After attempting to physically wash away my exhaustion, I cautiously padded across the slate grey tile, feeling like a thin layer of ice, sending tingling goosebumps up my steaming bare legs. Eager to rid my shuffling feet of the bone chilling sensation, I found temporary refuge atop the small, shell colored shag rug positioned in front of the bathroom's vanity. Squeezing the cotton towel firmly beneath the pit of my arm, I stretched out my pruned fingers towards the clouded mirror blurring my reflection; continuing to wipe away the gathered perspiration. Inhaling a deep, steady breath I blinked harshly in the attempt to forcefully rid the brutal combo of both fatigue and exhaustion preying on my eyes.
"What the fuck isn't he telling me." I exhaled resting my open palms against the slick marble countertop while allowing my seeping head of hair to drop between my tensed shoulder blades; sealing my eyes shut as vivid memories littered in crimson played on a cruel loop, tantalizing my emotions like it was some sick game.
"Kate? You okay?" Bucky's gruff yet gentle voice pulled me from my trance as my ears became alerted by his knuckles softly knocking against the wooden door separating the two of us.
"You shouldn't be moving, get your ass back in bed, Barnes!" I hastily dismissed his question and sternly instructed him to do as I said instead, not really knowing exactly how to answer his question. Why wouldn't I be okay? It's not like I had the shit beaten out of me? I should be okay, right? Why don't I feel okay?
"You didn't answer my question." He added as I swallowed hard on the knot becoming lodged in my throat. Inhaling a deep breath, I didn't exhale while I strode across the bathroom and clutched the cold steel forming into a handle.
"Pretty sure I did, it was something along the lines of get your ass back in bed. Age is not treating you well, Barnes." I wisecracked with a lopsided grin as the once sealed door gradually opened, revealing a battered and bruised soldier standing idle with his extended arm resting against the doorframe; suspiciously cocking his brow towards my dismissive yet humorous answer.
"You are a piece of work, Kate Wilder, you know that?" He inadvertently laughed as his features immediately winced at the minor action, the still vibrant bruises and remnants of caked blood encircling around his eyes scrunching along with them.
"And you are nearly on death's doorstep, James Buchanan Barnes." I countered instantaneously lurching my body towards him while delicately maneuvering my vastly smaller figure beneath the pit of his arm. "I can handle it, big guy." I remarked when my shoulder felt the absence of his weight denying my gesture, concurrently trying to convince him of my untenable claim.
The feeling of his warmth trickling onto my skin like warm, oozing honey never failing to flush my cheeks.
"Kate, no you can't." Bucky mused at my cocky yet innocent words, tensing his entire body in the attempt to reframe from putting any pressure atop my fragile shoulders.