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Trapped, trapped, trapped ('till the cage is full)

Chapter Text

At first, Steve doesn't want to let go. He has the shield in other hand. Bucky doesn't where it came from.

There is yelling. And screaming. So much noise. Bucky can't bear to listen to it. He can't focus. People are pulling him out of Daddy's safe arms. More and more people are getting between them.

Daddy is yelling. But Bucky can't hear what he's saying.

He wants Bucky Bear. Bucky Bear would know what to do now. Bucky doesn't know. He's five years old. Maybe. He doesn't know how old he is. He is swimming between his headspaces and can't do anything.

He's going to prison. He's guilty. Of course he's guilty. He killed all those people. So many people. Men. Women. Children.

Where is Bucky Bear?

He wants Bucky Bear.

Someone is pulling his hands behind his back and puts handcuffs. He knows they are the reinforced kind, so he doesn't try to break out of them. He doesn't struggle. He doesn't do anything.

He's crying, Bucky realizes. Tears are rolling down his cheeks. He also realizes that Bucky Bear is still in Maria's bag. Bucky Bear won't come.
Daddy doesn't come either. They won't let him.

They are leading him away from the courtroom. Through other rooms and corridors. Heavily armed men are accompanying the cops.

Bucky feels his chest thighten. He feels like he has to vomit. He doesn't want to. He needs to be a good boy. A brave boy.

Why can't he feel anything?

His head feels empty. His body feels empty. There is nothing anymore. He's nothing. But a murderer. A monster.

He deserves this.

They put him in a glass container. There is a chair, a different chair, in it. One with chackles. It looks new. They push him to sit in the chair and put the chackles over his arms, his chest and his ankles. He can't move.

People are talking to him. He doesn't understand. Not really.

The glass container gets closed. They drive it in a pantsered truck. A couple of heavily armed guys goes in the truck too. The truck gets closed. There's lightning inside so it isn't completely dark. Bucky doesn't want it to be dark. He doesn't want to be scared. But he's scared. He doesn't know what is now gonna happen with him.

Nobody has talked about what was gonna happen if they pledged Bucky guilty. He knew Daddy had wanted to run away with him. Far far away.

But Bucky doesn't want to run anymore. He's tired.

He wants Daddy. He wants Bucky Bear. He's hungry. Breakfast was a long time ago. He knew Daddy had some plums with him in the courtroom to eat if Bucky was hungry. Bucky really likes plums.

And he needs to go to the bathroom.

The truck starts riding. Bucky can hear noises from outside. Like really loud noises. People who really yelling, he guesses. Maybe they are celebrating. Celebrating that they put a monster in jail, where it belongs.

He is the monster. Nothing but a monster with blood on his hands. So many blood.

One of the guys is an actually woman, he notices. She has nice hair.

He really needs to pee. And the slight trembling of the truck while driving isn't helping either.

He tries not to think about Daddy. Or Tasha. Or uncle Tony or Bruce or auntie Pepper. Or uncle Clint. Uncle Thor too. Everybody.

Bucky Bear. He hopes nobody forgot to feed Bucky Bear yet. He hopes Daddy won't be so sad and silly that he forgets Bucky Bear. Maybe

The Bearvengers must be worried about him. Bucky Bear must have reported everything to Captain Ameribear already. Maybe they will be sad. Or angry. Or dissapointed. Dissapointed that Bucky didn't fought back. Maybe they will be so dissapointed they won't come visit him in prison.

Maybe Daddy won't want him anymore, too?

Daddy. Steve.

The driving seems to go on for hours. Bucky can't help but more and more fixating on his bladder, which is now starting to hurt. Painfully. He let's out a soft whimper. The soldiers don't do anything, don't even look at him. Maybe they aren't allowed to do something.

It doesn't take long for the first squirt of piss to escape and wet his boxers. More is following soon and Bucky feels it running down his trousers in his shoes and on the floor of the glass container.

He doesn't say anything. Just whimpers a little because he can't help it and feels miserable. The smell of urine fills the glass container. Bucky wonders when the soldiers will notice. Or maybe they can't smell it because of the container. He wonders if they will be angry. If they will hurt him like Dad- Like Pierce did when he soiled the bed.

So he keeps silent. Really really silent, making no sound but a couple of whimpers as there is more flowing out of him. He just can't stop it.

Finally, after what seems forever, his body is done embarassing him. The piss stinks and it starts to itch on his skin. He still doesn't dare to say something.

One of the soldier wrinkles his face and Bucky almost thinks he's gonna say something but they all keep silent. He can see them looking at each other, but never at him.

They know.

Great.

Bucky wants the ground to open and swallow him up. He doesn't know if he ever has felt more embarassed than now. It's an awfull feeling.

He misses Daddy.

He wants Bucky Bear.

He hopes Maria doesn't forget to get Bucky Bear out of her bag.

He feels tired.

After what feels like another couple of hours the truck is starting to slow down.

Everything happens a bit fast after that. They open both the truck and glass container, get those reinforced handcuffs back on, and this time around his ankles too.

They bring him inside a building that feels like HYDRA all over again. It's bare and cold and Bucky almost starts crying again.

He doesn't want this.

They take his shoes away and inspect the metal arm. Nothing more. Not yet.

They put him into a cell. It's a solitary cell, with just a bed and a toilet. Everything is bolted down to the floor or the wall.

His trousers are still wet and Bucky stinks. He hates it.

He doesn't know how long he sits on the floor with his back against the wall, but it must be a long time.

They come and get him to bring him to a shower and instruct him to pull his clothes off.

And that's where Bucky freaks out. He isn't ready for this. Never was ready for this. This is trespassing over all his boundaries he had laid out with Steve.

So he freaks out. Screaming and shaking his head and repeating 'no no no' as a mantra. Even trying to bite the people who try to touch and force him.

They seem to realise this isn't going to work like they want so they try a different approach.

He still gets shackled to the shower wall but can shower with his clothes on, then they put him back in the solitary cell where he can put on an uniform and shove his old, now dripping wet, clothes through the slot in the door.

He still keeps checking the door to see if really nobody is watching while he's toweling himself dry and putting on the uniform. As good as that goes with only one arm.

Then there's a tray of food and a plastic cup with water. The food is disgusting and Bucky vomits it all back in the toilet bowl.

Ugh.

The lights never go out so he just lays on the cot. There isn't even a blanket or a pillow.

He feels miserable. And lonely. He wants to go back home, even when he knows he can't. He hasn't had the chance to say goodbye to Tasha. Or Daddy.

He hopes Bucky Bear doesn't feel lonely. Maybe Daddy takes him with him to bed and cuddles him. Maybe all the bearvengers join Daddy in his bed and he gives them all hugs.

He doesn't hold back the tears. He wraps his arm across his chest so it feels like Daddy is kinda giving him a goodnight hug.

Eventually he cries himself to sleep.

Chapter Text

The days are monotone. There is nothing to do. Nothing except for eating (and vomiting the most of it back out in the toilet bowl), drinking, walking from the cot to the door and back, and sleeping.

Not that he does sleep much. The lights never go out. Sometimes he lays his metal arm over his eyes but even then the light creeps in. If he falls asleep, it's more because he blacks out.

He counts the days by the times they give him his medication. They always give it with the food tray through the slot. Bucky is carefull not to swallow them before he eats his food, otherwise they will come back if he has to heave.
He notices that there are fewer pills than he had to take at the Tower though. Maybe he needs fewer of them now he is in prison? Bucky doesn't think much of it. He doesn't want to.

The food is dry and disgusting, but has also a weird taste and there is no way to know what is actually in it.

Because he can't keep in that much food and his body doesn't get the energy it needs, he is always hungry. Like really, really hungry.

After three days (or so he thinks, he is not sure) the cramps in his tummy are starting to get worse. He hasn't gone to the bathroom except for peeing now and then.

He feels like he is having the flu. Maybe. He doesn't actually remember what the flu feels like.

But he is having tummy cramps and he doesn't know if it's from hunger only. He also feels so hot. Maybe he has a fever too. He feels cold. And he has to cough a lot.
His back hurts, but that is mostly because of the metal arm which is now an useless heavy limb. It hurts less when he lays down on the cot.

Bucky tells the wardens about it all, but they don't say anything back. There are no pain or flu pills the next time.

Maybe he's worrying about nothing. Maybe it will go over soon.

Maybe the guards want him to die. Maybe they are HYDRA.

Sometimes he thinks he forgets things again. Has the feeling that he has been blanking out, like in the beginning when he came with Daddy to the Tower. He can't know that for sure though, because there aren't many things to do in the small cell.

Is it truly happening or is he imagining things? Imagining that Daddy is with him in the cell. Not Steve. Pierce.

He hates it. But he craves it too. He wants someone to hold him and to assure him things are going to be okay.

Maybe HYDRA is watching him again. Maybe they sneaked bugs into the cell before Bucky came here so now they are listening to him asking for his Daddy. Maybe they can watch him too.

At times, Bucky can distract himself from those thoughts by thinking up certain games he could play with the Bearvengers. It's nice. But it also makes him feel homesick.

He practices the meditation methods Bruce has taught him. Breath in, breath out. Count to ten. Or twenty.

Other times he's walking around in his cell and counting his steps. He gets tired easily.

He gets tired so easily that even when they shove his food through the slot he can't get up from the cot anymore . He has to crawl to the door. And then he can't reach the toilet in time so he throws up on his clothes. It stinks. He cleans most of it off by using water from the toilet bowl.

There is even some puke on his toes because he is barefoot. He washes it off too. And then he goes back to his cot to lay down on it some more.

On the fifth day, he's starting to smell. His hair is greasy and his teeth are feeling gross. He tries to wash himself a bit without taking his clothes off. Maybe HYDRA installed cameras in his cell for real.

He doesn't want them to see him naked. Even half-naked. He wants no one to see him like that.

One time, he wakes up from a nightmare in which he's in the chair again and his blood dries up from all the electricity. He bites his arm to draw blood and watches the blood well up and trickle down. Trickling down on the cot and his clothes. He watches the wound close.

He can't get the blood out of his clothing no matter how many times he washes it in the toilet bowl.
He burst out in tears, like he mostly does now when things are going wrong. Like someone has flipped off his control and now he's just... He doesn't know what he is anymore.

The next moment he remembers he is sitting in a corner of the cell. It scares him. Not knowing what happened.

It must be on the seventh day that they finally take him out of the cell and bring him to the shower. Bucky feels dizzy and tired from walking such a long distance. It feels like a long time.

He keeps his clothes on again this time and the wardens don't even try anymore. They shackle him on the wall. He lets himself get wet, the warm water dripping through his clothes.

He feels so tired.

They squirt some liquid soap in his flesh hand and he tries to rub it in his hair as best he can while being shackled. He eventually succeeds and washes the grease out of his hair.

It feels good to be clean again.

But he doesn't like how one warden is watching him. There is only one now. The other one has gone to fetch a new uniform he can put on later.

He's smiling, in a creepy way, and it brings back so many memories from his former Daddy. Pierce. Alex.

And then the guy tries to touch him.

So Bucky bites. Hard. He bites so hard he can hear a bone crack and blood is flowing in his mouth.

The man screams. The screams are ringing in Bucky's ears.

Suddenly he feels how something is pressed against his back. The pain is overwhelming and he can't do anything but black out.

Chapter Text

Bucky gets woken up by a slow and irritating beeping. He tries to turn the alarm off on his bedside table. He can't move his hand.

Then he remembers.

Prison. Hunger. Blood. Pain.

He gasps. He gets up. Or tries to. Something is blocking him. He can't see. Memories are flooding his head.

It hurts.

Pain. Pain. Pain.

So much pain.

Bucky wants it to stop.

Where is Daddy?

And he's five. Again.

He is scared.

What's happening? Where is Daddy?

Someone is talking to him. “C’mon Bucky. Work with me. Breathe in. Breathe out. Calm down."

Bucky still can't move. Someone is touching him.

He opens his eyes. He didn't know they were closed.

A man, in a long white jacket, is standing by his bed. A doctor.

Bucky doesn't want a doctor. He wants Daddy.

Daddy. Daddy. Daddy.

So he starts crying. Big ugly sobs escape his throat.

Crying is for bad boys. Crying is manipulating.

His throat hurts. He's thirsty. The doctor picks up a plastic cup on a table next to the bed. Bucky tries to drink a bit of the water without spilling too much on the white sheet that is laying on him.

But he can't stop crying. He just can't.

He tries to move his hands. And his feet. They are strapped to the bed with those special handcuffs. He can move them a bit, but not much.

There are needles in his flesh arm. They are connected to bags, which are hanging on a kind of rack. There are different fluids in them. Bucky doesn't know what they are.

He doesn't know anything. Where is he? Is he still in the prison?

"I want Daddy," he whispers through his tears. He feels snot running out his nose. He can't wipe it away.

The doctor looks sympathetic. "I will see what I can do," he says and goes out of the room.

The room is white. One wall is made entirely out of glass. He sees other people in white clothes doing things. Some people are watching him.

Bucky doesn't dare to make eye contact.

Only then he notices he isn't wearing his uniform anymore. He's wearing his Captain America pajamas. And a diaper.

Someone must have changed him while he was sleeping. He just hopes it was Daddy and nobody else.

And then the Doctor comes back. Daddy is not with him. But Tony and Maria are.

Tony smiles through the glass and waves at him. It's a fake smile.

Maria doesn't even try.

Is he gonna be in trouble? Why isn't Daddy coming? Is Daddy angry with him? Or maybe Daddy was bad too. Bucky remembers how all those policemen had to keep Daddy away from him. Maybe Daddy needed to be punished and now he's in jail too.

Bucky's head is already starting to hurt.

And then they are in the room. The doctor asks him a couple of questions. He checks the bags and the needles in arms. Bucky can feel them but they don't hurt.

Tony picks up a tissue from the bedside table. He leans over to Bucky to wipe away the tears and snot from his face. Bucky lets him.

The doctor leaves. Now it's only Tony, Maria and him.

"Where is Daddy?" he whispers.

"Steve will be coming soon, Bucky," Maria says, "but we need to ask a couple of things first, okay? Then Steve can come visit you."

Bucky nods. Because he's a good boy.

"First question. Could you please tell us what happened in the shower? Why did you bite that guard?"

"He tried to, uh, touch me," Bucky mumbles, but still loud enough so they could understand him clearly, "like, uh, Daddy, uhm, Alex did. And I didn't want him to. So I bit him."

Maria and Tony are eerily silent, untill Tony jumps up from his chair and starts yelling.

"I KNEW IT. THAT MOTHERFU-"

"Tony! Shut up!" Maria hisses. "We did absolutely not know that-"

"Yes we did! I did!" Tony snarls "I let JARVIS hack into that guy's computer and-"

"Tony!"

"- and JARVIS found a huge amount of child porn. It had been deleted, but it was still there."

Maria blanches and Bucky can feel his stomach twisting.

No.

No.

No.

Bucky feels sick.

Maria gets a bucket from somewhere and shoves it against his chest just in time so he can throw up in it and not on the sheet. It's not much.

She gets him some water so the weird taste in his mouth goes away. Tony is muttering something and tapping on his phone.

"Do I have to go back?" Bucky asks. He doesn't want to go back.

"We were already talking with the court to transfer you to another prison because there were many things going wrong in this one.

"They changed your pills for cheaper ones or left some of them out, and kept the money for themselves. When you were brought here, you were almost almost done going through withdrawal”

"And they were giving you less food than they had to, again keeping the money. And they were ignoring how you were throwing up so much of it, so they were practically starving you."

"The FBI is already turning over every stone, looking for all kinds of evidence, and your testimony will surely help."

Bucky nods. That was a lot of words. He feels tired.

But everything kinda makes sense now. The pills. The food. The hallucinations. The fever.

"Can Daddy come now?" he asks.

"Yeah, I think so," Maria sighs, "Tony, do you want to ask Bucky something?"

Tony shakes his head, still tapping on his phone.

"Then I will get Steve now," and she leaves the room.

Not even twenty seconds later and Steve comes practically running into the room.

He has Bucky Bear in his arms.

He pulls Bucky in a hug with Bucky Bear in the middle. Bucky tries to return the favor, as well as he can, being strapped down.

Bucky feels the tears coming back when he notices Steve is crying too.

He tries to pet Bucky Bear but can't reach him. Steve grabs the restraint on his right hand and starts undoing it. When Bucky’s hand is finally free he picks up Bucky Bear and plants a kiss on the Bear's head.

Everything is going to be okay now. He hopes.

Chapter Text

Bucky is coloring one of the drawings Daddy drew for him. He puts down the red pencil he is was using to reach for the sippy cup that is sitting next to his leg on the bed. A nurse gave it to him so he can drink whenever he wants and doesn't always have to ask for it.

He takes a sip of the apple juice that is in it. And then goes back to coloring.

He is using the table thing that he can put over his lap as a drawing table. Bucky bear is sitting between the table and Bucky's chest. He's insisting that there must be more green in the drawing. So Bucky picks up the green pencil.

It's now his second week at the hospital. The needles and bags are gone. He's allowed to eat real food now and is taking his normal dose of medication.

He's still not completely recovered. He has to eat in small portions or he's throwing up again. Daddy has convinced him to wear a diaper at night, so he doesn't wet the bed. They are like briefs so he can pull them up by himself. And someone (Bucky suspects it's Tony) made them too with Daddy's shield on it.

He is wearing his therapy vest a lot to deal with his anxiety.

Daddy has been busy the last two weeks. Tony and Maria too. They are arranging everything so the same things won't happen again at the new prison.

Bruce and Clint and Thor have been visiting a lot. Clint sometimes brings Lucky with him. Bucky likes to play fetch with the dog. Bucky Bear doesn’t like it when Lucky tries to play with him though. Maybe because of all those germs.

He also likes how Bruce reads him fairytales stories or meditates with him.

Thor tells him more stories about Asgard and something that his people call 'Yggdrasil'. He also teaches Bucky more names of the stars of Asgard while using the constellation maker he and Jane had given Bucky for Christmas.

One time they bring all the bearvengers to his room and they end up playing Bears for days.

Other times he watches his favorite Disney movies on the tablet. Or he listens to the custom Sleeping Beauty audiobook with Daddy’s voice. A couple of times he falls asleep while listening to it.

Bucky still needs to sleep a lot. They dim the lights when he asks for it. The first few nights he's too exhausted to even have nightmares. He sleeps much better wearing the diaper, although he still needs afternoon naps.

It's on the seventeenth day, just after breakfast, that Maria and Tony come in his room. He's feeling grown-up, not five. Their faces are serious, although it's now Maria who is trying to smile for Bucky's sake.

"Let me guess, you have found a prison that is willing to take me? One that is free of child predators?"

"Yeah," Tony says.

"But?"

"It's a women’s prison," Maria says.

Well. That's not what Bucky expected, in the least.

"I know it's unusual, but not impossible given your circumstances. It's the best solution we can come up with that the court will agree to,"

"I might have blackmailed their Secretary into accepting you because she and her husband were embezzling money. And Stark Industries will be donating money to the prison so they can improve their security." Tony smiles.

"Though we wondering how your little side would deal with them." Maria goes on. "Maybe you could shed some light on that, Bucky?"

Bucky has to think about that. The kid isn't easy but women shouldn't be a problem. Aside from a couple of women, HYDRA was almost completely male. And the Red Room was before Snowflake had been created by Pierce. He tells them so.

"What does Steve think of it?"

"Steve doesn't need to think anything of it," Tony says. "The guy freaks out if someone mentions that you won't stay in this hospital forever."

"So you are gonna take me back to prison without warning him? That isn't going to freak him out?"

"We just have to break it gently to him," Maria says.

"What do you have to break gently to who?"

Even Bucky flinches at the sound of Steve's voice.

"You," Bucky says and he doesn't hesitate, "I am going back to prison. A women’s prison this time."

"No," Steve chokes on further words.

"Yes," Bucky replies, "We are not gonna discuss this. I am going back and you are not raising hell for this, Steven Grant Rogers."

Steve is crying now. Bucky sighs and holds his hand out for him. Steve is in his arms in an instant and Bucky hugs him the best he can with only one hand.

The past feels like only yesterday. The skinny punk in his arms, crying because his mother died.

"I know it really sucks that you always have to let me go. But you need to know, that no matter what, I will always come back to you. Always."

Bucky can feel Steve nod against his shoulder. He looks at Maria. "Could you give me a file or something about the prison so I can look into it?"

"I will do that. But I think we will now leave you two be, okay?" She smiles, genuinely this time. "If you have any questions, you know you can ask me, okay?"

Bucky nods, and then she and Tony leave the room. Steve is still crying in his arms.

This is going to be a long day.

Chapter Text

Your mission, should you choose to accept it...

“Very funny, Stark,” Bucky said, after he read the words Tony had scrawled on the front page of the file. “But, thank you for this. And Maria, too.”

“It was a pleasure, Robocop.” Tony grinned.

“Hmmm, I don’t know if I am still Robocop, with the metal arm being  non-functional and that.”

“Yeah, about that…” Tony pauses, “Bruce and I may have a solution for the pain in your back, but...”

“Bucky sighes and puts the file in his lap. “I am not gonna like this, am I?”

“Well, the main problem is that it is heavy, so we could cut back the arm, and modify then end to hook a lighter model on it later.”

“So you want to cut it off?”

 “Eh, basically yes. But-”

 "And then you are going to replace it with a lighter prosthetic?”

 “Yes.” Tony frowns, “Wait. You are okay with this?”

 Bucky considers it for a couple of minutes. He has never loved the arm that much, seeing as it was the result of torture, and HYDRA, and the Russians that created the Winter Soldier Program. But it was his arm.

 “I think I am, yes. I mean it’s still my arm, but… but it doesn’t work anymore like it used to work, you know. And if the only option is that I keep walking around with it while it’s fucking with my back, yes, I think I should do it. It’s time to get rid of it.”

 “You sure?”

 “Yeah. Steve is probably gonna strangle me, but this is my choice to make.”

 “Alright then.” Tony responds, already engaged in texting to Bruce about the specifics.

 Bucky looks at the file in his lap.

 'Pitchfield Penitentiary.'

 He starts reading.

 

Pitchfield Penittentiary is located in Upstate New York, near Albany. The prison houses about 250 inmates. The prison exists of five cell blocks, several common areas, a Security Housing Unit (SHU) and a psychiatric ward.

 Notable locations are of the following:

  • Administration Offices: offices for correctional officers (CO) employed at Litchfield. There is also a shared lunch room and dressing rooms for male and female officers.
  • Visitors Area: a room allocated for inmates meeting with visitors from outside the prison. Visitors must follow the Visitor Dress Standard to enhance a family atmosphere.

Visitors must be fully clothed;

Visitors must wear shoes or sandals;

Dresses and/or skirts, including slits in the garments, shall cover the kneecap when standing;

Capri pants are allowed but they are defined as mid-calf in length;

Buttons and zippers must remain fastened;

Adults and physically-mature minor female visitors must wear a bra and undergarments

 

  • Temporary bunk: When prisoners first arrive in Litchfield, they are put in a temporary bunk until they can be assigned a bunk and transferred to a regular cell block. Some inmates always have to stay in temporary bunks due to their physical condition.
  • Cell Blocks: also reffered to as “dorms” or “cubes”, the cell blocks are inmate sleeping areas that are generally separated by race. Each cell block has its own race and name:

Caucasian - " The Suburbs " - Cell Block A

Afro-American - "The Ghetto"- Cell Block B

Latina/Hispanic - "Spanish Harlem" - Cell Block C

 

The remaining inmates who don’t identify with one of these subgroups are divided between the two other cell blocks: D and E.
Each dorm is subdivided into an area for two inmates. Within these sections, each inmate gets a locker and a metal bunk with a mattress, pillow, sheet and blanket. These sections are surrounded by low (between 5 and 6 feet or 3 and 4 feet) walls made of cinder blocks and are open to a main walkway.

  • Showers: personal care area for the inmates, equipped with showers, toilets and sinks. Inmates often have to take quick showers due to the lack of hot water, and must wear flip-flops on their feet to avoid fungal infections.
  • Hair Salon: inmates can go here to get their hair cut or styled.
  • Security Housing Unit: also known as solitary confinement. Inmates are locked in their cells 24 hours a day, with only a few showers a week. Meals are delivered through a slot in the door to increase security.
  • Psychiatric Ward: inmates are sent here when they exhibit psychotic or dangerous behaviors.
  • Chapel: The chapel is the religious center of Litchfield, and serves all major denominations as well as minor ones, which may include Wicca or druidism. During Christmas, the inmates held their Christmas show in the chapel.
  • Cafeteria: a common area for all cliques and dorms. The room is very large with long tables and chairs for the inmates to eat at.
  • TV Room: is used as a smaller recreation room. There is a wall-mounted television. The tables and chairs can be used for card or board games, or can be moved against the walls.
  • Recreation Room: a larger space with moveable tables and chairs, this room is used for group meetings or exercise, such as orientation, AA or yoga.
  • Yard: the primary recreational facility for the inmates. It has a basketball court and a track, which must be manned by correctional officers to be used. Running is not permitted in the yard, however brisk walks are acceptable.

 

Inmates are expected to work while staying at Litchfield. There are several jobs at Litchfield, where the hourly wage is usually 11 cents per hour. Jobs are available in Janitorial, Electrical Shop, Kitchen, Laundry, Commissary and Transportation.

 

The following rules apply to inmates in Pitchfield Penitentiary:

  • Inmates are not allowed to wear make-up.
  • There is to be no running in or outside of the building, with the exception of the running track, when it is open.
  • When the alarm is activated, this is when an adverse event occurs, all inmates are required to lie prone on the floor where they are until the alarm stops.
  • Inmates are not permitted to take food out of the dining hall.
  • Inmates are not permitted to receive any other clothing or items that aren't books or innocent photos from people outside the prison.
  • Contraband is forbidden and generally includes any item not purchased from the commissary or made by the inmate. It also includes any item that is made by the inmates that could be considered dangerous, such as a shank. Alcohol, drugs and cigarettes are also forbidden.
  • Phone time is limited and at specific times of the day. All outgoing calls must be on the prisoners' approved call list.
  • Visiting time is limited and all visitors must be on the prisoners' approved visitation list.
  • Courtesy to COs must be honored at all times and prisoners must follow the instructions of Litchfield Staff

 

In the prison population, there are three big cliques: Red’s Family, Black Girls and the Spanish Harlem.
(the last one can be confusing because it doesn’t really has a name, but is by other inmates mostly reffered as the name of their (Latina/Hispanic) Cell Block).

Red’s Family

  • Galina “Red” Reznikov:  a powerful figure in the inmate population who holds the position of Head Chef, together with Gloria Mendoza,  and is leader of a group known as Red's Girls. She has short hair, which is usually dyed red, and speaks Russian. (Organized Crime)
  • Nicole “Nicky” Nichols (Breaking and Entering, Possession of Heroin)
  • Lorna Morello: is in charge of driving the van that transports inmates (Aggravated Stalking, Violating a Restraining Order, Attempted Murder, Mail Order Fraud)
  • Norma Romano: a partial mute because of her severe stutter. Uses her notepad to talk with others. Works in kitchen. (Voluntary Manslaughter)
  • Gina Murphy: has severe burn scar across her neck and shoulder due to accident in kitchen, where she works. (Embezzlement)
  • Erica “Yoga” Jones: prison's yoga instructor (Manslaughter of a minor)
  • Piper Chapman (Money Laundering, Perjury)
  • Alex Vause (Heroin Trafficking)
  • Carrie “Big Boo” Black (Presumably Felony, Theft/Fraud)

The Black Girls

  • Cindy “Black Cindy” Hayes (Felony Theft)
  • Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson: known as the mother of the group,  works in library organizing and shelving books (Heroin Trafficking, Parole Violation)
  • Janae Watson: former track star (Armed Robbery)
  • Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren: extremely eccentric, probably is mentally ill, is on medication which calms her down, and is able to go to the psych ward as needed. (Kidnapping, Involuntary Manslaughter of a Minor)
  • Poussey Washington (Trespassing, Dealing Marijuana)

Spanish Harlem

  • Gloria Mendoza: runs the kitchen, together with Red. Leader of the subgroup. (SNAP fraud)
  • Aleida Diaz: mother of Dayanara, and the prison mother of most of the younger hispanic inmates. (Drug-related charges)
  • Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales (Fraud, Endangerment)
  • Maritza Ramos (Grand Theft Auto)
  • Dayanara “Daya” Diaz: most recent member and Aleida's daughter. Currently pregnant as a result by rape by a former warden. Unlike the others, she cannot speak Spanish. (Drug-Related)

Other

  • Sophia Burset a black trans woman who is one of the prison’s hairstylists (Credit card fraud)
  • Sister Jane Ingalls (Trespassing on Nuclear Facility)
  • Erica “Yoga” Jones: prison's yoga instructor (Manslaughter of a minor)

  • Tiffany "Penssatucky" Dogget (Second Degree Murder)

 

Staff, according to importance:

  • Natalie Figueroa: Executive Assistant to the Warden
  • Joe Caputo: Director of Human Activities (Warden)
  • Igme Dimaguiba: nurse, is Filipino
  • Sam Healy: a corrections officer and inmate counsellor
  • John Bennett: Correctional Officer, former corporal of the US Army prior to working at Litchfield. Was on a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Has a prosthetic left leg, due to an infection.
  • Susan Fischer: Correctional Officer, newest member.
  • Joel Luschek: CO and staff electrician/manager of the Electrical shop.

 

Chapter Text

"Bucky?"

Bucky looks up from the file he is studying. Natasha stands in the doorway.

He hasn't seen her much the whole time he was in the hospital. She has been on missions a lot. Missions she always refuses to talk about. It makes Bucky feel useless, that he only can sit around and do kid things, and that Natasha can still go out and do her job.

She called him a lot, but it wasn't the same as his big sister being here to play with him.

"Hey Natasha," he smiles and closes the file in his lap. He has been memorizing it since he got it a week ago. He is going over it again and again because he is slighty nervous for the upcoming surgery tomorrow.

Natasha puts down a backpack next to the bed and sits on the bed near his legs.

"Are you ready for tomorrow?"

"Yeah," but it must not be convincing enough because Natasha raises an eyebrow in the way only she can do.

"I am not afraid. Just a bit nervous."

"Hmmm. You met the new doctor?"

"Yeah. She seems nice. And smart."

A couple of days ago, Tony had come in followed by a woman. Her name was Helen Cho and she was one of the many scientists and doctors Tony had flown in for the surgery on his arm.

Dr. Cho had succeeded in creating a temporary serum that slowed down the healing factor of the supersoldier serum. That way the doctors could operate Bucky without his body trying to heal itself the whole time.

Because the thing was, it wasn't only his arm. After a couple of scans Bucky had reluctantly agreed with, the doctors had discovered that there were flexible plates on his left side almost replacing all of his ribs. Otherwise his body could have never supported the heavy metal arm. The plates were also made by a material that HYDRA had created itself and was slowly poisoning Bucky's body's. They really had to go.

Bucky had felt really sick after hearing all of that.

The surgery that the doctors were going to do tomorrow would consist of removing those plates and replacing them with plates designed by Tony and Bruce, made from an organic material, that could support the new prosthesis.

Helen had been really nice. They had talked a lot. About the Bucky Bear, the Bearvengers, South-Korea (that was where she lived, and Bucky had so many questions about it), the surgery, what the new new she created was supposed to do. And then she had shown him the patches he had to wear on his chest.

The patches slowly put a dose of the serum in his body through his skin. By the day of the surgery his body would be saturated with the serum and the doctors could do their surgery with any trouble.

If everything went according to plan.

For once, Bucky was kinda glad that HYDRA had removed his chest hair permanently, otherwise renewing the patches everyday would have been less pleasant.

Bruce had been working on an anesthesic that could actually put him to sleep. It was a modification of the one the Avengers could use on the Hulk on missions.

"What is wrong?" Natasha pokes him in his side.

"Uhuh," Bucky doesn't really know. He feels weird. He is constantly swimming between his adult and little headspace today. It really tires him out. He has taken an afternoon nap already to settle better in one of the two headspaces but it hasn't helped.

"Maybe Bucky Bear can tell me?"

"Bucky Bear wants to play," Bucky says, and looks at the bear sitting next to him on the bed, in the crook of his arm. Where he always sits. Except for when he accidentally falls out of bed on the floor and Bucky has to buzz someone to get him.

Natasha picks up her backpack and opens it. Red Panda appears and Bucky knows he's going to feel better soon.

They play a couple of Bear games (in which Bucky Bear saves Red Panda from evil doctors who want to hurt her). After that, they draw for a bit and get into a tickle fight that leaves Bucky's cheeks hurting from laughing so much.

Tasha stays through dinner. If the nurses notice her little headspace, they don't say anything. The others drop in one after one. Clint has brought Lucky with him again and the dog jumps on the bed to lick Bucky's face, even with Bucky Bear growling.

Lucky probably doesn't speak Bear.

Bucky can feel how everyone is geared up emotionally about the surgery, trying to assure him that everything will go okay. Saying that he can cancel this whenever he wants.

It just wants to make him hide under his blanket forever.

They play Uno. And Twister. Bucky calls out the positions and he giggles when everybody falls on each other.

After everybody has untangled themself from the pile, Dr. Cho knocks on the door.

"Oh, yeah. Dessert is here," Daddy smiles.

Wait what?

Bucky Bear is immediately suspicious.

"So I thought, uh, we were talking about my country this afternoon," Dr. Cho starts with a shy smile, "and I knew a little shop in this city that sells Korean food so I brought dessert for you all,"

Bucky doesn't know what to say so he doesn't say anything and just nods.

She puts the boxes she is holding on the table next to Bucky's bed and opens them.

"This is Yakgwa, a sweet dessert with sesame oil, ginger and honey," Daddy starts distributing little plates he got from somewhere. Bucky is thrown off by the sudden surprise of strange dessert, but he accepts the plate and Dr. Cho puts an orange flat cookie coated with honey on it.

He mumbles a shy "Thank you," and tries a bite. It's sticky and sweet and Bucky loves it. Bucky Bear asks for a Yakgwa too and he happily starts osmosing it when Daddy gets him one.

Dr. Cho becomes rapidly Helen as everyone eats the Yagkwas. They talk about South-Korea and then they have to explain the Korean war in the fifties to mostly Steve and Thor.

Bucky is feeling tired after his third Yakgwa and his fingers and face feel sticky cause of all the honey. He also needs to go to the bathroom.

Daddy cleans his hand and face with wet wipes and undoes the straps on his feet so Bucky can go to pee in the bathroom, put a diaper on and change into his pajamas.

When he comes back in his room, the others have already cleaned up the room and are waiting to say goodnight. After a lot of goodnight hugs, they are finally alone.

Bucky chooses a bedtime story and climbs into the bed. Daddy puts the straps back on. He sits on the bed against the headboard and Bucky lays next to him, his head leaning on Daddy's chest. Bucky Bear tucked between the two of them.

Bucky is fast asleep before story is done.

Chapter Text

Bucky is sitting on the surgery table in a huge green room. A lot of people are walking around, preparing the latest things.

He's hooked up on all kind of monitors. Bruce has explained them all one for one this morning.

"Can I get a Yakgwa when I wake up, please?" he asks Bruce, who is standing nearby him, checking the monitors one last time.

"Yes, of course." Bruce smiles, "there are still a couple in the fridge, if Clint and Tony haven't eaten them. And even then, we can get more from that shop where Helen got them."

Bucky nods.

"We are going to put you asleep, now. Okay?"

"Okay."

Bruce helps him lie down. It feels weird to be in nothing than a paper gown and a diaper in a room full of clothed people. But soon he'll be sleeping and it won't matter anymore.

And he isn't bothered by the diaper that much. Helen told him about when she had to get her wisdom teeth removed and she had to wear one too.

He waves to glass wall where Daddy and Natasha and Clint are watching the surgery room. Bucky Bear is safely in Daddy's lap, far away from Lucky's reach.

Daddy waves back. Clint is eating something that looks like Oreos.

What.

Now Bucky wants Oreos too. He's hungry from not having had breakfast, even if it's still morning. It was necessary for the surgery, the doctors had said, so Bucky hadn't complained.

He will ask for them when he wakes up again.

Bruce gently puts a breathing mask on his face. They already rehearsed this in the last week, but with normal air. So Bucky knows what to do.

He takes deep breaths, like Bruce taught him.

////

He feels his mind breaking through the surface, although it's still sluggish. He's awake but can't seem to open his eyes, or move his body. He can't feel anything.

Somewhere far away, the monitors are beeping and after what seems forever, he succeeds in blinking his eyes.

There is no light. Not much. The room has been darkened.

He just lays there in the dark. Nobody is in the room, he thinks, but then he hears the snoring.

Steve. Of course.

That can't be a healthy position to sleep in a chair. He contemplates how he could wake Steve up. Maybe he can catapult Bucky Bear, who is sitting next to his arm-

Oh.

He looks to his left. There is nothing. Just a bandage around what seems like the modified stump to hook a new arm on.

It's weird.

He doesn't even remember falling asleep in the surgery room. And now the surgery is already done, the arm is gone and the plates in his chest and back too.

He can't feel them anymore. He didn't know he could feel them before. But now they are gone, being replaced by better ones, and he feels that they are missing.

That's good, right?

He tries to wiggle the bandaged stump. It moves a little bit.

But okay, Bucky Bear. Steve. Catapulting Bucky Bear onto Steve so he wakes up and can get Bucky some water because he's thirsty. And honey for Bucky Bear. And then get them both food.

Yakgwas. And Oreos.

And he needs to pee, he notices now. But the diaper is already wet. Maybe he's going to get a rash if he stays in the wet diaper for too long.

Except that when he tries to reach for the bear he accidentally pushes him out of the bed. Bucky Bear falls onto the floor.

Damnit.

Bucky Bear no.

This wasn't the plan.

Bucky Bear stays on the floor. Maybe they sedated him too?

Bucky decides he might as well go back to sleep. He's so tired.

////

"You snore," is the first thing Bucky says when he wakes up and sees that Steve is awake too this time.

"What?"

Steve doesn't seem to realize it was Bucky who said that. He looks up from the magazine he's reading and stares at the door, like he expects someone to be standing there. And then he looks at Bucky.

"Oh, you are awake,"

At least someone, probably Steve, put Bucky Bear back in his bed. And the railings on each side of the bed are up. Why. It's not like he's gonna fall out of the bed if his feet are strapped down?

And his diaper is dry.

Fantastic.

"I am hungry," he mumbles, "and thirsty."

"Alright. I will get you some water," Steve gets up and walks to a little portable fridge that is standing on the table. Bucky hadn't noticed it before.

Steve helped Bucky drinking water from the plastic cup and then gets a box with Yakgwas out of the fridge. He puts them on two plates, one for Bucky and another for Bucky Bear.

Bucky is busing eating his second Yakgwa when Tony walks in, grinning.

"Hello, kiddo. How was your beauty sleep?"

Bucky can't be bothered to tell Tony he isn't a kid right now. Not really. He's swimming between headspaces, again. Mostly it's now due to the sedatives he's still on, instead of the stress he was having before the surgery.

He finishes off his Yakgwa, and holds his plate out for a third while he's still chewing. Steve doesn't say anything and serves him a new one.

"Do we have oreos?" Bucky asks, remembering the thought before he tries to fit the Yakgwa completely in his mouth in one bite.

He gets honey all over his face but doesn't care.

"Maybe? I don't know for sure. Maybe Clint ate them all. Do you want some?"

Bucky nods so Steve goes looking for some, leaving Tony alone with him in the room.

"How did the surgery go?" he asks Tony as soon as he has swallowed everything.

"Good, no problems." Tony answers and then dives into an explanation full of scientific words that Bucky doesn't understand much of. Tony asks a couple questions too, about the stump and his chest.

Steve gets back with a full bag of oreos. Bucky lets Tony have a couple but eats most of them. He eats always one side of the cookie, then licks the cream and then eats the other side.

There are only five left when his stomach is finally satisfied. He drinks some more water and then lays on the bed, watching some episodes of Treetop Cat Rescue on the tablet.

The doctors come in to check on him, and conclude that he needs a couple of days of rest before his body has healed the surgical incisions on his chest and back.

Translation: in a couple of days he will have to go back to prison.

Chapter Text

Over the last couple of days that he's still in relative freedom, they go over his stuff, to see what he can bring to the prison and what not.

His fairytale books are given okay, although the audiobooks are first researched by the prison itself to see if they can be used to smuggle things into the prison. In the end, Bucky is allowed to bring them too.

All of his clothing has to stay home, including Bucky Bear and the Bearvengers. Steve promises to cuddle Bucky Bear and the Bearvengers and read them a bedtime story every night.

His therapy vest is allowed, but only after a lot of pressuring by Maria and Tony.

And on Bucky's last night in the hospital, Daddy gives him a lot of pictures he can take with him. A picture of Steve, Bucky and Bucky Bear all laughing into the camera. A picture of the team, including Maria and Pepper and Jane. A picture of the Bearvengers sitting on Bucky's bed.

Bucky cries.

////

All the doctors go home eventually, except for Helen. She plays a lot with Bucky and they watch episodes of Weird, True and Freaky, which is one of her favorite programs too, together.

She tells him stories from her home country. Bucky thinks they are a bit silly, but he likes them. They are different from the fairytales he's used to and they have happy endings. Maybe.

Like the boy and the girl running away from a tiger so they climb in a tree. Higher and higher, till they are in the sky and become the sun and the moon.

Bucky asks her to write them down so he can take them with him to the prison and read them.

She brings more Yakgwa, and also another treat which is called 'Tteok'. They are actually a kind of rice cakes. Bucky doesn't like them that much, and eats more Yakgwa instead.

////

The morning Bucky has to leave, he’s looking at himself in the mirror. Steve has shaved his beard so it will be at least a week before he needs to do it again.

The bandage on his stump is gone and he inspects the metal part in the mirror. It looks nice.

He puts the clothes on Steve and him had picked out before. Blue jeans, his favorite dark brown booties, a plain red shirt (although he had hesitated to pick the blue one with Captain America's shield on), a grey hoodie and his dark blue jacket.

These are the last civilian clothes he will wear in a long time.

Steve's standing in the doorway of the bathroom, watching how Bucky keeps adjusting the hoodie and the jacket.

He ties his hair in a ponytail, so it won't bother him. And if he needs it to hide behind he can always pull the elastic out.

Breakfast is rushed, just dry cereal with soy milk and an apple, and after saying goodbye to Helen, he's in the van with the other Avengers, on his way to the prison.

(This time, he gets bathroom breaks.)

////

Saying goodbye to Bucky Bear is really hard to do.

Saying goodbye to Steve is even harder. At least, this time, he can say goodbye.

They stand in the in the waiting area.

He already hugged everyone else, saving Bucky Bear and Steve for last.

"See you in a week, punk," Bucky says. He tries to smile.

"Jerk," Steve says back, tears glistening in his eyes.

Bucky gives the bear in Steve's arms one last kiss on the head.

And then it's over.

The officer, her tag says Susan Fischer, leads him through the door, and Bucky doesn't dare to look back.

He's on his own now.

No Bucky Bear. No Steve.

Fischer gives him prison sneakers, an orange jumpsuit, a jacket in a lighter orange color and bedding and then gives him some time alone to strip and put his uniform on. It's awkward with only one hand but he succeeds. The prison sneakers don't have laces which is a big help.

After he's done and has put his personal clothing in a bag that they will put away later, she brings him to the transportation vehicle outside.

He tries to look at the visitor's parking but there is a wall in the way.

The woman sitting behind the driving wheels introduces herself as Morello. Bucky already knows that from the file but pretends he doesn't. Maybe it is illegal that Tony gave him a file on them, and he doesn't want to cause trouble for Tony.

“We were expecting you,” she tells him in such a chipper voice Bucky doesn’t know how to respond to that.

There is another person sitting in the van. She must be new, just like him. She looks frightened, but not by him. Maybe just by the general experience of going to prison.

"Brook Soso," she says and holds out her hand for him to shake. Bucky puts the bedding in his lap so he can shake it.

“Bucky Barnes,” he replies. Soso doesn’t seem to know who he is, so he leaves it at that. Morello snorts, but doesn’t say anything either.

And then Fischer steps in the van and shuts her door. Morello starts to drive.

Chapter Text

It's a short ride from the entrance building to the prison. Nobody says a word so Bucky busies himself with studying the layout of the prison yard and the main building.

They ride through a zone with barbed wire and a high electric fence that separates the main prison building and the yard from the rest of Litchfield Penitentiary. On the border of Litchfield penitentiary there is barbed wire and an electrified fence again.

Just beyond the grounds he can see a the vague glistering of sunshine on water. A river or a lake probably.

Morello drives through two secured gates and then to the entrance of the main building.

There are other inmates hanging around but they keep their distance. Bucky can feel their staring and hear their wispers while he jumps out of the vehicle.

"C'mon. We need to get you two processed first, and then I will show you around," Morello smiles and Soso and Bucky follow her.

Inside the prison the staring doesn't get much better. Bucky makes a point not to listen to the whispered gossip as they walk through the corridors to the administration offices.

They get ID badge made, a health screening (which just means that the nurse skims through the files from the hospital, makes notes and asks about his medication and the stump).

He meets his counselor, Mr. Healey, and Bucky only needs to hear five words from the guy to know that he doesn't like the guy. The dislike seems to be mutual.

Healey tells him Maria has already arranged a commissary fund and a PAC number (so he can make phone calls).

And that his therapists will be allowed to have a session with him weekly. Bucky is relieved. He doesn't want to talk to this guy about personal things.

He leans against the wall next to Healey's office while Soso is having her intake session.

He doesn't really know what to make of the young woman yet. She is clearly terrified about what she has seen of prison life so far and stays in Bucky's surroundings when she can.

And she talks.

Bucky thought Tony talked a lot, but Soso could even talk Tony under the table. It isn't even talking. More nervous babbling.

"So," Morello starts.

Oh no.

“Did you take out Kennedy?”

Bucky doesn't know what to say to that. "What?"

“The Kennedy assassination. JFK, you know? Was that you?” Morello, stares at him with curiosity in her eyes.
"I don't know. Can't remember." He mumbles. He doesn't want to talk about it. He looks at the opposite wall instead of looking at her.
"Oh," Morello sounds a bit dissapointed. "You see, I have a bet with a couple of girls and-"
She doesn't get further as Soso comes out of Healey's office that moment.

"So," Soso smiles, "are we nog going to get a tour?" she asks, unknowingly saving Bucky from an awkward talk with Morello.

Morello recovers fastly from the interruption and nods. "Of course. Follow me, please."

Morello walks them around, showing the places Bucky already has read about in the file, but it's good to get a visual of them. He is mapping out the place in his head. Still clutching his bedding to his chest.

"And this is your cubicle," Morello says when she lets them see the showers.

It's a seperate cubicle on the end of the row with shower stalls. Someone has written a male sign. It also has a lock on it. Good. Bucky feels a bit relieved when he sees it. He had already dreaded to shower with all these woman.

"Why does he get a seperate shower?" Soso asks.

"Because he's a guy, that's why," Morello answers. It seems like she's starting to get tired of all her questions too.

"Why is he a guy? This is a woman prison?"

Oh no. Not this.

Morello frowns. "You haven't seen the news lately? Heard about the trial, no? The Winter Soldier?"

"I don't watch TV," Soso answers. She looks bewildered, she really doesn't know any of these things.

Bucky kinda wants to hit her on her head. This was supposed to be easy. Everybody was supposed to know about his history.

So Bucky sighs, puts his bedding on the sink to give his arm some rest.

"You know about Captain America, right?"

"Yes," Soso says.

"James Buchanan Barnes, his best friend who died in the war?"

"Hmmm,"

"That's me. HYDRA captured me alive in the Alpes when I fell of that train, brainwashed me and used me to murder several people. Their boss, Alexander Pierce, also turned me into a five year child and molested me," Soso has turned a bit pale now and looks like she could puke any moment. Bucky hopes she doesn't.

"That's why I can't be in a men prison. There is too much risk for child predators. I already got starved and assaulted at the former prison. The court doesn't dare to take the risk again, so they put me here,"

Morello frowns, "what happened to the warden that assaulted you?"

"I bit a chunk out of his arm," Bucky says and Soso goes completely white and runs to the nearest toilet.

Oops.

Bucky feels a bit sorry for her though.

After Soso's stomach has settled, Morello finishes their tour quickly and shows them their temporary bunks before they get transferred to a regular cell block.

There are already three women in the room. Bucky quickly claims the only low bunk that remains and puts his bedding on it. He really doesn’t want to sleep on the highest in case he has an accident.

That reminds him of the diapers. He forgot to ask Healey about it, but maybe he can go directly to the nurse. The nurse was much nicer than Healey.

A small, heavy-set, middle aged woman with short hair introduces herself as DeMarco. “I am bunked here because I suffered a massive heart attack when I first came to Litchfield, and now I need a machine to sleep at night,”

“Over there is Miss Rosa, she stays here too because she has cancer,” Miss Rosa is a bald woman, who nods at him before continuing with her knitting.

“And that one is Chapman, just got out of SHU a week ago,” Chapman is laying on the bunk above Miss Rosa and ignores everyone.

“She bashed another inmate her head in on Christmass Eve,” Miss Rosa informs Bucky and Soso, who seems to have claimed the bunk above DeMarco.

“That was after she tried to kill me, and she is still alive,” Chapman mutters.

Alright. Sounds awesome.

“Do you have a PAC number already? For phone calls?” DeMarco asks both of them. Bucky nods, Maria already has that arranged for him. Soso shakes her head and then shrugs her shoulders.

“There is nobody I would like to call,” she says.

“Parents? Brothers? Sisters? A friend?” DeMarco asks. Bucky can hear the worry in her voice.

“I got a friend, Meadow,” Soso says, “but she doesn’t has a phone,”

DeMarco sighs, “Alright then,” and then she offers to show them how to make their beds so they can pass inspection without trouble.

Bucky still knows how to do that from back in the military in the forties. She can’t indeed say anything wrong about his bed.

Soso, on the other hand, needs a lot of help.

Chapter Text

The cafeteria is noisy. Inmates are talking with each other, and Bucky notes how most of them are staring at him when they think he's not looking.

During the tour Morello has given them the other inmates had avoided the three of them. Bucky doesn’t know if they are afraid of him, or if they are avoiding him.

"Are there no vegetarian options?"

Bucky merely could suppress the reflex of lashing out with his arm. Damnit Soso. It seemed he has only scared her away that long.

"Listen Soso," he almost growled at her, "Don't ever sneak up to me from behind if you don't want a black eye. It's not that I want to hurt you, but if you surprise me, there could be ugly consequences,"

"If you want to talk to me, stand next to me, or in front of me. But not behind me, okay?"

Soso nods. Then she comes to stand next to him and repeats her question.

"I don't think so. Why? You don't eat meat?"

Soso launches into an explanation about how cows and pigs are attributing to climate change. Bucky kind of tunes her out after a while.

They are standing in the queue to be served their lunch meal. Since they, and Chapman, are the only people in an orange jumpsuit, they stand out in the beige crowd. Chapman is already seated at a table, sitting with a group of inmates. One of them is Morello.

Morello sees him looking and waves at him. Bucky returns a nod. Now the whole group is looking at him. He ignores them.

When it is his turn, they get his tray from the kitchen. There is much more food on his tray than on the ones of other inmates. And his meat and vegetables are already cut. He doesn't say anything, just mutters a 'thank you'.

Soso follows him while he's looking out for somewhere relative quiet to sit down. In the end, they settle on a table where an older woman with short choppy blonde hair is already seated.

She nods at them while she sipping water from the plastic cup. "I am Yoga Jones," she says when they put their trays on the table and sit down. They shake her hand.

Ah. The Yoga teacher.

"Bucky Barnes,"

"Brook Soso,"

Bucky doesn’t waste time and digs in his food while Yoga Jones tells them about the yoga classes. He already knows about them. He's still debating whether he should join or not. Bruce never taught him yoga, only meditation techniques. He wonders if he could do yoga with only one arm.

He notices Jones looking at his tray, or rather, at the amount of food that is on it.

"Supersoldier metabolism," he says, before putting another bite in his mouth.

The food is at least better than the dry bland stuff he got in the other prison. Although he can't taste what kind of meat it is. It must be mixed waste meat or something.

Jones and Soso are almost done with their meal. Soso hasn't touched the piece of meat.

Bucky sighs. He hates it for food to get wasted so he shakes his head and pulls Soso's tray to him. He puts some of his vegetables, which he guesses are beans and zucchini, on her tray. And then transfers the meat to his, and shoves her tray back to her.

"Thank you," Soso smiles and starts shoveling the zucchini and beans in her mouth.

"You might not want to let the wardens see this too much," Jones warns him. But otherwise she doesn't disapprove.

Bucky is halfway through his own tray when two other women come sit on the table.

"I am Sister Jane,"

"Sophia, nice to meet you two,"

Sister Jane says a prayer before she starts eating. Bucky is relieved it isn't in Latin. He doesn't know if he could have handled it if he suddenly had regressed to a five year old.

The ladies are nice. No questions about the trial or his history with HYDRA. Just easy small talk about the prison and the wardens. Which times are the best to shower, and that they are supposed to sleep only on top of the beds in the temporary bunks.

Sophia sees him struggle with the large piece of meat that he got from Soso and offers to cut it into pieces for him. He lets her.

When lunchtime is over the other inmates have to go back to their jobs. Bucky promises Jones to try out her yoga classes.

Soso goes off to explore the library. Sister Jane accompanies her.

Bucky takes the clean trays from their table and brings them to the pile at the entry.

"Barnes!"

Bucky flinches and nearly drops the trays he's holding on the floor.

"Черт!" Someone swears in Russian.

A woman with red hair appears in his vision while he let the trays slide on the pile. She looks apologetic.

"I am sorry. I didn't mean to scare you like that,"

"It's nothing," but Red doesn't let him go with that.

"Come in, please," she says and disappears in the kitchen.

You don't mess with the people who feed you, he knows. So he follows her. And it's not like he has time to be

The kitchen staff is already busy with preparing the food for dinner. He tries not to get in their way.

"What are you doing here?" a woman asks him. Bucky doesn't know what to answer but Red saves him.

"I invited him here, Gloria. Don't be difficult," Red says and rips of a paper that is taped on the wall. "I wanted to check if we have all his trigger foods on this list here,"

Gloria mumbles something in Spanish, but too fast for Bucky to understand. And then she leaves them alone.

"Dairy and chocolate is it?" Red asks him.

"Steak too," Bucky tells her, "But that's about it,"

Red nods and gets a ball pen from somewhere out of the apron she's wearing and scribbles it on the list.

"It's not something we usually eat here, but I will add it just in case," she says.

"Does everyone behave?"

That does throw Bucky a bit off but he nods.

"Yeah, well, they have been mostly avoiding me till now," But everybody I talked to was nice,"

"Good. If someone tries to hurt you in any way, you come to me,"

"Or me," Gloria comes out the fridge and she has a glass jar with a small spoon in it. "They blamed the gun, even after everything you went through. They said you were responsible and send you to prison. Los tontos."

"It's not fair," Red agrees, "Not to you. Not to Rogers. So, welcome in the family, Barnes,"

It leaves Bucky a bit speechless. This is the first time that he hears this, apart from Steve or the Avengers. To say that he isn't responsible for what he did while he was with HYDRA.

"Here, try this. It is soy yogurt," Gloria puts the jar on the table top so he can pick the spoon up and put some yogurt in his mouth.

It tastes good. Bland, with a bit of sugar in it.

"It's good," he tells them, and the women nod.

Bucky can't remember he ever had soy yogurt in the Tower.

"Did you made this yourself?" he asks them, and Red nods.

"Yeah I had to request the soy milk and some starter. But the donations Stark Industries does to compensate for security and your extra eating are way too much. We can afford a couple more things now and are thinking about switching that cheap fat yogurt for this one. It is much healthier, anyway."

Gloria smirks, "You coming to our prison, Barnes, isn't bad at all."

Yeah. Bucky can imagine how Tony would throw money at this prison to make life a bit more bearable.

Bucky finishes off his yogurt and Gloria goes to put the jar and spoon in the dishwasher.

Red excuses him and goes to put kitchen staff back to work, now that they are all too busy staring at Bucky.

Bucky leaves the kitchen and the cafeteria and goes to search for the nurse's office.

It's awkward, asking for the protection. But the nurse quickly agrees and gives him a couple of diapers for the coming nights. He even puts them in a nondescript brown bag so doesn't has to carry them for everyone to see.

He returns to his temporary bunk where DeMarco and Miss Rosa are laying on their beds and talking. They glance at the bag that Bucky lays under his bed but don't say anything.

Chapter Text

"Hey Buck,"

"Hey Steve,"

"How are you?"

"Okay, I guess," Bucky says, leaning against the wall while he holds the telephone against his ear. "Things are going better here than at the last prison, and I talked to a couple of people during lunch and dinner. None of them were mean. The people in the kitchen were nice too,"

"So you're making friends, huh? That's good, Buck," Steve's voice sounds sad, like he will cry any moment. Bucky really hopes he doesn't cause then he will cry too.

So he tells Steve about the other inmates he talked to, the women he shares the temporary bunks with. He talks about the yoga classes he will participate and the soy yogurt. About Soso who follows him everywhere and doesn't eat meat.

"She sounds like Murphy," Steve says, "Do you remember him? Isaac Murphy,"

"Yeah," Bucky answers. He remembers how the agent had taught him a bit Spanish and had let him play with a kitten, Winter, he had once brought to the base.

He had always wondered why Murphy had ever been with HYDRA in the first place.

He doesn't tell Steve about the Kennedy question and Healey though. It will only make Steve more upset. He asks about Bucky Bear and the Bearvengers instead.

There are five other telephones and only two other people are calling, one of them being Chapman. Bucky doesn't has to worry about talking too long to Steve.

"Miriam and Cornelius will be seeing you tomorrow, right?"

"Yes," Bucky nods.

"Ah," Steve sounds serious now, what means he has to say something important.

"I am going to ask them to recommend a therapist for me too. Sam always says I need to see one too, but I have been too worried about taking care of you and the others. And with the trial and other things that happened lately, I need to clear my head and talk to someone,"

Bucky cuts him off before he really starts rambling, "It's okay, pal. I get it. Really. You go talk to somebody about all your issues. And then you won't be benched anymore from the missions," He says.

"You knew about that?" Steve says surprised.

"Yeah, someone might have let it slipped,"

"Was it Clint? I swear if it was -"

"Steve," he groans, "No. Shut up. I won't give you a name so you can chew their ass. Just take care of yourself, okay?"

Steve sighs. "Alright. Talk to you tomorrow?"

"Yeah. See in you in two days when you're going to visit. Punk,"

"Jerk,"

And with that Bucky closes the line. Chapman is still talking on her telephone and she nods when he walks by.

He is planning on showering early in the morning, like Jones, Burset and Sister Jane, had advised him. The showers weren't that crowded like just before breakfast.

He makes a trip to the bathroom to go brush his teeth and then goes back to his bunk.

While everybody is busy preparing to go to sleep, Bucky changes in his nightwear and diaper under the blanket.

He lays on top of the bed and is already asleep when the lights go out.

////

Everything is so cold. Bucky doesn't like it. He is in the Tower, standing before the door of his bedroom.

The door is open. He goes inside and the cold get worse. He sees Bucky Bear laying on the bed. He picks him up, hugs the bear.

He asks Bucky Bear where Daddy is.

Bucky Bear doesn't answer.

He isn't Bucky Bear anymore.

He is just a bear.

Someone is crying. It is him who is crying, Bucky realizes. It was a nightmare. Bucky Bear is still Bucky Bear and still with Daddy in the Tower.

Daddy is safe. Bucky Bear is safe.

They must be.

"Barnes?" DeMarco is standing next to his bed. the others are awake too.

Bucky feels awful. He has woken up everyone with his crying.

He can't stop crying. He has still his thumb in his mouth, sucking on it like a stupid baby. But he doesn't want to stop. It feels safe.

There is snot running out of his nose from all the crying and DeMarco gets a tissue from the night table Miss Rosa and she share. She helps him to blow his nose. And wipes the tears from his face.

He is almost done crying, just a couple of sobs now and then, but Bucky feels calmer now.

And then he recognizes where he is and he can feel his younger self being scared. He's five and scared by all these people he knows and doesn't know at the same time. It's so weird and scary and he is about to whimper again.

"Hey," DeMarco shushes him, "How old are you now, Bucky?"

"Five," Bucky mumbles around his thumb.

And then he adds, because he just realized his diaper is wet, "I need bathroom,"

"Oh okay," DeMarco helps him to get up from the bed and asks him if he knows where the bathroom is. Bucky shakes his head.

So DeMarco grabs the brown bag he had hidden under his bed. Bucky blushes at that but follows her to the bathroom.

It isn't too far away. There isn't anybody else in the bathroom so Bucky takes the diaper and the toilet paper roll DeMarco gives him and goes into a toilet stall. He switches the diaper and wipes himself clean with some paper.

He dumps the diaper in the trashcan at the row of sinks and DeMarco helps him washing his hand.

When he puts his thumb back in his mouth it tastes to soap.

Ugh.

DeMarco sees him pulling a face. "Do you use a pacifier, Bucky?"

Bucky shakes his head. His first Daddy, Alex, had tried that with him one time but hadn't liked it.

"Would you mind using one," she asks, "I don't think soaps tastes that good, right? And it's not really hygienic either,"

"I am not a baby," he mumbles.

"My granddaughter still uses one too and she's six," DeMarco smiles, "You don't have to be a baby for that,"

"Maybe," he says.

"What's going on here?" A warden, Bucky doesn't know his name, in standing in the doorway. He doesn't look angry or something.

And then he sees Bucky sucking his thumb.

"Kid?"

"Yeah," DeMarco answers, "You don't happen to have a pacifier laying around, Bennett?"

"Maybe," Bennett says, "I could look through his box with things,"

So they go to the offices, in a room where Bennett gets a cardboard box out of a closet. Bucky recognizes his fairy tale books.

"You were normally get this when you got a permanent bunk, but I think it wouldn't hurt if you got them now," he says and then starts pulling everything out, looking for-

Someone had indeed put a pacifier with a chain in the box. And a sippy cup too.

The pacifier looks a little too big for an actual infant. And it has the Captain America colors on it.

Bucky feels his cheek redden. He is going to hit Steve when he sees him again.

But he accepts the pacifier when Bennett hands him the thing and puts it in his mouth.

No more ugly soap taste.

DeMarco clips the chain on his shirt. He lets the pacifier fall out of his mouth to see it hang on the chain. And then he puts it back in his mouth.

Again. And again.

“That’s enough for now, DeMarco says after the fifth time and Bucky keeps the pacifier in his mouth. He doesn’t want to make her angry.

The colors are nice, he decides. But he’s still going to hit Steve.

“Alright,” Bennett smiles, “Back to sleep now?”

He accompanies them to their bunks, carrying the box with him.

Bucky likes him. He does remind him of Daddy, kind of.

When they arrive in their room, the others are already sleeping. Bennett puts the box next to his bed and wishes them goodnight.

Bucky lies on his bed, sucking on his new pacifier and hugging his pillow. He falls asleep after listening for a long time to DeMarco's breathing machine.

Chapter Text

"Bucky?"

Bucky whines. He has been sleeping longer than the others. And when he woke up they were already leaving for breakfast in the cafeteria. But he is too tired to get up from his bed.
He just wants to sleep.

His pacifier has fallen out his mouth at some moment during his sleep and is now lying next to his pillow, still clipped to his shirt.

"C'mon, Bucky," He doesn't recognizes the voice immediately, but then realizes it is officer Bennett.

"I asked Red to put your breakfast apart in the kitchen," he says. "But you need to get up because your therapists will be here in two hours," the Bennett says gently.

Bucky whines again. But it seems officer Bennett will not let stay him in bed. So he sighs and opens his eyes.

"I want Bucky Bear," he mumbles, voice muffled by his pillow.

He really misses his bear. He misses cuddling with it when he sleeps. He misses carrying the bear around and talking to it.

Bennett pulls an apologetic face. "Well, you're going to see him tomorrow, right? When your Dad is coming to visit?"

Bucky pouts. He wants Bucky Bear now.

Officer Bennett convinces him to get out of bed and he grabs Bucky’s toiletries and guides him to the showers.

Once he's inside, he pulls his clothes out and lays them over the door so they won't get wet. The warm water feels really good.

He almost gets soap in his eyes.

He towels himself dry, puts the jumpsuit back on and clips his pacifier on his collar. His hair is still damp.

Officer Bennett is waiting outside the showers for him and brings him to the cafeteria.

Red smiles when she sees him and puts his tray on a table, along with a plastic box with all his pills he has to take.

"Rough night?"

Bucky just nods. He sits down at the table, swallows his pills with water and pokes with his spoon at his breakfast. Oatmeal and banana with soy yogurt.

He tries a bite but he just isn't hungry.

He feels so wrong. Like someone has pulled him inside out and nothing is right anymore.

He wants Bucky Bear.

He doesn't notice he has started crying until Red crouches down next to him. She makes soothing sounds while rubbing his back.

"What's wrong, Bucky? Can you tell me?"

"I don't know! I want Bucky Bear!"

He finally quiets down after a long time of sobbing and Red leaves, after assuring that he has done nothing wrong but needs to eat his breakfast. She asks another woman, Daya, to look after him while she goes talk with some people.

And then she is gone, leaving Bucky alone with his breakfast and Daya.

Her hair looks nice. Bucky can't help himself but staring at the blonde streaks in her brown hair.

He sneaks a glance at her belly too, but he doesn't see anything. Maybe the baby is too small yet.

Bucky manages to take a few bites from the yogurt while Daya comes to sit at the table to continue peeling a pile of carrots.

It's quiet. Daya seems shy, not looking at him. Bucky finishes his breakfast around the same time she is done peeling her pile of carrots.

He sits at the table, sucking his pacifier. He is not sure what to do now while he still has an hour before his therapists come to visit him.

"Would you like to draw?" Daya asks him and she fetches some paper and a pencil when he nods.

It turns out she can draw really well, almost as well as Daddy. Although she likes to draw weird people she calls manga. Bucky likes it.

He looks on while she is drawing many different Pokémons. After she has finished drawing a bulbasaur, Red enters the kitchen again.

She is smiling and holding something in her hand. She holds it out to him and says it’s for him. A present.

Oh.

It's a doll. Made out of an old blue shirt, and some rope to make arms and legs. Two red buttons where the eyes should be.

It is ugly. So ugly it is ridiculous and Bucky giggles.

He takes the doll and rubs his cheek against it. It feels soft. He smiles at Red and jumps up to give her a hug.

"Feeling better now?" she asks him, while she returns the hug.

Bucky nods. Everything is settling now, feeling more right and less wrong. It is not completely alright, but much better already.

Nikita doesn’t talk like Bucky Bear, but Bucky doesn’t care. Nobody can replace Bucky Bear.

Daya continues drawing more bulbasaurs, giving them all different flowers and plants.

An officer he doesn't know comes to get him to bring him to his therapists.

He clutches Nikita close to his chest and doesn't plan on letting it go.

The room where Miriam and Cornelius are waiting for him is bare. Just a table and three chairs. They smile when they see him. They look at the pacifier and Nikita but don't say anything.

"Hello, Bucky," Miriam says, “Do you want to introduce us to your new friend?"

"Nikita," Bucky mumbles around his pacifier, not wanting to take it out.

"That's a nice name," Miriam smiles gently, "Why that name?"

He doesn't really know why. It sounds familiar. He vaguely remembers someone with that name, but doesn't know when or where.

Bucky shrugs. Miriam lets the subject drop.

They ask other questions, and it's clear that they already talked to Steve.

They talk about the other inmates and about the wardens. If he feels safe around them. He still hasn't talked with everybody, since it's only his second day in prison.

He tells them he doesn't like Healey. Cornelius frowns and scribbles something in his notepad. He assures Bucky it's better to be safe than sorry.

They discuss the yoga classes and other activities he could do.

Sometimes they ask questions to Nikita too, but Nikita is really shy.

When the session is done, the same officer brings him back to his bunk. Bucky goes to lie on the bed and he nuzzles against Nikita. He feels tired and hungry.

Soso, who is apparently lying on the spare bunk above him, leans over the railing of the bunk and looks at Nikita.

“Nice doll,” she says. She sounds nervous. Bucky remembers they haven’t talked yet while he is five. Maybe the others have already talked to her.

“Thanks,” he says, not sure what to do next.

Her face is starting to get red from all the blood that is rushing to her head.

She isn’t judging him, he knows. So he picks up an audiobook from the box, the one with Daddy’s voice, and asks her if she wants to listen with him.

Chapter Text

Daddy and the avengers are sitting at the farthest table in the visiting room. Bucky does his best not to run at them, but in the end he still has Daddy's strong arms around him.

Daddy even sweeps him off his feet and twirls Bucky around.

"Daddy! Don't do that! I just have eaten!" Bucky giggles. So Daddy puts him down.

Bruce has Bucky Bear between his hands on the table. Bucky squeals when he sees the bear. He puts Nikita, who he was holding under his one arm, softly on the table to take Bucky Bear.

The pacifier and the chain are in his pocket because he wants to talk a lot with Daddy and Bucky Bear.

And they talk a lot. There is also drawing in Daddy's sketchpad. And eating candy and chocolate bars and potato chips that Tony and Thor get from the vending machines.

Bucky only eats one chocolate bar and a bag of non-flavored potato chips. He already has had lunch.

Clint and Bruce do a challenge who can do the best card trick that has Bucky laughing.

Bucky Bear, while osmosing a bottle of his favorite honey, explains to Nikita to what a highly trained professional should pay attention.

Nikita is listening very carefully. He has a lot to learn.

And then Bucky realizes something.

"How did you get Bucky Bear in here?"

"What?"

Everybody was watching Clint instead of listening so he repeats his question.

"How did you bring Bucky Bear in here? They didn't rip his seams, did they?"

Suddenly feeling really scared for his bear, Bucky picks up Bucky Bear and examines him.

"Bucky. No. Oh god, I forgot to tell you," Daddy shushes. And they explain how they convinced the prison to buy a CT scanner, like they use in the airport, to scan Bucky Bear. And the plushies that the other kids bring with them when they come visit family.

"It doesn't hurt?" Bucky asks, still a bit suspicious. But there seems nothing wrong with Bucky Bear so he is content.

He asks Daddy to wash Bucky Bear though. Bucky Bear smells a bit, but Bucky doesn't dare to say it out loud because then maybe the bear will be offended.

Five minutes before visiting hour before Bucky gets nervous at saying goodbye. Daddy hauls him up from his chair and puts him in his lap.

Bucky grabs the pacifier and slips it into his mouth to suckle on it and calm down. Daddy clips the chain on his shirt.

Bucky nuzzles into Daddy's chest. Trying to memorize his smell.

Daddy pulls Bucky Bear and Nikita into the hug too, putting them between Bucky and him.

Bucky tries not to cry. There are still tears rolling down his face, but he manages to not make any sounds.

And then they really have to go. They whisper promises. To call, to send pictures. He hugs them all. Saying ‘thank you’ and ‘see you next week’.

And Bucky is alone. Again.

Well. Not completely alone.

He has Nikita.

He has Soso. And Red. And Daya. And many other people.

He has friends.

He is not alone. Not this time.

Chapter Text

Bucky is sitting on the floor of the library with his back against a bookshelf, captivated by The Hobbit.

He has read the book before but the first book of The Hunger Games was already loaned by another inmate.

He actually wanted to read Hunger Games, but the first book is already being read by someone else.

It's been two days since visitor's day. Yesterday, Soso has gotten her permanent bunk. Her bunkmate is an older asian inmate, Mei Chang.

They have agreed to have lunch together when it's possible and to visit the library afterwards if Soso doesn't had to work. She works in the electrical shop, going through manuals in Chinese on how to repare lamps and other things. Not that she is that good at it. But each inmate has to do a job unless they are medically or physically not able to work.

Bucky wonders if he, with his little side, is qualified to do a job. Maybe he could work in the electrical shop too, since he knows a lot of languages. It could be usefull for those manuals that are in all kind of languages except English.

Or maybe he could work in the kitchen with Red and Gloria. As long as there would be no knives involved.

At least he did finally gotten the normal prison uniform, so now he and Soso don’t stick out of the crowd anymore.

He's interrupted in his musings when Soso comes to sit at his side with a book in her hands. They had made a list for each other with books that they like.

Bucky had put Harry Potter on his list when Soso had confessed she had never read the series, along with The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings. And some of his favorite writers being Ray Radbury, Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clark.

Soso had the Hunger Games on her list, which Bucky had planned to read before he even came to prison). Another book on her list is 'Eating Animals', and when Bucky did read the summary it didn't surprised him. But other than those, Soso wasn't an avid reader, and now she was in prison there weren't much other things to do.

So Bucky convinced her to start with Harry Potter.

"Arent't those kids books?"

"Shut up,"

Now they are sitting next to each other, reading their books and Nikita keeping watch on the shelf above their heads.

And then Officer Fischer shows up.

"Barnes. We were looking for you. Your permanent bunk is ready for you to move in,"

Soso promises to catch him at dinner and he follows Fischer to his temporary bunk to pack his things. And to say goodbye to DeMarco and Miss Rosa. Kinda. It isn't like he wasn't going to see them anymore.

There isn't much for him to pack. Most of his things are already in a box next to his bed. He just picks up his bedding and places Nikita on top of it. Fischer helps by carrying the box.

She brings him to Cell Block B. The Ghetto. Bucky knows that because of the lack of space, the groups get mixed a lot.

But still.

The staring doesn't help either. A lot of inmates stop whispering and stare openly at Bucky. Like an animal in the zoo.

Fischer ignores them. So Bucky does too.

It isn't like they can hurt him, right?

"Warren," Fischer stops at a bunk nearly at the end of the dorm and speaks to the inmate lying on one of the two beds.

"This is your new bunkmate. Be nice," She puts the cardboard box on his new bed and then leaves.

Warren looks up from the notepad she is writing on.

The first thing Bucky really notices about her were her big eyes. And her hair that is rolled up in knots on her head.

Bucky puts his bedding on the bed, next to the box and extends his hand to Warren.

"Bucky Barnes," he says.

She looks at his hand, then back to him.

"Suzanne Warren," she replies and shakes his hand, "some people call me Crazy Eyes,"

Bucky frowns, "You like that name?"

"Not really, no,"

Bucky nods. Warren goes back to writing on her notepad.

Bucky loads out his box and makes up his bed. Nikita gets a special place next to his pillow. He sees Warren looking at the plushie.

He is almost done with arranging all his books in his locker at the end of his bed, when a group of black women join Warren at her bed.
They all look at him, waiting for his next move. But Bucky just stays next to his locker and looks calmly back.

They can't hurt him, Nikita whispers at him. He's stronger and faster than any of them.

After what seems a long time, they give up the staring contest.

Good.

"You seem like a decent guy," one of them says, "Welcome in the ghetto. I am Taystee," and they shake hands.

The others introduce themselves after that. Poussey, Black Cindy and Watson.

Watson, who used to be a track star at her school, invites him for a challenge on the running track tomorrow, to test if she can keep up with a supersoldier.
Bucky accepts the invitation with a grin.

He introduces Nikita to them.

Poussey and Taystee work both at the library and they discuss books for a while. Taystee even takes an impressive look at his fairytale books.

They keep talking until dinner.

The group has their own table and Bucky joins Soso in a corner of the cafetaria.

////

The next morning Bucky wakes up small. Luckily for him, Nikita guides him through his morning routine and he can find the showers without help.

He can hear people in the other stalls but doesn't pay attention to them. He has learned not to.

He puts Nikita and the shampoo bottle in the rack. He lays his clotes and towel over the door since there is no hook to hang them on. He starts washing his hair. It’s still difficult to wash his hair one-handed and not to get soap in his eyes.

When he has rinsed all the soap out and washed his body too, he grabs for his towel to dry himself.

Except that there is no towel.

And his clothes are gone too.

Chapter Text

Bucky is almost hyperventilating but Nikita whispers to be calm. He needs to be calm and wait for somebody to pass by.

He tries to keep his breathing under control. In and out. Like Bruce taught him.

He is sitting on the floor of the shower, naked.

Bucky can vaguely hear other showers running. Maybe he could yell so they did hear him and come to his cubicle.

"But what if they try to look over the door?" Nikita whispers. "It's not like you can hide from their eyes,"

So Bucky doesn't say anything.

He's starting to get cold now.

"Barnes?"

A voice he recognizes as Sophia. She is one of the few people that shower so early in the morning.

"Everything going okay, Barnes? Your shower is taking long,"

"My clothes are gone," he says, voice trembling, "and my towel too,"

"Oh shit,"

Bucky doesn't know how to answer that so he keeps silent.

"Do you need my towel while I go get someone?" she asks.

He nods, and then realizes she can't see him so he says yes. She throws the towel over his door and he cover himself with it.

The towel is damp, but he feels more safe with it.

Sophia is back fast with clothes for him, and accompanied by officer Bennett.

They wait with asking questions after Bucky has put his new uniform on and left his shower stall.

The problem is that Bucky doesn't have a clue who could have stolen his clothes and towel.

Officer Bennett will inform the other officers of the incident and ask them to keep an ear on conversations. They will have to look through the whole prison for his stolen clothes, cause maybe they will get a clue from them.

Sophia brings him to her hair salon, where she starts to put everything ready for the day. It's still a while before breakfast. Bucky sits on a chair in a corner and busies himself with reading through a couple of hair magazines.

Sophia offers to do his hair. Bucky first politely declines, but when Sophia protests that his hair is a bit uneven on some places and the ends could use some touching up, Buck allows her to do just that. No other complex things, even not a simple braid.

Nikita keeps watch.

His hair looks indeed neater after she is done and he puts it in ponytail.

Then it's time for breakfast. The cafetaria is more noisy than usual. Bucky can't help but hearing them talking.

It seemed news has travelled fast. But most people also seem to side with him.

Soso joins him at a table with Sophia and Sister Ingalls. And then a couple of other women, Morello and Chapman being with them, joins them.

They nod at him.Bucky hasn’t talked to them since the day he arrived here. Morello introduces the other women. There is Vause, Nichols, Big Boo and Little Boo. Little Boo, Bucky realizes, is Big Boo’s puppy. It’s a cute puppy.

“Can I pet it?” he asks Big Boo.

She even gives him a dog treat to give to the pup. Little Boo likes to be petted behind its ears and getting belly rubs.

Sister Ingalls points out that his breakfast is getting cold so Bucky gives the dog a last pet and starts eating his food.

“You have a dog at home?” Nichols asks him.

“Yeah, well, it’s actually Clint’s dog but he is nice. And he really likes pizza.”

They talk about pets for a while and Big Boo tells Bucky to talk to his therapists about getting a therapy dog through the puppy program.

////

It takes some time for Bucky and Nikita to realize that they are never alone anymore. There is always someone with him. Mostly Soso, or Brook, as he starts to call here more and more in his kid headspace. DeMarco is around him a lot too when Soso has to work or otherwise he gets send to the kitchen where Red keeps an eye on him while he reads or draws.

Daya keeps him company too when she needs to rest and draws animals and other things when he asks her.

He finally works up the courage to ask her about the baby. She is really surprised that he knows. And Bucky can’t exactly tell her he got debriefed on everybody here in prison.

So Bucky lies and says that he can hear the heartbeat, at which she starts to cry a bit.

Although it’s not really a lie, because he can hear things, when it’s really silent and Daya sits close to him.

Nikita insists they do thoroughly research on babies so they are prepared for everything. Maybe they can ask Poussey or Taystee if there are books in the library.

(Bucky isn’t really looking forward to that conversation.)

When Daya isn’t drawing or coloring with Bucky or doing her work in the kitchen, she is talking and laughing with officer Bennett. They are good friends.

////

He is also never alone anymore in the shower room or the bathroom. There is always someone looking out outside his shower cubicle or toilet stall. Mostly it are Red and Sophia, who are early birds too.

It makes him feel more safe.

Sometimes it’s Vause or Chapman too, and Bucky learns to know them better. Vause has a nice tattoo on her arm.

They are nice. Sometimes they talk when Bucky is showering and he doesn’t mean to eavesdrop but he learns that they are actually secretly dating. But when he asks Red about it, she laughs and says that almost everybody in Litchfield knows about it. Even the wardens.

Vause and Chapman were girlfriends a lot of years ago, Red had explained to Nikita and him, and Vause got Chapman working in her international drug traffic. And then they broke up and Chapman got engaged with a guy.

Vause got caught and they sended Chapman to prison too. Chapman had freaked out when she realized she was in the same prison as her ex-girlfriend. First she hated her, but then they got kinda together again. And Chapman and her financé broke up just before Christmas.
It’s a complicated story. Bucky goes to draw a bit so he can think about it.

It’s nice to talk to Red. Sometimes he tries to practise his Russian albeit he doesn’t remember much from it because the Chair wiped most of it. Red likes to learn him new words. Sometimes he get uneasy feelings with certain words but it doesn’t make sense.

Gloria rolls her eyes at the Russian but then she discovers that he also speaks Spanish. Even better than Russian. That was mostly thanks to Murphy.

Daya asks him one time, after listening to Gloria and Bucky speaking Spanish, if he could teach her the language. She is the only girl in the family that doesn’t speak it because her mother never bothered to learn it to her.

So now, when he is big and she doesn’t has to work, they are sitting in the kitchen or the recreation room or outside, and teaches her Spanish. He even got a book from the library to explain the grammar and more complex concepts.

Daya is eager to learn and a good student. She isn’t stupid, she just never got the same chances as other children, living in a such difficult home with a mother that was only interested in partying.

She is worried about her siblings, Bucky can tell. They live now with her mother’s boyfriend, which is a drugs dealer. Not a good place for children to grow up, either.

Sometimes they talk about the baby. Bucky had looked in the library but there had been no books about babies or pregnancies. Nikita had been disappointed. And then asked if they, maybe, could ask Steve about a couple of them.

Nope.

Steve got himself a therapist. Finally. His name is Dr. Barnett and Bucky really hopes the therapy sessions are helpful for Steve.

He tells his own therapists about Little Boo and the Puppy Program. But the biggest question is if he can take care of a dog when he was five. Dogs ask for a lot of responsibility.
Bucky is upset, even when Miriam promises to look what they could do.

Chapter Text

It's a couple of days later when Healy summons Bucky to his office. He informs Bucky that he will get a job.

 

In laundry.

 

Washing dirty clothes and bedding and folding them.

 

Miriam isn't happy. She suspects it's payback because they had asked Healy about the Puppy Program. Healy didn't approve of it. And they need his permission to get a dog.

 

So now he has to work. Even when he's a kid.

 

Because Healy thinks his kid headspace is an act. Not that he said that outright to Bucky's face, but he can read in between the lines.

 

Red isn't happy either when she hears about it. She says a lot of colorfull words Bucky knows he isn't allowed to repeat when he's five. And then she goes off, possibly to go rant to Healy.

 

No matter how much his friends protest to Healy, it doesn't help anything.

 

He is still expected to go working in the laundy room the next day.

 

Vause works in the laundry room too. She shows Bucky where everything is and what he's supposed to do.

 

There are two other women working there, Taylor and Rice. They don't say anything to Bucky. Vause just snorts and advises Bucky to  ignore them.

 

Bucky is tired by the time they go to the cafetaria for their lunch break. The others at today table, he is sitting with Red’s Family today, are whispering.

 

"Look who is back," Nichols mutters, while stabbing her meat.

 

New inmates have arrived today, and someone named Penssatucky is among them. It's the girl Chapman had a fight with. She has really long brown hair.

 

She is sitting with the two women Bucky and Vause worked with in the laundry room.

 

He doesn't hear the rest of what they are talking about because he takes a bite of the meat.

 

It's rabbit meat.

 

He remembers the taste from Before. During the war. Catching rabbits and roasting them above a fire. Sometimes even raw if they couldn't make a fire.

 

More memories are flooding his vision. Images of snowy landscapes. People speaking Russian. Raw meat, warm and full of blood.

 

Blood on his hands.

 

The taste of rabbit.

 

Rabbit.

 

He sees a blue bunny.

 

It's soft.

 

Bucky doesn't know how much time he loses while seeing the same memories again and again.

 

And then he wakes up. Like he was sleeping. Dreaming.

 

Except he wasn't.

 

He is in the infirmary. Or just the nurse's office. He is laying on a bed in the corner, with the railings up. His arm is strapped to the bed.

 

"Oh," the nurse looks up from files  he was reading as he hears Bucky struggling to get up. He stands up from behind his desk and grabs the box of tissues before coming over.

 

Only then does Bucky notice he's crying.

 

The nurse unstraps his arm and hands Bucky a tissue to wipe his tears and blow his nose.  He also puts the railings down and fills a cup of water for Bucky to drink.

 

After Bucky has drunk a bit of water, he calms down and sits up with his legs over the side of the bed. The nurse pulls over a chair to the bed to sit on.

 

"Do you know what triggered your episode earlier?" The nurse asks.

 

"The meat," Bucky says.

 

The nurse can't help but raise his eyebrows.

 

"The meat? The rabbit meat?" Bucky flinches slightly at that and nodds.

 

"But that isn't on your trigger list," He frowns as he picks up a large file from his desk.

 

"I didn't know it was a trigger," Bucky whispers. "I think, nobody knew."

 

"Did I hurt somebody?" he asks then, while the nurse starts writing in his file.

 

"No," he answers, "you just zoned out for a long time and then you fainted. You gave everybody a good scare, but nothing more,"

 

“Okay,” Bucky says and then he has to yawn. He’s feeling tired. The episode drained a lot of energy, and he hadn’t even gotten to eat his lunch.

 

“You can go to sleep if you want. I don’t think anyone is expecting you to work now,” the nurse smiles.

 

Bucky nods and lays down on the bed. The nurse picks something up from his deck and then Nikita is next to his pillow. And the pacifier too.

 

“I will call your lawyer now to notify her of this new trigger. Do you want me to wake you when they bring your dinner here?”

 

Bucky doesn’t know if he’s up to eating something after the episode during lunch so he shrugs. He puts the pacifier in his mouth and sucks on it.

 

“Alright,” the nurse mumbles and starts typing on his phone.

 

Bucky is already asleep when Maria answers the call.

 

////

 

The next morning he is released from the infirmary. Everything is quite normal, except for a lot of ladies fussing over him.

 

He lets them.

 

His work in the laundry room gets easier every day. Pensatucky is working in there too. The other women are excited to have her back. Pensatucky is less enthusiastic and she seems to try to distant herself from them, without much luck.

 

It is only a matter of time before the situation between Pensatucky and the other two women explodes.

 

Bucky observes her while folding clothes with his one hand. She is a wild card, he muses. She was in the file, but she doesn't seem that important in the general prison population.

 

Pensatucky keeps stealing glances at him. At his empty sleeve that is hanging useless next to body.

 

It is after a yoga session on the field in the middle of the running track that she finally approaches him.

 

Bucky didn't recognize her at first with her hair cut short. It’s a bit uneven, like she did it herself, probably this morning. It is a weird look on her. She plays with the strands, pulling on them. She isn't used to them yet.

 

"Can I ask you some things?"

 

Bucky is sweaty from the exercises and the running he did with Janae before the yoga. He wants to go shower and then eat breakfast.

 

He doesn't have the energy for this again.

 

So he tells her what Red told him to say.

 

"No. If you wanna know certain things about me, go talk to Red. She will tell you,"  he says. And he turns around and walks to the building, leaving her behind.

 

When he enters the kitchen to get his breakfast tray, Pensatucky is sitting at the table where normally sits to draw. She is listening to the recording of the trial, a kind of best of, that Red put on an old iPod.

 

Bucky doesn't interrupt her. He will see in the laundry room what she thinks of him and everything he did.

 

He goes to sit with the black ladies to have breakfast. Brook is with them. She is a lot with them, mostly because she is good friends with Poussey.

 

In the beginning there were a lot of struggles with the other black ladies, with Brook being 'white'. Even with her Japanese-Scottish heritage.

 

But now they have accepted her as one of them.

 

Bucky is happy that she has other friends too.

 

He puts his tray on the table and goes to sit next to Suzanne. She is writing something. Bucky never tries to read what she writes. Sometimes she lets him read it. Nice poems and original fairy tales.

 

Bucky puts all the things she gives him on his wall with tape, together with all his drawings he does.

 

Sometimes he draws scenes from her stories and gives them to her, because his wall is starting to get full with all kind of things. Articles about Steve and the Avengers. Visiting a children’s hospital. Steve getting a bronze statue in Brooklyn. The arm  and leg prothetics  that Stark Industries is going to release. Pretty pictures from old National Geographic magazines from places he would like to visit.

 

Sometimes he sends stuff to Daddy so Bucky Bear and he can keep them safe for when he goes home again.

 

He goes with Vause to the laundry room to start his shift for today.

 

The others are already there. Bucky can feel the tension in the air.

 

"Nice hair, Pensatucky," Vause says. Pensatucky only nods.

 

The other women look like they swallowed something disgusting.

 

"Look at that," one of them, the blonde says, " the dyke likes you now. Wouldn't it be awesome-"

 

And then a shirt hits her in the face. The shirt Pensatucky was folding. She looks angry. Her hands are balled in fists, trembling.

 

And then they are fighting.

 

Bucky can’t follow what happens because the Soldier is trying to get the upper hand to defend Bucky. Himself.

 

So he holds Nikita close to his chest and runs out the laundry room looking for someone who can help.

 

Two wardens who are patrolling understand what he tries to say and run to the laundry room to intervene.

 

Then he goes outside to clear his head. To calm down the Soldier and let him know that he isn't needed.

 

He walks to the picknic table under the shed. An inmate is already sitting on one side, reading a book. She is wearing an orange jumpsuit like Pensatucky. She must have only gotten here a couple of days ago.

 

Bucky vaguely remembers her. But no memories come up.

 

She looks up from her book. She could almost be Vause's twin sister, with her pale skin, long black hair and green eyes, Bucky muses.

 

"Fighting?"

 

Bucky nods.

 

There is a moment of silence.

 

"You know," she starts, "I've been trying to speak to you for a long time," and then she grins and hold out her hand to him, "I am Skywalker. Loki Skywalker."

Chapter Text

"Loki? You're Thor's brother?"

 

"Not his brother. But yes, I am Loki."

 

Bucky nodded and then frowned. "What are you doing here? Did Thor ask you to visit me?"

 

"No. Thor doesn't know I am here. Nobody knows I am here. Even not your Avengers."

 

"But why are you here then?"

 

"Because I am curious. About you," Loki smiles. "And I need a hiding place. Where else better than right under their noses?"

 

Bucky can feel the Asset somewhere inside his head agreeing with Loki. It is indeed a good strategy. But a risky one.

 

You don't hurt any people. And no lies. Or tricks. Or I am telling Steve. Or Thor."

 

Loki nods. And then he looks behind Bucky, just as Bucky can hear the footsteps coming from the building. He turns around to look who it is.

 

It's Finch.

 

"Bucky," she begins gently when she reaches the picnic table Loki and he are sitting at, "Could you tell me about the fight in the laundry room?"

 

"Uhm," Bucky starts, and he picks up Nikita from his lap to hug him close his chest.

 

"The two other girls were being rude to Penssatucky, and then she threw a shirt at them, and then they started fighting,"

 

"So it wasn't Pensatucky who started the fight?"

 

Bucky shakes his head.

 

Finch talks to other guards through her walkie talkie. Then she tells Bucky to go to the infirmary so the nurse can confirm he really didn't got hurt in the fight.

 

Loki is still reading in her book when Finch walks away. She kind of waves to him when he mumbles a goodbye. Bucky knows she will find him later.

 

////

 

There is a lot of unrest in the cafetaria that evening during dinner. The wardens have difficulties with keeping people seated and not shouting. Bucky doesn't see the two other girls, Taylor and Rice, anymore. They were brought to the SHU and won't be leaving soon.

 

Penssatucky is still in the infirmary with almost broken ribs and a concussion.

 

Vause could leave with her right arm in a brace. Her nose had to be set and she moves stiffly. She probably has a lot of bruises.

 

Piper fusses over Vause, cutting her food for her so she doesn't has to move her arm. Red brings more food from the kitchen.

 

Loki isn't hard to spot as she's one of the few inmates in an orange jumpsuit. She is sitting alone in a corner, reading in another book and she winks when to him she notices him looking.

 

Whatever.

 

"Barnes,"

 

A warden is standing at their table.

 

"Come with me, Barnes," and he turns around and walks away so Bucky has to get up fast and almost run after the guy.

 

He isn't even done with his dinner.

 

The warden brings him to the administrative wing of the prison. Mostly offices.

 

And the office of director Caputo.

 

Bucky steps inside and the warden closes the door after him. Bucky listens to the retreating footsteps.

 

Caputo is sitting behind his desk. A black woman is sitting on one of the two chairs before it.

 

"Barnes. Good to see you," Caputo greets him. Bucky hasn't met him before. "Please sit down,"

 

Bucky sits down. The black woman is looking at him, studying him.

 

"Barnes, this is Berdie Rogers. Rogers this is James Barnes.

 

"Rogers is appointed as new counselor here," he explained to Bucky, "She will work with Healy and take over the more troublesome cases, like yours."

 

Bucky realizes this must be Miriam and Cornelius’ doing, in one way or another.

 

Caputo explains some other things for Roger's benefit and he hands her what is supposed to be Bucky's file and several others.

 

When Bucky and Berdie finally get out of the office, even Berdie's stomach is softly rumbling.

 

Bucky offers to show her the kitchen so she can eat something before she has to go home. She accepts his offer with a smile.

 

The kitchen is empty except for Red and Murphy who are cleaning up. Red doesn't need words and start reheating two portions of leftover food.

 

"So, you know Miriam and Cornelius, right?" Bucky said after they had taken a few bites of their food.

 

Berdie frowns. "Is it too obvious?" she asks and Bucky shrugs.

 

"Just my intuition,"

 

"Hmmm, I was in the same class as Miriam at the university. And I was unemployed when she called, so yeah. I didn't really had have to think about it."

 

They talk a bit about the puppy program and the laundry job. Berdie considers switching him to the kitchen, seeing as it would be easier with only one arm and that it's one of his safe places.

 

She makes a couple of notes until Red chases them out of her kitchen so she can close it.

Chapter Text

Things go better.

Within two days Bucky is switched to the kitchen. Most of the time Red lets him cook pasta or rice or carry the heavy things into the kitchen. The kind of work that doesn't involve any knifes.

It's nice. And safe.

Whenever Bucky switches to his little headspace while working, Red lets him stay in the kitchen anyway. He colors the drawings Daya made for him, since she has to rest a lot too with the baby growing in her. Or he sleeps on the stretcher that Red put under a table against the wall.

Bucky has a lot of sessions with Berdie. She is already the favorite of a lot of inmates. Healy must not have a lot of work now. And indeed, he's walking in the corridors looking grumpy a lot.

It doesn't surprise him that Loki gets a kitchen job too, together with Penssatucky. Red grumbles a bit about all the new people invading her kitchen team but she assigns everyone a task without saying much else.

Bucky has been listening with interest to all the gossip surrounding Loki and her backstory. It's a simple one: Loki and her mother, had immigrated from Iceland and her mother dying a year ago is what lead Loki to joining the criminal world.

Bucky hopes Loki has embellished the backstory enough so it will be still standing when Hill has checked everything.

Although one of the things Loki hadn't thought through so much was her surname Skywalker. Within the first day of her job in the kitchen almost everyone took to calling her 'Princess'.

And after finding out Loki hasn't even seen any of the Star Wars movies (neither has Bucky), Gloria and Red quietly bully the guards into scheduling the six movies for the next monthly movie night.

Bucky really loves the Ewoks, cute teddy bears who live on a forest moon. And he likes Han Solo, who reminds him a lot of Tony. There are scary parts too (like when Luke loses his hand) but Suzanne is really helpful at pointing out all the silly effects.

Loki just grumbles when she understands the Princess reference but she also really likes Princess Leia.

////

Brook tells Bucky that she and Poussey are dating. It doesn’t really surprises him since he heard some gossip about it, but he’s happy for her.

Now that Brook is spending more time with Poussey, Bucky has roped Loki into spending some of their free time together. Mostly, they sit together outside when they have a break. Loki duplicates the chocolate candy she has bought from another inmate and shares it with him.

Bucky even smokes some cigarettes Loki gifts him. In any other situation, he would feel guilty because of Steve. But Steve isn’t around now.
He and Loki have an easy friendship. They bicker and tease like Bucky and Steve used to do before the war. Before Steve thought he had to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.

 

////

It happens suddenly.

One moment he's happily playing pretend with Nikita and some innocent cooking tools, the next moment there is yelling from the cafeteria.

The sounds of gunshots.

The sound of danger.

There are people clad in black with rifles invading the kitchen.

They were wearing Red emblems.

Bucky has dreaded this day since the Triskelion fell and Pierce died. That they would come back for him. They would come get him again to be their Soldier.

Soldat.

Bucky doesn't want to be the Soldat.

He doesn't want to go back.

Soldat no more.

Everyone scrambles to the floor to not get shot.

Bucky pulls Daya to the floor and kicks the table up as a temporary shield.

He needs weapons.

Then Loki kneels next to him and hands him a huge sharp knife. Bucky can feel the magic crackling around her.

"May I?" she asks, and Bucky nods. They will need her magic now more than ever.

Everything happens so fast.

The uniforms are quite standard. Bucky knows all the weak places in them. He cuts through throats like butter and pushes the guns to the inmates trying to hide under the tables. He knows most of them know how to fire a gun.

Bodies hit the floor. It's quick and easy. Except the enemy keeps coming. They knew there would be resistance.

But they didn't expect Loki.

Loki who is awesome at throwing her glowing daggers with a ruthless efficiency.

Bucky can feel the Soldier staring in awe.

Not now.

Now is not the time to get a fight crush, Soldier. Goddamnit.

The HYDRA agents keep pouring in. They are almost surrounded and Bucky has a bad feeling about this.

////

He has a headache when wakes up. It's cold and his throat aches. He's thirsty. He slowly opens his eyes and shuts them immediately.

No.

He's in a fucking cell.

No.

No.

Bucky feels a panic attack coming up.

He hasn't had those in a long time.

"Barnes!" someone hisses. He knows that voice. He opens his eyes again to look at Loki.

She is sitting in the other corner. She is also blue and her eyes are red.

"What happened?" he whispers.

He doesn't remember anything. It scares him.

"Tranqs," Loki says, "There were five guys with tranq guns and you got like seven in your body."

Bucky vaguely remembered the feeling of needles breaking through his skin. The darkness surrounding him.

Bucky can feel the panic rising up again.

He needs his medication. He doesn't want to lose control.

"What do you need, Bucky?" Loki asked and she shuffles over the cold floor until she sits next to him.

"My pills," Bucky mumbles, "I need my pills,"

The next thing he knows Loki puts a box in his hand. The box with his daily dose of pills. The same box that the nurse gave him every morning and evening.

"How did you get-"

"It's complicated. But you Midgardians call it 'hammerspace'," Loki answers.

Bucky frowns but focuses on swallowing his pills on by one.

“So, how does it come you’re in this cell with me? And that you’re blue?”

Loki snorts a bit. “Well technically I am not here. Only for you, yes. But not for anybody else.”

“And now in English, please?”

“You are the only one who can see and hear me.”

Bucky narrows his eyes and thinks about it for a while.

“So you’re a ghost,”

Loki laughs at that. “Yeah, although I can’t walk through walls,”

“And the blue?”

“You know I am adopted, right?”

“Yeah. Frost Giant and all that?”

“This is my true skin. Keeping this complicated spell up the whole time really drains my magic.”

“Should I be worried?” Bucky asks.

“No. We need to focus on keeping you safe until your family comes to rescue you,”

“Where are we even?”

“No idea. But thanks to the tracker in your stump Stark will track us down,”

“WHAT?!” Instinctively Bucky grabbed his stump with his hand and tried to claw it open.

“Don’t do that,” Loki pried his hand away and held it in her own blue, It’s our only hope of getting you out of this,”

Chapter Text

They can't do much except wait.

Bucky tries to sleep a couple of times, but he can't. Sometimes they hear screaming from other cells.

Loki seems to be talking with other people in his head. Bucky is curious but he prefers not to have people reading his thoughts and all that.

Bucky gets food a couple of times but it absolutely isn't enough for him. And it tastes like nothing. More like eating wet sand.

Loki just gives him more candy. Not exactly healthy but it still does a better job at feeding him than the bland goo.

Sometimes Loki sneaks out of the cell, carefully so that no guard in the corridor notices the cell doors opening or something and goes to explore the base.

And then they come get him. Loki convinces him not to put up too much of a fight and assures him she will not let anything happen to him.

But she still looks worried.

Bucky has a bad feeling in his gut.

The HYDRA soldiers bring him to a larger room.

The Chair is in it.

Bucky can't breathe.

Chair. Hurt. Pain.

He feels the electricity running through his brain again.

The forgetting.

Not this again.

Please.

He doesn't want to forget Steve.

Not again.

And then Loki touches his arm and squeezes.

She must have slipped out of the cell and followed them here. Still invisible. Still a ghost.

They don't know she here.

"I am not gonna let them hurt you," she whispers in his ear, "Focus. Breathe. Everything is gonna be okay,"

There is a man in front of the chair. He is talking like he is very important. Bucky remembers having seen him with Pierce.

Strucker is his name.

The leader of another HYDRA cell.

Another head.

HYDRA has many heads.

If you cut off one head, two more shall take its place.

Bucky wants to rip the man's head off anyway.

Loki has left his side to inspect the Chair more closely and starts opening the back to look at the inside. All the soldiers have their attention on Strucker now so she can do what she wants for a few moments.

She is taking several small components from the inside of the Chair. Small enough that it will take the scientists a long time to figure out why the Chair isn't working.

Strucker has finally ended the monologue to which Bucky hasn't listened and a couple of medics start to push him in the Chair.

Bucky makes sure to resist enough to not make them suspicious.

They even have a mouth guard that he very reluctantly takes.

He leans back in the Chair, closes his eyes and braces himself against the pain he knows won't happen.

To say Strucker is angry is an understatement.

Bucky wants to punch him in his ugly face.

They bring him back to his cell.

Bucky waits till Loki slipped in after him and the door is closed to quietly high five her.

"Thank you," he whispers.

"You would have done it for me too," she answers and Bucky knows it's true.

They have each others’ back.

////

It's not long after that that Loki decides to leave.

There are other things she needs to do, she says, now she is in the lion's den. One of them is taking a certain scepter to safety away from mortal hands.

Bucky doesn't know exactly what she is talking about but he nods.

"I have asked other prisoners to help you get out when that is necessary," she tells him. "I will come back to you eventually, but it might be over a long time,"

And then they say goodbye.

One last hug.

And then he's alone.

It isn't easy.

He still can't sleep.

He doesn't know how long he has been here since there are no windows.

They haven't brought him any more food since the whole disaster with the Chair.

And then it begins.

Soft sounds. Walls trembling.

Bucky sees the crack forming in the wall left of his cell door just in time to move out the way.

It comes crumbling down. Bucky closes his eyes and doesn’t breathe to avoid getting dust in his eyes and lungs.

And then nothing.

He carefully opens his eyes to see what’s happening.

Bucky stares at the giant creature that is now standing in the wall. It has purple scales all over its body and shiny teeth and claws.

It is a dragon.

A motherfucking dragon.

Before Bucky can react there are two people running under the dragon into his cell.

"Bucky! We need to get out of here!" the girl yells. Bucky doesn't know how she knows his name. Her eyes are glowing a weird kind of red. He doesn't like it. She gives him a weird feeling that makes his skin crawl.

"I am Pietro and this is my sister Wanda," the boy introduces himself.

"We really need to leave. Something is attacking the building and they are executing all the prisoners." Wanda mumbles, "Jack says he has a plan to get us out."

Jack must be the dragon then.

"I indeed have a plan," A heavy voice rumbles through the cell and oh wow the dragon can talk, "All three of you, climb on my back and hold really tight. We don't have any more time."

Wanda and Pietro help Bucky up on Jack's back and he gets sandwiched between the two of them.

Jack is moving fast through the corridor when they are out of his cell. It's a labyrinth but Wanda guides him through it, yelling "Left!" and "Right!" whenever they need to take a turn.

HYDRA soldiers try to shoot at them but a glowing red shield keeps the bullets away.

And then they are outside.

Outside.

A clouded sky and a feeling of the wind ruffling through his hair.

Jack spreads his wings and goes up. Soon they are above the trees.

There is shooting and yelling below in the forest. And a faint roaring.

Wait.

Bucky knows that roaring.

It's Hulk.

“Stop!” he cries at Pietro, Wanda and Jack, “Stop! It’s my family! They are here for me! You need to stop!”

“It’s too dangerous for us!” Wanda yells back in his ear, “They are still fighting,”

Bucky looks over Wanda shoulder. He vaguely can see Tony, Sam and Rhodey flying around.

Tony is flying towards them, he realizes. He wonders why. And then he sees trees moving in the forest under them. Something big is running through it. In their direction.

The Hulk is coming to them.

Bucky can feel Jack getting tired and slowing down. He worries what Hulk will do when he’s confronted with a purple dragon as huge as him. What Jack will do when the Hulk attacks them. Maybe not Bucky. But Hulk doesn’t know the others. Doesn’t know they are not HYDRA.

Jack is losing height and Bucky can see the tree tops now really clearly.

Bucky closes his eyes and braces himself for the impact.

And then they crash.

Or they don't.

He can feel how Pietro grips his middle and then they are flying through the air. Though it does feel more like falling.

Jack is howling. Or screaming.

Bucky doesn't know what's happening.

And then he feels the ground under him. It's soft. Moss covering the forest floor.

Bucky can hear Hulk roaring over the awful sounds Jack is making.

Jack must be in serious pain.

Bucky can feel a panic attack rising up. What can he do?

"Bucky! Get up!" Pietro yells. The boy is trying to get him up. Bucky reluctantly opens his eyes.

They are on the border of a meadow. Around them are a lot of fallen trees and they are almost covered in wood splinters.

Jack is staggering around, walking further on the meadow and howling in pain. Bucky can see the blood oozing from many small wounds, splinters sticking out of them. One of his wings is shredded.

It doesn't look good.

Pietro helps him get up. Bucky does feel tired and he tastes blood in his mouth.

The earth is quivering and Hulk appears on the meadow, looking angrily at Jack.

Oh no.

Jack will not survive an attack by the Hulk. Not in the state he is now.

Jack has noticed Hulk too and roars at him. He feels threatened. Bucky can see smoke coming out of his nose.

They really can't have fire now, too. They are in the middle of a forest.

Hulk runs at Jack. Jack answers with an impressive fireball. Bucky can feel the heat through his clothes.

He doesn't want to be barbecued.

"Come on," Pietro whispers, "we need to get out of here,"

And Bucky lets Pietro guide him over the fallen trees and branches until they are at a safe distance from the fight between Jack and Hulk.

"Where is Wanda?" Bucky remembers.

"Trying to stop the green thing," Pietro answers and Bucky heart squeezes and turns around to look at the fight. He sees her standing behind them, red light glowing around her hands.

"His name is Hulk. She can't hurt him,"

"It will kill Jack if she doesn't do something," Pietro mumbles and Bucky realizes that the three of them must have a close bond.

"How long have you you known Jack?"

"He was already here when we arrived here. He thinks he has been here for two years? We kept each other sane, talking through Wanda's powers, "

"What can she do, actually?"

"Mind control, and other things," Bucky stiffens at those words.

Pietro notices.

"Loki told her not to go into your head, so she didn't,"

"Thank you," Bucky mumbles.

“What are your powers, then?” he asks Pietro.

“I am very fast,” Pietro grins. And then, to prove his point, he is suddenly standing on Bucky’s other side. Bucky saw him barely move, except for a blue light.

“Got it,” Bucky smiles.

He goes to sit on the ground and strokes the grass with his hand. He hasn’t seen grass in a long time. It’s pretty. And soft.

He feels really tired.

He just wants to go to sleep now and wake up at home.

"Bucky!"

Oh.

Steve?

Daddy?

Is Daddy here?

It's indeed Daddy who is coming running to Pietro and him. In full Captain America gear and with the shield.

Daddy looks, well, 'murderous' doesn't even describe it. He looks like he wants to pick up every HYDRA Soldier and shred them to very very little pieces.

Which reminds Bucky that Daddy doesn't know who Pietro is. Or Wanda. Or Jack.

Daddy can't hurt them.

So he runs to Daddy. Who catches him and Bucky puts his arm around him really tight.

"You can't hurt them!" Bucky yells before Daddy can say or do anything, "They are friends! They helped me escape! Not the kidnappers!"

Bucky kept repeating those things over and over again until he was sure Daddy understood what they meant.

Only then did he noticed Clint. And the other person accompanying them.

The Commander.

Agent Rumlow.

Bucky had read it in a newspaper, a month or so ago, that Rumlow had been released. He even had asked Daddy about it, but Daddy had looked really sour. So Bucky had shut up and never talked about it again.

So why is the Commander here?

Daddy sees Bucky staring. "He had been here before. In the base. So he knew how to get us in. Until you came flying out on the back of a dragon,"

Bucky nods.

There are a couple of HYDRA Agents who have followed the Avengers to the meadow. Clint and the Commander shoot them before they even have the chance to come from behind the trees.

Nice.

Daddy is listening to the team talking through his earpiece.

"Clint," Daddy says, "now would be a good time to fire Hulk's anesthesia arrow,"

Clint gets the arrow that Tony has specially developed to put Hulk asleep if he goes rogue on missions. He doesn't miss (of course he doesn't miss) and Hulk falls on the ground with a loud thud.

Tony lands next to him while he's still transforming to Bruce.

Jack almost immediately sags to the on the grass. He groans in pain.

Bucky thinks all the HYDRA soldiers must be dead now because the whole team is coming together on the meadow.

Daddy has still his arms around Bucky's shoulders and gives a soft squeeze while they walk towards everyone.

A blue light marks Pietro running to Jack. Wanda is already on Jack's side, trying to stop the worst bleeding.

The purple scales are almost covered with red everywhere.

"Is he gonna die?" Bucky whispers, but Jack hears him anyways.

"Nah," he grumbles with his voice "Just a bit tired, kiddo."

And then is a sound behind him. Full of pain.

"Jack?!"

"Brock," Jack looks confused, and tired, "I thought you were dead,"

"So did I," Brock snarls and walks to Jack’s head. They just stand there looking at each other.

It slowly clicks together in Bucky's brain.

Jack is that Jack.

Jack is Agent Rollins.

Uncle Jack.

Uncle Jack who let him watch Sesame Street. And Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Uncle Jack who is good at telling stories.

He hadn't heard anything about Uncle Jack since the Triskelion fell.

Was he supposed to be dead?

Why is he a dragon now?

Bucky feels too sleepy and tired to think about this all. He hasn't slept since he got kidnapped.

He doesn't really take notice on what is happening now. He is five. And he is safe now. He doesn't even protest when Daddy carries him onto the quinjet.

Bucky falls asleep not long after Daddy has him buckled in a seat.

Chapter Text

Bucky startles awake with a gasp.

 

A white room. Soft sheets.

 

A nightmare  with a lot of dead people. And his former Daddy. Pierce. Who hadn't been dead.

 

It takes some time to recognize the room. It's the same room as where he stayed before he went to the Litchfield prison.

 

Bucky Bear and Nikita are laying in the crook of his arm.

 

Bucky Bear's fur is soft and pleasant.

 

His diaper is wet.

 

And he has his Captain America pyjamas on.

 

He vaguely remembers Daddy giving him a quick sponge bath before tucking Bucky in.

 

He really needs to pee. Again.

 

He puts on the nightlight on the bedside table and shuffles to the bathroom.

 

He doesn't know what hour it is. He hopes he hasn't slept too long because that would really mess up his routine. But then again, he hadn't slept in that HYDRA cell so his routine will be already messed up anyway.

 

He changes his diaper too (he chooses one with little arrows on it) and shuffles back in the hospital room.

 

Daddy is sitting in the chair besides the bed.

 

He has a beard.

 

Bucky doesn't know what to think of that.

 

It is weird.

 

Pierce never had a beard. Even not stubble. Always neat and clean shaven.

 

Daddy had stubble when he rescued him at the HYDRA base, Bucky remembers. It hadn't been much, probably just a couple of days.

 

But now it's really hard not to notice it.

 

How long has he been asleep?

 

"Bucky?"

 

Now Daddy looks worried.

 

Bucky must have zoned out.

 

It’s probably time for him take his pills. He spots them in their colorful pill case on the bedside table, with a bottle of water.

 

He takes them one by one.

 

“How long have I been asleep?” Bucky asks, after he is sitting back on his bed. He is still a bit tired, but not that tired.

 

“A whole day,” Daddy answers, “You really needed the sleep.”

 

Bucky nods.

 

He feels a bit gross, with all the sleeping and sweating, and his rumbling stomach also lets him know it wants food.

 

So he takes a shower first, enjoying the hot water and taking his time as long as he wants.

 

Then Daddy gives him and Nikita and Bucky Bear a piggyback ride to the hospital kitchen.

 

There is nobody in the kitchen, as it is the middle of the night. The clock reads 3 am. But Daddy seems to know his way around. He made a lot of Bucky's food here too before Bucky went back to prison.

 

Daddy makes him his favorite smoothie with strawberries and banana. Bucky even asks for a second because supersoldier metabolism.

 

Bucky bear is happily osmosing some fancy lavender honey. Nikita isn't hungry.

 

It's quiet in the kitchen as Daddy drinks his own smoothie, except for the soft ticking of the clock.

 

Can I see Uncle Jack?" he asks when Daddy is putting their glasses in the sink and start washing them.

 

"Maybe later, okay? Everyone is asleep now," Daddy tells him, "maybe you should try and catch a few more hours too, hmm?"

 

Bucky pouts.

 

And then Tony comes into the kitchen, tapping on his tablet and reaching for the leftover smoothie mix that is still in the blender. Daddy puts a glass on the countertop before Tony starts drinking straight from the blender one-handed.

 

"Thanks," Tony mumbles and goes to sit next to Bucky. Bucky glimpses at the tablet but all he sees is complicated math and science.

 

"How was sleep, kiddo? All good?" Tony asks.

 

"Uhuh," Bucky says, "I wanna go see Uncle Jack but Daddy doesn't want to,"

 

"Rollins needs his sleep, Bucky," Daddy argues.

 

"Oh no," Tony smiles, "he was awake. Was gonna start watching the seventh Star Wars movie so if you are quick you can watch it too,"

 

"There is a seventh movie?"

 

"Yes, came out around christmas last year,"

 

Bucky grabs Bucky Bear and Nikita and runs out of the kitchen before Steve can say something.

 

Jarvis gives him directions to the room where Uncle Jack is staying.

 

It's not even a room. It looks like an empty warehouse, seeing as Jack is still a huge dragon.

 

A projector is showing the movie on a blank wall. Bucky can hear the intro playing so he is not too late yet to see the very beginning.

 

Uncle Jack looks better than he did on the meadow in Sokovia. One of his wings and a paw are still wrapped in bandages, but Bucky doesn't see any large wounds so he guesses it's okay.

 

The Commander is sitting with his back against one of Jack’s paws, looking really tired. It reminds Bucky of how Daddy looked when he just brought Bucky to the Tower.

 

Wanda and Pietro are sitting next to the Commander with a bowl of popcorn in between them.

 

Bucky goes to sit next to Wanda and she hands him a blanket she got from somewhere with a smile.

 

He likes Finn the most, seeing their shared backstory. But he also really likes Rey and Poe, and the little orange droid makes him happy.

 

When Leia (who is a General now)  appears on the screen he has to think about Loki.

 

Princess.

 

Bucky hopes she is okay.

 

It’s really sad that Han and Leia separated and Han got killed by their evil kid.

 

The best moment is when Rey flies the Millennium Falcon with Fin shooting the guns. It’s really amazing.

 

Wanda and Pietro yawn and head to their room to sleep a couple of hours again. The Commander has already fallen asleep during the movie and is snoring softly.

 

Jack carefully pulls a blanket over the Commander with his snout.

 

“I really liked the movie,” Bucky says, because he doesn’t really know what to say otherwise.

 

“Yeah, me too,” Jack nods, and then, “Don’t you have to go to sleep too, kid?”

 

“No. I don’t wanna,” Bucky pouted, “I already slept a whole day,”

 

“Alright then,”

 

And then.

 

“So… your kid thing…” Jack starts hesitantly.

 

“It’s okay,” Bucky smiles, “my Daddy doesn’t want me to do the bad things. Do you wanna hold Bucky Bear? He is the best bear.”

 

Jack lets Bucky set Bucky Bear against his paw. The purple scales feel cold and smooth to his flesh hand.

 

“Does it hurt?” Bucky asks, “When you change?”

 

“It isn’t pleasant,”

 

“Do you have to get angry? Like uncle Bruce?”

 

“No. It’s more like an itch that grows stronger and stronger the longer I stay human.”

 

Bucky thinks about that.

 

They are both HYDRA experiments.

 

It’s something they have to learn to live with.

 

“I actually can’t believe they actually sent you to a prison,” Jack mumbles after a while.

 

“It wasn’t that bad,” Bucky argues, “Most people were nice. I made a lot of friends,”

 

So Bucky tells Jack all about the ladies. About Red. And Sophia. And Daya. And Soso.

 

And Loki.

 

“We will find her, Bucky.” Jack says when he notices Bucky getting a bit sad, “She seems really nice. And strong. I don’t think HYDRA will be able to break her.”

 

“She is one of my best friends,” Bucky nods. And then it occurs to Bucky that he doesn’t know whether he will go back to Litchfield, seeing as HYDRA was able to kidnap him there.

 

Jack doesn’t know anything either.

 

“I heard that Hill and Stark are going back to court,” the Commander says then, and Bucky jumps a little, because the Commander was supposed to be asleep.

 

“They are going to fight your sentence. Want the whole trial to be done again.” The Commander sits up now, the blanket falling from his shoulders and his hair sticks up on all sides.

 

It looks funny.

 

His Daddy comes to get him for breakfast. Bucky goes down for a little nap after that.



////



Tony and Maria go indeed back to court.

 

Bucky doesn't have to come with them this time.

 

Bucky also doesn't have to go back to Litchfield for the time being . But he isn't allowed to go back to the Tower, either . So he stays in the hospital.

 

(Which is the Avengers' hospital now, seeing as Tony has bought it somehow when Bucky was staying in here the first time.)

 

He just has to talk to the judge through a video call.

 

The public opinion is even more divided this time. He must have convinced a lot of people during his serving in jail. Inmates, and sometimes even their family members, talk with the press about his trial and his behavior in the women's prison.

 

He gets a lot of mail again. Sometimes there are kids’ drawings too.



'My mommy says you’re just as brave as Captain America!'



'I love Bears too. Your bucky bear is the best!'



'My daddy did mean things too. I have a new daddy now and he is awesome.'



Bucky cries sometimes when he reads them. He puts all the drawings and letters of them on the wall of the corridor next to his room.

 

He is adapting to his new metal arm.

 

Some days he prefers not to wear it.

 

He tries to follow the trial and the news worldwide. He liked to do that while he was in prison. It gave him things to talk with the girls about when he was in his adult headspace.

 

Daddy finds some kids tv news shows he can watch. JARVIS screens them beforehand to make sure they are safe.

 

Bucky also watches Moana and totally loves it. He downloads the soundtrack to his phone so he can listen to it whenever he wants.

 

Uncle Brock testifies at the trial.

 

Uncle Jack wants to testify too.

 

At least he has healed enough that he can change back to his human form. He looks skinny and starved from not having had a decent meal for two years.

 

Uncle Jack sits in a bath for four hour and Bucky offers him his box of bath toys in case he's bored. Which Jack politely declines.

 

Bucky knows Uncle Brock and Daddy are trying not to laugh behind their backs.

 

And then one day there is a surprise for him.

 

Everyone gathers in the kitchen for lunch. The Worths are there too and Daddy is carrying a huge box which he puts on the floor carefully.

 

The box whines softly.

 

Oh.

 

Bucky opens the box slowly and inside is a puppy.

 

His therapy dog.

 

Yes.

 

Bucky giggles when the puppy licks his face and lifts it out box.

 

The puppy cuddles close to him immediately. He wants to hold it forever and never let go.

 

The puppy is a girl and Bucky decides to name her Winnie, after his mom, Winnifred Barnes.

 

He tries not to cry.

 

Steve is definitely crying.

 

Winnie sits next to his chair during dinner, looking eagerly to the food on his plate.

 

But Bucky has read all about training therapy dogs beforehand and he knows what to do and not to do.

 

After lunch he asks Uncle Clint if Winnie and Lucky can play together.

 

////



The day the trial ends comes closer and the protests are growing.

 

Protests against letting Bucky free. Protests against Bucky going back to prison.

 

Lots of people are talking about the trial.

 

Hashtags like #FreeJBB are trending worldwide.

 

Steve, Tony and Pepper and numerous other people go on  talk shows to win the public over.

 

Bucky busies himself with training Winnie. She's a smart girl and learns fast. Bucky Bear and Nikita really like her. Winnie doesn't drool on them.

 

He makes friends with Wanda and Pietro, though Wanda's magic still makes him feel a bit uneasy.

 

She can read minds with her powers.

 

She has promised she would never violate his privacy like that.

 

But still.



////




The verdict is not guilty.




////

 

Before Bucky has the chance to actually process the verdict and the fact that he is now a free man again, everyone is already helping with packing up his belongings.

 

Now he is sitting in the living room of Steve's and his apartment and he would swear that Steve hasn't changed a thing since he left for Litchfield.

 

Even his Bears are still in the same place as he saw them the last time, the morning of first verdict.

 

It is as everything that happened between was just a dream.

 

The only thing that proves otherwise is Nikita, sitting proudly in between Bucky Bear and Captain Ameribear.

 

Winnie has finished exploring their floor so Bucky takes her on a tour through the Tower. He saves the newest floor for last.

 

He had only heard it two days ago, during the celebratory family dinner, that Jack, Wanda and Pietro would be trained to join the Avengers. And Brock would do the monitoring through the comms with Maria.

 

The four of them are now moving in the Avengers' Tower.

 

The smell of chocolate chip pancakes fills Bucky's nose as soon as the elevator doors open and he enters the floor.

 

The interior looks bland with new, personal touches lacking. He guesses none of them has had the chance yet to visit the local IKEA.

 

“Bucky! Just in time for the pancakes!” Wanda smiles.

 

Bucky smiles back.

 

He sits himself at the kitchen island that also serves as the kitchen table. He pours way too much maple syrup on his pancake.

 

Jack has a nervous look on his face.

 

“First flight training,” Jack explains when he sees Bucky looking curiously.

 

“First with the Avengers or first flight ever?”

 

“First ever,” Jack answers , “They didn’t let me leave the base to go practise flying,”

 

“You will do fine, Jack. Really.” Brock says while he puts a new stack of pancakes on the table.

 

“Yeah,” Bucky grinns, “just try not to crash into the Empire State Building, you know?”

 

Jack throws a piece of pancake at him.