But yeah, the first Cap movie, how about that foreshadowing? It sure is something to realize that when Bucky keeps asking Steve if his transformation hurt and was permanent, or if Steve can pull off his face too, he’s asking for himself. And to think about what SebStan has said about there being a little resentment in Bucky, when he might not have even wanted to go to war at all, a little darkness, the thing that lets him be the sniper and do the dirty work, and you combine that with the serum “amplifying whatever it is you already are,” and you look at Winter Soldier, damn.
I really can’t emphasize enough how much I want fic about Bucky coming to those realizations, how he doesn’t feel quite himself and yet he does with the Howling Commandos, how he finds out what parts of himself fall away as Hydra transforms him, how sometimes he thinks about the arm they cut away, and especially, especially how he strikes out on his own after the Triskelion and winds up at the Smithsonian exhibit, which is just — such a phenomenal ending to this movie. His beard growing in, they never let that happen unless they’re coming to get him later; so every moment they don’t come to collect him is another moment closer to when they do. How he gets food, clothes, how he can’t sleep, how he suddenly wakes up of his own accord and there’s nobody waiting for him, how he has to hide the arm, how he freaking makes it through metal detectors. How he deals with the fact that suddenly he must be ordinary, and how that stacks up against the fact that however he’s been for the three or so years he’s been awake and active, all told, that was all violence and pain and fear. (More appreciation for that scene with Pierce, and all the indications that Winter Soldier is a child, oh god.)
But back to the Smithsonian. In that gifset, that first face of his, the astonishment at seeing himself writ large as a hero, as Steve’s friend, the proof when there’s been so much other proof that he’s just an asset with missions — there’s a moment when he relaxes into astonishment, unfiltered emotion, and suddenly you see Bucky again, just for a moment. Then Winter Soldier slips back over, but now you have a hybrid, because he’s not assessing a target, he’s not an instrument of violence, he’s processing and reacting and filing something away and — being a human person. He doesn’t have to be on guard, though clearly he is. (I had been wondering if he cut his hair, which — is apparently a huge and deeply satisfying trope for me, the man who has gone astray who commits a great wrong and cuts his hair to change and to hide and to be horrified at himself. Anyway, turns out he doesn’t, but someone wrote a cute ficlet about the inevitable conclusion.)
Anyway. I need a lot of fic about Bucky navigating his own post-humanism. I need him to get socked in the gut with sudden, overwhelming horniness and just not even knowing what’s going on, because his body hasn’t been his own since 1945. I need him people-watching, trying to figure out how people in the world are, because he doesn’t even have the ground rules for walking into a convenience store anymore. I need him practicing the interactions that don’t scare people, the smile and the laugh, and what he can connect to, even in the most glancing, fleeting way, when he fakes it. I need the memories of his captivity, of what they fed him and how they trained him and how his every need was tended to. I need fic about how he fell away from himself, when not even his name, rank and serial number made sense, how he was forced to retreat inside himself and be what Hydra was shaping him to be. I need him in Brooklyn. Of course I need him in Brooklyn.
By Proxy by lonelyantics was, I think, the first post-WS fic I read, and I like the premise of it — Winter Soldier just sitting on the couch when Sam turns on the lights, and the jarring juxtaposition of WS/Bucky in ordinary settings. I need more of that, and deeper. More Bucky/WS doing the How do you human and who am I? dance.
(I do mean it about the recs: I’m not here for shipping, so gen would be appreciated, but yeah, if you know about it, I… would be so happy. <3)
Who the hell is Bucky? (x)
There’s so much about this scene that needs to be talked about separately because each time you see this scene again, something new pops into your head.
In some recent post-TWS fics, there are scenes where Steve calls him Bucky, but Bucky/WS adamantly refuses to be referred to as Bucky because as far as he’s concerned, that’s not him.
You know, in 616, we weren’t afforded this extremely interesting and character developing opportunity. The Winter Soldier never got to rediscover who he was. (The way the comics handled Bucky remembering was fine by the way. MCU just didn’t set it up that way, because film and other storytelling things, and also like it’s it’s own universe).
It’s interesting because it forces us to think of them as two different people, even though eventually they become one person (this combination of the cocky Brooklyn boy and the desensitized assassin). But at the end of CATWS, The Winter Soldier has one name to go on. And he seeks out this name, seeks out James Buchanan Barnes, learns of this person that Captain America insists is him. And what does he feel? A connection? Disconnection? We don’t know.
I mean, he’s allowed to be his own person now. He’s allowed to create an identity whether it be something completely knew or falling back on who he was. Is he angry? Does he feel a loss? Or is the only thing guiding him Steve? Like, we really don’t know.
It’s just so interesting. The Winter Soldier always became a blank slate after missions. This is a new kind of blank slate entirely.
Ooh this is even more interesting when you combine it with the over-arching themes of the film, especially the montage of “where everybody at” at the end. In a way, this is really the coda to that montage, where we saw pretty much everybody taking steps to reinvent themselves: Fury destroys his past, Maria goes to work for Stark (from public to private sector), Natasha makes plans to build new covers, Steve (with Sam!) embarks on a journey to find Bucky but perhaps also to find what makes him happy (which may be the same thing as finding Bucky but may not be too). And then we have WS/Bucky, two people in a single body, neither of which has any answers as to who or what he really is, but also who is now free to reinvent himself in whatever way he chooses, just like the rest of our heroes at the end of the film.
So I am also happy that this surfaced, because I have been wondering, for totally innocent purposes, whether WS/Bucky had cut his hair during that scene or not. (Hair-cutting as self-transformation is apparently a big narrative kink of mine? But so is “Dangerous person stripped of all his visual markers and hiding in plain sight.” I really, really, really like this scene.)
Downton Abbey Rewatch + 3x05
downton abbey meme
four otps (2/4)
inspired by (x)
When you’ve been abused by a parent like that dealing with anything afterwords is terrifying.
I can only imagine the emotions Zuko was feeling when he apologised to Iroh there.
^This is one of the reasons that I think going in to apologize to Iroh is one of the bravest things that Zuko’s ever done, because of how much it must have terrified him to do so (Iroh would never hurt Zuko like that, but that fear had to have been at the top of Zuko’s mind at this moment)
And why I love Iroh so, so much for being who he is.
i love seeing girls close ranks when their fella is cheating, instead of defending him and attacking the other girls. like seriously. it warms my cold, cold heart so much.
i need the rest of this story, where did you put the body
I’ve always wanted to do this. I hope they all went out for ice cream later too.