Chapter 1: Nothing to Prove
June 14th, 1943.
As Stephanie Grace Rogers waited in a room wearing a slip around dozens of men, she was nervous about what they were going to say about her, if she could be recruited into the United States Armed Forces.
Enlistment Officer #1: "(calls out) O'Connell, Micheal. Kominsky, Henry."**
As the officer called out each name of the men that were waiting. Stephanie was reading a newspaper which had the title, "U-BOATS TORPEDO SHIP OFF VIRGINIA COAST". A man that was sitting next to her was also reading a newspaper, which said "NAZIS RETAKE ZHITOMIR".
Solder #1: "Boy, a lot of guys getting killed over there."**
Enlistment Officer #1: "(calls out) Rogers, Stephanie."
When Stephanie heard her name, she stood up and put the newspaper she was reading in the chair.
Solder #1: "It kind of makes you think twice about enlisting, huh?"**
Stephanie: "(simply responds) Nope."
Stephanie walks over to the desk where the Enlistment Officer was reading her file.
Enlistment Officer #1: "(looks at Stephanie's file while talking) Rogers. (He looks up and sees Stephanie. He was a little surprised to see that Stephanie was a woman, but he looked back down at the file and continued talking) What did your father die of?"**
Stephanie: "Mustard gas. He was in the 107th infantry. I was hoping I could be assigned… (she was interrupted)"**
Enlistment Officer #1: "Your mother?"**
Stephanie: "She was a nurse in a TB Ward. Got hit, couldn't shake it."**
The officer still looks at Stephanie's file, he sees all of her health issues. He looks back up and gives Stephanie a stern look.
Enlistment Officer #1: "Sorry Ma'am."
Stephanie: "(her eyes widened) Please sir. I..."
Enlistment Officer #1: "First off, women can't enlist to begin with. And, even if you were a guy, you'd be out on your asthma alone, not to mention all of your other ailments. Especially your eye vision. Do yourself a favor and go home, Rogers."
Stephanie looked down in shame, she knew that her vision was best because of her glasses. Her glasses were her father's, they were the only thing left from him that her mother gave to her.
Stephanie: "Just please. Give me a chance. Is there anything you can do?"
Enlistment Officer #1: "I'm doing it, I'm saving your life."**
He stamped my papers with a "4F" symbol. Stephanie frowned and she got dressed and left in shame.
Cuts to later that afternoon, Stephanie went to the movies to make herself feel better. She walks up to the ticket booth.
Stephanie: "Hi Ms. Margaret."
Ms. Margaret: "(turns arounds and sees Stephanie) Oh hi Stephanie my dear. It's good to see you again. What movie would you like to see? Wizard of Oz? Pinocchio? King Kong? Or how about Gone with the Wind? (sighs romantically) I can watch that movie all the time."
Stephanie: "(chuckles a little) Those are all good choices, but I think I want to see that new Disney movie with the cute deers."
Ms. Margaret: "(realizing what movie Stephanie was talking about) Oh yes. Bambi. I heard that it's a great movie. (she said as she pulled out the ticket for Stephanie) Here you go sweetie."
Stephanie: "(hands Ms. Margaret $0.30 cents in return for the ticket) Thank you. See you later Ms. Margaret. (Said Stephanie as walked into the movie theater)"
Ms. Margaret: "(calls back) Enjoy the movie my dear! Aww. Stephanie is always so sweet and kind."
After getting her popcorn, Stephanie found a seat in the theater. There were a lot of people who were going to watch the movie. Before the movie started, a newsreel started playing.
News Narrator: "War continues to ravage Europe… but help is on the way. Every able-bodied young man is lining up to serve his country."**
Stephanie sighed sadly as she watched the newsreel. She knew that she'll never get to go overseas and serve her country, because of her health issues. She had already applied five different times to join the service, each time under a different name, in hope they wouldn't realize what she was doing, but there was no hiding the asthma, the glasses and the other problems that disqualified her from military service.
News Narrator: "Even little Timmy is doing his part, collecting scrap metal. (On the screen, a gap-toothed youngster in a smaller version of a soldier's cap scrambled around a junkyard with a pack of other boys. He held up a bicycle wheel triumphantly) Nice work, Timmy!"**
Loud Jerk: "Who cares? Play the movie already!"**
Someone called out from in front of her. Stephanie looked around for the source of the voice. Just two rows ahead, a man slouched in his seat, smiling as if he had done something witty and eating popcorn with his mouth open.
Stephanie: "Hey. (she said softly) Want to show some respect?"**
The narrator continued with the newsreel.
News Narrator: "Meanwhile, overseas, our brave boys are showing the Axis powers that the price of freedom is never too high."**
Loud Jerk: "Let's go, get on with it! (He yelled at the screen) Just start the cartoon!"**
Stephanie: "Hey. (She yelled in his direction) You want to shut up?"**
He turned around angrily, but, seeing that the person calling him out was a four foot ten girl with glasses, he laughed.
Loud Jerk: "Why don't you make me, sweetheart? (He said, with a dismissive snort)"
Stephanie: "(sighs annoyingly) Okay. (she said)"
She stood up and tossed the full contents of her popcorn bucket directly onto the guy's stupid face.
The next thing Stephanie knew, she and the jerk were thrown out of the theaters by the manager and into the alleyway. And before long, Stephanie used all of her strength and punched the jerk in the face.
Loud Jerk: "OWW! (Wipes the blood off his nose) I don't normally beat up girls but for you I'll make an exception Rogers. (He sneered)"
Stephanie: "Good. Because I could do this all day. (She gasped)"
Stephanie was still out of breath but still determined. She tried to punch the jerk but he caught her fist and punched her to the ground. Stephanie was knocked out for a second. The jerk was about to punch Stephanie again, when he was pulled back by another guy wearing an army uniform. This was Bucky Barnes, Stephanie's best friend since childhood.
Bucky: "Hey! Pick on someone your own size."**
The jerk looked at Bucky for a moment before trying to punch him, but Bucky dodged out of the way and punched the jerk in the face. And he kicked the guy and butt and he ran off. Bucky turned around and walked over to Stephanie.
Bucky: "You know Steph, sometimes I think you like getting beat up. (He said as he pulled Stephanie up off the ground)"
Stephanie: "I had him on the ropes. (she replied gasping before brushing off the dirt and trash on her clothes)"
Bucky kneels down and picks up Stephanie's glasses and her enlightenment form from the ground. Stephanie grabbed her glasses while Bucky continued to hold her form.
Bucky: "So, I saved your back once again. How many times does that make now? (He said while opening Stephanie's enlightenment form, and it had a '4F' logo stamped on it. He looks up at Stephanie) Oh, so you're from Paramus now? You know it's illegal to lie on the enlightenment form. And seriously, Jersey? You think you can fool anyone with your Brooklyn style?"
Stephanie had been cleaning off her glasses while Bucky was talking, and she wasn't really listening, she knew that she'd never get to serve because of her health conditions. When she finally put on her glasses and looked up at Bucky, and frowned sadly.
Stephanie: "You got your orders, didn't you? (she asked sadly)"
Bucky: "(he nodded and held out his arms as if presenting himself onstage) The One-O-Seventh, Sergeant James Barnes. Shipping out for England first thing tomorrow."**
Stephanie: "Tomorrow? (Steph sighs sadly) I should be going with you. (She said as she wipes off some dirt off of her jacket)"
Bucky: "(stares at Steph for a moment before responding) Come on, Steph. Don't look so glum! (he said, putting his arm around her shoulders) It's my last night, so we're gonna get you cleaned up. (He steered her down the street)"
Stephanie: "Why? Where are we going?"**
Bucky hands her a newspaper that proclaimed the World Expo in bold block lettering over a picture of a metal globe.
Bucky: "The future! (said Bucky grandly)"**
Stephanie looks at the newspaper and starts reading it as her and Bucky walk back to her apartment. Even though she was sad that Bucky was leaving, she was happy to see him again.
Later on that night, after cleaning up some scrapes and bruises, and taking the bus, Bucky and Stephanie arrived at the World Expo. Stephanie decided to wear a short-sleeved red dress with flowers on it. She didn't like dressing up fancy, especially with Bucky, she knew that Bucky always went out with girls with perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect, well, everything. She tried not to compare herself to them, but she almost always did. And so she tried to dress up fancy for the last night with Bucky before he went overseas. As they walked through the Expo, they saw all the amazing exhibits and attractions that they had to show.
Bucky: "Hey Stephanie. I'm going to get some Cracker Jacks. Do you want some?"
Bucky: "Ok. Just wait right here. I'll be right back. (Walks off to the refreshment stand)"
While Stephanie was waiting for Bucky, she pulled out a small pad of paper and a pencil. She propped her knee up, starting to sketch. Sketching always helped her relax. Just then, a voice called out in the distance.
Stephanie: "(turns her head and sees Rebecca) Becky! (Stands up and hugs her)"
The girl was Rebecca "Becky" Barnes, Bucky's little sister. Becky is three years younger than Stephanie, she was born in 1921. The two have been friends for years, but when Stephanie's mother died in 1936, the two became closer, and they always did everything together.
Stephanie: "Becky! It's great to see you."
Becky: "You too Stephanie. How's your week been?"
Stephanie: "(sighs) It's been alright. Just trying to get through the week without my boss yelling at me at work and not getting into fights."
Becky: "Yeah. Bucky told me that you were in a fight this afternoon. I've known you for a long time, but you need to stop putting yourself in situations that you're not prepared for, you're not that kind of person."
Stephanie: "I know. But if you start running, they'll never let ya stop. Can't say no forever if you stand up for yourself and push back, you know?"
Becky: "I guess. I just want you to be safe. That's all."
Just then, Bucky returned with the Cracker Jacks.
Bucky: "Oh hey sis!"
Becky: "(turns around to see Bucky) Bucky! (Gives Bucky a big hug) How did your training go, big bro?"
Bucky: "It was great. I made it to the 107th. Sergeant James Barnes. Shipping out for England first thing in the morning."
Becky: "(squeals excitedly) I'm so proud of you! (hugs Bucky again) Well, come on Sergeant. Let's go explore the rest of the Fair."
Bucky: "(nods and smiles) Good idea, sis. Come on Stephanie."
And with that, the trio left the refreshment area and went to continue walking around the Fair.
Pretty soon, the trio found themselves in the inventors arena. They were all different kinds of inventions, big and small, and they couldn't wait for the newest invention to be demonstrated and presented.
Fair Announcer: "(speaks over P.A.) Welcome to the Modern Marvel Pavilion and the World of Tomorrow. A greater world, a better world."**
Becky, Bucky, and Stephanie smiled as they walked through the crowds. Then the stage lights on the presentation stage came on and music starts playing. People started to gather around the stage.
Becky: "Oh my gosh! It's starting! (Grabs Bucky's hand drags him towards the stage. Stephanie walks slowly behind)"
The crowd was already several dozen people thick by the time the trio made their way to the site of Stark's feature presentation. Stephanie groaned as she stood on her toes to try and see the stage. Because of her health issues, Stephanie wasn't as tall as an average woman, she was only 4' 10". Bucky looked down at her, he knew she'd never be able to see anything but the backs of those in front of her. He tapped her shoulder gently.
Bucky: "You can't see, can you, doll? (he asked her. She frowned and shook her head)"
Stephanie: "Nah, but it's okay. You can just tell me how good it looks."
Bucky: "Not a chance, Steph. (He grinned as he gently grabbed her around the waist) You ready?"
Stephanie: "Ready for wh... (She didn't get too finished as Bucky lifted her up so she could see over the heads of the crowd. She squeals as she is lifted into the air) Bucky!"
Bucky smiles cheekily and Becky laughs as Stephanie tries clinging onto Bucky's arms.
Bucky: "How's the view from there, huh?"
Stephanie was still startled by Bucky lifting her up, but she responded by giggling nervously.
Stephanie: "It looks great from here, Buck. Is this what the weather's like all the time up here? (She joked)"
Bucky chuckled just as Stark's showgirls took to the stage. Dressed in flashy clothes, the ladies strut out on stage, smiling million dollar smiles at the crowd and flashing cameras.
Stark Girl: "(holding a microphone) Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Howard Stark!"**
A few seconds later, Howard Stark himself walked out onto the stage, he took off his hat and he kissed the girl that introduced him. Then he grabbed the microphone and started winking to the women in the crowd before speaking.
Howard: "(speaking through the microphone) Ladies and gentlemen, what if I told you that in just a few short years, your automobile won't even have to touch the ground at all?"**
The crowd gasped as the Stark show girls took the tires off of the car in the middle of the stage. While they did that, Howard went to his control panel and pushed a few buttons.
Howard: "Yes. Thanks, Mandy. (Clears throat) With Stark Gravitic Reversion Technology, you'll be able to do just that."**
Once the girls were clear, he pulled a small switch. An electrical hum came from the car, and, suddenly, it began to rise. Slowly, but surely, the car began to float off of the ground. Everyone was stocked that the car was flying. Even Bucky, Becky, and Stephanie.
Becky: "Oh my god!"
Bucky: "Holy cow!"**
The car was hovering for a few moments… before crashing to the ground. It was met with laughter and applause from both the crowd and even Stark himself.
Howard: "(nervously) I did say a few years, didn't I? (he said to the now applauding crowd)**
By now, Bucky has our Stephanie back onto the ground. Even though she was happy to have her feet back on solid ground, she was feeling a little bad for Stark and his failed experiment.
Stephanie: "I guess the world isn't ready for flying cars, not just yet."
Bucky: "I guess not."
Becky: "(gasps as she sees Howard now signing autographs to the people in the audience) Bucky! I have to get an autograph from Howard. Come on! (Grabs Bucky's hand and drags him towards the stage)"
Because Becky grabbed Bucky in a hurry, Stephanie was left the crowd by herself. She squeezed her way out of the intense crowd and out into the open and decided to wait for Bucky and Becky. As she looked around the fair, she saw the enlistment booth. She realized that she could try to join the service again, it was a fair, she was going to try her luck.
Meanwhile, back at the presentation stage, Becky had gotten her autograph from Howard, and her and Bucky were walking out of the intense crowd.
Becky: "(squeals) I can't wait to show Mom this when we get home!"
Bucky: "Yes, I'm sure she'll be surprised. (Clears throat and starts turning around so he can talk to Stephanie) Now, Stephanie, there's something I want to tell… (When he turned around, he couldn't see Stephanie anywhere) ...you. Stephanie? Stephanie?! (He turns to Becky) Becky, did you see what way Stephanie went?"
Becky: "(realizing that Stephanie wasn't with them anymore) No. Where is she?"
Bucky: "I don't know. Okay, we split up, you go that way to look for Stephanie, and I'll go this way."
Becky: "Alright. We'll meet back at the refreshment stand."
Bucky nodded as he and Becky went in opposite directions to look for Stephanie.
Meanwhile, Stephanie had finished writing her enlistment form and was now waiting to be called. As she waited, she saw other people walking around the recruitment section. Some were even standing in front of a special, full length poster of a uniformed soldier without a face. Thanks to a trick of mirrors and lighting, a man who stood in front of it would see his own face beaming out from under the helmet. Stephanie thought it neat. Then she decided to do some sketching while she waited, but it didn't last long as Bucky came walking into the room.
Bucky: "(sees Stephanie) Oh! There you are! Becky and I have been looking everywhere for you and… (he stops and sees that Stephanie was going to recruit again. He sighs) You're really going to do this again?"
Stephanie: "It's a fair, I'm going to try my luck."
Bucky: "As who? Stephanie from Ohio? They'll catch you or worse they'll take you."
Stephanie: "Look I know you think I'm this little girl Buck..."
Bucky: "This isn't a back alley Steph, this is war!"
Stephanie: "I know it's a war!"**
Bucky: "Why are you so keen to fight? There are so many important jobs."**
Stephanie: "(scoffs) What do you want me to do? Collect scrap metal in my little red wagon?..."
Bucky: "Yes! Why not?"**
Stephanie: "...I'm not gonna sit in a factory (Sighs) Bucky, come on. There are men and women laying down their lives. I got no right to do any less than them. That's what you don't understand. This isn't about me."
Bucky: "Right. 'Cause you have nothing to prove. (He sighed giving in. After a few seconds of silence and staring at each other. Bucky sighed softly as he hugged Stephanie resting his head on top of hers gently) Please, just promise to not do anything stupid until I get back. (he said quietly, pulling away from the hug)"
Stephanie: "How can I? (she said with a wry smirk) You're takin' all the stupid with you."**
Bucky's face quivered into a smile and he kissed her cheek gently and hugged her again.
Bucky: "You pigeon."
Stephanie: "Jerk. Just be careful out there. (Bucky smiles and begins to walk away) Hey! Don't win the war until I get there!"
Bucky turned back and gave a salute to Stephanie, which made her blush.
Bucky: "(starts walking away again) I'll tell Becky bye for you!"
Stephanie: "(calls out) Thank you! (She watches Bucky disappear into the crowd. Then one of the enlistment officers called Stephanie's name)"
Enlistment Officer #2: "(calls out) Rogers, Stephanie!"
Stephanie sighs as she heads towards the exam room not noticing an older gentleman who had listened to her and Bucky's entire conversation. He waits until Stephanie walks around the corner and then he follows her towards the exam room.
After checking her vital signs, the doctor was putting away his equipment, and Stephanie was fixing her sleeve when a nurse came into the room and whispered something into the doctor's ear and walked away.
Enlistment Officer #2: "(looks at Stephanie before closing his bag) Wait here. (He walks towards the curtain)"**
Stephanie: "(concerned) Is there a problem?"**
Enlistment Officer #2: "Just wait here ma'am. (He closes the curtain behind)"
Stephanie was confused about what was going on. She looked at a sign behind her, it read, 'IT IS ILLEGAL TO FALSELY YOUR ENLISTMENT FORM.' She thought for a moment before realizing that the enlistment officers must have found out about her. She knew that she had to get out of there as soon as possible.
She quickly got off of the exam table and put on her shoes. But just as she put on her left shoe, a military officer came from behind the curtain and into the room. He stared at Stephanie with a serious look. Stephanie was scared, she thought that she'll be going to jail for a long time. She knew that she should've listened to Bucky. But just as Stephanie was about to stand up to the officer ashamed, another gentleman came to the room with some paperwork in his hand.
Dr. Erskine: "(looks at the officer) Thank you."**
The officer nodded and left the room closing the curtain behind him. Stephanie looks confused at this gentleman. The man was distinguished looking, he was in his mid-60s with a beard and thinning hair on his head. He was dressed in a suit and had a folder with paperwork inside. If she had to guess, this man was a doctor of some kind.
Dr. Erskine: "(looks at Stephanie for a moment and then opens the folder he was holding) So, you want to go overseas. Kill some Nazis.**
Stephanie: "(more confused) Excuse me?"**
Dr. Erskine: "(closes the folder and stretches out his hand to introduce himself) Dr. Abraham Erskine. I represent the Strategic Scientific Reserve.**
Stephanie: "(stands up from the chair and shakes Dr. Erskine's hand) I'm Stephanie Rogers."
As Dr. Erskine walked over to the exam table so he read the paperwork in the folder better, Stephanie couldn't help wondering about the gentleman. He was definitely not from around the New York area.
Stephanie: "If you don't mind me asking, where are you from?"
Dr. Erskine: "(adjusting his glasses before speaking) Queens. 73rd Street and Utopia Parkway. Before that, Germany. (he looks at Stephanie) This troubles you?"**
Stephanie: "(quickly shaking her head) No."
Dr. Erskine: "(he turns back to the folder) And you, Ms. Rogers. (he said with a knowing smile) Where exactly are you from? Hmm? Is it New Haven? (Turns to the next page in the folder) Or Paramus? Five exams in five different cities, and with a different name each time."
Stephanie: "(very scared) Th...That may not be the right file... (Stephanie tried to defend herself, but Dr. Erskine held up a hand)"
Dr. Erskine: "No, It's not the exams I'm interested in, Ms. Rogers, it's the five tries. (closes the folder and then leans across from Stephanie) But, you didn't answer my question. Do you want to kill Nazis?"
Stephanie: "(she pondered his question, biting her lip) Is this some sort of a test? (she asked)"
Dr. Erskine: "Yes. (he saids flatly)"**
Stephanie: "(sighs softly, rubbing her arm anxiously) I don't wanna kill anyone. I don't like bullies, no matter where they're from. I just want to do my part. I want to help."
Dr. Erskine: "(he studies Stephanie for a long moment, and then he smiled) Well, there are already so many big men fighting this war. Maybe what we need now is a little girl, huh?"
Stephanie stares at Dr. Erskine confused.
Dr. Erskine: "I can offer you a chance. Only a chance. (He said)"**
Dr. Erskine opens the curtain and walks out of the exam room, waving for her to follow.
Stephanie: "(grabs her jacket and follows Dr. Erskine) I'll take it. (she said immediately and excitedly)"**
Dr. Erskine: "Good. (he walks over to a table with different stamps on it. He finds the one he was looking for. He turns his head to look at Stephanie) So where's the little girl from? Actually?"
Stephanie: "(smiles a little before replying) Brooklyn."
Dr. Erskine: "(he nodded, stamping her form with finality) Congratulations, soldier. (he said, handing it to her)"**
He walked away as Stephanie opened the file, seeing the two symbols '1-A', meaning that fit for duty. She'd been accepted. She let out a breath, a smile coming to her face. She was in.
Hello everyone! Traininspector11 G2 here. This is my second story here on FanFiction!
After seeing the entire MCU (including some the TV shows), I was inspired to write this story about Stephanie Rogers. The original idea of this story came from FrozenHunter26, Third Crow, Emilia Rachana Copper, , and few other people.
In this first installment of what I like to call the "Stephanie Rogers Saga", the saga will stretch from Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), all the way to Avengers: Endgame (2019). If you see lines with two stars (**) next to them, it means that the line was taken directly from the movie.
NOTE: All of the cast members in this saga are the same as in Captain America: The First Avenger, but with just a few changes.
Stephanie Grace Rogers is portrayed by Evan Rachel Wood in this saga.
Rebecca Barnes is portrayed by Anna Kendrick in this saga.
Ms. Margaret is portrayed by Lea Thompson in this saga.
I hope that you enjoy this first chapter! Please read and review!