Chapter 23 : An Old Friend

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My eyes opened slowly when I felt light hitting my face. I rubbed my eyes to adjust to the light and when I could see properly, I saw him bustling around the small room we were in. He had his back to me, shoulder-length hair tied back in a low pony-tail. He was wearing a vest-top, a tight one too, defining all his muscles. But showing things the world didn't want to see as well. Like how his left arm was entirely made of metal.

"I know you." I croaked. "James Buchanan 'Bucky' Barnes." He didn't stop whatever he was doing by the window, nor did he show any interest into the fact that I was speaking. I tried sitting up but then I yelped in pain when I remembered why I was here. Bucky turned around quickly and rushed over to me with a bowl in his hand. He set down on the floor and kneeled down in front of me.

"Lay down on your front." He ordered me, his face expressionless as I did what he did. That's when I realised I was lying on a couch. "You might need to bite onto something. I'm gonna pull the arrow out and it won't be a walk in the park for you."
"Can I just hold your hand instead?" I said, trying to make the situation so much less serious than it was. He huffed and rested his right arm in front of me. I swallowed and put my arm around his, awaiting the pain.

Oh I thought I knew what pain was when I practically gave birth to my wings. I was wrong. Bucky grunted and in one movement, he pulled the arrow out. It didn't feel like he pulled it out, though. No, it felt like he just ripped out a log and then set my back on fire. I tightened my grip around his arm and then chewed the inside of cheek to stop myself from crying out. It wasn't long before the inside of my cheek was filled with the familiar metallic taste of blood and then the pain was too much and I couldn't help but cry out.

I let out a deep breath as I felt something cold and wet against the wound. I then sighed with relief when I could feel the wound healing, releasing my grip on Bucky's arm. I collapsed my head onto his arm, breathing heavily. I had a feeling he was wiping the blood off my back with a wet cloth. I felt too drained to check if I was right but I wasn't ready to sleep yet.

"Why are you helping me?" I asked weakly.
Bucky took a moment to answer before sighing. "Because you're close to Steve, and he - for whatever reason - was close to me."
"Still not remembering, huh?" I asked, smiling feebly.
"It's coming to me in bits and pieces." He answered.
"How were ready to come and rescue me? Were us following us?" I turned my head to look at him. He glanced at me, making eye contact with me for just a second before he looked away.
"I decided to keep an eye on you, and here you are, healing in my apartment." He answered. "Is Steve going to be okay?"
"I think so but I can't be so sure seeing as I was chased out of his hospital room." I rolled my eyes, sitting up and leaning back against the couch. We stayed quiet for a moment and then I sighed, playing with my hands.

"Thank you." I said finally. Bucky just nodded and then stood up and took his bowl with him. He walked into a kitchen area that was connected to the living room. That's where I saw him when I woke up. I watched him as he stood at his sink, his back to me as he cleaned the bowl.

"I got your suitcase from Steve's place whilst you were out." He spoke up after a while. "It's in my room. You can sleep in there until this is all over."
"And where will you sleep?" I asked, sitting up. "And how did you know I was staying at Steve's?"
"Like I said," he looked over his shoulder. "I was keeping an eye on you. And I'll sleep on the couch."
"This old thing? That's hardly fair."
"It's my flat and you're my guest. You shouldn't be sleeping on an old couch." He turned around to face me, crossing his arms.
"I've slept on worse." I answered.
"You're sleeping in my room, end of." He finalised. "Now, I'm going to get some painkillers. There's some food in the fridge and the cupboards if you feel peckish. Feel free to explore the place and maybe change into something with less blood on it." He nodded towards me before walking back into the living room. "And under no circumstance to you leave the apartment or answer the door unless I'm here. Understood?"
I nodded, then watched him leave then stayed seated for a while and took in the silence.

Bucky Barnes a.k.a the Winter Soldier, who is Steve's bff and a fugitive just saved me. For the second time. And now I'm sat in his very nice looking apartment after he just pulled an arrow out of my back.

I finally decided to get up with a little bit of effort and then take a look around the place. He did give me permission to do so. I the came to learn that it wasn't just any apartment; he was living in a penthouse with one side of the hose being a large window overlooking New York. There was a balcony out there too. It was small, but there was enough space to dance out there. I had raided his cupboards and made myself a mug of hot chocolate. I changed whilst I let the water boil and then I just stood by the window sipping from the mug until Bucky came back. He didn't say anything besides the fact that the painkillers were on the counter.

I turned around and watched him take a seat on the couch before turning the tv on.

"Can I ask a question?" I asked quietly.
"I suppose you're going to ask me regardless." He replied, quirking a brow at me. "But sure."
"How'd you afford a place like this?" I said, pointing at the window. "I mean, penthouses are expensive. And you're a fugitive.."
His jaw clenched when I said the word 'fugitive' and then I trailed off. He nodded, running a hand through his hair.
"I have... Contacts." He answered finally, looking at me. "Anymore questions?"
I thought for a while and shrugged. "Nothing springs to mind just yet."
There was something about Bucky that scared me, but then I also had an overpowering sense of security around him. He did save my life twice.

"Look at you, Ms Angel Wings." He said, pointing to the tv screen. "You're on tv." I came over to the tv and stared blankly at the screen. There was footage playing of the fight in the streets when I stopped the car from crushing the cafe. I was dubbed 'America's Angel'. Little did they know that I was far from it.

"You can take a seat, you know?" Bucky said after a while. "I don't bite. Much."
I rolled my eyes, taking a seat next to him. "I guess you were the cocky one out of the two of you."
"Cocky? No," he shook his head. "Confident, yes. I used to be."
"If I could find a way to help you get your memory back," I said, grabbing his attention. "I'll do it. To thank you and for Steve."
He watched me as I finished my cup of hot chocolate. "I think this is the right time to tell you that I've got some contacts who might know others like you."
"I'm aware of others like me." I made a face.
"No, I mean people like you. People hiding in their human form out of fear of persecution. I did my research." I added when I gave him a funny look.
"And when do I get to meet these.. Contacts?"
"Tomorrow night." Bucky answered, bringing a smile to my face. "But, they have to trust you before they can give you any information. So I got you a job with them."
"Well, that doesn't so bad. But why do you sound like you're bringing bad news to me?"
"It's not exactly an environment for the likes of yourself." He answered, looking away from me. "You should probably get some rest." He said after a couple of seconds, practically dismissing me.

I just held in a sigh and nodded, getting up from my space and going to clean my mug. I felt like I needed to get closer to him. Maybe because he was close to Steve. Maybe because there was something about him. I looked over at my shoulder and watched him for a bit. Perhaps I could help him along the way. More than to thank him. Hr glanced up at me and I offered him a small smile, drying my hands.

As I walked by him, I stopped by the end of the couch and nodded. "Thanks... Again."
"It's no problem." He said, the corner of his lips twitching slightly.

"Well, goodnight, Bucks." I said, chuckling nervously.
"Goodnight, Christina."
"You can call me, Chris." I said. "Anyways..." I smiled awkwardly then turned around and went to his room. Which was now my room. I went to my suitcase which was positioned neatly against the bed, and I took out of the many shirts that I had borrowed - or, some may say stolen - from Steve. I changed into it and sat on the bed, breathing in the remnants of his scent from the collar.

I didn't realise I was crying until I saw a tear drop onto the end of the shirt. I sniffled, wiping my eyes and getting into bed. I didn't know how long it was going to take me to sleep, but I told myself that as long as I was wearing Steve's shirt, I wasn't in the room alone and so I had no reason to be scared.

// Salutations my lovely readers! There's quite a bit of dialogue in this one but I'm in a surprisingly good mood today because I have properly planned the next couple of chapters.

Also, how was Bucky's characterisation? Is it Bucky enough? P.s I am very in love with Bucky and I felt I just HAD to bring him in.

So, for all those who saw him coming, congrats! haha.

Don't forget to vote and comment! I love you! ❤ \\

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