Request: Hello!! Could I possibly request a Steve x reader imagine where the reader is younger than him? (Well, anyone would be younger than him). So maybe she is around twenty with a tragic background and she is the one who has been helping him adjust and then she helps him with the whole Bucky thing and they kinda end up together somehow. She is a SHIELD agent. (Something like a timeline from the moment he was revived up until whenever you want). I don’t know if it made sense, sorry. Thank you so much. Nepenthe: Something or someone that can make you forget grief or suffering. Safe heaven. Warnings: My English, language, gifs aren’t mine. Credits to their original owners. Also, it deviates from the movies at some points but it’s pretty close. A second(better) part is already planned. Word Count~7.5k MASTERLIST Pending Requests
It wasn’t something new. You should have gotten used it. It wasn’t the first time you had woken up in the middle of the night with your breath stolen from you and it would definitely not be the last one. You didn’t want to think of your past but every single time you thought you had put it to sleep, that fucking thing popped up unexpectedly and messed with your mind. You had gone through so much and even more. Not even Fury knew exactly what. He had a clearer picture than all of the others but he didn’t even dare to ask. Your past had left you with so many scars, fears and nightmares that you tried every day to fight off. Some days you would win, some days you would lose. What mattered most was that you never gave up. It was exhausting but you would never surrender to them. You were stronger than that. Not unbreakable, but strong enough to know that there was hope. And to believe it would get better. The first time you had been brought to SHIELD, you were eighteen years old. You had no relatives at all, no way to live on your own, no chance of survival. You didn’t have a choice, really, but what they were offering was appealing in a way that made you think you had a chance. To begin again. That’s why you didn’t even hesitate. You were the youngest agent but your progress was rather dynamic. Two years and many training sessions and missions later, you were a level eight. No one ever expected you to achieve so much within so little time. You didn’t want yo admit it since your past made you eager to move forward, but it had helped you a lot. All the training you had undergone when you were captured by the Red Room and the missions you were sent to execute while you were under Hydra’s capture had made you strong and lethal; you would barely blink an eye when you had to pull the trigger or to split someone’s throat open. You used to follow orders blindly, without question because that would have gotten you killed. However, you had noticed that lately… Something felt off. A knock on your door alerted you and you immediately shot up and got off of your bed, putting on a jumper two sizes too big and your sneakers. You opened the door, knowing that whatever had just happened must have been important. Otherwise, they wouldn’t wake you up at three in the morning. “Director Fury is demanding your presence in the Triskelion. You have ten minutes” a guard informed you and you just nodded. You had ten minutes to get ready.
When you arrived -when the helicarrier arrived- you were rushed to Fury’s office. Some other people were there along with Natasha, Clint, and Maria. Nobody seemed to know why they were there. Until Fury spilled the beans. “Captain America, folks. Alive and frozen”. Wait. What? Captain America? The Captain America? But that was impossible. He lived, what, seventy years ago? And he had died when he crushed that ..thing directly into the… ice. Oh, Dear Lord. You couldn’t hear much because man, he was alive. He has been frozen for seventy years and now they want to revive him? How hard would it be for him to adjust? 'How awful must it feels to know that all of the people you cared about are dead and you are still here, not aged a day, trying to move on?’ you thought to yourself. You would never let someone see your soft side because that was a weakness. Emotions clouded judgment. They were a distraction from your goal. “And I want you to help him adjust” Fury said a little louder than necessary, just to get your attention. And he was pointing at you. You would have to babysit him. You nodded and when you turned to face agent Coulson, you saw him glowing with excitement. Everyone knew that Phil was enchanted by the mighty hero. You arched you perfectly shaped eyebrow at him but if you wanted to be honest you had to admit that his story was actually tragically enchanting. People started moving towards different directions but you just stood there, unable to move so much as a muscle. Your mind was flooding you with your memories. All the tragedy that you had suffered. All the pain and the agony. And how… Guilty you felt once you escaped. Because you hadn’t been able to save anyone else. Just yourself. And that was going to be exactly what he will face as well. “Come on, Y/N” Natasha spoke softly as she guided you by your arm. Natasha could understand your pain but only a part. She knew the Red Room and what it felt like to enter a child and leave an adult. When she had learned that you had escaped when you were only fourteen, she was jealous because you had been given the chance that was taken away from her. But then she found out that you had been recaptured by Hydra. She hated herself for ever feeling jealous in the first place. The Red Room was one thing. Hydra… Was another. Once your mind returned to reality, you saw that you were already inside a room. And he was lying on a surface, face pale, eyes closed, lips purple. You tilted your head to the side. Something about his features felt unbelievably intriguing. Agonizingly, perfectly still. He was unconscious but everything about him screamed alive. You tried to listen to Fury as he instructed everyone. They would pretend that it was still the 40s. Something that you thought of as hypocritical, to say the least. Why did they think that he would believe it? He clearly was smarter than that if the stories were true. You stopped paying attention to his words as you took in the picture in front of you. It was going to be one hell of a ride.
You didn’t exactly remember if it had been a month or more, but Captain America was back. And you had been right. He didn’t believe it for a second. You felt low-key proud. Your job was mainly to keep an eye on him, but you weren’t his shadow. He needed space and time to be aware of his surroundings and the new era he had woken up. You had officially met him the very first day he was revived-after the fiasco. Even though you could feel his uncertainty and his worries, and you would definitely understand it if he was rude to you, he surprised the hell out of you when he politely introduced himself and called you ma'am. That sweet Brooklyn accent and his manners… Killer combination. He also appreciated the fact that you gave him his space. He would occasionally be annoyed by the other agents that took your place when you had to go out on the field. They weren’t discreet nor quiet. He would never admit it but he had grown used to your presence around the place. It was somehow reassuring. Especially after seeing you training. He was impressed, afraid and awed. However, things made it difficult for you to keep your distance and let him adjust easier. When Fury told you about the Tesseract, you knew that he needed Steve and that he was recruiting a team. You also knew that he didn’t tell you everything but you didn’t push it. You would find out in a different way. He was punching and kicking the hell out of that punching bag until it crashed into the wall across the room. You were aware that he was strong but that seemed a bit maniac. “Trouble sleeping?” Fury asked him rhetorically and you felt the need to arch an eyebrow, but you fought against it. “I slept for seventy years, sir. I think I’ve had my fill” he answered and even though he was being sassy he was still polite. ‘Then you should be out, celebrating, seeing the world" Fury continued as you both made your way to him. You felt bad for the punching bag. He stopped and walked over to his things as he nodded, acknowledging you. You sent him a small smile, something that you had been doing a lot more recently. And Natasha had noticed. After a whole bunch of dramatic, Fury handed him the file with the information he needed to know. “Trying to get me back in the world?” he almost spat out, darkness creeping up into his voice. “Trying to get you to save it” you popped up before things got out of hand. His expression softened and when he looked at you, he saw nothing more than a person being honest with him. And he liked that. And you liked him. Wait. What?
“I gotta say, it’s an honor to meet you, officially. I sort of met you, I mean, I watched you while you were sleeping” Phil was rambling again. His crazy obsession had taken over. You simply gave Steve an apologetic smile but you felt that your whole world brightened when he blushed. There was no use denying the fact that he was handsome. But there was something more than plain looks. He was charming and charismatic. “I mean, I was present while you were unconscious from the ice. You know, it’s really, it’s just a huge honor to have you on board” Phil continued. Steve was looking at him with amusement. You were drooling over him. You had caught yourself thinking about him more than once mainly because you had bonded over dinner.
It was Monday and it sucked. You have had a particularly difficult day and your body felt sore. A shiver was trailing through your muscles and you just wanted comfort as you were drained of energy. You wondered around in hopes that you would find something to eat and a fluffy cozy blanket. But plans changed. They became so much better. You made a beeline to the kitchen only to realize that nothing was eatable.
You began to cook spaghetti and prepare a really spicy sauce with chili. Working with your hands and not your brain was refreshing and appealing. You even found yourself humming a soft song. You remembered that there was a bottle of red wine hidden somewhere in the kitchen. Why not? The dinner was ready within no time. You placed your plate on the table and you poured a generous portion of wine into your glass and you were ready to sit down but Steve walked in. You didn’t want to make him feel awkward and honestly, you liked his company. “Hungry?” you gently asked him, a bright smile on your lips. He was taken aback and he tried to say no in a polite way but is stomach said otherwise. He blushed and sighed. “Starving” he admitted and blushed even more. He was so adorable and sexy. How can you be both at the same time? You added a plate and a glass, after seeking confirmation from him. You didn’t know if wanted to drink. As you would find out later, he couldn’t get drunk, just lightheaded. He sat down next to you and you could smell his scent all over the place. It was a bit disorienting. He was hesitant to taste the food because he thought that you were too young to know how to cook and fight at the same time. He genuinely thought that you were too young but he was forgetting it a lot. However, he was pleasantly surprised. “This is good. Like, really good!” he told you beaming and you laughed. He was just like a child. You didn’t know this but he became determined to make you laugh again. That night was only the beginning. “Well, I hope I’m the man for the job” he quietly said. Phil was about to say something but you cut him off. “You are” you simply yet boldly answered him, without leaving him any room for self-doubt. His eyes pierced yours and nothing felt the same.
“Can you? Can you wipe off your past? Do you remember them? Do they let you sleep at night? Barton told me everything. Your ledger is dripping, it’s gushing red, and you think saving the life of a man no more virtuous than yourself will change anything? This is the basest sentimentality. This is a child at prayer; pathetic! You lie and kill in the service of liars and killers. You pretend to be separate, to have your own code, something that makes up for the horrors, but they are a part of you, and they will never go away” he said, slamming his fist against the glass. You knew that this was just a plan. You knew that what he meant was to simply scare you. You knew that he wanted to unleash the Hulk. But it hurt, nonetheless. Mainly because he was right. You had killed and tortured and captured innocent people. It took everything in you to remember that it wasn’t you. 'Yes. But I still did it’ you thought. And most importantly… Now he knew. He would hate you. How could he not? He was a hero and you were an assassin. You didn’t care about the others, not that much at least. You had out-sassed Stark and you were quite gentle with Natasha’s new love interest. Thor… He was a God. He could handle it. But him… He was Captain America for fuck’s sake. You did what you were told but when you returned to the lab, you were welcomed by six people fighting each other… And a gun? So that was why SHIELD wanted the Tesseract. New guns. “Congratulations. You out topped Hydra” you sarcastically told Fury. He was being just as dishonest and manipulative as your previous captures. Guess, you exchanged Hydra and the Red Room for SHIELD. They were all the same. Seeking profit for themselves. Steve looked at you, eyes on fire. “You didn’t know?” he asked you in a provocative tone but you refused to give in. “I wouldn’t be here if I did” you simply answered him. No sarcasm, no irony. You truly wanted him to know that you had no idea and you were definitely not supporting any of it. He seemed to realize that you would have never agreed on something like this, given your past. Because he knew. He had read your file, he had asked Fury-multiple times- and he had done his research on you. He was actually kind of surprised -not in a good way- that you were only twenty yet you had been through all that. You were just a child when the Red Room got you. He came to hate them for what they had made you do. And Hydra of course. But he had another reason to hate Hydra as well. His best friend. Zola and the red skull had killed him.. And suddenly he was back on that Train. He snapped out of it. But your eyes were still locked with his. And you couldn’t avert them.
You had survived the Chitauri invasion. You had all gotten out of that nightmare alive. Not completely alright but safe. “I think I would like a break” you admitted, tilting your head so you could see his face against the blinding light of the afternoon sun. He smiled, and you realized that the sun wasn’t bright enough. “I think I might join you” he said amused. He wasn’t usually this bold, but you loved it when he was. It was like a completely different side of his personality. You stood there watching Thor and Loki teleporting back to Asgard with the Tesseract before everyone said their goodbyes. You were no longer a SHIELD agent per se but not quite an Avenger as the group was being called. You had stopped taking orders without questioning them. You had also come clean with Steve about your past as you told him everything, things nobody else knew, things you wished to forget. And he was okay with that. He didn’t criticize you or hated you. He was starting his motorcycle when he furrowed his eyebrows and turned his head to look at you. “Hop on” he told you and you couldn’t hide your smile. You didn’t question him or his impatient request. “Yes, Captain” you playfully answered as you sat down behind him and hugged his waist tightly, spreading your fingers out, gripping his shirt. You could feel his toned torso, his muscles tensing for a brief second. You could feel his heart beating steadily. A big smile was carved on your lips. He could feel your legs almost wrapped around him, your hands holding him close, your chest against his back, your breath fanning over his neck. He tried to remind himself that you were just twenty years old. But did it really matter?
There was a dim light illuminating the room making everything appear still. You slowly awoke from your sleep. It had been a peaceful night; no nightmares, no memories hunting you, no screams. Your right hand was rested upon Steve’s chest. Your eyes flickered open when you realized that he was shirtless. You found his apologetic gaze already fixed on you but there was a lighthearted smile plastered on his full lips. ‘’Hey…’’ your sleepy voice trailed off before your eyes closed once more, causing Steve to chuckle at the sight. This was normal. You had been sleeping in the same bed with Steve since the first night after New York. You were both too scared to be left alone with your minds. So, when you had slowly opened the door of his room and crept in, you had found a terrified Steve. You had never seen him that afraid. You hadn’t given it much thought when you had climbed οnto his bed and hugged him tightly. And he had hugged you back, holding onto you for dear life. You didn’t know where you two stood exactly. Like, what were you to him? His friend? But friends didn’t sleep in one bed, friends didn’t hug each other as much as you did, their touches wouldn’t linger on for moments after… Friends didn’t get that tingling sensation whenever the other’s hand would brush against your own accidentally. You could safely say that he wasn’t just your friend. You had developed feelings for him-feelings that ran deeper than blood, feelings you knew you weren’t supposed to catch for someone that much older. But then again… He didn’t seem to treat you any differently than the others, right? Hugging you tightly and cuddling you to sleep wasn’t something that he wouldn’t do for someone else. Treating you with breakfast in bed, was something anyone would do. Cooking with you, getting not-drunk with you, running a hot bath for you, carrying you when you were too tired or sleepy to function… For fuck’s sake. It was his fault that you were in love with him. Hold it. What now? And there he was, looking all heaven sent in the soft light of the new day, making it hard for you to breathe. The way the light danced around his blonde hair, how golden strands fell to his eyes… His eyes. Those blue orbits that felt deeper than the ocean itself and seemed to change colors; from baby to royal blue. You have had the pleasure to witness his eyes becoming cobalt blue once. In your mind, you were the reason why his eyes darkened. And those lips… Perfectly shaped, full, plump and pouty that made you wonder how would they taste. You could go on and on about his appearance but what had won you over was his personality. He was gentle yet bold, soft yet fierce, polite yet daring. He did what he thought was better for everyone, not just him. He never considered himself a hero. He disliked being called that. In his mind, he was a person out of time. Not even Peggy could help. He had admitted that she was half the reason he joined SHIELD but then he thought about the other half. You didn’t know this, but his mind wandered back to the very first time he had met you. “Goodmorning, doll” he breathed out. You felt like melting under his tender touch, as he had his arm wrapped around you, and you wanted to catch fire when he called you that. It wasn’t something sexual, but it worked miracles. When you didn’t move, he let out a breathy chuckle and draw small patterns with his fingers on your exposed thigh. You understood that it was unintentional, but you couldn’t stop your heartbeat from accelerating. “Five more minutes” you husked, your voice thick and throaty. It sent shivers down his spine. “I could lay here all day long” he admitted under his breath. You heard it, but you had fallen asleep before you could answer. He stayed awake. He didn’t dare to close his eyes.
“You know, if you ask Kristen out, from Statistics, she’d probably say yes” Natasha told him and you felt your blood boiling. If that her way to piss you off… She was successful. “That’s why I don’t ask” Steve answered calmly and certain. “Too shy or too scared?” she pressed further. You wanted to slap her. What was she doing? You didn’t stay around to catch his answer because you jumped out of the jet. Your mind was clouded and your judgment not on point. Of course. He was ten years older than you, extremely good-looking and single. He should date. Not her. Not any other girl. You landed on the ship and moments later Steve climbed on too. He beat up everyone on the deck (other times using his shield and other times with his hands but mostly mustering both) before somebody could raise the alarm but he was interrupted by one of the pirates pointing his gun at him. Without thinking about it too much, you removed yourself from your hiding place and shot him down. Steve gave you an amusing look. “Thanks” he told you, a bit out of breath. You raised both of your eyebrows in a sarcastic way. “Yeah. You seemed pretty helpless without me” you mocked him earning a playful smirk. Everyone else landed on the deck as well and Natasha picked up from where she had left it off. “What about the nurse that lives across the hall from you? She seems kind of nice” she informed him, seemingly emotionless. Steve rolled his eyes. At least, he wasn’t interested right now. “Secure the engine room. Then find me a date” he answered nonchalantly as she jumped off the current level. “I’m multitasking”. More like getting on your nerves. You didn’t look at him and that was why you couldn’t know but he was looking at you, trying to read your face. He wanted to know if -maybe- you were mad at… Natasha or him? Maybe, just maybe… You could have been jealous? Mission first, then dames he thought. Shortly after that, you both had your head in the game. He needed your help because he didn’t speak French (or so you thought because later you found out that he was fluent), so you were stuck with him, translating. “I do not like to wait. Call Durand. I want the ship ready to move when the ransom arrives” you quickly translated as you were eyeing Steve, trying to understand what he was planning. “He called Durant. He wants to start the engine. Natasha has to be there” you continued. He nodded and took off. You ran into the opposite direction so you could help Rumlow as already planned. He would need someone to deal with the hostiles. Everything went according to plan. But then Natasha never showed up. “Hostages en route to extraction. Romanoff missed the rendezvous point, Cap. Hostiles are still in play” Rumlow informed Steve. You were about to yell at her but there was no reply from her. “Get them out of here. I’ll stay behind” you practically barked out the 'order’. Natasha had screwed you up. And you needed to fix this. Something that ended up biting you in the ass.
Your head was heavy and you couldn’t feel your body. She was dead. The moment you could get up, she was dead. You slowly opened your eyes and tried to move your sore muscles. At least, you weren’t paralyzed. You looked around you only to find out that you weren’t alone. “Steve?” your voice was raspy and it made you wince. His eyes were instantly on you and a relieved smile had just formed on his lips. “How are you?” he sheepishly asked. You would have laughed but your head was spinning and your mind was thinking about quitting. You slowly and carefully got out of the uncomfortable bed and placed your feet on the ground. “How long was I out?” you questioned rather seriously. He sifted his weight on his other leg. “A few hours. I had a talk with Fury but he doesn’t… He is not very helpful” he told you and you could see that he was fighting a battle. Thankfully, you were wearing normal clothes. Because you had a few things to say to Fury too. “Let’s go” you said clearly not giving a flying fuck. He knew better than questioned you that moment. All the way to Fury’s office, you noticed that Steve walked closer to you than he had before, being a tad more protective than he usually was. And even though you wanted him to know that you were capable of protecting your ass, you were more than happy to feel his presence so close to you. He made you forget all the pain and the sadness. You slammed open the door. You weren’t even surprised that Natasha was already there. “And she is alive!” Fury jocked. “You are alright” Natasha said. You walked straight to Fury and slapped him. He was taken aback that much that he didn’t even say anything. You turned on your heel, gave Natasha a cold glare and almost hissed at her. “Not thanks to you”. Steve was looking at you, debating whether he was impressed or confused by your actions. “Project Insight. Now” you clearly demanded. Fury seemed to come to his senses. “You waltzed in here, slapped me and now you are demanding information that is not to be shared with you?” he asked darkly. He wasn’t used to people having authority over him. You tilted your head, a devilish smirk on your face and you waited for about five seconds before you gave him an answer. “Precisely”. Everything was still. “Why?” he dared to ask. “I want to hear your version of the story, Nicky” you told him and he understood that you knew. He raised an eyebrow. “There is only one version” he said ominously as he nodded towards the elevator for you and Steve to enter. Steve and Nick had a stupid talk and you couldn’t help but wonder. What exactly did they want to achieve? You knew that there was something fishy about the whole thing. Especially, Pierce. He gave you an off vibe. Once the elevator stopped, you came face to face with three huge Helicarrires. “This is Project Insight. Three next generation Helicarriers synced to a network of targeting satellites” Nick informed you proudly. You, however, felt sick. “Launched from the Lemurian Star” Steve commented, looking at him. “Once we get them in the air they never need to come down. Continuous suborbital flight courtesy of our new repulsor engines” he continued like it was something he should brag about. “Stark?” you guessed. He was good but not in the right way. “Well, he had a few suggestions once he got an up close look at our old turbines. These new long range precision guns can eliminate a thousand hostiles a minute. The satellites can read a terrorist’s DNA before he steps outside his spider hole. We gonna neutralize a lot of threats before they even happen” Nick told you, while you noticed he still kept his distance from you. “I thought the punishment usually came after the crime” Steve butted in. He was always the one who wanted things to be right. And this didn’t feel like it. “We can’t afford to wait that long” came the answer. Of course he would say something like that. “Who’s "we”?“. Steve was so naive. So innocent. This was planned after New York. "After New York, I convinced the World Security Council we needed a quantum surge in threat analysis. For once we’re way ahead of the curve” Nick admitted. He finally told you something true. “By holding a gun at everyone on Earth and calling it protection” you finished his line. Because that was exactly what he was about to do. Steve was zoning out. He knew this was bad. And so did you. “You know, I read those SSR files. Greatest generation? You guys did some nasty stuff” Nick turned back to Steve because he was an easier target. You… Well, he didn’t fancy the idea of getting slapped again. And he knew that you were more than capable of way more than just that. He had read your file too. “Yeah, we compromised. Sometimes in ways that made us not sleep so well. But we did it, so the people could be free. This isn’t freedom, this is fear” Steve answered truthfully, and you admired the fire inside him “SHIELD takes the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be. It’s getting damn near past time for you to get with that program, Cap. And you, agent” Nick finally told you what was all about. “I’d rather not” you commented dryly and left. “Don’t hold your breath” you heard Steve informing him fiercely. A small smile made its way to your lips.
The moment you found out that Fury was dead was the moment you came face to face with the man that trained you when you were captured by Hydra. They called him 'The Winter Soldier’. To everyone else, he was a ghost story. You knew him as James. One of the few times that he could think on his own, he told you his name because he wanted someone to remember it for him, for he was going to get wiped. That was how things worked with Hydra. And that would be your future if you hadn’t escaped. When SHIELD thought that they got you, you played along. They weren’t capable of capturing you if you didn’t want them to. You had escaped but you had tried to help him too. He was an innocent man that had been manipulated way too many times. But you couldn’t. And there he was, standing in front of you, his metal arm wrapped around your neck, no sign of recognition in his eyes. “James, please” your voice was barely audible, but his eyes widened, and his grip loosened. Something sparked inside him, but he was hesitant. “I am sorry James” you breathed out and his hand left your neck for good. He took his mask off and you saw that he remembered something. You, maybe? Before you could do anything else, he jumped off the roof you were standing. You knew that he was gone. If he was here and in his Soldat mood, then Fury was killed. He never screwed up a mission. That was why he had been Hydra’s secret weapon for years. More than you could possibly imagine. There was only one person that could help you and he was too occupied trying to get out of the Triskelion alive. So, you rushed to the only place you knew you would find him. The Hospital. If your assumptions were correct, then Pierce would have unleashed STRIKE to take down Steve. And he would have gotten away, only to go to the most obvious place in the world. You hoped that you knew him well enough.
“Stop lying” he growled at Natasha. You almost ran towards him to peal him off of her. “I only act like I know everything, Rogers” she answered defensively. Steve looked at you once you enter the room. “I bet you knew Fury hired the pirates, didn’t you?” he questioned her, but he let her go. Natasha nodded at you and you dared to take another step. “Well, it makes sense. The ship was dirty, Fury needed a way in, so do you” she told him. Steve wasn’t having any of it. He gripped her arms and shook her entire body. He was mad. “I’m not gonna ask you again”. You rushed and put your hand on his shoulder. That made him loosen up a bit, but Natasha was analyzing your every move and how Steve reacted when you were around. “I know who killed Fury. Most of the intelligence community doesn’t believe he exists, the ones who do call him the Winter Soldier. He’s credited with over two dozen assassinations in the last fifty years” she blurted. Steve looked confused. You, however, couldn’t stand there listening to her calling him a monster. “James. His name is James” you whispered. Both of them looked at you with furrowed eyebrows, expecting some kind of explanation. “He was the one who trained me back then” you simply told them, your voice becoming even weaker than before. Natasha continued her version of the story. How he had shot her and how he was a ghost story. But to you, he wasn’t a bad person who needed to be stopped. He was a helpless man who needed a chance. Steve, however, was worried. Someone from your past was messing up the timeline? Little did he know that he wasn’t just from your past. When they decided that you had to find out what was on that drive, Natasha thought that you would have to steal a laptop and Steve wanted to break into SHIELD’s base… You rolled your eyes at them. They weren’t practical at all. “The mall disguised as civilians, guys!” you exasperated. They were truly thinking like a spy and a hero. Since when did you become the practical one? “And then what?” Steve asked you mainly because he had no idea how a mall could help. “And then we go to a Mac store to use one of their computers, genius” you answered, your ‘duh’-tone being very well spotted. “Lead the way ma’am”. You had to contain yourself otherwise your blush would be visible to everyone in the building. Natasha saw it, Steve didn’t. She winked at you and smirked. She got it now; why you always seemed to be annoyed when she tried to hook Steve up with someone. You had a thing for him. She should have known. He must have had feelings for you as well because every time she suggested another woman, his eyes would fall onto you momentarily. You brushed the tension off and hoped that the closest mall was close enough. Once you arrived, Natasha made sure that you felt uncomfortable in all possible ways. “You are a couple. And I’m the creepy loner friend. Got it?”. She was actually giving orders, something that made you quirk an eyebrow, but you felt your cheeks burning when Steve didn’t say anything, instead, he looked down, trying to hide his own blush. You all walked to the first store you saw and found a laptop that could handle the drive. “The drive has a Level Six homing program, so as soon as we boot up SHIELD will know exactly where we are” Natasha informed you. You already knew that they weren’t stupid. “How much time do we have?” Steve asked, his eyeglasses getting in the way of his spasmodic moves. He really didn’t know how to hide in plain sight. “Uh…about nine minutes from… Now” she told him and popped the drive into the computer. “Fury was right about that ship, somebody’s trying to hide something. This drive is protected by some sort of AI, it keeps rewriting itself to counter my commands” she continued as she was typing. Your brain was thinking ahead but Steve was impatient. “Can you override it?” he pressed. If you didn’t like him that much you would have kicked his ass. Big time. “Steve, first rule of going on the run is, don’t run, walk. Stop it” you told him and gripped his arm tightly enough to make him flinch. He gave you an apologetic look. You knew that he didn’t know how to act naturally. “The person who developed this is slightly smarter than me. Slightly” she commented dryly. Yes, maybe. But you were running out of time. “Try running a tracer. This is a program that SHIELD developed to track hostile malware, so if we can’t read the file, maybe we can find out where it came from” you suggested and she looked impressed. She didn’t know that you had hacked into SHIELD’s system too many times, but Steve did and he was proud. Not of your deviant behavior but… genuinely. Something had changed between you two and he felt it. Something in the way he would find solace in your scent or presence… or the fact that he would never consider dating someone else because, even if you were ten years younger than him and -in his mind- you deserved better, he had formed this huge school-boy crush on you. And he didn’t mind one bit. “Can I help you guys with anything?” an employee asked politely, and your eyes immediately scanned him. “Oh, no, thank you. I am just helping them with some honeymoon destinations” Natasha lied smoothly, and you followed suit even though your heart was pounding in your chest. “Right! We’re getting married” Steve quickly agreed, a little too excited. You placed a hand on his chest, acting all wifey. “Congratulations! Where do you guys thinking about going?”. Fuck, he wasn’t stopping. Steve looked at the monitor and saw that the signal was traced somewhere in New Jersey. You knew that he was about to blurt it out. “New Jersey”. He was a terrible liar. Something that you found extremely attractive. “Oh” the poor guy answered. He looked at Steve for a moment and you felt that he stopped breathing. “I have the exact same glasses” he remarked. You had stopped paying attention to the conversation because, a) you were scanning the room and b) Steve. After tracing the signal to Wheaton you walked out, “Standard tac-team. Two behind, to across, two coming straight at us. If they make us, I’ll engage, you hit the south escalator to the metro” he gave commands. You looked at Natasha and nodded once. Two agents were coming straight towards you. “Shut up and put your arm around me, laugh at something I said” you demanded curtly. That made him turn his head too fast. “What?” he croaked. You wanted to slap him. You didn’t have time. “Do it!” you practically barked at him. Steve quickly put his arm around you and laughed. Natasha quickly lowered her hoodie and walked by without getting noticed. All the agents walked by and Steve looked impressed. As you were going down the escalator you and Natasha spotted Rumlow on the escalator next to you going up and she turned to Steve. She was behind him and you were in front of him. “Kiss her” Natasha told him. You thought you would have frozen, but you were actually calm. Maybe because you didn’t believe that he would actually do it. He just kept looking at you with his eyes wide open. “Public displays of affection make people very uncomfortable” Natasha reasoned but before he could answer you quickly pulled down Steve’s head and kissed him making Rumlow look away as he went past you on the escalator. The moment your lips touched, you lost yourself and you forgot about reality. Natasha smiled knowingly. Finally. His hands held your waist tightly and yours were resting around his neck. It couldn’t have lasted more than five seconds, but you were out of breath. Maybe it was his scent, maybe it was his body, maybe it was his lips… maybe you were not just in love with him. You pulled away and broke apart when you saw Nat’s smirk. “Still uncomfortable?” she questioned wiggling her eyebrows suggestively. “It’s not exactly the word I would use” he told her truthfully and you saw him blush. You tried to hide your smile but failed.
“Bucky?” “James” You were playing on repeat that scene for the last fifteen minutes. You couldn’t get over the fact the guy that had trained you, the Winter Soldier, James… was Steve’s best friend. The last days had been chaotic but that was something you would never imagine. Then again, you lived a pretty crazy life. “It was him. He looked right at me like he didn’t even know me” Steve whispered heartbrokenly. You didn’t know how to soothe the pain. “How’s that even possible? It was like seventy years ago” Sam asked confused but it wasn’t that confusing. “Zola. Bucky’s whole unit was captured in '43, Zola experimented on him. Whatever he did helped Bucky survive the fall. They must have found him and…” Steve trailed off. You could taste your blood in your mouth. Your sight was weakening. “None of that’s your fault, Steve” you tried to reassure him but he wasn’t listening. Not really. “Even when I had nothing, I had Bucky”. It felt like he was confessing his younger years and your heart ached for him. Sam seemed to notice yours and Nat’s wounds and he glanced at the guards. “We need to get a doctor here. We don’t put pressure on those wounds they gonna bleed out here in the truck” he accused them but the world started spinning. Suddenly one of the guards pulled out an electric rod and you thought that you were gonna die but then it neutralized the other guard and knocked him out. The guard took off the helmet and- “Maria?” you questioned. What the fuck? You didn’t get to hear the rest of the story because you passed out in Steve’s hug. He made a promise to himself. If he was to survive this, he would take you out on a date. At least, he would man up and ask you.
You ran towards the bombs, where you knew that he was coming from. Finally, you saw him, rocket launcher in his hand as he made his way towards you. You shrunk back, forcing yourself to become invisible as the Soldier threw down his launcher, opting for his machine gun as he shot a man in the neck, throwing a grenade inside another plane. You launched yourself forward. You knew that you would have to muster Natasha’s thigh hold. You knew him but he knew you too. You threw yourself onto his back, locking your legs around his waist by your ankles as you grabbed your knife, one hand locked around his neck for support and your left hand aiming the knife for his face. “James stop” you tried to prevent what was about to follow. He didn’t answer. But he knew those moves. His reflexes were quicker than you remembered. His human hand grabbed yours and stopped the knife. The two of you struggled for a few moments before he tried throwing you off of him, something that didn’t quite work because your legs were locked around his waist…until he used his metal hand and stuck his thumb into your thigh, right into the wound that Rumlow had inflicted on you moments ago. You held your scream but your legs weakened their hold. He grabbed your arm holding the knife and flipped you over his shoulder. You landed hard on the ground. A groan escaped your lips before your eyes widened at the metal fist aimed towards your head. You quickly rolled over his fist hitting the cement next to you. “James, for fuck’s sake. Please!” you tried one last time. His face became a tragic mask. “You are my mission” he spat out, trying to convince himself more than you. “Bucky” you whispered but never got to see his reaction because he had already jumped off of the building.
Later on, in the safety of the trees, you watched the destruction all around you. You simply watched. You couldn’t even more. However, as you were staring at the one helicarrier that still in the air, you saw Steve falling from it into the water. Your breath never made it out of your lungs. And then, moments later, another figure followed it. Bucky. “If you die, I’m gonna kill you” you hissed at Steve. Or, the image in your mind.
I’m so sorry these have taken me so long! Majoring in any science really doesn’t give you a flexible schedule. But I’m still doing these for the whole month of October, so feel free to send them!
From this, Nepenthe: a medicine for sorrow; a place, person or thing, which can aid in forgetting your pain and suffering
Icy gravel coated the barren, mechanical ravines. Boots on the ground, the rocks crunched beneath his soles as he bobbed and weaved the incoming fire, each step, a chance at death. He darted left and right, blasting bouncer rounds in every direction. The possibility of death, looming in the air like a shroud. He leapt to his side, just making it behind a pile of frozen metal and stone. A barrage slammed the wall to his left, and left a residual crimson glow in the air, the sparks dissipating into the harsh, frozen atmosphere. Hunter leapt out from cover, and with a quick blast from his jump jets, rocketed skyward. The automatons that crawled below him didn’t care who, or what he was, they simply weren’t capable of such complex thought. Hunter dove quick, and slammed the ground, sending a shockwave of dust and flame outward. The killings continued, not because he loathed these beings, not even for any reason personal to him, but because of what they carried: rads. Each one was irradiated to a point that upon death, the parts of them that soaked up the most of this energy were ripe for the picking and he intended to harvest. Another wave of machines approached, but to Hunter, this only meant more prey. He was the unkillable, mass death in the form of what was once a man.
This was his life, a constant battle between life and death. But by no means did he believe that this death would be his, he offered this challenge to all that approached, refusing to fail. The addiction had him, a glowing claw, wrapped always around his throat with only one way to loosen its grip. Hunter struck several more robots with his blaster, rendering them lifeless piles of scrap. He leapt toward the detritus and scooped away bits of irradiated parts.
More rads meant a freer mind, meant a peace he could only find in the sweet embrace of the chemical. He was, and was forever doomed to the fate of his Nepenthe.
ethnobotany moment of the day: native peoples in Southeast Asia using wild carnivorous pitcher plant traps to cook rice in bc honestly why not??? apparently it’s a totally chill and normal food and it’s sold in farmers markets and stuff. heres the recipe thats most popular to use too (transcribed in the left photo) in case you can’t read it:
“1. Take 24 large pitchers. Wash carefully, then soak in several changes of water, preferably overnight. Soak 1kg of glutinous rice overnight.
2. Cut off pitcher trendils.
3. Boil the rice with coconut milk and salt.
4. Wash and cut up two cupfuls of fresh prawns. Finely slice half a cup of red onions. Pound a knob of shrimp paste, 4 or 5 chilled, a few spring onions and a few celery leaves. Combine the pounded ingredients with the prawns and fry in a small amount of oil until fragrant.
5. When the rice is half cooked, remove pan from fire. Cool water slightly. Half full the pitchers with rice, add one tablespoon of the fried mixture. Fill up the pitcher with rice.
6. Stand the pitchers in a steamer, cover, steam over boiling water for half an hour. Serve hot or cold.”
(from “Pitcher Plants of the Old World Volume 1 by Stewart McPherson, pages 204+205)
I thought I would share a look inside my carnivorous plant terrarium! Among these species are various Nepenthes, Heliamphora, some Utricularia, Drosera, and some non-carnivorous Tillandsia (Air Plants). Enjoy plant enthusiasts of Tumblr!
aliferous: what makes you feel free ? aurora: do you have a movie you would be willing to watch at any time ? balter: describe your favourite kind of happy. cafune: do you have a crush ? catharsis: what do you do when under stress ? charmolypi: how are you feeling right now ? dulcet: describe your happiest memory. ethereal: if you could change one thing in this world, what would it be ? eutony: what is your favourite quote ? halcyon: name ten things that make you happy. irenic: describe your ideal future. kalon: name three things you like about your appearance. lacuna: was there someone / something that helped you get over a difficult period of time ? lilt: what languages do you speak ? ludic: name three songs you can never skip. nefelibata: do you prefer creating or appreciating ? nepenthe: what motivates you ? nubivagant: what are you thinking about right now ? scintilla: what are your favourite names ? sirimiri: do you love rain ? if you do, what kind ? viridity: what kind of person would you want to be remembered as ?