Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Except It Abide in the Vine

Go To

Except it Abide in the Vine (currently accessible to logged-in members only) is a Captain America fanfiction by spitandvinegar, the author of Ain't No Grave.

It relies heavily on the idea of simultaneously coexisting Alternate Universes. In the story, a magical accident has sent a few dozen different versions of Steve Rogers from their home universes to alternate ones, and it's up to Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes (and Bucky Barnes), to find the dislocated Steves and bring them home.

This story contains examples of:

  • Action Survivor: The pre-serum Steves land in some dangerous timelines, but manage to avoid anything terrible happening to them despite being tiny asthmatic civilians.
  • Amazon Chaser: James, implied. All the women he expresses any attraction to are Action Girls, and even before he meets Seg, he's pretty enthusiastic about the idea of female Captain America with all the muscles and stuff.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Seg is her verse's Captain America and has the muscles to go with it.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Sweetpea. He doesn't look 100% white, but since he was born in a time when interracial relationships were frowned upon and raised in an orphanage, nobody knows the details. Based on his description, he may be part Native American or Pacific Islander.
  • And Call Him "George": Subverted. The other characters are a little worried about letting Sweetpea hold Stella's baby, but it works out fine.
  • Badass Adorable: Sweetpea, in the most terrifying way possible. Berserker killing machine in combat, Cuddle Bug out of it.
    "He's the Li'l Bub of giant mentally unstable cannibal cyborg assassins."
  • Badass Crew: The Steves and Buckys (plus a couple versions of Sam Wilson and a Natasha Romanoff) who team up to take down HYDRA in Honey and Sweetpea's home universe.
    "We few, we happy few-" "We bad motherfuckers."
  • Badass Preacher: Padre. A Catholic priest who moonlights as a superhero.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Sweetpea and Honey's home universe, in which HYDRA won World War II.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Sweetpea has hair down to the middle of his back, and is the most feral of the Winter Soldiers.
  • Big Beautiful Man: "Barnes," Padre's Bucky, is a very solidly built guy, and it looks good on him.
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: Sweetpea trying to snack on the Nazi soldier he just killed.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: If HYDRA had just shot Honey instead of maiming him, dumping him in the river, and leaving him for dead, he wouldn't be coming back to his home universe with an army of superheroes.
  • Butch Lesbian: Seg is a muscular, tomboyish Action Girl with very short hair - and a girlfriend.
  • Call-Forward: Sweetpea and Honey's backstory ficlet (NSFW text) is full of them.
  • Cast Full of Hunks: It's a story filled with alternate versions of two good-looking male superheroes: this is kind of inherent in the premise.
  • Carpet of Virility: James has one.
  • Crack Fic: Even allowing for the usual weirdness of superhero universes, the story's premise is pretty fantastical.
  • Crack Pairing: Rebel (Appalachian Steve) is married to Nick Fury. Everyone in-universe finds this understandably surprising.
  • Crazy-Prepared: James is prepared for every occasion (and not just combat situations, either).
  • Cuddle Bug: Sweetpea is very affectionate.
  • Custom Uniform of Sexy: Specifically averted for Rebecca (Seg's Bucky). She's a good-looking woman, but she wears the same kind of tactical gear as the other Buckys, no Spy Catsuits in sight.
  • Darker and Edgier: The "HYDRA won" universe.
  • Dehumanization: Poor Sweetpea got hit with this hard.
  • Delivery Guy: Sam, for Stella. Justified since pararescue all have paramedic training, and none of the Steves or Buckys are medical professionals.
  • Determinator: Most of the Steves. Honey stands out, since not even losing a hand and his eyesight could stop him.
  • Domino Mask: James, who is based on Marvel 616 Bucky, has a domino mask tan line, which Bucky enjoys teasing him about.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Frank and James function as this for each other.
  • Dystopia: The "HYDRA won" universe.
  • The End of the Beginning: After all the universe-swapping is sorted out, the characters who don't have urgent business in their home dimensions team up with Honey and Sweetpea to take on their world's HYDRA.
  • Eye Scream: Why Honey is a Handicapped Badass. (spoiler: It wasn't cataracts.) Courtesy of HYDRA.
  • Fantastic Romance: James and Frank, since they come from different timelines.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Sweetpea and Honey. Sweetpea is everything terrifying about the Winter Soldier, but several inches taller than the standard model and not opposed to munching on the occasional dead Nazi. Honey is a Handicapped Badass alternate Captain America with a disturbingly violent homicidal grudge against HYDRA. They're boyfriends.
  • Funny Background Event: In the scene where they meet Bai, Sweetpea looking sadly at - and inching toward - the dead Nazi he wants to eat.
  • Gender Flip: Stella and Seg Rogers and Rebecca Barnes.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: James does this to Stepanya as a deprogramming technique.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Honey may be ruthless and terrifying, but if you're not HYDRA he's as kind as any other Steve Rogers.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Downplayed. Most of the Steves have pretty clean language, especially compared to the likes of James, although some of them curse on occasion. This applies to Honey, which is amusingly incongruous because he's the most intimidating-looking Steve.
  • Handicapped Badass: Honey is blind and has a prosthetic right hand (thanks, HYDRA) and kicks a ton of ass anyway.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Sweetpea, when the group's dimension-hopping finally sends them somewhere they can stop to get properly cleaned up.
  • Heroic Build: All the post-serum Captains America, as in canon. James is also pretty buff. Sweetpea was an amateur bodybuilder before the war and managed to achieve this without super science steroids.
  • Horrifying Hero: Sweetpea, in combat.
  • I Call It "Vera": Eloise the machine gun.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: When a guy's an evil conspiracy's pet human hellhound and they don't bother to feed him, he picks up some bad habits.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Frank is implied to be trans or intersex, and James's Steve was a standard-issue cis man, but despite this, the two men and their worlds have a lot in common.
  • Little Guy, Big Buddy: Sweetpea and the pre-serum Steves. It's pretty cute.
  • Mirror Universe: Averted. There are Steves and Buckys of a variety of races, genders, sexual orientations, and occupations, but no willingly evil ones, and HYDRA appears to be evil in every universe.
  • The Multiverse: Many different universes home to many different Steves and Buckys (plus a Void Between the Worlds transitive plane).
  • Mundane Luxury: Sweetpea genuinely enjoys eating the MREs James hands out. It's better than what HYDRA fed him (or didn't).
  • No Antagonist: For most of the story, the challenge comes from the universe-swapping, which was caused by a random anomaly and wasn't anybody's fault. Averted at the very end when the army of Captains America join forces with Honey and Sweetpea to take the fight to HYDRA.
  • No Social Skills: Sweetpea. To be fair, the guy does have brain damage.
  • One Head Taller: Frank and James. Frank is a big guy even for a Captain America, and James is one of the shorter Buckys. They have a height difference of about seven inches.
  • One-Steve Limit: Literally and extravagantly inverted. There are over a dozen Steves, as well as multiple Buckys.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Many examples, notably Sweetpea, Honey, Langston, and Padre, because there are so many Steves and Buckys around. Inverted for James.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Sweetpea had shades of this when HYDRA had him - giant, super-strong, people-eating Slave Mook with yellow eyes (okay, hazel) and filed teeth.
  • Pair the Spares: James's Steve is dead, as is Frank's Bucky. They end up together. Sadly averted for Redhead Steve and James Buchanan Bai.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Honey has resorted to this in the "HYDRA won" universe, which is a sign of how dire things have gotten there, because this is Captain America.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Sweetpea, no!"
  • Pint-Size Powerhouse: Downplayed. James is average height, which puts him on the short side compared to most of the male Buckys and post-serum Steves, but he's "built like a brick wall" and a pretty formidable fighter.
  • Politically Correct History: Downplayed. Historical racism and other prejudices are acknowledged to exist, but none of the main characters actually adhere to them. Justified in that this is consistent with Steve's canonical values and personality.
  • Precision F-Strike: Honey gets one when explaining his Pay Evil unto Evil policy towards his world's HYDRA.
    "I ain't sorry for a thing I've done. I'll keep killing them until they manage to kill me. And I'm real fucking hard to kill."
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Sweetpea is a subversion. At first glance he appears to be vicious, feral Dumb Muscle, but he's reasonably bright (he just talks funny because HYDRA messed with the language centers of his brain) and he can be surprisingly sweet when he's treated gently.
  • Race Lift: "Langston" (after the poet) and Jay are African-American, James Buchanan Bai and his Steve are Asian, and Sweetpea is Ambiguously Brown.
  • Real Men Cook: James. A guy's gotta have a hobby.
  • Screw Yourself: Between Buck and James.
  • Sexy Priest: Padre's as handsome as any other Steve.
  • Sickening Sweethearts: Honey and Sweetpea are surprisingly demonstrative and affectionate for a couple of scarred-up killers.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: James is an affable guy, but he has a pretty foul mouth.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Sweetpea legitimately does have some cognitive problems, but people tend to assume he's lower-functioning than he actually is because he acts kind of "off" and has trouble with verbal communication.
  • So Happy Together: Sweetpea and Honey's side story, in which they're young and cheerful and Sweetpea has a fully functional brain and Honey has two good eyes.
  • Super-Senses: Honey isn't quite Daredevil, but his enhanced hearing is sharp enough that he can use human echolocation.
  • Sympathetic Sentient Weapon: All the former Winter Soldiers, as in canon. Sweetpea probably got it the worst.
  • Team Mom: James. Overlapping with Crazy-Prepared, since his method of "mothering" involves being the guy with the supplies to keep everyone fed, hydrated, and groomed.
    "James is so clearly and distinctly Team Mom that no one even bothers to joke about it. Like, you wouldn’t joke about your literal mom being Team Mom, either. He is the only reason that the entire team isn’t constantly in a profound state of encrusted filth and low blood sugar."
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Seg, compared to Peggy or Rebecca, since Seg is a Butch Lesbian and the other two are closer to the Girly Bruiser end of the spectrum.
  • Twice Shy: Stepanya and Barnes, both of whom are rather anxious and unsociable.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Sweetpea and Honey, before everything went to hell.
  • Void Between the Worlds: The unnamed location used as a jumping-off point between dimensions. It's a picturesque forest, like the Wood Between the Worlds in The Chronicles of Narnia.