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22 June 2014 @ 09:49 pm
FIC: Bigger on the Inside (1/2)  
Title: Bigger on the Inside (1/2)
Author: joonscribble
Fandom: Captain America films/His Dark Materials crossover
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Events of the CA:TFA (for this chapter).
Disclaimer: I don't own a single person who appears or is even mentioned in this apart from Shessida ('Shess').
Summary: Issie never needed to change. Which is good because many other things did.
Author's Note: Ishild ('Issie') was created by the lovely awanderingbard who generously let me use her headcanon for this fic. This was originally going to be a brief oneshot that follows Issie and Shess from the first film through the second but the stuff grew so yeah.


Brooklyn – 1935

Issie braces herself to go flying into the brick wall because that’s usually how these things go. But the last strike never comes and instead Issie’s vision is filled up with familiar black fur. Powerful jaws gently clasp the nape of her neck, lifting her clear off the ground, much to her chagrin. Issie knows she should be grateful. And she is, really. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t indignant about Shess having to save her again.

“Put me down!” Issie squirms.

When Shess deposits her further down the alley, she does her best to move around Shess’ considerable bulk but the bear is firm about being a barrier between her and Jerry’s dog daemon who growls a bit at them before cowering under Shess’ stare.

“Shess, come on!” protests Issie.

“Are you ever going to learn to stay down?” demands Shess.

“Never,” she answers, resolutely. She scrambles to try and climb over Shess at this point but can’t even make it halfway up her flank. Shess huffs and barely has to try to push Issie back.

Meanwhile, Bucky’s taken down Jerry with one punch.

Once Jerry’s off and running with his daemon, Shess moves to the side to allow Issie to get past. Not that it matters now. But Issie still rushes over to Steve, consolingly pushing her face against his ankles once Bucky’s helped him out of the piles of cans and day old vegetable peels he’d been pushed into.

“The hell was that about?” asks Bucky.

Steve makes an effort to straighten his clothes that are now half torn and spotted with blood from his nose. “He was mouthing off to Mrs. Neil,” he mumbles.

“And you decided to mouth off to him,” Bucky guesses. He shakes his head. “It’s a good thing you’re not a gambling man. You always pick lousy odds.” Shess lumbers next to Issie, nudging her. “If Jerry’s fine with insulting old ladies, he’s not going to think twice about breaking your face.”

“So?” Steve asks, still stinging a bit from the rescue. “If you don’t like the odds, you don’t have to get involved.”

Shess puts a paw on Issie, pulling her closer. If she wanted, Issie knows she can wriggle out from underneath the limb that’s about as big as her entire body. But instead she lets the warm weight remain, even as she growls a little on principle.

Bucky grins. “Nah, you make me look good. If I wasn’t saving your ass every day, people would think I’m a jerk.”

“You are a jerk,” replies Steve but there’s no heat behind his words. He looks up at Bucky and smiles. “Thanks, anyway.”

Bucky throws an arm around Steve, manhandling him a little in an echo of how Shess does the same to Issie. “Come on. You need to get cleaned up before your mom sees you.”

**

Europe – 1943

The walk back is long and exhausting. Or rather it should be and probably is for everyone else. But Issie is brimming with energy, feeling proud of what they’ve accomplished, the men they’ve helped rescue, and most importantly that Shess and Bucky are among the living. Ahead of her she can see Steve and Bucky talking, their tones taking on that familiar rhythm. It doesn’t matter Steve’s now the size of a house and he actually has to take some care when bumping his shoulder against Bucky’s to not send the other man careening off to the side.

But beside her, Shess keeps giving her side glances, quickly averting her gaze when Issie catches her.

“Hey,” Issie questions. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Shess answers. “So you’re bigger now, huh?” she adds.

“Not as much as Steve,” Issie points out quickly. “He’s four times his size now. I just got maybe an inch or two.” Shess doesn’t reply to that but focuses her gaze on Steve who is still ahead of them, looking like he could probably sprint all the way to England and back without breaking a sweat. Bucky is making some crack about hearing Steve’s punched Adolph Hitler over 200 times. It doesn’t seem right that they remain as they are but Shess is almost awkward around her. “Hey,” Issie says. “You can still pick me up, if you wanted.”

The minute the words leave her, Issie knows it was the wrong way to say it. She meant she and Steve weren’t any different, not where it counted; that she and Shess weren’t any different. Shess gives her a look that’s fond but a little angry. “Nah,” she drawls. “You hated me doing that kind of stuff.” Before Issie can respond, Shess is bounding ahead of her, coming up on Bucky’s right who absently tugs at her ear while still joking with Steve about his short-lived career as a chorus girl.

Later, when she and Steve are not slapped with a disciplinary charge, they sit with the other men in a makeshift mess hall. Shess is curled up by Bucky’s feet while he all but inhales something that looks like oatmeal and probably tastes like cardboard. Steve’s telling him about his plans for what’s next, about the team he’s putting together. Issie noses at one of Shess’ paws.

“Cut it out,” Shess complains, swiping half-heartedly.

“Quit hogging all the stupid,” insists Issie. “Nothing’s changed.” Shess gives her a look. “Nothing important. We’re still us.” She pushes at Shess’ paws again until the bear drapes one over Issie to get her to stop. Issie knows she can get free, just like old times but she happily settles down. She can practically feel Shess rolling her eyes. “You’re coming with us, right?” Issie asks.

Shess huffs but tightens her hold a little.

**

Europe – 1944

They’re huddled together in the burnt down bar. While Steve drinks to get drunk, a gesture as useless as when he’d tried to grab Bucky’s hand, Issie sits on his lap, tucked under one arm.

“We should never have asked them to come,” says Steve, tearfully. “They could’ve gone home.”

Issie whines a little, pressing closer. After the serum and rescuing the 107th she had been so happy to finally be able to do some real good; to be able to serve side by side with Shess rather than be helpless. But it turned out nothing had changed. Shess and Bucky were gone because she and Steve still couldn’t finish the fights they’d started.

 “We didn’t win the one fight we had to,” Issie whispers.

Later, much later, Issie resolutely keeps her gaze on the ice that’s rushing up to meet them. It was over but at least this fight, the final fight, they would win.

NEXT
 
 
 
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on June 23rd, 2014 02:27 am (UTC)
Aww, my heart! This is great! I've never seen anyone write from the point of view of daemons before, and you did such a great job. I love Issie and Shess' voices, and how they echo their humans, but have their own quirks, too.

What I really love, is you've managed to make Issie's voice sounds like a terrier's voice. Like, if I was going to have to write from the POV of a terrier, it would be that indignant 'I'm not THAT small' 'lalala, stuff is happening', energetic tone. Really well done!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on June 23rd, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
Aww, my heart! This is great! I've never seen anyone write from the point of view of daemons before, and you did such a great job.

Thanks!

you've managed to make Issie's voice sounds like a terrier's voice. Like, if I was going to have to write from the POV of a terrier, it would be that indignant 'I'm not THAT small' 'lalala, stuff is happening', energetic tone.

I guess that's Steve's soul. Heh.

Glad you enjoyed this as I have you to blame for all of it. :)

EDIT: Oh, and I took one look at this photoset and obviously thought daemons (http://catsbeaversandducks.tumblr.com/post/85628207491/lion-tiger-and-bear-raised-together-after-rescue)

Edited at 2014-06-23 02:50 am (UTC)
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on June 23rd, 2014 03:03 am (UTC)

I guess that's Steve's soul. Heh.


Yes, I was going to say 'I guess that means his daemon's a good choice', but since I choose it, it thought that might seem to be patting myself on the back.


Glad you enjoyed this as I have you to blame for all of it. :)


I regret nothing everything some things!

Oh, and I took one look at this photoset and obviously thought daemons

Eee, scary animal cuddles!

I thought the same about this one.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on June 23rd, 2014 03:08 am (UTC)
Oh man, that cat is cute!

since I choose it, it thought that might seem to be patting myself on the back.

I shall pat your back for you then because it is the perfect daemon for Steve.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on June 23rd, 2014 03:25 am (UTC)
Thank you! I shall pat you in return for one and half stories in a twenty-four hour period. Congratuwelldone!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on June 23rd, 2014 03:34 am (UTC)
Congratuwelldone!

Thank you! I've given my Word Fairy some biscuits for being so nice.
aelfgyfu_mead: Winter Soldieraelfgyfu_mead on June 24th, 2014 01:21 am (UTC)
I'm glad I know it's TBC!

Is Shess just expressing outwardly what Bucky's trying not to show Steve?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on June 24th, 2014 01:30 am (UTC)
Is Shess just expressing outwardly what Bucky's trying not to show Steve?

Yes, pretty much. From what I remember from the HDM-verse, daemons to a certain extent reflect whatever might be going on with their humans, conscious and unconsciously.