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FRIDAY: CLOTHING

Hello, everyone. I’m thesmallhobbit, your guest host for this week and today's theme is Clothing. Prompts can be anything from hat to shoes, or even the absence of clothing.

Just a few rules:
No more than five prompts in a row.
No more than three prompts in the same fandom.
Use the character's full names and fandom's full name for ease adding to the Lonely Prompts spreadsheet.
No spoilers in prompts for a month after airing, or use the spoiler cut option found here.
If your fill contains spoilers, warn and leave plenty of space, or use the above mentioned spoiler cut.

Prompts should be formatted as follows: [Use the character's full names and fandom's full name]
Fandom, Character +/ Character, Prompt

Some examples to get the ball rolling...
+ Sherlock (BBC), Sherlock/John, what to do with another awful jumper
+ Almost Human, Kennex + Dorian, for an android Dorian has surprisingly strong views on the clothes he wears
+ Person of Interest, Finch/Reese, buying the perfect tie

We are now using AO3 to bookmark filled prompts. If you fill a prompt and post it to AO3 please add it to the Bite Sized Bits of Fic from 2014 collection. See further notes on this new option here.

Not feeling any of today’s prompts? Check out the just created lonely prompt spreadsheet. For more recent prompts to write, you can also use LJ’s advanced search options to limit keyword results to only comments in this community.


tag=clothing

Comments

tigriswolf
Nov. 21st, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)

Avengers movieverse, Bucky Barnes, before the war, he cared so much about his appearance and always tried to look his best; after the Winter Soldier, while on the run, he doesn't care at all.

But when he's reclaiming himself, when he's done running, he decides to start dressing the way Bucky Barnes would have.
vanillafluffy
Nov. 21st, 2014 04:22 pm (UTC)
Not a fill yet
Yes. I can see him working his way from utilitarian clothing to "statement" clothes as his state of mind improves and he feels more of a sense of identity.

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tigriswolf
Nov. 21st, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Not a fill yet

In a lot of the fics I've written about the ex-Winter Soldier, I have him start wearing really hideous tropical shirts just because he likes the way looking at them makes him feel. *shrugs* I also like the idea of him ordering shirts with slogans on them.
vanillafluffy
Nov. 22nd, 2014 12:41 am (UTC)
Fill -- 1/2 Clothes Make the Man
On the bus ride from DC to Baltimore, he has time to think. Victor’s given him contact info for someone who can get him ID, something to think about—who does he want to be now? He isn’t the Winter Soldier or the Asset, but Smithsonian or not, he isn’t Bucky Barnes, either.

Getting off the bus, he has time to kill before he can meet Victor’s source. Not killing time…there’s been enough killing.

He stops in surprise. Fighting and killing are almost all he can remember—he’s always been focused on briefings, missions, targets. Except for the interludes with Aleksi… who would have had you killed in a heartbeat if you didn’t serve Hydra’s purpose the inner voice reminds him calmly.

Aleksi is dead now and he wants nothing more to do with Hydra, he’s…what do they call it? A free agent. He likes the sound of that. “I’m a civilian,” he murmurs to himself. But catching sight of himself in the glass of the store he’s stopped in front of, he doesn’t look civilized.

You look like a bum, says the voice in his head. It’s a tinged with humor and sounds nothing like the implacable tone of Hydra’s taped briefings. Really, you want to blend in, not disappear completely.

It’s true, he looks disreputable. The notion that as a newly-minted civilian, he should look civilized has taken hold. He just has to figure out what he’s going to do about it.

There you go! says the voice a block later when their route encounters a barber shop.

At first, all he plans is to get is a haircut, but when the man in the white apron asks if he wants a shave, he hears himself say, “Yes, please.”

He’s starting to think of the little voice as Jiminy Cricket—it seems to have his best interests at heart. He’s even not sure how he knows who Jiminy Cricket is, but whatever this talkative streak of common sense is, it’s definitely not Hydra-issued.

The proprietor makes small-talk about a movie he saw last night, nothing his customer has to respond to. The civilian can enjoy the process. It feels good to have his scalp massaged gently and the shampoo smells woodsy, soothing.

The barber takes his time, no sudden movements, which is good, because the scissors snipping at close range makes him edgy—but that’s nowhere near as bad as the clippers buzzing at the back of his neck. It’s too much like the sound of the machine that wiped away his memories.

The shave isn’t without a certain amount of stress. The civilian reminds himself that even in the unlikely event that this middle-aged stranger cuts his throat, he’s fast enough to return the favor before he bleeds out. It’s a moot point, because he isn’t so much as nicked.

“Aftershave, sir?” Sir? When has anyone ever called him ‘sir’?

“Bay rum,” Jiminy Cricket answers.

“A classic!” the barber beams, and the scent of the stuff, sweet and cool, is a memory all by itself. He doesn’t remember from when or where, but he likes it.

The barber spins the chair around, and the civilian is astonished by his own reflection. “Voila, the new you!” How right he is.

“Nice work, thank you,” he says at Jiminy Cricket’s urging. “How much do I owe you?”

He peels some bills off the roll Victor gave him, including a generous tip. He steals another look at himself in the mirror. He looks younger, definitely civilized…and maybe a little more like Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes.

“Any time,” says the barber. He pats the civilian on the shoulder—the left shoulder, damn it—and his face changes.

“My prosthetic,” his client says, doing his best to stay matter-of-fact.

To his surprise, the barber folds the cash and tucks it into the civilian’s jacket pocket. “No, no—my daddy caught a bullet in ‘Nam, my granddad was at Guadalcanal, your money’s no good here. Thank you for your sacrifice.”

Calm down, Jiminy Cricket says, back on the street. He may have jumped to a few conclusions, but he’s not wrong, you know. You’re fought in more than one war, and you’ve made more sacrifices than anybody will ever know.

But he’s drawn attention to himself, and that’s worrisome.

Jiminy Cricket doesn’t think so. If you’re going to be that paranoid, then you need to go back and erase the guy. No? Didn’t think so.

It wouldn’t be civilized.
vanillafluffy
Nov. 22nd, 2014 12:42 am (UTC)
Re: Fill -- 1/2 Clothes Make the Man
Jiminy Cricket insists he needs to get some other clothes. The ones Victor provided for him are worn and ill-fitting. Even if he goes to a second-hand store, there’s bound to be something better than these rags.

He doesn’t have much money though. Even with the barber’s generosity, Victor’s money will only go so far. There’s a pawn shop across the street, but he has nothing to pawn. Or does he? His armor might be worth something. It’s better than just discarding it. Which leads to the question, does he really want to get rid of it? How committed is he to being a civilian? What if Hydra catches up with him? Can he afford to let his guard down?

So what are you going to do, wear it for the rest of your life? Because that’s not being a civilian, is it? Take reasonable precautions, but don’t load yourself down with too much baggage—any kind of baggage. And keep the boots. You might need some sturdy work boots. He sighs and crosses the street.

The pawnbroker jumps to the same conclusion that the barber did, and welcomes him home. The civilian gets more than he expected for his gear (although he keeps his boots, his knife and an empty but still serviceable pistol), and makes his way to a thrift store in the neighborhood. There’s a lot more room in his duffel bag for clothes without the bulky armor.

Jeans Jiminy Cricket tells him. Everybody wears them, just make sure they aren’t falling apart. A couple shirts, something with long sleeves that’s big enough to cover your arm. Nothing too heavy, it’s spring, it’s only gonna get warmer.

Wandering around the store for an hour, he chooses garments, trying them on. He’s a size 34x34 in jeans, he discovers, large or extra large in shirts—depending on how stretchy they are—and he has to remind himself that he’s got a finite amounts of space and money, otherwise he’d buy armloads of clothes just because he can, because they’re not a uniform, they’re what attracts him.

He ends up with more civilian clothing than he’d planned, but, he rationalizes, it’s normal to change them and launder them, which is something he’ll have to get used to doing. He’s only had uniform clothes for so long, swapped out at Hydra’s discretion, that the act of choosing seems incredibly significant.

You’re a grown man, pretty sure you can dress yourself, says his cheerful friend.

Later that evening, when he connects with Victor’s source about getting ID, he’s got on blue jeans above white sneakers, a long-sleeved red and blue checked shirt that he’s sure is the loudest thing he’s ever worn in his life, over a bright blue tee with “Made in America” written in red script. Nobody in the bar is staring or pointing, though, and he gradually relaxes.

There’s a back room where he negotiates the cost of a driver’s license and Social Security card, and he’s glad he sold the armor, because that’ll nearly clean him out. He poses for a picture to go on the license, and when he takes possession of it, sight of the inch-square image smiling jauntily back at him is disorienting.

Now he’s officially James Alvin Buckley, 29-years old, just a normal guy. James is a common name, nobody is going to do any double-takes over James. Alvin is “Anvil” with the letters rearranged, because like it or not, Hydra was his life for a long time. He may have renounced them, but it would be foolhardy to think he could or should forget them. Buckley he saw in the phone directory, listings for more than a dozen of them, that’s not an unusual name, either. At least, that’s what he tries to tell himself.

Yeah, right Jiminy Cricket drawls. Buckley, Bucky…it’s just a coincidence, isn’t it? Like James. Nothing wrong with any of it, but don’t kid yourself. There’s a big damn difference between you and him.

Okay, so he doesn’t have James Buchanan Barnes’s memories. He may have the guy’s face, but that doesn’t mean he’s him. On the other hand, Jimmy Buckley thinks, he’s a decent role model. He still has more questions than answers, but he feels a little more confident about his nebulous future. He has a name, he knows he likes bay rum, and he hasn’t killed anyone today.

It’s a start.




Edited at 2014-11-22 12:50 am (UTC)
tigriswolf
Nov. 22nd, 2014 01:37 am (UTC)
Re: Fill -- 1/2 Clothes Make the Man

Aww, dude. This is lovely.

Victor is Sabertooth, right?
vanillafluffy
Nov. 22nd, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
Re: Fill -- 1/2 Clothes Make the Man
Thanks. Your prompts so often dovetail with the stuff in my head, it really spurs me to sit down and write some of it.

Yes, Victor is Sabretooth. This takes place the day after the Easter egg at the end of CATWS. It's also posted on my LJ complete with "inspirational" photo.
scribble_myname
Nov. 22nd, 2014 02:36 am (UTC)
Re: Fill -- 1/2 Clothes Make the Man
I love this so very much.
vanillafluffy
Nov. 22nd, 2014 02:40 am (UTC)
Re: Fill -- 1/2 Clothes Make the Man
Good to hear! Thanks for letting me know.

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