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The Winter Knight: the House of Arthadan part 2

Chapter Text

~~**~


 

Of course Tony didn’t say no. In fact; the moment Howard gruffly asked his son if he would like to help him on a robotics project, Tony’s eyes widened to the size of dinner plates in shock before he grinned like a giddy little school boy, and nodded so fast his head was almost a blur. Steven snickered at his enthusiasm but let it slide in favor of showing the boy his creation.

Tony’s hands had run over the incomplete cybernetic arm with reverence and awe. He admired the workmanship before scrutinizing the small wires and servos that made the arm move. Steven watched the boy work with pride as he manipulated the skeleton and mechanical structures of the wrist and elbow joints. The manic glee on Tony’s face told him that the young genius found the design and craftsmanship flawless. The boy looked over the sheathing that would act like a second skin, with the same laser focus. He put it down after a minute before focusing on the electronics that would translate Bucky’s nerve impulses into something that the mechanics and the miniaturized computer would understand.

After a long moment studying the attachment point, where the arm would be permanently grafted to his Ada’s muscles and skeleton, Tony turned around with a look of awe and bliss on his face.

                “Who designed this,” he asked. Steven grinned at the awe and respect in the boy’s voice, and raised his hand with his Ada’s signature cocky smirk. Tony’s jaw dropped and his eyes went wide and expressive. “You?!” he asked incredulously. Steven grinned and laughed.

                “Yep,” he said with a bright smile. Tony’s look of pure disbelief didn’t leave his face.

                “I don’t… no offence or anything,” Tony said, “but I thought you were another of Dad’s hired goons, not a cybernetics engineer genius!” Tony looked back at the schematics with awe. He picked up one of the blue prints and waved it at his father and Steven. “This, the idea that you can use fiber optics wires to simulate human nerves and impulses, is pure genius! Dad, tell me you’re just shitting with me and you made this.” Tony demanded, but Howard remained silent with an amused smile on his face. “Dad! Dad?” after a second Tony’s expression dropped into shock again as he looked back and forth between his father and Steven. Once it finally set in that Howard was telling the truth, the blueprints slipped from his limp fingers and he plopped down into his father’s chair. “You’re not, are you?” Tony asked timidly, and Howard shook his head raising an eyebrow and looking at Steven’s smirking face.

                “Tony, I want you to meet someone near and dear to my heart,” Howard said and moved to gently pick his son up from the chair with a gentle hand under his arm. He tugged him to stand before Steven and smiled. “Tony, this is Captain Steven Grant Buchanan of the Howling Commandoes: artist, tactician, marksman, and technology genius extraordinaire. He’s the one that gave me many of my ideas during and after the War.” Tony numbly held out his hand to shake Steven’s and Steven laughed at the gesture before pulling the boy into a bruising hug. Tony let out a sound that was most definitely a squeak, as Steven squeezed him tightly.

                “You’re strong! Can’t breathe…” He gasped and Steven quickly pulled away, concern flashing in his eyes, still not used to being gentle with his new strength. “Thanks,” he said looking up and down Steven’s muscled chest. Howard smirked and Steven snickered at the boy’s obvious hero worship.

                “Steven’s also a mutant with Class five abilities,” he said and Tony looked at his dad then Steven before his eyes widened and he blinked in shock.

                “Wow,” he said, “didn’t expect that. You don’t look like a mutant.” Steven grinned and chuckled shaking his head in mock despair at the teen’s lack of filter and manners.

                “I was a series five Class five in the War,” Steven explained, “the only one of my kind. I had five separate abilities that I could control with equal strength.” Steven looked down at himself and at his more muscular arms and chest, “now, I’m as Series 10: the only one in recorded existence.” Tony whistled.

                “How’d you make that kind of leap,” he asked bluntly. Howard shot him a scolding look and Tony shrank in on himself. “Sorry.”  Steven shook it off and waved away the apology.

                “No, it’s okay,” he said, “I don’t mind telling him. I was captured after Ada fell from the train, and they experimented on us; on me.” Steven’s eyes turned somber and distant, “They somehow managed to get ahold of Steve’s blood and synthesized enough Serum from it to create one Super Soldier. They didn’t know about my powers, and as a result, the serum enhanced them too. I found out later that they used it on me because the detected a small amount of a different version of the Serum in my blood, but it was diluted enough that I only saw minimal results. The dosage they gave me made me as strong as Steve once was, and even more powerful. They didn’t know that I had my powers from before and assumed that the Serum gave them to me. As a result the project was scrapped and Ada and I were used for more… nefarious purposes.” Steven explained his gaze becoming clear again. Tony’s eyes were wide and sympathetic but only for a moment.

Once the moment past, Tony looked at the schematics and the incomplete arm on the table with unrestrained glee. Steven smirked at Tony’s childish behavior, and moved to stand beside him.

                “I designed the system to be used with light and durable metals,” Steven told him. “I gave them to Fëanor to create the metal parts. All of these mechanical pieces, and the synthetic skeleton,” he said gesturing to the arm’s delicate hand and wrist, moving to the elbow and even the shoulder socket, “were made by his hand. Your father and I were working on the electronic part of this,” Tony looked mesmerized but Steven could feel his doubts about its strength pop into his mind, “no, Tony. This is just the internal structure.” Tony looked over sharply at the taller man.

                “How did you…” he started.

                “Know what you were thinking?” Steven finished for him with a chuckle, “I’m psychic, Tony. I’m Telepathic. It’s one of my abilities. I knew what you were going to ask. Fëanor is creating the external structure which will attach to this sheathing,” Steven said gesturing with his hand and causing the mesh that would go over the arm’s internal structure and attach to the external plating to rise without touching it. “It will act like a moisture barrier and make the structure water proof; it will also attach the plating to the arm and allow it to move in only the way it’s supposed to move.” Tony’s jaw dropped at Steven’s display of power. He turned and looked up at the mythical Commando stepped right from the pages of his dad’s comics, with something akin to awe.

                “Is there anything you can’t do? What other powers do you have,” Tony asked in rapid fire speed. Steven giggled at Tony’s enthusiasm.

                “Well,” Steven chuckled, “I have telekinesis, Telepathy, which are quite usual for Class fives. Let’s see, there’s my healing ability.”

                “You mean you regenerate,” Tony interrupted.  Steven smirked but shook his head.

                “No, not like that,” he said, and Tony’s shoulders drooped. “I do have an accelerated healing rate but what I meant was that I can heal others, with just a touch. The elves call it the Gift of Healing, and apparently it’s pretty rare.” Tony smiled, his eyes sparkling with wonder. “I have what your father calls Electrokinesis, which means that I can manipulate energy and absorb it; even channel it through my body; store it up when I need it. It came in handy quite a lot, back in the day.” Tony looked like he was just itching to hear those stories but Steven had to disappoint him. “They’re a bit too mature for someone your age, maybe when you’re older.” Tony stuck out his lower lip and pouted with his arms crossed. Steven grinned and shook his head. Tony was sulking like a child, and that definitely meant he wasn’t mature enough to hear those stories. “The last one his Technokinesis or Technopathy; it’s what gave us quite the edge when it came to HYDRA tech. I can manipulate and control any form of technology, mechanical or electronic, and it also helps me understand how it works. That’s why I could design that arm all the way back in the forties. I had ideas about improving technology that Howard said was impossible, and yet… I was right,” Steven said with a smug smirk at the old inventor.

                “Yeah, yeah,” Howard groaned, “rub it in, why don’t ya.” Tony grinned and started to laugh.

                “You proved my dad wrong!?” Tony asked joyously, and Steven nodded. Tony grasped his chest and threw his head back as if he was in ecstasy and let out a trilling sigh. When he finally looked back at Steven there was respect and covetousness in the teen’s gaze. “Steven, my friend,” he said with a smirk, standing up on his toes to throw his arm over Steven’s shoulders, “I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.” Steven instantly burst out laughing and doubled over from his mirth.

                “I saw that movie, you mook,” he laughed and straightened out to grin at the teen. “France, 1944; it was right before the Germans broke through the Ardennes. We just finished the film when we were given the order to move out. Gabe loved that line! Dugan too!” Tony smirked with sparkling eyes.

                “So who is the arm for,” he asked absently, but Steven could see the bright curiosity in the teen’s eyes. Steven smirked.

                “For my Ada,” he answered cryptically, and Tony made a sour face, like he didn’t get a satisfying answer. Steven looked over the teen’s head to Howard and projected his thoughts. ‘Should we tell him? Can he keep that kind of a secret?’ Howard shrugged his shoulders and pursed his lips, his pencil mustache twitching like a mouse’s whiskers. After a moment of contemplation, he nodded. Steven looked at Tony, whose face was pinched as he looked at the arm and fiddled with some of the connection points. “It’s for Bucky,” he finally said.

Tony’s head snapped up in a flash and his eyes went wide, a second later his mouth dropped open, and he gaped like a fish as he tried to process the new input.

                “Bucky,” he said, his face still a picture of shock, “As in Bucky Barnes; The Howling Commando; the Lost Commando, ‘the only Howling Commando to give his life in service of his country,’ Bucky Barnes? That Bucky?!” Tony practically shrieked, and Steven nodded. Steven watched with a barely suppressed grin, as Tony squealed like a fan girl and had a little freak-out moment. Tony looked over to Howard in askance, and the old inventor just grinned and nodded. “Bucky Barnes, oh my GOD!” after a moment what Steven told him sank in and he turned laser focus on Steven. “Wait, you called him Ada; that’s elvish for father.”

                “Technically, it’s a diminutive of Adar, meaning dad, da, papa, or daddy,” Steven said calmly. Tony’s jaw once again hit the floor.

                “Barnes is your father,” he asked, “how’s that possible? You fought in the war you were at least 21 or maybe 20.” Steven winced, crossed his arms over his chest and shrank into himself.

                “Actually,” he said hesitantly, “he’s, uh… my … he’s my mother.” Tony’s eyes became like dinner plates again and seemed to lose all ability to speak; all that came out of his open mouth was a strangled squeak. “It’s technically still classified, and I could get into a lot of trouble for even telling you this, but I was born on February 10th…1944. There’s a film reel somewhere of me begin born, and some more of me growing up, but … yeah. Basically my whole life was a government, well, Army, cover-up. If you want to see the film you’re welcome to it, but I don’t think you should.” Tony’s mouth snapped shut and he whipped around to look at his father with wide eyes.

                “Yes, I knew,” Howard said. “It was classified for a reason. I held that kid the day he was born, bigger than you, but still so small.” Howard’s eyes became soft and fond. “He grew so fast, and was smart as a whip. He was only twelve days old or around the equivalent twelve years, when his powers manifested; so young, and yet so powerful. Barnes loves that boy more than anything, and the feeling is mutual.” Howard looked Tony in the eye and smiled proudly at his son. “When Barnes fell, Steven couldn’t except that he was dead, and hijacked a troupe transport to take him to the area where Barnes fell in the Alps. The transport came back and told us that he parachuted down just fine, but he never came back. We all thought he was gone too; dead or captured. We were right about the second one.” Howard suddenly looked very old and he slowly sat down on his desk stool. His eyes were filled with regret and shame. “We thought Bucky… was dead. No one could have survived that fall. We hoped he was dead, but in reality, Barnes and Steven here,” he said gesturing to the tall blond, “suffered a fate worse than death; capture at the hands of HYDRA’s soviet branch: the Red Room.” Howard looked pained and Tony looked physically ill. “I can’t. No… I won’t tell you the details, but when Barnes fell he lost his arm and the soviets fixed him up with a metal one. Not unlike this one here,” Howard gestured to the prosthetic on the table. “They brainwashed them both, and controlled them, but we got them out.” Tony looked back at Steven with trepidation and a little bit of fear.

                “They called Ada the Winter Soldier,” he said, his eyes hard and his face blank, “and I they call the Winter Knight.” Steven’s eyes softened. “Ada’s arm is far too heavy, so your father and I built this one. It’s much better, and I do hope you will lend us your expertise on the matter.” Tony brightened, grateful for the topic change; he wasn’t the only one.

Tony turned back to the arm with unrestrained glee. He picked it up and manipulated the joints, smiling at their smoothness of movement and action; so very natural. He set it down and turned to look at the tall half elf before him.

                “Okay, I’ll help,” he said and Steven relaxed, until Tony raised his hand. “But, on one condition…” Steven stiffened knowing what the teen wanted. “I wanna meet him; Barnes, that is. I want to meet Bucky Barnes, when you install this bad boy!” Steven smiled but still deferred to Howard, seeing as it was his son. Howard looked uneasy at the thought of his son being around a programmed soldier, who was still undergoing intense deprogramming and reconditioning to normal behavior. One look at Tony’s obvious excitement and anticipation, and Howard caved like a house of cards.

                “Okay,” he conceded.

                “YES,” Tony hissed and he pumped his fist with glee.

                “On one condition,” Howard said. Tony slumped and pouted at his father.

                “Fine, anything, what,” he said, uncaring but still eager.

                “If anything happens, anything at all; if Barnes starts to lash out,” he said, sternly, “you leave the room and stay out until Steven says it’s safe to return.” Tony groaned at his father’s overprotective behavior.

                “Argh,” he groaned throwing back his head in a melodramatic fashion, before dropping his head down to look at Howard with a pout, “Fine! Now can we get back to this beauty?” Howard sighed in relief and shared a grin with Steven.

                “Sure, kid,” Steven said and moved to stand behind Tony, before he began explaining how the system worked.


 

~*~*


 

Fëanor gave them the call that he had finished the plating just as Tony and Howard were finishing the neural adapter for the shoulder. Tony was beyond excited, and was bouncing up and down on his toes like a kid on caffeine. Steven told him more than once to calm down, reminding him that they would only be installing the arm after Bucky’s surgery to remove the old out of date connector. The new one had already been sent ahead, to the best neurosurgeon in the world that would be not only removing the old version but installing the new one. Steven told Howard to keep his son calm while he assisted the doctor.

Steven was no wilting flower when it came to blood and gore but he had issues with seeing his Ada’s blood and gore. Steven hated seeing him in pain but the surgeon had guaranteed that Bucky would be kept under anesthetic the whole time. Steven knew the designs and his Ada’s nervous system better than his own at times, and Stark knew that there would be no one better than him to oversee and assist in the neural connections being fused properly. Not only that, Steven’s healing ability would cut down on the recovery time by 90%.

By the time Howard and Tony arrived at the hospital with the new arm, minus the shoulder socket, Bucky was already recovered enough with his own body’s enhanced healing and Steven’s gentle coaxing that they could install the arm. Howard and Tony came into the recovery room to see Steven and Bucky preforming the necessary stress reducing exercises for the arm to be properly calibrated.

Tony stopped dead in his tracks when he came into the room and saw Bucky. He was bare-chested and only wore hospital scrubs for pants but he was smiling. His hair was way longer than in the old photos and his face slightly more careworn but it was Bucky Barnes. Tony’s jaw dropped and his fingers slackened. He almost dropped the case that held his pride and joy collaboration with his father, but it was saved when he felt a nudge in the back of his mind that was definitely not his subconscious.

                ‘Tighten fingers and close mouth, party boy,’ the voice said and Tony instantly snapped his mouth shut with a loud clack. He looked over and saw Steven looking at him with an arched brow. ‘Don’t break that before it’s even on him. It’s just as much mine as it is yours, kid.’ Tony curled his fingers tighter around the handle, and gave the former soldier a sheepish smile.

Just then Bucky looked up from his exercises and saw Tony. After a moment of confusion, his face lit up with a big grin. He slid off the bed and used his IV pole to steady himself as he walked up to Tony.

                “You must be Tony,” he said once he was right in front of the teen. Tony gulped and looked up at his with wide awed eyes. Bucky grinned and steadied his balance enough to offer his hand to the boy in greeting. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, kiddo. your father has told me so much about you already, I feel as if I already know you; Can’t get the old bastard to shut up about you, really!” Tony numbly took Bucky’s hand and shook it with a dazed smile on his face. Bucky just laughed and looked down at the case in his hand. “Is that it; the arm?” the question finally seemed to snap Tony out of his stupor and he jolted before plastering on a grin.

                “Sure is; ready and waiting for final calibrations and install,” he said. Bucky grinned and clapped Tony on the shoulder.

                “Good,” he said with an excited grin, before he hopped back onto the bed. “Then let’s get this show on the road; I’ve been without an arm for long enough!” Tony grinned back at the man and Bucky could see the hero worship in the teen’s eyes. Bucky rolled his own briefly before he settled his face to a calmer smile.

Tony pulled the case up to sit on a nearby table, and with a flourish he opened the case and revealed the silver coated arm. Bucky’s eyes lit up in wonder. Though the arm looked almost identical to the previous one, this one shone brighter in the florescent lights; the Mithril gleaming in its buffed finish. Bucky stood up and walked over to the arm. He brushed his fingers over the gleaming metal and marveled at Fëanor’s superb craftsmanship. There wasn’t a single piece that had a bur or flaw in its construction, and the transition from the silver Mithril to the Vibranium was so perfect, that Bucky could not tell where one metal began and the other ended. It wasn’t quite a mirror finish but it was buffed and polished enough that Bucky could make out blurry reflections in the metal. The one thing that made him grin was that there was no longer a red star on his shoulder. It was no longer branding him as someone else’s property.

Bucky ran his fingers over the elbow and down the arm until he reached the hand. He carefully picked up the wrist from its foam casing and laid it flat. He sucked in a sharp breath when he finally saw the only flaw in the silver. On the ring finger, on the first metal plate, instead of the band being made entirely of Mithril, there was a ring of Gold that wrapped around the finger, bisected by several plates, to make a perfect band of gold. Bucky ran his fingers over the Gold band with reverence and joy.

Bucky looked up and locked eyes with the very man that made the band on the finger. Fëanor gave Bucky a soft smile.

                “It has a molecule layer of Mithril over the Gold to protect it from wear,” he said, and Bucky’s smile became watery and his eyes bright with tears. “It won’t change the strength of the finger, or compromise the durability of the hand. That finger is just as strong as the others.” Bucky nodded in thanks and looked back at the ring with a hardened resolve.

                “They’re not taking away my wedding ring,” he said while rubbing the ring of gold, “not again!”

Bucky took a moment to recover his emotions before he turned and with Steven’s help sat back on the hospital bed. He gave the Stark’s a nod and said, “I’m ready,” before the two engineers started the process.

Steven stood off to the side but close enough to help, if they should need it. Howard plugged in the cords to the data ports that were still exposed on the underside of the arm, and with Tony and Steven’s help heaved the metal arm out of the case. The arm was actually very light, but several natural weights were added to the wrist and elbow to ease Bucky’s spine carefully back into realignment. It was easily ten pounds lighter than the previous one that was just removed and destroyed. (Howard didn’t care if it was a modern marvel of biomechanical cybernetic engineering; it was a weapon that had nearly destroyed his friend that the man never wanted grafted onto his spine.)

The two Stark’s held the arm close to the connector port, and gave Steven a nod.

                “You ready, kid,” Howard asked Steven as he flexed his fingers and cracked his knuckles. Steven nodded, and Howard grinned back. “Then let’s get moving! You are clear to go.” Steven took a deep breath and closed his eyes, forcing himself to relax.

When he opened them again, there was a glow to his eyes as he brought up his hands in a graceful manner; much like a conductor raising his hands to begin a symphony.  In a matter of seconds, the dangling wires inside the arm around the ball of the shoulder came to life and began to rise up to find their respective partners on the already installed shoulder and connector port. With a twist of his fingers, the pairs began to match up and bind to one another; bare ends easily slipping into minute metal sleeves attached to the other side. These little sleeves acted like little power stations, giving the signals a boost of energy to get them to keep going, much how actual nerves reacted. It was these hundreds of little fiber-optics wires that would create the neural net, that would control all the artificial nerves and receptors that would simulate touch and give Bucky feedback on pressure and temperature. This was far more sophisticated than the old arm, which could old sense pressure and minor temperature changes; not texture and pain. This arm could sense pain, but it was dulled.

Steven created everything in the arm to act like a normal one, and pain was necessary towards the natural function. The pain receptors in the arm would flare if something was damaged and needed repair; just like how pain responded in a living flesh and bone arm. Everything was perfect, but Steven was still unsure how his Ada’s body would react to the sudden return of all those severed senses. Mostly Steven hoped that with the addition of the pain receptors, Bucky would no longer feel phantom pains from his lost limb.

Steven pushed this all out of his mind as he attached the last nerve cluster and began to manipulate the arm to move closer. The arm lifted out of Howard and Tony’s hands and came to levitate mere inches from the connector socket. Steven gestured with his hands again and the mechanical parts started stitching together. Hundreds of tiny pistons and shafts started attaching and fixing themselves to their appointed areas, and soon the artificial muscles were completely fixed. Steven took a breath and lifted his hands. Tony watched in awe as the under sheath lifted and attached to the artificial muscles like a skin before the metal plating lifted back and over the shoulder to rest on the attachment port on the pectoral muscle. With a twist of Steven’s wrist, Tony could hear the tiny connectors attack to the sheath and the sheathing connect to the muscles with a symphony of metallic clicks and whirs.  Once the clicking stopped, Steven sighed and his shoulders relaxed.

He looked over at Howard and Tony, and gave them a final nod. The two Stark’s returned it and moved to take hold of the arm by the wrist and elbow. Howard looked up at Barnes and saw his face as still as stone but sweaty and pale from the effort it took to remain still with all the new input from the receptors and sensors. Howard placed a hand on the remaining flesh on Bucky shoulder, and gave him a solemn pat.

                “It’s almost over, Barnes,” he said encouragingly, “just hold on a little longer.” Bucky flicked his gaze over to the aged inventor and gave a sharp nod.

                “I’m ready,” he said through clenched teeth. This was the hard part, locking the shoulder back into place. It was difficult and hard, almost akin to fixing a dislocated shoulder, but it had to be done just right for the last connector to engage. Tony and Howard lifted the arm with Steven’s telekinetic aid, and positioned the arm to slot into place.

                “Ready,” Howard asked Steven and the blond nodded. “Okay. On the count of three… one… two,” and without warning Bucky, the two Stark’s put their weight behind the arm and shoved it into position. Bucky let out a startled and pained yell, and lashed out… with the metal arm. Howard and Tony were sent sprawling while Bucky gasped for breath at the sudden rush of new sensations and sudden relief of pain. “Okay, that was my fault,” Howard groaned dazedly as he carefully picked himself up.

Steven sent the inventor a scathing glare before moving to kneel before his Ada’s trembling form. Bucky was breathing harshly and deeply but his eyes were clear and bright, so Steven carefully placed a hand on Bucky’s knee. Bucky’s gaze snapped over to Steven for a moment before they drifted to look down at his hands. He slowly and cautiously brought them up to look at and admire. He turned the palms to face him and he slowly clenched his hands into fists, the left only a fraction slower than the right, before relaxing them again. Howard cautiously picked up the calibrator and plugged in the data cords to record the input from the right side as well as the left. Bucky twisted and turned his wrists examining the left one with awe. Stark watched the data input and started tweaking the reaction rates for the left one to match the instantaneous signals coming and going from the right side.

Tony peeked over his dad’s shoulder and watched what he was doing for a moment. The teen rolled his eyes and reached around his father to type in a completely different coding to the calibration. Howard glared at Tony for a second before he realized that the new coding was adapting to Bucky’s needs better. Howard graced his boy with a proud smile before getting back to the calibration, and before long Howard and Tony deemed it perfect. The two marveled at their work for a moment, completely ignoring the tears of joy running down Bucky’s face as he began to comprehend that there was no more pain.

Bucky let out a wild and joyous laugh laden with tears, and the two looked up from their work to see Bucky’s grin. Steven was smiling back with tear filled eyes and the two shared a moment of pure relief. Arion stepped forward and laid his hand on Bucky’s metal wrist. Bucky jolted from the touch and looked up at his betrothed with wide eyes. Bucky slowly ran his smooth metal fingers over the texture of Arion’s skin before moving to touch his face. Steven smiled and moved to stand by Howard. With a wave of his hand, the calibration wires detached, and Bucky was free to move.

And more he did. After a brief moment of touching Arion’s teary face, Bucky surged up from his seat on the bed to pull the golden elf into a bruising kiss. All the while tears ran down his face.

                “I can feel you,” Bucky said after pulling away. His lips were drawn into a bright smile, and his eyes twinkled with joy. Arion smiled back and pressed his own more tender kisses to those lips, before kissing Bucky’s cheek and pulling him into a tender hug. Bucky returned the hug with just as much tenderness. The moment lasted until Tony cleared his throat, causing the two to pull apart and look at the teenager.

                “Not to be the killjoy,” he said awkwardly, “but how does it feel?” Tony scuffed his shoe on the ground and Bucky smiled at the motion.

                “Like I got my arm back, kid,” he told him with a soft smile. “Thanks.” Tony looked up at the compliment and grinned. After a second he shrugged and attempted to brush off the compliment but Bucky wasn’t going to have it. “I mean it. Thank you. You’re real special, kid; you’re somethin’ else. I don’t think I could ever repay you and your dad for this, but if you want, there’s a spot in the wedding party that I think has your name on it.” Tony looked up at the soldier with wide eyes. Bucky grinned when he saw that hero worship return, and Tony’s jaw drop to the floor. “Whadda ya say,” He asked with a drawl, “is ring bearer appropriate or do ya think yer too old fer that?” Tony’s jaw clacked shut and his eyes widened for a moment before his head shook so fast it was a blur of movement.

                “That’s fine,” he squeaked. Bucky barked out a laugh, and pulled Tony into a one armed hug, with the left arm. Tony barely contained the girly squeal that threatened to come out, but that didn’t stop the dopy smile on his face as the mantra, ‘I’m going to be in Bucky Barnes’ wedding!’ repeated itself in his head.

                “Better get out yer finest suit then, kiddo,” Bucky laughed, “’cause it’s gonna be a military weddin’, and I’m pullin’ out all the stops!”


 

~*~*~*


 

TBC…