- Dark Themes
- Death-Minor Character
- Alternate Universe
- Ménage or More
- Time Travel
Steve braced and dropped his weight down as the terrible creature, that had once been a soldier, wrapped its oddly elongated and muscular fingers around the edge of his shield. He felt the creature begin to lift him from his feet and released the strap so he could wriggle out of the harness connecting him to the shield. The weight of his own body trapped him. The strap cut into the flesh of his forearm and the creature roared its glorious success as it twisted the Shield dragging Steve from his feet.
Time seemed to slow around him, the world spinning as he was spun in a tight circle momentum building, the tall windows that lined the room flickering in and out of his vision sickeningly. He felt a gentle brush of Guide against his mind and sensed more than saw Bucky lift a stolen Hydra weapon, taking careful aim. Steve reached up with his free hand, abandoning his plan to detach from the shield to instead wrench every muscle tight and curl into the curve of it.
The odd phwathp of the alien weapon echoed passed him, the creature bellowed, and Steve launched across the room towards the windows and the surely deadly drop to the forest floor below.
Steve uncurled and spread-eagled in the air.
The Shield struck something impossibly hard and the whining, sickening, yet entrancing sound that had filled the room exploded to deafening volumes. Blue filled every inch of his vision and, denied that sense, Steve reached out with his whole mind for his Guide. The untameable Sentinel that lived deep in his soul raging as Steve crashed through the glass and ceased.
Ceased to fall.
Ceased to hear.
Ceased to breath.
Ceased to rage.
Ceased to exist, even within his own mind and blue filled his entire world. Vision, taste, smell, feel, even his ears were filled with the sound of blue. Steve could feel blue to the centre of his very soul and he drifted.
He drifted in a timeless void, for hours, years, seconds or centuries. He was suspended and yet aware that he was forever tumbling and falling.
A sharp blaze of light cut the blue, marking it with white, then black, a dozen blazes of light and twinkling stars becoming clear. A nebula in the distance filled with colours that Steve had barely known could exist so boldly.
He gasped in a breath only to open his mouth fruitlessly, lungs heaving without success. And as the blue receded, and the understanding of fear returned, he fell. He tumbled backwards through the void of space and as though he had broken the surface of a swimming pool sound returned suddenly. Air flooded his gasping lungs, wind cut sharply against his skin and over it all came the glorious and terrible scent of home. New York layered with chemical strangeness and the too familiar stench of blood and gunfire.
Something zipped past him and instinct had him lashing out with enhanced speed to grab at it. He breathed in a deep scent of wrong and snapped the creatures neck without a thought, shield flapping loosely against his arm. The primal Sentinel within him beating its chest and roaring its pleasure. Steve rolled his shoulders and fully climbed aboard the odd flying machine he had grabbed, he inspected the controls, glanced down to gauge how far away the ground was and jumped.
He landed on his feet, heavily but without a stagger. His shield arm coming up, hand gripping the leather strap automatically to steady it. He spotted a group of human combatants and headed towards them. He kept his shield up to protect his centre mass, Bucky’s voice echoing in his ears, but low enough that his face could be seen.
“Looks like you could use a hand out here!” He shouted at the collection of people gathered in a loose circle, they made a strange group he noted. A scruffy gentleman in battered brogues and glasses, a lady with scarlet hair dressed in a strange outfit clinging tighter than most girls undergarments and a tired-looking man with a bow and clearly broken nose. Despite their oddness, they all looked up at him sharply, all three tracking his movements carefully.
Steve came to a halt a dozen or so feet from them and slowly lowered his shield, pressing his raging sentinel instincts into a corner. He breathed evenly despite the arrow aimed at his heart and the odd-looking pistol at his head.
“You should evacuate, dressing up like a superhero isn’t going to keep you alive out here.” The archer called.
At the archer’s words, the other man started and jerked on hand up as though he was about to begin to speak. He seemed to catch himself though and brought his hand down to clench at his side.
“I’m just here to lend a hand, help out where I can, you could say I’ve got experience with this sorta thing,” Steve called over with a smile.
The scruffy man took a few determined steps forwards, sidestepping the woman one-handed grab and coming to stand close enough for Steve to hear his breathing without even trying. The woman and the archer kept the weapons up despite the fact their colleague was in their way.
Steve blinked and grabbed the proffered hand more out of habit than actual politeness.
“Steve Rogers. Captain.” Steve glanced around at this strange world, the contraptions that he guessed could be automobiles and the bright screens spluttering broken messages high above them. “Or I was back home.”
“We don’t have time for this, Banner.” The woman called,
Bruce held a finger up and lent forwards, he breathed deeply nose scarcely above Steve’s skin. An odd green flush flowed over his skin and he sharply took a few steps back before muttering.
“I know…” seemingly to himself, as his chin jolted to one side before returning to centre. “Don’t trust them once the fight is over.” Banner said, looking up at Steve sharply before clapping him on the shoulder and motioning for him to follow.
“Got something to share with the class, big guy?” a Voice called from above them and Steve startled out of his skin, he looked up to find a suit of armour floating near soundlessly above his head.
“Tony, meet Steve Rogers. The Steve Rogers. Captain, meet Tony.” Bruce said with a careless wave of his hand as he walked away from the group. The green flush to his skin seeming to ripple and bulge before settling.
“Tony! Just Tony? Not ‘the Tony’ or Tony Stark, Genius extraordinaire.”
“… Stark?” Steve frowned up at the suit, “As in Howard…”
“…and look at that, we have a fight to get back too. Nice to meet you, Cap. Kill some aliens, avoid getting squished by jolly green and save some energy for the afterparty.” The suit shot into the air and zipped through the air.
Steve watched as the archer shrugged and lowered his bow, the woman copying his motion a long moment later. Bruce looked up sharply and Steve heard Stark’s voice come from the woman’s ear, “Party inbound.”
Bruce rolled his shoulders, and slowly began to walk forwards. The shirt on his back rippled and tore as a giant green creature took his place. Steve’s breath caught in his throat at the sight of the mutant.
“We call him the Hulk.” The woman said.
She was watching him with an assessing gaze so Steve shrugged and evenly replied with, “Trying to recreate me? Never works out well, least this one is on our side.”
He turned his back on the woman, took a deep breath and let the Sentinel within him rise to the surface. He gave in to its desire to hunt down every creature, not of earth and charged into war behind the giant berserker that was cleaning a bloody path.
They fought for hours, on and off as waves of aliens flooded from the sky, in the lulls Steve leans against familiar walls and looked at a foreign skyline. Each turn he took revealed something vaguely familiar but yet changed and futuristic. Steve could only compare what he was seeing to the science fiction magazines that Bucky would sometimes skip lunch to buy.
The Hulk stayed close, sometimes leaping ahead or scaling a building only to return to Steve’s side. If he could sense a touch of the gift about him he would have compared him to a Guide, circling away before returning to check in.
The others avoided them, the woman disappearing between Steve’s glances over his shoulder and the archer climbing a building in careful and economical movements. He saw neither of them again, other than the odd opponent who would drop unexpectedly from the sky with an arrow through its eye.
The Suit… Stark, looped overhead occasionally as it, he, drew flying creatures that looked a little like an ancient and huge sea creature towards the Hulk so he could snatch them from the sky. But for the most part, they were left alone to fight in deadly silence.
As weariness began to overwhelm even his enhanced endurance Steve saw the Hulk jerk his head up to stare at the sky, red-stained with the approaching sunset. Steve followed his look to see a streak of red and gold racing towards a grey and green cylinder, a bomb.
A meaty thump drew his attention away and back to the fight as the next wave of aliens raved towards him. The Hulk roared, throwing a lump of metal and glass over Steve’s head. He roared once more but this time everyone froze, Human and alien alike, some deep instinct screamed in Steve’s head to bare his throat in supplication as the vibrations of it rolled through him.
The aliens scattered like rats, vanishing down alleys, up buildings and some even through a shattered sewer cover. The Hulk cut off his roar with a sob, anguish or fear Steve did not know but before he could turn to look the Hulk launched himself into the sky.
Steve followed his mighty leap with his eyes and saw eerie rift through which he had fallen snap shut. The Hulk had landed on a distant roof and with another deafening bellow, he threw himself higher, travelling further than he had managed before as he reached to the heavens.
Steve wondered for a moment if the creature had also fallen through the rift, perhaps in this alien world that was the norm, and he had been cut off from his home. He shook the thought from his head as he recalled the others and how they had spoken to Banner with familiarity.
Before he could call another reason for the creature’s distress to mind he saw something tumbling through the air, gold and red marked heavily with char and gouges. The Hulk called out once more and again lept into the air.
Steve set off running, Stark was an unknown but the last man Steve had known with that name had been extraordinary and something close to a friend. He was the one connection Steve had to the place he had come from and had been an ally in this fight. Steve swung carelessly around corners, letting the shield hake the sharp blows and using it to launch off dead ends. He felt the earth shake below his feet and a groan of metal protesting a mighty burden reached his ears.
He ran onto the bridge, slowing to a jog and lowering his shield so he could see over it. The Hulk was lowering the suit of armour to the ground and pressing rapidly slimming and pinkening fingers against the seams of it.
“Tony. Tony…” the Hulk and then Bruce gasped.
Steve reached his side and dropped down to kneel beside him. Others gathered around them, Steve glanced up and took note of where they stood before ignoring them.
Bruce clawed at the face panel of the helmet and after a few seconds of watching him, Steve reached out and curled his fingers into a minute crack before heaving with all his might. The panel ripped off and Bruce pressed his fingers against the pale face that had been revealed.
The man coughed, his eyes fluttered and Steve recoiled back and then leant forwards gasping, “Howard?”
The man in the suit frowned and looked at Steve without moving his head. The differences in the man’s face became clear the longer he looked
The man gasped, “Still a nope. Definitely not that asshole.” He muttered something almost incomprehensible seconds later but Bruce moved into action as the suit seemed to peel undone on its own. Bruce helped Stark sit up and the man looked around for a few seconds before looking up at Steve and saying. “Bet you’ve never had Shawarma. You’re going to love it. Let’s get Shawarma.” Stark hauled himself to his feet and staggered off the bridge with the air of a man used to being followed.
Steve blinked after him for a moment before shrugging and looking at Bruce, who seemed as stunned as he did. “Is that food?” Steve asked, Bruce, nodded and started to follow Stark. Steve glanced around at the handful of people who had gathered before shouldering the shield and muttering, “I could eat. It’s been a hell of a day…”