Twenty Seven

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Eve shut her eyes in a grimace as the yellow waves flew into her. It took everything she had to stay awake and force the plants to heal her. She could feel her torn inside starting to stitch themselves back together, but before she could finish, her body gave out. Bucky ran into the doorway just in time to see Eve give out, her head falling to the side in exhaustion.

"Eve," Bucky coaxed her as he went to her bedside. He pushed away the wilted flowers surrounding her on the bed to sit beside her and cupped her face with his hands. Bucky slowly moved his thumbs across her cheeks and under her eyes gently to wake her.

His heart leaped out of his chest at the sight of Eve's eyes barely opening enough to look at him. An absentminded smile rose on her face as she took in the sight of his worried and loving eyes, messy low bun, and sweats.

"I'm so sorry," was the first thing Bucky said to her. He could feel the slight shake of her head. "Eve, you have to keep healing yourself, please," he then begged her.

"I'm so tired," Eve faintly whispered as her eyes began to close, but Bucky's thumbs caressed her face again, his eyes scanning all over her face.

"Please, Eve, for me. You gotta do this," Bucky continued to push. Eve looked up at him again before forcing herself to heal. Their eyes didn't part as Eve grimaced while using the rest of the plants in the room. He wanted more than anything to go back to when they met. He would immediately take her away, somewhere no one would even think to look.

Moments later all of the plants in the room were crumbled to the ground. Eve finally gave out, but not before pulling Bucky down to lay on top of her. Eve's arms lazily wrapped around his shoulders as he carefully shifted to wrap Eve around himself, knowing that her wounds were still healing.

She didn't blame him for what happened to her. If anything she blamed herself, but she knew she couldn't tell him the plan, he would've never went along with it.

The rest of the Avengers ran into the room as the yellow sparks faded out. All of their eyes held hope as they looked at the two. 

"She couldn't stay awake," Bucky said. All of the guys stood around the room as Natasha sat down next to her. She gently wrapped her hand around Eve's with a tear in her eye. Natasha started to feel as if Eve was her own little sister. She never agreed with Eve's plan, but knew there wasn't another way or else Ciro would have seen it coming.

Eve's eyes opened at the familiarity of Natasha's presence. Eve softly smiled up at her, Natasha returning it. All the guys cheered quietly in welcome backs as Nat squeezed Eve's hand before letting go.

"How you feeling, kid?" Tony asked her.

"Never better," Eve chuckled lightly, pain shooting through her but only Bucky could feel her tense.

"Well we are glad you're gonna be okay," Cap spoke up.

"Despite how we met, you have my respect," Thor nodded at her with approval in his voice. Eve grinned even more.

"Killed Central Park, but a damn good soldier," Sam winked at her with a laugh. Eve looked at him then noticed Clint standing next to Sam.

"I never got the chance to thank you," Eve said to Clint.

"Don't worry about it. Anyone of us in this room would have for you," he smiled kindly at her.

"I'm forever grateful for that," Eve said.

Two days went by, Bucky only left her side to bring her more flowers he made Tony fly in for Eve. She slept most of the time, Bucky always staying awake just in case she needed him when she woke up.

"Buck," Eve's voice rasped, catching his attention from staring off into space. He was at his feet in an instant and to her side.

"Hey, Eve," he spoke gently and took his hand in hers, his thumb lightly rubbing the back of her hand. "I got you more flowers," he then told her, gesturing to the table tops filled with them in every kind.

Eve let her eyes close as she felt the energy fly into her, starting to feel better again. As she did so, Bucky leaned down and kissed her forehead to mainly calm his own nerves.

"I want to get out of here," Eve told him when her eyes fluttered open again.

Bucky did what she asked. He led her out of the hospital after giving her a change of street clothes. She wrapped her right arm around his right arm as her left hand held his right hand, leaning on him for support. Her eyes faded in and out as she checked around them.

He helped her into the car and started driving them back to the Avengers Compound. She never took her eyes off of Bucky as he drove. She kept her head leaned back on the seat as she constantly scanned him over.

"It's not your fault," Eve finally broke the silence, making Bucky glance at her before returning his eyes back to the road. She watched his shoulders fall in a deep exhale.

"I'm sorry I did that to you," he whispered as he noticed her sunken in appearance. Her skin was not the normal vibrant color, nor were her actions as responsive and lively. Eve's eyes didn't hold that same spark.

"Ciro did it," Eve told him.

"I got something for you," Bucky changed the subject and grabbed files out of the glove compartment to hand to Eve. She flipped the first file open to see Aidan's photograph on top of her information sheet. The rest of the files contained her other siblings' information as well. Her heart felt warm at the fact in the middle of all the chaos, he was thinking about her.

"Thank you, James," Eve said and leaned over the console to kiss his cheek. "I love you."

"I love you too."

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