Status: Prologue 6/7/2016

Silent Guardians

Chapter Four

It was around five in the morning. Bucky and Anya decided to clean a spot on the ground to sleep on. Bucky's eyes fluttered open and noticed how close he had gotten to Anya. He stayed there for a moment and decided it was time to leave. He got up without waking Anya and laid the knife he had given her next to where his body was laying. He found a piece of paper and pen within all of the debris and wrote a small message. He laid it with the knife and silently walked out of the cabin. Bucky knew what he had to do. HYDRA had taken so much from him and now it was time to take from them and become the old Bucky Barnes. He wouldn't let himself become HYDRA's puppet again. He couldn't and he wouldn't.

Anya woke when the sun came through the window. She knew Bucky had left. She was a very light sleeper. It was time to try and leave this cabin. It had been three days and she hoped the coast was clear. As she turned, she saw the note from the soldier.

"Thank you" was written in Russian and was signed 'Bucky'. Anya creased her brows some in confusion. She should have been the one to say thank you, but she shook her head of the thought. She was alone with an injured leg and small knife as her only weapon. She was now in survival mode. She limped her way into the back bedroom to see if there were any clothe she could disguise herself in.

She found a large grey shirt and pants that were a size or two too large, but she didn't care. Anya fixed her pony tail and grimaced when she felt how dirty it her hair was. She needed a shower. Anya had found a pair of dark sunglasses and put the knife Bucky had given her into the pants pocket. She knew she looked ridiculous, but hopefully she looked inconspicuous. She took a large breath in, and walked out the door of the cabin. As she limped through the woods, rage filled her as she thought of what happened to Bucky. She had a lot to think about. How could someone, let alone an entire organization, twist the mind of an innocent and destroy a human being?

Anya began to think of all the killings she had committed in her life. Was she just like HYDRA? She had thought that when she was doing a job for Director Fury that it was for the right reasons, but what about her other clients? She never asked questions about her targets, she didn't care. It was none of her business, but now Anya is believing that maybe she should've just asked the questions. Are they dangerous to the general public? Are they with an up rising organization who wants to take over the world? Or are they just so minor that no one would even notice their absence? Anya had become what she moved out of Russia for. She was an unintentional puppet that her father wanted her to be, and she didn't even realize it.

A sigh left Anya's mouth as she stopped for a moment. Her thigh was throbbing underneath Bucky's belt, wrappings, and gauze. Looking around, all she saw were trees, some standing tall and others that had died and fallen over. The sun was shining through the decaying leaves that were falling. A slight breeze ripped some of the leaves that still clung to their only home just so they could fall to the ground below and become dirt. The sun cast swaying shadows and Anya only guessed that it was around ten in the morning.

It had been around three hours when Anya saw a familiar stone bridge about a mile away. Walking a little closer, she saw that it was the same bridge that led to the base camp she stayed in before the main battle. Anya limped her way until she got to the front door of the decrepit building. Anya was slightly panting, but she pushed the large sliding metal door open. The smell of mold and old age pierced her senses.

It was extremely dark except for the small streams of sunlight gleaming through the dusty windows and small holes in the ceiling. It was eerily quiet as she scanned the inside of the building. Everything looked like it had been taken away. Of course, all of the SHIELD agents were gone and almost all of the computers were gone except for a lone laptop sitting on the dusty table. Anya wasn't daft, though. She knew SHIELD wouldn't let this place go to waste without placing security protocols.

Anya stayed at the front of the building for about an hour. She was sitting on one of the tables when she could faintly hear an engine coming down the dirt road. Steadily, Anya got down from the table and positioned herself between a file cabinet that was up right and a table next to it with a fallen over file cabinet in front of it. Anya took out the knife from her pocket. If it wasn't SHIELD, Anya knew she would be over thrown. Anya knew the basics of combat fighting but it wasn't her strong suit. She barely passed with her father. She was more skilled with a weapon. When she saw the silhouette of three people, Anya prepared herself. Two of them had guns and the on in the middle waltzed into the building.

Once they came in, Anya positioned herself so that she could jump out if necessary. One of the shadows got close enough that she was able to quickly grab them, put the knife on their neck, and get the attention of the other two. The light blinded Anya as a flashlight was being directed to her. She knew one of the shadows had their gun trained on her.

"Put your weapon down!" The voice sounded familiar to Anya and it confused her because the voice was telling the shadow with the gun to put his weapon away.

"Anya, it's me, Maria." The light was now on Maria to prove to Anya it was her. Her eyes went wide as she looked at the agent she was holding and let him go. Anya stepped back some, giving the agent space.

"I'm sorry. I didn't know." Maria smiled gently with the look of concern etched into her eyes.

"It's okay, Anya. We thought you were dead. What happened?" A sigh left Anya's mouth.

"Is Steve alive?" The question had been on her mind frequently. Maria nodded some.

"He is the one who told us you had died. He is in New York right now. What happened?" Anya didn't want to speak with anyone but Steve. She had to tell him. "Is that where the Winter Soldier shot you?" Anya knew that Maria had been eyeing her wound, but as the words left her mouth, she noticed a change. The two agents that were with Maria tensed. The larger one's trap muscles tensed and the others jaw clenched. Anya's eyes darkened as she realized the problem.

Slowly, she walked towards one of the agents. As she got up close, she knew she was right.

"Smile." The agent only glared down at her.

"I don't take orders from.." Maria only creased her brows as she walked up to them. She knew Anya was sharp and something wasn't sitting well with her.

"Do it." The agent only glared, but smiled showing his teeth. Anya saw it, but pretended not to. She slowly began walking away, but when he put his guard down, she grabbed the knife Bucky had given her and thew it into the agents neck hitting the jugular perfectly.

Quickly, Maria pulled her gun out and pointed it at the other agent.

"Talk now!" The other agent only grinned while looking down.

"We wouldn't expect less from Russia's best." Anya walked towards the dead agent and grabbed the knife out of his neck with blood spurting out. She looked up at the standing agent.

"I know ou have the cyanide tooth, tell me why you're here?" The agent began pacing slowly back and forth.

"We knew you were with the soldier, do you honestly think we would just let him go, just like that?" Anya was tired of hearing him, but before she could take action, he spoke again. "You're father is looking for you, Anya Petrova." She paused in her movements. What did this worm know about her life, her father? Her bold emerald eyes pierced into his dull blue ones.

"What do you know?" He laughed.

"He is looking for his bastard child. He knows where you are. He always knows where you run to, where you hide." Anya was trying to process everything this lackey was telling her. Anger began filling Anya's mind. She thought back to Bucky and how furious it made her. Before anything else was said, Anya threw the knife at the agent so fast that once Maria saw he was dead, Anya was walking out of the door.

"Anya, wait!" Maria grabbed the knife and caught up with her quickly. "How did you know they were HYDRA?" Anya limped her way into the black SUV that was parked outside.

"I need to talk to Steve, now!" Maria only nodded and begun driving towards the airport.

"What happened, Anya? Tell me." It had been at least twenty minutes since they left the base camp and it gave Anya enough time to calm herself.

"The Winter Soldier saved my life." Maria only furrowed her brows some. Why would he do something like that? His mission was to kill relentlessly. It wasn't ten minutes later that they had arrived at the air port. Maria had told Anya that she began working for Tony Stark's company after everything happened.

"Steve and Sam are at the Avengers Tower now. That's where we'll be going." Anya only nodded some. She opened the SUV's door and hobbled out along with Maria. Standing at the entrance to the jet they would be using was Tony Stark himself.

Anya honestly thought he would look different. He wore a regular black t-shirt, dark washed jeans and black shoes with a whiskey in hand. She expected him to be in a suit and tie.

"Whose limpy?" The rudeness didn't shock or bother Anya. She had heard that Tony Stark was a legend of sorts, a master of engineering, so she knew arrogance was included.

"Mr. Stark," Maria began walking towards him with files in hand, "This is Anya Petrova. She has vital information for Mr. Rogers." Tony creased his brows as he took a sip from his beverage.
"How's that my problem?" Maria only gritted her teeth at Tony's lack of empathy. Clearly the woman needed to see a doctor.

"Because, Mr. Stark, if we do not get her to the Captain when we have the chance, another argument is bound to happen when we get back." A blur of strawberry blonde hair popped out of the jet and stood next to Tony. Anya's leg began throbbing some, so she put her hand on the guard beside her for support. He ended up wrapping his arm around her middle to help. He was tall and had a strong grip. Anya noticed that he dark hair and brown eyes with a round face. He seemed to be around the same age as her.

"Thank you." He smiled a pearly white smile and looked down at her.

"You're very welcome." She turned her attention back to the strawberry blonde who was giving Maria a hug.

“Maria, how wonderful to see you!” The tall woman looked over at Anya. “Whose this?” She seemed genuinely sweet to Anya. Pepper looked down at her leg and her eyes went wide. Quickly, she walked down the steps of the jet and towards Anya.

“Oh my God.” She wrapped an arm around Anya’s and smiled to the guard. “Thank you, Jordan.” He only smiled and nodded in acknowledgment. Pepper began helping Anya into the jet, slowly, giving Anya time.

“Uh, Pepper, don’t you think we need to talk about this?” Anya was surprised that this woman would be kind enough to go against Tony’s wishes. Who was she to him? A wife, or a sister maybe? Maybe she was just a really good friend.

“No, Tony. I trust Maria’s judgment. Would you please go get the medic?” Anya watched as Tony took another, but a large swig of his whiskey, and looked up at the ceiling.

“Friday?” Pepper rolled her eyes gently and glared behind her.

“Yes, sir?” A smirk formed on his face as he began pouring himself another drink.

“Would you please inform the medic that we require his services?”
“Of course, sir.”

Tony finished pouring his drink and sipped more of the alcohol.

“Do you mind if I get you new clothes? Those must feel awful to wear.” Anya only nodded some to Pepper.

“I have a tank top and shorts underneath.” Pepper only smiled.

“Well, I will go get you some sweats to wear.” Anya was about to reject, but Pepper was gone. Tony walked past Anya to the cockpit adjusting the autopilot. Pepper came back with a black sweatshirt and pants. Smiling, Anya took them from Pepper thankful.

“Thank you.” As awkward as it was, Anya took off her large gray t-shirt and too big of jeans. Underneath was her black tank top and shorts. She wore them under her catsuit, which got destroyed when she and Bucky wrecked the inside of the cabin. Anya was able to put on the sweat shirt, but when she went to put the sweat pants on the medic arrived. Anya sat down in one of the cream colored chairs as Pepper sat next to her.

“Please don’t mind Tony.” Said man's eyes just rolled as he flopped down in one of the chairs. “I’m Pepper Potts, but you can call me Pepper. I am Tony’s assistant and fiancee.” Anya only nodded as the woman confirmed her suspicions. She wasn’t used to all the attention she was getting. Usually, she would’ve just told this woman that she was okay and that she could handle it, but it was hard to tell her that seeing as she was being so cordial.

“I’m Anya Petrova.” Pepper heard the slight Russian accent in her voice and her eyes went wide.

“You’re the sniper? Mr. Rogers had mentioned a lot about you after he got out of the hospital, including that you died.” Tony motioned for the medic to go to Anya, and he got up to speak with Pepper.

“Can we talk now?” A sigh left Peppers mouth as the medic began taking off the utility belt from Anya’s thigh.

“What would you like to do with this, Miss?” Anya held her hand out and clasped the belt in her hands, setting it in her lap. The medic seemed really young, but she knew that Tony would only have the best on board his jet.

“Hm, your wound looks really good. When did you get shot?” Anya, honestly, couldn’t remember. All of her days had begun to blur together.

“Four or five days?” The medic nodded to her with his brows raised and kept examining her wound.

“That is interesting. Usually, a person who just got shot four days ago wouldn’t be able to walk and they would still be in a good amount of pain. You’re healing a lot faster than most people that get shot.” He began putting anti-biotic ointment on the wound and rewrapped it the best he could. Anya never explained why she healed faster. She didn’t see what good would come from it. Once the medic was finished, he began taking his gloves off.

“You’re very lucky. Whoever shot you wasn’t aiming for anything lethal, or they are a horrible shot.” Anya knew Bucky wasn’t a bad marksman. He was as good, if not better, as she was. The medic pulled his bag over his shoulder and smiled. As he walked past Tony and Pepper, he stopped.
“She needs rest, and within a few days, she should be able to walk around without problems.” Pepper stopped the medic.

“Wait, is the bullet still inside her thigh?” The young medic shook his head.

“I’m not sure. She will have to be x-rayed. If the bullet is still in there, then it will have to be removed. If not, then someone took it out.” He looked back at Anya with an impressed face. “Whoever bandaged your wound, be it you or someone else, knew exactly what they were doing. They did a good job.” The medic left to go back to this quarters.

Pepper walked back to Anya just as she was pulling the sweatpants on and keeping the utility belt on her lap. Pepper tried to reassure Anya with a small smile while patting her knee.

“I want you to stay with us at the tower. We have all of the necessary equipment and room to fix your thigh.” Tony’s eyes went wide as he strutted over to the pair.

“Pepper, that conversation, now, please!?” Pepper raised her index finger to signal that the said conversation would only be a minute. When Tony and Pepper tried having the conversation earlier, they both listened to the medic intently, Pepper being worried and Tony getting information.
Pepper walked into the hallway to meet Tony who looked as though he was going to have an aneurysm.

“Don’t you think it is a little bit risky to have a highly trained marksman in the tower? Whom we don’t know, and is a mute!?” Pepper went wide eyed at Tony’s high pitched voice. He wasn’t being subtle in his accusations at all. She took a quick peak to see if Maria or Anya had heard anything. Maria looked at Anya who only had her head down, looking and fiddling with the belt in her lap. She could hear every word, but didn’t let anyone know. Pepper turned back to Tony with a slight glare on her face and Tony knew what that meant.

“Maria knows and trusts her. I believe we will be okay, and don’t you think it is a bit risky having a doctor in the tower that can turn into a raging, green monster in the labs to have as your best friend?” Pepper began walking away, but stopped and turned back around. “And by the way, Mr. Bigshot, she isn’t a mute and she will be staying MY twelve percent!!” Tony only stood there in the middle of the hallway, defeated. He knew she was right and he knew that she would bring up the twelve percent conversation, again. Sighing, he walked back into the main part of the plane and walked up to Anya.

“I’ve decided to let you stay in the Avengers Tower as long as you like, but don’t make me regret it.” She knew he would’ve never agreed if it wasn’t for Pepper. It wouldn’t have phased Anya even if she wasn’t staying in the Tower. She is a survivor and survivors have to find their own place to stay sometimes, but she was grateful to Pepper.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now arriving at the Avengers Tower.” Anya thought they were going to be dropped off at the airport, not the Tower already.

“Friday?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Please have a wheel chair brought out for Miss Petrova.”
“Yes, sir.”

It wasn’t long until the private jet landed and Anya was being wheeled into the Avengers Tower. Maria brought Anya into the labs just as Dr. Banner was finishing up an equation.

“Doctor, I have a patient for you.” Bruce looked up through the top of his glasses and nodded, quickly putting his things down.

“This is Anya Petrova, she was shot in the thigh five days ago.” Bruce grabbed a hospital gown and set it on a gurney.

“Are you the same Anya Petrova that Steve was telling us about?” Maria smiled gently and nodded her head as Anya sat there taking everything in.

“Yes, I am.” Anya began feeling like a child. She began thinking about shooting Bucky in the thigh and see how he likes it but she knew he would heal a lot faster than her.

"I will leave you two for a moment." Anya got up by herself as Maria grabbed the gown off the gurney. Maria could tell something was off about Anya.

"Is everything okay? You don't seem like yourself." The injured woman only nodded as she took off the sweats Pepper so graciously let her borrow. She didn't really know much about Maria except for what she could deduct from her appearance, so she really couldn't see how Maria knew her and how she normally acted. Anya wasn't herself, but it was because she got shot in the leg, had her target save her, and now she had people surrounding her with worried faces. Anya needed a shower desperately. Her hair was greasy, all of her pores on her body felt clogged, and it didn't sit well with her.

"Can you ask him about a shower?" Anya slipped the gown over her tank top and shorts and sat down on the gurney. Maria was walking towards the entrance when Bruce came in. As he pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, he smiled.

"My name is Bruce Banner, let me take a look at the wound, and then I will decide if it is wise to get it wet." Anya only nodded in understanding. Bruce could tell she was very cautious and hesitant about everything happening. He could understand her perfectly. Bruce took the bandages off and began examining her. He grabbed a gun-type mechanism and showed it to her.

"This is a great device that allows me to see inside your thigh. It's kind of like an x-ray, but it doesn't have all of the radiation. I'm going to see if the bullet is still there." As he pointed it towards her leg and pulled the trigger, a bright purple light emitted from the barrel and Bruce, Maria, and Anya could see the damage the bullet caused.

"Hm. The bullet missed the femoral artery, which is good." He kept shining the light in different angles. Anya could see the muscle, veins, arteries, tendons, and ligaments. When the light was shown a particular way, Anya could see the blood rushing through her veins.

"There isn't a bullet or bullet fragments. There is no exit wound, so someone must have extracted it." Bruce and Anya looked at each other with knowing eyes. "Were you bandaged by someone when this happened?" Anya nodded to the doctor who only smiled.

"Okay, well, I think you're safe to take a shower. Maria will get you some clothes, and then you will come back here so I can bandage you back up. Are you in any pain?" Anya's leg throbbed, but it wasn't anything she couldn't handle, so she shook her head.

After her shower, Anya let Bruce bandage her leg up while she wore the hospital gown again. Once he was finished she put the clothes that Maria had provided her with which consisted of a black spaghetti strapped tank top, the appropriate undergarments, black tight pants with Bucky's utility belt around her waist, and a black hoodie as it was much colder in New York than in Washington. When she left the labs, she saw Steve to her right, walking down the hallway.

A huge smile graced his features as he quickly hugged the injured woman.

"Anya, it's so good to see you again! I thought.." Anya only stopped him with a small smile.

"I know, but I'm not. I need to talk with you, privately and not here." Steve only creased his brows.

"You wanna go get something to eat? There is this great diner that's still open. I used to go there back in the 40's." Anya nodded some as they walked down the building together.
♠ ♠ ♠
6/7/2016
Edited: 7/28/2016