This fandom has officially ruined me. I don’t even recognize myself anymore. THIS IS 100% PURE GRADE FLUFF WITH FLUFF CHASER OF FLUFFY FLUFFNESS. IT IS SO SUGARY, YOU WILL NEED AN INSULIN SHOT AFTER CONSUMING. Anyway anon, I hope you’re still around because this prompt is from like a month and a half ago. I also added in Bucky because Bucky being gaga over Steve’s kid is apparently a bulletproof kink I never knew I had.
Timetraveller!Peggy? Serum!Peggy? Peggy refusing to age because she’s that fucking stubborn and amazing and Steve owed her that dance goddamn it, so she wasn’t going to give up finding him? WE’LL NEVER KNOW.
(AGAIN IT TURNED OUT SO LONG I AO3ed it. Sigh.)
Steve catches the little streak of green and white as it flies through the living room and into the kitchen.
"Whoa, whoa, slow down kiddo," Steve says with as stern a voice he can muster, which even to his own ears sounds about as hard as a marshmallow. Sarah’s a little over two and an absolute disaster on two legs; when she’s not conked out, she’s either moving at a mile a minute or sticking something in her mouth. Or lately, as she learns to multitask early, both.
"Dadda!" she says, quick like the sound of gunfire as she rolls around in Steve’s grasp. He feels himself melt instantly, his heart so tender for this little creature he still can’t believe he made. Lofting her up, he lets Sarah burrow her warm face into his neck, her tiny hands finding his bowtie and tangling her fingers into it.
Over on the couch, Bucky chuckles. “Backbone like a fucking jellyfish, Steve.”
"Hey," Peggy chides, swinging around the corner and cuffing Bucky good on the back of the head before turning her attention back to securing her earrings. "Language, Barnes. She’s turning into a little parrot and I’d prefer her first vocabulary not consist of contributions from your sailor mouth, thanks."
Turning to face him, Steve tries to pry Sarah’s fingers loose from his bowtie. It took him twenty minutes and help from Peggy to tie it, and they can’t be late. “Plus, you’re one to talk, Buck.”
Bucky laughs again, taking a swig from the bottle of beer in his hand. “Sure.”
Bucky’s absolutely crazy for Sarah, which relieves Steve to no end; in this life, where he has to worry about getting home every time he leaves, where he worries about Peggy, about what would happen if Sarah were to lose one or both of them (something he tries never to think about, the crushing weight of it enough to drown him), he knows that Bucky would take care of her, that he loves and cherishes her as much as Steve does.
And spoils her damn rotten. Half the toys in the chest in her room are from Bucky, and the bear she curls around every night is one Bucky gave Steve for her the night she was born.
"Help?" Peggy asks him when she starts struggling with her left pearl earring, a gift he had given her for their second wedding anniversary. He drops Sarah down on the floor, tapping her on the bum towards Bucky. He pulls Peggy’s dark, long curls aside and fusses with the earring until the back slides into place, securing it.
"You look beautiful," he tells her, cupping her cheeks and giving her a quick kiss. He drags his thumbs across her cheekbones tenderly.
Swatting at his hands, Peggy says, “Don’t,” but it’s too late. His finger picks up the concealer on her left cheek enough that he can see the nasty bruise that’s gotten worse since the morning. The ball of anger that he’d managed to push down a few hours ago makes its way back into the pit of his stomach.
He makes an angry noise before he can stop himself.
"Seriously, Steve, it’s perfectly fine," she tells him. The Hydra agent had gotten in a good swing before Peggy was able to put him down hard. Even then, Steve had followed up Peggy’s punch by putting him through a brick wall for good measure. He hadn’t gotten up from it and Steve hadn’t felt a modicum of guilt afterward.
It’s times like these that he wants to sit Peggy down, make her listen to reason, make her stop risking herself, but it’s also times like these that he reminds himself how much Peggy loves this, how he’d never ask her to give up something as important to her as her work, and how proud he is of her. (And how hypocritical it would be of him to ask her to do it when he still suits up every day, though now, he’d give it up for her if Peggy asked and really meant it, though he knows she never would.) It doesn’t make it any easier though, especially when she wears the consequences of her work on her face like this.
The idea that he can’t always protect her - protect their precious fledgling family even with all these gifts he’s been given - scares him in the most profound way.
"You okay?" Bucky asks from the couch where Sarah has climbed him like a mountain, curling into his lap and dragging his metal hand over her own to tap against with her little fingers as she chatters to him. Normally Bucky isn’t much into having it touched, but he’s different with Sarah; there’s literally nothing she could do or want that Bucky wouldn’t give in to. And Sarah… god, Sarah adores him.
"Yeah," Steve says as Peggy disappears back upstairs to reapply her make-up. A car horn sounds from outside - their ride is here.
"I got ‘er," Bucky says as Sarah squeals when Steve leans down and kisses the top of her head, her wormy little body burrowing deeper into Bucky until she’s plastered around his torso like a second skin.
Bucky runs his hand through Sarah’s hair. “Don’t even have to ask.”