Springtime for Red Skull and HYDRA

An "The Avengers" one shot by Andrew J. Talon

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fan based work of prose. "The Avengers" is the property of Disney, Marvel, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Please support the official release.

It was a fancy soiree-Only the best for a Stark Industries function. Champagne flowed through an elaborate ice sculpture, music was played by robots, and the guests freely mingled at the top of Stark Tower.

And Steve Rogers was bored out of his mind. His girlfriend couldn't make it, ergo there was no reason to dance. And with no reason to dance, he decided to just try and enjoy the view from an isolated spot on the balcony.

"You should really try not to sulk so much," Natasha observed, appearing next to him instantly. Steve sighed.

"I'm not sulking."

"You so are," Natasha said with a smirk. Steve sighed, and swirled the glass of champagne around in his hand.

"Kind of," he admitted. "I never know what to do with myself when Jen's not here."

"She's not that great at these parties either," Natasha said.

"That actually kind of helps," Steve replied. Natasha shrugged.

"I suppose..." She sighed as she looked out over the city too. "Still... Gotta be something for you at these parties, right?"

"I don't know," Steve sighed. "Kind of hard when everyone I knew is-"

"Captain Rogers?" Croaked an old man. Steve blinked, and looked over. A short man with a large nose and thinning hair was staring at him in disbelief. Steve stared back, his brow furrowing...

"Think back to the Roer River bridge operation... There was a HYDRA test group blocking us... I was with the 1104th Engineer Combat Group," the man went on. Steve's eyes widened.

"Kaminsky?" He asked in disbelief. The old man gave Cap a salute, picture perfect.

"Corporal Kaminsky! How are ya, Cap?" He asked with a grin. Steve laughed and returned the salute, before grasping the old man's hands in his.

"You look great!" Steve laughed. "I haven't seen you since...!"

"I know, I know," the old man chuckled. "You enjoy those records I loaned you?"

"Oh I did," Steve said earnestly. "Al Jolson! Loved him in The Jazz Singer."

"Yeah, ya put me in a tough spot though," Kaminsky said. "The Nazis set up propaganda speakers, blasting us with their bullshit after you left. I had to sing all the songs myself!"

"Sorry about that," Steve grinned, "but I bet everyone loved it."

"Hahaha! I think most people did, yes?" The old man just grinned broadly. "I never imagined I'd see you again. You know, I caught one of your USO shows."

"Terrible, huh?" Steve asked. The old man shrugged.

"Eh... Could've used some work. Comedy, my friend, that's what you needed, if anyone was gonna give you the time of day next to those ladies. It's all in the timing! Got into it myself after the war."

"Oh? Do well for yourself, I take it?" Steve asked. The man chuckled.

"Oh, you might say that... Went to Hollywood, made a lot of films. Did some Broadway, too, and TV. Lots of it!"

"I've got a lot to catch up on," Steve said with a grin. "Any suggestions on where to start?"

Corporal Kaminsky laughed, as though at some inside joke. "Well! I might suggest you try this... Actually, you ever heard of Mel Brooks?"

Steve frowned. "I've heard him mentioned a lot. You know him?"

"Oh yes! Brilliant filmmaker, if I do say so myself," Kaminsky said. "C'mon! I'll show you his films. Genre defining, you might say! But first-You caught up on Westerns?"

"Some of the first movies I was able to see after I came back," Steve said, allowing himself to be led off by the old acquaintance.

"Well then, I think you're in for a treat! Blazing Saddles is where we'll start, and then Young Frankenstein, you'll love it! And-Any Alfred Hitchock?"

"Not as much as I'd like."

"You'll love him too! I'll show you it all, Cap! Least I can do, least I can do..."

He felt Natasha's smile at his back, and almost felt like he'd been set up. But... Seeing a guy from the war who had done so well after? It was just wonderful. He really wished Jennifer was here. She'd mentioned Mel Brooks before, maybe Kaminsky could get them an autograph...?

Pepper watched the esteemed Mel Brooks and Steve Rogers walking and talking through the party. She looked over at Tony Stark, who was watching disinterestedly... With a smug look in his eyes. She smiled back at him.

"You planned this?" She asked. Stark shrugged.

"Was going through some old SHIELD files, found out Cap had been in action with Mel's unit for a mission..." He smiled. "Didn't take a lot of convincing."

Pepper leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. "You continue to surprise me, Tony Stark," she teased. Tony smirked and raised his eyebrows suggestively.

"Would you happen to have a surprise waiting for me?"

"Mm... I might," Pepper said, smiling like the sun. "Though that depends..."

"Depends on?" Asked Tony. The CEO of Stark Industries cocked her eyebrow, and turned away.

"On the size of your Shwartz, of course," she said softly, walking away on her long legs. Tony watched her go... And put down his champagne with a smile.

God, he loved that woman.

In honor of Mel Brooks, actual badass World War II vet and all around awesome guy.