This is Marvel/Captain America/Avengers’ fan fiction that I wrote after seeing ENDGAME . It most definitely contains spoilers for the movie, and if you haven’t seen AVENGERS: ENDGAME, it may not make that much sense. But I think it’s a pretty decent story that uses the parameters they set for time travel correctly. It may not agree with what the writers or the directors are saying, but I don’t care. What they’re saying doesn’t necessarily make any more sense than this does.
Read on if you’re interested. I had fun writing it.
Steve Rogers looked at the sad figure floating in front of him. His brain told him that he should kill the guy, but he simply couldn’t mount much of an angry response now.
“Steve, son of Joseph. You are here to return the soul stone to its place.”
“You know me?” Steve asked. “You remember me?”
“It is my curse to know all who seek the stone – and to know those who bear its burden.” The apparition lowered its hood, revealing the red visage that was burned in his memory. “Your hatred of me is justified. But it is, as they say, water under the bridge.”
“They you also know why I am here.”
“You are here to return the soul stone to its place. For that, there is no price. You simply must throw it off the precipice.”
Steve walked over to the edge of the cliff and looked down. A familiar figure lay on the stones at the bottom of the drop. Blood made her red hair look even fuller from this distance. Tears came to his eyes.
“Perhaps I have a price for its return,” Steve said, forcing back a sob. “A soul for a soul.”
Red Skull shook his head. “Alas, it will not allow for that. It did not allow for it even when commanded by the green one. Her soul was the price paid by your friend Clint. Or, more accurately, by herself.”
Steve opened his hand and the stone tumbled down toward Natasha’s broken figure. As it approached her, it flared into light, and both it and she disappeared.
“I fear my time as guide here is almost up,” Red Skull said. “Things had to be as they were, Captain.” Steve noted that the figure addressed him by his rank. Red Skull did know who he was. “Including my own role in all that has occurred before – and will occur in the future.”
Steve nodded. He turned away from his old nemesis, feeling nothing toward him – no anger, no sadness, no joy in his station, and no enmity. Nothing. He strode down the path, wanting to get away from this place. He knew that soon, another soul would be sacrificed in a quest to obtain the stone. And next time, it would have wide ranging repercussions.
He stood, staring at the device on his wrist. He should activate it and go home. But where was home for him now? Tony Stark was gone, Natasha was gone, Thor was off with those Guardians of the Galaxy, Bruce was now Professor Hulk, and Clint was happy to be able to return to his family. There was a new captain – Captain Marvel, who was a guardian of the entire universe, not just America. And the kid, Peter Parker – he had what it took to do the right thing. Steve saw that.
And Fury was there, too, in that time.
But there was another time…
Steve played with Stark’s time GPS, and reset the coordinates to a time he recalled well – a time when he thought things would play out much differently than they did. He hit the switch, and the Pym particles did their thing, shrinking him down into the quantum realm and pulling him through it along Tony’s reverse-Moebius strip model.
Steve looked at the street where he’d emerged from the quantum realm. “I’m home,” he whispered as he moved quickly and stealthily down the street. His quantum suit disappeared into its housing as he made his way.
He wore his Captain America duds, but he couldn’t be seen in them. Captain America was “in the ice” at this time. From what he knew, Peggy would meet someone that he saved in World War II and have a couple of kids with this honorable man, whoever he was. No one knew much about him. He seemed to be a ghost. Steve didn’t remember him, either. He had done the research, and even had Bucky and Shuri help him with some of it. If Shuri couldn’t find something, no one could.
He remembered that quick view of Peggy when he and Tony were retrieving the stones in 2012, and how his heart had leapt. The picture on her desk, there at the facility, was of him – not superhero him, but the scrawny kid with Brooklyn heart.
He knew where he was going, even before he decided to go there. To Peggy’s house. It was a cute little house, on a nice neighborhood street. Everything seemed slower here. It was quieter, more peaceful, more relaxing.
He could live like this.
He was going to try to live like this.
He found a place to sit on Peggy’s porch, where he could see the comings and goings on the street, and yet remain somewhat hidden from view. He watched – and waited.
Agent Peggy Carter was dropped by the agency limousine at the corner grocery store, and walked home from there. It was a beautiful evening. Not yet dark, but just starting to dim. She stopped, taking in the odors of the lovely spring evening.
As she approached her house, something caused her to raise her guard. Her agent training kicked in. She didn’t slow down, gave no indication that she was aware anything was amiss. But someone was on her porch. She couldn’t see much, just a flash between the rails, but she was not going to take any chances. She surreptitiously removed her handgun from her purse, and made the turn onto her walkway.
The figure rose and she dropped into a shooter’s stance. She shouted, “Freeze! Don’t move!”
The man on the porch slowly raised his hands. “Hi, Peggy,” he said in a voice she would never forget.
“Steve?” He nodded.
“Long story. Want to hear it?”
Peggy stared at him. He was different, and it wasn’t just his clothes. The suit he wore bore no resemblance to the red, white and blue Captain America suit he usually wore. But there was something else. The hair was different. The eyes…
She dropped the weapon and walked up to him. He wrapped his arms around her, hugged her like he was never going to let go of her.
“I never forgot about that dance. I just wanted to get it before I…”
“Before you what?”
Steve looked around. “Can we talk inside?”
Peggy disengaged and unlocked, then opened, her front door. She held it open for Steve, who entered, then waited for her. She shut the door and turned to look at him.
“You crashed your plane into the ice. You’re…”
“Dead? No, I wasn’t killed in that crash. I was saved years later by Howard Stark while he was looking for the Tesseract. You know what I’m talking about, right?”
“Of course. But how…”
Peggy laughed. But then slowly, the realization that something impossible was happening before her eyes. Steve was dead, or buried in ice at the very least, yet here he was, standing in front her looking…
“You’re older. I can see it in your eyes. And in your physical appearance. You’re older. I have to call the director…”
“No, we can’t call the director. We can’t call anyone. If anyone finds out about my presence here other than you, it will screw things up worse than I’m already risking.”
Steve did. He told her an incredible story about alien beings intent on destroying half the life in the Universe. About “infinity stones” that were disguised as things like the Tesseract. About how, in the future, they fought this alien, Thanos, three times. Finally, they came out on top. And to do it, they had to use time travel into the quantum realm, which they’d perfected.
“But this all has to be kept a secret. I…”
“I shouldn’t be here. I’m breaking all sorts of rules to come here.”
“We don’t know what will happen. Whenever we interact with the past, we create spinoff timelines and realities. For example, by seeing you, I’m creating another timeline, since you and I never met again until…”
Peggy looked hard at Steve. “We meet again in your timeline? What year is that?”
“Wow. I’d be…” She calculated her age in her head. Steve just watched her.
“Still beautiful,” he said. “Still the girl of my dreams.”
She moved toward him, almost involuntarily, and he took her in his arms again, his lips finding hers. “Before I go,” he whispered, “You owe me a dance.”
They danced. And kissed.
Finally Steve asked, “Do you have a boyfriend? Or maybe a fiancee?”
“No!” she exclaimed. “Why would you ask me that?”
“In the future, you’d met and married someone, even had kids with him. Someone I rescued in Italy.”
“Think back. Who did you rescue in Italy?”
“I don’t know.”
“Neither do I,” Peggy said. “I’ve not dated anyone since you crashed. It’s always been you.”
She watched Steve chew on his lower lip. “So you don’t know a serviceman who may have been rescued by me?”
She shook her head. “What if you’re the serviceman?”
“What do you mean?”
“Steve, I’d never marry anyone but you. Why couldn’t you stay? We could get married.”
“I…I’d love to do that. But no one could ever know about me. No one could ever even see me.”
“Sure they could. We’re S.H.I.E.L.D. I can get you so disguised no one will ever recognize you.”
“I suppose I could wear a baseball cap and sunglasses whenever I’m out and about,” Steve said.
“With your looks, it’s going to take more than a hat and dark glasses to keep people from recognizing you.” She stepped away.
“It will be hard,” he said. “You’ll never have a husband who can accompany you to events and such.”
“It will be harder without you,” she said. “We will enjoy every minute of our life together.”
He smiled, and Peggy leaned into him, tilting her head upward. Steve kissed her like he was never going to let her go. And she returned it in the same fashion.
“Maybe this is the way it always was,” Peggy said. “Maybe we were always destined to be together. Maybe this is your future, and your past.”
“I don’t have a brain like Stark, but I’m not going to question it.”
“Howard Stark is a genius, but I don’t think he knows anything about this sort of thing.”
Steve smiled. “There’s so much that I just can’t tell you about. I have to keep it a secret, because no one ever knew any of it until it happened.”
“I’m a spy, Steve. I can keep a secret.”
“I know.” Steve just smiled a little bit. “So, let’s get married!”
“’Til death do us part,” Peggy said, and she hugged him again.
Peggy eventually passed away in 2016, and Steve lived his life under an assumed name, watching for the events he knew were coming. And they came. The Battle of New York, Sokovia and Ultron, and finally, the Avengers’ own split. He wished he could counsel his younger self, or talk to Tony Stark, but he couldn’t. He could only watch. He watched as his younger self carried Peggy’s casket down the aisle. He watched as his children grew and moved on with their own lives.
Finally he watched as people were turned to dust, but he knew: they were coming back. His decision hadn’t changed a thing.
Maybe it was as it always had been. Tony or Bruce might know, or the sorcerer over on Bleeker street, but for now, he needed to do one other thing.
He traveled to upstate New York, and found a comfortable bench by a lake.
And he waited.