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When Your World Is Turned Inside-Out And Upside-Down

Chapter Text

Looking back Sam thought the worst thing that could have happened the day Project Insight literally crashed and burned was Bucky pulling her out of the air, breaking her wings and then kicking her off the helicarrier, leaving Steve to deal with his not dead best friend alone. The worst had yet to happen.

Sam was waiting behind the door of the empty office room on the 41st floor listening as Agent Hill count down Rumlow’s arrival in her ear. As soon as the door was opened and Rumlow entered the room fully, she put all her strength that her petite 5’1” frame could behind a wicked right hook across his jaw that stunned the man enough for her to get in another hit before he grabbed her arms and head butted and pushed her back so that she fell down.

As she got up, she started to feel a warm sensation on the left side of her chest and she rubbed at it absently as Rumlow rattled off some villainy monologue. It was when she felt a sharp pain as if something was being carved into her chest that she realized what was happening. At the same time she saw that Rumlow had fallen to his knees in pain and was clutching the left side of his chest, they both looked at each other in horror.

Rumlow had pulled down the neck of his shirt far enough that they could both see the name on his chest in neat cursive writing: “Samantha Thomas Wilson” Rumlow read the name on his chest and looked back up at Sam, disbelief shining bright in his chocolate brown eyes and a something like a hopeful smile was playing on his lips. Sam had never felt as betrayed as she did then by her name and hand writing.

“Wow…I don’t even know what to say to this.” Rumlow said using his hand to indicate the two of them. “This is just too damn fucking ironic.”

Sam didn’t know whether to cry or laugh at the irony.

 His eyes then travelled to her chest, to the spot where no doubt his name would be. She didn’t check because she knew that it was his name carved into her chest. And if she did then she would be giving a full name to the Hydra agent in front of her, instead of just referring to him as ‘Rumlow’ and she did not want to make him human or see him as a person. She did not want to know something so personal about him.

 “I have very neat handwriting, so you shouldn’t have any problem reading my name.” Rumlow had trailed off, the smile on his lips dropped and he let out a little nervous laugh. “Samantha?”

At the sound of her name dropping from the lips of that snake, she charged forward and felt a sick satisfaction when her fist met his cheek bone hard enough that he fell to the floor. The punch was forceful enough that it broke the skin on his cheek and a thin trail of blood ran down his face.

“Do. Not. Say. My. Name.” Sam was breathing heavily. The punch seemed to have knocked some sense back into Rumlow because he got up and wiped the blood from his face.

“So it’s like that then.” He said look at her, the emotions that he was showing before pushed back and the ruthless Hydra agent came out. Sam almost sighed in relief, this she could deal with.

Taking a fighting stance, “Yeah, it’s like that.” Sam said coldly and then the two soul mates charged at each other with their fists raised.

The two of them fought for some time and Sam could hear distant explosions and knew that the helicarriers were being destroyed. She was able to hold her own against Rumlow until he threw her over an office desk where she landed painfully on her back.

“You’re way out of you league kid.” Rumlow said to her as he stepped up onto the same desk he had just thrown her over and looked down at her. “How about we just forget about all this shit and talk this out like real adults huh? What’d you say?”

Sam didn’t have any time to respond being called a “kid” or to talking things out like adults because a helicarrier just came crashing through the floor to ceiling windows of the room that they were in. She got up and immediately hauled ass, never stopping her sprint even when she heard Rumlow shout “son of a bitch!”

Sam shouted into her comm unit that she was on the 41st floor and needed immediate evacuation. She wanted to laugh when Natasha told her to stay where she was and instead screamed out “NOT AN OPTION!” and dropped her body to slide under falling debris. Sam then threw her body with as much force as she could muster with her tiny frame through a window and fell into the waiting helicopter where Natasha grabbed her when she almost fell out the other door of the aircraft.

Sam spun around to see the room that she was just in get completely destroyed and she saw Rumlow climbing/free running his ass down the side of the building that was somewhat intact and a very small part of her that she squashed immediately was glad that he had survived.

Sam and Natasha found Steve on the bank of the Potomac River where Bucky had left him and airlifted him to the hospital. Natasha decided to take first watch by Steve’s bedside and Sam took the opportunity to go home and get cleaned up. Sam could feel herself crashing from the adrenaline high and prayed that she could make it upstairs and into her shower.

Sam made it to her shower and all but tore off her dirty clothes knowing that she would have to throw them out, but that could be done later or tomorrow but not before a very hot and welcomed shower. She let the hot water wash over her cuts and bruises, feeling the one on her forehead more from where Rumlow had head-butted her. Her soul mate head-butted her, her soul mate was a Hydra agent who helped to keep the fact that Bucky was alive from the world; from Steve a man who he worked with many times before. Sam wondered how he kept a straight face in the presence of Steve; did he learn it or was it something he was born with.

Sam stayed in her shower until the water turned cold, then she got out and wrapped her big blue fluffy towel -that reminds her of Riley’s eye- around her body. Riley would have laughed his ass off at Sam’s current soul mate situation and then would have helped her hunt down Rumlow and kick his ass. She turned to leave the bathroom and saw her reflection in the full length mirror she had in there. Walking up to it, she dropped her towel and slowly let her eyes travel from her feet, taking in all her cuts and bruises up to her chest where she saw that damning name on her chest:

Brock Eugene Rumlow

“Holy shit, he wasn’t lying. He actually does have neat hand writing.” Sam said to herself as she traced the name on her chest and then started laughing like crazy. Sam laughed and laughed and laughed because if she knew that if she didn’t laugh she would breakdown and cry right there on her bathroom floor and there was no time for that now. She had to get dressed, stuff some food down her throat, grab some food and a change of clothes for Natasha as well and get back to the hospital to relieve her of watch duty.

When Sam arrived back at the hospital there Steve was still unconscious and Natasha was eating gummy bears.

 “Hey, I brought you a sandwich and some fruit. I think that might be better than what you are eating right now.” Sam said warily eyeing the sugary snack in her friend’s hands.

Natasha tiredly looked at what she was eating as if she had no idea that she was eating something and back at Sam. “You are a goddamn saint Sam Wilson.” She said giving Sam one of her very rare small genuine smiles.

Sam smiled back, “I also brought you a change of clothes; I figure they would fit since we are almost the same size.”

“When all this shit gets sorted out we,” Natasha indicated herself and Sam “are going drinking.”

“I’ll hold you to that. Now go get cleaned up and eat some proper food.” Sam said and her tone even though friendly allowed no room for arguments and there was none from Natasha as the red head took the bag and dropped the rest of her gummy bears in Sam’s hand.

Sam took the now vacated seat by Steve’s bedside and waited for the super soldier to wake up.

3 Hours Later

Sam was reading while music from her ipod played in the background of the hospital room.

“On your left.” Sam’s head snapped up and turned so fast she was surprised she didn’t give herself whiplash and looked at the very bruised and smiling face of Steve Rogers. She smiled back at him and he fell back asleep, so she continued reading her book until he woke up again.

 

The Next Day

Steve woke up again and this time managed to stay awake, his wounds, however, were healing slowly especially the three gunshot wounds that the received courtesy of his not dead- brain-washed Hydra assassin-best friend.

“Listen I am going after him no matter what anyone says. Ok.” Steve said looking at Sam, Natasha and Maria Hill who had arrive half an hour ago to tell them that Bucky had completely fallen off the radar.

“Steve, no one is objecting you going after him. We are just making sure that you understand that he is not the same man you knew back in the 40’s before the war and before he fell from the train.” Sam explained, trying to placate Steve using her counsellor voice.

Steve glared and Sam and she gave him her best unimpressed look. “I know that Sam. I’m not the same man I was before I went into the ice.” He said turning to look at the other two ladies in the room.

“Well I will do what I can from my end here, what with trying to rectify this S.H.I.E.L.D/Hydra situation that the media are having a field day with.” Maria said.

Steve nodded his thanks and Maria made to leave.

“Wait.” Sam said before even thinking about it and six pair of eyes turned to look at her. Sam had literally jumped into very dangerous situations before but what she was about to say and do made her extremely nervous.

“I have something to tell you all. I want to tell you before you find out for yourselves, which I am very sure is going to happen sooner or later. Just keep in mind that I, myself only found out yesterday, a little before the helicarrier came crashing into the conference room that I was in, thanks for that by the way Steve, I really mean it.” Sam said to Steve who was confused that she actually was grateful for that very big stunt.

“Found out what?” Natasha prompted, an eyebrow raised.

Sam took a breath, “I found out who my soul mate is.”

Natasha’s face was blank so Sam had no idea what she was thinking.

“Congratulations?” Steve said but it sounded more like a question.

Maria’s eyes widened as she put the pieces together. “You have got to be shitting me.”

“I wish I was.” Sam said closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose.

Steve was looking even more confused and turned to look at Natasha who was now showing a little confusion on her face.

“Do you have any idea what they’re talking about?” he asked her.

“Not one damn clue.” Natasha answered.

Sam turned to her two friends and pulled off her shirt for them to see the name on her chest.

Natasha’s eyebrows reached her hairline and Steve, well Steve looked as if he finally broke.

“Holy. Fucking. Hell.” Steve commented, his eyes never leaving the name on his friend’s chest.

“Took the words right out of my mouth Rogers.” Maria said rubbing her head as she felt an oncoming headache.

“His middle name is ‘Eugene’?” Everyone turned to look at Natasha. “What?”

“That’s what you got from all of this?” Steve asked incredulously, waving his hand at Sam.

“Oh come on! A macho guy like Brock Rumlow with the middle name ‘Eugene’ it’s funny.” Natasha defended. Sam sighed and put on back her shirt.

“So what are you going to do about that?” Maria asked.

“Not a damn thing.” Sam said.

“Did he even survive the helicarrier crashing into the building?” Steve asked.

All eyes were back on Sam, “yes, he did. I saw him get out when I jumped into the helicopter.”

“Well since he survived he is going to come after you.” Steve said something not quite like pity shining in his eyes and Sam had to look away.

“How are you so sure?” Maria asked.

“I worked with the guy on quite a few missions. He is like a dog with a bone when he sets his mind to something. And since he knows that Sam is his soul mate he will be coming for her.” Steve explained.

“Well he did seem happy when he found out that we are soul mates.” Sam said, “And then I punched him in the face.”

“How’d he take that?” Maria asked.

“He threw me over an office desk and then said we should stop fighting and talk about the situation like adults.” Sam answered and she could feel herself becoming weary from having to think about that moment again in such a short period of time.

“He wanted to stop fighting and talk about it?” Natasha actually looked a bit bewildered.

“And the strange thing is he looked as if he actually meant it. That if I agreed to it he would have stopped fighting and talked to me.” Sam dropped her head against the back of the recliner that Natasha had found and dragged into the room.

“Maybe you should have.” All eyes turned to Steve when he said that.

“Excuse you. Want to elaborate on that comment or should we get a doctor to come and check you for a severe concussion?” Natasha looked as if she was getting ready to give Steve a concussion herself.

“Something shifted in Rumlow when he found out that Sam is his soul mate if he wanted to talk about it. No guy ever wants to talk about anything trust me on that.” Steve said and all three females nodded their heads in agreement.

“And Rumlow knows a lot of Hydra secrets; a lot more than what we just exposed to the world. So I am betting that if Sam should talk to him, then we could flip him and get him on our side. Get all that Hydra intel from an insider that we would not be able to get otherwise.” Steve was looking at Sam now.

“It makes sense. He would know who all the other top Hydra players are, where all the Hydra bases are located, what their next course of action is. He would be a great asset if we could turn him.” Natasha was now looking at Sam who was studiously ignoring her friends’ gazes.

“It’s up to you Sam.” Maria said gently.

Sam sighed, “Right now my main priority is helping Steve fine Bucky nothing else. However, I make no promises that I will want to contact Rumlow.”

“That’s easier said than done. He might come after you if from what Steve said.” Maria reminded her.

“As long as he doesn’t hurt anyone I care about he can come after me. I will just knock his ass back on the ground.” Sam said and that was that.

Maria decided that was time to leave and Natasha walked her out. Sam closed her eyes against the oncoming headache. Steve settled back onto the hospital bed and turned to face Sam.

“You don’t have to come with me you know. To fine Bucky that is.” He said.

With her eyes still closed Sam replied, “I know. When do we start?”

Steve smiled “As soon as I am out of here.”

Chapter Text

10 Months Later

Sam was going to kill Bucky and this time make sure he stayed dead. The asshole had both her and Steve traipsing all over countries that seem to have winter as their only season and she was beyond fucking cold.

“I am going to kill Bucky.” She growled, stamping her feet because she could feel them going numb from the cold.

“Ok, let’s not make snap decisions. It’s not really that cold.” Steve said surveying the almost deserted street that they were on. Steve wasn’t really one to talk considering the fact the super soldier serum made him run at a hotter temperature than his normal people but Sam didn’t even point that out choosing to latch unto what he had just said.

Sam raised one eyebrow, “not that cold?” She said incredulously. “Steve I see my breath every time I breathe, I have on multiple layers of clothing, I have on three pairs of socks and I cannot feel my toes! I swear when we find Bucky I am shoving an icicle so far up his ass he will be able to lick the tip with his tongue.” She growled out.

Steve eyed his friend warily, “Ok, let’s go find a café or diner and get some very hot beverages in you.” He said taking her elbow and steering her down the street.

Ten minutes later they found a cosy little diner and sat at the back booth which allowed them a view of the entire place and was close to the nearest exit in case they had to make a speedy getaway. Sam had her hands wrapped around her warm mug of hot black unsweetened coffee and was staring down into it as if it held all the answers to life’s problems or at least to her soul mate problem. Steve was leaning back in his seat one hand wrapped around the handle of his coffee mug staring at his friend.

She felt Steve staring at her but resolutely kept her head down and refused to make eye contact with him knowing what he wanted to talk about but she continued to ignore him.

“Do you think if you just ignore him, he will go away?” he finally asked.

“Dear God I hope so.” Sam said taking a sip of her coffee.

Steve shook his head, “aren’t you one who is supposed to be rational about things in life? You can’t just ignore him and hope that he will slink off to parts unknown.”

“Ok, 1) I’m human and I don’t always have to be a rational person and 2) he better not come near me or I will do a lot more than just punch him in the face.” She growled.

“He’s your soul mate!” Steve hissed.

“He’s a fucking murderer and traitor to his country is what he is!” Sam said, slamming her hand down on the table and finally looking up at Steve with fire in her eyes.

Steve was actually surprised at his normally levelled headed friend outburst and look around to make sure that they had no unwanted attention.

“Why are you even taking his side? He kept your friend, your soul mate a secret from you.” Sam was seething now, wanting to be done with this conversation.

Steve closed his eyes and took a breath, held it and then released it, “I’m definitely not taking his side. I want to rip him apart very slowly for everything he has done; but ignoring him is not going to make him go away.”

Steve held up his when Sam opened her mouth.

“Think about it Sam; he has a head full of Hydra intel. Imagine what he could tell us if he came to our side. And I think the only way for that to happen is for you to talk to him. Let him get to know you, his soul mate.” Steve was looking at her with such earnest eyes.

Sam rolled her eyes and went back to staring at her coffee.

“Ok, look at this way: his world just came crashing down around him and while that was happening, something good came out of it, you, his soul mate. I mean he was one of the biggest assholes in the world and look who he got, Samantha Thomas Wilson one of the best persons in the world second to me of course” Steve grinned.

Sam kicked him in his shin for that last bit.

“You are really selling this Rogers. Hey if the superhero gig doesn’t work out for you, you can go be a door-to-door sales man.” She said.

Sam sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. “So you basically want me to pimp out myself to Rumlow for Hydra intel.” She said.

“Oh my God! No!” Steve said sounding scandalized, “but if it will helps, sure no problem. Go big or go home.” He grinned and Sam flipped him the bird.

After drinking their coffee and eating some food the two friends left the diner to continue searching for Bucky. After another five hours of futile searching they decided to head back to their motel. They had a room with two beds but because Sam got so cold in the nights she shared a bed with Steve, her own personal human furnace.

In the middle of the night as she laid in bed with Steve wrapped around her, between consciousness and unconsciousness, she suddenly got the feeling as if she was being watched. She kept her breathing even and slowly cracked opened her eyes a little, taking in the room happy for the moonlight shining into the room…through the parted curtains…that were swaying…in the light breeze.

That very big detail made her freeze. She knew for certain that she had made sure to lock that window and draw the curtains. Cursing herself for leaving her gun on the other bed, she turned her head to Steve who was still asleep with his arms around her and snoring, when her eyes caught something, no someone straddling the only chair in the room and resting their arms across the back of it watching them sleep. Then something shiny caught her eyes. One of the arms on the chair was metal.

Sam flew up instantly, wide frightened eyes meeting the steely, cold blue of the Winter Soldier, of James Buchannan ‘Bucky’ Barnes.

They sat there staring at each other; Sam sitting up in bed with Steve’s arms still wrapped around her waist and Bucky on the chair at the end of the bed they were sharing.

There was enough light in the room for Sam to see Bucky’s eyes look at her, Steve’s arms around her and then at Steve himself and back at her very pointedly. It then clicked to Sam that she was in bed with the soul mate of the world’s most deadly assassin wrapped around her. She knew how that looked from an outsider perspective.

“It’s not what it looks like.” She whispered knowing that Bucky would hear her without disturbing Steve.

Bucky raised an eyebrow and swept his eyes over them again as if to say ‘oh really?’

Sam dragged her hand down her face and poked Steve in his side to wake him up. Steve kept snoring. She tapped him on his shoulder.

“Steve wake up.” She said, no response.

She twisted her upper body and shoved him to wake him up. No response from her sleeping friend. She looked at him in disbelief knowing that if he was not snoring she would think he was dead.

She looked back at Bucky who looked at her, then at Steve and back at her looking rather unimpressed.

“You know what, fuck you. You try waking him up asshole.” Sam was tired and Bucky scared her shitless awake and now the one person who can go toe-to-toe with him is dead asleep to the world.

Bucky got up without a sound and moved to the other side of the bed and signalled for Sam to get off the bed which she did no questions asked. He stuck his flesh index finger into his mouth and bent over Steve sticking his saliva slicked finger into his friend’s ear.

Steve suddenly came awake and sprung upright startling Sam.

“You fucking piece of shit!” Steve shouted and then looked up at Sam who was looking back at him in disbelief.

“I can’t believe that still works.” Bucky commented bemused.

Steve froze and slowly turned his head to look at his long-thought-dead best friend. He slowly got out of bed so he didn’t scare away Bucky. He looked his friend up and down slowly and then pulled him into a bone crushing hug.

Bucky returned the hug equally tight and then shifted them so that he could claim Steve’s lips in a very passionate kiss who let out a squeak of surprise but soon melted into the kiss. A kiss that was over 70 years late.

The two soul mates who were separated for so long lost themselves in the kiss so much that Sam felt that she was intruding on a very private moment and removed herself to the bathroom to give them some privacy.

Turning on the light in there she looked at her reflection in the mirror. The person who looked back at her was tired as hell; there were dark circles around her eyes and she had dropped a few pounds running after Bucky for the past ten months and stressing out over the soul mate situation.

She missed Riley with such an intensity right then and there. He would have known what to do, he always had a solution to every problem they faced. He was her wingman, best friend and most of all the love of her life. They knew that they were not each other’s soul mate, but that did not keep them from forming a very strong relationship that went beyond the bounds of friendship which they kept secret so they could continue working together.

Riley had not found his soul mate before he had died and Sam wondered whoever that person was, if he/she had found someone else to call theirs and if they were happy. She hoped that they’re happy.

She had no idea when the tears started running down her face but once they started there was no stopping. She turned on the tap hoping that the water would drown out her crying so that the two enhanced beings outside would not hear her.

No such luck as there was a knock on the door.

“Sam?” It was Steve, “hey, you ok in there?”

“Yea, I’m good.” Sam lies, throwing water on her face and drinking some to sooth the ache in her throat to sound as if she had not just been silently crying.

She opens the bathroom door to see Steve with pity written all over his damn face standing right in front of her and Bucky sitting at the edge of their bed looking at her.

She was not in the mood for anyone’s pity; she was too damn tired and frustrated.

“Steve get that look off your face before I slap it off and you,” She says pointing at Bucky, “I’m going to kill you. Haven’t you heard of tropical countries?”

Bucky smirked, “be grateful, you got a chance to sleep with Steve.”

Sam stared at Bucky and Steve looked scandalized.

“We never had sex Bucky!” Steve shouted.

“Really? Why?” Bucky looked at his friend as if he had grown a second head. “I would have slept with her if I was in your place.” He said giving Sam a very appreciative once over and a wink.

Sam blushed hard at that.

“Really Bucky? We just found you and you’re already hitting on my friend.” Steve was smiling as he said that.

Bucky shrugs unrepentant, “and for your information I’m the one who found you.”

“Yeah, about that you sleep too damn dead Rogers.” Sam said making her way back to the bed and sitting down in her vacated spot.

“He always did.” Bucky commented.

Steve shrugged.

Bucky turned to face Sam “What I just did was basically the only way to wake him up, short of throwing cold water on him and him having almost every illness known to mankind at the time that was not a chance I was ever going to take.” He explained and then got a look on his face as if wondering how he knew that which the other two occupants in the room decided to ignore.

“So what now?” Sam asked still looking at Bucky.

“What’d you mean?” He asked cocking his head to the side which made him look like a lost little puppy.

“Are you staying with us or are you going to disappear again?” She clarified.

“How’d you even find us anyway?” Steve asked taking a seat on the other bed.

Bucky shrugged and chose not answer his question and instead answered Sam’s.

“I want to stay…with you…both of you.” He said looking between Steve and Sam.

Sam’s eyebrows flew up and Steve looked both happy and confused.

“Ok, I can understand you wanting to stay with Steve. He’s your best friend and all that, but why me as well?” Sam was perplexed.

“Steve is my best friend but heis  my soul mate as well as a result I feel this very strong pull towards him and-” Bucky started to explain.

“Wait. Hold up. What ‘pull’?” Sam was looking worried right about now.

Bucky and Steve shared and look and the man was alarmed at the look he saw Steve’s face.

“Shit. The soul mate pull.” He said.

“What the fuck is a ‘soul mate pull’?” Sam asked and her voice went high on the last word.

“It’s a desire to be near your soul mate. Scientists have never been able to figure out if it’s a matter of body, mind or soul. But sometime after finding out who your soul mate is you have this urge to be near them especially if you spend long periods of time separated from each other.” Steve explained and trailed off at the end of his explanation.

There was a moment of complete silence in the room and then Sam started laughing hysterically and Bucky was alarmed looking to Steve for an explanation but Steve was just staring at her. Sam’s laughter immediately stopped and she sat up.

“I’m going to be sick.” She said as she literally jumped over Bucky and ran to the bathroom where she vomited into the toilet.

The two men ran behind her and Bucky grabbed her hair pulling it back and securing it with the hair tie from his hair and Steve was rubbing her back trying to sooth her. When she was sure there was nothing more to throw up Sam sat back against the bathtub.

Tears were streaming down her face and Steve wet a rag and wiped it for her.

“What am I going to do Steve? I can’t…I can’t feel that way towards him.” Sam began sobbing and Bucky gathered her into his arms trying to calm her down.

“Ok, I may not have all my memories or be here all the time but I am going to make a stab in the dark that this concerns your soul mate.” He said and felt when Sam nodded her head.

He also felt when she stiffened and then tore herself out of his arms to look at him with horror in her beautiful, wet brown eyes and his heart broke.

“You’re going to hate me.” She whispered.

“What? Why would I hate you after everything you have done for Steve? And me, a man you don’t know.” He was getting more and more confused with the topic of this mysterious soul mate and Sam’s weird behaviour.

Sam said nothing, she just pulled down the collar of her sleep shirt so that Bucky could see the name on her chest and both she and Steve saw the immediate recognition in his eyes when he saw the name.

Steve was getting ready to put himself between his two friends when Bucky reached out slowly with his metal hand and traced the name on Sam’s chest. He felt the pounding of her heart and knew how scared she was; how scared she was of him, how he might react to this revelation and the fact that she will feel this uncontrollable pull towards one of their greatest enemies.

Bucky laughed darkly and Sam tensed.

“That asshole. First he helps to keep me prisoner and torture me and then he goes and puts his name on you.” Bucky’s hand was still on her chest, covering the name of one of his many tormentors.

He looked Sam in her tired eyes and she almost broke down into another set of fresh tears at the kindness in his eyes.

“You’re exhausted; from searching for me, stressing out over your soul mate, just crying your eyes out and keeping this idiot from getting his dumbass killed on multiple occasions I’m sure.” Bucky said smiling.

“Hey!” Steve objected.

Sam laughed breaking the tense and sad atmosphere in the little bathroom, “you have no idea.”

“Let’s get you to bed and we can decide where we go from this in the morning.” Steve suggested and got up, offering a hand to Sam to pull her up.

Sam and Steve got back into bed and Bucky said that he would be keeping watch as he was still breaking the Winter Soldier conditioning but promised he would be there in the morning when they woke up.

“Hey Sam,” Bucky called.

“Hmm?” Sam answered on her way to falling asleep.

“I also want to stay with you; because anyone who is willing to follow Steve to look for his brainwashed friend who tried on multiple occasions to kill them is alright in my book.” He said kissing her good night on her forehead.

Sam smiled, “g’night Bucky.”

Bucky watched as his oldest friend/soul mate and new friend drifted off to sleep.

The Next Morning

Sam awoke to the smell of hot coffee and something that smelt like bacon which had her jack knifing up off the bed causing the other two occupants in the room to halt their conversation to look at her.

“I smell coffee and bacon.” Sam said not even looking at them, her eyes zeroing in on the food on the table.

Bucky got up and gave her the food, which she immediately took a sip of the coffee giving out a sigh of contentment and happiness.

“I don’t where you got this coffee but you are now my favourite person in the World Barnes.” She said before digging into the bacon, egg and cheese croissant sandwich he also got.

Bucky gave her his most charming smile and Steve faked cough while saying “kiss ass” to which Bucky flipped him the middle finger.

They are children Sam thought as she continued to eat her sandwich.

“Hey,” Steve said getting her attention, “this is the plan: since Bucky found us, we are all flying back to D.C. in about three hours, Tony is sending one of his jets to pick us up. Bucky will being staying with me at my apartment and when Tony and Natasha gets back in a week’s time from Switzerland we will be going to the Avengers Tower so that he can take a look at Bucky’s arm.”

Both Bucky and Sam nodded their assent to the plan.

“So what are you going to do about your soul mate problem?” Bucky asked.

Sam took a sip of her still hot coffee and thought for a while.

“I have no intention of contacting him whatsoever, but if what Steve said about him coming after me is true, I will just have to be on my guard. Just because I’m his soul mate doesn’t mean he has changed his ways. He still has a lot to answer for and he may pose a danger to you both and everyone else who helped take down Project Insight.” She said.

The three of them cleaned up the motel room and pack their belongings in order to check out. They then made the trip to the airfield where the jet was picking them up.

“It pays to have friends with their own fleet of private jets.” Sam said as she collapsed into the luxury couch in the jet, still tired from the night before and ten months of nothing but moving from a cold country to an even colder country. She laid down and closed her eyes falling asleep almost immediately.

Fifteen hours later the trio were back in D.C. where Sam said good night to Steve and Bucky and entered her house, dropping her luggage on the floor by the door deciding to unpack in the morning and went to the kitchen for a glass of water. She had placed her empty glass back on the counter her hand still around it when the hairs on the back of her neck stood up.

Not turning around she glanced up and saw a reflection in the glass cabinet door and then a voice said:

“Hey Samantha.”

Chapter Text

Sam turned and looked at her soul mate who was standing at the kitchen door, only the kitchen island separating them. A small smile on his lips that was instantly wiped off when her very sharp and expensive Victorinox Forschner Rosewood Extra Heavy Bone & Lobster Splitter butcher knife was lodged in the wall by his head. A tiny trickle of blood ran down his cheek where she deliberately cut him.

She honestly had no idea when she released her hold on the glass, grabbed the knife, spun around and threw it. Rumlow touched his index and middle finger to the cut and drew them back to look at the blood. He looked up at Sam who already had another knife in her hand and a cold, wary look on her face.

“Whoa there. Easy. I’m not here to cause trouble.” He said putting up his hands to show he meant no harm.

“You’re already causing trouble by existing.” Sam hissed.

“Ouch. That hurts Samantha.” Rumlow joked, but still eyeing the knife in her hand.

“Oh really? Then let me ease your pain by putting a knife in your head!” Sam threw the other knife and grabbed another one even before it was lodged in the wall right where Rumlow head was, he had to duck to avoid it.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Just stop throwing knives!” He shouted holding out his hands in a placating gesture.

Sam did as asked but kept the knife at her side.

“Why are you here? How’d you even know I was back in the country?” Sam asked, genuinely curious about her second question. No one apart from Natasha and Steve knew where she was; not even her own mother who Natasha bless her soul had visited to reassure her that her daughter was safe.

“I drive by three times a day to see if there is any sign of life. For the past ten months there was nothing, but tonight I saw that lights were on inside the house so I parked around the corner and walked back. And I swear this is the first time I have set foot in your home.” Rumlow explained.

“Why would you do that? Why do you think I want to see or have anything to do with you?” Sam was getting agitated again and was tapping the side of the knife blade against her thigh.

Rumlow actually looked hurt at that, but Sam knew better, knew he was a damn good actor; playing a S.H.E.I.L.D agent when he was really working for Hydra. He managed to fool a lot of people and she was not going to forget that anytime soon.

“You’re my soul mate…I wanted to see you.” He said.

Sam stared at him, took a breath, placing the knife on the counter she leant back on it.

“No, you didn’t want to; at least not consciously. What you’re feeling is called a ‘soul mate pull.’” She said closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose.

“What’s that?” Rumlow was baffled never hearing that term before.

Sam still had her eyes closed and was taking deep breaths.

“Samantha?” Rumlow said and she heard him moving closer to her.

Holding up her hand she stopped him in his tracks.

“Do not call me ‘Samantha’ nobody calls me that not even my own mother. It’s ‘Sam’.” She said, “And unless you want another knife thrown at you I suggest you stay over there if you know what’s good for you.”

“Ok, Sam, what’s a ‘soul mate pull?’” He asked again.

Opening her eyes she met hazel/brown eyes across her kitchen island.

“A short explanation is that it’s a desire or an urge to be close to your soul mate. Scientists have not figured out what causes it. So you don’t really want to see me but it’s just an urge that you have.” She explained.

Rumlow had a confused look on his face. “But I did want to see you. It wasn’t no ‘soul mate pull.’ I always knew that there was someone out there for me, I just didn’t know who. Do you know how happy I was to find out you are my soul mate?”

Sam does remember the look of happiness in his eyes when he saw her name on his chest right before she punched him in the face again.

 “I mean everything that I had worked for came crashing down in the span of three days, so I was damn happy when the silver lining in the cloud was finding my soul mate. Finding you.” Rumlow looked and sounded so damn earnest.

Sam sighed, “What do you think is going to happen here? Do you think I am just going to accept you into my life? You may be my soul mate but that does not mean I accept you. You have so much to answer for that I don’t even know where to begin.”

Sam pushed away from the counter, turning her back to him and ran her fingers angrily through her hair.

Rumlow looked chastised.

“No, wait I know where to begin.” She said turning back around quickly Rumlow wondered if she was dizzy.

“How could you have knowingly kept two soul mates apart, knowing what they had been through? How could you have kept one a prisoner, using him as your own attack dog to commit hundreds of crimes just to shape the world to your liking, to Hydra’s liking and then turn around and work with the other one letting him think that his soul mate is dead? How could you do that?!” Sam hissed out the last sentence and she looked beyond angry.

Rumlow was glad that she had put down the knife, however, looking back at his past actions he had no way of justifying them, especially in the face of his soul mate who is friends with two of the men he had hurt the most.

“Answer me Rumlow.” Sam demanded.

“Brock.” He said.

“What?” Sam was taken aback by his response.

“My name’s ‘Brock’ could you please call me that.” He said.

Sam rolled her eyes not caring if it seemed childish to do so.

“Ok, Brock answer my damn question.”

“Hydra gave me a purpose. Yes, I knew who Bucky and Steve were and what they were to each other, but Hydra has this way of getting into your head so you don’t question anything. You just carry out the orders you are given. So, even though I knew who they were I kept my mouth shut and kept being a good little soldier.” He told Sam.

“No one within Hydra ever questioned anything that was done? Didn’t questions any orders given? I fine that hard to believe.” Sam said.

“Well there were those few who did question Hydra’s intentions at first.” He said.

“Were?” Sam asked not liking where this was going.

“Yeah, they asked questions and the next thing you know is that they are no longer around and after the third person who questioned Hydra was no longer seen, people stopped asking questions. You had the few who were wary and wanted to get out but they never made a move. They didn’t know who trust. And with Hydra it’s not only you who goes missing, it’s your loved ones, as well as your fucking pets if you have any, down to your damn gold fish.”

Brock sighed running his fingers though his hair and that action caught Sam’s attention who wondered if his hair was as soft as it looked. Sam realized where her thoughts were going and gave herself a mental shake.

Sam never thought that there would be people within Hydra who would have wanted to get out. Thinking back on what Steve said about Rumlow -no Brock- having knowledge about Hydra that no one else has made her rethink if it was such a good idea to distance herself from the man. She wondered if through Brock, if they would be able to find those other Hydra agents and find out what made them start second guessing the organization that they worked for.

Sam sighed, she was jet lagged and extremely tired from ten months of running all over some of the coldest countries in the world. All she wanted to do was shower and crawl into bed and sleep for a good twenty hours.

She took up the knife she had on the counter, making Brock tensed slightly and she took a sick sense of glee in knowing that he was somewhat wary of her and put it in the knife block. She then made her way around the island to the wall where her other two knives were lodged and pulled them out, surveying the damage.

Brock whistled in appreciation, “you have an arm on you.” He said, looking at the two deep holes created by the knives.

Sam smirked, “be happy I didn’t throw them with my left hand. I never miss.” She turned to look at him and didn’t realize how close she was to him. She could have stretched out her arm fully and her finger tips would have brushed his chest. His toned chest.

Sam looked him up and down slowly and saw how his shirt showed his well-built torso and his pants showed toned thighs and legs. Sam was not blind; she knew the man was damn attractive but she also remembered the destruction he has helped cause.

Sam closed her eyes again and leant back against wall crossing her arms across her chest as if she could prevent any outside forces from touching her.

Brock observed his soul mate and knew that she was extremely beautiful inside and out. Too beautiful for the likes of someone like him who has caused so much death and destruction. He knew that she hates him, but that is much better than indifference. A lot of people think that the opposite of love is hate. Actually it’s not; the opposite of love is indifference. You can’t hate someone without having some sort of feeling towards them and he would take her hate any day because that means she felt something towards him.

He took a chance and walked closer to her until he was standing right in front of her. He could feel her body heat and he wanted so badly to touch her.

Sam opened her eyes, not surprised to see Brock standing right in front of her.

“Fuck you’re gorgeous.” He says, his eyes roamed over her face in such a reverent manner.

Sam wanted to laugh but kept quiet to see what he would do next and she is again not surprised by what he tries to do.

Sam sees the moment the look in his eyes changes from admiration to lust and knows what he wants; can see the intent in his eyes as he glances at her lips before he leans in. Her hand comes up immediately between them to cover Brock’s mouth, to prevent the kiss from happening. Brock in turn uses his left hand to cup Sam’s chin and caresses her lips with his thumb before using his other hand to remove Sam’s own from his mouth a little, as he proceeds to lick it all the while holding Sam’s gaze not hiding his intentions.

Sam is unable to hide the shiver that runs through her body and feels a heat pooling in her stomach. And her mind is now screaming at her to grab him and claim him. Show him that he belongs to her.

His lips turn up into a smug smile as he can see that Sam is fighting against her nature to claim her soul mate and thinking that he has won, he begins to lean in again to claim Sam’s lips only to feel a severe, shooting pain in his crotch before he collapse on the floor of Sam’s kitchen. He looks up at her, his hands between his legs holding his crotch not believing that Sam had just kneed him.

Sam is looking down at him, her eyes hard and dark, “fuck you.” She says coldly.

Then next thing he knew was darkness.

After Sam had knocked out Brock and tied him up making sure that he could not escape she made a phone call which was picked up and the second ring.

“Hello?”

“Hey Steve it’s Sam. Can you come back to my house?” She asked eyeing the currently unconscious man on her kitchen floor.

“Is everything ok?” Steve asked and she could hear him moving around his apartment and knew that he was on his way.

“Yeah, just don’t bring Bucky.” She answered.

There was a silence over the phone.

Steve sighed, “ok, I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

“Thank you.” Sam said and then hung up.

Sam walked around Brock to pour herself a very stiff drink and wait for what was about to come.

Chapter Text

Steve was going out of his mind with worry as he sped on his bike to Sam’s house wondering what could have happened in such a short time span of dropping her off and driving to his apartment. Reaching Sam’s house he burst through the front door.

“SAM!” He shouted.

“In here!” He heard as a response.

Making his way into her kitchen the last thing he thought he would find was an unconscious Brock hog-tied on the floor and Sam with her feet cocked up on her kitchen table, leaning her chair back on two legs and nursing a drink.

“What happened?” He asked looking between the two.

“He tried to kiss me.” She answered nonchalantly.

 “So you knocked him out.” Steve said looking from Brock’s still body to his friend.

“He’s lucky that’s all I did.” Venom in her voice.

Steve Stared at Sam, “remind me to never get on your bad side.”

Sam smiled sweetly at him and saluted him with her drink.

“He was watching the house for signs of life. He told me that he would drive by three times a day and today was the first time in ten months that he saw lights on and also that it was the first time he entered my home. You were right I have to give you that; he did come.” Sam explained and topped up her drink.

“What are these?” Steve said pointing at the knife holes in the wall.

“I threw two knives at him.” Sam said calmly.

Steve spun around so fast that she thought he would give himself whiplash.

Sam shrugged, “he surprised me. Plus he’s Hydra what’d you expect me to do?”

Sighing Steve took a seat across from her knowing he couldn’t fault her for defending herself.

“Did he say or do anything else.” He asked.

“Yeah, apparently not everyone who worked for Hydra was on-board with the organization’s plans and those who raised questions, them and their whole family were silenced, even their pets.” Sam sighed and massaged her temples to try and ease the headache she was feeling ever since Brock showed up.

“Oh, he also knew who you and Bucky are and what you are to each other but decided to keep his mouth shut. Out of loyalty to Hydra and I guess a bit of fear as well.”

Steve’s eyes narrowed and he looked at the still unconscious man.

“Oi, if you’re going to kill him please do it outside. Getting bloodstains out of hardwood floors is a bitch.” Sam said.

“I don’t even want to know how you know that little fact and I am not going to kill him.” Steve said, closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose.

“Bucky will once he discovers that he is here. What did you tell him when you had to leave?” Sam asked.

“That you were having plumbing problems and you needed help. It was the first thing that came to mind and he seemed to accept it as the truth.” Steve said.

“And what did you leave him doing?” Sam was genuinely curious and wondering if it was such a smart idea for her to call Steve and leave Bucky all alone.

“He’s watching Disney cartoons. I left him watching Cinderella.” Steve said smiling a little.

“He has a lot of Disney cartoons to catch up on.” Sam said before draining the rest of her drink and was about to get up to wash the glass when there was the sound of someone groaning.

Both Sam and Steve heads whipped around to the location of the sound and saw that Brock was regaining consciousness.

“Did anyone get the license’s plate of the truck that ran over me?” He said, squinting as the lights hurt his eyes and made worst the killer headache that was slowly making itself known.

Steve pushed back his chair and walked over to Brock crouching down.

“How are you feeling Rumlow?” he asked.

“Rogers? What are you doing here?” he asked trying to move only to realize that he was tied up.

“Why the hell am I tied up?!” he shouted, struggling to get loose of his bonds. He then looked up at Sam who was leaning against the wall looking down at him.

“You knocked me out.” He said, sounding hurt and Sam felt a pang of guilt in her stomach but shoved it down.

“You’re lucky that’s all I did. I should have-” She said.

Sam.” Steve said, interrupting her and she heard the warning clear in his voice.

“What are we going to do with him?” Sam asked instead.

“What do you mean by that?” Brock asked feeling a bit scared right now.

“Yea, what do you mean?” Steve asked getting up from his crouch and turning to look at Sam fully.

“He’s Hydra. We can’t just let him walk around free, only God knows what he might do and he has a lot to answer for.” She elaborated.

“Not to mention Bucky will rip him apart once he finds him. You know what, on second thought let’s give him to Bucky. He’d make a great welcome home present. What’d you say Brock?” Sam said, looking down at Brock with nothing but malice shining in her brown eyes and Brock had to admit that his soul mate was terrifying as hell.

“Ok, as much as I want to throttle Brock for all that he has done, murdering him will not make anything right.” Steve said.

“Ok, let’s hear your idea then.” Sam snapped.

“We lock him up in Avengers Tower.” Steve said.

What?!” Sam and Brock said in unison and then looked at each other.

Avengers Tower?! Are you out of your mind?!” Sam hissed.

“Yeah, says the person who knocked out her soul mate and then tied him up after throwing knives at him.” Brock said.

“SHUT UP!” Steve and Sam shouted at him.

“Yes, Avengers Tower. It’s the best place to keep him incarcerated, as well as be able to safely pump him for information.” Steve explained.

Sam closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead.

“Steve, I don’t think that is such a good idea. Who knows what he might do if he gets loose.” Sam said warily glancing at Brock who was looking at them with rapt attention.

“That’s just it, ‘if.’ We have a room with three reinforced concrete and steel walls, the only wall that is made of glass was designed and made by Tony Stark so we all know it is completely unbreakable and secure.” He explained.

“Not mention that there is only one way in and out and the temperature and oxygen is controlled by us.” Sam’s eyebrows shot up at this and Steve seemed as if he was boasting

 “So if we wanted to we could freeze him to death, make the room into a sauna or we could suck all the oxygen out of the room and let him suffocate to death.” Steve didn’t take a breath throughout his explanation of trying to convince Sam that it was the best plan for now at least.

“Just who or what was this room built for?” Sam asked genuinely curious.

“The Hulk.” Steve answered calmly.

“Um, excuse me.” Brock said and both Sam and Steve turned simultaneously to look at him.

“I escaped unscathed from a building that was literally crashing down on me. How are you so sure that I cannot escape your prison?” he asked.

Steve smiled maliciously and the look he was sporting sent a shiver of fear down Brock’s spine.

“Our ‘prison’ was designed and build by Tony Stark and Dr. Bruce Banner for ‘The Hulk’. It went through many different stages of testing to ensure that it would hold Dr. Banner’s violent alter ego. So I am sure it can only one measly, little snake.” Steve said.

He then went back to Brock where he crouched down so that he could look him in his eye properly.

“You will also be monitored 24/7 and should you be able to break out of the room, once you set foot on the ground outside you will be in for one ‘shocking’ surprise.” Steve smiled but there was nothing kind about it lightly tapping Brock on his cheek before standing back up.

“Wait, you mean to tell me that if he breaks out, he will be electrocuted once he’s outside?” Sam asked just to be sure.

“Yea, it’s a safety measure. If the room is not opened using the proper procedures, the floor outside becomes basically like a live wire. And Brock take note, the strength of the electric current is able to knock out ‘The Hulk’ so imagine what it could do to a puny human.”  Steve clarified.

Brock shuddered and looked over to Sam who was actually considering the idea.

“Sam, please. I promise I won’t run.” Brock said but Sam paid him no mind.

 “I mean why would I run? I want to get to know my soul mate. If anything you will be begging me to give you space. Please, Sam don’t lock me up. Give me a chance.” Brock knew he was begging but he did not care. He did not want to be locked away from his soul mate, from the one good thing, the one good person currently in his life.

“Did any of your victims ever beg for their lives, the lives of their families or their freedom?” Sam asked still not looking at Brock.

There was a ringing silence in the kitchen when she asked that.

“Yes.” Brock whispered.

“Did you ever have mercy on them?” She asked, still not looking at him.

“No.” He said and sniffled.

“Then why should I have mercy on you? And I swear if you say ‘because I am your soul mate’ I will use you as a dart board for my knives.” She threatened finally looking at him and he shrank back from the fire in her eyes.

He was silent for a moment, then he said, “It’s your job.”

Sam blinked at that answer and looked at Steve who look equally perplexed and shrugged.

“What exactly do you mean by that?” Sam was getting agitated and she could feel herself getting ready to snap and kick him in the head again to knock him out.

“You’re a counsellor down at the VA. It’s your job to show compassion to people who needs it.” Brock elaborated.

Sam snorted and then started laughing hysterically causing the two men in the room to exchange worried glances.

“Oh my God! That is rich! Yes, I am a counsellor and yes, I have compassion for people who needs it and deserves it! I have compassion for wounded and traumatised soldiers who were chewed up and spat back out by a war they were fighting for their country!” Sam was shouting now.

“I don’t have compassion for people who take sick glee in victimising other people. You watched a man be used and then be frozen over and over again for seventy years! You watched him be electrocuted or ‘wiped’ whatever term you want to use and brainwashed to do other people’s killings and dirty work. Do you know how many people you would have killed if we hadn’t stopped Project Insight?” She asked.

Brock shook his head, too ashamed to speak.

Sam took a breath and leaned back against the wall, gratefully taking a sip of the glass of water that Steve gave her.

“Ok, fine you’re going to lock me up. However, you do know that I am not going to go quietly. How will you transport me from Washington to New York?” Brock asked.

Sam slammed down her glass causing some of the water to splash over the rim.

“Ok, that’s it. Enough talking from you.” She said stepping over him to open a drawer.

After she found the duct tape she was looking for she walked back over to Brock, who started to struggle and protest when he saw what was in her hands. She managed to turn him over unto his back where she proceeded to straddle his waist, which was a bad move on her part as the contact stirred something deep within her gut and she could see that the contact also affected him as he stopped struggling and his pupils dilated.

Taking a deep breath Sam pulled off a piece of the tape and placed it over his mouth to shut him up. She got back up and went over to Steve.

“Did you really have to sit on him just to tape his mouth shut?” He teased.

“Shut up Rogers.” She said and Brock made a sound of agreement as well.

“He does however, have a valid point, how are we going to get him to New York without being questioned?” Sam asked glancing back a disgruntled who at the moment seemed as if he was trying to set her on fire with his eyes.

She gave him her best unimpressed look.

“Don’t worry I have that covered.” Steve said giving her a friendly squeezed on her shoulder as he went into the living to make a call.

Sam went and sat down across from Brock resting her back against the wall.

“You know, I’m not about this kind of life of having a Hydra agent for a soul mate.” She said and Brock simply shrugged.

 

Meanwhile in the living room

The call was answered after three rings.

“’ello? Barton here.” The gruff sleep filled voice said.

“Clint. It’s Steve.” He said.

“Steve? What the fuck?! It’s after 2 in the morning! Why are you calling?!” Clint whined.

“I have a mission for you, which requires transporting an agent of Hydra to Avengers Tower.” Steve said knowing he had the man’s full attention.

Clint was wide awake when he heard that. “Tell me what you need.” He said.

Steve smiled and told the short version Clint of what had happened and what he needed.

“Be there in two hours.” Clint said ending the call.

Steve went back into the kitchen to find sitting on the floor, eyes closed and her head tilted back and Brock was watching her as if he was trying to burn her face into his memory.

“Hey.” Steve said.

“Hmm?” Sam acknowledged his presence but did not open her eyes.

“I have transport for the prisoner. It will be here in two hours.” Steve said.

At that Sam finally opened her eyes and looked up at Steve.

“So what do we do with him in the mean time? She asked waving a hand dismissively at Brock.

Steve shrugged, “knock him back out I guess.” He said.

“By who? Me or you?” Sam asked getting to her knees. Brock started shuffling back but did not get very far as his back met the kitchen island.

“You,” Steve said, “if I do it I might end up killing him.”

Sam nodded and shuffled over on her knees to Brock.

“Hey man this is nothing personal…oh wait is personal.” Sam said as she grabbed a handful of her soul mate’s hair and slammed his head down into the floor knocking him out.

She released the hair from her grip but started to card her fingers through it and it really was as soft as it looked. No products making it stiff.

“Umm, Sam, you’re stroking his hair.” Steve said smirking a little.

Sam immediately stopped what she was doing and drew her hand back as if she was touching fire.

“Shut up Rogers.” She growled and Steve laughed holding up his hands in surrender.

“So what are you going to do about him?” Steve asked.

“I have no idea. I need space and time to think.” She said running a hand through her hair.

“What ten months wasn’t enough?” Steve teased.

“I was more preoccupied with hunting down your best friend and trying to prevent you from killing yourself. Also it was much easier to ignore before; but now that he has come after me, I figure that I need to think through my next step carefully.” She said and Steve nodded in agreement.

“Hey how about this, you go and get some sleep and I will wake you when the transport gets here.” Steve suggested.

Sam smiled, the thought of sleep sounded pretty great.

“Thanks Steve.” She said giving him a hug.

“It’s the least I could do what with you having my back since the day we met.” He said as he returned the hug.

He then released her and watched as she walked up the stairs to her room, hoping that she would be able to get some rest.

Chapter Text

Sam was dreaming about smoke, fire, burning flesh. She saw Riley falling from the sky, long dead before hitting the sand in the desert. When her feet finally touched the ground beside his dead body and she knelt down to turn his body over, the face she saw was not of her dead best friend but of Brock. Just as she was about to start screaming she heard someone calling her name.

“Sam…Sam…Sam! Wake up.”

She flew up with a fright and it took a few seconds for her to get her bearings and to remember that she was in her bedroom, in her house back in D.C. and that it was Steve waking her up.

“Hey, hey, hey, you’re ok. It’s me Sam. It’s Steve.” He said soothing her.

Sam nodded her head to let him know that she was ok.

“Is Clint here?” she asked as she swung her legs over the edge of her bed and got up to go to the bathroom.

“Yeah, he literally just got here about two minutes ago.” Steve said as he leaned against the door jam of the bathroom watching Sam wash her face to wake up.

Sam tried her face and taking a deep breath, “ok, let’s go and get this over with.” She said and the two friends went back downstairs.

Upon entering the kitchen Sam is engulfed in a bear hug by Clint, which Sam returns.

“I was shocked as hell when I found out Bruce Banner, ‘The Hulk’ was my soul mate, but finding out that a Hydra agent, Brock Rumlow at that is your soul mate, well that takes the fucking bakery.” He said into her hair.

“It’s great to see you too Clint. I just wished it was under different and much better circumstances.” Sam says as they break the hug.

“Yeah, me too.” Clint replied as all the three of them turned to look at a still unconscious Brock.

“How is he still unconscious? He should not be out this long.” Sam said looking between Steve and Clint.

“Ah, I gave him a sedative so that he would not wake up on me and Steve during transport. Don’t worry it’s completely harmless and Bruce is monitoring his vitals from the Tower.” Clint explained.

“Yay for technology.” Steve muttered.

“I’m not worried and what did Bruce have to say about us borrowing his ‘fail safe’?” Sam asked.

“He’s all for it. Figures we can pump him for more information and it will be a safe place in case any other Hydra agent gets wind of his captivity and tries to take him out to prevent him from spilling Hydra secrets.” Clint said.

“I never actually thought of that.” Steve said.

“Neither did I. Hopefully none of his friends come looking for him.” Sam said and then her eyes widened in sheer terror alarming both Clint and Steve.

“Oh my God. What if he told someone that I’m his soul mate? What if they come after me or worst, my family?” Sam was close to hyperventilating.

“Hey, hey, hey,” Steve said pulling her into a hug, “it’s going to be ok. You have the backing of the Avengers and the Winter Soldier who’s taking quite a liking to you. We will protect you and your family should anyone come after you.” Steve had cradled her cheek in one of his large warm palms and Sam had to stop herself from turning her face to kiss it.

She felt so safe in his arms and believed that he would do anything to keep her and her family safe.

“Ok.” Sam said and Steve released her from the hug.

“So what now? You guys just haul him back to New York?” She asked.

“Yes, we are going to do that. And I arranged for you to have a housemate while we are away.” Steve said sheepishly.

Sam narrowed her eyes, “housemate? Steve what did you do?”

“I called Bucky and explained the situation properly and he actually raised the question of your safety and insisted that he come and stay with you while we are away.”

“Steve! I don’t need a baby sitter! Yes, I am a bit worried but I can handle myself!” Sam felt happy that Bucky was looking out for her considering that they did not know each other but she would not admit it.

She knew that she was out of sorts with this whole soul mate ordeal but that did not mean that she could not take care of herself. She was not a damsel in distress who needed saving.

Steve seeming to know where her thoughts had gone quickly said, “I know that you don’t need saving Sam, but it would put my mind at ease knowing that someone else was here with you, especially if that someone is the Winter Soldier. And it would be great if Bucky had company as well, I don’t want to leave him by himself either.”

Sam’s righteous indignation deflated after hearing that. “Alright, fine, when is he showing up?”

“Boo.”

Sam shrieked and spun around throwing what would have been a wicked right hook had it made contact with the person’s jaw who had snuck up on her but was blocked by a metal bionic arm.

Steve, Clint and Bucky began to laugh at Sam’s reaction.

“Fuck you Barnes.” Sam said with no heat, lowering her arm.

“By all means, please do.” Bucky said grinning and winked at her.

Sam rolled her eyes and then seemed to remember something crucial.

“How can you be in the same room with Rumlow and not go crazy?” She asked and then internally winced at how tactless her wording was.

“I figured it would be more useful keeping him alive than receiving short-lived enjoyment from pummelling him into a bloody pulp.” Bucky said never once glancing at Brock.

Sam swallowed “That makes sense.”

“Yeah, now if you’ll excuse I am going to continue watching Disney cartoons.” And with that Bucky left the kitchen.

“And we should get moving, if we want to get him settled in his new temporary new home before the sedatives wear off.” Steve said as he picked up Brock’s unconscious body and slung it over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry.

Clint went ahead and opened the front door allowing Steve to walk out and down the drive way to a nondescript SUV, where they placed Brock in the back seat, making sure that he was fully secure. Sam was happy as hell that it was still dark out and her neighbours were all asleep, it would have been rather interesting trying to explain this to her kind elderly neighbour Mr. Feeny.

Closing the car door, Steve turned back to Sam and pulled her into a hug.

“I’ll let you know when we have reached New York and when we have him secure in the room ok?” He asked pulling back a little so that he could look her in the eyes.

“Ok. Have a safe trip.” Sam said.

Steve smiled and kissed her on her forehead, “go and get some more sleep.” He said, his lips grazing her forehead.

Pulling back, Steve got into the SUV and Sam watched as it drove off and turned the corner out of sight. Sam turned to go inside and saw Bucky on the porch leaning against the column, looking at her.

“Come on let’s get you back into bed.” He said extending his bionic arm and smiling at her.

Sam walked to him and took his hand letting him lead her back into the house.

New York, Avengers Tower

Steve, Clint and Bruce were all alerted by Jarvis that Brock had woken up and was demanding to speak to Steve or Sam. One of the computer screens in Bruce’s lab changed to the live video recording of Brock. He was pacing agitatedly back and forth and suddenly he turned and smashed his fist as hard as he could into the glass barrier.

“That’s the third time he has done that.” Jarvis said.

“It’s amazing he hasn’t broken his hand as yet.” Bruce said, all eyes on the man that was pacing around like a caged beast.

Steve sighed, “I should probably go down there before he actually does manage to break it.” The elevator was waiting for him to board.

The Cage, please Jarvis.” Steve asked wondering at Bruce’s sense of humour of the name for the room that was built to contain The Hulk.

“Right away Captain Rogers.” Jarvis said and the elevator began to descend.

The elevator opened and Steve stepped out to see Brock still pacing back and forth, however, when he caught sight Steve he stopped. He was breathing hard, clenching and unclenching his fists.

“Had a nice nap Brock?” he asked casually strolling up to the glass, ignoring the single chair that was put in the room for visitors.

“Fuck you too Rogers.” Brock spat.

Steve looked thoughtful for a moment, “hmmm, no thanks. I’ve got a soul mate back home waiting for me.”

Brock deflated at that, “I’m guessing that Sam is not here.” He said and glanced about behind Steve as if she would suddenly materialize out of thin air.

“Yeah, she’s at home with Bucky.” Steve said and Brock’s eyes snapped back at him.

“You left her with the Winter Soldier? Are you out of your mind?!” Brock knew that Sam could handle herself against normal humans, she held her own fighting against him but the Winter Soldier was a whole other story.

Steve actually looked offended on Bucky’s behalf.

“Bucky will not hurt her any more than you have, he’s taken quite a liking to her.”

“What the hell do you mean by that? He better not touch her.” Brock growled dangerously.

Steve smiled and did not answer knowing that it would piss his prisoner off even more.

“Now here’s how it’s going to go Rumlow, you have a whole lot of Hydra information that we want and you are going to give it to us.”

Brock raised an eyebrow at that, “Who’s this ‘us’ and why do you think I would tell you anything?”

“I am talking about the Avengers of course. We want all the information on Hydra; all the little sordid activities they have been up to.” Steve then smiled and Brock felt a chill run down his spine.

“And you will tell us what we want to know because you want your soul mate. Sam will never accept for who you are, so give us what we want, be on our side, our team, show her that you can change who you are and be a better man and she may just give you the time of day.” Steve had no qualms about dangling Sam in front of Brock. If it got the job done, then so be it.

Steve waited patiently on Brock’s response.

“How long will I be locked up for?” he asked.

“Well that will be up for discussion with the other Avengers, Sam and Bucky included and whether we can trust you and the information you have given us.” Steve said.

Brock let out a sardonic laugh, “then forever, because I don’t see any of you, especially you and Barnes trusting me.”

Steve sighed, “ok, look at it this way, we’re keeping you locked up for your own protection.”

That got Brock’s attention, “what do you mean by that?”

“Just imagine all your old buddies getting wind that you are locked in avengers Tower, I’m sure some of them might try to get rid of you so that you don’t spill any of Hydra secrets.” Steve explained.

“That’s another reason why Bucky’s with Sam. He’s there to watch her back in case any of your Hydra friends decide to come after her because she’s your soul mate.”

“I never told anyone that Sam’s my soul mate. No one but us know. You see the thing is when you work for Hydra you keep your mouth shut about personal information such as that.” Brock said looking down at his hands.

“And everything went to hell that day, who was I going to tell?” He mumbled.

“Yeah, well we still want that information, so if you would be so kind.” Steve said and he took his hands from behind his back which Brock just realized he had them there since he had stepped into the room and in them was a sleek silver and chrome tablet with a stylus pen.

Steve stepped up to the glass barrier and bent down where a partition opened allowing him to place the tablet gently on the ground inside the Cage. Brock looked at the tablet and back at Steve.

“What am I supposed to do with that?” he asked, looking at the piece of technology like it would attack him.

“You may use that to write down all the information you have.” Steve explained.

“You do know that I can use it to communicate with my ‘Hydra buddies’,” Brock spat the words back at Steve, “that I am being held against my will in Avengers Tower.”

Steve rolled his eyes.

“Don’t worry, we had this one specially made just for you, it can only be used to write on and the information is transmitted directly to Jarvis.” Steve explained.

Brock sighed and took up the tablet. “I hope you’re ready for what you are about to get you and your team into.”

Steve frowned, “and what do you mean by that?”

“Let’s just say you have barely scratched the surface where Hydra is concerned. Cut of one head and two more will grow back in its place. Do you know how many ‘accidents’ took place because of Hydra? There are so many wars that were started with the wrong people, just because Hydra manipulated who should get the blame. And do you have any idea of the powerful people who backs Hydra?” Brock looked Steve in the eyes.

“Well you’re going to help us make sure there are no ‘accidents’ and also to arrest these ‘powerful’ people, so get to it.” Steve said and turned, walking towards the opened elevator.

“Jarvis back to Dr. Banner’s lab please.” Steve said as he watched Brock sit on his cot and stare at the tablet in his hands.

“Right away Captain Rogers.” Jarvis said.

When Steve arrived back the lab, Bruce was wrapping up a conversation on his phone. And Clint was sitting on the table watching the live video feed.

“That was Tony. I told him what was happening and he said that he and Natasha are flying back tonight.” Bruce explained.

“That’s good.” Steve said and then indicated with a tilt of his head to the computer screen with the live video feed and Bruce turned to watch Brock as he picked up the stylus pen and wrote down the first piece of information he had.

It was immediately brought up the screen beside it. It was a name and what the person did, both Bruce and Steve drew inhaled deeply when they saw it.

Norman Osborn, supplied chemical weapons to war lords and rebels. 

“I am not surprised. That man is a sleaze ball.” Clint said.

“Well, Brock did say that there were powerful people backing Hydra and we just got our first one.” Steve said glaring at the name.

“Let’s go bag us some Hydra left overs.” Clint said as he slid off the table and walked with Steve back to the elevator.

“Don’t wait up Bruce-Bear.” He said as the elevator doors were closing and Bruce shook his head at his soul mate’s nickname for him.

Chapter Text

“Steve said that he, Clint and Natasha just arrested their fifth world leader who was secretly Hydra. Apparently there were some hitches when they were trying to get him out of the country quietly. The people in his country are now demanding his head on a spike.” Bucky said after he ended his call with Steve.

Sam let out a sharp whistle as she finished towelling off from her shower. She was informed by Maria of prime ministers, presidents even royalty being secret supporters of Hydra.

“Maria must be having a field day.” She said, as she put on her sleep wear which consisted of boy shorts and camisole that showed her strong albeit petite beautiful body.

“I would not want to be her right now.” Bucky said as he began turning down Sam’s bed so that they could turn in for the night.

Sam exited her bathroom to see Bucky already in bed clad in nothing but tight boxer briefs. She went a laid down on her back beside him. They had taken to sharing her bed since she had woken up their first morning together to find Bucky wrapped around her like an octopus.

Her right arm brushed his bionic arm and it reminded her that Bucky would be leaving the next day to go to Avengers Tower so that Tony could finally have a look at it. She was a bit bummed about it even though she basically had him to herself for all of five days.

During that time she received so much blackmail material on Steve and got a front row seat to Bucky Barnes wicked sense of humour. He was a very charming man and she was happy that he and Steve were finally together again.

She don’t know what made her say what she said next. She doesn’t know if it was the closeness she felt with Bucky just after five days of getting to know each other, or the fact that he would be leaving her and she would be alone in her house or that she felt as if she was beginning to miss Brock and that made her feel like hyperventilating.

“Riley was my first.” She just blurted out, she didn’t look at him to see his reaction. She just kept staring at the ceiling.

Bucky turned over on his side to face her, his head resting on his bionic arm.

“Well that’s an odd way to begin telling me about your best friend.” He said.

Sam laughed a little, “yeah, we met each other in high school and became inseparable, you never knew where he ended and I began; he was my first kiss. We got into the same university and we celebrated by giving each other our virginity, that night was hilarious. We even did the same major and joined the air force together and then became each other’s wingman in the pararescue division.”

Sam wiped at a tear that had escape her eye. “Our families used to tell us that we were soul mates and that we didn’t need each other’s names on our bodies to tell us that.”

“I miss him so much Bucky. How can I go from one of the greatest men I have ever had the honour of knowing to someone like Brock? Was I an awful person in a past life?” Sam had a bewildered look on her face.

“I have no idea Sam, it’s like something out of the Twilight Zone.” Bucky said and Sam turned her bewildered look on him.

“What? I have been catching up on a lot of TV shows.” He said and stuck his tongue out at her, causing her to laugh.

The two friends talked late into the night until Sam fell asleep with her head resting on Bucky’s left shoulder and her arm slung over his toned stomach.

Bucky was still awake contemplating if he should confront Brock during his stay at Avengers Tower or if he should forget about him when Sam shifted a little and threw her leg over his so that she was almost lying on top of him. Bucky got a wicked idea and wrapped his left arm around her small frame, clutching her hip in a possessive grip. He then took his phone off the bedside table and took a picture of them; Sam fast asleep and Bucky smiling smugly at the camera. His decision was made and a cruel smile made its way onto his face.

The next day Sam was seeing Bucky off.

“How’s it that I can feel so safe in the arms of the world’s best assassin?” Sam asked as she nuzzled her face into Bucky’s chest. “It’s because you’re so tiny.” He teased and Sam punched him in his shoulder.

He pulled her back in his arms and lifted her off the ground spinning her around and making her shriek and laugh.

“I may be ‘tiny’ but I can still kick your ass.” She said smiling down at him.

“I am very sure of that.” Bucky said as he lowered her back to the ground making it so that she now had to look up at him.

“Remember whenever you start missing me too much there is a standing invitation for you to come to Avengers Tower.” Bucky said and Sam snorted.

“You are so full of yourself.” Sam joked.

“You’ll come though right? If you start to feel lonely or if you just want to get away?” Bucky asked and he dialled up the puppy dog eyes and innocent face that Sam caved.

Sam sighed and nodded, “yes, I’ll come.” She was treated to Bucky’s very rare wide smiles and found herself returning it.

“Now get going. I’m surprized Steve didn’t fly all this way back for you.” Sam said.

“He’s too busy hunting down Hydra.” Bucky said as he got into the black Town Car that Tony had sent to pick him up.

“Give him a hug for me.” Sam said.

“Will do.” Bucky as he closed the car door.

She waved the car off and watched as it drove down her street and turned the corner out of sight. Sam sighed and rubbed her chest where Brock’s name was printed.

“This is going to be troublesome.” She muttered as she walked back into her house.

Avengers Tower

Brock was asleep on his cot. He was dreaming of his soul mate but it was never a pleasant dream as it always ended with Sam rejecting and his name being removed from her chest. However, it was better than the dream where Sam accepted him and then he would have to wake to the cruel reality that she wanted nothing to do with him.

The dream as usual began with them standing in Sam’s kitchen, but it soon began to warp when in the dream the place started to get cold and each time he breathed he saw his breath. Snowflakes began to fall and when Brock looked up he saw nothing but a cloudy grey sky. He looked back to where Sam was and saw that she was gone and he was now surrounded by snow filled woods.

That is when Brock woke with a start from his dream to realize that the temperature in The Cage had decreased significantly, which is also when he realized that he was not alone.

On the outside of the thick glass barrier stood one smug, evil glinting in his eyes, Bucky Barnes. Brock remained still as he had no idea what Bucky was going to do.

Bucky whistled while his eyes roamed the make of The Cage;then those eyes suddenly snapped back to Brock and he was not ashamed to admit that a chill of fear ran down his spine at what he saw in Bucky’s cold, steely, blue eyes; the eyes of a highly trained killer with an axe to grind with him.

Bucky smirked at Brock in his glass prison “How does it feel to be the prisoner this time, you piece of shit?”

Brock slowly sat up and swung his legs over the side of his cot only to hiss and pull his feet back onto the cot as if they had been burned, the concrete floor was cold as ice.

Bucky raised an unimpressed eyebrow at the action and scoffed.

“Can’t take what you dish out? Hydra trash.” Bucky sneered.

Brock looked down at the floor not meeting Bucky’s eyes anymore and he had yet to say anything and this angered Bucky even more.

Bucky was filled with nothing but utter disdain for the man in front of him. The man who knew who he was, knew who his best friend was, worked with his best friend but still kept his mouth shut about what he knew. Standing by as Pierce tortured and used him. He wanted Brock to feel nothing but utter fear and hopelessness and knew exactly how to do it.

“You know Sam is a rather damn good looking woman?” Bucky said and got the desired respond from Brock whose head snapped up at that statement.

“I mean not only is she damn attractive, she is also very smart, compassionate and friendly and has the patience of a fucking saint.” Brock was staring at Bucky, a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach wondering where he was going with this.

Bucky felt pure glee at the look on Brock’s face and continued his torment.

“She barely knew Steve when she decided to help him take down S.H.I.E.LD/HYDRA and help him find me, how could a person not fall in love with her from that?” Brock was breathing heavily now and clenching his fists so tight his knuckles turned white.

He was playing right into Bucky’s hands.

“Everyone who knows Sam is basically in love with her.” Bucky was smiling rather unkindly right now at seeing Brocks reaction to his words.  And that did it, Brock was up and off his cot in the blink of an eye not caring about the cold floors, his fist meeting the unbreakable glass. Bucky looked unimpressed and continued with his merciless teasing.

“There’s this theory that if a person has trouble accepting his/her soul mate; I mean if that person detest their soul mate with all their heart and soul, it is possible to break the bond between them, especially if they have not consummated their soul bond as yet.” Brock was startled at that.

Bucky grinned and continued “If the person who rejects their soul mate forms a very strong bond with another person or persons, it is possible for them to create a new soul mate bond with someone of their choosing.”

Brock paled at that statement and Bucky was hoping that he would not pass out before he was finished with him.

“I think Steve and I should test that theory. Yes, we are already bonded but we would sometimes share dames with each other. I don’t see why we can’t share Sam; make her ours.” Bucky’s smiled maliciously.

“Imagine that Rumlow, Sam hating you so much that her heart, her soul rejects you and your name is removed from her chest only to be replaced with Steve’s or mine and you are left with only her name on your chest and ‘what ifs’ and ‘what could have beens’.” There was an evil possessive glint in Bucky’s eyes when he said that.

Brock swallowed, not even trying to hide that he was nervous and worried.

Bucky smiled at his nervousness and took out his phone, he found what he was looking for and turned the screen around to show Brock.

Brock blinked and then his eyes widened when he registered what he was seeing. It was the picture that Bucky had taken of himself and Sam the night before.

“Stay the fuck away from my soul mate!” Brock screamed.

Bucky smirked, “why should I? You took my freedom in all aspects of the word from me. Why shouldn’t I take something so important from you?’ Bucky asked cocking his head to the side as if pondering his words.

“Sam and I are very good friends, just the other day we went running together and the sight of her in running shorts would make a saint sin. I mean you could bounce a coin off of her ass and her breasts, what I wouldn’t do to have those in my hands. I barely restrained myself from pressing up against her and taking her right against the kitchen counter. And when she stepped out of the shower wrapped in nothing but a towel, let's just say that I am very happy to be ambidextrous.” Bucky grinned knowing the anxiety he was causing Brock. 

“There are no words to say how sorry I am for what I helped do to you, but I am begging you not to do anything that would destroy what little strength our bond may have. Please Bucky.” Brock was not above begging the man he once had a part in hurting.

Bucky raised an eyebrow, “why would I do that? I want to see you hurt and suffer.”

Brock shook his head, “no, you don’t want that.”

“Really? I don’t? And why is that?” Bucky asked genuinely wanting to know Brock reason.

“Because you’re a good man.” Brock said, which when he saw the reaction on Bucky’s face he realized what the wrong answer.

Bucky leaned forward and even though there was a barrier between them Brock stepped back.

“No, I am not a good man. You and Hydra made sure of that. Burning, beating, electrocuting, freezing, sedating and only God knows what else all the good out of me.”

Brock looked away in shame.

“Seventy years. Seventy years of torture and brainwashing and being treated as nothing but property and an attack dog and you expect me to have any good left in me?!” Bucky was breathing hard and took a minute to compose himself.

“Let me tell you something Rumlow, the only reason that you are still alive is because currently you are useful, but the day you become useless I will take joy in watching the life fade from your eyes.” Bucky hissed, his eyes hard.

“Excuse me, Sergeant Barnes, Captain Rogers and the others have arrived.” Jarvis announced.

“Thank you Jarvis.” Bucky said as he turned and entered the elevator, leaving Brock even more concerned about his status as soul mate than before.

Chapter Text

Brock was sitting on his cot with his back pressed against the wall, his legs folded beneath him and his eyes closed. He did not even bother opening them when he heard the elevators doors open, knowing who would be visiting him.

“Brock.” Came the exasperated voice of Steve.

“It has been three days and you have not given us any new intel. You can’t have possibly given us everything.”

Brock remained silent and this further angered Steve.

“Sure, give me the silent treatment Rumlow. Very mature.” Steve spat out, crossing his arms over his chest and huffing in anger.

Brock snorted, “I am the mature one. Unlike your soul mate.”

Steve startled at that. “What the hell does that mean?”

“Nothing. It means absolutely nothing.” Brock said.

Steve face soften as he knew how vicious both physically and psychologically when necessary Bucky could be long before his fall and the war they fought together; something coming from when they were children. He always had a way of pushing the right buttons and it seemed he knew exactly which ones of Brock’s to push.

“What did he do Brock? Talk to me.” Steve said.

Brock took a deep breath and let it out after counting to ten. He then got up off the cot and walked up to the glass barrier, looking Steve straight in his eyes.

“I said that I would give you all the information I have. I want to redeem myself, not only to be a person that Sam wants as her soul mate or even a friend but I want to do it for me. I spent many years of my life working for an organization that did nothing but hurt people and I want a chance to do some good now.”

Brock took another deep breath and rubbed his eyes.

“However, I cannot handle being taunted with threats of taking my soul mate away from me. I already have this extremely fragile bond with Sam and then Bucky comes down here waving pictures of them sleeping together in my face and talking about trying to erase my name from her chest and replacing it with his or yours.”

Steve listened to what Brock had to say but his mind was spinning with what Bucky had done.

“I know I hurt him, hurt both of you, but I am begging you not to take Sam away from me.” Brock pleaded.

“Ok, no one can take Sam away from you, she has to make that decision herself, she is her own woman, she maybe your soul mate but she is not yours, not until she says so. I will speak to Bucky about not taunting you even though it is nothing compared to what you have done to him.” Steve said and Brock looked away, feeling shame that he was making a big deal out of being taunted.

“Ok, so now that you have gotten that off your chest and I will go and speak to Bucky, I expect you to get back with writing down that Hydra intel.” Steve said and was turning away when what he heard next made him spin back in disbelief.

“No.” Brock said.

“Excuse me?” Steve was unsure that he had hear right.

“You heard me. I said ‘no.’ I will not give you anymore intel until Sam comes and visits me.” Brock said.

Steve’s eyebrows met his hairline.

“You’re giving an ultimatum.” Steve said incredulously.

“Look at it anyway you want, but that is my decision and I will stick to it.” Brock answered.

Steve ran his fingers through his hair, “you want me to call Sam and tell her to come visit you so that you will continue giving us intel.”

“Yes.” Brock answered again as if it was that simple.

Steve sighed in frustration, “I will call her and explain the situation, but I make no promises that she will show up. She’s not your biggest fan.”

Brock smiled sardonically, “I’m well aware Captain Rogers.” And with that Brock went back to his cot where he resumed his previous position not caring that Steve was still by the glass.

After a few seconds of watching Brock, Steve spun on his heels and walked back to the elevator.

“To the communal room, please Jarvis.” He said.

“Right away Captain Rogers.” Jarvis replied.

The elevator doors opened to the spacious communal room which was currently occupied by Tony, Natasha, Clint, Bruce, Bucky and Thor who had just returned from Asgard that morning and was regaling the team with his adventures who were all laughing.

The laughing, however, came to an abrupt halt as everyone in the room caught the murderous look on Steve’s face as he made his way over to the couch Bucky was on. Steve was so angry that everyone could feel it rolling off of him and Natasha even shifted slightly to put herself in front of Tony should Steve’s anger explode.

Bucky whose back was to Steve realized how quiet the room had become and that they were all looking at something over his shoulder. He turned and when he saw the look was knew that he was in deep shit and immediately got up.

“H-hey Stevie. What’s cracking?” He asked nervous as hell.

“Your head is what will be cracking if you don’t shut your venomous mouth right now.” Steve hissed and Bucky’s mouth snapped shut and he gulped.

The room was so silent you could hear a pin drop.

“Come with me right now.” Steve said, spinning around and walking back to the elevator not even bothering to check if Bucky was following him.

Bucky looked back at his friends for some help but was met with stunned faces, Natasha included.

“BARNES!” Steve shouted and that got Bucky moving and into the elevator in the blink of an eye. He made sure to stay in the corner by the door and kept both eyes on Steve, his long-time best friend, who it took a lot to really piss him off, but once he was royally pissed off he was scary to be around.

Back in the communal room everyone breathed a sigh of relief once the elevator doors closed.

“Should we make sure that Cap doesn’t kill him?” Tony asked genuinely concerned for his friend’s safety.

“Rogers won’t kill him. Maybe maim him a little but not kill him.” Natasha said.

“Yeah, that doesn’t really make me feel any betterНаталия.” Tony said. 

“Don’t worry about him. More than likely their little lover’s quarrel will end in very passionate and rigorous sex.” Clint said.

“Gee thanks for that Barton.” Tony said sarcastically.

“Anytime,” Clint said and smiled, “now back to Thor’s adventures.”

Steve’s & Bucky’s Room

Bucky was becoming even more nervous as the minutes ticked on and Steve had yet to say anything. He had told Bucky to sit on the couch and to shut up, while he went and stood by the fireplace. He seemed lost in thought and Bucky was about to open his mouth when Steve beat him to it.

“I know that you have been through some very horrible shit, we both have been.” Steve began and Bucky knew that Steve was really upset when he cursed.

“But what on God’s green earth possessed you to go and taunt Brock about taking away his soul mate? And why do you have picture of you and Sam sleeping together? Also delete that picture right now.” He said.

Bucky took out his phone and did as ordered and then he answered Steve’s other two questions.

“I wanted to make him hurt. I wanted to watch him squirm from being helpless and vulnerable.” Bucky said.

“Well guess what, he has refused to give us anymore intel until Sam comes to visit him. So now I have to call Sam and try to convince her to fly up here and speak to her soul mate who she wants nothing to do with.” Steve all but shouted at Bucky who looked properly chastised.

Steve was breathing heavily when his face lit up and Bucky could practically see the light bulb turn on above his head.

“No, you know what, you will call Sam and explain. Since you fucked up you can make amends.” Steve said.

Bucky paled, “Steve, no. She will strangle me through the phone.”

“And you will have deserved it.” Steve said.

“Call her.” Steve ordered.

“What? Now?” Bucky asked his eyes wide with fear.

Steve nodded, “yes, now.”

Bucky reluctantly pressed 2 on his phone’s dial pad. He put it to his ear and heard the first ring hoping for a miracle that Sam would not pick up on that first try so that he would have time to come up with a proper explanation for the shit that he caused.

There were no miracles to be had as Sam picked up the call on the third ring and Bucky cursed internally.

“Hello?” Sam answered.

“Hey Sam, it’s Bucky” Bucky answered “How are you?”

“I’m good. What about you?” She replied.

Bucky was going to try and ease into why he was calling when he took one look at Steve’s not quite murderous but still royally pissed off face and just blurted it out.

“I fucked up real bad Sam. I taunted Brock with a picture of you sleeping on my chest and saying that I would try to make you mine or Steve’s soul mate. I know it was very immature and childish of me but I wanted to hurt him, like he hurt me. I know, I know two wrongs don’t make a right but the opportunity was right there and two much to pass up. But now he’s refusing to give us anymore Hydra intel until you come and visit him. I am so very sorry Sam to have put you in this position. Please don’t hate me.” Bucky said.

The line was quiet, so quiet that Bucky thought the call had dropped, but when he checked the screen he saw that it was still connected.

“Sam?” Bucky whispered a terrified look on his face and Steve rolled his eyes.

He heard her inhale and was preparing for her to rip him a new asshole over the phone.

“I’ll come but I am not agreeing to see him right this minute.” Sam replied.

Bucky sat up straight, eyes wide and looking at Steve.

“That’s ok as long as you come.” Bucky was beyond ecstatic. He knew it wasn’t a “yes” but it was better than an outright “no.”

“Make the travel arrangements, I have to pack.” She said.

“Ok, I’ll tell Steve.” Bucky replied.

“However, Bucky, you and I will definitely be having a talk when I get there.” Sam said, hanging up before Bucky had a chance to respond.

“So, she’s going to talk to Brock.” Steve said.

Bucky looked up at him.

“Not exactly.” Bucky winced when Steve’s expression got dark again.

“She said that she’s coming but she was not going to agree to visit him immediately and she also wants to talk to me as well.” Bucky sighed.

Steve shrugged at that, “yeah, well sucks to be you.”

Bucky flipped him the middle finger.

 

At Sam’s House

Sam ended the call before Bucky had a chance to reply and threw her phone into the wall, she was a little disappointed when it didn’t shatter upon impact.

“Fuck you Nokia.” She hissed as she grabbed it off the floor on the way up to her room to pack. She was in the middle of stuffing her toiletries into her duffle bag when she received a text message.

From Bucky Barnes (2:30 P.M.) – Tony is sending a car to take you to the airport, it will be there in ½ hour. He has a private jet being fuelled that will take you to New York.

Sam tossed the phone unto her bed and sighed, she then turned around and dropped herself on it. She stared up at the ceiling before squeezing her eyes shut so tight there were bursts of colours behind her eyelids. She inhaled deeply and exhaled.

“You knew this day would come Sam. Time to face your soul mate and see him as a human being.” She said to herself eyes still squeezed shut.

She was brought out of her inner musings when she heard a knock at the front door. Sam got off her bed and looked through the bedroom window where she saw a black town car parked in front of her house, similar to the one that had picked up Bucky and figured it was for her.

She grabbed her duffle bag and phone and left her room, she walked downstairs to the front door and opened it to a middle aged man on the other side with a pleasant smile.

“Good afternoon Sergeant Wilson.” He greeted her.

Sam pasted on what she hoped was a pleasant looking smile, already exhausted from what was to come.

“Good afternoon...?” She answered back, trailing off since she had not gotten his name.

“You may call me Thomas. I was sent by Mr. Stark to take you to the airport.” He said.

“Ok, Thomas.” Sam answered.

“Do you have more luggage?” Thomas asked.

“No, this is it.” Sam said lifting the duffle bag a little for emphasis.

“Ok, Sergeant Wilson, let me take that for you.” Thomas said taking Sam’s bag before she could raise any objections and Sam let him, not up for wasting excess energy.

Sam made sure that the front door was locked behind her and walked down her drive way and into the back seat of the town car, Thomas ensured that she was in properly before closing the door. Sam relaxed back into the luxurious leather seat as Thomas got into the driver’s seat and drove off.

She looked down at her phone and opened her text messages.

To Bucky Barnes (3:03 P.M.) – Fuck you Bucky. I am going to murder you.

Sam sent the message and let her head fall back against the head rest, letting her eyes fall close.

Her phone alerted her to a new message a few seconds later.

From Bucky Barnes (3:04 P.M.) – I’M SOOOOO SORRY!!!! :(

Sam snorted at the message and turned off her phone using the time she had before arriving in New York to meditate and get herself into a decent headspace so she could deal with what is sure to be a royal shit show.

 

Chapter Text

When Sam walked to the door of the jet she was greeted with the sight of an exasperated Steve and a chastised Bucky who had his hands behind his back that she did not even think twice about, waiting for her at the bottom of the jet’s steps. Sighing, she walked down them and into the open arms of Steve.

“I’m so sorry about this Sam. I know this is not easy for you.” He said the words into her hair.

“You have nothing to apologize for; you did nothing wrong.” She replied her cheek squished to his chest.

“Now your idiotic soul mate on the other hand.” She said letting go of Steve to turn and pinned Bucky with a stare that could melt icebergs.

Bucky’s cheeks turned red in embarrassment.

“Look I know I did extremely stupid and childish-” Bucky began.

“Ya’ think?!” Sam said raising and eyebrow.

“-But I am very sorry.” Bucky continued as if he was not interrupted.

“I also know that you are angry with me so I brought something to get back into your good graces.” Bucky said smiling his smile that probably got into out of trouble a lot as a child.

Sam glanced at Steve too see if he knew what Bucky was talking about, but Steve looked puzzled as well.

“Ok…?” Sam said wondering what Bucky had brought.

That is when Bucky finally brought his hands from around his back and in them was,

“Oh my God!! Is that a limited edition Howling Commando Bucky Bear?!” Sam’s face looked like that of a child on Christmas morning.

“Yup.” Bucky said popping the ‘p.’ “I called your mother and asked her if you had one, she said ‘no’ so I figured I would give you one signed by the person they were modelled after.”

Sam took the bear from Bucky and was looking at it in awe.

“Don’t think this changes anything Bucky. I am still angry and we are still going to talk about what you did.” Sam said, running her fingers through the fur of the toy bear.

Bucky nodded, “I know Sam. But you like the bear.”

Sam smiled and looked at him, “Yes, I like BB.”

Bucky smiled back.

“Now go and get my bag Barnes.” Sam said as she slid into the front seat of the SUV.

“Yes, Ma’am.” Bucky said and gave a salute before running to collect her duffle bag from the plane.

There was about five minutes of silence in the vehicle before anyone spoke.

“How much time are you going to need before going to see Brock?” Steve asked as he expertly manoeuvred the vehicle through the traffic.

“Maybe a day or so. I want to observe his behaviour first; see if he is agitated or too calm.” Sam said, watching the scenery go by out the window.

“Too calm?” Bucky questioned.

“Yeah, if he appears to be too calm he might be gearing up to manipulate me. And I am in no mood to be toyed with.” She said and Steve glanced at Bucky in the rear-view mirror who was actively avoiding his gaze.

When the trio finally reached Avengers Tower, Steve took Sam to her own apartment while Bucky went down to the common room.

“Do you want to rest or are you coming to the common room? Everyone is down there, well everyone except Bruce and Clint, they went out somewhere.” Steve said.

Sam was gazing through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the view it gave her of the city that she missed Steve’s question.

“Sam?” Steve said, gently touching her elbow so as not startle her.

“Hmm?” Sam questioned turning to look at him.

“I asked if you wanted to rest or are you coming down to the common room?” Steve repeated.

“I’ll come down. I’d like to see some more friendly faces before seeing Brock.” She replied.

The two of them got into the elevator and proceeded down to the common room.

“Oh my God! DUCK!”

Is what greeted Sam and Steve as soon as the elevator doors opened and reflexively Steve grabbed Sam and dragged her to the floor, covering her body with his much larger frame. The moment they hit the ground Steve’s shield was embedded into back wall of the elevator right where they were standing a few seconds before.

They got back up and looked at the damage before spinning around and glaring at the two culprits; surprisingly Natasha and not surprising Bucky.

“I am so happy I am innocent in the shenanigans for once.” Tony said leaning back in his seat and watching the events play out in front of him.

“FYI, I told them not to play with your shield Steve and they called me a ‘killjoy.’” He said.

Sam shook her head and went to hug Tony, “I am not even touching this with a ten-foot pole. Steve you’re on your own with this.”

“One of you,” Steve said in his no-nonsense voice, pointing to Bucky and then to Natasha, “needs to get that out of the wall right now.”

“The two former assassins immediately hauled ass into the elevator and began trying to dislodge the shield from the wall.

“Your soul mates are both children.” Sam commented, taking a seat beside Tony.

“Yeah they are, but we love them anyway.” Tony said.

“Speaking of soul-mates, are you ready to face yours again?” He asked Sam.

“Oh my God! Why do you all keep asking me that?!” Sam snapped and her aggressive behaviour even caught the attention Natasha and Bucky who had finally gotten the shield dislodged from the wall.

The room was quite for a few seconds and Sam sighed, dragging a hand down her face.

“I’m sorry guys. I’m feeling a bit out of sorts and I know you are all just concerned.” She said.

 “It’s ok, you were basically put on the spot. And we’re here to help you in any way that we can.” Natasha said, coming to sit on the other side of Tony who immediately put his arm around her.

Sam shot her a grateful smile.

“Ok, with that said can you come with me to observe him? I might need an objective point of view.” Sam asked and they all volunteered to go with her.

They took the elevator down to Tony’s lab which was set up to receive the camera feed from Brock’s cell. Sam took a seat in front of the computer monitor and the others stood behind her. She took her time observing him.

Brock was currently was lying on his back on the cot throwing the stylus pen up in the air and catching it. He kept repeating the motion. Sam observed this, she also observed that his cell was bare; there was nothing else in the cell with him apart from a table and chair bolted down to the floor and a shower area with a toilet and sink.  

He looked rather bored to Sam and she suspected that this might have been the first time he literally had nothing to do with his time. A man like Brock Rumlow always had something to do, whether it was committing crimes on behalf of Hydra, training new recruits or honing his skills. He was never stagnant for long.

Sam looked at Steve and Bucky, “you guys gave him nothing else to keep his mind stimulated and to keep him from going crazy?”

The two men looked at each other and shrugged.

“It’s the first time I am keeping a prisoner. I figured he would keep busy with giving us the hydra intel to not get cabin fever.”

“I was asleep for more than half the time I was in hydra’s clutches, so I didn’t have time to be bored and go crazy.” Bucky added.

Sam rolled her eyes, “I understand he is not a guest, however, he still has rights as a human being and he needs something else a part from his assigned task to keep him occupied.”

“He gets up every morning at 6 A.M. like clockwork to exercise, so he has that to keep fit and occupied.” Tony said.

Natasha and Sam shared a look and Natasha rolled her eyes at how dense the guys were being.

“Come on boys let’s go find some books for Rumlow to read.” She said and the two super-soldiers followed her out of the lab and into the elevator for a trip to the well -stocked library in the tower.

Sam turned back to the screen and continued watching Brock.

“I never told you about my reaction when I found out Natasha was my soul-mate.” Tony suddenly said.

Sam turned back around slowly to look at Tony.

“No, we haven’t seen much of each other or known each other that long or well for you to tell me that story.” She said.

“Ok, I am going to tell you now.” He said as he pulled up at chair.

“When I first found out Natasha was my soul mate, to say I was shocked would have been the understatement of the year. I was going through a very terrible time and then in walks my soul mate and I thought to myself: ‘Damn! How can a hot mess such as myself get such a strong, independent woman as my soul mate?’” Tony was smiling and he looked as if he was remembering that day.

“That was the moment I decided to change my ways. No more womanizing, hard partying, I even gave up drinking. I started taking better care of myself. I began to eat healthier, sleep properly. I even took up yoga!” Tony whispered and Sam would keep his little secret about the yoga.

“I did all that because Natasha came to me at 100% and she did not deserve a soul mate who brought her less.” Tony was looking Sam in the eyes and she knew he was serious and sincere.

“Now, I’m not saying that Brock will change his spots overnight, but give him a chance to redeem himself.”

Sam looked down at her entwined fingers and nodded.

“I’m trying Tony; I really am, but I can’t help but remember what he did and not want to throttle him.” She said.

“Well as long as you are willing to give him a chance. How about I monitor your visit with him and I will step in if it looks like you are going to attack him.” He suggested.

Sam chuckled, “that’s ok I can control myself.”

“Ok, Sam I believe you.” Tony smiled and got up, pulling her into a hug which she returned.

Tony laughed, “You know whenever we’re in a situation where I’m the voice of reason then it is a very bad situation.”

Sam laughed and punched Tony lightly in his shoulder.

Steve, Natasha and Bucky came back to the lab with some books.

“I’m going to visit Brock tomorrow.” She told them.

“Good and you can take these with you to give him.” Natasha said as she deposited the books on a table nearby.

Sam went over and looked at the books they brought back and read out the titles.

“’The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Maze Runner Trilogy and The Divergent Trilogy.’ Really? I feel a theme happening.” She asked raising an eyebrow and the trio shrugged.

“We figured he would enjoy reading them and learn that if he oppresses people, then expect them to fight back at some point or another.” Bucky said.

Sam gave Bucky a flat look, “thank you Bucky.” The sarcasm was evident in her voice.

“I never pass up a teaching opportunity.” Bucky replied.

“Ok and on that note I am going to go and get some rest. No one tell Brock I am here. He will find out when I go to him tomorrow.” Sam said as she entered the elevator.

“Jarvis take me to my apartment please.” She asked.

“Right away sergeant Wilson.” J.A.R.V.I.S. replied.

The day of the visit

Sam wasn’t exactly nervous but she had no idea what to say to Brock. They were only connected by their soul-marks and the fact that she helped to take down the organization he worked for, nothing else. She had a big breakfast courtesy of Bucky who was trying very hard to make up for his error and she was grateful for it as well because she had no idea how long she would be down at Brock’s cell.

She was currently in the elevator on the way down to him, clutching the books to her chest that were picked out the day before for him. However, when the elevator arrived at its destination and the doors opened she had plastered herself to the side where she would be out of Brock’s view.

She was there a good five minutes when she heard Brock’s unsure voice.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” He asked.

Sam took a deep breath and stuck her head around the door and what she saw made her breath catch in her throat. Brock had a confuse look on his face, however, the moment he saw who it was he broke out into the biggest and most genuine smile she had ever seen on someone and with a pang in her chest she realized his smile reminded her of Riley’s smile.

Sam gave herself a mental shake and walked out of the elevator to the visitor’s chair situated in front of the glass barrier where she deposited the books she brought. She continued up to the glass and Brock walked up further as well.

They stood silent for a few minutes examining each other when Brock spoke.

“It’s good to see you Sam. I’m glad you came.”

“Well it’s not like I had much of a choice. You gave an ultimatum and I had no choice but to give in. You really are an asshole, you knowingly worked for an evil organization where you did countless atrocious acts and the moment one of your victims turn the tables on you, you run crying with your tail tucked between your legs.” Sam said viciously and immediately regretted what she said.

Brock was silent and she could see the despair clearly on his face as well as…fear? Sam dragged her hand down her face and walked away from the mirror. She was trying to reign in her emotions when she heard the panicked voice behind her.

“Don’t leave! Please Sam, don’t leave.” Brock begged.

“I’m not leaving Brock.” She said walked to the chair and moved the books to the floor and sat down, resting her elbows on her knees and hanging her head down.

Taking a deep breath and letting it back out Sam sat up and looked straight at her soul-mate.

“Let me start over. How have you been brock?” She asked in a neutral tone that she knew Brock could not read given the look of confusion on his face.

“I’ve been good. I’ve been treated well for a prisoner and by the people who I have hurt.” He replied.

Sam nodded. “Bucky told me that he what he did and about the picture on his phone. I had no idea he had taken that picture and I will be having words with him about it.”

Brock was silent.

“You don’t have to worry Brock, no one is going to remove your name from my chest without my say-so and I am not cruel enough to do something like that. Bucky is still angry for what you and Hydra did to him and he was trying to get back at you. And he clearly succeeded.”

Brock gave a sardonic laugh and looked down at the ground, “that he did.”

There was another moment of silence and Brock glanced at the books by Sam’s feet.

“Are those for me?” He asked and Sam glanced down at them.

“Yeah, I figured you could do with some brain stimulation, a part from giving us intel and excersing every morning.” She said by way of explanation.

Brock raised an eyebrow, “you know that I exercise.”

Sam rolled her eyes, “Don’t sound so happy, I am not keeping tabs on you, Tony told me. So get that damn pleased look off your face.”

“Thank you Sam.” He said sincerely.

Sam chuckled, “you have no idea what you are getting yourself into.”  She said as she got up and slid the books one-by-one through the slot in the glass and Brock knelt to pick them up.

He read the titles and the synopsis of each book and looked at Sam, his face void of all emotion.

“Message received loud and clear.” He said.

Sam raised her hands in a placating gesture. “Hey, I didn’t pick them out. Be happy that I considered your mental state and got you something interesting.”

“Trust me at this point a colouring book would good.” He said as he put the books down on the table except for the first book in The Maze Runner series which he placed on his cot.

“Can you draw?” Sam suddenly asked, her brain catching up with her mouth and she wondered why she asked such a question.

“Yeah, sure I can draw. I can draw the best little stick man figure as well as a fat stick-man figure.” He replied seriously.

Sam stood staring at him and then started laughing.

“What…the…hell…pardon.” Sam was laughing so hard she had to take a moment to compose herself.

“You have a beautiful laugh.” Brock commented and Sam composed herself enough to look at him and the look on his face was something between awe and longing.

She cleared her throat and asked her question, “What is a ‘fat stick-man figure?’”

Brock thought for a while, “It’s basically a stick man that you draw with a round body, thereby giving you a ‘fat stick-man figure.”

“I’m trying to picture it in my head. Not sure if it’s correct.” Sam said.

“I can draw it for you some day.” Brock replied.

Sam nodded.

“So did you just want to see me? Or was there something more you wanted to talk about?” Sam asked not unkindly.

Brock looked at her and allowed his eyes to travel the length of her body and Sam barely supressed a shiver at being looked at with such want in his eyes.

“Give me a kiss.” He said.

The world around Sam came to a screeching halt.

“Excuse you. I didn’t seem to have heard you correctly. Would you mind repeating that for me?” Sam said gearing up to knock his ass unconscious again.

“Give me a kiss and I will give you the information.” Brock said, not trying to hide his hunger for Sam.

Sam was about to give him a piece of her mind when Tony’s voice suddenly came over hidden speakers.

“Hey Sam, would you mind stepping back into the elevator I need to have a word with you in private.” Tony said.

And Sam just because she was feeling petty due to this sudden demand she turned back to Brock, “stay right here. Don’t move.”

Brock just simply saluted and replied with a “Yes, Ma’am, Sergeant Wilson.”

Sam walked back into the elevator and was surprised when a small section of the right side of the wall opened to reveal a phone which she picked up.

“Sam.” Tony said.

“Tony did you hear him? He want a kiss. A KISS!” Sam shouted.

“Sam lower your voice, he can hear you.”

Sam took a couple of deep breaths and spoke again.

“What should I do? Tell him to fuck off or do I kiss him and get the information. Or I could kiss him and he goes back on his word. Tony what do I do?” Sam pleaded for him to have an answer.

“Kiss him.”

“Natasha?” Sam questioned.

Kiss him. You don’t know if he is being true or not, but given his recent actions where you are concerned he wants to change into a better man for you and for himself. Therefore he won’t do anything to jeopardise the little good he has done so far.” Natasha explained.

Sam sighed and squeezed the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger.

“Steve and I can be your back-up in case he tries anything funny.” Natasha suggested.

“Hold up, were all four of you watching this visit?” Sam asked and there was a suspicious silence over the phone.

“Yes.” Came the meek reply from Tony and Sam shook her head.

“No, all of you stay up there but keep an eye on the monitor in case he tries anything funny.” Sam said and hung up the phone.

Steeling herself, Sam walked back to the glass barrier.

“Raise your hands and put your back to the barrier Brock.” Sam commanded and he complied.

A section of the barrier opened and Sam stepped into the cell, the door shutting immediately behind her. She walked until she was in front of Brock.

“I came here expecting for us to just talk, but you made another demand for a kiss. Well you are going to get your kiss but we are doing it my way and after this you will not withhold any further information from us. Do you understand?” She asked, looking him in the eye.

“Yes, Sam. I understand.” Brock replied.

Brock’s arms were up against the barrier by his head and Sam grabbed each of his wrists to ensure that they stayed there. She brought her body closer to his, all the while staring in his eyes. Their bodies were now pressed together from knees to chest. When Sam exhaled, Brock inhaled and vice-versa. Sam realized that they had not even been this close that night in her kitchen when he first tried to kiss her.

“May God have mercy on your soul if you don’t keep up your end of the bargain.” She said right before closing the last few inches between them and capturing Brock’s mouth in a hot, searing kiss.

Sam was not kind or gentle, she took what she wanted and more and made sure Brock knew who was in charge and calling the shots. She would let him have this small victory by forfeit but nothing else. She demanded entrance to his mouth and he surrendered to her.

Her tongue snaked into his mouth, caressing his tongue and sucking on it, he tasted of mint toothpaste and she guided it back into her own mouth. Their breathing began to pick up and she was squeezing his wrists, pushing them back into the barrier with all her strength.

Her body began to react to the kiss and she was not surprised to feel his respond as well and grinded against him, swallowing his moan.

She suddenly broke the kiss, but still held him against the barrier, his cheeks were flushed and his pupils were dilated. They were both breathing hard, trying to regulate their breathing and come down from the high they were feeling.

Sam stepped back and Brock looked as if he wanted to reach for her, but he stayed put.

“Information. Now.” Sam demanded.

“There is a secret Hydra base deep in the bowels of Buckingham Palace. The immediate royal family has no idea that it exists, but you may want to have a chat with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister as well as all the footmen, they’re all Hydra.” He said.

Sam nodded, “You guys get all that?” She asked.

“Yes, thank you Sam.” Steve answered.

Sam walked off making her way to the opened section in the barrier to exit the cell.

“Wait, Sam.” Brock called out and grabbed her hand an action which caused Sam to almost break his wrist but she had enough self-control to avoid doing so.  

“One for the road.” Brock said as he turned over her hand and kissed her palm, then closed her fingers over it as if making her hold something precious.

Sam snatched her hand from him and walked out of the cell and kept walking straight into the elevator, not once looking back at her soul-mate who she had just shared one of the best kisses in her life with.

Once the elevator began its ascent to her apartment, Sam rested her head against the cool metal surface of the elevator’s wall and place one hand over her still rapidly beating heart and the other over her still tingling lips.

“I’m so fucked.” She whispered to herself.

 

 

Chapter Text

To say that Sam was exhausted the next day would have been the understatement of the year. She was beyond exhausted. Her mind kept going back to the kiss she shared with Brock the previous day; no matter what she did: yoga, meditation, counting sheep, drinking some warm milk, nothing helped to quiet her thoughts so that she could get some well needed and deserved sleep.

She did not fall asleep until the sun was high in the sky the next morning.

She was not only feeling exhausted, apparently it was written all over her facial expression and body language as made evident by Steve as soon as she set foot into his apartment in time for lunch when she had finally managed to drag herself out of bed.

“Whoa, you look like a tank ran over you and backed up over you a few times for good measure.” He said, while expertly flipping a home-made burger patty and catching it in the frying pan.

Sam too damned fatigued to deal with her friend’s teasing, ignored him in favour of sitting on a barstool at the kitchen island and dropping her head on her folded arms. A steaming cup of hot coffee was placed beside her head she cracked and eye open to see Natasha looking at her with visible concern.

“I’m not even going to ask where you came from.” She mumbled as she eased herself up a little to take a sip of the sweet nectar from the coffee gods.

“Did you get any sleep at all last night?” Natasha asked taking a seat beside her friend.

“A little. My mind kept going back to that damn kiss I shared with Brock.” Sam explained and both Natasha and Steve shared a look with each other that Sam missed.

“Is that the only thing that kept you up last night?” Steve gently asked as he set a plate of fries and an unmade burger in front of her.

Sam sat up properly and dragged the plate closer to her and started fixing her burger how she liked it. After taking a few bites, chewing and swallowing she let out a breath.

“No, it was not the only thing.” Sam pulled her fingers though her hair in frustration, while Steve and Natasha waited patiently for her to gather her thoughts.

“I am afraid to see him more as of a human being and less of a former Hydra agent and enemy. It was easier when it was just his name on my chest and I knew nothing about him; but now I know that he is terrified of losing me as a soul mate and that he can draw a ‘fat stick-man figure,’ don’t ask.” Sam said when both her friends looked baffled at that last statement.

“I want to visit him again and get to know him more; he has a reason as to why he went all ‘Hail Hydra’ and I want to know it. However, at the same time I can’t help thinking that yes, he is my soul mate but Riley was the love of my life and one of the greatest men I knew and how it would be an insult to his memory if I got closer to Rumlow.”   

“I have no idea what I should do.” Sam stared at her food in what could only be described as total despair.

Steve and Natasha exchanged another look and Steve came around to stand beside Sam and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“If you say Riley was one of the greatest men you knew, then I think he would want you to get to know your soul mate. He would want you to give him a chance to see him as more than what he was and to see what he can become with you in his life.” Steve had moved to wrap his arms around her so that they were pressed chest to back. Sam leaned back in the embrace.

“Listen you don’t have to decide on anything concerning Rumlow right now.” Natasha said.

“But you can decide on how you want to get back at Bucky.” The smile on Natasha’s face made Sam shrink back into Steve’s arms and he inadvertently tightened them around her.

“What do you mean exactly?” Sam asked though she was not sure she wanted an answer.

The smile on Natasha’s face was downright devilish.

“Bucky’s little stunt has put you in this uncomfortable situation. I say he gets a taste of his own medicine.”

This time it was Sam and Steve who exchanged a look.

“Sounds like you already have a plan Nat.” Steve said and had to hold back a shriek when Natasha slammed her hands down on the kitchen island causing Sam to jump in Steve’s embrace.

“I have it on good authority that Bucky is scared shitless of the ‘Teletubbies.’ Now how do you both feel about redecorating Steve‘s bedroom so that your soul mate comes home to a wonderful surprise?” Natasha looked at her friends expectantly and both Sam and Steve could not help the mischievous grins that broke on their faces.

“Lead the way you wonderful, evil person.” Sam said as she broke Steve’s embrace and slid off the barstool.

4 Hours Later

Bucky walked into his and Steve’s shared apartment, tired, dirty and sore from a mission. All he wanted was to shower and crawl into bed and sleep for the next forty hours. He was so focussed on his self-assigned mission that he walked unseeingly straight into the bathroom.

20 minutes later he walked out with a pair of ‘Teen Wolf’ boxers hanging low on his hips and a towel over his head that he was using to dry his hair. He walked over to the bed and flung himself on it, throwing the towel in some far corner of the room and turning over onto his side, his eyes already closed. He was about to fall asleep when his flesh hand brushed against something that felt soft.

Cracking one eye open Bucky realized he was face-to-face with ‘Tinky-Wiinky’ the purple teletubby. Bucky will later deny that he let out a high pitched shriek and jumped out of the bed, only to look around the bedroom and see that is was covered in Teletubby plush toys, posters, dolls, hell even the bed had on a teletubby bedspread on it.

Bucky started screaming and ran out of the room like a bat out of hell and straight to the elevator which opened as soon as he reached the doors.

“Jarvis take me to where Steve is!" Please!” Bucky said pressing himself into the back wall. He was going to kill someone, he was not sure who he would be killing but he knew there would be killing.

“Right away Sergeant Barnes.” Jarvis said.

Sam, Steve and Natasha were in Sam’s apartment watching a live video feed of Bucky’s ‘Teletubby freak out’ and were all dying from laughter. Sam started hiccupping, and both Steve and Natasha were red in the face.

They all saw him run into the elevator and knew that he was on his way to where they were, therefore they had time to compose themselves and by the time Bucky had barged into Sam’s apartment the trio had managed to calm down.

Sam was sipping water to cure her hiccups and Steve and Natasha were almost back to their normal complexion.

“STEVE!” Bucky bellowed as soon as the elevator doors opened and launched himself at his soul mate, wrapping his arms and long legs around him.

“Our apartment has been invaded by creepy alien children’s’ TV show characters! They are everywhere! Who would do such a thing?! I am going to murder the person who had the guts to invade our private space.” Bucky finished his rant and tried and failed to look terrifying considering he was currently wrapped around Steve like an octopus.

They tried very hard to keep a straight face, but with Bucky’s epic reaction they all started laughing hysterically again leaving Bucky to look around at his friends as if they had all gone mad.

“Fearless assassin my ass!” Sam managed to say before collapsing into another fit of laughter and causing her friends to laugh even harder.

Bucky looked at all of them, first in bewilderment and then suspiciously.

“You.” He pointed at all three of them.

“You assholes did this!” He said as he unwrapped himself from Steve to stand with his arms crossed over his chest giving them what Tony had dubbed the ‘Frosty Glare’ known to make enemies cower in fear.

The effect was lost on the trio though who laughed even harder at his efforts.

“Awww, look at the lil’ Winter Soldier trying to be all big and bad.” Natasha teased.

“Pal, I hate to break it to ya’ but after that ya’ ain’t scaring no one.” Steve said after he was able to catch his breath.

“If you have an asthma attack I am not helping you.” Bucky said darkly. Steve just smiled and ruffled his hair.

Bucky smacked his hand away grumbling about betrayal and not putting out for the next three months.

“Ok, ok, you’ve all had you laughs. Want to tell me what the hell this was all about? How the fuck did you even find out that I don’t like the Teletubbies?” Bucky asked, waiting for answers.

“Natasha supplied that little info that you are scared shitless of the Teletubbies.” Sam answered.

“As for why we did it, think of it as payback for your little stunt with Brock.” She explained with no malice in her words and a smirk on her lips.

Bucky stared at her and then his right eye twitched.

“You have scarred me for life. I hope there are no more surprises in store for me.” He said.

“Nope, just the one.” Sam said.

“And since you are down here let’s have that long overdue talk.” She said.

Bucky physically deflated.

“Now? I was going to take a nap.” He whined.

“Well I’m sure after that scare you are more than wide awake.” Steve said, slapping him on the shoulder and walking towards the elevator with Natasha.

“We’ll let you two have your talk. Sam go easy on him.” Steve said, while Bucky looked at him with betrayal written clearly on his face.

“See you later Buck.” Steve said and Bucky flipped him the middle finger.

When it was just the two of them now, Bucky sighed.

“Should I go and put on a shirt?” He asked gesturing to his bare chest.

Sam’s eyes roved his chest and shrugged, “You don’t hear me complaining.”

Bucky shrugged as well and took a seat on the other side of the couch and turned to face her.

Sam sat and looked at Bucky for a few minutes and Bucky stared back.

‘Ever the unflinching soldier,’ she thought to herself.

“You do know that if Hydra had not found you and experimented on you, making you into their perfect little soldier you would not be here right now. You would not be here with Steve and he would still be extremely lonely.”

Bucky was taken aback with that statement. He knew that Sam never sugar coated anything that came out of her mouth in the short time that he knew her, but he did not expect this.

Sam studied the man in front of her and continued speaking.

“I am not saying that you should forgive and forget, but you need to turn that anger onto the correct persons. And as much as it pains me to say it, Brock Rumlow is not one of those persons anymore.” Sam paused and took a breath.

Bucky was still silent, however, he was now staring intently at his folded hands on his lap.

‘…see him as more than what he was…see what he can become with you in his life.’ Steve’s words resonated in her head.

 “He is trying to redeem himself, and we are all allowed a second chance. You got your second chance, it is now time to allow Brock’s his.” Sam’s voice did not waver, even though she was still struggling internally with her own thoughts and feelings about Brock.

Bucky held up his head and Sam was shocked to see tears streaming down his face and his eyes red.

“He…he just…” Bucky’s voice broke and he took a minute to compose himself.

“He just stood in the corner or off to the side every single time they wiped me or did some other horrible thing to me. He never once even looked as if he was a little disturbed by what was being done to me. He just always had this semi-blank look on his face as if he was trying hard not to remember something equally as horrible that was done to him.” Bucky wiped at the tears on his face.

Sam was perplexed by that last statement, ‘trying hard not to remember something equally as horrible that was done to him,’ what the fuck is that supposed to mean? Was Brock himself experimented on? Sam was brought out of her thoughts by a sobbing Bucky in front of her.

Her heart broke at the sight before, the man who she knows can be a one man army when he is ready, and who once dragged her from the sky and destroyed her wings was breaking down in front of her.

He heart ached for her friend.

She moved so that she was kneeling on the couch and pulled him into a tight embrace. Her arms around his shoulders that were shaking from his sobs; his arms came up to wrap around her slim waist and he pushed his face into her neck staining her shirt with his tears.

Sam held her friend as he cried about seventy odd years of pain and torture, about not having anyone in his corner, about being used and put away when not needed, about being denied his basic human rights. She held him as he cried himself to sleep in her arms and she continued to hold him as she lost feelings in her legs and the sun went below the horizon.

She held him until the sun rose the next morning, by that time she had made up her mind; she would be visiting Brock again before she left New York.

Chapter Text

 

Sam did not tell anyone that she was going to visit Brock, she just got into the elevator and told Jarvis to take her down to the Cage. She folded her arms across her chest and leant back against the elevator wall, pulling up a leg to brace against the wall as well. Sam kept having to remind herself not to attack the man on the other side of the barrier.

‘Riley would want you to give him a chance Sam. Be the kind, compassionate, understanding person that you are.’

Sam gave herself a mental shake as soon as the doors opened and she saw Brock sitting on his cot, tablet in hand and the stylus pen flying across the screen.

He took a minute to realize he was not alone and when he looked up, his face broke out into one of the brightest smiles she has ever seen.

Something inside her snapped at that and she saw red. Her previous thoughts about compassion and understanding flew out of her head as she stormed over to the barrier.

Slamming her hand hard against the glass, startling Brock and making him jump.

“Get that damn smile off your face.” she growled.

Brock’s smile instantly fell from his face.

“You maybe my soul mate,” Sam spat the word as if it tasted disgusting in her mouth, “but I will never love you. I will never claim you as mine. Do you understand me?”

Brock stared at Sam and she stared back hard enough to realize that Brock was not shocked by what she said or how she behaved, but he looked terrified.

She took a step back and observed his body language. When she had entered the room his legs were hanging off the cot, now they were drawn up to his chest and his arms were wrapped around them as if he was trying to making himself smaller. He kept swallowing but she saw that he had stopped breathing.

“Brock…take a breath.” She said and waited for him to inhale.

Sam herself took a breath, and tried to calm herself.

“What the hell was with that reaction?” She asked.

Brock raised an eyebrow, “you come in all peaceful and then like a switch went off in your brain you become vicious all of a sudden with no provocation Sam and you ask me about my reaction.” He said incredulously.

“What the hell’s up with you?” He asked getting up off the cot and apprehensively approached the glass barrier.

“Yea, I’m sorry about that. I literally stayed up all night. My fuse is a bit short.” She said

“Still you do know that there is a very unbreakable barrier between us right. Not to mention you could probably take on a petite 5’1” female.”

Brock smirked, “I have taken on a petite 5’1” female and she held her own very well.”

Sam smirked back. “I am sorry for how I reacted. Still your reaction was a bit unexpected. Did you think I was going to do something to you?” She asked genuinely curious about his reaction.

Brock sighed and closed his eyes.

“It’s nothing, you just reminded me of someone I hadn’t thought about in a long time.” He said.

“Who?” Sam asked.

Brock opened his eyes and looked straight at her, “my dad.”

“I’m guessing by your reaction that he does not deserve any ‘Father of the Year Awards.’” Sam said, sitting down on the visitor’s chair.

Brock ran a hand through his hair, “that is a fucking understatement.”

“Do you want to tell me about him?” Sam asked, using her calm and gentle ‘counsellor’ voice.

Brock snorted, “After the way you just attacked, you expect me to talk to you about my father?”

Sam shrugged, looking sheepish, “That was completely wrong of me to do. I had no right to do that.”

Brock ruffled his hair in a frustrated manner and looked at Sam fearfully; that look cut Sam to the core, no one had ever looked at her like that before; a look of such fear.

“Brock I promise you that from now on I will never speak to you like that again or say such hurtful things. And you can believe me, when I make promises I never break them.” Sam said, hoping that Brock would see her earnestness.

Brock stared at her and then nodded. He went and sat down on his cot, his elbows braced on his knees and he looked at her.

“My father loved to beat on me, my mother and my little brother.” Brock said.

Sam blinked but kept quiet.

“My little brother, his name was Brody.” Brock said.

Brock’s phrasing of that statement made alarm bells go off in Sam’s head. ‘He said “was,” that’s past tense.’ Sam thought to herself and then dread settled in the pit of her stomach like ice.

Brock then smiled as if he was remembering a fond memory. “He wanted to be a doctor. He decided on that because of the bruises and cuts our father would leave on us, especially on our mother. He said since there are people being hurt by others, he wanted to be the one to fix them and make them better.”

“He sounded wise beyond his years.” Sam commented.

“He was, he was also a little shit at times.” Brock said affectionately.

“He decided that he wanted to be a doctor when he was 8 years old and by 10 he knew all the organs of the body and their functions and what would happen should they stop working. He would clean and bandage up me and our mother after our beatings.” Brock’s voice was proud but the look on his face was a sad one.

Sam had a sick feeling in her stomach but she knew she had to ask, “you said ‘had.’ What happened to Brody?”

Brock sighed, “fucking forgetfulness is what happened.”

Brock got up from his cot and paced back and forth for a little, Sam was patient and waited for him to settle again. He came up the barrier bracing his hands and his forehead against it, his eyes closed as he told the rest of his story.

“I never joined any extracurricular activities at school, I wanted to be home before my father so I could protect my mother and brother, but one day I forgot to do a math assignment we had gotten the day before. You see, I never forgot to do my homework, I was a straight A student, but the night before was a particularly rough night and it slipped my mind. I tried to explain it to my teacher but he wouldn’t listen. I even asked if I could turn it in the next day, but he said no and said that I could do the work while detention that evening.” Brock took a deep breath.

Sam took a breath as well and got up, she walked to the barrier and placed her hands opposite to Brock’s.

Brock opened his eyes and saw her standing right in front of him and gave her a sad smile.

“I knew, I just knew I would not make it home before my father and something inside me felt wrong, a gut feeling. When I finally got out and made my way home the first thing I saw was the flashing blue lights, and then I saw all my neighbours gathered around the police tape barrier. Some of them then turned to look at me; some with horror in their eyes and other with pity. I never knew that the skull of a little 10 year old boy could be so easily crushed.”

Sam inhaled sharply.

Tears began to run down Brock’s face, but he continued, “my father, had beaten my little brother to death with his bare fists, then he shot my mother and turned the gun on himself. This all happened 3 months before my high school graduation.”

The flood gates opened then, Brock broke down crying. His knees buckled and he slid down the barrier, Sam went along with him on the opposite side trying to offer whatever support she could through the cold glass.

“Brock I am so, so very sorry. No child should ever have to suffer at the hands of their parents.” Sam said, hands pressed to the glass where Brock’s side was pressed against as if she could reach through and hug him like she did for Bucky.

Brock started to hyperventilate and Sam was even more alarmed.

“Hey, hey, hey, no, no, no, Brock you need to breathe.” Sam said keeping her cool even though on the inside she was panicking.

‘Agent Rumlow’s stress levels are very high Sergeant Wilson. He needs to regulate his breathing or he will pass out.’ Jarvis helpfully supplied.

“Yeah, I know Jarvis.” Sam snapped not meaning to, but the stress of the moment, the extreme lack of sleep and having another crying person on her hands in less than 24 hours was wearing her thin.

Sam banged on the glass, “Brock you need to breathe! Dammit!” She looked around at a loss at what to do, then she thought of something.

“Jarvis open the partition, I have to go in.”

“Sergeant Wilson, I must advise that I do not think that is a good idea." Jarvis said even as he opened the partition and Sam scrambled into the Cage itself.

Brock was doubled over on himself making it easy for Sam to slide behind him and sit down. She then wrapped her arms around him and drew him back towards her, pulling up her legs on either side in order to assist in holding up his much larger frame. Once she had him secure she tried to get his attention.

“Brock, Brock,” she said tapping him lightly on his cheek, “you have to breathe. Copy my breathing, in and out, in and out.”

Sam inhaled held it and exhaled and repeated the process until Brock copied her and his breathing returned to normal.

Sam held him and ran her fingers through his hair in a comforting manner until he had fully calmed down.

“Thank you.” Brock whispered.

“You’re welcome.” Sam whispered back.

“And I’m sor-”

“Don’t. Don’t ever apologize for crying. You were hurting. It’s best to let these things out than keep them bottled up.” Sam said, still stroking his hair.

“Yes’ ma’am.” Brock said and then chuckled.

“What?” Sam asked.

“Brody used to do this for me after rows with our father. He always liked my hair and I kept it somewhat long for him to run his fingers through. You would have liked him.” Brock said and turned around so that he was face to face with Sam.

They just had no idea how close they were and both their breaths caught in their throats. Brock glanced at Sam’s lips and back to her eyes to see her staring back at him. Even though he was tempted to close those last few inches between them and claim her lips he resisted and shuffled back until there was an appropriate amount of space between them.

There was a bit of awkward silence between then until Sam cleared her throat.

“I have been wondering about your hair.” Sam said, a smirk playing on her lips.

Brock raised an eyebrow.

Sam took that as a sign to continue, “Has it always had to the ability to defy gravity?”

Brock let out a surprised bark of laughter.

Sam was giggling now, “Seriously, I want to know. I was just running my fingers through it so I know there are no products in it yet it still sticks up in a perfectly coiffed hairstyle.”

Brock was grinning, “It has always been like that. I always thought it made me look cool.”

Sam snickered, “sure if you are Danny Zuko from Grease.”

“Wow! So it’s like that huh?” Brock asked.

Sam shrugged.

There was another moment of silence that was broken by Sam who knew there would never be a ‘right moment’ to ask a certain question.

“How did you get mixed-up with Hydra Brock?”

Brock knew that this question would have been asked sooner or later and he was prepared for it.

“After my father had killed my family I joined the army right after graduation; I had to get out. I couldn’t stand being in that house, that town anymore where nothing but bad things had happened. I needed to go where no one knew me. I excelled while in the army and joined the Special Forces Unit, before I caught the eye of alexander Peirce who sunk his claws into me and brought me into Hydra.”

Sam swallowed and nodded. She wondered what would have happened if Brock did not have such a life as a child. If he had two loving parents like she did, where he would have ended up instead of with Hydra.

“What’s that?” She heard Brock asked and was brought out of her musings. She focused back on Brock to see that he was looking at her neck.

Sam closed her eyes and breathed, she then reached into the collar of her shirt and pulled out a dainty silver necklace with a silver locket attached to it. The locket had the letter ‘R’ engraved on it.

“That’s beautiful Sam.” Brock said, “what does the ‘R’ stand for?”

“It stands for ‘Riley’ my true love and my husband.” Sam said.

Brock’s eyes snapped up from admiring the locket to look at her.

Sam nodded, “We got married and decided to exchange necklaces with letters of our first names instead of rings. Less conspicuous.” She explained.

 “We loved each other too much to be concerned about names to be written on our chests. We had decided that if we had ever came across our soul mates after we got married and before that actually, our soul mates would just have to deal with it. We were each other soul mates, we didn’t need each other’s names printed on our skin to tell us what we knew to be true.” Sam said.

“So how did Riley accept you finding your soul mate?” Brock was trying to let the hurt show in his words over Sam accepting Riley as her soul mate and going as far as to marry him.

“Well he can’t really accept anything; the idiot got his dumbass knocked out of the sky by an RPG.” Sam said.

“Oh Sam, I’m so sorry.” Brock wanted to go to her and embrace her but he stayed where he was.

Sam shrugged, “it happened 5 years ago. It still hurts when I think about him, but I have made my peace with him not being at my side anymore.”

Brock nodded.

“I’m leaving today to go back to D.C.” Sam said, “I just wanted to check in on you. I also told Bucky to stay away from you.”

Brock nodded, “thank you.”

Sam got up to leave and Brock stayed where he was on the floor looking up at her.

“I’ll tell Steve to let you know when I am back home.” She said once she was on the other side of the glass barrier.

“Ok, I appreciate that.” Brock said and got up to walk to the barrier.

Sam had already reached the elevator when she remembered something.

“One more thing Brock, the others don’t know that Riley and I were married. I’m trusting you to keep that to yourself.” Sam said looking him dead in his eyes.

Brock felt a warm sensation in his chest that only he knew that piece of information.

“Sam I would help you dispose of a body.” He said with all seriousness.

Sam smiled, her eyes twinkling with amusement, “I know Brock. I know.” And with that she got into the elevator, leaving Brock with a wave as she made her way back to her apartment to get her luggage and go back home.

Back in D.C.

Sam arrived back home and was never more grateful than ever to see her own house and hoped that she could get back some sort of semblance of normality to her life.

Little did she know fate was about to fuck her over again, because across the street hidden in the shadows of her neighbour’s house, unbeknownst to Sam as she got out of the car and walked to her front door and opened it she was being watched.

‘I’ll see you soon Sam.’ The person thought with a fond smile and watched as she disappeared through her front door. 'I'll be seeing you very soon.'

Chapter Text

Three days after Sam had gone back home to D.C., Brock woke up not feeling a 100%; he had a burning sensation when passing urine that morning. He also got dizzy when he began his morning exercises and barely made it to the toilet to vomit. He was continuously nauseous throughout the day and as a result did not have an appetite.

He spent the majority of the day on his cot sleeping and he was unable to give any new Hydra intel, as he was unable to concentrate for very long.

He was asleep again when he was suddenly jarred awake by a sharp pain in the right side of his abdomen; Brock had no idea what was happening until he heard Jarvis’s voice.

“Agent Rumlow, please remain calm, Captain Rogers, Mr. Stark and Dr. Banner are on their way down to you.” The British voice explained.

Brock grunted through the pain, “What the hell is wrong with me?”

“By my observations sir it seems as if you are suffering from appendicitis.” Jarvis said.

Brock barely heard what was said as he was doubled over from the pain and trying very hard to breathe through it. He did not even hear the elevator doors open until he felt strong hands on him, trying to get him out of the little ball he had managed to fold himself into.

“Shit! He’s fucking burning up.” He heard a voice say that he recognized immediately as Steve.

“Get him on the gurney Steve.” Dr. Banner said.

Steve grunted, “I’m trying Bruce, but I don’t want to hurt him.”

Brock whimpered and would have been ashamed at being seen so weak if he did not feel as if he was being stabbed in his stomach with red hot fire pokers.

Steve was still trying to get him to unfold himself.

“No…no…it hurts.” Brock whimpered again.

“I know you are in a lot of pain Brock.” Bruce said, stroking his hair, “but we need to move you now and do an emergency appendectomy on you before your condition gets any worse.”

Brock nodded and managed to unfold himself so that Steve and Bruce were able to put him on the gurney and wheeled him out of The Cage and into the elevator where Tony was waiting for them.

“My personal surgeon and his team are 10 minutes away. He said to put Brock on a drip and to start prepping him for surgery.” Tony said.

Steve was standing beside the gurney when he felt a hand grab his, looking down he saw that Brock had his hand in what could only be described as a weak death grip and was looking at him with pain glazed eyes.

“Call…Sam…please...call her.” Brock pleaded.

Steve nodded and used his other hand to cover Brock’s own.

“I will, as soon as we get you settled I will go and call her.” Steve said and Brock nodded, barely noticing that Steve did not let go of his hand and only doing so once Bruce and Tony started to prep him for the incoming surgical team. 

D.C.

Sam was in the middle of catching up on paperwork when her cell phone rang. Seeing the caller I.D. flash Steve’s name brought a smile to her face.

“Hey Steve, what’s up?” She asked.

“Hey Sam, where are you right now?” Steve asked, and that question coupled with his tone of voice had alarms going off in her head.

“At work.” Sam responded at the odd question, when alarm bells went off in her head. “Steve, what’s wrong?” She asked, not yet panicking.

“It’s Brock.” Those two words had Sam’s mind reeling.

 “He has appendicitis and is currently in surgery.” Steve explained.

He waited for a response but when none came he became worried.

“Sam? Are you there? Are you alright?” Steve asked not bothering to mask the worry in his voice.

“Yeah, I’m here.” Sam said.

“He wanted me to call you and let you know. I’ll keep you updated and let you know when he is out of surgery.” Steve said.

“Thank you Steve, I really appreciate it.” Sam replied.

She ended the call and leaned back in her chair, closing her eyes and pressing the heels of her hands to them until she saw bursts of colours behind her closed eyelids. Thinking to herself that it would be heart breaking if she were to lose both of her soul mates; the one she chose for herself and the one that was assigned to her by fate.

Avengers Tower

“How’s he doing?” Steve asked Bruce the moment he stepped out of the operating room, of the medical wing in the tower.

“He’s doing much better. He is still under the effects of the anaesthesia, but he’s being moved to a recovery room.” Bruce replied, looking exhausted.

“Ok, I will sit with him.” Steve said. “You did good work Bruce.”

Bruce smiled tiredly and nodded, walking off and leaving Steve to make his way to Brock’s recovery room.

It was well into the night before Brock woke up, dragging himself from the clutches of induced sleep.

Steve was by his side instantly, helping him to drink some water.

“Hey Brock, you’re in a recovery room in the medical wing of Avengers Tower. You had appendicitis but was treated immediately. How are you feeling?” Steve gently whispered, feeling as though the atmosphere of the whole situation called for it.

“Sore.” Brock slurred.

“Yeah, buddy. You’re going to be a bit sore for a while.” Steve said and went to sit back down when Brock weakly grabbed his hand.

“Sam.” He only said her name, not having the energy to say more or to ask what he wanted to.

Steve bless his heart understood what he meant.

“I called her to let her know about your situation. I just got off the phone with her again, a little before you woke up.” Steve said.

“Get some more rest and when you wake up again you can call her.”

Brock liked that idea and nodded, allowing the darkness of sleep to drag him down once more.

The sun was high in the sky the next morning when Brock woke up again and this time he mind was much clearer.

“Good morning.” He heard and turned his head to see Steve standing by the door to his recovery room.

“Morning.” Brock managed to croak out and Steve made his way to his bedside to give him some water to drink.

“Thank you.” Brock said, grateful for the water to ease the dryness of his throat. “Why didn’t you let me die? Is it because I am Sam’s soul mate or because you want intel on Hydra?” He blurted out.

Steve was taken aback by the question, “We didn’t let you die because that would be extremely inhumane. It has nothing to do with your soul mate status or what information we can get from you.” He said when he regained his words.

Then it dawned on him. “We didn’t tell you your rights as a prisoner.” Steve sighed and scrubbed a hand through his hair.

He pulled up a chair and sat down looking at Brock.

“Brock Rumlow, as a prisoner of the Avengers you have the rights to three square meals a day, any medical care you may need. You are also allowed to speak to any avenger of your choosing or Sam, your soul mate, and voice your case if you have been intentionally tormented or taunted by anyone who has access to this level. In addition, when we have deemed you fit and ready, you will be allowed access to other parts of the tower such as the gym and swimming pool, but only under strict and constant supervision by Jarvis and two other avengers.”

Brock took this all in and nodded. “Thank you.”

“You’re not going to be locked up forever Brock, we just need to know that you can be trusted and Sam needs to be able to trust you as well.” Steve explained.

“I understand.” Brock said and then bit his lip. “Is it ok if I call Sam now? I really want to talk to her; let her know that I am ok.”

“Yeah sure.” Steve got out his cell phone and brought up Sam’s number.

“I am trusting you not to abuse this privilege I am giving you right now. I am going to leave you to have you conversation and I trust that you will not try to contact anyone a part from Sam.” Steve said.

“I won’t. I promise.” Brock said sincerely.

Steve gave him the phone and left the room for Brock to make his call. Brock pressed the call button and listened as the line rang. The call connected after the fourth ring.

“Hey Steve, what’s up? How’s Brock?” Sam said over the line.

Brock couldn’t help the smile that broke out on his face at her asking about him.

“I’m good actually just a little sore.” Brock answered and was met with silence. “Sam? Hello?”

“You just had an emergency appendectomy and you have enough strength to steal Steve’s phone?” Sam did not sound angry, just exasperated.

Brock rolled his eyes not even offended that Sam thought he lifted the phone.

“Actually Steve lent it to me. He’s trying to trust me not to contact anyone other than you. So how have you been? Glad to be back in D.C.?”

“I’m good, I’m glad to be back; I missed my bed, co-workers and the veterans I work with.” Sam answered.

“Glad to hear that.” Brock said, “I’m happy to hear your voice.”

There was the sound of Sam deeply inhaling on her side of the call.

“You know, if you wanted a phone call you could have simply asked for one. No need to have a medical emergency just to get a call.” Sam teased.

Brock laughed, “Yeah, I’m sure I could have done that but women dig scars.” He responded.

Sam snorted, “I’m sure your scar is not that big.”

“What are you talking about? It’s ginormous.” Brock said and groaned again when he irritated his stitches.

“Don’t strain yourself.” Sam said.

“I won’t. What are you doing?” Brock asked and then cringed because he sounded like a 12 year old boy on the phone with his crush.

“I am at home, currently working on some reports. Took an early day.” She replied.

“Oh, then I will let you get back to your task.” Brock said, feeling bad that their conversation was cut short.

“No, that’s ok. I can barely concentrate on them; that’s part of the reason why I left work early.” She said.

“Aww, was the other part that you were worried about me?” Brock teased, however, the smile was wiped from his face when he was met with silence.

“Holy shit. You were worried about me.” Brock said disbelievingly. “I can’t remember the last time someone was ever worried about my wellbeing.” He said.   

Sam cleared her throat, “don’t let it go to your head.”

“I won’t. It’s nice though; that you care even though gave me a right hook the first time we had any sort of interaction with each other, then you threw  two knives at me, kneed me in the crotch, knocked me out and taped my mouth shut. I’m sure I’m forgetting some things though.” Brock said.

Sam whistled, “We had a very violent start to whatever this is between us.” She said. “However, where our first meeting is concerned, you can’t hold that against me. How should I have known a Hydra agent would turn out to be my fucking soul mate?”  

“Yeah, well it makes for a very interesting story to tell.” Brock said, gently scratching where the needle for his I.V. drip was situated in his hand.

“Hey Sam, why is your middle name ‘Thomas?’ I have nothing against females having male assigned names, but ‘Thomas’” Brock was genuinely curious about that.

Sam laughed “My parents were informed that I was a boy and they had decided on ‘Samuel Thomas.’ Well I turned out to be a girl, so I got ‘Samantha’ as my first name, but they were both too lazy to come up with a different middle name so I got stuck with ‘Thomas.’”

“What about you? Tough guy named ‘Brock Rumlow’ only for his middle name to be ‘Eugene?’” Sam asked.

Brock felt a pang in his chest but he breathe through it, “my mother named me after my uncle, her brother. He died in a fishing accident. My father had nothing to do with the naming process.”

“Wow, I feel like an ass.” Sam said.

Brock laughed, “Nah, it’s ok. Apparently he was one damn good hell raiser, even with the name ‘Eugene.’”

“Well you seem to take after him.” Sam said, smiling to herself.

 “I better let you get some rest. Your body is still healing.” She responded when Brock yawned.

“Nooooo, I’m not tired.” Brock protested that was completely voided when he yawned again.

“Yes, you are. Now get some rest, we can talk again when you wake up.” Sam said in her counsellor voice.

“I will hold you to that Sergeant Wilson.” Brock said and they both said their ‘good byes’ and hung up.

Brock rested Steve’s phone and the bedside table and snuggled down under his blanket, his eyes falling close with thoughts of Sam dancing around in his head.

That is how Steve found him when he came back to check on him. A soft smile on Brock’s face as he slept, Steve dimmed the lights in the recovery room and left Brock to rest and heal.

Chapter Text

Saturday morning found Sam’s run cut short because she felt as if someone was watching her. She doesn’t know if it was just left over paranoia from her time spent searching for Bucky or if someone really was watching her, but she figured it was better to be safe than sorry and returned home; often doubling back along the long route to see if she could shake the feeling of being watched. After the third time she doubled back she did not have that ‘being watched’ sensation and finally made it home, making sure that all her doors and windows were locked and that there was a weapon close by in each room.

Sam wanted to laugh at herself for being silly but with everything that had happen that year, she was allowed to be a bit weary. She had decided to spend the rest of day lounging around her living watching all four of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

She was in the middle of Dead Man’s Chest when her phone rang. She answered it without looking at the caller I.D. and was happy to hear Brock’s voice on the other end.

“Hey! How are you feeling today?” She asked, pausing the movie.

“I’m good. Dr. Banner had me up at the crack of dawn walking around my room.” Brock said. “He’s scary even when he’s not in Hulk form, he smiled at me and said I could get out of bed myself and walk around the room or the other guy would come out and make me do it.”

Sam couldn’t help it, she started laughing.

“Hey! It’s not funny! He threatened me!” Brock complained petulantly.

“If it happened to me than it wouldn’t be funny, but since it’s you Brock it is fucking hilarious!” Sam responded.

“You wound me Sam.” Brock replied.

Sam could picture him resting a hand over his heart in mock hurt.

“So what are you up to today?”

Sam mentally sighed, remembering the feeling of being watched but decided against mentioning it to Brock who was healing and did not want to cause him any unnecessary worrying. He would also tell Steve who in turn would tell Bucky and they would all worry about her.

“Nothing much, just lazing around the house today.” She said, pushing the morning events to the back of her mind.

“You deserve it. You’ve had a very crazy year.” Brock said, sounding sincere.

“Yeah, what I wouldn’t give to be sipping a Baileys Irish Cream on a tropical island right now.” Sam said, sighing longingly.

“Well I don’t have a tropical island and I drank the last of my Baileys Irish Cream the night I visited you.” Brock responded.

“Ah! Well you see, if you had come by bearing gifts of that sweet nectar from the gods then I would not have thrown knives at you.” Sam said and Brock heard the smile in her voice.

“Or knock me out.” He teased.

“Yeah, that too. Riley got me addicted to that stuff.” Sam sighed.

Brock heard the sadness seep into Sam’s voice and wanted to cheer her up. For a woman who gave away a lot it wasn’t fair that she was ever sad and he asked the first thing that came to his mind to change the subject and get her mind off of Riley.

“Which college or university did you attend?”  

“Huh?” Sam questioned eloquently.

Brock rolled his eyes, “let’s see if we have anything in common, apart from loving the same alcoholic beverage and being each other’s soul mate. I got into MIT but decided to enlist instead. What about you? Where’d you go?”

“Wow…well this is going to be a damn coincidence, but I attended MIT.” She said.

Brock laughed at that and Sam felt something warm in her chest.

“Riley and I both attended MIT and studied Aerodynamics, with a minor in mechanical engineering.” She said.

Sam was met with silence and she thought the call was disconnected, but checking her phone she saw that there was still a connection. “Brock? Are you there?”

Brock inhaled and let it out, “I’m just wondering how I can compete with a dead man who was clearly more your soul mate that I can ever be.”

Sam’s heart broke at that, “Brock it’s not a competition.”

Brock laughed bitterly, “Sam, you’re a smart woman; you guys have so many years of history. Have you asked yourself if we would have ever met if he was still alive, or if you had never met Steve and decided to help him take down Hydra? We first met under such bad circumstances with no trust between us.”

“Brock…” Sam did not know what to say, because she had thought about it. Where she would be right now if Riley was still alive and if she had never met Steve.

“Have you ever been with another man other than Riley?” Brock realized he had just crossed a line as those words left his mouth. “Shit! Sam, I am so sorry! That was extremely rude of me. That is none of my business.”

Sam was feeling numb at that question, it had just dawned on her that no, she had never been with another man. Riley was it for her and when he died she just gave up on trying to find someone who would mesh with her like Riley did.

“To answer your question Brock: if I should give myself to you, you are the only other man a part from Riley that I would have ever been with in my life.” She breathe out and Brock heard the tears in her voice.

“Sam I am sorry. I’m an asshole, you know this. I would never do or say anything to intentionally hurt you. I’m just really jealous.” Brock

“Brock! There is no reason to be jealous! He is dead! He has been dead for five fucking years! He is never coming back!” Sam had lost her cool and was now panting hard, trying to regain her composure.

“Listen Brock, as you said we met under bad circumstances and it’s going to take some time to move from that. I thought we were making progress with whatever it is that is between us.” Sam said in her counsellor voice.

“We are. I’m just insecure and not to mention scared that you will walk away from me.” Brock confessed.

Sam’s heart broke at that, “I am not going to walk away from you. Listen you think Riley and I didn’t have our problems, let me tell you this: one day in high school we got into this really bad fight, there was blood, bruises and torn clothes. When the teachers finally managed to pull us apart they were shocked that we were the ones fighting. They asked us if we knew we were fighting each other.”

Sam was met with laughter over the line.

‘Holy shit! They asked if you guys knew you were fighting each other?! That is rich! Ow!” Brock laughed so hard that he pulled on his stitches. “No more funny stories until I am healed.”

“That’s what you get for laughing at me.” Sam was glad to hear some laughter from Brock. “So I am going to assume that you do not want to hear about our summer in Ireland, the police and Riley’s cousin speeding in an Audi.”

That got Brock’s interest, “ugh, ok fine tell me, but if I break my stitches I am going to blame you.”

Sam grinned, “It was the summer when we were both seventeen and Riley had decided that he want to go back home to Ireland for the summer-”

“Riley’s Irish?” Brock questioned.

“Yup he is so very Irish it is not funny.” Sam responded, “We convinced my parents to let me go with him, that it would look good on my college essay that I travelled and got cultural experience. We were staying with his aunt, uncle and their son Dmitri, who is fun to be around. So, Dmitri had just turned eighteen and had gotten into medical school and as a reward for all his years of hard work and the many more years to come his parents bought him a brand new Audi.”

“Why do I get the feeling that they regretted that?” Brock said.

“Well they almost did, good thing for my quick thinking they did not find out about our little incident.” Sam said.

“Calm you ego Sam. It’s dripping through the phone.” Brock teased.

“Screw you Rumlow, continuing with my awesome story, Dmitri wanted to test out the speed on his new car, so we found a secluded road for him to test it out. Dmitri had driven off up the stretch of road while Riley and I were standing by his aunt’s car that we had borrowed waiting for him to come back, only for a cop to ride up and inquire if we were ok.”

“I can just see this going terribly wrong.” Brock was wondering if Sam had an international rap sheet.

“We both looked and each other and I said to the cop that we are ok, we are just waiting for our friend. God help us, as soon as I said that, here comes Dmitri tearing down the road in his car as if the hounds of hell were chasing him, he sped right pass us and the cop.”

Brock is stifling his laughter, trying not to mess up his stitches.

“Our heads all turned in the direction in which Dimitri’s car had just sped and the cop turned back to us raising an eyebrow, ‘Was that your friend?’ He asked us, thumb pointing over his shoulder in the direction that Dmitri went. Riley rolled his eyes heaven wards, trying to keep a straight face and I shook my head, ‘Nope!’ emphasizing the ‘p’.”

Brock was howling with laughter.

“I don’t think he believed us but he didn’t say anything. Told us to have a good night and not to do anything stupid such as speeding. When he left we both burst out laughing. Riley had to call Dmitri and tell him to stay where he was and we would come to him, we did not want to chance the cop waiting around for him to come back.”

“You are a fucking delinquent!” Brock was still laughing when he broke his stitches. “Ah shit!”

“What?! What is it?!” Sam asked.

“I broke my stitches.” Brock complained.

“Good luck explaining that to Bruce.” Sam said.

I will throw you under the bus Wilson.” Brock threatened.

“Well best believe that if you throw me under the bus, I am grabbing your ankles and dragging you with me.” Sam threatened back.

“You have no dirt on me, so good luck with that.” Brock said.

“You’re Brock Rumlow, I will think of something.” Sam said. “You better go deal with your busted stitches.”

“Yeah, I should, blood is seeping through my sheets. Dr. Banner is going to kill me. I’ll call you back when I am finished getting chewed out by him.”

“Well hopefully he won’t be too pissed.” Sam disconnected the call and hoped that Brock did not mess up his stitches too bad.  

Later that night after Sam had dinner she received another call from Brock.

“Ok, so I got chewed out by Steve. He told me that he will take away my phone privileges if I open my stitches again.”

“Damn, well we better wait until after you have healed for me to tell you about my other shenanigans.” Sam said as she put away the last of her cutlery.

“You really were a trouble maker, weren’t you?”

Sam smiled remembering all the times she almost scared her parents to death and how it got worse when she met Riley.

“Yeah, I was, but I like to think I have mellowed out with age.” Sam replied.

“Sam, you have not mellowed out. You threw yourself head first into saving the world, took me on, jumped out of the 41st floor of a crumbling building; yes, I saw that. So, no, you have not mellowed at all. Stop fooling yourself.” Brock said with all seriousness.

“Wow, please tell me what you really think Brock.” Sam teased.

“Hey, can I ask you something? Just know that it’s going to be a really weird question, you can say ‘no’ and even end the call if you want to.” There was hesitancy in Brock’s voice that Sam picked up on.

“What is it?” She asked calmly.

“Can you tell me about your wedding with Riley? Was it a planned event or was it a spur of the moment type thing?” Brock managed to ask without taking a breath.

Sam stopped what she was doing, off all the things he could have asked her, he chose that.

“That really is an odd question. I will answer it, but I just want to know one thing.” She said.

“What do you want to know?” he asked.

“Why do you want to know about that? You could have asked so many other questions and you chose that one.” Sam was really curious about Brock’s way of thinking.

“Well most of your life is involves Riley and the more I get to know you the more I hear about him; so I figured I would get one of the hardest questions off my mind. I know that you were married to him, but I want to know about the wedding. What was it like?” Brock said his piece and held his breath.

Sam sighed, “We had talked about marriage, but we were not engaged so there was no date set. During June of 2010 we were on leave; we were in Montana staying in this very beautiful waterfront cabin with a wrap-around porch that had a hammock. We would spend afternoons on that hammock together either reading or listening to music. There was a deck where we would spend each evening, waiting for it to get dark so that we could just star up at the stars.”

Sam stopped and took as breath as the memories came rushing back to her.

“That sounds very beautiful Sam.” Brock whispered.

Sam laughed, “It was. So one night we are both on the deck looking at the stars when Riley turns to me and says: ‘Tomorrow, let’s get married tomorrow.’”

Brock whistled, “Damn.”

“I know, he made me spit out my beer. I was shocked at first that he didn’t even asked, he basically demanded. But I wasn’t going to reject him, so the next day we got our marriage license and got married at the county courthouse. We had no family there except for the two of us, he had on a white button down shirt with his jeans and I had on a white summer dress with sandals. It was nothing big and ostentatious, it was small and intimate; it was just for us. We came back to the cabin and turned our ‘vacation’ into a ‘honeymoon.’”

“That was very romantic Sam. Really…sweet. I think I might have gotten cavities.” Brock teased.

“Oh, fuck you Rumlow.” Sam said without any heat.

“Excuse you, I am gentleman; I don’t put out before or on the first date.” Brock said.

“Huh uh, says the person who tried to kiss me in my kitchen.” Sam shot back.

“About that, you’re a damn good kisser Sam.” Brock said, “I liked the feeling of your body pressed against mine and I would love to feel it again.”

Sam inhaled sharply at that, she would not deny that it was a great kiss and she wanted to feel his body against hers again as well but it was too soon for that.

Brock sensing Sam’s unease went back to the story, “So you said you had no family there. How’d they react when they found out that you guys got married?”

Sam grateful for the blatant switch in topic grabbed it like a life line, “they took it pretty well. They were happy for us and to make up for them not being there, they decided that when we got leave in December they would throw us a party. Only the party was a funeral instead.”

“Shit.” That was all Brock could think to say.

“Yeah, we went back to work, none the wiser about our new status except for our families. We got married in June and one fateful night in October Riley got his dumbass knocked out of the sky by an RPG. We were married for four months, thank God Riley was here for our four month anniversary, because a week later he was dead.” Sam stopped a rubbed at her eyes, tears running down her face.  

“Sam, I didn’t know. If I had I would never have asked.” Brock paused and listened to the sounds on the other end of the call.  “Are you crying? Shit! Sam, what can I do to make it better?” Brock was cursing that they were so far away from each other.

Sam was quietly sobbing and not even trying to hide it. “No, it’s the first time I have spoken about it since it happened. I spoke to our families about how I felt. I am finally getting it out.”

When she realized her crying was not going to stop anytime soon she tried to end the call but Brock was having none of it.

“Sam, get ready for bed and I will continue talking to you until you stop crying and fall asleep. Or I can just lie here on this end and listen to you cry. There’s not much more I can do from such a great distance.” Brock desperately wanted to be there like how she was there for him when he broke down crying over Brody.

Sam did as Brock suggested and when she got into bed she cried into her pillow all the while Brock was on the other end listening and hurting along with her.  Sam awoke the next morning after crying herself to sleep, with her eyes crusted shut from dried tears, a pounding headache and a dry throat. After splashing cold water on her face and drinking some water she checked her phone and say a text message from Brock.

From Steve Rogers (9:16 A.M.) – This is Brock, I’m still using Steve’s phone. I waited for an hour after you fell asleep to make sure you were really asleep. I hope that you feel better this morning. I apologize again that my question brought up such painful memories for you. – B.R.

Sam smiled at the message and how sweet Brock was being and got ready for another day of lazing around the house.

Chapter Text

Sam was up at the break of dawn feeling out of sorts, she had had another sleepless night; it had been a long time since she had had one. She used to have them a lot after Riley had died; where her body and mind were hyper vigilant even though she was back home. Rationally she knew that it would take some time for her to get used to civilian life again and after a while she was able to sleep throughout the night except when she had the occasional nightmare. 

However, that had been five years ago and she thought she was over them but last night proved her wrong. She felt high-strung, as if she knew subconsciously something was going to happen she just didn’t know when and if it was going to be something good or bad.

She went for her morning run but kept her eyes and ears open and focussed on her surroundings. Since the last time she went running and felt eyes on her she made sure to be extra aware of who and what was around her. She didn’t have to worry about her house being broken into after the whole fiasco with Brock, Tony had decked it out with his security system that was linked directly to Jarvis, should there be a problem Jarvis would be notified and an alarm raised.

She did not see or feel anyone watching her on her run and felt safe enough to make her way straight home without detouring or doing any ‘doubling back’. After showering and getting dressed she drove to work in her new car that was a gift from Tony that she may have felt a bit bad about accepting but it sure was a weight off her shoulders where transportation was concerned after her other car was destroyed when Bucky came after her, Natasha and Steve.

She arrived at work without incident and went to her office, greeting co-workers along the way.

“Hey Sam!”

Sam turned at the call of her name, to see Lilian the receptionist jogging down the hallway to her. Lilian was always well put together, her dark red hair was continuously shiny and bouncy, a smile on her lips and she smelled of different fruits each week, today she smelled of strawberries; Riley’s favourite fruit.

“Hey Lili, what’s up?” Sam liked Lilian, she came from a hard back-ground but she never made that define her and she was attending college on an academic scholarship while working part-time at the V.A.

“Nothing much, just wanted to let you know that there was a man who came by asking for you on the day you went home early.” Lilian drew up beside Sam and they continued walking to Sam’s office.

That caught Sam’s attention.

“Man?”

“Yeah, he came by about 1 o’clock.” Lilian replied, twirling a lock of hair around her index finger.

“What’d he look like?” Sam was extremely curious about this stranger and wondered if this was the person she had felt watching her, if he was so brazen as to show up at her work place.

“Well he was of a slim built, about 5’7”, he had dark brown hair and very beautiful blue eyes.”

Sam could not place that description with any of the men that she knew.

 “I didn’t tell him anything; just that you weren’t here at the moment and he could leave a message but he didn’t want to leave one. He had the most attractive accent though.” Lilian said almost dreamily.

“Accent?” Sam most definitely did not know anyone with an accent.

“Yeah, I know he’s from the U.K., I just have no idea if he was British, Scottish or Irish.”

Sam stopped her dead in her tracks. “Irish?”

Lilian continued walking oblivious to Sam’s reaction and only realized that Sam was no longer beside when she had reached Sam’s office door and spun around to see that she had stopped and was looking a bit dazed and pale.

“Sam? Are you ok?” A look of utter concern had covered Lilian’s face.

Sam shook herself mentally. “Yeah, I’m good.” She started walking again, when she reached her office door she opened it to reveal one of the largest bouquets of sunflowers she had ever seen sitting right in the middle of her desk.

Damn.” Lilian whistled behind her when she saw the flowers. “Secret admirer?”

“I have no idea.” Sam rested down her handbag and laptop and approached the bouquet as if it was a bomb ready to go off.

She checked the flowers and found a card with neat cursive hand writing on it.

When she withdrew the card the words written on it made her heart stop; however, it wasn’t so much the words, as it was the language in which it was written.

“Beidh mé ag féachaint ar leat go luath, Sam.

Is mise go deo.”

Sam felt herself breakout into s cold sweat and the blood rushing to her ears was all she could hear.

“Sam? Sam?!”

Sam snapped out of her daze and looked into the eyes of her concerned friend; Lilian maybe young but she had a heart of gold and was very protective of those she held dear, Sam being one of those persons.

“Is something the matter? Do you know who sent the flowers or the guy who came by asking for you?” Lilian was worried about Sam; she had been so nice to her went she just moved here and got her settled into her part-time job.

“Yeah, it’s from a friend that I haven’t seen in a very long time.” Sam lied through her teeth just to appease her friend.

“Oh, ok.” Lilian didn’t look as if she believed that for one second but bless her heart she didn’t push the situation. “Well if you have any problems just let me know and I will help you deal with them.”

Sam smiled, “Thank you.”

Lilian left after that to allow Sam to get settled in for the day ahead.

As soon as she was left alone Sam grabbed her cell phone and dialled ‘2’ on her speed-dial, she paced as she waited for the call to connect and almost flew out of her skin when she heard a thick accented voice on the other end of the call.

“Sam?”

“Please tell me you were at my workplace the other day asking for me and that you left a large bouquet of sunflowers on my desk with the words: ‘Beidh mé ag féachaint ar leat go luath, Sam. Is mise go deo.’ as a very tasteless joke.”

There was silence on the other end of the line.

“Did you take a breath while you said that?”

Sam huffed, “Hi, I’m sorry but this is very important.”

“Well unless I took a trip that I completely forgot about, but no, I haven’t been to your work place, hell I haven’t been out of Ireland for 6 months. Is everything alright Sam?

“I found my soul-mate.” Sam blurted it out, not even her mother knew or any other family member for that matter, only the Avengers and Maria Hill knew that she had found her soul-mate and who that person was; yet here she was telling her brother-in-law Jackson O'Brady-Callaghan, Riley’s older brother.

“Holy shit Sam! That’s amazing!” Jackson sounded so happy for her. Then again he had always loved her, saying that she was the only who could control Riley’s shenanigans. He even tried to convince her to move to Ireland after Riley had died to stay with him, his wife and three children.

“Yeah, it sure is.” The moment that left Sam’s mouth she knew Jackson would pick up on the sarcasm and he was like a dog with a bone when he put his mind to something.

“Ummm…you don’t sound very thrilled.”

Sam rolled her eyes hating the clichéd phrase she was about to say but could think of nothing else to describe her situation, “it’s complicated.”

“How can it be complicated? Not to sound insensitive, but Riley’s gone. There’s nothing stopping you from grabbing another chance at being with your soul-mate, this time the one appointed to you by fate.”

Sam closed her eyes thinking if he only knew.

“Sam, Riley would have been happy for you, even if he was still alive. Enjoy your second chance with your other soul-mate.”

“I make no promises.” Sam did not know what kind of a future was there for her and Brock.

“At least say that you will try.”

“Damn, I forgot how persistent you are. Fine, I promise to try and make it work with my new soul-mate.”

“Atta girl. Now I don’t know about these mystery flowers and with a note as a tasteless joke. However, if you feel as if you are in danger or if you ever need to get away you are always welcome in my home. My kids want to know when Aunty Sam is coming to visit.”

Sam smiled, she loved her nieces with all her heart; they were just adorable and very smart. “I’ll try and visit sometime before the year ends.”

“I’ll hold you to that Sam Wilson. Maybe you can fly over using those magnificent wings of yours.”

Sam groaned and buried her face in her hand.

Jackson chuckled “Yes, I saw you on the television in all your glory; thanks to you, Clarissa and I had to spend days trying to keep the girls from jumping off the roof with wings made of foil that they created.”

Sam started to laugh.

“Yeah, laugh it up. Listen I have to go now, but when you are coming to visit bring your soul-mate; I want to know if he is deserving of you.”

“I will. Bye Jackson, give Clarissa and the girls my love.”

“Will do Sam. It was great talking to you.”

Sam smiled as she disconnected the call which was promptly gone when she looked at the flowers and note on her desk. She took the bouquet to place it on her filing cabinet so that she could use her desk, when a very odd thought struck her.

She took the flowers out of the vase and checked it, she then looked at each of them individually from top to bottom, when she was satisfied that there were no camera or bugs on them she put them back in the vase and rested the bouquet in the corner of her office behind the door so that they were out of her line of sight.

Once that was done, Sam settled at her desk and began to prepare for her day of one-on-one counselling, as well as group counselling and reports writing.

It was later in the afternoon during a group meeting that the hairs on the back of Sam’s neck stood up and she knew that she was being watched. She took a look around the room, never lingering on one person too long but she could not find the person who was watching her.

Once the meeting was over and the last veteran left, Sam beat a hasty retreat back to her office closing the door behind her on which she rested her weight trying to stop the panic that she felt rising up.

After a few deep breaths Sam felt calmer and moved towards the window in her office that looked out over the beautiful and well-kept courtyard. That was one of the reasons she loved her office, anytime she was having a bad day she would looked out at the green lawns and the well cared for flowers and feel a sense of peace wash over her.

However, there was no peace to be found this time just horror as her eyes locked onto the lonely figure standing down there staring up at her window; staring up at her. Sam stopped breathing. She would know those blue eyes anywhere, however, the way they were looking at her right now made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up and realization slapped her hard across her face; he was the man who was asking for her, he sent the flowers, he was watching her during the group meeting. His eyes were the ones she felt on her as she did her morning run last week Saturday.

Without thinking Sam flew out of her office like a bat out of hell and ran down the hallway that led to the stairs that would take her down to the courtyard. However, by the time she had reached the courtyard the man was nowhere to be found. She spun around in a circle and did not see anyone.

“Oh fuck! I’m going crazy.” Sam dragged her hands down her face and let out a muffled scream.

She began to make her way back inside, but stopped and turned around as if the man would suddenly appear again. She noticed as she walked the same route she had just hauled ass down that she did not meet anyone on her way down or as she made her way back up to her office.

Another realization that hit her once she was back safely in her office is that the stairway and hallway were both completely deserted and that there is only one way in and out of the court yard and it’s through the building and out the back door.

She was properly rattled now and did the only think she could think of in the current situation; she called Steve.

“Steve, I think I am losing my damn mind. I think this soul-mate stress has finally gotten to me and now I have cracked.” Sam said, as soon as the call connected, not bothering with proper phone etiquette. Sam stared through her office window again down into the courtyard where she had seen her ghost and gave chase.

Steve on the other side of the phone call would have laughed at his friend’s dramatics if she hadn’t sounded so scared?

“Sam what happened?” He did not even try to hide his worry.

“Steve I swear to God I just saw Riley.” Her eyes never once left the court yard.

Her confession was met with deafening silence.

“Sam, that’s not possible. Riley’s not alive. Not to sound insensitive but he was hit with an RPG and was blown up.” Steve was trying to talk sense into his friend and it sounded as if he was trying to make sense of the situation for himself.

“Actually he wasn’t blown up.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Sam heard a strange creaking sound over the phone line and figured that Steve’s grip was a bit too tight on his cell-phone, not that she blamed him; she’s sure that her dark complexion was a few shades paler and that her own knuckles were white from how hard she was gripping her phone.

“The RPG hit his wings and threw him off balance, the impact fucked with his parachute and I was not fast enough to catch him so it was the impact with the ground that killed him. However, I did hold his broken and bleeding body in my arms. I felt when he took his last breath. I buried him for fuck’s sake.” Sam was tired and stretched thin, she did not know how much more she could handle.

“You said it yourself Sam, you felt when he took his last breath and you buried him. Either it’s your mind telling you that you need to relax or it was just a really good look-a-like.” Steve was now trying to make sense of his friend’s mind.

“Steve,” Sam said stressing her friend’s name, “he was in the courtyard staring up at my damn office window. There is only one way in and out of the court yard and it’s through the building and out the back door and guess what, I just hauled ass down there like a bat out of hell and I did not meet anyone on my way down or up. And he was gone by the time I got down there. Not to mention that this morning the receptionist described someone that sounds a lot like Riley came by the V.A. asking for me the day I went home early because Brock had appendicitis.”

There was more silence again on both sides of the call until Sam spoke again and what she said made alarm bells go off in Steve’s head.

“Also, since I got back to D.C. I sometimes felt as if I am being watched.” Sam heard glass break on Steve’s side of the call. She knew that Steve was about to chew her ass out for this.

“Sam what the fuck?! Why didn’t you say anything?!” Steve was pacing back and forth in his apartment, trying not to tear out his hair.

“I thought I was just stressed, paranoid and hyper vigilant!” Sam said defending herself.

“I am sending Bucky down there to stay with you until this is all sorted out. No arguments.” Steve said and was met with none.

“There’s something else,” She said, “I arrived at work this morning to find huge bouquet of sunflowers on my desk with the words: ‘Beidh mé ag féachaint ar leat go luath, Sam. Is mise go deo.’ That’s Irish Steve, and how it was signed is something that Riley and I said only to each other.”

Sam’s eyes went wide when she heard the expletives that Steve let loose.

“Fuck it! I’m sending Natasha as well. We will get this sorted out. In the meantime just keep your eyes and ears open, keep you phone with you at all times, even if you are showering take it into the bathroom with you and the lock the doors, when you’re sleeping and showering.”

“Yes, Steve.” Sam was glad that she to have such great friends who had her back no matter what.

“We will get to the bottom of this Sam. No one is going to hurt you.”

Sam smiled and knew that Steve would keep that promise.

“Just one more thing, don’t tell Brock. I want him to concentrate on getting better and not to worrying especially if it turns out to be nothing more than my overactive imagination.” Sam really meant that.

“Fine I won’t tell him, but knowing us this is something and not something that we should take lightly. I’ll have Bucky and Natasha in the air in an hour.”

“Thanks Steve.”

Sam disconnected the call and her eyes roamed over the courtyard, trying to catch a glimpse of her ghost again.

 

Chapter Text

Natasha and Clint where having a knife throwing contest, in which Clint was kicking her ass when they were alerted by Jarvis to report to the common room. The two did as told and when they arrived it was to find a grim-faced Steve, with Bucky, Tony and Bruce watching him with barely concealed worry.

“What’s wrong?” Natasha asked and eight pairs of eyes turned to look at the new comers.

“That’s what we’d like to know.” Tony answered and slung an arm around her shoulder when she went and leant into his side.

Steve sighed and stood up, “I received a call from Sam about ten minutes ago and what she told me, not only left me confused but very disturbed as well.”

“What the hell happened to Fly Girl?” Tony asked and his grip tightened on Natasha’s shoulder which did not bother her.

“She called me very rattled to tell me that she saw Riley or at least someone who looks like him, but she swore it was him.”

“Hold on,” Bucky held up his hands in the time-out manner, “when you say she saw ‘Riley’ you mean, former wing-man who got blown out of the sky Riley? That Riley?”

“I know how it sounds but, she explained that he wasn’t actually blown up.”

“Then what happened to him?” Bruce was confused as hell and worried for his friend that was so far away from them and in possible danger.

“Sam told me that the RPG hit his wings and threw him off balance, the impact messed with his parachute and it was the impact with the ground that killed him. And that she felt when he took his last breath.

“I tried to convince her that it was either her mind telling her to relax or that it was just a really good look-a-like. But weirder things have happened.” Steve looked at Bucky who nodded, knowing what he was talking about with Hydra keeping Bucky alive and young for over 70 years.

Steve continued to replay to his team-mates what Sam told him.

“However, what she told me next, had alarms going off in my head. Apparently there is a court yard that her office over looks and that is where she saw him staring up at her office window.”

Steve’s comment were met with curses from all everyone.

“Did she engage him?” Clint asked.

“She told me that there is only one way in and out of the court yard and it’s through the building and out the back door and she did not meet anyone on her way down or up. And by the time she got down there he was long gone.”

“What the hell? That makes no sense; if he’s her long thought dead best friend wouldn’t he want to talk to her? Why would he just disappear like that?” Tony was perplexed.

“Maybe he’s just like me.” Everyone looked at Bucky when he said that.

“I mean when I just started getting back my memories I did everything to evade Steve, so maybe it’s a similar case; he’s not ‘right’ in the head as yet and he wants to be as normal as possible before making contact.”

Everyone nodded as that made the most sense.

“We are forgetting something though,” Bruce said, “we are talking about Riley as if he is alive, Sam said that he died so it could just be a look alike.” However, that sounded weak to everyone’s ears.

“The receptionist at her workplace described someone that sounds a lot like Riley came by asking for Sam on the day that she went home early because Brock had appendicitis.”

The room went silent.

Steve knew what he about to say next would send his friends into a frenzy. Taking a deep calming breath Steve dropped the most serious bomb about Sam’s current situation.

In addition Sam informed me that since she got back to D.C. she sometimes feel as if she is being watched, and that she arrived at work this morning to find huge bouquet of sunflowers on her desk with the words: ‘Beidh mé ag féachaint ar leat go luath, Sam. Is mise go deo.’ That’s Irish for those of you who don’t know and how it was signed is something that Sam and Riley said only to each other.”

As predicted the common room erupted in pandemonium. Everyone was trying to talk over each other and voice their opinions about the best course of action, not hearing each other until a shrill whistle pierced the room and that got everyone to shut up.

 “Listen I know that we are all concerned about Sam but that does not mean we are to lose our heads.” Steve looked at his team-mates who all looked down sheepishly.

“Now I already told her that I am sending down both Bucky and Natasha to stay with her until all this had been sorted out.”

“Great.” Bucky said and Steve could see the murderous glint in his eyes and the whirring of the mechanics in his arm sounded very ominous.

“I told her that in the meantime to keep her phone with her at all times, even when showering and to lock the doors, when she’s sleeping or showering. She also asked that we do not tell Brock what is happening as she wants him to continue concentrating on healing.”

“Ok, Bucky and I will take a quinjet and head straight to D.C., I just need to collect a few things before heading out.”

“When you both get there I want you act as if nothing is wrong. Whoever is following Sam knows that she saw him, but it doesn’t mean that he assume she would have told anyone for fear of sounding crazy.”

Natasha and Bucky nodded at their orders.

“In the meantime, Clint, Tony and I will comb through all the information that Natasha dumped online to see if there is anything concerning Riley in it that we may have missed and Bruce I want you to go and gently and as subtly as you can question Brock about potential Hydra secrets that may not have been written down but passed on by word-of-mouth.”

Bruce nodded and with everyone receiving their mission the group disassembled.

Natasha and Tony both went down to his lab and he stood off to the side as she went around the room gathering certain work tools.

“Whoever decided to target Sam has made a terrible mistake.”

Natasha looked up from the bag that she was putting her tools into, “because she’s with the Avengers?”

“No,” Tony pushed off the wall and walked over to Natasha, placing his hands on either side of her hips, effectively caging her in and looking straight into her emerald green eyes, “because she’s your friend and you protect fiercely what’s yours, no matter the cost.”

Natasha blushed a little and wrapped her hands around his neck bringing their bodies closer together.

“Is that so?” She smiled shyly up at him.

“Yes, I remember when Coulson first brought us together to take down Loki, and Steve and I got into that stupid argument; I saw you getting ready to wipe the floor with his ass which you would have done effortlessly Моя маленькая балерина.”

Natasha laughed and brought their lips together for a kiss; one that was full of love.

After a few seconds Tony broke the kiss and rested his forehead on his soul-mate’s own, “as much as I’d love to continue, you have a mission to do and I would hate to get in the way of you being a badass.”

They left the lab and took the elevator up the helipad, where Bucky was already in the quinjet and Steve was walking down its ramp.

Natasha turned to Tony, “I love you Tony Stark,” and gave him another shorter kiss.

“I love you too, now go be a badass so I can brag to the others how awesome my soul-mate is.”

She waved at Steve as she passed him and the super soldier and genius watched as their soul-mates left.

“My soul-mate’s such a badass.” Tony couldn’t help but tease Steve.

“Your soul-mate is Natasha Romanov, she is ‘The Badass.’” Steve replied, watching as the quinjet got smaller and smaller.

Tony grinned, “Glad you know it. Now let’s get to work.”

Steve and Tony were busy combing through every single file they had on Hydra when the silence was broken by Tony.

“You know after all this I think Sam should just move in here full-time.”

Steve snorted, “good luck with that. You know you can’t make Sam do anything she doesn’t want to do.”

Tony looked at him and Steve saw an evil glint in his eyes, “who said she was going to have a choice? We can drug her, bring her here, keep her locked up in her apartment, give her bits of freedom and once we know she won’t run away she can come and goes as she pleases.

Steve looked at his friend in disbelief, “You do know that what you are suggesting is called ‘kidnapping and Stockholm syndrome.’

“Technicalities.” Tony said and waved his hand in a dismissive gesture.

“You do know that there is a very fine line between genius and insanity right?”

“Well, I sometimes like to use that line as a jump rope.”

Steve snorted in amusement at his friend’s weird ways. “Ok, Tony, when this is all sorted we can sit down with Sam and talk it over with her, without drugs, kidnapping and Stockholm syndrome.”

“Killjoy. Fine we’ll do it your work and if it doesn’t work, we do it my way.”

“Ok, you budding kidnapper, get back to work.”

Tony gave a salute and turned back to his computer, his eyes flicking over the data running across the screen hoping for something to pop out at him.


 Meanwhile, Bucky and Natasha ETA for D.C. was forty minutes. They had made the journey in almost complete silence, the two of them wrapped up in their own thoughts about their current mission.

“When we were being hunted by Hydra, Steve took me to some neighbourhood and I had no idea where we were going. We walked up to the back porch of someone’s house and he knocked, only for the door to open and we come face-to-face with Sam, who took us in without any question. She fed us and gave us a place of sanctuary for a few hours so that we could rest and figure out our next move; that is when she volunteered to get back into the game and helped us to take down Hydra and Project Insight.”

Bucky sighed, “and then she turned around and helped Steve search for my ass. She’s such a good person, she doesn’t deserve any of this shit.”

Natasha nodded in agreement as Bucky continued speaking, “You know, I have been trying to figure out who this person is; because if it really is Riley then we have a serious problem on our hands and if it isn’t well I don’t know if that’s good or not for Sam.”

“I honestly don’t think it’s going to be good for her.” Natasha said. “He’s been dead for five years and she has long since passed the grieving stage and it seems as if she has warmed up to Brock, so it’s going to fuck with her majorly if it really is Riley back from the dead and that is going to be another obstacle finding out how he went from being dead and buried to alive and stalking Sam and why now.”

Bucky nodded, “yeah, but she has us watching her back.”

“That she sure does.” Natasha agreed.


 

Sam walked out the doors of the V.A. at 5 P.M. only to see Bucky leaning against a bike parked next to her car on which Natasha was sitting on the hood of, they both stood up when they saw her coming.

“Hey, I’m so glad to see you guys.” She hugged Natasha and then Bucky.

“Yeah, Steve told us all that happened and we are more than glad to be here.”

“Great, so that means I can go home and relax. It has been a rather weird and confusing day.”

“Ok, I’ll drive.” Natasha snatched Sam’s car keys from her and she did not protest, feeling too drained to do anything but collapse into the passenger seat as Bucky held the door open for her.

“I’m going to be following you guys on my bike.” Bucky said and closed the door.

He straddled his bike and started it up, waiting for Natasha to drive out before following behind them. When they arrived at Sam’s house the two master assassins conducted a perimeter check and once satisfied they all went inside where Sam proceeded to collapse on her couch.

“So what do you want to do Sam? Take a nap, shower or eat?”

“I want to do all that, in that exact order.” Sam’s answer was a bit muffled due to her face being buried in a couch cushion.

“Great that mean’s I will do your room first so I don’t disturb you.” Natasha said and dropped her duffle bag on the centre table causing Sam to jump a little and turn over.

“I’ve been meaning to ask,” Bucky said, eyeing the back, “what the hell do you have in there?”

Natasha smirked and opened the bag, pulling out a power drill, screw and brand new shiny locks.

“Umm…what’s all that for?” Sam watched as Natasha laid down her tools in and organized manner.

“I am going to reinforce the security of this house as best as I can and that means a whole lot of new locks on your doors and windows.”

Sam didn’t know what to say, so she simply got up and pulled Natasha into a tight hug which was returned.

“Thank you.” She said into her friend’s flaming red hair.

“No problem. Now, I’m going to go do some lock upgrades.” She threw another power drill at Bucky who caught it effortlessly and the two assassins began changing out the locks on every entry point of Sam’s house.

Sam who was mentally exhausted from the day’s excitement fell into a deep sleep right there on her couch, oblivious to the noise of the power tools her friends were using.

After Sam had had her nap and shower, the trio were in the living room eating pizza, drinking beers and discussing the various ways in which Riley could have been resurrected.

“I still can’t understand how a man who fell from such a great height and died is now alive.” Bucky was staring at nothing as he talked, “I mean he died and was buried, so that means he had to be embalmed.” He looked at Sam and Natasha who were listening intently to what he was saying.

“So if it is in fact Riley, which we all feel strongly that it is him, how the hell is he alive? Where did he get blood and internal organs to replace the ones that were removed from him during the embalming process?”

“Fucking hell,” Sam’s eyes were wide, “he’s a real life Frankenstein Monster.”

“Let’s just hope that he only looks like one and is not in fact an actual monster.” Natasha said as she took in Sam’s stunned look.

“Hey, why don’t you go and call Brock, see how he’s doing.” Bucky suggested, “Tasha and I will clean this up.”

Sam nodded her thanks and went upstairs to do just that. She dialled Steve’s number and listened as it rang.

“Sam? Is everything alright?”

Sam inhaled, “yeah, I just wanted to speak to Brock.”

“Of course you can. Can you hold a minute? I’m going to go give him the phone.”

“Thanks Steve. How’s everything there at the Tower?”

“Well we haven’t found anything in the data dump that Natasha did, concerning any ties Hydra might have had with Riley and Brock knows nothing a part from him being your best friend and former wingman.”

Sam felt a bit ashamed that she had not told her friends about her and Riley’s true relationship.

“He still doesn’t know about the situation?”

“No, I told everyone not to say anything to him. But you may want to tell him as I think he is starting to suspect something from all the questions Bruce asked him with Riley’s name and Hydra in them.”

Sam heard Steve huff.

“I think I am going to give Brock his own phone. This is getting a bit ridiculous.”

“Do you think that is a wise idea?” Sam was not doubting Brock but with everything that has happened recently she was keeping her guard up.

“Yes, it is. He’s been behaving himself and telling us all that he knows and Tony can programme it so that he can only call us and you. And his calls with be monitored by Jarvis, so if there is any attempts at trying to contact the outside world, he will shut it down before it ever happens.”

That made sense to Sam, “ok, if you think it’s a good idea I will back you.”

“Thank you. Brock, Sam’s on the phone for you.”

Sam heard rustling in the background as the phone changed hands and a smile broke out on her face when she heard his voice on the line.

“Sam? How are you?”

“I’m good. What about you? You’re sounding a lot better.”

She heard Brock laugh.

“Yeah, well when Dr. Banner is your doctor, that’s more than enough motivation to  heal as quickly as possible.”

“He can’t be that bad.”

“Wait until he’s your doctor and then you can say that.”

“No, thank you. I’ll pass.”

“Wuss.”

A thought suddenly hit Sam and she voiced it.

“I just realize that you know so much about me and Riley but I know nothing about your past dalliances.”

Brock smiled, “Dalliances.”

“Yes, dalliances. Now spill. A man like you should have had women lining up like crazy, warming beds and breaking hearts. I want to know if there were any special ones.”

Brock sighed, “There was one very special one.”

“She must have been very special from the tone of your voice.” Sam teased.

He was very special.” Brock corrected and was met with a stunned silence.

“Details now.” Sam said in response.

“Well he was able to keep my interest.” Brock said.

“So what? I should be concerned about losing your interest?” Sam teased.

Not at all.”

“So where’d you meet him?” Sam got comfortable on her bed, ready to settle in for what she knew would be a good story.

“I met him when I first joined the army. We were the same age, but where I had a high school diploma, he already had his first Ph.D.”

First Ph.D.?” Sam was impressed.

“Yeah, he has 3 now. He’s a fucking genius but he’s so humble about it.”

Sam whistled.

“I know.” Brock agreed with her. “He wasn’t a soldier, but he was an engineer and a weapons specialist. He made us all these fancy gadgets and made sure that my squad was always outfitted properly with some of the best gear.”

“And I am guessing that since you were involved that you got the best of the best.” Sam was glad that Brock had found someone special back when his life went down a dark path.

“Well not at first, because I kept damaging my gear not too severely but bad enough that I had to go to him for him to fix them. He kept saying how no one else damaged their property this much and was threatening to give me low quality gear, while in reality I was just too damned terrified to ask him out and this was the only way I knew how to see him.”

“Wow, you look like a heartbreaker, but you’re really a high school student who doesn’t know what to do when you have a crush.” Sam teased.

“Ha-ha, funny Wilson. Anyway the genius that he is, he figured out what I was doing and one day when I came to him with my damaged night vision goggles he backed me up against his work table and almost kissed the life right out of me.”

“Damn. Jimmy Neutron knew what he wanted.”

Brock started laughing at that, “Jimmy Neutron, that’s funny as he hated that nickname. Yeah, so he kissed me and from there it escalated in to a round of mind blowing sex right there on the floor of his lab. He was so damn flexible, things he could do with his mouth and the dirty talk. The filth that would drop from his mouth. Every time we made love it was as if it was the first time. I remember one time we had sex in my quarters and the door was unlocked and he would not shut up about how anyone could walk in right now and see me with his cock up my ass, with me screaming for it harder and rougher.”

Brock had no idea what his words were doing to Sam, her nipples hardened and she had to clench her legs as she felt a familiar ache build up between them and bite her lip to prevent any embarrassing sounds from escaping her. She has felt Brock’s body against hers with clothes between them and she has tasted his lips. She wonders if they would go any further now that their acrimonious relationship is completely non-existent.

“Sam? Are you there?”

Sam snapped out of her thoughts and realized that she had been quiet for too long, but when she opened her mouth a breathy gasp, “fuck Brock.

Brock was confused until he figured out what was wrong with Sam.

“Did my words affect you that much? Me talking about my ‘sexcapades’ with my ex-lover get you hot Wilson?”

Sam moaned into the phone no longer trying to hide how affected she was.

“Fuck Sam, are you touching yourself right now? I wish I could see you, feel you. I want to run my hands all over your tight body.”

Sam had no idea if it was because her soul mate who was saying all these sinful words or because she hadn’t been with anyone in 5 years but she could feel how wet her panties had become. “Fuck Brock, your fucking mouth should be illegal.”

She slid her hand into her underwear and began to work herself as Brock spoke, letting her moans out so that he knew exactly what she was doing.

Brock continued talking working Sam into a frenzy, “I want to taste your breasts Sam, to suck on your nipples.”

Sam heard rustling over the line and then a deep groan from Brock and she knew what he was doing and grinned, gleeful that it wasn’t only her who was affected.

“I want to taste you Sam. I want my head between your beautiful strong thighs with your hands in my hair pulling it, demanding, screaming, begging for more.”

Sam’s hand sped up in her underwear and her breathing got faster.

Brock’s voice was noticeably hoarser when he spoke, “I want to feel how tight you are around my cock. I want to see you in the throes of ecstasy. Tell me Sam are you a screamer?”

That is what pushed Sam over the edge and a few seconds later she heard Brock’s completion. She felt spent and that was just from words being said over the phone and she wondered what the actual act would feel like.

“That was fucking amazing Sam.”

“I know.” She laughed.

“Thank God Banner took me off the heart monitor or else this would have been really embarrassing.”

“Yeah, I don’t think Steve would appreciate you using his phone to have phone sex.”

As they calmed down from their spontaneous high Sam asked a question that had been nagging at her. 

“So what happened to you guys?”

“He found his soul mate and fell in love.”

“Oh Brock.” Sam’s heart ached for him.

“We knew it would happen one day, it was an amicable break-up. I was even at his wedding.”

“You guys still keep in touch?”

“Yeah, we do.”

“Well that’s great.” Sam bit her lip and decided to bite the bullet and tell Brock what was going on.

“Brock I have something to tell you, but you have to promise me that you will remain calm and let me explain everything. Can you do that?”

There was silence and then, “Yes, I can.”

Sam took a deep breath and launched into everything that happened that day.

“I was wondering why Banner kept asking me so many questions about Riley and Hydra.”

“And now you know.”

“Yes, now I know. But Sam, I think you need to tell the others the true nature of your relationship with Riley. It may help them more with protecting you and to find out what’s going on.”

“I know but I am scared.”

“I know you are but, they’re your friends. They will understand.”

Sam sighed, “Ok, I’ll do it tomorrow. Can I ask you something though?”

“Shoot.”

“Will you be there when I tell them?”

Brock smiled, “I will do anything for you Sam. You know that.”

Sam smiled, “thank you Brock.”

After another half an hour of talking the two soul mates told each other good night.

Sam was anxious about how her friends would react to her news the next day, but she felt a little bit better knowing that Brock would be there.

The Next Day

Sam woke up and woke up Bucky as well to go on her morning run. As they ran Bucky stayed beside Sam, never straying from her side and they both kept their guards up, but they did not feel anyone watching or following them.

When they got back to her house Natasha had just started breakfast so they took the opportunity to shower. By the time they made it back down breakfast was done and on the table with Natasha sipping her third cup of coffee while she waited for them.

“This looks great Natasha.” Bucky said as he entered the dining room with Sam right behind him.

“Yeah, it really does. Thank you.” Sam sat down and poured herself a cup of coffee.

Natasha smiles, “thank you. Enjoy.”

The three friends began to eat, however, Sam was still anxious about her big reveal and did not know that Bucky had noticed her anxiety until her called her out on it.

Bucky turned to look at her, “What’s wrong?”

Sam stopped eating and looked at him, Natasha’s fork stopped midway to her mouth and she looked at Bucky and then at Sam.

“What’s you mean?”

“I can practically feel your anxiety rolling off you in waves. Is this about Riley? You know he or whoever is out there can’t get to you right?”

Sam put down her fork, “it’s not about Riley, well it is about him but not what’s happening right now, but about something that happened five years ago.”

Bucky and Natasha exchanged a look.

Natasha raised an eyebrow, “ok…so what happened five years ago?”

“Ugh, after breakfast you will all find out.”

“From your wording I am going to assume that Steve doesn’t know about whatever it is that you have to tell us.” Bucky said.

“You have assumed correctly.” Sam sighed dejectedly.

“Well let’s finish up here and then we can call up the others and hear what Sam has to say.” The trio went back to their breakfast.

Bucky nudged Sam with his elbow, “it’s going to be ok.” She gave him a small smile and finished her breakfast.

Once breakfast was finished and all the dishes washed and put away, Sam, Bucky and Natasha sat in front of the brand new desktop computer that Tony had given Sam which had a direct link to Jarvis. She turned it on a requested a video-chat with all the Avengers and Brock.

As they waited Sam could not help but jiggle her foot; a nervous habit she thought she had gotten rid of. Bucky rested his hand on her shoulder in a show of support and Sam held it there.

Soon there were there were five faces looking back at her; four of them curious and one happy to see her.

“Hey guys what’s up?” Steve asked.

“That’s what we are very curious to know.” Natasha said and Bucky not so subtly nudged her in her side.

“Sam has something she wants to tell us.” Bucky squeezed Sam’s shoulders as seven pairs of eyes focused on her.

Sam looked up at Bucky and Natasha and back at the screen she sought our Brock’s eyes and saw him barely nod his head in encouragement. She took a deep breath and blurted everything out.

“Riley and I were married. He died a few months after we got married.”

There was a moment of silence and then pandemonium erupted again. Sam could not get in a word edgewise as everyone was talking over her, she buried her face in her hands.

“Hold on!” Everyone quieted down and saw that Bucky was staring at Brock who was in the background, Steve, Bruce, Clint and Tony all turned to look at him.

“You’re oddly calm for a man who just found out his soul-mate was married.” Bucky’s eyes were narrowed.

“He already knew.” Sam’s voice was muffled.

“What was that?” Bucky asked.

Sam raised her head and spoke clearly, “he already knew.” She was looking at Brock who gave her a small smile.

“When did you find out?” Tony had directed the question to Brock.

“I found out on the day Sam was to return home, after her visit.” Brock answered.

“You mean after you demanded her to visit you.” Bucky bared his teeth.

“After you tormented me!” Brock fired.

“Hey!” Sam shouted, “Both of you cut it out!” She looked hard at Bucky and then at Brock.

“Sorry Sam.”

“I’m sorry.”

 Both men looked properly chastised for their behaviour.

“This might be completely irrelevant but where’s your ring? I never saw one.” Bruce was genuinely curious. He was old school and both he and Clint wore rings to symbolise their undying love for each other.

Sam pulled out the locket that she had worn since the day she exchanged vows with Riley, everyone’s eyes focused on it. “We got married and decided to exchange necklaces with letters of our first names instead of rings. Less conspicuous.”

Bruce nodded, “That’s smart.”

“Well shit. This all just got a lot more complicated.” Tony said.

“Why’s that?” Sam really wanted to know what could be more complicated than her supposedly dead husband coming back to life.

All eyes were on Tony as he explained what everyone seemed to have missed with Sam’s big revelation.

“Riley just doesn’t want back his best friend, he wants back his wife. And imagine how he’s going to react when he finds out that his wife has found her soul-mate.”

All eyes turned to look at Brock whose face was scrunched up in confusion and then paled as the horror dawned on him. “But Sam said that they would both be ok, if they had each found their soul-mates after getting married.”

“Well that was before whatever happened to him; we should all assume that he is not in his right mind.” Natasha said. “Whatever happened to him could have screwed with his head and three of us here knows how it feels to have that happen to us.”

“So we should have all worst case scenarios planned for and that includes the fact that Riley might come after Brock since he’s your soul-mate Sam.” Steve, ever the strategist already had everything planned out. His mind going a mile a minute.

“Well that shouldn’t happen apart from everyone here no one knows that I found my soul-mate, with the exception of Maria Hill and she won’t say a word. The only other person who knows is Riley’s brother but I didn’t give a name and he didn’t sound as if he knew that Riley is alive.”

“Well keep your eyes and ears open guys and watch each other backs.” Steve told, Sam, Bucky and Natasha who all nodded.

“Well that’s what I wanted to tell you guys.” Sam said and then had a thought, “Umm, would you all mind giving me and Brock some privacy?”

Without a second thought the Avengers all dispersed to give Sam and her soul-mate privacy.

“Hey, how are you?” Brock gave her a shy smile.

“I should be asking you that. How’s your scar? Healing properly?”

Brock stood up and lifted up his shirt with the intention of just showing Sam how his scar was healing when she gasped at finally seeing a hint of the chiselled torso that was underneath it. Brock lowered his shirt and saw the lust swirling in her brown eyes and the next thing he did was to take it off fully.

“Damn, Brock.” Sam knew he was fit but it was different when she saw the actual evidence.

Brock preened, “I don’t suppose I can convince you to take off your shirt as well?”

Sam snorted and shook her head, “I am not having virtual sex with you Brock.”

Brock’s eyes darkened at that and his voice was lower when he spoke, “I enjoyed what we did last night Sam.”

Sam blushed as she remembered coming to Brock’s word, his voice. “I liked it as well Brock, but you do know that we cannot have sex.”

“I know. That’s how we would create our soul-bond.” Brock sighed, “But Sam I am trying. I will do everything in my power to make amends for my past actions and I hope one day we can form our soul-bond. I want more than just my name on your chest; I want you. I want fall asleep beside you and wake up next to you. Am I fool for thinking I can have that?”

Sam was shocked at the question. “No! You’re not a fool for wanting that. Listen I’ll make you a deal, once this mess with Riley is sorted out, you and I will sit down and have a proper discussion about what we want from each other.”

Brock nodded, “deal.”

The two soul-mates smiled at each other.

“Listen I really hate to cut this short, but Clint said he would take me to the gym where I can do some light exercise.”

“Well that’s great to hear.”

“Yeah, it’s a reward for good behaviour.” Brock smiled, pleased that he was getting some freedom.

“Have fun and try not to break your stitches.” Sam teased.

Brock rolled his eyes, “I will and I definitely won’t, I hate having to lie in bed with nothing to do.”

“Well you definitely had something to do last night.” Sam winked and Brock smiled.

“Take care Sam. Talk to you later. Stay safe.”

“Same you Brock.”

Sam ended the video-call, feeling lighter than she had since she woke up. Her friends had taken her news rather well and she got to see Brock’s face for the first time in weeks.

She got up from the desk only to turn into two master assassins.

Bucky and Natasha stood in front of her, both their arms crossed over their chests and each had an eyebrow raised, it was kind of creepy looking in Sam’s opinion.

“We want details. Now.” Natasha said with Bucky nodding his head.

Sam sighed, “Fine, let’s go into the living room.”

Sam walked behind her friends into the living room, prepared to tell them all they wanted to know and hoping that they were prepared for her water works for when parts of her story got too emotional for her to handle.

 

Chapter Text

Dear Readers,

I want to thank you all for sticking with this story since the first day and for all your comments and kudos, they are deeply appreciated, especially when I have problems writing a new chapter and I have no idea how it will be received by you guys, only for one of you to comment telling me how great it is and that you can't wait for more. :)

With that said I want to apologise that this is not the much awaited chapter that you have no doubt been expecting. I will be starting a new job tomorrow after so many job applications and interviews I have finally been called back for a job and I am feeling very blessed by God.

I know that I will not have much free time starting tomorrow to write and update my beloved story. However, fret not, as I will not be abandoning this precious fic. I may not write and update it in the near future but I HOPE that the year will not come to an end without me updating this fic.

I will try my hardest to write on Fridays and Saturdays when I have time and privacy to myself to think and create. However, please to keep in mind that I currently have two other ongoing fics so I will have to split my time between writing the three of them.

Thank you all for your ongoing support and I hope that you will stick with me until I have completed my story.

You all are the best and please don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

All the best with your jobs, school work, families, and whatever it is that you are doing, whether it is travelling to a new country by yourself, moving out of your parents home and out of your comfort zone. 

All the best with your future endeavours.

Sincerely,

Jack_Wilder

Chapter Text

Sam, Natasha and Bucky were all in the living room playing cards when Natasha received a message on her phone.

“It’s a message from Maria, we’re needed in New Mexico; the others have been notified already.”

Bucky looked up from the cards in his hand to look at her and then Sam.

“Shit, we can’t leave Sam here by herself.”

“Yes, you can. Not that I don’t appreciate you guys being here to watch my back but I can take care of myself; not to mention, I am linked to Jarvis so if anything happens I can contact him and he will alert you guys.”

Both Natasha and Bucky did not look convince.

Sam saw this and ran her fingers through her hair, “look it has been two weeks and we haven’t seen or heard anything out of the ordinary. More than likely whoever it was saw you both and took off not wanting to mess with the Avengers.”

“Yeah and I am sure that whoever it is, is just waiting for us to leaving before pouncing on you.” Bucky threw down his cards and folded his hands across his chest.

Sam raised an eyebrow, “’pouncing’, really?”

“I agree with Bucky, Sam.” Natasha said and Sam could hear the concern in her voice and once Natasha shows concern the situation usually calls for it.

“Well I have no more vacation days for the next six months so I can’t just up and go stay at Avengers Tower but what I can do is check in every hour on the hour with Jarvis. How’s that?”

Both assassin’s looked at each other and nodded.

“Ok, you do that. Every hour on the hour.” Bucky said, emphasizing his seriousness by pointing a metal finger in Sam's direction.   

“Great, so it’s settled, starting today I will hourly update Jarvis of my current status and if he doesn’t hear from me by a minute after the designated hour he can sound the alarms.” Sam looked at her friends expectantly and received two very reluctant nods from them.

Sam helped them pack and saw them off for their mission, once again realizing after they left just how big and quiet her house is. She kept to the deal and updated Jarvis every hour via telephone call so that he knew it was her who was calling and developed a code; she was to say ‘bananas’ to let him know if something was wrong and she could not outright alert him.

It was 10:30 P.M., half an hour before she was to call Jarvis again with her status update and then she would go to bed. She had just gotten changed into her pyjamas and went downstairs into the kitchen for a glass of water, her cell phone tucked in her pants pocket.

She had just washed out the glass she had used when the hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she felt goose bumps breakout on her skin. Sam made sure to control her breathing in order to hear everything around her and that’s when she heard the creak of the wooden floors in her kitchen…behind her…when she knew she had locked all the doors and windows in the house and double checked them, she also knew that she alone should be in the house right now.

She heard another creak and squeezed her eyes shut, hoping it was just her hyper-vigilant imagination playing tricks on her.

“Hello Sam.” an Irish accented voice said from behind her, a voice that Sam had not heard in 5 years.

Shit, she thought, it was not her imagination.

She slowly turned around and felt herself paled when her eyes confirmed who the voice belong to. She didn’t even think, grabbing the same knife she had thrown at Brock’s head when he had first visited her in what felt like a lifetime ago. Moving into a fighting stance, she held it in front of her,.

The person in front of her wearing her dead husband’s face put up his hands in a gesture that showed he meant no harm, which she highly doubted was sincere.

“I don’t know who you are or what you want, but you chose the wrong person to fuck with using that face.” Sam growled getting ready to defend herself if needs be.

“Sam, it’s me. It’s Riley, your husband, your best friend, wingman, your chosen soul mate.” The person claiming to be Riley walked closer and Sam moved putting the kitchen island between them.

“Fuck you asshole. I can only assume that we are both missing part of the story here, because that RPG that knocked your ass out of the sky, it killed you.”

Riley patted himself down, “well we can both see that I am here.”

“You are supposed to be DEAD! I buried you!” Sam screamed backing up as Riley or the person impersonating Riley took a step around the island towards her.

“No, you buried someone who looked a lot like me. Hydra is very good at finding doppelgangers and switching bodies when no one is looking.” Riley smiled and Sam felt even more unease settle in her stomach at the mention of that evil organisation.

“How are you even alive?” Sam asked.

“Well I wasn’t. I was taken by Hydra and revived.” Riley explained.

Sam’s mind was racing, wondering when he was taken and if she really didn’t know the man who was her husband to not have noticed that his body was switched with that of a stranger.

“Fucking hell.” She muttered.

“I never forgot you Sam. I wanted to run to you immediately when I was revived, but I knew how confusing it would have been for you to have your ‘dead’ husband turn up 8 months, after being declared dead and buried. I decided it was best for me to keep your distance.” Riley explained.

Sam laughed harshly, and it sounded a bit hysterical to her ears.

“It’s a good thing you did, because you’re not my husband. You’re not the love of my life who I watched plummet to death his death, who I had to bury and say goodbye to. You may have his face and voice but you are not him.” Sam said, ice in her voice and fire in her eyes.

Riley looked away from Sam and out the window, he sighed and shook his head as if he was tired of trying to explain something to someone for the umpteenth time who just could not understand what was being explained to them. When he looked back at Sam, there was a glint in his eyes that put her on edge and she barely had time to dodge him as he effortlessly jumped over the kitchen island to grab her.

Sam fled the kitchen and ran to the front door, she had almost reached it when she felt a hand grab her loose hair and violently yanked her back. She kicked out and felt her foot connect with Riley’s knee; she then turned and slashed up with the knife in her hand which he dodged moving back.

“That’s my girl, never going down without a fight.” The grin on Riley’s face was maniacal.

Sam was now at a disadvantage, Riley was between her and the front door and she knew that she would never make it to the back door in time. Thinking fast, Sam hightailed it up the stairs, trying to get to her bedroom. She was on the first landing of the staircase when her feet were pulled out from underneath her and she fell hard on the stairs, the breath being knocked out of her and pain shooting through her ribs and stomach from where the edges of the stairs pressed into them.

Having no time to regain her bearing, Sam felt hands on her ankles pulling her down the stairs and she flipped over, managing to free one of her ankles from the painful grip and kicked out again, connecting hard with Riley’s nose with a sickening crunch and she knew immediately that it was broken but he showed no signs of pain. In fact he didn’t seem fazed by the injury and he looked even more maniacal with blood gushing from his nose, down his chin and neck to soak the collar of his blue shirt.

Sam kicked out again, this time kicking Riley in his chest and knocking him off flat on his back which seemed to have slowed him down a bit. She turned over on the stairs only to look up and see her cell phone that had fallen out of her pocket in the tussle sitting on the step above her. She grabbed it and pressed the ‘J’ widget that linked her directly to Jarvis, the call connected before she had even made it to her bedroom.

Sam didn’t even give him a chance to greet her before screaming, “BANANAS, BANANAS, BANANAS!!

There was a moment of silence before the disembodied voice said, “I have already alerted all the Avengers, Sergeant Wilson.”

By the time he said that, Sam heard Steve’s voice on the line and almost wept in relief.

“Sam! Are you ok?!”

“No, I’m not! It really is Riley! And worse, he’s Hydra Steve, Hydra! My fucking husband who is supposed to be dead is Hydra!”

Sam knew that she was close to hyperventilating and that would not help her current situation and tried to calm her breathing.

“Shit. Are you able to leave your house?”

Sam shook her head only to remember that Steve could not see her, “no. I tried but her grabbed me and we got into a fight. I managed to knock him on his back and made it to my room, I’ve locked all the locks but I don’t think that’s going to keep him out.” Her voice trembled at the end.

“What the hell do you mean by that?” A new voice asked that Sam recognised as Tony’s.

Sam began pacing her room, “I kicked him in the face, breaking his nose and he did not even blink. It’s as if he can’t feel any pain.”

‘Well if he’s fucking Hydra, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true.” Bucky said over the line, “Hydra had this nasty habit of killing pain nerves, they figures that if their ‘special’ agents felt no pain they would get a lot more done.”

“Fucking hell.” Sam cursed and could hear the others over the line curse as well.

“Sam, Tony is on his way to assist you. Just stay in your room and defend yourself however, you can.” Steve advised.

Sam let out a hysterical laugh, “easier said than done Cap’. And what do you mean by ‘special’ agents Bucky?”

Bucky did not get a chance to respond as there was a heavy and loud bang against Sam’s bedroom door and she screamed dropping her phone. She grabbed it off the floor and turned on the speaker so that she could hear what her teammates said and threw it on her bed so that she had one free hand while the other still had a death grip on her knife.

“Sammy.” A singsong voice said from behind her closed and locked door, “open the door Sammy. I just want to talk.”

Sam gulped and could feel sweat dripping down her face and down her back, she felt sick as if she would vomit. She was usually the calm one, the person who kept her head no matter how crazy the situation was but now she was scared as hell, the man on the other side of her door may be Riley but he wasn’t her Riley.

“Fuck off Riley! Go back to whichever hole you crawled out of!” she shouted.

“Aww, that’s not nice. You know this is not the welcome I had anticipated from my lovely wife.”

Sam gritted her teeth, she was all alone and she found herself wanting Brock to be here with her. She wanted her actual soul mate here with her.

She walked up to the door and slammed her free hand against it, “I am not your wife! My husband died five years ago and I buried him. You are just some Hydra trash that needs to leave. NOW!”

There was a minute of silence and then there were steady and repeated thuds against the door. Sam stepped away from it, all the while her eyes running over the door trying to figure out what the hell he was doing when it dawned on her.

“Steve, he’s trying to break down the door.”

“Can you go through the windows?” That was Natasha asking.

“No, they’re not big enough, even for my size.”

“Fuck it! Sam, when this is all over your ass is moving into Avengers Tower whether you like it or not.” Bucky growled.

“I second that.” Tony decided to put in his two cents. “Sam, I’m ten minutes away from you, can you hold on for a little while longer?”

“Yes, I can. He stopped trying to break down the door.” She answered and tried to calm her heart that was doing its best to pound its way out of her chest. It was now eerily quiet and for some reason it unnerved her.

“FUCK!!” Bucky shouted, “Stark! Get there faster! He didn’t give up! He’s going to find another way in!”

As soon as he said that, there was a loud crashing sound behind Sam and she spun around in time to see Riley falling down through a hole in her bedroom ceiling, plaster and dust raining down. He stood up and looked at her, he was covered in white dust and plaster, his hand was in his pocket and his stare more than unnerved her, it made it feel as if this was her last stand.

She held the knife in front of her knowing that she would not go down without a goddamn fight.

“I will leave Sam,” Riley then pulled a syringe out of his pocket and the light in the room glinted off the sharp point of the needle, “but not without my wife.” With that he lunged at her and Sam dodged.

Sam may have been a good fighter to go toe-to-toe with Brock but she could not keep up with whatever it was that Hydra had done to Riley. He was fast and strong, not reacting to any of the punches or kicks that Sam landed. However, what she noticed is that he was not trying to hurt her, but he was not being nice either.

He had done a round-house kick and had managed to kick the knife out her hand which she was prepared for and surprised him by pulling out the gun she had tucked in the back of her pants waist.

“Fucking bitch!  Really Sam?! A gun?!”

She managed to get off one shot, which he dodged and dropped to the floor in a crouch, sticking of out his leg and spinning around to sweep her legs from out underneath her.

Sam went down hard and Riley not missing a beat straddled her stomach and pinned her arms to her side with his knees.

“Fuck you Riley O'Brady-Callaghan! May you burn in hell when my friends get their hands on you!”

She looked up into his eyes as he plunged the needle into her neck and as she felt the darkness consuming her, she screamed.

She screamed out for her soul mate.

At the same time everyone on the phone line could hear the fight and they all responded. Natasha and Bucky pushed the quinjet to its fastest speed trying to get back to Washington as fast as possible, Tony pushed his suit to its limits trying to get to Sam. Steve, Clint and Bruce all in different states of shock and anger listened to the fight that last no longer than two minutes.

They all heard Sam fight for her life.

They all heard cursing from both Sam and Riley.

They heard a gun go off and a body hit the floor.

And the one thing that broke all their hearts was a scream.

“BROCK!” Sam screamed when Riley plunged the syringe filled with an unknown sedative into her neck and felt it begin to course through her veins, the last thing she heard as the darkness began to swallow her was the screaming of her teammates on her phone.

Chapter Text

There was the sound of rustling over the phone line and all the Avengers quieted down, straining their ears to hear whatever they could.

"Ah, this must be the Avengers. Hello."

"What the fuck have you done with Sam?" Steve growled, venom dripping from his tone. The rest of the team remained quiet, knowing that Steve could and would handle this. What the world didn't know was that while Steve didn't mind people taking aim at him, he had a serious problem with people going after his loved ones, as evident by how he had burned two major organisations literally to the ground in order to get back Bucky; and Sam, well she was high on his list of loved ones after all her help with Project Insight and finding Bucky.

"You mean my wife?" Riley scoffed looking down at Sam's still body. "I only quieted her, she was making quite the raucous; I'm surprised the neighbour's haven't called the cops as yet."

Steve could hear the smirk in his voice and he blood boiled with the desire to wipe that smug grin off of his face.

"I'm just taking her on a little trip to explain everything and to remind her know how much I still love her and want to be with her."

"Uh, no, you're not taking her anywhere." Tony said, trying his hardest to get to Sam's house while she was still there.

"Who's going to stop me? None of you will get here in time and when you do we will be long gone."

You better watch your back O'Brady-Callaghan, Sam is the sister I never had and I too love her. " Natasha said low, "And I am The Black Widow and you should know what I do to men who cross me."

The sound of a pin hitting the floor could have been heard with how quiet the call had become. No one daring to breathe after Natasha had issued her promise of something much worse than pain in Riley's future. 

"Just know this Riley, if you leave now and promise to never contact Sam again, we will not follow you, but if you take Sam and try to disappear, we will hunt you down and don't think that you will survive the hell we will rain down on you." Steve was long past the point of being civil. This man had harmed one of his best friends and he was not going to stand idly by and let it happen.

"Well I better get a head start then." Riley disconnected the calling further angering the Avengers.

"Cap' I hate to say it but he's right; I'm not going to get there in time." Tony said as a light and alarm sounded, warning him that he was pushing his suit beyond its limits. 

Steve sighed and roughly dragged his hands through his hair. "All right, here's what we're going to do: Tony continue to Sam's house, Natasha and Bucky that goes for you as well. Clint, Bruce and I will meet you there."

"Just one other question," Tony said, "who's going to tell Brock that his soul mate's thought to be dead husband just kidnapped her?"

"I will do it." Steve said.

He ended the call and turned to look at both his team mates; Bruce was doing a great job at not turning green, however, both Steve and Clint could feel the anger radiating off of him.

"You do know that when Brock finds out what happened he is going to demand to help look for Sam." Clint pointed out.

Steve nodded, looking deep in thought. 

"That might not be such a bad idea."

Clint and Bruce exchanged looks with each other. 

"There might have been animosity on Sam's part towards Brock, but we can all see that for the past few months their relationship has drastically changed."

"Do you want any back-up in case he loses his cool when he gets the bad news?" Clint inquired.

Steve shook his head, "I can handle him. Also, I think it would be best if it's just me. You both stay here and see what you can dig up about Sam's and Riley's past." 

"Ok, Cap'." Clint turned back to the computer and began his search.

Steve walked to the elevator and got in, as the doors closed he saw Bruce wrap his arms around Clint from behind and pressed a kiss to the top of his head.

Steve took the elevator up to the room that was assigned to Brock after he got out of the medical wing. Considering the fact that he was a prisoner of the Avengers, he had a very nice room and was quite shocked when he was led to it instead of The Cage and if it was just below Sam's floor then no one said anything.

The elevator doors opened and Steve's eyes locked on Brock who was sitting at the window seat of what served as part of his living room. His head was bent over his tablet and his hand was flying over the screen, writing out more Hydra intel. He had been very forthcoming with the information and the Avengers were kept busy with burning down Hydra bases and arresting persons, no matter their influence and social standing who were associated with the damn Nazi organisation. 

A solid nondescript titanium wristband was enclosed around Brock's right wrist; it kept track of his current location as well as his vital signs. It also had a communicator in it and should he try to harm himself or anyone else or even try to escape it would release a harmless but still powerful shock of electricity to knock his ass out. The bracelet was built by Tony; the Avengers were allowing him to redeem himself but they were making sure to keep a very close eye on him.

Brock was so engrossed in what he was doing that he did not realize he was no longer alone until Steve was standing right over him. He looked up and saw the grave look on Steve's face.

"What is it Cap?"

Steve sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, "there's no easy way to say this."

"Say what?" Alarm bells were going off in Brock's head and he was doing his best to keep calm, “Is it Sam? What happened to her?"

"Riley kidnapped her."

It was as if all the sound was sucked out of the room at those three little words. Brock blinked and blinked again

"Wha- when? How?!" Brock flew up from his seat, the tablet crashing to the ground which both men ignored.

 Steve stepped back, holding his hands up in a calming gesture, watching Brock warily, as the other man began pacing in rage.

"Brock I understand that you are angry and worried, but you need to keep a leveled head in order to help Sam. You were a soldier so act like it."

Brock looked at Steve and he could see the drastic change in Brock's behaviour as he calmed himself and went into military mode.

"What do we know so far?"

"We know that he means her no harm or at least that's what he said to her. He's convinced that she still loves him and maybe deep down some part of her still do, or at least did until she learnt he's Hydra."

"Wait. What? He's what?

Steve realised what he had said when he saw how pale Brock became upon hearing those words.

"Shit." He looked down at the ground and scratched the back of his neck. "Riley's Hydra. We all found out when he told Sam."

"What do you mean you 'found out when he told Sam?'" Brock suddenly thought he was going to be sick when he put the pieces together. "You know when she was kidnapped." He whispered shakily and Steve swore to God he was going to collapse.

He had never seen the other man this shaken up before, even when Bucky had threatened to erase his name from Sam's chest.

"She had managed to call Jarvis who patched us in on the call when Riley attacked her." Steve began telling Brock what happened making sure to stay close in case he had to catch the man who was looking paler at each word. "You need to know that she went down with a fight Brock, she fought tooth and nail to protect herself and to get away from him. She does not think of him as her husband or soul-mate anymore."

Steve braced himself, knowing what he was going to say next could either break Brock or it could fuel his rage and help him to find his soul-mate.

"Brock," Steve waited until the he was looking at him in his eyes, "when Riley was finally able to overpower Sam, she screamed for you. Brock she screamed out for you, not me or Bucky or anyone else. It was your name that last fell from her lips." 

Brock nodded and turned so that his back was facing Steve and he inhaled a few times. Steve saw him wipe at his eyes and turned slightly to the side to give him some sense of privacy.

When he turned back around his eyes were red but there were no signs of tears in them ready to drop and he took a deep breath.

"Captain Rogers with all due respect, Sam Wilson is my soul mate and not even God himself can stop me from coming with you to rescue her."

Steve nodded, "I suspected as much. Come on, we're going to meet the others at Sam's house and see if there are any clues about where he might have taken her."

Steve and Brock left his apartment and went down to the armory where Clint was busy checking his arrows and putting them into his quiver. He looked up and raised an eyebrow at Steve who nodded.

Clint put down his weapons and walked over to a table that was covered in many different models of guns, he leaned against it and crossed his arms staring at Brock who met his gaze unflinchingly. 

"Ok Rumlow, here's the deal, we're allowing you to come with us because Sam's your soul-mate and you may be of help in finding her. However, we are not going to let you go into what is definitely going to a very hostile hostage situation completely defenseless. We are trusting you not to use one of these guns and shoot us in the back because it definitely won't end well for you. Can you do that Brock? Can you not be tempted to try and hurt us? Can we finally trust you?"

There was a beat of silence and then Brock spoke.

"I want to redeem myself so that I can be someone that I like, as well as someone Sam would be proud to have as her soul-mate, I can't achieve that if I hurt her family. So yes, you can trust me not to turn a gun on you."

Clint looked at Steve who nodded and he pushed himself off the table, "well come and get your weapons," he made a sweeping gesture with his hand at the table and Brock walked up to it, Steve's eyes tracking his every movement. He picked up a few guns and checked them before settling on six that he was familiar with, which he could pull apart and put back together with his eyes blindfolded, under extreme pressure and dangerous situations. 

"Think fast." 

Brock looked up in time to catch a Kevlar vest that Steve threw at him.

"Let's go Bruce is waiting for us at the quinjet."

Brock followed Steve and Clint out onto the roof and realized that it was the first time in months that he was seeing the outside world since being taken as prisoner by the Avengers. it was a bittersweet feeling, he felt the cool fresh air blowing against his skin and the warmth from the sun on his face; while on the other hand he thought that his first time back into the outside world he would have been by Sam's side and not going to rescue her from her crazy supposed to be dead husband who it turns out is also Hydra. 

He shook his head to get rid of those thoughts as they were not going to help get Sam back and he tried to think of every conversation he had with Sam, especially those concerning Riley in case he remembered she had mentioned anything about where Riley may have taken her.

The quinjet was quiet and the tensions was thick in the air as the four men made their way to D.C. it was even worse when they were in the SUV, Steve behind the wheel as they drove to Sam's house. Tony met them outside and the look on his face said it all.

"How's it?" Steve asked as greeting.

Tony sighed and ran a hand over his face, "there's not much damage except for the giant hole in Sam's bedroom ceiling, it's as if he was trying not to cause much damage."

"He's trying to cover his tracks." Brock said without thinking, only realizing he had said something when eight pairs of eyes looked at him.

"What'd you mean by that?" Bruce asked breaking the weird silence that had fallen when Brock spoke. 

"It's a Hydra technique; cause as minimal damage as possible so as not to leave any evidence. The more damage and destruction caused, the more likely evidence will be left."

Bruce and Tony nodded.

"That actually makes sense." Bruce commented.

"Really?" All eyes turned to see Bucky standing on the porch leaning against the column, arms folded across his chest, a hard look in his eyes are he stared at Brock, "because I was trained to get the job done, no matter the damage or destruction caused."

Brock was not in the mood for Bucky's shit. Yes, he had a part in holding him captive and using him as a attack dog, but right now was about Sam and only her, he would deal with Bucky later.

"Yeah, well you were a special case." 

Bucky looked as if he was about to attack Brock when Bruce jumped in again to dissolve the situation before two highly trained killers started an all-out brawl in Sam's quiet neighbourhood.

"What have you found so far since you have an idea of what to look for Bucky?"

Bucky's glare shifted from Brock to Bruce who was unfazed by it.

"Not a fucking thing. He left no clue as to where he could have taken her." 

"Well it may help to have fresh eyes take at a look."

They went into the house and there really wasn't much damage downstairs or upstairs save for the hole in the ceiling just like Tony had said. But Brock wasn't concerned with that, he was more enraptured by the photos Sam has decorating the walls of her home. He had passed by her house all those months ago when Hydra and Project Insight had come crashing down and she was running all over Europe with Steve looking for Bucky but he had never been inside; he did not want to violate her privacy like that. And when he had finally made it inside he did not get to look around much since he was ducking from knives being thrown at him and then being knocked out by Sam; he smiled at at the memory, the fire that was radiating in her eyes and how she maybe tiny but she was a force to be reckoned with. 

His eyes scanned over the photos, some were of family and friends, and there was her high school and university graduation picture. She was smiling brightly in all of them. There was one of her in a blue full body leotard standing next to a first place trophy that was almost as tall as her which read:  Under 10 National Gymnastics All Round Champion. In the next photograph she looked to be about age sixteen; she had on a strapless knee length black dress, bare feet and posing with a violin in a way that Brock could only describe as bad-ass. 

 He had moved on to her mantle and that is when he had stopped breathing, there was a picture of Sam and Riley, in their para-rescue gear, smiling at each other and seemingly ignoring the rest of the world. It looked like it was a candid picture but it was still beautiful and Brock could not help but a tinge of jealousy at the love that was radiating between them that could be seen clearly in the picture. 

His eyes continued until he saw a photo that stopped him in his tracks. He took it off the mantle to have a closer look and his eyes widened, he ran upstairs like a bat out of hell, bursting into Sam's bedroom and gaining the attention of everyone in there and causing Bucky to whip out a gun from God knows where on his person and pointing it at him which Brock ignored.

"I know where Sam is!"

"How?!" Tony popped his head around the bathroom door.

"Where?!" Steve asked, voice travelling from the room across the hallway, the sound of his footsteps thudding across the hardwood floors. 

Brock threw the picture of a beaming Sam clad in a white summer dress, wrapped in the arms of a jeans and white button down shirt clad Riley to Bucky who snatched it out of the air and everyone gathered around him to look at Sam who was smiling at the camera, while Riley was looking at her and smiling.

"That's a picture of their wedding day." All eyes snapped up to look at him. "And if I am not mistaken he would have taken her back to the cabin that they spent their honeymoon; it's in Montana."

"Wow you and Sam really got close, huh." Natasha commented.

Brock shrugged, "we're soul-mates shouldn't we know things about each other?"

"Do you know exactly where in Montana?" Steve asked not caring right now about who was close to whom, all he wanted was his best friend back.

"Yes, I do."

"Great, we are all flying there separately. Whoever arrives first survey the area for traps and if Sam is actually at the cabin and wait for back up. No one person is to go charging into that cabin alone. We don't know what Sam's situation is and we don't know what kind of Hydra monster we are up against." Steve looked at each person in the room and got nods.

"Good, everyone move out."


A few hours later...

Sam had to fight to open her eyes and when she did she screwed them shut against the bright light that was shining through the windows. She breathed in and out a few times and this time opened them slowly, squinting at the harshness of the light. When they were open she found herself staring up at a cream coloured ceiling, she gingerly sat up, feeling dizzy and as if she was about to throw up. 

Once her head had stopped spinning, Sam looked around the room and almost threw up. She recognized the room and knew immediately where she was being held captive. she didn't know if Riley was just being creepy or sentimental in hopes that Sam would remember their happy times here and fall back into his arms.

She flung her legs over the edge of the bed and levered herself up, proud that she didn't wobble and that she could walk upright properly. She made it to the door and went to open it only for the horror to set in when it wouldn't. She jiggled the doorknob frantically and could feel her breathing speed up as panic began to set in again.

"Sam?"

She heard her name called from the other side of the locked down in an accent that she had once loved with all her heart but now all it did was make her angry. Panic about the locked door momentarily forgotten.

“RILEY!! You're a DEAD man walking. When I get out of here you better run for your fucking life you cock sucking son of a bitch!” Sam screamed through the locked door and banged on it for good measure.

There was silence on the other side and then Riley spoke sounding as if he was talking to a toddler throwing a tantrum.

"I was going to let you out but now I think I will let you stay in there for a few more hours. Let you cool down a bit more." He said from the safety of the other side. 

That angered Sam even more.

"Tá mé ag dul go fuck tú suas duit píosa cac! Féach ar do chúl Riley Thomas O'Brady-Callahan! Agus an uair seo beidh ort fanacht marbh! Tá tú aon rud ach bruscar Hydra!" She shouted, not caring if she lost her voice in the process. 

Riley bristled at hearing Sam's word in his native Irish language and punched the door causing Sam to jump back in shock.

"There's no need for that Sam." He growled and Sam would admit in that moment she was terrified that Riley would come through the door and hurt her. "Just calm the fuck down and then we can talk like civilized people." He turned on his heels and walked away not caring is if she responded. 

Sam stood in shocked silence at the door for ten minutes until she was sure Riley was not coming back. She turned around and walked to a corner of the room where she had a view of the door and sat on the floor, pulling her knees up to her chest and wrapping her arms around them, not wanting to sit on the bed where she and Riley had made love all those years ago when they were both happy and ignorant of what the future held for the both of them. 

It was another few hours when Sam heard the door unlock and it was cautiously pushed opened, Riley stuck his head in eyes roaming the room until they landed on Sam who was still curled up in her corner.

"I made lunch if you're hungry."

Sam paid him no mind, preferring to stare at a spot on the floor by her toes. 

Riley sighed and leaned against the door-jam watching her.

"You need to eat Sam."

Still no response.

"You do know that the 'silent treatment' is a bit immature?"

Sam's eyes snapped to his, "and what would you call kidnapping a person? Huh? Tell me."

Riley held up his hands "Listen I didn't come in here to fight with you. I made some food and thought you'd be hungry. It's your choice whether you eat or not, I'm not going to force you." With that said he left.

Sam went back to staring at the ground, thoughts of escape running through her head and the only scenario that made sense to her and that might work was if she played nice with Riley, a thought that made her shudder in revulsion. Sitting for a few more minutes and debating with herself, Sam let out a sigh and got to her feet and stretched, her muscles protesting from being curled up in one position for so long.  

She left her room and made her way downstairs where her mouth began to salivate from the smell of Riley's famous three cheese homemade pizza and she felt a bit disgusted with herself. Sam walked into the kitchen to find Riley eating a slice and drinking a beer, he looked surprised when he saw her, but surprise soon gave way to happiness as he gave her a breath-taking smile, which she ignored in favour of grabbing a plate and a few slices of the pizza for herself. 

Sam got a glass of tap water, wanting to be as clear headed as possible and not trusting Riley to not have tampered with any of the beverages that were already in the cabin. She sat down at the kitchen island across from Riley who still had not taken his eyes off of her and Sam tried hard not to let it show that his stare was unnerving her.

"Take a picture, it'll last longer." She said as she took a bite of her pizza.

"No, thank you. i prefer looking at the real thing."

Sam looked up as she chewed, raising an unimpressed eyebrow.

"Still using those weak lines Riley?"

Riley laughed, his face lighting up and looking so much like the young boy Sam had fallen in love with and it hurt her heart so much that she felt tears burn the back of her eyes. 

"Well they got you to marry me so I guess they're not that weak." He sat back on his stool, a smug smile on his face as he took a sip of his beer. 

"Yeah, and right now I am wondering what the hell was wrong with me to have said 'yes.'" Sam knew she should play nice in order to weaken Riley's defenses but she had always been a stubborn and sarcastic asshole deep down inside and it took a special kind of motherfucker to pull it out of her and currently Riley was that special motherfucker.

"Sticks and stones Sammy. Sticks and stones."

"Trust me, words hurt a lot more than sticks and stones."

Husband and wife sat staring at each other, neither backing down and that little voice in the back of Sam's head screamed at her to place nice and she decided to finally listen to it.

She made her body deflate and softened her face, "where the hell where you Riley? I thought you were dead. Where were you?"

And just like that Riley's entire demeanor changed and he looked miserable at the pain Sam was radiating, some of which was true because she was really hurt and confused that he did not come back for her as soon as he was able to breathed again. 

"Sam you have to believe me, I wanted nothing more than to run to you but I couldn't."

"Why?! What was keeping you from your wife that apparently not even death could part us?!" Sam violently got up from her seat that the stool fell over, crashing nosily to the floor and grabbed her glass and flung it into the wall, watching as it shattered into tiny sparkling sharp pieces.

Riley was up and out of his seat walking around the island and tried to put his arms around Sam only for her to shrug him off.

"Don't you touch me! Five years Riley, five years  and nothing, but now here you are. Why?" Sam was no longer playing, she was spitting mad because Riley had been alive all this time and he did not once try to reach out for her. She spent so many years mourning his 'death' only for him to come back into her life once she was able to claim back a sense of semblance and turn it upside down; and she thought finding out that Brock Rumlow is her soul-mate was the worst thing that could have happened, how wrong she was. 

"Sam I will tell you anything you want to know, but you're hurting because of me and I hate it, please let me hold you, at least for a little while as you calm down. Please." 

Riley looked miserable and Sam's heart, the part that still loved him ached for him. She walked over to him and he immediately engulfed her in his arms. She rested her head on his shoulder and remembered how she had always liked that he was only a few inches taller than her because of this little thing; and then she remembered Brock who was much taller than her and broader and how he had felt pressed up against her when they had their first kiss all those months ago. She wondered how he was healing and if he knew about her abduction and then realized how thoughts about Brock was calming her down.  

She broke the hug after a few minutes and Riley looked as if he didn't want to let her go, "so where were you?" She wrapped her arms around her mid-section and leaned against the island.

"Can we go out to the deck to have this conversation?"

Sam shrugged and began walking out to the deck, Riley following behind her, his beer bottle in hand. They sat on opposite deck chairs so as to face each other. Sam unobtrusively scanned her surroundings, pretending as if she was just waiting for Riley to gather his thoughts; she mapped out possible escape routes and it was an advantage to her that she also knew the area like the back of her hand, so it wouldn't be a problem if she was to run right now. However, she wanted answers and needed more time to plot a proper escape, as the saying goes: 'haste makes waste.'

"Ok, so you need to know that I was dead," Riley began his story, "I had no heartbeat, no pulse, no brain waves, nothing. I remember the RPG hitting my wings and messing up the parachute and falling towards the ground. I died from the injuries I sustained due to my impact with the ground. I remember all of that and I know that I was dead, however, I also know that a few hours later I was revived by Hydra."

Sam wanted to shudder when she heard those words; she wondered what kind of Frankenstein Monster Hydra had turned Riley into.

"How exactly did they revive you?"

"I can't really explain it." Sam's eyes narrowed at that and Riley hastily made to explain, "What I mean is that I wasn't given the full story of how I was brought back to life. The most I know is that I got a massive organ transplant and someway, somehow I do not have any brain damage. I was hoping that you could help me figure out what they did to me."

Sam's eyebrows flew to her hairline, with the revelation of Riley being alive, and then kidnapping her she forgot that he should be a vegetable right now considering the trauma he went through.

"However, Sam I am seriously disappointed in you." Riley's face was stone hard and there was a glint in his eyes that Sam remembered from that massive fist they had back when they were in high school and she knew that whenever he got that look in his eyes, it would never end well for the person on the receiving end of it.

"What the hell are you talking about?" She folded her arms across her chest and straightened her back showing no fear and trying desperately not make a mad dash for the front door.

"You did not pick up on the fact that the body you buried was not that of your husband's whom you claim to have love so much." Riley's face twisted into something ugly as he spat those words at Sam. 

"Really? Aren't you the one who said 'Hydra is really good at finding dopplegangers?' Cut that shit out right now Riley."

Sam barely had time to react when Riley launched himself at her; she flipped backwards off the deck chair and was on her feet only to see Riley shove her chair out of the way and grabbed her neck squeezing it.

"Riley!" She managed to get out, clawing at his hands with her nails in hope that he would release her. She saw the anger on his face and felt herself losing consciousnesses. Suddenly she was released and she dropped to the deck, gasping for air and in shock at what had just happened. 

"Oh my God! Sam! I am so sorry! I didn't - I would never hurt you. You have to believe me" Riley was pacing in front of her, running his fingers through his hair in an agitated manner.

Sam was able to breathe properly again and began to pick herself up off the ground, filing away in the back of her mind that Riley was now easily angered and responded with violence. She rubbed her neck and knew she would be sporting some very impressive finger print bruises tomorrow and then a thought suddenly hit her Riley is as strong as Steve and Bucky. That realization sent a shiver of cold fear down her spine. 

"It's ok." Her voice was raspy and she coughed a little.

"No, it's not." Riley sounded and looked as if he was on the verge of tears.

"It's not as bad as that time in school." Sam smiled trying to calm down Riley who was one step away from becoming hysterical. It worked as Riley let out a bark of laughter.

"Not as bad as I was after my mother got through chewing me up and spitting me out."

Sam righter her chair and sat back down, Riley followed suit.

"How did you become involved with Hydra or did they just pick you randomly?" Sam cleared her throat it hurt to talk but she needed information.

What Riley said next made the earth feel as if it disappeared from beneath Sam's feet.

"Well they approached me after graduating from MIT, right before we entered the air force." Riley was either ignoring the shocked expression on Sam's face or he was completely oblivious to it. "In fact I was actually supposed to recruit you as well but I fell out of the sky before I could do so."

Sam felt sick to her stomach. She didn't know whether to laugh hysterically or cry. Her husband, her fucking husband had been a Hydra agent before they were even married. A sick thought entered her mind and she voiced it.

"Did you marry me in order to recruit me?"

"What?" Riley genuinely looked baffled by the question. "No! I love you Sam! I married you because I love you. Always did, always will."

She scoffed, by now she knew how good of a liar Riley was.

"How many?"

Again Riley looked confused, "how many what?"

"How many innocent people have you killed in the name of Hydra?" 

Riley blinked and then blinked again, "not all of them were innocent."

"Holy shit. Holy shit!" Sam stood up and began walking around the deck, running her hands through her hair and trying to make sense of this situation she was now in.

"Sam please, just sit back down and let me explain-"

"Explain?! Explain what Riley? The fact that you were a part of one of the worse terrorist organization the world has ever seen or that you were supposed to recruit me for said organization or that you have been alive for the past five years while your family and I mourned you?!"

Riley got up and walked over to Sam who backed away from him until her back hit the side of the cabin. Riley closed the last few inches between them and brought his hands up to hold Sam's face, she closed her eyes.

"Sam, Sam please look at me." Riley rested his forehead against Sam's, "please."

She did as asked and stared into the beautiful steel blue eyes that had caught her attention the first time she had ever laid eyes on Riley; the blue eyes that used to be home to her.

Riley was looking back at her with love and adoration written all over his face, "I'm sorry." 

Sam tensed suddenly as Riley pressed his lips to hers, however, she soon found herself melting into the familiar feeling of his soft lips and strong arms. She wrapped her arms around his neck and opened her lips to his tongue when he asked for entrance. She moaned at the feeling of him exploring her mouth with his tongue and could feel the press of his erection against her stomach. It was when she felt Riley's fingers slide under her shirt and skim the sides of her breasts that she remembered who she was kissing and broke their connection, making sure to slide out from in between Riley and the side of the cabin. 

"No, no, no. You don't get to kiss me or touch me like that. Not after five years of making me think that you were dead and especially not now after finding out you're a Hydra agent." 

Sam forgot that she should have tried her best not to anger Riley, that is until she saw the dangerous look on his face did she realize her mistake.

"Riley." Was all she got out before he was on her and her back collided painfully with the hard wood of the deck, pain radiated along her back and she groaned. "Riley, get off, that hurt."

"Yeah well imagine how much it hurts me to hear my wife says that I am not allowed to touch or kiss her." Riley snarled and his eyes bored into Sam's and she saw the raw rage shining in them, Sam would admit that in that moment she had never been so scared in her life before and that it was Riley she was afraid of. 

"Riley come on. Get off me and we can talk about this." Sam tried again, panic welling up inside her.

"No, time for talking is over." Riley sat up and shrugged off his over shirt so that he was left clad in his white singlet and jeans and Sam saw for the first time, scars peeking out from behind the material.

"Riley," the fear in Sam's voice could be heard, clear as day, "what are you doing."

"I'm going to remind you that you are my wife."

The look he gave her and his words made her know that she would not only be fighting for her life in the next few seconds but her pride and dignity as well.

He grabbed her wrists and using one hand, Riley pinned them down above her head, his grip tight to the point that Sam felt like her bones were being crushed. 

"Fuck! Riley! You're hurting me! Let go of me! RILEY! STOP!"

He was straddling her waist and she tried to buck him off, but that only seemed to excite him even more.

"Always did like it when you got wild in bed Sammy." He proceeded to lick her neck and then claimed her lips in a bruising kiss. Sam bit him hard in retaliation and he sat up, blood running from his lip.

"Fucking bitch!" Riley delivered a stinging back-hand across her face splitting her lip.

"Get off me Riley! This isn't you!" Sam tried again, feeling dizzy from the slap; apparently Riley had no problem using his full strength against her now.

Riley grabbed her chin in a bruising grip, "how the fuck do you know who I am? You didn't even realize it wasn't me who you were burying."

He let go of her chin in favour of sliding his hand under her shirt and palmed roughly at her breasts.

Tears came to Sam's eyes from the pain and bile rose in her throat from the assault she was experiencing.

"Riley, please, please stop." Tears fell from Sam's eyes and she was truly scared that she was not going to walk away from this unscathed.

Her begging seemed to have pierced whatever fog of madness that had clouded his mind, because Riley stopped his assault and loosened his grip on her wrists and sat up looking down on her.

His face had soften, "I can't Sam," his voice full of remorse when he said that.

However, it was the wrong thing to say to a woman facing the threat of rape. 

Sam managed to free one of her hands and grabbed Riley's abandoned beer bottle by the neck and smashed the bottom of it, then in the next moment she slashed him across his face using the sharp and jagged broken end. He reared back and Sam took the opportunity to push him off her and ran inside the cabin, running to the kitchen to cut through it in order to make it to the cabin's front door.

Riley was hot on her heels and she grabbed a knife out of the knife rack on the counter and spun slashing up and then across which made him duck and take a step back. Sam was breathing hard and she saw as his eyes narrowed at a point on her chest.

"Wow," Riley drawled, "well aren't you the little two-faced, hypocritical bitch."

Sam had no idea what he was talking about and looked down to where he was looking and had to do a double-take; the collar of her shirt had somehow torn during their scuffle and her soul-mate's name, Brock's name was bare to the world for all to see.

"You failed to mention that your soul-mate is Hydra; hell you failed to mention that you had found your fucking soul-mate."

"Well it slipped my mind when I was so rudely kidnapped from my home." Sam snapped back, knife held in front of her and ready to run as soon as Riley made a move.

Riley looked away from her, eyes roaming at the scenery outside that could be seen through the sliding door, he let out a laugh that was laden with disgust.

“I never met the man but he had quite the reputation at Hydra. You should ask him about it sometime."

"I will, as soon as I get rid of you." Sam snapped, wanting to get away from this messed up situation. 

He looked back at Sam and she took off, not wanting to chance another second to the promise of a painful death that were in those blue eyes she once called home.

She was in the living room, running at full speed towards the front door when she was grabbed by her hair again. She turned in the hold and this time stabbed Riley in his stomach. They both stopped in shock and Sam released the knife, stepping back from Riley who was staring at the knife in his stomach. 

Sam jumped when Riley began laughing hysterically and that is when she noticed the lack of groaning or moaning in pain; she also looked closer and saw that under the blood that was covering Riley's cheek the cut from which it had flowed was nowhere to be seen and her eyes widened in horror.

"What the fuck did they do to you?"

Riley looked up at her and with a sadistic gleam in his eyes, he slowly pulled the knife out of his stomach. Sam looked on in horror as the wound healed instantly before her eyes.

“Oh, did I forget to tell you?” Her eyes snapped up to look at Riley when he spoke, madness in his eyes.

“My nerves are all dead, so I can’t feel any pain and I have instant regenerating abilities.” He grins at her and he looks maniacal.

Sam recoiled in horror. “My God, you’re a monster.”

"Yeah, well you married this monster, so what does that say about you?"

Sam didn't get a chance to answer because right at that moment a small missile flew through the glass of the sliding door, shattering it and went straight into Riley which caused a small explosion and threw him hard into the wall.

"Sam!"

She turned when she heard the familiar disembodied voice and almost cried in relief when she saw the red and gold armour.  

"Tony! I am so glad to see you." She ran over to him and jumped, wrapping her arms around his armour clad shoulders. 

"Well I am extremely glad to see you breathing and in one piece." Tony gently hugged her back. "The others will be glad to see you as well. Now what to do with this motherfucker-where'd he go?"

Sam whipped around and true to Tony's question Riley was nowhere to be seen but the front door was wide opened.

With knowing that her friends had found her and that she was no longer on her own, Sam gave chase without a second thought, knowing that the Avengers had her six. She had managed to catch up with Riley before he made it to the tree line and drop-kicked him; he went down hard and Sam rolled to her feet and delivered a powerful roundhouse kick to his head when he was getting back up.

She straddled his chest and started punching him over and over again.

"This is for kidnapping me!"

Punch.

"This is for hitting me!"

Punch.

"This is for trying to strangle me!"

Punch.

Blood was running down Riley's face and the cuts were healing as soon as they were made which further angered Sam. Her knuckles were split but she felt no pain; anger and adrenaline coursing through her veins. 

Sam dragged him up by his collar and Riley gave her a bloody smile.

"Don't waste your strength Sammy, I can't feel any pain." He then spat blood and saliva on her face.

"And this is for trying to rape me." 

She punched him and kept punching until a warm gentle hand closed around her wrist and another around her waist, pulling her back and off of Riley.

"Sam. Easy Sam, he's down and he's not getting back up." A gentle voice that she dimly recognised as Tony's said in her ear.

She turned in the hold and wrapped her bloodied hands around his neck, burying her face in his shoulder. Tony tightened his hold on her and glared at a bloody Riley who was looking at the two quinjets that had since land and the murderous faces of Sam's friends as they walked over to them.

"Well, well, looks like the cavalry is all here to save your ass Sammy."

"Yeah, and some of them have promises to keep." Tony said, as Natasha reached them first and stood over Riley.

"Hey Riley, I'm Natasha." She smiled sweetly at him and the cocky-ass smile he had on his face fell at the promise of a slow and painful death literally loomed over him.

"Now, Tasha, remember to leave some of him for the others to beat the shit out of." Tony commented nonchalantly as he led Sam away from what would soon be another beating session.  "Hey, there's someone here who's been dying to see you."

Sam held up her head from where it was lying on Tony's shoulder to look at him and he smiled warmly and nodded with his head towards the quinjet door to see Brock standing in it.

"Should you be up and about? What if you break your stitches again?" Sam teased as Brock made his way down the steps of the quinjet.

Brock grinned, showing off his perfect white teeth and Sam felt something bubble in her stomach at the beautiful sight he made. 

"I don't think Dr. Banner would be too upset with me if they broke, seeing as how I'm here to help rescue your ass."

They were both stopped a few feet away from each other and Tony released his hold on Sam so that she could walk those last few feet to Brock on her own. She was now standing right in front of him and they stared at each other. Brock's eyes roaming over her face and body, no doubt taking in her injuries and his eyes narrowed when they landed on her throat and ripped shirt where his name was visible. He took off his jacket and draped it around her shoulder and she shrugged her arms into the sleeves, enjoying in the warmth it offered and breathing in Brock's scent off of it. 

"I never thought I would say this," She smiled, eyes sparkling tears, "but I am damned glad to see you."

She threw herself at Brock who accepted her with opened arms, he held her close and tight, burying his face in her hair and breathing in scent that was purely Sam.

Sam could feel the strength that was protecting her, keeping her safe and crumbled from the effects of the last few hours  and Brock, well he held her up as she wept into his shoulder.

Wept for the love she had lost, the lies she was made to believe and fight for her life and dignity she just had to go through. 

"He tried to rape me! I was so scared!"  His arms tightened around her as she cried into his chest.

"I beg your pardon, he what?" Bruce asked, voice dark and Sam had no idea when he had reached them.

"Hey Bruce, you're looking a little green there." Tony tried to joke but even he was feeling red hot anger at the thought of any man trying to hurt a woman that way, especially when said woman is one of his very good friends.

Sam turned in Brock's hold, still sticking close to his side, "Riley, he, he," she had to stop and take a deep breath and then began again, "I told him he couldn't kiss or touch me and he got very angry and said that he was going to remind me that I am his wife and he tried to rape me."

Brock's arm tightened around her shoulder as the four of them looked over to where Steve, Clint, Natasha and Bucky were surrounding Riley who was not looking as cocky as before. He looked over and made eye contact with Sam, who stared back at him.

"Sam! Come on! Call them off! You know that would never hurt you!" He pleaded from his spot on the ground. 

Sam raised an eyebrow in disbelief and gestured to her bruised and battered body and torn shirt, "Really?! You attempted to rape me Riley!"

"What?!"

"He tried to what?!"

"I'm going to fucking kill him, no one try to stop me."

"You're fucking dead you piece of shit."

Several voices rang out and there were six weapons aimed directly at Riley; an arrow, a repulsor, and six guns, two courtesy of Natasha, another two courtesy of Bucky and one being pointed by the hand Brock did not have wrapped around Sam.

"Hey!" Steve ever the voice of reason called out, "I know that we are all beyond angry at this point, but this asshole may have some useful information for us."

"And if he doesn't?" Bucky asked, Winter Soldier glare in full effect.

"Well, Riley Thomas O'Brady-Callahan was killed in action five years ago, so if he should disappear if he's not of use to us, no one will miss him." Steve glared at Riley who audibly gulped.

"You're Captain America, you're not supposed to kill people."

Steve rolled his eyes and stopped down so that he was eye level with Riley who shrank back.

"Well what the world doesn't know is that I have a dark side and guess what Riley, you made it come out when you decided to come after Sam." With that said Steve got up, "restrain him, we're leaving now."

Bucky and Natasha dragged Riley to his feet and cuffed his hands together behind his back and shackled his feet together as well.

"Sam! Sam! You can't let them do this! I'm your soul-mate!"

At that Sam saw red again, breaking Brock's hold on her she walked up to him until they were almost nose to nose.

"No, you're not my soul-mate, he died five years ago; you're just some cheap imitation of him." Sam spat at him.

Riley reared back and there was an instant change in his demeanour; a dark, angry look had come over his face and he glanced over Sam's shoulder at Brock who was watching them, gun at his side.

"Yeah, you go be with your destined soul-mate. Just remember he's also Hydra." He sneered.

"Brock," she pointed over her shoulder at him, "yeah he may have been with Hydra, but guess what, from the moment we touched and discovered that we are soul-mates he has done everything in his power to redeem himself.   He has been trying to make himself into a better person who I would be proud of to call my soul-mate and spend the rest of my life with. He literally wanted to stop a fight just so that we could talk." 

Sam grabbed Riley by his collar and dragged him closer, "now I'm going to be leaving with my friends and soul-mate and you are going somewhere far away so that I will never have to see you again." She saw that he still had his locket around his neck and ripped it off, ignoring his cry of anger. 

"You bitch!"

Sam smiled, "I've been called a lot worse." She then ripped off her own locket from around her neck and dropped them in the grass and turned around walking back to Brock who held out a hand to her which she took and together they began walking back to the quinjet. 

"I am your HUSBAND Sam!" Riley screamed as he was dragged to the other quinjet.

"Wow, he really doesn't know when to quit, does he?" Brock commented as he glanced over to see Bucky bodily lift him over his shoulder to carry him to the quinjet.

"Nope, he never did." Sam turned and yelled back, "remember, you're dead! I am a widow!" She flipped him off and entered the quinjet, and as soon as she took a seat Bruce came over to examine her injuries. 

Bruce checked her over with Brock standing close by but not in the way of the examination, and he declared all she would need was a week of bed rest and no strenuous activities and she would be fit as a fiddle, as well as no long conversations in order for her throat to heal properly from the attempt at strangling. 

"What is it?" He asked as he cleaned her busted knuckles.

 "I don't really know what hydra did to him, but whatever they did it has made him crazy, or maybe he always was crazy and Hydra just brought it to the forefront. I just don't know how I missed it." She sighed and closed her eyes.

"We usually only want to see the good of those who are close to us, especially when we love them."

She laughed but there was no humour to it, "love really is blind."

Bruce exchanged a look with Brock who shrugged.

"Ok, well just rest now; you did your part, it's time for us to do ours and take care of you."

"Thank you." her eyes still closed, but she smiled when she felt Bruce plant a kiss on her forehead and knew when he walked away to join Steve and Clint in the cockpit.

The silence was suddenly deafening. Brock had no idea what to do or say right now that all the action was over.

"I can feel you hovering, it's creepy take a seat."

"How are you feeling?" He figured that was the safest way to begin a conversation, instead of jumping into how scared shit-less he was when he heard that Riley had taken her.

"Sore and tired, both physically and mentally." She opened both eyes and turned to face him, looking small in his jacket and he liked seeing her wear it.

"Thank you for coming to get me." Gratitude shining in her eyes.

"Sam I once told you that I would help you dispose of a body." Sam laughed at this and Brock smiled enjoy hearing her laugh, "and I meant it." Without thinking he grabbed one of her hand and linked their fingers, "no matter where you go as long as you want me to follow you, I will." 

"Who knew big bad Brock Rumlow was such a sap." She teased.

Brock in turn rolled his eyes, "way to kill the mood Wilson."

"Oh, there was a mood?"

"Well not anymore, you killed it." 

They grinned at each other until Sam yawned so wide her jaw cracked.

"Hey why don't you get some rest?" Brock suggested.

Sam nodded and instead of lying on the medical cot that was at the side of the quinjet, much to Brock's surprise and pleasure she laid down with her head in his lap and the rest of her body stretched out across the next two seats.

"Can you run your fingers through my hair?" She asked softly. "That usually helps me sleep when I have had a bad day." 

Brock did as asked and could not wipe the smile off his face, even when Steve looked at him with a raised eyebrow and an amused smile on his face. He was happy having his soul-mate safe; with her feeling safe enough around him to sleep with her head on his lap. 

Chapter Text

It had been three weeks since Sam was kidnapped and then rescued. 

Three weeks since Riley was locked away somewhere that Sam didn't want to know about and so no one told her. Hell they didn't even tell Brock; not that he cared or so he kept telling himself. 

He may have been making an effort to redeem himself in the eyes of his former enemies, but they still didn't trust him fully. He didn't think about voicing his thoughts to Sam as she had more than enough on her plate as is. After Sam's rescue Tony basically kidnapped her and brought her to Avengers Tower; she protested that she couldn't leave the V.A. centre but Tony had already made a very generous donation to them and recommended five of the top clinical psychologists and psychiatrists who have served themselves and have vast experience in treating PTSD, so Sam felt a little less like she was abandoning persons who need her.

Brock only knew this because Sam told him. However, since she's been here they haven't spent much time together; with Sam getting over the shock of what Hydra did to Riley, Brock did not want to suffocate her. So he spent most of his time split between his own apartment, the gym and the pool.

He usually found out from Jarvis if the pool and gym were empty before venturing down and if someone was there already, he would query who it was before making a decision on if he should go or stay in the safety of his apartment. 

Right now he was currently in the gym, pounding into the punching bag over and over again. He felt the the bag as it gave under his punches, the chain rattling from where it hung from the ceiling. Sweat was running down his face and getting into his eyes, stinging them but he continued with his assault; not stopping even when he heard the gym doors opened; too caught up in his own thoughts to pay any attention to the newcomer until said person punched the bag and sent it flying, Brock's eyes wide in surprise, following the decimated bag as it flew through the air to land on the other side of the large gym.

 He spun around to face the person who had joined him in the gym and kill his punching bag, only to unconsciously step back and gulp. Looking right back at him with a glare he had seen many times before him was Bucky. That was another thing, Jarvis had his back in making sure he and Bucky were never alone in the same room at the same time, but some way, somehow, Jarvis did not warn him about Bucky's arrival, nor is he coming to his rescue with a false call.

Bucky was slowly looking him up and down, like a predatory who could not decide on how best to attack their prey. Then he grinned; this slow sharp, predatory grin took over his face and Brock knew he was fucked.

Brock barely dodged the metal arm that was aimed at his head, ducking and moving to the side to punch Bucky in his kidneys which was blocked and he got kicked in his chest in retaliation. He flew a few feet across the floor of the gym and rolled ass over head to get back on his feet in time to prevent a vicious kick to his head. He did a round-house kick and managed to get Bucky in his head, who was not at all fazed by the kick. 

This went on for quite some time. The two men attacking and defending, not saying a word but letting their fists do the talking. 


Meanwhile Sam was in her apartment reading the dockets of her new clients at the V.A. in New York.

"Sergeant Wilson, I think I should inform you of the fight that is currently taking place between Sergeant Barnes and Mr. Rumlow." Jarvis said, breaking the quiet of the apartment.

Sam distracted by her reading nodded absentmindedly, "thank you Jarvis."

It was silent again for a few seconds when Sam's head jerked up, "what?!" She jumped up off the couch and ran to the elevator which opened before she got to it.

"What started the fight?"

"As far as I can tell Sergeant, nothing. Mr. Rumlow was in the gym exercising when Sergeant Barnes walked in and attacked him after decimating the punching bag he was using." Jarvis explained.

"Have you alerted anyone else of this fight?" Sam asked as the elevators opened and she ran to the gym.

"Yes, Agents Romanoff and Barton."

"Did they try and stop the fight?" Sam pushed open the doors to the gym and got her answer.

Natasha and Clint were both sitting on benches by the side of the door egging on the two men brawling on the gym floor.

Sam's eyes widened in disbelief at the fact that her two friends were egging on the fight instead trying to break it up and at Bucky and especially Brock who seemed to be holding his own against The Winter Soldier

Both men had blood running down their face, and Brock's shirt was torn, her name on his chest showing for the whole world to see. It was a brutal fight, not a friendly sparring match, or even an outlet for blowing off some steam. No, this was an all-out brawl that no one saw fit to break up.

In a move that Sam had no idea how it was done, Bucky had Brock pinned on his back and started raining down blows, thankfully with his flesh hand and not the metal. 

"Whoo!!! Get him Bucky!!!!" Clint shouted.

Clint's shout brought Sam out of her reverie and she was so fed up with the school children she called friends. Putting her index and middle fingers in her mouth she let out a loud shrill whistle which caught everyone's attention and brought the room to a standstill. 

Bucky was frozen over Brock, his hand inches away from Brock's nose.

Brock was trying to protect vital areas.

Clint looked ashamed.

And Natasha looked unrepentant, not that Sam would expect any different from her.

All eyes were on her.

"What the fuck is going on here?" She demanded to know. 

Brock from his position on the gym floor, blood running from his mouth, nose and a cut above his eyebrow, wheezed out, "I would like to point out that I did not start this. I was minding my own business when Barnes jumped me for no good reason."

Bucky looked murderous, "no good reason?  I was getting my payback for the years Hydra held me captive. I was actually going easy on you."

Brock opened his eye that was swollen shut, "easy? You threw a barbell at my head!"

"And you managed to dodge it!" Bucky shot back.

"Enough!" Sam shouted, beyond angry at this point. "I am disappointed all four of you!"

"What?! What did do?" Brock asked, still lying prone on the floor.

Sam looked down at him with a raised eyebrow in disbelief "You didn't walk away from the fight Brock!"

"I wasn't given a chance!" Brock shouted and sat up suddenly only to become dizzy and groaned from the pain radiating through his body.

"And you two!" Sam whirled around to face a shamed face looking Clint and a blank faced Natasha, "Why did you break up the fight?! You just sat there egging them on or at least Bucky since it seems as he was the one who started it unprovoked."

When no answer was forthcoming from them, she turned back to Bucky and sighed exasperatedly.

"I thought we talked about this? This is his second chance. Why'd you attack him?"

Bucky looked away a blush of embarrassment rising to his cheeks, "I didn't mean to. I was just going to offer a bit of friendly sparring, but then plans changed without me really realizing it and I got carried away." He finished, hearing how lame it sounded to his ears.

 Brock snorted from where he was still sitting on the ground and looked up at Bucky, his face black and blue, one eye swollen shut and blood on his face.

"You had no intentions of a 'friendly sparring' between us. You wanted to hurt me and guess what Barnes, you succeeded. As for why those two didn't stop him," Brock looked at Clint and Natasha, "it's because to them I will never be anything but a Hydra agent, the enemy. So why bother to stop their friend from killing an enemy?"

The room went silent when he said that.

It was broken when Brock laughed in disgust and Sam wasn't sure whether it was aimed at them or himself. He began picking himself up off the ground and groaned in pain. 

"I'll just go and lick my literal wounds in my apartment. Hopefully I won't be attacked there as well."

All eyes followed him as he made his painful walk out of the gym and Sam's heart broke at the way he was treated.

"You three are in deep shit! Steve is definitely going to hear about this."

She then left to go and find Steve to let him know what his teammates were up to.

Sam went straight to Steve's art workroom, not bothering to knock she threw the door open and stomped inside.

"Bucky just literally beat the shit out of Brock unprovoked."

Steve spun around from a painting he was doing of the team in action, eyebrows at his hairline.

"What?"

Sam was pacing back and forth, agitated by the situation.

"Oh and better yet, both Clint and Natasha were egging on Bucky instead of trying to stop the fight."

"What?!" Steve got off his stool with such force that it feel, but paid it no mind.

"They were doing what?"

"You heard me." Sam crossed her arms across her chest. "What the hell kind of message are we sending Brock if we allow shit like this to happen to him under a roof that is supposed to be one of the safest on the planet and by people who are supposed to be protecting the earth's entire population?"

Steve closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breaths.

"Jarvis, please to alert everyone to a meeting right now in the common room. Inform Brock that he also to be present."

"Right away Captain Rogers."

Steve walked passed Sam to the elevator and she followed him.

"I'm going to murder Bucky." Steve growled and Sam had never seen him this upset. "First he pulled that shit with the picture of you sleeping and now this. And I expected a lot more from Clint and Natasha, especially Clint."

"You and me both Steve." Sam said.

When the elevator doors opened it was a very tense scene in the common room. 

Brock was sitting in an armchair ignoring everyone in the room, Natasha, Clint and Bucky were sitting in the long couch and Bruce and Tony was looking between the three of them and Brock with confusion written on their faces.

"Hey Cap, want to fill us in on what's going on?" Tony asked when they stepped off the elevator.

"And why didn't anyone tell me Brock was in need of medical care? I'm very sure that he has a few cracked ribs." Bruce asked, his voice hard.

Everyone in the room knew that was a possibility by the way Brock was sitting.

"That's what I'd like to know." Steve glared at the three culprits, Clint and Bucky avoided his gaze and even Natasha looked a bit pale.

"Cap," everyone turned to look at Brock when he spoke up, voice a bit raspy from when Bucky had him in a choke-hold earlier and Sam was just seeing the bruises on his neck that would be an ugly shade of purple in the morning.  "If I may go first."

Steve nodded.

"At about 0715 today, I entered the gym for my routine morning workout after confirming with Jarvis that it was unoccupied. I was in there for about an hour and a half when I heard the doors opened but paid the newcomer no mind, too lost in my own thoughts when the punching bag I was using was suddenly knocked off its hook and flew clear across the room, that is when I realized that Sergeant Barnes had entered the gym; after that he attacked unprovoked."

Brock stopped speaking and took a few sips from the glass of water that he had been holding.

"Usually Jarvis alerts me if someone is about to enter a room I am currently in, but for some reason this time he did not."

Apologies Mr. Rumlow," Jarvis said, "Sergeant Barnes assured me that he only wanted to have a friendly sparring match with you. However, when I saw what was happening I alerted Agents Barton and Romanoff thinking they would have put an end to the situation and not have added to it. I then alerted Sergeant Wilson and she stopped the fight."

The room was deadly quiet after Jarvis had told his side of the incident that took place.

"Really Tasha? I expected a lot more from you." The look on Tony's face screamed disappointment and Natasha actually looked ashamed when she heard that. 

"We didn't mean any harm. We would have put a stop to it if it got out of hand, but Brock was holding his own against Bucky." Clint said in a quiet voice. 

"He almost dislocated my shoulder shortly after you both arrived and you didn't think about stopping him from trying to kill me then?" Brock snorted in disgust. 

"Stop being dramatic, I wasn't going to kill you." Bucky responded flippantly.

Brock stood up in anger only to fall back into the chair, hissing in pain and holding onto his side. “Not trying to kill me? You cracked three of my ribs you dumb-ass!"  

"You really should let me take a look at those ribs." Concern was clearly heard in Bruce's voice.

"No, no, nope." Brock shook his head. "I am good. Just going to pop some Advil and rest."

"Brock you really should-" Sam began to say but was cut off by Brock.

"I've had a lot worse; I'll survive." He turned to Steve, "Can I leave now? I'd really like to go and lie down."

Steve nodded and gave Sam a meaningful look when Brock had walked passed them to go to the elevator. She followed him wordlessly into the elevator, while Steve turned back to his team mates.

"Ok, we need to sort out everyone's problems with Brock, because there cannot be another incident like this again."


The elevator was quiet as Sam and Brock made their way back up to his apartment. He was holding his side, but his face was devoid of any hint of pain.

"You should probably have that looked at Brock."

He remained silent and continued staring ahead.

Sam sighed and resisted the urge to roll her eyes.

"The silent treatment is not very adult-like and you have no reason to be angry at mebroke up the damn fight."

Brock said nothing and simply exited the elevator when the doors opened. 

"Ok, fine, if you're you going to be that way I have the patience of a fucking Saint." Sam dropped herself on the couch turning so that her back was bracing against the arm rest and so that she could look at Brock who sat down gingerly on the other side. 

Silence reigned for a solid fifteen minutes until Brock caved, "how the hell are you so patient?"

Sam shrugged, "I have always had a calm and patient temperament. That's why I was so good at my job in the army; I was always able to keep a levelled head no matter how dire the situation and also why I am a good counsellor." 

"You've lost your temper with me a few times." Brock pointed out.

"You're the exception sweetheart." Sam smiled and winked. "Now are you going to get your injuries checked out?" 

"No."

"Brock-"

"No!" Sam was stunned into silence, Brock had never once raised his voice at her, not even before they found they were each other's soul-mates, "I said: no! Now just leave me alone Sam."

Brock knew Sam was only looking out for his wellbeing and he felt like an ass immediately after he had yelled at her but his pride would not allow him to apologize for his outburst.

"Listen, I know that you're upset and hurting, but you have to let Bruce take a look at your injuries." Sam said in her counsellor voice.

That was it for Brock, he turned to look at her "you know what Wilson? I don't have do anything, so you can just fuck off along with all of your Avenger friends."

Sam saw red when he said that and moved before she had any thought about what she was doing and the next think she knew, she was straddling Brock's lap, his sweat shirt collar in her fists. He grabbed her wrists to pry them off but she held on tight.

"Now you listen here Brock, I am not a punching bag. You do not raise your voice at me or curse at me. Right now I am definitely the only person on your side. So stop acting like a cunt and get your fucking injuries checked out!"

They were both breathing hard, glaring at each other, neither backing down. 

Dark brown eyes staring into whiskey coloured eyes.

Sam's thighs on either side of Brock's, her weight pressing down into his lap.

Brock licked his lips and Sam's eyes followed the movement.

They don't know who made the first move, but suddenly their lips were on each other's and it was a battle for who to control the kiss, which Sam won.

Brock's head was tilted back against the back of the couch, Sam's fingers in his hair, gripping it and making him moan. Her other hand had managed to slide under his shirt, roaming his well-toned chest from years of training; wanting to feel and see more of his skin she slid her hand out and grabbed the hem of his shirt indicating that she wanted it off and he complied, instantly reattaching their lips after his shirt was removed and unceremoniously thrown to the side. Brock's hands were on her hips, kneading them as she rolled her hips against his impressive erection and they moaned in unison.

"Fuck Sam." His hands slid under the fabric of her shirt to explore the warm and smooth skin under it. His fingers brushed against her breasts and he was even more turned on as he discovered she was not wearing a bra. He immediately began lifting it up and broke the kiss to look at each inch of smooth dark skin revealed. 

Sam raised her arms so that he could take off her shirt fully and when it was off Brock took in her beauty, bared to him. He look her supple breasts and felt his mouth water and he saw a tattoo on her side which he would investigate later, but right now he wanted to taste her skin. 

He kissed her where his name was printed on her skin and she smiled.

"That's your mark on me."

Brock looked up at her, a glint in his eyes, "one of the many marks I will leave on your skin." he immediately dove down and took a nipple into his mouth.

"Fuck! Brock!" Sam bucked forward, grinding on his erection and Brock moaned, sucking and rolling his tongue around her nipple. He nibbled on it a bit and Sam's back arched, his arms a tight lock around her waist, keeping her close to him. She was pulling on his hair now, lost in the ecstasy rolling down her spine.

He switched breasts and showed it the same attention as the other one.

"Brock, Brock, fuck... I can feel you." Sam was grinding harder and faster on his lap and he was moaning around her breast.

"You feel so huge Brock."

Brock released her nipple and Sam whined at the loss of the pleasurable sensation and grinned, "I'd feel even better inside of you."   

Sam's eyes widened in fear, stopping her movements and Brock wondered what he had said.

"Sam?"

She shook her head, "I can't, not yet." She hung her head down so that her hair fell down creating a curtain between them.

Brock bent his head to try and see her face, "Sam? What can't you do yet?"

"This." she said as she slid off his lap and back to her previous spot on the couch. She crossed her arms over her chest to cover her breasts and drew her knees up to her chest for some added protection, feeling vulnerable all of a sudden. 

Brock got up off the couch and retrieved her shirt that had been flung over to the other chair. He gave it to her and turn his back as she put it on, covering her beautiful nakedness..

"I'm sorry if I went too far Sam."

"No," she shook her head, "you didn't do anything wrong. I'm still licking my wounds from all the craziness involving Riley; I just can't open up myself like that right now and I especially cannot form a soul bond at this moment. I'm sorry if I led you on."

"Hey, no," Brock sat down in front of her and took hold of her hands, "don't be sorry. You didn't lead me on, I understand and I will wait for you for as long as you want me to. I don't want to rush into anything just because my hormones are raging and a beautiful woman took off her shirt in front of me and yes, I will be tempted to do a lot more but I won't do anything until you give me explicit permission."

Sam smirked, "I think it was you who took off my shirt."

Brock shrugged, "technicalities. Point is I want you to want this, us, me. So take all the time you want. I am not going anywhere."

Sam smiled and leaned forward to give Brock a slow and lingering kiss which he fully reciprocated. 

When the kiss broke they were both grinning.

"Now, put on your shirt." Sam said and stood. 

"What? Why?" Brock's head was spinning, one moment they were getting hot and heavy and the next Sam was telling him to get dressed.

"You're going to get your injuries checked out by Bruce whether you like it or not."

Brock sighed and rolled his eyes, "damn woman you sure are persistent. You're lucky I like you."

Sam flipped him off as they got into the elevator and headed to the infirmary.

Chapter Text

Steve was rubbing his temples and wondering if this was payback for all the grief he caused Bucky back when they were growing up. If this was karma. 

"I know that everyone deserves a second chance Steve and that includes Brock, but when I see his stupid face I can't help but think off all the years he helped tortured me." 

"I am with Bucky on that." Clint added his two cent, "do you know what it feels like to have your brain played with? To have no control over your actions, especially when said actions hurt innocent people." 

"True." Was all Natasha said as her argument.

"Listen, I get that Brock has done a lot of horrible things, but right now thanks to his soul-mate being Sam, he's on our side and deserves to be treated with respect and is safe from all harm while under this room."

Steve looked at the three chastised faces in front of him, "now you are all going to apologize to Brock; Bucky you are apologizing for attacking him unprovoked, Clint and Natasha, you're both apologizing for not stopping Bucky. I don't want to hear any complaints, this is an order. Now go find him and apologize sincerely."

"Mr. Rumlow and Sergeant Wilson are currently in the infirmary with Dr. Banner, Captain Rogers." Jarvis helpfully supplied.

The three culprits walked out of common room together and made their way down to the infirmary.

"This is what I get for being friends with you too." Clint complained. 


"Ow." Brock flinched as Bruce wrapped his cracked ribs to keep them in place.

"Stop being a baby and stay still for Bruce." Sam said from the other end of the infirmary bed. 

"Let's see you get cracked ribs and stay still while they are being wrapped." Brock said through clenched teeth, daring not to breathe as he was treated.

"It's your own fault for getting into a schoolyard fight." 

"School what?" 

Bruce laughed, "that's funny Sam."

"Thanks. I'm here all week." 

"Ha ha, you're hilarious." Brock said sarcastically, "you do know that you're partly responsible for my injured ribs?"

Bruce looked up from what he was doing to look at Sam and then Brock, "really? How so?"

"Yeah," Sam chimed in, "how so?"

The grin on Brock's face was purely mischievous. 

"Brock...what the hell are you up to?"

"Don't you remember trying to jump me ten minutes ago before we came down here?"

"Oh my God!" Sam said.

"Really now?" Bruce asked, a small smile on his face.

"No! I didn't try to jump him!"

"Don't lie Sam; you even took off your shirt in order to tempt me; if I had been a lesser man I would have fallen to your seduction and got broken ribs in the process."

"Shut up Brock!" Sam said and lightly smacked him on the back of his head.

"Ow, I'm injured." Brock laughed, his eyes bright with mirth.

"You're an ass is what you are."

"See Sam agrees with us; why the hell do we have to apologize?"

Both Sam and Brock spun around to see Bucky, Clint and Natasha standing by the infirmary door.

Natasha's expression was unreadable as usual, Clint looked like a rebellious child and Bucky had is face turned away.

Bruce sighed, "you need to apologize because you didn't stop fight and instead egged it on."

Clint's face took on a look of shame when his soul-mate pointed out his error in judgement. He sighed and squared back his shoulders as he walked towards the bed Brock and Sam were occupying, walking around it so that he was standing in front of them.

Sam looked between Brock and Clint, "Do you want me to leave?" 

"No." Brock reached out, taking hold of Sam's hand and prepared himself for whatever onslaught he was about to receive now. 

"I'm sorry. I should have stepped in when I saw what was taking place and I am sorry that you got hurt because of my stupidity and childishness, even though I thought you were holding your own against Bucky pretty good. Can you forgive me?"

"Um..." Brock looked at Sam who shrugged.

"Your choice." She squeezed his hand in support.

"Thank you for your apology and I forgive you."

"Thank fuck!" Clint sighed, "that's great. Ok, I'm going now." He walked off, however Sam heard him mutter "that was hard as fuck," before he was out of hearing range and shook her head.

Next in line was Natasha who looked defiant as ever. Arms crossed over her chest and looking down her nose at Brock she opened her mouth, "I am only doing this because Tony is disappointed with me. I am sorry that I allowed Bucky to beat your ass even though you deserved it."

"Natasha." Bruce rolled his eyes heavenward and dragged out her name.

"Can you forgive me?"

Brock eyed her, a little bit of fear shining in his eyes, "I'm afraid to say 'no' in case you decide to beat my ass, so I'll say 'yes.'"

Natasha satisfied with her apology walked back to the door.

It was now Bucky's turn but his head was still turned away. The room was quiet and still as everyone had their eyes on him, waiting to see what he was going to do.

"Everyone except Sam leave."

"Is that wise?" Bruce questioned, only to have Bucky's infamous winter glare turned on him. Bruce shot him back an impressive stare, "I'm the Hulk your stare does nothing for me."

"It's ok, you guys can leave." Brock said, even though his grip on Sam's hand had tightened and she rubbed her thumb over his knuckles as a soothing gesture.

Bruce, Clint and Natasha left the room, curious as to what was going to happen.

Bucky waited until the door had closed, giving them privacy before he walked in front of Sam and Brock. He stared down at the ground, his brows furrowed. The room was as silent as the grave, Sam and Brock choosing not to break the silence but to wait for Bucky to do so.

"Chocolate."

Brock flinched when Bucky opened his mouth.

"What?"

Bucky looked up and looked Brock directly in his eyes. 

"I remember chocolate."

"What are you talking about?" Brock was confused, "I don't know what you're- oh." His eyes went wide when he recalled what Bucky was talking about.

"You remembered that?"

Bucky nodded.

Sam looked between the two men, feeling as though she had missed something big and important.

"What is he talking about?"

"When I was still Hydra's asset," Bucky spat the word as if it tasted foul mouth, “I met a young man who just began working there.”

Sam hung on to each word as Bucky told his story, ignoring that with each word Brock's grip became tighter and tighter until she was sure he was cutting off the circulation in her fingers.

"One day he came to the room in which I was kept after missions, before it was decided if I was to be put back into cryostasis or if I should be kept out a little longer." Bucky paused and dragged a hand through his hair, "well he came in and for some reason sat beside me and offered me chocolate. And from then on anytime I was in that room he would always come in and offer me chocolate, even when he was reprimanded by his superiors he would still do it."

Sam looked at Brock who was looking down at the floor.

"Even as he would watch from the corner as they fried my brain over and over again for years, he would still come to that room and offer me chocolate which I would eat. However, because he was consistent in that very small act of kindness I remembered him."

Brock's head snapped up at that revelation.

"I remembered you Brock Rumlow."

Brock opened his mouth a few times, unable to speak, he swallowed, "but you never gave anything away."

 Bucky snorted, "and have them take that away too? Not a chance in hell."

"So why beat the shit out of me?!"

Bucky raised an eyebrow and tilted his head to the side, "just because you bestowed that small act of kindness upon me doesn't mean you weren't an evil person. Just looked at all your crimes committed on behalf of Hydra; not to mention that you did nothing to help me while I was held prisoner."

"I couldn't." Brock's voice cracked and he wiped at his eyes. "I couldn't do anything. Listen, you have no idea where I was coming from and that’s no excuse but I felt like I had a place at Hydra and I did not want to lose it."

"How could you have worked with Steve knowing what you knew?" Bucky demanded.

Brock remained silent, cheeks aflame with shame.

"You could have done the right thing and tell him about me, about you, about Hydra!"

"I'm sorry." Was the broken whispered response. "I am so sorry I did nothing to help you."

"You gave me chocolate." Bucky's voice was soft.

"I figured it was the only thing I could do to show you that you were human; that you were a person even though I didn't know if you knew that yourself."

A tear fell from Bucky's eye and he ignored it as it rolled down his cheek. Brock released Sam's hand and gingerly rose from the bed and stepped towards Bucky.

"Please don't kill me." Brock said as he wrapped his arms around Bucky's waist, taking care not to aggravate his injury and not to startle Bucky.

Nothing happened for a few minutes as Brock stood with his arms around a man whom he had neglected to help when he had most needed it. 

Sam stared at the two men before her and wondered if there was going to be bloodshed when Bucky's arms rose, only for her to breathe a sigh of relief when they wrapped around Brock's neck. More tears fell down his face and buried it in Brock's shoulder, shaking, sniffling and staining his shirt with tears.

Brock kept whispering "I'm sorry," as one of the strongest men he knew fell a part in his arms.

Sam had turned her back feeling as if she was intruding on a private moment and if a tear slid down her cheek then no one had to know.

"I'm sorry I beat you up; I really did plan on asking for a friendly spar, but then I saw your stupid face and lost all common sense." Bucky mumbled into Brock's shoulder.

"Yeah, I'm sorry too."

They hugged for a little while longer and then separated; they said nothing and Bucky left the room, leaving Sam and Brock.

"Damn." Sam commented.

"I know." Brock sat back down on the bed only to be glared at by Sam.

"What?"

"You have never given me any chocolate."

"Out of all that just happened you choose to focus on that?"

"I'm a female, I like chocolate and you owe me chocolate."

"Fine Wilson, when I get better I will buy you chocolate."

Sam smiled brightly, "awesome!" She leaned over and kissed Brock on his cheek. "And I am proud of you for apologizing. There's no way to change the past, we can only look ahead and hope for a better future."

"Yeah, I hope it's a great one for all of us." Brock leaned against Sam, using her as his support.

"Although I swore for a minute Bucky was going to snap your neck when you hugged him."

"I thought so too; I almost shit myself when I realized what I was doing." Brock confessed.

He and Sam looked at each other and started laughing.

"Nah, I would have protected you and your cracked ribs."

"Thanks Sam, nice to know you have my back."

"Always Brock. Always."

 

Chapter Text

"Whoa." 

Sam looked around the apartment and the thick layer of dust that covered every surface.

"Well this is what happens when my apartment is abandoned for ten months." Brock said as he stepped through the front door and disturbed the dust.

"I have a serious feeling that all this dust is going to make me have an asthma attack." Steve looked apprehensively at what used to send him to death's door. 

"Clint should have come instead. He used to be a carnie, he's used to dust." Natasha walked in and dumped the stack of collapsed cardboard boxes she had on the couch causing a layer of dust to fly up into the air. 

All of them looked around at the dusty as hell apartment. 

"Well let's get started." Brock said and was glad he walked with dusting cloths, knowing that his apartment was going to be somewhat dirty after no being lived in for quite some time. 

Three days before, Brock had approached Steve asking if it was possible to return to his apartment to pack up his belongings and take them back to Avengers Tower.

Steve had said ‘yes’. He roped in Natasha and Sam and here they were getting a proper look into Brock's life.

"You all have your lists of what to pack, donate and discard." Brock said to the trio.

"Yes, captain!" Natasha gave a mock salute and Sam giggled.

Brock rolled his eyes, "I'll deal with my clothes; let's see how quick we can get this done."

They all separated and got started on their task. 

Seven hours later the group had everything that was going back to the tower packed and the movers were putting them into the back of private moving company that Tony used. What wasn't going was donated or thrown away.

There was one box that Brock was personally carrying back with him; a box filled to the brim with photos of his mother and little brother; he wanted to ensure that they made it back to the tower safely. 

The next day saw Brock going through those same photographs. Having placed the framed photographs on various surfaces around his apartment, he was currently on the couch flipping through the photo album his mother had put together the week before her and his brother's murders.

He tried to stay in the good memories as he looked at each photograph but he could not help thinking he had failed them by not protecting them when they needed him the most. Tears dripped from his eyes, landing on the plastic protecting his mother's and brother's smiling faces.

Brock being so caught up in his self-loathing did not hear the elevator open until someone was standing in front of him. He looked up to see concern swimming in Sam's eyes. He said nothing, only closed the album and laid it beside him on the couch, he then took hold of Sam's hand and gently pulled her down to sit on his lap where he proceeded to wrap his arms tightly around her waist and cry into her shoulder, soaking her blouse with his tears.

Sam had come to Brock's apartment to find out if he wanted to get lunch with her, only to find him on his couch with tears streaming down his face. She did not resist as he pulled her down to him, she merely wrapped her arms around his shoulder and offered as much comfort as she could. 

Brock held her tight to him as he slowly stopped crying and when he raised his head off of her shoulder to look at her, there was compassion in her eyes. Sam wiped the tears from his face and he felt something warm in his chest from that simple gesture.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

Brock sniffled and leaned back against the couch, Sam going along with him, moulding herself along the curve of his body.

"Just being surrounded by all these photos are bringing back memories; I can't help but think that if I was there that day they would still be alive. I could have protected them, gotten them away from that monster. I am sure we would have had a much better life; Brody would have been a doctor, out there saving lives, my mother would have been happy, I would have gone down a better path."

"I know that they deaths still weight heavily on you, but Brock you have to remember that you were a teenager yourself, a child, you didn't know what your father was going to do. Do you think you mother and Brody would have wanted you to keep beating yourself up over something that you did not know was going to happen and therefore had no control over?"

"I know but-"

"No, no 'buts,' yes, they wouldn't approve of the path you took after their deaths but they would want you to be happy, especially with the new road you're going down. You got out of the Hydra life, you have new friends, you made up with Bucky and best of all, you met me, your soul mate." Sam smiled her mega-watt smile at that last part and Brock found it to be contagious as he smiled back at her. 

"Yeah, you're right, especially about that last part, my mother would have loved you and you and Brody would have gotten on like a house on fire."

Sam laughed, "I'm sure I would have loved them as well."

The two soul mates sat there, wrapped up in each other when the elevator doors opened and they both looked over only to stare in shock for a few seconds before bursting in laughing. They doubled over, Brock leaning on Sam, his arms wrapped tight around her waist so that she did not fall out of his lap with how hard she was laughing. Tears were streaming down their faces by the time they were able to calm down and breathe again.

"What the hell happened to your hair?!" Sam managed to ask before she dissolved into another laughter fit. 

Bucky stood before them, a dark look on his face which would have been terrified if not for the fact that his once brown hair was now bleached blond.

"Clint happened." He said between gritted teeth.

"Umm, is it permanent?" Brock asked, eyeing Bucky's hair as if it was a wild animal about to attack.

The pout on Bucky's face as he made his way over to the couch and dropped himself on it, jostling both Sam and Brock was adorable and Sam had to smother another laugh.

"It’s not permanent, but it is going to take a while to wash out."

"So what don't you just buy a shade of brown similar to your original hair colour and dye it?" 

Bucky looked at Brock as if he had insulted his mother.

"Or not."

"No, something like this," Bucky pointed at his hair, "deserves retaliation."

"Ok, so why are you here?" Brock waved a hand to gesture at his apartment.

"I need help with what I am going to do." 

Sam and Brock shared a look.

"And just what are you going to do?"

The look on Bucky's face made Brock tighten his grip around Sam's waist. 


It didn't take much plotting or effort to put Bucky's plan into motion; but it did take a lot of patience and waiting and when the trio saw the end results, it was so worth it. 

Everyone, with the exception of Clint were in the rec room, crowded around the couch cheering on Brock and Bucky. They were in a heated game of Mario Kart and Brock was able to keep with Bucky and even avoid his in game and reality cheating tactics, which Bucky did not find impressive at all.

"Whoo!!! Go Brock!!!"

Steve cheered as it was announced that both players had one final lap to go.

"Really Steve?! You're supposed to be on my side!" Bucky growled as he took a sharp turn.

"I've been a victim of all your cheating Buck, I'm on the side of the person who is finally going to put you in your place."

Bucky flipped him off and gripped his game controller tighter as they neared the finishing line and just when he thought they would at least tie for first place, he was hit with a fucking red shell.

"What the FUCK?!"

Brock had hit him with a red shell when they were close to the finish line, winning first place. Meanwhile Bucky had come in fifth place because he was hit so hard and close. 

"Finally, finally Bucky has been dethroned!" Tony high fived Brock, who was grinning. That's when a pillow flew pass Tony's head to hit Brock square in the face. The room fell silent as everyone turned to look at Bucky who had a smug look on his face.

"So it's like that." Brock had a death grip on the pillow and in his eyes was a blazing fire of retaliation. 

Within a few seconds an all-out pillow war had broken out; they were so caught up in their shenanigans that they did not notice a dripping wet Clint standing at the door of the rec room.

"Pardon me sirs and ladies, Agent Barton would like all your undivided attention."

Everyone stopped and turned to look at Clint.

There was a moment of dead silence.

"Holy-"

"What the fu-"

"What happ-"

"JUSTICE!! In your face Barton!" Bucky screamed, cutting off Tony, Steve and Bruce, before he turned to high five his accomplices who were dying with laughter.

Even Natasha was laughing so hard, she could hardly breathe. 

Clint was covered in bright purple dye; from the tips of his hair down to his little toe. 

"How-" Bruce started and had to clear his throat, a little giggle escaping him, "how did this happen?"

Clint looked at Bucky, murder in his eyes as Bucky grinned back.

"I don't know. I was washing my hair when I looked down and saw that the water was purple. I tried scrubbing it off but it's not coming off. Bruce make it come off." the last part sounded like a child whining.

"How did you do that?" Steve asked.

"Easy," and Bucky started to explain, "Sam bought the dye and Brock filled about fifty tablet capsules with the dye powder and I took off Clint's shower head and placed them in there. It was just a matter of waiting for one of the most epic pranks to happen and boy was it worth it."

Clint looked at Bucky, Sam and Brock.

"Watch your backs." With that he spun on his heel and walked away.

"I need to go and help him find a solution to getting off - I mean for getting the dye off." Bruce high tailed it out of the rec room and after his soul-mate, but everyone knows that a different type of science was about to take place.

"And that's how the fight started." Steve said flatly.

"Oh my God." Tony turned to look at the trio, "I hope you all know what you have just started." His voice was filled with glee.

"And we are going to get caught in the crossfire." Natasha did not look amuse. "If I wake up with glitter in my hair again I am murdering the four of you."

"I get the feel there's a very interesting story behind that death threat." Brock was smirking.

"A very interesting and painful story." Steve said and looked as if he was remembering some unspeakable horror. 

Tony clapped his hands together, "Well I can't stop you kids from having your fun, just don't break anything and keep all the glitter away from my soul-mate. Thanks and I'm out. Come my little badass." 

He grabbed Natasha and threw her over his shoulder, something that she allowed and rested his hands on her firm ass.

"I need to make adjustments to your suit and then you can show me how good it looks on the floor of my lab." Tony winked at his companions as he walked out of the room, and they all saw Natasha'a hands in his back pockets no doubt squeezing his ass. 

"Those two are something else." Brock observed.

"Yeah, they balance each other out." Steve agreed.


It had been quiet for four days, which had made, Bucky, Sam and Brock extremely paranoid about what Clint had in store for them and on the fifth day all hell broke loose.

Sam had a very rude awakening to the mating calls of various birds blasting through the sound system in her bedroom. She woke with such a fright, she fell off her bed all tangled in her sheets. 

"What the fuck?! JARVIS! Turn this shit off!"

There was blessed silence after that and Sam took the time to untangle herself. When she finally got free she heard the elevator arrive at her apartment and went to see who it was, only to stop in her tracks when she saw Brock...covered from head to toe in...

"Oh my God." Her hand flew to her mouth.

"I feel like unicorn's shit." Brock said and Sam could only sympathize with him.

Brock was covered in glitter; Sam had no idea how none managed to get into his eyes. 

"How are you going to get that off?"

"Thank God for Tony Stark."

"He's going to laugh you to scorn."

"I know."

Brock looked defeated.

Just then a bright flash went off and he blinked.

"What the hell was-" he looked at Sam once his vision had finally cleared and there were no bright spots dancing before his eyes to see her lowering her phone.

"I know you did not just take a picture."

Sam smiled guiltily. 

"Look Brock years, from now, you're going to look back at this picture and laugh until you cry."

"No, I'm not because it's not going to exist."

"Brock Rumlow, keep your glittery ass where you are."

Sam inched back as Brock took a step forward.

"Don't you dare track that sparkly shit all over my beautiful hardwood floors!" 

Sam took off, running around the living room with Brock hot on her heels.

"Brock! Stop!" Sam jumped over her couch, hoping to put it between her and Brock but no such luck as he vaulted over it and almost grabbed her.

"Just delete the picture Sam and this will end." Brock said calmly as he chased her around the apartment, leaving a trail of glitter in their wake. 

"I don't believe you!" Came the shrieking answer as Sam slid and almost fell.

"Why?! I promise! Delete it and I won't touch you!"

"No!"

"Ok, if that's how you want to play it."

Brock finally cornered Sam where the concrete wall met the floor to ceiling window. He placed his hands on either sides of her head on the wall, no doubt leaving glittery hand prints on it.

Sam was trying to become one with the wall in order not to get any glitter on her, all the while smiling at Brock.

"Delete it." He whispered, looking at the mischief in her brown eyes.

Sam shook her head, "no."

Brock smiled devilishly, leaning closer but making sure not to touch Sam.

"You're really brave to be saying 'no.'" He whispered in her ear and proceeded to kiss his way down to her neck.

"Brock..." whatever else she was going to say broke off into a moan as Sam tilted her head, offering up more of her neck for Brock to kiss.

He drew a patch of her skin between his teeth and bit down gently, feeling Sam's full body shudder.

"You're getting glitter on my neck." Sam was lost in a haze of pleasure as Brock marked her neck.

Brock pulled back slightly to switch sides.

"This is your punishment for not deleting the picture; even after I asked so nicely." He said in between bites, kisses and licks.

Sam felt heat pool between her thighs and the only thing keep her from pressing her needy body against Brock's firm one, was the fact that he was covered in glitter.

Brock pulled back fully, grinning at the whine that left Sam's mouth, to look at her lust darkened eyes. 

"Imagine how beautiful your skin would look covered in glitter." Both Brock and Sam looked down to where his hand was gently tugging at the hem of her shirt. His hand then slowly travelled up her flat toned stomach to palm at her breast, inhaling deeply when he found out she was not wearing a bra. He squeezed it and Sam inhaled shakily, all her nerve endings screaming in pleasure. "Your breasts would look magnificent; like two priceless gems." 

"Fuck Brock."

"Are you going to take me to church Sam? So that I can worship your body?"

Sam's breathing was becoming even more rapid and her hand slid down between her legs to squeeze herself through her jeans and Brock cursed silently at the sight.

"Any other time I would beg to bury my head there, but," he looked up at Sam, a smug grin on his face.

"But?" She questioned.

"But I have what I wanted." He victoriously held up Sam's phone.

Sam was shocked. He had seduced her just to get her phone and she had fallen for it.

"Really? You talk about wanting to worship my body and you go and steal my phone."

"Yes, because I don't this picture hanging around for the rest of my life."

"Oh, come on Brock."

"No, I'm deleting it."

Brock had yet to bring up the picture and delete.

Sam stepped forward and looked up at him from beneath her eyelashes, knowing that doing so would make him weak. 

"Don't do that. It'll be for only me. Please let me keep it and when I'm sad I can look at it and smile."

Brock knew what she was doing and he still felt himself craving.

"Fine, you can keep it."

Sam smiled wide and went to grab the phone, only for Brock to pull it out of reach.

"But if anyone else gets a hold of it I am coming for you." 

"No one else will see it. I promise."

He stared down at her and then finally it back to her.

"And know that you can't bat your eyelashes at me all the time to get your way."

"Oh, I have other ways of getting my way." She slowly looked him up and down, intent clear in her eyes. 

"Girl, I'm a freak; you shouldn't say those things when I am covered in glitter and can't touch you."

Sam grinned wickedly and Brock for the first time wondered what he had gotten himself into with this beautiful, amazing woman.

"Do pardon my interruption, but Sergeant Barnes requires you both in his room."

"Thank you Jarvis, we'll be there in a few minutes."

They shared a look as they walked towards the elevator.

"How much you want to bet that Clint magnetized him to the wall?"

Sam snorted, "more than likely he did."

They were both wrong, their eyes widening when the elevators doors opened.

"Holy hell."

"My thoughts exact."

Bucky turned to look at them and did a double take when he saw Brock.

"Not a word." Brock hissed.

"I still have no idea how he did it." He said, throwing his arms out to gesture to the entire room.

All of the furniture was nailed to the ceiling.

"He even did it to the bedroom, Steve is going to murder me."

"Well shit." Sam's eyes were still wide, taking in the new arrangement of the furniture.

Brock, ever the soldier, surveyed the room, "this calls for some serious retaliation and I know just what to do."


Steve did lose his shit over the state his and Bucky's apartment, demanding that Bucky fix it back before their bedtime and in addition, giving a twenty minute lecture about getting caught in the crossfire when your teammates are children. 

Brock, Sam and Bucky had agreed to wait a few days before retaliating; they figured the wait would make Clint sweat about what they were up to and make him paranoid. 

And become paranoid he did; Clint was jumping at shadows by the third day, standing off to the side when opening the fridge door and turning on the kitchen faucet. After a week had passed and nothing happened, he started to lower his guard bit by bit and within the middle of the second week his guard was non-existent and then that's when Sam, Bucky and Brock struck.

Clint had just returned from a mission gone well with Natasha and had thought nothing of it when Bucky broke out the whiskey saying that they should drink in celebration. Then came the vodka, scotch, and the tequila, Lord have mercy, the tequila, that was Clint's downfall. Being the competitive bastard that he is, he tried going toe-to-toe with Bucky a super-soldier in the drinking; by his fifth shot of tequila Clint had passed out and was carried to bed a smug Bucky.

The next morning, Clint woke up with the mother of all hangovers, a mouth which tasted as if something had died in it and a desert dry throat. In addition the rocking of the bed was doing nothing to help his nauseous and that is when he knew something was off. Slowly opening his eyes, Clint looked up only to see the sky staring back down at her and when he looked around he realized that he was floating...on his mattress...in the indoor pool.

Clint flew to his feet while maintaining his balance on the mattress, "motherfuck-what the actual fuck?!"

Surrounding the pool's edge was a thick closed off wall of what could only be all the glassware in the entire tower and beyond the glass wall were the smug, beaming faces of Sam, Bucky and Brock.

"You assholes. I am going to murder you."

Sam laughed, "good luck getting out without bringing down the entire wall."

Clint stuck his hands in the water and used them as paddles to get closer to the edge of the pool, where he proceeded to do a 360examination of the glass wall and found that there was no way of getting out without creating a giant painful mess.

"How the hell am I supposed to get out of this?"

"Easy," Bucky smirked, "just declare that I am the god of pranks and you will be freed from your glass prison."

If looks could kill, the trio would have been dead.

Knowing he had no way out, Clint sighed in defeat, "you Bucky Barnes is the god of pranks. Now get me the fuck out of here."

"You got that Jarvis?" Bucky was grinning like a loon.

"Affirmative Sergeant Barnes."

After some expert shifting, Clint was freed from his glass prison and ran off to find comfort in the arms of his soul-mate, while his friends had a good laugh at his expense. That is until a prim and proper voice broke through their fun.

"Lady and gents," all heads turn to look at Pepper who was looking at the glass wall in bemusement, "after you have put back every single piece of glassware where they belong, kindly make your way to the fitting room for your measurements to be taken." After saying her piece, Pepper spun on her heels and walked out muttering under her breath about the world's greatest heroes being children. 

Bucky was the first to break the silence, "fitting room? We have a fitting room?"

"Measurements for what?" Brock asked the important question to which he received two sets of shrugs.


Later that night, after finding out that they needed to be measured for tuxes and a dress in Sam's case to attend a function Tony was hosting and after many hours of going through what Sam swore were a hundred racks of different evening gowns, she finally found one which she instantly fell in love with, and with that done she had retired to her apartment for a well-deserved bath and some food.

9:00 P.M., found Sam lying on the floor with her head directly under the floor to ceiling window in order for her to look out at the stars. She was so enraptured in naming out the constellations in the quiet to herself that she was unaware of someone entering her apartment until they literally stood over her.

"You need to be more aware of your surroundings Samantha."

"And you're lucky I didn't kick you in your sensitive area, what with you standing over me like you own me."

She threw cheeky smile up at Brock who shook his head. 

"Well thank you for not doing so; I quite like my cock and balls."

"I quite like them too." Sam said, her eyes zeroing on his impressive package and licking her lips, smirking when Brock's eyes darkened with lust.

"What are you doing?" He asked, lowering himself to lay beside her.

"Nothing much, just naming out the constellations."

"Is that something you do often?"

Sam sighed, "I started doing it after Riley fell, as a method of calming myself."

Brock turned to look at her, "are you upset right now?"

"Not so much as upset as repulsed."

"Repulsed by what?"

"I don't-," Sam covered her face with her hands and inhaled deeply, "I don't even know why I'm thinking about him right now or what he did to me?"

Brock sat up on his elbows to look at Sam properly, alarmed by what she was saying.

"Him? Him as in Riley?"

"Yes." Sam's voice broke and so did the dam behind her eyes. "I felt so disgusted when he put his hands on me. There are times when I can still feel him touching me and it makes me sick. He tried to rape me and I don't know what would have happened if you guys hadn't gotten there when you did."

"Sam-"

"I had a dream the other night that he did rape me and there was nothing I could do to stop him. When I woke up I threw up and spent the rest of the night awake and crying."

"Oh, sweetheart," Brock gently placed his hand over hers that were still covering her face, trying to hide her tears, "why didn't you come to me or tell someone what is happening?"

"I don't know. I don't-I figured that the feeling and dreams would go away and they are, it's just that some days and nights are harder than others."

"I know exactly what you mean. I still have nightmares about Brody, about him blaming me for his and our mother's deaths."

Sam laughed mirthlessly as she wiped the tears from her eyes, "we are the perfect pair."

"That we are." Brock agreed, lying down back beside her. 

The two soul-mates, laid there, quietly enjoying each other's presence when Sam's previous words sank into Brock.

He flew up on his elbow again to lean over Sam, startling her.

"Shit! Earlier, earlier when I had chased you and cornered you and-" Brock bit his bottom lip and looked away.

"Brock?" Sam was alarmed and confused by his behaviour and words, thinking back to what had happened earlier that day only for it to dawn on her.

"No, no, no, don't you dare think what you did to me is similar to Riley."

Brock still would not look at her, guilt eating him up over something there was no need to feel guilty for.

"Hey Brock," Sam shifted so that she was leaning up on one of her elbow, bringing her closer to Brock and using her free hand, she gently grasped his chin and turned his head to look at her.

"What you did to me was completely different from what Riley did. He wanted to hurt me and control me whereas you were being playful and mischievous."

"I know, but what if I did something that you didn't like?"

"I would have told you, ok?" Sam stared into Brock's eyes until he nodded and she smiled, giving him a chaste kiss on the lips.

However, when she broke the kiss and pulled back, the lust swirling in Brock's eyes was unmistakable. Sam felt a pool of warmth flood the bottom of her stomach and she recaptured his lips in a passionate, filthy kiss. Their lips moved against each other's, chasing and playing with each other's tongues. Sam gently bit Brock's bottom and swallowed his moan.

Brock gave as good as he got. He finally got the opportunity to touch Sam and he felt overwhelmed; his hands kept moving over her body, running through her hair, down her neck, down her sides, skimming her breast to finally cup her ass cheeks and squeezing them, eliciting a moan from her and pulling her to straddle his body. 

Sam rubbed her body against Brock's, feeling his impressive erection against her most sensitive area.

"Fuck Sam."

Brock gently rolled them over so that Sam was on her back and he was between her legs; he raised up on his arms to that he could look at her.

"You look so fucking lovely."

Sam even though her skin is dark, was sure that Brock knew she was blushing.

Brock moved his hand to the hem of Sam's oversize t-shirt and slowly snaked his hand under it, giving her enough time to pull away and when she didn't he touched her breasts and she arched into the pleasurable touch. He eased her shirt off of her, making sure that it was ok to do so, and when it was off and thrown into some dark corner, Sam was left in only her baby blue boy shorts panties.    

He gazed at her body in wonder, his eyes zeroing on her breasts. Kneeling down and causing Sam to spread her legs even more to accommodate him, Brock leaned down and took one of her breast into his mouth.                           

"Brock," Sam moaned as his lips closed over her nipple, his other hand coming up to roll the other nipple between his fingers. 

"Brock...we can't...fuck." Sam's protest broke off into a breathy moan as Brock gently nibbled on her pebbled nipple with his teeth.

She thrashed her head from side to side, feeling overwhelmed by the sweet stimulation her body was feeling after five years of not being touched by another man. Heat pooled between her legs and she wanted to squeeze them closed, but Brock had settled himself between them. 

Brock released both her nipples and chuckled darkly when she whined at the lost sensation.

"Shhh, I'm not leaving you." He whispered into her skin as he trailed kisses down her naked heaving chest, between the valley of her beautiful breasts that he would never get tired of seeing, clothed or otherwise. His lips rained kisses and gentle nips down to her stomach where his tongue dipped into her navel.

"Brock, you have to stop. We have to stop. We...can't...we can't do this Brock." Sam was amazed that she could string together coherent words; she knew what she was saying, but at the same time, she would have killed Brock if he did in fact stop the sweet torture he was putting her through.

Brock's lips skimmed the waist of her underwear, and he looked up at her, pupils dilated and a devil may care smile on his face. 

"I'm not going to stop until I have tasted you." With that he slipped off her underwear and buried his head between her thighs.

"Brock!" Sam shouted as pleasure filled her body, one hand grabbing his hair, while the other scrabbled uselessly on the hardwood floor.

Brock licked, nibbled and sucked until he could taste her sweet essence flowing over his tongue and he continued until she was shaking from sensitivity.

He turned his head and sucked a mark on the inside of her thigh and crawled back up to lay beside her as she caught her breath. 

"I would never take you against you will, especially when you have made it clear that you are not ready for a soul bond, but that doesn't mean that I will restrain myself from tasting you when the opportunity arises."

Sam glanced over at him and saw the seriousness in his eyes and in the blink of an eye she was straddling him, pinning his hands down on either sides of his head.

 "Bold words there Rumlow; I hope you're ready for what you have gotten yourself into.

Sam then proceeded to rub her naked body against Brock's clothed erection, the friction making everything even more pleasurably until he came, eyes squeezed shut and Sam's name falling from his lips like a prayer; Sam took him to church that night, right there on the hardwood floor.

As Brock was coming down from a very intense high, his vision was just starting to return, as were his other senses when Sam spoke.

"Will you go with me to Tony's function?"

He turned to look at her, big beautiful brown eyes staring back into his and he swore he saw the world in them.

"Really?"

"I mean only if you want; you have no obligations to go with me just because you're my soul-mate."

"I would love to."

The smile on Sam's face in reaction to his answer is one he would cherish for the rest of his life. 

Chapter Text

Sam looked at herself in the full length mirror in her closet. The red strapless dress she had chosen for Tony's charity event, hugged her curves in all the right places, without making her look like a high class escort. Her hair was done in a half and half hairdo, with the top half being held back by a diamond barrette, given to her by Pepper.

The diamonds dripping from her neck, ears, and wrists were "lent" to her by Tony, but she knew that he would not be taking them back from her at the end of the night. With one final look at herself in the mirror, satisfied with what she saw she left her apartment and made her way to the elevator and down to the underground garage where her limo was waiting, along with Brock, Steve and Bucky, who all turned at the sound of the elevator arriving, only to be struck senseless by the vision that was Sam. 

Steve whistled, "well damn Sam, you clean up nice." He looked her up and down and Sam felt her face heat up.

"Really Steve?" Bucky glared at him," that is not how you compliment a lady."

Brock had yet to say anything, still looking his fill of Sam.

"You look exquisite Sam."

She smiled gently, "thank you Brock."

"You look rather delicious too Sam." Steve came up beside her and draped his arm around her shoulders.

"You do realize that I am right here?" Brock pointed at himself.

Steve looked at him and the look he gave him could only be described as hungry.

"You look rather delicious yourself Brock."

Silence reigned after Steve's comment.

"Um, Buck,"

"Yeah?"

"Has Steve been pre-gaming or something?" Sam was shocked by what Steve said and to whom.

Bucky sighed, "actually no, he has always been like this."

Brock and Sam looked at Bucky who only shrugged.

"I don't know why people think I'm a blushing virgin." Steve's smile was wicked, "considering I jumped Bucky’s ass the minute he turned eighteen."

"Annnnnd, we're done here." Sam opened the limo door and got in, followed by Brock, Bucky and Steve in that order.

Steve was still giving both her and Brock a lascivious look.

"I feel like a rabbit staring down a hungry lion." Brock commented and Steve smiled his disarming boy-next-door, I could melt butter and charm the pants off your grandmother smile.

Sam rolled her eyes, "good Lord, Bucky reign in your soul-mate."

Bucky sighed exasperatedly, "trust me, nothing is going to make him stop. More than likely in a few days he will have fucked you both." He said matter of fact.

"What?!" Sam and Brock asked at the same time, Brock's voice high and sounding a bit hysterical.

Steve leaned forward and considering they were in a limo, there was no much room to retreat to.

"Come on," he rested his hands on both Sam's and Brock's knees, dragging them slowly up his friends' legs, "don't tell me you haven't thought about it. I know I have."

"Me too." Bucky chimed in.

Brock gulped and Sam was still shocked.

"Are you fucking with us right now?"

"No, but I could be fucking you right now." His squeezed their thighs, his hands close to both their sweet spots.

The limo pulled up the hotel's entrance where Tony's charity event was being held and Steve removed his hands and straightened up.

"Think about it, it wouldn't be the first time that Buck and I are in a relationship with another couple." with that said, he exited the vehicle, holding out his hand for Bucky to take and escorted him inside. 

Brock turned to look at Sam, eyes wide and a blush colouring his face.

"Did that just happen?"

"Yup."

"Shit."

"My sentiments exact."

"I need to calm down."

"Me too."

"No, I need to calm down." Brock looked pointedly down at his lap and Sam followed his gaze, to see an impressive erection tenting his expensive tuxedo pants. 

"Oh."

"Yes 'oh.'"


The charity event was actually fun, Sam thought she would have been continuously asked to take pictures with adoring fans and asked personal questions such as if she had found her soul-mate as yet, but the crowd that was in attendance must have been the 'high class polite crowd,' as she was asked intelligent questions about her work as a counselor at the V.A., with one gentleman making a very generous donation to the V.A. He revealed that his nephew had served and when he came back he was highly suicidal, but he attended Sam's sessions and she was able to get through to him and he was now doing much better.

Sam being the professional that she is did not ask for the soldier's name, and instead thanked the man for his generosity. 

"You look like the cat who got the canary." Lips whispered against her ear and she shivered.

Sam spun around and looked up at Brock, even in her heels she still had to look up, "well a very generous donation was just made to the V.A., so I am the cat who got the canary."

Brock smirked wickedly, "then allow me to take this sleek feline for a spin on the dance floor." Sam placed her hand in Brock's outstretched one and allowed him to lead her to the dancing area. 

There was a soft jazz piece playing and Brock twirled Sam towards him, settling his right hand on her lower back, pulling her close to his body and wrapping the fingers of his left hand around her right one. The two soul-mates swayed back and forth, wrapped up in each other's arms and thoughts. 

Sam stared into Brock's eyes as they danced and he couldn't help but smile.

"What?"

She shook her head minutely, "nothing, it's just that you're really hot."

"Wow, you make it sound as if you're just realizing how handsome I am." He smirked.

"No, that's just the thing. When I first saw you, I thought, 'damn! This guy is fine! Sucks that he's Hydra.' I actually felt real guilty for thinking like that. Then we found out that we're soul-mates and while I wanted to jump your bones and climb into your pants, I also wanted nothing to do with you."

Brock looked thoughtful, "thinking back, it seems as if it was a lifetime ago, when in reality it was only a few months ago."

"Seasons change quickly."

"Listen to the philosopher." He teased.

Sam rolled her eyes and smirked, "remember when I threw knives at you."

"Yes, I do." He groaned and dropped his head to her shoulder, releasing her right hand so that he could wrap her fully in his arms. "I also remember you kicking me in my head and knocking me out."

"At least I brought you books to read while you were in lock up."

"Well there is that."

They became quiet, listening to the music flowing around them, warm in each other's arms.

"I wish Brody could have met you." Brock whispered into her ear.

Sam hugged him tighter to her. "I think we've spent enough time here, what do you say to leaving, going home, eating popcorn and watching some reality t.v.?"

Brock smiled softly, “home, that sounds great."

The two soul-mates, said their good byes to Tony and made their way back to the limo, enroute home.


"Oh my God! How are these people so dramatic?! It's a fucking fire place! Just buy the damn house already!" Brock was screaming at the t.v. and Sam was extremely amused by his behaviour. "I will never understand these people, they are so dramatic you would think that they are in a life and death situation."

Sam snorted, "well for them it kind of is; buying a house is no small decision especially for first time buyers."

"Well try to defusing a bomb, with guns going off around you, with your best friend fighting off the guy who's trying to kill you so you can't defuse the bomb."

"Ok, that's a story I want to hear."

Brock was about to reply when his attention was snatched by the t.v. show again.

"Really?!! Really?! You said you hated that house because the master bedroom was too small and now you're taking it because the fireplace is bigger? What is it with these people and fireplaces?"

"Annnd that's enough of that." Sam turned off the t.v. once the show ended with the happy couple moving into their brand new home. With the t.v. off, the only source of light was the fireplace, since Brock had finished ranting, she realized how quiet it was with only the cracking of the firewood sounding between them.

Sam, suddenly feeling as if her skin was too tight got up and went to the window, resting her head on it and taking comfort in the coolness of the glass cooling her overheated skin. She opened her eyes and looked out at the city, how the lights seem to twinkle from such a height. Her eyes drifted to the reflection of Brock.

He was seated on the couch in front of the fireplace, deep in thought, with the fire from the fireplace reflecting in his eyes making him seem unearthly. He had shed his tuxedo jacket and had untied his bow tie leaving it to hang limp around his neck, his legs spread and with the fire being the only source of light in the room, casting a warm glow over everything it touched, Sam thought that she had never seen a more beautiful person in her life.

"I take back what I said earlier." Sam looked at Brock.

"And what was that?" His eyes glittering like precious jewels in the fire light.

"You're not hot, you're beautiful."

"Can you repeat that please?"

Sam walked, like a predator zeroed in on her prey, from the window to stand in the space between his spread legs, feeling his toned thighs brush against the side of her knees. Brock's eyes boring into hers, the fire dancing in them. Sam deciding that words speak louder than actions, pulled down the zipper at the back of her dress and let it fall down her petite frame to pool around her feet. Brock sat back, allowing his eyes to drink in the sight of her beautiful dark skin, her most private of areas covered by lace underwear. Sam looked down at his crotch and saw how instantly hard he was. 

"I said that you are beautiful." She says as she straddled him, her intentions clear as crystal. 

Brock's arms were immediately around her, pulling her closer to his body, their lips crashing together like waves on a beach, biting, sucking, and teasing each other until they had to break a part for air. Brock trailed his lips down to her neck, biting, sucking and making his marks on her. Sam threw her head back and groaned at the assault and grinded down on his hard erection, feeling it twitch and felt herself get even wetter.

Brock's fingers tangled themselves in Sam's hair and brought her head back down so as to capture her lips again. Wanting to feel even more of her skin, his skilful fingers undid the hook at the back of her bra, pulling it off and tossing it to the side, groaning when he got two handful of her soft, warm perky breasts and pinched her nipples, making her moaned in ecstasy.

"Fuck, Brock." Sam leaned back, breaking the kiss and started pulling his dress shirt out of his pants. "I want to feel your skin on mine."

That seemed to have set something off in Brock, as he tore open his shirt, little black buttons flying through the air and hitting the hard wood floor.

"Want to feel your skin against mine, your warmth against me." Sam was murmuring her desires against his lips and Brock thought that he had never shared a hotter and extremely intimate moment with another soul until he heard what she said next.

"I want to feel you inside me."

"Fuck Sam." He growled and in the next moment, Sam was flat on her back, Brock laying between her legs and grinding his hardened manhood against her sensitive area as he sucked on her nipples, making her back arch in pleasure.

"Brock, please, I need more." Sam's breathy plea brought back some sense to Brock as he heard what she was begging for.

He leaned up on his elbows to look her in the eye, to make sure he had her full consent for what was about to happen next.

"Are you sure? There's no going back once we take the next step."

Sam looked at him, her big brown beautiful eyes glittering in the fire light.

"I know, I want you. All of you, make me yours Brock.” 

Brock inhaled deeply at those words and sat up on his knees, Sam's legs on either side of him; his hands reaching for the button and zipper on his pants. Sam leaned up on her elbows to watch him, eyes filled with hunger and lust. Brock smirked and made of a show of undoing his pants and removing them along with his boxer-briefs in one smooth motion.

When he was fully naked, Sam allowed her eyes to travel his body and sucked in a breath, "you're a song, written by the hand of God."

Brock's cheeks coloured, "flattery will get you everywhere Ms. Wilson."

"And a body like that, will get you anywhere with me."

He laughed, "so you just want me for my body, you sure are a romantic."

"Yeah, I am, so get down here and let me show you just how romantic I can be."

"So demanding." Brock slid his hands from Sam's ankles, up her smooth legs, watching with rapture as she shivered in pleasure until he reached the waist of her panties and hooked his fingers in it, not moving,

"Tease."

His eyes darkened, "I'll show you tease." He slowly pulled down her lace underwear and Sam lifted her waist for him get it off of her. Brock felt as if he was unwrapping a gift, a very precious gift as he freed her of her last article of clothing, the last barrier between them.

Sam spread her legs so that he could see her in all her naked glory and felt a rush of power course through her veins at the look of hunger on her soul-mate's face, a look of hunger for her and only for her.

"You're beautiful." Brock breathed out a quiet whispered prayer meant only for Sam's ears. 

"Come, I want you." She reached her arms for him.

Brock quirked an eyebrow and ran his hands up and down her silky smooth thighs, making her shiver.

"Just like that?"

"Yes," she hissed out, patience wearing thin, "I can't wait any longer. Please, Brock I need to have you."

Brock knowing how big he was and that Sam had not been with anyone in five years took himself in hand, stroking up and down a few times, watching Sam's eyes darken with lust. 

"Next time we're doing this slower so that I can worship you properly."

He then leaned over her and lining up, Brock slowly pushed his engorged manhood into her tight intimate space.

“Fuck Brock.”

Brock moaned in sheer pleasure and his eyes rolled back in his head.

"Brock, you're so fucking big." Sam raked her nails down his back, no doubt leaving red marks on it. "I feel as if I'm being slip in two."

"And I feel as if you're trying to squeeze the little sanity I have left out of me, you're so fucking tight and wet Sam."

The two soul-mates laid there, joined in the most intimate of ways, adjusting to the feel of each other's bodies.

"Hey, Brock?"

"Hmmm?"

"I want it hard and fast."

"Fucking hell Sam, you can't say shit like that when I'm buried balls deep in your tight cunt."

"Really?" The smile on Sam's face was mischievous.

"Sam." Brock warned.

She grabbed him by his neck and pulled him down so that she could whisper in his ear.

"I want it hard and fast. I want you to fuck me like a beast. I want you to leave bruises on my skin, leave your marks on me."

Brock swore and used his hands to push himself up so that he could see where he and Sam were joined. 

"I was planning on doing this slow, or as slow as I could with a bossy soul-mate, but the words that just came spilling out of those sinful lips," Brock grinned and Sam felt a shiver of thrill go down her spine, "I hope you're ready for what's in store for you."

With that he pulled out until the head of his erection was at Sam's entrance and slammed back in, Sam's back arched off the floor and she screamed in pleasure. Brock then set a punishing pace, pulling out and slamming back in, knowing that they were both going to be sporting some impressive bruises in their pelvic regions. 

Sam was clawing at his back, her screams getting louder and louder and Brock was ecstatic to learn that she was a screamer. Her breasts were bouncing with the force of his thrust and he leaned down to take a nipple in his mouth, sucking on it until it pebbled and Sam was an incoherent mess. 

Her legs were squeezing his waist as she demanded more and harder and Brock obliged, the happiest he had ever been in his life, finally being able to claim his soul-mate, knowing that someone as pure as Sam wanted him.  

Brock was so set in his pace that he thought the tightening of Sam's legs around his waist was in response to the pleasure he was showering her with, he found out how wrong he was went his world titled and he came to find himself on his back with Sam sitting astride his pelvic bone with him still inside her. He looked up into dark brown eyes and felt as if he were staring into Heaven. 

"As much as I like your weight on top of me and between my legs, I like being on top from time to time." Sam grinned wickedly at him and did not afford him the chance to respond to her cheeky words before she began riding him like a he was a wild stallion to be tamed and she the horse whisperer who would tame him. She rode him with such ferocity all Brock could do was hold on to her hips with a bruising grip as she took them to their completion.

He could feel that they would soon be toppling over the edge of the precipice soon and he closed his eyes wanting to feel the plunge head on.

"Look at me," came the sharp command, "I want you to see my face as I take you, can you do that? Open your eyes Brock."

Brock's eyes snapped open and he look up at the beautiful goddess, no angel above him and opened his mouth to make a pledge to her, “anything. You can have anything you want. I’m yours, all of me is yours to do with as you please for however long you want me. Use me. Use me.

Sam looked down at him and a predatory smile was on her face and he shivered at the thrill that look sent down his spine.

“Those are some very dangerous words Rumlow.”

“They’re a promise and a gift to you Sam.”

The two soul-mates formed an everlasting bond between them as they reached towards the heavens together.

Chapter Text

The next morning found Brock and Sam still on the floor of her living room, covered by the dark blue knitted blanket Sam kept on the couch. Brock was still fast asleep on his back, chest gently rising and falling as he breathed, Sam's watchful eyes on him.

"That's creepy, I hope you know that." He suddenly spoke and Sam jumped slightly before smiling. 

"I can't help but look, you look so cute when you sleep."

Brock levelled her with a glare that was lost with his normally spiky hair sticking up in different directions.

"I am not cute."

Sam hummed and moved so that her head laid on Brock's chest over his beating heart, "sure, whatever you say, cutie pie." 

The two soul-mates were quiet for a while; just listening to each other's breathing and in Sam's case, being lulled back to sleep by a beating heart when Brock spoke.

“You want to know something?” He was stroking Sam’s hair.

“Hmm?”

“I saw you that day; the day we arrested you, Steve and Natasha.” Sam lifted her head up to look him in his eyes.

“Really?”

Brock nodded, “I saw you and for a moment I froze, wondering who you were and I thought you were very beautiful and very brave to be fighting alongside Captain America and Black Widow.”

Sam smiled and gently kissed Brock.

"Do you want to know something?" She asked, a sly glint in her eyes.

"What?" Brock asked warily.

"I did not see you at all that day; I had absolutely no idea who you were until Maria Hill sent a picture of you to my goggles so I knew who I was looking for the day Project Insight went down."

"And now you know who I am."

"Yeah, a real cutie pie." Sam giggled and rolled away when Brock poked her in her side. Coming to lie on her stomach she stared down at her hands, "what is it with me and marrying an undercover Hydra agent, only to find out that my fate assigned soul-mate is a Hydra agent as well?”

Brock still on his back shrugged, "you got a thing for bad boys?"

Sam snorted with laughter, "yeah, I'm sure that's it."

As her laughter quieted, Brock spoke up.

"So do you think Steve was being serious?" 

"Yup." Sam answered without missing a beat and knowing what Brock was asking about.

"Yeah? How so?"

"Steve never says things he doesn't mean. So if he says he wants to fuck us both, then he wants to fuck us both."

"Damn." 

"I know right, being fucked by Captain America himself is the stuff of porn fantasies."

A shark-like grin made its way across Brock's face and he turned to look at Sam.

"What? Why are you grinning like that?"

"Rogers said that he and Barnes have shared partners before."

"Yeah so?" Sam didn't get where he was going. "Do you want to be fucked by them together? You can go ahead, I'm not going to object."

Brock shook his head, "they would fuck us both, not just me, not just you, both of us. Can you imagine that? Being in a big ol' bed sandwiched between two rock hard bodies, with two sets of hands roaming your body, setting it alight?"

"Three."

"Three what?" Brock was confused.

"I would be sandwiched between three rock hard bodies and yes, I can imagine it; the mere thought has me dripping already."

Sam sat up and shifted, opening her legs so that Brock could see her. She then took his hand and led it to her intimate space, moaning when he touched her.

"Fuck Sam," he breathed, feeling how wet she was.

"Fuck indeed." 

Brock gently pushed Sam to lie back and lowered his head between her legs, licking at her dripping essence.

"Brock." Sam whimpered as her back arched in pleasure, her hand shooting down to grip his hair as the other scrabbled along the hard wood floor seeking purchase.

Brock alternated between licking her entrance, feeling it tighten around his tongue and sucking on the bundle of nerves he found there making Sam scream. Her legs began to shake and Brock knew she was close. He then decided to push her over the edge by nibbling on the nerves and he took joy in knowing that it was his name on her lips as she came hard, it was he who made her orgasm and it will him to do so in the future they had with each other.

"That..was..fucking..amazing." Sam panted as she was brought back down to earth. Her chest heaving as she tried to regulate her breathing as Brock kissed his way up her flat stomach, between the valley of her breasts, taking each nipple into his mouth and sucking on them, making a few marks on her neck that had Sam grinding her now sensitive area against his thigh until he finally reached her lips where they kissed each other slowly and lazily.

"You're still hard." Sam pointed out when they broke the kiss for air. Brock's thick erection was pressing against her stomach, dripping with his seed.

"I know." Brock moaned as Sam took him in hand and began stroking him.

"I hate to interrupt you, but Captain Rogers and Sergeant Barnes are making their way to your apartment, Sergeant Wilson." Jarivs announced. "Should I informed them that you are busy?"

Sam pulled back from Brock, a dangerous glint in her eyes.

"Are you thinking what I am thinking?"

Brock grinned, "yes, I am."

"Don't inform them of anything Jarvis, allow them up."

"Yes, Sergeant Wilson."

"This is going to be interesting." Brock said as her climbed on top of Sam, guiding his erection into her open and willing body.

"Yes, it is." Sam breathed out once Brock was fully sheathed in her and began to slowly thrust in her with gentle rocking motions of his hips, putting on a show so that when their intended audience arrived they would be treated to a sight to behold.

The elevator 'pinged' announcing the arrival of visitors and Brock raised himself up on his hands, causing the blanket to fall from around his hips giving whoever entered a view of where he and Sam were joined as one, including a nice view of Sam's bouncing breasts. 

Footsteps were heard approaching the living room where they were.

"Hey Sam-"

There was complete and utter silence, except for the sound of skin slapping skin and moans.

Sam opened her eyes and saw Steve and Bucky looking at them with pupils blown wide with lust and she smiled seductively.

"Hey Brock, we have an audience."

Brock turned his head to look at the two men, staring down at them with desire, hunger and lust written clearly on their faces. His eyes glanced down and saw that they were hard.

"So we do Sam, shall we give them a show?"

He then grabbed Sam's thighs and sped up the pace of his thrusts, his stomach muscles clenching and he knew that he was close.

Sam wanting to give Steve and Bucky a show as well trailed one of her hands down between her legs and began rubbing while Brock was thrusting into her, and her other hand was pinching and rubbing her nipples.

The entire time, neither her nor Brock's eyes strayed from Steve and Bucky who were now breathing hard as well.

Brock's pace was becoming erratic and Sam was clenching him tight and with one final thrust and rub they both fell over the cliff together.

Once Sam could breathe again she grinned and welcomed her friends.

"Hi guys, enjoyed the show?"

Brock pulled out of her, and some of his seed leaked out of her, catching their eyes.

"Fuck." Steve breathed and reached down to squeeze himself through his pants.

Both Sam and Brock looked them up and down slowly as if they were undressing them with their eyes.

"How about you boys strip down and we'll help you with those problems you got?" Sam suggested and was mildly surprised when Brock crawled over to Bucky on his hands and knees, then sat up so that his face was eye level with Bucky's crotch.

The air in the room seemed to have been sucked out when Brock leaned forward and took the zipper of Bucky’s jeans in his teeth and pulled it down, using his hands to undo the button, before pulling out the hard cock and swallowing it in one go.

"Holy fuck!" Bucky shouted, fisting a hand in Brock's hair as he sucked on his hard cock.

Steve looked from them to Sam who was laying on her back with her legs spread so that he could see her nakedness.

"I don't see why they should be having all the fun. Come here." She held out her hand to him and smiled triumphantly when Steve stepped forward and began stripping off his clothes, looking like a carved Roman statue once he stood before her naked.

"I can't wait to have you fuck me with that cock." Sam said and that was the last thing she said for that morning, a part from 'more,' 'harder,' faster' and 'right there,' as she, Brock, Steve and Bucky formed a bond with each other, other than the one they had formed with their respective soul-mates.

That's why three weeks later when Sam awoke to find 'Steven Grant Rogers' and James Buchannan Barnes' engraved in her chest below Brock's name she was not surprised.

Brock didn’t seem to mind either, seeing as how their names were on him as well and he was currently sandwiched between the two men who were still sound asleep.

The two soul-mates shared a smile with each other, happy that their worlds were turned inside-out and upside-down, if this is the happiness that they are left with.

THE END.