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Impossible Odds and Untold Hardship

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"Hey. Hey, Bucky. Wake up."

Bucky slits an eye open, notes that it's the goddam buttcrack of dawn and resolutely closes it again. "No."

Steve goes from rubbing his back (nice), to poking him (grrr). "No, seriously. You gotta get up. It's your birthday."

Bucky makes a supreme effort and opens both his eyes. Then he rolls onto his back so he can glare up at Steve.

Naturally, being the buttcrack of dawn, Steve is in full Captain America mode—meaning that he's completely awake, clean, dressed and gleefully bright-eyed. Basically everything that, despite being the love of his life, makes Bucky nonetheless occasionally want to punch his teeth in. Like when Steve's being completely awake and dressed and bright-eyed and poking him at the goddam buttcrack of dawn.

"If it's my birthday," Bucky says with what he considers to be heroic amounts of patience, "I'd very much like to sleep in. Thank you." He rolls over and yanks the blanket over his head.

Or, rather, he tries to yank the blanket over his head, but Steve's sitting on it. And still poking him. "Come on. Get up. It's your birthday. We need to celebrate it."

"Whoo-hoo," Bucky says into his pillow. "I am celebrating. See? This is me celebrating. By sleeping in. Yay."

"Fine," Steve says on a gusting sigh that ruffles Bucky's hair. The poking stops.

Bucky smiles.

"I understand," Steve says, sadly. "Really, I do. It's your birthday, of course you should be able to do what you want, even if that's nothing." He sighs even more gustily. "You have every right to lie there like a big lump and sleep the day away. And completely ignore your boyfriend, who loves you more than anything—"

"Not enough to let me sleep in, apparently," Bucky says.

"And who would like nothing better in the entire world than to spend the day of his life partner's birth—"

"Life partner?"

"Celebrating it with him, for the first time in seventy years. After nearly a lifetime apart, and facing impossible odds and untold hardship—"

"Okay, now you're just getting ridic—"

"Untold hardship," Steve repeats loudly. "And the cruelties of fate and the dark machinations of evil—"

"'Dark machinations of evil'?"

"Who've conspired to keep these star-crossed lovers from each other for so long—"

"You already said that."

"I'm reiterating. But if you really want to break your boyfriend's heart by refusing to do anything at all on your birthday besides laying there snoring like a bulldog—"

"I do not—"

"And drooling into your pillow, well. Go ahead." Steve thumps him a few times on the back. "I won't stop you."

"Great," Bucky says. "That is really, truly great. Thank you. I love you so much. Best present ever. Bye."

There is a long, painful silence.

"Okay, then," Steve says finally. And leaves the room.

Bucky sighs in happy relief and yanks the blanket up so the only parts of him uncovered are the top of his head and the tip of his nose.

He's warm and comfy and almost asleep again when Steve comes back. "I didn't want to do this, Bucky," he says with terrible gravity, "but you leave me no choice."

Apparently, he removed the ice tray from the freezer. Something Bucky realizes as soon as Steve dumps the contents on his head.

They're in the hallway with Bucky kneeling on Steve's chest and that fucking ice-dumping rat bastard Steve laughing too hard to defend himself when J.A.R.V.I.S. clears his non-existent throat to get their attention.

"Excuse me, Captain, Sergeant. I don't mean to interrupt, but Sir requested I inform you that, quote, 'the jet is ready on the roof whenever you two senile idiots are done murdering each other. Oh, and happy birthday, Lefty'."

"Jet?" Bucky asks. He blinks at Steve who just blinks gleefully back at him. "What jet?"

"Surprise," Steve says, grinning. He's amazingly unconcerned to have the Winter Soldier basically sitting on him, and there's no reason at all for Bucky to feel warmed by that. "We're going to Disney World."

"Disney World?"

"Yeah." Steve nods. "You know—Disney World? It's a giant amusement park in Florida that was built in 1971." His grin softens when he sees that Bucky still doesn't understand. "Remember how back when we were kids, you'd save your allowance for weeks before my birthday, and then you'd take me to Coney Island?"

"Yeah, sure," Bucky says, nodding. "I remember pretty much everything now."

He knows that's not really what Steve means, but he loves how Steve's huge, bright grin comes back anyway. "I know. I'm so glad you remember, Buck," Steve says, with the exact same amount of quiet joy as the first time he said it. "But my point is, March 10 is a little cold still to go to Coney Island. But Florida's a lot warmer this time of year, and apparently Disney World is the best collection of amusement parks there are. So I thought it'd be fun to go there to celebrate your birthday."

"The best collection of amusement parks there are, huh? In our own private jet? Well, why didn't you say so?" Bucky laughs at Steve's eye roll but finally gets off him, offering his hand to pull Steve to his feet.

Steve slaps his hand into Bucky's and Bucky yanks him up, then uses his other hand to hold Steve still so he can kiss him. "Thanks," he says softly when they break apart.

"My pleasure," Steve says. He hugs Bucky, dropping a kiss on his temple. "Happy birthday, Bucky."

"Thanks," Bucky says again. He steps back a little reluctantly. "Guess I'd better shower, then, considering how you arranged this whole life partner celebration thing and all." He stretches in the way that Steve seems to particularly appreciate, then leers cheerfully at Steve's particular appreciation. "Wanna join me?"

Steve clearly considers it, then shakes his head. "If I do that we might never leave."

"Fine," Bucky huffs. Then he smiles. "Well, we got a private jet, right?"

Steve blinks at him innocently. "I thought you wanted to sleep."

Bucky almost gapes at him, but at the last second he turns it into a yawn. "You know? You're right. That's a great idea. Thanks, life partner." He gives Steve a kiss on the cheek and saunters to their bathroom.

Steve holds out a whole twelve seconds longer than Bucky figured he would. It's a pretty spectacular way to start his birthday anyway. Even when J.A.R.V.I.S. has to remind them that the jet's still waiting. Twice.

On the flight, Bucky ends up falling asleep with his head on Steve's shoulder. Steve doesn't wake him, even when Bucky drools on his shirt.

(Steve does take a picture, though. For evidence.)

END