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ani_bester ([personal profile] ani_bester) wrote in [community profile] queerlygen2014-03-16 09:27 pm

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Three "slice of life" fics, written around the idea of Bucky, Natasha, Steve, Sharon, Sam, Toro, and other characters are in a polyamorous group where some are lovers and some are friends and everyone gets love and strength for the arrangement.

Title: 11th hour Christmas
Creator: ani_bester
Universe: Marvel 616
Rating: G
Contains: Reference to polyamory and cross dressing
Notes: written several years ago as a present for Gloss.
Summary: Friends and lovers sneak in a Christmas gift exchange between the chaos that comes with being a Marvel Superhero, and Bucky finds out everyone knows him better than he thought.

Ten minutes after the time, Steve, Sam, Bucky, Sharon and Natasha had promised Toro, Ann, and Jim they'd all stop by and actually sit down for Christmas, Natasha, Sam, and Bucky staggered in - all still in costume.- demanding drinks. What they'd gotten was civilian clothes and a push toward rooms to change in.

"So how do we want to do this?" Sam asked, emerging from the back room still pulling a navy sweater over his head.

"No plan yet," Sharon answered as she tossed a gift in her hands. She scooted a little closer to Steve, making room for Sam to sit in the circle they'd formed in front of the Christmas tree. Sam sat and accepted the eggnog passed his way, as well as the kiss that Steve leaned over to give.

Sitting next to Sam, Bucky eagerly gathered his presents closer, picking one small one and shaking. "So how are we doing this?" he repeated. "Because I'd like to get started!"

Sharon glanced to Sam and Sam glanced over at Steve, who shrugged, causing the green Christmas tree on his sweater to move oddly. "How about youngest to oldest?" he suggested as he wrapped an arm around Sharon. "That's traditional, right, though I guess that makes me last."

Bucky smirked at Steve from across the circle of intimate friends. "You like the anticipation, pal, don't even pretend like you haven't always maneuver these things so you go last."

Steve cleared his throat a little and looked to Sharon on his left. She shook her head, as she re-did her ponytail. "Don't look to me for help, mister; Bucky's got you dead to rights. All your 'ladies first' posturing was so you could go last."

"Siding with Sharon and Buck," Sam said before Steve could even look to him.

Folding his arms across his chest, Steve made one last attempt, casting a pleading look in the direction of Jim and Toro.

"I don't think I'm aware enough of the nuances of human affect to be a judge," Jim answered. However, he was grinning from ear to ear and as he took a sip of still steaming apple cider it was clear he was struggling not to laugh.

Toro gave Steve a helpless look. "You told me to stop arguing with Bucky."

"Ordered you actually," Bucky laughed.

"In 1944!" Steve protested.

"Now here is a story I don't believe I've heard," Ann said, rubbing her husband's hair affectionately. "I take it falls under the "Bucky and I fought at lot about anything" category of tales.

"Very much so," Jim said with a short laugh that was shared by Steve.

After a moment in which the whole group looked at Steve in expectant silence, Steve held up his hands in defeat. "Well fine, I like the anticipation of going last, is everyone happy?"

"First step is admission," Bucky said before gulping down his own cider. He blew Steve a kiss when Steve gave him a grumpy look.

"I hate to say this and disappoint you, Steve," Natasha said with a gleam of mischief in her eyes. "But you're only older than me if we count years on ice, and I don't see why we should." Natasha eyed the gathered group with one raised eyebrow as she pushed some strands of red hair back into place. "Well?"

"You are arguing over being the oldest?" Sharon asked, grinning at her fellow Secret Avenger.

Natasha shrugged. "I made it through all these decades without being frozen, asleep, or totally dead. I want credit for that, even if it means opening last. Besides I look good for my age. So I ask again, how are we figuring "oldest"?"

Beside Steve, Sam shook his head in mock sorrow. "You know, it's sad that a simple 'youngest to oldest' becomes a debate. How weird does that make out lives?"

Steve took a drink of his cider and shook his own head. "Do you want list that's alphabetical or be date?"

"Alphabetically by event," Sam answered with a laugh. "Dates will make me feel old."

Across from Steve, Jim cleared his throat. "Presents? Before it becomes the day after Christmas, rather than Christmas."

"Because at midnight, they'll disappear," Bucky quipped, earning himself an elbow in the gut from both Sharon and Natasha.

"All right, All right," Bucky yelped. "So then, not counting years not aware of the world, I guess that makes the order Toro, Me, Sharon, Sam, Jim, Steve, Ann, and finally Nat."

"Whoa," Toro said, leaning forward to protest. "Who says I'm youngest now?"

Bucky eyed his friend. "How about the born after Bucky part? Do the math."

"The math in which I was alive from 1927 to 1971, plus this year?" Toro shook his head. "Uh uh, Bucky no way are you older than 45."

Bucky gave Toro a sharp look. "You are not 45," he countered.

"Horton cells slow his aging," Jim and Ann answered at once.

Natasha gave Bucky a small, and utterly fake, pout. "Stop arguing," she insisted. "Some of us would like to get to our gifts before another 90 years passes by"

Bucky took his gift and gave a sheepish look to Steve. "Not even you've got my back on this, brother?"

"Open a gift Mr. Barnes," she said as she kissed his cheek.

Bucky set his now empty glass down, resting it against the couch he was leaning against. "Don't gotta ask me twice," he said as he looked over the nine gifts in front of him. He picked out a rectangular box wrapped in gold with a red and green ribbon tied around it. The tag, embellished with a snowman, read "To: Bucky From: Everyone."

"This has me curious," he commented as he tossed the ribbon aside and ripped through the shining metallic like paper. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Ann retrieve the ribbon, but he didn't have much time to think about that. He had the inner box to get through. He snap the masking tape that held the lid to the body of the box ad shook the cover to separate the two parts. Moving the white tissue paper to the side, Bucky gasped when he saw the green silk that lay beneath. Carefully lifting the garment out, he held up a long green evening dress with matching gloves for the group's inspection.

"Ok, I know this said from everyone but-"he turned and looked pointedly at Steve, but Steve was shaking his head.

"It's from everyone because it is. Sam had the idea, I remembered a specific dress you'd always liked, Tom and Ann found the pattern and made it, while Nat got your measurements –"

"Without you noticing I might add," Natasha said, gazing out Bucky from over the rim of her mug of hot chocolate.

"Right," Steve said as everyone laughed, "And Jim provided most of the funds."

Bucky held the dress against his chest and beamed at them all. "Thanks, thanks a lot."

Title: First and Last Chance
Creator: ani_bester
Universe: Marvel 616
Rating: G
Contains: Reference to polyamory
Notes: Random ficlet is set in random time and may not fit with current canon stories, granted that's possibly evident by Bucky not being in a Gulag. Ann is the canon wife of Toro, girlfriend of Jim Hammond, (god bless Marvel) and hung around the West Coast Avengers and Namor's corporation thing. Also, I'm sure in the Marvel universe NASA is much snazzier than in real life…
Summary: Bucky, Sam, Steve, and others gather to watch the last shuttle launch

Bucky lay wrapped in his soft cotton sheet, the secure warmth preventing the new day from intruding into his dreams for just a little longer. However, the weight that settled onto his shoulders along with the pricks of talons piercing sheet and skin dragged Bucky up from the world of dreams and into reality.

"Sam, Redwing," he grunted. He tried to shake Redwing off but the stubborn bird moved with him. Bucky winced as the bird maneuvered over his shoulders. Bucky even shook his arm, but Redwing just squawked and settled back down then proceeded to squawk some more.


"I hear you."

Sam was at his door, laughing Bucky guessed from the tone of his voice. "Redwing says to get up before she makes your bed unseemly. That and you're the last one up. So much for all the army training, huh?"

Bucky flipped over so Sam could see him scowl as he made himself get off the bed. He'd promised too many people he'd be there, and it was his apartment, it didn't do for the host to not show.

"I can't get up at 5, Sam, if I go to bed at 6."

"Speaking to the choir, man," Sam said, tossing a robe toward Bucky.

Bucky caught the robe as he walked to his door. Sam gave him a thump on the back. "Smells good," Bucky said, breathing in the scent of home cooked food that came wafting down the hall from his living room.

"Toro's been in your kitchen since pretty much he and Ann got here," Sam explained.

Bucky gave a nod to Sam, acknowledging the explanation. As he turned the corner and entered the main living room, he smiled. Toro bantered with Ann and Natasha as he set out a try of some kind of small muffins onto the coffee table. Steve, meanwhile was glancing at the funnies in the paper. He gave one furtive glance around as though he expected to be chided for reading the funnies rather than the news.

"Morning, Bucky," Natasha called out. Steve and Toro both looked in his direction.

"Hey Bucky, I've got one more thing to bring out then breakfast will be ready," Toro said. Grabbing a muffin, Toro popped it into his mouth than waved to Bucky and Sam before disappearing into the kitchen.

"Morning, sleepy-Bucky," Steve said with a huge grin. He scooted down a little, making room between him and Natasha. Bucky sat down and reached for a muffin.


Bucky froze and turned to Ann who was smiling at him with a smile twenty years younger than she was.

"Dear, never trust anything Tom grabs and eats to be cooled," she said with a warning wag of her finger.

Holding his hand inches above the muffins, Bucky now noted of the heat radiating up from them.

"Oh, Right," he laughed, withdrawing his hand and reaching instead for a bowl of sliced grapefruit.

Without a word, Sam, Natasha, and Steve held sugar packets out to Bucky.

"We don't want to hear you complain," Steve told Bucky as he sprinkled sugar over the fruit.

"They all thought they were too sour," Toro commented as he came back out with a tray of glasses filled with apple juice. He squeezed the tray onto the coffee table beside the muffins and another array of fruits and then sat next to Ann on the loveseat.

"You didn't have to make breakfast, Toro." Bucky told him as he reached into a couch cushion to dig out the remote.

"Don't apologize to him," Ann said, patting Toro's knee. "He likes cooking for people. You'd have to apologize if you didn't let him do this."

Toro flushed, then looked at the still steaming muffins. "Oh, too hot right?" He held his hand out a little closer to them. "Ok, they should be cooler now, sorry about that."

Bucky switched on the TV while Steve put the breakfast muffins on the plates and passed them around.

"What are these, Toro?" Steve asked as he looked at the pale yellow muffin with dark brown flecks.

"A sorta cornbread with sausage and egg filling," Toro answered, taking the plate Steve offered and passing it to Ann then taking one for himself. "Is Sharon coming? I made some without breakfast sausage in them for her. She mentioned hating it."

Steve shook his head. "Unfortunately, no. SHIELD never sleeps," he sighed.

"But even Steve Rogers gets to take a morning off to see the last shuttle launch," Natasha quipped glaring in Steve's direction. "Bucky and I are under orders from Sharon to stop him should he try to work this morning just because she had to."

"You realize I outrank Sharon."

Sam, from Steve's other side, patted him on the back. "I'm sure you believe that," he laughed. "What about Jim," Sam asked Toro as Steve pushed Sam's hand away.

"Off with Namor," Toro answered with a slight smile.

"Who's probably not watching "sufacer nonsense" like this," Bucky chuckled.

"You know," Steve said as he set the glass down on the coffee table. "I can't believe I never watched one of these. Who'd have thought Captain America never took the time to pay any attention to America's space program."

Bucky glanced at Steve, "Well that's because Captain America was indisposed in Russia." Steve tried to swat Bucky but Bucky caught his hand and grinned the old paparazzi grin he'd perfected.

"I'm glad to get the chance to see one now," Bucky added as he tried to dodge as Steve took swipes at him with his other hand. "Especially as it is the last cha-" a yelp cut him off and he turned to glare, trying to determine who had swatted him from his blind side.

Both Natasha and Toro sat talking to each other, both innocent. Bucky went with Natasha though, given he hadn't seen the swat coming.

"I still can't believe this is the last one." Sam answered. "I remember getting all the kids in youth centers together to watch one. After a while though, I stopped. It just didn't grab the kid's attention." Sam shook his head then reached for another muffin.

"Well with all the SHIELD tech people are seeing, I suppose a shuttle launch is too mundane." Ann replied. She eyed Steve and Natasha, "Weren't you two recently off-world?"

Steve's cheeks turned pink and he nodded. "Yes, but… but it's not the same somehow. Everyone was a part of these NASA programs. The common man could watch as we built the shuttles, as we sent first object then animals, then man into space. Looking at the books it seems the moon landing was shared among every American. SHIELD technology, as advanced as it is, never feels like it belongs to people the way these shuttles do."

"You ever get tired of being a hero, Steve," Sam chuckled, "You could write speeches for politicians."

"I trust someone here will kill me if it ever comes to that," Steve laughed.

Bucky raised his hand to volunteer but before he could comment Toro was shushing him. "It's starting."

"Kill the sound, please," Natasha asked, turning to Bucky. "I do not need to hear newscasters telling me how I should feel about this."

Hearing no other complaints, only mumbles of agreement, Bucky set the TV to mute. Then he leaned back, feeling Natasha on his left and Steve on his right, Sam's hand just barely brushing against his shoulders. The couch squished them all together. And just a few feet away, Toro was leaning against Ann as they watched, the countdown flashing on the screen.

Bucky smiled, unable to think of a better way to watch a part of America passed into history and speculate on what the future would bring.

Title: Little Known Fact
Creator: ani_bester
Universe: Marvel 616
Rating: G
Contains: NA
Notes: Thanks to jynx for being my beta at the very last minutes. Also, the book in this story really does exist and is exactly as I say it is in the fic. I for one found the book to be interesting.
Summary: After his birthday party, Steve gets one last present from a small group of his closest friends, and it's all Bucky's fault.

The surprise party had gone well, Tony thought as he sat and watched Bucky and Sam try to prevent Steve from helping with the clean up. Steve kept picking up trash bags, only to have them snatched away by Bucky while Sam lectured Steve about how Steve did not need to clean up after a party thrown for him.

As he wrapped up his latest lecture, Sam glared in Tony’s direction. Tony smiled back, grabbed a cup, and tossed it toward the trash bag Bucky held. Without looking, Bucky blocked it, sending the plastic cup spiraling to the floor.

“Help like the rest of us,” Bucky said, kicking the cup back into the air, and then hitting back to Tony. Tony caught it and went and deposited it in the trash compactor right before Natasha turned it on.

“I hope that’s not your sole contribution to the clean up,” Natasha said. Tony knew that particular hand on hip posture didn’t bode well for him.

“So far it has been,” Sharon mumbled as she walked past Tony with a pile of dirty plates and waited for the trash to finish compacting.

Tony smiled at her as he took the plates off her hands. “I’m used to delegating,” Tony explained, “And besides, I’ve done more than Mr. Leadfoot over there.” He looked in the direction of Clint who laid sprawled across the couch recounting some story to a very amused looking Steve.

“Yet you’ve done less than Steve,” Sam said with a glare and a shake of the trash bag in his hands that promised Tony would be on trash duty before the nights end.

“It’s true,” Steve said, and he grabbed Clint by the arm and dragged him over to Tony. “The two of you have been watching more than helping.” Steve pulled two more trash bags from the box and handed them to Clint and Tony. “It’s still my birthday, technically, and I should get what I want, right?”

Tony looked at the room taking in the wealth of dirty plates and plastic glasses, not all of which had remained upright, that remained even after the cleaning assault of Natasha, Bucky, Sam, and Sharon. “You know, Steve, I could go build something that would clean those rugs stains and –“

He stopped when he felt Steve’s hand on his shoulder. “Tony, Clint, go pick up the crepe paper.” His look managed to be threatening, Tony noted, even if Steve couldn’t quite get his voice there.

As Tony walked toward the area most afflicted with crepe-paper damage he gave Steve an annoyed look over his shoulder. “See if we ever have decorative paper in patriotic colors for you again, Steve.” Tony bent to pick up some of the red paper then paused and stood back up and glanced around the room. “What about Steve’s present? The one we felt would be better suited to a smaller audience?” Tony caught Steve giving him a questioning look and put on his best poker face. “C’mon, this isn’t a stall. The room won’t get any dirtier if we take a moment here.” Bucky and Sam looked unconvinced, but Sharon had already gone to the closet to pull out the gift.

“How much is this going to hurt?” Steve asked in a dry voice.

"Not much, Steve,” Sharon said, coming over with a package wrapped in red and blue with a white bow around it. The object was a rectangle shape that suggested a coffee table book of some kind. Taking it from Sharon, Steve thanked everyone and then opened it.

As soon as it was revealed, Tony had to keep himself from laughing out loud as Steve’s face turned as red as the wrapping paper and gave Sharon a look akin to a boy caught with his hands in a cookie jar.

Steve looked back down at the gift and studied the cover for a long time, as though he couldn’t read the title. “For The Boys: The Racy Pin-Ups of World War II,” he finally read out loud while starting from one person to the other.

A quick peek inside the book caused Steve to blush even more. Tony grinned, knowing the pinups weren’t the sanitized ones often found on nostalgia items these days, but the actual art that had been painted on the noses of planes.

“James Buchanan Barnes, you snitch,” Steve said, but he couldn’t hold the frown for long and ended up sheepishly smiling at Bucky.

Tony sighed and with a shake of his head, pulled out two hundred dollar bills and passed them to Bucky. “He said you’d say that,” Tony explained. “I manned up and made the fool’s bet against him when no one else would.”

Steve stared at Bucky again, this time with eyes wide with realization, “You didn’t-“

“Nope,” Clint said as he went over and slung his arm around Steve, “But now you have, and I think we’d all like to know what it is you thought Bucky told us.”

“Give it up, Steve,” Sharon laughed, “You’ve got three spies in here, and three stubborn men who won’t lay off until you tell.”

“It’s not any big thing.”

“It’s making your face redder than the book’s cover” Sam said. “We want to know, and we will find out.”

“It’s really not anything big, really.” Steve began looking from the eager face of Sharon to the amused expression Sam was giving him. “It’s just… I used to paint these is all, umm actually painted some in this book.”

There was a moment of silence and then the room erupted into laughter and Clint loudly wondered if Steve still painted naked girls.

Steve stood in the center of it blushing, but grinning. When Bucky came up and snatched the book from Steve, Tony noted that Steve didn’t try too hard to stop him, nor did he say anything when Bucky began holding up the particular paintings that were Steve’s.

Steve even smiled proudly once or twice.