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The final part - the epilogue!
"What a man, what a man, what a man,
What a mighty good man."
Whatta Man – Salt-N-Pepa ft. En Vogue
"You're telling me that you didn't…" Bucky's eyebrows wagged suggestively when Steve's ears turned pink. "You still a virgin with the girls, punk?"
The blond turned even more red as he looked anywhere but the half-naked girl in front of him on the bed.
Darcy sighed and threw her arm over her face. It was embarrassing to think that they never sealed the deal with how much she and Bucky had went at it like rabbits when she was a teenager. Once again, she had to sing the praises of birth control.
"Christ, and I thought I got deflowering you out of the way early."
Blue eyes peeked out from behind her pale arm as she felt heat spread down her chest and coil in her belly. "Can we not talk about you getting some when I have still yet to get any?"
"You got me, baby. Multiple times, might I add," Bucky grinned salaciously, palming his bulge through the jeans that were slung low on his hips.
"But how early are we talking? Like sixteen, seventeen…"
The brunet kissed the back of Steve's red neck. "Fourteen. It was cold in Brooklyn and I had all the heat…"
Slick coated her core and she wiggled her hips impatiently. "If one of you doesn't get inside me in the next five minutes, I swear I'm going to make both of your lives a living – oh."
Steve was on her in a second, his tongue lapping at her silken folds and spreading her flushed labia to his gaze. His arm fitted across her hips to keep her still as he worshipped her like the goddess she was. Hungry moans escaped him as she came against his tongue, the fingers that were in his hair zapping his scalp slightly.
"Christ," he panted into the crease of her plush thigh. "God, Darce, do that again."
And she did. Multiple times.
"James Buchanan Barnes, you get in here this second!"
Steve's eyes widened at the sound of Darcy's irate voice. His gaze cut to his best friend – and lover, thank goodness – and he whistled low. "Christ, what did you do, Buck? She sounds like your ma."
The brunet sighed heavily. "I thought it would be better if Stark looked at my arm instead. If it was gonna blow up, I'd rather take that loud mouth down with me instead – "
"You're gonna be sleepin' on the couch for a month."
Bucky smiled. "Good thing it's pretty comfy."
"What the hell is she doing?"
Darcy's plane weaved through the towers and buildings of New York City, a cluster of aliens – why was it always aliens? – following her closely.
Stark was following them, picking them off one by one and keeping a steady pace with her.
"Leading them away from civilians."
He grunted at Steve's voice through the com and reloaded his gun. Sometimes, he hated being a sniper instead of being on the ground, but it gave Bucky the advantage to watch the idiots he loved.
"Yeah, well, help her the funk out, you punk!"
"What am I? Chopped liver?"
He growled at Stark. "You will be if something happens to her."
"Oh, cool it. I've got everything under control," Darcy said, "Live a little, would you?"
"Gonna give me a damned heart attack," Bucky muttered, reloading again.
"Awh, James, you do love me."
"Of course I do. Why else would I have a ring in my pocket?"
It was completely silent through the coms and he began to think that he shouldn't have said anything until he actually proposed. Again.
But his worry was all for not when Darcy squealed and barrel rolled in the sky happily.
Steve's voice grumbled, "Son of a bitch."
Steve was nervous. And angry. How could Bucky propose to Darcy so nonchalantly? Without talking to him? He thought they would do it together.
Hell, she had already agreed to marry Bucky once. What if she didn't want to marry him?
"You can brood if you want, but we both know you have a ring, too."
The blond looked up at Bucky lingering in the doorway of their kitchen. "That's not the point."
"Then what is? You know she'll say yes – "
"I just got her, okay?" He sighed. It had been nagging at the back of his mind since they all came back together. "You…you both have so much history and how can I compete with that?"
Bucky blinked. "Is she competing with you and me?"
"What? No – "
"'Cause we've known each other a lot longer than either of us has been with her. She can't compete with our history."
The blond shook his head, defiance written all over his face. "She belongs with us. Time doesn't change that."
"Yeah? Well, I'm willing to bet that she agrees. The time I spent with her without you is just time, Steve. And I intend on making it up."
The apartment was surprisingly quiet. Bucky had a little sister growing up and he knew that quiet could definitely be a bad thing. Especially when his girl was always so loud.
"Where's your ma?" He asked the little robot standing in front of the windows. She beeped accordingly and he looked at the ceiling for translation.
"Miss Danvers is here for the day, Sergeant Barnes," the AI answered helpfully. "I believe they were most recently in the hangar."
There was a slight hesitation. "I…they are currently trying to gauge who can fly the fastest."
"Oh. Well, that's not too bad – "
"Without a plane."
Bucky was really wondering how fate managed to straddle him with two stubborn, self-sacrificing idiots.
He had damn near had a heart attack when Steve jumped out of the window of the sixty-second story of an exploding building. However, when he watched Darcy bail out of her jet – without a parachute – he was sure he had died. Completely dead. Lord, he had to start planning his own damn funeral.
So, after the city was saved and both reckless lovers wrangled, the brunet sat them both down for a well needed conversation that had been two months in the making.
Darcy stared at him petulantly, her lower lip caught between her teeth. "I didn't get hurt – "
Steve turned his head and gaped at her. "You broke your wrist! And still fought – "
"Yeah, well, you tackled a fucking monster, so – "
"Enough!" Bucky yelled, startling them both. He had really tried to keep his cool, but they knew how to test him. Taking a deep breath, he said, "You both are idiots. One more than the other."
Darcy smiled viciously and batted her eyelashes at the blond. "See? I told you – "
"You, Darcy," Bucky continued, glaring at her when she squawked. "You should know better!"
"So should he!" She whined in defense. "He's like a hundred!"
"Yeah, well, you're pregnant!"
There was a deathly silence that took over the apartment. The petite brunette's face visibly shuttered and she looked down. Steve looked just as pained, his own expression feeding off of hers.
"Buck…" his voice trailed off.
"What? She skipped her courses, you dope. Don't tell me you didn't notice."
Their girl looked up and she shrugged. "I don't age. I can't really have kids if my body can't change, right?"
"But your courses – "
"We've been a little stressed lately. That can change things."
Bucky had been so sure! They had rarely used condoms, but she was on the pill. He knew it was a long shot, but with two men shooting, he figured it increased their chances. He must've missed it when she stood because suddenly there was a hand on her shoulder.
"Don't worry," she whispered, "I'm disappointed in me, too."
The week following 'the talk' was tense to say the least.
Darcy stayed holed up with Pi in the hangar and the boys weren't allowed inside. They only saw her in the early morning if they managed to get up before she did.
Darcy had been upset, rightfully so, and she didn't know how she wanted to handle the fallout. Or if she even wanted to. She was very good at avoiding, after all.
"What do you think, baby?" Darcy asked her little bot. "Think I should forgive your daddies?"
Pi made a loud string of beeps which JARVIS promptly interpreted.
"While Captain Rogers and Sergeant Barnes are Lady Pi's adoptive fathers, she only sees Sir as being her…daddy."
She giggled and scooped the bot into her arms.
"Okay, okay. Tony can be your daddy. He takes good care of you, huh? Y'know, I thought about making you a sibling – ouch!"
Pi erupted into an angry scream of beeps and Darcy needed no translation.
"Fine! You can be an only child."
"It's not impossible," Dr. Ross explained, her glasses sliding down her nose as she looked at the test results. "It's just improbable. It's true that the core keeps you from aging – just as the serum does with Steve and James – but it doesn't keep you from changing. Hypothetically, you could have a very healthy pregnancy."
"But?" Darcy hedged.
The brunette had been very against seeing the doctor if only it kept her from getting her hopes up. Having a child, a flesh and blood child, was something she and James used to dream about before she had been snatched. And Steve was just happy to have her exactly how she was.
"Someday, we'll have it all."
Darcy looked up at the edge of his jaw and snuggled closer under his right arm. "All?"
The sky was so pretty. They weren't supposed to lay on the landing strip, but it was the only place on base that had the best view of the stars and it was far enough away from all the lights. They could truly be alone. With the crickets, anyway.
"The house in the country, the cat, the kids. We'll have it all, baby." He glanced down at her and smiled. "You deserve it. You deserve to be happy and safe."
"You want kids with me?"
They hadn't really talked about it before. She never talked about her shitty childhood and he was vague about his own, so it never came up. But she wasn't opposed to it.
"A couple if you'll have me."
She giggled. "Of course I want kids with you, you goof! Ugh, can you imagine how beautiful they'd be?" She sighed dreamily, visions of little bundles in her head. "Big blue eyes and dark hair. Maybe they'll be pale like me or maybe they'll be darker like you – "
"If the girls are half as pretty as their ma, I'll have to beat the boys off with a stick."
"Somehow I don't doubt that."
"But," Dr. Ross echoed, drawing her out of her memory. "It's just that – hypothetical. If they aren't sterile, it could happen without birth control. All your parts are in working order."
The doctor gave a sad smiled. "We have no record of the effects of the serum. Or what HYDRA did to James. It would be wise to have them tested as well."
"We don't need kids."
Bucky looked up from the punching bag he was attempting to demolish and huffed. "I know that."
And he did. He really did. But she deserved the white picket fence, a couple babies, a dog. Maybe even that cat that Fury had kept. Darcy deserved it all after what she had been through and he wanted to be the one to give it to her.
He had promised her.
"Then why are you acting like this?" Steve asked. It was clear that he was exasperated and he wanted things to go back to how they were when they were just Steve, Bucky, Darcy, and Pi. Sometimes Goose. When everything was happy.
"Don't you look at her and want to give her the world, Stevie? Like you could get lost in those big blue eyes?"
"Yeah – "
"They how do you not understand where I'm comin' from?" The brunet asked harshly. "She had so much taken from her and I want her to have whatever normal people do – "
"That's the problem. She's not normal. We're not normal." Steve shook his head and held the bag still. "Did you ever think that she didn't bring up kids because she doesn't want 'em? We've got Pi. We've got a kid that's never gonna get old, never leave us. She'll be with us as long as we're all together. Isn't that enough?"
Bucky never really thought of it that way. None of them were aging. They had, literally, all the time in the world.
"But…we have to share our kid with Stark."
"It's worth it."
"I want to legally adopt Pi."
Darcy blinked. "What?"
"Well, Tony's her dad and – "
"No, I got that part, I was just wondering why you wanted to adopt her again."
"Again?" Bucky parroted.
"Yeah. When we 'bonded', Pepper put through the paperwork – where are you going?"
Bucky stared at the little bot with a smile on his face. He was a dad! An adoptive one, but it still counted.
"So, I'm your dad, right?"
She beeped and he glanced at the ceiling.
"You are her pa. Captain Rogers is her da," JARVIS explained, pausing when Pi booped again. "And Sir is her daddy."
The brunet grinned wider. "Yeah? I'm your Pa, Pi-baby?"
Pi whirred happily when he picked her up and carried her away.
There was blood everywhere.
The controls of the jet, the seat. Hell, even the window had smears of blood. Who knew that head wounds bled so much? Certainly not Darcy.
A bullet had shattered her window and a piece of glass made a deep cut above her eyebrow. Oh, and she barrel rolled.
Whipping off her goggles, she grunted at the exertion of keeping the jet steady. This time, it wasn't aliens or robots, rather a splinter cell of HYDRA that hadn't went quietly when she had killed Pierce.
And, boy, was Bucky pissed.
"I'm gonna kill all these sons of bitches," he growled through her radio. "Lou, talk to me, baby, are you okay?"
She sighed and opened fire on another jet. "Just a flesh wound, babe. I'm fine."
There was a snort and she just knew it was Tony.
"How about you lovebirds focus on the task at hand?" Fury rumbled. "Like taking down all these motherfuckers."
"You got it, Nicky."
Steve collapsed on the couch, his grunt of happiness echoing between the trio.
Debriefing had been a bitch, but they managed. They always did.
"So…when are we finally going to retire?" He asked jokingly.
Darcy wiggled her toes in her combat boots as she closed her eyes. "Give me a few years. I want to make sure the world won't explode."
It was so quiet that she cracked open an eyelid to see if they had fallen asleep, only to see two pairs of blue eyes looking at her in shock.
"You – you mean it?"
She grinned widely. "I do."
It took ten more years before any of them decided to put in their official resignation, but they still arrived when the world called on them for help.
And they always would.
Because Darcy Lewis, Bucky Barnes, and Steve Rogers were Avengers and Avengers didn't run when the world tested them.
She was proof of that. Nearly fifty-five years had passed since she was born, but she didn't look a day over eighteen and she never would.
Darcy had a purpose. She had a family. And she belonged.
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