“Cassie made a paper chain to count down until the big day.”
“I know,” you chuckled. “She showed me yesterday. I can’t believe it’s only a month away.”
“She is so excited to have a playmate. You know she absolutely adores you. You’re going to be such a great mom, y/n.”
Scott pulled you into a quick hug and kissed the top of your head. Before you could respond, you heard glass smash in the kitchen and rushed to see what had happened.
You found the Winter Soldier frantically trying to sweep up the remnants from his glass.
“Bucky! You’re home!” you squealed excitedly and then noticed the trail of red he was leaving. “And you’re bleeding. Stop touching the glass and come here,” you demanded tugging him up by his metal arm. “Scott, do you mind cleaning this up?”
“Not at all,” he assured you, tossing you a clean dish towel before grabbing a broom from beside the fridge.
Bucky couldn’t stop his eyes from darting up and down your body while you wrapped the terry cloth around his hand.
“Come on. I’ve got sutures in my room.”
When he didn’t move, you put your hands on your shoulders and steered him down the hall to your room. Pushing him straight into the bathroom, you pulled his hand under the cold water to wash out any glass.
“So when did you get home?”
“This morning,” he mumbled, still watching you like he expected something to be out of place and it wasn’t.
“What happened with the glass?” you asked as you dried the cut and started placing butterfly stitches across his palm.
“Wasn’t paying attention. Squeezed too hard.”
When you had placed the last of the stitches you held his hand in both of yours and gently kissed his palm.
“Thanks, I should… um go.”
He nearly made it to the door before you grabbed his metal hand. He could have easily pulled away but instead he let you pull him back towards you. You placed yourself between him and the door.
“I don’t even get a hug hello, Sarge? It’s been ten months of radio silence,” you remarked, sadly. You had missed him terribly. You two hadn’t officially gotten together before he left on his latest assignment, but you had shared several dates. Maybe they hadn’t gone as well as you thought they had.
He was still just staring at you. “Okay, why are you looking at me like I grew an extra set of arms since you’ve been gone?”
“Well didn’t you?” he demanded, suddenly irritated.
“Did you get hit in the head during your mission?”
He started to push past you but you shoved him with both hands as hard as you could so he fell back onto the bed. You pressed your advantage and climbed on top of him, straddling his waist and pinning his hands down.
“Get off of me,” he warned in a low growl.
“No, not until you tell me what the hell is wrong. You come home after almost a year, don’t say hello, and just keep staring at me like I’m an alien.”
“I don’t think the father of your child would be too happy if he saw us like this.”
He tried to carefully shove you off, but you locked your legs around his torso and gripped his wrists even tighter.
“The who of my what?” You sputtered.
“Scott. The guy you’re having children with. I heard you two. You’re having a kid in a month. Cassie’s gonna get a playmate,” he mocked.
As you processed what he said, you realized what your conversation with Scott had sounded like to an outsider. You couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity.
“You think this is funny, y/n? How the hell are you not showing that you’re eight months pregnant?” he growled, frustrated.
You leaned forward so you were hovering over him.
“James Buchanan Barnes, you are an idiot.”
“I’m a what?”
“I’m not pregnant, Buck. Scott’s buying Cassie a puppy.”
His brow furrowed in confusion as he tried to make sense of your words.
“But he said you’re gonna be a great mom.”
“Yeah, someday. But not to his kid. He said that because I had the same kind of dog when I was her age so I’ve been teaching her how to take care of one. We really hit it off and he seems to think that means I’ll be a good mom.”
“That’s all you’ve got?” You huffed, sitting up but remaining in his lap.
“I’m so sorry, y/n. I guess I just went a little crazy at the thought of you being with someone else.”
He sat up abruptly and you nearly toppled off of him, but his arms closed around you keeping you in place. He carefully repositioned you so you were straddling his legs instead of his waist so you were more stable.
“Thanks. Bucky, I thought I made it pretty clear that I wanted to be with you when we went out.”
“And then I left for ten months. I thought things had changed.”
You sighed, wanting to be mad at him but you couldn’t be when you saw the insecurity written all over his face.
“Buck, did you really think I would get together with Scott two months after I had been dating you?”
He shrugged refusing to look you in the eye. “We had gone out a few times but that didn’t mean we were… going steady.”
You smiled at the term.
“Bucky, look at me.”
When he refused you tilted his head back with a rough tug at his hair.
“Bucky, listen to me very carefully. My one and only virtue is patience. I waited three years for you to be ready to date – gladly, don’t get me wrong. And I would gladly wait another three years for our next date if that’s what you need. But I don’t know if we’ll work out if you think I’m gonna fuck the next guy I meet when you’re on an extended assignment.”
“That’s not what I thought,” he mumbled defensively.
“So what did you think?” You sighed.
He finally looked at you for the first time.
“I didn’t. That’s the problem. The thought of you as a mom kind of sent my brain into panic mode.”
Your stomach dropped a little at the admission and you scrambled off his lap.
“Why? It’s not like there was any chance you could be the father,” you pointed out in a harsh tone.
He looked up at you in confusion, trying to piece together your sudden change in mood.
“I didn’t know you felt so strongly,” he said sadly. “But it makes sense. Why would you want to have kids with someone like me? I should go.”
You grabbed his arm as he moved to stand tugging him back yet again.
“Okay. Stop. I’m pretty sure we’ve started having two different conversations. Why wouldn’t I want to have kids with ‘someone like you’?”
“Because I’m a monster. Why would you want to?” He asked as if the answer were obvious.
Your heart broke for Bucky. He still hadn’t forgiven himself.
“Bucky, you aren’t a monster. You were forced to do those things. It wasn’t your fault. It was Hydra’s. You are an amazing, kind, wonderful man. That’s not what I meant when I said that.”
“Then what did you mean?”
“I meant that we hadn’t had sex yet so there was no way you could be the father. Not that I didn’t want you to be.”
He opened and closed his mouth several times before he just sighed.
“Why did the thought of me being pregnant make you panic?” You blurted out.
“Panic isn’t the right word… exactly.”
“So what is the right word? Exactly?”
“Heartbroken. I thought I had lost you because I had been too slow. I’ve seen you with Cassie and Clint’s kids and you glow when you’re with kids. Scott’s right, you’re going to be an amazing mother. And I was terrified of having to watch you have a happy family with some other guy when I want to give you those things. Even if I don’t deserve them. I didn’t know if I could stay and not be with you. Because I love you.”
You gasped at his admission and suddenly he found the floor to be profoundly interesting.
“Bucky,” you placed your hand on his cheek. “I love you too.”
“You do?” His eyes flew to yours.
“I do. I have for a long time.”
His smile lit up his whole face.
“How did I get so lucky?”
“I don’t know. But now that we’ve cleared up all of our misunderstandings, do I get a proper hello?”
He grinned and leaned down to kiss you.
“Welcome home, Bucky.”