At Marvel Lee Elementary, there was a little 4th grade nobody named Zemo who hated the popular 5th grade kids. Since their friendship began back in the first grade, they had intentionally or not, staked a claim on the school. Kids worshipped them: for their cool clothes, toys, and athletic skills. Teachers took pride in their excellent grades and outstanding volunteer work. There was a table in the cafeteria reserved only for them, if they set foot on the playground during recess, everyone got out of their way. If there was a dispute between the lowly children, the 5th graders would sit in and settle it out like lording kings and their squabbling peasants.
Zemo, after losing the only spot left on the swingset one afternoon, had enough. He vowed that one day he would destroy them.
Luckily for him, it did not take long before trouble arose. During a heated game of cops and robbers, Wanda Maximoff, one of the only two girls in the group, had accidentally pushed a first grader down to the woodchip covered ground. The poor little six year old began to cry. Wanda apologized, but the damage was done. The rest of the school was in an uproar.
"Think of the first graders!" They cried.
The older students demanded that the group play safer on the playground. The group was faced with a difficult decision. One of the leaders, Tony Stark, who felt guilty about past incidents where they played too rough, wanted to stop all the games that could potentially hurt another kid. The other one, Steve Rogers, thought that they didn't need to listen to the other kids and that they should continue to play like they did because no one complained about it before. The two had a friendly rivalry. They competed over who was better at sports, and who got better grades, but now things were changing. Tony was already beginning to feel the middle school pressure of doing well both academically and socially. He, being loud and obnoxious at times, was not as well liked as the humble, naturally friendly Steve, and even believed that his parents liked Steve more than him. But Steve had issues of his own; his troubled best friend Bucky Barnes, who had moved away in the first grade, had been expelled from his old school for getting into fistfights. At the beginning of the year he had moved back, and only stuck around Steve. Rumors of Bucky's unstoppable temper and fists of steel swarmed about the school. Zemo noticed all of this, and began to scheme.
The day arrived when the popular kids would announce their decision. Zemo moved in to strike. He dressed up like Bucky just as the school bell rang, and attacked; slapping everyone in his path. Caught in the crossfire was the foreign exchange student from Nigeria (but everyone called it Wakanda since they had no clue), T'Challa. He was being picked up by his father, when Zemo-Bucky jumped out to hit him, but instead hit T'Challa's dad. The boy burned with the anger of a thousand suns. He wanted revenge.
The student body was in chaos. Bucky, who was walking home from school, found himself mobbed by angry children. He ran to Steve and told him what had happened. Steve, who cared about Bucky more than everyone else in the universe besides his parents, believed him. Then, T'Challa popped out from the bushes and began to beat Bucky into a pulp. Steve backed up Bucky until Tony's BFF Rhodey showed up and pulled them apart. All the popular kids came and everyone began to argue about what had happened. Tony wanted Bucky to pay for what he had did. Steve insisted that Bucky was innocent. And then, Tony opened his mouth:
"You really think this punk wannabe is more important than our group Steve? You're full of crap!"
Everyone gasped. Tony swore. This was serious.
Steve lunged at Tony and another fight broke out. No one bothered to break them up until the crossing guard on the corner threatened to call the cops.
It meant war.
The group split into two. Sam, who had become close friends with Steve the year before, backed up Steve, along with Wanda (who found out that the reason that Tony had been excluding her from the group was that he thought she would hurt them during another game), and Clint Barton who had just got back to school from a bad case of the flu, and had no idea what was going on. Tony's side had Natasha, who also felt guilty about how they pushed everyone around in the past, Rhodey, and his other BFF Jarvis, who went by Vision because he thought it sounded cool. Nasty looks were shot during class. Insults were exchanged in the halls. Rumors spread about Steve and Tony. Dodgeball games in gym class took the place of actual fights. T'Challa chased after Bucky during recess, wanting another chance to make him pay.
The only person who attempted to negotiate was Natasha, who considered Steve a closer friend than Tony. She begged him to make up with Tony, but Steve refused.
All the while, Zemo watched on gleefully from his coveted place on the swingset during recess, pleased that everything was going to plan.
Steve, wanting to clear Bucky's name, snooped around to find everything he could about the slap rampage. After interviewing the victims and eyewitnesses, he discovered that the assailant was wearing a green cap, not a blue one like Bucky always wore. He narrowed down his list of suspects to Zemo, the 4th grade nobody, and planned with his buds to confront him. But Tony wanted a fight. He gathered up his gang, along with T'Challa, and a 3rd grader named Peter Parker who he planned to use to replace Steve former place in the group, and challenged Steve to a fight on the blacktop at 3:30 Friday. Steve accepted, and brought his backup, along with a bug obsessed boy named Scott Lang who was recommended to him by Clint. The battle began. Tiny fists and feet collided against limbs. Peter lassoed jump ropes at anyone on the other side he could see in order to impress Tony. T'Challa and Bucky were stuck in a fight to the death as T'Challa slashed at Bucky with prop claws he got for a cat Halloween costume. Sam climbed trees and threw down feather covered rocks guerrilla warfare style. Scott threw his bug bombs--- water balloons filled with actual bugs at the grossed out other side. Karate expert Natasha, dodged archery fanatic Clint's toy arrows before she was close enough for hand to hand combat. Magic inclined Wanda tried to cast spells that she learned from a $3 magic- trick book she got at Target™, but found that they were useless in her fight against Vision who sicked one of robot toy dogs at her. And Tony blasted his super soakers at Steve who defended himself with a garbage can lid. He coordinated his movements with Rhodey who parkoured off the roof. And broke his leg.
Steve and Bucky caught sight of Zemo laughing at them from the swings. They made a run for it. Tony and T'Challa followed. Steve's remaining team were forced to surrender. Peter tied Clint, Wanda, Sam, and Scott against a tree and kept watch with Vision while Natasha dragged Rhodey to the nurse's office. Steve and Bucky caught up with Zemo and demanded to know why he framed Bucky.
"Because I hate you!" Zemo spat.
He proceeded to laugh as Tony and T'Challa arrived and began a two on two combat against Steve and Bucky. Then it was then Zemo made his mistake, admitting to everything in front of Tony and T'Challa. Steve, Bucky, and Tony all began to pummel Zemo, while a tired out T'Challa, now understanding that revenge means nothing when the world is out to get you, watched.
Steve and Tony almost reconciled then and there, if it weren't for Zemo's last taunt that he knew that Tony's parents liked Steve more than him. Enraged Tony threw Steve down onto the ground and began to beat him with all the strength he had. But for all of Tony's rage, Steve was stronger than he was, and left him a sobbing, bloody mess, sprawled out by the swings. T'Challa tackled Zemo to prevent him from escaping and Steve was about to demolish him like he had done with Tony when Principal Fury showed up.
"What the hell is going on here?" He bellowed.
Everyone stopped, trembling with fear. They were rounded up and dragged into his office, where Principal Fury lamented that he wasn't able to administer corporal punishment because they all deserved it for acting like fools. All the participants of the fight, save Peter who had left in time and by Tony's honor, not outed, were suspended for a week and given detentions for the rest of the month. The ceasefire gave way to an uneasy peace. Tensions were strained between Tony and Steve who had taken over the group and kicked Tony out. Bucky was forced to change schools again, leaving poor Steve heartbroken. Peter's popularity among his 3rd grade peers soared. And Zemo became the most hated kid in the entire school, and worst of all, he was no longer allowed to go on the swings for the rest of his 4th grade year.