How many cookies would it take to bribe you into telling me a story, Bucky? They're homemade, and any story will do.
all of them. i will tell you the story while i wait for all of the cookies.
once upon a time, a little shit decided to go fight nazis.
usually when i start a story that way, its a steve story. but this time its a me story.
i too fought nazis, my friend, and it was not fun at all. it turns out nazis dont like being fought, and will fight back. this caused us a great deal of stress and trenchfoot.
as you may or may not know, my nazi fighting buddies were called the howling commandoes. we had a reputation as being ‘howling mad’ which most people assumed is where our name came from.
it is not.
so shortly after we’d signed up as steves unit, we got sent out on a sort of breaking-in mission. it was supposed to be a pretty routine just-behind-enemy-lines gig, mostly to see how we’d do as a team. at that point, we were the first ‘integrated’ squad under american command, so they wanted to be sure we were up to snuff. basically they sent us a few miles into a relatively lightly-fortified occupied area to blow up a few supply trucks. it went pretty smoothly. we were still getting to know each other, a bit. we’d met in the hydra camp in austria and bonded pretty well there but it wasnt like we were sitting around doing icebreaker questions. so on that first mission we spent a lot of time chatting, getting a better feel for each other as people. like summer camp, but with more potential for death, and shooting of nazis, explosions, and overgrown science experiments in spangly pants.
so maybe not like summer camp at all. i wouldnt know, i never went to summer camp.
anyways, we blew up the supply trucks and we were headed back towards base when we came across a nice little stream. most of us were pretty dirty, so we agreed to take a few minutes, strip down and wash up. the area we were in was supposed to be secure; it was a slightly disputed border area, but it had been safely in allied hands for months. probably it wasn’t the smartest call, but sometimes you get dirt places you never wanted dirt and are willing to literally risk death to get rid of that dirt.
we left our gear in a little stand of trees on the far side of the stream and washed up.
at this point, dumdum dougan was establishing his reputation as the Toughest Guy Ever, which was a rough gig when one of your squadmates is captain america, who literally walks off bullet wounds like a moron. nevertheless, dumdum had the mustache and was determined to be the manliest man around, so when the rest of us got in, clean, and back out as fast as we could manage, because the water was freezing, dumdum decided to prove how macho he was by pretending he wasnt cold at all, and the rest of us were wimps.
naturally, the rest of us thought he was ridiculous. we were all pretty much dressed and good to go, and dumdum was still sitting in an ice-cold stream in april, bragging about how tough he was. i, being a little shit, covertly suggested we play a little prank.
so the rest of us finished gearing up, then grabbed his things and started running. his pack, his gun, his boots…all his clothes except his hat, which was hanging off the handle of a knife he’d stuck in the tree. we knew he’d stop to get the hat, and that gave us a head start.
as soon as we started running, dumdum came out of the stream after us, and as expected, stopped to get his hat and knife. we had a decent head start, and he was yelling at the top of his lungs after us. we were all laughing our heads off, because he looked like a complete idiot, running after us brandishing a knife, in nothing but a bowler hat.
unbeknownst to us, a nazi squad had been sneaking through the woods ahead of us, and were setting up an ambush on one of our transport trucks. they were all tucked away in the underbrush, waiting for the transport to get close enough, and had just popped out of the shrubbery and fired their first couple shots.
which was approximately when a ragtag-looking, still-wet group of cackling maniacs led by the bastard child of paul bunyan and lady liberty burst out of the treeline, being chased by an angry naked man in a bowler hat with a knife.
there was a very long moment when everyone stopped shooting at everyone else and stared at us.
and then everyone went back to shooting at everyone else. but the ambush was angled to ensnare the transport coming up the road. we came from behind them, and they had pretty much no cover from our angle. as soon as we realized we’d run into a combat zone, we dropped the gear and started shooting. steve used the dinner platter of justice and cleared out about four nazis at once, and dumdum got the worlds unluckiest nazi with his knife. poor guy. there’s not a whole lot worse than your last sight on earth being a naked dumdum dougan.
we’d unintentionally provided a perfect distraction, and the transport had time to regroup and return fire. between us, the ambush was taken care of in a few minutes.
but the thing was, we’d broken protocol by stopping to wash up, and as a shiny new unit still on probation, the last thing we wanted was to tell anyone what had actually happened.
so instead we told them that we’d known about the ambush and had decided to provide a distraction, and were just crazy enough that we thought the best way to do that was run howling straight into it. dumdum’s nudity was explained as a personal preference: the man just likes fighting nazis naked, sir, and you cant say it wasnt effective??
naturally, the story went everywhere and got bigger each time it was told. probably we should have gotten in tons of trouble but the story was such a morale booster that they let it slide.
and thats why we were called the howling commandoes.