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And They Were Roommates

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Tony’s grand plan (but if they were being honest, it was Pepper’s) to rebuild Stark tower was well underway by fall of that year, but the displaced soldiers found themselves cramped up for the time being. They were staying  in the rent controlled apartment Steve had apparently been leasing since before the war-- or at least that’s what the over-eager landlord had said upon realizing the prospects of having some of the Avengers staying in his building. Now Bucky, Steve and Peggy had stayed in cramped quarters plenty of times during the war, but this was peace time and nearly 70 years later, so the trio was only now getting used to a more modern life. 

To start, they needed furniture. The apartment had nothing more than the kitchenette in when the three had moved in, and no matter how many blankets they could lay out on the floor, it was missing a homey touch. Pepper had given them access to one of Tony’s credit cards, but as the three of them walked confidently into the furniture store one afternoon, they realized that none of them had ever made a purchase so large before. 

“This one’s nice,” Peggy eyes the price tag of the leather sofa carefully, “but… crikey o’reilly, it’s nearly 700 dollars!”

“Shit, my cousin Louie used to sell couches for less than that.” Bucky sits down, “but this is really comfortable, especially considering you two have teamed up to boot me to the couch.”

“There’s one bedroom, Bucky. And even though I consider you to be my best friend, I’d much rather be sleeping next to my best girl every night.” Steve’s arms wrap around Peggy’s waist. 

Bucky gags, “God, you give a guy one round of biological treatments and suddenly he’s Mr. Loverman.”

“I’ve loved him before the serum, so try again.” Peggy waves her hand distastefully, “now get up and choose something that doesn’t cost that much.” 

“This one’s nice,” Steve motions to the left, “hey and it’s got a small rip in the seam. Ma always said to look for the damaged goods so that you can get a good bargain.” 

“Is that how you chose Peggy?” Bucky teases, earning him an elbow in the gut.

By the end of the day they have only spent about 700 dollars but have gotten at least a modest amount of furniture for the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. Peggy sheepishly hands the charge card back to Pepper as they meet up for dinner.

“Done already?”

“Yes,” Peggy nods, taking a sip of tea to build up her strength, “you’ll have to forgive us for spending so much.”

“How much is too much?” Pepper raises an eyebrow.

“About 700 dollars, though a good chunk of that went towards the sofa Bucky will be using as a bed… it was about 400 dollars to start, but Steve managed to talk the seller down to 250… The rest is all more reasonably priced I hope.”

“700 dollars? Peggy, I’ve seen Tony spend 700 on one pair of shoes, I’m more impressed that you three managed to furnish a house on that little.”

 “We found a resale shop,” Peggy stutters, partially wowed by Pepper’s calm reaction, “they even took a few dollars off if the boys would volunteer to bring some of the furniture home today.”

Pepper slides the charge card back over to Peggy, “You might as well hold on to this. I’m kind of tempted to see how much more money you three can save. Though you don’t have to be afraid to splurge, we’re not rationing anymore.” 

Tony had given the three of them cell phones, and currently, they sat on the couch trying to figure them out a little better. 

“So...according to my little address book here, at least I think that’s what it is, I have all of the Avengers’ numbers.” 

“Except Thor’s,” Bucky replies, looking over Steve’s shoulder.

“Oh, Thor doesn’t have a phone. He said they’re too puny and a God doesn’t need one.” Peggy interjects, not looking up from her cell phone. 

Bucky shrugs, looking at his phone in confusion. “I’m beginning to wonder if I really need one of these.” 

“I think I’m getting the hang of it,” Steve says, holding in the home screen of his phone just a second too long, making a microphone with a little text box that said, “ What can I help you with? ” appear. 

“Aw, look, Steve. You broke your brand new phone one day in.” Bucky jibes. 

“I don’t know how to get out of this,” Steve says, eyebrows knit in confusion. 

“What time is it? I need to get--”

The phone, strangely enough, interrupts Peggy. “The time is 12:41 PM.”

“You broke the phone so bad you made it start speaking.”

“How did you make it speak?” Peggy asks curiously.

“I have no idea.” 

The future seemed to have some benefits as well, they were soon learning.

For starters, a modern grocery store was simply amazing to the three. 

Peggy clears her throat, taking charge of the situation. “So, remember. Steve’s getting groceries, Bucky will get household items-- we really need some pots and pans, I’ll get toiletries. Let’s meet back up by the furniture.” she asserts, and they all go off their separate ways, armed with shopping baskets.

Peggy strides confidently to where household toiletries and bathroom supplies were. They’d need toothpaste, soap...among other things, though what, Peggy wasn’t too sure. She could certainly make do with only toothpaste and soap, but it wasn’t the Depression anymore...perhaps she could splurge just a bit. 

She probably spends twenty minutes alone comparing liquid hand soaps, there were just so many different scents-- before finally giving up and tossing a bar of soap that technically was ‘body wash’ (whatever that was, Peggy had no idea the difference) into the handbasket. She buys a bar of soap each for the three of them, and then her next dilemma comes in the form of choosing a shampoo and conditioner.

There was an entire half of an aisle of just shampoo and conditioner. How was she ever going to pick? They all had different niches, some were for volumizing, some for dyed hair, some to prevent breakage-- which one would just keep her hair clean? She was pretty sure she didn’t need any special additions. That wouldn’t even be getting into all the various scents they had; coconut, mango, lavender, rose-- how did people even pick from this many options?

Bucky strolls over, already done with his part of the shopping. “What’re you looking for?”

“Just trying to pick a shampoo and conditioner,” Peggy murmurs, holding a pear-scented conditioner and examining it with scrutiny.

Bucky looks at the aisle for all of thirty seconds before picking up a green bottle.

“How’d you pick that so fast? There’s an entire wall of shampoo.”  

Bucky merely smirks, holding the bottle triumphantly. “It’s 5-in-1, Peggy. It’s a no-brainer. You should get one.”

Peggy grabs the same brand Bucky’s holding off the shelf. She raises an eyebrow in disbelief, “Shampoo, conditioner, body and face wash, 24 hour deodorizer... how can it do all those at once?”

“Pretty ingenious, if you ask me.” 

Peggy takes off the cap, sniffing it. She screws her nose up, “It smells...indescribable. But it definitely smells odd. I don’t like it.”

“Well, I do. And I’m sure Steve will too.” 

“I don’t--” 

Bucky rounds the corner and is gone for nearly a minute, returning with Steve in tow. 

“Steve, you have to look at this. It does five things at once!” Bucky exclaims. 

Steve’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise as he grabs a bottle off the shelf and examines it. 

“Well, I’ll be darned,” Steve mutters. “5-in-1.” 

“Not you too,” Peggy rolls her eyes. “Didn’t we agree we could splurge a little? 5-in-1 completely defeats the purpose.” 

“It i s a pretty good idea, Peg.” Steve says contemplatively. “But I kind of want to see what all the fuss about body wash is. The 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner sounds like it’ll save time, though.” Steve reaches for a bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo, placing it in Peggy’s handbasket. 

Though they don’t actually say anything to indicate that they were impatient, Peggy feels pressured to pick after their easy decisions. Finally, she picks out a brand called Pantene for both her shampoo and conditioner.

A stroll down the dairy aisle reminds Peggy how lucky they are to be in the future. She stops firmly in her tracks as her voice drops, almost too afraid it’s all an illusion, “Boys, there’s cheese.

Steve’s eyes glance up from his basket, “And butter…”

“I haven’t had any good butter since before the war.” Bucky adds, “and I haven’t had any good cheese since… ever.”

“Are we allowed to splurge and buy some?” Peggy asks, her voice still hushed.

“I don’t see why not.” Bucky answers.

By the time the dairy aisle merges into the deli section, they’ve given up their baskets in lieu of a cart, now brimming with a variety of dairy products. There’s sweet cream for Peggy, butter for Steve, and at least two different Italian cheeses Bucky has picked out. They giggle almost like school children as they continue walking, only being startled by another shopper calling out. 

“Hey, you guys are Captain America, the Winter Soldier and that British chick with the gun right?” 

“Excuse you?” Peggy’s head exits her dairy filled fantasies.

“No way, the Avengers are at my Wal-mart.” the shopper pulls out his phone excitedly, “Please let me take a video for my YouTube channel. I’m trying to be famous like Smosh. Do you guys know who Smosh is…? Nevermind, Smosh, come check me out, the Avengers are at my Wal-mart and they really like cheese.”

The group continues on without another thought, returning home that afternoon with bags full of groceries and familiar faces on the 6pm news.

“Our breaking pop culture story tonight, a video of three of Earth’s mightiest heroes completing the most menial of tasks has gone viral tonight on YouTube and Facebook after Captain America, the Winter Soldier and Black Widow were found shopping at the grocery store this afternoon.” 

“Did they just call me Natasha?” Peggy asks, placing the bottles of dish soap under the kitchen sink, “Natasha has red hair.” 

“Hey, you should consider that a crowning achievement,” Steve laughs, busy with packing the freezer in the least space using manner, “means your spy work is up to snuff.”

“It means even in the 21st century men are overshadowing women,” Peggy grumbles, “now I’m going to take your soaps, if I dare even give them that title, and put them in the bathroom.”

The next morning the group leaves early for a meeting on the bottom floor of Stark tower. 

“There are my favorite boomers.” Tony says excitedly.

“They’re the silent generation, Tony.” Clint corrects, “boomers are the generation after…”

“Nobody asked, Barton.” Tony interrupts, queuing a video on the computer, “You guys had quite a trip yesterday.”

“We got the viral.” Steve says proudly, Peggy and Bucky nodding along, “but not in the sick way.”

“I know what viral means, Capsicle, I practically invented the word.” Tony sighs, “but maybe next time let’s not go hog wild on dairy or soon enough you’re going to have to do that stupid campaign where they take a picture of you with milk on your lip.”

“We haven’t seen that much food in a while,” Bucky answers, “forgive us for getting excited.”

“No really, you and your little AARP club can have as much fun as you want, but let's just remember that we’re always being watched, shall we?” Tony’s video turns out to be the one in question, “now this morning we are going to have a strong discussion on media privacy.”

“Tony, aren’t you the one who showed his…”

“Shut it, Barton.” 

"What movie was that actor in? I swear I've seen him on something else." Bucky asks, his eyes glued to the movie. Maybe he had seen that guy on one of the television shows Clint had suggested to...

When nobody answers him, Bucky turns to look at the two. 

Peggy and Steve, who weren't even watching the movie, were in the middle of a rather heated make-out session. Weren't they just cuddling a few seconds ago...?

Bucky clears his throat awkwardly, and the two part sheepishly, Steve blushing all the way to the tips of his ears. After that, they watch the movie in comfortable silence, a shootout scene seemingly capturing everyone's attention. 

Not even five minutes later, Bucky happened to glance over at the couple so he could say something. Only, Steve and Peggy were far too busy to be paying attention, Peggy now on Steve's lap as they kissed. 

Bucky tosses his jacket at Steve's head. "Guys, seriously? I've already seen this movie, and you were the ones who said you wanted to watch it." Bucky complains. 

The two part reluctantly, and Bucky really wants to absolutely slap the stupid, lipstick-stained grin off of Steve's face. "Sorry, Buck. We're paying attention, I promise." 

Peggy discreetly pulls down her skirt a bit, "I don't believe we missed much," she says smoothly, turning her attention to the screen.

"Well, I don't know. How long were you two making out?"

Neither Steve nor Peggy respond, the pair each wearing a rather self-satisfied smile. 

It’s when Bucky sees Steve’s hand slide up Peggy’s skirt out of the corner of his eye that he finally says something, “If you two wanted the bedroom so bad, why don’t you go use it? It's gross that you’re doing this on my bed.”

Steve’s hand quickly emerges from her skirt, a sour expression plastered on Peggy’s face, “Says the one who uses the Swiss Army Knife of toiletries.” 

“Really, Carter, you’re the one giving me a lecture on cleanliness while you’re letting your boyfriend give you a handskie on a spot where an innocent and single man lays his head?”

Steve picks up Peggy by the waist, “Well, then, I’m taking her to our bedroom, where we can do things that any innocent and dating couple want. Could I suggest using a set of headphones?”

Bucky flips Steve off, grabbing his jacket from the pile on the floor, “Once Tony is finished with his passion project I hope he puts me in a room right between you two, so I can be just as loud and bothersome as you two are being right now.” 

“I guess you better hope the walls in the new Avengers Tower are going to be soundproof then,” Peggy teases, “Steve says I’m quite the screamer.”