June 2021

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[MCU Fic Rec]: "Rusted" by Face_of_Poe

Fanfic: Rusted
Author: Face_of_Poe
FANDOM: MCU, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (TV)
PAIRING: Zemo & Bucky
GENRES: Gen, Missing Scene, Fill in the Blanks
WARNINGS: *suicidal thoughts*
CONTAINS: *selling scene, Bucky’s book of amends, prison break, Scovian memorial, Bucky and the Wakandans*
RATING: General Audiences
TIME FRAME: TFATWS season 1
WORDS: approx 4632
SUMMARY (given by the author): “Nagel didn’t have it quite right, about the subjects in Siberia,” James muses, apropos of absolutely nothing at all while Zemo leads them to rendezvous with his young informant. “Howard’s serum worked just fine, exactly as Erskine advertised. Good becomes great, bad becomes worse, I think Steve put it.”

Sam glances sideways, not at James but at Zemo; he shrugs, does not follow the non sequitur. “So what went wrong?”

“The subjects themselves. Zealots, the most competent and ruthless killers HYDRA had. Gave ‘em the serum and got uncontrollable bloodlust.” He shrugs, fiddles with his gloves. “With Howard dead? That was it. Blew their shot because they were too goddamn arrogant and naïve to understand the kind of subject they actually needed.”

Zemo cocks a bemused brow. “An incompetent one?” he guesses, thinking about photographs of small and sickly Steve Rogers.

James eyes him dubiously, lip curled in derision. “An unwilling one,” he corrects, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
NOTES: Zemo's POV

Excerpt:
“When you and Steve Rogers escaped Siberia, you were internationally-wanted fugitives,” he finds himself musing to James on the flight to Riga.

“And you were on your way to a cozy box in Berlin,” James snipes back without missing a beat.
Sam is asleep in the back, leaving Zemo at the mercy of the Soldier off his leash.

I did not have one arm and half a brain compromising me,” Zemo counters. “Yet – you seem to have made out remarkably well in the intervening time. Better than I could have dreamed, until you walked into my cell.”

“Maybe Steve had friends in high places.”

He chuckles at that. “Or low ones.” The mystery tugs at him. Filling in that puzzle, bit by bit. “Did you sell your services?”

Loathing flashes through James’s eyes, and Zemo knows he’s thinking, anything you want, with any and every slippery implication laced between the words. “Maybe,” he speculates through gritted teeth, “the government sorted me out along with the pardon.”


WHY I LIKE THAT FIC:
Oh what a highly interesting little fic told from Zemo’s POV about his and Bucky’s very tense relationship throughout the show. I loved the way the author portrayed Zemo here. His voice is wonderfully in-character and his interactions with James are thrilling and layered. A great read! 


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