“What’s broken, Baby Doll?” Steve asks, so badly wanting to reach out and touch his mate’s face. Bucky swallows against the lump in his throat.
“Everything.” He says through a whimper. His eyes are
so sore from crying, he doesn’t think he has it in him anymore to bawl
like he did earlier. “The thing that I was before all this. I’m not that
“I don’t know!” Bucky says sounding exasperated. “I
don’t have a name for it. I’ve just been building my whole life around
it ever since the twins without ever really thinking about it.”
“You wanna know what I think?”
“Yes, Steve! I always want to know what you think.”“Not lately.” Steve says dejectedly.
“Especially lately.” Bucky looks seriously into his eyes as he corrects him. Steve blinks at him a few times, just enjoying the eye contact. It’s been awhile.
“I think your whole opinion of yourself changed when we had the twins. You stopped thinking of yourself as just a weapon and started focusing on caring for them. Every day since you found out about them you’ve been molding yourself into the best caretaker you could be for them. Since the word got out about the kids you’ve been questioning whether you’re good enough. Since Doom went after Billy and we lost the baby, you’ve decided you’re not.”
Bucky cringes. His stomach is hurting him again. “I abandoned them at the school, I left Billy unguarded at SHIELD, I lost a fight I should have won. What more proof do you want that I’m not that thing?”
“Baby, the thing you can’t put a name on is called being a good mother.” Bucky whimpers. Steve wants to hold him so badly it’s painful.
you kinda have to read it in this order: