Advice (Finale)

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No matter how many times that Steve had tried to reassure you that both he and Bucky were fine, and that they had practically healed completely only a few hours later, you couldn't shake the guilt of it all away. Bucky had his memories back now and he was no better than the first time you had met him, offering false hope that he could have a future without the daily torture that his mind was riddled with. It was true that you had pushed Steve to ask you to come to Wakanda to help his friend, but you really thought that you had a chance to help and to get him cleared of the persona that was holding Tony back from trusting the two super soldiers. You thought that you held a chance to put the team back together, and you had failed them all.

If there was no other purpose to you now, at least you could go back to healing the simple things, determined to put your focus on undoing the damage that you had done, starting with Nick's shattered knee. The warmth of your hands was emanating into it as you held your grip steady, but your mind was nowhere near focused on the moment; luckily for Fury, the easier the task, the more naturally it just happened despite your inattentiveness.

"Stop it."

"Hmm? What?" you startled to attention. "Something wrong?"

"You're lost in your head again, I can see it. (Y/N), Steve told you, they're fine. Barnes is completely okay with taking his memories back, so quit beating yourself up over it."

"Can't make me."

"So tell me, did you get that stubbornness from your brief time in Barnes' head? Or have you been hanging around Stark too long?"

"Learned it from the best, Nick. No one could top your example," you answered with a shake of your head in exasperation. You didn't want to be here, but you had to make at least some of these wrongs right; you wanted to see Bucky so that you could apologize directly and not through Steve, but no one would let you near him. It was too risky, they said, but you wouldn't dare touch him again knowing what you knew now. You simply wanted to see him and make amends.

Nick was watching you intently again, studying your every movement and every twitch of expression in your face, right down to the motion of your eyes no matter how slight. There were several times when he thought that you had looked right at him, but you didn't see him; you were looking into your own mind and your eyes were blinded to the input. It was true, that he believed himself to be at fault for ever agreeing to let you back into their lives, and that everything that happened once your feet hit the ground in Leipzig was on him, so he too was looking for redemption. He hated to see you hurting, as if you were his own, and he cared about you too much to watch the turmoil churning in you for one more minute. "Sub-level five, east wing."


"That's where he is. Go."


Once you were sure that Nick was okay on his feet after healing him, you took his direction and made your way to where Bucky was being held, though he insisted that he wasn't a prisoner by any means. They were keeping him in a guarded room until they knew that his mind was stable; if he wasn't, there was no way that Nick would have let you go, so this gave you some hope before seeing him for yourself. You stood outside of the door to his room for several minutes, unsure of why it was that your hands were shaking so much, or why your feet wouldn't move despite your orders to do so; you knew the man on the other side of the door, perhaps even more so than Steve at this point, but something was holding you back. It wasn't fear, or so you thought; there was something else pushing you away, and it wasn't until the door opened from the other side that it became immediately clear.

"Tony," you gasped, taking a step back.

"(Y/N)," he replied flatly, still moving to push past you, "you can go in if you want to. I think I'm done."

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