steve rogers coming home bloody and bruised from school and asking his mother what ‘queer’ and ‘fairy’ mean. sarah carefully explaining as she bandages up her child and watching as his lips twist and fists clench in anger.
steve telling bucky, twelve years old and already so certain of who he is, skinned knees and bloody mouth and bracing for a punch that doesn’t come. instead bucky grins down at him and slings his arm around his bony shoulders and teases “always gotta make everything more difficult for yourself, don’t you rogers?”
sarah rogers taking steve to protests and rallies, to lunch at Ms. Kitty’s in Harlem, to meetings for communists and atheists and anti-war activists. sarah snapping at the women down at the shops who whisper about “that rogers boy”. sarah stops going to lunch with the ladies from church because steve didn’t inherit his anger from his father and sarah rogers does not forgive and she does not forget.
the priest gave up on the rogers family long ago.
steve rogers meeting a tall black woman named iisa and falling head-over-heels in love for the first time in his life with her loud laughter and wicked smile. she teases him with whispered words exchanged between bodies pressed tight and when she’s beaten to death outside a dance hall for who she is and who people think she should be steve knows that no one will ever be held responsible. he sobs his pain and anger into bucky’s chest and finds he is capable of hatred.
steve watching peggy carter knock down a recruit, talk back to and take abuse from her superiors in turn, ignore the hissed words of american soldiers who haven’t seen half the death she has. steve telling peggy that he ain’t fussed about the gender of his bed partners with chin jutting out and even big he still holds himself like he’s about to be knocked down. peggy grins and laughs and pulls him down into a kiss and for the second time in his life steve rogers falls in love.
steve rogers waking up in the 21st century and discovering that everything he was has been washed away by time, all that remains of steve rogers an empty grave and his face plastered to a persona that is not his own. all those history books and they only tell the story of captain america.
SHIELD is lax in the face of the man they think they know until the first press conference after the battle of new york when steve has to be escorted off the stage after cussing out a reporter for five minutes straight. steve starting fights and getting slammed to the ground by the police and spending days in jail and natasha grins as she bails him out again and again. steve shocking the world by refusing to curtail himself to their expectations because steve rogers is fire and rage and even 70 years in ice couldn’t temper who. he. is.
steve seeing a man jogging around the park in DC and feeling a hot flash of want that he hasn’t felt since peggy. steve rogers saying “on your left” as he flies past him, grinning when the man calls back at him.