Chapter 11 - Bucky's Visit

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-Late June, 2017-

Natasha stepped out the back door with Meg rushing past her. She took a look towards the garage and saw the door open, meaning Steve was working in there. The summer was starting to swelter and she could feel the humidity on her skin. As Meg was doing her business in the backyard, Natasha heard the faint sound of a helicopter. "Incoming!" she shouted towards the garage just as Meg took off running towards the noise, which was getting closer. "Meg, no! Meg, come!" Natasha called as she chased after the puppy. As she got to the side of the house, she saw Steve beeline out of the garage running at full speed, reaching the front yard in time to scoop Meg up as he continued running. I love it when he runs like that, she smiled to herself. So hot.

She caught up to Steve as the helicopter was landing and they waited to see Bucky hop out the door. Steve was happy to see that Bucky was grinning from ear to ear. He looked healthy, he looked almost like the Bucky that Steve once knew.

"Buck!" Steve said, walking towards him for a hug.

"Hey, punk," Bucky smiled. "So you're a farm guy now?" he laughed.

Steve shrugged as Natasha stepped in for a hug.

"Hi there, Mrs. Rogers," he said, giving her a warm smile. He motioned a thumb towards Steve, "This guy treating you good?"

"You have nothing to worry about," she said to him as Meg tried to lean away from Steve to get closer to Bucky. "This is Meg," she said.

Bucky was enamored, he got closer to Meg to pet her and she licked his face. He laughed, "This is the cutest dog."

"Come on inside," Steve said, grabbing for one of Bucky's bags.

Bucky sat at the kitchen table while Steve and Natasha cooked dinner and they all talked. "So, the good news is that T'Challa's medical staff finally feels confident that they've put me on the right track," Bucky said.

"You look like you had all the weight in the world lifted off you," Steve said.

"Yeah... it was a long process. But, I mean, what else am I up to anyway?" Bucky said.

"How'd they do it?" Steve asked.

Bucky breathed out for a long second before he spoke. "Let's see, I had a therapist, I had hypnotherapy, some physical training - they were trying to retrain some muscles and some of my reflexes... I felt like a guinea pig. But... it seemed to work."

"So are you going to be staying in Wakanda... or...?" Natasha asked gently.

He laughed softly. "I don't know. I mean, I guess I don't have to now."

"You gonna move home?" Steve asked with a hint of excitement.

"I guess I should think about it," Bucky said.


After dinner, Steve took Bucky upstairs to show him the guest room while Natasha put the leftovers away.

"You done a lot of work in this place?" Bucky asked as they walked up the stairs.

"Oh yeah, a lot. We enjoyed it though," he said.

"You and Nat together?" Bucky asked. "That's great. I need a girl like that."

"Girls are different now, Buck," Steve laughed. "You looking to meet someone?"

He shook his head while he looked at the floor. "I don't know... I don't know if it's a good idea or not."

Steve put his hand on Bucky's shoulder. "This is our room, that's the bathroom... that one's the baby's room and that one is where you'll be staying."

"Okay," Bucky said, starting to walk towards the guest room. "Wait... WHAT?"

Steve walked towards the guest room, "Yeah, this one," he said and then his eyes widened. "Oh - you meant... yeah..."

Bucky swatted at him playfully. "Are you serious?" he asked with an exaggerated surprised expression.

"Yeah," Steve said slowly as a grin took over his face. "Totally serious." Steve took his phone out and opened the ultrasound picture to show him.

"I can't believe this," Bucky sighed, "my best friend's havin' a kid."

Steve smiled. "We can hardly believe it either." He walked to the door and opened it, letting Bucky walk in first.

"Steve, this is amazing - you always were such a great artist. This is a lucky baby," Bucky said. He looked at Steve trying to find a way to say the next part gently. "I thought you and Nat couldn't...?"

"That's what we thought, too," Steve said. He straightened up a few boxes that were on the floor before standing straight and looking off in the distance out the window. "This baby's a miracle."

"I'll say," Bucky said and squeezed Steve's shoulder. "This is great. I get to be an uncle." He turned and left the room, running down the stairs. "NAT!" He called out for her. Nat came up the basement stairs with a laundry basket of clothes. "Hey, give me that!" he said and grabbed the basket. "Nat, congratulations!" Bucky put the basket down and hugged her tightly. Natasha looked over his shoulder at Steve and raised an eyebrow. Steve was walking down the stairs and he smiled. "It kind of slipped out," he said.

Natasha pulled back to look at Bucky, resting her hands on his shoulders. "Nobody else knows yet, so you can't tell. We're going to tell everyone at the birthday party."

"Yeah... yes, of course, the secret's safe with me," he said happily. "How are you feeling?"

"Pretty good lately," she said. "Still get a little tired though."

"You sit," he said calmly, "I'm taking this basket upstairs for you. Then I'm going to get settled in."

"Yes, sir," she said, saluting him. She flopped down onto the couch and put her feet up.

After Bucky unpacked, the three of them sat and talked and watched a movie until Natasha struggled to keep her eyes open and bid them goodnight. Steve and Bucky sat around with some beers and talked.

"The baby is really exciting news," Bucky said. "I'm happy for you and Nat."

"Thanks, pal," Steve grinned.

"I'd like to give Nat and the baby a gift. Would you take me to a store while I'm here?" Bucky asked.

"That's nice, Buck. Yeah, I can take you, no problem." Steve said.

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