Happy BIRTHday! (Shieldshock)
“I should have known your kid would insist on being born on our birthday,” Darcy groaned, clutching her husband for dear life during a contraction.
She’d gone into labor late in the evening of July third, and strongly suspected baby America wouldn’t arrive until the date showed July fourth.
“We’ve still got a few hours yet,” Steve noted, eying her with concern and excitement. She knew he was totally stoked for fatherhood, given how happy he’d been ever since they’d found out she was pregnant.
“I highly doubt he’s just gonna pop out in two hours,” Darcy observed skeptically, slumping against Steve to catch her breath as the contraction eased. “Much as I wish that would be the case. Jane’s kid was definitely the exception, not the rule.”
Jane and Bucky’s daughter had arrived with astonishing speed, and Darcy was deeply envious.
“Alright,” she sighed. “I think I’m good. Let’s get to the hospital.”
Picking up her bag, Steve helped her out to the car, mentally reviewing all the advice he’d received on supporting one’s partner through childbirth.
Meanwhile, Jane was relaxing in bed, half heartedly perusing a science journal while her husband attempted to distract her with kisses. Hearing a buzz from her phone, she reluctantly pulled back to check it.
“Darcy’s in labor.” She informed Bucky. “They’re headed to the hospital now.”
“Another Fourth of July baby? How very Rogers of him,” he murmured. “Do they need anything?”
“Darcy says no and has ordered me to stay put and not pace around all night,” Jane reported, rolling her eyes at Darcy’s typical bossiness. . “She says Steve will keep us updated. I sure hope it goes okay. It’s impossible not to worry when childbirth is happening.”
“As I recall all too well,” Bucky agreed, remembering how scared he’d been watching her go through it a few months ago. “You were such a trooper, doll.”
“I’ll never forget the look on the doctor’s face when he told me I could start pushing and we had barely even got settled at the hospital,” she reminisced quietly, a smile lighting up her face.
Little Rebecca had been in a tearing hurry to enter the world, and Jane had been grateful for that. She’d heard horror stories of how long labor could be and was bracing for the worst, only for her daughter to arrive after only three and a half hours.
“She was impatient to be out and start sciencing,” Bucky said with a shrug.
Jane giggled and poked his shoulder playfully.
“You goof,” she said lovingly, leaning in to kiss him again.
Sharon and Sam received a similar text as they arrived home after a long mission.
“Looks like you’re gonna owe me, Wilson,” Sharon commented. “He’s gonna be a Fourth of July baby.”
“I’ll happily pay up,” Sam admitted. “I should have known Steve’s kid would do that. Is Darcy doing alright?”
“Yeah. But there’s a long way to go yet. First babies take a while, unless you’re Jane Foster,” Sharon sighed. “I’m dead tired, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep while we’re waiting for news.”
She kicked off her shoes and shed her jacket, wincing as her bruises were aggravated. It had been a tough fight, and she was expecting to be sore for a while afterwards, but they’d caught the weapons smugglers, and she was relieved to count it a success.
“Hmmm. Maybe a nice hot bath would help?”
Sam suggested, holding up her favorite bubble bath solution.
Sharon cracked a tired smile.
“Maybe. Will you join me?” She asked hopefully.
“Happily.” Sam assured her with a grin.
It was nearly seven the next morning when James Samuel Rogers finally made his appearance, screaming his lungs out.
Darcy winced a little at the volume.
“I guess he got an enhanced set of lungs,” she gasped out as he was placed on her chest.
Steve chuckled, even as his eyes filled up with tears.
“He’s beautiful,” he whispered. “Our son.”
“Oh, he’s definitely our kid,” she agreed. “He’s got my hair and your stubborn chin. Hey there, James, it’s all right. Mommy and Daddy are right here,” she said soothingly, running her hand along the baby’s tiny back.
Late that afternoon, baby James’s two sets of godparents arrived, eager to meet him. Steve and Darcy hadn’t told anyone the name yet, and greatly enjoyed the stunned expressions on Sam’s and Bucky’s faces when Darcy introduced baby James for the first time.
“Wow, Steve…..I don’t know what to say,” Bucky managed, giving his friend a big hug. “He’s pretty adorable.”
“We’re honored, man,” Sam added, in his turn. “Congrats!”
“Oh, he’s so cute!” Jane agreed, rushing over to Darcy’s side to admire the newborn. “He obviously inherited the Lewis hair.”
Darcy chuckled. Baby James had a thick head of dark hair just like her.
“Yup. But look at his little chin and ears,” she cooed. “Totally Steve.”
“I’ve seen that look before,” Sharon commented, shooting a sly glance at Steve. “He’s got that stubborn Rogers jaw.”
“I call it the jawline of Freedom.” Darcy said, winking at Steve. “He’s also got his dad’s beefiness. Nine pounds, six ounces.”
Sam whistled, Bucky smiled, and Jane winced in sympathy.
“Holy crap, Darcy. You deserve a medal. You better treat her extra special, Steve,” she declared, pointing her finger at the new father, who nodded seriously.
“I will. She’s my hero,” he stated, looking at his wife and son with a very besotted expression that Darcy referred to as “heart eyes.”
“Do they know if the serum affected little James?” Sharon asked curiously. That had been one source of concern for both Steve and Bucky during the pregnancies. So far, Rebecca had not shown to have inherited any super abilities.
“We don’t think so,” Steve said. “But I just wanted him to be healthy. I can tell you from personal experience, It’s no fun spending half your childhood in the hospital.”
He shared a rueful glance with Bucky, who nodded knowingly.
Darcy passed Baby James to an eager Jane to hold and tugged Steve close to her.
“Steve was great. He let me crush his hand and swear at him without breaking a sweat,” she said fondly. “And he told me funny stories about you two to take my mind off the pain.”
She grinned at Sam and Bucky, who only sighed.
“We’re glad we could be of use,” Sam said with a snarky grin. “What stories did he tell?”
“Oh, the one where Spidey webbed you two up,” Darcy revealed with a sly smile. “You got your butts beat by a teenager.”
“A teenager who can lift an elephant!” Bucky defended mildly, making cute faces at baby James, whose dark blue eyes were now open and looking around.
“Hey there, little guy,” Bucky said to him. “I’m your cool uncle Bucky, this is your awesome aunt Jane and your awesome aunt Sharon. Over there is your much less cool Uncle Sam.”
“Quit feeding the kid lies, Barnes,” Sam retorted. “We all know I’m the cool uncle. You’re the embarrassing caveman uncle who scratches his back with random knives and grunts a lot.”
Darcy, Jane and Steve burst out laughing. The ridiculous banter between Sam and Bucky was ongoing and provided a great source of amusement for their friends.
Next, it was Sharon’s turn to hold little James and she too, quickly fell under his spell.
“He’s just perfect,” she admired, gently touching one tiny fist. “Talk about a birthday present, huh?”
“You can say that again,” Darcy said emphatically. “The best,” Steve agreed, a tender smile on his face.
That night, after an exhausted Darcy had fallen asleep, Steve held his tiny son until the baby also succumbed to slumber. “Happiest Birthday Ever”. He thought, kissing James’s tiny head as he laid him in his bassinet.
“Happy birthday, sweetheart,” he whispered to the sleeping Darcy.
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