XIV. Moving Forward

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Chapter Fourteen

I feel so lost. My whole life I've felt that way. I finally felt that I understood who I was and where I belonged...but apparently not. I remember how hard it was to learn what happened to me, to Alex, and our parents. It was painful, confusing, and more than anything it made me wonder why it had to happen to me? What had me and my family done to deserve this fate?

All those feelings and thoughts are flowing through me again, and I wish they would go away. I wish I could have all the answers. I wish I knew what Analiese wants with me, what she needs me for...what she means to do to me.

All of us need to take a bit of a break, not wanting to fly back to Wakanda just yet. Alex is sitting in the pilot's seat with his earbuds in, listening to music on the iPod Shuri gave me all those years ago. Since I have my phone now I've given the iPod to him. I knew Alex needed time to process the new information we just got, and so did I. This blows away everything we thought we knew. I know he's as lost as I am.

I've been sitting in the grass outside the lab for a while now, picking at blades of grass and throwing them in the ground. Despite it being May, Russia is already cold. I feel the breeze blow through my hair, feel it creep up on my skin and make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I hate Russia. I hate everything about it. I didn't have to come here too much during the blip, but when I did, it wasn't for very long. Every time I did, I had someone with me. It made the experience almost bearable. Having Alex and Bucky here does make me feel better, but how comfortable and safe can you feel when you're being hunted by a shapeshifting psychopath?

Bucky isn't happy to be back here either, and is currently sitting a couple feet away from me, his hands wrapped around his legs.

"Do you think there will be a time when HYDRA doesn't bother us anymore?" I ask him.

He lets out a sigh. "I want to say yes, but I don't know. I don't think so. I wish we had more answers, this file only brings up more questions."

"Do you think Analiese gave the serum to herself? That would explain why she resigned and why she can shapeshift."

Bucky nods. "But why did she test it? Why without the knowledge of Becker and the other scientists?"

"And why can I shapeshift into animals when I was given a serum to allow me to shift into other humans...when there was already a serum that allows for shifting into animals."

Bucky looks angry as he stands up, kicking at the ground. "I'm sick of these games. We're just pawns for HYDRA to pull across a chess board. Just when I think we're no longer in their game, another player comes to control us again. I want to know what Analiese Remington wants with you."

I grab onto his metal hand, urging him to look at me. "We'll figure it out. And as confusing as this is...I refuse to let us be pawns again. We're going to figure out what her plan is and we're going to stop her."

Bucky smiles down at me. "I wish I had your optimism."

I squeeze his hand. "We've faced bigger things than this and won. A week ago I held all of the infinity stones in my hand and faced Thanos for the second time. We can certainly handle Analiese Remington."

A look of pride flashes in Bucky's eyes before he kisses my hand gently, saying he's going to go check on Alex.

As he walks away, I bring my Kimoyo Beads up, tapping on the middle three twice. I am thankful Khari's face pops up instantly. He sees the look on my face and gives me a look of concern. "What did you guys find?"

³ 𝐒𝐇𝐈𝐅𝐓𝐄𝐑 ─ bucky barnes Where stories live. Discover now