Steve swats a hand at Bucky’s arm, they are so close that he actually reaches his target. “Buck, I don’t wanna…”
“Get up punk!”
Steve opens his eyes, looking at Bucky who had rolled to face Steve, “I’m not spooning you anymore,” Steve says dumbly because he’s tired. Bucky laughs at him.
“It’s your birthday silly,”
Because it is Steve’s birthday. It’s his first birthday with Bucky. It’s only between them, and Buddy, who is goofily wedged in between his humans, who knows that Steve lets out a squeal.
They stay in bed for most of the morning and then emerge for brunch at a diner.
They go to the park and instead of flying kites like they used to they sing Cher because Bucky secretly loves her music despite his many protests.
“If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I'd take back those words that hurt you
And you'd stay.” Steve sings and jumps onto a park bench.
“If I could reach the stars
I'd give them all to you
Then you'd love me, love me
Like you used to do.” Bucky finishes and dances around the bench.
Someone records it and it’s breaking news within hours but they don’t mind, they don’t notice to be honest.
They go back to the Tower and there’s a party like Steve has always wanted.
You don’t sound happy.
It's an echo from the past. But it's not a true reflection.
Steve realises that this is the first time he hasn’t wished himself a happy birthday because he was the only one, or didn’t want to. This is a birthday where he is happy.
It gets to the point where the Avengers, including Thor, are all sitting around the table discussing Mjolnir to realise it:
“I bet anyone could pick the hammer up, you’ve got to be lying to us,” Clint says munching on a mouthful of Chinese food.
“Be my guest,” Thor replies and Clint is all too happy to comply.
“We won’t hold it against you if you can’t get it up,” Tony jests but it only spurs Clint on more. Clint tries, he really does. His attempt is fit with grunts and groans and severe effort all around but the hammer doesn’t budge an inch. “I’m silently judging you Barton,” Tony mutters and that is what starts the war.
“Well, please Stark why don’t you have a go,”
Tony isn’t one to ignore a challenge, “If I lift it then I rule Asgard?” He asks Thor.
“You have my word,”
“Then I’ll be a King in two seconds, just you watch.” Tony goads. But he fails. His own muscles fail him and then his suit fails him. But he blames Jarvis on that one.
Banner tries for all of his might. He even goes green on one occasion but even the Hulk can’t pick it up.
Sam tries it too, but he just ends up flying without the hammer clutched in his grip. Plus he nearly crashes into the ceiling so he’ll count himself lucky for now.
“Stevie, I bet you can do it,” Bucky pushes because he knows that Steve hates pet names, especially versions of his name.
“Why don’t you try it?” Steve enquires,
“Oh, I know that I’m not worthy enough, there’s no point lying about it like all of these imbeciles,” He’s referring to the team of course, who chuck empty Chinese cartons at his head in reply.
“We’ll see if I’m worthy,” Steve wonders as he wanders over to the hammer and puts his hands around it. The first few attempts don’t work, the hammer is fixed in its place on the table. But then, when Steve puts his mind to it, braces his foot against the table and places his face into an expression of sheer concentration, he lifts it. He lifts it.
“Huh, it’s not actually that heavy,” Because it isn’t, it’s pretty feather like once he has it held up.
“That’s my boy,” Bucky slaps his legs and grins. Steve gets him back by putting the hammer into his hands and watching gleefully as Bucky, and Mjolnir, sink like a ship.
The others gawk at him.
The only one that isn’t, is Natasha who plucks the hammer from Bucky’s grip and puts it back on the table.
Cue more gawking Avengers.
But Steve's happy. He really is. He feels like he's finally found his home and his family.
They end the night in colour as they ascend to the roof and watch fireworks. Steve is surprised that Tony hasn’t set himself alight when he sets it up. Steve rests in Bucky’s arms and when the sky explodes in bright colours they are too interested in each other to truly see the beauty gracing the night sky. The Avengers complain that there was too much PDA from them.
Their response to that?
Steve flips them off, while he is lip locked with Bucky because there is nothing better than his lips against his. He’s missed out on it for so many years.
It’s three o’clock in the morning when Bucky and Steve go back to their apartment and quiet is restored to the night.
They giggle like teenagers, smiling and laughing as they bask in memories and in each other.
After getting over the initial shock of Steve and Bucky announcing that they were a couple, the Avengers get used to them. But Tony doesn’t. There’s this thing that he can’t stop thinking about. It comes out during a movie night where Steve goes to make popcorn for him and Bucky, and Tony follows him and when he comes back he’s just upset and blurting out, “For the last time, Tony, I didn’t sleep with you father. Bucky please tell him!”
And Bucky is totally unhelpful as he replies, with a mouthful of popcorn, “Steve did not sleep with your father, Tony.” Steve’s eyebrows scream ‘told you so!’ at Tony until Buck finishes his sentence. “But I did.” Then it all explodes.
Tony dies into a puddle of goo over by the corner. He never forgives Bucky for it. Bucky, meanwhile, enjoys the shade of red Tony goes when Bucky ever says, “Stark.”
Another thing that the Avengers never quite get over is how Bucky and Steve flirt now that they are together. They are having yet another movie night, where Bucky leans over Steve suggestively and whispers in his ear, loud enough for everyone else to hear, “I’m no weatherman, but you can expect a few inches tonight.”
Everything just stops for a moment.
They expect Steve to cringe and turn the colour of a tomato. But he doesn’t. He does the opposite of their expectations and snorts soda out of his nose and starts laughing so hard he can hardly breathe.
Everyone is shocked because if anything Steve should be scandalized. But they still forget that he was in the army during World War Two.
They are all stunned again when Steve finally recovers, “It’s a lot more than a few.”
Everyone but Steve and Bucky vacates the room. The next day there’s a printed rule on the fridge that says that they can’t flirt aggressively during movie nights, or whenever the group are all in one room together. They should save that for the bedroom, and they do.
When they finally get to bed, where Buddy is already asleep, Steve checks under the bed because he already knows that there’s something under there.
He rips through the brown paper as delicately but as quickly as he did seventy years ago.
In his hands are a handful of ink drawing pens, a note wedged in between.
It’s at that moment when Bucky whispers in Steve’s ear, “I found the notebook too.” Steve colours and stammers, “Hey, punk it’s cute, you can draw more of me now because I am a fine specimen if I do say so myself.”
“God, I love you.”
“I love you too, happy birthday Steve.”
He is happy. He knows it, because he isn't sad to be getting older and spending it not in the company of Peggy and the Howling Commandos. Instead, he's spending it with the people he loves. You couldn't get anything better than that.
~ fin ~