One day, while doing a segment on Morning Joe, Tony refers to President Steve Rogers as the Star Spangled Man with a Plan.

The nickname goes viral.  Within three hours there’s already a song written about it that has half a million hits.  Peter gets it stuck in his head and won’t stop humming it.  Within an hour, the entire staff has it stuck in their heads, and Steve starts threatening to issue an executive order banning it from all government buildings.

"I’m pretty sure that would be unconstitutional," says Bucky.  "First amendment."

"I am this close," says Steve, holding his fingers an inch apart.  "This close to risking it."

"But Steve, if you do that, who’ll campaign door-to-door for America?" Bucky asks, eyes comically wide.  "Carry the flag shore to shore for America, from Hoboken to -"

Steve throws a pen at his head.

thunderboltsortofapenny asked:

YOU can write WS!Steve letting Bucky play with his hair because there's no way to make it not heartbreaking and I'm not angsting that hard lol


So I picture it being the breaking point of this really long, drawn out battle of trust between the Asset and Bucky. The Asset’s accepted Bucky as his new handler but slowly comes to the realization that Bucky doesn’t want him to be “functional”, and the Asset’s scared shitless of not being functional because not being functional means being Steve, and despite the fact that Bucky has a million and one fond memories of Steve, the only thing the Asset knows about Steve is his nightmares of being cold and in pain and begging for it to stop and being horrifically scared and lonely and just slowly, slowly losing hope that someone’s going to save him. 

Because Steve breaking is not a sudden snap the way Bucky’s potentially was, with Steve’s death being the breaking point. Steve’s is a long, ugly, drawn out process. It takes months and months and he remembers every second in his nightmares and in that minute after he wakes up screaming, and he’s terribly relieved when the memories slip away from him again.

So when he realizes that his handler wants him to hold onto that, to be that person and have all that memory of pain constantly, the Asset runs. He disappears into the night for almost a week.

He instantly regrets it. It’s winter, and he didn’t prepare; it was a split-second decision made after a nightmare, just one more example of how he is no longer functional. It’s icy, and he’s cold and lonely, and he misses his handler, even if he was a terrible handler. He misses the constant, pointless chatter, the warm showers, his handler tucking him into a soft bed and waking him up with whispers and smiles.

He stumbles back a week later to his handler’s little house. The Asset is shivering, his shoes are soaked through, he’s miserable and filthy and hungry. His handler will be angry at him for wandering off; they always are. He will be punished, the warmth and kindness he missed will not be there.

He knocks on the door. His handler opens it halfway through a sentence spoken to someone he thinks is at the door, “Hey, did you-“, and freezes when he realizes who it really is.

"Shit." he whispers, grabbing the Asset’s shirt and pulling him into the kitchen. "Shit, Steve." His handler holds him. The Asset doesn’t know what to do as his handler rubs his back and doesn’t let go. His handler is crying. His handler does not yell or hit him or punish him. He sobs and holds him very tightly.

Slowly, the Asset relaxes. His handler is not angry that the Asset left, he is… happy that the Asset is back.

"I’m cold." The Asset said softly, and that’s not the right way to say it. He’s supposed to inform his handler of his internal body temperature. of the percentage of risk of hypothermia-

"Okay." His handler whispers, nodding against the Asset’s shoulder before pulling back and cupping the Asset’s face in his hands. His hands are warm, and his handler is smiling even though his eyes are shiny with tears. "You wanna take your shower now?" The Asset is so relieved and so grateful that he cannot speak. He can only nod, and his handler smiles even wider and leads him to the bathroom. The Asset washes a week of grit and grime and sweat off of his skin and out of his hair. He takes a bit longer than necessary to do so, because the water is very warm and he didn’t think he’d get to feel it again. 

His handler says nothing about how long he’s taken in the shower when the Asset comes out dressed in his pajamas. He only hugs the Asset again, more gently this time, slower, with more warning. The Asset thinks he wouldn’t mind if his handler hugged him like this more often. Maybe he could hug his handler back. 

His mind stumbles, slides back. You don’t hug handlers. But… handlers don’t hug you either. The Asset tries to grapple with this. Nothing here makes any sense.

"What are you?" The Asset asks. His… handler(?) pulls back, frowning.

"What do you mean?" he asks.

"You are not my handler." The Asset says. This much he knows. This man is not a handler, a handler would not respond to the Asset the way this man has responded to him. The man looks startled.

"No." He says, and the Asset blinks, having expected him to claim that title. "No, Steve. I’m your friend." The man sees the Asset’s confusion and sighs. "Come on, man. Let’s go to bed. We can talk tomorrow, okay?" The Asset nods slowly.

In bed, the Asset considers what the man said. The man is not his handler. The man is his friend. The Asset does not think he’s ever had a friend before. 

He has nightmares again that night, but halfway through, the cold and screaming melts into something else.

A little boy, too skinny under his layers and layers of jackets and coats, screams as another boy, taller and stronger, pushes the sled down the snowy hill.

"Come on, buddy!" the taller boy yells. "Hands in the air!"

"You’re crazy!" the smaller one on the sled screams back. As if on cue, the sled catches on something and flips. The boy flips and barrels through the snow.

"Oh shit, Stevie!" The taller boy slips and stumbles down the snowy hill towards the crash site. He hears wheezing and coughing and speeds up, terror in his eyes.

He finds his friend laughing through a minor asthma attack, curled up in the snow, soaked to the bone.

I’m crazy?” the taller boy laughs, tugging his friend upright. He’s grinning, but there are tears in his eyes that he blinks away. “You’re crazy.”

The Asset is quiet the next day, and his friend doesn’t seem to like that. The Asset is not angry or sullen. The Asset is thinking. Trying to restructure his current situation around this new relationship.

The man is his friend, not his handler. Is the Asset the man’s friend in return? He must be; it makes sense that he would be.

The Asset… enjoys being around the man. He finds listening to him talk an enjoyable experience. Being around the man is preferable to not being around him, he’s discovered that. The man is his friend.

But being someone’s friend and being someone’s handler are surely two different things. This explains why the man was a poor handler. He was not acting as a handler; he was acting as a friend. He cares for the Asset and extends far more trust and care to the Asset than a handler would. 

Does this mean that the Asset should extend the man more trust than he would a handler? The idea makes sense, and the idea makes the Asset… he doesn’t flinch away from the idea. It feels right.

His friend deserves trust.

His friend doesn’t like it when the Asset is silent. After dinner, his friend sits down with a bottle and drinks from it quietly.

The Asset hesitates, then sits next to his friend. He pauses, and his friend stares. Then the Asset curls up on his side with his head in his friend’s lap.

It’s an odd action, but it feels natural. It feels like something he’s done before, though there’s no way-

Steve loved letting Bucky pet his hair, but it felt like admitting defeat. Like admitting something was wrong, that he needed comfort. He hated doing that. Feeling vulnerable. Too many people assumed he was vulnerable, he had to prove them wrong.

So letting Bucky tug him down so that his head was on his lap and run his fingers through Steve’s hair was a treat, like a Christmas ham. It felt nice. It felt safe.

His friend’s fingers run through the Asset’s hair slowly, carefully, gently, and the Asset melts. He trusts. His friend is not going to hurt him. The Asset is safe.

His friend chokes, and for a moment, the Asset isn’t sure if his friend is laughing or sobbing. 

"I’ve got ya, buddy," his friend whispers. "You’re safe. I’ve got ya."

The Asset believes him.

thunderboltsortofapenny asked:

Not so much inspired as violently reminded about how Bucky raised Tony and how terrified he is that Tony's gonna follow Steve's lead and do something incredibly stupid and brave and die in combat.

Okay, but I’ve just been in your tags again collecting my thoughts, and I just … I need a lot of Bucky explaining to Steve what it’s like to repeatedly, wholeheartedly believe that you are, right now at this moment, watching your child about to die?  Because re: levels of experience, Steve is really young and never had kids, and Bucky has actually LIVED many of the years that Steve missed and has raised a child to adulthood, and as much as they love each other, that is this HUGE experience gap, and I was reading your tags on gifsets and just … couldn’t … stop … thinking…  

Bucky when Tony was in Afghanistan. Bucky when the arc reactor is poisoning Tony.  Bucky when Tony flies up into the portal and he races up to try to make sure his son doesn’t die alone.  Steve do you understand why it scares Bucky to have Tony following you into fights?

You’re fucking me up.

Agent Galaga Already Knows The Old Saying About Russia and Winter

So despite Tony Stark trying to make it so, his name is not Agent Galaga. 

His real name is Jonathan Wade.  He’s a Brooklyn boy - born and bred, he loves messing around with emulators and ROMs because the old school games will never go out of style and yes, he was the one who set up more than one person’s station with a sick Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ROM on their respective Playstation emulators.  

In fact, that’s how he ended up bonding with Captain America - the video games.

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thunderboltsortofapenny replied to your post: evansebstan said:Ok this doesn’t …

i’m so confused i’m writing fluff and everyone else is causing pain. this is a weird night. SAM WILSON HONORARY COMMANDO i’m not saying that someday everyone gets haunted by ghosts and Sam’s expecting Riley but gets Dum Dum instead but, i am.

The ghosts don’t make their first appearance until you’re alone.

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Bucky never wanted Steve to stay over. Loved staying over at Steve’s, even though Steve’s house was tiny and cramped, with thin walls and creaky floors and a roof that leaked. Bucky’s house was big and spacious: he had his own room and so did his three siblings, his little brother and sisters. Rebecca was just a baby but Asher and Esther were seven and five. He didn’t talk to them about what happened in his room. He didn’t want to scare them, and he didn’t think it happened to them.

He never wanted Steve to stay over, because if Steve did stay over, he’d stay in Bucky’s room. And Bucky’s room was scary at night.

She lived in his closet.

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general book rec for Deathless fans looking to get a better handle on russian/soviet history and the time period of the book

Koba The Dread: Laughter And The Twenty Million by martin amis is a good, basic, conversational, well-researched book on the whole slide into darkness thing that russia did when adapting to soviet life, i read it in high school when i was also first getting into this shit,  this book does a great job of implicating that motherfucker Lenin in the culture of murder that the ussr adopted, his tone is great, he quotes solzhenitsyn a lot, he quotes a lot of other g r e a t underground soviet writers a lot, it’s a really great introduction if russian/soviet history is new to you and you’re just looking to get a round of rocksalt to the face in terms of getting to know what’s what

on that note The Whisperers: Private Life In Stalin’s Russia by orland figes is a heavier (literally, it’s fucking huge) book that i got for my 22nd birthday, and it is p e r f e c t, it is literally how the family unit survived (and didn’t) in soviet russia, it is about the culture of fear and anonymous denunciations and the effects of collectivization, you will learn about kulaks and the children of kulaks, you will learn about the young pioneers, you will learn about the house committees that the domoviye in Deathless formed imitations of, you will learn about the prisons, you will learn about resistance and keeping family and religious traditions alive when it is death and torture to keep those traditions, you will learn, so much, i promise you you will.

LAST ONE (thank god)

sequel/sister fic to A Breath Before the Storm Breaks and This is My Family

"Webcomic Artist and Future Children’s Author, Kathleen Carter-Jones Reflects on Family, Children’s Books, and Her Greatest Inspiration"

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thunderboltsortofapenny asked:

PA, you don't have to be alone

Changed it to past tense a wee bit.  Also, because of this

Bucky’s sitting on the sofa in his office, elbows propped on his knees.  His television is on but muted, and he looks more like he’s staring at the wall than the screen.  There’s a folder on the cushion next to him, and Steve doesn’t need to open it to know what’s inside.  Steve leans in the door for a moment, and he’s the president for God’s sake, he shouldn’t feel this hesitant about anything, but.  But.  It’s been a hell of a day.

"Hey," he says.

Bucky startles slightly, and starts to stand, but Steve waves him back down.  ”Mr. President -” he says, 

"Just Steve tonight.  I’m too tired to be the president," he says, and plops himself down next to Bucky.  He has to move the folder to do so, and tries to ignore the way Bucky’s eyes tighten as he grabs it, then relax when he only tosses it out of the way instead of opening it.

"Sure," says Bucky.  They sit in silence, staring at the news playing on the television.  Bucky breaks the silence first with a sigh, then pinches the bridge of his nose and says, "So you’ve probably seen the pictures by now."

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thunderboltsortofapenny asked:

Glad you're back! And that Seattle was awesome! Are you seeing Cap 2 tonight? I'm eagerly awaiting your review/ any or all fics henceforth

Yes!  Going to AMC’s Captain America Marathon in…  about three hours!

AS ALWAYS: for the first month of a movie’s US release, any discussion will be A. tagged as “Spoilers” “Cap 2” and “Cap 2 Spoilers,” B. clearly labeled, and C. under a cut.

As is the norm for me, all those around the world who have seen this movie have been tagging and posting carefully.  Let’s not be dicks, North America. Not everyone can/will be able to see the film on it’s release day, so keep up your tagging/cuts.

You don’t want Cap to be disappointed in you, do you?  HMMMMMM?

thunderboltsortofapenny asked:

I'm fucking asking for it but President America "do you want to talk about it?"

Pre-campaign spiraling Bucky.  Includes drinking and implied drug abuse.  Doesn’t fit exactly with thunderbolt’s timeline but hey that’s okay, right?  Just a drabble.  Well.  An angst bomb if we’re being specific.  Thanks to ink-phoenix for helping.  :D

He spends five days down a bottle trying to forget that Steve’s graduating on Saturday, but he still wakes up that morning with a splitting headache and a pain in his chest, because in four hours Steve’ll be walking across a stage to accept his law degree, and Bucky isn’t going to be there.

He’s in his kitchen, willing the coffee to brew faster and feeling like something’s crawled into his mouth and died when his phone rings.  He answers without checking the number, assuming it’s Natasha, and says, “Please tell me you’re gonna come and shoot me in the head.”

"Depends," says a deep, male voice that is most definitely not Nat.  "Where are you?"

"Dum Dum?" Bucky says, standing straighter and wanting to kick himself.  "Oh.  Hi."

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Whee! President America!
thunderboltsortofapenny replied to your photoset:I braved the depths of the Internet, an impending…

Thank you for more PA photos

The bunny in my head was either Mrs. Rogers and Mrs. Barnes out on a date a good several months AFTER the Battle of New York or the official announcement that “Yes, Captain America and Sgt. Barnes have been sweethearts for years and just got married.  Also, they are disgustingly, sickeningly, blissfully happy.” - The last quote is from Tony, because, of course, it’s Tony.  :P 

thunderboltsortofapenny asked:

What are your other favorite urban legends? I just found out about Nain Rouge, creepiest thing ever.

Ohhhhh, Nain Rouge is a good one. Have you ever seen the YT videos of gnomes in Argentina? There’s a few, but this was the first (I think).

My dad used to tell me about Soap Sally. Usually late at night, always with spooky voices. She is an old lady (sometimes the legend says she is a witch, depending on who tells it) who makes soap out of children who stay out past curfew. She goes around your neighborhood after dark to check, you see.

If she doesn’t find any stray children, she starts looking in houses to ensure that kids are all in bed and asleep. Anyone up past their bedtime is snatched out their bedroom window and taken back to her house where she boils them into her next batch of soap.

I love all the variations of La Llorona/Mary Worth/The Lady in White.

The wendigo/windigo is also a favorite, if we’re talking creatures/cryptids. Like Soap Sally (and so many other legends), there is a didactic element to the myth.

I think that’s what is so fascinating about legends, to be honest. They say a lot about a culture and the fears and social issues of that culture. For better or worse…

For instance, how depressing is it to realize that so many of America’s most well-known (people-centric) urban legends feature vulnerable young women who are tormented by men?

Think: “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs,” “The Hookman,” “Humans Can Lick Too,” “Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn on the Light?” (and every other variant of the dead roommate legend), etc.

They all feature young women who are made to suffer at the hands of cruel, probably psychotic men.

These legends almost always feature the female surviving the ordeal, but she is forever changed. Most end with the unsettling conclusion that the female was so scarred by the experience, she ended up in a mental institution and never spoke again. 

And the male villain who terrorized her? He almost always escapes. Or no trace of him is found, leading police and neighbors to question the validity of the young woman’s experience and her innocence in whatever crime took place.

Some of America’s most famous scary urban legends from about the ’70s to present day are all basically metaphorical accounts of rape culture with the overarching message that young women need to be more careful because men just cannot be trusted. 

thunderboltsortofapenny asked:

Oof, Tony in Afghanistan is a bad. So bad. Much bad.

Is this the part where you explain to me exactly how Afghanistan went down in kid!fic so that I can cry all night? 

Because I could be going in entirely the wrong direction but …Bucky was the Soldier at some point in this AU, yes?  Because I’m having about 10 million feelings about the idea of Bucky breaking through brainwashing to take care of a child and about 10 million more feelings about what a trigger it would be to have that child kidnapped, even if the ‘child’ is 40 years old when that happens.

And just … Tony having the motivation to get back to the father that raised him. And knowing that his dad pretty much has to be looking for him and would never give up and believe he’s dead.  (What was their relationship like when Afghanistan happened, you made it sound in a tag like they hadn’t seen each other in a while and I started to get angsty feelings…)