“Am I worth all of it?” Bucky’s words echoed into Steve’s head.
Yes, he was. There was no doubt. Every single second for Bucky’s salvation was and has been worth it. Even sacrificing his team to stop Zemo was bearable in his eyes, justified, unavoidable. They had finally given them back cover in order to prevent worse.
His team-mates knew from the outset if the mission was to fail, and they would be put under arrest to get them out, and immediately.
Entering the raft Prison was not an impossible undertaking. There were always weak spots. And for the Supersoldaten no particular obstacle to overcome this, especially with the help of the king of Wakanda at his side.
But a sullen feeling remained.
The former national hero, Captain America, had now turned to the second, or even the third time, against the system and made itself repeatedly punishable. But this was not the case, which gave him a knot in the stomach. He would always act like that.
No, what slowly erupted him from the inside was repentance. Remorse against his comrades, his friends, who supported him to save his best friend from childhood days. And the trigger for this discomfort was a piece of paper in the form of a letter.
This letter to Tony still lay across him.
He wanted to smooth the waves, to make mistakes which he had committed. But he, Steven Grant Rogers, should have left it this time as it was. But false pride brought down so many justifying people.
What the winter soldier did on behalf of H.Y.D.R.A.s was not to be compared with anything that would be at once cruel and brutal, there was no objection. But the circumstances that forced this person behind the Assassin to commit such acts were two completely different matters.
It had to be judged, but this was not the case with them. No one could justify this process.
And yet he had written this miserable letter and apologized for having done the right thing.
He could do well with Tony, but not after the events that took place in Siberia. If Iron Man had only attacked him, fought with him alone, he would not even have been pissed at them. He, Steve, had deserved the beating, but not Bucky. He least of all. But when Tony seriously injured the sergeant, and still in addition, when this had long been on the ground, the barrel was overflowed. There was no turning back.
How far would he have gone as a man if …
When did Captain America finally despise a man so much as at this moment? It was a long time ago. Still, the blonde wanted to apologize for his behavior, the billionaire the laurel branch. Only at what price?
Because he did not want to betray his principles, support a friend in his distress, or say no, to a deal that was justified, but took the wrong path? For that, did he apologize?
Steve was ashamed for this step he went. And why? Because he did not want any more argument. Very classy, Captain America.
And now the Avengers were splintered because of him. A part even on the run. They were hunted like criminals. That they did not hate him for it …
What had he done?
Clint was not allowed to see his family.
Scott lost Cassie once more.
Sam his valuable work in veteran care.
Wanda’s gained courage in her strength, as well as her confidence in the people, were destroyed at once. And vision was not on their side.
Bucky froze again.
And Natasha? But she was on the run. Had lost her home again and was left alone. Once again.
As Sam once said dryly to him: ‘The guys who shoot at you, shoot at the end gladly synonymous to me.’
He was safe in Wakanda.
Steve stepped aside. In his (long) life, the blue-eyed man had cowered one or other of the others, but Civil War was the worst-case scenario. The factual damage they had caused globally was almost unimportant compared to the damage to their public.
He should have inaugurated Tony, Bucky Barnes, no, that the Winter Soldier killed his parents once. That his childhood friend was this and was then shaped by H.Y.D.R.A.s experimental manipulation of his mind and body to this being.
Just why was Steve afraid that Tony would not have understood how it happened? Iron Man was himself in war prison. He knew this by himself, as it was being tortured. So why did he hesitate on this matter?
It was so obvious before him and everyone visible: that he could not stand being exhausted his best friend whom he could no longer save from the crash that Howard Stark also knew, killed this and Maria.
Resigned, Steve let his hands go over his face and sighed. If he had acted differently.
Well, would have had bicycle chain. What would his mother say?
‘No,’ shot it through his head. This was not the right time to think about the past. But he needed urgent advice. And she always knew what. Where was she?
He leaned his forehead against the broad front of the window. Before him, the deep green jungle stuck into his eyes. With this exuberant and exotic sight, the soldier felt even more lonely, more lost in his heart. For outsiders almost incomprehensible at such a panorama, but Steve was uprooted. Restless, like a nomad.
“Nat, how could I have prevented all this,” he whispered his thoughts.
“Not at all,” the reply came muted.
Steve shrugged. He had not seen him come. The blonde turned to the side, from where he heard the voice, and saw a black Widow, much too thin and even paler, for his taste.
Steve turned completely away from the window and now stood frontally in front of her. Both looked deeply into each other’s eyes, and stood there for a short time just motionless. Completely surprised at her sight, he took his shoulders from this impulse to make sure that this was not a dream of him. The redhead just smiled. Then Steve grabbed the spy in a stormy embrace.
She was here. Is real. And she is doing well. Thank you Mr!
Standing in her small sphere, Steve took the wonderful smell of her perfume and Natasha’s own flavor. Urged into his nose and intoxicated him. How he had missed this. She misses.
“You are doing well,” came the soldier. Natasha merely nodded.
This intimate embrace did just fine at this moment. The ex-girlfriend closed her eyes delicately. A lightly spicy-herd gentleman, nature and … She could never define exactly what Steve still smelt – yes, just after Steve – she enveloped her. A bit like home and security, this one radiated a very special scent she liked very much. And this soothing heartbeat. Still a little frantic, but with every regular breath from the owner relaxed.
Neither of them knew how long they were. Maybe a little eternity. Maybe only minutes in their world. Who knows. It could be a little longer … But the reality shouted.
Steve broke away from her. He looked at the beautiful Russian girl with a smile.
“I do not want to know how or through whom you could find us so quickly,” he interrupted the silence.
“Well Rogers, an ex-KGB spy never reveals her contacts,” with a mocking smile on her lips came her played chilled response.
“No, not to Leipzig … Is he here?” She asked hesitantly.
Steve nodded to the answer. The redhead turned her head aside and was briefly in thought.
“Hey …” the captain started, pulling back her face with his fingers, which were resting under her chin. “… that what happened was inevitable and you know. I do not believe that Clint continues to do it. We all decided on one side and drew the consequences. Give him … give you both time to process the events. For that you mean too much and vice versa, “came the compassionate of the soldier.
Natasha breathed deeply in and out, but remained silent. There was something to it.
“How are you and the others?” Natasha resumed the conversation.
Steve gesticulated his head down before he answered, “We can move freely.”
“Nat, what do you want to hear?” He interrupted her abruptly. “All I did I did on the backs of the others. Clint, Sam, Scott and Wanda have lost their freedom, their home and their families. Just because they helped me save Buck, they are here and not where they want to be. And with you … “Steve broke off and shook his head before he spoke.
“Wanda takes it with the hardest. Their stability, their support with the Avengers, especially to Vision, have been destroyed by my actions. Scott and Clint have had to leave their families for their use. And Sam? His work at the VA is missing. ”
“And Barnes?” The Russian asked.
Steve just looked at her and said nothing. She felt her stomach. When had Steve had such sad eyes? Worried they looked often, yes. Also exhausted every now and then. Resigniert, that too. But this was new. Even with the news of Peggy’s death, these eyes were not so sad and discouraged.
The blonde took one of her hands and pulled her with him.
Level by level, walk by walk, upstairs, stairs, but decisively, he piloted the spy through this high-tech labyrinth, until they were soon standing before a laboratory. Steve tapped a code and the door halves slid to the sides. Both entered.
In front of them stood a glass-like sarcophagus. They approached them more closely. The eyes of Natasha widened at this sight. Stunned, she stared at the center of this container.
In a cryostasis capsule lay peacefully in the cold sleep James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes. Natasha swallowed.
“He himself wanted it so, since he can no longer trust his intellect. I could not help it. ”
Steve sniffed before he continued. “HYDRA. has done a lot of work, “he said. And the lump in the throat grew.
Never in life would the agent have thought that the great Captain America could once be a broken man. He was always like an anchor, a safe haven, but now …
Steve did not even notice how Natasha’s slender fingers tightened around his. Gradually he realized this gesture. And at the moment of this realization he would have preferred to cry. As long as there was no oxygen in his lungs.
The last days now took their toll.
They all had injuries in every single team. Various were physical, but most of them were psychological.
How was this still to be saved? Natasha pressed her grip even more firmly around his hand and looked at him from the side. And Steve?
He looked far away …