I Thought You Were Different: Book 5 (Part 5/?) (Steve Rogers x reader)
“Just draw in a new one.”
“Are you serious?”
“What other option is there?” Bucky asked, leaning over Sam’s shoulder and watching the reflection with a smirk that he couldn’t hold back. It wasn’t that he didn’t try; it was just too hard to stop. “Sam, you look ridiculous, and I refuse to commit my life to a guy with one eyebrow.”
“You had one arm, and I didn’t go anywhere,” Sam snapped back, his cold stare dropping the temperature in the room around them.
“Ooooh, ouch, baby,” Bucky gasped, clutching his chest. “Proud of you, though. You got me.”
Sam could only sigh with annoyance and frustration, staring at his reflection and feeling like an immense idiot for letting things get this far, and for now having to figure out how to cover this mistake up without making Grant feel bad like he was certain to. “I told Steve that this was a bad idea,” he groaned, leaning in closer to the mirror. The realization finally hit that there was absolutely no hair left; not a single one. “I told him to just tell the kids no and to put his foot down, but noooo, this is the thanks I get for trying.”
“You know that it’s not just the kids.”
“Then he should’ve told (Y/N) no. It can be done. I know it’s an urban legend, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes, Buck.”
“Pfft, yeah right.”
“No!” Sam suddenly yelped at his own revelation, clapping his hands with a hit so loud that Bucky jumped at the shock. “Oh, shit, Bucky it can be done! Oh my god, I can’t believe that I didn’t think of this sooner!”
Just down the hall from Sam and Bucky, Tony had cornered Anthony in his room, although it wasn’t hard to do given that the boy had been grounded for the next week for his outburst at his grandfather. It was a mild punishment for such an outright disregard and insult, but Tony knew that he was a good kid and that something else had to be going on to drive it. “Alright, so are we going to talk about this?” he asked Grant politely, trying his best to not appear imposing or angry, though he was still feeling the latter.
“Okay, so let’s go with we are going to talk about this.”
“Leave me alone, Grandpa. I said that I was sorry.” Anthony had been sitting quietly on his bed in the silence of his room, having lost pretty much every privilege that he had and leaving him with only the thoughts in his head to entertain him. It probably wasn’t the best idea, and all it did was help to build his own case against everyone else for being wrong when he was right.
“Can’t do that, kiddo,” Tony half-heartedly apologized. “What the hell happened today? Anthony, that wasn’t like you at all.”
“I just got angry.”
“Well then, you need to be careful. Bruce might not appreciate you stepping into his territory like that.” All that Tony wanted was maybe a little smile, or a twinkle in his grandson’s eyes that let him know that his namesake and not-outwardly-admitted favorite was still in there. When he saw nothing recognizable, he only then truly started to worry, and took his chances in sitting down next to the young man.
“I don’t know, something just…snapped. I got so pisse…angry, and I couldn’t hold back. But…I really am sorry, Grandpa,” he exhaled heavily, finally turning to look at Tony, “I meant that.”
“I know, buddy. Are you still mad now?”
“Is there anything that you want to get off your chest? I’m offering a free pass here, I can take it.”
“Could I maybe hold onto that pass for my next screw-up instead?” the boy finally chuckled, and Tony’s nerves began to settle at the welcome sound. “It’s probably not that far off.”
“So, has Tony finally fallen off his rocker?” Wade chuckled, tossing back his drink as quickly as Weasel could make them; as soon as he had his glass empty he was holding it up for his friend to bring a refill. It didn’t take long for his beleaguered friend to simply set the entire bottle of whiskey in front of him with a defeated mumble under his breath before finally being able to serve other patrons at the bar. “When the Black Wilson called me, I thought for sure we were gonna have to go on a hide-and-seek run for Crazy Daddy again. Man, that was an awesome trip. We had fun, right?”
“Were we on the same trip?” you snorted, nearly choking on your own drink. “I was a mess and worried about Dad, and I had morning sickness, so no, there was no fun.”
“Clearly we have different opinions of a good time.”
“We always have, Wade.”
“Nuh uh,” he answered, leaning in close, and you knew that nothing good would come out of his mouth next, just by that telltale glimmer in his eyes, “remember when we broke into Fury’s house?”
You pushed your chair back and away from him when you felt immediately uncomfortable, thinking that he had forgotten, as you pretty much had. It was the last thing that you expected him to say, when really, not much surprised you from him anymore. “I’ve blocked that from my memory.”
“Why would you do that?! That was some of my best work! I guarantee you that he had to buy new sheets after that.”
“Okay, we need to change the subject. Why did you call me to meet up in the first place?”
“The less-hot Wilson is crying about his lost eyebrow.”
“I told him to just draw a new one in.”
“Ugh,” he shuddered, pausing to take a long drink from the bottle in his hand as his imagination ran. He had nearly finished it, making it very clear that he and Steve suffered from the same affliction. Super sobriety. “That right there why he’s the less-hot one. Okay, fine, we can talk business. What the hell is up with your dad? Did his brain get zapped again?”
“No, of course not. He seems genuinely concerned, though. I don’t think he really even knows what he’s worried about, but he’s running on a feeling. It’s scary how often he’s right, you know?”
“I was wondering if this was some excuse to show off fancy new armor or some miracle invention to save the world yet again.”
“He does that without an excuse.”
“Right,” Wade nodded, now eyeing your drink that you had barely touched. “Hey, speaking of armor, did you ever get your own suit done?”
“Nope, and I don’t want one.”
“Well, shit, (Y/N), if you don’t want one, can I have it? I have no problem with sloppy seconds.”
“He’s not going to build you a suit, Wade.”
“Fine. Could he maybe just Stark-erize up the one that I have? Could I have a FRIDAY or a Karen too? That would be fuckin’ awesome. Parker treats his like a goddamn girlfriend, and if I spend one more lonely night dry humping my mattress I’m going to chafe my dick off.”
“Jesus, Wade, we’re in public.”
“Astute observation. So, seriously, where are we with the imaginary girlfriend?”
“Hey, Wade’s wet dream, here,” Weasel interrupted, handing you a full glass of some fruity concoction that looked like a Florida vacation brochure had thrown up in it. “That limp napkin over there thinks that buying you a drink is gonna get him laid. Shoot him down so I can watch. Extra points if you can throw Captain America into it somehow just for a good dick-shaming.”
Back at home, the other two boys in your life were relaxing outside on the compound’s lawn, sprawled out and lying on their backs, staring up at a clear and starry sky. Grant had asked to come out here, partly because the two of them hadn’t done this since he was a tiny boy, and also because he was worried that Tony and Anthony were likely arguing and he wanted nothing to do with it. They had been out there for a couple of hours before either of them spoke, almost as if words that needed to be said would shatter it all; as if the sky would go dark and turn them away for their lack of regard for the beauty it offered.
“I’ll go first,” Steve finally broke the silence, his voice unsure. “I’m sorry that I was so hard on you today. You have to understand that I don’t want any of this. It’s tough for me to see you as teammates and not as my kids who had no business there. I’m supposed to protect you, not fight at your side.”
“Wow, close one, Dad. You almost had an apology before you went off the rails again.”
“Hey, I’m trying, okay? I’m just not succeeding,” Steve scoffed with a nudge of his elbow. “But listen, I was talking to Fury for a while after we got home, trying to see if he had someone better suited to train you than I am-“
“Wait, are you backing out?”
“I have to, Grant. For you to get what you need, this can’t be me, at least not with you. You have skills that I barely understand. I can teach you how to fight, but the powers you have…I can’t even begin to know how to help you. I was hoping that Stephen could have given you a better start, but he admitted that what he knows is limited too. What you have is special, but it’s also harder to control, and I know that you can do so much more.”
Your son remained quiet, thinking about what his dad had just said, and he felt proud of the man for being so honest with him, and for talking to him like he could handle the news. Despite being against it all, Steve wasn’t giving up on him, and could see beyond his own fears that Grant needed more. “Alright, then who did you have in mind?”
Steve rolled onto his side to face the building, raising his hand in a small wave to get the attention of their visitor, who had been waiting beyond patiently to be introduced. The two of them stood as he approached, and as he got closer, Grant began to feel his nerves build and his palms grow clammy. With a quick swipe of his hands over his jeans, he collected himself enough to extend his hand to his new trainer.
“Grant James Rogers. I had no idea that you were the new flame thrower in town that I’ve been hearing so much about. How freaking cool is this? It’s good to meet ya,” he stopped, extending his hand to take Grant’s, “I’m Johnny Storm.”
Even with the congeniality building just outside, and with the apologies happening upstairs, there was still one of your children who hadn’t come to terms with the day that was nearly to a close. Brooklyn could feel the energy around her changing, not only from her brothers, but within herself, and it made her blood run cold with fear. She sat alone, in the darkened lounge and in silence, staring at the shine of Tony’s liquor collection under the lights of the bar at the far side of the room. One bottle in particular had caught her eye, the crystal catching the light in prisms that reflected beautiful colors; six very specific colors that she had read about during her lessons with Vision and Wanda not all that long ago.
And it made her angry.
She sat immobile, despite her building rage, the only movement she made was a subtle and quick turn of her hand; her stare was absent, as if she were lost within her own mind, or maybe even someone else’s. The crystal bottle suddenly exploded, shattering into a million bright pieces and covering the floor in front of her, though she didn’t so much as blink. She moved on to the next bottle, and the next, and the next, each one bursting easier than the one before, with barely any effort needed to saturate the floor with the burning stench of alcohol.
“Oops,” she mumbled, cocking her head slightly as she took in the sight. She stood, barefoot and slicing her skin on a few shards of glass, though she didn’t flinch. She slowly walked to her room, leaving a trail of bloody footprints behind as her hand gave one final motion, shattering the lights to leave the room in complete darkness.