Chapter 15 - The First Visit

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-October 21, 2017, 7:00 pm-

Bucky rocked back and forth slowly with his elbows on his knees. He couldn't bear sitting in the waiting room for another minute. Every door that opened made him jerk his head to look, hoping he'd see Steve walking out with news. Steve hadn't been out to the waiting room in an hour and a half and the only thing he'd asked of Bucky when he was there was to call Sam and Wanda to call the others.

Bucky was starting to fear there was a problem and the anxiety continued to rise in his chest.

When the elevator doors opened down the hall, he'd all but given up on looking around to see if it was someone he was interested in. But he looked anyway and he did a double-take. "Wanda? Hey..." he said as he stood up and walked towards her. Her boots clicking on the linoleum floor were a welcome sound in the quiet waiting room but not more than her million dollar smile as she held her arms out for a hug.

"Bucky! Hi," she said, reaching out for him. "You look so good," she said very genuinely.

"Aw, thanks, Wanda," Bucky stuttered out. "I'm glad to see you, it's been a long day."

She grinned at him as they sat down. "Don't worry, everything is fine. I suspect baby is almost here."

"You suspect?" he laughed. "You mean you know."

Wanda laughed, "Yes, I know."

"I should have called you an hour ago," he laughed. The elevator doors opened again to reveal the sound of a plethora of different voices, including excited children. "Well if it isn't the Bartons with their adopted bird," he laughed heartily.

"Ha haaaaa, Barnes," Sam said sarcastically before breaking out into a laugh and offering his fist for a fist bump. Sam plopped down into the seat next to him.

Only ten minutes or so passed before the whirring sound from the maternity ward double doors alerted them all to a coming change in the room. They all looked up to see Steve, dressed in a medical cover-up, walking straight through with a giant grin on his face. Though tired, his eyes looked more clear blue than usual and his cheeks were rosy. They all jumped to their feet in time to hear Steve say, "Baby's here."

Sam, Bucky, and Clint were all patting Steve on the arm as Laura and Wanda hugged each other. Cooper joined the men as Lila held Nathaniel's hands and they jumped up and down.

"Well??" Sam asked as they all looked at Steve.

Steve's smile grew as he looked at Bucky. He turned to the rest of the gang and said, "Can I just borrow Bucky for a few minutes first? Then I promise I'll bring you all back to see for yourselves."

Steve reached out for Bucky's shoulder and pulled him through the door. The rest of them watched as the two men walked down the hallway.

"Steve?" Bucky asked as they stopped in front of Natasha's hospital room.

"Yeah, Buck?"

"Congratulations, man," he said as he gave Steve a hug and patted him on the back.

"Thanks, Buck. Are you ready to meet your new little pal?" Steve asked.

Bucky nodded, holding back a smile.

Steve cracked the door open a couple of inches. "Babe? Are you ready?"

"We're ready," Natasha called back.

Bucky followed Steve slowly into the room and when he laid eyes on Natasha in the bed, holding a tiny baby, his eyes welled up a bit. "Oh, my goodness," he whispered.

Steve rested a hand on his shoulder. "Uncle Bucky, meet James."

Bucky's eyes widened as he looked over to Steve smiling. "James?"

Steve nodded.

"Steve... I..." Bucky blinked hard and wiped a tear away. He knelt to the floor in front of the bed and looked closely at the tiny pink babe. Natasha moved the baby so Bucky could get a better look. "Hey, James," he said softly. "I'm your Uncle Bucky."

"Do you want to hold him?" Natasha asked.

Bucky was quiet and then glanced up to see Steve's face. Steve nodded at him with a smile so Bucky moved himself up into the chair next to the bed. Steve picked the baby up and handed him to Bucky.

Moved with emotion, Bucky looked down into James' face as he lay there very still, swaddled in his blanket. Breaking the tension, Steve knelt to the floor and said, "We have to get a picture of this," getting out his phone and holding it up. Bucky slowly looked up from James and smiled for Steve, trying to hold James up a little bit for the picture. Once Steve snapped a few pictures, Bucky looked more comfortable and he looked down at the baby again. "Pal, I'm going to teach you all kinds of stuff. We're going to be buddies."

After visiting for just a few minutes, Bucky sadly told Steve and Natasha he had to be leaving to get to work. "I know it's not much of a job..." he said, hesitatingly.

"Buck, you have a job - you don't have to be embarrassed," Steve said firmly as he picked James up.

"Yeah," he said, unconvincingly. He stood and gave Natasha a kiss and hug. "Good job, mom, good job."

Steve handed the baby off to Natasha. "Come on, I'll walk you out," he said to Bucky.

"Bye, Nat," Bucky waved from the door.

"Thanks for coming today," she said, "it means a lot to us."

Out in the hallway, Bucky put his arm around Steve's shoulder as they walked. "Proud of you, Rogers," he said.

"Well, I'm proud of you, too," Steve said. "Don't sell yourself short on keeping a job, either. You're no slouch. Things are coming together for you, I can see that. I know you're working really hard."

"It's just a bouncer position," Bucky said. "Not exactly what I ever saw myself doing but what else is a six foot nothing former assassin with a metal arm going to do?" He let out a little laugh.

Steve stopped before the got to the doors to the waiting room, he faced Bucky. "You're going to come visit soon?"

"I will. Can't wait to see my little buddy again," he smiled. After a split second of looking at Steve, Bucky leaned over and gave him a big hug. "Thanks..." he said.

"For what?" Steve asked. The tired feeling from a long day was starting to make him fuzzy.

"For naming your kid after me, you punk," Bucky laughed and stepped back.

Steve squeezed his shoulder, "Glad to have you back... jerk." Steve laughed and watched as Bucky turned to leave. He saw the others in the waiting room and waved them in.

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