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Reliving the Worst Part of Childhood

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"This is god damned ridiculous," Bucky mutters under his breath.

Steve snorts. He has to run to keep pace with Bucky. "You're telling me." Squinting down at his schedule, he says, "I think Stark made these just to mess with us, I've got an extra phys ed and some kind of advanced physics."

"Hey, maybe he heard 'deaged' and thought you'd still be bulked up," Bucky suggests. Steve rams him in the side with a pointedly pointy elbow. Tony knows as well as them how bulked up he currently is. "Ow, watch it! At least you don't have shop. If that ain't a dig at my arm - "

"He's just jealous you never let him play with it."

"Well, there's nothing to play with for the moment," Bucky says, flexing his left arm with a grin. "Gotta say, I didn't think I'd missed this as much as I did."

Steve looks down at himself. His tiny, tiny self. "Me either," he mutters.

Bucky glances at him sideways. "Seriously? All that self-hate going on from ages ten through twenty-five, and now you like it?"

Steve shrugs. "Modern medicine takes away a lot of the downsides. And I have a lighter touch with a pencil with these hands." He's been sketching almost non-stop since Tony gave them the news that a) this wasn't permanent, but b) it'd be lasting awhile.

Bucky claims he's still convinced the high school enrollment papers Tony gave them after that were a joke. Even now, literally walking into the school, he seems to be looking around, waiting for someone to jump out and shout, "Fooled you!" Though Steve supposes he could be looking around like that for other reasons. He is a paranoid son of a gun these days.

"Maybe you can trade off one of those phys eds for a drawing class, then," Bucky says thoughtfully. "Give you something enjoyable to waste your time with."

"Maybe," Steve says doubtfully. He knows Tony better than to think this is purely a joke. Some of it's a joke, that's inevitable with Tony Stark, but there's gotta be a real reason to put the two of them here. He crosses his fingers and prays hard that the high school enrollment's the joke. He would really, really rather that be the joke.

They enter the school without a fuss, gratefully find they share homeroom if little else, and claim two seats side by side.

"Uh..." someone says from over Steve's head. An awkward, gangly Latino boy looks nervously at them. "Sorry, but seating's alphabetical. I'm in that one." Bucky grumbles, skulks over to the far side of the room.

"Sorry about that," the Latino boy apologizes again. He holds out a hand. "I'm Peter. Peter Parker?"

That name sounds familiar. Steve shakes his hand and glances across the room; Bucky's making nice with a white girl in purple and a black boy wearing a - oh gosh - a Captain America t-shirt. Something about them looks familiar. A lot of faces in this room look familiar, now that he's looking.

He has a sinking feeling there's definitely a real reason they're here, and it's not a fun reason.