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The plan was terrible. A suicide mission. But my life was less meaningful than the livelihood and freedom of the whole world.

It was simply. I get Bucky away from S.H.I.E.L.D hheadquarters, try not to die, and distract him long enough for Steve, Sam and Nat to disable Project Insight. Then we take HYDRA down for good.

" I'll get through to him." I said to Steve, " I have to."

" I have to believe you will. Or else I won't be able to focus."

We stole our original suits from the Air and Space museum. I hope the nostalgia sparks something in Bucky. I pushed my bangs back so I looked more like I did back then. My necklace was on the outside of my suit. Steve and I were sitting outside after talking to Fury. Sam had angrily walked inside after having a talk with Steve. He said to me, " You're both important to me, but he's as dumb as they come."

I sat down, taking Steve's hand before we started talking.

" Remember what I told you," Steve said, " If he gets too close. You hit that button on the phone, and I will get to you."

" I'll be okay."

" I know you will." He gave me a small smile, " Tough as they come."

He lied to himself a lot. All he wants to do is hover over me. Protect me. Shield me away from the bad in the world. He has to lie to himself that I'll be fine, so I can continue fighting. He'd be a hypocrite if he got angry.

" What do we do if we get him back?" I asked, " If we take down HYDRA?"

" Do what we do." He stared at the ground, " We find Thor and Banner, get the band back together."

" You're suggesting I'm back in the Avengers?"

" I need someone that has my back until the end."

I smiled, " We're practically glued to each other. I think we can arrange that."

Steve and I always had a little rope between us. Sometimes, it was thin as dental floss, but it never snapped. Right now, it was strong enough to tie anything together. He's been giving the role lots of slack, for my sake.

" If... if we get Bucky back. How exactly do we explain to the government my boyfriend from the 40's was turned into a Russian assassin that killed more politicians, kings, government officials and civilians than anyone in history, all while never ever being detected?"

Steve sighed, " One of America's Poster Boys for being a good citizen turned into a murderer. Can't exactly turn a foreign weapon back into the Boy Next Door can you?"

" We can't hide him away forever. That isn't fair to him."

" Stark can help him. Fix his mind. Whatever they did to him, we will reverse it. He'll be okay."

" I have to make sure he doesn't kill me first." I picked at my pant leg nervously, " I don't know how deep those hooks are in."

" HYDRA has taken a lot from us. Don't let them take him. Nothing is too deep for us to rip out."

" What's the damage of ripping them out though, Stevie?"

He'll never know. None of us will. Whatever man we pull out of this is never going to be the person we knew back then.

***

We suited up early that morning. No one talked much. No one wanted to look at me after they found out what I was doing.

" Get to the Triskellian, don't wait for me." I told Steve, " You go in and you take those helicarriers down. You kill Pierce. You kill every HYDRA bastard in that building."

" Where are you gonna go?"

" Somewhere close, but I'll distract him as long as possible. Move quickly. Sam," I turned to him, " Have his back. He's a bit... impulsive."

" You scream and I will swoop down as fast as I can on his ass."

" I'll be fine."

Sam frowned " I don't like this. Not one bit."

" I need to face him alone. I'm top of his kill list. You guys will have no issue getting through if he isn't there."

" Knowing you might have to die for everyone else isn't fair." He said lowly, " Not at all."

" Life isn't fair. I'll be okay, Sam."

He gave me a hug, " I've got Steve's back. I promise."

" Thank you." I sighed.

  Steve kissed my forehead, " Watch your leg. He knows it's weak. Keep him off balance. Use your shield, don't be offensive."

" I've got this."

" I know."

I handed him my mask, " He needs to see my face."

He looked at me sadly, and sighed, " I'll see you soon."

" See you soon."

***

I perched myself a mile away from the Triskellian. He knew where I was. I knew he was here.

" You're fast." I sighed.

" Stand up."

" Down to business, huh?"

I stood up, looking at him. He was holding a knife. I thought guns were usually his thing. I suppose HYDRA told him to make it slow. " Bucky, listen to me." I pleaded.

" My name isn't Bucky!"

I swung his knife at me. I deflected it with my shield. I kicked his knees out before rolling away from him, " No. Your name is James Barnes. You're almost 28. You're the eldest of 4 children."

" Shut up!"

The knife skidded off the metal of my leg. I kneed him in the face, and he cut across my cheek. I backed away again. He was getting frustrated. Upset. I pulled my necklace out, " You gave me this on my birthday. I've worn it everyday for 7 decades."

I barely had time to fall back after he kicked me in the mouth, his knife barely missing my shoulder. " Bucky, look at me!" I shouted, driving my shield against his metal arm, and pinning him.

I don't know where this strength came from, but I held him. His throat was pinned under my shield, I had kicked his knife 20 feet away. " You know me." I whispered, " They took you. They hurt you. I didn't. I will never, ever hurt you."

The sounds of explosions deafened me. I looked up, seeing 3 helicarriers smoking. They did it.

The good news turned sour as I felt a blade enter my stomach.

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