“You will build our weapons for us, or you will not like what follows,” Creepy Alpha — so dubbed in Tony’s mind to keep himself amused — threatened, green eyes flashing from behind a black ski mask.
Tony rolled his eyes despite knowing what would follow, bracing himself when Mr. Macho Alpha moved towards him again, built like a tank and also wearing a ski mask. The punch to his gut that followed made him double over, as far as he could with his hands tied behind him. “Now where,” he coughed, grimacing at the taste of blood on his lips, “have I heard that before?”
Another punch was directed at his face, and his head whipped to the side, spots dancing in his vision for a few seconds. “You idiot, we need his mind intact if we want our weapons!” Creep yelled at his partner.
“A couple knocks won’t hurt him,” Macho scoffed, pushing past Creep angrily to the door. “It’s not like you’re making any progress either.”
The door slammed shut behind him, and Tony glanced back at Creep as he sighed in frustration. The first tendrils of dread went through him at the furious glare now directed at him.
“Since you won't cooperate, I'll be forced to move to plan B.” The doors opening again startled Tony, and his eyes widened as a couple guards rolled in a tray covered with syringes. Tony turned back to Creep when he continued with, “Let's see if taking a few decades away will help you follow orders.”
One of the guards began preparing a syringe, and Tony immediately started struggling. “Get the fuck away from me, you're nuts if you think this'll work! Like hell I'm letting you inject me with that shit!”
Despite his fervent attempts to break free, Tony eventually found himself held still by a few extra guards. Panting heavily, his heartbeat only increased when the guard approached with the syringe. There was a sharp prick in his arm, and then all he knew was darkness.
* * * * * * * *
Bucky sighed heavily, leaning over and resting his head in his hands, trying to calm the nerves shooting through him. Three days since he had kissed Tony goodbye before his soulmate went on a business trip across the country. Three days since Bucky had held him close, comforted by the sweet, floral scent that radiated off of his happy Omega whenever they were together. Three days of terror and worry continuously running through Bucky’s mind whenever he thought of what Tony might be going through.
Then JARVIS had finally managed to trace a signal from the tracker Tony placed in his arc reactor, and they were on the quinjet within minutes. Now Bucky could only attempt to keep his breathing steady and his stomach out of knots, until they reached the place where Tony was being kept. ‘Please, let him be all right,’ Bucky thought, releasing a shaky breath.
A solid hand landed on Bucky’s back, and he raised his head to peek over at Steve. His face was pinched with the same stress they were all feeling, blue eyes looking at him with concern. “How you holding up?”
Bucky just shook his head, taking a few seconds to just breath, before sitting back upright. “I just need to see him again,” he whispered, leaning heavily on Steve when the other Alpha pulled him in close. “I know we’ve all been through this situation before, but...I can’t -” Bucky cut himself off, his nerves skyrocketing once again.
“Shh, it’ll be alright, you know Tony,” Steve said softly, holding Bucky’s trembling body tightly as he fought to regain some control. “He’s probably halfway on his way to blowing up his captor’s ‘lair.’” Steve laughed then, adding, “He’ll only complain that we took so long, and didn’t bring him anything to eat.”
Bucky released a wet laugh, wiping his eyes and sitting back up. “Hopefully I can figure out some other way to make it up to him.” He startled when Clint suddenly interjected from the front of the quinjet.
“I vote you make those orange chocolate cookies again. Ooh, ooh, or those blueberry crumble muffins you made for his birthday last year, those were the bomb.” Bucky rolled his eyes, steadily relaxing as his teammates bickered over the possible treats he could bake.
All that calm vanished within the next few minutes, as first an uneasy feeling trickled through his mind, steadily getting stronger while adding confusion and fear until it was nearly suffocating him. Bucky came back to himself on his hands and knees, gasping for breath with his team around him yelling for his attention, and finally realized these were Tony’s feelings. “We’re getting closer,” he managed, making eye contact with Natasha and Clint, urging them to go faster.
Now that he knew Tony’s feelings were making their way through their bond, Bucky was able to filter them out enough to concentrate on the mission. It took another half hour until Natasha was telling them to prepare to land, and by then Bucky was completely ready to do everything he needed in order to rescue Tony. Looking around the quinjet, he could see an equal amount of determination and anger in everyone else’s eyes and demeanor.
As the quinjet opened, letting in the crisp forest air from where they’d landed, Steve said, “The tracker on Tony tells us we’re about 3 miles out, so be vigilant about your surroundings. Clint, Thor, and Bruce, you go around from the east, Bucky, Natasha, and I will come in from the west.” Glancing up at Bucky, he asked, “Any change?”
Bucky took a second to reach out to Tony over the bond, but even though they’d gotten closer, there was no response from Tony’s end. Bucky shook his head, answering gruffly, “Nothing, no change. I just know he’s scared and confused, but he’s not reacting to me.”
“He may have been given a sedative, or some other drug to keep him under control,” Natasha said, the furrow of her brow the only thing revealing the amount of worry she felt about that.
Steve gave a curt nod. “Let’s go rescue our genius.”
* * * * * * * *
A door slamming open startled Tony awake, and he managed to see a man with a mask over his head before a wave of dizziness forced him to close his eyes. The floor was cold against his side, and he whimpered softly when the scent of angry Alpha reached him. Then he yelled in shock, eyes flying open, when a hand grabbed his wrist and yanked him upwards.
Those green eyes stared him down, and Tony was shaken roughly while the man screamed, “What did you do? How did you alert the others?”
“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Tony cried out, closing his eyes again when the throbbing in his head became too much.
“Don’t play stupid with me!” Another violent shake, nearly rattling Tony’s brain around, and then the grip around Tony’s wrist tightened painfully.
“Ow, get off! You’re hurting me!” Tony tried clawing at the man’s hand, but the Alpha didn’t seem to be paying any attention to him. Instead, he was staring fearfully at the closed door.
Tony slowly stopped fighting, and then he heard it. A horrifying roar, followed by men screaming and the sounds of their guns going off. Turning back to the Alpha, he started to ask, “Wha-?” before cutting himself off with a scream as the door was blown off its’ hinges.
* * * * * * * *
Bucky aimed then fired three shots in quick succession, killing a few more of the goons crawling around the base they’d found. Growling angrily when another tried to get Clint from behind, Bucky quickly sprinted forward while pulling out his knife, taking care of the fucking HYDRA agent in the next second. As if he wasn’t already going out of his mind with worry, of course it had to be HYDRA responsible for taking his mate.
Tony’s side of their bond had been dormant for the last fifteen minutes, until a sudden shock of emotion came shooting through. It was too disorganized and fast to decipher any specific feeling, but it motivated Bucky to utterly demolish the next few hallways, alongside his team doing equal amounts of damage.
The scent of scared Omega was almost overpowering when they turned the next corner, and Hulk released a terrifying roar in response. The idiot agents still fired on them, but Bucky barely paid them any mind. ‘He’s here,’ Bucky thought, feeling the pull of their bond directing him down the hall.
Trusting his team to have his back, Bucky sprinted for the door nearly at the end of the corridor. He tried the handle, faintly registering the sounds of fighting stopping behind him, but found it was locked. Taking a step back, he gathered his strength and kicked open the door, hearing a high shriek from within the room.
Bucky took a few powerful strides forward, fury thrumming through every vein — only to stop short at the sight in front of him.
An Alpha stood in the center of the room, a black mask over his face, and he was nearly shaking with fear. But what was strange - and concerning - was that he was holding a struggling boy up as a shield in front of him.
Since he was so young, his own scent wasn’t as pronounced from afar, but Bucky could practically taste the terror coming off of him now. Then the boy looked up, and Bucky’s breath froze in his chest. ‘What the hell.’
Never mind that this should not be possible, but Bucky would recognize those big, brown Bambi eyes anywhere. A growl ripped from his throat when he noticed they were shimmering with unshed tears. The boy - Tony - whimpered in response, hiccuping wetly before continuing to struggle against his captor’s arms.
“Let him go now,” Bucky managed to bite out, every muscle tense as he took in the situation. There was only the one HYDRA agent in the room, as opposed to the seven of them, but he was holding a very vulnerable Tony.
The agent sneered at them. “Or what? You take one step, and I’ll break the brat’s neck.” Tony’s eyes widened, a few tears escaping along with a fresh wave of fear pheromones.
Bucky could sense Natasha to his right, and turned his head to look at her. To a stranger, her face was unreadable. But having been a team for years now, they could communicate without words, and after a moment, Bucky nodded his head subtly. Another breath, and then they moved as one.
Bucky sprinted forward, drawing on every ounce of pure Alpha power he had, to catch the other man off guard. In the same moment, Natasha drew her gun, aimed and fired in one, fluid movement.
Unsure of which attack to counter, the Alpha unconsciously loosened his grip on Tony, allowing Bucky to pull the boy into his own arms. Cradling the tiny Omega against his chest, Bucky kept Tony’s face turned away as the Alpha fell to the ground. Bucky glanced down, the fury still racing through his blood eased somewhat at the sight of the bulletwound in his forehead.
Bucky registered the minute trembling against him and looked down at - god, at Tony. Small fists were clenched in his uniform jacket, soft brown curls shaking against Bucky’s chin, and little legs clung tightly around his waist. Unconsciously rocking back and forward, he said softly, “Shh, shh, you’re OK sweetheart. You’re safe now, we’ve got you.”
“He was really rough and mean,” Tony whispered, lifting his head to look up after a moment. Bucky slowly lifted a hand to wipe the tears from Tony’s cheeks, not wanting to startle the boy. His fear was unfounded apparently, as Tony tucked his little face right into Bucky’s neck, inhaling deeply and sighing happily, “You smell nice.”
Steve laughed as he typed a message to SHIELD for clean-up. “Oh yeah, that’s Tony all right.”
Bucky could feel Tony turn his head to look at who spoke, immediately alarmed when the little body stiffened in his arms. “Hey now, it’s fine, Steve’s a friend.” Tony didn’t reply, breath getting faster as his eyes darted between each member of the team.
Realizing too late that they should have checked if Tony retained any of his memories, Bucky turned slightly so that Tony couldn’t see the team anymore. Tucking a finger under his chin, Bucky asked the easiest question first. “How old are you?”
Tony rubbed his bottom lip with a thumb, clearly wanting to comfort himself in this stressful situation, before answering softly, “I’m six.”
“Do you know who we are?” There was a pause, Tony peeking around Bucky carefully, passing over everyone quickly before locking eyes on Steve again.
Tony managed to look back up at Bucky, though he was clearly unsettled by Steve, and said, “I know who he is,” pointing at Steve. Then he seemed to reconsider, bringing his arm back to poke Bucky in the chest. To Bucky’s delight, Tony’s cheeks turned pink as he stammered out, “And you.”
“Oh yeah? Why us two?” Bucky asked, still unsure if his memory was selective, or if Tony somehow knew them from another source.
“You’re Bucky, and he’s Captain America,” Tony said, his tone nearly screaming ‘duh’. “I read your comic books, and Dad-” Strangely, Tony cut himself off, but Bucky knew enough about Howard from older Tony to know to just let it slide for now.
“Well, then I’ll tell you that this is our new team, and you don’t have to be afraid of them. They’ll all look out for you,” he explained. Tony didn’t seem very reassured, still tense in Bucky’s arms, so he added, “But you can stick with me for now, if you’d like.”
Tony nodded quickly, fiddling with Bucky’s hair with one hand, while the thumb on his other hand finally made it into his mouth. Sure that there was a sappy expression on his face, Bucky turned towards his team again. “Let’s go home.”
* * * * * * * *
“This is weird,” Steve whispered, raising his hands quickly when Bucky shot a Look at him. “Come on Buck, you can’t tell me he’s fine.”
Bucky opened his mouth to retort, but then closed it, shaking his head. He and Tony had had many late night conversations since starting their relationship, curled around each other either in bed or on the couch. They’d shared things as trivial as what they’d done that day, what silly things they’d seen, as well as deeper, sometimes darker, secrets.
Usually, these were secrets that they hadn’t told anyone else, only finally revealing them in whispers, finding comfort in their soulmate’s arms.
Looking across the living room, Bucky watched as the tiny Omega scribbled on some paper halfheartedly. Upon arriving at the tower, Tony had politely refused all offers of food, drink or company, only taking the paper and pen from Bucky as a means to be left alone, it seemed. He’d promptly taken his supplies to the other side of the room, plopping down on the couch opposite the one from Bucky, Steve, and Natasha. He’d been quietly drawing for the past twenty minutes, but Bucky could feel the worry trickling over their bond.
Thor was already back in Asgard, with high hopes that his mother would be able to come up with a solution. Bucky just hoped that he and the team could take care of Tony in the meantime without any terrible repercussions. He let out a wry laugh, shaking his head when Natasha looked at him curiously. ‘As if we’re going to do worse than Howard.’
Tony hadn’t said a word to anyone other than Bucky, and even then only short answers in response to Bucky’s questions. He was still a little skittish around the team, but absolutely terrified of Steve. The one and only time Steve had offered to hold Tony so Bucky could help Clint out with clean-up, Bucky thought the poor boy was going to shake out of his arms.
Steve had been reasonably subdued afterwards, since he and Tony had such a strong friendship usually, but he understood. The whole team knew that Howard hadn’t been the best dad, from Tony’s own confessions and the media. They didn’t know everything though, like how Bucky knew exactly why Tony was so scared of Steve. But that was something personal, whispered to Bucky between frustrated tears one night, so Bucky wouldn’t be telling that secret unless push came to shove.
“Hey buddy, did you maybe want to check out the gym?” Steve asked suddenly, hesitating when Tony immediately froze in place. He glanced at Bucky, who nodded slightly, before adding, “I think Clint’s there now, maybe he can show us some tricks with his bow and arrows?”
A few seconds of silence, Tony’s gaze still firmly on his paper while his knuckles turned white around the pen, before he said quietly, “No thank you.”
Steve opened his mouth, probably to try again, but stopped when Natasha placed a hand over his. “How about you head down there yourself, go spar with Clint a bit. Maybe get him to show you a trick or two,” Natasha teased, eyes sparkling when Steve huffed out a laugh. “I think it’ll do both of you some good.” Steve shot Tony another worried look, but then nodded, leaning over to give Natasha a kiss on the cheek before heading to the elevator.
Bucky turned back towards Tony when he felt a wave of relief going through the bond as the elevator doors closed in front of Steve. Tony quickly looked back down at his paper when he noticed Bucky watching, cheeks flushing pink.
“Well, I’m going to go cook dinner now,” Natasha said suddenly, standing up from the couch too. “I think I’ll make my lasagna again, it’s been a little while.” Even as Bucky started salivating from the thought, he knew exactly what Natasha was trying. Peeking at Tony, yep, the boy’s head had popped right back up and he was staring at Natasha with wide eyes.
Natasha grinned at Bucky triumphantly, looking over at Tony and reacting as if she’d just noticed his attention. “Do you like lasagna, котенок?” She asked, smile softening when Tony fiddled with the pen before nodding shyly. “Would you like to help me?”
Bucky’s heart clenched when Tony’s little face lit up, a burst of happiness shooting across the bond. “Yes please.” Tony swallowed, biting his lip before he added, “I help Mr. Jarvis cook a lot, and...and lasagna is my favorite.”
“You must be an expert then!” Natasha exclaimed, walking over to Tony and holding her hand out for him to take. “Maybe you’ll teach me a few things, hmm?”
Bucky smiled at the memory that brought up, since their Tony had actually given Natasha a few tips in the kitchen. He would never forget the happiness that had run through their bond that evening, since Natasha was notorious for not allowing anyone in the kitchen when she was cooking. Not even her mates could bother her, even with the puppy eyes both Steve and Clint would do, or else they would face a night on the couch. But Natasha had always had a soft spot for her fellow Omega, despite what she said otherwise.
As Bucky watched, Tony slowly raised his hand to Natasha’s, pride filling him when Tony made contact. It seemed Tony could feel their bond too, because he looked up at Bucky in surprise, his cheeks turning rosy when he made the connection.
“Come on Barnes, join us. You may watch, but no stealing food,” Natasha said as she breezed on by to the kitchen, Tony in tow. Bucky got to his feet to follow, heart growing when Tony giggled in response.
* * * * * * * *
Throughout the next few days, Bucky was delighted to watch Tony come out of his shell a little bit. Cooking with Natasha had done wonders for his comfort level around the others, as each and every one of them made sure to compliment the chefs. Tony had still been quiet, but soaked up the positive attention and love like a sponge. Their bond was practically singing that night.
Tony spent the night in their bed, Bucky electing to go in the guest room, so that Tony could be comforted by their scents while in a new place. As a mini genius, not to mention their bond and shared feelings, Tony had made the connection between himself and Bucky. And after some deliberation, Bucky made the executive decision to tell Tony a moderated version of how he came to be in this ‘strange place.’
Tony took it like a champ, only a small trickle of uncertainty coming through. Bucky fixed that easily enough however, with snuggles on the couch while they watched The Great Mouse Detective, a not-so-secret favorite of big Tony’s. Little Tony absolutely adored it, falling asleep with a smile back on his face.
Bucky and Natasha decided to keep to his and Tony’s floor the following day, not wanting to overwhelm their tiny teammate. They watched more movies, Natasha disappearing into their ensuite at one point, and coming back out with Tony’s collection of nail polish and supplies. Tony was a little unsure at first — Bucky knew from Howard’s “teachings” — but after seeing Natasha give Bucky a manicure with pastel blue nail polish, he was practically bouncing in place for his turn.
He glowed that night when the team complimented his gold nails, even going so far to volunteer to do Clint’s nails when the Beta complained about not being invited. They put on a movie in the common room that night, Tony giving Clint purple nails just as carefully and neatly as he had done Natasha’s red ones earlier.
Tony still skirted around Steve, making sure to keep the blond Alpha in sight at all times, and he hadn’t been introduced to Bruce officially yet. Bucky made sure to remedy that the next day, strategically timing their visit to the gym with Bruce, Steve and Natasha’s usual meditation session.
Once he got over his initial shyness, Tony was absolutely enamored with Bruce, and once it came up that the Beta was also the Hulk, he immediately wanted to see the transformation. Bruce managed to convince him otherwise, explaining that they were trying to stay calm and relaxed right now. Tony readily accepted the promise that Bruce could show him later, and settled down to meditate with the rest of them.
Bucky knew that JARVIS always kept tabs on them, but made sure to have him save pictures of tiny Tony within their circle, eyes closed and breathing deep just as Bruce had instructed. It didn’t escape any of them however, that Tony still kept Bucky between him and Steve, even when the man was just sitting there, motionless like the rest of them.
After dinner that night, Steve pulled Bucky to the kitchen while the rest of them were watching a movie. “What’s going on with Tony? And don’t tell me it’s nothing,” Steve said firmly, before Bucky could try and appease him. “Come on Buck,” he pleaded softly, when Bucky didn’t answer. “I know he’s scared, the poor kid looks like he wants to bolt every time he sees me!”
A horrified look came across Steve’s face, and he grabbed Bucky’s shoulder for support. “Does Tony still think of me like this? Has he just been hiding his fear?”
“No no Stevie, it’s not like that,” Bucky interrupted quickly, grabbing Steve’s hand and easing him down to sit by the table. Sitting beside him, Bucky sighed heavily. “It’s complicated, and Tony should be the one to tell you, but I promise you, Tony worked through this fear a long time ago. You know he loves you, and he’ll probably be falling over himself apologizing once he’s back to normal.”
“I know it’s hard to see, especially since big Tony is usually drapped all over you when he’s not with me. But just give him space, and he’ll warm up to you eventually.”
Steve nodded, seemingly deep in thought until a grin crossed his face. “I wouldn’t call him big, but I understand what you’re saying.”
A laugh burst out of his chest, and Bucky warned, “I’m going to tell him you said that. Now you’ll be the one groveling, especially if he gets Nat on his side.”
Before Steve could respond, a small voice came from the archway. “Bucky?”
Bucky turned so he could see Tony peeking around the wall. “Yeah sweetheart?”
Tony’s cheeks turned pink again, and he shuffled his feet a bit before asking, “Are you OK? Do you need help?”
Bucky glanced at Steve, who looked both sad and confused again, before looking back at Tony. “No, I’m doing fine. Just talking with my best friend a little.” Bucky pat his lap, asking, “Do you want to join us? Maybe he’ll make us some of his delicious hot chocolate.”
Steve stayed silent, but Bucky could practically feel the tension from wanting to sooth Tony but not knowing how. As he watched, a myriad of emotions went across Tony’s face, longing one of the most prominent. But then it passed, and Tony shook his head, skittering away as his courage left him.
Steve was looking sadly at where Tony disappeared, and Bucky sighed again. “I’m sorry Steve, I really am. I can try to talk to him again, if you want?”
But Steve shook his head, getting up to get some juice. “No, I don’t want him to feel pressured. It’s OK, I’ll just let him come to me in his own time.”
But of course nothing was ever that easy.
Another couple days passed, during which Tony started speaking more and loosening up around the rest of the team. He still prefered to have Bucky in the same room as him, but the next time they went to the gym, Tony had a blast rolling around on the mats with Clint and Natasha. Bucky could see they enjoyed doing acrobatics with Tony as well, both tumbling around and showing off more professional moves that left Tony awestruck.
Thor came striding through the doors at one point that afternoon, saying that he had a solution from his mother, but that it still needed a couple days to ferment. But he had wanted to come back to check on ‘the little one’, and see how everyone was holding up. Tony had stared at Thor open-mouthed, apparently incredibly impressed with Thor’s presence.
His admiration for Thor only grew after the Alpha flew him — carefully — around the gym. The air was filled with Tony’s laughter and joyful screams that afternoon.
At dinner, he was much more willing to talk about his day and things that he used to do with ‘Jarvis and Ana’, and then he mentioned Maria and the comic books she used to buy him. There was a bit of good-natured teasing after that, both directed at Tony when it was revealed that he always had a crush on Bucky, and at Bucky and Steve, about the supposed adventures they went on together. Bucky was elated when he caught Tony shooting Steve a shy smile as everyone laughed around them.
Everything culminated after lunch the following day.
Everyone was relaxing in the living room of the common floor, just enjoying each other’s company. Natasha was reading a book on one couch, running her hands through Clint’s hair while the Beta dozed with his head in her lap. Steve had a sketchbook propped up on one knee, Clint’s feet laying across the other. Tony was in front of the other couch, doodling happily in a coloring book JARVIS had ordered for him. Bucky was sitting behind him, reading his own book avidly. Bruce sat on the other side of the couch looking over the data from his latest project, while Thor was fiddling with some Asgardian tech. The TV was on, softly playing relaxing music from a video game called Breath of the Wild, one of the team’s favorites.
At one point, Steve got up to stretch, saying through a yawn, “Anyone want something to eat, or drink?” A few muttered responses, and Steve rolled his eyes before heading to the kitchen.
“Need a hand punk?” Bucky called after him, heaving himself to his feet when he received a sarcastic, “I guess,” in response.
“All right your majesty, what are we making?”
Steve turned away from the cabinets to answer, only to freeze, his eyes looking down at something beside Bucky. Bucky looked down too, surprised to see Tony standing there. “What’s going on?”
Tony rubbed his hands together nervously, asking, “I-I want to help too. If tha-that’s OK?” he added, glancing up at Steve quickly.
Bucky kept quiet, wanting to see how Tony would react if Steve responded. Following his lead, Steve said easily, “Of course Tony, I’d love to have an extra hand. I’m sure you’ll be a better helper than Bucky too.”
Tony smiled shyly, looking down at his feet, while Bucky complained, “Oh, I see how it is. He bats those eyelashes and I’m kicked to the curb.”
Steve tsked, pulling a chair to the counter and gesturing for Tony to climb up. “Well, he is cuter than you, so,” Steve laughed, smiling warmly at Tony when the boy clambered onto the chair.
Bucky smiled back, keeping a close eye on Tony and poking at their bond to gauge Tony’s feelings, but other than a smidge of nerves, everything seemed fine. He still clasped Tony on the shoulder, smiling at him, saying, “All right, I’ll make some caramel popcorn, you guys got drinks?”
“Can we make, um, your hot chocolate? Please?” Tony asked Steve, tapping out a rhythm on the countertop with his fingers.
“Sure thing, buddy. How about you grab me the sugar, chocolate bars, and vanilla from that cupboard there, and I’ll grab the rest.” Tony nodded eagerly, carefully reaching up to where Steve had pointed and retrieving the ingredients. Steve came back with a jug of milk, a big pot to make enough for the whole team, and a whisk.
“Great! Now, can you break the bars into small pieces? I’ll start warming up the milk,” Steve said.
From where he was shaking a pan filled with sugar and kernels, waiting for them all to pop, Bucky couldn’t help but feel so much pride for his little mate. Even though he was still nervous, Tony was still eager to please, and helped Steve make the rest of the drink until they had a whole pot full of delicious, creamy chocolate milk.
While Bucky dished out the popcorn, Steve ladled out enough cups for everyone, and Tony carefully and slowly carried one at a time to each team member. Of course, disaster had to strike just as Tony was taking his own cup off the counter.
Steve was just putting the chair Tony had been standing on away, and as focused as Tony was on not spilling the milk, he didn’t see the obstruction until it was too late. He bumped into the chair, falling backwards and dropping the cup. Most of the hot milk ended up on the floor, along with the cup crashing into pieces, but some of the liquid landed on his arm as well. Bucky could tell it hurt through their bond, but he wouldn’t be able to otherwise from how still Tony had gone, staring the mess around him.
The shock of fear pheromones that spread through the kitchen in the next moment actually made Bucky stumble from how strong it was. The momentary pause he took to recover was enough that Steve reached Tony first, whisking the Omega into his arms and quickly bringing him to the sink. He turned on the cold water, and carefully held Tony’s arm underneath the stream.
As he carefully wiped the milk off, rubbing Tony’s arm where it had turned red from contact, Steve was saying calmly, “You’re OK hon, nothing to worry about, no one’s upset at you, this was just an accident, I’m sorry I bumped you, does it still hurt?”
There was no reaction from Tony, the boy absolutely petrified in Steve’s grip. He didn’t even react when Steve shut off the water, or when he carried Tony to the freezer, grabbing an ice pack and placing it softly on Tony’s arm.
Then Bucky carefully stepped into view of Tony, and when they made eye contact, the dam broke. Tony sucked in a deep breath, immediately starting to shake in Steve’s arms, stuttering out in between tears, “I’m sorry, please, I didn’t mean to, I’ll clean everything up, you don’t have to tell my dad, please don’t, I’m so sorry, don’t punish me, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Tony sobbed out, causing the rest of the team to crowd in the archway in concern.
“Punish you? Tony, I would never - what - where would you get that idea?” Steve looked up at Bucky with wide eyes, shock etched into every line of his face. Whatever Bucky looked like at that moment, it was enough to make understanding fill Steve’s expression. Tony was inconsolable then, just full out sobbing in Steve’s arms, the kitchen stinking of fear that was raising Bucky’s hackles instinctively.
Turning the boy in his arms so that Tony was facing him, Steve slowly lifted his hand to Tony’s face, intending on wiping away his tears. But then Tony flinched so hard that he nearly fell backwards out of Steve’s arms. It was only thanks to Steve’s fast reflexes that he didn’t, and after he got over the surprise again, Steve set his jaw determinedly.
Rocking Tony slowly, Steve shushed him quietly, waiting until he was only hiccuping with tears to speak. “Now I don’t know what your dad told you, but I will never lay a hand on you. Especially not for something that was an accident.”
Tony wiped his eyes fruitlessly, tears still making their steady way down his ruddy cheeks. He looked up at Steve, confused beyond reason, and choked out, “But - but I was bad. I made a mess, I even broke the cup!”
“Tony, I promise you that you did nothing wrong,” Steve replied easily, rubbing a hand up and down Tony’s back to help sooth him.
Tony stared at Steve for a few moments, his face unreadable, until his eyes filled with fresh tears. He whispered shakily, “But dad said you’d be disappointed. He gave me spankings, and told me that if you did it, it would hurt more because you’re Captain America, so I should behave,” he fairly wailed out, a fresh wave of tears trickling out.
Bucky blinked back his own tears, because despite already knowing all of this, hearing it again in a child’s voice no less, was heartbreaking. Steve looked simultaneously outraged and heartbroken at what he was hearing. A quick glance around the room confirmed that the rest of the team felt the same.
“Whatever your dad told you, about me punishing you, hurting you?” Steve said, cupping Tony’s cheek, brushing the hair out of his face. “It’s all wrong. Captain America would never hurt kids, I will never hurt you Tony. I promise.”
Another pause, and then Tony was flinging his arms around Steve’s neck, sobbing his poor little heart out into his chest. Steve shot Bucky another devastated look, still rocking slowly, cupping the back of Tony’s head gently.
Clint and Thor moved then, cleaning up the rest of the mess quickly, as Tony slowly calmed down until he was only sniffling sadly. They all wandered back to the living room, unanimously deciding on a movie to ease the tension. They tossed all the blankets and pillows they had on the floor, and settled down in a comfortable pile. Tony was smack in the middle, curled between where Bucky and Steve were lying, with Thor and Bruce cuddled together to the left of Bucky, and Clint and Natasha beside Steve.
Steve was clearly shaken, but the next time Bucky glanced at him, Steve’s eyes were closed, enjoying a scalp massage from Clint who had moved to sit so Steve’s head was in his lap. Natasha was curled under Steve’s arm, giving him much needed comfort and contact from both of his mates after that ordeal.
Bucky tightened his grip on Tony, who had fallen asleep beside him within minutes, exhausted from the emotional outburst and tears. He still gripped Bucky’s shirt in one fist, while his other thumb was firmly in his mouth. Their bond was still in turmoil, and Tony whimpered every few minutes, so Bucky carefully lifted Tony to lay on his chest.
His Omega immediately snuggled close, arranging himself so that his nose was tucked into Bucky’s neck again, going boneless instantly. Bucky was relieved to feel the tension leave him, as well as their bond, over the next few minutes, and settled down to watch the movie.
* * * * * * * *
The following morning, Bucky was woken up to the sensation of someone playing with his hair. He tilted his head to see Tony sitting beside him on the bed, gaze far away as he ran his fingers through Bucky’s long hair. Bucky smiled at the sight — Tony had taken to wearing Bucky’s shirts to sleep in, because they smelled good, and the image was adorable. “Good morning, Tony,” Bucky said, biting back a grin when the boy startled. “How are you feeling?”
Tony twirled a lock of Bucky’s hair around one finger, letting it slid off before answering, “I’m fine.” He must have realized how not fine he sounded to Bucky, and added, “Do you think Steve is still upset?” The with me was bitten back at the last moment, and Bucky opened his arms for Tony to cuddle into.
“Of course not, котенок,” Bucky said softly, placing a kiss on Tony’s curls. “What happened was an accident. And remember what he said about your dad?”
“That he was wrong,” came the whispered response. There was a lingering pause, and then Tony’s head shot up. “Did I hurt his feelings? I was so mean to him, and— !”
Before Tony could work himself into another panic, Bucky said quickly, “Because you were scared. Stevie understands, trust me.” Tony was still skeptical. “If it’ll make you feel better, you can apologize to him. And everything will be fine.”
Tony considered this, then nodded his head firmly, before practically bouncing off the bed to run out the door. He was waiting for Bucky at the elevator, urging him to walk faster. Even so, when they reached the common room, Tony slowed down considerably when he heard Steve and the other’s voices from the kitchen.
He looked back at Bucky, regaining his courage when Bucky smiled at him, ushering him forward slightly. Conversation dimmed slightly when Tony entered, but it quickly got back to normal when they realized where he was heading.
Tony approached Steve as he was making eggs, tugging on the Alpha’s shirt to get his attention. Bruce immediately took over cooking for him, allowing Steve to crouch down to Tony’s level. “Hey bud, what’s going on?”
“I, um, I want to say sorry. I was really rude to you, and it wasn’t your fault, so...I’m sorry,” Tony said, with such a serious expression on his little face.
A grin crossed Steve’s face, and Bucky could see the last bit of tension leaving Steve’s shoulders. “Well then, I accept your apology. All is forgiven.” He opened his arms, asking Tony, “Can I hug you?”
In lieu of a response, Tony just shot forward, nearly knocking Steve over with the force of his hug. The entire kitchen aaaaw’d, and Bucky watched as the tip of Tony’s ears turned red from the attention. Steve brushed a kiss over Tony’s temple, and Bucky felt a burst of joy through their bond at the action.
For as much as Howard had tried to use Captain America for discipline, Tony had (and still did) admired and looked up to Steve as much as he had Bucky. Tony returned to Bucky’s side, clambering up onto his lap for a cuddle before breakfast was served.
Afterwards, when Tony had decided to accompany Steve and Natasha to the gym, Bucky was approached by Thor. “My friend, the solution that my mother created for young Anthony is ready. As it will make him drowsy, I suggest he take it before bed. The transformation will occur overnight, and by the morn, we will have our Man of Iron back.”
As much as Bucky wanted to see his Omega back to normal, to hold him close and kiss him again, the thought of saying goodbye to the little tyke was sad. Thor seemed to understand, smiling at him. “We shall have to plan a nice evening for the little one, so that he knows how much he is loved.” And so they did.
When asked what he wanted for dinner, Tony almost immediately answered with, “Cheeseburgers!” They ordered from adult Tony’s favorite restaurant, with plenty of fries, and a hearty milkshake each. Tony’s eyes were as round as saucers when the chocolate beverage was placed in front of him, and he nearly vibrated with joy when Bucky pulled out the blueberry pie he’d spent the afternoon baking.
The evening was filled with laughter, as they played video game after video game, ending with quite an intense Mario Kart session. Tony was completely tuckered out by the end of it, but he still had enough energy to say good night to everyone before Bucky carried him back to their room.
He got Tony into one of his favorite of Bucky’s to wear, before tucking him into bed. Bucky went to the bathroom to change into some sweats and a comfortable shirt for bed too. He retrieved a glass of water, taking the clear solution that Thor had given him earlier, and mixed it together. When he walked back out with the glass, Tony was clearly a couple blinks away already from sleep.
“Hang on Tony, have a drink before bed. You had quite an exciting evening,” Bucky said, helping the boy drink until not a drop was left. Placing the glass on their bedside table, Bucky settled down next to Tony, propping himself up with an elbow. He brushed Tony’s curls back from his face, smiling when he arched into the fingers on his scalp the same way his adult counterpart did.
Bucky was content to keep running his hand through Tony’s hair until he fell asleep, nearly dozing off himself when Tony whispered all of a sudden, “I’m glad you’re my Alpha.”
Heart brimming with love, Bucky whispered back, “And I’m so happy that you’re my Omega. I love you so much, Tony.”
Tony smiled sleepily, breathing out, “Love you too,” finally succumbing to sleep.
Bucky watched him for a while, wondering how he could have gotten so lucky, before dropping off to sleep himself.
* * * * * * * *
Tony woke up, disoriented for a second before registering where he was - warm and cosy in Bucky’s arms, one of his t-shirts providing more comfort and scent. Satisfied, he snuggled back under the blankets, ready to stay in bed for a few more hours.
The next moment he was sitting up with a jolt, the movement startling Bucky awake, as the memories of the past week came rushing back to him. Looking at Bucky, who was now sitting up and waiting, Tony stuttered out, “I, I was...a kid?? How — what the hell —oh my god, Steve?!”
“Calm down sweetheart, come here,” Bucky said, patting the bed right beside him. Tony scooted over, leaning into Bucky’s side, needing the comfort as he tried to put everything together. “You remember you were captured by HYDRA?”
“Yeah, those assholes interrupted my donut run,” Tony muttered petulantly, and he could feel Bucky’s amusement before he continued.
“When we found you, they had somehow managed to turn you into a six year old, according to little you,” Bucky teased him. “It took a little while, especially for Steve, but you warmed up to everyone. You were adorable.”
“Is Steve OK? Oh god, I never wanted him to find out about that, but especially not like that!” Tony exclaimed, holding his head in his hands, pulling on his hair slightly.
Bucky carefully eased Tony’s fingers from his hair, interlocking them with his own. He brought Tony’s hand up to brush a kiss over his knuckles, effectively getting Tony’s attention again. “Well if you remember everything else, then you should remember our conversation too. Everything’s fine, nothing’s changed.”
“But —” Tony tried to say, but Bucky just was not having it.
“Tony, honey, you’re fine, the team is fine, and it was not a hardship at all, for anyone, to take care of you. We love you,” Bucky said, holding Tony close when he didn’t answer, just knowing what Tony needed without having to hear.
And that was the most incredible part, that even as a child, scared and so shy, Tony had known that Bucky was safe. Safe enough to be around Steve, who he had been terrified of, but knowing that Bucky would still protect him if it came down to it. Bucky, his soulmate, his Alpha.
“I love you,” Tony said, turning towards Bucky and smiling at the sappy expression on his face. “I love you so so much, you have no idea how much I love you. Alpha. Mate.”
Bucky’s smile only grew, tapping the side of his head as he said, “I think I can guess,” sending a wave of love back to Tony over their bond. And how was he not supposed to kiss him after that?
Tony poured all the emotions that had been kept back until now, not wanting to scare Bucky away, not when he was finally so happy, into the kiss. Bucky gave back as good as he got, nipping at Tony’s lips until he gained entrance, slipping his tongue around Tony’s.
When Tony came up for air, he found himself straddling Bucky, one strong hand gripping his hip while the other lay on his bare thigh, because oh yeah, he’d gone to bed with just a shirt on. Tony rubbed his forehead against Bucky’s, sending another wave of love across, grinding down onto Bucky’s hardening cock.
The growl that rumbled through Bucky’s chest had Tony fairly gushing in response. Before Tony could feel embarrassed about his reaction though, Bucky made his feelings quite clear. He ravaged Tony’s mouth, hands kneading at his ass with just the right amount of pressure. Two fingers snuck further down, spreading the slick that was leaking down his cheeks.
Tony whined after Bucky had been teasing at his entrance for a few minutes, not letting him push down on those lovely fingers with a strong grip at his waist. “Bucky, Bucky please,” he complained, moaning loudly when Bucky finally pushed two fingers into him. He tried once more to move at his own speed, but Bucky only pinched his waist in warning and Tony collapsed against his chest.
“Easy, doll. Let me take care of you,” Bucky rumbled in his ear, making Tony shiver with delight. He let out a high keen, baring his neck and sighing happily when Bucky nuzzled and mouthed at the skin there.
Bucky added another finger to Tony, thrusting them in and out lazily, just as he scraped his teeth against Tony’s bondmark. The dual pleasurable sensations made Tony nearly dizzy with want, and he managed to grind down onto Bucky’s still covered lap again.
“Too many clothes,” he said, pawing at Bucky’s sweats, trying to pull them down even as he stayed seated. “Take it off, want to feel you.”
Bucky laughed, sliding his fingers out of Tony and wiping them on his pants. “All right darling, hang on. Get my pants off, sugar?”
Tony climbed off Bucky’s legs to push his pants down and off, salivating as Bucky’s cock sprung free finally. Bucky was halfway through pulling off his shirt, and Tony couldn’t resist. He leaned down, licking a stripe up Bucky’s cock before engulfing it in his throat. The man in question jumped in surprise, a groan startling out of him since his view was still obstructed from the shirt.
Tony looked up at Bucky when he finally flung off his shirt, sucking lightly to watch his Alpha throw his head back with another groan. He bobbed up and down a bit, hand creeping up to fondle the growing knot at the end of Bucky’s cock. “Ah, Tony please, I’m not gonna last, come here.”
Tony immediately crawled onto Bucky’s lap again, kissing Bucky deeply as his mate positioned himself at his entrance. Bucky slowly nudged the tip of his cock in, before breathing out, “You ready, doll?”
At Tony’s desperate “yes,” Bucky pulled Tony down the rest of the way, punching a groan out of his throat. “Oh, Bucky, Alpha, you feel so good,” Tony moaned, lifting himself up and down a few times before Bucky took over for him.
The cool metal of Bucky’s hand felt divine against his hot skin, though he still couldn’t resist the heat radiating off of the rest of him. He shoved his tongue down Bucky’s throat, capturing every sound his mate gave off as the man pushed and pulled Tony’s hips to bring them both off.
He left another kiss on Bucky’s lips, mouthing down his jaw and throat as Bucky practically bounced him on his cock. Tony could feel that fat knot right at his entrance, almost squeezing in a few times before he broke. “I’m almost there, please, I need your knot, I want it,” he gasped, nipping at Bucky’s earlobe, at his throat, making his way down to Bucky’s bondmark.
Tony cried out when Bucky’s hand curled around his cock, pumping in time with his thrusts. “Yes, yes, Bucky, please!”
“Come for me Omega, come on,” Bucky groaned, thrusts getting faster until finally, his knot popped into Tony.
Tony was gone, moaning loudly as his orgasm crashed over him. Cum spurt out of his cock, until it was only twitching in Bucky’s grip. He nuzzled against Bucky’s neck, whimpering softly as Bucky started thrusting again, still needing to find his own release.
“You’re so good to me Alpha, come on, now your turn,” Tony said, relishing the groans in his ear as Bucky started losing composure. Tony licked the sweat from Bucky’s bondmark, before biting down hard on it, simultaneously clenching down on his knot as much as he could.
Bucky immediately came, hips stuttering up into Tony a few last times before he settled, breathing heavily into Tony’s shoulder. Tony wriggled his hips after a minute, aiming to get comfortable while they waited for Bucky’s knot to go down, before giggling, “Sorry, sorry,” when Bucky groaned from the oversensitivity.
“Devious Omega,” he growled, biting down on Tony’s bondmark suddenly. Tony gasped in surprise, a smaller orgasm coursing through him and taking away the rest of his breath.
He slumped against Bucky’s chest, his own heaving to catch his breath, finally bringing a hand up to smack weakly at Bucky’s arm. “I said I was sorry!”
“Like you’re actually upset I gave you another orgasm,” Bucky scoffed, turning his head to smirk down at Tony.
Tony grumbled in response, but he couldn’t help the happiness that went through him when Bucky oh so carefully lifted him off his knot a few minutes later. Even after such rigorous sex, Bucky made sure that nothing hurt or ached too badly, usually preparing the shower for him once they’d decided to roll out of bed.
Bucky had moved him to lay on his side, and was fluffing up the pillow behind his own head. Pure love was probably radiating off of him, the way Tony felt as he watched his mate fuss with Tony’s pillow and blanket next.
Catching Tony’s gaze, Bucky smiled at him. Settling down, he readily accepted Tony back into his arms, laughing softly as Tony sighed happily. Tony leaned up to brush a kiss on Bucky’s chin, before chuckling himself. When Bucky looked down at him curiously, Tony smiled ruefully. “Tiny me beat me to it, but….I’m really glad you’re my Alpha. I need you to know that.”
Bucky smiled, catching Tony’s lips in an achingly soft kiss, before saying, “And I’m really happy you’re my Omega. I love you, Tony.”
Tony kissed Bucky again, smiling against his lips before saying, “Love you too.”