Every November, writers across the globe participate in something called NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write over 50,000 words over the course of the month. This year for NaNoWriMo, I decided to write out a series of Marvel headcanons instead of focusing on a single theme or narrative. I asked others for headcanons and then chose one each day to write about with a random number generator. I may share them periodically, but in honor of the Women’s March this last weekend, I wanted to share the very first one I wrote. I think it’s one of the weakest pieces especially since I hadn’t hit my stride with the project yet, but I hope you still enjoy it!
Bucky and Steve at the Women’s March- Theme: Injustice
Right now, Bucky was regretting his entire life, especially the part where he had decided to take Stephen Grant Rogers to a march with a ton of counter protestors.
“Why don’t you come on this side of the barrier and say that to my face?” Steve shouted.
Bucky slapped his hand to his face.
“Stop engaging. They’re just looking for attention,” Bucky muttered.
If Steve heard him over the clamour around them, he didn’t acknowledge Bucky’s wisdom.
“Not my fault some of us fought for our position instead of just wanting the government to just hand it to them,” the man in the very distinctive red hat yelled back.
Bucky could feel the metal police barricade warping under the pressure of Steve’s grip. He put his arm in front of Steve, pushing back on his chest with his gloved metal hand.
“Alright buddy, that’s enough. No one is asking anyone to hand anything to anybody that they don’t deserve,” Bucky said, staring daggers into the ass in a hat.
“Making your boyfriend fight your battles for you?” Asshat replied, not looking at Bucky as he smiled at Steve.
“I don’t need his help to fight any battles,” Steve snarled. Bucky could feel him pressuring against his hand, but he wasn’t giving way. If Steve didn’t stop soon, he’d have a nice hand shaped bruise. (Mind you, it would not be the first such Bucky Hand Bruise that Steve had received, but it would be his first that he had gotten at a march for women.)
“You’ve never needed me to fight your battles, you’ve just needed me to tell you when it wasn’t worth it,” Bucky said, pushing his foot in between Steve and the barrier. At least now when he was telling him it wasn’t worth it, it was because he was trying to keep Steve out of jail and not the hospital.
“He’s right! If no one engages with them, they go away!” a pink hat clad young woman said as she walked behind them, marching with the crowd.
Steve sighed, the tension visually leaving his shoulders as he backed away from the barrier, turning in the direction everyone was marching. Of course Steve had listen to the random woman and not Bucky. Typ. Pi. Cal.
“Are you happy now? You’ve got into your verbal altercation for the day,” Bucky said, looking over at Steve as they once again joined the flow of the march. He could hear the Asshat yelling at them that if they were real American heroes, they’d be standing on their side of the police blockade. Bucky thought if that Asshat was a real American hero, he’d be in a desert somewhere decked in camo, not khakis and a red hat yelling at poor girls marching in the cold.
Steve shoved his hands deeper in his jacket pockets. Bucky wondered how he didn’t manage to tear them completely off, as hard as he was pushing.
“I’m sorry, Buck, I just heard him standing over there yelling and I just couldn’t stand by and let him get away with it,” Steve responded, looking at the ground.
“I know, it’s one of the things I like about you,” Bucky said, reaching over and giving Steve a little side hug. “You can’t let an injustice stand unrecognized. That’s why you dragged me out here with you.”
Bucky knew he would have been just as content to be sitting at home and watching the action unfurl from the comfort of his couch. Steve, however, would not stand for that and had said he was definitely coming out to the march. Bucky had tagged along because he knew that without him, chances were he would have gotten into an altercation with a counter protester.
“There’s still other ways to fight for injustice besides with your fists, though. I thought the fact that you wanted to come today proved that you were at least partially learning that,” Bucky said.
“Yeah, but sometimes fighting for injustice with your fists is the best way. It’s the only language some people understand,” Steve said, eyeing another set of counter protestors coming up on their right.
“Did you ever think that then maybe those people aren’t worth you trying to speak to then?” Bucky said, straining to keep up with Steve’s steps as he marched towards the new group. One of them was holding a sign that looked like a small child had made it. Bucky could barely make out the illegible words “Get back in the kitchen!” Bucky really wanted to tell him that maybe he should take an art class or maybe learn to cook himself so he didn’t need a woman to do it, but he didn’t want to give Steve any ammunition to use against him the next time he wanted to yell at some idiot on the street.
“Why do you think some people are like that? Like what does it take for people to be so oblivious to the injustice around them?” Steve asked, looking at the ground as they passed the group of men.
Bucky wasn’t sure how to respond.
“I really don’t know, Steve, but you know as good as I do, it’s not a 21st Century problem. People were like this in the 40s too. Maybe even worse,” he replied.
“What do you mean?” Steve asked. Of course. He wanted to get deeper into it.
“I guess I mean that now it’s not as easy to make yourself blind to what’s happening around you. You’re constantly getting bombard with this problem or another on the internet. If it’s not women’s issues, it’s refugees or animals in shelter,” Bucky replied. The animal videos always got him. Those dogs never asked to be abused, so how could someone make them fight? He related all too much.
“Don’t you think that makes it easier though? Like there are so many things you can get lost in the noise?”
They were catching up to a group of women dressed like handmaids from The Handmaid’s Tale. Steve had been the reason Bucky had originally started watching it, but after a few episodes, Steve had started making excuses as to why he didn’t wanted want to watch the next episode. He was tired. He had a mission brief to look over one last time. Peter had just insisted he watch some YouTube series so they could talk about it tomorrow. Bucky had slowly figured out it was because the show bothered him too much. It was too real to Steve.
Bucky wondered how he had somehow ended up connected with such a sensitive soul. Sure, the show bothered him, but as soon as it was over, he could quickly switch over to some mindless adult cartoon and put it out of his mind.
“I guess you could have a point there. I just don’t think the majority of people are half as sensitive as you, and that may be a good thing,” Bucky said.
“What do you mean? How is it a good thing?” Steve asked, looking at Bucky with his confused golden retriever eyes.
“I mean, if everyone was as sensitive as you, we’d never get anyone done. There needs to be some heartless assholes like me around in the world to make sure that the people like you don’t get lost running after every cause,” Bucky said.
Steve made an exasperated sound. “You’re not a heartless asshole.”
A male journalist pushed his way towards them, a microphone in hand and a cameraman in tow.
“Would you mind making a statement on camera about why you’re here today, Captain Rogers?” the man asked, pushing the microphone towards Steve. Steve smiled nervously and shook his head.
“Wouldn’t you rather talk to one of the women around her instead? This march means a lot more to them than it does me,” he said. Bucky doubted that. Anything that tried to pinpoint injustice was the icing to Steve Rogers’ cake.
“No, I really think the people of America would really like to know why you’re here. You could have stayed at home instead of making such a political statement by being out here today,” the journalist insisted, shoving the microphone further towards Steve. Bucky could make out the red lettered logo of CNN. The aggression was really not necessary.
“Well, I just really didn’t think it was right to stay home, you know? If I don’t stand up and fight for what is right, who’s going to. I really think we should be supporting these ladies for saying what they believe in,” Steve said, trying to avoid looking at the camera.
“What a beautiful quote, our audiences at home are going to love that,” the journalist said to no one in particular, taking the microphone away from Steve’s face. “Can we make sure that gets in the next package, thanks,” he added, speaking into the mouthpiece attached to his face.
“You always give the people what they want, whether you mean to or not,” Bucky said, smirking at Steve.
“Oh, come off it,” he replied, shoving his hands back into his pockets.
“Steve, you know I’m just giving you a hard time right? You really are an inspiration,” Bucky said, trying to give the other man as sincere a look as he could muster.
“Quit being so ridiculous. You’re the one who inspires me,” Steve said, trying to avoid his eye contact. Bucky really did think that Steve thought he was speaking the truth, even though Bucky really didn’t see the reason for that truth.
“Steve, I’m being serious! If I hadn’t met you and had somehow ended up in this time, there’s a good chance I’d be on that side of the fence or at the very least, at home on the couch watching Futurama right now,” Bucky said, trying to catch his eye. He and Steve both related a little more to Fry than they cared to admit. How weird was it to wake up and suddenly nothing be recognizable? At least enough distance had passed for Fry to not have connections to many remaining things any longer or at least no people. Bucky was thankful Steve was on this journey with him.
“I don’t think you’d be on that side of the fence, but yeah, you would definitely be somewhere watching Netflix,” Steve smiled.
They were nearing the end of the march route. There would be some speakers and then they’d go home. As much as Bucky was looking forward to being warm again, he couldn’t help but at least be thankful he had Steve to ground him every now and then. (And of course, he was there to ground Steve and remind him he couldn’t take up every fight him came across.)
“I think I’ll take up knitting,” Bucky said, looking at the sea of pink eared hats around them.
“Why?” Steve was quizzical, sincere bemusement on his face.
“So I can knit one of those hats to pull down over your eyes,” Bucky chuckled.
“You’re a loser,” Steve said, smirking at him.
“But I’m your loser!” Bucky replied as they disappeared into the crowd.