A/N: Hey guys...(stands there awkwardly looking around) How ya been lately?...AAhhhhh I know it's been way too long but I think I've got some pretty good excuses. I got sick for awhile. Like I stayed in bed most of the time. When I got better I had to help out my mom and sister because the latter is having a baby so we've been getting things ready for her baby shower. Plus I've got orientation coming up so I've been getting ready. They're not the best of excuses but in the end here is the next chapter. It's my longest one EVER! So that's an extra treat.
Omg we get to see the feisty side of Jade. Here's the thing though...she's not a real mean person. So when she tries to be, it doesn't turn out too well. You'll see!
Guys! The reviews! Holy cow I love you guys! Well here we go and please review!
To my reviewers:
TA-twinArmageddons: Well he may be in his comfort zone now, but just wait until he starts to develop feelings for her. Mwuahahahahaha! I love awkwardness :3 Thanks and sorry for the wait!
TenebrisSagittarius: Lol thanks, I had been planning that little awkward moment for a while and I just couldn't help but put it in! Thanks!
DarkRulerKida: xD I just loved the last chapter. Thank you so much!
Ali: Thanks, my writer's block sucked but it ended eventually. Thanks for the advice, I'll be sure to keep my copy of the movie nearby. Oh wait, I already do that! Lol Sorry for such a long wait. Life's been hectic lately! Thanks again!
Emberscar: Thanks! The letters will be important especially since you couldn't just call your loved one on cell phone while they were away. Couldn't email them either! So writing letters was one of your only ways to communicate and I plan to keep them going for the story to show the importance of them during WWII. Ahh! I get so aggravated writing these stupid men because of the way they treat her. I do NOT want to make them all nice though. Because that would just be OOC for the time period. There's a big surprise with Jade and her feisty side this chapter though! Thank you, Jade appreciates the love. Without anyone reading about how unique she is, she would still be just an idea in my head. Now she's come to life! Oops, I'm sorry, I'm rambling! Ignore me! Sorry for the wait!
Carlypso: Thanks so much!
MissLizziebeth: Thank you so much. Actually, whatever happens to Jade depends on if I do a sequel or not. But that's all I'll say! Good guess with the name but that will be revieled soon! Thanks!
Guest: Thanks so much! Sorry for the wait!
Duck-Ranger: Thanks so much! Oh Steve, you and your awkwardness! XD Sorry for the wait!
luneara eclipse: Thanks, her personality is exactly what I wanted...totally abnormal! Thanks so much and sorry for the wait.
Guest: Thanks! I was surprised that there wasn't any other stories I saw that were like this. So I had to write it!
Areus Bookworm: Thank you so much. You are I believe the second or third person to guess her name! It's one of the most obvious but it just works! Sorry for the wait!
AleiaJones8299: Thanks so much! Sorry for the long wait!
Nancy: Thank you and your welcome, I was hoping at least a couple people would like this story and then there's all these favorites, alerts, and reviews, and I was like 'This an important reason to do this...for the fans!' I totally get what you're talking about with the ending. I have two endings set up. One will be used if the ending is truly the end. The other will be used if I do a sequel. So we'll see where it goes. Thanks so much for the review, love, and suggestions. Sorry for the wait!
Shaybo27: Thank you so much. Her standing out is exactly what I want! Thanks!
maruaderlove: Thanks so much. Yay awesome guess with the name 'wink, wink'
Avis11: Thank you so much! I am not sure if I will be continuing on into the Avengers as a sequel yet. But I've got time! Sorry for the wait!
aandm20: Thanks so much!
Day Star Angel: Thanks, sorry for the wait!
Cara Tala: Thanks so much and I know right? I like OC/Steve stories but it's just so hard to find them! I will not give up on this story!
dbzfan102: Thanks! Sorry for the wait.
Musicman2013: Thanks. I blame all spelling errors on my poor typing skills lol I promise I know how to spell, I'm just not too good with typing things out. Then when I review it, my eyes skip right over mistakes sometimes. Thanks so much!
Whew! Finally! That was a LOT of reviews! AND I LOVED EVERY SINGLE ONE! You guys are awesome! Not to be greedy but, REVIEW...please :D
Chapter 5: Training Part 1
"Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory." –General George Patton
Jade woke up bright and early the next day to the sound of a stereotypical bugle horn. She yawned and stretched until she heard cracks and pops. There was maybe ten minutes for her to get ready. That included shower, hair, make up-
No make up, she thought to herself. And I only need to dry my hair. It was definitely different. For years, Jade was used to drying her hair and styling it to perfect curls. That was usually done by a number of curlers set overnight. Life in the army would be different though. It would be dried and pulled back into a ponytail, and no chiffon ribbons to tie it up either. Just a plain, old rubber band.
Reluctantly, Jade peeled the thin blankets from her body that barely kept her warm in the abnormally cold cabin. Jade had slept in an oversized t-shirt and cotton shorts rather than the usual night gown. The t-shirt was very comfortable. The shorts however were a little different and would take some time to get used to.
She made her way to the cramped bathroom and blasted the cold water. Jade stripped off her pajamas. In the mirror, staring back at her was a pale, pale girl. That was normal for her. She had always been short, too skinny, and pale with hair so dark it made her even more pale. Plus to make matters worse, whenever she let Allison do her make up, she'd end up wearing bright red lipstick to make her skin look like a piece of paper. Jade's mother had noticed this and told Allison (as kindly as possible) that she was no longer allowed to give Jade makeovers.
She stepped into the cold water as shivers coursed threw her spine. It was the kind of cold that hit you so hard that it hurt. The friction of the drops against her skin made it almost seem hot. It woke her up in the short five minutes she was under the water. She found it much easier and quicker to wash her hair due to its now easier length. Jade sighed heavily against the liquid pellets and turned the knob, banishing the water back into its pipe prison.
Stepping out of the shower carefully in order to not slip and fall, Jade dried off rapidly and dressed in her training uniform. It consisted of a fitted white t-shirt, a muted green long sleeved button up, some regular green cargo pants that tucked inside her combat boots, and dog tags with her name on them. Not to mention the helmet that was too heavy on her head. She picked up the green helmet and held it to her side. Her destination for now would be the mess hall. After lunch the day before, Jade had looked forward to eating dinner with Steve. He was a wonderful person to talk to. It was nice to have a friend at the camp, especially one that was going through the same thing as you. Their conversations had been full of more questions about each other. Swapping storied became one of their favorite things to do while enjoying each other's company. They varied from childhood memories to goals for the future.
They had read over the files once more. Turns out they weren't the only ones being considered for the operation. Steve's competition consisted of buff men with huge egos. Dr. Erskine truly thought Steve was their best choice. But the United States military wanted someone with muscle power and a brain the size of a pea pod.
In Jade's case, it was different. Her competition was not of the same gender as her. The military officers had the idea that men will always be the only type of soldier. It was just another reason for her to prove she was a good as (or maybe even better than) the men of this camp and she would take advantage of the fully.
She stretched and yawned once more before making her way to the mess hall. The stares from her fellow soldiers had yet to cease. If anything, they intensified. Now there were expressions of 'you're still here?' as well.
She walked past people training: they started.
Jade walked into the dining hall: they stared.
The dark brunette got into line: even the servers stared.
She sat at her table with Steve: everyone star at both of them.
Needless to say the staring was becoming incredibly annoying.
"Do you think they'll ever stop?" She asked him. Steve thought for a moment as he swallowed his food. The rations at the camp were some of the best out there. Though foods still consisted of mainly non perishables like beans, flour, oatmeal, instant mashed potatoes, all the things Jade used to donate with her family.
"Uh…no, no I don't. But you've just got to learn to live with it. Sure, they'll still be staring at us but after awhile you'll hardly even notice 'em!" He smiled brightly. His grin stretched across his whole face and it made Jade laugh lightly.
"Well, on a less depressing subject-I hope-how's Bucky been lately?" Steve's smile dropped a little and became more sad. Jade hoped nothing bad happened to the handsome soldier she had only met once.
"I haven't heard from him in awhile actually. He was shipped out to London with the 107th the day after we met you. You know, the day you were jumping…screaming…and oh what was it?" He pondered jokingly, scratching his chin in thought.
"No, don't do it!" She pleaded while putting her face in her hands.
"Oh yeah, waving your hands around wildly. I think that's it." He laughed and received a punch to the arm. "Ow, that hurt!"
"You're never going to let that go are you?" The twenty-one year old girl tried her best to sound angry, but she was betrayed by her lips quickly twitching up into a smile.
"You have to admit that it was funny seeing a dame-"
"Don't. Call me a dame!" She snapped at him suddenly. Steve jumped back a little. Her outburst was in an angry, clipped tone, something that Jade never used. He watched her take a deep breath and when she spoke again, her tone was much calmer. "I-I'm sorry. I just…I just don't like being called a dame. That's a word to describe a girl who depends on a man to have any kind of life. Being called a dame makes me feel weak and-and,"
"Hey, I get it," Steve interrupted. "I won't call you the'd' word anymore." They both chuckled and then ate in a comfortable silence until another man came up and slapped Steve's back in a "friendly gesture."
"Hi there shrimp. Me and my friends were wondering what they're gonna use you for on the battlefield. Bait?" His two friends laughed behind him. The guy had a short blonde buzz cut and seemed like the kind of guy Steve hated. A bully.
Jade wasn't much of an insult kind of person. But this guy made her angry, so she might as well try, no matter how bad it would sound. "And what are you? The moron who came up with that ridiculous plan?" The man and his friends stared at the brunette woman with utter confusion. Was that supposed to be an insult? Sensing this Jade set down her spoon, patted her lips with a napkin with as much lady like-ness that she could muster. "Well I'm just saying that if you send out one man to lure the enemy out, he'd be picked off by a sniper because the Nazis would be smart enough not to send their own out. Especially since German education has such high standards. Clearly unlike wherever you're from." Steve tried to suppress a laugh. Finally, score one for Jade.
"Did-did you just call me stupid?" The guy asked, seeming appalled.
Jade smirked. "Oh you actually understood that! I was wondering if even a meat-head like you with an IQ lower than gas prices would understand that." Jade smiled sweetly and Steve finally broke. He erupted into laughter and even the 'meat-head's' friends chuckled.
"Listen princess," Jade gritted her teeth, "What does a dame like you-" Jade snapped.
"What did you call me?" Jade looked very, very angry. The man stood there frozen. It was almost scary.
"Uh, um…dame?" It came out as a squeak. She stood up from her seat as her fingers curled up into fists. Before she even knew it, Jade's fist connected with the bully's face, more specifically his eye and partial cheek. It probably hurt her more than him, but he seemed like he was in pain.
"Don't! Call me! A dame!" She spat out angrily. The man scrambled back up to his feet and quickly left. Meanwhile Steve was sitting there, mouth wide open. "What?"
"You just called him stupid twice, wrapped it in a nice little package of logic to make him feel even more stupid, and then you punched him!" Jade smiled sheepishly and sat back down on the bench.
"I've never been a real mean person. So my insults usually tend to come out as a jumble of all kinds of things. I figured he wouldn't understand half of what I said and that would work. I truly suck at throwing jabs at people. As for the punch, well, I'm not really sure…where that came from. Felt good though."
"Now I know why to never call you a dame," Steve joked, though he was actually serious.
"And you remember that Brooklyn."
They were told to get into a straight line. Compared to the others in line, they looked like children. Steve's helmet was too large for him. Jade's boots were too large. But they stood straight and tall ready to begin their training. The rest of the group stood around whispering until they heard a female voice yell, "Recruits, attention!" Everyone snapped into perfect posture, something Jade found rather comfortable.
A woman with short and curled chestnut brown hair walked up to face them. She had red lipstick on and a formal uniform. A soldier came walking up behind her with a bin full of clipboards.
"Gentlemen," she spotted Jade amongst the group, "And ladies…I'm Agent Carter. I supervise all operations for this division." She slowly made her way down the line. Agent Carter stopped for a moment when she got to Jade, but continued on.
"What's with the accent Queen Victoria?" It was the man from earlier, now sporting a lovely black eye. "I thought I was signing up for the U.S. Army?" Jade's anger flared up once more.
"Hey Sir Prance-A-Lot, at least her accent is enjoyable," she piped in while crossing her arms. "While yours is just making our heads hurt. So why don't you just shut ya yap!" The Queens side of her was coming out. "Or I can always give you a black eye to match the other one!" The man seemed to step away a little.
"What's your name soldier?" Jade worried it was her Agent Carter was talking to, but the British woman's attention was directed directly towards the man.
"Gilmore Hodge, Your Majesty," he said smartly.
"Step forward Hodge," she commanded. He did as he was ordered to while looking at his friends and laughing. "Put you're right foot forward Hodge." He did as was told once more.
The other soldier started handing out the clipboards. "Are we dancing? Cause I got a few moves I know you'll like." Hodge said slyly. Jade was disgusted and apparently Agent Carter was too because she punched him…hard. He was knocked to the ground just as an older man stepped out of a jeep.
"Agent Carter," The agent seemed happy with herself as she turned around with an 'hmm.'
"Colonel Phillips," She addressed the older man.
"I can see you're breaking in the candidates." The colonel said as he walked up closer to Hodge. "That's good! Get your ass out of that dirt and stand in line until someone calls your attention and tells you what to do."
Hodge scrambled to his feet much like earlier that day and sniffed. Only to wince at the pain. "Yes sir!" He yelled, only to wince again.
Colonel Phillips licked his lips before continuing on. "General Patton has said that wars are fought with weapons but they are won by men. We are going to win this war because we have the best…men." He faltered a little at the sight of Steve and Jade but then continued.
"And because they're gonna get better. Much better. The strategic Scientific Reserve is an allied effort made up of the best minds in the free world. Our goal is to create the best army in history. But every army starts with one man." He turned to face the recruits. "At the end of this week we will choose that man and possibly another." Jade cringed at the word possibly. "They will be the first in a new breed of super-soldiers. And they...will personally escort Adolf Hitler to the gates of Hell."
They were escorted over to a field where the sun blazed down on them. It was hot. And it was only going to get hotter. Every single recruit around Jade removed their green button-up. Was it a good idea for her to lose the long sleeve shirt too? And then she noticed Agent Carter standing a little bit in front of her and looking right at her. The chestnut haired women had a twinkle in her eyes and a slight smile as she walked up to Jade.
"Well it's nice to see another woman with some guts. I'm Agent Peggy Carter." She held out her hand. Jade quickly shook it and started to unbutton her shirt.
"Nice to meet you, I'm Jade Callaway." Agent Carter smiled.
"I'll be watching you Callaway." And then she walked away. Jade smiled and took off her green shirt which she tied it around her waist. Then she heard something fall. On the ground were her brand new dog tags. Her most prized possession at this camp. Jade smiled even wider as she replaced them back around her neck.
"Alright ladies," Agent Carter called out. "Push ups! Let's start with oh…a hundred. Work our way from there. And Callaway!" Jade looked up as she was getting into position.
"I hope you don't expect to do any girly push ups." Agent Carter crossed her arms expectantly, but Jade only smiled as she pushed herself up to get ready.
"Wasn't planning on it ma'am." The Brit smiled.
"Good. Alright ladies. Down!" In unison, the recruits dropped to the ground. "Up!" They all pushed themselves back up. This went on for what seemed like forever. All of Jade's muscles screamed in burning agony. Sweat dripped from every pour. Her knees were going weak.
And she loved it.
Because she was keeping up with every man around her. Well except for Steve. Poor guy was struggling to lift up his own weight. "Come on ladies! My grandmother has more life in her…God rest her soul." There was a collective share of chuckles. "Oh for God's sake the tiny girl is doing better than you men. How does that help your egos? Up, up, jumping jacks." Jade eagerly stood up and continued on with the next exercise. Steve was flapping his arms around tiredly, wondering how Jade was actually doing so well.
Over by one of the trucks, Dr. Erskine and Colonel Phillips were watching their recruits with interest. "You're not really thinking about picking Rogers, are you?" Colonel Phillips asked the scientist skeptically.
"I am vore zan just zinking about it. He iz zee clear choice." Dr. Erskine replied matter of factly.
"When you brought a ninety pound asthmatic onto my army base, I let it slide. I thought what the hell? Maybe he'll be useful to you, like a gerbil. I never thought you'd pick him."
Dr. Erskine was confident in his two choices of Steven and Jade. They had all the characteristics needed. They were smart, genuinely nice people, and believed in doing things for the right reasons. Their egos were also not the size of a hot air balloon.
"Stick a needle in his arm and it's gonna go right through him. "They both glanced over at the struggling skinny blonde. He looked about ready to die. "Look at that! He's making me cry!"
"I am lookingz vor qualitiez bevond zee physical."
"Do you know how long it took to set up this project?"
"Yez, I know."
"And all the groveling I had to do in front of senator 'what's his name'?"
"I know, I am vell avare ov your efvorts."
"Then throw me a bone! Hodge passed every test we gave him. He's big, he's fast he obeys orders. He's a soldier."
"He's a bully," Dr. Erskine said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"You don't win wars with niceness, doctor." Colonel Phillips turned around to the truck and pulled out a dummy grenade. This would prove that Rogers was not the right choice. "You win war with guys." He pulled the pin and threw it out into the field of recruits. "Grenade!" He shouted. Both of the men watched as all but Rogers fled the area. He actually threw himself onto it. Agent Cart started walking towards him with that girl, Callaway.
"Get away!" Rogers shouted. "Get back!" Everyone waited and once nothing happened, someone shouted,
"It's a dummy grenade." The soldier sounded almost annoyed. Colonel Phillips sighed. Steve looked up at the two of them.
"Is this a test?"
Erskine looked to his military friend with a knowing grin. "He's still skinny."
The rope wall was large, intimidating, and down right dangerous looking. It was almost as tall as a building with three ropes to climb. The rules were simple: If you fell you went back to the end of the line. If you got to the top, you went back to the end of the line. If you got to the top three consecutive times, you were done. Once everyone completed their three turns, the group could go to lunch. But if someone wanted to go for four and got it, the group could go to lunch and then they had the day off. But if they failed, the group went without lunch.
It was pure cruelty.
"Come on girls! Lunch will not be there forever!" Jade groaned at Agent Carter's taunting. She had just finished her second time around and was making her way back to the end of the line when Steve came jogging up next to her.
"How's it going Steve?" She asked even though the answer was clear. He was panting hard and gasping for air. "Don't you have asthma?"
"Yeah I've got my inhaler with me. I just finished my first round." Jade stared at him completely dumb founded.
"Only your first? I'm on my third! What'd you do, skip rope climbing in gym class?" He didn't answer which probably meant yes. They both got back in line and soon Hodge came up behind Jade.
When her turn came she heard behind her, "Don't worry hun, I'll be here if you fall." She bottled up her anger and started to climb the rope. Making it to the top was easy. She looked down to see Hodge actually struggling. He was almost to the top, but was losing his grip. Jade rolled her eyes and stuck out her hand. Hodge looked at it suspiciously until she thrust her hand out again and he took it. "Why are you helping me?" He asked.
"Because on the battlefield, you are not my enemy. We may not get along, but you're still my ally in war."
"You know, you're pretty tough…for a dame." Gilmore Hodge went to sleep that night with a broken nose from one girl and two black eyes from another.
Once again, Colonel Phillips and Dr. Erskine stood by one another watching the recruits climb ropes. "You honestly think Callaway should be your other recruit."
Dr. Erskine sighed quietly. "Az I zaid bevore, I know she iz zee best choice." They watched the girl in question run back down the wall to the end of the line for the second time.
Colonel Phillips rested his palm across his forehead. "She's a girl!"
"You don't honestly zink zat men vill alvays be zee only onez to fight, do you? Vomen vill come along veady to go to var and vee mine as vell start now. She has all zee characteristics I am looking vor. She has heart, look!" He pointed over to the climbing wall where Jade was helping Hodge up, despite their differences. The two exchanged words, but only one word was recognizable, 'dame.' "Uh oh," Dr. Erskine muttered quietly.
"What?" Colonel Phillips asked him worriedly.
"Jade doez not like to be called a dame. It makez her feel…veak. Dis vill not end vell." By the end of his sentence, Jade punched her fellow soldier's good eye. That would hurt in the morning. Scratch that...that would hurt now.
"She's a tough one I'll giver her that, but as I said before we don't win wars by being nice. We win them by having guys. Just because she punched a guy does not mean she has guts."
Steve had been the last to finish, but Jade waited patiently for him at the top.
"So that's all of you. You're dismissed for lunch unless one of you would like to go for one more. Anyone?" The group shuffled their feet and looked at each other. They all wanted someone to do it, but they didn't want to do it themselves. "Anyone? No one? No one's got guts? Alright fine, be back-"
"I'll do it sir," A squeaky voice chirped. Jade stepped forward, surprising everyone by volunteering to do it. Her arms and legs felt like jelly, but she had to do it.
"Hey girly, don't ruin our chance for lunch. You screw it up and I swear…" One guy shouted.
"Jade, are you sure?" Steve gently held her elbow to stop her.
"Yeah," she answered half-confidently. "Just promise you'll be there to catch me if I fall." He nodded and smiled kindly.
"Callaway, would you stop making out with your boyfriend and get on with it?" Both Steve and Jade blushed deeply at the Colonel's comment and the latter of the two rushed over to the ropes while keeping her head down. The rope was slick with sweat. Jade couldn't get a grip on them. She needed gloves or something. An idea came to mind. Jade ripped off some of the fabric of her white t-shirt and wrapped it around her hands, tying them at her knuckles. Then she untied her green shirt from her waist and buttoned it back up.
"Mine as well not even try Callaway!" The Lieutenant with them yelled to her. "No ones climbed that four times in a row in ten years! You mess this up and you'll have a whole group of recruits ready to kick your ass! Whether you're girl or not!" She ignored him and began to climb for the fourth time. Each step or move of a hand was agony. You'd think that only four times wouldn't be that bad, but the wall was incredibly tall and steep. She felt like falling and just giving up…
"Come on Jade, you can do it!" Steve. Steve was encouraging her. So Jade kept going and when she got to the top, she saw dozens of jaws drop. She dropped back down and ran over to Steve who picked her up and spun her around. "Wow, I've never been able to do that to a woman before."
Jade laughed. "That's because you couldn't find a girl that weighed less than you before!"
Dr. Erskine looked over at Colonel Phillips with another smile. "She still wears make up."
Lunch and dinner was uneventful. The only good part was when mail came around and a letter was dropped off in front of her. She nestled into her bed, turned on her flashlight, and opened up the letter that was obviously from Jasper. That was clearly marked by the smiley face next to her name that had its tongue sticking out…
It's good to know you weren't kidnapped by crazy Nazis or something. Though I must say that getting into the Army is quite a surprise. I don't know who's more crazy, you for signing up, or them for enlisting you. Aw, you know I love you big sis. You're too serious though. Your entire letter, I thought it was some sort of last goodbye, it was so depressing. No offense. I'm proud of you though. Dad would have been too.
Don't worry about mom, I told her you went off to volunteer for the Red Cross. She thinks that's amazing. Says (and I quote) "It's so lovely that she's found a way to help serve our great nation without getting involved in all that fighting non-sense."
As for the separation, I don't know what to say. I think you should have expected that. You're brand new there, so I can only advise that you expect to be treated differently. Not everyone can be as amazing as your younger brother. Listen to me, sounding so wise and responsible. What has this world done to me?
I always saw you as my friend to play catch with, not a prissy girl. That's your greatest trait about you. So don't change. Yes, I remember the stupid garden gnome. I got grounded for three weeks because of that. You're lucky I love you.
I expect to hear from you soon. Go get 'em soldier.
With love and all that mushy stuff,
P.S. Try to win that war soon. I'm getting sick of rations. Last night's dinner consisted of chicken broth and one roll. No not chicken cooked in a broth with spices and some rolls. We had just chicken broth and each of us got a single roll…please come home soon.
A/N: So Sorry for such a long wait! But I'll try and update as soon as I can!
Quick Note: Gas prices in 1942 was 19 cents per gallon! Ohh the economy!
Thanks, reviews are love! Ciao!