“Get the fuck out of my way.”
“He’s fucking bleeding out, you’re telling me to calm down? Move, Wilson.”
Bucky crashes through the doors of the ER. A nurse gasps in surprise and drops her water bottle.
“We know,” Barton says. “This looks bad.”
“Steve Rogers,” Bucky demands. His boots are smudging blood across the floor and he doesn’t give a fuck. He’s boiling with tight anger, and just underneath it is panic closing up his throat. “Steven,” he pronounces to the man, “Grant. Rogers. Where.”
“Sir,” says the man at the front desk, his eyes wide. “You know we can’t –”
“Barnes,” Wilson tries. Bucky ignores him.
“He’s in critical condition,” says the man slowly. “Sergeant Barnes. Sir. We can’t just let anybody –”
“Anybody?” Bucky demands, towering over him. “I’m just anybody? Listen, pal –”
“Only, only,” the guys swallows. Bucky’ll feel bad about it later, he figures. “Only family, sir. Spouses, children. Et – etcetera.”
“Well isn’t there such a thing as, as –” Bucky gestures, not thinking of the word.
“Common law marriage,” Wilson offers.
Bucky raises an eyebrow.
“That’s only in nine states, sir. New York isn’t one of them.”
“We been living together since we were sixteen years old and you’re tellin’ me we ain’t common law married?” Bucky demands. The guy is clearly shocked. This is gonna be in the news tomorrow, maybe. Oops. “You’re tellin’ me I fell from a goddamn train in fucking Sweden for this? Are you prejudiced, son? Is that what the fuck this is about? Because I swear to fucking Chri–”
“Okay!” the guy says. “Okay! Okay! Go! Go!”
Barton slow-claps. “Bravo. Performance of a lifetime, Barnes.”
“Shut your fucking mouth,” Bucky says, pointing at them as he walks away. “Get me the chaplain in here.”
“Oh, God,” Steve groans, propping himself up on his elbows blearily. “I’m not dying, Bucky, what the fuck is he doing here? Sorry, Father,” he adds.
“What the fuck is this?” Bucky demands.
“What?” Steve asks. He winces and grabs his side.
“They said you were in critical fucking condition, Rogers!” Bucky shouts. “You’re fine, you fucking drama queen!”
“I got stabbed in the side, Buck!”
“You,” Bucky says, and points at him. He runs his hand through his hair, his eyes wide. His heart’s pounding out of his goddamn chest. “You,” he repeats impotently. “You.”
“Me,” Steve agrees.
“You!” Bucky shouts, “Are a fucking menace! The way Stark made it sound –”
“Shit,” Steve groans. “Here it goes.”
“That ungrateful son of a bitch, I swear to fucking God, he told me he had no choice but to get you out of the field –”
“Like you were bleeding out all over him, that cocky bastard, ‘Oh, I’ll just lift Cap out with my tin suit ‘cause I think I’m a knight in shining armor, nothing’s wrong except he’s unconscious with a two foot pole in his belly–’” Steve is laughing at him. “Shut the fuck up, you wily little fuckface.” Bucky swears at him, softening. “Jesus Christ, fuck you, you asshole. Yeah, laugh it up. I just scared the holy hell out of a nurse, I’ll have you know. I’m blaming my declining morality on you. Oh God,” Bucky says, and braces his hands on his knees. “Oh my God. Fuck you, Rogers.”
“Father,” says Steve earnestly to the chaplain, “Read my man his last rites. I think he gave himself a heart attack.”
“Shut your mouth,” Bucky says, slumping back against the wall. “God. I thought you were bad off, Steve, I really did.”
“I’ll be sore as hell for a while,” Steve admits. “Concussion, couple’a other things. Had worse.”
“Yes, Buck.” Steve looks to the chaplain. “I’m really sorry about this,” he says piously. “There’s no need for you to stick around. I’m alive and well. All in one piece.” He frowns, wincing. “Mostly in one piece.”
“Oh, no,” Bucky says. “No no. That’s not why I called him. You’re not off the hook that easy.”
Steve’s brow twists adorably in confusion. He is concussed, now that Bucky’s looking. What an asshole. “What?” Steve asks after a moment, his mouth pouting a little.
“I called him because we’re getting married, you obtuse motherfucker,” Bucky says, and walks three steps forward to collapse into the chair by Steve’s bed, scrubbing his hand over his face.
“Sure, Buck,” Steve says, looking at him strangely. The silence drags. Steve says, “…Why are we doing that?”
“They wouldn’t let me in here because I ain’t your family legally. We’re gettin’ married right now so next time – and there will be a next time, knowing us – I don’t have to fly off the handle to get to you. Congratulations us.”
“Huh,” Steve says, and shrugs. “Yeah, okay.”
The chaplain clears his throat. “Um,” he says. “Should I?”
Bucky waves a hand.
“Dearly beloved,” the chaplain begins.
“No no no,” Bucky says, waving his hand again. Steve is looking at him, bemused. “Gathered here, matrimony, got it. Get to the part that’s necessary.”
The chaplain masks his laugh with a cough. “Ahem,” he says. “Right. Do you pledge to share your lives openly together, and speak the truth of –”
“Excuse me, I’m sorry, you gotta do the Catholic one,” says Steve apologetically. “We’re Catholic.”
“He’s Catholic,” Bucky corrects. “I got experimented on by Nazis and lost some religious enthusiasm.”
“Jesus, you fuckin’ heathen,” says Steve flatly.
“Lord’s name,” Bucky admonishes. He coughs. “Sorry, Father.”
“Of all the things in this conversation to apologize for,” the chaplain says. “Right. Give me a second.” He thinks for a minute, frowning, running over it to himself. “Okay. No, I’m not Catholic, I have no idea what that is. Oh!” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone, googling. “Oh, okay. Alright. Ready?”
“Let’s go,” Bucky says.
“Since it is your intention to enter into marriage,” the chaplain reads from his phone, “Join your right hands – watch the IV, Sergeant Barnes – and declare your consent before God and his Church.”
“Well, I figure if I don’t he’ll – joking!” says Steve quickly. “I’m joking. Yes. Absolutely.”
Bucky looks to the chaplain and nods.
“James Barnes, do you take Steve Rogers to be your wife? Oh no. Oh. Oh no.” The chaplain frowns. “Oh no. Husband. I am so sorry, Captain America.”
Bucky is grinning.
Steve closes his eyes. “I’m never gonna live that one down.”
“James Barnes, do you take Steve Rogers to be your husband, do you promise to be true to her – him, sorry, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love and honor him all the days of your life?”
Somewhere in the middle of that long question Bucky’s throat went bone dry. He looks at Steve and swallows. Steve’s eyes are big and blue too, a little surprised, the same way Bucky is, at how it hit them all of a sudden, what it is they’re doing. This wasn’t even an option before, not in their wildest dreams. They couldn’t even go walking out at night or stand too close or sit how they wanted. Does Bucky want to love and honor Steve through sickness and health and good and bad until he dies?
He’s already died once and it turns out loving Steve never changed for a second. He loved Steve when he didn’t even know his own name.
“You got it,” he says, and Steve’s mouth quirks into a smile.
“Not quite the response I was expecting,” the chaplain admits. “Okay. Steve Rogers, do you take James Barnes to be your husband? Do you promise to be true to him in good times and in bad, in sickness and in –”
“Yes,” Steve blurts, his eyes huge, his face poleaxed. “Yes. Yes. Buck –”
Bucky grabs him by the back of the head, probably a little rough, considering the concussion, and kisses Steve square on the mouth, breathless and exhilarated.
“I was expecting that,” the chaplain says. “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I now pronounce you man and wi– man. Man and husband. Husbands. Uh. I now pronounce you Sergeant Barnes and Captain Rogers.”
“Thanks, man,” Bucky says, all the fight knocked out of him, blown away and sincere. “We already knew that, though.”
“I have the certificates for you two to sign, and then you two can – you know, I’ll go get those, and you can keep kissing the…groom.”
Steve is grinning against Bucky’s mouth. The door shuts behind the chaplain. Steve lets Bucky kiss him sweetly, so sweetly, being nice and only laughing at what a sap he is a little. “We should get married more often,” Steve rumbles.
“Baby,” Bucky says, nudging their noses together, “You read my mind.”
"Oh my God," Steve moans, muffled and long. "Oh my God."
"We should really," Bucky grits, "Really, really, really, really --"
"Oh my God, oh my God, Bucky --"
"Really get married more often."
"Uh huh!" Steve gasps.