Status: Prologue 6/7/2016

Silent Guardians

Chapter Five

Anya and Steve had sat in one of the booths of the diner and was now eating a cheeseburger each and some fries.

"So, what happened?" Anya looked around her to see if anyone was listening or looking at them.

Slowly, Anya took off the utility belt and handed it to Steve. He only furrowed his brows in confusion. "I don't understand."

"That's Bucky's belt." Anya then took out the matte black throwing knife that the soldier let her borrow. "And that is his as well." Steve looked down at the belt in his hands as he stroked his thumb across the buttons.

"Where did you get it?" Anya took a large breath in. She had a feeling he already knew. She began explaining everything.

"We stayed in the cabin for a few days and then he left." Memories danced around Steve's mind of his lost best friend. He slowly slid the belt back to Anya.

"Keep it." She only looked down as it sat in front of her. "Did he seem like he would come unhinged easily?" Anya only bit the inside of her cheek out of habit.

"Certain things seemed to set him off." Steve only nodded. He had to find Bucky and soon.

"Do you have any idea where he might have gone?"

"No, but I can track him." Steve furrowed his brows in confusion.

"What do you mean you can track him?" Anya licked her lips and was hesitant on her next words.

"Black Widow and I have more in common than you might think." Seeing as her answer wasn't clear, Steve knew she didn't want to talk about it. He only nodded some, his facial features were hard and concentrating.

After the conversation with Steve, Anya had gotten her passport that gave her special clearance, a duffel bag full of clothes, and two pistols fully loaded. Anya had found herself in many places over the past year. Her first stop was Brooklyn, New York. She thought that maybe he would try and see his old neighborhood, but nothing was there. Her next shot was a long one, but she traveled to Indiana where Bucky used to live. She came up empty handed. She went to the cemeteries where his parents were buried, the nursing home in which Rebecca was staying, and even to Peggy Carter, but none of them came up with anything.

It was a year and a half later, and Anya found herself in Russia, the last place she wanted to be. She was finding everything here in Russia to be a bust as well. Anya walked into a small bar and sat down in front of the bartender. The smell of smoke and booze infiltrated her nostrils almost making her gag.

"What can I get for you?" The bartender was cleaning a small glass and seemed nonthreatening.

"Ice water, please." Nodding, the bartender went to get her order when three boisterous men walked through the doors of the bar. In Anya's peripheral, she noticed the bartender tense up and other customers moved to the back of the building, or they just left. The bartender quickly put Anya's water in front of her and made three pints of beer before serving the men. It was obvious that these men came in here often, and they were most likely powerful people.

"Aye!" all three of them raised their glasses up into the air and clapped them together while also spilling some of the golden liquid on the table. They drank rather large gulps and downed the mugs half way.

"So, let's get down to business, yes?" Anya noticed the one with the black and gray beard seemed to be the leader of the pack. Large, scruffy and too wasted. The other two seemed to just be his lackey's. The two lackey's tried to whisper so any eavesdroppers wouldn't hear, but the leader was so intoxicated he blurted everything out.

"Tony Stark is at it again, screwing with things he ought not to be messing with." The lackey to the left nodded some.

"The Avengers are trying to evacuate Sokovia now. They can't beat that large AI. without destroying everything in their path."

"Yeah well, they shouldn't even be trying. There will always be enemies for them."

"Cut off one head, two shall take its place!" Anya sipped her drink gingerly.

"Yeah, but I think we are going to have another dead body on our hands because of one little girl."

Anya grabbed a pen that was sitting on the bar next to the cash register and wrote something down on the napkin. She grabbed the bartender's attention right when the leader stood up. The bartender looked down at the note and his brown eyes went wide.

'Opuskat'sya'

Quickly, he ducked underneath the bar as the lead of the pack came up behind Anya. She looked at him from the back mirror as the other two lackeys came and sat on either side of her.

"Now, what's a beautiful woman like yourself doing eavesdropping?" Anya only finished her water and put the glass back on the bar. "You don't talk, huh?" Anya got up to leave, but the man grabbed her by the arm. "I'm afraid I can't let you go." Anya looked down at the hand that grasped her arm, and then back up at his grinning face. She smiled gently at him and then in a flash, she had his arm pinned behind his back and slammed his face down onto her glass.

He screamed in agony while the customers looked shocked at the situation. The two lackey's that were with him were sitting in their seats in awe and fear. They were paralyzed and couldn't look away from the two. Anya leaned down to his ear as the glass dug into his face.

"Now, you are going to tell me where the Winter Soldier is." Her voice was laced with poison.

"You honestly think you will be able to get that information out of me?" You're a beautiful babe, but stupid." Gritting her teeth slightly, she grabbed a guillotine style cigar cutter that sat in a bowl to her left. She put it in his face.

"You see this? I have always wondered if the blade would be able to cut through bone." His eyes went wide as he began stuttering.

"A..Alright. Last I heard, the Winter Soldier was spotted in Bucharest, Romania."

"How long ago?" Anya never loosened her grasp on him.

"About three days ago! Now, please let me go." Something didn't feel right. If this guy was with HYDRA, he would have committed suicide already, or he would've let her kill him before he would tell.

"Who do you work for?" The man struggled slightly.

"C'mon, I told you about the soldier!" Anya slipped the guillotine through one of the man's fingers.

"Alright, no one, but I am trying to work with HYDRA!!" Anya let the man go. His face was bleeding profusely and was cut up pretty badly. Anya took out her pistol from her jacket. Before she even knew what happened, all three men had bullets in their brains. If this man was trying to be in the good graces of HYDRA, she just gave him the best gift, a quick death. Anya stared down at their dead bodies and clenched her jaw. She wouldn't let HYDRA get to Bucky. Anya stepped over their bodies and walked out of the bar.

Bucharest, Romania. Anya had once come to this country on one of Director Fury's missions. She didn't really get to look around. It was beautiful. Anya watched everyone smiling and kids running around. She enjoyed watching people and their different lives. Anya walked past the Palalul Parlamentului, or the Palace of Parliament. It was a massive building for the government of Romania with eleven hundred rooms. Anya didn't think Bucky would be so close to a smaller region. There were vendors on the streets and small patios for the cafes and restaurants around. It was crowded, which was good if Bucky needed to make a quick get away. Anya took out a photoshopped picture of Bucky so the Romanians wouldn't suspect him of being the Winter Soldier. She walked up to a fruit vendor, a small woman was running the little shop.

"Hi, I was wondering if you had seen this man?" Anya showed the picture and the woman's eyes brightened.

"Oh, yes! I just saw him today. He usually comes at eight in the morning. Such a sweet boy." Anya only nodded with a small smile. He was still here, thankfully. Anya walked to the nearest hotel and checked in. It wasn't much, but Anya wasn't planning on staying for long. Anya walked into her room which was just a normal room. White walls, navy blue carpet, LCD flat screen T.V. in front of her bed which had navy blue and white sheets and duvet. She placed a small piece paper on the black nightstand next to the bed. Sighing, she sat on the bed and began thinking of her next move.

It's almost been a year since she began looking for him, going country to country, state to state. The jet lag and exhaustion were beginning to take a hold of her. Leaning back against the bed, she turned the television on only to see the news.

"The Avengers are going to have to pay for what they have done. People have lost their lives in New York, Washington D.C., Sokovia and now Lagos. Who watches the Avengers?" Anya shook her head as they showed a video clip from Lagos. Scarlet Witch had contained a bomb and saved a lot of lives, but couldn't contain it. Some lost their lives, but if it hadn't been for Wanda, more would've died. Deciding to save her energy, she turned the T.V. off and fell asleep.

The next morning, it was around five thirty in the morning. She couldn't miss Bucky today. Sluggishly, Anya took a quick shower before putting on a pair of form fitting dark jeans, white blouse, and a brown leather jacket over top. She wore her regular black boots and had her holsters underneath her jacket with both pistols concealed. She decided to leave her long brown hair down today. It only reached the middle of her back and it had been a long time since she wore casual clothing.

Approving of her appearance, she grabbed the small note from the nightstand and walked out of the large gold and white building. She walked towards the market where the food and fruit vendors were.

There were people everywhere and Anya knew she would have to keep her eyes out for Bucky and keep them on him. The streets were loud and bustling, people buying their breakfast, groceries, and heading to work.

The streets were lined with cobblestone and the sun shone brightly. It wasn't too hot, or too cold. It was nice to feel a small breeze pass through as Anya felt her hair being tousled. The smells of the pastry shops and restaurants filled everyone's noses as they walked by. The fruit and vegetable vendors were getting as much money as they could just to get by.

Anya looked at her watch and saw that it was almost eight. She stood far away from the old woman selling plums that she had talked to yesterday. She hoped this would go over easy, but she knew better than that.

Eight o'clock quickly came and Anya saw a man approach the woman. His black baseball cap obstructed any view of him and he held his dark brown jacket close to him. Anya circled a little, keeping her eyes on him. Once she found a better position, she noticed his long dark brown hair was pushed behind his ears. He had grown out a scruffy beard and it was the same maroon shirt he left with the day in the cabin. It was Bucky.

As he paid the woman for the two plums he grabbed, he looked up and around him. His eyes landed on her and she held her breath. Quickly, he started walking away and pushed past people. Anya was right behind him, of course keeping her distance. He had seen her staring right at him. Did he remember her? Anya turned the same corner he had seconds before only to see him gone. Anya walked a little further and felt her sense behind her change. The sound of the street behind her was blocked by something or someone. She stopped and slowly turned around.

There he stood staring at her now. His eyes almost looked murderous, but Anya could also see the confusion in them. She never put her guard down, and she wasn't going to put her pistols out unless it was necessary.

"Who are you and why are you following me?" Anya reached into her jeans pocket and took out the small paper. She threw it on the ground in front of him and before the slight breeze could whisk it away, he bent over and picked it up, still keeping his eyes on her. He looked down at the paper and realized it was the thank you note he wrote for her before he left the cabin. It didn't surprise Anya that he had forgotten about her, and it probably didn't help that she wasn't dressed the same as the last time he saw her. He read the note over and over. He remembered her, but he didn't expect her to come looking for him. He looked back up at her.

"Follow me."
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6/8/2016
Edited: 7/28/2016