Chapter Ten

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Private jets, despite their name, don’t actually give someone much privacy, especially if you’re in one with Steve ‘Concerned Parent 24/7’ Rogers.

On the way to Vienna, I sat with Sam, my lips pressed together silently because I knew that if I opened them, I’d spill everything.

When Sam found me in the bathroom, I had told him everything. How King T’Chaka had been the one to take me in, and had raised me alongside Prince T’Challa and later, Princess Shuri as his own flesh and blood. How I had to lie, and how it had gone on too long, but I was in so deep I couldn’t climb out of the deception.

He had been angry. And rightly so. But he had also forgiven me, which I hadn’t expected. He had stroked my hair and told me it would all be alright.

So, I climbed aboard that jet, and I sat with Sam, and I pretended it was all ok.

Steve watched me carefully as Sam talked to me, his interest apparent. He didn’t act on his curiosity though, instead opted to flicker his eyes between Sam and I as we talked, or rather, as Sam talked, and I nodded. His blue eyes desperately searched to catch mine, but I just couldn’t look at him. The guilt of my lies was almost too much to bear, and now another person knew and the most important one didn’t.

When we touched down in Vienna, I hastily exited the jet before Steve could catch me. Dressed like a regular person in jeans, my denim jacket, my worn down Doc Martens and a Supernatural Season Nine t-shirt, we made our base of operations a coffee shop down the road from the UN building. Sharon donned her CIA jacket, and we laid low in the outside of the cafe. Peering out from under my sunglasses, I glimpsed a dark skinned man, his tight curls scattered with dust and a cut on his forehead.

My heart pounded at the sight of my brother.

“I’m calling Nat,” Steve said, whipping out his phone. I didn’t look at him, but instead focused on the chaos around us. A cigarette hung from my lips, smoke drifting aimlessly around my face.

“You alright?” Steve said into his phone. A woman walked past, and the way she stood, the way she squared her shoulders reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

“Are you saying you’ll arrest me?” Steve said with a smirk. “If he’s this far gone, Nat, I should be the one to being him in.” His tone turned sombre.  

Sam caught my eye from inside the cafe and smiled at me. I couldn’t bring myself to smile back.

“Because I’m the one least likely to die trying,” Steve was saying. He ended the call abruptly and motioned for me to get up and follow him. I did so silently, stamping out of cigarette and following him inside where we met Sam at the counter of the café.

“She tell you to stay out of it? She might have a point,” he said, his eyes hidden under his glasses.

“He’d do it for me,” Steve said firmly.

“1945, maybe. I just want to make sure we’ve considered all out options. The people that shoot at you, usually wind up shooting at me,” Sam said matter-of-factly.

Beside me, Sharon arrived, carrying a file in brown card.

“Tips have been pouring in since that footage went public. Everyone thinks the Winter Soldier goes to their gym. Most of its noise. Except for this.” She slid the file over to Steve without making eye contact. “My boss expects a briefing pretty much now, so that’s all the head start you’re gonna get.”

“Thank you,” Steve said gratefully.

“And you’re gonna have to hurry. We have orders to shoot on sight.”

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