One time is all it takes. Steve knew this, and yet he had allowed himself to be so careless; so irresponsible. He glares at the test in his hand, hoping that if he stares at it hard enough the result would somehow change. It doesn’t. It’s still reads positive. He’s pregnant.
He curses under his breath and tosses the test in the sink, the sound of it clinking against the smooth porcelain ringing throughout the room. He steps back until he’s colliding with the wall, and he slides down. The corners of his eyes burned with tears and he blinks rapidly to keep them from spilling. His life was about to change and he had no one to blame but himself.
That’s not true. It takes two to make this happen, but it wasn’t like the father was going to stick around. Their encounter had been nothing more than a quick fuck, something Steve was going to regret for the rest of his life. There was no love between them, not even a friendship.
Tony Stark was just his boss. That was it. That was all he ever would be.
Steve knew better than to sleep with his boss; it was taboo, and yet he broke that rule and ended up in Tony’s bed. Resisting the man had been easy at first; they didn’t get along right away, but despite their opinions about each other, there was something between them.
He wasn’t in love with Tony; there was a difference between love and lust. Steve was just shy of crossing over that line, but he knew that once he crossed it, he could never go back. He vowed to forget about that night with Tony, knowing that it didn’t mean a thing.
But now he could never forget. Not when he had a reminder of that night growing inside of him.
It’s a struggle to keep the tears back and they begin to flow from his eyes. He wipes them away angrily, not wanting to allow himself to get worked up over his predicament. He had options and it wasn’t like he had to worry about Tony butting in. He knows he should tell him, and maybe he will. But right now he needs someone else.
He needs his best friend.
When Steve pulls up to the familiar house, relief washes over him when he spotted his friend’s car in the driveway. Bucky normally isn’t home around this time; his job at the VA is unpredictable at times, but Steve is thankful that he was able to catch him.
His stomach churns when he rings the doorbell. He shouldn’t be this nervous to tell his best friend, not when he hasn’t had a issue telling Bucky about his problems in the past. But this time was different. He knew how much Bucky despised Tony.
There’s time to rush back to his car and pretend that he never stepped foot on Bucky’s front steps, but he doesn’t get the chance. Bucky is answering the door, face lighting up like it always does when they see each other. That warm smile quickly falters and Bucky is frowning now.
“Hey. Steve, you okay?” He asks, worry evident in his tone. Steve mentally screams at himself to supply an answer, and when he doesn’t, Bucky grows more concerned. “Steve, hey talk to me. What’s wrong?”
“Do you have a minute?” Steve finally finds his voice. Bucky nods and steps aside to let him in.
There’s a sense of calmness whenever he’s around his best friend. For as long as he could remember, it had always been that way. They grew up together and spent every waking minute with each other. Bucky had always been there for him, whether that be against the bullies that tortured him on his walks home from school or when he had lost his mother. It made sense that Steve would find comfort in his best friend.
Bucky is quick to sense his friend’s distress. Having known Steve his whole life, he knows what to look out for when Steve is having one of those days. He immediately blames Steve’s new job. It had been tough on him; the man he worked for wasn’t the greatest boss in the world. He’s told Steve multiple times to quit, but Steve was stubborn.
Steve is fidgeting on the sofa, and it strikes Bucky as odd. Steve isn’t the type to express his nerves. Only Bucky has had the privilege to witness his occasional anxiety episodes.
“Steve,” Bucky starts, doing his best to keep his tone light, but he’s worried and that seeps into his voice. “Pal, talk to me. You’re freaking me out.”
Steve takes a deep breath to calm himself. His stomach is still churning and he’s not sure if it’s because of the nerves or the baby. He had already emptied his stomach before leaving his apartment and he prayed that he didn’t have to suffer through another round.
“I...screwed up.” His voice is quiet, almost timid; nothing like him at all. Bucky’s quick to notice and his brows draw together in a deep frown.
“Something like that. Tony-”
“Did he fire you?” Bucky is growing angry. He may have told Steve to quit, but he never thought Stark would fire him. “That asshole. I swear-”
“Buck, I didn’t get fired,” Steve quickly interrupts.
“Oh.” Bucky relaxes and leans back in his seat. Steve doesn’t miss how disappointed his friend looks. Maybe being fired would have been better. “Then what happened?”
“Long story short, he uh...invited me up to his penthouse.” Steve’s face burns as he begins, wishing Bucky would catch on so he wouldn’t have to tell him. Fortunately, Bucky understands what Steve is trying to say.
“Oh God, Steve,” Bucky groans. Steve feels like a little kid being scolded. He starts to regret coming over when Bucky continues to go off on him. “I told you not to screw around with him. He's no good!”
“I know. It just-”
“You're an idiot, pal. A really big idiot. He doesn't even care about you and you're over here-”
“Alright!” Steve yells and he gets up from the couch. “I get it. I screwed up. Are you happy now?”
Bucky sighs. “I’m sorry. He’s an asshole, Steve. It only happened once, right?”
Steve is quiet for a moment and he gnaws away at his bottom lip. Bucky opens his mouth to question his friend again, but then Steve finally responds, “Once is all it takes.”
“Fuck. So you’re…” he trails off and Steve slowly nods his head. “Damn. Does he know?”
“No,” Steve sighs and takes his original spot on the couch. “I don’t think I can tell him. He’s not exactly the family type.”
“Just the type you fuck?”
Steve winces. “Yeah. I really messed up.”
“Yeah,” Bucky agrees. “Bet you’re wishing you were fired, huh?”
“Be a hell of a lot better than this.”
Steve can’t keep the tears in his eyes from falling. He sniffs and reaches up to wipe them away, but more continue to spill. He wishes he could go back and prevent that night from ever happening, but it was too late. The damage was already done.
“You okay, pal?” Bucky knows it's a stupid question to be asking, but he doesn't know what else to say.
“No,” Steve replies with a shake of his head. He was far from it.
Bucky gets up from the armchair and takes the empty spot on the couch. Their knees touch and for a moment Bucky thinks Steve is going to move away, but he doesn't. Bucky places his hand on Steve's shoulder, giving it a reassuring squeeze. “It's gonna be okay, Stevie.”
Steve scoffs. “How? I'm having a baby, Buck.”
“This is...” Steve sighs and he wrings his hands together. Bucky reaches down to take those nervous hands in his own. Steve wraps his fingers around the cool metal ones of Bucky’s hand, a small smile forming over his lips. “I know you hate this thing, but I don't.”
Steve gives the metal fingers a soft squeeze, wishing Bucky could feel him. The arm took some getting used to for the both of them, but overtime Steve didn’t mind it. He was just happy to have his best friend back.
The day he learned that his best friend enlisted in the army was terrifying, but it didn’t compare to the phone call he received when he learned Bucky and his unit had been attacked. In that moment Steve feared he would have to go on without his best friend by his side. They promised till the end of the line.
Bucky rolls his eyes and tries to pull his fingers away, but Steve keeps a firm grasp on them. “Stop trying to change the subject, punk. We're not done talking about you.”
“Are you gonna yell at me? Tell me how much of an idiot I am? Wait, you already did that.”
“And I’ll gladly do it again. I wanna kick his ass, though.”
Steve chuckles. “I'd let you but he’s still my boss and the father of-”
“No,” Bucky shakes his head. “Don't even bother wasting anymore time on that asshole. You deserve better, Steve. You both do.”
“I didn’t think I would have to do this. I remember how hard it was for my mother.”
“Yeah, but you’re not alone. I can help with the kid.”
“This is my responsibility. I don't wanna burden you.”
“You won't! Just...come on let me help you out. You're gonna need all the help you can get.”
Steve sighs loudly and glances up to meet Bucky's eyes. “You really wanna do this? Because you don't have to. I can-”
“Don't. I'm gonna help. I want to.” Bucky smiles softly.
Steve eyes him closely, searching for any indication that Bucky is against the idea, but when he finds none his lips curve into a smile. “Okay,” he finally says. “Let’s have a baby.”
Bucky rolls his eyes. “I'm Uncle Bucky. Don't let this kid start calling me Daddy.”
Steve smiles and places a hand over Bucky’s shoulder. “Thanks, Buck.”
“Don't worry about it. Everything's gonna be fine, pal. I promise.”
“Don't make promises you can't keep.”
“I intend on keeping this one.”