xviii. back to battle

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"This world is a cruel place and we're here only to lose. So before life tears us apart, let death bless me with you." -- Join Me in Death, Him

~ ~ ~

One month passed between getting introduced to new weapons, uniforms, and the upcoming plans, and letting the group of Howling Commandos return to full strength.

The weeks and weeks of imprisonment had nearly killed many of the 107th soldiers and the cellmates had gratefully taken their time recuperating. For Sam, this meant spending more time with Meg and sneaking off at night to train with any one of the Commandos that would take her on. 

She learned how to use the watch Howard had given her. The third button was perhaps the most dangerous of them all, even though the only thing it did was surround her fists with a barrier of sorts. But Sam had become dangerous with her hands.

Moreso, she had become dangerous to herself.

She was determined not to go back into the field if she didn't know herself. She wouldn't risk her comrades lives, not because she couldn't fully yet trust her body.

So she forced herself to face her phasing.

On the nights when the Howling Commandos took to the pub instead of training or going over strategy, Sam would sneak to the roof of the hotel and practice. It was draining at first, trying to gather enough adrenaline and rage to sink her hand straight through the wall.

But as one week turned into two, it got easier. She managed to control when she phased; when she lost control compared to when she wanted to.

It wasn't much, but it was enough. She stopped fearing herself so much. 

One month passed and when Steve told them that they'd be going on their first mission, she was ready. Or, ready enough. 

She crept behind Falsworth, combat boots padding silently on the frost covered forest floor. She was dressed similar to the others; in colors of dark green and black. Her hair had grown out enough she was able to pull it out of her face, braided back a few inches. Her breaths were white puffs in front of her, the air icy cold.

Ahead, Steve held up a hand. 

They all slowed to a stop, gathering around him. Beyond the forest was a large warehouse, a dozen Hydra soldiers standing guard outside. But they'd canvased earlier and Sam knew there were more. 

That was part of her, Bucky, and Dugan's mission.

It was their job to get around the back and take out the rest of the guards. It was on their shoulders to make sure none of them made contact with the forces on the inside. 

Otherwise, there would more unnecessary bloodshed. 

"Buck, Sam, you know what you're doing?"

She nodded, exchanging a look with Bucky. A smirk tugged at his lips and he turned back to Steve. "They won't even know what hit them."

Steve tugged his helmet around his head; dark colors of blue, white, and red. Sam had chortled upon seeing the uniform but like his shield, it seemed he'd become attached. She still grinned though, and he shook his head as he caught her look. "That's the plan. If anything goes wrong, change gears. Get back and we'll need to get in."

"Aye, aye, Captain," she titled her fingers from her temple. Dugan turned away and she and Bucky quickly followed. The others would get the soldiers at the front.

She tapped the watch, the flickering armor layer enveloping her body. Bucky shot her a sideways glance, brows knotting together. 

"I still don't get why you get the badass gadget."

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