Something wasn't right. The last 2 weeks were fantastic. The Avengers were officially back, and Steve and I couldn't afford our D.C apartment anymore. We moved back to the Tower in New York, which was nice. Being home was something I wish we could've done a while back.
It was August now, and I was walking through Brooklyn, feeling nostalgic. I haven't been back here since 2013, even that was only for a little while. I had been walking around most of today, back to places I hadn't been since I enlisted. Only one thing from the 40's remained. A tiny diner I had many late nights at.
I walked inside, sitting down at the counter. An old man walked over, smiling at me. He wore a World War 2 veterans hat, " How can I help you today, dear?"
" Just a cup of coffee." I said back kindly.
He put the mug in front of me, filling it up for me. I gestured to his hat, " When did you enlist?"
" 1944. I was 16 years old." He said, " Right after that Captain America fellow enlisted. You know I knew him? Steven Rodgers, my mother taught him and his sister when they were in high school."
16, in 1944. He was 87. I should be 97 right now. I was talking with a man from the same decade as me, and I was here, able bodied and young. " Oh really? What was her name?"
" Mrs. Annie Bianchi."
Mrs. Bianchi only had one kid. Tommy Bianchi. I babysat him when he was 6 and I was 16, the same age he enlisted. I wanted to cry, " How did you end up working here?"
" Oh when I came back from the army, after Captain Steve and Marilyn crashed, Mr. Robert de Luca gave me my first job, since it was such a hard time. He had no kids, so he left it to me. My grandson, Tommy Jr. is taking control when he turns 18, only 3 more years." He smiled.
I wanted to cry. All these people from the past were still here. Many of them were dead, but few remained. Almost all of them had such happy lives. I took a deep breath, " That's so nice to hear. Thank you, thank you so much for your service."
" Everyone thinks Captain America is the reason I enlisted. But that Blue Heart, Miss Marilyn Rodgers. She used to babysit me, you know? She was an absolute doll. Seeing her was incredible. Even before those experiments, she was the strongest person. Ran around Brooklyn with all 90 pounds of her brother and that James Barnes boy. She was a woman ahead of her time. She took care of those Nazi's right away."
" She sounds great."
He nodded, " I admired her quite a bit. You look at awful lot like her, you know?"
" Do I?"
" I suppose lots of New York girls look alike." He laughed, and turned to the door as the bell rang, " Welcome sir, how can I help you?"
" Coffee." A gravely voice said.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up, my skin seemed to crawl. I peaked over my shoulder. He was there. Sunk down into a booth, a hoodie hiding most of him. " I'll take that right over, Mr. Bianchi."
I took the cup from him, setting it in front of Bucky. " How long have you been behind me?" I said quietly.
" Since you got out of the hospital." He mumbled.
I shuddered. Things haven't felt right since then. I felt like I was being watched. Sure enough, I was. " Why?"
" I don't know." He shrugged.
" Who am I talking to right now?"
He rolled his eyes, " Not the guy who wants to kill you, if that helps."
" There's a difference?" I snapped.
" You have no idea what I've been through." He said harshly, " The last 2 weeks of my life have been me trying to figure out how to act like a human being, what's right and wrong."
" We've established HYDRA are the bad guys?"
He nodded, " I picked that up when I realized assassinating political figures was a bad thing."
" So why did you do it?"
" Until it was my mission to kill you, I didn't have a thought in my mind besides mission instructions. I was asleep or frozen or on another mission, I was nothing. You're the first person to treat me like a human being in over 50 years."
That stung. The idea of him being tortured and broken down again absolutely killed me. I reached out for his hand, but he yanked himself away. " Don't touch me. I can't... I can't risk hurting anyone again."
" Why are you here, Bucky?"
He cringed at the name, " I don't want to have homicidal thoughts, I don't want to lose control of myself. I want the nightmares to stop. I'm crumbling mentally. Whatever wall HYDRA put up, you and Steve tore down. You two are the only people who I have even the most remote memory of."
" What do you want me to do?"
" Help me." He said. His face was one of a scared little boy, a desperate, confused, little boy, " Please help me."
" I can't take you back to the Avengers." I said, " You're public enemy #1 right now. No one knows it's you, they just want The Winter Solider. But I can't take you to them, tell them what's going on and not expect them to take you in to the authorities."
Bucky fiddled with his sleeves, eventually looking at me with the saddest eyes, " Marilyn, please."
I reached up and touched my throat, feeling like I couldn't breath again. He was here. He was right in front of me. I couldn't drive him away again. I nodded, and he sighed in relief. " You need to let me sort some things out first." I said
" I'm staying at a motel in Manhattan." He said, " Above, the, erm, bar, with the ladies."
" Strip club." I nodded, " Got it."
He put two dollars on the table, " For the coffees."
He stood up and walked towards the door, " And Marilyn?"
I turned around, " Yeah?"
" I fell off a train, right? That's how they found me?"
My brain replayed that day every single night. It was the worst day of my life. But I nodded, " Yeah, you did." I said stiffly.
Bucky looked confused, but nodded, " I'll meet you here tomorrow."
He left, and I buried my face in my hands. I couldn't help but start crying. " Miss, is everything okay?" Mr. Bianchi said.
I looked at him, and started crying more, " I'm in way over my head, Tommy."
He was puzzled for a minute, but eventually seemed to understand, " Marilyn?"
I pulled my pant leg up, showing the metal, " The war took from everyone, I wish my leg was all it took."
" You're... you're her."
" I've always been her." I stood up, handing him the money, " And frankly, I wish they left me in the ocean."
" Oh, Marilyn." He said sadly, " You poor thing. You're what, 100?"
" 97 and counting." I sighed, " It's good to see you, Tommy."
I walked out of the diner, dreading walking back to see my brother. I couldn't tell him. He would go nuts. He needs to be Captain America for a while. He needs a few wins.
I could use a win myself.
YOU ARE READING
2014. Marilyn Rodgers is 27 years old, despite being born in 1917. After 2 years of adjustment to the modern world, her brother, Steve, and she finally begin to find peace. Steve, working for S.H.I.E.L.D hands on, while Marilyn works undercover. A...