A/N: I own neither universes.
This is a short intro to what is looking to be quite a few chapters. I'm hoping to update every two weeks as I've already written the first three chapters but anticipate quite a few more. This was a plot bunny that took me by the arm and demanded to be written. It's filled with a lot of headcannons/whatifs/and cute moments I could see or wanted to see between Hermione & Steve & Bucky-feel free to submit your own. Rated for future course language and sexual instances.
Steve had panicked. Granted, the last thing he remembered was fighting against Hydra who had been known to torture and manipulate their victims. So he ran and fought and ran.
Eventually, he disappeared down an alley, pausing to lean against the rough brick of a building as he wheezed. His body was still as strong as it had ever been, the wheezing more psychosomatic than anything. He heard steps approach him and he looked up sharply in surprise, positioning himself to fight. A woman stared back at him blankly, one hand gripping something beside her.
"Are you okay?" She asked, eyebrows furrowing in concern. It took him aback.
"Where…where did you come from?" He asked reflexively despite the million more questions he wanted to ask. Distantly, he thought it was the British accent that was so disorienting.
"You didn't notice me…you seemed—seem—overwhelmed?" She asked. He noticed she stowed whatever thin weapon she had had initially. She had not approached him, but he was still wary. The sounds of the city were so loud and his head ached from the stimulation.
"Where am I?" He asked, leaning back against the alley wall. She looked at him queerly.
"New York." She tilted her head slightly and narrowed her eyes. "Today is April 24th, 2012." She said answering a question he hadn't even thought to ask yet the response had left him reeling. He shrank down to the ground, back scratching against the bricks as he held his head in his hands. He could hear his heartbeat above the dins of the street as he began to feel his breathing pick up rapidly. The world faded into blackness, a darkness encroaching on him in his mind. He felt hands placed upon his own, felt callouses on one hand and the smoothness of the other. He raised his head to look at the stranger, the darkness receding as her eyes burned amber hues of brown into his mind. He felt bare before her yet he opened still, revealing all vulnerabilities before her, somehow feeling more relaxed. "You've been asleep for a very long time, Steve." She said to him knowingly. The luster of her eyes had faded but the world had come back to rich colors.
"Do you know me?" He asked. She looked at him pitying.
"I'm not sure any of your friends have survived…it's been probably 70 years for you—that war has been long over." She said sadly. He felt his vision glaze over again, felt burning water in his eyes. He found her eyes again but did not hesitate as he felt the tears drop. His hands had dropped to his lap as she shifted to hold him against her sternum—he could hear the steadiness of her heart, even as another head ache burned his head. She embraced his head against her, hands wrapping around his head. He felt coolness, calmness radiate from her hands as she massaged his temples. He wondered if he was imaging the blue light emitting from her hands.
"How did you know my name?" He asked finally as his tears had slowed. "Do you work for them?" He said, flustered as he pulled out of her embrace. She looked at him cautiously. He just realized that she had kneeled down on the dirty, wet, alley floor in order to comfort him. He felt guilty.
"I don't know who woke you up…I'm not sure who is chasing after you." She began. She looked at him hesitantly, weighing options he did not know. "I…I knew your name because I saw it in your mind…it's a bit of a…it's a bit of a talent I have cultivated." She said finally, though he could hear the guilt in her tone.
"So, you're just a random stranger?" He asked disbelieving. He glanced around her to the street where he had come from. "If you're a civilian—you'll be in danger; men were chasing after me." He said suddenly alarmed. He pulled her up with him as he stood, frowning at her wet and dirty knees.
"They won't see us here." She said sheepishly. "Another…talent of mine." She added cautiously. "Will you be okay? I'm not sure who is chasing after you; I can't ascertain whether they'd be friend or foe." She said with a frown. He shook his head to clear it.
"I…I think they're…not enemies." He settled on the term, not sure whether he would venture to call them allies. "I'll need to confront them eventually." She nodded at him understandingly. He coughed suddenly to clear his throat. "Thank you for your help Miss…" She looked at him and seemed to weigh his worth, rapid decision making flashing behind her eyes.
"Hermione. Hermione Granger." She said finally with a faint smile. She suddenly began rustling through her small purse that had been wrapped around her body. She pulled out two pennies with a triumphant 'a-ha'. She looked up at him suspiciously before turning around from him briefly and muttering something he couldn't quite understand. She turned back around triumphantly and presented him with one of the pennies. He sighed when he realized it was minted in 2012. He looked back up at her confused at why she had gifted him the seemingly random item. She cleared her throat.
"You might have some problems with your memory after waking up from your decades-long coma. If you have pain, trouble recalling, nightmares, anything of that sort—hold that penny and say Hermione Granger." He looked up at her confused at what she was saying but she merely continued. "It will glow blue and then you will tell me an address and I'll come to help you. It will turn red when I'm in route." She finalized. He looked at her, shocked.
"Is this a modern method of communication? Is this common?" He asked. She winced.
"Actually, No…this is really just a special offer for you and you actually mustn't tell anyone else or it will endanger me, I think." She admitted.
"Why me? Why this for a stranger?" He pressed. Her mouth twitched at the question, lips pulling to one side of her face in a faint grimace.
"You were in pain, I was curious, and I pried." She shrugged. "I can't imagine how overwhelming your life will be now—I'm sorry for that. I can't do anything for your time-related dilemmas, but I can help with your mind…so I offered." She looked sincere and he believed her.
"Thank you." He said with a tight nod, he didn't really get exhausted like he had before the serum, but he still seemingly felt it. She patted him on the shoulder gently.
"Good luck, Steve Rogers. I wish you the best of luck." She said before turning and walking out of the alley to the main street. As soon as she disappeared around the corner the noise of the city seemed to encapsulate him once again. In an instant, a black SUV blocked both exits of the alley as men in dark suits emerged. A bald man with a black eye patch exited the car and walked towards him slowly.
"Captain." The man greeted. Steve nodded back warily. "You were able to evade my men for quite some time—an unusual feat, I assure you." Steve kept the surprise off his face, wondering at Hermione's "talents". The man walked towards Steve, stopping a few steps away. Steve felt himself still wound tightly, but was far more relaxed than when he had first run away.
"Look, I'm sorry about that little show back there, but we thought it best to break it to you slowly." The man continued.
"Break what?" Steve asked, already knowing the answer.
"You've been asleep, Cap." The man said with an annoying amount of informality. "For almost 70 years." Steve was impassive. He had already known that Hermione was correct—had felt it in his very bones. The man watched his lack of reaction. "You going to be okay?" He asked. Steve nodded.
"Yeah…yeah…I just had a date." He realized. He sighed, eyes closing as he thought of Peggy, gone like Bucky and the other Howling Commandos—gone like everyone else. He was alone. The world drowned out his sorrows.