Bucky's favorite part of Thanksgiving is after dinner, when everyone is drunk on tryptophan and the space is filled with a quiet, calm peace. There’s sweetness in the air, and pies in the oven. In the thirties there was a radio, swing,a comedian and plenty of laughter. These days, there's a football game on the tv, Sam and Clint taking bets on who will win, Tony muttering over a dismantled crock pot for god knows what reason, and Bucky is stretched over Steve's chest taking up an entire couch all to themselves, and Misha's quiet snores coming from the crook of Steve's arm.
Misha hadn't been knocked out by tryptophan. In fact, he'd flat out refused to touch his turkey, though he had liked the ham. Instead, he'd spent the waning hours of the afternoon rolling around on the floor with Lucky before crawling onto his father's couch and carving out his own space with them. He's been asleep for a couple of hours now, and Bucky figures they’ll have to wake him sooner rather than later, but he wants this sweet moment for just a little while longer.
So, of course, Clint ruins it for him.
“YES!” Clint jumps up to stand on the couch, fists in the air. “Cowboys win! Suck it, Wilson, and pay up.”
“Everyone knows the Giants are better.”
“Don’t be a baby. You owe me fifty bucks.”
“You still owe me two hundred from the last poker game.”
In the midst of the commotion, Misha is jolted awake. He blinks his sleep deprived eyes balefully up at his father’s. Bucky holds back a chuckle at the miniature bitch face. Steve turns a glare that would scare Thanos himself on their friends. Even Lucky puts his ears back and tucks his nose under his paws. “Misha was asleep, Barton.”
“Aw, sorry Steve.” He jumps down from the couch looking properly chastised. “Sorry, Mish. You wanna come with me and see if there’s some pie ready?”
Clint holds out his hands and Misha grins at the mention of pie. He hasn’t started talking back yet, but he understands perfectly. Pie means chocolate, which they had when they made the filling the day before. Misha doesn’t spare them a backwards glance as Clint carries him toward the kitchen.
Bucky presses a giggle into Steve’s neck and feels Steve shake underneath him from his own laughter. “I think we know where we rate.” Steve snickers.
“Yeah, somewhere below pie,” Bucky agrees.
“Should we go follow them?” Steve asks, after a few moments while his hands ideally run up and down Bucky’s back. “Make sure he doesn’t eat too much?”
“Um.” Bucky curls closer, his nose squashed against the hollow where Steve’s neck met his shoulder. “In a minute.”
Steve chuckles and pats Bucky’s back in a way the brunette is sure to be meant as playfully condescending. “Anything for you, Bucky.”
“Damn right anything for me. Go get me a beer.”
That earns him a pinch in his side. “Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t because you’re on top of me and you’re heavy.”
“Steve it's not nice to call your man fat.”
“I did not call you fat, jerk.” Steve shoves Bucky until he’s sitting up, straddling Steve’s waist in a way that would mean trouble if they were somewhere private. “God, you’re more of a baby than our son is.”
“Steve, I hate to break it to you, but our son is not a baby anymore.”
Steve rolls his eyes and uses his legs to shove Bucky off the couch and into a crumpled heap on the floor. Bucky uses his metal arm to grab Steve’s arm and pull him down after him. They wrestle each other giggling, pinching, kicking, and using every dirty trick they had up their selves. It ends when Steve gets on top of Bucky and uses his weight to pin him down. “I win.”
“Fuck you.” Bucky laughs, going soft under Steve’s body because there is nothing better than his smile and his hair shining like a halo around him. “You cheated.”
Steve plants a wet kiss on Bucky’s neck before jumping off and offering Bucky a hand. “It’s not cheating if I win.”
“Whatever, punk.” Bucky lets himself be pulled to his feet and can’t help pinching his side as they walk toward the kitchen.
Misha is sitting at the kitchen table halfway through a slice of chocolate pie. Most of it is on his face and hands. He grins when he sees his daddies and offers up his sticky fingers. “Dada, chocwet!”
Bucky swoops in to kiss his cheek, coming away with a dusting of chocolate on his lips.
Steve takes the chair next to him, and Bucky realizes they’ve all gathered around the table. Pepper is perched on Tony’s lap, looking a little worse for ware. She’s been sick a lot with her pregnancy, but she isn’t letting that stop her either. She hasn’t worked any less or let Tony get away with any more than she usually does. Clint and Nat are both perched on the island, Bruce is reading a book, Pietro and Wanda are sitting at the table arguing about the best pie, and Sam is on Misha’s otherside. Thor is with Jane's family, and he’s the only one missing.
With an opportunity like that Bucky can’t pass it up. “I hate to break it to you,” he says snagging the half full pan of pumpkin pie and two forks. “But the best pie ever is Grandma Barnes pecan. You remember that, Stevie?”
Steve’s eyes widen as he takes a bite of the pumpkin pie Bucky has placed in front of them. “Oh god. Did anybody ever get the recipe for that?”
“Lost to time pal.” Bucky shakes his head. “Lost to time.”
“What was so special about this pie?” Pietro leans forward across the table, eyes gleaming and mischievous.
“I’m pretty sure his grandma broke into his pa’s liquor stash and dumped a bunch of whiskey into the pie.”
“No way.” Bucky turns to Steve surprised. “That’s what the flavor was?”
“Yep.” Steve nods, stealing a bite from Bucky’s side of the pie. “I caught her one year.”
“And that’s why I got my first sip of whiskey when I was nine.”
Bucky leans down to play whisper into Misha’s ear, “Don’t get any ideas. You’re waiting ‘til you're forty.”
“Fifty,” Steve corrects.
“You are never going to let that kid have any fun.” Tony snickers. “Don’t worry Mish, I’ll take you out for your twenty-first.”
“Oh, no you will not.” Steve grows a little green before masterfully shoving another bite of pie into his mouth. “You are not allowed with a hundred feet of him when he gets that old. I’ll get a restraining order.”
“Please.” Tony rolls his eyes and smirks. “If you had your way, he wouldn’t do anything till he was too old to do anything.”
“Tell me that again when you have your own,” Bucky mutters just loud enough to be heard on the other side of the of the table.
Tony wisely shuts up after that.
The argument about pie turns into an argument about the best holidays. Natasha claims Holloween, even though there is no pie. Bucky agrees with her. Steve likes Thanksgiving, but Clint is the one who finally brings up Christmas.
“What? I may have been a runway, but even the circus celebrates Christmas.”
“How does the circus do Christmas?” Bucky can’t decide if Sam is genuinely curious, or a little worried for Clint’s health.
“Mostly, a butt load of cheap alcohol. But that’s how the circus celebrates everything.”
“Sounds like fun.” Tony pipes up with a snicker. “Not sure anyone would go for it these days, but there would have been a time I could drink you under the table.”
“You keep telling yourself that Stark.” Clint then then leans into Natasha’s space and faux whispers, “He’s such a rube.”
Natasha pats his cheek like he’s a good puppy. “Now, now, be nice to our fearless leader. He’s not as young as he once was.”
“Oh, is that how it's gonna be? See if I let you people have Christmas in my house.”
“You'd never kick us out, Tony.” Steve smirks while cleaning Misha’s sticky fingers. “You have to do all the Avenging yourself, and we know how well that would go over. Besides you love us too much.”
“Hey, I have an idea!” Clint jumps down from the island, bouncing on his toes like an excited, aforementioned puppy. Bucky has to actively remind himself that Clint’s as much a stone cold killer as he is. “What if we spent Christmas at my farm?”
“You have a farm?” Pietro voices all of their surprise. Sure, Bucky knew about the farm and took great joy about teasing Clint for it, but he’d never seen it. As far as he knew, none of them had, except perhaps Nat.
“Yes, knucklehead, I have a farm. Used to be in the family, but I got it back. It’s out in the middle of nowhere. Just a lot of trees and space. It should be fun at least. Maybe. I don’t know. I forget, you’re all a bunch of city boys.”
“Hey.” Bucky starts in mock outrage and then shrugs. “No, you’re right. I didn’t even leave Brooklyn until I was twenty.”
“See, the kid doesn’t deserve the same fate as you.” Clint opens up his hands and offers them to Misha, who gladly lets himself be pulled from the highchair. “It’s your first Christmas. You gotta be somewhere where we can test the limits of your Dad’s shield as a sled.”
“Already did.” Steve stops until he realizes that he has an undivided audience. “What? We were in the Alps, the Commandos were bored. He was my sargeant. What else do I have to say?”
“Absolutely nothing.” Sam shakes his head in amusement while Tony demands the full story. Steve and Bucky bicker over who can tell it the right way, and then they makes plans for Christmas at Clint’s farm.
So, of course, the week before Christmas, Bucky would get called out on a mission.
“I don’t wanna go.” He whines while Steve helps him snap into his tactical gear. It had been the week after Thanksgiving since his skills had been needed and had been hoping his luck would run through the New Year at least. They were supposed to heading to the farm in the morning, but now he’s supposed to be heading to the roof to get on the quinjet.
There are days when he really hates his job.
“It’ll be fine.” Steve tries to soothe but he’s a terrible liar and can’t hide the slight hitch of apprehension in his voice. “Coulson said it wouldn’t be hard for you two. You’ll have this wrapped up in plenty of time.”
“We’re infiltrating an AIM base. The craziest of the crazies go to AIM. God knows what we’re going to find there.”
“Stop over-inflating this, ya big jerk.” Steve grabs one of the gun straps on the front of Bucky’s gear and pulls him in close until Bucky can feel the shadow of his heat against his lips. “You’ll take care of this, and then you’ll come home. It’s our first Christmas as a family, and you won’t miss it, understand? I won’t allow it. The universe owes us this.”
Always so optimistic, his Steve. Bucky smirks and places his arms around Steve’s waist, holding on tightly for the moment and feeling his heart stop racing. It’s amazing how just holding on to Steve can do that for him. “You’re right, of course. I would never dare argue with Captain America.”
“Oh, shut it.” Steve rolls his eyes and sighs like he’s tired of putting up with Bucky’s shit. “You wake up arguing with me, you go to bed arguing with me, and you do it plenty of times during the day. You’re angelic face isn’t going to get you very far with me, sweetheart.”
“I thought you loved my angelic face?” Bucky flutters his outrageously long lashes, pouts his lips invitingly, and holds him all the tighter. “Admit it, babydoll, you love everything about me.”
“Most days.” Steve kisses him, and it’s meant to be teasing and condescending, but Bucky melts into him, and there’s not a small of amount of desperation on Steve’s side either. Steve let his fingers slide into Bucky’s hair, pulling the knot that he’d just placed there. Bucky’s hands are hard and bruising against Steve’s waist, clinging and marking while he can. There’s no space, no air between them, and all they can do is hold on for all the times they can’t.
When Bucky pulls away Steve’s, eyes are still closed, still lost in the sweet haze that they make together. Bucky can’t help cupping his cheeks, feeling his soft skin underneath his fingertips, the warmth that his body made. Bucky is always in awe of Steve, always has been, but this is his favorite sweet, soft, and just so beautiful. His blue eyes slide open and there’s a lazy smile on his lips. “That’s not a nice kiss to leave a fella with, Bucky.”
“Just take it as a promise, babydoll.” He kisses him again, sweet and lazy before pulling away completely while he still has the willpower to do so. “You and Misha go ahead and head to the farm tomorrow. I’ll come straight there when we finish this up.”
“I don’t want to go without you.” Steve pouts as if that’ll make a difference.
Bucky pats his cheek and shoulders his rifle. “I know Stevie, but he’ll love it. Send me pictures.”
“Always.” Steve holds the bedroom door open and they walk shoulder to shoulder down the hall. Misha is resting in Natasha’s arms, who’s also in her combat gear, and he reaches for Bucky as soon as he sees him.
Bucky takes him on his arm, smoothing a dark curl of hair off his forehead. “You take care of Daddy for me, okay, принц? Don’t let him do anything stupid. I love you, and I’ll be back before you know it.”
Misha patts Bucky’s cheeks with his chubby hands and laughs a little before settling his head onto Bucky’s shoulder. Bucky knows if he lets himself, he would never move from this spot. So he eases Misha into Steve’s arms and would swear they share the exact same pout. “I’m sorry, принц. I’ve got to go. I’ll see you soon, okay? I won’t miss Christmas. Promise.”
Bucky leans down to brush a kiss to Misha’s forehead, and then comes up to kiss Steve passionately once more, before letting Natasha pull him from them.
“I promise, I’ll get him home for Christmas,” She vows somully.
Steve nods. “I know you will. Keep him safe for me.”
“I don’t need protection.”
Natasha smirks. “Of course I will.” The last glimpse Bucky gets of them before the door shuts on is Steve holding Misha’s hands and showing him how to wave.