chapter nine: ready as i'll ever be
"I'm done being helpless." Holland didn't know who she was trying to convince more; Steve or herself. She spent the numerous weeks after her rescue pitying herself. She was tired of it. She was strong, she knew that much. Steve knew it too even though he wouldn't tell her.
"Alright. We'll start you with Natasha next week."
Steve's eyebrow shot up. "Pardon?"
"Tomorrow. Start me with Nat tomorrow. I need to learn." She pulled her hair into a ponytail even though not all the strands were long enough to be held in the elastic. "The sooner I can learn the sooner I don't have to depend on anyone."
"Holly, are you sure this is a good idea?"
"Steve, I love you to death but that needs to stop." She didn't let him speak in that moment of silence. "Not acting like I'm completely incapable. I have lived on my own. I had a job, I paid my own bills. It may be decades later but it's still the same principles. Just please let me try this."
Steve was so close to crying. It was like a parent watching their child leave the nest for the first time.
"Alright. Tomorrow you start with Natasha. Clint and I will stand by and give pointers if needed. Just please, promise me you'll be careful."
Natasha landed a heavy blow on Holland's chest, efficiently winding her. She coughed a few times then raised her fist to punch back. Natasha didn't give in when Holland wanted her to. Holland was tired. Her muscles ached and she couldn't keep her fists clenched for very long.
"Endurance, Holland. You've gotta push through it." Holland set her jaw, blocking Natasha's incoming hit. "Good." Her praise was followed by a series of punches, each finding a different spot along her torso. Holland knew that bruises would follow each spot her fist met. Her temper was flaring up, irritation from not landing more than two successful blows on her trainer. With her temper, her fist met Natasha's shoulder, sending her reeling back.
She was a bit shocked at first, raising her hand up to her aching shoulder. "That was good. The hit could have been harder but that was good. Where was that?"
"Under a few layers of repressed anger." Holland gathered her hair at the nape of her neck, holding it up so she was smothered in heat. Natasha tossed her a spare towel from the rack beside the sparring circle. Holland placed it over her neck after wiping away the sweat that appeared along her hairline.
"We need more of that. Not the anger but the effort. It's gonna hurt, these next few weeks but it's gonna be worth it in the end. You have to learn to protect yourself out there because we have more enemies than ever. Are you ready?"
Holland looked over to where Steve and Clint stood by the weight rack. They each replied to her with a smile, unique to the man supplying it. Her lips curled upwards in response. Her head turned to the waiting redhead and she answered her question.
"As I'll ever be."
an: i literally hate the first half of this chapter but i just wanted holland to show that she isnt completely helpless like i've kind of depicted her as. but the second half is sooooo good in my opinion i frickin love the dialogue between holland and natasha its lie she has a bromanc with everyone now and it is so much fun to write
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GIRL OUT OF TIME║ BUCKY BARNESFanfiction
steve knows two things for sure. one, holland is alive and two, hydra has something to do with it. ❝i won't tell you what we were because i don't remember anymore.❞ *sequel to girl he left behind* [book two of the barnes triad: stolen memories...