Note: Characters were chosen based on who I like and think I can write somewhat well. Continuity is...mostly MCU? But with a little bit of comics thrown in because Doreen? And the title of the first chapter is sort of an in-joke--while watching the first Captain America movie, my little brother commented, "Wow, these people are good at things!"
Anyway, I hope you like it!
Now watch while I try to post this four times and fail because I'm too scared to press "Create Topic"...
Chapter 1: In Which People Who Are Good At Things Get Turned Into Dragons
“Hey. Wake up.”
The concerned voice was the first thing to break through the haze, followed shortly by a splitting headache.
“Hey.” A small hand nudged his shoulder gently, then withdrew. Why did his body hurt so much? It felt like it was burning all over. “Oh, what do I do? Should I try to splash him with water? That’s what they always do in the scrolls…. C’mon, wake up.”
Everything felt wrong. Not just the pain--although it did feel remarkably like someone was stabbing him repeatedly with a hot knife and/or shrapnel. It felt like his hands were shaped wrong, and his face was shaped wrong, and he had extra limbs flopping all over the place, and when he ran his tongue along his teeth it seemed like someone had replaced them with daggers.
The small hand poked him again, and he twitched and groaned. The girlish voice breathed a sigh of relief. “Okay, so you’re not dead. That’s good. Definitely good.”
Steve Rogers slowly opened his eyes, wincing at the sudden influx of sunlight, and turned his head to look at the source of the voice.
Unexpectedly, the one sitting by his side was a dragon.
She was small for what he expected of her kind, about the size of an average twelve-year-old girl, with scales covered in shifting swirls of light blue and green, almost like a chameleon. A long tail curled behind her, and bat-like wings tinged pink and yellow were held slightly open. She sat by his side, looking at him with large golden eyes.
They were outside in what looked like a forest clearing. How did he get outside? He didn’t think he’d been outside when...when what? What had happened? Hadn’t it been sunset? What was going on here?
Steve shoved the questions out of his mind and refocused on the dragon. She broke into a relieved smile as he met her gaze, and the pink on her wings seemed to melt down to cover parts of her back. “Hi.”
“Hi,” Steve replied. Argh, his mouth felt so wrong. At least his headache was starting to fade now, although his whole body still burned. “Wh-who are you?”
“I’m Vibrant,” she replied.
“I can see that,” Steve grunted. Of all the colors that swirled across her scales, not one of them was dull.
“No, silly, I mean my name is Vibrant.” Nearby, there was a rustling noise, and Vibrant looked up, her gaze darkening, and the edges of her wings changed back to emerald. “I should go help your friends.”
Somebody broke into a coughing fit, and then a familiar voice said, “Ow.”
“Tony?” Steve lifted his head. Okay, he was definitely dizzy; it felt like his head had moved way farther up than it should have been able to. Fainting, amnesia, dizziness, headaches...weren’t those symptoms of a concussion?
He blinked. Tony was nowhere in sight; the only other creature he could see (unless that white lump at the far edge of the clearing wasn’t a rock) was a large black dragon, lying on it’s belly near the center with one wing spread out. One talon clutched its forehead, and its brown eyes looked somewhat unfocused.
“Tony?” Steve asked again, more uncertainly.
“What happened?” the black dragon asked, or at least it was the dragon moving its mouth, but it was Tony Stark’s voice. “Weren’t we inside--” He trailed off and shook his head as if to clear it. He blinked at Steve, eyes narrowed in confusion and suddenly much more focused. “Steve, you’re a dragon.”
“So are you,” Steve replied, and then the full impact of the words hit him and he had to lie back down. He held a hand up to his face, and it was covered in scarlet scales and had long white claws and was unmistakably a dragon’s hand.
There was a moment of silence, except for birdsong and the wind in the trees and the sound of Vibrant shifting around. And then Tony said, “So...does anyone know what’s going on?”
Vibrant shook her head. Steve tried to as well, but something stopped the movement. He reached up and found what seemed to be long, curved horns jutting from the back of his skull and catching on the ground. “Huh.”
“I have no clue what’s happening,” Vibrant admitted. “I just...I just found you both here, and the SandWing and the RainWing over there, lying in the middle of the woods, and I didn’t know what to do…” Her body was now almost entirely dark green, with scattered scales pale blue and purple. Her wings folded up all the way, and she hunched her shoulders a bit, curling her tail in closer to her body. “I’m just glad you’re not hostile.”
Steve slowly rolled over and onto all fours, wincing at the pain, but a wave of dizziness forced him to sit down. It felt weird and off-balance until he put his hands on the ground, like a dog, and then it seemed more natural.
He turned to look at Tony, and in doing so, he managed to whack Vibrant in the face with...with…
“Ack! Watch your wings!” the little dragon yelped, jerking away.
Right. Dragon. That meant...wings. And a tail.
“This feels remarkably like having four arms,” Tony noted.
Steve raised an eyebrow. “You’ve had four arms before?”
“No. But hypothetically. The structure is the same, and so moving them should be just...like...raising a hand.” As he said the last few words, Tony slowly lifted his wings, spreading them to their full reach. The undersides were speckled with silver, like the sky at night.
Steve mimicked him, purposefully lifting his wings and spreading them out, taking care to go over Vibrant’s head this time. One wing ran into the trees at the edge of the clearing before reaching its full extent, but the other stretched out as far as it could go, large and scarlet and nearly as long as Tony’s whole wingspan on its own.
“What’s wrong with you two?” Vibrant asked. “You’re acting like you’ve never had wings before.” But before they could reply, she shook her head and said, “No, you know what? I’m going to help the others before I ask you questions. Close your wings already, it’s rude to keep them open like that.” Both of them quickly closed their wings. Vibrant stepped around Tony and over to a dragon that Steve hadn’t noticed before, one on the far side of the clearing with scales the color of reddish sand. The thing Steve had thought was maybe a rock was a dragon too, now that he looked closer, white with hints of green and some sort of frill around its ears. Vibrant was the only other dragon here who had that.
The sand-colored dragon opened coal-black eyes and smirked slightly as Vibrant reached a talon towards it. “Don’t bother,” it said with Natasha Romanoff’s voice. “I’m awake.”
Vibrant paused, frowning. “How long have you been awake?”
“A few minutes.” Natasha swished her long tail, diamond patterns down her spine rippling. “I didn’t want to interrupt.”
Vibrant blinked, shrugged, and moved on to the last dragon.
“We were fighting,” Steve remembered suddenly. “Against that scientist. Us three and Bucky and...Squirrel Girl, was it? Doreen Green?”
Tony nodded in confirmation, remembrance dawning in his eyes. “He must have done something to us...turned us into dragons, and dropped us here?”
“Seems like an ineffective way to fight your enemies,” Natasha noted. “Give them built-in armor, flight, claws, and presumably fire breath?”
“Whatever he did,” Tony said, “it hurts.”
The last dragon in the clearing groaned and twitched, and the tiny patches of green in its scales slowly began to expand--clearly it was the same type of dragon as Vibrant, since nobody else’s scales seemed to be changing color like that.
“Someone’s missing,” Natasha said suddenly. “There should be five of us.”
“You’re right.” Steve got to his feet--it was weird to stand on all four legs and have it feel natural--ignoring another brief wave of dizziness and burning pain. “I’ll go look around.”
He stepped into the trees and began searching in an ever-widening spiral, scanning the area. His tail occasionally banged painfully into trees, and his wings wouldn’t quite stay in control, which was frustrating, but the dizziness and pain seemed to have mostly subsided now. He could hear the bubbling of a small stream; occasionally he spotted a chipmunk or a deer.
He finally found the last member of their group curled against a small rise near the river, facing away from him; their scales glittered white like new-fallen snow, and a mane of sharp spikes jutted from their head and neck.
“Hey,” Steve called out.
The dragon’s tail twitched, but they didn’t turn towards him. “Steve?” That was definitely Bucky’s voice.
“Hi.” Bucky coughed raggedly. “I think either we all just died in a fire, or I both have a concussion and am slowly being murdered by acid-spitting termites. That, or I’m really drunk.”
“Actually, we got turned into dragons by a crazy scientist.”
“Huh.” Bucky experimentally extended one wing and closed it again. “The next person who tries to get me to enter a lab for any reason is going to get punched hard. Or clawed, whatever works.” He rolled over--somewhat awkwardly, as he had to maneuver around wings and spikes. “Also, I seem to be missing an arm. And did I mention that everything hurts?”
Steve explained to Bucky what little they knew of the situation on the way back to where the others waited. When they reached the clearing, Tony and Natasha were chatting, Vibrant was resting with her head on the ground, and the last dragon in their group--presumably Doreen--was deep in conversation with a pair of squirrels, but everyone looked up as they arrived.
Vibrant bounced to her feet, scales bleeding from pale blue to gold. “Great, you’re back!”
“Your arm is missing,” Tony noted to Bucky.
“Thanks, I noticed,” Bucky replied flatly. His metal arm had apparently not made the transition to dragon, which made walking as a quadruped somewhat awkward.
Vibrant looked around at the gathered dragons. “Hello everyone, I’m Vibrant, and you all need to tell me your names. After that, we’re going to go find Quagmire and see if he can help us figure out what the heck is going on.”
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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.
Queen of Non Sequitur, Bookwyrms, Pangolins, and Bones
Trash Squad, Werewolf, GASTER FOLLOWER
Writer, roleplayer, nerd
WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019