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Lighting a Candle

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“Home!” Steve called loudly, pulling the door closed behind him and dropping his keys in the bowl by the door.

“In here!” Bucky called back, accompanied by the sound of metal clanging. Steve walked into the kitchen, plastering himself to Bucky’s back and wrapping his arms around him.

“Hello to you, too,” Bucky chuckled, pouring cocoa powder into a cup measure.

“Whatcha making?” Steve asked, resting his chin on Bucky’s shoulder.

“Chocolate ganache cake,” Bucky muttered, mixing some dry ingredients together.

“It’s 9 in the morning,” Steve pointed out, raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah, so?” Bucky asked, continuing on without waiting for a response. “I was gonna decorate it with—I can’t remember what’s it called, but I got it on Amazon. It makes flowers and stuff out of the frosting.”

“Sounds good, Buck,” Steve chuckled, “Need any help?”

“Not from you, Rogers,” Bucky elbowed him, wriggling out from his grip to grab the flour canister. “You remember the Christmas cookie disaster? And the time with the spice cake? Oh, and—"

“All right, all right, I get the picture,” Steve interrupted laughingly, jumping up onto the counter and sticking his tongue out at Bucky.

Good,” Bucky stressed, flicking Steve on the arm and starting to add ingredients to their stand mixer.

“So…” Steve started, kicking his legs a bit where they were dangling off the counter.


“So, apparently, Tony thinks we make a cute couple,” Steve finished.

“Good for Tony?” Bucky asked, clearly confused.

“Or he thinks we’d be good together. Something like that,” Steve continued. “According to Sam, anyway.”
“We’re already good together,” Bucky protested, clearly offended. “Is he really one to be giving relationship advice?”

“No, like Tony told Sam we’d be good together because he wants to set us up,” Steve leaned forward, grinning.

“You’re saying he…doesn’t know we’re married? How could he not know?” Bucky looked even more offended. “I mean, we haven’t exactly been subtle. In this century, anyway,” he added as an afterthought.

“That was my first thought,” Steve agreed.

“So Sam told you about this?” Bucky asked, briefly glancing up at Steve while he poured heavy cream into a measuring cup.

“Yeah, during our run,” Steve answered. “Although…the way he told me…” he trailed off.


“It was like…like he knew about us,” Steve continued.

“He does know about us. Everyone does. Except Stark, apparently,” Bucky amended, snorting.

“Yeah, but it was like…like he’d figured it out. Like he’d found out a secret and been keeping it this whole time,” Steve explained further.

“You’re saying it’s not just Stark?” Bucky raised an eyebrow. “We share an apartment. A one-bedroom apartment. We go on our vacations together. We wear each other’s clothes frequently. Hell, when we stay at Avengers Tower, we share a suite, so Tony really has no business not knowing,” Bucky finished, looked annoyed once more.

“At least Sam figured it out,” Steve pointed out, clearly amused by the entire situation.

“He thinks we’re trying to keep it a secret!” Bucky was gesturing dramatically by this time. “Seriously, what do we have to do at this point?”

“I have an idea,” Steve offered, trying to steal some cake batter and having his hand slapped away.


“We go with it.”

“We…go with it?”

“Yeah,” Steve leaned forward, grinning. “We let them try and set us up—and we don’t act any different than we have been. See how long it takes ‘em? Or we wait ‘til they think they’ve made us realize our feelings and then drop the bomb.”

“That’s diabolical.” Bucky shook his head. “I love it.”

“So you’re in?” Steve asked, successfully sticking his finger in the cake batter this time.

“I’m in.”