Steve was elbows deep in diapers. They just wouldn't stay on the highly active eight month old, when he heard it.
Each of their children had highly recognizable voices, at least to their immediate family, and that outburst came from-,
"Was that Lily?" Jane voiced his own thoughts out loud, as she laid down her book she was reading. Even Bucky looked surprised.
Elijah couldn't talk except for his baby babble. And it most definitely wasn't Ava.
Yep it was Lily. The three of them sat there stunned. They'd never had to deal with this before. Ava was such a easy toddler. And none of the adults ever cursed in front of their kids.
Steve looked at his other halves who looked just as stunned as he did. "Do we do something?"
Steve knew they had to. They couldn't just sit there with these dumbstruck looks on their faces forever. #ParentingFail, Darcy would say.
Jane looked at Bucky.
Bucky stared at Steve.
"I didn't teach her that, Jerk!"
"She's you're daughter," Bucky shot back.
"By default. The brown hair, and blue eyes, and pouty face when she's upset is most definitely you."
"I don't pout."
"Ok. Brood then."
"Gentleman. We have a situation." Jane managed them like a pro.
"He said I brood!"
"You do. You are now," Steve shoots back.
Jane sighs and rises from her place on the couch, takes Elijah from Steve's arms and marches towards the stairs, muttering something about grown men and babies, but that couldn't be right.
"Lily Belle Barnes. Come down here please."
The cuss words.
Jane's pointed look at them clearly told them to get in line or they'd be on the couch tonight. The couch was the best money could buy and still too small for his large frame.
Sleeping on the couch also meant no Jane time. So with one last finger flipped in Bucky's direction he pulled himself off the floor and watched as Lily descended the stairs.
She was still small and took the steps one at at time, concentrating on every step down she took. Really she was adorable. Her dark hair was pulled into pigtails today, courtesy of Bucky dressing her, and her fluffy ballerina skirt was black over her hot pink leggings and matching shirt. She had a lime green sock on one tiny foot and a pink one on the other.
She was an odd child.
She was Bucky through and through in her utter flamboyant manner and charm.
Steve shook his head to clear his thoughts.
Jane was clearly the only one out of the three of them that woke up ready to parent that day.
"Lily. Where did you learn those words?"
Jane never missed a beat. "Where did you learn the word, 'damnit?"
Jane nodded. "Yes. That one."
"Papa tol me not to tell you."
"Which Papa," Jane asked. To be fair the kids had a lot of Papa's. Tony. Pepper's dad. Jane's grandfather. Even Odin.
"My Papa, mommy. Mommy I 'ungwy."
"We'll eat lunch in a minute, sweetie," she kneeled down in front of their youngest daughter and Elijah shifted, his brown eyes meeting his own and Steve felt guilty.
They should be helping Jane, but here they we're, a bunch of punks, who got brought down by a two year old and a cuss word.
Two year old, one. Two super soldier dad's, zero.
Looking at Bucky, Steve could tell he felt the same.
"Can you tell me which, Papa? Which one of your Papas taught you that word?"
"I dunno, mommy."
"You don't know?"
She shrugged in that perfectly adorable way of hers that Jane had always said reminded her of Bucky. Ava did it too.
Steve shot Bucky and 'I told you so' look and Bucky secretly flipped him the finger.
"You know that's a bad word, Lily Belle, Don't you?"
She nods seriously.
"Why did you say it?"
"Well," she circles her toe on the ground and a big smile spreads across her face and they know a big story is coming. "Well. I making a pwincess castle wif my Lego blocks. A big tower, mommy like dis high" she stands on her tip toes and uses her hand to motion above head.
"Ok. Go on."
"Well. I moving day blocks and I putted Dem on top of each other. And da tower getting higher and higher, and den...It falls down."
"So you said a naughty word? Because your tower fell?"
"Why did you say a naughty word then?"
"Well. It fall down. So I make da tower again."
"Ok," clearly it wasn't going to be easy to extract information from the two year old.
"Well I get it all da way to da top, and you know what I forgetted mommy?"
Ok. So it was getting harder to keep a straight face. Lily spent a lot of time with Thor. It was starting to show.
Jane was a pro.
"What did you forget?"
"The door, mommy! I forgotted the door!"
"And that's why you said a naughty word?"
"Continue your story, Lily Belle."
"Ok so I took down da tower and put it back up, with a door so I can get in it."
"And then you said the naughty word?"
"Lily, why did you say the naughty word?"
"Damnit? That word."
"Oh I don't know. I don't a'memeber."
For the first time since Steve knew her, Jane was speechless. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw Bucky hiding throw-able objects out of Jane's sight. She would never hurt their child. But she sure as hell would take her frustrations out on the wall, carpet, or door later.
Once they got her to use very angry sex as her therapy.
Best... Night... Ever...
After that night, they had intentionally tried to rile her up, and well. She was a lot smarter than both of them put together and they were terrible actors.
Jane took a deep breath. And then another. "You don't remember."
"No mommy," she looks over Jane's shoulder at her two fathers. "Is it time for lunch?"
Yeah. Bucky's daughter. Right.
Jane sighed, clearly resigned. "Yes honey. But first thing's first. That word you said is a naughty word. And I never want to hear you say it again. Ok?"
"Ok, mommy." She gave Jane a hug around the neck and a kiss on the cheek, than run off into the kitchen.
Jane sat Elijah down and as was normal lately, he took off crawling at a fast speed, more normal.
She turned and looked at them, clearly not amused that she had to have that conversation by herself.
Steve could only stuff his hands in his pockets and grin at her sheepishly. Bucky looked anywhere but at her.
"Next time," she huffed. "That conversation is your guys"
"Yes ma'am." Steve agreed automatically. Bucky nodded along. Chances were, it probably wouldn't be needed anyway.
"I'm going to go make little miss some lunch."
"Sounds good," Bucky said.
Jane left the room for the kitchen.
"She's a saint."
"Yeah," Bucky agreed. "She is."
"We lucked out "
They we're about to head to the kitchen when a loud crash came from upstairs.
"YOU GOTTA BE SHITTING ME!"
Jane peaked around the corner. "You're up boys."
Bucky mumbled on their way to the stairs, "We should have gone with the smaller one."
Steve could only agree.