Chapter Seventeen

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"I like your tattoo," Bucky complimented as we drove, Steve's unnecessarily slow driving making me sleepy, and Sam on the phone made my head hurt.

"Thanks," I replied, lifting my head up from where it had rested against the window.

"What does it mean?" he asked, his dark eyes curious and childlike. I looked down at the three roses that spanned the length of my forearm, the black ink stark against my pale skin.

"I, I don't really know. My best friend," I stopped, correcting myself. "My old best friend, from before all, this designed it. She's an artist, you see. I guess, each flower represents one of us. Me, Bri and Max. Together forever." My mind went back to before, my photo filled room in our apartment, the boxing bag in the living room, the countless late nights and trips around New York. I missed it when it was simpler, but I realized I wouldn't have it any other way. I spent too long mulling over what was I forgot what I had now. I had Sam, and I had Steve, and that was all I needed.

"Where are your friends now?" Bucky inquired, his voice timid like he wasn't sure if he should be asking. I smiled sadly.

"In New York. They're married now. And they have a baby boy. Timothy. Bri and I called each other sisters, so I guess that makes him my nephew." I chuckled lightly.

"You won't ever meet him?"

"No," I sighed. "It's much too dangerous for me to see him. Or any of them." I leaned back in my seat, crossed my hands awkwardly on my lap.

"I understand that. And I understand you," Bucky looked me in the eyes, his voice low so Sam and Steve wouldn't hear us over the radio and their own conversation.

"How can you understand me?" I stared deep into his eyes.

"I don't know. I feel like I've met you before. And there's something about you that makes me think, maybe you know what it's like. To not be in control of your own mind," Bucky said earnestly. I looked away, afraid if I kept looking at him I would spill the truth. But there was a little truth I could tell.

"The battle of New York. You know about that?" He nodded. I sighed. "Loki, from Asgard, one of my people, used my Asgardian ancestry as a way to access my mind. He used me to help him escape from SHIELD, and I-" I closed my eyes, the memories returning in flashes and cuts. "I killed a lot of people. Good people. But the worst thing was, I was still in there. I could see everything I was doing but I couldn't stop it. It was nothing like what you've gone through, but I understand a little bit." I smiled at him, hoping it came out kind and not like a grimace.

"Do you still feel him? In your head?" Bucky asked, casting a worried glance up front in case they heard us. I knew Steve would, but Sam with his human hearing wouldn't.

"Yeah. Every now and then," I screwed up my face, a headache hitting me as I realized I was seriously low on energy. "I don't know where he is, or what he's doing, but he always reminds me that a part of me belongs to him. Whether not he could control me again, I don't know. But part of myself isn't mine any longer. I accepted that a long time ago." I leaned back, my head hitting the back of the car with a soft thud. Bucky did the same, closing his dark eyes.

"Yeah, that about sums it up," he muttered. I moaned softly, feeling my limbs slowly stiffen and my skin heat up as my body reacted to low energy. Both Sam and Steve whipped their heads round, Steve's turning back again when he remembered he was driving.

"What's wrong?" Sam asked, frantic. I tried to move my head, but I just couldn't. I felt heavy and slow, a fire raging across my skin. My lips felt numb and I couldn't respond.

"What's happening to her?" Bucky said, eyes wide like he was afraid it was his fault.

"Like Spain?" Steve said, glancing at me in the rear view mirror. I managed a nod, my eyelids drooping.

UNRAVELLED ~ STEVE ROGERS [3]Where stories live. Discover now