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Lucy Rogers
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: April Fool Reply with quote

The Rogers family seemed to have set themselves something of a trend. First Jamie was born on July 4th, and now ... April 1st was not a good day to go into labor, Lucy had decided. It had taken three goes to get her sister to take her seriously, another two to get Johnny to acknowledge that she really was in labor, and who knew how many times Johnny had had to repeat it to get Steve to believe him? Thankfully, however, there were a lot of family on hand to take over custody of Martin, Lianne, and Jamie while their father rushed home to collect their mother and deliver her safely to the hospital. Steve's smallest girls had decided they were arriving, whether their parents were ready or not.

To say he had rushed home was something of an understatement. Things were heating up back in New York, but Nat had assured Steve that she and the rest of the team had things well in hand and that Lucy needed him more than they did. It didn't really take much convincing to send him home, so close to Lucy's due date, so when he finally got the call from Johnny, it was only a matter of minutes before he was there. For a man who was known for his courage in battle, he was looking more than a little bit nervous with worry about the impending delivery.

Lucy was not at all shy about vocalizing her pain this time, either. After all, this time, she wasn't giving birth in her own bed at her husband's birthday party, with everyone they were related to either in the room with them, or at the bottom of the stairs. Leaning forward onto the raised bed, she swayed a little in the aftermath of the latest contraction, gripping Steve's hand entirely too hard for comfort. "At least we're in a hospital this time," she whimpered, raising her head to take a breath. Red-faced and already sweaty and tired, she was not looking forward to the rest of the day.

There was an old saying that doctors made the worst patients, and maybe in Lucy's case that was true, but Steve couldn't much blame her, having witnessed the birth of their son firsthand. He was relieved they'd made it to a hospital this time, and not just because they were having twins. Steve smiled reassuringly, letting her squeeze his hand as hard as she wanted. He wasn't Captain America for nothing, after all. "I'm right here, Luce. I'm not going anywhere."

"I want them to rip my womb out before I go home," she informed him with a pained grimace, though it was pretty obvious that this was the pain talking. She hadn't mentioned this at all in the last few months, therefore she hadn't thought it through. "Five children, more than .... enough!" She let out a loud keening sound, dropping her forehead to the raised bed as she struggled not to push. "Oh for god's sake, this is so much worse than last time!"

He couldn't very well argue with that - five children was a lot, but to be fair, she had thus far only birthed one of them, until now. "Sweetheart, I think it's a little too soon to ..." Steve broke off at his wife's cry of pain. The doctor had said things might move along faster the second time around, but he wasn't expecting things to move quite this quickly. "Um ... Do you want me to get the nurse?" he asked uncertainly, leaning close to dab a damp cloth against her brow.

She shook her head, groping for his free hand to press his fingers against the small of her back. Of course, without a little verbal direction, he might not know that the knots around her spine were actually more painful than the contractions of her womb, but she didn't offer him anything in words, apart from a creative suggestion that unless the nurse came armed with a powerful suction machine, she could leap off the top of the building for all Lucy cared.

Steve frowned with worry. Maybe Lucy was right. If there was this much pain involved in childbirth, maybe they should quit while they were ahead, and yet, he knew from experience that some things were worth suffering a little pain for and having children was probably one of them. After all, the pain was temporary and a small price to pay. But if he dared say any of that to Lucy right now, she was more likely to punch him than agree. Instead, he followed her guidance, letting his fingers massage the small of her back like he'd been taught.

It was just as well they hadn't given in to Martin's desperate pleas to be allowed to witness the birth of his new baby sisters. Lucy's grasp on coherency had already faded to nothing more than general exclamations of pain that were definitely not suitable for small ears by the time the nurse announced that she was ready to go. And Lucy being Lucy ... she insisted on walking to the delivery suite, clinging to Steve every step of the way. "Just so you know," she managed from between clenched teeth, "pretty much everything I say from now until this is done has nothing to do with you."

"I'll try not to take it too personally," he assured her, as he slowly led her to the delivery room, taking it one step at a time. He didn't think it was necessary for her to walk, but hero or no, he knew better than to argue with a woman in labor, even if he did think she was being ridiculously stubborn.

Still, he wouldn't have stayed married to her if he didn't find that stubbornness just a little bit attractive. She had a feeling he should cling to that thought, because the next two hours were in no way attractive at all. Loud, yes. Messy, yes. Embarrassing at times, certainly. But attractive? Not at all. And yet, when all was done, and she was lying in the bed as it was wheeled back toward the private room that was for their use, she couldn't helping smiling as she looked back at her husband. Steve had both their new daughters in his arms, deemed a safe pair of hands by everyone in the delivery suite, and Lucy didn't think she'd ever seen anything quite so touching in all her life.

Now that the hard part was over, both father and mother were beaming with pride, a soft smile on Steve's face for the two newest members of the Rogers' family who had already captured their father's heart. "They're so tiny, Luce," he marveled as he walked along beside her, one daughter in each arm. "Tiny and perfect."

"They didn't feel tiny, coming out," she chuckled softly, resting back against the pillows with no small relief. She genuinely hadn't expected the birth to be so exhausting; Jamie's birth really had been easy in comparison. "You look so cute like that."

He smirked at her comment. No one ever called him cute but her. "They're the cute ones, and you did all the work. All I did was watch," he said, though he'd done at least a little more than that. "I'm just glad I could be here for you. You did great, Luce. I'm so proud of you." He would have stopped and kissed her right there, if they weren't pushing the bed along the hallway toward her room.

She laughed gently, aware of the pulling ache that wasn't going away anytime soon. "I wouldn't have been able to do it without you, you know," she pointed out fondly. "You are rather instrumental to my being brave about anything, especially if I have to be in pain to do it." Stretching a little, she sat up a bit more as the bed was wheeled safely into their private room and parked, smiling gratefully to the porters as they took their leave. "So ... which one looks like a Sarah, and which one looks like a Natalia?"

Steve followed Lucy's bed into the room, looking from one twin to the other with a thoughtful frown. It didn't help that they were identical twins, with very few differences to distinguish one from the other. "I don't know," he replied uncertainly. "Maybe we should decide which one should be the elder and which the younger," he suggested, at least as far as names were concerned.

"Maybe," she agreed softly. "I know they told us they'd be identical, but I didn't realize just how alike they'd be." Now she had an opportunity to really look at the girls, she couldn't help smiling. "They really are tiny, aren't they?"

"You didn't think so a little while ago," he reminded her with a grin, though he wasn't about to repeat the almost shocking stream of profanity that had come out of her mouth. "Would you like to hold one?"
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Can you spare one?" she teased, ignoring his comment on her less-than-ladylike rhetoric of the last few hours. She sat up, making room for him to take a seat on the bed, unable to disguise her eagerness to cuddle with one of their new babies. "I'm having mental projections of you being a climbing frame for all five of them at the moment."

Steve chuckled at the visual her suggestion brought to mind. "Lucky there's a treehouse and a playground," he pointed out, though he knew what she meant. It wouldn't be long before Martin and Lianne were too big to climb on their father, and Steve was actually dreading that day.

Lucy smiled, reaching for her phone to text Liv and let her know everything had gone well. Knowing her sister, they'd have a trio of little visitors within a couple of hours, just to set the children's minds at rest over the state of their parents. "Thank goodness for stay-at-home Granger mums and dads," she agreed with Steve. The playground on Maple Grove was relatively new, but it was a godsend for the parents of hyperactive small people who lived there.

Steve settled himself on the bed beside his wife, one of their the two twins nestled in his muscled arms - the question was which? "So, which one are you? Natalia or Sarah?" he asked the little one, watching as she curled one tiny fist around her father's pinky finger.

Taking the second of the twins from his arms, Lucy smiled as she watched him with the other, cuddling her own armful of baby girl tenderly. They really were very small, but not so small that they were not thriving already. "I think she's a Sarah," she said softly, nodding to the little one clutching his finger. "What do you think?"

"What do you think?" he asked the infant, though she could hardly understand what he was asking or give him a reply. In the end, he would agree with whatever Lucy wanted, so long as she wasn't making ridiculous suggestions. "What about a middle name?" he asked further. They'd decided on first names months ago, but had never made any decisions on middle names.

"You're going to think I've lost my mind," she warned in amusement, her eyes on the baby girl in her arms as she stroked the hand adorned with bright pink nail polish that indicated who was the elder of the pair. "I know we were joking, but ... what do you think of naming them after Liv and Tony? Sarah Antonia, Natalia Olivia? Or the other way around, I don't know which way sounds better." It said a lot for how much her relationship with Tony had improved that she was even suggesting this.

Steve arched a brow at Lucy's suggestion. "Antonia?" he echoed curiously. He had no objections about Olivia. Olivia deserved the honor, but Tony? And yet, as much of an ass as Tony could be, Steve had gotten closer to his brother-in-law these past months and they were finally starting to grow on each other. Nat had even accused them of having a "bromance" - whatever that meant. Though Tony was a hard person to get to know, the two men were at least finally starting to understand each other a little. Still, he had secretly hoped to name one of the girls for Peggy, but Johnny and Liv had beat them to it, with Steve and Lucy's blessing, and no matter what they named their daughters, Peggy would always have a place in his heart.

"If that's what you want ..." he started, uncertainly. He was going to have to mull those names over a little before he could say for certain, but in the end, he'd agree to with whatever Lucy wanted.

The uncertainty was all she needed to know that he really had his heart set on another Margaret. Lucy's smile softened; she wasn't that wedded to the idea of naming her daughter after a brother who still had his egotistical moments more often than not. "Natalia Olivia, then," she nodded, looking down at the newly named twin. Her eyes wandered over to the little one in his arms. "Margaret goes better with Sarah, I think," she said quietly. "Sarah Margaret. Antonia is a bit ... well, nobby."

Steve mulled that over silently a moment. He wasn't entirely opposed to Antonia, though he couldn't deny that he preferred Margaret, for various reasons. Natalia Olivia, after Nat and Liv, and Sarah Margaret in honor of his mother and Peggy. Even if he wanted to please Lucy, he couldn't help but smile at the sound of those names. And Tony wouldn't be disappointed because he'd have no idea his name had come up. "Maybe we can ask Tony to be godfather," Steve suggested, looking back to the tiny angel in his arms. "Sarah Margaret. How do you like that?"

"He's been so interested in the bump this time around, I can't see him objecting too much to being asked," Lucy commented. Tony had been interested in the bump, even going so far as to ask to touch it whenever he was in the same room as his sister. Despite his initial bad impression on Lucy, she was warming to him finally. She smiled at the sight of Steve consulting his youngest about her name, lifting little Natalia higher in her arms to kiss the soft head tenderly. "Your big brothers and sister are going to love you."

"Do you think Johnny and Liv will mind?" Steve asked, regarding their choice of middle name, unknowingly asking the very same question that Johnny had once asked of Liv.

Lucy's smile flickered into a grin at this. She knew Johnny had worried about it himself. "I don't think so," she promised him. "It's not like Bess or Sarah will have Peggy yelled at them when we want either one to come back to us, is it? And she touched all of us. She deserves to be remembered by all of us."

"Thanks, Luce," Steve told her quietly, blue eyes bright with happy tears. How could Johnny and Liv get angry when they were naming one of the twins after her, anyway? "Would you like to swap?" he asked, knowing she might be eager to meet both her new daughters.

"Yes," she laughed with a firm nod, though she hesitated as she considered the logistics. "How do we do that, exactly? Not everyone has your arm-span, you know." She flashed him a teasing smile.

Steve chuckled. He could easily handle both twins at once without breaking a sweat, but the same could not be said for his wife. "Hand me Natalia and I'll hand you Sarah," he suggested, shifting the younger twin to one arm and bending his free arm to cradle the elder.

"We're going to have make sure they have some kind of identifying mark for a while," she commented, leaning close to gently deposit Natalia into Steve's crooked arm, and lift Sarah into her embrace instead. The baby girls really were identical. "Thank goodness everyone thought to buy matching outfits - we can mix and match."

"I can't tell them apart," Steve agreed with a thoughtful frown as he regarded each twin for a moment. He knew that even though they were identical, there were bound to be some differences as they grew older, but for now, he couldn't tell one from the other without some help.

"Check out Natalia's right hand," she suggested, nodding toward the hand in question, where one tiny thumbnail had been painted an offensive shade of bright pink. "How else do you think hospitals get it right straight out of the womb?"

Steve did as she suggested, grinning as he noticed the bright pink nail polish that marked her as the eldest. "Lianne is going to want to share her nail polish," he said with a chuckle. "We should call and share the news."
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I texted Liv," she told him gently. "There's still plenty of time before visiting hours end, so I expect we'll have a small invasion on our hands within a couple of hours." She chuckled softly, stroking her fingertip along Sarah's cheek. "Tell you what, though ... I'm not even trying to breastfeed these two. Bottles all the way, or I'm going to be a walking, talking milking machine for the next year."

"And what's wrong with that?" Steve teased. He was possessed of a serious nature, but that didn't mean he lacked a sense of humor when the time called for it.

"Oh, you like the idea of sleeping with an actual dairy cow, do you?" she countered in amusement. "Maybe I should find one for you to snuggle up to for a year or so."

"Why do that when I have you?" he countered, a rare teasing gleam in his eyes before leaning close to touch a kiss to her lips. He was not in any way comparing her to a cow, and he hoped she knew that. "I love you, Luce, and I'm happy to help." The Avengers - or whatever they were calling themselves these days - would just have to wait a while.

She giggled against his lips, answering his kiss tenderly as Sarah wriggled in her grip. "I love you back," she promised him fondly. "But I need a shower. Think you can handle the terrible twosome while I make sure I'm not smelly for our other kids?"

"I'm pretty sure I can handle it, unless one of them gets hungry," he assured her. He might be able to handle two twins at once, but not if one of them needed a bottle. Then again, they were in a hospital and could easily ask for help. "Go shower before we have company," he told her kissing her again before reaching to take a twin in each arm.

"I love my husband," she smiled, handing over Sarah so she could ease her way to the bathroom and deal with her sticky self. That left Steve with two baby girls who seemed to be enjoying their cuddles with him, though hunger was beginning to make itself known. He might be able to feed one of them, but the other was going to scream the place down if he didn't enlist a little help while his wife was otherwise occupied.

It wasn't too difficult finding help in a hospital teeming with nurses eager to meet "Captain America", even if it was Rhy'Din and not New York. He was trying to be as incognito as possible, and yet, word still got around that Captain America and his wife had just had twin girls. Even on Rhy'Din, where most people weren't very easily impressed by so-called superheroes, he seemed to have a small fanbase. So, it wasn't long before one of the nurses had taken one of the twins off his hands while he fed the other before swapping with him again, while Lucy got herself cleaned up and feeling half human again. At least, no one has asked him for a selfie or an autograph yet.

It said a lot for how practical Lucy was that she didn't come over all jealous at the sound of one of the nurses helping Steve cope with two hungry newborns. She knew it all needed to be done; better, she knew she would have plenty of opportunities to feed and cuddle with her new girls. What was important, as far as she was concerned, was looking less beaten up when their older children arrived. Martin, in particular, would freak out if his Mama looked as though she'd been through the wringer a few times. When she was finally clean and dry, she shuffled back out to the bed, climbing up to sit comfortably, tying her hair back off her face haphazardly. "And how are we doing, hmm?"

"Just about done," Steve informed her, as he finished burping one twin while the other rested peacefully in her little baby bed. "I need to contact Nat and let her know the buns are done," he added, though he didn't want them descended upon by well wishers all at once.

She chuckled, leaning over the little bed to check on Thing One briefly. "You two and your buns," she said, shaking her head. "You should get something to eat as well, you know. You haven't had a rest since this morning."

"What about you?" he asked, thinking the same thing about her and knowing how unappetizing hospital food could be. "You should get some rest before the kids get here," he suggested, eliciting a burp from Thing Two.

"With these two fed and changed, I should be able to get half an hour to doze a bit before we're needed to look awake and parental," she suggested with a grin. Napping was going to be the order of the day for a while.

"So, you doze and I'll eat," he suggested, getting up from his spot on the bed to let her have it and to lay Thing Two down for a nap. Once that was done, he turned back around to tuck his best girl in for a much-needed nap, too. "Get some rest, baby. The kids are going to be excited," he reminded her with a grin, though she had to know that already. He touched a kiss to her cheek as he tucked her into the blankets. "Love you, Mrs. Rogers."

She smiled, nuzzling a soft kiss to his lips. "Love you back, Captain Tightpants." Grinning, she let her head rest on the pillow, and unsurprisingly, she was out like a light. That skill of being able to sleep whenever, wherever, for however long she could grasp at - always so useful in a doctor - was still with her.

"That's Captain Spandex to you," he teased in return, tossing her wink. Of course, he wasn't in uniform today; trying as much as he could to be incognito. "I won't be long," he whispered a promise, though she was already asleep. He touched another kiss to her cheek before quietly slipping away to grab a bite to eat. He hovered at the door, looking back at the mother of his children and their new baby girls, a soft smile on his face, full of the pride and joy that any new father would be feeling at that moment.

Thankfully for them both, Liv managed to exercise some control over their family, resulting in what they'd hoped would be half an hour's reprieve actually being closer to two hours. More than time enough for Lucy to doze and Steve to grab something to eat, for them both to be awake and quiet together when the sound of familiar small voices made themselves known outside the door to their room.

It had also given Steve enough time to contact Nat and pass along the good news. She'd given him a heads up that Tony was eager to meet his new nieces, but he was hoping the man would have the good sense to give them at least a day before descending upon them in full Tony Stark-force.

The door was pushed open to admit three small Rogers, and no accompanying adult. Jamie was clinging to Martin's hand, obediently being quiet as he was lead into the room; Lianne puttered in ahead of them, automatically going straight to Steve to demand her cuddles. She was definitely a Daddy's girl.

Lucy chuckled. "Well, fancy seeing you here!"

"Hey, sweetheart!" Steve greeted his eldest daughter, sweeping her up into his arms to offer some well-deserved cuddles. "Miss me?" he asked, with a smile as he kissed both her cheeks, one at a time like her native Frenchmen might. "Ready to meet your baby sisters?"

"Oui," Lianne nodded, cuddling into her Papa's arms as she watched Jamie struggle up onto the bed with Lucy. "Uncle Tony did bring us and now he is not here."

Lucy frowned curiously as she hugged Jamie, turning a fond smile onto Martin. "What did Aunt Liv do to Uncle Tony?"
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Tony brought you?" Steve asked, obviously surprised by that. He had assumed they'd be coming with Johnny and Liv, not Uncle Tony. Meanwhile, Martin was helping Jamie up onto the bed so he could give his Mama a cuddle.

Lianne nodded. "Aunty Liv phoned him, and then he was here, and he said he would bring us so that there wasn't lots and lots of children in the baby hospital," she explained, canting a curious glance toward the door. "Only he didn't come in here with us."

Steve followed her glance toward the door, curiously. "Maybe he just wants to give us a little time to see you guys first," Steve suggested, though he really wasn't sure. It wasn't like Tony not to make an entrance, but he wouldn't put it past Liv to have had a few words with him. If Tony was afraid of anyone, it was Liv, for some reason.

"Maybe Aunty Liv had one of her "talks" with him," Lucy suggested comically, wincing a little as she adjusted Jamie on her lap. "Careful where you put your knees, little dude, I'm a bit sore." She grinned, kissing his hair. Her own eyes flickered to Martin, who was surprisingly silent. "Everything all right over there, big brother?"

"Oui ... Yes, Mama," Martin, the eldest, quietest, and arguably most serious of their children replied obediently. "May I peek at our sisters?" he asked, eager to inspect his newest siblings and make sure they had all their fingers and toes.

Lucy's smile softened for her eldest boy - she'd never admit it out loud, but he was her favorite of them all. "Of course you can," she assured him, nodding toward the little crib where his baby sisters were nestled side by side. "Natalia is the one with pink on her hand, she's the eldest. And Sarah is the one who kicks, so be careful."

Martin smiled, happy to have been given permission to look in on his new baby sisters. "Merci, Mama," he said, making a quiet beeline for the bassinets to get a better look at his sisters. He studied each one, comparing one to the other. He'd noticed the splotch of pink on Natalia's hand, but after a moment, there was something else he'd noticed. Sarah might be the one who kicks, but he had noticed something else. "This one's hair is a little darker than the other," he pointed out, regarding Sarah's hair compared to Natalia's.

"Is it?" Steve asked, brows quirked upwards. Neither he nor Lucy seemed to have noticed.

"Come look, Papa," Martin urged.

On the bed, Lucy exchanged a glance with Jamie, but she shouldn't have been surprised. Martin was a very observant little man; it stood to reason he would notice any differences between his new sisters, if there were any. Jamie giggled, producing a mangled card from inside his jacket to show her, distracting his Mama from the group around the crib with a veritable deluge of glitter dumped straight into her lap.

In Steve's arms, Lianne peered toward the baby bed herself. "They are tres petit, Papa."

"Yes, they are, Li-Li. Do you remember when Jamie was that small?" he asked, curiously. He wasn't too worried about Martin or Lianne where their baby sisters were concerned. They'd dealt with a younger sibling once already, but Jamie was still young enough that it might be a little harder for him. Steve's heart tugged at him unexpectedly as he wondered what Martin and Lianne had been like when they'd been that small, but there was no point in letting train of thought take him there. He set Lianne down next to her brother so they could both get a better look at their newest siblings. "They are going to need a lot of attention, until they're a little bigger," he told them both, though they probably knew that already.

"Can we help?" Lianne asked hopefully, fingertips and nose poking over the edge of the see-through bassinet as she looked down at her baby sisters. She might not be the only girl in their little family now, but she was definitely more interesting than the twins were. And they were just like baby dolls.

No one in this family needed to feel jealous or insecure or threatened, when there was no lack of love and affection to go around. Steve picked her up just a little so she could get a better look without being too high or too low. "Oh, we're definitely going to need your help!" Steve said, agreeably, with a wink back at Lucy. "Aren't we, Luce?"

"We're going to need all the help we can get," she agreed with a wide smile. "Everyone has something they can do, even you." This was added to Jamie, who was beginning to show an interest in the bassinet himself now. "I'm going to be tired for a few days, and achy, but I know that everyone is going to help me. Because we're family, and that's what family does." Hiding her wince, she shifted to move herself and Jamie over to that end of the bed, so the toddler could take a look at his baby sisters, too.

"Here," Steve said, setting Lianne back down beside Martin and going to sweep Jamie up so he could get a better look without making things too difficult for their mother. "And I'm going to be there to help, too," Steve added, letting them all know that his life as an Avenger was on hold for a while. There were others who could handle things on Earth; he was needed too much here.

"Mama, you should have babies more often," Lianne informed Lucy solemnly. "It makes Papa stay home."

Lucy rolled her eyes, smiling gently. "Papa would prefer to stay home all the time if he could," she assured their eldest daughter fondly. "But there are people on Earth who need him, and we can't be selfish. Papa always comes home to us, and because of him, a lot of families still have their mamas and papas coming home to them, too."

Steve frowned a little, his heart aching to know he was so missed at home, but he had a responsibility to more than just them. It was a responsibility he'd agreed to shoulder when he'd first accepted Doctor Erskine's offer all those decades ago. Though the world had changed, it was still about good against evil, and Steve couldn't live with himself if evil had any chance of winning. He dropped a kiss to the top of Lianne's head. "My family is always going to come first," he assured them.

Beside him, Martin slipped his fingers into Lianne's as if to give her a measure of comfort. He didn't need to add his voice to his mother's. In his eyes, both of his parents were heroes. "When will you be able to come home, Mama?" he asked instead.

"Tomorrow, petit," she promised softly. "Everything went very well. We just have to make sure that the girls are eating properly, and that everything is working, which I'm sure it is. Is Fliss sleeping over with you guys tonight?"

"Actually," an unexpected voice interrupted, "Uncle Tony was kinda hoping for babysitting duties. I don't get many chances to corrupt the future generation unsupervised."
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Hey, Tony," Steve said by way of greeting, though he had his hands too full with Lianne and Jamie to offer a proper handshake just yet. "We were wondering where you were hiding."

Lucy looked over her shoulder to where her brother was leaning in the doorway, unsurprised to see the vague hint of wariness in his expression. "You're volunteering to babysit?" she asked in amusement, sharing her grin with Martin. They were going to run rings around him. Just as well Liv and Johnny were only the length of a lawn away. "What do you think, monsters? Can Uncle Tony handle you guys for one night?"

Lianne cackled wickedly, wriggling her fingers in hello to Tony, who cleared his throat.

"What's so hard about it?" he asked. "Pizza, movies, everyone in bed by nine. If the Torch can do it, so can I."

Steve caught what he thought might be a hint of jealousy in Tony's tone when he mentioned "Uncle Johnny", but he said nothing of it. As far as Steve knew, it wasn't a competition, and it wouldn't be fair to make it one. Steve also knew there was a little more involved in caring for children than simply feeding and entertaining them, but he thought it would do Tony some good to find that out for himself.

"I can help, too, Uncle Tony," Martin volunteered, puffing out his chest proudly as eldest of the bunch.

"Course you can, champ," Tony smiled at Martin, and for once, it was an absolutely genuine smile, no sarcasm or deprecation there at all. Lucy was almost shocked at the sight of it. "You're my main man. I have no idea how to do anything in a house without Jarvis."

"You are not installing Jarvis in our house," Lucy warned him with a smirk of her own, rolling her eyes as Tony flashed her an innocent smile.

"Who, me personally? Too much like hard work." He pushed off his lean by the door. "Anyone gonna introduced me to the best prank ever pulled on April Fool's Day?"

"We came close to naming one after you," Steve couldn't help but tell him. It wasn't often he had the opportunity to needle his brother in law, and it was good-natured needling, anyway. "But we decided one Tony in the family was enough," he added, tossing a wink at Lucy.

Lucy caught that wink, biting down on her laugh as Tony resumed his lean against the end of the bed.

"Hey, Tony's a good name," he defended his name, looking down into the crib. "Although not for a girl. Seriously, you were gonna name a girl after me? What's wrong with you, man? You're supposed to belong to the era when men were men and women were helpless. You're not supposed to be naming girls Tony."

Lucy snorted with laughter, rolling her eyes. "Not even Antonia?" she teased.

Tony shuddered affectedly. "Good god, no," he grimaced. "Makes me sound like my own maiden aunt."

Steve chuckled. Did he really have to remind Tony how wrong he was? Peggy was only one case in point. There were plenty of women from Steve's era that had been just as courageous and heroic as men, but he wasn't interested in giving Tony a history lesson at the moment. "We made the right decision then," Steve said. "We named her after Peggy instead. This one is Sarah Margaret and that one is Natalia Olivia," he said, introducing each twin for the first time.

"Natalia as in ..." Tony smirked. "Oh, please let me tell Romanoff she's got a teeny namesake in pink polish."

Jamie blew a raspberry up at his uncle, laughing in delight as Tony buzzed something harmless against his cheek in response.

"Too late. Already done," Steve replied. "Apparently, Clint had a good laugh about it," he added, though Steve didn't look particularly amused. They'd named their daughter after Natasha for a very good reason and one that no one needed to know but them.

"Sarah for your Mama, oui, Papa?" Martin interrupted, with serious eyes.

For once, Tony didn't argue, understanding that Steve's friendship with Natasha was something the man treasured. He bent instead, hooking Lianne up with one arm to look into the bassinet, blatantly using his niece as an excuse to get a closer look at the newborns.

"Oui, Martin," Steve confirmed, a little surprised that the boy was that astute. He did not need to explain that the woman would have been Martin's grandmother, even if not by blood, which made the naming that much more bittersweet. "She would have adored the lot of you," he said, more to himself than to anyone else.

"Like Bess is for Mama's mama?" Lianne asked curiously, leaning heavily on Tony as he inspected the twins. He was suspiciously silent, at least in Lucy's opinion, but she had a feeling he might be wrestling with a certain amount of domestic envy here. He insisted he wasn't a family man, and yet had started to take every opportunity going to spend time with his sisters' children.

"Something like that, yes," Steve replied, but he didn't really want to turn too morose at a time like this, and he had noticed that Tony had turned quiet for some reason, too. If anything, this was a happy occasion. "Anyway, we were wondering if you'd like to be a godfather," Steve said, glancing at Lucy for a moment, as if for permission, though it was probably a little too late for that now.

"Shouldn't you be asking Thor?" Tony instantly countered, deflecting the question automatically. "He is a god, sort of. Well, he thinks he is."

"Thor isn't my brother," Lucy told him quietly.

For a moment, they were all privileged to witness Tony Stark absolutely speechless, possibly for the first time in living memory.

Lianne blinked, looking at her father. "Uncle Tony is broked."

"He's not broked," Steve told his daughter. "He's just speechless. Well, Tony, what do you say? You want the honor or should we ask someone else?" It was almost priceless to witness Tony Stark at a loss for words for once in his life, but Steve had too big a heart to leave him out to dry for too long.

It was difficult to tell whether Tony was more shocked to be asked, or to hear Lucy actually call him her brother. He glanced between them for a long moment, clearing his throat as he attempted to come up with something vaguely witty. "Uh ... sure," he said finally. "That'd be ... that ..." His eyes narrowed, one hand pointing the finger at Steve. "Are you trying to get me broody, Cap?"
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Lucy Rogers
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve chuckled at Tony's accusation, but didn't bother to address it. "Just be warned ... We're going to ask Nat to be godmother." Not that it mattered; it was mostly a place of honor in the twins' lives than anything else, but neither Tony nor Nat had any children or their own or were likely to.

"Oh great, so I'm the fun one." Tony brightened, tossing a wink in Martin's direction. "Good to know."

Lucy rolled her eyes, snorting with laughter. "We're doomed," she predicted in amusement.

"I think maybe you should introduce Uncle Tony to the game of Twister later," Steve suggested, knowing once the kids got that idea into their heads, there'd be no getting it back out. Pizza, Twister, and a movie sounded like it would be a pretty good night for them.

"Twister, yay!" Jamie clapped his hands excitedly. Twister was his favorite game at the moment, mainly because everyone cheated so he could win.

Lucy chuckled, kissing her youngest son's head. "I'll be home tomorrow," she promised them fondly. "I'm sure Uncle Tony can cope until then."

Steve chuckled again at Jamie's enthusiasm. He'd let Martin explain the "rules" to Tony later; that is, the fact that Jamie always won, no matter what. Whether Tony agreed to that arrangement or not was Tony's problem. "So, does anyone want to hold them?" Steve asked, with a pointed look at Tony. If he was going to be their godfather, he might as well get used to handling them now.

"I got one, thanks," Tony declared, hoisting a giggling Lianne a little higher in his arms.

Lucy laughed. "You could always hold one of the babies together, you know," she suggested to her brother, purely to see the moment of naked terror flicker across his features.

"I meant one of the twins," Steve said, even as Lucy made her suggestion.

"May I, Papa?" Martin asked almost timidly, but not surprisingly more eager to meet his new sisters up close and personal than his full-grown uncle.

"Of course you may, Martin," Lucy assured him. "Choose which one you would like to cuddle with, and Papa will help you. And you ..." She pinned Tony with a pointed stare. "Are going to sit on this bed, and help your niece cuddle the other one."

"Seriously?" Tony queried, apparently not liking being forced to show familial affection to a baby. "I think you're worse now you squeezed them out."

Once again, Steve might have commented but chose not to, letting Lucy handle her brother without his interference. Instead, he carefully scooped Natalia out of her bassinet, waiting for Martin to settle himself in a chair before transferring her to his arms. The baby made a small face for a moment, before settling again, too sleepy to make much of a fuss. "She's so small!" Martin remarked as he studied his baby sister. He didn't remember Jamie being quite this small, but then Jamie hadn't been a twin or born too early.

Between Lucy and Lianne, Tony didn't really stand a chance, finally sitting on the bed with all the grace of a drowning wombat to have Sarah laid gently in his arms as Lianne and Jamie crowded in on either side of him. "I know what you're doing," he said conversationally, trying to ignore the baby in his arms as he spoke. "You're trying to make me forget my natural snark in favor of - oh, look, she has blue eyes!" And just like that, Tony Stark was a goner.

Lucy grinned over at Steve triumphantly.

If they had accomplished anything that day, besides bringing two more children into the world, it was to bring out the softer side of Tony Stark. Though he might never get married or have children of his own, there was at least hope that he wasn't quite the old Scrooge he often pretended to be. "I wish I had a camera," Steve murmured quietly, watching his little family - Tony included - from his vantage point and smiling. Of course, if his cell phone counted, he did have a camera, but it was more a figure of speech than anything else, wanting to imprint this moment in his memory for years to come.

It was certainly a memory worth keeping. But then, their whole family was filled with memories and moments worth keeping, little snatches of time they would never forget. For the first time, Tony was an active participant, and despite his quirks, Lucy was glad. It had taken a long time to get to this place with her brother. Whether he liked it or not, he was here to stay. And with two more little people to fill their days, they were going to need all the help they could get. Even Ironman would do.

((Five children. Count 'em, FIVE. And any mistakes with Tony's character are entirely my fault. Very Happy Huge thanks to my partner in crime!))
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