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Film Studies, or, Four Films About Captain America and One By Him

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"So I have to ask," Tony said, swiping at his beard with a napkin, catching hummus off the edge of his mouth, "did they show you the Captain America movie yet?"

They'd been quiet while they ate, weary from battle (and, for some, absorbed in an exciting new foodstuff) but Steve should have known Tony would be the one to start them talking again.

"I made a couple," Steve ventured. "I saw most of them."

"No, the one they made post-Capsicle," Tony said.

"1949 or 2008?" Bruce asked.

Steve had experienced a lot of Stop, tell me that again? moments after waking up, but this might be the strangest.

"They made them after I crashed?" he asked, perplexed.

"Sure. Biopics, mostly," Tony replied. "The 1949 one is a classic."

"2008 was kind of a hack job," Bruce added.

"So were most of mine," Steve admitted.

"Yeah, but the biopic was exquisitely timed," Tony replied. Natasha snorted.

"Why?" Steve asked.

"Stark made his debut in 2008," Natasha said.

"Oh -- I thought you'd been famous a lot longer," Steve said hesitantly.

"I was. 2008 was when I built the first Iron Man suit," Tony replied. "Superhero interest hit a peak once there was one actually flying around again."

"I don't think I'd be happy watching a movie about my own life," Steve said. "That seems kinda self-involved."

"Well, you could complain about what they got wrong," Tony answered. "My old man used to gripe about them not listening to him."

"Was he in it?"

"Technical advisor on the '49 film. I'm glad he didn't live to see the 2008 one."

"They'll probably make another," Bruce said. "Now that you're back and everything. Hey, you could be in it, right? Do your own stunts."

"I..."

"Jesus," Clint said, out of nowhere. He'd been quiet up until now; everyone turned to look at him. "Leave the guy alone, why would he want to relive that bullshit? Captain America doesn't have a happy ending, assholes, everyone dies."

He shoved away from the table and walked off. The others exchanged glances, confused.

"I'll go talk to him," Natasha said quietly, rising to follow him out.

"What was that about?" Steve asked, frowning. "He barely knows me."

"Coulson," Bruce murmured. "He was a big Captain America fan."

They sat in silence for a while, picking at the last of their food.

"Coulson should be in it," Tony announced finally.

"Tactful," Bruce replied.

"No, I mean it. If they do, whatever, Captain America New Millennium. Least we can do for the guy is immortalize him. Who would you cast? Who's the standard Everyman character actor these days?"

"I believe I understand this," Thor said suddenly. "You are speaking of storytelling, yes? Theatrics?"

"Something like that," Tony answered, and thankfully the subject drifted into an attempt to explain cinema to Thor.

***

The Avengers went their separate ways after the battle with Loki: Thor to Asgard with his brother, Tony and Bruce to Stark Tower (presumably to have some kind of science party), Clint and Natasha back to the Helicarrier, and Steve to his little apartment in Brooklyn. He was honestly unsure why he was there, but then he spent most of his time being unsure why he was anywhere. The battle had been the first time he felt like he fit in since waking up, and he sensed there was probably something wrong with that.

He spent his time studying, mostly. He had a lot of history to catch up on, and the world moved a lot faster now than it used to.

The first time they reassembled after separating -- in some sense, after going to ground to avoid the publicity and the World Security Council -- was what Tony termed The Meeting Of Outrage. Because, as it turned out, Phil Coulson was alive, and the Avengers had opinions on this topic.

Honestly, it felt kind of good to be angry about something, and to be in the company of four other people who were angry about the same thing. But when the shouting and the explanations and the apologies were over, he was left standing on the deck of the Helicarrier, with Tony and Bruce and Natasha and Clint, and Coulson in a wheelchair, wondering what was going to happen.

"So you're coming to the Tower," Tony was saying, and Clint was nodding while Coulson looked weary. "I have medical staff I can steal from Stark Memorial, 24/7 health monitoring courtesy of JARVIS, and like ninety apartments you can choose from. You two want to live-in?" he asked Clint and Natasha. They glanced at each other, shrugged, and nodded. "Party time, then. Hey, Spangles, I've been meaning to ask, are you in?" he added, turning to Steve.

"In what?" Steve asked.

"It's like he does this on purpose," Tony said to Natasha. "In. Moving in. Stark Tower, new home of the Avengers. State-of-the-art gym and a sentient computer that can answer any question you ask."

"But I have an apartment," Steve said, confused.

"Only if you broaden the definition of 'apartment' unreasonably," Tony said. "Come with us, have a look around."

It didn't really make any difference, Steve thought. He'd only chosen Brooklyn because he'd grown up there.

"Sure," he said. "Lead the way."