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Love Me Tender, Love Me Sweet

Tw: cancer, discussions of death, cancer treatment, sadness

Steph sits and stares out the window of the cabin, watching as it rains, the gloomy darkness of a fall evening making her shiver. She really shouldn’t be sitting with the windows open, she’s going to catch a cold for sure, but there’s something about the sound of rain and the scent of damp dying leaves that sends a shudder over her twisted spine.

Her hands move idly, pressing charcoal to paper to capture the way Antonia had looked earlier, reclining on the small loveseat in the studio with a book propped against her thin chest and a smile on her lips as she’d napped.

She’d looked so at peace it had nearly broken Steph’s already damaged and weak heart to have to wake her up for dinner.

She smudges some shadows under Antonia’s eyes and swallows hard against the urge to cry. She’s so tired these days—the chemo and radiation have sapped that vitality and brightness from all her smiles that had made Steph fall in love with her and Steph wishes there was something she could do, but this is their life.

Steph herself isn’t a paragon of health—asthma, congenital heart defect, scoliosis—but still, she’d give every ounce of life and health from her body if it would help Antonia.

Gentle fingers brush against her short golden locks and she shivers, turning a little to find Antonia behind her, fuzzy robe pulled tight around her too thin frame. Despite the smile on her lips she looks exhausted—deep down to her bones. Steph captures her fingers and brushes kisses across the pads, smiling faintly.

“Couldn’t sleep?” she asks, already knowing the answer.

Antonia nods and then comes around the chair to seat herself gently into Steph’s lap, curling up so her head can rest against Steph’s shoulder. She’s light as a feather—the chemo and radiation have stolen her appetite and her curves and left behind easily bruised skin that’s thin and papery.

Steph rubs lotion into Antonia’s skin every night, artists fingers gentle as she rubs it in to the surgery scars. Antonia is always quiet when she does, eyes closed as Steph touches the places where she’s been cut open and hollowed out.

Antonia had sobbed after the mastectomy surgery, apologized profusely to Steph for the radical change to her body as though it was her fault that the same cancer that had killed Maria was now doing its best to steal another bright light from the world.

Antonia had even tried to convince her to leave—

“I’m not the same woman you fell in love with Steph. Everything that made me a woman is gone.”

“Bullshit. Your organs don’t make you woman, you decide who and what you are, and I’m never leaving you so don’t you dare try to make me go. I love you goddamnit, as you were, as you are and as you will be.”

Steph trails her fingers up Antonia’s spine to her neck and shoulders and massages gently, smiling sadly when Antonia makes a weak sound and nuzzles her cold nose into Steph’s throat. The soft silk of her turban is cool against Steph’s skin, yet another reminder of all Antonia has lost.

When her hair had begun falling out she’d bought a set of clippers and given Steph a steely eyed look and said, “Shave it all off.”

And she had.

They’d wept together through so many stages—the diagnosis, the initial treatments, the surgery. They’d fought and yelled and cried together, angry at the world, at the fickle bitch of genetics, at everything it seemed sometimes.

Steph rubs Antonia’s back until the tension in her thin fram eases. “Let’s go to bed,” she murmurs, shifting so she can press Antonia to her side as she rises to her feet. They walk slowly, each step painstaking until they’re back in the bedroom. Antonia’s breathing is labored and her skin is clammy so Steph situates her in bed gently and then hurries to get a warm wet cloth to wipe her down with.

Antonia’s eyes are closed, brow furrowed with pain and humiliation. She hates being weak—she’d screamed at the sky when she’d been diagnosed, “I’m Antonia Fucking Stark this doesn’t happen to me!”, and Steph had been there to catch her when the strength had left her legs, both of them sinking to the muddy ground, sobbing at the injustice of the world.

Steph carefully dresses Antonia in a T-shirt and sweats—the hot flashes at night sometimes have her sweating through her clothes and the sheets, but by now they’ve figured out how to keep her comfortable. When she’s done, she slides into bed alongside her wife and holds her close, listening to her soft raspy breathing as she slowly relaxes and begins to fall asleep.

“I love you.”

The words make something catch in Steph’s throat, now and every other time they’ve said them. She kisses Antonia’s cool brow and blinks back tears, “I love you too darling,” she chokes out, tears slipping down her face despite her best effort to hold them back.

She thinks that maybe the end is coming—Antonia is so weak, so fragile. She stays up most nights listening to her breathe, her own chest stuttering when it falters or gasps. She thinks that when it does come, it will ruin her.

Antonia has been her love, her home, her family, and without her, Steph doesn’t know how she’ll go on. She’ll be hollowed out and left as half a person, and god, god she hopes the end doesn’t come soon. She doesn’t want Antonia to suffer, never that, but the thought of losing her is nearly too much to bear. It’s perhaps a selfish hope, but one Steph keeps in the deepest darkest recesses of her heart.

Please don’t go yet, she thinks as she listens to Antonia’s soft breathing. I need you.

There’s a clinical trial in Monaco, a sliver of hope, and Steph knows she shouldn’t cling to it, but she does anyway. All they have left now is hope and love and perhaps a little time.

Steph kisses Antonia’s brow again and watches her sleep.

For however long they have left, she’s going to treasure each moment with Antonia, paint her the splendor of sunsets and sunrises, hold her hand and kiss her lips and make sure that she knows she is loved, now and always.

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Tony’s moving away au

Steve: *crying* -And I love you!

Tony: *sighs and opens the door all the way to reveal Bucky and Stephen already in the living room.*

Steve: *drying his eyes* ok then I would advise you to expect Bruce next.

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Imagine your otp

Person B : *pulls out a cigarette*

Person A : You smoke now?

Person B : yep

Person A : but you’re asthmatic

Person B : i am

Person A : do you have a death wish ?!!!

Person B : well yeah that’s where all the self deprecating jokes come from. We’ve known each other for how long and you’re picking up on it just now?

Person A : *slaps cigarette out of B’s hand *

Person B : what the hell?

Person A : you don’t get to do that when I’m around. And i know you don’t wanna make me sad right? *hopeful little smile *

Person B :

Person B : fine! But for the record that was a waste of a good cigarette

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Continuum - Chapter 9 Preview

image

Behind? Catch up HERE 😊

Beautiful moodboard created by @crownofstardustandbone @therollingstonys thank you so much! 💖

********

“So,” Steve said once he and Tony had taken their seats. “Natasha tells me that you’ve got some more information on these infinity gems?”


Thor gave a nod. “Yes, that is true. Your encounter here has only solidified my theory that the gem inside Loki’s sceptre is in fact one of the six infinity stones. More specifically, the Mind Stone.” He paused, tapping his palm on the table. “It is also my belief that it was this stone that was driving Loki’s madness when he attacked this planet. I know that Loki has caused all of us great pain, but I also know that he was not himself during that time, and I believe this is why.”


“So you’re saying those Chitauri bastards were using this Mind Stone to control him?” asked Clint. Clint’s jaw was tight and his fists clenched, no doubt remembering the horror he went through while under Loki’s influence.


“Yes, that is exactly what I am saying,” said Thor. “Agent Barton, I believe you experienced some of these effects as well?”


“We all did,” Natasha said quickly, giving Clint’s wrist a squeeze. “But not as much as Clint and Dr Selvig. Their effects were… more direct.”


“Yeah, like a straight shot to the heart,” muttered Clint. “Dude pointed the thing at my chest and it was like I’d suddenly forgotten who I was and who I was working for.”


“He pointed it at your chest?” Tony asked, pointing to where his arc reactor used to be. “Like, right here?”


“Ah, yep,” said Clint. “Got me and another agent in about ten seconds flat, then got Selvig before we split.”


“Hmm…” Tony murmured as he leaned back in his chair, his expression morphing into his I’m thinking face.


“Tony?” Steve asked. “What’re you thinking?”


Tony started, like he had forgotten Steve was there. “Um… well, I’m thinking that somehow my arc reactor was able to ward off the effects of this Mind Stone,” he said. “‘Cause Loki tried the same thing with me when we got to the Tower after the portal opened up, only it didn’t work.”


“He did, what?” Steve exclaimed, gaping at his husband. Tony had never mentioned anything about this to Steve before. “You never—wait, Loki did what to you?”


“Well, from the sounds of it, he tried to do the same thing he did to Barton here,” said Tony, way too nonchalantly for Steve’s taste. “Only it didn’t work, so then he got all pissed off and threw me out the window.”


“Yeah, okay, but we don’t need to talk about that right now either,” Steve said. He drew in a deep breath, trying to maintain some semblance of composure. He, Natasha, and Clint had arrived at the Tower in the Quinjet just in time to witness Tony being tossed out of the penthouse window, and Steve had nearly had a heart attack at the sight.


And that had been before his flight through the portal.


“Steve, we were all affected by that sceptre,” Bruce piped up from his chair next to James. “So even though Loki didn’t use it on us directly, we were all still vulnerable to its effects.”


“Yeah, and given that all you super-types were just as affected as the rest of them, I’d say that means this thing must be pretty powerful,” said Sam.


“It is indeed, Son of Wil,” said Thor. “And now that it is back in the hands of the Chitauri, it is my thought that we must take measures to remove the other Earth-bound gems from this planet. It is not safe to have this many of these stones in such close proximity.”


“Okay, just… can you remind me exactly what these gems are again?” asked James. “Not all of us were as involved in the incident in New York as others.”


“Oh, of course, Colonel,” said Thor, clearing his throat. “Mind you, I will be relaying the story as it was told to me hundreds of years ago. By my mother.”


“Now wait just a minute,” said Clint. “So you’re telling me this just is another one of your Asgardian bedtime stories?”


“Well, yes,” Thor answered. “I believe you Midgardians also share bedtime stories with your offspring, do you not?”


“Well, yeah, we do,” said Clint. “But… Jesus. I’d hate to see what you guys think is really scary.”


Thor narrowed his eyes. “Yes, Agent Barton,” he said grimly. “You mostly likely would.”


“Please, Thor, continue,” said Steve, barely clinging to his patience. “We’re kind of on a clock here.”


The full chapter will post on Monday, October 26th 😊

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Happy FFWF! My first multi-chapter fic broke 2,000 hits today, which is a big deal for this baby FFW. In celebration, here are the two scenes that I wrote the whole fic for:

Scene One:

Steve hauled himself upward, ignoring a new string of profanities from Tony, who moved quickly to brace Steve’s shoulder and hold him upright. Steve ran his eyes quickly around the room. Luckily, HYDRA’s hideout was not up to code, because the overhead lighting was connected to a circuit breaker through cables of exposed wiring. Steve gestured toward the wall.

“How fast could you rig those up to electrocute me?”

“You did not just ask me that, Rogers, I swear to God –”

“Tony! How fast?”

“30 seconds.”

“Do it. Tony! Listen to me.” He clenched his jaw around a fresh wave of agony. “We just need enough of a current to fry the explosive without cooking my brain. The device could blow any second, and then I won’t be able to get you out.”

“Get me out?! Get yourself out, you bastard –” Tony tried to interject, but Steve kept talking over him determinedly.

“We’re both going to get out. You’re going to shock me, you’ll short out the chip, and then you’ll bring me back.”

Keep reading

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image

The Cap-IM Remix Event and Cap-IM Reverse Big Bang kick off our event year.  

For the Remix Event, participants participate in a relay remix chain, remix change, or remix madness. Mod activity begins in November and extends into mid-February 2021.

For RBB, participants submit art work and are matched with authors to create mutually inspired fanwork. Mod activity begins in December and extends into mid-June 2021.

If you are over 18 and would be interested in teaming up with the comm mods to help mod the upcoming Remix Event or RBB, please send us an email at cap.im.mod@gmail.com expressing your interest and any experience and skills you bring to the table.

Whether you have previous experience with taking part in or modding a fandom challenge or community, or are just looking to get more involved with the Cap-IM comm, we’re happy to hear from you!

Potential responsibilities:

  • Answering emails and other questions/comments about the event
  • Advertising for the event, including posting on LJ, DW, Pillowfort, Tumblr, Discord and Twitter (note that we have mod accounts so you don’t need to personally be on the platform).
  • Co-ordinating sign-ups, matching, prompt collation and participant posting
  • Encouraging participants in their work, including creating inspiration posts
  • Managing the event’s AO3 Collection
  • Posting round-ups of submitted fanworks

Questions? Send us an email at cap.im.mod@gmail.com!

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Want a post-Endgame afterlife fic that doesn’t ignore what happened in canon? Including the uglies like Tony died, Steve went back to time and became old man Steve and that Tony & Steve weren’t together before? But now that they’re both living in the afterlife they could finally address those issues (and more!) and be together?

Then please contact @ishipallthings (discord & twitter) to join the bid for @magicasen!

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WHUMPTOBER 2020

No. 23

Fandom: Avengers

Whumpee: Steve Rogers

Caregiver: Tony Stark

Title: The Asgard Flu

By: PenPatronus // PenPatronusAooO 

Thor hadn’t spoken to his mortal human friends in several weeks and decided that he missed the tacos that Natasha made for the team every Tuesday night. So, he left Asgard and showed up just in time for dinner, empty stomach rumbling. But, there was nobody home. Assuming they were out on a mission, Thor asked Stark’s Computer Thing where they were. “I’m afraid they’re at the hospital,” JARVIS reported.

“What? Were they all wounded in battle?” the Asgardian asked, instantly feeling guilty for not being there for his teammates. He needed Stark to make him an intergalactic cellular telephone.

“No, Sir,” the AI continued, “they are AT the hospital. It is Captain Rogers who is IN the hospital and has been for over a week.”

“What’s wrong with Rogers?”

“Unknown. The captain’s condition is confounding every physician.”

Thor sighed. “I should see my friend. Where is this hospital?”

———

Tony sat on Steve’s hospital bed with his arms wrapped around his friend’s stomach from behind, holding Steve upright as he coughed and spat blood into a plastic bucket. When the blood slowed down, the vomit returned, and Steve nearly filled the bucket with half-digested fluids. When it was over, he coughed into his hand, and then collapsed back against Tony’s chest, exhausted. Tony gently patted Steve’s forearm. “That was rough,” he said, eyebrows together with both empathy and worry. “You all right?”

Keep reading

penpatronuswhump
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Ahh this is so cute, I hope you enjoy this smol ficlet!

***

They’re just stopping for popcorn at first. Steve and Tony have both had a long day, nothing truly stressful, really, just long, and Tony, for one, can’t wait to get home and do nothing for a few hours with his boyfriend. The word gives him pause, makes his brain go all fuzzy for just a few seconds before he comes back to himself. 

Boyfriend.

It’s juvenile, sure, but it’s also just…nice. It makes Steve Rogers his in a way he wasn’t before, so Tony can hardly complain. He wonders briefly if they’re the kind of couple who hold hands while they wander the aisles and his fingers twitch at the thought.

Tony had gotten it in his head that they should watch movies tonight. He doesn’t know what, just whatever Steve is in the mood for, basically, but he is sure of one thing. 

“We can’t have a movie night without popcorn, Steven, it’s sacrilege.” 

Which is how they find themselves at a corner grocery store at ten o’clock at night, the aisles empty save for buzzing fluorescent lighting and the hushed hum of refrigerators. They might be two of the only people in the store, Tony realizes, and a ridiculous part of him wants to throw himself into a shopping cart and tell Steve to push him. He fights that particular urge down, if only because Pepper will kill him for acting on it, but there is something about being in the grocery store alone late at night, though. It makes you feel like you’re the last people on earth or something. 

Tony’s about to say as much to Steve when he realizes he’s been quiet for almost their whole walk through the store so far, and it clicks when he looks up, watching Steve gazing around the shelves. 

“It’s so…full,” Steve says when he catches Tony looking. He hadn’t thought about it, but of course Steve wouldn’t have been grocery shopping before now. Tony has everything delivered to the Tower, and if he needs anything else there’s always the convenience store down the street. 

“Okay,” Tony says, grinning at Steve. “New plan.”

This time he does take Steve’s hand in his, leads him through the winding aisles to the popcorn, listening to him grumble vaguely about too many options before settling on a box of classic Orville Redenbacher. Not even movie theater butter!

“You would find the one with the old man on it,” Tony teases, grabbing his hand again before Steve can protest. 

Tony leads Steve to all the best, most ridiculous snack foods: sugary candy and brownie-core ice cream and frozen pizza no adult has any business eating and a bag of chips with the Avengers on it and blue soda that has no real name aside from its color. It all finds its way into the cart Tony acquires from the front of the store.

“You just have to try it. Trust me,” Tony says as Steve looks dubiously at the cart. “Staying up all night, eating garbage snacks and watching movies is like a right of passage or something.”

“What, all of it?” 

“Well, maybe not all in one sitting,” Tony defends. “Though appetite hardly seems to be a problem for a super soldier like yourself.” 

Steve smiles at him, wide and crooked and uninhibited the way he gets late at night when it’s just the two of them. “This is excessive, even for you.”

They’re checking out now, the bored cashier not looking up long enough to realize that two of the most famous men in the city are bickering right in front of her.

“Maybe so,” Tony says, looking up at Steve as they split the bags and head for the door. “You like it, though.”

Steve turns, his eyes finding Tony’s in a smile. “I like it,” he agrees. “Now, we have popcorn and just about every snack of the twenty-first century… what are we going to watch?”

Tony laughs as the fall freeze envelopes them, and tells him they’ll figure it out when they get there; it’s been working for them so far, after all. 

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