"Okay," Toni reminds him. "If any reporters ask, we've totally been married this whole time."
"I've got this," Steve says, picking Grant up and putting him on his hip. He adjust the baby's bowtie one-handed, making sure it's not too tight, then tickles his belly a little while he's at it. Grant just giggles and flails one of his little fists.
"Da," he says.
"Da-d." Toni says. "Dad. Let me hear that final d sound, slugger."
"He's just a baby," Steve says, smiling fondly at her. "You look gorgeous."
"You say that about every single outfit I put on," Toni points out, which is true, but beside the point.
"Well, it's true," Steve tells her. He'll admit, though, she looks especially good today.
"Technically, I shouldn't be wearing white," she says, taking Grant from him. "Especially after last night."
Steve blushes, but doesn't say anything. He watches his girl- soon to be his wife- as she holds his son up above her head with both hands and says, "Give Mommy kisses."
Obligingly, Grant makes his kissy face at her and says "Mwah!"
"Oh, baby," Toni says and hugs him to her chest. "Don't drool on Mommy's dress, now."
"As cute as this is," Natasha interrupts from the doorway, "it's bad luck for the groom to see the bride in her dress before the wedding. Also, we're going to be late. Everyone's counting on that from Toni, but I was expecting better of you, Captain."
"Right," Steve says, taking Grant from Toni's arms. "We'll see you in the end of the aisle."
"Just remember," Toni says, "I'm the one in white. The one wearing no panties."
"What?!" Steve asks. "Really?"
Toni doesn't answer, just winks and kisses his cheek. "See you in a bit," she says, then flounces out of the room after Natasha.
That woman, Steve thinks, and shakes his head.
"You ready, kid?" Steve asks Grant, who just blows raspberries at him.
Steve hadn't been sure about having Grant in the ceremony at first, wasn't sure it was proper, but he's pretty much been dating Toni for six months now, living with her and fighting on a team of commandos with her for three. Needless to say, he's pretty much given up on what's proper. Steve's just not sure what he's going to tell people about why their son is in the wedding pictures with them. It's not that Steve minds for himself, but he doesn't want his son to have the stigma of being born illegitimate. They've come to a compromise, though, Steve and Toni: they're going to take most of the pictures with Grant, but also a few without him. Those ones without him are the ones they're going to leak to the tabloids, get it out of the way on their terms, and hopefully people will believe the rumor they're going to spread that they've been married for a few years now and were just on the outs for a while. Then, once everything's calmed down a bit from that scandal, they'll bring Grant out and let the public draw the conclusion that they've been married since before he was born. That's why this ceremony, the one they're having now, is such a small affair, only their close friends and family attending.
Bucky's waiting for him at the pulpit, ready to hold Grant while Steve and Toni say their vows. He smiles and nods and Steve nods back, glad his best friend is standing up for him.
Behind Bucky is a newer friend, but a good one. Steve had been skeptical of Dr. Bruce Banner at first, ready to mistrust him or at the very least treat him with caution, afraid his years in captivity had left him vulnerable to emotional manipulation. The man's mostly withdrawn, but in the past three months he's been working with Steve's commando team to help bring down Loki's empire with his insider knowledge, he's been surprisingly reliable. Steve thought for sure he'd have some kind of breakdown when Loki managed to escape Fury's custody, but it's been over a month and the man has remained strong, even now that they might be closing in on the profiteer again. For the most part, the man is steady and Steve can respect that.
The Wedding March starts and Steve feels his pace quicken. The first person up the aisle, Toni's first Bride's Maid, is Pepper Hogan. Steve's gotten to know her pretty well in the last few months they've been living in Toni's manor together. She's a sweet gal and runs the company with scary efficiency. Before this whole thing started, Steve never would have thought a woman could do all that, but now, he definitely knows better.
Behind Pepper is Natasha, who makes eyes at Bucky as she takes her spot next to Pepper. They've had some type of odd courtship ritual that Steve doesn't understand going on for a while now, which is pretty funny, actually. For all that Bucky gave Steve crap about falling for such an unconventional lady, Steve thinks there might be another wedding soon for the two of them. Steve's happy for them, really. Toni might claim that Natasha's killed three husbands in her life, but he isn't worried about his pal. Natasha isn't a nice gal by anyone's standards, but she's smart, she's skilled and most of all, she's loyal. If there's love between her and Bucky, well, Steve's sure as hell not going to stand in the way of that.
The last Bride's Maid up the aisle is Clem Banner. Of all their teammates, Steve had been most hesitant around her at first. By now, though, he's heard the stories, heard of the horror of her childhood, and the anguish of her first few years as an adult. In some ways, her story is worse than Natasha's, though Natasha isn't nearly as loose-lipped about her own past as Clem, so it's hard to judge. Steve can't imagine it, though, can't even imagine the horror of the things that have happened to Clem. But she's still so strong, somehow, still able to laugh and smile, kiss her husband and hug her daughter Alexandra. It's still hard not to look at her sideways sometimes, not to think about the threat she was to Grant at one point, but Steve's seen the way Clem is with her own kid and knows deep down in his soul that she would never hurt Steve's child. Plus, well, Toni trusts her. If Toni can, so can Steve, and that's pretty much all there is to it.
The bride comes last, of course, and Steve's breath catches. He saw her not twenty minutes ago, but she still takes his breath away. It's not the lace or the ribbon. It's not the cut of the dress. It's not even the poise with which she walks, so graceful compared to Happy's limp as he walks her down the aisle. It's not any of those things. It's not physical. It's love, he thinks. He's never been so in love with anyone in his life, not even Annie, though of course, part of Annie will always be in Toni. When he looks at Toni, Steve feels like he's not alone. She sees him, just like he sees her, and as long as they're together, they'll never have to be alone again. That's love and that's exactly what she gives him. And maybe he's not the same man he was before the war, before all of this happened, but with Toni at his side, he'll always be better for it.