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…”
Steve gets an answer back from one of the owners of an account with his name in it. It doesn't go as either of them planned.
Two days. It had been two days since Steve Rogers had been coerced into making a Twitter to keep his fans up to date. Two days since Steve had written a message trying to get his own name back from whoever had it. Two days of fans both taking his side and, strangely, also, at the same time, begging him to let the other person keep it. This was not going to work.
Steve looked at the keyboard as if it was going to write the next tweet for him. He’d been doing that for the last twenty minutes, though, and nothing had happened as of yet. With another sigh – and he sure was doing that a lot lately – he put his fingers to the keys and typed out another plea.
“Hello again fans, I'm sorry if I didn't get around to answering your answers, but there are just so many of you! I didn't realize that that many people looked at these. I'm just glad to see that I was wrong. Peggy will be glad to see I said that, I bet. However, I still need your—,” Steve noticed a small red “0” and a red circle at the corner of the box. He did the only thing that he could in this situation. He called Peggy.
“What is it, Rogers?” Peggy huffed into the phone by way of a greeting.
Nonplussed, Steve continued. “What does this red ‘0’ and the red circle mean?”
“It means you have hit your limit.”
“Christ’s sake, Steve. There is a character limit on Twitter. You reached it.” Peggy seemed to be uncharacteristically agitated.
“What if I wasn’t done?”
“Then you have two choices. You can either send that and keep writing until you have said what you want to say or you find a way to shorten what you are trying to say.”
“You’re lucky that I’m already out and can swing by yours to help you out.”
“Thank you so much. What would I do without you?”
“I don’t even want to think about the answer to that question. Now, sit tight and I’ll be right there. Don’t try to tweet anything else.”
Peggy was shocked to find that Steve wasn’t still sitting in front of his computer when she got there. Instead, he was in the kitchen attempting what seemed like a fight with his coffee maker. If there was anything that Peggy Carter could say about her best friend, it would be that he was definitely interesting. Finding him in a verbal battle with an inanimate object was just the tip of the iceberg. He only got like this when he was stressed, and she couldn’t begin to understand why something so mall might stress him out in the first place. But, then again, this was about more than Twitter, she supposed. “You wanna talk about it?
Steve startled, not realizing she was there, stumbling backwards a bit. “Jesus, Peggy! You scared me to death!”
She bit back a laugh. “I can see that. What’s gotten you so flustered? It’s just a social media site.”
“That’s just it, Pegs…” Steve stopped and took in the sight of the woman in front of him. She was far too put together for someone at this time of a morning on a day off. He narrowed his eyes.
“What?” She followed his eyeline to figure out what he was looking at, but couldn’t.
Steve raised his eyebrows, still not saying anything.
“What?” She stopped trying to figure out what her friend was looking at and took a drink from her coffee cup she was holding instead to fill the silence that was now decidedly thickening the air.
Steve shook his head, mouth turned downward. “No, no, nothing…”
Done with what he might be insinuating, Peggy firmly placed her cup on the counter behind her before crossing her arms over her chest. “Steven.”
Steve waved her off. “No, I get it. It’s just—” he shook his head again, this time at himself. “—this coffee pot is pissing me off.”
“I can tell,” Peggy dropped her arms and laughed in spite of herself. “What’s it done now?”
“What hasn’t it done?” Steve turned his narrowed eyes at the object as he motioned enthusiastically angry at it. “All I want is a cup of coffee.”
Peggy takes pity on her friend and gently eases him aside to troubleshoot the electronic. He allowed her and leaned back on the counter to watch. He was sure he’d done exactly what she was doing, but somehow it was now working.
“Voila!” Peggy stepped back, motioning to her masterpiece, only to look back and see Steve had her coffee cop and was drinking generously from it. “Steven!” She swatted at him for it, but Steve merely held it out of her reach, earning him a slap to the chest.
“Relax, Carter, you can have that fresh one.”
If they weren’t such good friends, Peggy would have decked him right there. Instead she turned to the fridge for whatever creamer Steve would have waiting for her. “So what is it you want to say?”
“About what just happened? How about ‘I’m sorry’?”
“Well, that’s the thing,” he ran his hand through his hair, “I don’t know. I thought someone would just contact me and tell me that I could have my name back. Or trade me for an autograph or something. But that’s not what happened at all. There were marriage proposals and offers to satisfy me sexually and I keep being called ‘Daddy’ – with a capital ‘d’…”
Peggy laughed into her coffee, causing it to fountain onto her shirt. “D—daddy?!?!”
Steve pursed his lips and shook his head. “This is why I don’t like social media.”
“This will die down after a while. Fans are always more eager at the start. Give them a bit of what they want.”
Steve pulled a face, “I dunno…”
“Look, it’s not bad. I’ll help you; hold your hand.” Peggy put her hand on his shoulder.
“You better,” Steve grabbed for her hand. “I’m scared of some of these.”
“They’re just words. Don’t worry. We can fix this. It’s just your first day.”
Steve followed her to where he’d been sitting on the couch, letting her take his seat and taking his own. “It gets better?”
“So. Much. Better.” Peggy smiled as she scrolled the reply notifications for the one tweet he had written. “You just sit right there, and I’ll fix this.”
Steve’s whole body language showed gratitude as he sat across from her in the recliner. “I don’t know how to thank you.”
Peggy took a moment to look up, grinning. “You know my favorite restaurant – you could get us some lunch, maybe?”
“On it, ma’am!” Steve saluted before grabbing his coat and heading out the door to leave her to do her best.
“Nat! Nat! Nuh-tah-shuh!” Bucky’s voice carried through the basement apartment. “He. Answered. Me.”
Nat poked her head up from behind the bar. “Who answered what?”
“Steve Rogers, Nat!” Bucky braced his arms on the bartop to pull himself up and peer over the counter at her. “He answered my tweet!”
“Okay, yay. Good for you, Drinks are on you tonight,” she deadpanned, looking at Bucky at eye-level.
“No, Nat, you’re missing the point here,” Bucky sank back to sit on the barstool behind him. “It’s Steve Rogers.”
“And?” She ducked back under the bar to rummage around a bit more. “Ah-ha!” She stood triumphantly, holding a mostly empty Whiskey bottle aloft. “There is still some of that shit we got for your birthday!”
Bucky wrinkled his nose in remembrance of the last time they had imbibed the amber liquid. “Ew, no. Love yourself. Are you even listening to me?”
“Oh yeah, sure. I’m a good listener, you know that.” She uncapped the bottle, taking a big belt and making her own face. “And I get it’s a big deal. At least for you—”
Bucky scowled. He wasn’t sure why he was still friends with her after all these years if this was how she was all the time. “How can you be like that? You know how big a fan of his I am. You remember the day I got ‘TheRealSteveRogers’ as my handle, I know you do.”
Nat came around the bar and slumped in the barstool next to Bucky, throwing her arm around him in comradery. “Buck, man, you have no idea how happy I am for you.”
“Then show it.” He pouted into the hands he had shoved under his chin.
“I am.” Nat forced her face into a large grin.
Bucky broke into a grin, even though he was trying not to. “Bull. Shit.”
“I love you too, Buckaroo.” Nat ambushed him with a smacking kiss to the cheek.
Bucky pushed-waved her off, “Yeah…yeah,” before going to sit back in front of his laptop.
“What now?” Natasha stretched out over the bar counter to look up at her friend through the hair that had fallen in her face.
“Well,” Bucky is staring at the reply to him from just moments before. “I guess I should answer him.”
“Then do it.”
“But how?” He threw up his hands.
“Well, what did you say to him?” Nat was moving closer as she spoke.
Bucky shrugged, acting as if was no big deal. “I just let him know that I was the owner of one of the handles that has his name and I was willing to negotiate terms. I don’t even know if anyone else answered him. They probably did…”
“Stop it,” she perched on the back of the rough brown couch. “What did he answer?”
“He wanted to know what terms I was thinking.”
“Just like that? Those words?”
He shrugged. “Mostly.”
“I want the exact wording, Barnes.”
“Ugh, well, Romanov,” he croaked out, but was already pulling up the reply tweet. “Here,” he pushed the screen close to her, “See for yourself.”
Snatching the laptop out of his reach, she settled in on the far end of the couch, her back wedged against the arm rest, legs stretched as far as she could in and attempt to put them in Bucky’s lap. “Let me just have a little read, here…”
Bucky knew it was useless for him to fight and so he gathered her feet and plopped them squarely on top of his legs, his hands clasped over them, and waited patiently for her reaction. However, he wasn’t prepared for her reaction.
“Holy shit, James!” Nat never used his full name, so this must be either an emergency or the exact opposite. “I think Steve Rogers is flirting with you!”
“No….” Bucky denied, reaching out for his laptop, but earning a slapped hand for his trouble.
“Oh, he so is.” She took the mouse and highlighted the proof for him.
Bucky’s eyes widened when she turned the screen for him to see. “Holy shit…Steve Rogers is flirting with me…”
“Well, answer him!”
“I can’t! I don’t know what to say back to him.”
“All right then, move. Let the master handle this…” Nat all but snatched the computer out of his hands and began to type, her tongue poking out the side of her lips in concentration.
Realizing that there was no hope of him getting his laptop back anytime soon, he decided he would go to Nat’s favorite restaurant and get them some lunch.