Steve rubbed his hand over his face before letting out a long-suffering sigh. He only had himself to blame for the turn today had taken. This was why he hated social media so much and had kept off of it for so long. But, as luck would have it, it turned out that maybe he should have joined sooner – at least according to the trouble that he was currently having procuring a suitable user name.
Steve’s fingers danced across the keyboard as fast as he could think of names to use: SteveRogers. StevenGRogers. TheRealSteveRogers. TheReallyRealSteveRogers. ISwearIAmSteveRogers. PeggyCarterIsMean. DammitISwearIAmSteveRogers.
But they were all taken. None of them were free.
And wasn’t that just great? His best friend was going to be pissed and so would his manager. No, it was actually worse that that, the two of them wouldn’t be pissed at all – they would be disappointed. Peggy hadn’t even realized that he wasn’t using social media until the woman herself had tweeted and tagged ‘@TheRealSteveRogers’ and gotten an excited fan-flail of a response instead of the one word answer she had expected over the inside joke they had started that day on set.
One very heated and confused phone call form Peggy and he’d be co-erced into getting his own Tweeter…Twit…Tweetie…well, whatever it was called, he was getting one, reluctantly. Or at least he was trying his best to. It wasn’t working. At all.
Running his hands through his short blonde hair while taking a deep cleansing breath, he managed to talk himself out of either (a) tossing his laptop out of the nearest window (2) quitting showbiz all together or (c) calling his manager. As inviting as those first two were, Steve passed on them and picked up his phone to (c) call his manager, when then phone rang in his hand. Without looking at who it was, he answered.
“So, what’s your at?” A teasing British lilt greeted him.
Steve chuckled back. “Hello to you too, Peggy.”
“Yes, yes, Steven, hello. Now, what. Is. Your. At?” He could see her waving her hand around dismissively in his mind.
“My what now?” Steve frowned at the computer.
“Your at,” She sighed down the line. “Your Twitter handle?”
“Steve, you agreed to this. You promised me and Ms. Potts you would sort this out.”
“Well, Peg, it’s kinda hard when every, er – handle? – I think of is taken.”
“What have you tried?”
He looked down at the sketchbook he had been making a list on. “There’s…SteveRogers. StevenGRogers. TheRealSteveRogers. TheReallyRealSteveRogers. ISwearIAmSteveRogers. PeggyCarterIsMean. DammitISwearIAmSteveRogers.”
“I see.” Peggy was quiet in thought for a moment. “What about ‘SteveRogersIsPeggyCartersBitch’?”
“Hey, now. Be nice, you,” Steve teased back.
“All right, all right, calm down. Let me think.”
There was another long pause where Steve could hear her playing with her lip in thought. The line suddenly went quiet and then she was yelling out, startling him. “STEVEROGERSWANTSHISNAMEBACK! We can make is a hashtag as well! This will be trending in minutes!”
“Oh…kay…I guess? Let me try that.” He tapped away at his keyboard, relieved when he was able to claim the handle for his own. This would not only mean that he wouldn’t have to face Ms. Potts empty-handed so to speak, but it would also get Peggy Carter off his back – well, as much as anything could at the moment, at least. “Done.”
“So it’s yours?”
“Hang on then, don’t hang up, just going to…” Peggy’s voice changed as she switched the phone to speaker. “At…Steve…Rogers…Wants…His…Name…Back…about…time…you..joined…this…century. Hashtag…Steve…Rogers…Wants...His...Name…Back,” she paused to cluck her tongue in thought. “Hashtag give it up already…hashtag offering a reward. Aaaaand, send!”
“Wait a minute!” Steve frowned when he heard the tone indicating that Peggy had posted. “I’m not offering any kind of reward.”
“Lighten up, Steve. Nothing bad is going to happen to you. Now, before I hang up, go ahead. Write your first tweet. I’ll wait.”
Hesitantly, Steve put his fingers once again to his keyboard. “Dear Tweeters…”
Peggy clucked her tongue. “No, you’re already doing it wrong. It’s not like a letter. Listen. Just type what I tell you.”
“Where would I be without you?”
“Lost and alone in the world. Be glad you don’t have to worry about that.”
“I’m so lucky.”
“Quiet,” she scolded, but there was affection for her friend in her voice. “Now, type this. Word for word. ‘What’s a guy got to do to get his own name around here’ and then the hashtag.”
“So just that and then the word ‘hashtag’ and…”
Steve wasn’t sure if he had actually heard the sound of and intake of breath or if he had imagined it by knowing her so well. “No, please. You are killing me here. You know what a hashtag is, Steven. You also use them on Instagram.”
“Don’t have one of those either,” Steve mumbled down the line.
He could hear Peggy shaking her head, hand on her forehead in disbelief. “Oh for…Facebook then?”
“Wonderful. I can see that I have my work cut out for me.”
“Look, Peg, just tell me how to do this. Walk me through it so I don’t look like a complete idiot and we’ll talk about the rest later.”
“Fine. Hashtag. Little Noughts & Crosses symbol above the 3?” She paused to let him find it. “Use that, then smush ‘Steve Rogers wants his name back’ all together – you can capitalize the first letter of each word to make it easier to read if you want, Then another hashtag and ‘sorry so late’ all smushed together. Hit send and watch the magic.”
Steve was typing as she talked, working on autopilot. “Aaaaand…done!” he announced, leaning back in his chair to continue talking and, suddenly, his computer started pinging excitedly. “What the—”
Peggy chuckled. “That would be the fans finding out. Go on. Read them. But don’t take to much stock in the rude ones, there is always a few. Concentrate on the good ones, the actual fans. Answer a few. Try to get them rallied to get your name back.”
“Okay. I can do this. But it sure is making a lot of noise.”
“It’ll do that. It’s perfectly normal.” She almost hung up, but stopped herself, “Oh, and Steve?”
“Pick a suitable profile picture. A good one. In fact, just go ahead and take a new selfie.”
Steve hated taking selfies and she knew it. “Can’t I just use a picture already out there?”
“No. Then no one will believe it’s you.”
“Come on, Peggy, I’m no good at selfies.”
“Just don’t do the duck lips and you’ll be fine.”
“I’m doing duck lips.”
“Steven Grant Rogers, don’t you dare!”
Once the laughter between them died down, Steve made another appeal. “Please help me, Pegs…”
“Fine. I’ll send you one of the pictures I have of you to use as a profile picture. You’re so hopeless.”
“Oh thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!”
“You’d be so lost without me.”
“Yes, I most certainly would.”
“All right, enough praise for me, I’ going to go and answer a few of my own fans, start a poll, and see if I can get this thing trending.”
“Thank you again, for, you know, all the virtual hand holding.”
“Gotta look out for my best guy, you know.”
Steve and Peggy were both laughing as the call ended and Steve turned back to his computer, which was now making so much noise that the notifications were cutting each other off. “Guess it’s just us now…”