Bucky couldn’t see from the other end of the ice, but even he knew it was a beautiful shot. Sam had taken the puck from the defensive zone, dodging the other players as he sped up the left side. Just past the blue line he shot it toward the center where Steve shot it neatly over the goalies shoulder. The crowd erupted as the horn blew and Bucky lost sight if Steve as he was swarmed by their teammates.
Bucky sighed in relief and took the momentary pause as a chance to stand up out of the net. With thirty seconds left in the second period, he’d already spent a lot of time squatting. It wasn’t long before the forwards were at center ice again. Bucky leaned back into the net. There may have just been moments left, but that was all it really took to score in hockey. Fortunately, the d-men made sure the newly wild puck was kept far away from him until the buzzer went off just a few seconds later.
The sense of excitement was palpable. They were up three goals to zero. They had already made the playoffs, but if they could win today they would take the top place in the league. Being Stanley Cup contenders was a heady thing and all of the guys were excited. He just had to remind himself that this was a marathon not a sprint. They still had a period in the game and anything could happen in that time.
The locker room was buzzing as the team settled in. Two good periods was a good sign. Steve patted his shoulder as he passed, smirking. Bucky shook his head, snickering to himself. Steve wasn’t a vain man, but he had a tendency to be a little smug when he scored. He was lucky Bucky loved him so much that he was able to ignore him.
He was working on redoing the tape on his hands and listening to the chatter around him when Coach Fury entered the room. He was a dominating presence, hard faced and sharped eyed. He was a good coach. He didn’t let anyone skate by doing any less than their best. He was a son of a bitch, but he was fair and he got them to where they were now.
“Banner,” Fury barked to the backup goalie. “Get suited up. You’re going between the pipes for the third.”
“What? Why?” Bucky sputtered, more than a little annoyed. He’d been playing good. He had eighteen saves in forty minutes of play and was on his way to the seventh shutout of the season. There was no reason to bench him. He knew better than to get pissy at Fury, but he was annoyed anyway.
“Because your mother just called.” There were snickers from the other guys but the biggest surprise was the soft smile on Fury’s face. Bucky had never seen him smile. Ever. It was disconcerting. “She’s taking Becca to the hospital. You’re not skating the third. That goes for you too, Rogers. Get out of those pads and get out of here.”
Bucky watched something bright and hopeful stead across Steve’s face, but his own gut began twisting with nerves. “Is Becca okay?”
“She’s fine. You’re mom just said it might be quick so get out of here already. The rest of you. You’re gonna be picking up slack and you’re gonna win this game for our new dads. You got it?”
Bucky started stripping on autopilot, his brain a rush of thoughts, emotions, and blinding shock.
He and Steve had met when Bucky was traded to the Bruins almost six years before. Steve was a young star forward and Bucky was the new backup goalie. They’d bonded being the only Brooklyn boys on the Boston team. One thing lead to another and they fell deeply, stupidly in love.
Coming out had never been Bucky’s plan. He just wanted to play hockey, but Steve had talked him into it. Steve was like that. Always thinking about the bigger picture. “But Buck, think about the kids out there this could help. If we can make the sport better, shouldn’t we?”
It hadn’t been as bad as Bucky thought it might be. Sure, there were a lot of assholes, but there was also a lot of support. No more so than from their team. Getting married the summer before last had made it all worth it.
They had talked about kids. They both wanted them, but thought they would wait until the time was right. Then Bucky’s eighteen year old sister, who was preparing for her first seamster at Boston University, had gotten pregnant. It was a huge bit of drama, but Bucky was proud of the way she had stepped up since then. She had still gone to BU, her grades were still good, and she had taken care of herself and the baby.
When she decided to put the baby up for adoption, Bucky and Steve had stepped in. They figured there was no time like the present. They were financially sound, they had roots in Boston, and a support system. They even got their contracts adjusted to allow them to take the baby with them on the road.
They’d been excited and nervous all year and now here they were. Bucky almost didn’t believe that it was finally time. He and Steve rushed through quick showers, cleaning themselves with shaking hands. Drying was another quick affair before roughly pulling on clothes and rushing out to their parked car.
Bucky slid in behind the wheel and pulled out of the garage, while Steve fumbled with their phones.
“Your mom says they’re in the maternity ward, room number three.” Steve says reading the texts on Bucky’s phone. “She also says to be quick, but be careful driving.”
Bucky laughed, but it came out strangled around the knot in his throat. His mother had been staying with them for a month getting ready for this. He loved her dearly but he and Becca were her only children and she was very protective. She was also very excited. He and Steve had a bet going on how long it would be before she was moving to Boston. “Has anyone talked your mom?”
“Yeah. Yours did. She’s already headed to the airport.”
Silence descended close around them as they got stalled in traffic. He was still in shock. Becca had been to the doctor yesterday and she had acted like it would still be a couple of weeks. Bucky hadn't been prepared for this yet. He was excited without a doubt. He was more than ready for this. Or as ready as you were ever were to become a parent.
Bucky still couldn’t deny his worry. He was scared for his sister, and the baby. He was excited and concerned, and he would be lying if he didn’t say that part of his mind was back on the game. It was just something that was difficult to shut off. It was his job after all. The fact he was driving was good. It was something to keep him occupied at least. Otherwise he thought he might have been sick.
He was shocked from his thoughts by Steve grabbing his free hand. Both their phones were back in the center console. Bucky squeezed his hand back, letting the feeling of Steve’s rough fingers around his own anchor him to the earth. “You ready for this?”
Steve laughed in reply, half turning to better see him. Out of the corner of his eye Bucky could watch Steve’s smile, nervous and elated all at once. “I don’t think there is ready for becoming a paren.”
The most nerve-wrecking park was finding somewhere to park at the hospital. It was beginning to wind up Bucky’s nerves. Steve did everything he could think of to distract him, which included singing off key to the terrible pop song on the radio. Then, Bucky couldn’t help but break into a grin.
As soon as they did find a spot they rushed for the hospital hand in hand. They were on the receiving end of a few odd looks, but Bucky ignored them. There was only one thing on his mind and he was good at single minded determination. At the very least, Steve stayed right beside him as they all but ran through the sterile hallways.
They didn't slow down til they reached the maternity wing and explained who they were. Apparently the nurses had been waiting on them and took them right back. The delivery room was tastefully applied and more warming and welcoming than any normal hospital room. Bucky barely saw it, to focused on his sister sitting on the bed, breathing heavily and purposely. He rushed to her side, bending to kiss her forehead and pull her into a brief hug. When they parted, Becca grabbed his hand and held on tight.
“How ya doing, Becs?” Bucky asked, settling on the edge of the bed. He hoped the use of her old childhood nickname would make her feel better. He got a pinched smile and a tighter squeeze for a moment.
“I’m fine. It’s just happening a bit fast. Not that you care. You just want the baby. Once you have it, you won’t even care about me anymore.”
Bucky laughed, brushing a kiss to the side of her hand. They had always teased each mercilessly. It was just how they operated. “I love you too, Becs.”
Becca attempted a snort, but it cut off in the middle with a harsh gasp as a contraction hit. She dug her fingernails into Bucky’s palm and gritted her teeth until it passed. When it did she slumped back into the pillows with a whimper. “They said we were too late for an epidural, so it really hurts. Don’t leave me, okay?”
“Okay, I promise. Not gonna go anywhere. Just like when you were thirteen and you went on your first date.”
“Jackass.” Becca snapped around a giggle. “I still can’t believe how unapologetic you are about that.”
Bucky is saved from having to make any replies by his mother and Steve. While Steve said hello to Becca, Winifred hugged her son's shoulders. “I’m sorry to pull you two out of a game, but I didn’t want you to miss this either.”
Steve waved her off having overheard. “It’s alright, really. This is more important, and the guys can take care of the game.”
“It’s not like we need the points.” They held the number one spot in the division by a comfortable margin.
“Oh god,” Becca groaned in a loud, overdramatic fashion. “Mom, I can’t handle listening to them to them talk hockey. Please make them shut up.”
They spent the next hour distracting Becca. Bucky and Steve sniped each other from across the bed and Winifred hovered around, bringing ice cubes or pushing Becca’s hair back. The boys never even thought about checking the score.
Bucky and Steve had been at the hospital for an hour and half Becca’s contractions are coming strong and fast. The room was soon is flooded with nurses, techs, and her doctor who spoke in a calm, soothing tone and promised everything was going to be alright. Becca’s gripping the life out of Bucky’s hand, with their mother on the other side. Steve was hovering over Bucky’s shoulder, doing his best to stay close while also stay out of the way. With his bulk, it was easier said than done.
For a moment, it all seemed to go smoothly. There was a lots of screaming and pushing, but that was too be expected. Becca seemed to be okay and the doctor clearly wasn’t worried.
Until she wasn’t and the doctor was. Becca was tired, the doctor had a strained look on her face, eyes pinched and concerned. More telling to Bucky, his mother has that look on her face, the same one she used to get when he’d drag home puppies and try to hide them in the bathtube. The look said that there was something amiss and she wasn’t going to rest until she knew what.
The doctor stood up, a determined look on her face that sent chills down Bucky’s spine. “Becca,” she said, smooth and calm, but in a tone that will handle no arguments. “The baby isn’t coming and we’ve run out of time. We’re going to have to do a c-section.”
Bucky will never, in a million years, forget the horror stricken look on Becca’s face or the way she began muttering and pleading for not that. Becca had been afraid of this from the beginning, afraid of knives and needles and being alone. Only seconds later they were wheeling her bed out. Bucky followed, her hand tight in his until he couldn’t go any farther. He kissed her cheek, promised that everything would be okay and they would see in just a few minutes. He could see her trying to brave as the doors closed behind them.
For a moment Bucky just stood, tried to calm his racing heart, then turned. Steve and his mother were behind him, Winfred tucked under his husbands arm, tears streaking her cheeks and her eyes dark with worry. Bucky took her other side, keeping her squished between them. Steve’s fingers gripped into his shoulder and there was nothing to do but wait. Just wait.
It must have only been minutes, but it felt like ages and ages before the doctor was coming back out. Bucky heart was in his throat, If he hadn’t been so deep in panic mode he might have noticed that the the doctor had a small smile. Bucky faced down large, fast men trying to get a small rubber disk into a tiny goal post behind him. That was terrifying and yet he did it every night.
Worried about his sister and the baby and knowing nothing about what was going on? That was the true terror.
Before the three of them could even think of the right words to say the doctor was speaking for them. “She’s okay. Getting cleaned up now and then she’ll be moved back to her room. The babies were taken straight to the NICU.”
“Oh thank god.” Bucky’s mother sighed in relief, slumping into Steve’s chest. Bucky understood her relief. His baby sister was going to be okay and the news made him feel exhausted like he had played three back to back overtimes.
Apparently Steve was the only one not so lost in sook that he figured out what was going on. “Wait? Babies?”
The doctor nodded, eyes serious and clearly hiding a smirk. “We apparently missed twins. It’s not unheard of, even today. They’re very small. The oldest weighs about five pounds and the other is barely four. They’re both breathing on their own, however, and we think they’ll be okay. I know you two were only going to adopt one. I can connect a social worker if you need one?”
He only had to look at Steve for a moment to know the answer.
“No.” Steve replied, voice steady and calm. “We’ll take them both.”
It was a month before they got to take the girls home. They were only about to keep the guys away for a couple days more. They had supplied them with pictures and updates whenever they asked, but they were dying to meet Mia and Sophia. Bucky was just thankful that they hadn’t swarmed the hospital. Not that Bucky wouldn’t have enjoyed seeing the nurses reactions.
Since Steve had his hands currently full of a fussy Mia Bucky went to the answer the door and let their closest friends in. Sam, Clint, Tony, Bruce, Thor, Pietro, Sam’s boyfriend T’challa, and the team's publicist, Darcy. Bucky found himself swarmed in hugs, even though he had seen the guys literally five hours before at practice. He was also quickly abandoned when they caught sight of Steve and Mia. Bucky would almost would have complained about them being a bunch of woman, if he didn’t think it was so adorable.
“What do you know?” Clint muttered with a smirk. “You guys have good genes.”
“Technically they don’t have my genes.” Steve corrected as he eased Mia into Thor’s waiting arms. The baby looked even tinier in the Norwegians huge arms, but to Bucky’s surprise she also didn't fuss. He was almost tempted to hire Thor to come over every night. Mia didn’t like anybody. “They do have Barnes’ though.”
“Such a shame.” Sam snickered.
“Shut your mouth, Wilson. That’s my sister you’re talking about and don’t even start Pietro.” The winger was the youngest and didn’t always know when to not . Bucky enjoyed correcting him, not that Pietro ever listened.
“Alright, picture time!” Darcy proclaimed with glee, brandishing her camera like a weapon. They all groaned, to used to her demands. All it got them was a glare and had them shuffling to go as told.
Bucky took Mia from Thor, relieved to find that she was asleep. It wouldn’t last for long, of that Bucky was sure. He was pointed to the couch where Steve already had Sophia.
“Smile,” Darcy prompted and snapped off a quick round of pictures. Bucky knew better than to think that those would stay private. She’d been dying to get pictures of them all month. Bucky didn’t mind, not really, but also liked that the twins had been just theirs for a month. He didn’t like sharing.
The guys didn’t stay for long, and left with promises of help and support and whatever else they might need. Thor told them, in his deep, heavily accented voice, that they had everything to be proud of.
Bucky couldn’t have agreed any more.
He saw the picture later, sitting up in bed unable to sleep. Steve was snoring on the other side of the bed and he could hear the baby's breathing over the monitor. His mother told him that she hadn’t slept well when she had him or Becca either. She called it being a night watchmen. Bucky called it making sure everything in his life was okay.
He was scrolling through his twitter feed when he saw it. Him and Steve, shoulders pushing in close and their daughters asleep in their arms. They grinned up at the camera, looking exhausted and excited and overwhelmed all at once. Bucky fought back a wave of tears and quickly saved the picture to his phone before looking at the caption.
The Boston Bruins are proud to welcome Mia and Sophia Barnes-Rogers to the family. Congratulations guys!
Bucky sniffled, finally put the phone away, and curled around Steve’s sleeping form. The girls would be awake before long and he should sleep. Besides they were all safe and they were all so loved. There really wasn’t anything else he could think of to ask for.