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.
"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."