XXII. True Strength

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Three days later...

Chapter Twenty-Two

I growl loudly at the ground, frustrated that I lost the trail I picked up on. I sniff the ground again, burying my nose in the frost tipped grass, searching for any trace of my sister. But I find nothing there. It was another false lead.

"Alex? Did you pick up on something?" Bucky shouts to me.

I look behind me to find him jogging up to my side. I turn back into human form, shaking my head once I'm back on my two feet.

"No. It was another false lead."

Bucky pinches the bridge of his nose, beginning to pace back and forth, his hands balling up into fists at his sides. He gives me a look of exasperation and anger. "I thought you said you knew how to do this?"

I glare at him. "I do, but if you haven't noticed, Russia is a lot of area to cover. I'm trying."

"You're not trying hard enough!" He shouts, his eyes practically red from exhaustion and his voice rough and scratchy. "My girlfriend is out there somewhere being tortured, and here we are sniffing around in the forest when she could be dying!"

"Oh don't pull that shit with me," I shout back, growing angry myself. "She's my sister. I know she's in danger and I know she could be dying, so don't talk like I don't care what happens to her. What have you been doing to try to get her back? At least I'm doing something. You're just following me around and criticizing me."

"I am doing something. I'm watching over you while you fail at getting her back."

Before either of us can say anything else, Khari appears, his voice firm and strict as he shouts at the both of us. He sounds authoritative, like the general he is; "That's enough! Look at you two; arguing and yelling at each other at a time like this," He says, glaring between the two of us. "You two need to get some rest. You haven't slept in three days, you've barely eaten anything, and it's making you both say things you don't mean."

"I won't rest until I have her back." Bucky says. I nod in agreement.

"Soroya would want you both to take care of yourselves and each other. It would break her heart to see the two men she loves most fight like this. So, for her, get some sleep and eat something. Okoye and I will continue the search for now."

"How are the others doing?" I ask my fiancé.

"Nakia and T'Challa are speaking with the Wakandan spies here in Russia to see if they've heard anything, but nothing yet. Shuri and Bruce are still trying to find her with trackers and satellites back at her lab. Rhodey is doing aerial searches, Scott Lang is talking with some of his criminal buddies to see if they've heard any word of Soroya, and Everett has people searching for her as well."

"And still nothing?"

Khari shakes his head, closing the distance between us, slipping his hand into mine. I know he misses her as much as Bucky and I do, but as usual he is the voice of reason and hope in dark times such as this. Soroya would be happy that Khari was here with us, making sure we're alright. She would be happy the three men she loves most are working together...for the most part anyways.

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