ten.

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DARKNESS.
010. | ❛ protection.

SAM, BUCKY, KIARA, STEVE, AND CAROLINE MADE IT TO A WAREHOUSE SEEKING A PLACE TO LAY LOW FOR A MOMENT. SHE KNEW THAT THEY WERE GOING TO BE WANTED NOW MORE THAN EVER, AND COULD FEEL THAT MORE WAS YET TO COME. Caroline jogged into the grimy room they were in to offer the report of the helicopters, "There are helicopters still circling to the west but they don't seem to know we're here."

Her eyes fixate on Kiara, who was watching Bucky's his limp form, and his torso bent at an angle as his metal arm remains restrained in a mechanical vice. Walking over to her sister, she stood by her side before engaging in a conversation. "You know it's going to be rough from here on out."

Kiara scoffed, "We just keep running into trouble, don't we?"

Caroline nodded while looking back on how true that statement was. Even if she didn't see it at times, she always laughed herself towards trouble. First with Loki, Washington D.C, Ultron, and now with Bucky. Going back to pre-serum Steve, when she sneakily aided in the war alongside Peggy. Now, she keeps running towards it but this time was different; because she was fighting for her best friend, who she knew wasn't in control of his own mind.

"There wouldn't be a story to tell if we didn't." Caroline plainly admitted before resting a hand on Kiara. "I'm going to check on Steve. Are you going to be alright in here?"

She looked towards the still unconscious Bucky and back to Kiara, "I'll be fine."

Her tone didn't completely convince Caroline, and she could see how Kiara was trying to not let her emotions show. The ones that she kept hidden for a while, and seeing Bucky before her eyes was something that Kiara was still processing. Caroline gave her sister a quick hug, before leaving her in the room with Bucky.

She saw Sam and Steve turn when they heard the sound of her shoes echoing through the warehouse. The men continued in their conversation until Caroline arrived, and politely asked Sam to go accompany Kiara to which he obliged. Which left Steve and Caroline alone, standing there silently.

She wrapped her arms around his torso, and Steve rested his around her bringing her in closer; the one moment that they felt safe within each other's embrace. Caroline could feel a small kiss being placed on the top of her head, as they continued to hold each other.

"I want to thank you Steven Grant Rogers." Caroline abruptly spoke, pushing back from Steve and taking one of his cheek in her palm.

He held a confused look at Caroline for the sudden change of course, "What are you middle naming me for?"

"Thank you for protecting me. For always protecting me. You've always worked so hard to keep me safe, even when we just friends and even now. You've saved me, Steve. From a world of war and darkness, and I want you to know that you are everything to me. I love you Steven Grant Rogers. From here until death parts us." She slowly spoke, watching him tentatively as his body tensed, his head bent forward and his turn to now speak. Knowing that Caroline was saying most of it because of the situation they were in.

"Caroline Anne Kingsley, we're going to make it out of this." He connected their foreheads, and kept his gaze on Caroline's. "We're going to clear Bucky's name. And then we're going to get married, and have that wedding that you always dreamed about. And live happily ever after." Steve's voice cracked as a tear shed from his eye, and Caroline was quick to wipe it away. She knew that whatever they were in now, isn't going to end happily ever after. From the looks of it, that they were in a situation far too deep that didn't have any positive solution. Yet regardless, she held onto hope.

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