Whole Shards by Griselda Banks is an AU fanfic series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It can be found on FanFiction.Net and Archive of Our Own. It diverges from canon halfway through the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
During the confrontation with Zola, Steve asks him about the strange man with a metal arm. He is horrified by what he hears and decides to reach out to the Winter Soldier without knowing his identity.
In many ways, saving the Soldier from HYDRA was the easy part.
Whole Shards contains examples of:
- Armor-Piercing Question: During one particularly difficult day, Sam asks Steve how hes holding up. Its a simple question, but it makes Steve break down and cry.
- Beat the Curse Out of Him: When Steve asks Natasha how she freed Clint from Lokis control, she replies that she hit him in the head. Steve decides to do the same with the Winter Soldier. Downplayed in that the Soldier isnt knocked out.
- Befriending the Enemy: Steve deciding to help the Winter Soldier is what kicks off the events of the series.
- Call-Back: The Soldier nearly falls to his death from a great height. This and Steves reaction is what triggers Buckys memory.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: After the Soldier gets knocked on the head, Steve tries to reach out to him by offering to help him. The first time, it doesnt work; the second time, he succeeds.
- It's Personal: Sam started helping Winter for Steves sake at first, but when its revealed that Winter is addicted to a substance HYDRA gave him to make sure he wouldnt try to run away, it reminds Sam of his brother and the effects drug addiction had on his life.
- Only Known By His Nickname: Steve and Sam call the Soldier Winter for the entirety of Make Me Whole, since he tells them he cant remember his name. Emphasis on he tells them. He actually does remember his name, but he's afraid to tell Steve.
- Winter only knows Crossbones by his alias.
- Reality Ensues: Winters withdrawal from addiction leaves him shaky and weak, and hes unable to handle solid food at first because HYDRA always fed him with tubes.
- Sam is kind, loyal and supportive to both Steve and Winter, but there are times when he needs someone to be there for him too.
- Steve and Sam dont know about Winters trigger words, so when Crossbones starts speaking them they dont know what it means until its too late.
- The Prankster: Riley, according to Sam. Once, he let a raccoon loose in bootcamp, and framed the drill sergeant for it.
- Would Hurt a Child: Crossbones blows up a playground and the childrens wing of St Marys Hospital to draw Steve and Winter out of hiding. He even leaves a note saying Captain America was responsible for the former.