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One Punch

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Honestly, Steve Rogers was a mix of furious and disappointed. Here he was, sitting up until the early hours of the morning to hear the election results, only to be told that the candidate he had spent the entire campaign promoting had lost to a bigot in a toupee. He clenched his fist a few times, trying to keep himself from punching the TV. God was he pissed. That man had so many bad ideas for America, and his Vice President wasn’t any better.

 

Steve had spent the entirety of the presidential campaign promoting Secretary Clinton. She was the obvious better choice for the presidency, even with the email scandal. Steve had helped the FBI go through her emails, and nothing had come up either time they were searched. Clinton should’ve been the one to win, but instead, it was Donald Trump.

 

So many things about Donald Trump pissed Steve off to no end. He was sexist, he was racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and just bigoted in general. He didn’t have a verbal filter, saying whatever terrible thought came to mind on national television without thinking of how it would affect others. He was rude to everyone, especially those who weren’t white, straight men in positions of power. He and his Vice President, Mike Pence, would run America to ruin now that they had the power to do so. With a Republican House and Senate, America was surely going to take a giant step backwards in progress.

 

A week and a half after the election, Steve knew what needed to be done. He had seen first-hand how Americans were reacting to the election of Donald Trump, and he was both disgusted and saddened. Some were protesting his election, and others were taking things into their own hands and committing hate crimes against those that Trump didn’t like. Steve had watched three grown men corner a scared African-American woman in the street and attempt to assault her. Whether physical or sexual was their intention, Steve stepped in before they could hurt her. He gave them a stern chiding, sending them off so he could comfort the poor woman. On another occasion, he watched a teenage boy pull a hijab off of a Muslim woman carrying grocery bags, tossing it into the street. Steve grabbed it before someone could run it over, returning it to its rightful owner. When the boy realized who was about to yell at him, he turned and ran before his idol made him feel bad.

 

Steve’s tipping point happened two weeks after the election. He had turned on the TV, which had been left on Fox News for some reason. Out of morbid curiosity, as Steve hated Fox News with a passion, he sat and watched the interview with Trump. The questions were pretty routine, even if the answers pissed Steve off. About ten minutes into the interview, Steve’s blood began boiling.

 

“So, Mr. Trump. What do you think the great Captain America would think of your election?” the interviewer had asked. “It seems everyone has been avoiding the topic of Steve Rogers in your recent interviews.”

 

The grin on Trump’s face was so smug Steve nearly snarled. He knew he wasn’t going to like this answer.

 

“Oh, I think Captain Rogers would be pleased,” Trump answered, still grinning smugly. “After all, he stands for the American Dream, and that’s all I want to do, is bring back the American Dream. He may have spent the entire campaign pushing Hillary, but I’m positive he’ll accept my election and support me.”

 

Steve’s grip on the TV remote got so tight it snapped in half, turning off the TV. All of the blood in Steve’s body had rushed to his face, turning him an angry red colour from the neck up. He had a scowl on his face that would make a palace guard flinch as he stood up, walking silently to his room. He changed out of his jeans and t-shirt, slipping into his uniform. He was going to do what needed to be done, and he was going to do it his way.

 

On his way out the door to get his motorcycle, Steve strapped his beloved shield to his back and made a few phone calls. He arranged for a last-minute press conference at Stark Tower, and he was going to set the record straight, even if it wouldn’t change anything.

 

He reached Stark Tower from the facility outside Manhattan in record time, parking his bike and moving towards the swarm of reporters that had already gathered. He saw microphones with logos from all different radio broadcasts, television studios, and newspaper companies in the crowd, smirking slightly.

 

Good, he thought The more the merrier.

 

Someone had set up a little podium, which Steve stood behind and cleared his throat. The reporters fell silent, looking at Steve expectantly.

 

“Thank you all for coming on such short notice. I’m sure most of you were watching Donald Trump’s Fox News interview this morning,” Steve began, pausing as a murmur broke out in the crowd. “That’s why I’ve called you here, actually. Now, as you all know, Donald Trump is a very… right wing person. He has conservative views on what America should be, on how the ‘make America great again’.” The last part was said dryly, almost annoyed. “During his Fox News interview, he was asked what he thought I would think about his election, to which he answered that he thinks I’ll accept his election and show him support. I’m here to set the record straight: I do not, in any way, support or accept the election of Donald Trump.”

 

A chatter arose in the crowd of reporters, a mix of confusion, shock, and excitement. The chatter died when Steve cleared his throat again, as he had a little more to say.

 

“Donald Trump is a bigot, plain and simple. He says I stand for the American Dream, and I do, but I don’t think he knows what the American Dream truly is. Frankly, Donald Trump is the exact opposite of that dream. His views reflect those of a certain dictator I once had to face. He has skewed views towards one particular religious group, and he wants to ostracize any follower of the Islamic faith, simply for believing in a non-Christian god. He may not want to create a ‘master race’, but whether he intends it or not, he’s going to if he gets what he wants. Muslims, Mexicans, African-Americans, anyone who doesn’t fit his ideal of the ‘perfect American’ will be either deported or detained, of that I am sure.”

 

As Steve was talking, many of the TV cameras were sending live feed for people at home. This had caught the attention of the man being singled out, who was keeping track of mentions of himself in the media. He told his driver to take him to Stark Tower, wanting to witness this for himself.

 

“Trump has painted a bad image of immigrants to many young Americans. Immigrants aren’t our enemy. I’m the son of immigrants. When I was a kid, it was my father’s people, the Irish, who were looked down on, called ‘filthy foreigners’, discriminated against. Is that the xenophobic America you want?” Steve went on. “An America where people are singled out based on the colour of their skin or the country they were born in?”

 

A sleek black car stopped near the curb at the front of Stark Tower, but nobody got out. The man inside simply watched Steve with narrowed eyes and a frown.

 

“Trump also has some very poor opinions on women. I won’t repeat anything he has said on the matter, because I have more respect than that. My mother was a nurse who raised me by herself after my father died in the First World War. My best friend’s mother chipped in where she could. I knew a woman during the War that would have a heart attack because of this election. What I’m getting at is that women are just as competent as men,” Steve continued. “Is this the president you want for your daughters? One that tells them that women have to follow antiquated gender roles and exist simply for the pleasure of a man? What kind of message does that send?”

 

The more Steve spoke, the quieter the reporters got. By that point, the only sound besides Steve’s voice was the New York traffic whizzing behind them like it always did.

 

The man in the car finally decided he needed to say something. He stepped out and made his way to the front of the crowd, standing right in front of Steve, facing him with a scowl.

 

“You have it all wrong, Captain Rogers,” he said plainly. “Nobody has more respect for Americans than I do.”

 

Steve resisted the urge to snort at the comment. “I would have to disagree with you there, Mr. Trump,” he said flatly. “Between you and your Vice President, you’ve got the least respect for Americans I’ve ever come across.”

 

“I’m offended,” Trump said angrily. “How dare you accuse me of such a thing! You’re Captain America, you’re supposed to be a patriot, not some… some social justice nut job.”

 

“With what little respect you are due, patriotism isn’t just blindly following the direction of the country. Patriotism is seeing what your country can do, what your country can be, and working to get it there,” Steve told him, raising an eyebrow. “If you think that I would actually support a bigot such as yourself, you’re forgetting what War I fought in. I fought in a War started by a bigot, and I fought hard for those being marginalized by that bigot. I’ll do the same now if I have to.”

 

Trump was bright red, almost cartoonishly red. He tried to speak, but no words came. He simply fumed silently, glaring at Steve.

 

Steve held back a triumphant smirk, balling his hand into a fist. “America, you’ll thank me for this later,” he muttered, swinging a punch to Trump’s face. The man crumpled like a piece of paper, falling to the ground.

 

“My husband’s going to love hearing this story,” Steve declared, finally letting the triumphant smirk settle on his face.