It had been an exhausting, dangerous, uncomfortable pregnancy, and their fear had been palpable through all of it. Bucky had genuinely almost attacked a few people, including his close friends, when they’d been too close to his omega. Steve had spent a lot of time wondering what would happen to Bucky if something went wrong. Enjoying the time carrying the pups had just not been an option. There was no way to take their time and make this the experience it would’ve been for a healthy omega. Instead, they wallowed in panic and pain, with Bucky desperately tending to his love in the hopes that the omega and pups would all be healthy. Now they had their personal miracle: A family of four. The alpha and omega, and a healthy (albeit small) set of twins. The little boy had nearly died at birth. What they’d felt when Bruce had immediately taken him away, and there had been no sound of crying (that beautiful sound that indicated life) had been horrific. Holding that baby, wriggling and wailing, had been an amazing moment.
Then the baby girl came. She was just as small, but clearly a bit tougher. She screamed from the moment she was born, and while Steve loved it, he was also DYING to hold her. To comfort her. Bruce got her cleaned up and handed her back VERY quickly. Steve couldn’t believe they were here. He held the little girl pup in one arm, and Bucky held the boy pup in his own.
“You did it.” Bucky had said.
“We did it” Steve had replied.
Steve stayed up there as long as he could. He hadn’t wanted to leave the nest, but knew it needed cleaning and care, and for windows to be opened to get rid of the scent of sweat, pain, and panic. It had overwhelmed the room when the first baby had essentially been dead, and couldn’t even be fully banished by the life that was breathed into him. Steve lingered, but the babies were fussy from the scent even under their parents’ care. Bucky helped Steve CAREFULLY down the steps from the nest, into the closet, and out into the bedroom. The alpha had begged to be allowed to carry Steve, but despite the omega being sore and exhausted, he’d wanted to walk. Medicine was retrieved from the adjoined bathroom and given to Steve, along with a LOT of water. Bucky settled the omega and pups down in the bed, making sure all three were comfortable. He covered them carefully with a thick quilted blanket. The pups’ little heads rested on Steve’s chest as they hiccuped and cooed. Steve looked down at them with all the love in the world. He and Bucky were going to show the pups how loved they were.
Bruce and Tony had stood quietly by in the nest, and eventually came down the steps as well. Tony was lost in thought. The pups were fucking GORGEOUS, and seeing the birth had been awful because of the pain filling the room. It had been especially terrible when the first pup hadn’t been breathing or crying. To see Steve tuck his face against Bucky and weep had been a stab wound right through Tony’s heart. The beta had wanted more than anything to help, but he felt so USELESS. The doctor had saved the baby and helped the birth, the alpha had held and comforted the omega, and of course the omega himself handled the worst part. All Tony felt he had done was stand by and look worried.
And now here they were. Two tiny but healthy premie pups, doing as perfectly as full-term babies would! Tony kept his distance from the bed, because Bucky had forced himself away to go gather the blankets and pillows to put in the wash. Arms full, Bucky stopped in front of Tony and said clearly “The doc’s cleanin’ up upstairs. Do me a favor...both of ya keep Stevie an’ the pups safe.”
Shocked by this sign of trust, Tony nodded. “We won’t let anything happen to them. I promise, Alpha.”
“S’just Bucky. Y’both proved a lot today.”
“But I didn’t-”
“We’ll talk about it, Tony. I gotta tell ya what I saw, cause I don’ think ya saw it in y’self.” Bucky padded out with the blankets.
The alpha headed downstairs toward the laundry room, carefully sorting everything out and taking pillowcases off, making sure the right materials were washed together so that nothing would be ruined. He took special care of the knitted items, checking which ones needed immediate care. As he did so, he considered what he’d seen in Tony. What he’d scented of the beta. That Tony had kept near or in front of the door way, as though blocking out danger. That he’d smelled panicked and determined, like he wanted to find a way to help even if it was far beyond his expertise. That at one point, Bucky had thought he’d heard a noise from downstairs and Tony had turned to posture, just in case. He’d seen Tony make a move as though to help Bruce with the second pup, but think better of touching a newborn with Bucky so protective. He’d seen respect, kindness, and a ruthless desire to fight anyone who fucked with this family.
And then there was Bruce. Bruce, who had been at their beck and call 24/7 for months now. Bruce, who had told them realities that may have gotten him attacked. Bruce, who had saved their pup and had helped the other. Bruce, who had kept his cool when the rest of them were falling apart. Good men, and good betas. Bucky trusted them both now more than ever.
Once everything was sorted and the important stuff was in the wash, he hurried back upstairs and into the bedroom. He found Tony watching from the doorway, tense. The beta relaxed as soon as he saw it was Bucky, and stepped out of the way.
Bucky was there in time to see Bruce coming out of the nest with his bag of equipment and a biohazard container for the towels used. The doctor paused and said “We’ll give you four a little time. Let me know when you’re prepared for a checkup.” Bucky patted Bruce’s arm and gave Tony a hug before they left. With Natasha, Clint, and their pups gone...it was just the Rogers-Barnes family left in the house. Bucky hurried down to lock the door, and returned at a run. He entered the room and took a good look at his omega and their pups.
The first thing he did was take a deep inhale of the scent of them. The soft baby smell was overwhelming, and their scent was a beautiful combination of both alpha and omega. With time, the pups would gain their own unique smell, but for now it was Them. It was Us. It was Family. Bucky crawled into bed beside them. Steve looked up at him and asked “D’you wanna hold our pups?”
“Just one” said Bucky softly, glancing at his metal arm. “Just one, Stevie…”
“No Buck. You need to hold them both.”
“My arm...it’s not a good arm, Stevie. It’s dangerous. It’s a weapon.” Bucky shook his head “I can’t touch them with this arm.”
“They’ll know that their dad has the most unique, amazing arm in the world. And that their dad will protect them. And that arm will keep them safe. It’ll fight away monsters…” Steve was smiling “and it’ll put bandaids on them when they fall. And when they run to you they’ll know you’ll always catch them. Put both your arms against your body, Bucky.” The omega’s voice was gentle. “You won’t drop them. I promise.”
Bucky took a shaky breath and cradled both his arms against his body. Their son was slipped into his right arm. Their daughter into his left. For the first time, Bucky held them both. He looked down at those two babies and knew that everything had changed. Everything was different. He looked over at Steve and said softly “They’re beautiful.”
And Steve replied “So are you.”