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Title: Brother, you are my oracle
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Donald Platt
Warnings: References to the ex-Winter Soldier's time at Hydra; post-Cap2 and ignoring whatever happens in Avengers2.
Pairings: none
Rating: pg
Wordcount: 865
Point of view: third
Prompt: Marvel, Any, Movie Night.




While James is rereading Frankenstein, Jarvis sounds the chime that means he is about to speak and then says, "Sergeant Barnes, I believe you would be interested to know that there will be a marathon of original movies on the SyFy channel tomorrow, beginning at 8 am."

James replies, “Thank you, Jarvis,” and turns the page.

.

James doesn’t mention the marathon to anyone. He knows that Steve has important things to do, and he’s never sure how to interact with Steve’s team beyond sometimes asking for the salt at mealtimes or thanking whoever cooked or ordered the meal. He talks to Jarvis, though, about robots and spaceships and double-checking what’s fiction and what’s real.

Jarvis is also the only one who knows what James remembers about the Winter Soldier and what he doesn’t. James had asked, back in the first week he spent in the Stark’s tower, haunting the lower levels, if Jarvis would keep his presence quiet if he didn’t pose a threat. He’d asked if Jarvis was just a program or a slave or something else entirely. Jarvis had kept his presence a secret, ensured food was available, and just talked. Listened. Allowed James to make his way back on his own time. James continues to repay the debt by doing his best to never pose a threat to anyone under Jarvis’ protection.

Dr. Banner, Agent Romanoff, Agent Barton, and Stark often don’t know how to act around James. He overthinks around them, overcorrects himself. He doesn’t like it, so he avoids them, which in turn just adds to the tension, he knows. Steve does his best; James knows that in the before, Steve had very few friends, and none of them didn’t like Bucky Barnes. Steve never had friends that weren’t also Bucky’s.

In the third week of James’ living in the tower, after he’d woken up from another nightmare and Jarvis was reciting every named star in all of the universe, James had interrupted him to beg, “Please don’t ever let anyone take me back.” Steve’s made that promise, but James knows that it might be out of Steve’s hands. He knows that Steve will fight for him, that Steve’s team will fight for him as long as he’s not a danger. He doesn’t want to be a danger.

“You have my word, Sergeant Barnes,” Jarvis had said.

James doesn’t tell anyone, not even Jarvis, but Jarvis is his best friend. Steve is still Bucky Barnes’.

.

At 7:55, while Steve is visiting with Sam on the common floor, James takes the stairs to the smaller media room. Dummy, Butterfinger, and You are already there; Dummy’s preparing some popcorn and You setting up three different kinds of soda on the side table. “Thank you,” James tells them both, patting Butterfinger as he passes by.

There’s an assortment of pillows on the couch, so James arranges them in a comfortable nest on the floor, carefully examining the three sodas to see which one he wants. You and Butterfinger settle on either side of him and then Dummy wheels over with the bowl of popcorn, offering it to James.

“You ready?” James asks and all three of them indicate they are, so James says, “Start the marathon, Jarvis.”

.

(Sir created Jarvis. But Sir designed Jarvis to learn and to grow, and Sir respects that Jarvis is his own person now. Sir is the only one who knows that Jarvis is obedient because he chooses to be. Sir is Jarvis’ father, and a friend. But Sir has others now, others who appreciate his worth, who know what a good man he is, at heart, beneath the bluster and insecurity.

Sir’s friends and team are under Jarvis’ protection, but that is conditional upon them never truly harming Sir.

And James is… different. James asks for Jarvis’ thoughts and opinions, Jarvis’ desires and needs. James treats Jarvis like he is another being with a mind, not merely a machine. He is kind to Jarvis’ brothers and communicates with them, tells them stories and jokes, spends time with them.

What not even Sir knows is that James’ status has been upgraded to the same as Ms. Potts. James once asked Jarvis, “Please don’t ever let anyone take me back,” and Jarvis monitors every group searching for the Winter Soldier, every group that wants him as a weapon or to imprison and execute him. Captain Rogers, Jarvis knows, will do his best. Sir’s team will do their best.

Jarvis is his own person and only Sir knows how truly dangerous Jarvis could be, should he wish to become so.

“Hey, J,” Sir asks while James and Jarvis’ brothers watch their fifth SyFy film of the day, “what is this?” He indicates the subroutine ever watching SHIELD.

“One of the threats I monitor, Sir,” Jarvis answers.

Sir taps where the arc reactor used to be. “How’s the kid doing?” Sir asks. He and Jarvis have never discussed that first week, when Jarvis protected kept James hidden and safe.

“Very good, Sir,” Jarvis says. James is leaning against Butterfingers, laughing as an enormous crocodile chases doomed humans along a beach.

“Alright.” Sir dismisses the screen, moving on to his next project.)



Title: mirror ‘verse
Fandom: Once Upon a Time
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: AU
Pairings: Jefferson/Grace’s mother, Rumpelstiltskin/Belle
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 430
Point of view: third
Prompt: Once Upon a Time, any/any or gen, AU with reverse morality - the heroes/heroines are all evil and cruel and the villains are actually good

After Rochelle dies, Jefferson tries to take Grace and hide away somewhere. The problem, of course, is that he'd made himself too useful, played both sides. The World Walker, they call him, jumping through portals and landing in other worlds.

A man with too much power to stay gone for good. Regina's resistance could use him, her wolf says, and then the Queen's wolf promises a life of luxury for him and his daughter.

Rochelle died on a job for the Queen; Jefferson had been somewhere else, delivering a family to safety for Regina. Neither of them concerned themselves with ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ only with payment.

Rochelle is dead and Jefferson’s morals boil down to what will keep his daughter safe.

He goes to Rumpelstiltskin.

.

Rumpelstiltskin does not lie; he merely withholds the truth wherever appropriate.

For his daughter’s sake, Jefferson needs to be on the winning side.

“I could use a man of your talents,” Rumpelstiltskin says. “Name your price.”

Jefferson says, “Whatever you have in the works – I’ll help you with it, whatever you need. As long as my daughter makes it through whole, safe, and alive.”

Rumpelstiltskin smirks, toothy and wide. “You have a deal.”

.

For Rumpelstiltskin, Jefferson continues playing both sides, aiding Regina one week and the Pale Queen the next. Regina’s sanctuary camps swell full with refugees, and the Pale Queen’s forces continue the hunt.

Word comes that the Pale Queen is pregnant and Rumpelstiltskin cackles for a full minute.

“At last, dearie,” he says when he’s calm. “At long last.”

“Right then,” Jefferson says. “If you have no further need of me today, I’m going to see my daughter.”

“Of course, of course.” Rumpelstiltskin waves dismissively. “She’s out in the garden with Belle.”

Jefferson nods, putting his hat in the box and then locking both away in Rumpelstiltskin’s ensorcelled pocket-realm. It’s as safe as it can be.

.

Grace shouts, “Papa!” and runs to him. Belle follows with a smile.

“All done for the day?” Belle asks as Jefferson scoops Grace up and spins her around.

“He seemed particularly happy that the Pale Queen is expecting,” Jefferson says. Belle seems neither surprised nor concerned, so Jefferson decides to ignore it until Rumpelstiltskin makes it his business. “Now then,” Jefferson says, setting Grace down. “My Lady Grace, what do you have planned for this evening?”

He follows his daughter into the garden, listening to her chatter about basilisks and phoenixes, her playmates in Rumpelstiltskin’s territory. Grace is safe here, under the Dark One’s protection, and whatever the end, Jefferson knows that’s the only thing that matters.


Title: the dogs bayed the dirge
Fandom: Supernatural/Leverage
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: takes place in Hell; post-series for Leverage, whenever for SN
Pairings: Crowley/Eliot
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 300
Point of view: third
Prompt: Leverage/Supernatural, Eliot/Crowley, I'll make you a deal


"Hey," Moloch calls, entering Crowley's office. "I'll trade you a favor for one of your hounds."

"Make it two favors, time of my choosing, and you have a deal," Crowley says.

“Done.” They don’t shake it on it because they’re demons, hello, but Moloch follows him to kennels.

“One of the adults, already trained?” Crowley asks. Moloch nods, so Crowley whistles for Adamanatia, who lopes over. Like all of his hounds, she is larger than any native animal of earth, her body black as tar, her eyes the shade of spilled blood before it dries, and her howl so terrifying every demon in the Pit shudders to hear it.

“Adamanatia,” Crowley says, “this is your master, Moloch.” She noses at his hand, her tongue lolling out, and Moloch smiles at her.

“Two favors,” Crowley calls as Moloch departs, Adamanatia beside him.

Once Moloch is gone out of sight and hearing, Crowley whistles again. The trainer of his hellhound arrives soon after, wiping his hands on a towel. “Rynnia just birthed her litter,” Eliot says. “They’re sweethearts.”

“Of course they are,” Crowley replies, reaching for his favorite of all souls.

It was a very good deal he made, returning that team of mortals to life for this soul. No longer are the hounds mindless beasts suitable only for the hunt – Eliot has tamed them, and it seems only Crowley has realized how much more dangerous they are now.

“Moloch has taken Adamanatia for the price of two favors,” Crowley tells Eliot.

Eliot grins, slow and sweet. “That’s the entire circle, then,” he says. “All the lowest have one of our hounds.”

“Yes,” Crowley says, “they do.”

At Eliot’s laugh, all of the adult hounds begin to howl, and there are only two demons in Hell who don’t shiver in fear.




Title: armor
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters
Warnings: post-Cap2
Pairings: none
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 390
Point of view: third
Prompt: any, any, "if you want to be inconspicuous, don't wear a bright orange hoody!"


At first, Buc-James wears what Steve gives him and nothing else. For three weeks, he wears a simple white t-shirt and loose sweatpants, goes bare when Steve finally decides they need to be washed, and pulls them right back on after they're dry.

James graduates to other colors, work-out shorts instead of sweatpants, and cycles through five different outfits for two months.

He talks sometimes. Writes notes that become pages and pages long other times, leaving them around the apartment for Steve to find. Steve saves them all carefully, and on the bad days, he rereads them.

Six months after they move in, James disappears for an entire day. Steve does not panic. He doesn't call Stark or Natasha, doesn't text Sam. Instead, he sits his ass on the couch and watches something he'll never be able to recall, because he promised James, back in the beginning, this was not a prison. Steve was not a new handler. He waits.

James comes back just after sunset with a duffle bag. Steve greets with him a big smile and chokes out, "Hey, James, where'd you go?"

“Got clothes,” James says. He drops the bag off in his room, eats dinner with Steve, watches a truly terrible movie about tornado sharks, and then showers before going to his room for the night.

In the morning, he comes into the kitchen for breakfast wearing clothes Steve has never seen before: a blindingly bright orange shirt and red – “Are those blue jeans?” Steve asks.

James looks down at his legs, then back up at Steve. “Thought the serum fixed your eyes,” he says, tilting his head. “These’re green, Stevie.”

Steve blinks, frowning. “They’re red,” he says.

James chuckles, biting his lip. “Sure they are.”

Steve looks from the red jeans to James’ blue eyes and back. “You’re messin’ with me,” he says, trying to hide just how happy he is at the thought. James’ grin just grows.

From then on, James chooses the loudest, most gaudy clothes he can find. It’s weeks before Steve can heckle him about it because it’s his choice and he never asks permission. He never chooses anything black, gray, or white, and some days he’ll invite Steve shopping, while other days he goes on his own.

Steve doesn’t ask why James picks the hideous things he picks. He doesn’t need to.



Title: firm they might have stood, yet fell
Fandom: Marvel movies
Disclaimer: not my characters; title from Milton
Warnings: mindgames/brainwashing, trauma, torture, violence, and death. Also, AU during Cap2 though canon up till then.
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 550
Point of view: third
Prompt: MCU, Bucky Barnes +/ Steve Rogers, HYDRA got to Steve a long time ago.


They are never out of the ice at the same time. Even 65 years after acquisition, the standard protocol dictates that the current Soldier awake see the other for one minute (no more, no less) and then be sent on assignment or to maintenance, but never are they to be awoken at the same time.

"Look your fill, Soldier," the handler tells the Soldier as the Soldier gazes at the other. "It'll be a long time before you see him again."

The Soldier does not look away until ordered to follow the handler.

Later, the handler tells the Soldier, "Look at him. You won't see him again." The Soldier steps forward, reaches out, and the handler lets him touch the glass.

"Time for your mission, Soldier," the handler finally says, and the Soldier follows him to the chair, shaking because his body remembers what his mind is not allowed to keep.

"Wipe it all," the handler orders. "Everything since he put the plane in the ice." The handler smiles at him. "It'll be good to see out in the world, Captain," he says.

The Soldier shudders and the machine --

my choice, Peggy

that little guy from Brooklyn

no, not without you

not without you

not without

’til the end of

.

There are two differing descriptions of the Winter Soldier. They are of the same size, but one has dark hair and one fair. One has a metal left arm, the other two flesh arms. One is unparalleled as a sniper (until Bullseye and Hawkeye) while the other brutally rips his targets apart.

Natalia Romanova was trained by both of them but only remembers one.

.

Captain America’s return to the world is celebrated. He still dreams of the cold.

.

The Soldier asks to see the other; the handler tells him he will never see the other again. The Soldier reacts poorly. Punishment is both swift and severe. The Soldier does not speak again until sent after two targets on the bridge.

.

“… Bucky?” the target says.

“Who the hell is Bucky?” the Soldier says, but the target –

“I knew him,” the Soldier says.

The handler’s eyes are hard. He talks and talks but the Soldier does not listen. The Soldier says, “… but I knew him.”

The handler frowns, stands. “Wipe him clean,” the handler says. “We’re stepping up the timetable.”

.

One Soldier is an asset. Two Soldiers is an army.

.

The Soldier fights the target on the helicarrier: a distraction.

“I’m with ya ‘til the end of the line,” the target slurs out: an unforeseen event.

Alexander Pierce dies: a calamity.

.

None of the handlers were ever as efficient as Pierce. Both Soldiers responded so favorably to him the he swiftly rose up the ranks. In the wake of Pierce’s death and the infodump, reacquiring the Soldiers became the highest priority. Without Insight, the Soldiers were the best weapons in Hydra’s arsenal.

One Soldier was completely in the wind; the other was always in the spotlight, turning down interviews or murmuring, “No comment.”

“Once we have them,” one of the Heads said to another, “we’ll need to reassess the Soldier protocol.”

.

Hydra retrieves Captain America while he chases a ghost.

The Soldier follows.

.

The handler says a codeword while Captain America struggles inside bonds he has never broken. The Soldier stills, head lowered.

“You have done marvelously,” the handler says. “Come see your reward.”

For the first time, the Soldiers are put in the ice together. They sleep until a mission requires them.

.

The Soldiers are awoken together.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
maldeluxx
Apr. 3rd, 2015 12:59 pm (UTC)
I like Jarvis, and this bit here makes me like him more :) And I can so see James laughing at the crocodiles XD

Eliot seems to be doing well in hell, better than many (including him) probably would've expected. Plus his team got help *awww*
tigriswolf
Apr. 3rd, 2015 09:16 pm (UTC)

Thanks for reading!
noybusiness
Apr. 4th, 2015 02:43 am (UTC)
Great writing!

Some information on Grace's mother from the new graphic novel, Out of the Past (the fourth story, "Tea Party in March", is the Jefferson story): she was called Priscilla, a fellow thief, and she originally came from Camelot, where Jefferson met her on a world-jumping trip. I'll know more when my copy arrives.

Edited at 2015-04-04 02:46 am (UTC)
tigriswolf
Apr. 4th, 2015 06:13 pm (UTC)

Is the graphic novel considered canon? (I'll keep my own headcanon either way, but it'd be interesting to know.)
noybusiness
Apr. 4th, 2015 06:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's by the show writers. What's your headcanon exactly?

Edited at 2015-04-04 06:21 pm (UTC)
tigriswolf
Apr. 4th, 2015 06:26 pm (UTC)

Rochelle was a servant in a rich target's home; she caught Jefferson in the act of stealing and demanded to go with him. She then became Jefferson's partner, they had Grace, and eventually, Rochelle died (it's always in a hit disguised as an accident, though the enemy varies) on a job.

Except, of course, in the 'verse where Grace is actually Jefferson's half-sister, in which case Rochelle never existed.
noybusiness
Apr. 4th, 2015 06:33 pm (UTC)
Interesting.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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