Written for the MMF July Roll-A-Drabble:
First Roll: MCU Character: Steve Rogers
Second Roll: HP Character: James Potter
Third Roll: Trope: Fake Dating

Notes: This one was HARD because even though Steve exists in two different time periods, James is not present in either of them! Therefore, I decided to approach this prompt from a different kind of angle... ;)


Impossible Situations

"When I get back, I am bloody well going to kick your arse, Padfoot…best mate or not!" James Potter muttered angrily under his breath. "If I ever get back, that is," he added, a bit mournfully, as he took in his unfamiliar surroundings and tried to figure out what happened. He remembered that he had walked into the Marauders' pranking headquarters, as they called the ancient and forgotten classroom that they had found when they were making the Map, only to find Sirius haphazardly chucking a bunch of ingredients into a cauldron. He was muttering something about "giving that greasy git, Snivellus, a taste of his own medicine."

While James was not really opposed to such action, he stood nearby and watched – just in case. He was concerned because he knew that while Sirius was not the worst Potions student ever, he certainly was not the best, either. In fact, the only reason that he was taking the Newt level class with James was because they both needed it to become Aurors after graduation…and Sirius, especially, probably would have failed without Lily's help and tutoring. At any rate, since he was watching carefully, James recognized the danger right before Sirius dropped the never-should-be-combined Doxie egg and the powdered asphodel into the already volatile mixture at the same time.

"No!" he shouted and dove straight for Sirius. He managed to knock his fellow Marauder out of the way right before the contents of the cauldron exploded…all over him. The last thing he remembered seeing before he passed out was his best friend's horror-stricken face. However, when James regained consciousness an indeterminate amount of time later, Sirius was nowhere to be found.

In fact, James realized instantly that he was no longer at Hogwarts…and that he was not wearing his school uniform. Instead, he found himself lying on what appeared to be an old military-style cot and he seemed to be wearing a Muggle military uniform of some kind. He also realized with a sinking feeling that he no longer had his wand on him, either…and therefore, he just could not apparate himself back to where he had come from. Before he had time to process all of that information, though - or panic - a strong hand grasped his own and pulled him to his feet with a simple jerk.

"James…" the man said with a voice as strong as his grip, "…Buchanan…Barnes, what would your little ol' mother back in Brooklyn say to see you drunk in bed – especially this early in the day?"

"Piss off, Steve." James heard himself say in a voice that was not his own. "I'm not drunk…I'm heartbroken. There is a difference, you know. Maybe you don't, though – especially since you can't even seem to get up enough courage to dance with your bird." There was a haunting ring of unsaid truth in his words and James looked up at the man "he" was talking to. Even through his confusion about what was happening, he gasped as he instantly recognized the formidable figure.

After all, Lily's father had been a fan…and had even met the man when his team was in England during the War when Mr. Evans was just a young child. He had told James all about the exciting experience when he had come over to visit Lily during the holidays. In fact, Mr. Evans had even showed him the framed set of autographed cards that he kept right in the lounge of the Evans' home. Therefore, knowing all of that made it even more incredible for James that somehow he was standing face-to-face with Steve Rogers - aka Captain America himself!

Steve laughed a little at him…or whomever it was he was supposed to be - and clapped him on the shoulder. "Oh come on, it's not that bad. I know you, Bucky…remember? You'll have another girl on your arm by tonight! At any rate, come on…we've got a briefing before lunch."

That's not what I meant, the Bucky guy thought morosely as James listened in complete astonishment. Yeah, there will be another girl…but only because you will be too busy brooding over that British bird to notice me.

Before they left, however, James/Bucky excused himself and went to the head. As he looked into the small mirror over the sink after splashing some water on his face, James' mind reeled frantically at the reflection of the rugged, tan, and handsome face that was not his own. I've had some crazy shite happen to me at Hogwarts, he thought, but this takes the cake! Apparently, not only did the explosion put me inside someone else's body…someone who shares my first name…but it also sent me back in time. How else could you explain the WWII uniforms and the fact that apparently my best friend is Captain-bloody-America!

Merlin! What a mess you have got me into this time, Padfoot, you dog! James also thought as he hoped that Sirius would not wait too long before he told Dumbledore the truth about what had happened. Dumbledore would know what to do to get him back to Hogwarts…plus, everyone knew that he had a soft spot for the Marauders, anyway. They probably would not even have to serve a detention over this unfortunate incident. However, James knew that without his wand, all he could do was wait…and coexist with this Bucky guy in the meantime. He was just grateful that the other bloke in their shared body did not seem to be aware of him.

After a day spent with Steve at their base, the two men ended up in their favorite pub with a bunch of the other guys…and quite a few girls, as well. By this time, James had realized a couple of things. For one, Steve was head-over-heels in love with Peggy Carter and talked about her non-stop – even if he was a bit shy with her in person. The second thing was that due to the hollow and hopeless ache in his chest, this Bucky fellow felt a lot more than just friendship for Steve. In fact, he was sure that Bucky was hopelessly in love with the man – even though he was currently sitting between two lovely young women at the table he shared with Steve and Peggy.

In fact, James knew that Bucky would probably go home with one…or both…of them when the Howling Commandos disbanded for the night, but it was only because his first choice, his true love, just did not feel the same way about him. It was probably for the best, though, because acting upon such feelings would only get them both thrown in the brig for "crimes against nature." The Cap…Steve…deserved much better than that…and he deserved better than Bucky, too. Therefore, he would not push for more.

Plus, it's not all bad, Bucky thought, as he pulled one of the girls closer and she whispered something naughty in his ear while she reached under the table to squeeze his thigh. Birds can be fun in the right situations…and Steve will always be my best pal this way, no matter what.

Even though he felt some sympathy for the man's impossible situation, James started to worry about what exactly would happen when they left the pub – especially since things were heating up between Bucky and the blonde. Even though he was sharing the body at the moment, and the blonde bird…um…girl…was very attractive, he had no desire to cheat on Lily - the fiery redhead who was his true love. Therefore, he was as relieved as he was startled when he heard a familiar voice calling out to him.

"Mister Potter, it is time to come back now. You have seen what you came for." James looked up toward the ceiling where Professor Dumbledore's voice, and the enigmatic words, seem to originate. However, he did not see anything…just blackness…lots of blackness.

All of a sudden, James came to with a jolt as he realized that he was tucked into bed in the very familiar hospital wing. After all, he and the other Marauders had spent enough time there over the years that he could recognize the smell of the place – even with his eyes closed. It must have been a dream, he thought - with quite a bit of relief.

Being Bucky…especially because of his feelings for Steve…was just too complicated and uncomfortable to be enjoyable. Therefore, he was very glad to be home…and that he didn't have to worry about being in such an impossible situation with his own best mate.

The very first thing that he noticed, however, before anyone realized that he was conscious again was that Sirius was holding on to his hand tightly while he muttered anxiously. "Oh, Prongs, please be alright! I'm so sorry, mate! You shouldn't have pushed me out of the way. It should've been me. I love you, man."

Those last words were spoken in a tone more tender than any he had ever heard come out of Padfoot's mouth before. James suddenly remembered how clueless Steve had seemed about Bucky's feelings…and how Bucky had consequently filled the void in his life and heart with meaningless flings with one woman after another. It was a very familiar situation, almost eerily so, now that he thought about it… and he suddenly wondered if his relationship with Sirius was as simple and brotherly as he had always assumed. Feeling the emotion currently pouring off of the other man at that moment, however, suddenly made him not so sure.

However, this thought was almost completely pushed to the back of his mind by the arrival of his beloved Lily in the infirmary. After his spitfire girlfriend yelled at Sirius for endangering her boyfriend, she also hugged him and told him how grateful she was that he was alright because that was just the kind of caring person that she was. Then, they both finally noticed that James was awake. Lily fell on him immediately, as she simultaneously cried and kissed him passionately. Meanwhile, however, Sirius unashamedly never let go of his hand…not even when they were joined by Remus and Peter.

James forced himself not to read any more into that action than necessary, though. Sirius was his best mate and his brother-in-everything-but-blood. Just because Bucky had been in an impossible situation with Steve, it did not mean anything about his and Padfoot's relationship, did it? After all, regardless of the voice he heard, Dumbledore was nowhere to be seen. Therefore, for the sake of their friendship…and for his relationship with Lily…James decided that none of it had really happened at all. The whole experience had only been a dream brought on by the potions accident.

Hadn't it?