Chapter 1: The Snow Queen. Variation 1
Once upon a time a blonde soldier named Steve returned from war. He immediately went to look for his friend Bucky. The towns people were saddened to say that Bucky had drowned in the river by the train tracks.
Determined to give Bucky a proper burial he went to the river. He offered the river his red boots to tell him where his friend’s body was. The river did not take the boots for the man had not drowned here.
“The winter has taken your friend, not I” burbled the river. “his heart and eyes and soul belong to the winter now.”
Steve was determined to find his friend and free him. He started to search the land for clues to where Winter was keeping Bucky. In time he came across town. The mayor named Fury saw Steve’s great strength and wanted to keep him there. Fury told Steve that he had a duty to the people and made him forget his purpose. They kept him busy with many tasks and trials.
Until one day a rose named Natasha told him of the Winter Soldier and that he might be Steve’s friend. Freed from the forgetfulness spell, he went again in search of his friend.
Next he ran into a group of robbers, who capturing him and took him to their Robber King. The Robber King named Lukin wanted to keep Steve, for he felt that Steve would be quite valuable. But one of his lieutenants, a very old man, owed Steve his life from the Great War. He told the blonde man how to find the Winter soldier in the palace of the Snow Queen also known as the Red Room.
The old man gave Steve his Reindeer GPS device with coordinates to the red room. Aided thus, the blonde man wandered through the deadly winter landscape. Till at last he came upon a building of ice stained red like blood with the setting sun.
In the great hall, he found his friend encased in a pillar of ice, sleeping. He tried knocking on the ice pillar. He called to Bucky. But Bucky slept on.
“Be careful” said an evil voice. “If you wake him wrong. he will kill us all.”
Steve turned and found a little troll of a man. Quickly he picked the man up. “Tell me how to free him”.
The little man said “no.”
“Then I will smash the tube open and he will kill us all, you included.”
“Fair point” said the little troll and he gave Steve the instructions on how to free his friend from pillar of ice safely.
“Not it will do you much good.” the little man chortled “He is a true servant of the snow. He will kill all intruders. You will not be able to defeat him.”
“We will see.” murmured Steve. He managed to free his friend of the ice. But his friend did not remember him; his heart and soul had been taken by the ice. So he attacked Steve. Steve realized as long as the shards of the ice were within the Winter Soldier, he would never remember.
Still Steve pleaded with Bucky to remember as he fended off his attacks. But the dark-haired man continued to ignore him.
Finally the blonde trapped his friend in an embrace and said “I know you will kill me but I forgive you, you’re my friend, you’re my heart, you’re my soul.” His tears of sadness dripping onto the soldier’s shoulder.
At first it seemed like the Soldier would snap his neck. Then the tears, Steve’s love and his touch melted the ice in Bucky’s heart and soul. He remembers who he was.
Free of winters grasp with two friends tearfully reunited. The troll, whose task it had been to keep the soldier there, attacked them. It was easy for the two friends to dispatch him.
They returned to their hometown only to find the people turned against them. They wanted the head of the Winter soldier for all the wrongs he had done. Steve would not let his friend be taken. The two men fled the townspeople who wished to harm them.
They ended up traveling to the far south. To where winters were no more than rain and ice and snow were just stories. And if they didn’t live happily ever after, at least they were content and with each other.
Chapter 2: Of Cap's And Soldier's
Death Fic. This chapter is the reimagining of the Winter soldier as a book from American literature. This is not a happy story, it is very different than chapter 1. It is from this e story that the series got its name, It's High School English's fault.
NOW Coney Island
Captain America sat on the beach looking out over the water. He could hear the other Avengers calling: but he ignored them.
It was another one of the disastrous double dates that Bucky dragged him on. Steve warned him that this wasn’t necessarily the best movie for a date. He had read the book and didn’t see how it could have a happy ending.
“Okay” Bucky said. “I shoulda listened to you. That really wasn’t a good movie to see with the girls.”
“Yup.” Steve said back “I told you so.”
“It was a good movie tough. The story really hit me.” Bucky sighed.
The two men meandered back to their apartment.
NOW Coney Island
The other avengers were circling around him now clearly worried. He put the gun down when asked.
1943 A forest somewhere in Europe
“Steve” Bucky said coming over to the captain. “We need to talk a bit.”
“Yeah? What about?”
“Zola and what happened in the…”
Steve interrupted. “You don’t have to.”
“No I need to get this out. Zola...He did things to me. Things that I can’t forget. I don’t... but what if ... if I go off the rails. Would you? um.”
“Would I what?”
“Remember that movie we saw with those girls who ran off afterwards, back in ’39. I need..uh. I need you to be my George.” Bucky said looking off to the side.
Startled Steve stood up. “No! Bucky, you can’t ask me...”
“Please Steve! If I become a danger to the others or to civilians. I could never forgive myself if I hurt people who didn’t deserve it. If I go bad, I need to know you will help me. I don’t want anyone else to…”
Steve grimaced and looked at his feet. “Alright if you get to that point, I’ll help you.”
NOW Coney Island
It was the Black Widow who finally got close to him. She simply looked at the Captain in the eye and said “Why?”
“I kept my promise.” Steve replied.
A little while ago. Coney Island
The Winter Soldier’s memories have been returned but Bucky had fled under the weight of the emotions that the memories caused. Cap followed him.
The two ran for miles. Bucky lead them to the beach at Coney Island where he collapsed.
Bucky sobbed into his hands. “You promised me.” he said.
“Look, things can get better...”
“NO! You have no idea what I’ve done, what I’m capable of doing. I am myself right now but I won’t be for long. I can feel the Soldier coming back! You have to, Steve, You have to.”
“No, Steve, please. I don’t want to kill anymore. Please... please help me.”
Tears ran down Steve’s face as he pulled Bucky into a hug. “Okay.”
NOW Coney Island
The body of Steve’s best friend, Bucky lay in his arms. The gunshot wound in back of his head was visible.
Natasha again asked. “Why Steve?”
“Have you ever read Of Mice And Men?”
Note: This fic probably won’t make any sense if you haven’t read Of Mice and Men. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a classic piece of American literature. The movie for Of Mice and Men came out in 1939.
Spoilers for the book to follow (for those who haven’t read it).
The basic story is of two friends, one smart, George and one mentally disabled, Lennie. They are migrant workers who wander around looking for work in the Great Depression. At the end of the book Lennie has accidentally killed a young woman. Rather than let Lennie be tortured and lynched by the woman’s brutal husband, George ends Lennie’s life painlessly by shooting him in the back of the head.
Chapter 3: This is Just to Say
Random Poetry Attack
I have eaten
the plums Ice creams
that were in
you were probably
for breakfast for a Snack
they were delicious
and so cold
Tony looked at the note Steve left on the refrigerator. He read it out loud.
“What the hell Jarvis?” he said.
“I believe that is a poem by William Carlos Williams. Sir”
“Not the note. How could you let him eat all my ice cream!”
Chapter 4: Daddy Deadpool
A short story inspired by the Princess Deadpool photos
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Deadpool lived in a world where anything can happen and frequently did. However even he was surprised when a small child ran up to him. The little girl glared up at him, holding a “IT”S A GIRL” balloon. A Captain America suitcase and Spiderman backpack sat on the ground near by.
“Daddy!” shirked the girl. “I wa’ ice cream.”
Wade looked around for the father. He was the only man in sight. Oh, The kid was pointing at him. (sounds of a hamster wheel turning) OH HELL NO!
“OH HELL NO!” Wade shouted.
“OW.” The little blighter smacked him in the shin with one of her katanas.
“Tha a bad word!” Not-my-kid said. “Bad Daddy.”
A small hand shoved the balloon at him. There was a note tied to the string. Wade popped the balloon and grabbed the note.
WHACK. OW! There went his other shin.
“Ma Balloon! Bad Daddy!”
Box 1. “Better read the note before you lose you legs… again.”
At the same time Box 2 said, “Definitely your kid.”
“Shut up you two.” Wage started reading.
Dear My Most Hated Enemy,
Mwhahaha!!!!! At last I have defeated you!!!!! I have set upon you the greatest weapon ever!!!!! Your own child!!!!! NOW you are burdened with responsibility!!!!! Don’t bother looking for me, for now that I have achieved my greatest victory, I’m leaving this horrible world!!!!!
Lady Lunatic, Destroyer of Heroes. even bad ones.
OK. Lady Lunatic. He kinda remembered her. Good fighter, GREAT costume, a real tiger in the sack. Let’s see he hadn’t seen her in…
Box 2. “Three years, nine months and two days.”
Box1. “Should have stopped at the drug store, but NOOOOoooo!”
The tiny part of Wade’s brain which allowed him to occasionally interact when other people realized he was in trouble. He needed a responsible adult. And some bandages.
He looked down at his leg where his “shudder” kid had poked him with her little tiny katanas.
“I wa’ ice cream.” Maybe-my-kid shouted. Wade was impressed. Those mini katanas were cute and really, really sharp.
Ok. An Adult, what are his options?
Box 1. “Jailbait”
Right, too young.
Box 2. “Only works with teenagers.”
Maybe-my-kid is too young.
Box 1. “AH Hahahahahahahaha. Stark. with a kid. hahahaha.”
Box 1. “True, Cap is the epitome of responsible adult.”
Box 2. “I concur Captain America it is.”
“Ok shorty, We’re going to see Captain America!”
But first a quick stop at Ben & Jerry’s.
This story was inspired by Princess Deadpool from Gamewire. Check out the photos if you haven’t seen them.
Chapter 5: Darcy's Family History
Darcy and her Grandma talk. with ART!
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Shorts to go with the above fan art.
Day of Darcy’s Collage Graduation.
“Hey” Darcy shouted. “Give me back my glasses! Everything is all fuzzy”
“Then you should have worn your contracts.”
“They itch. And I LIKE my glasses.”
“To hide behind. I’ll give them back, but I want one GOOD photo where I can those Fisher eyes.” Her Grandmother retorted.
Darcy sighed. Diana Fisher Trevor De Wilde could be an immovable object when she wanted to be. She had buried two husbands, a daughter and a son-in-law. She’d survived the London Blitz, Nixon and raising Darcy. If Darcy wanted her glasses back she was going to have to cave.
“Ok, Grams, One photo.”
1 years or so later. On the phone.
“So then Tony makes another virgin joke about Steve and…”
“Wait, wait.” Diana interrupted. “Steve as in Steve Rogers? The Captain himself?”
Diana Laughed. “Captain America is many things but a virgin he is not.”
“What! Grandma! You!”
“Not me dear, I was 7 at the time. My Aunt Phryne joined the French Resistance during the war. I met her once in London and she had these two Americans with her. The Captain and his sergeant signed my copy of the Captain America Little Golden Book. They were headed back out to France in the morning. That night the three of them shared a bedroom.”
“Three!” Darcy squeaked.
“Yes, Two doors down the hall from my room. They got quite loud. Of course at the time I thought it was some kind of spy exercise. Didn’t figure it out till years later.”
“Aunt Phryne wrote a rather stirring entry in her journal about that night. I should send you her journals, you are old enough to read them now.” Diana mused.
“If Great Aunt Phryne was the type to have a threesome I differently want to read them!”
One Month later:
Darcy sat in the main Kitchen reading an old book. Steve and Tony came in to get some coffee.
“Whatcha reading Darcy?” Steve asked.
“My Great Aunt’s journal.” She needed to time this right.
Both men had their coffee, annnnd they are lifting the mugs…
“So Cap. You and Bucky, matching Dodgers tattoos? Really?”
The spit take was epic.
Aunt Phryne is Miss Phryne Fisher from the Phryne Fisher Mysteries
Grandma Diana is played by Lynda Carter
And the Dodger’s tattoos where from Steve’s pre serum days
Chapter 6: The Gift of the Magi
Each would give everything for the other.
Starts sad, gets better.
Unbetad, all errors are mine.
Title comes from ‘The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry
I had to add a happy-ish ending just so I could sleep tonight.
Bucky wasn’t going to make it to his 25th birthday. He knew this deep in his soul. So he did what he could. He joined the army more because it would allow him to send money home, then any kind of patriotism. He named Steve his next of kin and beneficiary. Once he was gone Steve could use the money to finish school, maybe move somewhere warmer.
As he lay on the table in Zola’s lab he daydreamed about Steve finding a girl and having a good life.
As he fell from the train he thought, “Maybe he and Peggy will name a kid after me.”
Steve wasn’t going to make it to his 25th birthday. He found out just before Bucky's last leave stateside. The doctors thought he might live longer if he moved to some place warm but they didn’t have a lot of hope. When Dr Erskine let him into the army, he made sure Bucky would get everything when he passed. Once he was gone and the war was over Bucky could open that garage he talked about.
As he got ready for the procedure to start Steve imagined Bucky and his girl on their 10th wedding anniversary surrounded by kids. Maybe they even named one after him.
As he crashed the plane into the ice all he could think about was how he failed Bucky.
When Howard and Peppy went thru Steve’s and Bucky’s things they found the letters each had written the other. Each had sworn their love for the other. Both encouraged the other to live life to the fullest, to find a girl and settle down. Howard and the Commando’s got drunk while Peggy went to mourn in private.
Neither man had made it to their 25th birthday.
Captain America woke from the ice a few months before his 91st birthday.
Bucky Barnes woke from the shell of the winter soldier a few months after his 91st birthday.
They celebrated their 92nd birthdays together. They got married that fall.
When they turned 100 they adopted two kids and got a dog.
When they were 150 or so the ice claimed them again. This time at least, they where together.
When they where 900 or so they woke up again, but that is another story.
Chapter 7: Welcome Home
AU: in which Steve is a dog and Darcy is his owner. Short and Fluffy with ART
A large yellow lab mix dog slept on his bed in the mudroom, next to him was a bowl marked Steve. Steve’s head popped up and he went immediately on alert. He heard a car pull into the driveway and needed to identify friend or foe. He heard Darcy's voice as she started rummaging for her keys.
He perked up at the sound of his friend coming home. He jumped out of bed and went to the door to greet his person. Darcy had adopted Steve and his friend Bucky from one of the local animal shelters three years ago.
At the time she had a boyfriend whom Steve had not liked. He smelled of fermented potato and cigarettes. And he tended to be really mean when Darcy was not looking. One day the boyfriend disappeared, taking Bucky with him.
Darcy had looked for Bucky in all the shelters in a three state area. She couldn't imagine that her ex would keep the dog. That has been a year and a half ago. Steve still missed Bucky and would whine whenever he saw dog that looked like Bucky but wasn't Bucky.
When she walked to the door Steve's stood at attention, he was a good dog who didn't jump up on people. Darcy worked for a mad scientist named Jane. She often came home frustrated and needed a good cuddle before she could calm down for the rest of the night. Steve was a champion cuddle-er.
Once they got their hello cuddle out-of-the-way Darcy went into the kitchen to make them both dinner. She proceeded to talk about her day but Steve didn’t understand any of this. He got a few words here and there, but for the most part he just listened. He was good at that too.
The phone rang. Steve hated that noise, it always made his ears hurt. Darcy went over and answer the phone. After a few minutes she started getting really excited. She started bouncing up-and-down. When she hung up the phone she grabbed Steve's face and gave him a quick rub. She was talking really fast and really happy. It is times like this he wish he understood human so he could know what made her so happy.
She went to the closet where Steve was not allowed to go and pulled out the box. The box had been in the closet for quite some time. Darcy put it in there because Steve kept pawing at it. It smelled like Bucky and he missed Bucky.
It was after dinner but before TV time when there was a knock at the door. Steve could hear two people and a dog on the other side. He immediately whet on alert to protect his person. The door opened and a tall dark man and a short red woman stood on the other side of the door, between them was a black lab. Wait… sniff… BUCKY!
Steve immediately ran over and started sniffing his friend. Bucky seemed a little shy but he recognized Steve and the two of them started sniffing each other. Steve was confused though. One of Bucky's legs was wrong. It smelled more like the thing the canned food came out of. It looked shiny and wasn't soft like the rest of Bucky.
Steve he didn't care. Bucky was Bucky. He started licking Bucky’s face. Bucky head butted him back. The people talked over them. He thought he understood a few words, dog, fighting, evil, and men but he didn't really understand what they meant.
After a while the people left. Darcy got down and gave Bucky the biggest cuddle ever. Steve wasn't even jealous he was too happy that Bucky was back.
That night Darcy let them sleep on her bed. Steve curled up protectively around Bucky Bucky let out a happy sigh. There was a flash and both dogs look at Darcy accusingly. But she just smiled petted them on the head and pulled the covers up over herself. Steve put his head back down on Bucky head. For the first time in a long time his family was complete.
Chapter 8: Peter is just that awesome
Peter Parker, SI intern, is kidnapped with Pepper Potts and Darcy Lewis.
“How is this my life?” Peter whined. Quietly, softly so no one can hear.
Things had been going so well. Over the past six months he's been doing okay in school, hanging out with Gwen and got a nifty job at Stark industries. He was even doing great in his Spiderman gig ,no major bad guys to come after him and he hadn’t got hurt in months.
The day started normally, he was working in Bio department when he got called over to help with some heavy lifting. Darcy Lewis, Jane Foster's assistant often came around to grab people whenever she needed them. So Peter ended up on the other end of this big box trying to navigate the hallways of R&D. He vaguely remembers hearing some voice female voices nearby and registering that Pepper Potts was in the area. A few minutes later his spider senses went off. Hampered as he was by the box he couldn't move quickly enough to do anything. So he and everybody else in the corridor ended up getting gassed into unconsciousness.
When he came to, he found himself locked in a room with Pepper Potts, Darcy and three SI scientists that he’d seen from time to time in the elevator.
“Well, this is cozy.” Darcy said, “Nothing like a bit of gas and kidnapping to start off the weekend.”
“Better day at the Spa” Ms Potts snarked back.
“I think this is happening a bit too often.” Peter says, “You two way too blasé. Why am I flashing back to a horrible 80s movie? With taxis?”
“Ooh I know that one, DC cab, right? You're right, it was awful.” Darcy stated.
The three scientists looked at the at them like they were crazy. How could these people be making fun in this dire situation? Worse, one of them was their boss.
“So Boss Lady want to take bets on how long it takes for the team to find us. I think we should start a pool.”
“I think this group is a little too small for a true betting pool, but I'm willing to bet with you.” Pepper responds.
Peter’s spider senses went off at that moment. “I think we've got incoming,” he said out loud.
A few seconds later the door slammed open and what had be one of the most generic bad guys he’d ever seen, walked though the door. Come on, black on black uniforms with full face masks? Clearly these guys had not read the evil overlord list. And to make the whole cliche complete, one of the guys starts to monologue.
The LeadBadGuy, as Peter had tagged him in his head, continued to talk for over 30 minutes. Peter was so bored he was starting to nod off. Darcy was already asleep.
Peter snapped to alertness when the guy said. “…. as soon as the Avengers are anywhere near by, we’re simply going to shoot you. After all we don't really need any of you, and it will demoralize the heroes.”
Ms Potts elbowed Darcy awake. One of the three scientists burst out. “If you're just going to kill us why are you keeping us alive? I mean, why are we still here?”
“Torture, my good doctor, I want them to see how closely they got to saving you but still failed.”
Well, that made Peter’s mind up for him. He'd been hoping to wait and let the Avengers ride to the rescue. His suit was stuffed in a compartment inside his backpack, back in his employee’s locker. He didn't want to, but secret or no secret, he wasn't going to let these morons shoot them.
“Ya know,” he said shifting to a better position. “Death by moron wasn't on my to do list today, so I think I'm going to have to object.”
“Oh crap,” Darcy thought. She watched Peter get ready to do something really stupid. “He can't believe that his skinny little ass can take out these idiots, does he? I mean, they are twice his size, they will snap him like a twig.”
The lead Moron, also aware that Peter was getting into position, walked over to him and smacked him in the face. “What do you think you're going do, little boy?”
“Oh, this.” Darcy was shocked. To paraphrase Terry Pratchett, the next few minutes were filled with incident. Violent incident. Peter sort of bounced up and slammed into the leader who then slammed into one of his guards. Before the other guard could react Peter grabbed him and smashed his head into the nearest wall. Peter repeated the head bash thing with the other men. They weren’t getting up anytime soon.
“Time to go folks.” Peter said.
“W…wait” stuttered one of the scientists. “they will shoot us if we try to escape.”
“That SOB was going to shoot us anyway, we might as well get shot trying to escape then just sitting here.”
Pepper stood and grabbed one of the guards guns. Darcy grabbed the other one. “Mr. Parker is correct, We are going to have to rescue ourselves” She continued. “Mr Parker grab the last gun.”
“Ummm no. Knowing me, I'd shoot myself.” He whipped around. “We have to go, I can hear others coming.”
“Really?” Darcy’s eyebrows went up. “Good ears.”
Peter flushed and stuttered before waving them all out into the hall.
They ran into 2 patrols trying to find their way out. Thanks to Peter’s surprise awesomeness Darcy and Pepper didn’t have to use their guns. Darcy wasn’t sure she could actually shoot the gun. Threaten yes, kill no.
Who knew Peter was a secret BAMF? Kid was a freaking ninja, he even pulled a couple of moves she thought would be impossible. He was really, really flexible too. Does he have a girlfriend/boyfriend? Cause WOW. So very hot!
They ran into the team as they exited the building. Ironman grabbed up Pepper, while SHIELD agents pulled the rest of them to safety.
Darcy grinned over at the now embarrassed Peter. She couldn’t wait for the debrief on this one.