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 Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU

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VampireCat92
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PostSubject: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:44 pm

"My mom is going to /kill me/," Calla whined deeply as they trudged through the forested area of the island they'd managed to get to of the three that were scattered off the coast. "I hate freak storms. The winds and tides went nuts." Her boat had been small, nothing like a motorized one or a yacht. It was just a tiny sail boat mainly meant for fishing or lazing about. She and River had passed out while cloud-watching, phones set to alarm if they went past the buoys when suddenly the boat started rocking like crazy. At least they didn't have any supplies on the boat, that would've been a bummer, and their phones were always put in zip-lock baggies just in case they fell overboard and River's friends in the sea could retrieve them for her at anytime.

"The tides have been changing infrequently lately, it's been driving me nuts. I'm wondering if it's the warming or if it's because I'm out of sync with the ocean." River frowned as she rubbed her arms up and down. The island had been the only one she could think of to get to, mostly because it was the closest and she she knew that there was a building or something on this island. Someone lived on it, she was certain.

Calla hopped up on a rock in order to keep moving up the path that the forest seemed to make. She hoped they were going /somewhere/. The branches were out to kill her, she swore, as she had to duck another one as it whipped back and forth from the wind, "It was just a nice, chill day! What the fuck happened? I think it might be the hot-cold weather fronts. Can't make up it's mind. One day it's, like, fifty, the next it's seventy or eighty!"

"Tropical storm?" River offered as she ducked underneath the branch that was dangerously slapping the air. "Possible. Which means we'll be stuck on the island for a while. There should be..." She blinked and grabbed Calla's hand and pointed to the left just a bit. "Is that a light or am I seeing things?"

Blinking and squinting through the pelting rain, Calla gasped when a flash of lightning illuminated where River was pointing, "That's a building! You're not seeing things, let's go!" She tugged her friend with her, spitting her own black-blue hair from her mouth as they picked up their pace trying to get to shelter.

The moment they got up to the building, Calla knocked a few times, but when there was no answer, Calla decided to pick-lock and open the door, disregarding River's indignant squawk of protest. Inside was...warmth and a lot of drawings. The foyer had a pair of sneakers and a two pairs of combat boots. She walked in further and saw that the living room had a large flat screen T.V, brown leather couch that and this time pictures. Pictures of two men, and a couple with friends. The most common was the two men though. She also noticed how there was a fireplace, just near the window and a cat sleeping on the windowsill. There was also a smell of...cooked chicken. She wandered towards the kitchen, knowing Calla most likely had went there.

The entire house was fairly elegant and very high class. Of course, if you could afford a house on an /island/ it better be high class, Calla thought, as she followed her nose to the source of the smell only to find a boiling pot of stew on the stove. She took the wooden spoon and stirred it a little bit, setting it back on the counter and hummed as the fresh waft of it filled the room. Her stomach rumbled and she groaned to River when she showed up, "I'm /starving/...the clock here on the oven says it's four! It /had/ to have been, like, ten or even noon when we went out."

"We shouldn't just eat food that's not ours." River said slowly. "We should try and see if there's someone here so they don't try to shoot us. Also, yeah...your mom's totally going to kill you when you get back."

"Duh, I /know/ that, Riv, and even though I don't live with my parents anymore they /did/ give me that boat. Ugh. I hope my punishment isn't too-"

"Boo."

Calla shrieked and did a complete 180 when she jumped, her hair flying around her face, the still-damp locks sticking to her skin, her aqua green eyes huge. This caused the man who stood in front of them to grin widely and he wiggled his fingers in a sort of hello.

River clutched her chest and practically fell over her knees trying to regain the breath that she stolen as well as to make sure she just didn't have a fucking /heart attack/ on the damn floor. She was so glad that her anxiety was stable today, otherwise, she was pretty certain she'd be a mess. "Oh my gosh I am so sorry we broke into your home." She said as she managed to get her composure back. "I /knew/ I should've looked around before I went into the kitchen, but I had to stop her from trying to eat your pot."

He recognized these ladies. Yet he couldn't pinpoint where. Their voices were familiar, too, and the one with purple at least was called 'Riv' which...didn't put anything in place, either. "Well, I'm Bucky Barnes, and you two look like drowned rats...very colorful drowned rats, but," he shrugged, "How did you get here? Did your boat capsize?"

"We swam here," Calla chipped in absently and she looked back at the pot, then back at Buck, "Can we have some food? We missed lunch."

He was highly amused and very confused at the same time. They swam? How even? Going to the stove he turned the switch and moved it to the burner next to it, "Maybe when it cools down some. I hope it didn't burn. I forgot about it because the storm came out of nowhere..."

"Chicken's probably overcooked, but the stew itself has a good strong scent, so I think you're safe for now." River shivered a little and she rubbed her arms a bit. "Thanks for not...um...kicking us back out there."

"I'm not about to kick somebody out who needs my help, even if you obviously broke in," Buck shook his head and he ran his hand through the fluffy top of his hair, "I'll get you girls some towels. How about you go sit back out on the couch? It's leather so it'll be easy to clean. I'll start the fireplace when I..." he paused as the door slammed closed a little harder than probably intended and there was a huffing, concerned call of a male. "In the kitchen, Stevie! I'm okay!"

The man Stevie walked over to the kitchen and River's eyes went wide. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and a muscled beef-cake that could rival Bucky. Not to mention, he was looking at the girls with recognition. Oh wait a moment. "You're the man that keeps walking into our shop and looking at pencils and sketchbooks." River said suddenly.

Steve blinked a moment. "Oh yeah that's where I met you from. I was trying to figure it out. You're the one that plays pop music all the time in the shop. River wasn't it? Could've sworn I seen you somewhere else too..." He shook his head from side to side. "How on earth did you wind up here?"

"She said they swam, but their boat capsized. I heard their conversation," Buck said motioning to Calla, "The videos, that's right. You've shown them to me..." then he gave Steve a sheepish, apologetic smile, "I overcooked the stew a bit, but...River says it should still be good."

"Right...names. Calla Thomas. I work at that shop, too. I make the paintings," Calla added, looking the blond over. He could probably bench-press a car and not even break a sweat. Yet, he was giving Buck a really soft look. Oh, okay, Welp, that was cool, too.

“So then the stitch work is…” Steve looked over at River who smiled. “I like the paintings.” He turned to Calla. “The water colors are especially beautiful, but the way you paint with oil is pretty too.” He frowned. “But there’s no way you girls are going to be able to get home. The storm’s hitting pretty bad.”

“As long as I get a warm bath, you’re not hearing any complaints from me. I’m not found of storms, even when I’m underwater.” River nodded. “And I think the glutton here will just love you forever if you offer food.”

Steve looked horrified. “Like I’d let you starve in our home.” River grinned again and Steve gave her a look. “Oh so I get two troublemakers. Bucky she’s your responsibility.”

“Oi!”

"Towels! Towels, I was getting them towels. Steve, I can put away the groceries. You start the fire for them before they catch ill!" Buck suddenly remembered, though he did laugh, "We'll figure something out, I'm sure. There's plenty of room here and like five guest rooms, so you won't even have to sleep on the couch! That'd be too hot, anyway," he smiled and hurried off to the closest bathroom.

Calla arched a brow, "He's a bit flighty, isn't he?" She watched Steve put away the groceries anyway, then the two of them followed him to the living room where the cat mewed at Steve and then jumped on the back of the couch. Steve piled logs into the fireplace, but while his back was turned and he was hunting for kindle to light the fire, she flourished her hand a bit and yellow and red sparkles came from her fingertips. The fire burst to life, startling the blond, and she leaned against River. She was used to making it look like she didn't know what happened and she was innocent. She got these powers from her mother, after all, and she taught her how to be discrete.

"That was fast." Steve already had a suspicion, he wasn't about to out them though. Not when he wasn't certain. "He forgets things when he gets distracted, but he's pretty good. I forgot that you two did youtube videos. How long did it take for you to master the flute, Calla?"

"I did it in school for band, so I grew up playing it. I would play it outside of school passionately, though, instead of just /for/ school, so my parents bought me my own flute and even a wooden one, which I'm sure you've seen, too," Calla smiled, feeling just a little shy. It wasn't often they met people who watched their videos, "I may do photography, but River edits the videos we take on my camera."

"Bucky loves the edits." Steve grinned as he looked at River who was cooing at the cat. "He thinks that you guys work really well on your videos and I agree. The shots and the songs are amazing. Who normally picks the music?"

"River! Though sometimes I do if I stumble across something and fall in love with it. Not everything I like she does, but that's cool," Calla shrugged and she reached out towards the cat, grinning when they bumped their head into her palm, "Is this a he or she?"

"That's a girl. We named it Peggy. I have no idea why." Steve smiled lightly as the calico cat purred on the back of the couch. "I guess she just looked like a Peggy and we  couldn't decide on a better name."

"Calicos are so pretty," Calla let her throat and tongue vibrate in a purr and pet her head, "She looks feisty, too. Look at that tail flip!" she giggled and scratched her chin, "I had an orange tabby growing up. One day he just didn't come home. I was too heartbroken to get another cat even if my parents offered. Coral is a good companion, though. I hope she put our phones in a good spot," she looked at River, then back at Steve, "Coral's our dolphin."

"Dolphin...mermaid." Steve looked at River. "You know, your name should've given it away."


Last edited by VampireCat92 on Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:20 am

"A mermaid? Are you serious? So is your hair natural?!" Bucky gaped as he rounded the couch, striped towels of blue, green, and tan over each arm and he set the two bowls in his hands down then gave the towels to the girls. "I'll eat later," he told Steve in a murmur. The storm made him lose his appetite.
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:02 pm

Steve nodded in understanding, but concern still flashed in his eyes anyway. "Yeah Buck." He said, trying to keep his voice light and cheery. "Why else would you consider her your favorite?"

"Awww I'm the favorite." River grinned, clapping her hands excitedly. "Though I'm surprised you know about the power of voice."

"It's in every fairytale." Steve looked over at River. "Though I guess the fairytales call you sirens instead."

"Mermaids, sirens, it's all the same." River shrugged.
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:38 pm

"Your voices were familiar and you two look a lot like sisters with your hair. Are you a mermaid, too, Calla?"

"Nah, I have a good enough voice to sing with River, but I'm not /that/ good. My hair is dyed, though the black is real," Calla smiled and she flipped her hair forward so she could towl it dry, then flipped it back, shimmying the fowl around her shoulders and back, shuddering. Teeth chattering she reached for her bowl if soup.

"I don't mind sharing a couple shirts for you to change into out of your wet clothes," Buck offered, "And that's cool, I love how it is ombred. Steve likes your dancing, especially with the water effects." If Steve was going to tease him, he could tease back.
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:47 pm

"Water effects are mostly mine." River smiled at Calla. "She's been taking dancing lessons since forever, so we're going to use it to our advantage." She took her own bowl of soup. "I don't mind wet clothes, but a change would be nice. Catching sick isn't something I want to do."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:49 pm

"No, of course not! I'll be right back," Buck stood up again, "Steve, do you want to donate one of your own shirts to the cause?" he asked with a smirk.

"River and I have our fair share of talents and abilities," Calla agreed to what River said, taking another bite of her soup, "This is really good, by the way. I can't tell it was overcooked at all."

Buck's cheeks blotched a bit, "Thanks. Steve and I alternate who cooks, so it's nice to know I didn't mess up too badly. I do better when I cook things in a skillet and I'm right there keeping an eye on it, not so much if I have to leave it unless I set a timer."

"In other words, you work the grill and Steve's the one that knows the stove." River blew on the spoon and carefully placed it in her mouth. It was warm, not too hot, but her mouth was sensitive to the heat. "I like you. I mean it. I like it. Fuck my mouth."

Steve snorted with laughter. "And you said I was awkward. I'm going to get a shirt for you Calla." He snickered as he walked away. "She likes the soup more than you Buck!" He called over his shoulder with a laugh.

"Hey wait, I was gunna do it!" Buck hurried after him, "We'll be right back, girls," he promised quickly, catching up with Steve and they headed for their room on the second floor, "You going to offer to take them back on your boat?" he asked when they were out of earshot, "I think yours and River's banter is pretty funny."

Steve let out a sigh as he leaned against the door to their room once they were inside. "To be honest, I'm not certain. The ocean's been acting strange and I'm not liking the storm. It's getting late too. It's probably best to let them stay here, at least for the night and I can take them back in the morning. River's pretty funny." He scratched his nose. "You seem eager to get rid of them?"

"No! No, not that," Buck shook his head, going to his side of the closet, finding a black undershirt, which was meant to be more form-fitting and tight for when he wore a button-up, he draped it over his arm and turned back to Steve, "You're teasing me about River and while it's all good fun, I don't mind it, the storm shook me up a bit and I'm not sure how I'm supposed to react? Blush? Stumble over my words and deny she's my favorite on those vids? I dunno..." he shrugged, "Then I tried to tease back, but you deftly avoided it, so I think I lost my touch at the whole 'pretend we're not gay' thing, living out here."

Steve's eyes softened a little and he pushed away from the door, going over and gently cupped Bucky's cheek. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel like I was putting you on the spot. I don't think we have to pretend with them...I can lighten up on the teasing. If it's making you uncomfortable."

"It's alright. Pretty sure Calla noticed, by the way. I'm not exactly subtle and she's been downplaying compliments," Buck nuzzled his palm, "River is really hot, I'll be honest, and she said she liked me, and was super giddy when you said she was my favorite, which was really cute. I can't /believe/ that purple hair is natural! No wonder it's so vibrant. Dyed tends to have a weird look to it. Don't get me wrong, Calla pulls it off pretty well. I can't wait to see it when it's dried."

"The blue really does go well with the black." Steve mused. "I bet it'll be pretty when it fades to green if she had a good hair-dresser to make it be like that." He paused for a moment. "Buck...do you...want to go after River?"

"Hey now, I just met the girl. I'm not doing the whole 'little mermaid' thing, which would be so ironic, but three days is not /nearly/ long enough to fall in love with anybody, seriously, let alone overnight," Buck rolled his eyes hard, "I like her so far, but let's keep it slow. I'd like to keep in contact with them, and wouldn't mind if they visited under better circumstances. I would like to go with you sometime to see their shop, too." He didn't leave the island all that often, so suggesting it was definitely something.

Steve relaxed and smiled. "You'll love the shop. We certainly can invite them over again. Undoubtedly, we'll have to grab their phone numbers, once River can get Coral to get their phones back." He whistled after a moment. "How did our lives become like this Buck? Magic, hiding, and then we're meeting another magic user and a mermaid friend."

"Wait...another magic user? Calla? Elementals aren't so frowned upon, but people like me?" Buck stared at him, then he moved out of the way so Steve could get to his side of the closet and get a shirt for Calla, "Pick an undershirt and one of your plaid shirts, I think she'd look sexy in plaid, and she seemed a lot colder than River did, anyway, so two layers would be good for her." He shook his head, "I know how we got this way...we got off our second tour after you beat down the enemy door to go rescue me, 'no man left behind' and all. Then we came home, me without an arm and we both got PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Stark Enterprises crafted me a new arm, and gave us this house, which I then proceeded to hardly leave like some sort of scared hermit crab and you're literally the only reason I /do/ leave and get any social interaction."

Steve sighed softly as he hugged his friend tightly, holding him close and hoping that Bucky could feel the love that was just overpowering. "I love you, Buck. You know that magic be damned. It's wrong that magic users are so frowned upon when elementals aren't. Don't out Calla. I don't think she thinks I know."

"I won't, I promise," Buck hugged him back just as tightly, nosing his shoulder and breathing in Steve's fresh scent, "I love you, too, Stevie. So much. Thanks." He patted his back and pulled away with a beaming smile, "Let's get back to the girls! You know you'd feel bad if they got sick on our watch. We should give them a tour, too, if they'll be staying with us overnight."

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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:36 pm

River sighed as she got out of the bath, towel drying her hair and putting on some new clothes that Bucky had given her. She was thankful that he was kind enough to give her a long shirt. She was happy that it was big on her, it hid a lot of stuff. She sighed as she flung the towel over the rack and brought her arms close together as she walked out of the bathroom, leaving the warmth and coming back to a slightly colder climate.

The storm unfortunately had gotten worse. The winds howled with a vengeance, and she could hear the waves crash hard against the rocks. Undoubtedly, when they returned back to the mainland, they were going to get into so much trouble. Well, Calla was going to get into a lot of trouble. River on the other hand didn’t really have anyone on mainland that worried about her. Not to the extreme that Calla’s mom was going to worry about her friend.

She was so deep into her thoughts that she didn’t even see Bucky coming towards her. She crashed into him hard enough that she bounced back like she had hit a wall and nearly fell onto her back. “Ow. My god I am so sorry.” She groaned. “I wasn’t paying attention.”

Buck steadied her, a strong hand on either bicep, and then he pulled his left hand back just as quickly once she was stable, "Noticed, haha," he smiled at her in amusement, "Are you alright? Is the storm keeping you up? I know it is for me. You look like you just got out of the shower."

"Bath." River corrected. "It's warmer to take a bath than it is to take a shower. Especially when there's a storm like this out. It's both the storm and it's the new environment that's keeping me up."

"Oh, you're one of those types of people," Buck nodded in understanding, "I hope the bath was nice. Do you like reading? I can show you the library. It's cozy and the chairs are comfortable. Steve gets antsy with storms more than anything so he wanders around to shake it off if he can't just sit in bed and read to tune it out. We tried that, didn't do much. I attempted to sleep, but that didn't work, either, after the loud boom about fifteen minutes ago."

"You have a library?" River blinked in surprise. Of course they'd have a library, but...even though it was a mansion and what not, she didn't think they'd have one. "I'd love to see it. That thunder strike scared me half of death. I hope Calla's alright. She hates storms with a passion. Thunder...especially. I think it's just the noise that gets to her."

"She played it pretty chill earlier...just acting tough, I guess," Buck hummed and slipped his arm around her shoulders as he led her back the way she came. It didn't take long, just a turn here and a turn there, before he opened a thick oak door with an antique handle, "Steve stocks it with a lot of fantasy and historical fiction and some romance. I contribute to the romance occasionally, but I'm more of a sci-fi fiction nut. I do read the fantasy adventure ones with dragons that Steve found, they're pretty fun. Steve goes to the library in the town and buys from them all the time. He made fanart of the ones he /really/ likes and put them inside the books."

"Steve sounds like my soulmate." River said offhandedly as she stared at the huge library. Bookshelves were practically touching the ceiling and there were so many of them. It was clear that this collection was a hard earned book-lovers dream. "I can't draw to save my life, but Calla can. Some designs she does I transform it into a cross stitch pattern and make it into a tapestry. Other times, I just...do my best. My friend, Vince, sometimes draws me something to turn it into a cross stitch. He'd fucking love this library...marry it even."

"In love with his books more than people?" Buck asked with a laugh, being quiet in the night. The lighting in the library was more old school yellow, soft on the eyes, instead of the white light preferred these days. The windows were huge to let in lots of natural light during the day, but big dark red curtains on gold bars to cover them if need be...like right now. Buck went over and drew them so he wouldn't see the flashes of lightning that were going off like mad. "I kind of figured Calla drew if she made paintings. She must be impressive if Steve was praising her. That really is a hard feat. I mean, he'll compliment a growing artist to boost their spirits, but that was definitely a genuine praise from the guy. I bet your stitch work is gorgeous, though. You two must have great color sight as something in common."

"You should come to our shop sometime and take a look at her drawings. She offers lessons to the high schoolers who can't really afford to take a professional class. All they have to do is clean the store, and set up for next class in return. Donations help, so high schoolers who can afford a class, sometimes drops some money for someone who can't. We try to make it work. Calla's biggest fear is that art's going to die." River walked over to one of the shelves and carefully picked out one of the books, just to see the condition it was in before putting it back. "I think my biggest fear is that I'll have to leave the main land."

"And go back to others like you? Why would you have to leave the main land?" Buck asked quietly, tilting his head, and stepped closer to her, "Are you looking for anything specific?" He paused, "No one can make you leave your home."

"A lot of things can make me leave." River dropped her hand away from the books. "If humans become afraid of elemental, or worse become afraid of creatures, it'll be a witch hunt, just like it was a witch hunt to find and kill anyone who made magic. Those who could do magic used to be well-sought for. protection spells, healing spells, even vengeance. But a war had to break out and all of a sudden, magic users were marked for death and it continues to this day. They're going to get bored and come after us. Come after anyone they haven't yet. Normalcy is becoming the greatest achievement. I think it's boring. Lives are going to be boring and so is society. Why should I be apart of something like that? It's toxic." She sighed after a moment. "I know I"m overthinking things. That I'm jumping way too far ahead in the future. But it's just a feeling that I have. It's the way people are starting to look, starting to glance. I shouldn't have brought it up. Sorry. As for a book...hmmm....tell me one."

"Philosophical talks aren't bad," Buck soothed, and he thought of how to respond as he looked the bookshelves over. He went around the other side and plucked the first volume of one of his favorites, then came back around and handed it to her, "Why did you come onto the mainland, then, if you think so negatively of it?" he decided to ask instead.

River thought about it as she took the book and flipped it over to read the back. "Because there's a girl that I want to be friends with and I can't do that underneath the ocean. There's a boy who talks about book characters like they're real and I can't leave him behind either." Deciding that it was worth the read, she kept the book close. "But why if I didn't meet them? Because as my favorite lyric in my favorite song goes "happiness lies trapped in misery". The yin to the yang. Light has to have a bit of dark, otherwise we'll never know what is good."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:18 pm

"You make a very good point," Buck said after a moment of thought, "Are you happy? Or are you miserable? You /looked/ happy to me, but looks are deceiving," he added slowly.
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:33 pm

"You know, I think I ask myself that question a lot." River mused as she walked over towards the small reading nook that was nearby a window. "I love the ocean, my people are nice to me, but they don't understand why I want to always attach myself to the mainland. I do enjoy the mainland. There's so much you have here that we don't under the water. Books I can carry practically, a mode of transportation, houses that have furniture and comfortable beds. More kinds of food than I'll ever see in my life." She shrugged after a moment. "But each has their downsides too. I think that...I am both. I am happy and I'm miserable. I think I'm happy because I'm able to be on the mainland, I'm /able/ to travel so long as I'm near a water source. I'm happy to meet people, and see their faces light up, to talk about their interests and their dislikes. I'm sad, and miserable, because of the uncertainty that the future has. It's like a unstable boat. We all are waiting for it to sink, and some of us are trying to make it sink faster so we can repair it..while others try to do repairs without really knowing what's up with it."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:03 pm

"Steve would try and repair it before it sank, and I'd let it sink," Buck admitted and shook his head, sitting beside her, "Calla I think is a fix it type, but I don't know her like you do. I don't know if I would like it underwater...it's solitary and secluded, which is basically where I'm at right now. I do like living up here. Thank you for saying you liking me earlier, by the way."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:25 pm

"It was a slip of the tongue, but I'm not taking it back. You're welcome." River smiled fondly. "I think I'd let it sink too. Though I think that's just my nature." She looked back at the window, watching the lighting flash. "Underwater isn't as secluded as you might think. There's so many kinds of fish and sharks, and jellyfish underneath there. There's coral reefs and gorgeous colors. It's noisy, but...the sounds are beautiful. The ocean has it's own lullaby. It's only reasonable plenty of fish and mermaids a like would try to sing along with the melody. I wish you could see it. I think you would love it underneath the waves. In my store, I've been working on a underwater scene. Mostly from memory. If you come by the shop, I want you to see it."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:16 pm

"I suppose you're right. I do swim around the reef at the edge of the island," Buck nodded, sinking further into the beanie chair as thunder rumbled, but didn't crack, "I would love to see it. I already told Steve I wouldn't mind traveling to the mainland to visit it. I...don't go there very much. I probably should, and get off this rock every once in a while."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:41 am

"Why are you alone?" River looked up at Bucky curiously. "Why did you decide to isolate yourself from your people?"
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:25 pm

"I'm not alone, I have Steve. He and I were in the war. Two tours. I didn't make it out alright the second time. This house is ours given to us by a mutual friend. The island belongs to him, though," Bucky shook his head, "Its not so bad here. There are a lot of things hidden in the forest."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:14 pm

River watched Bucky for the longest moment. "You can be surrounded by the noises of the forest and a person that you love dearly, and still be alone." She said after a moment. "I won't press, I was just curious. You look like you lost a piece of your soul in that war. Whatever war it is."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:23 pm

"The Afghanistan War...the Forgotten War," Buck said slowly, "Steve and I were on separate units, but stationed together both times. A base can hold a lot of people. I'll just...tell you that me and my unit got stuck. There's a motto...no man left behind. Steve took that to heart." He laced his fingers together, tilting his head at her, "They wanted Steve to go back, but he stayed with me. I owe him more than I could ever repay. I just do my best to love him and make him happy. Does that bother you at all?" Well there it was. Might as well see what she thought.

“Why should it bother me?” River questioned, raising an eyebrow. “I’m not apart of your love life, so I don’t really have a say in what’s in it.” She sighed softly. “The Forgotten War. Yet we never forget why it happened to begin with, or how. Steve’s a brave and stupid man. Brave for staying with you, but stupid for trying to get killed with you. In the end, the Fates must have thought it was good enough not to take both you. So…I’m glad he stayed with you. For whatever end it was.”

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:14 am

The storm was good at playing tricks. Making you think it'd slowed down, then BOOM CRACK and a new wave of rain would pelt the windows like a balloon had been popped. Calla had wanted to stay in the shower all night since it drowned out the noises and River had taken a different guest room, but she didn't want to use up Steve's and Buck's hospitality by wasting water. So instead, feeling too vulnerable in that huge room, she tip-toed her way back downstairs and was curled up on the couch after re-lighting the fireplace. Peggy was curled up in her lap and she pet her slowly, enjoying the sound of her purring between the rolling rumbles outside. The lightning was pretty, so she had the blinds open to watch how it split the sky in spiderwebs, and how sometimes there would be purple stripes and white ones along with the yellow.

Her mind wandered, thinking about art projects at home and how she wished she could be doing something, /anything/ right now instead of wondering when she'd fall asleep. She would probably end up passing out there on the couch, finger-wagging from Steve and Bucky be damned.

Calla looked up when she heard a sound out of the norm that had been the last half hour and saw Steve trudging along the hall into the living room, a far-off look to his eyes, not really seeing what was in front of him and she frowned, but didn't say anything. Did he sleep-walk?

Steve was so tired, he was practically out of it. The storm, the thunder and the pouring rain was disorienting to him. He knew that he was at home. He could smell a fireplace going, and he could feel the carpet underneath his feet, but it was like he was having an out of body experience. His body moved on it’s own, and he was just lost. Lost to the sounds of gunfire and the howling winds of the desert. He was looking for something…someone.

Who?

Who was important enough to find?

Was it a mission?

No…

She'd read about sleepwalking online since Vince had it bad. It was a joke it was because he would fall asleep reading books all the time that he ended up dreaming his fantasy worlds. It was half the truth, and it did scare her and River sometimes when Vince slept over when he helped with the store and videos. Calla shifted Peggy to get off her lap and she took the blanket with her as she very slowly walked towards Steve. She knew where his bedroom was since she and River needed to know in case they required something, but the problem was...that was upstairs. It would be safer to lead him to the couch. She knew what to do with Vince, but that didn't mean this situation was the same. Still, she could try. If something happened, she would know not to do it again or do something different. "C'mon, big guy," she said quietly, barely a whisper and mostly to herself than anything as she draped the blanket over Steve's shoulders, having to stand on her tip-toes, only being five foot three to River's five foot five. Carefully, she barely touched his shoulder and back and turned him towards the couches, "Let's sit by the fire, hmm? C'mon, right this way..."

"Calla?" Steve asked hoarsely as he blinked back into his own body. He brought the blanket closer to him as he took a shuddering breath. He didn't know how much time had went passed, or where he was until he heard the crackling of the fireplace. "Right...living room." Steve muttered. "Sorry. I didn't mean to scare you."

"Hey, hey, shh, you're fine," Calla soothed, patting his cheeks, "Do you have a problem with sleepwalking? I have a friend who does. At least I got you to the couch. Do you want me to get you some water or anything?"

"No, no...uh...water sounds good." Steve shook his head from side to side. "It's not sleepwalking I have a problem with, though I sometimes wish that's all I had to worry about."

Calla hurried to the kitchen and hunted the cups down, filling it with water from the pitcher in the fridge since it would be nice and cold, and brought it back to Steve, sitting across from him rather than beside so she could keep an eye on him better, "What happened? You looked really lost."

"Just...the storm takes me back sometimes and that's what happened." Steve shrugged. "I really didn't mean to worry you, Calla. Was the storm keeping you up, too?"

"It's /okay/, Steve," Calla said a bit more firmly this time, "I was worried, yeah, but I handled it alright, didn't I? I mean, you didn't freak out on me and think I was an enemy or anything, so that's good. The storm was keeping me up, too, you're right on the money for that one. Peggy was keeping me company. She's a bit ticked now, though, since I moved her and took her blanket," she smiled in amusement.

"Peggy's a good comfort, but shame on you for taking away her blanket." Steve teased as he looked to see where Peggy was. She was lying close by the fire, on her side in a lounging position. Her tail flicked, irritated. "I'm sorry that we don't have a phone. We've been trying to get a land-line settled in. Our friend's pissed we won't use him, but..." He shrugged. "I like some independence."

"Independence is good, but it's not a /bad/ thing to depend on people from time to time when it's beneficial," Calla hummed and thought about what she could possibly talk about to get his mind off of it. Honestly, she could use it, too. "You must have an Artist's Eye with how you talked about my paintings. Do you draw or anything like that yourself?"

"I use pencil. I like the traditional drawings. Bucky sometimes paints here and there, but...he stopped." Steve sighed. "Honestly I've been having a hard time trying to draw again. Sometimes I manage, but other times I pick up the pencil and suddenly I'm afraid of what I'm going to draw."

"Oh, artists blocks are never fun," Calla wrinkled her nose, trying to look silly doing so, "Do you draw what you see or from inspiration? I do a bit of both. Bucky looks like he's really good with his hands, like you do. Long fingers, good sturdy palms. Musician's fingers I think is another name for it."

"He's real good with his hands." Steve smiled, unaware of the innuendo. "He plays piano. He's been re-learning since the war. I draw from both, what I see and inspiration. But right now one is stronger than the other...and I can't do that. Not right now." He looked at Calla curiously. "Your friend, River, does she only cross stitch?"

"You're seen the blankets! She made those! She's great at crochet. Makes hats and mittens and dolls and all sorts of things," Calla beamed as she mentioned it, "I've tried, actually. I wanted so bad to be able to make cute things like that, but it's just not my forte. My own hands aren't that nimble. One thing I'm jealous over," she put her finger to her lips in a 'sush' and winked a little with a giggle, "You don't need to explain yourself to me, you know. That's easy enough to understand, with your little flashback just now. Piano? Gosh, I would've pegged him for a guitarist!"

"He plays here and there, but his first love is and always will be the piano. Sometimes I think the only reason why he plays it is to seduce the girls. They fall harder for the music of the piano than the guitar." Steve rolled his eyes fondly. "He's the musical genius really in the family. I'm the artist. I guess that's why we make a good pair."

"Piano is gorgeous, but it's definitely more for the romantic at heart. String instruments are sexy for the different kind of thrum and beat. Too bad country music is all depressing about ladies leaving you behind or all about wanderlust and being alone on the trail," Calla rolled her eyes, "Lindsey Sterling and her violin, though...now that's awesome. Mostly instrumental pieces but there's some thrown in there with lyrics. Great music to listen to while you work since you don't have to focus on words just the beat." She leaned forward only to put her elbow on her knee and her chin in her palm, "You mentioned Bucky seducing the ladies, but in the same breath talked about how you're a pair. Best buds pair or /pair/?"

"Both." Steve really hoped that Calla wasn't the type to be a bigot. Not at this time. "He's my best guy and my best friend. Though...I gotta admit. River really took him by surprise." Steve paused for a moment. "When she told him that she liked him, she really meant it and I know that took Bucky off guard. I think he's showing her the library. I know I walked by voices...though maybe that was in my head..."

"River and I have our moments of spontaneousness. I noticed the way you two looked at each other, but the confirmation is nice so I don't have to wonder if I'm right or if /I'm/ seeing things," Calla shrugged, "I did notice Buck relies heavily on you. He kept saying he was sorry about the soup like it was some sort of crime. War isn't kind in any regard, but...he obviously has it worse than you do. This storm must be a waking nightmare. At least he ate dinner...though I wonder if that's more because you made it than he was hungry," she mused and then sat back, "I'm sorry, I was just observing, but I shouldn't make assumptions, that's rude."

"You're spot on, but I can't say more than that." Steve said with a soft sigh. "It's been...bad. But we've had our good times as well. I'm just sorry you girls got caught up in this storm...and the aftermath." He shrugged. "But I'm also glad that we were able to give you and River a safe spot. Though I'm certain River could just hide underneath the ocean, I....get this feeling that she wouldn't want that. Not at all."

"No, she wouldn't. Storms do affect the underwater. Fucks with the currents and things don't look right. River also says it feels weird. Everything's on edge. It's like the moon and tides. Everything reacts a certain way do different stimulus," Calla agreed, "She may also be with Bucky right now, but she's also near me. She is never very far when there's a storm. That was how we met, actually, as funny as it is. I was five, crawled onto a boat, and the rope snapped from the docks in the storm, sending me reeling out into the ocean."

"That had be terrifying." Steve blinked in surprise. "I'm supposing she guided the boat back to the docks, or what happened?"

"I was too far from the docks and the current was too strong, so River took me to a cave nearby instead until it blew over. It has a little mini beach inside it and I slept on a flat rock there, her keeping me company the whole time. We talked, and she took me back the following day. She even stayed the night with me when I told my parents she was my new friend," Calla grinned fondly, "It's gorgeous. The crystals in the cave are blue and green and give it a pretty glow."

"It sounds really pretty. Breathtaking." Steve smiled a little. "Bucky and I met when I was getting beat up on the playground for telling a bully off for pulling on a girl's pigtails."

"What a martyr," Calla giggled, "I bet you showed that bully what for. Did you ever get suspended? Usually those who fight the bullies get punished instead of the bully themselves. It's a messed up system."

"I think I still hold record for detentions and suspensions. I'm shocked they allowed me to graduate, though I think that was more or less out of pity or wanting to get rid of me as fast as they can so they didn't have to hear more about me." Steve laughed, though it was a little strained. "No one was really shocked when I decided to sign up for the army, but...people were definitely surprised that Bucky signed up. I was too...war...it wasn't his thing. He went with me, so...naturally, I tried to stay with him. Separate units, sure. But we were on the same base a lot."

"Well, that's good you were close to each other," Calla agreed, "I have a feeling you're going to say something you probably shouldn't if you keep going, so breathe. It's okay. I'm supposed to be taking your mind off of it, not making you tell me your life story," she suddenly shivered and didn't even stand, just slipped down onto the floor and crawled over to Peggy, rubbing her belly when she rolled over to show it, giggling when the next second she patted at her hand, claws thankfully retracted, "What's Peggy's story? How'd you come to get her?"

"I found her eating a dead mouse looking shaggy and muddy. I felt really bad for her, so I picked her up and brought her home." Steve said as he looked at the cat. "I washed her up and I made sure her vaccinations and rabies shots were all updated too. Bucky wasn't all that thrilled, he's a dog person more than cat oddly enough, but...Peggy warmed up to him. Anyway. We called her Peggy because she reminded us of our Commander. Well, my commander. I say ours because well, she ordered him around just as much as she ordered me."

"Are you serious? I honestly picture you more of a dog person and him as a cat," Calla was amused, "You'd be a golden retriever, or a yellow lab, I think. Your Commander sounds like a real badass. So you weren't lyin' when you said she seemed like a Peggy. That's cute." She scooted further to the fireplace and let out a relieved sigh, pulling the lazy cat into her lap and petting her like she had before, "I'm glad she likes me, anyhow."

"Really?" Steve laughed. "You know I do get that a lot. That I act more like a dog than anything else. She loves anyone that's new. It means she gets petted more and she can feed off of affection. What type of animal would you and River be, if you had to be one?"

"River...something black. Dunno what, but black because she can pop in and out of places without being noticed and it's /mean/," Calla pouted, "I'd say a bombay cat myself, she's a pretty chill person, but she could be a dog, too, for all I know. It's hard to picture her as an animal since she's already a mermaid, you know? I think I'd probably be a dolphin. I like to think I'm pretty friendly and I'm adventurous /enough/ but I enjoy being around my friends and family more than going off."

"I could see you as a dolphin. River reminds me of a fox." Steve mused. "Just because you said she pops in and out using shadows and what not. Foxes are sneaky son of a bitches. Tricky little things"

"Indeed they are," Calla nodded, and she looked outside, "I think...it's finally calming down out there. I'll be honest...I also came out here because I felt...vulnerable in that big ol' room by myself. I was going to sleep on the couch, fuck what you and Buck said in the morning."

"I wouldn't be upset, I'd be a little worried and concerned, but I wouldn't be upset. Bucky might've wondered." Steve stood up and unwrapped himself from the blanket. "Do you need me to bring down anything for you? Pillows? Another blanket?"

"I...um...I'll be fine. The fire's warm and Peggy'll probably be a good second blanket anyhow," Calla smiled sheepishly, craddling the cat as she got back on the couch and took the blanket Steve gave back to her, "The couch pillows are good enough, too," she added absently as she watched him, feeling...disappointed he was leaving, but River and Bucky were no doubt done talking and going back to their own rooms. Steve had a boyfriend to take care of. "I'm glad I was able to help, Steve."

"Me too. Have a good night." Steve murmured as he walked away and headed back towards his own room, knowing that Bucky was probably waiting for him and worried.

Buck looked up when Steve entered. He'd just crawled into the blankets and was settling down, "I gave River one of my favorite books to read since she doesn't like sleeping in a new place."

"Calla can't sleep either, we chatted for a bit. Mostly about what type of animal we would be." Steve flopped himself onto the bed and looked at Bucky for a moment. "You have your thinking face on." He observed.

"Are we lonely, Stevie?" Buck couldn't keep anything from him, so he just was out with it, "Sounds like River and I had a lot deeper conversation...it was very philosophical. She talked about how happiness is only found in misery and if there was a sinking boat you and Calla would fix it while we let it sank, and that you can be lonely even if you're surrounded by the forest with the person you love."

"Jesus that's depressing." Steve groaned though he couldn't deny it. He rolled on his back and he sighed loudly. "I take back my fox comment. I think she's an owl." He watched the ceiling fan for a moment and he decided to ask the question back. "Well, what do you think Buck? Are we lonely?"

Buck rubbed his lips together and licked them a bit, "I...think so. I...mean...I feel like I'm depriving you...living out here. I know I disappoint you every time you ask if I want to come with you to the main land and tell you no. I feel like I'm a coward, staying secluded, but the thought of living /there/ is terrifying even years later. The friendliest people are over there, I know, but they're /nosy/. Whenever I /do/ go there they ask me all sorts of questions and..." he stopped. He went on this tirade before. Steve knew already, and he fell onto his stomach instead, chin on his pillow, arms underneath, and he huffed, throat burning.

Steve fell silent for a long time. He spoke with careful thought. "You used to be a social butterfly. I know how you used to know every neighbor and child in our apartment complex before we moved away. I know how much it physically stung you when people asked you questions. Nosy aside, curiosity is something that everyone has. So I think the real question here isn't about me. Nor is it about living on the mainland. I don't care where we live, and I know you know that. I think the real question is, is....how lonely are we? I know I'm lonely Buck, but that's usually just my head space. But I get the feeling that you're lonely in a more physical sense. A lover can't take a place of a friend, even if we want to. Even if we should be able to."

Closing his eyes, he took deep breaths, "I'm sorry...I'm sorry you're lonely. You asked how we got like this and...we've been fine, We've survived, it's what we do. I protected you as kids, you protect me as adults. We protected each other on the field. I watched you get so /close/ to having the good life...but then I took you away from it. She found somebody else to marry from the people you brought home that day and we have just...been living in a loop since then." He's also said most of this before, too, but...it felt different this time, like it had more weight. He felt like he was choking on his own air. "Today sucks..." he mumbled.

"I keep telling you that it's alright." Steve rolled over and sat up. He wrapped his arms around Bucky and held him close, nuzzling his hair. "I would do it all over again in a heart beat. I'm sorry too, Buck. I know that this is hard for you, but I'm so proud of you. I love you. Through thick and thin." He paused. "Do you need me to tell River to back off a little?"

Bucky shifted so he could wrap his arms around Steve, holding him as tight as he could, looking at the metal that glinted in the light of the bedside lamp, clenching and unfurling his fingers. He dropped them onto Steve's back and let out a very heavy sigh, "No...I meant what I said before. I love you, too, Stevie...'till the end of the line and back. I'm hoping...the girls can help fill that gap, if just a bit. Friends...it's been a long time. Longer than it should've been." He pulled away enough to kiss his Steve just a bit. Steve went through stages where he wasn't that interested, and other times he was a /fiend/ and they wouldn't leave the bed for hours. Buck could be the same way, honestly.

Steve melted into the kiss and hugged Bucky closer. "Let's try to sleep." He murmured. "And let's get up early so we can make them some breakfast." He yawned. "I think we're gonna be on a roller-coaster ride with them, Buck."

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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:26 am

Buck stared at the shop, mouth agape and face full of awe as he turned in a full circle. There were sections of the store; a display case for cross stitch so they could be propped up, an entire corner with crochet blankets and other things, the opposing side of the store with Calla's oil paints and watercolor paintings. Behind the counter on the wall was where the ocean mural was being created, the door leading to the back was a double-jointed one so it blended seamlessly with the rest of it.

"This is...absolutely /gorgeous/," he complimented sincerely, looking on the shelving full of 'how to' quality books for painting and also several mediums. Only Strathmore craft paper was presented for charcoal, watercolor, and sketch.
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:27 am

Steve wandered passed the normal stuff just to go to the watercolors and oils. Even though they sold their things, they also had small shelves of supplies. Paintbrushes that were really good quality, oils and canvases. There a few of acrylic paints and watercolors too. On the other side, Steve knew that was where the yarn and thread and fabric were kept.

"We debated on whether we wanted to be a supply store or if we wanted to sell arts and crafts. So we blended it in a bit." River smiled a little. "We knew we wanted a small store, but not cramped, so it took a bit of organization and misplacing things."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:48 pm

Buck knew he didn't have to ask but he still looked at Calla and pointed to the back wall. She nodded and he walked back to it, mouth agape in awe and he stroked the wall gently over a jellyfish and he looked down, observing the reef and coral. It was woven a way that jumped out at him and it was breathtaking. So many fish hidden everywhere.

"I'm going to get changed, River," Calla said. They'd changed out of the boys' shirts of course and into their original clothes, but it was obvious they were dirty. Her coral colored pants weren't really coral anymore and her sky blue shirt was more of a grey-blue now. She went to the far corner of the front of the store and opened a door that had stairs and disappeared.

Buck watched River pull out her phone and start messing with it. As they had docked, the dolphin Coral had chirped and called at them and their phones were in a flip-topped bucket underneath the docks that was secured there with tight belts. The lid had enough give Coral could nose it open, but not enough that the water could pop it. A bit further away on the beach Calla's boat had washed up on the beach and it looked in good shape. The paint was scuffed, but otherwise it didn't look like her mother needed to be called at all, which was good.

"You said you're not good at drawing, but this mural is stunning," Buck complimented, walking back out from behind the counters.


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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:57 pm

"Thank you." River beamed. "That was my home waters. We're immune to Jellyfish so we use them for protection. They don't mind so much as long as they can swim around freely." She pointed over at a very large rock that was hidden by a school of fish. "That's my birth rock. I miss my home waters sometimes, but the whole ocean is nothing but beauty. This is what I want to share with those on the land. They really don't pay attention to how some of their actions hurt our waters. So I hope that if I do these murals enough, they'll begin to understand a little of what they're hurting." She shrugged. "Though I think that's just the environmentalist in me."

"I think as long as it's for a good cause, you should do that. Maybe donate these to an reliable aquarium that will help you and your cause." Steve mused as he wandered back over to see what they were talking about. Bucky would joke that anytime there was talk of no justice, Steve was right there to add in his two cents on yes or no. "Have you ever swam with a manatee?"

"I love manatees! They're just big huge dog fish." River gushed. "They're so huge and lovable. Sharks are so misunderstood. If you go on a surf board, you look like a turtle and that's what they eat. That's why they attack. They really don't like human flesh all that much."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:10 pm

"That's why I wear bright colors when I swim, too," Buck muttered, "Black wetsuits make you look like seals and they eat those, too. We just confuse the poor fish. My swim trunks are green with yellow strips on the sides. Manatees are adorable looking, I would love to meet one sometime if you know any. I know they don't like coming around here since there's a lot of boats. Coal was so cute."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:13 pm

"Fish are very simple minded but it's a nice way to live." River smiled brightly as she looked at the mural. "I know a manatee. I think he'll be happy to come by the island if you want him to. The island is quieter and it'll keep poachers from coming near."

"Poachers?" Steve gave River a look.

"Just like you kill off endangered animals up on land, you kill off endangered fish in my sea." River frowned deeply. "Of course, a life for a life, that's why there's been more drownings as of late. You can't take things from the sea, not without a reason. Food is one. Sport is another."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:10 pm

"I understand that," Buck assured, "Hey, you mentioned your friend Vince. Should you let him know you're doing alright?" He looked around the store again, "I'm going to take a closer look at things while you do that," he said and wandered towards the crochet blankets and coasters and other things. There were so many in lots of different colors and whenever he touched one it would always be soft.

Calla came back down after a minute wearing a turquoise blue and lime green swirled dress that had straps but a heart-line cut. It had longer sides that just barely brushed her knees, the rest of her dress mid-thigh. Buck glanced over at the noise her sandals made, and thought she sort of looked like a fairy. Her hair was braided, too, the colors mixing together and looked really intricate even though her only accessory was a dragon claw necklace. Was that a pearl?

"Oh man, I feel so much better now," Calla sighed deeply, "i'm glad my boat wasn't lost or damaged too much, either. I won't have to face my mother's wrath."
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PostSubject: Re: Coastal Living - Captain America Fantasy AU   Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:30 pm

“I should ask, was your boat custom made or was it just something that your mom let you have?” Steve asked curiously. River had walked passed Calla, more than likely also getting a change of clothes as well as doing that phone call that Bucky had told her to do. “We were just talking about Manatees and what she could do with the tapestry when she’s done.”

"Custom made, which is why I was freaking out so much. It's a small little thing, like you saw, but it's nice enough for what I use it for," Calla smiled, "I've met her manatee friend. He's really nice. Of course, I can't talk to him like she can, but he understands me well enough." She motioned to the door, "Would you like to see the back? It may be our sort of storage, but it's also where we cook and eat. Do you like sweets? We have cupcakes from my birthday."

Steve nodded. "Sounds like fun, though I'm mostly there for the cupcakes." He teased lightly. "Do you live here or is it just a small area for snacks and what not?" He felt silly asking that question, considering that they just went up to get a change of clothes, but...honestly he really didn't know much.

"We live and breathe this place. Upstairs is our bedrooms and crafts office. River edits the videos in her room. We do have to come down here to use the restroom and bathe or shower, but that's okay." Calla smiled and led him all the way to the kitchen, opening the fridge and bent down to grab the container. She came over to the little four seat round table and placed it there, popping the lid, "We got all chocolate, but the colors were light blue, light green, and white."

"When was your birthday?" Steve asked as he picked the light blue color and took a bite from it. It was really good. The chocolate wasn't sickeningly rich.

"The eleventh, just a few days ago," Calla laughed softly, picking up a green one, "While we're at it, when's /your/ birthday?"

"July the Fourth." Steve smiled. "It's really funny considering that was my nickname back during the war. Captain America. Bucky thought it was absolutely hysterical and he'd mention to me several times I should wear tights."

"Oh man, I love that Holiday, too! All the bright lights and the way they reflect on the /water/..." Calla gushed, "Captain America, huh? Were you /actually/ a Captain, though?" she smirked a bit.

"I was. Bucky was a Sergeant." Steve replied modestly. "I think I mostly got Captain because they thought if I had a higher responsibility I wouldn't be overly reckless, but they had to admit that I knew how to fight and how to plan."

"Well hot damn. A strategist on top of it. Bucky was probably quite happy staying where he was, but that's a well-earned rank. He must've been a fantastic leader of his own right," Calla nodded firmly, finished her cupcake, and looked at the container, "Which one do you think he'd like? I'd love to offer him one. River will only eat one after dinner."

"Not a sweet fan? I think he'd like the green one." Steve mused. "Neither one of us fond of white, and since I had the blue, he'd want to go opposite of me." He looked over his shoulder and fell silent. "Does...River have any tapestries of the ocean besides the one she's working on or any small needle works like it? I think Bucky really liked the one she was making, and I'd definitely buy it off of her when she's done with it, unless she's gonna consider donating it for a good cause. He doesn't usually buy artwork unless it's for me. I'd like to do something nice for him."

"Not that she doesn't like sweets, really, it's more she isn't a chocolate fan," Calla explained, "Green it is." Plucking it out she set it aside, then put the container away and turned back to him, "She has some smaller works...singular fish or scenes. It takes quite a long time for bigger works. She made a tablecloth once by commission and it took her a whole month of endless work. She stepped away from cross stitch for a while there after and focused on crochet instead. This tapestry she's worked on and off, it might take her the rest of the year or more. I couldn't tell you how long it's been so far. I think...if you asked her, she might make something for Bucky since you know him best, you could tell her what he likes the most."

"I'll be sure to grab her before we go and ask her privately." Steve nodded. "I'm glad you told me that she does commissions, otherwise I think I would be searching the entire store and never leave." He smiled lightly. "By the way, I hope you know this, you have a standing invitation to our island. You can visit any time you like."

"I might sell my boat after repainting it and get a motorized one, if that's the case," Calla laughed with a small blush, and led him back out to the main store just as River was coming downstairs, "Did Vince freak out?"

"Vince is upset with us that we had an island adventure and refused to bring him along. We owe him brownies for our mistake." River said as she sighed. "He also said to be prepared for being grilled."

~*~
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