Chapter 6-Family photo
"Guys, check this out." Tony announced as he walked into the living room with what looked to be an old photo album in his hands. "Found this with my dad's old stuff."
The Avengers, minus Steve, gathered around Tony when he sat down on the couch. The inventor opened the album and the group was right away confronted with a newsclipping that had a picture of Steve standing with a group of men in front of a tank.
The caption under the photo read 'Captain America and the Howling Commando's stand before one of many Army tanks as they prepare to head into battle'.
Tony flipped to the next page and they saw a photo of Steve. He looked to be leading a team of soldiers through what looked to be a town hit badly by the war. The caption under this photo read, 'Captain America leads allies into a recently attacked town to provide aide and rescue.'.
There was a small story explaining what Steve and his men had done while in town but the team looked at the photo under the words that showed their captain without his helmet on. He was kneeling on the ground before an ederly woman. Their hands were clasped between them, their heads were lowered slightly, their eyes were shut and a rosary was dangling from their hands.
'Captain Rogers prays with local woman for a better and peaceful future and for the war to come to an end'.
"Why didn't Cap ever tell us about these?" Clint asked curiously as Tony turned the page for them to see a picture of their leader with a group of small children. A small boy sat on his shoulders while others looked to be leading him somewhere with excited looks.
"Maybe he was unaware that his portrait was being taken?" Thor suggested.
"These were too close for him not to notice." Bruce said. "He must not have wanted anyone else to see these. That's my only guess."
"He really is modest." Natasha said as they looked at the next photo of Steve and the commando's sitting in tavern with plates loaded with food and pitchers of water and beer in front of them.
'Locals show their appreciation to the American's by providing a hot meal to Captain Rogers and the Howling Commando's.'
"This article says that Steve and his team got this kind of treatment in nearly every town they went to." Tony read aloud. "Shops and hotels gave them hot home cooked meals and places to stay as a way to show them their gratitude."
"That was nice of them." Natasha said.
"When the hero fighting the war suddenly shows up in your town, wouldn't you do the same?" Clint asked.
"I think so." the spy answered before Tony turned the page once more to show Steve, the Commando's and a few soldiers sitting slouched together in the back of a plane. All of them fast asleep.
'Captain Rogers and fellow soldiers catch some much needed sleep on a plane ride back to the states.'
"He looks worn out." Natasha said as she noticed how slouched Steve was in the picture. She had never seen Steve have anything less than perfect posture.
"He wasn't Captain America for very long in his time but I'm sure that it exhausted him either way." Bruce said. "Because he was the only super soldier in existance, he was called on so many missions. Barely having time for anything between them."
"He took on a lot more responsibility than I think he could handle." Clint said.
"Maybe it was because he was trying to prove himself." Natasha said. "When he first became the world's first super soldier no one believed one man could do anything. He was going to be shipped to a research facility to be a lab rat but a senator stepped in and made him a dancing monkey instead. It wasn't until he heard his friend was captured that he decided to prove everyone wrong about one man making a difference."
"No one believed that he was such a capable warrior?" Thor asked with slight confusion written on his face.
"They didn't." Bruce confirmed. He basically knew almost everything there was to know about Steve Rogers because of his attempts to re-create the super soldier serum. "When Steve was turned into a super soldier and the man who helped him be that way was killed, no one gave Steve a chance to prove himself. They wanted an entire army of men like him but he was the only one who got the chance to be like that. Since he was the only one, they thought it would be better to leave him somewhere else."
"Those men were fools to believe such a thing." Thor declared.
"Very true." Tony agreed. "My father told me how Steve caught the man who shot the doctor that created the serum. That alone should have proved to all of them that he could do something. He was running faster than the cars for crying out loud."
"So he became a jester?" Thor asked.
"Something like that." Clint answered. "An actor. He was in movies, did stage shows...all in the name of people buying war bonds to help supply weapons and supplies for the war and soldiers. It wasn't until he was part of the war that the bonds really began to sell."
"It amazes me how the people of your different times think differently." Thor said. "In the past, the captain was not believe in and now he is looked upon as the greatest warrior Midgard has ever known."
"It is amazing." Tony said. "But that's the way us Midgardians think. We only see what might help us most at the time and forget everything else. Steve was able to prove otherwise and now people don't forget it so easily."
Tony flipped the page and the team was now faced with a picture of Steve and his men standing in front of a memorial headstone.
'Captain Rogers and fellow soldiers give their prayers and respect to fallen soldier Sergeant James Barnes.'
"Steve's whole life seems like he had very little happiness." Natasha said.
"It does." Bruce agreed.
"It's high time that we started giving him some good memories." Tony declared. "Let's give him this album but with a little twist of our own."
Steve lightly sighed as he walked out of his bathroom fresh out of the shower. He quickly dried his hair with his towel before spotting something on his bed.
It was a faded green album.
After spending a second wondering who got into his room without him noticing, Steve sat on the bed and opened the album.
He weakly smiled when he saw the picture of himself and his team in front of an Army tank. Although his friends were gone, it was nice to see their faces.
The soldier continued to look at the pictures and read the articles that covered the pages. He frowned when he came to the one that was of Bucky's service.
Eventually he turned the page and was suddenly faced with a colored picture. It was of himself wearing his new Captain America. He instantly recognized the scenery to be when he went to Germany to confront Loki.
Turning the page, Steve saw another colored photo. This time it was of himself standing behind the pilot chairs of a quinjet that Clint and Natasha were piloting.
Where did all of this come from? he asked himself as he looked at another photo. This one was of him and Thor fighting in the street against the Chitauri.
For the next several pages, he saw colored pictures of himself either alone or with one or two others on the team. It wasn't until the last page that he came to a group picture of the six Avengers.
It had been taken about a month ago and somehow they had all agreed to it.
The captain smiled at the picture and spotted a folded piece of paper lying next to it. He picked it up, opened it and began reading.
Decided to add a bit of color and joy to your life. We saw all the things you had done in the past and thought that you could use a little cheering up. We added these pictures to show you that you're not the only one who can capture a moment. Never mind that you can draw and we take pictures. Hope you like the album. Tony.
Steve smiled and looked at the group picture once more. The picture of his family.