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I fell back from Bucky. He had a smaller knife, obviously concealed. I stood up, I had to keep him occupied until Steve got here. " I won't hurt you Bucky." I strained, " I refuse to."

" Stop calling me that!" He punched me again, kicking me back.

I took the hits. I would never hurt him again. No one will ever hurt him again. I spit blood back in his face, deflecting his hits with my shield the best I could.

" You are nothing but a number!" He swung at me with his knife, " They've waited decades to kill you! I'm going to make your brother watch as I do it!"

" I know you won't." I whispered, " James. You won't."

His face looked... sad. He was concealing it with anger. I could read Bucky better than anyone in the world. I fell on my back, sighing. I was waiting for another blow, but I smiled as I heard my brother yell as he tackled Bucky.

" Bucky, stop it!" He shouted.

" My name, isn't, Bucky!" 

I heard a loud crunch and my brother scream. Bucky kicked him in the side of the head, pointing his gun at his head.

" Stop!" I forced myself up.

I held my shield like a dinner plates bringing it down on Bucky's head. Steve looked like hell. He had clearly been beaten to a pulp, and the gunshot didn't help his state. I fell to my knees next to him. " Steve, you did it. Its over-"

 My brother doubled back when the two gun shots off. His blood started soaking through his suit, and he was clearly in shot. " Stevie-" I whispered.

My breath was cut off by metal wrapping around my throat. I was lifting in the air like it was nothing. " Please, stop!" Steve cried.

He threw me to the ground like a rag doll. He kicked me over and over. I spit out so much blood. I felt my ribs crack. My jaw was swollen. The look in  Bucky's eyes was animalistic. It was scary. This was not the boy I loved. This was some poor, broken thing HYDRA created. I heard Steve crying. " Stop it! Stop hurting her!"

 I finally rolled over. " James." I said, " Please. Please look at me." 

He picked me up by the throat. He was crushing my windpipe as it if was made of paper. I was still spitting blood, breathing nearly impossible now. I stared at him, tears filling my eyes. I clawed at his hands desperately. Steve tried to get up, and fell down, helpless. " You loved her!" He shouted, " She was your life!"

" You two are nothing!" Bucky screamed, " I don't know you! I never did!'

" You're my brother, Bucky." Steve said desperately.

" They told me to make you watch." He sneered, " To make it slow. Then kill you the same way. You are my mission."

" Finish it." Steve said, " Remember what you told me after my mom died?"

Bucky looked confused. My vision was going black. " We're with you til the end of the line." I choked out.

His grip seemed to loosen. His face was utter terror, confusion, anger and guilt. All at one. " Bye, James." I whispered.

I kicked off of him, hearing nothing but the wind and my brother's scream of anguish as I fell.

I felt that familiar cold. The water. My lungs were filled with it. I lost a lot of blood. I was gonna die down here. It was a peaceful way to go.

My body hit rock before I knew what hit me. I began coughing up enough water to fill a bathtub. I clawed at my throat, not feeling the comfort of the leather that was always around it. I heard footsteps, seeing a dark figure walking away from me as I fell into blackness.

***

Steve's hand around mine always made me feel safe. Ever since the plane crash, it was the most comforting thing in the world. Waking up in a nice soft hospital bed to that feeling nearly made me cry.

" Hey, Sleeping Beauty."

" What's the damage, Cap?" I croaked out.

" He crushed your throat pretty bad. They had to get a tube to open it back up until it heals. They stitched your stomach up. Then some bumps and bruises. That's the most of it."

" How's your gunshot?"

" Nothing I can't handle. They got the bullet out and sewed me up. I'll be just fine. You're what I'm worried about."

" Has the serum let me down yet?"

" Let's not jinx it."

I tried to sit up, but cringed as I did. " He got me good." I laid back down.

Steve pushed the button for my nurse to come back in. He stood up, " I'm gonna have Sam go get you some food. You've been out for over a day."

" Thai food from the place by our apartment."

" If it wasn't for that serum, you'd be 400 pounds."

***

Bucky

She was so small when she was asleep. No muscles. No fancy suit. No mask. No shield. I could snap her in half right now.

But I didn't.

Marilyn. Lyn. Lyn Rodgers. The name was kicking and screaming to get out. But it was just a name right now. I came through the open window, and just sat.

She really was what they told me. Genetic perfection. There wasn't a thing wrong with her. No blemishes outside what I caused. And even those were fading.

Part of me was screaming to kill her. To finish what I've been told to do. Pick her up right now and finish the job.

But I couldn't.

I fiddled with the small rose that had snapped off her neck when she fell. It was weathered, old as she was. As old as I was? How old was I, really?

I stared at the injuries I caused. The bruises and cuts all over her face. The purple bruises on her throat. The stitches in her arm. If she was like me, she'd be fine in a day or two. I still felt guilt when I looked at her like this. I hurt her. Why did that make me feel so guilty?

I had killed hundreds of people. Men. Women. Children. All because I was told to. She was the first one that it hurt me to see in pain.

I put the necklace on the table next to her before heading to the window. " Bucky." I heard her mumble.

I turned back, scared she woke up, but she was still fast asleep, " Bucky." She said quietly again, before yawning violently, and rolling over in bed.

I frowned. My name wasn't Bucky. It never was Bucky. Why on earth was she still calling me that...

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