Status: Prologue 6/7/2016

Silent Guardians

Chapter Fifteen

Bucky cursed Steve as they were walking down the hallway. He knew that it wasn't his fault. He had asked Steve to come get him from the pool, but Bucky was so close.

Anya's face began turning red and hot as bucky began closing the gap between the both of them.
"Bucky! I need you for a moment!" Bucky pulled away as Anya was startled and sunk into the pool. Steve stood at the edge of the pool waiting on Bucky.

"I said I was sorry. I didn't know what the both of you were doing. All you said to do was come into the exercise room and yell for you." Bucky only nodded and sighed loudly.

"I know."

Anya stayed in the pool a little longer, but eventually, she decided to leave. She was hoping to spend the rest of the day with Bucky, but she knew she shouldn't be selfish either. She knew Steve wanted to be with his best friend again.

Anya took a shower once she got back into her room. The hot water relaxed her tight muscles. She washed the chlorine from her hair and body and wrapped a towel around herself as she got out. As she walked towards her bed, she saw a white dress laying by itself with a folded note and a box underneath it. Furrowing her brows, she walked towards it, cautiously looking around. She gently picked up the folded paper and in soft handwriting, there was a message.

'Wear this. Meet me in the garden at eight.'

It wasn't signed, but Anya could only imagine a few people who it could be. As she dried her hair, she looked at the clock and saw that it was only five in the afternoon. Three hours remained until she had to be in the garden. She sat on her bed thinking about what the night would hold.
Bucky and Steve were going towards their rooms when Steve noticed Bucky grinning.

"What has you so giddy? Is it Anya?" Bucky stopped at his door.

"She makes me feel like I don't have to be afraid." Steve leaned against his door and crossed his arms.

"That's great, so why are you wanting to be on ice again?" A sigh left Bucky's mouth.

"Because if another HYDRA agent comes around and uses those trigger words, I could kill even more people. I couldn't live with myself if I did that, or worse, if I harmed Anya." Steve only nodded in understanding.

"Well, have a good night tonight, Buck." A smile was passed his way and Bucky returned it. It was seven thirty, and Anya began getting ready.

She left her hair down and put on the white dress. It reached her knees and flared out. The top was lacey and the skirt was silk with lace trim at the bottom. The back of the dress was see through from the lace. She looked down at the pearlescent heels and looked back up at herself in the full-length mirror in her room. She smoothed down her dress and looked over at the clock to see it was time to leave.

Bucky fidgetted with the black tie around his neck. He just had a shower and he was already sweating bullets, and having one hand to try and tie a tie wasn't working. He stopped abruptly trying to tie the cloth around his neck and laid his hand on the side of his dresser.

He could sneak up on anyone without them detecting him and he could kill just about anyone, but he was so nervous about tonight that he couldn't even tie his own tie. He looked at himself in the mirror that hung over the dark oak dresser. His dark hair was in his face making him look more casual than he intended.

A knock sounded at his bedroom door, startling him.

"Who is it?" If it was Anya, he wasn't sure what he would do or say to her. He was trying to make this into a wonderful surprise for her and didn't want anything to ruin it, not even himself.

"It's me, Steve." Bucky let out a breath of relief that he wasn't sure he was holding until it came out. Steve opened the door and it only made Bucky more frustrated.

Steve was already dressed to perfection. His bow tie was perfectly center, his hair short and neatly kept, and his arm was still connected to his body.

As much as he hated what his metal appendage represented, he missed having two hands to help with things such as tying a tie!

Steve saw the mist of sweat on his forehead and the untied cloth around his neck.

"Do you need some help?" Bucky stood straight up and pulled the tie from his neck.

"I'm not wearing it." He didn't want to admit that he indeed needed help.

"Calm down," Steve smiled at his best friend. He had never seen him get all flustered over a woman before, even when they were in the forties. Anya must have been very important for him to go all out on her.

"Calm down? I can't calm down, Steve." Bucky sat on his bed and ran his hand through his hair. "What if she doesn't feel the same way? What if this destroys the friendship we've built together?" Steve grinned at Bucky like a big brother.

"Buck, she isn't going to reject you." Steve sat next to Bucky on the bed and looked down at the floor with the same grin. "She looks at you the same way you look at her. You both have a strong connection to each other."

Bucky only nodded gently and began to fidget with his suit jacket.

"Back in the forties, you never got this nervous with a woman." A small smile graced Bucky's face. "So stop worrying. I've seen a change in her as well." Bucky furrowed his brows at that and brought his eyes up at Steve.

"What are you talking about? How much as she changed?" Steve sighed some.

"Well, when we first met, she wasn't talkative. She kept to herself most of the time, and she hated me when we physically first met." Bucky only shook his head. He didn't understand why she hated Steve when they first met. What he gathered from the museum, everyone loved 'Captain America'.

"What happened?" Steve smiled at the memory. It wasn't funny at the time, but now looking back on it, it amused him somewhat.

"You remember when we were fighting in Washington and I tackled you to the ground?" Bucky had to think back hard on that one. He was trying to put the Winter Soldier's life and actions away in the back of his mind, but it was hard. He remembered everything. He nodded gently and looked back at Steve.

"She had shot right when I got you on the ground. I made her miss her target. At the time, she never really missed. I didn't know she was aiming for you, or even up there for that matter." Bucky couldn't believe the chain of events that led up to this moment. Anya had her target set and if it hadn't been for Steve, Bucky would have either been dead or seriously injured. A shot to the head could do a lot to even a super soldier.

"So, how did you two become friends?" Steve placed his hands on his lap after scratching his neck and stood up.

"I told her about you and what happened. After that, she loosened up a bit." Bucky only nodded to Steve. "I need to get going. I will see you in the garden?" His friend only nodded as he stood to go back to getting ready.

Before Steve left, he looked back at Bucky.

"Oh, and you might wanna put your hair back. It would look cleaner." Bucky chuckled at Steve as he left the room. He opened one of the drawers of his dresser and found a small black elastic band. He gathered his hair behind his head and put it in a small bun at the nape of his neck. Small strands wouldn't be contained, but it would have to do.

Steve was right. It did look better.

Bucky looked over himself in the mirror and took a deep breath and slowly let it out. He was ready.

As she walked down the halls, she felt eyes on her. Everyone she passed turned back around to catch another glimpse. Anya usually wasn't worried about what others thought of her looks, but now she was beginning to get a little self-conscious. She stopped before walking into the garden. There was black cloth over the glass doors, so no one could see what was inside.

"You look beautiful, Anya." Turning, she saw T'Challa walking up towards her. She let out a breath she didn't even know she was holding in.

"Did you do this?" A grin plastered itself on his face. Shaking his head gently, he stood in front of the glass doors.

"No, but the man who did is in there waiting for you." Anya slowly walked up to the doors of the garden. "Have fun tonight, Anya. Don't let anything worry you tonight." She only shook her head in acknowledgment. T'Challa soon opened the doors for her, and as she walked in, all she saw was black cloth. T'Challa closed the doors behind her, and Anya began walking forward.

She could see a sliver of light in between two cloth curtains. As she moved them away, her breath was caught in the back of her throat. There were outdoor Christmas lights on the bushes, hanging lanterns were draped over the cherry blossom trees, and there were lightning bugs out making the atmosphere even more magical and relaxing. Anya walked along the concrete walkway and noticed there were small lights lighting the path. there were no other lights on other than the Christmas lights, lanterns, and path lights. Anya walked towards the willow tree and noticed a table set for two next to it. Anya only furrowed her brows some as she saw no one around.

All of a sudden, Anya saw Bucky step from behind the tree with a small nervous smile. There wasn't a word to describe how he looked. He wore a casual black suit with a black undershirt, black suit pants, and he had his hair tied behind his head in a small bun. Small tendrils of hair fell gently on his face. A slight blush crept up on her cheeks as she slowly walked up to him. Who knew that the Winter Soldier could clean up so nicely?

"You did all of this?" Bucky only nervously put his hand on the back of his neck. She wasn't running away just yet.

"With Steve and T'Challa's help of course." Anya nodded knowingly. That must've been what they were discussing when she came out of her room, and why Steve needed Bucky. He came up to her and offered her his only arm. She smiled softly as she hooked her arm through his.

He led her up the lighted concrete path to the table. Anya's head began swooning as she caught a whiff of Bucky's cologne. As they both sat, Steve came through the door holding a silver platter full of food. Anya smiled as Steve was wearing a suit and tie. He grinned at Bucky as he noticed his hair was put back behind his head. As he set their food down, Steve looked over at Anya with a white pearly smile.

"You look beautiful, Anya." She grinned slightly. Anya was hoping she didn't look too ridiculous. She wasn't used to wearing heels and a nice dress. It was either cargo pants, her catsuit, or jeans and a blouse.

"Thank you, Steve. You look wonderful as well." He nodded towards them both and reassured Bucky that no one would be bothering them. Carefully, Anya picked up her silver fork just as Bucky did, and they both began eating.

Their food was delicious. Bucky had kindly asked T'Challa what different food they had in Wakanda. One of the dishes that Bucky had picked was a crab cake on a bun with french fries. It was perfect. The dessert was a chocolate molten lava cake with vanilla ice cream next to it. Both Anya and Bucky shared it with Bucky giving her the last bite.

"You know, Steve said you were beautiful, but he is wrong." Bucky had now confused Anya and she began thinking that it was the scars on her back that was repelling him. "There are no words in any language to describe how beautiful you are."

A dark blush overcame Anya's cheeks as he grinned at her.

"Thank you, Bucky. That's the sweetest compliment I have ever had." He smiled and leaned back in his chair. "You're not so bad yourself. You are very handsome." The compliment only made Bucky's belly flutter. Even with all of the killing, the bionic arm, and having no arm at all didn't repulse her. Bucky knew he was a lucky man to just have her as a friend.

He licked his lips and stood as he saw that she was finished with her food. He walked up to her side and gently put his hand out for her to take. She smiled shyly and shook her head.

"You want to dance? But we have no music." He only shrugged and after a moment, she put her small hand in his large tan one. She wrapped her arms around his neck as he had his one hand on her lower back. They slowly swayed together as crickets began chirping.

"The crickets will share their music," Anya smiled at the way Bucky was thinking. They both swayed over to the koi pond that had pink light up lotus flowers floating on the water. Every now and then, a koi fish would come to nibble one of them to see if it was food.

"This is absolutely beautiful, Bucky, but why did you do it?" They both stood to face each other in front of the pond.

"I wanted to do something nice for you," Anya smiled as she intertwined her fingers behind Bucky's neck. She slowly glanced around.
"It's extremely nice."

All of a sudden, Bucky rested his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. He held his bottom lip in his mouth for a moment, and then pulled his head away.

"I also wanted to tell you something." Anya only furrowed her brows gently.
"What is it?" Bucky took her hand in his.

"Anya, we were enemies at first, but when you pulled me from under that beam on the helicarrier, I owed my life to you." Anya only swallowed as the memories came flooding back. Bucky began rubbing circles on her hand with his thumb.

"I didn't expect for you and me to protect each other. It's like we are both silent guardians to one another." A small smile presented itself on her face.

"Anya, I love you."
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Edited: 7/26/2016
Edited: 7/29/2016