In thanks for her help with the fic below and in apology for giving her complicated prompt.
Title: Secrets and Lies
Rating: PG 13
Summary: When he looks at the old photos, all he sees is the things he ignored.
People always thought; always spoke of it, as a simpler time, when things were clearer.
Steve normally had to resist the desire to laugh when they said that.
Simpler? They were underground, running from the Nazi, and had absolutely no idea of what they were up against.
And that was before you got into the team itself.
The first Avengers, Steve knew, had been brought together by chance and luck. And luckily, they actually worked quite well together.
The Invaders...things had been a little more complicated. They were like any resistance unit, he supposed, individuals and teams bounded together by need, and occasionally rubbing against each other in the wrong way, but ultimately always knowing they had each other’s backs.
Except...he shifted uncomfortably. Except it hadn’t been that simple. None of them had really believed it.
Not like the Commandoes who stood by each other no matter what. None of Fury’s guys, even now, didn’t feel that they could go to him with any problem and he’d stand by them.
Did Bucky even feel that about him?
When he looks at the pictures, he see the cracks, the things they, the things he, ignored.
Bucky’s costume and hands, covered with stains that wouldn’t come out. The kid alternating between being silent and overly bubbly.
Toro’s eyes resting on Bucky, a little too long. The pair of them vanishing for days, and Jim’s eyes burning into his back, as though he blamed Steve was what his charge was up to. Toro hiding bruises and tears from them all.
Dam it they were both just kids, he should have protected them. Should have kept a closer eye on them. Should have saved them.
It wasn’t like he could boast doing such a great job with the rest of the team either.
Namor’s anger about the treatment of his home had always being there, just bubbling below the surface. It was going to bubble over, that was never even an issue, just the timing was up for debate.
Jim, fighting for his humanity, but frequently being treated like a machine still. Especially by some of the higher ups. Trying to find it in women, in love, and ultimately hurting both parties. In the end, dying in the medium that created him, still searching for his family.
Brian, his forbidden love for Roger, forcing the two men both together and apart. Brian taking on a legacy when Steve doubted any of them really understood what he had been through before they met. He tells himself that his death was Rogers fault, but he doesn’t believe it.
Jac, caught up in a contrast of wanting to be free, to be a true member of the Invaders, but equally, always fighting her upbringing, the shackles of her generation. The shadow of her father. Ultimately, like Namor it would overwhelm her, forcing her to be something she wasn’t. He wonders if she hates him for his part in her father’s death, and in her son too, he supposes.
And you, Rogers? He thought, glancing down at the photo.
You were hiding things too. Trying to be the hero, the symbol everyone wanted, everyone needed you to be, but still being skinny, wimpy Steve Rogers at heart.
He remembered Bucky asking him about the pipe, and him telling Bucky that he’d given it up. The truth was, after coming back he’d never felt the need to start again. He wasn’t wimpy Steve Rogers any more, any more than Bucky was a 16 year old who needed looking after.
He was Steve Rogers, the Original Captain America. He had nothing to prove to anyone.
So why did it feel like he was still hiding?