Okay, I was planning on posting something entirely different today, but then… The Winter Soldier barged in. And there were snowballs, and hot tea, and candy canes. The candy canes came in first. (Yes, I attacked the Winter Soldier with a candy cane. *glares at audience*) But then, I kind of had a “I need a Lindsey Stirling fix” moment and went on YouTube, which led to a thought of hey, this could be Bucky, so here you are!
Partially inspired by steampunk genre, partly inspired by the various marvelous “Ready Aim Fire” Captain America: The Winter Soldier tributes, and partly because “Shatter Me” would make such a perfect tribute for Bucky.
It’s all clockwork, really.
Cogs and springs and soft, soft ticking that never goes away.
It’s there when he gets up, when he trains, in exact rhythm with his pounding heart, breathless with exhilaration.
And then he lies down again, and his heart is silent, and his breath is gone, and there is nothing but the slow, soft ticking. Click-click, click-click, sometimes a squeak as the motion hitches momentarily, and then moves on.
Over time, he comes to rely on it. And then, he can hear other people ticking. Hearts and breaths are slowly silenced, fading out of his world as it turns all into clockwork.
Until one day.
There’s a man on the bridge, and there’s a sudden pounding that is not mechanical, a rush of chilly air that he should not be able to feel.
They’re flung forward, at each other, as if they must fight, star-crossed, fated from the beginning of the world, leaping into battle. The heartbeat flies faster, faster—until his own heart—he’d forgotten he even had one—is chiming in perfect time with the stranger’s.
They take him away, they take the stranger away. The man on the bridge. I knew him. I knew him!
There is no more clockwork after that. At last the heartbeat bursts free, ripping toward the surface, gripping something unknown; the man he used to be.
He fights. It’s all he knows. But then, when it’s over, he runs.
It’s all too much.
Something else is breaking free. He’s not sure if he likes it. He’s afraid. The clockwork is all he knows. It’s all he knows. But then, he knew the stranger too.
It was all clockwork, but now something else is free for the first time.
He was a machine.
Maybe he doesn’t have to be a machine forever.