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Anything is possible if one tries hard enough. Or at least that's what Sam believed and encouraged, mostly for the sake of going out for drinks with Captain America in hopes of getting him hammered ass drunk in the name of victory and freedom and not at all with malicious intent.


Since Sam's becoming an official member of the Avengers, he and Clint were the worst trouble making duo to ever happen, they even rivaled Tony's constructive/slightly destructive ways when he was bored. Bird Bros, they called themselves, practical jokesters.


But when Clint and Natasha had an assignment, something that required solely their specific skill sets, so over international waters they went to take care of some organization or some hit man trying to assassinate significant government leaders or something, Sam wasn't really listening since he wasn't involved (Total. Bogus). Which left one Bird Bro without the other, but no less mischievous.


He had made it sound like a casual wondering which smoothly segued into a casual wager. He bet he could get Steve drunk. To which Steve chuckled and apologetically explained about the effects of the super soldier serum - accelerated metabolism burning.


"Well then that just means you need a constant flow of the hardest stuff we can find!" Sam laughed, as if were just that simple, "Anything's possible if you try hard enough, man."


Steve glanced to his right where Bucky was watching the whole display with an amused tilt to his mouth. He shrugged to Steve, mumbled, "'s worth a shot." Not exactly the type of support he was looking for, especially when Sam crowed with excitement and started muttering about which kinds of booze had the highest alcohol content, what sorts could mix without tasting like pure gasoline, and hot damn this was gonna be fun. But Steve was wary to leave Bucky alone in Stark Tower, only having his best friend (that was rather quickly turning into something much more than friendship) returned to him a few months ago. Bucky was still rehabilitating, but he waved Steve off, telling him he and alcohol probably weren't the best mix right now and he and Sam should go and have some fun. He was also too glad to counter Sam's bet, saying as they shook hands that his disappointed face upon returning home would be reward enough, but he'd still take the hundred bucks too.


So Steve and Sam went out. And Sam was very right. Steve had to drink two bars dry, but the ultimate fact remained that Sam was right, Sam got Captain America drunk, he won. He so wished he could put that on a résumé, like that was something of substance. Getting America's super hero mascot wasted as hell, attempting to dance in a crowd (miraculously not stepping on anyone's feet), singing along to 80's ballads he had never heard before, telling funny war stories (though still incredibly drunk he reiterated that war was no laughing matter), all while tossing back drink after drink after drink that Sam put into his hand, and some starry eyed bar patrons who were generous enough to buy Cap a round.


Steve was drunk for a solid three hours, most of which Sam had captured as much proof as possible on his phone, sending out short misspelled texts, mostly to Clint, to rub his great achievement in his face. They caught a cab home and though Steve grumbled about barfing, he didn't yak once. What was even more impressive was he'd only gone to the toilet once during their outing. Sam just hoped that he wouldn't pee the bed because Bucky didn't deserve that, but he totally owed him 100 dollars - best bet ever!


The next morning Steve was woken by his internal clock at regular rising hour with the addition of the dire need to pee. By not remembering a thing from the previous night and waking up on the living room floor, he figured Sam had won, and that was that. He slipped right into his morning routine without even the slightest of twinge of a hangover throbbing against his temples, Sam probably wasn't so lucky - small victories.


But, as Steve was entering his tenth mile of his run around Manhattan, it seemed small victories didn't mean a damn thing. He literally skidded to a halt, smoke probably puffing from his heels as he stared at the text on his phone. Around this time it was usually a good morning text from Bucky, something he would grin at then stow the phone back in his pocket, never slowing his pace. But this one was different.


'WHAT did you two do last night and why did Sam send me a picture of your dick?'


He hadn't considered the amount of embarrassing evidence Sam probably had on his phone, the number of texts he must have sent already to who knows how many contacts. Shit. He didn't let the fear or mortification ensnare him, instead he rallied his dignity and grace and responded, 'Sorry Buck. Looks like you're out $100'. He put his phone back into his pants pocket and eased back into his run, only pulling the thing out five minutes later when it buzzed twice.


The first was a colorful curse from Bucky, which he smirked at, but the second nearly had him tripping (or possibly subconsciously seeking to drown himself) into the East River.


From Clint: Nice cock, Cap'n.


 

Chapter Text


 

Bucky was doing incredibly well adapting to modern day, well, everything. He was fully rehabilitated, after arriving on Stark Tower's doorstep six months after the fall of SHIELD, surrendering to the Avengers and pleading for help, though his eyes still held a blankness in them when he looked to Steve, like he was still battling himself with completing his mission. But that was six months ago, and all it took was time, care and patience to get most of Steve's Bucky back. There would always be sensitive topics, nightmares and panic attacks, but they were becoming more and more rare as he settled in to present day New York.


Bucky had kept the hair, already so used to the length (and likely it was a sort of security blanket for him), and after a proper few deep conditioning treatments and a trim, he didn't look so bad (less international killer-y, more hunky); especially when he'd gather it all back with a hair tie, the shorter strands slipping away to frame his cleanly shaven face. He was extremely grateful for the all around accepted casual attire of t-shirts and jeans. All of which combined created the devastatingly pretty picture of a stylish modern man; Bucky fit in very well.


He was very enthusiastic about the food, and trying all the improved things he'd missed or what had been created in his and Steve's absence. And he always made sure to bring Steve with him when he was trying something new, or if he didn't have Steve in his company he'd compose a hell of an indecipherable text of excitement to tell him how amazing something was (smartphones were a difficult concept).


But of course he wouldn't pack away all these high calorie meals and treats and not tend to his body. Keeping healthy, keeping fit, while cheating every so often (which was very often. 2014 was fucking great), this was the part of Bucky's adaptation that Steve couldn't necessarily handle - in a couple of ways...


Natasha trained with Bucky, she was the only Avenger besides Steve that could keep up with him and make him sweat, and sometimes even pin him until he tapped out. Natasha was ruthless and challenging and that's just what he needed sometimes. But she'd inadvertently given him something else he needed; more often than not she would hook up her phone or just call out to JARVIS to play her Ass Kicking Playlist. Not only was it was suitable title, but spurred Bucky on a little extra, made him move and sweat a bit more.


Steve had not grown accustomed to modern music, he'd stopped at the 70's, unable to tolerate screeching guitars, brutalized drum sets, and wailing singers. He generally stuck to his records, appreciating the smooth soothing sounds, real music. Not the vulgar lyrics and ear abusing rapid beats and abrasive bass dropping shit, whatever that meant. But Bucky quickly grew to love modern music, thumping repetitive noises, incomprehensible words. On days when Steve hit the Stark Tower gym with Bucky he dreaded having to listen to that terrible shit for an entire hour. But seeing Bucky so full of life, a glint in his eyes Steve recognized from the 40's with a sparkle of something else, something new and happy and devilish; far from the vacant, dead stare from the bridge, even further from the murderous gaze on the helicarrier; Steve couldn't really hate the music if it made Bucky happier.


There were a few songs he could tolerate from Bucky's playlist, which had been devised over a series of weeks and was constantly growing thanks to Natasha and Tony teaching him the wonders of Pandora Radio. Run Boy Run by Woodkid, that song, Steve noticed, brought a more serious hint to Bucky's movements and his face, determined, aggressive, and quite possibly fueling a fantasy of running from the Winter Soldier, the memories of the things he did, fear of the Soldier taking over again. But the triumphant tone of the song always made him fight harder, figuratively (and probably mentally) defeating his demons.


Something Bigger, Something Better by Amanda Blank was a song Bucky got from Natasha's music library. Steve just barely made it through that one, the combination of the number of vulgarities spilling so velvety and enticing from a woman's lips, as well as... well... it wasn't so much anything that Bucky did, more that the song made Steve's eyes wander places they ought not. Gaze dragging over alluring strong bodies that shined with a layer of sweat, evoking memories of when Bucky had been the bigger of the two of them, missing those times. Though now, with Steve less prone to sickness, able to fight for what was right and what he believed in, and the world a bit more of an accepting place than it was 70 years ago... he figured he could let his eyes linger just a bit... accidentally, of course, it was the damn song's fault.


Tolerate was a strong word, but Steve just found it really funny when Bucky started doing things in sync with the beat of Mindless Self Indulgence's cover remix of Big Poppa.


And then there was another song where tolerate was a term used loosely, Bucky's go-to song. Any time, any where, any reason. It was usually at the start of his work out playlist. A fast paced, noisy, accented jam by a British female artist. Steve would usually show up around the half way mark of the song, casually watching Bucky warm up as he leaned against the door frame. He couldn't help himself after the fifth time he heard the rough tune that was quickly becoming familiar, chuckling he raised his voice and said, "You have no idea what she's saying, do you?"


By Steve's count he was rising up from his 40th push up as he breathed out, "Not a fucking clue."


Steve's grin grew wider, "You just like it because it's got your name in it."


"Yup," Bucky puffed as he finished 50 and hopped up to his feet, smiling brightly, "Ready?" M.I.A.'s Bucky Done Gun lyrics kept on blasting from the speakers while Bucky hopped from foot to foot waiting as Steve wrapped his hands.


Bucky was rehabilitated and Steve couldn't be any happier about that, but his best friend's grotesque choice in modern music?


Steve carefully typed out his text, still not used to such ridiculously amazing technology (though he was still slightly disappointed in the future, Howard Stark had promised hovering cars in 40's for goodness sake!), to Natasha as the current song blasting on the gym stereo - something about another cover of House of the Rising Sun, but a metal version, dear fucking god - was her recent recommendation and Bucky hadn't stopped playing, singing or humming it since she showed it to him. The man's voice was alright, if one could call that singing, but it was the ill-treated instruments that Steve just couldn't stand.


'Thanks a lot, Nat >:(', he sent; he learned to make faces out of punctuation courtesy of Tony.


He was going to keep his cool no matter what, but he had to blame someone, especially when Bucky said he should learn to play guitar before he asked JARVIS to turn the volume up some more; Steve grinned encouragingly, all while refraining from crushing his phone into dust.


His phone vibrated, there was no way for him to hear the trill of the tone anyway, and he saw Natasha's response, 'You're welcome a lot, Cap ;D'.


Steve would forever blame Natasha for Bucky's grotesque choice in modern music.

.


{He would never, ever admit to liking 30 Seconds to Mars cover of Bad Romance, recognize or verbally thank Natasha for making that supposedly accidental romantic CD Bucky tended to play when they were completely alone, with that strangely shy, completely endearing look on his face when Steve knew Bucky to be a veritable lady killer back in the day. But apparently it was all for Steve, and it would always be for Steve. He'd try to glare at Natasha when she winked at him the mornings after, no matter how much damage control, she could always tell the next day and send that text again 'You're welcome a lot, Cap'. And Steve would begrudgingly respond with a curt 'Thank you, Nat'.}


 

Chapter Text


 

The best part of being welcomed into the Avengers was that each one of them, one way or another, knew something of what Bucky was dealing with. Steve knew exactly what it was like to be a man out of time in a confusing new world; Tony knew about the nightmares; Clint related with being unmade - just tool for someone else to use; Natasha understood seeing a number of nameless faces that sometimes kept her from sleeping; Sam knew the war front and the trauma that lingered with it, even when a soldier was home. Bucky's head was full with the memories of two lives, one he struggled to remember and one he wished he could forget. But being back with Steve helped a lot, additionally his new understanding companions were a gratefully accepted distraction keeping him from losing himself in the dark corners of his mind, and replacing the bad memories with new good ones.


Strangely though, it's the more recent memories of the SHIELD/HYDRA Civil War that Bucky keeps asking on Steve for confirmation.


"I shot Natalia in the shoulder..."


"Mhm," Steve nodded, finally forgoing the newspaper and reading his daily news articles on the internet, with eyes still scanning across his laptop screen he shrugged and added, "But you know her, she can take a hit, and is a surprisingly fast healer."


Right. Bucky had already apologized to her a number of times but she always waved him off murmuring phrases in Russian about how she was sorry too, it wasn't a big deal, and she'd kick his ass in the gym if he really wanted to make it up to her - though she always ALWAYS bested him when they sparred anyway. But what he was really worried about - still after a year of phasing out the Winter Soldier assassin from his body - was his standing with Sam.


"Seriously, Buck. No one blames you for any of that, spare yourself from the headache, alright?" Steve assured him then bit his lip to contain his amusement when he saw a link to a post about cats caught in hilarious situations, he struggled with whether or not he should click the link, not at all concerned about his childish behavior as 97 year old super soldier, but rather that he should be giving his best pal all his attention... the cats could wait.


"But I ripped his wings off and threw him from the hellicarrier! I mean-! I could've killed him!"


"You could've killed me too, could've finished your mission, could've let me drown, but you didn't," Steve noted.


"Yeah, but-!" Bucky sighed, pacing back and forth in the living room adjacent to the kitchen, Steve's back was to him where he had his laptop on the counter top, "Do you - do you maybe think he still harbors some resentment?"


Steve puffed out an exasperated breath, "Bucky! He's the man you preferred over your actual psychiatrist. The fact that he helped me to find you, and helped rehabilitate you are pretty good signs he doesn't have any resentment toward you. You guys hang out, and you go to his V.A. talks. The only reason he comes to the Tower is to check on you - I-" Steve's words halted on his tongue so abruptly that it made Bucky stop too. "Wait..." the blond murmured and slowly swiveled round on his high stool.


Bucky should've made a run for it then when he saw the cogs working, everything meshing into place, realization plainly presented on his best friend's face - probably just as plainly as his emotions were displayed on his own face. "Steve-" he began but Steve's mouth was already curving into a wide smile, eyes bright.


"What..." Steve muttered in astounded but totally pleased disbelief, "What? WHAT!" and Bucky winced as his voice escalated and morphed into a knowing and amazed tone. Steve stood from his stool and practically shouted now, "Do you have a crush on Sam?!"


Bucky flushing red was answer enough to make Steve bark out a giddy laugh. Bucky glared through his blush, because he was well aware of the ladies man he used to be back in the day, and even now he was relearning his charm, dazzling women and men and children seemingly with his presence alone, but should he shoot them a smirk and wink he'd have them completely ensnared. It was different though, with Sam. He really had preferred Sam over his therapist, talking things out didn't seem so clinical or scary to recall, there was a safety with Sam, an equality and sympathy, therapeutic and cleansing the way it should've been. After all the time they'd spent together Bucky didn't want to call it a crush, but it was absolutely that, and he felt ridiculous because he didn't know how to proceed. Back then chatting up a girl and taking her for a drink and a dance was simple, it was like breathing, but now, with Sam, it was terrifying for some reason. Probably because back then he knew there were always other girls to dance with, but there was only one Sam, and if he fucked this up -


"Oh. MY GOD! SHUT UP!" Steve crowed, laughter in his voice that he tried to contain, because if he was laughing it wasn't at Bucky being flustered (okay, maybe it was that a little bit) but really he thought this was perfect, he was stupidly pleased and he had to do something to help, "I SWEAR WE'RE ALL OVER IT! HE DOESN'T HATE YOU, NOT EVEN A LITTLE! OH MY GOD!" He spun back toward the kitchen, eyes hurriedly searching for his phone, "I'M GONNA CALL HIM AND SET YOU TWO UP - AH! BUCK, GET OFF'A ME!" Steve struggled to reach past his computer where his phone was near the coffee machine when Bucky's weight was suddenly on his back.


"STEVE NO!"


"BUCKY, STOP CHOKING ME! THIS IS SO GREAT! JUST LEMME-! OH MY GOD I CAN ACTUALLY FEEL YOUR BLUSH! I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU BLUSH SO RED SINCE YOU SNUCK US INTO THAT PEEP SHOW ON CHERRY BOULEVARD WHEN WE WERE 12!" Steve is totally laughing out of amusement now, this was far better than any number of cats the internet had to offer. He managed to get the sleek device in hand and punch in his code without Bucky grabbing and destroying it, and though his lungs were almost completely depleted of air he managed a gasp when his screen opened up to a newly received message - a photo message.


"Oh my god!" Steve wailed yet again and put his phone over his shoulder toward Bucky's face. A picture of the top of someone's left hand, abused and scarred from countless fights, dressed in an archer's glove; Hawkeye's hand after those evident clues, but there was a new ornament adorning his battle roughened hand. "Nat proposed to Clint," Steve stated the obvious. A titanium arrow wrapped around Clint's ring finger, less than a centimeter's worth of space between the beautifully and realistically detailed arrowhead and fletchings; a second picture arrived with a chime, another shot of the ring from beneath to show a one carat ruby embedded in the arrow shaft, cut in the shape of a black widow's hourglass.


Bucky wasn't aware his jaw had dropped in awe until Steve's shoulder shrugged up and closed it for him. Bucky shook his head and snatched the phone to look closer at the fine design of the ring, wandering back into the living room before he scoffed, "Well that's a little extravagant. I would've expected this sort of thing from Stark, but Natalia..."


Steve turned and leaned back on the counter top, crossing his arms, "You know this is a perfect opportunity, you could take Sam as your date to the wedding." Bucky tore his eyes away from the image on the phone screen to narrow his eyes at his smugly grinning friend. That grin immediately dropped when Bucky chucked Steve's phone out the window - which might've been less daunting if the window had actually been open...


Five months later Bucky and Sam did end up going to Natasha and Clint's wedding together - four and half months together themselves. Steve endlessly snapped photos the entire day with his new phone, one of his favorites was one he captured of Bucky and Sam at the reception, his heart squeezed in his chest remembering all the double dates he was forced into when before the war when he was skinny, knowing Bucky never looked nearly as happy then as he did now with Sam.


 

 

Chapter Text

 


 

"We are not homeschooling her. Bucky, you and I went to public school."


The argument had become an argument only because of Tony sauntering into Steve and Bucky's conversation during breakfast. He resolutely claimed that their was no need for Jamia to be packed away on a scary, smelly inner city school bus to deposit her into an every smellier and scarier New York public school. What was simply opposing opinions quickly turned into a serious debate; Steve on one side of the table, Tony on the other. Bucky was just flickering his eyes back and forth between opponents as he sipped his coffee, offering out a grunted sound of agreement into his cup whenever Steve prompted him, like just then about him and Steve attending public school back in the day. He hummed into his mug and Steve made a 'See?' gesture to his partner.


"Yeah! And look how you two turned out!" Tony shot back, using a similar gesture to Steve between the two frostbitten relics, as if they were the worst examples Steve had to plead his case.


As the argument became more heated, escalating in volume, more Avengers were shuffling into the 'breakfast nook' (honestly, the entire floor was a glorified kitchen dedicated to food and four types of dining rooms) and taking seats around the table, quietly watching, occasionally putting in their two cents that usually went unheard by Tony and Steve, and some were placing bets (Sam had cursed when Pepper hissed out her fifth chastising 'Tony', betting at most four, Clint chuckled triumphantly under his breath).


"School in the 1930's. Sounds rough," Natasha muttered from beside Bucky.


"Was," Bucky confirmed, though he had no idea to go off in comparison to present day school, but then focused back on the row when Steve shook his head in that certain way when he just could not believe someone's ignorance.


"She's a normal kid; she wasn't born with any powers, no accidents to give her powers-"


"Yet."


"Shut up, Tony. The point is- she's a normal kid, and we can't keep her locked up in this Tower forever. She's going to public school."


Tony leaned back, seemingly affronted as he asked, "What's - wha? What's wrong with the Tower? JARVIS is a great teacher! Pep, back me up! Tell them Mak's well adjusted even if she never leaves the Tower."


The woman in question sat at the island a little away from the breakfast table, along with the very child referenced. Pepper had a magazine opened in front of her, ignored for the moment as she tapped away at her phone, already replying to emails regardless the morning hour, not even giving the slightest shake or nod of her head in response. Her little girl - with her eyes and freckles, but everything else inherited from Tony - sat adjacent from her and looked just as occupied with a tablet in her hands, it was impossible to tell what had her so enthralled, it could've been anything from a book, an article, or a game, or a bizarre combination.


Tony refrained from pouting, but pressed on, "Mak! Back me up, hunny! You'd rather stay home with good ol' Dad and JARVIS than go to school with other kids, right?"


The girl paused and briefly raised her eyes to look at her father, then went right back to her book, or game, or whatever she had going on. Looked a lot like Tony, but definitely took after Pepper. Tony's shoulders slumped in defeat, and tensed up again when he heard Steve chuckling.


"Looks like we'll be enrolling another girl into school this year. No offense, JARVIS."


"None taken, sir," the AI responded kindly, and Tony pressed his hands to his face to wail miserably.


"C'mon, Tony! It'll be good for them!" Sam clapped him on the back.


"The trauma? The drama? The germs? The slow paced curriculum?!" Tony asked incredulously once he resurfaced, his tone growing more and more frantic.


"They're normal kids that deserve a normal chance at life," Steve affirmed.


"Normal kid, right. Two dads technically in their nineties, and gestated within a Russian assassin's womb. Totally normal. Ow!" Tony squawked, simultaneously getting a kick at his shin from under the table and a rolled up magazine thumped against the back of his head.


Pepper parked herself beside him, "Knock it off, Tony. Jamia's just as perfectly well adjusted in a family full of super heroes as Mak is." A grin curled her mouth as she quickly added, "In fact she's totally indifferent to the fact that her Dad is Iron Man."


Tony slumped completely against the table's surface, "Thanks for the reminder, Pep."


"Quoth the littlest Stark - Iron Man who?"


"Shut up, Barton."


"So it's settle. Once summer ends, Jamia Rogers and Makenna Stark are going to school."


.


With every award ceremony every year or game every other week Natasha had to exercise the phrase: Would you two giant homos keep it together? You're gonna embarrass her!


Both expectedly and naturally protective over their daughter, Steve had a tendency to get inappropriately - almost aggressively emotional, enough so that tissues were a must to bring with them to school related events. But even with misty eyes, he was just as obnoxiously loud and supportive as Bucky was; standing, clapping, crowing, whistling. Regardless of Avenger status, they got glares and side glances and scoffs from other parents, as if they gave a damn, though.


As for Makenna, she tended to be more quiet, and so were Pepper and Tony. Unintentionally making fools out of teachers. And though she didn't go out for sports Tony couldn't possibly be anymore proud whenever she took first place in science fairs, all on her own, completely destroying the competition... No, literally. One time she actually destroyed the competition, by accident of course, and Tony had never laughed so hard in his life, perfectly fine with funding the construction of a new gymnasium, and cackling as he wrote out the check, "I guess public school's not so bad."