|Turn the World to Ice
||[Oct. 1st, 2016|05:37 pm]
Steve has a secret: He’s been terrified of his super-strong body since Erskine’s experiment.
The pencil snaps between his fingers.
The glass shatters when he picks it up.
The door crunches hideously and the hinge cracks, the wood splintering leaving it hanging drunkenly off the only one remaining.
Steve has bad dreams sometimes. He’ll be meeting someone. Before it was Bucky or Peggy, these days it might be Natasha or Tony or Bruce. They’ll be smiling, reach out a hand to shake-
And then they’ll be screaming, he can feel the bones crunching and rubbing one on top of the other and fragmenting further and he can’t let go- can’t relax his grip and they scream and scream and scream-
Then he wakes up. If he’s lucky he’ll just have bloody circle that heal instantly when he relaxes his clenched fists. If not, he might need to buy yet another new bed.
Tony laughs when he puts in the orders, joking about who Steve must have spent the night with. Steve smiles and smile because- what can he say? Tony needs him to be strong. They all do. They need him to throw the shield and punch the bad guys and keep them safe.
Steve punches a Hydra agent without thinking. The man’s face simply disappears into a pulp of blood and featureless tissue, the head soft as rotten grapefruit. It bursts as the thing that had been a man falls to the ground.
Steve keeps fighting. When it’s over he excuses himself and is sick down the back of the bunker. He looks at his hands, the gloves are red. He can’t see the blood.
He runs when he can’t sleep. Sometimes, at night, he sees people hurry away from him, picking up their pace, glancing behind anxiously to make sure he isn’t following them. This monster of a man, towering, quite capable to snapping any of them in half.
Once, long ago and not so long at all, it had been different. Steve doesn’t like remembering, feeling the stab of nostalgia that feels traitorous after Erskine’s sacrifice.
He doesn’t miss the sickness, the endless list of pitfalls that tripped him at every turned, drained him like a vampire and kept him weak and helpless.
But some part of Steve wants to know if those were his only options. Between weakling or-
He comes home. The door has been fixed, but he can still see the rough wood where it has been painted over. There is a new packet of pencils at his desk, a new cluster of glasses.
The bedframe is steel. It might last a week.
Steve looks into the mirror. The fight was hours ago but he has so much blood in his gloves that they leave a streak of rust under one eye when he rubs it.
Steve freezes, and for a moment he cannot breath, cannot move He reaches up with his free hand and rubs at the half dried clots.
They come off, his skin is pale underneath and he can breathe again. The nausea rises.
He wonders how long it’ll be before the red doesn’t come off any more.