Steve watched as the winter soldier stood on top of the bridge. He looked so much like Bucky, But Steve knew that. He had expected it. What he hadn't expected, however, was the girl Stepping out of the shadows of the bridge. His heart seemed to stop when he saw the familiar Blue eyes. He could barely breathe as he recognized her face, that long blonde hair.
"Elaine." He whispered her name.
His Elaine, his daughter, who had been taken from him by Hydra at the tender age of 13, three years before Steve himself had hit the ice. She must have been in hydrosleep, just like Bucky. She didnt look a day older than 16.
His concentration had faltered from the shock, and before he realised Elaine was on top of him and holding him down with inhuman Force, while Bucky was pushing a gun to his head.
"Elaine?" The girl had golden eyes now, But they turned Blue briefly when Steve had said her name. The girl seemed confused for a moment.
"Elaine, what did they do to you?" Again, that flicker of Blue. Steve tried to get up, but Elaine held him down with her new strength and a warning growl, and it angered Steve that Hydra had gotten to experiment on his baby girl. That they had made her into this hurting, mind controlled person who didnt even seem to be able to properly speak.
"I promise you I will take revenge for you, baby girl."Steve said, a decisive look in his eyes.
Bucky or not, the winter soldier huffed, and the Hydra agents laughed.
"Ahw, how cute. He thinks the Asset Will let him live, he thinks his precious little girl is still in there." And then, on a more serious tone: "Finish him, Assets."
The blue eyes turned golden again, and the young girl looked at Steve without emotion again. Bucky got ready to shoot, releasing the safety from the gun. Steve knew he was done for, but he wouldn't go down without a last fight.
"I'm sorry for failing you, sweetie." Steve said, tearing up."I hope that one day you Remember how loved you were, that your mother and I never stopped looking and fighting for you. I hope you'll Remember who you are."
The girl slowed, her gun still on safety. Looking between the Hydra agents and Steve in wonder
"And who might I be? " The voice sounded weird, almost mechanical, but curious, her eyes Blue again.
"You're Elaine Rogers, daughter of Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter, and that man next to you? That's James Buchanan Barnes, my best friend and your Godfather." The hands on both Guns started shaking, both the assets seemed confused, and Steve closed his eyes, waiting to die.
Steve opened his eyes again when the death he expected didnt occur. Only to see the Hydra men with An arrow in their chest. Clint still standing in shoot-ready position, Elaine and Bucky both shaking with Natasha's widow bite. Guns long forgotten on the ground.
He caught Elaine as she slumped down on him, temporary paralised.
"Saved your ass there, Cap. What happend?" Natasha asked. Steve just shoock his head, not quite ready to explain it yet.
Iron man landed next to him and lifted the winter soldier off Steve.
"Let's get out of here, Cap."
"Not without Them." Steve said, holding Elaine in his arms. He imagined Tony doing his famous eye roll behind that mask.
"Steve, they're Hydra, what makes you want to...?"
"Do you know the assasins, Captain Rogers?" Thor asked.
Thor nodded and gathered the winter soldier in his arms, carrying him to the Helicarrier. Steve followed suit, looking at the unconsious girl in his arms. It was his daughter, all right, he finally had her back.
Tony insisted he'd only move the assets if they were being kept in the hulk room, which offended Steve, but since he didnt feel ready to tell him yet, he had to allow it.
He watched as Bucky slowly got up again, Elaine still unconsious on the ground. Bucky nudged the girl with his foot, causing her to roll over. Her Mask was gone, and Steve could now clearly see the plump lips. She had defenitly got those from her mother.
The girl remained unconsious, and Steve saw the winter soldier huff as he kneeled down next to her. He was concerned for a moment, about what the winter soldier would do, but he just sat there next to his collegue, eyeing Steve suspiciously.
Steve turned on the speaker.
"Hey there Buck." He started awkwardly, the winter soldier 's head snapped up, and he narrowed his eyes at Steve, shuffling a bit so he was seated in front of his fellow prisoner. Steve was suprised at this protective gesture, was this a sign Bucky was still in there? That he knew that this girl was his godchild and that he needed to protect her?
"No need to protect her from me, Buck. I'd never Hurt her."
The winter soldier's face remained unchanged, and his eyes followed Steve as he Came closer.
"I have no intention whatsoever to hurt any of you." He whispered. The winter soldier eyed him suspiciously, then shoock his head.
"You don't trust me?"
Again, the winter soldier shoock his head. Steve's heart sunk.
"You can take off that mask and talk to me." Steve told Bucky.
"Negative. The Asset shall remain quiet unless asked for mission report or specifically asked by it's Handler." Bucky's voice croaked.
"You don't need to. You're free to say what you want." Steve told him.
"New Handler?" Bucky asked nerveously, eyeing Steve up and down.
"I don't want to be your handler. I want to be your friend, you don't need to be scared from me."
The winter soldier nodded.
"We almost killed you, you're no threat."
Steve saw Elaine regaining consiousness as well, she seemed to feel Steve's gaze on her, she immedeatly sat up and looked at him with the same look in her eyes as Bucky.
"Elaine, how are you feeling? Do you need to lie down for a bit more?" Steve rushed as close as he could get without opening the room. Immedeatly, Bucky took a leap forward, standing in front of the girl.
"Negative. The Asset shall remain upright, standing or sitting, unless told to sleep." Elaine spoke. Her voice sounded diffrent, monotone. It pained Steve to know that she thought he would punish her if she wouldn't get up right away. Steve had to come to terms with the fact that both persons who were once so dear to him didnt seem to remember anything.
He hadnt heard Natasha entering the room, didnt notice her until she stood next to him.
"She's yours, isn't she?" She asked, while nodding at Elaine.
"She's... Yeah, she's mine."
"That's why you hesitated. Isnt it?"
"Of course. I couldn't kill my own daughter, or my best friend."
"Barnes? He's the winter soldier?"
Steve nodded, then sighed.
"They don't seem to remember though."
They arrived at Stark Tower and Thor and Steve went in to cuff both persons in the hulk room. (Again, An idea from Tony.)
They were led to the hulk room in the Tower, where Bruce would check Them on eventual injuries.
Steve and Thor both stayed close to Bruce in case one of the assets acted up,because they were the strongest, except for hulk.
Taking their blood samples was an absolute horror. They had to strap Them up, and it psychically pained Steve to see Them both so frightened. Bucky's mask was removed as well, his mouth a grim Stripe. Bucky fought his restraints as Bruce took a blood sample from Elaine.
"They both seem to be fine except for the super soldier serum they got." Bruce announced after some tests. "I'd say we let Them wash up and sleep. I'll give you the results of the blood sample tomorrow."
Steve nodded, taking Elaine's hand.
"Come, i'll guide you to she shower." He smiled. Elaine's posture froze, and she looked terrified.
"A...Asset ready for maintenance." She said, pulling herself together. Steve frowned.
"The hell you aren't. Speak up, what is frightening you."
"Cold." Elaine simply said.
Steve looked at Bucky.
"Explain." He ordered.
"Assets are washed by their handlers with cold pressurized water." Bucky said, Steve frowned.
"Here, we shower with Nice, warm water." He said. "and you can wash yourself."
Natasha passed the hulk room on her way to the showers, and Steve called her in.
" Natasha, Will you show Elaine that showering here isn't traumatising, please?" Steve asked her. Natasha smiled at the two of Them.
"Of course." She took the young girl by the hand, Bucky immedeatly stepped forward growling at Natasha, Steve stopped him.
"It's okay buck, you'll see each other again. I promise you nothing Will happen to her. I Will go to the shower with you, and Natasha Will take Elaine because she's a woman. Okay?"
The winter soldier eyed his companion with worried eyes, But Elaine shoock her head almost invisibly.
"We need to obey the handlers." She whispered.
"We aren't your handlers. If the two of you want to shower together that's okay too." Steve told Them.
"Maintenance should be individual." Bucky said, again in that monotone voice.
"You have a choice here, you can choose." Steve told him.
"Ready for maintenance." Bucky repeated. Steve sighed and nodded.
"Okay Buck, come along."
"This way, miss Rogers." Natasha smiled, leading the way for Elaine. The girl looked at the winter soldier one last time, and he nodded. She swallowed and followed Natasha, who confidently led her to the showers for women.
"Is anyone going to talk about the fact Natasha just called the girl miss Rogers?" Bruce asked.
"Yeah, what's up with that. Steve?" Tony asked.
"Exactly what you think is up." Steve said softly, before leading Bucky out of the room as well. "she's my daughter."
Natasha quickly undressed herself and smiled at the girl, who seemed confused and shocked.
"You can speak, you know?" Natasha smiled."I can see you are confused, and i'd like to know why."
The girl's fingers twitched, the only sign she was nerveous, but Natasha was trained to notice such things.
"Relax, it's just us girls in here." Natasha came closer to the girl, who just lowered her gaze to the floor.
"Handlers aren't supposed to undress in front of the asset." The girl whispered.
"Does it make you uncomfortable?" Natasha asked. The girl shrugged and Natasha shrugged too.
"I need to shower too, so if you don't really care, i'm going to do that now."
She walked towards the large communal walk in shower, and turned on the tap. She held her hand under the water to gauge the temperature. She smiled as she heard the girl approaching slowly, and saw a hand appear next to her own.
She confidently stepped under the shower, showing the girl that it wouldnt hurt her.
She watched as the girl turned her hand and looked at the water in wonder.
"It's Nice right? Relaxes your muscles. Go ahead, try one yourself. It wont hurt and it won't be cold except for the first ten seconds." She told the girl, after which she started to wash herself. She noticed the girl undressing herself and getting under one of the sprays herself.
"You want some soap?" She extended a hand with the bottle to the girl, who took it. Natasha smiled and watched as the girl mimiced her movements, washing her body.
"Being clean feels good, right?" She smiled. The girl nodded and finished her shower, after which stood in front of Natasha, dripping wet, gaze lowered to the floor.
Natasha wrapped a big, warm towel around the girl. Smiling at her when the latter looked up in surprise.
"You're safe here. Now, let's get you some clothes."
Tony blinked in shock as he watched Steve leading Bucky out of the room. He couldn't quite get over the fact that Steve Grant Rogers, in his eyes virgin extraordinaire, was a father.
"Am I the only one who is shocked to discover that our Cap did not only did the do, but also conceived a child on top of that?"He asked.
"Hey, you didnt know about my kids until number five was on the way." Clint shrugged. "Keeping one kid a secret, especially when you think she's dead, isn't that hard. It must have been painful, but in caps eyes it was probably the best option."
"Clint is right." Thor said. "we need to respect captain Rogers choice of not telling us about his family. Right now, we should focus on helping our friend who is in need."
Tony nodded, they were right, he knew they were. Still, Steve was a part of their team, their own little family. Why hadnt he trusted Them enough to Tell them?
"I think Cap Will speak to us tonight." Bruce said. "we shouldn't judge him, his best friend and his daughter have just been rescued from Hydra and they don't seem to Remember who they are. He has enough on his mind right now. We need to support him, be there for him."
"You're right, all of you are right." Tony nodded. "I'm calling An Avengers meeting."
Meanwhile, Steve stood under the warm spray of the showers.
"Look, it's not gonna Hurt you, it feels Nice." He reached for the lavender scented soap, squeezing a liberal amouth on his hand to wash his body. Bucky sniffed in interest.
"I know you like lavender."he continued." You used to say it reminded you of me, because the only soap I could stand when I was sick was lavender. You Remember that?"
"I... Negative, Sir."
"No need to call me Sir, Buck. Call me Steve. " Steve chuckled.
"Steve?"the Asset seemed to think, as if the name was buried somewhere in his head.
"Yeah, Steve Grant Rogers. Your best pal." Steve said, carefully turning around so he was now fully facing the winter soldier.
"Cap... Captain Rogers... Captain America..."
"That's right, do you Remember anything Else?" The winter soldier shoock his head.
"That's okay. Why don't you come here and wash up?" Steve asked. Bucky cowered away from the stream, and Steve's heart fell.
"It's okay Buck. It isn't cold. It's Nice and warm." Steve said, starting to wash his hair in the hopes of tempting Bucky closer.
Soon enough, he heard the whirring of the mechanical arm close to him. So Bucky was curious.
The winter soldier placed his flesh hand under the stream of water, and then in Steve's hair, softly massaging it. Looking at the foam.
"It's shampoo. You want to wash your hair too?" Steve asked, Bucky slowly brought the hand of foam to his hair, and Steve smiled.
"Come here. Let me help you."
Natasha took Elaine to her appartement in the Stark Tower. She led the girl to her bedroom.
"Care to help me choose an outfit for you?" She asked, looking over her shoulder.
"The Handler Will decide which outfit is appropriate for the Asset." Elaine replied.
"Okaaayy... I'm going to pretend that that was tottaly not creepy."Natasha said. It enraged her that the girl apperantly was taught she didnt have any choice or opinion on her own. Who knows what those Hydra men told her was right!
She walked into her closet, grabbing skinny jeans and a sweater for herself. For Elaine, she opted for a skinny jeans, black tank top and checkered blouse. She also fetched both of them underwear.
"Here you go, I hope we have the same measurements, i'll take you shopping later." She said apologetically, handing the girl the clothes.
They both slowly dressed themselves, Elaine furiously wiped back her tigh long, blonde hair. Natasha smiled, that was something she could help with, and she was delighted to have some girl time, braiding Thor's hair wasn't the same as braiding a girl's.
"Let me help you with that."
Steve could barely contain the bubble of laughter as he saw Bucky massaging the foam into his own scalp.
"Come here." He laughed." Let me help you."
He was startled for a second when Bucky tensed, exhaled shakily, and then stepped under the shower with him, still in his chlothes.
"Asset ready for maintenance."
"I... I uh... I need you to undress..." Steve said awkwardly. Bucky kept his eyes on Steve and slowly removed every single piece of his battle gear.
"Good. Relax. It's okay. Feel that Nice and warm water? No more cold army showers for us, huh Buck?"
The winter soldier didnt reply, he just looked at the tiles and the stream of water coming down on Steve.
Steve silently Handed him the loofah and the soap.
"Here you go, buddy. Want me to wash your hair so you can get out quickly?" Steve asked, concerned that Bucky still didnt like it.
Bucky looked at Steve, and then nodded, almost invisibly. Steve smiled and went to stand behind Bucky, blushing a bit as he realised they were both Naked. He carefully massaged the shampoo in the long, Brown locks, and rinsed it. Following up by doing the same with the lavender scented conditioner. Bucky had closed his eyes, and Steve hoped that was a sign he felt relaxed with him.
"There you go...."
Natasha pushed the girl down on a chair, grabbing a Brush and carefully detangling the long, blonde locks. The girl kept a Poker face through this all, she didnt even wince once.
Natasha massaged some vitamin oil in the hair and started braiding it in a fishtail braid, the girl watching her every move.
"Tell me if i'm being too rough and Hurt you." She said.
"No injuries detected. No pain percentage." The girl replied.
"Good... That's good." Natasha said, quickly finishing the braid. After a few minutes, she smiled.
"Hey, want to try out some make up?"
Steve let the conditioner work it's magic while Bucky washed his body. Bucky then went to stand under the spray to remove all the soap and didnt step out of it until Steve said so, even though his muscles were tense.
"You can Tell us no, Buck. There Will be no more Hurt for you now." Steve said, as he Handed his friend a towel.
"No... Hurt..?" Bucky asked.
"No Hurt." Steve promised.
Steve brought Bucky some clothes and a brush, and when they both were dressed, he received a text from Tony, calling An Avengers meeting.
"Okay bud, let's go."
All eyes were on them as they entered the meeting room, Steve heard Bucky's mechanical arm whir nerveously while he eyed all the People in distrust.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the winter soldier." Tony announced, Bucky glared at the engineer, and Steve placed a soothing hand on Bucky's arm.
"Where are Natasha and Elaine?" He asked Tony. "I promised him he'd see her again."
"They Will be here any minute." Tony said."don't worry cap, she's safe with Nat."
At that moment, Bucky made a little sound, and Natasha and Elaine entered the meeting room. Steve couldn't keep his eyes of Elaine. She looked like a normal teenager, like his daughter...
"Elaine." He breathed, then he looked at nat.
"You did a great job on her." The bright red lipstick resembled the one Peggy always wore, she wore subtle eyeshadow, and her long lashes were curled. Elaine was a beauty.
"Easy, she didnt even put up a fight. I think she even enjoyed our girl time." Natasha smiled back. Steve could see a little tug of a smile on Elaine's face as well, but only because she was so like Peggy, and he knew Peggy like the back of his hand.
Tony coughed, making Steve break his gaze away from Elaine.
"I think I'll let Steve Tell you the rest..."
Steve looked up in astonishment:"Me?"
"Yeah, you. I think it's time you tell Them who the assets really are." Tony said, voice becoming soft and unsure at the end of the sentence.
"Okay..." Steve breathed deeply.
"As you all know, this is the winter soldier, but he's not only that. He's also sergeant James Buchanan Barnes. My best friend and member of the howling commando's. Also known as Bucky."
"Steve..." The winter soldier said, frowning.
"You want to say something? You Remember something?" Steve asked immedeatly, focussing on the man again.
"Negative. Assets shouldn't speak unless asked for mission Reports or specifically asked by their handler."
"There are no handlers here, if you want to say something, do it."Steve encouraged him, and Bucky took a step forward.
"Steve Grant Rogers, captain Rogers, captain America. Target priority number one, eliminate immedeatly when encountered. Threat level: high." Bucky said in monotone voice, But then he blinked."no threat, no Hurt. "
"No more Hurt. That's right. " Steve said. Bucky nodded, seemingly confused, taking a step back again.
"Bucky is also the Godfather of the girl standing next to him, her name is Elaine Rogers, and she's my daughter..."
The crowd gasped, not at all prepared for this revelation.
"Damn man, you have a kid?" Sam said.
"Yeah, Peggy and I, eh...." Steve shyly scratched the back of his neck. "The point is she was taken by Hydra, and she's here now. We want to try and see if we can get Them to Remember."
T'challa rose from his seat.
"My sister Shuri might be able to help Them with the advanced technology from wakanda, but i understand that you want to try it without surgery." He announced.
"That is so very kind of you, T'challa." Steve smiled."Tell your sister that we will keep her updated on the process and whether or not we'd like to accept her help. I'd rather not Mess with their heads like Hydra did."
T'challa nodded in understanding and sat back down again, and now Bruce rose.
"I already thought I noticed something familiar in the DNA of the girl." He smiled." Does Peggy know she's alive?"
"Peggy doesn't know yet. I want Them to rest a bit, first. I might take Elaine to see her mother tomorrow." Steve nodded."any other questions?"
Now Nick Fury rose.
"And where exactly are you planning to fucking keep them?"
"With me, where they belong."
Fury arched An eyebrow, But Steve wasn't in the mood for bickering.
Instead, he turned to Bucky and Elaine.
"Come, i'll show you your place to sleep. You must be exhausted." He said, and led them out of the meeting.
"The others Will come around soon enough." The captain said apogetically, looking at the two super human beings in his presence. They just stood there, silently, as if they were waiting for something. Steve opened the door to his apartment. The assets followed him in without saying anything.
Steve opened the door of the guest room for Elaine.
"There you go, young lady. A room all for yourself. " He smiled. Elaine looked at him, as if she didnt understand what he wanted her to do.
"Go to sleep Honey. " Steve smiled. "We'll talk tomorrow. " He tucked her in.
The girl's Blue eyes remained fixed on him, very much awake, and Steve smiled, sitting down on the Edge of the bed. He remembered a lullaby they used to sing Elaine when she was a kid, she almost always fell asleep instantly, he caressed her hair while singing.
"I see the moon
The moon sees me
God bless the moon
and God bless me
I see the stars
The stars see me
God bless the stars
and God bless me
I see the world.
The world sees me.
God bless the world,
And God bless me.
I know an angel
Watches over me.
God bless the angels,
And God bless me."
Elaine had closed her eyes and seemed to be asleep. Steve chose go see this as a good thing. That Elaine would let him come so near and still fall asleep, maybe it was because she remembered the lullaby, maybe because she trusted him. Either way, Steve was happy she was getting some rest.
"You're safe now, sweetheart."
Steve led Bucky to his own room.
"We used to sleep in the same tent. 'S the same as sleeping in the same bed right?" He said, perhaps a bit apogetically. Bucky didnt Respond.
"I'm sorry." Steve sighed." i'll make sure you have your own sleeping place as soon as possible. "
Bucky gave a short nod.
"The bathroom is over there if you want to change. I'm just going to sleep right away." Steve said, suddenly tired. He flopped down on the bed and sighed in contentement. He felt Bucky joining him not much later. It was weird, having someone in the same bed as him again, and it took some time for Steve to get used to it.
He turned around and smiled when he saw Bucky was fast asleep.
Without his Mask and in the relaxing hands of sleep there was no doubt about it, Steve thought, falling asleep, the winter soldier and Bucky were one person, and he had his best friend back.
Steve was woken up by Jarvis.
"Captain, I suggest you look after the Well being of your guest in the guest room.
"I will. Thanks J." Steve said, immedeatly getting up to check on Elaine. She was squirming in the bed, gasping and kicking as she obviously fought the things in her nightmare.
"Elaine. Shhh... Hey. I need you to wake up again. " Steve said, Kneeling down beside the bed. The Teenage girl , however, didnt seem to have any idea he was there.
Steve tried to wake her up in several ways, none of Them really succesful. It seemed the girl was a deep Sleeper.
He looked up when a shadow was casted upon the bed. He saw Bucky standing in the door frame, towering in all his height.
He had put the Mask back on, Steve noticed. Only his eyes were visible, and those were fixed on Elaine.
"Can you help her?" Steve asked, Bucky looked at him and wordlessly Came closer, looking at Steve as if asking for his permission to do something or to touch his daughter.
"If you can help, then do it." Steve said."please."
Bucky have a short nod and crawled onto the bed, pulling Elaine in his arms and slowing his breathing. His gaze rested on Steve again and Elaine slowly calmed down. Curling up against the broad chest of the soldier.
Bucky eyed her for a split second, then he looked up at Steve again.
"Thank you, Buck." Steve whispered, looking at the pair in wonder. Elaine had gripped two fistfulls of Bucky's shirt and was calmy asleep again.
"Does this happen Often?" Steve asked. Bucky hesitated for a moment, then gave a nod.
"Is it because of what Hydra did?"Steve asked. Bucky nodded again.
"And memories. "
Steve took a deep breath. Seeing him again must have done something to Elaine as Well, Bring back memories her traumatised mind had trouble to comprehend.
"You guys have been through a lot together didn't you?" He asked. Bucky just let out a sigh and settled into the bed with Elaine.
"That's okay. Get some rest. I'll see you guys in the morning. "
The morning didnt really went as smooth as Steve would have wanted. He was constantly checking his phone during his run to see if Jarvis had sent him An update about the two persons currently residing in his guest room.
He was a bit nerveous about bringing Elaine to see Peggy today, and Sam noticed his friend wasn't really acting like his usual self.
"Steve, what's up man?" He asked, when they stopped to take a sip of water.
"I'm okay Sam." Steve said, but Sam raised An eyebrow and Steve smiled.
"It's just. I'm taking Elaine to see Peggy today and I don't know if it's a good idea to do that already, But i want Them to see each other again... "
"Listen man, you can't know that before you're actually there, But you also know that peggy's time here is getting shorter. I think both your ladies would appreciate it if you just introduced Them to each other again." Sam advised him.
"Yeah, I think so too." Steve smiled."thanks man."
He patted Sam on the back, and they continued their run. Steve ran with renewed energy, eager to finish his laps and get back home, eager to see Bucky and Elaine again.
Steve quickly showered and started to make breakfast when he Came home
He smiled when Bucky stumbled into the kitchen. Still wearing his Mask.
"Good morning." Steve smiled." You hungry? I made you breakfast."
The brunette simply sat down and Steve Handed him a plate with omelette, bacon, croissants, donuts and bread.
"There you go."
The Asset started eating, looking at Steve who was eating as well. He kept eating when Steve stopped, not wanting to offend him by not finishing his plate.
His stomach, who wasn't used to having so much food in such little time, started acting up, But the Asset kept eating and feared the reaction of the blonde captain if he'd throw up.
"You okay bud?" Steve asked, obviously noticing how the brunette struggled. He quickly seemed to realise what was the problem."Buck. You can stop eating if you had enough all right?"
The Asset immediately dropped the cutlery , feeling relieved that he had gotten the permission to stop eating. He still could fight the nausea and not throw up now. Which wouldn't have been the case if he had kept on going for ten more seconds.
"Thank you, Sir." The Asset said. Steve frowned and the Asset got scared he'd done something wrong.
"Bucky, it's me, Steve. No need to call me Sir, and what makes you think i'd Force you to eat?"
The Asset lowered his gaze, feeling like he had dissapointed it's Handler.
"I'm sorry, Steve."
He got ready for the punishment he deserved by didobeying his Handler. Quietly getting on his knees.
"Bucky what are you doing?"
"Asset ready for discipline."
"What?! Bucky no... I'm not gonna Hurt you. Hey, you did nothing wrong." Steve quickly kneeled down in front of him. "God, what have they done to you?"
At that moment, Eliane entered the kitchen. She saw Bucky on his knees and backed away.
Oh great, now Steve had two fearful assets on his hands. "Elaine?" Steve asked, seeing the fear in Elaine's eyes.
"Asset ready for discipline. " Bucky repeated.
"I'm not gonna discipline you, Buck. You haven't done anything wrong." Steve said, the winter soldier frowned.
"When the Asset disobeys or upsets it's Handler, it should be disciplined." Elaine said, looking confused herself.
Bucky crawled closer to Steve, and Steve's eyes went wide as platters when Bucky suddenly kissed him.
He pulled away quickly, his hand lightly resting on Bucky's mouth.
He tensed when Bucky took his fingers into his mouth and swirled his tongue around them. Steve looked at Elaine for help.
"Elaine, explain this discipline routine to me." He said, he didnt understand a thing of it anymore.
"Every Handler has his own preferences. Some handlers believe in pain to discipline the assets, others Prefer to humiliate Them and let them pleasure Them, as the Male Asset is demonstrating right now."
"What?!" Steve went Pale. "have they done this to you too? The pleasing Them, I Mean."
"Negative. The female Asset isn't of age and thus not to be used for pleasure."
That was a weight off Steve's shoulders, his girl had been untouched in that way. But who knows how hard they'd beaten her. He still had a problem though, one in the form of a very determined winter soldier in front of him who was convinced he had done something wrong.
"No." Steve said sternly, as the winter soldier reached for his zipper. The Asset froze.
"Have you changed your mind? Would you rather discipline me with pain?" The brunette asked.
"I'm not going to Hurt you, no more Hurt, Remember?" Steve asked. The Asset nodded.
"Then you must want to discipline me by using me for your pleasure. " The soldier concluded.
"No I don't. I'd never take advantage of you." Steve cried out.
"I...I don't understand." The winter soldier frowned, it was like something short circuited in his brains, he started shaking, his left eye twitching.
"I suggest we let doctor Banner have a look at mr. Barnes while you and your daughter make your weekly visit to mrs. Carter."Jarvis' voice sounded.
"Not a bad idea. I'll strap Bucky up in the hulk room. Don't want Bruce to be surprised in the same way I was just now." Steve said, nodding.
"As you wish , captain Rogers. I'll inform doctor Banner "
Steve didnt like this new information one bit. Hydra was even more fucked up than he thought. He sighed and tried to shake it off as he led his daughter through the hallways of the elderly home.
"Knock Knock." Steve smiled as he opened the door.
"Oh, Stevie!" Peggy extended her arms, and Steve carefully hugged her.
"I brought someone with me." He told Peggy.
"Oh, delightful! Let them in. "
"Come on in, sweetheart." Steve said.
Elaine nerveously walked in.
"Sweetheart? You haven't called anyone that since..." Peggy's shaking hand flew to her mouth when she saw the Teenage girl.
"Elaine. Steve, you Found her!" She wrapped her arms around him, then faced the girl, eyes shining bright.
"Come here babygirl, let me hold you."she ushered. Elaine's brow was furrowed, as if she was thinking hard. As if she was trying to recognize the woman in front of her.
"Go ahead sweetheart, give your mom a hug." Steve encouraged her.
"Mom?" Elaine asked, Peggy nodded. Tears formed in both their eyes and Elaine went in to hug Peggy. She looked confused, like she couldn't believe she belonged there.
Peggy cried and kissed the Temple of the girl's head.
"Oh sweetheart. You look amazing, so grown up already. My sweet little babygirl. We've been looking everywhere for you, I knew we would eventually find you. Especially after your father was returned to us from the depths of the ocean."
Elaine seemed to stiffen and Steve frowned.
"Pegs, be carefull with her, she doesn't Remember much, we don't know how she might react to certain things." Steve said.
"Don't you lecture me on how to talk to our daughter Steven Grant Rogers." Peggy said, then she looked at Elaine with a Twinkle in her eyes.
"He's always been the protective mother hen..."
These words brought back flashes of memories in the female asset's mind. Steve pushing her on the swing, holding her hand as they walked on the beach. Holding her tight as she cried over her scraped knee. She remembered the woman who was holding her now, she heard the light voice of the woman chuckle that 'daddy is way to overprotective. You're a though girl, like Mommy.'
Elaine looked at Steve wide eyed, and carefully untangled herself from her mothers embrace.
"Elaine?" He asked, when her back hit a wall.
"Stop.... make it stop! Please..." She placed her hands against her head. She felt dizzy and couldn't breathe. Memories Came in with Force, washed over her, and she drowned.
She needed to get out, outside, fresh air. Yes, that sounded about right. Like exactly what she needed at this moment.
"Elaine?" Steve, no, it was dad, asked. Her mother was also looking at her with worries in her eyes.
"I... I... I need to go." And then she was Running. Out of the center, out of reach from Steve, who tried to come after her, but she was faster. Her head was spinning, she climbed the Building that was nearest to her and caught her breath for a minute, before continuing her journey over the rooftops.
Steve was besides himself from worrying when Elaine had dissapeared out of sight. He returned to Peggy, who was on the verge of crying.
"I scared her away..."
"No, Peggy. It's okay..." Steve tried to calm her, wrapped his arms around her, But the woman wasn't in any state to get calm again.
"I wanted too much from her. Who knows what might happen to her!" She panicked.
"Who's the mother hen now?" Steve smiled softly." Don't worry Pegs, I promise i'll find her again. "
"What has happened to her? She seemed so diffrent?" Peggy sniffed.
Steve hesitated, not sure if he should Tell the woman what had happened to their daughter. Peggy , however, knew her soldier Well enough to Tell he was keeping something from her.
"Speak up, Rogers."
"She was taken by Hydra. They made her An Asset." He sighed, in defeat. Peggy just started shaking and crying even louder. Steve knew he couldn't leave her like this.
He spent the rest of the morning trying to calm Peggy down, sighing when she had fallen asleep. He wrote a little note.
'going to look for her. Promise i'll Bring her back. Love, Steve. '
He put it neatly on the night stand and went outside, sighing. Where do you start to look for a Teenage girl assasin in a giant city like new York?
Meanwhile, Bruce was examining Bucky. The Asset looked at the doctor with narrowed eyes.
"Aint time for a wipe yet, doc." He murmured.
"A wipe?" Bruce asked.
"Yeah, you know. The chair."
"Tell me some more about it." Bruce demanded.
"All you white coats are the same. Pretending to help, testing my memory, and if I Remember too much you put me on the chair."
This interested Bruce, But he needed to win Bucky's trust if he wanted to know more.
"I won't. The most painful thing i'll do is take some blood for examination." He promised, doing his best to let the man see he meant those words with all his heart.
"No more Hurt. Like Steve promised." The Asset murmured.
"No more Hurt. That's a promise. "
Steve was pacing back and forth in the Stark Tower. He had been looking for Elaine most part of the day, then returning to see how Bruce had managed with Bucky. He wanted to know more about what Hydra had done to him.
The scientist had informed him the sergeant had told him something about a chair and a certain wiping process of memories. It must have been painful because the Asset had seemed very tensed up and Steve's heart clenched as he imagined the pain two of his favorite persons had been going through.
Steve nodded at bruce's explaination, carefully entering the room where Bucky was kept, still in bounds to be sure he wouldn't harm anyone. He signed Jarvis to release those.
"Hey there Buck. " He said. Bucky turned at him and looked at him expectatly.
"How are you feeling?" Steve asked.
"Not... Hurt..." he said cautiously, Steve couldn't help but smile.
"Good. That's good. No more Hurt. " Steve said.
"You promised. He promised too." Bucky said.
"That's right Bucky."
"Location of female Asset?" Bucky asked.
"Unknown." Steve said. "she Ran away."
Something that could pass for An amused scoff left the brunettes throat, he murmured something in another language.
"I hope she does return. " Steve said.
"P'tichka Will return. She won't leave me." But Steve saw the fear in his eyes.
"Of course not. You two Care about each other." He smiled.
The Male Asset nodded and frowned, also worried about the girl in his own way.
Steve made him take a warm bath, and went to stand in front of the floor to ceiling Windows in his living room. He looked at the moon in worry, completely lost in his thoughts.
"Oh Elaine. Where did you go?"
Peter was surprised when he saw someone standing in the rooftop he usually sat down at. The slender frame told Peter it was a girl, not much older than he was. Long hair was toyed with by the wind and seemed Silver in the moonlight, hands balled to fists.
"Hello?" Peter asked. The girl turned around in a split second, a gun pointed at Peter's face. He held up his hands.
"WoW, easy there. Not here to Hurt you." He said, the girl eyed him with An emotionless expression. Only her eyes were visible behind the Black Mask she was wearing. Her breathing slow and steady.
"Easy..." Peter repeated. The girl cocked her head.
"Identification?" She asked.
"Spiderman." Peter said.
"No threat." She decided, putting away the gun. She backed away, and sat down on the roof top.
"Who are you?"
"You know your name, right?"
"Your name is Hurt?"
She sighed, shoock her head, frowned.
"It hurts... To Remember."
Peter sat down next to her.
"That's the thing, right? Remembering things Hurt us sometimes, but isn't that worth it to Remember all the good things?"
The girl blinked a few times, she considered these words and eyed the boy sitting next to her.
"That's... An interesting way to see it."She said slowly. The brunette chuckled and smiled at her.
"Why are you wearing that mask?" He asked, extending a hand to remove it.
The girl backed away, got on her feet. Ready to run.
"Wait, at least Tell me your name. "
"Elaine." The girl felt her lips form a smile. Not that the boy would see it behind the mask.
"I'm peter." The boy said, the female Asset nodded, before jumping and dissapearing into the night.
------TWO DAYS LATER----
The Male Asset woke up by the sensation of being watched. Immedeatly, his senses were heightened, and he scanned the room. He indentified a girl standing in the shadows.
"P'tichka?" He whispered, coaxing her out of the corner with sweet talk in Russian. He sighed when the girl was finally safe in his arms again.
"We was worried about you, p'tichka. Don't do that to me ever again. I thought they had taken you again. Scared the new Handler too." He reprimanded her.
The female Asset snorted.
"New Handler. He's weird."
"I know, but... No more Hurt." The Male Asset said.
"Just ... Care..." the female Asset nodded. "feels weird."
"Steve." The Male Asset said slowly.
"Dad." The female asset frowned.
The Male Asset combed through the long hair of the girl and gently pulled her down with him.
"Rest now, p'tichka. No hurt, no harm."
And the female Asset closed her eyes, lulled to sleep by the whirring of the mechanical arm.
When Steve went to check on Bucky the next morning, he Found Elaine tucked in in the large bed. Bucky looking at the clothes in the wardrobe in wonder.
"Good morning Buck." Steve said, notifying the man of his presence.
"Steve." It was the only thing the winter soldier said.
"I see Elaine is back." Steve smiled. To his surprise, the winter soldier smiled too.
"P'tichka arrived this night. Woke me up." Winter informed him, and he seemed proud that it was him that Elaine had woken up, and not Steve.
"I'm happy she's back. " Steve said. "And it's good she has someone she can trust."
He felt it was important for the winter soldier to know that he wasn't angry that Elaine would choose him over Steve. After all, they had been through hydras horrors together. So it only made Sense the girl would rather go to the winter soldier than to Steve. At least for now.
The Male Asset busted with pride at the strong handler admitting a sort of defeat. His attention shifted towards the female Asset as soon as he sensed she was awake. The handler, Steve, had noticed it too
"Elaine, hey sweetheart. How are you doing? Where were you?" The handler ran towards the bed way to quickly, making the female Asset shuffle backwards. The Male Asset was by her side in a moment, growling at their handler instinctively, Teeth bared.
His eyes went wide when he realised this was the second time he had misbehaved. He braced himself for a punishment, surely the handler wouldn't let him get away with disobidience twice?
"It's okay Bucky, i'd never Hurt her."Steve said, carefully coming closer.
"Asset ready for discipline." Bucky said. To his great surprise, Steve simply smiled.
"No need for it. You were just trying to protect her from something you thought might harm her. It's called protective instincts, and it's natural. I shouldn't have moved that fast."
Was he aplogising right now? The asset couldn't quite wrap his head around it. Why would a Handler apologise to An Asset?
"Yeah? What's the matter Buck? Something you need to Tell me?"
"No Hurt." The blonde smiled, before looking at the female asset again. A stern look in his eyes. The Male Asset squirmed.
"Where were you? I was worried out of my mind, young lady!"
"Out." The female asset replied, a faint hint of a smile on her face. Oh no, she was challenging the Handler. This wasn't going to end Well. She'd get a wipe! Every part of the Male Asset screamed at her.
"Oh don't you use that sass on me, young lady, you could have get hurt, abducted, or worse!" Steve said, pointing at her and narrowing his eyes. Not noticing how tense the Male Asset was.
"No injuries detected. New aquintance made." The girl reported, and Steve blinked.
"You actually talked to someone?"
"That... That's good." Steve seemed to calm down again, and the Male Asset was shaking. She got away with it,for now.
"Who have you been talking to then?Steve smiled, he almost couldn't believe his girl had actually talked to someone. He wanted to encourage it.
"Peter..." The girl said, as she remembered the name.
"Oh, Well, Feel free to talk to the residents of the Tower too, i'm sure Natasha would love to show you the gym, and for you Buck, i'm sure Sam and Clint would love to show you the shooting range." Steve said.
Bucky's face lit up at that, as a former sniper he was delighted to hear about a shooting range.
"Shooting range? With Guns?" He asked.
"Yeah! I Mean I probably shouldn't Let you go down there unsupervised, but there is a shooting range that you'd enjoy."
The Asset couldn't stop a smile from forming on his face.
Steve chose a comfortable outfit for Bucky and Natasha brought down some chlothes for Elaine, promising she'd take the girl shopping the next day.
Breakfast passed in a Nice atmospshere and Steve was relieved that everything seemed to calm down already. Elaine left for the gym after dinner and Bucky helped Steve clean up.
"This Bucky..." the Asset started, frowning a bit. "Tell me about him."
"You want me to tell you about how you used to be?" Steve asked. The winter soldier nodded.
"Where do I start? We've always been best friends. You're the first friend I can Remember. You always protected me, getting in on fights i caused. When we were teenagers, you were quite the lady killer. Every female in the dance hall wanted your name on their dance card." Steve smiled. "I think I even have some pictures. Let me check "
Steve Found a picture book and smiled.
"Look. Here you are. We were seven years old and we're looking so guilty because you hit a boy a Black eye because he called me scrawny. Here we were ten, and we thought going on fishing trip with your dad was awesome. Little did we know how much Patience you need to have for that. And we didnt have any at all."
Steve smiled fondly at the pictures. Those were taken by his mum. Until the picture of Steve crying next to a hospital bed, Bucky's hand on his shoulder.
"That was the day my mom died and your family took me in. You took a job to support my expenses because i was ill so much."Steve said softly. The Asset placed a hand on Steve's shoulder.
"I...i'm sorry to hear that Steve. Your mom must have been such a kind person to raise such a kind man."
Steve smiled, covering Bucky's hand with his own.
"Your mom didnt do too bad either."
Bucky smiled and Steve patted him on the back.
"I'm here for you, okay? I know everything must be scary right now, but you're my best friend and it's you and me 'til the end of the line pal."
The brunette looked up to the blonde.
"Steve." He said, and the blonde looked so hopefull."I know I can't remember much, and neither does p'tichka, but we are grateful for what you do for us."
Steve smiled so wide, it was as if Bucky had just Handed him the formula to world peace.
"It's my pleasure, I'm just so happy to have you guys back with me." Steve said.
"I'm sorry I can't remember much of our friendship. You have been so kind and diffrent from the other handlers. Even if we've only been here for a week."
"It's okay Buck. It's not your fault. " Steve traced his fingers through Bucky's hair, the asset tensed up for a moment, but relaxed as Steve continued to gently comb through his hair.
"How are you guys feeling here after a week? How are you and Elaine holding up, is there something I can help you guys with?"
"I'm just... Confused." Bucky confessed, Steve nodded, wordlessly asking him to continue.
"The handlers, hydras handlers. They were all..." He shoock his head. Then he looked up Steve.
"You're diffrent, and it's weird. P'tichka and I don't know how to act around you, we don't know the rules, or what makes us deserve a punishment."
He stopped when he saw Steve's frown.
"You guys are scared of me?" It sounded hurt, and the Asset felt it going right through him. He felt the need to explain, to make Steve see what he meant.
"It's just. With hydra we knew what earned us a punishment, well, most of the time we did. Sometimes we got punished without knowing why, and you haven't punished us at all, even with completely innapropriate behaviour."
"Innapropriate behaviour? Okay, Elaine ran away, but other than that you guys have been so careful and afraid to do something wrong, which you never did."
Bucky frowned and began pacing.
"I disappointed you by not being able to finish my plate, I growled at you, p'tichka was offending you, and yet you never laid a hand on either one of us."
"Of course not. Why would I? You're supposed to be able to say no if you had enough, you growled at me to protect Elaine which is beautiful, and Elaine's a teenager, they are supposed to have secrets and rebel one time or another." Steve smiled, but the Asset felt even more confused.
"See! That's what i'm talking about. You're defending us, and it's confusing as heck!" The asset threw his hands up in the air, feeling wound up and weird. He felt Steve's hand on his shoulder, squeezing lightly and grounding him.
"You don't need to be scared of me. I won't punish you, ever. I swear. No more hurt, remember?"
Steve smiled at Bucky, who looked up at him and nodded.
"No more hurt." He repeated after Steve.
"And no more pusbishment. You're home, you're safe, you're with the people who love you." Steve assured his friend. He wished he could make his friend see that no one here would hurt him, that all the damage Hydra did to him could be undone. The former assasin looked him in the eyes and cocked his head, it almost looked comically.
"What about p'tichka?"
"She's my daughter. I'd give my life to protect her." Steve said earnestly. Bucky nodded, seemingly happy with this answer.
"P'tichka is special. She's been through a lot. I've seen her fight, I've seen her suffer. She's strong."
"Iknow, and I'm glad she had you to help her through everything. I... I just wished she'd trust me already." Steve sighed, dropping down on the couch again."I want to hold her and shield her from all harm. Finally be her father again."
The asset took pity on the man now sitting on the couch, and for a moment, the image of a scrawny blonde boy sitting in that exact same position flashed in front of his eyes. It seemed out of another lifetime.
"Give her time, Steve. She's not used to a handler like you. Even less to having a father, a family. P'tichka, she forgot how to trust, they wiped our memories." He clumsily tried to explain, maybe in an attempt to comfort Steve. The handler smiled lightly, seemingly happy that the Asset was talking to him, and the Asset felt relieved.
"I know... I just want to be there for her." Steve sighed, rubbing his face. The Asset sat down beside him.
"You're okay Steve." He awkwardly placed a hand on Steve's shoulder. He could feel the muscles under the shirt, the heat under that skin, he knew the blonde would be able to Hurt him if he really wanted to.
"Thank you, Buck. That means a lot to me. I'm glad we had this talk. I'm glad I have you back."
"Me too, and I feel like i'm getting myself back."
He hesitated for a moment:"say, Steve. Was there... Was there ever a time you weren't this muscular?"
Steve looked up and frowned, then nodded.
"Yeah, that must have been before project rebirth. Why?"
"I remembered, I saw you sitting on a couch and rubbing your face like you did just now." The Asset confessed, wanting to make the handler happy again. Steve's face lit up.
"That's amazing, Buck."
Natasha watched Elaine throwing knifes in the gym. Each knife hit with a deadly precision. The young girl moved on to the obstacle course, she moved gracefully, silent, deadly.
"Not bad." Natasha said, coming out of her hiding place, immedeatly, Elaine's attention was focussed on her.
"Want to train with me? I must warn you, I might hurt you."Natasha smiled.
"As you wish." The girl said, gracefully hopping off the construction she had been resting on.
Natasha smiled as they took their position.
"Okay girl, show me what you got."
The two deadly woman clashed in a tactile fight. Elaine grinned as she landed a punch in Natasha's lower stomach. The next moment, however, she found her feet swept from underneath her and landed on the ground.
"Ha!" Natasha held a tiny practice knife to her throat."beat you."
But Elaine wasn't done yet, in a swift motion, she turned their position and was on top of Natasha, holding her down.
"Who's beat who now , huh?" She grinned in Russian. They had a bit more hand tot hand combat and went to the showers together.
"Good match." Natasha answered the girl in Russian."you're a good fighter."
Elaine grinned and handed Natasha the soap.
"Hey, I was thinking we could go shopping tomorrow. Get you some chlothes and stuff you might need. Does that sound good to you?" Natasha asked, watching the girl.
"I suppose so." Elaine said, stepping out of the shower and wrapping a towel around her body and hair.
"What time did you want to leave?"
"Let's say around ten?"
"Sounds good. I'll let Steve, I mean dad, know."
When Steve returned home that night, he found the assets talking in Russian.
He frowned as Bucky looked at him and spoke to Elaine sternly, to which she snapped something back before turning on her heels and facing Steve.
"You guys okay?"the captain asked.
"In good health, properly nourished and clean." Bucky reported, nudging Elaine to say something.
"Steve ... I mean, dad." She said softly, glancing up to him through her eyelashes."agent Romanova asked my presence tomorrow in an activity called shopping..."
"I know," Steve smiled."so, you looking forward to having some girls time?"
Elaine blinked for a moment.
"You're not angry that another handler wants to work with me?"
Steve turned around from where he was facing the kitchen cabinet to fetch some spices for dinner.
"What? As long as you give your consent, of course not. Elaine, you get to make your own descicions, there are no handlers here. Of course I Will need to supervise you, being your dad and all, but you can go shopping with Natasha. Of course you can, sweetheart." Steve had walked towards her and before he realised he'd wrapped her into a hug. He quickly let go, not sure if Elaine was comfortable with that.
"I'm sorry. I should've asked if I could hug you..." He murmured, and it did something to the female Asset. Steve wanted so desperately for them to feel at ease, she smiled.
"It's okay ... Dad."
Steve couldn't help himself, when Elaine called him dad, the tears started coming and they wouldn't stop. He pulled the girl into his arms and kept her close to him.
"My darling girl." He kept whispering, combing through her hair. He forgot Bucky was in the room, his daughter had just called him dad again for the very first time and he was overjoyed.
"It's okay... Don't cry." Elaine's voice sounded, the girl had a worried frown on her face.
"I'm okay. Those are tears of happiness, it just means so much to me that you called me dad again."Steve said, smiling through his tears. Elaine smiled back shyly, still seemed a bit confused, but mostly happy that Steve was happy.
"Punk." Bucky muttered.
"What did you say there?" Steve asked.
"Punk. That's what I used to call you, Right?"the brunette seemed afraid again.
"That's right, Buck." Steve smiled even brighter, letting go of Elaine to hug Bucky, who to his great surprise clung to him for a moment, before backing away again, seemingly afraid. His hands against his head in a sign of distress.
"Buck?" Steve asked, but the soldier had dissapeared, fled to their room.
Elaine looked at Steve and then went after Bucky. She quickly scanned his favorite spots in the living quarters and quickly located him.
"Shtora." She said, when she found him. He looked up.
"Why did you run away?" She asked in Russian.
"I'm confused. I Can't explain." He murmured.
"I know how you feel, but we have each other." She took his hand.
"The handler, is he angry with me?"
"Of course he isn't. He is worried about you. He cares about us." She smiled, taking his hand. The female Asset now realised that her father and the Male Asset had a history together, and it was no wonder that her father brought up certain memories.
"It hurts, doesn't it? The memories."
"Yes..." Because what else could he say?
Steve wondered what had set Bucky off, he wanted to be there for his best friend, help him through whatever he was going through.
"Asset ready for discipline." When had the two entered the room again? He should stop zoning out, of maybe they should stop being so quiet.
"No discipline Buck, what happened there? What did I do wrong" Steve cupped Bucky's face with his hand and looked him in the eyes, looking for the answers. Bucky 's eyes briefly looked at the hand.
"Are you uncomfortable with touching? Is that what went wrong?" Steve asked."please Bucky. Tell me what went wrong."
The Male Asset looked at Steve, his handler. He knew he was supposed to notify him when something was wrong. He just didnt quite find the words to express himself, the problem that had arisen. But the hand of the captain was warm and heavy on his cheeck and Bucky lowered his gaze.
"I'm okay." He mumbled, because how was he going to explain what was going on in his head? The battle that gave him a headache? No, he needed to figure this out on his own, make himself safe for Elaine and Steve to be around
"Buck. You know you can Tell me anything. Right?" Steve asked, the Asset looked up again.
"No injuries detected." The Male asset repeated firmly, and the handler seemed to give in.
Steve realised he had lost the brunette again and sighed.
"Okay, just know you can talk to me." Then the alarm blared and Steve's head snapped up, ready to suit up and face the situation as captain America. He hadn't thought about how the alarm would affect his two guests.
The female Asset moved quick as lightning at the sound of the alarm, grabbing the sharpest knives from the kitchen and scanning the appartment for danger, the Male Asset was by her side in seconds, having Found the Butcher's knive and breathing silently.
Steve looked at the pair, they had moved so quickly, he hadn't even been able to stop them.
"It's okay. It's just an alarm that lets me know I need to go and fight. Everything is all right. You guys are safe." He tried to shush them.
"Yeah right." Bucky scoffed."aint An alarm for nothing, Sir. There must be something wrong and as your assets it is our responsibility to keep you safe."
Steve felt as if he was about to cry. It was he who needed to keep Them safe, and since when did Bucky call him Sir?
"Jarvis, situation." Steve demanded.
"It appears Loki is wreaking Havoc again, captain. Your assistance is required. " The AI answered.
"All right, I'm gonna suit up. Thanks J."
"My pleasure Sir."
Steve turned around to face Bucky and Elaine again.
"See, everything is all right. I'm going to suit up and stop Loki. Will you manage on your own?"
GUESS WHO GOT INSPIRATION BICHEZZZZ?
THERE IS SO MUCH ABOUT THIS STORY THAT I LOVE AND SO MANY IDEAS. I JUST HAVE TO CONNECT THEM, AND I'M CURRENTLY WORKING ON THAT.
The assets seemed to be confused.
"You don't want us to join the fight?"
"That's right. I want you guys to guard this compound." Steve said, the assets nodded.
"Can I get a gun for that?" Bucky asked. Steve scratched his head.
"Don't think I can get that done for you, buddy, I'm sorry."
He then dissapeared into the bedroom to suit up and when he walked into the living room he was almost thrown to the ground by Bucky.
The Male Asset called out to his female companion.
"Quick p'tichka, I got captain America. I told you that alarm wasn't for nothing."
The female Asset was at his side in moments, helping to keep the captain restrained.
"Bucky, Elaine. What is this? Stop this nonsense!" And wasn't that the voice of their handler?
Steve used the brief confusion of the two to get himself free and run for the Helicarrier. He mentally slapped himself. He should've known better than to walk in in his captain America suit. He should have known it'd only set Them off more.
They fought and captured Loki, who made threats to unleash all the chaos of the universe upon them.
"Yeah yeah, chaos and misschief, i'll kill you, surrender now. Blah blah blah." Tony sighed as he pushed Loki to Thor, who would take his brother to asgard
"Take him away Blondie. "
They watched as Thor dissapeared and Tony turned to Steve.
"You okay Cap? You seemed out of it." The genius asked.
"I'm fine. It's just. Bucky and Elaine, they didnt take the alarm and my suit that well."
Tony's face went soft and Compassionate.
"They giving you a hard time, huh?" He asked, Steve sighed.
"They Cant help it. It's hydra's fault."
"Iknow. I'm sorry Cap, if we can do anything to help you, let us know, yeah? You're not alone in this."
Peter meets Bucky! Also, protective! Bucky and Hurt! Peter and irondad spiderson
"Anytime Steve." Tony placed a hand on Steve's shoulder and gave him a reassuring smile.
"hey mr. Stark! Did you see me? I was like hello! Missed me? And then knocked that scepter right out of his hand!"
Tony smiled when he heard peter rambling enthusiastically. As the kid Came closer, however, he noticed there was a limp in his step. Immedeatly he Ran over to support Peter and help him to the Helicarrier to get checked up in the medical wing of Stark Tower.
Peter climbed onto the examination table and winced as his ankle and leg throbbed with pain now the adrenaline was gone. The doctor soon arrived and asked Peter to lie down on his stomach, feeling up the ankle and leg. Tony noticed Peter was getting jumpy about this, but the boy was probably just scared he wouldn't be able to be spider man anymore.
Then suddenly Peter flipped over and sat up Faster than Tony could register and webbed the doctor to the wall.
"Peter...?" Before Tony could continue expressing his astonishment, the boy had swung out the door and down the hallway.
Peter was blindly swinging through the Building, breathing heavily. Ending in one of the empty guest rooms and crawling into a corner, images and touches long supressed flooding his mind. He was trembling, and shakily aimed his web shooter at the door when it creaked open.
"Shhh, not here to harm you... I saw what happend...are you okay?" A soft voice, thick with Brooklyn accent, asked.
"S... Steve?" Peter asked.
"No, I'm bucky....Y'want me to get Stevie for ya?" A long haired brunette man Came in, and Peter's muscles locked when he saw how big the guy was. The man kept making sushing sounds, however, and made himself small, kneeling at a safe distance. Peter decided he wouldn't web this Bucky guy up, not yet.
"You can talk to me about it. Y'know."Bucky said, and Peter frowned.
"Ah, you're still in denial, then?"
"In denial about what?"
"The fact that you've been raped. I saw it in your eyes. I've been through it too kid... I recognise that look."
Peter's trembling got worse, and he started to sob, he heard Bucky come closer and felt two strong arms wrap around him.
"Shhh... It's okay. Let it out." Bucky was rubbing cirkles on his upper back and Peter gradually calmed down.
"I'm gonna pick you up, okay? Place you on the bed. Y'should get some sleep. I'll have Stark come to sit with you and deliver some fresh clothes for you." Bucky mumbled, Peter nodded, and grabbed Bucky's arm when he wanted to get up.
"Bucky... before you go...Tony... Mr. Stark. He doesn't know... About ... About the thing..." Peter blushed. Bucky blinked.
"Oh. Y'want me to stay with you? Ain't good to be alone with those kind of memories... Wouldn't want ya to hurt yourself." Peter nodded and Bucky sat back down on the bed as Peter's eyes got heavy. The Teenage boy fought sleep for a little while more, But quickly lost the battle. Bucky guarding him, as still as a statue
When Peter woke up, Bucky was still sitting there, silently watching over him.
"Good, you're up. Stark has been looking for you." Bucky said. Peter slowly blinked and frowned. There was something diffrent about Bucky.
"Is everything okay?" He asked.
" No injuries detected. Asset able to function properly." Bucky reported.
"Asset??" Peter frowned. He noticed that Bucky's eyes were diffrent, void of any emotion, instead of the Hurt and fear he had seen yesterday.
"Bucky, you know you can talk to me too, right?" Peter asked. The older brunette nodded and left the room, only to return with Tony not much later.
"Pete, hey what happend there, buddy? Tin can over here told me you were asleep and needed fresh clothes." Tony said. Peter smiled half-heartedly and sighed when Bucky left the room.
"I... I need to Tell you something, Tony. " he whispered." Can I trust you with a secret?"
Tony frowned in worries.
"Of course, underoos. What is it?" He went to sit down next to Peter.
"I... I panicked yesterday... Because of something I've been pushing away a long time..." Peter said softly, he felt Tony take his hand to support him. Peter exhaled shakily.
"When I was six, I was raped..."
"What!? By who?"Tony's grip tightened and Peter looked at his feet.
"God, Pete. I'm so sorry, why didn't you tell me earlier?" Tony asked.
"By a babysit I had back then. I didn't Tell anyone until now. I didn't know how." Peter said softly." It's because Bucky recognised the look in my eyes, he has been through the same, with hydra I suppose."
"Yeah, Barnes has been through hell and back, and Steve is working hard on him." Tony sighed.
"I know. He was diffrent, yesterday. Today he's acting weird. There's something diffrent in his eyes too." Peter frowned.
"Yeah, he still has a long way to go."
Tony held Peter close after his confession, his kid, raped...
He exhaled shakily.
"I could sue Them, y'know? The babysit. If you just give me a name." Tony said softly.
"No, it won't change anything." Peter sighed. "and I don't want May to know, she'll probably feel guilty and all. I don't want her to suffer from this, too."
"Please mr. Stark, you can't Tell her. You promised!"
Tony sighed and rectulantly gave in.
"All right kid, I won't Tell her."
Tony waited for Peter to finish his shower and took him downstairs for breakfast. Peter froze when he saw the familiar, long, blonde hair.
The girl froze in her steps, she turned around and looked at the boy in shock and wonder. She seemed to search for his name, when he suddenly saw that Twinkle of recognition in her eyes.
"Peter." It was spoken softly, amused. Peter smiled brightly, happy that she had Remembered his name from their brief encounter.
"Fancy seeing you here."
Really, in front of the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen, that was the best he could come up with?
"I live here."
"You live here? How?" Peter was intrigued. Elaine just went back to poker face.
"Classified." She seemed to be closed down all over again.
"You don't have to tell me anything you don't want." He assured her, trying to continue the conversation.
"Elaine, there you are." Captain America Came into vieuw.
"Hello mister Rogers." Peter smiled.
"Mr. Parker." Steve smiled back."I see you've met my daughter."
"Your daughter?" Peter's jaw dropped, Steve chuckled.
"Yeah." Steve smiled, before wrapping An arm around Elaine in a protective way." Come on sweetheart, let's get you back to the apartment. "
"Okay." The girl said softly."bye Peter."
"Yeah, see you around." Peter said breathlessly.
He heard Tony chuckle.
"Looks like someone has a teeny tiny crush on the captain's daughter." He teased.
"I don't know much about her." Peter blushed."But she's the most beautiful and intriguing girl I've ever met."
"Ahw kiddo. That's adorable." Tony smiled. "Does she know?"
"No, we've only seen each other twice,and she's out of my league anyway." Peter sighed, lowering his gaze and playing with the hem of his shirt.
"Don't you talk like that, you're Peter Parker, you're spider man! You're super smart!" Tony said, placing a hand on Peters shoulder."she'd be a fool not to be at least flattered."
Peter smiled at Tony.
"You think so, mr. Stark?"
"Yeah, you're great. I don't get why the girls aren't lining up for you yet." Tony smiled.
"G... Girls don't really notice me, mr. Stark. 'M not the most popular guy." Peter blushed.
"You don't have to be. You're amazing, Pete. Don't let them get you down." Tony smiled and patted Peter on the back.
"I should go back. Aunt May is probably waiting for me. Wondering why I didnt come home last night."
"All right kid. See you later!" Tony smiled and carefully hugged Peter. The teenage boy was surprised for a few seconds, before hugging back.
Meanwhile, Steve was planning a little excursion for him and Bucky. They'd go to Brooklyn together, see all the places they got into trouble together. Visit the apartment they lived in together.
"Steve?" Bucky came shuffeling out of the bedroom.
"Hey there Buck. What's up?" He smiled.
"Will you... Maybe... Shooting range with me?" The man seemed nerveous about asking Steve." You said I couldn't go alone."
"Of course i'll go with you."Steve smiled, standing up from the couch and walking down with Bucky.
He watched as Bucky lived up with a gun in his hands. He was ever the sniper, and no bullet missed it's target. Then all of the sudden, Bucky shot the vents, making Steve Jump up, until he heard a very familiar voice swear.
"Shouldn't try to creep up on me." Bucky grumbled with a small smile when Clint showed his face and angrily yelled a "what the fuck man?"
Steve couldn't contain his laughter anymore, that was his Bucky, right there.
They returned to the apartment and Steve cooked his famous macaroni and cheese. He was happy both Elaine and Bucky seemed to have a good day today, and he hoped for another one tomorrow.
"Steve. We were in a team, right?" Bucky asked. Steve nodded.
"That's right. We were the howling commando's."
"I read about Them in a museum." Bucky said."I was good with a gun, wasn't I?"
"You certainly were, still are." Steve smiled. "You are what they call a sniper, you never miss your target. It's crazy!"
Bucky smiled and looked at his plate, long locks hiding his blush.
The evening was cosy and very nice, everything went without a hitch. Steve smiled as he stepped out of the shower, he'd asked Bucky if he wanted to join him tomorrow and Bucky had seemed amused by Steve's idea of An excursion.
Steve stopped mid-stretch when he saw Bucky sitting on his bed.
"Okay?" Bucky asked.
"Yeah, sure." Steve nodded, slipping under the covers and waiting for Bucky to do the same. Bucky quickly caught on and scooted close to Steve in his Cocoon of Blankets.
"Brooklyn, tomorrow. "
"Yes. I'll wake you up."
The brunette nodded at these words.
Steve woke up early the next morning, as usual. There was something unusual this morning, however.
A metal hand was placed on his chest, right over the place his heart was, and a head full of brown locks rested in the crook of his neck. Steve felt peacefull and well rested, he had had a dreamless sleep for once, and it had been a while since he had woken up with Bucky this close to him.
He took the time to admire Bucky like this, all relaxed and without a hint of tightness caused by stress he had when he was awake. Steve's full bladder insisted he'd leave the bed, though, so Bucky would have to be woken up.
"Bucky... Hey... Buck. Good morning buddy. How are you feeling today?" Steve smiled, combing through the hairs of the man on his chest and gently waking up Bucky.
"Grmbl. Stop moving and lemmesleep, you damn early bird." The hand on his chest pushed him back down.
"I need to pee, Buck. I have to get up."
The brunette sighed and hesitantly let go of Steve, so he could leave for the bathroom.
Steve slipped out of bed and used the bathroom, only to discover a sleeping Bucky Barnes stretched out in the Middle of his bed when he returned. He smiled and grabbed his scetchbook, quickly making a rough Draft of the peacefully sleeping man.
He decided to wake Bucky up when his stomach grumbled, this time luring the man out of bed with the promise of bacon and Blueberry pancakes.
After breakfast (and a note for Elaine to eat the rest of the Blueberry pancakes before she went shopping with Natasha) they left for Brooklyn.
They stepped out of the subway (which had astonished Bucky to no end) and walked into the frisky autnum air.
"We used to go to school in this neighbourhood." Steve smiled, looking at Bucky, who silently took it all in. They walked towards the place their school used to be, it was still the same, old brick Building.
"I Remember the teacher was old. Wished we had a pretty doll in front of the class." Bucky murmured, which made Steve laugh. They continued the route they used to follow home after school, and Bucky suddenly stopped.
"Yeah?" Steve asked cautiously, he didn't want to get his hopes up too much.
"This is where I first came to rescue you, ainnit?"
"Yes ... You're completely right."
"I took your hand and we ran away like that." Bucky's fingers entertwined with Steve's, Steve let him.They walked hand in hand, both pointing and telling each other stories about things they remembered. Bucky smiled every time Steve animatedly told a story about them as kids.
They stopped at the candy store they loved as kids, went to the bakery their mothers always took them to, Steve had the whole thing planned out. Their last stop was the appartement they once shared. Steve had gotten the permission of the owner of the building to visit the apartment, he hadn't dared Rent it out because it used to be captain America's apartment, so everything was as it used to be.
Steve opened the creaking door and Bucky 's eyes went wide.
"Did we used to live here?"Bucky frowned as the memories seeped in again.
"Sure did, Buck." Steve smiled. Bucky entered the appartment and went on to investigate. He ended up in the bedroom, and Steve followed him.
"This was our bed. We kept each other warm during the cold winters. You were sick so often..." Bucky shoock his head. "Was always scared ya wouldn't make it through the night."
"You Remember?" Steve asked, voice small.
"Yeah punk, and I also Remember what I wanted every time we laid cuddled up like that."
"What's that, then, Buck?" Steve asked. Not at all prepared for the strong arms pulling him close and the soft , warm lips on his.
Steve was surprised, to say the least. He froze for a moment,before his arms found their way around Bucky's hips and he kissed back for a moment.
Then, his mind started up again.
'OH MY GOD BUCKY IS KISSING ME.'
'Wait, isn't it the asset punishing himself?'
'but he wanted it! He told me so!'
'maybe that's how he was programmed to think and you're abusing him now.'
'no, i'd never want to abuse Bucky. And he initiated it.'
'so did the asset.'
Steve broke the kiss, flushing red and searching for breath.
"Oh... My ... God..." He breathed. Bucky just smirked and looked all smug.
"You still able to talk? Must not have kissed you enough then, punk." Bucky grinned, and oh yeah this was his Bucky. Still, Steve was panicking inside.
"Buck, I don't want to use you."
"They used to punish the winter soldier by using him for..."
"Oh..." Bucky frowned."But you're not doing that to me, Steve. I wanted to kiss you."
"Do you though, or is that the winter soldier afraid of doing something wrong and trying to punish himself?"
"No, Buck. I... I... I need to think about this."
"Okay. I waited almost 100 years for you, what's a few days, months or maybe a year on that?" Bucky pecked Steve on the forehead. "i'll wait for you, Steve."
Steve nodded, his mind was spinning, he went to sit down on the bed for a moment.
"I love you, always have and always will." Bucky said, and that made Steve smile.
"I love you too, Buck, more than you know."
"And that's all I need to know for now." Bucky smiled. Steve smiled and hugged Bucky.
They walked through the appartement one more time, hand in hand, and Bucky smiled.
"We should buy it. It's ours, full of memories."
"I don't have the money." Steve sighed.
"I'm sure Stark would buy it for you in An instant."
"He actually offered me before, but it was just too full of memories back then, without you ... It just hurted."
"You're a big sap, you know that?"
"Think Stark's offer still stands? This is the only place that feels like home." Bucky said, taking one last look through the appartement.
"Who knows." Steve smiled."why don't we go ask him?"
While Steve and Bucky were discovering Brooklyn, Elaine was out shopping with Natasha. They had just gotten some Starbucks coffee and were roaming the shopping street.
"See any stores you want to go to?" Natasha asked, Elaine looked around and shrugged.
"Okay. We should maybe get you your own bra's. Some that are made for your fitting form and cup size." Natasha decided, pulling Elaine towards a lingerie store.
Elaine's eyes darted nerveously to Natasha when the store worker asked her to remove her clothes so she could measure her.
"It's okay, Elaine. They won't hurt you." She reassured the girl, whose eyes were big and scared. Her breathing was ragged and Natasha saw her hands shaking as she removed her jacket.
"Shhh... I'm with you. I got you..."She promised the girl. When the shop assistant touched Elaine, however , Natasha felt the girl slipping back into Asset mode.
"Elaine?" Natasha pushed the shop assistant behind her and went to stand in front of the girl.
"Elaine, look at me." Natasha demanded. The girl seemed to snap back into reality for a moment, only to shriek and slide down by wall, pulling her hair and whimpering.
"Elaine?" The girl kept wheezing and Natasha sent the shop assistant out.
"Elaine. It's just you and me. Hey..." Natasha tried. The girl only crawled further into a corner, and Natasha decided she needed help. She swiftly called Peter, who she knew was in town with his friends. The Teenage boy arrived not even ten minutes later and Natasha pulled him into the changing cabin.
"Elaine..." He breathed, and the girl's head snapped up, before she threw himself into the boy's arms.
"Peter... She... And ... Clothes and..." Elaine tried.
"It's okay. We're gonna get you outside, okay? Gonna get you home if you want to." Peter sushed her, voice soft as silk, rubbing soothing circles over the girl's back. "You don't have to do anything you don't feel comfortable with. "
"Everything okay in there?" The shop assistant, who had returned, asked.
"We're getting there, she's almost calm again." Natasha replied."I don't think bra fitting will be for today though."
Natasha swiftly ordered some bra's online for Elaine to fit in the privacy of her room.
"Pete, take her outside. "
Peter nodded and talked soothingly to Elaine while walking her out of the lingerie store.
"What a luck you have." A girl sighed when she saw Elaine. "your boyfriend dares to go inside the lingerie store with you, mine only likes to go into game stores."
Peter was as red as a tomatoe and Elaine gave the girl a puzzled look as she waved at Them and dissapeared into the store and hugged Peter again. Natasha smiled at the sight of the two teenagers, calling peter in had been a good idea.
She walked up to them.
"Hey there, feeling a bit better? Do you want to go home?" She asked Elaine.
"Want to stay with Peter." The girl said, grabbing a fist full of the boy's jacket and desperately whispering "Please don't leave."to him.
Peter couldn't believe the way the girl clung to him, not that he minded, though. He hugged the girl close.
"Don't worry. I'm not going anywhere. " He promised her. They stood there for a minute, until Elaine was calm again.
"Hey, do you maybe wanna go Grab a hotdog or something?"Peter grinned, once she let go of him. Blushing and looking at her feet in what seemed to be a bashful way.
"Sounds good." Elaine nodded. Natasha followed them from a distance, smug smile on her lips. It obviously did Elaine good to have someone of her own age around, and Peter was an absolute delightful kid. He even made Elaine laugh with his clumsy charm. They drove to the compound in good spirits again, Elaine constantly expressing her amazement over the donut Peter had bought her. Natasha smiled again, defenitly a good choice.
Elaine watched Peter work in the lab, he had decided he would stay the night at the compound and had even called his aunt. Elaine knew her father and the Male Asset were upstairs, but she didnt want to join them just yet. The peaceful quiet as Peter worked eased her too.
"Hey, wanna have some pizza?" Peter broke the silence.
"Sounds good kid." Both teens turned around and Elaine jumped to her feet.
"No need to flee, Elaine." Tony, who had just entered the lab, smiled at her. The Teenage girl shoock her head.
"They're probably wondering where I am anyway." With these words she fled the lab, up to Steve's floor.
They had taco's for dinner, although Elaine didnt eat much because of the hotdog and the donut Peter had bought her. Just thinking about him made her feel ... Peculiar... Inside. She hoped Peter saw her as a friend too, she liked having him around. He wasn't as threatening as the adults. Hydra had all been adults.
They all retreated early that night and fell asleep quickly, tired from the day's impressions.
Steve felt as if he was floating, he felt so good. He was encircled in warmth and everything felt soft. He felt a strong hand gripping his bicep and looked down, and there was Bucky, crying...
While Steve was balls deep in him...
Steve immediately pulled out and sat back. He reached out to comfort his friend, but Bucky flinched and curled up.
"Don't touch me!" He cried.
"Buck. Oh god. I'm sorry. I'd never..." He pulled his hair."this was why I wanted to take it slow. I'd never want to hurt you! You know that right? Please Buck..."
He jolted awake, wheezing and cheecks stained with tears. "Stevie?" A sleepy Bucky placed his hand on Steve's arm, and Steve nearly tumbled out of bed trying to get away from the touch. Bucky frowned.
"Steve, we're okay. Breathe..."
Steve shoock his head and bolted out of the room. He couldn't believe what he did in that dream, and Bucky's tears had seemed so real... he'd never get that image out of his head again.
He swore to himself to never let it get that far. Bucky had been raped, for f**ks sake, and Steve would make sure he'd have someone help him with that trauma before they'd go any further. Bucky would wait for Steve, he'd said so himself. Then he would understand that Steve wanted him to get better and feel more like his old self again before they could go any further.
Steve settled on the couch and rubbed his hands through his face. He shouldn't have let Bucky kiss him, never given Bucky hope. Of course, Steve loved him, but they should focus on getting Bucky healthy again, not a relationship. And Steve wad still officially together with Peggy, who was the mother of his child.
"Steve, won't you come back to bed?" A groggy Bucky appeared in the door frame.
"No, i'm fine, Buck. Go back to sleep." Steve smiled.
"Okay." The assasin gave him a look"You're forgetting one thing, though."
"I know my Stevie better than anyone, and right know, I know you're lying."
Steve sighed and watched as Bucky turned around and went back to bed, then his phone buzzed.
'She's not doing well, might be over soon."
Steve started shaking and rushed to dress himself. He needed to see Peggy one last time,he briefly considered waking Elaine and aking her with him, but it would probably only make the both of his ladies upset.
Not even half An hour later, he was tearing through the night on his motorcycle. He arrived at the elderly home soon and stepped inside, going straight for Peggy's room.
"Hey Pegs, i'm here." he whispered, taking her hand."I'm here, you're not alone.
To his surprise, Peggy's eyes opened.
"Hey there soldier..."
Steve smiled:" they called me. I Came as fast as i could."
"That's great." Peggy smiled shakily."listen Steve. You have Elaine and Bucky back, don't go losing them again after i'm gone, okay?"
She coughed, and Steve gently guided her to sitting position.
"I have something... For Elaine..."
Peggy undid her bracelet with shaking hand and Handed it to Steve.
"Tell her it's a little gift from her mother, something to Remember me by... And please tell her I love her."
"I will, Peggy, don't worry." Steve kissed Peggy's temple, and she smiled.
"Now, don't go all celibatary after i'm gone, all right? You deserve love, Steve. You deserve happiness, live your life and don't let anyone Tell you how to live it."
Steve went still, it was as if Peggy could see the struggle in his mind.
"And if you love someone, Tell Them."
Meanwhile, Bucky roamed the dark compound.He had heard Steve leave and took it upon him to make sure everything was safe and everyone was asleep. Heavy metal music led him towards the lab, where Peter and Tony were still working. He entered without saying a word.
"Is a bit late to still be working. Innit?" He smiled, when friday stopped the music. Tony and Peter seemed totally baffled and confused.
"It's almost three at night, kid's got school tomorrow, and you could use some sleep too, Stark."
Tony wiped his hands and eyed Bucky.
"Shouldn't you be sleeping next to capsicle?" He asked. Bucky shrugged.
"Steve left the compound half An hour ago. Think he had a nightmare, didnt want to talk about it, though."
"And so you decided to roam the hallways like a Ghost and come send us to bed." Tony lifted An eyebrow.
"Are you always that bratty?" Bucky asked
"It's called sassy, and yes."
Bucky couldn't help a smile.
"Huh, might become interesting. I guess you and Steve clash a lot huh? Both stubborn."
"Yeah, we do." Tony's face lit up in a fond smile, giving away how much he valued the friendship of the captain.
"Look Stark, you're An adult. I Cant Force you to go to sleep, But peter is still a kid, he needs to sleep." Bucky walked towards Peter, gently helping him up."i'm gonna put him to bed."
Peter went willingly, his fatigue catching up with him. Bucky smiled and made sure the boy was safely Tucked into bed.
"Hey Bucky?" Peter watched him with sleepy eyes.
"Do you... Are you still scared sometimes? When People touch you? Because of the... Thing?" The boy blushed and looked away. Bucky sat down next to him.
"You should call it by it's name, don't let it have such Power over you, But yes. I do get scared sometimes. That's why I stick close to Stevie."
Peter nodded, and fumbled with the covers.
"I told mr Stark." He whispered
"Hey. That's great, kid. " Bucky smiled. "how did he take it?"
"He... He was kind and understanding. As he always is. He's such a great man." Peter sighed."he hugged me, and he wanted to sue the babysit who did it."
"That is a generous offer, he wants to fight for you." Bucky smiled.
"Of course I do, tin can, he's my kid."
Tony waltzed into the room in his silk pyjama's and sat down next to Peter.
"You're my kid, Pete, I know I call you that a lot, but that's because you're like my own son." Tony smiled. Peter 's eyes went wide.
"Are you serious?" He breathed.
"Honest as can be." Tony promised, and the two hugged.
"Yeah, i'm out of here." Bucky mumbled, silently slipping out of the room. Tony and Peter would fall asleep eventually, without Bucky's help.
Elaine watched as Peter left the compound to go to school the next morning. Some part of her wished she could join him, but the asset was still somewhere inside her, and she could come up at any moment. She liked seeing Peter around in the compound, just knowing someone who was around her age had a very calming effect on her.
"Hey sweetheart, what are you looking at?" Her father entered their apartment, he looked down and his eyes were red, as if he had cried.
"Peter, he's going to school."
"And you wish you could join him." Steve understood.
"You know it's too dangerous. I'd love to see you go to school, even though you'd be surrounded by boys..." He said with a teasing smile. Elaine smiled and shoved him playfully.
"You're my little princess, I don't want you to get Involved with boys too quickly."
"Peter is nice, though. We've talked."
"Peter? Tony's Peter? He's the one you met while you ran away? I already thought I saw the two of you enter the compound yesterday."
"Yeah. I Remember him very easily." Elaine smiled."he bought me a hotdog and a donut yesterday, after he calmed me down. He's a friend, just like you."
Steve noticed the affection and longing in her voice, though. Elaine was starting to feel more for the boy, and Steve couldn't let that happen.
"Elaine, I don't want you to see him anymore." He said sternly. As much as he liked Peter, the boy was also a superhero, which meant he was at high risk a lot. He didn't want Elaine to suffer from the loss of another loved one. She had just lost her mother, although he still had to find a way to tell her that, and who knew how long Steve would live on. Things went so fast these days, before you know there would be a supervillain who would be able to kill Steve Faster than his enhanced healing would heal him, and Elaine and Bucky would be alone.
"Stop seeing him." He repeated." I'll Tell Tony to have Peter stay away from you."
Elaine's jaw dropped.
"Da! That's not fair!"
Steve squared his shoulder, taking his authorative captain America Stance.
"I'm your father. I only want what's best for you."
"No, you just want what keeps me close to you, but guess what? I only had shtora for years, I don't need you and I pretty much hate you right now!" She stormed off to her room, slamming the door so hard that Bucky woke up from it, only to find Steve crying on the floor.
Steve looked up when he heard footsteps.
"Oh hey Buck." He sniffled, quickly wiping away his tears.
"Steve? What happened?" Bucky tried to hug Steve, but all Steve could hear or see was Bucky sobbing and pleading him to not touch him, he crawled away. Bucky grabbed a hold of him, though, and hugged him close anyway.
"What happened?" Bucky repeated, Steve shoock his head.
"I'll be fine, Buck. Don't you worry about me."
"God damn it, Stevie. Stop being all jumpy and stubborn and let me take care of you! It's been too long of you takin' care of me, why can't you just let it be like old times for a minute or two and Tell me what's going on."Bucky huffed, hoisting Steve up and leading him to the couch. Steve just pushed weakly against Bucky.
"I'm trying not to touch you because I don't want to hurt you and I don't know, I fought with Elaine and Peggy passed away during the night ..." Steve started crying and he hated himself for it. Hated that Bucky was comforting him while he had more reasons to break down than Steve had.
"Peggy passed away?" Bucky asked softly , Steve nodded, not trusting his voice.
"Does Elaine know?"
"Not yet... I just returned and saw her looking out of the window, we talked and we fought "
Bucky sighed, and Steve could guess what he was thinking. Steve had made a Mess again, and now Bucky was figuring out a way to help him clean it up.
" All right. Here's our plan. I'm gonna talk to your girl, you're gonna take a shower and eat something, and then hopefully we can work this out." Bucky said in a soft voice. The same voice that had comforted Steve Often when he was sick, and he gave in.
After Bucky had sent Steve to the shower, he felt weird. The constant battle in his head was back and it hurted. He didnt know how to describe it. It was as if there were three versions of him: Bucky, the kid from Brooklyn who wanted nothing more than take care of his Stevie. Then the winter soldier, a murderer, hydra's Asset, whose mission it was to kill Steve.
And then there was James, who was something in between, but had An affection for a certain Hydra officer instead of Steve.
They were fighting for dominance in his head, and for now, the Asset won. He needed to take Care of p'tichka. He gently tapped his fingers against the door before opening it. The girl was seated on the bed, looking up as he entered.
"Let me guess, Da sent you." She said, crossing her arms. The asset chuckled. Every day, his p'tichka was acting more and more like a real teenager.
"Not really. What happened out there?" He asked, while sitting down next to the girl.
"He forbid me to see a friend. Without any reason." Elaine huffed. She was angry, he could feel it.
"A friend, huh?" He smiled.
"Yeah. He's helped me." She said hesitantly.
"It's okay if you don't want to tell me more, p'tichka, it's okay to have secrets." The male Asset assured her. The Teenage girl nodded and happily shut up.
"Look, p'tichka, your father has had a rough night. He's had a nightmare, and then he rushed to your mother, who passed away during the night. He's a bit emotional, he might change his mind about that friend later."
Elaine looked up, a pang of guilt shot through her at the thought that her father was alone with his grief right now. She had told him she hated him, while he probably already felt like shit.
"My mother passed away?" Her voice was tight, and the male asset tried to comfort her.
"Unfortunately, I wanted to wake you up, but I didn't want to trigger you." Steve was standing in the doorway. "She wanted you to have this, though. She loves you very much, Elaine, as do I. I hope you know that."
The blonde cautiously approached the bed and handed the bracelet to Elaine, who made eye contact with Bucky. The brunette silently helped her to put the bracelet on.
"Why didn't you tell me immediately?" Elaine looked at Steve.
"You looked so happy, looking at Peter." Steve sighed. "I didn't want to ruin that."
"Then why would you forbid me to see him?"
Steve sighed:"Because there are things you don't know yet, and it's not my place to tell you. I just want you to be safe."
Elaine huffed:"I was hydra's toy for years, Da, I'm used to not being safe. It's not like Peter is a supervillain."
The look on her father's face told Elaine enough.
"He is enhanced, though, isn't he? And if he's not a villain, then he's a hero!" Elaine gasped, putting the pieces together.
"Identification?" She asked, feeling the comfortable weight of the gun in her hand.
"Spiderman." the young boy said, he didn't seem to have intentionally intruted.
"No threat." She decided, putting away the gun. She backed away, and sat down on the rooftop.
"Who are you?"
"Not important." he couldn't share her name with just anybody.
"You know your name, right?"
"Hurt" she just said, being used to the male asset who got her by just one word replies.
"Your name is Hurt?" the boy asked.
She sighed, shook her head, frowned. Looked for words.
"It hurts... To Remember."
Spiderman sat down next to her.
"That's the thing, right? Remembering things Hurt us sometimes, but isn't that worth it to Remember all the good things?"
The girl blinked a few times, she considered these words and eyed the boy sitting next to her. He was wise, and she could tell he had had his fair share of misery.
"That's... An interesting way to see it."She said slowly. The brunette chuckled and smiled at her.
"Why are you wearing that mask?" He asked, extending a hand to remove it. The girl instinctively got ready to run, taking the mask off was like revealing her identity.
"Wait, at least Tell me your name. " the boy pleaded, and for one reason or another, she decided to do just that.
"Elaine." The girl felt her lips form a smile. Not that the boy would see it behind the mask.
"I'm peter." The boy said, the female Asset nodded, before jumping and dissapearing into the night.
"Oh my god, Peter is a superhero. He's spiderman."
Steve looked at his hands and nodded, Elaine gasped again and scrambled off the bed.
"So, my mom is dead, my father and my only friends are superheroes, my godfather is An Asset just like me and also my best friend." Elaine needed time to process this. She locked herself in the bathroom. Today was gonna be a rough day, she could feel it.
She tried to take deep breaths, but she felt herself sliding down the slippery slope that would get her to the black hole of being An Asset.
Some part of her was tempted to give in, to not think or feel for a moment. It sounded like bliss, but she knew she had to deal with the real world if she wanted to fit in.
Her gaze slid towards her wrist, where her mother's bracelet was rested. For one reason or another, it grounded her. She had a family now, a real life. She was more than the Asset. Her other hand wrapped itself around the wrist with the cool metal of the bracelet, and she calmed down again.
She went to face her father and the male asset again and found them in the kitchen, they were preparing sandwiches.
"Hey sweetheart, you okay?" Steve shot her a worried look.
"Yeah, i'm fine, just needed some time to process all... This... I think." She muttered. Steve nodded.
"That's completely normal, why don't you take some time for yourself after breakfast? You could go to the gym or ask Nat to do some girl stuff." Steve offered. Elaine nodded, some alone time, no need to talk. That sounded good.
"That sounds good. Thanks."
"You're welcome, here, eat something. You'll feel better." Steve offered her a sandwich, orange juice and some chocolate, and Elaine smiled. Maybe today wouldn't be so bad after all.
Peter was surprised when Elaine was waiting for him on the roof of the compound. He greeted her, perhaps somewhat too enthusiastically, with that goofy grin that refused to be stopped.
Elaine chuckled and greeted him back, he went to sit beside her.
"So, have you been telling the People at school about the freak?" She asked.
"Yeah that's the only reason you're talking to me, right? Because i'm a freak." She cocked her head.
"You're not a freak ." Peter said."you're beautiful and brave."
"All the best people are. I'm kind of the freak at school myself, to be honest."Peter confessed.
"You? No way." Elaine smiled. She silently wondered if Peter would confess being a superhero. Maybe he assumed she already figured it out?
"Yes way." Peter blushed. "so, when you come to school, you might not want to be seen with me."
"If my father ever lets me go to school."Elaine huffed, snow started falling and Elaine shivered despite the super soldier genes in her body. She laughed when Peter took off his jacket and wrapped it around her.
"There. Better?" He asked, concern in his eyes, and Elaine gave in and leaned into his warm embrace. She felt happy and warm, she had people who looked out and cared for her, who genuinely wanted her to be happy. She realised she hadn't answered the young hero yet.
"Much better. Thank you, Peter." She smiled. They sat there for a moment, perfectly content in silence.
"Hey, Elaine." Peter broke the silence. Two big blue eyes looked up at him.
"I eh... I was wondering. Would you like to hang out more Often? Like we could go to the park of the movies some time?" Peter asked, blushing profusely. "We eh, we could get to know each other better, if ... If you want to, of course."
Elaine smiled brightly.
"I'd like that, Peter."
"All right. Let me give you my number. Then we can text."
"Yeah, did mr. Stark give you a phone?"
The girl nodded and pulled the device from her pocket, handing it to the boy.
"All right. So I just put my number in." Peter typed in his number and pressed the call button. His phone started buzzing.
Peter ended the call and saved his number in Elaine's phone as well as saving Elaine's number in his own.
"And you can type little messages to me, like a telegram. Look..." He typed a quick text and sent it to Elaine. The Teenage girl gasped when her phone buzzed and she got a notification displaying the message.
'hey! :) X Peter'
"You made a smiling face!" She grinned, showing Peter the message. "Show me how to do that!"
Her enthusiasm made Peter laugh, and he taught her everything he knew about the starkphone. They say there until eight pm, talking about everything and nothing. It was almost time for Peter to begin patrolling, and he sighed.
"I should go..." he said hesitantly.
"Oh." Elaine stood up with him, and handed him his jacket back.
"Yeah, I eh..." Peter panicked, trying to fiind an acceptable explanation.
"Don't sweat it. I saw your suit when we first met, Peter. It's around the same time now."
"You... You knew, this entire time?" Peter's eyes went wide as platters.
"I didnt realise until this morning, when I had an argument with dad, but yeah. I know."
To her astonishment, Peter only smiled and looked relieved.
"Oh, that's great! I woudn't have known how to tell you! Wait... You're not telling anyone, right? I will be in so much trouble if anyone finds out..."
Elaine chuckled and ruffled Peter's hair.
"Don't wory, spider man, your secret is safe with me."
Peter smiled again and he took Elaine's hands in his for a minute, the girl looked up at him, probably wondering if he would make a move. That made Peter's courage sink, what if he didn't live up to her expectations?
He quickly let go of her and cleared his throat.
"I eh, I should go change... And you should get inside, before you get a cold." He said, in his most superhero-like voice. Elaine chuckled.
"So we should." She turned and started to make her way inside. She stopped to look over her shoulder for a moment, locking eyes with Peter.
"Text me later?"
Peter let out a sigh of relief and smiled: "Defenitly."
Peter watched as Elaine disappeared inside the compound and couldn't help himself, he grinned.
"She wants me to text her." he whispered to himself, chuckling as he stood on the snowy rooftop. "she actually wants me to text her. I didn't screw up!"
He whooped and fist pumped in victory, before running inside and changing into his suit. He was swinging through the city not much later, humming some lovesong that May loved to listen.
Tony smiled in amusement as he monitored the kid 's patrol.
"Peter seems to be in a good mood." he smiled."any idea why, fri?"
"I believe mr. Parker and miss Rogers had an encounter again, even though mr. Rogers forbade his daughter to see mr. Parker, Sir."
"What the hell? Why would Steve even...? I need to talk to him about this nonsense."
"I'm afraid now is not a good time to do that, Sir. Mrs. Rogers passed away this night."
"Peggy Carter-Rogers, sir."
Meanwhile, Steve and bucky were sparring in the gym. Until Bucky gripped his head again, Steve knew what that meant, the asset got the upper hand again.
He moved closer, hoping to help his friend whose mind was spinning and bursting with conflict.
"Yes, Steve. I'm here, don't be afraid. Pull me up again, away from the grasp of the other two." Bucky yelled, winter quickly beat him down and screamed to stab Steve, James encouraging winter to torture Steve until he told Them where they could find rumlow. It was giving the Asset a headache, and he growled.
"Bucky?" Steve asked, carefully extending a hand.
"I'm not your Bucky anymore, captain."That was James speaking."We have kept that annoying, empatic man down for years, we won't let him come up that easily."
"Who is the 'we' you're talking about?" Steve asked. He was confused.
"The winter soldier and me."
"If you're not Bucky, nor the winter soldier, then who am I talking to?"
"James, pleasure to meet you captain." He saw the horrofied look on Steve's face.
"What have they done to you?"
"They made me stronger captain, even stronger than you." He smirked. Steve shook his head.
"That's Bucky's smirk right there, I know he's in there somewhere." Steve said, and Bucky whooped. "Buck. I promise I Will help you."
Steve touched his face and Bucky fought his way to be in charge for a brief moment. Steve saw the man blink.
"Stevie." And that was defenitly Bucky sighing out his name.
"Buck. Hey..." Steve smiled."there you are. "
"Yeah ..." Bucky stepped even closer and pulled Steve into a crushing hug.
"I knew you wouldn't leave me, I knew you couldn't be dead. Not just like that."Bucky whispered.
"You and me 'til the end of the line, pal." Steve smiled. The man suddenly backed away again, murmuring to himself with his hands against his head.
"Target located. Kill." Steve braced himself for impact. Muscles bulging as he tried to keep the winter soldier at bay.
"Fri, a little help please!" He yelled.
"Five more Steps to the center of the room, if you please, master Rogers."The al replied. Steve did so, and the winter soldier followed, screaming in frustration as he tumbled down when the floor opened beneath his feet to trap him in a hulk proof Cage. Steve wiped th sweat from his forehead.
"Thanks fri, Tell Tony he saved my life. "
"You're welcome, and sir will be most pleased to hear that."