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Title: The snow drops its pieces of darkness
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Sylvia Plath
Warnings: AU; character death
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 610
Point of view: third
Prompt: any. any/any. Rima XI, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer

"I am ardent, I am dark,
I am the essence of passion;
with yearning for pleasure, my soul is full;
is it me you're seeking?"
"No, it isn't you."

"My skin is pale, my plaits golden,
I can give you sweetness without end;
My treasure is in tenderness;
is it me you're calling?"
"No, it isn't you."

"I am delusion, an impossible thing,
a vain phantom of mist and light;
I am unbodied, I am impalpable;
I cannot love you."
"Oh come, please come...!"





Bucky Barnes died when he fell from a train in late 1944.

.

Steve Rogers died when he crashed a plane into the Arctic in early 1945.

.

Dying a hero still means you're dead.

.

They find Steve Rogers in early 2012, miraculously still alive.

(A miracle? Oh, no, it was not a miracle – but shh, no one knows that yet.)

.

A ghost haunts Steve. He visits a memorial and an empty grave; he visits filled graves and the few friends still alive – Jim and Peggy are the only ones left. They tell him about their full, happy lives.

He’s glad for them. Truly he is.

There is a name he never says.

.

He suits up for SHIELD. Goes on missions. What else is he going to do?

.

After a year of fighting, Steve decides he’s done. He’s already fought a war, so he thanks SHIELD for finding him (though he wishes they hadn’t) and helping in acclimate (though he did most of the work himself) and he walks away.

He’s the only person happy about it.

.

Steve visits an empty grave, traces the name on the stone. There’s a ghost standing at his shoulder and Steve doesn’t turn to look – the ghost’ll fade if he tries. “They never went back for you,” he says. “And if I – if I hadn’t put the plane in the ice. But I had to, you see. Bucky, you know why. I had to.”

He can almost hear the ghost say, “You stupid punk, of course you didn’t.”

“I had to,” Steve says again. “But I can bring you home now.”

.

He doesn’t find Bucky, of course. It’s been almost seventy years. He spends months wandering around the Alps, half-hoping he’ll freeze again and this time they’ll let him go.

They wouldn’t, of course. He has to check in with SHIELD every three days or they’ll come hunting for him.

The ghost follows him.

.

Bucky Barnes died when he fell from a train in late 1944. Knowing what a prize Dr. Zola’s favorite subject would be, a few of Hydra’s brightest searched for him. They never found him.

Steve Rogers died when he crashed a plane into the Arctic in early 1945. When he’s brought back into the world, one of the most common questions if he remembers being frozen.

He doesn’t, but he dreams about it sometimes. Dreams about Bucky laughing at him. Dreams about Bucky kissing him, dancing with him, holding him close and curling around him. Dreams about finding Bucky, holding Bucky, telling Bucky all the things he should have said all the years they knew each other.

He turns to look at the ghost a hundred times and the ghost is always gone.

.

No one finds Bucky Barnes. He falls into a gorge of ice and snow and there he dies.

(Or does he? The Winter Soldier’s existence is a necessary point of history but not who the Winter Soldier had been.

Steve Rogers slept in the ice. Bucky Barnes sleeps still.)

.

Even though it is not his war, SHIELD calls Steve back when Fury is assassinated.

It becomes his war when he learns that Hydra has been hiding within SHIELD all this time.

He talks to the ghost at his shoulder because he doesn’t trust anyone else.

.

In the dream, Bucky murmurs, “Look again, Stevie.”

Hydra’s burning for the second time and Steve returns to the mountains. He tells no one he’s going and he doesn’t check in, and if he can’t find Bucky, he’ll let the ice take him again.

.

(I’m sorry, the ghost whispers as Steve sinks down into the snow.

“Don’t be,” Steve gasps out as he looks over.)



Title: in the dark room putting bones into place
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Anne Sexton
Warnings: violence
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 905
point of view: third
Prompt: MCU, Steve/Bucky, nobody realizes that Bucky is the only who really sees Steve's dark side


Steve Rogers has always fought for the little guy, against bullies and tyranny and unfairness. Everyone knows that.

What most people don't know is that Steve chose his fight because it meant there would always be a fight.

Back in the before, people thought (when they even bothered to think about Steve Rogers at all) that Bucky finished the fights to keep Steve safe.

He didn’t. Bucky finished those fights so that the opponents could walk away.

Back in the before, Steve was a tiny little terrier gnawing at someone’s ankle. He got in a lot of fights because he just couldn’t help himself. That’s what the books say. He got in fights because the world was so unfair and he needed to stand up against injustice, because the force of his righteousness was just so good.

(When Bucky’s enough of himself again, he laughs and laughs and laughs.)

In the war – well. In the war. History says what the writers want it to say. Steve Rogers is kind and honorable and good and aw, shucks, apple pie, Fourth of July. He’s an ideal.

Back in the before, Steve tried to make sure the fights were never so bad that Bucky got hurt. Himself, fine, he could bleed and break, but Bucky… he never could stand seeing Bucky hurt.

If he had known – but he didn’t know. He killed Schmidt and he put a plane in the ice, and he thought, See you soon, Buck.

Back in the before, he wasn’t able to kill everyone who cut Bucky, who burnt him, who gave him nightmares and made him shudder in memory. When SHIELD wakes him up and shoves him into a brand-new war while he’s still aching because Bucky fell barely two weeks ago, everyone who hurt Bucky is still out of reach. Most of them are dead. It’s been decades.

He reads the sanitized story of his exploits. He doesn’t ask Peggy why history is wrong. He explores New York, turns down interviews, and eventually moves to DC because SHIELD still has a use for him and at least it means he’s fighting. He stops holding back because it’s not like anyone even notices or cares. None of these people know him. None of them want to know him. They have their idealized hero of the better age.

After Bucky fell, Steve was too consumed with despair to feel rage.

He’s come to terms with the despair as best he can, and all he’s feeling now is an anger so deep and wide there’s no escape. But he can’t get lost in it. He has to guide it, to use it. He does his best to not hurt Bucky, and he knows that every hit Bucky lands on him is deserved, is his punishment for letting this horrible thing happen to the best person in the world.

Steve wakes up in the hospital actually happy for just one heartbeat because holy shit, Bucky’s alive. The anger is next, sharp and vicious and hungry. He curbs it for now, hiding it with grief and worry, and asks Natasha and Stark for help, tells Sam he doesn’t have to put everything on hold, and they’re better people than he deserves because they all come through for him.

Steve Rogers has fought his whole life. Fought the good fight. Been righteous. He was a terrier in the before, a yappy little dog easily kicked aside, and he liked it. Erskine turned him into something else and he tried to live up to what Erskine saw in him. Wars are bloody, though, and no one looked twice when soldiers died, especially if they were the enemy.

What’s coming next is not clean. It probably won’t make it into history, the way Steve Rogers didn’t. History got Captain America. Steve wants to send Sam home, doesn’t want to drag him down. He even tries, before their first strike into a Hydra safehouse, where intel puts the Winter Soldier just after Insight.

Sam doesn’t turn back, though. He’s a good man, like Bucky.

Sam’s a good man, and so he deserves one more warning. “Sam,” Steve says, readying the shield, “don’t get between me and the enemy.” Sam just looks at him, one brow raised, and then he shrugs.

Back in the before, Bucky finished the fights because none of those idiots were the enemy. They were just bullies. They didn’t deserve to die.

Steve knows that if anyone should’ve been the Winter Soldier, should’ve been hollowed out and filled in with blood and death, it was him. Not Bucky. Never Bucky.

He’s not a yappy little terrier anymore. And he’s got no one to answer to.

But he’s got anger enough to burn the world, and he’s going to kill everyone who ever could’ve possibly hurt Bucky Barnes.

(When Bucky’s enough of himself again, he says, “I never wanted you to kill for me.”

“I know,” Steve says, face buried in Bucky’s neck, hands clasped at Bucky’s back.)

In the before, Bucky finished fights. In the war, Bucky finished fights before they even started.

In the now, Hydra’s mostly dead and when that’s done, Steve’ll see who’s next. There’s always a fight and he’s still got so much anger.



Title: the greatest secret
Fandom: Highlander
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: none
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 175
Point of view: third
Highlander, Methos +/ Duncan, "I don't want to be the last. But I'm afraid I'll be."


Here is the greatest of Methos’ uncountable secrets: he does not want to be the last. To be the only one of his kind left sounds like a terrible thing, but it is what the children strive for in their blind reaching for power.

Methos has had power. It is fun, at first, but eventually, it becomes tiresome, the way so many things do. Perhaps, though, that is learned through experience and age, and so few will attain the vastness of time he has.

Methos does not want to be the one, at the end of the struggle, when the game is done. It is such an utter waste, the game immortals play, hacking at each other blades, lighting singing in their blood. No, he does not want to win, if winning it can actually be called.

But he will not lose, either.



Title: to tame with kindness
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU during Avengers
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 370
Point of view: third
Prompt: MCU, Loki, this won't hurt a bit


"Oh, my," Loki murmurs, looking at the mortal frozen in some sort of tube. "You could be truly magnificent." He turns, calling, “My raptor!”

Barton hurries over. “Yeah, boss?”

“Find the procedure to safely release this warrior,” Loki orders. “Once he’s with us, we’ll destroy everything and depart.”

Barton nods sharply. “Yes, boss!”

.

The mortal’s mind is full of pain, rage, and violence. He’s also quite afraid.

He takes down half of Loki’s men before Loki steps in, placing a gentle hand to the mortal’s cheek. “Your masters were cruel,” Loki tells him gently as the remaining men retrieve their fallen brethren and disappear into Loki’s chosen fortress. “They ill-used you, warrior, and for that, they will be punished in due time.” The mortal drops his gaze without meeting Loki’s, breathing slowly, and Loki smiles.

“If you like,” he offers, voice as kind as when he’d talked Sleipnir down from fleeing Asgardr and leaving him alone, “I can take it all away until the proper moment.”

The mortal’s voice is rough, but also shockingly soft, and he asks, “Will it hurt?”

It could, if Loki wished it. “No,” he promises, leaning in carefully, pressing a kiss to the crown of the man’s head. “It won’t hurt a bit.”

.

The long years of pain are washed away in a tidal wave of blue.

What remains is a tactical mind and a smart mouth that tells Loki his plan is stupid.

.

Together, Loki’s favorite mortals plan out something that will still lead to the defeat of Thanos’ army but without Loki’s capture, as well. They know this world, Barton and Barnes, and Barnes asks, “Is the time constraint necessary?” while Barton lists a dozen places that won’t catch anyone’s eye until the portal has been open for the required length of time.

“Also,” Barton says, “D’ya have to be there?”

.

The Avengers are victorious. Hawkeye is still missing. Hydra has yet to notice their asset no longer sleeps.

Thanos is still coming.

Loki adores his remaining two mortals but he no longer needs their service and so he regretfully pulls back the mind gem’s power.

Barton, of course, leaves. Barnes…

Barnes looks at him. “Is it due time yet?” he asks.

Loki smiles.



Title: hypothetical
Fandom: Animorphs
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: references to Tobias' unhappy home life
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 95
Point of view: third
Prompt: Animorphs, any, speed dial



Red-tailed hawks that live in the woods don't have cell-phones, obviously, but if they did, Rachel would be first, of course. Then Ax (if aliens who lived in the woods had phones, but they don't either, just as obviously), and then either Cassie or Jake, and then whichever of them wasn't third, and then Marco. Then maybe the aunt that still hasn't noticed he's missing, maybe the uncle who hasn't contacted the aunt to see if their quiet, solemn nephew is still gone.

But red-tailed hawks that live in the woods don't have phones.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
May. 23rd, 2015 12:28 pm (UTC)
Heartbreaking to see how Steve would be without Bucky, and this certainly gave me the right feel on how it would feel like. :(

And of course Methos would grow bored even of the idea of winning *lol* :P :)
tigriswolf
May. 24th, 2015 12:57 am (UTC)

Thank you!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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tigriswolf
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