Status: Prologue 6/7/2016

Silent Guardians

Chapter Two

Anya woke with horrid nightmares. They were the same as usual, her mother’s death, all of her victims, and the wretched pain that she had on her back. All of them ran through her mind as she slept. She remembered each one of the dreams vividly. She got up, took a long hot shower, and began to get ready for the day. Today was the day that all hell would break loose.

It wasn't long until she found herself on the helicopter with Director Fury and Black Widow. Anya made sure she had her knives, 9 mm pistol, and rifle with her. She looked at the scenery flying by trying to take as much of it in as possible.

“Hey.” Natasha's voice rang in her ears and she turned her attention on her. “Thanks.” Anya didn't have to think too much about why she was thanking her, and what she had gathered from everyone, Black Widow wasn't the type to just say thanks a whole lot. Anya gave a curt nod to the red head. She noticed that she kept moving around some, probably from her shoulder wound.

After looking back outside the small window of the helicopter, Anya noticed that they were coming up on a building and dropping in low. Natasha opened the door and jumped from the helicopter, easily landing on her feet. The Triskellion was next. Anya made sure she had all of her equipment and tightened her hair bow to make sure her hair wouldn't come out of the ponytail she had put it in. Fury went through the plan again and nodded for her to make her move.

Jumping from the helicopter, Anya landed on her feet just as easily as Black Widow and looked around holding her pistol, ready to fire. At first, she didn't see anyone, but as she slowly walked into the building and headed towards the hanger, SHIELD agents and HYDRA alike came running out. Whoever shot at her, were most likely HYDRA agents since she was wearing a SHIELD catsuit and she shot them right in between the eyes.

Once she had a moment to breathe, she looked around herself. Dead bodies were piling up. Some were enemies, most were allies. They never knew what was coming. The smell of death was very pungent. It felt like Anya's stomach would churn, but she pushed all of the decaying gray bodies out of her mind. Usually, she would kill and leave, she never stayed long enough to see what became of the bodies.

She ran towards the hanger just as the helicarrier was taking off. She looked around the helicarrier and took out a small flashlight. Putting it on her pistol, she began walking around hoping to not find anyone. It was eerily quiet compared to what was below her.

Making her way up the metal staircase, she turned her flashlight off and put it back in her utility belt as she had found the large spherical room with the control panel, but it wasn't long until she saw the Winter Soldier. He just stood at the control panel opening, waiting. Anya knew that if she could, she would be able to take the soldier out right then and there, but she thought back to her conversation with Steve. She let her judgment decide for her and slowly slinked back into the shadows as she was so good at doing. How was she going to get up to the control panel if he was standing at the entrance?

The sounds of heavy footsteps on a metal grate grabbed Anya's attention as she looked up and saw Steve stop about ten feet away from the soldier. He was hesitating. Seeing his best friend again must really hurt and in a way shock his mind.

“Bucky, a lot of people are going to die, and I can't let that happen.” Anya began slowly coming out of the small darkened hallway and began walking up the stairs to the control panel. She watched the soldier see if he would make a move against her, but he was more focused on the man in front of him.

“Please, don't make me do this.” It was a whisper, but Anya's ear had heard it. The soldier only stood his ground and seemed to anticipate the fight against Captain America. Once Steve noticed that Bucky wasn't going to budge, he made his first move and Anya began running up the stairs, skipping two at a time.

“We don't have much time!” Maria practically screamed in Anya's ear through the earpiece. Anya hit the third set of stairs and saw the replacement chip fly and slide down to the ground. Bucky quickly grabbed at it only to have Steve place him into a choke hold.

“Put it down!” The soldier was persistent and only gripped the chip harder. Steve pulled on the soldiers human arm and pulled hard. Anya could hear the sickening crack of his arm being pulled out of the socket and a loud scream.

“Now, put it down!!!” Bucky tried to get Steve off of him, but there was no use. He began to slowly lose consciousness. The mechanical noises of his bionic arm didn't go unnoticed by Anya.

“Anya!” She looked down to see Steve toss the replacement chip her way. Jumping into the air, she caught it with ease and ran up the stairs even faster. Steve was jumping up the beams and banisters to get to the controls but was caught off guard when they both heard a gunshot. Pain blasted from Anya's thigh and throughout her body as she fell on the steps. A small yelp ran away from her mouth. Steve looked frighten as he noticed the blood oozing from her leg.

“Dammit.” She slid the chip to Steve who hurriedly grabbed it and was about to slide it in its correct slot until another gunshot sounded off. Everything went silent until Anya called out Steve's name. He looked down and saw the fresh stain soak through his uniform. The red blemish was underneath the pristine white star on his chest. They both felt the trembling of the canons coming out and getting into position, signaling that the helicarrier was ready.

With a burst of strength, Steve pushed through the agonizing pain rippling through his body and pushed the chip into its correct spot. He fell back down to the ground and looked towards Anya. Blood was dripping through the grated catwalk.

“Go ahead, Steve.” He shook his head gently.

“No, Anya, you have to get out somehow,” Anya smiled at him. She hadn't smiled in a long time.
“It's okay. I have come to peace with it.” Steve was catching his breath slightly.

“Alright, both of you have to get out now!” Steve caught the look in Anya's eyes as she nodded. She had been ready for this. She prepared herself as soon as she got shot. She thought that if she got shot, she deserved to die for not paying more attention to things and not being her best. She had done so much killing in her lifetime, she was ready.

“Fire now.”

“But Steve.”

“Do it. Do it now!” Anya breathed in deeply. She and Steve stood up together, holding onto each other for support as they felt the helicarrier lift as if they were inside of an elevator. Anya looked over at Steve and gave him a reassuring smile. She knew he would be able to make it out. The canons positioned themselves and at that moment, everything went silent for the first few seconds, and then destruction and chaos ensued. Debris began falling everywhere and the smell of jet fuel, smoke, and burning paint penetrated Anya's nostrils as her and Steve tried supporting each other.

All of a sudden, both of them heard a loud agonizing scream. Wrapping a hand around the catwalks railing, Anya looked over the edge to see the Winter Soldier underneath a large metal beam. Fire was all around him and more debris began falling on top of him as he tried pushing the beam off of him unsuccessfully.

“I can't leave him.” Anya looked up at Steve and nodded. She understood that this soldier, who is nothing more than a stranger she tried to kill, is Steve's best friend. Something happened to make him the way he is. Anya felt the catwalk begin to give out, and soon the bolts and lines snapped on her left side. Steve grabbed Anya unexpectedly and ran down the catwalk as it fell. Pain erupted in Anya's thigh as Steve let her go. It wasn't long until they both were at the soldiers side. Anya noticed he was glaring at them both, trying to get out from underneath the beam. Anya also noticed that there was a slight bit of fear in his eyes. He was afraid of dying and his mission was staring him dead in the face. Soot was all over his face mixing with his sweat and smearing on his cheeks, jawline, and forehead. Steve walked towards the beam and began lifting it. Anya went to help, but Steve stopped her.

“Anya, don't. It will make the blood rush out of your leg faster.” Steve was probably right, but with the last few minutes of her life, she wanted to be saving a life instead of taking one like she had been doing her entire life. She got behind the soldier and wrapped her arms around his torso and began pulling as Steve lifted the beam.

Once the soldier was clear, Anya fell back from the pain in her leg. Steve, panting, stood up weakly as did the soldier, both trying to catch their breath.

“You know me.” Wind whipped through the broken glass windows as soot and cinders flew through the air. Without a word, Bucky threw a punch at Steve who flew back against the fallen debris. Anya could only watch as she ripped off her empty utility belt and wrapped it agonizingly tight around her thigh. She hummed trying to take her mind off the pain some catching the attention of the soldier. Steve stood back up and faced him.

“Bucky, you've known me your whole life.” The eye contact between Anya and Bucky was broken when he threw another punch at Steve. Anya looked around her and saw a large column above them that was only being held up by a banister.

“Steve!” After wiping his mouth, Steve glared at Bucky.

“Your name..is James Buchanan Barnes.”

“Shut up!” After another hit, Steve got up and dropped his shield down one of the broken windows.

“I'm not going to fight you. You're my friend.” Anya could see that Steve was holding out as much hope as possible for his friend. He was hoping his words would get through to him. Anya thought, in that moment, that the fighting would end, but she was proven wrong when Bucky tackled Steve to the debris filled ground and began punching him repeatedly.

“You're my mission.” After a few swings, Anya painstakingly got up and hobbled her way towards the two men. Anya tried pulling the large man off of Steve, but he didn't budge and ended up pushing her back. Everything went dark for Anya as she tripped over debris and cracked her head on a metal object.

“Then finish it, 'cause I'm with you till the end of the line.” Bucky's eyes held regret, confusion, and sadness as he stopped hitting the man underneath him.

Suddenly, Bucky was grasping a metal beam tightly and almost fell along with the familiar man as a large column fell, and made a large opening in the bottom of the helicarrier. He watched as his only link to a clearer mind, and knowledge about who he was, fell into the Potomac along with fiery debris. The water covered Steve until he was invisible to the soldier. Having an internal battle with himself, Bucky let go of the beam and suddenly felt a rush of pins and needles engulf his entire body.
Bucky compared the surface to underneath the water and found it was calm even though up above was chaotic and a blazing mess.

Opening his eyes, everything was blurry, but he could still see the familiar red, white and blue uniform of his target as it sank down further into the lake. Bucky quickly swam through the murky water and grabbed Steves uniform and began pulling him up. He pulled him to the nearest shoreline as the last of the helicarrier fell into the water. Bucky could feel what he knew was a pain in his human arm and a slight twinge in his bionic arm.

As he pulled Steve up to shore, he let him go and watched him for a moment. This man that he once knew, that he was supposed to kill, that he could kill at that very moment, bothered him and confused him. With water dripping from his long, wavy brown hair, he turned away after seeing the man begin to stir awake, however, when he turned his head slightly to his right, he saw the woman, who he believed her name to be Anya, was floating on a piece of debris unconscious. Suddenly, it capsized and she began sinking to the bottom as well. Bucky didn't understand why he was having a debate in his mind on whether or not to save this stranger. The memory of her pulling him out from underneath the beam in the helicarrier pushed through his mind.

Growling, he jumped back into the lake to fetch the woman. He grabbed her just as he had done with Steve and began hauling her towards him only to see agents already around him, and taking him away in a helicopter. Bucky pulled the woman to a secluded are and laid her down. He noticed the gunshot wound to her thigh and remembered her putting her belt around it as a tourniquet, but it must have slipped off when she fell.

Taking off his own belt, he wrapped it around her thigh and pulled it tightly to make the bleeding end. When he noticed she hadn't stirred awake or even seen her chest rise and fall, he bent down over her face, pinched her nose closed and put his mouth over hers. He slowly began blowing air into her lungs and soon, she began coughing up water.

Anya looked around her and saw the soldier hovering over her. She didn't understand and didn't get to think about it before she fell back unconscious. Bucky knew he needed to get her out of there, but he wasn't sure where to take her. He picked her up as gently as he could, and walked through the woods and found an old dirt road. Following it, he found a rather small log cabin.

He set Anya down in one of the rocking chairs on the porch and busted the door open. He ran stealthily into the cabin and saw no one there, so he grabbed Anya back up and laid her down on one of the couches. He ran around the cabin opening drawers and cabinets, looking through all of the rooms, and finally found what he was looking for. He set the medical kit next to Anya and grabbed one of his matte black throwing knives to cut a square out of her catsuit big enough to be able to clean the wound, extract the bullet, clean the wound again, and wrap her thigh with some gauze, and triple antibiotic ointment. It was the best he could do with a family's medical kit.

He sighed as he closed everything up and put it on the floor. He had many thoughts running through his mind. Why did he save her? What could he get out of her about that man? How did he know the man from the bridge? His thoughts were beginning to tear him apart. He sat down on one of the recliners next to the couch and began calculating his next move.

After ten minutes, he couldn't sit still and began pacing the living room. He could either leave now, and let her get herself out of here which was the more logical way, or he could stay and interrogate her about the man he was meant to kill. He looked back at the sleeping woman and walked into the hallway. He noticed pictures hanging on the walls. Bucky figured the cabin was some kind of vacationing spot for the family. There was a man, woman, and two kids smiling in front of the cabin. A memory penetrated the soldier's mind as two kids ran around inside an old house. One child was blonde and frail while the other was just a regular brunette boy. A woman was yelling at them both to stop running.

Bucky shook his head at the memory and knew then that he had to get answers. He had a life before all of this. Whether it was a good enough life or a bad one, he figured it couldn't be any worse than the one he is currently going through at the present moment.

It was oddly silent in the cabin compared to what he had just been through. He looked back at the woman on the couch. She was his ticket to get to Steve, the man from the bridge. He walked into the living room and noticed her barely shaking. The Winter Soldier wasn't one for empathy or sentiment, but he wasn't the Winter Soldier anymore. He grabbed a quilt that was laying on the back of the couch and laid it on top of the woman. He had to keep her alive to get the answers he needed.
Bucky sat in the same recliner he previously was in and began to relax his body. He wasn't going to go back to HYDRA. He failed his mission, so he knew they would surely wipe him again, or worse, they would put him away in cryo. No, he couldn't go back to HYDRA. Bucky made his decision. His eyelids began to droop from exhaustion and in a matter of seconds, he was sleeping.

“You're despicable. How could you have killed that many people and not even feel a thing?” It was Steve's face and voice running through Anya's mind.

“You are nothing but a sick human being.” Anya shook her head at Steve's words. Fury then appeared next to him who was only shaking his head with a look of disgust in his eyes.

“It was a mistake allowing you to work for SHIELD. I, honestly, should have killed you when I had the chance.” Anya began sweating profusely and only shook her head, backing up.

“No.”



The Winter Soldier appeared next. Anya was confused by this, but when she went to grab a weapon, she turned up empty. When she looked back up, the soldier was in front of her as she looked down the barrel of his gun.

Anya found herself sitting up, eyes wide, and sweat dripping from her face. She looked around her surroundings and heard a strange noise from behind her. She turned her body to see what it was. There sat the soldier who tried to kill her and Steve. He was shaving a stick with one of his knives. Panic began rising in Anya. She was only a good marksmen, not a combat fighter.

Anya shifted her eyes around the cabin, keeping her guard up. It was a small wooden cabin and the room she was laying in was most likely the living room. It felt warm. There was a T.V above the mantel. She laid on a rather large couch and saw two chairs adjacent to it and the recliner the soldier had taken up behind her.

Anya went to move her legs but stopped when pain ran through her body. She winced some and only mumbled her discontent. She saw that her leg had been wrapped up nicely and held in place with a strange belt that wasn't hers. She looked back at the soldier and noticed his equipment belt was not around his waist. She figured that if he wanted her dead, he would've just left her for dead. She clenched her jaw as she swung her legs over the side of the couch and tried getting up only to fall back onto the couch. Anya knew she had no weapons on her so she tried formulating a plan. Looking around her, there were two exits. The front door, and the back door at the kitchen, but she knew with her leg the way it was that there was no way she would be able to make it to either one of them.

She wanted to try her luck, though, and mustering up as much strength as she could, she bolted towards the back door. As soon as she grabbed the door knob, she was pushed up against the door and a warm callused hand grabbed her hand that was holding the door knob. She turned her head just so that she could see the soldier's face. There was still soot patches on his jaw line, forehead, and nose along with a couple of nicks and scratches. She looked up into his gun metal blue eyes and saw different emotions in them, but his face was stern and almost poutish. She stopped pushing against him, and he pulled away from her. She knew she was defeated and she felt like a trapped animal.

She was going to let him do the talking first because there had to be an obvious reason he kept her here.

“You need to rest your leg.” He then walked away from the door and sat back down in the recliner in the living room. He picked up the stick he was shaving and continued. Anya stood at the door for a moment before limping her way back into the living room. She kept her guard up and stayed cautious. She sat back in the same spot she woke up in and wrapped the quilt around her arms as she looked down to the ground. She began chewing the inside of her lip out of habit as she wondered why the soldier kept her here. How was Steve? Where was he? Was he even alive? The sound of the soldiers' shaving was all she heard in the small room. Her leg throbbed as she tried thinking of something to do. She couldn't stay cooped up in this little cabin for too long.

"I know the man from the helicarrier." The sound of the soldiers' voice startled Anya. She didn't expect him to speak. "I don't know from where all I know is that I have seen him before." Anya only watched the man before her shave the nearly bark-less stick. It was like he was talking to himself. Anya was unsure if she should speak and if she did, what would she say? She slowly looked towards the ground.

"You can help me." At this, Anya only creased her brows. How was she going to help him? She didn't even know where Steve was or if he was even alive. A sigh left Anya's' mouth.

"How am I going to help you? I don't know where he is." Bucky had shaved the stick as much as he could and just dropped it down on the red carpet.

"He will most likely end back up with you somehow." Anya thought over his words and ended up agreeing with him.

"Why should I help you?" The soldiers' eyes pierced into her own dark green ones. He slowly got up and walked over to her. Anya wasn't afraid and she knew he was trying to frighten her. as his knees hit the couch, she kept looking up at him with the question in her eyes. He bent over and picked up the medical supplies next to the couch. He didn't say anything as he grabbed some aspirin and handed it to her. Anya could take a hint as she put it in her mouth and forced the pill down with her saliva.

"There's a museum in downtown Washington. Go to the Captain America exhibit. It will tell you everything you need to know." The soldier's eyes stayed on her to see if there was any deceit, and he found none. He put the box of medical supplies on the floor next to her and went into the back of the cabin.

After about ten minutes, he came out wearing a baseball cap, red long sleeved shirt, a gray jacket, blue jeans, and his normal black combat boots. His hair had been pulled back behind his ears. The soot on his face had been wiped clean as well. Anya knew he was going straight to the museum. He wanted answers. His life had been taken from him, so Anya could understand. She hated to admit it, but she began to feel bad for him.

Slowly, he opened the door and was about to walk out, but stopped and looked back at Anya who was beginning to lay down. Looking back out the door, Bucky began to have a debate in his mind. Once he found the decision, he walked back into the cabin towards Anya. Taking a matte black knife out of his jacket pocket, he handed it to Anya.

"I'll be back in a few hours." Anya took the knife in her hand gingerly and nodded as he left. A sigh left her mouth as she stared up at the ceiling. Closing her eyes, she began to drift off and soon, she was sleeping somewhat peacefully.
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6/7/2016
Edited: 7/28/2016