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).
Word Count: 1656
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?
The following two weeks you spent as much time as you could letting Isabella know that you and Steve would always be her family and that if when she was older she wanted to find you again, you’d be waiting. You wanted to make sure her last memories of you were good, and that she knew for sure you weren’t rejecting her. You knew it was going to make her parents seem like the bad guys – and you knew they were trying to do what they thought was best – but it was better if they looked like the bad guys than for her to think that she had been abandoned again.
The problem was that there was also so much else going on. You were helping supervise handovers over children, and petitioning the government to reconsider the position that allowed parents blipped from being able to cut off all contact with their adoptive parents. The kids still had school to attend and Steve was still working with Bruce to rebuild the time travel device. It didn’t leave much time for much else.
Still, you did your best to balance family with everything else and to make sure Isabella knew you weren’t abandoning her while also making sure Alice and Jacob both felt cherished too. It wasn’t perfect, but you tried – and right now, that was the most you could ask of yourself.
You were fairly certain that there would come a day where all this would be over and you’d completely fall apart. The only thing that seemed to be keeping you together now was the fact you barely even had time to breathe, let alone have a complete breakdown.
On the day of the Ricci’s moving out, you felt like maybe you weren’t even going to make it to the quiet moment. Thankfully FRIDAY still ran the building. She told you they were leaving and intentionally slowed their exit because otherwise you and Steve wouldn’t have made it downstairs in time to say goodbye.
“You were just going to leave?” Steve asked as the two of you had caught up to them in the lobby. You had wanted to do this with Jacob so he could say goodbye to the sister he’d grown up with. But you hadn’t even had time to get him.
The couple turned to look at you and Isabella started trying to pull away from her father who had her hand clasped in his. “We thought it would be easier…”
“Mom,” she whined as she tried to get to you and Steve.
“You thought it would be easier on your daughter to leave without saying goodbye to the people who have been raising her for the last five years?” Steve snarled. “You won’t let her say goodbye to her brother?”
You had only really seen Captain America during world crisis moments – but he was here now in full force. His tone was so harsh it bordered on a physical attack. You were glad you weren’t the one on the other side of it.
“He’s not her brother!” Mark shouted. “You aren’t her parents! We are! Do you know what it’s like for us for her to barely remember us? Do you know how it feels to have missed so much of her life and to never be able to get it back? We’re grateful to you, that you took care of her, but she’s our daughter. Not yours! And we want to make this break clean.”
Isabella had started to cry and was digging her fingers into her father’s wrists as she tried to pull away from him. “I don’t wanna go!” she cried. “Let me go!”
Steve took two threatening steps forward and you put your hand on his arm in the hope that it might calm him down a little. As much as you agreed with him, fighting with the Ricci’s was the worst thing you could do for Isabella.
“This isn’t all about you!” Steve shouted. “Look at her! She’s terrified!”
“Oh and that couldn’t have anything to do with you, now could it?” Mark sneered. “The huge superhero yelling in the lobby isn’t terrifying at all.”
Steve took another threatening step forward and this time you grabbed his wrist. Julia looked at Mark and sighed. “Let’s just let them say goodbye,” she said. “It won’t be worse than this.”
Mark sighed and let Isabella’s hand go. She ran to you both and you both braced for her as she collided into your shoulder and wrapped one arm around both your and Steve’s necks. “I don’t want to go,” she sobbed as you both held her.
“I know, baby. I know,” you soothed.
“Just remember that we love you very much and we’ll always be here for you,” Steve said. “One day you’ll be able to choose for yourself who you can see, and I promise you, we’ll always be happy to see you.”
“And honey,” you whispered. “Your mom and dad love you. They just want what’s best for you. I know this is hard but they think they’re doing what’s right. Try to be kind to them. They love you.”
She sobbed against your shoulder. “I want to stay.”
“I know, I know. We love you so much,” you said, your own tears breaking, and running silently down your cheeks. The elevator opened behind you and Callie came out with Jacob. The little boy was holding his favorite teddy and he ran over and hugged the group of you and Steve pulled him in so he could be close to the girl he’d only ever known to be his sister. “You goin’, Bella?”
Isabella nodded, not able to speak because she was sobbing so hard. Jacob patted her back. “I miss you, Bella. You wanna take my teddy?”
Bella pulled back and looked at him and nodded slowly. He put the bear in her arms and she hugged him. “I’ll miss you, J.J.”
“Okay, Bella, time to go,” Mark said, holding out his hand.
“I don’t want to,” she cried, throwing herself back at Steve.
Steve hugged her and rubbed her back. “You’ll be okay,” he soothed. “We love you, honey. We’ll always be here for you. And we’re so, so, proud of you.”
Mark came and picked Isabella up, pulling her away from you all. She screamed and kicked her legs, trying to get out of his grip, but he pulled her along to the door.
“No! I don’t want to go! Please!” she wailed.
You followed them outside and watched as they bundled her into a waiting car. Julia had tears streaming down her face as she climbed in beside her. You felt like your heart was breaking as you watched her. This wasn’t the worst thing you’d experienced, and yet somehow the brutality of it – the raw emotions being expressed by everyone felt like it was tearing you apart.
“Bye, Bella!” Jacob called as they slammed the door shut.
You could still hear her calling out to you and Steve as the car pulled away.
Steve wrapped an arm around your shoulder and you collapsed against him. “That was awful, Steve.”
“I know, honey. Let’s go inside,” he said.
He picked up Jacob and he carried him in, his arm wrapped around your waist as he supported you inside.
“I can’t believe they did that,” Callie said as she followed along with you. “That they’re doing this…”
“I guess this has all been really hard on them,” Steve said. “I am sure they don’t want to cause her any harm. When they’ve settled down and realized this is hurting her, they’ll change their mind.”
“God I hope so,” you sighed.
Steve pulled you close and kissed the top of your head. “I’ll stay home today. Tomorrow I’m taking the stones back and then we can all go back to the house and rest. We’ve both done enough.”
You nodded and when you got back inside, Bucky was making pancakes with the help of Alice who was standing on a chair at the kitchen bench covered in flour and pouring way too many choc chips into the pancake mix.
“Mommy!! We maked pancakes!” Alice said, holding the bowl up.
“That’s so great, honey,” you said, forcing a smile and coming over and kissing her head. “Are you being a good helper for Uncle Bucky?”
“Yep!” she said very certainly.
“Thought you guys could use a good breakfast,” Bucky said.
“Thanks, Bucky,” you said, as you helped Alice stir the obscene amount of choc chips into the batter.
“I just figured – I’m sorry. You know?” he said. “About everything.”
The words held a whole universe in them. He wasn’t just sorry for the pain you were in over the loss of your daughter. He was sorry for this kiss. For being in love with Steve still. For messing up your happy life. For coming back. All things he was clearly holding on to but that he shouldn’t feel at all. You wished you had the words to tell him that he was welcome and that you wanted to work this all out. The weight of everything was so much you couldn’t think of what to say.
You shook your head. “Don’t be.”
You knew it wasn’t enough, but he looked at you and for the first time, you saw Bucky Barnes smile. It wasn’t much of one. Just the tiniest quirk of his lips at the edges, but it was still nice to see him trying.
“Go sit down,” he said. “We’ll bring it over to you.”
You took your seat and Steve wrapped his arm around you. You melted into him and he pressed his lips to the top of your head. “We’ll get through this, honey,” he said. “We’re resilient.”
“I hope so,” you said, as you let him hold you. “I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.”