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Story [MCU/Falcon and The Winter Soldier] You Are Free Now - Bucky Barnes (2021 FanFic Olympics)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by mavjade , Jul 1, 2021.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Title: You Are Free Now
    Fandom: MCU / The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (probably mostly TFATWS, but might dive back into the movies if the muse so dictates)
    Character: Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier)
    Challenge: The 2021 FanFic Olympics - Triathlon (maybe more if the muse cooperates??)
    Notes: I'll warn if there are spoilers for TFATWS just in case someone hasn't gotten there yet. If you haven't and you are a fan of the MCU... it's so good!

    400 Word Cross Country : Dog Tags
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
    ViariSkywalker and Mira_Jade like this.
  2. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Title: Dog Tags
    Characters: Bucky Barnes
    Genre: Introspection
    Prompt: 400 Word Cross Country: 400 words about your character, couple, family, or friendship with any theme.

    Notes: This takes place in the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, no real spoilers, though. I don’t think you need to have watched TFATWS to understand this, just know Bucky’s story from the MCU.

    Also... whooo!! for the muse to let me write something!

    Primer if you aren’t very up to speed with the MCU:
    James “Bucky” Barnes was the best friend of Steve Rogers (Captain America). During WWII he was captured by Hydra and spent 70 years being tortured and brainwashed to be the “fist of Hydra” called The Winter Soldier. (He was cryogenic frozen at times, so he looks like he's in his 30s and is also a super soldier) With help from Steve and the (supposed) fall of Hydra, he managed to get away. But he’s now left with all of the memories of the people he’s killed.

    He sat straight up from the floor where he had somehow managed to fall asleep in front of the TV, his breath coming fast and shallow. The nightmare… no, the memory was still very present in his mind, not slipping away like a dream. The words “Heil Hydra” still felt thick in his mouth, the echo of the gunshot ringing in his ears. The man who was practically a kid had been an innocent bystander, just in the wrong place at the very wrong time. The heartbreak he felt for killing the man wasn’t part of the memory, The Winter Soldier had no regret, no remorse. This feeling was all Bucky.

    He reached up to grab his dog tags, his hand shaking so hard they rattled together. He gripped them tighter using them to ground him to the here and now. His own from the war had been lost to time but it had been easy to get replicas made; they even still had his dad’s name as his person to notify in case of his death. The Winter Soldier would never have dog tags, wouldn’t have any identity other than the fear he instilled in his victims, the whispered words of a ghost story. A legend.

    But Bucky had been a soldier. Bucky had been on the allied side of the war fighting for the rights of others. Bucky had friends. So long as he had his dog tags, he was still Bucky Barnes and The Winter Soldier was only in his memories.

    “I am James Bucky Barnes, I am no longer The Winter Soldier,” he said out loud to the empty room. It was a phrase he repeated often. It wasn’t that he thought he could still be controlled, he trusted that the Wakandan’s had gotten rid of the trigger words that turned him into a mindless killing drone. But he did worry that 70 years of his life wouldn’t be so easily left behind, that the right catalyst would cause him to revert to what was now instinct. That if he didn’t control himself at all times, he’d hurt another innocent person. He'd hoped that Steve would be here to help, to make sure he wouldn't ever hurt someone again. But Steve had his own life to live, he deserved that much. So Bucky kept to himself and just waited for life to pass him by.

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
    Kahara, Master_Lok, Chyntuck and 5 others like this.
  3. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    I like this piece, mav. A portrait of a man in the process of healing but unsure he'll ever be able to get out from under the guilt. I'll be back for more.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
  4. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Brava! Wonderful story. I am a huge fan of the MCU and I loved The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I think you have managed, in just 400 words to give voice to Bucky's suffering. I think the show lacked depth at times, but this story does not. Amazing! =D=
  5. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    I loved The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (I rewatched the entire season a few weeks ago but I think it's time to watch it again). And I Iove this portrait of Bucky - how he uses his dog tags to ground himself. But I think he needs Sam!
  6. DaenaBenjen42

    DaenaBenjen42 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 15, 2005
    Identity is important, especially in a case such as this where the person in question didn't get to HAVE an identity of his own until he broke Steve's face while Steve was trying to break him out of fresh programming. Well done, Mav. Well done. :)
  7. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh! This was so, soooooo good! And yay for the muse letting you write again! There's really no better feeling and that deserves all of the celebration. :D [face_dancing] [:D]

    Oh Bucky. =(( Welp, that hurt; of course that hurt. It's beyond brutal and heartrending to watch Bucky try to reconcile who he is and who he wants to be with who he's been forced to be as the Winter Soldier, and you sketched a very powerful, poignant image of that dichotomy here.

    This was also so poignant, and something I could perfectly imagine playing out in my mind as I read. Bucky's holding on, and the dog tags are helping him ground himself, one day at a time. (Until he's not just feeling like life is passing him by. ;))

    This is off to a fantastic start, and I can't wait for more! :D =D=
  8. amidalachick

    amidalachick FFoF Hostess Extraordinaire star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 3, 2003
    Congrats on writing again, and all the good vibes to your muse! [face_good_luck]:)

    I'm not familiar with this character or this part of the Marvel universe at all but it's still such a compelling story, and so beautifully written.

    I love this, how the tangibility (IDK if that's a real word but I hope it gets the point across, lol) of the dog tags helps him remember who he really is.

    Awesome work, and I look forward to reading more if you write it! =D=
  9. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Awww, Bucky! I love how you expanded on what we see of him in TFATWS. I thought he was a very touching character in that series and you certainly do him justice here – not only by highlighting the dichotomy between the memories of the Winter Soldier that are not really his and his very own emotions as Bucky, but also by expressing his doubts:
    This reminded me very intensely of the scene in the bar in Madripoor where he beats the hell out of pretty much everyone and Zemo hints that he hasn't really stopped being the Winter Soldier, that it has become a second nature to him.

    Congrats on getting your muse to cooperate again! I hope there are more stories where this one came from :)
  10. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Kessel Run Hostess Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 9, 2002
    I've been meaning to come back to this, so I'm sorry for being so late! I love Bucky; he's one of my favorite MCU characters. [face_love] I haven't quite finished TFatWS, but I've really enjoyed it so far, and Sebastian Stan is just so good, isn't he? Talk about some angst. ;)

    Anyway! I really liked how you showed Bucky awakening from a nightmare - a memory - as a way to introduce him here. He's in that lingering dreamlike state that makes everything a little surreal, which makes his need for something concrete, like the dog tags, all the more pronounced.

    And this...
    ...just breaks my heart. To think of him reliving all those memories through this lens, not as an assassin, but as the man he should have been and wants to be... =((

    I also appreciated his musings on his own personal history before becoming the Winter Soldier - that's something I wish we got even more of in the films and tv shows, that man-out-of-time weirdness. I love seeing how someone from the 1940s would react to living in this era. But then there's also the fact that Bucky did live through those past seventy years; he just did in bits and pieces, as the Winter Soldier. So his experience is unique from Steve's. And I like how you touched on that!

    Again, =((. I could just see the Bucky we met in the first episode, sitting in therapy, so detached and alone. Gaaah, this poor man. :_| But very nicely done, and I look forward to reading more! =D=
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
  11. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 18, 2012
    @mavjade =D=

    As a Bucky/WS fan, I really enjoyed TFATWS and your story touches upon why (Deep dives into the characters.)

    Excellent and poignant moment for Bucky. Hope you write more. :)
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    @mavjade ... I love introspective pieces very much and this is very poignant. The dog tags is a tangible source of grounding, fighting against the pull of memories and prior 'programming.' [face_thinking]
    mavjade likes this.
  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    a great piece with the dog tags grounding him in the present