osprey_archer: (writing)
I posted a fic on AO3 before I left for Miami, & then forgot to post a link over here! Although in general I've gotten out of the loop of posting links to my fics here. Must correct this.

Title: Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
Fandom: Agents of SHIELD/MCU
Pairings: a bit of Bucky/Daisy but not much
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Bucky runs into another super-powered fugitive from justice with a yen for black leather jackets: Skye a.k.a. Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake. He figures he's got to have something in common with someone who's got that many names.

This is the last of the fics-for-ACLU donations that have been requested so far, so if you were hoping to get in on that, the deck is cleared! Now is the time! I have raised $465 so far and would really like to make it up to $500. $10 donation minimum! Send me your donation receipt and let the games begin!

I can write for many, many fandoms, including Agents of SHIELD, Captain America, Agent Carter, various American Girl books, various Rosemary Sutcliff books (although if you want one of the more obscure ones, best to check if I've read it), Tortall, many other things for I am a fannish butterfly who flits from flower to flower. Happy to discuss fic specifics with you!
osprey_archer: (Agent Carter)
For [personal profile] evelyn_b: the MCU. Which is awfully broad! There’s a lot of MCU out there and I have seen quite a bit of it (although I never did finish any of the Netflix shows). But even without them, there are still all those movies, and Agents of SHIELD, and Agent Carter (RIP! I wasn’t as fond of the second season as the first, but I still would have liked a third.)

the character I least understand

Oh, man. I love Skye a lot (have I mentioned that she and I have the exact same birthday? Not just the day but the year. WE ARE SPIRIT TWINS) but I still don’t get her swift switcheroo from “Rising Tide hacktivist” to “loyal SHIELD agent” in season one. It’s just so fast! And so completely devoid of guilt or regret! She meets up with one of her former friends one time, and then Coulson cuts off her computer access and all contact with the outside world (brainwashing 101! I’m just saying!) and she never tries again or worries about betraying them or anything. It’s like she’s forgotten her Rising Tide friends ever existed.

...and we know that SHIELD totally has the tech to make that happen. Fury used it on Coulson to make him forget the process by which they brought him back to life. I’M JUST SAYING.

interactions I enjoyed the most

Peggy Carter and Dottie Underwood’s interactions were all A++ and I will be forever sad that we won’t get to see them team up against a greater threat - not in the “You have to work with us or this exploding necklace will explode” way they worked together in season 2, but genuinely working together to fight, like, aliens.

I also loved Natasha & Steve’s friendship in Winter Soldier. And of course Steve vs. the Winter Soldier on the helicarrier is absolute gold, the fight that launched a thousand ships.

the character who scares me the most

Honestly I find the Hulk pretty terrifying and I don’t think it’s responsible of SHIELD or the Avengers to send him out on missions in anything less than a Chitauri-invasion type situation, because the threat he poses is just too great. Just look what he did in Age of Ultron: he loses control and wrecks great swathes of a city. (With Tony’s help in the Hulkbuster, of course, but that honestly only strengthens my point.)

the character who is mostly like me

Probably none of them; I am just not that badass. Even Darcy is way quicker with quips and cooler under pressure than I would be.

hottest looks character

You realize this is an impossible question in the MCU. There are so many of them and they are all so pretty, it’s completely impossible. Even just going with the movies - even limiting it to just the Cap films - how are you going to choose between Steve and Peggy and Natasha and Winter Soldier Bucky (I think he’s so much more attractive with the long hair and stubble)? You can’t do it! They’re all too gorgeous!

And it just gets worse when you bring Thor and Bobbi Morse and everyone else from every MCU thing into the mix. Too much pretty. Too much. Too much!

one thing I dislike about my fave character

Most of Bucky’s everything in Civil War, honestly. I dislike the fact that the writers went with trigger word brainwashing instead of something closer to real-world brainwashing (I realize that this is a silly complaint about a superhero sci-fi movie but I can’t help it), and the ending where he chooses to go into cryo. I realize he has every reason in the world to give up but I still don’t want him to.

one thing I like about my hated character

I ACTUALLY DO HAVE A MOST HATED MARVEL CHARACTER. I DESPITE DR. HOLDEN RADCLIFFE (the scientist who first shows up in season 3 of Agents of SHIELD) WITH THE FIERY PASSION OF A THOUSAND SUNS. He is trying to hide the fact that he is evil behind an eccentric yet harmless mad scientist veneer but I am NOT HAVING ANY OF IT ANY MORE, he is just straight up evil and views humans as chess pieces - not even chess pieces! Chess pieces have some individuality! - as checkers, flat little checkers to be moved around the board at his whim.

I will not list all the terrible things he does, because there are simply too many, but the scene that really snapped me is the one where he’s trying to manipulate Fitz by telling Fitz that Fitz is like a son to him - and then it turns out that Radcliffe isn’t even the one talking; he’s sent in a decoy robot to say all this while he scurries away out the back door. FUCK YOU RADCLIFFE.

Um. I’m supposed to be thinking of something I like about him. He’s always got a contingency plan, which is admirable in a way, or at least it would be if each contingency plan wasn’t more evil than the next.

a quote or scene that haunts me

Does “the entirety of Winter Soldier” count? I’m not sure I can narrow it down more than that. Although the helicarrier scene and “I’m with you to the end of the line” and Bucky jumping into the Potomac to fish Steve out and then leaving him on the riverbank - all of that got me in the feels.

Or the bank vault scene where Pierce is trying to explain to the asset about the importance of his world-saving mission and the asset is just “....but I knew him,” like, he doesn’t know what’s going on but he knows Pierce is not answering his question - and then Pierce just has him wiped...

a death that left me indifferent

Pietro. Honestly, I just don’t really believe that he’s dead: his power is literally being faster than bullets and then he dies in a hail of machine gun fire. And it’s so abrupt and weirdly quippy, I can’t take it seriously.

a character I wish died but didn’t

I haven’t finished season 4 of Agents of SHIELD so it is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE that Dr. Radcliffe will, in fact, die by the end. I CAN ONLY HOPE. But as of episode 12 he is still alive and I want him dead, as dead as a doornail.

my ship that never sailed

Still in mourning for the Bobbi/Simmons that never was. They had such a glorious beginning! Bobbi undercover as a Hydra agent! Threatening Simmons and then saving her life! And Simmons getting all giggly and “She’s amazing” about it!

And then nothing. They barely even get a friendship. WHYYYYYYYYY.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
I saw Captain America: Civil War! I enjoyed it very much, although I think it's less morally sophisticated than perhaps the Russos were hoping for and mostly I am on Team Talk to Each Other, Dumbasses.

Actually I saw it a few days ago, but I have been letting it percolate through my brain before writing about it. I think that everyone in the entire universe saw this movie before I did, but just in case I'm putting spoilers under the cut )
osprey_archer: (writing)
I wrote a couple very short stories for [livejournal.com profile] trickortreatex! Both MCU, because that's just how I roll right now, I guess.

First, A Worthy Foe, about Natasha and Pepper: Pepper confronts Natalie Rushman about her true identity, and the two of them come to a tentative alliance.

Second, Nightmare, which is about post-TWS Bucky watching Steve through his bedroom window like a creeper. Steve has a nightmare. Bucky is concerned.
osprey_archer: (window)
The next three fics in my series! Chronicling Steve's slow descent toward a nervous breakdown. Oh, Steve. He has such a hard life.

Fic: Apologies
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Part 13 of Reciprocity
Summary: Steve's attempt to get Coulson to apologize somehow turns into a session of Everything That's Wrong with Steve. Steve is not sure how this happened.

Fic: Pep Talk
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Part 14 of Reciprocity
Summary: The sentence popped out of Steve like a champagne cork. “I think we should leave SHIELD.”

Bucky disagrees.

Fic: Taylor Swift
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Part 15 of Reciprocity
Summary: "What the fuck is so great about Taylor Swift?" Steve demanded.

"I’ve always had this thing for angry blondes," Bucky said.


This is actually a completely misleading summary for a mostly depressing story.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
Look look! Someone posted a comic inspired by Reciprocity! Natasha gives Pepper disguise tips. (I particularly like the part where Natasha is like "Tap into your inner sloth." Pepper probably has not had tapped into her inner sloth since she was about eight.)

(I should probably warn you, there are like...three sentences in Reciprocity that allude to Natasha and Pepper's espionage lessons, so if you read the fic for that it's going to be beyond disappointing. There are some fun Natasha scenes, though.)

And this reminds me, I haven't crossed-posted the two most recent fics yet.

Fic: Interrogation Techniques
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Part 11 of Reciprocity
Summary: Bucky kidnaps a Hydra agent for interrogation. (Very little of the fic is actually spent interrogating anyone.)

Fic: Self-Possession
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Part 12 of Reciprocity
Summary: “I’ve been meaning to fix out one of the rooms for Russki Business, too, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Is he with you?” The StarkPhone turned from side to side, scanning the car, then hovered over to peer at Bucky. “Hello, murdroyshka doll.”

Bucky scowled. “Little Orphant Anthony.”


Steve and Bucky visit New York.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
I have been so bad about cross-posting this. Oops! Have three stories.

Fic: Picnics
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Part 8 of Reciprocity
Summary: Steve and Bucky go on a series of picnics.


Fic: Christmas
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Part 9 of Reciprocity
Summary: “Did I ever tell you how I got my name?”

It's Christmastime, and the snow reminds Bucky of stories from Russia.


Fic: Summer Soldiers
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Part 10 of Reciprocity
Summary: SHIELD sends Steve on a mission before Bucky's suspension ends. Bucky is displeased.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
I am so behind on the December meme, you guys. Apologies to people who asked my questions that I haven't answered yet. I'll get around to them!

December 9: Tell me about a story you've written that veered away from where you thought it would go, but one in which that veering proved to be a good thing. (for [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume)

Cool story, bro, the fic series that has been eating my brain is basically this. It is this in spades. It was originally going to be one-shot metal arm porn, wherein the metal arm actually plays very little part because Bucky has taken it off, because of course the neighbors can't see it because that would totally blow his cover as a secret weapon and then he would clearly have to shoot them. Steve hears this explanation and is like "How do you even think like that, how does your brain work, I don't understand you."

And I had read a lot of stories about beautifully sad and often infantilized Bucky who is crushed under the guilt he feels for his amnesiac assassin past, and I wanted to do something different. So Bucky is this story is difficult, demanding, paranoid, and callous (he enjoys bragging about his past assassinations to Steve), and has complicated (and in the first story, mostly unexpressed) Bolshevik issues.

And Steve has been living with him for nearly a year at this point and is slowly beginning to crack up under the stress of dealing with someone who seems to relish being as difficult as possible and has no apparent intention of even trying to get better.

It turns out that this characterization (Bucky's, in particular; Steve's characterization is mostly a reaction to his) is a freaking gold mine of fic ideas. Most of the stories start out in my head as "How would Bucky react if...?" and the answer is usually BADLY, although only once so far has BADLY involved hitting someone, because he cottoned on fairly quickly that SHIELD doesn't approve of people beating up its own agents. (He would never actually say this, because SHIELD would probably take it as disloyal, but on his crankier days he recalls bitterly that Hydra let him hit pretty much whoever he wanted.)

So a lot of the fic is about Steve slowly starting to suss out the underlying logic to Bucky's behavior, and realizing that (for instance) part of the reason why Bucky isn't recovering is because Bucky doesn't believe they've actually reached the post part of his traumatic stress. As far as he's concerned, he's going to need his terrible coping mechanisms and he isn't fucking giving them up.

When I post the next story, the series is going to be 35,000 words, and I have like five more stories planned. I did not intend for this to eat my life.
osprey_archer: (Agents of SHIELD)
I finished season one of Agents of SHIELD. As much as I liked the first half of the season, they definitely kicked it up a notch in the post-Winter Soldier episodes! Like, I had to stop watching and come back later when Skye realized that Ward was Hydra, because OH MY GOD. The scenes where Skye knows Ward is Hydra and it's not at all clear whether Ward knows she knows, all so tense.

(I also think it's pretty obvious that they're setting Ward up for a redemption arc: his hesitation before jettisoning FitzSimmons, his real love for Skye, even his obvious affection for Garrett (and Garrett's barely-concealed scorn for his softness), all these things scream I HAVE A SOFT MARSHMALLOW UNDERBELLY, REDEEM ME.

Which isn't to say that they're going to do it well - I think an effective redemption arc for Ward would require a more sophisticated grasp of morality than the SHIELD writers seem to have, frankly - but that's clearly where we're going.)

I love everyone in this bar! Except maybe Ward, because he's evil, but maybe he'll get over it, we'll see. I loved FitzSimmons from the start (and now that I've seen Fitz before the accident I am kind of destroyed about the brain damage), but Coulson and May have grown on me to; I spent the first half of the season struggling to connect with May, but then her facade got a tiny little crack for like three seconds and now I am one hundred percent all over that. Stoic badasses who have very very secret feelings (VERY) are my jam.

My take on her fight with Ward at the end is that, insofar as it is personal, it's about his betrayal of the team and not the fact that he jilted her. She clearly never cared about him very much; the only person who suggests she does is Ward, and I think it's because he wants to be loved, far more than because he sees actual evidence that she's fond of him.

It's not a nice thing for her to do, and one of the things that has really grown on me about May is that she doesn't care if people like her (except maaaaaaybe Coulson), and the writers don't care either (I think they like her, because who wouldn't enjoy writing her? But they're not too chuffed if viewers don't share their feeling). So she's good and occasionally kind, but not at all nice. I'd hate to work with her, but it makes her interesting to watch.

And I love the fact that this show is willing to rough the girls up just as much as the guys. (Although I have heard ominous rumblings that maybe Simmons is going to die in season two, and I REFUSE, that is just not allowed.)

I like Skye a lot (look at her face in this icon, she makes all the best faces. She has no sense of dignity, I love it), although a couple of times I nearly drowned in embarrassment for her writers when they decided to tell us about how she's a shining beacon of compassion. Skye has a lot of good qualities, and compassion is occasionally one of them, but Fitz and Simmons and even occasionally Coulson - even sometimes May, in her chilly distant way - often have more of it.

Often I feel like writers, especially TV writers, think that compassion is a fuzzily mystically quality that vaguely attaches itself to characters, particularly female characters, rather than being an actual trait with defined qualities that a character needs to exhibit.

(I'm looking at you, Torchwood writers who apparently believed that Gwen Cooper glowed with compassion! Gwen Cooper who gave her boyfriend retcon and then confessed to cheating on him, so she could wring forgiveness out of him without having to deal with long-term consequences. JESUS CHRIST. Skye never does anything a quarter so egregious, thank God. My choice in shows about world-saving ragtag teams of misfits has gone up over the years!)

I am so tempted to start adding Agents of SHIELD cameos to my Bucky stories, someone please restrain me, I know that MCU fandom has decidedly mixed feelings about this show. (Skye and Bucky team up to throw snowballs at Steve would still be the cutest thing, though. The cutest.)

And this reminds me! I have a new story that I haven't linked yet.

Fic: Suspension
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Sequel to Self-Abuse, Disconnect, Boundaries, Untangle, Give Me Your Hand, and Dominoes. Maybe I should just start linking the series page in the future.
Summary: Steve was incredulous. “Do you think this is what happy and safe feels like?”

Bucky’s gaze fell away from Steve’s, his eyebrows bunching up. Steve had thought he claimed he was happy just to get Steve off his back, but Jesus. Maybe he did.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
December 4: Bucky Barnes the Bolshevik. Tell me more. (for [livejournal.com profile] sineala)

MY TWO OBSESSIONS, LINKED TOGETHER IN ONE. YES.

My thinking is this: while Hydra might be happy to create a hollow human shell, the Bolsheviks would never go for it. You don’t brainwash someone to leave their brain empty; you brainwash them to fill their mind up with other (from the Bolshevik point of view, better) things.

And the Bolsheviks didn't merely want to remake government: they wanted to remake human nature, too, to create the New Soviet Man. (For all that the Bolsheviks talked about gender equality, at least in the early years, they tended to focus on men.)

The New Soviet Man would be a heroic creature, an entirely different breed from the pathetic specimens created by bourgeois society. He would look like a Socialist Realist statue come to life, strong, tall, physically courageous, bursting with energy. But he would be smart, too, well-educated about Marxist doctrine, always up for a rousing chat about Leninism.

Selflessly loyal to the party, naturally, in that particularly Bolshevik way: full of partiinost, which is "partyness," most literally, or "party-mindedness." A loyal party-minded Bolshevik is willing to sacrifice everything and everyone to the party, because the party is the vanguard of History, spearheading the charge toward a Communist heaven-on-earth. No sacrifice is too great: all suffering will be redeemed when this paradise arrives.

(Stalin liked to arrest Politburo members' wives or children or brothers to test their partiinost. A good Bolshevik bows his head and says "Let the Party's will be done." Partly out of ideological fervor, and partly because otherwise Stalin will just arrest the whole family, placing personal love above party loyalty being a clear sign of moral rot.)

And anyway, the New Soviet Man doesn't suffer much. He's a happy, optimistic fellow, full of good fellowship towards his partners in the fight against socialism, and just as full of ruthlessness toward enemies. His whole life is subordinated to the struggle for Communism, and with the glowing vision of a beautiful future forever before his eyes, who could help being happy?

The Bolsheviks believed they could create this paragon. They subscribed to the idea that humans are born tabula rasa. People are bad now because they've been raised in bourgeois society. Raise them in socialism, and how could they help but become better?

And then providence (or, as the Bolsheviks might prefer, History) plopped the perfect test case in their laps. He already looks like a Social Realist statue (barring the arm thing, but whatever, they'll build him a new one. Do we know for sure he lost it in the fall? Maybe he lost it later on, during a Soviet mission.). And he's sharp as a tack. And he doesn't have any nasty bourgeois memories to gum up his mind.

(And he came back to life after they thawed him out. Stalin will be more than interested in that! Stalin was always super interested in longevity research, and if Zola's supersoldier program was anything but a massive failure, Stalin absolutely would have signed himself up in the hopes of living FOREVER. He probably would have handed Zola an entire gulag full of test subjects if he got the chance. I need to consider the timeline for when Zola could have visited the Soviet Union...)

In short, this amnesiac supersoldier is the perfect raw material for the New Soviet Man.

Even more perfect than they realize, because Bucky already had most of the qualities they wanted: physical courage and good fellowship and ruthlessness toward enemies (think of the scene near the beginning of The First Avenger where he chucks the bully off Steve. This is not a man who has qualms about using his physical strength against people who he thinks deserve it), and of course loyalty.

Admittedly, his loyalty is personal loyalty to specific people, not partiinost (“I’m following the skinny kid from Brooklyn”: words to make a good Bolshevik gag.) But it's easy to mistake one for the other – especially when your experiment is riding on your ability to create partiinost. Probably even the Winter Soldier thought he was a beacon of partiinost.

And, of course, having taken so many pains to teach him Marxist-Leninism, they probably used the chair as little as possible. Why wipe that out? Especially as it became clearer that Zola's experiments were a dead failure, and the Winter Soldier was the only supersoldier the Soviet Union was going to get.

The Winter Soldier probably took the fall of the Soviet Union very hard. At least until Pierce burned the knowledge out of his head.

What use was a good Bolshevik to Pierce, after all? Pierce had to scorch the Soldier’s memories away with the chair – so he’s not the Soldier anymore, just the Asset.

But the Asset’s not nearly as useful without any memories. Sullen, silent, easily confused, unpredictably violent. It disappoints Pierce: he put so much trouble into getting his hands on the Soldier, only to have to wreck him like this. But what was he supposed to do? Send him on missions “for the good of the party”? Like he has time to waste mouthing that Bolshevik mumbo-jumbo.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
Fic: Dominoes
Fandom: Captain America
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Sequel to Self-Abuse, Disconnect, Boundaries, Untangle, and Give Me Your Hand
Summary: Of course feeling loved made Bucky feel vulnerable rather than safe.

But Bucky wasn’t crying because he thought Steve loved him too much. He thought Steve didn’t like him at all.


Steve finally begins to figure out Bucky's issues.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
Fic: Give Me Your Hand
Fandom: Captain America
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Sequel to Self-Abuse, Disconnect, Boundaries, and Untangle
Summary: After Bucky is injured on a mission, he attacks the medic who is trying to help him. Steve tries keep him from hurting anyone else.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
Fic: Untangle
Fandom: Captain America
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Sequel to Self-Abuse, Disconnect, and Boundaries
Summary: “Can I comb your hair?” Steve asked.

The calm before the storm.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
I apologize to everyone who hasn't fallen down the Winter Soldier rabbit hole, because these stories have sort of taken over my life for the last week. There is something disturbingly addictive about writing "Bucky with most of the niceness burnt out of him" (as one of the comments put it).

Although in this story he gets some of it back. Sort of. A little bit.

Fic: Boundaries
Fandom: Captain America
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: PG-13
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Sequel to Self-Abuse and Disconnect
Summary: “Your goal is to replace a world-class assassin with a defective human being? That’s fucking stupid," Bucky said.

In which Bucky lies to his therapists, glories in stories of destruction, and finally has an honest conversation with Steve.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
Fic: Self-abuse
Fandom: Captain America
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: R
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Prequel to Disconnect. There will eventually be a third story too. A trilogy!
Summary: “You want me to give you a handjob,” said Steve, because he was having trouble processing this. “You can’t take care of it yourself?”

“No.” Bucky sounded annoyed. “Self-abuse makes you go blind and grow hair on your palms.”

Of
course one of the few things Bucky remembered from the thirties were anti-masturbation pamphlets.
osprey_archer: (window)
Netflix has Gilmore Girls on instant! NETFLIX HAS GILMORE GIRLS ON INSTANT. I have long thought that I should see more Gilmore Girls, and at last it is within my (extremely lazy and so very behind on TV shows) grasp!

Once I have gotten caught up on the TV shows I’m watching now, I mean.

Currently I’m catching up on season 6 of Castle. I really enjoyed the episode where Castle and Alexis worked together on a case, because Alexis remains one of my favorite characters on the show.

I am not so enthused about the storyline where Castle needs to learn important lessons about respecting Alexis’s life choices. Obviously this is an important lesson for Castle, with his barely checked yearning to helicopter parent...but at the same time, Alexis is dating Pi. I mean, he chose Pi as a nickname on purpose. And then he slept on the Castle’s couch for a month! A MONTH.

Pi is awful and I am 100% with Castle in his belief that Alexis deserves better than to spend her life looking after this manchild.

(My other frustration with this episode is the scene at the end, where Alexis and Becket talk about Becket and Castle's impending nuptials and reconcile. I would actually have loved this scene if we actually got to hear any of it, but we don't; we just see them hug from Castle's vantage point outside the room. Because the important thing is not their relationship; it's that their relationship is positive and therefore won't be a source of stress for Castle.

I really prefer Castle when it treats Castle and Becket as co-protagonists, as opposed to the times it remembers that it's called Castle and decides that therefore she's an adjunct to him.)

Anyway. I watched the season premiere of season 7 despite not being caught up - it’s not such a continuity heavy show that this matters too much. Did anyone else watch the season premiere? Castle got kidnapped by a vast conspiratorial organization that apparently possesses the ability to induce amnesia, which presumably is the same conspiracy that killed Becket’s mother, because otherwise Castle will have TWO big conspiracies and one was really more than I wanted in the first place.

Anyway, my takeaway from all this is that the conspiracy that killed Becket’s mother and kidnapped Castle (and possibly includes Castle’s daddy as a member) is Hydra. They are vast and amazingly powerful and super secret and have the ability to induce amnesia! (And Castle and Agents of SHIELD are on the same TV network. I am just saying.)

The one problem with this theory is that if Tony Stark existed in Castle’s New York, you know Castle would be going to all his parties and would be completely unable to resist mentioning the fact that he was partying with freaking IRON MAN, you guys. IRON MAN.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
Anyone else watching season 2 of Agents of SHIELD? I saw the first episode! Mostly I spent it figuring out who was who, although I've read enough about the show that I got most of them slotted into place eventually. And I had FEELINGS, mostly about Fitz & Simmons.

Spoilers )
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
Fic: Disconnect
Fandom: Captain America
Pairings: Steve/Bucky
Rating: R
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] littlerhymes
Summary: Bucky had been treated like a thing for decades. It shouldn’t be a surprise that he’d learned to see other people that way. Bucky's years as the Winter Soldier have stunted his empathy so badly that Steve's not sure Bucky is capable of emotional connection anymore. But Steve keeps trying anyway, and Bucky is happy to take advantage of that.
osprey_archer: (Winter Soldier)
I've finally given in to the inevitable and started writing Winter Soldier fic. Currently writing: Steve's air conditioner breaks on a hot summer day, leading Steve to contemplate the fact that Bucky's empathy seems disturbingly foreshortened by his years as the Winter Soldier. With bonus metal arm porn!

So far it is tragically devoid of Stalin references or attempts by Bucky to convince Steve to behave like a proper Bolshevik, but doubtless I can use that in other stories.
osprey_archer: (cheers)
I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier again (they’re showing it at the Union), and in between this and dipping my toe in the waters of Winter Soldier fic I, like everyone else in the universe, have been having many Bucky thoughts.

1. The general assumption in fic seems to be that as soon as Bucky realized he was actually Bucky, he shucked off years of brainwashing and was left mostly with overwhelming guilt, anger issues, and the instincts of a feral cat.

But it would be really interesting if he doesn't shuck it off that quickly - if, for instance, once he starts working for SHIELD (everyone seems to assume he's going to work for SHIELD) he mostly expects it to work like Hydra, just maybe with less elecroshock memory-destroying chairs. "So when am I going back into cryo?" Bucky asked, after he and Steve completed their first mission. "What do you mean I'm not going back into cryo? That seems awfully wasteful."

And Steve died a little inside as he tried to explain that no, SHIELD doesn't put its agents in cryo between missions, and no really Bucky, it's not because we don't value your skill set properly. We do! Really! Even if we never tell you that your work is a gift to humanity.

It's like people raised in really restrictive environments, religious cults or whatever: even if they leave the fold and consciously reject those believes, that doesn't mean they've rooted all those unconscious assumptions about how the world works out of their heads. Or, actually, I think anyone who has decided to make a conscious effort to fight racism or sexism or so forth has probably experienced this: it's easier to change your conscious beliefs than your underlying assumptions.

2. Speaking of "your work is a gift to humanity" - and I love that scene, by the way, because Pierce gives this spiel about how the asset's work is a gift to humanity and shaped the century and is creating freedom for everyone blah blah blah, and Bucky listens and at the end of it he's like... But this isn't even slightly related to my question about the man on the bridge... Because Bucky is brainwashed, not stupid: he's observant enough to notice that Pierce didn't actually answer his question, just gave him a puff piece to distract him.

Anyway. The common assumption seems to be that once Bucky finds out he was brainwashed, he's going to feel super guilty about all those assassinations. But maybe not. Maybe he thinks some of them were unnecessary but some of those assassinations, goddamnit, really were gifts to humanity, and nothing Steve says is going to take that away from him!

After all, if he decides that all the assassinations were just wrong, that means that all his suffering and pain were pointless. It might be less painful to believe that some good came out of it.

I also think this would set up an interesting conflict, where Steve is inclined to see current Bucky as essentially a broken version of the old Bucky, and Bucky gives him a lot of push-back on that because, well, look at all I've accomplished! Fuck you, Steve, just because I'm not the same person you knew doesn't mean I'm nothing but the empty traumatized hull of your best friend. I've been doing things for the last seventy years! Can't say the same for you, glacier boy.

Not that he's totally ungrateful, mind. Just resentful at the same time. The world was a lot simpler when Pierce assured him that his work was a gift to humanity whenever he got confused.

3. Paranoia! I want so much more paranoia, you guys. Paranoia from all sides!

Sure, Bucky saved Steve's life, but then he just up and disappeared and who knows where he's been for the past few days/weeks/months before he turns himself in or Steve finds him or whatever. Going back to his Hydra handlers? Being recaptured, re-brainwashed, and sent to SHIELD as a Hydra spy? "You have to accept that possibility," Agent Coulson told Steve.

"But - !" Steve protested. "After what they did to him - !"

"If you can't," said Agent Coulson, "you're really too emotionally compromised to look after him. Because you have to keep an eye out for signs that he might be in contact with Hydra. We can't have them infiltrating us again."

And Steve is tormented, TORMENTED by the fact that he has to spy on Bucky, but when Bucky finally finds out he is all, "THANK GOD you guys are actually putting some effort into counterintelligence this time around, I don't want to wake up some day and discover that I am working for Hydra again because you fuckers couldn't be bothered to do your due diligence. Not that I would be waking up. The first thing they would do is stick both of us in cryo. TRUST NO ONE. CONSTANT VIGILANCE."

I kind of expect that Bucky would be at least as paranoid as Nick Fury. I'm not sure it counts as paranoid once you've realized that, no really, everyone you knew really was lying to you all the time about everything. With the aid of a memory-erasing chair, to boot.

Given that history, I think talking honestly to a therapist would be near the end of a very long process of healing. Because for a long time, being asked to discuss weaknesses, fears, and painful memories is just going to sound like, "Please hand us all your vulnerable points on a silver platter so we can use them again you."

Especially if the therapist is SHIELD connected. Especially given how Hydra-infested SHIELD was in the first place. Oh sure, you think you've caught all the Hydra agents, but... TRUST NO ONE.

***

I actually have some other thoughts, largely of the "Time to get my Soviet history geek on!" variety (I'm sure that if anyone ever acquainted Stalin with the idea of a brainwashed amnesiac super-assassin, Stalin would have responded by demanding a whole battalion of them, and possibly summoning the already existent one to shoot vodka glasses off Politburo members' heads), but this has become mammothly long so I'll stop.

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