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Small Gods: Spring Thaw – 13

Spring Thaw:  A Bucky Barnes Fanfic

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Character Pairing:  Bucky Barnes x F!Reader

Rating: E

Word Count:  1722

Warnings: nothing really

Synopsis: Bucky Barnes hates winter.  He always looks for the first signs of the ice thawing and new life growing.  When that desire for the end of winter brings to him the god of the spring thaw, he discovers a brand new reason to get through winter.


Chapter 13

Bucky couldn’t remember the last time he had such a long stretch of feeling good and hopeful.  Even back before the war when he was that carefree guy he didn’t even recognize anymore, he had periods where he worried about his parents making ends meet or Steve’s health would be so bad that he’d worry he wouldn’t survive the week.  Yes, back then Bucky hadn’t experienced the trauma he’d been through now, and he’d played up the happy-go-lucky ladies-man image, but there were times where things were dark and he was scared or depressed or just didn’t feel like participating in the world.

This year it almost felt like he was experiencing one long high.  Even going on a mission couldn’t dampen his spirits completely.  In fact, it was a mission that ended up getting him that little bit closer to the life he had started daydreaming about.

They’d discovered a base in the US.  It wasn’t large, but it was being used to brainwash and train an American teenager named RJ to act as a sleeper agent and assassin.  When it was discovered that the boy’s entire family had been murdered, Bucky had asked if he could take him in.

It took a little while for it to be approved but in the end, it was and RJ had moved in with him.

It wasn’t easy.  RJ was hurt and angry and lost, but Bucky understood those feelings.  He knew what it was like to be all those things because of HYDRA and when RJ lashed out or fell into a deep dark depression, Bucky patiently helped him through it.

They were checked on regularly.  Not just by CPS, but by SWORD and the department of defense.  Both he and RJ were in mandatory therapy, and RJ had to attend a special school that dealt with at-risk youth, though even they weren’t quite prepared for how at-risk RJ was.

Bucky had wanted to do this, but even he hadn’t expected how much he enjoyed being a foster parent.  He liked hanging out with the boy and taking him out to see a movie or to buy some new clothes or a video game.  He liked getting up in the morning and making breakfast while RJ ran about trying to get ready for school in time.  He liked making dinners and helping him with his homework.  Even with their strange shared dark background, it felt good to be this domestic.

After four months of having RJ living with him, SWORD brought him Kobik.

Kobik had been held by SWORD for over a year.  She wasn’t technically human but took the form of a four-year-old girl.  She was more powerful than the infinity stones combined and yet she was the smallest and cutest ball of sunshine that Bucky had ever met.  She lit up the room when she came into it, and even RJ had trouble remaining cold and aloof with her.  With Kobik he had the added duties of reading bedtime stories and ensuring bath time happened.  She was too young for school, so he took her to the playground and the zoo and playgroups with moms of little kids looking to keep them entertained and socialized.  And he loved every minute he spent with her.

And just like that, Bucky’s family felt complete.

Or at least it would be when you returned.

In the meantime, Bucky kept busy with parenting, therapy, missions, and planning the wedding.

As the temperature started to cool down Bucky took the kids down to Lousianna to see Sam and sort out their uniforms for the wedding.  RJ was his typical moody self, but Sam put him to work on the boat and it only took a couple of days for him to start accidentally smiling every once in a while.  Kobik loved it.  She loved the sun and the water and picking through buckets of fish so they were sorted by type and size.

“I can’t believe you’re making me wear my uniform,” Sam complained, from behind the wardrobe door.  “I haven’t put one on since I left.  You sure you don’t want me to wear the Cap suit?  You did get it for me after all.”

“I don’t trust you not to pop those wings out and knock me over the edge of the falls,” Bucky teased.  He looked down at the uniform he was putting on.  It wasn’t at all how he remembered the formal army uniform looking and he wasn’t sure if he’d made a mistake with which suit he’d take or if his memory was playing tricks on him.  “Are you sure I don’t have your suit?”

“Why?  Wrong size?”  Sam asked, stepping out from behind the door as he buttoned up his pale blue shirt.

Bucky was in the process of putting on a white shirt while staring at the blue jacket he had lying on the bed.  “It’s blue.”

Sam laughed.  “It’s been a long time since you wore yours, huh?  You army boys decided us flyboys really knew how to dress.  The formals are blue now.”

Bucky furrowed his brow and picked up his medals.  He’d gotten a whole bunch while he was officially dead and this was the first time he’d ever really looked at them.  It felt weird.  Like they didn’t belong to him.

“You sure this is still you, man?”  Sam asked.  “I mean – I may be saying this for totally selfish reasons here – because it sure as hell isn’t me.”

Bucky shook his head a little.  “I don’t know.  I always thought if I got married I’d wear my uniform.”

“Is this your uniform?”  Sam asked.

Bucky let out a breath and shook his head.  “Maybe not.”

Sam clapped him on the shoulder.  “Let’s send these back and we can go out today and get ourselves a couple of nice suits.  Black, or a really dark blue.  You could even pull off a tux.  I already know I can.”

“Yeah, okay,” Bucky said with a nod as he ran his fingers over the medals.

“You can keep them with you,” Sam said.  “Nothing says you can’t wear them, or your tags.  You know, it is a part of who you are now, just not the main part.”

“Bucky!  Bucky!  Buck-a-roo!”

Kobik’s voice, as sweet and small as it appeared, still managed to carry all the way upstairs.

“I’m up here, Kobik!” Bucky called back, as he started packing the uniform back up.

Sam laughed as he took the shirt back off again.  “Parenthood agrees with you, man.”

“Yeah,” Bucky said.  “I like it.”

Kobik flew into the room, literally taking off from the ground for the last yard and launching herself into his arms.  “Bucky!  I found a thing.”

“What did you find, little one?”  He asked putting her on the bed.

She held out her hand to reveal a rather crushed four-leaf clover in it.  “Cass said it’s good luck.”

“It sure is,” Bucky said, ruffling her hair.  “You’re a really lucky kid.”

“I can give you luck,” she said, holding out her hands.  Four-leaf clovers began multiplying in her hands and spilling out onto the bed.

“Kobik!”  Bucky said, trying not to laugh.  Sam on the other hand burst into laughter as he watched the bedspread getting covered in clover.  “That’s too much luck!”

“Oh,” she said, looking around her.

Bucky picked her up and hugged her tight.  “Besides, I’ve got all the luck I need right here.”

She giggled and kicked her legs and when he put her back on the bed, the clover had disappeared again.  She picked up the box with Bucky’s medals in them and ran her little fingers over each one.  “You win a prize, Buck-a-roo?”

“Not a prize,” Bucky said.  “And I don’t know if winning is the right word.”

“Bucky was given those for being brave,” Sam explained.

“Oh,” Kobik said. “I’m brave.  Can I wear ‘em?”

“Sure, honey,” Bucky said, taking them and pinning them to her dress.  “Don’t lose them.”

“I won’t,” she assured him.

“Can you go find RJ?”  Bucky asked.  “Sam and I need to go buy suits.  Might as well get him one too.  And we can get you a nice dress.”

“Can it be blue?”  Kobik said, bouncing on the bed.

“It has to be blue,” Bucky said.  “That’s the wedding colors.”

She squealed with delight and ran off again.  Her feet thundering down the hardwood stairs as she yelled for RJ.

“Yeah, you’re definitely not the army guy anymore,” Sam said, pulling on a t-shirt.  “You are the ‘dad’ guy.  Bet you didn’t see that coming.”

Bucky shook his head.  “Nope,” he said.  “And I don’t know… it’s weird but falling in love with someone who is gone for so long – it gave me room to figure out who I was when I was alone and not Captain America’s sidekick or HYDRA’s weapon.  Or all the other things I’ve been in relation to someone else or for someone else.  I did this for myself and I feel good about it.  I love her and I want to be her husband.  I wish she could be here longer, but in the end, I think it’s good I didn’t just become her husband before I became myself.”

Sam smiled and shook his head with disbelief.  “Well look at you.  All healing and shit.  I’m proud of you.  Steve would be too.”

Bucky pulled on his leather jacket and zipped the suit back into its cover.  He didn’t respond.  He didn’t even know how to, but he knew it didn’t matter.  Sam knew how he felt.  It didn’t need to be said.

“Let’s go then,” Sam said.  “Gotta make sure we’re looking good for that fiancée of yours.  Can’t wait to meet her by the way.  Why hasn’t that happened yet.”

Bucky laughed and nudged Sam with his elbow as they headed out of the room together.  He was excited to find his suit and happy to be trying to find the perfect one for you.  He couldn’t wait for the wedding and introduced you to the rest of his family and each drop in the temperature, even in the relative warmth of Lousianna brought you a little closer to him.  “Maybe if you ever came north, you would have by now.”


// NEXT

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