( chapter eighteen. )

Edited 12/26/2015 @12:58 AMEdited 07/14/2016 @6:10 AMEdited 11/28/2017 @3:08 AM

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Edited 12/26/2015 @12:58 AM
Edited 07/14/2016 @6:10 AM
Edited 11/28/2017 @3:08 AM

  ANDREA APPEARED BACK IN Sam's house, collapsed onto the floor of the guest room she'd been given. Her heart ached and so did her head, overcome with the exhaustion of both her abilities and the inability to save those who'd been like her; weapons carved of broken bones. That man was shattered in a way she never thought possible, until she'd seen it─ felt it─ in herself.

  Andy pressed a hand to her chest, overcome with pain. She was too overwhelmed by her own emotions to notice how the house had gone quiet upon her knees hitting the floor. She didn't care. She needed someone there, to comfort her when nothing else could. Even if she was the last person on Earth who deserved it.

  "Andy?" The name was softly spoken, and the shock on their voice made it seem as though they couldn't believe she'd turned out this way. The Jones girl couldn't bring herself to look up at Steve, but made no reproach as he stepped closer. He knelt down, taking the female up in his arms without another word.

  She felt warm tendrils of tears beginning to fall as he wrapped her in a strong embrace. "Don't ever do that again." He whispered as she reciprocated the hug. Andrea tied her arms around him, as if he was the only thing holding her together in the vast expanse of everything that had happened to her.

  The only thing in this world who understood what she was going through.

  For a moment, just by being here, the comfort Steve provided lessened the weight on her shoulders and chest. Andy didn't want to let go. Somehow, it made her feel less guilty and weak. The Rogers man rubbed gentle circles into her back, heaving a soft sigh. "I thought you said you were fine. Last time I'll ever trust your word." His attempt at bitter humor was quick to draw out a half-hearted laugh from the brunette, but it felt wrong─ it felt sad.

  Andy felt her lip tremble, "Did you really ever believe that?" She asked him, forcing a teasing tone into her words. But, to sit here and laugh after someone had likely just risked their life for her, felt cruel. The brunette pursed her lip, fingers curling into fists against Steve's back. "No, but I knew that you wanted to be strong." He replied, and the words were pained, as if he wanted to say more.

  But, it was a lie, she wasn't strong. She'd put up a facade and it had only lasted so long against a dam that was bound to break.

  Andy hid her face with her hand, her heart still thrumming with a hurt she was sure she would never get rid of. "That man," she began to say, pausing to inhale sharply. "The assassin." She could barely get the words out between her uneven breathing, but she knew Steve had heard. She could feel it in the way he tensed up against her.

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