i serve my country

4

Cultural Appropriation is a real, important, and harmful thing, but god damn if it’s not one of the most recklessly abused terms in the social justice lexicon.

Transcription under the cut for accessibility

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anonymous asked:

What do you mean by "we're the bad guys?" I want to serve my country

I mean we’re the bad guys.  I mean if you join the military you are being exploited to make rich people richer.  If you want to serve your country volunteer for planned parent hood or a Muslim community center or a soup kitchen.  Be a disability advocate.  For veterans if you like.  As a member of the united states military, the only interests you serve are war profiteers.

anonymous asked:

Yo jer, if you had to marry any dude, who would it be?

J: Chris Evans.
M: That’s such a white boy answer.
J: Michael, he’s Captain America. I’m serving my country.
M: By suggesting you’d bone him?
J: Y-yes.

TREVOR PHILIPS FACTS!

It’s four in the morning, but honestly I’ve fallen victim to my trash pairing (Trikey!) and I am no longer in control of my life, so here are some facts about Trevor. It is a mix of good, bad, and neutral. If you think I should do more about Trevor or another character, message me or leave me an ask.

• Trevor thinks that weed is a childish and weak drug.

• Trevor is bisexual. Through texts he comes close to saying it and shares sexual experiences through stories that have indeed involved a male. As a side note, when Franklin asked Trevor directly if he was gay, Trevor responded with, “No! Yes! Labels are whatever, man.”

• Trevor is a dropout.

• Trevor refers to himself as, “Uncle T”.

• Ron calls Trevor, “Crazy Trevor” to Trevor then calls Ron, “Nervous Ron”.

• Trevor was never accepted by the other children throughout his childhood due to his oddness and constant rage fits.

• Trevor is officially 6'1".

• Trevor is a victim or emotion, verbal, and physical abuse from both parents.

• Trevor has always had rage problems even from a early age. When he was young, Trevor says that he killed many animals and “drifters”.

• Trevor is addicted to Crystal Meth and owns his own drug selling company.

•Trevor has a brother named Ryan who is deceased. Trevor states in a conversation that he wasn’t fond of Ryan and that his death was “accidental”. It is unknown if Trevor killed him, which is very possible, or if his death was truly an accident caused by him or someone else.

• Trevor’s signature color has been confirmed to be orange. Orange reflects on his personality, having traits of amusement and madness.

• In a conversation while hanging with Franklin, Trevor says, “I grew up in five states, two countries, fourteen different homes, eight fathers, three care homes, two correctional facilities, one beautiful, damaged flower of a mother”, and also, “I served time, my country, your country and myself.”

• Trevor’s biological father abandoned him at a shopping mall as a child. Trevor, unknown how many years/months later, burned down the same shopping mall in anger.

• Trevor will hurt himself when he is upset. He mostly will slam his head against a hard object until his head is bloodied and bleeding.

• Trevor almost turned into a professional golf player.

• Trevor was kicked out of the Royal Canadian Air Force because the woman in charge of psychological evaluations saw Trevor as mentally unstable, resulting in Trevor’s discharge and grounding for life.

• Trevor is terrified of clowns and it is implied through his text that he was, in fact, sexually assaulted by a clown at a young age.

• Trevor was planning to only work with Brad and end his and Michael’s robbing partnership not long before Michael faked his death.

• Trevor openly admits that he prefers older women when having a choice.

• Trevor has a very strong urge to be held by another when he is upset or in distress.

• Trevor was also at one point expelled from a school. He claims that if he wasn’t expelled, he would have most likely had a profession in the arts (singer, dancer, writer, actor, etc). He says that he still has something “very big” to tell the world, yet he doesn’t know what it is.

• Trevor gets very defensive when it comes to his accent and being questioned if he is American.

• Trevor, through dialogue when hitting the “insult button” when next to Patricia (he will only say compliments), he tells her that he wants a very strong and confident woman, such as herself.

• Trevor, when it comes to women, wants someone that is as equally strong and crazy as he is. When chasing after Mary Anne, he says, “-It’s a recipe for disaster! That’s why it’s so perfect!”.
As a side note, he will call her “crazy cakes” and ask her to marry him immediately after he confess his love.

• Trevor’s mother, Mrs. Philips, was a prostitute/stripper.

A Preponderance of the Evidence: Prelim (Part 3 of 3)

Author:  KatEyes224
Rating: R (For adult themes)
Timeline: Post-ep for Never Again and Memento Mori.

A/N: @piecesofscully, you are the peanut butter to my jelly, and I love you more than you know.  If you missed it, read part 1 here, read part 2 here.


Mulder tosses and turns as minutes trickle into hours, entertaining himself by memorizing the way shadows dip and swirl across the ceiling to the sound of traffic gradually overtaking the steady metronome of Scully’s breathing.  He kicks the sheets off at one point, frustrated when they cling to his legs with a crackle of electricity, his body still charged with the current of all the things he hasn’t said.  

Morning finally comes.  

The late winter storm has retreated overnight, leaving the sun and blue sky to glare into the room as if demanding the two of them acknowledge that day has dawned.  They’ve ended up facing one another on their respective beds, and Mulder is watching Scully’s face when her eyes snap open seconds before the alarm goes off.  He sees her focus as the haze of sleep retreats, and doesn’t bother to look away when she finds him staring at her.  

Slipping past one another in the bathroom and their room, they’re comfortable enough with the dance of the other’s morning routine that they don’t even need to speak.  Mulder shaves while Scully showers; Scully leaves the water running when she steps out with a towel wrapped securely around her body.  She finds that Mulder has wiped the fog away from the mirror in a perfect circle where she can stand to apply her makeup; Mulder discovers that Scully has hung his suit and tie from a hook on the back of the bathroom door.

They catch a cab to the courthouse and arrive almost half an hour before they’re supposed to meet with ADA Venegas.  At a small coffee cart out front, Mulder buys them both coffees and wordlessly hands a banana nut muffin to Scully.  He frets until she rolls her eyes and eventually nibbles the top off before handing him the rest.

They’re sitting outside a long row of courtrooms when Scully makes eye contact with a young woman in an impeccably tailored grey skirt-suit who’s speaking animatedly to a uniformed police officer.  The woman nods at them, and they both stand.

“Agent Scully?”  

Clicking her way towards them in towering high heels, the petite brunette smiles and extends her hand.  She’s even shorter than Scully by a good two inches, although her shoes bring them almost eye-to-eye.  

“I’m ADA Regina Flores-Venegas.  Thanks so much for coming down on such short notice.”

Scully nods and takes Venegas’s hand, shaking it firmly.  “This is my partner, Fox Mulder.”

Venegas looks up at Mulder and her lips quirk into a bashful smile.

“Ah, Agent Mulder.  Nice to finally meet you.  Sorry for being so curt with you on the phone the other day.  I was…a little stressed out.”  She shrugs and holds her hand out to him.

Mulder grasps it and narrows his eyes, frowning at her.  “Not a problem, I understand.  If you could get Agent Scully on the stand first thing, we’d really appreciate it.  She has a doctor’s appointment back in Washington this afternoon.”

Venegas looks back to Scully, curiosity flashing in her eyes as they study one another.  “No problem.  I can call you out of order and get you up on the stand first thing.  Have you had a chance to review your report?”

Nodding, Scully sips her coffee and waves a few stapled sheets of paper up as proof.  “Yes, I have.  I’m good to go.”

Venegas glances over her shoulder as the bailiff steps out of their courtroom and catches her eye, motioning to her.  “Great.  That’s me.  Just have a seat in the hallway where I’ll be sure to see you, and I’ll have you in and out of here in a jiffy.  You’re free to go once you’re done with your testimony.”  Tilting her head in close to Scully, she lowers her voice so that Mulder has to crane his neck to hear over the din of the hallway.  “And Dana, remember what we talked about on the phone.  Expect some pretty…intimate questions from defense.  I’ll be doing my best to make sure they don’t overstep their bounds.”

With a toss of her long, wavy brown hair over her shoulder, Venegas clips away and disappears into the courtroom.

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Draft Cards - Tommy Shelby

Request: Their first fight (like the real one where they see they have strong personalities but with a happy ending just because - like Tommy crawling into bed late at night cause he can’t sleep away)

Draft Cards - Tommy Shelby | part of the Able series

You found Tommy’s draft card on the nightstand by his bed when you stayed over that weekend. He had gone down to the betting shop to work and, as you were getting dressed, you noticed the card sticking out from underneath a book. You knew that snooping in his room was bad but you were curious when you saw his signature on the part of the card that was sticking out. You pulled the card out and read over it.  

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I need a Barcode

I work at a home improvement warehouse and some of the more common items like grills and lawn mowers are easy to find in our system, however plants are not in the system so we have to have a Barcode or item # to ring it up. I had a old man come through my line today and says “I want 2 Texas onions and 2 sweet Georgia onions” and he had nothing in his hands so I asked if he had the item number and he said “no just look it up in the system” I told him I couldnt do that with plants. I looked around and everyone was too busy to go get a Barcode for me and I’m not allowed to go more than 10 ft from my register. So I asked the man politely if he could go and get one of the plants for me to scan it. He was like “I’m a veteran I served my country and you need to show me some respect and go get them” so I didn’t want to hold up the line anymore so I went and grabbed them and then got fussed at by the head Cashier who had gotten back from break while I was looking for them. Dude if you knew where they are then why couldn’t you just bring them to the register. Dude for real

Just a Smile - A Zelink Short Fic

FF.NET

SUMMARY: In Hyrule palace, there was one rule left over from the time of her great-grandfather, one that most certainly could not be broken: the guards on duty were not allowed to laugh. 

But that never stopped Princess Zelda from trying.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five 

Zelink AU where Zelda is a princess and Link is a guard who she’s trying to make laugh but can’t seem to crack. Part one of a larger fic of similar short bursts. Not attached to any particular game. Fluff af. Have fun, kids!

Writing after the cut! Enjoy!

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We Have a Spy on the Inside

* Alexander x Reader
* Hamiltime
* 141: I trusted you!

    A/N: So I had this weird little idea and I figured I’d write it.  I actually really like this. So I here’s this angsty thing. Enjoy!

    Word Count: 2,957

    ~~

    “Y/N!” Your father called from his study. You rushed up the stairs to see what he wanted.

    “Yeah?” You asked as you stuck your head in his study.

    “Come in please.” So you walked in and sat in a chair across from your dad. Archibald Campbell. A general for the British army. The colonies were pulling away but your father, and many more, were trying to keep them in the English empire. You did’t see why they wanted to leave anyway. They had the protection from the King. Otherwise the Spanish or the French would come and wipe them out. And now they were waging war on a global superpower. But it didn’t matter to you. You were on the winning side. “I have something to ask of you.”

    “Ok…what?”

    “This is an idea straight from King George, you understand?”

    “Father, what is it?” You pressed.

    “We have information on who the aide-de-camp to George Washington is.” You didn’t miss the way your father practically spat the name of the supposed general of the rebels. “King George devised a plan that we have a young women get close to this man, Alexander Hamilton, and see if they can glean any intel.”

    “And you’d like me to.” You finished for him.

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    He’s Gone

    “Fuck!” Ben cursed, looking up at the sky. The brisk evening air ruffling his hair. His back turned to her. She could see the muscles of his neck tensing and his back was stiff. He brought his hands up and buried his face in them. Rey heard him growl a little, the sound muffling in his palms.

    “Why-of all the time in the world-did I have to find you now?” He turned around facing her. She could see tears in his eyes. He grabbed her head between his large palms and brought down his forehead to hers. “Why did I have find you now, now when I’m leaving and I might never come back?”

    Rey closed her eyes and felt her own tears spilling down her face. Ben leaned down and kissed her wet cheeks. “I can’t believe this! I have been waiting for this assignment most of my adult life, and now that I can finally go and serve my country, all I wanna do is run. Run away with you. I don’t wanna leave you, sweetheart.” Then he muttered under his breath, “I don’t care if they call me a coward, or dub me a traitor, if it means I get to spend the rest of my life with you, Rey.”

    Rey couldn’t hold back the sob anymore. She started crying. When he said these things it became real and all she wanted to do was forget that he would be leaving. And he might never come back. Just like her parents. She had finally found a home with Ben and the universe would take him away too.

    She wanted to be strong for him, she didn’t want to cry, but she couldn’t help it anymore. She could feel the signs of an imminent panic attack. Her chest constricted, she could feel her hand shaking, and she felt like she would be sick.

    Ben, sensing her distress pulled her into his arms, hugging her tight to his chest. Rey was crying earnestly, and her whole body shuddered but his embrace never failed to soothe her. He could always do that, sensing when she was about to fall apart and preventing it. He was her rock and she was about to lose him. The thought brought about another round of violent shivers. She felt his arms tightening around her.

    “Shhh. It’s okay, I’m still here. Shhh.” She felt him whisper against her temple. “I love you, Rey. Calm down sweetheart. Try to breathe.”

    Ben stooped down to pick her up and carried her back inside. He carefully tucked her head under his chin. She heard him shutting their balcony door behind them. She buried her face in his chest, feeling his warmth seeping through his shirt. He placed a kiss on top of her head, still cooing and whispering sweet nothings to her.

    She felt drowsy as he brought her to their bed, laying her down, and pulling the covers over her. He knelt down beside her and placed a kiss on her forehead, then one on her lips, before pulling away. She felt her body relax; this happened to her every time as the exertion from the attack drained her of all her energies.

    She was drifting off to sleep, but before the world dissolved in darkness, she thought she heard him say something against her temple that sounded like, “I will come back for you sweetheart, even if it’s the last thing I do, I promise.”


    Military AU no one asked for. But I wanted to write Rey pain train.

    Warning it’s sad. 

    Also thank you to my amazing beta @ns0241. <3

    Want to read the rest? Click Here for the AO3 link

    ?

    I don’t plan to be a writer when I’m older guys. I don’t think I’m good enough for that. I never thought I was and probably never will. This is just something to do. Not that I don’t love writing, I love it a lot in fact that I write a story everyday. I never thought I was good at writing this blog was meant to reach about 25 followers and I would end up abandoning it because nobody liked it. To me personally even if I like to read books 24/7 and write things (in 3rd grade I write a 5 page story for school) I think I’m better with my body (not in that way) I’m better physically like fighting, being quite, quick etc. so my dream was never to write its to protect. I want to join the U.S army and protect other even if that means with my life. I want to serve my country and fight for the freedom of my fellow citizens even if that means I die trying. I want to wake up and know I made a difference. I know some people don’t like that idea but it’s been my dream since I was a little girl. No I don’t want to be a write that’s sells millions, I want to be a combat soldier that makes less than a lot of jobs but makes a difference. My dream is to protect and serve even if I die

    ° ✧ EWERT & THE TWO DRAGONS PROMPTS.

    ❛ No more places to hide. ❜
    ❛ It’s always the same. ❜
    ❛ Fear will keep me going. ❜
    ❛ For what it’s worth I don’t really need it. ❜
    ❛ Wanting it is drilling a hole in my brain. ❜
    ❛ Wanting it iss tearing a hole in my soul. ❜
    ❛ Fame, what a lame wish is what I ache for. ❜
    ❛ I was the first to get nowhere. ❜
    ❛ If I could only reach, if I could only see. ❜
    ❛ They call it the new way of thinking. ❜
    ❛ I’ll become a man/woman in no time. ❜
    ❛ It’s the system that’s controlling my moves. ❜
    ❛ I serve my country, my town. ❜
    ❛ We must protect our homeland. ❜
    ❛ I’m paying my dept to elderly. ❜
    ❛ I’m earning my place in society. ❜
    ❛ I’m honouring the ones who’ve died. ❜
    ❛ It’s a cornered love. ❜
    ❛ It was never meant to work. ❜
    ❛ But we try and we try and we try. ❜
    ❛ Pain doesn’t go by, it’s easier for mind. ❜
    ❛ It’s not like I wear jeans or something. ❜
    ❛ You came with such a short notice. ❜
    ❛ They say the youth is the time to sow. Don’t they? ❜
    ❛ Some say that one can’t do it too slow. ❜
    ❛ I was told to work hard, so I tried. ❜
    ❛ I didn’t know how hard would be enough. ❜
    ❛ What you reap is what you sow. ❜
    ❛ I’m asked how I didn’t know. ❜
    ❛ Later on it can be seen. ❜
    ❛ I have to sow my own. ❜
    ❛ I mustn’t like you. ❜
    ❛ We should stay apart. ❜
    ❛ I’m thirsty, I’m out of juice. ❜
    ❛ Won’t you get off my case? ❜
    ❛ It’s crime, let’s make a deal. ❜
    ❛ Don’t try to steal it. ❜
    ❛ You make me feel too much. ❜
    ❛ I cannot go that deep. ❜
    ❛ That’s what you should scream. ❜
    ❛ There is no room for you.❜
    ❛ I’m pushing you out of it. ❜
    ❛ Your honor, what is this, a court of love? ❜
    ❛ I can love you if that is what I really want. ❜
    ❛ You can’t stop me. ❜
    ❛ You can’t stop me from doing that. ❜
    ❛ I’m losing my dignity over here. ❜
    ❛ Can’t you see? ❜
    ❛ Am I really too hot for you baby? ❜
    ❛ I don’t wanna live. ❜
    ❛ I’m definitely immune. ❜
    ❛ Schools limit my abilities. ❜
    ❛ Just want to fly off, like a kite. ❜
    ❛ I am me and I am troubled. ❜
    ❛ Don’t try, please, don’t try to change me. ❜
    ❛ I need space, a room to grow. ❜
    ❛ Can’t hold me down no more. ❜
    ❛ I am not here to amuse you. ❜

    “Words cannot express how much this young man standing beside me means to me. I had my son my senior year of high school and then I went off to serve my country in the Army in which I still serve. Now I’m graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics the same year he is graduating from Kindergarten. We are accomplishing goals together!” - Father and Son, Maxie and TJ

    This is everything! Please continue to share graduation stories and pictures with us. #BecauseOfThenWeCan

    Iced

    A/N: Hey guys! I’m actually kind of super excited about this piece. I wrote it relatively and surprisingly quickly for the length? I really hope you guys like it!

    Pairing: Steve x Reader

    Word Count: 4750

    Warnings: None (If I’ve overlooked anything, please let me know!)

    —————————————————————————————————————————–

    “No,” I say quietly. “He’s not. He’s not dead!”

    “(Y/N), the aircraft went down in the Arctic. If the crash didn’t kill him the cold definitely did.” Colonel Phillips says, holding his hands in front of him as if he’s defending himself from whatever it was that I could possibly unleash on him.

    “No offence, sir, but I know he’s not dead. I can feel it. If he were dead I would know, and he is not dead.” I insist.

    “You’re letting your emotions get the best of you.” He says gruffly.

    “And you, sir, are letting your hypermasculinity cloud your judgement.” I hiss before angrily turning on my heel and striding off to find someone who might actually help or believe me.

    All but stomping down the hallway, I make my way to Stark’s lab. When I reach the double doors I fling one open, effectively throwing it into the wall with a massive bang. Everyone who had their head down and working looks up, startled by the sudden noise, their eyes wide. Amongst the people whom I had startled was Howard himself. He immediately jumps up from his project and hurries to my side. He looks down at me, his eyes full of a mix of sadness and worry. He’s been hit as hard by the crash as I have.

    He ushers me back to his office so we can talk in private. Howard, Peggy, Steve and I work- no, we worked together. Aside from Peggy, he spent the most time with Steve and I.

    “I know what you’re going to say.” He says, closing the door behind us.

    “Then you know what I want to do.”

    “(Y/N), we don’t know where he went down. It’s hundreds, no, thousands of square miles that we would have to search. It could take years for us to find anything.” He cards a hand through his hair, pacing the floor. “I mean, we can try to use sonar to search, possibly use multiple ships but even then we would have to find qualified scientists to operate the required equipment. It would be a mess. Not to mention we don’t know if the aircraft broke up on the way down-”

    “Howard, I don’t care how we do it, we have to find him.” I cut him off mid sentence. “I wasn’t there on the train. I couldn’t help save Bucky, and if I can’t save Steve then what’s the point of the serum and the Vita-Ray shit and everything you and Dr. Erskine worked for? What’s the point if all of your work goes to waste? Making Steve and I who we are would have all been for nothing.”

    “You seem to have thought this through.” Howard says, running a hand over his facial hair.

    “I have.” I nod. “Why do you think I’m here instead of talking to the Colonel?”

    “Well, mostly because he doesn’t believe your schtick about being connected to Rogers.” He smirks at me.

    “He was never there during the tests and you know that.” I counter.

    “I do know that, but only because you won’t stop telling me every single time he disregards what you say.” He chuckles softly.

    “I just want to make sure no one forgets. You know how the men are in this line of work. They like to say that anything along the lines of that subject is just due to rampant female emotions.” I sigh loudly. “I just want to finally do something with the gift I’ve been given.”

    “Then shall we get to work?”

    -Five months later-

    “Sir,” One of the crew says, drawing Howard Stark’s attention to the monitor. Displayed there was the cube. The one that had started this whole mess.

    “Anything else?”

    “This is where the energy signature ends, Mr. Stark.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Yes, there’s no sign of the wreckage.”

    “Just keep looking.” Howard says quietly.

    “But sir-”

    “Just keep looking.” He says more earnestly.

    -One week later-

    “I know you didn’t find him.” I say, hearing the door open and close behind me. I know without looking that it’s Howard.

    “I’m sorry, (Y/N).”

    “I know what you’ve been working on on the side, Howard.” I turn around to face him. “I want you to use it on me.”

    “(Y/N), we don’t know if it’ll work, and if it does, we don’t know if you’ll be the same person that went in or if you’ll even wake up at all.”

    “I don’t care. Freeze me. I can’t keep hoping that you’ll be able to somehow find him before I’m ancient, and even if you do we don’t even know if he’ll be the same person who went down in that plane.”

    “Are you sure about this?”

    “I am as sure as the day you idiots stuck me in that tube.” Howard raises his eyebrows at me. “I can’t keep up with this act. The SSR wants me to join up and be some sort of lab rat, the Commando’s are still out fighting the good fight without me, Peggy won’t stop checking in and I know Steve’s alive, but no one will believe me. I can see it’s hurting Peg every time I try to tell her. No one listens and I’m starting to break, Howard. I don’t know how much longer I can last with everyone’s constant pity and surveillance.” I can feel tears pricking at the corners of my eyes and I resist the urge to rub away the coming waterworks.

    “Alright,” He concedes. “I’ll do it.”

    “Thank you.” I nod.

    “Don’t thank me yet.” He says. “I’m only doing this because I know the world can survive without you. We’ll still have Peggy Carter afterall.”

    “Of course.” I laugh watrily. “So when do we start?”

    -Four days later-

    “Miss (Y/L/N) I presume?” A man in a nice three piece suit asks, standing on the stoop of my apartment.

    “I guess you’re the Edwin Jarvis I was told about then?” I answer with my own question.

    “Yes, I have been asked to escort you to Mr. Stark’s private laboratory.”

    “Alright then, lead the way then, Mr. Jarvis.” I nod.

    The man leads me to the car that is waiting just a short ways away. He insists on opening and closing the door for me and doing the same when we arrive at our destination. He then lead me into the lab through a set of heavy metal doors. I walk through to find a mess of scientists with Howard in the middle of them, fussing over something one of his assistants had probably done wrong. As I approach I can make out what he’s saying.

    “No,” He says in exasperation. “You’ve gotta put this hose there or else she’ll be a popsicle and they’ll never be able to thaw her.”

    “Something tells me that wouldn’t be a terribly good thing.” I say. Both Howard and the assistant jump at the sound of my voice. Only Howard relaxes at the sight of me.

    “It definitely would not be.” He says, quickly walking over to me to give me a short hug in greeting.

    “Are you ready for me?” I ask.

    “Only if you’re ready to go through with this.” He answers. “Are you sure you’re ready?”

    “Positive.” I nod. “I don’t care who wakes me up, whether it’s the SSR, the CIA, the FBI. It doesn’t matter, as long as I’m there when they find Steve.”

    “As long as you’re sure.” He sighs and leads me to the chamber they’ll be putting me in.

    “Well that looks awfully familiar.” I comment, eyeing the tube that looks very similar to the Vita-Ray capsules they had stuck Steve and I in.

    “I don’t know many shapes, (Y/N), one of my flaws.” He jokes, trying to lighten the mood.

    “Well then I’ll just have to remember that you make very good use of the ones that you can actually remember, now won’t I?” The men around the room chuckle uneasily. “Tough crowd.” I observe quietly.

    “They’re just nervous.” He whispers. “We haven’t really done any human tests yet and we don’t know when your egg’ll be cracked open.”

    “Ah.”

    “Yeah, well, what can you do.” He shrugs. “Anyways, we’ve got a box for your clothes. Your coat, skirt, shirt what have you. I trust you brought your uniform and dog tags?”

    “Of course.” I say, pulling my tags out from the collar of my blouse.

    “Then you can change behind the curtain over there and we’ll be waiting here for you when you’re done.” He says, gesturing to the curtain across the room.

    I take the waiting box from the end of the table and stride across the room, heels clacking on the tiled surface of the floor.

    Once behind the curtain, I quickly strip down, tossing my clothing and purse into the box. I slip into my familiar uniform, relishing the slightly scratchy feeling of the fabric against my skin. I lace up my boots and turn around to find a full length mirror. I look at my reflection fondly, remembering all of the times I had spent with good men and friends, serving my country to the best of my ability. My suit is almost the exact opposite of Steve’s. His was patriotic, all red, white and blue. Mine is a dark, steely gray. It’s got the same silver star in the middle, just to make sure the opposing forces knew who I was fighting with, and on the right shoulder is an American flag, a reminder of where I came from and, perhaps, more so who I am.

    I was never meant to be Steve. He was the real hero. I was the second choice. The backup if all else failed. Steve and I became fast friends after we were introduced to one another. Something happened during the Vita-Ray fusion that formed some sort of unbreakable bond between the two of us. The SSR’s scientists did countless tests to try and figure it out, but they never could understand anything past finding out that there was, indeed, something that bound us to each other.

    When Steve was sent off to do shows I was held back to work with the SSR. I was always working very closely with Howard and Peggy. We all became pretty good friends. When the 107th was trapped and Steve insisted on going to get them, Peggy snuck me out to go with them and assist Steve. While he was inside finding Bucky, I was outside trying to gather the troops. When Steve made it out with Bucky I had heaved a massive sigh of relief. We simply shook hands, but he had quickly pulled me to his chest and hugged me. Everyone had gasped collectively because I was a woman with which he was being oddly forward, and in public no less. I chuckle softly at the good memories I’ve got with him. Every moment I spent with him was a blessing.

    “I’m ready.” I say, steeling my resolve and heading back to rejoin the scientists and Howard.

    “You still sure he’s alive?” Howard asks.

    “I guess I’ll find out when they wake me up.” I try to smile at him, but it feels more like a grimace.

    “Alright, climb in.” He sighs and opens the capsule to allow me inside. “We’re going to sedate you so it’ll be easier to freeze you.”

    “Okay.” I say, rolling up my sleeve and stepping into the tube.

    Once I’m inside the tube is moved to a horizontal position and the horde of scientists seems to swarm around me. They check the connections on the inside and out, making sure that nothing can go wrong that they haven’t planned for. One man gently inserts a needle into the crook of my arm and I immediately feel the sedative take effect.

    “Stark,” I say, my speech becoming slurred. His head quickly pops over the side of the tube and into my line of sight.

    “What’s up?” He asks softly.

    “Don’t tell Peggy what I did.”

    “I won’t.” He nods.

    “You better not. She would be so fucking pissed…at… me….” And with that I lose consciousness.

    -About 70 years later-

    “So this thing actually worked?” A man said incredulously. “I thought cryogenics hadn’t been a thing until about fifty years ago.”

    “Howard Stark was a genius. Of course it worked.” Another says, his tone gruff. “His tech was decades ahead of his time.”

    “I wonder what it was like to work with him…”

    “Well you can ask her when she wakes up. According to her file she worked closely with him and the founder.”

    She worked with Director Carter?No way that’s- oh wait, look.”

    “What?”

    “Her brainwaves and heart rate have increased. I think she’s waking up.” The man who had spoken pulls open my right eye, shining a small flashlight in my face to get my pupil to react. I catch his forearm before he can move on to the next eye, earning a startled gasp from him.

    “Don’t do that.” My voice comes out as a croak.

    “She’s awake!” The gruff man hisses.

    “Well don’t just stand there! Go get Fury, or Hill or anyone who’s in charge!” The man whose arm my hand is clamped around cries.

    I hear the second man rushes out of the room in search of whoever Fury or Hill is. I release the man’s arm and slowly sit up, bringing my knees to my chest and resting my elbows on my knees, my hands covering my eyes.

    “Y-you really should lay down!” The frightened man to my right frets.

    “If I’m awake then you people found Steve Rogers.” The man doesn’t say anything. “You did find him, right?”

    “We did, yes.” He says.

    I sit quietly for a moment, trying to get my head to stop spinning. Maybe I sat up too fast.

    “How long was I out for?”

    “Seventy years, give or take a few months.” He answers.

    “You sure took your sweet time finding him then.”

    “That was not our intention, (Y/N).” A new voice says. “Or should I call you Shadow?”

    “No one knew that name aside from Howard, Peggy and Steve.” I say, looking up to meet the gaze of the man who had spoken. He’s taller than I had expected and has an eyepatch. I squint my eyes at him in suspicion.“How do you know it?”

    “I know a lot about you, (Y/N).” He says, shoving his hands into his pockets. “What I don’t know is why you had Howard Stark use untested, experimental human preservation tech on you, leaving a note stuck to your tube saying “In case of the location of one Steven Grant Rogers, please thaw.” What the hell is that even supposed to mean?”

    “Dammit, Howard.” I hiss, running a hand over my face. “In my defence I didn’t know he would leave the note. At least, not that specific note.”

    “So you did work with him!” The man who had previously spoken pipes up. He seems much too excited.

    “Now’s not the time, Johnson.” Fury says, somewhat exasperated.

    “Yeah, not now. But I’ll tell you later if you still want to know what he was like.” I say, trying to keep his hopes from being dashed.

    “Really?” His face lights up once again.

    “Yeah, of course kid.” I nod.

    “I’m not that young…” He grumbles.

    “I’m seventy years older than you. You’re very young.”

    “Alright, that’s enough. Johnson, go check on the progress of the other project.” Fury interrupts. “And you need to tell me why we found you frozen in the back of one of our storage garages with a “best if thawed by” note stuck to you.”

    “First you have to tell me where the hell I am.” I retort.

    “You’re at a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility in New York. We thought it would be best to bring you and Rogers back in a familiar setting.”

    “Ah yes, a new New York. Very good idea.” I say, rolling my eyes.

    “You’re very comfortable mouthing off to the director of a massive intelligence agency.” Fury says, raising his eyebrows at me.

    “You’re not my director.” I fold my arms, and raise my eyebrows at him defiantly. “What is S.H.I.E.L.D. anyways?”

    “The Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division. You probably knew it better as the SSR in the early days. Your friend Peggy Carter was the founder.”

    “She found me, didn’t she?” I feel my face fall and my heart drop.

    “She did, yes.”

    “Is she still alive?”

    “Yes.”

    “Is Howard?” He doesn’t answer. “Well? Is he?”

    “No.” He finally says. “He’s not. He and his wife were killed in a car accident about twenty years ago.”

    “No…” I run my hands through my hair, not knowing what else to do. “Can I see Steve?”

    “After you answer my question, yes.” He answers. “Why were you frozen?”

    “Something happened during the Vita-Ray transformation. Somehow Steve and I became connected. I mean, in a sort of psychological way. When the aircraft went down I knew he was still alive. The only person who believed me was Howard. We looked for him for months on end and, when nothing turned up, I told Howard to freeze me. I couldn’t take it. Everything around me had changed and nothing could go back to normal for me. I felt like I was falling apart and I didn’t see another way out aside from death, so I told him to do it, and he did.” I rush to give him my explanation, hoping that he would let me see Steve sooner. He doesn’t seem to be convinced. “I was hurting everyone around me and there was nothing I could offer anyone anymore. Why do I have to have a reason? What do you want me to tell you? I was suicidal? That I didn’t have a reason to live without a war or without Steve? Do not reduce me to some sniveling, hormone controlled pile of cells. You may know about me, but you don’t actually know me.”

    He looks taken aback by my response and doesn’t seem to know how to reply. Just then a voice buzzes through the radio at his hip. Something about someone escaping. Fury looks at me pointedly before leaving the room. I realize the person that they were talking about on the radio was Steve. Steve’s awake.

    I jump to my feet, only to be hit with a slight dizzy spell. It quickly dissipates and I rush out after the man who had just left. No sooner had I left the room do I catch up to him.

    “Take me with you.”

    “No,” He says gruffly. “The situation is volatile. We don’t need to add you to the mix too.”

    “You do realize that what you just said is absolute bullshit and having me there would actually be of benefit to you, right?”

    “You’re really going to argue with me on this?” He asks, stopping dead in his tracks.

    “In the five minutes that you’ve actually known me, do I really seem like the kind of person who’s just gonna let this be?”

    When I don’t get an answer I quickly turn and run, somehow finding my way downstairs and out into the drastically different streets of New York. There’s a tonne of car horns blaring and people yelling in confusion. I decide to just follow the path of said people and see if it leads me to an even more confused Steve.

    As I go I hear the sounds of heavy boots behind me along with sirens. Slowing my pace slightly, I look over my shoulder to find S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives following on foot and multiple SUV’s trailing along behind. I just keep running until I find what I’m looking for.

    He’s there, dressed in an old SSR shirt and khakis. He’s looking around in confusion, unsure of where to focus. There’s too much noise and light and he’s quickly becoming overwhelmed by his surroundings.

    Fury places his hand on my shoulder to hold me back. I brush it off and try to keep myself from rushing forward. He walks over to Steve, his leather coat billowing behind him.

    “At ease, soldier!” He says loudly. “Look, I’m sorry about that little show back there, but we thought it best to break it to you slowly.’

    “Break what?” Steve says warily.

    “You’ve been asleep, Cap.” Fury answers. “For almost seventy years.” Steve doesn’t answer and Fury cocks his head to the side. “You gonna be okay?”

    “Yeah, it’s just I… I just…” Steve can’t seem to find his words and Fury motions for me to come forward. I I slowly walk towards the center of the circle that formed.

    “Steve?” I say, my voice just loud enough to be heard over the buzz of the city.

    “(Y/N)?” He looks me up and down, taking in the sight of the person in the suit whom he had fought beside so many times. “Are you really you? Or is this just another trick.”

    “No, it’s really me. No tricks, no gimmicks. Just a little Stark tech and a few preservatives.” I slowly step closer to him. “I mean, where would they get the designs for this piece of trash?” I joke, gesturing to my suit. “You and I both know the designs got destroyed when one of Stark’s assistants accidentally burned them.”

    “(Y/N)…” He breathes. He rushes forward, wrapping his arms around my shoulders and pulling me tightly to his chest. I snake my arms around his middle in response, burying my face in his chest.

    “I knew you were alive.” I whisper.

    “I hate to break up this beautiful reunion, but we should probably head back to base now.” Fury says, placing a hand lightly on my shoulder.

    Steve and I break away and are ushered into the back of a car. They drive us back to the building that we had run from and then usher us into a conference room. Surprisingly enough, Fury leaves us to be alone for the time being.

    “How are you alive?” Steve asks, almost immediately after the agents leave us.

    “I could ask you the same thing.” I cock an eyebrow at him.

    “But I asked first, doll.” He smirks at me.

    “Very true.” I chuckle lightly. “I got Howard to use an experimental piece of tech on me. It froze me and kept me alive until I would be needed again.”

    “Why would you do that, (Y/N)? You could have died!”

    “It had been months since you went down and they couldn’t find any trace of the crash. I knew you were still alive but no one, aside from Howard, believed me. I got tired of people’s pity and nagging. I decided that when or if anyone ever found you I would be there when they did.” I say softly. “It was hard for life to go back to normal, especially without you. Being that close to someone and losing them is hard, you know that.”

    “I do.” He says, looking at the floor before looking back at me.

    “Peg wouldn’t stop checking in on me.” I smile wryly. “Thing is, I think she was hit harder by you disappearing than anyone else.”

    “You know I would never want to hurt you. Any of you.”

    “I know, and you didn’t. Please know that.” I say, trying to reassure him. “Apparently Peggy went on to start S.H.I.E.L.D., whatever they do. From what that guy told me earlier it’s basically the new SSR.”

    “Wow.” Steve’s eyes are wide.

    “Yeah,” I say, just as impressed as he is. “And all the scientists here seem to worship Howard.” Steve raises his eyebrows at me. “I know, but the kid who was there when I woke up wanted me to tell him everything I know about the man.”

    “Honestly, I would have never seen that coming.” Steve smiles. “Are any of our friends still alive?”

    “Mmm, yeah. Peggy is.” I lean on the table and look at the ground not wanting to look at him as I continue. “Howard was killed in a car crash about twenty years ago…”

    “Oh.”

    “Along with his wife.” I look back up to see Steve running a hand over his face.

    “Who knew he could do it, huh?” He says, a sad smile on his face. “The bastard actually got married.”

    “Whoa there, golden boy, watch your language!” I joke.

    “Don’t act like you’ve never slipped up!” He retorts.

    “Hey! Don’t fucking patronize me! Who was the one running around in a mock American flag for nearly a year?” I find a smile growing on my face.

    “Oh okay, this coming from the woman who was dressed like my shadow for the same amount of time.” He smiles back. We look at each other for a moment before we burst into laughter.

    “I knew there was a reason I waited for you.” I grin at him, the corners of my eyes crinkling.

    “Other than the fact that you didn’t want me to be alone?” He asks, taking a step closer and folding his arms, smiling down at me gently.

    “Well yes, other than that.” I fold my arms in response. “You just make things feel easy and comfortable. In a time when I was basically useless, you made me feel like I was worth something to someone. I lost that for months and it was unbearable. I never want that to happen ever again.”

    “Really?” His voice is nearly a whisper.

    “Of course, Steve.” I answer, my hands falling to my sides. “You, our connection. It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

    “(Y/N), I have to tell you something.” Steve says, quietly.

    “Oh?” I question.

    “I… I love you.” He looks at the floor, refusing to meet my eyes.

    “I was there in that control room when you went down.” I say, my eyes widening. “I know what you said to Peggy, and that sounded an awful lot like love to me.”

    “Y’know you’re making this an awful lot harder than it need to be.” He purses his lips at me.

    “I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t now would I?”

    “I guess not.” He admits. “But what I had with Peggy, it was a crush. I hadn’t had much luck with women. I confused the feelings of friendship with romance. The only person I had a real, earth-moving connection with was you. You made me feel normal before and after the serum. You made me feel safe after Bucky fell. You’re the one who was always there for me, regardless of what I said or did, no matter how stupid I sounded or how much of a dumbass I was. I know what I said, and every word that came out of my mouth, I wished I was saying them to you. You were the last thing I thought about before that plane hit the water, and you were the first thing I thought about when I woke up.”

    “Steve…” I whisper.

    “It’s always been you, (Y/N). Always.” He insists. In a flash of movement, he’s got a hand on either side of my jaw, his face drawing closer to mine. “Just tell me to stop if you’re uncomfortable. Just-”

    I cut him off, closing the distance between our lips, kissing him softly, placing my hands on his forearms. He quickly kisses me back, his lips gentle against mine as they mould together. He’s the first to break away, pressing his forehead to mine, his thumbs tracing over my cheekbones.

    “I love you too, Steve.” I breathe. “I love you too.”

    “You have no idea how relieved I am to hear that.” He says, pulling away to meet my eyes. “It would have been more than a little embarrassing to have confessed that to you after seventy years just to have you shoot me down.”

    “Talk about an awkward situation.” I laugh, running my hands down his arms to take his hands in mine.

    “Thank you.” He says.

    “For what?”

    “For waiting for me.”

    “Anytime, Rogers.” I smile at him, feeling truly happy for the first time in seventy years. “Anytime.”

    —————————————————————————————————————————–

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    Choosing to be American

    Taken from naturalization ceremonies in Denver, Milwaukee and Miami, these photos reflect a process that transcends partisan lines and elected officials. 

    Oslaydis Viquillon, center, originally from Cuba, wipes tears from her eyes as she and her fellow new citizens sing “America the Beautiful” after their naturalization ceremony in Miami, FL. 170 people from 27 different countries became United States citizens during the ceremony. (Scott McIntyre)

    Newly naturalized citizens celebrate with their families and take pictures after their naturalization ceremony in Miami, FL. (Scott McIntyre)

    American flags on display at a naturalization ceremony in Miami, FL. (Scott McIntyre)

    Wifredo Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida, speaks during a naturalization ceremony in Miami, FL. (Scott McIntyre)

    Hector Villarreal, 69, originally from Mexico, participates in a naturalization ceremony at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “I’m finally getting my citizenship. I should have gotten it when I served in the service, [but] I never bothered with it…my kids talked me into it to be honest with you.” (Lauren Justice)

    “It’s a big change. It’s very different from where I’m from,“ said Paola Castro (right), 40, from Argentina. "We don’t have free expression [in Argentina] or liberty like we have here.” Castro has lived in the United States for 14 years and became a citizen in a naturalization ceremony in Miami, FL. (Scott McIntyre)

    A participant holds an American flag at a naturalization ceremony in Denver, CO. (James Chance)

    Maria Thorington, 27, from Canada, sits with her daughter Mallory at a naturalization ceremony in Denver, CO. "My husband served [this] country, I want to be a part of it.” (James Chance)

    A new citizen poses with her certificate of naturalization at a ceremony at the Denver Field Office in Denver, CO. (James Chance)

    Juliana Taylorkanara (center), 42, originally from Sierra Leone, participates in a naturalization ceremony at the Wisconsin State Fair Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “It’s a wonderful day, becoming a US citizen. It’s a blessing. Every version of America is beautiful, I can say. Everything. The loving, the caring, the constant help, everything. It means a lot to me.” (Lauren Justice)

    Individually, the photos and their captions reveal unique motivations for being naturalized, but in their totality, convey a unity foundational to another oath that, when written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, was intended to be applicable to any citizen of any country: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    Click here to view the entire photo essay “Choosing to Become an American”