Posted in fanfiction, steve rogers

The Pain in Serendipity – 20

The Pain in Serendipity – A Captain America Fanfic

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Character Pairing:  Steve Rogers x F!Reader, Bucky Barnes x Steve Rogers (possible polyamory in future).

Rating: E

Word Count:   2020

Warnings: angst, blip stuff

Synopsis:   When Thanos snaps his fingers it takes your daughter and Steve Rogers’ first love with it.  Together you pick up the pieces, falling in love and building a family together.  Finding serendipity in your shared trauma.  When opportunity comes to bring back those who are lost comes with the risk of more loss for you both.  Is it worth taking the risk?


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Chapter 30

It only took a week to reunite all the children who had reappeared thanks to the blip with their parents who had been missing them all these years.  The reunions were the one bright light in the dark mess you were wading through.  Every time one of the parents arrived and saw the children they hadn’t seen for five years, there was such joy and relief.  You had never done this for the thanks but every time they were so thankful and so relieved it gave you that boost to keep going.

You needed that boost.  You felt like you were drowning in a sea of angry and upset parents who just want to know they could have custody of their children. With your focus solely on the children who had been adopted out pre-blip, you were wading through email after email of blipped parents looking for their children, and adoptive parents worried they weren’t going to be able to keep the children they had been raising for the past five years.

Your small team of help now consisted of fewer of the original people who had worked for you.  So many now had their families back and new jobs, they didn’t have the time to invest in the fund.  But you did have Callie, Jacob’s biological mother and your old friend, and Ryan’s parents who had been staying in your house while they waited to see the legal status regarding their old home was. Each member of the fund now spent most of their time on the phone or answering emails trying to get people to agree to meet up and come to custody arrangements together before official word from the government came through. Occasionally it worked. Usually, it was just met with resistance on both sides.

Meanwhile, your personal life felt like it was crumbling.  You barely saw Steve as he worked with his friends both helping to keep peace and returning the stones that had wrought this chaos in the first place.  When you did see him, he was exhausted and Bucky and Sam were always there.  Since there was no longer a compound for them to stay at, Wanda Maximoff had also started staying in the tower too.  You didn’t see her around as often, but she did seem to enjoy spending time with the children, so you would see her at mealtime and occasionally reading them stories or playing games with them.  Bucky was around the most.  He seemed lost and sometimes you’d catch him giving Steve a look that made you feel so guilty that you had dared to fall in love that it was difficult to process the emotions.

Not to mention, each day the government took to make a decision about the legal rights of people post-blip, you became more sure that Isabella’s parents did not want to share any kind of custody with you and Steve.  You tried to talk about it with them, but they’d just say ‘let’s see what the policy is first.’  They also undermined a lot of your parenting.  If Isabella came to you asking for something, it didn’t matter what you answer, they’d tell her the opposite.  If she came and asked you for help on her homework they stepped in to do it instead.

You tried to be patient with them. You understood their point of view.  They had never agreed to any of this. The problem was, she was your daughter too.

Callie came to you on the day of Tony Stark’s funeral as you were getting the kids ready to leave.  You had never known Tony, but you knew Pepper, and this funeral was a way to say goodbye to Natasha too.  You needed that and so did the kids, and thankfully both Callie and the Ricci’s agreed to let the kids attend.

“Hey,” Callie said, pulling you aside for a moment.  “I know this is a weird time to bring this up, but I overheard you practically begging the Ricci’s to let Bella go with you.  I want you to know – whatever the policy is – I’m not going to keep J.J. from you. He’s still figuring out who I am, and it hurts -“ she paused and wiped her eyes as years broke “- I can’t believe I lost five years. But you and me – we were working together to raise those kids before all this shit.  I know we can do it again.”

You wrapped your arms around her and hugged her tightly as you broke down into tears.  “Thank you.”

“Hey,” she said gently. “You’re all I’ve got, and when I needed it most you stepped up and took care of J.J. for me.  I’m thankful for that.”

“I love you, Callie,” you sobbed.

“I love you too.  You better get going.  It’s a long trip upstate,” she said.

Steve had hired a minivan for the trip.  There were a lot of you crammed in it too. It was you, Steve, Jacob, Isabella, Alice, Bucky, Sam, and Wanda leaving from the tower, and then you stopped by NYU and picked up Ryan too.

Due to their size, Bucky and Steve sat in the front,  Directly behind them, Sam sat with Wanda, then you and Ryan, and then on the back row, the three children.  Your eyes kept flicking between Bucky and Steve as they talked.  Everything was subdued and low energy but there was a familiarity between them that seemed to breed a kind of jealousy in you that you didn’t like.  You hated how unstable you felt in the relationship right now simply due to the outside pressure on you and the lack of time you had to spend with Steve.  It had nothing to do with Steve – when he was around he was loving and attentive and reassured you the way he always had – but he’d come home after you were asleep and leave before you woke up for most days of the week.  Even the days he was home for breakfast or dinner, he was out for the rest of the day, and you knew – you knew that things were harder on him than you could even imagine.  You knew that he was hurting.  You knew that if he could – if he even thought that he could stop for one second and take a moment to be with his family and process what was happening, he’d do it.  But he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and the person who was sharing the burden wasn’t you.  It was Bucky.

You wondered if there was part of him that regretted moving on – that if he had been told that Bucky was coming back he would have waited for him.  You wondered if he had said that aloud to Bucky or if that was something that ate away at him along with all the other things he was dealing with.  You wondered if there was anything you could do to let him know you wanted him to open up and not just be the strong hero that let you be weak.

When the van was parked at Tony and Pepper’s cabin, you, Steve, and Ryan herded the kids around to the back of the house.  Isabella and Jacob were both used to random superheroes stopping by from time to time.  So even with the addition of a talking tree, they were calm enough.  Isabella was old enough to know what was happening and she was pretty close to tears.

Alice, on the other hand, never knew Natasha and was completely overwhelmed by the faces of people she recognized from pajamas and school bags.  When she saw Rocket you had to pick her up and take her aside to remind her that today was a sad day and that Rocket wasn’t a pet.

Steve had already gone inside to hear the reading of the will when Alice had her tantrum about not being able to hug the talking raccoon, it was Bucky who came to check on you.

He approached you hesitantly like he was nervous to talk to you.  “Hey – uh – I think the funeral’s about to start. You want me to take her for a walk so you can be there?”

You looked up at him gratefully though you shook your head.  “Don’t you want to be there?”

He shrugged a little and crouched down to where you were crouching with a sobbing Alice.  “Tony and I didn’t exactly get along,” Bucky said.  “Steve talked me into coming, but  maybe it’d be better if I wasn’t here – I’m the reason the whole team split up anyway.”

You frowned and rubbed his arm.  “All the more reason to be there.  You show up and take the first opportunity to bail and it’s not going to look great.  Besides, I’m not sure her getting to play with her uncle Bucky because she threw a tantrum is the best outcome.”  Bucky winced at the word uncle and you frowned and dropped your hand.  “Uncle no good. Nat was Auntie Nat.”

He shook his head a little.  “Uncle’s fine.  Just took me by surprise.”  He reached over and touched the back of Alice’s hand and she lifted her head to look at him.  “I kinda want to pet Rocket too.  He seems pretty grouchy though.  Maybe you can talk to the tree?”

She nodded hesitantly and she followed Bucky back to the group.  There were a lot of small groups of people waiting around outside the house.  You went and joined Ryan, Isabella, and Jacob who had all been standing together.  Ryan was holding Jacob, who was sagging over his brother’s shoulder, his expression was one of complete misery.  Despite how awful you felt for Jacob and Isabella, you couldn’t help but feel pride in Ryan.  He’d grown into such a decent and loving man.

As you took your spot with your children and Bucky returned to his with Sam and Wanda, the door to the house opened and you watched as Pepper stepped out and led a procession of Tony’s loved ones.  She held a wreath in one hand and the other held her daughter’s hand.  The little girl who you barely knew was almost exactly Alice’s age, and a year younger than Jacob.  You’d wished that the divide that had kept Steve and Tony from properly making amends had cleared up before all this shit with the stones had gone down.  It would have been nice if they had grown up as friends.

Pepper carried the wreath between the clusters of people and out to the dock.  She crouched and put it on the water and pushed it out.  Even from where you stood near the house you could see the old arc reactor unit sitting in the middle.  It was so quiet and everyone was so stoic.  Everyone holding back their emotion made yours bubble over more, and tears began running down your cheeks.

Pepper turned to the group, clinging to Morgan tightly.  “Thank you all for being here.  Tony went into this whole time-heist knowing there was a chance he would die.  He did it anyway because he wanted you all to get your families back. He wanted you all to be happy.  So please, don’t waste this.  I know for some of you it’s hard – a lot has changed.  The world has changed, but remember; Tony never did anything in a typical way.  You don’t need to either.  Cherish the people you have back. Take care of the ones that you have with you still,” she said, looking around at everyone.  “He also would want you all to remember him fondly.  So stay and eat and let’s remember him at his best.”

You looked from Steve to Bucky and noticed they were looking between you and the other too.  You swallowed thickly.  There was a conversation to be had that wasn’t going to be easy, but it seemed so inconsequential compared to everything else.  Alice tugged on your hand and you crouched down and cuddled her.  There was a lot to figure out.


// NEXT

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