gladdecease: (☆ grief has many causes; one is loss)
gladdecease ([personal profile] gladdecease) wrote2016-01-03 09:55 pm

thing the... fortieth? [wip amnesty 2015 part 1]

Geez, long time no blog.

Well, that's how it goes with me, I guess - tiny bursts of posting and then nothing at all for a year or more.

I'm finally giving up on a few pieces that have been lingering in my editpad files for... probably longer than a year, honestly? But I'm feeling like it's time to let go of these ficbits, see if I can get something else written once they're out of my mind.

This one would have been part of rumors of my death, etc. It's an in-between for the first part and end one (Took the Slow Path), which I wrote when I was still working out how detailed I wanted the multiple endings to be.

Somehow, eventually, Bucky gets up off the floor. HYDRA may be dealt with, but the war goes on - and the dead weight of his arm is an unwanted reminder that the war's going to have to go on without him.

He wipes off his face, goes out to face the music from Phillips, and finds him with Howard Stark. Stark gives his arm a considering glance, makes an offer. "I could build you a new arm, if you want. Better, stronger. You could be back with the Commandos in six months, if the war isn't already over by then."

Bucky bites back a shudder of revulsion, the source of which he can't place ("This one will survive the process, I am sure, and come out better, stronger."), and says, "Thanks, but I'm good with the one I've got."

Eyes linger on Bucky's face, on some tear streak he missed or redness he couldn't scrub away, but no comment is made. If either of them know Bucky would've been done with this war regardless of his arm's condition, it doesn't come up. Not when the Commandos come to see him shipped back to the States, not when he's honorably discharged with a dozen different medals to his name, and not when the president personally thanks him for his service, shakes his hand in front of the White House and everything.

Brooklyn is almost exactly the same as when Bucky left it. The streets, the people, they're all the same - which must mean the reason it all feels wrong is because he's changed. Or because...

Monuments pop up all over the place, most of them honoring Captain America, a handful honoring Steve Rogers. Bucky can't bear to go near most of them, but on the Brooklyn Memorial Steve's name is just one of thousands, and he can stand there without people asking questions.

For a few months, all he does is sit at that memorial and do the exercises they taught him at the VA to keep his numb arm from shrivelling up.

Then one day he arrives at the memorial to find someone else already standing by Steve's name: Agent Carter. Or Peggy, he supposes; when you've cried that much in front of a person, it feels wrong to call them by their last name. She looks Bucky over, and he becomes consciously aware of what a mess he is, hair wild, clothes wrinkled and ill=fitting. Not like her, professional uniform traded in for professional suit, not a hair out of place.

"Everyone grieves in their own way," she says quietly, "and far be it from me to tell you to stop, but I think you already know this isn't how he would want your life to be."

If she'd said it any other way, Bucky might've kept going like that out of spite, but she's right. Steve would want better for him.

So Bucky goes and tries to find better for himself. He cleans himself up, [aaand here's where I decided I wasn't going to go into this kind of detail after all]