“You should go out tonight.”
Sam looked over to his partner. Bucky was sitting crossed legged on the floor, finishing a puzzle the kids hadn’t remembered to clean up earlier.
Said children were now at their friend’s house. While the other kids had been over at theirs many times, Celina and Jasper had been over at Anastasia and Oliver’s only twice, even though they had known them for several months now. Apparently, living over a candy store next to the school made their house a very attractive choice and the three men wouldn’t have it any other way, especially Zemo.
Today however, the kids had been invited to their friends’ house. It was a Friday, which meant they would even spend the night there.
“Are you trying to get rid of us?”, Sam asked.
“Oh please Sammy!”, Bucky exclaimed. “You know very well how annoying you get when Zemo and you don’t get your one on one time!”
“We’re not that bad...”, Sam mumbled, but deep down he knew his Partner was right.
“Try out that new bar down the block. I’ve got some baking experiments to do and don’t need you to mess with my artistic process.”
“Alright, sounds like a plan. But don’t get Ben too involved, I just gave him a bath!”
“Zemo already put him to bed,” Bucky reassured.
“Okay. Thanks, Buck,” Sam told his partner before jumping up. “Hobbit! Get off your ass, we’ve got plans!”
Both Bucky and Sam chuckled at the angry rambling coming from down the hall.
It was almost midnight when Bucky was done cleaning up the mess in the kitchen. At least it had been worth it, he had perfected one of his cookie recipes and had a huge pile of different versions for his family to try.
Bucky frowned when his phone rang and the name of Anastasia’s and Oliver’s mother flashed over the screen. Had something happened?
“Hello? Is everything okay?”, he asked, trying not to sound panicked.
“Yeah Bucky, your kids are okay. However, Anastasia isn’t feeling well and needs some rest. Celina could stay here of course, but I checked with her and she asked if she could come home?”
“Yes of course, but could your wife maybe drop her off? I’m alone at home and I’d rather not wake up Ben.”
“Sure. See you in a bit.”
Celina was sitting in the back of the car, staring out at the dark streets.
“I’m really sorry about this, I know you guys have planned this sleepover for a while,” Linda, Anastasia’s mom, said kindly.
“It’s fine, we got to watch our movie before Annie got sick.”
“There we are!”, the woman said cheerfully and held the door open for her. Celina looked over to the entrance next to the store where Bucky was already waiting for her. The man took her bag from her and took her upstairs, looking at her with worry.
“You are not feeling sick too, are you?”
“No, just tired,” she yawned.
“Then off to bed with you!”
“But...” ‘But dad’, was what she almost said, but she wasn’t quite ready for that. “But Bucky...” Celina gestured towards the kitchen, from where a heavenly smell was coming.
Her father gave her an exhausted look, telling her she had won, as always. “Fine! One cookie, but then no more complaints!”
“Yes, Sargent!”, she saluted playfully and stormed to the kitchen to get her treat.
Bucky carried her overnight bag to her room and gave her a goodnight hug, before kissing her forehead. “Love you, sweet dr-”
“Lina!”, A voice interrupted him. They both turned around to look at Ben, who was waddling out of his room. Before she could greet her brother, he got distracted by the sound of the apartment door opening and a high pitched giggle.
“Pa!”, the boy cheered, hopping down the stairs.
Bucky grinned at him, raising his eyebrows. “Oh dear! Looks like he’s on a mission.”
Celina wanted to answer, but before she could, the voices from downstairs became clearer.
“Shhhhhh Samuel! We have to be sig- silem- We have to be quiet!”
“Buuuut Hobbiiiiit! You are no fun!”, Sam whined back. Usually Celina would have laughed at their bickering, but not now. Their voices were slurred. Alcohol. They had been out to get drunk. Celina had lived with her uncle long enough to know what happened when men got drunk.
“Papa!”, Ben giggled again, before there was a tumbling noise, followed by heartbreaking sobbing. The toddler must have slipped on the stairs. And now he was crying. In a room with two drunk men. Fuck.
Celina rushed to the top of the stairs, mentally preparing herself for the yelling and hoping no one would get physical before she could reach her brother. She was about to storm down, but what she heard next, made her freeze in shock.
“Ohhh! Baby! Did you hurt yourself? Come here,” Zemo said, his voice still a bit slurred, but a lot more serious than it had just been.
“Papa! Pa! Ouch!”, Ben sobbed.
“I know Bennie. Pa is here, okay?”, Sam also sounded just as drunk as he had before, but there was not even a trace of anger in his voice.
“Samuel!”, Zemo exclaimed suddenly. “Just look at those little toes!”
Ben and Sam both giggled at his dramatic behavior. “The best little toes ever!”, Sam agreed.
“Oh wow! Look at how cute he is! Saaaam, our baby is too cute, I can’t handle it!” Zemo sounded like he was crying now.
Suddenly there was a hand on her shoulder. Celina flinched so violently she almost fell down the stairs, but Bucky held onto her. “Let’s move back a little, yeah?”, he whispered. “Don’t need any more children tumbling down those dangerous stairs.”
“We really have the most perfect son!”, Sam giggled downstairs. “Such a handsome young man.”
“And smart!”, Zemo added.
Celina was still too shocked to move. “They… Why…? They are drunk!”, she stuttered, fearfully looking up at Bucky.
“I’m sorry darling, we weren’t expecting you back home until tomorrow. Why don’t you go to your room? I promise you won’t have to deal with them.”
“N-No,” Celina gasped. “Ben...”
“Up! Papa, up!”, the little boy squeaked. Celina could practically see him standing in front of the man, lifting his arms to be picked up.
“Uh… No. I’m so sorry,” Zemo said, his voice becoming emotional again. “Papa can’t do up.”
“Pa?”, Ben asked hopefully.
“No,” Sam giggled. “Pa dropped three glasses tonight. No up. Let’s get dad.”
“3, 2, 1…”, Zemo counted down, before three voices called. “DADA!”
Bucky pinched the bridge of his nose. “Spoiled brats.” He turned to Celina, smiling softly. “Why don’t you go to your room while I take care of the children,” he offered, nodding towards the stairs.
“No, I want to come with you,” Celina decided, holding out a hand for him to take. She had to see for herself her brother was safe.
The super soldier and the teen went down the stairs and were greeted by a scene similar to what she had expected, judging from the noises. Zemo was spread out on the floor, tears leaking out of his face, poking Ben’s round cheeks, who was sitting on his chest. Sam, who had made it to the sofa at least, was poking the Sokovian’s cheeks in return.
“Buck! Bucky bear! Buckeroo!”, Sam exclaimed when he looked up. “I missed you sooo much! You are like… the coolest!”
“James? James is here?”, Zemo asked excitedly, lifting Ben off of him so he could roll on his stomach. “Oh darling! You are sooo pretty! Why are you all so pretty?”, he asked, tears forming I his eyes. “I can’t handle it! And Celina! You are so beautiful too! Oh my god, I love you all!”, he sobbed, his Sokovian accent becoming really thick.
“Celina? Yesss, more children!”, Sam cheered when he saw her. “We have the best kids! They can like… draw and shit!” He frowned. “I can’t draw. Celina can. Like, super well! She is the coolest.”
“Are they always like this?”, Celina asked Bucky in complete shock.
“When drunk?”, Bucky raised an eyebrow. “Usually worse. Let’s just be glad Zemo has not gotten to the ice cream yet. He can get a bit… emotional...”
“I can see that,” Celina replied, looking at the man in question who was now trying to get up on his feet.
“James! Your hair… It’s so shiny! How do you do it?”
“Magic!”, Sam giggled, waving his hands around.
“Okaaay…”, Bucky said, trying to dodge Zemo’s fingers, that were trying to touch his hair. “How about I take this guy to bed,” he declared, picking up Ben.
“Nooo! Don’t leave me!”, Zemo whined, making puppy eyes at him.
“Zemo, I need to go.”
Celina felt fear creep into her chest again. Was this when the man snapped and became aggressive?
“Fine!”, Zemo huffed, crossing his arms. “But I get to keep Sam!”
“Yes doll, he’s all yours!”, Bucky promised, leaning down to kiss his boyfriend’s cheek. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
“Bye Buck! Bye Benny! Bye Celina! Love you!”, Sam yelled after them as they made their way upstairs.
“They are so… soft,” Celina wondered, still shocked by her guardians’ behavior.
“Yeah, this is what happens when their brains stop working,” Bucky agreed, rolling his eyes. “And I have to deal with that all night.”
“And it’s safe, right?”, Celina asked, even though she could guess the answer, just to make sure.
“Yes, but don’t be surprised when I show up with braided hair tomorrow. They REALLY like my hair.”
Ben quickly went to sleep once he was back in his bed and Bucky dropped her off at her room. “Good night, darling. I love you,” Bucky told her before going back downstairs.
“Do you think James is angry?”, Zemo whined.
Sam turned his head, causing the room to spin around him. “Yup.”
“Oh no!”, his Hobbit whispered, new tears filling his eyes. “He still loves me, right?”
“Samuel! James is angry with us! This is a serious problem!”
“Saaaaam!” The Sokovian was sitting just inches away from his face now, staring up at him with big, wet eyes. “What do we do?”
Sam closed his eyes, which was a mistake. The room just started to spin more. “Uhhh… We are drunk… What do we do about that?”
“Water?”, Zemo offered.
“Yes!”, Sam cheered, snapping his fingers. “That! We have some water and when Buck comes back we will be back to normal!”
Bucky stared at his partners, pinching the bridge of his nose. “What the hell happened here?”
“It was Zemo’s idea!”, Sam said, shoving the man towards him.
“You traitor!”, Zemo hissed.
Bucky reached out to run a hand through his boyfriend’s dripping hair. “Doll, why did you flood the kitchen?”
“Water,” Sam said, like that explained everything.
“Yes Sammy, this is water,” Bucky replied slowly, like he was talking to a little kid. “Why is it all over my floor and boyfriend?”
Ah, now Bucky understood. “You wanted to drink water and managed to take a bath instead?”, he asked amused. “And what about that?” He gestured to the mess of crumbs on Zemo’s shirt.
“He needed something to wash down the water. It was too wet,” Sam explained, nodding eagerly before the movement made him sway.
“The water was too wet?”, Bucky frowned.
Zemo nodded, falling into his arms. “Love you, James.”
“Love you too, doll,” Bucky told him and kissed his head. When he looked up, Sam was frowning at them. “Do you want to cuddle too, Sammy?”
“Yeah…”, Sam sighed and stumbled into his arms.
“Okay,” Bucky said exhausted. “Let’s get you two to bed.”
The next morning, Celina hopped down the stairs, the smell of bacon and eggs already filling the air.
“Hi Bucky, how-?” The super soldier quickly held a hand up to his lips. True to his word, there were several braids in his hair, highlighted by colorful bands. He gestured to the table and Celina couldn’t hep but giggle when she saw Sam and Zemo leaning against each other, softly snoring and each clutching a cup of coffee. Seems like they were truly the only ones who had gotten hurt by their drinking.