The Pain in Serendipity – A Captain America Fanfic
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Character Pairing: Steve Rogers x F!Reader, Bucky Barnes x Steve Rogers
Word Count: 1829
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 sound of joyful screams and laughter blended with the carnival music, wafting around the beachside amusement park along with the smells of fried foods and cotton candy. It was the day of the festival that was being held for all the families of children who had been left behind before the blip. It was an event that you had worked hard to organize in the hopes that the newly blended families could see they weren’t alone. You wanted them to see that the world was different now and that different could be good. You wanted to celebrate these new families and how they had adapted to the world.
There was a level of self-consciousness as you walked through the crowd of people – most of whom you knew on some level. You were with your husband and your boyfriend and your children, and your children’s biological parents. There were nine of you in total; you, Steve, Bucky, Callie, Ryan, Sophie, Nicolas, Alice, and Jacob, and you would be meeting up with the Riccis too. It was a strange dynamic, but as you picked your way through the crowd, there were a lot of strange family dynamics. There were family groups of all shapes and sizes gathered together with children who looked genuinely happy. By the time you had made it to where some of the games were you were feeling like you were walking on a cloud.
The only thing that was concerning you was that Bucky kept looking at his phone. His family had agreed to come to the event to meet him in a more casual setting and now he was worried about a list of possible terrible outcomes that was as long as his arm. He worried they wouldn’t show, that they would and he’d miss the call, that they’d meet up fine and they would either hate him or judge him for the relationship he was in. It was a little nerve-wracking for him and no matter how many times you or Steve tries to set his mind at ease he couldn’t quite settle.
“Papa… Papa, can you win me dat giraffe?”
Bucky looked down, startled out of his reverie by Alice who was tugging on his jacket. The use of papa was new and something that both Alice and Jacob were doing. Alice had picked up calling Steve ‘daddy’ from Jacob. She was young enough that it hadn’t been a big moment for her like it had been when Isabella had called Steve daddy. For Alice – here was her brother calling this man who was now raising her daddy so she would do it too. Of course, Steve was delighted but it wasn’t long before she asked what she should call Bucky.
It made sense of course. Steve obviously filled all the roles of a father. He took her to school and picked her up. He gave her cuddles when she needed or wanted them. He made her meals and took her to fun places. He slept in the bed with her mommy. The thing was; Bucky did all that too so she didn’t know why he was just Bucky. After some discussion, the three of you had floated the name; papa. It didn’t take long before Jacob had picked it up too.
It was a little nerve-wracking and a little exciting all at once. Bucky was still getting used to the idea that two children now considered him their father and while he loved that they did he questioned his worth and ability – this felt much more real, but that feeling also came with much higher stakes. If it hadn’t worked before it was only going to hurt three adults who had learned to cope with pain. Now it would break up a family.
Bucky looked from his phone to the game where you had to knock down six tins to win a prize and then to Alice who was still tugging on his jacket as she bounced up and down and pointed to the game.
“Here,” Steve said, taking Bucky’s phone. “You go win the kids some prizes. I’ll monitor the phone.”
You watched as Bucky led Alice and Jacob over to the game, and paid for both him and them to play. Steve wrapped his arm around your shoulder. “Where were we meeting the Riccis again?”
“Near the Cyclone,” you said.
Steve wrinkled his nose. “My old nemesis.”
You barked out a laugh and you were about to question him when your attention was drawn back to Bucky who had just sent the cans flying with one single ball. Alice and Jacob started squealing with excitement and the attendant looked on in shock.
“I don’t think too many people actually win that game,” you laughed.
“Maybe it’s not fair that Bucky’s playing it,” Steve said with a frown.
“Don’t worry, Dad,” Ryan said. “They’re rigged anyway. Think of this as evening the playing field.”
When the two little ones – each lugging a giant plush toy – and Bucky returned to the group you continued your trek to the Cyclone. “Remember when I made you ride that thing?” Bucky said, nudging Steve.
“Yeah, yeah,” Steve said. “Never again.”
Bucky started laughing. “I can’t believe that old bone rattler is still there. Everything changes and everything stays the same.”
Steve nodded. “It gives me culture shock sometimes,” he admitted. “Even more than when I go somewhere like Korea. It’s like … It’s like I expect Korea to be different from what I’m used to. I never expected it in my home and yet everything is.”
You were just approaching the rollercoaster when a blur rushed out of the crowd and slammed into your side. “Mom!”
You wrapped your arms around Isabella and hugged her tight. “Hey, Bella,” you hummed. “Are you having fun?”
“Yeah! It’s so much fun! So many kids from before! Mom and dad won’t go on the Cyclone with me though,” she said. “Ryan, will you go with me?”
“Yeah of course,” he said with a grin.
“You’re not going to say hello to your dad?” Steve asked.
She giggled and rushed into his arms for a hug. “Okay, okay. Come on Ryan!” she said, grabbing her brother’s hand and dragging him toward the line for the rollercoaster. “Mom! Dad! Ryan’s taking me on the Cyclone!”
Julia and Mark appeared behind you. “Stay together,” Mark called, shaking his head.
“Hey!” you said, turning and smiling at them both as Steve shook their hands. “Welcome. She seems happy.”
“She’s having a great time. This was a good idea. She’s been introducing us to all these kids like her,” Julia said. “You know, kids who were adopted? There are so many and so many are just having fun together. I feel so guilty about what happened.”
You shook your head. “It was awful – I’m not going to lie. But being the supervisor of all this, I’ve seen worse. We worked it out. I always saw where you were coming from, I promise I did. People get divorced and have trouble sharing time with their kids, you were asked to do that with strangers.”
“Still, we’re sorry,” Mark said.
Bucky’s phone rang and he fumbled as he pulled it out of his pocket and answered it. “Yeah. Yeah – we’re by the Cyclone. He held up his hand across the crowd and you saw another hand lift in response. Out of the tide of people, a huge group emerged. A quick headcount showed about sixteen in all with ages ranging from around six to sixty. The elderly man that led the group up and approached Bucky. “Bucky?” he asked.
“Yeah. Yeah, that’s me,” he said and offered his hand to the man. “Scott?”
“No, Scott’s my son. I’m James. Rebecca was my mother,” he said.
“James?” Bucky said, choking on the name.
“Yeah, named for my uncle who was lost at war,” James explained.
Bucky couldn’t help himself, he hugged the other man. The hug was quickly returned and the two men just held each other as Bucky broke down into tears. When they pulled back James smoothed his hands down Bucky’s arms. “Let me introduce you to your family,” he said. “This is my wife, Judy,” he said, indicating to the woman beside him. “I was an only child, but there’s my son Scott and daughter Kim. And here’s where things get a little weird. Scott’s wives… first wife Jen blipped. Second wife Keisha happened in the five years when we didn’t expect people to come back.”
“I get it,” Bucky said. “I was one of the people who vanished too.”
“Well it’s weirder than that too,” Scott said. “Keisha’s first husband Sean. He also blipped.”
“Yeah this has been a lot of fun to navigate,” Sean said.
“Then over here is Kim’s wife Melody. Both Melody and Kim blipped, and their children came to live with me and Judy. So the kids we have here are Shae, Cicely, Colby, Omar, Aspen, and Callen,” James said, indicating to the children as they stood in the group.
“Wow,” Bucky said. “I have a huge family.”
James laughed. “You sure do. And I see ours might be a bit bigger now?”
“Right – yeah,” Bucky said. “So Steve is – he’s my boyfriend. He knew your mom too.”
“Wow,” James said, offering his hand to Steve. “Of course. Mom talked about you too. I never knew that you were together-together.”
“Well, the world was different back then,” Steve said.
“It’s really different now,” James agreed.
Bucky then introduced the whole huge rest of your group trying to explain everyone’s relationship with each other. It was a little complicated but no one flinched at all at the strange combination of people with their web of links to each other.
“It’s interesting times,” James said. “But I don’t think anyone can complain about having more good people in their lives.”
“Mom, can we go ride the Cyclone with those other kids?” Colby asked.
“You mean your new cousins?” Jen asked. “Of course, go introduce yourself.”
Three of the older kids ran off to join Ryan and Isabella in the line for the Cyclone. You watched as they introduced themselves and Ryan welcomed them in like old friends. “What if we take the little ones on the Aeromax while we wait for the older kids?” Callie asked.
There was a murmur of agreement and the huge group made their way to the small plane ride. You wrapped your arms around Steve and Bucky as you followed along with the rest. Bucky looked down at you and smiled. You could see the relief and excitement and pure unfettered love in them. It had been a long and painful road to get here. Serendipity was like that. But when you looked around you at all these people in your life that were now your family, and these men you were head over heels in love with, you wouldn’t change a single thing.