Status: Prologue 6/7/2016

Silent Guardians

Chapter Twelve

Steve slammed the shield down against Tony's arc reactor, instantly turned the suit off as it busted. They both were exhausted. Tony laid there in disbelief and relief, and Steve rolled off of him. Anya looked down at Bucky who was bleeding from the head, nose, and mouth. His breathing was even as he laid there. Anya could feel her ribs throbbing in pain, but she didn't care at the moment. She placed her hand gently on the side of his face as he leaned into it. Steve had gotten up and walked to the both of them after ripping his shield from Tony's suit.

Once Anya was able to get up, she helped Steve getting Bucky to his feet. He was disoriented as they began walking out.

"That shield doesn't belong to you. You don't deserve it! My father made that shield!!" With every sentence, Tony only got louder. Steve stopped, took the shield in one hand, and dropped it on the dusty concrete floor. Anya had her arm around Bucky's back and one against his chest as they walked out of the facility and back into the quin-jet.

Anya sat Bucky down in the seat next to hers. She looked down at his now missing left arm for just a split second. Bucky was done. He was ready for it all to be over. He only put more people in danger when he was around them. His distant eyes looked to a frantic Anya who was getting the medical kit. He noticed her limp and her breathing was off. His eyes softened at the sight of her. Bucky knew she had a wound in the ribs as she subconsciously would wince and she kept all of her weight on one side of her body. He didn't want her any more pain because of him.

Anya sat in front of him and doused a clean square piece of gauze with hydrogen peroxide. With a gentle hand, Anya began dabbing the wounds and cleaning the blood from his sweaty face. She was trying to be as gentle as possible and didn't even notice Bucky watching her work. He made mental notes about her. How she used careful hands to clean him, how she would suck in her bottom lip and ever so slightly crease her brows when she concentrated. Bucky took in her appearance, trying to not forget her. Her long brown hair had been put up behind her, and her slightly tan face was covered in sweat and dirt. The catsuit she wore was slightly torn at the seams on her right shoulder.

Bucky watched her hands move gracefully and noticed the main vein was protruding. He couldn't understand why a woman like Anya would stick around. It was because of him that she was shot, it was his fault that she was constantly injured or in danger. He noticed her bring her bottom lip in her mouth for a second time while trying to open a pack of butterfly stitches.

"Anya." She looked up at him with her big green eyes. She noticed a look in his own eyes that didn't settle right with her.

"What is it, Bucky?" There was a distant look to him. He was still recovering from everything Tony had put him through. He creased his brows and shook his head slightly.

"Why?" Anya opened her mouth to voice her confusion when all three of them heard a loud knock on the quin-jets door. Theories ran through her mind. It could be Tony coming to finish the job, or it could be Zemo. Either way, Anya wasn't taking any chances. She had had enough of everyone's bullshit. All she wanted was for people to leave Bucky alone. Getting up quickly, Anya grabbed one of the extra rifles with Steve right behind her with a rifle of his own. Anya made sure a bullet was in the chamber as she hit the large button for the door to be let down. Anya raised the rifle with her finger on the outside of the trigger.

As the door lowered, Black Panther stood at the entrance with his helmet off and his hands raised in a peaceful gesture. Steve walked up slowly and cautiously past Anya who never put her guard down.

"Captain."

"Your Highness." T'Challa slowly put his hands down to his side.

"I wanted to give you my apologies." Steve only creased his brows as the mountains bitter cold hit him. "I have Zemo, and he will be brought to the right people." Anya kept her rifle and her deathly glare on T'Challa as Steve stood in front of him with his own gun lowered. She heard Bucky move and she hoped he would just stay where he was.

"You will no doubt be on the run. I wanted to offer my facility in the Wakandian jungle as a safe house." Steve looked down in thought with both Bucky and Anya in mind. He nodded towards T'Challa. he might be right. They would need a place to lay low for a while.

"Alright, lead the way." T'Challa nodded and looked over at the woman he had backhanded earlier. Steve walked up to her and softly put his hand on the top of her rifle, gesturing for her to put it down. T'Challa saw the large gash he had caused. He didn't ever want to hit a woman, but she stood in the way of his target. He still felt horrible for letting his rage be taken out on her.

"I apologize for hitting you. In Wakanda, we have technology that can help with that." Anya knew T'Challa was being genuine, but she never let her guard falter. T'Challa bowed to the both of them and walked towards his own jet.

Anya sighed as she opened the chamber of her rifle and let the bullet fly out, decocking the gun. She put it back in the gun rack with the rest of the rifles and looked at the front of the jet.

Steve came up behind her and gently placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Are you okay?" She turned back to him, her ponytail sliding down her other shoulder.

"Do you really think we can trust him?" She swallowed hard and stood straight up, Steve's hand falling from her, "What if he has already called the authorities? They will be waiting for us when we get there." Steve nodded and understood her concern.

"I know, but what else can we do? Where do we go?" Anya looked to the ground. He was right. They had nowhere to go without being spotted, "We have to take a chance."

Steve gave her a reassuring smile, but it didn't make her feel any better. He walked to the front of the ship to take them where they needed to go as Anya walked up to Bucky and saw that he was lying in her bunk, snoring. A gentle sigh left her mouth as she placed a hand on Bucky's human arm. He had been completely out of it since coming back on the jet.

She smiled as she saw his cheek and mouth were smooshed against the pillow. It was odd to see him so peaceful. Usually, he always kept a worried or murderous look to him. He was like an animal being chased after. Anya began stroking his brow and pushed some of his dark hair away from his face.

"Anya." She looked over to Steve who was walking up to her after putting the jet on autopilot. "We have approximately two hours before arrival." She nodded and Steve walked back to the instrument panel in the front of the jet. She knew that as soon as they landed, Bucky's peaceful face would become worried again. Anya decided to try and get some sleep as well and ended up falling asleep on the floor next to Bucky.

It was close to an hour later when Bucky came to. The last thing he remembered was his arm had been blown off by Tony Stark. He remembered Anya and Steve helping him out of his past facility and into the Quinjet. He slowly opened his eyes and the first thing he saw was Anya's sleeping face next to his.

A small smile formed on his face as he looked around. He was still in the Quinjet and he heard the buzzing of the engines rolling. As he moved his head to look out of the small round window next to him, he saw clouds moving. They must have been traveling somewhere. Bucky only furrowed his brows slightly.

Where were they going? There weren't many places they could go without being noticed. Gently, Bucky swung his legs over the side of the bed and held his head in his only good hand.

"Bucky?" His ears perked up and his head darted over to Anya who was rubbing her eyes from sleep. He must have accidentally jostled her awake.

"Sh, it's okay. Come up here and go back to sleep." She only shook her head some and looked up at him. He noticed a red mark on the side of her face from where she was sleeping.

"How are you feeling?" He sighed some just so air could fill his lungs.

"I think I am fine, just tired. How are you?" She smiled at him and scooted with some difficulty just so she could lay her head on his knee.

"Other than a cracked rib or two, I should be fine." Bucky was kicking himself mentally. She was always getting hurt because of him. He didn't know how much more he could take of other people being in pain because of him. He had killed too many people for others to just risk their lives for him. He shook the thoughts from his mind.

He couldn't talk with Anya about it because she would only tell him that he was wrong, but he knew better.

"Where are we going?" Bucky rolled his shoulders as he felt soreness run throughout his muscles. He, all of a sudden, got a hankering for water. Anya lifted her head and noticed Bucky smacking his lips and knew he must have been thirsty.

She got up with a wince and walked over to the small refrigerator in the back. She wanted to avoid his question because she knew he wouldn't like the answer. She grabbed a bottle of ice cold water and slowly walked back to him. "Anya, where are we going?" He knew she heard him the first time, but she wasn't answering. It was obvious he wasn't going to like it.

"Wakanda." His eyes went wide and looked at her as if she betrayed him. Why would they go there? Did they want to put him in prison? Was she okay with this?

"Why?" His voice cracked slightly. Anya saw the expression on his face and her heart broke.

"T'Challa came to the jet in Siberia. He offered all of us amnesty." Bucky furrowed his brows and felt anger bubbling up inside of him.

"What if this is a trap, Anya?!" She signed and shook her head.

"It wasn't my choice, Bucky. Steve believes T'Challa and explained his reasoning. Where else are we supposed to go?" Bucky growled.

"Not into the lion's den." Anya began chewing her bottom lip. There wasn't anything she could say or do. Steve came into the back of the jet with concern etched into his face.

"What's going on?" Bucky glared up at Steve.

"Are you really taking us to Wakanda?!" The concern vanished on Steve's face and was replaced by the same stern look he gave Anya.

"Yes. T'Challa is willing to give us all a chance." Bucky stood quickly and ignored the dizzy feeling in his head.

"And what happens if it's a lie?! What if he is just telling you all of this to kill me, capture you, and do whatever to Anya!?" Steve took a deep breath in.

"Then we will figure it out when we get to it, but in the meantime, now is not the time to start arguing." Bucky only glared at Steve while Anya stood away from them both. She didn't want this to happen. She knew this was a bad idea. Why would Steve trust someone who tried to kill his best friend who he has been looking for, for years?

"We have another hour, so just hang tight until then." Steve used his 'Captain's' voice and Anya could see the annoyance on Bucky's face. He left to go back to the front of the jet, and Bucky went into the back to stay away from the both of them. Anya stood awkwardly in the middle of the two and sighed.

On one hand, Steve was right, but then Bucky was right too. Anya walked over to her cot and sat cross-legged, looking out the window at the passing clouds.

Bucky was angry, there was no denying that, but when he began walking away, he wanted to run back to Anya. He knew, though, that his opinion mattered, and they decided to make a choice without him and it hurt. He didn't want to lose sight of his opinion. He couldn't let her know what she did to him. He stayed in the back of the jet, thinking for about an hour.

Finally, he sighed. They couldn't hide forever and he knew that. If someone was willing to allow them amnesty, he should be grateful to them. He got up and started to walk back towards Anya. When he got to the bunk beds, he saw her staring out of the window. He leaned against the threshold and watched her.

He watched as the different colors of the sunset would bounce and reflect against her skin. He enjoyed watching her run her hands through her silky and shiny brown hair as he watched the different shades of brown contrast against each other once they fell over her shoulders. He watched as the light from outside passed through her emerald green eyes making them glow. He didn't realize how much he noticed what she did or how she looked until then. He also couldn't deny that he had feelings for her, but how would she react to him telling her? He had become so close to her in the past few days than he thought he would.

He softly cleared his voice which only made Anya smile. She knew he was standing there, staring. He walked up to her and sat down next to her on the cot.

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have snapped at you like that." Anya only nodded gently and turned her attention and head towards him.

"You're right, you shouldn't have." They both grinned at each other and he put his human arm around her, and every so carefully, he hugged her. She winced some, but she would take the pain if it meant she could hug him.

Suddenly, the alarm went off to the jets autopilot. They were in Wakanda.
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7/16/2016
Edited: 7/26/2016
Edited: 7/28/2016