Chapter 16 - Homecoming

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-October 23, 2017, 10:00 am-

Rolling through the hallways of the hospital with James strapped into his carseat on her lap, Natasha split her time between eyeing James and her surroundings. It was second nature for a spy to be aware of their environment and she could already tell that with James in tow, she'd have to be doubly aware. She knew the nurse thought she was crazy and distracted but she didn't care.

The nurse stopped the wheelchair at the front door and Steve was already waiting outside, leaning up against the side of his truck. When he saw them through the shadows on the glass doors, he opened the backseat door and then stepped closer to the approaching wheelchair. "Hi, buddy," he said enthusiastically as James started to cry softly from the cold air. Steve picked up the baby carrier and set it down on its base, taking time to check that James was locked in there securely. After he shut the door, he opened the passenger side door for Natasha but she bit her lip and gave him a look... and he knew what that meant. She wanted to sit in the back with James. He just laughed as he walked her around to the other side of the truck to help her climb in. "Come on, you two, let's go home."

Natasha rested her hand on top of James while they drove, watching him sleep.

"I feel like I'm driving really slow," Steve chuckled.

"You are," she laughed. "I think that's normal."

"Clint might bring Meg back tonight, but he said he'd check in to see how we're doing first," Steve said.

"Okay," she said softly, obviously distracted by the handsome little man next to her. "Ohh, there are your eyes," she cooed. "Yes! Show mommy how pretty those little blue eyes are!"

Steve laughed to himself and his heart melted as he remembered how Natasha was famous with their friends for her tough-as-nails facade. But here she was, his wife now, and speaking adorably to their baby son. He listened quietly as the warmth of the moment spread through his chest.

"This guy's going to be just as handsome as daddy," she said. James let out some little squeaks and soft noises as his little hands waved through the air. "Steve, I'm in love," she confessed.

"I know you are, honey," he smiled.

-October 23, 2017, 2:00 pm-

"I know you weren't expecting me so soon," Bucky laughed as he laid his jacket over the arm of the couch. "I was just really excited to see my new pal."

"Do you want to hold him?" Natasha asked, stifling a yawn and then giggling to herself. "Sorry, Bucky, there hasn't been a lot of sleep the past couple of days."

"I'm sorry, I really should have waited. I can go..."

"No, no, it's okay. I promise," she said, holding James up as a peace offering.

"Buck, do you want something to drink?" Steve asked.

"No, I'm going to hold the man of the hour, but thanks."

He watched Steve walk into the kitchen as Natasha arranged James in his arms. He nodded towards Steve, "Boy, you're not kidding, even Steve looks tired. He never looks like that."

Natasha laughed. "I know, poor guy. He's been really great with James."

Steve came back from the kitchen with a drink for Bucky. "For later... when you get tired of holding him," he joked. "I'm glad you came by."

"Missed you guys," Bucky said, tearing his eyes away from James for a second. "I got pretty attached to you both when I stayed here and mooched off you for a month."

"More than a month," Natasha joked with him.

"You three are the only family I have," Bucky said. "I'm lucky to have you. Although you do kind of ruin my loner persona," he laughed.

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