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Title: the old year is ending in the frost
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Warnings: post-Cap2; talk of violence/torture
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 530
Point of view: third
Prompt: Avengers movieverse, Bucky/+any or gen, he knows it's impossible to tell a wolf from a man if he keeps his chin up and his teeth clean


Steve tells him that the Winter Soldier is not who he is but what he was made to do. Hydra scooped Bucky Barnes out and poured their weapon in and they ripped him apart until he had no fight left, and it's not his fault, never was his fault, will never have been his fault, and Steve will beat the shit out of anyone who says otherwise.

He never says otherwise but he thinks it.

.

In Brooklyn, when they were kids, Bucky finished the fights that Steve started. He also finished the fights that never started because by the time they were fifteen or so, most of the boys and men of the neighborhoods they frequented (and the kids at school, too) knew that Steve Rogers was off limits, no matter what stupid shit he said.

Steve is the best guy in the world, but he's also damned oblivious.

.

There are many things Bucky did in Brooklyn to keep Steve safe, to keep his sisters fed, to keep Ma from worrying, Dad from working too long.

He never asks about it because he's almost certain Steve had no idea, and it's not in any of the books he's read. But the Winter Soldier was not fully Hydra's creation. (He doesn't want Steve to know.)

.

They didn't scoop all of him out. Just the parts that would never have fought for them. Just the parts that would ask questions, demand answers, blitz his way out and go home.

They kept the part that never flinched from blood, from necessary actions. They kept the part that wanted to be loyal to something. (All of the asset's handlers were blond because Zola knew his subject well.)

.

Steve tells him that he doesn't have to be a weapon anymore. No more missions, no more fighting, no more blood and death and violence. Steve tells him they can go anywhere in the world, do anything he wants.

Steve tells him he's so happy, and he holds on at night, when they both wake up screaming.

.

The asset was an elegant weapon shaped like a man. It was brutal when required, efficient, meticulous. There was only collateral damage when ordered. The asset did no more and no less than commanded and its handlers thought that meant it was a tool of mindless obedience.

The asset was not mindless. But loyalty under duress is no loyalty at all, and some parts of Bucky Barnes were always there, beneath the surface, waiting.

.

Steve asks him, "What do you want?"

He doesn't know.

.

The newly-purged SHIELD wants him to fight for them. He has always fought and never for himself. When he tells Steve, "I don't want to fight anymore," Steve nods and smiles and goes to the new director's office.

He doesn't say, "I'll only ever fight for you." That's been true since Brooklyn. It'll always be true.

.

He wakes up. Steve's behind him, tucked in close, arms tight around him, hands clasped in his.

When he squeezes Steve's hand, Steve wakes up, and he says, "My name is Bucky. Let's get out of here."

.

Steve tells him they can go anywhere.

Bucky picks west and they go.




Title: I knew you before you were strong
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: post-Cap2; talk of violence; stream of consciousness
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 450
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, a superhero is just a monster aimed in a different direction


Deep down, in the quiet place that screams at night when he can't sleep, Steve knows. He knew when he was little, before the serum gave him power; he knew in Europe, when Hydra was all he thought about, making them stop and then burning them down. He knew when he woke up and Fury's people gave him history lessons and trusted that he wouldn't be able to figure out enough to find information on his own. He knew after Loki and the invasion; he knew when he signed up with SHIELD in place of the SSR.

He knows when the mask falls off of Fury's killer. He knows when he wakes up in the hospital.

Steve knows he can't trust anyone but himself - and Bucky.

Bucky, who might or might not be a lost cause, depending on who you ask.

Steve's not asking anybody. The world gave up on Bucky once before; Steve gave up when he delivered Zola instead of going back. That is a mistake he will never make again and it doesn't matter who gets in the way.

Nothing matters but finding Bucky, making sure he's okay, protecting him, helping him...

Steve knows what he's capable of, both physically and mentally. He was a clever little shit before the serum and the serum improved everything. No, he's not as smart as Tony Stark, or as savvy as Natasha – but he doesn't need to be. And Bucky…

Bucky.

God, he just wants to tear things apart, burn everything down, make someone pay and pay and pay until there's some relief in his bones.

Steve wasn't the idea guy, not always; neither was Bucky. They were partners, not the brains and the brawn or whatever stupid shit the history books say. Yeah, Steve started the fights and Bucky finished them, and yeah, Bucky was popular and charming and could've been friends with anybody.

The Winter Soldier and the Hulk show Steve how things might have gone. No wonder Dr. Banner doesn't like being around him. And Bucky – is he even aware enough right now to get it?

Doesn't matter.

Steve can only trust himself to know what's right. And whether anybody else agrees… he doesn't give a shit.

The history books have him down as a clean-cut, all-American hero. He slept for 70 years – if he'd been around for all the shit that came after the war's end, would they still say that?

"Are you prepared for what you might find?" Natasha and Fury and Stark and even Sam ask.

He wants to laugh. He's prepared to do whatever it takes to keep Bucky safe and free.

The thing is – the world isn't ready for what that might mean.



Title: he knew who you were
Fandom: Avengers movieverse
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Linton Hopkins
Warnings: way post-Cap2; talk of violence/brainwashing; a mishmash of various backgrounds, but mainly movieverse
Pairings: Bucky/Clint/Natasha
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 520
Point of view: third
Prompt: MCU, Clint + Bucky or Natasha, I feel like a monster

Bucky and Natasha have spent years trying to atone for what they consider their crimes. Clint thinks it's bullshit, but he'll never tell them that.

See, the thing of it is, the Winter Soldier was a gun and the gun is never at fault for what the hand aiming it does. And Clint will put an arrow in the eye of anyone trying to blame Bucky, and he has.

And Natasha -- she didn't know right from wrong 'til way after she left the Red Room, and she wasn’t much more than a gun, then, either. Lots of people think ignorance of the law is no excuse, but that’s utter horseshit, and he’ll fight anyone who tries to hold her accountable, and he has.

Clint’s on the far side of 50 now. He’s getting to be an old man. Natasha’s barely aged half a decade since they met, and Bucky not at all. They’re both older than him by a lot but he’ll die long before they start showing it. And he’ll probably die badly, too. He’s been expecting that since Barney left him dying on the ground.

Bucky and Natasha think there’s a monster inside them, a monster who had control for years. And they have to make up for what the monster did, the people dead by their hands, the red still dripping down their ledger.

Sometimes, Bucky still shies away from Clint’s hands. Sometimes, Natasha turns her face away when he goes in to kiss her. They don’t think they’re good enough. They think they should be hurt.

For as old as they are, they’re still so young. Clint’s going to die before they figure out what he learned, laid up in a hospital bed, barely alive.

Surviving is not a crime. Escaping is not a crime. Choosing to live is not a crime.

Neither of them are monsters. Neither of them owes the world anything.

It makes me want to slaughter something, Steve confessed to him once, while Natasha and Bucky were curled up together, both looking so damned young and scared.

Take care of them for me, Cap, Clint had requested that night.

Steve Rogers thinks it’s bullshit and horseshit and every other kind of shit, and he’ll be around long after Clint’s bones have turned to dust. He’s loved Bucky for the better part of a hundred years, even if some of it was lost in the ice, and he thinks Natasha is amazing. They’ll be in good hands after he’s gone.

Bucky and Natasha aren’t the monsters. Clint’s known that from the moment he brought Natasha in rather than killing her from a mile away, from the moment he looked at Bucky trying to hide behind Steve. They’re just kids who never got a chance.

But Clint… he spent ten years being a damned good assassin, knowing full well the whole time what he was doing. And he hasn’t once thought about atoning.

But he doesn’t try to explain because they’ll refuse to understand. All he can do is love them and protect them and hope they’ll let Steve in after he’s gone.


Title: checkmate
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU?
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 150
Point of view: third
Prompt: Teen Wolf, void!Stiles/any, monsters are always hungry, darling
Note: All I know about season 4, I learned from tumblr.

Chaos, strife, and pain - there's something laughing in Stiles' eyes, something ferocious in the slant of his mouth, and he talks and talks and talks and never says much of anything, and the sheriff's busy, and Scott's trying to be an alpha, and Derek's caught up with whatever Peter's doing this week, and Lydia's planning for the future, and Malia's trying to be a girl, and Kira's learning to be a fox –

She is so young, it thinks, yawning wide inside the boy, and her poor mother all burnt out. It laughs, and Stiles does, too, and tilts his head, casts the die, waiting to see where it lands.

A thousand years doesn't die because a wolf bites it on a borrowed shoulder. Divine moves only work if they weren't planned for. Foxes learn quickly and they adapt.

Chaos, strife, and pain has always been where Stiles thrives.



Title: it is your own soul you destroy
Fandom: Highlander
Disclaimer: only "Matt" isn't mine; title from Denise Levertov
Warnings: very post-series
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 355
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, the worst monster is the one in the mirror


Matt Bennison is weird. That's what his roommate Kyle says, anyway, when he joins their study group. Elise and Monty want to hear more, but Matt arrives (late, of course, because he's never on time ever) with notes from his meeting with Dr. Oliver, and so Yvette shushes them all because Matt is so soft spoken.

Kyle, Elise, and Monty go out for drinks after the studying is done. Elise thinks Matt's quietness is a mask for something wild and dangerous (but she also thinks her roommate is Kali reincarnated, and everyone [including the roommate] is pretty sure that's not true), and Monty doesn't like that Matt sometimes makes proclamations about something without being able to back it up.

Matt's a good guy, though, everyone knows that. Just… weird. Kyle tells them about Matt talking in a dozen different languages in his sleep, the sword he hides in the back of the closet, the notebooks full of scribbles in a language no one in the language department could identify, and how terrifying Matt was when Kyle returned with pictures of those notebooks.

But the thing Kyle doesn't tell them, the thing he knows would convince them because nothing else has – Matt never looks in the mirror. Never. In the five months they've been rooming together in the dorms, Matt has avoided the mirror.

Who does that? What does it mean? Google and the psychology department weren't much help beyond it being a "bad sign," which, no shit, he already knew that.

And sometimes, late at night, Matt cries. He's an orphan and an only child, so Kyle doesn't talk about his own family in case that's insensitive, and Matt doesn't have any pictures of any loved ones or friends. He came alone and he's still mostly alone, and Kyle – Kyle doesn't want to be his friend. Because Matt… he's just so cold sometimes. Like he thinks it's all pointless, like he thinks they're all nothing, and this is just – Kyle doesn't even know, but he doesn't like Matt.

And by Matt never looking in the mirror… Kyle's pretty sure Matt doesn't like Matt, either.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Oct. 15th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad Steve is so patient, and they know they don't have to fight if they don't want to. And he's willing to be with Bucky, no matter what :)

Clint feeling the age was so sad, yet hopeful... liked how he wanted to make so sure that Bucky and Natasha get cared after.

And Highlander... being immortal like that is going to take its toll in many ways, no matter what life one tries. Hard to let anyone close. And seeing your face too many times in the mirror. :(
tigriswolf
Oct. 15th, 2014 06:29 pm (UTC)

Thank you so very much!

I had a very tragic backstory for the Methos fic, but I can't remember what it was, now.
maldeluxx
Oct. 16th, 2014 11:11 am (UTC)
:) Sometimes tragic backstories can also be quite interesting.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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