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Dinner and Destiny

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The crash startles them, not Morgan, not the way it does them.

She forgets sometimes, forgets that Uncle Bucky was a prisoner of war, forgets that Grandpa Steve was a soldier, still is, forgets that Tony was held captive and tortured, forgets that Aunt Natasha and Uncle Clint are assassins.

But things like this remind her, the way Uncle Bucky flinches and ducks down, silver are covering his head, the way Grandpa Steve dives for him and gives him extra cover.

One of the intern that was bringing up the take out order Tony had had J.A.R.V.I.S. call in had dropped a metal tray. It must have been too heavy for her but Morgan didn't care about that as she silently ordered them out before they could try to apologize.

Morgan paused when she turned to look at the two supersoldiers, Grandpa Steve looking at her curiously but Uncle Bucky still hunched over, head hidden, still terrified.

Morgan hesitated before walking over, making each step fall heavily, loudly, as she did. She stepped around them, ignoring them to clean up the mess, careful not to bang any of the metals together as she did so.

Still ignoring the two men crouched together, Morgan took the tray of ruined food and threw it away, she told J.A.R.V.I.S. to inform the others that dinner would be late and she would announce it when it was ready, keeping her voice steady and even, at a volume that Uncle Bucky would hear.

Then, still not looking at the two as they uncurled slowly, Morgan began to plate and distribute the food that remained.

She moved slowly, exaggerating her movements, making sure that each one could be predicted.

She hadn't had to move like this in years, it was harder than she remembered, it took more focus and concentration. She remembered treating it like a game when she was young, she'd called it the 'how slow can you go' game and had challenged everyone to play it. She almost always lost, her mind eventually running away with her and making her run around to get something to write with when an idea came to her.

But Uncle Bucky had always been better by the time her concentration broke, so it was alright.

"Hey." Grandpa Steve spoke softly, Uncle Bucky's hand tight in his, "Thank you for clearing the room."

"Of course, um..." Morgan smiled and then grabbed their plates, "I don't know if you want to eat alone or what but I made up you plates. My Uncle always took at least a couple hours before he wanted to be around people again when he had a flashback, usually it took his husband to drag him out, but...., I totally understand, and I told J.A.R.V.I.S. to clear the halls for you."

Uncle Bucky's lip s twitched and Morgan knew that was a good thing.

"Thank you, Miss. Lewis." Steve said, smiling at her.

"Oh. Darcy is fine, Captain Rogers." Morgan told him.

"Yes, when you call me Steve, I'll call you Darcy."

"I suppose we are at an impass then, Captain. I was taught to respect my elders."

Bucky choked on a laugh, "Yeah, punk, gotta respect us old folk."

Morgan found a smile to match Bucky's.

"We'll stay for dinner, but might leave early." Bucky told her quietly.

"Sure, J.A.R.V.I.S.? Can you let everyone know that dinner is set out."

"Of course, Miss. Lewis." J.A.R.V.I.S. answered.

"How about some hot cocoa?" Morgan found herself asking, "My Grandpa used to make me hot cocoa when I had nightmares. Let me create my own recipe even, I can't guarantee it actually tastes good but he'd drink ot down like it tasted delicious."

Bucky smiled, "Cocoa would be swell."

"Awesome, would you like to help? I know everyone can be loud coming in." Morgan offered to get Bucky away from the noise to come.

"Okay." Bucky said softly, hesitantly.

"Come on then." Morgan led the way, stopping herself from reaching out to take his hand like when she was little, she was still mostly a stranger to him.

She pulled out one of the larger pots and began giving Bucky orders on getting ingredients.

"You cook cocoa on the stove?" Bucky asked, surprised.

"No other way to make it, my Grandpa always told me that microwaved Cocoa was just melted chocolate and the only proper way was stove top or, if we were camping, over an open flame." Morgan told him conspiritorly, "I always loved camping with him, he taught me how to pitch an old school tent, one of those ones they used in World War 2. And his best friend, my Uncle, helped teach me how to make a bomb out of rations, we all got grounded by my mom for that and I had to cut off all my hair because I accidently set it off and one of my pigtail caught fire before my Uncle grabbed me out of the way."

Morgan smiled as Bucky let out a loud laugh.

"Your Grandpa sounds a lot like Steve." Bucky said as he wiped tears out of his eyes.

Morgan's eyes were bright with her own joy as she grinned back, "Yeah, I guess he does."

"I bet your mom had her hands full with him and his friend around corrupting you." Bucky grinned at her as she turned off the stove while she put tbe final touches on tbe cocoa.

"Yeah, but she always said that she'd have been lost without them, my dad..." Morgan found herself stopping, before she continued, "My dad died when I was little, and his friends sort of just stepped up to fill the spaces he left, what parts they could anyway. It seems a little silly, but they told me his death saved not just the people on Earth but the Universe too." Morgan finished quietly, looking down and away from Bucky.

Bucky had nothing to say to that and instead lifted the pot of cocoa and carried it to the table where everyone was seated.

"You're all gonna have some cocoa and like it." Bucky said in the silence that greeted them, telling them both that everyone had heard what Morgan had said.

It was a strangely joyful dinner, after that, even with Morgan's story hanging over them, Tony and Pepper both sneaking glances at her as they sipped their cocoa, which apparently tasted fine enough that no one had to pretend to like it.

Steve and Bucky did end up leaving first, Bucky lifting the pot of remaining cocoa and taking it with them, much to Steve's exasperation.

And Morgan took the dishes to the sink when everyone finished, beginning the dishes, surprised when Tony began helping her.

"You had a good life." Tony said softly.

"Yeah, I did. They all taught me things, we got into lots of trouble, spent a lot of time grounded by mom, but it was worth it, they were grieving too and there I was a tiny you that they could still protect." Morgan said softly, "Grandpa Steve always felt that he'd failed you somehow, there was a lot of guilt and anger in him, mostly at himself, you two...." Morgan paused, "I'm not really sure, but something happened between you and you stopped being friends I'm not sure he ever forgave himself for that. And when you died he couldn't bring himself to."

Tony looked at the dish he was drying, "There's probably some stuff we should work out then, huh?"

Morgan shrugged, "We all have our monsters, some are just easier to see."

"What are yours, Intern?" Tony asked flicking water at her.

"The ghosts I get to see everyday, the ones that my family used to be, the fact the by the time I came along those people that they once were had been dead and gone for years already." Morgan told him, "You laugh differently, Sargent Barnes has a softer smile, Captain Rogers touches Sargent Barnes like he can't stop, Miss. Potts..."

"Don't." Tony stopped her, "I don't want.... I don't want your version of her."

Morgan nodded and passed him the last dish, "Sorry."

"Me too, I just, I don't want to think of Pepper like that, alone without me, raising our kid with a gaggle of ex-soldiers and war broken friends." Tony whispered.

Morgan turned to Tony and wrapped her arms around him. "We loved you know, even after you were gone, we missed you so much."

Tony tucked Morgan close, engulfed her in his arms and couldn't help himself when he asked, "How much?"

Morgan drew back with tears in her eyes, "3,000. We loved and missed you, 3,000."

Tony smiled at her as she pulled out of his arms and left him in the kitchen.

What she said seemed special, significant and Tony wanted to know but now was hardly the time, it had been a long day and Tony was ready for sleep, to curl in bed around his fiancee and tuck her close.

There would be time to talk more with his daughter later, to discover the secrets if her past, what had once been his future but was no longer.

He wondered suddenly what had been the point of divergence, what had been changed, what decision hand been made that changed his future, their future, because when his daughter spoke it seemed like it wasn't just his fate that had been changed.

His mind whirled, wondering about it as he headed to bed, but somehow when he got to bed it stopped, seeing his Pepper tucked into bed with a book in hand and suddenly his thoughts were silent.

Oh how he loved this woman, how could he have waited so long to ask her to be his, to ask to be hers, how could he have waited so long to have a family with her.

"You're staring again." Pepper said without looking up.

"I know, it's impossible not to, you just draw my eyes, I can't help it." Tony said as he flopped on top of her.

Pepper huffed out a laugh as she put her book on her bedside table and leaned down to kiss the man in her lap.

"Magnetic right?" She smile against his lips.

"Destiny." Tony whispered against her lips as he pushed up into the kiss, shifting around without breaking from her to get comfortable.

As he pulled her into his arms, tucked her close, kissed her some more he wondered again how he could have denied himself this woman for sol long, how when the feel of her in his arms quieted the thoughts in his head, the neverending stream of ideas, when the weight of her head on his chest chased the nightmares away, how could he have let her go when she made him whole.

 

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A/n: so, this was supposed to be about Steve and Bucky having Ptsd and what have you, i did not research what to do when a person has a flashback, what is in tbe story is made up and probably should not be taken seriously.

But this story got sidetracked into Tony just being so on love with Pepper and I just... I don't have anything to say for myself.