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Title: you mattered
Fandom: Animorphs
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from the series
Warnings: post-series
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 85
Point of view: third
Prompt: Animorphs, Jake/Cassie (and/or Tobias/Rachel), And never really had a chance / I had so many dreams / About you and me / Happy endings / Now I know / I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairy tale



They saved the world but Cassie can't call it a victory. Everything's over, the cameras have stopped rolling, she's finally home in her room, and everyone's safe, but how can this be a victory?

She hasn't cried yet. It's been a few days and she hasn't, she can't, she won't --

There's a picture of Rachel and her taking care of a hurt bird on her bookshelf. They look so young. So happy. So alive.

Rachel saved the world and Cassie finally begins to cry.



Title: bless us that remember
Fandom: Animorphs
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Natasha Trethewey
Warnings: post series; canon character death
Pairings: canon
Rating: pg
Wordcount: 145
Point of view: third
Prompt: Animorphs, Cassie (post-#54), but somehow times keeps passing and it isn't long before the clamor and excitement everywhere she goes fades into an interested glance, a pointed finger, a whisper behind a hand, and the world moves on and soon she is forgotten



She never was the exciting one. Rachel died to save the world, Jake had led them, Marco blossomed in the attention and so always put on a good show, Ax was a real alien, and Tobias almost a complete mystery who vanished after the memorial ceremony. And Cassie... Cassie went back to her parents and to work.

She didn't grant interviews. She didn't give her permission for any of the memorabilia or action figures. She tried to pretend the whole thing had never happened.

When they come to her for help, she says she can't.

On the thirtieth anniversary, Cassie is the only one left, and when the President of the United States herself asks Cassie to attend the ceremony honoring all of their sacrifices, Cassie goes with her husband and her daughter Hope, and she speaks about the children she remembers, the warriors she alone knew.



Title: colors come slowly
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Denise Levertov
Warnings: post-Cap2
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 490
Point of view: third
Prompt: Author's choice; author's choice; the colors of the century are red, white, and black. (Thea Gilmore, "Red, White, and Black")

"I have red in my ledger," she says when she finds him.

He looks at her, red dripping off his hands, and he asks quietly, "Can it be wiped out?"

Her lips are bright red, her hair flaming in the sun, and she says, "No."

.

Steve looks down at the blank page, tapping the end of the pencil against his chin. Sam told him they had to take a day of rest, and then Sam ate a hearty breakfast and went back to bed.

He could reread the file he's had memorized for months. He could call Stark or Hill to see if anything has changed. He could wander around the town they limped into last night, see the sights.

Instead, he's staring at the first page of a new sketchpad trying to think of something to draw that won’t hurt. Finally, he sighs and flips it closed, pulls out his phone, and calls Stark.

.

He’s wearing a dark hoodie, dark jeans, boots, hair pulled back from his face. Probably armed, though of course he doesn’t need weapons to be dangerous. The power was cut prior to the assault so it’s dark in the lab – whatever emergency generators they had have either been destroyed or powered down.

Steve can see the way the front of his hoodie is wet. “Are you hurt?” he asks.

He bites his bottom lip, glancing down, and Steve just wants – so many things. “It was my hands,” is what he finally says, looking at Steve as he brings his right hand to his abdomen to cover the blood. “They used my hands. My – my body. But it wasn’t me.” He smiles, just the barest hint, and uses his left hand to gesture around them. “This was me.”

He steps forward and stumbles. It takes every shred of willpower he has for Steve to not lunge to catch him. But when he doesn’t right himself and keeps going down, Steve meets him there, and when he leans in, Steve carefully puts one arm across his shoulders and uses the other to see how bad the injury is.

“I’ll live,” he murmurs into the base of Steve’s throat. “But I don’t want to wake up in a cage.”

“You won’t,” Steve promises.

.

“Agent Romanoff,” the senator demands, “where is Captain Rogers?”

She smiles, tilting her head. “He had somewhere better to be. Sir.”

There’s red in her ledger, still. Perhaps there always will be. However, as Clint pointed out three days ago – she’s helped save large portions of the world twice now. Maybe that wipes out the red and maybe it doesn’t, that’s for her to decide.

But she has a skill-set and she knows how to use it, and if she can help two good men stay free, then she will.

“And,” she says, rising to her feet, “as it turns out, so do I.”

As she saunters towards the exit, no one gets in her way.





Title: The water below is as dark as the grave
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: takes place during Cap2
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 350
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, water is rising around one while the other watches


I'm with ya till the end of the line, the target murmurs, gazing at the asset with one eye nearly swollen shut and the other with burgeoning tears, and the asset – the asset hesitates. Those words, said in that voice…

The helicarrier splinters around them and the asset latches onto a piece of it, hanging midair as the target falls into the river. The target sinks out of sight and the asset replays everything the target has said this day and – and – there is more, from the missing time that indicates the handlers applied the chair to the asset, maintaining it. The asset - hates maintenance. But the asset hates nothing. The asset feels nothing.

The target is in the river. The target has yet to surface, so perhaps the target has been injured enough to ensure a malfunction that allows his neutralization by the river.

… why does that cause the asset’s heart to pound?

The target is in the river. The asset has one functioning arm, several cracked ribs, a sprained ankle. The target is in the river and the asset –

The asset releases its grip on the helicarrier and prepares to hit the water.

No target has ever before (the asset thinks) actively aided the asset. So the asset will ensure the target’s survival and then…

Then…

Your name is James Buchanan Barnes, the target said.

The asset locates the target in the water and pulls him to shore. The asset hurts, every part of it, but the pain is easy to ignore. The target breathes, coughs up water, and so the asset leaves.

The handlers cannot be trusted. Shelter and camouflage must be attained. After rest and refueling, the asset will choose a further course of action. Just before rounding the bend, the asset looks back, at the target prone on the shore. Helicopters are circling; he will be found soon. Given medical aid. “The end of the line,” the asset murmurs.

The asset thinks, I knew him.

Shelter. Rest. Sustenance. Then thought. The asset turns and carefully, cautiously, finds a path to safety.




Title: lose the world for love
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from John Carey
Warnings: references to violence/death/torture
Pairings: post-Steve/Bucky, pre-Steve/ex-Winter Soldier
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 795
Point of view: third
Prompt: Any, any, "The Fires of Pompeii."


"You know," Steve says, watching Bucky watch him, "I don't think I've ever been this angry." Bucky looks away, so Steve quickly continues, "Not at you. Fuck, not at you. At everything else."

The first thing he did, after letting Fury escort him back to SHIELD, was ask to go see Bucky’s grave. It was days before they told him where the memorial was, and then he didn’t wait to be taken there; he went himself. One of his ‘coaches’ for the future had explained that Bucky wasn’t in there because no one had ever gone looking for his body.

The memorial was nice. Tasteful. Steve had sobbed silently for an hour before returning to SHIELD.

No one ever went looking for Bucky’s body. Bucky never died.

“I’m sorry,” he says now, watching Bucky sit so still, everything tucked in to make himself look smaller. Five guns, seven knives, a garrote, and a grenade are arrayed before him, and his left hand is palm up. He is not defenseless, but Steve is pretty damn sure that Bucky won’t fight back if Steve decides to hurt him.

He breathes through the anger, trying to shove it aside. He has to be calm. Has to think. Sam is out finding something for dinner. Natasha’s check-in won’t be for another three days. Stark is busy with the DC cleanup. Fury’s in the wind.

Bucky knocked on the door and hasn’t said a single word. He disarmed himself, settled on the bed, and has been waiting for – what?

“Do you know who I am?” Steve asks.

Bucky says, “Steve Rogers.” He glances at Steve out the corner of his eye. “Bucky Barnes’ best friend and captain.”

Steve nods, then asks, “Do you know who you are?”

“Bucky Barnes,” Bucky says. “Once. Not anymore.” He slowly inhales and exhales, then looks right at Steve. “I remember everything. But I can’t – I’m not that man.”

Steve nods again. “What do you want to be called?”

“Bucky is fine,” he says. “For now. Until…” His left hand clenches and he slowly opens it.

“Until?” Steve echoes.

“I know where they’re hiding,” Bucky says. “I know the weakpoints. I…” He swallows, glancing at Steve again before dropping his gaze. “I know you.” His breathing quickens before he visibly slows it down and then he says, “I can’t trust anyone. But I trust you.”

“Okay,” Steve says.

.

Steve’s anger is a quick thing. It’s burns and then extinguishes itself.

Steve’s hatred, on the other hand…

.

He leaves Sam a note. He takes only the clothes on his back, the Winter Soldier file, and the tote bag with his shield in it. He wants to trust Sam and Natasha, and he would, if he was the only one at risk. But there isn’t a single other person on the planet he’d trust with Bucky, not after everything.

“This mission,” Bucky says as they hurry to the safehouse he’s prepared, “it will be dangerous. Difficult.”

They’re going to root Hydra out and burn it down, then salt the earth. Everywhere its heads have gone, every tendril, it’s all going to burn.

“Bucky,” Steve says as they step in. “You know me. Nothin’s gonna chase me away.”

“I know you,” Bucky whispers, lips barely smiling.

.

There are many governments and agencies that could use an asset like the Winter Soldier. There wasn’t much about him in the files Natasha released, and Steve’s memorized the hardcopy file. He offers it to Bucky that first night; Bucky drops it in the garbage can and lights it on fire, impassively watches it burn.

“No one will take me alive,” Bucky tells Steve before they set out.

Steve nods firmly.

.

Steve’s anger is frightening. Steve’s hatred is brutal.

Steve’s love…

.

Bucky knows where Hydra hides. He remembers everything. His nightmares are silent but he wakes up shaking, and Steve always lets him make the first the move. Bucky curls up, looking so small for his size, and Steve curls around him. Bucky’s always cold, now, shivers in Steve’s arms.

Every time Steve thinks they’ve gone too far, or they should ask Natasha for help or Stark for sanctuary, Bucky will share a horror from his past, or Bucky will flinch when Steve moves too quickly, or one of Hydra’s fuckers will use a codeword on Bucky that will send him to his knees, clutching his head.

Steve knows they’re doing the right thing, killing Hydra, every single part of it, from the heads down to the drones. And once Hydra’s eradicated, then Steve will see how far the reach has gone, see who wants to use the Winter Soldier as their weapon.

Nobody is going to use Bucky ever again.

.

Steve’s love is the most dangerous thing of all.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Mar. 29th, 2015 11:00 am (UTC)
Steve's love can be a very dangerous thing indeed, the most stubborn part of him. Loved this :)
tigriswolf
Mar. 29th, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)

Thank you!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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