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Prompts and Plot Bunnies Galore

Chapter Text

“Y’know, I had a kid walk up to me the other day when I was in Prague,” Steve says, fiddling with the seed from his recently eaten plum. “Didn’t say anything, just… stared. Finally their mom caught up with them and apologised and carried them away, but as they were leaving the kid turned and waved at me, and it made me think- it’s funny how they know. Even with the whole beard and the hair,” he waves a hand at his face, “There’s no fooling them. They’ll pick you out in a crowd no matter the circumstance and it makes you wonder how they do it.”

M’Baku gives a soft little chuckle. He leans his head back onto the tree he’s resting against, raises his own plum to his lips and takes a bite; the fruit of many months of hard labor on Bucky’s part, Vibranium rich soil to grow them juicy and plump and delicious.

“Children are mysterious things,” he agrees, wipes a trail of juice off of his chin with him thumb. “My cousin just recently had one; I can already tell she’ll be a handful with the way she keeps her mothers up at night. But, it is a joy to watch them grow.”

Steve nods along. He tosses the seed from one hand to the other, absentminded, and tilts his chin up to squint at the sky.

“It’s odd to look them in the face and know you’re looking at the future of an entire generation,” he says. “It puts a- a pressure on you, I feel like, knowing you’re in charge of that future. You’re the one that makes the decisions that are going to shape the rest of their life. It’s terrifying.”

“But it’s an honor at the same time.”

Steve drops his head and sends M’Baku a smile, finally putting the seed down on the ground beside his outstretched leg.

“Exactly.”

M’Baku flickers back a little smile of his own, takes notice of Steve’s empty hands and leans forward to grab another plum from the pile in front of him. He offers it with his free hand, and Steve takes it with a soft “Thanks.”

“Congratulations to your cousin, by the way,” Steve adds a moment later through half a mouthful. He swallows, then continues, “Motherhood is a hell of a thing.”

M’Baku snorts at that, bobs his head a little in agreement. He’s spent his entire life in awe of the women around him, and watching his baby cousin with her daughter only serves to strengthen that admiration; wonder at the way they can hold whole villages on their shoulders and not topple with the weight.

“She’s learning that the hard way, I think. Three weeks old and that child already has more of a temper than a man over half her size. And then here my cousin is, looking at me with exhaustion on her face and telling me she already can’t wait to have another.”

Steve flicks his brows up and lets out a high whistle, shakes his head and says, “I don’t know how they do it. Y’know, Bucky had three other siblings besides him, and his ma practically raised those kids all on her own in a little shoebox apartment barely big enough for two. I’d watch her wrangle them all when I’d stay over, keep everyone in check and orderly, and it was just… superhuman. She always had more than enough love to spare for every one of us, no one ever went hungry or without a set of clothes for the day because of her. She was a force of nature, that woman. Her and my ma both.”

M’Baku nods along, chewing thoughtfully. He swallows, sits up against his tree and holds out his plum.

“To all the women in our lives, eh? And everything they’ve given to us.”

Steve grins, huffs a soft laugh.

“Hear, hear,” he says, and knocks their plums together. It makes them both chuckle, and they bring their fruits back to their mouths for messy bites.

M’Baku lets his gaze wander, clocks Bucky near the goat pen where he said he’d be and watches as he tosses a haybale one armed over the fence. The little huddle of children near him yell and cheer, edging him on as he picks up another and repeats the action.

His strength never ceases to impress, even for M’Baku himself, who’s become well versed on all the many limits Bucky can push himself to and beyond. The kids love it too, constantly clamoring for him to pick them up and climb around on him like a living jungle gym, much like they’re doing now. He’s got an arm outstretched, lifting up three of the kids latched around his bicep while the rest watch in hysterics. Bucky’s grinning pretty big himself as he lowers his arm and then suddenly lifts it up again, jerking to kids into the air and sending them all back into belly deep fits of giggles.

The scene brings a soft smile to M’Baku’s lips, and when he finally moves his head back around to find a place to discard his plum seed he finds Steve watching as well with a nostalgic glint in his eyes. M’Baku hums, tossing the seed in the direction of where Steve’s rests.

“So, three other siblings? I suppose that explains why he’s so good with children,” he says a beat later, breaking the silence.

Steve blinks and looks back M’Baku’s way, then nods.

“Yeah, three sisters. I say his mom took care of them herself, but he had a big part in helping.” He rolls his lips, pauses for a second before continuing, “He really loved them. He’d act like it was a hardship, being the only boy in a household of girls, but truthfully he wouldn’t have it any other way. He was a good brother.”

M’Baku nods again and looks to the ground; he doesn’t doubt it for a second, not with the way he sees Bucky handle the village children. Gentle and kind and patient, always ready with a story or enthusiastic to join in on a game. He sees where he gets it from, now.

M’Baku moves to open his mouth and speak, but someone else beats him to it.

“Look who’s over here having fun without me. Don’t I get an invite to the party?” Bucky asks as he walks up behind them.

He squats down next to M’Baku once he’s close enough and leans forwards to peck a kiss to M’Baku’s cheek, ignoring the way the children by the goat pen shriek and laugh and pretend to gag at it behind him. M’Baku ‘Mmm’s and moves his head to turn that cheek peck into one on the mouth. He delights in the way it flushes the apples of Bucky’s cheeks a delicate pink. Bucky lingers for a moment before he pulls back and clears his throat.

“What’re you two talking about?” he asks.

“Kids,” M’Baku and Steve answer together, and Bucky looks confused for a split second before the color abruptly drains from his face.

“You mean, like, having them…?” he staggers out, turning to M’Baku for clarification. M’Baku breathes a little chuckle through his nose and runs a hand down Bucky’s arm.

“Just in general,” he tells him.

“Oh,” Bucky says, and lets out a slow breath. “Okay. Sorry, not that- not that that’s not a possibility, I just don’t think I could, you know, do that. Well.”

“Relax, Ikooko ,” M’Baku says, wrapping his arm around Bucky’s shoulders and pulling him close. “But, for the record, I do think you would make an amazing father.”

“I know you would,” Steve chimes in.

Bucky lights up red, squirms a little in M’Baku’s hold.

“Flattery will get you everywhere,” he mumbles, and lets his eyes flutter closed when M’Baku places a kiss to his forehead before adding, “Maybe in the future, yeah? Right now I’ve got those little knuckleheads over there to deal with, and they’re a more than a handful already, which is a lot for a guy with only one hand.”

It makes M’Baku snort, and Steve barks out a laugh, looking almost startled at the volume.

“We have time,” M’Baku hums, calm, and Bucky lets himself slump loosely against his side.

They have all the time in the world.

Chapter Text

When Steve knocked on Bucky’s apartment door, the last thing he expected was a comforter that had gained sentience and, apparently, legs, to open it for him.

“Uh, hi?” Steve says, voice pitching up in confusion.

“Hello,” Bucky grunts from the depths of his blanket cocoon.

They stand there in silence for a few moments more before Bucky shivers and turns away to shuffle back over to his couch. Steve blinks, then follows, closing the door behind him and setting his overnight bag down by the umbrella stand near the wall.

“You doin’ okay?” he asks quietly once he’s gotten himself nice and comfy on the other side of the couch. Bucky doesn't speak at first, and when he does it’s muffled by his blanket and his big fuzzy sweater that he’s pulled up to his mouth. “Gonna need you to say that again, babe.”

“I said, ‘it’s too damn cold’,” Bucky grumps, tightening his blanket around his shoulders for emphasis. If they were in a cartoon, Steve’s about 90% sure there’d be angry little squiggle lines floating around Bucky’s head right now.

He looks to Bucky, in all his thick sweater wearing, blanketed glory, and then to himself, eyeing his light long sleeved T and jeans.

“I mean, it is a little chilly outside,” Steve says, and when he looks back up Bucky is gaping at him in horror.

“A little chilly? Are you serious?! It’s fifty eight fuckin’ degrees out there, you mad man! It’s freezing !”

Steve has to suck his lips into his mouth to keep from barking out a laugh, seeing how Bucky looks genuinely offended over the fact that Steve dare insinuate the temperature is anything above that of the arctic tundra, and scratches at his head. “I think you’re being a little over dramatic, sweetheart.”

Bucky snorts, and burrows himself deeper into his little nest of warmth.

“Over dramatic my ass,” he mumbles, then, quieter, “I hate the cold.”

He looks miserable, huddled up in a comforter that’s dwarfing him in size, a knitted cap on his head and a frown etched on those beautiful pouty lips. Steve actually feels a little bad for him.

“Aw, Buck, I’m sorry,” he says, scooting a little closer to Bucky’s side of the couch, and Bucky shoots him a Look from the corner of his eye.

“You wound my delicate feelings, Rogers, makin’ me feel like my problems aren’t valid,” Bucky says, but Steve can see the tips of Bucky’s lips quirking up in a smile that he tries to hold back, so he rolls his eyes.

“Oh no,” Steve says, sarcasm dripping from every word. “Whatever can I do to make it up to you?”

Bucky purses his lips like he’s thinking about it. “Well, you could start by helping me get warm instead of teasing me about it.”

“Mm, I can think of a lot of ways to do that,” Steve grins, eyebrows waggling, and Bucky wrinkles his nose on a scoff.

“Get’cher mind outta the gutter, you perv, I meant cuddling.”

Steve slumps, huffing a dramatic sigh. “I’m up for that too, I guess.”

Bucky rolls his eyes and lifts up one side of the blanket, an invitation that Steve gladly accepts. He scoots over and glues himself to Bucky’s side, and Bucky drops the blanket and nuzzles himself into Steve’s warmth.

“Better?” Steve asks, voice low and lips pressed up against Bucky’s temple.

Bucky grunts an affirmative and leans forwards to place a cold-lipped kiss to Steve’s collarbone. Things quiet down and they lay like that for a bit, with Steve wrapped around Bucky’s body like a second skin, letting Bucky take all the heat he needs. Eventually Bucky shifts, and next thing Steve knows he’s face to face with those gorgeous pale gray eyes.

“Alright, we’ve solved one problem,” Bucky says, and he sounds so serious that Steve can’t help but laugh at what comes next, “But who’s going to grab the TV remote?”

Chapter Text

Bucky shifts, rolls over on his side to face the window and cracks his eyes open to a sea of blinding white. It makes him blink a few times, and he squints as his eyes adjust to the light until he can get a good look. He props himself up on his elbow, careful not to rattle the bed, and peers out the window; ice, he sees first- crusting the glass like a second skin and hugging tight to the metal rails of the fire escape- and then beyond that, a thick blanket of snow.

Bucky blinks again, stares, and then gives a little huff. Well, that certainly explains why he woke up feeling like he’d been shoved head first into an ice-box. He glances back over his shoulder and sucks in his bottom lip. Steve’s curled in on himself like a wiry little cat in his sleep, head practically smooshed between his knees. He’s not shivering yet, but Bucky bets his whole left arm he will be once he moves. Steve’s a tough one, Bucky’ll give him that, but Winter is tougher, and for all its beauty it puts up a nasty fight.

Bucky turns himself back right way ‘round and gnaws on his lip for a moment before he finally dares to move. He creeps his way out of bed to stand, spares one last look Steve’s way and heads out the door for the kitchen, slinging a worn sweater on over his wife beater as he goes. A quick rummage in the pantry leaves him with two options; black coffee or, he thinks, eyes locked on the chocolate bar stashed off to the side, something a little sweeter. With only a moment's hesitation he grabs the chocolate and shuts the cabinet door, placing it down on the counter to go hunting for a pot and a whisk (and sends a thank you to Steve’s ma above for leaving them for him when they’d first moved in).

Pot found and ingredients in hand, Bucky gets to work, melting the chocolate and whisking in sugar and salt as he goes as quietly as he can. He hums to himself while he cooks, popping two slices of toast in the toaster in between stirs. Bacon would have been good today, he thinks, and silently curses himself for not grabbing some on his last store run.

It goes like that for a bit, Bucky preparing their food while he dances around the little kitchen to a tune only he can hear.

Steve wakes up at some point- on his own or from all the bustling and noise he’s making Bucky isn’t sure- and shuffles into the kitchen doorway with the quilt from the foot of their bed wrapped around his shoulders like a cocoon. He squints as Bucky from behind sleep mussed hair and asks, “What are you doing?” on a tired rasp.

Bucky flashes him a small smile.

“You’ll see,” he says, cryptic, and Steve squints harder.

The toaster pops and Bucky grabs the toast and places each piece on separate plates, then turns back Steve’s way.

“Head back to bed, okay? I’ll be there in a flash. And,” he adds, pointing his whisk accusingly in Steve’s direction, “Put on some warmer clothes, it’s freezing.”

It makes Steve snort and roll his eyes.

“Ma, ‘s that you?” he says, sarcastic.

Bucky shakes his head. “If she was here she wouldn’t’ve had to say a damn thing to get you to listen and you know it. Go on now, scram.”

Steve makes a face, but he tightens his quilt around his shoulder and makes his way back towards the bedroom with a little grin on his lips.

Bucky uses the time to finish things up, pouring the drinks in their mugs and discarding the pot and whisk into their overcrowded sink for later. He slathers a helping of butter on his slice of toast, leaves Steve’s plain how he likes it, and gathers everything up like a balancing act to head back into the bedroom.

“Here we are,” Bucky greets, slightly strained from the effort of making sure nothing drops. Steve helps him out, grabs a plate and a mug so Bucky can crawl into bed beside him. He looks at his mug, dubious, then takes a sniff.

Bucky rolls his eyes. “Come on, you really think I’d poison you? I would’ve done it by now if I wanted to.”

Steve sends him another look but puts the rim of his mug to his lips anyway. He pulls away after a gulp, smacks his lips, and looks to Bucky with a slight disbelieving smirk to the corners of his mouth.

“Hot chocolate?” he asks, and Bucky shrugs, tries to hide his own little smile behind his cup.

“We had some leftover candy in the cabinet,” he explains. “It’s cold out, so I figured, ‘why not?’”

He takes a bite of his toast, and when he looks back Steve way Steve’s smirk has widened into a grin.

“What?” Bucky asks, and when Steve does nothing but chuckle he asks again, “Whaaat?” and bumps him with his shoulder.

Steve grasps at his mug and swats at Bucky’s arm, but he’s laughing, airy and light, when he says, “You sure are somethin’.”

“A good somethin’, I hope.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Steve waves him off, takes another sip of his drink and then gives Bucky a long, fond look. After a moment he leans forwards and smacks a kiss to Bucky’s cheekbone.

“Thank you,” he whispers against Bucky’s skin, and Bucky beams, eyes crinkled up at the corners.

“Hey now,” he says, turning his head a little to face Steve better and tapping a finger to his lip. “You missed. We really gotta work on your aim, pal.”

Steve rolls his eyes, groans a little. ‘Never mind, I take it back, you’re the worst .”

“Aw, c’mon,” Bucky says. “Give me a little kiss, darlin’, for going all out of my way for you this morning-”

“Shut up.

“-Getting up out of the nice, warm bed, braving the cold ,  just to make you a drink-”

“Lord above, alright, alright ,” Steve says, and shuts him up with a sugar sweet, chocolatey kiss. Bucky smiles into it, can feel Steve does the same, and he turns his head to make it a little deeper, a little more , before they both pull back for air.

“You’re welcome,” Bucky murmurs.

Steve hums, scoots over to rest his head on Bucky’s shoulder and lets Bucky wrap his free hand around his waist as they sip their drinks and watch the snow, fluttering slow and gentle past the window outside.

Chapter Text

“Spread your feet a little more, unclench those shoulders. Little more, c’mon.” 

TJ huffs, throwing another two jabs at the bag and doing as he’s told. 

“Atta boy, there you go. Harder, I know you’ve got it in you.” 

It brushes a smirk over his lips; he hears the double entendre for what it is, and throws a solid right strike. BJ holds tight to the bag from the back, swaying a little with each hit. 

Finally, TJ relents, smacking both hands weakly against the bag and whines, “I’m done .” 

He stumbles back towards a bench and collapses dramatically, head back and arm slung over his sweaty forehead to hide his eyes. 

“I can’t do it anymore. I feel like my arms are going to fall off.” 

“Pssh,” BJ scoffs, releasing the bag and making his way over. “Come on, don’t start with that quitter talk. One more round, then we’ll break for lunch.” 

“I can’t make it one more round,” TJ says pitifully. 

BJ raises a brow, leaning his hip against the wall. “That’s not what you were saying last night.” 

TJ groans and lets his arm slide from his face, leveling BJ with a look. 

“Are you trying to kill me. How’s that gonna look, huh? ‘Legendary boxers son convicted in the murder of the former First Son of the United States’.” 

BJ grins, and it sends a zing through TJ’s body that feels like an electric charge up his back. 

“It’s his own fault,” BJ hums, shrugging. “After all, I said I wasn’t going to go easy on him, but he didn’t listen.” 

“Victim blaming,” TJ says, and BJ chuckles, then rolls his lips, holds out a hand. 

“Guess we better take five and go get some food, then. I dunno how good I’d look in jumpsuit orange.” 

TJ takes the offered hand and uses it to pull himself to his feet, but he doesn’t let go even once he’s standing, instead reels BJ in until their chests are almost flush together. BJ goes willingly, resting his free hand on TJ’s waist. 

“If it’s how you look in everything else,” TJ murmurs, voice low, “Then I’d say pretty damn good.”