Chapter 10- Unwanted Memories

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Steves POV

I keep my head lowered as I walk through the hosptal corridor, passing many doctors and SHIELD agents.

I stop in front of a vending machine, the one I hid the USB flash drive in behind some gum, but it's gone.

My heart jumps into my throat in shock and horror, until I see a figure stop behind me in the reflection of the glass.

Natasha blows a bubble of gum, and I quickly turn and angrily push her into a room.

"Where is it?" I ask quickly.

"Safe." She tells me, and my blood boils.

"Do better!"

"Where did you get it?" She asks.

"Why would I tell you?" My eyes narrow with suspicion.

"Fury gave it to you." She says, "Why?"

"What's on it?"

"I don't know."

"Stop lying!" I growl in frustration.

"I only act like I know everything, Rogers." She rolls her eyes.

"I bet you knew Fury hired the pirates, didn't you?" I ask.

"Well, it makes sense." She shrugged, "The ship was dirty, Fury needed a way in, so do you."

"I'm not gonna ask you again."

"I know who killed Fury." She grows serious, "And you're right, he's the one who tortured Zoey in Russia for three months."

"Who is it?" I ask quickly.

"Most of the intelligence community doesn't believe he exists, the ones who do call him the Winter Soldier. He's credited with over two dozen assassinations in the last fifty years."

"So he's a ghost story." I sigh, but Natasha shakes her head.

"Five years ago I was escorting a nuclear engineer out of Iran, somebody shot at my tires near Odessa. We lost control, went straight over a cliff, I pulled us out, but the Winter Soldier was there." She tells me, "I was covering my engineer, so he shot him straight through me.

She pulls up the hem of her shirt slightly, revealing the scar of an old guns hot wound.

"A Soviet slag, no rifling." She says darkly, "Bye-bye bikinis."

"Yeah, I bet you look terrible in them now." I shake my head, earning the hint of a smile from her lips.

"Going after him is a dead end." She tells me, "I know, I've tried."

"If he did all that to Zoey, I'm not stopping until I find him." I say seriously, "Did you find out, if she's-"

"Alive?" She asks, "I think she is."

My mind eases greatly, but I'm still hesitant.

"How can you be sure?" I ask.

"I can't." She admits, "But apparently the agents that were meant to kill her didn't get the job done. I don't know where she is now, or what state she's in, but they didn't kill her."

"Okay." I nod, taking a shaky breath as Natasha holds up the USB.

"Like you said, he's a ghost story." She sighs.

"Well, let's find out what the ghost wants." I say, taking the flash drive from her.

~ ~ ~

"First rule of going on the run is, don't run, walk." Natasha tells me as we walk through a mall, disguised as a civillian couple.

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