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Picking A New Color

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“Mr. Barnes, I’m so sorry to bother you this late in the evening,” Maria Stark murmured over the phone, speaking quietly. Bucky rubbed a hand down his face tiredly. It was already half past 8 in the evening and Tony had just been put to bed. Steve was sitting on the couch quietly listening to his mate have his phone call.

“It’s not a problem, Mrs. Stark. Why are you calling?” Bucky asked, moving his hand to rest on his omega’s thigh.

“It’s Harley. These last weeks since the gala...they’ve been hard on him, to say the least. He’s angry, resentful, he’s sad,” the omega woman told him quietly. “He stormed out after an argument tonight and he hasn’t come back.”

“You want me to find him?”

“Mr. Barnes… there are not many good role models in my son’s life, but you...he’ll listen to you, hangs on your every word. Please bring my son home, I can’t bear to lose another one.”

“I’ll find him, Mrs. Stark. Get some rest,” the alpha murmured before both said their goodbyes and hung up the phone. “I have to go.”

“I know,” Steve replied, leaning over and kissing his mate’s cheek. “Go find that kid and then bring him home.”

“I will,” Bucky said, rumbling happily before he got up and grabbed his coat and keys.

-

After an hour of searching and thinking, Bucky found Harley in a little park far enough away from the Stark’s home to know he’d walked for a long time. The teenager was sitting in the grass, staring off in the distance obviously deep in thought. It didn’t stop the older alpha from just dropping down next to him and scaring the shit out of him.

“How’d you find me?” Harley asked incredulously, staring at the taller.

“Eh, it took awhile. Figured you’d want somewhere peaceful and quiet to get your thoughts together so I started looking for parks,” Bucky told him, shrugging slightly. “You’ve had a couple hours now so talk to me.”

“How would you react, knowing what I know after years of thinking the complete opposite?”

“I’d be just as upset as you are, Harley. But I’d also talk to someone,” he told the teen, looking down at him. “You’re angry, you’re upset. You’ve been kept from getting to know your baby brother. I get it.”

“It’s not just that! It pisses me off that he got thrown away jsut because he’s an omega,” Harley spat angrily, a growl in his voice. “Tony is ten times smarter than I’ll ever be and he’s six. But Howard won’t ever care because of his presentation. So all he does is scream at me and belittle me for it.”

Bucky watched the younger alpha slam his fist into the dirt angrily, frustrated tears gathering in his eyes as he ranted about it. His scent reeks of frustration and stale anger.

“And- And now you guys have a new pup on the way and Tony’s exactly how I was when mom was expecting him! So excited and impatient, wanting nothing more than for this pup to come so he can love him. I never got that,” Harley finished, those tears gently falling down his face.

Bucky wrapped an arm around the teenager and pulled him close, rumbling deep in his chest to soothe him. He understood, he knew why the younger alpha was so frustrated and upset. It was up to him to fix it.

“I know you missed a lot of his life. But, Harley, this is your chance to be the big brother you’ve always wanted to be,” the older brunet told him, resting his chin on top of blond curls. “We were all shocked at first but now? Tony is so excited. Not only is he getting a little brother, he’s got a big brother too. And his big brother happens to be his best friend in the whole world.”

Harley curled up against the older alpha’s chest, resting his head against it and taking a few deep breaths. They were both quiet for a long time.

“I wish you were my dad,” the teen murmured, so soft Bucky barely heard it. He tightened his hold on the younger before he slowly stood up. He carried the boy over to his car and set him on the seat, taking him back to the apartment.

“Harley,” the brunet spoke up once they were parked by the apartment building. “I will be whatever you want or need me to be. And if you want me to be a father, then you should know I’ve looked at you like a son for a long time.”

Harley stared at him for a moment, mouth agape as he watched him get out of the car. The teenager scrambled out of the car and followed him up to the apartment, smiling when he saw Steve dozing on the couch. Bucky went over to the omega but Harley went passed them into the hall.

He went into Tony’s room and nudged the pup over before he laid next to him. The movement woke the younger brunet up just a bit, enough that Tony sleepily smiled at the teen before curling up against him with a content sigh.

-

“Edward.”

A shake of the head.

“Benjamin.”

Another shake.

“Joseph.”

“You’re not even trying,” Tony accused, crossing his arms over his chest. “Benjamin’s nice though. That can be his middle name.”

“Oh well since you’ve already decided,” Steve teased, rolling his eyes fondly and tickling his pup’s side. “Come on, Tones, when are you gonna tell us the name you chose?”

“You have to come up with it on your own!”

“Baby, you’ve already painted it on the wall.”

“Yeah but no one has to know if you don’t pick it,” the brunet argued, looking around the shelves as he and his mama walked through the grocery store.

“Oh, Tones,” the blond sighed, shaking his head slightly. “Now, why don’t you tell me what you want for your birthday?”

-

“Go on and open it, Tony,” Maria encouraged, smiling softly at the small boy. Tony smiled back and nodded his head, carefully pulling the wrapping apart and opening up the box. Both were surrounded by the whole family, even Jarvis being there to celebrate Tony’s birthday.

“What is it?” Steve asked, peeking over his son’s shoulder and smiling when he saw a box full of different parts and tools. “Oh my.”

“That should get him started,” the older omega said brightly.

“Thank you!” Tony exclaimed, setting the box aside and hugging onto Maria tightly. The woman purred happily and nuzzled the top of his head.

“You’re welcome. Go back to your presents.”

The pup had a big smile on his face as he went through the rest of his presents, hugging each and every person in the room in thanks. He hugged Rhodey the tightest when he opened up a college textbook on mechanical engineering.

They started in on the cake next and Maria made her way over to Steve, smiling warmly at the blond as he rested on the couch. The older omega sat down next to him, giving him a bit of space so she didn’t crowd him.

“You’re due soon, right?” Maria asked.

“Just over two months. He’s due the beginning of August,” Steve replied with a smile, rubbing a hand over the protruding bump.

“Thought of any names?”

“Oh we’ve thought of a ton but Tony has one he wants. He won’t tell us what it is though,” the blond answered with a sigh. “We have Benjamin for a middle name though.”

“Well, I don’t know if it’ll help at all, but Tony was almost Anthony Peter instead of Anthony Edward.”

-

“Right through here, kiddo,” Bucky murmured, gently guiding Tony down the hall of the hospital. They were making their way through the maternity ward with Rhodey, Sam, and Wanda on their heels. The brunet alpha urged him towards a door and opened it up, Steve’s familiar scent immediately coming through.

“Mama,” Tony said, smiling brightly when he spotted Steve in the hospital bed looking tired but content. The brunet hurried over to the bed and crawled up, purring as he laid down against his mother’s side.

“Hi baby,” Steve purred, wrapping his arms around him and kissing the top of his head. He smiled over at Bucky and Tony looked over, eyes wide when he saw the bundled up blanket in the alpha’s arm. The brunet sat on the side of the bed with a fond smile on his face.

“Alright, Tony, we want you to meet your new baby brother,” Bucky murmured, leaning down slightly and showing the little pup’s face to the older boy.

“Now hopefully we got the name right,” Steve said with a small laugh. “This is Peter Benjamin Barnes.”

Tony grinned happily when he heard the name, nuzzling his mother before lifting a hand and gently placing it on the newborn pup’s cheek. The little bundle’s face scrunched up slightly before relaxing at the new touch and scent.

“You got it,” the brunet murmured, laying back against his mother’s chest. Bucky laid Peter on the blond’s chest and grabbed his phone, taking a picture of the three of them cuddled up together.

-

Tony played with coding on the computer, the tip of his tongue poking out between his teeth. Next to the table was a rather large robot with one long arm protruding from it’s body. Across from him, sitting in his high chair and making an absolute mess of his mashed carrots, was Peter.

Steve was puttering around the kitchen cleaning up before he would start on dinner. He looked over occasionally and smiled at his two pups, a constant purr rumbling from deep in his chest.

“Mama, mama,” Peter called, waving a messy hand around with a big ole grin on his face. The blond omega turned around and walked over, making cooing noises as he leaned down and pressed messy kisses to his baby’s face.

“You’re so messy, baby, you’re all covered in those yummy carrots,” the blond cooed, picking the pup up and bringing him over to the sink to get a wet towel. “Gotta clean you all up, messy boy.”

Tony watched them for a moment before turning back to his computer. He finished up the final line of coding and uploaded it to the robot next to him, smiling when it finally whirred to life after several failed attempts over the last few weeks.

The older brunet yipped happily, throwing his arms in the air. He watched as the ‘bot looked around, it’s claw opening and closing and it’s camera lens zooming in and out curiously. He jumped up out of his seat excitedly and gently patted the ‘bot’s arm, smiling wide when it beeped happily.

“I’m home,” Bucky called from the door, the door closing behind him with a loud click.

“Daddy! Daddy, come here quick, I did it!” Tony called loudly, earning a scolding look from his mother. The alpha hurried into the kitchen looking a little worried before his eyes settled on the ‘bot and he smiled wide.

“Holy shit, kiddo, you did it!”

“Language,” Steve scolded sharply.

“Ya, lan’age!” Peter exclaimed happily, giggling. The blond immediately melted and nuzzled the 18-month-old. Bucky waved them off as he looked over the ‘bot with curiosity.

“You’re gonna enter it in the competition?”

“Can I?” Tony asked, looking from his father to his mother with hope in his big, doe eyes.

“Of course you can, Tones,” Steve told him as he finished cleaning Peter’s face and hands. He walked over and pressed a kiss to the older pup’s head. Bucky grabbed the laptop and opened up the website for the robotics competition.

-

“That’s quite the pup you’ve got, Buck,” Rhodey commented, holding up the newspaper for reference. There, on the front page, had a large picture of Tony kneeling in front of his ‘bot which he’d aptly named Dum-E. The article proudly proclaimed the brunet as the winner of the robotics competition at only 8 years old.

“He’s so damn smart, Rhodey,” Bucky told him, smiling as he looked over the paper. He’d already cut out the photo and caption and had it framed in their living room. “Universities are already calling and offering full rides.”

“Yeah? Bet Steve isn’t so happy.”

“He’s… on the fence. Tony’s already in 7th grade and he worries about him not being around kids his own age,” the brunet explained with a wry smile. “Steve said he’s not allowed to skip any more grades so we’ll think about college when he finishes high school.”

“Probably a good idea. What about Harley?” Rhodey asked.

“He’s a senior in high school at 15. Maria’s pestering him about picking a college already.”

“Obviously not too excited then.”

“Not really. I’ve offered to be the one to go with him on visits though and he seemed to like that,” Bucky murmured, crossing his arms over his chest.

“How the hell did you manage to have three kids before Sam and I can even talk about another one?”

“Hey, only two of ‘em are technically mine.”

“Yeah, and you realize…” Rhodey trailed off and looked around the cafe they were sitting in before leaning forward on the table. “You realize that one of those kids is the second heir to Stark Industries, right?”

Bucky paused and stared at the other alpha incredulously.

“Howard gave Tony up,” he hissed back, just as quiet.

“Law doesn’t care. You know how old our government thinks?” Rhodey asked him with a chuckle. “Tony is a full-blooded Stark and that means if Howard dies and Harley passes on taking over the company, that little genius of yours is next in line for the greatest tech company in the world.”

“And if Howard leaves it to Harley in his will?”

“All Harley would have to do is sign over the shares and the title of CEO. Of course, Tones would have to be 21 first, but still.”

Bucky sat back in his chair, taking all of this new information in. He hadn’t really thought much about it since he’d learned Tony had come from the Stark family but now that it’d been brought up…

What if?