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My Two Front Teef

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One-word prompt: voice


“There was an accident.”

“What?! What kind of accident?” Steve demanded. “Is everyone okay?”

“Is yes and no an acceptable answer?”

“What does that mean, Tony?”

Two adorable brunette children walked into frame on the long distance video call. Two very small children with very familiar faces.

“Hi, Thteebie!” The little boy waved and smiled, showing off the gap where his two front teeth should have been.

Steve knew that face, maybe better than his own. “Bucky?”

“Told ya.” The boy elbowed the little girl by his side with the huge blue-green eyes in a petite, elven face. The girl raised her hand and flicked a few small fingers in a wave, then scooted behind Tony’s leg to hide and peer out at Steve.  “Thath’th Darthy! Thee’th thy. Thy. Th—”

“Shy,” Tony interrupted. “Darcy is very shy and easily startled by loud noises, so we’re going to remember to use our indoor voices and tell Steve everything we remember about what happened.”

“There wath a big exthplothion, Thteebie! You thoulda theen it, pal!”

Poor Buck. That lisp was the worst. “Can you describe what happened for me?”

“There wath a flath of light and a crath and then thomeone cried and I wath wearing a giant pair of pantth! Wif kniveth, Thteebie! Lotth and lotth of kniveth. Before that, I wath in the lab. I think I went down there to thee if Darthy could come out to play thtickball at lunthtime.” He scratched his head. Obviously, some of the details were a little soft around the edges. Asking Darcy if she could come out to play? Grownup Bucky had only just started trying to get to know Dr. Foster’s lab manager. Three successful lunch dates later, Steve didn’t think playing good old fashioned stickball was on anyone’s lunchtime agenda.

“The lady pushed a button,” Darcy whispered into the back of Tony’s pant leg so low, Steve was pretty sure he was the only one who heard it.

“Which lady, Darcy?”

“The one with the Pop-Tarts. She said I could have one if I was good and quiet.”

“Darcy.” Tony clucked his tongue and bent over to lift her into his arms. He tapped her nose gently with a grease-stained finger. “We went over this. You can have whatever you want to eat, whether you behave or not. No one is withholding food for bad behavior.” Tony cast a long, meaningful glance at the camera—at Steve. “Which is why I’m on babysitting duty and Foster is barred from unsupervised contact with the kids. Scared this one pretty bad until she realized Darcy’s memories are limited to the vocabulary and understanding of a three year old.”

“I’m five,” the tiny imp in Tony’s arms insisted, shoving all five fingers at his nose and making Tony laugh.

“And I’m thixth!” Bucky bounced on his toes and waved, jumping to make sure he was seen and acknowledged, too.

“I assume you have a plan?” Steve asked the engineer.

“I do, but I need to spend some time down in the labs. Darcy is an angel. Plenty of patience to sit and ask questions for hours. This one—” He laid a hand on Bucky’s bouncing head. “Not so much.”

“I’m on my way home.”