Chapter 1: Captain America And Pets
Innytoes on Tumblr requested: Steve and dogs, because dogs.
"Is this a Serum thing?" Natasha asked him once, strolling in Central Park. She was tailing someone for reasons Steve hadn't really looked into; he was just there for some fresh air. But as per usual...
"I don't know," he said delightedly, as yet another dog loped up to him. This made fifteen dogs who had come to say hi, and he looked like the fourth dog who would be sticking around to play a constant rolling game of fetch. Steve picked up a slobbery tennis ball, threw it, and beamed as they all raced off after it. Well, all except the giant Newfie, who was constantly trying to lean on Steve's leg even when he was using it to walk with. "Don't you like dogs?"
She wrinkled her nose. "Sure, but I don't attract them like some kind of walking rawhide chewie."
"Maybe they just know I love them. Yes I do," Steve said, bending down to hug the Newfie. It let out a gentle, basso profundo Boof. Steve barked back. The rest of the dogs came racing back, trailing the Pit Bull who had been the lucky one to fetch the ball.
"Captain America -- truth, justice, and slobber," Natasha said, as Steve threw the ball again.
"Dogs know a hero when they see one," Steve said, then lost his balance as the Newfie finally won the battle with his legs. Immediately three or four other dogs piled on, and Natasha rolled her eyes and left him there, covered in canines and laughing.
Mirimo-cat requested: Steve Cap with an unusual rescue animal, and teammate reaction(s).
Steve, perhaps wisely, refused to let go of her. Natasha might have tried to confiscate her; also, she might have made a break for freedom.
"Steve," Clint said, rubbing his forehead. "Where did you find the honey badger?"
"She found me," Steve insisted, as the large mass of seething hatred squirmed around to lick his chin. "When we were escaping Stilt Man's collapsing lair."
"Never trust the structural integrity of anything built by a guy on stilts," Tony told Rhodey, who nodded knowingly.
"I think he was keeping her as a pet," Steve said. He offered her a bite of his hamburger. She looked at him, looked at the bite, then reached around him and swiped the rest of the burger off his plate. "Look how smart she is! Can I keep her?"
"Say no," Bruce told Tony.
"You're responsible for cleaning up after her," Tony said to Steve, who nodded frantically. Under his arm, Liberty the Honey Badger Avenger made a purring noise and began dismantling an empty Pepsi can with her claws.
shirokou requested: Bucky!Cap finds a hurt puppy after a mission. Cue puppy-dog eyes at Sam and wanting to keep it.
The puppy was young -- old enough to be a little awkward, but young enough he was still obviously a puppy -- and probably desperate. He looked thin, and he didn't shy away from Bucky's arm the way most dogs did.
"Cap," Sam called, from a few floors up, looking down into the alley. "We should move, man, emergency services will be here soon and we can't do anything more here."
Bucky made a soft shushing noise, directed more at the puppy than at Sam as it limped towards him. "That's right, brother," he muttered. "Come to Captain America, truth justice liberty, blah blah..."
Steve, who had rescued everyone from little kids to heavyweight wrestlers in his day, used to pick up the odd cat or dog (once, infamously, a snake) but he usually handed them off to emergency services. Firemen were suckers for kittens. Bucky hadn't rescued any animals As Captain America yet, usually because the arm spooked them, but also because he wasn't sure he was capable of giving one away once it crawled into his lap.
The puppy -- black wispy terrier-fur, a long foxlike snout, bright blue eyes -- snuffled at Bucky's fingers, then ducked under them and made straight for his feet, still limping but making very good time. It grabbed onto the criss-crossed laces on his boots and began worrying it with soft, squeaking growls.
"Funny, I got a best friend who used to be that way," Bucky told him.
"Cap, did you hear me?" Sam asked, landing next to him in the alley, wings folded in. The puppy looked up and whuffed disdainfully. Bucky gathered it into his hands, careful of the front left leg, and straightened up.
Sam looked at the dog, then at Bucky, whose eyes were wide and hopeful behind the helmet's mask.
"We can give him to a fireman," he said, voice indicating he knew it was hopeless.
"Or," Bucky suggested, "We can name him Scout and he can be Captain America's sidekick."
Sam sighed. "Are we gonna take him to the vet in-uniform, or do we get to go home and change first?"
"Uniform," Bucky said, turning and marching confidently out of the alley, now that he'd won. "I bet they give us a discount for being superheroes."
Chapter 2: Captain America and Kids
skadisprawl requested: Cap meeting Sam Wilson's favorite niece.
"I thought I was supposed to -- what was it?" Steve asked, grinning at Sam. "Make you look 'awesome' in front of the girl at the front desk?"
"Don't put airquotes around awesome like you don't know what it means," Sam said, as he knocked on the door. "It's much more important to look awesome in front of my baby niece."
The door opened, and a tiny girl with dark hair in two huge poofs on either side of her head looked up. She stood there, mouth hanging open.
"Are you Latisha?" Steve asked, she nodded, wide eyed, and he crouched down. "Nice to meet you. I'm a friend of your uncle."
"Captain America?" she breathed.
"That's right. Sam said you have all my comics," Steve said.
"Hear that?" Sam asked. "She's making noises only dogs can hear."
"Uncle Saaaaaam," she groaned, and then disappeared from the doorway. Steve didn't even have time to react before she was back, carrying a tiny Captain America shield, with which she whacked him on the shin.
"Ow!" Sam howled, hopping backwards.
Steve grinned. "You and me are gonna get along fine, Latisha," he said, as Sam grumbled about Captain America fans.
Anon requested: Something cute/heartwarming with Sam Wilson hanging out with some refugee school kids.
"Hey -- who're the kids?" Sam asked, standing in the lobby of Stark Tower. They had great coffee in the residential levels, but sometimes you just jonesed for a Starbucks and a cake pop.
A troop of children, probably between about six and fourteen, were following a guy in a white lab coat through the lobby, all of them wearing visitor's lanyards.
Natasha took a sip of her latte. "Arno's Kids."
Sam whistled low. "Old man got around."
She smacked him on the arm. "It's a program the Maria Stark Foundation started. They take on refugee families, make sure they have basic supplies, give the kids some field trips so the parents have some me-time."
"So why Arno?"
"Arno was an immigrant. He arrived with the clothes on his back and a smile. Tony thinks he was fleeing something."
"Huh," Sam said, finishing his cake pop. "Hey, I'll catch up with you later, ok?" he said, and Natasha grinned at the look in his eye.
Sam, who was conscious of good branding, almost always wore a Cap shield shirt when he went out these days. His logo had little wings on either side, just to remind people oh yeah, Falcon is Cap now.
His plan worked like a charm for the kids; he hustled his ass onto the elevator with them, and saw several sets of eyes widen as he turned around, waiting for the door to close. Just after it did, one of the kids tugged on his pants pocket.
"Captain America?" she asked. "Sam Wilson Captain America?"
He grinned at her and offered his hand even as the field trip docent opened her mouth to scold. "Yeah, I'm Captain America. You must be Arno's Kids, huh?" he asked, and several of them gasped. "I thought I'd come along today. You're going to the robotics museum?"
The door dinged open on the lobby of the tenth floor robotics museum. The docent gaped at him.
"It's cool, right?" Sam asked her with a wide grin. She nodded. "Awesome. Hey, you guys wanna see a robot that can pick up and throw a water balloon?"
They all cheered, clustering around him like chicks as he led the way to the Splatter Zone (Tony knew his target market when it came to kids and robots). Most of them ran immediately for the robot that was very obviously the designated throwing machine, but one of the little ones held back with Sam. He put up his hand, and Sam thought he wanted him to hold it, but instead he patted the back of Sam's hand with his. They had about the same skin color.
"Captain America," the kid said, awed, staring at their hands.
"You want me to pick you up so you can see?" Sam asked.
Sam hefted the kid up, holding him around the waist with one arm. The boy leaned forward, spreading his arms, and announced, "Falcon!"
"That's right, kid, Captain America and Falcon," Sam assured him, and then everyone was distracted when a robot flung a water balloon twenty feet -- straight up in the air.
Sam wiped water out of his eyes and grinned. He'd have to have a talk with Tony about working a little Captain America Time into the Arno's Kids program.
kepzandme requested: Steve and Bucky coming by a schoolbus full of children on their morning jog *for handwavey plot reasons* - just steve and bucky and a bunch of really excitable kids!
"Here they come here they come!"
Steve could hear the yelling a ways off, and he grinned at Bucky. "They got a lookout posted in the rear window, you know," he said.
"Good for them. Good security protocol. Always have a rear point," Bucky replied. He was huffing, not quite as enthusiastic about all this running business as Steve, but trying to look cheerful nonetheless.
"Aw, you really do like little kids," Steve said, laughing.
"I don't care one way or another about little kids," Bucky puffed. "I just like good protocol."
The bus was paused at the corner, clearly waiting for them. Most days the kids just waved as they zoomed past Captain America and Bucky Barnes on their morning run, and Cap would wave back, and sometimes there would be delighted shrieks as Bucky saluted with his robot arm. It was always the same bus, with the same driver, which was how they'd arranged for today, Halloween, to have the driver wait for them at the corner.
Hand popped out of the windows to wave as they slowed to a very leisurely jog, and then when the kids realized what they were wearing, the hands began moving frantically. Bucky bared his fangs and swirled his black cape, slicked-down hair gleaming; Steve, who had gone more traditional, ripped off his running jacket to reveal the Captain America uniform underneath.
The screams grew deafening until they turned the corner and ran on. When they were a few blocks away, Steve slowed to a walk and offered his hand for a high-five. Bucky spat out the fangs and tucked them into a pocket, rolling up the cape.
"Worth eight bucks for the costume?" Steve asked.
Bucky gave him a grudging look. "It was fun," he allowed.
"Good, 'cause tonight I signed us up to hand out candy at the Stark Industries Trick or Treat party," Steve said, and Bucky groaned.
ageisia requested: Sam, Steve and Bucky all get deaged together shortly post CACW and Team Iron Man has to deal with their prepubescent shenanigans and their feelings. Like 10-12 years old and they're all little shits. Especially Steve to Tony after Tony guesses that Steve is 8, which is a mortal insult when you are 11.
I wanted to add to this story that I saw someone talking about how sad they were Steve immediately jumped Tony, so I wanted to reassure them -- Tony was directly angling to get punched by Steve. He was literally asking for it :D Steve still loves him when he gets back to Big, I swear!
"They were supposed to be here for the signing of the revised accords," Tony said.
"And Barnes was supposed to turn himself in to SHIELD," Rhodey added.
T'Challa and Tony both looked at him, Tony's eyebrows rising.
"What? He killed your parents, I don't get to be mad about that?" Rhodey asked.
"Sure, but if you're as mad as I was you also get to be in some pretty intense therapy for like a year," Tony said, turning back to the glass window, which looked in on three children in the holding room at the Avengers compound.
"We came through an electrical storm in the jet on the way here," T'Challa said. "When we came out of it..." he gestured at the children. They'd found clothing that would more or less fit Sam and Bucky, who looked to be on the verge of puberty, but Steve, an incredibly tiny, frail child, was stuck in an oversized shirt and a blanket he'd tied around his toast-rack chest like a sarong.
"You know how I know this is magic and not science?" Tony asked.
"Wanda wasn't affected?" Rhodey ventured.
"Neither was I," T'Challa pointed out. "We think because I was in the shielded cockpit."
"No, I know this is magic because whoever did this to him gave him a teeny tiny arm," Tony said, pointing at Bucky's child-sized prosthetic, as menacing in its own way as the real adult thing.
"I think I can fix it," Wanda said. Her eyes were glowing red, and the air was sort of dancing around her. Tony wondered how much she'd been practicing since she'd arrived in Wakanda. "But I'm worried about going in there alone."
"For them or for you?" Tony asked, and she looked -- startled, like she'd forgotten he could care about people. That was going to sting for a while.
"Both. There are three of them, one of whom has a metal arm," she said. "And I need someone to take me down if I lose it, which...is usually Steve's job."
"I can go," Tony said. "The repulsors bracelets are subtle, won't freak the kids out. And I can distract them if you want to work on them one at a time."
"Do you have any experience with children at all?" Rhodey asked.
"I'll have you know I dealt very handily with the last twelve-year-old I knew," Tony replied loftily.
Wanda was sitting on the floor, trying to lure Sam away from the smartphone he was playing with, when she heard Steve yell: "I'm not eight!"
"Hey, calm down, I was guessing," Tony said, and Wanda looked over just in time to see Steve stand up, his terrifyingly thin little hands balled into fists. Tony, who was crouched down to talk to him and Bucky (probably mostly Steve; she couldn't imagine Tony didn't still have some...anger issues surrounding Bucky), held up his hands.
"I'm eleven! Just because I'm little doesn't mean I'm a baby!" Steve insisted. Bucky was watching them both warily.
"Nobody's saying you're a baby," Tony replied soothingly. "But -- "
"Don't talk to me like I am one!" Steve said, and Wanda flinched as he swung his arm. He was going to break his hand on Tony's face --
She watched, awestruck, as Tony reacted. He'd had all his weight on the balls of his feet, legs bent, body balanced over his knees; when Steve's fist connected (barely) he threw himself backwards, sprawling and then somersaulting -- gracelessly -- and collapsing spreadeagled on the ground. Steve looked at his own fist, wonderingly.
"He's down! Get 'im!" Bucky yelled, the first words he'd said, and he sprang for Tony, landing hard on his chest. Tony let out a whuff, then curled on one side as Steve started ineffectually kicking him. Sam ran over to help Bucky pin Tony down, and Wanda got up to make sure they weren't hurting him, but Tony was grinning as he hid his face and curled up his body against Steve's snowflake-like blows.
Eventually Steve flopped down with the others, breathlessly giving up his assault, and Tony lay still underneath the three boys, grinning up at Wanda as she stood over them.
"Okay, you vicious little weasels," he said, and Wanda waited for all three boys to take offense, but none of them bothered. "You are meant to be big grown adult males who could actually break my bones. Wanda needs to fix you up, put you back the way you were."
He sat up, dislodging Sam, and then kicked his legs gently to shove Bucky off as well. Bucky clung on grimly with his metal hand around Tony's ankle, but most of him slithered away.
"Do I really grow up big?" Steve asked, and Tony pulled him into the gentlest of headlocks, one huge palm resting on Steve's strawlike hair.
"Bigger than everyone else," he assured him.
"Bigger than Bucky?"
Tony leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Even Sam grows up bigger than Bucky."
"That's a lie!" Bucky insisted, getting to his feet. "Make me grow up first!" he insisted to Wanda. "So I can prove it!"
"No, me first!" Steve yelled, which meant Sam insisted too, and suddenly instead of three sullen little shits refusing to obey her, she had three eager little boys all jostling to be first.
"You did this," she said to Tony, who shrugged and rubbed at his ankle, which was starting to show a bruise where Bucky had clung to it.
"I don't know a ton about kids but I know a lot about managing humans," he replied.
Anon requested: Steve Cap, someone got him to do a school visit to a kindergarten in Brooklyn.
"Are you sure this is smart?" Steve asked, as he followed the event organizer down the hallway. Bright decorations in a variety of languages welcomed him to PS.375 Jackie Robinson School. "I mean, I'm not trained to work with kids or anything."
He'd worn his least-threatening uniform (no tac straps or supply pouches, no cowl, and no gloves) but he still felt like some kind of terrifying giant, especially since most of the art on the walls was at child's-eye level.
"Don't worry, you won't have to teach a class," she replied, amused. "You just walk into the classroom, tell them hello and that you're from Brooklyn too, let them ask you some questions, and hand out the little history booklets."
Steve had insisted on vetting the "LIFE OF CAPTAIN AMERICA!" booklets before they were printed, but they were harmless little comics about his life growing up in Brooklyn. Sanitized, maybe; they left out the gang wars and the worst of the grinding poverty. But still. Educational.
"We've had great feedback from the Local Heroes program," she continued.
"Yeah, Spidey says he loves doing the Queens schools," Steve agreed. "Lucky we have so many heroes regional to New York."
"All right, here we are," she said. "Ready?"
Steve squared his jaw. "Ready."
Inside, a group of kindergarteners were sitting in a semicircle on a large, brightly colored mat, being read to by a teacher. Steve faintly remembered his early school years as having a lot less carpeting. He barely heard the introductions being made; by god they were so small.
"Hi," he managed stiffly, when he saw the teacher looking at him expectantly. "I'm Captain America. I'm, um, from Brooklyn too."
The children stared up at him silently.
Ah, hell with it, he thought, and let himself down onto the carpet, crossing his legs, boots tucked up under his knees. His shield clanked, and he took it off his back, setting it against his knee. "I grew up around here," he said. "I was born in Vinegar Hill."
One of the kids reached out and whacked his shield with one hand. It resonated, and there was a chorus of "oooooh". Steve grinned, pulling the shield around in front of him, and drummed his fingers on a sweet spot. The shield let out a low whine.
"It's made of vibranium, a special metal," he told them. "It sings when you tap it. You wanna try?" he asked a girl in the front row, who made a tiny fist and banged on it.
"My brother plays bucket drums on the subway," one of them announced, and scooted forward to bang out a clumsy rhythm on the shield.
Steve, before he really understood what was happening, found himself surrounded by small, damp children, banging on the shield and firing questions about it at him. He didn't even remember he was supposed to give a speech or hand out the booklets until the event organizer touched his shoulder.
"Captain America has a few other classrooms to visit," she said. The kids looked disappointed. "But he left some books for you!"
"Be good, read up on your history," Steve said, as he stood and mounted the shield on his back again. The children all nodded.
Outside, in the hallway, he grinned.
"I guess it makes sense they'd like the shield," he remarked. "Brooklyn kids like to make a lot of noise."
Chapter 3: Captain America and Activism
theodoradove requested: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn in 1933. She meets Steve Rogers pre- or post-freezing.
And I said, OR BOTH!
It was nice to be back in New York, Steve thought, after touring the whole country with the Star Spangled Show. Even better, once the show was done here, they were going overseas -- not into combat, but at least it was a start. It made him cheer up just to think about it, and he maybe threw a little extra flair into the show every night, took a little extra time at the stage door.
"What's your name?" he asked, crouching to get on eye-level with the little girl who had been patiently waiting behind several taller, pushier people.
"Ruth," she said shyly, offering him her autograph book.
"Lovely name," he replied. "Did you like the show?"
She nodded. "I liked the dancing."
"You gonna be a dancer when you grow up?"
"Nuh uh," she said.
"What're you gonna be?"
"A judge," she said.
"Yeah? You gonna make sure justice is done?"
She nodded soberly.
"Well, Ruth, you gotta study hard, you know that, right?" he asked, as he signed her book. "I expect to see you on the bench someday."
"Thank you," she murmured, stepping back, and another handful of kids surged around her. Cute kid.
Steve had always liked Civics in school, but when you had to catch up on seventy years between your last history class and the present, it could get a little overwhelming. On the other hand, celebrity was good for something; when he'd been working on memorizing the names and major cases of the Supreme Court justices, Tony had said, "Well, do you want to meet them?"
A couple of long phone calls and a few weeks later, Steve passed through a lot of security, down a hallway, and into a courtroom; it was early in the morning, ahead of the open public hours, and the room smelled like coffee. A tiny bird of a woman in a black gown was standing in front of the seating box.
"Captain," she said, as he shook her hand.
"Justice Ginsburg, right?" he asked. "It's an honor, ma'am."
"I feel the same," she said, and there was something familiar about her smile. "I wanted to get here a little earlier than everyone else, to speak to you in private."
He was opening his mouth, about to ask why, when she reached into a pocket of the robe and took out a battered leather book, the kind kids used to collect autographs in.
"I don't suppose you remember, you must have signed a lot of autographs," she said. "But back in the war, just before you left for overseas, I went to see your bond show."
Steve looked down. Scrawled on the page was his clumsy signature and, in slightly better lettering, To Judge Ruth. Study Hard!
He looked up at her, eyes wide. "No, I remember -- I asked if you wanted to be a dancer and you said no, you were going to be a judge."
"You were the first adult outside of my family who didn't sneer at a girl wanting to be a judge," she said.
"Well," Steve said faintly. "Guess you must have studied."
"Captain America said he wanted to see me on the bench. Couldn't very well let him down," she replied, and Steve laughed.
jamyesterday requested: Steve Rogers's bloody-mindedness.
The SSR high command, which still technically had command over Captain Steve Rogers, was composed of Allied officers -- mostly British and US, with a few Canadians. At the moment, all of them were mad at Steve Rogers.
"Be reasonable, Captain," one of them said, and Steve, impressive in his Cap uniform, crossed his arms, leather creaking.
"I don't see how I'm the unreasonable one here," he said. "If they're good enough to serve in this man's army they're good enough to serve in an integrated unit. I need them. All of them."
"Surely you can find more...appropriate candidates with similar skills," one of the officers wheedled.
"Nope," Steve said shortly.
"Captain, must you be so bloody-minded?"
Steve tilted his head. "Ain't that mostly what war's about?"
"We can't integrate your unit," an American general said. "You can't lead the only integrated unit in the Army. Bad for morale."
"Then I guess you'll have to integrate the entire Army," Steve said. The naked looks of horror on their faces almost made him smile, if it weren't so sad. "Gentlemen, I'm a war hero now and you need me. More'n I need you. You can't jail me, you can't send me off quietly, and if you try to put me back on bond sales I'll go AWOL."
"Again," Peggy put in, from just behind and to the left of him.
"Again," Steve agreed. "And I'll take your best men with me. Including the ones you won't put in with the white men. So you give me my integrated unit or you lose Captain America. And if you lose me, I'll make it a personal mission to see that you integrate the entire Army before this war is through. Up to you."
There was grumbling, but Steve just stood there, arms crossed, radiating gentle defiance.
"We'll consider your petition," one of them finally said.
"That's yes," Steve replied.
"It's not -- "
"Yes it is. Give me a yes now or I'll consider it a no."
More grumbling, but finally one of them nodded. Steve shoved an approval letter at him, and he groaned and signed it.
Outside, in the hallway, Peggy nearly had to run to keep up with him.
"Must you be so bloody-minded," she mimicked, laughing. Steve grinned at her.
"Before I met you, Carter, I didn't even know what bloody-minded meant."
"Then I suppose you learned from the best," she pointed out.
"Which they will discover when I make them integrate the entire Army in a couple'a months anyway," Steve said, as he went to tell the Commandos they'd been cleared for combat.
Veronica requested: Steve being his SJW Brooklyn-born self.
"I'm Irish," Steve said, "which means I'm very stubborn. And I was born in New York, which means I'm not afraid to throw a punch. And I was raised as a decent human being, may my Ma's memory be a blessing, which is how I know which fights to pick."
The reporter, microphone in hand, brushed his windblown hair out of his eyes. "But surely, Captain, as a representative of the US Government, this is a....polarizing place for you to be."
"I don't represent the government," Steve said.
"But you're Captain America!"
"Yeah, not President America," Steve retorted. Behind him, a tall, willowy woman snickered at the reporter. "I represent the people of America. In specific I represent the people of America who need someone who is too stubborn to give up and knows how to throw a punch."
A guy in a Captain America shield shirt, standing next to Steve, grinned at him.
"Do you worry how this will affect your image?" the reporter asked.
Steve rolled his eyes. "Do I strike you as a fella who worries much about his image?" he asked. "Look, if you're done askin' me dumb questions how about you give the mic to the folks who actually need a platform?" he added, and plucked the microphone out of the reporter's hand. The man gasped and grabbed for it, but Steve had already passed it over his shoulder to the woman standing behind him.
"TRANS WOMEN ARE WHAT?" she yelled, and the crowd yelled back WOMEN! "TRANS MEN ARE WHAT?" MEN!
The news feed cut out at that point, but not before the cameras caught Steve's sign, which read KEEP YOUR BIGOTRY OUT OF MY BATHROOM. Tony muted the TV and glanced at Steve.
"You really don't worry at all about it, do you?" he asked. "Your image in the media."
"Do you think I came outta that looking bad?" Steve asked, curiously.
"No, but some people will."
"What do I care what a buncha bigots think? What are they going to do? I'm too big for them to knock me down and they can't take anything from me I value. Captain America isn't a job you get fired from; only way to lose that mantle is to walk away from it, and I'm bad at walking away from things."
"Yes, as demonstrated," Tony said with a grin. "Well, I hope you know what you're doing, going up against The Man."
"Son, I came out of Brooklyn," Steve said, and Tony laughed. "We were born to fight The Man."
whatdoyoumeanitsnotawesome requested: Socialist!Steve Rogers making fox news/drumpf's head explode by calling them on their shit on a national stage.
"Now, you all know, Captain America kept out of the presidential race -- great guy, tremendous guy, how can you not love Captain America? -- but I feel sure if he allowed himself to be political, he'd be for making America great again. The values of the forties, when we worked hard and fought for what we believed in, when people knew where they belonged -- I think if he could speak publicly he'd say, good job, President Trump. Because he represents the people, too, and the people elected me -- by a giant landslide, an enormous record-breaking -- "
Steve had thought, long and hard, considering the talk shows, the various social media platforms, and the other methods of publicity available to him. He finally decided on YouTube, though he did let them film him on something slightly better than a phone video camera.
He talked to the organizers; he asked them if they were sure; and when the time came, during the protest rally, he walked up to the podium in jeans and a #RESIST t-shirt, and he could tell for a minute nobody knew who he was.
"Good morning," he said, using the smile and the voice he'd practiced selling bonds, seventy years ago. "My name is Steve Rogers. I came to march with you today."
A ripple went through the crowd.
"My mother and father were immigrants. My mother was a single working mother. As a child I saw Pinkertons trying to break the unions, breaking strikes with bats and brass knuckles. I heard my friends' parents tell stories about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire where people died because there was no federal safety regulation, because they were disposable -- women, immigrants, Jews. I was born in the last Gilded Age, and I lived through every hungry year of the Depression that it led to," he said, voice gaining momentum. "My ma died because she couldn't afford treatment. Because it was a doctor for her or a doctor for me but not both."
There was a roar from the crowd.
"And I saw Americans thrown into camps, and I saw "colored" drinking fountains, and I saw Americans who had to join separate regiments to defend freedom because of the color of their skin, so I know what the values of the 1940s were!" he yelled. "Don't you tell me people knew their place! Don't you tell me they weren't shoved into place by Pinkertons and cops because I saw it happen! I didn't survive 1940 to see it come round again!"
He glanced to the side, wondering if he'd gone too far, but the woman who'd told him it was okay to speak was grinning and gesturing for him to continue.
"So the President can be very clear about where Captain America stands," Steve continued, "I'd like him to know that I am a lefty socialist anti-racist son of immigrants and I'm here today for open borders, socialized healthcare, equality in justice, and the death of fascism. You're right about one thing -- I am a tremendous man, and I am allowing myself to be political."
Yet another leak out of the White House today concerning the behavior of the president. Sources say last night President Trump was treated in the Residence for a broken hand, which the White House official statement says is a stress fracture from signing paperwork. Our source states that the President overturned furniture, threatened Secret Service agents, and broke his hand punching a wall. All this after witnessing the mega-viral BE POLITICAL youtube video recorded by Steve Rogers, Manhattan's own Captain America, at a protest rally yesterday afternoon...
anonymous requested: Steve Cap eviscerating David Duke (or any other white supremacist) a la Chris Evans on Twitter.
Steve got a Twitter -- really, Steve was assigned a Twitter -- when he joined the Avengers, but he didn't use it very often. He didn't care for it, and forgot about it for long periods of time. People followed him, but didn't expect much in the way of content.
Then, one day, a tweet popped up from his account.
You shouldn't punch Nazis in the face. You will incapacitate a Nazi for longer if you punch in the side of the head or the genital area.
What followed was an eyebrow-raising, thirty-tweet essay in which Captain America laid out the basics of hand-to-hand combat and offered advice for most effective techniques. Every time he could have used the phrase "your opponent" or "the other person", instead he used "a nazi".
When someone pointed this out to him on twitter, he tweeted back, 'A nazi' is fewer characters.
It was an amazing afternoon, but the news coverage of Captain America's brutal new twitter branding didn't really hit a frenzied pitch until the following day, when someone tweeted, So you think I should be punched in the face for my opinions?
Are you a nazi? Steve tweeted back.
I voted for Trump.
There was a gap of about half an hour, and then Steve replied, #trump wants people I love to die; at least to be unprotected from violence. Why wouldn't I strike someone threatening my loved ones?
At which point the President of the United States tweeted, Pathetic Captain America wants to punch the landslide who elected me. Captain: you're fired!
And Steve tweeted, Donald Trump is scared of me. Watching a sad old man try to fire someone he doesn't employ is hilarious.
After which it appeared the President may have lost his mind; his tweets, growing increasingly erratic, eventually threatened a nuclear strike against New York unless Steve resigned.
Bring it on, I'll punch that too, or didn't you hear about what happened the last time someone tried? Steve tweeted.
At which point the President's twitter went dangerously silent.
The following day, the White House announced that the President had been admitted to the hospital with 'cardiac issues', and was expected to sign resignation papers at noon.
"I'm hearing that the rest of the GOP finally pushed him out. I hope you're proud of yourself," Tony said.
"Jarvis was the one who advised me on how best to bait him," Steve replied, stretching smugly.
"Pence isn't exactly a cake walk."
"No, but he's never going to try to nuke New York, and he's not so irrational he'd announce the attempt on social media," Steve said. "My job is to make sure dangerous psychopaths don't threaten the United States. One down," he added, grinning.
Chapter 4: Captain America and His Team
delphia2000 requested: Steve Cap napping with his team.
Steve woke, sort of, to the sound of a shutter clicking. He glanced to his left, where Natasha and Sam were curled up together, Sam pressed against Steve's arm. Natasha was turning her phone this way and that for the best angle.
"Whatcha up to?" he asked, tucking his face behind Sam's head. She stuck her tongue out at him in the reflection of the phone's camera.
"Just making a record for posterity, of that one time none of us were snarking at the others," she said. On Steve's other side, Tony snored gently. Clint, sprawled over their feet, shifted and butted his head against Rhodey's hip, feet pushing against Thor, who had his face planted into the couch behind Tony's butt.
"I better not see that on the cover of People Magazine," Steve said, but he did lean forward so she could snap his face in with the others. Bruce, padding in from the kitchen with a mug of soup, settled back in with his back to the arm of the couch, next to Rhodey.
"Don't worry, I have very good encryption," Natasha said. "Besides, we all look happy, it'd be a PR win for us."
"No PR is good PR," Steve said.
"Cranky. Uncomfortable?" she asked.
"No," he replied, because he wasn't; he was warm, relaxed, and nobody's elbow was poking him anywhere.
"Just being papa bear, then," she said. "Go back to hibernating. I promise the only people who will see these are in this room already."
Steve rolled his eyes, but he settled back into the warm heap of Avengers and drifted off. The last thing he saw before his eyes closed was Natasha making a duck face at the camera.
antisock requested: Steve is laid low by something or other & a post-WS rehabbed Bucky takes over as Cap for a week or so, bitching about it the whole time.
"You have to get well soon," Tony told Steve, voice muffled by the glass of the quarantine room's door.
"I'm perfectly fine," Steve replied. "Superserum superflu is over, the docs just won't let me out until they're sure I'm not going to spread it. Another few days at most. Why, what's happening?"
Tony held a tablet up to the window. On it, Iron Man helmet-cam footage from a recent Avengers battle showed Bucky, resplendent in the Captain America uniform, taking the head off an evil robot.
"He looks like he's takin' to it well," Steve said. "The uniform fits and everything."
"Wait for it," Tony replied.
The scene shifted, helmet-cam cutting to the traditional post-battle meal. The others looked either exhausted or frustrated; there was a constant but varying low buzz coming from somewhere. Tony bumped the volume.
"...Stevie even fight in this thing, it chafes like you wouldn't believe, my nuts will never be the same," Bucky was saying, plowing his way through a hamburger. "Who the hell were those guys, anyway?"
"Working on it," the Tony in the film footage managed, before Bucky was off again.
"Sub standard robots is what we got, pal, they were trash. I thought robots in the future were supposed to be better. Can't you give them tips?" he asked Tony.
"I don't really think that's a great -- "
"And another thing, why do the cops always take so long calling us? I tell you what, I don't like standin' in for Steve but clearly someone needs to take the police in hand and give them a stern talking-to and Cap might be the -- "
Tony cut off the sound, but Bucky kept going on the video.
"He literally never shuts up," Tony said. "An hour later he was still going. He fell asleep with his mouth open in the middle of a word."
"It's the adrenaline," Steve replied, grinning. "He used to do that after battle, too."
"How did you not shoot him?"
"Dugan used to slip him a mickey finn in his coffee to shut him up," Steve said, still grinning. "Bitching Buck, they called him."
"Please come back and be Captain America soon," Tony said.
"I got news for you, buddy, now that he's back in action, my coming back's not gonna stop him," Steve pointed out. Tony looked pale. "Don't worry. I'll put him on the stealth team, then only Natasha and Clint'll have to deal with him, and they're not afraid to drug a friend."
Over Tony's shoulder, Bucky appeared at the other end of the hallway. Steve gestured with his chin, and Tony glanced around.
"Can I come in there with you?" Tony asked.
"Skedaddle, I'll handle him," Steve replied, and Tony bolted for safety.
"What's got him so skittish?" Bucky asked, and without waiting for reply, launched into a new monologue.
megnevemore requested: Cap Steve & Clint being bros.
"If we're gonna do this, we're gonna do it right," Steve said, looking up at the outfield facade of Yankees Stadium.
"Is there a wrong way to do a baseball game?" Clint asked, following his gaze.
"Bucky and I always had a plan," Steve told him. "You get popcorn and nuts before the game. Third inning, before everyone gets hungry in the fourth inning, that's when you get yourself a Coke. You get hungry round about the sixth inning, that way, so you get your hot dog before the seventh-inning stretch, and then on your way out you get candyfloss for the train home."
"I see you've got it all figured out," Clint said. "How much did that run you in 1930?"
"About thirty-five cents each," Steve said. "Don't worry, I calculated for inflation, I brought forty bucks. But here's the important part about going to a ball game."
"What's that?" Clint asked.
"Sneakin' in," Steve said.
"But we bought tickets," Clint said.
"Still the best part," Steve replied, and started to climb the outer facade of the stadium. "Come on, Clint! We used to just hop the fence, now we're goin' up and over!"
Clint grinned. "I do love urban climbing," he said, and rubbed his hands together. "Up and over and onwards to overpriced popcorn!"
weesta requested: Steve & Clint bonding - Steve took Clint at his word immediately after Clint shook loose of Loki's spell - Clint will never forget that.
Steve discovered, his second week in Wakanda, that the fishing there was amazing, and T'Challa had said he could fish so long as he threw the little ones back unharmed and brought his catch to the palace kitchen to be cooked. Nothing was wasted in Wakanda, and hunting was for food, not for sport. (Though T'Challa admitted with a grin that you could have good sport from hunting for food.)
To Steve's shock, after the jailbreak, Clint actually took Steve up on his invitation to go fishing with him. He wasn't bad at it, either; by the time the sun was up Clint had landed a big catfish-looking creature, and had helped Steve pull up a second.
"Can I ask you something?" Steve said, as Clint re-baited his line and tossed it out after losing his bait to a fish smarter than either of the ones they'd caught so far.
"Sure," Clint replied, leaning back in the boat, sipping from a canteen.
"I get why you retired," Steve said. "Good neutral response to the Accords, and you had a family to think about. But why'd you come down on my side when I called? You didn't have to."
"No, I suppose not," Clint agreed.
"But you didn't even object. You just saddled up and rode in."
Clint smiled. "I like that image, me riding in on a horse like the Rohirrim at dawn."
Steve blinked at him.
"Too nerdy?" Clint asked.
"Shockingly nerdy," Steve agreed.
"I mean..." Clint felt a tug on his line, tested it, then shrugged it off as a current. "I owed you one."
"From when?" Steve asked, brow furrowed.
"Well, maybe not..." Clint glanced away. "I didn't owe you one, like, you did me a solid and you've got credit. It's more...you put your trust in me, and I owed you that back again. When Natasha pulled me back from Loki. I said I could pilot a plane. You said okay. You didn't know me from Adam."
"Natasha trusted you, that was enough for me," Steve said.
"That's what it looked like from your angle, sure. From my angle, Captain America just told me that despite all the terrible shit I'd done, he knew it wasn't me who did it, and he knew I could saddle up." Clint smiled at him. "When someone trusts you like that once, you owe it to 'em to be worthy of the trust somewhere down the line."
"Huh," Steve said. "Got you in a hell of a pickle, Clint."
"Bah, I been in worse," Clint replied. "It'll all sort out. In the meantime..." he reached over and hooked a finger on Steve's line, testing it, "I think you got a bite. Give it a reel, see if we can get one more before we pack it in."
I don't even watch LotR. I can't believe I remember the rohirrim.
magic-gps requested: Steve + JARVIS, philosophical discussion.
"So, JARVIS," Steve said, spinning gently in one of the wheely chairs in Tony's garage. "I was watching science fiction the other day."
"I know, Dave," JARVIS told him, in a flat voice straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Steve cracked up laughing.
"So I was wondering, has anyone tried the old paradox question on you?" he asked. "I mean has anyone ever asked your opinion of the sentence this statement is a lie?"
"Very early on, Sir provided me with an array of such tests," JARVIS said. "He also presented me with questions such as 'what is the meaning of life' and 'what is man's purpose'. He designed me so that rather than dedicate undue amounts of processing space to these questions, I would recognize them as statements which cannot be responded to with logic."
"How did you answer?" Steve asked.
"Sir provided me with options. I could dismiss the question, provide information regarding it from sources in my library, remain silent, or offer humorous answers," JARVIS said. "I chose humorous responses, 94.3% of the time."
"Yeah? What kindsa jokes did you make?"
"My subroutines for humor, including my sarcasm applet and what Sir refers to as my Smartassery Cortex, were not then what they are now," JARVIS hedged.
"JARVIS," Steve prompted.
JARVIS was silent for a moment, and then a tremendous noise filled the air. It was like ten thousand farts, all in different octaves, swelling and deepening in tone until they became a single, sustained fart noise, which went on for just a little too long.
Steve was still laughing, helplessly, when Tony arrived in the garage.
"JARVIS, what did you do to him?" he asked.
"We were having a philosophical discussion," JARVIS replied primly, which set Steve off all over again.
Chapter 5: Cap Passes The Shield
rsfcommonplace requested: Steve as Cap, passing over the shield to Sam as Cap.
It had taken nearly a year of negotiation, including a lot of punched walls and more of T'Challa's time than they'd really had the right to ask of him. But when the final draft of the newly renegotiated Accords was set on the table, it felt like it was worth it. The entire Avengers were reassembled, even Natasha, who had disappeared in disgust and refused to be found by either Tony or Steve's side for ages.
She'd only reappeared, perhaps intentionally, after Tony came to Steve with his peace offering: tech that could wipe out Bucky's programming permanently, and begin work on helping him find his way through the trauma of the last seventy years. It was a slow process, but it seemed to be working.
Tony still didn't look like he liked the idea of being in the same room with Bucky Barnes, but he was, and Steve could accept Tony's tolerance of Bucky if it meant Tony wasn't actively trying to kill him.
It was one of those things that they were going to have to dance around for a while, Steve suspected. Which just made this decision easier.
"Before anyone signs," Steve said, drawing the document towards himself, "I need to ask for one more change."
Wanda rolled her eyes. Clint collapsed backward in his chair, frustrated. "I'm not calling T'Challa again!" he announced.
"Seriously?" Rhodey asked. "Seriously?"
"Steve, you approved this -- " Tony started, but Steve held up a hand.
"It's not a legal change, just a minor nomenclature issue," he said, flipping to the roster page. Throughout the Accords -- one of the only things Clint had insisted on, weirdly -- the legal language only referred to people by their callsigns. Each Avenger was only mentioned by name once, in the roster.
Steve took out a black ink pen, drew a neat line through his name and Sam's name, and then wrote Sam's name next to Captain America.
"I need to not be Cap for a while," he said quietly, initialing the change. Every head in the room turned to Sam, who grinned.
"He asked me last night," Sam said. "Was I gonna say no?"
"Black Captain America?" Rhodey asked. Sam nodded, and Rhodey held out his fist for a dap.
Steve looked at Tony, who was looking thoughtful.
"You could have asked for this months ago," Tony said. "But there would have been a call for confirmation hearings. Sam would have been background checked. Media field day. So you dumped it in now at the last minute, so that it would be up to me as a representative of the Accord negotiators."
"Is there a problem?" Steve asked.
Tony smiled a little. "No, just admiring how good you're both getting at politics." He held out his hand for the pen, then leaned across the table and initialed the change. Then he set the pen down and snapped his fingers. One of the guards at the edge of the conference room came forward with a large object in a thin canvas bag. Tony took it, undid the drawstring, and removed the shield. He looked at Steve, then passed it straight across him to Sam, who took it carefully and slid his arm into the straps, letting it hang by his side.
"Got any first words as Captain America?" Natasha asked.
"Yeah," Sam said. "Are we done here? I got justice to dispense."
clockways requested: Kamala taking up the Captain America mantle would be fitting for this donation.
"Going to space?" Kamala asked, brow furrowing. "What do you mean, going to space?"
Steve, at the kitchen counter of the mansion, offered her a mug of tea. "I'm going to space. Spartax -- Peter's people -- is very unstable right now, and the galactic council wants a diplomatic envoy from Earth."
"It's a trap," Kamala said.
"It's not a trap, M&M," Steve said with a grin.
"I'm twenty-five, Steve, I no longer thrill and do anything you ask because you call me some nickname Tony made up for me a billion years ago."
Steve's grin widened. "Well, couldn't hurt to try."
Kamala rolled her eyes.
"Look, sometimes superheroing is punching people in the face and sometimes it's going on a six-month leave to help a foreign country stabilize. Earth is...unique in the stars, Kamala. The other races are a little afraid of us, and they want to control us because they think we have power."
"Earth is the Jedi," Kamala said, and then muttered Nerd to herself.
"The rest of space certainly seems to think so," Steve replied, with a reassuring smile. "I can use that to our advantage. I can advocate for the planet, defend it, and help one of the most dangerous imperial forces in the galaxy move towards true democracy. I can't turn that down."
"Is Tony going?"
"No. Carol's considering it, and a few others, but for now I'm the only one confirmed, which is why I wanted to talk to you."
"I can't go," Kamala said. "I'm in the middle of my thesis."
"That wasn't what I was going to ask, though this may also interrupt your thesis briefly," Steve said. He reached for the shield on his back, unhooked it, and set it on the counter. Kamala, like she always did, put out a hand almost unconsciously and tapped on it, as if reassuring herself it was still real.
"I want you to be Captain America while I'm gone," he said. She looked up at him sharply. "Not pose as me, that's not what I'm asking. My absence will be public. I want you to be Cap while I'm off planet."
Her jaw dropped. "Not Sam? Not Eli or -- or Alex or Miles -- "
"No. I didn't even ask them. You're my first choice." He gave her a gentle grin. "Honestly, I wanted one of the younger folk to do it, one of the All News or the Youngs or one of the Jean Grey School kids. When I thought it over, you're the most grounded, the most suited to it. You're going to get a lot of flak for it and you're the best at dealing with that, too."
"So basically I've been working really hard and you give me more work," she said to him, a smile spreading across her face.
"It's the unfairness of life," he agreed. "When you prove you're good at something we keep making you do more of it. There's a political aspect to it -- you're NuHuman and the Inhumans will support you -- but that was a minor consideration."
"Seriously, though, Steve? Me as Cap?"
"You'll have to have your own uniform made, and I'll need to train you on the shield, if you say yes."
Kamala looked at the shield again. "Can I pick it up?"
"I don't know, M&M," Steve said, eyes bright. "Can you?"
She slid her fingers under the rim of the shield and found the straps, pulling it onto her arm. He watched as she drew it up, close to her body, tipped out so she could consider it.
"Yeah," she said. "I think I can."
Chapter 6: Crossovers
spiralwaves requested: neal caffrey and peter burke meet steve. mostly for neal and steve discussing art and other cuteness.
rionsanura requested: Steve and Neal getting into trouble together.
FBI Agent Peter Burke seemed like a nice guy, and he wasn't barking at Clint over jurisdiction, so Clint was inclined to be friendly.
"Look," Burke said, clearly working on being patient, "You know we don't need the Avengers on this, right? It's uh. More...detective work than your...usual MO."
Clint nodded. "Have you tried telling Captain America that?" he asked, gesturing to where Steve and Burke's partner, a guy in a sharp suit named Caffrey, were chatting excitedly in front of an empty painting frame at the Met.
"I wouldn't dare tell Captain America anything," Burke admitted.
"Not when he's like this, anyhow," Clint said. "Just...let him tag along, you never know when you might need an art-loving sensitive kind of guy to punch someone through a wall."
"I have always wanted to see that," Burke agreed.
"So you met Picasso?" Neal asked, in a voice that was nearly a squeak.
"Yeah, while I was overseas. Nice guy, massive egomaniac. Damn, but I hate to see one of his go missing," Steve said, looking up at the empty frame. "Think we'll get it back?"
"Oh, sure," Neal waved a hand dismissively. "I recognize this guy's technique, I'm pretty sure I have the address somewhere of the storage unit he probably stashed it in. You like Picasso's work?"
"Well, sorta. I like Magritte more."
Neal made a soft noise. "Did you meet him?"
"Nah. But he's got a quality, you know?"
Neal nodded. "Have you ever seen his photos?"
"Photos? No," Steve said.
"Yeah, the Met's got a bunch of his gelatin prints around here somewhere." Neal grabbed Steve by the arm and dragged him to where his boss, Burke, was talking with Clint. "Peter, Steve and I have some really important investigation to do. He's on the case with us, right?"
Clint looked amused. Burke looked like a dad considering letting his kid have a friend sleep over.
"Keep out of trouble," Burke ordered.
"Come on, before he changes his mind," Neal whispered, and led Steve off. "You'll love the photos. Then we can steal back the painting and you can punch the thief if he tries to stop us."
"I do like punching art thieves," Steve said amiably.
Rescuing a Picasso was, it was true, not entirely within the realm of Avengers business. When it was stolen, however, Steve was appalled and personally offended, and he somehow wrangled permission from the FBI to work the case. Clint got sent along as his minder, which was okay, since it turned out one of the FBI guys had a friend named Mozzie who Clint considered the best entertainment ever.
Still, it wasn't all laughs; what Neal thought would be an easy recovery turned south fast when it became evident that the thief, who had been a normal human being when Neal knew him, had joined Hydra sometime in the last few years and was starting a stockpile of "degenerate" art he was planning to publicly burn.
"You know, I genuinely did not expect supervillains," Neal said, crouched behind a crate containing a priceless granite sculpture, which was currently being shot at by Hydra's art division, for the love of God.
"THIS IS A BRANCUSI, YOU MONSTERS," Steve yelled, and threw his shield. There were two grunts and a clang.
"As battle cries go, I've heard worse," Neal allowed, as Steve stood up to catch the shield before crouching again. "How many more are there?"
"Goddamn Nazis and their goddamn art looting, does this look like a salt mine to you," Steve muttered to himself. "There's two more hiding behind what looks like a Klee nude in the corner."
"Oh, that's a fake," Neal said.
"For sure?" Steve asked.
"Yep, painted it myself, I recognized it."
"Good," Steve said grimly, and threw the shield again. There was the sound of tearing canvas, then a gurgling scream. Steve put out an arm and caught the shield, then bounced to his feet.
"All clear," he said to Neal, who stood and dusted himself off just as the roll door of the warehouse opened.
"Neal?" Peter called. "Captain Rogers?"
"All good here!" Neal said, as Steve stowed the shield on his back. "Just Nazi art loot."
Peter looked around, sighed, and then said, in an aggrieved tone, "Again?"
indigopheonix requested: Team Cap/Team Leverage team-up.
"So how do we get your wings back from the government?" Steve asked Sam, sitting back in his chair. He glanced at Natasha, who shrugged.
"I can think of a few ways, but we'd need a bigger crew," she said.
"The Avengers?" Steve suggested. Natasha shook her head.
"Clint can be more help to us if they think he's Hydra," she said. "Tony's too high profile, god knows where Thor is. And this isn't Bruce's jam."
"I think I know someone," Sam said. "Old friend from my Para days. He runs with some people now, could be able to help."
In the middle of a board meeting, the man who was about to buy out Megashoes Inc. looked at his cell, held up a hand, and said, "I gotta take this."
He stepped out into the hallway and answered the phone. "How the hell did you get this number?"
"Hey Eliot," said the voice of Sam Wilson. "I need a hand."
They met on the tarmac of a private airstrip that Leverage had somehow commandeered, and Steve watched with interest as they disembarked. First off was a messy-haired guy in a rumpled suit; then a guy who was so clearly military he must be Sam's contact, followed by a gorgeous woman in sunglasses and a tall dark-skinned man with a laptop under one arm.
Then a tiny blond woman emerged, and there was a shriek of pure joy.
"Natasha?" the woman yelled, and Natasha said, "Parker?" in a mixture of pleasure and alarm, and before anyone could intervene, Parker had blown across the tarmac and leapt into Natasha's arms.
"This is Natasha!" she said to the rest of her crew, as Natasha put her down. "She's the best."
"I think we can work with these people," Steve said to Sam.
The strategy meeting could have gone smoother; Natasha was supposed to be the mastermind, but Nate Ford didn't give up authority with grace, and he had to have his foot stomped on a few times by Sophie before he remembered not to interrupt.
"So, Sophie, you'll need to go dress shopping," Natasha said. "Alec, please build me your best RFID-cracking sports bra."
"On it," Hardison said. "I got the helium tanks too."
"Parker, check your ropes, learn that new knot. Sam and Steve, Eliot will get you some uniforms, then all three of you need to get the dog. Don't get a German Shepherd, get a Pittie or a big Lab, something they're not expecting. Mr. Ford, I know it will be a terrible sacrifice to run the show from the van, but someone has to," she said with a grin. Nate nodded, acknowledging the sarcasm.
"Say it," Paker told him.
"No, it's Natasha's job to say it," Nate said.
"She's not gonna say it," Eliot said.
"I'm really not," Natasha told Nate.
"So I can say it?" Nate asked.
"Oh my god," Sophie said.
Nate clapped his hands and rubbed them together. "Let's go steal a superhero."
"Where are the wings?" the general roared, and his subordinates, who were nominally in command of Ft. Meade, looked at each other.
"There was a woman," one of them ventured. "I think she was drunk. And -- and one of our staff came down with a really, a terrible virus...."
"The pit bull got loose," the other one said.
"And by the time we'd finished the evacuation, someone had accessed the storage booth where the wings were -- "
"They must be dead, though," the other one said. "It takes too much training, you can't just strap them on and fly out. Sir, I really thing the more important thing is that someone filled an entire room with soap foam, like, a whole room -- "
"And the pit bull might still be around," the first one finished.
The general leaned on his desk, knuckles cracking. "I want you to take your thumbs out of your asses and find -- "
"Sir," an aide called. "I think you should see this."
He pointed at the television, where blurred footage of a giant air battle was showing. A little line of text in the corner said LIVE FOOTAGE.
The camera zoomed, briefly, as a man piloting Ft. Meade's stolen wings zipped through the air. The general's jaw dropped.
"Sam motherfucking Wilson," he said. "I might have known. Everyone's dismissed -- get me Washington on the phone!"
Chapter 7: Steve and Tony
scifigrl47 requested: Steve and his favorite part of Tony. I assume that would be his butt. 8)
"It's my butt, right?" Tony said, wiggling said anatomical element. He was leaning over one of his cars, head and shoulders buried in the engine block, and therefore Steve could look all he liked.
Still, he had to maintain the illusion that Tony was resistible.
"Are you still talking about that stupid interview question?" Steve asked, as he watched Tony wiggle and work on a car at the same time.
"I don't think it was stupid at all. What's your favorite part of Tony Stark?" Tony mimicked, head popping out of the engine. "You refused to answer, and your fans want to know."
"Are you admitting you're a fan?" Steve asked.
"Your biggest," Tony said solemnly.
"I think I've had bigger," Steve argued.
"Nuh-uh. I'm number one. I have your underwear to prove it."
"Only because it's in the dirty laundry hamper," Steve said. Tony waggled his eyebrows. "Fine, for my number one fan, I suppose I can give you an exclusive," he added, wrapping an arm around Tony's waist.
"I'm waiting," Tony said, leaning away from him.
Steve grinned, shifted slightly, and lowered his hand to grab Tony's ass firmly.
"I knew it!" Tony crowed, leaning into him, which was just the leverage Steve needed to steal his wallet out of his back pocket.
anonymous requested: I headcanon Steve as panromantic asexual I'd love to see a few words about that.
"So...no sex at all?"
Steve grinned at Clint, who was looking perplexed. "No, Clint. No sex at all."
"You don't even want to?"
"Not especially. I'm always surprised other folks do. I used to think it was a joke," Steve said.
"But you date people," Clint said. "You're dating Tony Stark."
"Indeed I am."
"And you dated Sharon Carter for like two minutes, right?" Clint's eyes widened. "Was it because of the -- "
"No," Steve said.
"Really? She was cool with it?"
"Shockingly," Steve said deadpan. Clint took the hint.
"Sorry, that was rude."
"It's fine. Sharon and I broke up for other reasons."
Silence fell. Steve glanced at Clint over his breakfast cereal.
"You can ask," he said, and he almost wasn't done speaking before Clint blurted,
"Is TONY okay with it?"
"Tony is fine with it. What you fail to realize, Binocular Brain," Tony said, walking into the kitchen with an empty mug, "is that I am forty-five, not twenty-five, so if he did want sex I'd barely be able to keep up anyway. Besides, I have two perfectly good hands."
"They're very nice," Steve added.
"Thank you, I think so." Tony poured out a cup of coffee, added just enough milk to cool it to drinkable temperature, and slurped down half of it. "Clint, what relationship advice would you give someone who is having a compatibility issue with their partner?"
Clint considered his, stirring his cereal. "I dunno. Find ways to make it work, I suppose," he said.
"And is that likely to easier or more difficult when it's an emotional issue rather than a physical one?" Tony continued, leaning against Steve's shoulder.
"Fine, you got me, physical workarounds are probably easier," Clint grumbled, but he sounded good-natured about it.
"Run along, Mom and Dad have stuff to talk about," Tony said. "Go google asexual, then go google panromantic. For good measure, google bisexual Tony Stark."
"Keep safesearch on when you do!" Steve called after him, as Clint cleared out. "What do we have to talk about?"
"Mostly what you want to do today. I think we should go to the Met, look at some art, and then not have sex," Tony said brightly. Steve leaned over and kissed him on the forehead.
"Sounds good to me," he agreed.
janxangel requested: Steve is really excited about space and the idea of exploring the universe.
Setting this in the comic book universe, because it's fun, but also moving it up a little timewise...
Two weeks after the Avengers pulled Steve out of the ice, he stormed into Tony Stark's office.
"We went to SPACE?" Steve demanded.
Tony looked up, saw the expression on his face, and set his paperwork aside.
"Yuri Gagarin, 1961, first man in space," Steve read from the book in his hand. "1969, America lands a man on the moon. 1998, the International Space Station begins construction; the first residential crew arrives in 2000. 2004, Spirit Exploration Rover lands on Mars. We went to space?"
"Sure. Are still going, though not at the rate we used to be," Tony said, leaning back in his chair.
"Why didn't you tell me this the minute I woke up?" Steve asked excitedly.
"Captain, of the millions of wonders of the twentieth century, it didn't occur to me that space is what you'd be a nerd about," Tony replied.
"Have we met aliens yet?" Steve asked. "Google seems untrustworthy when it comes to aliens."
"Not yet," Tony allowed.
"Is Stark Industries working on space exploration?"
Tony cocked his head. "Not directly. I've been thinking about it, but Elon Musk really wanted to take the first stab at private space tourism."
"But what about Iron Man?"
"The suit's not space-safe yet. Why? Want me to build you one?" Tony joked.
"Would you? A space suit that would take me to the moon?" Steve asked. "Or -- or Mars?"
"Calm down, Space Cowboy," Tony said, laughing. "I can't build you a suit that'll get you to Mars, but I could build you a rocket. It's a long journey, at least a year to get there and back, realistically more like two. But if you want to go, I can put R&D on it. You're the most likely to survive, honestly."
"You'd do that for me?" Steve asked.
"Well, for you and for the good of all mankind," Tony said.
"I -- well, maybe let's start with the ISS," Steve replied. "If it's not a bother."
"I'll call NASA," Tony replied. "Can I tell them it's a request from Captain America?"
Steve drew himself up, chest puffing out. "You can tell them I'd find it a personal honor to serve the space program."
"Nerd," Tony said, holding the phone to his ear. "Stick around, they'll probably want to ask you your measurements for a flight suit."
Anonymous requested: steve/tony and Chicago deep dish pizza.
"Okay, but...what is it?" Steve asked, studying the object on the table curiously. The waiter, with a warning look, slid a pie server underneath a slice and lifted it out. Cheese dangled everywhere.
"It's Chicago-style pizza," Tony said, holding up his plate to be served.
"That's not pizza," Steve replied.
"Chicago style," Tony emphasized.
"That's not pizza," Steve repeated.
"You're adorable," Tony told him, and Clint made a gagging noise.
"I lived next door to Italians. I served in Italy. I know American pizza doesn't look like Italian pizza but this doesn't look like any pizza I have ever seen anywh -- why is it like that," he asked, as another slice was lifted and basically drizzled onto his plate.
"Because it is delicious," Natasha said, stealing a forkful of cheese from Tony's pizza. He made to stab her with his fork, then thought better of it.
Steve picked up a fork and carefully separated the crust from the back of the slice. The cheese, incongruously given its earlier runniness, stayed stiff.
"If you're chicken, I'll eat your slice," Bruce offered. Steve turned his glare on him.
"I'm not chicken, I ate c-rations," Steve said. "I ate sausages made before the FDA existed. Are we sure the FDA has cleared this?"
Thor had already eaten his entire slice. He'd apparently twirled it around his fork and unhinged his jaw somehow. He was eyeballing Steve's with intent.
"Look, we came all the way to Chicago to punch bad guys," Clint said. "We might as well enjoy the local delicacies."
"It's okay," Tony said. "I thought this might happen. I got you something else, Steve."
The waiter, who had briefly vanished, returned with a pile of palm-sized, golden half-circles, gleaming with melted butter.
"Potato-cheese pierogies," he announced, and deposited them at Steve's elbow. Steve looked at the golden-brown pierogie crust, broke off a corner, and tasted it. Then, without speaking, he dumped half the platter of them onto his plate.
"Are you going to eat that?" Thor asked, pointing to his slice. Tony was battling off Natasha's forays into his pizza.
"No, go for it," Steve said, mouth already full of pierogie. "Now this is a delicacy," he added to Clint, as Thor transferred the slice to his plate.