So this is what went through my head after I read about the “Captain America is Hydra!” gimmick. (No pairings.)
“They did what?” Sam shouts.
Bucky rubs a hand over his face. “You’ve got to be shitting me.”
Sam is shaking. He doesn’t think he’s ever been so angry in his life. “We’re gonna stop them. They can’t do this. They can’t publish this bullshit. This isn’t right!”
Natasha picks her fingernails with her knife and says nothing, but her eyes are flat and utterly void of emotion.
At the other end of the table, Steve sits with the comic in front of him, hands flat on either side of it. He hasn’t said a word since he finished reading it five minutes ago, and that five minutes has been more than enough time for Sam to work himself into a frothing rage.
“I’m flying over there right now,” he declares. “We’re going to have a conversation.”
Natasha grabs his sleeve before he can make a move.
“Tony,” Steve says softly.
Tony pushes himself off the wall where he’s been leaning. “Yeah, buddy?”
“Do you have the number of a good lawyer?”
Tony pulls his phone out and starts dialing. “I’ve got five.”
Steve nods once, and doesn’t say anything else.
Sam doesn’t believe it. “What are you–why aren’t you saying anything?”
Steve just looks up at him. He’s paler than Sam’s ever seen, he’s pressed his lips into a thin white line, and there’s a glint in his eyes Sam hasn’t seen there before.
Bucky takes one look at him, jumps out of his chair, and grabs Sam. “Come on, we’re heading down to the kitchen for a bit. Steve, you know where we are if you need us.”
“What the–” Sam doesn’t even get the protest out before Bucky’s hauled him out of the room. “What are you doing?”
“Steve’s my best friend,” Bucky says. “I’ve known him for years. And I know that look means the safest place to be is somewhere very, very far away.”
Sam frowns at him. “You think he’s going to do something?”
Bucky nods. “You’ll see.”
The next day, the top headline is that of Steve Rogers suing the comic company for defamation of character.
Two weeks later, the company settles for an undisclosed sum. The comics are pulled and the rest of the run won’t be published.
Within the next month, every single top executive resigns, along with the writer of the comic, citing a desire to “spend more time with family.” They’re replaced by a group of people the press release calls “forward-thinking” and that Tony calls “considerably less assholish than the others.”
Steve quietly donates his entire settlement to Jewish charities and nonprofits.
The single comic at the Avengers Tower is burned, and Natasha gleefully roasts marshmallows over the fire.
Sam sits next to Bucky and gestures his beer bottle at Steve, who is talking to Tony and T’Challa on the other side of the room. “I am never getting on his bad side.”
Bucky clinks his own bottle to Sam’s. “I’ll drink to that.”
If you want to know what you can do to help, check out this post right here. It has a lot of links for both education and for action.