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Habitat Building

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"It's fine," Steve said, holding the hammer up so that it was just, frustratingly, out of Sam's reach. Damned long super soldier limbs. "Don't worry about it."

"I'm pretty sure that's the third time you've broken a thumb today," Sam said. "Give it to me."

"I heal quick," Steve said, setting his jaw. "And if we don't get the bathrooms framed out by this evening—"

"You know, I've never actually seen a mule in the flesh," Sam said, letting his tone trend dangerously conversational. "But I'm willing to bet there's a resemblance here anyway."

"I am learning!" Steve said, exasperated. "How else do you expect me to help out, if I don't—"

"Maybe do like the rest of us?" Sam suggested. "Marathon, not sprint. We're volunteering to help these nice folks out, we want to make sure it's done proper, give 'em a home that lasts, not have you re-enacting the Great Storming of Whatever from 1944. You want me to go get Barnes? Because I will."

"Do not go get Barnes." Barnes' voice floated up from the bottom of the stairs; there was a faint note of humour to his words, something that was starting to creep in more and more these days but that Sam was still getting used to. "I'm in the middle of laying tile, Steve, so you want to make it easy on me and just quit being a horse's ass?"

Steve rolled his eyes, but his shoulders slumped and he handed the hammer over to Sam.

"Thank you," Sam said. "Now repeat after me. 'I, Steven Grant Rogers'—"

Steve sighed.

"—'do solemnly swear to ask for help about how to do things, instead of just hoping if I hit something hard enough for long enough it'll fall into line'—"


Sam held up a hand, and finished, "—'while also acknowledging that I've been understandably distracted by how my boyfriend's fine booty has been framed by this manly tool belt.'"

"Can you two get a room?" Barnes shouted up at them.

"I'm trying to build him one, you punk!" Steve yelled back, and then caught Sam's eye and neither of them could help it: they started to laugh.

A kiss that began with laughter was one of the best kinds of kisses. Sam had known that for a while now. But hell, he thought, using the hammer to hook Steve by the tool belt and reel him in closer: no harm in reminding himself.