stuff too. Last night was me coming back to tell her about a bad mission.” He explained. “Sometimes it doesn’t hit me that it was a dream until I reach over to find an empty bed.” He sighed. “That’s the worst part.” It was like a punch of reality to the stomach.

“That could get you sick.” She said worriedly.

“There’s nothing I can do.” He shrugged.

She thought about that for a while, wondering if she could help in any way that wasn’t messing with his mind. Nothing was coming up. She didn’t want to pressure you into talking to him. That wouldn’t be fair. She wasn’t sure what to do. Letting out a sigh, she glanced at Bruce.

Bruce was also thinking and gave her a gentle shrug. It’s not like he could suggest Steve live on his own or anything. That wouldn’t work, and Steve wouldn’t agree. Especially if he was helping on missions now. He was at a loss.

Steve could feel them both thinking. “It’s okay, really.” He assured them. He really did deserve this. This was all on him. He went back to moving things out of the way to vacuum. He would just have to take it day by day.

Chapter 32: Answers

Chapter Text

You found yourself making hot chocolate late that night, unable to go to sleep. Steve’s words kept going over and over in your mind. Did you make him feel like that? You stayed stirring as you thought about it. You thought back to how you stayed by his side after the blip, had you made him feel bad about it? You sagged at the thought.

You sat down on one of the chairs and stared at the table. Despite him not feeling good enough, you couldn’t help but feel that in turn, was your fault. You felt guilty. You felt you needed to apologize, but that would mean Steve knowing you heard. Which would bother him. How could you possibly make it better? You sighed, confused.

Once you finished your mug, you went to one of the couches. “FRIDAY, do you have any old pictures of me and Steve?” You wanted to see if it was obvious he was feeling down in the pictures. Did you miss the signs?

“Yes.” She replied, pulling up a hologram of a slide show. There were different selfies as well as pictures other people had taken. You looked at him only. You tried really hard to see any signs of sadness or anything like that. It was there before the snap. “Stop there?” You stood to get a better look, knowing Wanda or even Nat might’ve taken this particular picture. Steve was watching you cook something, leaning on the counter as the picture had been taken. You studied his face closely. You noted he looked a bit tired. Your heart clenched. Why didn’t you notice before?

You took a few breaths, willing yourself not to cry. You sniffled, sitting back down. You’d been so damn blind. Did you do that to everyone? Did you make Bucky feel guilty? Or worse, Sam? Did you push him to Peggy? Would you push the others away, too? You hugged a pillow as you let yourself panic a little. Burying your face in the pillow, you cried.

FRIDAY dimmed the light a bit and shut off the hologram. She silently monitored you to make sure you were alright. She would alert someone should she feel the need.

You laid down on the couch eventually, hiccuping with your soft cries. You didn’t hear the footsteps that carefully approached. You were facing the back of the couch, throw pulled up.

“Y/N?” You heard Steve whisper. You tensed up slightly. “Sorry, just making sure you’re alright.” He shuffled and backed up. “FRIDAY told me you were out here.”

You swallowed. “It’s okay. I’m okay.” Your voice wavered. You tried to take a deep breath.

Steve nodded to himself. “I’m gonna get you some water.” He knew you weren’t fully okay. He rushed to get you a glass before coming back and crouching by the couch. “Here.” He said softly.

You sat up a bit, using his shoulder to help you up. You took the water gratefully and took a few sips. You kept your eyes on the glass, not looking at him.

He stayed there for a moment. “You and the baby okay?” He asked. “You and Sam?”

You nodded. “All of us are okay.” You sniffled. “Just having a moment.” You wiped your cheek.

“Want me to go?” He asked, knowing he most likely was making it worse. “Want me to get Bucky, Wanda, or Sam?”

You thought about it and shook your head. “It’s okay. Are you always up at this time?” You asked, hoping she didn’t wake him up.

Steve nodded. “Yeah, usually don’t fall asleep right away. I get about four hours.” He shrugged, deciding to sit on the floor. “I’m used to it.” He focused on a spot on the warmups he was wearing.

You leaned against a pillow and eyed his head from behind for a moment. Should you say something? You licked your lips. “Are you feeling okay overall? From the accident?” You asked softly.

He nodded instantly. “Yeah, I’m completely fine.” He said quickly. “Nothing more than a small bit of soreness now and then.” Which really wasn’t true.

Your stomach hurt a bit at that. You knew now that he had always said he was fine even if he wasn’t. Back then and now. It was like a knee jerk reaction. “Steve…” You sighed. “I’d appreciate it if you were honest with me.” You told him firmly.

He swallowed, moving a bit to finally look at you. “What do you want me to say?”

“The truth.” It took a lot for you to stare back at him.

He ran a hand through his hair. “I’m still constantly sore.” He figured that’s what you meant. “Not much to say.”

You nodded slowly. “I’m sorry you’re still sore.” You said honestly. “I know you want to act as if everything is okay. You’ve always been that way. But you don’t have to do that.” Not like you hadn’t told him that before.

He sighed. “I know. But I don’t want to add my issues to anyone’s. Especially yours. You have the boys and now baby Natasha to worry about.” That was more important than what he was going through.

“And what was your reasoning back then?” You couldn’t help but ask. You didn’t have kids then. When he blinked at you, you clarified. “Why did you pretend you were okay back then?” It was like you had to know.

Steve raised his eyebrows in slight surprise. “Why would I want to burden you when you got into a relationship with a guy who was supposed to be a strong leader?” He asked after a moment. “That wasn’t your job to deal with my baggage.” He shrugged. “You didn’t get into this to deal with that.” You weren’t an Avenger.

“Who decided that?” You asked. “That’s what relationships are about. To lean on each other.” Didn’t everyone know that? “For good and bad.”

Steve looked sad, trying to process this conversation. “But it wasn’t a normal bad day if I had one.” He used air quotes for normal. “It was something that you, as a civilian, shouldn’t have to deal with.”

You matched his expression. “I must have been a bad girlfriend if I made you feel you couldn’t talk to me. Or that I got into the relationship because I thought you were normal.” You looked back down at the water. “Would you have preferred another Avenger?”

“What? No.” He instantly frowned. “I wanted you. Avenger or not.” He hated that you felt that way. “You were an amazing girlfriend. That’s why I didn’t deserve you. You were like...pure sunshine.” He looked down. “And I ruined that. I felt like I tainted you. I didn’t want you stuck with someone like me.” He explained.

“But you stayed with me?” That didn’t make sense to you. He didn’t want you ‘stuck’ with him, but he stayed with you for years.

“I had hoped that I would finally earn my place with you. Then losing Tony and Nat happened… and that was it. I couldn’t come back from that. I still can’t.” He sighed. “That was all on me.” He ran a hand through his hair.

“So I lost three people I loved in one day? Two saving the world, hell, the universe , and one just because.” You looked at him sadly.

Steve met your gaze and looked broken. “Yeah.” He breathed.

You wiped your cheeks, shaking your head. “For the record, I wouldn’t have blamed you. I don't blame you for them being gone.” Why would you? “I was told what happened.”

“I know you wouldn’t have. You never blamed me for anything.” He sighed. “In that sense. It was on me. My mind.” He tapped his temple.

“I wish you had told me sooner.” You looked at the pillow. “All seven years and you fought the battle of negative thoughts on your own.” That sounded like hell. “7 years and it feels like you just quit.”

He teared up instantly. “I know.” He looked down. “I know.” He repeated, quieter. “I’m sorry.” He’d never be able to say that enough.

You had no idea what to say or how to feel. Part of you was thankful that you’d gotten some answers, but it just led to more questions. You wanted to ask them all. However, you logically knew that wasn’t possible, and it wouldn’t help anything. “Please, just have open communication with anyone you care about in the future.” You sighed.

“Yeah, I promise.” He tugged at his hair. “I don’t plan on messing anything else up.” He’d work hard to prove that.

“Good.” You said softly.

He closed his eyes. “Do you still hate me? Even more now?” He braced himself for the worst.

You watched how he tensed up and felt a bit bad. “No, Steve.” You said quietly. “I just hate what happened and now I know why to some extent.” It didn’t take the pain away, but it was something. No one deserved to hate themselves as much as you felt Steve did. Especially for all the good that he did.

He looked at you. “T-Thanks. For everything. For letting me be in Owen’s life and David’s, too.” His hands shook as he wiped his eyes with a deep breath. “I’m still scared you’ll take that away from me.”

For some reason that made you tear up more. “I see how you are with them and I know you care. Especially with David because you have no reason to want to be in his life.”

“Of course I do. He’s part of you.” He said easily. “And he’s Owen’s brother.”

You smiled softly. “There’s the guy with the big heart.” You shifted. “I know they’ll love you. All of them.”

Steve’s heart clenched at that. “How many do you plan to have?”

Your smile fell a bit. “Oh. Um. I’m not sure.” You blushed a bit. “I think at least one more.” You said honestly.

Steve nodded, wondering if his heart would ever be okay. He had a feeling seeing you with a newborn would feel like a knife to the heart. He looked down, taking a few controlled breaths. He should have been there to experience that with you. “Is there any way I can see pictures of Owen as a baby?”

You nodded. “FRIDAY? Can you pull up my Owen file.”

Steve leaned back as she turned on the hologram. He hoped he could also ask her whenever he was back in his area, too. Maybe these would help him through everything. The first picture was clearly not too long after he was born. Bucky was holding him, grinning like an idiot. Steve automatically smiled at that.

You watched him and the screen, wanting to see his reactions. You’d watched this many times.

Steve leaned his head back as he watched through them all, only focusing on you and Owen. Seeing him covered in baby food and laughing, he held back his tears. He held so much love for him. Watching him grow into the little boy he knew now was bittersweet. He knew he had no part in that. That who he was now had nothing to do with him.

You saw emotions run over his face, feeling a bit bad. But you knew that was a given, as you cared even if you didn’t want to. There was nothing that you could do to change the past.

When the file finished, a bit of time had passed. Steve sniffled and let his head lean back so he could look at you. “Thank you.” He licked his lips.

You nodded. “Sure.” You searched his eyes. “Thank you for being honest with me.” You said softly.

“Yeah.” He looked away to the ceiling. This was the longest you’d been alone together since he came back. He was grateful for every moment.

Hearing footsteps, you looked over to seeSam. “Rolled over to pull you close and you were gone.” He glanced at Steve for a moment before looking at you. “Ready to come back?” He asked, smiling when you nodded and got up. “I’ll never get tired of seeing you like this.”

You smiled a bit shyly. “That’s good to know.” You wrapped your arms around him.

Steve decided it would be a good time to leave. He got up and picked up the glass you had set down. “Have a nice night.” He mumbled.

Chapter 33: Not So Sweet Dreams

Chapter Text

You watched him leave, noting he didn’t look your way. You rested your head on Sam’s chest. “Let’s go cuddle up.” Sam kissed the top of your head, hand on your bump. “We can talk about it.” He could tell something was up.

“Okay.” You followed him, holding his hand. You looked forward to him holding you. You felt you’d be able to sleep better. You always did when he was there. Walking into your room, you smiled as he kissed your shoulder. He pulled back the covers and patted it for you to get in. You didn’t have to think twice before climbing up to curl into him.

He kissed your head once he was holding you. “Everything okay? Got worried when FRIDAY said you were with Steve.” He rubbed your back. “And surprised.”

You sighed, starting to explain what you had heard before the dinner, and then what you’d seen in the pictures.

“I hope you’re not blamin’ yourself.” He said gently. “None of this is on you.”

You shrugged a bit. “...Not really.” You weren’t sure how you felt about the entire thing. You felt him look at you so you looked up at him.

“None of what happened was your fault.” He said, cupping your cheek. “Nothing.” He added softly. “The only one responsible is Steve.”

You sighed a little. “But...what if I didn’t help?” You asked. “What if I made it worse? He looked so tired and... done ...in those pictures.” You grew sad all over again. “I drove him away.” You buried your face against his chest. “I’m scared I’ll drive you away, too.”

Sam squeezed you. “Well, I can tell you that would never happen.” He promised you. “You and our kids mean everything to me. Hell, you could ask me to pack up and move to Alaska and I’d go.”

“You say that now.” You sniffled. “You’ll get tired of me always being confused and a bit sad.” You wrapped your arm around him. “I’m not an Avenger.”

“And?” He kissed your head. “I’m not going to be soon, either.” Sam reminded you. “I’ll be telling everyone at Christmas. Hell, I’ll tell them at breakfast and be done now.”

“I appreciate you trying to make me feel better.” You kissed his chest. “You always help.”

“I promised I would. In our vows.” He smiled. “I love you, and I will always try to make you smile.”

“I love you, too.” You said emotionally. “So much.” You couldn’t help but smile when you felt Natasha kick. “And she does, too.”

Sam beamed, rubbing your bump. “I love her.” He kissed your temple. “And I’m so grateful you gave me her and our boys.” The family you shared meant everything to him. “You’re my everything.” He kissed all over your face. “My heart and soul will always be yours.” He smiled before kissing you. He hoped to pour all his love into his kiss.

You held onto his shirt tightly and kissed back with as much love.

Steve had gone straight to his room after leaving. He hated that he had gotten so comfortable sitting with you that he didn’t even hear Sam come in. He wondered if he’d get glared at tomorrow or even a word or two. He started preparing himself for just that. He truly felt a bit silly for thinking the two of you might be friends. Flopping back on his bed, he sighed. “Get over it, Rogers.” He told himself. “This is life.”

He was glad the two of you had talked but he honestly didn’t know how it helped either of you. He felt he made you more sad and he just felt that it didn’t change anything. Groaning, he ran his hands over his face. What could he hope for honestly?

“FRIDAY, can you kill the lights?” He asked. Once he was in the dark, he let himself break down a little. He hadn’t told anyone, but during the time he was out after the accident, he had dreamt of you and the kids. That, on top of everything else, made him weary of sleep. It was like getting a bandaid ripped off every day. He hated that his dreams gave him any kind of hope. Hope that was making things worse! He dug his face into his pillow, willing his mind to go anywhere besides you. Or the boys. Or the future you could have had if he hadn’t left.

It didn’t seem like his mind listened. As soon as he fell asleep, a reoccurring dream came.

“Steve?” You stood up, eyes full of tears as he came through the cabin door. “It’s over?” You rushed over to hold him close.

He nodded, lifting you as you crashed into him. “It’s over. Finally.” He shook. “I’m so glad you’re okay.” You had a hand on the back of his head as he buried his face in your neck. “You’re what got me through.” He said softly.

You sniffled. “I was so worried you wouldn’t come back for me.” You hung onto him.

He pulled back and gave you a loving kiss. “I love you.” He was still a bit shaky. All the emotions from the battle were hitting him at once. “Baby… we lost Nat. And Tony.” He sniffed.

You stared at him. “They’re gone?” You had hugged them for the last time?

“Nat died getting one of the stones, and Tony snapped away Thanos and his army. They sacrificed themselves to save the world.” He said proudly, but sadly. “Also, everyone’s back from the blip.” He breathed.

You tugged him to the couch where you crawled into his lap and held each other as you both cried. You had lost friends but gained ones you had lost before. Poor Steve had felt the brunt of it. But he was here now and you’d make sure he knew you loved him.

Steve was in the training room a few weeks later when you came rushing in, excited. “Guess what!”

He smiled automatically. “Tell me, doll.” He pulled you close by your hips.

“You’re gonna be a daddy!!” You wrapped your arms around his neck. “I’m pregnant!”

His smile only widened. “When did you find out?!” He spun you as he lifted you.

You wrapped your legs around his waist. “This morning. I realized I was late and was curious. So I tested.” You were beaming. “I’m gonna call and make my appointment soon but I wanted to tell you first.”

He kissed you quickly but lovingly. “You’ve made me the happiest guy on the plant, sweetheart. After everything, you still light up my world.” He was excited about this next chapter in life- a family!

Bucky clapped Steve on the shoulder as the blonde looked at rings. “None of em are perfect, Buck.” He sighed. “It has to be perfect. She’s perfect.”

Bucky smiled. “This is the third store, Stevie. How about we try one of those places that make them?” He suggested. “Then you can make it look however you want.”

Steve nodded instantly. “That’s a great idea.” He had planned on proposing during the party you were planning to announce the baby’s name. Hopefully the ring would be there in time. “Why have I waited so long to propose?” He wondered. “I should have asked years ago.”

“You’re right, pal. Should’ve been celebrating your fifth anniversary by now at least. But you got here.” Bucky smiled. “Now you’re gonna have a baby Rogers and a beautiful wife.” He was happy for his best friend. “You deserve it.”

Wanda was helping you set up to announce what you were having, and the baby’s name. “Can you give me a hint?” She asked.

You giggled. “I really want to, but you know I love surprises.” You teased. “Just another hour.” You finished up, Wanda helping you into a nice sun dress that matched Steve’s eyes. You’d seen it and had to have it. “I like how I’ll be able to wear this after I have the baby.”

“It really is lovely.” She hugged you. “Ready for this party?” Her and Bucky had made sure to keep you away long enough so Steve could properly get ready with the ring. She was so excited that he was finally proposing! She had been worried at first, but now she had full confidence that you were both meant to be.

Steve stood once you had announced the name. “Babe, can you get me that box over there?” He motioned to a box by the cake.

“Sure.” You smiled, going to get it. When you brought it over to him, he motioned for you to open it. When you lifted the lid, you tilted your head as it was empty. “Babe?” You looked over your shoulder at him. You widened your eyes as he was down on one knee. That’s something you had stopped hoping for.

He was smiling up at you. “You and Owen are my everything. Will you marry me?” He held out the ring, eyes a bit watery.

“Yes! A million times yes.” You smiled as he stood to kiss you, your friends cheering in the background. You watched him slide the ring on your finger, excited. “It’s so pretty.” You looked at it.

“I wanted it to be perfect.” He kissed your forehead. “Ask poor Buck.” He laughed.

Bucky nodded from the table. “...Perfect ring for the perfect girl,'' he said.”

You giggled and hugged Steve tightly, the happiest you felt. “I can’t wait to call you my husband.” You kissed his cheek.

“Greatest honor I’ll ever have.” He smiled.

Steve stepped off the quinjet, smiling as he saw Owen wobbling to him. “Owen!” He rushed over and crouched, proudly. “There’s my boy!” He scooped the toddler up before making his way to you. “And my beautiful wife.”

You kissed him lovingly. “I’m glad everyone made it back okay. Our little guy missed his daddy.” You rubbed Owen’s back. “I missed his daddy, too.”

Steve beamed and rubbed your side. “Was thinking…” He kissed your cheek. “We go away on a little night out...and we think about giving him a sibling?” He said softly. “I’d love to see us with another, and him with a baby brother or sister.”

You giggled. “Oh, I had no idea you were thinking about that.” You leaned into him. “That’s a great idea.” You grinned. “Maybe plan that for this weekend?” You took his hand as the two of you walked towards your room.

“Perfect.” He hugged Owen gently as he clutched to him. “I got you, buddy.” He kissed the top of his head. “Lemme change and then we can go play, okay?” He chuckled as Owen grinned.

You yawned as you leaned into Steve. Everyone was watching a movie together, and you were just trying to get to the end of it. Bucky walked back in with a slice of pizza from dinner the night before, causing you to bolt from the room.

Steve blinked and sat up. “Babe?” He followed you quickly. “You okay?” He leaned against the wall outside the bathroom. He winced a little as he heard you empty your stomach. He went to get you a glass of water.

You stepped out after brushing your teeth. You made a little noise as you leaned against him tiredly. “I think we got our wish, at least.”

He hadn’t even thought of that. “Oh!” He grinned, spilling the water on himself because of the excitement. “Sorry.” He chuckled. “Want me to get you some saltines?”

You smiled a bit and nodded. “Please. You’re adorable.” You looked up at him. “I’ll go lay down.” You kissed his cheek. “See if that helps.”

He kissed your forehead and went to get you a bowl. He was so excited. Another baby! The two of you had been trying for a few months, and he’d been waiting to get told he was gonna be a daddy again.

Steve walked out, smiling at his friends. “Baby’s here.” He left you nursing him. “He’s perfect. So perfect.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Looks just like Owen did.”

“Another mini Steve.” Wanda smiled widely. “Congratulations!”

“You deserve this.” Bucky nodded happily. “You guys are naturals.” He was holding Owen who giggled up at Steve.

“Mommy okay?” He asked. He looked behind Steve at the door. “Can I see her now?”

Steve scooped him up. “You sure can.” He looked at his friends. “I’ll be by in a few for you guys?” He beamed. They all nodded before he carried him in to see you. “Someone asked to see you.”

You smiled over at them. “Hey, handsome.”

“Mommy!” He cheered, eager to see you and his brother. “Baby brotha!” He bounced, rushing over. He got up on his tiptoes for a better look.

You leaned down to show him, smiling as Owen carefully touched his head. “He’s going to love you so much.” You told him happily. “And you’re going to be the best big brother.”

Owen bounced. “I love him.”

Steve smiled. “I’m gonna let Bucky in?” He asked, motioning to the door.

“Sounds good.” You agreed.

Steve was lying on the floor of the playroom with a 4 month old David sleeping on his chest while Owen played happily when you walked in. “Hi, sweetheart.” He smiled at you. “He got tired and I didn’t wanna put him down.”

You crouched and sat by him, smiling. “You’re a big softie.” You leaned down and pecked his lips. “I love how much of a wonderful relationship you have with our boys.”

He rubbed your leg gently. “I love them so much. I love you so much. Best thing to ever happen to me.” He said easily. “Thank you for them.”

You rubbed over his ring. “Thank you, too.” You smiled. “You’re the best husband and daddy.” You complimented him. “Hopefully to another eventually?”

He beamed. “You let me know when, and I’ll be ready.” He loved having you as a wife, and the mother of his children. This was what he was meant to do. “I love our family.” He felt emotional over it.

You laid by him carefully and kissed his cheek as he teared up. “We love you.”

Owen came over and wanted in on the cuddling. “Hi.”

David ran after Owen, laughing. You were sitting outback with them, hand on your bump. “One ice cold glass of water.” Steve said, setting it down on the table. “How’s our girl?” He asked as he sat down.

“Very active today.” You got his hand gently to feel the side of your bump where she was moving. “She kicked David’s hand a few minutes ago and he looked a bit confused.”

Steve laughed. “Poor little guy. She’s so strong.” He sat and leaned down to kiss your bump. “Be gentle with mommy.” He grinned as you ran a hand through his hair. “Just a few more weeks.”

“Can’t wait to see you with our little girl.” You smiled.

He grinned. “I can’t wait either. Then, I’m planning a little family weekend and then a date for you and me.” He told you. “Once she’s a little older. I know you won’t wanna go on a date without her right away.”

You nodded. “You know me so well.” You kissed him gently, running a hand through his beard. “I’m glad you let that grow out.” You winked.

He smirked slightly. “I recall my wife suggesting it one night. And I aim to please.” He wiggled his eyebrows, making you laugh. “Any requests for dinner?”

“You?” You smiled sweetly. “If possible?”

He chuckled. “I can do that.” He kissed your cheek.

“Good.” You smiled. “Also, some lasagna would be nice.” You added. “With garlic bread.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He smiled, lifting the boys onto his lap when they ran over.

You squeaked as you got a sharp pain, having been making breakfast. Owen instantly ran to Steve as you winced. “Mommy’s hurting!”

Steve finished dressing David as he heard. Scooping up both boys, he rushed to you. “Babe?” He asked.

“Not getting your hopes up, but we might have a little girl today.” You closed your eyes. “Ouch…” You breathed. “This is the part I’m not a fan of.”

Steve asked FRIDAY to get Bucky as he set down the boys. He scooped you up with ease. “Let’s get you comfortable.” He hoped that things went smoothly, just as it had with the boys. He held you close once Bucky got there. “I’ll keep you updated.” He told his best friend.

“Good luck.” Bucky smiled at you. “See you soon, doll.”

Steve smiled and carried you away, excited for your little girl to be there soon.

Chapter 34: Not to Me

Chapter Text

Steve gasped for a bit of air. “Oh, no no no!” He groaned, tearing up. He gripped the empty side of his bed, chest burning. It had felt so damn real, and it was more in depth this time. He cried as he felt it was so close. He was holding you. You were still his, and still loved him. You had a family together! He had begged the dreams to stop and they only got more real. He nuzzled into the pillow as he sobbed. He hated himself. He briefly wondered why he had to wake up in the first place.

“May I get anyone?” FRIDAY asked.

Who could help him at this point? “Don’t bother anyone.”

“Miss Maximoff is awake?” She asked.

He wasn’t sure, but caved. FRIDAY would be persistent- she was Tony’s AI, afterall. “Fine.” He sighed. He heard when she stepped in but didn’t move. “Sorry to bug.” He mumbled. “I didn’t wanna bother anyone.”

“FRIDAY was worried.” She said gently. “Can I sit on your bed?” She could feel the distress he was in. It made her worried. When he motioned to go ahead, she sat. “What’s going on?” She gently placed a hand on his back in effort to calm him a bit. “Another dream?”

“The realest one yet. I could feel . Like as much as I can feel this bed.” He sniffled. “I thought it was real.” He told her. “And then I was ripped away.”

She felt for him, she couldn’t lie. “Can I see? Maybe I can help you work through it?” She offered.

“I doubt there is any way to feel better but feel free.” He turned over so he was facing her. “Go right ahead.” He closed his eyes as she touched his forehead. He felt like he was going through his dream on fast forward.

She pulled away when she finished. “Oh, Steve.” She said sadly. “That’s deep.”

“Too deep.” He sighed. “I hate it, but I don’t.”

She rubbed his back again. “I’m sorry.” She didn’t know it was that bad.

“I deserve it.” He rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands. “I brought this on myself. I wish I could just stay in that dream some mornings.”

“Yeah, I would, too.” She agreed softly. “If I was in your shoes.”

He looked at her sadly. “I know this puts you a bit in the middle. I’m sorry.” That wasn’t what he wanted at all.

She shook her head. “It’s okay. What isn’t okay is that I’m worried this will get you sick.” She said honestly. “This is going to seriously affect you mentally, which will then affect you physically.”

“But what can I do?” He asked. “Knowing I’m going to get sick isn’t the same as knowing how to deal with it.”

She nodded, thinking for a bit. “It might be trial and error but I think I can help a little?” She was willing to try.

“I’ll take anything as long as it doesn’t affect the relationship I have with the boys.” He said easily. “That’s what matters to me.”

She smiled. “I understand. Can you sit up for me?” She was going to try and put him into a quick dreamless sleep. It would be a start.

He nodded and looked at her as she placed her hands on the sides of his head. He instantly fell back onto the bed.

She watched closely, hoping for the best. Letting out a sigh, she planned to talk to Bruce to see if he had any ideas. She carefully tucked Steve back in and waited for a while. She hoped he’d wake up in about half an hour without having any dreams. Pulling out her phone, she played some random games.

Right on time, Steve opened his eyes and looked at her as he sat up. “Did you do anything?” He asked.

“I put you into a dreamless sleep.” She tilted her head with a small smile.

“Really?” He sounded excited. “It felt like I just blinked.” He told her, smiling.

“Nope. Half an hour.” She rubbed his back when he hugged her. “It’ll be baby steps, but hopefully this helps.” She felt hopeful. “Maybe we can get you to the point where you aren’t getting these dreams naturally.”

“That sounds amazing.” He squeezed her. “Thank you.” He sighed. “I know you were pissed as hell that I came back.”

She smiled sadly. “Yeah. I definitely didn’t like you.” She shrugged a little. “But I don’t want you to get sick. Or smashed on a mission.” She added. “I wanted you alive...somewhere else.” She looked away.

He chuckled. “Can’t blame you.” He admitted. “I’d probably feel the same way if it had been anyone else.”

She nodded. “Obviously I was pissed about you leaving her.” She nodded. “But I also really looked up to you. It was a bit unfortunate to feel like I maybe hadn’t known you at all.” Wanda said honestly. “You were like this really cool older guy, who fought for what he believed in.” She looked down. “I wanted to help people like you when I joined this team. I wanted to stand up for the ‘little guy’ as you say.” She went on. “Then you left.”

Steve had no idea how many people he really hurt until now. “Oh, Wanda.” He breathed. “I’m sorry.” He told her honestly. “I had no idea you ever looked up to me.”

“I should have told you.” She nodded. “Maybe then you would have known that you meant a lot to everyone.” She gave him a sad smile.

Steve looked sad at that. “It is my biggest regret.” He told her honestly.

“I believe that.” She nodded. “One you’ll need to really work through.” She squeezed his arm. “One I’ll help you with.” It would not only help him, but you and the boys, too.

“Thank you.” He said as sincerely as he could. It meant a lot to him.

She nodded. “We’ll try again in a while?” She suggested. “Try a bit longer?”

“Please.” He said softly. “If we can knock me out for a full night eventually, that’d be helpful.” He couldn’t imagine what rest without dreams would be like but he looked forward to it. Maybe it would help him emotionally.

“We’ll get there I hope.” She patted his arm before standing. “Come find me or I’ll find you.” She gave him a wave before leaving. She felt hopeful she could help and smiled. If this worked well, she’d let you know.

Steve was left feeling helpful as well, deciding to go for a run. He hoped to get into a routine, wondering if that would help his mental state, too.

Bucky was up training when he met up with Steve in the hall. “Hey.” He smiled a bit. “You up and running?” He sounded happy about that.

Steve nodded. “Yeah, hoping to get into a routine.”

“Routines help. Let me know if you want a partner.” He offered. “I can train with you.”

“I’d like that.” Steve wouldn’t dare turn down more time with his best friend. “Wanda is gonna try to help me at night. She got me to sleep for half an hour without dreaming. We’re gonna try to go a little longer each time.”

Bucky looked surprised. “Oh, that’s good. I hope it helps.” Nothing about their family was normal, so of course dealing with things wouldn’t be normal, either.

“I hope.” Steve nodded. “I’ll do a quick jog on the treadmill and we can practice sparring?” He suggested.

“Sounds good.” Bucky followed him to the gym. “Still on light workouts because of the accident?”

“A little. As much as I can handle.” He thought back to you wanting him to be more honest. “Still hurting the majority of places.” He’d pushed through that before and was fine.

“Didn’t know that. I’ll go easy on you.” Bucky made light of it. He patted his arm.

Steve grinned. “Appreciate it.” He chuckled.

Wanda made her way to Steve’s room an hour later when he texted her. She looked hopeful as she gently sat on his bed. “We’ll try for an hour this time.”

“You’re very nice for doing this.” He gave her a smile. “I owe you.”

“Yeah, you do.” She said with a chuckle. “Hopefully you’ll rest well.” She placed her hand on the side of his head. “Ready?” When he gave her a nod, she gave him a small smile. She watched him quickly fall asleep and hoped for the best. Sighing, she went to get comfortable in a chair. For the first few times, she wanted to be there in case something went wrong. Once he was up to a couple hours, she felt like she could leave him alone. She pulled out a book to read. She had been wanting to read more anyway.

Steve shifted about an hour later, nuzzling into the warmth of the pillow before lifting his head. Yawning, he rolled his shoulders. “Did I make it?” He asked Wanda.

She put her bookmark in her book and nodded. “Yup, the full hour.”

He smiled. “That’s amazing.” He complimented her.

She smiled a bit. “Thanks.” She stood. “Feeling okay though? Not groggy or foggy?” She wanted to make sure there were no side effects.

“Feeling fine.” He assured. “Rested.”

“That’s great news.” She smiled. “Hopefully we can get you sleeping through the night soon.” She sat next to him for a moment. “Once we get you sleeping at least a couple hours I won’t watch over you.”

He nodded. “Yeah, please. You need to get back to your life.” He noted.

“Don’t add me to your worries.” She stood. “I’ll be okay.”

Steve sat up and smiled. “Still.” He shrugged. “You’re a teammate, and I hope you’ll accept me as a friend again one day.”

She had a bit of hope for that as well, having seen a bit of a positive change in Steve. “One day.” She agreed, waving a bit before making her way out. Maybe things would work out.

You stayed mostly to yourself the next couple of days, still hurting a bit at the idea that you pushed Steve away. You stayed close to Sam and the boys. You hadn’t really known that Wanda was helping him sleep. Sam felt a bit extra protective of you, as well, knowing how you were feeling. He gave you a ton of cuddles and made sure you were comfortable. And knowing that Owen was starting school that fall was getting to you.

Bucky was set to come spend time with you one afternoon but you met him in his room instead.

Steve immediately stood up. “Oh, sorry. Was just heading out.” He patted Bucky’s shoulder. “See you later. I have a meeting with Wanda anyway.” He mentioned, making you raise an eyebrow. He waved at you as he passed. “Hi, Y/N.” He said gently.

“Hi.” You replied. “Feeling okay?”

“About the same, thanks.” He nodded. “Enjoy your afternoon.” He gave you a small smile.

You smiled back. “Thanks. You, too.” You let him by before looking at Bucky.

He raised an eyebrow back at you and grinned. “Movie time?” He asked, looking forward to it.

You nodded and came over to sit by him, pulling his throw over you. “This is so soft.” You chuckled.

“That’s why I keep it around.” He smirked, choosing through the list of movies. “How’re you feelin’?” He asked, keeping his eyes on the screen. “Little Nat being nice?” He chuckled.

You nodded. “So far.” You smiled. “Active.”

“Good.” He picked a random movie, excited to be there with you. He got comfortable nearby.

You did the same and focused on the screen. You moved to lean against him. He wrapped his arm around you, silently betting in his head how long you’d last through the movie. He figured maybe half if you were lucky. He didn’t mind, knowing you needed the rest. You did a lot around the compound. “Bucky?” You asked worried.

“Yeah, doll?” He looked down at you.

You looked at your hands. “Have I ever made you feel not good enough?” You asked softly.

“What?” He frowned. “Where’d that come from?” He paused the movie to look at you. “Talk to me.” It was out of the blue, and it worried him. “Did someone say something to you?!” He got protective.

You shook your head quickly. “I just...looked back. I think I pushed Steve to Peggy.” You sighed. “I’m why he left.” You shook your head. “I pushed and made him feel not good enough.” You went on sadly.

“That’s not true.” He took your hands. “At all. Steve beats himself up, yeah. But not because of you.” He pulled you close.

“I should have told him he was good enough.” You sniffled. You felt guilty for feeling this way. “I don’t think I ever did. Or how proud of him I was.” You leaned into him. “So if I was a bad girlfriend, I must’ve been a bad friend to you, too.” You pointed out. “I didn’t check on you after everyone came back from the snap. You were too busy taking care of me.” You felt guilty about that. “That wasn’t fair on you!”

“You were in a tough spot, doll. I don’t blame you for that.” He cupped your face. “And if you’re worried about Steve blaming you, that’s not happening. If he felt you coulda told him more things, well, he shoulda told you. Not left.” He urged you to believe this.

“But I should’ve known. I was with him seven years. I should have seen it.” You were shaking a little. “How could I not know he wasn’t happy?” You looked up at him. “And now I feel bad because this isn’t fair to Sam. I feel like I’m saying I should have fixed it and for what? So me and Sam wouldn’t be together?” You hid in his chest. “It hurts.”

He held you close, not knowing how bad this was hurting. “I’m sorry.” He kissed your head. He rubbed your back. He wished he knew what to do or say. “What can I do?” He asked. “I’ll do whatever I can.”

You shook your head. “There’s nothing.” You sighed. “I’m just worried I’ve done it to all of you.”

“Well you haven’t. I’m right here and not going anywhere.” He said firmly. “Ever. You and those kids are stuck with me. I love you guys. Good days. Bad days. Weird days.” He wiped your cheeks. “And I’m always here to listen. Even if you feel bad saying things out loud. I’ll never judge.” He knew what it was like to be judged.

You nodded. “That’s why I trust you so much.” You gave him a squeeze.

He smiled. “I’m glad you do.” It meant so much to him to be trusted, especially with the boys, and soon...your daughter.

You nuzzled to him again, wondering if there was anything else you needed to get off your chest. You just focused on your breathing at the moment.

Bucky rubbed your back gently, smiling when he felt a bit of a shift on his midsection, knowing it was baby Nat. “That’s such a cool feeling.” He chuckled.

“I’m glad you’re here to feel. She’s going to love you.” You smiled. “They’re all going to look up to you.” You told him. “One of their heroes.”

Bucky beamed. “Thanks. I never thought I’d get the chance to help raise anyone.” He admitted. “Figured that wasn’t in my future.”

“Well, it’s your future now.” You let out a breath.

“I love it.” He said confidently. “So much. I’m looking forward to all of it.” He rocked you slightly, hoping you felt better now. Give you things to look forward to, instead of the past. “Can’t wait to help them all with their homework.”

You smiled at that. “You’re going to be great. Owen already learns so much from you.” You reminded him. “He looks up to you.”

“That means a lot.” He hummed. “He’s such a good kid.”

You sniffled. “He is.” You were so thankful for him. “I’m glad he likes Steve…” You admitted quietly. “As weird as that is.”

“Not weird.” He squeezed you. “That’s okay.” He felt like he could understand where you were coming from. He felt you relax a bit. “None of your thoughts will ever be weird.” He promised you. “Not to me.”

“Thank you.” You sighed. “That really helps.” You felt you could come to him for anything. It was comforting. The two of you stayed like that for a while. Just enjoying the silence. Bucky was enjoying feeling baby Nat get comfortable. He chuckled to himself when he realized you nodded off. He carefully pulled himself away and tucked you into the blanket. Hopefully you got a good nap in. He smiled once more before shutting off the light. He let the door close softly before going to check on the boys. He’d let Sam know where you were, too.

Chapter 35: Wonderful

Chapter Text

Steve woke from his two hour nap, feeling refreshed and relieved that it was once again dreamless. “FRIDAY, can you tell Wanda it worked?” He decided to pull out his sketch pad.

“She said that is wonderful.” FRIDAY said after a bit. “And to let her know when you’re ready for more sleep.”

Steve smiled at that, going to sit where there was more natural light. It would be good to dive back into an old hobby. He thought for a moment about what to make and thought of baby Nat. He’d love to make something for her room maybe. Hopefully you’d accept it. He quickly got to work, focusing on warming up with a quick doodle before diving in. He’d do a couple rough sketches before showing you. The thought made him nervous but excited. A step in the right direction.

When he was done, he felt proud that he had worked on it for a couple of hours. He had missed this. It was relaxing, and helped clear his head. He closed his book and went to look for you before he talked himself out of it. He hoped that you were doing okay. He decided to get you a quick pack of grapes he had in his hallway when FRIDAY told him you were waking up from your nap. Heading to Bucky’s room, he took a deep breath.

You were stretching awake when Steve knocked and mumbled for him to come in. “Come in?” You were confused who was knocking.

Steve popped his head in. “Just me. Can I still come in?” He asked softly. “I have grapes.” He held out the little container.

Nodding, you covered your mouth as you yawned. “I guess.” You wrapped the blanket around you. This wasn’t your room, after all. “Sorry, I don’t know where Bucky went.”

He sat across from you on the table and handed you the grapes. “It’s okay. I just wanted to show you something.” He told you as you started munching on the grapes. He carefully opened his book. “I wanted to draw something for baby Natasha.” He showed you. “I was hoping to make it for her room.”

You stopped chewing and looked at it. “Really?” You glanced at him. “I wasn’t expecting that.”

He smiled a bit and nodded. “Yeah, I’d love to. Only with your permission.” He told you. “If you would rather I not make something for her, I won’t.” He promised.

You looked at the sketches again. “It’ll be beautiful.” You said softly. You always did think he had talent.

He brightened. “You’ll let me?” He was beaming.

You nodded, smiling. “Yeah.” You agreed, popping another grape in your mouth. “I think it’d be sweet.”

“I’ll start working on it.” He promised. “I’ll give you updates.” He stood.

You nodded. “I look forward to it.” You said honestly. “I’m sure it’ll be great.”

“Thank you. Really.” He smiled. “I’m feeling better now that I’m getting more rest.” He said honestly. “With no dreams now.”

You sat up a bit. “Really? That’s great, right?” You figured it was with how he was sounding.

He nodded. “I feel refreshed and like I’m healing better. All thanks to Wanda.” He smiled appreciatively. “I’ll let you finish your snack. I’m also thinking about making dinner...if you want?” He offered. “For everyone?”

You smiled. “Sure. What’re you making?” You are ordered.

“Either baked chicken or pesto pizza.” He shrugged. “Which do you prefer?” He didn’t know if you had a craving or aversion.

Your mouth watered. “Oh, pesto pizza. Please?” That sounded so good.

He smiled. “Okay. I can do that.” He agreed. “Does Owen like to help cook or anything? Maybe he can help me out?” It would be a nice way to try to get to spend some time with him.

“He does yeah. Mainly he just sits there and asks what you’re doing the whole time.” You smiled. “He has a little apron to go along with helping.” You told him. “Or he likes to snack on whatever you’re chopping if he’s allowed. So I always chop extra. Especially cheese.”

“I’ll remember that.” He smiled. “See you in a few hours then? I know you’ve missed a couple family dinners. I could always bring up a plate.” He offered, not wanting to force you to join if you weren’t up to it.

“I’ll let you know.” You promised. “Thanks.”

He nodded and gave you one last smile before leaving. That had gone better than he had expected, and he looked forward to making baby Nat something for her room. He was honored that you let him. Hopefully you really liked what he came up with. Your opinion mattered so much. And he hoped this would show he wanted to be there for the kids.

Sam came to check on you before dinner, David happily reaching for you. You took him, kissing Sam’s cheek. “Guess who’s making dinner?” Sam asked.

“Steve.” You answered. “He asked if he could.”

“Oh.” Sam nodded. “Okay.” He hadn’t been told that. “Are we eating in our room again?”

“Maybe we can eat with everyone.” You suggested. “I need to stop avoiding the team.”

He rubbed your back. “Take your time.” He said gently. “I know you’re having a rough time.”

You nodded. “But they’re our family.” You pointed out. “I don’t want them thinking I’m mad at them.”

He kissed your shoulder. “They wouldn’t.” He promised. “We know them. They know you.”

You nodded, trying to convince yourself of that. “So, where’s Owen!”

“In the kitchen already.” Sam smiled. “Apron ready to go.” He chuckled. “He’s excited.”

“Good.” You rubbed David’s back. “One day you can help, too.” You told your little guy.

He giggled and smooshed into your shoulder. He was getting so big. He’d be running after his brother soon. And he would be a big brother, as well. “Let’s go enjoy dinner then?” Sam asked. He offered his hand to you.

You took it and nodded, following him out. You hoped dinner went well and you didn’t get down at any point. The closer you got, the more you smelled it, and it smelled great.

Owen waved to you when you walked in, matching Steve completely. “Hi mommy!” He beamed. “I helped!”

Steve smiled. “He sure did. He sprinkled on the cheese like a pro, didn’t you?” He beamed at Owen. He held up his hand for a high five.

Owen returned it happily and nodded. “It was fun.” He smiled.

Steve grinned and began cutting the pizzas. He had made quite a few, never knowing who would really join. Plus, leftovers would always get eaten.

“It smells so good.” You complimented. “I’m sure it tastes even better.”

Steve smiled proudly and made the plates quickly, Owen adding the breadsticks Steve managed to make. “How about you go sit in your chair?” Steve suggested to Owen.

Owen nodded. “Okay.” He was set down and rushed to his chair. He climbed up, keeping his apron on, excited to eat what they had made. He wanted to cook again with Steve real soon!

Steve handed you your plate with a shy smile. “I hope it came out okay.”

You answered by taking a bite. You groaned with a slight blush. “This is so good.”

Owen clapped and smiled. “Yay!” He felt very proud that you liked what the two of them made.

Steve felt the same, trying to not smile so much. Once everyone had their food, he sat down in his own seat. He talked a bit with Bucky as he ate, feeling happy about the evening. They talked about the next time they planned to train together.

Bucky snorted. “I think I’m stronger than you now, bud.” He teased. “You’re a weakling.” He smirked.

Steve laughed. “You’re gonna regret that, Buck.” He pointed a breadstick at him. “You’ll see.”

“Look forward to it.” Bucky smirked. “Maybe Owen would be more your speed, though.”

Owen perked up. “I’ll play with you Uncle Steve.” He smiled brightly. “What’re we playing? Go Fish?” He bounced in his seat.

Steve chuckled softly. “We can play Go Fish.” He promised. “Any other games you like to play?”

Owen thought. “Mm…” He wiggled. “I like all card games! Like matching.” He smiled. “And tag. And hide and seek!”

“Be careful with that. He hides well.” Bucky laughed. “We once played hide and seek and had to ask FRIDAY to have him come out after an hour.”

“I won!” Owen beamed.

Steve laughed. “Where did you hide?” He was curious.

Owen giggled. “Under David’s bed! There’s a shelf I can sit on.” He told him, taking another bite of his food. After swallowing that bite, he went on. “I know lotsta places. Uncle Clint showed me some.”

“We’ll have to play then.” Steve smiled. “How about this weekend?”

“Yeah!” He clapped. “Can we see if Uncle Scott and Uncle Parker can come? Uncle Scott is soooo funny.”

“I’ll see if they can.” You told him. “But, I can’t see them not doing their best. Want Morgan to come play, too?”

Owen nodded quickly. “Friends!” He was used to having a lot of people around, so that’s what he liked.

You smiled and nodded. “I’ll ask.” You promised. You carefully got up to get a couple more slices. Things seemed to be going well so far.

Wanda got an extra slice as well, giving you a small smile. “Happy to see you at dinner.” She nudged you gently. “Been missing you.”

You smiled shyly. “Sorry, been in my head for a while.” You told her. “It’s been hard getting out of it.”

She smiled in understanding. “Maybe one of these nights I’ll make you some tea? I usually help Steve to sleep around ten but we could always move it.” Wanda would easily do that for you. “Watch a movie, have some girl time?”

You nodded. “Paint our nails?” You didn’t really know why you felt weird about hearing Wanda help Steve. “Do a face mask, maybe?”

“Sounds lovely.” She smiled. “Just let me know when.” She made a note to order some relaxing things for that night.

You nodded and made your way back to your seat. You looked forward to a night with Wanda.

Steve got out some quick pudding he made once it was time for dessert. He felt it had been a successful evening.

“We need to put you on the meal schedule after this.” Wanda smiled. “We rotate who cooks.”

Bucky nodded. “I have a schedule in my room.” He explained. “Bruce made it. It’s color coded.”

Bruce shrugged when Steve looked at him. “I enjoy colors.” He said easily. “I can easily make up a new one with you on it.”

“Sure. I’d be happy to help.” He agreed. “Anything else I can do?”

“You can help me do laundry.” Bucky laughed softly. “Worst chore ever.”

“Our boys are messy.” Sam agreed. “And only gonna get messier.” He chuckled. “Bucky included.” He smirked at his friend.

“I’ve gotten better.” Bucky huffed. He crossed his arms over his chest.

“Yeah? Why’d I have to treat a pasta stain on your shirt last week?” Sam asked. He was amused. “Or the pizza sauce a few days before that?”’

“It’s just sauce, okay?” Bucky argued, making you giggle. “I can’t control it.”

“How about the chocolate spread on your jeans?” Sam pressed with a smirk. “Or the jelly you dropped in your sock?”

Steve laughed. “You’re sock?!” He held his middle as he laughed. “How’d you get your sock?”

“It fell off the spoon.” Bucky sighed. “Punk.” He nudged Steve. “I was making Owen a sandwich and was rushing.”

“Mhmm.” Sam smirked. “Your sock is still pink in that spot.”

“Funny you know my laundry so well.” Bucky flicked a piece of breadstick at him. “Stalker.”

“Oh? So I can just stop doing laundry on Monday’s then.” Sam argued. “I mean, I won’t argue.”

Bucky thought about it. “... you don’t have to.” He said slowly.

“That’s what I thought.” Sam grinned. You shook your head and laughed. “I love that sound .” He kissed your cheek. “Makes me happy.”

“I’m glad.” You smiled at him. There was a tint to your cheeks. “I like when you’re happy.”

“Well, I always am with you.” He grinned. He winked, enjoying this.

You blushed further and playfully kicked his shoe. “Flirt.”

“Always. Have to keep up with my hot wife.” He smirked. He’d never stop flirting with you.

Steve’s playful mood had dropped but he didn’t let it show. He caught Wanda’s eye and smiled as she did, knowing she was being supportive. At least he could count on that. He would do his best to be there for everyone no matter how he felt. Working towards being the best him he could was what mattered.

You looked at Steve and Wanda for a moment before eating your pudding. “It’s good.” You said softly.

Owen nodded, already a mess from it. “So yummy.” He licked his spoon.

Bucky gave David a little, who squealed. “You guys are such little food lovers.” He laughed, giving him some more when David reached for it. “I love it.” He grinned. “Can’t wait to get Nat into food, too.”

“Hopefully she won’t be picky.” Sam nodded. “So far we got lucky with these two.”

“It helps that Owen likes to try anything.” Bucky laughed. “He just likes food.”

Steve smiled proudly at that. It was great knowing Owen didn’t get any of the issues he had as a kid. He hoped that stood. He looked forward to watching him grow into a young man.

Wanda stood. “I’ll clean up.” She offered. “Wanna help?” She asked Owen. “You can help carry some of the small stuff.”

He nodded. “Yeah!” He said excitedly. Getting down, he reached up for his bowl.

Sam helped him and handed it to him. “Here ya go, buddy.” He smiled at how much Owen liked helping.

“Thanks, daddy.” He said happily and went to take it to the sink. Wanda took his little stool back out. She smiled as he stepped up and gently put the bowl in. Hopping back down, he ran back to get something else to put in the sink. Bucky handed him David’s soft bowl to take. “Thanks, Uncle Bucky!”

Steve quickly gathered the plates that were too large or heavy for him and took them to the sink. He set them in gently, smiling as Owen brought in little things. “Thanks, buddy.” Steve smiled.

“You’re welcome!” He carefully brought the spoons next. “Here.”

Steve lifted him so he could put them in the sink. He chuckled as Owen laughed. Wanda laughed, loving Owen’s giggle. She put away all the leftovers. “Wanna help me wash dishes, or are you gonna go play?”

Owen thought. “Help, then play?” He asked, thinking that sounded like a good idea.

“And then bath time after play?” Steve chuckled. “If you want I can help?”

He gasped. “Can Uncle Steve do bath time with me?” He looked at you and Sam. “Please? I’ll show him the best bubbles.”

You smiled at that. “Yeah, that’s fine.” You agreed. “Who do you want to do bedtime? Daddy?”

He rocked on his feet as he thought. It looked like he was thinking over something very serious. It was a bit funny especially since he answered with a simple, “Yeah!” He smiled up at Sam. “Daddy does the best voices.”

Sam grinned. “Then I’ll be ready for bedtime.” He ruffled his hair, glad he wanted him to read him to bed. He was always happy to be there, and hoped Owen didn’t get tired of it too quickly as he grew. “I’ll even let you pick the book.”

“Yay!” He cheered, going back to helping to get to playing quicker.

Chapter 36: Let's Do It

Chapter Text

Crawling into bed that night, you put your head on Sam’s chest. He automatically rubbed the side of your bump, smiling. When he felt her roll, his face lit up. “Hi, princess.” He said happily. “Saying hi to daddy?”

You smiled. “She sure is.” You ran your hand over his arm.

He moved and leaned down to kiss where she was moving. “I love you so much and I can’t wait to meet you.”

You giggled as she kept moving. “She’s very hyper now.”

“I’ll never get tired of this feeling.” He looked up at you. “I’ll never be able to thank you enough for this.” He added lovingly.

You rubbed his cheek. “You don’t have to thank me.” You said softly. “I love our family so much.”

He kissed your bump again before laying back next to you. “We love you so much.” He pulled you close. “She will, too.”

You kissed him softly, always feeling safe with him. He was home.

“I’d marry you again if I could.” He smiled against your lips. After a moment, he pulled back a bit. “Let’s do it. Let’s get remarried.”

You blinked. “What?” You giggled. You hadn’t been expecting that.

“Why not?” He shrugged. “We can plan it for after she’s born. Get her a little cute dress. Dress the boys up. All that.” He kissed your shoulder. “Big party after?” He suggested. “It’d be great. And you’d get to get all dressed up.”

You chewed on your lip as you thought about it. After a moment, you nodded. “Okay.” You smiled. “We can do that.”

“Hell yes.” He softly cheered. “You’re gonna look beautiful.” He pecked your lips.

“And you’re gonna look so handsome!” You grinned. “Love seeing you all dressed up.” You instantly teared up. “Our babies will look so cute.” You sniffed. “In their tiny suits and her tiny dress.”

He chuckled. “Awe, baby.” He kissed your cheek. Reaching up, he wiped a tear from your skin. “You’re adorable.” He loved how much you loved the kids. “Our friends are also going to look strapping.” He grinned. “You know Wanda is gonna be really excited.”

“The most excited.” You giggled. “Bucky, too.” You grinned. “I know how much you love him despite always bickering.” You teased. “You’re like brothers.”

He rolled his eyes dramatically. “Yeah, I guess.” He grinned. “He’s the older brother.” He noted. “By a lot.” He kissed your hand as you rubbed his cheek. “I’m the younger, more handsome, and smarter one.”

You snorted. “Sure, baby.” You said playfully. “He does have the better hair, though.”

He dropped his jaw. “My own wife?” Sam asked in a gasp. “Hurts me this way?” His voice was high. “At least tell me I have a better ass?” He tickled you when you pretended to think. “I feel the love.” He laughed.

You giggled, pushing his hands. “I’ll pee!” You laughed.

He stopped and kissed all over your face. “S’alright, sugar. I know you ogle me all the time.” He loved that even after all these years, you were still a playful couple.

You smirked. “I do. Every chance I can.” You said honestly. “Especially when you walk around in sweatpants.”

This was news to him. “Sweatpants?” He raised an eyebrow at you.

You nodded shyly. “Yeah.” You shrugged. “All the time that you wear them I’m always looking.” Could he not tell? You never tried to hide it.

“But they don’t really show anything.” He was genuinely curious. “They’re shapeless.” He pointed out.

“But I know what’s under them.” You shrugged. “Especially when you like to not wear underwear.” You blushed. “Then I get a nice view when you move…”

He grinned. “Oh, ho!” He was loving this. “I really had no idea.” He laughed. “I’ll make a note to wear them more.”

“Please.” You smiled sweetly. “And I’ll keep wearing the dresses you like.”

“Deal.” He kissed your jaw. “Not gonna promise I won’t steal you away for quickies, though.”

“I don’t mind.” You winked. “Who would ever say no to that?”

“You’ll see.” He grinned. He wiggled his eyebrows. “I’m shameless.”

You laughed. “I know.” You cuddled into him.

“Love you.” He rubbed your back. “So much.”

“I love you.” You kissed his chest and closed your eyes. You felt so much better than you had the past couple days. He really brought out the best in you. And wasn’t bothered by your insecurities, he didn’t take them personally. You couldn’t wait to tell everyone about getting married again. And you were excited to plan.

Wanda accidentally fell asleep while waiting for Steve to get him to sleep. When Steve found her, he didn’t want to wake her up. He felt bad for taking too long and didn’t want her to lose sleep. That wouldn’t have been fair to her. He covered her with a throw blanket and went to get started on baby Nat’s drawing. He didn’t even want to attempt to sleep. He didn’t want to risk losing his progress.

He made himself a set up in the hall of his area, getting to work. He had a bottle of water next to him, and a small snack. He spent a couple hours doing the basic outline. He didn’t want to rush it. He smiled as he stepped back from it, drinking some water.

“Sir, are you able to check on Mr. Barnes?” FRIDAY asked. “His heart rate has increased and I am unable to wake him.” She informed him.

Steve put everything down and rushed to go to his friend's room. He hoped that he could help him. When he got to him, he saw Bucky thrashing and quickly tried to stop it. “Buck, it’s me.” He struggled to hold down his arms. “Bucky!” He tried to wake him up.

Bucky opened his eyes and glared up at Steve as he tried to shake him off. “S-Steve?” He was breathing heavily.

Steve stayed holding him down. “Yeah, it’s me. You’re okay.” He said softly.

Bucky blinked and stopped fighting instantly, catching his breath. He sat up as Steve let him go.

Steve quickly went to get some water for him. Hopefully he could be there for Bucky.

Bucky took it gratefully when he got back, sitting up. He pushed back his damp hair and sighed. “Haven’t had one of those in awhile.”

Steve nodded, sitting by him. “Yeah, FRIDAY couldn’t get you up.” He explained. “I was up so she let me.”

“Sorry.” Bucky nodded. “You can head back if you need.” He rolled his shoulders. “I’ll be okay.”

“I’m good.” Steve smiled at him. “Wanna talk about it or just sit here?” He offered. “I don’t have to leave unless you want me to.”

Bucky swallowed. “You can stay. Company’s nice.” He agreed softly, sipping the water.

Steve was happy with that and sat back on the bed so the both of them were leaning against the headboard. “What was it about?”

Bucky sniffled a little and cleared his throat. “Starts off just fighting people back in the day. Then those people I’ve hurt or killed end up being my family.” He ran a hand over his face. “Seeing them all like...that.”

Steve blinked. “sh*t. I’m sorry.” That sounded worse than anything he had been dreaming of.

Bucky shook his head. “They happen once in a while.” He sighed. “Probably won’t get them for a little bit at least.” He told him. “Last one was months ago.”

“Yeah.” Steve said softly. “I’ll be there for you, okay? I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with them alone.” He knew that was likely by choice, however.

“Nah. I don’t like bothering people. Even you.” He shrugged. “I’m used to it, anyways. Been going through it for years now.” Since they lost Tony and Nat.

“But you don’t have to. You know I understand more than anyone.” Steve patted his arm. “I’m back now.”

Bucky shrugged a bit at that. “Habits are hard to break.” He didn’t want to admit that he was terrified of Steve leaving again. Finishing off the water, he focused on a spot in his bed.

Steve was comfortable with the silence and just sat there. He’d let Bucky talk if he wanted.

Bucky set his glass aside and leaned back again. “Thanks for sitting with me.” He gave him a small smile.

Steve returned it. “Course, Buck.” He nudged him,

Bucky let out a breath. “Want me to put on a movie or somethin? Music...I don’t know.” He ran a hand through his hair. “What were you up to before?”

“Anything works for me.” He assured. “I was working on a drawing piece for baby Nat’s room.” He smiled. “I ran it by Y/N and she’s okay with it.”

“Oh, wow. That’s cool.” Bucky smiled proudly. “I still have some of your sketches.” He admitted. “They’re in a box in my closet.”

“Really?” Steve asked. “That’s actually surprising.”

Bucky chuckled. “Yeah.” He shrugged. “Couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them.”

“That’s really nice of you.” He said softly. “Maybe you can show me which ones you have some time?”

Bucky nodded. “Yeah, I can do that.” He agreed. “And you can show me what you’re making for her room?”

Steve beamed and nodded. “I’d like to get your opinion on it too.” Hopefully Bucky liked his idea, too. “If you want, I can go get it?”

“Sure. I’ll be here.” Bucky encouraged. “I’ll get your drawings, too.”

Steve smiled widely and rushed to go get them. He felt this was progress. He was excited for this moment. Grabbing his stuff, he made his way back to Bucky. He found the man putting framed sketches on his ottoman. His eyebrows went up. “I thought you meant some old papers in some box.”

Bucky scoffed. “I’m not going to throw these into a box without protection.” He motioned to them. “To let them fade? Possibly get ruined?”

Steve smiled a bit shyly. “They’re just doodles.”

“Your doodles, punk.” Bucky shook his head. “Your doodles are art.”

“That means so much.” He said sincerely. He felt emotional. “I thought you would have thrown it all away.”

Bucky shook his head. “Couldn’t bring myself to. Was the only piece I had of you left that was just for me.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Is that selfish or weird?” He glanced at him.

Steve shook his head. “Means the world to me, though.” He picked one up that was a sketch he had done of Bucky. He smiled as he remembered when he did this one. “I should redo this. Sketch you now.”

“Do it. But I’m still keeping it.” He stood beside him and squeezed the back of his neck. “Maybe make one of the whole family? For the living room. Make sure to include Scott and the others, too.”

Steve smiled. “I’d love to. Not sure if everyone would be supportive of that, though.” He shrugged. “I’m still kinda the black sheep.”

“I don’t know. I think everyone’s warming up to you again.” He said easily. “Things have improved.”

“Thanks.” Steve said appreciatively and looked at the other frames. “Can we hug?” He chuckled. “Wow that sounded...not like me.” He shook his head.

Bucky laughed a little and pulled him into a hug. He gave him a bit of a squeeze.

Steve let out a breath and squeezed back. It had been a long time since they did this. “Thanks, Buck.”

“Sure.” Bucky patted his back, squeezing his shoulder as they pulled away. “Now let’s look at these pictures.” He motioned to the framed art.

Steve beamed and nodded, sitting with him as they looked it over. It was like a nice walk through the past. Both of them seem to have needed it. Finally, he showed Bucky the picture for Nat’s nursery. He looked nervous as Bucky’s opinion meant a lot. He chewed on his lip, waiting.

Bucky smiled widely at him. “This is going to be perfect, Steve.” He said proudly.

Steve let out a breath. “Thanks.” He smiled. “That means a lot.”

He smiled and set it back down. “She’ll love you. Baby Nat I mean.” He added. “Just like the boys do.”

Steve nodded a bit. “I hope so. And I hope they don’t hate me when they find out who I am.” He says on the side of Bucky’s bed. “It’s gonna come out.”

“Yeah, I’m sure once Owen is in school and learns about you.” Bucky said gently, sitting by him. “But I know I’ll vouch for you that the second you found out about him, you were there.” And Owen was old enough that he’d remember how Steve instantly wanted to spend time with him. “And then David and Nat will grow up with you around, so…” They’d never know a time where he wasn’t there.

Steve smiled a bit at that. “I love them.” There was no question.

“Good.” Bucky nudged him. “I can’t see anyone not loving them.”

He smiled appreciatively. “Yeah.” He nodded.

Bucky laid back and pulled Steve next to him so they could get comfortable. He felt they both needed to relax. They both clearly had things on their mind.

Steve relaxed his shoulders after a moment. It was nice to had this time with Bucky. Even if they just laid there, it helped. Maybe they could do this more often.

After a while, Bucky suddenly rolled over, head on Steve’s shoulder. He let out a soft snore which made Steve realize he fell asleep. He held back a chuckle and decided to let him sleep. He didn’t mind just being there. If it helped his friend, he’d do it. He pulled out his phone to play around on it.

A few hours later, Bucky blinked awake and softly cursed. Rolling to his back, he groaned.

Steve chuckled softly beside him. “Morning, sunshine.” He said playfully. “Sleep ok?”

“Yeah, actually.” Bucky rubbed his face. “sh*t, sorry.” He hadn’t expected to fall asleep on him.

“No apology needed. I’m glad you slept.” Steve sat up. “It’s early morning, so I might go for a run?” He told him. “If you wanna come?”

Bucky nodded. “Sounds good.” He stretched. “Anyone tell you you’re a good pillow?” He chuckled. “Because you are.”

Steve laughed. “No, but I’ll keep that in mind.” He told him as he stood up. “I’ll go change and meet you in the training room?”

Bucky nodded. “Sounds good.” He watched Steve get his drawing supplies and head out. He let out a breath before getting ready.

Chapter 37: Smoothies

Chapter Text

Lounging in the living room, you were watching a movie as Sam got the boys down for a nap. You were 36 weeks pregnant and just wanted to relax. Multiple things were sore already so you didn’t want to move too much. You and Sam decided to have one more, but wait until Nat was about a year or two to try.

You glanced over as Bucky and Steve returned from their run. “I’ll make us smoothies.” Bucky told him and smiled when he saw you. “Want one, doll?” He offered.

“Sure.” You agreed. “Make it tart if you can?” You asked, liking tart a lot lately.

“You got it.” He went to get things ready.

Steve waved as he passed, going to take a shower first. He had gotten into a routine and wanted to stick to it as much as possible. He rarely spoke to Sam and he tried to keep the conversation with you light. Baby steps.

You watched him go before turning back to the movie. You were enjoying the distraction.

Bucky did your smoothie first and brought it in a jar. “Let me know when you need a back rub.” He chuckled. “I know she’s been making you sore lately.”

“So sore.” You took the smoothie happily. “She’s worth it, though.”

He sat by you. “She moving?” He asked.

You nodded, taking his hand to put where you could feel it most. You watched his face light up and you smiled. “I love seeing your face when you feel the babies move. You were the same with the boys.”

Bucky grinned. “They’re my world.” He shrugged. “I love being an Uncle.” He felt it gave him so much more purpose. Sure, he was a ‘superhero’, but this meant so much more. “I fight to make sure the world is a better place for them.” He smiled. “Well, that and I try to make sure Steve doesn’t dive into a burning building.” He joked. “Someone has to keep him in check.”

You giggled. “You’ve always done that.” You pointed out.

He shrugged. “I’ve accepted it.” It was how life went. “I’m gonna go finish those smoothies.” He smiled and stood. “I’ll be back shortly.”

You nodded and sipped on your own. “It’s good.” You called out after him.

“I’m glad!” He called back. You laughed, enjoying the light heartedness. You winced every so often but that was your life for the moment. Rubbing your stomach, you knew that you were nearing the finish line.

Bucky came back. “I’m gonna go shower, if Steve asks, they’re in the fridge. He likes his a little melted so he should be fine.” He shrugged.

You looked up at him and nodded. “Okay.” You smiled. “I’m glad you two are doing okay.” You said honestly, part of you wondering if there was more there.

Bucky smiled. “Me, too. It’s been nice having him back. I look forward to the day I won’t be guarded anymore.” He admitted. “I don’t know when that’ll be, but I’m hopeful.”

“I think soon.” You encouraged. “You guys have been getting close.” You saw him smile proudly at that. It was cute. “Is there more going on?” You couldn’t help but ask. “Between the two of you, I mean?” You blushed. When he grinned, you took it as a yes. “I swear if he hurts you.” You huffed. “I will seriously hurt him.”

Bucky laughed and leaned over to kiss your head. “You’re adorable, doll.” He told you. “There’s nothing.” He smiled. “But I appreciate you having my back.” He was thankful for that. “I’m not a relationship kinda guy anyway.”

You tilted your head. “Oh.” You warmed. “You’re not?” You felt bad for not knowing that. It never seemed to come up. You always assumed that he didn’t get into a relationship because he was always busy, or because of what he did.

He shook his head. “Nah. I can see why people like it, but I’m happy. I have a great family, and I dunno, I just don’t feel the need.”

“Well…” You nodded. “That makes sense. I was always worried that we held you back from finding someone.” You said honestly. “I’m glad that’s not the case.”

He shook his head. “Now if you want to show me some of those fancy apps that gets a hookup or two, that’s a different story.” He smirked. “I wouldn’t be opposed to that.” He laughed when you blushed. “So freaking cute.” He kissed your head again. “I’m off to shower.” He left you, cheeks still red.

Steve came back in a few minutes later. “You okay?” He asked. “You’re all...red.”

“It’s been an interesting few minutes.” You admitted. “Bucky said your smoothie is in the fridge.” You told him.

He nodded. “Thanks.” He went to go get it, not sure if you wanted to talk to him or not. He wouldn’t make you.

You leaned your head back to look at him for a moment. You weren’t sure if you should try to talk to him about anything, or just leave him be. When he looked back at you, you felt you had to say something. “Bucky and I were just talking about dating apps.” You saw his eyebrows go up. “I mean for flings.” You internally winced. “For him.” You felt you had to clarify. “Not me.” You clarified.

The corner of his mouth went up. “Yeah, I’m surprised it took this long for him to ask for help with that. He was never one for commitment.” He took a gulp of his drink. “Just not his thing.” He chuckled, sitting down.

You nodded. “I guess I never knew that about him.” You admitted.

Steve shrugged a little. “He probably didn’t want to bother you with it.” He told you. “Or it just didn’t matter to him so he never mentioned it.”

You didn’t really know why you couldn’t seem to keep thoughts to yourself today. “Are you interested in learning, too?” You blurted out.

He raised an eyebrow. “Learning? About ‘flings’?” When you nodded, he shook his head. “No.” He made a face. “Not my thing.”

“There’s apps for long term dating, too.” You offered.

He chuckled, rubbing at the back of his neck. “Never thought we’d have this conversation.” He said slightly awkwardly.

“Sorry.” You said softly. You looked away, knowing you made things weird.

“Don’t be. It’s on me and my inability to move on.” He said softly. He had to get used to being asked about dating.

“...You haven’t moved on?” You asked, not sure if he meant from Peggy...or you. Part of you was afraid to find out which he meant. And you couldn’t bring yourself to ask.

Steve made himself look over. “Do you know how wrong of me it is to say no?” His voice was soft, and almost worried. When you looked back at him, he sighed a bit. “I’m constantly afraid of looking at you wrong and you’ll just know that I’m some creep who can’t figure it out.” He ran a hand through his short hair, sighing.

“I...I don’t think you’re a creep. I didn’t have any idea.” You promised. “At all.”

“Good.” He looked down. He would have hated that.

“Is there anything I can do to make it better?” You bit your lip. You would try to help if you could.

He chuckled. “You would ask that. As if you’re doing anything wrong.” He glanced at you. “It’s on me.” He assured. “This is something that I need to work on.” He gave you a small smile. “Don’t worry about it, please. If you need me to back off now that you know, I will.” Right now you just needed to worry about the baby and the boys. He stood.

You grabbed his wrist. “Thanks for telling me.” You gave it a small squeeze.

He smiled back and squeezed your hand with his free one. “I’m working hard on being honest with you.” That was very important to him.

“I appreciate it.” You smiled then winced as baby Nat decided to kick. You let out a breathy chuckle. “Ouch. Wanna feel?” You offered.

“You sure?” He asked.

You nodded, tugging his wrist. “A good baby kick makes anyone feel better.” You told him. “And we won’t be feeling them all that much longer.”

“Okay.” He sat back down and gently placed a hand where you pulled it to. It didn’t take him long to feel a strong kick. He smiled widely, never having felt something like this. He teared up quickly. “That’s amazing.”

You smiled. “She loves moving.” You watched his face. “She’s more of a mover than the boys were, actually.”

“She’s going to be so active.” He beamed. “How much longer do you have?”

“Anywhere from like a week...to 6 weeks.” You explained, moving his hand to a different area. “Owen was born at 41 weeks, and David at 39.”

He rubbed his thumb over the next kick. “I’m sorry.” He said suddenly.

“What for?” You looked at him.

“Not being there for you. Missing everything with Owen.” He sighed. “Putting you through everything I did.”

You placed a hand over his. “I know.” You could tell by his actions. You felt your stomach tighten and hissed slightly, letting out a breath.

He pulled away quickly. “Oh.” He watched your face. “Did I hurt you?” He felt panicked.

“No.” You shook your head. “Contraction.”

“So soon?” He breathed. “I stressed you out.” He stood. “Do I need to get Sam?!”

You took a moment. “You didn’t stress me out, and there’s no guarantee that me having some contractions means I’m having her right away. I had them for nearly a week with Owen.” You told him. “Which was more annoying than anything.”

He was breathing a bit heavily. “Are you sure? What can I do? I can lift you?” He offered. “Get you a blanket?” He felt useless.

“Are you warm?” You took a few deep breaths.

“Usually.” He shrugged.

“Bucky used to rub my lower back for contractions. Can you try?” You moved a little and whined. “Please.” You looked up at him.

He nodded, sitting back down and gently placing a hand on your lower back. He rubbed gently, watching your face. He’d never been around someone having contractions before.

“I’m not gonna break. Press harder.” You nearly demanded. “Right now I barely feel anything.”

Bucky walked in and raised an eyebrow, then it hit him. “Doll?!”

Steve looked at him, still panicking.

“Yeah, it’s starting.” You groaned. “But I told him I had them a week with Owen so he shouldn’t freak out.” You pointed out. “And she’s full term in like 6 days.”

Bucky came over and crouched, rubbing the other side of where Steve’s hand was. “I’ll make sure to stick close by to be your heater.” He told you.

“Thank you.” You let out another breath. “This isn’t exactly my favorite part.”

Sam came in after a moment and frowned. “Rogers, why are your hands on my wife?” He asked, clearly not happy.

Steve pulled away. “She’s having contractions and asked.”

Sam didn’t miss a beat. “And? You should know not to.”

Bucky rolled his eyes. “This isn’t about you right now, Sam.” He pointed out, rubbing your back. “Right now it’s Y/N needing us.”

“And they’re warm.” You provided. “So please, don’t start a fight.”

Sam glared at Steve, motioning for him to move. He sat where he had just been.

Steve didn’t want to make things worse for your pain so he stepped away quietly. He went to tell Wanda what was going on. While he felt grateful that he was able to feel the baby move, he knew he wasn’t as welcomed by Sam, so he stayed away once everyone was around you. Hopefully things were okay with you and Nat.

Chapter 38: You're Okay...

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Bucky was helping Sam pack bags to go to the hospital. “She might want Steve there too, you know.” Bucky warned him. “He could help watch the boys if needed.” He pointed out. “And she’s been trying to be somewhat like friends for Owen.”

“No, I don’t like that.” Sam shook his head. “He only adds stress.” He countered. “Stress she doesn’t need while having a baby.”

Bucky sighed. “I don’t think he’s been adding stress lately.” He defended Steve. “He’s been polite, and civil.”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Of course you’d defend him.” He scoffed. “Just because you’re two peas in a pod again. I said no.” He said firmly. “He can stay here.”

“If Y/N wants him there, it should be her decision.” Bucky shook his head. “I don’t know why you’re being a dick about it.” He sighed. “I’ll go check on her.” He didn’t want to deal with Sam at the moment. He smiled before he walked into your room. “How’s mama doing?” He asked.

You groaned. “She’s taking after her namesake. Being a pain.” You joked.

He laughed. “I’m sorry to hear that, doll.” He sat by you and rubbed your leg. “Think it’s happening soon?”

“I have no idea.” You shrugged. “I’m kinda hoping these don’t last a whole week.” You told him. “I’m hoping she’s more like David in how fast she comes.”

He nodded. “Yeah. Anything I can do?” He asked, hoping to be helpful.

“Not at the moment, but thank you.” You smiled. “I’ll let you know.”

He grinned. “Anything for you.” He sat down.

You moved a little so you could lean into him. “My heater.” You teased. “How should I pay you?”

He chuckled. “I take all forms of payment. Including food. He joked back. “But no rush on that. You’re being a badass and getting ready to have a baby.”

“Thanks.” You giggled tiredly. “We’re holding off on the next one a bit.”

“I don’t want to say good, because it’s none of my business, but a break would be better.” He nodded. “Give you time to heal and get Owen in school.”

You smiled. “Always looking out for us.” You loved that about him.

He smiled and kissed your head. “I always will.” He promised. “Even when I’m old and have to use a cane to beat someone.” He laughed. “Cause I will. Anyone who hurts you or the babies.” He was already getting on high alert since Owen was gonna be starting school so soon.

“I believe you.” You took his metal hand and played with it. How could you not? He’d been there for you in all aspects. “We’re lucky to have you.”

“I’m lucky.” He shrugged. “Extremely lucky.” With what he was, and what he did, in his past, he couldn’t have blamed you for being wary of him being around the kids. He was still afraid that the boys would grow up and find out what he had done. That was something he was terrified of. It was probably what caused those nightmares. He snapped out of it when you let out a whine. He moved to put his hand on your back. He rubbed carefully and kissed your head.

Steve had stayed back, but Bucky texted him when he got updates. He was grateful for that. He didn’t know how to feel. Then he got the picture of you holding newborn Nat. He teared up and squeezed his hands together. His chest ached. He set down his phone and covered his face with his hands. You were glowing, and looked natural holding a baby. That could be yours and his. But because he messed up so horribly, he was at the compound while everyone else was there.

He instantly went backwards, all progress in his mental state gone. He needed to collect himself before he got the text that you were on your way home. He went to wrap his hands to go for a round at the bags. Hopefully that would help clear his head. His hands were shaking as he walked to the training room. “You’re okay…” He told himself. “You can still help with the kids.” His mind loved to tell him that they weren’t his kids so why help. That you’d tell him to get out. You’d wake up one day and not want him near you or your babies. You’d remember what he did, and you would want him far, far away. Bucky would probably do the honors. After all, he left him too. Sam would cheer when that happened.

He blinked when he broke the bag. “Ugh.” He let his head hang back. He didn’t know what he was going to do. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place. He tried to remain positive and tell himself that Owen and David liked him and that would be sad if he left. It helped the smallest amount. “Or they’d be better off not knowing you anyway.” He mumbled. Maybe he should have stayed gone. He sat down on a mat and stared at himself in the gym mirror. It was like looking at a stranger. He glanced down, sighing. He didn’t even know how to picture himself not feeling this way. “sh*t.” He teared up. Maybe if he just...avoided you? And Sam. Sam made everything worse - but he deserved it. He brought this on himself.

When his phone lit up with Bucky video calling, he winced. “Dammit.” He took a breath before answering. “Hey, Buck.” He gave him a tight smile.

“Hey, punk.” Bucky grinned. “Samuel went to get some ice chips. Wanna see little Natasha?” He offered. “She’s so cute.”

“Uh…” Steve winced a little, not sure if you were in ear shot. “Sure.” He nodded slightly awkwardly. He was surprised when you took the phone from Bucky.

You smiled tiredly at Steve. “Here she is.” You moved the camera to the little bundle in your arm. Nat shifted slightly, stretching her little hand. “Say hi to Uncle Steve.” You coo’d. “He’s another guy that’s gonna help look after you.”

Steve absolutely melted at that. “Hi, princess.” He said softly. “She’s beautiful, Y/N.” He said honestly. “How’re you feeling?”

“Thanks. I’m sore but it’s okay.” You smiled at him. “How’re you?” It was clear that he was in the training room. “Hopefully not busting any bags?” When he looked away, you knew he had. “How many?”

“Just one.” He looked sheepish. “I’m okay, though. Just training.” He shrugged. “Maybe it was a fluke.”

You gave him a knowing look. “A fluke.” You shook your head. “I know baby cuddles will help with your anxiety a bit.” You said softly, rocking Nat as she fussed slightly.

Steve swallowed. “Oh. I wasn’t sure if you’d want me...to uh help.” He rubbed the back of his neck.

“Of course I do.” You said easily. “You’re their Uncle Steve.”

His heart felt like it would burst as you smiled at him. He smiled back, thankful.

“Which means you’re going to be on diaper duty.” Bucky’s voice came off screen. He was clearly amused at that. “Have fun!”

Steve chuckled. “I don’t mind. Give me the laundry with the spit up.” He shrugged. “I’ll do it.”

“I’ll hold you to that.” You smiled at him. “Say bye.” You kissed Nat’s head as you moved the camera to her again. Steve felt emotional. You looked back at him to see tears in his eyes. “See you tomorrow, Steve.” You said softly.

“Rest well, sweetheart.” He said gently, hanging up quickly when he realized his wording. “sh*t.” He groaned. “You’re an idiot.” He told himself. “A huge idiot.” He yelled before getting up to hook up another bag. He figured he had until tomorrow to fix his mood. You could see right through him. Always had. And now he had less than a day to figure out how to hide what he was feeling.

By the end of the morning, he had broken two more bags. “Sir, Mr. Barnes, Miss Maximoff, and the children are on their way home.”

He hung his head and rushed to clean up the bags. “Let them know I’ll be in the shower if they don’t find me?” He asked her. “And I’ll come find them after?”

“Of course.” She stated.

Bucky walked in with Owen, and Wanda was carrying David. “Wanna order something instead of cooking?” He asked her. “Save us some work and give us more playtime with these two?”

She nodded and smiled. “And then we can make some dishes for tomorrow when she comes?” She suggested. “So it’s one less thing for her to think about.”

“Perfect.” He grinned. “Where’s Steve, FRIDAY?” He asked, surprised he didn’t come see the boys.

“In the shower, sir. He shall be here in a few minutes.” She informed him.

“Cool.” Bucky nodded. “Let’s get to the play room.” He chuckled as Owen took off running.

David wiggled and pointed to him, smiling at Wanda. “Then let’s go play.” She chuckled.

Bucky laughed and followed them. He knew the boys would be excited when Steve joined them. Owen had been asking for him.

Steve brought some grapes with him as he walked to the playroom, taking a deep breath. “Hey.” He greeted them.

Owen smiled and ran over. “Uncle Steve!”

David squealed as well, reaching for him from his spot. “Eeee!” He wiggled, happy to see him.

Steve smiled, lifting Owen and going to sit by David. “Hi, boys.” He offered them the grapes. “Are you happy your sister’s here?”

Owen took some happily as David crawled onto Steve’s free side. “Yeah!” Owen grinned. “She’s little!”

Steve held both of them easily. “She is.” He agreed.

Bucky ruffled Steve’s hair as he passed. “Juice for everyone?” He offered. “I know Owen likes orange.”

Owen nodded. “Please.”

“Apple for me.” Wanda smiled, knowing that’s what David got.

“Cranberry, pal?” Bucky asked Steve. Steve smiled and nodded. “I’ll be back.”

David babbled to Steve, nuzzling into the crook of his arm. He was comfortable, enjoying Steve’s warmth.

Steve kissed his head, feeling a bit better with both boys there. He glanced at Wanda and smiled. “So, Nat’s cute.” He noted.

She grinned. “The cutest.” She agreed. “You should hear her cry, it’s so soft but she’ll make sure you hear it.” She chuckled. “She’s extra tiny compared to Bruce. He held her and it was comical.”

“I bet she could use one of his hands as a blanket.” Steve laughed a bit. He hoped he got to hold her.

She nodded. “Practically.” She looked at the boys. “I’m sure you’ll be a natural with her just like you are with them.” Wanda assured him. “Parker was just getting there to visit when we were leaving. He was so excited to meet her. It was adorable.”

He blushed a bit at the reassurement then smiled. “Parker is so good with kids.” He nodded. “Plus he looks up to Y/N. It’s nice.” He smiled. “I was glad to see he’s doing well.”

“He’s excited to be around more.” She handed him a toy that David was reaching for. “I feel that you didn’t have a great morning?” Her voice was soft.

He shrugged a little. “It was okay.” He said. “Just got in my head a bit.” He sighed, glancing at Owen who was playing. “I’ll tell you about it later.” He didn’t want to say anything around the boys.

She smiled and nodded. “Of course.”

“Juice has arrived!” Bucky came in. “I will take a thank you in hugs.” He joked to the boys.

Owen loved giving hugs and went to hug his legs. “Thanks!” He smiled up at him, looking more like Steve than ever.

Bucky handed him his cup and beamed. “You’re welcome.” He went to hand David his.

David took it and cuddled back to Steve. He was getting tired.

Steve moved a bit to rub his back soothingly. He looked to see if there was a blanket around. “Owen, can you pretty please get me one of those blankets in the corner?” He pointed to where they were. “I think David’s gonna fall asleep.”

Owen nodded and carefully went over to grab one. He tried to put the blanket on his brother. Bucky smiled as he watched.

“Thank you.” Steve said proudly. “After do you want to watch a movie while he naps?”

Owen nodded. “Please.” He smiled, getting comfortable to play until then.

Steve rocked David a little, smiling as he watched his eyes droop. He thought it was the cutest thing ever, and it helped his mood a bit. Finally, he was hugging his juice and curled up towards Steve.

Steve smiled and easily stood without disturbing him. He got him set up on the couch, noting how he did the little smile in his sleep thing like you did. It melted his heart. He gave a quick kiss to his head before going back to Owen. “Alright, what should we watch?”

“Cartoons.” He said excitedly. “Do you like Batman? Or the Ninja Turtles?”

“I like both, but I don’t know much about the Ninja Turtles.” Steve smiled. “Let’s do Ninja Turtles and you can tell me about them?” He suggested.

Owen nodded and easily climbed onto his back when he crouched. “I’ll relax in here to keep an eye on David.” Wanda smiled.

“Okay.” Steve smiled. “Let me know if you need anything.” He stood up. “Alright, buddy, let’s go teach me about turtles.”

Bucky watched them go and sighed, sipping his juice. “He’s good with them.” He noted, glancing at Wanda. “I’m hoping this helps him out a bit, too.”

She smiled sadly. “I think this birth was the hardest on him.” She sighed. “It’ll take some time for him, because he was here for this one.”

Bucky shook his head. “I feel for him.” He said honestly. “I can’t imagine what’s going through his head.”

“It’s probably not the best.” She leaned back. “I’m glad he has you.” At least he could lean on Bucky.

“Yeah, I don’t think I’m enough to fill that void he has now.” He chuckled sadly. “Y/N honestly asked me if there was something more before she went into labor.” Her eyebrows went up. “I hadn’t been expecting that at all.”

She glanced at him. “That’s interesting.” She mused. “Is there?”

He nudged her gently. “I told her there’s nothing.” Which was the truth. “It’s Steve.”

She nodded in understanding. “Yeah.” She got that. “But, go on. Go hang out with him and Owen.”

He chuckled and kissed her head. “Yes, ma’am.” He glanced at David before heading out to go join the two of them. Owen loved having two of his Uncles there. “Alright, I’m here.” He greeted them, going to get comfortable.

Owen clapped and continued talking about the show. He was loving how much he could tell Steve. Steve would listen intently and ask questions here and there. He made notes of the characters that Owen seemed to like the most. He felt he could draw them for him some time. Maybe make them up for his room.

Bucky watched, seeing Steve’s literal mini me. They had the same nod and excitement. It was amusing to see. He knew Owen would be hanging out here with them a lot more to not wake up baby Nat. Maybe he would offer to take Owen “camping” outback for a night or two. He wanted you as relaxed as possible. And it would be an adjustment for the boys to have another sibling around. Especially for David. He was still really young, so hopefully he would do okay with this shift.

Chapter 39: So Tiny!

Chapter Text

Bucky stayed with Owen as he took a tiny nap while Steve set out the take out they ended up ordering. Wanda was making Owen’s plate next to him. It had been a pretty good afternoon overall. “I’m glad your mood has improved.” Wanda said happily. “We were a bit worried about you.”

Steve smiled at her. “It helps having you guys and the boys to keep me busy.” He noted. “And I got some ideas for art for Owen’s room. I think I’m gonna work on that some this weekend.”

“That’s great.” She encouraged. “I know your art helps you.” That had been something they all knew from early on. “Maybe I can get you to make something for my room?”

He brightened. “Really? I’d love to.” He agreed. “Anything specific you’d like?”

She hummed. “I really like anything.” She promised. “I suppose I’m more of a romantic era kind of person.” She mused. “So something like that?”

He nodded. “I’ll find something.” He smiled. “I do get romantic vibes from you, so that makes sense.” He said honestly, finishing up.

She smiled softly, zoning out for a moment as she thought about something else for a while. Shaking her head, she went back to what she was doing.

Steve figured she had her moments just like he did and patted her back as he set the table. “You know I’m here if you ever wanna talk, right?” He reminded her. “Not just for you to put to sleep.” He wanted to keep things light.

She looked at him. “Thank you.” She said sincerely. “You’re probably the person who I’d talk to the most.” She admitted. “I feel you’d relate the most.” She glanced at him. “You’ve lost people like I have. Among other things…” She told him. “Maybe we can talk after the boys are in bed?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I’m up for that.” He wanted to help her like she helped him. Giving her a shoulder a gentle squeeze, he went to get Bucky, David, and Owen. “Can you get Bruce?” He asked on the way out.

“Yeah.” She followed him out to go get their other member. She looked forward to their chat later, wanting to get some things off her chest.

Bucky showed Wanda and Steve the pictures you had sent of Nat sleeping later in the evening. She looked a lot like David did when he was born. Just smaller.

Wanda coo’d over her little mittens. “So tiny!” She grinned.

Bucky nodded. “Adorable.” He agreed, sending them to everyone’s phone. “I had to upgrade my cloud storage from all the pictures of the boys.” He admitted. “I’ll have to do that again with Nat and the next baby in a couple years.”

Wanda giggled. “A good problem to have.”

“Oh, they decided on another?” Steve asked casually. Had you said something and he hadn’t heard?

“Yeah, just one more.” Bucky nodded, putting his phone in his pocket. “But not for a year or two. Give her a chance to take a break.” He smiled. “Not gonna lie, I see her wanting the next one once Nat starts getting a bit more active and slightly mobile.” He laughed.

Wanda nodded in agreement. “I say when she crawls they’ll start trying.” She grinned. “I’m hoping she has another girl.”

“Two and two would be cool.” Bucky smiled. “But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

Steve didn’t really know if he could handle it all again. He would have to, though. There were no other options. He silently thought about what to draw Wanda instead. That was something far easier to focus on.

Bucky and Wanda stayed talking a bit more before standing. “Alright, I’m gonna check on the boys then head to my room.” He told the two of them. “You know where to find me if you can’t sleep, Stevie.” He ruffled his hair.

“Thanks, Buck. Appreciate it.” He smiled. “Same goes to you.”

“Since you’re a decent pillow.” Bucky laughed, kissing Wanda’s head as he went. “Night.” He waved.

Wanda waved and also stood. “Tea?” She squeezed Steve’s shoulder. “We can go sit out back again?”

He nodded. “With honey if you can.” He smiled, getting up. “Want me to get something to snack on?” He offered.

“Crackers?” She smiled.

Once they had their tea and snacks, they went to sit on the little outside area of Wanda’s room. Steve sipped on his drink once he was comfortable. He’d let Wanda lead the conversation. It was obvious that something was on her mind.

She stayed quiet for a long time. “I’ve never talked to anyone about this.” She licked her lips, staring at the mug in her hands.

Steve gently squeezed her arm. “Take your time.” He said gently.

She bit her lip hard. “When you left...Sam wasn’t just there for Y/N. He was there for me, too.” She began. “He was there for me to lean on.” She blinked a few times. “I had just lost Vision too, and he was so understanding . So kind.” She continued. “I-I thought…” She swallowed. “I was obviously blind because I didn’t see him and Y/N getting so close.” Her voice broke. “For some reason I saw Y/N and Bucky getting closer, but didn’t realize it was in a sibling type way.” She set down her mug. “And I was giving him time because I didn’t want him to think he was a rebound or anything.” She teared up. “I didn’t want to push him away.” She shook her head. “I liked him so much, Steve. So much.” She hung her head. “I pretty much loved him.” She sighed. “So when they announced they were a couple?” She swallowed. “I dealt with it, but I really didn’t want to.” No one else knew, but she felt she could trust Steve not to say anything to anyone.

Steve had no idea. “Oh, Wanda.” He set his mug down and looked at her. “I’m so sorry.” He honestly would not have guessed that’s what had been in her mind. “Did you ever...sleep together?” He asked softly, knowing that would’ve made it worse.

Wanda wiped her cheeks before shaking her head. “I kinda tried to make a move at one point. A few months before they got together… but then FRIDAY told him Y/N was asking for him.” She sighed. “I guess that should’ve been a clue at how fast he rushed out of there.” She chuckled sadly. “I felt bad for a long time because I was mad that Y/N got him. As if he was some prize to win, not a person, but still.” She ran a hand through her hair. “It took some time to get over it.”

He nodded. “I know what you mean.” He said softly. “Are you fully over it? Or is it hard sometimes?” He offered her his hand.

“I’m fully over it.” She said honestly. “Just finally being open about it is emotional. I love them together. They’re great parents and bring out the best in each other.” She took his hand after a moment. “I do feel better saying it outloud, though. Thank you for that.” She said sincerely. She gave his hand a squeeze. “I knew you wouldn’t judge me.”

He shook his head. “Not at all.” He promised. “Thank you for sharing. I’m glad I could help get it out in the air.” He couldn’t imagine holding that in all this time.

She smiled, honestly feeling better now. She ate a few crackers before speaking again. “I think that’s why I came around to you so fast. I knew the pain a little of liking someone who’s with someone else. Not to your extent, of course.” She added. “But I felt bad.” She shrugged a shoulder.

He nodded. “I appreciate you giving me a chance.” It meant a lot to him. “I know you were still really pissed when I got here.”

She smiled. “I was.” She chuckled. “I nearly blasted you.”

He shrugged with a smile. “I wouldn’t have held it against you.” How could he? “I’m still surprised no one decked me.”

“Except Carol.” She giggled. When he gave her an amused look, she giggled more. “Sorry.” She smiled. “She did lay you out, though.”

He chuckled and nodded. “Pretty good, yeah.” He rubbed his jaw where it had been bruised. “Thor seemed like he was about to, and I’m not sure which would have been worse.”

She winced. “Oh. That would’ve hurt, too.” She agreed. “But at least it wasn’t Bruce?”

“Yeah, true.” He chuckled. “Even, Buck…that would’ve sucked for a number of reasons.” He shook his head. He looked at her. “Thanks for being there for me, too. After all of this.” He said again. “I doubt I’ll ever stop owing you.”

She shook her head and moved to squeeze his arm. “Don’t worry about it. Even though I know you will.” She smiled. “You’re an overthinker.”

“Just a bit.” He nodded. “I’ve always been that way.” He sighed. “Hit me hard this morning.”

She scooted closer to him. “Tell me about it.” She urged him. “What happened?” She took his hand again as it felt like it calmed both of them.

“Just seeing the picture of her holding a newborn. Knowing I’ll never have a chance at that family again.” He said sadly. “That if I hadn’t left, it would be my kids she’s having.” He teared up. “I wish I could just...fall out of love with her. It’d make things easier.” He shook his head. “Then I could just be a good Uncle to the kids. If Sam ever really lets me. I thought things were semi okay after that mission, but then it got worse.”

She rubbed his hand. “If it were that easy.” She agreed. “I think Sam just worries.” She shrugged. “You’re an amazing uncle to the kids, anyone could see that.” She assured him. “It’ll take time for him to not worry. That’s what he does, he’s a dad.”

“I wouldn’t do anything.” He said defensively, but not towards her. “I can’t even talk right in front of her.” He pointed out. “I turn into a mess.”

“You’ll get there.” She said softly. “Things won’t happen overnight.”

“No, I know. It just hasn’t happened at all. I see her and Sam together and it just...hurts.” He closed his eyes. “And Owen looks so much like me. So seeing her with Owen, too…” He let a few tears fall. “It’s too much sometimes.” He admitted.

“What can I do to help?” She asked. “At least for the moment?” There had to be something.

He shrugged a shoulder. “Nothing. You’re doing a lot by being here.” That helped a great deal. “This is my own doing so I deserve it.”

“You don’t deserve to be miserable.” She countered. “Do you want me to help you get some rest?”

He bit his lip. “Okay. But rest, too?” He countered. “You deserve to get some, too.”

She smiled. “Deal.” She stood up, gathering the rest of her tea and the crackers. “Are you most comfortable in your room?”

He stood up quickly to help her. He was hopeful this meant they could move forward with their friendship. “I’m okay anywhere.” He promised. “Is there somewhere you’d prefer?”

“I’ll show you a secret spot. I think you need it.” She smiled. She took his free hand with hers.

He followed her easily, thankful. He wondered where this place was. Once the dishes were put away, he followed her to her area but passed her room.

She opened a closet looking door but it opened up to a whole other section of her floor. He looked around, surprised. It smelled wonderful and the colors were so calming. “You did this?” He asked in awe.

“Yep. Don’t tell anyone.” She smiled. She showed him one of the areas with a bed. “Comfiest bed ever. I stay here for a while when I need a refresher.” She explained. “I worked on it a lot after everything happened.”

Steve smiled at her. “This is so nice.” He complimented.

“You’re welcomed here.” She squeezed his hand.

“Stay?” He asked. “This is your spot, too.” He pointed out. “And if it’s where you go when you need refreshing, it would make sense.”

She smiled. “Sure.” She stepped out of her shoes and went to put a couple candles on. “Get comfortable.”

He nodded and did the same, moving onto the bed. “Oh, you’re right. This is comfortable.” He noted. While the ones they had in all the rooms were top of the line, there was something different about this one. “How’d you get all the big stuff in here with no one noticing?”

“Pepper.” She smiled. “It was usually on days everyone stayed in their area.” She joined him, stretching out. “It’s some memory foam and gel I think.” She explained.

He stretched as well. “I’d always want to be in here.” He chuckled. “It’s like the most relaxing place in the compound.”

“You’re welcome anytime you want.” She smiled at him. “No one else knows it’s here, so no one will come bother you.”

He squeezed her hand. “Thank you.” He would probably come in here often.

She nodded and placed a hand on his cheek. “Ready?” When he nodded, she helped him drift into a dreamless sleep. She let out a breath and covered them with the top blanket before closing her eyes. Hopefully this helped them both.

Steve stayed off to the side a bit as the others welcomed you and Nat home. He felt well rested and was hopeful he could keep his emotions neutral. Sam carried the car seat while you walked next to him.

Bucky held Owen as David stayed close to Wanda. “Welcome home.” He smiled.

“Yay.” Owen clapped. “Mommy’s home!”

Wanda hugged you gently. “Feeling okay?” She smiled. “I bet you’re happy to be home.”

“I am. I’m excited to be in my own bed.” You smiled. “And be able to cuddle with my other babies, too.”

Bucky came over to peek in the carrier. “God, she looks like a little doll.” He smiled.

Sam beamed. “Doesn’t she?” He said proudly. “Our little doll.” He chuckled as she let out a squeaky noise. “Who probably wants out of that car seat.”

Chapter 40: Tiny Fingers

Chapter Text

“Can I?” Bucky asked softly. “I’ll hand her to mama if she’s hungry.” He glanced at you, earning a smile and a nod. Looking back to Nat, he unbuckled her and gently lifted her. “Come here, princess.” He said softly, smiling as she was tucked into his chest. “You’re so little.” He whispered. He kissed the top of her head. “So sweet.”

Wanda went by him and melted. “Her tiny fingers!”

You giggled at your friends and smiled as Owen hugged your legs. You ran a hand through his hair gently. “Did you have fun yesterday with Uncle Bucky and Aunt Wanda?”

“And Uncle Steve.” He added, nodding. “We watched movies!” He grinned. “I teached him about the Ninja Turtles!”

“That sounds nice.” You smiled and glanced at Steve. “That’s his favorite show.”

Steve nodded. “I learned a lot about it.” He smiled. “It’s not a bad show, either.”

Bucky smiled. “Owen made sure we knew who was who.” He carefully walked over to Steve to show him Nat. “Told him all about each turtle.” He added.

You smiled down at Owen before trying to see Steve’s reaction. You wondered how he was feeling.

Steve smiled down at the bundle. “Hi, baby Nat.” He whispered. “You’re so cute.” He told her.

“Can he hold her, doll?” Bucky asked. He wouldn’t just hand her over without your permission.

You chewed on your lip and nodded.

“Oh, it’s okay.” Steve said quickly, glancing at Sam. He backed up quickly, not wanting to upset your husband. He didn’t want to cause a fight.

Wanda felt bad as she watched him try to make himself small. She helped David up to see his sister to try and help the situation. Hopefully nothing would happen with the kids around. “That’s your baby sister.” She told him.

David peered at her, touching her fist. When she let out a whine, he gasped and hid in Wanda’s neck. He wasn’t used to small things that made noise that weren’t toys.

Wanda smiled. “It’s okay.” She rubbed his back. “You’ll get used to it. You used to make noises like that, too.”

Bucky chuckled. “We’ll work on that.” He rocked her slightly. “Let’s walk so you can go rest.” He told you. “And she’ll be hungry soon, huh?”

You nodded. “Probably in under an hour.”

“We made a ton of dishes for you so you don’t have to cook.” Wanda assured. “They can be popped in the oven for some, or just put in the microwave for others.”

“You guys are amazing.” You smiled. “I appreciate you.” You hugged her. “She will, too. Just like the boys.”

Sam patted Bucky’s back. “Yeah, we’re glad we have you guys.” He smiled. “I know it’s been kinda stressful the last week or so.” You hadn’t been feeling the best, which was understandable. Which then made Sam on edge.

“Hey, man. Whatever we can do to help.” Bucky promised. “We’re family.”

Sam smiled. “Thanks.”

You followed everyone slowly, thankful for them. “Uncle Steve made the pizza you like, mommy.” Owen told you. “I helped!” He said as he walked with you.

You smiled proudly. “Then I can’t wait to eat some.” You told him, offering Owen your hand. He took it happily and stayed by you. “You’re gonna help me eat it, too, right?” You asked playfully.

“Yeah! Uncle Bucky said you might need more sleep so that’s okay if I have to go play somewheres else.” He said easily. “And that Nat will cry like David did.”

“He’s right.” You smiled. “You’re going to be a big help.” You assured him. “And she’s going to love you so much, just like David does.”

He bounced. “I like helping.” He climbed on the couch to sit with you once you sat down. “Do you have an ouchie?” He asked, seeing you wince. “Do you need a hug and a bandaid? Oh! Do you want my Falcon stuffy?” He offered, ready to go get it for you.

You pretended to think. “I definitely need a hug. Maybe some cuddles later?” You suggested, looking forward to that. “And a movie?”

He nodded. “Okay!” He said happily.

Steve stayed by the door and gently took Wanda’s arm before she went in. “I’m gonna stay away a bit.” He told her. “Let me know if I need to help with the boys.” He added softly. “Just have FRIDAY let me know.

She gave him a sad look. “Alright.” She hoped that he didn’t stay away too long. That wouldn’t make things get better. She watched him walk away and she went inside the room to sit across from you. When Nat started to fuss, she watched Bucky hand her over to you. Owen scooted over to give you room. He watched as you started to feed her.

David played in Wanda’s lap, still not interested in his sister yet. She didn’t do anything.

Sam smiled at David, knowing he’d warm up to her. He was just a toddler, and had time. He went to get you some ice water and a snack. He wanted to keep you hydrated.

“Feeling any different than when you had the boys?” Wanda smiled at you.

You thought about it for a moment. “I think I’m a bit more tired because with Owen I just slept whenever I wanted before I went into labor. And I could nap when he did before I had David.”

She nodded. “Yeah, that makes sense. We’ll try and coordinate their naps so they don’t wake her either?” She suggested. “And we’ll try to maybe do stuff with Owen while her and Nat nap since he really doesn’t anymore?”

“Yeah, he would probably like that.” You smiled. “Thank you.” You were glad it wasn’t just you and Sam sometimes. “We’re all lucky to have you guys.”

“We’re lucky to have such amazing friends and kids.” She chuckled.

Steve went into the kitchen, hoping to make a shake before a training session. This way he really would be out of everyone’s way. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Sam. He debated just walking back out.

Sam looked back and made eye contact but just went back to fixing you your water. He added extra ice like you knew you liked.

Steve shook his head to himself and got out some stuff for his shake. He glanced at Sam as he stood up straight. “Um…” He cleared his throat awkwardly. “Sam?”

“Yeah?” He looked over, raising an eyebrow. They’d barely spoken recently.

“I just wanted to let you know if you need anything, that I’m here.” He began. “I know you hate me, but still. If the kids need anything, or whatever. Just have FRIDAY let me know.” He shrugged. “I promise I have the best interest for the kids. I’d never do anything to put them in harms way. I know I’m the last person you want with your kids, but I only want great things for them.” He hoped he sounded confident. “That’s all I want. To be the best uncle Steve I can for them.”

Sam wasn’t expecting that and stared at him for a moment. He wasn’t sure what to say to that.

Steve stayed quiet as well and went back to making his shake. He let out a soft sigh. At least he tried. He hoped Sam believed him. And that he gave him a chance to gain a tiny bit of trust back. He thought he had some after that mission, but maybe he was wrong.

Sam finally sighed. “Look, man. I don’t want you to think that you treat the kids bad or anythin’ because I know they love you.” He told him honestly, working on your snack. “And clearly Y/N trusts you with them.” He shrugged. “I guess I’ve just been overly stressed and you’re the only one who I take it out on.” He admitted.

Steve felt a bit of hope at that. “Oh. I understand.” He glanced at him.

“I knew you would.” Sam nodded. “So, yeah. Don’t avoid them because of me?”

“Even Nat?” Steve asked. “I don’t want to start a fight and it upset anyone. So you can be honest and say no.” He told him, leaning against the counter. “I don’t want to step on any toes.”

“You’re not going to.” He shrugged. “Bucky trusts you. Wanda, Bruce...even Y/N so. I gotta trust their judgment. So yeah, feel free to get some Nat time in.” And that would be one less thing that you had to worry about, which was a big thing for him.

“Thanks, Sam.” Steve breathed. “That means a lot.”

Sam nodded. “Oh. And I’m the reason you weren’t invited to the birth, so I apologize for that. After I thought about it, it was dumb.” He shrugged, having wanted to get that off his chest. “Bucky wanted to have you come, and I told him to drop it.”

Steve blinked. “I accept your apology.” He said softly. He felt so much more relaxed now. He looked forward to spending time with Nat. He’d go see you after training.

“Good.” Sam nodded. “See you.” He waved a hand and left with your water and snack. When he got a chance, he’d tell you what he told Steve. He hoped it helped. And that you’d be proud of him.

Chapter 41: David's Nap Spot

Chapter Text

Steve was just about done with training when FRIDAY alerted him. “Owen is asking for your company, sir.” She informed him.

He smiled at that. “Let him know I’ll be there after my shower.”

“Yes, sir.” She replied. “Also, Miss Maximoff is asking for assistance with David’s nap.” She added.

He made his way to the training showers. “I’ll be there in ten.” He said a bit more happily. He quickly went to shower and help.

David whined and reached for Steve the instant he was there. Steve scooped him up and went to get comfortable enough to recline a bit to help David. He tucked himself into the same spot that he had the day prior.

Wanda smiled. “I think that’s his nap spot now.” She said softly. “He thinks you’re comfortable, I guess.”

Steve chuckled. “Or warm.” He rubbed his back. He looked down as David yawned. “I got you, buddy.” He looked at Wanda and lowered his voice. “Everyone go to rest?” He figured that’s what they were doing.

She nodded. “I’ll take them something to eat in a couple hours. Bucky is eating a snack with Owen who demanded play time with his Uncle Steve.” She sat by him. “Although with Bucky calling you Stevie, I see him picking that up.”

Steve laughed softly. “I’m okay with that.” He said easily. “I’m just happy to be able to help.”

She smiled. “Me, too.” She noted David was finally asleep. She watched as he had been clutching Steve’s sleeve. His grip let up just a bit. “Maybe you can try to move him to his bed?”

He nodded and slowly stood up, making sure not to disturb him. “Come with?” He asked her. “We can pick up Owen and Bucky on the way back.” He suggested. “Maybe take Owen to play outback?”

She grinned. “Okay. I’d like that.” She watched him tuck David in gently before they made their way out.

Owen was thrilled to play with Steve so they all stayed in the play room a bit. He sat on Steve’s lap for a bit before moving to sit across from him. They were playing a card game. Steve loved watching Owen’s facial expressions.

Wanda silently took a picture, wanting to instantly frame it since they had the same concentration. It was adorable. She played on her phone a bit to edit it so she could possibly print later. She smiled to herself. She sorta hoped that the night would go the same as the previous. It had been relaxing, and helped a great deal. Steve had a safe aura around him and she figured that’s why David enjoyed it as well. He had the ability to calm people down. “Come play, Aunt Wanda.” Owen laughed, standing at the door with Steve and Bucky.

She glanced up. “Oh.” She pocketed her phone and stood. “Let’s go.” She smiled. “What’re we gonna play?”

“Ball!” He bounced. He took Steve’s hand, then hers once she was close enough.

Wanda smiled at him, then at Steve. Things seemed to be going well. She hoped this became a bit of a routine. She felt that Owen would like that, as well.

Owen loved playing ball outside with the three of them, getting a bit tired towards dinner. He ended up asking Steve to put him on his back. Steve agreed instantly, taking him to his room. He’d let him relax until FRIDAY announced that dinner was done. He helped the others warm up food for you then make their own. He hoped that the first night home went well with baby Nat.

You bounced Nat a little as you fed her a bit later. She had nursed and gotten changed, but was still a bit fussy. You softly hummed and walked down the hall. You hoped she would settle soon.

When she didn’t, you took her through the different areas. When you reached the living room, you saw Steve. He was working on his sketch pad so you carefully walked in.

He glanced up and looked surprised. “Hey.” He whispered. “Nat not letting you sleep?”

You shook her head. “She’s a little fussy.” You smiled. “Wanna try?” You offered. “Maybe you being a human heater will help.”

He laughed. “That’s what David seems to like, so maybe.” He sat up straight, excited but nervous as you gently handed her to him. “So tiny.” He tucked her into his chest, rocking her softly. He shushed her gently.

You sat by him, smiling a bit as you watched. She calmed down every so slightly.

Steve leaned back and watched her, smiling as she moved a little. “How’s the first day home been?” He glanced at you.

“Not bad.” You hugged a pillow for comfort. “I’m definitely more tired this round. Hopefully I catch up soon.” You yawned. “And that we can get into something of a routine.”

He nodded. “Hopefully.” He agreed. “Anything you need, just let me know.” He figured you knew that by now, but wanted to remind you anyway. “I know you have everyone else, too, but even if it’s just to watch the boys so you can nap with Nat.”

“Thanks.” You smiled. “I know the boys are going to love the extra time with you and the others.” You said softly. “Once she’s a bit more set I plan to have some one and one time with each of them. Maybe do some crafts with Owen, and just play with David. I don’t want them feeling left out.”

He glanced over. “That’s a nice idea.” He agreed. “Especially since David doesn’t really understand what she is yet.” He chuckled, making Nat make a noise. “Sorry.” He whispered, rubbing her back with his thumb. “Owen seems to be excited, though.”

“Yeah, he loves being a big brother.” You said fondly. “I was worried about jealousy, but he doesn’t seem to have that issue. I think that’s because there’s always an adult that can give him attention. Sometimes he’ll sit in the lab and color while Bruce works.”

Steve smiled as he thought about that. “Yeah, he seems like a calm little guy.” He agreed. “But he gets excited easily. Not that that’s a bad thing, though.”

You stayed quiet for a moment. “He really has a lot of your qualities.” You told him honestly. “He’s a small you.”

He looked at you. “Sorry. I’m sure that’s not the best.” He knew that probably made it harder on you.

“It’s really not that bad anymore.” You said honestly. “And they aren’t bad traits to have.” You added.

He let out a breath and shrugged to himself. He wasn’t sure how to reply. His eyes stayed focused on Nat who had fallen asleep. She looked like the perfect mix of you and Sam. “Such a pretty girl.” He kissed her head softly. “It’ll be interesting to see her personality.”

You nodded in agreement. “I have no idea what it’ll be.” You chuckled. “I’m wondering if she’ll channel her Nat.”

“If that’s the case…” He laughed softly. “She’s going to be wonderful having around.” He pictured Nat with the kids and smiled sadly. “You know, I always saw Nat and Clint together. Before he met Laura.”

You nodded quickly. “I did, too.” You agreed. “I thought they were so good with each other.” You’d been surprised they hadn’t ended up together.

“They were the best of friends.” He smiled. “I would have loved them to have a shot.”

“I would have, too.” You smiled sadly. “I don’t think it’ll ever stop hurting. The sacrifices they made.”

He nodded, chest clenching. “Sacrifices I should have made.” He said quietly. He chewed on his lip. He’d never forgive himself for all that. He took a deep breath and watched Nat. She shifted slightly in her sleep. “Want me to carry her to her crib?” He asked, not wanting the tension to rise by what he considered, self loathing. “Maybe you can get some sleep?”

“If you’d like.” You said gently. “You don’t have to blame yourself, Steve.” You added. “I know as a literal Captain, you’ve done that, but maybe it’s time to change that?” You didn’t want him getting down like he probably had done before he left. “Start thinking about the good?”

“I do.” He assured. “My purpose now is Uncle Steve.” That’s what mattered to him. “To help with the kids, and make sure everyone comes home on missions.”

You chewed on your lip and nodded. Getting up, you watched him do the same, trying not to wake Nat. He followed you to your area quietly. He hoped she would stay asleep.

You watched him set her down, both of you holding your breaths to see if she’d wake. She stretched, but didn’t wake up.

Steve waved, not wanting to risk talking. As he passed, you gently squeezed his arm in thanks. With that, you made your way to your room to cuddle Sam. It didn’t take long until you were asleep.

It felt like minutes when you woke up to her crying. You let out a noise but saw that Sam was already going. Hopefully it was just a diaper change and he’d get her back to sleep. You hugged his pillow, listening in to see if he needed you. Yawning, you just wanted to pass back out.

Sam came back in a while later, curling around you. He buried his face in your neck and sighed.

You smiled sleepily. “She okay?” You rubbed his arm.

He nodded. “Just needed a changin’ and some cuddles.” He kissed your hand. “She’s back out and we should be good for a bit.” He kissed the back of your neck. “Get some sleep.”

You closed your eyes and nodded, asleep within seconds.

Chapter 42: Nice Butt

Chapter Text

Wanda sat besides Steve who was playing a game with Owen. She smiled as you were on the floor with Nat who was wiggling around. She had gotten so big and while happy, also had a bit of a temper.

You sat up after a moment, helping Nat sit up. “Let’s see if she can stay up.” You kissed the 6-month’s old head. “You got this, baby girl.”

Everyone watched, Bucky and Sam coming in with David at just the right time to see. She wobbled a bit, but stayed up, giggling.

“Yay, princess.” Bucky clapped.

Sam crouched instantly and smiled. He pulled out his phone to get a picture. She loved that everyone was looking at her and giggled loudly.

Steve smiled, just as proud and glanced at Wanda. She was beaming at Nat. He looked over in time to see Owen go kiss Nat’s head.

Everyone melted and luckily Sam got a picture in time. “Good job Nattie.” Owen smiled.

Nat giggled up at her brother, causing her to roll to the side. You helped her back up, chuckling. “You did so good.” You said proudly.

David went over and squished himself between Steve and Nat, still not really playing with Nat yet. He’d hand her a toy now and then, but that was about it. Even Owen tried doing stuff with both but it was different.

Wanda kissed David’s head. “Want to build a tower?” She asked. “See how high we can get it before we knock it over?”

“Yeah.” David nodded excitedly. He got up to go get his blocks. He came back with the bag and plopped down by her. He laughed as she dumped them out.

Steve watched from the side, going back and forth between watching them and then Nat with Owen. Things had gotten better, and he had Wanda to thank for a good bit of that. She was always there for him, especially when he got in his head. He’d spent a lot of time in her special room. More than half the week he would sleep in there, sometimes with her and sometimes alone. He looked forward to the nights where she would join them and they would talk.

He smiled as Nat looked at him with a gummy grin. He waved with a chuckle. “Hi.” He wiggled his fingers at her. When she giggled, he moved so he was on his stomach and tapped her nose. “It’s good to see you so happy this afternoon.” He made funny faces at her.

Wanda would glance over once in awhile, smiling. She had seen how good Steve was with a newborn. He was great with her.

David looked over too and jumped up, thinking Steve wanted to play horsey so he got onto his back excitedly. He gripped the back of his shirt and wiggled. “Go!” He laughed.

Steve laughed and happily played with him. He got up on all fours to give him a ride. Owen was giggling with Nat at the sight. “You’re silly, Uncle Stevie!” He told him.

Steve grinned. “I like being silly.” He rolled over quick enough to catch David, making him laugh hard. He held him up in the air, wiggling him slightly.

“Wee!” David grinned.

Sam chuckled, going to scoop up Nat when her bottom lip poked out now that Steve wasn’t making faces at her anymore. “I’ll play with you.” He bounced her a little. “Oh, wanna go play in the grass with daddy?” He smiled. He took her wiggling as a yes and went to get her little sun hat on. He loved watching the kids grow and getting time with each of them.

“I’ll go.” You stood as well and followed him, knowing the boys would stay entertained there.

“Bye, mommy!” Owen called after you.

“Bye, handsome!” You said back.You caught up to Sam and kissed his shoulder. “Nice butt.” You winked. “Think maybe I can get a handful later?” You flirted with a wink.

He laughed. “Always more than a handful for you, baby.” He smirked. “Anytime you want it.”

“All the time sounds good.” You giggled. “I guess I can settle for when we crawl into bed at night, though.” You said as you opened the back sliding glass door. “It’s a date?”

“A date. I’ll even bring your favorite ice cream. Bowl optional.” He winked. “Whipped cream, too?”

You nodded quickly. “Oh yeah.” You bit your lip. “I look forward to it.”

“Same here.” He grinned. Leaning over, he kissed your cheek before sitting down with Nat. It was perfect weather for it.

Steve did the normal nap time routine with David, walking him around while he got sleepy. He hoped Nat had enjoyed the time out. He wondered if the kids would like to take a trip to the beach the following summer. That would be fun. He’d mention it over dinner.

David was tucked in and so he went back to the playroom. Owen was playing a video game with Bucky while Wanda watched. He sat down by Wanda and smiled. “What’re we watching?” He asked, getting comfortable.

She chuckled. “Bucky losing to a kid.” She leaned against his side.

“Hey.” Bucky chuckled. He sighed as he hit a banana peel. “Kid is good at Mario Kart.”

Owen giggled. “You’re not good, Uncle Bucky.” He told him cutely. “You should pick a different person. You always pick Mario. And lose.”

“But shouldn’t Mario be the best?” Bucky asked. “The game is named after him.”

Owen scrunched his nose. “It wasn’t the first game named after him.” He told him easily. “And he’s a doctor, too. And a plumber. Maybe he’s just not good at anything.” He shrugged. “And he’s always letting Princess Peach get kidnapped…”

Wanda smiled up at Steve as he continued. “He has your enthusiasm for learning.” She whispered. “It’s like he hears it once and he remembers it.”

Steve smiled a bit proudly, then shrugged. “Probably not my genes.” He admitted. “That’s probably Y/N.”

Wanda shrugged but smiled. Either way, Owen was adorable. And had a great personality. She snorted as Bucky lost again. When he gave her a look, she grinned. “Not my fault you can’t beat a 5 year old.”

“I’d like to see you try.” He huffed. “Here.” He offered her the controller.

She crawled forward to reach it and looked at Owen. “Ready?” She grinned. “I’m not gonna go easy on you.”

He giggled. “Okay!” He loved getting to play with everyone. He concentrated once the game started.

Steve watched, amused. He loved that Owen had a bit of a personality now. He smiled as Owen stood up, leaning with the controller as he tried to catch up with Wanda. It was becoming close. He couldn’t call who would win. Bucky was watching just as intently. When Wanda won by the smallest margin, he looked at her.

Wanda did a little dance, grinning. She stuck her tongue out at Bucky.

Bucky huffed. “Not cool.” He pouted.

Owen giggled. “She’s better than you.” He told him. “But you’re still fun, Uncle Bucky.” He went to hug him.

“Thanks, kid.” Bucky hugged him back. “You’re fun, too.”

Owen smiled widely. “Can we go have a snack now?” He asked, hopeful. “I’m hungry.”

“Yep.” Bucky stood. “I’ll make a smoothie bowl.” He followed his nephew to the kitchen.

“Good win.” Steve smiled at Wanda. “That was close.” He chuckled.

“We’ll have to play sometime. So I can practice more.” She offered her hand so he could stand. “Let’s go join in on that snack for now.”

He nodded and took it, easily standing. “Spending time in the calm room tonight?” He hoped that they could. “Just relax? Maybe watch a movie?” When she looked skeptical, he sagged just a little.

She smiled softly. “Only if we can have some sherbet.” She gave his hand a squeeze.

He let out a nervous chuckle. “Course we can. Thought you were gonna say no way, or somethin.” He admitted, rubbing the back of his neck.

She shook her head. “I have gotten a bit used to our room.” It was no longer just ‘hers’ in her mind. It had become theirs. She was there most of the time when he was, and felt off if she was in there alone. Like he was missing. “Was there anything you’d like to add to our room? I did all the current decorations.”

He brightened considerably. “I really like the environment.” He assured. “Maybe I can bring some pictures or something? I also think some lights would be fun.” He suggested, not wanting to think she had to agree. “Those string lights, I mean.”

She chuckled softly. “We can order them tonight? Look around online.” She offered. “Find something perfect? Oh, and I hope to get some pictures printed out. We can add those?”

He nodded. “Perfect.” He smiled down at her. “Maybe we can take one together?” He asked a bit shyly. “I noticed we don’t have any…” He added, wondering if what he asked was weird. “I mean, n-not that I’ve looked?” He finished lamely.

Wanda giggled. “Yeah, we can take some.” She nudged him. She could feel the relief wash over him. “Hey, don’t be nervous to ask me anything.” She smiled. “We’ve passed that stage.” She tugged him towards the hall. “I want some carrots.” She told him randomly.

He laughed, some of his nerves going away instantly. “We’ll get you some, then.” As they neared the others, he reluctantly let go of her hand. He didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable around anyone. He’d try to hold her hand again later in their room.

Chapter 43: Clingy

Chapter Text

Bucky handed some popcorn to Wanda later in the evening after dinner. Owen wanted to watch a quick movie before bed. “Are you looking up lights?” He asked. “I could install em for you?” He smiled. “So you don’t have to.”

She smiled, but didn’t look up. “Thank you, but Steve already offered.”

“Oh.” Bucky shrugged and sat down. “Well, I’m handy so if you need anything.” He offered.

“Thank you. I’ll let you know.” She assured, setting her phone down as the lights dimmed once everyone was there. Part of her was wishing she could cuddle up to Steve, but kept her distance. She glanced at him every so often and smiled to herself when she would catch him already looking her way. She blushed lightly.

Neither could wait until the movie was over. Neither could you, so you could get the kids to bed and steal Sam away. Luckily both Owen and David fell asleep halfway in the movie. David across Steve’s lap, and Owen on the floor.

Steve stood carefully. “I’ll go tuck him in.” He smiled.

“We got Owen.” Sam did the same. “Night, guys.”

“Night.” Bucky stood and cleaned up a bit, before retreating to bed also. It had been a good evening and he hoped it would be a good night for sleep, too.

Wanda did the same but went to the calm room, hoping Steve joined her soon. She enjoyed his company. A little too much if she was being honest with herself. Chewing on her lip, she sat on the side of the bed. Was she getting a bit clingy towards the blonde? Would he get weirded out and pull away? Maybe he wanted alone time…

She quickly stood and decided the room should be his tonight. She rushed out to open the door, running into him. He smiled, but it faltered by the look on her face. “What’s wrong?”

She shrugged a little. “Nothing.” She quickly said.

He could tell something was off, but he thought they were fine? They seemed okay earlier. “Did you want the room to yourself tonight? I can go back to my room?” He offered, taking a step back.

“No.” She quickly stepped forward. “I was thinking maybe you could have the room to yourself? You’re meant to relax here anyway. You don’t need me hovering.” She shrugged.

Steve was confused. “Hovering?” He asked. “I thought we were gonna watch a movie and have sorbet?” He searched her face. “Did I do something?” He asked, worried. “Say something?”

“No, no.” She took his hands. “Am I being too clingy?” She asked, wanting to be honest. “An annoying friend?” She asked, making his eyebrows go up.

“Not at all!” He pulled her close. “You’ve been an amazing friend. I really like spending time with you.” He assured her. “I’ve been looking forward to time in our room all day.”

She let her shoulders relax. “All day?” She asked with a smile. That made her feel really good.

He nodded. “All day.” He rubbed her hands with his thumbs. He gently moved her away from the door and closed it. “So, can we continue with our plans?” He hoped that this was just a fluke and things would go back to normal.

She answered by going to get the tub of sherbet from the little fridge she kept. She gathered two spoons and went to sit on the bed, looking at him excitedly. “Any movie in mind?”

He quickly went to join her, kicking off his shoes. “Anything you want. I’m not well versed in all the options yet.” He chuckled. “I’ve been letting Owen and everyone else pick.”

She smiled, going through the options on the TV while he opened the tub. She hoped to find something cute and fun. Once she found something she hoped they’d like, she felt better about scooting closer to him. She had FRIDAY dim the lights.

Steve held the tub as they both ate from it. Once they were done, he put it away and got comfortable next to her again, putting his arm around her. He used his free hand to take hers, intertwining their fingers. He glanced at her and smiled when she smiled at him. “I’m glad we’re okay.” He said softly. “I was worried that you were having second thoughts.”

She shook her head. “I just didn’t want to overwhelm you.” She leaned her head on his shoulders. “I was worried I was being clingy.”

“Clingy?” He chuckled. “If you’re being clingy, I’m being clingy. Either way I don’t have any issue with it.” How could he?

She smiled. “I like you being clingy then.” Her voice was soft, but confident. She shyly kissed his cheek. Hopefully she wasn’t misreading things. She’d be so embarrassed and a bit ashamed if she did. However, she was happy when he didn’t pull away.

He warmed and squeezed her hand. He debated kissing her. He glanced at her with a hopeful look. He licked his lips, glancing at hers.

She smiled encouragingly but made the first move, closing the gap. He kissed her softly, smiling against her lips. He cupped her cheek, giving her a few slow pecks. He wouldn’t rush things.

She beamed when they pulled away. “Wow.” She breathed.

He smiled shyly. “I agree.” He brushed a thumb over her cheek gently. “I like you.” He stated. “A lot.”

“I like you, too. A lot.” She pecked his lips again. “So much that it's a bit scary.” She put her hand on top of his. “You’ve been so sweet to me.” She smiled. “I’ve really liked spending so much time with you.”

He beamed. “Our time has been really nice.” He agreed. “I’d like to keep spending time together.”

“Me, too. Dates?” She asked, hopeful. “Maybe a dinner or something?” She knew he might be nervous to be open about this to everyone else. Who knew how they’d take this.

“Yeah.” He smiled. “Dates.” He agreed. “I’d really like that.” He kissed her again. This time there was less hesitation on both their parts. They grew more comfortable. He moved his hand to her hair, smiling.

She felt down his arm, squeezing it. This wasn’t how she saw that night going, but she wasn’t complaining.

He pulled back and smiled at her. “I’ll go with your pace, okay?” He ran a hand through her hair. “I want you comfortable.”

“You’re so nice.” She smiled fondly. “Such a gentleman.” She rubbed his jaw. “I like how you’ve shown me your soft side.” It was nice to see.

“You’ve let me. You’re super easy to talk to.” He settled on his side. She was easy to open up to. “I just don’t want anyone to give you grief for spending time with me.” He said softly. “No one will approve.” He glanced down. “They’ll probably be upset.”

“We’ll deal with that when it happens. We can enjoy each other for now.” She said optimistically. “Like we have been.” She trailed her fingers up and down his arm. “The only thing that has to change is what we do together.” She smiled. She chuckled as his cheeks turned pink. “You’re adorable.” She told him honestly.

He ducked his head. “You took away some of my worries.” He told her. “Thank you.” He kissed her cheek. “So, how about we look up those lights?”

She pretended to think. “After we get that picture together.”

He nodded instantly. “Okay.” He rolled on his back and moved to lay next to her. He moved them so that she was lying on his arm, and he held up his phone. Both smiled and he took a few.

She kissed his cheek gently for one, and his lips for another. “Send them to me?” She asked. “I want copies.”

He nodded and did that right away.

She nuzzled into his neck as she watched. “We’re cute.” She chuckled as he shuddered. She enjoyed the soft teasing she did. It was nice to have this with him. She didn’t mind that it was between just them at the moment. This was just for them for now. “Can I tell you something?”

“Anything.” He said instantly.

It was her turn to blush lightly. “I thought you were cute and had a nice butt when I first met you.”

He grinned automatically. “Yeah?” He rubbed her side. “Do I still fit that?” He rolled them over so he was more so on top. “Or has that changed?”

She smiled. “Mm...you’re still very cute and I may have to double check about the second part.” She said playfully.

“Well, feel free anytime you want.” He grinned, kissing her jaw and mumbling. “I think you’re pretty cute yourself.” He told her. “Especially when you smile.”

She blushed, thinking that was sweet. “Well, you make me smile a lot.”

“Good. That’s all I want to do. Make you smile whenever I can.” He leaned on his forearms. “Knowing I make you smile means a lot to me.”

She beamed. “That’s good to know. I want to make you smile, too.” She poked his bicep. “It’s a nice smile.” She tilted her head. “But I think your kind heart is my favorite.” She cupped his cheek.

That touched Steve a bit and he kissed her softly.

Chapter 44: All Day

Chapter Text

As soon the boys were tucked in, you tucked Sam to your room. Sam grinned, loving your enthusiasm. “Something my wife would like?”

“A few things, yes.” You smirked. You pulled him close. “I’ve been thinking about it.” You kissed his cheek. “All day.” You nipped his jaw.

He laughed as you pushed him onto the bed. “Well, please continue.” He licked his lips. “Because I will not be complaining.” He sat up a bit to get his shirt off quicker. “So, what’s up first?” He wiggled his eyebrows.

You kissed his jaw, then his neck. “I don’t know, but I need it quick.” You flirted. “Let’s just get out of our clothes and see what happens.”

“Yes, ma’am!” He grinned. He gripped the hem of your shirt and tugged it. He appreciated how urgent you were and loved meeting your needs. He pulled you into a kiss once your shirt was on the floor. “So hot.” He complimented, nipping your lip. “Gorgeous.”

You grinned and tugged down his sweats. “Sweet talker.”

“Only for you.” He scooted back and tugged you closer. “Now let’s see what else we can make sweet in here.”

You laughed, always loving this time with him.

Sam got up with the kids the next morning, letting you sleep in. He had a proud grin on his face as he worked on breakfast.

Owen watched Nat closely since he was ‘in charge’ until another family member came down. He took that very seriously. Even if all his sister was doing was babbling and chewing on her hand. He wanted to make sure he did a good job. Not that she could go anywhere- she was in her playpen.

Neither Sam nor Owen noticed David wander down the hall. FRIDAY instantly switched to watching, trying to lead him towards the nearest adult, which was Bucky. He rushed out to scoop the toddler up. “What’re you doing, pal? Exploring?” He tickled him. “How’d you get way out here?”

David giggled and pointed to the fun shapes on the wall that FRIDAY put up. He smiled at Bucky. “Hi.” He hugged his neck. He hoped that Bucky wanted to play.

Bucky kissed his head. “Let’s go get some toys, yeah? Where’s your mom?” He wondered. “Or your dad?”

David pointed down the way he came. “Daddy.” He laughed.

“Alright.” He smiled and went down to the kitchen. “Morning, Sam. Found this guy in the hall.”

Sam blinked. “All the way up there? Little man!” He pouted at David. “You were supposed to play with your brother while watching Nat.”

“Sorry!” Owen said quickly. “I was watching Nattie.” He told him. “But all she’s doing is chewing on her hand…” He made a face.

Bucky bit back a laugh. “She doesn’t do much yet, buddy.” He sat by the playpen. “Let’s play.” He smiled at David. “Wanna play with your cars or blocks?”

David rushed to get his cars. He gave Bucky a silver one and pointed to his silver arm, smiling.

“Thanks.” Bucky grinned. “I like matching.” He loved that the kids weren’t bothered by his arm. He really hoped Nat wasn’t either.

“Morning.” Wanda came in, waving. Her hair was up in a messy bun and she was still in her pajamas. She waved at Sam before sitting by the playpen as well.

“Hey.” Bucky grinned. “Sleep well?” He asked, chuckling as she smiled and nodded. “Good.”

David went to get Wanda a car before sitting back in his spot. He was happy to get another person to play with. They all played together until breakfast was ready.

Steve timed it and showed up as Sam plated up the food. “Morning.” He greeted everyone, noting that you were the only one missing. “Y/N okay?” He couldn’t help but ask.

“Sleeping in a bit.” Sam told him. “I figure I’ll bring her a plate soon.”

“Cool.” He said softly, greeting all the kids with a ruffle to their hair. “Training after, Buck?”

“Sure, punk.” Bucky agreed. “Sam, you in?”

“Yeah, why not? Gotta keep up.” He chuckled. “Keep the wife happy, too.”

“That’s the important part.” Bucky laughed. He shook his head as Sam wiggled his eyebrows dramatically.

Steve blushed lightly as he understood the unspoken words. He looked down at his plate. No matter what his situation was, it’s not like he enjoyed hearing things about you and Sam together. It was awkward.

Wanda gently nudged his shin with her foot in support. When he looked over, she gave him a small smile. He returned it quickly, making her stomach flutter. They both focused on breakfast after that. Neither wanted to give anything away.

“I’ll watch the kids while you guys train.” Wanda assured. “Maybe break out the crayons for the boys.”

“Thanks.” Sam smiled. “They’ll love that. I’ll keep Y/N’s plate covered until she comes down.” He decided. “I’m hoping that some extra sleep helps. Since she’s pumping for Nat at least she’s not constantly up now like with the boys.”

Bucky nodded. “Seems to help a bit more.” He agreed. “And she will have practice pumping for the next kid.”

“Good point.” Sam agreed, finishing up his juice. “I got the blueprints for our house done, just been putting off getting it built. Might get that started soon so we can move in before the next baby.”

It seemed that Sam and Bucky were the only ones talking. Steve hadn’t heard much about the house, only bits and pieces in passing. He was getting a bit tired of finding out that way. He stood and gathered his unfinished plate to put away for leftovers later. Letting out a small sigh, he wondered if things would ever improve. “Actually, I might go lay in the dark for a while. I have a small headache. Have fun training.” He patted Bucky’s shoulder as he passed.

Bucky looked at him. “Maybe you should see Bruce. You never get headaches.” He sounded worried.

“Yeah, I promise I will if it doesn’t go away.” He nodded. “I’ll have FRIDAY let you know.” He glanced at Wanda before leaving. He felt very out of the loop.

Wanda felt bad once more and just focused on helping with the kids. She would check on him in a bit.

You came down just after Sam and Bucky left to train. “Morning.” You kissed each of the kids, waving at Wanda before you got your plate. “How’s your morning been?” You smiled.

“Morning. It’s been okay.” She said softly, moving to hold David. She felt a bit off with you now, worried you’d find out. And that you’d be upset with her, or hate her. She also noticed she felt a bit protective of Steve. Despite the fact he probably didn’t need protecting.

You sat across from her to eat. “I like your pajamas.” You smiled. “They look really comfortable.”

She smiled. “Thanks. I was feeling a bit lazy this morning.” She chuckled.

“Do you have any plans today?” You asked. “Maybe we can do our nails or something?”

“Sure.” She automatically agreed. “Maybe go out to a nail salon while the guys watch the kids?”

You nodded. “I’m up for that. It’s been a while since I got them done.” You grinned. “Do lunch, too?”

“Okay.” She agreed easily. Honestly, she looked forward to it. She liked getting ready to go out. And hopefully spending more time with you meant you’d be less upset when her and Steve came forward about their relationship.

Chapter 45: More Kisses

Chapter Text

Wanda finished braiding her hair before going down to Steve’s area to check on him and let him know she was going out with you. She hoped that he was doing better.

Steve looked up from where he was laying down and smiled when he saw her. “Hi.” He shifted to face her more.

She walked over and sat. “Hi.” She ran a hand through his hair. “Are you okay?” She asked softly. “Felt like something was off earlier.”

He shrugged, leaning into her. “I just got a bit down and upset because I always find out things by overhearing conversations. That’s how I found out about the house they’re going to build. Then I got sad because I realized the kids won’t be around anymore.” He looked at a spot on the wall.

“I don’t think they ever actually announced it.” She shrugged. “And they’ll be on the grounds. I think it’s just wanting the kids to feel semi-normal, because what else about our lives is normal?” That’s what she figured. “I have a feeling they’ll build it...then still end up in here anyways most of the time.”

He shrugged, hoping he felt better about it later. “I guess.”

She smiled sadly. “It’ll be okay. I’m going out to lunch and get my nails done with Y/N.” She rubbed his back. “Maybe go for a run?” That seemed to help him before.

“Maybe. I’ll be here.” He offered her a weak smile. “Have fun.”

Wanda leaned down and kissed him softly.

He kissed back and gently held onto her arm. He relaxed a bit with that. “Thanks.” He said softly as they pulled away. “I really do hope you have a good time.”

She smiled and rubbed his cheek with her thumb. “Thanks. What color should I do my nails?” She wanted to get his input.

He thought about it. “Maybe a lavender color?” He thought that would look nice.

She smiled. “Okay.” She looked at the time. “I have a few more minutes. Will more kisses help?” She offered, running her hand through his hair.

“More kisses will always help.” He smiled. “I can’t see me ever turning those down.”

“Good. I’ll know something is wrong if you do.” She said playfully before connecting their lips once more. It was nice to have feelings for someone again, and even better that they felt the same way.

Steve cupped her face and deepened it just slightly, hoping to show how much he appreciated her stopping by. When they finally pulled away, her cheeks were a light pink. He smiled shyly. “Text me when you get back if you’d like.” He gave her one more peck.

“Okay.” She smiled. “I will.” She stood, still blushing as she left his area. She took a breath and willed her face to just chill. She focused on spending some time with you instead. She met you out front, linking her arm with yours.

It was a nice day out for the both of you. After getting a manicure and pedicure, you got a nice lunch, and stopped at Starbucks before heading home. “Thanks for today.” You smiled at her. “I really needed it and enjoyed it.” You said as you neared home. “We should try to do this more.”

“Weekly would be nice.” Wanda chuckled. “But I know that might be difficult, so maybe aim for monthly and go more if we can?”

You nodded. “Please, and thank you.” You hugged her once you were in the lobby. “I’m gonna go find the kids. And Sam.” You chuckled.

She smiled. “I’m sure I’ll see you before dinner.” She squeezed you before you both went your separate ways. She pulled out her phone to text Steve that she was back. She looked around before sending a selfie, showing off her nails. She really liked the color that she went with, hoping he did, too. Her nails were a lavender, but then she had a sparkly silver accent nail, too.

Oh, hello 😍 Steve sent back after a few moments. They look great! He added, making her smile.

Bucky walked by, smirking. “Oh, someone’s looking at someone…” He teased. “Whoever he is better be nice.” He said without stopping, leaving her alone.

Wanda automatically blushed, telling herself she needed to be more careful. Are you busy? She texted him.

Not too busy for a pretty girl. He flirted. I’m in my room.

Slipping her phone away, she made her way to him. She raised her eyebrows when he was blushing.

“I’m not too great at flirting.” He admitted. “It’s not my strong point.”

“I don’t know, I think you’re pretty good at it.” She smiled, stepping out of her shoes. “Can I join you?” She asked, hopeful.

“Of course.” He smiled. He shifted so that she could get comfortable with him.

She cuddled to his side, smiling as he looked at her nails close up. “You have excellent taste when it comes to nail colors.” She told him. “We hope to go more often, too.”

He chuckled. “That’s nice. It seems like a relaxing experience.” He kissed her knuckles. “And you deserve to be pampered.” He looked at her.

She smiled at that. “They do them for men.” She noted. “Oh, I got a pedicure, too! They match my fingers.”

He grinned. “Can I see?” He loved how happy she looked.

She nodded and slipped off her socks, moving to sit across from him so she could put her feet in his lap. “See?” She wiggled her toes.

He chuckled and looked at them, rubbing one of her feet as he appreciated the color. “Very pretty.” He used her legs to tug her closer to him.

She made a noise as she was suddenly in his lap. She let out a breathy laugh. “Hi.” She wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Hi.” He rubbed her hips, kissing her jaw gently. “So. I vote we pick out a movie and watch that until dinner.” He smiled, not wanting her to think he only wanted to make out.

She smiled and nodded quickly. “Your turn to pick? I also made a playlist for us on my phone earlier…” She admitted shyly.

He grinned excitedly. “Show me?” He was eager to see what she put on it.

She nodded and quickly tapped things on her phone to connect it to his TV. Wanda really hoped that he liked it.

He grabbed the remote to scroll through. He was curious. He smiled as he went through. “Should we start at the top?” He asked her.

She smiled. “Yeah. I made sure they were all light hearted.” Leaning into him, she was nervous.

He pressed play and rubbed her leg. As the music started, he kissed the top of her head. He closed his eyes so he could focus on it. She put the work into it, so he wanted to appreciate that. It was really sweet.

Wanda and Steve had been together a few months at this point, and it felt like no one was realizing it. Wanda was relaxing in the living room watching some tv movie and browing Amazon when Bucky walked in. He backed up and stared. “Are you buying bulk condoms on Amazon?”

She turned and widened her eyes up at him. “Bucky!” She put her phone to her chest. “Did you decide to turn into a damn ninja?!”

He raised an eyebrow, smirking. “So, if you’re that far with your mystery man that makes you smile at your phone...when are we meeting him?”

“Never.” She said quickly. “I don’t know.” She caught her breath. “I don’t know if we’re there yet.”

Steve walked in with some popcorn. “Where yet?” He asked.

“Wanda here is buying bulk condoms but won’t let us meet whoever he is.” Bucky told him.

Steve couldn’t help his blush. “You can bulk buy?” He managed. “I didn’t know that.”

Wanda made a noise. “Can we not be talking about this?” She half glared at Bucky. “Please?” This was not a discussion that she wanted to have with him.

Bucky grinned. “We’re only looking out for you.” He clapped Steve’s back. “Right? We don’t want her dating some square.” He laughed. “And we have to make sure he treats her right.”

Steve nodded slowly. “Yeah, you deserve the best.” He said honestly. “But Wanda has good judgment. I’m sure he’s a good guy.” He told Bucky.

“Good guy or not, I wanna meet him. Does he not know what you do?” He asked her. That was the only thing that made sense. “Or is it something else?”

She glanced away. “Bucky…” She sighed. “It’s more complicated than that.”

“Explain it to me.” He shrugged. “I’m sure I can follow along.” He was curious.

“Maybe now isn’t the time, Buck.” Steve tried. “She doesn’t want us to know, she doesn’t want us to know.” He said, sitting down.

Bucky paused for a second, looking between the two of them. He rubbed at his jaw for a moment. “No...can’t be, right?” He muttered more to himself than anything. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” He stared at them as they both blushed. “I can’t believe either of you!” He snapped. “He’s who you’ve been seeing?!”

Wanda nodded after a moment, knowing he figured it out. “Yeah.”

“You can’t tell anyone, Buck.” Steve quickly said. “Please. We aren’t ready.”

“Not ready…” Bucky ran a hand through his hair. “Oh my god.” He began pacing. “How long has this been going on? Who made the move on who?”

“I kinda made the first move.” Wanda felt that she was being scolded.

“A few months.” Steve answered his other question. “It kinda happened.” He pointed out. “We were just spending time together as friends and...yeah.”

Bucky rubbed his face. “So you both decided that was a good idea because...?” He couldn’t imagine how you were going to feel when you found out. When they both stayed quiet he shook his head. “I’m mad at both of you.” He pointed at Wanda, then Steve. “You’re risking everything.” He sat down, tugging at his hair. “ Everything .” He emphasized.

“We know.” Wanda said softly. “But I really care about him.”

Bucky shook his head. “No, you’ve leaned on each other. That’s it. You know this can only end badly right?” He looked at her. “You remember what she was like after everything!” He defended you. “You’re a close friend!” He sighed, looking at Steve. “And you . What’s wrong with you?” He asked Steve. “Out of all the people you could have ‘moved on’ with?”

Steve looked down, feeling the disappointment washing off his friend. “We’ve taken it slow…”

“Yeah, real f*cking slow.” Bucky stood again. “I’m not saying anything but only because she needs to find out from the both of you.” There was no way he was gonna hurt you like that. “I’m really tired of being let down.” He looked at both of them sadly.

Wanda looked at Steve, worried this would push them apart. She definitely didn’t want that.

“We know the risks.” Steve told him softly.

“Hope it’s worth it.” Bucky backed up and left, head down. He wasn’t looking forward to keeping this from you. He hated that he had to tell you that Steve had left for another woman. Now he was seeing someone you probably considered family. Someone who had helped you get over Steve, and helped you with the kids. This was definitely going to end badly. “sh*t.” He groaned. If he pushed you from his mind for a moment, he also hurt a little at the fact that he really couldn’t forgive either of them for this. This felt like they betrayed everyone. Once he was alone in his room, he screamed in frustration.

I'm Sorry - reigningqueenofwords - Marvel [Archive of Our Own] (2024)
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Author: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

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Name: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Birthday: 1993-01-10

Address: Suite 391 6963 Ullrich Shore, Bellefort, WI 01350-7893

Phone: +6806610432415

Job: Dynamic Manufacturing Assistant

Hobby: amateur radio, Taekwondo, Wood carving, Parkour, Skateboarding, Running, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Pres. Lawanda Wiegand, I am a inquisitive, helpful, glamorous, cheerful, open, clever, innocent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.