okay so i woke up this morning and i couldn’t stop thinking about like a skinny!steve/wintersoldier!bucky fantasy au
where bucky is like the god of seasons and he’s all winter soldiery and the earth is always cold and he just gets lonelier and lonelier and so he goes to a forest spirit and asks for a companion and the forest spirit agrees to give him one but it is also using this opportunity to make bucky see what kind of harm the winter brings to the earth and for him to suffer
so the spirit makes steve’s bones from the branches of a willow tree and takes his hair from wheat and his eyes from forget-me-nots and so on and so forth and then trades a bit of steve’s heart for a bit of bucky’s and so when steve awakens for the first time there is warmth and the weather changes to spring because the piece of steve’s heart is warming bucky up
and they become fast friends and little steve teaches bucky how to smile and laugh and as he becomes more like pre-war!bucky the season changes to summer
and of course he and steve run naked in the fields and dance and yell in the rain and steve braids buck’s hair and they fall head over heels for each other and spend the sweltering days kissing and lazily making love in the grass under shady oak trees
and all the while bucky doesn’t have a clue that he is being punished but then one day steve starts to cough and then he can’t breathe and just as the piece of steve’s heart warmed bucky the piece of bucky’s heart has made steve ill and even more frail and bucky worries constantly and with the worry and sadness comes fall and then the winter
soon enough the spring is back and steve is fine but once again by the end of summer he is sick and as the years pass his illness grows worse and worse until one day bucky goes alone to visit the forest spirit
he tells the spirit that his lover is weak and sick and he asks for steve’s well-being but the spirit tells him that he must make a trade for this to be possible
bucky tells the spirit that he is willing to give anything
the spirit tells him that he will offer endless strength and health to steve in exchange for bucky’s arm and his memories of his love for steve
bucky is ready to give his arm but is horrified at the thought of forgetting so he immediately refuses and returns home
but upon arrival steve is worse and so with much thought he gives steve one last kiss, whispers his love to him, and returns to the forest spirit to accept the offer
the spirit takes his arm and replaces it with cold harsh silver and then takes his memories
bucky wakes up shivering and alone
steve wakes up tall and strong and perfect and he waits for bucky but when he doesn’t come home he searches for bucky in the endless winter
when he finally finds him bucky is startled and doesn’t remember steve
but he remembers those forget-me-not eyes
JUST NOTICED LAST NIGHT THAT BUCKY WAS ALSO ON A DRIP IN THE ENTIRE CHAIR SCENE
I know it’s a fucked up scene, I do, but that to me just is nOPE. What the fuck are they putting into his system on top of the mind wiping and the physical abuse and the conditioning.
THE TUBE ON THE BACK OF HIS RIGHT HAND, IS THAT A DRIP?
Dr. Cyan calling in here, and yes, that is absolutely a peripheral IV cannula on his right hand. Watching the scene carefully you can see the IV stand on his right, with two infusion bags attached (sorry for the crappy images, maybe someone can grab a better screenshot if they have the DVD):
If you watch frame by frame, you can see that Bucky pops the connection tube off when he attacks the med tech; it dangles freely from the IV bag when the guards move to point their guns at him. In real life he’d probably have torn the cannula out of his hand entirely; it happens all the time with little old ladies in my ER so I was disappointed the directors didn’t draw on that particular body horror/’ouch’-factor here.
The infusion bags appear to be one 1,000 mL isotonic saline or D5W/D5NS (dextrose/glucose in a saline solution) for tissue rehydration, and one 500 mL isotonic saline, most likely a diluent for injectable/parenteral drug administration:
Which drug? Well, it could be any HYDRA concoction, but I’d put my money on the tried-and-true fallback of some benzodiazepine. BZDs/derivatives are anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), hypnotic (sedative/sleep-inducing), anticonvulsant (good for when you’re electrocuting someone’s brain), amnestic (affecting memory), and myorelaxant (muscle-relaxing), a nice cocktail for working with the Winter Soldier - and hey! paradoxical BZD reactions include aggression and violence (such as attacking attending medical staff), and it may also cause anterograde amnesia as well as internalised feelings of turmoil, anxiety, depression, and loss of the ability to experience and/or express feelings. Plus, withdrawal can cause depression, depersonalisation, derealisation, hypersensitivity, psychosis, and suicidal ideation - sounds like a lot of Bucky-in-from-the-cold fanfics, am I right?
Seriously, writing this, I’m wondering where the withdrawal!Bucky fanfics are - the fics I’ve read all focus on his mental issues, but what about the physiological ones? I’d really like to read a fic about Bucky coming off whatever HYDRA pumped him full of - now that’d make for some neat hurt/comfort (and a lot of curling up on Steve’s bathroom floor shaking and puking his guts out).
(When I get my hands on a HD copy of the movie I’ll have a look at the rest of the medical setup in that scene. I’m especially interested in the screens behind the chair - maybe some more medical meta to be explored? Please send any screenshots my way if you have them!)
yo, but. steve staying on the helicarrier, dropping the shield, letting bucky beat him up—that isn’t him being suicidal, or giving up, or forecasting some grim future. that is steve at his best and most true: that is steve at his most loyal and determined and hopeful.
he is not going to leave that burning, crashing boat—not without bucky. when he says, “i’m with you till the end of the line,” he’s doing the same thing bucky did all those years again—he’s taking someone in from the cold and making him family. and you don’t leave family behind.
(steve did that once already, after bucky fell from the train that barrelled through an unforgiving winterscape, and he sure as hell won’t make that mistake again. this isn’t steve, resigning himself to some bitter fate. this is steve, learning from what he didn’t know then.)
look. even when steve had nothing, he had bucky. the day steve’s mom died, bucky put his hand on steve’s shoulder and told him that he wasn’t alone, that he still had people in this world. and fuck if bucky didn’t follow through on that promise. fuck if bucky wasn’t steve’s shadow, his rifle, the guy at his shoulder. fuck if bucky didn’t tell steve he’d follow him—the kid from brooklyn who was too dumb to run from fights—into the depths of hell. and fuck if he didn’t do just that. faced with that knowledge—how can steve want to repay bucky with anything less?
so yeah, maybe the tragedy and the loneliness and the ptsd has conspired to turn steve around a bit. make him lose his way, muddy up the waters, transform happiness into a question rather than something that lives within him.
but steve’s most abiding characteristic is his tenacity. he stands up—not just for himself, but for others. he doesn’t need something to fight…he needs something, and someone, to fight for. his purpose, even at his most aimless, is clear: keep going.
and seeing bucky, thinking there’s a chance he could get bucky back, remembering the wild chance he took the first time he disobeyed orders and jumped out of a fucking plane to save bucky, knowing that his body is capable of withstanding tremendous force, what else is steve gonna do?
he’s going to wait the damn thing out. and he’s going to bring bucky home.