Bucky Barnes ain't no coward and that’s just the gods honest truth. There’s no challenge too great for him to overcome, his already lasting friendship with little Stevie Rogers is proof enough of that.
So the fact that even the idea of being near the new baby sets his heart to jack-rabbiting in his chest just beats all.
Even with his mothers tired but encouraging smile, his fathers broad palm warm on his back and Becca smirking knowingly from Mamas side aren't enough to coax him forward. Baby Bessie had been born too small and too sick to survive much longer than the naming, and had been tiny and blue in his mothers arms.
The image is strong in his mind and the new baby in Mama’s arms is quiet and still and he can feel his heart race and his stomach is all twisted and now Mama and Becca are frowning and leaning towards him and he can’t breath-
- and the sound of a sharp cry from Mama’s arms cuts through the fog creeping around his edges and Bucky heaves a sobbing breath at the sign of life and-
- Papa’s talking to him in a low voice, sitting with Bucky on the cold linoleum floor, solid and warm. “-very quiet, she should make a nice change after you and Rebecca, howling like the devil himself was nipping at your heels.” The room comes into clearer view and Bucky slumps, secure in the knowledge that his father would catch him.
“There you are, you’re okay,” Bucky nods against his fathers chest, eyes still on the little bundle, a tiny fist waving in the air as if she knows. “We’re all okay.”
Bucky watches as Mama and Becca talk softly to each other before his sister takes the baby off Mama carefully, smiling at Bucky while Papa helps him to his his feet, guiding him to his Mama’s side and hefting him effortlessly onto the bed to be tucked in against his mothers side.
“Did you want to try holding her?” Mama murmurs in his ear, arms warm around his waist. “You can see how strong she is for yourself.”
Bucky looks back into her face before turning to Becca and Baby, swallowing hard before nodding his head slowly, words still too much for him. The bundle is silent again as Becca puts it into the crook of Bucky arms, the fist still waving slightly.
The first thing he resisters is the plump pink skin, the way it shifts when the baby blinks, the next is the wisp of pale hair that Bucky knows comes from his father and finally the blue eyes that Bucky had been told all babies had, though Papa had said they might end up brown like all the Barnes girls.
The babies face scrunches up as brother and sister stare at each other, the rest of the family a quiet mummer around them, but instead of the cry Bucky’s expecting she seems to smile, babbling quietly and shoving her fist in his face. The speed of it startles him, causing him to jerk back suddenly, startling all five of the small family in turn.
There’s a long moment of stunned silence before George Barnes gives a deep snort of laughter, starting his wife and elder children into a fit of helpless giggles while the baby looks at them all with wide blue eyes.
“Well shit, she’s gonna be a challenge,” George says when they've all calmed down. “Maybe Grace isn’t the best name for her.” Bucky grins up at his father while Becca reaches over to ruffle his hair teasingly. “Maybe we should name her Stevie, seems more fitting.”
Bucky shake his head in both fondness towards Steve and to dislodge his sisters hand. “That’s all my poor heart need,” this time Mama is the one to snort a laugh,” Rabbiting outta my chest with worry for two Stevies.”
His family smother a shared laugh out of the corner of his eye as he shakes the finger baby Grace has clenched in her tiny little fist, her big eyes tracking the movement. “I’ve got enough of a challenge on my plate just with Stevie, Bunny, you gotta give your poor big brother a break here.” Bucky smiles widely at his sister as his mother runs a hand through his hair gently.
“Ah, but rising to the challenge is all apart of being an older sibling,” Becca has moved closer to Bucky and race, George moving to Freds other side to wrap an arm around his wife's shoulder to watch their children fondly.
Becca runs a long finger down Grace’s plump cheek and smiles warmly at Bucky who returns it. “And Bunny’s gonna have it better than most ‘cause she’ll have you and me and Steve to show her the ropes.”