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Steve raised an eyebrow. "'S that so?" He prompted.

After taking a sip from her water bottle, Brenna reasoned simply, "you're not human." She paused a pursed her lips. "Well, not a normal human," she corrected herself, "'cause it didn't hurt Bucky either. But on the helicarrier..." Her voice trailed off as she recalled the awful incident she'd had.

Steve frowned in concern, not having been told what happened. "Brenna?" He muttered, pulling her back to reality. She met his eyes with a look of almost helplessness for a split second.

Composing herself, Brenna cleared her throat. "I..killed people," she confessed, "with my plasma." Steve's face fell into a look of empathy and sorrow. "It was a complete accident, but, yeah," she went on, "turns out, it does hurt people." She laughed lightly, trying to convince both herself and Steve that it wasn't too big of a deal anymore.

But it was. When everyone in the tower went to sleep, Brenna was left alone with only her thoughts. She couldn't seem to get over what she'd done. Even the few nights that she did sleep were filled with nightmares. Nightmares of herself.

"Listen, B," Steve cooed, putting a comforting hand on Brenna's shoulder. "I'm here, if you ever need to talk about anything." He really was just too kind.

Brenna smiled up at him genuinely. "Thanks," she replied, her smiled turning devious as she went on, "but I'd rather kick your ass in a spar." She quickly got into fighting position.

Steve chuckled. "You can try," he challenged. Then the two began to battle. The training went on for hours, until the sun set outside. They ate together, then went their seperate ways to get ready for bed.

• • •

Brenna slipped into a pair of sweats and a tank top after her shower. She was in the middle of blotting her hair dry when she heard her window opening slowly. It was a near-silent noise, so small that the average person wouldn't have even noticed. A smile crept across her face as she realized what this meant. Quickly hanging up her towel, she left her bathroom.

"Bucky," she greeted in a soft tone.

The man gave her a small smile. "Hey, Brenna," he responded. Hands in his jeans pockets, he walked toward her slowly.

"You can set that down, you know," Brenna offered, pointing to the bookbag on his back. Bucky nodded, shrugging tha bag off onto the coffee table in Brenna's living room area. It amused her; he never seemed to have much to say, so she took lead in starting a conversation. "Steve moved into the tower today," she remarked casually, "just a few rooms down."

Bucky only stared at his bookbag, no change in his expression. Seeing this, Brenna recalled how he had yet to speak to the captain since the day he dragged him out of the river. She frowned and walked into his line of sight. "He's worried about you," she muttered, "maybe you just leave him a note or something, let him know you're safe now."

"But I'm not safe," Bucky countered, meeting Brenna's eyes, "I don't think I ever will be." However, this didn't seem to upset him. "Besides," he went on, taking a seat on her couch, "I'm not ready yet."

Brenna sat beside him, leaning back against the arm of the couch with her body facing him. "But you were ready for me," she reminded, curiousity in her voice.

Bucky leaned his elbows onto his knees, turning his head to the side to see Brenna's concerned face. "That's different," he muttered with a half-smile.

Heart jumping in her chest, Brenna asked hesitantly, "how?"

The question put the Winter Soldier into an obvious state of fluster. He didn't know what to say; or rather, he knew what he wanted to say, but couldn't find the right words. "Because.." Bucky began, pausing to think for a moment. "You and me, we don't have any history," he began to explain, "I can remember meeting you, talking to you, getting closer to you. I don't have to force myself to pretend to know you."

Brenna smiled in sympathy, both happy and sad to hear this. It was amazing to know that he was comfortable with her, but the fact that he still wasn't sure about Steve was heart-breaking. Bucky moved his body to face hers, a serious look crossing his face. He squinted at her a bit, turning his head to the side. "When I look at you," he continued in a soft voice, "it's just all...there. I know you."

The blush on Brenna's cheeks shone in the dimly lit room, but Bucky didn't acknowledge it. "Come on," he muttered, lifting his metal hand to her cheek. There was a look in his eyes that she'd never seen before; it was calm yet fiery, and full of gentle passion. "I need you to keep this secret," he murmured, a small crooked grin on his lips, "for me."

Brenna felt her eyes go wide. Staring up into the super soldier's face, just inches from her own, she blushed harder. But not just because of the closeness; he was using a line she'd once told him. She slowly nodded, and before she knew it, Bucky was wrapping his arms around her.

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