Damn, what a long ride. Special thanks to Nora for consulting, to isamai for the invaluable help with the Russian translations throughout this series, and to Sebastien for their lovely cover art, which can be found on tumblr. And thanks most of all to our fantastic, insane, astoundingly enthusiastic readers, who made all of this possible: you really stuck with us until the end of the, well, you know. As always, we've been Ellen and Emily.
- Natasha’s line, “You have to belong anywhere” references Phil Noto’s Black Widow Issue #3
- The story behind the song that Bucky sings in Steve’s dream is true; there really are a number of parody versions of the Battle Hymn of the Republic that cropped up during WWI and WWII called "Blood Upon the Risers." There are other parodies of this song as well, including versions that are about public school, private school, and various branches of the military. The version that Bucky sings, originated by paratroopers, can be found here.
- “Tod der Lüge,” or “death of the lie,” was a Nazi propaganda poster that was actually common in the 1920’s, not the 1940’s. In it, a Nationalist-Socialist hand strangles a snake that is labeled as Marxist-Leninist and “high-finance.” Interestingly, there was a Russian response to this Nazi poster in the 1930’s, which depicted a red hand crushing a fascist snake.
- For the purposes of this verse, the events of Iron Man 2 occurred in 2009 instead of 2010.
- Natasha's SHIELDgate speech draws heavily on Gorbachev's speech that dissolved the Soviet Union. In canon, Steve's rallying speech quotes JFK's Cuban Missile Crisis address; Emily thought it would be a good touch to have Natasha's draw from a leader from her country.
- We had a bit of a dilemma over the name of Vice President Rodriguez. When planning this fic, we had decided to use the fact that the VP is corrupt and working with AIM in Iron Man 3 as an indication that, like every other evil person in this verse, he could also have been working with HYDRA. However, we didn’t remember that his last name was Rodriguez. We decided to stick to the plan after we found out, though in the original drafts his last name was “Walter.” Make of that what you will.
- Steve meets Sam in the cereal aisle of a grocery store, a reference to Anthony Mackie’s role in The Hurt Locker.
- Agent Cagney references Article III, section 3, clause 1 of the US Constitution: “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”
- When Cagney mentions an uprising in Ukraine, she refers to the 2004 Orange Revolution.
- Steve’s favorite painting at the Met is Oleanders. Steve seeing it in 1943 (and before) is actually historically inaccurate: the painting was only acquired by the museum in 1997.
- Oleanders are not life-affirming at all but in fact poisonous.
- Steve’s fear that he stopped Bucky from passing through into death is an actual belief that existed in the UK during the Industrial Revolution, if not before; it’s mentioned in the 1848 novel Mary Barton.
- Bernadette Rosenthal was Bucky’s lawyer in 616.
- Ellen drew heavily from Nelson Mandela’s “Statement from the Dock at the Rivonia Trial” to write Steve’s final press release; later in this section, Rhodey also quotes Mandela on his Twitter handle.
- This is terrible, hand-wavey palm reading for the purposes of the scene.
- “You’re going to have two great loves in your life” is an homage to Fury.