Chapter 26 - Afterlife

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We sat opposite the hospital in Bucky's car, just waiting for a sign.

"Are you sure he won't try to kill you, too?" Bucky asked with a hand under his chin and eyes squinted at the doors of the hospital.
"I'm very sure he won't." I smiled small, watching Bucky. I don't why I didn't realise until now just how attractive he was. All the more so with his lightly stubbled dimpled chin, and just the authoritative look on his face, in his eyes. A part of smiled, no wonder Steve was his best friend. They were pretty much one and the same.

"There's your cue." Bucky nodded. I looked up to see Bruce stood at the doors of the hospital with his hands in his pockets and looking around.
"Right." I undid my seatbelt and got out the car before stopping when I realised that Bucky wasn't following. "Aren't you coming?"
"He'll recognise me." Bucky then turned to look at me. "I don't want to jeopardise anything. Now go. I'll come up only if there's an emergency."
"Okay." I nodded then shut the car door and made my way to Bruce.

"You are risking a lot coming here." Bruce mumbled, rushing me inside. "The others have gone out to grab something to eat, so you'll have to be quick."
"Nice to see you, too, Bruce. And my wings are fine, thanks." I replied sarcastically as he led me into the lift. He looked at me once with a small smile.
"You think I'd worry about someone who can heal and use mind control? I knew you'd be fine." He explained. "Right, so, Steve is in a different room after what you did to the window and you've only got about fifteen minutes maximum. Is that enough time?"
"I sure hope so." I answered him honestly, walking out the lift with him and to Steve's room.

I took a deep breath and entered his room, which was identical to the one he was previously in. The way he was lying there was indifferent to the last time I saw him.

"You'll have to be quick, Chris." Bruce reminded me. "I'll stay here at the door and let you know if I see anyone."
I nodded and walked over to Steve's bedside then without thinking, I climbed onto the bed and sat on his lap.

"Please tell me you're not going to do some sexual voodoo stuff." Bruce mumbled at the door. I looked at him with furrowed brows, and shook my head.
"Please," I rolled my eyes, taking off my jacket. "I wouldn't do that with you in the room." I joked before returning back to Steve. Breathing in deeply, I took his hands and locked our fingers, imagining myself calling out to him with my mind. In all honesty, I imagined myself running around a park in the dark with a megaphone and shouting his name.

It wasn't long before I was sucked in and I was in that dark place again. This time it wasn't silent. All I could hear was Steve panting and calling out for help.

"Steve!" I shouted into the darkness. His cries quietened down and then I heard him again.
"Christina?" He whispered. "Christina is that you?"
"Yeah I'm came back." I replied, unable to pinpoint where his voice was coming from. It sounded like it was everywhere.
"I thought I was dead... Am I dead?"
"No, no you're not."
"But I'm halfway there, right?" His voice broke a little. "I can hear her telling me to follow her voice."
"Hear who?"
"My mom."

I felt my breath hitch in my throat, and even though I couldn't see anything, I blinked my eyes a couple of times.

"Steve, where are you?" I asked as if he could tell me.
"Chris, I think I'm dying."
"Can you see anything?"
"Yeah.. I'm in front of a door. Just a normal door. That's where I can hear her, Chris."
"Don't open that door, Steve, don't even go near it." I warned him, trying to mentally search for him. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best. I was still unsure as to how these powers worked, but I just prayed that it would help me find Steve.

"Chris!" I heard my name whispered. My eyes shot open and I laughed when I saw Steve stood there in just a plain white t-shirt and shorts and in a halo of light. He had a relieved look on his face, his lips pulling into a smile. He didn't move, though. He just stayed like that. Behind him was the door he was talking about. A normal door painted red, with a black handle and a black frame. Not cynical at all.

"Well, come on then." I beckoned him, holding out my hand to him. "Take my hand."
"I can't move. She doesn't want me to move."
"But the door's not open." I took a step forward and reached out to him, only to be met by a burning sensation through my hand into my arm. I pulled back, gasping in pain. At that point, the door was slightly ajar, with nothing but darkness on the other side.

"Are you okay?" Steve asked. I nodded and properly took him in. His face looked tired and his eyes had sunken into his face as if he has been malnourished.
"Are you okay?" I returned the question, stepping forward.
"Chris if I don't make it-" Steve started but I was quick to cut him off.
"You will make it. Because the world still needs you. The team still needs you... I need you." I added quietly. " And besides, my Steve doesn't give up that easily."
His lips pulled into a weak smile, and then he held out out his hand to me, over where I had touched without harm. I smiled with relief and I grabbed a hold of his arm, ready to pull him to me.

Before he could take a step towards me, there was a loud and piercing scream that shook wherever it was we were. The door behind Steve burst wide open and tentacle-like shadows came slithering out and reaching for Steve. Instinctively, I held onto his hand tightly and then pulled myself towards him, wrapping arms around him. I tried to ignore the pain from the barrier between us that made my skin feel like it was on fire. I ignored the headache that seared through my mind. Instead I focussed on opening my wings and wrapping them around us as a shield. I focussed on the way his arms were wrapped around me like the first time. I focussed on his face buried in my shoulder. I wasn't going to let him go. Not until he was-

My train of thought was cut short when I felt myself being ripped away from Steve and thrown into a wall.

I gasped with pain and opened my eyes to see that I was in the hospital room again. I was on the floor and against the wall opposite Steve's bed. Bruce cane rushing over to me, a look of worry on his face.

"Are you okay? How did it go? Is he going to be okay?" He asked. I squinted and held a hand to my head as it was throbbing from the impact of hitting the wall. I opened my mouth to answer him when Steve's heart rate monitor flat lined. Me and Bruce were quick to our feet and rushed over to Steve. I checked his pulse and then a lump formed in my throat when I didn't feel anything.

"No." I stopped Bruce from talking. "He's not dying on my watch." I grit my teeth and started pressing against his chest for CPR. "You're not going to die." I hissed, increasing the amount strength I applied to my pushes. There wasn't any sign of life from him.
"Chris, you'll need to go, the doctors are going to be on their way." Bruce warned me. I shook my head, ignoring the tears burning in my eyes.
"No!" I almost screamed. "I'm not. Letting him. Go!" I brought my hands down heavily against his chest, a growl leaving my lips. I took a step back from his bed, shaking my head with disbelief. I had one job. To bring him back alive. And I couldn't even do that. I was too late and it was my fault in the first place.

The heavy silence that had filled the room was soon broken by the door bursting open. Both mine and Bruce's heads shot up to see Bucky stood there, panting slightly.

"Chris we need to go, the others are here and they're on their way up."
"I couldn't do it." I answered him, my voice breaking. My inevitable sob was put on hold, however, when there was a loud gasp for air and the heart rate monitor was slowly becoming steady. Steve's body convulsed and although he didn't sit up or open his eyes, he started crying out in pain.

"Chris..." He repeated over and over again. I was about to move over to him when Bucky grabbed my wrist.
"We need to go." He repeated. I blinked and then turned to look at Bruce who was staring between me and Bucky with disbelief and confusion.
"Go, Christina. You can't be seen here. They'll hand you over." He stuttered, and nodded towards the door. I looked at Steve once more before grabbing my jacket and then leaving with Bucky. I stopped at the door once more and made a mental promise. 'I'll come back for you Steve, I promise.'

Bucky grabbed my hand and we ran towards the stairwell, knowing that if Nat and the others were here, they'd be in the lift. It took us a while but we were soon out and quick into his car. We didn't move for a while, and just sat there in silence.

"It was so weird seeing him like that.." Bucky whispered after a few minutes.
"Did it trigger something? A memory?" I asked as I turned in my seat to look at him, my voice coming out hoarse.
"It triggered a feeling." He mumbled, staring ahead with a closed expression. I stayed quiet, and just leaned back in my seat. I couldn't help but remember the feel of him in that dark place. The way he looked. How sick he looked. How scared he looked. And then the fact that he cried out for me and all I could was leave him.

I sighed and buried my hands in my hair, staring at the hospital doors. "Can we go get something to eat? I could really do with a chocolate cupcake or something. Or a couple bottles of scotch." I asked, clicking my seatbelt shut. Bucky glanced at me with a raised brow and nodded.
"I could do with those bottles of scotch too." He said, starting the engine. "Can I ask something?" I nodded, watching him close his own seatbelt. "Will Bruce tell the others that he's seen me?"
I thought for a moment, remembering the look on his face when he realised I was with Bucky. "I don't know. I mean, even if he did, how will they know where to look? They wouldn't have the tine anyway, they're dealing with the mess I brought to this world." I answered tiredly, leaning against the window and watching passers-by go about their daily lives.

"Let's go get that cake and scotch, then." Bucky muttered before driving off.

// Sorry for how long it took me to update, I think i'm just stressed. Lawl. Anyways, I think this chapter is a little bleuh but I've tried and I'll probably end up editing this one thoroughly. Don't forget to vote and comment, loves!

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